Hug Yourself…We All Need Some Self-Love

Editor’s Note: When I picked up Wes and Anna’s article on self-love I knew they were sending it to me personally. Anna has been aware of some upending events in my personal life recently and she sent this unsolicited piece to remind me that sometimes you need to check out of the chaos and just be kind to yourself. Thanks Anna and Wes for knowing how to support a friend. Sending hugs your way.

 

Hug Yourself….We All Need Some Self-Love

Be kind to yourself 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

You Only Have One You

In tumultuous times, self care, self love, and choosing to be comfortable in our own skin are as important as ever.  Here are some ways to stay positive and upbeat in a negative world:

  1. Remember that Joe Biden, not Donald Trump, is President.
  2. Reading relaxes – curl up with a good book, the Good Book perhaps; read a newspaper or magazine, read blogs (especially this one).
  3. Comfort foods are comforting in moderation and fruits and veggies will keep you healthy.
  4. Exercise: it gives you endorphins, and endorphins sure do make you happy.
  5. That glass of wine, margarita, martini, or Kahlua can be a comfort but do not over do.
  6. Prayers and meditation are a healing balm to a weary soul.
  7. Get a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, or body wrap – think of it as an investment in yourself.
  8. Use a facemask, take a bubble bath, or a hot shower.
  9. Look at art, it is calming and thought provoking – in a gallery or museum can add to the impact.
  10. Cook or bake a new or old favorite recipe, and then actually eat it, or share it with others.

Let It Out

  1. Light some scented candles, just not so many that you burn the place down, because only a fire in a fireplace or grill is comforting. Opt to meet your fire department at their next open house, not before.
  2. Smile – it takes less muscles to grin versus frowning.
  3. Realize it’s okay to not be okay. God gave us emotions for a reason – controlling them is not always for the best.
  4. Embrace the sadness as you work through the pain – God has your back.
  5. Take a dip in a pool – as long as it’s actually open.
  6. Enjoy a sauna or whirlpool – ditto.
  7. Contact a friend; real friends don’t judge – they encourage, commiserate, and help you to see humor, if there is any, in a given situation.
  8. Call clergy or a help line if things get too difficult for you to deal with on your own.
  9. Scream loud, it actually helps – just do it in an appropriate place; in line at the grocery store, the dry cleaners, a church, theater, or at the department of motor vehicles (tempting though it may be) are not on the list of appropriate places.
  10. Listen to music, it soothes the soul and the savage beast – or is that breast?

You’re Worth It

  1. Hear children’s laughter.
  2. Laugh at something funny or silly – laughter really is the best medicine, after all.
  3. Binge watch favorite shows, take in a movie, find new favorite shows, or watch your favorite film (mine is Legally Blonde but there are many more movies that I love). Give me a chick flick anyday.
  4. Take a break from social media drama – yes, this means you, Facebook.
  5. Do an act of kindness for someone, because being nice never goes out of style.
  6. Compliment someone.
  7. Clean out that closet, and donate what you don’t need – one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Let’s not fill up those landfills.
  8. Dance and don’t care who is watching.
  9. Sing your favorite song loud, even if it is off key.
  10. Take a class – it shows you have some.

Try Something

  1. Go for a walk or a drive, nature can comfort even the most frazzled nerves, but always on designated paths or roads, unless you’re the off-road type.
  2. Turn everything off.
  3. Talk to Alexa – her and I have had some wonderful conversations.
  4. Have a date night – if you don’t have a significant other, date yourself.
  5. Pet an animal – ‘fur-babies’ are an uplifting lot.
  6. Play a board game with friends, but don’t argue over what Free Parking is for, or who gets the dog or the top hat.
  7. Get dressed up, wear a silly hat, or some Betsey Johnson boots.
  8. Play in the snow or the sand.
  9. Redecorate – do something different to spice up your decor. I, however, do not recommend painting multiple color stripes on the walls.
  10. Deep clean the whole house – spring cleaning isn’t just for spring.

Get Out And Get Going…

  1. Window shop, and maybe even stop in to buy something special.
  2. Go to the grocery store on free sample day. Costco has samples everyday.
  3. Volunteer – it helps you and someone else.
  4. Watch a Little League baseball, or pee wee football game, go to your local high school musical, or attend a dance or piano recital, just not as one of those parents.
  5. Drink a glass of champagne while wearing your best outfit – celebrate you.
  6. Stomp your feet, it’s fun – just make sure the surface you’re doing it on can withstand it.
  7. Ride a bike, motorcycle, or snowmobile. How about a Qubi?
  8. Go horseback riding.
  9. Do yoga, water aerobics, barre, spin class, Pilates, or another group exercise – twitch those hips (not twerk)
  10. Take a dance class – ballet, ballroom, and belly dancing are always fun and great exercise; work those endorphins as per Elle Woods.

Prescribe Yourself a Chill Pill

  1. Take a deep breath and exhale.
  2. Watch a sunrise or sunset. How about both?
  3. Stretch – physically or emotionally.
  4. Do something out of your comfort zone but keep it within reason. Getting arrested is not what I’m suggesting here; but maybe try a Karaoke night out.
  5. Visit your place of worship, local library, or neighborhood park.
  6. Attend an online or live event, such as a concert, lecture, or play.
  7. Challenge someone to a short race. It doesn’t matter who wins – you’re in the running.
  8. Walk, dance, or sing in the rain – umbrella or rain slicker optional.
  9. Clear out the kitchen cabinets and donate to a food pantry.
  10. Visit an elderly person – it will make their day and they may just share their wisdom with you.

It’s The Little Things

  1. Count your blessings, even when things are rough – sadness and difficult circumstances will not last forever; this too shall pass.
  2. Thank heaven for being alive.
  3. Smell a bouquet of flowers or your favorite fragrance.
  4. Laugh at yourself, that’s okay to do.
  5. Go to a planetarium, zoo, or aquarium – kiss a dolphin.
  6. HUG! If no one else is available, just wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze – you deserve it.
  7. Write a letter, article, or essay.
  8. Paint something but make sure you own what you chose to paint.
  9. A walk around the block can cure the blues, especially with a dog, friend, or significant other. I don’t recommend walking the cat – just give them a pat on the way out the door.
  10. Wash and wax the car – maybe vacuum it, too.

And Now For Something Completely Different…

  1. Watch cats stretch.
  2. Watch puppies or kittens play.
  3. Order take out, wear your jammies, and watch a black and white show or film.
  4. Look at your high school yearbook and smile at your hair style, then recreate that do. Try on your high school cheerleading outfit, letter jacket, bell-bottom jeans, or other apparel of years gone by.  I certainly don’t mean to boast but the earrings I wore to prom I can still fit in.
  5. Prepare something from a basket of strange ingredients and pretend you are a “Chopped” competitor.
  6. Be silly, not stupid.
  7. Stand up to someone that irritates you, but do so with dignity and class.
  8. Get naked but not in public.
  9. Check out some fun vintage things – a trip down memory lane is good for the spirit.
  10. Do your old high school or college cheer, even if the uniform no longer fits (see # 74).

Do For You And Others

  1. Throw your bathroom scale in the dumpster.
  2. Donate clothes or personal care items to a shelter, clothing closet, or pantry.
  3. Adopt a senior pet.
  4. Become a foster family.
  5. Walk barefoot in the grass or on the beach; you’ve never seen a “Do not walk on the sand sign”, right?
  6. See live theater and enjoy the magic from the stage.
  7. Eat the cookie.
  8. Try a new hairstyle, a different shade of lipstick, or tie a pretty scarf around your neck.
  9. Remember we have a female Vice President – be very cautious where you walk, because that ceiling has been shattered, and there’s glass everywhere. I just have to recall Kamala Harris stating, “So help me, God”, on inauguration day when I need a boost of confidence.
  10. Collect items for Ukrainian refugees, donate to the cause, and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Just Breathe…

  1. Invite your in-laws to lunch, you’re in a bad mood anyway.
  2. Go out to brunch with your besties, and drink mimosas or morning glows (mimosas made with wine, my signature cocktail)
  3. Visit your local park district or recreation department, and sign up for classes or events.
  4. Go to a farmers market – spend some time browsing and shopping.
  5. Go boutique hopping with a group of friends – it’s much more productive than bar hopping.
  6. Check into a hotel and be a guest.
  7. Jump in the pile of leaves or snow.
  8. Build a snowman or a sandcastle, or make a snow angel.
  9. Play with dolls, balls, or jump ropes – be a kid again.
  10. Hop on one foot – brush yourself off and start all over again when you fall down.
  11. Just breathe and feel the energy of God’s universe.
  12. Put up a Donald Trump dartboard, and get that pitching arm ready…

OPINION: Anti-“Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

OPINION:

Anti- “Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

OPINION:

Anti- “Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

Editor: This is a reminder to get vaxxed.  It’s importance for us as a nation to increase our vaccination level. We’re doing good, but we can and need to do just a bit better. So, here again, for those who missed the message, Anna and Wes Hessel’s take on COVID anti-vaxxers.

 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

To Vaxx or Not to Vaxx, That Shouldn’t Be A Question

I admit I had qualms about the COVID-19 vaccine when it first came out.  I am an anaphylactic, and side effects concerned me, but shortly after the vaccines became available, I talked to trusted friends and medical professionals, did some research, and then did the right thing by getting vaccinated.  My spouse and myself are fully Pfizer vaccinated. We’ve had our first booster, and are planning on having the second booster because we are both over 50.  We are both happily vaxxed and proud to show our vaccine cards as proof that we took a stand against this deadly virus.  Some of the worst excuses for refusing to get vaccinated follow:

Unsafe “Shortcuts”

  1. “I would rather take a horse de-wormer,” a product not intended for humans – this speaks for itself.
  2. “I would rather drink bleach” – this is toxic and has never been proven to prevent COVID. When President Biden was campaigning, he made a comment that he couldn’t believe he had to say it but, “Don’t drink bleach”.

But It Will…No, It Won’t

  1. “The vaccine will make me infertile.” Then why are fully vaccinated women getting pregnant?
  2. “There are side effects.” I will admit, I was very afraid of side effects when the vaccine first came out. I, however, did the right thing and got my two shot Pfizer vaccine along with my spouse, and got my booster, too.  My side effects were minimal, even having more than one autoimmune disease, and I not only protected myself with the shots but am helping to protect others from getting COVID-19.  Some minor symptoms are much better than in a hospital on a ventilator, having a tracheotomy, or worse.  Getting the vaccine is the right thing to do.
  3. “There will be sudden serious side effects years down the road.” There is no proof of this, and it is paranoid to think this.  If there were horrific side effects, they would have shown up by now.  The COVID vaccines have been repeatedly tested for safety.  Those of us who are vaccinated have not grown a tail or get radio frequency in our arms.

Misleading “Faith”

  1. “God is protecting me; I choose faith over fear.” As a devout Christian with Jewish heritage, this attitude appalls me.  God protects those that protect themselves and do what is right to help themselves and others.  This misuse of the “faith over fear”-type statement smacks of the misleading rhetoric of cult-like groups such as “Christian Scientists”, or the also not-Biblical tenets of the so-called “health and wealth gospel” adherents.  I listen to actual science; God gives aptitude and wisdom to medical professionals.  If you need surgery, or have other illnesses, do you go to a doctor?  Most Christians will say yes, so there is no difference between this and a vaccine.  If you don’t have polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), TB (tuberculosis), pneumonia, chicken pox, or shingles, it is because of vaccines.  Vaccines are effective.
  2. “It is a sin to get vaccinated.” Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication of this.  A popular gospel singer had COVID, and she spoke out in favor of vaccines, posting a photo of her getting the shot on social media.  Many of her fans were outraged, spewing hateful comments on her page.  Again hypocrisy, because the Word of God teaches us that we should not judge, lest we be judged and to love one another unconditionally, as we love ourselves.  And it is certainly not sinful behavior to listen to science.  Listening to science is listening to the God who created it and gave the knowledge of it to people He chose.
  3. “It’s ‘the mark of the beast’.” Well, I do agree Donald Trump is an anti-Christ, but check the Book of Revelation in the Bible, the war of Armageddon had not yet even begun, this prophecy has not yet come to pass, so the mark of the beast has not begun.  The Bible indicates this mark to be on the forehead, not in the arm.  The idea of any chip being inserted with a very thin fine needle and a clear liquid vaccine is ludicrous.  Technology may exist to do this, but it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, to do so, and there is no way that the government would spend this money on so very many people, when they have your cell phone number.

Big Brother or Big Business

  1. “The vaccines contain magnetic government implantation and/or “mark of the beast” inserts.” I feel the way President Biden felt about warning against drinking bleach.  I don’t believe I need to say this, but the syringe is full of a clear, see-through liquid and the needle is far too thin to contain anything but the clear thin liquid.  The so-called metal that magnets supposedly cling to is either adhesion caused by sweat and body oils on the skin or, even less likely, the iron and other metals found naturally in the bloodstream.  No magnets or implants; it’s a vaccine to prevent COVID, nothing more.
  2. “The government has no right to tell me what to do with my body” – this comment is mostly made by the same individuals that claim denying a woman’s right to choose is not telling her what to do with her own body. I am not making a pro-choice or a pro-life statement here, but simply pointing out hypocrisy.  No, the government is not “trying to control me”, the government is trying to control COVID-19.
  3. “This vaccine is just a way for pharmaceutical companies to make money.” Just like any for profit company, drug companies do need to make money to stay in business and bring us medicines.  I agree that they often gouge prices, but the vaccines are free of cost, including the boosters, so consumers are not paying out of pocket for the vaccinations.  Democrats and our current administration are trying to get large corporations to pay their fair share in taxes also – this is in direct contradiction to the idea that liberals who agree with vaccines are simply trying to put money into the deep pockets of the drug manufacturers.  Yes, this vaccine took a shorter period to create than other vaccines but with the number of COVID-19 deaths, time was of the essence, an emergency situation and worldwide pandemic.  When Jonas Salk created the polio vaccine, he refused to patent it to make it as widely and swiftly available as possible.  Medical technology is far better today than it was when other vaccines were being created, allowing those working tirelessly to create a safe and effective vaccine much more quickly.  The competing cooperating research units of the pharmaceutical companies means the groups who develop safe, effective vaccines first make the most profit from the paid for vaccinations.  Conversely, a group creating a vaccine which has serious side effects or high risks would open that corporation to the vulnerability of liability and the associated lawsuits. In the end costing them hundreds of millions or more, so it behooves them to make a product that will help, and not harm.

Selective Science

  1. “Vaccines should not need a booster shot.” Flu shots are annual, and for the same reason as the need for coronavirus booster shots: COVID-19 is a virus, which means it mutates quickly, making it harder for the body to adapt to fighting variants.  I will gladly get additional jabs to avoid a ventilator and death.
  2. “The vaccines were created too quickly.” With millions of people dying from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was imperative to act fast.  We have medical technology that is far more sophisticated today, than yesteryear when the other vaccines were created. We have the ability to create safe vaccines much faster than scientists did back in the day.  When Jonas Salk and his team had created the polio vaccine, the testing was done over one year – 1954 to 1955.  Computer modeling and so many other medical research improvements have occurred in the 65 years since then.
  3. “Having COVID-19 will cause you to have better immunity against it.” Again, like many of the anti-vaxxers arguments, this is not proven and there is the little factor of if you don’t actually die from COVID involved here or suffer from long-term effects from the virus which are becoming apparent.
  4. “Getting the vaccine will change or destroy my DNA”- this again makes no sense. It’s a vaccine, to save lives just like the ones for polio, diphtheria, shingles, or chicken pox.  It is not DNA altering, it is just a weakened or “killed” virus which protects us from getting COVID or getting a worst case scenario bout of the virus.
  5. “COVID-19 is not really a pandemic of the unvaccinated’” – yes, it is. Even with some vaccinated individuals getting Omicron or other variants.  While “breakthrough” infections will occur, studies continue to show that vaccinations, especially boosted, significantly reduce death and hospitalizations.
  6. “COVID is just like the flu”, as many anti-vaxxer, anti-maskers want to believe – scientific fact proves otherwise. WHO estimates about 1 billion people get influenza every year, with around 290,000 to 650,000 flu-related deaths per year (presumably the fluctuation due to the flu variants prevalent at the time).  Per Johns Hopkins online COVID-19 statistics (https://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6), as of the morning of April 5th, 2022, there have been over 494 million identified cases of the coronavirus, and over 6.17 million related deaths worldwide.  In the United States alone, there have been almost 81.5 million cases of COVID, and approaching one million connected deaths.  Reasonable people with intelligence recognize this truth and get vaccinated.  Those refusing to believe this do often end up dying or hospitalized from the virus but anti-vaxxers choose not to see reason.  This frightening belief among those refusing to do their part to eradicate COVID is alarming.  People who insist that we should just enjoy one another and live life without regard to COVID-19, in my opinion, are lying to themselves.  I find their attitudes to be irresponsible and appalling, especially when it is done in the name of the Lord.  It is certainly not possible to simply enjoy life or one another if you are dead or on a ventilator.

But…

  1. “I don’t have time to get vaccinated” – the reality is, it takes a little waiting time, a few minutes for the actual shot, and 15 minutes for safety observation after. If you don’t get vaccinated, you will lose all time after your death, or the time eaten up in a hospital.
  2. “I hate needles” – so do I, very much. But presumably, you had other vaccinations when you were young, and you got through it.  Focus on the good it does for you, rather than the little pinch.  Also, my husband cued in the nurse who did our first injections, and she chatted me up while in the process.  The distraction of conversation or the like can also help.
  3. “I don’t want to.” Ultimately, this is what almost all the so-called “reasons” to not get the vaccination boil down to justifying – selfishness.  The idea in psychology of “the personal fable” strongly applies – that is the concept of denial which says, “it won’t happen to me”, and these days it seems, the “me” is all that matters.  This isn’t borne out in the number of COVID-19 infections, and the significantly stronger likelihood of serious complications if you are unvaccinated.  Not to mention in general, if everyone is only looking out for “me”, then all the other “me’s” are at risk, which sooner or later will lead back around to your “me”.  And as a Christian, I see the Bible via Jesus’ words to be clear: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

Religious or true medical reasons aside, most human beings have no legitimate reason to not vaccinate.  So, let’s not continue to focus on the self in this or any other way, because to do so will eventually seriously threaten oneself.

The Benefits Of Spring Cleaning

The Benefits Of Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning offers many health benefits

The Benefits Of Spring Cleaning

By D. S. Mitchell

The first day of spring, is March 20, which means it is time for spring cleaning. Washing windows, moving furniture, organizing the pantry are all big projects, but such annual tasks provide big benefits. Spring cleaning is more than just picking up your space, or tidying up a bit; it is about improving overall well-being. Organization and cleanliness can provide unexpected health benefits; read on.

Turn On The Feel Good Hormones

There is a proven connection between cleanliness, organization, and mental health. Studies have shown that a clean home and tidy surroundings are directly correlated to happiness, and the all important ability to focus. Clutter causes anxiety to spike. Laundry piling up in the corner, papers, and mail, strewn carelessly about on the floor and various surfaces can be overwhelming. If you want a boost in your mood, clean up. Cleaning the clutter will turn on those hormones that improve mood, and general attitude.

Send Germs Packing

Cleaning items that are touched frequently is a good place to start. Cleaning and sanitizing on a regular basis, not just as spring arrives, is a proven way to reduce the spread of germs. Keeping household surfaces clean can help reduce the spread of viruses and illnesses. Doorknobs, refrigerator handles, light switches, countertops, and TV remotes, are all places that germs are hanging out waiting to spread infection. Wipe it down and stay healthy.

Breathe Better  

I’ve suffered with asthma all my life. Dust and pollen can trigger an attack; causing me to cough, wheeze and struggle to breathe.  With spring comes pollen that aggravates such allergies. Pollen, however, isn’t the only thing floating about causing breathing problems. The build up of dust and pet dander can also cause respiratory problems, particularly for the vulnerable. Spring is the time for ‘deep-cleaning’. Changing out your air filters, furnace filters, and vents will go a long way to improving your overall health.

Get Moving 

Get up off the couch and get to work. Just running the vacuum and picking up the surface clutter will make you feel better. With that goal in mind here are a few tips from the internet to help you with the spring cleaning tradition.

Room by Room: Skip the areas that you clean regularly and focus on areas that are generally ignored or neglected.  Create a cleaning checklist for each room to help you stay on track and remind you what areas need special attention.

Seasonal Projects: Many tasks are seasonal, such as boxing and storing winter clothing, bedding, skis,  sleds, and decor. As you are putting away the memories of winter you will be preparing for summer activities.  Clean the grill, sweep the patio, wash exterior windows. Unpack summer linens, open the drapes and invite the sunshine in.

Clear And Organize: Focus on getting rid of clutter. Leticia Almeida, on her website, suggested a 4-step approach. “Identify problem areas, analyze reasons for the clutter, determine solutions and implement them. Sorting your belongings into four categories-trash, give away, store, or put away. . . ” is highly effective.  Her number one suggestion is “move the clutter as soon as possible, whether it’s bringing a donation box to a charity or having a garage sale.” (www.thespruce.com)

Enlist The Family: Make the Spring Cleaning project, a family affair. Young kids can be fun and imaginative, and excellent helpers. Assign tasks, and make everyone feel included. Turn on the tunes and plan a dinner at your favorite restaurant as a reward when the work is done.

My Take

Several of the experts suggest you break up the spring cleaning tasks in to multiple days to ‘establish cleaning habits’ that will last the rest of the year, encouraging you to spend 10-15 minutes a day straightening up and de-cluttering year round. Sorry, experts, I cannot deal with the mess that comes with cleaning, to want to extend it into several weeks; enjoying it in small doses. For me, it is all or nothing. Plus. it is easier to get help for a full eight hours, one day, or maybe a second day, but never a dozen days for half an hour a shot.  So, figure out what you want done and when you want it done and get on the phone and ask for help if you need it.

John “Jack” Addison Babcock

Jack Babcock   6/7/1948-2/21/2022

Honoring the life of writer, poetic, Jack Babcock

Jack Babcock   6/7/1948-2/21/2022

“. . .And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.” Rest in peace dear friend, you will be missed.

Editor: It is with deep sadness that Calamity News and Politics announces the death of our dear friend and contributor, Jack Babcock. Jack was a passionate and prolific writer and poet. He had a wonderful sense of humor that drew people to him and he had a very rich social life with many interests and hobbies. He loved birds and animals. He enjoyed playing the guitar, and reading T. S. Eliot. If you’ve visited CNP before you have probably seen some of his postings. Although Jack passed in late February his Memorial Service was held yesterday, 3/5/2022. So today is a good day to laugh a bit and look for the bright side of the situation; that was Jack’s way. You can find Jack Babcock’s books of poems on his Amazon site at this link:

You can find him at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=jack+babcock&ref=nb_sb_noss

POETRY MORSELS

By Jack Babcock 

the bird

the birds
wings cut the sky
another bird proud
has his own
way to fly
cutting the sky
hovering over his nest
as if to say
I am the best
His wings cut the sky
Amazing you and I

********

Bed

I saw on the tube
An ad for a bed
King sized

I’m single bed Jack

It would be nice to do things in two

doing things in one tho is nice
no petty quarrels
no intrigue no spice

one is just fine for now
two is too many maybe

my uncle used to say
that he was a lone angel

so be it. I’m an angel.

********

living

what’s the point of living
if you can’t
smoke a cigarette
drink a beer
blow some dope
or
drop some acid
what’s the point
Author’s note:
14 years of sobriety

********

baseball

illness

I have 3 illnesses

Schizophrenia
Diabetes
Acute kidney disease

3 strikes 3 strikes and you’re out

But I feel pretty well

Jack lived in suburban NE Portland, Oregon. In 2020 his suburban neighborhood was threatened by wildfires. They were on a standing Fire Evacuation Alert (Red Alert Level 3) for a week. It was pretty scary times here on the west coast. I remember the sky was a sallow yellow and the smoke was blinding. Totally unprecedented devastation.  I thought readers might enjoy Jack’s quirky take on that very dangerous situation.

fire

the red sun

peers thru the smoke

the news is near doom

I haven’t had asparagus in years

or a banana split

the president waves a flag

I hope for one last good meal

Red Alert Level 3.

Jack graduated from U of O with a degree in English and he went on to Lewis and Clark law school. Although his grades had been good enough to get him into law school, he became too sick with Schizophrenia to continue after his first year. Please enjoy Jack’s quirky take on life, and the deep pain of his mental illness. Being smart and doing all the right things doesn’t protect you from mental illness.

Brown Door

the brown door is shut……

I’m mentally ill. I smash the door, howl and scream.

Let me out of this madhouse quoth I.

and behind the brown door are lunatics.

drooling, sneezing, coughing, playing

with themselves.

what do they need?

just not to be put behind the brown door.

they need sunshine and music, laughter.

but, the brown door is shut.

********

Sweet Julia

i compared you

to a movie star

you balked

said you weren’t that attractive

is it possible

you don’t know how pretty you are

Julia

i told someone

i write you letters, poems

they thought that was sweet and kind

nothing of the sort

i do what i have to do

i feel i must write to you

looking at things

my aunt left me

an utrillo print

a few rings

a spode china set

all so pretty

so real, i love them, i loved my aunt

and there is you

my dear

i think i love you too.

********

Well

yotta yotta yata

so it goes

pornography or poetry

yadda yadda ya

whats the diff

it seems important to smile

death has no

yadda yatta

freedom and obscurity

yotta yotta ya

what now my love?

yotta ya.

 

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2019/02/13/mental-illness-i-m-prism-by-jack-babcock/

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2020/09/14/fire-by-jack-babcock/

What’s In A Name

What’s In A Name

Change isn't always a good thing, sometimes it gives us a new life

What’s In A Name

By Anna Hessel

 

A New Beginning…

As one of my milestone birthdays quickly approaches, my thoughts have wandered to my birth.  I was privately adopted as a newborn by an older couple that were never meant to be parents.  Through DNA testing and the state of Pennsylvania finally opening original birth certificate availability to adoptees a few years ago, I have been blessed with finding my biological family.  So far I am in contact with two lovely sisters, a beautiful niece, and a couple of cousins and their families, one of whom has become one of my dearest friends.  She has encouraged me to reach out to my other siblings and maintains our family tree with the accuracy of a brain surgeon – a truly amazing lady.

Oh Yeah, I Blend…

My adopted family was abusive and ashamed of my multi racial ethnicities.  I, on the other hand, am thrilled to be an Irish, Italian, Hispanic, Iraqi Jewish Christian.  I was cheated out of growing up with sibling camaraderie and arguments, but I do have dear friends that have become my family.  My spouse and I are truly blessed.

Choose Carefully

When I was adopted, my birth name was changed.  This angered me; a name at birth should remain through a lifetime.  Hopefully parents will take this into account before choosing overly unusual names.  Names are special, and should be treated with reverence.  When we adopted our most recent lovable Puggle, we kept her beautiful name Sasha.  In Hebrew it means defender of mankind.  I will admit we changed our younger cat’s name from Nala to Brioche when we brought her home, to go with our older kitty’s name Latte.  Now Nala is now her middle cat name.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

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Engineered Immune Cells Offer Promise

Engineered Immune Cells Offer Promise

Engineered Immune Cells Offer Promise

 

By D. S. Mitchell

 

Sending Signals

Scientists have genetically engineered immune cells cable of delivering anticancer-signals to organs where cancer may spread. Immunotherapy is a pillar of cancer treatment; strengthening the patient’s immune system and then directing the bolstered immune system to attack tumors. In this effort, Adoptive Cell Transfer is proving successful. With this immunotherapy treatment a patient’s immune cells are collected, engineered for the patient’s specific cancer and then reintroduced into the patient to treat their cancer. There are numerous types of Adoptive Cell Transfer and the most prominent one is called CAR T Cell Therapy.

Cancer Fighting Immune Cells

In 2010 two blood cancer patients received an experimental immunotherapy, and their disease went into remission. The cancer fighting immune cells used in the treatment were still circulating in their bodies,  ten years after the experimental dosing. It indicates that the treatment can be long lasting. Doug Olsen, a native Californian, was one of the patients, “From a patient’s viewpoint, when you are told you are pretty much out of options, the important thing is always to maintain hope. And certainly, I hoped this was going to work”, said Doug Olsen at a news briefing. The CAR T Cell Therapy used the patients’ genetically engineered immune cells to track down and destroy cells that cause cancer.

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Patient Gets Genetically Modified Pig Heart

57 Year Old Gets Genetically Modified Pig Heart

57 year old American man gets genetically engineered pig heart in historic surgery.

57 Year Old Gets Genetically Modified Pig Heart

“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it is a shot in the dark, but it is my last chance,” said the recipient of a genetically modified pig heart last week. 

By MAHINROOP PM and D. S. Mitchell

 

A Major Breakthrough 

American doctors have successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig heart into a desperately ill 57 year old patient. It is an unquestionable achievement, a breakthrough for medical science. The patient, David Bennet is doing well after the surgery. The organ transplant proved that a genetically modified animal heart can serve like a human heart without immediate rejection by the body. Bennet had been connected to Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, a heart lung bypass machine, in order to remain alive. The patient was informed of the procedure’s risks and that the procedure was experimental with unknown risks before consenting to receive the heart transplant.

Emergency 

Because Bennet faced certain death without the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency authorization for the surgery last week. The doctors at University of Maryland Medicine performed the procedure called Xenotransplantation.  Bennet had been on cardiac support for almost two months and couldn’t receive a mechanical heart pump because of an irregular heart beat. Neither could he receive a human transplant, because he had a history of treatment noncompliance.

Organ Shortage Crisis

“This was a breakthrough surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis. There are simply not enough human hearts available to meet the long list of potential recipients. We are proceeding cautiously, but we are also optimistic that this first in the world surgery will provide an important new option for patients in the future,” said Bartley P Griffith, Professor in transplant surgery at University of Maryland Medicine.

High Risk 

Although the process can potentially save thousands of lives, it comes with many risks including the chance of triggering a dangerous immune response. Such responses can trigger an immediate rejection of the organ, leading to the immediate death of the patient. A  new drug was combined with conventional anti-rejection drugs to suppress the immune system and hopefully will prevent Benet’s body from rejecting the foreign organ.

Ethical and Technical Hurdles

Doctors will monitor Bennet for the rest of his life to determine whether the transplant provides the hoped for lifesaving benefits vs complications. The ultimate focus of xenotransplantation research is on genetically modified pigs because of the physiologic similarities between pigs, human  and non-human primates. Revivicor, a biotechnology company located in Virginia provided the pig heart for the transplantation.

What The Future Offers

Transplant surgeons are hoping that recent advances will enable them to give more people animal organs. Physicians believe that the surgery will kickstart clinical xenotransplantation. As with everything, there are numerous ethical, as well as regulatory issues confronting the wholesale use of animal harvested hearts, and other organs, to sustain human life. Only time will tell.

Take A Walking Approach To Knee Pain

Take A Walking Approach To Knee Pain

Walking can provide relief for OA

Take A Walking Approach To Knee Pain

 

By Dani Davis

“Bone On Bone”

I am considered well-aged.  In other words, I qualify for all those senior citizen discounts. At 75 I have been dealing with increasingly debilitating Osteoarthritis (OA) of both knees for at least the last ten years. “Bone on bone” as the doctor keeps reminding me. I have been putting off knee replacement surgery due to both fear of the surgery and my ongoing hope for a better answer.

From Miles to Feet

I have always been active and ready to take on whatever the world has to offer, skiing, swimming, hiking, and walking. In fact, I walked four or five miles every day of my life since I was a high schooler. Walking has  always been the mainstay of my exercise routine. However, as my knee pain has worsened I have retreated from former activities and have been reduced to limping about my apartment or using the electric scooter at the local Walmart. The final blow to my exercise routine came, when my dog, my prime motivator for walking, died two years ago.

Dr. X

In December I met with Dr. X, the surgeon scheduled to do my right knee replacement. He told me I am  within a hair’s breadth of the top end of the weight limit; and suggested I lose a few pounds, strengthen my legs, and workout to build my upper body strength. I told him if I could do all those things I wouldn’t be knocking on his door. He laughed, and told me to, “Try. You have ten months.” “Ten months?” Yes, ten months, I was told. “Mostly due to COID-19 issues such as surgical back-log, shortage of nurses and support staff, plus endless employee sick calls.” The medical assistant came in, opened the computer and tentatively scheduled my surgery for November 16th, 2022.

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Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From AddictionIf you are experiencing side effects with your pharmaceuticals you might give cannabis a try

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

Editor: Cannabis and its usage by humans dates back at least 8,000 years. For millennia, the plant has been valued as fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and also for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. Some have gone so far to declare it a ‘miracle’ plant.

 

By D. S. Mitchell

 

The Controlled Substance Act

In 1969, Richard Nixon, announced that Attorney General, John Mitchell was  preparing a comprehensive new measure to more effectively meet the narcotic and dangerous drug problems challenging the country. At the federal level, Mitchell devised the Controlled Substance Act. The Act combined all existing federal laws and expanded their scope into a single new statute. More importantly, the CSA changed the nature of federal drug law policies and expanded federal law enforcement authority over controlled substances.

Fear Of Success

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, established the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Raymond Shafer, one of the bill’s sponsor’s fearing it’s restrictive nature, made this statement to Congress, “The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior.”

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The Dangers of Permafrost Thaw

The Dangers Of Permafrost Thaw

Permafrost thaw is a growing danger

The Dangers of Permafrost Thaw

By Anne Rose Muiruri

What Is Permafrost?

Permafrost is any sort of frozen ground, ranging from soil to sediment to rock, that has remained frozen for at least two years and as long as hundreds of thousands of years. It can range in depth from a few feet to more than a mile beneath the earth’s surface, covering huge regions like the Arctic tundra or a single, isolated point like an alpine permafrost mountaintop.

Microbial Breakdown

Microbes that breakdown the carcasses of plants and animals release carbon dioxide, methane, and other global warming gases into the air. A deep freeze successfully halts that process, preserving organisms as well as the gases they would otherwise release underground in the permafrost. The microbial decomposition of those organic materials—and the emission of greenhouse gases—restarts when frozen soil thaws.

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