“Chasing The Spider” Commercial!

“Chasing The Spider” By D. S. Mitchell!

“Chasing The Spider” By D. S. Mitchell!

Here is the commercial for my new erotic suspense thriller – What do you think?

Well, I finally stepped out of my comfort zone. I have left the realm of non-fiction and jumped into the hot and steamy, heart racing, pulse pounding danger and intrigue of contemporary suspense! “Chasing The Spider” follows a young girl running from The Speaker of the House. A man with the power and resources to hunt her down and kill her without consequence. Can the three handsome men she meets on the road save her from the peril she finds herself in?

Check out my new adult thriller-“Chasing the Spider” !

D. S. Mitchell

Book 2 will be available Spring of 2021


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OPINION: Watching Democracy Die


Watching Democracy Die

By D. S. Mitchell

Wisconsin Outrage

Television images captured thousands of voters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin standing in three block long lines, face masks in place, showered intermittently with hail and rain, risking exposure to COVID-19; to exercise their right to vote. This did not need to happen. This should not have happened. Voting should not be an obstacle course. Voting should be one of the easiest things, we as citizens, ever do. It should be as easy as licking an envelope. The vote by mail push is meeting stiff resistance from the far right, particularly from Donald Trump. The politicians fear it would endanger their grip on power. Republicans in Wisconsin, and other states have used voter suppression to shrink the electorate and limit access to the polls for decades.


I was disgusted at the sight of what was happening in Wisconsin. Furious to my core. So angry, I was crying. Tears are not always shed in weakness, or defeat. Some tears are a physical manifestation of a rage so great that when held back can lead to plate smashing, door slamming, and window breaking. At other times tears are shed because the injustice of events is beyond the understanding of the human heart. In 2018, according to the Brennan Center For Justice “17 million Americans, or 8% of the nation’s electorate, were removed from voting rolls.” The clear intent was to deny particular segments of the population the right to vote.

The Whigs

In the first days of our country there was no such thing as voter registration; white men just showed up and voted. In the mid 1800’s voter registration laws began to emerge. These laws, were designed to limit participation, not encourage involvement.  One of the first voter registration laws in the country was written by New York state Whigs. The Whigs wanted to limit the voting power of Irish Catholic voters in New York City. The Irish were mostly Democratic party voters. But, the Whigs had a plan, and the legislative power to suppress the power of the growing Irish Catholic vote.

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Switching Gears

Switching Gears

I thumbed through Stephen Shapiro's classic while sitting alone on the beach.

I sat on a deserted beach in front of my vacation home and reread “Goal Free Living: How To Have The Life You Want Now” by Stephen Shapiro.

Switching Gears

D. S. Mitchell

A Box Of Books

While pawing through a box of books I found Stephen Shapiro's classic,

I found several boxes of books in the garage.

Yesterday, I was pawing through a box of books I had stored in the garage.  I have looked around the house, searching for some “keep me busy” tasks to occupy my time during this “stay home, stay safe” order. As I looked at the books I was trying to decide if they were something I should drop off at The Salvation Army when the pandemic passes. Or, should I bring them into the house and find space for them on one of several bookcases.

Self Help

As I was trying to decide, whether it was time to part with the books or find space for them, I came upon Stephen Shapiro’s 2006 self-help gem, “Goal Free Living: How To Have The Life You Want Now.”  It has been more than a decade since I read the book. As I slowly flipped through the pages I remembered it distinctly, and wondered how I had allowed this little treasure to end up in a box in the garage. Standing there, in PJ’s and slippers, I thought the lessons from Mr. Shapiro’s book were so valuable that I should share them with  my Calamity Politics readers.

It’s Okay

Creating lists and setting goals is a typically American mind set.

Setting goals is a near religion in America.

Stephen Shapiro is the first person in my memory who gave me permission to reject the religion of goal setting that permeates the American culture.  His book encourages readers to live without the restrictions, structure and confining limits of a set of goals. His promise is that when you jettison the goal setting, you can find happiness.

If You Can Visualize It

I have been told since I was a kid, that goals of all kinds, big, small, wildly ambitious were all within my reach. I just had to want them bad enough. The rule was, if you can visualize it, you can have it; if you don’t know what you want (can’t visualize it), you might as well be lost at sea without a life-preserver. It was essential to develop a five-year-plan, kind of like China under Mao.

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Some Days, You Just Gotta Smile

Sometimes You Just Have To Smile

Some Days, You Just Gotta Smile

D. S. Mitchell

Shelter In Place

It is Tuesday morning and it looks like a perfect day. The clouds are white cotton balls hanging over a green ocean with cresting waves breaking gently against the sand. It does not seem to matter that I am currently “sheltered in place” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was thinking before I started writing this blog post that I should discard politics for a few minutes and look for as many reasons as I can to smile. Here is what I came up with:

Smile List

1.) Puppies and kittens  2.) A man in white T-shirt and faded jeans, that fit just right  3.) Hot, crispy french fries  4.) Beach bonfires w/friends  5.) Misty mornings  6.) My over-sized cat sleeping in the hanging fern  7.) Moonlight on water  8.) Old Godzilla movies at midnight  9.) Taking first place  10.) Tiny houses 11.) Wicker and lace  12.) Powdered doughnut holes with fresh perked coffee  13.) My  secret journal  14.) An old cabin in the woods  15.) A check at the mail box  16.) Giving the peace sign, not the middle finger  17.) A new toothbrush 18.) An old Marx Brothers comedy  19.) Triple layer chocolate fudge cake topped with chocolate and cherry cordial ice cream  20.) Snowmobile rides under a full moon  21.) Sweet dreams  22.) Back rubs 23.) The rhythmic click of a spinning fan  24.) Remembering Mama  25) Following a stone wall to its end 26.) Babies dressed in boots and jeans  27.) Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef  28.) Machu Picchu  29.) Self-confidence  30.) The swooshing sound of corduroy on corduroy  31.) Toy Trains  32.) Cartwheels, somersaults, and hand stands on the front lawn  33.) Giant Tortoises  34.) Koi filled ponds  35.) Hot apple Empanadas  36.) Carte blanche  37.) Good posture  38.) A Denny’s breakfast of grease and goo  39.) Japanese lanterns floating on a breeze  40.) Twitter friends

Visit Me

No matter what is happening in Washington D. C. today, I will smile. Join me daily on www.Calamitypolitics.com and Twitter @calamitypolitics, as I autopsy the headline political news, promised to be served with a generous side of sarcasm and a double order of cynicism. For dessert, I promise a big dish of hope. as I attempt to analyze and comment on the upside down world of U.S. politics.

Join the Resistance

A Taxing Season Til April 15th

A Taxing Season Til April 15th

April 15th is fast approaching

April 15th is only a month away. I find myself  wondering if I should attempt to do it myself or just call a CPA.

April 15th, Looming Large

In case anyone has forgotten, income tax returns are due in just over a month. April 15th is looming large, as they say. It is not that www.calamitypolitics has that many deductible expenses, but that is only because I haven’t figured out how to deduct my daily double Caramel Mocha or my mani-pedis. Maybe I should consult Ivanka on that.

To Deduct, Or Just File Away

Sorting, ironing and filing

I have been busy, sorting, ironing and filing receipts, getting ready for tax deadline

Over the last week, I have been sorting, ironing and filing receipts. Typically I toss most of my Calamity Politics tax receipts into my car’s glove box. I find if I crumple up every receipt really small I can fit a lot of them in the glove box. Any overflow goes in to the bottom file drawer in my home office. The only problem comes at the end of the tax year when I have to get out the ironing board and iron those crumpled receipts flat.

Tax Year and a Standard Year

My son keeps telling me there is no difference between a ‘standard year’ and a ‘tax year’, both are 365 days long. Well, I don’t believe it; I see it as just more government distortion. It feels as if the tax year is actually 9 months long, or 270 days. It is like a time morph for the muddled, and the disorganized.  I’m sure this phenomenon is a real knee-slapper for those at the IRS. The government’s artificially shortened year, combined with the recent tax changes has admittedly added to my tax preparation anxiety.

Call a Friend

I figured I am not the only one with tax deduction stress so I called on my friend and fellow writer Wes Hessel to come up with some help for me and other befuddled American tax payers. Check out what he learned and is now sharing with us.

D. S. Mitchell

A Taxing Season Til April 15th

By Wes Hessel

Facing The Inevitable

They say that only two things are certain: death and taxes; while some may prefer death over doing their taxes, there are gratis resources that can avoid your considering 1040 to be a four-number word.

Land Of The Free

A Google search for “free tax help” (YSRMV – Your Search Results May Vary) yields multiple options for Federal tax return tools that are credible:




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Jalapeno Cheese Rolls

Jalapeno Cheese Rolls

By D. S. Mitchell 


Life Lesson #2

Recently I posted a recipe for Apple Quake (Cake). That recipe and the “life lesson” shared with that recipe is part of a cookbook-biography I have played around with. I didn’t really have a formalized plan for what I was going to do with the material when I started writing down my mom’s recipes and accompanying life lessons. Not atypical for many writers. The working title; “41 Life Lessons From My Mother’s Kitchen”. Now that I am close to my target 41 Life Lessons I decided I would begin sharing these fabulous recipes and common sense life lessons with Calamity News and Politics readers. Here is recipe 2 from my cookbook project.

Book Excerpt:

While I was growing up my Mom owned a busy café style restaurant in NW Portland, Oregon. The “Fifth Wheel” was located on St. Helen’s Rd.  A lunch time favorite were hot deli style sandwiches served, not on bread, but on mouth-watering, scrumptious, homemade Jalapeno Cheese Rolls. The rolls are actually more like hamburger buns when baked. Her’s were famous. Mom’s original version is Top Secret, but a good option is the one I am sharing here. Once you’ve made a sandwich with one of these rolls you will never want a plain bread sandwich again.



1 bag of Self-Rising Hot Roll Mix (use the 48 rolls recipe)

5 Jalapeno peppers (unseeded)

1 Medium Sweet Onion

5 Cloves Garlic

½ Stick Butter

Salt and Pepper to Taste

24 Slices American Cheese

48 oz, Shredded Mexican Cheese


*FYI: Handling Jalapeno peppers can be irritating. I suggest wearing gloves. Be sure to keep hands away for eyes, nose and mouth after handling the peppers. Dispose of gloves and immediately wash your hands thoroughly.

1.) Prepare hot roll mix and allow to rise. (Proof at 120 degrees)

2.) Chop jalapeno, onion and garlic in food processor until smooth but slightly chunky.

3.) Sauté processed veggies in butter until soft and season with salt and pepper.

4.) Combine cooked veggies with hot roll mix.

5.) Divide dough into 2 equal portions, setting one aside.

6.) Roll out one of the divided portions of dough on a clean lightly flour dusted counter top. (A large island is perfect.) Be sure to roll dough out until you have got 12 individual 4” wide x 12” long strips. Repeat with the second half of dough. You will have 24 strips of dough.

7.) Warning! DON’T MIX CHEESE INTO DOUGH, LAY IT ON TOP of the dough!! Cheese prohibits dough from rising.

8.) Visualize each strip of dough as 3 sections. Place ½ slice American Cheese in middle of the strip, fold right section of dough over cheese piece. This will make a section of dough on top of the American Cheese.  On this section place another ½ slice American Cheese and top with 1 oz. Shredded Mexican Cheese. Fold remaining dough over the cheese.  Sprinkle remaining Mexican Cheese on top of dough.

9.) Allow dough to rise a second time in the proofer.

10.) Bake using directions on dinner roll package, but allow an extra 5 minutes to compensate for larger roll size.

Life Lesson:

Short cuts.  Shortcuts can be a great thing. They can get you where you want to go more quickly, or they can get you lost.

Simple Life Lessons From My Mom’s Kitchen

Life Lessons From My Mom’s Kitchen 

By D. S. Mitchell

Life Lessons and Distant Memories

At the time of this writing, my mother has been dead for 32 years. But, every time I go into the kitchen she is there waiting for me, or more truthfully, she comes with me. She is not there in a bodily form of course, but from my heart and distant memories she emerges and pats me on the shoulder, and kiss’ my cheek.

The Chemistry of Memories

I don’t understand the chemistry of memories, but I am sure that every time I bring out her hand-typed recipe book, she hums her little work song and reminds me that she is always with me. As I remember the times I spent cooking with her; whether it was making dinners, prepping picnics, devising scrumptious desserts, or savory breads, I learned a great deal more than cooking tips. I now realize it was in my mother’s kitchen that I grew into the woman I am, where I learned the things that are most important in life.

Apples Everywhere

The Apple Quake is my all-time favorite cake, topped with my most favorite frosting. In the 1950’s everybody knew somebody that had fruit trees. It seems most people in today’s busy world forego fruit trees when they plan their landscaping. Without the fruit trees busy people don’t need to feel guilty because they have left the fruit rotting on the ground unwanted and unused.

Buy Local

I am so glad to see a slow but growing movement in this country to bring fresh unprocessed foods back to the American table. God bless each person that rises up and demands safe, local food sources. Read about it. Get concerned. Get involved. Demand, Fresh & Local.


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 to 2 Tb. vanilla
  • 5 green apples, washed but unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup walnuts


In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, olive oil and vanilla with a mixer.

In a separate bowl combine flour, cinnamon, soda, and salt; when well blended add to the egg mixture. Lastly, add walnuts to the cake mix and blend together gently. Spread the thinly sliced apples over the bottom of the greased glass baking dish.  Pour batter over the apples.  Batter will be very thick. Place the batter into the sides and corners first, and then into the center. Let the batter sit for about five minutes to make sure that the batter is evenly distributed before placing it in the pre-heated oven. Bake: in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly. Frost: generously with cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate: left overs.


  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened salted butter
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. (or more) lemon juice to taste

In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in lemon juice, gradually stir in powdered sugar, beat until smooth. Frost cake.

Somewhat Vague

The measurements for cinnamon, vanilla, and even the lemon juice for the frosting are somewhat vague, I admit, but there is a lesson here. LIFE LESSON: As my mother would say, “be generous”,  especially if you like a particular flavor.  I think that is wise.  If you like something-always be generous in its use.  When you believe in a cause, give generously of your time. If you love someone, give generously of your kindness and respect. If you are dedicated to a project then generously donate your money. What you love and believe in deserves your generous contribution of time, energy, and yes, even money.

**The name Apple Quake came from my young pronunciation of cake. Cake, quake–get it?

How Low Will Trump Go?

How Low Will Trump Go?

By D. S. Mitchell

The Era Of Trump

I try not to let my emotions guide my typing fingers. But in the era of Trumpism, I find it harder each day to follow that self admonition. While the House of Representatives were calling for Yeas and Nays on two Articles of Impeachment, the gutter snipe, sometimes called President of the United States, Donald J. Trump was revving up 10,000 supporters at a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.

I’m Grinding My Teeth

I am grinding my teeth. I am so angry. The pundits on cable “news” keep saying people are becoming “numb” to Trump and his ghastly and despicable behavior.  I must be in the minority, because each day of his presidency I become more agitated and enraged. I cannot believe anyone can continue to support the constant lies, insults, bullying, cursing and disregard for law that Trump demonstrates every single day.

Some Is Planned And Deliberate

Obviously, Trump learned a few tricks about keeping the public’s attention, during his years as a reality TV star.  So, I accept some of the Trump chaos as deliberate and planned.  His constant banging of the drum, is like a spoiled child banging the damn thing until, the observer takes the drum, covers their ears, or just leaves the room. In fact, it seems to me that the Republicans have been more effected by political numbness than any Democrat.

The Dingell Legacy

John David Dingell, Sr. was elected to the House of Representatives from Michigan’s 15th District in 1932. The Sr. Dingell served until 1955, when he died in office at the age of 61. The state of Michigan held  a special election and his son, a young WWII veteran, John David Dingell, Jr., was elected to fill his father’s vacated seat. John Dingell, Jr. would go on to serve longer than any other house member. Mr. Dingell, Jr. retired in 2015 after serving an amazing 59 continuous years.

A History Of Public Service

Carrying on the saga of service by the Dingell family, Debbie Dingell, wife of the retired Representative picked up the banner and ran for the House in the same Michigan’s #15th District. She won easily. Together the Dingell family has up to this time served 87 years in Congress representing the people of Michigan. John Dingell, Jr. is an icon in Michigan.

For Two Stumbling, Bumbling Hours

When Donald Trump lurched like an over-fed gorilla on to the podium at Battle Creek, his face had been smeared with heavy orange makeup. His upper lip was beaded with sweat.  He looked and sounded like a man off his psychiatric medications. For two stumbling, bumbling hours he lied, he raged against impeachment, the Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, the dead John Dingell, Jr., and his widow, Debbie Dingell. Another low point, but certainly not as low as Trump has proven himself willing to go.

A List Of The Insulted Dead Grows

The list of dead people Trump has attacked include not only the longest sitting Representative in history, John Dingell, but many others of heroic and iconic status. How can we forget his rants and insults hurled at the deceased Senator John McCain. Or, the insults Trump directed at the family of dead green beret, Sgt. La David Johnson and their family friend Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.  The most scurrilous and continuous have been against the Pakistani-American-Muslim parents of US Army hero, Captain, Humayun Khan.

A Hollow Core

One thing we know, for certain, is that Donald Trump is a coward. His rude rants, his assaults and insults have become so frequent, and so outrageous the American public is forced to either overlook the behavior, or leap like trained frogs from one scandal to the next. Each Tweet, each speech, revealing the hollow soul of an immoral and corrupt man.

Covering Their Faces

But, what about those surrounding and supporting him? You see them, looking down, shuffling their feet, turning away, giggling stupidly. Turning away, seems the most consistent response of his followers. Others are choosing to cover their faces with brown paper bags. My question is, at what point, if ever, will they refuse to remain silent?

Evangelical Support Base Challenged

There was a small break in the “I see nothing, I hear nothing, I say nothing” mantra when last week, a moderate Christian publication, “Christianity Today” challenged the white Evangelical Christian community to support the impeachment and removal from office of Donald J. Trump. The editor’s at “Christianity Today”, three years into Trump’s presidency, finally ask their reader’s when is enough, enough? The response to the article was limited, despite the author appearing on many cable news channels to explain the magazine’s stance.

What’s Rachel Have To Say?

So, back to the CNN, MSNBC pundits. Are they right about the numbing of America? Are we after 240 years witnessing the last death shiver of American democracy? Will our democracy die because the citizenry is too fatigued to fight back against an immoral wanna be dictator. God save us, if we don’t have the backbone to reach out and snatch that fucking drum away from the spoiled brat creating havoc where ever he goes.

**Merry Christmas, A bountiful New Year, and Happy Impeachment to all the friends of Calamity News and Politics.