Category Archives: Cancer

Semper Fidelis or Das Kapital Uber Alles: From Eisenhower to Trump!

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

— Smedley Butler, War is a Racket (1935)

I don’t think so. I think that the – the hook for many of our supporters was the idea that this was an unusual messenger for an important environmental message. You know, people who support environmental issues are constantly trying to find a way to preach beyond the choir, to reach beyond their base of people who are already on board, and I think one of the things that’s very appealing about the film, but primarily Jerry as a messenger, is that you don’t expect this message to come from a career military person.

And through Jerry, you’re – we’ve been able to reach this audience of military folks who maybe wouldn’t be attuned to the environmental message about the effects of toxins on health and things like that. So I think there was a real appeal to many of those organizations from that perspective.

— Rachel Libert, co-producer of filmSemper Fi

I’m thinking harder and harder about the Continuing Criminal Enterprise that is the Corporate State. Thinking hard about the buffoonery, really, “regular” citizens, and members of the armed services, taking hook-line-and-sinker the foundational belief that it’s we the people, by the people, for the people, because of the people.

How wrong my old man was, 32 years combined Air Force and Army, believing he was upholding some decency, some safety nets for all, old folks homes, jobs for college grads and those without any training. Turning in his grave, absolutely, if he could now witness the evisceration of our post office, libraries, public schools, health care, roads and infrastructure. He fought for government oversight, EPA, FDA, and the rights of nature over the thuggery of madmen and Mafiosi and financial philanderers. He witnessed the abuse and fraud of the US Military Lobbying Corporate Ripoff complex, up close and personal. When he was in Korea, he had the utmost respect for Koreans, on both sides of the line. When he was in Vietnam, he had the utmost respect for the Vietnamese. He taught me the words of General Smedley Butler when I was 12. Now how fucked up is that, man. Living half a century on that graveyard of lies, propaganda and insufferable patriotism.

Daily, that American exceptionalist clarion call is pummeled and delegitimized by purveyors of Capitalism – rapacious, arbitrary, steeped in usury, couched in profits over all, cemented by the few elites and their soldiers – Little Eichmann’s – to define all human and non-human life as anything for the taking, consequences be damned. It’s a bought and sold and resell system, United States. Many times, it’s a rip-off after rip-off system of penalties and penury.

Think of Capitalism as, in spite of the people, against the people, forever exploiting the masses. Daily, I have seen this played out as a kid living on military bases around the world; or in just one of a hundred examples, as a student at the University of Arizona watching white purveyors of capital squash the sacred mountain, Mount Graham, in the name of telescopes and tens of thousands of profits per hour for anyone wanting to peer through the scopes. Sticking to the Sonora, I saw the developers in Tucson and then in Kino Bay, Guaymas, all there to push ecosystems toward extinction and to hobble the people – of, for, by, because – with centuries of collective debt and decades of individual fines, levies, taxes, penalties, tolls, externalities. This has been a Greek tragedy of monumental proportions, my 61 years of hard living, shaped by Marxist ideology and informed with communitarian reality.

Name a system or an issue, and then I quickly and easily jump to the cause and effect of the problem, and searching for intended and unintended consequences, and then comprehending shifting baselines, and then inevitably, realizing the tragedy of the commons tied to anything enshrined in consumer capitalism, and then, finally, acceding to the full context of how exponential growth and the limits of growth all come pounding like an aneurysm into my brain.

Call it death by a thousand rules, death by a thousand loopholes, death by a thousand fine print clauses, death by a thousand new chemicals polluting land, soil, air, water, flesh. Death by another thousand PT Barnum adages from dozens of financial-extracting arenas — “a sucker is born every minute,” all tributes to this casino-vulture-predatory capitalism which is insanity as we go to war for, because, despite it all.

Teacher-journalist-social worker-activist-unionist: Who the hell said I had any place in this society of “money takes/speaks/controls/shapes all,” or the Holly-dirt celebrity that is Weinstein or Rosanne Barr, the lot of them, and the unending perversion of big business-big media-big energy-big finance-big pharma-big arms manufacturing-big war as the new coded and DNA-embedded value system, the existential crisis (hog) of culture, civil society, the commons, community, and nature?

The men and women I work with now, after a cavalcade of careers under my belt, are wounded soldiers, sometimes wounded warriors, and many times wounded children – both the inner child and the literal children of soldiers. We’ve had one-day-old babies and 83-year-old veterans in this shelter. Every type of service, every type of discharge, every kind of military history. Some were never deployed overseas, some were but in support capacities, and others saw combat.

That is the microcosm of society reflected in this homeless shelter. I’ve written about it here and here and here. The prevailing winds of one or two strikes, then one or two bad debts, then one or two evictions, or one or two convictions, and, one or two co-occurring maladies, or one or two levels of trauma, and you are almost out; and mix that up with failed relationships, and capitalism and militarism, joined at the hip like a six-legged frog, and we have homelessness. Living in garages, in mini-vans, on couches, in tents, on floors, in wooden boxes, in abandoned buildings, in cemeteries, in cars.

For veterans, there is some level of dysfunctional help through the VA, the medical and dental system, the psych wards, and with housing vouchers and some debt relief. Thank a veteran for his or her service to the country, well, that’s a sloppy invocation of superficial respect.

The crumbs of the octopus that is capitalism wedded to war trickle down to some sectors of society – those who were diagnosed before 18 with some developmental-psychological-intellectual disability and veterans who served. I am talking about vets who didn’t go full-bore and retire after 20-plus years. These vets sometimes ended up in for four or five years, some a few months, and as is the case, here, the hierarchy of character and demographics kicks in, as veterans deployed to war and those who were wounded in war get a higher level of “benefits” than, say, someone who was in a few months or a year with no splashy combat rejoinder to his or her record.

We have vets in continuous, long bureaucratic lines working on their service connected disability claims, and, it’s sometimes a huge Sisyphus game of producing medical record after medical record going up against the hydra of the US government, Arms Service Committee pols, and the western medical system that was bound for failure after the striped barber pole days ended. The military does not help, denying injuries on the job, in combat or otherwise.

Tinnitus or loss of hearing, well, that’s usually a given after even a few months of service in the military. Knees, hips, feet, back problems. Anxiety, depression, skin issues. Kidney, teeth, TBI issues. PTSD and MST (military sexual trauma). The list is a ten-volume encyclopedia.

What I’ve found is most guys and gals are not wired for the obscene confusion, machismo and endless stupidity of repetition and humiliation of barking dehumanizing orders and tasks coming out of service to our country – all branches of the military make the Sanford Prison Experiment look like a walk in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

A Documentary About Cover-up, Collective Guilt, Toxins in the Water, Death

The precipitating factor behind a review of a 2011 documentary, Semper Fi: Always Faithful, directed and produced by Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon, is I am working with a former Marine client as his social worker. In a homeless shelter for veterans; that moniker – social worker — is a deep one, a cover-all assignment, with wide ranging responsibilities, some anticipated and others surprisingly serendipitous.

His case, age 63, former Marine, in at age 17 with parents’ permission, is complicated – as if the other cases are not. A lot of these cases involve young men and women, virtually boys and girls, getting out of Dodge. Some with a sense of patriotism, for sure, and a few with aspirations of turning the military into a career. But make no bones about it, these people many times got caught up in the rah-rah patriotism of the day, Apple Pie, Mom, Hot Dogs and Football. Some were in it for the macho badge, and others wanted to learn avionics, electronics, logistics and nursing, etc. Many were discharged because of physical injuries or some sort of mental strain, or many were rifted for the unjust downright downsizing.

I’ll call my man Larry, and he grew up on the Oregon Coast, ending up hitching up with the Marine Corps because he wanted out of bubble of the small town and wanted in with a band of brothers.

Today, he is still tall, but a bit hunched over. His face is frozen in a heavy screen of sadness and fear. Both hands he is attempting to calm, but Parkinsonian tremors have taken over; he can’t hold a tray of food and drink, and he has no signature left. He has bruises on his arms and shines from falling over, tripping. He repeats himself, and knows it, telling me his words are coming out slurred.

He spent two years in prison for what amounts to minor (in my mind) medical fraud with his company. Those two years, he tells me, were nirvana. “The prison guards told me they had never anyone say they were glad to be in prison. I told them this was the calmest and most level I had ever been, or for at least years.”

His life was one of overwork, overreach, clients all over the Pacific Northwest, gambling addiction, big money from his business, lot of toys and big home, and children who ended up spoiled and broken as adults. Larry’s juggling a hoarder wife whose mother is dying, a heroin-addicted daughter with a child, another daughter in an abusive relationship, and countless appointments now to the VA, psychologists, counselors, OT and PT professionals, and support groups.

Today, he is quickly slipping into miasma of Parkinson’s, with all the symptoms and negative cycles of someone with Parkinson’s hitting him daily. He barely got a diagnosis, as early on-set, a few months ago; in fact, he’s been living with the Parkinsonian-triggered suite of maladies for up to 12 years, he tells me. “I remember my clients telling me I was repeating myself. I really think the stupid decision to defraud the state for a few hundred dollars was triggered by Parkinson’s.”

He and I have talked to support groups, looked at the literature around Parkinson’s, watched TED Talk’s focusing on the disease, gone to Michael J. Fox’s web site, and just honed in on what his life will be like in a year, two years, and five.

Right now, his Parkinson’s is one of nine major maladies tied to service connected disabilities the VA is now processing. This ties into the movie – Semper Fi – because my client was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, as part of the Marine Corps where learning the art of war was also combined with the silent spring of water contamination that eventually resulted in diseases that both affected the veterans but also their families, and civilians who used the water, as well as their offspring.

This is a three decades long exposure, 1957 – 1987, with an estimated 750,000 to 1,000,000 people who may been exposed to the cancer- and neurological disorder-causing chemicals. They consumed and bathed in tap water contaminated with “extremely high concentrations of toxic chemicals.”

The documentary follows three main protagonists fighting for their lives, the legacy of loved ones who were affected, and for the truth.

This is Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and according to the epidemiologists and scientists from the National Academy of Sciences, it is one of largest water contamination incidents in US history. We learn in the film the main carcinogens the people were exposed to — benzene, vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene (TCE), three known human carcinogens, in addition to perchloroethylene (PCE), a probable carcinogen.

The list of physical damage caused by exposure is long — Birth Defects, Leukemia, Neurological Damage, Bladder Cancer, Liver Damage, Ovarian Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lymphoma, Prostate Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Lung Cancer, Scleroderma, Kidney Damage, Miscarriage, Skin Disorders.

My guy Larry is afraid of watching the documentary, as he is now in a spiraling malaise and deep anxiety tied to the reality of what life with Parkinson’s is, and that maybe many of his life decisions, from infidelity in a marriage to spontaneous behavior like gambling addiction may have stemmed from the stripping of his neurological web by these solvents and fuels that were leaking into the water supply, a contamination known by the United States’ Marines.

Knowledge is power but it can be a leveling power, one that forces people to look at the totality of their lives as may be based on a stack of lies and false ideologies. The movie reveals to the audience that this is one of 130 military sites in the USA with contamination issues. Alas, as I’ve written about before, the US military is the largest polluter in the world, and other militaries have the same standards or lack thereof for storing fuel, solvents, cleaners and other chemicals utilized in the war machine of the West.

Three Lives Following the Chemical Trail, Lies and Deceit

The documentary looks at three lives intensely – a 24-year veteran of the Marines whose 9-year-old daughter Janey died of a rare type of leukemia, a man who was born on the base and raised there and then developed male breast cancer, and a female Marine who served years at the Camp and who throughout the film is going through chemo to fight her rare disease.

We see the gravestones at the military cemetery at Camp Lejeune and remarkable typographic evidence of strange deaths – babies buried after a day living, stillborn babies buried, families with two or three deceased individuals, the offspring of serving Marines buried in plots surrounded by others who prematurely died.

Jerry Ensminger, the former drill sergeant, pushes hard to attempt to understand how the Marines could have lied and covered up the years of contamination. He fights to understand how the chemical producers through their lobbyists could hold sway over the common sense duty of protecting the citizens of the United States who swore an oath to defend the US Constitution. In the end, Jerry Ensminger (Janey’s dad), Michael Partain (male breast cancer survivor), and Danita McCall (former Marine enlisted soldier) make for compelling film making, since the project went on for four years.

Here, Rachel, the co-producer, talks about Danita:

The woman who shook her head is a woman named Danita, who we also followed in the film. When we met Danita, she was actually healthy, but shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with cancer that honestly had metastasized so much in her body that I don’t think they could even say what the organ of – you know, what organ it started in. And we began to – in addition to following Jerry and Tom and the others, we also followed Danita as she fought to stay alive, as well as fought to get this issue out.

She did not make it in the time that we were making the film. And neither my co-director or I had ever experienced that in a project we’d worked on, and it was really hard. But Danita felt very strongly that her story should be in the film, and she – even though there were times where she was not feeling so great when we were trying to film her, because she had chemo treatment and whatnot, she really rallied through.

The ultimate sacrifice fighting for your life because of chemical-toxin induced cancers are eating at your very soul while also going up against the PR and hellish propaganda systems that define America, define the powerful, the political, the lobbies, the Captains of Industry, in this case, the chemical purveyors who have been given carte blanc the right to kill entire neighborhoods and classes of people and non-people species because Capitalism is predicated on unfettered rights of any snake oil salesman or demon shyster to bilk, bust, and bill for all the disease they perpetrate. Is anyone with a sound mind going to believe that Agent Orange and PCBs were not already deemed harmful to human life before they were even sprayed on the innocents of Vietnam? Does anyone believe the polluted, lead-flecked water of Flint doesn’t kill brain cells? Off-gassing, Volitile Organic Compounds, plastics, solvents, flame retardants, pesticides, fungicides, diesel fumes, nitrous oxide, fluoride, well, the list goes on and on, and those demons will hide, obfuscate, and downright lie to keep the pennies from Capitalism’s Heaven falling into their fat, off-shore, tax-free bank accounts.

Here, Jerry, talking to C-SPAN:

When any family ever have a child, especially a child, that’s diagnosed with a long-term catastrophic illness, without exception — because I’ve talked to so many other families, when Janey was sic– the first thing after you have a chance to sit down after the shock of the diagnosis wears off is that nagging question: Why? Well, I was no exception.
And I looked into her mother’s family history, my family history, no other child had ever been diagnosed with cancer.

We are talking about over one thousand Freedom of Information requests to have Navy, Marines and other government agency files open for public viewing. The concept of we the people, by the people, for the people – public health, safety, welfare – has never really been a reality, but a myth. For filmmaker Rachel Libert, she too has been caught with wide open eyes around how rotten the systems in place are for supposedly cross-checking and protecting people’s lives:

It’s been eye-opening for me. I think the thing that was probably the most eye-opening – I don’t consider myself a naive person, but I – I actually believed that our regulatory agencies were doing their job and protecting us, bottom line, that things that were really, really harmful and known to be carcinogens wouldn’t really be in our environment, in our water and things. And in making this film, I realized that that system is very flawed and that we aren’t as protected, and that was a very difficult thing for me to accept.

I mean, I certainly didn’t go into it thinking, oh, the government’s perfect and there are no problems, but that was a big revelation.

Again, the film is a microcosm of the world I live in, the world I work in, and the world of a Marxist struggling to make sense of the psychology of power and the impact of that power on the common people. Yes, schooling has helped with the American mythology of greatness. Yes, the Madison Avenue shills have aided and abetted the stupidity of a collective. Yes, the genocidal roots of this country’s illegal origin continue to splay the DNA of Americans. Yes, the food is bad, the air contaminated, the medicines polluted and the human spirit malformed in the collective American household. Yes, those in power are perversions, open felons, war mongers and money grubbers.

But, when you see over the course of four years – these main “actors” in the documentary are not paid – the Don Quixotes flailing at windmills, just replace Camp Lejeune with Love Canal or Monfort slaughter house, or fence-line communities around Houston or the flaming waters of the Cuyahoga River. Just spend a few years studying the largest Superfund site, Hanford in southern Washington. Just spend time looking at the research on Glyphosate (Monsanto’s DNA-killing Round-up). Just delve into the research on EMFs and cancers, or cell phones and brain lesions. Again, this so-called exceptionalist country is a purveyor of lies, purveyor of mentally deranged uber patriotism, and without exception, eventually, anyone going up against the system will quickly hold to him or her self the belief we all have been snookered by the Titans of Industry and the Wolves of Wall Street.

Here, the good Marine, 24 years in, Semper Fi, now a farmer in North Carolina, wondering just what he was fighting for:

Well . . . one thing that they’ve done over the years is that they have obfuscated the facts so much, they have told so many half-truths and total lies, they’ve omitted a lot of information to the media, and now if they were to sit down with me face-to-face, I could show them with their own documents and counter what they’ve been saying, and they don’t want to do that.

I mean, I have been very, very cautious throughout this entire fight to speak truth. I’ve told Mike Partain, when he got involved in it, and everybody else that gets involved in this situation, don’t ever speculate. If you’re talking to the media, if you’re talking to Congress, never speculate. If you don’t have a document out of their own files to back up what you’re saying, keep your mouth shut.

And going back to Mike Partain, when Mike got involved in this back in 2007, Tom was starting to fall out of the hike. Tom’s in his 80s. And Mike was a godsend. I mean, Mike has a degree in history. And he has also got investigative skills, because he is an insurance adjuster. He couldn’t – he couldn’t pay to raise his family on high school teacher’s pay, history teacher’s pay, so he went and got a job as an investigator.

Admirable, the story telling and truth Sather qualities in this film, for sure. The audience gets up close and personal with Jerry and Mike and Danita, and the directors let the soldiers tell the story. We get the cold hard stare down of the military brass. Indeed, for the uninitiated this story is compelling.

But also on the outer edges of this piece are the obscenities of blind obedience to command. There are some ugly truths to being a Marine, of following orders, of sadomasochistic drill sergeants, the culture of rape, the outright racism, and all the attendant issues tied to military service.

This is the fiftieth year after the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam. The two or three soldiers who stood down some of the killers and reported the crime were vilified. That bastion of war, Colin Powell, was a junior officer whose job was to hunt down any incriminating evidence against the soldiers who reported the murders. Seymour Hersh won a Pulitzer for his reporting on My Lai. Yet, Colin Powell rose to power, ending up in another war criminal’s administration – Bush Junior. To think of all the illegal wars these soldiers have prepped for and gone to, one wonders if any soldier can believe anything around their sometimes teary-eyed salute the flag patriotism.

The USS Liberty, 51 years ago, and Israel murders 34 sailors, and wounds 171, yet deniability, no repercussions, and here we are, US DoD and US Military are the beckon call of Israel firsters running our government, and the blind allegiance to the apartheid and genocidal state 70 years after forced trail of tears for Palestine, and all those deniers now in positions of Fortune 500 power, and who decide the fate of the plebes, the foot soldiers of industry and military services.

Conversing with my veterans, so many are confused about aliens and Area 54 and reverse engineering from that Roswell kid from space; somehow a Trump is more palatable than an Obama than a Bush. How many times have I been spat upon and cursed when I fought against illegal wars, overt or proxy, in South America, Central America, the Middle East? How many times have I been yelled at for fighting against chemical plants or fighting for clean air, water, soil? How many times have I been called a Pinko Fag for fighting for spotted owls or gray wolves?

As an avowed revolutionary, Marxist, one who has been hobbled by the middling mush that is America, from acidified sea to oil slick sea, I can only say that George Bernard Shaw and Mark Twain, respectively, say it correctly about this thing called “patriotism”:

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

— George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

— Mark Twain

I’ve got a more horrific story to tell about Larry, my former Marine. Yes, he might get some more service connected disability money coming in for the toxic water exposure he attained in North Carolina while on the Marine Corps base for a few years.

He is now stagnant, fearful of uncontrollable tremors, fearful of not getting words out, fearful of falls, fearful of a life now full of attendants, and as we all are, fearful of ending up destitute (he is in a homeless shelter, readers), and alas, his one asset — his brain — is now fogged and riddled with the bullet holes of anxiety and paranoia.

Yet, his toxic waters story pales in comparison to what happened to him as a 17-year-old at boot camp in Dan Diego. A story so bizarre and troubling, that it’s one the military has dealt with since time immemorial, when the first militaries came about under those pressed into service rules of the rich needing bodies to fight their unholy skirmishes, battles and world wars.

That story and series of human penalties Larry encompasses will come soon, but for now, imagine, a country run by the likes of Obama, Bush, Clinton, Trump, et al. Imagine those swollen jowls and paunchy millionaire politicians. Imagine their lies, their sociopathic inbreeding. Imagine the tortures they foment at night. Imagine these people sending people to war, and imagine the entire lie that is America, the land of the free.

Hell, in my own neck of the woods, Portland, again, we are a third world country when it comes to we, for, by and because the people:

In one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, the fight for clean water is taxing. From Salem, Oregon to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and from Flint, Michigan to the L’eau Est La Vie Camp in Louisiana, Americans are finding their access to clean water threatened.

Emma Fiala

Chemo Brain and The Conspiracy of Silence

Prior to starting a regimen of CHOP chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, I sat down with my oncologist’s nurse who briefed me on some of the things I should expect from treatment, such as mouth sores, nausea, and other delightful stomach ailments that I had to look forward to. Never did she mention a word about post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, also known as chemo brain.

Should you stop random people on the street and ask them what they think of when they think of chemotherapy, they will invariably rattle off some of the more commonly known side effects: nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. What is so exceedingly odd about this is that oncologists and oncology nurses appear to look at the side effects of chemotherapy in a fundamentally very similar way; as they are extremely focused on the short-term side effects, while completely ignoring the much more damaging and deleterious long-term side effects.

Following my first cycle of CHOP, I noticed that my brain was extremely foggy. Indeed, it was almost a feeling of intoxication. Six months after my last cycle, and I still feel that there are unequivocally times when that fogginess returns, and my concentration span is not what it is supposed to be.

While in treatment, some of the chemotherapy nurses who happily injected me with toxicity, would occasionally mention chemo brain, as if in jest. It became quite clear to me that their idea of chemo brain is three or four days of spoonerisms, and forgetting where you parked your car. (I don’t have one).

This base and degenerate behavior is either indicative of the most appalling ignorance, or a deliberate and sinister attempt at concealing from cancer patients the risks that certain types of chemotherapy can pose to mental acuity and cognitive function.

The beauty writer and editor Deanna Pai, describes her experience with chemo brain in New York Magazine: “A few weeks into chemo, I began to make odd mistakes. I switched similar-sounding words, like “with” and “which.” Sometimes, I’d find random half-sentences in my stories, and I’d quickly backspace, backspace, backspace before anyone noticed. Once in a while, I just wrote nonsensical stuff, like ’hair blow dryer could possibly what.’”

Apparently, my traumatic experience of discovering chemo brain entirely on my own is not unique. In a discussion about chemo brain on the website The Cancer Forums, Archer1019 writes:

Hi all. First time posting here. I was diagnosed with stage 3 grade B NH Follicular Lymphoma. Swollen gland in my neck turned out to tell the tale after a routine annual…exam. Just started RCHOP June 1 and after coming off the prednisone I feel foggy daily. Did a little web exploring and found out about Chemo Brain.

Article 9, of the Sloan Kettering Patient Bill of Rights, states that as a patient you have the right to: “Receive all the information that you need to give informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment. This information shall include the possible risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment.” It is regrettable that Memorial refuses to follow their own guidelines in this matter.

In a forum devoted to chemo brain on the website breastcancer.org, lintrollerderby writes:

I had four rounds of Taxotere and Cytoxan and can say that it definitely caused (seemingly) permanent chemobrain. I’m five years out and still have long-term loss of my short-term memory which was excellent pre-chemo, inability to focus, inability to multi-task (used to be a strong suit of mine), frequent word drop issues, etc. I’ve been upset for years that I have continuous issues. It’s one thing if I’d given informed consent, but it was never mentioned to me that this might never go away.

When I tried to talk about chemo brain with my former oncologist, he was characteristically dismissive, and questioned the notion that chemotherapy could bring about a deterioration of one’s mental acuity. When I persisted in attempting to discuss the matter with him, he sneeringly replied, “If it weren’t for chemotherapy, you’d be dead right now.”

This villainous and uncivilized behavior only serves to further degrade and debase an already frightened patient, as if suddenly realizing that one’s mind were not functioning properly, wasn’t already a terrifying thing for anyone to experience.

On The Cancer Forums website, RockyMiranda writes that following chemotherapy:

Then my verbal vocabulary started being affected… This worried me more than anything. I would be trying to have a conversation, and sitting there trying to grasp for what should have been a very common word for me to use. I stumbled in my conversations trying to find other words to use. Sometimes, because I’m a visual person perhaps, I can picture the word, or the image the word evokes in my min[d], but I just can’t say it.

Despite the barbarous and treacherous denials on the part of many nurses and oncologists at Memorial, there are increasing numbers of physicians and scientists that are taking the side of those who have experienced a deterioration of their mental acuity following chemotherapy; and who are arguing that it is the chemotherapy itself which has brought about these cognitive changes, and not stress, sleeplessness, and anxiety.

The geneticist Dr. Viatcheslav Wlassoff writes in the publication Brain Blogger:

Although cancer chemotherapy does work very well for many cancer patients, most certainly it can also cause dangerous and permanent brain damage. Chemotherapy can change how the brain works through changing the level of neurotransmitters. It can even change the structure of the brain, reducing its volume and reducing grey matter in the brain. Eventually this leads to cognition impairment which is strongest shortly after finishing the chemotherapy but can persist for decades after.

Prior to commencing with the CHOP, my nurses at Memorial spoke to me at such length about mouth sores, yet after six months of chemotherapy I failed to get a single mouth sore. How can any sane person argue that it is more important to disclose the dangers of mouth sores, than to disclose the real possibility that one’s mental acuity may be degraded due to exposure from high levels of toxicity?

Since pharmaceutical companies and most medical institutions exist for no other reason than to maximize the greatest possible profit, what difference does it make if millions of cancer patients experience long term deterioration of their mental acuity following chemotherapy?

In John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, the pearl buyers collectively conspire to tell Kino that the unusual pearl he has found is worthless, while simultaneously sending agents to try and steal it. In a similar fashion, the eerie manner in which so many doctors and nurses at Memorial insist on belittling the dangers that certain types of chemotherapy can pose to the human brain, suggests that they may know more than they are letting on.

There are two explanations for the behavior of the many oncologists and nurses at Memorial, who belittle and deny the existence of chemo brain. Either they have not read anything whatsoever on the subject, and refuse to listen to the complaints of their patients; or they are well aware of the long-term cognitive damage that can be brought about by certain chemotherapy drugs, yet have deliberately chosen to conceal this information from their patients. Either way, they have imprisoned us all in a conspiracy of silence.

Chemo Brain and The Conspiracy of Silence

Prior to starting a regimen of CHOP chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, I sat down with my oncologist’s nurse who briefed me on some of the things I should expect from treatment, such as mouth sores, nausea, and other delightful stomach ailments that I had to look forward to. Never did she mention a word about post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, also known as chemo brain.

Should you stop random people on the street and ask them what they think of when they think of chemotherapy, they will invariably rattle off some of the more commonly known side effects: nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. What is so exceedingly odd about this is that oncologists and oncology nurses appear to look at the side effects of chemotherapy in a fundamentally very similar way; as they are extremely focused on the short-term side effects, while completely ignoring the much more damaging and deleterious long-term side effects.

Following my first cycle of CHOP, I noticed that my brain was extremely foggy. Indeed, it was almost a feeling of intoxication. Six months after my last cycle, and I still feel that there are unequivocally times when that fogginess returns, and my concentration span is not what it is supposed to be.

While in treatment, some of the chemotherapy nurses who happily injected me with toxicity, would occasionally mention chemo brain, as if in jest. It became quite clear to me that their idea of chemo brain is three or four days of spoonerisms, and forgetting where you parked your car. (I don’t have one).

This base and degenerate behavior is either indicative of the most appalling ignorance, or a deliberate and sinister attempt at concealing from cancer patients the risks that certain types of chemotherapy can pose to mental acuity and cognitive function.

The beauty writer and editor Deanna Pai, describes her experience with chemo brain in New York Magazine: “A few weeks into chemo, I began to make odd mistakes. I switched similar-sounding words, like “with” and “which.” Sometimes, I’d find random half-sentences in my stories, and I’d quickly backspace, backspace, backspace before anyone noticed. Once in a while, I just wrote nonsensical stuff, like ’hair blow dryer could possibly what.’”

Apparently, my traumatic experience of discovering chemo brain entirely on my own is not unique. In a discussion about chemo brain on the website The Cancer Forums, Archer1019 writes:

Hi all. First time posting here. I was diagnosed with stage 3 grade B NH Follicular Lymphoma. Swollen gland in my neck turned out to tell the tale after a routine annual…exam. Just started RCHOP June 1 and after coming off the prednisone I feel foggy daily. Did a little web exploring and found out about Chemo Brain.

Article 9, of the Sloan Kettering Patient Bill of Rights, states that as a patient you have the right to: “Receive all the information that you need to give informed consent for any proposed procedure or treatment. This information shall include the possible risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment.” It is regrettable that Memorial refuses to follow their own guidelines in this matter.

In a forum devoted to chemo brain on the website breastcancer.org, lintrollerderby writes:

I had four rounds of Taxotere and Cytoxan and can say that it definitely caused (seemingly) permanent chemobrain. I’m five years out and still have long-term loss of my short-term memory which was excellent pre-chemo, inability to focus, inability to multi-task (used to be a strong suit of mine), frequent word drop issues, etc. I’ve been upset for years that I have continuous issues. It’s one thing if I’d given informed consent, but it was never mentioned to me that this might never go away.

When I tried to talk about chemo brain with my former oncologist, he was characteristically dismissive, and questioned the notion that chemotherapy could bring about a deterioration of one’s mental acuity. When I persisted in attempting to discuss the matter with him, he sneeringly replied, “If it weren’t for chemotherapy, you’d be dead right now.”

This villainous and uncivilized behavior only serves to further degrade and debase an already frightened patient, as if suddenly realizing that one’s mind were not functioning properly, wasn’t already a terrifying thing for anyone to experience.

On The Cancer Forums website, RockyMiranda writes that following chemotherapy:

Then my verbal vocabulary started being affected… This worried me more than anything. I would be trying to have a conversation, and sitting there trying to grasp for what should have been a very common word for me to use. I stumbled in my conversations trying to find other words to use. Sometimes, because I’m a visual person perhaps, I can picture the word, or the image the word evokes in my min[d], but I just can’t say it.

Despite the barbarous and treacherous denials on the part of many nurses and oncologists at Memorial, there are increasing numbers of physicians and scientists that are taking the side of those who have experienced a deterioration of their mental acuity following chemotherapy; and who are arguing that it is the chemotherapy itself which has brought about these cognitive changes, and not stress, sleeplessness, and anxiety.

The geneticist Dr. Viatcheslav Wlassoff writes in the publication Brain Blogger:

Although cancer chemotherapy does work very well for many cancer patients, most certainly it can also cause dangerous and permanent brain damage. Chemotherapy can change how the brain works through changing the level of neurotransmitters. It can even change the structure of the brain, reducing its volume and reducing grey matter in the brain. Eventually this leads to cognition impairment which is strongest shortly after finishing the chemotherapy but can persist for decades after.

Prior to commencing with the CHOP, my nurses at Memorial spoke to me at such length about mouth sores, yet after six months of chemotherapy I failed to get a single mouth sore. How can any sane person argue that it is more important to disclose the dangers of mouth sores, than to disclose the real possibility that one’s mental acuity may be degraded due to exposure from high levels of toxicity?

Since pharmaceutical companies and most medical institutions exist for no other reason than to maximize the greatest possible profit, what difference does it make if millions of cancer patients experience long term deterioration of their mental acuity following chemotherapy?

In John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, the pearl buyers collectively conspire to tell Kino that the unusual pearl he has found is worthless, while simultaneously sending agents to try and steal it. In a similar fashion, the eerie manner in which so many doctors and nurses at Memorial insist on belittling the dangers that certain types of chemotherapy can pose to the human brain, suggests that they may know more than they are letting on.

There are two explanations for the behavior of the many oncologists and nurses at Memorial, who belittle and deny the existence of chemo brain. Either they have not read anything whatsoever on the subject, and refuse to listen to the complaints of their patients; or they are well aware of the long-term cognitive damage that can be brought about by certain chemotherapy drugs, yet have deliberately chosen to conceal this information from their patients. Either way, they have imprisoned us all in a conspiracy of silence.

Deadly Smoke, Deadly Meat, Deadly Deals – America was Named by Whites for the Taking

You Consume Fear: Then You are What you Eat!

Endless ignorance, presaged by fear, hate, suspicion, paranoia, misanthropy, and then all galvanized to the constructions of neutering culture of consumerism.

Fear for the typical American — one paycheck short on the rent, fines, threats of eviction, on the streets or in the car. America!  Fear of the mortgage floating into some variable interest rate hell. Fear of not having, not choosing, not getting. For Americans, possessing is the power they think they have wrested from the faulty system of governing and management. Anything, but especially a car/SUV/pick-up/boat/RV/motorcycle.

When a country is run by con men and con women (Epipen, male CEOs, female, CEOs – criminal minds, steal hearts) set on a course toward oblivion, contextualized by the greed of the arms dealers (almost all of America is in the business of war, crime fighting, prison management, selling invasions and propping up lunacy of resource stealing, all facilitated by arms – you name it, Burger King or Halliburton, Blackwater or Booz Allen Hamilton) and ramified by the insanity of the majority – 80 plus percent of us – being screwed by the uber rich, the elite managing their trillions, and the sycophants and little Eichmann’s toeing the controllers’ line, well, then that country – USA/USIsrael — is nothing more than a jumble of disenfranchisement, a circus of penalties, perversions, pornography at all levels.

In a blink of an eye and giga-second of a download, these companies, shareholders, families, offshoots, handlers, the entire ranch, they are criminals, mass murderers, felons, tax cheats, family and country wreckers, and come on, liberals, demons with no demons in the world to match (making Charles Manson look sane, these hyper millionaires and billionaires). The insanity is we don’t just overthrow them – the Betsy DeVos kinds of the world, his Eric Prince murder mafia brother, heads of all those corporations, those insurance companies, and law (sic) firms. Off with their heads, now, don’t you know, from Trump and Clan, Obama and Clan, Clintons, all of them.

But, we are a strange fruit hanging, now are we not? We plug bullets and shrapnel into wedding parties, children and babies in bassinets, and facilitate cholera genocide, and we blow up mountains and denature rivers and entire swaths of the only places humanity can live, but, we just let these DNA anomalies of the royal and National Security kind go, go, go, and gawk at their tabloid adventures with Rolls Royces, Rolexes and Rotten hate against us, the 80 percent!

Oh, the lacking white/Caucasian race, oh where oh where has the pineal gland gone?

The pineal gland is responsible for the production of melatonin, a hormone that is secreted in response to darkness, and is also the site in the brain where the highest levels of Serotonin can be found (Sun et al, 2001). In the pineal, 5-HT (Serotonin) concentration displays a remarkable diurnal pattern, with day levels much higher than night levels. Serotonin plays an important role in sleep, perception, memory, cardiovascular activity, respiratory activity, motor output, sensory and neuroendocrine function.

Racial differences have been noted in the rate of pineal calcification as seen in plain skull radiographs. In Caucasians, calcified pineal is visualized in about 50% of adult skull radiographs after the age of 40 years); other scholars argue that Caucasians, in general, may have rates of pineal gland calcification as high as ¬60-80% Murphy (1968) reported a radiological pineal calcification rate of 2% from Uganda, while Daramola and Olowu (1972) in Lagos, Nigeria found a rate of 5%.

Who Is the Ultimate Terrorist? The Cancer on Humanity!

You can believe that the white race with its ravaging Western Medicine, Western Toxicity , Western Diet, Western Mores, Western Business, Western Education, Western Diseases, Western Superstitions, Western Racism, and Western Capitalism is really the cancer on earth, if we were to really look hard at history, numbers, and the rapine and destruction the White Race (sic) has had on humanity! Susan Sontag:

If America is the culmination of Western white civilization, as everyone from the Left to the Right declares, then there must be something terribly wrong with Western white civilization. This is a painful truth; few of us want to go that far. … The truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, Balanchine ballets, et al., don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone—its ideologies and inventions—which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself.

You can see the devolutions on so many levels, in so many camps in this society: Here’s just one — glyphosate hooked to every molecule in the recipes for bread, pasta, all the shit in the food stores that announce instant gratification, from Cheese Nips to Red Baron Pizza, and in poultry and any other tortured animal raised for human gluttony. Imagine this experiment legitimized and protected by the US government and hack scientists and academics protecting Monsanto and the hundreds of other purveyors of cancer who have a pass to destroy fetuses and geriatrics and anyone in between. Just with the morphing of fetuses and then the continual hormonal-gut-mental disruption the intake of so much Round-up and nanoparticles, we are a doomed species way before climate change does justice to our withering species. Here, just a tip of the iceberg for personal care products causing cancer — Make-Up, Die-Up!

Ripping up Our Children’s Guts Second-by-Second — Monsanto, et al

The great big Joseph Mengele experiment to the 10th power, across all threads of this wasteland culture. This Monsanto and glyphosate.

Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic.

This is the age of more than just being stupid, or the century of the dumb. It is more than see, hear and speak no evil. Much more mitigated toward an ever expanding and multivariate insanity, in both the collective culture of the damned – us, the 80 percent, mostly wage slaves, working the plantations of the elite and their stinky bosses – and the individual so denuded of honor and rebellion, so stripped of tribal and sane roots, that daily, I see in every walk of life more and more reason to believe the white race is the living dead.

Can we really square the experiments carried out by the elite and the controllers, on us, and with our complicity, since we are, in this country, especially the whites of Judaeo-Christian persuasion, the facilitators of our people’s slow, gruesome death? One out of three with diabetes. More than 60 percent of all deaths caused by the consumption of the Soylent Green these marketers and chemists have concocted for their own fellow citizens?

The authors concluded that the ingestion of Roundup-contaminated feed could be a significant factor predisposing poultry to diseases caused by Clostridium botulinum. It could also explain the now widespread contamination of poultry products with pathogenic Salmonella and E. coli strains of bacteria, which can make human consumers ill.

It is possible that glyphosate and Roundup’s negative impacts on gut bacteria could contribute to other toxic effects seen in animal and human epidemiological studies on these substances. In humans, disturbed gut bacteria is found in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, and malnutrition, as well as in a subset of autistic people. It may play a role in multi-system organ failure and colon cancer.3

This is at the human level. Every child, mother, father, thief in high office, murderer on the boards of Fortune 500 companies; every peaceful, human person; every person of color, all of us, spat out like yesterday’s sour milk. So in every sense of the panic we come to daily – climate change, war, poverty, structural violence, murder, rape, Sixth Mass Extinction, desertification, the shackling of free speech, free thought, an alternative to the Shadow World of War and Murder, racism, Jim Crow 3.0, the power of billionaires with fourth grade retrograde thinking – how completely insane is this world of environmental pollutants and food commodity toxins?

As all things boil down to the stomach and the alimentary canal, just imagine how quickly Homo Sapiens is not only morphing into a crippled species, but one with continuous disease, from fetus to grave:

The human gut microbiota is a dynamic ecosystem formed by a pool of 400–1000 adherent and non-adherent bacterial species belonging mostly to two dominant phyla, the Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes.

Although the composition of an adult microbiota remains relatively stable, it is well known that the microbial diversity is acquired very early in life within the first hours post birth, and is shaped over time as the diet becomes more complex and the immune-system matures. Hence, the combination of multiple factors including genotype, mode of delivery, early antibiotic therapy, diet composition, lifestyle, social interactions and environmental exposure to various xenobiotics shape the gut microbiota to make every individual microbially unique. This is of importance because the gut microbiota fulfills many critical roles in essential host functions such as protection against pathogens, immune-system modulation, fermentation of non-digestible dietary fibers, anaerobic metabolism of peptides and proteins, interaction with the host’s circadian clock and biotransformation of xenobiotics. Such a complex symbiotic interaction is the result of a remarkable metabolic activity driven by a genetic pool whose size is a hundred times larger than the human one. Alterations of the microbiota composition (called dysbiosis) and/or optimal functions are associated with various prevalent metabolic and immune diseases, including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, hepatic diseases, Crohn’s disease, colorectal cancer and allergy.

The truth is placated, in a 90-minute package, and surprisingly, this flick, “What the Health?” is compelling my friends and my charges (I am a social worker or young to adult foster youth) to rethink their Oscar Meyer, Cheetos and Ham, Bacon Encrusted Double Whopper lives. Imagine, information that was already available decades ago, and now, on that bastion of pabulum, Netflix, this documentary, not of the most sophisticated or dynamic kind.

This film is broken from the beginning and in many ways just typically so stupid. It fucks up a lot of information, and, well, if it takes a film like What the Health to sway anyone, then my point is made – we are in an age of stupid and absurdity.

There are enough studies and real examples of why eating processed flesh kills people, or how seafood with mercury and PCBs kill brain cells and nervous systems, or how all those billions of gallons of processed udder juice cause heart disease and plethora of other diseases.

This sort of dumb-downing from yet another loser documentarian is the example after example I give that speaks to the humiliating nature of the human condition in the Western World.

Diet and pollutants, hmm. Round-up in everything we eat. Hmm. But, as always, what about ecosystems, and the rights of wolves and wolverines and bats and beetles and creeks and prairies and watersheds to exist?

Here’s a more forceful reason a movie like What the Health falls short-short, and this from a vegan nutritionist, Ginny Messina,

Ahh, the paleo-devil, here, Robb Wolf, selling his brand of animal abuse and environmental shit — more BS stuff about man/woman evolving because of meat-meat-meat!

Water, Land, Pollution, Ocean Dead Zones, Species Extinction

That’s the one-two-three-four-five punch of eating meat, Robb.

And, the Zionist aggregator billionaires’ response to meat and the dying planet? Money, money, money, and more age of stupidity – laughing all the way to the bank of insanity:

“Around 30 labs in the world are working to create cultured meat

Most scientists are focusing on one particular part of the problem,” says Genovese. For example, he’s working on creating the best, non-animal medium in which to grow the cells. The process of creating meat in a lab is a complex one. In the simplest of terms, the most common procedure begins with extracting stem cells from a live, adult animal. A growth serum (Post’s contains animal blood but future growth mediums will be animal-free) is then added to the cells, which are grown on a scaffolding (like a skeleton) to form a muscular structure. This muscle is often exercised to create a richer, tastier flesh.

At Mark Post’s London tasting, both Hanni Rützler and Josh Schonwald noted the same thing was missing from the meat: fat. Post calls it a “technical bottleneck,” and it’s one of the next phases of research. “What we love about meat is the fat, that’s what makes it taste good,” says Ethan Brown, “but it’s also the least healthy part of the meat.” For people developing cultured meat, however, the goal is to get it as close to the “real” thing as possible, fat and all. “They’re going to get there,” Isha Datar, director of New Harvest says, “it’s just a question of when.”

Post estimates that within 20 to 25 years, we could have a commercial product: lab-grown beef which is indistinguishable from that which comes from an animal, grown in a lab. Theoretically, one crop of stem cells could create a huge amount of meat, with no animals harmed, no grazing land needed, grown in a sterile environment. “This product would address all of the major concerns of large-scale farming today,” Datar says: environmental, health, and ethical.

And founder of Google, Sergey Brin, is backing this bizarre stuff – and we know how great Google is — NOT!

Fairy Tales and Lies — War is Peace, Lies are Truth, More is Less

These are just a few of the examples of how broken-down humanity is – at its richest and most corrupt level is. You think maybe income inequity, wage and land theft, resource plundering, planet scrapping, war making, and shitty education are more important than some Okja Google backed bullshit T-cell homemade on an industrial level beef? See the review of the bizarre and sentimental but good movie, Okja, here at DV by Randy Shields.

This is the age of hubris to the 100th power. An age of confusion, followed by rampant denial and delusion.

Geo-engineer the ocean with iron shavings to create ocean choking algae blooms to soak up some CO2. Or how about the rocket ship and U-Haul Grapes of Wrath trip to Mars, because the billionaires and millionaires and militarists and chemists have fucked up the world?

So, we can spend decades arguing the value of Capital in the planetary immolation. But the bottom line is species extinction, habitat destruction, cultural genocide, and structural violence/murder by the capitalists and their sycophants of every stripe have to be stopped with an entirely new way of thinking about our relationships with fellow humans and all non-humans on earth. De-industrializing and retrenchment and resilience and resuscitation of simpler but highly refined lives/lifestyles are our only hope of co-existence on a planet where we are the minority species. The Rights of Nature is the right of regular man, woman and child to live smart, small and connected lives. Tourists going to the moon, or cruise ships to mars, this is the height of stupidity.

Disneyfication and Hollywoodfication of the mind. Like Mad Cow’s disease of the soul; ALS of the spirit.

Read – And be ready to adapt! “Climate Crisis, the Deindustrialization Imperative and the Jobs vs. Environment Dilemma.”

The truth comes back around to what we consume, what we see, what we choose to hold as art-culture-entertainment-knowledge. What I see more and more are the young people, sculpted by the amazingly zombie and empty Facebook, all the InstaGram, all of this stuff in the digital dungeons of our youth’s hearts.

They are warped and unsteady and never ready for a big-time changing world. They don’t know how to rebel, how to challenge their parents, and they cannot understand any context outside their own rooms, their shitty places of work and the barrage of crap coming through their phones and in the racist games they play on line and in their Play Stations and XBoxes.

All Thought in the West is Scripted by Ad Men and Movie-TV Makers

The food they eat is tainted through and through, and the scripts and junk on/in TV-Movies are their only way to understanding nothing. This is the age of not knowing, and the age of misunderstanding, and one of missed opportunities. Here, John Steppling on TV-Hollywood:

The truth was that you could see what you wanted to see in almost any script. But it served as a justification for ignorance. For none of these decision makers in Hollywood read. None of them. Big agents and producers, executives and show runners even, none of them read. They read script. They may have read a few required books in college, but they certainly don’t read now. I mention all this, and I’ve discussed a lot of it before, or aspects of it, because there has been a new intensification of the non-quality of narrative. Without wanting to sound cute, it is non story, non character, and non world. For they are interdependent. Marvell Comics and DC work so well for Hollywood because these are not real characters, they are comic book characters (once a pejorative observation). In a sense the *reveals* work best when the audience is only mildly surprised. To be hugely and genuinely surprised induces a kind of suspicion. Often a mild sense of paranoia. Having no surprise doesn’t work either. No surprise means its simply too predictable. Today’s audience expects and anticipates these reveals, but they don’t want to be ahead of the writer. Not completely anyway. They want the story to surprise them…a little. Or rather, to be more precise, they want characters who are not fully characters to surprise them by turning out to be someone else who is also not really a someone. They want the actual narrative to remain familiar. There has evolved a kind of cultural familiarity that is specific. It is the recognition of style cues and allusions to brand and trending vocabulary. The growth of brand mentions and allusions to pop culture has grown to the point where often entire conversations revolve around discussions of earlier TV shows. Often ones fifty years old.

To mention Karate Kid again; a reference to Mr Miyagi has taken on all sorts of associations, but primarily as a tribal identifier. It is a white male under forty reference. An allusion to, say, Pretty Woman would elicit the expected nods of recognition from a mostly female white audience in their thirties. And so on, and on and on. To watch, say, an American film from the 1940s is to suddenly be dropped into a world of language and discourse that seems almost alien today. Hence the treatment of old films as kitsch.

Always, as kitsch. As quaint. For today’s audience for the most part can’t *read* those films with any genuine engagement with character.

You Can End Where You Wanted to But You Can Never Go Back to the Middle

This post was supposed to start off with the haze over Portland, and these 106 degree temperatures. This endless traffic, and this giant migration from California (and other parts) to Portland and the encompassing three counties. As is true of all American cities, Portland is microcosm of why everything about Capitalism is wrong and why agnotology and willful ignorance rule the day.

You see, those thousands of fires in Canada (anyone thinking maybe global warming — more understory, more rapid growth of fuels in forests, clear cuts, and, less moisture and hotter temperatures?) ended up in our local Health Department air advisory warnings — limit time outside, limit exercise, and the young, elderly and sick, please be very careful. Those heat island waves of 110 degrees, in a place with hundreds of thousands of homes with no air conditioning.

Ground level ozone maxed out. The entire ranch sold down the river for the developers, and those endless nomad Americans with a few million in the bank, in the case of Californians, made through working for the war/aerospace/California brand industries, and then, with cold hard cash from a shit sale of a shitty house for a shit-load of greenbacks.

This is a mass migration to the Pacific Northwest. Note the carrying capacity of a city like Portland is limited, but you’d never know it from the politicos and Chamber of Commerce, Movers and Shakers, and the other tax dodgers.

According to the logistic growth model, the animal population growth can be constrained to an upper asymptote, i.e., the carrying capability, because the population increase leads to negative effects during interaction among the members, which is often manifested as a high density and the associated crowding effects. Another reason for the control of population growth is the limited world energy sources. For example, the unregulated growth of given animal populations, exceeding the carrying capability, will damage their habitats, deplete available energy supply, and eventually result in a reduced population density. By contrast, if a certain animal population density is controlled by predators, keeping it below the carrying capability, the available food for that species of animal becomes more sufficient and their capability to resist environmental fluctuations increases [21] (for details, see [22]). Ecological carrying capacity forms the basis for derivative concepts, such as human carrying capacity, tourism carrying capacity, Urban Carrying Capacity, and others.

The insanity is we have no smart, real, dedicated and truthful urban and rural planners anywhere. I mean, do we have anyone in high office or in bureaucracies who understand we HAVE to manage population distribution, growth, consumption of resources, social constraints, and so much more to manage building and land use. We fucking do it intentionally or unintentionally with every other species on earth. We determine which mountain gets blasted, stripped of coal, deforested, bombed, or saved. That power is what is killing the planet. And our insanity — the drive to believe all capital is good and to believe Americans have the right to do and produce and sell and steal anything we deem necessary for our collective pursuit of happiness.

So, fire, smoke, coughing Portlanders, and the youth I work with as a social worker, confused about climate change — I let them know it’s global warming and more importantly resource destruction and air-water-soil pollution. Add to the mix, first, war, and the attendant deprivations strategically planned and managed by the superpower and her allies like EU, Israel, Japan and Australia-UK-Canada.

These young people are hobbled before conception, as foster youth in state custody for many variations on a theme — incapable, failing, or diseased parents/family situations.

I know youth well, having taught since I was 23, at colleges, universities, alternative high schools, prisons, K12, special programs for youth with developmental disabilities, and with young people experiencing homelessness and addiction.  To name just a few venues out of many more. I know youth are looking to elders or adults to give them signs of alternative pathways of living. I know I am tapped daily as some sort of soothsayer, mentor, wisdom factory, and inspiration. I do not take these laurels lightly. Serious shit is hitting the fan for these youth in the arena of jobs (shitty and shittier ones coming down the pike), housing (there is NO housing sanity for individuals who want a decent one-bedroom place to call it his or her own), cost of living (no kid can afford to go to a movie, a museum, a concert, camping without a huge monetary outlay). Shit hitting the fan daily, as their bodies are malforming from the stress, the high fat-salt-sugar diets, the High Fructose Corn Syrup slurps, the pollution, the environmental toxins, the bio-accumulation of every chemical and compound not meant for ingestion by any mammal.

Their choices to live and learn and be community-centered are almost extinct. Add to that the general ignorance of American society about almost ANYTHING other than prices and sports statistics, and we have a generation and one to come with as much backbone in the making as a squid (not to knock cephalopods).

My work daily is pounding away at ignorance — with my clients, with the systems they live under, with educators, with the community leaders that hold sway over my youths’ destinies, and the general public which is head in sand or stiff arm saluting the fourth grader president.

I warn the youth to arm themselves, now, with an arsenal — knowledge, debate skills, movie (video making), reading acumen, communitarianism, passion, no fear, and becoming stealth in their anti-authority selves.

Work the system, screw no individual over and screw up and screw with all those layers of corporate malfeasance and government collusion. They need to strip themselves of the individualism that has been beaten into them, this false narrative of me-myself-and-I-and-maybe-a-family . . . but no one else comes first!

The world is burning, or, As the World Burns is more like it, what do they do, and how can old codgers like myself help? Teach your young friends and family and students and kids on the street, that all corporations lie, and lie big with their PR firms, and all governments hide and lie, with the marching orders of the Corporations and their PR firms. Teach young people that there is an apocalypse of real dimensions on the horizon. Prepare them to march against the rich and the powerful.

Hombres del Sur! Mejor morir a pie que vivir en rodillas.

“Men of the South! It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!” –Emiliano Zapata (c. 1877-1919)