Friday, March 16, 2018

Fake News over the years

You Want Fake News? Donald Trump didn’t invent the concept. Americans have been deceived for over two hundred years and humans have been deceived for millennia. Here is a small sampling of some big items, not in chronological order:

           Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Promoted by inside neocons under Dubbya to swindle half of the American People and a majority of Congress to support the invasion.

            The benefit of “The Surge” in Iraq: Marketed heavily by Dubbya to get Congressional approval. In hindsight, the benefit was not so much. All deaths and injuries were in vain; Iraq remains a mess. The United States lost that war.

            The necessity of the Viet Nam War to prevent domino-effect Communism. Anti-communism in the west has always been more of a religion than a justified fear. False news of American victories flooded television throughout the war. Reporting of U.S. losses was suppressed. Lies from Nixon and LBJ were rampant. 58K Americans dead. Well over a million Vietnamese killed. The United States lost that war, big time.

            The War of 1812. Guess what? It wasn’t Britain that provoked that war as history textbooks would like us to believe. It was the U.S. attempting a land grab of Eastern Canada. But Canada, with the help of the English (and First Nations), fought them off and no boundaries were changed. A total waste of effort and life. In essence, another war lost by the U.S.


            Slavery. The self-righteous North weren’t as opposed to slavery as we have been led to think. Unprecedented U.S. wealth from cotton export profits could never have occurred without the strong support of Wall Street bankers and investors. The Civil War came late to that party after much of the wealth had been made.

            Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone shooter. The Warren Commission was fake from the start: created by LBJ to avoid a bona fide investigation that would have uncovered dirt he needed to leave six feet underground. Much of the Warren Report has been refuted, but much remains classified to continue to suppress the truth.

            Suppression of real news is, in a sense, fake news. Bernie Sander’s momentum in the 2016 primaries was largely suppressed by the ostensibly liberal Network News media. The networks were all in the thrall of Hilary.

            Suppression by Trump of scientific evidence concerning the cause of climate change. Is this the evil of greed (Koch bros come to mind) or merely Trump and his follower’s astonishingly low intellect?

            The virgin birth of Jesus. This could be the mother of all fake news (along with Creationism) and points to the fact that humans had a need to believe stuff that is made-up. Does anyone still believe this nonsense? The idea of a virgin birth wasn’t even thought of until one hundred years after Jesus’s crucifixion.

            The resurrection of Jesus. Like immaculate conception, the resurrection was totally fake news to coerce commoners to follow Jesus’s requirements for admission into a trumped-up afterlife. Woohoo! Afterlife with Jesus! Send in your money!

            Miracles. All miracles are products of abstract human thinking. No miracle has ever been proven. But miracles still seem to enthrall the American people. Western Europe not so much these days: They seem to have grown up somewhat.

            Heaven and Hell. Both entirely fake. Fanciful inventions designed to instill fear and to control human behavior.

            The promise of sex with virgins in heaven as a reward for murdering infidels. That promise probably takes the cake when it comes to fake. By the way, what do women who blow themselves up get other than freedom from their oppressive husbands?

            The Bible, the Koran, the Torah. All fiction, all fake, though certainly invented and edited by human beings who were considered clever and were respected in their time.

            The concept of hating Jews because ‘Jews killed Jesus’. Ladies and gentlemen of Christian faith: if Jesus hadn’t been crucified, you wouldn’t have your religion! You should rejoice his being ‘killed by Jews’. Come up with another reason to hate Jews. You can do it. I know you can. The rest of the world has hated Jews for more than two thousand years and continues to do so. Since the Holocaust, however, they have learned a thing or two about survival.

            In summary, fake news wasn’t born yesterday. It’s what humanity has been all about from the beginning.

To learn more, go to these references:

1. Oliver Stone’s series: The Untold History of the United States. It will open your eyes. (Netflix)

2. The Half Has Never Been Told. Edward E. Baptist. The real history of slavery in the United States.

3. The Swerve: How The World Became Modern.  Stephen Greenblatt. How Christianity nearly squelched human pursuit of happiness.

4. Sapiens. Yuval Noah Harari. A brief history of Humankind.

5. The End of Faith. Sam Harris. The first book from the most articulate of modern atheist thinkers.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Homeless sapiens

Came across this old drawing from 25 years ago, drawn on an old Macintosh. I know, slap my hand!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Shakespearean insults

If William Shakespeare wrote today, he couldn’t criticize a three-legged dog, much less a king with scoliosis or a president with small hands and a comb-over, without his career being destroyed.

But now and then one stumbles upon a gem. This collection of Shakespearean insults came off a coffee mug made by illustrator Amy Schnapper, who died in 2004 at the young age of 59. She was known for the “American First Ladies” t-shirt and other images, including over one hundred t-shirt designs depicting Shakespearean themes.

I added source play titles and completed some particularly delectable insults.

Not so much brain as earwax  -Troilus and Cressida

All eyes and no sight                         -Troilus and Cressida

Clod of wayward marl-Much Ado About Nothing

Idol of idiot worshippers!-Troilus and Cressida

Foot-licker     -The Tempest

Dread prince of plackets, [king of codpieces]        -Love’s Labour’s Lost

Beetle-headed, flap-ear’d knave -The Taming of the Shrew

Roast-meat for worms                   -Pericles, Prince of Tyre

The soul of this man is his clothes -All’s Well That Ends Well

Light of brain     [no source found, but others abound:

                                    -Her beauty and her brain go not together –Cymbeline

                                    -Purse and brain both empty –Cymbeline]

Elvish-mark’d, abortive, rooting hog  -Richard III

O gull, o dolt, as ignorant as dirt!      -no source found

Highly fed and lowly taught   -All’s Well That Ends Well

Lewdly incin'd       -Pericles, Prince of Tyre

I do desire we may be better strangers -As You Like It

You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian!       -Henry IV, part 2

Long-tongu’d babbling gossip    -Titus Andronicus

Poisonous bunch-back’d toad       -Richard III

Infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker   -All’s Well…

A fusty nut with no kernel  -Troilus and Cressida

Canker-blossom          -A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Anointed sovereign of sighs and groans    -Love’s Labour’s Lost

Mountain of mad flesh   -The Comedy of Errors

Sir John Falstaff
Bolting-hutch of beastliness                         -Henry IV, Part 1 [the full quote: Why dost thou converse with (Falstaff) that trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?]

False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand             -King Lear [the full quote about a Turk: false of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey.]

Quintessence of dust      -Hamlet

Veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth                                 -Henry IV, Part 1

Thou lump of foul deformity   -Richard III

Thou art a boil, a plague-sore,                     -King Lear [full quote adds “an embossed carbuncle”]

Another post of literary quotations by Canadian playwright and novelist Roberson Davies:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (books by)

Books for sale by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (English translations)

1. August 1914, 1st American printing, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1972 Near pristine book and DJ.

2. The Gulag Archipelago. 1st ed. Harper & Row, 1973, 1974, trans. Thomas Whitney, very good, DJ like new

3. The Gulag Archipelago Two. 1st ed. in paper. Harper Row, 1975. Very good condition

4. Cancer Ward, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969. Very good, with good DJ.

5. The First Circle, Harper & Row, 1968. Very good, good DJ with fading on the spine, foxing top of spine.

6. Stories and Prose Poems. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1971 (3rd American printing), like new except very slight fading along spine.

Exclusive offer, set of six books only.  $995 U.S. 
 Please respond in comments  with questions or contact information.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Heart Attack vs. Heart Failure: Which do YOU have??


The vast majority of people do not really understand the difference between a HEART ATTACK and the entity known as HEART FAILURE. The confusion is entirely understandable. It’s a bit complicated. So, what exactly is the difference?

A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart muscle itself is compromised. That blood supply comes from the ‘coronary’ arteries and if one or more gets blocked sufficiently, the heart muscle doesn’t get oxygen and portions of the muscle can die off if blood supply is not restored in time (like within a few minutes). Thus, the term ‘having a coronary’ is the same as having a heart attack.
Coronary disease (credit: Mayo Foundation)

When a muscle doesn’t get enough blood, there is pain. Everyone knows about the pain of a heart attack: severe chest pain, sometimes with radiation into the arms (left arm more than right) or neck.  ANGINA is the name for the same heart muscle pain that happens before the muscle dies. This can go on for months before an actual heart attack. When the muscle dies from lack of blood, it is called an INFARCTION, or more specifically, a MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION. When that happens, all you can do is try to heal and rehabilitate.

The causes of coronary heart disease are well known: smoking, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, other genetic factors and many less common causes.

HEART FAILURE is more about the strength of the heart, not the blood supply. Heart failure happens when the heart muscle becomes weak and cannot pump blood with enough force to keep everything humming along. Instead of pain, heart failure causes symptoms of weakness and fatigue, swelling of the legs, and swelling in the lungs which leads to difficulty breathing with exertion or when lying down flat. The symptoms can worsen over months to years until other vital organs are not getting enough blood. This leads ultimately to organ failure and death.

Heart Failure (Credit: American Heart Association)

What causes HEART FAILURE? The most common cause is when enough of the heart muscle has died from one or more infarctions during heart attacks that there isn’t enough strong heart muscle to pump adequately. About 70% of heart failure in developed countries comes from prior myocardial infarctions.

Other causes include high blood pressure, toxins such as alcohol or cocaine, viral infections that affect the heart muscle itself, and certain hormonal diseases. This is different from bacterial infections that affect heart valves in a condition called endocarditis.

An important difference between heart attacks and heart failure is that heart attacks can be reversed if treated soon enough. If you are having symptoms of a heart attack, i.e. crushing chest pain with radiation down one or both arms, the sooner you arrive at an Emergency Department and receive anti-clotting drugs, the better your chances of not killing off any heart muscle that could lead to heart failure.

Heart failure, on the other hand, once it is established, seems to be relentless, worsening gradually to the point where the only treatment is a heart transplant.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

JFK assassination coverup continues: 53 years and counting

America continues to be lied to about JFK's assassination. The evidence is solid for triangulated gunfire in Dealy Plaza, November 22nd, 1963, with the definitive round coming from the grassy knoll, a head shot fired by James Files. Listen to Wim Dankbaar's 2003 interview with James Files (through and Youtube) After much academic hand wringing over how the multiple shots actually occurred, this interview is as credible as they come. It sews up how the hit was carried out. But that is merely the technical part. The story of who organized the assassination and the successful cover up is more complicated and clearly implicates government insiders who wanted Kennedy neutralized. The concept of Oswald as a lone whacko gunman has been completely disproved but remains party line in all major network media sources.

If you are interested in learning more, the nine part series on youtube, THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY is a good starting point. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


The United States elected a populist last night. Democrats squandered their chance to nominate a populist to go head-to-head against Trump. The battle between the free market-winner-take-all approach of Trump and the democratic socialist approach of Bernie Sanders would have been the more just fight at this time in America.  At least then, the true sentiment of the American people, for better or for worse, could have been more honestly gauged. Instead, a milk-toast establishment insider with a bad reputation for honesty was rammed into position by DNC leadership. Rigged, indeed. It showed an arrogant sense of entitlement, one to deliver the first woman president. And it backfired. Big time. The one good outcome of this colossal failure of the DNC could be to question the value of backroom politics that caused the mismatch. It appears that Americans are no longer willing to accept nominees chosen by political insiders and the media.

That said, whether Trump’s leadership will see successes for the entire country, not just Wall Street and the wealthy, remains to be seen.