Thursday, November 2, 2023




noun. any massacre resembling the October 7, 2023 attack and massacre of 1400 people in Israel by terrorist group Hamas based in Gaza section of Israel.

verb. to carry out such a terrorist, non-military attack explicitly designed to kill civilians and take hostages, esp. one conducted by an organization without statehood by choice, thereby avoiding having to take responsibility or suffer international consequences of launching such an attack, and is financed and supplied by a separate country so as to avoid having to declare war against the attacked country and risk retaliatory consequences. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Wine, beer or cocktails? Depends on the HEAT!




Wine consumption is down in the United States. Millennials and GenZ’ers have switched to cocktails and beer, and the marketplace has happily catered to their tastes. Media sources report that those 60 and under are less interested in buying wine and have a lower share of consumption than a decade ago. 


How did this come about?


Recently I stumbled onto a possible scientific explanation when I dined at one of San Francisco’s hippest and most expensive restaurants. I came armed with a fabulous Russian River Pinot Noir. We sampled the bottle, a big Burgundian-style Pinot with a long finish. Scrumptious. Then the food started arriving.  And it was delicious beyond belief. But every course was fused with either Asian or Mexican flavors, each dish with serious heat from pickled hot peppers of one variety or another. The wine was a total flop. The Capsicum dancing over my tongue overpowered the wine. Beer or cocktails would have paired much better.


So that’s the reason! And it makes perfect sense. Fine wines pair better with the subtle flavors of French or Italian food. Wine has never been a big thing in the Middle East, India, Asia or Mexico. And now all cuisine is fusion. 


And there might be another reason: A physiology professor in graduate school once announced to our class that he’d lived in Indonesia for a few years and it took him six months after returning to North America to get his taste buds back. Perhaps that’s also what we’re talking about: hot peppers temporarily knock out the nerves of our taste buds so the nuanced flavors of wine are lost. Apropos to that, Capsicum in creams applied to the skin effectively reduces pain and itch by exhausting the nerve endings.


French and Italian wines rightfully boast a thousand-year reputation, but here in California, upper echelon food trends with international spice and heat seem to have won out. We old geezers just didn’t get on the Sriracha bandwagon to the degree millennials and GenZ’ers did. 


Wine makers are busy weighing how they can appeal to a new generation of consumers.

Let’s hope ‘bitter’ is not their solution, as it was for coffee and beer in the younger set. While they are figuring it out, as a boomer, maybe I can hope to see a reduction in wine prices.









Wednesday, February 22, 2023

42 ways to combat obesity (some more feasible than others)

1. Quit pretending that food is the culprit. That's like saying women are the cause of population overgrowth. 
2. Recognize that eating the food is the problem. 
3. Eat less food and drink less alcohol.
4. Now that trans-fat is passé, don't worry about what kind of fat you eat. There are nine calories of fat in every gram, no matter what kind of fat (oil, butter, lard, etc.) When it comes to obesity, it's the quantity of fat, not the type of fat. A dozen cookies made with oil have just as many calories as a dozen cookies made with butter; they just don't taste quite as good. Have one cookie instead of six, and do it only every few days. Too harsh? 
5. Stop thinking that fast food restaurants are the problem. They are just trying to make a gazillion-dollar living. 
6. Recognize that all fast food restaurants basically serve junk food because that's what people like. 
7. Don't eat fast food or junk food. 
8. Do you even know what junk food is? It’s more than candy. Anything processed (now called ultra-processed), almost all packaged food, anything from a convenience store or fast food restaurant, single portion items, all sweet drinks, all candy, gum, and most anything from a vending machine (ah, the old days when one could buy an apple from a vending machine!). 
9. Set a good example for your children: don't turn your home into a warehouse of junk food. 
10. Eliminate all sugar drinks, including fruit juices. Drink water or milk instead. Skim milk is best—good protein, no fat. At least limit soda pop to one per week (No, I'm not kidding). I suppose diet pop is ok. 
11. Teach the kids early so they can carry on healthy practices. Parents dropped the ball a long time ago when it came to nutrition, and society has written parents off as solutions to the problem. 
12. Institute weight limits for people, not luggage, on air planes. Or charge by the pound.
13. Be creative: eat rice, and with the leftovers, make rice pudding. Milk, cinnamon, raisins, sugar, vanilla, some cardamom if you have it, and cook until soft. Good with cream and a splash of brandy, but we're getting off track here. 
14. Exercise all the time. 
15. Sleep with fewer blankets: lose weight through shivering. 
16. Choose your parents. 
17. Quit eating between meals. 
18. Eliminate entire meals occasionally. 
19. If you do eat between meals, make it an apple, carrot, or some nuts. 
20. On the other hand, consider a candy bar as your entire lunch now and then. It satisfies the junk food thing without the other calories. 
21. Eat lentils. Cook them in water or chicken broth. Enhance them with some bacon, or butter, or sautéed onions and carrots. Cheap. Healthy. A little salt and pepper.
22. Eat a plum or apricot and keep the pit in your mouth like a hard candy for an hour or two. 
23. Learn to make everything from scratch. One time I asked some visiting children if they would like waffles for breakfast, they were dumbfounded, saying "but we don't have any!" They only knew ultra-processed packaged waffles. I was talking about waffles from flour, baking powder, soda, eggs, salt, milk, and cooking oil, or something thereabouts. 
24. Become French. They're all skinny. Or maybe they just don’t like junk food. 
25. Create a new industry: the household food consultant. North America needs you! 
26. Then sell the company to an international food chain for millions of dollars. They will take it worldwide the way the tobacco industry ostensibly teaches about the bad effects of smoking. 
27. Quit thinking that someone else is going to change your eating habits for you. It's you and your own family who must kick-start this effort and keep it going. 
28. Don't cater to the kids. They only want sweets. Or they call themselves vegetarians but don't eat much other than noodles and junk food. If they are hungry enough though, they'll eat healthy food and over time learn to like it. You will too. 
29. Be a concerned, knowledgeable parent, in charge of what food gets served in your home to your younger kids. The older kids, about 12 and up, are already lost causes. 
30. Make lunches for your kids to take to school. They won't eat them but in time they'll remember your good example when they try it on their own kids. 
31. Make your spouse a lunch to take to work. He/she won't eat it either but it may lead to fewer double martini lunches followed by sex. 
32. Eat with someone when you can. You might eat less if someone's watching. 
33. Eliminate desserts entirely until you have lost the weight you want, and then minimize them indefinitely forever. 
34. Breast feed your baby. 
35. Quit going to fast food restaurants entirely. Eat at home. 
36. Quit watching television altogether. Except for the World Series. 
37. Ban all food advertising, except public service educational ads. 
38. Always do the right thing if you know what it is. 
39. Don't eat low-fat versions of any processed food—they just double the sugar content to disguise the lower fat content. 
40. Learn about food. There's healthy cheap food out there: fresh produce and grains—they're inexpensive and healthy: rice, barley, carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes. For protein: ground beef, nuts, dried beans. Eggs! 
41. Buy fresh, buy small. 
42. _________________ (for you to add one).

Sunday, June 19, 2022


Meet Benjamin Cohen, a musically gifted boy, age 13, full of life but out of place in his family, the youngest of three siblings, overshadowed by Émile, eight years his senior in medical school, and sister Miriam who can do no wrong. 


Picture Benjamin’s brilliance, his ability to disassemble and rebuild malfunctioning radio receivers, collect rocks and gems with scientific names, and play advanced violin two years ahead of his peers, all without the recognition he craves from his no-nonsense mother and physician father. 


Picture Benjamin’s life turned upside down the day after his bar mitzvah when, on May 10th, 1940, he hears the first BBC announcement of Germany’s imminent invasion of France.


Picture Benjamin in the first year of the war as German soldiers patrol the streets and national anti-Jewish decrees strain the lives of the small Jewish section of Rouen, France. He finds solace in his fifth-floor bedroom from his pet cockatiel and hours of violin practice, a room in which he discovers the bells from the cathedral, the carillon pieces that waft into his room. And with that discovery, his future is born: he seeks out the carilloneur at the cathedral to teach him carillon, and his road to becoming a man begins. 


THE CAGED BIRD SINGS is the coming of age story of this boy, his personal struggles and the strength he finds to survive the German occupation of France.


Benjamin enters a Catholic world at the cathedral, a culture unfamiliar to him, one he cannot share with his family. Words spoken, vestments donned, all foreign to a boy who has had a sheltered existence within his Jewish community. But the music, the carillon, takes him into new realms of learning and insulates him from the harsh realities of the war while the support from his new Catholic ‘family’ builds his confidence. 


The carilloneur, Monsieur deTarot, becomes a supportive father figure to Benjamin; Jacques-Milan, the frightening, disfigured caretaker becomes a helpful friend. And there is Marie-Nöelle, the beautiful-but-troubled young novitiate nun who changes Benjamin’s life forever.  must also grow as a person far quicker than most, as the horrors of the war rain down on him and his family, and the bonds and love he shares with his parents, his siblings, and a young woman in the church he grows fond of, begin to take on a much more impactful meaning than he thought possible…’ Pacific Book Review of THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

So, how does Benjamin acquire the strength and courage to get through struggles of war, oppression, and existential threat? It is sometimes said that one can accomplish anything if one works hard enough. Everyone knows that is not true without good fortune on your side. And belief—whether in one’s God or in the good of humanity—might offer distractions but rarely delivers on its own. 


The one thing that does deliver much needed inspiration and strength in bad times, is Love. Benjamin’s falling in love with Marie-Nöelle not only unlocks the wonders of his coming of age, it also takes him out of himself, frees him to care about something other than his own self-centered concerns. It is love that actuates his bar mitzvah declaration, ‘Today, I am a man’. In the same way, love frees Marie-Nöelle from the constraints at the Abbey under which she has lived since escaping from her troubled past.


Is it fantasy to think that love can blossom during wartime? Loss can be overwhelming, after all. This story sends a buoy of hope into a sea of evil during wartime. In doing so, it reaches beyond World War II, beyond the characters in the story, to calamities of all kinds, present and future. 

Available as audiobook on or

Friday, February 18, 2022

THE CAGED BIRD SINGS: A Young Man's Untold War Chronicles-- now available on audiobook!


Actor Joey Shaw delivers a masterful narration of THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, the coming-of-age story of Benjamin Cohen, a gifted teen who aspires to play the carillon in the Rouen Cathedral during the German Occupation, his love affair with the young nun-in-training Marie-Noelle, his brother Emile's life in the Resistance, and his life or death decision when confronted with an imminent pre-dawn Nazi roundup of his people.

Available on, all audiobook platforms or these links:

Monday, November 1, 2021

We sould be doctors first, specialists second

This is a version of a piece from the LA Times June 15, 2009. By James Channing Shaw MD.

         It was early on a Monday morning, and I had been drawn to this particular patient room on the 10th floor. It had belonged to Mrs. Whittier, whom I had examined three days ago, on Friday. The sun, just up over Mt. Hood to the east, brightened the drab yellow-green walls of the room. I pushed the heavy door closed, and the room became quiet except for a muffled, far-away siren and the occasional voice that drifted in from the corridor. I detected the faint smell of disinfectant; they had cleaned the room and remade the bed for the next patient. The only window that opened was the short one with hinges across the bottom. It opened inward by pulling on the latch, like putting a letter in a mailbox. I gave it a pull, letting in traffic noise for a moment, then closed it. It would have been difficult for Mrs. Whittier (name changed) to step up onto the radiator and squeeze through that window. But the night nurses hadn't noticed when, in the early hours of Saturday morning, she climbed onto the thin ledge and jumped to her death. I stood by the window straining to look down. The mental image sent a shiver across my back. My senior resident had broken the news of the tragedy as soon as I came in Monday morning. This wasn't the psych ward, this was dermatology! Dermatology patients don't commit suicide! Had there been any clues? Had we directed our attention to her skin disease while overlooking a profoundly depressed, suicidal woman? Admittedly, the diagnosis was the most severe form of psoriasis, the pustular type, the von Zumbusch type that covers the entire body, and she had struggled with it for years. Her disease was so severe that when she first came in for an appointment with a dermatologist, he decided to put her in the hospital. Again. There had been many prior hospitalizations. Maybe Mrs. Whittier had had enough of the repeated admissions with less-than-satisfactory results. More likely, we missed something much larger. Regardless, we, medicine, the profession of medicine, had failed her. I was a fourth-year medical student at the time, and one thing I did learn: All illness is about the whole patient. A bone breaks, the whole person suffers. One medical problem triggers a cascade of issues, both physical and emotional. The sad truth is, the whole patient often gets left behind. The complexities that lead to suicide are issues I am not qualified to discuss in detail. However, I have known patients, either mine or those of colleagues, who committed suicide in the absence of obvious depression or mental illness. Two, including Mrs. Whittier, were utterly shocking. Others apparently were bold decisions in the face of untreatable disease. But, as extreme as suicide may be, I still can't help thinking that we in medicine can do more to prevent such outcomes. I know from experience that specialists sometimes consider complaints outside of their specialty as out of bounds, to be deflected. However, our primary job as physicians is to help patients. Addressing a patient's general well-being might rarely uncover a serious problem; more often than not it merely builds goodwill and trust. To not ask, however, is to potentially miss detecting a patient in crisis. Nearly every day, through exploration of the status of the whole patient, I try to show my residents that we are doctors first, specialists second. 

James Channing Shaw is a dermatologist at the University of Toronto.

His website is

Thursday, October 7, 2021

DEBUT NOVEL: THE CAGED BIRD SINGS: A Young Man's Untold War Chronicles

My long overdue novel with co-author Cal Orey about a Jewish boy who learns to play the carillon bells in a Catholic cathedral during the German occupation of France.

Now available in kindle, paperback hardcover at all online bookstores, and AUDIOBOOK through and other outlets. 




Book description:

1940, in the Nazi-occupied city of Rouen, France: Despite Germany's stranglehold on the French, Benjamin Cohen, an introverted but musically precocious teen defies his father to study the fifty-five-bell carillon in St. Julian's Cathedral. Hindered by the German threat and dismissed by family, his confidence grows with the help of his new 'family' in the cathedral and his pet cockatiel, Frere Jacques. Can Benjamin's mastery of the instrument and his love affair with troubled nun-in-training, Marie-Noelle, give him le courage he needs to perform the one act that can save his people from Nazi arrest and earn back the respect from his father he craves, or will it doom them all? Inspired by true events, this coming-of-age story tells of wartime dynamics between Catholic and Jewish, boy and girl, father and son, and two estranged brothers on their journeys through love, tragedy and war.

author contacts:

Sunday, September 5, 2021


 Coming in November!

My long overdue novel with co-author Cal Orey about a boy and a set of carillon bells in France during the German occupation.

A novel inspired by true events

1940, in the Nazi-occupied city of Rouen, France: Despite Germany’s stranglehold on the French, Benjamin Cohen, an introverted but musically talented thirteen-year-old, defies his father to study the carillon in the Catholic cathedral, a huge instrument of fifty-five bells. Though impeded by the German threat and his perceived dismissal by family, his confidence grows with the help of his new “family” at the cathedral and his pet cockatiel, Frère Jacques. This coming-of-age tale tells of wartime dynamics between Catholic and Jewish, boy and girl, father and son, and two estranged brothers on their journeys through war, love, and tragedy. Can Benjamin’s mastery of the carillon and his love affair with troubled nun-in-training, Marie-Noelle, give him le courage he needs to perform the one act that can save his people from Nazi arrest and earn back his father’s respect? Or will it doom them all?

Available in November at all book outlets. Pre-order information coming soon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

It is no longer politically correct to die


CNN headline today: Hospitals in US Covid hotspots: “We are seeing people passing quicker than before.”


PASSING. It looks as if no one dies any more. They ‘PASS’. To PASS has replaced to die faster than flip-flops replaced thongs for summer foot wear.


Is humanity, that highest level of evolution so far, so afraid of DEATH that we can’t even utter the word? This, of course, feeds into the afterlife myth at a time when atheism is just hitting its stride. PASSING sounds like a fallback position, something to grasp. It's like,There is still something more to come!! I have an idea: let’s all believe that if we’re good little boys and girls and worship somebody every weekend, the place we pass into will be comfortable, not surrounded by flames like the entire West Coast is every summer and promises to get worse.


When I was growing up, ‘PASSING’ in my household was either "PASS the ketchup" or PASSING gas. My dad used the medical term FLATUS. He was a doctor. He died.


Grandmas used to die. Then they started to pass away. Now, they just pass. And so now, we wait for our grandma to PASS, although the thought occurs: maybe it is to PASS along her inheritance.



Monday, March 1, 2021

Carrot-ginger soup



This can be made in less than 30 minutes and is delicious! Servings: 2-ish

Excellent with carrots, sweet potato, or winter squash. Add apples for a lovely accent of sweetness. 


Here’s All You Need:

            1 or 2 medium carrots, cubed or chunks


            1 small sweet potato (orange meat), cubed


            ½ Winter squash, butternut or other, peeled, cubed or chunks

            Ginger root chopped, 1 – 2 tsp or ground ginger ½ tsp

            Chopped onion or leek or both, 2 Tbsp or more

            Vegetable broth, homemade*, about 1 Cup – 1 ½ Cup

            Salt, black pepper

            Rosemary, chopped finely, ½ tsp at most

            ½ Apple, any kind, chunks (optional)

            Olive oil, 2 Tbsp


Here’s what to do:

            Heat oil in soup pot

            Add chopped ginger and onion/leeks, cook for 1 minute medium high

            Add carrots/sweet potato/squash, cook 2 min medium high

            Add apples (if using)

            Add Veg broth enough to cover and boil medium to high until soft,10 to15 min.

            When cool enough to handle, blend to fine puree or thinner with more liquid

            Add chopped Rosemary

            Season with salt to taste and simmer for 5 minutes

            Serve with freshly ground black pepper and croutons* (optional but very good)


*Vegetable broth, homemade                       Prep time 15 min

            Place bits of carrot, onion, celery, some parsley, and any other green veg you have, cover with about 1 to 2 cups water depending on quantity of veg. Bring to boil and then simmer for only about 10 min for freshest flavor. Taste and salt, cook more if necessary but pour off otherwise. A very fresh tasting broth, perfect in soups or plain with noodles or rice.


*Croutons: Follow Josh McFadden’s recipe in Six Seasons, or break up bread, toss in small quantity of olive oil, mix and bake at 400 for only 5 to 10 to 15 min depending on the bread, until a bit brown and crispy but not dried out (a little chewy in the middle)



Friday, February 26, 2021



This is how ignorant I am:       For years, I’ve had a real hate-on for the legal system in the U.S. because trials seemed to be more about winning the argument than about seeking the truth. And the winner was often the person with the most money. If the argument was good enough, the defendant or plaintiff rich enough, seemingly guilty parties were acquitted and innocent people convicted. You could get away with murder if you had a good enough lawyer. That just did not seem right.


But, lo and behold, I recently found out why this was the case.


My friend and accomplished litigator, Robert Shapiro of Chicago, explained to me for the first time that it is because our legal system is an adversarial, or ‘adversary’ system. This is a legal technical term, not an interpretation. In an adversary legal system, presenting the better argument is precisely what the lawyers are supposed to do. 


Each side presents its perspective on the facts of the case and a neutral party decides which perspective is more convincing, the neutral party being a jury, judge, or tribunal of judges. Truth, supported by evidence, is required and assumed on both sides. It is the neutral party’s conclusion regarding which perspective, which interpretation of the facts, is the better one, that determines the outcome. The exception is in a criminal trial where the jury is not 'neutral' because the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If the prosecution leaves any doubt about guilt in a criminal case, it is the jury’s duty to acquit.


The adversary system applies to all or most legal systems that originate from English law…as opposed to an inquisitorial or magisterial system (common in Europe and most of the rest of the world) where the judge investigates the case before ruling.


So, that’s the essence. Here in the West, the argument is the determining factor. I now have more respect for the system and how prosecutors, litigators and defense attorneys operate.  


Wednesday, February 24, 2021




In the history of branding, one image has captured the world more than any other. Many have come close: the Nike swoosh, the MacIntosh apple, the hammer and sickle, the swastika, even Coca-Cola. But no symbol has had more world-wide recognition than the Christian Cross.


Whether unadorned or with Jesus nailed to it, The Cross took the world by storm more than two thousand years ago and probably earned the Holy Roman Empire trillions of dollars. That’s some marketing! Were there consultant fees? Who owns the trademark?


The Cross is a killing device, nothing more, a wooden structure on which to nail convicts for as long as it takes for them to die. Crucifixion was the method of choice for executing criminals long before Jesus walked the earth. Supposedly invented by Persians in circa 300-400 BCE, the Romans seem to take most of the credit for perfecting the design and creating the cruelest, slowest way to punish or dispatch undesirables, e.g. thieves and Jews. 


The Cross has a longer history than, say, a guillotine or the rack or the electric chair. And nicer lines from a design standpoint. But what if Jesus had been executed by guillotine? Would modern followers be wearing miniature guillotines around their necks or installing bigger-than-life guillotines on the frontispieces of their megachurches? 

Guillotine ornament

What would Christian athletes from Latin countries do, tilt their necks and apply a chopping motion instead of crossing themselves before running onto the soccer field or after hitting a home run? I suppose one can get used to anything. 


What if Jesus’s head had been severed on a chopping block? A double-bitted axe is not a bad look, symmetrical as it is; it could work well on a necklace or on the front of a church. Blood would be optional.

A noose? Not so much. A gun? Was there even gun powder in Jerusalem back then?


Or how about this: What if Jesus had been strangled? That would have been a marketing challenge, indeed.


But, the cross! A forlorn-looking Jesus nailed to a cross, upright with his head still on? People loved it! Brilliant! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

It Must Be Someone's Birthday

Here's my latest composition, a little rendition of the old standard. To hear it, go to: 

Friday, January 29, 2021



The Greene New Deal

What’s with all the dumb blonds seeking Dad’s approval by one-upping their fathers’ political stances.Will blond hair become the next rightwing meme? The Donald is pretty cute. Would Cruz, Josh and Rubio look good in blond hair?

If Coulter and Ingraham @Fox weren’t enough, now we have to put up with whako blonds like Grreene, McEninny and Ivankahh? It’s ok girls, your daddy loves you. You can give it a rest. Put the gun down.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021


IF YOU MUST HATE, EXAMINE THE EVIDENCE FIRST. What real evidence is there that Antifa, not Trumpism, caused the riots (FBI reports?--NO), that the election was fraudulent (court cases?--NO), that you can trust Trump (joke), that QAnon is anything other than an insane belief (that would be NO), that Covid is a hoax (the science is real), that masks don’t matter (there are flow studies), that gun ownership keeps us safer (homicide and suicide rates), that Rudy is trustworthy (joke), that Oswald killed Kennedy (triangulated fire proven), that the fall of Viet Nam caused domino Communism in the region (hello?), that God created heaven and earth in 7 days (doesn't deserve comment), that Jesus of Nazareth and Mohammed rose to heaven (ditto), that heaven or hell even exist (double ditto)? 

So far, the evidence points strongly against all the above. The evidence says these claims by Trump supporters are all lies. Why do you think that is? 


Good luck, America. You are in big trouble.

cheers and Happy New Year.



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Americans do NOT want unity



Trump supporters desire unity about as much as Christians desired unity with Jews in the Spanish Inquisition, as much as slave holders did with their slaves, or lions do with gazelles on the African savannah. Everyone knows the U.S. is more divided and full of hate than ever.


The violent responses by white racist Republicans and white police across the country over the last year are a clear sign that most Americans are not interested in unity. Democrats always try the koom-by-yah unitarian approach, but this time, attempts at UNITY will just anger Republicans and solidify the divisiveness.


This time, for once, Democrats need to abandon unity and focus on something unheard of in America: social responsibility. That’s not socialism, it is the commitment to improve the well-being of the citizens of the United States through legislation, laws, and policy. 

What does social responsibility look like? It comes down to policy that promotes the well-being of Americans even if one group hates another. Opportunity, education, voter rights, access to health care, tax codes that lead to the betterment of all Americans, not just the wealthiest. Such taxation does not mean Communism and economic collapse. The rich will still be rich. 


Striving for Unity will fail. Striving for social responsibility could succeed. Then we can all go on hating each other as we all thrive.




Saturday, December 19, 2020

I'm REPUBLICAN: Ode to the Odious



I’m Republican, don’t tell me what to do

I’m Republican, I don’t wear a mask.

I’m Republican, I carry if I wanna.

I’m Republican, I’m against all tax.

I’m Republican, gimme money

More money, more money

I want more money

Life is money

Money is Life

I’m Republican, I don’t buckle up

No one tells me what to do

I don’t scoop poop

I drive a pickup (and a golf cart)

And ride right up your ass on the freeway

Don’t tell me what to do

No taxes

Want more money

Want no regulations

I like to burn fuel

Go as fast as I want

Break the rules when I want

Want, want, want it now

I don’t slow for pedestrians

Throw lit butts out the window

I’m white, so

Don’t want immigrants

Even though they just picked my apples for almost nothing

I’m a Republican

What I care most about (after money) is hating Democrats 

And non-white people, except athletes maybe

I know what I want, I know what’s right

Don’t need to weigh both sides, there’s only one right

Global Warming, don’t buy it

Gun control, don’t trust it

Abortion, don't need it

Infrastructure, don't use it

And lock her up while you’re at it

Don’t tell the truth if it doesn’t fit my scheme

Oops, I wasn’t s'pposed to say this

Cause I’m a devout believer in Jeesus Christ

Claim to go to church, get saved every week

Family values, honesty, I’m so pious

But don’t raise my taxes

Do not raise my taxes

Pussy grabber, who cares?

Tax evader, who cares?

Prostitute user and payer-offer, who cares?

Dishonest, who cares?

Dishonest Liar, who cares? 

Dishonest liar and cheater, who cares?

Don’t care about Covid, who cares?

But really all I want, want, want

Is no taxes

And more money

I’m Republican







Monday, December 14, 2020

Thursday, December 3, 2020


  (this article was published in

Donald Trump tapped into a dangerous American sentiment in 2016.
 But remember this date: November 2nd, 2004. A major turning point in American history occurred that day. On that day, George W. Bush got re-elected legitimately, and it became clear what America wanted: God, guns, and greed. A majority of Americans, including those who stood to benefit most from affordable healthcare, gun control, fewer tax loopholes for the rich and more regulations on Wall Street, seemed instead to favour ignorance (i.e. Creationism and God), the NRA, market-driven healthcare, oppression of women’s reproductive rights, military bravado without follow-through, and unrestrained abuses by Wall Street.
 Combine the historical impact of W’s win in 2004 with Trump’s election in 2016 and what you get is this: America will never be interested in making wholesale changes to provide inclusive societal approaches to the well-being of its populace. Instead, the every-man-for-himself approach, ostensibly answering only to a higher power, will likely continue. This will lead to a gradual decline in the financial and international stature of the United States. It’s already happening. The same happened to the Holy Roman Empire.
 Eight years of Obama slowed the deterioration, but Trump’s four years accelerated it beyond Republican’s wildest dreams. Evidence abounds:

Trump’s tax code that increased the wealth of the 0.1% and widened wealth inequality said it all. His support in the financial sector was to be expected but his uneducated supporters went along whole hog as well. And Trump’s tax returns? Meh, they all said.
 Despite numerous mass shootings in the past two decades, Americans were not interested in putting the lid on private ownership of military-grade weaponry. Congressional candidates chose to please the NRA over their constituents. The Obama administration failed to pass any significant gun control legislation, and under Trump, any lingering interest in reducing gun violence in the U.S. withered.
 State laws, pushed through by bible-thumping Republicans (including women!) eroded women’s reproductive freedoms. Dressed up as pro-life, defended in the name of God, it translated to misogyny and oppression of women, and both W and Trump have been the heroes of the effort. Women voting for this legislation is an astounding example of misguided belief, selfishness and ignorance. But now, with Barrett in place, Roe v. Wade is in jeopardy. 
 The economy. So-called ‘job-creators’ have never cared about creating real jobs for Americans. It has always been just a slogan for Republicans. They care about creating profits for themselves, and do so only when they are allowed to out-source to cheap, run-down labor forces in the developing world. They continue to fight all attempts to change tax codes that might reduce their profits by one nickel. And concerning federally funded infrastructure projects? Meh, ‘it’s not American’, or ‘it’s socialist’.
 Back in ’08, every person who worked in finance blamed the recession on Bill Clinton’s freeing up of mortgage money to the middle class in the 1990s. They accepted no culpability for investment bankers figuring out how to game the system, making oodles of money, and dumping all risk downstream to unsuspecting homebuyers who shouldn’t have been given mortgages in the first place. “Clinton made me do it,” the finance sector used to say as they stuffed their portfolios. And now the smartest and richest have learned to game the new system and we’re back to where we were. Those same gamers still talk of deregulation, fewer taxes and ‘job-creators’ as solutions to all our problems. In a word, greed. 
 Democrats are partly to blame for all of this. They rejected real change back in 2016 and again in November, 2020. If the Senate flips to the Dems, modest inroads could still be made toward a society that values the well-being of its people. But if Democrats lose in the battle for the senate, Republicans will rightly celebrate, having effectively neutered Biden’s legislative agenda. At that point, God, guns and greed will become etched in America’s headstone, thus hastening the decline of American society and any international influence she once had.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Is YUZU safe?


As Helen Rosner wrote in the New Yorker (Feb 27,2020), “Yuzu is yuzu; there’s nothing else quite like it.” Yuzu has already become a popular international citrus fruit. If you have never experienced Yuzu, you are in for a treat. But could there be any health problems with Yuzu? 


We know that grapefruit juice can dangerously raise blood levels of several drugs (statins, calcium channel blockers) because it inhibits enzymes that normally break down the drugs. There is also evidence that the same happens with the body's estrogen hormones, potentially increasing estrogen levels and the risk of breast cancer in women and erectile dysfunction in men. Could Yuzu do the same?


Yuzu is new to the West, and it takes up to ten years for a yuzu tree to fruit, but Yuzu juice is likely to be on grocery store shelves soon, the way lemon and lime juice are today. 


Research to date points out some probable anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective properties similar to other citrus. In one study (2015 Japan) Yuzu inhibited platelet aggregation to a degree that would add to the effects of aspirin and other anti-platelet drugs. 


The question of whether Yuzu contains the chemicals found in grapefruit (called furanocoumarins) that inhibit drug and hormone metabolism has not been fully answered. Japanese researchers showed in 2018 that lime pulp and zest contained the highest concentration of these substances, higher even than grapefruit, and another Japan study (2011) showed that Yuzu had very low activity of the same substances.


So, at the present time, Yuzu appears not to have the same risk as grapefruit or lime, but juice from Yuzu can inhibit platelets, which would account for some cardioprotective properties but also the potential for additive effect in those taking anti-platelet drugs.