The first interview I did in Chicago was on Fr. Anthony of Marytown who I was going to ask about the shrine however the Holy Spirit had other ideas

You don’t get much better than this on the subject

My late father was fond of many truisms. One of his favorites was, “Keep your words sweet; you might have to eat them.” Being one who has far too many times made a meal out of self-baked Alpha Bits, I fully testify to the aforementioned statement’s accuracy.

This came to mind yesterday when learning of John McCain’s battle with brain cancer. Cancer in any form is hideous; brain cancer is an unspeakable obscenity. Given McCain’s age and health history, it is impossible to envision this being anything but a brief, final battle before his ascending into eternity.

As a career moderate, one willing to work both sides of the aisle, McCain has garnered more than a few detractors at each end of both aisles. On the right, McCain has been routinely pilloried as the RINOs RINO, a squish benignly or actively bulldozing every hill upon which red pill poppers choose to make today’s final stand; tune in tomorrow for the new indignation du jour. On the left … eh, it’s the left. What aren’t they indignant about? But I digress.

It’s sadly predictable how, in a world where “Obama is a POOPYHEAD!” and “Trump is a MEANYPANTS!” passes as political discourse, the armchair politicians have not universally disarmed themselves in favor of prayer and support for a man now fighting his greatest battle. Be it damning with faint praise via tacking a grievance diatribe onto a get-well wish, or proclaiming McCain’s condition as karma come home to roost, haters gonna hate. And how. Hope they never take ill.

Like it or not, we are known by the company we keep. Those who herald the snarkbelcher for being cool and edgy and speaking truth to power abandon all claims of innocent bystanding when the worm turns. Make no mistake; the worm will turn … after it metamorphosises into a dragon.

Those who blog, post, and tweet as they please with total disregard for the humanity of others will in time discover that which they believed granted immunity from their own words’ consequences was transitory. The day will come when that rock solid, self-made (to whatever degree it actually was, this as opposed to whatever degree we perceive it to be) career will both blow up and throw up in our faces. That immovable object of a third party or outside corporation we’ve built upon? It will move, downsize, change direction, or simply fold altogether. That in-demand, on-demand skill set we have laboriously acquired? Seemingly overnight it will become faded fish wrap, dated and discarded. Your status as the hot hand, the heartthrob, the heavy hitter? As The Eagles succinctly put it decades ago, where’ve you been lately? There’s a new kid in town. Everybody loves him, don’t they. And he’s holding her … and you’re still around.

Remember conservative new media’s early days when all were welcome? Now, CNM is CNN minus a spot on the local cable network, stratified and tied to a totem pole. Used to be we called ourselves an army of Davids. Well, Goliath is still standing, and our slingshot ammo consists of yelling at Jake Tapper on Twitter.

Relying on the new corporation, same as the old corporation (ratings/website hits are KING!) albeit with a different philosophical core as long as it is a solid business model for attracting advertisers, is a risky proposition. An endless drone of opinion pieces makes for an entirely unsatisfying intellectual meal and a dwindling marketplace. Now, there are people in CNM who practice fundamental journalism. They read the bill. They study the transcript. They attend the meeting. They ask direct questions to those directly involved. But these people are the rare exceptions in a morass of clip and comment sludge.

The failure to treat political opponents as people instead of crash test dummies will inevitably consume both its creators and its supporters. As surely as if we signed it ourselves, that which we sign off on will be attached to our names. Therefore, be cautious and circumspect. Fire; a cleansing one but fire nonetheless, is coming. Don’t get burned.

Be careful what you sign.

In the wake of the U.S. Senate’s non-vote on repealing Obamacare, one of the better memes now circulating features a gallery of chattering Senators, adorned with the legend (I’m paraphrasing) “Stuff like this is why Trump won.”

Yup. That, and the fact that he’s not Hillary Clinton.

Was his election a one-term holding action, or was it a political watershed? Will he leave behind anything but memories of his tweets? Six months after the election, I still can’t tell. At least he’s not Clinton – but that’s a low bar to clear.

There have been pluses. President Trump has seen at least one project through from beginning to end: the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who may yet prove to be a worthy successor to the late Justice Scalia.  Trump has acknowledged Obamacare’s attacks on religious liberty, publicly announcing that the Little Sisters of the Poor could stop worrying about the government trying to coerce them into getting involved in the contraception business. (He stopped short of blocking enforcement of the odious contraceptive mandate altogether.) In a recent speech in Warsaw, he unambiguously affirmed NATO’s Article Five to an audience that wasn’t quite sure he’d do that.

Those are encouraging moves, as far as they go.

What I haven’t seen in the past six months – to pick just one item – is progress on the Obamacare mess.  The Senate, with its non-vote on Obamacare repeal, has just handed Trump a golden opportunity to set his mark on substantive policy. If he settles for the we’re-just-going-to-let-it-fail line, he’ll squander his chance.

If Donald Trump wants to repeal Obamacare as badly as Barack Obama wanted to impose it, he’ll go back to the voters, face to face, to make the case for repeal.

Not tweets. Not press conferences. Not surrogates. The situation calls for Trump himself, barnstorming, addressing voters in person, encouraging focused action. He demonstrated last year as a candidate that he knows the drill.

He – and we – have nothing to lose from such an effort, given the unbelievable failure of the GOP legislative majority to act.

About the first six months of Trump presidential tweets: where some see pugnacity in the more abrasive posts, I see contempt. (Tomato, tomahto.) I also see fodder for a hundred Democratic Congressional campaign ads. And I see zero chance that the President will moderate his tone. He would probably remind me that he wasn’t elected to be moderate.

When Pete asked me to write about my thoughts on the first six months of the Trump Presidency, my fist inclination was to echo the thoughts of Kurt Schlichter and say that he’s fulfilled my most important goal for a president: that of not being Hillary Clinton. His appointment of Neil Gorsuch, rollback of regulations, and unabashed advocacy for western civilization and God, as articulated in his Warsaw speech, are more than enough to mark his first six months as a qualified success. But there’s another criterion by which I think his presidency will be judged, and it’s one that will definitely not be reported on by the media.

I was not a Trump guy until he secured the nomination. I would have voted for him simply because he wasn’t Hillary Clinton, but I started to come around when he released his list of judges and began speaking so forcefully about defunding Planned Parenthood (which I sincerely hope eventually comes to pass). I’m sure I’m not alone in this journey, but I think my wife is an example of a cultural shift that is going on that may have much more of an impact on our country for the foreseeable future.

My wife is as staunch a pro-life Catholic as I am, but was never very political. She used to point out to me when she thought my Republican hat was covering my Catholic eyes on certain issues, she rarely, if ever, watched Fox News, and she was extremely anti-Trump all through the primaries and most of the way through the general election. Up until a few weeks before the election, she was seriously considering not voting for either major candidate. It was the abortion issue that finally pushed her to vote for Trump. She and I stayed up on election night and high-fived each other as the networks called state after state for Trump, and eventually the election.

Since that time, my wife has had her eyes opened to the biased, unfair and downright dishonest treatment of president Trump and the Republican party that I had been trying to point out to her by both the media and the democrats. Where she used to accuse me of exaggerating every slight, she now sees the depths to which the democrat-media complex will sink to make the president look bad. She has taken to following politics much more closely than she ever has before.

We both still would like to see the president tweet less and stick more to substantive issues when he does, mostly because all his shoot-from-the-hip tweets do is to give the media more rope with which to try and hang him. But the good news is that, for the first time, my wife is seeing the democrat-media reaction for exactly what it is. If my wife is at all indicative of a significant portion of the population, then I think perhaps president Trump’s greatest legacy may be the dissolution of the media’s ability to drive the national conversation so far to the left. Maybe this will give president Trump a little room to govern as he promised to instead of having to spend so much of his time fighting off nonsense charges.

Tuesday I was reading an excellent piece at the NY Post by Salma Zito on Canadian’s opinions concerning President Trump when I saw this piece highlighted on the side that made my jaw drop

My first reaction is “you’re kidding me” alas they’re not.

An internet vlogger has stunned viewers with the reason she let her best friend sleep with her boyfriend.

YouTuber Lena Nersesian, who calls herself Lena The Plug, told her 900,000 subscribers she wanted her friend Emily to have sex with Adam so she can “try his penis.”

Yes, you’re reading that right, the story continues

Adam was pretty happy to take part in the online experiment,

Break out my “shockda face”

although he said he was feeling the pressure to “perform.

Yeah I can imagine a million people watching two woman critique you would put the pressure on

The girls are then seen in skimpy outfits twerking for Adam — who has his own YouTube channel — before he joins them on the bed.

After the girls had sex with him — off camera — the threesome discussed their antics in X-rated detail.

I’ve got nothing to say to Adam, I was young and stupid once and the odds of me at that age having the good sense to decline his girlfriend’s “generous” offer would have been even smaller than the odds of me ever getting said offer,  so instead let me address myself to the young ladies in question in the interest of explaining realities that their parents apparently never bothered to.  Let me lead with a cold hard practical facts of life.

If you seeking internet fame based on sexuality you might draw plenty of hits and perhaps make ad revenue off but  eventually time age and the lessening shock values starts working against you.

Consider what I wrote about former Pippi Longstocking star Tami Erin a few years back (content warning) when she went from complaining about a sex tape, to pushing the sextape to Touring with Hustler mag.  For a time the numbers looked promising for the 39 year Ms. Erin.

Thanks to the new found male interest in the former child star her web site ranking has jacked up by 700,000 spots in Alexa Rank over the last few months and will likely break the top 2,000,000 rank before the year is out. I suspect her twitter following will rise as well easily reaching 10,000 by years end.

Alas four years later at Age 43 despite her movie fame, the neutral objective fact that she is still an extremely attractive woman, and her increased ahem exposure,  her twitter feed sits at 7650 and her web site’s Alexa ranks is 16,211,767 (down 2,848,489 spots), about 15,800,000 places behind this old fat guy in a twelve foot scarf whose parts nobody is interested in viewing.  This is not a surprise as I said at the time:

There are already plenty of  younger more voluptuous women ready and willing to carry themselves more provocatively than Ms. Erin.  It won’t take long for the novelty to fade and then the stray lesbian kiss, topless shot or swing around a pole will not be enough to retain the interest and procure the monies of the MichaelDick73’s JDogg77’s and Machette42’s of the world.

That’s the point when she is going to have to go a bit farther and then a bit farther again until a search for Tami Erin will turn up results on a niche category of older woman doing X, Y and Z on porn sites around the world.

Her threesome video drew millions of hits but what happens then, when the public’s interest in  Miss Nersesian’s assets fade, after all it won’t take long for a new younger woman, just as busty and willing to display her assets on youtube for the crowd that has already seen her’s

Does she move from mentioning a threesome off camera to having one on camera, do you add a 3rd woman or perhaps a second man?  Based on her twitter feed (very NSFW and not linked here) that’s apparently not a problem, but the farther you go the more you suffer from the laws of diminishing returns.

Now as I mentioned before I was once young and stupid and it’s only because of the lack of a public internet at the time that the mistakes of my generation are not viewing fodder our my children and grandchildren as yours are, but while someone can’t change the past you can shape the future.

So to Miss Nersesian I say this:  Ask yourself where you want to be in five years or ten years in terms of a job, a relationship/husband and a family and then ask yourself if threesomes on youtube are going to get you there?

Frankly the answer to the question of how to get where you need to be was given by a Jewish Carpenter to a woman in a similar situation whose judges walked away in shame.

Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.”

John 8:10-11

If you give him a chance Christ will be happy to welcome you and you won’t have to take off a thing.

Perhaps you might laugh at that idea now but you’ve got a long life ahead of you and Christ will keep trying.  I’ll add you to my daily prayer list and we’ll let the Holy Spirit do the work.


This blog is a venture in capitalism and as you might guess we draw a tad less traffic than young busty women in threesomes, which is a slight disadvantage when you depend primarily on readers to pay yourself and your writers. You can help finance this by picking up my new book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) prayer is now available at Amazon

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And as I’ve said before if you can’t spare the cash we will be happy to accept your prayers.

When starting out with a business, you will probably be looking at every method out there that will give you that extra edge to succeed. After all, creating and maintaining a profitable company is much trickier than it might seem when all your initial dreams only focus on the potential rewards.

Thanks to the continued rise of technology and the Internet, there are more options available than ever to help your business grow and avoid common pitfalls. To best illustrate this, below you will find a healthy sample of ways where your business can utilize technology for your benefit.

Jump on the mobile bandwagon

Forget about desktops; mobile is where it’s at right now.

Well okay, don’t forget about desktops. However, it is important to note just how prevalent mobile usage is these days. In fact, people have been using their mobile devices longer on a daily basis than their desktops since 2014 – and the gap continues to grow each year.

As a result, it is highly recommended that you have your website optimized for mobile usage. Thankfully, this is generally included automatically with modern website themes/builders. On top of this, you should also explore the idea of producing your very own app. Because while people browse the Internet on mobile, reports suggest most of their time is spent using apps.

It’s not all about optimizing for mobile, either. There are plenty of apps on the market – from simple things like a calculator to project tracking software – that can benefit your business.

Hire the best from around the world

One of the great things about the Internet is that it opens you up to the world – and that includes your ability to hire workers. No longer do you have to be restricted to only bringing in local talent; now you can spread your wings and hire the best of the best in their respective fields.

As for how to find and hire these people, websites such as Upwork and Freelancer make it easy. Post the job you need doing (or simply headhunt a top rated freelancer), choose from the best applications, sort out payment terms, and then hire the person once everything is done. Considering this can all be done within an hour or two, it’s fair to say that it is much easier and quicker than going through a traditional hiring process!

If you don’t come across a suitable freelancer, there’s also the option of going with a specialist outsourcing firm. In general, these firms should be able to offer you that extra level of professionalism and assurance over the standard freelancer.

By the way, one other bonus of going the outsourcing route: you don’t need to pay the likes of health or dental benefits!

Use specialist software

Saying specialist software doesn’t just mean well-known programs like Photoshop and Microsoft Office. In fact, there are plenty of other software packages that can make life easy for your business.

One of the most helpful is dedicated accounting software. Now while there are various options available to suit all budgets/tastes, these accounting programs should help to keep track of those numbers all that much easier – something you’ll be thankful for when tax season rears its ugly head.

In addition, the inclusion of project management software and CRM (Custom Relations Management) software is also highly recommended. The former helps keep track of projects, while the latter places all your contacts/customers in one convenient place.

Conduct market research

Market research is certainly nothing new. However, with the Internet, conducting and getting a clearer message from your research is much more viable than traditional means.

First of all, you can set up a survey to send to prospective customers. Google forms are arguably the best option available in that regard, where you have the freedom to ask various questions that will help you gather the knowledge as to if your business idea is one that is viable or not.

Simply browsing the social media channels that your rivals use could also provide a healthy outlook with regards to knowing the market, while using Google Analytics helps to sort out those website numbers and see what is (or isn’t) working with your business.

Promote across the web

While traditional marketing methods haven’t exactly gone the way of the dodo just yet, online advertising techniques are certainly the priority for most new businesses. The reasons behind this are simple: it’s generally inexpensive, convenient and many people connect to the web on a daily basis.

As for which marketing options to choose, this is down to which you feel will best suit your business. There’s the obvious path of going with social media, which is recommended for essentially every company. Not only do you not need to spend any money with this method, yet nearly everyone is on the likes of Twitter and Facebook these days.

The likes of website banners, AdWords and other advert avenues have also been utilized over the years. You can also go creative with this type of advert – think about the possibility of sending your products to be featured by relevant YouTube channels or prominent bloggers.

Head for the cloud

Although you hear about security breaches, and you might be a little apprehensive to place your trust in cloud-based storage, there are many useful benefits over the usual means for storing your precious files and documents.

One advantage is that it boosts collaboration between team members. For instance, workers with access to a certain file will be able to access and edit it at any time and from wherever they are based. Speaking of which, it provides flexibility to employees who might need/want to stay at home to do their work.

Despite those aforementioned security issues, the cloud is also a more secure platform. With physical products like laptops and hard drives storing files, they can easily suffer from damage or become lost. In comparison, files stored in the cloud won’t be affected even if your work device is compromised.

I was never a “never Trumper” nor was I ever an enthusiastic supporter.  Donald Trump was at the absolute bottom of the list of Republican contenders for me all during the primaries.  I studied his speeches and positions on all of the issues and found him to be a big government type with beliefs on a lot of issues aligned more closely with moderate Democrats than Republicans.

As a Libertarian, I absolutely abhorred the thought of Hillary Clinton, or any other radical leftist, being elected president this election cycle.  Eight years of President Obama and his destructive progressive governance was bad enough.  I could not envision another four years of the same failed policies.

I would have loved to have voted for a Libertarian; unfortunately none ran in the last election.  Yes Gary Johnson did run, however he is a Libertarian in Name Only.   His only claim to fame is marijuana legalization.

When Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination I became a very reluctant Trump supporter.  I agreed with a lot of his campaign promises but I did not believe he would carry through with many of them.  That to me was still a vast improvement over the other alternatives.

On one key issue alone I was an enthusiastic supporter.  During the campaign President Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court Justices.  Every single one was a strict constitutionalist, something I greatly approve of.  That list was the only reason I voted for President Trump.  With the nomination and eventual confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump fulfilled that campaign promise in magnificent fashion.

During the election President Trump promised to undo the regulatory behemoth unconstitutionally thrust upon us by President Obama.  Through the use of executive orders President Trump has in large part carried out this pledge.  I have been an outspoken critic of presidents who abuse executive orders.  President Trump using executive orders to undo regulations placed on us by a predecessor through executive orders does not violate the Constitution.  President Obama’s use of executive orders to enact these regulations did violate the Constitution because these regulations were given the force of law despite never being passed by congress.

The border wall promised so often during the campaign is still a work in progress but it is too soon to say if President Trump will keep his promise on this key issue.  I believe if the wall does not get built the blame will lie with a congress controlled by spineless Republicans.

I believe President was on the wrong side during the ObamaCare repeal.  He sided with the big government Republicans instead of the American people who wanted a full repeal.  I do not agree with him on infrastructure.  The federal government should play absolutely no role in this issue.  States and local governments alone should solve this problem. The federal government can only waste money and add a bureaucratic quagmire,

The biggest losers in the election were members of the out of control liberal media.  They completely unmasked themselves as a radical progressive mod that lacks any objectivity.  It was great seeing President Trump take on the whole lot of them during the campaign and keep up the fight during the first six months of his presidency.   I applaud his use of Twitter to continue the fight.  I wish he would use a more polished approach to do battle.  He flies of the handle too easily on trivial issues and he needs to improve his communication skills.  Just imagine what a great communicator like President Reagan would do with a Twitter account.

The Republicans in control of both houses are failing the American people much more than President Trump has.  They do not have the courage or the vision to do what is right for the American people.  Too many people make this failure of the Republicans in congress out to be just about enacting the Trump agenda.  Limited government, free market principles, and upholding the Constitution are the principles the President and congress should enact.

One of the more annoying things in the current preponderance of opinion pieces instead of actual reporting is the dismissal of news on our hemisphere. Rarely do you find information on, say, Brazil, the world’s ninth-largest economy, unless you actually go looking for it.

Each country is treated as a piece of puff pastry on a tray shaped like South America: Exotic, tasty but a rare treat that you don’t want to overdo, interchangeable. Today, arepas. Tomorrow, guava pastries.

The reports you find are few and far apart, and focus mostly on Cuba as a tourist spot, and on Venezuela as an ongoing train wreck.

Of course, Cuba fits the socialist agenda. By now the “excellent free healthcare” nonsense has been replaced with the “travel to Havana before it modernizes” gimmick. Just last night PBS aired Weekend in Havana, enticing us to “Travel to Cuba’s vibrant, alluring and rapidly changing capital,” while ignoring the very grim reality:

that under the tyrannical regime of the Castros, Cuba is a fourth-world country with collapsing buildings and a crumbling infrastructure that cannot provide humane conditions for its own enslaved people, let alone foreign tourists.

Venezuela gets attention for its horrible near-civil-war, brought about by the implementation of 21st Century Socialism™ which is rarely mentioned. Yesterday’s news carried a few more stories on Venezuela because Pres. Trump is considering sanctions against the communist regime, including a possible oil embargo.

Most of those articles were opinion pieces, low on substance.

It is extremely unusual to read factual reporting connecting the many threads of Latin American politics. Mary O’Grady does an exceptional job this week in her article, How Cuba Runs Venezuela. Havana’s security apparatus is deeply embedded in the armed forces (emphasis added)

Havana doesn’t care about Venezuelan poverty or famine or whether the regime is unpopular. It has spent a half-century sowing its ideological “revolution” in South America. It needs Venezuela as a corridor to run Colombian cocaine to the U.S. and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan petroleum.

This is the first time this year I’ve seen this mentioned in an article in a national newspaper. O’Grady’s article is a must-read.

One can only wish other “journalists” were in the same league as O’Grady. They might even find a Russia Russia Russia angle – and a little China for measure.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

Mr Prosser: But, Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.
Arthur: Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.
Mr Prosser: But the plans were on display…
Arthur: On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.
Mr Prosser: That’s the display department.
Arthur: With a torch.
Mr Prosser: The lights had probably gone out.
Arthur: So had the stairs.
Mr Prosser: But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?
Arthur: Yes yes I did. It was on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Something odd happened on Tuesday.

I accidentally hit one of my bookmarks to the Vatican Bible that was not working a few days ago and to my surprise the page came up.

Given the disappearance of scripture from the site this caught me completely by surprise.

My first thought was that it was an old cache page so I tried it on my other computer and sure enough the same Psalm page came up.

This threw me off so I wondered if the Vatican decided pulling the bible was a bad idea after all so I headed back to the main vatican page, followed the reference link to scripture but I still got this page:

That was even stranger At this point I went back to the page on the 2nd computer and decided to try to get to the front page of the bible from the Psalm page that worked and this came up:

then I tested the links on the page, they all worked.

Now feeling really confused I went back to the wayback machine and checked to see if their capture had caught scripture as back up but the latest capture still showed this:

Finally I had a thought, instead of accessing the bible through the reference link as normal try a search for the term “Bible” in the search box on the main page.  So that’s what I did, and here is the page that came up

Here’s the weird thing, if you click on the first result, you get the bible front page as if it was never gone.  If you click the 2nd result you get the “local episcopal” page from the reference link.

So the question on the floor is this:  What on earth is going on?  If you are still referring people to the local sites and not providing a link to the Bible, why put sacred scripture back up if you’re going to make it tough to find?

Two logical answers come to mind

A charitable suggestion would be that people realized that even though they wanted people to go to local sites for scripture, every single document on the Vatican site since it went up that had existing links to the former online scripture became dead once it was pulled.  Fixing all those links would be an expensive, time consuming and frankly herculean task. So given the choice between fixing those links or putting scripture back up without a direct link to it they choose the latter.  If I had been their tech advisor that’s certainly the advice I’d have given to fix the problem.

A much less charitable explanation would be that the Vatican didn’t like the blowback from pulling the Bible but didn’t want to link to it, so they put it back up without a direct link to allow a spokesman to say “Of COURSE sacred scripture is available at our site, we just prefer you to use our local sites translation.” or in other words: “Beware of the Leopard!”

Of course it’s also possible that these explanations aren’t mutually exclusive.

Either way I’m happy as it means I don’t have to make changes to the links of my ebook or my regular book, however if you bought  copy thinking was now a collector’s item, you’re out of luck.

And for the sake of the readers I’ll put the link back to the vatican Bible both here and on the blog sans wayback machine so if you want to get to the Bible on the Vatican you can without worrying about fast felines.

Cue Arthur Dent:

This blog is a venture in capitalism which depends primarily on readers to pay me and my writers. You can help finance this by picking up my new book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) prayer now available at Amazon

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And as I’ve said before if you can’t spare the cash we will be happy to accept your prayers.

by baldilocks

A real environmental crisis: it’s Raining Needles. Alternate title: Why I Stopped Wearing Flip-flops in Public.

They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets. Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere.

In Portland, Maine, officials have collected more than 700 needles so far this year, putting them on track to handily exceed the nearly 900 gathered in all of 2016. In March alone, San Francisco collected more than 13,000 syringes, compared with only about 2,900 in the same month in 2016.

People, often children, risk getting stuck by discarded needles, raising the prospect they could contract blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis or HIV or be exposed to remnants of heroin or other drugs.

(…)

Needles turn up in places like parks, baseball diamonds, trails and beaches — isolated spots where drug users can gather and attract little attention, and often the same spots used by the public for recreation. The needles are tossed out of carelessness or the fear of being prosecuted for possessing them.

One child was poked by a needle left on the grounds of a Utah elementary school. Another youngster stepped on one while playing on a beach in New Hampshire.

Even if adults or children don’t get sick, they still must endure an unsettling battery of tests to make sure they didn’t catch anything. The girl who put a syringe in her mouth was not poked but had to be tested for hepatitis B and C, her mother said.

Some community advocates are trying to sweep up the pollution.

Rocky Morrison leads a cleanup effort along the Merrimack River, which winds through the old milling city of Lowell, and has recovered hundreds of needles in abandoned homeless camps that dot the banks, as well as in piles of debris that collect in floating booms he recently started setting.

In truth, this is merely a physical manifestation of the inner crises of all too many. These people want to escape from reality, become trapped by their escape route, then become heedless of all things — except for the next time they get a ride along the escape route. There are many means of being set free from this trap. One of them is death. In the meantime, more escape, more death and more discarded needles.

The most sinister spiritual component to heroin and many other drugs does not inhabit the users, however, but the providers. Even if all drugs were to become legal tomorrow, that would not change.

The question is this: what can be done for those who are caught up in this web? I think most solutions of the earthly variety are already available. These people need the Great Healer. Their inner environment needs to be made clean.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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