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!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Not surprisingly, the media failed to report a recent analysis of the lies told ABOUT Trump as chronicled by snopes.com, which is considered one of the most reliable sources of fact checking news and information.

The article’s title says it all, “The Lies of Donald Trump’s Critics, and How They Shape His Many Personas.”

Snopes.com reports: “Broadly speaking, most of the falsehoods leveled against Trump fall into one or more of four categories, each of them drawing from and feeding into four public personas inhabited by the President.

They are: Donald Trump: International Embarrassment, Trump the Tyrant, Donald Trump: Bully baby, Trump the Buffoon….

“Generally speaking, we discovered that they are characterized and driven by four types of errors of thought:

Alarmism
A lack of historical context or awareness
Cherry-picking of evidence (especially visual evidence)
A failure to adhere to Occam’s Razor — the common-sense understanding that the simplest explanation for an event or behavior is the most likely.”

Snopes lists a variety of errors, including interpretations of Trump’s handshake, his lack of interest in meetings because he was not taking notes at the G-7, and the continuing focus on his incompetence to serve as president. See http://www.snopes.com/2017/07/12/trump-lies/

For example, snopes.com notes the example “…of how rushed and alarmist conclusions, a lack of context, and a pre-existing caricature of Trump as an incipient dictator have played a role in false claims made against him came early on in his presidency. In the days following Trump’s inauguration, claims emerged that his administration had literally rewritten the Bill of Rights, changing all mention of ‘people’ to ‘citizens.’

“The story horrified readers. ‘Not a joke,’ read one widely shared tweet, ‘not a drill.’ But also, not true. The administration had changed WhiteHouse.gov’s summary of the Constitution but not the Constitution itself. What’s more, the change from ‘people’ to ‘citizens’ in this summary had already been made during the tenure of President Barack Obama.”

In conclusion, snopes.com advises that “in some ways, these sorts of massive exaggerations and gross distortions are even more corrosive and destructive than fake news.”

Perhaps news organizations need to turn the mirror back on themselves to determine whether they are ones telling lies.

h/t to my wife Elizabeth

Guess what I found when I arrived where I was staying in Chicago last night.

I know intellectually the book has been done for a while, I know you’ve been able to buy it via the Amazonlink on the right (or left depending on how your system loads and I know that If you’re a book store owner you’ve been able to contact Imholt Press for bulk orders right along.

But it’s different when you hold a copy of a book in your hand with your name as the author.

That’s pretty cool.

Of course selling a a Million and not having to work again for another 20 years, that would be even cooler.

Feel free to help me along there by clicking on the image below.

Incidentally a portion of every sale will be going to help support WQPH 89.3 FM the Catholic Radio station where my new show on prayer will be premiering at the end of the month.

Update:  Does posting this image count against me in terms of the sin of Pride

I don’t know if this makes me more catholic than the pope but in fairness to the Holy Father, my book is a lot less expensive.


This blog is a venture in capitalism which depends primarily on readers to pay me and my writers. You so 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.