Thursday, August 06, 2020

Sickness and Societal Changes

Someone I know, a friend, was posting on FB about the media hysteria surrounding the current Covid-19 pandemic. He asked if anyone remember when the AIDS issue broke in the 1980s and said he remembered that it was going to kill everyone but that we were still standing. it was an idiotic comparison and I felt like just telling him off. I didn't. Instead i thought about it for a few minutes and think i came up with a much better response than telling him off. Here is what I wrote;

I think there is an important lesson or two to learn here. When AIDS hit, people were not certain about the cause. It wasn't a disease. It was a condition in which the immune system got overloaded and broke down. Mostly it got overloaded from needle sharing and unprotected sex with lots of partners. But some people got their immune system overloaded from blood transfusions — my friends with hemophilia, Barbara and Kenny Jenks were two of them — and others had their immune systems blown out by simple hepatitis shots. Of course, once the immune system is really blown out, your body can't defend against much of anything and even minor infections and viruses can lead to death.
    There was hysteria and it was warranted. Not only were drugs developed to help maintain the immune system, but the first needle-exchanges were established. People who had multiple sex partners, if they were intelligent, began to use condoms even if they hated them. And those changes were not only helpful in reducing those awful deaths, but were necessary across all levels of society.
    Now we have Covid-19 and there is some hysteria. It is warranted. There are medicines being researched that will hopefully help. Masks and social distancing might suck as bad as using condoms but they saved, and are continuing to save a lot of lives. Societal adaptations are always difficult, and met with skepticism, anger, denial, conspiracy theories. But in the case of AIDS, changing habits was necessary for a lot of people. Now, with a virus that does not care whether you are contributing to your illness with your behavior, those changes are even more vital. And they are not a big deal at all.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Here's a short one, finally

So a liar, a thief, and a narcissist walk into a bar.
The bartender says: "What'll you have, Mr. Trump?"

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Political question seeking answers

I need someone in the know to answer this. I know I am being cynical, but with the goings on of the last few years and during much of my lifetime, I don't know what else to be.
The moratorium on evictions, some federal, some state, will expire in just a few days. If those evictions are permitted to proceed — and there could be a reported 23 million of them, which would represent about 40 million or so adults — would those people still be able to vote? I ask because the address on their voter registration would no longer match. I ask because if they are registering now, or asking for an absentee ballot and it is sent to an address where they no longer live, how would they get it. If those evicted move in with family or friends in another state, will they be allowed to register?
Again, I know I am being cynical but I would love some informed input.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Another Insane Food Post!

Ladies and Gents. Gorman here. I am so tired of FB lately. Too many people shouting at one another. Too many decent folk have fallen for Q. I try to refrain from responding most of the time, but once in a while people I like write or reprint something so cockamamie that I dash off a negative response telling them how full of bologna they are. I'm right and they know it, of course, but they can't help themselves.
Okay, so I just feel like talking about food since that is currently a primary outlet for me. In the last week the Italian mama in this Irish boy came out. You'll see. Very unusual.
Started off about a week ago with a nice vegetarian manicotti with fresh mozzarella, asiago, and good ricotta -- along with garlic, spinach, tons of fresh organic basil, and scallions in a nice tomato sauce. Topped with more mozzarella.
Moved on to a barbeque of marinated chicken, sausage, burgers, marinated grilled veggies and a homemade macaroni salad with diced red and green peppers and scallions.
The burger was so good we had them again the next night. We used a mix of coal and pecan wood from a fallen pecan in the yard (big yard at 1 1/2 acres or so), and it was unreal. Served it with a Caprice salad that was outlandishly simple and good..(Thick slice of organic beefsteak tomato topped with a thick slice of fresh mozzarella, topped with basil, sea salt, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil steeped in chopped garlic.)
Next night was mussels posillipo — fresh mussels in a homemade sauce of garlic, onions, scallions, finely diced fresh Roma tomatoes, wine, salt and cracked black pepper. Served with garlic bread, of course.
Moved on two nights ago to fresh fried calamari. Got a pound of calamari tubes, cut them in 1/2 inch slices. Breaded and fried them and served them with a HOT marinara -- a regular marinara i made but to which was added red pepper flakes and some crab boil. A bottle of Shiner Bock beer beer finished the sauce off.
And last night was freaking excellent chicken parmesan with my fourth tomato sauce of the week. Served with spinach sauteed with garlic in olive oil.
That was a good-eating week. A few bites of each every night was plenty for me so there is lots of stuff left over in the fridge.
And I hope this was better than a political rant. This time.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Legality of Ayahuasca in USA

For the 10 millionth time, someone emailed me about the legal status of the ayahuasca outfit Soul Quest, in Florida. This is my response:
Lots of people love Soul Quest. Legally, it is, of course, entirely illegal and there has been at least one death there from someone drinking too much water before doing frog sweat, sapo/kambo. What do you want to ask me? If it is going to concern the grey area Soul Quest claims they are in, I have to say they are simply lying. They are not in any way connected to the Native American Church, and the NAC has no legal right to use any controlled medicine except peyote. ONAC is an invented silly name with no meaning, and and absolutely no legal significance.
One group of santo daime has the right to use ayahuasca in the USA at one location, and there might be one other exception, but it certainly ain't Soul Quest or any of the other hundred or two groups that I know are claiming legal right or grey area via connection to NAC (which has no connections) or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They are just too small fry to bother with at the moment. They get big, they are all going to jail.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Sapo and Pregnancy: Don't Do It

Someone was asking me about using the indigenous Matses frog sweat, sapo, with regard to pregnancy. This is what I responded.

At the earliest stages of pregnancy, the first few weeks, sapo in a very tiny amount is applied to a woman's wrist to discover who the father is. Later, very tiny amounts are applied to see what the sex of the fetus is and whether it is healthy. If not sapo can be used as an abortive.

   As a male, I never witnessed how tiny those initial applications were. Now, as someone who has seen several women abort/miscarriage with sapo I would strongly, strongly urge it not to be used by pregnant westerners at any amount. The abortion can take a couple of days. It is very painful. I knew someone who used it as an abortive and the evacuation — at just six weeks of gestation — took 12 hours. She was in serious pain the entire time.
   A couple of years ago a woman sat at the table I use as my office while in Iquitos. I had never met her prior to that moment. As she sat she was obviously in pain, and i asked her what was wrong. She told me that several hours earlier she'd been treated with sapo because she was pregnant — three months — and was told the medicine would strengthen her umbilical cord. She would not tell me who treated her, and there are lots of idiots, both locals and gringos, in Iquitos serving sapo/kambo. Whomever it was i wanted to strangle them because I knew the woman was beginning to abort, and she had wanted to bring the fetus to term. I did not tell her because it was too late to stop the process.
  She finished aborting about 24 hours later.
  Please use sapo wisely. It can strengthen the body overall, but for pregnant women, it is primarily a very lousy abortive. It should NOT be used on lactating women either, as no studies have been done to see 1) if the poisons being eliminated from the mother might find their way into her milk, and 2) if the medicine itself found its way into her milk, what effect that would have on a baby.
   I hope this helps.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

All of It is Trump's Fault.

It is all Donald J Trump's fault. The whole mess. It started with him eliminating the pandemic team put together by President Obama to get a jump on future pandemics. It continued with him discarding the Pandemic—101 booklet on handling pandemics put together by Obama's administration. It continued with Trump ignoring all the warning signs and actual warnings about the coming pandemic throughout January and February, while he held rallies and golfed.
Those moves, plus a refusal to secure masks that were offered led to the severe outbreak of COVID-19 in the USA, which has led to over 110,000 deaths here thusfar.
That outbreak, most of it directly Trump's fault, led to the economy crashing, putting tens of millions out of work.
On a completely different tact, Trump's cheering on — while himself a coward — of violence by others against hi perceived enemies, whether at rallies or in the media or even in his administration, helped lead to the George Floyd killing and others like it. That killing led to the protests 've had here for two weeks, most of them peaceful, but with enough agents provocateur and ordinary looters to justify the use of police force in dozens of cases, resulting in serious injury to many.
Last week Trump got news that a couple of million people went back to work in May and he crowded like the cock of the walk about that. He omitted the part that he encouraged states to reopen and that once reopened people who did not return to work lost their unemployment and would probably lose their jobs. So that 2-plus million who went back to work are now at risk for COVID-19 to give Trump something he could pretend was good news.
I have people writing to me that I am too harsh on Trump. I am not. I am not because all of this is his fault. All of it.