“Cave Danaos et dona ferentis .” or Mendacibus, et perjuris civilibus affliguntur damnati,

In the 1964 election what was then considered a hard line conservative Goldwater and a very liberal Johnson faced off in the Presidential election. Now it seems that both might be considered to be rather ideologically middle of the road!

Malcolm X, in the Saturday Evening Post, (1964) said that the two candidates were actually quite similar, but that with Senator Goldwater “the black people at least know what they are dealing with.” Senator Goldwater(R) was like a “wolf,” and President Johnson(D) was like a “fox. He noted “since these are the choices, the black man in America, I think, only needs to pick which one he chooses to be eaten by, because both will eat him,” With the Senator, he noted, “they would at least know they were fighting an honestly growling wolf, rather than a fox who could have them in his stomach and have digested them before they even knew what is happening.”

President Trump is, in my opinion, an often obnoxious individual currently playing off the electorates fears against a plethora of Democrats who for the most part seem to be fighting to see who can offer the most freebies to the American public. Both are playing to some of our basest instincts. As in 1964 I wonder if any are currently deserving of our votes.

The title approximately translates as ” Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” or “Liars, damned liars and politicians.”

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Random Thoughts

Having some random thought problems this AM…

Is there a relationship between seatbelt laws and vaccination?

What ever happened to Small Pox and Polio?

Why do we insist that everyone can, when we know for a fact that everyone can’t

Why are our roads and bridges which serve millions falling apart while we build miles of bike trails that serve a few

Are people who write letters to the editor essentially narcissists

To post or not to post, that is the question

Time for everyone to either read or re-read Ecclesiastes oh wait I guess it must be because there is a ” time for everything.”

Why can’t I sleep until the sun is already up at least once…. I dream of waking up in a sunlit room that doesn’t have a hospital bed in it.

Why did they make Albert the Audubon bull, anatomically correct?

Do reality shows legitimize bad behavior?

I remember a time when TV shows showed the good things in life rather than the bad and which came first, the decline of respect and decency in our society or in TV shows… Which one is the cause and which is the effect?

Is anyone served by being forced to look at a hero’s feet of clay?

Is it true that we know too much about things that don’t really matter and too little about those that do?

Will science save us or destroy us or both, and if both in what order?

What is the alternative to GMO’s

is our world turning into a parody of the song ” I met an old lady who swallowed a fly.” and is it meaningful that, ” perhaps she’ll die”

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Opportunity Calls But Once

There once was a world famous piano tuner whose name was Mr. Opporknockity. Oppornockity gained true fame in the music industry as it seems that once Mr. Opporknockity tuned a piano it never needed to be tuned again.. Mr. Opporknockity’s skills were truly amazing but then you already know that, because everyone knows that Opporknockity tunes but once.

Now we are plagued with phone calls from Rachael, Heather, Todd and The IRS wanting to help us with non-existent problems, free dinners, or all-expense paid cruises and vacations. I have to wonder what we may have lost because many of us no long answer our phones when calls come in from unknown numbers.

How many jobs have been lost? How many loves could be lost, How many real opportunities were missed because the telephone spoofers have trained us to not answer unknown numbers on our phones. Unknown calls can be important because quite frankly important things happen with people who are not on your phone’s contact list. Suppose your best friend’s daughter calls to tell you that your best friend is in the hospital near death and you don’t answer because her number isn’t in your contact list and her married name is not in your brain. Some important calls will not leave a message because, well, the call is too important and by federal law they may not leave that information in a message.
I will admit that I still almost always answer the phone when it rings, no matter what the number. Having run a service business for some years, my wife can testify that, I truly dislike telephones. I dislike them because I became trained that most of the time when my phone rang it was a problem. I will admit that for a period of years I could sit and watch a phone ring and not even consider picking it up. That same training is taking place for the American public right now via the spoofing proliferation.
I find that I have been taught to answer phone calls from unknown numbers with rude silence. Eventually following the silence with a hang up or with, “You called me, you start the conversation.”
My Wife’s father always wanted to know the first name of the person who was calling which lead to some interesting conversations. “You know my name shouldn’t I know yours.”
My own, hard of hearing father, would start and continue the conversations with ever more strident,” Whats” and then authoritatively hang up after a mild expletive.
Last night I discovered another problem, somebody typed my number into a group text message, possibly by accident, and for the next ½ hour my phone constantly buzzed as others in that group responded to each other in a veritable message storm. I could find no way to stop the messages. Five years ago I would have simply texted and asked to have my number removed from the group but now I refused to validate my phone number by messaging them to take me off their group list. Paradoxically I couldn’t text them because of fear that my text to stop the texts would lead to more texts.
I can’t imagine that anyone enjoys the rejection of cold calling and understand that the people on the other end of the line are actually real people with real feelings and mouths to feed so I decided to work the problem using the source of all truths, the internet, and this is what I found.
Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the telephone network to indicate to the receiver of a call that the originator of the call is a station other than the true originating station.

Neighbor Spoofing takes it one step further by indicating that the call comes from your own area code.

Is spoofing illegal? Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, FCC rules prohibit any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. If no harm is intended or caused, spoofing is not illegal.

How can I stop it? There’s an app for that!
https://www.consumerreports.org/robocalls/how-to-deal-with-robocalls/
The best thing to do when answering a spoofed number is probably to say, “Thanks for the call, but I’m not interested. Have a nice day. And please take me off the call list.” Unfortunately by answering the call you have validated your number as a working number which will lead to more chances for you to be pleasant to a stranger.
On the other hand if you are feeling like getting a little payback then here are some other internet suggestions you may wish to try:

Agree to buy and then give the caller bad names and credit card numbers over and over again until they hang up.

Agree to buy and tell them you have food poisoning and need to go to the bathroom because of the diarrhea then make rude noises while continuing to talk

Agree to buy and then tell them you can’t find your wallet. Stop back every 5 minutes and say I’m still searching. Eventually switch to my credit card is not in my wallet and vehemently blame your spouse.

Tell them all about your day in excruciating detail.

Tell them all about mating your pet snakes

Ask them about spiders

Keep a black board near your phone and randomly run your fingernails down it during the conversation.
Hand a 3-year old the phone and tell them it’s Santa

Tell them you don’t speak English. In English.
Sing 867-5309 to them
Modulate your voice and pretend you’re an answering machine.

Giggle and laugh at inappropriate times

Play them a clarinet solo
Start trying to sell them your toaster.
Try heavy breathing.

Tell them about your gambling /drinking problem

Ask them if they date

Say that you’re broke, unemployed and being evicted.( even if it’s true)

Pretend that you made the phone call and they answered

If the call is not for you say, “He’s here, and I know he’ll be very interested in your offer. Hold on a minute while I get him.” Then put the phone in a drawer

Tell them about your go fund me account

Ask them if they have seen the movie Frozen

Ask them about their accent and where they are calling from

Ask them if they are the police as your attorney has advised you to not talk to the police after the murder and that if they are the police they have to tell you.

See how many times you can get them to say “What” by throwing in gibberish words in your answers.

Read the Gettysburg Address to them with no pauses.

And finally the best one!

I ask them to describe what they’re wearing and if they could take it off. That usually shuts them down. If that doesn’t work, start telling them what you are not wearing.

Spoofing is dishonest, preys on the unsophisticated or aged and I believe in the long term is possibly dangerous. One has to wonder what the success rate is for these calls and then realize that these calls must work and must be profitable or no one would be doing them. Sadly I’m not spoofing you about that!

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The Adventure of Glossophyrangeal Neuralgia

About 6 months ago I had a few moments of severe pain while swallowing. As the months progressed the pain became more severe and more frequent. About three weeks ago the pain began occurring without any outside stimulus. A sharp almost electric pain in the tonsil area, back of the throat and base of the tongue. An incapacitating pain which is something I had never experienced before. A pain that when it occurred simply paralyzed me in whatever position I was in until it once again went away. It was a pain such that everything faded out in the face of. It is amazing how many things remain undone when you are worrying about the next time you are going to have to swallow something( Its hard to imagine how many times you swallow in a day from just saliva until each time hurts). The pain I have discovered is most often caused by an artery rubbing against a nerve at the base of the brain. Drugs are the first line solution while the second is brain surgery.

The medical community responded, a CT scan looking for Eagles syndrome, Prednisone to see if that would help. Finally opiods both Oxy and Hydro with a chaser of dilaudid. Nothing worked to dull the pain. Two trips to the emergency room during which the pain its triggers, onset and location baffled doctors. Later when we found that the incidence of this condition is around .07 out of 100,000 the doctors confusion became understandable. Few doctors see a case of this in a lifetime of practice. Meanwhile the pain had become so severe that it became unbearable. Strangely at times just simply shutting off and then returning for no definable reason. The pain caused it to be extremely painful to move my tongue, swallow, yawn, smile or open my mouth and talk. But the pain was one sided and only affected the left side of my head. My voice became a whisper and if I attempted to talk it often simply ended in a very sharp paralyzing pain .

The second emergency room stay lead to the hospital two days before Christmas. An MRI was performed looking for some abnormality that would cause the pain. Thankfully or unfortunately it came back normal. No tumors, no growths but no answers as well. By this time my son the veterinarian and I had both narrowed it down to Trigeminal Neuralgia or Glossophyrangeal Neuralgia from of all places searches on the internet. The symptoms fit almost perfectly and veterinarian son Steve talked one of the emergency room docs into a dose of carbamazepine. Almost magically in 30 minutes my voice came back and the ability to swallow was much less painful . Unfortunately that dose of curative medicine got lost somewhere in the shuffle and by Christmas Eve morning I was once again beset by uncompromising almost continuous pain. I have not cried from pain for a long time but this was pushing me over the edge. A range of opiods was tried with little relief. Finally a doctor came who had read the charts and gave me a heavy dose of carbamazepine and an hour later the pain had diminished. The doctor explained that without treatment the pain from this condition was a cause of suicide and I understand why. I have never experienced excruciating and unremitting pain before this condition and now understand better the reactions of those people who have ongoing painful conditions.

But the adventure continued carbamazepine has a long list of side affects and I seemed to have most of them. Nausea, unsteadiness, gastric unease and headaches but they all still were better than where I was before the drugs were administered. It’s is almost magic how the drug did away with the pain and emphasized one more time to me that the line between medicine and magic is a very fine one and that every new scientific discovery will seem like magic until explained. Carbamazepine deadens the pain from nerve damage without deadening the nerve itself and if you think about it that’s another one of those fine lines. .

The adventure will continue as this can be a progressive condition and we are still working to balance the side effects with the desired effects but I am ever thankful for modern medicine and the doctors and nurses who administer it as without it I am not sure where I would be right now.

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Freedom Don’t Come Free

It’s no longer a question of what is or is not acceptable. The question now is too often , who gets to draw the line. Think about immigration for example, some advocate open borders others closed, we have had both in our history. It is a sticky question because someone or some group will always be the exception that requires stepping over or back from the line. Freedom is dangerous, it is where revolutions start and yet it is is a highly prized value. If we accept that freedom is dangerous and valuable at the same time then in order to value freedom we must accept the danger that comes with it

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Jack, Charlie, Golf and Politics

Golf and politics have a lot in common. Both sometimes require a strong dose of alcohol just to participate. I was reading the political news this morning on both Fox and CNN and realized they reminded me of Jack and Charlie. Jack and Charlie were two friends, now gone, I used to play golf with. They were both gamblers, successful, had a drink now and then and had personalities that changed when they competed with each other. Both were okay guys but followers of the mantra that being on the offense always gave you an advantage because you knew where you were going and the other guy didn’t.
Jack and Charlie were both average golfers who often overestimated their own skills. They would usually play each other for $5 a hole. One day on the 16th tee one of them, I can’t remember which, but I assume it was the one who was behind at that point, wanted to press the bet suggesting they play the last three holes for $50 a hole. The other, always on the offensive, countered with $100 a hole and so the game was on. The foursome grew quiet as we knew this was not going to end well. Both Jack and Charlie were sure the other one couldn’t play under pressure, both were sure by running the bet up they had a better chance of winning. The final three holes that day were a par 4, par 5 and a par 3. The winning scores for each hole were a 7 and 8 and a 7. You see both were right and both were wrong because neither one of them really cared about the fact they were both terrible golfers, trapped in their own perceptions.
CNN ,Fox and both political parties keep running up the political bet with nit-picking, he said she said, slanted and at times, at best, ½ true stories Both the major internet news services and the political parties, they now strangely appear to represent, think they have a winning hand. Winning defined as advertising dollars for the media and 4 more years for the political parties.
In fact it is the American public of all persuasions that will be the loser just like the other two guys in the foursome on the golf course standing by and watching Jack and Charlie putting themselves in an explosive unwinnable situation while at the same time causing their own embarrassment as viewed by anyone standing on the outside.
Everyone involved should be put in the corner, facing the wall on a tall stool and told to shut up or else the currently lazy American public will start finding their own real facts instead of the inflammatory innuendo being pedaled by both sides and perhaps in the process put the miscreants out of their misery.

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Closings are coming Closer

Sears is gone, K-Mart nearly so and now Lowes and Target have both announced store closings in “less profitable markets.” One of the saddest parts of big box store closings is that they first drive the local stores out of business and then, too often, disappear in less profitable markets. Note most of these closing stores are not unprofitable but simply less profitable. Lowes, Sears, Target, KMart, Walmart Best Buy, have all participated in killing off the local stores and then moving on.

I like Casey’s but like the others they too are small town store-front killers. It seems we care or at least pay lip service about the family farmer but not the family butcher, grocer, gas station owner, appliance seller and haberdasher.

If your old enough to know what a haberdasher is you are old enough to understand what ,Beaverdale for example, used to be.

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