Gadfly | May 8th, 2023
By Ed Raymond
What’s Too Little and What’s Too Much? The DSA Is Famous for Both Positions
Schizophrenia is defined as “any of a group of psychotic reactions characterized by withdrawal from reality with highly variable accompanying affective behavioral and intellectual disturbances.”
Well, this is a big country of more than 335 million people, so mental health experts have determined that as much as six percent of the population, or about 20 million, go bonkers each year to make life interesting for the rest of us.
Schizophrenia has a wide inclusive meaning with words that stand out: “withdrawal from reality” and “disturbances.” The Divided States of America are in a period where we are short of reality and very long on disturbances. Whether we recover from this “shackling” of our national goals is debatable.
The DSA Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murphy has traveled the country and spoken to people at every stop: “At any moment, about one out of every two Americans is experiencing measurable levels of loneliness (Imagine we are suffering another pandemic!). This includes introverts and extroverts, rich and poor, and younger and older Americans.
Sometimes loneliness is set off by the loss of a loved one or a job, a move to a new city, or health or financial difficulties – or a once-in-a-century pandemic.”
He should have said “pandemics.” We kill 68,000 a year because they have no health insurance. We kill 50,000 and wound 100,000 in a gun culture pandemic. We kill up to 100,000 a year through drug overdoses loaded with fentanyl and opiates. We kill about 400,000 a year with tobacco. The “deaths of despair” from alcohol, drugs, and suicide are up to 250,000 a year.
Alcohol alone contributes 140,000 deaths. I haven’t mentioned deaths from heart disease and cancer caused by the environment. Our representatives can do something by working hard in Congress to end these pandemics. Let’s briefly examine a few of our major problems.
890,000 Viruses Surround Us
The DSA, the richest country in the world, earned the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths in the industrialized world by protesting and avoiding treatments suggested by medical experts. So far, 1.1million Americans have died because we withdrew from “reality” and had numerous “behavioral and intellectual disturbances” by anti-science ignoramuses.
A country must vaccinate more than 90% of the eligible population to have herd immunity. The DSA was not even in the top ten in both developed and undeveloped countries at a terrible 68% rate. That’s too low to have herd immunity protection.
COVID-19 Director Dr. Anthony Fauci asked doubting politicians: “Why do you have red (Republican) states that are unvaccinated and blue (Democrat) states that are vaccinated? Why do you have death rates among Republicans that are higher than death rates among Democrats and Independents?
“It should never ever be that way when you’re dealing with a public health crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in over 100 years. On a per-capita basis, there’s no reason a rich country like ours has to have 1.1 million deaths. Unacceptable.”
The NRA and Gun Culture Should Answer for This Shooting
An 18-year-old college baseball player was warming up in the bullpen of a baseball diamond in Texarkana, Texas at 5:30 p.m. on April 30 when he was hit by a stray bullet fired from somewhere around the baseball field in Spring Lake Park. The bullet may have come from a large neighborhood west of the field.
I am citing this shooting although 400 other American children and adults were killed or wounded by firearms on April 30. This incident makes it plain to the entire population that an individual is not safe anywhere in the DSA.
Columbine, Sandy Hook, Uvalde, and thousands of other mass shootings have not convinced Republicans that the gun culture must be castrated.
More than one million Americans have been sacrificed in worshiping the Second Amendment while another three million have been wounded and have had their lives shattered by bullets.
The gun culture virus has been spreading for half a century with virtually no attempt to kill it. The virus is uniquely American. It has not spread to other countries.
We have only four percent of the world’s population, but we have more than 50 percent of civilian firearms in pockets, on shoulders, in closets, nightstands, and pickups—loaded and unlocked. We now have 450 million firearms possessed by both good guys and bad guys in the DSA. They meet each other 24/7.
I have a faint hope that a stray Texas bullet might change the minds of some Republicans who feel immortal. The player required surgeries and is listed as stable. The police have arrested men having a street battle 400 yards from the baseball diamond. That means the victim’s life was threatened by a bullet fired about a second before it hit him.
Close Guantanamo Torture Chambers Now!
Of the 780 detainees held at our “black” (torture) prison since it was established by George W. Bush and his attorneys in 2002, only 30 remain. Some were guilty and some were innocents sold by others to us for as much as $5,000 “hostage” money.
Remember Dubya’s attorney John Yoo who defined torture for him? “Torture didn’t happen until the detainee was near death?”
Eleven men probably are guilty as hell, but they were tortured under Yoo’s definition and cannot be convicted because they were tortured by our contracted “psychologists.” Sixteen have been approved for release-but we can’t get a country to accept them. One was released to Algeria two weeks ago. He spent 21 years in hellish confinement on a beautiful island—and never had a charge leveled at him.
It currently costs $13 million a man to keep them at Gitmo. We could confine them in an American high-tech prison for about $60,000 each. Send the bill to the Republican National Committee. For some idiotic reason, they don’t want to close a prison that brings us shame around the world.
Is a Million Bucks a Day “Too Much?”
No doubt: economic inequality is the biggest problem of the DSA. The Top One Percent own 90% of our wealth and assets.
When is enough “enough?” Is $1 million a day enough to live a decent life? Stephene Bancel, CEO of Moderna Pharmaceuticals, exercised some stock options in the company because the company’s board of directors decided he wasn’t paid “enough.” So Bancel cashed in stock worth $393 million in 2022. The board defends it with this statement: “The pay is appropriate in light of the increased scope of increasingly global responsibility for Moderna’s executives.”
Moderna made so much money developing vaccine and peddling it for COVID-19 it made billionaires of several board members and is accused by some of making “windfall” profits. In the first place, the company received $1.7 billion of taxpayer money from the National Institutes of Health to develop the vaccine. Bancel still owns about $4.5 billion in Moderna stock.
Moderna spends another $1 million a year to protect Bancel and family. Bancel says: “Moderna has provided my family with financial security the likes of which I never imagined.” Moderna also pays their board of directors $475,000 a year for a few meetings.
Meanwhile, we have 38 million of his countrypersons living in poverty, an estimated 10 million living in various kinds of homelessness, and 87 million families without health insurance or with poor insurance.
We also have compensation experts asking the big question: “How much is enough and how much is too much?” Only one senator, Bernie Sanders, has said it’s too much: “In the pharmaceutical industry today, we are looking at an unprecedented level of corporate greed, and that is certainly true with Moderna.”
Bernie compliments the company for developing vaccines, but he also says we need no billionaires today: “They can survive just fine on $999 million.” In his book It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism he proclaims billionaires should not exist because the hogs have pushed too many away from the trough.
Why Did Joan of Arc Wear Pants?
After reading millions of words and looking at thousands of pictures of Republican politicians at every level passing legislation trying to stick LBGTQ+ members back into Pandora’s evil closet, I wonder whether it’s just downright cruelty, ignorance, a religious disorder, or stupidity.
There’s an excellent chance the Roman Catholic Saint Joan of Arc was a transgender. Was she really Joe and Joan in real life? They might be an icon so familiar that their image is instantly recognizable, a short-haired person in shining armor, brandishing a sword and waving a religious flag.
Were they cross-dressing? Historians claim they wore a red dress, but they left town wearing tan breeches and shirt and hose of black.
Did they wear pants so they could ride astride instead of side-saddle? When Lady Godiva was naked and was riding down a busy street, she must have been riding side-saddle because a part of the crowd cheered: “Hurrah for our side!!”)
During Joan-Joe’s times at courts or at the heresy trial, they insisted on wearing breeches, pants, and shirts. Men often accused them of being in league with the Devil because Deuteronomy states: “a woman in men’s clothing is an abomination unto the Lord.” The prosecutors asked them to wear a dress during their trial for heresy, but she refused to change. When they were found guilty and sentenced to be burned at the stake, they insisted on wearing men’s pants and shirt.
The sword, banner, and armor of Joan-Joe of Arc is in a church at Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbos.
I suggest that Republican politicians begin their education about the LBGTQ+ community with this paragraph written by Jennifer Finney Boylan: “So what, then, is a biological male, or female? What determines this supposedly simple truth?
It’s about chromosomes, right? Well, not entirely. Because not every person with a Y chromosome is male, and not every person with a double X is female. The world is filled with other people with other combinations: XXY (or Klinefelter Syndrome), XXX (or Trisomy X), XXXY, and so on.
There’s even something called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, a condition that keeps the brains of people with Y from absorbing the information in that chromosome. Most of these people develop as female and may not even know about their condition until puberty—or even later.
To understand biological sex, look at the brain, not the body. What the research has shown is that the brains of trans people are unique: neither male or female, exactly, but something distinct.” Gee, ain’t life simple?
Charles Darwin Knew What We Now Know
He spent a long lifetime studying why Homo sapiens often turned into human saps because of his science of evolution.
A reader sent me a short paragraph that summarizes Darwin’s position on the Human Species: “At some stage, the Human Species will divide. Whilst most will continue to evolve, a minority of those lacking the intellectual capacity of thought will develop as a subspecies. Being easily led, they form into packs attempting to control the majority.
“They will deny biology, attempt to undo the centuries of human development by rewriting history, and gradually revert to their Primate origins. They will expect all to conform to their point of view without question.”
My reader friend labeled the quote: “Darwin explains MAGA (Make America Great Again).” It has evolved to become a political force while lacking thought.
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