Thursday, April 30, 2020


Though I could pretty much keep up with the historic progression of tribes becoming kingdoms that became nations, I never really understood the forces that drove the changes or what the consequences now might be.  I’ve never understood “work” or “money” or “politics.”  Now, thanks to all the tweeting and articles about such things, I begin to grasp this pattern of where we are that we call capitalism.  This is on a baby level and will be easy to ridicule.

Capital is money.  Money is substituting symbols for the reality of things.  Money can be coins or marks on paper, “bills” or “IOU’s” that originally signified the gold or silver in Fort Knox but is now dependent on the word of the issuing nation.  (Yikes!)  Politics is about the reputation and operation of those who manage money and those who regulate money and work.  Each nation decides the value of its own money, but there are negotiations among the nations as well.  If the nation fails, like the self-declared Confederacy, the money is worthless.  It was never backed by a hoard of gold or silver.  Its IOU’s went unpaid.  Its coins and bills are worthless.

The next level is money that is only bookkeeping.  This is what makes the current situation so dependent on bookkeeping and credit, loans and declared value.  The ultimate wealth is always land and whatever can be produced by the land (like food), or is made valuable by controlling access to territories people want to enter.  What is happening now is that components of nations, which are hidden and illegitimate, have discovered the possibilities of the “fungibility” of marks that are only symbolic records of entitlement.  These marks can be faked, hidden, represented as belonging to “people” who are fake, loaned, charged interest for loans, be advanced or increased or changed into something else.  They are not REAL.  

But they must be protected to some extent by nations.  The safest reality of this mythical value is in land, particularly land that is fertile, holds valuable deposits, or is a very favorable place.  Land in cities is valuable.  A racket has developed.  The oligarchs and plutocrats use their money to trick more money out of others.  Then, using bookkeeping and deceit, they “launder” it by converting it, much of it though land or property on land.  This means they can store wealth secretly.  Nations can seize money: “nationalize” it.  Declare it void.

The consequence is that national money is diverted, let’s say from Russia, through companies that pretend to do something valuable or who simply change records, is moved internationally and secretly to “shell companies” which are possible in part because of laws that let the the companies pretend they are people or groups of people by registering with a nation.  They have no address because they don’t really exist.  So the— let’s say Russian — money becomes property in England or one of the Americas or even China.  Property is real.  

But the ownership of property is controlled by nations, with paper records, like titles and deeds.  This means that the nations must be controlled by people who allow hiding money but it’s too direct to hide the money in their own countries, so it’s necessary to get other nations to cooperate, either naively or knowingly (perhaps with a share or kickback).  Even the recorded on paper value of property can be controlled by the nation to some extent.  Suppose it is decided to build a dam and flood the land?  Thus politics are necessary to discourage or encourage the use of land.

The second major insight I had comes from Rachel Maddow’s book called “Blowout”, which discusses the continuing dilemma of Russia.  They have enormous amounts of land, some of it valuable in terms of resources like oil.  But because their political attitude has been control, force if necessary, closing off exchanges with more progressive places, they are short of another kind of wealth, which is knowledge and particularly technological expertise.  They have a huge amount of oil but don’t have the know-how and skills to mine, refine and transport it.  By now, the rest of the world is turning away from oil, so their expertise is going to solar and wind power, etc.  Russia is still behind the curve.

The Chinese, in contrast, have understood that knowledge — so long as it is not humanities that encourage independence — is a kind of wealth and are doing their best to become knowers.  Education has become very valuable and those who provide it have become almost extortionate in making it available.  The value of education has been recorded as degrees and scores on tests or maybe prizes through organizations.  It is a little harder to buy knowledge with a shell corporation, but to some degree it's vulnerable to faking and politics.  This is revealed by results — when things go wrong and the reactor blows up or research viruses escape.  Or when chasing money means neglecting basic skills for everyone.

Both of these strategies — the control of land and the control of learning — are killers when the element of humanities is lost.  This is a third kind of wealth: that of credibility and honor.  When corruption and deceit creep into ownership bookkeeping or proven ability to produce value, both become deadly.  People fall out of windows.  People are poisoned.  People starve to death.  The economy fails.

If the measure of all things is what we call money, meaning that even human lives can be reduced to a number as in an insurance compensation actuarial table or the cost of medical care, and if we can evidently buy education, can we buy humanities?  Can we buy honor, reliability, and so on?  I say we cannot, but that lack of humanitarian skills will collapse both land and education.  Many stories describe how.

The back of this story is that honor and reliability can often lead to the kind of reputation that attracts wealth.  Of course, a person can be rich in character without either money or education.  No number describes it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020


  1. Humans are an emergent phenomenon arising from the planet through mutations and resulting evolution.
  2. All human development, individual or group, is an interaction with the environment.
  3. All is fluid process.  There is always an unknown.
  4. Humans manage themselves with their whole bodies inside their skins with brains as dashboards and networks of neurons and blood vessels, plus organs.  Sensory systems connect to the world outside the skin as well as monitoring what is inside the skin.
  5. Humans perceive the world according to what penetrates their skins: wavelengths of various kinds (sound, light), pressure, temperature and according to what the brain already knows.
  6. Memory is managed and recorded by the senses throughout the body.
  7. Attachment is virtual, created by the senses and also by the early creation of a virtual shared space between mother and child for play, speculation, possibility.  This may be the beginning of the feeling of the Holy.
  8. Humans have the capacity to know what another person is “feeling” inside and sharing it. This is supported by eyes and special cells in the prefrontal brain lobe.  It is more than sympathy, like feeling with the other (empathy).
  9. The earliest “map making” power of the brain is in at least one layer of the thin covering of the cerebrum as well as single cells that can detect the creature’s head v. tail, drop-offs, walls, and maybe the magnetic directions. This continues inside with a map of the body, proportioned to the density of nerves so that hands and faces are out-of-proportion big.  This “map” is related to memory, so that people remember where they are at significant moments.  It is so powerful that it can map parts of the body that are missing.
  10. The importance of understanding the origin of relationships among people (attachment, empathy) is that this is the power of being human, to compose cooperative groups and efforts so clever they took us to the moon.  But this research may also explain why we hate and fear people who are “different.”
  11. What emerges to my mind after exploring this far is that an epiphany, hierophany, vision or whatever it is, comes from an alliance or interaction between a person and the world.  This used to be my definition of art!  But it is not voluntary because not all of it depends upon the receiver.  Openness to the world can make "lightning striking ground" both more likely and more positive, but it is more like the land that is struck than the striking fire.  Sadly, I believe not everyone is able to receive this dimension of life.  But it's more like a gift than a privilege or entitlement.
  12. This level of understanding of humans is deeper than any "system" or institution or theology or tradition or object.  It precedes and underlies all other "religions" and does not oppose them to each other -- rather it includes them all as well as other humanities not identified as "religious."



4-29- 20 INDEX

4-9-20   SECTION 1: “PATTERNED TUMULT” (evolution)
    PARTS:  Notes on Porges
3-1-20       MAPS AND IMAGES
2-29-20   EPIPHANY
2-18-20     AN IDEA STREAM (Damasio)
2-13-20     OH, BOOKS!  AND RELIGION!!
2-2-20     EYES TO SEE
1-29-20    IDENTITY
1-10-20    “I FEEL YOU”
1-8-20     A WAY TO FEEL SAFE  (Porges)
1-5-20     TUMULT

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


Renewed acknowledgement of the historic body of thought that included emotion and feeling revealed newly available materials.  People like Suzanne Langer were read and respected again.  Legitimizing non-logical thought also offered access to therapy-based psychologies, badly in need of reflection and release from Procrustean cultures.  (Why did Freud never realize he was in a Viennese torture chamber? Maybe he did, but what else did he know?)

Another source was theatre, my original education as an undergrad.  In particular, the acting "Method" provided real experience with using memory to manage one's consciousness and provide an ability to split into a "character" while staying active as an observer of theatre convention and plot.

The most surprising influence became available as the stigma was withdrawn from sexual matters and laboratory research like that of Masters and Johnson was joined by practical strategies from elite sexworkers.  Both fields explore the art of arousal, both negative and positive, using memory and story to reach into the core of people’s drives and assumptions.  Each has a “method” that joins experience with real physiology.

Today comes neuroresearch into the brain, the spine, and the systems of both voluntary and autonomic neurons, which is particularly fruitful with the addition of the polyvalent nerve of the autonomous system, neither sympathetic nor parasympathetic but directly affecting and recording emotion through the “frame of expression,” which is face (especially skin), neck, lungs and heart.  The immediacy and responsiveness of this connection intrigues both those engaged in relationship  and those seeking information or control, like "lie-detecting".  Blood flow and the gut are also demonstratively affected by thought.

All the arts — words, images, movement, music — are ways of reaching into people and arousing or calming them.  Therefore, now that the technology exists, a manuscript may include images, sound and video. It is no longer limited to what can be bound as pages within a cover.

The liturgies of churches -- and the ceremonies that develop according to the seasons to mark time -- both use these arts plus architecture and, in the instance of Solstices or Equinoxes, the planet and solar system itself.  Perhaps some of these reach more deeply into us that anything we could devise, but they are affected by location on the planet.  The alternation of night and day is a more dependable source of structure, though it is arithmetically elusive, always needing a bit of adjustment.

I admit that I took the status of an ordained clergy person to be permission to look into all human activities and, given our realization of the importance of our environment, to also be constantly aware of ecosystems and history.  I brushed aside the idea that there was something forbidden or impossible to understand.  This meant leaving the safety of what is expected and endangering service to congregations, particularly those with identities depending on familiarity.  So I left. 

Something is forming that is not religion as we know it.  This body of thought should not create a new profession nor a new institution, but rather ought to renew existing people in what they are doing.  It is part of the rebuilding of psych fields — even psychiatry since it includes the body — as well as arts and humanities of all kinds.  

An important dimension, something that many people claim is God, is that of “love.”  I find that too cultural, justifying patterns that can be destructive or confining, so I prefer the term “attachment” which is mammalian and physiological.   Developed by sensory experience and expectations based on memory, it is highly emotional and a strong motive to stay in contact.  Sainthood and faithfulness both may be expressions of attachment.  But there are trivial versions as well, like accustomed music or habitual icons or practices.

Our own Procrustean tendency is to conflate attachment with “sex” and luxury, which are ways to convert Holiness or Sacredness into institutional rules.  Fertility also comes into it, as institutions and the whole species are invested in making sure there are people who belong so as to sustain the coalition.  The trouble is that mutation and evolution cause generational drift so even the most devoted will be separated from their attachment as the object changes.  This is painful in a real way.

If a person, in whatever role, authorized or not, wishes to design a deep experience that will use these theories, he or she must realize that the results might not be what is expected and must be careful of the “celebrants” motives, both leader and participant.  It’s only control (and only effective) if based on a fairly deep understanding of the person or persons involved, particularly if trauma or rage or sorrow are involved.

This method can work on nonhuman mammals to some extent, but one must remember that all humans are mammals.  That level we can call epiphany can be reached by designed experiences, on purpose or not, particularly in situations referencing violence, extreme sex, or hidden deprivation.  Too many people are surprised when a provoked domestic animal hits the level of primal motivation and becomes destructive.  Humans can also become self-destructive.

But the same dynamics create joy, fulfillment, and the kind of attachments that create and sustain contentment in a culture.

Monday, April 27, 2020


(b. Portland, OR, 1939)
PO Box 295
Valier, MT  59486
(406) 279-3429


Vernon Grade School (1945 - 1953)
Jefferson High School (1953 - 1957)
Northwestern University  (1957 - 1961)

Teaching in Browning, MT  (1961 - 1965)
Married to Bob Scriver (1966 - 1970)
Teaching in Browning, MT  (1970 - 1973)
Multnomah County Animal Control (1973 - 1978)

Meadville/Lombard Theological School (1978 -1984)
U of Chicago Divinity School (1978 - 1980)
Ordained in Helena, MT (1982)

Unitarian Universalist Montana Ministry (1982 - 1985)
Circuit riding to Helena, Missoula, Bozeman, and    Great Falls.
Northshore UU Congregation, Kirkland, WA  (1985-86)
  A formal interim ministry
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Unitarian Congregation (1986 -1988)

Teaching in Browning, MT (1988-89)
Teaching in Heart Butte, MT (1991 - 1992)
Clerical Specialist at the City of Portland (1992 - 1999)

Moved to Valier, Montana. (1999- present)


Column in the “Glacier Reporter” (Browning, Mt)
The Merry Scribbler”
Weekly Portland, OR theatre reviews in "The Portland Scribe”.

Private subscribers:
“Scriver Seminary Saga”  (1978 - 1982)
“How Beautiful Upon the Mountain” (1982 - 85)
“Sarvisberry Soup”  (1986 - 1988)

By publishers:
Sweetgrass and Cottonwood Smoke” (1984)
Moosemilk Press (Edmonton UU Church)
“Bronze Inside and Out” (2007)
University of Calgary Press

Self-published through
“Willow Sticks”  (Short stories)
“Out There”  (Short Stories)
"Reservation Blackfeet"
"Dog Catching in America"
"Blackfeet Rez Guide"
"Blackfeet Paper Trails"
"Strachans on the Prairie"
"The Nasdijj Trilogy"
"From Fog to Fire Whirl: Valier Seasons"
"Sex and All That"
Movie reviews

Magazine articles
American Artist
Christian Science Monitor
The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling


Fiction Short Stories are archived at:

All other blogs are at .  Put the subject first, then dot, then  These blogs should show up on Search engines.

“Mary Strachan Scriver”

“Prairie Mary”
“Patterning Tumult”
 “Long Form Prairie Mary”
“The Bone Chalice”

“Alvina Krause”
“Eagles Mere”
“The Silver Comb”

“Early Browning News”
“Heartbreak Butte” (A book as a blog.)
“Blackfeet Reservation”
“Robert Macfie Scriver and Art”
“Water Over the Dam”
“Swan River, Manitoba”


Sunday, April 26, 2020


Bob’s first wife told this story.  We were sitting in her daughter’s kitchen (Bob was the father) waiting for news on the daughter’s recent surgery for colon cancer.  We were eating peaches the daughter had canned when she was well.  Her four children had been shooed away.  We were being very civilized.

The first wife told about working as a nursing assistant in a nursing home for old people.  She had been standing by the bed of a very old comatose woman who was kept alive by a respirator.  Her supervisor was standing with her.  She mused to the supervisor, “It seems almost like a shame to keep her alive. We should let her go.”

“Fine,” said the supervisor.  “You can pull the plug right now.”

“But I don’t have authority. I just keep her clean and make her bed.  I can’t kill people.”

The supervisor made her do it anyway.  She had thought it wouldn’t have made any difference, but once the machine quit, the woman still moved a little. Her mind was gone but her body wanted to keep living.  Then it stopped and the supervisor walked away.

The first wife said, “I will never do such a thing again.”  Soon she left for different job.  This was years ago, in the Sixties, and by now all Bob’s wives are dead except me. His first wife is dead (the cancer was genetic) and buried with her daughter, whose surgery didn't work.  Wives two and four (who became the widow) were cremated and cast into the Pacific Ocean.  One of the four grandchildren is dead. The others have children who are just beginning to marry.  None of them have died.

This pandemic makes us all wonder about the value of human life.  Some cling to it, others try to escape.  All my parents, aunts and uncles, and both my brothers are dead.  What does that mean about my still being alive?  Both brothers said they hated me (which is not the same as really hating me) which — I think — meant that that they expected me to be like my mother and give them whatever they wanted. They never quite understood the reality of me.  When my mother died, they thought I would want all her things and were surprised that I had my own bed, clock, chair of my own. I had left in 1961 and it was now 1999.

When I did my hospital chaplaincy (1980) it was through Clinical Pastoral Education which includes a lot of reflection about what happens, but mostly raises more questions.  When I was serving congregations, some people would hide the fact that they were dying, as though it were shameful or illegal.  

My father’s cousin, an old man, came with his Shoshone companion to see the photos my father took long, long ago on the South Dakota prairie.  He INSISTED. The photo he wanted most was the house his grandfather designed and built, totally impractically, with big windows in the mansard roof that made the house impossible to heat or keep out wind.  He didn’t want to leave until he found that photo, which we did but it took a couple of days. He didn’t tell me he was dying of cancer or that he met his companion at the hospital where she was a nursing assistant.  In his remaining time he created a master genealogy compendium and sent copies.

What is a human life worth?  This old man had no children, had once been married for a few years, both circumstances like my own. He did not have a college degree.  His career was accounting for resource extraction businesses, like uranium, but he wasn’t rich.  My set of careers had included two college diplomas, undergrad and graduate, but I had less money than he did.  We were both a bit defiant, a bit over-inclined to remember and explain our young years of adventure.  In WWII he had been stationed in New Guinea as an airplane mechanic.  

But he wanted to talk about his boyhood in South Dakota. He was very angry at his father and worshipped his mother as a saint.  Strangely, people who are dying often seem to think about their parents’ lives more than their own.  So one meaning of individual life is that it links the generations, who in retrospect become an array of people with various lives. 

I’m reading “Tightrope” by Kristof and Wohan, which is anchored in the little town of Yamhill, Oregon.  It ignores the Portland State University lives of Kristof’s parents, who both taught there.  It’s remarkable that they lived on the little farm in Yamhill, did not separate their son from the locals, and that he stayed friends with those less achieving people even when their world collapsed around them and they died young — alcoholic, obese, addicted, but still at core the same as when they were kids.  What does it mean to be alive if so much time, effort and ruinous debt goes into snuffing out consciousness with drugs and alcohol?  There were suicides, both fast and slow.  They were often in pain.  But many others from Yamhill did fine.

Besides the stories, the book is full of statistics in hopes that they explain or at least limit the causes of early death. They recommend college degrees, good health practices, tight families that help each other, and to some extent pure luck. Kristof’s parents became professors at PSU, which had its roots in the Vanport flood where it had been a tiny education program until it moved to the city and then grew quickly in response to the GI Bill.  

My mother got her teaching degree there while I was in high school so she could put me through college.  She may have been taught by Kristof’s parents.  Their ideas seem more like Reed than PSU but we were all inclined towards progressivism then, conscious of international war and the lives lost, confident in the future.

In actuarial terms, when insurance companies pay for deaths, they figure out how much one’s life is worth in terms of earning money.  You’re worth more if you have a college degree, regardless of the quality of your standards or how many people love you.  They have charts. This is a product of a culture that decided, almost consciously, that  arithmetic was the way to evade the differences between cultures and families by reducing them all into numbers, the way money defines classes and where you live and what you do for fun.

When Bob’s first wife, who had no college, pulled the plug on the machine that kept that old lady alive, she was diminishing the profits of that nursing home.  When that old lady’s husband had died in WWII, he was preserving the quality of life for Americans, or so they both believed.  We come back to Kenner’s question:  “What does it mean?”  Meaning, "life" as the absence of death.

Saturday, April 25, 2020


First attempt at beginning a secondary constitution in case of a “United States of the Prairie.”

  1. Nothing in this discussion should contradict the Constitution of the United States.
  2. This alliance is defined in several dimensions but is based on its ecosystems, including river drainage and economics.  Therefore it begins east of the Rocky Mountains, extends north to include Canada and south according to rain patterns.  The edge to the east shall extend to the alliance of states considered the Midwest. Probably the Mississippi River is a good marker.
  3. The constitution shall include economic desiderata like conservation of resources, exclusion of foreign corporations, prohibition of monopolies, and design of transportation and distribution.
  4. Persons who may vote as stakeholders include those in primary residence, while allowing travel for climate amelioration.
  5. Cities within this alliance may be exempted in some ways, but must remain in relationship with the “service areas” and economic feeders by providing services.  Tax burdens must be monitored and proportional to the contributions between city and rural.
  6. Special thought and provision must accommodate historical “reservations” throughout the area.  Goals include economic support and culture protection.
  7. Immigration from other alliances of states and even entry from them, even without the purpose of staying, should be registered, perceived, and marked.  
ALLIANCES are forming across the continent.  Do they have recorded purposes or agreements that could be borrowed?  How do we find them?

All ideas welcome.  I'm spitballing, brain-storming, getting ready for the world after the pandemic.


Ken definition is - the range of perception, understanding, or knowledge. Other 16th-century writers used ken to mean "range of vision" ("Out of ken we were ere the Countesse came from the feast." — Thomas Nashe) or "sight" ("'Tis double death to drown in ken of shore." — Shakespeare).”  Merriam Webster

Ken definition, knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: an idea beyond one's ken.”

“Acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition:
Knowledge of many things.
familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning:
A knowledge of accounting was necessary for the job.
acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report:
A knowledge of human nature.
the fact or state of knowing; the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension.
awareness, as of a fact or circumstance:
He had knowledge of her good fortune.

Creating, involving, using, or disseminating special knowledge or,

“Knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception:
An idea beyond one's ken.  Range of sight or vision.

verb (used with object), kenned or kent, ken·ning.
Chiefly Scot.   To know, have knowledge of or about, or be acquainted with (a person or thing)   
To understand or perceive (an idea or situation).
Scots Law. To acknowledge as heir; recognize by a judicial act.
Archaic. to see; descry; recognize.

verb (used without object), kenned or kent, ken·ning.
British Dialect.   To have knowledge of something. To understand.“

Kenner is the name of one of my classmates at Meadville/Lombard Seminary where our program doubled with the University of Chicago Div School Master’s Degree.   He always asked why, always wanted to know an idea beyond one’s ken. He did not become a minister but instead sold wine to connoisseurs.


Insanity is a typical “learned” (fancy) Latinate word that only means Not-Sane, but doesn’t define SANE. Dementia means “no-mental”— gone, holes, physical, organic.

Sane mostly means conventional.  It means reasonable, but what is “reasonable” varies from one place and time to another.  It may mean that what is done doesn’t hurt others.  It may mean conformity in clothing, like keeping it on.  Stigmatized people can be considered sub-normal, marginally crazy, okay to punish or control.  Insanity due to unconventionality is dangerous because it can be used to support greed, exclusion, incarceration or even execution.

Insanity is related to psychological and we are in a state of major change when it comes to psychology. On the one hand is the idea that it’s the result of childhood, simply a misunderstanding of life. On the other is the notion that it is willful, a refusal to admit that you’re a (choose one) narcissist, neurotic, whatever.  You’ve just got it all wrong.

The deepest kind of insanity is dementia based on the limitations of the human body as an instrument, when it simply cannot distinguish between the concrete reality and some imaginary unreality — or can’t perceive, can’t feel, can’t organize because of lesions, infections, or something else that prevents the body, particularly the brain, from working.  One might call it a hardware problem.

Or it can be a thinking or emotional disorder, a software problem.  This brings child raising into the picture as creating bad software through trauma and neglect, CREATING people who have “bad apps.”  And supporting a culture that defines “fittingness” as obedience, nonthinking, evasion and elimination.  But in different times supporting the people who can go wild with hard rock music or a battle ax.  As long as everyone is doing it. Killing people all on one’s own for one’s own reasons is definitely psychotic.  Unless the culture admires vengeance. 

It’s a problem to deal with insanity when cultures are different.  The story of the Blackfeet man who was considered insane because he couldn’t speak English and the Americans couldn’t recognize Blackfeet so thought it was nonsense, is not just an historical problem.  Here’s the idea I’m sneaking up on: Trump (we have been afraid to say) was raised in the context of mafia and that’s the only culture he knows.  The rules there are absolute loyalty to the Capo, profit even if force is necessary, total secrecy, and the legitimacy of outwitting and victimizing the mainstream which is Other.  This is how one fits among the Other in order to survive. 

We know this code because our story writers are fascinated by this subculture, which seems to endorse heroic exceptionalism, and yet we rarely see it as a separate culture unto itself, always making it into a romantic sub-culture the same way we do with indigenous people who are more obviously from a different culture, or immigrants.  The mainstream wants to define mafia as evil, insane, and to be eliminated.  Or so we say.  But the Tweeters are always saying to Trump indignantly, “Don’t you realize that this is not right?”  To him these protestations are insane.  What are they talking about?

I slowly realize there is a layer of semi-criminality that exists just under the mainstream and often enables it with sex, drugs, bogus paperwork, inside information, bribing, theft, and so on — not organized but in a time of poverty especially it helps people survive.  The mainstream rules are sometimes unjust. The shadow is a necessary part of governance.  

An aspect of this is creating rules that are strict, but selectively not enforcing them.  It came clear to me when working in the nuisance department of Portland that some offenses are best left alone, either because of injustice or danger or expense.  This becomes a new source of privilege, but it also forces the constant consideration of consequences and challenges our sanity.  Isn’t it nuts to have a certain kind of grass growing at a certain height in front of every house on the street when there's a water shortage?

A brain, which is the dashboard of our sanity, builds itself from experience with what is around it.  What has always been the environment of Trump is mafia members. Ethics is what exists in that context.  If you presented him with a betrayal of Putin he had committed, he would be aghast, shamed.

It seems clear that the Senate, particularly Republicans, have created a culture of their own that uses that “inside/outside” distinction.  Inside people can do anything to outsiders so long as it benefits the insiders — on their inside terms.  From the outside of them excessive wealth or insulation from real people are not good and do not benefit anyone, even the ones with the power to control business and crime through loopholes and cancelling guidelines, underfunding any oversight ability and firing anyone who balks. It’s nuts.  Once they get control, their separateness feels to them as legitimizing. They want to be exceptions, but still enjoy belonging to the American people who know and protect each other.  An impossible idea.

Because even though they are able to openly pass legislation that benefits themselves, there are enough mainstream voters that they must skirt or lose votes — obvious crime like killing (even on 5th Avenue unless it’s "pencil death" by passing a law or withholding funds), violence, extortion and kidnapping. Even with mutual protection, they often seem terrified of something.  Guesses about what that is range from threats of murder to revelations about sexuality.  Openly, the biggest threat is losing the next election, which motivates the rest.

This also applies to the supposedly guardian classes: CIA, FBI, Five Eyes, and so on.  It’s not just American, it is a phenomenon of human institutions, producing paranoia which is a described psychopathy.  They enforce the law and protect against enemies except when they break the law to protect against enemies, using their own definition of enemies.  Justice and the law never quite match, which means individuals are challenged to achieve some kind of reconciliation, justification.  Of course, as individuals they are human and must somehow reconcile their own emotions and standards.  Perversions of something like Christianity are very useful for this.  Religion is a King’s X.  Being martyred is being admired.

I watch Netflix murder mysteries, often with subtitles.  The same question over and over:  how does one stay sane in an insane world ?  WHY?

Friday, April 24, 2020


Insanity at the white house.  Lots of it.  I’ll make a list.
  1. Need help now? Call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 or visit
Poison control centers offer free, confidential, expert medical advice 24/7 through the Poison Help Line,1-800-222-1222, and our new online, interactive tool, .

Bleach and other household chemicals are sometimes ingested by people trying to commit suicide or are drunk by toddlers who found them under the sink.  Some are scented to be attractive.  Bleach destroys blood.  IT'S POISON.

2.  Some cleaning agents have a very high proportion of alcohol — not grain alcohol as in hard drinks, but isopropyl alcohol.  Hand sanitizer uses it.  When people are in the advanced stages of addiction to alcohol, they are almost unable to keep from drinking things like aftershave or worse. Absorbine Jr. or Sterno (filter through a nylon stocking) or Lysol.  

When I was in Saskatchewan and wanted Lysol to scrub a bathroom, I had to get a clerk to fetch it for me.  They didn’t keep it on the shelves because, they said, “Indians steal it to drink all the time.”  I don’t know whether that is true, either the stealing or the drinking. It could but it's not race-related.

3.  “Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that makes black-light posters glow, and is responsible for summer tans — and sunburns. However, too much exposure to UV radiation is damaging to living tissue. “  Trump imitates the results of a sun-tan booth with cosmetics, even leaving white around his eyes as though he’d been wearing sunglasses. He associates this with luxury and attractiveness and somehow knows that the tanning is from ultraviolet light which is part of sunshine, so he gets confused.

At the Valier altitude (over 3,000 feet), one of the the aspects of plants that good gardeners must consider is their resistance to ultraviolet light. People who work with viruses in labs must remember to shut off the disinfecting UV light or all their working samples will be killed. 

4.  What will kill a virus on a surface is simple soap and water.  It’s outside “skin” is fatty and will break apart if scrubbed a bit with soap.  It is not necessary to eat soap.  A virus outside a body can’t last long because it is only instructions that activate a cell to do its billing.  It's gotta have a cell.  

5.  We have come to see bodies as machine-like because we cut each other open, insert bits of plastic or metal into hearts and joints, and rearrange faces.  The near-religious respect for the complexity and vulnerability of a living body has been badly eroded.  We take pills and potions all the time, not necessarily derived from other living things like coffee or chocolate from plants, but molecules that were built in a lab and never existed before.  We are working deep in cells with nearly undetectable functions.

5.  Drug use, openly depicted in stories, has made syringes seem almost like household items and too many people know about skin popping, muscle injection and mainlining.  A relative of mine who enjoys phlebotomy worked with a “doc” who withdrew blood, bubbled it with ozone, and then replaced it.  The law stepped in, though they had been working in “confidential” clubs as privileged secrets, something like places that do “high” coffee enemas.  Colonics.

Trump knows a LOT about drugs. He also knows that celebrities play with anything that’s meant to keep them young and beautiful, though that part doesn’t seem to work with him. The speculation is that he’s a hard core meth addict, which is more dangerous because it supports bad behavior and lousy decisions.

People go into medicine for idealistic wishes to help people, or from fascination with the intricacy of the practice, but also for bad reasons.  One of the worst is greed, but I also run into control freaks, little dictators of the exam room.  Often semi-qualified women, like “nurse practitioners.”  They are not screened to keep out co-dependent enablers.

6.  The authority for medical matters is split between academia and formally qualified doctors, but both have been eroded by pharma corporations who publicly claim great benefits but privately consider the only real benefit to be profit.  Ironically, some people may be less impressed by Harvard Toxicology, whom they suspect of selling out and simply being another part of “suits” and the 1%, deliberately deceiving the yokels and the innocents.

Harvard Toxicology

 Please don’t inject bleach or drink disinfectant. Bleach injections cause hemolysis (where your red blood cells that carry OXYGEN break apart) and cause liver damage, and many disinfectants can cause dangerous burns or bleeding in your stomach. This tweet IS medical advice.

This course is designed to update clinicians on the care of the intoxicated, overdose, exposure or substance abuse patient. There are approximately 1 million ED visits annually for drug poisoning while most acute care hospitals do not have a Medical Toxicologist on staff to guide care, often relying on phone consultation from a local Poison Control Center.”

A thin line persists between medicine and poison.  Effects are not the same under different circumstances or with different genomes/epigenomes/synergistic substances. Simply following a best practices list from the insurance company is not enough. 

7.  A stubborn belief in “snake oil” persists among the kind of people who think that somewhere is an exotic substance or maybe an unsuspected cure hiding in plain sight that they can find and use, possibly at a very high price. While mocking peasant Chinese who take bear bile or pangolin scales, they go to Mexico for unproven cancer cures.  They believe in miracles because they can’t think in a trained logical way.  Our advertising does all it can to encourage this superstitious exceptionalism.