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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Rats/Filth/Trash In Our Cities

March 22nd, 2019

Freedom Outpost

Rats, Public Defecation & Open Drug Use: Our Major Western Cities Are Becoming Uninhabitable Hellholes

Michael SnyderFebruary 13, 2019

Almost everyone that goes out to visit one of our major cities on the west coast has a similar reaction.  Those that must live among the escalating decay are often numb to it, but most of those that are just in town for a visit are absolutely shocked by all of the trash, human defecation, crime and public drug use that they encounter.  Once upon a time, our beautiful western cities were the envy of the rest of the world, but now they serve as shining examples of America’s accelerating decline.  The worst parts of our major western cities literally look like post-apocalyptic wastelands, and the hordes of zombified homeless people that live in those areas are too drugged-out to care.  The ironic thing is that these cities are not poor.  In fact, San Francisco and Seattle are among the wealthiest cities in the entire nation.  So if things are falling apart this dramatically now, how bad will things get when economic conditions really start to deteriorate?

Let’s start our discussion by looking at the rat epidemic in Los Angeles.  Thanks to extremely poor public sanitation, rats are breeding like mad, and at this point, they have even conquered Los Angeles City Hall

Officials at Los Angeles’ City Hall are considering ripping all of the building’s carpets up, as rats and fleas are said to be running riot in its halls.

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A motion was filed by Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday to enact the much needed makeover amid a typhus outbreak in the downtown area.

Wesson said a city employee had contracted the deadly bacterial disease at work, and now he’s urging officials to investigate the ‘scope’ of the long-running pest problem at the council building.

People from all over the world are drawn to Los Angeles because of what they have seen on television, but it is truly a filthy, filthy place.  The number of homeless has been rising about 20 percent a year, public drug use is seemingly everywhere, and there are mountains of trash all over the place.  Needless to say, rats thrive in such an environment, and the epic battle that one L.A. journalist is having with rats was recently featured in the L.A. Times

Eastside, Westside, north and south, they’re everywhere. If you’re a rat, the California housing crisis has not hit you yet and it never will.

At our house, it sounded like the rats were having relay races in the ceiling, and they don’t wear sneakers. Your eyes blink and your leg twitches as you drift off to sleep knowing that if the plague comes back, you are living at ground zero.

In our garden, they devoured entire heads of lettuce. They destroyed my squash just before it was ripe and ready to eat. They stole my tomatoes, cilantro and Anaheim chili peppers. Were they bottling their own salsa?

But let’s not be too hard on Los Angeles, because the same things that are going on there are happening in major cities all over the western portion of the country.

For example, a massive rat infestation recently forced authorities to close a shockingly filthy homeless encampment under a bridge in Salem, Oregon

Amid the trash, human despair and anguish, one weeping woman prepared to leave the most recent place she knows as home without any real inkling of where she’ll go next.

Terry Balow, an outreach worker with the Salvation Army, has been here for the darker moments of living life under a bridge — anger, mental illness, drug use and human frustration boiling over at times everywhere one looks.

Yet it was a rat infestation and concern about human health that prompted the city of Salem to move the campers out.

“It just grew and grew and got worse,” Balow said. “It’s badder than people can imagine.”

Yes, there have always been homeless encampments in this country, but in modern times we have never faced anything on the scale that we are facing now.

More than half a million Americans are homeless right now, and that number continues to grow.  And as it grows, communities will increasingly be forced to make some tough decisions.

I am quite eager to talk about San Francisco, but before we get to the City by the Bay, let’s take note of something that just happened in Denver.

If you are into public defecation, you will be very happy to learn that Denver just made it legal

First, the obvious: The Denver City Council has voted unanimously to decriminalize a number of offenses, including defecating in public. Also, urinating in public. Camping on public or private land without permission. Panhandling. And lying across public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks.

Democrat Mayor Michael Hancock and city officials explained the new ordinances are designed to protect immigrants — legal and the other kind — from “unintended consequences.” These consequences were fines and longer jail terms, as has been customary in most places for violating the behavioral norms of civilized American society.

If only America’s founders could see us now.

They would be so proud.

Speaking of public defecation, San Francisco has become world famous for the piles of human poop that constantly litter their streets.  During one seven day stretch last summer, a total of 16,000 official complaints were submitted to the city about human feces.

Blessed with such beautiful natural surroundings and so much wealth, San Francisco should be a great place to visit, but that definitely is not the case.

When reporter John Stossel recently visited San Francisco, he was stunned by what he found

San Francisco is a pretty good place to “hang out with a sign.” People are rarely arrested for vagrancy, aggressive panhandling or going to the bathroom in front of people’s homes. In 2015, there were 60,491 complaints to police, but only 125 people were arrested.

Public drug use is generally ignored. One woman told us, “It’s nasty seeing people shoot up — right in front of you. Police don’t do anything about it! They’ll get somebody for drinking a beer but walk right past people using needles.”

In San Francisco, they actually give out free syringes to drug addicts, and it is being reported that they handed out a total of 5.8 million free syringes in 2018.

That is a lot of syringes.

They also try to get the syringes back in order to prevent the spread of disease, but that hasn’t been too successful

There’s just one problem – well, more than one – despite spending an extra $1.8 million last year in an effort to retrieve needles, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the department handed out about 2 million more syringes than it got back… many of which are now washing around the streets of one of the richest cities in America (along with the feces of their users).

And with so much public drug use going on, it should be no surprise that crime is completely and totally out of control.  Here is more from John Stossel

Each day in San Francisco, an average of 85 cars are broken into.

“Inside Edition” ran a test to see how long stereo equipment would last in a parked car. Their test car was quickly broken into. Then the camera crew discovered that their own car had been busted into as well.

It has been said that “as goes California, so goes the country”, and if this is where the rest of the nation is headed then we are in serious trouble.

When Bill Blain recently visited San Francisco, he was so horrified by what he encountered that he felt he must write about it

I hope my American hosts will forgive me for raising this, but the squalor we saw in The City was frightful. San Francisco has always been one of favourite US cities, but the degree of homelessness, mental illness and drug abuse we saw on this trip was truly shocking. Walking round SF on a Sunday Morning and we saw sights we couldn’t believe. This must be one of the richest cities in the world – home to 4 of the 10 richest people on the planet according to Wiki. I asked friends about it, and they shrugged it off.. “The City has always attracted the homeless because of the mild weather,”.. “It’s a drug thing”.. “its too difficult”… “you get used to it..”

Well, I didn’t.

I found it quite shocking the number of folk sleeping rough on the sidewalks, the smell of weed and drug impedimenta everywhere, the filth, mental illness and degradation on view just a few meters from the financial centre driving Silicon Valley. It’s a city where the destitute seem to have become invisible to the Uber hailing elites. We found ourselves hopping on one of the beautiful F-Route Trolley Buses to find nearly every seat occupied by someone lugging around their worldly possessions around in a plastic bag. It was desperately sad.

San Francisco has a new mayor, and they are going to spend millions upon millions of dollars to try to clean up the streets.

But it won’t be easy to turn things around, because more drug users and homeless people are moving into the city every single day

And San Francisco is generous. It offers street people food stamps, free shelter, train tickets and $70 a month in cash.

“They’re always offering resources,” one man dressed as Santa told us. “San Francisco’s just a good place to hang out.”

So, every week, new people arrive.

We like to think that we are setting a positive example to the rest of the world, but the truth is that they are laughing at us.

America is in an advanced state of decay, and it is getting worse with each passing year.

If we keep doing the same things we will keep getting the same results, and right now there are no signs that the overall direction of this nation will change any time soon.

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

 

 

e.e.cummings/American Poet

March 22nd, 2019

The poet E.E. Cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings), was born in Cambridg, Massachusetts in October 14,1894. He spent most of his life unhappy and irritable in New York, struggling to pay the bills, ostracized by other writers for his unpopular political views, yet he wrote many poems in a naïve style about the beauty of nature and love.

He had published several books of poetry, including Tulips and Chimneys (1923), but was still relatively unknown. He came to wider public attention by giving a series of lectures at Harvard University. Most lecturers spoke from behind a lectern, but he sat on the stage, read his poetry aloud, and talked about what it meant to him. The faculty members were embarrassed by his earnestness, but the undergraduates adored him and came to his lectures in droves. By the end of the 1950s, he had become the most popular poet in America. He loved performing, and loved the applause, and the last few years of his life were the happiest. He died on September 3, 1962.

In the first edition of his Collected Poems, he wrote in the preface, “The poems to come are for you and for me and are not for mostpeople. it’s no use trying to pretend that mostpeople and ourselves are alike. You and I are human beings; most people are snobs.”

 

Spinoza/Philosopher/Theologian

February 19th, 2019

Benedict Spinoza was born on November 24, 1632 in Amsterdam. He was a philosopher, the descendent of Portuguese Jews who immigrated to the Netherlands seeking religious tolerance. Young Spinoza studied Hebrew, the Old Testament, the Talmud, and Cabalaist traditions of mysticism and miracle. Fluent in five languages, Spinoza wrote in Latin, which he learned from Christian teachers who introduced the young scholar to mathematics and philosophy.

By age 24, Spinoza had developed his own ideas. He asserted that everything in the universe was made from the same divine substance, possessing infinite characteristics. He defined God and the laws of nature as one and the same, a part of this infinite substance. All of this was too far-flung from the dominant vision of an almighty, singular godhead for Spinoza’s religious contemporaries to tolerate, and Spinoza was excommunicated.

This did not deter him from his intellectual pursuits. He said, “Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand. He left Amsterdam and supported himself grinding lenses while writing books of philosophy. He lived in solitude and studied the work of Bacon, Boyle, Descartes, and Huygens. Spinoza published three books while he was alive, though more of his writings were published later by friends. The only book that named him as an author was Principles of the Philosophy of René Descartes (1663). He withheld much of his work because he feared retribution from a group of theologians who had publicly accused him of atheism.

For more than a century after his death, Spinoza’s work was widely considered heretical and atheistic. But toward the end of the 18th century, his ideas underwent a revival. Thinkers called him holy and a man intoxicated with the divine. He influenced philosophers such as Goethe, Herder, Lessing, and Novalis. According to the philosopher Hegel, “to be a philosopher, one must first become a Spinozist.”

Spinoza said, “The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”

And, If you want the future to be different from the present, study the past.”

 

C.S.Lewis/Great Anglo-Irish Writer

February 19th, 2019

C.S. Lewis was born on November 29,1898 in Belfast, Ireland. He was a great novelist and Christian apologist. His full name was Clive Staples Lewis. He grew up in a big house out in the country. He said: “I am the product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books.” He was particularly fascinated by Norse myths and old Scandinavian epics.

Lewis became an atheist after his mother died, and his atheism deepened after he fought on the front lines in France during WWI. He studied at Oxford University, and then became a professor there. After he had been teaching for about a year, he went to an Oxford faculty meeting and met a young professor of Anglo-Saxon named J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis described Tolkien in his diary: “He is a smooth, pale, fluent little chap […] thinks all literature is written for the amusement of men between 30 and 40 […] No harm in him: only needs a smack or two.” Despite his initial misgivings, Lewis and Tolkien became good friends when Lewis joined Tolkien’s newly formed Icelandic Society. Lewis wrote to his best friend from childhood: “You will be able to imagine what a delight this is to me, and how, even in turning over the pages of my Icelandic Dictionary, the mere name of a god or giant catching my eye will sometimes throw me back 15 years into a wild dream of northern skies and Valkyrie music.”

In 1929, Lewis converted from atheism to theism (but still not to Christianity). He described how for months he felt God’s presence in his room each night, and finally, he gave in. He described himself as “perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” Two years later, he invited Tolkien and another friend to dinner, and afterward they spent hours walking along the river on the Oxford campus and discussing Christianity and myth. A few days later, Lewis officially converted to Christianity, riding on a motorcycle on the way to the Whipsnade zoo with his brother. He said, “When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.”

It was around that time that Lewis and Tolkien began meeting regularly with a group of friends who became known as “The Inklings.” The Inklings met for 16 years. Each week they gathered midday in a back room at the Eagle and Child pub (which they called the Bird and Baby) for food, cider, and informal conversation. The serious literary events occurred each Thursday evening in Lewis’s apartment, which was not particularly clean. Lewis flicked his cigarette ashes directly on the carpet, and as one member pointed out, it was impossible to tell whether his gray chairs and sofa were gray originally or were just dirty. The Inklings would arrive slowly between 9 and 10:30 p.m., someone would make a pot of strong black tea, and they would take turns reading aloud from whatever they were writing. Over the years, Tolkien read The Lord of the Rings, and Lewis The Screwtape Letters (1942)his book of fictional advice letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew Wormwood.

One day Lewis sat down to write a story for his goddaughter, Lucy. He said it “began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. The picture had been in my mind since I was about 16. Then one day when I was about 40, I said to myself: ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.'” That was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), which Lewis followed with six sequels, known collectively as The Chronicles of Narnia.

Among Lewis’s many other books, Mere Christianity, Surprised by Joy, The Screwtape Letters, and The Magicians Nephew were the most popular.

A Wonderful Fighter Pilot, a Wonderful Air Force Captain, a wonderful Human Being

February 10th, 2019

‘A badass pilot’: Capt. Rosemary Mariner, first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet, dies

A ceremonial flyover with only female jet pilots — a first in naval history — will honor her at her funeral service on Saturday.

Rosemary Mariner, who became the Navy’s first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet in 1974, died last week at age 65 of ovarian cancer.Courtesy of Mariner family

 

Jan. 31, 2019, 3:58 PM EST / Updated Feb. 1, 2019, 7:58 AM EST

By Elizabeth Chuck

The rules were clear when she was growing up: Women were not allowed to fly U.S. military aircraft. But that was not going to stop Rosemary Bryant Mariner.

The daughter of a Navy nurse and an Air Force pilot who had died in a plane crash when she was 3, Mariner made it her goal to be as qualified as possible to fly in the armed services. She got her private pilot’s license at 17. Then she got her aeronautics degree from Purdue University in 1972 when she was 19.

A year later, as a growing feminist movement took hold amid a push for the Equal Rights Amendment, the Navy lifted its restrictions and opened up its flight program to women — setting Mariner on a path to becoming a pioneer in the military.

She was in the inaugural class of women who earned their Navy wings in 1973. Mariner then became the first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet in 1974, at just 21; in 1982, she was among the first women to serve aboard a U.S. Navy warship; in 1991, during the Gulf War, she became the first woman to command an aviation squadron. Later, she was instrumental in the repeal of combat exclusion restrictions on women.

Capt. Mariner died at 65 last Thursday, Jan. 24, of ovarian cancer, nearly five years after she had been diagnosed. At her funeral service on Saturday, the Navy plans to honor her with a “missing man flyover” — a tribute honoring aviators who have died — that will consist of all women. It will be the first all-female flyover ever, the Navy said.

Her husband of nearly 39 years, ret. Navy Cmdr. Tommy Mariner, said the fact that it will be all-female would flatter Mariner, but she “certainly would not say that that component is necessary.”

“It’s wonderful that the Navy can do that and it’s good that they have that many women where they can fill out all the cockpits with women,” he said, his voice breaking. “But that would not be a requirement for Rosemary.”

A petite woman who had no trouble keeping up with the physical requirements of the Navy, Mariner made clear from the moment she got accepted that she wanted to fly, said Capt. Joellen Drag Oslund, one of Mariner’s 1973 classmates and the Navy’s first female helicopter pilot.

“Right from the get-go, Rosemary was a lot of grit and determination wrapped up in a small package.”

“Right from the get-go, Rosemary was a lot of grit and determination wrapped up in a small package,” Oslund said. “She just had this vision and this mission, and nothing was going to deter her from accomplishing that.”

Initially, the Navy admitted eight women, including Mariner and Oslund, to what Oslund said was then called “women officer school.” Six ended up completing the program. Mariner, Oslund said, “made no bones about it, that officer school was just to be tolerated, and that the real work was going to be in flight school.”

Despite the women’s ability to keep up, there were some in the Navy that were not entirely open to them being there.

“I would say the reception in the fleet was skeptical, but not overtly hostile,” Oslund said. “It was dubbed as a trial program, so the Navy, honestly, I don’t think they expected us to stay for 20 years.”

The Navy will honor retired Capt. Rosemary Mariner with a ceremonial flyover.The Smithsonian

In interviews over the years, Mariner, a Texas native who was raised in San Diego, credited the commanding officer of her first squadron, Capt. Ray Lambert, who was black, with mentoring her on how to succeed.

“He taught me how black men in the Navy and all the services networked. He told me how it was going to be and what we would need to do as women,” she told the University of Tennessee, where she taught U.S. military history for years, in November 2017. “He was adamant that women should never have a separate chain of command. Racial segregation in the armed forces was a major barrier African-Americans had to overcome.”

Katherine Sharp Landdeck, a historian of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II and a professor at Texas Women’s University who was friends with Mariner, said Mariner’s intelligence was one of her signature assets, along with her willingness to assist others reach their potential.

“She was a badass pilot too. Landing on carriers? That’s pretty badass. You’re not just landing a jet. You’re landing a jet on a runway that’s rising up and down in the seas, and I think as a woman doing it, you’ve got everybody on deck watching.”

“She shaped generations of people with that confidence in them and helping them find their path,” Landdeck said.

“She was a badass pilot, too. Landing on carriers? That’s pretty badass. You’re not just landing a jet. You’re landing a jet on a runway that’s rising up and down in the seas, and I think as a woman doing it, you’ve got everybody on deck watching. Very cool under pressure.”

 

Mariner’s husband said that while she was proud of the doors she opened for other women in the armed services, she never thought of her work as being revolutionary just because she was female — and hoped that what she was doing would become the norm.

“She considered people — not men and women,” he said. “From a standpoint of getting the job done, and the way you’re treated in the world, she felt that people ought to be treated the same.”

He said she took on her cancer diagnosis the same way she approached everything else in her life — by educating herself as much as possible about it, relying on her Roman Catholic faith to get through tough times, and by thinking of it as her “mission.” When she was diagnosed four and a half years ago, he said, doctors believed she only had several months to live.

In her 2017 interview with the University of Tennessee, she emphasized the importance of persistence.

“Life can deal you a lot of curveballs,” she said. “You hang in there and you don’t quit.”

 


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