“Iron Lady” Fiorina and Dr. Carson ticket? No way.

The stories I have been reading pronounce Carly Fiorina as the winner of this week’s CNN Republican debate. She certainly made a strong presence both in her, seeming, knowledge of foreign policy as well as her stopping the Donald Trump train in its tracks.

Despite Fiorina bitch-slapping Trump with silence over his off-the-cuff remark on her looks in a Rolling Stone article, the former Hewlitt-Packard executive at times resembled the reincarnation of the U.K.’s Maggie Thatcher.

The GOP “Iron Lady” talked tough on Russia and its leader Vladmir Putin by barking the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet should be built up along with missile defenses, and thousands of troops being sent to Germany. Whether such moves are reasonable or even needed is questionable.

I wondered, as I told my friend and correspondent in Tokyo, Paul, whether Fiorina might start a war with Argentina as the original Iron Lady Thatcher did.

My prognostication for the November 2016 match-up doesn’t include Lady Fiorina. We can’t have two women run for president. That’s preposterous! That is just as we couldn’t have another black president, such as Dr. Ben Carson, anytime soon. A ticket with both Fiorina and Carson? That also is unlikely.

Barring some arrest or indictment on either side, I still see Hillary versus Jeb. No two women will run. That just goes against the natural order of the parties and their people. A black man as the Republican nominee? As much as the right hates Obama, mostly because he is (partly) black, a large part of the electorate wouldn’t elect Dr. Carson if he could heal by laying on hands.

These predictions probably sound like I am the misogynist here or the racist here. No, I’m just the Democrat here. And I am looking at the way things are. That’s good for the Democrats — oh and if the GOP shuts down the government again this discussion will become moot. The Republicans might have that divide I’ve wished for over the years. As good as that might be for the Dems, I don’t see how the outcome will help equality in our nation.

People yell. Who cares?

These days I am still not running on all cylinders. Well, my truck isn’t. Perhaps I am not doing so as well.

I went for a routine, more or less, appointment yesterday with the neurologist at the Houston VA Hospital. I have developed a routine of traveling to the hospital by Greyhound bus rather than in my own vehicle. It can get expensive.

Luckily, the Houston Metro Rail runs near the Texas Medical Center. I can stop at one of the transit centers and catch the 1 bus to the VA Hospital. And vice versa.

The trip went okay, I made it back home in time to watch “Justified.” I did have one of those flashes of anger that kind upset my day.

I was at the Downtown Transit Center in Houston, just about a block from the Greyhound station. I was walking on the platform, going nowhere in particular, “just waitin’ on a train,” as Jimmie (the Yodeling Brakeman) Rodgers wrote and sang. All of a sudden, this loud voice boomed in my ear.

“HEY,” It was if this guy with the loud voice had a bullhorn in his hand.

When I turned around I saw this muscular black guy in his 30s or 40s — I will explain why I make that distinction in a moment. I must have had a puzzled look on my face because I was certainly puzzled.

“You were in my way and I hollered ’cause I wanted you to move,” said the guy, walking with a woman, not at all a beauty queen.

“You didn’t need to yell, I’m not deaf,” I said, yelling, not nearly as loudly as he.

I have no idea why this guy felt he needed to holler at me. His face couldn’t have been no more than a foot behind my ear. Catching a glance at this guy who was then standing on the platform with his companion, it seemed as if he was either angry or was perhaps just an angry guy.

Some guys are just mad or get mad at the drop of a hat. I was like that once, a whole lot like that, for a good while. It was a manifestation of depression, a psychiatrist told me, when I realized after spinal surgery that I was seriously depressed. “Depression is anger turned inside out,” the doctor said. Maybe so, but what is an umbrella turned inside out? Uh, don’t know that one either.

The wandering loud guy may have just had a bad day. Or a bad life. Maybe he just doesn’t like white people.

Race relations is a rather complicated matter in my case. I grew up in East Texas which is more like the Old South than the West. Hell, my great-grandfather fought in the Confederate Army. If you think about it, that’s pretty recent, relatively speaking. As I grew up, went to the Navy and worked with and became friends with people of all colors and ethnic groups, race became a bit less complicated.

But I also have realized some folks don’t like you because of your color. Wow! It took me a good part of my life, to discover a truth that millions others grew up knowing first hand. Stupid ass honky!

I don’t go around thinking about whether this person or that likes me or detests me. Well, maybe with some people. I have definitely been wrong about what people think. But here I am near 60. So I think: Why should I care?

It’s like the expression on a coffee cup my sister-in-law, Barbara, gave me upon graduating college some 35 years ago. I loved the sentiment then and still love it. It said: “Excuse me. You have obviously mistaken me for someone who gives a shit.”

There it is.


Scientists: Don’t let your cows drink coffee in Australia

Weather getting you down? “Pig’s arse,” an Australian medical study reveals.

Well, the story about these finding doesn’t use such an Aussie expression to disagree. But stories about health and science seem to pop up every day. Such subjects can also easily confound readers. There seems no shortage of the modern news media publishing the “Researchers say … ” type of medical story. You are no doubt familiar with the type of article. Usually some medical journal, the likes of Prostate Quarterly, announces to the media some study was published in said journal that is the definitive word on some bodily function or condition.

When I see these type stories I always think of that George Carlin bit — permit me to plagiarize myself and the late Mr. Carlin — “Researchers have found that saliva causes stomach cancer. But only when swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time.”

Findings by scientists seem forever questioning the  usefulness or safety of common items like coffee or red meat, or maybe both. I can see my lead now:

Scientists have discovered that cows which drink more than two cups of coffee daily produce meat that is more likely to keep consumers up late at night.”

Now comes a study published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research which shatters perceptions that the pain noted in numerous old wives tails is caused by something other than the weather. The experiment conducted on some 1,000 patients with low back pain in Sydney during 2011-2012 “compared  the weather at the time patients first felt lower back pain with weather conditions one week and one month before the start of pain,” said an article published in Daily Digest News about the study.

No correlation was found between the weather and lower back pain.

Now I have lower back pain pretty much around the clock. The same goes for neck pain, the latter which is likely caused by bone spurs and a blown disc in my cervical spine. Since I have had surgery twice on my C-spine, including fusion, the doctors say they can only operate on it again in case of an emergency threatening life or limbs. So, I take methadone for that pain. But that doesn’t prevent my neck from having spikes in pain. And, I have found these instances of increased pain in times during nearby low pressure weather systems. For instance, I noticed the pain increased considerably during two of the hurricanes I went through.

The doctor who authored the study makes it clear in the news story that more investigation is needed with weather conditions in concert with certain pain caused by problems including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

I might suggest that the researchers also find places outside Sydney for such studies. It seems rather presumptuous, if not foolish, to expect the weather in one part of the world to represent the entire planet. Various conditions control the weather systems of coastal Texas where I live. I would imagine the same could be said for southeastern Australia, although I do remember quite pleasant weather when I visited there some 35 years ago.

I can’t remember weather systems causing pain in Australia but I do remember a bit of a hangover after drinking the local Ouzo and pints of beer one night. Oh, that was Christmas Eve and as I recall, it was a very mild evening.

What’s up with Russia and Ukraine? A bit more than a whit.

When I first began hearing about the moves resulting in the Russian annexation of Crimea — let’s call a spade a spade — I thought it was a fairly innocuous move. My speaking of innocuous just now is one  in very relative terms, or so it turns out.

In a very short period the “pro-Russian rebels,” some of whom may or may not be Russian mercenaries or even Russian soldiers, escalated the situation to a seemingly much higher plain. All kinds of questions must be asked with regards to the intentions of Macho Man Vladimir Putin and whether he had this all mapped out before the festivities even began at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The Crimean troubles began shortly after the end of the winter games in that Black Sea Russian city.

But bigger questions remain: Does Putin want to incorporate Ukraine as he did Georgia? Does he want to foment unrest so that he may slowly creep across the former USSR and take whatever pieces that are available for entry into the Russian fold?

A talking head on the tube this morning gave me a point to ponder as to why those are not particular aims of Putin. I don’t remember who this analyst was, not that it really matters. That is because that person’s ideas are on an equal footing with others who just sit around guestimating.

This person talked about military aims of the Soviets Russians but as well spoke of the geopolitical ones. Or, rather, as to the geopolitical aims, perhaps a more correct interpretation of Mr. Talking Head was what was not a goal of Putin nor Russia. Head said, Fred? No Mr. Head said that Russia lacked the resources to govern Ukraine.

Well, I really had not thought about that. But then I wondered whether Mr. Putin had thought about the consequences of an all-out civil war in Ukraine? I’m sure he has, or his flunkies. But let’s just ponder for a moment. If Putin doesn’t want to destabilize or ultimately conquer Ukraine, then what is it that he really wants?

Hell if I know.

Maybe oil and gas, or rather, control of the means for its transit? I was already wrong about Crimea and the Rooskies. But whether I am right or wrong really matters not one whit. What is a whit anyway? It is defined as a very small amount. That is a definition that leaves a very large hole for clarity. Which, in turn, is like attempting a determination as to just what Russia has ultimately in mind. And for an answer for that, see the previous paragraph.

¿Como se dice “snoring at the lap top?”

Distraction Free Writing. What a concept!

Here I am with just a large white screen o’ nothingness. Just a man and his computer white board.

This is part of my new updated Word Press site. I can click the screen, well, maybe press Escape, and it’s all gone. Really, it just ends right back to the dashboard. Then I click on this box of arrows, configured into an “X.” and it takes me back to the world of distraction free writing. Well, at least it is distraction free on the computer screen. I have millions of other objects to distract me in my peripheral vision.

Isn’t this fascinating? ¿No es este fascinante? I’m still taking advantage of my free Spanish lessons on Fluencia. One receives about 15 free lessons in Spanish before you have to pay. So far, the site has, at the very least, reminded me of what I learned in two semesters of college Spanish. That time wasn’t all that well spent but I did get a bit of good from it. I believe both of my Spanish professors are deceased so I shall not speak of them to avoid speaking ill of the dead. I suppose that sentence alone may offer a hint as to the esteem those people were held in my estimation.

Fluencia only pokes gentle fun at me when I get a word wrong.

Well, it looks as if I am back to “distracted” writing.  I suppose it doesn’t make any difference to me. But what does influence me is my nearing sleep at the keyboard. I seemed to get plenty of sleep overnight. Six hours or so. I think a lot of the sleepiness comes from sitting at the computer all day.

Also, I went to my first physical therapy session yesterday for rehabilitating the knee. It wasn’t too bad. But I am sore. Sore and sleepy. Until next time.