If anybody wants to buy wholesale copies of the book to resell or give away, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set it up. They’re about 6 bucks each after shipping. Minimum order 50 I guess?
Last week, myself and a great group of antiwar veterans, led by BringOurTroopsHome.us testified before a committee of the Texas Senate in favor of new Defend the Guard legislation proposed by Rep. Bryan Slaton. (Admittedly, my statement was not so well received as a similar one was in Montana the week before that. But lessons were learned and the other guys did great, so it looks like it will pass out of committee and on to Calendars, at least.)
Thank you very much for considering this important legislation.
I’d like to mention something that is becoming a real crisis in this country, and that is the move by American liberals and progressives further to the left toward what they call “democratic socialism” in the Bernie Sanders fashion. This is especially true among the Millennials and Generation Z. It does not just mean the push for a larger welfare state, but more and more they reject market capitalism broadly defined and believe that all large holdings of wealth and property should be taxed away or otherwise taken over by governments to manage. This of course would be an absolute catastrophe.
But so then why is this happening? It is not because of the failures of free markets to deliver prosperity, but primarily the failure of American militarism which destroys trillions of dollars and wastes billions of hours of man and brain power that would otherwise go to productive uses.
It was Republican President and former 5-Star General Dwight Eisenhower who warned about the corrupting influence of what he called the Military-Industrial Complex now 60 years ago, but there has been no reckoning since. Recent presidents Obama and Trump both echoed Ike’s same complaint about Pentagon officials overriding the will of the country’s civilian leaders to roll back U.S. intervention.
America stays at war largely because Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup-Grumman and other major military contractors spend millions of dollars buying up lobbyists, think tankers, Pentagon officials and Congressman to make certain the government continues to patronize their firms. It is as simple as that. It is not unmentionable. Everyone knows it. And it is as wrong as it can be.
American militarism also necessitates an inflationary monetary policy so that the government can continue to expand its overseas footprint without having to raise taxes, which can cause too much open resistance. But this monetary inflation leads not only to rising prices across the board, but to massive bubbles in certain sectors, leading to terrible economic crashes as we’ve survived in 2000, 2008 and last year, which, though forced by the lockdowns, was due anyway, even though so many Americans had never recovered from the last bust. And as anyone living through the massive inflation in the housing market in Texas today can tell you, there have never been so many homeless families living on the streets of our state.
For all these problems, the free market takes the rap. Capitalism in general is said to be discredited. The distortions caused by permanent war then threaten all of our prosperity in even more severe ways in the future if present trends continue.
And this proves the case: we can have either a republic or an empire but we cannot have it both ways.
The best thing you can do to help to preserve our freedom and prosperity would be for you to prove the Constitution is still the law and that American is still a republic. Texas could lead the more than 30 states considering similar Defend the Guard legislation this year to let it be known that the people of this country want an end to unconstitutional wars and that the states’ legislatures in fact do represent them and are determined to demonstrate that it is so.
George Gammon and attorney Robert Barnes are suing the Federal Reserve under the FOI act.
In October of 2018 I was diagnosed with an aggressive, Stage 3 Lymphoma. Chemotherapy started by December of that same year. It was a winding path toward that discovery. Luckily for me, a good friend had the identical diagnosis three years before me and had made a full recovery. He even received the exact same treatment I was scheduled to start. The treatment had been experimental when he underwent the program, funded by research through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
I’m an outgoing guy. Never short of words. LOL Knowing that, Mike came after me to run this Man of the Year campaign right from the start. Maybe even before my chemotherapy began.
I pushed him off for a long time. First, I really wanted to get a handle on my own health and see what life with Chemo was all about.
Second, talking about “my journey” or “my suffering” is way outside, not my comfort zone particularly, but I would say, my “interest” zone. The way I’ve always seen it, everyone on the planet is suffering. It’s part of the human experience. Not one single individual has ever gotten to avoid the crushing burden that is existence. That said, I would never want to focus on the suffering I’ve endured to be the recipient of anyone’s sympathy, nor would I want to distract attention away from the suffering of other’s to focus on mine individually. I just didn’t think that to be right or helpful.
I’m the silent suffering type. But again, not because I’m fearful of being seen as vulnerable. Of course I’m vulnerable. I’m the same creature you are. Until I accepted the nomination to run this year, most of the people I know personally and professionally had no idea I was even in this battle.
Now, over the past year, my wife and I have had two friend’s children diagnosed with Leukemia. One, 10 years old, didn’t make it. The other, 7 or 8 years old, is still fighting hard.
This development is really what pushed me to make this journey this year.
Every dollar raised is potentially another life saved.
If you have the ability, please donate at the link below. Even if you don’t have that ability today, please consider sharing this article, my story, and allow more people the opportunity to give.
LLS has invested nearly 1.3 Billion in cutting-edge research. Every 3 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Leukemia is the #1 most diagnosed form of childhood cancer.
LLS has funded 55 of the 65 FDA approved treatments since 2017. Blood cancer research leads to treatment advances for many other cancers and diseases.
Thank you so much for your support and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
For anyone that wants to hear it, or maybe can relate, or perhaps concerned about their own experiences or symptoms, here’s the rest of my story……..
There’s hardly a human left who hasn’t been touched by cancer.
My Mom fought breast cancer in the late 90s. It took my Dad when I was just 26, brain tumors. I still think of him every day. My wife almost lost her Mother to colon cancer when she was a teenager. We still talk about that quite a bit, it was obviously a traumatic experience for her at such a young age.
Here I am, 46 years old. Wrapping up with my third battle with cancer of my own. On paper anyway.
I say that because my first experience with cancer was a melanoma diagnosis in my early 30s. Doctor took out a chunk of meat and I moved on with my life. Years later I even laughed when going in to a new Dentist and she commented, “oh, I see you’re a cancer survivor”……
Not long after that, failing time after time again to get approved for life insurance due to that diagnosis, I was trying to recall the name of the dermatologist to put on my insurance application and low and behold, I find out the guy’s in jail for committing millions of dollars’ worth of insurance fraud.
It seemed obvious right away. My Dad had melanoma. (that’s what metastasized into brain tumors and killed him) This guy saw that on my paperwork and instantly knew the insurance company wouldn’t question the diagnosis since it’s “in the family history.” Carved out a chunk of me that I wouldn’t miss and billed away. The only real loss for me was the lack of access to life insurance. Which is not a trivial thing.
Not long after that I had a scab, just inside my ear that simply wouldn’t heal. For months. It would fall off. I would feel relieved, especially going out everyday to visit with potential clients. Just to come right back within a week or so.
Finally, at the urging of my wife (isn’t that always the case for us idiot men? LOL), I went to see a different dermatologist. Basil cell carcinoma. My Mom gets these she told me. I also read somewhere that people are generally prone to Basil or Melanoma, but not usually both. That’s not a professional medical opinion right there, just something I read somewhere and puts more credence in my mind that I was perfectly swindled by the chap up in Chicago.
I went through a procedure called Mohs surgery. Surely named after the person who invented it. This is where they essentially burn off layers of skin repeatedly. Test, burn, test burn until the testing shows no signs of cancer. It really wasn’t that bad, except that it was in such in inconvenient spot. Literally, just inside my left ear. Strange.
The wrapping fell off a couple days later and the sight was ghastly. The make up artists that work The Walking Dead would have been jealous. You could see right inside. It was frightening. LOL
In time, new skin grew and now, I thought, I won’t laugh anymore when someone states that I’m a cancer survivor.
That experience was somewhere around 2012. We had just relocated back to Cincinnati. Had just had our youngest child. Our little guy, he’s going on 9 now. Sara Lee had just gone out of business. (I was certain I would be working there until I retired) I was suddenly on my path toward entrepreneurship.
I figured my little cancer experience was well behind me.
Later that year I had built an elevated garden for my wife in the back yard out of large railroad ties. Most of my adult life has been centered on heavy weightlifting so I didn’t really think the project was overly strenuous. However, during that weekend, Summer of 2012, I noticed a decent sized lump in my right groin.
My immediate reaction was that I must have pulled something. Seemed to me to be a hernia. I had never had a hernia. This must be what they feel like. Off to the Doctor again. My regular Doctor, the only one I’ve ever had as an adult. I point that out now because he just retired earlier this year and it feels a little disorienting now being without a general practitioner who you have a relationship with and who you trust.
He felt my “hernia” and immediately said it was a swollen lymph node. He went on to explain the lymph system, it’s function and given the size of the swollen node, it probably wasn’t something to be overly concerned about. Keep an eye on it and if it doesn’t go away on its own, or if it gets bigger we’ll investigate further.
At the same time, I also informed him of some recent cognitive changes. Really had been preceding the previous few years. Going back probably to 2009. Initially started with headaches and trouble concentrating. I used to plow through 900 page economics books on weekends, but was suddenly having a hard time making my way through simple articles.
Idiotically at that time I actually had the thought, “maybe my brain has reached some level of capacity.” LOL
I told him that one of my unique “gifts” in life had always been mental math. I was that weirdo in the room that could calculate anything in his head instantly. No calculators could beat me, fingers couldn’t move fast enough. My Dad and I used to drive down the highway and throw 4- and 5-digit multiplication problems at one another to see who could get the answer quicker. Yes, apparently, I got this skill from him.
That gift, was gone. Just vanished. It was one of my defining qualities. I realize now that it’s not the computational skill that’s missing. It’s memory. When you would present me with two 4-digit numbers and ask me to multiply them in my head I would solve the problem left to right instead of the way you would tackle the problem on paper, right to left. I would be solving the problem as I’m stating the answer to you. To do this, you have to keep quite a few rotating and inter-related numbers moving around in your mind. I can’t do that now.
The swollen node did recede. Not completely, I could always find it in there, but it was small and that improvement was enough for me to push it to the back of my mind and focus on the more pressing issues that life presents. Fatherhood. Being a loving Spouse. Building a business.
Over time the node would come and go and then, one day, I felt nodes on the left side of my groin. I’m not certain, but maybe this was 2014 or 2015? They were small too. In addition, at this time, I really began having trouble sleeping. Very strange things were happening cognitively. I would have very bizarre sensations when attempting to fall asleep and often times, just simply wouldn’t sleep at all.
I’ve witnessed very bizarre things, completely awake, symbols, even moving animations along the walls and ceilings. Yes, while very much awake. No, I do absolutely no drugs. I experimented recently with ingestibles. Never doing that again. I’ll share that story some other day. I even woke one night to witness every inch of everything around me covered in code. I even got up, went to the restroom and got right up close to the code covering the white molding on the toilet room door. It wasn’t binary or like the Matrix or anything. It was more symbolic, almost like hieroglyph. More Aztec than Egyptian. Just for comparison, not saying it actually was Aztec. LOL
I remained awake well over 90 minutes before I eventually dozed back off. I absolutely was not dreaming. Remember it as clearly and vividly as any other waking memory.
Eventually, even though I tried to convince myself otherwise, I began feeling lumps in my neck. At this point I scheduled an appointment with a surgeon who my wife has used and she knew well. He dug in aggressively in my neck, groin, underarms. Low and behold, he found lumps in my underarms as well.
He didn’t panic. Neither did I. Once again, like my family doctor, he commented on how small the nodes were and there was probably no reason to panic. So I didn’t.
In December of 2017 we moved into our new home we had been building. Another very distracting ordeal that kept my mind squarely off meandering lumps.
Late in the Winter of 2018 or maybe early Spring I got out back to our property line and removed an old, rusty barbed wire fence left there by the builder. I knew our little dude would be playing in the woods behind our house and wanted that hazard gone.
As usual with me and woods, I contracted quite a bit of poison ivy. Off to the doctor I went, and he naturally gave me a steroid. Almost as if by magic, when I took that steroid, not only did my poison ivy clear up, but all my lumps just melted away. Groin. Arm pits. Neck. All gone. It was awesome.
I remember thinking, “well, that’s solved.” I was so relieved.
Sure enough, by the end of that Summer. Everything was back. Worse even, I think. I could track a large trail of lumps progressing down the left side of my groin. The big old faithful one on the right side. All through my neck. Naturally, I hadn’t said much of any of this to anyone.
Once the Fall arrived in 2018, still not sleeping at all for years now, I began to notice lumps in my cheeks. Not only could you feel these, but you could see them easily.
I finally had to confess to my Wife. There was clearly something being missed all these years. She took me to her ENT specialist. Really good guy. He checked me out and ran a needle point biopsy on an easy to access node in my neck. The results came back clear. That was cool.
He wasn’t convinced. Given that I’m a disabled Vet he pressed me to seek further testing at the VA, just in light of cost, etc.
I took him up on it and started to integrate myself into the VA system. Their ENT specialist performed a very similar biopsy. Also, negative.
She was also unconvinced given all the symptoms and she recommended that I allow her to surgically remove one of the nodes completely so they could test it more thoroughly.
Once complete that’s where the official diagnosis came in. Aggressive, Stage 3, B Cell Follicular Lymphoma. Hopefully I got all that right?
My wife still makes fun of me. She was sitting across the desk from me in our home office when the call came with the diagnosis. Apparently, I was completely expressionless and simply asked what was next and thanked her for her call. In many ways, I already knew, so I don’t think it really shocked me much.
Chemo started within a couple weeks. Six months of chemotherapy followed by two more years of bi-monthly Immunotherapy.
By month two all the lumps were gone. Plus, the chemo makes you so tired I was finally sleeping again. That was nice.
We’re now two quick Immuno sessions away from completing this saga. With any luck they can remove this stupid port from my chest. I don’t like it being there.
It’s hard to complain. I don’t think the chemo is nearly as taxing as it was just ten years ago. Many of the amazing advances in cancer treatment has come directly from organizations that I’m representing in this fundraiser. I tremendously appreciate all those who came before me to organize and raise capital toward these treatments and cures.
Not everyone has the happy ending my family and I had. It’s important that we continue our journey to better understand these diseases and develop the best treatments possible.
My journey is not over. My cancer was a result of toxic exposure while serving my 13 years in the military. There are other issues, neurologically, that resulted from that exposure that I’m still trying to navigate. However, at least the cancer itself has been beaten back and that’s one enormous weight lifted off so many shoulders.
Should my story or sharing my experience help any individual out there then it was worth sharing. I know so many are having a much more difficult time than I am.
I have the capacity to network and get this message out and if that helps to uncover the next iteration in advanced cancer treatment then this exercise in paying it forward was not only worth it but was necessary.
Thanks to all for reading and, if you were able, for donating and sharing!
Pirate Wires Mike Solana reviews the latest attempt by government to force more censorship on the tech companies. The main push-back came from Jack Dorsey, CEO of twitter. Right and left want government to “rein in” big tech but this is what government interference looks like – censorship, purges and public truth committees. Not satisfied with the current amount of censorship, government wants the tech companies to do more.
“I don’t think we should be the arbiters of truth,” said Dorsey, “and I don’t think the government should be either.”
I was turned on to the Netflix series “Black Mirror” a few months after the first season was released. If you started with Season 1, Episode 1 – “The National Anthem” – as I did, you instantly knew this was a different kind of show. The four seasons that followed have, for the most part, been good. There have been some “misses” but nothing’s gonna be perfect. Season 3, Episode 1 – “Nosedive” – which dropped on October 21, 2016 was not one of those “misses,” but, instead an instant favorite among fans. And now, only four years later, I would argue that the premise of the episode is quickly becoming reality.
For those that have not seen the episode or need a refresher, the premise of “Nosedive” is that social media’s system of approval has entered into real life. The “like” or ❤︎ response used to approve or disapprove of a post someone shares is now used to rate everyone according to their behavior, not just posts. Every interaction you have with another human can be rated and affects a social credit score that everyone can view. If you’re rude to the barista at the local coffee shop, he/she can ding you. And if your score lowers beyond a certain level, you begin to lose “privileges” such as your house in a “good” neighborhood or access to stores and transportation. Your score can even impact friends and family around you. You wouldn’t be able to have the proverbial “bad day” without risking your very livelihood. The overarching message here is that given this social pressure, society as a whole would improve as those who possess low scores would be shunned at all costs.
As odd and far-fetched as this all sounds, China has had something similar since 2009 which, I assume, is from where the writers of “Nosedive,” Rashida Jones and Michael Schur, drew their inspiration. But I’m going to make the argument that while most didn’t believe that could happen in the US, the last year has trained the US population for a system similar to that which is presented in “Nosedive.” When you consider that the “Karen” phenomenon isn’t even mentioned anymore, – because it’s been normalized – and that retail workers have been co-opted into law enforcement roles, (mask compliance, taking personal information if you are purchasing a money order) it is not conspiratorial to think that this is training us for a future system like the one laid out in “Nosedive.”
What better way for someone to be “mask compliant” than a random stranger “down-voting” them for wearing their mask below their nose. Or, how about getting too close to someone in the line to check luggage at the airport (when you’ll be sitting a foot apart on the plane?). It is easy for us to have this dystopian view of the future where the State is able to spy on us in a panopticon-like hell. I wonder how many have stopped to examine the last twelve months and wondered if it will be the everyday person next to us – the cashier in the grocery store, or our children living under the same roof that is going to hold more power over us than any politician could ever imagine.