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Friday, February 9, 2018

2014 Carnival of Barranquilla Is Over - This Year's Queen Was The Best Ever


As they've done almost every year since 1888, the city of Barranquilla, Colombia holds one of the largest celebrations of folklore in the world. Barranquilla's Carnival ranks second only to the one in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro in terms of sheer magnitude. As a young man, growing up in Colombia's largest coastal city, in a nation that is the only one in South America to have coastlines on, both, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Carnival was, for me, a very special time. I had the unbelieveable good fortune of living on a street numbered 70B that wasn't known for much throughout the rest of the year, as it was like many other streets in the city. What made 70B special was that, every year, Barranquilla's Carnival, would find its way down our street and right past the small shotgun apartment where my father, mother, brother, and I lived. Even better, our apartment was elevated, so it was nicely perched above everything happening down below in its glorious detail, so we happily shared our stairwell with people who crowded on the steps to get the best view possible.

The Carnival in Barranquilla is known for its street dances, masquerade parades and many distinct styles of Colombian music, the foremost of which is cumbia, and for which I have a friend, Nando Malo, who can sing one as good as anyone I’ve ever heard. There are many other genres of music throughout Colombia that are just as beautiful and noteworthy such as porro, mapale, gaita, chandé, puya, fandango, and fantastic merecumbés, among others. Not only is it a time for street parades, but there is a party-like atmosphere that pervades almost every corner of the city, with get-togethers taking place at many residences in this coastal city known, historically, as the first and one of the major gateways from the North to the rest of South America. And, for those who like to wet their whistle, the major manufacturers of liqueurs send trucks replete with samples to distribute among thousands of bystanders along the Carnival's route. One year, while enjoying the festivities with an American friend and mentor from South Carolina who worked as a volunteer in the Peace Corps and ran a school for Colombian youth with dyslexia, he reached out with his hand and caught one of the bottles just as it was about to hit me on the head. Perhaps the manufacturers have come up with a safer way to distribute their wares, but we just laughed it off at the time without giving it much thought because there was too much to be happy about, too much to enjoy in life.

One of the trademarks of this four-day extravaganza, non-stop festival is that many young people--and sometimes the more elderly folks--buy boxes of corn starch and get deviant by sneaking up behind others on the streets and covering them with the powdery stuff. So, as it turns out, you have the added effect of not only keeping an eye out for what's going on with the Carnival, but of, also, having to watch your back for the unsuspecting “ambushes” that are taking place all around you. Much to the credit of the colorful people of Barranquilla, tempers rarely flare over such things, and I can testify to the fact there is nothing better than sneaking up on an unsuspecting young lady and dousing her with corn starch, unless it’s the satisfaction of getting the favor returned by her, later. Some ambushes are carried out by groups of roaming marauders—gangster-style--as some "deviants" like to roam in packs in search of prey. I enjoyed every aspect of the experience to the fullest. At the end of the day our street looked like it might fit easily into the scenery of a Canadian city during the heart of winter as the street was transformed from its usual gray to a surreal white.

One little detail I'm curious to find out about with this year's Carnival has to do with the Queen of Ceremonies, Maria Margarita Diazgranados Gerlein. With beauty, grace and poise such as she possesses, it's easy to make an older man wish for younger days. I know it's a long shot, but the mystery has to do with her family. I went to school in the late 70s and early 80s with a classmate who had her last name and who bears a striking resemblance to her, although, if it was to come down to a side-by-side comparison, the most credit I could extend to him is that he might, perhaps--under just the right circumstances--be her uncle. I'm sure my classmate, who shall remain nameless, of course, would like to take full credit for rearing such a charming young lady, and if I, somehow, managed to blurt out his name, by accident, I'm sure Carlos wouldn't mind all the undue publicity he could get if people thought he was related to the Queen of Ceremonies. Oops.

In 2002, the Carnival of Barranquilla was proclaimed a Cultural Masterpiece of the Nation and, a year later, on November 7, 2003, it was declared one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The upcoming Carnival, for 2014, will take place between March 1 and March 4, 2014. The Carnival slogan is, "Quien lo vive, es quien lo goza," or translated, "He who lives it is who enjoys it."

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Historical Significance of a Government That Just Keeps Giving - Venezuela's Bolivarian Socialism, A Model of Creative Altruism (Revised)



I would ask this simple question to the Venezuelan people: is it more honorable for a government of great wealth to afford its citizens a better life, or is it more noble for a government of modest means to give all that it can afford, and then some, to help its own citizens?



For a government that's lost around 40% of its total income to still be delivering 60% of everything for programs of social uplift is an astounding act of altruism for any era in human history, and such loyalty shouldn't go unnoticed. The Moses of American broadcast journalism, Edward R. Murrow, used to say there's nothing wrong with bias as long as you don't try to hide it. So here, once again, is mine.



For the Bolivarian government to demonstrate this kind of commitment after dramatic decreases in oil prices in recent years, the loss of revenue clearly demonstrates a level of commitment to its people that we've rarely seen in throughout the course of human history. Times are hard, and "what have you done for me lately" is the standard by which all governments are judged, especially in historically poor nations, but we do know why times are so hard, and we know it wasn’t mismanagement of the country that brought the Bolivarians to this difficult place they're in. And, yet, despite all the difficulties, they haven't missed a beat when it comes to expenditures to help their own people, a startling revelation if you just paused for a moment or two to consider the bloody, tumultuous history of human on this planet.


What governments during throughout the course of human history, with the exception of a few governments in Latin America and Europe, have ever done this for their people? Their level of commitment to democratic standards of excellence serves as a stark lesson for Americans whose government has betrayed them throughout their history to the tune of approximately 30 trillion dollars during the Great Recession of 2008 and its aftermath. An astonishing fact about this is that the average American household lost 40% of its savings between 2008-2011. This internal burglarizing of a nation by its ruling class turned out to be the greatest heist of money from the poor to the upper classes in history and is the hallmark of dirty, diseased and dying regimes. 


(Financial Crime - Class War Films) 

Can we imagine a government that spends 60% of its budget on programs of social uplift? Though we may begin to approach such a figure, technically, we remember that one out of every four corporations in America pays no income taxes, at all, including some the biggest winners in this dying system of predatory capitalism. As a result, we're all living on the eve of destruction. Do any honest Americans have the audacity to tell me I'm crazy for admiring and recognizing the altruism on display in Venezuela?


Any honest American would love to have a government like that, and it was our government that recently acted as the facilitator for that upward theft of wealth. The biggest "welfare queens" in the country turn out to be the bankers who, as a whole, don't turn a profit but receive around 83 billion dollars every year in free handouts from the U.S. taxpayer. How is it possible that those institutions which were responsible for tanking our economy and a large part of the world's markets, also, receive more money every year than gets allotted to the Food Stamp Program (81 billion USD) and, yet, remain respected to the point of adulation by some Americans? Why is the banker taking free handouts considered a "shrewd businessman" while the poor person accepting a gift is stigmatized for being a "moocher?" Why do the rich get bailed out while the small children of this nation are born to parents of modest means and required to learn market discipline? 






Occupy Wall Street began to shed light on the crimes of our government and its elites before it was cracked down on by Barack Obama, but we remain largely a nation of obedient, conformist, consumer-oriented, semi-consious humans who are completely subservient to the powers that have set up this rigged system  and are preparing to do it all again in the not-too-distant future. In the telling words of former President, Jimmy Carter, the U.S. is now an oligarchy, no longer a democracy.


Americans should stop to consider what it would be like if we had the kind of government the Venezuelans have relied on since 1999. What would it be like to live in a world with a government that, despite losing 40% of its income continues to spend 60% of it on programs of social uplift, even after people voted to give control of the country’s parliament back to the wealthy who got them into this mess in the the first place?


We should wake up to the fact that our media is commited to bringing us incorrect information about the world we live in because six major corporations own 90% of that media. It turns out that this media is conveniently owned by rich people with an agenda that's there to serve their shareholders and other wealthy people like themselves. Until we figure out that the Nightly News is lying to us about the world we live in, we're going to be at a disadvantage when it comes to figuring out our actual circumstances and what to do about it. It's all a lie. 


(U.S. Media and the Israeli/Palestinian Crisis - Documentary)






(George Carlin - Comedian - The Illusion of Choice)


"More than by force, they use deception to dominate us."

--Simón Bolívar

Do we minimize their altruism, pretend it's unimportant, or recognize it and demand our own rogue government uphold its sovereignty so it's more likely to happen in the future? If you don’t support ideas with the potential to bring you relief from your own suffering, they'll die and your options for creating a better world for yourselves with them. As Albert Einstein would say, leading by example isn't another way to teach, it's the only way to teach. We Americans have our work cut out for us. Venezuela has provided us with a noble example, and it's up to us to learn from it.


If you fail to water a plant bearing good fruit, it dies from malnourishment and the sustenance it would have provided with it. The same applies to people and mass movements which are the backbone of all major social change in the world. The events taking place all over the world affect us here at home, also. We live in a world held together in a single garment of destiny as Martin Luther King, Jr. said. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. All good, as well as bad, has a ripple effect that eventually comes full circle to find us someday.


The significance of noblility by a government is magnified even more when you stop to consider the last few thousand years of human history. How many governments have done such a thing in the past? Few have ever tried.

We should begin to see the irony in our current situation as our government uses its influence in the world to demonize the leftist government of Venezuela for reasons that have everything to do with the retaking of their oil reserves and other resources for the benefit of U.S. transnationals. This is happening while that country's poor are being pre-destined, once again, to live out their lives on the very edge of human existence. Do these committed socialists who won't stop giving deserve our scorn, or are they heroes worthy of our our praise and admiration?

Do Americans know our government is carrying out covert operations in Venezuela to prevent a democratic government from succeeding just because that government is refusing to obey the dictates of Washington and hand over its resources to our transnationsals for peanuts while neglecting the needs of its own citizens who need that revenue to meet their needs, not the selfish, greedy desires of predatory capitalists with no regard for human life?


Can Americans recognize a good government when they see it? The same question could be asked of Venezuela's electorate which infamously voted to reinstate their old, oppressive oligarchy during the country's parliamentary elections on December 6th of last year and pick up where they left off in 1999 by resuming over 500 years of exploitation at the hands of foreign powers. This leaves their president, Nicolás Maduro Moros, to carry out his job duties as a lame duck president in the same way any U.S. president would be a sitting target if he had to deal with a Congress controlled by the opposition. 

"An ignorant nation is a blind instrument of its own destruction."

--Simon Bolivar

We’re missing the point and failing to see the real meaning in Venezuela's predicament, the historical significance of a government that steps up to the plate for its citizenry and risks everything just to be denounced in the global press as power-hungry tyrants. The real tyrants happen to be on the other side of the Caribbean. We should reward unselfish behavior before we lose a progressive, forward thinking government that stands to go down in history as one of the most generous political movements historians have ever seen and, quite possibly, ever will again.


(Venezuela Slashes Military Spending by 34%)

Perhaps, the biggest irony of all is that our leaders systematically demonize the Bolivarians on the world stage for spending 60% of their income on social programs while our own government spends a whopping 55% of its budget on a sprawling military-industrial complex that's devouring the very tissue of our nation from within in a selfish pursuit of global domination. This pursuit has led to the ruin of every empire that ever preceded it with the one possible, partial exception of the United Kingdom. In the words of the late 
Professor, Chalmers Johnson,  we can have an empire or a democracy, but we can't have both.


(CIA World Fact Book - Military Expenditures by Nation)


This pursuit of global dominance, which the planners first began to recognize as a "viable option" when America was at the peak of her economic might during World War II (having 50% of the world's wealth despite having only 4% of its population) is an imperial blood bath measured in the loss of millions of lives and countless others harmed forever.

There is little hope for change until things get worse for us, a disgraceful turn of events for a Grand Experiment that once captivated the world with its lofty ideals that have now turned into little more than empty rhetoric and billions of shattered lives stretching from one end of the planet to the other.




(Pale Blue Dot Animation - Narrated by Carl Sagan)
https://vimeo.com/22582065 

(South of the Border - Al Sur de la Fronter - An Oliver Stone Documentary - Documental)
http://bit.ly/28OufXU 


(La Revolución No Será Televisada - An Oliver Stone Documentary)


(The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - Chavez: Inside the Coup - An Oliver Stone Documentary)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The U.S. 'War on Drugs' with Sean Penn's Interview of Sinaloa Cartel Kingpen, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, for Rolling Stone Magazine (Revised)


In terms of any real existential threat posed to humanity, the Drug Cartels are relatively minor players compared to the very real threat posed to humans by Big Oil, Wall Street, and Corporate America who have the power to tank the world economy just to extend their profits and destroy the human habitat which we humans and other animals need to survive. And the American taxpayer gets the profound honor and privilege of paying for it all. He wins the right to fund his own extinction by virtue of his historical reliability, hard work and a giddy willingness to believe everything the government tells him with no questions asked. Bragging rights, I guess. Don't go after the Cartels; if you want real results, go after the bankers.


George Carlin on the Death Penalty


At least, with the Cartels, you can easily put them out of business for good without having to send your military to occupy foreign countries to kill innocent people and fund their perpetual exploitation at the hands of our multinationals simply by educating our children about the perils of drug use and embracing a national campaign to change our collective lifestyle not unlike the campaign used in recent years to diminish the hold that tobacco has had on us for decades.



(Media Roots Radio on SoundCloud - America's 50 Year War in Colombia: Death Squads & Drug Management)


Tobacco has the dubious distinction of killing around six million people worldwide every year. In contrast, there’s never been a single recorded death due to the use of marijuana in the entire history of human civilization. I’m not judging anybody. Education is the key to success, and the best part of it all is that it doesn't require a single drop of blood to do it. The changes will be lasting and transformative.


When you stop to think about it, why should we have anymore right to militarily occupy sovereign countries and repress their natural evolution toward real democracies (one of the hidden reasons for our government’s War on Drugs) than they should have the right to come here and do the same to us to prevent us from sending our publicly-subsidized tobacco abroad to add more fuel to the fire of their countrys' health care problems? Tobacco is the only product marketed for mass consumption that’s lethal when used as directed.


Legalize, regulate, and help solve our festering budget crises from Maine to California by moderately taxing drugs and bringing the whole process in from the dark where most of the danger lies. When people have to go undercover, temporarily stepping into a burgeoning underworld replete with all kinds of unforeseen dangers to get what they want, their level of risk goes up, unnecessarily. We could be making safe, affordable, and easily attainable herb available to our citizenry at our local pharmacies, and no one would be the wiser for it. After all, marijuana is much safer than everything else out there including cigarettes and alcohol—especially, cigarettes and alcohol.




The facts are overwhelmingly on the side of legalization, but we’ve only partially awakened from a collective delusion that was sinisterly imposed on us as part of a massive decades-long campaign of startlingly misleading propaganda that was initially meant to criminalize the dangerous classes. It's evolved into, among other things, a method for funding criminal government activities, both, domestically and abroad.


(Social Cleansing, the ‘War on Drugs,’ Marijuana and Prohibition – Noam Chomsky)



Let’s rethink the leaf and what we erroneously presume to be our common sense positions on the War on Drugs instead of using that war as a pretext for enslaving a third of all black men in our massively corrupt and misguided prison-industrial complex (a for-profit enterprise that destructively incentivizes mass incarceration). We enslave a highly disproportionate number of our unwanted minorities and incarcerate a full twenty-five percent of the world’s prison population despite the fact that, as a nation, we make up less than five percent of the world’s population.


(The Case for Decriminalization – Portugal)

Don’t we think this has gotten out of hand? With our prisons being so heavily overcrowded and less and less funds being available to warehouse our fellow human beings for decades of their lives for what often amounts to acts that are completely harmless to society, it’s time to think more carefully about where we choose to invest our time, energy, resources and hard-earned money in the future so we don’t exhaust ourselves running aimlessly in every which direction.

(The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander)

(People Sentenced for Drug Offenses in the US Correctional System)

By allowing our attention to be carefully diverted to the far lesser crimes of the Drug Cartels, we are blinded to the very real dangers to our future posed by Wall Street, Corporate America, Big Oil, and the Too Big To Fail institutions which have the potential to destroy us. The sooner we stop blaming others for the condition we’re in and begin to question everything our government tells us, the sooner we’ll be on our way to solving our problems instead of running from them and wondering why things aren’t getting any better.


Meanwhile, when we, hypocritically and unilaterally, enact economic sanctions against other nations, we aren’t making any friends around the world among people who justifiably resent us for what we allow our government to do in our names to avoid having to deal with what we should have been dealing with all along. What are the fans of two of Colombia’s most successful soccer teams going to believe when we do this to them and, simultaneously, seek to prevent their country from attaining a higher level of democracy? How can we tell them to ‘clean up their act’ when we haven’t cleaned up our own? Our position is a much weaker one when you stop to think about it. Be the change you want to see in the world.

(U.S. Treasury Clears America de Cali)

(Vice Sports – This Soccer Team is on a U.S. Government Blacklist for its Ties to Narco-Trafficking)

(Economic Sanctions Against Colombian Drug Cartels)

The Cartels and bothersome low-level dealers aren’t the problem. The key is in changing our own behavior not unleashing a sprawling army of men, women and costly military might to fight all kinds of externalities that are neither here nor there when we should just get real with ourselves. Our problems lie within. 

Changing our own behavior is the only solution that will ever produce results that won’t commit us to a course of action that will get us way in over our heads in blood, sacrifice and suffering. It’s not, at all, important what the Chapos and Escobars of the world are doing. What is important is what we’re doing. It’s not what we think of others, but what we think of ourselves that counts. We shouldn't invest in destroying the current system but in making it obsolete. That means pulling out the toolbox and working on us, not someone else.


(Sean Penn Interview with Sinaloa Cartel Kingpen, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, for Rolling Stone Magazine)



(Plan Colombia - Documentary)



We’re ensuring our reliance on others and our ongoing inner weakness as a people by trying to force others to do our will through the use of force instead of looking at the man in the mirror. This is why we should stop giving our government the right to tell us what we can and can't put into our own bodies. If we don’t see our lives as fully our own, we will never take responsibility for ourselves and solve our most perplexing problems.

It’s not that I want to see anyone suffer by using harmful drugs, but one of the ways to reduce their destructive force is for us to take possession of our lives, to be the masters of our destiny. When we give up that natural right, we weaken ourselves and weaken our resolve to deal with problems independently and, thus, we ensure our reliance on others who may or may not have our best interests at heart or be equipped to really deal with life's complexities.

The very definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It’s time to avoid overrelying on clichés and dig deeper for truth which, if we care to investigate, doesn’t lie that far beneath the surface.




América de Cali Soccer Club Logo







Envigado F.C. Soccer Club Logo




Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Mental Health Industry As A Modernized Method Of Social Control For Political Dissidents (Revised on 12-22-2015)


(Over the last two weeks, for the first time since January of 2014, results from blood tests indicate that health issues I've attributed to injections of Risperdal Consta have 'mysteriously' begun to change for the better. While this is, indeed, good news, I am concerned about how and why this change is occurring and whether or not these results are just temporary or permanent. Will they be used as a rationale for causing more harm in the future? One can only hope this trend will continue and that my desire to move forward towards a state of excellent health will no longer be on hold due to circumstances beyond my control).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On January 1st of 2014, I was ordered by a court to accept the treatment methods dictated by operatives at Saguaro Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona for thinly-veiled political reasons, so thin, in fact, as to leave no doubt as to their real intent. The clinic was to have the option of renewing the treatment for a second year and it opted to do so for unspecified reasons. There is every indication that the court is going to renew that option for a third year except that, on this occasion, they have implied that I am suffering from delusions, flattened or blunted affect and, possibly, other negative symptoms of schizophrenia.


Psychiatry, itself, is a pseudoscience and, as such, all attempts to diagnose and treat those suffering amount to little more than guesswork in the best of scenarios since the major mental disorders can't be diagnosed or treated using the scientific method. There is, however, a set of rather vague criteria which mental health 'professionals' are supposed to use in diagnosing people with suspected mental disorders that gives them an unfair amount of leeway in controlling the lives of those who disobey the government's dictates through frivolous litigation in a court system dominated by some of the most powerful and corrupt entities on earth.

Diagnosing someone is a highly subjective experience, and there's no way of knowing with any kind of certainty whether someone is dealing with emotional trauma that's causing them to live in a reality that's unsafe for them and/or society unless the sufferer's symptoms are severe and pronounced. I am suffering from none but the slightest symptoms of schizophrenia which don't approach being a rational justification for a diagnosis of the disorder. One could say that we all have a few characteristics of the disorder in one way or another.

However, the issue I'm facing right now is my health. Under no circumstances should I have diabetes at the age of fifty. I'm actually experiencing the symptoms of diabetes due to a willful lack of conscientious-driven health care which I've been denied for ten years since my release from prison, poor sleep due to an ongoing campaign by the government to disrupt my sleep patterns, and the exacerbation of artificially-manufactured health issues caused by a forced adherence to a bi-weekly regimen of what I'm being told are injections of Risperdal Consta (50mg).


In fact, I received far better and more conscientious health care during my ten years in prison than I have in the society at large where I've been blacklisted by most members of the medical community. My grandmother recently passed away at the age of 98 and never got diabetes despite eating boxes of chocolates every year during the holidays, and my father didn't get pre-diabetes until he was seventy. There's no history of diabetes on my mother’s side of the family and scant history of the disease on my father’s side.

Note that Risperdal is a toxic substance notorious for causing severe weight gain and the early onset of diabetes, and, even though I've been able to put a halt to the weight gain in recent months, I've been unable to lose weight despite an adherence to a diet that is vegetarian. Local doctors who've been in on the plan to undermine my health for years have been quick to point out that I don't exercise but never acknowledge the fact that I'm not ready to exercise and haven't been for some time due to the symptoms of the regimen I'm being forced to undergo.


They systematically downplay my health problems and, if they don't downplay them, they might overplay them for the wrong reasons. One such example is an ulcer(s) which I've partially treated myself and turned out to be a stroke of luck since cabbage juice is superior to standard mainstream medical treatments for ulcers. Nevertheless, the lack of commitment to Hippocratic principles by those who've been treating me has been almost complete in the last ten years. They've been creating health problems and, then, exacerbating them.

The lack of ability to exercise on my part shouldn’t be construed as an unwillingness to further my cause and, therefore, make me responsible for my own health problems but are caused by the harmful drug I'm forced to take, prolonged sleep deprivation and a lack of quality health care. I've being consistently singled out for discrimination by the local health establishment and am now resorting to nonparticipation much of the time as a way of avoiding conflict. The squeeze is on, and I'll, almost undoubtedly, live a shorter life as a result of it for political reasons.

Among many other nagging health problems that are completely solvable, I'm living with a mysterious epididymal cyst, my testicles have dropped an inch or more, I have strange kidney and liver damage and a whole range of issues that are man-made.

Since being forced to start treatment on a new drug after 3o years on just two drugs (20 years on the minimum dose of Fluphenazine Decanoate and 10 years on Risperdal tablets) that gave me no insurmountable problems, my physical health has deteriorated. As blood levels of this drug have increased, my body’s ability to respond to medications to control the symptoms of diabetes has disappeared in a very short period of time. Despite being on a vegetarian diet for months, I haven't been able to reverse or even reduce what has turned into run-away diabetes.

The following list is a partial one. These symptoms don't occur with the same frequency or intensity during every two-week cycle between injections. Symptoms wax and wane. In other words, they're consistently inconsistent.

Risperdal 50mg (Past and Present)


· Uncontrolled Blood Glucose Levels

· Uncontrolled Weight Gain (one-half to one pound per week)

· Near Full Body Neuropathy (Face, Extremities, Stomach,  Wrists)

· Muscle Burning in Legs While Walking Around the House

· Muscle Stiffness (Decrease in Range of Motion Making Exercise of Proper Hygiene While in the Shower & During Bowel Movements Difficult)


· Severe Dry Mouth at Nights

. Kidney and Liver Damage

. Problems with Cholesterol

· Lethargy (Sedentary Lifestyle)

· Metabolic Syndrome

· Shortness of Breath


. Frequent Urination (not persistent)

. Dizziness

· Rapid Heart Rate


. Poor Range of Motion (ROM)

· Increased Risk for Tardive Dyskinesia

· Up to a Dozen Bowel Movements a Day

· Less Range of Emotion Although Not Pathological, Not Due  to Blunted or Flat Affect

· Decreased Mental Capacities

· Decreased Overall Functionality


I previously reported in the original version of this blog post which, except for the last word and parentheses, bears an identical title to this one, stated that one of the symptoms I've been experiencing has been "flattened affect." I did so without actually paying any real attention to the medical definition of the words. The Oxford Dictionary's definition of the two individual words combined doesn't carry the same connotation as the medical term, and I was using the dictionary's meaning of the two words in my previous blog post to describe a mild but worrisome decrease in emotional intensity caused by the injections, not the very profound symptoms of flattened affect. Any psychiatrist worth his/her salt wouldn't spend a minute questioning this because he would be able to spot the signs of the condition which are not to be confused with apathy or indifference.

In fact, one of the definitions of flat and blunted affect describes the sufferer as appearing to be emotionless, having no emotions at all. I Googled the word and got this as a partial definition: "To have a flat, or blunt affect means that a person appears to lack any emotion at all." So,when I researched the actual symptoms of the medical term, I quickly came to the realization that I had never experienced anything resembling that condition. Even in 1984 and '85 when I was delusional for a year, I didn't experience anything that profound. I can remember a concerned counselor getting on my case once for being apathetic but I wasn't suffering from flat or blunt affect. It was hard for me to open up at the time because I was in so much pain, but authentic flattened affect is not the kind of mild decrease in emotional intensity I've experienced on Risperdal Consta, and that mild, though no less bothersome, loss in my usual zest for living (because such extreme standards are not usually how we measure our happiness) has begun to subside in the last month or two as the acquisition of Vitamin D to treat a five-year deficiency might explain why.


I've Tried to Revoke A Prior Authorization to be Treated with Risperdal Consta To No Avail


The first signs of an impending diagnosis took place after I was psychological abused by three students who were in contact with college officials at Baylor University in 1984. The three students were Brad Heritage (senior), Steve Lyons (freshman) and Scott Maloney (freshman). The oldest student was in communication about my situation with an administrator running the dorm I was living in (Martin Hall). I never learned his name but could recognize him by sight. I smoked pot about six times in the eight or nine months leading up to my last month or so at the school and, then, three more times with the three students I just named.


It was with these three that I smoked a type of marijuana that occasionally causes temporary anxiety and paranoia which, for me, always went away after a good night's sleep dating back to a few experiences in Colombia a year or two earlier. The dorm's administrator and an on-campus counselor, Scott Hankins, arranged for an off-campus visit with a psychiatrist--my first ever--after I smoked pot with the three students on a few occasions at the Southern Baptist school.

The three encouraged me to get high the first two times, and on the last occasion I was psychologically abused and taunted by while, simultaneously, experiencing a state of weed-induced paranoia. That paranoia was no different than past episodes, but the abuse was new. It was the visit with a psychiatrist that, in my mind, confirmed that I was mentally ill. They never said it, but they implied it, and I believed it. I may have been ill, at that point, but it was the abuse, not the marijuana that was the direct cause. The cannabis was simply the instrument they used to get me there.

At the same time, my fellow students in Martin Hall began to treat me like an outcast which filled me with a sense of isolation and despair and compounded my self-doubts. I don't know who, if anyone, paid for the visit with the psychiatrist, but it wasn't long thereafter that Brad Heritage dropped me off at the Waco bus station, suitcase in hand, to seek comfort and refuge in the company of family members in Albuquerque. Upon arrival, their harsh criticisms only compounded my sense of despair.

I partially recovered from this break with reality about a year later, enough to move out on my own with the assistance of disability income and successfully return to school in 1990. I saw myself as needing a little more time to remain on disability in order to work my way out of poverty while attending school. Therefore, I used the system and my diagnosis to my advantage which, in a very real sense, was the correct thing to do. My psyche had been shattered, and I needed help getting on my feet. In three years time, I positioned myself to graduate at the top of my class when, suddenly, something new happened, a legal nightmare that still has my life on hold to this date.

By 1990, I had re-entered college but was slapped with criminal charges for 'crimes' I didn't commit before getting a chance to graduate. After a sham of a trial in which my public defender was paid a few hundred dollars, I was convicted and sentenced to eighteen years in prison. 

After my release, I re-entered college, once again, finally graduating after a 24-year wait, as co-valedictorian of Paradise Valley Community College in 2007 while holding down three part-time jobs and fulfilling the demands of my parole. This was highly stressful seeing that a false narrative was being pushed on me in mandatory group counseling sessions where I was being threatened with a return to prison for not owning up to 'crimes' that I was obligated by my conscience to deny any involvement in. I was later allowed to forego group sessions for one-on-one sessions with a priest at Catholic Charities which proved to be the difference in getting me beyond the extremely harsh demands of group counseling. 

There’s nothing wrong with me. I'm obese from, among other things, years of forced sleep deprivation. I need nine hours of sleep every night but get by on four or five without feeling overly tired. Yet, my body is hardly healing, and the lack of sleep is a major reason why. Besides problems with my physical health which are exacerbated by the injections I'm forced to take, I’m capable of holding down a job and/or going back to school. Unfortunately, my student aid money has almost run out and the blacklisting I'm experiencing for the simple act of defending my integrity is getting worse, not better.

They've now decided to renew court-ordered treatment for a third year under the guise--I assume--that I'm delusional and suffer from flattened affect and other negative symptoms (all of which I can prove are nonexistent) which, in effect, denies me the right to leave the country in good legal standing and take up residence elsewhere. Thus, as a political dissident who's fundamentally at odds with U.S. imperialism at home and abroad, I can't do the honorable thing of leaving the country to live in exile.

All of this started over four sentences taken out of context from a lengthy thread of emails sent to my mother about one particular topic. They weren't random emails; they belonged to the same thread. The overarching theme was reasonable and constructive. I rationally laid out my thoughts in writing the way I always do on social media. These emails disappeared from my server shortly after my 'trial' in which I was asked one question and given less than a minute to respond. 

It's as if the sentences had been surgically removed from the emails and, in the process, were interpreted as something else when taken out of context. You have to read the whole thread to get the real picture which is why they say the lie of omission is a lie, nonetheless. Something taken out of context has a different meaning than when it's interpreted in the presence of surrounding information that adds to it's meaning. In fact, one word or even one letter can change the meaning of a paragraph or an entire page of writing. That's how important attention to detail is when you are writing. 

This is a textbook example of political repression, and there is nothing more stressful than health problems. With a health care crisis looming, the decision to deny my right to leave the country has set back my hopes of living in freedom. If I don't survive until 2016, it could prove to be my last wish.


I've noticed some of the patterns of behavior that characterize street-level government operatives called agents provocateurs since 1990. I've recorded some of their activities and can substantiate some of the ways I've been attacked for years using various disruptions in sounds I hear in my environment that are intended to take place so the general public is unaware of them and can't or won't acknowledge they're taking place. Intuitively, I feel there are those who believe my version of reality is based in truth. According to Noam Chomsky, governments have targeted their own citizens since the birth of human civilization, and the United States is no exception. Knowing what I do about how the world works, this comes as no surprise. 

As a socialist and leader in the resistance movement who believes that non-violent, peaceful resistance is our only hope for saving the planet for human habitation and deterring all-out nuclear war that woulld destroy the species, I have been targeted in the same way that resistance leaders were targeted in the aftermath of World War II and Roosevelt's New Deal whichg gave us Social Security and Unemployment Insurance and what's left of the nation's social safety net. After decades of deceit, treachery, murder and mayhem, the last vestiges of this social safety net are now being dismantled. We witnessed it when President Barack Obama, a Democrat entrusted to defend the poor, put Social Security on the chopping block during his first term. It was this act that lead me to part ways with a man whom I had ardently supported.


America's Unofficial Religion — The War On An Idea // Empire_File006

My government has been at war with me. I'm a target of political repression that has largely gone underground after Dr. Martin Luther King's protests, along with others such as the women's suffragist movement, forced them to work in greater secrecy than in the past.  My goal is a world in which the world's wealth will one day be redistributed more evenly and where social justice will be worldwide, not taking place in isolation as is the case today. The can be no justice in the absence of economic justice, and world peace will always be a pipedream until everyone can partake in this redistribution of wealth because poverty is tantamount to violence. No world can be at peace under such circumstances.



I was first targeted as a teenager around 1980 (when I was fifteen) and that persecution by the Colombian establishment, a society run by a system that serves our country's business interests, continued after my return to the United States where the mental health system was first used as a method of social control against me. The U.S. system is similar, although sleeker and glossier, than the system once used in the old Soviet Union. Political prisoners there were given a diagnosis of 'sluggish schizophrenia' and were forced to take drugs that did horrendous things to their mental and physical health under deplorable physical conditions. The system here can, also, be very cruel.


Chomsky on Socialism

Even with the use of the mental health system for thirty-two years to contain my free-thinking, the criminal justice system called in to assist with the task of containing my commitment to egalitarianism in a legal charade that started on this side of the Caribbean a quarter of a century ago when the process of monitoring every aspect of my life began. The year when I became aware something was wrong was 1990. This was about one year after a Housing Authority scandal broke out in Albuquerque.

Although I've carried the whistleblower mindset with me for most of my life, the case I was involved in took place in 1988 as one of the higher-ranking officials in the Albuquerque Housing Authority lost his job and other measures taken in a scandal that broke out over improprieties at that agency. I reported what I knew in a multiple-page, handwritten document that was hand-delivered by me to the administrator who wound up losing his job over it, Dino Parra. Apparently, he actually turned that document in to his superiors. Or, perhaps, he just 'went away' for a while to give the impression serious action had been taken to address the issues I had raised. I don't know.



WSDE Workers' Self-Directed Enterprises -- by Richard Wolff

These improprieties amounted to unfair practices in which someone in the Housing Authority accepted bribes, gifts, and/or rewards in return for favorable treatment toward certain housing programs and individuals in the community. In short, corruption was taking place. I don't know the full extent of what took place. All I heard was that the official was fired and services were previously provided to a number of housing programs in the community were suspended or curtailed.

About a year and a half after the scandal first broke, the process of framing me for fictitious crimes appears to have started. At least, that part of the take-down program I was aware of began. I remember beginning to feel 'watched' all the time by something sinister that I couldn't quite grasp. There were times when I was openly harassed by neighbors, but I didn't know what to make of their bizarre behavior. Three years later, in 1993, I was charged with a slew of 'crimes' that, quite literally, caused my jaw to drop when I first heard some of the details in court, and two years later I was sentenced to eighteen years in prison after a sham of a trial that made a mockery of American justice.

After my release from prison, in 2005, I landed three part-time jobs and graduated summa cum laude from Paradise Valley Community College two years later. When the economy tanked in December of that year, my luck ran out and my blacklisting began in earnest. It wasn’t until I began openly defying gatekeepers in the mental health system by defending my innocence, challenging the government's narrative of my past, that the weight of the system being brought to bear on me was increased dramatically.

I had been treated as a model patient for eighteen years leading up to my break with the Phoenix establishment, a break that was initiated without being veiled by the powers that be. It was as if one day I was in favor, and the next day I was out of favor--persona non grata--for not accepting a narrative that would have destroyed my reputation for the rest of my life and beyond. I couldn't in good conscience allow this to happen. I couldn't allow this lie to defeat me without doing everything in my power to stop it.

For twenty-six years, the system had worked at one level or another to support me even as it worked against my cause with false labels of 'schizophrenic' and 'pedophile.' Now, suddenly, it had upped the ante for my refusal to permit my name to be slandered, in a final sense, by me of all people. I was supposed to confess to the world that I had committed crimes or else suffer the consequences of public reproval, and I've been paying for my refusal to lie about myself so the establishment would go easy on me ever since. I was supposed to accept blame in order to maintain my 'good standing' in a society that had already devastated me twice with labels that cost me twenty-one years climbing uphill battles. Moreover, they both carry a lifetime of stigmatization with no end to the madness in sight.

In short, I’m now a political activist, and the reasons aren't hard to understand. The mental health system's willingness to emulate history's worst examples (the illegal and systematic torture of detainees without a trial in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba comes to mind, and a modified, scaled down, less harsh version of this system is now being implemented here in the US for the purposes of suppressing truth tellers) of torture on its downward path to becoming the one of the institutional dregs of American society has been vital to the government's efforts to limit my non-violent radicalism, thwart justice, stigmatize me, deny personal freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, and oppress me to an extent that I've never seen before are some of those reasons why.


The court system in the United States, historically, has shown a startling bias in favor of Big Business, and the Supreme Court sides with Big Money 95% of the time and with the people just 5%. I stand completely alone with blind faith in the principle that might does not make right, right makes might. It was Mahatma Gandhi who said even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.  
So, I'm forced to walk a legal plank feeling a need to protest, albeit alone, in full knowledge of the fact that the odds are overwhelmingly against me and that I will probably be crushed by corporate-owned courts again. I'm prepared to live with the consequences of my actions even if they result in my death. I'm innocent, I'm not delusional, and my heart tells me I can't allow myself to be portrayed this way regardless of the odds.




Therefore, come what may I must confront a scheme borne of sin, hatched in the deep bowels of iniquity to undermine the Constitution by curtailing my civil liberties, deny my right to privacy and subvert democracy as part of an all-encompassing, greed-driven, crypto-fascist attack on Earth's inhabitants by an anonymous international, East German Stasi-style crime syndicate headed up by the United States government and the most powerful entities on earth that own it.




The Best Marijuana Documentary - Canadian (28:01-28:35) 



Strong Weed with B Real (from Joe Rogan Experience #189)


Secular Talk - Seth Rogen Rips Nancy Graces's Pot Hysteria


Cannabis Documentary - (8:02-17:09) 


Does Marijuana Cause Schizophrenia - The View 


Psychiatrie (34:37-40:30)