Hermione Luck – Stop The Leak

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

Stop The Leak


With the world not being flat,

we can’t always see what is coming …

Take this new round of Covid with its wonderful Omicron variant. Maybe we didn’t see this new virus actually coming, but c’mon, didn’t we sense something just around the corner? Didn’t we intuit our truce with this pandemic was inherently fragile? If once again we have to hunker down for the winter, how do we do this as a culture? What did we learn from previous battles? What seemed to work last time and what didn’t?

Let’s begin by stating the obvious – even before Covid, trust in government has been dead on arrival for decades. We’ve been mired in an age of social and political polarity featuring both political belligerence and social entitlement, and the opportunity schism that keeps them far apart. The belligerence side comes from so many of us either being left out, overwhelmed, overdrawn, the wrong color, the wrong sex, standing up to be heard, or standing in line for our meds … all while the far less populated side of entitled Americana eats at expensive restaurants, drives elitist cars, sends their children to pedigree colleges, and pays $400 to see the Lakers. So what is the answer? Anyone with some good ideas?

I’m told that America wants to be great again. That sounds good. There are so many of us who fear for our children and our children’s children that the best will no longer be ‘yet to come’. How can we get back on the right track? Where do we start? Is there any way we can make better use of our lemons?

If we do want the best to come, may I suggest while we’re making America great again, why not make Science great again as well? That’s my New Year’s resolution, to be part of a clear and passionate voice helping to make Science a respected and vital player in life, something akin to truth but open to and seeking improvement. Truth and improvement – ah yes, we can dream a little can’t we?

Let’s get back to what worked during the first Covid winter – a few possibilities come to mind. Look at what big deals very simple things became. Like taking a walk. Reading a book. Enjoying a new recipe. Having a friend. Who would have thought such simple acts would stake their claim to be the golden rings on the carousel?

Those insights and the possibility of a place in our lives for humility are important because here are the ongoing problems that await us, intent upon continuing to divide us even if we defeat the virus – racism, sexism, school shootings, a huge national debt, and the most formidable of all, climate change … there are no vaccines for any of this.

And this whole thing about life being a glass half empty or half full? It’s no longer a matter of which half we choose. It’s a matter of whether we have the actual wherewithal to keep the glass from leaking … whether we are up to the task of preserving the usefulness of the glass itself, as in the challenge of climate change and whether we are capable of not squandering the future.

How do we do keep the glass from leaking? I hate to use the word ‘duh’ here, but the first step to Stop The Leak is to get vaccinated. Then, after we hopefully wade through this self-made political sewer, we can move on to the plethora of systemic problems we faced before viruses made us their bitch.

Those are my thoughts for the day and a new year … and now that I review them, I’m starting to figure out why I don’t date much.

All the best, Hermione

Buddha ben Buddha – Accomplishment w/o credit

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Buddha ben Buddha

It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit

Let’s face it, this quote didn’t come from The Art of the Deal. For four long years, an entire country was forced to babysit the ego of the most powerful person in the world, concerned that he was prone to wetting his diaper as soon as he was ignored.

Most politicians seem to have one thing in mind – to get re-elected which intrinsically becomes attached at the hip to getting credit … all while they pretend to eat humble pie. There has to be a better way.



Which two deeds make you proud even though no one knows you did them?



apply the first word separately to each following word

  1. invisible …  freedom/burden/myth                                                                            
  2. fame   …  success/chains/influence                                             
  3. team …  chemistry/pecking order/win  
  4. leader … visionary/ listener/self-serving

kRIS Krankle – Content to be Nobody

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kRIS Krankle

founder of M.I.L.D.E.W.
Men with Intimacy and Learning Disorders Experiencing Women

Content to be Nobody


Last Fall, even before the arrival of Omicron, the wife realized my social distancing funk was not dissipating like it did for most people we knew. She worried because when I returned home from work, I’d stopped scratching our new rescue dog, who faithfully waits for me on the front porch every night, and once inside, I didn’t want to come to the dinner table to eat … on Thursday nights, I stopped playing masked poker with the boys, but I explained to her the masks hid who was bluffing.

The wife sat me down and suggested that every night I simply disappear into the backyard and look up at the sky, or I quickly retreat into the bedroom to watch ESPN propping myself up in our bed eating cheese doodles … all of which is wife-speak for sucking your thumb. She also told me something I’ll never forget – that I was becoming content to be nobody.

I have to admit, when I first heard her say that, it felt like a low blow. It’s common knowledge that guys don’t deal well with low blows. Only recently, at one of our M.I.L.D.E.W. meetings, did I learn that women don’t deal well with low blows either.

The wife went further and said I was becoming idle and uninvolved. She called my condition EDF – the ‘eat, drink, and fart’ syndrome that many men experience in their mid-50’s … look, the wife and I met just after she graduated from Sarah Lawrence where she apparently majored in being right, so thirty-one years ago, I knew what I was getting into when I met her. Yes, I do fart a lot. I’m not sure any more than when we met … so that’s on her in my book.

There’s this guy in group who I listen to a lot. This week, Jeremiah asked the therapist – “Does marriage always have to be a journey?” He added, “I don’t know about the rest of you guys, I know they’re supposed to be good for you, but I’m tired of journeys. I mean, my wife and I are good – last time I looked we’re still married. It’s just that everything in life these days has to be a goddamned journey … and that’s beginning to piss me off.”

Jeremiah might be unemployed, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t intend to ever over-exert himself, but the man has a point. Take the journey we all have at M.I.L.D.E.W. dealing with women. We’ve tried our best to understand what women want and when they want it, and for most of us, in spite of our efforts, we find ourselves continually coming up short. I asked the therapist “Is it us, or is it them?” She replied something like marriage is complicated and it takes two to tango. For that she went to graduate school?

So being a nobody – the more I thought about it, the more I realized as long as I bring home the bacon, like my father did, and his father before him, I’m trying to be honest here, but being a nobody – the more I thought about it, the more it didn’t seem like such a bad thing … as men get older, the less chores, the less pressure to be a man/ the better chance of not having a heart attack … so I’m thinking to myself, why bother overachieving when you can live longer by being a nobody. Besides, the wife has a PhD. Nobody here I come.

On the other hand, there is another possible reason for my funk – the wife’s sister, Joy. This despondency of mine might be more related to the fact that Joy has lived with us for months now, and this is not just me talking … the woman is completely nuts. Ask the kids. Ask our neighbors. Ask the guy at the liquor store.

You know how some people refuse to take the vaccine because it causes (pick one) sterility, male breast enlargement, the compulsion to vote Democratic, or blindness? Well, Joy – and believe me she’s anything but … how can I say this? Joy believes her body is a shrine and she’s currently trying her best to create a second identity so she can have both vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna.

Yup, all four shots and after that, both boosters … I kid you not. The woman aspires to be a pin cushion, which seems to me more like what Andy in our group calls a V.I.P., a victim in pursuit. So the wife thought it would be a good idea to rent an RV and tour America to cheer me up, you know, to get me away from my nine to five, get me away from my gloom, and most of all, for me to have time away from Joy and tour a country full of so much joy.

With optimism in our back pocket, we eventually decided to spend ten days of our only vacation time in Utah. I don’t get it – why do so many people feel they’ve found Heaven in Utah? Look, I gotta tell ya straight out, I’m afraid of Mormons. I had an accident on a ski slope once and I’m deathly afraid of any form of white-out.

These Mormons – do they all have square chins and prominent cheekbones? Even the women look like Mitch Romney. You have to give them credit, though – Mormon businesses are everywhere you look. And boy do they plan ahead. They pop out children like they pop out businesses, employing their progeny to work for them as soon as they know how to manage the cash register. I was lucky if my kids agreed to take out the garbage.

Dr. Demento/
brought to you by Dr. Vanilla

Unfortunately, the uneventful end of my story is that we wound up traveling in a rented RV through a number of Utah National Parks where I swear I will never go again – not because of the preponderance of Mormons, but because I’m done with traveling at 16 mph, forced to stare at tailpipes and absorb gasoline fumes, made to endure bumper stickers from Texas and Oklahoma asking me to Honk For Freedom. If only freedom were that simple.

Me? I need things that are far less convoluted … maybe watching ESPN and being content to be nobody is simply who I am these days. Maybe being a nobody is only a brief glimpse, a chapter, a chapter to stand between what comes next and what’s come before. Do a few hundred empty bags of cheese doodles have to define an entire book?

The wife is cool. She’ll forgive me for most anything I do as long as I shower. Besides, we’re still in Christmas mode and I told her my New Year’s resolution is to give Joy to the world … I think she misinterpreted what I meant. 



Hermione Luck – A Disneyland Grip on Reality

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

A Disneyland Grip on Reality

December 15, 2021


In the frozen tundra that has become America’s concept of Public School education, the layers beneath the surface continue to need careful exploration. We currently find ourselves at a new melting point where the overlapping roles of parent, teacher, and society-at-large must come to terms with who is responsible not only for what is taught in the classroom, but what are the clear layers of responsibility for student behavior on school grounds?

To begin with, the historical ‘content in the classroom’ question was sensationalized in 1925 with the Scopes monkey trial and whether Darwin’s theory of evolution was scientific rumor or a blasphemous point of view trumped by the word of God.

A rebirth of this socio-religious warfare currently takes place in the form of whether to teach all/part/none of ‘critical race theory’ in the classroom, to which you can add the devastating anxiety of a poor Virginia mother suffering because her son was having nightmares from reading Toni Morrison in his A.P. class.

May I advise our distraught Virginia mother that yes, it surely must be frightening to be an Advanced Placement parent headed for college. But I’d suggest a vigilant eye be kept if her impressionable boy ventures further than say his front sidewalk, in that he may be in danger of being influenced by reality. I wonder if he also gets nightmares after a serious evening of playing his Manhunt 2 video game.

Have parents gone too far protecting their children from the pitfalls of the adult world while not adequately monitoring their child’s fantasy world? Most likely, the answer there is yes. Do all teachers have the necessary charisma and competence to both teach and socialize? Some do, but overall, most likely the answer is no. Then where does that leave us? How does the daunting task of both educating and socializing a child to succeed come to fruition in a complex and unforgiving world?

Well quite simply, it takes a village, and it takes everyone being responsible for his or her part, which brings us to the soup du jour – the most recent school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan.

Let’s cut to the chase – adolescents all over the world are moody … they have bi-polar swings of being on top of the world, quickly yielding to feeling crushed by their naive expectations of themselves and each other. America is the only country where these fledgling adults with their Disneyland grip on reality seem to have universal access to guns. And whether these children employ these guns to show off, be cool, or rob stores, or if they take family guns into school and wipe out innocent classmates, enough is enough.

The question we all face with the Michigan atrocities takes everything one step further – is it fair to hold the parents of these adolescents equally accountable? The classroom, the locker room, the playground, the hallways have all become a battleground, and who is responsible? What do we do with a parent who buys a war-worthy automatic gun for his child, a child who then goes out and murders his schoolmates? Are we getting warmer as to a possible answer?

Or how about this one – what do we do with a role model parent who advises her child, ‘don’t get caught’ if you’re going to draw morbid cartoons of killing people? What do we do with these people? We can’t make them all live in Texas.

Sorry, but those parents, the ones who bought the gun and advised their son not to get caught? Look no further – they’re guilty, both of them. Although the line was crossed for me a long time ago at Sandy Hook (you know, that fake grade school massacre that never happened just like the moon landing), the Oxford High School shootings beg for making the people who buy guns responsible for their use no matter who uses them. That just has to become the way we roll.

And any mother who is told that her son is drawing pictures of shootings with the caption “The thoughts won’t stop, help me”, and then advises her son that the key is not to get caught drawing pictures … is she guilty of aiding and abetting?

It’s a classroom. Innocent lives were lost. You do the math.  


Hermione Luck – Where Do We Go From Here?

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

Where Do We Go From Here?

November 15, 2021


Here is why the Governor’s race in Virginia was so important – the winning candidate, Glenn Youngkin, found a viable Republican formula to beat the Democrats, where he was able to tacitly acknowledge Donald Trump, while remaining sure to keep his distance. The viral subjects of Fake News and a stolen election were clearly avoided.

His main issue involved a parent’s’ role in the classroom, which has catapulted to become a new flashpoint in American culture as we revisit the sociology of Scopes vs. Tennessee.

What was the key to Youngkin’s win? His campaign tapped into the political reality that Joe Biden won the presidency because of an anti-Trump vote with moderates, especially in suburbia, especially with females. And with Trump not on the ticket, a lot of those voters switched back to the Republican alternative because a lot of people want an alternative, any alternative, like really really bad … and Joe isn’t giving it to them.

But let’s face it, the man has enjoyed little help. Covid and its variants, food prices, gas prices, claustrophobic quarantines, supply chain bottlenecks, the black hole of federal debt, China and Russia enjoying their turn at schadenfreude.

Then as icing on the half-baked cake that he’s trying to serve America, poor Joe is saddled with a pathetic Democratic party that continues to perform its circular firing squad routine to the delight of conservatives … the progressives seem intent upon making ‘holier-than-thou’ an art form and pissing-off everybody in the room, while the moderates can’t keep their pants from falling down as they bend over to look for votes.

For me, Biden is the nation’s sacrificial lamb. By 2020, Trump had thoroughly torched the landscape, his biggest sin being that all by himself he somehow made truth negotiable. By the time Trump ran for re-election, as if we’d all been to war, healing became a viable campaign issue for the entire country.

The country clamored for compromise, and indeed the country did need Joe Biden once. But I think we all understand that the country isn’t likely to re-elect him if he chooses to run, mainly because the economy seems to be benefitting only Wall Street and as a Covid society we essentially remain at war with one another.

It isn’t that Biden and Harris have failed. This would have happened no matter whose grandfather we elected. It’s more a matter there was only a snowball’s chance in Hell for a Build Back Better compromise in the first place. The infrastructure bill that emerged from the House is a reminder that promises made when running for office usually reach the finish line like a survivor from a shipwreck plucked from a sea of bickering Congressional self-importance.

So where do the Democrats go from here? Is Biden a viable re-election candidate? Where do the Republicans go from here? Do they really need ‘Trump the candidate’ as opposed to ‘Trump the mouthpiece’? Where does the country go from here? Is bi-partisanship permanently vestigial? These questions are interesting, even relevant, but the bottom line as far as I see it, is how do we begin to right the ship. Where do we go from here?

I wrote a column recently that I shelved because I felt it was too corny. Identifying as a progressive myself, the word corny often meant, you know, Republican. Walt Disney material. Snow Whiter than white. Then again, I thought to myself some of my best friends are Republicans, which sounds enlightened except for the fact I don’t have any best friends.

Here’s that column.

Whether it be Black Lives Matter or Make America Great Again, we’ve been a country of slogans since the first Americans claimed No Taxation Without Representation.

That initial slogan masked our humble beginnings, that we were a country of cast-offs, a country determined to have a different future, a country that felt it had a special destiny, a destiny that made it exceptional.

The fact that Americans are attached at the hip to the vision of being the greatest country in the world, that they are inherently ‘exceptional’, is well-documented. We’ve never strayed far from that opinion of ourselves.

In fact, it’s part of what annoys the rest of the world – not annoyed because we have the strongest military that ever waged a war, but more along the lines that we think we’re pretty much better than everyone else, not just great but the greatest, not just good but the best, you know, the top of the heap … exceptional.

Well, humanity is definitely a heap, that much is clear. And most any culture that’s been on top of their respective heap, or considered themselves exceptional, has experienced a painful fall. Egypt, Greece, Rome, Spain, Britain, the Dutch can attest to that sobering reality. So what can we do about it?

One starting point might be to drop the self-congratulatory shout-out of claiming to be exceptional. Even a significant number of Americans are getting tired of the routine. Obviously, we have major unresolved issues, and we’re currently discovering that these are the kind of issues that sap the life out of greatness.

Maybe it’s time to put greatness on the back burner. Maybe we need a different recipe to achieve our goals. What about making America grateful again? And from there, get on with business. You know, like including everyone.

We seem to have misplaced something important somewhere along the way … the kind of perspective that includes a certain pause, a certain humility … glad I’m here, glad my kids are here with me … I accept there’s work to be done, and I’m ready to chip in. The kind of perspective that demands results. Results. Which puts us where with Congress?

Let’s be capable and not culpable, and maybe when we’re done, we’ll simply let history decide if we’ve fulfilled our expectations of ourselves.


Polly Peepers – Hoping For The Best

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Polly Peepers / guest columnist

Family Advice


Hoping For The Best


Dear Polly,

I love your column and share it monthly with my girlfriends. We love that you’re not afraid to speak your mind, and that your advice is always so sensible, even if sometimes it’s outside the box. Well, Polly, I am beginning to feel boxed … and it’s something I can’t share with the girls.

Oftentimes, the girls and I talk about what is a successful relationship? Each of us understands that we have it better than most, yet there is, I must admit, somewhat of an undercurrent of competition as to which marriage is successful and which marriage is not. My minister tells me this is normal, and not to pay attention.

Here’s my problem – I guess I just feel like a liar.

My husband and I argue way more than I let on. And every time the girls talk about successful relationships, I find myself not willing to share what really goes on between the two of us. He’s a good man, he treats me well, but we’re really so different, in the Mars and Venus kind of way. My minister tells me, “… at least he lets you argue with him.” I don’t know, is that really a privilege? I’m beginning to think my minister is a chauvinist, which is why I’m coming to you.

What is the secret? How do my husband and I deal with all of the arguments? How can I contribute to making this a successful relationship? It’s really important to me.  What is the secret? How do my husband and I deal with all of the arguments? How can I contribute to making this a successful relationship? It’s really important.

    – Hoping for the Best, Peachwood, Kansas

Dear Hoping for the Best,                          The best way I can answer your question is to send along a rarely seen video from friends of mine. He is a Greek Orthodox priest, and she forgives him. Polly

Family Advice Video >> go to Videos / Miscellaneous

Dear Polly,

Look, I’m a guy, and I don’t normally do this kind of thing, like write and ask for advice. I admit it’s easier than doing it in person, but still, I’m just not that way. Unfortunately, as it turns out, I’m desperate, and the cashier at the University who really understands me has suggested I write to you.

I am divorced and a co-parent of two girls with my first wife. I married again and my second wife who also had a child from a previous marriage, wanted a thousand more children, and unfortunately, I didn’t ask her about that particular subject before we got married. We parted ways when she decided she didn’t appreciate my full-body condom, and she went off and signed up at a sperm bank to have someone else’s kid. I took that as a sign that this relationship wasn’t as long term as I’d hoped.

Anyway, I’ve got these two girls from my first marriage, and their mother has decided to leave town. Not really move out of the county, mind you, but sort of far enough away not to be involved. Her lawyer claims she did her part, giving birth, and that she has HypoDistancia, a disease that apparently allows you to let everyone else take care of your bills. 

Polly – I hate writing this stuff about myself. But tell me, I have these girls who need a functional mother. I mean pretty soon they’re going to have you know, that time of the month. And I don’t have siblings to fill in, or the money to hire a Mrs. Doubtfire. I just want to be a good dad. We only have one bathroom.

                                                                            In Deep Sh*t, Anacortes, Washington

Dear In Deep Sh*t,

There is no existential shovel large enough to make this easy. Let’s begin with what not to do. I wouldn’t advise the desperate path of beating the bushes for a new relationship just to have a role model for your girls. It’s a temptation, I know, but don’t panic. First lick your wounds from your most recent marriage, and then figure out what you’ve learned from the experience. Like proposing to someone you think you know, but not really. I think there’s room for growth there.

You underestimate yourself. Most men do when it comes to nurturing. In fact, I would venture to say you have far more going for you than you might imagine. Young girls want to please the opposite sex considerably more than they want to please the same sex. They are not in competition with you as much as they might be with a mother-figure. In fact, I would suggest to keep your ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ single father card in your back pocket. It’s your ace.

Ask your girls to help you raise them. Ask for their advice. Be honest with them as to your fears and vulnerability. It works well in dating, and equally well in parenting. And rather than seeking out advice from female friends as to what to do, seek out advice from single fathers, share their successes and their mistakes. I guarantee you this – by being honest with yourself and with your girls, they will grow up to love you for the effort you’ve put in, and if necessary, forgive you for the mistakes you have made.

Believing in yourself as a parent is believing in them as your children, and no parent can do more


Hermione Luck – Mirror-Mirror-on-the-wall

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist


December 1, 2021


Mirror-mirror-on-the-wall, who’s the greatest of them all?

So now we officially enter the post-election era of FrankenTrump … after being banned for bad behavior from Twitter and Facebook, Donald Trump has created his very own social media platform called Truth Social, and he’s discovered how to raise money for his 2024 mouthpiece by SPAC-ing himself, a skill he learned from Stormy Daniels.

  • What a surprise, don’t you think?
  • Donald Trump coming back on social media?
  • And from what they say, apparently he isn’t a good loser.

Here’s what’s in store for us – the man who was impeached and banished from the Washington tribe is quickly clawing his way back into the spotlight. And he’s doing it with two politically-charged words – truth and social. Truth Social … as in I’ll protect you from socialism. All this while attempting to create a platform from which his rabid followers can feed, as he simultaneously trolls for fence-sitters, suburbanites, and marginal Democrats. Republicans are far better at politics.  

Here’s a possible historical truth we might want to consider. This division in our country has been festering since we achieved our sacred independence from England. When Americans no longer had a common enemy in the British, it didn’t take long for the enemy to become ourselves … and I think we’ve never gotten over that. Essentially, as long as America has existed, there’s been a lot of people who have nothing, eternally pissed off at a lot of people who have something.

Add slavery to that, and you have a mess.

In fact, in a country that professes to respect history yet doesn’t like to teach it, the truth is that after the Declaration of Independence, life in America was no Horatio Alger story. Even omitting the indelible stain of slavery, Americans were massively divided by economic class – the preponderance of the hoi polloi could barely keep their heads above water, while the landed continued to accumulate more property and wealth.

With the voting enfranchisement of democracy as a tailwind, the two economic classes and their votes were eventually absorbed by political parties. One party protected the people who had nothing, the other party protected the people who had something. Now, in the Bush-Obama-Trump-Biden era, politics have taken another major step, morphing into religions. Each political party believes the other party is morally wrong.

Unfortunately, Truth Social or some form of it, is about to make that division wider with a holy war of Fake News, false votes, and despicable Democrats. I’d like to take a shot at going on record to predict the top five stories that will be reported in 2022 by this future bastion of right-wing veracity

  1. President Trump Claims Pence Came Onto Him
  2. President Falls, Hits Head, and Has Amnesia Before Court Appearance
  3. Have You Ever Really Seen Liz Cheney and Dick Cheney in the Same Room?
  4. Hillary Clinton Went All The Way With Her Gerbil
  5. Melania Trump Signs Sworn Statement that Her Sole Ownership of Trump Tower Has Nothing to do with Keeping Secrets

Good luck, America.

                                                                                                                        ~ Hermione


Hermione Luck – Obesity

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist


April 10, 2020


The Covid crisis has certainly put us back on our heels. Coming into Fall when we’ll begin the migration indoors, we look straight ahead at the specter of winter. The people in the know tell us that this will result in a surge of Covid cases.

We’re being told, by the end of the year, more than 100,000,000 people will have been infected worldwide, and that this almost inconceivable toll most likely will be under-estimated. Of those infected, more than 2,000,000 people will have died, and they say that a quarter of that total will be Americans. It just keeps on coming, doesn’t it? American exceptionalism – We’re Number One!

And just to cheer us up, these same experts tell us that all those horrific statistics could eventually triple before we get a handle on this thing. Meanwhile, back at the White House, our president questions if we can shoot sunlight into our veins to arrest the disease. You can’t make this stuff up.

There are rumors of vaccines of course, but none in sight. There are also conspiracy theories that Covid is a hoax, sort of like the school massacres at Sandy Hook and Parkland. Interesting how the concept of evil finds its comfort zone on both sides of the coin.

In its wake, conspiracists believing they are defending themselves from evil, determined not to wear masks, essentially asking the rest of the world to bend over so they can wave the flag before shoving the flagpole up our behinds.

We have to take this pandemic seriously right now if we are to prevent a worst-case scenario. But what about a year from now in 2021? What about after the vaccine has been discovered?

What about when everyone returns to their jobs, or at least locates the jobs that are left over? What will we do to prevent another pandemic in the future? Can we learn from our mistakes, or are we destined to repeat them?


I have an idea … let’s take a deep dive into one especially vulnerable group of people who die from Covid. I’m talking about rampant obesity and its role in the death totals of the pandemic. There are no official figures yet, but so far it looks like once you factor out the senior citizens, and then the people with underlying diseases, you come to obesity as a primary Covid vulnerability.

  • And who is most likely to be obese? The poor.
  • And why are they likely to be obese?
  • It’s not that they have sh*t for brains,
  • it’s that they eat sh*t for food.
  • What can we do about it?
  • Let’s start with the history of SNAP,
  • the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • In the 1940’s, the first legacy food policies were directed at the problem that 40% of military recruits were malnourished and underweight.

Government subsidies addressed this incidence of malnourishment with a sense of purpose and self-preservation by creating The National School Lunch Program and general assistance programs such as food stamps. Unfortunately, this well-meaning effort gave birth to the mass production of highly processed, carbohydrate-oriented convenient food products bringing with it the American birth of caloric obesity.

The American diet thus began its pendulum swing, flipping from undernourished to overfed, from labor-intensive whole foods to hollow food products that needed little preparation or cooking time. And here we are – out of shape, stomachs bulging, behinds taking up two parking spaces, huffing and puffing running after a bag of Cheetos.

Military America is now in a worse recruit situation than in the 40’s. In 2018, a council of retired admirals and generals discovered that 71% of young people between the ages of 17 and 24 did not qualify for military service, and obesity was a primary cause.

You ask what can we do – subsidize food stamps so the poor can shop at Whole Foods? Educate the young as to how a dead-end mortality rate occupies the dark side of obesity? Stop dropping bombs on the rest of the world using the money to drop healthy recipes on the rest of America?

Sure, there a lot of ha-ha’s making the rounds, but one thing is clear – America is eating itself into oblivion. The question is, do we really care?    

                                      Eat what makes you healthy



Amy Lighthouse – Amy’s Guide to Staying In

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Amy Lighthouse

… self-described over-achiever, worked at Snapchat and Apple before going venture capital. During the initial Covid onslaught, she wrote for The Lemonade Stand offering strategies of how to cope with quarantine and staying in. Her recipes and cable television suggestions have boosted the spirits of numerous households who credit Amy with keeping a number of families from harming each other.

Amy’s Guide to Staying In

April 24, 2020

MoviesTV ShowsBooks
Bad Education
(Apple TV+)
The Kind Worth
Tiger King
Everybody Lies
The Lovebirds
Dead to Me
Kid DetectiveHuge in France
Homo Deus
(Non Fiction)
The Last Cruise
(HBO Max)
When They See Us
The Dutch House
I Care a Lot
The Politician
The Night Circus


Cody & Mary’s Lemon Ginger Kombucha

*** Ingredients ***

Primary Fermentation

–    1 Scoby –    1 gallon fermenting jar  –    Medium saucepan –    8 cups filtered water –    1-1 ¼ cup sugar –    10-12 tea bags of black tea (to taste) –    Coffee filter or cheesecloth –    Rubber band

Secondary Fermentation

–    2-4 teaspoons ginger to taste (or any juice) –    (10) lemons to taste (or any juice)  –    (6) 16 0z bottles –    Funnel –    [Optional) tea steeper (for ginger) 

Primary Fermentation

Boil 8 cups of water in saucepan. Add tea (10) teabags or (2) 2 ½ tablespoons of loose black tea to taste). Must have mostly black tea, other teas can be added for flavor,       but culture needs black tea to ferment. Steep tea to desired taste or recommended on teabag. Stir in sugar.

Reduce sweetened tea to 80 degrees or to room temperature. Pour sweetened tea into fermenting jar. Add filtered water to tea mixture to top of jar.

Pour SCOBY with starter liquid on top of cooled tea (liquid must be below 80 degrees or SCOBY will die).

Put coffee filter over top of jar and secure with rubber band and put in a cool dark place to ferment. Fermenting can last 7-20+ days, ferment to taste; over time the kombucha will taste more sour and eventually turn into vinegar.

Taste after 7 days and every other day until desired flavor is reached.

Secondary Fermentation

Once the Kombucha has reached optimal taste, it is time to bottle. With clean hands, put the SCOBY and baby SCOBY (separately) into glass jars with 2 cups of the tea, they can both be used for future batches.

It is now time add juice to the Kombucha for flavor and to add carbonation. Rule of thumb is 15-20% juice to 85-80% Kombucha.

For lemon ginger tea, put 2-4 teaspoons of ginger into teabags or tea steeper and put into 1 cup of hot water. Add juice of 8-10 lemons to taste. Use funnel to pour lemon-ginger mix into each of the 6 bottles to 15-20% of the bottle.

 Use funnel to pour Kombucha to 1-2 inches before top of bottle. Secure top and store for 7-30 days until desired carbonation is reached.


kRIS Krankle – Perfect Strangers

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kRIS Krankle / guest columnist

founder of M.I.L.D.E.W.
Men with Intimacy and Learning Disorders Experiencing Women       

Perfect Strangers


Look, I either vote Republican or I write in my dog’s name. Democrats just annoy me, especially the elitist ones who went to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton and make believe their Porsches cost less than what I earn in five years. I’m more from the trenches where these kind of Democrats only visit to take a selfie.     

I believe that people you vote for, need to do a nine to five to earn our respect, that as a nation we are special – we work more, we vacation less, we try harder, we’re wired to give a helping hand. But with all that said, whenever I go to confession, I find myself pissed … which isn’t a surprise after a lifetime being pissed.

Like I said, I work my ass off, I go to church on Sundays when I could be watching football on the tube, I do everything right to please other people mostly … and now when my kids are finally gone, and the mortgage is paid, and I haven’t had a heart attack yet, I find myself surrounded by stupid.

In the beginning, I thought to myself what is it with this whole pandemic thing where people don’t wear masks, especially so many of my fellow Republicans? I don’t get it? For one thing, there’s a lot of ugly people out there, don’t you think? My guess is that masks would help to alleviate that problem. And for some of them with bikini threads up their ass on the beach, I would think they’d wear tents.

And not getting vaccinated? These people not wearing masks and not getting vaccinated, these are my people – I know them, I know how they’ve struggled, I know how they feel left behind. Does anyone get itthat by dying from Covid, you can’t vote for Trump anymore?


The wife has me watching this Hulu series called Nine Perfect Strangers. First of all, what kind of network wants to call themselves Hulu? Give me a break.

At first, I thought it was going to be some kind of sissy channel, all chick flicks and make-up advice, the kind that should be called Wedgie or The Swirlie Channel. But there are a few cop shows with some rather good-looking women and gratuitous nudity, so I’m good.

And I gotta tell you, if you want to know the truth, I don’t get this ‘binging’ thing. People watch these episodes on Netflix, and Prime, and Hulu for like days in a row? They’re binging on what, hummus and Vodka? Tell me, what kinda job do they have where they can call in sick to watch t.v.? I want that job.

So this Nine Perfect Strangers has all these big movie stars like Nicole Kidman who in her role as a therapist seems like she’s just returned from Venus where they use varnish as a moisturizer. Apparently, the series is about really rich people seeking therapy in order to come to terms with the ghosts in their lives.

That’s what the wife underlined in her notes for me, the ghost thing. She writes all of these program notes before we watch our shows … it’s like homework.

  • The quarantine changed everything. The wife and I now watch these cable movies every Friday night before bed. I’m not sure how all that happened? We’ve gone from ESPN to Hulu.

Nine Perfect Strangers is about if you have money and you’re willing to pay, you’re able to afford Tranquilium, a kind of Garden of Eden where people come to be healed. Apparently, there are a lot of people these days who need to be healed. I don’t know, in my book, it all seems like get a life. Apparently, that is the point of Tranquilium.

I never realized how much healing has changed … replacing communion and the collection plate, we now have CBD rubbed into your brain, retreats where people repeat over and over I love myself, and at Tranquilium you are given micro-doses of psilocybin in your morning breakfast.

And now that we’re halfway through the series, the wife says she wants us to do this micro-dosing as well, these off-ramps from reality as she calls it. I mean, does she remember who she married? I have no interest whatsoever. I’ve already been to Portland where the whole city is on psilocybin … look how that’s working out.

And to be honest, I’m not sure I want to explore any of these so-called ‘offramps’ …

I feel safer on the existential highway in my Buick which allows me to travel on cruise control. And let me tell you, no way the wife does this on her own. For me, it’s a bottom line kind of thing – I don’t want anyone to be checking out her bottom line.

I admit it, I’m not ashamed to say any of this. I don’t want some well-hung shaman to be administering drugs to my wife in some orgy-crazed sex lodge. Aren’t I doing enough? Are we forgetting movie night? And drying the dishes every third week? Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day?

I’m telling you, I’m doing it all.

I’ll tell you who needs to take some hallucinogens – the whole freaking Congress. I want Mitch McConnell to look in the mirror and see a turkey. And Lindsey Graham to see a weasel. And Ted Cruz to look in the mirror and see nothing.

So this Nine Perfect Strangers thing sure stretches my boundaries a bit and I’m doing the best I can even though Nicole Kidman’s Russian accent doesn’t work. It’s like Bill Clinton trying to pretend he’s from England or Christopher Walken trying to act as if he’s not an alien. But I watch because I want to do good by the wife.

I feel confident that we’ll solve this whole hallucinogenic brew haha. Although I am still trying to figure out what she means by saying our watching these chick series together prevents us from being perfect strangers.