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

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.


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



Hermione Luck – Conspiracies

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist


May 1, 2020


What bothers me today is the day-care approach that Republican politicians use to foster allegiance with the conspiracy sect in their ranks. These politicians feed from the trough of easy votes by just diapering the problem and letting it stink.

Look, there will always be 25% of America in need  of therapy or in the minds of some Democrats, a segment of America in need of lobotomies. Without conscience and at the altar of gerrymandering, Republicans have skillfully offered sanctuary to capture the allegiance of this voting block.

This solid 25%, many of whom have drenched themselves in far-flung conspiratorial rhetoric, can’t help themselves. They are livid because they are on the wrong side of the hourglass and they feel time has run out … on themselves, on their families, on their dreams. They are mostly undereducated white men who are faithful adherents of two of the more overlooked parts of the Cub Scout Honor Code – to be loyal and reverent. Loyal to their projectile paranoia, and reverent to their right to have equal access to wealth and power.                                                               

I think we’re in the middle of a slippery slope, my fellow Americans. From the country that still debates the JFK assassination, that still obsesses whether the moon landing took place in Burbank, a country that hasn’t fully decided if Obama was born in Hawaii or Kenya, we have people allowed to vote believing the following conspiracy theories –

… Bill Gates has put microchips in the Covid vaccine to control the minds of the entire world

… Lizard aliens can make themselves appear human and are manipulating the world which apparently explains why Elon Musk has antennas on his head

… the school killings at Parkland and Sandy Hook never happened, the Holocaust didn’t happen, and the government controls the weather

… Bin Laden lives. On orders from the government, Navy Seals covered up the failed attempt

… Covid masks make children easier to kidnap, and spreads the disease geometrically

… vaccines will change a person’s genetic code, and can cause impotence for men who think with their penises                                                                                     

Perhaps more disturbing is a possible insurrection from the far right with their blueprint directly in front of our eyes. In 1978, William Luther Pierce wrote a book called The Turner Diaries which outlined how ‘patriots’ could overthrow the government.

Among its suggestions? The book coined the phrase ‘the day of the rope’ where patriots would storm Congress, go after elites, after which journalists and members of Congress would be publicly hanged. Timothy McVeigh sold copies of this book at gun shows in the nineties.

So what can we do about all this? In the 1800’s, Native Americans on the plains dealt with violence within their culture in an interesting way. Anthropologists are fascinated by the fact that murder and violence within these tribes were virtually non-existent. Scholars attribute this to important roles being assigned to tribal deviants.

For instance, homosexuals became herbal doctors, thus balancing the power of the position with the tribal discomfort of their sexuality. For sociopaths (akin to our own skinhead conspiracists), the position of Contrary Soldier was created.  These members of the tribe rode backwards into camp.

They said yes meaning no, and washed with sand and dried with water. The punishment for murder or violence within the tribe was banishment. Unfortunately, it isn’t likely that the Native American approach to preventing violence would work well in a country such as ours. I guess that only leaves us with going back to the old days when life was simpler, and we could get what we needed at the corner market.

Practice safe friendship



Hermione Luck – Fascism and ShiksaHub

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

Fascism and ShiksaHub

May 8, 2020


Something to think about …

A few of our readers have expressed their distress regarding the current Supreme Court review of the Trump Administration’s assertion that the President cannot be convicted of a crime while in office. (Remember Trump claiming he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue?) Many question whether this confirms that Trumpian rule is a harbinger of coming Fascism.

Technically, according to the experts, the current President and his view of presidential power is  not Fascist – Trump does not reject democracy nor does he currently push for the overthrow of the government; he does not emphasize violence (if you say so); he is not an anti-individualist.

These experts argue that this makes Trump more of a ‘right-wing populist.’ However, there are three basic layers in any fascist regime to also consider:

1) a Fascist leader depends upon a small and loyal inner circle that he has personally groomed                                                                                             

2) foot soldiers and “true believers” who enforce the ideology are vital components of power

3) a lip service group tags along either because of fear, convenience, or access to power

  • You be the judge.  A small inner circle, check –
  • Jared, Ivanka, Hannity, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon,
  • and of course Rush. True believers, check –
  • Texas, Florida, and Tennessee. A lip service group, check –
  • refer to the lip prints on Trump’s ass.

Trump may not reject Democracy, that is as long as the votes are in his favor. What would he do if the votes were not in his favor? Would he try to change them? Would he ever admit defeat?  

He wouldn’t dare push for the overthrow of the government, or would he? Probably not if he served three terms like some of his supporters suggest. But what if he doesn’t win reelection? Once again, you be the judge.

Something to celebrate

The specialty that put Goy To The World on the map is their Nachaswurst sausage, featuring tiny imprints of parents admiring their children on the skin … but there are so many additional choices to consider that will tickle your tuchus.

(1)  The Yentatainer – wholesale grilled whitefish on a toasted everything bagel with red onion, Romaine, and dill-horseradish. Rumors and garnish free of charge. 

(2)  The Lily Von Shtoop – a tribute to Mel Brooks, corned beef with homemade sauerkraut … not the first course, not the last course, the intercourse.

(3)  The Why Buy Retail – cheap. Pastrami on day old bread … when it’s heated with some good mustard, what’s there not to like?

(4)  The Plotz Thickens – Brooklyn pastrami, Texas bacon, Black Forest ham, and Genoa salami … if you can eat these international meats fried together, and prove that you didn’t plotz, the next one is 30% off.  

(5)  The Farcockt – a herring anchovy gefiltefish salad on rye bread/ antacid provided … if you skip the antacid, you’re farcockt.

In conclusion … there is never enough soap to wash away loneliness, but there’s always enough deli to put loneliness in its place.

Yiddish Vocabulary

  • goy – male non Jew
  • shiksa – female non-Jew                                       
  • tuchus – rear end
  • kvetch – to complain
  • nachas – pride in your children                             
  • yenta – matchmaker, gossip
  • shtoop (shtup) – fornicate                                                       
  • plotz – to collapse
  • farcockt – f#*ked up

Practice safe friendship,



Hermione Luck – Conspiracy and Reality

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

Conspiracy and Reality

May 29, 2020


Recently, I was sent an article by a psychiatrist friend that piqued my interest. The article, authored by Reed Berkowitz, is a fascinating look at how conspiracy theories can be part of a bigger trend wherein life is literally becoming a video game.

Those of you who read me regularly know that I’m not a bigtime fan of video games. Aside from the huge screen time issues and what this might be doing to the brain, my main concern has always centered on the abundance of violence these video games can suggest, especially for young boys.

 I now have an equally pressing concern for how the spread of conspiracy theories often reflects the same rabbit hole and the dangerous alchemy of infusing reality with fantasy.

A conspiracy theory often begins by trying to create the fog of war. It makes people heroes by attaching itself to heroic goals like saving the republic from the elites, or the children from the pedophiles. It begins with a series of statements that could be true, as in most anything could be true.

And then, with a community of like-minded support, it graduates from ‘maybe’ to ‘probably’ to ‘pretty sure’ to ‘that’s a fact’.

Berkowitz is an alternative reality game creator, specializing in video games that are commonly called ARGs and LARPs. These group games start on a computer and finish in the real world. They are pre-planned experiences adorned with rabbit holes where the deeper you go, the more you find out. They are exciting and provocative.

With Q and his conspiracy motherlode, recruitment to the cause hinges on going down similar rabbit holes depending upon a phenomenon called “apophenia”, perceiving a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things. Here is a simplified example of that occurrence. Berkowitz writes of creating an ARG which brought people to a specific location, a basement where something was hidden.

Unbeknownst to him, there were small wood scraps on the floor of that basement which formed a perfectly shaped arrow, and these arrows pointed to a blank wall in the basement. The participants in the game decided that the arrow was related to the solution and to the final truth of the game.

The participants then found what they believe was a second clue – tools nearby the wall. They concluded that the object they sought was behind the wall, and this became their truth, even though it remains behind the wall, and would so remain.

The spread of conspiracy theories relies on a ‘breadcrumb trail’ which puts a rumor or thread of truth out there, and then encourages people to run with it. Along the way, numerous unrelated observations are folded in.

The community echo chamber in which conspiracy proponents live invariably goes viral. The truth of the exercise is not discovering the story, but creating it. Berkowitz postulates that when someone actually comes to embracing this ‘truth’, there’s a sense of accomplishment and relief similar to what many psychologists call the ‘aha moment’.

Research suggests that this experience can release a pleasant flow of the neurotransmitter dopamine … no wonder conspiracies are so popular. The new drug of the masses.

Let’s make our own conspiracy – let’s postulate that doctors give you Covid. Let’s create our own trail of breadcrumbs. You go to the doctor without symptoms because your adult children insist that you should be checked for Covid.

After an examination, you find out you don’t have Covid. Two weeks later you get Covid without contact with anyone except at the grocery store.   How did you possibly come down with the virus?

For years, you’ve been reading a number of random articles about how the elite are conniving to rule the world, and you realize that doctors are part of the elite … strike one. Then you remember that the doctor took a swab sample from your nose and he could have put anything up your nose while he was in there … strike two.

Then another random fact is added – a lot of doctors are either Jewish, immigrants, or minorities … strike three. You proceed to go into a chat room to share your discovery. All the random facts that support your discovery seemingly validate pre-existing fears – that the elites are taking over, that Jews have always pulled the strings, that minorities are part of the plot.                                                                                         Once your discovery makes the rounds on the Net, it morphs into a conspiracy – that your Jewish doctor with the black wife gave you Covid. For my part, I’m not sure what is worse – doctors giving you Covid or life becoming a video game. This I do know … brace yourself. The ride is far from over… 



Hermione Luck – Post Election 2020

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

November Post Election 2020


There are so many aspects of this election and of the last four years to discuss.  So where do we begin – racism? The perversion of truth? The hypocrisy of politicians? This glass of lemonade limits itself to five issues that hopefully don’t get lost in the shuffle for America.

Who won?

… make no mistake this election was a draw.

The Democrats may have won the locomotive, but the Republicans did quite well with the rest of the train – they defended seats like Collins and Tillis, the Democrats didn’t get close to Graham or McConnell, and the great blue wave was more like a moving puddle.

All this makes Trump’s loss even greater – centrist voters were willing to elect Republicans and their policies, but a clear majority had enough of Trump.


Polls fell flat on their face becoming fake news. It can’t be as simple as ‘Trumpers just don’t answer their phones’. It’s obviously far deeper than that, and probably has something to do with the mistrust of pollsters by the American electorate in general … that, and the massive overkill the media employs in reporting the news


I used to think that this Republican Last Stand of Trumpism which merges three basic Caucasian groups – entitled whites, one issue whites (abortion or guns), and racist whites – was just a last gasp by white people before the inevitable coloring of America.

Yet there are problems in establishing a political rainbow coalition for the progressives. Many Latinos think Blacks are pampered by the government. When you add Catholicism and anti-abortion sentiment to the equation, Latinos don’t seem to be the slam dunk that many anticipated. This is a serious issue and a vital bridge to cross for progressives in the coming years, especially the fragile elections of 2022 and 2024.                                                                 


As I’ve said before, there are so many non-Covid problems awaiting us on the other side of Donald Trump – truth, racism, obesity, conspiracy theories, a huge national debt, school shootings, and the most formidable of all, climate change  … there are no vaccines for any of these.

Yet, even though every one of these issues is long overdue for true change and resolution, there is one issue where we must not allow ourselves to drop the ball – misogyny. The fundamental relationship between men and women must continue to be front and center, and continue to evolve. That is one of the most alarming things about Trump attracting seventy million votes.

From his original comments about Carly Fiorina to the sixteen women who have accused him of assault, a huge amount of voters were willing to overlook his degradation of women as if life simply goes on. As much as Me-Too has transitioned America to acknowledge the necessary discussion, the movement hasn’t yet been transformational.

Next step please.

Television killed the Radio Star

Covid killed the Television Star 

One of the scary things about Trump’s loss is that victory so easily could have been a slam dunk if in March he’d been pro-active with Covid rather than paranoid about the economy.

Even in October when he contracted Covid, had he pivoted and did a modest mea culpa, and humbly talked about learning a lesson, he would have kept most of his base and also attracted a huge number of moderates and independents.

But like the scorpion and the turtle, it was just his nature. Unfortunately, it is also just his nature to destroy as much as he can on his way out, because if you really want to get to this man, if you really want to get under his skin, all it takes is to remind him he’s a loser.                        



Hermione Luck – Insurrection

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

The Insurrection

January 6, 2021


Aside from a vocal core of obsessive devotees wearing antlers and warpaint, the average person in America wouldn’t be able to tell Q devotees just by looking at them.

A Q adherent could be a grandmother who runs the annual church auction, or the personable florist who always adds two extra flowers to your order, or the accountant who saved you money and without question believes the figures you submit.

What binds these impassioned citizens of America? Why are they so sure that they and their cause are right and everyone else is wrong? Why do they believe in relentless and wild conspiracy theories? The people of Q believe there is a coterie of dark forces pulling the strings of politics. Who can blame them? They don’t have to look any further than Washington D.C. and the lobbyists who feed the dragon.                                                      

Some of the more radical people of the Qnon movement believe their children are in danger of sexual abuse because these dark forces need the blood of others to survive. These devotees yearn for a biblical apocalypse and the retribution of its concomitant awakenings to come true.

The bottom line is that the people of Q believe they are witnesses to a biblical struggle between good and evil with their places of worship reinforcing the premise. These Christian churches make clear that the best way to insure employing God’s vision of humanity is to attack evil whenever and wherever they see it. 

Regardless of our beliefs and on which side of the fence someone might see good or evil, as a whole we live in a different world now, a pandemic world, a world that we may be able to harness and maybe not.

It is January, 2021. The first full winter of Covid has arrived. We are locked down, married to our cellphones, glued to our television sets, and in the process of this isolating pandemic, our way of life is meeting the mirror of its discontent.

Along the way, so many things have been made clear to us – street protests confirm that our Civil War never ended. Climate change is only getting worse. And ironically, the remote learning that our school-aged children have been forced to endure, has wiped out the threat of their being gunned down in class.

Politically and culturally, as we absorb the election of a new president with both liberals and conservatives backed into their respective and isolated corners of self-righteousness, we’ve come to the end of a twelve-year run of what could be called the era of ‘the black and white’ presidency.

The black man presiding for the first eight years was like the Beatles. He was at the right place at the right time. Smart, connected, ambitious, he could hit the three.

Following him was the white man who won by the math of division … a narcissist, a huckster, a moneymaker, a fraud looking to increase his brand. The black man provided the vehicle of vision, the white man provided its exhaust. What a strange pairing left behind for those who will judge us in the future … and all of this following the clear misogyny of the Hillary era.

Regardless of whether regurgitated theories of deception and conspiracy circulating our society are true or false – regardless of where we worship, to what school we send our children, in what community we live … clearly, there are problems we must solve together.

Neither paranoia on the right nor cancel culture on the left are viable glues for these challenges. There is work to be done, and unfortunately, the politicians we have elected are not up to the task. That doesn’t mean we have to hang these people. We just have to remove them by voting them out of office.

So as for January 6, let’s be clear, this was no coup. This was a mob, pure and simple, a fringe element that exports its racism and vitriol in the name of freedom. Some believe this was the best thing that could ever happen to America. The canker sore has finally been lanced.  The monster of racism and jingoism no longer lives in the shadows.

With most of us jaw-dropped, the date January 6 will now live alongside 9/11 and November 22 in the infamy and conscience of America.

And for those who deny what really happened on January 6, shame on you and the politicians who protect you, the politicians who pander for your vote and money, the politicians who are the keepers of the flame of the political cowardness that stalks our country with little idea of how to lead or how to bring our people together.

And above all, shame on this former president, a huckster and narcissist who encouraged this mob, and still isn’t done trying to make America give back his throne. There is only one thing to say. We can do better.

We must if we are to survive.