Tag Archives: philosophy

Nothing wrong with dual-citizenships if you don’t get caught

Dual Citizenship — Loyal to Whom?

by Dan Eden

http://viewzone.com/dualcitizen.html

Recently, in their much lauded paper, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, Harvard professor, Stephen Walt, and University of Chicago professor, John Mearsheimer, focused attention on the strong Israeli lobby which has a powerful influence over American foreign policies (see BBC article). They detail the influence that this lobby has exerted, forming a series of international policies which can be viewed as in direct opposition to the interests and security of the American people. These acts and policies are more often than not carried out by US government appointees who hold powerful positions and who are dual American-Israeli citizens. Since the policies they support are often exclusively beneficial to Israel, often to the detriment of America, it has been argued that their loyalties are misdirected.

A few classic examples can be cited here.

Jonathan Jay Pollard [right] was an American-Israeli citizen who worked for the US government. He is well known because he stole more secrets from the U.S. than has any other spy in American history. During his interrogation Pollard said he felt compelled to put the “interests of my state” ahead of his own. Although as a U.S. Navy counter-intelligence specialist he had a top-secret security clearance, by “my state” he meant the state of Israel.

Literally tens of thousands of Americans holding U.S. passports admit they feel a primary allegiance to the state of Israel. In many instances, these Americans vote in Israeli elections, wear Israeli uniforms and fight in Israeli wars. Many are actively engaged both in the confiscation of Palestinian lands and in the Israeli political system. Three examples come to mind:

One is Rabbi Meir Kahane, who founded the militant Jewish Defense League in the U.S. in the 1960s, then emigrated to Israel where, eventually, he was elected to the Knesset. Until he was shot and killed at one of his U.S. fund-raising rallies in 1990, the Brooklyn-born rabbi shuttled between Tel Aviv and New York, where he recruited militant American Jews for his activities in Israel against Palestinians. He claimed to be a “dual citizen” of America and Israel.

Another Jewish American, James Mahon from Alexandria, Virginia, reportedly was on a secret mission to kill PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat when he was shot in 1980 by an unknown assailant. When he was shot, Mahon held an American M-16 in his hand and a U.S. passport in his pocket.

Then there was Alan Harry Goodman, an American Jew who left his home in Baltimore, Maryland, flew to Israel and served in the Israeli army. Then, on April 11, 1982, armed with an Uzi submachine gun, he walked, alone, to Al-Aqsa, Jerusalem’s most holy Islamic shrine, where he opened fire, killing two Palestinians and wounding others. Both the U.S. and Israeli governments played down the incident, as did the media.

Most recently, US Navy Petty Officer, Ariel J. Weinmann, while serving at or near Bahrain, Mexico, and Austria, “with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation (Israel), [attempted] to communicate, deliver or transmit classified CONFIDENTIAL and SECRET information relating to the national defense, to a representative, officer, agent or employee of a foreign government.” Weinmann was apprehended on March 26 after being listed as “a deserter by his command,” according to the US Navy. The information he gathered was supplied to Israel.

Ben-Ami Kadish, a Connecticut-born U.S. dual citizen who worked in New Jersey was arrested and charged with giving top secret nuclear information and details about the US Patriot Missile to an Israeli agent — the same agent involved with the Jay Pollard case. The espionage charges reportedly stem from acts committed in the 1980s. These activities, like the ones with convicted spy Pollard, were immediately denied by Israel (Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986). It is further reported that Israeli officials instructed Kadish to lie to US investigators. Kadish was scheduled to be arraigned on April 22, 2008 at U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

In 2009 it was revealed that the NSA had secretly taped conversations of Congresswomen Jane Harman [pictured above on the right with Israeli Knesset Speaker, Dalia Itzik] negotiating with two AIPAC spies accused of giving sensitive information about US military activities to the Israeli government. In the taped conversation she is being asked to dismiss their espionage charges in return for large politiacl contributions and (are you ready) a chairmanship of the US Intelligence Committee! One has to assume that they thought they could actually “arrange” for this to happen. This information was secretly revealed by the NSA to Nancy Polosi prior to the selection of the committee chairman and was a factor (let’s hope, anyway) in Harmon’s failure to obtain this highly sensitive position. After all was said and done, however, the case against the two Israeli lobbyists was dismissed — against the insistance of the FBI. No satisfactory reason has been given for this.

Unfortunately, such an act of treason remains unchallenged and Jane Harman remains at her congressional job and enjoys being the third wealthiest member of Congress. Only in America!

The examples of Kahane, Mahonm, Goodman and Weinmann raise the question of when a U.S. citizen ceases to be, or should cease to be, a U.S. citizen. U.S. Law at one time clearly stated that an American citizen owed first allegiance to the United States. A U.S. citizen should not fight in a foreign army or hold high office in a foreign country without risking expatriation. What the heck happened?

The 1940 Nationality Act

Section 401 (e) of the 1940 Nationality Act provides that a U.S. citizen, whether by birth or naturalization, “shall lose his [U.S.] nationality by…voting in a political election in a foreign state.”

This law was tested many times. In 1958, for instance, an American citizen named Perez voted in a Mexican election. The case went to the Supreme Court, where the majority opinion held that Perez must lose his American nationality. The court said Congress could provide for expatriation as a reasonable way of preventing embarrassment to the United States in its foreign relations.

But then something very odd happened.

In 1967 an American Jew, Beys Afroyim received an exemption that set a precedent exclusively for American Jews. Afroyim, born in Poland in 1895, emigrated to America in 1912, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1926. In 1950, aged 55, he emigrated to Israel and became an Israeli citizen. In 1951 Afroyim voted in an Israeli Knesset election and in five political elections that followed. So, by all standards he lost his American citizenship — right? Wrong.

After living in Israel for a decade, Afroyim wished to return to New York. In 1960, he asked the U.S. Consulate in Haifa for an American passport. The Department of State refused the application, invoking section 401 (e) of the Nationality Act — the same ruling that had stripped the American citizen named Perez of his U.S. citizenship.

Attorneys acting for Afroyim took his case to a Washington, DC District Court, which upheld the law. Then his attorneys appealed to the Court of Appeals. This court also upheld the law. The attorneys for Afroyim then moved the case on to the Supreme Court. Here, with Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, Lyndon Johnson’s former attorney and one of the most powerful Jewish Americans, casting the swing vote, the court voted five to four in favor of Afroyim. The court held that the U.S. government had no right to “rob” Afroyim of his American citizenship!

The court, reversing its previous judgment as regards the Mexican American, ruled that Afroyim had not shown “intent” to lose citizenship by voting in Israeli elections. Huh?

While Washington claims it has a “good neighbor” policy with Mexico, the U.S. does not permit Mexicans to hold dual nationality. The US makes them become either U.S. or Mexican — you can’t be both. But the U.S., in its special relationship with Israel, has become very sympathetic to allowing Israeli-Americans to retain two nationalities and allowing U.S. citizens not only to hold public office in Israel, but to hold US government positions as well! No other country holds this special exception to our laws of citizenship.

So, you might ask, are there any other dual Israel-American citizens who hold US government positions that could compromise American security? Yes. Consider the following list that I obtained on the web:

Michael Mukasey
Recently appointed as US Attorney General. Mukasey also was the judge in the litigation between developer Larry Silverstein and several insurance companies arising from the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.

Michael Chertoff
Former Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, at the Justice Department; now head of Homeland Security.

Richard Perle
One of Bush’s foreign policy advisors, he is the chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. A very likely Israeli government agent, Perle was expelled from Senator Henry Jackson’s office in the 1970’s after the National Security Agency (NSA) caught him passing Highly-Classified (National Security) documents to the Israeli Embassy. He later worked for the Israeli weapons firm, Soltam. Perle came from one the above mentioned pro-Israel thinktanks, the AEI. Perle is one of the leading pro-Israeli fanatics leading this Iraq war mongering within the administration and now in the media.

Paul Wolfowitz
Former Deputy Defense Secretary, and member of Perle’s Defense Policy Board, in the Pentagon. Wolfowitz is a close associate of Perle, and reportedly has close ties to the Israeli military. His sister lives in Israel. Wolfowitz came from the above mentioned Jewish thinktank, JINSA. Wolfowitz was the number two leader within the administration behind this Iraq war mongering. He later was appointed head of the World Bank but resigned under pressure from World Bank members over a scandal involving his misuse of power.

Lawrence (Larry) Franklin
The former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst with expertise in Iranian policy issues who worked in the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and reported directly to Feith’s deputy, William Luti, was sentenced January 20, 2006, “to more than 12 years in prison for giving classified information to an Israeli diplomat” and members of the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Franklin will “remain free while the government continues with the wider case” and his “prison time could be sharply reduced in return for his help in prosecuting” former AIPAC members Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, [who] are scheduled to go on trial in April [2006]. Franklin admitted that he met periodically with Rosen and Weissman between 2002 and 2004 and discussed classified information, including information about potential attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. Rosen and Weissman would later share what they learned with reporters and Israeli officials.” (source: sourcewatch.com).

Douglas Feith
Under Secretary of Defense and Policy Advisor at the Pentagon. He is a close associate of Perle and served as his Special Counsel. Like Perle and the others, Feith is a pro-Israel extremist, who has advocated anti-Arab policies in the past. He is closely associated with the extremist group, the Zionist Organization of America, which even attacks Jews that don’t agree with its extremist views. Feith frequently speaks at ZOA conferences. Feith runs a small law firm, Feith and Zell, which only has one International office, in Israel. The majority of their legal work is representing Israeli interests. His firm’s own website stated, prior to his appointment, that Feith “represents Israeli Armaments Manufacturer.” Feith basically represents the Israeli War Machine. Feith also came from the Jewish thinktank JINSA. Feith, like Perle and Wolfowitz, are campaigning hard for this Israeli proxy war against Iraq.

Feith was investigated by the FBI under suspicion of leaking classified information to Israel, being that he was Larry Franklin’s boss when Franklin leaked those documents to Rosen and Weissman of AIPAC. For that he was forced to leave the National Security Council. Feith was also investigated by the Senate Intelligence Committee for sexing up ‘intelligence’ that was used to justify invading Iraq.

Edward Luttwak
Member of the National Security Study Group of the Department of Defence at the Pentagon. Luttwak is reportedly an Israeli citizen and has taught in Israel. He frequently writes for Israeli and pro-Israeli newspapers and journals. Luttwak is an Israeli extremist whose main theme in many of his articles is the necessity of the U.S. waging war against Iraq and Iran.

Henry Kissinger
One of many Pentagon Advisors, Kissinger sits on the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board under Perle. For detailed information about Kissinger’s evil past, read Seymour Hersch’s book (Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House). Kissinger likely had a part in the Watergate crimes, Southeast Asia mass murders (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos), Installing Chilean mass murdering dictator Pinochet, Operation Condor’s mass killings in South America, and more recently served as Serbia’s Ex-Dictator Slobodan Milosevic’s Advisor. He consistently advocated going to war against Iraq. Kissinger is the Ariel Sharon of the U.S. Unfortunately, President Bush nominated Kissinger as chairman of the September 11 investigating commission. It’s like picking a bank robber to investigate a fraud scandal. He later declined this job under enormous protests.

Dov Zakheim
Dov Zakheim is an ordained rabbi and reportedly holds Israeli citizenship. Zakheim attended Jew’s College in London and became an ordained Orthodox Jewish Rabbi in 1973. He was adjunct professor at New York’s Jewish Yeshiva University. Zakheim is close to the Israeli lobby.

Dov Zakheim is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2000 a co-author of the Project for the New American Century’s position paper, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, advocating the necessity for a Pearl-Harbor-like incident to mobilize the country into war with its enemies, mostly Middle Eastern Muslim nations.

He was appointed by Bush as Pentagon Comptroller from May 4, 2001 to March 10, 2004. At that time he was unable to explain the disappearance of $1 trillion dollars. Actually, nearly three years earlier, Donald Rumsfeld announced on September 10, 2001 that an audit discovered $2.3 trillion was also missing from the Pentagon books. That story, as mentioned, was buried under 9-11’s rubble. The two sums disappeared on Zakheim’s watch. We can only guess where that cash went.

Despite these suspicions, on May 6, 2004, Zakheim took a lucrative position at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the most prestigious strategy consulting firms in the world. One of its clients then was Blessed Relief, a charity said to be a front for Osama bin Laden. Booz, Allen & Hamilton then also worked closely with DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is the research arm of the Department of Defense.

Judicial Inc’s bio of Dov tells us Zakheim is a dual Israeli/American citizen and has been tracking the halls of US government for 25 years, casting defense policy and influence on Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. Judicial Inc points out that most of Israel’s armaments were gotten thanks to him. Squads of US F-16 and F-15 were classified military surplus and sold to Israel at a fraction of their value.

Kenneth Adelman
One of many Pentagon Advisors, Adelman also sits on the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board under Perle, and is another extremist pro-Israel advisor, who supported going to war against Iraq. Adelman frequently is a guest on Fox News, and often expresses extremist and often ridiculus anti-Arab and anti-Muslim views. Through his racism or ignorance, he actually called Arabs “anti-Semitic” on Fox News (11/28/2001), when he could have looked it up in the dictionary to find out that Arabs by definition are Semites.

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby
Vice President Dick Cheney’s ex-Chief of Staff. As chief pro-Israel Jewish advisor to Cheney, it helps explains why Cheney is so gun-ho to invade Iran. Libby is longtime associate of Wolfowitz. Libby was also a lawyer for convicted felon and Israeli spy Marc Rich, whom Clinton pardoned, in his last days as president. Libby was recently found guilty of lying to Federal investigators in the Valerie Plame affair, in which Plame, a covert CIA agent, was exposed for political revenge by the Bush administration following her husband’s revelations about the lies leading to the Iraq War.

Robert Satloff
U.S. National Security Council Advisor, Satloff was the executive director of the Israeli lobby’s “think tank,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Many of the Israeli lobby’s “experts” come from this front group, like Martin Indyk.

Elliott Abrams
National Security Council Advisor. He previously worked at Washington-based “Think Tank” Ethics and Public Policy Center. During the Reagan Adminstration, Abrams was the Assistant Secretary of State, handling, for the most part, Latin American affairs. He played an important role in the Iran-Contra Scandal, which involved illegally selling U.S. weapons to Iran to fight Iraq, and illegally funding the contra rebels fighting to overthrow Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. He also actively deceived three congressional committees about his involvement and thereby faced felony charges based on his testimony. Abrams pled guilty in 1991 to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to a year’s probation and 100 hours of community service. A year later, former President Bush (Senior) granted Abrams a full pardon. He was one of the more hawkish pro-Israel Jews in the Reagan Administration’s State Department.

Marc Grossman
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. He was Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources at the Department of State. Grossman is one of many of the pro-Israel Jewish officials from the Clinton Administration that Bush has promoted to higher posts.

Richard Haass
Director of Policy Planning at the State Department and Ambassador at large. He is also Director of National Security Programs and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He was one of the more hawkish pro-Israel Jews in the first Bush (Sr) Administration who sat on the National Security Council, and who consistently advocated going to war against Iraq. Haass is also a member of the Defense Department’s National Security Study Group, at the Pentagon.

Robert Zoellick
U.S. Trade Representative, a cabinet-level position. He is also one of the more hawkish pro-Israel Jews in the Bush (Jr) Administration who advocated invading Iraq and occupying a portion of the country in order to set up a Vichy-style puppet government. He consistently advocates going to war against Iran.

Ari Fleischer
Ex- White House Spokesman for the Bush (Jr) Administration. Prominent in the Jewish community, some reports state that he holds Israeli citizenship. Fleischer is closely connected to the extremist Jewish group called the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidics, who follow the Qabala, and hold very extremist and insulting views of non-Jews. Fleischer was the co-president of Chabad’s Capitol Jewish Forum. He received the Young Leadership Award from the American Friends of Lubavitch in October, 2001.

James Schlesinger
One of many Pentagon Advisors, Schlesinger also sits on the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board under Perle and is another extremist pro-Israel advisor, who supported going to war against Iraq. Schlesinger is also a commissioner of the Defense Department’s National Security Study Group, at the Pentagon.

David Frum
White House speechwriter behind the “Axis of Evil” label. He lumped together all the lies and accusations against Iraq for Bush to justify the war.

Joshua Bolten
White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Bolten was previously a banker, former legislative aide, and prominent in the Jewish community.

John Bolton
Former UN Representative and Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Bolton is also a Senior Advisor to President Bush. Prior to this position, Bolton was Senior Vice President of the above mentioned pro-Israel thinktank, AEI. He recently (October 2002) accused Syria of having a nuclear program, so that they can attack Syria after Iraq. He must have forgotten that Israel has 400 nuclear warheads, some of which are thermonuclear weapons (according to a recent U.S. Air Force report).

David Wurmser
Special Assistant to John Bolton (above), the under-secretary for arms control and international security. Wurmser also worked at the AEI with Perle and Bolton. His wife, Meyrav Wurmser, along with Colonel Yigal Carmon, formerly of Israeli military intelligence, co-founded the Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri),a Washington-based Israeli outfit which distributes articles translated from Arabic newspapers portraying Arabs in a bad light.

Eliot Cohen
Member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board under Perle and is another extremist pro-Israel advisor. Like Adelman, he often expresses extremist and often ridiculus anti-Arab and anti-Muslim views. More recently, he wrote an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal openly admitting his rascist hatred of Islam claiming that Islam should be the enemy, not terrorism.

Mel Sembler
President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. A Prominent Jewish Republican and Former National Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee. The Export-Import Bank facilitates trade relationships between U.S. businesses and foreign countries, specifically those with financial problems.

Steve Goldsmith
Senior Advisor to the President, and Bush’s Jewish domestic policy advisor. He also served as liaison in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (White House OFBCI) within the Executive Office of the President. He was the former mayor of Indianapolis. He is also friends with Israeli Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and often visits Israel to coach mayors on privatization initiatives.

Adam Goldman
White House’s Special Liaison to the Jewish Community.

Joseph Gildenhorn
Bush Campaign’s Special Liaison to the Jewish Community. He was the DC finance chairman for the Bush campaign, as well as campaign coordinator, and former ambassador to Switzerland.

Christopher Gersten
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families at HHS. Gersten was the former Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Husband of Labor Secretary.

Mark Weinberger
Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Public Affairs.

Samuel Bodman
Deputy Secretary of Commerce. He was the Chairman and CEO of Cabot Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts.

Bonnie Cohen
Under Secretary of State for Management.

Ruth Davis
Director of Foreign Service Institute, who reports to the Office of Under Secretary for Management. This Office is responsible for training all Department of State staff (including ambassadors).

Daniel Kurtzer
Ambassador to Israel.

Cliff Sobel
Ambassador to the Netherlands.

Stuart Bernstein
Ambassador to Denmark.

Nancy Brinker
Ambassador to Hungary

Frank Lavin
Ambassador to Singapore.

Ron Weiser
Ambassador to Slovakia.

Mel Sembler
Ambassador to Italy.

Martin Silverstein
Ambassador to Uruguay.

Lincoln Bloomfield
Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs.

Jay Lefkowitz
Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Ken Melman
White House Political Director.

Brad Blakeman
White House Director of Scheduling.

 

A less-biased source of Israeli news

Palestinian children collect water in Khan Yunis.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Luckily, what happens in Israel and Palestine shouldn’t be a concern to US citizens.  It’s none of our business.  Or it wouldn’t be if we in the US weren’t sponsoring the Israeli land grabbing, looting and ravaging of the land next door outside their legal boundaries established by the United Nations and International Law.

But US taxpayers have sent $130 billion dollars, mostly in the form of weapons, to Israel.  And that makes every US citizen somewhat responsible for what Israel does with those weapons.

My personal thought is that I, none of us, can trust most media reports about what’s going on in the Middle East, particularly where Israel is involved.  The US news media has had a love affair with Israel for at least half-century.  They barely reported the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty which lasted several hours and left more than 100 US servicemen as casualties.  The conventional media slanted all reports of the Six Day War and the Yom Kipper War to seem Israel was the defender instead of the country initiating surprise attack.

Israel started every war it has ever fought.  Which has somehow escaped the notice of most of the conventional news media.  And Israel has gobbled up more land outside its borders after every war of Israeli aggression.  And blamed it all on the Arabs.

But I’ve digressed.  I wanted to tell you about a Jewish website where the reporting is evidently somewhat more honest.  Maybe not as good as it could be, but better than anything you are likely to see elsewhere.  They don’t appear to be the usual rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, kill’em all and let God sort them out Zionists, anyway.

Evidently they don’t go overboard with it, any more than Arabs would be likely to get fanatic about accurate and unbiased reporting of events.  But http://www.haaretz.com/news comes nearer to being a source of attempted truthfulness than I’ve found thus far.

Unfortunately they want to charge a buck for access after the first few stories.  Which I have no intention of paying.

It’s entirely possible everyone within the borders of Israel and Palestine is not a lunatic religious fanatic terrorist killer.  But there’s no evidence of the fact manifested in the behavior of Israelis, Palestinians, or dual-citizenship US citizens who march undercover as Israelis disguised as Americans.

Maybe if  http://www.haaretz.com/news was more widely distributed, more readily available to interested non-Jews there’d be a believable side to something Americans hear and see about Israel and Palestine.

Old Jules

Preliminarily Lousy News about Salt in the Diet

Hi readers.  Maybe it’s time I went down and had a nice pepperoni pizza while I tried to get my mind around this diet-sodium business.  I was believing the cardiologists and patting myself on the back for doing it.  Probably should have quit reading anything after I read their recommendations when I got out of the hospital.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/25/sodium-potassium-ratio.aspx?e_cid=20140820Z1_DNL_artTest_A6&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=artTest_A6&utm_campaign=20140820Z1&et_cid=DM54102&et_rid=629039227

To Protect Your Heart, Your Sodium to Potassium Ratio Is More Important Than Your Overall Salt Intake

By Dr. Mercola

The vilification of salt is similar to that of fat. Just as there are healthy fats that are necessary for optimal health and unhealthy fats that cause health problems, there are healthy and unhealthy types of salt. The devil’s in the details, as they say, and this is definitely true when it comes to salt and fat.

Salt provides two elements – sodium and chloride – both of which are essential for life. Your body cannot make these elements on its own, so you must get them from your diet. However, not all salts are created equal.

Natural unprocessed salt, such as sea salt and Himalayan salt, contains about 84 percent sodium chloride (just under 37 percent of which is pure sodium1, 2). The remaining 16 percent are naturally-occurring trace minerals, including silicon, phosphorus, and vanadium

Processed (table) salt contains 97.5 percent sodium chloride (just over 39 percent of which is sodium3, 4). The rest is man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents and flow agents, such as ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate.

Besides the basic differences in nutritional content, the processing—which involves drying the salt above 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—also radically and detrimentally alters the chemical structure of the salt

Appropriate vs. Inappropriate Salt Restriction

In the United States and many other developed countries, salt has been vilified as a primary cause of high blood pressure and heart disease. According to research presented at last year’s American Heart Association meeting,5 excessive salt consumption contributed to 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010.

However, it’s important to realize that most Americans and other Westerners get the majority of their sodium from commercially available table salt and processed foods—not from natural unprocessed salt.

This is likely to have a significant bearing on the health value of salt, just as dangerous trans fats in processed foods turned out to be responsible for the adverse health effects previously (and wrongfully) blamed on healthy saturated fats.

Current dietary guidelines in the US recommend limiting your salt intake to anywhere from 1.5 to 2.4 grams of sodium per day, depending on which organization you ask. The American Heart Association suggests a 1.5 gram limit.

For a frame of reference, one teaspoon of regular table salt contains about 2.3 grams of sodium.6 According to some estimates, Americans get roughly four grams of sodium per day, which has long been thought to be too much for heart health.

But recent research, which has been widely publicized,7, 8, 9, 10, 11 suggests that too little salt in your diet may be just as hazardous as too much. Moreover, the balance between sodium and potassium may be a deciding factor in whether your salt consumption will ultimately be harmful or helpful.

Too Little Salt Raises Heart Risks Too, Researchers Find

One four-year long observational study (the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study), which included more than 100,000 people in 17 countries, found that while higher sodium levels correlate with an increased risk for high blood pressure, potassium helps offset sodium’s adverse effects.

The results were published in two articles: “Association of Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion with Blood Pressure”12 and “Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion, Mortality, and Cardiovascular Events.”13

I’ve discussed the importance of getting these two nutrients—sodium and potassium—in the appropriate ratios before, and I’ll review it again in just a moment.

In this study, those with the lowest risk for heart problems or death from any cause were consuming three to six grams of sodium a day—far more than US daily recommended limits.

Not only did more than six grams of sodium a day raise the risk for heart disease, so did levels lower than three grams per day. In short, while there is a relationship between sodium and blood pressure, it’s not a linear relationship.14 As noted by the Associated Press:15

“‘These are now the best data available,’ Dr. Brian Strom said of the new study. Strom, the chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, led an Institute of Medicine panel last year that found little evidence to support very low sodium levels.

“‘Too-high sodium is bad. Too low also may be bad, and sodium isn’t the whole story,’ Strom said. ‘People should go for moderation.’

The authors propose an alternative approach; instead of recommending aggressive sodium reduction across the board, it might be wiser to recommend high-quality diets rich in potassium instead. This, they surmise, might achieve greater public health benefits, including blood-pressure reduction.

As noted by one of the researchers, Dr. Martin O’Donnell16 of McMaster University, “Potatoes, bananas, avocados, leafy greens, nuts, apricots, salmon, and mushrooms are high in potassium, and it’s easier for people to add things to their diet than to take away something like salt.”

Meta-Analysis Supports Lower Sodium Recommendations

Another study,17 published in the same journal, assessed how sodium contributes to heart-related deaths by evaluating 107 randomized trials across 66 countries. The researchers first calculated the impact of sodium on high blood pressure, and then calculated the relationship between high blood pressure and cardiovascular deaths. According to the authors:

“In 2010, the estimated mean level of global sodium consumption was 3.95 grams per day, and regional mean levels ranged from 2.18 to 5.51 grams per day. Globally, 1.65 million annual deaths from cardiovascular causes… were attributed to sodium intake above the reference level [2.0 grams of sodium per day].

These deaths accounted for nearly 1 of every 10 deaths from cardiovascular causes. Four of every 5 deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and 2 of every 5 deaths were premature (before 70 years of age).”

This appears to support current sodium recommendations in the US, and according to Dr. Elliott Antman, president of the Heart Association,18 “The totality of the evidence strongly supports limiting sodium.” However, as noted by Dr. Suzanne Oparil, M.D.:19

“[G]iven the numerous assumptions necessitated by the lack of high-quality data, caution should be taken in interpreting the findings of the study. Taken together, these three articles highlight the need to collect high-quality evidence on both the risks and benefits of low-sodium diets.”

Earlier Evidence

A long list of studies has in fact failed to prove that there are any benefits to a low-salt diet, and in fact many tend to show the opposite. In addition to the ones already mentioned above, the following studies also came up with negative results. For an even more comprehensive list of research, please see this previous salt article.

  • A 2004 meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration20 reviewed 11 salt-reduction trials and found that, in otherwise healthy people, over the long-term, low-salt diets decreased systolic blood pressure by 1.1 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure by 0.6 mmHg. That equates to reducing your blood pressure from 120/80 to 119/79. In conclusion, the authors stated that:

“Intensive interventions, unsuited to primary care or population prevention programs, provide only minimal reductions in blood pressure during long-term trials.”

  • A 2006 study in the American Journal of Medicine21 compared the reported daily sodium intakes of 78 million Americans to their risk of dying from heart disease over the course of 14 years. The study concluded that lower sodium diets led to HIGHER mortality rates among those with cardiovascular disease, which “raised questions regarding the likelihood of a survival advantage accompanying a lower sodium diet.”
  • In 2011, the Cochrane Collaboration22, 23 conducted yet another review of the available data, concluding that when you reduce your salt intake, you actually increase several other risk factors that could theoretically eliminate the reduced risk for cardiovascular disease predicted from lowering your blood pressure!

Of particular note is the authors statement that: “sodium reduction resulted in a significant increase in plasma cholesterol (2.5 percent) and plasma triglyceride (7 percent), which expressed in percentage, was numerically larger than the decrease in BP [blood pressure]… The present meta-analysis indicates that the adverse effect on lipids, especially triglyceride, is not just an acute effect as previously assumed, but may be persistent also in longer-term studies.”

You Need Salt, But Make Sure It’s the Right Kind

From my perspective, the answer is clear: avoid processed salt and use natural salt in moderation. I believe it is hard for a healthy person to overdo it if using a natural salt, as salt is actually a nutritional goldmine—again provided you mind your sodium-potassium ratio. Some of the many biological processes for which natural salt is crucial include:

Being a major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid, and even amniotic fluid Carrying nutrients into and out of your cells, and helping maintain your acid-base balance Increasing the glial cells in your brain, which are responsible for creative thinking and long-term planning. Both sodium and chloride are also necessary for the firing of neurons
Maintain and regulate blood pressure Helping your brain communicate with your muscles, so that you can move on demand via sodium-potassium ion exchange Supporting the function of you adrenal glands, which produce dozens of vital hormones

The beauty with Himalayan salt is that in addition to being naturally lower in sodium, it’s much higher in potassium compared to other salt—including other natural salt like sea salt or Celtic salt. Himalayan salt contains 0.28 percent potassium, compared to 0.16 percent in Celtic salt, and 0.09 percent in regular table salt. While this may seem like tiny amounts, Himalayan salt still has a better salt-potassium ratio than other salt, especially table salt. Again, remember that besides the basic differences in nutritional content, it’s the processing that makes table salt (and the salt used in processed foods) so detrimental to your health. What your body needs is natural, unprocessed salt, without added chemicals.

The Importance of Maintaining Optimal Sodium-Potassium Ratio

I agree with the PURE study’s authors when they say that a better strategy to promote public health would be to forgo the strict sodium reduction element, and focus recommendations instead on a high-quality diet rich in potassium, as this nutrient helps offset the hypertensive effects of sodium. Imbalance in this ratio can not only lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) but also contribute to a number of other diseases, including:

Heart disease and stroke Memory decline Osteoporosis Ulcers and stomach cancer
Kidney stones Cataracts Erectile dysfunction Rheumatoid arthritis

The easiest way to throw your sodium-potassium ratio off kilter is by consuming a diet of processed foods, which are notoriously low in potassium while high in sodium. (Processed foods are also loaded with fructose, which is clearly associated with increased heart disease risk, as well as virtually all chronic diseases.) Your body needs potassium to maintain proper pH levels in your body fluids, and it also plays an integral role in regulating your blood pressure. As indicated in the PURE study, potassium deficiency may be more responsible for hypertension than excess sodium. Potassium deficiency leads to electrolyte imbalance, and can result in a condition called hypokalemia. Symptoms include:

  • Water retention
  • Raised blood pressure and hypertension
  • Heart irregularities/arrhythmias
  • Muscular weakness and muscle cramps
  • Continual thirst and constipation

According to a 1985 article in The New England Journal of Medicine, titled “Paleolithic Nutrition,24” our ancient ancestors got about 11,000 milligram (mg) of potassium a day, and about 700 mg of sodium. This equates to nearly 16 times more potassium than sodium. Compare that to the Standard American Diet where daily potassium consumption averages about 2,500 mg (the RDA is 4,700 mg/day), along with 3,600 mg of sodium. This may also explain why high-sodium diets appear to affect some people but not others.

According to a 2011 federal study into sodium and potassium intake, those at greatest risk of cardiovascular disease were those who got a combination of too much sodium along with too little potassium. The research, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,25 was one of the first and largest American studies to evaluate the relationship of salt, potassium, and heart disease deaths. Tellingly, those who ate a lot of salt and very little potassium were more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those who ate about equal amounts of both nutrients.

How to Optimize Your Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio

To easily determine your sodium to potassium ratio every day, you can use a free app like My Fitness Pal for your desktop, smartphone, or tablet that will easily allow you to enter the foods you eat and painlessly make this calculation for you. No calculating or looking up in multiple tables required like we had to do in the old days. So, how do you ensure you get these two important nutrients in more appropriate ratios?

  • First, ditch all processed foods, which are very high in processed salt and low in potassium and other essential nutrients
  • Eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, ideally organically and locally-grown to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium
  • When using added salt, use a natural salt. I believe Himalayan salt may be the most ideal, as it contains lower sodium and higher potassium levels compared to other salts

I do not recommend taking potassium supplements to correct a sodium-potassium imbalance. Instead, it is best to simply alter your diet and incorporate more potassium-rich whole foods. Green vegetable juicing is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients for optimal health, including about 300-400 mg of potassium per cup. By removing the fiber you can consume even larger volumes of important naturally occurring potassium. Some additional rich sources in potassium are:

  • Lima beans (955 mg/cup)
  • Winter squash (896 mg/cup)
  • Cooked spinach (839 mg/cup)
  • Avocado (500 mg per medium)

Other potassium-rich fruits and vegetables include:

  • Fruits: papayas, prunes, cantaloupe, and bananas. (But be careful of bananas as they are high in sugar and have half the potassium that an equivalent of amount of green vegetables. It is an old wives’ tale that you are getting loads of potassium from bananas; the potassium is twice as high in green vegetables)
  • Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocados, asparagus, and pumpkin

How Much Salt Does Your Body Need?

Normally, the homeostasis of your body fluids is corrected primarily by your kidneys, and proper renal handling of sodium is necessary for normal cardiovascular function. Given that your survival and normal physical development are dependent on adequate sodium intake and retention, the question is – how much salt do you really need?

A strictly vegetarian diet contains about 0.75 grams of salt per day, and it’s been estimated that the Paleolithic diet contained about 1 to 1.5 grams, which was clearly sufficient for survival, even though it falls far below the currently recommended amount.

I believe it’s clear that most Americans consume FAR too much processed salt that is devoid of most any health benefit. But if you want to find out whether you’re eating the right amount of salt for your body, a fasting chemistry profile that shows your serum sodium level can give you the answer, so that you can modify your diet accordingly. As a general rule, your ideal sodium level is 139, with an optimal range of 136 to 142. If it is much lower, you probably need to eat more salt (natural and unprocessed varieties, of course); if it is higher, you’ll likely want to restrict your salt intake. Keep in mind that if you have weak adrenals, you will lose sodium and need to eat more natural salt to compensate

So here I’ve been studying every miligram of sodium I allow into my body, trying to keep it around 1/2 gram.  And now it’s got to be some other as yet undetermined amount of salt with natural potassium and no measured doses in, say, a slice of bread or tomato.

This damned human body thing is more complicated than the sawbones let on.

Old Jules

The dual-citizenship US/Israeli friend to So Far From Heaven

Perhaps you readers will find this anecdote interesting and edifying.  I certainly do.

So Far From Heaven blog has a reader and sometimes commenter who holds dual US/Israeli citizenship.  Not to suggest it’s unusual.  I might be the only US citizen alive who doesn’t hold dual Israeli citizenship.

But this So Far From Heaven reader is special.  Back during the Vietnam War, maybe 1966-67, he adopted Judaism and fled to Israel to avoid the draft.  Became a weaponry salesman for Israel, maybe to Israel, probably helping them furnish weapons for every drug lord in South America.

And a thoroughly interesting, admirably loyal [to Israel] US citizen. http://leanpower.wordpress.com/

Yeah, this guy was a sight to behold back in the day.  Running along the railroad tracks with a backpack full of rocks in training for the Israeli army when he arrived in Israel sometime hence.  He knew if he became an Israeli he’d have to be in the military, but Israel never loses anyone in their wars.

Tens of thousands of casualties in the armed forces the Israeli military attacks by surprise and defeats.  A few hundred Israeli casualties.  Fell off trucks or something, most likely, or accidentally shot themselves.

Look up the statistics on every Israel war if you don’t believe me.  Any one.  Take your pick.  Look at the Israeli casualty counts, and the body counts of the countries they attacked.  Including the USS Liberty.  No Israeli casualties on that surprise attack on a US warship lasting several hours.  Not one.

Obviously our Israeli/US citizen reader/draft-dodger knew that.  He picked a winner for a country he could ‘serve’ in complete safety.  And when it was all over he came back to the Good Old US of A to buy and sell big guns.

They’re everywhere.  Even here on So Far From Heaven.

Old Jules

He was captured once before. Was Foley a dual-citizenship American/Israeli?

Hi readers.  Today with tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of ‘Americans’ holding dual Israeli citizenship it isn’t enough to report an ‘American’ journalist was beheaded.  Heck, more than a dozen US Senators hold dual Israeli citizenship.

The fact is, evidently James Foley was held previously with other journalists in Libya and one of them was killed.  But Foley returned to the war zone.

Which doesn’t necessarily mean he worked for the CIA or Mossad and richly deserved what he got.  It only means the question is worth considering.  His story of the Libya capture is in the video above, along with the story below:

http://www.jrn.com/tmj4/news/135208003.html

Journalist James Foley reflects on being captured in Libya

By Lacey Crisp. CREATED Dec 7, 2011 – UPDATED: Dec 7, 2011
 
MILWAUKEE- As a journalist, James Foley says it’s weird being interviewed and says he’d rather be reporting. He says he’s glad that so many people are interested in learning about his days in captivity Libya.
 
“I’ve thought about it a lot, I’ve had hours and hours to think about it. Of course in retrospect you had the signs that we should have pulled back,” Foley explained.
 
Early in April, Marquette grad James Foley and three other journalists went past a check point they knew was pushing the limits.
 
“At one point we said, this is dangerous, but we don’t want to go back yet,” Foley said.
 
The group of journalists was shot at and three were taken into custody.  Photographer Anton Hammerl was shot and killed.
 
“We were thrown in the back of the truck and zip tied for hours,” Foley said.
 
Foley explains he was treated well during his captivity, but admits the first day was brutal.
 
“We were knocked around.”

Then, nearly three weeks after his capture, Foley was able to call home.
 
“I was just praying, let my mom be home, because I didn’t know her cell phone number!”
 
His last night in Tripoli he spent at the Hungarian Embassy and was able to see for himself on the Internet the outpouring of love and prayers from his friends back in Milwaukee.
 
“I saw a vigil on YouTube somehow, and I clicked on a few links. I said, this is unbelievable.”
 
Foley says it was that love and support from his Marquette friends that kept him strong.
 
“I can’t babysit, rake enough leaves, paint enough interiors to every repay them,” Foley said.
 
Three months after Foley’s release he went back to Libya and was there when leader Moammar Ghaddafy was killed.
 
He says he will continue reporting in war-torn areas.

 If he held a dual citizenship of US and Israeli he was traveling on dangerous ground.  Similar to being a resident of Gaza over the past few weeks.  And he was innocent of any wrongdoing and still got beheaded, well, so did a lot of innocent people in Gaza.  Thousands.

Being an ‘American’ doesn’t mean a person isn’t a foaming at the mouth kill’em all and let God sort them out Zionist hiding behind US citizenship papers.

Old Jules

 

Drones, drone pilots and other heroes protecting our freedoms

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I’d been putting off giving Drones, the movie a try on Netflix because of the cover art.  Gave the appearance of one of those animated space war games I’ve found I don’t want to devote any minutes of my remaining life to see.  But it was on my ‘list’ anyway.  I kept scrolling past it and eventually decided to bring it up long enough to apply the ruthless scourge treatment.

Frankly, it wasn’t a good movie in most of the ways I’d normally measure movies.  But it did show that somewhere some other human beings are wondering about the moral and ethical issues related to killing off targets thousands of miles away using drones and drone technology.  I’d wondered a lot about the minds of the people making the decision to kill a host of obviously innocent bystanders and whether they were experiencing any karmic loading afterward.

Drones does explore the matter and a viewer is left with the impression someone among the directors, screenplay writers, producers, had personal experience with drone piloting and all it implies.  I find it encouraging that someone, though maybe not any of the parties actually involved in making choices to blow away babies, children, mothers, and people such as myself who happen to be in the wrong place at the right time, someone is thinking about what it means.

All the usual suspects have opinions about the flick and have said so on Netflix:

Once again the poster and disc art has nothing to do with the actual movie. The entire production is shot inside a “trailer” with a few external shots to show it was in the Nevada desert. This mess concerns the elimination of a suspected terrorist and a shave tail lieutenant that doesn’t want to fira Hellfire missile from the drone she and her pilot are operating. It is left wing mush focusing on collateral damage with a side trip to how EVIL the military command is. Save yourself the loss of 82 minutes and avoid this male bovine excrement.

——————————————————————-

Wow. 1st, yes the audio sucks in parts, but there’s subtitles. 2nd, surely any high ranking officer would not disregard such flagrant refusal of orders. Oh, & then we have both military people (girl & guy—YES, women can be violent!) committing assault; One could argue this is an example of why women should not be in combat (drone pilots are more like ground soldiers than regular pilots).At least 1 other review was wrong, this is somewhat realistic, nothing corporate, all 100% military. I’m not in the military, but as I understand it, deliberate refusal of orders, (esp in a combat situation!) would result in being relieved of duty, & disciplinary action.As another says, Poster is BS, nothing to do with movie. Does bring up many moral questions, but so does war & killing in general; If they’re part of your own nation, killing even 1 civilian can make someone a terrorist, & a murderer. (and US military—-yes, I’m in US—has killed *THOUSANDS* of Iraqis, who were unarmed; How does that make Us (ie, USA) any better than them?3.5 stars for moral issues; 1 for technical; Much more realistic than most military movies, but if this is 100% realistic, it’s a sad commentary on our (US) military.I agree, needs better research.

 http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70296444?sod=search-autocomplete

Just following orders is an excuse that ceased to carry water on the losing side back shortly after WWII.  Evidently the makers of this movie believe, probably correctly, that military careersmen in an all-volunteer military damned well better just follow orders.  And, of course, the orders are coming from people who’ve weighed all the ethical and moral issues, made sound value judgements without regard to anything in their personal lives.  All the way up the ladder to the guy in the White House.

Reminded me that I saw on Yahoo News the other day a story about Bill Clinton remarking somewhere that, “I could have killed Osama Bin Laden.”  Seemed strange to me, brought up visions of him and some Arab duking it out with swords or dueling pistols.

I’m more inclined, however, to think he meant he could have killed him the way he murdered the Mount Pleasant men, women and children outside Waco, Texas, using puppets who were just following orders.  Heroes who were, at least, close enough to smell them burning and hear their screams.  Different sort of hero from the drone pilots.

Old Jules

Blacks in Ferguson, MO, emulate Israel rampage of destruction

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

We human beings would be a lot more believable if we weren’t such lying, greedy, opportunistic sneaky creatures.  Some cop in Ferguson, MO, shot himself a young black man the other day, as cops have a way of doing when the wife has a headache or the dog bites them, or the car needs new tires.  And when they do it tends to piss off the black Native Americans who live in the communities where it happens.

Black Native Americans aren’t that different from White Native Americans or Hispanic Native Americans in that regard.  They don’t like people killing their kids just for the amusement it gives them.  If it were the kids of middle-to-upper-middle to upper-class White Native Americans the cop-bosses would be on the shooters like stink on crap if they couldn’t arrange for a throw-down weapon or construe some other excuse for the officer having a bad day.

But Hispanic Native Americans and Black Native Americans only enjoy the privilege of having cops beating their kids to death on pain of having the copshops shaking his hand and congratulating him, mostly.  The copshop attitude toward those matters is generally that if the kid wasn’t doing something at that moment they probably owed him one from sometime they didn’t know about.

Which tends to raise the ire down in the hoods among the family and potential targets for police officer tension management moments.  Down in the hood it’s not difficult to understand some mild frustrations exist as a result of the fact the problem’s lingered so badly, overall.  They’d like to see something done about it.  This time, every time.  They’d legitimately like to see the officer beaten to death, or otherwise treated with reciprocal formality.  Legitimate grievance.

So what the hell do they do?  They smash and loot candy bars and free potatio chips out of the local convenience store.  Owned by people who didn’t have a damned thing to do with killing the kid.  Stand off in the distance and yell, throw rocks.  Stupid.

It’s as though they’re taking lessons from Israel, going on a binge of killing and property theft and destruction directed at people who had nothing to do with firing rockets or kidnapping Israeli kids.  Smash and grab for the property in Palestine they haven’t settled yet with good Israelis.  Stealing candy and potato chips in the form of minerals in the Med off the coast of Gaza.

We human beings are surely sneaky.  But we still have a lot to learn from Israel, and Israel doesn’t learn from anyone, even their own history and the long history of Jews worldwide.  Same as the rest of us they’ve never been guiltless.  But it would be a shame to see Israel screw things up for honest, only  ordinary-level dishonest and greedy Jews elsewhere in the world.  Jews who are behaving the way the rest of us barely believable and secretly greedy non-Jews behave.  Which is about the best anyone could ask for from humans.  But Israel going over the top with it makes everyone look bad in the eyes of people prone to hate Jews anyway.

We’d be a lot more believable, we humans if we weren’t so dishonest.  And greedy.  And mean as snakes.

You’ve got to admit, Israelis and the Black Native Americans down in the worst neighborhoods stealing anything they can get their hands on and mugging anyone weak enough to be mugged, are surprisingly similar.  Both begging for handouts from the US Government, and Israel actually receiving a cumulative $130 billion or so for their efforts, though mostly in weaponry.  Nobody buys guns for anyone in the hood, which is unfair any way you cut it.

Old Jules

Sylvia Plath and so many other suicides

Hi readers.  Someone female sitting in the lobby late one night tossed The Bell Jar aside and groaned a curse.  Headed for the wagon yard, I reckons.  So I picked up Plath’s tome and read enough to remember everything else I ever knew, ever wanted to know about Sylvia Plath.  Most vividly I remembered a poem, Daddy, by Ms Plath.  Some University of Texas poetry course caused me to write a ten page paper about it once.

I learned to hate the thought Sylvia Plath and her lot shared this planet with regular human beings.  And after reading a while on Bell Jar, chunking it, I wrote this:

Virus of the mind

The drumbeat litany of hatred
And blame;
Of smug mindless naiveté
Numbs the mind.
Alienation is a welcome gift
From the universe
When it involves the inability
To identify with THAT.

The preoccupation with death
As though death is an unnatural state,
Created by a dark maker for the shallow purpose
Of providing a source of terror and sadness
For tiny humans;
Leaves me with a yearning:

Just once I’d like to see a poem
Just once.
A poem full of truths:

“I gave you permission
to hurt me and make me angry;
because of my illusions and expectations
you never agreed to satisfy
and didn’t
now I’m angry.

“I wanted you to behave a certain way.
Because I wanted it, I demanded it
In my expectations of you
without saying so.

“I wanted you to give up your choices.
I didn’t want it
because giving them up would make you
happier
Or more fulfilled.
I just wanted it because I wanted it.

“I’m used to getting my way.
I’ll hate you if I don’t get it.

“I’ll hate you fiercely
and if that doesn’t work
I’ll threaten to kill myself
Just to get you back.”

Or,

“I’m angry.  I’ve always been angry.
Life isn’t fair and it pisses me off.
I haven’t gotten everything I want.
Sometimes my parents weren’t kind to me;
Didn’t give me what I wanted.

“I talk to my friends and they’re angry, too.
The more we talk the more we realize life isn’t fair
And it pisses us off.

“We talk among ourselves
About how cool it would be
To kill some of those flawed bastards
We don’t like.

“We savor our anger; our hatred
We wallow in it
And think of different ways we’d like to kill
The bastards we don’t like;
How much we’d enjoy killing.
We all know
Because took a voice vote.

“Some nerd who wears his glasses crooked
And isn’t cool;
Some football jock who gets all the girls
We’d like to get;
We hate the girls and the jocks.

“Some sarcastic adult who isn’t cool
And doesn’t respect our views
About how the world is.

“We’d like to kill them all.
We took a voice vote
And we all agree.”

“We haven’t studied much
Nor read much
Nor lived much
Nor listened much
But that doesn’t keep us
From knowing how life is;
How life should be.”

“We’re angry and we’d like to kill them all!
We took a voice vote.

“And by God you’ll see
You’ll be sorry
When I kill myself!”

And the Ted Hugheses of the world , the Daddys

Sort through selective memories to avoid the truth

About this creature they loved.

From Poems of the New Old West, copyright 2003 Jack Purcell

Suicide: Make it count, son. There’s money to be made.

Hi readers.  Shortly after I came back to town after The End of Life As We Know It and the Y2K I gave myself [you can probably find the stories of that by searching the blog for Y2K] I went to work graveyard shift.  Travel Lodge, maybe, or Motor Inn, night clerk.  11pm-7am.  That story’s here somewhere, too.

Those nights in that motel were always long, sometimes interesting, never boring.  At least not to me, but I don’t recall ever having been bored this lifetime.

One night a guy came down from his room and sat in the lobby, just wanted to talk.  He was in town as part of a team cleaning up a particularly messy suicide.  That’s what he did for a living.  Travelled all over the place where suicides happened and left a terrible mess, maybe a hazardous one.

Interesting guy, with a perspective about suicide and life that I mightn’t agree with, but am glad I encountered anyway.  So sometime one of those long nights later I wrote this thing I might have once called a poem:

Industry

Brain soup on steel rails,
Creosote and gravel
Is tasteless and inconsiderate.

What a waste, you say.
It keeps people employed
I say.

Lawsuits, insurance forms
Police reports
Accident reports
For a non accident.

Clerks, cops, lawyers
Funeral directors
Morticians
And the little guy.

Someone has to clean up
Those brain and bloodstains
On the walls and carpets;
Pick the bone fragments
Out of the doorframe
With a pair of needle nosed pliers;
Plug the holes
Re paint. 
Mop up those
Sidewalk body fluids
Untangle the lariat
Or phone cord
From the light fixture
Scrub bathtub
crimson rings.

Someone has to manufacture
Sleeping pills
Bullets
Razorblades
Ropes.

And hospital beds
For the faint of heart.

Some of that’s still
Made in America
(Good quality, too
And I’m damned proud
To say it.)

It’s hard times.
A man has to go where the work is.

What a waste, you say.
It keeps people employed
I say.
It’s commerce.

From Poems of the New Old West, copyright 2003, NineLives Press, Jack Purcell

Old Jules

Depression

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I noticed on the television down at the Olathe Community Center to be stared at by people on treadmills and other torture machines that some big name celebrity killed himself.  Guy who was in an amusing movie once about a house that an airplane crashed into and he bought it because it had been pre-disastered.

I don’t know.  Maybe the guy was terminally ill, or maybe just depressed.  That crap can surely happen.  Back in my younger days I used to go into a black pit of depression there seemed no way out of.  Where it seemed the Universe was trying to drag me into the hole a person doesn’t come back out of, the way this Williams guy exited.

I was lucky in a lot of ways, though I’m not sure what all of them were.  I had a name for the ‘entity’ that seemed to take possession of my mind and spirit during those times.  I called it the blue demon.  Because it seemed to be a real being.

And the way I eventually got it into my past so’s I have to work to remember about it, was by treating it as a living, thinking creature with a will I could do battle with, wrestle it to the ground.  Banish it from my psyche.

And once I discovered I could do that and did it successfully and thoroughly one time, afterward it was a lot easier.  For decades afterward anytime I sensed that blue demon out of the corner of my perceptions I’d immediately jump in and do battle with it again, drive it out before it got a foothold.

It worked so well for me that I’ve sometimes gone years, maybe decades without ever sensing it, doing battle with it.  But it’s still there, lurking, waiting for things to happen in its favor.  When my health began the slide down the slippery slope the old blue demon tried whispering to me out of the wings a few times.

Interestingly, I think I have a lot of the symptoms of clinical depression right now, today, minus the blue demon black pit and the anguish that goes with it.  I’m a happy, lucky man, grateful and congratulating myself for it a thousand times per day.

But I can’t force myself to open my mail.  I don’t answer the telephone unless I’m confident who is calling. Have to force myself to do anything that falls into the  arena of acknowledging one hell of a lot of life that would love to come in and say hello.

I’m probably going to have to do something about that.  Maybe give it a name, shake hands with it, and do battle.  I’m just not there yet.

Old Jules