WISDOM of the DESERT Chapter 5 Mindfulness or Contemplation

The Love God Lavishly Bestows on Us

“The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”

A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness “on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and “accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

“Mindfulness is the basic human ”ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”

I just read a post about post-Christianity America and how irrelevant we are to millennials and society at large.

I let out an audible ‘whew’ when he (Benjamin Sledge of “HeartSupport” started to discuss how much better Christianity will be when all the false believers die off and the Christian churches become vibrant again.

It is such a shocker and eye-opener that I have linked to it here if you are interested. It is a well-written piece.

It is also a re-affirmation of what we are reading and studying, how to let the Holy Spirit work in our prayer life and help lead us thru the dark night of the soul (if that is what we desire- it is not a requirement) so that people will Jesus living in us.

Mr. Sledge quotes Dr. Timothy Keller “we are so loved that we don’t despair when we do wrong, but so sinful that we have no right to be puffed up when we do right.” If you read the article at the link you will find that Dr. Keller has some teachings that require the historical Christian church to hesitantly approve of his gospel.

But remember Paul’s cautionary instruction in Philippians 1:18: “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,” (NIV).

We started this post by looking at the definition and explanation of Mindfulness.

A Google search will display a graph on how much and how fast Mindfulness has grown in recent years. It is astonishing. The Veteran’s Administration even has an application for your phone to make it easier to use.

But I would ask you (without looking back at definitions of contemplation:

Which do you prefer in your life Mindfulness, or contemplation or both?


2. Which do you think is more necessary for today’s society?


3. Which do you think would have the biggest, best impact on today’s society if a majority were to start practicing it?


St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross were good friends

To continue:

“A Taste of Silence” by Father Carl Arico

“The classic meaning of contemplation is “resting in God.”

“There as two types of contemplation: acquired and infused.”

Father Arico goes into much detail describing all of the terms involved. But I will leave the details to you and spell out as plainly as I can the terms I will be using.

Father Arico states:

Acquired contemplation is the effort we put in under the prompting of the Spirit to rest in the presence of God.

a. This can be concentrative or receptive

i. Examples of concentrative prayer are discursive meditation, visual meditation and affective prayer

ii. In concentrative we use our faculties (imagination, intellect, will) to produce the effect of resting in the presence of God.

iii. “Examples of receptive could be the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner), Christian Zen prayer, or Christian meditation-the repetition of a mantra.”

(The Jesus Prayer is an historical prayer of the Eastern Catholic churches.)

An easier way maybe with a comparison: But remember this exercise in terminology in no way has an effect on your prayer.

It is merely to acquaint you with some terms.

A. In concentrative acquired contemplation, you are concentrating, you are active

B. In receptive acquired contemplation, you don’t try to understand, you don’t try to feel anything, you surrender, you consent. If you get an insight, you let it go. You simply want to be letting everything go for the sake of resting in the Lord.

“Some people as they become more comfortable in simple prayer forms begin to feel uncomfortable with the wordiness of prayer talk. It is a process of being away from discursive prayer and meditation. This doesn’t mean it is bad to use the words and symbols of discursive prayer it just means we are maturing in prayer. We don’t stop with these prayers. They become even more meaningful. It just means there is a simplification taking place.”

Infused contemplation is a gift from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit sees the effort we are making to rest in God’s presence. We can only go so far on our own. Then the Spirit takes over and brings us to deeper rest. All prayer is a gift from God.”

Let’s look at the two opposites. In acquired contemplation, I can say ‘I did this’, ’it had this effect and I’m going to do that again.”

“With infused contemplation, all I really know is that I was there. We are moving without effort, without flaw. In the dance of prayer, we are united, one with God. From this loving union flows a loving knowledge transcending abstract conceptual knowledge. The infused quality of this loving knowledge indicates that it is wholly a gift from God and is totally beyond human capacity. No human effort can bring it about. It is pure gift.”

“Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest and paleontologist who took part in the discovery of Peking Man (in 1923–1927).

He defined the gift of the Holy Spirit this way: “To lose oneself in the unfathomable, to plunge into the inexhaustible, to find peace in the incorruptible, to give one’s deepest to him whose depths have no end.”

Now Father Arico gives us a glimpse of where he is leading us-into Centering Prayer.

“Centering prayer (receptive acquired contemplation) is a method to facilitate the development of contemplative prayer by preparing our faculties to cooperate with this gift (infused contemplation).

It is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. During the time of prayer, we consent to God’s presence and action within us.”

“Centering Prayer is preparing one to receive the gift of infused contemplation if the Spirit so chooses to do so.”

At this point, Father Arico starts exploring what is meant by transformation. In Scripture we hear about a “new creation”, “born again”, “I live now not I but Christ lives in me”, “unless you are born again of water and the Holy Spirit you will not enter the kingdom of God.”

“The new life we are called to has been called “transformation” by contemporary writers.

The process of transformation simply means a complete overhaul by the Spirit within each of us.” The liturgy has a fine summation: “Through him and with Him and in Him in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is Yours almighty Father, forever and ever. Amen.”

God the potter continues to work in our lives. We need to look at the potter. The potter has to break the old mold in order to replace it with a new one, so we must let go of the old self and replace it with the new.”

We now have an awful tension within us- if we take only part of the message.

We see faithfulness to God as the path to peace and harmony.

But it is also a path of unrest when we must change our preconceived notions of what life is all about. You now see it means accepting the uncertainties of the journey.

Earlier I mentioned St. John of the Cross, he wrote “Dark Night of the Soul.”

“This night is God’s transforming process. The dark is our resistance when we don’t want to change. We arm wrestle with God and fight against changing with all our might.”

As we move thru this dark night, we start to feel our of control. We have felt that we have had our prayer routine scheduled and in good order. Soon the old answers aren’t working anymore. Are you falling apart? Maybe you feel like you are losing your dedication. If you are faithful to your prayer life, you will find that God is moving you into a new way of life.

“You will need to learn that you are not always in control. It does not feel that way, but it is true. Many run from this experience of brokenness. We fear it. Yet it is part of the transformation.”

These transformations are not done by us. “They are being done to us because we are open to remaining in the presence of God. We become open to become what we are called to be.”

We are probably are not even aware of the changes in our life. Other people are. Some may even mention it to us. But this is not something we are ‘working on’. But the Spirit is working on us, and in us and thru us as we begin to live out our calling.

You will notice the difference in your life. Peace will come to your spirit. Joy will come to your heart. Clarity will come to your mind.

In my experience.

Thanks for joining me.
Google Images dual blue roses
Craig Martineau

The Battle of the 2020 Political Challenge is Guaranteed to be Deadly

High Tech Wizardry Will Consume Wealth Never Seen Before

A Savage Hoax-0f-the-Day is Scheduled for Polarizing Effect

This may not seem to be the beginning it was meant to be but I am going to tackle something BIG! REALLY BIG! And I don’t want to scare you off right away.

I am going to tackle SOCIALISM. Democratic Socialism to be exact.

Now the political season of 2020 has begun. It will be brutal, bloodletting and of extreme importance.  

I hope not to be paying attention. I am not interested in watching the game as concerned with the results.

Since I have to wait until November 8, 2020, to find out the score, I am going to try to occupy my mind with other tasks.

I am turning off my daily headline feed for The New York Times and Washington Post.

Hopefully, I will find other’s I can live without.

I mentioned in an earlier post of the find of “Cognoscenti” from WBUR in Boston as a source of excellent material for posts.

It has not disappointed.

On August 29, 2018, was a commentary “This is What Voters Need to Know About Democratic Socialism”.

I am not going to be concerned regarding how the game is played. I just want to at least try to influence it.

Mr. Rich Barlow writes for Boston University news website. He writes for WBUR’s “Cognoscenti” about once a week.

A few of his current postings:
 1. “How Trump Supporters Justify His Actions: A Thought Experiment”.
  2. “To Stop Clergy Sexual Abuse, The Catholic Church Should Ordain Women”.
 3. “The Republicans Need a New Hero and His Name is Mr.Rogers”.

Excellent articles and sometimes with a twist.

Democratic Socialism was a driving force in the elections of 2018 and is heading in that direction in 2020 again.

“So let’s get to it” as Mr. Chris Cuomo is apt to say.

Mr. Barlow is correct in his assertion that Single-payer health care has become a religion for Democrats running in major states.”

Several Democratic politicians are advocating Medicare for All (M4A is the abbreviation).

We have to find out what we are talking about.

Right-wing shills scream Communism! will be hollered up and down the once hallowed halls. Now that Beto O’Rourke blew his line regarding taking guns away the Republicans will not be shooting blanks

Lest they forget: Wealthy people pay no taxes: 44.4% of US Citizens. THEY PAY NO Federal Income Tax! THAT IS 76.4 MILLION people!

To be accurate we should say that only 76.4 million Americans benefit from Socialism. Correct??

What about corporations. The tax rate for corporations used to be 35%. It is now 21% thanks to the Republicans. This is lower than the 28% of Reagan’s day and people make a LOT MORE MONEY TODAY! Theoretically, they should be paying at a higher rate.

60 corporations did not pay their $16 BILLION IN TAXES. But they did receive a REFUND of over $4 BILLION.

Corporations such as Amazon, Goodyear, Delta Air Lines, IGM, Deere did not pay any – ZERO- taxes.

Before Reagan, these corporations had a tax rate of 28%. Now, YOU ARE THE WINNER IN THIS LOTTERY AND YOU ARE ALLOWED to pay $1 TRILLION TAX BILL and it is not even the end of the Fiscal Year. And you are allowed to pay it by yourself!! With no BILLIONS FROM CORPORATIONS and the 76.4 MILLION PEOPLE WHO PAY NO TAXES!

So please make sure that your children and grandchildren know why you don’t give them toys for Christmas. Because you gave it all to the IRS!

But since Denmark and other Scandinavian countries use such a combination of private/government partnerships we know that isn’t true.

It also not true that Democratic Socialism is socialism.

True socialism is described in this column by the esteemed conservative columnist George Will

He places the true engine of socialism as being the government owning and planning all activities in society.


That is not something the US has to fear now or at any time.

“In Scandinavia, seven out of every 10 workers labor for private enterprise.”

Indeed many, “including the libertarian Cato Institutes that progressive Nobel Prize Winning economist Paul Krugman declares Denmark, a market economy”.

 “The Nordics cluster at the top of league tables of everything from economic competitiveness to social health to happiness.

They have avoided both southern Europe’s economic sclerosis and America’s extreme inequality”. (This article was written in 2013 which allows that it have missed the growing mess of the world order in 2018.)

The Next Supermodel

“Private, multi-payer systems in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands yield top-quality universal care that’s a bargain compared to ours.”

While it had its warts that could have been excised by thoughtful policy changes, the ACA or Obamacare was a model of a multi-payer system.

It has now been so bastardized by trump that we will need to start again.

Thanks for stopping.

Craig Martineau

I am a newbie but a goodie

I have a craving to write. Maybe not well but nonetheless.

When I was much much younger I had a paper route. A very long paper route, especially in the winter. Below zero mornings, even before the windchill was added.

The snow crunching underfoot. That was a welcome sound. This was in the days before the fancy earbuds and other do-dads (let’s say 1950-ish). I could only talk to myself for a short while. Then I would drive myself bonkers.

I would write snippets is the best that I can describe them. Do you think that is why I write such long posts now? Overcompensating for my earlier lack of verbosity? Too bad all the good ones slipped my mind it was so cold.

I am retired. I am tired. My body is kicking me for all the years of abusing it. Do I wish I had treated it better? Nah. Who knew of all the consequences.

Well, I have a book review I have to write.

I hope to see you stop and say ‘hey’. website is dabblerduckbutts.com.

Craig Martineau

The Vietnam of Apocalypse Now – Final Cut

The Ultimate Price Was Paid

Francis Ford Coppola 40 years ago and today at age 80

Valkyries in Norse tradition these women chose who would live in battle and who would die

Valkyries Google Images
Did these Valkyries choose for Mr. Coppola to live and finish his grand trilogy to full honors?

For your viewing pleasure?

If you have not seen the Original Apocalypse Now please view this at the end of your read. And turn your speakers up LOUD!

The Ride of the Valkyries

August 2019


Apocalypse Now 

Is set in late 1969; a newspaper headline places the film just before the first grand jury hearing in the Charles Manson murder case.

It depicts the ruinous nature of the U.S. Intervention in the Vietnam civil war, as well as the wholesale Americanization of the battleground via sophisticated technology, showbiz, drugs, and rock and roll – not to mention paranoia.

Covert-missions operative Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) is charged by General Corman (G.D. Spradlin) and a CIA man (Jerry Ziesmer) to cross into Cambodia to “terminate with extreme prejudice” an insane Special Forces colonel, Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando),whose army of Montagnard tribesmen are fighting a war of indiscriminate terror. Traveling up the fictional Nung River in a Navy PBR (Patrol Boat River) Willard and the crew-Chief Phillips (Albert Hall), Chef (Frederic Forrest), Lance (Sam Bottoms), and Clean (Laurence Fishburne, credited here as “Larry”) – witness or participate in a series of horrendous incidents that mostly represent real events from the war.

Redux included scenes that the public hadn’t seen before: Willard’s prank theft of Kilgore’s favorite surfboard, which forces the crew to hide the PBR under a canopy of foliage. Their layover at an abandoned medevac station, where Chef and Lance fool around with two stranded Playmates, played by Colleen Camp and Cyndi Wood. There is an interlude at a plantation run by members of a French colonial family, who appear to be ghosts. Then we hear Kurtz reading to Willard, whom he has captured and caged. Kurtz reads from a propagandist Time magazine article predicting America’s imminent victory in the war.

Final Cut

The Rde of the Valkyries You Tube Audio Library and Google Images
The Ride of the Valkyries             Hear the Choppers                        Fear the Choppers  They had to be the most feared of weapons. Watch the women scrabble to move their children to safety when they heard the whop whop.

Coppola has cut the medevac sequence for Final Cut. “I felt there was a reason to shoot those bizarre little vignettes of those little 18-year-old girls,” he said. “I was trying to show that their being used to titillate people sexually wasn’t a lot different from those 18-year-old boys, [and] the abuse heaped on them when they’re sent to war. However, my instinct now tells me that, in the overall continuity of the movie, that scene [doesn’t belong thematically]. It’s included as an extra [on the Blue-ray] if people want to see it.



Forty years later

Coppola has finally (apparently) put his magnum opus to bed.

Still, the director said, he is unsure how bearing the brunt of Apocalypse Now’s beleaguered $31.5 million production changed him as a man. “Every one of my films was traumatic like that,” he said. “In the case of Apocalypse, I was on the hook for the debt, and in those days interest was 25%. I was scared stiff. I had three kids and no family fortune and no one to turn to, and I was pretty much in a dangerous situation. How does a person feel who has survived mere annihilation? I don’t know.”

“Removing the medevac scene was a good call; it reads as too sexually exploitive for the #MeToo era.” Coppola also cut Kurtz’s reading from Time, another scene that doesn’t play for modern audiences. “When I made the movie, Time was still a very important and feared news outlet,” Coppola said. “It could take you to task, and then hurt you if it wanted to. So I thought it was important to take [the magazine] to task… But now I don’t consider Time as much of a target.


The Time Scene

Which showed Kurtz’s rational side, also detracted from the idea that he has become the embodiment of evil. But Final Cut allays the possibility that Willard could similarly be corrupted by power by retaining the scenes in which Willard steals Kilgore’s surfboard, and, during the French plantation serves as a rest,” Coppola said, “and if the [journey]  going up the river was the same as going back in time, first you go back 40 years, and then after the French plantation, you go back millennium into pre-medieval times.”

“So somehow I was hoping for a version that most crystallized the movie’s theme… When we did Redux, we just put things back in…We never cut it, or shrunk it a little bit, or rebalanced it.”

DUVALL AS THE SURFING COLONEL 'I love the smell of napalm in the morning
DUVALL AS THE SURFING COLONEL ‘I love the smell of napalm in the morning’

“The way it’s cut now, the [discussion of] all of the history and politics [in Vietnam] is in the background while Willard is looking at Roxanne. That brings back some memory of the original Willard we met at the Saigon hotel room, and you realize he has no wife any longer and that he got divorced, and there is some part of him that’s empty. I felt he could feel alive again…and I thought that was useful to know about him.”

During the conversation at the dinner table, Hubert de Marais (Christian Marquand), the leader of the French family, tells Willard, “You Americans are fighting for the biggest nothing in history.”  This statement resonates more in the post-Communist era than it would have in 1979. “It’s absolutely true,” Coppola said. “Even our president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, wanted, if Ho Chi Minh agreed, to help resist the Japanese and defeat the Japanese. He intended Vietnam to be given back to the Vietnamese. It’s only because the British took the surrender of the Japanese that Vietnam was turned over to the French…Essentially, the Vietnamese war was basically fought for nothing. All it did was bring misery both to the Vietnamese and the Americans…It was absolutely pointless…a war fought for no reason.”


Coppola often likens the making of Apocalypse Now- bringing a massive Hollywood machine to the movie’s Philippine locations – to the American incursion in Vietnam.  During filming, he actually compared himself to Kurtz. “If I didn’t say it, believe me, someone else would have,” he said. “When I made The Godfather, the first thing people said was, “Oh, Coppola’s just like Michael Corleone, cold and Machiavellian. Or, he’s just like Kurtz, a megalomaniac.” Or, “just like Preston Tucker [the automobile inventor of Tucker: “The Man and His Dream], a mad entrepreneur.”  I was always tarred with the same brush of the character I was featuring in a movie.”

Marlon Brando


Another face of Kurtz – how many did you count?

Added to Coppola’s frustration when he joined the cast and crew. Though he’d been perfectly professional while making The Godfather with Coppola, when he arrived in the Philippines to play Kurtz, he wasn’t ready. Production was held up for several days as he and Coppola debated the character.

After two weeks, a despairing Coppola told his cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, that he might abandon the production altogether. The Brando’s brilliant improvisations, based on his and Coppola’s discussions, began to bear fruit. Coppola now looks back on the actor with affection. “People say he gave me trouble, but he was an extraordinary man who made an extraordinary contribution with his creativity and his genius,” he said. “Sure he came overweight and behaved like a big, spoiled kid-but the fact that I even got to know him in my life is a privilege.”

Dennis Hopper, cast as the crazed American photojournalist who has become Kurtz’s apologist, had meanwhile energized Coppola and his crew – but Hopper, couldn’t or wouldn’t learn his lines, which meant his greeting the PBR at Kurtz’ compound required at least 54 takes!

Dennis Hopper is the photojournalist
Photojournalist appears in three scenes

Chopper on the Attack, looking for
Choppers on the Attack. Looking for Surf!

“The cut of a film is a magical thing”

Francis Ford Coppola has been quoted as saying, “After all, a movie is an illusion, and what makes the illusion come alive could be a matter of maybe taking out six frames in one sequence-that might do the trick. I used to tell my kids that in getting a cigarette lighter to work, you might have to change the flint, put in more fluid, pull the wick out, and keep doing little things. So me feeling was that to get Apocalypse Now to light up as an experience for the audience just required some tweaking.”

The 80-year-old director has, in fact, removed more than six frames from his hallucinatory Vietnam War Epic, which is returning to theaters on August 19th and on home video on August 27 – in its third incarnation- 40 years after its initial release. The metaphor-laden movie has not only been lavishly restored but significantly trimmed; Final Cut as the latest version is subtitled, is 20 minutes shorter than the 202-minutes extended edition, Apocalypse Now Redux that Coppola birthed in 2001.


“When I was asked [by the distributor, Lionsgate,] which version I wanted to show this time, I knew I didn’t want to show the [147-minutes 1979 version]'” Coppola said. “I felt that in my lust to make it shorter and less weird back then, I removed so many important things. When we did Redux, we just put things back in – but I was troubled about showing that version this time, because really feel that, for many people and even for the theme of the film, it required more time than seemed right to me. I knew I wanted to balance Redux a little better.”


He had a severe heart attack that required his son Charlie to go to the Philippines and nurse him back to health.

Comments and Vietnam Footnotes

I was in the U.S. Army (actually the Army of the United States, i.e. a draftee not RA -regular army). I spent one year nine months and some nits and lice at Fort McClellan AL, Home of the Army Chemical Corps and the WACS (Women’s Army Corps).

Fort McClellan was closed in 1999 due to dioxin contamination (Agent Orange that was used to defoliate the jungles in Vietnam). I am still processing a disability claim for that nightmare.

A fascinating scene in the movie when the five F105 Phantom jets laid down the napalm so that Lt. Colonel Kilgore could go surfing uninterrupted in Viet Cong territory.

I did a blog post on my dabblerduckbutts.com website and I copied it to Medium “Blood Money, Keep the Tiny Humans Alive.”

Some research I did for that post:

  1. The post was my reaction to a Facebook friend lamenting that his children had to undergo ‘Active Shooter Drills.” What that must do to our young minds and spirits. 
  2. I had an AHA! moment when I was writing the post – how did we ever get the 1% to kill the war?
  3. Crystal Clear problem, Crystal Clear solution.
  4. I shall let you just read the post if you don’t mind because I found it riveting in light of the movie that I rewatched last night. The 1979 version.
  5. My Framework of the Argument regarded Blood Money and Blood Diamonds. We accepted the fact that we were giving up our rights so that the  1% could make their fortunes. Prior to Reagan in the 1980s – he emasculated the middle class with his huge tax cuts – we continue to grumble unabated still about the Blood Money and the Blood Diamonds. These are not the Blood Diamonds of Sierra Leone but our children and grandchildren!
  6. I quoted Rhett Butler in that blog post. Margaret Mitchell’s Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Rhett told Scarlett “I told you once before that there were two times for making big money, one in building up of a country and the other in its destruction. Slow money on the upbuilding, fast money in the crackup.” There is a little more to than but I want to share some momentous news.
  7. An aside if you will forgive me. I read a piece of news yesterday. The Koch Brothers – the arch-conservatives have decided that a single-payer health system will save big bucks.
  8. National Guardsmen killed 4 people at Kent State University on May 4th,
    This is on display at the Rubin Museum Google Images
    This is on display at the Rubin Art Museum

    1979. There were 29 Guardsmen who fired 67 bullets, injuring 9 people in addition to the 4 that were killed. Some weren’t even in the protest group. “4 Dead in Ohio” Crosby, Stills, Nash (I don’t remember if Young was part of the group at that time).

  9. There were protests all across the country. The biggest was The March on the Pentagon on October 21, 1967 (I was graduated from high school the next spring). 2,500 soldiers (not Guardsmen) faced off against 100,000 protesters, Flower Power was born that day!
  10. I believe the music of those days brought us all together for a common mission. Read the list of songs and artists. Amazing that so much good music was written in such a short time and is still popular today.
  11. On January 20, 1965, Lyndon Baines Johnson takes the oath of office upon the assassination of JFK. He started the major buildup of the War shortly thereafter. In 1964 there were 23,300 American advisors in Vietnam. By 1966 there were 563,000 troops. By 1973 there were 50.
  12. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick previewed “The Vietnam War” in Duluth MN at the Train Depot downtown.  It was shown at the PBS station on September 10th, 2017.
  13. It debuted nationwide on PBS stations on September 17th.
  14. I see the ruination of a whole generation of men and women who served when I go to the VA Clinic in Superior. I was there on Monday so it is fresh in my mind.





This video clip is a treat from me and the storyteller. He is magnificent 😉

The Magnificent Storyteller

I got hooked on the Valkyries. Those are the Norse ladies that determine who lives and ho dies in battle. Whoever dies they escort them to Odin.

Valkyries in Norse tradition these women chose who would live in battle and who would die

Valkyries in Norse tradition these women chose who would live in battle and who would die

Valkyries Google Images
Did these Valkyries choose for Mr. Coppola to live and finish his grand trilogy to full honors?

Written by: Craig Martineau August 2019

A warrior not – not then and not now.

But a heavy heart does not rest well.

I wonder if a Valkyrie will carry this mortally wounded soldier to Valhalla?

I believe that this movie or at least the clips should be shown to all seniors in high school.

I believe that young people are brought up so many videos game where soldiering and

dying have no consequence. It does not bode well for our country if no one is there to see

real bloodshed.

This is a video made by a Marine who spent his time in Vietnam new the Cambodia border. The camp was staffed by about 300 Montagnard tribesmen and 12 U.S. troops.

As in the movie Apocalypse Now, this was a Special Forces Unit. Everything the narrator talks about is in the movie.

Saigon Night Life


The Full Flavor will Blow Your Mind – COFFEE NOW!!

Treat Your Tastebuds to the Bottom of the Cup!!

Energize with the Simple, Amazing Flavor!

696 words 2 min 32 sec reading time

A new blog for all the caffeine crazy people in your world. Please let your friends know or I will personally tell them you knew this AND didn’t tell them:

  1. Jack Daniels is now making whiskey-infused coffee. You have to be 21 to access this website.

2. There is now a line of quality coffee and tea that come in compostable pods and packaging with plant-based inks. While that isn’t news this IS: Brewbudz comes with edible cannabis. And the pods fit in your Keurig! Same here: you have to be 21 to enter this website. Sorry, Skeeter.

brewbudz marijuana infused coffee and tea

3. According to GomerBlog, coffee is now OK to keep at nurses’ stations in hospitals.
Yes, the Joint Commission, the people that approve the rules hospitals have to live by, found that heavy fines levied against hospitals that allowed caffeinated beverages at nurses’ stations finally had the desired effect. All hospitals banned coffee from nurses’ stations.
However, their statisticians found increased sloppiness, more errors on reports and an increase of residents yawning in patients’ faces. After years of fighting the good fight they finally relented, and the deans of medical education are happy to announce that nurses and residents are now working better together.

4. Of course, #3 is satire for those residents versed in the arts.

I worked in the coffee industry in a roasting plant for fifteen years and I can assure you that there are many healthful benefits to drinking coffee.

Coffee is my drug of choice

Rather than take my word for it, I did a diligent search for empirical data to bolster my claim.

The Andressen family of ARCO coffee

I found several source documents, but I will start with the big guns.

StarsandStripes.com by Martin Egnash “ How Much Coffee Does  a Soldier Need to Maximize Alertness?” June 15, 2018

I do not see which types of coffee they are recommending, (here is a list, along with 6 fine articles to whet your whistle.) HOWEVER, I did not see the Greek coffee listed. It is a strong black coffee ground exceedingly fine – like flour.) The article also doesn’t list how strong they brewed it, how long it has been standing (old coffee? Yuck!), and so on. Then we get into the algorithm thing needed to calculate all the variables.

Well, I am here to assure you that your United States Army has an app for that. Yes, Sir!


It will take into account your innate sensitivity to the brew, and determines how much, and WHEN to consume caffeine to maximize benefits and keep those pesky jitters at bay.

The app will be available via smartphone that will enable you to “predict current and future alertness and cognitive performance based on a series of psychomotor vigilance task (PVT)tests, your sleep, and caffeine intake data.”

Now doesn’t that just sound like the U.S Army? I know you will ask the most obvious question – how many men and women serve in the military?

On January 23, 2019, there were close to 1.4 million people serving in the U.S Armed Forces. That means that 0.4 percent of the American population is active military personnel.


As of 2014, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) estimates there were 22 million military veterans in the  U.S. population. If you add their figures to the active personnel, 7.3 % of all living Americans have served at some point.

An interesting tidbit: at the height of the Vietnam War over 500,000 personnel served in-country.

A tidbit: more than half of all veterans are over 60 right now.

But we were talking about coffee.

Dr. Jaques Reifman, at the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, said that alertness can be improved by 64%!

He also noted that when you drink coffee plays as much of a role as the amount.

This link will get you to the tool – sort of. The address for the 2B-Alert Web app is https://2b-alert-web.bhsai.org but you will need to put in your username and password, pesky regs.

But the tool is still being developed. It doesn’t say what kind of coffee has the most caffeine either.

But I knew you would ask so I put a link HERE for the amount of caffeine, not only in coffee but soda, tea, etc.

Thanks for stopping.


Image of Red Rose by Svetlana Music Unsplash

Homeless, Disabled, Forgotten American Veterans Survived at an Enormous Cost!

It’s Simple: Homeless American Veterans Survived Jaw-Dropping Odds

Survival is ‘How To #1’ for Homeless Disabled Vets

785 words 2 min 49 seconds

What in the world is going on?

While researching this blog post, I ran into a publication by the Brookings Institute.
The executive summary for the publication by Brookings.edu on 2/26/19 is “Democracy & Disorder: The struggle for influence in the new geopolitics”

“The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.”

Why is democracy fading or even more correctly failing?

Why have American servicemen and women dedicated themselves to preserving the international order founded at the end of WWII?

Have all the lives that lost and disabilities suffered been for naught?

This was a great beginning to this post.


Task & Purpose January 22, 2018, by James Clark
“For the first time in seven years, the number of homeless veterans in the United States has increased.

Yes, the VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development has made strides in those seven years, the total homeless vets dropped by 46% in the period.

But what about the over 40,000 vets still living on the streets of these United States?

Are we more concerned about a wall than the souls of those who served?

Where is our national conscience?

See if you can read this article without shedding a tear of conscience.

Homeless Veterans Image Disable American Vets magazine


Women Veterans face a greater risk of becoming homeless compared to male vets.

Male vets chances of being homeless at 1.4%.

Women’s chances at 2.4%! almost twice as much.


Post-traumatic stress disorder; loss of employment; dissolution of marriage and a lack of gender-specific support.


One- fifth of homeless female veterans have dependent children!


Now I can continue with the post.

This organization has attained $4.3 billion in retroactive benefits for vets.

It has provided rides to 615, 000 medical appointments.

It has represented 250,790 claims for vets.

Over 1 million veterans are helped each year.

Learn more


Gulf War Veterans ay have unexplained illnesses related to their service in Southwest Asia.

The symptoms vary from fatigue to respiratory disorders.  The term is “chronic multi-symptom illness.”


It has a name: the Exposure Ed mobile app. It is available to anyone that has a smartphone, tablet or another mobile device.

It can answer your questions on military-related exposures and exposure-related benefits and services.

Not only can vets or those caring for them identify potential exposures by conflict, date or location but they will find VA facilities and exposure-related programs nearest them.

The free app can be downloaded for iOS or Android devices.

This is a demonstration of the app.

This link is to the ehealthevet page listing:   Gulf War Veteran’s Medically Unexplained Illnesses & VA Benefits Overview for Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses posted December 21, 2018.

TWO OTHER TOPICS IN THE January 9th 2019 edition of My HealtheVET:

Depression vs. Blues: Know the Difference

The Silent Killer: Hypertension—high blood pressure!

My HealtheVet shared over 100 articles through the newsletter and website in 2018.

That’s a lot of great health information and health care management reminders.

The list of the top five most read articles in 2018.

VA announced on December 21, 2018:

VA announces a moratorium on discharges and decreases from comprehensive caregiver program

The VA is temporarily suspending discharges and decreases in level of support from its Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers because of continued concerns expressed by veterans, caregivers and advocated about inconsistent application of eligibility requirements by VA medical centers.



But I found this you-tube video. Please view it and pass it on.

Did you know?

That veterans account for roughly 11% of the adult homeless population

Roughly 45% of homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic?

(These two groups make up only 30% of active duty personnel)

Nearly half of all homeless veterans served during the Vietnam War

A third of homeless vets served in a war zone

Over 1.4 million vets are ‘at risk’ of homelessness


Organizations that help Homeless Veterans

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MAC-V)


Supportive Services for Veteran Families

Wings for Warriors

Operation Home Front

Lift Up Veterans

Carr Four

Housing and Urban Development

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

Salvation Army

The Military Wallet

Disabled American Veterans

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

U.S. Vets

Volunteers of America

Homeless In America - 1/3 fo homeless men are Veterans Disabled American Veterans Magazine

Thanks for stopping.


No Rose this Post

patch for agent orange remember our sacrifice

The Republican Party or the Trump Party?


852 words 3 min 6 sec read

I  propose something radical.

It is regarding the Republican Party.

The Republican Party has lost its soul.

I share my thoughts at the above blog post:

Rebirth of the Republican Party?

In this post, I want to discuss an idea for the rebirth of the Republican party.

My first swat at the Republican party is in this post on 4/27/18 where I liken the party to mosquitoes.

I hope this post develops that subject clearly stated

Mr. Michael Gerson in the Washington Post on February 6, 2018, stated that the

Republican is now governed by the “lickspittle wing”  whose “cowardice is staggering”.

Today I will solve the problem for the Republican Party because that is what I do.

I point out deficiencies and then offer solutions.

(Although I must admit I mostly point out deficiencies when I am writing about the

Republican party.)

For the model of this solution, I track back to March 1854, when the Republican Party,

the GOP (Grand Old Party) was formed in Ripon Wisconsin.

The ideology of this party was conservatism, economic liberalism, social conservatism,

fiscal conservatism, with factions of Libertarianism and Right-Wing Populism.”

The Republican Party   was founded by anti-slavery activists and economic modernizers

found the party. They forged it out of the Whig Party.

The Whig Party itself was founded in 1834 to oppose the policies of Andrew Johnson. It

viewed itself as a moral sword to the actions of Johnson such as the removal of Indians

from their land and the supremacy of the United States Congress over the presidency.

So we now have the precedents of the Republican Party of today: economic liberalism,

social conservatism, and fiscal conservatism.

It also stood in opposition to slavery and pro-economic reform.

Both parties were successful in getting men elected as presidents:

Whig Party William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Winfield Scott, and Millard Fillmore.

The Whig Party was prominent from 1834 to 1860 when it was dissolved.

The Republican Party was prominent from 1854 to 2016.  Its first president was

Abraham Lincoln in 1860 followed by Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley up to the 20th


The Republican Party was known for free homestead farms, a federally subsidized

the transcontinental railroad, a national banking system, a large national debt, land

grants for higher education (the foundation of land-grant colleges such as the

The University of Minnesota), a wartime income tax, permanent high tariffs to promote

industrial growth and high wages, a hard money system based on the gold standard. It

also created the foundation of a modern welfare state through the extensive program

of pensions for Union veterans. Regarding foreign policy, it is supported imperialistic

expansion of Hawaii, the Philippines, and the Panama Canal.

Through the early 20th century Republican Presidents included Warren G Harding,

Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.

It gained the reputation as the pro-business policies and heralded in the Wall Street

The Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.

Other presidents were Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Robert A. Taft, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

Most recently elected Presidents were George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump.

Can you identify the trends listed above and juxtapose them onto today’s United States?

What characteristics of the early Republican Party are now prominent in the current party?

The electoral college elected in 2016 Donald J. Trump president.

What characteristics do you see in his policies that reflect the foundational principals of the Republican Party?

Tariffs yes that is easy BUT their underpinning theory has since been debunked.

This excellent article in “The Guardian” which lays bare the notion that “big lies are

founded on small truths”.

Do we see the policies of imperialism and despotism?

The rise of the nationalists (the very definition of dictatorship) and white supremacy?

Trump rose so high on hubris and the foundation of Joseph Goebbels works and he is

now poised to pay the price of his crimes against the United States.

Trump and his Trump Party have given American corporations and the most wealthy

Americans $1.5 trillion in wealth.



In turn, they were supposed to grab the economy and bring it to new heights. Instead,

they posted their largess to their accounts to increase the companies’ wealth not the

workers. (list examples of tax breaks)

This has led to a smoking hot economy that is now hitting the brakes.

The results will be like those of 2007 when the economy collapsed after Bush gave it a

false sense of worth with his generous tax cut.

This coming collapse will be worse than that one.

There is no elasticity in the economy.

The trade war with China adds another level of

uncertainty and requires a lot of currency.

The $1.5 trillion gift that is causing the collapse must be clawed back. The companies and

wealthy did not do what was promised.

Jobs were not created to the extent promised.

Cash was not brought back from overseas.

Sharing the wealth with common people has not been triggered.

We must change the structure of the economy if working people will be able to share in

the wealth and promise of this nation!

Republican Flag and Elephant - The Enemy of America Facebook

Thanks for stopping.


Google Images dual blue roses



Veterans – Blue Water Navy Vets have HEART and MACV Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans

743 words read time 2 min 42 seconds

I have been promising myself that I would finish a post on Veteran’s health for months. I apologize that it has been so long, but health issues have kept me pretty busy. Doctor’s appointments you never seem to end.

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans


My first note is to commend the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. This organization is committed to helping vets, especially those that are homeless. They have helped me thru some rough patches. I know that in the Cities they even went looking for vets during the 50 degrees below weather during the Polar Vortex of 2019. Real dedication to their mission.

Donations to help house homeless veterans is appreciated. Instructions on the website www.mac-v.org.



Some long overdue news:  The law firm of Hill & Ponton P.A. Disability Attorneys, announced on January 29, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit the Department of Veterans Affairs could not exclude Blue Water veterans from receiving the same benefits as other veterans who served in the Vietnam theater, also called ‘the Brown Water Navy’ or ‘boots on the ground’.

 The Blue-Water Navy, those vets who served aboard ships are now entitled to the same presumptive benefits.

The main disabilities covered are diabetes and heart disease from exposure to dioxin, better known as Agent Orange.

Procopio v. Wilkie is the case that restored the ‘will of Congress’ to all veterans of the Vietnam theater.

If you are suffering from these or other presumptive diseases contact your County Veterans Service Officer and he or she will help you file a disability claim with the VA.

Presumptive Illnesses

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus also known as Type 2 diabetes devastates the sheath covering the nerves. Suffering includes deterioration of vision, cellulitis, edema, loss of blood flow resulting in the amputation of extremities and limbs.

Healthline.com is one of the easiest to understand resources for diabetes information. A newsletter arrives at least once a week and I think you can sign up for more.

The articles range from insulin injectors to a new drug that “helps the body replenish its insulin-producing cells.”

This article on healthline.com is an excellent article on the background and damage caused by Agent Orange.

VA’s “presumptive list” of diseases that are caused by exposure to Agent Orange now includes everything from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma to Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease”.

Ischemic Heart Disease is a “condition in which the blood flow (thus oxygen) is reduced in parts of the body”.  Other names are coronary heart disease and coronary artery disease. These can lead to heart attacks.

Pay attention to how you feel. Your body will tell you when something is not working right. The doctors can determine the cause.

This is a list of a few of the resources available on the American Heart Association website (use the above link). These are excellent resources.


Another great resource for medical issues is My Health eVet.com is a great resource for your health.

The topics online today are: ”Understanding Diabetic Nerve Damage”;
“Understanding Acute and Chronic Pain”; “Medical Questions: Get the Facts” and more.

Other resources on this site: apps for your phone and tablet: Mindfulness training and AIMS—Anger and Irritability Management Skills.
The VA has developed these apps for veterans and service members.


Self Doubt

This is an article in Inc.com by Carol Sankar on ways to overcome ‘Negative Self Talk’.

As a trained specialist in confidence training and research, she suggests three ways to eliminate “the megaphone from drowning out optimism”.

  1. “Stop Confirming Your Fears

“Avoid words and phrases which imply doubt and skepticism”. These phrases such as ‘what if I can’t’, “I don’t know how’, I don’t think I can’. These words disable your confidence.

  1. “Focus on the life you desire—not the challenges you’re facing

Visualize what you want in life and what you want out of life. This is not simple.

She tells us the secret: “ If you focus on your challenges, you will continue to feed your own limitations. Your language will begin to reflect your reality rather than the optimism of the journey ahead. Your language and vision will set the intentions”. “Focus on what is ahead.”

  1. “Network with other established founders and leaders

To achieve your goals spend time with the people who have achieved what you want. Gain “sound advice from people who have overcome challenges” and changed “their relationship with doubt.”

Image from Veterans Administration


1-800-273-8255 PRESS 1


Thanks for stopping!