What do I see? Take a walk with me…

Somebody thought that shooting at street signs was fun. How much skill (alcohol) does that take?

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I haven’t seen a Z-28 in a long time, so here you go.

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Middle-class American or drug dealer?

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Hi, doggies! Do you have to bark so loud? Have you ever heard of a muzzle? (Just kidding.)

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Supergirl was here.

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And here.

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Not too far from this buggy, I found this. Looks like we’ve already been invaded by the Russians.

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White balls.

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Green ball.

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Red ball.

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Windy day. As I was recently telling a friend, I love the wind. It makes me feel… wild. Like I was a kite, ready to fly. Or a bird, soaring in the big blue sky.

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For my friends who like black and white.

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Impostor: a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others, especially for fraudulent gain. Remind you of anyone? (I’ll give you a hint:  he has orange hair.)

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Ummmm… Bugs Bunny? 🙂

Fall Is Cranky

First, we got some rain. (Thanks, Mother Nature.)

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Then came the snow clouds…

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…but no snow, not yet.

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Thanksgiving Day sunset.

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Does this look like snow?

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Because it ain’t. It’s bugs.

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Bugs and more bugs. (Cover your nose!)

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I’m just hanging around, waiting for payday, so I can buy some weed. One day, Medicare will cover weed. Seriously. But I can’t wait for that day.

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Superman and Superwoman! 🙂

Opioids are a plague?

http://www.statnews.com/2016/11/18/opioids-addiction-chronic-pain/

The opioid epidemic has rapidly emerged from the shadows and is now recognized as a plague that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status. In its destructive potential, it can be compared to the AIDS and polio epidemics…

A plague is contagious — addiction is not. And please, addiction is as destructive as AIDS? That’s what you would call a lie.

As for who this “epidemic” affects, it’s been shown that it mainly affects white, middle-class people. Those who enjoy a certain socioeconomic status are the ones with access to prescription medications like opioids.

But unlike AIDS and polio, the opioid epidemic continues to rage in large part because we, as a nation, have not yet resolved to attack it head on…

Really? Why don’t you tally up all the money that’s been spent in the war on drugs and the fight against addiction. Just like with every war, the more money you put into it, the more it takes on a life of its own, causing destruction to just about everyone.

As a pain expert, I had hoped the surgeon general’s report would have placed a greater emphasis on the need to develop alternatives to opioids that can be used for pain management, which would eliminate a key pathway to abuse…

Opioids are not a “key pathway to abuse,” just like marijuana is not a pathway to heroin abuse. And it’s extremely disturbing that a pain “expert” believes this to be true. Tens of millions of patients have taken opioids without any problems whatsoever.

And while a lot of people talk about alternatives to opioids, they don’t exist. Nothing works as well as opioids for pain. Nothing. How do I know? Because just like millions of other pain patients, I’ve tried everything. So, while this “expert” can hope for alternatives to opioids, that’s not the reality. And it won’t be for decades to come.

Here’s a more in depth analysis of the Surgeon General’s report:

http://www.reason.com/blog/2016/11/18/surgeon-generals-report-mistakenly-treat

The article from STAT reminded me of an article I saw months ago:

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/07/14/prolonged-drug-use-may-impact-moral-judgment/21432378/

Researchers from the University of New Mexico and the Mind Research Network have found yet another ill effect linked to prolonged drug use. According to the scientists, over time, both cocaine and methamphetamine can diminish activity in the brain’s moral and emotional centers, creating difficulty in determining right from wrong. The study’s subjects were inmates from prisons in New Mexico and Wisconsin. Roughly 130 of them had a history of methamphetamine and cocaine use, while the remaining 80 did not.

Whose morals are we talking about here? And with a sample size that was so small, using prison inmates, this “study” determines nothing. Also, you can’t determine what happens to a brain on drugs unless you have tests that show how that same brain worked before the drug use started. Recently, scientists have figured out how to “fingerprint” the brain. Turns out, everyone’s brain is unique:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brain-connections-map_us_582b628be4b01d8a014adc56

As some scientists are discovering, each brain is wired in a completely unique way. In the same way that each of us has a specific fingerprint, we also have a distinct map of brain connections…”

This research by UNM is the only kind that’s been funded by anti-drug agencies, like the NIDA. Do you want to know why we spend so much money on the failed drug war? It’s partially because of wasteful research like this.

What I would like to see is a test that shows the activity in Trump’s “moral and emotional centers.” You know, the ones that determine “right from wrong.” Would it look similar to the prisoners’ test results?

Survival

On my way to the University of New Mexico (for a walk and art therapy), I’ve passed an uncounted number of homeless people. Those who don’t pay attention to red lights and walk around aimlessly. Those who can barely walk at all and some in wheelchairs. The other day, I saw a woman waiting for a bus and talking on the phone. A man drove by, slowed down, and asked her something out of his car window. She angrily shook her head and he drove away.

This homeless woman’s sign says, “Anyone got some weed? Sharing is caring.” Although I’m currently out of the only medicine available to me, I really wished I could’ve given her a joint. And since it’s the end of the month, I don’t have much food to share either. I had a thought about how nice it would be to drive around and give free food to the homeless. I also thought about how scary it would be to live on the streets. I’m not sure I’d be strong enough to survive.

During this holiday season, please do something kind for someone who has less than you, even if it’s just sharing a smile. Who knows, one day you may see me on the street corner, begging for anything that would help me survive.

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Let’s Play With Balls

I’m sure almost every university in this country has more than one sports team. This is the baseball field for the University of New Mexico Isotopes.

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I have to say, they keep it in pristine condition.

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I didn’t see any graffiti or trash at all.

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Third base entry? Sounds just a little pornographic. 🙂

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(There was no comparison in the cleanliness of this stadium and the campus at UNM, where I spotted more graffiti than I expected. I guess there’s no money to keep the campus as pristine as this stadium. Photos to come at a later date. Spoiler alert: there’s a duck pond!)

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Looks like the stadium was sponsored by Ford, but I doubt the corporation helps pay for its upkeep.

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It’s a nice stadium, but it seems kind of sad that it’s just sitting there, empty.

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No matter what the financial condition of a city or state, there’s always money for the sports teams.

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This is the mascot. It’s called an isotope. I looked up the definition of isotope, and I still don’t get it. He looks like an aging, groovy hippie from the 1960s.

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Find the plane (if you can).

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Yes, the parking lot was empty.

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I was the only one there.

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Until this guy showed up. I sure hope he doesn’t have to vacuum the whole place with that tiny vacuum cleaner.

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Does the isotope have atoms, baseballs, or balloons on top of his head? And does he look a little bit stoned to you? Like he just ate a cannabis brownie? 🙂

Supermoon Over New Mexico

I went chasing the supermoon yesterday morning.

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I guess it wasn’t a supermoon any longer, but play along.

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It was a cloudy morning and the supermoon was playing hide-and-seek.

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This is where I stopped to sneeze. Because supermoon. (The internet says the supermoon can make you sneeze.)

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The clouds finally lifted, so the supermoon could no longer hide from me.

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Here’s where I sneezed again.

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When the aliens arrive, they’ll be flying in planes made of clouds.

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Thanks for viewing. Now, go have some hot chocolate with marshmallows, and pretend the marshmallows are little pieces of the supermoon. 🙂

There’s more than one supermoon

Supermoon over Trump

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Supermoon over America

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Supermoon over Colorado

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Supermoon over Democracy

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Supermoon over Me

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http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/readers-share-supermoon-pictures-after-12176604

Cloudy skies and foggy conditions ruined the supermoon phenomenon for most Mancunians last night. While stargazers across the world shared images of a dazzling white moon lighting up the sky, Mancunians were left disappointed as the weather blocked any views of the sensation…

http://www.mashable.com/2016/11/15/supermoon-tortillas/#RCpbEUPYg5qh

Trump to double down on trickle-down

I keep seeing the word “elites” in articles about politics, and also hearing it from Donald Trump and his supporters. Who are these elites and why do we call them that? Because they have more money and power than we do? Does that make them smarter or better than any of us? Isn’t Donald Trump one of these elites? (You know, those elites who have the power to grab strange women by the pussy.)

Google defines elite as “a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities.” The elite Wikipedia page says: “In political and sociological theory for a small group of powerful people that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege or political power in a society.”

The “elites” have made a mess of politics, so maybe we should stop calling them “elite.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/29/everyone-hates-the-elites-even-the-elites/

The greatest bogeymen of the moment are the shadowy, yet weirdly ubiquitous “elites.” (Or perhaps they come a close second to Muslim migrants.) If you listen to the political conversation on either side of the pond, it’s these elites who are the problem. The establishment in Washington and their media cronies, claims Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, have colluded to make America not that great anymore…

Donald Trump spins a pretty similar story. In a speech Tuesday, he hailed the outcome of Britain’s E.U. referendum. “Our friends in Britain recently voted to take back control of their economy, politics and borders,” he said… Trump projected the same narrative onto the United States at the event in Pennsylvania. He bemoaned “a wave of globalization” that gutted the American middle class, sent jobs overseas and brought immigrants, and then he let loose at the custodians of the status quo…

The “elites” have become a stand-in for the prevailing international system. And for right-wing populists, they provide the easiest punching bag…

But that still doesn’t get at the most searing irony of the Brexit movement. It’s championed by elites themselves, funded by billionaires, and intimately connected to influential media. The comparison to the Trump campaign, the latest career move of a business mogul and reality television star, seems pretty clear…

A campaign characterized by airy promises and a consistent dismissal of the concerns of experts and pundits now is struggling over what to do next. Some of its main figures have visions of a deregulated, privatized state, while the bulk of its voters want something altogether different — a return to a world with fewer foreigners, more jobs and the revitalization of their forgotten communities.

“The idealists want pure sovereignty; the hedge funds want deregulation; the voters voted for the welfare state,” writes Applebaum. None of this adds up… They now admit that they have no plan for Brexit…

I don’t know why Trump supporters think that closing our borders will help bring back middle-class jobs. The immigrants who take middle-class jobs are not from Mexico. And we’ve already seen that when jobs do come back, the pay and benefits are a lot less. I guess you could blame this on immigrants who take jobs for less money, or you could blame it on the corporations who pay employees less money for the same work.

http://www.alternet.org/story/151999/meet_the_global_financial_elites_controlling_$46_trillion_in_wealth

In 2010 a dozen major companies, including GE, Verizon, Boeing, Wells Fargo, and Fed Ex paid US tax rates between -0.7% and -9.2%. Production, employment, profits, and taxes have all been outsourced…

“Leaders of Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth, WellPoint and Aetna received nearly $200 million in compensation in 2009, according to a report, while the companies sought rate increases as high as 39%…

As health insurance companies admitted, they have been reaping windfall profits because people with health insurance plans still cannot afford to go to the doctors and have stopped going unless it is an absolute emergency… 75 percent of the medical bankruptcies filed are from people who have health insurance…

We don’t need to dismantle Obamacare. We need to get rid of the insurance companies — the middle-managers that take a cut of every one of our healthcare dollars, and for what? When did drug prices begin to significantly rise? After Prescription Benefit Managers (PBMs) came into existence.

Back to Trump supporters… Why would anyone think that getting rid of immigrants and bad trade policies would make a difference in how corporations are allowed to treat their employees and customers?

Why would anyone think that Trump could create better jobs? Because all of the jobs he’s created are so great? People selling steaks over the phone. Trump University. A couple of golf courses. How many employees work for Ivanka selling jewelry?

I’m getting to my point, I swear. Republican majorities are getting ready to take us back to the era of Reaganomics, not that we ever left it. Trickle-down economics, which guarantees that all of the profits and benefits go to the “elites” at UnitedHealth, GE, and FedEx. Because the middle-class employees at these corporations are not seeing any benefits trickle down.

http://www.governing.com/topics/elections/gov-trump-states-election-legislatures-governors.html

Republicans in many states are now free to pursue their agendas on taxes, labor and social policies without Democrats standing in the way.

My comment:

“…states that were already under Republican control will have to step up their game when it comes to matters such as lowering tax rates, if they want to stay competitive with their neighbors.” This is called a race to the bottom. Both Republicans and Democrats in New Mexico have approved tax cuts for years. Maybe other Republican governors can ask Governor Martinez how that failed economic theory has worked out for her. The same failed economic theory that Trump will double down on for the whole country. Maybe we can ask a failed casino owner how that will work out.

The main difference between federal and state governing is that federal law says it’s illegal to discriminate, while state lawmakers are always looking for ways to get away with it. The only bright spot right now is that states are no longer getting away with discriminating against a plant.

What do I see? Come to the park with me…

New Mexico does a great job of taking care of its parks.

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There are plenty of places in the state to enjoy the outdoors.

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On a Monday morning, this park was deserted. But you can usually see walkers and bikers on the paths.

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At first, I didn’t know what this was. Looked like the devil to me, but I guess after Trump’s win, I’m seeing the devil everywhere. You have to admit that the animal does not look happy.

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But it’s really just a couple of bunny rabbits.

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Now the bunny looks irritated.

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And now they’re two bunnies in love.

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#NoMoreTrash

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What did these keys open?

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A weed to brighten your day.

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Exercise equipment at a park. Great idea. Do you think anyone uses it?

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When political correctness is a necessary and welcome sight.

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I found this sign across from the park. I guess whoever put it up is too depressed to take it down.

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We’re supposed to get our first freeze tonight. I’m ready for some Lipton soup. 🙂