Sunday, February 12, 2017

For What It's Worth

"There's something happening here,
what it is ain't exactly clear"

Before reading this, I'd like you to first give the above photo your attention.  After seeing literally thousands of photographs of Trump, this one shows the man better than any other. Before reading my words, just look into those eyes, and you will see some truth.
In a recent post I mentioned that it seemed Steve Bannon was the defacto president with Trump keeping himself  busy with photo ops using a pen.  This week it seems that idea has come home to roost with many media pundits saying pretty much the same thing as more and more leaks come out of Trump's white house; with the stories getting stranger by the day.

This should surprise nobody who was paying attention during the campaign; as many will recall the very strange offer Trump made to Ohio governor John Kasich.  Trump famously offered Kasich the vice presidency, where he would "be in charge of foreign and domestic policy" (the presidents job) while Trump went about the business of making America great again with his twitter rants.  As far as Trump  being qualified for the highest office in the land, that right there should have done him in.

Of the 20+ orders, decrees and proclamations Trump issued in just his first week there was this one in particular which granted former Breitbart owner/manager Steve Bannon a permanent seat on the national security council; which by the way, neither Trump or Bannon are qualified to attend.  This week it was discovered that Trump didn't write or authorize the order Bannon benefited from.   Bannon wrote it up just like he did the Muslim ban and travel restrictions which have angered a few million people while placing other lives in grave danger.  It kind of begs the question, "Who is in charge?"

"I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
everybody look what's going down."

 Bannon's version  of shock & awe is an effective tactic.  To start on day 1 with a smashing offensive barrage of decrees, proclamations, executive orders and presidential tweets that continues full speed with zero time to catch our breath much less balance or wits.  I'm exhausted already.  Team trump is setting so many brush fires burning that not only is it all but impossible to keep up with, all that smokescreen prevents people from seeing what really goes on inside.
As a blogger I stay abreast of events as they occur the best I can.  On subjects I tend to write about there's lots of stuff to do.  Gotta find good source data, fact check it, do image searches, find still more data, fact check that well as every claim, promise or boast coming forth from the orange one.  This guy and his PR team can lie faster than anybody can fact check.  Turns out, they're always lying.
The Trump regime has more leaks than the titanic; as disillusioned aides and staff trickle info out on a daily basis, which infuriates Trump.  The picture they paint of him is not complimentary, in fact it's rather American gothicesque.  With his wife and youngest son staying in New York, trump is said to spend a lot of time watching TV when not busy signing orders he doesn't understand.  At night he's often been seen wandering about his new home in a bathrobe, trying doorknobs to various rooms.  (I assume Trump is looking for those secret passages former presidents have used to sneak in prostitutes.)
Now Sean Spicer refuted that story, saying that "I don't think the president even owns a bathrobe, he definitely doesn't wear one."  Among other things, that comment indicates that Spicer has seen Trump naked.  (Yeah, I know, that image ain't leaving the brain anytime soon)

"There's battle lines being drawn,
nobody's right if everybody's wrong"

I see trump as a man cut off from his core, he is out of his element and over his head.  What's worse the voices he depends on are more batshit crazy than he is, and if Sewer Rat Barbie thinks it's a good day for some nukes as alternate diplomacy; Trump might just be despondent enough to ensure his place in history by launching a few. 

Instead of tending to the business of state; Trump attacks Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka's clothing line which is so non-presidential it would be funny were it not so sad to behold.  Judging from the other sellers who followed suit, we should brace ourselves for the twitter clothing war and pray it doesn't go nuclear.  Actually there is a method to the madness of Trump's twitter rants; because whenever he mentions a company by name, usually that companies stocks drop sharply on the exchange, and he simply loves the sense of power that gives him.  Didn't happen this time, as Nordstrom stock went up several points following trump's twitter rant. 
In the same week that white house press secretary Sean Spicer literally pulled a fake terrorist attack in Atlanta right out of his ass, Trump's top advisor totally MADE UP the story of the BOWLING GREEN MASSACRE, which of course never happened either, totally made up propaganda. How is it this woman can keep repeating this OUTRIGHT LIE over and over without censure, and being removed from public service.  Then she goes on live TV pimping Ivanka's clothes...Somebody please explain to me why these fascist fucktards are still in control of America.  

Just as the "Muslim ban that isn't a ban" was causing some real chaos; a Washington state judge put a stop to it, temporarily at first, then it was declared unconstitutional lifting the ban for good.  This is a solid punch to the proboscis for Trump and his merry band of alt-right pirates, and it's bound to have some nasty repercussions.  Trump's pick to fill the vacant supreme court seat Neil Gorsuch said that Trumps illegal ban on Muslims was "disheartening and demoralizing."  That kind of reaction is likely to get Gorsuch branded a "so called judge" by the orange tyrant dictator.   Yes, dictator, if you don't believe his behavior qualifies, google it!  With his politically bloody nose Trump has withdrawn back into the people's house to plan his revenge for those who killed the Muslim ban.  As we know, he has the temperament of a spoiled child who throws tantrums when not given his way; so stand by for a tantrum any time after Feb.12th.

 Bannon and Trump knew the Muslim ban would create a furious shitstorm at airports around the world, which was one of the central goals of the ban.  They knew it would be challenged and likely knocked down but they wanted to create some mayhem and by so doing, test the waters for their fledgling fascist dictatorship.  In Vietnam, when the enemy could not defeat us, they would mass several battalions of soldiers in an attempt to over-run our positions & firebases with sheer weight of numbers.  That is the exact same tactic Bannon is now using to effect this Coup D'etat in America.  His strategy is to overwhelm the system with more legal fights than can be processed or fought quickly; keeping everything off balance and over-worked. 

We the people need to use the constitution to arrest and jail this entire bunch of pirate scum; before they manage to totally destroy it.  Like the saying goes, use it or lose it; and this time it's for all the marbles.  So, how about it, are you pissed off enough NOW to take some action in your own behalf??
Another test of their dictatorship will be what happens next with the Russians hacking of our election; now that the FBI has come forth with their evidence & proof.  It's going to be very interesting to see if the republicans will be as bloodthirsty and eager for investigations like they did over Benghazi.  Will the democrats fight back?  Will such high treason be punished, or just swept under the proverbial rug?  This is when you should be paying attention to everything going on!

I felt really ashamed of my country the other day when Mitch McConnell invoked an arcane rule to silence senator Elisabeth Warren as she read from a letter written by Coretta Scott King during Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing.  You can call it whatever you want according to your sense, or lack, of morals; I call it chickenshit.  Plain old everyday cowardly chickenshit!  Simple as that.  And we already know why people resort to stealing, lying & other chickenshit deeds; because they know their bullshit won't hold up to scrutiny, that it is nothing but bullshit, hence the chickenshit to cover up for it.

"Young people speaking their minds,
getting so much resistance from behind"

To their credit, so far the democrats are pushing back hard against all the treachery, treason and Trumpery as best they can.  Seems to me they need to grow up and grow a pair real fast if they intend to take the government back from Bannon's band of thieves.  

Perhaps their next move might be to get rid of Trump's ace propaganda team, the Goebbels twins Spicer & Conway.  Spicer appears more timid & gun-shy every time Trump sends him out there to prop up his latest lie or insanity of the day.  As for sewer rat Barbie, she would insist that diesel fuel tastes just like chocolate pudding if she was paid enough money. 
This escapee from the walking dead looks as if every last drop of decency has been drained out of her, if she ever had any to begin with.  Somebody should have told her BEFORE she did it, that hawking Ivanka's clothing line on national TV while representing the president isn't just wrong, it is against the LAW, but then we've already seen the respect this bunch has for the law, or democracy, or decency.    

Speaking of the law; it was announced this week that Kellyanne Conway & Trump's national security advisor Mike Flynn are both being investigated for ethical misconduct.  That's a good start, one by one we have to go after unethical, illegal things being done by Trump's regime.  We must never normalize this man or legitimize his presidency thru silent acceptance.  It has been a good week for the resistance.  This week we have seen that the system of checks and balances still works; and Trump has learned what every fifth grader knows, that he is not in command of the judicial branch of our government

Even thou a 3 judge court has removed the 'Muslim ban' a wave of protests against it is growing in size & scope daily at town hall meetings across the country: as we the people are showing up in hundreds, demanding answers instead of lies, with SHAME, SHAME SHAME~ being the new rally cry.  We want to know that our health care isn't being rolled back and stolen from us just to soothe Trump's fragile wounded ego.  We want to know that the department of education won't mysteriously disappear now that Betsy Devoss is the secretary of education.  It's just one travesty after another with this bunch of fascist assholes...there goes the teachers union.

 Even if he had won legitimately Trump simply has a too high maintenance ego; unfit for the presidency.  Case in point, when Trump should be tending to the business of protecting America from an Isis attack, he's too busy attacking Nordstrom for discontinuing his daughters clothing line.  So, this is him separating the presidency from his family business empire??  I wondered what that would look like, now I know; it's gonna be weekend yard sales at the white house with the front lawn cluttered with failed trump merchandise.
Now; on the subject of Trump's kids: he says his children should be exempt from press harassment; but then puts 3 of them to work in his administration.  THEY WEREN'T ON THE BALLOT folks, and NOBODY voted for them!  I believe there are laws on the books against such blatant nepotism as this; but of course Trump will just ignore them as he has with every other law he breaks.  Remember how well that all worked out for Saddam?

"What a field day for the heat,
A thousand people in the street"

During the entire election when Trump seemed to keep doubling down on his insanity and racist remarks; I thought it was because he really didn't want the job and was trying to get dropped from the ticket.  Unfortunately, the republicans just ate up his bat shit crazy routine and the rest is hysteria.  Watching Trump these first 3 weeks in office gives me the exact same kind of feeling, that he never really wanted the job and now that he has it he's doing everything he can think of (short of resignation) to get himself impeached so he can go back to his spoiled brat pussy grabbing lifestyle of the rich & shameless. 
By day he does phone calls & photo ops displaying his latest proclamation like some 3rd grader beaming over their finger-paint masterpiece.  He maybe makes a few remarks to whatever cameras that may be on hand; then he retreats to his upstairs solitude to gaze like Narcissus himself into the glowing mirror called fox news to revel in the glory he perceives it is bestowing.  Meanwhile Steve Bannon is running the whole dog & pony show.  There are simply so many wrong and flat out illegal things going on in the Trump regime that it's difficult knowing where to start dismantling the whole thing.

Of course Trump will be impeached; most likely before his first year in office if not sooner.  Before much longer it will simply be a matter of self defense, if the country is to survive this fascist takeover.  If we allow this travesty to stand as our legitimate governing body then we the people will have ourselves been the thing that ultimately made it possible.  I mean folks, you don't expect them to kick themselves out of office do you?  A really big part of being American, is not putting up with this kind of shit.  Don't get me wrong; we Americans do put up with a lot of shit, no doubt about it: but Nazi's, the Ku Klux Klan, and Steve Bannon?  Oh Hell NO!!  We must stop this shit in it tracks before we get ground up in its tracks!
 Another thing, what's the deal with all the Hitler salutes and clenched fist salutes?
Aren't you even the least bit creeped out by them?  You do know they both originated in Hitler's Germany, right?  Then there all the creepy finger gestures Trump is always making, like the "OK" sign touching thumb & forefinger, and it's near twin the "tiny" gesture of thumb & forefinger not quite touching.  Sometimes its with one hand, other times both hands are used.  Who is trump signaling to with all of these gestures?  As to their meaning, well, the "OK" sign while being the equivalent to "the finger" in America is much more widely recognized as the 666 gesture.  I've never heard him speak ill of Brazil, so I'm going with the one that matches him, 666.  I really wish some interviewer would call him on this, inquiring minds want to know. 

What about the litany of gaffs, goofs and political embarrassments which seemingly occur on a nearly daily basis; for example the extra freaky 19 second handshake with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe during a state visit.  The video went viral because of the expression on the prime minister's face, he was freaked out.  Great first impression, eh?

Trump is flat out incompetent and unqualified to be where he has been placed; and the same goes for every single person in his fascist regime.  None of them really belong there and if they are allowed to remain in power, you will very soon see my point but by then it might just be too late.  When people don't act, things go from bad to worse; which by the way is how we got herded into this mess like a bunch of cattle in the first place.  There literally is no time left to us for normal business as usual dicking around and waiting for a miracle that never seems to manifest.

"Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid..."
"You step out of line and the man come and take you away."

We the people must become the miracle we've been waiting for.  If we don't do it, it just won't get done.  Simple as that.  Even the usually clueless democrats are starting to realize the same thing; now that they've allowed a dictator to create a fascist, racist regime in the people's house.  Better late than never I suppose.  We've seen this last week that at least part of our democracy is intact, with the Muslim ban decreed unconstitutional, as well as wrong and pig-headed.  NOW is a really great time to get involved in this country's future.

Go to your local town hall meetings, make your voice heard, act out against this evil fascism trying to take over America.  In case you haven't noticed yet, "Make America Great Again" is just racist code talk for "the South will rise again."  The machinery of democracy seldom moves fast, rest assured the wheels of impeachment are already spinning, and your involvement will just add more weight to that process.  We've recently seen what our silence had bought us...time to return the gift with righteous indignation and attitude.

Trumps bubble of personal reality automatically turns all criticism into personal attacks because he must not allow even the smallest chink in his armor to show.  He does not see himself the way we do.  He doesn't see his own creepiness because he only consults with himself, and because his massive but brittle ego won't let him see what we do.  He has insulated himself in his own bubble of reality, (like all republicans) where only his alternative facts are allowed; all else is banished.  This behavior is not only a strong indication of mental unbalance, it's also fairly typical behavior for narcissists in general.

The thing about narcissists is that their condition is not considered a disease because they do not suffer from their condition; only those having to deal with them suffer!  Due to this catch-22, our society is full of narcissists, as they invariably seek positions of power and authority over others.  Once in authority the gaslighting goes right off the scale, because everything is always someone else's fault. Like spoiled children everywhere, they attempt to get their way by simple intimidation, i.e. they make everyone so uncomfortable it's just easier to give in than be subject to their tantrums.  They just assume nobody will oppose them, the old intimidation factor.  Oppose him we must!

If you ever sit thru an entire Trump speech something becomes obvious very quickly.  Trump never speaks in specifics, always in the broadest generalities, he keeps it simple.  When he speaks, he uses the vocabulary and speech patterns of a grade school student, again keeping it simple.  The next tool he uses is repetition; he drives his simple rhetoric home over and over again; simple, easy to remember.  For someone who "has the best words" he never seems to actually use them; or even words containing multiple syllables for that matter.  He openly brags about loving the poorly educated, and those very people applaud him over and over, then voted for him. 

But Trump in the white house is not their fault, or the blame of white women or any other demographic grouping.  Trump in the white house is the result of the republicans, democrats & Russians all trying to steal the election thru various means of nefarious skullduggery, and canceling each other out. Trump could never have won the election just with Putin's help alone, he had help from the electoral college; which just proves how corrupt our system is.
All that is now water under the bridge as the saying goes, because we cannot change what has already happened; but we can stop it.  Our democracy has built in safeguards to prevent the kind of travesty laced with treason we've witnessed.  As witnesses; it becomes our sacred duty to invoke these safeguards immediately; before Bannon can consolidate his power around the child-man figurehead of Donald Trump.  For what it's worth; I was calling this treason from day one.  We either correct this mess and evict these fascists now, or we will never have another chance to do so, and your children will grow up in the Forth Reich under the tyranny of chancellor Trump.

"We better stop, hey, what's that sound,
Everybody look what's going down!"

© 2017 full re-post with permission only

~Related Augureye Posts~
American Coup-D'etat
~Other Voices~

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How I Finally Quit Smoking

I know what you're thinking: "Oh great, more advice on how to quit smoking."  You're correct it is, although probably not like many you will have come across before.  I am the last person to "lecture" others about their vices & bad habits as I live in the proverbial glass house on that one. 

Over the years I've managed to kick one or two bad habits; but smoking was the one that had me hooked.  I never smoked in my school years because it didn't appeal to me, and few of my friends smoked.  Didn't even pick up the habit in Navy boot camp, despite the fact that many around me did.  If fake peer pressure in school didn't get me I wasn't gonna let the stress of boot camp get me started smoking.  When I graduated boot camp & went home on leave the old man was both surprised and impressed that I was still a non-smoker.

A month later I was in the south china sea on an aging navy oil tanker.  Our job was to sail up & down the south Vietnam coastline, delivering food, fuel, and mail to the combat ships fighting the war.  Pretty good duty if you didn't mind living on a floating gas station in a war zone.  As I recall it was my second or maybe third week on board the ship, and I was on fantail watch.  For the nautically impaired, the fantail is the rounded ass end of the ship's main deck, and a natural gathering place for off-duty sailors to shoot the breeze and smoke.  Being on watch I had the very simple, easy and non-stressful job of watching the sea & sky behind us in case of emergency.

It was a little after 3:00 in the afternoon and we were steaming to our next assignment 20 miles distant.  A few minutes earlier we had passed Tiger island, a bare little scab of uninhabited real estate a few miles offshore.  I was engaged in conversation with a couple shipmates when we all heard a loud sound overhead we'd never heard before, which sounded like sound Velcro makes being pulled apart;  seconds later the ocean exploded in a huge eruption of water uncomfortably close to our little gas station.  Seconds later came a second artillery round, and I was calling the bridge as the third one landed even closer.

The officer on deck radioed asking what all the noise was, and guessing he'd never been shelled either, I said "Sir, I believe we're being shot at with artillery from Tiger island."  As the captain ordered flank speed, I told one of my buddies, "Hey give me a smoke..."  Handing me my first cigarette he said, "You don't smoke..."  to which I replied, "If I'm gonna die today I at least want to know what all the fuss is about."   That's what it took to get me started smoking, and I must say, I enjoyed it.  Bought my first pack that day.  Second worst decision I ever made.

So smoking cigarettes was a part of my life, and would continue to be over the course of the next forty four years.  At one point after my service days I was up to smoking two packs a day, menthol.  It was the one constant through all those years, the one thing that was always there for me; and for most of those years the thought of quitting simply never entered my mind until many years later.  I was around 32 years old when I decided to quit the first time.  My strongest motivation that time was my anger at the tobacco companies for selling addictive, unhealthy products; and I was determined to quit "cold turkey" without any external aids or support group.

When you quit "cold turkey" the hardest obstacle comes around day 9 or 10, and that is the nicotine withdrawal symptom that feels like spiders crawling around under your skin, primarily in the arms and legs.  This withdrawal symptom probably varies from person to person, and for me it got worse every day.  Made it two weeks on that attempt to quit; and the memory of "the spiders" remained strong in my mind.  Cold turkey wasn't gonna work for me.

A few years later I decided to give quitting another go.  This time I armed myself with copious amounts of information from the internet; which after a while became burdensome and often contradictory, so I used the Bruce Lee philosophy of absorbing what was useful.  Although I failed (again) to quit I did at least quit the menthol, and chemicals by switching to the all natural American Spirit brand, which is just natural tobacco.

If you surf the net for help in quitting smoking you will undoubtedly come across an article offering advice on when it's a bad time to quit smoking.  The article states very professionally that when you're under stress it's not a good time to quit.  Examples of such times include: loss of a job, or relationship, when you are depressed, starting a new job, or relationship, etc, etc.  While at first blush this may seem solid advice, in reality it isn't.  Having such a list of 'bad times to quit smoking' is actually enabling the smoker to not take quitting seriously by giving them an excuse; a way out of their contract with themselves to quit when their strength falters.  It's kind of like when folks say "I'll work on my spirituality once I get my life in order."  Life, as we discover, doesn't always work that way.

 Another thing you need to understand is that among the many hundreds of nasty chemicals in your cigarette, nicotine is the one that lies to you.  It tells you that your addiction is to great for you to break.  It say's you're not strong enough, and that is the lie.  Nicotine gets help from the ego and before you know it you're buying the bullshit.

Throughout my spiritual sojourn I've noticed that an awful lot of spiritual people smoke cigarettes; both the professionals and the seekers.  I've also noticed that a good many authors and writers smoke quite heavily, myself included.  It never occurred to me that I could write an entire blog post without smoking, or go without that after dinner smoke, even with my awareness of how deleterious it is to my health.  Despite a growing list of personal medical/health issues; I continued to smoke long after I educated myself to the dangers. 

Then suddenly four years ago, I lost the use of my legs to atherosclerosis.  I'd been dealing with some peripheral artery disease for a few years but it never took away my ability to walk or drive like normal folks do. That all changed over the course of one very long night.  My left leg seized up in terrible pain one night, not a muscle cramp or 'charley horse'- but the whole leg felt on fire, and resisted all attempts at lessening the agony for several hours.  For those who have never experienced acute pain over many hours, it is exhausting, and at some point when the pain subsided enough, I passed out asleep. 

When the VA finally got around to seeing me a week later the news wasn't good.  With their regimen of MRI machines and other scanners they determined the cause of my leg problems, and the rest is history.*  My point in bringing this up, I suppose, is that despite a very crucial medical condition, I continued to smoke.  Even knowing that smoking was making my health issues worse, I still smoked because I still believed the lies told by the nicotine, and some asshat on the internet said that quitting when under big stress was a bad idea.  That's a pretty powerful hold over us by the nicotine, but as we have all learned, there are several hundred toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke helping the nicotine keep us captive.

My previous attempts to quit failed in large measure by following internet advice on when not to try quitting, because that  is bullshit'll always have an 'excuse' to smoke and never a 'reason' to quit.  Any technique that encourages you to fail, isn't helping you.  Quitting tobacco requires a certain motivation because we know only too well what a challenge it will be.  An old adage says that we only change when the pain of remaining the same is too great, and there may be some truth in that.  Something has to come along and motivate or inspire us to make the effort to quit, and succeed.

Besides, quitting smoking right now never made better sense for important reasons beyond health, (as if that alone isn't enough.)  The cost of cigarettes increases at least once a year and the odds are good that the giant tobacco corporations will never lower the price.  I did the math & in the last 12 months my own smoking habit has cost me over $3200 bucks.  Not an insignificant sum.  I can think of a good many other uses I can put that money to, and that's assuming that Trump doesn't start world war three with Russia or Iran, Australia or Meryl Streep.

I've given no small amount of thought to the kind of future the Trump regime is going to get us into, and none of it is very reassuring.  We are on the precipice of serious financial catastrophe as well as other calamities waiting in the wings.  My point is a simple one; aside from the saving of money, I'm no longer addicted to an expensive habit which might not always be available in the future. The future is going to be rough enough, now is a great time to beat this addiction!  Imagine if you don't decide on your own to quit; what if someone else makes the choice for you?

Quitting smoking boils down to one thing, and that is desire.  If in your heart of hearts you really don't want to quit, you will just find a reason not to.  If you are going to be successful at becoming a non-smoker you are going to need to desire that outcome more than any other factor.  You have to want it, simple as that, because when you want it you will find a way to accomplish your goal.

Your personal level of commitment will determine your success or failure.

As mentioned, I have tried five times before to quit smoking, and each time because I did not desire it enough, it didn't work.  What I ultimately did to quit smoking was simple only because of my desire finally being strong enough.

My point here is that if you pick a stop smoking technique/program, go cold turkey or whatever; I believe any of them will help you succeed but only if your desire is powerful.

 It isn't about one technique vs another, not about better than or hard strict maxims.  What it IS about; is designing a quit smoking plan that will work for you, and then doing every step every day, until you come out the other side a non-smoker.  I'm not saying that the method I used will work for you, just that it worked for me, once I committed to quitting.

When Trump was selected president I could tell right off that it activated some long dormant PTSD because my smoking went from half a pack a day up to a pack and a half in less than a month.  Simultaneously a few other stressors gained intensity in my life, and to help cope, I was practically chain smoking despite the effect it continued to have on my health.

Over my several attempts at quitting I have tried seemingly everything to gain a little edge over the addiction.  Tried gradually reducing the number of cigarettes, tried patches, with no cigarettes on hand; tried the gums, & nicotine candy and none of it worked until I hit upon the right combination of factors.  This time my desire was thru the roof because continuing to smoke even half a pack a day was having noticeably bad results on my already challenged health.  I'd finally had enough of the coughing, hacking up phlegm every morning; not to mention those horribly effective anti-smoking public service announcements.  I Finally got tired of having folks (and myself) think I wasn't strong enough to quit.  Finally the time to quit arrived, I could feel it in the air.

My master plan for finally giving up tobacco began with the Nicoderm transdermal patch system, which became a daily regimen.  These patches leach nicotine into the system, and some folks skin is a little sensitive, so it is best to switch sides from day to day, and also to use three or four locations (front/back) on each arm, making sure never to put a patch near your heart.  Now, you can smoke a real cigarette a few times a day if needed to help wean yourself, bit it is not recommended as it could cause heart palpitations.  If you must sneak a smoke here & there to augment the patches, just remember each one is reinforcing the habit you want to stop!

From previous attempts I already knew that when I was on the quit it was very difficult to have any cigarettes in the house without smoking.  Conversely having none at all when the cravings hit was far worse.  I had to have a different approach, so I set last December 31st as my absolute quit day after being on the patches nearly 10 weeks; and got rid of every cigarette in the house, except for one...which I told myself I could smoke any time I wanted to flush away my string of non-smoking days.  It worked!

The first 2 weeks was the hardest for me.  I have my one cigarette in a clear plastic tube displayed on my computer desk, right in plain view.  I must have looked at it a hundred times the first 14 days.  Every time I wanted to smoke that last ever cigarette, I'd breathe deep, loving the ease with which I could now fill my lungs; and remembering all the reasons I quit.  It soon became a test of strength, and the cigarettes lost.  As long as that one last cigarette remains imprisoned on my desk, I win. 

Testing has shown that just 12 hours without smoking returns your carbon monoxide levels to normal.  After 2 weeks with no tobacco both your circulation and lungs will improve.  From 2 to 9 weeks after quitting tobacco, coughing has reduced because the "cilia" lining the lungs are working normally again.  After 1 year of being smoke free your risk of heart disease drops by half.  Start today!

So tomorrow will be 40 days of freedom for me.  By using the patches to gradually decrease my nicotine intake I never had to deal with the dreaded crawling spiders withdrawal symptom, and once that was de-fused the rest as they say was a walk in the park.  Already I am noticing very nicely improved breathing, that raspy sound all but gone now, lung capacity is returning.  At the same time I was quitting I installed  a Pur water filter on my kitchen sink with the attitude that if I'm dumping all the chemicals I used to put in my body; I may as well get serious with it!  So now my lungs are breathing free again, and coffee tastes awesome without all the chemicals in the water.

I can easily say that quitting tobacco has improved both memory and other cognitive functions for me, it's kinda like when the fog burns off over the golden gate bridge every morning...everything's clearer now.  Most of all I have proven false the notion that it's a bad idea to quit smoking during stressful times.  I think it works just the opposite; I think the stress is a great motivator to quit for good.

Now, I'd be lying if I implied in any way that I haven't had to deal with a few urges to smoke over the last 39 days.  Certainly the urge does arise; sometimes at predictable moments, and other times not so much.  I think not smoking while writing has been the hardest, as if the plume of cigarette smoke was necessary somehow.  The key is in winning the fight one urge at a time, you just keep saying "No" to the urges, every one of them.  Before long those urges become memories, as in  I remember when I used to smoke, the key here is reinforcing the notion that I don't do that anymore.

Smoking didn't put me in a wheelchair but it was sure keeping me in one by robbing my legs of precious air in the bloodstream.  The longer I put off quitting smoking, the less stamina I had for walking.  At its worst, before I quit smoking, I could be on my feet no more than 3 or 4 minutes before the legs began screaming in pain for air; forcing me back in the wheelchair.  39 days smoke free and the stamina is back up to around 10 minutes on my feet before I must sit down again.  It will never give me back my legs, but quitting tobacco has given me back my lungs, and that ain't small potatoes. 

 If there is any downside it's that I gained 15 pounds during my quit process.  No problem, I can shed 15 lbs, done so before; can do so again.  That's another positive side effect to quitting, it shows you that you can do something you thought you'd never be able to do.  To walk away from the one master that can influence your life so much is a powerful thing; and after the doing of it, you are filled with a renewed sense of self confidence; on the hunt for the next nasty habit in need of breakage.  To break free from tobacco you must break it's hold on your psyche, and that is done by no longer accepting as truth, the lie that the nicotine tells every day.  The lie that you cannot break free.  Think about it, if that was true, why the need for daily reinforcement?  Quit believing the lie. That is the first step in quitting tobacco.

What I am telling you is that if I can walk away from cigarettes after 44 years a smoker; so the hell can you.  If your desire to stop is great enough and your motivation powerful enough nothing can prevent you from just walking away from smoking.  But first you are going to have to want to quit.  Until you want that outcome, it will never happen, because energy follows thought.  Simple as that!

© 2017 full re-post with permission only 

~Related Augureye Posts~

~Other Voices~

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

American Coup D'etat

First they said he could never win the republican nomination.  Next they said that he could never actually win the election.  Then they said he wouldn't really steal health care from 20 million Americans, that he would back down from the wall and the Muslim ban.  After just 12 days in office Trump has proven all of "them" wrong as he continues to wreck havoc with every decree and proclamation.

We have already seen that Trump creates his own desired reality, with him firmly at the center of his own world.  When we see what he has done, & promises to do next the old analogy of a bull in a china shop comes to mind.  Of course he has ordered his people to muddy the waters as much as possible as he continues to ignore protocols that have been in place for many decades.  So far I have only heard 2 people call this travesty what it really is; Bill Maher and Michael Moore who agree it is an American Coup D'etat.  At this point less than two weeks since his inauguration I am wondering to myself when we are going to start taking Trump at his word, and impeach him before he launches the nukes he said he'd use?
This of course is not the first American Coup D'etat, the last one was 54 years ago when they assassinated JFK because he wanted to smash the CIA.  They smashed first, and the rest is just revisionist history, like what Trump & his gang of thieves are currently doing, trying to push back then re-write history.  This time it's a slow moving  Corporate coup d'etat because they learned a little from the last one. This time they put America on the slow boil; just like you cook a lobster, hoping nobody would notice until it was too late.

For any who may think the idea of Trump launching nukes is reactionary, you may not think so after hearing that Trump just put Iran "on notice" after they conducted a missile test last Sunday.  Then there is Putin's renewed military ops in Eastern Ukraine which may test Trump's Russia connection.  These are worrisome events on any day, perhaps even more so if you consider how eager Trump is to distract from his setting up a fascist regime in the peoples house.  A little war hawk action might be just the thing to rally folks around their leader; it worked for W!

Trump is a cancerous growth on the soul of America.  If we take action NOW by impeachment & imprisonment (treason) we may just give democracy the second chance it so desperately needs.  Leaving Trump in office heralds the absolute death of democracy and the installation of fascist Nazi tyranny.  Never forget that his first action as president was to attempt to silence all federal agencies, prohibiting them from speaking with either congress or the media; and then introducing the Orwellian concept of "alternative facts."  Those are not the acts of a president, they are the opening acts of a Trump dictatorship; and that simply cannot be allowed to fester further than it already has.

With virtually zero notice Trump ordered the immediate implementation of his Muslim ban & "extreme vetting" immigration policy.  The result was almost instantaneous pandemonium at airports around the country and overseas, as families were split apart and even those having green cards were detained as enemies of the state.  Meanwhile we are left to wonder why the ban did not include the countries which the 911 terrorists supposedly came from.  That simply makes no sense at all.

 The Muslim ban has generated massive protests in many countries around the world, and in American airports the very surreal sight of Muslims kneeling in prayer and Americans reassuring them with support!  Trump was crying for a full week about how he wanted bigger crowds shouting his name; well now he has it.

It's not just we the people who are upset over the Muslim ban; Trump's state department is in dissent, which resulted in Trump telling acting Attorney General Sally Yates, "You're Fired."  More than 1000 state department employees are in open rebellion against the Trump administration, all of them signing a letter of dissent.

While airports around the country were clogged with the chaos Trump caused, and protesters were filling the streets of cities all over the world: he was holding a family screening of "Finding Dory" in the white house.  That kind of speaks for itself, and what it says is chilling indeed.  We are all currently experiencing reality at the rate of several WTF's a minute!

Veterans groups have publicly denounced Trump's Muslim ban, calling it "Flat out shameful and un-American."  Being a veteran myself I can tell you from first hand experience that Trump in the white house has seriously jump-started my own struggle with PTSD.  An awful lot of progress I thought I'd made has just been wiped away by this Nazi loving tyrant becoming president.  Hyper-vigilance has resurfaced after many years of being dormant.  My sleep cycle has been destroyed, and when I do manage to sleep, some of the old nightmares have returned; along with a whole rash of new ones with Trump's face on them.  If Trump isn't removed from office it's gonna be PTSD and not health care for everyone, and we'll all be living life one nightmare at a time.  I sure picked one hell of a time to quit smoking!

Trump has issued no fewer than 20 executive orders in his first 10 days on the job.  At this rate it should only take a few weeks to fully install the fourth Reich.  He also just gave white supremacist chief advisor Steve Bannon a permanent seat on the security council; which is just an insult to democracy.  The democrats in congress have drafted a strongly worded letter of disapproval over installing a unqualified hack like Bannon, insisting that Trump reverse his decision immediately. The problem is that Bannon owns Breitbart news which is the website of the alt-right cadre.  
For crying out loud Bannon is just another internet troll like Trump.  Bannon has exactly zero government experience.  Bannon is not an attorney.  He has no experience whatsoever with international foreign policy, and therefore does not deserve any level of security clearance and could most easily pass state secrets and info to our enemies, and the same goes for Trump.  Neither of these men have a shred of decency or integrity between them, and they both have to go, by any means necessary, and as soon a possible.  In exactly the same way that Dick the prick Cheney was Bush's brain; so too Bannon is Trumps brain; and mad max showed us why they must be separated.

An equally huge insult is Trump's running the government like a reality TV show with the  supreme court appointment of Neil Gorsuch to replace late ultra conservative Antonin Scalia; advertised like a prime time special instead of a daytime press release.  Trump desperately needs the distraction from the Muslim ban mess he started but the Gorsuch confirmation hearings threaten to drag on towards historic lengths due to all the routine petty in-fighting in the capitol.  Democrats are considering this a stolen seat because of the republican ten month long filibuster which denied Merrick Garland, Obama's choice for the supreme court.  Business as usual, but with a newborn dictator in the oval office.
Another of those 20 decrees is the un-American and un-ethical, denying of funding to Sanctuary cities. San Francisco and several other cities are taking legal action and suing the Trump administration in court to keep the much needed funding in place.  What this man and his gang of plunder monkeys are doing is an abomination to all that this country was founded on.  What about the idea that America is the great melting pot, a crucible which makes us stronger by adding our skills to a common cause, a goal, yes, a dream.  Better yet what about those words displayed so proudly on the statue of liberty:

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"

Both Microsoft and Amazon have joined a lawsuit to stop this illegal Muslim ban.  The Trump administration continues to fall back upon "alternative facts" with Trump & Spicer calling it a ban; at the same time others are saying it isn't a ban.  Their insistence that both "facts" are true would be hilarious if it wasn't playing out right in front of our eyes.  This level of malfeasance is nothing but intentional incompetence! We will very soon be at the point where civil suits against this administration will equal the number of official state proclamations.

We must never normalize this fascist, racist, misogynist  Trump.  NO!~ not ever.  We the people need to throw it right back in his face, impeach him, imprison him, and make him pay for it.  In his first 12 days he acts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, invokes an immigration freeze and illegal ban on Muslims, and orders the wall begun; then slaps a gag order on federal agencies barring them from speaking to the press.  Can a decree giving Trump control over the internet be far behind?  Not only does this delusional despot dream up his own reality on the fly, he seems very intent upon silencing all voices but his.  That ain't a democracy folks, it's a dictatorship.  Simple as that.

Trump also wants to evict the press corps from the white house, which is yet another trashing of a long standing tradition.  His stated plan is to construct or designate a separate building with four times the floor space.  This is a clever idea which allows Trump to claim he's accommodating the press better than ever before; when in reality it is a ruse which allows him to fill the room with people from Breitbart & Enquirer so he can ignore reporters from the legitimate press. This clever idea isn't Trump's, but rather borrowed from a historical figure you may have heard of, Adolph Hitler.

The democrats meanwhile, are doing a fine job of foot dragging thru the confirmation process of Trump's cabinet appointees.  They simply don't have the votes to block or deny any of the appointees (without help from renegade republicans) but they can obfuscate, delay and in general dick around exactly how the republicans did to Obama for 8 years and in so doing prove that the system is indeed NOT broken, but rather designed & upgraded to operate exactly how it does.  Insiders in Trump's white house have let it be known that the new fuhrer is furious over this delaying tactic.  Good, now he knows how people feel about the on-going  delay in releasing his taxes.

"This president is going down such a far wrong-headed path.  
These executive orders they are really off the chart,  
and this most recent one, the Muslim ban...
It is just astonishing that we would have a president of the United States
 enact an order within a week of becoming president; 
that is so fundamentally at the core un-American, immoral, un-constitutional." 
                                                               ~ Anthony Romero~ Executive Director ACLU

The very speed at which Trump is attempting to move, wiping out things he dislikes with a broad sweeping blitzkrieg campaign worries me more than just a little, and it should damn well worry you as well.  He is piling up so much negative feedback so quickly that instead of pulling some trite diversion he may just need a convenient false flag event on American soil with which to consolidate his authority and control.  Again taking a page from the Hitler playbook; think Reichstag fire.
Here's the thing about letting a dictator into your government: it's a lot like that old Arab story about the camel in the tent.  Before long there is only room for the dictator.  If nobody stops the newly installed dictator, he becomes emboldened & he makes a few more even more draconian decrees and before too long you have to be careful what you say about Trump; but oh wait...Kellyanne Conway has already warned us about that exact thing, imagine that!!

Donald Trump is not going about the business of making America great again, he is destroying the foundation of what America is supposed to be one executive order at a time.  He attempts to silence free speech within his own administration, and his own people want us to accept their Orwellian "alternative facts" yet when Spicer or Ryan get a question they don't like, they just run away like cowards.  Motivated by petty revenge and a malignant, narcissistic ego; Trump is seeking to erase any good Obama might have managed to do...all because of being proven "wrong" on the whole "birther" distraction.  Trump has repeatedly shown himself to be a weak, vindictive bully who's real war isn't with the media, its with reality.

In an article last week a former top Trump aide confessed that in the beginning Trumps bid for the white house was created as a protest candidacy; and that they were only going for around 12% of the total vote.  Now this week there is another article saying that Trump is already trying to weasel out of being president, because obviously he's not just not qualified for the job, he seems somehow lost in the enormity of it all.  Just one more reason to be very concerned with what this unstable despot might try to do next.

It is my sincere hope that there are still some real Americans left in the system who will stand for decency and what is moral; & stand up to Trump and his plunder monkeys.  To be sure, they pretty much all have to go; all of Trump's advisors, enablers and handlers are gonna have to get the heave-ho along with the orange one and his children.  We may get stuck with a President Pence, but just maybe we can deal with that far easier than 4 years of Caligula.

"The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the population"
                                   ~Jon Stewart~

There are already several groups attempting to organize impeachment proceedings on their websites.  Rather than single any one of them out as worthy of support I simply add my own voice to the growing chant of "Impeach Trump Now."  Certainly this is history in the making as no former president has ever so richly deserved impeachment this soon after taking office.  Trump is guilty of several impeachable offenses in addition to conspiring with the Russians to hack the election results; for which he deserves no less than a quick trial followed by immediate incarceration at Gitmo as an enemy of the state.  Can't help the attitude folks, as I said, I am a veteran and I take treason very seriously.  You should too.
Today Trump's approval slipped below 43% which is historically significant because he exceeded 50% disapproval rating faster and biglier than anyone before him in recent memory.  It took Trump just 7 days to hit 50% disapproval.  It took Obama 580 days to reach this mark, Bill Clinton took 152 days; whereas GW Bush took 1200 days to be so widely despised  because he rode the sympathy wave of 911 until that wore off because people began seeing him for what he was.

With so much dissent building so quickly against the Trump regime; I am wondering how long before we see North Korean style proclamations that Trump's approval rating is 100% because everybody in the country loves their perfect leader.  I imagine it will come very quickly if he is permitted to evict the press corps from the white house, because there will be a need to silence all opposition, and the day we allow him to do that is the day we will have lost our country.  

We the People need to shake off our habitual shackles of perception and see the crystal clear truth; which is our nations government has been compromised by an unholy alliance of racist, fascist zealots who will not stop until their Nazi agenda is fulfilled by America becoming the fourth Reich.  That is why  We the People must either stop them in their tracks right now, or loose this country forever.  It may already be too late.

© 2017 full re-post with permission only

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