George H.W. Bush Hospitalized for Pnuemonia

george-hw-bushGeorge H.W Bush, the 41st President of the United States, who served from 1989 to 1993, was hospitalized today due to respiratory complications due to having pneumonia. George H.W Bush is the father of former President George W. Bush and former Republican 2016 Presidential candidate and governor of Florida Jeb Bush.  He once served in the CIA as well. President Bush is 92 years old and was hospitalized at Houston Methodist Hospital

Bush was one of the few presidents not to be re-elected following his initial term. Though the Persian Gulf war under him was literally three days,  the quagmire that would become the Iraq war under his son, George W. was started by him which seemed to transfer to him losing ballot votes come the next election, along with his promise not to raise taxes, which he was unable to keep  He didn’t seem to be able to transfer that enthusiasm Reagan aroused in the general public (and which he was a part of as Vice President) to his own presidency.

Despite of this the conservative community still holds him in high regard. His wife, Barbara was also hospitalized following his admittance into ICU Wednesday due to fatigue and coughing as a precaution. President Bush had already told Trump prior to his hospitalization that he would be unable to come to his inauguration. Bush also suffers from Parkinson’s Disease as well. Those in the political field and around the world are sending the Bushes well wishes.

Not That Kind of Homeless

Well it has been three weeks since I have left my home of twenty years. It is still a little surreal to me. It doesn’t seem possible that I could have spent most of my working years working with the homeless to becoming a homeless person. No matter how I try to wrap my mind around that, it will not compute. So was the case when I went to the Weingart Center yesterday.  “The Weingart Center is a non-profit comprehensive human services organization that was established in 1983 after recognizing that widespread homelessness was a new phenomenon facing the city of Los Angeles.” It is also in the middle of Skid Row.

Weingart Center.jpgI took a Lyft to the Weingart Center because the buses were not coming and I wanted to make sure I got there at 7 am when they opened up. When the driver pulled up to the center, I wanted to crawl back in the car and tell him to take me out of this hellish place and fast! He must of thought I was some kind of drug addict or something, I mean who else would take a Lyft to Skid Row? I was sure I had stepped into Dante’s “Inferno.” The mother in me was screaming, “You can’t take Adonai here! Are you psychotic? You are a horrible person and mother to be taking him through this!” As I walked up to the Weingart Center, I thought to myself, “This is not me! I am not like these people. I am not this type of homeless. How did I get here? I do not belong here, my son does not belong here.”

With every ounce of courage I walked into that place. I waited patiently for them to open the doors. “Please open the doors.” I thought to myself. I wasn’t sure how long I could last with the crazy.  I looked across the street, there was a man who was walking haphazardly across it. We weren’t sure if he was going to get himself killed as he stopped mid-center his arms flailing against his chest and talking manically to himself. He made it across. “I’m crazy but I am not that kind of crazy.” I remarked in my head. It was as if I had been transported to another planet.

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Courtesy of LA Times

A planet full of tents. Some of them were nicer than others. Some actually had furniture in them. Others looked like small makeshift tents. But you could tell even on Skid Row, even among the homeless population, you could see there was a feel of status among them. Coleman tents and air mattresses would fill one tent while plastic and tape would create another. Rich and poor among Skid Row residents. Meanwhile I was living an apartment/hotel. It had a shared bathroom and kitchen but the room was yours. If there was status among the people with the tents then I fancied myself a Queen. I had a real roof over my head. After I would leave Weingart Center, I would be going back to my temporary shelter.

The woman told me to come back on Monday. So Monday morning I will go up there once again. All in hopes to find a place to stay. I keep telling myself “I am not that kind of homeless.” But if I want to find a home I just might have to admit to myself, I am that kind of homeless.

“Death in Paradise” Review

Name of Show: Death In Paradise

Broadcast by: BBC

Rating: *****

*-Awful  **-Poor   ***-Fair    *****-Good   *****-Excellent

Recently I have been watching more BBC on Netflix than any other “channels” that they offer.  

BBC back in the day used to be quite pretentious and if you had not graduated from Eton or Oxford, you wouldn’t understand half of what was going on. However, with their more recent shows like Sherlock,  The Fall and others, BBC has seemed to “Americanized” their television. Meaning they have “dumbed it down” so even us American cousins can understand the show. American actors like Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully fromthe X Files) who plays Stella on The Fall are joining the likes of BBC. The BBC is still intelligent and thought provoking, but somehow the characters are more relatable. Maybe because they are more well-defined than American tv characters are, but whatever the reason BBC is the place to go if you want quality television.

richard-poole

Richard Poole (Ben Miller) 

Death in Paradise is a show that actually takes place in the Caribbean. It takes place on the fictional island of Saint Marie. The show starts with a murder of an uncover British officer and the British authorities at the London Met have sent one of their own to oversee the investigation. The man they send is Detective Inspector, Richard Poole. Richard Poole is an awkward little man who hates the Caribbean, if you can imagine that. He despises the heat and misses the cold of England and his “snug in his pub.” He is not the easiest person to get along with but he definitely grows on you. When he catches the killer, he thinks he is going to be going back to England only to find out he has been placed permanently on Saint Marie with French detective and former undercover cop, Camille Bordey played by French actress, Sara Martins.

Initially, the two cannot stand each other. Richard Poole has no great affection for the French but as the series continues they start to form a friendship. The take on all the murder mysteries that Saint Marie offers and do it without modern conveniences like a forensics lab and the like. Which means they have to rely heavily on old fashioned police work.  It is like Murder She Wrote meets Fraiser (or as Kris Marshall who plays Humphrey Goodman in the third season, taking over for Richard Poole, puts it Columbo meets Scooby Doo) It has the surprisingly whodunit of Murder, She Wrote and the smart humor of Frasier (and given that Frasier Crane is an Anglophile it makes sense that “Frasier” had an English feel to its humor.) But Kris does have a point when he points out that every episode ends with everyone gathered together as Poole (and then Goodman) reveals who committed the murder much like Scooby Doo.

camille-bordey

Camille Bordey (Sara Martins)

“Death in Paradise” is easy to watch. It is funny yet smart. It has no overt sex scenes. Even though it deals with murder, the violence is minimal and the cussing is almost nil. It is the kind of show you can watch with your children without feeling reluctant about them viewing some of the scenes. Because it is the Caribbean there are a couple of episodes that deal with voodoo, but it is not a glorification of the religion just part of the story line.

The interesting  part of the show is how easily the characters interact with each other without making hullabaloo about race. During the last eight years racial tensions have increased dramatically in the U.S. but on Saint Marie where you have a large Creole (Black/French) population as part of the story line it seems almost immaterial. During season two you could see how much Camille and Richard have grown to really care about each other, despite him being an uptight British man and she being a free-spirited French woman. Just when you think they are about to be together, he is gone. Enter the Kris Marshall part of the series.

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Dwayne Meyers (Danny John-Jules) 

Of course, Richard and Camille are not the only two on Saint Marie.  You have Dwayne who is a cop for the Honore Police Department, but we are never quite sure what his rank is. He is however, the go to guy. He knows the island like the back of his hand and when you want information he can tell you who on the island can give it to you. He is not a by the book guy but he is not dishonest. He loves the ladies but also gives 100 percent to his job.

Lastly there is Fidel Best (Gary Carr) and the Commissioner (Don Worrington) who make up the rest of the team. Fidel starts of as a shy, family man who becomes a confident Sergeant and eventually moves on to brighter and better things. You also have the meddling police commissioner who makes sure the team does not step on any of the big wigs toes in Saint Marie. Unless it is Judge Stone,he wants her arrested for anything after she threw him in jail. We also cannot forget Catherine, Camille’s mother who runs a bar on Saint Marie and is forever trying to set her daughter up with one man or another. But the most talented of all, is the lizard. He steals whatever scene he is. He started off as an annoyance that showed up in Richard’s house one day and has never left. And even when his beloved master moved on, he just took up residence with Hugh.

Altogether, it is a well thought out, well-written, television show. The characters are not some cookie-cutter, stereotypical characters we have all seen a million times over. Whileit is easy to get lost in it, it is not so mindless that you don’t need to think at all. All in all, it proves to be what entertainment is all about-to take you a place where you have never been and transport you there for just a while. If you haven’t seen “Death in Paradise” on Netflix, it is time you check it out and any other BBC offerings they may have. You will not regret it.

Child Prostitution and California

child-with-moneyCalifornia continues on its path to creep out the rest of the country with its laws regarding sex, we now have a bill that passed that legalizes child prostitution. Of course, the sponsors of the bill, especially one Holly Mitchell will tell you that it does nothing of the sort. Their argument that it will save children from sex trafficking.

The Washington Post disagrees: To their credit, they are sincere in their belief that decriminalizing underage prostitution is good public policy that will help victims of sex trafficking. Unfortunately, the reality is that the legalization of underage prostitution suffers from the fatal defect endemic to progressive-left policy-making: it ignores experience, common sense and most of all human nature — especially its darker side.

It is not just the legislators who are misguided in their attempt to end sex trafficking of children. The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) believes that the passage of SB 1322 by the California legislature will bode well for children caught in the sex trade.

The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) has taken a position of SUPPORT on your SB 1322.

This legislation would decriminalize the crimes of prostitution and loitering with intent to commit prostitution (crimes listed in 647 and 653.22 of the Penal Code) for minors.

isThe idea is that if a child is caught in a sex trafficking they will feel free to tell the authorities because they won’t have to worry about prison time. While no one thinks that children in the sex trafficking trade should do jail time, we also know a child caught in that nightmare is not “free to report” what is going on regardless if they would end up in jail or not. All you have done is given the reigns of control to their abuser and have essentially said what they are doing is just fine.  The proponents say those who have sex with minors will still be prosecuted.  So let’s look what punishment they will receive:

 If a defendant violates paragraph (3) and knew or should have known that the person who was solicited was a minor at the time of the offense, or if a defendant violates paragraph (2) and the person who was solicited was a person posing as a minor and the defendant had specific intent to solicit a minor, the violation is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 72 hours and not more than one year and by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) but not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

jailThis is the amended version? Are you serious? You are only going to give people who victimize children a year in jail and 10,000 dollar fine. When Michael Vick got busted for dog fighting he received 23 months in prison! So let me get this straight running dog fights will get you 23 month in prison but having sex with a child will get three days jail time at the least. You don’t even get any prison time (And yes there is a difference. Prison is for hard core criminals and jail is for misdemeanors and the like and you don’t spend more than a year there. )  So our legislators didn’t think having sex with a child was worth any prison time? Do we really value dogs more than we value our children!? Is this what we have come to?

The legislators were nice enough to put: (7) This subdivision does not prohibit prosecution under any other law. Oh I see it wasn’t worth their time to make the punishment for SEX TRAFFICKING A CHILD something substantial, no we have to get them for other crimes because being a pedophile is not good enough! Maybe we can get them for dog fighting! This whole law is a mess. The reason we make things illegal is to demonstrate that we think these things are wrong.  By saying child prostitution is not “illegal” all you have done is sanction the practice of sleeping with children. You haven’t protected them, you have essentially fed them to the wolves.

Child pornography is illegal but we don’t throw the children who have participated in it, in jail. We also make sure the adults found having child pornography do some real time. All this law does is slap the adults on the wrist and away they go! This will not protect children. It will not make those who are being prostituted any safer and people will not just start coming forward. That is not the way it works. Rape is illegal, the women do not go to jail for being raped like in some countries, but yet rape is very much under-reported. So we know reporting a crime has little to do with, whether or not you will go to jail.

influential-social-workers-e1412775247650So how do we protect the children since we know the majority of them are not going to be reporting what is happening to them? Well obviously the state needs to step in. And this what the law says:  “The bill would authorize the minor to be taken into temporary custody under limited circumstances.”  While limited powers from the state is almost always a good thing, I fear in this case those “limited circumstances” will end up meaning limited children will actually get the help they so desperately need.

In conclusion, all this law will end up doing is allowing more children to be victimized, while not punishing the perpetrators with any real legal consequence and saving only few from further abuse. It is an awful law all the way around and it is despicable that California saw fit to pass it. The bill goes into effect January 1, 2017! Happy New Year California, you just destroyed your children!

Me, Princess Leia and Heart Disease

As I heard about Carrie Fisher’s (aka Princess Leia) heart attack upon that London flight. My own heart dropped. I knew her chances of surviving were not stellar. Being a semi-heart expert myself, I knew that there were some things that were not in her favor. The number one thing being that SHE WAS A WOMAN.  Before the feminists lose their minds, you might want to know that the number one killer of women is not breast cancer, but it is actually heart disease.  As someone who has been fighting this thing for four years now, the one thing I thought she had going for her was being taken to UCLA. After all, it was UCLA that saved my life.  If they could save my pathetic, little life then surely they could save hers.  However that wasn’t the case.

princess-leia-metal-bikini-e1337274700461As a little girl, I remember watching the Star Wars films but I was much more a Darth Vader fan than a Princess Leia one. I even dressed up as Darth Vader one year. But I don’t want you to get the idea I hated Princess Leia because I didn’t. She did seem funny and smart but Darth could kill you with his hand, very cool. I was a tomboy back then so liking Princess Leia seemed “girly” though most girls back then would probably tell you they liked her because she wasn’t “girly.” Of course, that gold metal bikini didn’t help her make her less “girly” in my eyes.

I didn’t feel like I had all that much in common in with Princess Leia but last week that all changed. In a swift second, we had more in common than we ever would. I could almost hear her saying, Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope:

 

And while Obi Wan Kenobi may have been Princess Leia’s only hope for me and Carrie, UCLA was ours. I wished that she would get Dr. Shamsa and Dr. Shemin as her primary cardiologists. After Dr. Shemin was my cardiothoracic and given my complicated history, was the only one who could have pulled off my surgery at all. From what I have been told he is the best in the country when it comes to complicated heart surgery. And I believe they are right, otherwise I might have ended up like Carrie. Dr. Shamsa is a cardiologist and deals with the day to day management of heart issues. (Of course, if you read my blog before you already knew that).

When she died I was in shock. While I knew the factors such her age, being a woman and the fact that first heart attacks tend to be the most fatal (however, if you are lucky to survive the first one, each one after that becomes increasing worse.) and the fact she did drugs back in the day, only increased her chances of her not surviving this. Knowing all of this I was still holding UCLA up as being able to pull off a miracle, they did for me after all. So when she did, it wasn’t so much a shock from the heart attack killing her, it was a shock that UCLA couldn’t save her. It didn’t make sense, I had a whole slew of medical conditions going in. Why were they able to save me and not her? It is like some kind of quasi-survivor’s guilt

However there may be one saving grace in all of this. Princess Leia, an American icon just became the face of heart disease for women. For years, there has a been a push to study heart disease for women because it what happened to the Princess happens to so many ordinary women. According to the CDC, heart disease kills 22.4 percent of women each year. Yet nothing is done.  However, it is like that with all diseases, no one cared about AIDS until Rock Hudson died from it.  No one gave a hoot about ALS until Lou Gehrig considered himself the luckiest man in the world despite having it. Parkinson’s research didn’t hit its high until Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali spoke about it. And the granddaddy of them all MS, which was almost unknown until Jerry Lewis and his telethon.

Her last remaining legacy may not be Princess Leia but what she does to further research for women’s heart disease.  Both the Princess and Carrie fought many great fights in their lives, let’s make sure the one they couldn’t win, is used to help women all over the world to help their greatest fight as well-the fight for their heart. If you want to know more about how you can help your heart go here:

Heart Disease for Women

More needs to be done to help women with heart disease. Women are often ignored or seen as hypochondriacs  and not taken seriously. I got lucky, I finally found someone who would listen to me when I was told I had allergies by another doctor. If there is a war on women it is found in the healthcare industry and has nothing to do with birth control but with the heart. 

Home Sweet Home…Or Lack Thereof

 

On December 17th, I will no longer have a home. I have been going through all the emotions. From anger to grief to being happy as all get out!  Sometimes I want to punch my landlord in the eye and other times I want to hug him for releasing me. Sometimes I want to sing: Tonight I’m on my way, just set me free, home sweet home!” But whatever the end result, whatever the emotion, I know out of all this fear and sadness something good is going to happen. I keep thinking about the movie the Pursuit of Happyness and how Will Smith’s character kept hanging in there and in the end it turned out well for him. And like Will Smith I will be taking my son along for the ride.

My whole working life I worked with the homeless. And here I am about to be one of them. I wonder was I ever too hard on them. Was I ever too evil in my judgment of them? I hope not, I hope I always was more compassionate. I want to ask forgiveness from every homeless person I treated less honorably. Why didn’t I see it before? They are people just like me. Today I saw a homeless man sitting at McDonald’s so I asked him if he was hungry. He said he was. I asked him what he wanted. He said a sandwich, I asked if a Big Mac will do? He said yes. So I went inside and got him 2 Big Macs and a Coke. Don’t pat me on the back or say what a good person I am. I am nothing of the sort. I didn’t want to be sitting at a McDonald’s hoping someone would buy food for me and my son. I did it because that is a very real possibility and I was hoping God would see and bless me for it.

So as I walk down this road it is with a lot of trepidation and as I join the Forgotten people, I hope that madness won’t get me first. But one day I will find my home sweet home.

 

 

 

 

Five Things We Can Do Now

5Now that Trump has been elected President, we can continue to whine about it or we can dust ourselves off and get down to work. Trump can’t make America great again and if you think he can you are delusional. It is the people that will make America great again. It has always been the people that has made America great. From our most dedicated veterans to the people in the churches, in the schools and in every business across our nation, they are the ones who make America great. So put your wounded pride aside and let’s see what we can to make America great.

  1. If you are unhappy with both the Democrats and Republicans, look for another party. There are plenty of third parties out there, for both the Left and the Right for you to put your allegiance. Are you a Leftist who has a strong interest in the environment then the Green Party is for you. Do you care more about Health and Wellness? Then the Canary Party maybe for you. Are you a veteran? Then try the Veteran Party of America. Do you believe abortion needs to be eliminated and made illegal? Then America’s Party is for you. There are many parties out there and if you want to hear from some of them go to: Open Rebellion Radio Not only did we do debates with them there but we interviewed them about their platforms. It is a good place to get started.
  2. Volunteer at said new party or find a charity. There are always places and organizations that need your help. And while no organization will turn down your financial help, the truth is they need your time. If you can give even a hour or two a week or 3 to 4 hours a month, that will be much appreciated. So find out what you are passionate about and spend some time helping them. You are the hero they are waiting for.
  3. Jesus StatueGo back to church. Whether you are Protestant, Baptist, Catholic, Mormon or non-denominational, we will not get back to our former glory until we start putting God first. Without repenting and turning from our wicked ways, we will never see a return to our prosperity. But it is not about material gain. It is about returning to our moral code and abandoning this relativism that says there is no right or wrong that will once again make us a honorable and decent society in which to live. However, we cannot do that until we return to God once more. And if you are absolutely opposed to God, find your higher power and start there.
  4. Check out your neighborhood councils. Unless you live in a rural neighborhood (and even then you probably have some kind of council, whether it be a church council or some other) you probably have some kind of neighborhood council. This council speaks for you at your City Council level. It is important you know who is on your council and what they are advocating on your behalf. This is your opportunity to get a chance to get involved directly on what is going on in your neighborhood and change it for the better.
  5. Finally, just enjoy life. Life is too short to be consumed by politics. So enjoy your family, your friends. Hate your job, find one that you absolutely love. Read books you always wanted to. Walk on the beach with someone you love. Dance like no one is watching. All in all, find your joy and passion and express it. Most importantly, love yourself and then share that love others. You are an awesome person and so are your brothers and sisters. We are all one big family, remember that. God bless you all.