Playing Poker with Putin

People keep saying, “I don’t TRUST Hilary Clinton.”

And they say, “Her smile is not sincere.”

I am confused and dumbfounded. Uh, I thought that is the POINT of politics. NAME A POLITICIAN YOU TRUST.


So here is a game: Playing Poker with Putin.

This requires three people, of any sex.

Player 1 is Hilary Clinton.
Player 2 is Donald Trump.
Player 3 is the moderator who in this case happens to be Mr. Putin.

NOW. The moderator begins to ask questions. Every time the moderator asks Hilary a question, Donald interrupts. Donald, you can be as foul and rude as you want, though you should not swear, because you are on national television. You can talk about “lady parts” and the size of your hands. And all the rest of it.

Putin: go for the jugular on everyone.

Hilary: you have to smile. The entire time. You cannot object to being interrupted, because that is bitchy if you are a girl and manly if you are a man. You cannot show anger. You cannot show any emotion at all except a totally sincere smile no matter what the two men say and no matter how many times you are interrupted.

If the person playing Hilary loses her temper she (or he if a guy is playing the part) loses. Then Donald and Putin have to stage a mock battle throwing pillows at each other and insulting each other’s wives. At the top of their lungs. Be as mean as possible. Then Donald will turn the country into a dictatorship because “I have to be equal to Putin.”

So….my definition of politician is someone who can keep their head no matter how nasty the conversation gets. No matter how many lies are told. No matter how many insults are given. And you do the best you can in office to represent the entire country and for the good of the world.

Play on, Hilary. You win Best Politician Ever in my book.

W is for wrath

W is for wrath, the seventh sin.

From Webster 1913:


1. Violent anger; vehement exasperation; indignation; rage; fury; ire.
Wrath is a fire, and jealousy a weed. Spenser.
When the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased. Esther ii. 1.
Now smoking and frothing Its tumult and wrath in. Southey.

2. The effects of anger or indignation; the just punishment of an offense or a crime.
“A revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Rom. xiii. 4.
Syn. — Anger; fury; rage; ire; vengeance; indignation; resentment; passion. See Anger.


Wrath is a sin, yet is it ever justified?

I am wrathful about this:

In my state a terminally ill patient may choose Death with Dignity:

The person must be terminally ill, must not be suicidal and must go through a process. But one of the tablets prescribed, which only the person may administer to themselves, has had a price increase from $200.00 to over $3000.00.

I heard this from another physician, who has a patient who is going through the process.

I feel wrath and anger and hurt and rage that a corporation is choosing to make an enormous profit from terminally ill patients.

And so wrath may be a sin, but it is also an appropriate feeling at times.

In a sermon about forgiveness, hate is also discussed:

“Let me also say a word here about hatred, since I am speaking of forgiveness as being the release of hatred. Many  of us,  I suppose, like myself, have been taught not to hate.  We have been taught that hatred is always a bad thing and there is no place for it.  Thus, we feel uncomfortable in the face of this intense emotion and attitude.  Many times I have stumbled on the line from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes which reads, “There’s a time to love and a time to hate.”

Can there be  a time to hate?  Ironically, when  reflecting on the subject of forgiveness, I see that there is a place for hatred.
First,  your  hatred  lets  you  know  that  you  are  feeling  diminished  and  perhaps  being stepped on and treated as no human being ought to be treated.

Secondly,  your  hatred  lets  you  know  that  you’re  fighting  back  and  that  you  have something  to  fight  back  with.    It  lets  you  know  that  the  situation  is  intolerable  and  you will not put up with it.

And  so  hatred  can  be  a  natural  and  even  necessary  response  to  situations  that  threaten human dignity.  Says one author, “Not to feel resentment when resentment is called for is a sign of servility,… a lack of self-respect.”  (Forgiveness, Haber)”

From: November 15, 2009, here:—2010-sermons


I took the picture in 2007. No wrath here, but three different expressions, and all complex….

Dear Mr. Donald Trump

Two weeks ago I sent this letter to Mr. Trump and all of the presidential candidates. To date I have gotten a form letter from Mrs. Hilary Clinton.

Dear Mr. Donald Trump and all Presidential candidates:

Mr. Trump, I am a rural family practice physician, a woman, who owns and runs my own medical clinic. I take care of patients from age zero to 104. Currently my oldest is 98. I take medicare and most insurances, but not medicaid.

I am running into legal immorality across the board from health insurance corporations that are maximizing profits at the expense of my health care dollar, our taxes and my patients. I would like your advice.

For example, the Veterans Hospital contacted me in May of 2015 and asked me to accept Veterans Choice patients, veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA Hospital. I accepted. I have 6 veteran patients, who are very complicated. To date I have not been paid for one visit. Now, before you say this is the fault of our government, it isn’t. It is the private for profit government contractor Triwest who is not paying me. They have my notes and we have followed their instructions on how to submit bills. Would you advise me to drop these patients?

For example, my father died in 2014. I called the oxygen company to pick up 6 tanks of oxygen. Then I found 8 more. I gently inquired why he had 14 tanks. The company said that his medical orders said that he should wear it continuously, so they delivered it. “Medicare paid for it.” they said. Ah. Well, I kept the other 8 tanks, because it is my and my father’s oxygen in those tanks: the company can have the tanks back when they are empty.

For example, the head of the sleep apnea supply company came to see me. He said, “You are getting in the way of your patients getting needed equipment.” I said, “Really? How?” “You only allowed a refill of one of the 8 necessary pieces of CPAP tubing instead of signing off on the whole group so we can fill as needed.” “Ah.” I said, “Actually my patients are tired of you mailing them 8 pieces of plastic that are filling up their closets and they don’t want extra plastic crap.” He mails it at the interval allowed by medicare, never mind whether the patient wants or needs it.

For example, I called a patient’s insurance to get a prior authorization last week for a limited sinus CT. They no longer do prior authorizations. They will decide whether to cover the CT scan once they read my notes. I asked if there was ANY way to see if it would be approved. They offered to let me send a letter to a PO Box in Wisconsin. My patient was sick, Mr. Trump. What do you suggest the patient and I do?

This is all legal. But it is not moral. So, Mr. Trump, where do you stand? Is our country’s highest value free enterprise and profit at any cost, no matter how many of our seniors are legally ripped off? Or do we have morals that health care and our elderly are important and need to be protected from legal but predatory businesses.

Please let me know, Mr. Trump. I would rather stick with my small clinic in the United States. At this point I would be financially and emotionally better off working as a temporary doctor internationally. I am sure that there is immorality internationally, but I will be less ashamed when it is not MY country.

Thank you.


Songs to raise girls: My name is Samuel Hall

The last time I visit my sister in hospice, my cousin is sitting by the bed when I arrive.

My sister looks terrible and like she is suffering. She is in renal failure and her eyes are slitted against the light. She is in a hospital bed and barely eating. It takes me three days to figure out how to make her comfortable.

But when I first arrive, I say hello and hug her. She laughs and it is dark.

She doesn’t want to talk. “Shall I sing to you?” I ask.

She nods.

I start singing a lullaby: I gave my love a cherry.

She shakes her head: no.

I study her. “How about Samuel Hall?”

She smiles and nods.

“My name is Samuel Hall,
Samuel Hall, Samuel Hall.
My name is Samuel Hall
And I hate you one and all
you’re a bunch of buggers all
damn your eyes, damn your eyes
you’re a bunch of buggers all
damn your eyes.”

Another song to raise girls. We adored it, because it is unrepentant, horrible and had swears.

I killed a man tis said
and I left him there for dead
with a bullet in his head
damn his eyes

My cousin’s eyes widen. “I haven’t thought of that song in years.” he says. He starts singing along, remembering.

They took me to the quod
They left me there by God
With a ball and chain and rod
Damn their eyes

My cousin has two children. I guess he is not raising them with the dark songs we were raised with….

The preacher he did come
And he looked so goddamn glum
As he talked of Kingdom Come
Damn his eyes

My sister is smiling, eyes slit against the light, angry.

The sheriff he came too
With his boys all dressed in blue
They’re a bunch of buggers too
Damn their eyes

To the gallows I must go
With my friends all down below
Saying “Sam, I told you so.”
Damn their eyes

I see Nellie in the crowd
I am shouting right out loud
I shout “Nellie, ain’t you proud!
Damn your eyes!”

“Let this be my parting Nell
Hope to see you all in Hell
Hope to Hell you sizzle well
Damn your eyes!”

And my sister laughs and then she sleeps for a while, angry, angry at death.

My name is Samuel Small:
My name is Samuel Hall:
My name is Samuel Hall:
and Johnny Cash:

This is not the suffering photo. I can’t bear to post that….


I am in the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge and I am already late… that is, I did not post yesterday, my “A” day. I didn’t know what my theme for the month would be this morning. This morning, I am reading Micheal A. Singer’s The Untethered Soul and I found what I would be writing about.

I have written about my inner angel and devil before. That voice inside that talks all the time and makes judgements and gets excited about everything. Mr. Singer says that that voice is not us. That voice is like a roommate who talks constantly and is very dramatic. He talks about stepping back and watching that roommate and listening. If the roommate were a real person, we would cut them off. “Stop talking!” we would yell. But they won’t and they wouldn’t and we cannot get away.

So when that voice gets really irritating I call on my angel and devil to take over. They argue. The angel always says “Forgive.” The devil wants to whack the angel over the head with a hammer to shut them up. The angel forgives the devil for being nasty. The devil gets even more nasty and sarcastic and then I start laughing. The inner angel and inner devil are so over the top. Perhaps someone stepped on my toe and it hurt. The devil suggests what to say to them, where they should go, how to punish them. The devil is unreasonable and suggests punishments that are so far beyond the original insult that the angel appears and says, “Stop that. You aren’t being nice.” The devil swears. The angel says, “Well, your toe doesn’t hurt anymore does it and anyhow someone pushed the person who stepped on your toe so it wasn’t their fault and why did you come to a crowded concert if you can’t tolerate your toe being stepped on?” Then they may continue to fight for a while. At the concert I am laughing, inappropriately, because of the inner dialogue.

Today I want to thank that inner angel for all the times that she or he has calmed me down. Has stepped forward and said, “Stop reacting.” For being loving all the time.

Thank you, angel.

And here are synchronized swimmers, practicing before a competition. In the competition, they will not wear the swim cap or the goggles. This is a lift, remember, where none of them touch the bottom of the pool. It is all supported by the girls swimming. This is a team of eight, so four are supporting from under water, holding their breath. Trust and teamwork.