Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Dan was a friend of my kids about 20 years ago through middle school and high school. He stayed in the neighborhood after graduating high school while most of his friends went on to Colleges away from home.

A few days ago, my neighbor rang my bell to tell me that there was a "strange man" wandering outside asking her if my family still lived in this house. She was concerned because he appeared disheveled and didn't seem to be make sense when he spoke.

I went outside and after a few seconds recognized that this ghost of a young man in his early 30's was Dan. I hadn't seen him in 20 years and I hugged him, asking him "how are you"?

Dan replied with the words "truth, doing OK". After a few more seconds it became apparent that Dan could no longer communicate coherently, unable to put more than 3 or 4 words together, while at the same time his entire body was literally shaking with spasms.

I told Dan that he was not speaking clearly to me and he seemed to be ill. His response was "No, OK, truth, Ok, truth, Yes".

My kids had told me that during high school Dan was using drugs and later on had escalated to hard drug usage. It was now as I previously said over 20 yrs. later and Dan had apparently suffered some type of psychotic breakdown and/or brain damage from his many years of drug usage. He did not appear to be high, but did appear to be heavily medicated on some cocktail of anti-psychotic medications. He also was loudly talking, arguing out loud with himself, and answering, a sign that he was hearing voices inside his head.

I was stunned. Although I have treated many people with psychiatric disorders and drug addictions, this was Dan, the sweet, kind kid that used to hang out in my house and play sports with us. This was Dan who was filled with life, dreams, and plans for his future. 

What I saw was a horrific sight, a living, death that inhabited a hollow body with almost no brain remaining.

My first reaction was to offer him food, he said "No, truth", my next reaction was to offer him some money and he replied "No". 

I asked him where he lived and he said the name of a local SRO flea bag hotel that the County used for storage of human beings who were homeless or had psychiatric disorders. 

I asked him if he wanted to talk with me, could I help him, he said "No". I asked what he was doing at my house, he mentioned the name of one of my children. Surprisingly he then said my name "Jerry, your good man, and repeated it several times.

He asked about one of my kids and wanted to know if I could give his phone number in case he wanted to contact Dan. He couldn't write as his hands were trembling so much, so I wrote Dan's cell phone number down and put it in my pocket.

Dan left after awhile and I saw him down the street, yelling loudly, arguing with himself, pacing, then resuming that cycle over and over repeatedly. 

He came back to my house, stood in front for another 15 minutes and continued his ranting behavior. After awhile Dan disappeared around the corner.

I imagine that something had stirred inside of Dan to take a walk through his old neighborhood, perhaps to try remembering who he used to be.

I found myself asking was Dan "better off" dead than being "alive" in this suffering state of mind. He was beyond help and has no future. He is not going to get better, he will become even more lost as he ages and continues to be part of the "system" that warehouses him.

As a human being, this sick mumbling, incoherent Dan, touched me emotionally in a tragically sad manner, that I couldn't do anything to help him.

I have stayed with this image in my mind, in my heart since then, although I don't want to remember what it was like talking to a dead living person who I used to know.

Sure we can blame some of Dan's problems on choices he made for himself, or where is his mom, or brother to help him, but shit, I am not into blaming anyone.

Dan is in intolerable pain, a walking zombie, waiting for his life to end and take him out of his misery.

That no-one can help ease his pain, stop his suffering, is haunting.

That he is alone, lost, and broken into splattered pieces of brain matter is an ugly image.

Dan, you deserved better but that's never going to be. I am sorry that your in such agony.

Monday, April 10, 2017


UPDATED-April 12, 2017

Dr. David Dao, 69, has been named as the passenger who was dragged from a United Airlines flight after refusing to give up his seat, according to The Courier-Journal.
The Louisville news outlet reports that Dao is a doctor practicing in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Dao is undergoing treatment in a Chicago hospital for his injuries.
In a statement from his family “The family of Dr. Dao wants the world to know that they are very appreciative of the outpouring of prayers, concern and support they have received. Currently, they are focused only on Dr. Dao’s medical care and treatment,” said Golan.
"Until Dr. Dao is released from the hospital, the family is asking for privacy and will not be making any statements to the media," 
David Dao, 69 yrs. old, Dragged Off Overbooked Flight After Refusing to Give up Seat
              A horrifying new video shows the passenger,  Dr. David dao, 69 yrs.old,bloodied and incoherent after being violently removed from the flight by police, clutching a post and repeating “just kill me.”

Whatever happened to simple common sense?

You know when reading something that cannot possibly be true and it turns out to actually have happened, that stupidity has once again reached a new low.
All I can say is, what the fuck are the employees and executives of United Airlines doing? 
Obviously they are unable to think, unable to show a nano synapse of common sense, unable to comprehend that a paying customer of theirs is a human being, unable to understand what the words taking accountability for your actions means, unable to act in any way remotely connected to being worthy of anyone ever flying on their airline.
Have their employees ever been trained in any manner as to interacting in a respectful manner with other human beings?
Clearly they have not or simply put, they truly don't care about their passengers and will literally drag them off an airplane for no reason at all.
The Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement Monday afternoon that the incident was "not in accordance with" standard operating procedure and the officer's actions were "not condoned" by the department. The officer involved was placed on administrative leave effective Monday pending review of the situation, the department said.
So the Chicago Department of Aviation Police said that the incident was "not in accordance with" standard operating procedure and the officer's actions were "not condoned" by the department. 

Where were these officer's trained? They work for and supposedly were trained by you. Where is your accountability of taking responsibility of your cowardly officer's?

Videos don't lie and if you really meant what you say in your words, these storm trooper morons should be fired and also charged with criminal assault, abuse of power, and probably 10 other codes they violated.

How dumb can your officer's be to blindly, viciously attack an innocent civilian because the United Airlines crew complained to you about something that was NOT illegal on the part of the passenger. He paid for his ticket, it was his seat, he had every right to stay on that airplane. 

The Chicago Police Department said in a statement earlier Monday that around 6 p.m. on Sunday, a 69-year-old passenger "became irate" after he was asked to leave the plane.
"The passenger in question began yelling to voice his displeasure at which point Aviation Police were summoned," police said in the statement.

Image: Security stand in the aisle before forcibly removing a United Airlines passenger from a plane

A man wearing a security jacket stands in the aisle before a United Airlines passenger is forcibly removed from a plane at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Sunday, April 9, 2017. Tyler Bridges / Twitter

Police claimed the officers were attempting to carry the man off the flight "when he fell."
"His head subsequently struck an armrest causing injuries to his face," police said, adding that the man was taken to a hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. An investigation into the incident was still ongoing.
Multiple attempts to reach the Department of Aviation for comment were not immediately returned.
Tyler Bridges, who posted video of the incident on Twitter, told NBC News he and his wife were on the United plane at O'Hare International Airport from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday when a flight attendant said the flight was overbooked and four people would have to leave to make room for airline employees.
Bridges said the flight attendant offered an $800 voucher for anyone who would volunteer to get off the flight and leave the following day at 3 p.m.
"Nobody moved, nobody got up," he said.
When no one volunteered, Bridges said, a gate agent told them the airline had used an algorithm to randomly select four people to get off the plane.
First, a young couple was asked to leave and, "they're not happy, but they get off. No problem," Bridges said.
Then the unidentified man in the video was asked to leave, Bridges said.
"He says he's a doctor and has to be in Louisville in the morning to see patients," he said. "He says he can't be delayed a day."
The agent then said if the man did not leave, she was going to call security, according to Bridges.
The man refused, prompting a verbal exchange with law enforcement officers, Bridges said.
One of them "walks down the aisle and starts yelling at the man. He grabs him, throws him out of his seat and they drag him off," Bridges said.
"Everyone is disturbed," Bridges said. "It was kind of a dramatic scene."
After the man was dragged away, the four United employees boarded the flight, he said.
But a few minutes later, the man who was removed from the flight ran back on the plane, saying he needed to get back home.
"Somehow he got back on," Bridges said. "He runs back on — dazed, bloodied, kind of in a mess — yelling 'I have to get home, I have to get home.'"
The man was removed on a stretcher, "resisting the whole time," Bridges said.
It was unclear how the man returned to the plane and what happened after he was removed.
United confirmed in a statement late Sunday that a passenger was removed from the overbooked flight.
"Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate," the company said in a statement.

Don't take responsibility for your actions and that of the employees. 

Go ahead, you cowards, use "victim blaming", claim it all happened because of this innocent victim who did nothing to cause your cruel, insane, violent behavior to him. 
The company apologized for the overbooking situation and referred additional comment to authorities.
Bridges said passengers felt the man had been wronged.
"Airlines overbook flights all the time — that's not uncommon," Bridges said. "But everyone felt that they had wronged the man."
The flight was delayed three hours as a result of the incident, he added.
The incident comes just two weeks after United faced a public relations storm after two girls who were traveling as family or friends of airline employees were denied entry on a flight for wearing leggings.
Eventually when he found time,the CEO of United Airlines said to customers: "This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United," CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement. "I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation," he added in the statement.

How nice of him to "apologize" with the fancy new word of  "re-accomodate", what a nice benign word for forcibly dragging, physically removing customers off your airplanes. Such big, meaningless, hollow, wimpy words and not a shred of a real admission that there is nothing for you to review or investigate. Your airline just sucks, say it, and say it loud. 

You also suck Oscar Munoz and are a shameful leader of a stupid bunch of clowns.

In a leaked internal e-mail memo written to employees and obtained by CNBC (after his public statement from above) the CEO Munoz said he “deeply regretted the situation arose,” but said he “emphatically stand[s] behind all” of the employees of the company, and added that he “want[ed] to commend” airline workers for “continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.”

WRONG Mr. Munoz. You have no clue what you are doing and saying, once again revealing how incompetent you are and the dysfunctional manner in which your Company is operated

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE mr.CEO and if you had any pride, you would immediately resign before your Board of Directors fires you because your airline is a reflection of you and it's shitty employees.

Dr. Dao has hired a high-profile Chicago attorney.
Tom Demetrio of the Corboy & Demetrio law firm that is routinely in the mix on high-profile personal injury and aviation cases, is part of Dr. David Dao's new legal team.
Dao also is represented by Stephen L. Golan of Golan Christie Taglia, who issued a brief statement on Dao's behalf Tuesday — not long after United's CEO issued an apology for the infamous incident seen around the world.

Demetrio is a partner at Corboy & Demetrio and is a former president of the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.
He's won multimillion dollar settlements in wrongful death cases. According to his bio, Demetrio "has negotiated well over $1 billion in settlements and acquired the largest personal injury verdict ever upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court. He has never lost an appeal."
I hope United Airlines and the Chicago Aviation Police are sued for millions of dollars by the Dr. Dao, that they lose the cases, and whatever tiny credibility they had left.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017



A woman in Washington State is sharing a heartbreaking apology note left on her door by a young boy.

Chrissy Marie Reitz posted a photo of the note and a $5 bill that was left with it on her Facebook page last Friday. The note reads: “I am sorry that we stold [sic] your windchime our mom died and liked butterflies so my sister took it to put it by our window I am sorry this is only money I have please do not be mad at us. Jake.
Reitz added that she certainly wasn’t mad at Jake for taking her windchime and she even offered for Jake to come back so that she can return his money and give him another windchime for his sister. “Well Jake, I not sure who you are but you can come get your money back sweetie. I had 3 of those windchimes,” she wrote.
In a separate post on Facebook, Reitz shared that she lost her own mom when she was only 5-years-old, and if she finds Jake, she will “give him his money without embarrassing or scaring him.
So a lot of people have asked me some questions here are the answers. (If I miss your question sorry, just inbox me again and I will answer)
1. Yes , I do know what it's like to loose a parent I was 5 years old when I lost my mom and just lost my dad almost 6 years ago. Everyone unfortunately will loose a parent sometime in their life.
2. Yes, I am a mom 4 boys 1 girl. Love them all dearly. Yes it is true they have health issues.
3. I work from home due to my health and I am loving my business and more freedom I receive this way.
4. If I found Jake what would I do, we'll I would do what I said give him his money without embarrassing or scaring him.
5. How I feel about negative publicity about jake, I find it troubling that people need to point out the worst in everything yes I do know they stole, they stole from me but he did try to make it right most likely without hurting his sister (possible reason for giving me money instead of chime back)
6. I was taught and feel in my heart to forgive and yes that is what I will do.
 As I said if I missed your question I apologize I am not trying to avoid anyone.

In a world filled with hatred, cruelty, and lack of compassion, the words of Chrissy Marie ring like a beacon of hope for kindness and caring.

Jake and his sister are  children, victims of heartbreak, they have lost their mother and much more. Their reality is sad and there will not be a happy ending as their lives are changed for the worst, forever.

Yet their conscience remains intact.

The kindness and caring of Chrissy Marie shine like a beacon of hope in a sick, cruel, heartless, corrupt world, where compassion is rare and cruelty has become the new normal.

"I was taught and feel in my heart to forgive and yes that is what I will do".

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Nathaniel Rankin
RANKIN FAMILYNathaniel Rankin in 2013.

Nathaniel Rankin
RANKIN FAMILYA photo of Nathaniel the Rankins were given before they adopted him. He was identified as “Baby S.”

Nathaniel Rankin and his family puts a human face on the issues of funding cuts in Federal/State benefit programs. It provides you with the raw emotions, consequences, and inhuman suffering that many Americans will and are contending with. 

Too often victims are hidden, lost in the noise of politics, and so many other daily distractions. These are victims whose silence or inability to be heard over all the other media "noise", barely making it through each day and are now looking at a future where there is no answer for them as to how they, their loved ones, will survive. 

Proposed Federal/State inhuman changes to Medicaid would result in forcing States to cover fewer people and provide fewer services. Similar horrific affects will happen if ACA/Obamacare,Medicare, Social Security, etc. benefits programs are changed.

The Rankins know they are not the poster family for Medicaid, which is often described as a safety net for the poor. Except for Nathaniel, the family has had private health insurance through Rich’s work as a carpenter.
Yet their case underscores how Medicaid covers a far more diverse population than is typically recognized; with more than 70 million beneficiaries, it is the largest insurer in the country. It covers some women who might not typically qualify if they are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. It is the main provider of long-term services for seniors and people with disabilities and pays for one-fourth of all mental health and substance abuse treatments. Forty percent of children rely on Medicaid.
The cost of the program is split between state and federal governments, with the federal government picking up a greater proportion in poorer states. If expenses grow, because a recession causes more people to enroll or the cost of expensive new drugs, for example, the federal government doles out more money. (The federal government pays for the large majority of the optional Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which Missouri did not pursue.)
president trump and leading republicans, including House Speaker paul ryan and new Health and Human Services Secretary tom price have proposed capping the amount of federal tax dollars delivered to each state. The plan could take the form of a block grant or a per capita allotment, but the goal is to cut spending and give states more authority to reshape their Medicaid programs.
“Caring for the most vulnerable patients must include not only ensuring they receive the care they need, but it must include ensuring programs like Medicaid that provide such care are sustainable,” House republicans wrote last week outlining their health policy plans.
Some states, with permission from the Obama administration, have already launched Medicaid experiments, adopting cost-sharing provisions and pushing beneficiaries to consider how they get care. In Indiana, for example, some enrollees have to pay what are essentially premiums and can get penalized for using the emergency department for a non-emergency.
But supporters of block grants want states to be able to go further in their reforms, without being delayed by a federal review. Some republicans, for example, have proposed letting states require able-bodied adults to work to remain eligible.
seema verma, trump’s nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said at her confirmation hearing last week that block grants and per capita caps should be on the table.
“This is about putting states in a leadership role so that they can manage their programs better,” said verma, who helped design the Indiana plan. “States are closer to the people that they serve than the federal government and they have a better understanding of what can work in their state.”
With limits on federal contributions, though, states would need to account for the lost funding as expenses rise. They could increase their contributions, but advocates and experts say they are more likely to charge beneficiaries, cut the amount they pay to clinicians, slash the services they provide, or limit who gets care.
“It’s a very effective policy if you want to reduce spending, but the question is, at what cost?” said Sayeh Nikpay, a Vanderbilt University health economist who recently wrote about Medicaid caps in the New England Journal of Medicine. “You end up reducing costs by covering very few people and covering very few benefits.”
             Nathaniel Rankin
               Nathaniel Rankin waits for lunch at his home.

Nathaniel almost died the first night he spent in his new home.
A glob of mucus plugged his trach tube, robbing him of the ability to breathe. At the time, he was eight months old. His oxygen levels plummeted. His body turned gray, his lips blue. Finally, Kim was able to insert a new tube, and Rich pumped air into his lungs.
Kim and Rich couldn’t legally adopt him until after a six-month interim period, but that night, he became their son. Kim, 50, calls it their and Nathaniel’s birth story.
“You’re holding him in your hands, and life and death is right there,” Rich, 56, said. “That’s when I felt like I would grieve just as much for this child as I would any of my biological children.”
(Rich had two children from a previous marriage and he and Kim had five biological children; their other children are now between 17 and 34 years old.)
As his parents, Kim and Rich have fought to get Nathaniel the best care available. Last year, he underwent an operation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that stopped him from aspirating food and liquids into his lungs. It also helped stabilize his airway so it’s not such an urgent emergency if his trach tube comes out.
But the surgery also made it impossible for him to ever be able to speak.
When Nathaniel cries, tears roll from his eyes and a silent strain is etched on his face, but he does not wail or whimper. The only sound he makes is a wet wheeze from the hole at the base of his neck, which grows louder and faster as he gets more upset. And when he cries or laughs, or eats, he brings up phlegm into his airway that needs to be suctioned.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,” reads a mural in the Rankins’ home, quoting Psalm 46.
Adopting Nathaniel has brought plenty of challenges for the Rankins and reshaped their lives in unanticipated ways. Kim thought she would be able to return to graduate school after a year of taking care of Nathaniel, but she is still his full-time caretaker.
“The simple answer is, ‘God gives the grace to accept changes,’” she said.
But there have been countless gifts from falling in love with Nathaniel. Kim and Rich have seen their other children become more compassionate since they’ve had their new little brother.
Raising Nathaniel has also altered how they view politics.
“It’s been a wrestle,” Kim said. “Some of the things we believe are upheld by the republican party and yet we have this child that we dearly love who is likely going to have services cut by people in the republican party. It’s hard.”
In the end, despite the disagreements he had with her, Rich said he voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election because he felt Nathaniel would be better served by her policies. (Kim didn’t want to say whom she voted for.)
The Rankins are not sure what Nathaniel’s future holds and are weighing what kind of school he should, or could, attend. But their goals also include enabling him to experience life like any 4-year-old boy would want to, maybe even joining the Boy Scouts one day.
Still, there are risks. He loves to play in water, but any water that gets into his trach tube goes straight into his lungs. During one airway emergency, when Nathaniel aspirated vomit into his lungs, the hospital treated him as a drowning victim.
“I just want to go backpacking with him,” Rich said. “I want to take him up a mountain.”
The big fear for the Rankins is that Nathaniel could lose access to his care or have it interrupted with the potential Medicaid changes. It’s taken plenty of phone calls from them, and letters from their doctors, but with his coverage, Nathaniel has been able to get what he needs: the operation by the airway specialists in Cincinnati, visits to his team of doctors in St. Louis, regular appointments with occupational and speech therapists.
There are other changes the Rankins worry about as well. Nathaniel used to be in a managed care plan, which is designed to coordinate care at lower costs. But Kim said it was harder to get the nursing support the Rankins felt Nathaniel required and took more involvement from his doctors, so he moved to a fee-for-service plan. If the state cuts Medicaid services, would he have to go back to managed care?
Nathaniel’s providers have said he should stay on Medicaid so his care isn’t disrupted, but if needed, the Rankins could add Nathaniel to their private insurance plan. But there are hitches there, too. The ACA prohibits insurance companies from setting limits on the expenses they will cover for individuals, but if the law is repealed and that provision is lost, the cost of Nathaniel’s care could quickly surpass any newly imposed limit.
“There is a lot of advocating we have to do for his care, so to add advocating for his insurance, that would just compound it,” Kim said.
In Missouri, state tax dollars account for 17 percent of the Medicaid budget, with 51 percent coming from the federal government and 31 percent coming from a tax on health providers. And some parts of the program are already facing cuts. In his recent budget plan, Governor eric greitens, a republican who took office last month, proposed trimming Medicaid reimbursement rates.
Timothy McBride, a health economist at Washington University in St. Louis, said Missouri already had some of the strictest Medicaid eligibility requirements in the country, so if it lost some share of federal funding, it would have limited options.
“It would have to be dropping services and cutting back on provider payments,” said McBride, who chairs the state’s Medicaid oversight committee. “There’s really nothing else they could do.”
Nathaniel and his speech pathologist, Jane Keegan Quarles, were making Valentine’s cards on a recent day at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and she was showing him how to get his augmented communication device, a special app on an iPad, to say that word. She tapped a few symbols on the iPad and a computerized voice echoed: “Fold.” Quarles creased the card and handed it to Nathaniel, who doodled on it.
As they have thought about Nathaniel’s coverage, Kim and Rich have also wondered if potential cuts to Medicaid would discourage people from adopting children, especially those with intense medical needs. That would mean fewer kids like Nathaniel might find families like the Rankins.
“We took a risk in falling in love with Nathaniel, because there was no guarantee he was going to live,” Kim Rankin said one night at home. “I think so much of our culture, we want to guard against risk taking, we want to be certain that not only are we going to be OK, but that the people we love are going to be OK.
“And every day I wake up and I don’t know if Nathaniel is going to be OK,” she continued. “There are things that could happen to him that even now, after his airway surgery, could take his life that a normal child could breathe right through. But I think the rewards of taking risks for the sake of love has really been the most valuable lesson to me.”
Quarles and Nathaniel finished making their card and handed it to Kim. 
Quarles held up Nathaniel’s device and coached him to “use your words” to tell his mom something. She pointed, and he jabbed his finger at two symbols. “Love,” the voice said. Two more jabs: “You.”
“Ah, I love you too, Nathaniel!” Kim said.
Nathaniel stepped to his mother, who swallowed him in a hug.
Most people who don't experience or see this suffering will never understand the true horrific situations that these human beings experience now and how much worse it will become if these benefits programs have funding cuts. 

It is already a "living death" for many and will become real death in the future if these programs are eliminated or reduced in the benefits provided.

Volunteers and faith based resource will never be able to cope with the waiting disaster of this type of genocide. 

Even "good" caring people are and will be in denial, hiding in their bubbles feeling that it  is always about "someone else". 

Well "someone else" used to think the same denial until in a nano second their lives changed forever when they or some loved one became ill.