Tuesday, August 18, 2015


                                Dr. Jerome Lackner, M.D.

                        Zelda Lackner-"Justice For My Dad"

Dr. Jerome Lackner, M.D. was a unique humanitarian first, a special breed of human being who dedicates their life to helping others less fortunate than themselves.

The fact that he was a gifted medical doctor and attorney, as well as a dedicated father of five children made him all the more of an inspiration in the manner in which he conducted his life by caring for others.

Jerome Lackner was the State of California, Director of Public Health during Gov. Jerry Brown’s first term. 
He also served as personal doctor to Cesar Chavez, and as a member of Martin Luther King Jr.’s medical staff. 

The purpose of today's Blog post is in memory of Dr. Jerome Lackner and to also point out once again, how dysfunctional the systems that are in place to protect human life, provide justice to victims families, failed to do anything productive in saving an innocent victim.

Instead of seeking the truth, they all "circled the wagons", protecting their own asses, their jobs, their incompetence by never taking accountability for another human life being stolen.

Their cowardice evidenced by not caring about finding the truth is the symbol of how cheap a human life is in America.

Much of the below are excerpts reproduced from the Charles Piller article, others are simply perceptions after reading the story.
It was the summer of 2010, and Jerome was languishing in hospice care at his Davis, California home. 

His primary caregivers: his second wife, Rebecca, then 72, from whom he was legally separated; and Joseph Poirier, a 51-year-old recovering addict who, friends and family would claim later, was having a clandestine affair with Rebecca.
In the final days of Jerome’s life, hospice records show, doctors would prescribe multiple vials of morphine. Joseph mixed drops of the bitter drug into Jerome’s beverages to "get him under control". 
The story of Jerome Lackner’s achievements and misfortunes, ended with the painful irony that while he helped protect so many people in life, he was unable to protect himself, or get protection from others when he needed it prior to his death.

The story of the extremely suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Jerome Lackner are chronicled in a five part intensive professional Journalistic investigative report "An Unquiet Death", written by Charles Piller of the Sacramento Bee Newscomprehensively and painstakingly reviewing over 50,000 pages of records.
On July 9, 2010, Jerome died. 
That began the usual "blame game" among the various care givers, public and private entities, law enforcement, legal systems, health systems, that are supposedly accountable to protect the lives of human beings.
The coroner’s pathologist blamed heart disease, with morphine toxicity as a secondary cause.
His daughters suspected darker forces at work, and within weeks Davis police launched a murder investigation.
 Gina Moya, chief deputy coroner of Yolo County "But caregivers, even against resistance, she said, if the patient is suffering certain conditions. “They know the person better than you and I sitting here … that’s why you choose your caregivers carefully.” (Me-go ahead, blame the dead victim).

Moya’s supervisor – whom she replaced after his resignation in 2013 – approved her report. “I’m not blaming him, but it was his responsibility to say … ‘you left this out, you left that out,’” she said. “When you are in this report every day, all day long, for a period of time, you can miss stuff.” (Me-Blame it on the supervisor, not yourself but say you are "not blaming him" for your own major errors).
Moya could not retrace her steps, because she destroyed her records. She said she did so to comply with office policy; federal and state regulators said coroners may retain such records.

How convenient, she destroyed the records because of her suddenly being such a thorough, competent professional Coroner.
A review of the coroner’s report also shows that Moya often failed to cite sources or resolve conflicts between witnesses and documents. Medical records didn’t corroborate some key health issues that Moya cited as proving Jerome was near death.

Later, a social worker with the Adult Protectice Services Agency (APS) would tell a Santa Cruz County deputy sheriff that the Lackner daughters had been making “unsubstantiated claims” for years against Becky, and that she had never found reason to suspect abuse. 

The Lackner children maintain this was their only contact with APS.

On the same day she buried her father, Zelda contacted Davis police Lt. Paul Doroshov with her suspicions. The coroner had already been in touch with the department. On July 22, the police launched an investigation of possible murder in hospice, a first for Davis as far back as records showed.
As detectives proceeded in their inquiry, they heard an interesting story from Jane Carpenter, another friend of Jerome and Becky’s. For 20 years, Becky had been Jane’s AA sponsor, a mentor for staying sober. Becky called her before the funeral, in need of a sympathetic ear. They talked over lunch.
“The first thing out of her mouth was, ‘I killed Doc,’” Jane said in an interview. “And I said, ‘What!?’”
“You know, I just really think we killed him. I just really think that Joseph and I killed him,” she said. They gave him too much morphine, Jane recalled Becky saying.
Trino Savala, a close friend,  said in an interview that Becky told him something similar just after Jerome died. “I think I killed Doc. I think I gave him too much morphine,” he recalled her saying. 

Morphine is often the drug of choice for hospice patients. It’s meant to blunt the pain, steady breathing, calm fears and gently help a person die in relative comfort. These are the goals of hospice. So powerful a drug requires great care.
The hospice record runs to 141 pages but is unclear about exactly when Joseph or Becky gave the morphine, or the amounts that Jerome received. It describes problems with the handling of the morphine that would form the basis for years of investigation into how Jerome died.
In the early days of hospice, Jerome didn’t seem to need morphine. Each time the nurses assessed his pain, they rated it as low.
The record doesn’t say how much Becky and Joseph gave him day by day, but by July 5, 10 milliliters had been used, the equivalent of 20 “moderate” doses. By July 6, Day 12, Jerome was described as anxious and anorexic. When the nurse asked if Jerome had pain, he said, “no I do not have any pain, go away, get out of here,” she wrote.
The Lackner family hired two leading experts to review the autopsy records: Bruce Goldberger, president of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, the pre-eminent credentialing authority; and Marcella F. Fierro, formerly top medical examiner for Virginia. 

Zelda provided their comments to authorities.

“The circumstances of Dr. Lackner’s death are most disturbing and should inspire a serious homicide investigation to establish culpability,” Fierro said in a letter to Zelda.
“While morphine toxicity is a common finding in a patient treated by hospice, the dose and frequency of administration of morphine significantly contributed to his death,” Goldberger wrote.
Armed with the views of those authorities, the problems during hospice and her evidence of possible financial crimes, Zelda urged the Yolo County district attorney to prosecute.
Deputy DA Ryan J. Couzens, who had experience in elder abuse cases, reviewed Zelda’s evidence and that of the coroner. He had access to the complete police report, compiled over more than two years, which was never made public. After a few weeks, he decided not to file charges. He said, in general, he viewed the evidence as too thin to prove Becky committed any crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Zelda Lackner said “I had such faith”when she described the systems in place.
Every layer of the ordeal “felt like a betrayal to my family, to my father, to my ideals as an attorney,” 

Zelda said. “I have been cured of my idealism …” 

This is the horrific real world of innocent dead victims and their grieving families.

There is no closure, no justice, no compassion, and the truth of what happened is not important to anyone but us.

The fate of victims and their families is to have their lives erased by those "in charge", but for victim advocates such as Zelda, others, and myself, we will remember our loved ones forever, never to be forgotten.

Thursday, August 6, 2015



I see and read the endless outpouring of shock, anger, protest about the killing of "Cecil the Lion". 

The media frenzy grinds out the most minute details and social media spreads the story instantly.

It all gets repeated every day, over and over.

I just don't get it.

Sure animals are living beings and killings of them for "sport" is despicable.

What bothers me the most is where is that same shock, outrage, anger, protest when it comes to the innocent human victims that are slaughtered in the world by terrorism and wars.

Even more disturbing to me, is where is the same outrage in our Country for the plague sweeping our land where human life has no value and human victims are murdered by the thousands every year by criminals?

According to his online obituary, Cecil Pendleton Jr. was 55 years old and a father of three, with two grandchildren. 

He served in the U.S. Air Force until 1981 and then labored for 22 years in a steel mill, working second jobs as a security guard and as a deliveryman. 

He still made time to take his kids camping and on church retreats, and to volunteer as a basketball coach.

“His whole life was spent making sure his family was taken care of or enjoying spending time with them,” the obituary says.

He also volunteered with the family readiness group while a now grown son, Captain Cecil Pendleton III,deployed to Afghanistan with the 713th Engineer Company of the Indiana National Guard in 2012. Six of the unit’s 101 soldiers were killed.

On his off hours, the elder Cecil loved to watch auto racing. His obituary adds, “but never raced anywhere he was going; in fact he never got a ticket for speeding, only for going too slow.”

At 5 a.m. on May 6, 2015 the elder Cecil left his apartment in Merrillville, Indiana for his job as a handyman. He was heading for his van when he chanced upon a group of thieves who had been breaking into cars, apparently in search of guns.

Take a look at the photo below .

The picture shows the son, Capt. Cecil Pendleton III (on the right) in his Army dress uniform being embraced by his father (on the left), who beams with the joy of having his boy back safe after deployments first to Iraq, then to Afghanistan.

Cecil the human being's picture was not projected on the side of the Empire State Building in New York the way a photo of Cecil the lion was on Saturday evening.

Never mind that Cecil the human possessed a nobility of a particular kind that marked him as one of the best of our species.

“By all accounts, just a good man, highly regarded,” Chief Robert Byrd of the Northwest Indiana Violent Crime Task Force,  “A terrible loss for sure.”

Neighbors who had slept with their windows open in the warm weather heard Cecil shout.

“Get away from me! 

Leave me alone”were his last words.

Cecil dashed for the safety of his van and was attempting to drive away when the robbers fired through his passenger side window. 

He was still alive when the police arrived, but doctors at a nearby hospital were unable to save him.

Police subsequently named four young men in connection with the killing. 

In the meantime, the list of gunshot victims has continued to grow. 

Daja the human, aged 15, was shot to death in Gary bordering Merrillville on Sunday night. 

Daja Brookshire was climbing out of a car with her boyfriend and a friend outside the home of the friend’s grandmother when a gunman in a passing car opened fire. 

She suffered a mortal wound in the back. Police described her as a “good kid.”

A short drive away in Chicago, the weekend saw three humans killed and 37 wounded, including a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy.

In San Francisco, 32 year old Kate Steinle was shot to death on July 1, 2015 as she was walking with her father and a friend on San Francisco’s famous Pier 14.

Authorities say an illegal immigrant with 7 felony convinctions and 5 previous deportations randomly walked up to her and shot Steinle in the chest for no reason. She died two hours later. 

In Brooklyn, N.Y. Jamal Joseph, 18, died after he was attacked in a sneaker store at 249 Utica Ave. just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, NYPD said. 

Four hours later, at about 11:30 p.m., John Garrett, 17, was killed when he was stabbed in the chest at 1063 Eastern Parkway.

And so it goes, sometimes in big massacres that grab our attention, most often in small numbers that receive scant notice and then are forgotten altogether by everyone except the loved ones.

Yes, the photo of Cecil the dead lion tugs at the heart.
More emotional should be the realities of suffering by human beings “His family and friends will miss his huge heart, bright smile, and his firm hug,” says the obituary for this most human of Cecil's, who was shot to death as he set off for work.

Everyone who knew Cecil loved him. “He was uplifting,” one person said. But now big Cecil is gone. 

Instantly recognizable by the distinctive blackish scruff that jutted from his chin, he was no match for the armed men who pursued him in the open, so close to his home. 

They stalked him down as predators in a jungle and shot him dead.

As more details came out, the story grew sadder: Cecil had been up before dawn, off to make his regular rounds, working to feed his family. 
There were reports that he’d spotted the men with the guns, up to no good, and had approached rather than pretend not to see them. 
The men dropped Cecil, bleeding, on the ground. 
Left behind was a large family who’d depended on him.
The way he died was “ridiculous,” said one observer. 
“He didn’t bother nobody,” said a local woman. 
It was a senseless killing, the authorities said, motivated as much by blood sport as by money: Cecil was “at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
But the news did not travel past local media outlets and the outcry over Cecil’s killing did not last. 
Just like almost all the other murders, it was not important enough to attract the attention of others. 
This was understandable because human life is cheap in the U.S. and the population has become desensitized to killings. 
The human mind has convinced itself that these tragedies happen "to others", will never happen to them, or anyone in their family, and it becomes the "bubble" of a false illusion, the denial mechanism that makes people numb to the deaths of others.
There are more and more victims like Cecil the human: latest statistics indicate that 18,000 people are murdered in the United States annually (approximately 50 people every day).
There is a lot of anger, hate, political agendas to maintain in our Country, leading to games of My Outrage Is Better Than Your Outrage to be played. 
Politicians will call from time to time for the killing to stop, and there are activists (and counter activists) who fight to change the laws. 
But surely it’s not reasonable to expect the average citizen to care, to be angry enough about Cecil the humans death to want to do something to try to prevent more suffering.
Cecil Pendleton, bearded patriarch, Air Force vet, father of three, was 55 when the robbers shot him outside his apartment in Merrillville, Indiana, in early May. He and his fiancee were to be married on June 27, her birthday.
For many, it is easier to deal with the death of a lion in another country than it is to deal with a death in their city.  

If we recognize and admit to the horror of a humans death for no reason, and by a gun, we have to admit and face the fact that this society, is a curse that is coming true, we are becoming more and more exceptional every day in every way.  

We are exceptional in how many die by guns in any given day compared to almost any other advanced country.  

We kill too often because we can.   

We kill too often because it is acceptable to pull a gun, pull the trigger, kill another human being for the most petty of reasons, or for nothing at all.

The carnage will only stop if we ever find it in ourselves to be at least as horrified by the killing of a noble being such as Cecil the human as we were by the killing of Cecil the lion.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


                                                 I DON'T CARE ANYMORE

Your mind is a strange place, no matter who you are and what your life is about.

The mind comes in every possible combination, some we choose, others are learned, the rest we cannot understand where and why.

You can control it, lose control, brainwash, white-wash, deceive, convince and be convinced of anything.

It can be the ultimate super computer, with enormous memory storage, endless capabilities of creating truths, lies, illusions, guilt,  demons, angels, and just about anything you can think of, or not.

The mind is the center within us of many things, including suffering, happiness, depression, sadness, pain, and just about everything we feel. 

I am afflicted with a mind that demands intense feelings, needs to understand everything that is happening, and proactiveness in all that I do. On one hand it has enabled me to survive where others would not be able, but it is also a curse as my mind never rests.

For the past several years I have been trying to teach myself the philosophy and science of becoming a "manana person".

It has been a difficult learning experience, mostly a failure so far, because this requires everything I was ever taught and consumed as a thinking person to be consciously obliterated by me.

A "manana person" is someone of great holiness, honed skills, whose lifestyle, the very essence  of their being, doesn't waste their minds energy and time worrying about what might or might not be. They are not necessarily stupid people, but it helps in acquiring these skills faster.

I envy "manana people" because they understand or perhaps don't even bother to comprehend that we have so little control over what happens to us in life.

It is in this meaning, this being, that I seek the holy grail of obtuseness in becoming a "manana person".

I must admit that I have no chance to attain this goal for myself but there have been some moments where I have been able to enjoy the freedom of not caring about what happens in a particular situation.

It may not seem like a big deal to you, but when it happens, what a thrill I feel for myself.

I kinda push the thoughts out of my mind, they keep returning to my mind, and then I kick them out, eventually forgetting what I was thinking about in the first place. 

Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't, but how wonderful when it does. 

The mantra is: I don't care.

Sounds reckless, irresponsible and oblivious to consequences.

On the contrary, I believe that it is the best way to get through the maze of life.

When you don't care about outcomes, you don't worry. 

When you don't worry, you don't stress.

When you don't stress, you live a happier and longer life. 

You have confidence in yourself, your actions, your inaction's, your smaller footprint.

You stand tall, you smile because you appreciate life more as it is, and not as it should be.

As the distinguished Philosopher and Neuroscientist Alfred E. Neuman stated:

                                                       WHAT ME WORRY