Home Burial

HOME BURIAL… Emilio Degrazia

Whenever I was a bad enough boy to make my Old Country mother almost cry, she would say this to me: “Don’t come to my funeral.” Funerals were big deals.

The pandemic has brought acute confusion home to many of us. We are dimly aware that hundreds of thousands have died, but for most of us the number seems facelessly abstract. Many who have endured an individual loss have done so without hospital visits or traditional burial rites. If this new way of dying seems odd, it also seems that we’re already used to it.

What I find calming—call it also one way to think of church—are those little societies of gravestones huddled next to a country church. The dead seem at home there, okay enough. They are interred where they too sometimes went to church, and the silence suggests their community of the dead, even the nasty outliers, have a place to stay. Here, emanating from the small group of silent stones, an agreement to put bickering to rest and to let everyone in seems the rule. A tombstone here or there decorated with a flag or military symbol makes even a distant war seem more like a community affair.

It usually is not, as the uniformed battalions of Fort Snelling tombstones make clear. The ancient Greeks established some precedents for distanced and anonymous burials. Most “classic” Greek warriors were unheroic peasants who eked out their livings in small villages before being required by “heroes” to devote years to the slaughter, pillage and rape of the citizens in distant places like Troy. Meanwhile, most continued to believe it was unnatural, even blasphemous, to be buried away from home. Local deities and the women left behind required proper burial to be a home town event. These ancients, with their local gods and home town rites, believed that their dead still had presence in their families and communities, a resting place that was also a home. Anyone not buried in a local space in accord with proper rites was doomed to become a miserable wandering ghost, lost to the world even in death, and able to haunt those who permitted their exile to occur.

Home burial as a sacred rite became embattled when people massed themselves into city-states, and when nations collectivized armies eager to wage wars away from home. Village boys drafted into these armies often never came back, many ditched into mass graves, their bodies burned or left to rot. Over the centuries, as armies and weaponry became more lethal, a strategic rule evolved: Export wars to someone else’s turf, with long-distance bombing preferred. Win away from home, then return for the parades and enjoyment of the spoils. And as populations and war technologies have increased and multiplied, so have mass graves full of invaders, defenders and innocents alike.

As Americans we try desperately to be proud of our wars, and we are proud of a mobility we like to equate with freedom. Though our Civil War left behind thousands of women and children and whole generations of virtually homeless African/Americans, the foreign wars that are our major and most expensive exports do not live happily ever after. Climate change is making migrants of millions. Here in the U.S. our jobs also require many of us to live away from home. There many of our hours, exhausted in cars and planes, are spent on the road. Our children grow up and many move away, some never returning to stay. Columbus, Ohio, Columbus, Wisconsin, and Columbus, Georgia, all seem All-American enough to be everybody’s home town, until the urge comes on to be someplace else. As our children leave us, we also leave them.

So when we die a funeral’s seldom a home burial. It’s a hit and run affair. If mobility—often equated with profitable innovation and senseless change––defines our sense of freedom, it does so at the expense of the redemptive potential of familiarity, family and community. Being on the move makes it easy to make strangers of those who live nearby, easy to let the media outline our sense of them as types, and easier to make disagreeable enemies of them. If home is where the heart is, home burials in real spaces that feature birth places, home towns, and neighborhoods as communities seem to be a minor and shrinking chapter of our history.

What Bernie Knows

What Trees Know

What Trees Know by Degrazias…
Emilio, the Speaker
Dante, the Music

Drought Map for Jan. 21st 2021

Almost a Third of Recovered COVID-19 Patients Return To Hospital In Five Months, One In Eight Die

Almost a Third of Recovered COVID-19 Patients Return To Hospital In Five Months, One In Eight Die

Posted to Slashdot by BeauHD on Tuesday January 19, 2021 @02:00AM from the troubling-findings dept.

According to new research from Leicester University and the Office for National Statistics (NS), almost a third of recovered COVID-19 patients will end up back in the hospital within five months and one in eight will die. Yahoo News reports via The Telegraph: Out of 47,780 people who were discharged from hospital in the first wave, 29.4 per cent were readmitted to hospital within 140 days, and 12.3 per cent of the total died. The current cut-off point for recording Covid deaths is 28 days after a positive test, so it may mean thousands more people should be included in the coronavirus death statistics. Researchers have called for urgent monitoring of people who have been discharged from hospital.

Study author Kamlesh Khunti, professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at Leicester University, said: “This is the largest study of people discharged from hospital after being admitted with Covid. People seem to be going home, getting long-term effects, coming back in and dying. We see nearly 30 per cent have been readmitted, and that’s a lot of people. The numbers are so large. The message here is we really need to prepare for long Covid. It’s a mammoth task to follow up with these patients and the NHS is really pushed at the moment, but some sort of monitoring needs to be arranged.”

The study found that Covid survivors were nearly three and a half times more likely to be readmitted to hospital, and die, in the 140 days timeframe than other hospital outpatients. Prof Khunti said the team had been surprised to find that many people were going back in with a new diagnosis, and many had developed heart, kidney and liver problems, as well as diabetes. “We don’t know if it’s because Covid destroyed the beta cells which make insulin and you get Type 1 diabetes, or whether it causes insulin resistance, and you develop Type 2, but we are seeing these surprising new diagnoses of diabetes,â he added. “We’ve seen studies where survivors have had MRS scans and they’ve cardiac problems and liver problems. These people urgently require follow up and the need to be on things like aspirin and statins.”

The Sad Truth About Illegal Orders

The Sad Truth About Illegal Orders

CDR Salamander

Proactively “From the Sea”; an agent of change leveraging the littoral best practices for a paradigm breaking six-sigma best business case to synergize a consistent design in the global commons, rightsizing the core values supporting our mission statement via the 5-vector model through cultural diversity.

Monday, March 07, 2016

The Sad Truth About Illegal Orders

I hope that by now everyone is familiar with Trump’s statement concerning illegal orders from the last debate. If not, take a moment to watch;

If your IT department won’t let you watch video, here it the transcript;

BAIER: Mr. Trump, just yesterday, almost 100 foreign policy experts signed on to an open letter refusing to support you, saying your embracing expansive use of torture is inexcusable. General Michael Hayden, former CIA director, NSA director, and other experts have said that when you asked the U.S. military to carry out some of your campaign promises, specifically targeting terrorists’ families, and also the use of interrogation methods more extreme than waterboarding, the military will refuse because they’ve been trained to turn down and refuse illegal orders.

So what would you do, as commander-in-chief, if the U.S. military refused to carry out those orders?

TRUMP: They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me.

BAIER: But they’re illegal.

TRUMP: Let me just tell you, you look at the Middle East. They’re chopping off heads. They’re chopping off the heads of Christians and anybody else that happens to be in the way. They’re drowning people in steel cages. And he — now we’re talking about waterboarding.

This really started with Ted, a question was asked of Ted last — two debates ago about waterboarding. And Ted was, you know, having a hard time with that question, to be totally honest with you. They then came to me, what do you think of waterboarding? I said it’s fine. And if we want to go stronger, I’d go stronger, too, because, frankly…


… that’s the way I feel. Can you imagine — can you imagine these people, these animals over in the Middle East, that chop off heads, sitting around talking and seeing that we’re having a hard problem with waterboarding? We should go for waterboarding and we should go tougher than waterboarding. That’s my opinion.

BAIER: But targeting terrorists’ families?


TRUMP: And — and — and — I’m a leader. I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.

BAIER: Even targeting terrorists’ families?

TRUMP: Well, look, you know, when a family flies into the World Trade Center, a man flies into the World Trade Center, and his family gets sent back to where they were going — and I think most of you know where they went — and, by the way, it wasn’t Iraq — but they went back to a certain territory, they knew what was happening. The wife knew exactly what was happening.

They left two days early, with respect to the World Trade Center, and they went back to where they went, and they watched their husband on television flying into the World Trade Center, flying into the Pentagon, and probably trying to fly into the White House, except we had some very, very brave souls on that third plane. All right?


Applause. Let that sink in.

Citizens of a free republic are applauding a man who is telling everyone two things that should disgust anyone who took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States…”.
1. The CINC will issue illegal orders.
2. His military will gladly follow those illegal orders.
3. Citizens applaud 1 & 2.


There has been a lot of huff’n and puff’n from many who presently or once wore the uniform, including your humble blogg’r, roughly of, “We will not. No one will follow those illegal orders. We will just refuse.” The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think my initial instinct is wrong.

That might be an internal dialog, but once a senior officer looks you in the eye, and even if you make a protest says, “The JAG stated …” or “The Justice Department ruled that … “, there are very few who will resist. Anyone below 4-stars that does refuse will simply be fired and someone will step forward to execute the order in their place within minutes. That one person will have a clear conscience, but will also have a dead-end career, professional exile, and nothing will actually have changed.

In the main, orders will be followed.

Why? Rosa Brooks outlined why rather well;

Military resistance is no safeguard against a future president — Trump or anyone else — who’s determined to have his way.

Laws can be manipulated, and they can be changed, especially when a president wants them manipulated or changed. The U.S. military has a strong rule-of-law culture, but it also has a strong commitment to civilian control of the armed forces. Generally speaking, that’s good, but it also means that officers rarely respond with a flat-out “No” when senior civilian officials start playing fast and loose with the law. The armed forces have a duty to disobey manifestly unlawful orders, but when top civilian lawyers at the White House and the Justice Department overrule the military’s interpretation of the law, few service members persist in their opposition.

If history and social psychology have taught us anything, it’s that most people, civilian and military alike, will go along with the instructions of those they perceive as authority figures, no matter what horrors they have to witness or carry out — and for the most part, that’s precisely what happened after 9/11. Although it was CIA rather than military personnel who were implicated in many of the most egregious post-9/11 abuses, military officers went along with plenty of bad actions and sometimes instigated them.

We’ve seen similar dynamics in recent debates about controversial Obama administration practices. Several military leaders have questioned the legality, morality and strategic wisdom of secret U.S. drone strikes outside of traditional battlefields, particularly when the targets are U.S. citizens. But just as they did under President Obama’s predecessor, Justice Department lawyers have provided memos offering legal justifications , muting any military resistance. U.S. military intervention in Syria is also arguably illegal under international law, and numerous lawyers in the armed forces have expressed private concerns about this and about the legality of current U.S. action under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. But here again, don’t expect a mutiny or a coup.

Read it all. She has a sober, and from my point of view, the correct reading of the landscape.

I would like to think I would do the right thing, but you know what – if for some reason I got called back, I’d just be a Commander. This isn’t a Field Grade, Company Grade, or Senior NCO issue. This is a General Officer and Flag Officer (GOFO) issue.

What if there were push back at the GOFO level? There would be delays, there might be resignations. At the tactical level, there might even be some misdirection to delay or avoid – but it would be executed until contrary orders came down the chain.

The odds of the above scenario playing out is rather small. I have come to believe this; there is nothing that our GOFO community have done in peace that would lead me to think that there would be any concerted effort to stand up and say, “No.” in times of crisis.

This has a long pedigree. Did anyone in uniform in ’41 stand up when American citizens of Japanese extraction were rounded up and their property liquidated? No.

Today, how does a careerist mindset that defends failed programs like an industry spokesman, not a customer, then in a much more stressful and dangerous situation, turn to make an even more professionally ending moment by saying, “No?” Point to me an exception.

The last GOFO that stood out front, and this wasn’t even an illegal order case, was General Shinseki, USA (Ret) right before the invasion of Iraq. All he did was to speak what he believed was the best military advice and let history judge his decision. That was over a dozen years ago. Before him was Vice Admiral Thomas F. Connolly, USN (Ret) during the F-111 battle – but besides that I’m drawing a blank.

Tell me where I am wrong. Tell me who I am overlooking.

It is good and right that we defer to our civilian leadership, but have we taken it too far? Standing up is just not our style, but have we taken that so far that we are happy that the American public thinks its military’s officers will mindlessly follow any order? Is that something we are proud of? Do they have any reason to think otherwise?

You get what you promote, and this is what we have.

A stand-up personality type tends to not get to those exalted 3-star and 4-star levels, and it has nothing to do with performance in the field. Brave warfighters seem to wilt under political, media, and social pressure – strange but true.

Need more data points? Remember all those brave senior officers who stood up in the face of the scapegoating of junior officers in the early 1990s Tailhook? Of course you don’t. There are more examples out there.

We have a different culture at our senior levels. Leave and be quite. Don’t be disgraced, and don’t do anything that will keep you off various boards of directors and senior positions out there in industry that will pay big bucks for your connections in DC.

Don’t burn bridges, they are paved with gold. Don’t be “that guy” who you wind up seeing quoted in InfoWars.

A little too cynical? Yes, it is – perhaps. This is not a blanket swipe – but it does outline an objective observation of an average.

In the end analysis, the fault is not with the military, and unquestionably not with the Company Grade Officers, Field Grade Officers, or Noncommissioned Officers – and we can even give a pass to the GOFO that with exceptionally rare exceptions are just good people in hard jobs doing what they can to serve their nation like everyone else. No,it is the fault of the American people for electing those who issue the orders to the military.

That is why who is CINC is so important. The guy at the top, regardless of who he is, holds the position of General Washington and draws on that personal capital. On a subconscious level, that still means a lot in the US military. It should. It is what makes us unique. In spite of all the sniping, a humble and meek nature for 3-stars and 4-stars is a feature, not a bug. It is only open for abuse with abusive and corrupt civilian leadership.

Pause and ponder.

Scared yet?

“Every fraction of a degree matters. Another result from Warren et al shows the accelerating impact of warming on biodiversity loss worldwide. The difference between warming levels is staggering…” Prof Julia S

Feynman: Magnets FUN TO IMAGINE 4/ NEW updated higher quality version! – YouTube


People Who Take Melatonin 28% Less Likely To Test Positive For Covid – Cleveland Clinic

People Who Take Melatonin 28% Less Likely To Test Positive For Covid – Cleveland Clinic

By: Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News Updated: December 28, 2020 – 6:22 PM

Researchers are finding new possibilities an over-the-counter supplement – melatonin – best known as sleep aid.

Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic have discovered it’s a potential way to help prevent or treat COVID-19.

Lead researcher Dr. Feixiong Cheng, Ph.D., and his team used artificial intelligence to comb through a COVID-19 registry at the Cleveland Clinic, which included nearly 27,000 people. They found people who take melatonin are nearly 28% less likely to test positive for COVID.

The difference is even more significant for African Americans – the study said, “Importantly, melatonin usage is associated with a 52% reduced likelihood of a positive laboratory test result for SARS-CoV-2 in African Americans.”

“When we got this result, we were very excited,” Dr. Cheng said in a Zoom call with KIRO 7. “If our findings can help the patients, that’s our goal and mission – and at the Cleveland Clinic as well,” he said.

The study was published in early November, but an article published by The Atlantic on the connection between COVID and sleep sparked new buzz about the research.

“I read the article about melatonin and sleep and I was like, I already take melatonin every day!” said Ruth Harvey, who lives in Seattle. “I said that’s great, maybe I’m doing the right thing to stay healthy – it’s really encouraging,” she said.

President Trump was also given melatonin while he was in the hospital for COVID-19 in October.

“Is it because people are getting better sleep that they’re less susceptible to the virus? Or is it because of the melatonin?” KIRO7′s Deedee Sun asked Cheng.

“The exact mechanism we don’t know yet, but more and more data comes out that support our hypothesis,” Cheng said.

He said studies increasingly show melatonin does much more than just help people sleep – it also can help regulate the immune system.

Other studies have shown melatonin “reduces chronic and acute inflammation.” New clinical trials are now underway to see how much it helps patient outcomes in COVID treatments, including one at the Cleveland Clinic involving Cheng’s team.

Another study conducted by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (Department of Biomedical Informatics) looked at thousands of COVID-19 intubated patients, and found when patients were exposed to melatonin after getting intubated, they had better outcomes. The researchers recommended further study based on those findings, saying they could not adjust for all variables in the study.

“Melatonin can also help us improve our human body – what we call tolerance. To help us reduce the tissue or organ damage induced by COVID infection,” Cheng said.

Other clinical trials for over the counter supplements including Zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D are underway too.

“That might actually get me to take vitamins,” said Harlem Petersen, a student in Seattle.

Cheng said a clinical trial is underway that will answer the question of whether melatonin is causing improved outcomes when it comes to COVID. He said the study should be complete in a few months.

Amazon criticized for promoting phony anticancer vitamin

Amazon criticized for promoting phony anticancer vitamin

TruthInAdvertising.org has found that Amazon steers customers to purchase the phony vitamin, B17, which is another name for amygdalin, a chemical constituent of apricot pits that was debunked in the 80s as an “alternative” cancer treatment. [B17.
TINA.org, Dec 10, 2020] The organization reported:

  • The first autocomplete suggestion for “B17” on Amazon.com was “b17 vitamin for cancer.”
  • Searching “b17 vitamin for cancer” yielded no less than 232 results, including dozens of books.
  • Many listings contained testimonials from people who say the products helped treat or cure their cancer or a loved one’s cancer even though companies are prohibited from making claims through consumer testimonials that they could not make directly.
  • This past August, three people in New Zealand were hospitalized after consuming raw apricot kernels.
  • In 2017 an Australian man taking an apricot kernel extract as part of a prostate cancer treatment regimen ended up in the hospital with cyanide poisoning.
  • In 2019, after customers had complained of “severe poisoning,” the FDA arrested a U.S.-based apricot seed vendor for repeatedly refusing to stop selling his products as a cancer cure in violation of a court order


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Consumer Advocate
287 Fearrington Post
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Telephone: (919) 533-6009

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