June 5, 2017


A new word to me.

I heard it first from my sister Judy who commented when I complained about the pain in my feet when in bed. “Pete (her husband) has similar pains in his feet. The doctor called it neuropathy. He takes some kind of prescription pills for it.”

I was relieved just having my mystery-pain actually had a name! I looked up “neuropathy” on the Mayo Clinic website. I followed up the search by calling my doctor. She confirmed the diagnosis and may have solved my pain problem with pills and lotion.


Another nice word that I did know but not in this context.

I thought of it one evening last week when I fell awkwardly into the toilet seat trying to get a pesky catheter into my pesky penis. Grandson Kryn, wife Jane, and capable neighbor-friend Pierce righted me (and potentially saved my life!). Later in bed I realized it was a one-time thing (an aberration) and was not at all likely to happen again. I hoped.



I wrote the above in all good faith last evening (Monday). I woke up this morning (Tuesday) and discovered on an Internet search that I may have costochondritis (bruised or broken ribs). When I fell awkwardly into the toilet seat I did more damage than I thought. My nasty cold is better but when I cough or laugh my chest gives me pain. I was going to add complaining and crying don’t help much either but that’s not really true. While it may only be true for me, tears and complaints are better for pain than fun and laughs.

“Furstist with the mostest”

Not a word but more like an idea for a military campaign!

Aspiring journalists learn you will get more readers if you begin your news article with a good story. Young reporters followed this advice with two stories on the front page of our local newspaper recently.

One told in detail sob stories of what will likely happen if Obamcare is repealed and replaced. According to the Associated Press 34 million people (later AP claims were up to 100 million) are going to lose health insurance under the Trump plan.

The second local article described in equal detail how millions of people in Wisconsin would be traveling on the coming Memorial Day weekend. A later AP story predicted that 255 million people in the whole US would spend many billions of dollars to crowd the nation’s highways and airports taking a summer vacation.

The two articles were not related in the print versions. But should have been.

What about the Pope’s, and some green activist’s, advice that, “if we are serious about climate change, we will need to reduce our levels of consumption?”


As millionaire miner George Hearst was fond of saying, “if d-u-n doesn’t spell done, what the hell does it spell?” I add, “Not sure if Numerality is a word but it should be.”

The news articles quoted above were full of numbers. Am I the only one to boldly ask what these wildly disparate numbers say about American’s real priorities?


I here note that I’m doing the same thing–stories to soften the pain.

.Former President Obama laughingly shrugged off the socialism word when a reporter questioned a policy of his. Bernie Sanders, who narrowly lost the Democratic Presidential primary to Hilary Clinton, is proud to claim “democratic socialism” as the answer to all our problems.

I say socialism is fine for the people who don’t or can’t work and think that the government should provide as a right not a privilege a suitable “level of consumption.” In other words, the government should provide health care, food, shelter, and other charity services with no effort on their part. It has not worked well for the citizens of Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, China, Russia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Germany and most countries in Europe. But it is still popular. The Europeans, in particular, are sold on cradle-to-grave safety nets and government subsidies for just about any service. Politicians and clergy in the West, including the Democrats and pre-Trump Republicans of the US have also gone all out to give charitable goodies to the citizens and never mind if they are here illegally. Printing presses, high taxes for the wealthy, and borrowing cooperate fund this largess where the clergy profits and the poor suffer. Comes the day of reckoning–disaster!

It’s no accident that the poorest countries have the most inequality-skewed of the economic bell curves (in other words poor countries have always had the biggest gaps between rich and poor) The most stable and richest bell curves are in the countries with a tax-paying and working middle class along with the smallest clergy–precisely the class who brought the unexpected victory to Donald Trump!

If there were any argument about the merits of socialism the abject failures in China, Russia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Cuba, India, North Korea, and Venezuela would have settled it. But it won’t. The temptation in any democracy is to offer more goodies is simply too strong to resist for any politician. The winner in votes will surely go to he or she who promises the most appealing goodies.

All of these modern states–China, Russia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Cuba, India, North Korea, Italy, Argentina, and Venezuela–tried to outdo one another in offering more life-long peace, bread, and progress to their citizens. All failed and ended up bankrupt with cruel dictators, concentration camps, ethnic massacres, and brutal losses of freedom.

Aristotle and his pupil Plato-the two most famous political philosophers in ancient Greece, said to be the world’s first working democracy-predicted this outcome 2000 years ago. To me the only answer is to go back to my three-part division of history and pin our hopes into the relative infancy of the Modern Age. The first two Ages–Hunting/Gathering and Agricultural–took at least 110,000 years to get humans this far. I have faith that someone or group in the Modern Age (only a few hundred years old) will finally solve the racial, religious, and political problems of our day. Jane and I will not be around, nor will most readers, when these problems abate and the Modern Age can reach its full potential (see Bill’s Blogs, pp. 8-22).

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President, Hawkhill

P.S. For more details curl up, read, or watch–Spaceship Earth, Democracy in World History, Twilight or Dawn: a Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs.

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