Hey, Look! Dale Jellings Has a Web Page    
"I got 99 holes in my head, one more can't hurt me much."  -- 99 Holes by Butch Hancock.

  And what kind of stuff would I put on a web page if I had one?  Stuff like Butch Hancock song lyrics, apparently.  Or Matthew Grimm Lyrics:

When the paycheck just ain’t stretchin’ like it might’ve once before
‘Cause the good jobs all are gone and left you in some big-box store
Between food and rent and medicine, the suits just rate a whole lot more.

When the bosses cut that last corner and you walk out those doors
When the truckers hauling sweatshop stuff won’t stop there anymore
When folks won’t cross your pickets cause their boat’s the same as yours
That is one big union.

One Big Union
Matthew Grimm

There's Intermittent Blogging and all My Recommendations Down Below:



I Recommend:

The Rum Blog:  (More rumination than Hunter S.;  more bourbon than rum;  more ranting than fun)

My Top Ten Favorite CDs of 2022:

Signs of Life by Foy Vance

When I Go I Ghost by Cory Branan

Used to Be the Next Big Thing by Maple Run Band

Ways & Means by The Deslondes

Chicamacomico by American Aquarium

Together Alone by Sarah Borges

Nightmares by Gasoline Lollipops

Make Myself Me Again by Christina Vane

Dark Enough to See the Stars by Mary Gauthier

Invisible Pictures by Jeremy Ivey

Special Mention:

Don't Marry No Railroad Man by J.P Harris' Dreadful Wind and Rain

Honorable Mentions:

Stardust & Satellites by Steve Poltz

Palomino by First Aid Kit

Bloor Street by Kiefer Sutherland

Mercy Street by Cody Jinks

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My Top Ten Favorite Novels of 2022:

The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian

Dream Team by David Baldacci

One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner

Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning

The Runaway by Nick Petrie

The Wheel of Doll by Jonathan Ames

Sierra Six by Mark Greaney

Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak

Blown by the Same Wind by John Straley

Sleepwalk  by Dan Chaon

Honorable Mention:

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Racing the Light by Robert Crais

Every Cloak Rolled in Blood by James Lee Burke

Don't Know Tough by Eli Cranor

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My Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2022:



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My Top Ten Favorite CDs of 2021:

You Get It All by Hayes Carll

Life and Times of a Handyman by Caleb Stine

A Horrible Beautiful Dream by Sean McConnell

The Horses and the Hounds by James McMurtry

Come Around by Rob Lutes

Ten Thousand Roses by Dori Freeman

Chasing Old Highs by Ross Cooper

Never Too Late to Call by Paul Thorn

River Fools & Mountain Saints by Ian Noe

Lately by Lilly Hiatt

Honorable Mention:

The Day the Earth Stood Still by Willie Nile

Renewal by Billy Strings

The Departure by Henhouse Prowlers

Sharecropper's Son by Robert Finley

Treasure of Love by The Flatlanders

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My Top Ten Favorite Novels of 2021:

A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

Billy Summers by Stephen King

City on Fire by Don Winslow

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Crosby

The Nameless Ones by John Connolly

Outlawed by Anna North

Never Far Away by Michael Koryta

The Final Twist by Jeffrey Deaver

The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Special 11th:
Winners by Fredrik Backman

Honorable Mention:

Shoot the Moonlight Out by William Boyle

The Left-handed Twin by Thomas Perry

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

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My Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2021:

 

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My Top Ten Favorite CDs of 2020:

Strange Chemistry by Have Gun Will Travel

On the Widow’s Walk by The White Buffalo

Lamentations by American Aquarium

Reunions by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Starting Over by Chris Stapleton

Looking Up by Mike McClure

Waiting Out the Storm by Jeremy Ivey

Good Luck with Whatever by Dawes

What in the World by Michael McDermott

LP5 by John Moreland

Honorable Mention:

New York at Night by Willie Nile

Cuttin’ Grass, Vol 1 by Sturgill Simpson

Twelfth by Old 97’s

Saturn Return by Secret Sisters

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My Top Ten Novels of 2020

Deacon King Kong by James McBride
The Cold Millions by Jess Walter
The Distant Dead
by Heather Young
Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen
Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
What Is Time to A Pig by John Straley
When You See Me by Lisa Gardner
Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen
City of Margins by William Boyle
One Minute Out by Mark Greaney

Honorable Mention:


The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian

Hi Five by Joe Ide

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

Shakespeare for Squirrels by Christopher Moore

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My Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2020

  

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My Top Ten Novels of 2019

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

The Bird Boys by Lisa Sandlin

A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself  by William Boyle

One Good Deed by David Baldacci 

The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

Miraculum by Steph Post

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver 

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Mission Control by Mark Greaney

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper

Special #11:

The Border by Don Winslow

Honorable Mentions:

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
 
The Institute by Stephen King
 
Boxing the Octopus by Tim Maleeny
 
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

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My Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2019 

 

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by William Weir, who describes himself a true conservative

There was this one guy who started a trade war that killed 300,000 American jobs in his first two years. Then he signed a tax bill that flatlined the stock market and forced the Fed to start lowering interest rates to try to prevent a recession. Then he said a global pandemic was a liberal hoax to kill the economy he spent three years destroying and he set records for the six worst point drops in the history of the Dow, most new unemployment claims in history, and the largest deficit in history. He was investigated and found to have welcomed and encouraged election interference by a foreign government and to have obstructed justice to cover his crimes. He got impeached once for abusing his office to try to coerce a foreign leader into helping him smear a political rival. Then he got impeached again for inciting an insurrection to try to stay in power after easily and predictably losing his re-election bid. Then he got indicted for almost 100 felonies after leaving office.

I forget his name. Draft dodger. Admitted sex offender. Painted himself orange and wore a dead rodent on his head. Wore elevator shoes. Misspelled three letter words on a smartphone. Kept filing bankruptcy. Called himself a winner. Dump? Rump? Plump? Chump? Something like that.


When Just Getting Covid is No Longer the Issue
-- August 21, 2021

The news media, even NPR, Twitter, and government news releases are filling up with info about fully-vaccinated people more likely to die from the flu than from getting a case of breakthrough Covid.

A breakthrough infection may cause few symptoms in many, but a growing number of vaccinated people who get infected develop long Covid, with symptoms that persist after the active infection is resolved. Also, a growing number who had Covid before vaccines are suffering a return of symptoms months later, on a regular basis.

We are seeing people who have neurologic issues, described as a brain fog, who have long-term cardiac issues, kidney issues and the like. “We’re seeing things like fatigue, headaches, brain fog, sleep disturbances, ongoing change in smell and taste,” said Dr. Molly Wilson-Murphy.

Some symptoms resemble effects of concussions and other brain injuries. Another theory was that “the immune system somehow gets deranged and then it’s hard to shut down,” or that residual virus or genetic fragments keep immune responses activated.

Deaths and hospitalizations are not the issue. Getting Covid is not like getting the flu. I've gotten over the flu. With my luck, I'd never get over Covid.


Aint No Cure

-- August 5, 2021

Vaccines do not stop the spread of Covid-19 and its variants.  Vaccinated individuals can carry the virus.   Slowing the spread is a different thing entirely and should have been presented differently than "stops the spread."

Certain health professionals and even the new President of the United States claimed that if we were fully vaccinated, it would be safe to return to pre-covid activities.

The fully-vaccinated who bought into the "safeness" and protections promised by the vaccines charged out into an unvaccinated world returning with loads of  virus, variants, and their own breakthrough infections (not tracked unless resulting in hospitalization).

Currently, there is little if any evidence of immunity from having a case of Covid, and troubling evidence of re-infections of people who have had a case.

When an extended family of 15 fully-vaccinated had a long awaited reunion, they discovered  shortly afterward that ten of the 15 tested positive for the virus.  Of the ten positive, two ended up hospitalized.  At least half had symptoms they felt were severe, even if the official determination was reduced to "mild case."

“I feel like I had very inaccurate information,” one of the family told me, “and I would have made my decisions in a very different light if I knew what I know now.”

The growing consensus that at least some Americans will need a booster is partly tied to research suggesting that Pfizer’s vaccine is less effective after about six months.

This should have been our chance to re-set, to go back to before we knew what this was. Instead, the vaccinated acted as if they'd been given a cure. There aint no cure for the common cold or for Covid viruses.  The former rarely kills you, the latter can kill you or, perhaps worse, debilitate you for the remainder of your life.


Court of Public Opinion

-- No longer in Session, June 26, 2020
  The Court of Public Opinion is conducted in the nation's media.  I was reminded of that fact after watching Steven Spielberg's The Post about the publishing of the Pentagon Papers and Mark Landesman's Mark Felt about the Watergate break-in and subsequent investigation.  I needed to be reminded because I realized the concept dates badly because the nation's media no longer conducts such a court.

  Both movies included partisan backlash against the media's efforts to inform the public, but what was different then than now was the media's dedication to the verifiable and documented as if the story might be admissible in a court.  The media stayed on stories back then, especially when someone in power, political, economic, or governmental, attempted to stonewall or shut down their investigations.

  The media was impartial to the extent that it didn't strain the bounds of credulity.  They didn't re-hash Nixon's boilerplate denials and playing the victim of a hounding press.  Instead, they concentrated on the spine of the story.  All the information gathered led right to the top.  There was no other plausible conclusion.

  That's why Reagan's people came up with the idea of "plausible deniability."  It shouldn't have mattered because nothing could have absolved Reagan of responsibility for the Iran-Contra crimes, but the media, like some ill-advised juries, paid lip-service to that infinitesimal amount of doubt.

  Since then, the W. Bush and Trump Administrations have ascribed to the theory that whatever the President says will be covered with significant weight vs. the facts or the truth.  It will likely be covered more than facts or truth, and if repeated often enough through the offices' publicity function, may take on the impression of fact or truth.

  We are informed constantly by the media that this is the most divisive time in our history. That is verifiably untrue.  At no time in our history has such a minority held the majority in a stalemate as if the split were 50-50 when polling shows a 60-40 or 65-35 or even a 70-30 split favoring progressive versus conservative ideas. Reducing corporate influence in elections, protecting voting rights, expanding public healthcare, increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and even abortion, guns, and black lives have all polled solidly 56% or higher across the country.

  In fact, a sizeable portion of those people identifying as conservative believed erroneously that the progressive idea was a conservative value.  That is an issue of media reporting and lack of clarification.

  Edward R. Murrow, in reviewing Joseph McCarthy's rise and eventual fall, claimed the fault lay, not with McCarthy, but with us, the American People, for allowing him to exploit our fears.  That would only be possible if the People were informed, and clearly informed, with reporting unsullied by alternate realities and untruths which are given similar weight to actual facts and sourced information.

  Why wasn't he forced to defend himself in the media?  Why wasn't he questioned until satisfactory answers were provided or he was forced to admit unethical behavior or to resign?  Nixon resigned because he knew the media would pursue the questions until his administration and the country would be rendered ineffectual and torn apart.  As he expressed in later interviews, he didn't resign because he believed he was wrong or guilty of anything. "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."  That was the mantra of the W. Bush Administration and has been expressed unironically in similar terms by the current administration.

 A list of the administration's unethical activities from the firing of Inspector Generals to the interference in court cases of cronies like Stone and Flynn to the many violations of the constitution would be another entire article, but I will list two recent actions that have the potential to do irreparable harm to the country:

RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES! -- Trump tweet

The federal government is ending its support for 13 drive-through coronavirus testing sites on June 30, asking states to take over their operations, even as cases spike in several parts of the country.


Police Reform

(even though we are not allowed to use the word "reform" because it's a trap word)

-- June 12, 2020

A quick survey of recent (last ten-fifteen years) police department reform success stories have a few fundamental things in common: The first is:

They are not inexpensive. You don't get a better police force by spending less.
Second, in almost all cases, success comes from hiring more officers (sometimes twice as many), not cutting the number, and displaying a visible police presence with a concentration on "community" interaction and communication.

Third, a fundamental change to the "Us vs. Them" mentality which develops in a lot of cases when police are spread too thin and asked to take on expanded duties. This fundamental culture change requires the authority to fire, re-assign, or demote any current member of the department. This often requires changing department rules and sometimes civil service protections.

Fourth, and the biggest downfall of failed attempts, is that the process takes time and commitment. It takes time to re-train officers, to build trust with the community, to recruit officers who reflect the community. Many attempts at reform had the rug pulled before the four to five years needed to achieve ten to fifteen year success stories.

Never forget that cuts to mental health, social services, and public defender departments were passed by conservative, anti-progressive political majorities. Many laws allowing "no-knock warrants" the use of military armaments, choke-holds and other combat tactics were passed in the "get tough on crime" era of the 1990s and early 2000s. These political realities are alive and strong in our country.


How You Get it, For Real

--April 18, 2020

We meet in our backyards where the four fences come together in what we call the four corners.  We stand, leaning on our own fence, six feet up from the actual corner. 

Three of us, to start with, Ted, Carl, and me.  Oscar will be along if he sees us out there and thinks we need to be put in our place.

"I heard you can get it just from talking," Ted says, seriously.

I search his face for a smirk. "Yeah, if someone's talking in your face," I say.  "That was one of the first things. If you can smell what the person ate for breakfast, you're too close."

"No, this is different.  On the news, they said, if someone's talking to you, you can get it!'

"What, like six feet away? What news?"

"The news.  Not like Fox News or one of those, but real news.  Cable or something."

"He's right, dude," Carl mumbles.  "I heard that, too.  On the radio."

"Maybe someone yelling, 'woo hoo' or with a big lith-sp, 'thufferin' thuck-ka-tath-sh'."

"No, I'm telling you, they said just regular talking." Ted insists.

I slide myself up my fence line another foot or so.  "How about from here?"

"I don't know.  I think it has to be in a room or something."

"Uh huh," I scoff.  "Like a closet or an elevator..."

"Oh, here comes Oscar.  Now, we'll get the scoop," Carl says, under his breath.

Oscar saunters down as if reluctant to join us, takes his place leaning his elbows over his own fence.  "You gents down here fixing the world's problems again?"

"Somebody's gotta do it." I chuckle,  "Ted and Carl were just telling me how you can get the virus from someone talking to you."

"I heard that, too, but the new thing is from someone's eyes if they stare at you."

"Very funny."

"Not joking," Oscar says, gravity in his voice.  "If the air is moving in the right direction." 

"Does it go into my eyes then?  Am I gonna have to wear goggles now?"

"It can get in anywhere. Your eyes, your nose.  Your ears"

"My ears?"

Carl pipes up:  "I know that's real.  My brother-in-law got it when someone whispered something in his ear."

"Whispered in his ear?  Who?  What did they whisper?"

"Don't know, but that's what the doctor said.  He got an earache and then tested positive."

"Really? How'd he get tested?"

"I don't know, but I'm not going near him to ask."

"Yeah, he might talk in your direction ... or stare at you too long.  Can't you call him?"

"I heard a guy got it from his cell phone."

"I suppose it went in his ear?  Does the person you're talking to have to have the virus?"

"Naw, I think some infected person has to lick your phone or something, and then 72 hours later, it goes in your ear."

"Nope, it's cell towers,"  Ted chimes in.  "They proved it in Europe, I think."

We all stare at Ted.

"Stop looking at me!"  He covers his face like he's playing peek-a-boo.

We turn away, but Oscar says, "he's right though.  It stays on plastic for three days."

"What do you mean, it stays on plastic for three days?  In a lab, maybe, with humidity and  temperature controls, they keep it alive for that long."

"I don't know about that."

"Well, how else could they test it?  They don't walk into the supermarket and put the shopping cart handle under a microscope -- there see, it's still alive, and look, its little wristwatch says 71 hours and 15 minutes."

"Oh, yeah, what makes you so all-fired smart."

"I can read.  They come up with something new every day.  They don't know anything." 

"Oh, and you do?"

"I know one thing.  There isn't going to be a day when someone says, all clear.  Go back to what you were doing.  Nothing's going back the way it was. Dogs are infected.  A tiger at the zoo, so cats. Other animals, too.  It's in wastewater, runoff.  It aint going away."

"Aren't you the cheery one?  I heard we were going back to work in a month at most."

"I hope you're right. We need to start learning to live with this thing instead of trying to live without everything."

"Keep talking like that, people gonna think you're not a lib-tard anymore," Oscar yucks.

"Well, maybe, but Safer-at-Home isn't going to be all that safe for long -- when the people who had nothing before and have even less now start breaking down your doors and coming through your windows."

"Don't think about trying my windows," Oscar says, menacingly, backing to his house.

"See you guys tomorrow," Ted says, turning on his heels, shoving hands in his pockets.

Carl's already up by his back door.

"See you tomorrow," I call out.

"Don't count on it," Oscar says.

"What else you got to do, Oscar?"

Just before he gets to his door, he lifts his right hand with the middle finger extended.



June 12, 2012

 

 


 

"A person’s last days can be spent in any number of ways. But on the phone pleading with an insurer, that’s only in America."

-- from ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D. review of T.R. Ried's Healing of America

 

"One Injury, 10 Countries: A Journey in Health Care"
NYT, September 14, 2009

 



Sidebar Archive

Who Am I?
(I digress, therefore I am)

I was born a 53 year old grandmother.  I was the kid who was always telling the other children not to run with scissors,
don't climb up there; don't ride no-handed; you could put an eye out with that!  I'm afraid of everything, especially heights.  I'm only 5'7" but I don't even like being that tall.  I hate going fast. I do not peddle downhill.  I prefer ski lodges to skiing.  I don't even like being able to run as fast as I can. (I hate rollercoasters:  "There are no atheists in foxholes or rocko planes." -- Mark Hobson)
 
I grew up in Lodi, a small town in Wisconsin, hometown of Tom Wopat and Suzie the Duck.  My only claim to fame is that I was once a member of a national trivia bowl championship team and was elected to the Trivia Bowl Hall of Fame.  Check back, I'll add more if I ever do anything else.  You won't want to miss that.

Hey, look, I did something:

I finished fourth in the 2013 Lyrics Only category of the

 

Don't get too excited about this e-mail link>

(I almost certainly will not respond to e-mails.  I simply do not have time.  Also, I have no intention of printing e-mail opinions or rebuttals.  If you have a differing opinion, get your own website.  However, if you feel you absolutely must send something to this website, the link below is provided as a sort of receptacle.)

daleje2@dalejellings.com

My All-Time Favorites:

  • and other Trivia (coming soon)