To say we’re approaching the brink is a yawner. Especially when Nobel Prize recipients are warning that we’re poised at a tantrum. They’ve called on Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to “tone down the rhetoric” to prevent nuclear disaster, that we’re a “tantrum away” from catastrophe. Isn’t it enough we have an epic urgency-that Mother Earth is marinating in pollutants, one of which is pesticides that are neurotoxic and carcinogenic? Big Pharma to the rescue though with an answer that’s unrelated to prevention: drugs, drugs whose side effects often are as bad or worse than the diseases they’re designed to treat. We’re at a death-rattle moment in human history. See this link for the world’s worst air quality locations. Maybe, like me, you’re a consummate worrier with anxiety overload. It’s the entirety, including minor, medium, large, and ginormous, list entries playing hopscotch as one concern is elevated. Generally, the minor includes the small, the personal. The ginormous are ecosystem collapse and nuclear annihilation. One moment I’m consumed with Big Agriculture and the grocery options that if labeled honestly would note toxins as the first ingredient. Then I shift to war. War threatens my peace. I read about troop deaths, families hearing the words, “We regret to inform you,” words my brother Mark hears as he tries to sleep and when he wakes. All the families, like mine, that have lost a loved one to war’s lies, lies that we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here or that freedoms must be protected or that the mission is humanitarian. Plus, the Other victims, the Un-human, the objectified. Those men, women, and children who largely remain uncounted, because, well, to the warmongers they don’t count, people whose lives don’t matter, same as U.S. troops’ lives don’t matter, because the sound of cha-ching is inspirational music to war profiteers. This is the distillate of capitalism. Monday: a terrorist attack in New York City. A Bangladeshi detonated an explosive in the name of ISIS. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, spinner extraordinaire, said, The President is certainly concerned that Congress, particularly Democrats, have failed to take action in some places where we feel we could have prevented this. Specifically, the President’s policy has called for an end to chain migration and if that had been in place, that would have prevented this individual from coming to the United States. In the comment section of a New York Times article, someone wrote: “Can we please heed the message of the season and just learn to live with one another without insisting our religion is the only way?” No acknowledgement of U.S. might-makes-right entitlement. No acknowledgement of regime change as U.S. foreign policy. No acknowledgement that actions have consequences: blowback. This is a period of chaos, of whiplash, a distraction a day. An inflammatory Trump tweet or another sexual predator outed. Published in Daily Times, December 18th 2017.