All posts for the month April, 2022


Published April 30, 2022 by Nan Mykel

An article in the Chicago Tribune by Kaitlin Miller reported various extant laws in place the day following January 6, 2021.  This list should probably be at all our fingertips:

What is treason?

Treason can broadly mean betrayal or treachery, but it is a federal crime — and the only crime expressly defined by the Constitution. Treason only applies to American citizens and can be committed by “levying war” against the U.S. or by giving American enemies “aid and comfort.” Both of these crimes require concrete action as well as an intent to betray the nation, according to the National Constitution Center. There have only been a few treason prosecutions in American history, and there has only been one person indicted for treason since 1954 and the last time someone was convicted was in 1952.

What is sedition?

Sedition is a federal crime that falls short of the offense of treason. While the crime of treason requires action, sedition is any conspiracy to overthrow, put down or to destroy by force the government of the United States. This includes preventing, hindering or delaying the execution of any law of the United States or seizing, taking or possessing any property of the United States. Merely advocating for the use of force does not qualify as sedition as it is most likely protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

What is a coup?

A coup is the sudden removal or displacement of authority that takes place outside the bounds of the law. So impeachment, which is a constitutional process for removing the president from office, is not a coup. Coup is short for the French term “coup d’etat,” which means overthrowing the government. Advocating for the overthrow of the government is a federal crime that includes advocating, abetting, advising or the necessity of overthrowing or destroying the U.S. government by force or violence, or by the assassination of any government officials. It also applies to anyone organizing, joining or affiliating with a group that encourages overthrowing the government

What legally qualifies as domestic terrorism?

The 2001 Patriot Act expanded the government’s definition of terrorism to cover domestic, as opposed to international, terrorism. Under the U.S. code, domestic terrorism is defined as violent acts that are committed within the U.S. and are a violation of federal or state criminal laws that are intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. The FBI characterizes domestic terrorism as violent extremism meant to further ideological goals stemming from political, religious, social, racial or environmental influences.

What is a failed state?

A failed state is when a government is unable to perform its basic functions such as education, security or governance, often due to civil war, crime, corruption or poverty. When a state is unable to control its people and resources or protect fundamental human rights, its citizens and the international community view its power as illegitimate. Examples of failed states include Afghanistan, Somalia and Sierra Leone.

What is a banana republic?

What makes a civil war?

A civil war is not simply violent conflict breaking out within a country. Civil wars take place between a state and one or more organized non-state actors within the state’s territory. These actors can be seeking either government control or succession and autonomy from the government. This is different from states fighting other states and from violence from non-state actors such as terrorists. Modern civil wars look quite different from America’s Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865.

What constitutes voter fraud?

Voter fraud is a federal election crime in which someone knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a state of a fair and impartially conducted election process. This includes producing and submitting voter registration applications as well as producing, casting or tabulating ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious or fraudulent. This could be registering for someone who has died or casting a vote for someone who has moved. Voter fraud and suppression were rampant in the 19th and early 20th century, however, modern instances of fraud in America are very rare.

What do anarchists believe?

Anarchism is the belief that society should have no government, laws, police or any other authority. According to the FBI, this belief is perfectly legal and the majority of American anarchists are non-violent and non-criminal when advocating for their beliefs. Only anarchist extremism, which does involve violence and criminal acts, is considered a domestic terrorism threat.

What is fascism?

There is no universally accepted definition of fascism, but this political movement or kind of regime is typically characterized by an autocratic or dictatorial leader, extreme militaristic nationalism, fetishization of masculinity and youth, contempt for electoral democracy, forcible suppression of opposition and exaltation of the nation above the individual. The term was coined by Europe’s first fascist leader, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, and the movement caught on in other European countries like Spain, France and Nazi Germany and later spread internationally to Argentina. Recently, the term has been commonly misused to criticize any kind of far-right or violent group.

SPOILER: Too Grumpy to Read

Published April 29, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Why do I post it, then?  Just to get it off my chest. 

If you skip reading this you won’t get it all over

your chest, either.

The little feller above is trying to hide from reality,

just like us.  





I wonder how many folks in the United States still believe something was fishy about 911?

I just learned the editor of our town’s externally owned local weekly  newspaper has been fired for not wanting to carry a huge, misleading advertisement for an outfit known by others to be a scam.

I just saw a video of an Ohio legislator urging that raped children in no way should be allowed to abort but to give the foetus a chance to live and maybe cure cancer. … It’s so easy to find these sources on Google and I’m discouraged and you’re not reading this anyway so I’m not going to credit them all, only to say that I live in Athens, Ohio.

An op ed piece from the July 14, 2021  local weekly news reminds us that when Pesident Nixon first launched his crusade against drugs, he called for more treatment and rehabilitation, but he quickly realized being “tough on crime” was better for him politically (as it has been reported Trump switched his own  belief in “choice” until he was advised to switch positions for political expediency.  “As Nixon’s White House Advisor John Erlichman explained to journalist Dan Baum years later, “By getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminaliing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.  We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs?  Of course we did.”

In my state you have to be 21 and older and lawfully able to carry a gun  and then you may carry it concealed without any background check or training or permit.  A major gun lobbyist wrote the speech for the two Ohio legislators to read in proposing the House Bill 227 to the House Government Oversight Committee.  When  gun lobbyist Chris Dorr was asked, he said in a text message that he “maybe/probably” wrote the the speech, but he couldn’t remember for sure.” (Ohio Capitol Journal) by Jake Zuckerman)

A man vaguely connected with Medicare (I’m partly deaf) contacted me by phone at home about the Single Care pharmacy card, and said the one I use at a national chain store is a scam.  (I had read that Medicare won’t ever call you at home). Now I don’t know which is the scam, but one of them is lying, like everyone else seems to be….

Robert Reich  @RBReich :  Zuckerberg owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post. Elon Musk owns Twitter. When multi-billionaires take control of our most vital platforms for communication,  it’s not a win for free speech. It’s a win for oligarchy.
Shame on Ohio!  My Non Sweet Home:  A News Letter to the Editor April 13, 2022:  “HB 616 Is a disaster for everyone – …With this bill, the legislature is stating that we are anti-LGBTQ, racist,and more. As a proud transgender and queer man who recently moved to this great state, I should NOT have to fear personal violence running errands, discrimination in employment or healthcare, and especially ILLEGAL discrimination from state legislators who are out of touch and out of date when it comes to science.”
The following is so unspeakable that it makes me want to barf:  Ron DeSantis…DeSantis — who’s working hard to out-trump Trump — has found a new target in his escalating culture war: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).  That’s why Florida’s department of education announced in the ominously triumphant press release titled “Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students,” that they were rejecting 54 of 132 math textbooks publishers had submitted for their consideration. Why? Because the books: “… were impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics – the most in Florida’s history. Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics. What is SEL exactly? According to the Collaboration for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the non-profit educational foundation that developed the SEL framework, it is intended to help students “develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.” SEL emphasizes five basic competencies: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness and relationship building.”
HOW WAS THAT AGAIN?  In Florida it’s now not allowable to teach school children self-awareness, serlf-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness and relationship building?  No surprise but it’s more than sad that anyone could/would blatantly object to letting their children know about (shhh)…empathy and other humane skills.  Are any other parents in the United States other than Mr. and Mrs. DeSantis concerned about their children learning empathy?  Oh, I forgot about Mr. and Mrs. Trump…



Published April 25, 2022 by Nan Mykel

THE SITUATION:  Mary and her husband live on the south bank of a river. Her husband wants her to stay at home and not cross the river to the town. She wants to go to town.

There is a bridge across the river, but men have been robbing and killing people who cross the bridge, and Mary’s husband won’t give her money for the ferry.

Mary begins saving money out of the grocery money and begins crossing the river to town on the ferry while her husband is away. Finally, she meets a man in town and takes him as a lover.  She crossses the river more frequently and he gives her money to get back home.

He gets mad at her one day and refuses to give her the return fare  home.  She asks the ferryman to let her charge the return trip but he refuses, saying it is against company policy.  Finally, she crosses the bridge and is killed.  The discussion question is, Whose fault is it that Mary was killed?

The scenario was presented to 25 men in a  prison Level I sex offender education class.  Read the scenario’s description and reach your own conclusion before  reading  below:

Results are as follows: Fifteen men felt it was Mary’s own fault.  One man added that “she should have stayed home.”  Nine men felt it was the husband’s fault.  One thought it was the lover’s fault, and ONE decided the fault was with the man who killed her–in other words, the person responsible for the killing was the killer.



Published April 24, 2022 by Nan Mykel

This is a one-question quiz to test your  perspicacity.


Shucks!  Don’t want to call you a loser, but you didn’t exhibit much perspicacity.

Answer:  She’s a Crone and my roommate and resides atop my bookcase.  If you squint hard you can see a part of my daughter peeking out.  Purchased at a Passion Works yard sale in Athens, Ohio.

new kid on the block

Published April 18, 2022 by Nan Mykel

April 17, 2022

Today, political scientist and member of the Russian legislative body Vyacheslav Nikonov said, “in reality, we embody the forces of good in the modern world because this clash is metaphysical…. We are on the side of good against the forces of absolute evil…. This is truly a holy war that we’re waging, and we have to win it and of course we will because our cause is just. We have no other choice. Our cause is not only just, our cause is righteous and victory will certainly be ours.”

Nikonov was defending the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in which Russian troops have leveled cities, killed thousands, kidnapped children, and raped and tortured Ukrainian citizens.

The intellectual leap from committing war crimes to claiming to be on the side of good might be explained by an interview published in the New Statesman at the beginning of April. Speaking with former Portuguese secretary of state for European affairs Bruno Maçães, Sergey Karaganov, a former advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin, predicted the end of the western democracies that have shaped the world since World War II. Dictators, he suggested, will take over.


Published April 17, 2022 by Nan Mykel

“Treason,” from Google:

  1. The crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.
    (SO FAR, SO GOOD.}


    The crime of murdering someone to whom the murderer owed allegiance, such as a master or husband.


MY YOUNGER SISTER (April 1942-April 1983)

Published April 11, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Nikki was born in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Memorial  Hospital on April 11,1942. When she was brought home from the hospital it was to our grandparent’s farm just outside Charlotte. Less than six months later we moved to  a house on Westminster Place in Charlotte. The next year the family moved to Brandon Circle, nearby. There were several additional moves, as servicemen returned from World War II and needed housing.  Nikki and I played together happily when she was a toddler.  I was six years older, and was a good and loving sister until I turned twelve and she was six. It was not a good year for me, and looking back, I can see that I began displacing some of my anger and frustration onto her.  She had a very bad year, also. That year she caught Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and also contracted Polio during the epidemic which swept Charlotte.  It is my understanding that she came closer to dying from the spotted fever than the polio.  She also had a terrible time with tonsillitis around this time. We were living in an unhealthy duplex during this time.

The next year we moved to Austin Drive, on the outskirts of Charlotte, where Nikki began school at Newell, a school with twelve grades, which I also attended.  She made a best friend, Sabre, while living on Austin Drive.

The family settled in Miami, Florida, in January, 1952, following our father’s loss of his job in Charlotte after passing out at work.  In Miami, Nikki made another good friend, Dorcas, with whom Nikki maintained contact to the very end.  My relationship with Nikki improved in Miami.  When our father came home drinking, Nikki and I would go out walking in the night together, past lit windows, people watering their lawns, and other comfortable neighborhood activities.  The balmy Miami air felt good. Sometime we would end up at an ice cream shop and have a treat.  We would return home and creep into bed after our father passed out.

Nikki was in her teens and attending Miami Edison High School when our parents divorced and she fell in love with an affable fellow student from Cuba. and quit school despite everyone’s advice.  A couple of years later Andy, their son, was born, and they followed me and my family to Atlanta, where an amicable divorce ensued after a couple of years.  Having earned her high school credit, attending Greorgia State as a student in addition to  working there, Nikki  met and married Bob, a biolgy major., who adopted  Andy following a courtship and marriage,  The birth of blonde-headed Demetria  completed the family.

About 1974 there was some unpleasantness between Andy and Bob, and they never reconciled.  Dinners were not happy occasions for anyone, since Andy and Bob did not speak, for years.  This was one of the sorrows of Nikki’s life.  In 1983, years later when she knew she was dying of stomach cancer, Nikki tried to write a letter to Andy, but she tore up every attempt.  She did not know what to say, and she knew that Andy would be put out of the house when she died.

Despite the stresses of her life, Nikki bubbled over with good humor.  She laughed easily, and was fun to be aroound. Nikki joined the staff of Turner.  I recall hearing what fun she and Bob had one night when she got snowed in at work   and they ended up spending the night in Ted Turner’s office suite, which was a luxurious expedrience for them.

At the time of her final illness, Nikki was about to be promoted to a job with more responsibility at Turner’s.. One of her duties in her work there had been with the call-in advertising department. In that capacity she sometimes met famous people, one of whom was Boxcar Willie.  When she heard I liked his music she was able to obtain one of his tapes for me.

I have not spoken of Nikki’s attractiveness.  From the day I first saw her I was in awe of her blue eyes, blonde hair and her peachy complexion.  She was a joy to be around.  Nikki was a generous person and loved clothes. Whenever I visited Atlanta (from Ohio) I came away with several outfits she insisted I take.  Apparently severe trouble with a hiatal hernia preceded Nikki’s stomach cancer by at least a year. During her last year she reached out for support.  She called me long distance in Ohio for lengthy chats, and even called and talked to  Adolfo.  Sometimes she was just being thoughtful.  I was in a staffing at the mental health center one September 15th when I was interrupted with a phone call.  It was Nikki, who began singing Happy Birthday to You, completing the entire song before signing off.


You - philosophical, thoughtful, witty. Me - still thinks fart jokes are funny. We should DEFINITELY get together!

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