Mum mum mum mah
Mum mum mum mah
Mum mum mum mah
Mum mum mum mah
Mum mum mum mah
I wanna hold ’em like they do in Texas, please
Fold ’em, let ’em hit me, raise it; baby, stay with me (I love it)
LoveGame intuition, play the cards with spades to start
And after he’s been hooked, I’ll play the one that’s on his heart
It is 2:20 AM. I awoke Tuesday morning sick with a cold or the flu or somatic manifestations of despair–certainly not confined to the tax bill, but a sense of hopelessness that after Elizabeth MacDonough, Parliamentarian of the Senate, raised what is referred to colloquially as “the Byrd bath” before Christmas President Trump will sign a soak the poor bill with devastating economic consequences.
All day, sweaty and exhausted, I have been reluctant or unable to get out of bed–in and out of restless sleeping, hoping for a respite where I might set aside an hour to put my mind in order following the considerable distractions of the week. Seeking for focus now that I am hopeful that at this unlikely time this may be the appropriate hour, I ritualistically clean my glasses.
Ideally, this would be an excellent time to say my prayers or meditate making use of a mantra helpful for launching the wiping clean of temporal thoughts. The best prayer is already on my lips. In Hebrew. Designed to be said first thing in the morning but one I say periodically over the course of the day.
“I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.”
The appropriate mantra is the first of three rhetorical questions.
אם אין אני לי, מי לי
“[Rabbi Hillel] is popularly known as the author of two sayings: (1) If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?’ and (2) the expression of the ethic of reciprocity, or ‘Golden Rule’: ‘That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.'”
Prayer and meditation are denied me. Instead, a jumble of distractions cause restlessness. If I begin describing one of the distractions, I may linger too long and fail to provide an understanding of the sense of being overwhelmed. Here are six concerns (not all, but an arbitrary listing of serious issues that readily come to mind competing and too often interfering with the focus required for resolution).
Here at Addison Court, the apartment complex where I live, the danger of fire and I am convinced more serious than fire itself the danger of panic when fire alarms go off in this partially defend in place building where a substantial number of residents are mobility disabled. Addison Court, in the heart of Downtown State College–across the street from Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe–is a low income residence for the elderly and for those with physical and emotional disabilities. At Addison Court, the designated fire escape route is not wheel chair accessible. Instead, those of us with mobility disabilities (especially those living on floors two through eight) must wait for a fire woman or man to rescue us in the event of fire.
According to Steve Bair, Centre County’s excellent fire chief, there may be as many as 30 residences in the Borough of State College where a portion of the residents should be mindful that defend in place is their best safety measure.
Addison Court is in the advantageous position of being constructed of brick and of having an excellent sprinkler system. Five years ago, with the enthusiastic assistance of Mayor Elizabeth Goreham and with Steve Bair working closely with then Police Chief Thomas King the dangers of panic–responded quickly and effectively. The panic was averted. The panic had manifested itself in such dangerous behavior as residents throwing wheel chairs down the stairs–were averted with education and other measures including residents establishing a volunteer group (patrols on each floor).
In January, with the assistance of Addison Court’s efficient property manager Jim Hook, fire safety education will resume in the social hall/bingo parlor (where Lady Gaga has yet to accept an invitation to perform). Two weeks ago, having set up a meeting with Steve Bair, I asked Tom King (now retired as a police chief but working full time as a Borough Council staff member) for assistance. Consequently, Police Captain Mathew E. Wilson and Police Officer with a community relations portfolio joined us at Alpha Fire Company–an encouraging meeting. It is also worth noting that the current State College Police Chief John Gardner, whose career has been based here in the community, is a strong supporter of cooperation with Alpha Fire and Steve Bair.
Last week, Fire Chief Steve Bair told me about the disturbing deaths on December 5th of two residents at a multi-story apartment building in Wilkes Borough–a building disturbingly similar to Addison Court.
“Smoke was seen pouring out of the balcony of a fifth-floor apartment as fire crews evacuated the building, a public housing complex run by the Wilkes-Barre Housing Authority, reported Bob Kalinowski for the Scranton-based “The Times-Tribune.”
“The firefighters really had their hands full. Hundreds of people live in this building. They not only had to go in and extinguish the fire, but they had to rescue the occupants,” Delaney said. “The firefighters did an impeccable job. Yes, there were two people who didn’t make it out, but 150 or 160 people did without injury.”
Initially, fire crews called for ladder trucks from surrounding towns to come rescue people who fled to their outdoor balconies, but they decided against that option after getting a good initial attack on the fire, Delaney said.
2. At Mount Nittany Medical Center and HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, patient outcome would be improved as well as employee moral if professionals in the field were to incorporate art and music into our hospitals.
3. A major effort is required to reduce the infant mortality rate in central PA and promote efforts to prevent women from having avoidable deaths–as are taking place in Texas–during childbirth.
4. The Commonwealth must pass legislation to ensure the intentions of the Americans with Disability Act are made a reality. Currently, a restaurant in State College was able to receive an operating license because it complied with the letter of the law and not its spirit. The restaurant spent more than the $4 thousand dollars to meet its disability requirement. It fulfilled its requirement by installing a wheel-chair accessible toilet. However, it did not first make sure the entrance is accessible–which it is not.
5. Last week Ed LeClair, who is in charge of planning for the Borough of State College, told me his department has no information on the current and future impact on the economy of the Borough of Foxdale and other upscale retirement communities which are growing in size.
6. On Valentine’s Day 2018, I am seeking funds to visit Stuttgart, Arkansas to research a forthcoming book on how to feed the 20 million people in the world currently starving to death. Arkansas is the largest rice-producing state in the U.S. Stuttgart is home to Riceland Funds, an important grain and soybean trading company. The technical savvy of Arkansas’s rice farmers could be critical to helping Zimbabwe improve its rice production. Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of the region of southern Africa. Restoring its ability to help Africa be self-sufficient in food production is critical in any effort to prevent unnecessary deaths from starvation.
This Lady shattered my consciousness. Not paying much attention to the fact that Lady Gaga was on the cover of September’s Vanity Fair, I bought the issue anyway. I buy Vanity Fair for the political reporting and because it is one of the best paying magazines for writers. I figure buying and reading a copy is like buying a lottery ticket. You can’t win if you don’t play.
The cover story on Lady Gaga says, “She is, without question, the world’s biggest pop star—with 12 million sales worldwide of her 2008 debut album (The Fame and bonus disc The Fame Monster). She had six No.1 hits on the Billboard charts: Just Dance, Poker Face, Love Game, Paparazzi, BadRomance, andTelephone. She has had close to 800 million viewers of her videos on YouTube. She recently broke the record on Facebook with more than 12 million fans—surpassing those of President Obama.”
Then, Lady Gaga became a political activist.Lady Gaga has close ties to the gay community. Indeed, there have been rumors that Lady Gaga is a man in women’s clothing—a rumor effectively quashed in a startlingly revealing scene in the brilliantly made video Telephone in which two prison guards strip her to determine that she is a woman. “Pity,” one guard says to the other guard.
Telephone is about a telephone call that takes place in a woman’s prison in which the astoundingly beautiful Beyoncé plays a featured role. I do not know whether Lady Gaga is beautiful or whether her songs are great music because she is basically a magician and I love her with a love that is more than a love.
At the end of September Lady Gaga engaged in one of the most bizarre forms of lobbying I have ever experienced. Groups such as the Service Members Legal Defence Network asked Lady Gaga to ask senators primarily REPUBLICANS to repeal the “Don’t ask; don’t tell policy” established during the Clinton Administration in which gays can serve in the military as long as they do not reveal their homosexual proclivities.
News 24 Entertainment Celebrity News reported: “In a black-and-white video posted on her website, the singer is dressed in a modest suit and tie, with a US flag as a backdrop, and looks somberly into the camera as she describes how ‘gay soldiers have become targets’ under the 1993 rule that has seen 14.000 Americans discharged from military service, ‘regardless of how honorable or how valuable they may have been to their units.’”
This story of a lobbying effort that began as a Twitter tweet was covered extensively. For another version as well as the tie in to the meat dress (at the Google prompt type in “Lady Gaga’s meat dress”); first, though, key in, “Lady Gaga lobbies Republican senators.”
The reason REPUBLICANS were targeted primarily has to do with the way the U.S. Senate conducts its business, a discussion that is too long for now. There were not enough Democrats willing to vote for gay rights and there were enough moderate Republicans who could have made the difference. Lady Gaga personally lobbied Senator Sue Collins of Maine, who said on the floor that she was in favor of abolishing Don’t ask; don’t tell. If she had voted then and there to follow her own convictions, then her vote would have made the difference. Instead, she chose not to vote for “procedural reasons” which the panel of Washington Week in Review said meant that in this election year, Senator Collins did not want to give the Democrats a win.
Lady Gaga says in the video that she is against all kinds of discrimination. I would like to enlist Lady Gaga’s help in helping solve ongoing problems here in State College regarding our disabled and elderly residents.
Lady Gaga is especially equipped to be helpful in this regard given her sensational video Paparazzi. Her lover throws her off a balcony and she emerges in a wheel chair, holding on to forearmed crutches (such as the ones I have in my closet): While she uses the crutches to get up, she is wearing a silver bodice, tight and revealing, singing:
“I’m your biggest fan/ I’ll follow you until you love me/ Papa-Paparazzi/ Baby there’s no other superstar/ You know that I’ll be/ Your Papa-Paparazzi./”
As she sings she wears a neck brace studded with jewels.
[Fashion note: Suggestion to Lady Gaga. You might want to consider wearing a better class of brace when doing future versions. The forearm crutch comes in a number of variations. The top of the line is the Lofstrand forearm crutch (also known as the Canadian crutch) in wood. I saw a Mexican soap opera star who wore forearm crutches in oak which was polished to gleam and made him look very sexy. I have spent more time than I care to admit looking for a Lofstrand crutch in wood. Wooden versions of the crutch were commonly available 10 years ago, but comfort (aluminum and other materials are lighter) has given way to beauty. If, oh Lady, you decided to go with gleaming oak, I will find you a sexy crutch. As for a wheelchair, what you need is a scooter. Suggested manufacturers include Amigo, made in the USA. and Pride, designed in Scranton, PA. The movement where your sycophants carry you effortlessly up a stair, she be redone to make it clear that you and the chair are heavy.]
What I want you, oh dear Lady Gaga, as a disability and elderly rights advocate here in State College, Centre County, Pennsylvania to do is:
Sing for us at noon at the bingo parlor at Addison Court, 120 East Beaver Avenue, State College. Addison Court is an independent residence for the elderly and disabled. There are 90 of us. Several of us could use cheering up. We do not get to hear a lot of live music. Dazzle us.
Advocate for us. After Florida, Pennsylvania has more elderly residents than any other state in the union. Centre County is attracting large numbers of elderly residents who retire here. Yet the music venues in Downtown State College are closed to us because Downtown businessmen do not think it is worth their while to provide access so people using canes, wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, and power chairs can listen to live music.
Meanwhile, you could do a lot to increase opportunities for elderly and disabled residents of my town.
Come on by. Use your wealth to buy a front-wheel drive
Then drive around town and tell Marilyn Tavenner, (as of December 2011, not yet confirmed), Acting Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services what it feels like to use mobility equipment to get around and then to get stuck.
“I’m your biggest fan/ I’ll follow you until you love me/”
Note: Here at Addison Court, we still have a candle lit to guide Lady Gaga to our bingo parlor.