Archives January 2019

QUIT SMOKING-ONE MAN'S STORY.

Today, January 14, 2019, is the 36th anniversary of my birth…or should I say, rebirth.  Truth be told, in 1983 it was the date that I stopped smoking cigarettes, forever. Had I not, I would have been long dead by now, and a horrible death at that.

     A year or so prior to then, a doctor-friend shared a diagnosis with me that I had the early stages of emphysema which, in today’s jargon, we call COPD.  I’ll not forget his words. “Marshall, I would rather treat an advanced case of cancer anytime, than a patient dying of emphysema. There is very little I can do to alleviate the suffering.”

     This would be no easy task for a four-pack a day addict like me. Like many folks of the early era, I started in 1955 at age 16 mainly to fit in with friends. It was cool. It was in. Movie stars on and off screen, all smoked. So did famous recording artists. Physicians could be seen on billboard ads recommending Camels or Lucky Strikes. In the 1950s and 60s you were not cool if you didn’t smoke.

     But time marched on. Literature was coming out just how dangerous cigarettes are. I was coughing my guts out every morning, before lighting my first of the day. The addiction was so powerful, I smoked everywhere, in movie theaters, in my officers, elevators, the back of airplanes. I even smoked in the shower, having a Pall Mall burning on the edge of a toilet tank. I, alone, set the stink-standards for others to tolerate inside offices and cars.

     But I needed to quit. I figured I’d use some methods and devices that supposedly helped others. I tried One-Step-At-A-Time filters, four weeks later I was still at four packs a day. I tried acupuncture, (in the ears) no success there. I went to a hypnotist. I think it was ME that put HIM to sleep. Finally, the realization occurred to me that I was a hopeless addict, and the only thing that could help me stop smoking was — me. Quitting cigarettes was not up to the devices or methods, it was up to me. I had to do it on my own. No weaning. No clinging. Cold turkey was the only method that could work.

     I had one idea that might help. I asked my doctor if he had a drug that could knock me out for a full day and a half. He administered the medicine on a Friday afternoon, (after work), and I didn’t wake up until Sunday morning. By that time, I had a head start. I woke up as a non-smoker on my second day. Meanwhile, I had warned my co-workers, friends and family that I would likely be on edge for a few days or more, and to please understand.  

     Remaining a non-smoker was the next step. Some folks suggested I get active with exercise. I hate work-out gyms, so I tried the running therapy. My lungs were so bad I couldn’t jog more than 50 yards without coughing my guts out. But I tried again, and gradually went to 100 yards.  Then 200 yards and eventually, a half mile.  I grew to love the running experience. I started entering 5K and 10K runs, not to win, but to endure. Two years later, I completed the Orange Bowl Marathon, 26.2 miles.

     To cigarette addicts who are hoping to quit the habit, here’s my hindsight advice.

  1. Don’t “Try” to quit smoking. You either quit, or you don’t. Trying is not quitting.
  2. Don’t depend on devices or methods to do it for you.
  3. Forget about vaping and pot smoking, you are still smoking and self-damaging.
  4. Learn about COPD and the horrors such patients experience
  5. View color pictures of autopsies comparing pink lungs to smoker’s lungs.
  6. Realize the long range suffering you face if you continue smoking.
  7. Just do it.  Believe me, you’ll live through it.

QUIT SMOKING-ONE MAN’S STORY.

Today, January 14, 2019, is the 36th anniversary of my birth…or should I say, rebirth.  Truth be told, in 1983 it was the date that I stopped smoking cigarettes, forever. Had I not, I would have been long dead by now, and a horrible death at that.

     A year or so prior to then, a doctor-friend shared a diagnosis with me that I had the early stages of emphysema which, in today’s jargon, we call COPD.  I’ll not forget his words. “Marshall, I would rather treat an advanced case of cancer anytime, than a patient dying of emphysema. There is very little I can do to alleviate the suffering.”

     This would be no easy task for a four-pack a day addict like me. Like many folks of the early era, I started in 1955 at age 16 mainly to fit in with friends. It was cool. It was in. Movie stars on and off screen, all smoked. So did famous recording artists. Physicians could be seen on billboard ads recommending Camels or Lucky Strikes. In the 1950s and 60s you were not cool if you didn’t smoke.

     But time marched on. Literature was coming out just how dangerous cigarettes are. I was coughing my guts out every morning, before lighting my first of the day. The addiction was so powerful, I smoked everywhere, in movie theaters, in my officers, elevators, the back of airplanes. I even smoked in the shower, having a Pall Mall burning on the edge of a toilet tank. I, alone, set the stink-standards for others to tolerate inside offices and cars.

     But I needed to quit. I figured I’d use some methods and devices that supposedly helped others. I tried One-Step-At-A-Time filters, four weeks later I was still at four packs a day. I tried acupuncture, (in the ears) no success there. I went to a hypnotist. I think it was ME that put HIM to sleep. Finally, the realization occurred to me that I was a hopeless addict, and the only thing that could help me stop smoking was — me. Quitting cigarettes was not up to the devices or methods, it was up to me. I had to do it on my own. No weaning. No clinging. Cold turkey was the only method that could work.

     I had one idea that might help. I asked my doctor if he had a drug that could knock me out for a full day and a half. He administered the medicine on a Friday afternoon, (after work), and I didn’t wake up until Sunday morning. By that time, I had a head start. I woke up as a non-smoker on my second day. Meanwhile, I had warned my co-workers, friends and family that I would likely be on edge for a few days or more, and to please understand.  

     Remaining a non-smoker was the next step. Some folks suggested I get active with exercise. I hate work-out gyms, so I tried the running therapy. My lungs were so bad I couldn’t jog more than 50 yards without coughing my guts out. But I tried again, and gradually went to 100 yards.  Then 200 yards and eventually, a half mile.  I grew to love the running experience. I started entering 5K and 10K runs, not to win, but to endure. Two years later, I completed the Orange Bowl Marathon, 26.2 miles.

     To cigarette addicts who are hoping to quit the habit, here’s my hindsight advice.

  1. Don’t “Try” to quit smoking. You either quit, or you don’t. Trying is not quitting.
  2. Don’t depend on devices or methods to do it for you.
  3. Forget about vaping and pot smoking, you are still smoking and self-damaging.
  4. Learn about COPD and the horrors such patients experience
  5. View color pictures of autopsies comparing pink lungs to smoker’s lungs.
  6. Realize the long range suffering you face if you continue smoking.
  7. Just do it.  Believe me, you’ll live through it.

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE BORDER WALL RESISTANCE

It’s all about power.

     Donald Trump is not the first president who has railed against rampant illegal immigration. He is not the first to support the building of a wall/barricade along the Mexican border. It is not just a Donald Trump issue. It’s an historical American issue supported by both sides of the aisle over the years. Until now.

     Hmmm.

     In 2006, the Secure Fence Act was passed by congress allowing for the construction of nearly 700 miles of border barriers, i.e., walls, fences. The vote passed in the senate, 80-19.  Could that happen today? Among those who voted for the bill were Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. Anyone can check Youtube and find several examples of those notables on the left who, 10-20 years ago, made speeches in support of a border barrier.

     According to the Department of Homeland Security, half of the 2000 mile Mexican border is already protected from mass migration due to terrain. With roughly 700 miles complete, that still leaves 300 or more miles of open borders that need fixing or else the caravans will continue and illegal immigrants will never cease swarming into our country.

     The question arises, why are political progressives so intent now on preventing additional security measures to keep illegal immigrants from teeming into the United States? After all, this is a security problem that affects all taxpaying Americans of all colors, nationalities and political leanings. It also impacts economy, education, health matters, gang activity, drug trafficking, sex crimes, courts and prisons. That’s not to mention the job market when illegals are hired for farming, construction and other projects at below minimum wages. Historically, that fattens income for the rich while undercutting jobs from law-abiding American workers including “legal” immigrants, by the millions.

     Union leader, Cesar Chavez, founder of the National Farm Workers Union in 1962, a devout liberal-progressive of his time, was adamant about stopping illegal immigration, because it infringed on the rights and betterment of “legal” immigrants who came to America.

     During his presidency, Bill Clinton initiated enforcement action against employers who would not screen immigrants via e-Verify systems. He also signed an executive order that would ban contracts to companies that hired illegals. During his SOTU address in 1996, he sounded more like Donald Trump. “Americans are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers.”

     In comments to the press, 2005, then-Senator  Barack Obama, stated, “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully.”

     Progressives are singing a different tune in 2018, allegedly because they dislike the current president. Or, is there a more sinister motive?    

     In 1980, California’s voters overwhelmingly elected conservative Ronald Reagan for president, as they did in 1988 for George H.W. Bush.  Less than thirty years later, California’s Democrat populations outvoted the Republican candidate by three million votes in 2016. What has changed?

     Demographics changed. Culture changed. With that, voters in many states have swung far to the left. Immigration, legal and illegal, has transformed the political landscape in traditional red states like California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas to mostly blue.      

     State and local politicians are luring illegal immigrants, including criminals, to cities that are declared as “sanctuary.” Some mayors and governors have approved of law breaking activity. Without a doubt, illegals are at the voting booths casting illegal ballots, because all they need is a driver’s license and no proof of eligibility.

     Greedy politicians are sowing the seeds for politically transforming the nation to their side by farming Democrats. They just need to protect illegal immigrants and keep those babies coming who eventually become automatic citizens, Democrats of course, and future voters by the millions. They are all part of the revolution, whether they know it or not. The plan is brilliant and it is working. National dominance is just a matter of time.

     Is it any wonder that the Schumer/Pelosi/Obama wing of America, now sing a different tune than they did years ago. Supporting illegals and protecting criminals has nothing to do with compassion. It’s all about stacking the deck with future Democrats. It’s all about power.

     Handing out welcome mats, freebees, welfare, and criminal justice protections to illegals have paid off at the voting booths. The Democratic Party smells political victory in the future.

     Who’s next? Venezuelans are starved for freedom. So are others. There are dirt-poor people all over South America, Africa and Asia, all they need is transportation to get here. The slippery slope is not far off. When that happens, America will never be the same. The radical left will conquer and the constitution will not survive. When we older folks are dead and gone, more of the likes of Orcasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib will rise to power. Socialism will grow, capitalism will fall. Campaigns will begin to amend the constitution, particularly as it pertains to freedoms of speech and rights to bear arms.

     We are the lucky ones, having lived in the best of times.