When a book’s cover doesn’t match the story inside the pages.

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“HK G36” by André Gustavo Stumpf is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In 1994, I met the woman with whom I became happily married in 1996. We’re still married and have raised two great kids. They are ages 22 and 18 and have no idea what our lives were like before them. We currently live in the White Mountains in New England and this is the only community they have ever known. One of the reasons we moved here is to lessen the chance that we’ll run into someone who was incarcerated because of my work. Because prior to moving here we lived in another State and led a very different life. …


Misty didn’t deserve any of this. Not one god damn bit of it.

Trigger Warning: This deals with rape.

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On Sunday, January 13, 2013, the 70th Golden Globe Awards were held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom in Beverly Hills, California. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-hosted the event. In attendance was this woman, Misty Upham. She was a Native Blackfoot woman from the Seattle area. Isn’t she beautiful? Here she is shown attending the 2013 Golden Globes, as she had worked on the film, Django Unchained, which was nominated for Best Drama but lost to Argo.


The melting of the permafrost and the wholesale eradication of rain forests are releasing long-dormant viruses, and Covid-19 is only one of them.

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“Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is still just the first wave of newly released ancient viruses. There will be more. Many more.

There are two studies that I have excerpted from the National Institutes of Health, in the 1st one I’m quoting 9 excerpts regarding the melting polar caps due to global warming and effects on other ecosystems; while the second study covering rainforest destruction has 3 excerpts. …


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“Day 272 — West Midlands Police — Idnetifying criminals from above” by West Midlands Police is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sometimes those that don’t want to talk about it are protecting you

They learned not to wince at the horror living in their minds
Yet still shied away from the pain of the light, preferring the
Darkness and its blanket of concealment and safety
While over and over they tried to figure out how to hear the
Voice within that would tell them they were deserving of their
Own forgiveness and had a right to the love in their hearts


In the shadow of Lady Liberty we ran a detention and deportation center…

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“Ellis Island, as Seen from Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In the latter half of the nineteenth century and up to 1924, immigrant-bearing ships entering New York harbor did not disembark all passengers at Ellis Island. You see, it depended on how much grease you were able to put onto the wheel. If your papers showed that you were traveling First Class then you were let off at a convenient pier in metropolitan New York’s waterfront district or perhaps at a pier in New Jersey. Before you stepped on land you submitted to a brief shipboard inspection, disembarked and breezed through customs. People that had traveled in steerage — in third class — were transported to Ellis Island. Many of them hadn’t seen daylight since boarding ship. At Ellis Island they underwent medical and legal inspections to ensure they didn’t have a contagious disease or some condition that would make them a burden to the government. Because, you know, the people with money that had traveled with them were immune. …


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“Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The United States is in the unprecedented position of having to consider contingencies that have never before been required.

A populist demagogue who thrives on the fomentation of a cult of personality, this president displays the modus of a voraciously predatory malignant narcissist. Over a period of almost four decades, he has compromised both his business and personal integrity by resorting to taking loans from dangerous sources, since no legitimate sources were willing to engage the prevalent risk in his horrible credit profile and questionable business ethics. His credit was tanked because he is a terrible businessman suffering from acute Dunning-Kruger effect. He wholeheartedly believes he is the best at everything simply because he says so. All of these factors have set the stage for the nightmare that has unfolded in the geopolitical arena. …


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“Elephant baby” by Stv. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

From somewhere in the periphery of my memory I remember these words spoken to me: “No it never gets easier, we just get better at dealing with it.” All these years later I still think this is accurate.

On Valentine’s Day, 2001 we lost our Son Gabriel to Muscular Dystrophy two days after his birth. This was our second child and our first Son, Christian, was born free of the disease in 1998 and was amazing in every way and so in a way this took us a bit by surprise. My wife is afflicted with this dreaded, inherited, neuromuscular disease. This was Suzy’s second pregnancy and in late 2000 it was being monitored closely and it seemed fine, but once Gabriel was delivered and the umbilical cord was cut, he crashed. His lungs just wouldn’t kick in. …


…I still thought about what happened to me as he looked up at me from the cement floor of that holding cell. In the depths of a real dungeon I found a piece of my humanity.

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“Holding Cell” by terraplanner is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Not all of us are presented with an opportunity to enter into the truly dark world that lies hidden just out of reach of what most people consider normal. It could bee 20 miles away, 100 miles away or just down the street — but I can assure you it’s there. It’s an entirely different world with rules of conduct that do not in any way whatsoever resemble the everyday world most people know. My initiation into the hidden world of steel bars and concrete chambers was dramatic and eye-opening. Those first days in the dank and dark dungeons of a 1930’s — style jail, confronted with the worst of society’s rabble seem very far away in some respects. Conversely, working in that field took my untreated PTSD that I brought into the job and germinated it like a seed in fertile, black Ukrainian soil. The prison environment will induce PTSD in anyone once you’ve been there long enough, but my case was varsity level intensity. There it is. The word that best describes what I was like back then -intense. Whether on duty or off duty, it didn’t matter. The laser focus, the hypervigilance, lack of excitability with that cool, calm demeanor and take charge attitude in a crisis. Yeah, I was the guy you wanted in charge. I was extremely capable — and I was suffering for it. The many things that I saw in that place continue to haunt me even now. …

About

steve mcmanus

Producer and Writer of the online radio show Forbidden America. Writing an online TV interview show set for production in 2021. An emerging Voice-Over Talent.

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