by Kenneth Harper Finton ©2015

songs1Cassie’s seventeen-year-old son, Rob, left home with his dog Ozzie more than three weeks ago. The dog was picked up by the dog catcher and taken to the pound. Rob had not said a word about it. When Rob finally called the pound, he found that the dog had been terminated.

Cassie was very upset, blaming Mark at first for letting Rob take the dog away. Mark was not happy either. It made him very sad, especially as Cassie said, “That should not have happened. That situation should not have been allowed to exist.”

In principle, Mark agreed with her sentiments. Life was at stake, yet something more as well. Rob made no effort to talk with his parents about the dog. He had failed to make arrangements for a possible home for the dog. Rob had quit several jobs and had not worked more than a day since he’d been back. He spent his time dreaming of making it quickly in the world without preliminaries, hanging out with his friends and drinking.

It was his dog and it was his decision. It was not a decision his parents could control. In fact, they had very little, if any, influence on Rob since he had been back. The past few months had been filled with stress and worry about whether or not they were doing all they could to help straighten out Rob’s life. They truly wanted things to work out for the best, but the stress told heavily on both of them–showing up as bowel trouble in Mark, a lack of ability to sleep in Cassie, and trouble keeping their minds on their tasks. There was an unaccustomed tiredness in their steps and an inability to enjoy their time and work.

Mark felt very bad about the dog. He wished there had been another alternative. He wished he had interfered and found another home for the dog. Yet, wishing changes little, and he doubted that much would have changed had he been able to live the past month over again.

They arose that morning with Cassie feeling quite ill. She threw up before noon. They were to have left for the mountains by four o’clock yesterday but were delayed with the news Ozzie the dog’s death. Instead, they talked to Rob for a while and went to check the pound in case an error was made, but the pound was closed.

While getting supplies for the trip, Cassie picked up a pregnancy test. When they returned home, the results were positive. Both of them were flabbergasted. They had not used birth control for more than ten years. They talked about having a baby four or five years ago, but since they thought it was not possible, they never took it further. Suddenly, a new, life-changing reality knocked on the door.

The weekend was spent getting used to the shock that they were to have a new family member. They were invited to a hot springs resort by Roy Frank and his wife Nancy when they stopped over at their home in Coal Creek Canyon to give them some copies of the wedding videos that Adam had made early last month. Roy is a chiropractor, Nancy a nurse. Roy plays bass, harp, guitar, and drums. Mark had been getting together with Roy to play music for the parties that he has been throwing.

They finally rolled out of town about four P.M. and drove down to the mineral hot springs just north of Alamosa in the San Luis Valley.

The hot springs are only open to the general public during the week. They sell memberships, limited to around five hundred yearly. Members can have guests on the weekends. Roy had been a member for a number of years and was often raving about the place, so Mark and Cassie decided to check it out. Though their minds were not entirely on relaxing that weekend, they managed to do so anyway.

It was cold and snowing Friday when they left. A bit of the chill had filtered far south, but the temperature was moderate and quite a few people were at the resort despite the chill. Mark and Cassie soaked in the main pool that first night for several hours. It was the closest of the two hot pools, the other being a twenty-minute walk up a steep mountain trail to the spring headwaters. The upper pool is generally warmer than the lower pools. The resort had accommodations, some of them free with admittance fees, others available at a small charge of $10 per night. There were also camping facilities spread in secluded spots about the mountainside. There was a hostel with a common gathering room, an Olympic-size pool with hot spring water and a fine sauna that had a cool brook running through it pool for dipping when the heat got too hot to bear. Bathing suits are optional, as there were no changing rooms at the hillside pools. Most of the members opted for that privilege, though it was not a nudist colony. Most of the members were old hippies who had become successful or affluent enough to afford the dues. They gathered often and partied like the old days.

Mark and Cassie stayed Friday through Monday. Perhaps they were not quite the enjoyable company they might have been, but they still had a good time. Much of the time their thoughts centered on the pregnancy and what they should do differently. They were unprepared. They had no insurance, little savings, and a lot of doubts about their ability to begin another round of child raising after all this time.

By Christmas, Cassie was four months pregnant. Right after Christmas, they went to the hospital for an ultrasound. The baby could be seen swimming around, moving quite a bit. It looked rather alien in the video monitor, skeletal features, strange colors, and a visible heart. “We’ll call her Demi if she is a girl and Frank if he is a boy,” Cassie said, her eyes a-twinkle. “We’ll name it after your grandparents.”

Two weeks later, on a clear, cool day with Colorado blue hanging in the heavens, they felt productive and well. Cassie had a routine appointment for a prenatal exam. Mark was writing as Cassie came in the door. The sun was seating itself behind the mountains. Outside, the air grew chill.

“Well, how’d it go?” Mark asked.

“Not well,” she spoke. She had a cry in her voice. Her mascara was smeared around her eyes. “They can’t hear the baby’s heartbeat.”

“What!”  Mark lunged forward. “Oh, nooooooo.”

Quickly, they dashed to the emergency room. Suddenly, the day turned cold, the night descended and hideous terrors lurked in the shadows. A nurse ran another heartbeat test, amplified for all to hear. Cassie lay awkwardly on the table, the stethoscope grinding out noises like an amateur disc jockey trying to find the groove. Between the grinds, Mark listened carefully for the pump-pump-pump thump of a living heart. He wanted to hear the sounds of life, but his ears were rewarded only with the cold sounds of silence.

Mark felt like a soldier in a foxhole. Part of him wanted to say, “Prime Mover, if you’ve got anything on the ball at all, you’ll let me hear something but this silence.” Like the soldier in the foxhole, he heard only the sounds of battle as the microphone head scraped against cloth.

A portable ultrasound was wheeled in the room. It soon confirmed the silence of the heartbeat. The only movement was Cassie’s. The baby was dead. It had been dead for a week. Mark could see it in the monitor. It was so strange––this moving, big-headed life form he had seen in negative just two weeks ago lay motionless. The heart that had pulsed so strong was stilled.

Suddenly, new ghouls appeared on the horizon. The baby had to come out. Cassie was carrying death within her. That bastard was much to close. Could more be lost to this hopeless battle? Could it be that Mark alone could return from this quick journey, return to a life changed, a self in pain and transition?

Shudder that thought and chill the moment.

But the moment recurs.

The mind–left to itself–thinks of itself, fantasizes the worst while hoping for the best, searches for expert opinion, and, in finding it, mistrusts it once again to hoe those fields of sorrow and despair. Like a bad dream, a nightmare waking, you need to shake it from you like dust from the rug. Rise up you blackened thoughts. Come quickly and rise to a positive acceptance, even while knowing the inevitable is always nigh.

Powerful drugs were administered to induce labor. Cassie began to shake like the leaves of an aspen, every muscle trembling without ceasing.

It went on.

The vomiting began. The pain in the stomach was not really tolerable, but tolerate she must. Her body heaved a sheet of pain––an electric, hurting spasm.

Adam’s throat hurt. His senses numbed.

In a close room, a woman screamed and moaned awfully. The remoteness of her pain, her unseen face, made tolerable the noise. Then the screaming ceased, she cried, “My God, he’s born.”  And moments later, a baby’s wailing cry.

Somehow it seemed right–in this specter of death, new life announcing itself … and, yet, for Mark and Cassie, how strange and how sad.

An attendant shot Cassie with a painkiller. Her trembling slowly stopped as she fell into a restless sleep to fight the demons within her.

By three o’clock in the morning, her water broke.

Mark had slipped off into the night, lit the furnace in the camper and plopped fully clothed on the icy blankets, pulling a comfort over and succumbing to the exhaustion felt inside. Gwen, a close friend of Cassie’s, stood on bedside watch.

At 5:30 Mark was awakened by Gwen, out of breath, running, “Come quick! It’s over. The baby came out.”

It was quick. Feeling the need to urinate, Cassie had the nurse bring the bedpan and began the final contraction as Gwen ran for the truck.

A young, lithe woman doctor with long brown trusses who attended the delivery stated the facts:

1. It was a girl. 500 grams. Two pounds.

2. Said infant was well formed and pretty.

3. Said fetus had been dead a week.

4. Death occurred from the separation of the placenta from the uterus wall. (The umbilical cord, the lifeline to the mother’s womb, was loosed and scarred. Smooth on the end as a leather shoe).

5. That which caused this to happen is now and forever unknown.

Pictures were to be taken. Footprints were made. Certificates had to be filled. Arrangements were made.

And did they want to see her?


They brought her to Mark and Cassie in a pink blanket. She was very small, perhaps seven inches long. Her skin was brownish blue and dark from the moist entombment in the black and bloody fluids.

Her face seemed covered partially by a veil, a beautiful woman’s face, well shaped and delicate, closed eyes that never saw the light of day.

“Oh, my,” Cassie said, “Oh, my.”

Visions of that face in negative, alive and kicking on the monitor of the ultrasound haunted Mark, came back to him in vivid color. This was the shape he had seen before, the colors reversed and not as brilliant.

Mark’s thoughts ran back to his grandmother, Demores, who was born smothered in a veil and went on to live a life of eighty years and bring much joy and creativity into this world. This Demi, her own namesake, was born only to the waters of the womb.

Be that as it is … was … perhaps will be again.

No pain upon this infant, no troubled thoughts nor learning. A mass of flesh and bone, sinew and nerve without experience?


And yet a woman’s face was there, unfamiliar … strange, enchanted.

Mark and Cassie spoke of wasting a name on one that had no life. But there was little choice. This was little Demi.

She only had her name.

They could not take it from her.

After a few hours rest, Cassie responded as well as possible. She was up and walking soon. They moved her out of maternity to a private room with a lovely view of the city and the mountains. They had time then to rest their jangled nerves. Later they could make new plans.

The plan was to bury her homestead style in a crude pine box that Mark would make himself. They wanted to take her to a high mountain valley and place her down beneath the western sky.

Red tape got in the way. The hospital would only release the body to a funeral home. The funeral home had to provide the state with a certificate of burial. Instead, they chose cremation and the burial of the ashes at a sight of their choosing at some later date. Above the grave, a carved board would read:

Demores Walker, born 1992, died 1992.

Never had a fucking chance.




by Kenneth Harper Finton







Maybe I am jaded now

or just too old to cry.

All the tears I’ve shed before

Have left my eyes quite dry.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.

Blisters used to pain my hands

’til callouses replaced them.

Caring always filled my days,

’til lack of it displaced it.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.

Living always pleasured me

and sorrow seldom ailed me,

but Father Time has dried me out

and left no room for wailing.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.

Anti-Islam Propaganda



It is not so much that Islam is a peaceful religion designed to co-exist with others, but outright misrepresentations such as above is making its way around the world. Remember Christians war against Christians and all religions that believe they are the only truth are false ideologies.

Verse by verse, you can see the result of the attempt to make was on Islam. See:

At the above site you can read seven parallel translations of each verse and see the original Arabic in a word by word translation. This mistranslated propaganda is obviously created to provoke tension and war.

Verse (2:191) – English Translation

As above: “Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.”

Shakir: And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

Verse (3:28) – English Translation

As above: “Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.”

Shakir: Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.

[Editorial note: Ir is quite common for sects to stay within their own congregations and ethnic populations to pocket in foreign areas.]

Verse (3:85) – English Translation

As above: “Any religion other that Islam is not acceptable.”

Shakir: And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.

Verse (8:12) – English Translation

As above: “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam.

Shakir: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

Verse (8:60) – English Translation

As above: “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.”

Shakir: And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allah’s way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.

Verse (8:65) – English Translation

As above: “The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.”

Shakir: O Prophet! urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.

Verse (9:5) – English Translation

As above: “When opportunity arises kill the infidels wherever you find them.”

Shakir: So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Verse (9:30) – English Translation

As above: “The Jews and Christians are perverts, fight them.”

Shakir: And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!

Verse (9:123) – English Translation

As above: “Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.”

Shakir: O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

Verse (22:19) – English Translation

As above: “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water, melt their skin and bellies.”

Shakir: These are two adversaries who dispute about their Lord; then (as to) those who disbelieve, for them are cut out garments of fire, boiling water shall be poured over their heads.

Verse (47:4) – English Translation

As above: “Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them.”

Shakir: So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish.





by Kenneth Harper Finton

The definition of a verbal insult is to disparage and speak with abuse and disrespect. People in the public eye are often insulted. You write song and you can be sure there will be those who doe not like it. You paint a picture and you can be sure some call it terrible. You write an article and someone calls you a hack. Receiving insults are part of being known by your peers. The adage is that we must develop ‘thick skin’ so that we remain unaffected by verbal and indirect defamations.

Unknown-1There are many ways to deal with insults and disparaging remarks. Some work better than others. Anger is probably the worst way to deal with an insulting person. It shows the insulter that we take them seriously and suggests that there is some truth to the insult.

When we are insulted, we are forced to judge the person doing the insulting. Do they have a valid point? Is their remark worth a retort? Is the insult really a statement of fact that we can learn from?

The first reaction to being insulted is to return it. This is the famous “put down” approach. The problem with this is that we must be very clever to do this. There is a problem with this approach in that is tends to raise the insulter to higher level and can add credence to the accusation. Very clever minds can come up with wonderful retorts. Winston Churchill, for example, said to a woman who called him a drunk said: “I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

“Put down” reactions are best made with humor and among friends. Few of us have the ability to be so clever as this in an instant. Dorothy Parker was an exception. When a drunk told her that he could not bear fools, she replied:  “Apparently your mother could.”

As we can see, humor is possibly the most effective retort to an insult. It not only mitigates the seriousness of the situation, but mocks the insulter. If there is an audience, they are brought to  your side, not the side of the disparager.

Those who are not so quick might find that ignoring the insult might be the best imagesremedy. The down side there is that when someone throws mud at you, some of it is going to stick. Ignoring an insult is also likely to show that you are not in control any longer. This turning of the other cheek might me the Christian approach, but repeatedly ignoring a barrage of insults is harmful to your self-esteem. “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” does not rid the world or your persona of evil. It might be better to study a few clever retorts and have them at your fingertips.

Most people who bully and throw insults do so out of personal insecurity. They are trying to cover up their own inadequacies. Developing ways to point that out is a good defense. If someone calls you a fat pig, you can say, “I love pigs. Don’t you think bacon is the greatest.”

If you chose to say nothing at all, you can walk away freely and say, “You have crossed the line and I have nothing more to say.”

UnknownDeepak Chopra has it right. You cannot go through life and not be insulted. The pain caused by insults are symptoms of a more universal human condition. In the social hierarchy where people have the need to be among people, insults will surely result. Wolves and other predators fight to establish an order for their pack. Humans more often use words. As children we are taught that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

Unfortunately, that is not so. Words do hurt. We are naturally wired to seek social acceptance and we feel good when we get it. A jibe from a good friend might not hurt us, but we feel we lose status when strangers do the same.

It all comes down to not taking ourselves and the world so seriously. When we do, we feel bad and get depressed. It is better to listen, evaluate what we hear and see if there is any truth to the mud that is slung at is. Those who speak bullshit will always have a trace of it on their lips.

Antidepressant Studies Found Tainted by Pharma Company Influence

Docs and Big Pharma


“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”  – Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine” Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and long time Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ) 


By Roni Jacobson | October 21, 2015

After many lawsuits and a 2012 U.S. Department of Justice settlement, last month an independent review found that antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine) is not safe for teenagers. The finding contradicts the conclusions of the initial 2001 drug trial, which the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline had funded, then used its results to market Paxil as safe for adolescents.

The original trial, known as Study 329, is but one high-profile example of pharmaceutical industry influence known to pervade scientific research, including clinical trials the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires pharma companies to fund in order to assess their products. For that reason, people who read scientific papers as part of their jobs have come to rely on meta-analyses, supposedly thorough reviews summarizing the evidence from multiple trials, rather than trust individual studies. But a new analysis casts doubt on that practice as well, finding that the vast majority of meta-analyses of antidepressants have some industry link, with a corresponding suppression of negative results.

The latest study, published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, which evaluated 185 meta-analyses, found that one third of them were written by pharma industry employees. “We knew that the industry would fund studies to promote its products, but it’s very different to fund meta-analyses,” which “have traditionally been a bulwark of evidence-based medicine,” says John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine and co-author of the study. “It’s really amazing that there is such a massive influx of influence in this field.”

Almost 80 percent of meta-analyses in the review had some sort of industry tie, either through sponsorship, which the authors defined as direct industry funding of the study, or conflicts of interest, defined as any situation in which one or more authors were either industry employees or independent researchers receiving any type of industry support (including speaking fees and research grants). Especially troubling, the study showed about 7 percent of researchers had undisclosed conflicts of interest. “There’s a certain pecking order of papers,” says Erick Turner, a professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University who was not associated with the research. “Meta-analyses are at the top of the evidence pyramid.” Turner was “very concerned” by the results but did not find them surprising. “Industry influence is just massive. What’s really new is the level of attention people are now paying to it.”