Editorial Article by Jim Lantern, Lantern Timeglass Journal
Monday afternoon 18 July 2016
Political Blame Game – Police Shootings, Hate Crimes, Acts of Terrorism, and Bedbugs!
I could begin this with a joke. “What’s the difference between a politician and a blood-sucking bedbug?” But it might not be a joke. Instead, this will be a comparison between bedbugs and what I refer to as the “willful evil” of police shootings, hate crimes, and acts of terrorism. By the way, the problem of bedbugs is a political issue in ways some people might not realize, and easily compared to other related issues.
[Note: Use of “bedbug” or “bed-bug” or “bed bug” are all acceptable, and I prefer “bedbug” for use herein.]
When I looked at a live bedbug under a magnifying glass, I was surprised to discover most noticeable its large black eyes – staring back at me – I somehow sensed not with fear but with absolute hatred and evil intent, as well as with an alien kind of intelligence. Almost like looking at a blood-sucking alien from another planet, here during an invasion to kill all humans. I’ve seen a similar look in the eyes of terrorists and people of other kinds of hate crimes. Reality can be as bizarre as fiction, if not more so. Arthur C. Clarke wrote, “All we can imagine is probably not half as crazy as thee truth.”
In this Election 2016, especially for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it’s the typical blame game between Democrats and Republicans on all or most issues, now especially the police shootings but also other hate crimes and acts of terrorism – domestic and foreign.
Clinton and Trump should reach an agreement for how to handle and stop the problem. They should stand together on a public stage to announce and explain it. I believe it would be better for both of them if they would admit that there are some issues Democrats and Republicans can stand together on, while with mutual respect agreeing there are other issues we don’t agree with each other on. They should make it clear that all good citizens stand together against the willful evil of the reported horrifying events. I don’t mean to leave out Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for contributing to a solution, but short of a miracle he is not likely to be our next President (even if I and others as Independent voters and Centrists or Libertarians vote for him). As long as our country is divided, our enemies will take advantage of that – using “divide and conquer” against us. We must learn to fight our mutual enemies instead of each other. When we are confronted by an enemy who does not care if we are Democrats, Republicans, or any other political affiliation, as well as Conservatives or Liberals or somewhere between, we must stand together to defeat that enemy. If you are attacked by a wild animal, then it does not care what your politics or religion is when it attacks you.
When I refer to police shootings I equally mean police wrongfully killing citizens and citizens killing police for revenge. As for them, it should not be citizens vs. police or police vs. citizens. Likewise it should not be Democrats vs. Republicans or Republicans vs. Democrats on this and related issues (such as crimes including guns).
The reality is this is evil vs. good and good vs. evil – an ongoing war since ancient times – perhaps more of a danger today than it has ever been with both sides (on a larger scale) having access to biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, as well as guns (on a smaller scale).
There is good within citizens and police, and there is evil within citizens and police. Good citizens and good police must work together to exterminate willful evil. All hate crimes and acts of terrorism are willful evil.
Sin is like a misdemeanor crime calling for limited punishment and forgiveness. Willful evil is like a capital crime calling for the death penalty. For those who are opposed to the death penalty, I favor banishment – loss of U.S. citizenship and being deported from the United States – then impose the death penalty on any who return or continue to threaten us from other countries. I’m opposed to warehousing people in jails and prisons at the expense of taxpayers, except for those who need to be isolated while awaiting judgment. I do favor the basic idea of the solution presented in the movie Escape from New York – banishment for life to a prison island from which escape is not possible. No guards required. Those condemned to live there must survive on their own without external aid – except for approved airdrops from charity organizations.
Here’s a comparison – willful evil (hate crimes, terrorism, etc.) compared to bedbugs – which is a political issue and is doing significant damage to businesses and human lives…
Bedbugs were a common problem in the United States up through the World War II history. During those years, they were eradicated from the U.S. with the wide scale use of pesticides – mainly DDT. That insecticide was banned in the 1970’s. It was an environmental issue, which became a significant political issue for our government and citizens. As result, bedbugs returned and then developed resistance to chemicals that were used in place of DDT. During the late 1990’s bedbugs began to noticeably re-emerge in the United States, Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom, as well as a number of other countries, although smaller invasions took place sooner. That was the first major wave of the new invasion. India is the worst, and has always had the problem to such extent that its citizens barely notice it and have learned to live with bedbugs like houseflies and roaches.
U.S. citizens traveling to India and other infested countries have inadvertently brought back bedbugs infesting luggage and shipping boxes, as well as the clothing of the travelers. Some invasions are the result of illegal and legal immigration from infested countries – the bedbugs don’t care about the difference between illegal and legal immigrants.
Considering how easy it is for a terrorist to enter the United States, imagine how easy it is for something as tiny as a bedbug to enter our country (or any country). There currently is no affordable and effective means to screen all travelers entering the United States, even just from countries known to be infested with them. Kind of like terrorists. The fact that bedbugs can so easily enter this country on travelers, in luggage, and in shipping boxes, as well as various imported items, should be fair warning for how easy it is for a smaller bug – like a deadly virus – to enter our country and become a threat to all citizens. Even if not deliberately, bedbugs are a kind of biological warfare being inflicted upon the United States and its citizens. I could go further and compare radical Islam to a virus – a virus of willful evil – infecting easily influenced vulnerable people – turning them into potential terrorists. A kind of Walking Dead zombie apocalypse. It is not too difficult to trace the bedbug invasion to its sources, comparable to the CDC tracing a virus back to a “patient zero” source.
Many hotels and motels here in the U.S. are owned and managed by families from India. When their friends and relatives visit, they bring bedbugs with them. Then infected guests carry them home and elsewhere. For many years I managed a motel in Wichita, Kansas, owned by a family from India. They had wanted to put an “American face” on the business. Born in Wichita in 1956, my relatives – all Caucasians – came from England, France, and Lithuania. By the way, the common name Patel translates to mean innkeeper. The people of India are very family-oriented. They host huge weddings with guests from all over the country, other countries, and India. One such wedding – with guests staying at the motel I managed – resulted in a bedbugs invasion there in 1993. The rooms had to be gutted – all furniture, carpet, and curtains removed and trashed, as one of the steps to remove the bedbugs, especially the harder-to-kill bedbug eggs.
The worst I’ve ever seen and experienced was at a homeless shelter I stayed one night at in Corpus Christi, Texas. I was told all of the hotels and motels there are also infested with bedbugs. The apartments complex where I lived for 7 years here in Norman, Oklahoma – from May 2008 to May 2015 – had bedbug invasions during 2011 and 2012. It was sold and torn down to make way for new Oklahoma University student housing. I had trouble finding an affordable place to move to. I became out-on-the-street homeless. Loss of affordable housing is now the number one cause of homelessness – including families with children, accounting for 51% of homeless people here in the United States. I expended my search to other cities and other states – traveling via Greyhound to Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Texas, then Kansas for a month while being treated for bleeding stomach ulcers, and then returning to Oklahoma in October. By then I found out how some former tenants where I lived, who also became homeless, are getting help to find new homes. I then moved into my current apartment in November 2015. All places I visited from May 2015 to September 2015 had a history of bedbug invasions.
Foreign students, especially those from India, attending colleges here are bringing bedbugs with them in luggage and shipping boxes as well as on their clothing, to infect college dorms, apartments, and other kinds of housing. The bedbugs then spread, carried on people and in items such as books, to businesses and other locations such as college and public libraries. Infested furniture is then discarded – set by trash dumpsters or out by streets for pickup, without warning to anyone seeking free used furniture that has been discarded. So they unknowingly take the infested furniture to their homes, in turn causing their homes to become infested.
A professional exterminator checked apartments. He found unopened boxes shipped from India. He asked those tenants to open the boxes. About 50 bedbugs came out of one of the boxes opened in front of the exterminator. He then also checked luggage – suitcases – and found more. A bedbug can easily survive more than a month without food, so a trip from India in a box is not a problem for them.
One night in September 2011, during the first bedbugs invasion at the apartments complex where I lived, I overheard a conversation by a group of neighbors and their visitors – all foreign students from India, as they talked about the bedbugs problem. I was shocked by what I heard. Ten years previously, there was the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001. The United States needed to make use of bases in Pakistan to attack one of our new enemies in Afghanistan – including people we had previously helped to fight off a Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Perhaps we took the wrong side. Anyway, The United States gave billions of dollars to Pakistan – which happens to be the primary enemy of India. The old conflict of Hindus vs. Muslims in India resulted in some Muslims breaking away to create Pakistan. Now both have nuclear weapons. Some terrorists come from Pakistan. To fight one new enemy we inadvertently helped another new enemy. India was real upset with the United States for giving so much aid to its primary enemy – Pakistan. I heard the foreign students – all Hindus from India – talk about the beginning of the new bedbugs invasion, being 10 years after the 9/11 attacks by terrorists, spreading across the United States at colleges attended by foreign students from India. One of them referred to the bedbugs invasion as being an “act of God” to “punish Americans” for our relationship with Pakistan. While Pakistan was appearing to help us in return for billions of dollars to use Pakistan as a base from which to attack Afghanistan, Pakistan was also helping our enemies in Afghanistan. I did not hear any of them say if they had deliberately brought bedbugs with them as a means to harm the United States and its citizens, but that God is using them (the students) to bring bedbugs to punish Americans. By now the results of the 2011 bedbugs invasion amounts to billions of dollars in damage to businesses and homes, as well as to personal property such as loss of furniture. There is also the pain and suffering caused by bedbugs, with the cost of treatment. So it is comparable to being fined and given a physical beating as punishment. This does, in my opinion, amount to biological warfare used by India against the United States. So the bedbugs issue is in that way a political issue involving more than one government. It has been a political issue in another way, as well as an environmental issue (chemical pollution) regarding the means to kill bedbugs and their eggs.
Some chemicals today can kill the adult bedbugs on contact, but not the harder-to-kill bedbug eggs. Only heat treatment can kill the eggs – using special heaters to heat the interior of homes to 135F for 7 hours. It works, but it is very expensive. My former landlord spent 40 thousand dollars on the heaters to kill the bedbugs in apartments of his apartment complexes. It works, but does not prevent tenants from inadvertently bringing more bedbugs into their homes in infested furniture, clothing, luggage, shipping, boxes, and other items.
There has been a kind of “blame game” between landlords and tenants at infected apartment complexes. Landlords blame the tenants. Tenants blame the landlords. Fact is, no business owner or manager – such as the landlord of an apartments complex – would ever deliberately inflict such damage on their own properties, costing so much money, and loss of customers – tenants. Even so, after an invasion begins, then there are certain courses of action landlords can take to end the problem. No tenant – except perhaps some tenants who are from another country, would ever deliberately infect their own furniture, causing loss of their furniture, plus causing their own pain and suffering. Ignorant actions, such as tenants getting discarded used furniture that has already been infected, causing their homes to become infested, is their own fault. Even so, landlords and tenants are victims – each in their own ways. So this is not an issue of landlords vs. tenants or tenants vs. landlords. It is instead an issue of humans vs. bugs. Therefore, humans must stand together in order to defeat the bugs. This of course applies to people embracing the willful evil of hate crimes and acts of terrorism.
I discarded all of my furniture of the kind with fabrics easily penetrated by bedbugs. I replaced that furniture with camping, patio, and lawn furniture – made for use outside where there are more bugs of all kinds – but a kind of furniture made of such materials that are less likely to be penetrated by bedbugs – metals, plastics, and most kinds of wood. Bedbugs can get on any material, and inside via cracks and other kinds of openings, but can’t penetrate those materials like termites can penetrate wood. Bedbugs can penetrate most fabrics. Considering use of mosquito nets, I discovered low-priced small dome tents, which can be set up inside, can’t be penetrated – not through the primary material, mesh windows, and zippers – while opening is zipped shut. So, for example, you can put an airbed mattress (that can’t be penetrated by bedbugs) inside a dome tent, then zip yourself in at night and sleep safe – just like when going camping but instead used inside your home. “Deep Woods OFF!” spray helps too.
It is not true bedbugs only infest beds. They can infest couches and other furniture made of fabric and materials that can be penetrated by bedbugs.
It is not true bedbugs only come out and attack at night. I was attacked up to late mornings and then the attacks continued late afternoons or early evenings. When a bedbug got on my clothing, and I went outside, I discovered the direct summer sunlight kills bedbugs within a couple of minutes – similar to the myth about direct sunlight killing vampires. Unfortunately, although there are other similarities to the blood-sucking vampires, Van Helsing is not available to fight the bedbugs for us, and we can’t call Starship Troopers to nuke them.
For this “Music Monday” with the opening of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and tomorrow’s Full Moon madness, I’ll close this posting with a few special music videos…
Some of the bug planet looks like Afghanistan – different war, different bugs, same kind of evil…
And for close encounters under the full moon Tuesday 19 July 2016…
Thanks for reading this Editorial Article. Comments are welcome – by humans, not bugs.