The Squeeze and the Elevation

Summer and the Bar Mitzvah Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Yesterday’s immersion in Herme’s Pilgrimage. Drawing the Queen of Bows and the Cayman with the Poppies. Finishing my Tree Communication course. VOC’s. Volatile Organic Compounds. Released through Stoma. An important mode of Tree messaging. The hundreds of millions year old relationship between Tree Roots and Fungi. A cool Mountain morning.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Lodgepoles and Aspens of the Arapaho National Forest

One brief shining: Clicked on the link and Annie Novak of the New York Botanical Garden showed up on Zoom, reminding me of MJ Hedstrom, an old flame of the Grand Marais Hedstrom’s, thin and bright, well spoken, passionate both though Annie had knowledge about Trees and Tree Communication whereas MJ knew Minnesota politics. I learned a lot from both of them.



A week plus back on Orgovyx. A bit of hot flashes. Not bad. Otherwise ok. Since Orgovyx took me on as a charity case, I don’t have to pay seven hundred and fifty-three dollars a month for it. Though that seemed paltry compared to Paul’s friend who has leukemia and has treatments that cost seventeen thousand. She’s getting money from the Assistance Fund as I did a year or so ago for both Orgovyx and Erleada until the Prostate Cancer wing of that fund drained all of its assets.

Sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? And, of course, when you get that treatment paid for, the one that keeps you alive, your gratitude seems like the least you can offer. Sort of. Until you learn, as I did last year, that the folks who fund the Assistance program are the very pharmaceutical companies charging the exorbitant fees. That means that the Fund is a way to keep the political waters cool by paying off the cohort that would otherwise go screaming to their Congressperson. It is, then, a tradeoff, you help me with my treatment and I have no need to raise the burdensome expense. Because you’ve covered it. Imagine how much money these companies spend on this. A lot. But cheaper I imagine than losing a battle with Congress.

I admit I’m a little scared to publish this since I may need the Assistance fund again. But this is the sort of bind that a capitalist economy forces on all players. Those of us who are sick need the meds. In these cases just to survive. The pharmaceutical companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their board and shareholders to maximize profits. Congress hears from these companies often. How expensive new drug development is. How it will fall off a cliff if they can’t charge these very high prices. How many people they employee. How much they pay in taxes. And now they have a Supreme Court that is business friendly. Can you feel the squeeze?


Just a moment: And, as the DJ used to say, The hits just keep on coming.* His lawyers, his judges, his arrogance and cowardice have combined to wrench apart the levers of balance in our system, slowly ratcheting the Presidency into rarefied, autocratic air. Soon our Presidents may have a throne in the Oval Office, an eagle-headed scepter, a crown of diamonds, rubies, and sapphire stones forming bunting around the base and a raised Gadsen flag with platinum surround at the peak. All Hail, the one who rules now by divine right. Not constitutional designation of powers!


*”…more than one lower-court opinion addressing novel legal issues raised by Mr. Trump’s norm-breaking behavior observed that presidents are not kings. But suddenly, they do enjoy a kind of monarchical prerogative.” NYT, 7/2/2024