I’m Back

It’s been a long time since we’ve talked. I’ve missed our discussions, well, most of them.
So here we are at the new home of Project 611. I listened to all of you and I’ve tried to put together a better, cleaner, easier to navigate site. I hope I accomplished it and I hope you enjoy your time here. 
So let me tell you what to expect from me. The first thing is the mainstay of this entire project is this blog. This is where I’ll be posting every week on things I may not be an expert on but I enjoy talking about. The best thing I can talk about is the thing I know the best, me. You’re going to soon be part of my life, as I’ll be posting what it’s like living with incurable cancer. That’s right, I have multiple myeloma, a form of cancer that started in my bones and moved into my blood stream. Thus, it’s in my entire body. But I’m not going to go into a long explanation here, if you want to find out more regarding it just Google multiple myeloma and you’ll get all the information. 
So I’m going to try and let you know the truth about a guy living and dying in 3/4 time. I will say it’s a pretty shitty way to live. I basically stay in one room of our house that has been sterilized for my fun and enjoyment. I haven’t been out with the exception of hospitals, labs and doctors offices. If I do go out I must be masked. And that’s just a real freaken joy. People see me coming and it’s like the parting of the sea. They get out of the way like if they get close, they’ll get cancer as well, douches. However, I’ve learned to live with it. 
So that’s really what this site is all about. Along with up to date information on medical marijuana, that I’m backing with all my heart. You’ll also hear from my alter ego, MaGoogle as well as Suzzy Chreemcheese with advice on every topic you can imagine. I also plan to have a great online store selling all natural products and other items to help you with your relationship with Mother Nature. I’ll also get into deep breathing and meditation with you. Those three things have helped me enormously, medical marijuana, deep breathing and meditation. Just as a little byline, don’t get into deep breathing and meditation unless you know what you’re doing. I’m shopping around for an Internet station where I can help you with these things. But that will be in the future as this blog is pretty time consuming with all the extras I plan on having.
Well, there you have it, a blog that hopefully will show you what a cancer patient goes through on a day to day basis. So for now I’m going to get on with my day. Hopefully I’ll see you right back here next week.
Wait a minute, I just can’t leave you without saying something about the current election in the U.S.
It’s been a while, several days at least, since anyone has publicly engaged in fat-shaming, chanted “lock her up,” or had their deplorable emails leaked. In our news cycle, that’s tantamount to 400,000 years since anything interesting has happened. This relative slowdown allows us to sit back and be reminded: Damn. These are the people running for President.

It also gives us tie to look at the undercurrents present in this cruel and barbarous—I mean glorious—expression of American Democracy. First, Hillary and Trump supporters are literally the same. I’m sure this comes as a tremendous surprise, but hey, at least irrationality and willful self-delusion are things we can all agree on. And guess what: it’s also demonstrably true that Trump has forced both candidates to speak in simpler terms, which wouldn’t be necessary at all if we just ditched the cornball debates and made the candidates audition instead. Frankly, that’s the most brilliant suggestion I’ve heard all season.

Mood: Enjoy the silence. It’s only temporary.

19 April, 2015 12:15

WASHINGTON—Following a decade-long study of economic trends and employment rates, a report issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that excitedly circling a newspaper listing with a red marker remains the single most effective way to find a job. “Our research confirms that laying out the morning paper on the kitchen table, slowly panning down a column in the classifieds section, and then enthusiastically drawing a bold red circle around a posting in the center of the page is still the best way to secure employment,” said the report’s lead author, Rebecca Carney, adding that unemployed individuals were further able to increase their likelihood of obtaining work by tapping the listing with their finger while quietly saying “That’s the one.” “We also found that using the same pen to double-underline the job’s salary range raises one’s chances of being hired by an additional 50 percent.” Carney went on to add that individuals were able to effectively guarantee a job offer by calling the business immediately on their landline phone, grabbing their hat and jacket off a coat rack, and quickly heading straight down to the company’s offices with the newspaper tucked under their arm.

Today’s Giveaway

If you’re an iOS user you will love today’s giveaway from Uncle Niel’s General Store. If you want more free stuff just visit me here and press the stars on this post, or even better leave a comment. Coming Soon the full blown store. Keep tuned in for more info.

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Bigotry Becomes Law

Religious freedom laws challenge LGBT equality

Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed a controversial and hateful religious freedom bill into law (Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

Today, a majority of states in the U.S. have marriage equality, but in some states it’s getting harder for LGBT people to go about their lives. In a growing number of places around the country, businesses run by people who morally object to homosexuality are attempting to deny services to same-sex couples and even individual non-straight people. Many pieces of legislation protecting this bigoted behavior have come through state congresses, and recently Indiana was the latest to make such a bill into the law of the land.

The fight for LGBT rights has enjoyed victory after victory in the past few years, though there are still many challenges ahead. Losing in the sphere of marriage, opponents of equal treatment for all non-heterosexual people have recently turned their attention to other discriminatory efforts. The contested right to deny non-straight people service stems from what are known as religious exemption laws.

Classically, religious exemptions are intended to protect the livelihoods of employees whose religious practices may interfere with work. For example, if an employee’s prayer schedule overlaps with his or her work schedule, it is illegal to fire them for praying instead of working. In most states, religious exemptions require the employee and the employer to find a workaround to accommodate the religious practice, like creating an alternative work schedule.

But denying services to customers for religious reasons is an entirely different subject. The law passed in Indiana this month and similar laws in other states aren’t intended to protect people from discrimination, but to legalize certain kinds of discrimination. There is no substantive difference between denying someone service because they are gay and denying someone service because they are black.

And yet our constitutional law hasn’t caught up with this line of thinking. The landmark Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees full and equal access to goods, services, and facilities without discrimination or segregation based on race, color, religion, or nationality. Sexual identity is conspicuously missing from that list of protections, which is the loophole that anti-LGBT activists are using to justify the new religious exemption laws.

Not all states have allowed denial of service to LGBT people, though. Washington State struck down an argument by a florist called Sweet Cakes that it was allowed to deny services to a same-sex couple for their wedding. Multiple denial of service bills in states like Georgia, Arizona, and Arkansas have failed to pass muster between 2014 and today. Though many legislatures in conservative states are likely to pursue or even pass such bills in the year to come, this fight is far from one-sided.

We’re only months away from the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected decision on several same-sex marriage cases. The court’s ruling on those cases isn’t certain, though many signs and precedents from the past several years suggest that the highest court in the land will side with supporters of equality. As soon as that decision comes down, we can expect the next round of legal challenges to target the discrimination of religious exemption laws. Opponents of equality are running out of legal ground and more people every year are refusing to allow a bigoted minority misappropriate religion for their own, hateful ends.

Approval of Novartis’ Farydak (Panobinostat) for Multiple Myeloma

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Commends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approval of Novartis’ Farydak (Panobinostat) for Multiple Myeloma

Norwalk, Conn., February 24, 2015 – The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) praises the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to approve Farydak (panobinostat) for patients with advanced myeloma and treatment resistant multiple myeloma. Specifically, Farydak is approved in combination with Velcade (bortezomib) and dexamethasone for the treatment of multiple myeloma for patients who have received at least two prior standard therapies, including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory (IMiD) agent.

“The MMRF commends the diligence of Drs. Pazdur, Farrell and the Division of Hematology Products at FDA, as well as the myeloma community, working with Novartis in approving the first histone deacytelase (HDAC) inhibitor, an entirely new and important class of treatments for multiple myeloma,” said Walter M. Capone, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. “In particular, their enlightened efforts to specify the profile of patients most likely to benefit from Farydak, will enable patients and their doctors to access a vital new option for the most challenging relapsed disease.”

“Consistent with its commitment to accelerating new treatment options for patients, the MMRF, through its research subsidiary the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), has supported the development of panobinostat from among the earliest Phase 1b studies to ongoing combination trials with other novel treatments. The MMRF extends its deepest gratitude to the researchers, centers and patients worldwide who assisted in attaining this important milestone in the treatment of multiple myeloma.”

“The promise of the HDAC class of drugs, that targets malignant cells in a completely different manner, is an important advance in helping patients whose myeloma is progressing despite prior treatments and can contribute to our mission of attaining cures for all patients,” added Capone.

About Multiple Myeloma (MM)

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 26,850 adults (14,000 men and 12,760 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2015 and an estimated 11,240 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for MM is approximately 45%, versus 28% in 1998.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised $275 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of total budget to research and related programming.


If you’ve encountered adverse weather in the last few weeks, we hope you are safe and warm now. Things at the ULC are zooming ahead. This month, I examine hate throughout history.
I usually don’t get involved in politics, that being said I believe things must change and change now. Things must move forward not backwards. Together we have a strong voice. Let the world know how we feel. We can no longer be silent. We must let our voices be heard. And our voices must be loud.


civil rights, martin luthor king jr, oscars, academy awardsSome time ago, I posted a blog that said, “hate is hate,” wherein we looked at the similar feelings behind movements such as blaming and gassing Jews for Germany’s problems and the rise of the Nazi party as well as the defense of slavery in the American south that compelled states to secede and form the Confederate States of America. These were both examples where the hatred (or at the very least, the indifference to the suffering) of a group of people drastically changed law and politics of the respective regions.

Having seen the Academy Awards, we are aware that the film Selma depicts a benchmark in our history when blacks fought back against the institutionalized racism of the old Confederate States at the time. We think the time is ripe again to revisit our artwork wherein we designate, regardless of whether it be segregationists, crazed fundamentalists, Klan members, or Islamic jihadists, hate is still hate. Flags of hate have no right to fly on the capitals of the new neo-Confederacy.

There are many that defend flying the Confederate battle flag as an expression of their heritage, but it is as evil as the ISIS flag. Slavery, murder, insurrection, and the assassination of President Lincoln; these actions of terror were born in the bottomless pit of Hell.

We can never allow these acts the dignity of the word “heritage”. While for a white man the stars and bars may remind him of where he came from and his family history, it evokes for descendants of raped slaves a heritage of being treated as property. Notwithstanding, no Germans fondly fly the Nazi flag and defend it by saying that they aren’t racist, they are just proud of their heritage.

These flags symbolize the racist views of their creators; claiming otherwise is to deny the horrific acts committed under these banners. We can’t allow the violence to be whitewashed out of our history books… your thoughts?

confederate states of america, stars and bars, isis, nazi, national socialist party

Violent Expansion

Comparing things to Hitler and the Nazis is nothing new on the internet. There’s even a term for doing it: Godwin’s Law. It happens so much that it isn’t unreasonable to think that the severity of Nazi crimes is somewhat trivialized by how often they are equated to far lessor events. A survivor of the Holocaust would likely be shocked to hear, “the cop gave me a parking ticket even though the meter had only run out a minute ago, what a Nazi!”

The evil of Hitler and the Nazis is rare, but not totally unique and valid comparisons can be made. True, ISIS doesn’t have the military capabilities that Germany had at the time and the Confederate States of America (CSA) preferred to beat, rape, and enslave their victims over killing them, but the same hate is there.

The key to understanding the similarities between Nazism, Confederate States of America racist expansionism, and Islamic State Neo-Caliphate ideology is in the motto on the latter’s flag. The ISIS flag contains an Arabic statement, “Bāqiyah wa-Tatamaddad,” which translates to “Remaining and Expanding.” The state that ISIS has established claims sovereignty and plans to conquer other territories– more than proven by the state’s organized attacks and occupations of areas held by other sovereign nations.

The use of violence to not just promote an ideology, but to expand it to new places, is the very essence of fascism. The CSA sought to conquer or convert their surrounding areas to pro-slavery states ruled with institutionalized racism. The Third Reich under Adolf Hitler boiled over and scorched Europe with their anti-Semitic empire. The Islamic State aims to use beheadings and burning people alive to spread a hateful ideology.

Members of all three barbaric groups are instilled with the notion that dying for their sinful causes is a virtue. This forces the rest of us into a fight whether we want anything to do with it or not because the aggressors will only allow peace over their cold dead bodies. Their hatred has made them so rabid that debate and diplomacy are no longer viable options.

The film Selma shows us that even after the existence of the CSA itself, the repercussions of its ideology stained the region for decades. The same will be true with ISIS, should we even manage to eradicate it. The strong tensions between local groups will cause strife that will live on even after ISIS is dead and gone. That’s the power of hatred; dressing it up under a different flag still allows us to see through it. Hate is hate. Do you agree?

Groundbreaking Study Reveals The Main Reason Behind Most Cases Of Cancer

cancer hospitalReuters/Eric GaillardA patient receiving chemotherapy treatment at the Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Center.

Plain old bad luck plays a major role in determining who gets cancer and who does not, according to researchers who found that two-thirds of cancer incidence of various types can be blamed on random mutations and not heredity or risky habits like smoking.

The researchers said Thursday that random DNA mutations accumulating in various parts of the body during ordinary cell division were the prime culprits behind many cancer types.

They looked at 31 cancer types and found that 22 of them, including leukemia and pancreatic, bone, testicular, ovarian, and brain cancer, could be explained largely by these random mutations — essentially biological bad luck.

The other nine types, including colorectal cancer, skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma, and smoking-related lung cancer, were more heavily influenced by heredity and environmental factors like risky behavior or exposure to carcinogens.

Overall, they attributed 65% of cancer incidence to random mutations in genes that can drive cancer growth.

“When someone gets cancer, immediately people want to know why,” said oncologist Dr. Bert Vogelstein of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, who conducted the study published in the journal Science with Johns Hopkins biomathematician Cristian Tomasetti.

“They like to believe there’s a reason. And the real reason in many cases is not because you didn’t behave well or were exposed to some bad environmental influence, it’s just because that person was unlucky. It’s losing the lottery.”

Tomasetti said harmful mutations occurred for “no particular reason other than randomness” as the body’s master cells, called stem cells, divide in various tissues.

Tomasetti said the study indicated that changing one’s lifestyle and habits like smoking to avoid cancer risks may help prevent certain cancers but may not be as effective for others.

“Thus, we should focus more research and resources on finding ways to detect such cancers at early, curable stages,” Tomasetti added.

The researchers charted the cumulative number of lifetime divisions in the stem cells of a given tissue — for example, lungs or colon — and compared that with the lifetime cancer risk in that tissue.

Generally speaking, tissues that undergo more divisions — thus increasing the probability of random mutations — were more prone to tumors.

The study did not cover all cancer types. Breast and prostate cancer were excluded because the researchers were unable to ascertain reliable stem cell division rates.