In September of 2011, I spent a week in Afghanistan. I wrote an extensive journal of that time, filed it in My Documents, and forgot about it. Two years ago I wrote a blog called Afghanistan Safely In My Rearview Mirror. In light of breaking news events I re-read that 2011 journal.

What follows are the some of the preparation and timeline of that trip as well as more observations, which today seem prophetic. Lifts from the journal and the previous blog are in quotes.

From the journal: “I am joining a production team to resource people and scout locations…

To save you from a Google search, the English translation is something like: Religion is the opiate of the masses. Go to the head of the class if you know this is something Karl Marx opined. The photo should have been a hint.

There are three locked and loaded realities in this country that keeps our ruling class, ruling: a knee on BIPOC’s necks, Trumpism, and religion ist das opium des volkes. BIPOC is obvious. If you do not get that, stop reading. Trumpism should now be obvious. Layer on this our country’s worship of the lifestyles of the rich…

(Third in a three-part series)

Full disclosure — I do not like Newt Gingrich — never have — never will.

Newts are salamanders, small, slender-bodied amphibians. They, and Newt share one common characteristic — slimy.

Newt also reminds me (as does Rudy Giuliani) of an STD, they never go away. Both Newt and Rudy are graduates with distinction of the Donald Trump University of “Damn, I’m Amazing.” I would wager that all three have stacks and stacks of videos or CDS or Bluetooths of themselves on TV. And they drift into slumberland each night while watching them.

The Donald, Rudy…

(The second in a three-part series)

In 2016, 80% of white evangelicals supported Trump. A similar amount did so in 2020, meaning there was nothing he did in four years to change their minds. Nothing.

How is that possible?

First, a little personal history.

My good friend, Ken Ashby, recently wrote a song entitled Rise Up. The song begins with this:

I grew up in my Daddy’s congregation

Preacher’s kid singing hallelujah hymns.

I was not the son of a preacher man, but I did grow up attending a rural Baptist Church in northcentral Indiana, and we sang a lot…

It this era of Trump, oft time I would read a Facebook post in bewilderment of how we got here — got to this Styx River level of meanness and hatred.

Media commentary (especially in mainstream media) is often couched in both-sides-ism or equivocation and the infamous “some say,” at least until the advent of Trump. Then, even as the media grew increasingly wary and shocked, Trump was still good copy and ratings — speak into the microphone. Even today many political pundits and Op-Ed scribers call on both sides to stem the rhetoric, apparently hopeful that a Kumbaya moment…

I am indebted to Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s YouTube video, “Deconstructing White Privilege,” for the inspiration for this post.

In her presentation, Dr. DiAngelo speaks about being born into a White neighborhood, going to school in a White neighborhood, studying with White classmates, learning from White schools and White teachers, playing with White friends, worshipping in White churches, working in White businesses, and one day dying in a White community and buried in a White cemetery. In short, she was segregated in her whiteness. And not one single person or mentor who guided and loved her ever conveyed that this segregation…

This question haunts me.

First, a snippet of history — I came of age in the 1950s and 1960s on a small farm in northern Indiana. We were lower, middle-class. I like to say, “We were not poor, but we never had any money.” Our weather-worn farmhouse was five rooms and a path — no indoor plumbing.

For Whites, Blacks were “Negros” until the mid-60s. In my high school senior year, my class put on a minstrel show with six white classmates in blackface. As a known “voice” in my class I was part of the “revue” and sang a…

Oh joy, we passed 75,000 deaths around midnight on the 6th. The folks who think 5,000,000 dead bodies is just ducky should be dancing on those graves and toasting each other — six feet apart.

Another conspiracy doctor, Judy Mikovitz, recorded a tape that swept through the conspiracy theorist cabals, over a million views on Facebook. Snopes snooped her out. No matter, her nonfiction book is now #1 on the Amazon nonfiction list — which was actually the point, wasn’t it?

The White House garroted the CDC. This institution used to be respected worldwide. Now, they are a laughingstock.


The photo that inspired this blog

I am thunderstruck by Facebook “friends” who keep posting memes like “the flu killed 34,000 last year and no one noticed or got frightened. The media is scaring all of us.” COVID-19 has killed over 65,000 as of this date, and over 45,000 since April 12th, 18 days ago. The two numbers do not compute — two different realities — two different viruses.

This one takes top prize, “98.5% of us will survive this pandemic.” Let me take out my trusty pocket calculator — it’s called a brain. (Notice, these posters do not give a twit about the rest of…

Not Keith at Costco

Costco began offering early hours a few days a week to seniors. I took advantage. Given the news I had heard about thinning food supply chains, especially pork, I thought I would beef up on All-American proteins (also known as beef) earlier than my monthly norm. The Costco beef supply was ample. But, the only pork I found was baby back ribs and rack of pork. Rack of pork is usually a holiday item for Costco, so I was happy to find it. Next to baby back ribs, rack of pork is my favorite pork cut. …

Keith Frohreich

Writer of books, columns and blogs; historical fiction, humor, satire, social commentary. Cook (the good, bad and oops). Disaster relief volunteer. Traveler.

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