Big News for Fans!

Fans, Friends, Collegues and Family…

Gosh, what a year it’s been, huh? Between the 2020-2021 protests, deadly riots and absolute turmoil in the streets, our political differences have never been greater. The people we put in power are robbing the country blind. Now, before I get a thousand emails taking a stance for or against that statement, I invite you to look at the representatives you put in power and ask, do they represent what I expect of them? That’s a big question with all sorts of personal, financial and life implications. For some, there are the psychological ramifications. Amazing how they all leave office filthy rich. I once thought our process fair and just. But its far from that.

For me, personally, it’s been a long and winding road getting here. As most of you already know, I’ve had a tough time finding a good state of being. I am not going to talk about what I’ve went through over the last eight years. What happened has been rehashed over and again legally, personally and emotionally. It’s been said on TV, in print and digital media. Besides, in spirit, (no deal yet) I’ve made a tentative gentleman’s agreement with my attorneys not to reveal our case status. I have no outcome to report anyway.

Bottom line? Sometimes in life, we are tested by God and circumstance. If knocked down, belittled, embarassed or tormented by the hate of others, we have but one option – climb back to our feet with focus and determination,. Leave the past where it belongs. IN THE PAST. Recently I’ve thought alot about life and death. I’ve been told this happens when receivung a traumatic brain injury.

Some good new. Soon, Ingram will officially announce a pre-order for my long await follow-up to The Santa Claus Killer.

Coming soon: My 2021 crime novel, The South Beach Killer – Book #2 FBI Serial Killer Task Force.

A DANGEROUS TIME

It’s been months since I’ve posted anything here. The reasons are many. In February, I lost my beloved pointer terrier, Destiny, whom I saved from death row at the shelter more than eight years ago.

Then, in March, mom passed away from lung cancer.

This post was supposed to outline my retirement from the entertainment industry, no more screenplays, and the end of hundreds of hours of social media updating and posting. I’ll get to that later.

I’d say 2020 has started out to be a crappy year all around. The devastation to our economy due to COVID-19, the digital filming of police shootings, the subsequent racial unrest and we have a perfect recipe for something our country hasn’t faced in half a century.

 

Who’s to blame? Is anyone?
Is there a civil war coming down the pike?
I haven’t a clue. 

People just seem meaner than ever, willing to hurt one-another at the drop of a hat. Recently I was shocked by the news of an elderly man at a Christian prayer rally being attacked by African American men. I can only imagine the headlines had it been a group of white men beating an elderly black man.

Our moral compass is way off. 

I’ll admit, it’s not just one-sided, white guys are also attacking black people. The so-called peaceful protests are anything but. At this point, I’d suggest our future as a people is quite uncertain.

Vladimir Putin must be happier than a pig in shit.  The powers in Beijing are laughing at us. 

I get it. I feel the pain, it’s palpable. People sense they’re being left behind. Perchance some of that is true, I don’t pretend to know the answers. But attacking innocent people is a crime. It’s called Assault and Battery. PERIOD! Mob rule has never been tolerated in The United States of America.

Other countries are also seeing riots, looting, attacks and I wonder, is America the leader of the free world? Really?

We have to heal this gaping wound.

Reading social media every day sure feels like we’re living in a dangerous time, one in which our citizens are physically facing off over politics, police abuse and yes, there are opportunists using the crisis for sweeping global radical change. Robbing stores, breaking into private communities, and destroying property won’t bring change.

So, there is that. But then there is my ongoing failing health, I won’t revamp the entire incident as most of you remember the severe bicycle accident I had in June 2013.  After eleven surgeries, the traumatic brain injury, and the subsequent worsening of it all, I feel myself slowing down.

I appreciate all the love, attention, and interaction I’ve had over the last ten years, but circumstances out of my control have altered the entire course of life and limb.

So, I bid you all good luck and love. Without the latter, we’ll never have peace.

Village Voice columnist, R.J. Smith

Politically Incorrect: Guns N’ Roses & Public Enemy Sound Off!

“Forty-eight hours in the feeding cycle of New York City. There were Uzis, Public Enemy re­grouping, and a clique of blond babes orbiting Axl Rose at the Cat Club. All of this connects. How was your week?”

by

Swing Shift by R.J. Smith
Busted Axl

Forty-eight hours in the feeding-cycle of New York City. There were Uzis, Public Enemy re­grouping, and a clique of blond babes orbiting Axl Rose at the Cat Club. All of this connects. How was your week?

Start the clock August 8, last Tuesday, when Public Enemy’s vox pop Chuck D faxed all over town the word that PE was back together. The rap group disbanded late June in the wake of an anti-Semitic interview Min­ister of Information Professor Griff gave to The Wash­ington Times (portions of which were reprinted here, fanning the fire). That’s when Chuck D began saying Griff had “sabotaged” the group’s values, and kicked Griff out. The next day, he said Public Enemy was folding up. Last week Chuck announced that Griff apologized to him, if not to the rest of the world. PE is now ready for a comeback album, and, according to the press release, a new title for Griff: “Supreme Allied Chief of Community Relations,” who “will not be available for interviews.” Griff will work in the black community, says Chuck, particularly with youth programs. This is like a white­-collar criminal evading a hard time. Who would you rather have teaching the kids, Ollie “1200-hours-of-community service” North or Professor “Why do you think they call it Jewelry” Griff?

Some will now think PE never planned on cutting Griff out for good, that the breakup was a fake (they were performing even after they “split”), that everything was a face-saving half-step. I don’t think so. Chuck D’s running around in circles, saying things his actions contradict a day later, then saying something the next day that nobody expected. Contrary to D’s say-so, Griff has been answering questions at least as recently as August 3. (“What I said was 100 per cent pure,” he told the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. No impurities for Griff.) And fellow group members Flavor-Flav and DJ Terminator X are working on the convenient escape route, the solo project. Steady Public Enemy are not. Griff can always phone Armond White at The City Sun if he wants to talk.

At the end of Chuck D’s statement, he says, “Please direct any further questions to Axl Rose.” That’s be­cause by any standard, the Guns n’ Roses singer and stereo-destroyer gave an interview to Rolling Stone (Au­gust 10) that should have set off something like the Griff aftershock. GNR’s minister of information has a way with words, like those on the song “One in a Million”: “Police and niggers, that’s right/Get outta my way/ Don’t need to buy none/Of your gold chains today,” and “Immigrants and faggots/They make no sense to me/They come to our country/And think they’ll do as they please/Like start some mini-Iran or spread some fuckin’ disease.”

He uses nigger, he told Stone interviewer Del James, because blacks have been known to use the word, so why can’t he? “I don’t like boundaries of any kind.” (Wonder what GNR guitarist Slash, the child of interracial marriage, thinks about that.) Axl justifies the immigrant line because people from “Iran, Pakistan, China, and Japan” give him bad service at store counters. I’m not kidding. He says he was once chased out of a 7 -Eleven by an Iranian, and so he’s got a right to sing the National Front blues.

As for faggots, Rose says, he’s not antigay. “I’m pro­heterosexual. I can’t get enough of women, and I don’t see the same thing that other men can see in men. I’m not into gay or bisexual experiences. But that’s hypo­critical of me, because I’d rather see two women together than just about anything else. That happens to be my personal, favorite thing.”

“I don’t understand it,” he says about homosexuality. “Antihomosexual? I’m not against them doing what they want to do as long as it’s not hurting anybody else and they’re not forcing it upon me. I don’t need them in my face or, pardon the pun, up my ass about it.”

This platinum punster’s remarks, one should think, would have ignited some response from a press (includ­ing Rolling Stone) willing to cover Professor Griff’s outburst. Rose’s status as a star and Rolling Stone’s status as a well-circulated starfucker mean the interview reached scads more people than Griff ever did. There have been no outbursts, no statements of explanation, and very little coverage.

Edgy observers from Public Enemy’s label, CBS, and MCA, with whom Chuck’s negotiating, attended the June 21 press conference where Chuck kicked Griff out. A CBS spokesman said PE “made the right decision” in ousting Griff, and Newsday had MCA muckamucks troubled by Griff’s remarks and PE’s connections to Louis Farrakhan. But Guns n’ Roses’ label, Geffen Records, still loves its white supremacist. I called the company hoping to talk with Axl, saying I wanted to ask him about the Stone interview. “We’ve gotten a whole bunch of requests about this, and management is saying no to all interviews,” said Geffen’s Bryn Bridenthal. She said Geffen felt no need to issue a statement about Rose’s rap. “I wouldn’t have anything else to add in addition to it. I don’t think there’s anything left unspoken,” she explained. Axl stupid question, get an Axl answer.

August 10, two days after Chuck D said that, Dave Herndon, the Voice’s former managing editor (currently an editor at Newsday), bumped into Axl at the Cat Club. Identifying himself as a journalist, Herndon asked if there’d been any fallout from the interview. Naw, Rose said. But it had been, he divulged, quite a struggle getting the interview in the magazine. Rose said he’d bargained for months with Rolling Stone, refusing interviews unless he got the cover, unless his “best friend” and RIP Magazineeditor Del James got to do the interview, and unless another pal, Robert John, got to take the photos. While it appears that Rolling Stone fellated Rose on all counts, a spokesperson denied cav­ing into his demands, saying access determined their decision. Here’s a magazine, which reported Public Ene­my’s comments as news, running an interview packed with racism/homophobia/immigrant-bashing. Nope, no news story here, just wisdom from a superstar.

Stone’s silence illustrates what kinds of hate are widely acceptable right now — racism and homophobia and immigrant-bashing, though not anti-Semitism. More­over, if you’re white and sell enough records, they’ll overlook anything. Long as they get a slice. Geffen’s Bridenthal wanted me to know “how hard [Rose] worked on that interview.” Maybe Rolling Stone should have given him a byline.

In the time between Rose’s scene at the Cat Club and Chuck D’s press release, Mordechai Levy got hyped. He’s the head of the Jewish Defense Organization, a group for whom maybe one follower put it, in Newsday, for all the rest: “This is Judaism, not that humanitarian crap.” Levy was arrested after firing wildly onto a Greenwich Village street. The man who said of Public Enemy, “We’re gonna bring these people to their knees,” managed only to bring 69-year-old, air conditioner re­pairman, Dominick Spinelli, to his knees, by firing bullets into Spinelli’s van, one lodging in his left leg. Levy was shooting wildly from the rooftop of his building on Bleecker Street, firing at two visitors who had come, he has said, to kill him. He missed, hitting Spinelli, parked nearby. When police arrested Levy last Thursday after­noon, they found a Ruger mini-14, and in his apartment and car, an impressive cache (an Uzi, AR-15 assault rifle, .22 rifles, and pump-action riot shotguns, tear gas, etc.).

Levy has mounted a war against Public Enemy since June. He claims to have organized record store boycotts, has leafletted against the group, put scary-sounding anti-PE messages on his phone machine, and paid at least one visit to their management offices.

There’s a Biblical injunction to the effect that you need not worry about staying close to your friends, but better cling to your enemies — they are your enemies, after all. Levy stayed close to his. An underhand grenade toss from his home is the office of Rush Productions, Public Enemy’s management. The rap group’s private publicist, Layla Turkkan, said, “Maybe I’m listening to too much PE, but it’s the most extraordinary coinci­dence that he should live there, like, three doors down.”

Levy, it turns out, has resided there longer than PE has been around. But go tell that to anybody from Rush and see if they look any more relaxed. Maybe Levy’ll run into Public Enemy next time they play a free concert at Rikers. Rolling Stone can send Axl Rose to cover it.

RJ Smith -MY NAMESAKE- is  an author, columnist and editor for the Los Angeles Times.

Waxing Poetic

 

South Beach – Miami – Ocean Drive

My birth-mother Harriet “Tish” Smith is dead. She died on March 1st, 2020, at Aventura Hospital & Medical Center, and much like in her life, she was alone, unhappy and afraid. It was terribly sad, yet completely predictable. For reasons still unknown to me and my siblings, she abandoned just about everyone who loved her. A member of the Silent Generation, she lived through World War II – Nazi Germany and witnessed the devastation of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

MOM – Age 29 – 1970

Baby RJ 1966

I, however, am a product of Generation X. Born just after Christmas 1965 in the small village of Ossining, New YorkI grew up in the 1970s, a time when black was black and white was white. It was a good time to be a kid, yet I don’t remember much. Does anyone? I do recall that almost every year, mother moved us to a different run-down roach-infested one-bedroom apartment to get away from the dozens of men in her life.

A lonely place, Ossining had one stoplight, a Shell gas station, a couple bars and a beauty salon. Suburban life in America back then resembled something like the fictitious town of Mayberry depicted in the Andy Griffin Show. We even had our own oddball police officer like Barney Fife, played by the late comedian and actor, Don Knotts. Then there was Mister Rogers, (Recently played by Tom Hanks in the motion picture A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.)

Andy Griffin Show Cast

Terrestrial TV Antenna

Back there in yesteryear, we only had access to three network television channels-ABC, CBS & NBC over terrestrial broadcasting signals which didn’t involve satellite transmissions or underground cables. Encoded images and sound were comprised of amplitude or frequency variations that morphed into a primitive picture drawn several times on a tube connected to a low-resolution screen. We had to continually adjust a TV-top rabbit ear antenna connected to a rooftop Channel Master Color Vector TV Antenna simply to get a clear picture.  Color Television was still a new technology which was extremely expensive. I have to admit,  people seemed friendlier in the 196os and 1970s and neighbors were more connected. In fact, I’d propose when peering through the foggy lens of history, one could argue American life was better than when compared to current times. Neighbors interacted and organized lawn and street parties and sometimes even summered together. In my wonderful hometown in the great state of Florida, most people are either extremely standoffish or outright dismissive.

Ossining was and remains a prison town where almost everyone worked or works inside a dreary yet infamous Sing-Sing state penitentiary. It was here where America’s first serial killer, Albert Fish, was executed in January 1936. In modern times, the 1970’s serial killer, David Berkowitz, better known as the Son of Sam, once walked the maximum-security yard surrounded by gun towers and thirty-foot walls.

The place is legendary. Of course, to us kids, it was a place of horror we thankfully only glimpsed from a hill overlooking the exercise yard. Down below, we’d see enormous Muscled men working out with weights, running the perimeter, or playing football or baseball depending on the season. There was even an old black man who’d glance up the hill and wave to us kids. It was creepy and we always wondered, what was an old guy like that doing there? It was a scary place, so very dark, lonely, and stark.

1968, Me and Rusty

Christmas 1969

In my writings, I often use the phrase Dead End Friends. It is an important term from my childhood, describing blood brothers – when best friends would slice open their palms and grip hands allowing blood to mingle. Nowadays such an act would be akin to suicide with the myriad deadly diseases our society faces.

The early seventies was a happy time in my young life. Children of my generation actually had to go outside to play with friends. We had to use our imaginations and brains. We played long ago forgotten games. Stickball, Hide and Seek, Marbles and  Tag were the big ones. Girls played Kick the Can, Hop Scotch, Red Rover, and Mother, May I? Some of us rode Stingray Chopper Muscle bicycles with stretched forks and we spent a lot of time Tree Climbing. These were our ONLY means of entertainment. It developed our musculature and wore us out. Childhood Obesity was practically non-existent despite the fact we consumed mountains of sugar and fatty foods just like modern kids. The difference is this: social interactions now come by way of virtual STATUS updates, a Tweet, Instagram, Google, Facebook, or YouTube post. We didn’t have Internet, no Computers, no Cellphones, Xbox or Playstations. They would not be invented for decades. In fact, the technologies of today were nothing more than Isaac Asimov Science Fiction stories considered laughable fantasies. When seeing such future tech in sci-fi magazines, one automatically defaulted to thoughts of comic books, aliens, bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster.  It’s simply amazing what we’ve accomplished since 1950. Think about that! Life was a splinter of what it is now. As I got older, we’d hang out at Roller Rinks, Drive-in Theaters, and I even joined the Young Marines as a kid. It was a wholesome life full of wonder and excitement.  

Sometime in 1970

One of the highlights of my boyhood was the summer camp mom sent me off to every year. I excelled at sports as a kid. Modern kids no longer attend summer camp in the numbers they once did and They certainly don’t engage with one another as we did at the same age. Around the age of 6, I began paying attention to music. The first song I remember hearing was Bennie and the Jets by Sir. Elton John while seated in a  beauty salon waiting for mom to get her hair teased out (a weekly event). The song erupted from an old wooden radio and introducing me to the world of Elton dressed up in his outrageous outfits.  I’d come to love music, especially during the holidays when mom would play Christmas music. My siblings, Larry and Laura would always visit on Christmas. Unknown to me at the time, mom had abandoned them a few years previously. Luckily, they went to live with their dad who took ’em’ in, raised ’em, loved them, and provided a safe and comfortable life. Raised normally, they had a sheltered existence and enjoyed a typical American childhood. Both excelled at school and eventually went on to college before raising their own beautiful families. To this very day, I am proud to call them my family. This is especially true for my amazing brother Larry who somehow managed to stifle the abhorrent pain and lonely anguish of abandonment by mother. I had problems rectifying the same issue.

In fall, 1973, shit started hitting the fan. Mother had begun sending me off with a male friend to “vacation” at a cabin in the Bear Mountains while she took off to Florida with her Beau de Jour. For weeks, a man named Robert often molested me before returning me home. I knew something wasn’t right about it, so I tried to keep it secret but ended-up telling mom what happened. Shockingly, she laughed and didn’t believe me. That impacted our otherwise close relationship. In retrospect, I suppose that was the day I lost all trust in her. That’s a hard feeling to describe, even for an experienced writer. Our relationship literally fell apart before my very eyes. Unknown at the time, mother was a raging alcoholic. I suppose this is what caused me to push aside alcohol for most of my life. I don’t like the taste at all and can’t stand liquor. Once in a while, I’ll sip on a beer or half-a-glass of wine, mostly during the holidays or New Year’s Eve. But generally, I don’t drink alcohol and detest it. That must come from memories of mom.

1972 First Communion

December 1973

Hell on Earth began for me in the dead of winter on Christmas Eve, 1973 when mom’s then-boyfriend Freddie, a sewer plant manager, moved in and began beating her. Running from his grasp on Christmas Eve, she grabbed a carving knife and plunged it into his chest. Staring in shock at the gushing blood from the corner of the room, I wept. Mother quickly gathered me into her arms, hurried from the apartment and pushed me into the passenger seat of her 1975 Camaro with only the clothes on our backs, we must have driven for hours, my mom behind the steering wheel chain-smoking one Salem after another. Then, I noticed she’d driven into New York City. Pulling to the curb, she pointed at a bodega, handed me a wad of cash, and told me to run inside and grab her a few packs of cigarettes (nobody cared if kids bought smokes back then). I didn’t think anything of it, as I had done this a hundred times previously without consequence. Surprisingly, though, this time, as soon as my feet hit the sidewalk, the car pulled away from the curb and abandoned me right where I stood. I was confused, frightened, and didn’t understand what was happening. Dashing into the street, I chased the disappearing taillights to no avail. However, by the time I realized what had happened, she was long gone! That night, I felt like I died inside. Suddenly, a teenaged Puerto Rican boy walked over to me where I knelt on a cold section of concrete, with rain tumbling from the dark ominous clouds and bolts of lightning streaking through the sky as thunder rolled through Times Square.

There I slouched, crying on the corner of 42nd Street & 8th Avenue – smack in the center of the then derelict,  Times Square. Somewhere in the distance, a siren shrieked, horns blared and Hookers worked their trade beside what I’d come to know were Pimps. I remember staring at one of the girls screaming at a Trick who was horrified behind the wheel of an old run-down Toyota. Times Square was a scandalous place in the 1970sDrug Dealers, the Homeless, and Crime ruled The Square. It was nothing like the Disneyesque of Times Square of current times. Back in the seventies, it was a dangerous place for adults, let alone a seventy-pound eight-year-old white boy with big blue eyes and fair skin.

As I have written extensively in The Santa Claus Killer, and my emotionally charged Hollywood film script and literary biography, Destiny, the Puerto Rican kid introduced himself as Marco, just one of the dozens of discarded kids living in abandoned apartment buildings in the slums of Washington Heights.

We scrounged for food in restaurant garbage cans and sometimes managers would hand-over unsold food when closing at the end of their day. This was the beginning of a five-year ordeal where I’d grow into my teens as a throwaway kid. It changed me, just as it does for every abandoned child. I became a shadow of the boy I once was and experienced the worst kind of loneliness on the planet. I suppose, like any child, I was attached at the hip with my mother.

Not having her as I grew up was a gut-wrenching experience. I became insecure and emotionally detached. Sometimes I’d be forced to fight and showing weakness was like offering red meat to a lion. At the time, all I knew was that I had to survive at any cost. When thinking back on that horror, I often wonder how I survived. Why did I when so many others didn’t? No kid should ever have to experience anything like that.

Following five long years growing up on the streets of Manhattan, at the age of thirteen, I was plucked from Times Square by police and eventually evaluated by New York City Department of Children and Families. Placing me at The McQuade Foundation for Boys in the town of  New Windsor, I finally felt normalcy again, made lots of new friends, excelled at school and began to trust. The first book I ever read was by Sideney Sheldon and I soon became hooked on literature. Three years later, for whatever reason, Mom demanded the state of New York return me to her Where she now lived in North Miami, Florida. Thus, within weeks, I was escorted aboard a Pan Am jetliner and flown to Miami International Airport. To say I was nervous would be an understatement I hadn’t seen her in eight years. I often wonder why she decided to interrupt my teenaged life?

McQuade Foundation

1973 Me & Friends

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time. I had done well in school and recently signed up to enter the United States Army after I received my high school diploma just six-months into the future. Thinking back to yesteryear, I now realize how much I wanted to become a soldier. Missing that opportunity is one of my biggest regrets, a sore memory that often rears its ugly head time and again. But, it wasn’t my fault and I have to remember that. Walking off that airplane in Miami I didn’t know what to expect. One step led to the next and when exiting the jetway I immediately recognized mom. Emotionally overwhelmed, I practically collapsed into her arms. This was the moment I had dreamt about for so many years! My emotions were a mess! Surprisingly, she somehow maintained her good looks, even then at the age of forty.

“How’ve ya been?” she asked, her arm loosely slung around my shoulders.

It was almost like the last eight years didn’t happen and I had merely returned from a Twilight Zone episode. Strange is a lacksadaisical word to attempt a description of that experience. My emotions were pulling me in two separate directions. The next day, she registered me at North Miami Senior High School, where I entered the 11th grade and settled in for what was expected to be a fabulous reunification with mom.

Age 17 – North Miami Florida

NMBHS Mascot

I met so many cool teenagers my age At school and the ensuing months were wonderful! I had a tightknit group of friends and a sexy girlfriend by the name of Kristen. Excelling at sports, I made baseball tryouts and would practice as a right fielder. Life was good until one day, the other foot dropped. When returning home after school I discovered my clothes and property had been thrown off the second-floor walkway where they landed upon the sidewalk below.

What the hell? I thought. I don’t get it! 

Running upstairs, I discovered the deadbolt key mother had given me no longer fit the lock. Banging on the door and window, I was sure this was some kind of mistake. Yet, the years had taught me much and educated me on the worst of humanity. Thus, it didn’t take long to figure out the situation. Mother had abandoned me again! Yet, the question was, why? I had been doing everything right, we got along great, and I didn’t push her on explaining why she’d abandoned me all those years previously. Despite everything I’d been through, I was a well-mannered teenager, was very attractive, and was a straight-A-student who was looking forward to a bright future in South Florida.

But, the hell of my youth would multiple infinitely in the Sunshine State.

Santa Claus Killer Launch

Thus, thirty-six years later, on February 28th, 2020, when I got a phone call from my brother Larry in Utah, I wasn’t expecting him to ask me to handle an emerging issue with my elderly birth-mother I hadn’t seen in years.

Apparently, she now had Stage 4 Lung Cancer and had just completed a second dose of chemotherapy. I knew nothing about it, we were estranged despite my continued attempts from 2009-to-2017 to reconnect and get to know her.

North Miami 2014

So, there I was at home in Largo, Florida,  about four hundred miles north of Miami. In June 2013, I had a terrible bicycle accident in The City of Belleair Bluffs where I broke my shoulder, injured my lumbar and cervical spines which required ten-serious surgeries, the implantation of titanium screws, plates, and rods.  Dealing with a resultant Traumatic Brain Injury, it’s been a tough seven years. Now, my mother was dead.

Miami 2017

To be honest, when Larry asked me to investigate the situation sharing a phone number of mom’s friend, I promised I’d call. Apparently, mom had been found two consecutive days on the floor of her small apartment. From what I learned, she couldn’t talk, move, and had a harrowing 103-degree temperature.

So, I did what any good son might and called North Miami Fire Rescue from West-Central Florida.

Relating to my brother what I’d been told and the actions I took, he asked if I’d hustle down o Miami and “see what’s up?” I never in a million years ever believed I’d be the adult sibling who’d get in a car, drive a back-breaking 400 miles to a hospital I knew nothing about to hold my dying mother’s hand as she lay in Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.

Clutching my novel

That first night, in her ICU room, she was cognizant and surprisingly happy to see me. Handing her a hardcover of my 2018 novel, Monsters in the Woods, a stuffed animal, balloons & flowers, , she expressed that she was proud of me and we then were able to talk openly about our past. I really had no clue she was close to dying. But in the ensuing hours, doctors advised she was and requested I contact the rest of our family. That was a sad moment for me because I knew nobody was likely to show, although my sister did arrive for an hour visit before Suddenly taking leave and helping herself to mom’s jewelry and everything else of value the old woman had. 

That first night as I sat watching her struggle for breath, something happened inside me. Deep down where the past nags at the gut,  the anger, disappointment, frustration, and hatred I thought I had for her surprisingly dissipated. The decades of ill feelings and outright despise I held for her simply evaporated. It was as if everything I’d been through ended on her death bed. A great sense of healing overcame me and for the first time, I had empathy for her. 

March 1st, 2020

Feb. 28th, 2020

One of the last things she mumbled to me was: “my kids aren’t here but I guess after what I did to you’se (sic) they wouldn’t be.”  That was the closest thing to “I’m sorry” she would allow herself. I accepted that. The bottom line for me was I got to say goodbye, called a priest, and watched as he gave mom last rights. After everything, I was surprised to be the adult child who was there in the end.                  

That night, I whispered in her ear that I forgave her and promised if she’d let go and go to God, I’d be alright. I sensed something just then, and although NOT conscious, she actually lightly squeezed my hand. At that moment, I knew we were good.

At 7:3o a.m. on March 1st, 2020, she slipped away to the darkness which awaits us all.

I guess sometimes in our lives, we allow things to follow us around like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe. Emotional pain, regrets, and difficult memories are very hard to resolve. Yet in the end, I discovered this… those we think we despise the most are pretty easy to forgive. I was blessed to have closure.

UPDATED: 01 December 2020

The Day After Roswell

ACTUAL U.S. Army photographs of an interplanetary flying disc confirmed by full bird colonel, Philip James Corso (May 22, 1915–July 16, 1998). Just prior to his death, he broke the silence and published “The Day After Roswell” in 1997, confirming his involvement in the research of extraterrestrial technology recovered from the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident.

DYLAN ROOF: Sentenced to Death!

Hey guys, hope ur having a great Spring 2019. Usually, I try not to share my personal political views… whether that’s got to do with actual politics or that of life. However, obviously… I am breaking my silence on one hell of a horrid crime. In the usual circumstances of this thing we call life, I would tell you I’m a staunch supporter of all life and that normally I am against death sentences. I am generally against it and believe if it is going to be used, then only the most depraved, psychotic, and dangerous should receive the ultimate punishment. Nobody fits the mold as well as serial killer Dylan Roof! He’s the embodiment of bad… an exceptionally sick puppy. What he did is and will always be inexcusable, an act filled with hate and anger. If anyone deserves to die, I suppose it’s him. Imagine for a moment what those beautiful souls thought the day this animal walked into their church with murder in his stare. Don’t let the young face fool you, everything you need to know about any monster is set in the eyes. It is the stare of a madman. – RJ

Created: 3 May 2019 

The Looming End of Mankind

The Killer Species of Man

The Author in Spring 2019

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a few fishermen from the small inlet Canadian town of North Lake where Blue Fin Tuna used to spawn in the millions. With the explosion of raw fish or sushi, we are witnessing the global depletion of global fish stocks and the decline in fisheries. Most important is the survival of the species, but humans care very little about conservation. One of the biggest arguments I heard during my conversation with wharfmaster McCarty, generational fishermen who say “this is my business, I put food on the table for my family, my kids will grow up in the industry, it’s our way of life.”

Unfortunately, this is far from a new argument. We’ve all heard similar defenses when speaking to hunters of every type. Almost always they claim if hunting didn’t exist they’d be homeless. C’mon? Really? At some point, we have to accept responsibility. In our lifetime, more animals have gone extinct than from the asteroid strike that killed the dinosaurs.  Think about that for a moment. We are literally killing nature! It has become so bad that most of the biggest game once found on Earth has been relegated to the Natural Museum. Extinction is happening all around us. The Earth is dying. How much longer will the Senate and Congress be distraught over an election and get down to brass tacks?

In 2018, three-bird species have vanished from the planet. The Earth is losing animal species at ten-thousand times the natural rate! Unlike the mass extinctions seen in the past, our current extinction crisis is caused entirely by our own activities. No matter your politics, common sense tells us that the loss of wildlife habitats is thinning out and we are directly responsible for over-hunting, over-fishing, and outright cruelty of animals. As much as thirty-to-sixty percent of the planet’s species WILL BE extinct by 2050 according to the  Center for Biological Diversity. Five-species a year are disappearing from the face of the Earth. We are witnessing the sixth wave of extinction in the past half-billion years, the most recent being the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs sixty-five million years into the past.

In 2018, Hawaii’s Po’ouli bird population went extinct, the species’ chance of bouncing back is less than 0.1 percent. They’re gone, we’ve eliminated their environment, cut down the trees, cleared woodlands. The songbird was just identified forty-five years ago and already we’ve destroyed their population. How and why has this happened? They were hunted by mongooses, cats, and rats, and mosquito-spread diseases were factors in the Po’ouli’s extinction. The Alagoas Foliage-gleaner, another songbird, made the dense forest in northeastern Brazil home before the total deforestation sent the population into a tailspin.

The Vaquita Porpoise was discovered in 1958 – Now, just sixty years later, the World Wildlife Foundation expects the dolphin to go extinct in the next few years. With less than thirty remaining in the wild, it is most probably the world’s rarest marine mammal. The vaquita is the smallest cetacean species in the northern Gulf of California. How is it going extinct? The vaquita extinction is entirely a manmade disaster brought-on due to being caught and drowned in illegal gillnet fishing equipment. Vaquita was the only porpoise species that lived in the warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Northern White Rhino, In March 2018, Sudan, the last remaining male northern white rhino, died at the age of 45. With Sudan’s passing, the total number of remaining northern white rhinos dropped to just two — both of which are female and incapable of natural reproduction, according to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Scientists have found that assisted reproduction is possible, but the fate of the subspecies relies on expensive and difficult procedures never before used in rhinos. The population’s decline was caused by extensive poaching for their horns

ROD STEWART & CYNDI LAUPER CONCERT

South Florida Faces Imminent Destruction

                    SOUTH BEACH – MIAMI Florida

EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS. My home cities of Miami Beach (South Beach), Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Sarasota and Key West are in serious trouble. The truth is, The Atlantic Ocean and surrounding waterways have risen and will continue to do so! Our FLOODS & STORMS are no longer 100-year incidents… but occur every year now! In our mid-and-western states, the fields of farms are suffering the worst draught in history, on top of this there is a water supply emmergency globally. With big business like Nestle owning much of the water rights, water companies profit by pumping out our groundwater, which deplets local water supplies and destroys ecosystems. Our citrus farms aren’t producing plentiful bounties as in years prior. Florida produces 90% of the world’s Orange Juice. Earth and most of the East and Southern Coasts of America are in serious trouble. We can no longer pretend Global Warming is not happening, look at the disasters we’ve had over the last few years! Whether the planet is warming due to mankind’s activities on the planet or if this trend is a cyclical event doesn’t much matter. It’s happening.

                                           New York City

NASA has reported their satellite data has determined the ice of the Arctic is at its lowest point since 1979 and is quickly losing its perennial ice. As of June 2018, the ice-sheets have lost 621,371.192 (six-hundred and twenty-one thousand, three-hundred and seventy-one, point one nine acres… or the equivilent of one-million kilometers. The result has been an increase of pure driking water becoming undrinkable one the water mingles with the world’s salty oceans. The melting of the huge floating ice shelves and icebergs in the sea is predicted to raise water levels significantly.

The rise may effect tectonic locations, subsidence of the land, tides, currents, storms, and so forth. Sea level rise is expected to continue for centuries. Because of the long response time for parts of the climate system, it is now estimated it’s too late to save low-lying areas … humanity is already committed to a sea-level rise of a whopping seven-and-a-hallf feet for each degree by the year 2100. The International Panel on Climate Change predicts that the global mean sea level rise will continue during the 21st century, very likely at a faster rate than observed from 1971 to 2018.

When all of the remaining ice covering Antarctica, Greenland, and the glaciers around the world melts, sea level will have risen more than two-hundred and thirty feet. (230 feet). The ocean would cover all of Earth’s coastal cities. Our land areas would shrink significantly with states like Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and other midwest states surviving. But, with New York City, Long Island, California, Washington D.C. and hundreds of other low lyinig states, survival as we now know it will be a thing of the past. Livable cities will become overcrowded with disbanded American’s from across the country. Resources will be strained and the country could very well sink into a world of crime, death and diseases.

In Florida, natural areas will be the first to go. After just one or two feet of sea-rise, substantial natural areas in coastal Florida… where low-lying cities meets the sea will all be under water. At two feet of rise, water will close in on Naples municipal airport. A few residential areas around Fort Myers and Cape Coral will take on water. in Pinellas County, on the Gulf of Mexico, barrier islands

and low-lying Clearwater and Saint Petersburgh, Shore Acres and the Tampa Bay will all be underwater. Bayport Park in Hernando County will be gone! Fort Lauderdale’s challenges begin to crystallize as some of its priciest canalside and ocean real estate will be flooded. The mainland-facing side of urban Miami Beach will be inundated. The sea and higher waters in the Everglades would flood the entire lower area of the state. Gravity-driven canal and drainage systems will fail as the seas rises, stacking up rainfall inland. In the early 1980s, nuisance flooding in the Florida Keys happened less than once per year on average. By 2030 (just 12 years fro now) sea level will rise by 7 inches, catastronic flooding will happen thirty to eighty times a year—say goobbye to the sandy beaches as they will no longer exist.

                                                                            Washington D.C.

We are setting ourselves up for an unsurvivable disaster that our grandkids have to deal with. They will lose power as the GRID becomes flooded. That means no computers, cellphones, televisions, kights, food or anythng that requires electricity to run or create. Gas wouldn’t be produced, cars would run out of it, The Stock Market will crash, and the entirety of Manhattan will eventually be under water… the food chain will fail, people will die by the hundreds of millions and nourishment will certainly be scarce along with much of the undeveloped world being wiped out from lack of clean drinking water, starvation, and most liekly, a deadly worldwide plague!
The extinction of mankind will happen, whether or not you believe it. If your worry is about global warmingand fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are coming within the lifetime of a teenager living today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

Without an immediate and significant change to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically  inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

Many of us are unable to comprehend its scope. This past winter, a string of days 60-70 degrees warmer cooked the North Pole, even melting permafrost that encased Norway’s Svalbard seed vault—theglobal food bank nicknamed “Doomsday,” designed to ensure that our agriculture survives any type of catastrophe, and which appeared to have been flooded by climate change less than ten years after being built.

Until recently, permafrost was not a major concern of climate scientists, because, as the name suggests, it was soil that stayed permanently frozen. But Arctic permafrost contains 1.8 trillion tons of carbon, more than twice as much as is currently suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. When it thaws and is released, that carbon will evaporate as methane, which is thirty-five times as powerful a greenhouse-gas warming blanket as carbon dioxide when judged on the timescale of a century; when judged on the timescale of two decades, it is 86 times as powerful. In other words, we have, trapped in Arctic permafrost, twice as much carbon as is currently destroying the atmosphere of our planet, all of it predicted to be released at a date that keeps getting moved up.

Maybe you know that alread… there are alarming stories in the news every day, like those, last month, that seemed to suggest satellite data tracked global warming since 1998 more than twice as fast as scientists had thought. The frightening news from Antarctica in May, reported a crack in an ice shelf had grown eleven miles in six days, then kept right on going. Soon, the biggest icebergs ever seen with crash into the sea in a processcalled “calving.”

                                                          Charleston North Carolina

But no matter how well-informed humanity is, we are obviously not alarmed enough. Over the past few decades, our culture has gone apocalyptic with zombie movies and Mad Max dystopias, perhaps the collective result of displaced climate anxiety, and yet when it comes to contemplating very real-world warming, we suffer from an incredible failure of imagination and recklessly allow the huge lobbying campaign to continue lying to lawmakers and leaders. Humanity is preceeding as though nothing is happening, that the warnings of the world’s scientific communities are nothing more than attempts to reel in the gas and oil industry.

For those who do believe earth is in trouble and our future genertions are at risk of extinction, they ignorantly assume that climate change will hit hardest somewhere else, which amounts to the prospect of our own annihilation; simple fear. But aversion arising from fear is a form of denial.

                                       Venice Beach, California

In between scientific reticence and science fiction is science itself. This article is the result of dozens of interviews and exchanges with climatologists and researchers in related fields and reflectshundreds of scientific papers on the subject of climate change. What follows is not a series of predictions of what will happen — that will be determined in large part by the much-less-certain science of human response. Instead, it is a portrait of our best understanding of where the planet is heading absent aggressive action. It is unlikely that all of these warming scenarios will be fully realized, largely because the devastation along the way will shake our complacency. But those scenarios, and not the present climate, are the baseline. In fact, they are on schedule.

The last ten years have been the hottest on record, with 2018 already the hottest in history. Before this, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 210, 2009, 2008 have all been hotter than the previous year. It’s time to wake up Earthlings and face the music… as it were.

It is already too late to save our low-lying cities fromdisappearing. Had our politicians stopped taking bribes form big oil, and started real change steering us away from burning the remains of dinosaur fossil fiuel back in 1992 when Al Gore and climatologists sounded the initial alarm of the polar ice melting due to human activity on the planet, releasing methane, gases and pollutents into the air, we might have been able to stave off the destruction of Earth.

                              San Diego, California

Humanity continues to release emissions into the atmostpphere and with President Trump backing out of the Paris Accord on Global Warming, the old coal mines will reopen and will once again become the cheapest energy source available. Coal (as everyone knows) is the one industry that can single-handidly make earth unlivable while killing off humankind. Our teenagers, grandkids and great grandkids will eventually not be able to live on this once beautiful planet… and when looking back in history, they’ll lay the blame squarely on our generation after they come to understand that the destruciton of our habitat by Global Warming was preventable had American politicians not taken bribes and gifts from big oil.

The Real RJ Smith #globalwarming #climatechange

The Real RJ Smith #globalwarming #climatechange