When Intentions Do Not Match Results – WIF Government

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Government Programs

That Went

Horribly Wrong

(USA)

The government is necessary and most of the time they should be trusted — at least (and especially) your local government. You need police, firefighters, and even bureaucrats and tax collectors. However, sometimes the government makes it hard for people to trust them. Whether through malice, or just plain incompetence, sometimes the United States government‘s best laid plans and programs went horribly wrong, and caused massive damage… or even deaths. In today’s article, we will go over 10 programs or agencies that have caused serious and lasting harm.

10. Smokey The Bear Helped Create More Massive Wildfires

Smokey the Bear is one of the most well known mascots of all time, except instead of being the mascot for a major sports team, Smokey is the mascot for United States natural parks, and all of US wildlife and forests in general. Smokey was conceived by the United States government decades ago in order to spread awareness about the importance of putting out your fires, especially old campfires and the sparks from your cigarettes. His famous line “Only YOU can prevent forest fires” is catchy and known by many outside of States.

However, despite the best intentions of the government, Smokey the Bear has actually done a lot more harm than good at this point, and with how much death and destruction recent wildfires have caused, the entire thing is no laughing matter. Because the campaign worked a bit too well, people became so obsessed with putting out tiny brush fires — even natural ones — that not enough natural clearing was occurring. This meant that when a wildfire does start now, it usually has way too much fuel to help it keep moving, whereas otherwise it might have choked itself off because dry brush was regularly burned out naturally.

9. The Fast And Furious Scandal Ended Up Giving More Guns To The Cartels

Fast and the Furious was a scandal that caused a lot of damage to the Obama administration’s reputation, and especially to his attorney general Eric Holder. The federal government knows the cartels often come across the border, buy lots of guns, and then sneak them across the border again to use in wars with other drug dealers and even their own government. Now, the United States government has long tried to prevent this, but the Obama administration got another idea.

They figured that if they knew this reliably happened so much, instead of putting all efforts to stop it and get gun stores to be a bit more vigilant, they actually decided to pull a trick on the cartels. They allowed a whole bunch of gun sales, with the plan to track the guns so they could figure out where in Mexico (or elsewhere) they were ending up, and who ultimately was using them. Now, this could have led to valuable intelligence, and if they had managed to track the people down and get the guns back, it would have been a successful operation. Unfortunately, it became a scandal after it became public that the government had completely lost track of the guns, making the entire operation a complete waste that just made the cartels more powerful.

8. The War On Drugs Is A Colossal Failure And An Enormous Boondoggle

The war on drugs was started back in the Nixon era, and ramped-up to even more of a fevered pitch during the Reagan years. In fact, Nancy Reagan, the First Lady at the time, even made it her mission in life to go on a campaign against drugs, with her famous slogan, “Just say no.” (Something that basically never worked for any teenager under peer pressure… ever). The idea was that if we put enough government dollars into restrictive laws and prison sentences, cracked down hard on the gangs and on individual dealers, and went all out against the drugs as if we are actually at war, we would make a huge dent and get lots of people off drugs. However, the truth is that all the facts suggest that the “War on Drugs” was a colossal waste of time and money.

Despite all the arguably unfair prison sentences for small drug offenses, the bigger issue is simply that the program has not been effective. Even though an incredible amount of time and money has been spent, evidence shows that over the years, access to drugs has become cheaper, the cartels and drug dealers are making more money, more people are doing drugs, and the problem is actually getting worse. It doesn’t help that legal drugs like opioids helped create an entirely new black market for getting high and ruining your life.

7. The Housing Projects Cemented Segregation

All the way back in the FDR years, the United States of America saw a need for more low income housing for poor urban citizens — which is often code for black people. Now, there were a lot of ways this could be done, but the government did it really the wrong way entirely. Obviously, we don’t know for sure what their intentions were, but the effect was devastating for the black community, and helped codify segregation permanently into the very infrastructure of the United States.

The housing projects were all put in the same city blocks, and were closely packed together. They were not spread out within different zip codes throughout the big cities, as would make more sense, and none of them were built in slightly wealthier zones, to help uplift the poor people coming to live in the projects. Instead, they chose more run-down parts of the city, and closely packed the housing projects together.

Because cities’ tax revenues are based on the riches of its citizens, small cities that have a lot of housing projects tend to have very little money to fix anything, have nice schools, or even keep the city up. And because moving is so expensive, most people born in the projects will simply never get out.

6. Poisoning People During Prohibition

The prohibition era is a well known time from America’s history, and perhaps one of the biggest mistakes in modern history. It is well known that a huge new class of drug cartels spawned due to prohibition, and it didn’t even work. The federal government was annoyed that people kept finding ways to flout their decree, and wanted to force people to behave — or else. They devised a plan to teach people that alcohol WAS bad for them, even if they didn’t think so, and even if they had to put bad stuff in alcohol that wasn’t usually in it.

So, they figured if they poisoned a bunch of bootleg alcohol, people would get sick stop drinking due to the dangers. They poisoned a bunch of alcohol from industrial sources and denatured it, making it unsafe to drink; then, they just waited, knowing the bootleggers usually used those sources. Tens of thousands got sick and thousands died, at least according to most estimates. The government did not admit until later what they did, and it is hard to know for sure just how many hospital stays and deaths were caused by this irresponsible and deadly action by the United States government.

5. FEMA Keeps Failing At Basic Disaster Management Over And Over Again

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #185

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #185

…We are living in exciting and dangerous times, you young people who have been called to the care and healing of your fellow man…

Tufts School of Medicine

Tufts University graduates are encouraged to take in fluids and the Dean edits some of the pomp and circumstance, skipping past the salutatorian, a disappointed young woman from Maine, who was asked to introduce the main speaker, former President and recent unsuccessful “Bull Moose” candidate, Theodore Roosevelt.

(#26) responded readily to an inspiring letter sent by Willy and Amanda Campbell, with the help of the Loves. He is moved by the expressed feelings of former slaves, turned proud parents of a real doctor, keeping in mind everything Willy had gone through in Blountstown late in 1908 and his passion for the oppressed.

Roosevelt is very much a beloved figure, his impeccable character something to be admired and emulated by aspiring professionals. He has never been a doctor, but he is intimately familiar with the trade due to his rough and tumble lifestyle, not to mention a bullet to the chest before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, just nine months before.

  “We are living in exciting and dangerous times, you young people who have been called to the care and healing of your fellow man. Most of you will go to cities and towns in nearly every state in our proud union. Some of you will discover new medicines from the leaves of tropical plants. Others will put their life on the line to tend to wounded soldiers; you have my advanced gratitude.

“And then there is Alpha Omega Campbell and his Dad.” He motions for the revived subject to join him at the podium, along with Willy, from the rear. “From out the midst of the shadow of slavery comes one of the finest young men I have ever had the chance to meet. I am told, by his proud parents, Willy and Amanda that he is returning to the Tallahassee area to serve the needs of the Negro community.

 “Gentlemen and Ladies, these are true American heroes!” He gives them a mighty bear hug.

Judith Eastman makes this a true P-E J moment, a photographic record of a life-changing event; a world leader and a world changer.

The entire graduating class of 1913 rises and cheers, tossing their hats high into the air. They are joined in celebration by the entire plaissance of attenders.

“Bully!” shades of T.R. political rallies past.

Before euphoria takes complete control, A.O. cannot pass up the opportunity to thank the two people responsible for this day, mentors of possibilities and means, in that order. ”My fellow graduates, I know it’s a hot day,” he blushes, “as my lapse in balance can attest, but I will not let this occasion pass without introducing the two men who made the School of Medicine a reality for me, Doctor Siegfried Endlichoffer and Herbert Love!” Herbert stands, while helping Ziggy conquer rusty knees. “I dedicate my future patients to the Lord God Almighty and these men, his good and faithful servants.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #185


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #180

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #180

…Harv and Judith Pearson have changed places with a Blountstown family man, a worker in the Blountstown Granary with a wife and two children…

Company Town-001

The fall of 1908 contains a Presidential election, which would likely mean that Teddy Roosevelt would be re-elected, despite a country awakening from TaftWHdepression, but true to his word, he does not run for a third term. That speaks volumes for the man, going out while you are still on top.

The nation dips back into the state of Ohio for their president, an assassin’s bullet inserting a New Yorker in between. William Howard Taft will end a twelve year pipeline connection between Washington and Tallahassee. Even though Taft had been “Rough and Ready Teddy’s” Secretary of War and staunch tactical executor, he shares none of the friendships, only policies.

  But, a big but at that, Roosevelt will not leave office until March 9, 1909, four months and three days away. Until then, he will support his supporters, up to and past what is considered usual and customary.

Just like a million other Americans, he reads the Pearson-Eastman Journal faithfully and its December feature, sure enough, “Bigotry and Corruption/Beyond Emancipation and Above the Law”, has caught his eye.

Told in a way that can only come from an insider, having to live their lives in harmony with the rest of the community, Harv Pearson has changed places with a Blountstown family man, a worker in the Blountstown Granary with a wife and two children. Before you jump to conclusions, Judith plays the part of the wife and mother, who just happens to contract an extreme interest in photography. The middle-teen-aged children are the sole reality, looking at this charade as a change of pace, time away from parents who keep very much to themselves. Real Mom and Dad are treated to a honeymoon in New York, once considered an unnecessary luxury, before life got “Blountified”.

As in most undercover stories, these fifty-ish journalists need a physical transformation. Harv and Judith look young for their age, the former having more ground to make up, but becoming a lower class working couple proves to be most difficult.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #180


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #160

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 160

… It is not like Theodore Roosevelt has not had his hands full in 1906…

Teddy Roosevelt-001

The telegraph lines have been scorching forth and back between Rochester and Tallahassee, Boston, Quincy and Washington, whose resident president insists on hosting the real Eastman-Pearson union; a somewhat shorter trip for the Southern contingent, who are far from strangers to the White House.

Alice Roosevelt

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

The fact that Roosevelt’s daughter from his first marriage, “Princess Alice” as she is affectionately called by newspaper reporters assigned to Washington, is getting married there two months before the Pearson-Eastman’s, will make for a nonstop, romping-stomping celebration of family and friend. If you were not invited and you consider yourself one of the beautiful people, you would not dare admit it, for fear of becoming a social has-been.

 But it is not like Theodore Roosevelt has not had his hands full in 1906. There are hints, led by a dwindling money supply that is pointing toward an economic crisis. Ten or more years of prosperity and growth are threatened by a war between Russia and Japan, which we’ve had to play both sides to the middle, the enormous cash vacuum in the wake of the San Francisco earthquake and unprecedented railroad expansionism.

Big stick-001

Big stick-001

For the first time in recent memory, the United States has flat out outspent its income and banks do not have the money to cover the outflow. There is also a strange coincidence concerning the purchase of the rights to the Panama Canal, with all its burdens cast in iron; excavation equipment needed for the largest works project ever attempted.

Apart from the fray, the times when a leader must separate himself, Roosevelt is true to those who have aided his glorious run in the White House. No one who has ever held the nation’s highest office has enjoyed as much as he; the power, the prestige, the trappings. Someone heard him say once: “I can’t believe they are paying me for this job.”

  Dutch by birth, a Van Roosevelt original surname, he had led the comfortable life to this point, except for a pre-teen period when he was puny and in ill health, resulting in torments from cruel mischievers. Training at the family gymnasium took care of that problem and is chiefly responsible for the rugged bravado he has displayed ever since. Wherever he goes, whoever he is with, his “big stick” is always close at hand.


Alpha Omega M.D.

1900_Teddy-Roosevelt

Episode # 160


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Vice Versa Visa or Passport Problemo – WIF Travel

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The World’s

Most Difficult

Countries to Visit

13,000 miles long and roughly 30 feet tall, the Great Wall of China symbolizes both the country’s military strength and its isolationism. Currently, no country has a Great Wall, but many countries are dedicated to staying isolated, often to avoid exposing their citizens to socio-cultural ideas and practices disliked by their respective governments. For various reasons, the following 10 countries may be difficult for tourists to visit.

10. Canada

Surprised? Frankly, so are we. Canada’s requirements for air travel and border crossing have been more stringent since its southern neighbor, the United States, suffered a terrorist attack in 2001. Since 2007, anyone traveling into Canada by air must have a passport. People who frequently drive across the Canadian border may obtain an enhanced driver’s license that serves in lieu of a passport. Even with stricter security measures required, Canadian customs officials have a reputation for friendliness. The stereotype of the conversational Canadian customs officer is so pervasive that Canadian comedian Rob Bebenek has a stand up routine wherein he contrasts crossing the U.S. border with crossing the Canadian border.

However, one group of people may find Canada difficult to enter. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are considered particularly serious offenses in Canada. Someone who has been convicted of more than one DUI or DWI might not be permitted to cross the border. If a conviction is at least 10 years old and carried a maximum sentence of less than 10 years, someone who has the necessary paperwork may petition for Criminal Rehabilitation. If that petition is granted, the person will be allowed to cross. Those who aren’t eligible to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation may apply for Individual Criminal Rehabilitation, a status that is determined by the Canadian government on a case by case basis. Other options for those who are ineligible for Criminal Rehabilitation include getting a pardon or discharge of your conviction from the country where one was convicted, which must be accepted by the Canadian government, or obtaining a temporary resident permit.

9. Iran

Many cultural innovations that are now prized worldwide began in Iran. Refrigeration, postal delivery, guitars, and chess originated in the area. Tourists would be welcome to learn about the country’s culture and its history, if they didn’t have such difficulty visiting. In 2018, the United States both imposed sanctions on Iran and discontinued its nuclear deal with the nation. Those political decisions had a significant commercial impact, harming the country’s tourist industry.

Deterred by the sanctions, Americans and citizens from countries allied to the United States no longer visit Iran. However, the sanctions have especially affected domestic tourism. Seventy percent of Iran’s tourism revenue comes from Iranians traveling within the country. Fewer Iranians have sufficient money for traveling, since the sanctions are weakening the Iranian economy.

8. Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is a former Soviet bloc country that’s bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzebekistan, and Afghanistan. The Soviet bloc countries were satellite countries of the Soviet Union. Many of them were financially destabilized when the Soviet Union fell in 1991.

The revenue tourists bring is welcome in Turmenistan, but it’s a difficult country to visit. Most travelers who wish to visit must be invited by the government or fund a touring company, though tourists staying on the mainland may be granted five day visas. Social media is banned in Turkmenistan. All tourists are officially required to be accompanied by guides, who report the tourists’ movements to the government.

7. Yemen

We’ve talked about the warfare in Yemen before, and we’re mentioning it again because, sadly, Yemen is still at war. A brief history of warfare in Yemen: In 2004, the Houthis, a Shiite political and religious group, plotted to overthrow the Yemeni government. On September 21, 2014, the Houthis seized the capital city, Sana’a. Because many political and religious groups opposed the Houthis, the country began a civil war in 2015.

The civil war hasn’t ended, but it isn’t solely a war among Yemenis. Yemen’s civil war is a proxy war, a war instigated by major powers that don’t become directly involved. Iran provided weapons to the Houthis, while Saudi Arabia and the United States provided weapons to the Yemeni military. In 2019, the U.S. Congress voted to stop selling arms to the Yemeni government. Imagine: A Yemeni who was born in 2014 has never experienced peace, or a stable economy.

When the country is at peace, it is an enviable tourist attraction. Sana’a, the capital city, has been continuously inhabited for 2,500 years. For tourists who enjoy nature, Yemen would be an ideal vacation destination .Ninety percent of the reptiles in Yemen cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, tourism companies officially advise that the country is unsafe to visit due to terrorism, civil war, health risks, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

6. Angola

Angola, a large country in southwestern Africa, includes deserts and rain forests. Angola was formerly a Portuguese colony, but Portugal now depends on Angola for financial support —Angola possesses rich oil reserves. Angola has survived colonization and civil war. Now the country’s greatest threat is economic instability, caused by inflation.

In 2011, the capital city, Luanda, was the most expensive city in the world to visit. The average price of a melon at a street market was one hundred U.S. dollars. Someone who could afford to visit Luanda would still need to pay to be invited. Tourists must receive an official invitation from the government in order to visit. Anyone who requests a letter has to pay for it. If the letter arrives without a visa despite the visa having been paid for, or the visa is later denied, none of the expenses incurred can be refunded.

5. Saudi Arabia

Like Yemen, we’ve talked about the dangers of visiting Saudi Arabia. Also like Yemen, the Saudi Arabian government’s oppressive practices have since worsened. The Saudi government admitted to orchestrating the November 2018 murder of a journalist for The Washington Post, Jamal Khoshoggi. Khoshoggi, who authored articles criticizing Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman, was ambushed and strangled when he entered the Turkish consulate to obtain a marriage license. His attackers chopped up his body with a bone saw.

On 2019, 36 countries signed an open letter criticizing Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses.Negative news coverage of Saudi Arabia has negatively affected its tourism industry. The Saudi royal family is the richest family in the world, worth over one billion dollars. The economic instability exacerbated by the decrease in tourism will affect not the royal family, but the Saudi citizens. Twenty percent of the population of Saudi Arabia lives in poverty.

4. Russia

Even before U.S. special counsel investigator Robert S. Mueller confirmed that Russia interfered with the United States of America’s 2016 presidential election, sociopolitical tensions created during the Cold War were still present between the two countries. And as long as the nation remains under the thumb of its president, Vladimir Putin, that tension is likely to remain.

Russia doesn’t recognize U.S. diplomats’ authority to intervene in visa-related difficulties involving American travelers. All travelers are advised to avoid unsanitary water, unsafe medical treatments, pick-pocketing, and government surveillance.

3. Kiribati

The Pacific island of Kiribati isn’t particularly dangerous to visit. It’s just incredibly difficult to reach. Any airport travel requires a long, costly flight between islands. There are few amenities to which travelers from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe are accustomed.

However, local families are willing to accommodate guests. A tourist who requires a passport — anyone living outside of the European Union — should schedule an additional trip to Wales. The only Kiribati embassy in Europe is in Llandewi Rhydderch. But hey, we hear Wales is nice this time of year, if you’re feeling particularly ready to — eventually — make your way to Kiribati.

2. Bhutan

The Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan was closed to visitors until 1974. As of 2019, obtaining a visa costs $40. A tourist must pay $250 to the government for each day of his or her stay. The daily fee includes the provision of accommodation, transportation, food, and a guide.

Travelers from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives do not need to obtain a visa to visit Bhutan. Invited guests of the government aren’t required to pay a daily fee. The fee is intended to deter visitors, in order to protect the country’s forestry. Bhutan’s dense forests make it the only carbon negative country in the world, and federal law requires that sixty percent of the land always remain covered by trees.

1. Eritrea

Eritrea is the most difficult country in the world to visit. Formerly a colony of Italy, the northeastern African country gained independence in 1991, after a 30 year war with Ethiopia. As of 2019, Eritrea is a dictatorship. All tourists require a visa, and a visa costs $70.

Visitors aren’t permitted to use local transportation while they are in Eritrea. The only way to travel within the country is by prearranging modes of transportation with a tourist company. Anyone traveling outside of the capital city, Asmara, must receive the government’s permission to travel to each destination he or she wants to visit.


Vice Versa Visa or Passport Problemo –

WIF Travel

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #150

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #150

…“It is James Ferrell, sir…” He endures Roosevelt’s punishing handshake and a poke in his side from his wife. “…and this is my wife, Abigail.”…

Kettle Hill

The Hero of Kettle Hill

“James, look who is at the front desk!” prompts Abigail Ferrell at the sighting of a nationaltheodore-roosevelt hero. President Theodore Roosevelt and his entourage dominate the lobby. “Is he here for our meeting?”

“No, Abbey. But I do hope Harv and Judith Eastman get here soon. What a way to launch their first issue of their photo-journalistic magazine, an interview with the Rough Rider, the hero of Kettle Hill! In fact, I am going to make sure that he does not leave before they get that chance.”

With rare aplomb, not a trait for which he is known for, he brazenly knifes through the crowd, a beeline to the leader who replaced their own friend, William McKinley.

“Excuse me, sir, Mr. President. Do you remember me?”

  Here is a young buck, dressed in lawyer clothes, but young for sure, asking a man who has met more people in his 43 years than 10 ordinary people meet in their lifetime. He politely looks up and down his lean frame, likewise taking in the equally young filly joining the fray, searching his memory.

  “No, son, you will have to refresh me. From where do we have acquaintance?”

“The Tallahassee Twelve? We counted William McKinley as a friend,” James states with visible pride.

  “Bully, I say, bully. Excuse me for the oversight, young _______?”

“James Ferrell, sir…” He endures Roosevelt’s punishing handshake and a poke in his side from his wife. “…and this is my wife, Abigail.”

  “It is a pleasure, folks. And what is it that brings you to Rochester, all the way from Florida?”

“Well, actually we came from Cambridge… Massachusetts. I am in law school there.”

   “A Harvard Man. Bully. I knew you had the ways of a bright one.”

While they had the attention of yet another president, James Ferrell advances the cause of the day.

“Mr. Roosevelt? If I may be so bold, I am here in New York representing the Beacon Hill Partners in the formation of a partnership of Misters Pearson, Love and Eastman and Miss Judith Eastman. They will be publishing a photographic journal presently.”

 “George Eastman? Harv Pearson and Herb Love! My Lord, that sounds like a winning combination to this cowboy.”

Quincy Reporter-001Sec. of Ag-001

“We have a meeting scheduled here this very hour – I am sure they would be honored to have you in their inaugural feature, if you can only wait for them.”

“Good gracious, yes!” he heartily reverberates. “Say, I think I see the former Secretary of Agriculture arriving this very minute. Over here…Herbert Love… don’t be a stranger!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #150


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #135

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #135

…Judith Eastman is much impressed with how connected these diverse individuals are to each other, including the President of the United States, of all people…

Photography-001

“I would be honored to take your picture, Mister President,” Judith Eastman curtseys in respect.

   “No, my dear, the honor is ours and I encourage setting the thoughts of your work aside and taking your publisher friend to the buffet. Waiter! Three bottles of your finest American champagne,” he politely commands. “I must tell Ida of this glorious evening!” One would think that teasing his house-stricken wife with stories of good times may depress her, but she can but live vicariously through a devoted husband, whom she could not be more proud. She, as well as he, is staying at the home of the President of the Exposition, John Milburn.

The famished and presentable Judith & Harv return to the table, barely able to manage consecutive bites without genuinely warm intrusions from all points on the compass. Well-wishers may be placing the carriage before the horse, but one and all are happy for the newspaperman, even the two other bachelors who, despite concerted efforts, have but their silverware in hand.

Somewhere out there, God has a woman for every man; right now, in Buffalo, there is a school administrator and an apothecary who are petitioning for that divine intervention.

oldcameraandtripod    Judith, for her part, is being a good sport, allowing herself to be drawn into the bowels of this unique collection of Southerners. She is much impressed with how connected these diverse individuals are to each other, including the President of the United States, of all people. She cannot help but feel at “home” with them; a stranger summarily accepted merely because one of the group, Harv Pearson, accepted her. They no doubt trust each other with their lives, forged in fire and hardened by trial.

Having uncased the large camera, finding just the right angle and lighting, her Eastman instincts take over. She initiates the shutter without alerting them, creating a candid portrait, frozen forever in time. Posing will come later.

Why you scamp! We weren’t prepared,” McKinley protests, presidents being experts at the pose.

“That is the point! You all are more “you” when you don’t know it’s coming… now you do and my first picture will be the most spontaneous.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

say cheese

Episode #135


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