new year's resolution: Not yet resolved.
Table of Contents
My First Broken Bone
It was a Thursday late in the afternoon. I had managed to complete my daily dose of writing early and had gone to the Plaza Select Food Grocery across the street to obtain a 12-ounce carton of Gallo wine called Liberty Creek to reward my effort. I liked the name, it was within my budget, the taste was OK, and it celebrated a sort of tradition that I had started while working in the basement of Savery Hall at the University of Washington while still homeless. It would make still another lonely sunset just a little less uncomfortable -- well, it was my intent anyway.
While standing in line at check-out a man in his early 30s entered the store. He was wearing a red jacket, as was I, and I felt somewhat of an affinity. We made eye contact. Within a moment I found myself physically pushed aside without even an apology. I resisted as I was being pushed and turned around to address the individual. I was told that I was in his way and not wearing a face mask. I asked him, if he weren't looking for trouble. He uttered some foul word and went about his business. I remained in line.
For the next several minutes all one could hear is a man cursing and the crashing of refrigerator doors as he rummaged about looking for whatever. Phrases like, "White boy", "White nigger", and other foul language was all one good hear. Apparently he was offended, because someone had checked his failure to excuse himself as he pushed his way past. I succeeded in minding my own business.
Now, ranting was something that I had grown accustomed to while living in different shelters for slightly more than three years. In most cases it is just a lot of angered intimidation that fizzles out like a sparkler on the 4th of July. No one is hurt, but it draws a lot of attention. This time would be different.
There was silence, and I felt the presence of His Rudeness behind me. I did not turn around and assumed that he would queue just like the person in front of me. Several tens of seconds passed, and the carton of Liberty Creek that I was holding in my right was knocked to the floor. I did not bend down to pick it up; rather, I quickly turned to face His Rudeness. Either he was startled by the sudden confrontation and reacted, or it was his desire to start a fight all along. In any case, I was struck by his right hand, and then struck again. I nearly lost consciousness as I fell to the ground, and when I sought to stand I was pushed backed down.
Apparently, my assailant understood that he had caused me significant damage, and he walked away. I had trouble standing and could not understand why, because I only remember being struck in the head and face. I managed to stand, retrieved my carton of wine, that was now several feet away, and proceeded to the counter where my assailant was making his purchase. When I appeared at the counter he feigned an attack that readied me, but this time there would be no surprise. I was ready to return the assault, if it would come to a second round. As my assailant was paying, I said to the store owner who was working the cash register at the time that my assailant did not deserve to be served. The store owner ignored me, the transaction was completed, and my assailant left the store looking behind himself as he parted.
When I asked the store owner why he served His Rudeness, he said that it was to avoid any further trouble. Whereupon I asked him, if my assailant had not paid with a credit card? Neither of us had any clue as to who my assailant was. Apparently it was his first time in the store. When the store owner said that it was a debit card, I was elated. And, when he told me that he had private security cameras in the store, I asked him, if he would not review them and send me the footage of what had transpired. He agreed.
When I saw the receipt, the name Arnett appeared at the bottom. Either we had identified my assailant, or he had stolen the card. What an idiot, I thought. Not only was he rude and crude, but he was either a thief or just plain stupid.
I had trouble walking home. Upon arrival I looked into the mirror and noticed that my jaw was very swollen. I then examined my foot and noticed that it, too, was greatly swollen -- even more than my jaw. As my jaw was fully operational, and my foot still functioned with great pain, I waited until Monday to seek out medical advice. Severe swelling was not something that was new to me, and it was the holiday weekend. There was no one around.
On Monday I managed to secure a teleconference with my physician at the Hall Health Center on the University of Washington campus, and she arranged for me to receive crutches and told me to get an x-ray. By Wednesday, January 5, an x-ray revealed that my left-fibula had been broken, and on the following day I received my very first pair of crutches.
What away to begin the New Year!
One Full Month to Start the Investigation
On the day after the incident I called the police to report what happened. It was worth my while, for I had a fairly good chance of identifying my assailant, and felt strongly that the attack was undeserved. Checking someone on his rudeness and asking him, if he is not looking for trouble, are hardly reasons to attack someone. Apparently he interpreted my challenge to his behavior as an act of bravado that could be easily crushed. Whatever the reason, he has made things worse for himself.
No one responded. I did not call 9/11, because the attack took place on the previous day. So, I went to the Seattle Police Department's website and looked for a place where I could file my report online. There was no category for a physical assault. The following day was New Year's Eve and then came Sunday, so I waited until Monday to call again, and after a good half-an-hour I was finally able to establish contact, and it was arranged that I would be interviewed by an officer. He was surprised that I had waited so long, but then I was surprised that the SPD had made it so difficult for me to file my report, I was given an email address to where I could send my evidence.
So, I waited for the shop owner to supply me with the video of the incident. He was very prompt and provided a series of clips that he had assembled into a single video that captured the violence. He even supplied a clip of my assailant leaving his shop with a very clear image of his face. So, I played the video and stopped it where the image was best, took a screen shot, and created a JPG file. This file together with a scanned copy of the store receipt that was generated by my assailant's debit card when he made his purchase were sent to the email address supplied by the officer.
After sending my evidence I waited several days and applied for a copy of the officer's written report. I wanted to confirm that what I had explained about the incident had been properly understood and reported. An entire week past before I received a copy of the officer's report. It was not accurate, so I wrote my own understanding of what transpired and mailed it to the same email address to which I had sent the photo image and copy of the receipt along with the video clip that I had received from the store owner. As there was no acknowledgment of receipt, I inquired as to whether the evidence had been received. Still nothing.
As the name of the officer was included in the email address, I was compelled to conclude that he was too busy to be bothered by common email etiquette, did not wish to be embarrassed by the conflicting accounts of what happened, or more simply believed that he had completed his job and did not wish to be bothered any further. No matter, I did not know how to proceed, so I sent one last email asking him how I should follow up. I was hoping that this would give him an opportunity to be rid of me while providing the acknowledgment of receipt that I desired. Still, no response.
I then recalled that he had told me that my information would be sent to the SPD investigative section, and if they felt a need to action that I would be contacted.
Knowing that the SPD had suffered a funding cut during Seattle's "Summer of Love" and the CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) incident in the summer and fall of 2020 I backed off and waited a week, before call the SPD.
When I called, I provided my case number, and inquired whether any further action had been taken in regard to my case. I was told no and that I should call back in a week.
Nearly a month had past and I was still not use to being on crutches. Crutches would not be my only first, however. For, it had been determined that my left fibula had been fractured very close to the ankle. My first broken bone. I had been athletic for my entire life, and the worst that I had ever suffered on any playing field besides minor bruises and cuts was a stubbed toe. Was I ever happy to have taken my physician's advice and obtained an X-ray!
Although the fracture was complete there was next to no displacement, and I was told that, if I were good and did not traumatize the fracture any further, that it would heal on its own. Although I was elated I was still on crutches and was given a boot to help stabilize the ankle when I walked. The swelling was enormous and there was pain. I refused to take pain medication, for the simple reason that I did not wish to become addicted, and that pain is a very good teacher. When it increased I knew that I was doing something wrong.
Speaking of wrong. My assailant was still out on the street! Not only this, but I was told by the store owner and his assistant that my assailant had returned to the store, not once or twice, but several times since the incident. My entire competitive life has been on the sports field, in the classroom, or at the negotiation table. I had never taught myself to defend myself in physical combat. Even when I played sandlot football as a teen, the goal was never to harm my opponent; rather, it was to block his forward movement, evade his capture, and get to wherever I needed to be first. No, I was not really afraid, but I did ask myself what I would do, if I were to meet him somewhere in the neighborhood again. What is more, I began asking myself, how many more people His Crudeness would injure, if he were not punished for his aggression.
It was on my third call to the SPD investigative section that I was finally given an email address. Apparently my case had been assigned to a detective in the Homocide and Assault Unit of the SPD.
Three Months to Complete the Investigation
On January 25th I received an email from a unit detective. He wrote,
"In full disclosure, your case falls in line as a low priority in the scheme of cases my group investigates. I primarily investigate murders and non-fatal shootings, stabbings and other life threating assaults. Those type of cases are up in numbers and the personnel we have to investigate them is substantially down. I will do what I can."I recognized immediately that the road ahead was going to be very long. For, rather than telling me that they had identified my assailant based on the photograph and store receipt that I had sent the reporting officer, I was asked to provide all of the video footage available and was told that I would receive a link to AXON Citizen to where I was to upload the footage.
I was also asked to sign a medical release form that would permit the SPD to examine my medical records.
What gave me confidence was the list of everything that I had sent to the intake officer to whom I had first reported the incident including my own incident report.
So, I returned to the shop and asked the owner to provide the entire video regarding the incident. I was told that this would not be possible, as the stored video footage was only good for twelve days. This said, he offered another source that captured the same event from a different angle and a different source. He provided me with a link to ring.com and access to the entire incident. It covered everything from the moment that I entered the store until the moment that I left it. I was embarrassed. How poorly I had defended myself against my aggressor. I had been completely overwhelmed. This said, it were not as if, I had picked the fight.
As I had not received the link from the detective, I sent him an email with a copy of the medical form that he had sent me with his signature, whereupon he asked me, if had not received the link from AXON Citizen. I wrote back that I had and was still waiting.
For the next three days I sent an email requesting the link to AXON Citizen. Having received no response. I stopped, waited a week, and called. On Febrary 14th, Frederick Douglas's birthday, I received a link to AXON Citizen. Whereupon I uploaded four weblocs to the ring.com website and indicated that the assistant clerk at the store had identified my assailant's first name from information supplied to him by his mother and a tatoo on my assailant's body. So, I performed an online search for someone named Diangelo Arnett, but came up with nothing resembling my assailant.
Apparently, my assailant had returned to the store several times since the incident, and neither the store owner, nor the clerk were happy with his return. They feared another such incident. So, I indicated this to the detective.
On February 18th I received another email from the detective assigned to my case in which he requested that I resend a previous video and the contact information of the store clerk who had provided the information about my assailant's tatoo.
The email exchange of February 24th indicated that after one month my assailant had still not been properly identified.
Roddy: "I am very pleased that you are acting on this matter. Although my assailant remains a complete stranger to my person, I cannot help, but think, that even a credible threat of punishment, if not punishment itself, would go a very long way in preventing my assailant from attacking someone else in like manner."
Detective: "Yes, I continue to progress with the case. We have to only hope that the suspect is in a position to fear the criminal Justice system. We should have a better idea once he is positively identified."
The latter comment was difficult for me to understand, as the detective was now in possession of the debit card receipt with what would turn out to be the family name of my assailant, the name provided by the tatoo and verbal confirmation that the name provided by the tatoo was indeed my assailant's given name, as well as a clear photo image of my attacker. Indeed, by now it had been determined that each time my assailant appeared in the store, he used the same debit card, and that a PIN was required to complete the transaction. This suggested strongly that the card belonged to my assailant, or at minimum someone whom he knew. So, I responded as follows:
Roddy: "I had thought that the store receipt — were the debit card not stolen — and photo would have been ample evidence to establish clear identity. According to the store assistant, ..., each time my assailant enters the store he uses the same card. In addition, the assistant has stated that the card is quite old and requires a PIN. PINs are not nearly as easily stolen as cards. Can you not request the financial institution for confirmation. Have you not ample evidence to issue a warrant?"
There was no response until the following Month when the detective responded on March 3rd,...
Detective: "I am out of state on another assignment, but I am trying to put some work into your case in my down time. Are you available to view some photos today? It will be done by email and will require several email exchanges."Whereupon I was sent a set of instructions followed by a montage of six photo images. The second image was the only one resembling my assailant. So, I selected him, and replied to the detective.
By this time I had already identified the likely address of my assailant on the internet and informed a friend who lived in the same neighborhood in Central -- the Seattle city district adjacent to my own -- that he should be on the look-out. The detective replied,
"Received. I am unable to disclose at this time whether or not you selected the identified suspect. You will eventually learn this in time. The details of the montage must remain confidential until you are otherwise informed. My investigation will continue, and I will be in touch with the next steps."
More than three months had passed since the incident, and I was no longer on my crutches. This said, my foot remained swollen, and I dared not turn my foot the wrong way with any amount of force. Still, I was able to walk. Afraid to run and jump I made weekly visits to the UW Sports Clinic for physical therapy. My slow recovery, the fact that my assailant had yet to be clearly identified, and occasional reports of others in the Seattle area succumbing to the same sort of physical crudity caused me to consider the true source of my plight. It was Alexander Sherad Jay who prompted the following question to the good detective. I asked, how I might avoid the following sequence of events from occurring:My assailant is
1) jailed,Whereupon I sent him a copy of a public record that I found at the Seattle Municipal Court online portal (see image).
3) freed without bail,
4) called by the court to appear,
5) does not comply, and
6) is left free on the street to commit the same crime again.
He did not respond. Unfortunately, what I had found was only the tip of the iceberg. Many more incidents of alleged physical violence were later found during a formal online request for all police records involving my assailant. It turns out that despite his very long police record, his court record is shoddy at best. I will return to this matter later.
The formatting of video data resulted in another long week of back and forth between the good detective and me, but we had created by this time a solid online working relationship, and I was confident that my assailant would have his day in court. I had only to insure the detective that I was not wasting his time, and that I would follow through in court.
By this time it was clear that the problem of crime in the city of Seattle lay less with the understaffed police department and more with the citizenry of Seattle and the municipal and county courts. So, I asked that the good detective to provide me with guidance in regard to the acquisition of public records regarding my assailant, and he obliged.
It was now April 18, 2022, two years since the outbreak of the CoVID fiasco and this is what I found at the top of my reply to my request for information at the City of Seattle Public Records Request Center
"At this time, the Seattle Police Department’s Legal Unit is operating under an extreme backlog of requests, staffing shortages, the redeployment of supporting units to SPD’s frontline COVID-19 response, and, pursuant to CDC recommendations and City direction, reassignment to remote access. We apologize for any inconvenience, and deeply appreciate your understanding as we all pull together, in the face of this unprecedented, pandemic public crisis, to manage as best we can our business operations."CoVID had become the whipping boy of all governmental shortcomings, and I was being warned to play along or forget any further cooperation.
By this time I was also being told by my friends -- long time residents of Seattle and King County -- that, even if my assailant were properly identified, arrested, and charged, he would soon be released and nothing would happen. They also suggested that he probably had "a rap-sheet a mile long", and I was provided with probable online evidence. Such comments and probably evidence reinforced what I had learned from having read Andy Ngo's book entitled Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy and the failure of the state to prosecute crime in a timely and judicious manner -- and this, to say nothing of the city of Seattle's "Summer of Love" in 2020.
Everything now was about social justice and the tribe. Everyone had a valid opinion, but the opinions of those with the largest and crudest voices were more important. Still, no one could be held responsible for his own voice and behavior, for we were all victims of the same corrupt system that we needed to destroy. In effect, we have all become creatures of corruption and no longer accountable for our own thought and behavior.
The notion of a free-will and individual responsibility had been tossed. Our social order was suspect. And, the American philosophy of governance that had served us so well for so long was dead and should be scrapped in favor of the lofty promises of a newborn socialist order in which we would own nothing and be happy.
I found the whole enterprise disgusting.
Well yes, I was clearly now a victim of the system, but I would not be going down without a fight. Then too, neither was I prepared to join those who wanted to throw out the baby with the bath water, and scrap our founding principles. So, I asked the good Detective the following, not because I thought that he would answer, but because I did not wish that his attention wander too far from my case. After all, I had already been told that my injuries were minor relative to those of others, and that my case was not of high priority.
Hi, I called last Friday and left a message, but did not receive a reply.
I wanted to ask, if it were possible to submit a FOIA request on my assailant’s criminal record and not be rejected in my effort. Specifically, I would like to see the police report that was filed against him.
Have you been following the case of Frank James in New York. He, too, was convicted several times, but never served time. American society is going to ruin. The primary job of government in America is to protect the citizen and his property.
The Frank James case was still another train incident.
The Arrest, the Charge, and the Arraignment
Release and Inquiry
Continuance and Rollover
A Former Client with Inspiring Thoughts
In the spring of 2021 I received an invitation to translate, from German into English, a book written by the friend of a former friend about the persecution of Christians -- Japanese and foreigners (gaijin) alike -- between the late 16th century and mid-19th centuries in Japan. Having recently read Bonn Eusebius's History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine written toward the beginning of the 4th century I was well-prepared to accept the challenge. Not only was I very familiar with Christian persecution, but I am well-versed in the languages and cultures of both Japan and Germany. No, I do not consider myself a Christian, but I was brought up in the same Christian tradition that formed the basis of American culture and was myself baptized a Christian at the age of 15. Moreover, I believe that every religion has something to offer human society that is indisputably positive, and I was eager to learn a little more Japanese history and geography along the way.
So, I spent nearly the entire spring of 2021 and part of the summer diligently translating Ralph Görlach's book Das Licht des Glaubens and received as recompense for my effort monthly payments that lasted all the way into the spring of 2022. With this money I was able to pay down a substantial amount of my outstanding debt left over from my unfortunate eviction in the spring of 2016 and all that transpired thereafter.
Because the payment was not all at once, and because publication of my translation was not immediate, if at all -- I still do not know that my translation has been published -- I was able to get to know the author a little better. Indeed, it was through several email exchanges that I learned that Ralph Görlach is a karate mentor and the director of a martial arts supplier called Budōten. It was his knowledge of martial arts in general and his own passion for karate that encouraged me to begin training. He advised that I find a school that focused on the actual art of combat and not sports competition. He also encouraged me to appear at a school in person and ask that I might observe. So, I went online and searched for a venue in the Seattle area within walking distance, and discovered the Japanese Cultural Center located east of Little Saigon on the outskirts of Seattle's International District.
A New Brotherhood
Before attending a training session I sent an email to the head trainer (正師範 or Sei Shihan), but received no response. As it was a good twenty-minute walk that I did not wish to make in vain, I was hesitant to attend without an acknowledgment. Still, the urge to get started was in me. Because of the draconian measures imposed on Seattle residents by our State's lackluster and authoritarian governor and equally mediocre and authoritarian county and municipal officials I had been denied access to a gym for more than two years. Moreover, it was now clear that my size and bulk alone was not a sufficient deterrent against a much younger bully intent on asserting his will through physical force on an aging senior with mostly white hair. So, when the door to the gym finally opened absent of all CoVID-related restrictions, I did not return and decided to invest my time and energy in 空手 (karate). Accordingly, I attended one of the regularly scheduled sessions advertised on the 誠道塾 (seidō juku) website.
To my pleasant, but hesitant surprize, there was someone present, and I asked, if I might observe. After an entire 50-minute training session I asked, if I might return. Permission was granted, and I requested that I might be allowed to join the class at the end of the second session. When offered to attend without a uniform, I declined and stated that I would wait until one could be provided. Whereupon, I contacted Ralph Görlach, and he recommended that I make my purchase as offered by my new mentor. This I did, and within a week I began training.
All of my classmates were much younger than I -- by about a half-century, in fact --, but age did not seem to matter. It was all about performance and etiquette, and I was intent on performing well and being accepted. So, after each session I would return home and practice, and before each subsequent session I would ask the many questions that arose during my practice at home. At first my imagined target was Deangelo Majed Arnett. And, in my mind's eye the goal was to cause him great pain or even damage that would render him harmless in my regard. No, I was not there to learn to dance; I was there to learn an art of meaningful self-defense. Soon, I was able to replace Mr. Arnett with any number of other hostile figures whom I have encountered from time to time in my long life without the severe consequences of a surprise attack from out of no where.
My attendance worked in another way as well. Karate, although originating in China, was developed in Okinawa and is today a popular martial art in Japan. Having spent nine years in Japan I am well-versed in the Japanese language and the culture of Japan. It was clear that neither my classmates, nor our instructor were. In other words I had something to bring to class besides my enthusiasm and desire to advance.
A Stroke of Genius
After six weeks of karate training I had my annual check-up. In her post-visit notes my physician stated that both my physical condition and spirit had greatly improved since the last time I had visited her. There was only one significant change in my life since my last visit -- my karate training.
That she had noticed what I, too, felt to be true gave me an idea. So, I asked her, if she would not recommend continuation of my classes as therapy for my recovery from the injuries and mental anguish that I suffered from my assailant's attack already six months behind me. After all, my left ankle and foot were still swollen, and some pain, certainly discomfort, remained. Moreover, I was still going to physical therapy in an effort to heal what remained of my ankle wounds. She said that she could.
Whereupon, I went to my karate mentor and asked him for an invoice or, at minimum, a cost estimate for receipt of a black belt. Although he was hesitant at first, he became more willing when I presented him with a prepared letter that he could fill out and sign. Accordingly, he agreed to my request and shortly thereafter provided me with a letter written in his own words including the requested information on a piece of paper with the World Seidō Karate letterhead. It was more than I had hoped for, and I was truly elated.
Now with clear evidence of training I sent a copy of my trainer's letter to my physician along with a another prepared letter and asked her to sign and return it. As did my trainer, she prepared her own version of my letter and I was ready to take action.
With both letters in hand I prepared a statement and created a packet of information for the prosecutor's office to present to the judge who would preside over the case of the State vs Deangelo Majed Arnett. It was a demand for restitution.
Restitution is a very restricted category of claims that a victim of a state-prosecuted crime can demand within the context of the state's prosecution. There are two categories including property damage and medical, dental, and counseling costs not covered by insurance. The genius in my demand was, of course, that no manner of psychological counseling could provide the peace of mind that a firm belief in one's own ability to defend oneself against wanton physical aggression from society at large, and that no insurance company would pay for such a remedy that was not provided by a certified counselor.
I believe that my demand will test the mettle of the court and the judge who eventually presides over my case once the Superior Court merry-go-round of continuance and roll-over is finally exhausted.
My First Merit Belt
On October 11th I stood for my first test and passed. I believe that I could have performed much better, but it was my first time, and I responded in my mentor's timeframe rather than my own, and it felt awkward.
Alone in the training room with my mentor, as we were parting, I said to him, "I have concluded that you believe that there is hope for me after all." He smiled.
On October 13th I received my first merit belt. I was expecting a blue belt, but received one higher -- a yellow belt. There was a brief ceremony, and I requested photos afterward. I also took on a new role within the group and cited the 礼儀 (the mentions of respect) for the first time during the initial ceremony of our training session. I returned home feeling very good. I was one step closer toward my goal -- a black belt.
On Tuesday of the following week I entered into the operating room for a double hernia repair that had been scheduled already far in advance.
On August 8th I visited the Hall Health Center at the University of Washington for an annual physical examination. At this time I brought to the attention of my physician a bulge on my right side just above the groin. It was nothing knew to me, and I pretty much believed that it was just a lump of fatty tissue that had resulted from more than two years of lockdown, an inability to use a gym without having to prove that I had been injected with experimental gene therapy or was not infected with the SARS-2 Corona Virus, and a more than twenty-pound gain of weight that I was rapidly shedding since even before I had taken up my karate training.
There was no pain or discomfort. Simply there was a bulge that did not belong. So, I ask that she examine it. She agreed that it could be a fat deposit, but offered another suggestion as well -- a hernia -- and recommended that I obtain an ultrasound. I had passed the cough test.
As I was familiar with ultrasound and knew it to be a non-invasive, brief examination with no side-effects that included imagery that I, myself, would be able to observe, I happily agreed to the examination. After all, Dr. Tanya Smith had been right about nearly everything else, and I did not wish to put my karate training at risk.
Four days later it was determined that the bulge was indeed the result of an indirect inguinal hernia.
Having identified a hernia on one side, it is apparently normal procedure to examine the opposite side as well. I did not object, because I had long suspected that I had reopened a hernia repair that I underwent at the Yokohama Municipal Hospital in Yokohama, Japan already three decades prior. Sure enough, a much smaller hernia appeared in the imagery on my left side, but this hernia was diagnosed as inguinal and direct. My suspicion was confirmed, and once again I was ready for action.
Thirty years is a long time to have lived with a hernia, but it was quite small, and my musculature had adapted well to whatever discomfort was there. As a result, I rarely even noticed its presence. Still, I knew that something was not quite right, and now finally I had good reason to have both matters addressed.
At first I made no connection between my assailant's brutal attack and the bulge on my right side, as it did not begin to appear until after I was off my crutches. In fact, once it was determined that a hernia developed, I believed that it was being on crutches and my having to sleep and sit with my left leg forever in a raised position that had brought it about. Then, I learned from both surgeons that it can take time for a hernia to form once the tissue is torn, and that the hernia on my right side was likely brought about by the assault -- this and, of course, the fact that I had been unable to attend a gym for nearly two years by the time of the assault. In my own mind, my mind and body were no longer one.
A Second Opinion
Unable to schedule an appointment with general surgery at the University of Washington, I opted for the Virginia-Mason Franciscan Health Center near my residence on First Hill, where I was introduced to Dr. Scott Helton. The examination proceeded well, I agreed to a bilateral hernia repair, and together we set a date: October 18, 2022. My goal was to get the operation out of the way as quickly as possible, as I knew that it would interfere with my karate training.
It would be a major operation, and I would be subject to still another round of general anesthesia, similar to what I had been subjected only a year prior when I had arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder to repair a torn supraspinatus. So, I decided to pursue my already requested visit to the Montlake Clinic at the UW Medical Center and obtain a second opinion.
Only one thing differed between the two clinics. According to the surgeon's assistant at the Montlake Clinic it would take eight weeks for my surgical wounds to heal sufficiently before I could return to my karate training. According to the surgeon at Virginia-Mason I could begin training after five weeks provided that I go easy on the stretching exercises. As my arthroscopy at Montlake Clinic had been successful, I asked what would be the earliest that the operation could be performed and was told during the second week of October. I declined, as I already had an operation scheduled with Dr. Helton at Virginia-Mason, and there would be only one week's difference. Besides, the Virginia-Mason Health Center was within walking distance of my residence, and returning home from the clinic after the operation would be easy.
The operation that I underwent is called laparoscopic surgery. It resembles in many ways the arthroscopic surgery that I had undergone to repair my torn supraspinatus only a year before. It is performed my creating three minor holes in the abdomen through which surgical and monitoring equipment are entered to access target areas that would otherwise have to be accessed by creating much larger wounds over the area requiring surgical attention. In order for the laparoscopy to succeed, however, gas must be pumped into the abdomen to create ample room for equipment maneuverability. This gas once entered remains in the system long after the operation and places pressure on other tissues giving rise to the urinary dysfunction that I would ultimately suffer.
Success. Well, sort of.
So, on October 18th I appeared for my operation and several hours later awoke unable to urinate. This is one complication of which no one had warned me, and for which some prevention could have been undertaken had I known. Whereas I was supposed to return home on the same day of my operation, I finished by spending the night in the hospital and was not released until the following day with a catheter hanging from the tip of my penis. The catheter served as a conduit from my bladder to a soft, clear plastic receptacle wrapped around my right leg. The next several days and nights would be excruciatingly painful, because every time that I had the urge to urinate my penis would fill with blood, and the catheter inside would squeeze against the walls of my urethra. If you have ever had gonorrhea, then you can understand the nature of the pain, but unlike gonorrhea only the urge to urinate was necessary to invoke it, for no urination could take place. Accordingly, the pain was more frequent. Indeed, I was afraid that my penis would be permanently damaged -- so intense and frequent was the pain.
I was told that the catheter must stay for three days. This was to allow for damage to heal that may have occurred when the first catheter had been thrust up my penis during the operation. Alas, bleeding had been reported during the operation when the first catheter was inserted.
The operation was on Tuesday, and Friday made three days. It was agreed that the catheter could be removed and that the desired healing had likely been achieved. So, I appeared at Virginia-Mason, the catheter was removed, and I was told that, if I did not urinate by the end of the day, that the catheter should be reinserted. No, no, and no, it would not be reinserted. Of this I was certain. I had had my full of the catheter.
So, for the next several days -- nearly a week, in fact -- I urinated whenever I felt the urge, and this was frequent, because my bladder was nearly always full. I tried a heating pad, an ice pack, exercise, and anything else of which I could think that had not already been told me. If my urine wanted out, then I would do my best to encourage it, wherever it would fall. As a result, I was constantly mopping the floor and washing my underwear to clean up the resulting mess. So, traumatized had my penis become by the experience of the catheter that it could no longer respond to the usual signals.
Ever so slowly, my urine began to flow in larger, sustained amounts, even to the point that I could stand in front of a toilet without movement and without anxiety as I watched it escape from my body unhindered.
There did remain, however, the apprehension that I would never experience a full erection and proper orgasm again.
An Extended Recovery
Once my penal dysfunction was completely overcome, it would be only a matter of time for my surgical wounds to heal, and I could return to my karate training.
This too, was problematic, however, because I was told that the internal and external wounds heal at different rates, and that the internal wounds that I could not see healed less quickly than the external wounds that I could see. What is more, the estimated range of healing time was between five to eight weeks. That was a lot of variation considering that eight was 60 percent greater than five. So, I set my return date to December 8th -- seven weeks.
An email from my mentor announcing the Christmas holiday made me realize, that no sooner would my training recommence, it would be interrupted. So, I notified my mentor that I would not return until January 3rd, and this remains my present course of intended action.
Once I began feeling more confident, I began to train at home, and nearly everything fell into place with just a little thought and effort.
Yes, I am now eager to return and suspect that, within a week, everything will be back to where it was before October 18th, but without the fret of a worsening hernia -- well, everything, but the nearly twenty pound of weight that I regained as the result of the operation and the holiday season. This latter problem will take a little more time to rectify!
What Started As a Twitter Topic
I started my book on the story of real money in September 2021. It was in response to an open, online query by my friend Robin Koerner about modern monetary theory. Why was someone, whom I knew to be more libertarian in his manner of thinking than I, seeking to understand the theory of a monetary system conceived in corruption? So, I complained and discovered a commonly held belief that real money, as we once knew it, is dead, and that my thoughts on the matter were falling on deaf ears.
In the end, I could not understand why such an obvious source of economic inequity -- namely, statutory counterfeit -- was not a serious point of contention on the part of libertarians and social justice warriors, alike.
Surely, there were plenty of people fleeing to Bitcoin, but it was not the vast majority of US voters or citizens. There were several important national outliers and the tech savvy -- and among these latter, certainly not all. In contrast, there was a somewhat lively discussion about precious metals and Bitcoin. For example, people wanted to know whether Bitcoin was really money. Others saw gold as an alternative form of holding liquidity as a hedge against pending inflation. Then too, there was the occasional discussion in the US Congress about debt, deficits, debt ceilings, and a balanced budget. This was about as close as one could come to any discussion about our nation's money supply, however. Indeed, Ron Paul's cry to End the FED seemed so long ago. It were as if, it had been forgotten.
What was even more troublesome, was the recent research requested by the Biden White House about the introduction of an American CBDC (Central Banking Digital Currency). It was a request for information that received very little media attention, and certainly not the attention required to defeat even the thought of such a vile creation.
Yes, it had been reported that more than a few sovereign powers were buying up gold, and that many an individual citizen seeking to hedge their savings against rising inflation was engaging in similar activity. This said, buying an asset with statutory counterfeit is not the same as using that asset to purchase other goods and services. In the end, it were as if, the several millenia old commodity that had given rise to voluntary free markets and their proliferation were dead, and the thieves who have been promoting statutory counterfeit for the past 328 years had finally won.
So, I decided to speak up and write an article about what I knew to be the truth about statutory counterfeit, gold, and cryptocurrency. Indeed, all three were poorly represented by each of their respective advocates, and it was time that someone make the case for real money -- still again -- and view the matter from perhaps a different, more easily understood lens. The article was to appear in a series of Twitter posts that could be shared with everyone.
So, as to insure that what I wrote would not be easily filtered out by Twitter's PC Police, I created a list of Twitter users whom I thought to be reputable and influential and placed these in my Twitter feed. My own message was then placed in an image file that could be easily replicated and further circulated. In order to dissuade those inclined toward plagiarism I dated and signed each and every image. With each new text image I added additional images to highlight the subject matter of the text image in order to attract attention. Eye candy is an important allure on the internet.
Alas, I had spent more than six years in graduate school studying contemporary economic theory only to realize for the first time, while in Saudi Arabia that I had wasted a great deal of time and wealth that was not even mine learning about a system of economics that was not only detached from reality, but was purposefully designed to mislead us and insure that we remained detached. At the time, I still did not know how badly I had been misled, but I was finally on the right track toward understanding how badly I had erred.
While writing the article I discovered that I was clear about what I knew, but that I could not explain it in light of the reality that I also knew to be true, but was in direct contradiction to what I knew. It was this detachment that caused me to push further, and that resulted in a book project that I never had the intention to write.
No, it was not that I did not want to write a book, for this desire had already surfaced multiple times. Simply, until now I had not yet found a topic for which I wished to be known and was in a position to complete.
There had always been the economics text that I wanted to write while in Japan, but never came to fruition, because of my inability to obtain full-time work at a Japanese university as a permanent foreign resident (永久外国人 or eikyūgaikokujin) teaching economics. Instead, I decided to write a book about Japanese culture and society just before my departure from Japan in 2000 in search of full-time university employment. Although the first draft of my book was completed before I left, the final draft never came to fruition. For, when I attempted to return to Japan three years later after having taught economics and English as a full-time instructor at Hong Kong's second most prestigious university I was rejected still again. Then, in 2010, just before I left South Korea for Thailand, I attempted to return to Japan for what I thought would be my final attempt, but surrendered, unable. I did not fit the mold of a young Ph.D. graduate who could neither speak, nor read, nor write Japanese, would visit Japan for several years, and return home full of praise and admiration for the wonderful hospitality that he was accorded by his English-speaking Japanese handlers. No, my nine-year residency in Japan as a part-time instructor at a national university of some reputation and my fluency in Japanese language and culture appeared to account for nothing.
How could I complete a book about a nation that had so relentlessly turned me away? In the end, it was not my goal to be bitter, nor was it to write an acrimonious work about a nation that had so failed to understand my goodwill toward her. Alas, the last thing that the world needs is greater negativity, and I was loathe to add any more.
There was also my effort to write a book about the world's English language industry, but this would meet a similar fate. For, I would be driven from the English language industry just as I had been driven from Japan and eventually Hong Kong. Circumstances would simply not permit the completion of the book, and I had, just as before, found an alternative.
Then, there was my annual report that I wrote about my experience as a homeless person in the United States. By the time I had completed the report it had already become a book, but it was not about a topic for which I wanted to become known, so I never pursued its publication despite ample encouragement from my friends and others who knew me.
No, this time would be different for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was trapped and suicide was no longer on the table, for I had, perhaps foolishly -- it is still too early to tell -- recommitted way back in 2016. It was now 2020, and Jay Inslee, the Governor of the State of Washington, had all, but destroyed my several-decades-long lifestyle that had sustained me so well, for so long, through both thick and thin, by denying me access to a gym, and the Office of Public Health for King County and Seattle made sure that what the governor had decreed would be implemented ad nauseum.
Secondly, Grammar Captive, my previous project, was not yet complete, and I was no longer living in a country in which English was not the principle language. Indeed, English language learners in the United States could walk into the street and find anglophones everywhere. The learning environment was completely different, and my model was not applicable in a native, English-speaking country. What is more, my effort to recruit paying students locally failed miserably. There was plenty of free help, if you attended a college or university. And, if you were attending a private school, you were not interested in spending any more money than you already were.
Indeed, the only work for which students appeared willing to pay was the kind that you could call cheating, and I was not about to serve as a traitor to my own profession -- well, this is how the more dedicated among us view the matter, anyway.
Thirdly, pretty much marooned as an English language instructor in the United States and the world-at-large, there was only one avenue left -- my long-standing interest in culture, language, economics, and political economy, and my now rather advanced interest in the Austrian School of Economics.
Fourthly, having only recently translated someone else's book about a topic that was -- well, at least from my point of view -- far less important than the world's money supply, I asked myself, "Why do you not write your own?" And, so it was that Mount Cambitas was born.
What started well on Twitter did not seem to be going anywhere. My account had been throttled. This is when I learned about Substack, a blog site used by Glen Greenwald, to avoid Twitter censorship. So, this time, rather than merely pausing further input on Twitter, I deleted my entire account. @kiusau suddenly disappeared, and aveverum.substack.com was born.
It was a pretty awkward beginning, because I forced the few followers that I had gathered on Twitter to change platforms and move to Substack. Further, new subscribers that discovered me on Substack would have to be provided with what the others had already read. What is more, Substack had no facility whereby a newcomer could start at the beginning of the book and receive daily updates from that point on. In effect, the only daily updates were those that I provided on the day that they were provided, and these were always a new page in the book. Between September and the end of December some ninety pages had been written, and this was a lot of material to have to read online in order to catch up.
Although not terribly eager to do what I knew I had to do, I set out anyway, paused my writing, and began coding. What resulted was a not totally intuitive webpage -- a completely functional rough draft, if you will -- that permits newcomers to start at the beginning of Mount Cambitas and receive daily updates on a schedule that is suitable to them.
In effect, all users, both old and new, can now
∙ Select the days of online delivery.
∙ Select the time of day of for each day selected.
∙ Pause their schedule indefinitely.
∙ Restart their schedule at any point in the book.
∙ Modify their old schedule by creating a new schedule.
In addition, they can even download the entire first chapter as a PDF document before they subscribe.
Initially I wanted only to make the case for deflation and show why inflation was both unnecessary and wrong. Accordingly, I entitled the main section on my Substack's Ave Verum account page Deflation Made Simple. This was the same name that I had used on Twitter before I closed my account. In order to provide new arrivals to my newly created Ave Verum account website with access to the initial Twitter pages I created a special subsection and called it Deflation Made Simple (Part I).
Once I decided to trace the history of real money, the title Deflation Made Simple was no longer appropriate. For, the history of real money was neither simple, nor entirely about deflation. On the contrary, it was the story of an active struggle against statutory counterfeit imposed by various states and promoted by private bankers seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of the many.
As a result, I changed the name of my endeavor from Deflation Made Simple to Mount Cambitas and labeled it The Story of Real Money, for, indeed, this is what my endeavor had become. I was on my way to the top of a mountain that I knew to have been climbed by many before me, but for which no one had left a complete trail with clear markers for others to follow very easily.
The word cambitas is Latin for exchange, and calling the project Mount Cambitas captured the challenge before me, on the one hand, and gave better insight into the story line of the book, on the other hand -- namely, a long series of historical challenges with ever increasing push-back.
No, I did not change the section names on my Ave Verum account at Substack, but with each new entry sent out to my subscribers the name Mount Cambitas, the subheading The Story of Real Money, and an image of with several historical images including portraits of Jean Calvin (1509-1564) and Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973).
Saga of the Epoch Times
It all started when the former resident-manager of the Cabrini knocked on my door, told me to remove my political advertisements several months prior to the 2020 election. Things came to a head when I protested, and she began removing them herself.
Yes, I was surely one of the few, if not the only one, in the building who dared to express openly a political point of view different from the prevailing Democrat rule of the city of Seattle, King County, and Western Washington. This said, I was by no means the only person to place things on his door or public bulletin board just next to it. Indeed, there was nothing in our rental contract that barred us from posting on our door or public bulletin board, and I could not imagine a HUD regulation that would prohibit an American citizen from engaging in political discourse in a HUD subsidized building during an election season. Was it because what I offered my own opinion and not that of someone else? Could an American citizen actually have an opinion that was not approved by CNN, Fox News, or the local political establishment?
Rather than protest at higher levels of management who would surely create a rule where none previously existed, I decided on a different path. After all, I had been living in Seattle for nearly five years, since I returned from Saudi Arabia, and had gotten to know the political landscape of the city's and county's residents fairly well. Fundamentally speaking, one avoided all political discussion in public that was not among close friends with whom you were politically allied. Having a presidential debate aired in a local pub, for example, was not permitted, unless the owner sided with you politically. Even then, it was unlikely to take place for fear of driving away customers of a different political affiliation or the following discussion resulting in heated, unfriendly debate. No, it was better to talk about the weather, and Seattle's forever changing climate left lots to talk about -- well, at least, until you breached the subject of Global Warming and the frequently viewed chemtrails overhead. No, a different approach would be required.
Already I had an online subscription to The Epoch Times, and for several tens of dollars more I could obtain a hard copy delivered to my mailbox once a week. As the paper offered both a national and international perspective that was not filtered by the local press, I believed that it would greatly complement the Seattle Times that was delivered to The Cabrini lobby every day. So, rather than having it delivered to my mailbox, I asked the Epoch Times to deliver it to the lobby table.
He Came and Went
Rufus or Martin Luther?
My Tree. My Tree. How Dare You? My Tree!
My First Encounter
The Red Wave That Didn't
Raul. A Waste of Money?
A Troubled Man?
Not Exactly, But Then Again?
New Year's Resolution: ?