#FlashFiction: Shoot me for Jesus

In this piece, a homeless vet writes to a friend. I used a composite of the stories I heard as a therapist who worked with homeless vets in San Francisco.


Hey Kev

Thought I’d drop you a few lines since this week makes
five years since we left Iraq.

I know you say you ain’t the same without ur leg but I hope
ur feeling better.

I’ll feel hella better when I throw out these pills for crazies.

Why does the fuckin’ V.A. give me pills when I say I need food?

Why don’t shrinks know people go crazy from hunger?

My partner died of AIDS last year, so I got no one to talk to, so I
went to Reno last month.

The ticket was a free one way, so I figured I’d go see family.

That was a big mistake.

My bitch of a sister wouldn’t let me meet my nephew ‘cause I came out gay.

Her Holy Roller husband kept sayin’ he’d shoot me for Jesus.

I told them to kiss my faggot ass!

I spent the rest of my money for a one way back to Frisco.

That’s life for uppity fags and burnt out war heroes.

I keep hoping you’ll send me a card so I know ur alive.

I’d call but I can’t buy a phone.

I get $300 a month General Assistance and it costs $200 for a week in a crap hotel, so’s I won’t have a place for the next three weeks, but please write to that address I sent anyways.




Homelsss people leave messages of anguish on the walls of alleys.
Homeless people write on the walls when they bed down to sleep in Clarion Alley.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2018 – revised August 2019

#MondayMood: For Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and His Daughter, Valeria

To be civilized does not mean having studied at university, or having read many books, or possessing great wisdom: we all know that certain individuals with these characteristics were capable of committing acts of absolutely perfect barbarity. To be civilized means to be capable of fully recognizing the humanity of others, even though they have different faces and customs to ours; to know how to put oneself in their place and look at ourselves as if from outside. No one is definitively barbarian or civilized and each one of us is responsible for our actions. But we, who today receive this great honour, have the responsibility to take a step forward towards a little more civilization. Tzvetan Todorov

Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter, Valeria.)
Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter, Valeria.

Photo of Oscar Ramirez and his daughter, Valeria found on twitter, attributed to Maria Estela Avalos. I do not own this image.

Header image is a photograph of a poster seen at the 2019 Women’s March


#MondayMotivation: American

A large part of history is replete with the struggle for human rights, an eternal struggle in which final victory can never be won. But to tire in that struggle would mean the ruin of society. Albert Einstein, 1955


Love me baby, love me for who I am
Fallen angels singing, “clap your hands”
Don’t try to take my country, I will defend my land
I’m not crazy, baby, naw
I’m American

Happy Monday!


Rob’s Weekly News Wrap-Up 12/14-12/21-2018

Compare the words and actions of Trump and the House and Senate
GOP to what NATO reports in its handbook of Russian Information Warfare.

It is chilling to see how it all fits together and more chilling to realize
Putin achieved a primary strategic goal:

Screenshot_2018-12-21 (PDF) Handbook of Russian Information Warfare-
incapacitate as much of the state as possible before it is aware of the conflict. From the NATO Handbook of Russian Information Warfare.

Most Americans still don’t know we’re under attack.

December 13:

Screenshot_2018-12-21 (PDF) Handbook of Russian Information Warfare-use non-Profits like the NRA
Russia strategically uses powerful nonprofits like the NRA to discredit government agencies and erode the credibility of law enforcement. From the NATO Handbook of Russian Information Warfare.

For Context, from July 2017:

December 13:


December 14:


December 15:


December 16:


For Context:

Screenshot_2018-12-21 (PDF) Handbook of Russian Information Warfare
Russia pollutes the pool of information and thus creates a ‘permissive’ media environment that treats Russia’s lies as credible. (are there really two sides to the idea that it’s wrong for the Trump Administration to hold toddlers in detention centers?)

Dec 16:

Dec 16

Screenshot_2018-12-21 (PDF) Handbook of Russian Information Warfare
People are unaware they are targets of a campaign to influence their decisions with a stream of lies.

Dec 17:

Dec 17:



Dec 17:

Dec 17:


Dec 17:


December 18:


Dec 18:



Dec 18:


Dec 19:


Dec 19:



Dec 20:


Dec 19:


Dec: 20:


So, who is happy about Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria?

Dec 20:

Dec 20:



Dec 20:


Dec 20:



Dec 21:


Dec 21:


Dec 21:


Dec 21:

Dec 21:

Context, what can it mean when the U.S. President unilaterally makes decisions that everyone says will only benefit a foreign adversary?

Why would the U.S. President look for reasons to shut down our government and weaken our ability to defend ourselves?

Is the United States so destabilized under Trump we’ve temporarily lost our sovereignty?


Handbook of Russian Information Warfare - Loss of Sovereignty
The State is deprived of its Sovereignty without seizure of the state’s territory

Dec 21:


Dec 21:

For context:

2018-12-21 (PDF) Handbook of Russian Information Warfare-

Please read the NATO Handbook of Russian Information Warfare

Rob Goldstein 2018