Archive for the ‘careers’ Category

December 7, 2022

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 247: I’ve always needed Heroes

November 23, 2022

https://webbtelescope.org/contents/media/images/2022/060/01GJ3HZRT43P8JATFQ90Z8EZ0W?news=true

The image found at the Webb Telescope NASA website above, is a likely-illustration of a planet in an entirely different solar system than ours. This opens the door wider on the subject of “impossible”.

We are living in a time of only-imagined science, only found in Science Fiction as I was growing up, far too many decades ago.

This example of wonder is placed in the same ‘box’ as the destruction of seemingly everything due to human destruction of this planetary gift, given by the Creator of all.

On the front pages of news ‘papers’ at this time is political squabbling about revenge politics and the death of the innocent by the hand of FEAR. Mass murders every day.

Tomorrow I will gather with my immediate [in the sense, “present”] family at a wondrous table [my son was an Executive Chef, before blowing-out the ligaments and tendons in his wrist] of food and good company, including our nearly 3-month old grandson and his older brother. If I am smart [doubtful] I will take that opportunity to be thankful for Creator’s gifts; my own FEAR is that I will be unable to see Grace because of human stupidity.

FEAR:  False Evidence Appearing Real

This is Tarzan

To be more accurate, this is likely to be an image of Tarzan in a book I am writing, illustrating, editing; originally written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It will take years to finish.

Why Tarzan, now?

  1. I need Heroes. I’ve always needed Heroes. My babysitters, for a large portion of my childhood, were these guys:

For the uninitiated, Robin Hood, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Superman and Zorro.

They were all in Black and White. In 1960, I was 8 years old

Both of my parents worked, my Mom worked at home. Television kept me absorbed.

I feel as though this is what has occurred:

Heroes are hard to find. Anti-heroes are more common.

An anti-hero is the main character in a story who lacks conventional heroic qualities and attributes such as idealism, courage, and morality.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antihero   2.No one has ever done Burroughs’ Tarzan well, in all of the various versions that have been created. The most recent movie, The Legend of Tarzan [2016] was much closer to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ vision.I’m old enough now to have the arrogance to say that I will do Tarzan better. This is part of the reason I expect to be at this for years. I’ve already been at it for a year, and I’m barely started. There are Heroes who pass through our lives, often unnoticed. There have been heroes in my own life; ‘debts’ that can never be adequately repaid. One of those heroes in my life is a blues guitarist named Eric Bibb. I met him once at a Ray Charles concert, about 25 years ago. I’ve been listening to him ever since. https://www.ericbibb.com

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 246: “Hope is something you have to earn, to create.”

November 5, 2022

Election Season: Animal Species are dying every day, and this does not make the news cycle. I don’t read many news articles, but I read headlines throughout the day.

Mon September 23, 2019

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” the Swedish climate activist told the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. “How dare you?”
Speaking during the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, the 16-year-old was visibly frustrated with her audience and at times appeared to be holding back tears of anger.
 “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet, I’m one of the lucky ones,” Thunberg told the assembly, her signature long braid swept to the side. “People are suffering, people are dying.”
Thunberg’s message to the leaders was clear. Like many times in the past, she accused them of not doing enough to mitigate climate change. “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away?”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/23/weather/greta-thunberg-unga-climate-speech-intl/index.html

Sat 25 June 2022

Greta Thunberg has warned that the world faces “total natural catastrophe” unless citizens take urgent action as she made a surprise appearance at Glastonbury festival.
She said it was time for society to start “creating hope” rather than waiting for it to arrive: “Hope is not something that is given to you. It is something you have to earn, to create. It cannot be gained passively from standing by passively and waiting for someone else to do something.
“It is taking action. It is stepping outside your comfort zone. And if a bunch of school kids were able to get millions of people on the streets and start changing their lives, just imagine what we could all do together if we try.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/25/greta-thunberg-makes-surprise-appearance-at-glastonbury-festival

What will it take before the human adults take the Climate Change emergency seriously? Every country on the face of the Earth is facing historic Climate Events, upcoming food emergencies, upcoming energy emergencies; and the rising of the Ocean Level—glaciers melting. Here in the United States most of the media outlets fill the air about Mid-Term Elections. They are important, but one of these days, Washington D.C. may find itself in a more horrific Event than the Attack on the Capital. Or a Massive storm/tornado/ earthquake disaster. Some Idiot may decide to lob a nuclear weapon at the seat of American Democracy. If that were to happen, Mid-Term Elections would not be as important. Pontificating from the U.S. Capital will seem fairly pointless. It is already too late to prevent some climate dangers.

Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist

I would be the first to admit that I am taking refuge in “Sheltering in Place”. Aside from 14 years working for City Government, I have avoided being around people outside of my family for most of my life [there are family members who would rightly suggest that my avoidance included them]. People are messy. At 70, I look back at my life with a lot of wonderment; on the order of “I really did that?”.

Ever since the orange whore [he will do anything for money] invaded the airwaves, it has become ‘politically correct’ to lie about anything that others find offensive. Sound Bites, Mic Drops, Misdirection. Back When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, there was Senator named Joseph McCarthy, who made it his goal in life to find communists in the Federal Government, in Hollywood and wherever else he could crawl. These activities ruined the lives of many, people who lost their jobs and the ability to gain employment anywhere in the US. The Red Menace that no longer exists. A form of government that imploded. What a colossal waste of time and talent. I look at headlines and get the impression that our government is being led by 4-year-olds. My 3-year-old grandson has better sense.

An enormous amount of money has been spent in trying to show that the orange whore intended to lie, cheat and steal. It is clear that he did so; the problem is to show that he intended to lie, cheat and steal, rather than simply being incompetent. Three Impeachment hearings… Government leaders accept the idea that it is worth the colossal expense to indict a man who knows he cheated the country; rather than trying to hold off climate change.

the iconic Pillars of Creation

Originally captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope has created a stronger image of this series of gas clouds that form stars. Apparently, there are very few galaxies shown in the new image; what we see in the background is the content of the Milky Way Galaxy, where we live. Distances we will never travel. If humans don’t get their shit together soon, no humans will ever travel that far. C.S. Lewis, a contemporary of Tolkien, and one of the ‘Inklings’, wrote a Space Trilogy. He stated on various occasions that he hoped the human race would never travel beyond our Solar System, limiting the plague that is the Human Race to Earth.

My personal belief is that there are beacons surrounding our Solar System, warning that we are infected with greed and resulting plagues. We don’t have Visitors from other solar systems because they don’t want to be infected. They pass by to take photos—like going to Yellowstone.

I have never heard a religious person ask the Judas Iscariot question. The answer is ‘yes’. Jesus came to bring Light to the World. Creator exists in Non-Linear Time. We never surprise Creator. God created us so that we could be the presence of the Creator. We are doing a poor job of it…

Looking at the political situation around the world, I don’t think God is on our side.
We are addicted to violence and War.

I am weary as hell. The confusion I’m feeling can’t fully be described. Words fill my head and drop on the floor. Some of that comes from neurological issues.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 245: Privilege

September 26, 2022

I’m not sure that ‘growing up’ ever ends. I thought it would stop; but I was mistaken. I’ve known people for whom growth seemed to have ended; I did not envy then. They tended to stay stuck in the mud hole they dug for themselves.

A conversation with my wife pointed out I have some choices to make in how I live my life. An ‘if-then’ sort of transaction. Sometimes, ‘if’ goes in a direction I don’t really want to go, but the consequence of inaction is also not acceptable. So, I choose to accept the difficulty along with the benefit.

Perhaps this is why ‘snotnose’ politicians of a certain age think that their actions make them important. It merely causes them to be noticed. Perhaps a fear of being rejected creates the need to be noticed. It certainly does not make for Democracy.

While in high school, I learned that I was half-Vulcan [metaphorically], and that’s why I rarely fit in. Living in college dormitories was a bizarre experience for me. Back When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, dormitories were co-ed by building or sometimes by floors. Four years, living with rutting males. I knew a guy who said he was in pre-med and planned on being a gynecologist; there was only one part of female anatomy that interested him. I was interested in women’s brains.

The Doctor on Mars

The word, “Privilege/Privileged” is frequently thrown about, in this time of my life. Typically, it’s definition means that someone has so much money or so much presumed power that there is no need to be kind toward the people they encounter; especially toward “essential workers” who weren’t considered Essential before the COVID Pandemic. BTW: COVID will probably return in force.

Back When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Privilege/Privileged meant: to have the good fortune (to have, be, or do something).
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/privileged#h1

The image above is from a collection of images I called, The Unwritten Adventures of the 13th Doctor. This was taking place in the interim between the first announcements from the BBC about the new version of The Female Doctor, and when I could actually watch the stories.

When I was young and checking out science fiction from the Multnomah County Library, I never imagined that I would have the privilege of seeing the surface of Mars. The image above is the actual Martian surface [scale may be wrong] with added Martian Soldiers and the 13th Doctor.

This coming November is bringing out the worst in some people. Politicians trying to score points, as if this was some bizarre team sport. Politicians who sit down after making a speech, and bring out their electronic brain, to see how well the speech scored.
Politicians breaking the law with no sense of remorse…

And then the religious people drag the Bible into the argument, ‘proving’ their argument by using verses taken out of context, so that the words may sound appropriate, but in context, an entirely different subject is being discussed.
The Bible did not have chapters until the 13th Century. The Letter/Book was simply read start to finish. The Bible did not have verses until the 16th Century; and the verses were created by a printer, not necessarily a theologian. John 3:16, as a standalone concept, did not have any meaning until roughly 1500+ A.D. There is no way to read the third chapter of the Book of John, so that the one verse that is featured in video sports broadcasts has meaning. John 3:17 changes the meaning of verse 16…

White male ‘adults’ [by age, only] determined to keep America as refuge for Jim Crow and The Handmaid’s Tale. Every woman I keep in touch with, and who live in America is voting for what Eric Bibb calls, “Put a Woman in Charge”.
It seems that in general, a lot of White males are afraid of women. Women use a different way of thinking then what I have experienced as typical male brain-use. I can’t really call the usage ‘thinking’ because I’ve known very few men who actually think, beyond ‘what channel is that on’ and ‘bring me a beer from the frig’. I find it embarrassing. My Vulcan self, coming through again…

An artist’s impression of Europa Clipper in orbit around Jupiter’s frozen moon Europa.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As infuriating as life can be in these United [?] States, where all people are still not created equal, we can still experience wonder.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 244: The inter-related structure of reality

August 7, 2022

Regular readers of my Chronicles will see information I’ve posted before.

Science Fiction stories help me to find sanity in what is an ever-more-insane planet; however, Science Fiction too often chooses to resolve problems by War. This implies that those responsible for the production of science fiction stories can only imagine life in the future as being Endless War.

Then there is The Doctor.
The centuries-old Alien whose only weapon is a sonic screwdriver.
To be fair, many of the enemies of our galaxy are warmongers; The Doctor uses those enemies’ own brutality against themselves.

Somehow, the human race cannot translate the technological accomplishments of the 21st Century into making a better society. We seem to be unable to stop destroying this world. Mega-Billionaires who have prospered enormously during the Pandemic, apparently can’t envision their place in history, as the people who, by themselves, stopped hunger and homelessness across the world while still remaining Billionaires. Instead, they play space tourist. “Ending world hunger by 2030 would cost $330bn, study finds”

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/oct/13/ending-world-hunger-by-2030-would-cost-330bn-study-finds

“These are the principles for the development of a complete mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science…Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
“The greatest deception from which men suffer is their own opinions”
Leonardo da Vinci

“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…”
“This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

The first law of thermodynamics states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another but can be neither created nor destroyed. We, each, are energy. We each can be transformed from one form of energy to another, but we cannot be destroyed. You will never die. Your body will be transformed into muck, if you are in a concrete burial box; or transformed into heat energy, if cremated; or into the landscaping, if you are planted directly into the ground.
Your non-physical self, the self that is contained in the brain goes on. Your self does not die in the brain. This has yet to be proven; our medical research abilities are not yet capable of analyzing that self which is our soul.

Michael Burnham: I envy those who can believe there is a greater hand, writing our story, who chooses the words to keep chaos at bay. Connection. Joy. Love. And resurrection. With these words, the path becomes clear for a moment, and then disappears. If I have a path…I’m still searching for it. We all are. That’s how we find our way, by choosing to walk forward, together. And if there is a greater hand leading us into an uncertain future…I can only hope it guides us well.

George Carlin:
…there is nothing wrong with the planet… nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine… the people are fucked! Difference! The planet is fine! Compared to the people, THE PLANET IS DOING GREAT: Been here four and a half billion years! Do you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years, we’ve been here what? 100,000? Maybe 200,000? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over 200 years. 200 years versus four and a half billion and we have the conceit to think that somehow, we’re a threat? That somehow, we’re going to put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun? The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us: been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drifts, solar flares, sunspots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles, hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages, and we think some plastic bags and aluminum cans are going to make a difference?

I believe that all of entire our lives have been KNOWN since the moment of Creation. The problem comes when some people believe that all happens in our life is being done TO us by Creator. We are the problem, and always have been. When nearly half of the country in some fashion believes that the Jim Crow South had a really good idea, it’s hard to imagine that this number will become half of what it was–and that it will take a clear Majority before a Star Trek future can happen instead of a Handmaid’s Tale [NOT my original thought].

13th Doctor

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 167: HPtFtU [part 4] A Cautionary Tale

July 19, 2022

Francis Spufford, in his wonderful book, Unapologetic, uses the term HPtFtU for the Human Tendency to F**k things Up. If you watch any legitimate news outlet today, you will see countless examples of HPtFtU on display; especially in Washington DC.

I was scammed out of $450 in 2018. The good news is that the intention was for me to get scammed out of $3300 [in 2018$]; thanks to my dinosaur brain, it didn’t happen.

I received an email purporting to be from someone at the San Francisco office of ——- Associates, an international graphics and branding business. The email said they liked my work and wanted me to be interviewed by someone in their HR section via Google Hangout; and they gave me a name and a ——online@gmail.com address.

The ‘interview’ process was very well rehearsed. They asked me to walk them through my online portfolio; they asked the reasonable questions to ask, for someone looking for a remote contractor for work. Then they dropped the magic words:

We will pay you $55/hr (USD) with benefits and you will receive your pay via Direct Deposit or Check bi-weekly, taxes are taken out of your pay as you will be an employee. Working Days are Monday-Fridays and you may work remotely for us. You can work overtime hours on Saturdays if desired and we will arrange working equipment for you to get started ASAP.

I told them that this sounded like full-time language, rather than part-time language, and they assured me that my hours would be flexible. Then they asked me about the work that would be needed, and whether I felt confident doing these sorts of tasks; which I am.

The above is nearly identical to my online interview on ICQ today [19 July 2022]. The offer was from a videogame company looking for a Character Artist. The last videogame I played was Minesweeper. This didn’t seem to be a problem for them; I sounded like such a [ripe] target.
The key this time was that they used a _______@company.us email address rather than a _______@company.com

Then they provided me the list of ‘toys’ they were going to provide me with, for which the above check was being provided. The plan was to take a pdf of the front of the check, and a png of the back of a check, and deposit the money with my banking app on my smart phone.Rescued by dinosaur brain—I have 5 computers. While it would be convenient and fun to have a computer in my pocket, the reality is that I do not need a computer in my pocket. So

I have a Bluetooth compatible cell phone that does texting, and if one is really desperate or patient, will connect to the internet. It’s about the same level of sophistication as dial-up; and it does not do apps.

I have a better cellphone today for use by my family; I still would have chosen the same difficulty.

When I finally got them to understand that I am one of the last 12 people on the planet with out a cell phone that does apps; ‘she’ told me that the check would arrive in the mail. The following day, I was informed that to get started with ——–, I would need the program that keeps track of time, for my training. So, I needed to send $400 to someone in Texas via Western Union. Given the presence of the above check in my email, it seemed like a little flexibility was in order. BTW it was explained to me that ——- worked as a payroll company for the ———–, consequently the money was coming through the ———.

After all of the folderol with getting Western Union to like a card from my collection, I was then told that there was a bargain available to me:
The iMac is of 2017 and it will cost you just $698 and it will come with a brand new printer and we will reimburse you all the total amount next week…
At which point, the conversation went as follow [I’m in red]:

You realize this is all rather weird…
I answer an email; I get hired via a chat; you send me a pdf and a photo of a different check; the check is from the ……….., not —— Associates; you have me send $400 to some lady in Texas; and you are now asking me to send her money for equipment you want me to use.
If someone told me I was getting scammed, I’d be inclined to agree with them.

No, this is all legitimate

You need to trust this, we have lots of others working for us and the reason why we sent you the check is to assure you that you will get the full reimbursement.

We can call you and also re-assure, we have a lot of others who go through same process and none has ever had a bad experience

I will not deceive you Marty.

So are you instructing me send Mandy more money to buy last year’s iMac?

Yes.

and she will buy and ship all the items to you

I need you to trust me

You will get the tracking # to the package coming by tomorrow via FedEx and it will all be delivered to your door step

Trust me ok

You will see everything arrive in the mail

Are you with me?

OK, when your check arrives here, and is deposited, I’ll send her the money.
You may need me to trust you, but at this point you are a name on a screen.

The $400 software [presumed] did not arrive. Before that confirmation, I did a bunch of research and sent messages and a FAX to various executives of —— [no one has email addresses when you want them]. I heard back from one of the execs, who assured me that the name wasn’t associated with ——-, and they never hire remote employees…

So, why am I sharing this embarrassment? So that hopefully you, dear reader, will avoid the scam. I’ve contacted the State of Oregon, the FBI, the Internet Fraud people, as well as a few others. I did not give them a SSN, nor did I give them any information that isn’t already in the public domain. I did send them a high-res image of my new driver’s license [birthday in July]; which concerns me. The —— exec told me that they were contacting authorities in San Francisco. The authorities have the transaction information from Western Union; and I’ve contacted my bank. The reality is that I voluntarily sent money to a private individual, who did not provide me with the stuff I was supposedly paying for; but I wasn’t coerced.

The ——- responded to an email, and told me that the check would bounce, after a few days. So, I would order $3300 worth of toys, from my account, to be reimbursed by the bogus check… Big surprise—I don’t have $3300 lying around in my checking account.

I’ve been full-time self-employed for 20 24 years; including a part-time gig for the City of Salem, which was my last W-2 job. I assumed that I really wasn’t looking for another W-2 job. It was a surprise to find that a part-time job with benefits was so attractive. The money was better than I charge graphic art clients, a little less than I charge for architectural work.

For a few hours, I was hooked.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 243: Non-Linear Time

July 15, 2022

Watch the film, Arrival. An excellent explanation of non-linear time.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2543164/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

My imagination and my theology is stirred by science fiction–the possibility that things may occur in the future that we can’t imagine. Faster-than-light space travel hasn’t even been theorized very well, and yet nearly all science fiction stories from the mid-60s onward have space craft that can travel faster than light. The only way to travel between star systems in a human lifetime.

On Monday, July 11th, 2022, from the White House, humanity got its first glimpse of what the James Webb Space Telescope has been seeing: a cluster of early galaxies. This telescope is designed to see further than humanity has ever been able to see.

the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula
This landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth.
Called the Cosmic Cliffs, Webb’s seemingly three-dimensional picture looks like craggy mountains on a moonlit evening. In reality, it is the edge of the giant, gaseous cavity within NGC 3324, and the tallest “peaks” in this image are about 7 light-years high. The cavernous area has been carved from the nebula by the intense ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds from extremely massive, hot, young stars located in the center of the bubble, above the area shown in this image.
Located roughly 7,600 light-years away, NGC 3324 was imaged by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).

In viewing the images above and below, you are experiencing non-linear time. The electromagnetic signals that were sent from NGC 3324 happened billions of years ago. 7600 light years converts to 44,646,972,718,000,000 miles [international]. The counting of seconds is an experience of linear time.

You are seeing now, events that happened billions of years ago; and you are reading something I wrote days/weeks/years ago.

Why does this matter?
It may not matter at all to you; why does it matter to me?
The NGC 3324 image is simply beautiful. Its distance from Earth is approximated at 8500 light-years.
The images above show some of the most distant galaxies, whose ‘light’ [electromagnetic energy] have traveled for over 13 billion years. We are looking into billions of years in the past. Today. Non-linear time.

As a man of Faith, not raised in a religious environment, and trained to ask questions, and evaluate answers, non-linear time provides an answer to one of the most difficult questions of Faith: Why does Creator [higher power, deity] allow evil to happen?

  • When I use the word, ‘Creator’, I am not referring to some god located somewhere around Saturn, who is responsible for the good and evil in the world. Creator has been creating the Universe for tens of billions of years, at a minimum. Creator does not have a specific location.
  • Creator does not allow evil to happen. WE ALLOW EVIL TO HAPPEN. There’s no blaming of a deity for what is happening in the world this very moment. Nearly all the crises raising havoc in the world, causing me to be FEAR*ful for the lives of my grandchildren, are caused by human beings in the last century and more. Some actions probably out of ignorance; many caused by humans who just don’t give a shit.
  • For Millennia, humans have blamed all of the tragedies of the world on a deity. “Why did [deity] allow this to happen?” That question places the blame on Creator. We live on a planet that is spinning at the equator at a speed of 460 meters per second–or roughly 1,000 miles per hour. Earth travels around the sun at approximately 67,000 miles per hour. In addition, our solar system–Earth and all–whirls around the center of our galaxy at some 220 kilometers per second, or 490,000 miles per hour.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-fast-is-the-earth-mov/

The land upon which we travel is broken into seven or eight major plates [depending on how they are defined] and many minor plates or “platelets”. Where the plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of plate boundary: convergent, divergent, or transform. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries (or faults). The relative movement of the plates typically ranges from zero to 10 cm annually.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_tectonics

Underneath these plates of stone is molten lava.

We are living on top of an ever-moving ball, sitting, standing, walking, running, sleeping on molten lava. The idea that the world is unstable should be taught in every classroom on Earth.

* False Evidence Appearing Real

Evangelicals won’t like this one. I believe that all our pasts, presents and futures have been known by Creator since the beginning of the Universe. Given that Creator has know everything about us, everything we have done or are about to do, it is impossible for us to surprise Creator. Not surprising Creator means that our futures are already known. We don’t know how we end. Creator knows. Punishment for ‘sins’ is illogical.
Jesus did not die on the cross so we could be saved [lots of proof-texts with which to disagree]. Jesus died because He spoke out against the religious authority of the day. He healed people without involving the religious bureaucracy. He fed hungry people virtually out of thin air [the Creator of seeds made bread, bypassing the ovens].
Jesus came to bring Light into the world as the Second Person of the Trinity—all of Creator that would fit in a human form. Jesus either did bring Light into the world, or Jesus failed. Failure would mean that he was hung on a cross by Roman soldiers at the behest of the leaders in the Temple. Hung on a cross like all the other men the Romans crucified. Evangelicals stop at John 3:16 because it serves their purpose. The paragraph ends on verse 21.

19 This is the judgment: The Light has come into the world and the children of men loved the darkness more than The Light, because their works were evil.

Jesus was the only One to get back out of His tomb. He said that we can, too.
Jesus left behind, the Spirit of the Creator. He left Himself, the Second Person of the Trinity and became the Third Person of the Trinity.
Jesus’ followers, needing some structure similar to the religious environment where they were found, worked at bringing order to that which may not have needed order. The Emperor Constantine, in the Third Century AD, created the Holy Roman Empire.

Over a couple thousand years, it all got messed up, and turned into a religious circus.

  • The above is simplified from actual history.
  • The passage below is magnificent in its simplicity

The Jewish discovery that God is not a god but Creator, is the discovery of absolute Mystery behind and underpinning reality. Those who share it (either in its Judaic or its Christian form) are not monotheists who have reduced the number of gods to one. They, we, have abolished the gods; there is only the Mystery sustaining all that is. The Mystery is unfathomable, but it is not remote as the gods are remote. The gods live somewhere else, on Olympus or above the starry sky. The Mystery is everywhere and always, in every grain of sand and every flash of colour, every hint of flavour in a wine, keeping all these things in existence every microsecond. We could not literally approach God or get nearer to God for God is already nearer to us than we are to ourselves. God is at the ultimate depth of our beings making us to be ourselves.

Herbert McCabe

Informally named the ‘Finger of God’ or Defiant Finger

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 241:  At doom’s doorstep: It is 100 seconds to midnight

June 6, 2022

2022 Doomsday Clock Statement
Science and Security Board
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The Doomsday Clock is set every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 11 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and disruptive technologies in other domains.

To: Leaders and citizens of the world
Re: At doom’s doorstep: It is 100 seconds to midnight
Date: January 20, 2022

Last year’s leadership change in the United States provided hope that what seemed like a global race toward catastrophe might be halted and—with renewed US engagement—even reversed. Indeed, in 2021 the new American administration changed US policies in some ways that made the world safer: agreeing to an extension of the New START arms control agreement and beginning strategic stability talks with Russia; announcing that the United States would seek to return to the Iran nuclear deal; and rejoining the Paris climate accord. Perhaps even more heartening was the return of science and evidence to US policy making in general, especially regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. A more moderate and predictable approach to leadership and the control of one of the two largest nuclear arsenals of the world marked a welcome change from the previous four years.
Still, the change in US leadership alone was not enough to reverse negative international security trends that had been long in developing and continued across the threat horizon in 2021.
US relations with Russia and China remain tense, with all three countries engaged in an array of nuclear modernization and expansion efforts—including China’s apparent large-scale program to increase its deployment of silo-based long-range nuclear missiles; the push by Russia, China, and the United States to develop hypersonic missiles; and the continued testing of anti-satellite weapons by many nations. If not restrained, these efforts could mark the start of a dangerous new nuclear arms race. Other nuclear concerns, including North Korea’s unconstrained nuclear and missile expansion and the (as yet) unsuccessful attempts to revive the Iran nuclear deal contribute to growing dangers. Ukraine remains a potential flashpoint, and Russian troop deployments to the Ukrainian border heighten day-to-day tensions.

https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time

My 70th birthday is next month. I graduated from high school in 1970. I was born in 1952. I don’t remember knowing anything about the Doomsday Clock in 1953, 1969, or 1971 [see above]. I mostly ignored politics and the world in general during these years of my life. I voted Republican because my parents were Republican and raised me in the American Legion. Consequently, I voted for Nixon, twice; I voted for Reagan and believed his magical ‘trickle down theory’. I stopped voting Republican when George W. uttered the words, ‘Preemptive Strike’. The Iraq War was built upon a lie. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. They were expected, because the US, by way of the CIA, were financing Arab Rebels for years.
Beginning with 1998, the Doomsday Clock continually loses time before Midnight…

As of January 2020, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 203 critically endangered mammalian species, including 31 which are tagged as possibly extinct. 3.5% of all evaluated mammalian species are listed as critically endangered. The IUCN also lists 60 mammalian subspecies as critically endangered.
Of the subpopulations of mammals evaluated by the IUCN, 18 species subpopulations have been assessed as critically endangered.
Additionally, 900 mammalian species (15% of those evaluated) are listed as data deficient, meaning there is insufficient information for a full assessment of conservation status. As these species typically have small distributions and/or populations, they are intrinsically likely to be threatened, according to the IUCN. While the category of data deficient indicates that no assessment of extinction risk has been made for the taxa, the IUCN notes that it may be appropriate to give them “the same degree of attention as threatened taxa, at least until their status can be assessed.”
This is a complete list of critically endangered mammalian species and subspecies evaluated by the IUCN. Species considered possibly extinct by the IUCN are marked as such. Species and subspecies which have critically endangered subpopulations (or stocks) are indicated. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_critically_endangered_mammals

Of the seven animals portrayed below, four are already considered extinct. In the case of the Northern White Rhinoceros, there are two animals left. They both are female. IVF has failed.

On my Instagram page [ https://www.instagram.com/mjartscom ], you can see my list of 134 of the 203 Endangered Mammals.
Close to half of the politicians in the House and Senate are not taking Climate Change seriously; nor are they taking gun violence seriously.

“Before a man killed at least four people Wednesday at a hospital in Tulsa, there had already been 232 mass shootings this year in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. It is the twentieth since last week’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“Mass shootings, where four or more people — not including the shooter — are injured or killed, have averaged more than one per day so far this year. Not a single week in 2022 has passed without at least four mass shootings.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/06/02/mass-shootings-in-2022

While I am inclined to say that we, as a nation, must do better, it’s clear that we, as a nation, don’t intend to do better. Apparently, we aren’t even close to agreeing that we must do better.
The son of a politician facing criminal charges said that the problem wasn’t the gun; the deaths could have occurred with a baseball bat. It’s difficult to be in 19 places, swinging a bat and killing children. Some politicians make very strange comments.
The answer brought forward by some politicians is that we need to have armed police at every school in the nation. In Uvalve, Texas, there were over a dozen armed officers inside the building while shooting continued and children died. Apparently, no one was in charge.
An 18-year-old bought the assault rifle he used, that very same day.
An 18-year-old in Texas cannot buy beer but can buy an assault rifle.
Nineteen children killed, two teachers killed, and 17 people wounded. Apparently, it took about 90 minutes for the hundreds of rounds to be fired. Armed police were on site for 40 minutes before they entered the building [the stories keep changing].
In the end they had over 100 police officers on site. The children still died.
Armed police aren’t the answer to the problem.

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 240: 21 weeks into the year; 213 mass shootings

May 27, 2022

May 24, 2022
TEXAS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING
19 children and 2 adults dead

The Washington Post has spent years tracking how many children have been exposed to gun violence during school hours since the Columbine High massacre in 1999.
Beyond the dead and wounded, children who witness the violence or cower behind locked doors to hide from it can be profoundly traumatized.
The federal government does not track school shootings, so The Post pieced together its numbers from news articles, open-source databases, law enforcement reports and calls to schools and police departments.
While school shootings remain rare, there were more in 2021 — 42 — than in any year since at least 1999. So far this year, there have been at least 24 acts of gun violence on K-12 campuses during the school day.
The count now stands at more than 311,000 children at 331 schools traumatized by gun violence.
The Post has found that at least 185 children, educators and other people have been killed in assaults, and another 369 have been injured.

I see headlines every day where ‘conservative’ politicians claim to be protecting the country from the Radical Left [aka social justice]; and now they are bringing ‘god’ into the message with greater force [at a time when the largest denomination in the country has admitted “that leaders falsely claimed they could not maintain a database of offenders to prevent abuse when a secret list of more than 700 abusive pastors had been compiled. No action was taken to ensure the accused ministers were no longer in positions to do harm.”
These people need to leave Creator and Jesus out of these cultural crimes, until they have actually read Jesus’ teachings with the intent of following them.

The graph below proves that Gun Violence is entirely preventable.

All that is required is the will to stop the violence

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 239: “The greatest deception from which men suffer is their own opinions”

May 22, 2022

“These are the principles for the development of a complete mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science…Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
The greatest deception from which men suffer is their own opinions
Leonardo da Vinci

America is incredibly complicated. Maddingly complicated.
Complicated almost beyond belief.

I am a child of immigrants. Approximately 3/4 of my ancestors lived in Scandinavia. Immigrants who traveled from Norway and from Finland, in search of a better life. My Grandmother talked about traveling with her three young daughters across the country on a train. She had never seen a person with brown skin before; she could not speak English, so as to learn about these strange people. She told of how kind the brown-skinned people on the train were.

In humans, Melanin is the primary determinant of skin color. Melanin is an effective absorbent of light; and is believed to protect the skin from UV radiation. Three-quarters of my DNA comes from Scandinavia. The need for Melanin as skin protection is fairly low in the places where the sun doesn’t shine that often, and the place where the nights are long. Parents having a dozen children, who all have a dozen children in their families. Those long nights…

There is only one Homo Sapien Race in our world—the Human Race—we all have similar DNA. Even when Melanin is more active, darkening the skin to protect against UV radiation, we are still One Race. There are a lot of people in this country who have a difficult time understanding this fact.

I finished watching “Ken Burns’ Country Music” again. I’m not particularly fond of twangy music; I am fond of bluegrass and the stories the series tells. Similarly, with “Ken Burns’ Jazz”. The music that is by definition American mostly comes from the Deep South. The banjo came from Africa, work songs came from Africa and the Caribbean. The Blues came from brown-skinned people dealing with the struggles they endured primarily because pink-skinned people wanted brown-skinned people to be kept something below pink skin.
Politicians today want to pretend American history in the South did not occur; and refuse to admit it continues today. Ban a textbook, ban a library book because, sadly, the ‘song’ they are singing is something different than ‘three chords and the truth’—the foundation of County Music.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that everyone in the United States has the right to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all.
Our country’s founders — who were of different religious backgrounds themselves — knew the best way to protect religious liberty was to keep the government out of religion. So they created the First Amendment — to guarantee the separation of church and state. This fundamental freedom is a major reason why the U.S. has managed to avoid a lot of the religious conflicts that have torn so many other nations apart.

https://www.aclu.org/other/your-right-religious-freedom
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Recently, HD1 was discovered using space telescopes.

The Universe had a beginning. “330 million years after time began,” in astronomical terms, is fairly short. Shortly after HD1 was discovered, another signal from about the same distance was discovered; astronomers have no idea what the newer discovery is.

“To hear Charlie Duke tell it, his life’s most important moment did not come 50 years ago today, when he became the 10th and youngest of 12 people to walk on the moon. It came six years later, as he sat behind the wheel of his parked car alongside State Highway 46 in New Braunfels, Tex.
“He felt lost by then—unhappy in his marriage, emotionally distant from his two young sons, unfulfilled in his post-NASA career selling beer. But that day, he and his wife, Dotty, finished a weekend Bible study retreat, and in the car afterward, he became a born-again Christian.
“If his conversion story ended there, he would have plenty of company. But Duke would, in time, embrace a literalist interpretation of the Bible that contradicted all he accomplished as an astronaut and scrambled his expert understanding of the heavens…
“The expedition also collected some especially old moon rocks. On the second of their three days exploring Descartes, Young picked up a four-pound chunk of bright white stone that turned out to be anorthosite, a remnant of the moon’s original crust. Sample 60025, as it’s known, is among the most exactly dated prizes of the Apollo campaign, at 4.36 billion years old.
“The next day, Duke bagged a dust-covered 10-ounce rock on the rim of the vast North Ray Crater. It was a breccia containing a nugget of anorthosite that apparently crystallized 4.46 billion years ago…
“Today, Duke says he believes Earth to be only about 6,000 years old, and the rest of the universe with it — which is to say, he holds that the scientists overstated the actual age of that rock by 4.459994 billion years.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2022/04/21/apollo11-astronaut-charlie-duke-reflects-on-mission-and-god/

Religion in America has become cruel. This country has never been a Christian nation. Our Constitution guarantees freedom of worship; and under some forms of worship, abortion is viewed differently from the Christian church.
In reality, people who claim to be Pro-Life are really Pro-Birth; if they were Pro-Life, they would be concerned about unwed mothers who cannot afford health insurance, and consequently pay for Neo-Natal Intensive Care [if needed]. To really be Pro-Life means to be concerned about the welfare for the child after the child has been born. All that ‘Radical Left’ stuff…

ATLANTA — Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that the judiciary is threatened if people are unwilling to “live with outcomes we don’t agree with” and that recent events at the Supreme Court might be “one symptom of that.”
Thomas, speaking to judges and lawyers at the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, did not speak directly about the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, a colossal breach of the court’s procedures.
But he referred a couple of times to the “unfortunate events” of the past week, and in a question-and-answer session led by a former clerk, he said he worried about declining respect for institutions and the rule of law.
“It bodes ill for a free society,” he said. It can’t be that institutions “give you only the outcome you want, or can be bullied” to do the same, he said.
The court’s longest-serving justice said he also worried about a “different attitude of the young” that might not show the same respect for the law as past generations did. “Recent events have shown this major change,” he said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/06/clarence-thomas-abortion-supreme-court-leak

This is the same Supreme Court Justice whose wife was directly involved with the Capitol Riot on January 6th of last year. The reporter of the words above was ‘playing softball’ rather than ‘hardball’. Justice Thomas should recuse himself from any Supreme Court cases involving the Capitol Riot. Based on past performance, he probably won’t.
This same Institution has a sitting Justice who was accused of rape during his Confirmation Hearings and was never investigated. The FBI was directed to investigate by the Trump Department of Justice, but the alleged criminal in the Oval Office ordered the FBI to stand down.
This same Institution has two sitting Justices who swore under oath that they would not attempt to overcome Roe v. Wade because it was settled law. These two justices, on the leaked report, are voting to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The 45th President told over 13,000 lies while in office, paid hush-money to avoid criminal charges while sitting at his Presidential Desk in the Oval Office, was impeached twice and was found ‘not guilty’ by the Republicans in the Senate, even though the evidence was clear. He is also the instigator of the Capitol Riot.
I am no longer young; and I do not share the respect for the law that my parents had. Their respect for the law came from their life during the Great Depression and World War II; times that predated Nixon and Watergate, the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of FIVE proponents of Civil Rights in the 1960’s. Times long before our Endless War in the Middle East; the one that began with the misinformation presented to Congress that Saddam Hussein had [never-found] Weapons of Mass Destruction. These weapons had been provided to Afghan forces by the CIA, to prevent the Russian Army from doing what is happening in Ukraine. History repeats.

“In psychology, the holding of two opposing ideas in your mind at the same time is known as cognitive dissonance.”

https://www.navigatethechaos.com/post/how-often-can-you-hold-two-opposing-ideas-in-your-mind-at-the-same-time

I believe that Creator entering Time and Space in the form of Jesus was the equivalent of throwing a life preserver to one who is drowning. Humanity sucks, and always has. The Biblical account of Adam and Eve [I don’t believe this is a statement of what occurred] explains it, but people don’t see it that way. Adam and Eve gained an understanding of the difference between Right and Wrong and were consequently kicked out of Eden. Humans have been choosing Wrong ever since.
For over 40 years I’ve wandered through Evangelical Christianity never understanding how the Church has survived, while being so dense. People asking the question, ‘how could god allow this to happen?’ I think they ask the question because they only selectively remember history. Six or seven Millennia of eventually-recorded history, demonstrating every single day how horrid humans are to each other; senseless, meaninglessly disgraceful behavior toward people sharing the same space, based on the amount of Melanin in their skin, or their understanding of what it means to be human.
The real Question is why Creator allows humans to continue our existence. Creator knows what shitty people we are. Our Selfishness, our Callousness, our Crimes Against Humanity. We are our own worst enemy. A couple Millennia ago, in what Believers called ‘the right time’ [there really is no explanation of why it was ‘the right time’] the Creator of the entire Universe entered Time and Space in the form of a single cell, embedded in the womb of a teenage girl. That cell joined with one of her cells, and in 9 months, a boy was born. The only reason Creator entered Time and Space was to share Light and Life to people who would never deserve the Gift. Yeshua/Jesus did not die so that you could go to Heaven—clearly written in John 3:17, where it states that:

For God did not send his Son into the world that he would condemn the world, but that he would give life to the world by him. [Aramaic Bible in Plain English]

People stop at 3:16 because their intention isn’t scholarship; their intention is to make a religious point.
Jesus either accomplished his goal—giving Life to the entire world, or Jesus failed.
It’s that simple. I prefer ‘accomplished’.

Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after resurrection on Easter Sunday. Ascension Day 2022 is on Thursday, May 26…

9 And when he had said these things, as they saw him, he was taken up and a cloud received him and he was hidden from their eyes. 10 And as they were gazing into the sky, as he was going, two men were present standing with them in white clothing. 11 And they were saying to them, “Galilean men, why are you standing and gazing into the sky? This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into Heaven shall come in this way, as when you saw him going up into Heaven.”Acts 1 Aramaic Bible in Plain English

No one really knows how this will work. Biblical literalists will find their literal interpretation as an explanation in itself. Followers of Jesus know that Jesus never left. His body left—although, when the risen Jesus walked through walls, one has to question the nature of Jesus’ visible body. I’ve taught myself, more times than I can count, I cannot walk through walls.
This has always been my favorite depiction of the Ascension. “And as they were gazing into the sky, as he was going…”

Ascension By Salvador Dali

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