Archive for the ‘children’s books’ Category

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 220: his ghastly illusion

October 18, 2020

Picture to yourself a man who has risen to wealth or power by a continued course of treachery and cruelty, by exploiting for purely selfish ends the noble motions of his victims, laughing the while at their simplicity; who, having thus attained success, uses it for the gratification of lust and hatred and finally parts with the last rag of honour among thieves by betraying his own accomplices and jeering at their last moments of bewildered disillusionment. Suppose, further, that he does all this, not (as we like to imagine) tormented by remorse or even misgiving, but eating like a schoolboy and sleeping like a healthy infant-a jolly, ruddy-cheeked man, without a care in the world, unshakably confident to the very end that he alone has found the answer to the riddle of life, that God and man are fools whom he has got the better of, that his way of life is utterly successful, satisfactory, unassailable …. Supposing he will not be converted, what destiny in the eternal world can you regard as proper for him? … Even mercy can hardly wish to such a man his eternal, contented continuance in such ghastly illusion.
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain [1940]

At the NBC Town Hall, the President Demonstrated That He Is Completely Insane

NBC was kind enough to broadcast to the world, yet again, that the President of the United States is completely insane. At one point during a town hall in Miami on Thursday night, Donald Trump explained that he shared a conspiracy theory with his 87 million Twitter followers alleging Joe Biden helped orchestrate the killing of Seal Team 6 members—to cover up that the Osama bin Laden assassination was, in this formulation, faked—on the following basis: “That was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody. And that was a retweet. I put it out there, people can decide for themselves.” Elsewhere here, the president was able to simply denounce white supremacy this time, having kicked off a flurry of excitement and activity among the right-wing paramilitary set with his inability to do so two weeks ago. It’s a low bar, sure, but he failed to clear one of similar height when it came to a question on QAnon. But even beyond the nutso elements—on whether he got tested before the last presidential debate, the president offered, “I test quite a bit, I test all the time, I don’t even remember, I probably did, I possibly didn’t”—there is the more basic element that the president does not have any goals or plans for the country he’s asking to lead for four more years.              By Jack Holmes  , Oct 16, 2020

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a34388971/nbc-town-hall-trump-recap/

Tonight, my adult daughter, 1000 miles away, is crying and trying to keep her emotions together as she struggles with a ‘mild’ case of COVID-19. She alternates between fevers, nausea, dizziness, and now the thing that thousands of COVID-19 infected people deal with: they call it COVID Brain-Fog. My daughter has always had confidence in her highly trained brain, which at the moment has trouble remembering simple tasks. She dare not hug her 18-year-old daughter at the other end of the house, who hasn’t displayed any symptoms. They text across the house, and when they need to be in the same room, they both wear masks.
My daughter was infected by her husband, a Long-Haul-Trucker who thought he had caught a cold. Now he’s gutting-it-out driving to Maine and back, eventually to Colorado. He is masked every time he leaves the truck. He apparently caught the COVID-19 virus in Texas, where he spent time with friends.
My daughter has been in Colorado for a long time; I am still her father, and I am angry with every idiot in this country who ridicules mask-wearing. Over 8 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and more than 220,000 deaths. Our so-called President refuses to accept any responsibility for these deaths, and he does not even acknowledge the deaths. He does not acknowledge the refrigerator trucks at hospitals across the country, because the dead outnumber the refrigerators in the Morgue. He does even acknowledge the mass graves in New York City.

Mass Graves in the United States.

We have become one of “the shithole countries” the President talked about in 2018.

LBJ: 40,000 dead in Vietnam

Trump views 200,000 Covid-19 deaths as a PR problem. We should view them as someone’s loved one

Opinion by Dean Obeidallah
(CNN) On Monday, [9/21/2020] with the US on the verge of reaching the solemn number of 200,000 dead from Covid-19, Donald Trump appeared on Fox News where the topic of the virus was raised. Did Trump express sympathy for the heartbreaking losses caused to families across the nation from this deadly pandemic? Nope, instead he patted himself on the back for doing what he called “a phenomenal job” in handling Covid-19, giving himself an “A+.” The only criticism Trump would offer was regarding the public relations for the virus, saying in that area, “I give myself a D.” He blamed the low grade on “fake news.”
…they all deserve a better response from the President. They are not a PR crisis to be managed—they were someone’s loved one. They were beloved mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. They were grandparents who taught their grandchildren about life, teachers who made students smarter, coaches who pushed their players to be better, deli owners who remained open so neighborhoods would have food during lockdowns. They were doctors, nurses, police officers and others who worked while many of us were able to stay safe in our homes. They were the apple of someone’s eye, a soul mate, a reason for living. The people who died were not only like us, they often were the best of us.

U.S. Records 70,000 New Cases in a Day for the First Time Since July [10/17/2020]

Epidemiologists warn that nearly half of the states are seeing surges unlike anything they experienced earlier in the pandemic.

How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest
Within weeks of the gathering that drew nearly half a million bikers, the Dakotas, along with Wyoming, Minnesota and Montana, were leading the nation in new coronavirus infections per capita…The surge was especially pronounced in North and South Dakota, where cases and hospitalization rates continued their juggernaut rise into October.
Experts say they will never be able to determine how many of those cases originated at the 10-day rally, given the failure of state and local health officials to identify and monitor attendees returning home, or to trace chains of transmission after people got sick. Some, however, believe the nearly 500,000-person gathering played a role in the outbreak now consuming the Upper Midwest.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/10/17/sturgis-rally-spread

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 218: To Look at the Stars, and Know that We are Not Alone

October 8, 2020

The Present:
I’m stuck with a new version of WordPress; because “it is better”
In my opinion, which I pay WordPress for, it sucks.

The President has been infected with COVID-19. The Virus he’s been lying about since February, when he learned the COVID-19 is deadly [Bob Woodward has the tape]. The Virus the President did nothing to quell until mid-March.  
If the United States had begun imposing social distancing measures one week earlier than it did in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.
And if the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than most people started staying home, the vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided, the researchers estimated. Under that scenario, about 54,000 fewer people would have died by early May.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/20/us/coronavirus-distancing-deaths.html

The Virus Trump has been ridiculing for months; to the point where Trump supporters today still refuse to wear masks; even though their Leader is infected. No one knows exactly how bad the President’s infection is, because ‘the White House’ by choice, cannot be trusted to tell the Truth. The SUV in which the President, against doctor’s orders, decided to take for a drive to New Jersey is hermetically sealed to protect against gas attacks. It is air-tight. The Secret Service agent in front of the President, as well as any other individuals in the SUV are breathing the air in the President’s lungs and are probably infected with COVID-19. It is unlikely that they will be treated with the experimental drugs and steroids being used on the President.
The President has shown over the last 4 years that he has no more appreciation for the Secret Service agents sworn to protect his life than the children still rotting in ICE cages. And religious people throughout the country believe that the President has been blessed by god. As of today, the man who has said he has no need to repent, because he has never done anything wrong, says that his COVID diagnosis was a ‘blessing from god’. His niece and his sister have stated on tape, that Trump has no use for religion…
From J. H. McKenna, Ph.D:
Jesus did not arrive to lecture and berate the righteous or the virtuous or the upright or the honorable.  He said so himself. It’s sinners Jesus wants. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
At the right moment, in the fullness of time (as is said) Jesus would come to earth with an antique message, not for good people, but for bad people, for people who need to repent in order to become good people…
In other words, from all eternities past, God conceived a religion precisely with Donald Trump in mind. So why hasn’t Donald Trump repented and converted to Christianity? (Don’t pretend he has.)  Why does Trump resist a religion invented precisely for him?
Can his Evangelical enthusiasts help him to an authentic, remorseful penitence? What could a repentant, truly reformed Trump look like?  Can we imagine Donald Trump becoming an honest, humble, humorous, charming, generous, open, self-deprecating moral titan?
Can the religion of Jesus, engineered with Trump in mind at least several billion years ago, actually snag Mr. Trump and save him and reform him and better him and allow him plenty of years ahead to perform restitution for his long, long, indeed life-long, slog through all the categories of sin?
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/humanistplus/2020/08/will-trump-repent-in-time

Tonight, at the Vice-Presidential debate, Mr. Pence proved that he can sling BS as well as his boss. As of one hour ago, according to the Johns Hopkins website, 7,549,429 living Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and 211,793 Americans have died. Those infected but not yet hospitalized suffer each day, to restore the life they had last year.
“The first claim that Vice President Pence made in the vice-presidential debate on Wednesday night was not true. He claimed that President Trump had “suspended all travel from China” in order to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States. The travel restrictions were sufficiently porous that nearly 40,000 people traveled from China to this country after the restrictions went into place…
Pence attempted to defend Trump’s record on the pandemic — and his own, given that he’s ostensibly in charge of the response — by pretending that a challenge to the administration’s record was somehow a disparagement of the public.
“When you say what the American people have done over these last eight months hasn’t worked,” Pence charged, “that’s a great disservice to the sacrifices the American people have made.”
I mean, you work with what you’ve got. But this seems unlikely to work as a strategy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/07/all-honest-politicians-are-same-each-member-trumps-ticket-is-dishonest-his-own-way

 

I’m not sure how much further into absurdity this country can fall.

 
   

The Future:
The best part of the movie, Jupiter Ascending:
Caine Wise: It can be difficult for Terrans, or people from underdeveloped worlds, to hear that their planet is not the only inhabited planet in the Verse.
Jupiter Jones: Has to be the anesthesia. I mean, it’s gotta be a dream.
Caine Wise: The Protocol actually says that most Terrans will say that this has to be a dream.
Jupiter Jones: Yeah, because a dream is the only way any of this makes sense.
Caine Wise: Compared to what? The idea that you’re the only intelligent species, on the only habitable planet, in a universe so full of planets that you don’t even have a number to describe how many there are?

NOT SCIENCE FICTION

COSMOS-AzTEC-1

A newly mapped [2018] starburst galaxy labeled COSMOS-AzTEC-1 – located 12.4 billion light-years away, in the early universe – is now known to be forming stars 1,000 times faster than our Milky Way. It’s also been found to have star-forming regions not in its galactic center, but in vast clouds located off-center by several thousand light-years. [Emphasis added]How these galaxies have been able to amass such a large quantity of gas in the first place and then essentially turn the entire gas reserve into stars in the blink of an eye, cosmologically speaking, was a completely unknown question about which we could only speculate. We have the first answers now.
https://earthsky.org/space/starburst-galaxy-cosmos-aztec-1-unstoppable-monster

Why is this important?
This is an image of a galaxy as it was, 12.4 Billion years ago. Two years ago, it became known that the galaxy is forming stars 1,000 times faster than our Milky Way.

The idea that you’re the only intelligent species, on the only habitable planet, in a universe so full of planets that you don’t even have a number to describe how many there are?

Look at the night sky on a clear night where city lights cannot be seen. Each of those points of light is a solar system in the Milky Way galaxy. Creator may still be forming stars from cosmic gas. The number defies counting.

In another 20 years, the current President will be dead [at 94 and morbidly obese].
My granddaughter, preparing to vote in her first Election, will be nearly as old as her mother is now.
The United States of America will hopefully still exist.

The Earth may not be habitable in 20 years [2040]. The oceans will have new ‘sea levels’ due to the melting of our Ice Caps. There may only be portions of the continents in their most extreme distances that are habitable. Global Warming/Climate Change is Real. Bangladesh is largely under water due to typhoons.
In every election for every office from now onward, we Earthlings need to elect people who respect science, and rely on the wisdom of experts, if we are to survive.

I know people who believe that Climate Change isn’t important because Jesus is Returning Soon. Jesus, all of the Creator that could be stuffed into a human, did not know when He would return. The Return/Second Coming is an interpretation based on a handful of verses from the New Testament, the Revelation of John, in particular.
 1 John 2:18 in Aramaic [the language used in Jesus’ time]
My sons, it is the end time, and as you have heard that something will come; the false anointed one, and also now, for, there are many false anointed ones, and from this we know it is the end of time.

As near as I can tell, Time for Earth did not end two Millenia ago. The author of 1st John was making a prediction based on what he knew at the time.
What scientists know is that we have a limited amount of time for keeping Earth habitable. This was the purpose of the Paris Agreement that our President dumped shortly after he took office.
How late is too late for policies to have a reasonable likelihood of achieving the Paris Agreement’s 2-degree goal in 2100? Assuming a moderate mitigation strategy, a 2-degree warming threshold, and accepting a 67% likelihood of remaining below the threshold, the Point of No Return will arrive in the year 2035.
https://environment-review.yale.edu/too-little-too-late-carbon-emissions-and-point-no-return

There are other dates, dependent upon mitigation strategies and the rising of the Ocean due to melting glaciers.
Only the Creator knows our planet’s future.
If we are wise, we can help heal the planet. This is the job Jesus set out for us.

Stewardship

for Malakai

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 217: Lest We Forget

August 8, 2020

Seventy-five years ago, the United States unleashed hell upon the earth…

Sane people would decide that this would never happen again.
We have a shortage of sane people leading governments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 216: Lest We Forget

August 5, 2020

Seventy-five years ago, the United States unleashed hell upon the earth…

These shadows remain, even though the persons
who made the shadows disintegrated 75 years ago.

Sane people would decide that this would never happen again.

We have a shortage of sane people leading governments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 214: Cosmic Dissonance

July 28, 2020

I intended to send this before my post of yesterday. Frustration changed that plan.

Testing Facebook censors

She’s being called, “The Naked Athena”—
Athena or Athene,  is an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, handicraft, and warfare…

We have unwanted Federal Troops making war on peaceful protestors. There are tens of people spray painting Federal buildings and breaking glass. There were looters, 50 nights ago. There are thousands of people exercising their right to peaceably assemble. Sadly, there has been a shift from Black Lives Matter to Portland vs. Trump.

Hundreds of mothers have attended demonstrations and stood as a human barricade between protesters and federal officers
It took the killing of George Floyd to get Jane Ullman to finally pay attention to what the police were up to in America. But it was the sinister sight of federal agents in camouflage snatching demonstrators off the streets of Portland that got her out to protest.
The chief financial officer for tech startups in Oregon’s biggest city joined hundreds of other mothers dressed in yellow in a “Wall of Moms”, turning out each evening to stand as a human barricade between protesters and agents dispatched by Donald Trump to aggressively break up Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
Ullman, a mother of two, said it was her first demonstration in support of racial justice.
As an upper-middle-class white woman in the whitest city in America, I couldn’t stand by any longer,” she said. “I’ve been doing a lot of self-educating since George Floyd. Reading and learning. The feds’ part in it pushed me over the top. I wanted to take action. But it was the ‘Wall of Moms’ that brought me out.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/21/trump-federal-agents-portland-protests-moms

The Naked Athena decided to take action by confronting armed troops by walking up to them, and practicing yoga in the middle of the street, wearing a face mask and a beanie; and that which she was given by Creator. Overwhelmed by this display [she still needed protection from tear gas and rubber bullets] the troops finally left.
We live in a time of Cosmic Dissonance, or Cognitive Dissonance:

a theory of attitude formation and behavior describing a motivational state that exists when a person’s cognitive elements (attitudes, perceived behaviors, etc.) are inconsistent with each other (dissonance), such as the espousal of the Ten Commandments concurrent with the belief that it is all right to cheat on one’s taxes…

https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Theory+of+cognitive+dissonance

Contemporary notions of a meaningful life are often caught between two worlds: a deep human yearning for cosmic meaning, on the one hand, and a seemingly random, impersonal, contingent universe on the other hand. And, also, there seems to be the fact that “the more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/harvard-theological-review/article/cosmic-meaning-awe-and-absurdity-in-the-secular-age-a-critique-of-religious-nontheism/03124514884171B3BDB14F4B9DDDBEBB/core-reader

The President, like all bullies, wants to project aggression—such as calling himself a ‘wartime President’ in regard to COVID-19, while doing absolutely nothing to combat the Pandemic. So now, he wants to project the idea of being a ‘Law and Order President’…
If anyone has been paying attention for these lost four years, it is clear to see that he’s one of the worst offenders of Law and Order ever known in American History. Our President is an unindicted criminal who will be arrested the moment the next President finishes taking his Oath of Office. He may end up being a ‘next door neighbor’ to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who is in prison for the crimes he committed under the instruction of the person the court records call, “Individual One”. At his appearance before Congress, Cohen identified “Individual One” as being Donald J. Trump.

enough of that

Starship Discovery

I enjoy watching science fiction. I don’t have a problem choosing between Star Trek and Star Wars. They involve two different galaxies and a large amount of time.
Science fiction brings stories of possibilities. The first season of Star Trek Discovery was mostly about War. In the second season, the stories are more about scientific discovery. A human conflict in the story I watched again an hour ago caused me to think about Cosmic/Cognitive Dissonance—when two separate ideas exist in the same person.

It is necessary to explain that Michael Burnham is a woman, having been a rescued, parentlelss human child who was raised on the planet Vulcan, where emotion is required to be subdued into silence. Vulcans believe in the predominance of Science. Vulcans do not know of a god who guides their way. This may not have been the case in the far distant past… Michael was fostered by a human mother married to a Vulcan scientist. Michael’s foster brother is a Vulcan named Spock.
From Star Trek Discovery Season 2, Episode 5 – Saints of Imperfection:

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.

Michael’s words above make sense to me. I was not raised in the Church or raised with any philosophical lifestyle. When Spock was introduced to America, I finally understood who I was—a Vulcan child shipwrecked on Earth…
I was introduced to Faith in my twenties, during my third of five years at Universities. LARGE parts of contemporary Christian beliefs remain totally weird, even though I dedicated my life to my Creator forty-seven years ago. So, I study that which people who study theology present to me. Theologians who decipher nearly dead languages, often translated by theologians who did the best they could but were subject to human error.

Jerome of Stridon, was a Latin priest, confessor, theologian, and historian; he is commonly known as Saint Jerome. Jerome is recognised as a saint and Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. In 390 A.D. he turned to translating the Hebrew Bible from the original Hebrew, having previously translated portions from the Septuagint which came from Alexandria…He completed this work by 405 A.D. Prior to Jerome’s Vulgate, all Latin translations of the Old Testament were based on the Septuagint, not the Hebrew. Jerome’s decision to use a Hebrew text instead of the previous-translated Septuagint went against the advice of most other Christians, including Augustine, who thought the Septuagint inspired. Modern scholarship, however, has sometimes cast doubts on the actual quality of Jerome’s Hebrew knowledge…

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

My use of the words, ‘human error’ in conjunction with Scripture will drive many people that I know, nuts. They have been taught that the Bible [usually the version they prefer] is totally without error. The Bible covers thousands of years of history; much of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament may have been assembled in the 5th century BCE. However, the books of the Prophets cover events that occurred two to three centuries before. People did not have pencils and notepads in the 8th Century BCE; there were means of writing down events, but they were not very portable. These writings are not the same as a journalist’s record of events, to which we are accustomed.

There are many people, some of whom I worship alongside in the church we have served for 15 years, who believe the catastrophic events we are living through are ushering in the Second Coming of Christ. Consequently, these people don’t seem to be too interested in addressing these events in terms of what they can do to make the planet safer. ‘After all, Jesus is coming soon, and we don’t need to worry about it because we are Saved.’ I heard this statement from a US Senator, not from friends at church.
The message of the Second Coming is the same message I heard 47 years ago. It seemed real then, also. Communism, Nuclear War, anti-Vietnam protests and a deceitful President [#37] were among the events that would usher in the End Times; including the IBM 666 computer and bar codes stamped on people’s bodies… For those who believe, 50 years of waiting isn’t a problem. Fifty years from now, there will be a new Earth created by the wasteful, blind, human race. There is no guarantee that we will be rescued; it is an interpretation of words from other languages.
The Revelation to John [and other titles] was written around AD 90, supposedly by the Apostle John, which would make him very old, for the first century. The book is filled with imagery that people have been attempting to understand for close to 2000 years. A lot of American Christians believe that the book includes events that will occur in the United States, even though at the time, no one knew of the existence of the Americas [“god knew about the Americas”]. My writing of these ideas will be considered by some as blasphemy.

Jesus stated that He did not know when He would return to Earth, when the ‘new heaven and the new earth’ would occur. The Creator in human form did not know, but a lot of religious leaders apparently have a better source for information. Preachers who heal people in churches, but do not perform healings in the overrun hospitals in rural Texas, where doctors are having to decide who lives and who dies.
“That’s how we find our way, by choosing to walk forward, together…” I believe there is a greater Hand leading us into a certain future… and I will continue to do what I can to influence that future toward the Hands of the Creator by welcoming those who lack certainty. And I certainly won’t drive people away from me because they do not see what I see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 215: This is Why Federal Troops Came to Portland

July 26, 2020

She’s being called, “The Naked Athena”—a reference to Athena an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, handicraft, and warfare

We have unwanted Federal Troops making war on peaceful protestors.

AND THAT WAS THE POINT
A PRESIDENT WHO IS INVADING HIS OWN COUNTRY

I am aware that there are Portlanders who are personally offended by spray paint and broken glass; and looting from weeks ago.

The real enemy is COVID-19; and the 150,000 US lives taken.

And the Federal response is storm troopers.

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 212: Finding a New Normal

July 1, 2020
Life has a way of making the foreseeable what never happens; and the unforeseeable what your life is about.   “Appaloosa

COVID-19 by the Numbers 6/30/2020 7:33p

Over 10 million COVID-19 cases, and more than one-half million deaths, worldwide.
I continue to be amazed at how many people I communicate with, via Social Media, who are unwilling to believe these numbers. They get their information from strangely named sources with highly visible agendas and are unwilling to believe that our Administration is lying to us. They are unwilling to accept the information found on traditional news outlets.

While a young reporter for The Washington Post in 1972, Carl Bernstein was teamed up with Bob Woodward; the two did much of the original news reporting on the Watergate scandal. These scandals led to numerous government investigations and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon. The work of Woodward and Bernstein was called “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time” by longtime journalism figure Gene Roberts.[1]

The Post is one of p45’s favorite targets for being called “Fake News.” The reality is that the name “Fake News” is applied to any reporting that the president doesn’t like.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 2.5 million on Sunday as a crushing new wave of infections continued to bear down throughout the country’s South and West. Across the nation, 40,587 new daily cases were reported.
Florida, Texas and Arizona are emerging as the country’s latest epicenters after reporting record numbers of new infections for weeks in a row. Positivity rates and hospitalizations have also spiked. On Sunday [6/28], Arizona (3,857) and Georgia (2,225) hit new one-day case highs.
A record surge in new cases is the clearest sign yet of the historic failure in the United States to control the virus — exposing a crisis in governance extending from the Oval Office to state capitals to city councils.
The faltering response in the United States remains a subject of global shock and fascination, with one prominent French virologist saying Sunday the situation was “explosive.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/28/coronavirus-live-updates-us/

Meanwhile, the president is playing golf…

mjarts face masks at Redbubble

Life has a way of making the foreseeable what never happens; and the unforeseeable what your life is about.   “Appaloosa”

Yes, I’m being repetitious; this may be my theme for a long time.
I turn 68 next month; I probably have “underlying medical conditions,” as the posts from the Oregon Health Authority publish in regard to COVID-19 deaths. Consequently, I am considered ‘at risk’—which sometimes feels like another name for “old.”
Since I am not allowed to volunteer anywhere, because of this classification, I am doing what I able to do. It appears that Face Masks are going to be with us for a long time… Unpleasant to think about it as it may be, we may need to wear face masks for the rest of our lives. I have designed a number of Face Masks, based on illustrations I’ve created in the past. I will be posting each design on Social Media over the next weeks. I have created 15 designs already; more designs are in the works.

The nature of viruses is that they are not alive, so they cannot be killed. The virus is a microscopic organism that exists to replicate; with COVID-19, the replication occurs in the lungs. Face Masks are not intended to keep you safe from COVID-19; they are intended to keep people around you safe. The COVID-19 virus can exist in our lungs for 2-3 weeks before we are aware of symptoms. It is not known at this time whether having recovered from the virus, we become immune—we don’t know whether we can catch the virus again. This is a Novel virus—one that is brand new [novel]; it has only existed for 7+ months. In spite of contrary messaging coming from politicians, COVID-19 is not ‘the flu’ that comes through our lives every fall. COVID-19 is deadly, for about 5% of the population that contracts the virus [8% of those tested]. If one survives being on a ventilator in a COVID ward, recovery may take months. Epidemiologists have not yet learned what causes some people to be asymptomatic—no discernable symptoms—nor what causes some people to die. People who are asymptomatic can still infect others. That is why we are ordered to wear masks.

You who are reading this: if you have been indoors among groups of people that aren’t wearing masks—political events or concerts—in the last two weeks, you may be infected and you are not aware of it. If you are infected, and go to public places without a mask, you can infect others. You may be infecting a grandparent or parent, or a family member.

For the foreseeable future, this is our New Normal.

This isn’t me; nor is it real

I damaged my spine when I was in high school—landed wrong in PE causing my legs to circle over my back, in an attempt at folding me in the wrong direction. I remember hearing my spine crackle like a zipper. It seems that my parents believed that if one can make it to the doctor, one does not need to see a doctor [probable financial reasons—I don’t even know if health insurance existed in the late 60s]. For many weeks, in order to turn my head to look sideways, I had to rotate my entire body. I was probably 16 or 17—youth brings a power of recovery that slowly disappears over time.
I received my last traffic citation when I turned forty—sort of a bizarre birthday present. The law enforcement officers, and the ambulance people, when they looked at my driver’s license, regretted their need to cite me for turning into an oncoming car—which wasn’t there when a began the turn… a blind corner of sorts. [we stopped traffic on the highway that goes over Mount Hood, so a helicopter could land] This was the third vehicle that I was in, that was totaled by another vehicle.

At that point, I decided there would never be a reason in the future, for me to rush, while driving.

I also worked as a less-than-careful carpenter for a decade or so. My guess was that the damage began in high school and was aggravated multiple times over 20+ years. I have been on pain medication for 50 years; plus, antidepressants. More meds, starting in 2009—”idiopathic polyneuropathy”—this is doctor speak for, ‘your neurological system is messed up, and we have no idea why’. I finally ‘found’ a neurologist who was willing to admit the latter phrase. I received a letter from him, a day or two ago, saying that because of COVID-19, he and his family were moving to the East Coast, to care for a mother. expletive deleted.
Beginning in 2009, ‘New Normal’ has occurred in my life every two years, in May or June, almost like clockwork. “New Normal’ began occurring more rapidly last year. I’m on my third New Normal since the beginning of 2019. It sucks.

The World has entered into New Normal.

Even in the Amazon Rainforest.

Greed, avarice, an unreasonable desire for wealth. Investment bankers, hedge fund managers and billionaires don’t want there to be a New Normal. The Military-Industrial Complex does not want a New Normal, as perhaps the last honest Republican President—Dwight D. Eisenhower—warned in his last address to the American public. They want the Old Normal, where they could get rich without having to deal with consequences.
Four months. 129,971 deaths in America. [ https://factba.se/topic/calendar ]
For two of those months, we Sheltered In Place, went without earnings, we avoided contact with other people. We collapsed the American economy. Two months which could have been used to create a path toward living with COVID-19 until a vaccine can be created and found to work. The European Union and Asian countries followed plans and are living with the COVID-19 virus. People continue to become infected; but the hospitals can handle the patient load. People are back at work in altered surroundings to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The European Union is rebuilding their economies. The European Union is banning Americans from travel to the E.U.

Memorial Day 2020 in the US. People partied like it was 2019. No Social Distancing; no Face Masks; no Sheltering In Place. This coming weekend is the Fourth of July. Will people party like it was 2019? States are recording the highest number of new infections since the end of March. Hospitals in various parts of the country are filled to capacity with COVID-19 cases; hospitals are running out of supplies. It is as if we were back at the end of March instead of the beginning of July. The two months where a plan could have been made were wasted on doing nothing. There is no Federal plan for dealing with the Pandemic. Governors are having to come up with their own plans for their states, with very little support from the Federal government.

We have the ability to imagine a New Normal; one that provides equity and justice. This has been proven in the last month. Black Lives Matter protests have brought positive benefits to the country. People who want a New Normal that provides Equity and Justice need to vote. We need to encourage voting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 211: Life in a Pandemic

June 15, 2020

Life has a way of making the foreseeable what never happens; and the unforeseeable what your life is about.   “Appaloosa

I had other plans, back in March. We all had other plans and then the unforeseeable happened, and now, this is what our lives are about. [There are people who could foresee much of what has happened and did nothing. They will have to answer for that, in this life or the next]

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil.

LOTR Fan Art

Frodo: How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on… when in your heart you begin to understand…there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend…some hurts that go too deep…that have taken hold. LOTR The Return of the King, 2001

I’ve ‘always’ had a tendency toward OCD. In me, the ‘disorder’ takes the form of desiring control. Our house is a mess, but I am very particular about certain things. Mentally, I calculate the most efficient way to accomplish tasks. I have the store in which we buy groceries memorized, to pass through the store quickly. Since Social Distancing is my normal lifestyle, I’m not tempted to engage in conversations with random people. I eat the same food during the day that I’ve eaten for years; and have specific ways of preparing it. The dietary ‘rules’ relate to my degenerative polyneuropathy [doctor-speak for, ‘we have no idea what’s wrong with your nervous system’]. By eating the same selections of food, if my body doesn’t work properly on a given day, it isn’t because of my diet.

I write as a way of analyzing and understanding the Disorder of the world. A Disorder that has not existed in this country for a century, compounded by America’s Original Sin of Racism.

My great-grandfather, and one of his daughters died in 1919, here in Portland, during the Spanish Flu Pandemic. My Dad was something like a year old, having been born in Eastern Oregon in 1918.

The Spanish Flu Pandemic infected 500 million people—about a third of the world’s population at the time.[5] The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.[6]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

By the time you read this, over 436,000 people in the world will have died from COVID-19; over 116,000 of those people will have lived in the U.S. The number of infected people in the world will have passed 8 million. Lockdowns in the U.S. started about 3 months ago, in March.
Lockdowns are beginning to disappear; the problem is that COVID-19 has not changed. Those states/cities where the rate of infection dropped, only dropped because of the lockdowns. Infection rates are climbing in the South, and those parts of the country weren’t locked down, because of Memorial Day weekend. In 2-3 weeks infection rates will spike to new levels; as will the rate of deaths.

I wrote to a friend tonight and told him a story from one of my favorite books. The story takes place in a VA Burn Ward. There was a patient called ‘Sarge’ who had suffered third-degree burns over most of his body. He helped the nurses in the Burn Ward by bringing cups of water, and other Graces for the patients. A woman had been brought into the Ward, also suffering from third-degree burns over most of her body. Some months later, Sarge was telling this woman about his daughter going off to college. The woman said something like, ‘why would you send her to a Black University?’ Sarge replied, ‘because we are Black.’

There is no Melanin in the Burn Ward.

All of the patients in the Burn Ward have a thin transparent layer of dermis covering the muscles and tissues under the surface of our skin. The muscles and ligaments and tissues under our skin are the same throughout the world. The concept of Racism is based on a grim fairy tale that having pink skin is better than having brown skin. The idea has no basis in fact. Melanin is found in the basal cell layer of the epidermis and is about 0.2 mm in thickness. All of this anger for 0.2 mm.

Black Lives Matter Plaza, Washington D.C. June 2020

The other day, a friend asked me if I believe in evil.
Evil has been on display across the country; sadly, many of those who are sworn to protect and serve are responsible for creating the evil.
I saw Evil’s face in Minneapolis, staring into a camera for 9 minutes while he and his partners crushed the life of a man who supposedly paid for something with a counterfeit $20 bill. When did buying something with a counterfeit dollar bill become worth a person’s life? Do you check the paper money you receive from a cash purchase to see if the bills are counterfeit?

Karma may come into the picture in the weeks and months ahead. In his autopsy, George Floyd was found to be Positive for COVID-19…

He said he wanted a wall. Only, it isn’t at the Southern Border [that one has been breached in many places]; and the American Taxpayer is paying for it.

‘The need to fortify your house shows weakness’: Heavily secured White House at odds with its long history as ‘the people’s house’ The Independent, UK
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/white-house-protection-security-protests-trump-a9550476.html

The White House is known as “The People’s House” — and since 2009, the Obama administration has made that nickname truer than ever before for millions of guests by opening the White House to as many Americans as possible.
https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2014/09/15/opening-peoples-house

Tourists may find it harder to get that perfect photograph of the White House after construction begins on a new 13-foot fence, almost double its current height, to help keep intruders out.

The White House has become a fortress.

How the US is viewed in Germany
The Fire Devil
A president sets fire to his country

 

 

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 210: Who do you want to accidentally kill today?

June 1, 2020
Lord of the Rings Illustration [fan art]

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

As I write this, early Sunday morning on the West Coast, there are 6,075,786 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world. The total number of deaths worldwide is 369,433. Nearly 30% of those deaths occurred in the US.

The United States has 1,770,384 confirmed cases of COVID-19; the total number of deaths, from COVID-19, is 103,781, beginning on an unknown date between February 6 and February 17. Of the 16,495,443 people in the US that have been reported as having been tested, 11% of them have been tested as Positive. Of those 1,770,384 people, 5.8% have died.

I understand that people desperately want to end Social Distancing and go back to their jobs; and those who employ the people actually working want their employees to get back to work. And then there are those who simply want to be able to get out of their apartment and engage with people they know, over a ‘cuppa’…

If you have interacted with people outside of your home in the last week, you may carry the COVID-19 virus. If you are already carrying the virus, you’ve probably passed it onto someone else. COVID-19 sometimes takes two weeks to present itself. During that two weeks, you may not be aware you are infected, because some people carry the infection, but do not display symptoms. Consequently, you can be passing the virus on to everyone with whom you come in contact. Some of those people will die, a week or two from now.

Who do you want to accidentally kill today?

Wearing a mask helps protect other people from you. Masks do not protect you. COVID-19 is a virus; it is not alive. It is a microbe whose sole purpose for existing is replication. So far, it appears that COVID-19 only replicates itself in lung tissue. When humans talk, sing, cough or sneeze, droplets are projected from the lungs into the atmosphere. A mask helps to prevent droplets coming from you into going into the atmosphere. COVID-19 cannot travel except by human beings traveling. If you cough inside a store without a mask, studies show that you might be infecting someone in the next aisle. COVID-19 can exist in the air for about three hours and can live on plastic for about three days.

Social Distancing does nothing to eliminate the virus. Social Distancing enables hospitals to not be overrun by patients needing to be treated in the ICU. The virus exists in a larger portion of the population than it did in March, when states began ‘lockdowns’. People that have given up on Social Distancing over the last two weekends will cause a rise in ICU admissions in hospitals in the weeks ahead.

Hospitals are reporting that people in their 30s and 40s are dying of strokes; caused by COVID-19. Children are being diagnosed with swollen and cracked toes from blood clots; healthy people in their 20s and 30s die of strokes because COVID-19 causes blood clots to form in the brain of some percentage of the population.

Some hospitals are already overrun by COVID-19 patients; to the point where they cannot treat those who come in with heart attacks and strokes.
Protesters are demanding that State Governors ‘open the country’.

Who do you want to accidentally kill today?

In his 1978 novel The Stand, author Stephen King wrote about a viral pandemic that decimated the world’s population. And he gets it when fans say experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak feels like stepping into one of his horror stories.
“I keep having people say, ‘Gee, it’s like we’re living in a Stephen King story,’ ” he says. “And my only response to that is, ‘I’m sorry.’ ”
A pandemic like COVID-19 was “bound to happen,” King says. “There was never any question that in our society, where travel is a staple of daily life, that sooner or later, there was going to be a virus that was going to communicate to the public at large.”
What I’m living with and what I suspect a lot of people are living with right now is cabin fever. … But to be in the house day after day, all I can say is I’ve made wonderful progress on a novel, because there’s really not too much to do and it’s a good way to get away from the fear. It’s not panic. It’s not terror that I feel, that I think most people feel, it’s a kind of gnawing anxiety where you say to yourself, I shouldn’t go out. If I do go out, I might catch this thing or I might give it to somebody else.

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/08/829298135/stephen-king-is-sorry-you-feel-like-youre-stuck-in-a-stephen-king-novel

By Bryan Walsh, 25th March 2020

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200325-covid-19-the-history-of-pandemics

“In October 2019, I attended a simulation involving a fictional pandemic, caused by a novel coronavirus, that killed 65 million people, and in the spring of 2017 I wrote a feature story for TIME magazine on the subject. The magazine cover read: “Warning: the world is not ready for another pandemic”.

“There was little special about my insight. Over the past 15 years, there has been no shortage of articles and white papers issuing dire warnings that a global pandemic involving a new respiratory disease was only a matter of time. On BBC Future in 2018, we reported that experts believed a flu pandemic was only a matter of time and that there could be millions of undiscovered viruses in the world, with one expert telling us, “I think the chances that the next pandemic will be caused by a novel virus are quite good.” In 2019, US President Donald Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services carried out a pandemic exercise named “Crimson Contagion”, which imagined a flu pandemic starting in China and spreading around the world. The simulation predicted that 586,000 people would die in the US alone. If the most pessimistic estimates about COVID-19 come true, the far better named “Crimson Contagion” will seem like a day in the park.”

If you wonder why the President talks about COVID-19 being a ‘Chinese virus,’ it’s because he already knew that. It was the subject of a Pandemic Exercise. He just neglected to mention that to the rest of us.

Tonight, as with last several nights, violent protests have erupted around the country over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, last week. Mr. Floyd, known by the police to be unarmed, was killed by police officers. Four officers were captured on multiple cameras; all four have been fired; one of the officers was charged with Third Degree Murder, and Manslaughter. However, that officer has not been shown on camera as having been arrested…

Another 21st Century lynching of unarmed African Americans by police officers.

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m a dinosaur. I was born during the Korean Conflict [it never was a declared war against Korea; the Conflict was never resolved. A Cease-Fire was reached]. I was raised with the idea that Presidents of the United States had to the obligation of leadership; that in time of crises, the President would offer words of comfort, and would present a plan for moving forward.

Today’s President, who is more of a dinosaur than I am, is incapable of empathy. He is incapable of providing words of comfort, and has only one plan for moving forward:

‘How the Trump White House Sees You’: Top Economic Adviser Under Fire for Calling Workers ‘Human Capital Stock’

In a remark critics characterized as further evidence that the Trump administration views workers as nothing more than disposable tools of economic growth and corporate profit, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett on Sunday nonchalantly referred to laid-off employees as “human capital stock” as he pushed people to return to their jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Voicing optimism about the potential for a speedy economic recovery even as U.S. unemployment surges to levels not seen since the Great Depression, Hassett told CNN Sunday that “our capital stock hasn’t been destroyed, our human capital stock is ready to get back to work, and so that there are lots of reasons to believe that we can get going way faster than we have in previous crises.”

https://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/1265058311839367169/pu/img/HydoGTkJWXef7WSn?format=jpg&name=small

When we do not have a President who is able to lead us toward a new future, who will come forward to lead? Today [5/31], news media report that, “Trump fled to bunker as protests over George Floyd raged outside White House

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/31/trump-flees-to-bunker-as-protests-over-george-floyd-rage-outside-white-house

Meanwhile, Joe Biden left his home Sunday afternoon amid the coronavirus pandemic to visit the site of last night’s protests in Wilmington, Delaware”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/31/politics/joe-biden-delaware-protests/index.html

Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.
The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use — of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.

Robert F. Kennedy

As long as men fear or distrust one another because of race, religion or ethnic origins, as long as any of the gates of opportunity are closed to the deserving, as long as there is unreasoning bigotry instead of understanding and tolerance, our Nation will fall short of its full power and greatness.

John F. Kennedy

 

 

 

Chronicles in Ordinary Time 209: MJ Arts Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

March 30, 2020

My tendency is to be a Rescuer—fixing the problems of others, when I encounter them. This tends to be very inconvenient, since I am also an introvert by nature; a time of “Social Distance” has very little impact on my daily life.
Having learned when I have offered to help with the COVID-19 Pandemic, that I am too old, too large, and too affected by my Neuropathy to be of use as a volunteer.
My solution: to make a series of “Super Heroes Wear Scrubs” illustrations, as well as a couple illustrations regarding the COVID-19 virus itself.
I will be posting these images on my retail store sites, so they can be used as T-shirts, mugs and Art Prints. However, since the object of creating these images isn’t earning money from the effort, I have created a Dropbox folder with the full-scale images enclosed. Since I don’t have the necessary equipment for making shirts and mugs and museum-quality prints, I am going to upload them to retail sites. The images in the Dropbox, all in png format, are based on an 11X17 sheet of paper. The actual sizes vary.

The first three images are already uploaded to my Society 6 retail store.
The remaining images will uploaded during this week.
https://society6.com/mjartscom

The other sites I will be uploading to, later in the week; same design, different products:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/mjartscom

https://www.teepublic.com/user/mjartscom

https:///artrepreneur.com/p/mjartscom

http://artist.com/marty-jones-323

The images in the Dropbox, all in png format, are based on an 11X17 sheet of paper. The actual sizes vary.

COVID-19 Folder

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/trshpwioxvfi5x2/AAD415R93EmUzIfzs-lxTfC_a?dl=0

COVID-19 Virus.png

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5gj1ql16deawdtr/COVID-19%20Virus.png?dl=0

coughing man.png

https://www.dropbox.com/s/54u2gfon8zb4elp/coughing%20man.png?dl=0

Scrubs 1.png

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nqy64ynjk2hp2wq/Scrubs%201.png?dl=0

Scrubs 2.png

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kfkmngt8h65e0wa/Scrubs%202.png?dl=0

Scrubs 3.png

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fn25ycpr678miyu/Scrubs%203.png?dl=0

scrubs 4.png

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kwkdykxl366rifa/scrubs%204.png?dl=0

scrubs 5.png

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ll7y8xcf58osazv/scrubs%205.png?dl=0

scrubs 6.png

https://www.dropbox.com/s/esojj1wcaireaks/scrubs%206.png?dl=0

Stay at home; stay well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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