Archive for the ‘community’ Category

Through Faith and Patience

May 16, 2020

I would like to remind my fellow-Christians, we serve  a Savior who did not insist, nor fight for, nor allow his right-hand man to fight for, his constitutional rights.

Rather, he bore the punishment of a cruel civil .gov backed up by a band of religious zealots.

Jesus Christ did not argue with Herod, nor Pilate, nor Caiaphas. He already knew that his ultimate victory was assured, because. . . while allowing their bloody conspiracy to totally defeat his body, they were unknowingly setting the historical stage for the greatest human victory of all time—our triumph over death itself.

His world-class demonstration of how to prevail over adversity advances the purposes of God on this earth.

He did not nit-pick about his right to gather on Sunday or maintain any semblance of religion. In fact, on one occasion he ran the religious folks out of their temple.

He was telling them to get their priorities straight.

His most ardent spokesman later reminded us, through a written legacy, that  faith and patience would be the basis of our inheritance.

Not the promises of man . . . nor our legal right to get together on any particular day and play church. while the rest of the world is engaged in a life/death struggle.

We now have in the world a life-and-death situation that will ultimately demonstrate, like Jesus’s own ordeal, the power of our God to deliver us from evil, amen.

So let’s not cloud the issue by trying to split hairs over traditional religious whoodoos like what they think about what we can or not do on Sunday.

They cannot defeat us. 

They can’t defeat the ongoing presence the risen Messiah in this world. His greatest life-affirming act was remaining obedient unto death . . . a death that erupted as Resurrection and changed the world forever. He was a man unjustly executed, but then he lived to tell about it.

ChristCruc

And get this: they will never defeat his followers.

His victory was a world-changing event that greatly outweighs our power to quibble over freedom of assembly issues during a life-threatening pandemic.

My dear brothers and sisters, they cannot beat us. That’s been tried already, multiple times through multiple ages.

But they can still join us.

You can’t beat down a man who survives death.

King of Soul

What we have Learned

May 11, 2020

(If you prefer to hear spoken word, listen on this mp3:)

What we have Learned

Now we are engaged in a great covid war, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great media platform of that war. We have come to protect our institutions—our medical facilities and places of commerce, our recreational spaces and houses of worship, our business enterprises and residences—to assure our citizens of safety in their public paths through these gathering places. Those whose lives have already fallen under the infection of covid shall not have died in vain. Rather, let their untimely demise serve as a warning to us who remain. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Nevertheless, as we approach the end of Phase 1 of our long battle against covid, we find ourselves at a crossroads where some among us would persevere in their advocacy of dire measures to lockdown our mobile inclinations, while others of our citizenry would  demand release from them.

Yet . . .it remains for us the living, surely, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work through which these fallen do testify, by their very absence, of our need to persevere in the battle to defeat Covid-19.

The challenge ahead indicates a full-court press to oppose us— in the fateful minutes of the second half of our struggle against a teeming virus that dribbles feverishly against our most fervid defense.

At this critical moment of our offensive thrust, we find victory in the whizzing of our great  object through the last net of infection.

3-pointer

Thus do we celebrate the 3-pointer which, we hope and pray, shall be celebrated as our game-winner:

~ Six feet Apart—or Six feet Under!

~ Grab the Soap—Don’t be a Dope!

~ No need to Ask—Wear the Mask!

And I lay before thee  the great challenge before us in  such a time as this:

Whether by .gov compulsion, or by personal conviction,  shall we—shall we who are scattered like precious seed in the winds of time —shall we shrink from the dear prospect of adopting—whether voluntarily or by compulsion during these perilous days— these simple habits as a matter of common sense and common courtesy?

Nay, I say, nay, we shall not shrink from the task before us!

Send us your tired, your weary, your socially distanced yearning to be healed, so that healing of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth!

Glass half-Full

. . . to be a Demublican

May 10, 2020

I was raised down in Louisiana, way back in the 1960’s. At that time in the Bayou state it seemed like everybody and their brother was a Democrat.

In 1969, I was Student Council President at our high school, and my buddy Doug Lambert was President of the Key Club.

When I moved across town to LSU, Doug and I were roomies for awhile and there was a lot going on on at LSU at the time.

There were, in fact some deep changes taking place on campuses all across the nation; students were getting more and more involved with politics.

I recently wrote a novel, King of Soul, about all of what was going on during those turbulent times. Take a look at it  my website below, or on Amazon.

In 1972, George McGovern was organizing his campaign to challenge Nixon’s presidency. Doug suggested that he and I stand for election in a precinct caucus to represent McGovern as delegates at a state convention, leading up to the the Democrats’ national convention.

Well there wasn’t much of nothin’ that I can remember about that, except that McGovern did later get the nomination, but I wasn’t there.  He ran against Nixon and lost big-time

. . . which was kinda odd because a couple years later the American people ran Nixon out of the White House because of his shady dealings pertaining to the Watergate break-in and other quasi-illegal activities.

The groundswell of opposition to Nixon that resulted in his exit from office was a little bit like what’s happening to Trump now. However, a lot of the bad feeling about Nixon was probably directly related to his procrastination in getting us out of the war after he promised during the campaign to get us out of it.

Well somewhere in all that hullabaloo I got registered as a Democrat.

I stayed that way for more than a few years, although I was not into politics and voting during the period of my spousal search and subsequent raising of a young family.

Somewhere in the ’80’s, Ronald Reagan went over to Berlin and told Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down that wall. It was a great follow-up to Kennedy’s Ich bin Ein Berliner stroke of genius, so I registered as a Republican, and I stuck with that affiliation for a quite a while.

We used to have a Republican party in this country; it stood for Constitutional law, free enterprise, freedom of religion, low taxes, and a respect for the right of every person and every family to make the best (s)he can out of what (s)he can get without a lot of interference from the government.

But nowadays I get the feeling that the Republican party has disappeared; it has been superceded by a bunch of yessir this and yessir that yes-men who form all their strategies around what the Donald says and what he approves of or does not approve of.

But hey. True leadership requires speaking to all the people all the time, invoking the traditions of this already great nation to inspire citizens to work actively in cross-the-aisle cooperation to solve our problems.

Leadership is not about evaluating policy decisions based upon whether the advisor, inquisitor or reporter is for you or against you based on some vague theory of fake news.

The only good thing that sticks in my mind about this current president is that he ordered our embassy in Israel to be moved to Jerusalem. I have always wanted a President to do that. Good move, there, Mr. President.

Nevertheless . . .

What we need now is a President who will not be distracted by useless judgements re: who is for him or who is against him.

In this present time of covid-crisis, we need a President who can truthfully say, as Gerald Ford did in 1975:

“Our long national nightmare is over.”

Oh! if our current President could only manage to  make such a declaration legitimately, after actually inspiring us and  leading us into paths of healing instead of quibbling over who’s on his side or who’s on Nancy’s side.

We need a President who can say, as Roosevelt did in 1933:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

So I am declaring my affiliation now as a Demublican.

Maybe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate, as I did last time, or maybe I’’ll find a reason to support the Donald if he’ll straighten up and fly right, or maybe I’ll vote for Joe.

I don’t know.

Donald, see if you can get yourself settled down to actually lead this nation out of the Covid threat, instead of fretting over whether you’ll be re-elected or not, because your paranoid pugnacious politicism is screwing up everybody’s confidence that we can actually defeat this iinvisible monster.

Get your act together.

You too Joe! You might find yourself in the hot seat, come next January.

As Uncle Walter would say, if he were here:

“And that’s the way it is, May 10, 2020.”

Cronkite

King of Soul 

Say it ain’t So.

May 6, 2020

These are perilous times in many ways:

Perilous pandemic

Perilous politics

Perilous protests

Perilous proclamations

Perilous pandemonium

Perilous publications

Perilous panic

Perilous parlance

Perilous pathogens

Perilous politicians

Perilous partisans

Perilous Powers

I heard a perilous report this morning. I found myself wishing some wise person would or could refute the perilous parlance I heard.

I was thinking: Say it ain’t so!

~Say it ain’t so: that the CCP are out to get us.

~Say it ain’t so: that the CCP unleashed the perilous pandemic with intentions of debilitating the US.

~Say it ain’t so: that the CCP place no value in human life.

~Say it ain’t so: that the CCP leaders are willing to sacrifice large swathes of their own people to the Covid just for the sake of having an alibi.

~Say it ain’t so: that the CCP want to dispose of many of their own old people because they’ve got too many of them due to their past one-child policy.

~Say it ain’t so: that Xi’s heroes are Hitler and Stalin.

Say it ain’t so!

~Say it ain’t so: that the CCP are willing to make a deal with Perilous Putin to debilitate North America with Covid and then divvy it up so that Ruskies can have Alaska back and CCP can grab USA to repopulate it with their presently overpopulated people.

Say it ain’t so!

~Say it ain’t so: that we actually have Americans who claim that our nuclear arsenal is obsolete and needs to be upgraded.

Say it ain’t so!

~Say it ain’t so: that any leader would even think about firing one of those damned warheads.

~Say it ain’t so: that we are headed for another world war.

Somebody please say it ain’t so.

Tiananmen talk

Somebody please prove to me that all the above Perilous Reports are not true and they  could never happen.

More likely, however, than someone actually proving that to me is:

that I would do better to put aside this perilous rant and resort instead to a different “P” plea to hang my hopes on:   

Pray!

Pray it ain’t so.

Perhaps you’ll join me. Pause for a word of Prayer for all People everywhere and for the imperiled Planet we inhabit.

P.S. If you are Chinese, and reading this . . . Please don’t take this wrong way.

Have a nice day.

Glass half-Full

Liberty or. . . Death by Covid?

April 30, 2020

Some people have to work for a living.

This reality does not just go away. In the next few months, we will see every shade of compliance and non-compliance with pandemic prohibitions and practices.

In a free nation, we should get used to the fact that not everyone is in agreement about strategies to strike a balance between defeating Covid and preventing a new epidemic of poverty.

Remember too, strategies vary, state by state. It just so happens that the New York Covid epicenter is also the media capital of this continent. Stringent restrictions for defeating Covid have been admirably initiated and administered by Gov. Cuomo in New York State. Media mouths and talking heads headquartered in the Northeast reflect the urgency of that region’s life-or-death struggle with coronavirus.

New York — especially the City — is a special case due to the extreme density of population there and the widespread use of mass transit.

In other states, however, especially southern states in which mass transit is not as highly developed, population is more widely spread out. There is far more space already existing between people, towns, suburbs, institutions, retail outlets, public parks, etc. Governors in these states, including many in the west and southwest, will have— regarding their policy responses and timetable — more flexibility in their judgements. Every Governor, every public official is now involuntarily sucked into an unprecedented, massive public problem: how to balance public policies to accomplish the defeat of Covid vs. preserving what is left of economic viability.

The immensity of this epidemic’s destruction is unprecedented in the history of our nation . . . except perhaps the dire destruction and loss of life of the Civil War, and the 1918 wartime war against a flu epidemic.

Official responses in states with low population density will not be as extremely restrictive as in high-density states; nor will such prohibitions extend as far into the months ahead. Balancing Covid-control against this unexpected 1930’s-ish poverty wave will be no walk in the park. Our entire nation–indeed the whole world–has been blindsided by this epidemic.

As Governors and other officials respond according to their states’ respective needs, so will the citizens therein be reacting in a wide variety of strategies,with some citizens acting much more cooperatively in the public space than others.

Many Americans still take quite seriously the words of Patrick Henry in 1775:

“Give me liberty or give me death.”

LiborDeathPH

Liberty does not come cheaply. The cost is dear.  Back in the day. . . 1970ff, Crosby Stills Nash Young Gilmour sang out a dirgeful reflection of just what this life comes down to. . .

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-Y0SMitMpk

“Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground.”

Do not expect all the citizens of this free nation to agree on all the strategies for controlling Covid while preserving freedom. Many will die, but many will not. The best you can do is be an example in wearing your PPE and mask while ardently exhorting others to do so, for as long as this damned disease requires.

Let’s not forget, though, that freedom of assembly is a Constitutional right. Public declarations in that realm are not too be taken lightly. Ultimately such restrictions are subject to the 1st Amendment assurance of our shared liberty.

So don’t expect that all Americans will agree with the myriad of public prohibitions and practices that are provoked by the spread of this disease; do expect that you will hear about, read about, and surely encounter in public places . . . unmasked citizens who are not wearing the politically correct mask and/or PPE. Pshaw! on them.

Also, get used to the fact that our showman President is clueless when it comes to speaking publicly about this very large problem. In his public persona, the man is too obsessed with interpreting every development in terms of whether those persons are for him or against him. If you don’t like what he does, vote for Joe.

As for me, I don’t care who is President next year. I care about defending my family and our households against this disease, while upholding the freedoms we are entitled to as Americans.

We sincerely hope that whatever measures our President initiates, implements, advocates  . . . will effectively reinforce the efforts and precautions undertaken by all Americans to slap this dreaded disease back down into the ground.

Lean on your state .gov and local officials for guidance.

As for me and mine (my ICU nurse wife). . . we wear the mask and use hand sanitizer while visiting enclosed places in our Appalachian town.

And remember: not every masked person you meet is a bandit.

Glass Chimera 

COvidConfusioCantioAudio

April 24, 2020

Yesterday’s stubborn poem about a stubborn disease has now been rendered to audio version:

COvidConfusioCantioAudio

Covidmicro

Glass half-Full 

COvid Confusion

April 23, 2020

COVID conveys

Confusion, by intrusion,

Contending against our

Contemporary illusions. This damned

Corona thing prevents people from

Congregating, cuz social distancing

Cockamamie

Constricts us to

Collaborating in

Convoluted ways. So we must let ourselves

Commiserate over the loss of

Conventional

Collaboration. But hey!

Coincidentally, we can

Conclude:

Connecting online

Can take the place of the old face-to-face

Conversing like we used to do before this

Cockamamie commotion

Came along, to

Collide with our former

Conductions of

Community-oriented

Cooperation. But this

Collapse of our real

Convening capabilities

Compels us to somehow find new solutions to old

Conundrums. I know this seems a little

Convoluted, but maybe we

Could please try a little harder to

Coordinate our

Collective tactics for the

Continuation of life under these

Confounded

Conflummucks! these

Constrictive

Conditions! Dam! hey we’ll just have to

Conjure up some

Confidence in our public health officials who

Could contrive some strategy and

Concoct some solutions, hopefully better than

Chloroquine, cuz too much of this

Cockamamie

Cwuarantine

Confinement gets them

Contrarian

Confederates all

Conflagrated and

Coiled up like friggin’

Cobras with a

Conniption fit, like, like

Contending, like:

Contrarian

Could we please get this

Cockamamie Covid Contusion

Concluded?! like the

Ckid in the

Car-seat who

Cried out about

COVID Conclusion:

Are we there yet?

but hey I say

Nolo Contendera with

CDC’s strategy of

COvid agendera. Just please

Conclude. You

Copy that? If not,

Elude!

 

Glass half-Full

Those vague Covid-deaths statistics

April 22, 2020

Pertaining to the dreaded COVID-19, what I am wondering about is:

Reports in the last week or two about “protesters” in several states indicate that patience with restrictive measures is wearing thin in more citizens, as the days roll by. This development is, if you think about it, really no surprise, especially here in the land of the free. Associated with this discontent is a new idea that does legitimately merit some investigation and consideration.

CovidQuest

The idea is based on numbers — numbers of people who actually die from Covid after being infected by it. Some are seeing that the death ratio is actually very low among the large number of persons infected. Associated with this report is that the “numbers” of persons infected is actually much, much higher than generally reported.

This discrepancy over mortality percentage is due, to some extent, to the very fact that we have very few numbers about actual Covid cases to begin with. . . which also gets to the fact of having so few “tests.”

My wife is an ICU nurse. She is 62, working in a small town hospital in a North Carolina with very low infection numbers, as reported by our NC Dept. Health and Human Services. She has completed ~~15 or so~ shifts of 12-hour duration since this pandemic took hold of everything.

She has yet to be tested.

The buzz going round among people who are itching to get back to normal is: many, many more people have actually contracted Covid than we think, and it only makes a small percentage actually sick, and only a small percentage of those infected actually die.

So what about this? Is there any verity to this quasi-widespread interpretation of “the numbers” ? which says a) there are many more people than we think, walking around already infected with Covid, but they don’t even know it, and b) the damned disease doesn’t really make you very sick unless you have co-morbidities associated with old age or some other pre-existing health problem.

Somebody who has reliable information on this popular report — please clear this up, or send a test kit to every citizen in these United States.

Glass half-Full 

Turn to your Governor

April 20, 2020

What we need now is: 

50 working Governors. . . each one taking charge of their respective domains.

And those same Governors must agree—while leaving polarized party politics in the dust of social media mass confusion—to solve the problems, small and large, as they arise — in each state. 

NCflag

Each state is unique, with its own factor of population density, and its own percentage of citizens whose jobs depend on travel (potentially spreading the disease), and its own ratio of citizens who can actually “work at home” instead of having to “go to work” in the morning.

Governors taking charge — this is the true “federal” of federalism. The .gov in Washington — the so-called Federal government — must function, in this pandemic emergency, as a resource for the various states, as they are better equipped to solve their own problems.

But they do need — and will need for a long time — help from the national .gov, the chief executive of which is Donald Trump.

We need this strategy because each Governor is closer to the ground . . .

 “the ground” being a metaphor for . . .

 that  unique strategy policy required for the recovery of his/her own state, for which he/she has been elected to govern and protect. . .

To govern and protect, by: 

~ defeating Covid, according to the unique vulnerabilities of that state’s population distribution and demographics.

~ replenishing the economic opportunities and needs as an appropriate response for the unique conditions in that State, coordinating with mayors.

Eventually,

Each Governor will be accountable to the citizens of their own state, as citizens express, in the next election,  their appreciation or disapproval of that governor’s proficiency in responding to the Covid challenge of 2020.

The Governors need to get together and corner Trump into being their resourceful servant, instead of the other way around.

 

Glass half-Full

I hear America flinging

April 3, 2020

I hear America flinging

challenges of COVID dare;

UncleSam

I see America stringing up a net of Covid care.

I feel America wailing, with going-viral fear:

Pleas from nurses, sending out the call for protective gear,

Journalists following every viral report they hear

Doctors attacking the dreaded virus’ lethal spread

Families mourning for—and remembering— their dead

Health Officials call forth our care-giver legions

Media transmit the message to far/near regions

Friends fling phoning nets of loving, living care

Brave RNs march into the battle as they dare

Administrators send out urgent staffing calls

  flinging open clinic doors in crowded hospital halls

Governors rush out urgent calls for public health protection

Reporters fuel the urgency of that damned fast-spread infection

Every citizen who inhabits regions far and near

   gets affected with this dreadful viral fear.

As pleadings sound forth to maintain some social distance,

you could save a life—maybe your own!—in every social instance.

Hey you! Ask not what the world can do for you, in this anti-covid call;

Ask what, together, we can do for protection of us all.

 

(with appreciation for inspiration from Walt Whitman and John Fitzgerald Kennedy)

Glass half-Full

Tiananmen talk