Friday, April 30, 2021

Victory! HB 377 Bans Critical Race Theory in Idaho Ed

Today is Family (Secrets) Friday at my blog.

Yes, I know, "Homeschool or Die"--but this legislation strikes at the heart of the pernicious philosophy that turned public education into the unacceptable option that drove so many parents to pursue home-schooling in the first place.   

Here's a summary of HB 377, which Idaho's Governor Brad Little signed into law this week:

“No public institution of higher education, school district, or public school, including a public charter school, shall direct or otherwise compel students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to any of the following tenets:

(i) That any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior;

(ii) That individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin; or

(iii) That individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin.”

Similar push-backs are occurring in Oklahoma and Texas. 

If you are wondering how Wokeism (aka Critical Theory) came to infect and then dominate the corporate world, media (or do I repeat myself?), public policy, and education, here's an excellent treatment of the subject by James Lindsay.  (*1)

FOOTNOTES

(*1) Do take the opportunity to follow "The Grievance Studies Affair" link embedded in that article: Nobody is having MORE FUN than folks fighting back against the cultural rot!



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Comparing COVID19 Shot Side Effects by Manufacturer


Tuesday, what's in the News Day.

The serious side effects caused by  COVID19 shots manufactured by Astazeneca and Johnson&Johnson (Janssen) are far fewer than those caused by mRNA gene-therapy COVID19  shots manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer. 

Why, then, is corporate media silent--and why do social media apps (FaceBook, NextDoor) block posts-- about any adverse reaction to Pfizer's and Moderna's mRNA COVID19 shots, whereas we've been seeing top-of-page news stories about halting the distribution J&J Janssen and AstraZeneca COVID19 shots  due to side effects, so much less common than they are in the Pfizer and Moderna shots? (*1)

The graphs below illustrate the numerical difference between adverse reactions caused by mRNA gene therapy shots (Moderna and Pfizer) versus  those caused by  J&J Janssen shots. They were generated using the medalerts.org search engine, which accesses the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System) database co-managed by the CDC and FDA. 

 FOOTNOTES

(1*)  Why the suppression of distribution of information about adverse effects caused by Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA COVID19 shots, when those adverse effects are so much more common than adverse effects from AstraZeneca and Janssen J&J?  

"Out of abundance of caution" the distribution of  AstraZeneca and J&J Janssen shots has been halted recently, because of adverse side effects that are relatively few in number compared to the side effects of the Moderna and Pfizer shots.

It looks like a magician's sleight-of-hand maneuver:   "Look over HERE, at how CAREFUL we're being about these COVID19 shots. We've recently paused Astrazeneca and Johson&Johnson Janssen because of just a few adverse episodes. Out of an ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION, we're doing this. We're abundantly cautious!"  Meanwhile, over THERE,  administration of Moderna and Pfizer shots, with much higher incidence of adverse side effects, continues, not only unabated, but with aggressive promotion by health officials and major media outlets. Out of an abundance of WHAT, one wonders.






Friday, April 9, 2021

BOOMER song

In the year when I was born,

Many more were born,

Who just like me,

Live our booming BOOM-BOOM lives,

'Til the pillows do us in.


Sent some rockets to the moon (to the MOON!)

Filled our I.R.A.'s with lots of green.

Living now between the waves,

Waves of COVID, COVID19.


We all BOOMED 'til the 'Nam War did us in,

Or cancer did us in, or O.D.'s did us in.

We all BOOMED til "the sugar" did us in, or

"brain plaque" did us in, or not-vax did us in.


Boomer friends who're still on board, 

Find new ways to share, try not to hoard.

This old world, try to unscrew, for

Generations that follow you.


("Hold down da pillow, Mr. Botswana!" 

"But dey's strugglin' like they don' wanna!"

"Komm, süßer Tod."  "Komm, süßer Tod.""Komm, süßer Tod."

"Is dey talkin' to their God?"

"Yes, at last dey see. Dey now surrenderin' easy.

Life always takin' never givin',

Ain't no longer worth da livin'.")


Generations, one, two, three

Yes, and maybe four, in harmony

Just as God meant it to be.

Let it be, Lord.

Let it be...pillows do us in...

Let it be, let it be...pillows do us in...

Let it be.


FOOTNOTES

Click on the "Komm, süßer Tod link to hear something lovely.

Translation here.

Monday, March 29, 2021

I've Been Afraid

Today is Mathematical/Mystical Monday at my Blog.

Well here's a mathematical/mystical formula:

Probability(Spiraling Into Despair, Given That: Time Spent In Contemplation of the Plans of the Wicked  >  Time Spent Contemplating the Will and the Word of Our Good and Wise God)  = 100 %

Every time I snap out of that HELL (where I've been the last few days) I am grateful that God allowed me to go through that HELL so that I understand that HEAVEN ON EARTH IS going to God FIRST (before or even instead of reading the latest bad news) and getting my daily marching orders.

One of the readings for today in the Bible-reading plan is: Matthew 27:57 through Matthew 28:20.    Lectio Divina (which is pretty much reading the passage a few times, prayerfully, til a phrase pops out to you) yielded:

Matthew 28:9..... behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

1010 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid..."

I knelt down and stretched out my hands as if I were holding the feet of the Lord, and the tears came. And I told God all about it, not that He doesn't know.

This afternoon, I have to teach via Zoom, but between times I also want to clean my house stem to stern. That will be heavenly. 

Jesus knew that the scary times had JUST begun for his disciples, and none of the horrors down the road for me and the people I love, and the people I don't know...none of it, none of it, is going to surprise or shock God.  

Lord, give me, give ALL OF US, grace to  face it all, bravely, not afraid, worshipping You, doing Your will in each of our corners of the world. In Jesus' name, Amen.

FOOTNOTES:

The Bible Reading Plan I've been using lately is in the Book of Common Prayer 2019 Anglican Church North America  Scroll down to the pdf link: Calendars and Lectionaries: Daily Office Lectionary




Saturday, February 20, 2021

A Prayer Very Likely to be Very Quickly Answered

Today is Saturnine Saturday at my blog.

Q When is answered prayer saturnine?

A When you pray for God to open your eyes to sin in your life. We're now in the liturgical season of Lent, though, and that's the perfect time to do some spiritual spring cleaning. So I guess this kind of answer is right on time, even if a bit painful.

One very huge blessing in my life is the not-for-profit ski area that is 45 minutes away from my driveway. I'd just finished that drive, and was nearing the area at the bottom of one of the ski lifts, where there are "masks must be worn in this area" signs.  So, I dutifully pulled my balaklava up over my nose and mouth--and PRESTO!, my glasses fogged up instantly.

And PRESTO!, I start internally kvetching about masks, and kvetching about glasses, and COVID restrictions, and *!@@* fogging glasses...and masks which make glasses to *@!! fog...

....and PRESTO! as soon as my complaining started, a person in a bright orange vest lettered "BLIND SKIER" came into view. Oh! Did I ever feel instantly how WICKED and ungrateful it was for me to be complaining about glasses fogging up when on the same wonderful mountain, so conveniently close to my house, people were skiing BLIND! (*1)

Both my husband and the boyfriend before him have complained....er.... brought MY complaining to my attention on a number of occasions. And it's still something I struggle with.

OK so I'm a big one for linking spiritual things with things mathematical, and since there are SEVEN deadly sins recognized by the Christian ancients and SEVEN days of the week, guess what I did? I made a schedule for Lent, where I focus on...hopefully not DOING....but rather being especially AWARE of a different deadly sin for every day of the week. 

There are Christian mystics who have identified SEVEN Christian graces that are the opposites of the seven deadly sins. The virtues are also good to meditate on. Out with the bad, in with the good.

Monday  PRIDE    versus, the virtue of Reverence (as in highly regarding other people and not making you and your ideas first all the time.) 

Oh and I'm going to stop right there for a minute. So the first day this Lent season when I started in on focusing on one deadly sin per day, I had a discussion with my husband about the best place to store hand sanitizer, because we bought a lot after it started coming back on the shelves, in case it started flying off the shelves again.   Well, lets just say I'd done some reading on that subject, and my husband hadn't, and he was being resistant to my suggestions, and I knew I was right, so SINCE I knew I was right, and because the security of our precious cache of hand sanitizer was at stake, I MUST NEEDS keep pushing and pushing him 'til he agreed with me? Right? Right?

Well, Mr A. finally told me to stop talking about it and do my bed-time chores, but I stayed up late chatting to God about how stubborn my husband was being about where to store the hand sanitizer. And then it came time to think a little about the sin of the day PRIDE.  Moi?  Naw. Then I thought I'd do a little thinking about the corresponding grace, Reverence, and BO-O-ING out of my Scripture memory file pops: 

Ephesians 5:33

“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

King James Version (KJV)

Mr. A was already asleep when I came to bed after my being-taken-out-to-the-woodshed prayer time, but the first thing I did the next morning was apologize to him for being disrespectful the night before. And peace was restored to the home. (*2)

OK, so I'm looking forward (I guess) to seeing what other evil things are going to be worked out of my system before Easter Sunday.

Monday: PRIDE versus the virtue of Reverence.

Tuesday: AVARICE versus the virtue of Piety and the grace of Humility

Wednesday: LUXURIOUS OVER-INDULGENCE (aka lust) versus the virtue of Understanding

Thursday: WRATH vs. the virtue of Fortitude and the grace of Meekness

Friday: GLUTTONY vs. the virtue of Good Counsel

Saturday: ENVY vs. the grace of Self-Knowledge

Sunday: SLOTH vs. the virtue of Devotion 

FOOTNOTES

(*1) with guides, of course. I ended up putting my glasses in my pocket. The glasses are for distance, and with the low visibility caused by the weather, I couldn't see any farther with my glasses than without them. I won't fuss with contact lenses either, I think, next time I ski in similar conditions. 

(*2) The astute reader will note that Lent officially started less than a week ago--on Ash Wednesday, February 17--and will wonder how I managed to do a "Monday" Deadly Sin Lenten Meditation when the first Monday of Lent isn't until Monday, February 22.  Answer is: I started Lent a little early, and then backtracked a little on Thursday and Friday of this week, when instead of fasting, I consumed a diet that consisted almost entirely of Cozy Shack Chocolate Pudding and Cozy Shack Tapioca pudding, (**3) which isn't exactly Lenten Fast Fare.

(**3) Because the tooth abscess actually ended up being kind of a big whoop. The whole molar, roots and all, had to be extracted, so no solid foods for a few days.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Successful Millennial Business Owner and Boomer Music

Today is Saturnine Saturday at my blog.

Well, I had an interesting Boomer music episode this week. The dentist I usually see had an emergency, so she couldn't help me during MY emergency (*1) so I went to see my husband's dentist, who is about the age of our adult daughter.  With the particular music playing the entire time he was poking around and lancing, I was as relaxed as I would've been hanging out with my pals in junior high.  "What's with the Boomer music? Did you figure I was the same vintage as my husband, and chose music that I'd find relaxing?" I asked as he handed me the phone number for an endontist. 

"I'm too selfish to do that! I fell in love with that music when I was working at the VA hospital. It's the only kind of music I play in my office."

There's a lot to be grateful for this week.   I loved skiing yesterday, and the only thing I have to be SATURNINE about is the line jumpers. (*2)  The bounty of my husband's grape harvest is enough to supply ourselves, our friends and neighbors for the next several years  but has left very little available freezer space. So I'm firing up the Food Dehydrator I bought (at the local Ace Hardware, having eschewed Amazon) and am fixing to turn those grapes into raisins. If anyone has an opinion on which makes the best raisins, blanched or unblanched grapes, please leave a comment. I started reading C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, and I am listening to two different podcast series on The Hobbit,  one by Professor Rachel Brown, and one on Babylon Bee.  

FOOTNOTES

(*1)Tooth abscess, no big whoop.

(*2) None of whom were Boomers, I must add.  One young lady was using the "Ski Instructor" lane to try to cut  in front of me, and  I asked, "Are you a ski instructor?"'  When she shook her head because obviously, without a special jacket, everyone could tell that she wasn't,   I angled my skis and moved right back where I belonged, in FRONT of her.  I am taking ZERO crap from these youngsters.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Nearer My God to Thee Coinky Dink

 


The last time I wrote in this blog was before I knew how looooong COVID 19 was going to be with us, and I had had all sorts of plans for what I was going to accomplish in the following months---plans that fell through, of course. But didn't we all have such plans?

 I don't want to minimize AT ALL the suffering caused by the 'Rona Virus, and probably more than the 'Rona itself, the suffering caused by the shutdowns that were supposed to stop the 'Rona. I also know I'm not the only one whose relationships with family and former friends have cooled because of the political, moral, religious polarization that has only accelerated with the 'Rona.  Those losses hurt. But you know,  it's in the lean years of my life that God has answered the "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" prayer I sing when I am happily busy, but too happily busy, frankly, to really get down to the slow, quiet business of seeking that closer walk I'm praying for. 

The one habit--when I'm faithful to keep it habitual--that apparently signals to God that I'm serious about wanting a closer walk with Him-- and after that it's up to God as to whether He wants my company or not--is sticking to a Bible reading plan, and after I read at morning and night, being quiet for a bit and thinking about what I've just read. Sometimes I picture myself in the Bible story. What would I have said to God if I had been there? What would He have said to me....and WHAT...might He be saying to me, through that story... now?

So, once in awhile, there's a COINKY DINK that makes me think, SOMEBODY'S trying to get through to me.  So this happened this past week.  I am helping a little boy with his reading, over Zoom. A couple of weeks ago, the assigned story in the Reading Book we are going through together was  about the sinking of the Titanic. The little boy is not a believer, but I did mention to him that survivors leaving on the lifeboats said they heard the Titanic's entertainment crew playing "a song" in the last few minutes before the Titanic finally went down and then...bubble bubble bubble...the music ended and so did the musicians' lives.  After my lesson with the little boy, I decided to find out more about that song.

The words to "Nearer My God to Thee" were written by Sarah Fuller Flower Adams (*1) whose dates are 1805-1848.   She came up with the idea for the words after being deeply moved by the Bible story(*2) about Jacob in Genesis 28. Well, this Jacob, not having a walk with God any closer than it should have been, had stolen something VERY VALUABLE from his brother Esau, who was now intent on killing him. Jacob was fleeing for his life, and lay down to rest one night, a stone for his pillow. He had a wild dream in which he knew GOD SPOKE TO HIM. The next morning his newfound fear of the Lord freaked him out more than the fear of his brother-- but it was a good, profitable, life-changing kind of fear.

So I've been thinking about "Nearer My God to Thee"  a lot this week. This morning (well, yesterday morning, it's past midnight now) I turned to the Daily Office Lectionary in the Anglican Church in North America's Book of Common Prayer (2019) for Morning Prayer for January 29, and the First Lesson is: Genesis 28.  A happy little thrill ran down my spine:

 "(v10-13) And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set: and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold, (*3) the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed..." (KJV)

Do you sometimes feel like you are missing the whole point of why God put you on this earth? Well, my guess is that most of us make many wrong turns, get side-tracked, and God puts two fingers in His mouth and, you know, whistles at us. "Hey, you! Pay attention this. You might need it for the days ahead." (*4) 


"Nearer My God to Thee" Lyrics

1) Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee;
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be
Nearer, my God, to Thee.

Refrain: Nearer my God to Thee, Nearer to Thee.

2)Though, like a wanderer, 
The sun gone down,
Darkness comes over me, 
My rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I'd be
Nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain)

3)There let me see the sight,
An open heaven;
All that thou sendest me,
In mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer my God to Thee. (Refrain)

4) Then, with my waking thoughts
Bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs
Bethel I'll raise, 
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee (Refrain.)

5)Or if on joyful wing
Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I'll fly.
Still all my song shall be 
Nearer my God to Thee. (Refrain.)

6) There, in my Father's home,
Safe and at rest,
There in my Savior's love, perfectly blest.
Age after age to be, nearer my God to Thee. (Refrain.)

 UPDATE : OH WOW!!!!!!! So, I went to bed, after I wrote and posted this article, and had a Zoom meeting scheduled with a DIFFERENT student at 9 in the morning. I just finished his session now. Well, the book I have been using with THIS kid had a little selection about how kids learn about their families from hearing stories told them by their parents and grandparents. 

I asked him if he had learned anything about his family that way. "Nah," he replied.

 "Oh, come on. Anything?" I probed.

 "Well....oh yeah, my grandmother (*6)  ALMOST took a ride on the Titanic!" 

"Why didn't she go?"

 "A rich lady bought her ticket." [Quite possibly. First Class Tickets for the virgin voyage of the Titanic were a hot commodity.] 

I told him I was REALLY EXCITED to hear that story, and thanked him. and I told him about the story ( see footnote *5) about the Titanic musician's violin and that I had JUST read about  last night. 

"Yeah my family wants to watch that movie, Titanic, but you have to pay money,"  he told me. 

 I told him if they wanted to, they could go to "YouTube....or Vimeo," I corrected myself, "and search for Titanic song and you can at least see the part of the movie where the musician plays that song while the Titanic is sinking." I need to be careful when I get into that sort of territory with other people's kids, but I think what I said was fine, and I pray it leads to very happy coinky dinks for HIS family, too.  CHILLS CHILLS CHILLS CHILLS...   

FOOTNOTES
(*1) Surprise! She was a UNITARIAN!!!  Some of  the hymns most beloved by Fundies were written by people who were affiliated with fairly non-Orthodox congregations. Just as another hymn says, "There's a wideness in God's mercy." And grace upon grace.

(*2) Surprise! She was a Unitarian who read the Bible!

(*3) That's THREE "behold's!!!"

(*4)Jacob's redirection led to God's giving him a new name later in life, "Israel," and the Biblical Israelites are this man's descendants. Do you remember the character "Schemer" from Shining Time Station? I think Jonathan Shapiro might have received some inspiration for his character, like Sarah Fuller Flower Adams, from the Biblical Jacob (in Schemer's case, the scheming, pre-dream Jacob.)

(*5) The Dance Band playing this hymn on the sinking Titanic is not just a Hollywood story. I've been reading more about the Titanic musicians this week, too. Wow! This is about the violin, recovered from the body of one of the brave musicians who played "Nearer My God to Thee" while the Titanic was sinking. It was returned to his grieving fiancée, who had given it to him as an engagement gift.


(*6) I'm guessing he meant great grandmother, or great-great grandmother.