Sittin’ Here, Resting My Bones…

However, unlike Otis Redding, I am NOT lonely.

Just enjoying the sun – it’s perfect.  Mostly dimmed by cloud cover, occasionally breaking through for a dazzling over-the-top light (I left my seat, briefly, to get a hat with a brim).  My newly-finished Adirondack chair is comfortable, the air is warmish, without inducing sweat.

Perfect.

So few moments in life are that.  We need to stop sometimes to enjoy God’s creation.  Just sit in the sun.

 Link to “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” lyrics.

Link to the song.

And, don’t forget to sit and do NOTHING occasionally.

Posted in America, Culture, Life Issues | Leave a comment

Are You Feeling a Heavy Sense of Dread?

UPDATE:

I read the following at Front Page Magazine:

Socialism’s big moments arrive when people feel helpless. It does well during depressions and recessions. That’s how we ended up with FDR, Clinton and Obama.

Socialism is a sleazy insurance salesman. Its product may be bad, but people are a lot more likely to buy it when they’re worried about the future. Europe turned to socialism after its people lost confidence in the future and themselves. America is turning to socialism after a similar crisis of confidence.

Right now, I’m at a low point.  Maybe later, it will be time to burrow into my nest, and pick up my spirits with an uplifting movie – The Return of the King, Enemy of the State, or other We Win, The Bad Guys Lose sort of thing.

Are you avoiding watching the news, anticipating that they will be ignoring the REAL problems of America and the world, while focusing on fluff?

Do you hate to open Facebook, knowing that your friends will be alerting you to the very REAL oppression of non-Muslims in the world?

Do you cringe when you see the President in news conferences, knowing that he will:

  • Blame Bush
  • Blame White cops/businessmen/teachers/school boards/governors/Republican leadership/out-of-office politicians/military/families/churches – etc., etc., etc., as the King of Siam said in the movie
  • Insist that he only heard of an administration evasion in testimony/flat-out lie/crime/abuse of power – whatever – from the news
  • Defend the PEACEFUL (shouldn’t that be Cut to PIECES?) religion of Islam from those who would question the fact that the practitioners seem to be the ones committing war crimes/genocide/enslavement of their enemies/terrorism/invasion/oppression of non-Muslim human rights

Yeah, I know – me, too.

I have a nagging sense of dread – civilization is in peril (not unlike the desperate moments in The Two Towers part of the trilogy).  The forces of evil are in command in much of the world.  The law, such as it is, seems to have a heavy hand on the scales, in favor of anarchy, socialism, and totalitarianism.  The Christian Church is facing the Islamic and Secular Lions, and no rescue is near.

Worse, America, the sole escape, is firmly in the hands of those who hate her – the ruthlessly Anti-religious bigots, the proudly non-working overlords, the savagely brutal bureaucrats, the thoughtlessly crude, the militantly ignorant (don’t know, and don’t care), and the relentless Humanity-Hating Humanists.

We are on the verge of a new Dark Age.

Posted in America, Culture, Islamicist, Leftist Infiltration, Leftists, Politics, Progressive | Leave a comment

WWJD?

How will you vote this fall?

What are you currently doing about the Mid-East situation?

Let’s start with the second part.  For many of us, it’s hard to know WHAT to do.

  • Calling, writing, faxing, and emailing our representatives in Congress, Senators, and the President and the administration have led to one outcome, for me.  I get a nice letter on letterhead stationery that assures me they have listened to my concerns, appreciate my contacting them, and that they will keep my thoughts in mind – and, BTW, don’t forget to vote.
  • I have written in online comment boxes on news sites, blogs, magazines.  I Share, Comment, and Like posts that reference the conflicts and urge action.  I’ve signed the online petitions.
  • I bring up the subject with almost everyone I know.  They are generally sympathetic to the fate of the Christians and Jews in the region, but, when asked for more, say “What can I do?”.  They are not asking the question, but justifying their decision to put the issue to the back of their mind.
  • I pray – daily.  I have no doubt that the practice has efficacy, but truly think that the time for action is here.  There is a legitimate time for “Praise the Lord, and Pass the Ammunition”.  It’s the idea of a Just War.

Nonetheless, I am opposed to any American action that puts our military representatives in danger.  I have NO confidence that the current administration will be effective – they seem to just want a photo op that bolsters the leaders for their next election.  They want to convince the public that there is an action called the “surgical strike” that will ONLY kill the ISIS members who are engaged in an atrocity at that moment, but leave all others in place to – what? – regret their actions?  Like that would happen!

One of the few politicians who seem capable of speaking the plain truth in public is Newt Gingrich – yes, I know he’s not the greatest representative of Conservative philosophy in action – 3 marriages would, for many, disqualify him from commenting on SSM – but, he does not shy away from telling the truth in public.

So, yes, voting will have SOME effect.  I’m also going to be writing to our pastor, and urging several actions:

  • Practical help – donations, resettlement assistance, prayer
  • Preaching about it – each week, there should be BOTH prayers for our Christian and Jewish brethren, AND suggested actions for the congregation to follow – petitions, letters to the editor, distribution of fact sheets that they can copy and use to educate their neighbors, friends and family, workplace (NOT political, but educating about the concept of Just War, links to donation sites, etc).

I do plan to continue to post on Facebook, but do not consider that effective action.  Just hitting the Like button is not enough.  Sharing is not enough.  It is, however, a start in spreading information.

I like FB.  I use it to keep up with friends and family.  Sometimes, it can be a part of your toolbox in educating the people you are connected with.

But, by itself, it is NOT enough.  We need to move beyond FB “activism”.

Posted in Conservative Self-Education, Islamicist, Politics, Uncategorized, War on Terror | Leave a comment

Should You Be Concerned About Ebola in the USA?

Donald Trump recently put himself into the news again when he expressed concern about Ebola making its way to the USA.  He, like many, favors quarantine of Ebola victims.  He is against letting victims, including medical personnel and Americans, into the USA.

The question:  Is he right?

The Washington Post thinks Trump is wrong, but their story is mixed:

  • Ebola is contagious – which means that you have to be in direct contact with bodily fluids of the infected person
  • “Amesh Adalja, a member of the public health committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America and an infectious disease doctor at the University of Pittsburgh” says that there is NO chance of infection for the general public.  This is in part due to the superior contagion-blocking capabilities of US medical establishment – hoods, masks, full-body suits, etc.
  • However, the CDC reports that American hospitals do a poor job of controlling infection – “One in 25 patients in U.S. hospitals has an infection acquired as part of his or her care”.
  • Hygiene is critical – keep in mind, that health workers can sometimes neglect hand-washing.  In Britain, the NHS has permitted exceptions to sterile procedure (long sleeves, no use of alcohol-based sterilants) for Muslims.  It has led to higher infection rates.

An explanation of how the Original Plague (also known as the Black Death) spread:

the 14th-century strain, the cause of the most lethal catastrophe in recorded history, was no more virulent than today’s disease. The DNA codes were an almost perfect match.

According to scientists working at Public Health England in Porton Down, for any plague to spread at such a pace it must have got into the lungs of victims who were malnourished and then been spread by coughs and sneezes. It was therefore a pneumonic plague rather than a bubonic plague. Infection was spread human to human, rather than by rat fleas that bit a sick person and then bit another victim. “As an explanation [rat fleas] for the Black Death in its own right, it simply isn’t good enough. It cannot spread fast enough from one household to the next to cause the huge number of cases that we saw during the Black Death epidemics,” said Dr Tim Brooks, a scientist from Porton Down, who was not part of the Crossrail team, will put forward his theory in a Channel 4 documentary, Secret History: The Return of the Black Death,on Sunday.

To support his argument, Brooks, who has yet to examine the Crossrail evidence, has looked at what happened in Suffolk in 1906 when plague killed a family and then spread to a neighbour who had come to help. The culprit there was pneumonic plague, which had settled in the lungs of the victims and was spread through infected breath.

The skeletons at Charterhouse Square reveal that the population of London was also in generally poor health when the disease struck. Crossrail’s archaeology contractor, Don Walker, and Jelena Bekvalacs of the Museum of London found evidence of rickets, anaemia, bad teeth and childhood malnutrition.

So, the factors that were important were:

  • General poor health (in these cases, complicated by lack of food, but it must be remembered that TOO MUCH food also leads to immune system impairment)
  • Other diseases – we have AIDS, asthma – which would be particularly susceptible to airborne Ebola, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a multitude of non-lethal, chronic illnesses.  In Western societies, you can live a long life, even though not healthy – until another factor, such as Ebola, enters the picture.
  • Closeness to neighbors – the original plague spread rapidly in the cities.  The countryside was largely immune, both for reasons of better nutrition, and because of the distance between potential victims.
  • The major plague outbreak years had AIRBORNE transmission.
  • Compulsive attention to hygiene – in a crisis situation, this is a component that may be ignored or given less attention.  And, a widespread plague IS a crisis.

Health workers are at greatest risk – about 100 have died in this outbreak.  One of them “Sierra Leone’s leading doctor in the fight against Ebola, Sheik Umar Khan, a national hero” is, by his name, a Muslim.  Now, why is that important?

Islamic beliefs have led nurses and other health workers to wear long sleeves, and refuse to use alcohol-based sterilants.  In Britain, the problem is so great because the NHS has allowed them to ignore procedures for reasons of religion.

The real concern is the possibility that Ebola might become airborne – infectious through coughs and sneezes.  From Wikipedia (I know of Wikipedia’s unreliability on politically-related subjects, but for basic information, it’s not bad).

It is not entirely clear how Ebola is spread.[15] EVD is believed to occur after an ebola virus is transmitted to an initial human by contact with an infected animal’s body fluids. Human-to-human transmission can occur via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person (includingembalming of an infected dead person) or by contact with contaminated medical equipment, particularly needles and syringes.[16] Semen is infectious in survivors for up to 50 days. Transmission through oral exposure and through conjunctiva exposure is likely[17] and has been confirmed in non-human primates.[18] The potential for widespread EVD infections is considered low as the disease is only spread by direct contact with the secretions from someone who is showing signs of infection.[16] The quick onset of symptoms makes it easier to identify sick individuals and limits a person’s ability to spread the disease by traveling. Because dead bodies are still infectious, some doctors disposed of them in a safe manner, despite local traditional burial rituals.[19]

The CDC claims that Ebola absolutely CANNOT be spread through the air.

However, the organization then issues an advisory that seems to contradict their claims:

Crew members on a flight with a passenger or other crew member who is ill with a fever, jaundice, or bleeding and who is traveling from or has recently been in a risk area should follow these precautions:

  • Keep the sick person separated from others as much as possible.
  • Provide the sick person with a surgical mask (if the sick person can tolerate wearing one) to reduce the number of droplets expelled into the air by talking, sneezing, or coughing.
  • Give tissues to a sick person who cannot tolerate a mask. Provide a plastic bag for disposing of used tissues.
  • Wear impermeable disposable gloves for direct contact with blood or other body fluids.

The study that looked at transmission between species showed that non-contact transmission was possible.

There are three likely candidates for the route of transmission: airborne, droplet, or fomites.

Airborne and droplet transmission both technically travel through the air to infect others; the difference lies in the size of the infective particles. Smaller droplets persist in the air longer and are able to travel farther- these droplets are truly “airborne.” Larger droplets can neither travel as far nor persist for very long. Fomites are inanimate objects that can transmit disease if they are contaminated with infectious agents. In this study, a monkey’s cage could have been contaminated when workers were cleaning a nearby pig cage. If the monkey touched the contaminated cage surface and then its mouth or eyes, it could have been infected.

Author Dr. Gary Kobinger suspects that the virus is transmitted through droplets, not fomites, because evidence of infection in the lungs of the monkeys indicated that the virus was inhaled.

- See more at: http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/pigs-monkeys-ebola-goes-airborne-112112#sthash.ByoHbzTT.dpuf

The other side?  The Canadian Health authorities have grave concerns about airborne Ebola:

In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated (1613). The importance of this route of transmission is not clear.

Couple the above with concerns that Ebola might be used as a Bioweapon, and you have some interesting – and disturbing – issues.

So, could Trump be justified in his concerns?  Answer in the comments.

 

Posted in Immigration, Life Issues | Leave a comment

Amnesty – Cui Bono?

Latin for “Who Benefits”?

Well, it sure isn’t the poor.

Steve Camarota and Karen Ziegler of the Center for Immigration Studies reported last month that “since 2000, all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). This is remarkable given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.”

[Bold is mine]

So, any gains in the economy have gone to NON-natives.  This would explain the “improving” job stats (I still think his people are playing with the numbers – each month, there has been corrections after the rosy improvements).  Better numbers, but, Americans are still jobless/temporary/part-time.

This is why we can’t afford another minority in the White House – Non-White or Female – for some time.  Not because they wouldn’t do a good job – they could hardly do WORSE – but, because they won’t get a fair appraisal of their performance, which, in this case, is abysmal.  Minorities are still praising the President who has stabbed them in the back, all for Progressive ideology.

I don’t get it – it’s like watching a friend with an abusive spouse – you can use logic, but she’s still going to defend the one that is slapping her around – “but he LOVES me!”  NOTHING you say – however true – gets through her defensive fog.  I don’t know how to open her eyes to the truth.

Eventually, it will happen.  Eventually, there will come a moment that CAN’T be denied, when the obvious fact of his indifference to her welfare becomes clear, even to her.

Until then, don’t waste your time.

Posted in Conservative Self-Education, Culture, Immigration, Leftists, Liberal Thought, Politics, Progressive, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh, The HORROR! KKK Resurgance!

Eh, probably not – the story here.

I’m guessing that those bozos are actively using the media to help hype their group.  The gathering is planned for August 9 in Davidson County – in the town of WELCOME, NC (LOVE that irony!).

I imagine there will be a few (considerably less than 100) bozos, a WHOLE lot of protesters, and media up the whazoo.

Lots of video, the potential of some injuries (remember the media slogan – “If it bleeds, it leads”), and no ultimate effect on life whatsoever.

Posted in Old Media, Politics | Leave a comment

In a Temporary Lull

The Battle of the Border is at a temporary standstill.

Congress continues to struggle to investigate:

  • Benghazi
  • IRS
  • Fast & Furious
  • VA scandal

Elections are months away, and most Democrats are running for cover, and hoping to survive.

Republicans may have their own scandal in MS, with the Senate primary.  Pity – they should fully cooperate, and let the chips fall where they may.

I’ve an uneasy feeling – no particular reason – one of those “just before the storm” feelings.  I hope it’s not justified.

Posted in Benghazi, Election, Fast & Furious, Immigration, Politics, Voter Fraud | Leave a comment

Down Time

My summer has been split just about in half – the first part:

  • One week babysitting grandchildren
  • 2 weeks at a workshop
  • 1 week in Cleveland, organizing and cleaning
  • 2 weeks at home, organizing and cleaning

And, now, back in Cleveland for a few days.  Followed by:

  • 2 day STEM conference
  • 3 days learning how to be a mentor (with a few days of nothing scheduled in between)
  • Last 2 weeks of vacay

It all seems to go so fast.  One VERY positive part of this summer has been my commitment to exercising – I’ve been at the pool every day for the last few weeks.  Haven’t seen much progress on the scale, but I’m moving more easily, and my clothes are fitting better.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lord Acton’s Famous Saying

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

That’s what he is best known for.

And, now we have a President and his administration that are living proof of that dictum.

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Why Surrogacy is Wrong

I do get that, for some women, infertility is a major sorrow in their lives.  They want to be mothers, but, physically, it just isn’t possible.

For those women, and their husband, adoption is also not possible.  Unless they have a LOT of money to spend, legally adopting a child is hard.  It’s made harder by social workers who oppose adoption if a parent is living, however ill-suited they are to raise that child.  Too often, that opposition keeps children in foster care for years.  Some have accused agencies of keeping kids in foster care for the money it brings in – I can’t believe that.  I think it’s an ideological position that is to blame.

For those reasons, some women feel that they have no alternative to surrogacy.  Today’s surrogacy has evolved into a multi-partner process, that splits the pregnancy action into parts:

  • The male contribution – sometimes from the prospective adoptive father, other times from donors (the men are generally paid for their sperm).  Sometimes, the sperm samples are mixed, so the father-to-be can assume a biological connection.
  • The egg contribution – an egg donor is paid far more than the sperm donor.  That’s because she is pumped full of drugs to stimulate release of multiple eggs.  Research on the dangers has not fully explored the long-term damage to the egg donor’s system.  See information about Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which is just ONE of the problems that can arise.  For this part, younger, more educated women are preferred; often, these egg SELLERS are recruited via ads in college newspapers.  The high cost of college makes them a vulnerable population.
  • The Surrogate – that’s the woman who actually carries the child to term.  Since there is no genetic connection, she may be of any race or background.  Previous mothers are preferred for this part of the “job”.  Third-World women are often recruited for this.  India is one of the countries that have taken over this “job that Americans won’t do”.  Since the surrogate has to be pumped full of hormones to carry the pregnancy, it may well have a lifelong effect on that woman’s health.

Breaking the motherhood part into 2 separate parts (it can be more, if the egg of one woman is used, but the DNA of another woman) virtually eliminates the problem of the “Baby M” case, where the genetic mother carried the baby, and bonded with it, leading her to challenge giving the child up after birth.

Older would-be mothers are often encouraged to use eggs from another woman, as their own might be old enough to have potential damage.  For very busy women, or those who don’t want to “ruin” their figures, the surrogate option is preferred.

The whole process is expensive, involves multiple payments to the various people in the process, and legally severs the connection to original mothers and fathers.  For that reason, it is strongly promoted by well-off older partners, straight and gay.  They are the core group that has the financial resources to engage in the practice, and the ones that cannot, or would prefer to not, biologically create the child the natural way.

Who loses in this?

  • The sperm seller, who has left pieces of himself spread around the country.  In some cases, donors have been forced to contribute to the support of children they helped create.  The secrecy of the system can lead to unaware grown children becoming involved with their genetic brothers and sisters.
  • The egg seller, who, for a substantial amount of money, risks her health and future fertility.  Like the sperm seller, she has unknown numbers of potential children.
  • The surrogate, who takes some of the largest risks (pregnancy is still a risky proposition, especially when assisted with extra, injected chemicals).  During the pregnancy, both the hormonal changes, and the natural emotions of a mother contribute to a wrenching separation at birth.  Some husbands may resent the intrusion of the infant.  Children may have trouble understanding how mother could give away a child; lifelong insecurity may result.
  • The buyers, who are benefiting from many people’s loss.  They have to know that only their money made this possible; the ethics of it all are questionable, at best.  At the worst, it is exploitation of vulnerable and poor people.  The surrogacy is a form of temporary slavery-for-hire.

As Pope Paul VI made clear in his encyclical, the conception process is a holistic endeavor.  To divorce one part from another, or to mechanize part of the process, is wrong.  He wrote that modern man had:

…a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love.

I do realize that Pope Paul VI was widely disparaged for his encyclical.  Few were the clergy that actually taught their congregations about the thinking behind it.  It was reported in the press and on TV as the anti-sex preaching of an out-of-touch papacy.

The encyclical warned of four resulting trends: a general lowering of moral standards throughout society; a rise in infidelity; a lessening of respect for women by men; and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.

Fast forward almost 50 years, and we have:

It is, in part, because surrogacy does not respect the dignity of women, that I am opposed to it.  It isn’t that I don’t understand (as far as I am able) the torment of a woman and a man that cannot conceive naturally.  The Biblical story of Abraham and Sarah is filled with that pain.

But, it is also filled with the consequences of going outside of natural marriage means to solve that problem.  Sarah insisted that Abraham impregnate a slave, Hagar.  After the child was born, Sarah did NOT bond with it, but resented both the child, and his mother.  She eventually insisted on banishing Abraham’s son and his mother.

Why might Sarah have been infertile?  Well, Abraham had to labor 7 years, only to be tricked into marrying the wrong daughter.  He then had to labor another 7 years – 14 in all.  Let’s assume that Sarah was 16 when Abraham first proposed.  Add 14 years to that age, and she would have been 30 when finally married.  By 27, women have lost 10% of their fertility.  By 30, women have lost 90% of their eggs.

That story is an object lesson in the perils of waiting to start your family.

Posted in Catholic, Culture, Liberal Thought, Life Issues, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment