November 13, 1915 was a day historically during the First World War.... the Great War. And, it was not a great time to be living in France, or Europe for that matter. It was fine here in the states, because we did nothing... were doing nothing for the war a half a world away at that point, and wouldn't be doing anything at all for almost two more years of carnage and bloodshed. Yesterday's terrorist attacks in Paris left me thinking of the irony of the situation, with France playing Germany at the stadium there in Paris, and the attack coming from a supposed middle Eastern terrorist organization.
The events from both World Wars and from yesterday just remind me that history is a circle, and only the names and races are changed in the newspapers. It brings back words I often repeated in the classroom, "Can't we all just get along?" And, it makes me wonder if when we've fried all our skins an ashen gray from wars and rumors of war, if perhaps then the Great War of race and nations will cease and maybe we can all play football. Not a likely scene is it?
There are 4 seasons to my year... Winter, Spring, Summer, & Thanksgiving. It's not senility, or current life circumstances... I've always felt this way. It could possibly have something to do with the fact that my birthday is in November, and often on Thanksgiving. But, I don't really think that's it. I just love Thanksgiving holiday. It is a wonderful holiday to me because it's not about getting, but giving... thanks. We do this so rarely. There is none of the "find the right gift" pressure of the Christmas holiday. There are no ghosts & goblins, no April Fools to contend with, no mistaken groundhogs, and no broken Valentines. There is just one great big, "Look around you and you've already got it" kind of thanks to give. So, yes...I know it's September 1. But, excuse me if I go ahead and get my first thanks of the season in now. Giving thanks is never premature.
Thanks to my husband and Son who take my chair apart and put it back together again, every time I get in and out of the car. They never once complain, and I know it's heavy. They do this graciously and out of hearts full of love. If I'm just taking Travis to work, and will be leaving the chair in the driveway until I return, Larry always retrieves the chair cover before he leaves for work himself, if it has been raining, so I will have it already at hand when I get to the car. And, I never have to ask for any of this. They do it. They plan all of this out on their own, often before I am even aware of what I will be needing for the day. And, if I feel sad about it on some days, regretting that they do it and I cost them so much, they insist it's no trouble at all. Yes, they are perfect liars and I love them for it lol.
You see, these guys are my heroes for a reason. I admire them, and look up to them, because they teach me the true meaning of the Golden Rule, how to treat others the way that I would want to be treated.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Wow... would you just look at those Words! Jesus said that. He said that this "rule" was the sum total of arguably the whole Bible, with the possible exception of the Poetry, the Gospels, and Epistles sections, (the Law & the Prophets.) No, salvation is not about being good. But, if you are "saved" you will be good to other people. And, you will not just think about your own needs, but theirs as well as your own.
You see, I know which side my bread is buttered on. :)) I don't just love Larry randomly. You may hear me celebrating my love for him and singing his praises and think it's just common love. There is nothing common about my love for Larry. If you hear me taking joy in an anniversary with him, well we missed one of five because of my health. We went off and celebrated this past 5th anniversary about 9 weeks ago, and were overjoyed to do so. It was not just the 4th celebration of our anniversaries together for me, but the fourth anniversary of my life. I've had four anniversary trips in 50 years. So, you get the idea that I love this man beyond the common, every day kind of love. He is the only man who ever loved me and worked for me devotedly. Do I look blind? I'd be a fool not to love him. No, there is nothing selfless about my love for him. I love him with motive. He's given me every reason to love him from the day that I met him.
Is my love for my sons random. LOL. That's a loaded question. You see, it's obvious the dna is not random. So, I could say no, it's not random love. But, love is so much more than what is contained in strands of dna code. But, on the other hand, my love is not predicated on actions with my sons. My sons could make any decisions they choose, and I will love them totally randomly. They know this. They know I will love them with every ounce of my being until the end of time, regardless of what they do in this life. They also have no doubt of the fact that I will expect the good always from them. They always knew what I expected whether they liked it or not. And, that's what makes it all the more sweet as a Mother when her children do good things when they are outside the realm of her authority. She knows they had a choice, and they chose to do the good thing.
So, whether my love for Travis is random or with cause, my appreciation for him is founded on all that I have to be thankful for... my many blessings. These guys are God's gifts to me.
So, who am I thanking? I am thanking Larry and Travis first, for all that they do for me, and the love that they've shown me in this life. And, secondly I'm thanking Jesus Christ, Lord of Heaven and Earth, for visiting me with such blessings, for showing me a glimpse of heaven here on Earth. Happy Fall/Thanksgiving Season to all!
Resting in pieces is the new death. I've heard of grave and corpse desecration, and they've happened almost since the dawn of time. I've even heard of families digging up a relative to retrieve something left on the body for the funeral, and intended to be reclaimed before burial. Yes. Recently. Not in the distant past. But, one of the most common errors we make is living in judgement of our parents and grandparents. So much so, that it looks like they are about to desecrate the grave of one of my maternal ancestors.
Yes they can. And, they will it seems. Of course, it's all political. Forrest's is not the first statue that has been removed, stored for a generation or two, and pulled back out of storage for display, based on the political winds of the day. It happens. So does grave exhuming and removal. But, that doesn't make it right. So, you have to ask yourself several questions.
1. What about those bones? Why bother re-burying them? Why stop there when you can burn them in a heap?
2. What about the bones of Robert E. Lee, who was pardoned posthumously? Are those to be dug up next?
3. What about every white man who fought for the South? Can't we remove those from the earth as well?
4. What about the White House that was built with Slave labor? Do we need to keep that standing around?
5. What about when the lights go out in the Capitol at night? How does President Obama sleep in the house built by the slave labor of his ancestors?
6. What about Abraham Lincoln who insisted on pardon and unity? Shall we exhume and burn his bones as well?
7. What about letting sleeping dogs lie? What ever happened to resting in peace?
The biggest questions remaining are, how much happiness and brotherly love will anyone feel once the bones are all exhumed, and how well will we all rest in our graves waiting to be exhumed ourselves before the Good Lord claims our souls? Aren't we digging up bones now?
I am no longer here. I've been deported. I was shipped out to Mexico, though this is the only land I have ever known. I grew up here... right here in America. I thought I was one of US. But, now it seems I am no one. They say I am no longer an American. Since I did not grow up in Mexico, I am not a Mexican either. So, who am I? I am one of the 100% Americans. No man is an island unto himself.
John Donne's timeless poem rings true even today. I never liked the states of Florida or California, for my own picky travel reasons. But, if they were attacked, I would expect our military to defend our states. As John Donne said, if one state were to wash into the sea, America would be less for it. I strongly dislike our Presidential leadership. But, if anyone of them were kidnapped by terrorists, I would pray our military could rescue them. They are one of US. They are the 100%.
In the last election, I heard about the 48%, and the 52%, and the 1 or 2% until I was sick of the percentages. I am tired of hearing about the women voters and the minority voters... the retired voters and the young voters. I am not a part of any of those demographics. I am a part of the 100% Americans. Stop labeling US. What happens to one of US affects US all. This election year, I will not vote for the percentage politicians. I want to vote for a Lincoln,or a Kennedy... someone who will unite our country.
Show US a team. Show US a presidential team who can lay down the political hatchets, and pick up our flag instead of the banner of a party to run a campaign focused on the 100% and you will have my vote. Instead of every man in a party fighting tooth and nail, clawing each other until the last man standing can no longer win the general election; let US see two candidates compromise and form a team now. It would mean one would be VP, and not a Presidential candidate. But, it would mean more than that to the 100%. It would show US the unity and power of a team. It would give US vision. At the moment we are blinded by the lack of leadership in our country.
But, do not stop there. Show US that we are all Americans. Give US the dignity of race to be different and yet the same in our distinction. Tell Us that we will not be deported, when we came here by invitation. We were given a monumental invitation decades ago.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Yes, those words were written in 1883, and have been displayed in the base of the Statue of Liberty since 1903. But, were they lies, or is every one of US welcome here in the country? Well, hello percentage politicians! You can not slice and dice America however you see fit. Whatever happens to the 2% happens to US all. When a part of our people are deported, you have deported US. What happens to one of US has happened to US all.
America is a new colossus. We are composed of many parts, like the statue in Daniel's vision. And, I realize our feet, are just clay. But, like any body, we will no longer stand if we allow limbs to be chopped off by our "Deporter-in-Chiefs." Will a day come when our children look back on these dark days when American people, raised here beside us, were deported to foreign lands because of their heritage? Will they look back in horror at the days of our "War on Terror?" Surely they will see the irony of that phrase after 100 years have passed... war... terror... war... on... terror. How can you wage war on terror? I'm not against apprehending and sentencing our enemies, by any legal means. But, I see war as a terror not to be entered into by a back door of nationalized, legalized terrorism. War is a collective terrorism. Our own forefathers were once terrorists, according to the British government. They set fire to buildings. They killed and destroyed. They demanded freedom and livelihood at any cost. Jesus was a terrorist, according to the Roman government, simply because He spoke. As such, He was put on trial, condemned and sentenced to die. Then, he faced the ultimate indignity of crucifixion. But, He was given a trial. And, the Romans were less barbaric than US.
Today, we strike fear in the hearts of all who would oppose us with drones. We drop bombs at will on countries with whom we are not even at war. We kill people who have not even been tried and convicted. No one man should have that kind of power, to take life without a court, judge, and jury.
To those of US who do not have legal documents proclaiming your right to be in this country where you were raised. Do not make the mistake of thinking God sees you as an alien. God knows who you are. He knows your name. He knows right where you live. And, do not give up on US. Please, stay here with US. Help US to restore this great country to the principles on which we were built. Do not give up just months too soon. Help US grow this NEW colossus into something more than a fragmented rubble of percentages. After all, you are one of US.
Have a dictionary? Turn it off. Close the search engines and apps. This is a closed web pop quiz. But, first a little background story is important to set the scene. So, just work with me.
Ok. You are 7 years old, and you have a little sister named Jane. You love action figures, and you have lots of them. Everywhere. Jane doesn't like action figures, and usually she won't play with you at all. Instead, she plays with her silly barbie dolls all the time. Today was Jane's birthday, and she's playing with all her new toys. So, you spend the evening playing in your bedroom floor alone with your superheroes. It gets late, and you go to bed, with all your action figures still in the floor.
Greenlantern: "All clear. He's asleep!"
Batman: "Where is my batmobile in this mess?!"
Megaman: "I know it's hard to imagine the view from up here for all you lowly bottom-dwellers, but I can see from here to the fridge."
Superman: "Well, personally I stand for truth, justice, and the American way. So, I will just fly to the fridge and bring back ice creams."
GI Joe: "Hey, make mine chocolate!"
Blue Power Ranger: "Strawberry for me!"
Barney: "I want a cupcake instead... you know those birthday cupcakes with the sprinkles....?"
Superman: "Do I look like a flight stewardess to you guys? Gee whiz, I can't carry all that!"
Suddenly a black streak whizzes past with blonde hair streaming behind it.
Barbie: Vroom...vroom! "Man, this batmobile is fasssssst!"
She slams on the brakes and screeches to a stop inches from Batman's boots.
Batman: "Holy cow... you women drivers are all the same!"
Barbie: "What? Weren't you looking for your batmobile? Well, here it is, thank you very much."
Rolling her eyes, she mutters something about the lack of appreciation in this place.
GI Joe: "Bam, bam, bam! You are all dead.... everlast1ofyouuuuuu!!!!"
Barney begins to cry.
GI Joe: "What's wrong with you now, you big crybaby?!"
Barney: (Wailing, now) "He is such a meanie! Why does he have to carry that gun everywhere?"
GI Joe: "I love you, you love me... we're a happy familyyyyy..."
Barney: "That's it, I'm leaving the room!"
GI Joe: "Wait, you can't. I mean, how far do you think you'll get on those little legs? Hunh?"
Fade to black as you depart REM, crashing heavily into a deep sleep...
It was easier to recognize the good guys and bad guys when we were young, wasn't it? Certain things, places, and people were just good or bad. Then you grew up. And, you began to realize that good and bad are seen as opinions. Sometimes, when we read the newspapers we have to wonder who the good guys and bad guys really are. Lines are blurred and opinions differ, unfortunately.
But, I promised you a quiz, so here it is. Answer all 4 without looking up the answer first.
1. What is a bigot?
2. What is a racist?
3. What is a terrorist?
4. What is a right?(In the sense of rights as citizens)
After you've answered each of these for yourself, then you can scroll for more.
The actual definitions turn most common usages of these everyday words into irony, or just plain humor. For example, a bigot is defined as a 'person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.' Racist policies are those policies which favor one race over others. A terrorist is 'a person who terrorizes or frightens another.' Rights in the civil sense are legal guarantees, usually bonded in the form of a document as the 'bill of rights.'
Dalton, my hometown, has this taxi cab service called 'La Raza,' The Race. That's THE Race, as in the superior race, and it is an obviously racist belief. But, is it any more or less racist than government policies which prescribe certain treatments for one race or another. Justice is supposed to be blind. I mean, seriously, every statue of Lady Justice I have seen was blindfolded. But, I suppose she must be peeking to check the color of our skin. Why else would our prisons be overpopulated with young back men? And, then there are the racist affirmative action agendas. But, is that any different from the belief that immigration is bad? Why is immigration bad? Actually, our country was founded by immigrants... legal immigrants. Immigration should not be an issue. Citizenship should be the issue. Why do we ship away people who want to live, work, and invest in our country and pay taxes? Why do we give benefits to non-citizens? Why do we make citizenship so difficult? (I warned you it was a test.)
Back when Chick-fil-a was boycotted, I had a gay friend delete me on Facebook because I ate a chicken sandwich. I admitted that I believe the Bible position on homosexuality when he asked me. But, that doesn't keep me from being friends with a gay guy any more than it does from being friends with a racist person, or a person who is a Democrat for example. And, it certainly doesn't make me prejudiced against chicken sandwiches. I can disagree with everything you say and do, and still speak to you on friendly terms. For example. I have one particular relative who was brutally violent to his young wife decades ago. I ran into him at the fireworks without her while my boys were still little guys. He talked to me. I told him exactly what I thought about the way he'd been treating his wife, and that I'd lost all respect for him. I meant that too, at that time. I think life and the justice system taught him a few things though. And, I never quit being his friend. I just told him straight what I thought about his poor wife, and that if I was going to have any respect for him he'd have to treat her better. Well, back to the homosexual friend. He left me 'unfriended' despite my efforts, because he was 'intolerant of people who believe differently.' Seriously, whatever happened to being tolerant of the beliefs of Christians?
In America, we are waging a war on terrorism, or so we say. But, what we mean by that is a war on anyone else who scares people with acts of violence. We kill unwarranted with drones, and children are being disfigured and maimed by American drones. This is insanity! This is wrong. Whatever happened to rights of soverignty and air space rights over a soverign nation? We fly drones right into restricted air space every day and kill without accountability or even a declaration of war. Is this supposed to be an improvement over having soldiers killed and maimed? Maybe I can lighten the answer up a bit if I answer in Edna Mode's accent, "No, I don't think so." I mean seriously, you're standing there with a soldier and a child in front of you. Which one should be protected from war? The child, every time.
Finally, the question of rights is grossly misunderstood. A right is a legal garantee only in so far as one honors certain responsibilities that are coupled with those rights. For example, The right to vote is matched by the responsibility to pay taxes, serve if called in a jury or military, and uphold the laws of the land. I wouldn't get far in Germany demanding my rights, since I am a citizen of America. The same is true of gun rights, and other constitutional rights. These rights were garanteed us so long as America stands. That means there is never a time to say that they are no longer important because times have changed. They were set in stone literally to prevent future generations from repealing those rights. If we lay down all our freedoms to protect our lives, then our government has failed. The government is supposed to protect us to live free, not imprison and kill to keep us alive. That is not living. And, what is worth keeping at the cost of the lives of untried civilians?
If we accept that our government has the liberty to sentence civilians to die without due process, then we accept that we will lose our own right to due process. That's just not acceptable, now is it? And, yes the last time I looked, freedom still matters. To me it does. But, then again, some rights are God-given.
Post Script :)
The action figures all had their own little petty prejudices, and preconcieved ideas. But, then again that's what makes each figure unique and special by design, and why we pay for our kids to play with them. There is a reason all the little plastic army men are always at the bottom of the toy box. They are motionless. They are of a single color. And, they are clones of one another, all with a single mission. They are undefined.
The Ferryman likes change. Charon was the Ferryman to the Underworld in Classic Greek mythology, and his job, or pleasure one might assume since he pretended to be doing you a favor and often seemed reluctant to bestow this 'favor' without the correct coinage, was to carry you across the river of death. Of course, he charged for this service, and most people paid in coin gladly since the river he plied his trade upon was none other than the River Styx, a river burning with fire and filth. No one wants to swim the rivers of death. I wonder where the Greeks came up with the idea that we would have to pay to be carried over to the other side? Oh, and there was one other stipulation Charon insisted upon... one must be dead to cross. (I know, there were instances where he was convinced by both small change and threats to waffle on that one a bit. I guess money gets the last word even in death.)
Not to continue along the topic of death purposefully, but my previous blog title intimates admittedly that death is big business, and it is in the world today as much as it has ever been. Humans have always been preoccupied with how best to slaughter or save mass numbers of souls from the journey across the river of death.
Is there a good way, or 'a good day to die?' Perhaps not, but there are quite a few bad ways. The skeletons of the victims above were unearthed in some of the mass graves of the victims of the Black Death, or Bubonic Plague. That would be a bad way to die, with no relatives or friends left alive to bury you with more remembrance than the anonymity of a mass grave. It is now considered that Yersinia pestis was the organism responsible for the Bubonic Plague in Europe in the Middle Ages. This was determined by the dna evidence dug up in the last 5 years. But, the Black Death killed 75-200 million people. WW2 on the other hand, killed 60-85 million of us. WW1 took another 17 million. The Korean War took 1.2 million. The Vietnam War claimed a disputed number of souls, accounted to be as much as 3.8 million by many. No, humans don't know best how to steal, kill, and destroy. Plagues are much better than we are at killing, in terms of mass death toll, even when you take into account drones and nuclear weapons, but we are improving, I think. Still, it is ironic that we have suffered more death by plagues in togetherness and peace than by war and crime. It kind of negates the old adage of the sixties, "Make love not war," especially in an age of HIV.
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:52)
Today the journey has been not only automated, but digitized. We can reach across the sky with a drone to kill, or we can reach across cyberspace and kill. It works either way. Though I'm not sure about this, I think the etymological root of Stuxnet is taken from the word Styx. I'm still looking for proof or dispute of that. Either way, digital warfare is an agent of death, as much as an RPA, (a drone or UAV,) in an age when "a digital attack can have the same destructive capability as a megaton bomb." (From Countdown to Zero: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon, by Kim Zetter.)
Below, you do not see the images of death by drone around the globe. I have censored the image myself. If you were to Google 'drone death' images, then the images you would hypothetically see would be filled with expressions of hate for the USA. So, that being said, I don't wish to share them. Death is a dark subject, one for which we voted. And, don't tell me you didn't vote for this, because you did. You did. I did. If you don't think you voted for this, you are not looking far enough back. You are not looking at every candidate for whom you ever voted who approved of abortion, euthanasia, drone strikes, robot warfare, digital warfare... We make our choices everyday. But, for the sake of clean consciences, let's just not look. I'll close my eyes with you. Believe me, I don't want to see it either. I've had my eyes closed since the last election, and I've quit following the news. But, I still see what's happening. You do too, don't you?
Numbers are more comforting than words or pictures sometimes. So, I'll just leave you with the numbers.
Drone Death Reports
Nice clean numbers. Now, you can wash your mind's eyes of the images you didn't see. But, let's not forget that we all have a reservation with death, however we choose to travel.
Not everyone believes in God, but even insurance companies believe in "acts of God." Whatever they attribute it to, many people believe that large scale disasters are increasing around the world. When I taught Science, I noticed that pulling up an interactive map of the locations of volcanic eruptions around the globe over recorded history revealed nothing, if not the wildly erratic and unaccountable nature of volcanic activity in the Earth. Geology is certainly a volatile subject... moving right along. :)
Perhaps I didn't go far enough in school myself to find Science that covered contagions and plague, but I noticed that the only subject that covered the topic was history. History. Yes, History was my favorite subject because of the "story" mode of history. History is His story... God's story. And, in God's story there is much that the History books leave out. It's all political you know! Not just our History books, but the Science textbooks as well. (The Media never changes. Somebody pays and somebody plays the tune.)
As a student, I studied genetics, as well as biology, physics, and geology. But, never Chemistry, which I would have loved but couldn't convince my adviser to place me in the class in High School. I had not shown enough potential in Middle School he said. Middle School was a horrible experience anyways, one that could well be compared to living through the Bubonic Plague era. I certainly learned little there, with the exception of what the old lady English teacher made me learn. I don't even remember her name. That's sad. I had no real opinion of her. I just thought she was ok. And strict. I knew better than to not do her homework. She listed chart after chart of grammar rules on the board for us to memorize, and assigned poems for us to learn, which I loved. I memorized and recited Robert Frost's "Whose woods are these...," and Robert Burns' "My Heart is in the Highlands;" which earned me a happy smile from the old lady English Teacher, a rare sight. But, that apparently wasn't enough to get me into High School Chemistry. Go figure! Either way, thankfully I believed in my own ability to do better, and did in High School. That's what matters anyways, and I never really took much stock in other people's opinions of my ability. I just determined that I would change my track record, and left High School with good grades, and without Chemistry.
But, do you suppose that the Black Plague was the only plague in history? Not hardly. Why is it that we only studied that one? Plagues have literally plagued human history. They have been spreading rampantly throughout human civilizations, with little mention in the schoolbooks. Why this is, I do not know. Perhaps contagion is an uncomfortable subject. Maybe it is because politically, we fear human hysteria over the spread of disease. It could have a lot to do with the big word QUARANTINE we've heard of being plastered on doors during times of plague. Whatever the reason, plagues are ignored by the textbooks.
Today, people still show the same tendency to grab their children and point the finger when the Media creates hype over diseases. I recently encountered some ire and name calling over commenting on one such post on social media. The link was written in the form of an open letter addressed to the unknown parent of the "non-vaccinated child who exposed my child with cancer to measles at such-and-such amusement park." This is a paraphrase of the actual title.
Naturally, I found it humorous because 1) the parent writing had not had his child vaccinated 2) he was depending on the abstract hope that all other human children would be vaccinated, despite the fact that he knew those with cancer could not be, 3) the person writing fit his own description of the 'bad parent,' 4) he took his vaccinated child to a public amusement park, 5) a glance out the window will tell you that not every person in America is here legally, and 6) If we can't control our own borders, how could we hope to control who is vaccinated.
I was called a cynic for pointing out the humor in the absurd reasoning that says I will randomly trust total strangers to keep my child healthy, when even our own doctors often fail. But, I did not point out that my Mother always told me it was rude to grab your child and close the door to a person who was sick, and Mamma told me that to do so would probably cause you to get sick yourself. Maybe she believed in Karma. Maybe she just knew that what goes around comes around. But, my Mother believed you should be nice to sick people, not act hysterical. Maybe some mothers don't teach those ideas to their children. I'm glad mine did. I don't think it makes me cynical to try to point out that hysteria in the media is a bad idea, and unkind. Don't worry. If you do not have the patience to deal with the problems and health issues of the sick and elderly, perhaps you will be blessed with a short life and young and beautiful corpse. But, beyond that, the Media is playing right into the hands of the political entities around us. Why is no one hysterical about Aids? Aids can kill you. Measles usually doesn't. It is because of the political agenda of the media.
Now, before anyone has a meltdown, let me say I submitted to immunization laws and had my sons fully immunized, as I was immunized myself by my law-abiding, dutiful Mother. And, for those of you who are not aware, my second-born son is Autistic. He wasn't born Autistic, and from birth he would hum-sing and call out in babble from the crib... until after he was immunized, whereupon he became silent. But, I didn't get mad, and I didn't point a finger at anyone. I may have cried a few nights over the fact that I couldn't get him to say the Humpty-Dumpty nursery rhyme, lol. He just looked at me with those big brown eyes, like Humpty had a real problem, but it was not his problem. So, I moved on to the next thing I wanted to teach him lol. But, there is a big debate about the issue today. The politically correct answer of the state and CDC is that these children developing Autism all around us were "genetically predisposed" to bear out the disorder, which was triggered by the first fever they developed. But, many Scientifically supported studies disagree. There is no sure proof either way yet. Anyone saying otherwise is lying to us.
Plague Inc., By Ndemic Creations -Video Game still in the development stage
Screenshots from personal Gameplay
Plague, Inc. is a smooth playing simulation strategy game that is still in the development stages, yet it already has that full-game feel. More than that, it is highly intriguing and elicits quite a few time-sensitive questions on a relevant topic today... for everyone. Whether you are concerned about Contagion, Plagues, last-days scenarios, or bio-terrorism; Plague, Inc. is there. It doesn't take too many play-throughs to realize that not all diseases are created equal. But, the game does draw you to multiple play-throughs, as you spin out each scenario, captivated by the results of minor changes in your strategy. The game already includes a basic menu of disease types in the main-game portion. And, there are feature-rich simulations available as well, such as a Bubonic Plague scenario, Planet of the Apes type "Simian Flu," and myriads of others. The player is able to design and submit alternative scenarios as well.
The screenshot gallery above shows some of the graphs and maps from my game-play. The premise is simple enough. You create a new disease and your goal is to watch it spread around the world. Naturally, since it is a game, you can't win by simply covering continents. You must wipe out humanity for a victory. You are able to name and choose the genetic traits of your disease, as well as the symptoms and the methods of spreading the disease, whether it is something that spreads from insects, birds, by air, or sea... etc. Then, as humanity fights for a cure, you try to stop the cure before you've covered the planet.
I started with a Virus, and then a Bacteria; finishing off both rather quickly in one play-through each. Since then, I've failed to win with a Fungus after repeated tries. And, I've failed at the Bubonic Plague a couple of times. Too bad, but I did manage to turn the Earth into a 'Planet of the Apes' with my own Simian Flu on the 2nd try. The first time through, I tried to develop the rampage gene. It didn't spread far before the humans managed to develop a cure. Too aggressive! So, I slowed it down a bit, and worked on the Simian side of the coin; developing colonies of apes, and making it spread among them, while increasing their intelligence. When the Earth was covered, I added deadly symptoms to finish it off with one quarter of the ape population surviving the human drone attacks, which were colossal-scale. But, if you watch the news bits, and little popups, you see that some countries begin to execute and/or bomb whole cities of the infected, out of hysteria and fear.
I will stop there, because you get the point, and just ask you the question, who are you going to let decide what you will fear? My Mom, bless her, decided that I would be afraid of dogs, from a young age, because she ran screaming in fear with dogs chasing her. When I got old enough to realize that was her fear and didn't have to be mine, I got over it. She did too, by the way, as she aged. I was her first child. We all overcome fears. But, then again, there are some things I never feared that I learned to fear through the years. Now, I don't think too highly of our system of immunizations, nor our success rate with them. It almost looks like a method of weeding out the sickly among us, with a Darwinian "Survival of the Fittest" design. But, WHO am I to say?
What would I do today, if I had to immunize my child now? I do not know. I guess there is a reason God gives children to the young. But, wade through my side trips into the past, through the simulation in the present, on into the future tense of tomorrow. What do you believe the future holds for our world, in terms of death and disease? I will leave you with a verse from God's Word, the Bible.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:8)
Yuri's night is dark and gray, since the clouds continue to vent the rain. So, my telescope won't be trained on the skies this Yuri's Night. But, is it really Yuri's night, or my night or yours, when God Himself created all that we see, as well as our eyes right down to the retinas and rods?
He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, Yes, there is a starless section of the skydome to the North.
and hangeth the earth upon nothing. Only my old globes had a base, since the Earth's axis is imaginary.
He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; The clouds tonight are full of water.
and the cloud is not rent under them. How do those light fluffy cumulus clouds hold the water?
He holdeth back the face of his throne, Hidden in mystery... like tonight we can't see God's stars, but they remain.
and spreadeth his cloud upon it. Not even Yuri could see God, though he went looking for Him.
He hath compassed the waters with bounds, And the oceans are bound by the shores even still...
until the day and night come to an end. How much longer will that be, oh God?!
The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. Sometimes the thunder shakes heaven and Earth.
He divideth the sea with his power, And, the waves raise and fall from the force of His might.
and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. Man's proud creations are toppled beneath his waves.
By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; This same Spirit of God has decorated the skies with a mobile of stars.
his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. ...like Hydra the Snake Constellation.
Lo, these are parts of his ways: That's just half of what God has done!
but how little a portion is heard of him? How little a half we know.
but the thunder of his power who can understand? Who can understand it all?
-Job 26:7-14 (and my own thoughts added)
Yuri died by strange circumstances still surrounded in mystery, and no one even pretends that his canine predecessor sad mutnik Laika was ever given provision for a safe landing. But, when the day and night come to an end... and we cross to the other side, then we will meet the God Yuri overlooked, somewhere beyond Yuri's night.
So, we can say, Good Night God! because it is good, and it is God's night. Or, we can say, 'God night!' Or simply God Speed!
With an apple I will astonish Paris.
-Paul Cezanne (If the world could only see the Creator of the apple... how much more amazing, whether in paint or the heart of our deeds?!)
Cezanne painted still life, to study perspective. He was a visionary. His statement and his viewpoint of painting nature were astonishing, because he "majored in minors," so to speak. But, how much more amazed might the City of Light, and the world be, if they could only see the Creator of the apple... and of the Frenchman himself... and of the world?
Alexander Rios, right, and other children pick out apples during the High Desert Second Chance's weekly food giveaway on Monday in Victorville. James Quigg, Hesperia Star, California. Source: http://www.hesperiastar.com/article/20140916/News/140919835
I recently upgraded my SwordSearcher Bible software to Version 7.1. Nice! I thought it was perfect over a decade and a half ago when I first purchased it, yet they always manage to add so many more tools and features that it's worth the cost to upgrade. But, imagine... year after year time passes and every year the Word of God is being fulfilled. Each year draws us closer to the last days. The signs are everywhere. The view from here is clearer than it was when the Scriptures were written on papyrus and scrolls. The Holy Bible was the first book printed on the Gutenberg Press. And, now it is decades into digital.
Not only so, but it seems fitting that we've returned God's words to the air in which He breathed them. Cyber space is synonymous with airspace. Cyber comes from the Greek word for helmsman on a ship, meaning simply control system. In the invention of computers, man has attempted to assign hardware to each particular task the human brain performs, and have succeeded at making a small scale mock up in the large of our central nervous systems. Even though these "brain models" are less cumbersome everyday, they come nowhere close to the intricacies of function and thought of which a 5 year old child such as my nephew Timmy is capable. He received a computerized robot for Christmas that not only came with a remote control capable of numerous functions, but you can control it with your Android or Iphone. And yet, Timmy's brain is capable of an infinitesimal number of neural connections every hour, allowing him a level of functioning and a speed of thought and speech that I dare a Scientist to approach in the next thousand years with computer hardware.
So, what exactly are we improving with tech? I'm not sure about that myself. Take a person on life support for example. Life support involves computerized aspects, yet it doesn't provide life itself. They are lying if they tell you the machines are all that is alive in the patient. Only God creates life. The machines that feed a patient only support that life that already exists. If I were lost in the woods awaiting rescue and it grew dark while I hovered close to a fire for safety and warmth, I'd pray my fire burned through the night. If I saw the flames were faltering, I'd search carefully around the perimeter for more wood to throw on the fire, anything to keep it going... even the books I cherish and always seem to have at least one of on me if need be, I'd toss liberally into the coals. But, if the fire faded and I knew I only had hours left of warmth and safety, I'd never stamp out the dying flames just because I knew it was a lost cause anyways. That's the way it is with living beings. Every rescued victim of fire, drowning, torture, or near death experience that has ever been saved has died anyways... eventually. But, firemen today will climb into a burning building somewhere to pull an old man out of the flames. Why would they do that? Because it is not God's time for the old man to go.
My point being that there is great value in the one thing we started with when the doctor caught us from our Mother's womb. Every mother knows the delivery doctor doesn't do much actual delivering lol. Its the nurses who deliver. The doctor just breezes in and waits in the right spot at the last moment like a catcher with gloves on. If Mamma's lucky, the baby pops out safe and screaming. Life is the pearl of great price. Everything else just prolongs its existence. If we have this pearl of life, do you suppose there is an ultimate purpose for us being here? You don't find "accidental money" in the bank. Deposits are made purposefully. Somebody makes the deposit. Life is a "gift from God." Today God has deposited maybe 24 hours into our life account. For what do you suppose He wants us around?
You can't trust just anyone. It really matters who you're getting your advice from. You can't even depend on your own government to have your best interests at heart, even if we are living in the chief country on Earth today, where all the nations flee to in their destitution and need. America is blessed already. Perhaps we need to stop praying for God to bless America, and pray for God to save America if we value our freedom.
Let me tell you what else is valuable. Do you have a Pastor who values life? You'd see the value if you were on life support with a pastor saying it was God's will for the machines to be turned off. I pray for the soul of the "evening wolves" who stand by the sick bed and breathe those blasphemous words to the loved ones of the dying. You see, there are those who are misguided, and those who misguide. I guarantee you my Pastor would never guide someone to end a life. If you don't know where your Pastor stands on issues of life and death, then I urge you to find out. If he does not value the life God created, then he certainly can not value God's Words, in which case you don't need to hear a word he has to say. Get out. Escape now while you still can and find a Bible-believing church.
It's true that some people don't feel the need for a "person" to advise or counsel them. Some don't feel the need or desire for church at all. I suppose they have "Living wills." That may work out for them, providing more people follow their wishes after they are unconscious than when they are awake and speaking. Sure, we all have had experiences where our wishes were not carried out in day to day life. But, I want to know I have someone to speak up for me when I am speechless. After all, they say a man who is his own legal counselor in court has a fool for a client. No matter how eloquently a man writes on his own behalf, it would still be fool-scrap.
Does God condemn those who choose to end life, or those who advise such actions as abortion, euthanasia, DNR and "No-Coding" patients and starving them to death, or other such life termination procedures? They are condemned already by the Ten Commandments which read among other things, that we are not to kill. But, those words were written in the future tense, "Thou shalt not." The same Bible that teaches the Ten Commandments gives us Jesus' command to the woman caught in adultery to "Go and sin no more." We read that all have sinned and that Jesus died for our forgiveness of those sins. He came to Earth as a Counselor, or mediator between God and man. If you've resorted to any of these desperate measures then, as with all sin and human failure, repent and accept God's Spirit into your heart and life. The Bible also teaches that one day Jesus will return for those who accept Him. Luke 21:25-28 speaks of the signs of the coming of Christ. Remember, it will no longer be called prophecy when it has come to pass already. Yes, the signs are everywhere, and they're still talking. So let me resume silence.
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