You provide a valuable service, and I wanted to express my gratitude for getting to be part of it.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Viral and veracity are very different words.

This post by Roger Carlton, columnist for the Graham Star newspaper in Robbinsville, GA. 

Don't get your dander up. This column is about the Roe in Roe v. Wade who recently passed away. 

The column does not take a position on the issue. That is for each of us to decide and for the courts to resolve in a civilized society that believes in the Rule of Law. What this column is about is the manner in which advocacy groups use and abuse the power of traditional and social media to make their case. 

Jane Roe's real name was Norma McCorvey. She was an abused child who spent years in a Texas reform school.  Her first child was born out of wedlock and raised upon court order by her mother. She wanted to terminate her second pregnancy. Rather than go to an abortion mill, she told her doctor that she had been raped in an attempt to have an abortion in Texas where the procedure was illegal. She was denied.

Two young lawyers, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, took up her cause. They chose her to make the test case because she could not afford to travel to a state where the procedure was legal and because of her very difficult and sympathetic personal history. The Wade in Roe v. Wade was Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade. 

Norma signed the affidavit to file the case in March 1970 more than 50 years ago. The U.S. Supreme Court found in her favor in 1973 which was long after the baby was born and given up for adoption. So the plaintiff in this case never had the abortion she sought.

Many years later, Norma McCorvey went public in a giant media splash and said that she no longer believed that a woman should have the right to choose. She became the poster child for the Reverend Randall Terry and his Operation Rescue. She was their Oscar winning spokesperson. Norma knew she was being used and was a willing player because she was paid $456,911 as documented in IRS required annual reports for non-profits. These payments are called benevolence gifts.

The pro-choice movement was devastated. They had largely deserted Norma after the case was resolved because she wasn't pretty enough, said what she thought sometimes profanely and had a sordid reputation. Actresses and other spokespeople just played better in the court of public opinion and in the eyes of the media. Norma really resented this.

No story is over till its over. Nearing death, Norma recanted. She said that her change of mind was not what she truly believed. She said "Sometimes women just make mistakes." The media splash this time was not nearly as great, most likely due to the focus on Covid 19 and embarrassment over being duped.  She really believed that reversing Roe v. Wade would cause unthinkable chaos. That conclusion will become clearer as the many state Supreme Court cases are joined and wend their way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

What to do when other people aren’t social distancing

I found this article on WebMD helpful. I realized I took it personally when others ignored social distancing and wearing of masks in public. It made me angry! I wanted to say to them, “How can you be so stupid? Don’t you know that if you ignore these simple guidelines, you can be spreading this virus instead of helping to control it?”
It took lots of time and thinking to realize I can’t control all those people who will not practice the medical advice given to us by the top research people in the world. I don’t understand them, but I cannot control what they do.

I can control what I do.
I will avoid public places as much as possible. I will seek only businesses that offer me safety. That includes doctors and medical offices. I will ask before I go about the measures taken to follow CDC guidelines. I will not gather with other people that I am not sure are safe for me. No public gatherings of strangers at all. Who knows if there is that one person who will infect everyone present? And, who knows if I get it, will I live through it? I am in the high risk category. I will ask anyone who enters my house to wear a mask. I will stay six feet away from others even family members who come to visit.

My brother, Max, who was on a ventilator for days and almost died, will tell you, it is a terrible illness to endure. Being unable to breathe is awful. I watched my aunt die years ago. She begged for help because she could not breathe. All I could do was hold her hand. I don’t want to be in that position. I don't think anyone wants to face that.

Control What You Can says SETH J. GILLIHAN, PHD Clinical psychologist
Trying to make others do what you want is unlikely to work and usually only leads to frustration. Ultimately you can only control yourself. You can’t force your fellow pedestrians to give a wide berth on sidewalks and trails, for example, but you can take measures to stay as far from them as possible. You might need to limit your exposure to public spaces to the least busy times of day, or avoid narrow trails that make distancing difficult.
Remind yourself of the value of accepting the limits of what you can control. This requires a deep level of acceptance, which doesn’t mean resignation. You can care about this issue a great deal, even as you acknowledge that your control is limited.

My readers know, ACCEPTANCE is my word for 2020. Accepting this cavalier attitude by others who could easily kill me is very difficult for me, but I am doing my best. 
Gay and Stu Moring, great family, wonderful hosts, kind and caring
I am finding things to enjoy like a week with my sister and brother-in-aw who are also self-isolating; Growing my deck garden and enjoying the woodpeckers and hummers who come to my feeders; Finding ways to eat foods I like but can’t get now from restaurants; Having my hair cut by my sister who did a good job, I think. 

One of my joys is my little Lexie. Such unconditional love! 
I am also working on genealogy which I enjoy, especially researching a deceased member of my family and discovering such an interesting life. I ordered a book by one of his family and was delighted to find a newspaper clipping inserted in what was evidently a used book. The article was about the subject of the memoir.
So, life goes on and can be fun and interesting while avoiding people as much as possible. I hope your days are filled with interesting things to do and see. We might not be back to normal for a long time, but we can make our new normal what we want it to be and still protect ourselves.

Stay safe and well, my dear friends.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Live Long and Prosper...The New U.S. Space Force

Welcome our guest today, Roger Carlton, columnist for the Graham Star
Newspaper in Robbinsville, NC.

This columnist has great respect for the military. Our son-in-law is a graduate of West Point and served with honor in Iraq. I considered both Roy Bahr and Mel Greene to be friends. They served in the military and supported veterans till they both recently passed on. In balance, there have been many military mistakes and successes over the years. Our country remains free due to the military's heroic actions. In fact, our right to dissent has been protected by the military and that is very important.

This past week, the White House took great pride in announcing that a new branch of the military had been established. The U.S. Space Force now joins the Air force, Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Just what we need in a time of multi-trillion dollar deficits, the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression and a country torn apart in the debate between scientific management of the coronavirus pandemic and the politics of pre-election economic ruin. 

To go back in history, when President Kennedy gave his inaugural speech, he boldly went were no president had gone before by committing that we would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. This was a response to the threat of the Russians who had gained an early lead in the space race. Sadly, President Kennedy did not live to see the delivery of his promise by the civilian National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) when we landed on the moon in 1969. 

The great debate that was settled by President Johnson and Congress was that the military would provide the astronauts and the civilian NASA would provide the technology and governance of the program. This was a partnership and not a competition. Space would be shared by all humanity as would the next 50 years of technological wonders. This has worked even to the point that Russia launches missions to the International Space Station from their Bakonur facility because we gave up the Shuttle program. The astronauts come from different countries and live together in outer space.

The Space Force tosses that successful history into a Star Trek warp speed black hole. The insignia is remindful of a combination Nike swoosh and Star Trek uniform patch. There are many questions to be raised about scientific research for all humanity versus military dominance. Budgets come to mind as does the need for efficiency and enhancing cooperation among the military branches. If there is a need for this new branch, certainly no case has been made to the American public by our political or military leaders. More specifically, are we sending a signal to the world that we are weaponizing the space program?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Karen Paul Holmes on video

I am sharing this video of Karen Paul Holmes reading poetry from her most recent book. I have watched it several times and I hope you like it.

I found this reading comforting to me at this time, but there is no mention of COVID 19. The book was written before we ever heard of this deadly virus
I like Karen's voice and she is such a lovely person inside and out. 

"Karen Paul Holmes lifts up the extraordinary found in the everyday. Here are poems that brim with finely-crafted detail, anchored to place while at the same time embracing change and impermanence." -- Poet Nancy Chen Long