Monday Morning Reads: Government by the Superstition instead of Acts of FaithPosted: July 20, 2020
Good Day Sky Dancers!
The weirdest thing on the internet for me today was to find out that my Governor follows me on Twitter when I just had to sound off at him.
Oh, and I decided to use some art on spiritual leaders giving teachings just in keeping with every thing that tics me off today. Also,I included a quote that I find relevant just to show that I don’t hate individuals practicing their belief system in some nice quiet room or gathering of choice.. In fact, I find unity in that all teach some form of acting, speaking, and thinking Compassionately.
This first is from Nagarjuna who is widely considered one of the most important Buddhist philosophers after Gautama Buddha. He’s considered a second Buddha.
In an interview on Friday with talk-radio host Marc Cox on KFTK (97.1 FM), Parson indicated both certainty and acceptance that the coronavirus will spread among children when they return to school this fall. The virus has killed 1,130 people in the state despite a weekslong stay-at-home order in the spring that helped slow the virus’ spread — and the state set a record on Saturday with 958 new cases.
In the same 10-minute interview, Parson said that if it came to it, he would probably pardon the Central West End couple who pointed guns at protesters marching past their home on a private street on June 28.
Parson’s comment on the coronavirus signaled that the decision to send all children back to school would be justified even in a scenario in which all of them became infected with the coronavirus.
St. Louis-area schools are expected to release their reopening plans on Monday.
“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson told Cox. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”
So, I spent three evenings over the weekend listening to His Holiness the Dali Lama give a speech on the middle path broadcast on Facebook so it’s not like I’m completely devoid of the ability to pray, follow some form of belief, or be influenced by a moral structure. It’s just I would never be all pious out in front of the public as a public servant. I certainly wouldn’t lead a state and suggest three days of fasting and prayer in times that call for action.
Oh, and just as a side note, HHDL thought the camera and broad cast was off and starting saying the leader of the United States could use a few of Nagarjuna’s teachings on how to be compassionate and empathetic and was hushed by one of his attendant Lamas. He immediately switched to “some world leaders” but he inkled the first bit loud enough that he seriously slammed Trump for being unable to feel any kind of higher feelings to fellow human beings. That made my Saturday night.
It’s the small things in life that matter in these wretched times.
Axios has a rather strong heading today in its Health Science section: “We blew it.” Governors and the Federal government in the majority of states have led us into a plague state.
America spent the spring building a bridge to August, spending trillions and shutting down major parts of society. The expanse was to be a bent coronavirus curve, and the other side some semblance of normal, where kids would go to school and their parents to work.
The bottom line: We blew it, building a pier instead.
There will be books written about America’s lost five months of 2020, but here’s what we know:
We blew testing. President Trump regularly brags and complains about the number of COVID-19 tests conducted in the U.S., but America hasn’t built the infrastructure necessary to process and trace the results.
- Quest Diagnostics says its average turnaround time for a COVID-19 test has lengthened to “seven or more days” — thus decreasing the chance that asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic carriers will self-quarantine.
- The testing delays also make it harder for public health officials to understand current conditions, let alone implement effective contact tracing.
- Speaking of contact tracing, it remains a haphazard and uncoordinated process in many parts of the country.
We blew schools. Congress allocated $150 billion for state and local governments as part of the CARES Act, but that was aimed at maintainingstatus quoservices in the face of plummeting tax revenue.
There was no money earmarked for schools to buy new safety equipment, nor to hire additional teachers who might be needed to staff smaller class sizes and hybrid learning days.
- U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was not among the 27 officials included in the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and rarely appeared at Task Force press conferences.
- The administration insists that schools should reopen this fall because kids are less likely to get very sick from the virus, but it has not yet offered detailed plans to protect older teachers, at-risk family members, or students with pre-existing respiratory or immune conditions.
- Silicon Valley provided some free services to schools, but there was no coordinated effort to create a streamlined virtual learning platform. There also continue to be millions of schoolkids without access to broadband and/or Internet-connected devices.
We blew economics. The CARES Act was bold and bipartisan, a massive stimulus to meet the moment.
- It’s running out, without an extension plan not yet in place.
- Expanded unemployment benefits expire in days. Many small businesses have already exhausted their Paycheck Protection Program loans, including some that reopened but have been forced to close again.
- There has been no national effort to pause residential or commercial evictions, nor to give landlords breathing room on their mortgage payments.
We blew public health. There’s obviously a lot here, but just stick with face masks. Had we all been directed to wear them in March — and done so, even makeshift ones while manufacturing ramped up — you might not be reading this post.
The Health Section of WAPO delves into the how the US response to the Pandemic has shocked the world. Failure will define us for some time.
Six months after the coronavirus appeared in America, the nation has failed spectacularly to contain it. The country’s ineffective response has shocked observers around the planet.
Many countries have rigorously driven infection rates nearly to zero. In the United States, coronavirus transmission is out of control. The national response is fragmented, shot through with political rancor and culture-war divisiveness. Testing shortcomings that revealed themselves in March have become acute in July, with week-long
The United States may be heading toward a new spasm of wrenching economic shutdowns or to another massive spike in preventable deaths from covid-19 — or both.
How the world’s richest country got into this dismal situation is a complicated tale that exposes the flaws and fissures in a nation long proud of its ability to meet cataclysmic challenges.
In other words, we’re in for a long period of suffering on all levels for some time which probably means most of us will have the time and the desire to seek some meaning of things beyond the reality outside our door. This is when friends and family as well our local community become more relevant than ever.
I’ve not been amazed–but have been very thankful–for the spirit of neighbors and neighborhoods here in New Orleans. We not only have little libraries now. We have little food pantries. We have facebook pages and twitter feeds asking who needs help and where to get it. We have folks doing local food gardens and openly advertising community tables where every one drops off what they have to share. At this basis of all of this, we have our community.
Yesterday, the call went out from a nurse for plasma donations. Our hospitals have run low to out on them. We must think globally and act locally more than ever. Folks can rely on their own faith as my Governor John Bel Edwards seems to drive home. But also, the works part is the most necessary which is quite stressed in the teachings of his own Catholicism. Humanity and compassion do not spring from external beings but from within all of us.
No one exemplified this more than the late Congressman Lewis. I’m seeing this in the many of the folks he mentored. As I’ve said about him frequently. he didn’t just pass a torch forward. He used his to light millions of them.
The Mayor of Atlanta and her ability to do what’s best in governing her city is under attack by the Governor of Georgia. Georgia Governor Kemp has made direct attacks on her via new York Magazine and Matt Steib. “Governor Kemp Attacks Atlanta Mayor As Georgia Outbreak Worsens.”
On Thursday Kemp filed a lawsuit that aims to overturn Bottoms’s recent order requiring masks in public — itself a rebuke of the governor’s ban on cities and counties ordering face coverings in public. Now Bottoms says Kemp’s move was “personal retaliation,” noting that the governor “did not sue the city of Atlanta, he filed suit against myself and our City Council personally.” While Kemp has claimed the sole authority for issuing rules to halt the spread of the coronavirus, Bottoms has asserted that she is following the recommendations of public-health officials, including a July 14 report from from the White House coronavirus task force, which advised Georgia to “mandate statewide wearing of cloth face coverings outside the home.”
The two had sparred earlier this month over Bottoms’s order for Atlanta to return to the first phase of its reopening plan, which Kemp called “merely guidance.” But the lawsuit regarding masks escalated the conflict, as the governor requested that a state superior-court judge stop Bottoms from issuing any public-health mandates “more or less restrictive than Governor Kemp’s executive orders” and ban her from any media appearances related to the matter.
The old cliché about finding out the true character of some one during a crisis still holds. And, so we come down to this (via Wapo as reported by Marissa J Lang): “A Navy vet asked federal officers in Portland to remember their oaths. Then they broke his hand.”
He came to the protest with a question. He left with two broken bones in a confrontation with federal officers that went viral.
Christopher David had watched in horror as videos surfaced of federal officers in camouflage throwing protesters into unmarked vans in Portland. The 53-year-old Portland resident had heard the stories: protesters injured, gassed, sprayed with chemicals that tugged at their nostrils and burned their eyes.
David, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and former member of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps, said he wanted to know what the officers involved thought of the oath they had sworn to protect and defend the Constitution.
So, he said, on Saturday evening, he headed to downtown Portland to ask them.
That night’s protests outside the federal courthouse — the 51st day of ongoing demonstrations — began with a line of local moms linking arms and demanding the federal agents stop targeting Portland kids. David, who had never attended a protest before, hung back and watched.
He was trying to keep his distance, he said, as a host of health problems have made him especially vulnerable amid a still-raging coronavirus pandemic. He asked one woman when the feds would show up, but she said it was also her first protest since the Department of Homeland Security deployed tactical units from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to bolster protections for federal buildings and officers in the Pacific Northwest city.
Just as he was about to leave, David said, the federal officers emerged. They rushed a line of protesters nearby, knocking them to the ground. David walked toward a gap in the line, calling out to the officers.
“Why are you not honoring your oath?” he bellowed. “Why are you not honoring your oath to the Constitution?”
So, the one thing I can say about the accomplishments of the Trumpist regime is that he has managed to tear down the rule of law, he has broken the explicit social contracts between our government and we the people, and he has spread divisiveness through hateful racism, misogyny, and bigotry of sexual preferences, gender identification, ethnic background and religion.
We are a resourceful people and many of us do have deeply held spiritual beliefs based on compassion. I am respectful that the image of Mohammed is not something to display. But, this is from HuffPo and I will share these teachings on compassion
“A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being.” – (Mishkat al-Masabih)
“I never saw anyone who was more compassionate towards children than Allah’s Messenger (pbuh).” (Sahih Muslim)
“Every Muslim has to give in charity.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
“Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.” (Prophet Muhammad’s Rules of War)
The problem seems to be in the application of all these teachings I find through various traditions of various religions and beliefs. It’s hard to find one where a main teacher does not teach–as a central tenant– compassion. It’s just really hard to find the followers that enact it.
So, I leave you on hopefully higher ground. I’m working on creating my own little library, little pantry, and community table as something always available other than something I’ve done when I’ve had the opportunity. I still am daily a neighbor among neighbors.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today? Check in and let us know how you are! We care!