An ER Nurse During the Covid 19 Lockdown

Here’s a sobering story my writer friend Crista shared with me yesterday. Read the real life experience of an ER nurse and the protocols she must  follow to stay safe and sane during this pandemic. Her particular trauma will give you a glimpse into what healthcare workers face if they work in a respiratory practice or are assigned to respiratory units during this Covid 19 virus.

By – One Vaxxed Nurse

Tonight is the last night that I’ll hug my kids goodnight or kiss my husband until god knows when.

Community spread is now confirmed in my area and being an ER nurse means that the odds of being exposed over and over again are now a 100% guarantee. So I just wanted to talk to everyone stuck at home with your family, bored out of your mind and itching to get out. A little perspective is sometimes all you need to feel grateful for the things you have that others don’t.

Starting with my shift tomorrow, I’ll come home from work through my laundry room door that leads to the outside. I’ll strip naked including shoes and put everything straight into the washing machine on sanitize mode. Ill use a Clorox wipe to clean anything I touched in the process. I’ll then take the towel that my husband has left for me and use it to walk to my master bedroom covered up. In there, a room that nobody else is allowed to enter after today, I’ll shower on hot. After my shower I’ll sanitize everything I touched again, then hand sanitize and get dressed.

When I’m done with this process I’ll be able to sit in the family room 6 feet away from everyone I love, but not touch anyone- I’ll know I’ve been exposed. I’ll have been using the same single disposable face mask for minimum of an entire shift and I can’t be sure that the moisture from my breath didn’t render the mask ineffective. So I must treat myself as though I have it and am contagious.

I’ll get to talk to my husband and kids from a safe distance, but I won’t get to touch anyone I love. I’m not a hugger, but I anticipate that the next few weeks are likely to bring days where I could really use a hug. I won’t be able to have one. It’s the only way I can protect them.

If I’m hungry I’ll have someone fix me something on disposable dinnerware so that the worry of improperly sterilizing my utensils isn’t an issue. I’ll probably-scratch that, definitely- have wine out of a red solo cup as I answer a barrage of questions from my kids and try to ignore the look on my husbands face. I’ll probably have to assure my youngest for the millionth time, that mommy will stay safe. When that’s done, I’ll give the kids air hugs and wish them goodnight. When the kids go to bed I’ll be able to unload a little less censured to my husband- but the truth is, depending how bad it gets, I’ll probably lie a little. When exhaustion hits I’ll go to bed…..alone. In a room that nobody else can enter.

This will be my life, every day. Even my days off (until those are no more) because I could be contagious before showing symptoms. So until this thing is gone, my reality will look a lot different. I’ll probably hug my co-workers because they are just as dirty as me, but at a time of heaviness, I won’t be able to receive the human touch of love from the people who love me most. For weeks, for months, who knows- that part is in the hands of the American public.

So my ask of you is this, as you sit at home with your children on your laps snuggled up watching a movie- please end this thing quickly by not going out unless absolutely necessary. My arms stay empty every day that you don’t. I go to bed alone every day that community spread is still a thing. Stay home. Hug your children, sleep with your spouse, eat on porcelain plates, sip wine from a long stemmed glass and give thanks for the things that you can still do that some of us can’t. I’m doing my part. Please do yours.

Pandemic Saga

This is an unusual topic to write in a blog post! But, this virus doesn’t care what race or political identity we are. In this day and age we’re all subject to the same germ, the same confusion and alarm because we have a potential death threat over our loved ones and our livelihood that needs to be met with clear thinking!

Some of us know how life works, we are planners. We know from history or from relatives about historic plagues in the past decimating cultures for a time. But some don’t, this is their first experience with real mass danger. And, we all hope to God this threat passes over fast.

This is a time where we find out life isn’t about our own bubble worlds. We’ll be forced to cope as never before, and reflect on the fragility of life, what’s important to us. There’s a shaking going on.

Who knows how bad this epidemic will get? Our government has made strong measures to flatten the curve in the U.S., trying to avoid the mistakes made in Iran, Italy.We’re teaching people how to self care. Lot of us are thinking of life down the road, when this pandemic is over. There’s our jobs, families, and an election coming up.

They say this virus outbreak will get worse before it gets better, and that’s hard to comprehend, as I’m pretty okay now. But, I don’t want my loved ones getting Covid 19. I personally don’t want to come down with it, but I’m not running around scared! I use health precautions wherever I am, and take along wipes or sanitizer. I’m trying to keep my immune system strong. I’m only as physically strong as my immune system is healthy, unless I’m in total isolation from people.

It’s so crazy how some are treating a serious disease as a time to obsess about food and silly things! Yes, fear of starving is an instinctive fear in humans, but it’s not like there’s a famine. What may likely be a problem is that people will need something, or get ill and they will be too afraid to tell anyone, or the stores sold out because their neighbor bought so much. They may feel desperate re: work, the future and they will hesitate to reach out. People on the fringes (elderly, drug dependent, homeless), will be in a very precarious situation at this time.

Don’t listen to negative people at this time, the complainers …. no matter what! They blame Trump, the government for this virus coming to our shores. They want him to be like a god and know it all. It’s all about ‘someone outside controlling their strings’, so their nerves calm down.   Also, don’t listen to the deniers, those who aren’t being careful. They could be a risky friend.

Don’t be like that NBA center who touched every interviewing surface after a game, scoffing how he wasn’t afraid of getting the virus but came down with it anyway. Listen to the right sources and check inside what is the right approach in this!

I’ve often thought of how politics, life seem to explode during the holy days of Lent/Passover/Easter! You may laugh, but it’s odd how this pandemic is striking terror in our world at this time. I’m reminded of how the angel of death avoided the homes of those who put blood on their door post.

Some will come thru this fine, some won’t, some will be changed forever. We can’t see into the future, but God can –

  Psalm 91

Psychiatrist Ablow on Trump

Anyone remember Psychiatrists?

It astounds me that people nowadays don’t honor the field of psychiatry like they used to. We used to have robust discussions in magazines, PBS talk shows re: different medical fields as they related to our culture and personalities in the news. Now politics has seemingly swallowed up the fun of our national intellectual curiosity, our true understanding of human nature!

Anyway, here’s an informative, objective commentary on our President –

A Psychiatrist’s Analysis of Donald Trump...  Dr. Keith Ablow –  (2017)

“Let me issue the standard disclaimer of psychiatrists who discuss the mental health of public figures: I have not personally examined President Trump. Now, let me put to rest the concerns of those who publicly or privately have questioned the President’s sanity: Donald Trump is stone cold sane.

-When a man acquires billions of dollars through complex real estate transactions, invests in many countries, goes on to phenomenal success in television and turns his name into a worldwide brand, it is very unlikely that he is mentally unstable.

-When the same man obviously enjoys the love and respect of his children and his wife, who seem to rely on him for support and guidance, it is extraordinarily unlikely that he is mentally unstable.

-When the same man walks into the political arena and deftly defeats 16 Republican opponents and then the Democrat’s ‘heir-apparent’ to a two-term President’s administration, the odds of that man being mentally unstable become vanishingly thin.

-And when that very same man attracts to his team the kind of intellect and gravitas represented (to name just a few) by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general and commander of the U.S. Central Command, he cannot be mentally deranged. Period. It is a statistical impossibility.

-Those who assert otherwise are political opportunists, or fools, or both (and I am thinking here, in particular, of Sen. Franken).

-President Trump is the first human being to win this nation’s highest office without having held any other political office or serving as a general. Most political pundits thought his quest was pure folly.

-Most journalists assessed his chances as zero. So who was laboring under quasi-delusional thinking ? Answer: Not Donald J. Trump.

-Anecdotally, by the way, I have never had one bad Trump experience. Not one. I own several of his ties — all of them of the highest quality. I have stayed in his hotels and never had a single complaint (and I am a born complainer). I have eaten in his New York restaurant — flawless service, excellent food. I own an apartment at Trump Place in Manhattan. Impeccable design, sturdy construction, fabulous amenities. A mentally unstable man would be unlikely to deliver superior products across multiple industries, don’t you think?

-If you’re still worried about the mental stability of the President, note this: The stock market doesn’t like instability. Investors, en masse, can take the measure of a man pretty darn well. The stock market has hit record high after record high since Trump’s election, and if you think that’s an accident, or that investors have all been fooled, it’s time to start wondering about your own capacity for rational thought.

-I should note that nothing I am saying should besmirch the reputations of men like President Abraham Lincoln or Sir Winston Churchill, both of whom are said to have fought the ravages of major depression or bipolar disorder. One was instrumental in ridding America of slavery. The other was instrumental in saving the world from tyranny.

-Mahatma Gandhi, by the way, also reportedly suffered from depression. Psychiatric illness does not, a priori, disqualify a person from rendering extraordinary service to mankind.

-Mind you, neither Lincoln nor Churchill nor Gandhi led a nation after becoming a business sensation and television star. That trifecta defines one man : President Donald J. Trump.

-Now, think about those who are rabble-rousing about the President’s mental status. Take Sen. Al Franken. He’s all worried about the President allegedly overestimating the crowd size at his inauguration. But Franken is allied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who asserted she is Native American, when there is no evidence of that whatsoever. And they’re calling Trump’s sanity into question ? Really, you can’t make up this stuff.

Dr. Keith Ablow, Psychiatrist/Author

 

Changes in CA Voting, Be Aware!

I’m sure you’ve noticed the new voting pamphlets in your mailbox! I took a few minutes to read them, then researched online for more support – (NOTE: Not all counties in CA will be using the new system, but Los Angeles, Orange are among the few counties that will be initiating the changes.)

It’s very strange to have all these changes at once! I was not aware these changes had passed the Assembly. They’ve tried to educate residents by putting up billboards, etc but I don’t read them! A simple mailing would have been more effective, I believe!

The most critical issue right off the bat is that our Presidential Primary has been moved up to a Super Tuesday date, March 3, 2020!  There won’t be a Presidential Primary vote in June!

The pamphlets are self explanatory, the only thing I think is an improvement is the font/layout of the sample ballot itself. Then, you’ll likely noticed that the local precincts have been done away with! We now have voting centers, instead of local precincts. In Los Angeles county there were 5,000 local precincts, but they are gone and replaced with 1,000 ‘voting centers’. There’s an extra booklet in your mail that gives locations for those centers.

Other entirely new voting features will be the interactive voting machines used to cast votes. Also noteworthy,  the candidates who used to be at the end of your ballot are now first, so we vote for President at the end of the list of candidates! Some people have complained that the interactive machines are set up so not all names are bunched together. So in some cases you have to go to another page to see the entire list of candidates for any particular position. NOTE: From an article I circulated on Twitter, I discovered that paper ballots will be available if a voter requests one. We will continue to get a paper receipt after voting.

Roughly 50% of L.A. voters use mail-in ballots. “Mail in” ballots will still be in use. You can find a mail-in request at the back of your Official Sample Ballot, or call the voters hot line no later than Tues, February 25th. After you vote, mail the ballot back in or drop them off at a voting center near your home/work.  If mailed, they need to be postmarked no later than March 3rd.

Another change to note is that in many cases the voting centers will be open for ’10’ days before Election Day. Also, one may ‘register to vote‘ at any voter center, up to and on, Election Day. They will have to verify you at Voting Headqtrs. before they give you a ballot on Voting Day, so be prepared to wait.

Los Angeles has 10,000 million residents, 5 million of those are registered to vote, so this is a huge change for such a large population! They say they hope the changes bring more people to the polls, but I think the new machines will be a challenge for many older, diehards.

                   Vote: Tuesday, March, 3rd

With all the changes and the word about voter fraud, some people will want to ‘track their vote’! Both mail in and voting place ballots can be tracked at :

                                             voterstatus.sos.ca.gov   or    vote.ca.gov

The State has 60 days in which to respond to you re: your ballot status.

For questions like finding a polling place, checking status:     Voter Hotline   800) 345-8683

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

U.S. Census – Reminder!

The official U.S. Census takes place April 1, 2020. We will get a reminder in the mail mid-March and follow ups after the April 1, official census taking. Census can be done online.

                                   Official U.S. Census :  April 1, 2020.

 

CWT Magazine Article – by D De Han

I love blogging. Below is an article I wrote on blogging for CWT Online Magazine two years ago –

Blogging for Social Justice

Like many writers, I tried my hand at different writing genres, including song lyrics and a screenplay. Plus, I’ve journaled for years. My writing focus changed abruptly when my son was murdered three years ago.
I automatically began blogging as a way to deal with grief, and also share my quest for justice in my son’s case. My blog was my companion as I sought clarity after I befriended the defendants when the case ended. Blogging has not only been a way to see justice for my son, but also to make a connection with my “real” self and with others.
God gives us a personal identity at birth that no one can imitate, so I didn’t need to imitate or fear anyone else. If you’re being your real self, others will see it. A real godly person writes to share a common perspective on life that reverberates with others. Relating your topic to your real life is more interesting than manufacturing sentiment, making up fantasy, or using a rant to make your point.
When my son was murdered, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. I wanted to seek justice for him, but I had to be real to myself and to God in my writing. These are some of the things that helped me keep my focus.

Journal for Release

If you haven’t found your voice, sometimes journaling can release a side of you that you didn’t know was there. All of us have hang-ups or doubts of some sort. The great thing about a journal is that you can say anything and no one will read it. Whatever awkward, upsetting or trite thing you could write about in your journal will never be seen by a soul and no one will judge you. You can share the deep things that move you that you might not share with others. Or the things that anger or scare you that you are afraid to admit to yourself out loud.
Journaling helps release hang-ups, even bad writing habits. It’s a tool for evaluating yourself so you feel more confident in developing your writing.

Write Your Deepest Beliefs

Never be afraid to write your real heart on a matter. That’s how I usually start a blog post. I write down my inner voice, then I go back and add a quote or example or I see I need to delete something. It’s exhilarating for me to write my heart out. At least I am good to my conscience and can sleep at night.
Use discretion when you write like this, but don’t fear the risk you are taking. I’ve written about things I felt might be misconstrued, but in the long run I’m glad I risked writing it. Many times people would write me saying they have a similar reaction, so my fears were unfounded.
If you don’t share it may mean you don’t care. You’d be surprised at the breadth of knowledge and concern many godly people have, and how welcome they’d be by you revealing their thoughts. You don’t need to play it safe all the time. God likes it when his kids take risks at times.

Pursue Hot Topics

Our media is full of chatter on various issues. I believe people are hungering for understanding about hot topics. They want clarity. But they want writing that is informed and insightful. You may have genuinely constructive things to say about a vital subject in life. You may have a suggestion on how to deal with an economic or environmental issue that never occurred to anyone. You may have a good answer for human relations in some area. But if you fear you don’t know enough or people won’t listen, your desire to see others live a more vital life will be lost.
I don’t let bad reporting on a hot topic I care about get past me. It’s one of my pet peeves, I guess. If I read or watch a story that ministers to me or aggravates me in some way, I know others notice it as well. I jot down my “take” on the issue, until I can assess if it will make a good blog post. This method keeps me feeling involved with life. There’s nothing worse than feeling riled over the political or other realms and feeling you’re helpless to bring change.
God speaks in our spirit all the time, showing us his ideas on family or world issues. An old writer’s axiom says, “A good writer doesn’t remember, he writes it down.” So,  write your hot topic thoughts. You may be surprised at how much it helps you think about the issue and seek prayerful solutions, and this could lead to a great article or book.

Seek Wisdom from Other Writers

I compare and contrast my writing on any topic with what others are saying about it. I don’t want to be repetitious or bore my readers. I especially don’t want to be too self involved, that I’m no good to others. I want the instincts of other good writers to rub off on me. I value their experiences and views.
When I wrote on the topic of grief, I shared my heart. But I listened to and read about the experiences of others.
When it came to murder, it was the same. I asked questions and did research.  I dug deep to share at times, and it encouraged me to see how others handled such a hard subject with grace and grit.

Write for the Future

How does your topic relate to the lives of people in the future? As godly writers, we need to think about that. Say why your topic is important in the long run. Explain why it’s a common issue that others deal with. Centering your piece on a person, your personal passions or difficulties can be a good way to start an article, but you always want to consider the larger scheme of things. Writing with God’s purpose in mind we need to understand that even commonplace topics have eternal significance.
Write without fear or condemnation, in your first draft. Always be alert for those who write and confirm something inside you, or convict you to change or look at writing in a fresh way.
The murder of my son changed my perspective on my life and my writing. I started sharing my authentic self about all the important issues we face. His murder may have ignited my writing, but now I seek love and justice on a greater scale.
* Note – Diane De Han is a blogger at MarcsJustice.com. She’s currently writing a book based on her blog entries which share how God carried her through the murder of her son, and how she befriended the defendants. Diane is a CNN Documentary candidate.

Raising an Adult: By Stanford Freshman Dean

On Twitter it’s fairly obvious some youth are good academically but have little understanding of life. People joke about them cause they get hurt for things they shouldn’t, obsess over certain causes, or expect things that just aren’t going to happen unless you work for it. In all my years as a Director/Teacher, and reflecting on what worked with my 2 sons, I’ve been glad for articles/books like this below..

In “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, a former Freshman Dean at Stanford shares how to raise successful adults. Success occurs as a culmination of emotional, problem-solving, and intellectual skills that are largely learned during childhood.

*   *   *   *   *   *.

With my students little while back –

A writer/parent wrote  …. “This week, I sat in an auditorium with a couple hundred other parents at my daughter’s high school to hear what author and former freshman dean of Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims, had to say about an epidemic of “over parenting” and the ways that this trend is influencing an entire generation of kids.  Lythcott-Haims has experienced the problem first hand as a college administrator and has written the book, How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, to document her experience and help parents reprioritize and refocus.

I found this presentation to be incredibly insightful and I’m excited to share what I learned (it can really be boiled down to two main things which are mentioned at the end).   But before I dive into the recap, a little background…

As Julie served as the Dean of Freshman at Stanford, she and her colleagues were astounded as the academic caliber seemed to increase dramatically from one freshman class to the next.  “Every batch of freshman is more accomplished than the last” She explained. ” Somehow their median GPA is a little higher, their SAT score is a little higher,  they’ve done more AP’s than ever… they’ve got stories and novels and… Who are these people?” But she also found that their academic success is not the only thing that distinguishes them from previous generations.

She explained that, overall, this generation seems to lack the executive function necessary to make it on their own.  Many students don’t make eye contact, don’t interact with teachers, and when they’re lost or needed help, they text their mom before advocating for themselves. Julie believes that this is directly correlated with another new development: The behavior of parents. Never in Stanford’s history have so many freshman parents called in to discuss things like:  their student’s roommate situations, teacher complications, opportunities for their student to perform research at the college, and even to discuss their child’s grades.  Now remember, this isn’t 3rd grade, or 8th grade, or even senior year of high school that she’s talking about.  This is COLLEGE and it’s STANFORD UNIVERSITY for crying out loud.  Could there possibly be a correlation between these over-parenters and their kids who seem to be floundering in the basic skills of life? Julie is certain of it.

THE PROBLEM:

The problem, Lythcott-Haims asserts, is  “helicopter parenting.”  It’s defined by a parent’s will to “engineer” a particular outcome in their child.  Julie likens it to the process of sculpting a bonsai tree. If you manicure it the right way (make it take certain classes, ace the right tests, and master the most-impressive pastimes), it will become exactly what colleges want to see. I think that most well-intending parents are guilty of a little helicopter parenting from time to time.  As I listened to her various examples and quite hysterical true stories that represent this parenting style, I found myself running through my own habits, trying to determine whether I fall into this category.

She mentioned some of her peers that won’t let their 12-year-old attend an age-appropriate movie with a group of friends (without an adult).  She talked about the parent that finishes their kid’s school assignment because it might not be worthy of an A on its own.  Or the parent who insists that their child FIND THEIR PASSION and then… “Take it off the shelf and show it to the college people.”  She talked about the concierge parents who insist on making little Trevor’s life as comfortable as possible so that he can excel in those areas that really matter… the stuff that shows up on the transcript.  But something is continually overlooked by these helicopter moms and dads.  It’s not just the grades that matter.  It’s not just the extra-curriculars.  What studies indicate time and time again is that executive function comes from something more.  We’ve got to take a step back from this “checklist” approach to parenting and start looking at the “raising” of our kids with the big picture in mind.

THE CONSEQUENCES: 

This push toward a sort of superhuman teen is imposing big consequences.  Lythcott-Haims presented recent studies which indicate that college students are more depressed, anxious, and hopeless than ever before.  She explained that self awareness and confidence are developed through a mastery of basic problem-solving skills. Skills that are found in the everyday tasks of life: keeping your room clean, making yourself breakfast, remembering your own deadlines, and learning to self-advocate when things go wrong. When we take away our child’s opportunity to solve problems, we also eliminate that process of growth.  When we allow our kids to act for themselves (drawing up boundaries and giving guidance and love along the way) they will develop the confidence and compassion that they need to be successful adults.  This won’t necessarily translate to straight A’s for every child, but, HERE’S THE CLINCHER,  straight A’s aren’t the recipe for success.

THE GOOD NEWS

Countless studies indicate that SUCCESS is not contrived by the caliber of your school, your grades, or even your IQ.  Success occurs as a culmination of emotional, problem-solving, and intellectual skills that are largely learned during childhood.  The other good news…

In the United States, it is not necessary to attend a”ranked” school to be successful or obtain a great job.  Studies suggest that being in a smaller school can actually be more beneficial because there’s a higher likelihood of mentorship between student and teacher.  Being the “big fish” in a little pond is a better scenario than being overwhelmed in a “top school.”  As Julie put it, “We must believe that they can get a great education at any number of universities.”

WHAT WE CAN DO

To conclude the lecture, Julie gave the audience the ultimate take away.  These are the two best things that each of us can do for our kids to help them become successful adults:

1 – Give them chores.

2 – Teach them to love.

Really. It’s that simple.  And if you’re like me, your intuition has known it all along.  But here’s a little more research to back it up:

The longitudinal “Harvard Grant Study”  (one of the longest studies of humans ever conducted) found that success in life comes from having done chores as a kid.  The earlier the kid started, the better.  When our kids are too busy to do chores, we eliminate the biggest factor for success.  The Harvard Grant study also found that happiness in life equals LOVE.  Not passion, LOVE.  Love of people and love of human experience.  If there’s anything that we can do for our kids, it’s to teach them compassion, work ethic, and the love that can be found at home.

Jan. ’20 Book, Blog Update

Here are some tidbits on what’s going on behind the scenes with my book and blog:

The first major part of “Dying for Attention in Portland” is a memoir sharing the daily/weekly events of my son’s homicide investigation and my personal quest for answers leading up to & including the defendants’ sentencing. The second half of the book is the afterword, where I befriend the defendants, and share my takeaway from the case & reflect on various cultural issues. I’m nearing the end of writing and am editing before I show Beta readers.

Going thru a murder investigation isn’t like going to the dentist for a root canal, where you know it will be over soon. If I hadn’t have had the most fabulous D.A., & two perfect detectives, the outcome might not have allowed me to have the strong life I have today! I’m very grateful that since I was ‘dumped’ into a horrific situation in a strange city, the people assigned Marc’s case were exactly what I needed. I feared shoddy police work or a poor D.A., but that didn’t ever pan out. Portland is a progressive city in many ways, but I really needed just old fashioned quality and assurance, not fancy showmanship, or false illusions given me from the people representing Marc. So, the book will represent a well-rounded story of the case.

D.A. for Marc’s case, Nicole Jergovic

My blog Marcsjustice.com will still be a viable account but I’m considering adding another blog site, one that deals with the various cultural & political issues we’re currently facing. MJ blog shares the story of the case and my personal journey for those seeking insight on violent crime & victory over tragedy. But I’m more and more branching out and sharing on the troubling issues in the headlines, and am considering separating the two themes into two different blog sites. I have a tentative title for the new one and will share details when it comes time. By the way, people from around the world read my blog. Besides my stateside mailing list there’s readers from Canada, Europe and almost every continent.

I decided against the book publisher I originally had and am talking with others who have a better royalty agreement. Am also looking to increase distribution thru making an audio book. There are many people who have long commutes every day and who actually prefer audio books! I think my story lends well to that approach, & my speaking voice would fit right in.

Another thing I’m excited about is that I’m researching on using video as a format. Podcasts, Utube & reality TV are very popular nowadays and I have friends, contacts who post videos on FB, Utube. Even though I have ‘who wants another podcast’ syndrome, I totally believe in the journey I’ve been on. I listen to videos on how others manage their lives in this age, and am encouraged. People are desperately seeking a way to navigate the challenges in this culture, and our historical Christian/Judeo traditions have so many rich solutions that would solve our cultural troubles. I’m not a teckie, so takes me longer to pick up certain new skills.

Thanks again for all your love and support! I know it’s a stretch to think that reading a blog/book on a son’s murder would lift up anybody. I had to really work past that fear when I started writing. I never thought I’d go thru something so traumatic and come out so positive. Just ridiculous!

All things are possible!

 

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Apparently there’s biblical proof that He was, said this young troll on Twitter recently.

Few months back I was reading the tweet of a progressive politician when this young female on the thread told me Jesus was a socialist! She even gave me several verses from the Bible to supposedly prove it!

I think the topic of the tweet was capitalism/socialism and she just appeared on my thread seeming very nice and eager to know more about politics and Christians. I hesitantly shared a couple things not knowing if she was serious, and like that ….  her manner became very accusatory,  condescending! She even told me, a long time believer, I was ignorant, uncaring!

At one point I had shared my general belief on how our government works in conjunction with our capitalist system and she whipped out this line that Jesus was a socialist’! I was new with trolls when I encountered her, and extremely alarmed about the recent talk from new House Dem’s spouting socialist jargon. I asked her to ‘show me in scripture’ where it says Jesus was a socialist, and she immediately sent me about ‘5’ verses!

I mean, people don’t accidentally have verses at their fingertips to give out to folks on social media. I was trying to grasp what kind of person would send me info and if I didn’t like the views, attack my credibility as a person? I’d never encountered these types of relentless people before. I understood no normal youth would spend their personal time researching socialism, the Bible and intimidate adults. From a few other encounters I’d had I assumed she was a troll from some political ‘front’ group trying to shame and terrorize the average Christian, conservative, whomever. I’ve suffered from groups of trolls swearing at me, saying I’m crazy, or piling on top of my thread in the dozens, once in the hundreds. Just to hound me!

Her Bible references were ridiculous! A short sentence from a Psalm, one from when Jesus fed the 5,000, and few others having to do with ‘scattering abroad’. The message of the Bible is about God sharing with individuals how to walk with Him in all our realms of life. The Bible isn’t a text on politics and economics but a personal love story. I remember Senator Obama making a speech once and taking scripture out of context and attacking it’s meaning, integrity. I was sickened by his utterly false comprehension of the passage. I didn’t know at the time how he’d been attending a church in Chicago for 20 years, where the minister preached, among other things, hate towards America and white people.

A couple other people came on our thread to defend that gal. They didn’t seek to ask my opinion but reiterated her warped views and slammed me when I differed. It was like a ‘robotic’ chain of people pouncing on me, it was quite obvious they were trained to do this. This was a far cry from youth being passionate about a cause, this was engaging in a whole line of propaganda, repeatedly, to wear me down.

I didn’t block her at first as I was curious how far she was going to go with her propagenda, but I now avoid her type like the flu. Most of my blog readers aren’t on Twitter but I need to alert you again to what’s going on out there if you decide to join it …. watch whose tweets you respond to! Also know, Twitter is roughly 22% of the adult population and about 10% are tweeting 80% of the tweets …. so, it’s really a small percent of the people who’re involved in ‘mind control’. Yet, it’s those people we hear most about, not all the good grassroots news, & chatter going on.

I can’t emphasize enough, we can’t be blind to the machinations of some political propaganda engines out there who want to derail or defeat conservatives, Christians, Jews! The Left has always been around, it’s not new. What’s new is how they are infiltrating not just the realm of higher education, but using social media. We need to also be aware there are social media trolls or robots from China/Russia, the Left, the Soros family groups, progressive/socialist Congressional members teams or God forbid, the secret side of an American intelligence source. People are trying to confuse us with lots of data, and give us info that weakens our values.

I’m not going to defend Jesus or capitalism now but Justin T. Haskins‘ book  Socialism is Evil is an excellent primer on the history of Marxism and how it essentially takes away our freedoms! It’s very straight forward and not a long, difficult read.

Thanks for sharing this and sending me your comments! I always appreciate it!

Continue to Enjoy your Holiday!

Odd Merry Christmas

                           Merry  Christmas !!

Bikes are not off limits from being decorated –

Religious holidays are not just a time of joyful celebration but also a time of tension! The holy family knew it, we know it. We put alot of effort into holiday planning & festivities but many times don’t feel appreciated or we simply feel empty. We don’t know why we repeat hallow rituals.

Five years ago yesterday I was in a courtroom in Portland, OR.  attending the Bail Hearing of the main defendant in my son Marc’s murder case. I never dreamed I’d be doing anything like that at Christmas! Never crossed my mind in a million years! 

But God said, ‘Surprise, Diane, you traveled 1,000 miles for this & are very tired, but I’m giving you the gift of an honest case. And the defendant won’t be allowed to walk free. I loved Marc so much that I’m continuing to give him justice, just so you know I’ve been with you all along!’

Little did I understand that every Christmas hereafter I’d be going thru a similar exchange of gifts. Not a request for justice like the Xmas 5 years ago, but the ‘gifts’ of deep PTSD & survivors guilt that are my odd new holiday gifts! And the more that knife of survivors guilt goes in me, the more angry & strong I feel. You learn to fight back, you have no where else to go. Defeat is not an option.

That transformation never leaves me. I can’t tell you how much richer my life is now that I know God will go with me everywhere I need to go in my quest for what is truly just. These gifts have also helped loose me from the grip of keeping phony traditions alive during Christmas and other holidays.

Happy Chanukah to my Jewish friends –

In Mark 7:6-7 Jesus speaks to the Pharisees:

“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

     And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments (traditions) of men.”   

What a way to live!  Knowing God cares about the infinite details of my life so I can go on in joy. I’ve told Him a number of times, ‘Gee, God, what a crazy life you’ve given me! You constantly break down the ‘old’ Diane, (with all her assumptions), and give me new opportunities and people!’ It’s been especially helpful to have this strength as I’m struggling to be a solid voice in our country in the face of huge opposition and ignorance from many close to me or far.

God definitely is in our religious holidays, active in this world. I’m so glad I got re-directed and shown a new path, there could have been a totally different outcome if I’d have clung to fear or depression.

Book Intro: ‘Dying for Attention in Portland’

Here’s a portion of the Introduction to my book. It helps set the stage for the book’s emphasis. (Remember, the book is not like MJ blog in every respect!). Please read the Preface also to prepare for the tone of the story –

                             “Dying for Attention in Portland”

                                                      Introduction

      “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.”  

                                                       –  Carl Jung

“On November 22nd, 1963, President John  F. Kennedy was riding in a limo along with the governor of Texas and their wives. As they wove along the highway, waving to the public lining the streets edge, President Kennedy was shot twice …. once in the neck, once in the head …. before slumping over towards his wife Jacqueline in the back seat.”

“While we listened to reporters on TV or radio, President Kennedy was being treated at Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital Trauma Room 1. In stillness we waited for some indication of how serious his injuries were. We went through a multitude of feelings, thoughts and reactions together …. all because we honored our President and felt stricken ourselves by the attack he suffered.

The deeply tragic news stunned everyone in America and around the globe! It never mattered most of us were from different political parties, races or religions. As we all kept our eyes on TV coverage we were ‘one people’ with a common bond ….we valued the life of our leader! And …. back then, we trusted the somber, hushed tones of TV reporters and the few facts they could scrape together in their quest for updates on President Kennedy’s condition.

Do we have a populace now that’s as cohesive as that of 1963? Are we bound by a common respect for life and death like the majority were in 1963? Even a space alien would tell you ‘NO’.

Things have changed in the last couple decades. We’re living in a time where murder or mass murder is a bit more commonplace in the news. Our views about violence are increasingly being controlled by media, not by trusted sources like our families, church. 

I wrote this book because many times we judge or fear an act of violence and cannot foresee any reason to think any good could come out of it! We generally see homicide as happening outside our realm of life experience and simply don’t want to have any dialogue past the tragedy itself … but that’s unhealthy. Our fears, revulsion many times keeps us stunted from letting our hearts and minds question, ‘how could this have happened’. Or ‘what kind of legacy can come out of the murder of a cherished one’? 

In this age where media is king, and real human life is trivialized, we usually don’t get to know anyone very deeply or form lasting relationships. We make immediate judgements of others based on their comments, clothing, demeanor or accent instead. I detest that trend and don’t want to cave to that tendency that makes life cheap, and murder not so horrific.  I don’t want to give into the media hype that conveys violence doesn’t hurt the victim’s families or society for long, or it’s easy to get over.

I’m sharing in these pages a raw experience because we’re all made better by others unadulterated life experiences!  I believe the recounting of personal experiences enriches survivors of a tragedy as well as the public. We rely on those around us to give us accurate personal accounts of life during joy and pain, it’s the normal way people negotiate through life with a healthy attitude.

I hope this book helps open up dialogue on this topic so we grow past our fears, pessimism.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Have you ever thought beyond your fear of violence, death? We are so shielded in this age re: pain but it’s a part of life we need to accept in order to be wholly functional. God works in the good and hard times, He never lets anything go to waste!

SHARE  THIS!  THANKS!