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older last won the day on May 13

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    Logic, reason, common sense.
  • More About Me
    I'm probably older than most of the members here and have some life experience to look back upon. I never bought into religion and find it the source of too many wars. The more I look at Christianity, the more preposterous it becomes.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. The right to spread a deadly disease is nothing but selfishness.
  2. Don't try to understand it. Just make up a large bowl of popcorn and enjoy the ride.
  3. I can only speculate but that speculation is that they were trying to explain things for which they had no other way to understand. And they put it into contexts that fit into things they did understand. And some of it may have evolved from pure story telling, sober or otherwise.
  4. I think Dan's advice above is excellent. You are the one who sets the limits for what you are willing to take. And it takes two to have an argument. If you decide that there are topics you do not want to discuss, don't discuss them. Refuse to be drawn in. Don't listen. Turn off the phone, walk out of the room, leave the premises, whatever it takes. Do it calmly (which may be hard) as getting angry feeds their desire to upset you. Don't yell, don't slam the door. Just quietly say you don't want to go down that road so please change the subject. If they don't then calmly leave, closing the door with a gentle click. You won't be the only one who has spent a night or two in his car. And you repeat this as many times as needed until they get the message (and if that takes years, so be it).
  5. I think it's like a friendship. What do you do when someone who was a friend stops reciprocating? You realize that it has ended and you find new friends. Sometimes it's hard to acknowledge that what you had is gone but that's the way it is. And sometimes it's hard to make new friends. It takes work but it can be done.
  6. After reading recent news reports of the collapse of the retail sector it occurred to me that perhaps people don't need all this shit they were buying. Note that in America a person is referred to as a "consumer." In my travels I've noted that people in some countries and cultures use things. We consume things. I am reminded of a brief adventure in retail that I had many years ago. I happened make several visits to the wholesale gift mart in Los Angeles, where all the various retail shops went to get their junk. And I was stunned at this six-story building full of absolute shit, and by the fact that this stuff was selling. If that was a reflection on our values, we are in a world of hurt.
  7. Well there is no afterlife but if there was one, the worst would be to be confined in a room with politicians.
  8. And don't forget social, political or hobby clubs. I once heard of a woman who had been a widow for too many years and she was lonely. She figured out what kind of clubs the men were in and joined one and, you guessed it, found a mate.
  9. So sorry to hear this, Lost. Dan has some excellent advice above. Our family also suffered a tragic, unexpected loss and what I can tell you from that experience is that the panic attacks will subside with time. We also learned that there is no one way to grieve, no right way. Everyone will deal with it in his or her own way. You will also receive unexpected kindnesses and unintentional thoughtlessness. The former will touch you; ignore the latter as those people mean well but simply do not know how to express themselves sensitively. Thank them all regardless. A grief support group might be helpful when the time is right. Walks in the forest and watching the sun rise also helps.
  10. Thanks for your comments, TruthSeeker0. The key phrase for me was the advice columnist writing, "unnecessary risks." While I was agonizing over risk, and how life is full of risk and should I take this one or not, I had not realized that there are necessary risks and unnecessary ones. And there are risks that may not be necessary but are ones for which we have some metric for decision making. But this virus is so different from anything the world has experienced in the last 100 years. There is no matrix for risk analysis for COVID-19. The trip to the pharmacy or the grocery store is a necessary risk but a play date with children is not.
  11. Well, I have come to peace. I want to see my grandchildren and their family. As I wrote above, you cannot understand the pain of separation from loved ones until you experience it for yourself. But I have decided that hugging them, having them over for an overnight, going to a party at their house, will have to wait. I woke up last night thinking about masks, and how wearing a mask in public shows concern for others, while not wearing one is a sign of selfishness. And that led me to think about selfishness and why I want to have the children for an overnight. And the reason is that I want to. It would be for me. For my pleasure. And under the circumstances that is selfishness. It is selfish because I cannot absolutely, positively, guarantee that I don't have the virus. Neither can they. The last thing I would want to do is to give it to them. And I know that they feel the same about giving it to me. So bringing them here would be selfish. Getting the virus puts everyone else at risk: the rest of the family, those who will have to care for the sick, and the entire system that will suffer, however slight, from one more case. And that would be due to selfishness. Then this afternoon I was reading an advice column wherein a writer was dealing with a similar issue. The columnist ended her advice with a sentence that provided for me the end cap of the issue: "Please don’t take unnecessary risks, no matter how sad it makes you to do the things you need to do to keep safe." Finally my stomach has stopped churning.
  12. I'm with you, Prof. I've thought a lot about this during the last three weeks or so. Many years ago I worked with a woman who, when we were discussing some conflict or issue that had arisen in our large institution, would frequently say, "It all comes down to money." And I think that phrase could be applied to every aspect of our current problems. We have everything we need to solve the problems. We could have stopped the virus, we could care for the sick, feed the hungry, and correct every other problem that we face. There is no excuse for someone to go hungry; no excuse for someone to die because they don't have money for health care. But in the end, my friend was right. Right down the road from here there are dairies that are dumping milk, while some folks not 60 miles away are standing in charity lines to get something to eat. And it's because money stands between the hungry and the food. As I think more about it, money is just the vehicle for greed. From what I understand about some cultures, the individual is subordinate to the group. I've heard that in some places, in response to the virus, they have over 90 percent compliance with mask wearing. People realize that their individual desires are secondary to what is best for the group. Yet the American experience is based on the concept of "rugged individualism." The self is primary; the group is only for affirming the self. I'm reminded of the Indian chief who went back to Washington with Lewis and Clark. He was shocked to see poor people in the street, and said, "In our culture no one goes hungry." And I'm also reminded of the tribe in the American southwest where the accumulation of personal possessions was looked down upon as a sign of greed. Yet here we have a dysfunctional system that is rotting and being picked away like the possum carcass down the road from my house. And what can I do? Damn. Escape? Not possible. Fix it? Not possible. Ignore it like so many are doing? No. The only thing I think I can do is to be the nail in the horseshoe from the fable of how the war was lost. Perhaps, by doing what little I can do, I can keep the shoe on the horse and there will be a collective result. Will there be a perfect solution? I don't think so. Will it be better? I don't know. I think this is the end of the American empire. One thing is for sure. In November I plan to vote.
  13. Thinking about the posts above from Florduh and the Prof., I read an interesting piece the other day about freedom. The freedom to vs. the freedom from. And part of the piece was that sometimes the freedom to results in a selfish action or response, without consideration of other people's freedom from. For some things the answer is clear but for others it is a conundrum. But back to the o.p., my doc ordered an antibody test for me and the results came back with so many disclaimers that the test is essentially meaningless.
  14. Well, I taught at a four-year state university and I saw a handout from a history professor that looked like it was written by a second-grade student. And this was NOT an issue of English as a second language. (Frankly, many of the foreign students I encountered had stronger English skills than some of the native speakers.) And, having seen the application letters from PhDs seeking employment with us, nothing surprises me. Anyone who has worked at a university knows that there is no shortage of nut cases on the payroll. Twenty minutes at a faculty committee meeting will confirm this. A little thing I used to put as my email sig line: They don't call This place An institution For nothing.
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