Thursday, May 5, 2022

Free Speech Matters, and Why it Does

Think of this as the forbidden section of the library. Like many others during the pandemic, I have been spending too much time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google, and even though most of my time is spent in purely selfish pursuits and I've not had a lot of time to research forbidden topics, I still find myself bumping up against blocks for "harmful information" or "spam" when I come across an interesting link now and then. I'm genuinely curious, so of course that makes me research all the more. And you know what? I'm an educated woman with good critical reading skills. I see nothing, NOTHING, that is worth censoring with such Gestapo tactics. And the very fact that there is a monolithic firewall of big tech billionaires in collusion with a corrupt government makes me very, very suspicious. I was willing to be convinced to some degree, but they had to double down on totalitarianism and censorship. And there is nothing I hate more than a bully.

So this is a holding place for links of interest. Without endorsing them or vouching for "the Science" (which is stupid, anyway - tech billionaires have flunkies to do science for them), why don't you read and decide for yourself, if you like.

Dr. Kathleen Ruddy has a series of informative videos on Brighteon. Here are some:

* Humanized Mice: https://www.brighteon.com/2d9285b7-bf4c-4fd0-bc4a-e04baec633ba

* No Abortion, No Pandemic: https://www.brighteon.com/9a3a0afd-c21f-48a9-a5f6-50cba801e37a

* (and the paper this was based on) https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

* I wonder if linking to Dr. Ruddy's channel "Heard Immunity" would bypass the censors: https://www.brighteon.com/channels/docruddy

* Now, I've been following the harvesting of aborted baby stem cells since the Center for Medical Progress did its exposé videos of Planned Parenthood years ago. I watched every minute of the uncut videos myself, and the "deceptively edited" videos (they were shorter, ok?) as well. I did a little extra research. I looked up "chim mice," a phrase I heard in the videos, and found out way more than I could believe. But apparently, it is no longer considered ethically unthinkable to create human/animal chimerae, as long as the creature is killed off as soon as it has served its purpose for "Science." I was nauseated and researched no more at that time, but recently this came up: https://www.fetalindustry.com/post/humanized-mice-horror-at-university-of-pittsburgh-caution-graphic-images ... and this: https://www.fetalindustry.com/post/lungonly-mice-precision-test-models-for-the-covid-vaccine These may be a better explanation of 

Now, I'm writing this on the day after the leaked Supreme Court decision and abortion is on everyone's brain today. I'm going to schedule the publication of this post, which is really a grab bag of things I'd like to think about and invite you to think about with me, for later this week. I'm planning to cover the Supreme Court situation in a post which I hope to publish May 3.

* I remember when trying to share Hunter Biden's laptop coverage would get you marked as a disinformation scammer, but maybe it's ok to link now. Certainly you can get to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Biden_laptop_controversy  And maybe to National Review. The idea that major media outlets would conspire to suppress information unfavorable to their favored 

* Back in February, I shared an article from the reputable conservative magazine National Review about how, according to a Johns Hopkins study, COVID lockdowns were counterproductive and should be rejected out of hand - this quickly earned a spanking from Facebook for "missing context" which could mislead people. Honestly, if Facebook gave more attention to stopping garden-variety catfishers and identity thieves, I wouldn't be so contemptuous of their ham-handed attempt to control information.

* Recently a Republican candidate for governor in Oregon, his family, and his campaign staff were assaulted by Antifa radicals in Portland. https://www.kptv.com/2022/04/30/2-injured-assault-oregon-gubernatorial-candidate-campaign-event/  During my search on Twitter to find more information, I also came across an account of an Antifa thug who was mocking the man for taking cover during the assault, which did include throwing explosive devices at people and endangered his family. I reported the tweet for celebrating violence. Twitter promptly denied there was any problem to see there, but pretended to be polite while doing so. Elon Musk may do some good there, I don't know. But as long as radicals 

I'm going to leave this post as is, rough and not highly edited at all. Maybe I'll add other egregious violations of free speech as I come across them in future posts. But, and I'm going to sound like an old curmudgeon here, it was only about 3 or 4 years ago that our high-tech overlords decided to enforce Wokeness wherever they could get away with it. It is not right. It is not an American value. It is demonic gaslighting when one party controls a Ministry of Truth that is the arbiter of what is acceptable thought and speech, and segregates all dissenters into virtual internment camps.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Political Tuesdays: Roe is Falling

Human beings are made in the image of the holy, almighty God. The demons also believe this, and tremble. Perhaps they are trembling a little more today.

For nearly fifty years, Roe v. Wade has broken the children of America. More than 63 million lives lost. Twice that many parents left with invisible scars. Trafficking in baby human body parts has naturally led to grooming the children that are born to be abused and trafficked themselves. Entire satanic industries are built on the foundation of Roe. It is a house built on sand. May it fall, and great be the fall of it.

Please, God, make it end. Deliver us from this evil.

Friday, April 8, 2022

The Right to Our Own Feelings, Part 2: The Bright Line

I promised to return to the social and emotional analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic and all its ramifications over a year ago (ed... now almost two) at the end of this post: The Right to Our Own Feelings Part 1: Things Fall Apart. I started writing this sequel almost immediately but it has been lost in multiple reboots, both literal and metaphorical, since then. I've re-read part one and feel I was at the top of my game. I didn't have the heart to add to it for the longest time, because of the complex cocktail of emotions that constitute my new normal. And this post itself was started and stopped, repeatedly, so long ago that the writing of it has itself become a mental block, which I need to address in some way before returning to normal blogging at all. So here is my (5th?) attempt to finish part 2. The first 4 1/2 paragraphs were written mostly in 2020 but edited many times. (CarpeLanam, April 8 2022).

"Solvitur scribendo" is the Latin phrase that came to mind recently as I was doing my Life Update post after the blog suffered long neglect. It means "it is solved by writing," and I thought I was being very clever and original in my riff on "solvitur ambulando," the sage advice of St. Jerome (or was it St. Augustine, or Diogenes?) to go take a walk. (THAT advice helped me amazingly during bouts of writer's block in my college years, as I would walk about campus with that faraway look in my eyes, lips moving as I mentally constructed outlines, and phrases, even entire paragraphs, fell into place). Turns out, I'm not the first to have coined the scribendo variant, but in hindsight I'm amazed it isn't more commonly seen. It essentially is an acknowledgment of the fact that journaling is therapeutic. We get clarity from the writing process. Truth may bubble up to the top, or at least we get a better perspective on a messy situation. It takes time to form words and the passage of time, or the writing process itself, may change us.

Well, there is also the fact that the whole world has drastically altered, for the very much worse, since Friday, March 13, 2020. And I'm not talking about the death tolls. I was so naive to think the high casualty numbers would be the worst to come from the pandemic! I now think the virus is the least of our problems as a country. We have a government that is actively opposing the constitutional freedoms it was sworn to protect. There is an uneasy, undeclared societal civil war in the air, and neighbors are turning against neighbors. Churches and schools were closed so long, our culture has experienced religious regression and educational collapse. Teachers, doctors, and journalists don't seem so trustworthy anymore. Crime is exploding and police are disrespected. Drug use and mental illness pose an increasing threat to social order. Social media, which used to be an outlet for the homebound and a link to distant friends, now actively censor viewpoints and people that tech overlords think are inappropriate. Christian memes are covered because of potentially offensive content; outspoken conservatives are banned outright or bullied until they give up.

And the people who are supposed to have our best interests at heart keep moving the bar in what has to be a deliberate attempt at control: Just fifteen days to slow the spread. China is our ally and if you suggest they released the virus intentionally you're racist. Once the high-risk and older populations are vaccinated, we can open up again. Sorry, you can't have a funeral service for your elderly relative, but George Floyd gets multiple. Kids are resilient, they'll be fine doing their learning in front of a computer screen. And when they come back to school, they have to wear masks all the time. Your kids are going to have to get tested twice a week if they want to play sports. But it's going to be fine, Congress just passed a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure bill.  And socialism is the new infrastructure.  Don't plan on traveling outside the country right now. But it's totally ok if the migrant trains come in, they aren't a threat. You're obviously racist if you think they are. And now everyone has to get vaccinated. You're the irresponsible one if you have reservations. You don't Trust The Science. Besides, it's mandatory. You don't want to be the ones we blame for the (check the list) omicron variant, do you? Well, even vaccinated people have to wear masks because they can catch it. If you have a small business, you have to enforce mask and vaccine mandates. If you don't, you'll be fined until you go out of business. This is just how it has to be. We know best. Just another few months to control the virus. Vax up everyone! Get your boosters and always remember, proof of vaccine is required if you want to keep your job. Be a responsible citizen: share you've been vaccinated on your social media accounts!   

This is gaslighting. And it's being done by the leaders in our society, with the full cooperation of those who profit from it (the entrenched federal bureaucracy, big tech, big pharma, cultural Marxists and corrupt institutions like Planned Parenthood). It is evil. It is wrong. And the most perverse thing about it is that it's designed to make its victims think they are the ones with the problem.

If you have ever seen someone using this form of manipulation, you never forget it. Thirty-some years ago, I was with a group of young women who accompanied a friend to retrieve her dog from her ex's house. She had left in a hurry, afraid the verbal abuse would become physical, and she wanted moral support. I was really young. I knew about alcoholism in theory, but not Narcissistic Personality Disorder or gaslighting. She had timed it right - he had already had a few drinks that evening and was just off-balance enough that she could get the dog, put his leash on and lead him away, tight-lipped and focused. But it was truly chilling to see how he worked: verbally assaulting her, dishing out heaping servings of shame to her, but then turning on the charm toward us. That was my introduction to the fact that some people have a dangerously faulty wiring that compels them to belittle, manipulate and control others. And not just people. Morally bankrupt institutions and governments as well.

The experience also acted as, I guess, a kind of immunization against future gaslighting. Or maybe a booster shot. I grew up in the 70's as a preacher's kid, and there were plenty of Sunday School classes that warned you about all the creepy cults, and plenty of people I heard about who fell into their traps. Mr. Barrett, my Christian schoolteacher in 6th grade, read us a rather shockingly lurid true-crime book about the Jim Jones mass suicide cult in Guyana. I was naturally quite suspicious of strangers after being strongly warned about stranger danger as a young child trick-or-treating, and would never take candy from strangers, let alone get into a car with them. As an adolescent, I wondered, who would I ever follow into the unknown? I decided it would either have to be Jesus or someone sent by Jesus... but how could you be sure? Well, it's true there are many false teachers and many people who claim to have God's approval and do not. There are wicked people who use their power to abuse the trust of good people and do terrible harm. That is why the complicity of our government and big-tech overlords in shutting society down for their own profit is so hard to bear, and the censorship of dissent by media and social media is so disturbing. 

But the preponderance of the evidence and the corroboration of multiple witnesses is always going to tend toward a confidence in the truth of the message. The arc of history is long, but it will tend toward overthrow of the revisionist historians and cult leaders. The fascist social influencers of the day may have America goose-stepping towards Gomorrah, but ordinary people using ordinary skills, who are skeptical about one-sided messaging and do even a little digging to clarify the narrative, will be the enlightened ones in the end.


Monday, November 1, 2021

Housekeeping - Overcoming the Photo Block

 In my effort to revive the blog, I have to be honest. One of the reasons I tend to fall into long stretches of non-blogging is my utter lack of technical skills. Specifically, my lack of technical skills and confidence in the management of photos.

When I started blogging... ten years ago... I managed somehow to upload the photos I wanted to use, and then there came a time when the format of the photos had to change. The photo-hosting service I used to use I can't even remember the name of. And there was limited storage, and I had to learn how to transfer the photos from the camera to the computer, and then I had to crunch them down using photoscape. I'm not sure if I still have to do that, but I've been dutifully crunching my photos down in size using that program for years. But then I got an iPhone, and taking photos did become a lot easier. But getting them from the iCloud to my photo files on my computer is a pain, and by the time I download the ones I want I'm out of mental energy to process them and archive them properly. Surely, it is easier for some people, but I end up with zip files that I don't know how to deal with... am I sounding pathetic yet? 

As the technology for photo sharing has improved, I noticed I was sharing things on Facebook and Instagram because it was just plain easy. But of course, there are increasingly negative tradeoffs when that's the only format you use. 

Anyway, long story short, managing photos is a headache for me. I need to break the mental block and blog about the things I like. So here are some that I just snagged as representative of the year so far, and maybe I can skip the downsizing this time. In the interest of keeping blogging, with the occasional photo.

This is the Frolic quilt that was the 2019 Mystery quilt from Bonnie K. Hunter. I blogged about it a little while I was working on it. It became a wedding gift for my firstborn last May! Now, of course, I am still working on the Grassy Creek quilt and the Unity Quilt that Bonnie shared. They aren't finished yet. And the 2021 mystery will be starting up really soon. So, looking on the bright side, I will have plenty of pictures to share as I work through those.
This is the Frugal Patch quilt variation I've been envisioning for many years and working on sporadically. It's the kind of thing I have to pack away between sessions because it's too big to leave on the design wall. But I'm excited about the possibility.

A couple of the baby quilts I've been making during the pandemic. Basic 4" or 5" squares, no batting, backed with flannel that can be folded to the front and topstitched for a binding. All the babies of my acquaintance (or at least the firstborns) are starting to get them, and I can turn one out in a day or two.

Three or four years ago I bought a bunch of mini orchids at Grocery Outlet. I managed to keep most of them alive, and they even rebloom occasionally. This makes me quite happy, and I take pictures of them.


Cleverly Practical, the "Hermione" socks from the Harry Potter collection by Lisa Ross. I really like them.

So, it does seem I can share photos again, even though my blogging interface looks a bit different than it did over a year ago. And you can have a taste of what my social media circle has already seen that I've been doing lately, but I can write about it in my preferred conversational blog format.

I'll settle for that as progress.


Sunday, October 31, 2021

Reformation Day 2021 - 95 Theses, Simplified and Re-blogged

Note: This is a re-blog of a post I did back in 2018, which itself was inspired by an informal project of translation of Martin Luther's 95 Theses I worked on over the 500th anniversary of the event. I recently had a favorable comment on the post and revisited it. I think it's worth sharing again. The more I think about history, the more grateful I am for Martin Luther's courage all those centuries ago. He changed the world.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Life Update

 Well.

I have let life pass too long without posting, and not for lack of things to say. I'm a writer, and I'm constantly writing, but when it stays in my head without getting into printed form one way or another, it's not good for me. When I verbally express myself to those closest to me, it helps me but may not necessarily help them to know my head is filled with such a whirl. And when it gets into printed form but it's only by private text or email, I tend not to bother with the more abstract thoughts because they aren't beneficial for the recipients. And when I post it on social media, it's like skipping rocks into a sea of mostly inane, revenue-generating (but not for me) videos. So, I am attempting to dust off my long-neglected little blog. Whoever wants to read, can read, and if not, I still get the same mental benefit. Solvitur scribendo.

But first, a life update.

Steve works from home since the very beginning of the pandemic. They keep talking about moving back to the office, but it won't happen for awhile. He bought a standing desk and stool from IKEA and added a reading chair; the former guest room is now his office, with bookshelves and a single bed so it can (and has been!) used as an extra guest room. He can teach design school from there when called upon to do so, and has phenomenal discipline to get up early and start work every morning about 6:00. We enjoy taking walks together over his lunchbreak. Our neighborhood is good for walking and is pretty safe. Our church's neighborhood in Portland, sadly, is another story, but that rant is for another time.

I am so grateful I got out of teaching when I did. I have a fear and loathing of Zoom teleconferencing which surpasses my fear and loathing of using the telephone. I would not have lasted a week of virtual teaching. I have thought a few times of offering to help start one of those homeschool "pods" that I hear about, but kick myself immediately after. I have subbed a few times at CT, and I love the energy and enthusiasm of the young folks. And slept the sleep of the utterly exhausted and too-old-to-keep-up-with-the-young-folks afterward. As the pandemic has wound on, I have come to realize that my life has changed and I am both an empty-nester and one whose nest is never quite empty. So I mentally exist in this sort of limbo where I can't really plan things, or get rid of things that need to be gotten rid of, and it's hard to do any deep cleaning (which is actually fine by me, but not so great for the overall quality of life of anyone who lives here). I fill my days nicely, but there is always something missing. I think it is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that we live in a free country. But that would be a "political Tuesdays" post. I quilt, knit a little, and have become quite fond of genealogy. I'll have to talk about WikiTree sometime, it's fabulous and I spend a lot of time there.

Our firstborn son is married, as of May, and lives with his beautiful bride in Virginia. He's able to work from home with the occasional travel week, and she is entering the clinical rotation phase of her Physician Assistant training. Their wedding was a beautiful event, and her family are lovely people. 

Our second son is serving his country abroad. He unfortunately had to miss being the best man at his brother's wedding, but at least he is in a safe enough place that I don't worry about him constantly. We are of course proud of the young man he has become and miss him a lot.

Our daughter is a "supersenior" at her transition education program. She had the graduation ceremony last year but is finally getting some on-site work experience training. She has learned to schedule her own paratransit rides. She works 3 days a week doing baking and general kitchen help at a retirement home, and one day at a comic shop.

Our youngest daughter is a sophomore at UW, where she is studying astronomy, physics and math. She received a scholarship, which is an incredible blessing for all of us, and is active in the Reformed University Fellowship group. She's learning to live quite independently and enjoys the city.

Steve and I have aging parents, which presents a new set of challenges that didn't really exist when I started this blog, and our children are adults starting to live their own lives, which is only appropriate, and so I'll focus less on the kids and more on... other things, yet to be determined, as I move forward. I did write, long ago, that the blog would be eclectic. I at least stand by that.



Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Right to Our own Feelings Part 1: Things Fall Apart

Note: Well, it has been six months since my last, relatively carefree blog post. Maybe you should follow me on Instagram if you want happy pictures; I've been putting them there. In this post, I'm working out something that needs to be analyzed, and it's taken over a week so far with not much progress. So here's to Socrates and avoiding the unexamined life which is not worth living. Part 1 of who knows.

I feel like I should have been carefully chronicling the events of 2020 thus far. The vague uneasiness about the strange new flu coming from China, the first rumors of it spreading to this country. Trying to go on, choosing not to live in fear and to continue life as usual for the sake of the children, and then having fear and isolation imposed on us in the blink of an eye by the very political leaders who, five minutes previously, were celebrating absolutely open borders and no restrictions whatsoever. Being lectured on how selfish and irresponsible it would be to go out and buy masks; only to be shamed what seems like a few days later for not having them on at all times. Looking forward to major events for my children: prom, concerts and school plays, a Spring Break trip to Arizona, two graduations... only to have them yanked away on March 12. Wednesday, planning for the trip to Arizona, the tasks that needed to be finished before then. Friday, everything was canceled. Abruptly. Teachers scrambled to craft something resembling school lessons for the rest of the year. Everyone worked from home, or lost their work altogether. The streets and skies were as silent as the days following 9/11, but without the comforting feeling of coming together in unity after a terrible attack. The Saturday before, getting together with the Mom's Breakfast Club at the Kitchen Table Cafe... the Saturday after, everything quiet and anxious.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm an introvert and of course, we introverts know how to thrive without a crowd of people around, at home, pursuing our own hobbies and interests. But these, as virtually every ad reminds us lately, are "uncertain times," and the things you need to stay sane in uncertain times -- work, church, school, community -- were all taken away as well. Some of us practice activities like music, knitting, quilting, reading, etc. to help us cope with a tendency to anxiety or depression that is only going to get worse when we are deprived of the activities of normal life and the social interactions that used to keep us centered.

In the first few weeks of lockdown, I was optimistic that I could distract myself with knitting and quilting beautiful things. I queued a bunch of free patterns on Ravelry (although they are still suppressing my profile pictures and bio, so the ownership is still as bigoted as ever) and started Bonnie Hunter's Unity quilt... all of these are very exciting and beautiful and I'd like to work on them, but as the days of deprivation wore on, I have struggled on Sleeve Island of one sweater that I started last fall, and forced myself to finish three extremely basic baby quilts... because babies continue to be born despite the quarantine rules, and babies need blankies. The same with all my grand intentions of cleaning and organizing my house... a nice thought, and of course absolute cleanliness is mandatory now, but there is just no mental/emotional bandwidth to complete them.

And then, just when we were celebrating graduations and births and friends as best we could in our drastically reduced circumstances, adapting to the new world order that had been imposed on us, peering into screens or putting out posts on social media or pretending to celebrate from six feet away through a mask -- the riots and civil unrest started.

I suppose it was inevitable: Jeremy Boreing, of the Daily Wire, had a very apt tweet analyzing the causes on May 30:

  1. Instill fear
  2. Lock people in their houses 
  3. Drive tens of millions out of work 
  4. Remove the pressure valves: Sports, Concerts, Bars, Theaters, Lunch with Friends... 
  5. Close the churches 
  6. Dehumanize through masking the healthy 
  7. Wait 
  8. Strike match...

It must have felt like this when the Iron Curtain fell over the old Soviet bloc. Suddenly neighbors were viewed with suspicion and the usual social channels became filled with political recriminations. People hunkered down in their increasingly inadequate homes while gangs of Communist thugs roamed the streets, determining who needed to go to the Gulag next and doing their level best to erase history and remove every trace of the old order. Ordinary citizens lived in fear over things they had written, said, or even thought in the old days, and dreaded the midnight knock at the door.

Except now, the police are the enemy. The military are tools of oppression. Every mention of the current President must be one of condemnation... or you will be cancelled. If you have a business, well, if it's located in the downtown of a major city, you better show prominent support for the BLM and Antifa terrorists, and even then expect to lose your entire inventory and have your store smashed up. Maybe, if you're fortunate, you will say the right things to appease them and be allowed to continue doing business on social media. But you better not have any police officers or military members in your family. You better say the words they want you to say, read the books they promote. Better kneel in front of the occupiers, just to be safe.

Well, I refuse to go along with this madness. Yes, there is a political component to what I'm writing, but I think it goes deeper, and a fair-minded human being with very different political views than mine would agree with my fundamental right to feel what I feel, think what I think, and with very limited restrictions, say what I want to say, even if it goes against the woke groupthink currently in power in our country.

In the next part, I want to go back to basics, which helps many people struggling with overwhelming adversity. And the first step to psychological survival, as I see it, is owning your feelings and thoughts, and accepting that you have a right to do so. Indeed, it is what proves your existence.

Cogito, ergo sum.