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06/25/20 04:16 PM #7552    


James Hamilton, M. D.


Yes, I would have tried my best to to save your neck and your life. After all, what would the world be like without a Tim LaVelle? And I would pursue higher authorities to prosecute those who criminally were assaulting you. But to burn down or destroy businesses and put those who must respond in harms way makes no sense to me.


06/25/20 05:26 PM #7553    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

If racism in America is so systemic and, if it "is in our DNA", how then does one account for the fact that since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, African-Americans have been able to grow their representation in the entertainment and sports industry, in politics as mayors, city councils, school boards, Congress, and as President (twice), in business as entrepreneurs, managers, even CEO's, in education as teachers, principals, university professors and presidents?  Racist PERSONS exist for certain, and individuals can account for many other types of discrimination. That such individuals exist does not make an entire society racist. We are all called to look within our own individual hearts to determine what resides there. In our Catholic upbringing that used to be called an examination of conscience.  


Focusing on the racism that existed 150, 100, 50 years ago only serves to keep victimization alive in the black community.  Many African-Americans who are in the news and on social media such as Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, Glenn Loury, Shelby Steele, J.C. Watts, Rick Scott, Candace Owens, Deneen Borelli, Star Parker, Stacey Dash, Harris Faulkner, Walter Williams, Mia Love, Ayaan Hirsi, Allen West, Herman Cain, Alveda King, etc. all speak out against a political agenda that thrives on dividing every American by race/ethnicity/socio-economic/religious belief.  Emmanuel McLIttle, a black magazine publisher stated as far back as 1995 that, "Political issues are a distraction from personal psychological issues.....things that happen in our households." He further explains that the problems in his community "are not about racism, but about deep emotional deficits. Our young men are growing up dysfunctional, and instead of trying to help them, we blame white people. We champion the problem and call it a virtue. If you're not angry or psychotic, you're denying your blackness."  It is  understood by these black leaders that the root of many of the problems in the Black community today can also be traced back to the breakdown of the family structure. For example, today, slightly over 70% of black children are raised in female-headed households whereas as late as 1950, only 18% of black households were single-parent.  This should be the first raise up the nuclear family, and not only in black communities, but in every American community.  I remember being taught at IC that the family is the basic unit of any society and that when the family falls apart, so does society. What are we seeing happen today?

06/25/20 11:54 PM #7554    


Michael McLeod

I think when people say it's "in our DNA" they are referring to the civic dna -- the fact that the founding fathers had slaves and the country was build largely on slave labor, both of which are historical facts. And that the Civil War only "emancipated" blacks in theory - that wouldn't happen in practice for nearly a century. They remained sub-citizens for decades and in certain more subtle ways, in spite of all the heroic efforts to the contrary, remain so today. I've always thought of slavery as our country's holocaust -- an inhuman stain it will take generations to live down. We easily partake of the good things our republic stands for. It's only fair to acknowledge and doing what we can to learn from its blind spots. This is why I wish we would make Junteeth a full-fledged national holiday. We need the ritual of cleansing it would represent.


As for us, meaning this group of snow white Catholic bred Karens and Kennys, although we were not raised as racists we were certainly raised in a separatist and privileged environment: it was clear who was "us" and who was "them." Figuring that out and living it down has been a part of growing up as a human being for me. And it is not merely an intellectual exercise but an emotional and empathetic one. 

I think of it in term of the Everglades. The River of Grass, as Marjorie Stoneman Douglas called it. That amazing ecological system was ravaged by sugar farmers and others who rerouted the natural waterways for profit. We ruined that system and once that is done it's hell to get it back in balance again.

That's how I see the inherent subtle racial inequities that endure today -- inequities that are reflected clearly in, for one thing that has gathered attention of late, the number of black men who are unjustly killed by the police.

I'm glad that issue is getting attention, and I hope it pays off in terms of heightened sensitivity and social change. I understand the need for the slogan "black lives matter."  You pay special attention to those who need it most.  If you do that it's like the rising tide that raises all ships. It will make all of us more sensitive and understanding each other, whatever the differences. 

Someone who believes in divine providence might think that the virus that afflicts all of us, regardless of the color of our skin, might have been sent our way as a reminder that we are all God's children. And that the reminder was sent only because we needed one. 



06/26/20 01:31 PM #7555    

Timothy Lavelle

Mike you write so well, you should consider the profession.

I hope that we have no Karens or Kenny's amongst us but I guess anything is possible. This past week I received an e-mail from a classmate with racist cartoons about black footballers taking a knee. 

Along with what you wrote though Mike, I wonder if anyone in our graduating class can ever remember going to Catholic school with a black kid? I can vouch that St Agatha's-Mary's-favorite-Seamstress had zero black populace and I think I can say the same for St. Andrew's-in-the-Closet or St. Timothy's-of-the-Roadside BBQ. 

I can understand writing down a list of names of black's who have done well and got no problem with whitey. History is overflowing with people who went along to get along.  But sooner or later, (160 years?) if you keep the masses from what they believe they deserve, or even more, if you threaten the lives of their children, you get an American or French revolution, an Arab Spring, a Syria, or some other uprising that everyone feels is completely impossible. Until, suddenly, the Bastille falls.

06/27/20 08:46 AM #7556    


David Barbour

Dr. Jim,

The problem here is, you are not pissed off enough.  If it was your child murdered

I'm guessing you would feel a little more hostile.  And after a few dozen folks who look

like you are murdered for walking to the store or whatever, who knows how you might feel.

This sort of builds up, you know, and when there are no legal means to push back, well, stuff


I live in a neighborhod that's half black and I have nice neighbors. Love it here.  I fish often out of 

Cleveland, launching my boat next to black guys who have way nicer boats and are better fishermen.

I remember the racist feelings I grew up with, but those have faded greatly in 30 years.  If we could

open housing and education throughout our state or, Lord have mercy, our  country, we might gradually

achieve what  Shaker Hts. has.  You might just like that too!!







06/27/20 01:05 PM #7557    


John Maxwell

I'm Batman!

06/27/20 01:11 PM #7558    


Mark Schweickart

I stumbled upon this on NetFlix yesterday, and thought I should give it a shout out. It's the 2012 film The Sapphires, which I saw when it first came out, and thought it was remarkable. It is based on real events, and in fact was co-written by the son of one of the real-life Sapphires. It is this wildly improbable story of a girl singing group, made up of 3 aboriginal sisters and a cousin from Australia, who wind up going to Vietnam to perform for the American troops. It has a terrific comic performance by Chris O'Dowd, wonderfully infectious renditions of MoTown hits by the girls, ambitious recreations of 1968 Vietnam, and a poignant love story.  Here's the trailer:

06/27/20 01:11 PM #7559    


John Schaeufele

I'll admit that I am a lurker here on the forum.  Reading it occassionally but rarely commenting.  Today, I feel compelled to jump in with a few comments.  I live in Richmond, VA and for the past 4 weeks we have had protests both day and night.  Some are peaceful but most turn violent with the destruction of property.  Buildings are burned, businesses are looted and police are sent to the hospital from bricks and other objects thrown at them.  They even stormed the apartment building where the mayor lives who happens to be a young black democrat.  This is civil unrest and nothing good can come from it nor is it ever justified in a civil society.  I am a not-violent person, have many black friends and attend a church that is black and white.  I abhor the senseless killing of George Floyd and many other African-Americans.  I also find it disgusting that blacks are profiled and treated differently than whites by some police.  Police policies and their chiefs are subject to mayors.  The mayors should stop these policies or never have allowed them.  Here in Richmond, our mayor has done little to stop the violence or change policies.  We are about to get our 4th chief of police in the past 2 years. Richmond is the former capital of the Confederacy so there are many statues/memorials around the city set up in the late 1880's early 1900"s by confederate vetrans.  The mayor and city council have made the decision to remove them.  I can see that they offend many here and probably should come down.  But tearing them down in anger is not the way to get rid of them.  Last week they tore down a Columbus statue and threw it in a lake.  This week they tore down a revolutionary war statue.  It is unending and someone is going to be hurt or killed.  Surely there is a better way to change policies after all this is a republic, isn't it?  Or, are we headed to a socialistic state?

Slavery is wrong. Lincoln emancipated the slaves and they were given the right to vote.  Unfortunalety, Lincoln was assasinated so his great plan for reconstruction was not realized in the South. Blacks who had been freed were then subjugated to second class citizens and we are living with the after effects of that today.  Civil rights and the government have tried to correct these issues but have done a poor job of it.  Here is a good piece from the Richmond paper this week by a black economics professor at a university here in Virginia:

We all need to take a step back and remeber that we are all the same in God's eyes.  There is a great song by a young black female artist, Mandisa, called, "We all bleed the same."  Here are the last 2 verses:

We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
We're more beautiful when we come together (let's stand united!)
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
So tell me why, tell me why
We're divided
If we're gonna fight
Let's fight for each other (fight for each other!)
If we're gonna shout
Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
We all bleed the same(we all bleed the same) (bleed the same)
Let's stand united (let's stand united)
Let's stand united!
So Father God, I pray
That our families will come together right now
And seek Your face
You will forgive our sins
And You will heal our incredible land
In the name of the only Savior, Jesus Christ

06/27/20 04:51 PM #7560    


Frank Ganley

I was the misguided classmate my learned friend  from the west refered to! Alas  , i did immeduately send apologise and the reason i sent in Tampa we have many things to do to fill up our descresionary spending days. We have baseball the rays, but they dont play out if ray j j dtadium! The buccaneers, the lightning and major league soccar. The university is growing afootball team , not to include our zoo and bysch gardens with over 100 golf courses to fill all our needs. The cartoon had a huge player who tried to intimadate a fan by proclaiminh he waz taking a knee and sort of demanedthe fan to join him. The fan said something like grea , i'm taking a hike out of gere. Here in tampa we have about 4 radio dports talk shiws . I listen at time during 3-6 The main sentiment here of regardless the sport the f as bs have said no to being forces to do anything. It might have been racist but i did't take it that way.  Yes most black players have or will be taking a kneww aling with nany star plsyers who through no faklt of their iwn, white. This whole thing of political correctness bothers me greatly. Because i sent thd cartoon wondering if Tim was fab and had an opinion on the Seahawks. I have a brother who lives in Bremerton and on Sunday he is regaled in all Seahawk garb. I'm sure Tim is a bit more subdued. These problems were have are al perception, i say , you think i meant. The other day while i was getting my Therepy, IM back in the 0 in 6 weeks, someone was asking question as to were a particulr resturant was. I daid next to old chinese resturant that closed, oops i apologized as i called it oriental, oh no! It's asian. I mean no harm to whatever this group would like yo be called but really. So please its not that i'm bad its i just don't know.a  ulture question! Our grade school nuns sold  candy at recess. It was mainly penny candy.  What were the blaclicorice covered in granulated sugar and shaped like infants! Comeon you know it, even the nuns called them that


06/27/20 05:56 PM #7561    


Joseph D. McCarthy

Hey Dr. Jim I am thinking of writing a book about Old Age and Dementia, and I could use your vast medical knowledge to help me as Co-Author.  The working title is "Why did I come into this room - A story of Old Age and Dementia."  


By the way Dr. Jim, I am thinking of writing about Old Age and Dementia and would like you as a Co-Author.  The working title may be: "Why did I enter this room - a problem of Old Age or Dementia."  The first chapter is roughly titled "Walk Backwards Out of the Room and It Might Come back to You."


06/27/20 06:28 PM #7562    


James Hamilton, M. D.

Joe Mc.C.

Be happy to help. I think. What is it we were talking about...?indecision


06/27/20 09:00 PM #7563    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

"It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. Bring love into your home, for this is where our love for each other must start.”  St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa has many wise words of advice for us to dispel the evils in our world today, including racism. She taught that the way you heal the world is that you start right within your own family. Children learn trust, kindness, compassion, self-discipline, selflessness, sacrifice, patience, etc.first from their parents. Those virtues should then be reinforced through the churches and the schools so that when a person reaches adulthood, they will continue this cycle. Would anyone disagree that this is the experience of those of us who grew up, in and around Clintonville, and graduated from Catholic schools?  

I would use our Class of "66 as a prime example of the fact that one does not need to have personally experienced diversity of every kind in their childhood in order to accept and embrace, with dignity and respect, any person of any race, ethnicity, religious or socio-economic background. There are many among us who chose from a wide variety of public and social service type careers which would require us to serve/heal/interact with a great many people who do not look exactly like us. I have seen this scenario played out over and over in mine and Crick's "vast" extended families as well as our own immediate family. 

I will add this, that it was not white privilege that landed me in my parents' life or in my parents' home in the middle of "snow white" Clintonville. Unless I am misunderstanding the usage of the term, the targeting of an entire ethnic group with the collective crime of "white privilege" regardless of the innocence or guilt of its individuals, is a racist concept in itself.  

06/27/20 10:03 PM #7564    


Mark Schweickart

Joe-- I think the technical name is not "Dementia" but rather is called the "Here-After" disease. You are suffering from this if you find yourself walking into a room, then looking to the left, then to the right, and then asking yourself, "What was it that I came in here after?" I have a severe case of this if you need a test subject. 

06/28/20 12:12 AM #7565    


Michael McLeod

This is the guy I feel for. I'm not saying he's faultless. But I feel for him.

(story is from the ny times)


MINNEAPOLIS — There were two black men at the scene of the police killing in Minneapolis last month that roiled the nation. One, George Floyd, was sprawled on the asphalt, with a white officer’s knee on his neck. The other black man, Alex Kueng, was a rookie police officer who held his back as Mr. Floyd struggled to breathe.

Mr. Floyd, whose name has been painted on murals and scrawled on protest signs, has been laid to rest. Mr. Kueng, who faces charges of aiding and abetting in Mr. Floyd’s death, is out on bail, hounded at the supermarket by strangers and denounced by some family members.

Long before Mr. Kueng was arrested, he had wrestled with the issue of police abuse of black people, joining the force in part to help protect people close to him from police aggression. He argued that diversity could force change in a Police Department long accused of racism.

He had seen one sibling arrested and treated poorly, in his view, by sheriff’s deputies. He had found himself defending his decision to join the police force, saying he thought it was the best way to fix a broken system. He had clashed with friends over whether public demonstrations could actually make things better.


“He said, ‘Don’t you think that that needs to be done from the inside?’” his mother, Joni Kueng, recalled him saying after he watched protesters block a highway years ago. “That’s part of the reason why he wanted to become a police officer — and a black police officer on top of it — is to bridge that gap in the community, change the narrative between the officers and the black community.”

As hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against the police after Mr. Floyd’s killing on May 25, Mr. Kueng became part of a national debate over police violence toward black people, a symbol of the very sort of policing he had long said he wanted to stop.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who placed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, has been most widely associated with the case. He faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter; Mr. Kueng and two other former officers were charged with aiding and abetting the killing. At 26, Mr. Kueng was the youngest and least experienced officer at the scene, on only his third shift as a full officer.

The arrest of Mr. Kueng, whose mother is white and whose father was from Nigeria, has brought anguish to his friends and family. “It’s a gut punch,” Ms. Kueng said. “Here you are, you’ve raised this child, you know who he is inside and out. We’re such a racially diverse family. To be wrapped up in a racially motivated incident like this is just unfathomable.”

Two of Mr. Kueng’s siblings, Taylor and Radiance, both of whom are African-American, called for the arrests of all four officers, including their brother. They joined protests in Minneapolis.



In a Facebook Live video, Taylor Kueng, 21, appeared with the head of the local N.A.A.C.P. to speak of the injustice that befell Mr. Floyd, acknowledging being related to Mr. Kueng but never mentioning his name.

Mr. Kueng’s sister Radiance posted a video of Mr. Floyd’s final minutes on Facebook. “Just broke my heart,” she wrote. In an interview, she said that as a black man, her brother should have intervened. She said she planned to change her last name in part because she did not want to be associated with her brother’s actions.

“I don’t care if it was his third day at work or not,” she said. “He knows right from wrong.”



Through his life, Mr. Kueng straddled two worlds, black and white.

Mr. Kueng, whose full name is J. Alexander Kueng (pronounced “king”), was raised by his mother, whom he lived with until last year. His father was absent.

As a child, Mr. Kueng sometimes asked for siblings. Joni Kueng, who lived in the Shingle Creek neighborhood in north Minneapolis, signed up with an African-American adoption agency.

When Alex was 5, Ms. Kueng brought home a baby boy who had been abandoned at a hospital. Alex soon asked for a sister; Radiance arrived when he was 11. Taylor and a younger brother came in 2009, when Alex was about 16.

Radiance Kueng, 21, said their adoptive mother did not talk about race. “Race was not really a topic in our household, unfortunately,” she said. “For her adopting as many black kids as she did — I didn’t get that conversation from her. I feel like that should have been a conversation that was had.”

Growing up, Mr. Kueng and his family made repeated trips to Haiti, helping at an orphanage. Mr. Kueng and his siblings took a break from school to volunteer there after the earthquake in 2010.

Joni Kueng, 56, likes to say that the Kuengs are a family of doers, not talkers.

“I had to stay out of the race conversations because I was the minority in the household,” Ms. Kueng said in her first interview since her son’s arrest. She said that race was not an issue with her, but that she was conflicted. “It didn’t really matter, but it does matter to them because they are African-American. And so they had to be able to have an outlet to tell their stories and their experience as well, especially having a white mom.”

Ms. Kueng taught math at the schools her children went to, where the student body was often mostly Hmong, African-American and Latino. Classmates described Alex Kueng as friends with everyone, a master of juggling a soccer ball and a defender against bullies. Photos portray him with a sly smile.

Darrow Jones said he first met Mr. Kueng on the playground when he was 6. Mr. Jones was trying to finish his multiplication homework. Mr. Kueng helped Mr. Jones and then invited him into a game of tag.

When Mr. Jones’s mother died in 2008, Ms. Kueng took him in for as long as a month at a time.

By high school, Mr. Kueng had found soccer, and soon that was all he wanted to do. He became captain of the soccer team; he wanted to turn pro. The quote next to his senior yearbook picture proclaimed, “We ignore failures and strive for success.”

Mr. Kueng went to Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y., to play soccer and study business. But after surgery on both knees, soccer proved impossible. Mr. Kueng quit. Back in Minneapolis, he enrolled in technical college and supported himself catching shoplifters at Macy’s.

Given his background, Mr. Kueng thought he had the ability to bridge the gap between white and black worlds, Mr. Jones said. He often did not see the same level of racism that friends felt. Mr. Jones, who is black, recalled a road trip a few years ago to Utah with Mr. Kueng, a white friend and Mr. Kueng’s girlfriend, who is Hmong. Mr. Jones said he had to explain to Mr. Kueng why people were staring at the group.

“Once we got to Utah, we walked into a store, and literally everybody’s eyes were on us,” recalled Mr. Jones, whose skin is darker than Mr. Kueng’s. “I said, ‘Alex, that’s because you’re walking in here with a black person. The reason they’re staring at us is because you’re here with me.’”

By February 2019, Mr. Kueng had made up his mind: He signed up as a police cadet.

Only a few months later, his sibling Taylor, a longtime supporter of Black Lives Matter who had volunteered as a counselor at a black heritage camp and as a mentor to at-risk black youths, had a confrontation with law enforcement.

Taylor Kueng and a friend saw local sheriff’s deputies questioning two men in a downtown Minneapolis shopping district about drinking in public. They intervened. Taylor Kueng used a cellphone to record video of the deputies putting the friend, in a striped summer dress, on the ground. “You’re hurting me!” the friend shouted.

As the confrontation continued, a deputy turned to Taylor Kueng and said, “Put your hands behind your back.” “For what?” Taylor Kueng asked several times. “Because,” said the deputy, threatening to use his Taser.

Taylor Kueng called home. Mr. Kueng and their mother rushed to get bail and then to the jail. “Don’t worry, I got you,” Mr. Kueng told his sibling, hugging Taylor, their mother recalled.

Mr. Kueng reminded his sibling that those were sheriff’s deputies, not the city force he was joining, and criticized their behavior, his mother recalled.


Continue reading the main story

After Taylor Kueng’s video went public, the city dropped the misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. The sheriff’s office announced an official review of the arrests, which resulted in no discipline.


Ms. Kueng said she was nervous when her son wanted to become a police officer because of concern for his safety and the troubled relationship between the Minneapolis police and residents.

Ms. Kueng said she was nervous when her son wanted to become a police officer because of concern for his safety and the troubled relationship between the Minneapolis police and residents.Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

Diverging Paths

Mr. Kueng’s choice to become a police officer caused a rift in his friendship with Mr. Jones.

“It was very clear where we stood on that,” said Mr. Jones, a Black Lives Matter supporter who protested on the streets after the deaths of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile at the hands of Minneapolis-area police. “Our fundamental disagreement around law enforcement is not that I believe cops are bad people. I just believe that the system needs to be completely wiped out and replaced. It’s the difference between reform and rebuilding.”

After Mr. Kueng became a cadet, Mr. Jones went from seeing Mr. Kueng twice a month to maybe three times a year. He said he did not even tell Mr. Kueng when the police pursued him for nothing and then let him go.

In December, Mr. Kueng graduated from the police academy. For most of his field training, Mr. Chauvin, with 19 years on the job, was his training officer.

At one point, Mr. Kueng, upset, called his mother. He said he had done something during training that bothered a supervising officer, who reamed him out. Ms. Kueng did not know if that supervisor was Mr. Chauvin.

Mr. Chauvin also extended Mr. Kueng’s training period. He felt Mr. Kueng was meeting too often with a fellow police trainee, Thomas Lane, when responding to calls, rather than handling the calls on his own, Ms. Kueng said.

But on May 22, Mr. Kueng officially became one of about 80 black officers on a police force of almost 900. In recent years, the department, not as racially diverse as the city’s population, has tried to increase the number of officers of color, with limited success.

That evening, other officers held a small party at the Third Precinct station to celebrate Mr. Kueng’s promotion. The next evening, he worked his first full shift as an officer, inside the station. On that Sunday, he worked the 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. patrol shift, his first on the streets.

On May 25, Mr. Kueng’s third day on the job, Mr. Kueng and Mr. Lane, now partnered up despite both being freshly minted rookies, were the first officers to answer a call of a counterfeit $20 bill being passed at a corner store. They found Mr. Floyd in a car outside.

After they failed to get Mr. Floyd into the back of a squad car, Mr. Chauvin and Tou Thao, another officer, showed up.

As Mr. Chauvin jammed his knee into the back of Mr. Floyd’s neck, Mr. Kueng held down Mr. Floyd’s back, according to a probable cause statement filed by prosecutors.

Mr. Chauvin kept his knee there as Mr. Floyd repeated “I can’t breathe” and “mama” and “please.” Through the passing minutes, Mr. Kueng did nothing to intervene, prosecutors say. After Mr. Floyd stopped moving, Mr. Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s pulse. “I couldn’t find one,” Mr. Kueng told the other officers.

Critics of the police said the fact that none of the junior officers stopped Mr. Chauvin showed that the system itself needed to be overhauled.

 “How do you as an individual think that you’re going to be able to change that system, especially when you’re going in at a low level?” said Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality in Minneapolis. “You’re not going to feel OK to say, ‘Stop, senior officer.’ The culture is such, that that kind of intervening would be greatly discouraged.”

All four officers have been fired. All four face 40 years in prison. Mr. Kueng, who was released on bail on June 19, declined through his lawyer to be interviewed. He is set to appear in court on Monday.

A day after Mr. Floyd’s death, Mr. Jones learned that Mr. Kueng was one of the officers who had been present. Around midnight, Mr. Jones called Mr. Kueng. They talked for 40 minutes — about what, Mr. Jones would not say — and they cried.

“I’m feeling a lot of sadness and a lot of disappointment,” Mr. Jones said. “A lot of us believe he should have stepped in and should have done something.”

He added: “It’s really hard. Because I do have those feelings and I won’t say I don’t. But though I feel sad about what’s occurred, he still has my unwavering support. Because we grew up together, and I love him.”

Mr. Jones said he had gone to the protests but could not bring himself to join in.


06/28/20 03:35 PM #7566    


Michael McLeod

Here's how I understand white privilege:

To Whom Much is GivenMuch Will Be Required. To whom much is givenmuch will be required (Luke 12:48). If you have heard that line of wisdom, you know it means we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others.May 10, 2016

06/28/20 04:18 PM #7567    


Michael McLeod

Meanwhile, from the Washington Post today:



Five months after the novel coronavirus was first detected in the United States, a record surge in new cases is the clearest sign yet of the country’s historic failure to control the virus — exposing a crisis in governance extending from the Oval Office to state capitals to city councils.

President Trump — who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, sidelined experts and misled Americans about its dangers and potential cures — now finds his presidency wracked by an inability to shepherd the country through its worst public health calamity in a century. The dysfunction that has long characterized Trump’s White House has been particularly ill-suited for a viral outbreak that requires precision, focus and steady leadership, according to public health experts, administration officials and lawmakers from both parties.

As case numbers began rising again, Trump has held rallies defying public health guidelines, mused about slowing down testing for the virus, criticized people wearing masks and embraced the racially offensive “kung flu” nickname for a disease that has killed at least 123,000 Americans.

At Tulsa rally, Trump says he called for coronavirus testing slowdown

At his June 20 Tulsa campaign rally, President Trump advocated for slowing coronavirus testing out of concern that more testing might reveal more cases.

A similarly garbled message for the country has also been put forward by the president’s top aides and other senior administration officials, who contradict one another on a daily basis. On Friday, Vice President Pence used the first White House coronavirus task force briefing in almost two months to praise Trump’s handling of the virus and cast aside concerns about a record spike in new infections.


“We have made a truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward,” Pence said, a few minutes after announcing that more than 2.5 million Americans had contracted the coronavirus. “We’ve all seen the encouraging news as we open up America again.”

Later Friday, the United States recorded more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases — its largest one-day total.

It was the latest example of whiplash from the Trump administration, which has struggled to put forward a consistent message about the pandemic. While public health experts urge caution and preventive measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing, Trump, Pence and other top aides repeatedly flout their advice, leaving confused Americans struggling to determine who to believe.

“They’re creating a cognitive dissonance in the country,” one former senior administration official said. “It’s more than them being asleep at the wheel. They’re confusing people at this point when we need to be united.”

06/28/20 05:24 PM #7568    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Mike, I understand that the age group for these latest cases is under 40. For several weeks hundreds of thousands were gathering for hours, day after day, in city after city, and the coronavirus was almost a forgotten event.  How surprised should we all be that the case count is spiking now that the incubation period has passed? 

06/29/20 01:03 PM #7569    


Michael McLeod

MM Several factors - some of which have been documented -- have played into this latest wave and how it reflect a disproportionate amount of younger people

1)This virus has a lot of things going for it, and one of those things is: young people tend not to die from the disease. And thank God for that. You can bet your bootie, though, that if children were dying our attention to the virus and our precautions across the country would have been much, much more intense. But they didn't and it wasn't. So I'm glad the kids are alright. And it's nice to think they give a shit about their elders, but the fact is that many of them have other things on their mind.So the net effect is that it was easy for them to not worry about it -- and that meant chalk one up for the virus, which could use them as allies, turning them into great, sometimes asymptomatic transmitters of the disease to age groups not so lucky in terms of being vulnerable.

2) bars, parties, socializing: This is what young people do. Many of them just didn't educate themselves, or have parents who did, or have the maturity to understand the danger to themselves and others.So they went out and partied after the first wave of shut-downs, assuming that as long as toilet paper was back on the grocery shelves everything must be ok. 

3) sorry to put in another dig on my favorite punching bag but they had no leadership calling out to them to take the most basic safety step -- wear a mask. If they'd had a president who imbued them with the idea that scientific authorities should be listened to (he doesn't), or even commanded their respect enough so they might have listened to his advice (ditto - numerous polls of young people say the majority of them are profoundly disillusioned with Trump). So there was no modeling of good behavior from the top. If we had a charismatic first lady would could connect with young adults, that might have turned the trick -- and I think she tried to do so. But obviously the prez and his administration weren't going to promote her voice since it conflicted with the party line of damn the torpedos, full speed ahead to get the economy healthy at the expense of the citizenry. So there just was no charismatic, responsible figure who emerged to engage young people in the battle against the virus. I swear if Mr Rogers were still around they might have listened to him. 

4) Even though I've seen stories that say statistics indicate that the demonstrations in the street were not a major source of infection, and even thought It's not as easily transmitted outdoors, and even though it's extended contact with the virus that is most dangerous -- those crowds were moving, milling about - even though all of that I just find it hard to believe that those huge crowds didn't trigger infections. 

Bottom line: as with so many things with this virus, a combination of things, both scientific and cultural, plays into the latest twist in this nightmare: careless teens and young adults getting sick and likely transmitting the disease to older people who will get even sicker.


06/29/20 03:56 PM #7570    

Timothy Lavelle

I think it was in the 70s that I discovered I had Tall Priviledge. Likely I learned that from a profound article in Reader's Digest or High Times. Tall people have a built in edge in employment generally. If memory serves, it is because tallies are better looking and smarter than short people, have better builds, higher IQs and so on. I never for an instant felt guilt for being tall. Certainly there was no collective guilt when all of us tall people got together to discuss ways to further screw with "tinies" as we called almost all the rest of you.  

Now wasn't that typical lavelle silly? It's not a trick question...the answer is "Yes, that was stupidly silly".

So is getting all pissed off or collectively guilty about White Priviledge. It is true that tall people have it a bit easier. So do white people. Like my tallness, we tend to take most priviledge for granted as we go about our lives. 

White priviledge is nothing more than a measurement showing that as a white person we each can statistically reach our goals more easily because we have less obstructions in our everyday path. In recognizing what those obstructions are for others, we can move toward a more just culture.

I liked the message from Luke (likely a shortish blackish man) that Mike wrote. To me it means we should recognize we honkies have a head start and it would be great if we helped less fortunate non-honking people to catch up. It's not something to divide us, it is something to recognize and use as a way to get to an all inclusive Team USA Priviledge.



06/29/20 05:19 PM #7571    


James Hamilton, M. D.


Here is something of interest that goes along with some of the topics we have been discussing on the Forum recently. 

Saint Luke's life was not well described in the scriptures, but a few things are known (by the way, I am not a scripture scholar by any measure, so if Fr. Steve, Fr. Mike or Sr. Margie has anything to add, please do so).

St. Luke was born a SLAVE.

He became a PHYSICIAN and is the patron saint of physicians and surgeons.

He, like Mike McL., of course, was a WRITER / REPORTER ( one of the gospels).

In some way he is also a patron saint of PAINTERS, (wonder if Larry knows that) having some pictures of Mary attributed to him.

Here is one story - and there are many - of a slave who made it in this world and became a saint. I do not know who helped him along the way, except God. I do not know if he was involved in protests or acts of destruction. We have been told in our Catholic schooling that it is a good thing to imitate the lives of the saints. That is never an easy thing to do but it is nice to know that slavery can be conquered. America did it, unfortunately, it took a civil war. What we need to do better is conquer prejudice. I still believe that riots and looting will not accomplish this; even the Civil War did not do that. 

Just my thoughts... 






06/29/20 10:56 PM #7572    


John Jackson

I live in a state (New Jersey), that, together with New York (largely because of New York City), has had the worst death rates from this virus.  I attribute this to the fact that New Jersey is close to NYC (I live less than 50 miles as the crow flies from Times Square) and NYC was hit hard early because residents of the greater NY metropolitan area travel a lot to Asia and Europe.  In addition, NJ has the distinction (?) of being the most densely populated state. 

So initially NJ was a basket case but at least we, along with NY, had governors that had the common sense to make appropriate precautions mandatory and now our rates of new cases and hospitalizations are the envy of many other states.  And, to MM’s post, NJ saw no uptick in infections after a wave of major protests throughout the state following George Floyd’s death.

Mask wearing in indoor spaces has been mandatory for some time now in NJ and it has been at least two and a half months since I have seen even a single person in a grocery store or any kind of indoor space without a mask. 

I’ll also say I’m frustrated with many people I know who have gone overboard with precautions.  I know, for example, some people who have groceries delivered to their garage and then they “quarantine’ (don’t touch) them for several days.  I worry that when this is all over we may have created a huge class of obsessive/compulsive germophobes or agorophobes (people who are terrified of leaving their own homes). 

Like most of us, I’ve read a range of expert opinion on this subject, but if you ask me, common sense practices like mask wearing and social distancing may be a bit annoying, but they work and they allow some semblance of normal life to go on.  I just wish our President and his team would stop offering false assurances that we have the problem licked and instead use his bully pulpit to encourage all of us (and especially his followers) to engage in responsible behavior.

06/30/20 04:21 PM #7573    


Michael McLeod

I once had a dream that the Beatles were actually Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reincarnated. 

True story. JIm: what got you on this riot and looting kick? Did one of our classmates advocate riot and looting? I bet it was Mary Margaret, right? 

06/30/20 05:37 PM #7574    

Timothy Lavelle

Why did the parrot wear a raincoat?

He wanted to be...

Polly Unsaturated.

06/30/20 06:42 PM #7575    


James Hamilton, M. D.


 Interesting dream!  

In our lives we have seen multiple repititions of protests that have degenerated into riots and destructive behavior. This is just the latest of those. As I read some of the posts on this Forum, I thought that I detected an undercurrent of approval - as opposed to an understanding - of the violence that was occurring. That is why I simply asked that question in Post #7543, so as to gain clarification, nothing more, nothing less.


Thanks for getting us back to humor! 🐦


06/30/20 07:55 PM #7576    


Frank Ganley

Dr. Jim, i would never question you on your knowledge of patron saint! St luke May have some hand in the medical deptment of heaven but the ones i have been taught are two brithers from Arabua, saints Cosmos and Damian , they were doctors and whenever i or who i praying for need guidance for the doctors . They haven't failed me yet. I pray to my boys fb or help for bon and guido. Don't get me wrong Luke has a nice pathway to the Lords ear byt i go right to the top of the medical boys!

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