Hello to you. How are you this morning? I am on my second cup of coffee as I write to you….another night of poor sleep. Kyle says that after the Vet’s office calls us to collect May’s ashes and we bring them home, may be I’ll be able to rest. I’ll admit I do keep listening for her voice. Last night before bed I did a drawing and she was definitely there in my thoughts as I did it:
Yesterday afternoon I went to our town square to see if one of the shops, Indians and Outlaws (https://www.facebook.com/Indiansandoutlaws) in particular, still had some of the home-made soaps I bought last year. Kyle’s youngest brother just loved the lemon soaps. The shop owner, Brian and I had another one of our far-reaching spiritual talks. He told me he loves it when I come in there because of the discussions we get into. As we talked he was saying it was funny how many things we were talking about overlapped with conversations he had just had with other people. I love it when that happens! He reminds me of my Dad’s brother Uncle John when he was younger. He could be family! Part of our conversation before I bought the soaps, was about our physical bodies just being earthly vessels – Brian’s words and I really liked that way of saying what we both believe. These bodies are just earthly vessels. We both also feel like Jesus never left us – just became part of us all.
After spending time with Brian, I walked down to Alvarado Crafts, Gifts and Collectibles to see how everyone was doing in there: (https://www.facebook.com/Alvarado-Gifts-and-Collectibles-147253735447257/ or http://lloop27.wixsite.com/alvarado-gifts)
Snowflakes had started to fall, which was surprising to us all! Apparently Brian and Mr. Davis had a friendly wager going on between them about that the day before! I was sad to find out that the owner’s mother-in-law Darlene son Michael wasn’t doing very well. It sounded like they weren’t sure if he would be with us much longer. Michael suffers from muscular dystrophy. They lost his brother recently from the same condition. The two boys had shared the same room for 12 years. I can only imagine how lonely it must be for Michael without his brother who probably understood him better than anyone on this earth. My prayers are with these folks. It’s tough to face such things, especially during a time of year that is supposed to be happy.
So this mornings post title and subject matter may seem oddly patched together. It started with my seeing Google celebrating the 287th birthday of the Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist named Jan Ingenhousz. I didn’t remember hearing about him so when I looked and saw he was responsibly for the discovery of photosynthesis in plants, I had to know more!
Jan Ingenhousz or Ingen-Housz FRS (8 December 1730 – 7 September 1799) was a Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist. He is best known for discovering photosynthesis by showing that light is essential to the process by which green plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. He also discovered that plants, like animals, have cellular respiration. In his lifetime he was best known for successfully inoculating the members of the Habsburg family in Vienna against smallpox in 1768 and subsequently being the private counsellor and personal physician to the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa.
As I perused the news headlines, I was curious to see what happened with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his interns. It turned out there was “plant-related” discussion, about cannabis (Marijuana) in particular (see the actual video by using the link):
Justice Department interns confronted Jeff Sessions over police brutality, gun control, and marijuana
Justice Department interns posed tough questions to Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an event over the summer, newly published video shows.
Sessions told one intern that “other places in the country” have different views regarding excessive use-of-force from police officers.
He told another that marijuana is not a healthy substance.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was grilled by Justice Department interns over the summer about contentious issues like police violence and marijuana legalization, an internal video obtained by ABC News shows.
During the private event, one intern asked Sessions about Philando Castile and Michael Brown, two black men killed in recent years by police officers who were not convicted for the fatal shootings.
“I grew up in one of these communities,” the intern said. “I grew up in the projects to a single mother. And the people who we are afraid of are not necessarily our neighbors but the police.”
Sessions, appearing frustrated, replied, “Well, that may be the view in Berkeley, but it’s not the view in other places in the country.”
“I hear you, I hear you,” Sessions continued. “We’ve got a situation where we need to confront violent crime in America in cities that have abandoned traditional police activities, like Baltimore and Chicago. Murder rates have surged, particularly in poor neighborhoods.”
Sessions went on to say that the Justice Department is committed to defending Americans’ civil rights and would prosecute police officers who violate them.
Coincidentally, the video’s release occurred on the same day as the sentencing of former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, who will serve 20 years in prison for fatally shooting Walter Scott in the back as he fled a traffic stop in April 2015. Slager pleaded guilty in May to federal civil rights violations.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said Thursday that Sessions’ discussion with the interns was intended to give students the opportunity “to have robust conversation — even debates — about the challenges facing our country with the attorney general.”
‘Marijuana is not a healthy substance’
Another intern posed a fiery question comparing marijuana deaths to gun deaths, remarking that the latter was more statistically significant.
“Since guns kill more people than marijuana, why lax laws on one and harsh laws on the other?” she said.
Sessions responded that the question was one of “apples and oranges” and asked whether she was aware of the Second Amendment.
“I intend to defend that Second Amendment. It’s as valid as the First Amendment. So that’s my basic philosophical view about it,” he said. “Look, there’s this view that marijuana is harmless and it does no damage. I believe last year was the first year that automobile accidents that occurred were found to have been caused more by drugs than by alcohol.”
He went on to say that “marijuana is not a healthy substance, in my opinion,” arguing that the American Medical Association is “crystal clear on that.” When Sessions asked the intern whether she believed that point, the intern responded, “I don’t.”
“Okay, so Dr. Whatever Your Name Is, you can write to AMA to see why they think otherwise,” Sessions said.
I don’t entirely agree with the Attorney General either and found his reply to the intern rather rude. A few pro’s and con’s about Marijuana:
Pros vs. Cons of Cannabis
There are many great things that cannabis has to offer, both as a medicine and a potentially legal drug in the future. On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few negative aspects about this medication. Under current federal law, the Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance. This is means that the U.S. government feels that there are no accepted medical benefits, it has a high potential for abuse and is unsafe for use even under medical supervision. As of now, 16 states and territories currently permit medical marijuana use for patients with legitimate prescriptions for the substance. The following will chronicle both the pros and cons of medical marijuana use, as well as legalization.
Despite the fact that the government has classified cannabis as a Schedule I substance, it has been proven that marijuana is helpful in the treatment of many medical ailments, ranging from cancer to anxiety. One of the main reasons many feel that marijuana is still illegal is because of the minimal amount of effort the government has put into testing its medicinal value. Were cannabis to be legalized, it would be easier for scientists to conduct tests proving marijuana’s effectiveness as a medication. Another positive outcome of legalization would be the immense amount of jobs it would generate for people such as Oaksterdam graduates. Taxing marijuana (like we now do with alcohol) would also assist in maintaining a steadier economy. In California, medical marijuana generates over $14 billion per year. Ironically, the United States government spends an estimated $10 billion per year trying to rid the streets and dispensaries of marijuana. Imagine how much more revenue would be generated if you could purchase it at a convenience store.
Cancer patients and/or those undergoing chemotherapy find medical marijuana extremely helpful in reducing vomiting, nausea and increasing appetite. Most of these patients are taking enough heavy-duty medications as it is, and rather than take one more for appetite increase (that often doesn’t work), they turn to medicinal marijuana. Also, prior to undergoing potentially worrisome treatments or doctor visits, these patients will find that using medical marijuana prior to these trips can relieve much stress, tension and anxiety. AIDS patients also find this medication helpful in increasing appetite and maintaining some muscle mass.
Shown to provide relief for those suffering from pain and muscle spasms associated with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS), cannabis also helps with chronic pain and depression. Many patients with severe and chronic pain are prescribed medical marijuana, especially those who do not wish to take such “hard” drugs as Oxycontin or Vicodin. There are many more medical ailments that cannabis is capable of treating, including migraines, glaucoma, insomnia, asthma, anorexia, as an alcohol substitute and even ADHD/ADD.
While exceptionally helpful in treating a wide array of medical problems, as with an medication, is has side-effects. Ingesting cannabis slows the motor skills and reaction time, can sometimes cause paranoia and mood swings, fatigue and increased appetite, while under its effect. Long-term effects of marijuana use include memory loss, confusion and/or a delayed thought-process, blockage of blood vessels and can lead to lung cancer if continuously smoked (not vaporized or eaten). It can also cause loss of motivation, cramps and rarely diarrhea.
Then the path I’m on this morning lead to an article about how Scientists are playing with DNA again. In my mind, this next leading connects back to plants, to the “first” creations of the force, the “God” that created all of existence. This article is yet another, of too many examples of how humans insist on continuing to muck around in creation. Sometimes it seems to me they do it more for personal glory and profit than for humanitarian aims:
Scientists use CRISPR to turn genes on without editing their DNA
The revolutionary gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 is best-known for helping scientists edit a strand of DNA more precisely and efficiently than ever before.
Now, researchers have demonstrated another use for the CRISPR complex: changing what genes are expressed without altering the genome itself.
What this looks like is yet another money-making scheme. Rather than a cure we get another, more expensive treatment option. There will more than likely be the Elysium movie version of such a treatment (for the wealthy) and the rest of us will most likely only have the repeated treatments option like we currently do to “treat” cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other common ailments:
“Our final goal is treatment of disease, so we want to make sure this technique is really working,” Hatanaka said.
Komor said the work is exciting, but she noted that the end result would be a disease treatment, rather than a cure.
“So a patient would likely require repeated treatments depending on the particular disease,” she said.
For example (lead to this article next); could this CRISPR “treatment” potentially cure the incurable Alzheimers disease? Or would it ultimately just be like what is going on in the realms of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases? Kyle and I suspect one of the reasons Bernie Sander’s proposal for healthcare for all Americans (https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/) hasn’t taken hold and been approved is because it would not be in the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry. Would we see more cures if there was no profit to be made from long-term “treatments?”
New estimate says 46 million Americans headed to Alzheimer’s
by Maggie Fox
Close to 50 million Americans could be in the early stages leading to Alzheimer’s disease right now, according to a new forecast.
And 6 million people likely have it now, the team at the University of California Los Angeles calculated.
The forecast is based on a lot of supposition as well as some hard data, but it’s the best estimate of how badly Alzheimer’s will affect the country in the coming years, said Keith Fargo of the Alzheimer’s Association, who was not involved in the research.
Finally lead to prayer. I know from my own personal experience that when people I love and care about are sick or dying I pray to the God of my understanding. There was this headline today:
Pope Francis wants to change line of ‘Our Father’
Pope Francis has suggested he wants to make a change to The Lord’s Prayer, widely known among the faithful as the “Our Father.”
Specifically, the Catholic leader said in an interview Wednesday he would prefer to adjust the phrase “lead us not into temptation,” saying that it too strongly suggested that God leads people to sin.
“That is not a good translation,” the pope said, according to Reuters.
The phrase “do not let us fall into temptation,” which the Catholic Church in France has previously decided to use, would be a more appropriate alternative, Francis said.
He added that the phrase used by the French, or similar wording, should then be implemented around the globe.
The prayer originated from Jesus’s language of Aramaic. It was then translated to ancient Greek, and later to Latin.
The pope earlier this week weighed in on President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would aim to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.
Francis said he was “profoundly concerned” and appealed that “everyone respects the status quo of the city.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
In my curiosity to see if there was something official on the Vatican site, I found this which coincides in the date timeframe of the final article I’m linking:
MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE
Pray Our Father
Thursday, 20 June 2013
(by L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 26, 26 June 2013)
There is no need to fritter away words in order to pray: the Lord knows what we want to say to him. The important thing is that our first word be “Father”. Jesus’ advice to the Apostles was what Pope Francis, in turn, offered during the homily at Mass on Thursday morning, 20 June, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Concelebrating, among others, was Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, who was accompanied by some staff from the dicastery.
Thus the Pontiff repeated Jesus’ advice to the Apostles when he gave them the Our Father, according the Evangelist Matthew’s account (6:7-15). In order to pray, there is no need to make noise or believe that that it is better to use more words. There is no need to trust in noise, the noise of worldliness which Jesus pointed out, “to sound the trumpet” or “making oneself seen while fasting”. To pray, the Holy Father repeated, there is no need to heap up empty phrases: Jesus called this a characteristic of pagans.
Pope Francis went further, confirming that prayer must not be considered a magic formula: “Praying is not something magic; one doesn’t practice magic with prayer”. As he often does, he recounted his personal experience. He said that he never turned to sorcerers who promise magic; rather he knew what happened in meetings of this sort: many words are used to obtain “healing one time and at another time something else” with the help of magic. However, he warned, “this is pagan”.
So how should we pray? Jesus has taught us: “he says that the Father who is in heaven ‘knows what you need before you ask him”. Therefore, let our first word be “’Father’. This is the key to prayer. Without speaking, without feeling this word, praying is not possible”, the Bishop of Rome explained. Then he asked: “To whom do I pray? The almighty God? He is too far away. I don’t feel him; neither did Jesus feel him. To whom do I pray? The God of the cosmos? This is quite frequent nowadays, isn’t it? Praying to the cosmic God. This polytheistic model comes with a superficial culture”.
Rather, we must “pray to the Father”, who begot us. But this is not all: we must pray “our” Father, that is, not the Father of a generic and too anonymous “all”, but the One “who begot you, who gave you life, who gave life to you and me”.
I don’t agree with everything here, to me the term Father is exclusive and paternalistic. I have a loving Father AND Mother and that is not the case for many people on this planet. There are many people who hate their parents and to inject these terms into their prayers often keeps them off prayer altogether. Turns them away from any concept of God altogether.
I believe masculine and feminine energy of creation applies in “heaven” as on earth. I have learned to pray like supposedly Jesus did when he talked to the God of his understanding which it is written was his Father, “Not as I would have it, but as you would have it. Whatever is for the greatest, most loving good for this (person, place or situation.” Then I let it go. I agree with the Pope that when you use too many words or place too many conditions in your prayers you seldom if ever get an discernable answer.
I was curious to see if there would be any articles like this to back up my theories here as to why so many people have turned away from organized religions and was lead to this article:
More Young People Are Moving Away From Religion, But Why?
January 15, 20133:21 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Rigoberto Perez (from left), Kyle Simpson and Miriam Nissly participated in a roundtable discussion about religion with NPR’s David Greene at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.
One-fifth of Americans are religiously unaffiliated — higher than at any time in recent U.S. history — and those younger than 30 especially seem to be drifting from organized religion. A third of young Americans say they don’t belong to any religion.
NPR’s David Greene wanted to understand why, so he gathered a roundtable of young people at a synagogue in Washington, D.C. The 6th & I Historic Synagogue seemed like the right venue: It’s both a holy and secular place that has everything from religious services to rock concerts. Greene speaks with six people — three young women and three young men — all struggling with the role of faith and religion in their lives.
Miriam Nissly, 29, was raised Jewish and considers herself Jewish with an “agnostic bent.” She loves going to synagogue.
“I realize maybe there’s a disconnect there — why are you doing it if you don’t necessarily have a belief in God? But I think there’s a cultural aspect, there’s a spiritual aspect, I suppose. I find the practice of sitting and being quiet and being alone with your thoughts to be helpful, but I don’t think I need to answer that question [about God] in order to participate in the traditions I was brought up with.”
Yusuf Ahmad, 33, raised Muslim, is now an atheist. His doubts set in as a child with sacred stories he just didn’t believe.
“Like the story of Abraham — his God tells him to sacrifice his son. Then he takes his son to sacrifice him, and he turns into a goat. I remember growing up, in like fifth [or] sixth grade I’d hear these stories and be like, ‘That’s crazy! Why would this guy do this? Just because he heard a voice in his head, he went to sacrifice his son and it turned into a goat?’ There’s no way that this happened. I wasn’t buying it.
“Today if some guy told you that ‘I need to sacrifice my son because God told me to do it,’ he’d be locked up in a crazy institution.”
Kyle Simpson, 27, raised Christian. He has a tattoo on the inside of his wrist that says “Salvation from the cross” in Latin.
“It’s a little troublesome now when people ask me. I tell them and they go, ‘Oh, you’re a Christian,’ and I try to skirt the issue now. They go, ‘What does that mean?’ and it’s like, “It’s Latin for ‘I made a mistake when I was 18.’
“When I first got the tattoo I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this will be great because when I’m having troubles in my faith I will be able to look at it, and I can’t run away from it.’ And that is exactly what is happening.
“I don’t [believe in God] but I really want to. That’s the problem with questions like these is you don’t have anything that clearly states, ‘Yes, this is fact,’ so I’m constantly struggling. But looking right at the facts — evolution and science — they’re saying, no there is none. But what about love? What about the ideas of forgiveness? I like to believe they are true and they are meaningful.
“I think having a God would create a meaning for our lives, like we’re working toward a purpose — and it’s all worthwhile because at the end of the day we will maybe move on to another life where everything is beautiful. I love that idea.”
Melissa Adelman, 30, raised Catholic
“Starting in middle school we got the lessons about why premarital sex was not OK, why active homosexuality was not OK, and growing up in American culture, kids automatically pushed back on those things, and so we had some of those conversations in school with our theology teachers. The thing for me — a large part of the reason I moved away from Catholicism was because without accepting a lot of these core beliefs, I just didn’t think that I could still be part of that community.
“I remember a theology test in eighth grade where there was a question about homosexuality, and the right answer was that if you are homosexual, then that is not a sin because that’s how God made you, but acting upon it would be a sin. That’s what I put down as the answer, but I vividly remember thinking to myself that that was not the right answer.”
Rigoberto Perez, 30, raised as Seventh-day Adventist
“It was a fairly important part of our lives. It was something we did every Saturday morning. We celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. It was pretty hard growing up in a lot of ways. We didn’t have a lot of money, the household wasn’t very stable a lot of the time, so when something bad would happen, say a prayer, go to church. When my mom got cancer the first time, it was something that was useful at the time for me as a coping mechanism.
“While I was younger, my father drank a lot. There was abuse in the home. My brother committed suicide in 2001. So at some point you start to say, ‘Why does all this stuff happen to people?’ And if I pray and nothing good happens, is that supposed to be I’m being tried? I find that almost kind of cruel in some ways. It’s like burning ants with a magnifying glass. Eventually that gets just too hard to believe anymore.”
Lizz Reeves, 23, raised by a Jewish mother and a Christian father. She lost a brother to cancer.
“I wanted so badly to believe in God and in heaven, and that’s where he was going. I wanted to have some sort of purpose and meaning associated with his passing. And ultimately the more time I spent thinking about it, I realized the purpose and meaning of his life had nothing to do with heaven, but it had to do with how I could make choices in my life that give his life meaning. And that had a lot more weight with me than any kind of faith in anything else.”