Entries related to things political.

#WhatIMake Connections #CLMOOC Continuous Connected Learning

Normally, when asked what I make, I would say blog posts, in addition to other poems like poems, or hard cider. Yet this is only my fourth blog post of the week, behind my average of a post a day, and it does little to catch up with a full week with no blog posts while I was out on Cape Cod, and an expected dearth of blog posts while I am at Falcon Ridge.

On our way out to Cape Cod, we stopped at the 2nd BIG Tiny House Festival in Concord, MA, that my middle daughter helped organize with her friends from Miranda’s Hearth. At one of the tables there were #WhatIMake cards and colored pencils. Take a blank card, draw what you make. Leave it in the box of completed cards and take a different card. Connect with other makers.

This week has been #BreakWeek in the #CLMOOC I’m somewhat participating in. Being offline at the Cape left me less connected or involved that I would have liked to have been and I was hoping to use #BreakWeek to catch up. There’s been a lot of talk about postcards in #CLMOOC, very much like the #WhatIMake cards from Miranda’s Hearth. At some point, when I feel like things are better under control, I hope to join the postcard project. I hope some of my friends at Miranda’s Hearth will too.

Some of the stuff in #CLMOOC has been about ‘Animator’ and various other tools for creating animated GIFs. People have talked about Paper by Fiftythree. Unfortunately that is iPhone only. Someone else mentioned Sketch on Android. I looked briefly at Sketch and similar sketching and animation tools for Android and for laptops. Sketch has the ability to collaboratively sketch, and I think it may have timelines as well. Seems like a nice digital parallel to the postcard and #WhatIMake projects.

Another project that has caught my eye is #CLMOOC #DAILYCONNECT: THE CONNECTED POEM. I would love to spend some time in the connected poem, or perhaps set up a few connected poems myself. It uses Titanpad which appears to be based on Etherpad. Both are worth exploring.

I typically leave pages I’ve been browsing up to come back to them later and perhaps write about them a little. Often I try to connect them to different themes. I’ve been trying to avoid getting too drawn into the political fray, but I have been wondering if “You have sacrificed nothing and no one” will be the “Have you no sense of decency left” line from the 2016 election. Various people have been writing about it. Ezra Klein wrote, Donald Trump’s slander of Captain Humayun Khan’s family is horrifying, even for Trump. The Washington Post had Backlash for Trump after he lashes out at the Muslim parents of a dead U.S. soldier.

I’ve been getting into some discussions about Trump and religion. On Facebook I shared Opinion: Denying the Imago Dei: The triumph of Donald Trump. It was written by Ian Markham, Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary.

We should always recognize that when we talk about human lives we are talking about men and women who are made in the image of God. People are of infinite value. This debased and coarse language is totally inappropriate; in fact, it is wrong; it is sinful; indeed it is evil.

I often also point people to 7 conservative Christians who are not supporting Trump. There are lots of good comments there. Another window I had open was TRUMP ANNOUNCES HIS DEBATE ESCAPE PLAN. Not a lot of content there but it voices something people are talking about. Also, If Politicians Had Man Buns has some funny pictures.

It is getting late, and I won’t make it through all the open windows, but I thought I’d highlight two last articles I have up. I was talking with my eldest daughter whose classmates are now hearing “weird dad” stories. I pointed her to Impression Formation in Cyberspace: Online Expectations and Offline Experiences in Text-based Virtual Communities in which I am a case study. There is also an article which I believe I originally found from my middle daughter, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett And Oprah All Use The 5-Hour Rule :

Top business leaders often spend five hours per week doing deliberate learning.

While I’m not keen on the business focus, I think it has an interesting point which expands upon nicely.

More continuous connected learning later…

Facebook Politics, Bobolinks, and Grace

I pause from my studies
of the Dark Night of the Soul
and find a friend
has posted,
“Sorry I’m not on Facebook
much right now,
I need to do things
that don’t fill me
with anger and despair.”

So I shared with her
a picture of a bobolink
and a poem
of how the prairie smells
after a summer rain
and thought about
this week’s lesson.

“One's life does not consist
in the abundance of possessions”
despite what the commercials say.
The politicians’ promise
leads to
“anger, wrath, malice, slander,
and abusive language“
For them, there are still
“slave and free”,
those who help them gain riches
and others who obstruct them.

My friend writes,
“Sorry I’m not on Facebook
much right now,
I need to do things
that don’t fill me
with anger and despair.”

“But you are needed”,
I tell her
to remind all of us
“The Moon Cannot be Stolen”.

Black and Blue

I’m feeling pretty beat up right now. For the past few days, many of my friends have been posting online about heart wrenching confessions of feeling unsafe in their own country because of the color of their skin. Due to the paleness of my own skin, I do not have the same fears for myself or my family, only for my friends. It is fundamentally unjust and un-American.

I have read posts from my friends talking about #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter. We must stand with and support those who are being told their lives don’t matter by saying with them that their lives do matter. Failing to do that doesn’t sound like one is saying #AllLivesMatter, it sounds like saying, you don’t believe black lives matter, and hence you don’t really believe that all lives matter.

When we say that one group of people’s lives don’t matter, it becomes too easy for others to say that other groups of people’s lives don’t matter. The murder of young black men and the murder of police officers are part of the same problem. We need to say together that #BlackLivesMatter and that #BlueLivesMatter. We need to say that #MuslimLivesMatter and that #GayLivesMatter.

We need to join with Jesus in saying #SamaritanLivesMatter and #TaxCollectorLivesMatter. We need to say that #LepersLivesMatter and we need to acknowledge that we are all lepers in one way or another.

I’m feeling pretty beat up right now; I’m feeling pretty black and blue.

Random Thoughts

On my way to work today, like has been the case for many days over the past couple of weeks, I listened to a recording of Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism. I had to get to work a little early because CHC started offering free Ta’i Chi lessons in Middletown, at 8 AM for staff and 12:15 for the general public. Online, I shared various posts about celebrating the end of Ramadan.

At a meeting about a medical assistants’ training program we are starting, we talked about corporate social responsibility and how that relates to providing good jobs. On social media, I read some of the outrage about the most recent black man killed police officers.

A couple friends share Social Justice Is a Christian Tradition — Not a Liberal Agenda and others shared an image from NASA that reminds me so much of paintings by William Blake, returning me to the beginning of the day, and Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism.

The Interior Castle

On this Fourth of July weekend, I’ve been reading a little bit of The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila. This castle is a metaphor for our souls. St. Teresa writes,

Rarely do we reflect upon what gifts our souls may possess, Who dwells within them, or how extremely precious they are. Therefore we do little to preserve their beauty; all our care is concentrated on our bodies, which are but the coarse setting of the diamond, or the outer walls of the castle.

As I reflected on this, I thought of those who would whitewash the exterior of a deteriorating mansion in the name of upkeep. It doesn’t take much to look beyond the whitewash to see the decay, and beyond that, to get a sense of some of the beauty of yesterday year.

It made me think of our fascination with ‘Abandoned America’. I spent some time looking through the pictures of abandoned churches. I remember time I have spent on church vestries, at times as a treasurer or clerk, talking about how to keep these institutions financially stable, how to afford the upkeep of the buildings. I remember discussions about how the church needs to get outside of the building, think outside the box, and I see the struggles of trying to maintain a beautiful building, some of the history of the institution, while at the same time being a vibrant part of a community and not just a dying tradition.

I think of St. Francis being told to “go rebuild my Church, which you see is falling into ruins” and rebuilding the church at San Damiano, as well as the greater church.

I wondered about churches struggling in Connecticut. The Episcopal Church has some interesting Tables, Charts, and Research Reports. Using Studying Your Congregation and Community you can get historical data about members, attendance and income. This led me to look at churches for sale, which has plenty of listings.

It seems like there is some sort of allegory that could be written here, especially apt if we stop to wonder what it is that we are celebrating this weekend, what it is that makes our country great.

Syndicate content