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Messages - Randy Bosch

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Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: October 26, 2021, 12:29:43 PM »
The way the whole (and very real) COVID debacle began, has spread, has been - is being - "managed" continues to drastically impact public policy and private lives to an almost surreal extent. It reminds me of Dino Buzzati's short story, "The Epidemic" (in "Catastrophe and Other Stories" by Dino Buzzati).

His story follows the gradually changing and spreading effects of a ďState influenzaĒ - Dystopia as public policy and required implementation.

Buzzati's epidemic targets those who disagree with the government.  Just like ours.

Your Turn / Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« on: October 21, 2021, 08:02:43 PM »
"Truth has nothing to do with the number of people it convinces."  Paul Claudel

Your Turn / Re: Ben Carson on politics and cultural division
« on: October 14, 2021, 02:39:21 PM »
Ben Carson spoke at one of our national LCMS gatherings a few years ago.  As stated, he was civil, reasoned and carried himself and his life story with dignity.  He ran against one of the least civil public figures in memory in Donald Trump, a person with whom he had little if anything in common.  His service as HUD chairman was in my opinion someone doing the best he could with what he had.    Trump is all about housing and development, and has never been about affordability for the course of his entire public life.  So whatever deficit in experience Ben Carson had, at least he understood what affordable housing actually is.

Trump notably received a major tax abatement, called J51, for building Trump Tower on devastated/underutilized urban property there on 5th and 56th in Manhattan.  The same tax abatement was used appropriately to build the 3000 Nehemiah Plan homes in Brooklyn on acreage that had burned to the ground.  That housing was and continues to be built both as rental and owner housing on an actually affordable basis by organized congregations.  The organization was and is run through the Industrial Areas Foundation community organizing effort, which is the foundational child many decades later of Saul Alinsky.  I received my training in community organizing through the IAF. 

In terms of civil discussion and community organizing, I was one of those who spoke often to elected officials and power brokers.  Our training was very specific with regard to civility.  To be a public person is to be a citizen.  To be a citizen, conversation must be held that leads to the achievement of the ability to act on behalf of commonly held needs.  Our primary needs at the time - and they're still about the same - were decent public education, availability of food in areas considered food deserts, affordable housing, responsive policing and security, and training toward jobs.  The conversations we held and hold were specifically not about shouting and screaming, but always about ongoing relationships with officials that would produce the results needed.  So we were and are direct in approach, direct in pointing out what was and is missing, and direct in identifying achievable change.  The Nehemiah Plan was opposed by every public official until it wasn't opposed.  That process is actually the basis of my doctor of ministry thesis. 

Therefore I know civil discussion on controverted issues can be held and can lead to positive change.

Dave Benke

An extraordinary application of hypomone/hypomeno : patient endurance.
An extraordinary lesson to be learned and applied as a general virtue and as a characteristic of love, linked to hope and enduring suffering.
Thank you.  And for all, Phil. 4:9.

Your Turn / Re: Columbus Day and evangelism
« on: October 11, 2021, 12:42:11 PM »
For some years, one of my old firms had offices in both Virginia and California.  Columbus Day was deemed a Holiday in Virginia, so staff were given the day off with pay.  California did not deem Columbus Day a Holiday.
If Columbus had been able to journey on to California, he might have arrived there on the day after Thanksgiving, so we voted to declare Columbus Day to be the day after Thanksgiving in California, garnering a 4-day weekend.
Sometimes even the most improbable reasoning can benefit people...sometimes.

Your Turn / Re: Columbus Day and evangelism
« on: October 11, 2021, 12:19:19 PM »
Actually, Peter, those who are already living in Newfoundland, which the Vikings called skraelings, drove them out. After what were probably multiple attacks on their small settlement, the. Norsemen withdrew.

Scandanavian colonist building empire, driven back by indigenous peoples protecting their lands!

Your Turn / Re: Twenty Years from Now
« on: October 08, 2021, 03:53:51 PM »
The imminent demise of Christianity has been anticipated, predicted, and celebrated for at least the last two hundred years. Yet we are still here. Extrapolating future trends on the basis of current trends is inherently risky and not just subject to error but virtually guaranteed of error. Society as a system is extremely complex, operates on time frames beyond a single human lifespan, and subject to factors that are frequently unanticipated. It would be interesting, to say the least, to compare the vision of what life would be like in 2020 that people of 1920 anticipated with reality. Or even compare the vision of technology and society envisioned in the 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey with what we were actually doing in 2001.

A number of factors make predictions of the church 20 years from now especially difficult.

One is that many people base their thinking on the comparison between the place and relative success of the church now compared to the church in the mid-20th century. Churches and Christianity in general has lost much in numbers, influence, and cultural hegemony from the 1950s and 1960s and now. But what is not often taken into account was that the mid-20th century itself was anomalous in the history of church in America. Church membership and attendance as will as the influence that churches exerted on society was appreciably greater in those decades than it had been earlier in the 20th century, or later. To take those decades as the normal base line against which subsequent decades would be measured insured that our more recent experiences would be disappointing. Social, cultural, and church factors and trends converged to make those decades conducive to full and expanding churches. Those factors would eventually diverge.

There is also a tendency for trends to be to an extent self limiting and self-correcting. The pendulum swings and eventually can no longer sustain the swing in one direction and begins to swing back.

As I look at where the church will be twenty years from now, I anticipate that some of the trends that have resulted in the shrinking of the church will diminish before the church expires. We will not get back to the glory days of the mid-20th century, they were anomalous, but at some point the current downward trends are likely to stabilize. They sky is not falling. Meanwhile we need to adapt to the prevailing trends, do the best that we can to respond to our society as it is with the Gospel that God has given us. Whether people know it or not, recognize it or not, accept it or not, people really do need what God has given us to offer them in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the wisdom of God's Law. Some will come to see that. Our goal should not be to recapture the Good Old Days of the 1950s, that ship has sailed, but to faithful offer the changeless Good News to a changing world.

Yes.  The church is not a snapshot in a time of remembered elysium.

A fairly insightful lay leader has said that progress is a trade. 
"It's easy to imagine that over there, just a few steps ahead, our problems will disappear.  Pessimists, of course, are sure that instead of disappearing, tomorrow will make things worse.
The truth is pretty simple: all we do, all we ever do, is trade one set of problems for another.  Problems are a feature.  They're the opportunity to see how we can productively move forward, not to a world with no problems at all, but to a situation with different problems, ones that are worth dancing with." (Seth Godin)

Church attendance in the USA still ranges 3-4 times as high as in most of Europe (also 3-4 times higher in South and Central America.  Christianity in a chunk of the world has been not just decimated but destroyed by other militant religions and theocracies - Iraq almost emptied out, along with Syria, and Turkey actively moving in that direction.  Hic sunt dracones. Yet, Christ's purpose and work were for centuries done in those areas.  And, we might be surprised to find that His work is not completed there yet, until He comes again.

Despite anxieties and real challenges, how blessed the church in America is to have opportunity to face stasis and entropy, and to find the work of Christ living in the work He gives it.  May He open our eves to it.

Your Turn / Re: Twenty Years from Now
« on: October 08, 2021, 01:30:45 PM »
"It's tough to make predictions, particularly about the future." Yogi Berra

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: October 08, 2021, 10:08:32 AM »
When New York starts worrying about not having enough people living there, we will have a host of other problems. :)

Ah, but they do care:

NY has lost seats since the 1940s. Letting the old die off and letting the young and able go does not add up. Even with more elbow room, people are leaving. Speaks volumes.

Snake Plissken, a much older more passive aggressive version perhaps, must be helping people get out...

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: October 08, 2021, 09:10:39 AM »
Here's an extensive analysis of reported COVID-19 conditions in Minnesota from yesterday.  The base data is from the State:

As to hospitalization of children due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, NYT issued a minor correction to their previously reported 600,000 900,000*: their correction is to 62,000 hospitalizations.  Many have been reported as due to false positives from the huge ramp-up in testing requirements as the school year commenced.

(* Modified to correct copying error: Troubled by being my own editor, but apparently one more than the NYT)

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: October 05, 2021, 01:38:46 PM »
Perhaps churches aren't super spreaders because few of our congregation have people packed close together in the pews.

Sadly true.  Perhaps some will use that truth to justify lower attendance at their congregation.

Even less likely to be a super-spreader is "The Soft Prison of the Home" (from England's ArtAngel cooperative's exhibition), referring to the lockdown cell syndrome.

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: October 04, 2021, 11:34:17 AM »
When I visited a confined hog operation,  I had to wear more protection that I have done when visiting sick people in the hospital. We do what we can to keep contagious diseases from spreading. If farmers will mandate such restrictions to protect hogs; why shouldn't businesses be able to do the same thing to protect people.

1. The farmers don't mandate such restrictions, the FDA and other governmental health organizations do, to protect the consumers of pork products - humans - from what are often rapidly spreading health problems in humans from eating contaminated pork products.   
2.  So you promote confined human operations run by businesses, licensed by the CDC?

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: October 03, 2021, 09:36:54 AM »
Because if you donít smoke in public, you arenít hurting other people.
In most places, you gun  people canít shoot squirrels in your backyard if you live in an urban area.

Re: Not Smoking in Public: Second hand smoke in homes (non-public areas, right) has contributed to substantial health losses among family members.

Re: Guns & Urban Squirrels: Apparantly true.  In Chicago, the gun people shoot young people in the streets, instead.

Re: Coronavirus news: Your attempted comparisons are not germain to the discussion. 

Pro Tip: Try to focus on health impacts.

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: September 30, 2021, 01:04:58 PM »
Another statistical misapplication in Great Britain's surge in COVID infections among the returning to school population is simple to explain if you apply reason to reports.  From the study in my previous post:

"The drop in the UK is quite different and it isnít a mystery either. The massive surge in cases was driven by children and young adults. Students were testing themselves two or more times per week. The same child with COVID could be counted multiple times. The last school period went from the end of May up until July 15. The surge in cases started at the end of May and on July 17 cases dropped. The school period and the surge match perfectly."

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: September 30, 2021, 01:02:26 PM »
Ivermectin has been soundly denied to be a reasonable treatment for those with mild cases of Coronavirus by many in the mainstream media/public medical sphere in the US.  The following, lengthy reporting of the effects of Ivermectin treatment in a wide variety of countries is intriguing:

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: September 29, 2021, 11:20:37 AM »
Today's state news here in NY is that even amidst the protests and lawsuits, the vaccine mandate for education and health workers is having a dramatic positive effect on the percentages of employees/staff in those enterprises who are vaccinated.  The deadline is tomorrow for first shot in the arm, but the percentage of those vaccinated has risen substantially.  To that point, an editorial appeared today in the NYT under the title "Why Can't America Learn from New York City?" 

I actually had to laugh out loud at that.  Because
a) that's not going to happen
b) what are we in NYC asking "them" in America to learn?

Yes, our way - kvetching, kibbitzing, kvelling, yelling and screaming, nanny-stating, tsk-tsking, finger-pointing, over-splaining, push-prodding, multi-hued in every possible manner -with a host of other descriptives, has worked and is working and will work.  Does anyone out there in America want to use us as the model?  Do "they" understand kvetching and kvelling and kibbitzing?  Do they want to?  Are those exercises necessary for salvation or sanity?

Yes  - we're better for it.  And - we embraced the heroism of health care workers, first responders, essential workers and caregivers.  And - Broadway is back.

Still, we were anxious back in the day, and we're more anxious now; we were lonely and isolated before, and more so now.  We had and have and almost certainly will have the greatest disparities in income and opportunity in one little patch of land anywhere on the planet. 

Meaning it's the best place to be, especially now, with the Gospel.  That's about all I've learned.

Dave Benke

Great opportunities to share the Gospel in New York City, and throughout the non-urban areas of the planet as well.  Those heroes, that loneliness, those disparities exist everywhere.  Blessings on helping the people and helping to solve the problems where you have been called.

As you have demonstrated significant work in tying through the Gospel to improve the quality of life for the peoples of the City, you might find interest in the linked article from "Inkcap Journal".  It's English, heavily ties to City of London issues because like New York City, that megalopolis impacts nature and people far beyond its core:

Please particularly think about how it addresses London by example - and clearly New York as well - as it subtitles the article with the first heading, "Modern cities act as ecological vampires, drawing life from the land beyond their bounds."
Little grows in the "big cities" except pollution and waste - which are exported to more formerly pristine lands.
Little water supply, energy, almost no food, wildlife, etc.  New York City while being a great place full of opportunity for the Gospel and for improving lives also sucks its life out of the countryside while many (not you, of course) often impugn the character, intelligence and value of the areas it has economically and culturally colonized (and more Nehemiah projects, please - even in fly-over country...)!

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