Our annual visitor from USA, Mark Hostetler, and class are not coming this year: I received this note from Mark this week:
Hello Garry. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, my University has cancelled the study abroad class and we will not be coming over this year. We are really disappointed about the cancellation of the study abroad trip. We may miss our special time with you this year (gutted about this). Our family may still come over (just us), but we are in a wait and see stage. Thus, don’t cancel my talk yet – I may still come over and work with Colin Meurk on a few things with the red zone and restoration. Will let you know as things shake out about our travel plans. Please say hi to everyone and be safe! Cheers Mark
We will be pleased to see you Mark if and when you arrive.
This email, and the articles I am reading in USA made me think about what a complex place America really is. Most Governors seem sensible, regardless of their political affiliation, and are tackling the issue judiciously. As at Sunday afternoon there have been 119,000 cases in USA and 2,000 have died. The number is growing exponentially.
This article in the Atlantic, in USA, is a really excellent explanation on how USA has stuffed up its response to the virus. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/03/what-really-doomed-americas-coronavirus-response/608596/
There have been a huge number of articles about the leadership of Trump. Here is one:
- But these are small consolations for America and indeed for the world, which needed the leadership only a US president has the clout to provide. Instead, the world’s peoples now look at the US and comfort themselves with the small solace that they, at least, face only a lethal disease, and not the malignancy that is Donald Trump.
I find Tump fascinating. How could a man so deeply flawed, a consummate liar, and with an advanced bout of narcissism, have ended up the leader of the most powerful country in the world? Amongst the multitude of articles I read in USA this week this one in the New York Times was about the right-wing fundamental Christian leaders. People, who as well as denying the need to pay tax, or who believe that homosexuals can be cured through prayer, or that Global Warming is a hoax, support Trump.
One comment stuck out:
- For decades, Christian nationalist leaders have lined up with the anti-government, anti-tax agenda not just as a matter of politics but also as a matter of theology. Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council, one of the Christian right’s major activist groups, has gone so far as to cast food stamps and other forms of government assistance for essential services as contrary to the “biblical model.” Limited government, according to this line of thinking, is “godly government.”
I know that I would be written off as a sinful person by these “religious” leaders. However, my interpretation of the Gospels would suggest if Christ were to come again and lay on the footpath in front of them, they would certainly not behave like the Good Samaritan.
The New York Times had this photo of these supposed leaders crowding around Trump as they hyper-ventilated linking their interpretation of God to the gathering. Their closed eyes perfectly reflect their minds. Look at Trump’s face. His acceptance of their message is as good as his understanding of the medical advice he is receiving on the Coronavirus. Nothing’s going in. He’s just the cat who swallowed the budgie. If anything happens in that mind it’s that he’s convinced he’s sucked another group in.
I couldn’t help thinking about a work colleague of mine years ago describing a group as “sincere. But sincerely wrong”. That description fitted perfectly in this case.