Oh my fucking gawd! I’m thirty. It was devastating, my youth!
Turning forty was less shocking however, I spent the first two years of my forties saying I was thirty nine.
One day, I noticed a grey hair in my goatee, I didn’t think anything about it. A few days later there were three, all in the same neighborhood. Not today, I thought to myself as I quickly plucked those bad boys out.
Months went by, I was on a weekend vacation with the family. I looked in a mirror and there they were, all grouped up together. A renegaded bunch standing tall like they were Teamsters. Well you don’t eff with the Teamsters. So I did what a normal guy does, I carefully covered them in black Kiwi shoe polish.
By my fiftieth birthday the Teamsters had won. Their diabolical plan had worked, AND they were expanding. The mustache was beginning to have more salt than paper. To fight them off I bought “Just for men” However, with the basic black I started to look like a Deacon at the First Eucalyptus Missionary Baptist Church. I now know Medium brown works best for me. Warning : Don’t color your southern hair, you’ll learn a few new dance moves, just saying.
God has a sense of humor. The grey hair suddenly started to grow faster. I had to get a part time job so I could afford to cover the grey. In addition to facial hair, the nose hair started growing faster. You just know, when people are not looking into your eyes and staring at your braided nose hairs. I have worn out several nose rimmers. As more baby boomers come online, someone like Dewalt or Black and Decker will make a heavy duty hair trimmer.
If your forty or forty plus, embrace the grey, you’ll go before it does.
Since 1936, Florida has picked the winner of the presidential election 19 out 21 times and in no other state has the Hispanic vote proved more valuable in helping determine who will lead the nation for the next four years.
In 2016 Presidential Election. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 115,000 thousand votes
Hurricane Maria continues to ravage Puerto Rico. Nearly a half million americans have been without power for more than four months. Thousands of homes still need repair many are without roofs.
Over two hundred thousand Puerto Ricans have moved to Florida since Hurricane Maria. Florida’s govenor Rick Scott says the number is closer the 300,000. Scott’s number represents people on commercial airlines flying from Puerto Rico to Orlando, Miami and Tampa — a statistic tracked by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. So it would include businesspeople, journalists, aid workers, contractors, government employees and possibly travelers who connected at Puerto Rico airports from other points of origin.
There’s really no whole number that is reliable yet, said Rich Doty, GIS Coordinator & Research Demographer at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The most accurate number is from schools, where children from the island are new registrations. Statewide, that number is about 11,200 for arrivals from Puerto Rico and the much smaller Virgin Islands.
The actual number may not be known for months. Since Puerto Ricians are US Citizens they are not required to register. Many are staying with families in Florida.
Leaving Puerto Rico Sad and Blue
Bloomberg says, an estimated 600,000 people plan to leave the island by 2022. On Wednesday, Puerto Rico’s Govenor Ricardo A. Rosselló announsed the island will not be able to pay down any portion of the islands more than $70 billion debt for the next five years because of the damage brought on by Hurricane Maria.
Just before the hurricane, Puerto Rico had made plans to pay creditors a total of $3.6 billion through 2022. That was a fraction of the amount due, had the island, a United States territory, not gone into default.
Nearly half of Islands population live in poverty prior to the hurricane. The unemployement rate is currently 11 percent.
Before Maria, Puerto Ricians were leaving the Island with Orlando being the most popular destination. Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph had reported more than 20,000 Puerto Rico residents moving to the county in the 12 months before Maria.
An Early Warning
In May of 2016, The Wall Street Journal editorial board warned that if Congress failed to pass a bill addressing the island’s debt crists on Puerto Rico would result in thousands of Puerto Ricans moving to the US mainland which could make Florida a Democratic stronghold.
The challenges posed by such a mass emigration are two-fold, according to the Journal. One, it could increase costs to the federal government as Puerto Ricans rely on public assistance to help reestablish themselves on the U.S. mainland.
Home to 3.4 Million Americans
Iowa 3.1 Million Americans
Utah 3 Million Americans
Mississippi 2.9 Million Americans
Arkansas 2.9 Million Americans
Nevada 2.9 Million Americans
Kansas 2.9 Million Americans
New Mexico 2.1 Million Americans
Nebraska 1.9 Million Americans
West Virginia 1.8 Million Americans
Idaho 1.7 Million Americans
There are more Americans In Puerto Rico than Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, District of Columbia, Vermont, Wyoming
New York to Puerto Rico 3.5 Hours
Miami to Puerto Rico 2.5 Hours
Houston to New York 3.5 Hours
Houston to Miami 2.35 Hours
Puerto Rico is closer to the Continental U.S than Alaska or Hawaii
Currency: US Dollar
Through the years there has been discussion about Puerto Rico becoming the 51st State.
On January 17,2017 Puerto Rico’s new representative to Congress pushed a bill that would ratify statehood by 2025.
Roman Catholic Theologian examines the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment
By: Matthew Schmatz/The Conversation
This piece originally appeared on The Conversation
Seeing the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, conservative Christian pastor John McTernan argued recently that “God is systematically destroying America” out of anger over “the homosexual agenda.”
There were others who disagreed over the reasons for God’s anger, but not necessarily with the assumption that God can be wrathful. Ann Coulter, a conservative political commentator, for example, said jokingly that Houston’s election of a lesbian mayor was a more “credible” cause of the hurricane than global warming. And, from the other side of the political spectrum, a Tampa University professor tweeted that God had punished Texans for voting Republican. He subsequently expressed regret, but was fired.
It is true that many religious traditions, including Judaism and Christianity, have seen natural disasters as divine punishment. But, as a scholar of religion, I would argue that things aren’t that simple.
The Genesis flood
Some of the earliest narratives of divine retribution go back to 2000 B.C. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of a catastrophic flood.
The gods decide to bring rain down to end the “uproar” of humankind. But the god of the waters, Enki, warns the righteous man, Utnapishtim, about the impending disaster.
Utnapishtim saves himself and his family by constructing a boat.
Elements of this story are later echoed in the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Genesis. God is angry because the Earth is filled with violence caused by human beings and vows to “destroy both them and the Earth.”
Noah is a “blameless” man, and God tells him to build an ark that would be large enough to hold his family and “two of all living creatures.” Although humanity perishes in a deluge, Noah preserves life on Earth.
It might seem straightforward to say that floods in the Bible are associated with God’s anger, but that means missing the complexity of the text.
In the Genesis account, after the waters subside, God makes a covenant with Noah:
“Never again will I destroy all living creatures.”
This promise not to destroy humankind is also referred to in the Book of Isaiah, the Israelite prophet and seer. In a vision, God says that just as he vowed to Noah that water “would never again cover the Earth,” so too he promises not “to be angry.”
Biblical approaches to suffering
The question of God’s anger is intimately connected to the problem of human suffering. After all, how can a loving God cause indiscriminate human misery?
We first need to look at how suffering is portrayed in the texts. For example, it is also in the Book of Isaiah that we find the story of the “Man of Sorrows” – a man who takes on the sufferings of others and is an image of piety.
While the Bible does speak of humans suffering because of their sins, some of the most moving passages speak about how innocent people suffer as well.
The Book of Job relates the story of a “blameless and upright man,” Job, whom Satan causes to experience all sorts of calamities. The suffering becomes so intense that Job wishes he had never been born. God then speaks from the heavens and explains to Job that God’s ways surpass human understanding.
The Hebrew Bible recognizes that people suffer often through no fault of their own. Most famously, Psalm 42 is an extended lament about suffering that nonetheless concludes by praising God.
The Hebrew Bible’s views on suffering cannot be encapsulated by a single message. Sometimes suffering is caused by God, sometimes by Satan and sometimes by other human beings. But sometimes the purpose behind suffering remains hidden.
The Christian tradition also provides diverse answers to the issue of suffering.
The New Testament does refer to the Genesis flood when talking about God punishing human beings. For example, Paul the Apostle observes that God brought the flood on “the ungodly” people of the world.
But the Epistle of James, a letter in the New Testament often attributed to Jesus’ brother or stepbrother, says that God tests no one. In fact, those who endure trials are eventually rewarded. The early Christian philosopher Origen argued that through suffering we can understand our own weaknesses and dependence on God.
In these views, suffering is not punishment but something that draws human beings to closer God and to one another.
Moving to more contemporary reflections, philosopher Dewi Zephaniah Phillips argues that it is mistaken to attribute to God a human feeling like anger because God lies beyond human reality.
Believing that Hurricane Harvey is “God’s punishment,” reduces the divine to human terms.
God is merciful
Some theologians totally reject the idea of suffering as divine retribution because such an act would be unworthy of a merciful God. From a Christian perspective, God also suffered by being crucified on the cross as Jesus Christ.
And so, as a Roman Catholic scholar, I would argue that God suffers with people in Houston – as well as in Mumbai, which experienced much more extensive flooding recently.
In the words of German theologian Jurgen Moltmann,
“God heals the sicknesses and the griefs by making the sicknesses and the griefs his suffering and his grief.”
So, instead of dwelling on God’s wrath, we need to understand God’s kindness and mercy. And that, in times of crises and distress, it is kindness and mercy that require us to reach out to those who need comfort and assistance.
Mathew Schmalz, Associate Professor of Religion, College of the Holy Cross
“I’m the greatest president EVER” “I know more than the Pope and almost as much as God” ” I watch myself of TV because I like to hear the haters lie about my accomplishments.” ” I don’t watch Morning Joe (that slug) he is just a failed politician, I hate how he looks without his glasses, like this morning, I’ve heard” The fake news (all of its fake-except Sean Hannity) says I’m disloyal, this is wrong-I tell ya, I am loyal to people who are loyal to me. Just this morning I was talking to my favorite son Jared ( I meant to say) my favorite Son in Law (its just like the fake news to hear it wrong) and I’m loyal to everyone except my son Eric (for reasons he knows) and Jeff Sessions who more loyal to the country then to me! I hope the little bitch catches a brick, it would be tremendous!
Sean Spicer Agrees with 45
Gonna Miss Spicy
The number of gonorrhea infections reported in Sweden has increased yet again, at the same time as experts warn that a strain could become incurable
New statistics from Sweden’s Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten) show that by November 2016 1,625 gonorrhea cases had been reported in the country last year, compared to 1,535 during the same time period the year before.
That’s despite safe sex campaigns, and Swedish doctors previously highlighting that the number of gonorrhea infections had more than double in the decade between 1995 and 2015.
“There are several factors which have contributed to the growth. One of them is that more cases are detected now because access to tests has increased since ordering them online was made possible,” Folkhälsomyndigheten’s Elin Jacobsson told The Local.
“Gonorrhea has lived in the shadow of chlamydia somewhat, which is the most common STD in Sweden, but since a few years back both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be detected by the same test.”
The number of people taking the combined test for chlamydia and gonorrhea in Sweden increased by 20 percent in 2015, leading to 390,000 testing themselves that year, up from 330,000 in 2014. Test numbers for 2016 are not yet available.
Folkhälsomyndigheten believes that awareness about the disease may still be too low, and also sees decreasing condom use in Sweden as a concern.
“The number of cases of gonorrhea reported was generally low for a long time, which means that awareness about the infection could be low. It’s very important that people who have unprotected sex are offered tests and discussions about condom use,” Jacobsson explained.
“Condom usage is too low in Sweden: it has dropped since the 80s and 90s when the fear of HIV was high. Chlamydia is not perceived as similarly serious, and as a result of that the incentive to use condoms isn’t as high. We also know that the number of sexual partners during a lifetime has increased and people don’t always make a rational risk assessment,” she added.
The most common way for gonorrhea to spread is through sex without a condom, though it can also spread through oral sex. The average age bracket of those infected in 2016 was 28-29, the majority of whom were men.
Both gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to reduced fertility if not treated. And a real concern is that the current antibiotic treatments could stop working, leading to strains of gonorrhea becoming incurable.
“The increase is worrying because it could become incurable as multiresistant bacteria grows. For one kind of gonorrhea in particular there is currently only one kind of antibiotic which can cure it,” Jacobsson warned.
“People are actively looking for new antibiotics, but we could end up in a situation where the cure which exists stops working.”
In Sweden, gonorrhea and chlamydia are subject to the country’s law for communicable disease control (smittskyddslagen), which means anyone who suspects being infected is required to get a test.
Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating and bloody or red and swollen eyes.