69 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 5-17-21

  1. It’s a puzzle more than anything else.
    How does an eighteen year old think he can kill a four year old and get away with it? What possesses such a stupid notion?
    I mean: It;s more than evil. Stupidity is prominent, mixed with evil. But something else is involved.
    It doesn’t make sense anyway you slice it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No thinking there, Chas. So beyond sad.

    Beautiful flowers. We will be in the eighties today, which is way too warm for me. I am enjoying all the green.

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  3. I love the flowers. So bright and springlike
    I look like a vampire in my right eye this morning. I thought my hair had been blown into my face and thought a strand got in my eye. It continued to bother me so when I got home I looked in the mirror. The entire inner corner of my eye is red. Mr P looked up what it could be. Probably just a scratch but I am making an appointment with the ophthalmologist for later today. Ugh. I will have to function in glasses for a few days and according to Dr Google it could take up to 14 days to go away.

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  4. Good morning. Art is suppose to emerge from the Tax Man cave tonight. Miss Bosley will be in his chair before he can sit down. She has not been in it while he has camped out at the office.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good morning.

    I do not know to what you are referring, Chas, but there are many reasons somebody might kill a four year old. I store them all in a box called “mental illness” because I believe mental illness is the only reason anybody could have to kill another.
    But some of the rationalization might be:
    to cover a crime such as molesting the child
    to retaliate against a former spouse
    to gain membership in a gang
    “hearing voices” (often the case in post partum psychosis)
    the desire to kill somebody to know what it feels like (a child would be physically easier than an adult)

    All of those rationalizations are evil. And I believe it is mental illness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I believe Chas is referring to a story from Dallas Texas where a 19 year old man has been arrested for killing a four year old in the street.
    And no, physical illness doesn’t make killers of people, and mental illness is simply a physical illness of the brain. Mental illness can cause psychosis, where the brain loses the ability to tell what is real and what is not, and an accidental killing may result from that, but it does not make someone evil. And all of those reasons listed except psychosis, are pure evil. The personality disorders are included in mental illness, but they are not organic, physical illnesses in the way anxiety, depression, bipolar or schizophrenia are. Mental illness is not to be blamed for human evil, and mentally ill people are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than to commit one. Child killers Leopold and Loeb (1924) were not mentally ill, and had above average intelligence, both graduating from university at age 17. They were just proud of their evil and thought they could commit the perfect crime.

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  7. They are saying on TV that the Biden administration is being compared to Jimmy Carter.
    They knew that before he cam e in.
    We knew about Hunter Biden’s escapades years ago.
    So? What’s the complaint? We got what we voted for.
    Problem is: So many people hated Trump that it didn’t matter that he was good for the country.

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  8. I so agree, Roscuro. No suggestion Cane killed Abel because of mental illness. That certainly does happen, but far more often it is just plain evil, whether seflishness, pride, meanness or whatever.

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  9. Bottom line, theologically speaking — if God had wanted Trump to be our nation’s ruler for a second term, Trump would be president. He’s not. Joe Biden is.

    We don’t know the “why’s” of God’s providence, where it is all leading in the long haul, whether to our ultimate judgement or blessing. But we do know that rulers are in place only within and under God’s divine sovereignty and will.

    We can only follow our own conscience when it comes to voting — and pray always.

    Maybe that belongs on the political thread.

    ++++++++++++++++++

    Sin in us and around us is a horrible thing. One of the best things about heaven will be its complete absence, amen?

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Mondays certainly do come around (too) fast. Roscuro, when is your first day back at work?

    Kathaleena, temps in the 80s are too warm for me, too.

    Kim, I hope that infection goes away fast, how miserable. Sunglasses.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Mental illness: in my definition is the twisting of the human mind by sin which is causing all creation to groan. All of us have it until we are made new. A constant battle.
    My daughter is mentally ill by the current psychological definition. In my experience, a lot of what she does is deliberate to cause mayhem or selfishness. When I talk with her about it, she acknowledges she knew better and did it for her own purposes, because it worked in the past.
    She is also immature which is not a mental illness. I do not believe she caused her mind to work the way it does, but do believe it is the result of a fallen humanity, same as grandson’s cerebral palsy. I do believe God can heal her and is in the process of doing so. I do not actually believe the meds she takes are the answer. Though I do believe the meds she took when she was seven contributed a lot to her challenges.
    I do things upon occasion which would indicate to me that I am still mentally ill and in need of God to make me new. Why do I eat the things I do that make me less able to serve Him? Why do I yell at my children? Sin/mental illness.
    At the same time, I believe those who do evil are mentally ill in need of a Savior. Not mentally ill like psychologists talk about but mentally ill in that they are sin sick. I have known people who wander in and out of reality, some believers, some not. I do not believe psychologists have the answer. I do believe a lot of the meds they put people on, contribute to the problem. They open the mind to considering suicide and murder and violence. But the deep down root of mental illness is our fall back in the garden and I think we are all a bit touched.

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  11. Matthew 5:21-26
    New International Version
    Murder

    21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

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  12. Mumsee, I have several family members with diagnosed mental illnesses, several on medications for it. None of them use their mental illness as an excuse for violence or abuse. Psychiatry is a medical field and there is medical evidence for mental illness having physical causes. One great contributing factor to the malfunctioning of many children in the foster system is fetal alcohol syndrome, where alcohol intake by the mother damages the brain of the developing child. Alcohol is a physical substance and the effects it causes are physical effects. But as Jesus said, it is not that which goes into the body that defiles a human, but that which comes out of a human heart that defiles, because it is out of the human heart that murder, fornication, and every kind of evil is formed. Sin nature no doubt taints the expression of mental illnesses, but that does not make mental illness the origin of evil in humans. It is our fallen nature inherited from Adam which is the reason we all rebel. To arbitrarily expand the term mental illness into another word for sin nature is to distort language of any real meaning.

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  13. Given that Mumsee has seen and lived with more mental illness than the rest of us, I humbly grant her the right to form her own conclusions on use of words and thoughts about original sin and sin sick souls. There is a fine line between anger and murder, and substance abuse can easily tip the balance to murder. When people make the choice to engage in substance abuse they are not thinking that they are doing it so they will go out and murder someone.
    I know of someone on death row who has tried to get life in prison based on mental illness. I may post the case and see what y’all think. It is evil gone wild, but partially fueled by substance abuse.

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  14. All of the psychiatrists we have worked with have acknowledged it is just guess work on their part to find something that seems to work. They do not actually have any scientific evidence that there are imbalances in the brain. No blood tests to indicate anything other than hormones are out of balance. They can say something like: you are short on magnesium but that is not a brain issue but a body issue.

    No, not all mental illness leads to murder but Donna’s quote does speak volumes.

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  15. Janice, I completed an entire placement on a mental health ward, and have also dealt with mental illness in patients who had other health conditions needing treatment I could give. It is not a wholly theoretical field for me.

    Mumsee, there is plenty of evidence for physical causes. There is the fact that physical illness and conditions cause the same symptoms as mental illness. Parkinson’s disease, for example, causes hallucinations, and we know that Parkinson’s is caused by a decrease in dopamine levels in the brain due to deterioration of the substantia nigra neurons in the brain that produce dopamine. Then there is the fact that head injuries can trigger mental illness, as in the famous case of Phineas Gage. On the same principal that we tend to view a cough, running nose, and sore throat as likely to be caused by a virus, since we know viruses cause such symptoms, so if a mental illness causes similar symptoms to another illness of known cause, it is logical to assume that structural defects and neurotransmitter malfunctions caused that mental illness.

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  16. Victim of sexual abuse, child abuse, neglect as a child are all contributors to mind altering changes. It puts the person into fight or flight mode and that can persist throughout the person’s life. It can also cause the person to become violent in a replaying of what they went through. It is all mental illness in my book. The result of sin.

    FAS is the result of the sin of poisoning one’s child’s brain in utero. FAS can manifest in many ways. Hyperactivity, impulsiveness, anger. All forms of mental illness. The mind is not well. A well mind has love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. All of us are lacking in those areas but the fruit is growing.

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  17. As is FAS. Cerebral Palsy, Etc. I am merely saying that we are all mentally not whole. Broken by sin. Some ours, some our parents’ and some the fallen nature of man.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A lot of my views on mental illness are probably informed by Dr John Rosemond, a trained child psychologist who thinks a lot of this stuff is hooey. He believed until he realized his training was wrong.

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  19. Furthermore, just becauseedications do not work in certain cases does not mean medications do not work. Tylenol does nothing for my pain, but I don’t assume that means Tylenol doesn’t work. As I have recounted before, I have two aunts, one related by blood and one by marriage, who both were diagnosed with severe depression. Both were prescribed antidepressants. The aunt by blood got a serious side effect that the medication warns about – an increase in suicidal ideation – and had to stop the medication. The aunt by marriage, who had a family history of severe mental illness and had already attempted suicide multiple times, has now been kept stable for several decades by those antidepressants. It is not surprising that my aunt by blood got the side effects, as I have before noted that my family reacts oddly to any kind of psychotropic medication (medication that effects the brain), including painkillers. My aunt by marriage has lost family members to suicide and grew up terrorized by a psychotic parent – the calming effects of antidepressants helped steady a tormented mind.

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  20. I believe antidepressants work for many people. I also believe some of it is placebo affect and some is tranquilizer affect. When daughter takes certain meds, they do make her less depressed but they also make her without any feeling at all. And take away all her unique artistic ideas. That is why it is guess work. They keep trying until they find something that will make her feel close to normal.

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  21. By the way, I am not blaming mental illness for evil, I am blaming evil for mental illness. I am also saying that one cause of mental illness appears to be child abuse and child sex abuse. That mental illness may well manifest as perpetrating evil on the next group of children.

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  22. Mumsee, it is not a placebo effect with my aunt. I know, as as I was a witness to both my aunt’s stories. My aunt by birth was able to work through the worst point of her depression after stopping her medication, but it has continued to ebb and flow in her life, an ever present spectre. My aunt by marriage has had many outward difficulties since those suicide attempts, but despite daily facing circumstances that might make even a healthy person wish to die, has never since being medicated, made another attempt. The older I grow and the more I know the Bible, I do not see that sedation is somehow wrong to help an injured mind. When Elijah wanted to die, God first let him sleep (I Kings 19:4-8). Rest is good for a damaged brain. We know for concussion that the damage can become more severe and prolonged if the person is not allowed to rest until their bruised brain has repaired itself. There is great wisdom in sedating a person to ease their mental torment, especially when it becomes too great for them to handle anymore.

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  23. Mumsee, no. To paraphrase Proverbs, there are two thing I cannit abide. 1) Using the excuse of having mental illness for perpetrating repeated, systematic abuse against others. My aunt’s psychotic parent terrorized the family due to alcohol abuse (becoming a raging drunk) and psychotic episodes (it took a long time before finally being diagnosed) – sporadic events when not criminally responsible. A person who systemically grooms and gaslights their victims isn’t mentally ill – they’re predatorial. Mental illness involves loss of control, and serial abusers and killers are completely in control.
    2) US ng the excuse of having been abused for abusing others. Not only has this urban myth, fueled by some doubtful surveys of prisoners years ago, been debunked, but with the high rates of abuse, no home should be free from abuse at this point, and many are. Yes, sexual abuse can confuse and bewilder children, but many once they reach adulthood and can discern between right and wrong, chose never to perpetrate on others what was done to them. Those who do go on to perpetrate abuse do not do so because of their own experience, but because they do not care about others. As I recently read to my mother, “all criminals are egotists” (Josephine Try). They have determined that no one in the world is as important as themselves.

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  24. Mumsee, it isn’t a “well mind” that offers “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control,” but the Holy Spirit.

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  25. I would not send a child to PennState University.
    If you can’t call a freshman, freshman, what else are you changing?

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  26. Chas, I can think of other reasons to not send a child to Penn State (the horrendous history of covering up abuse, for example) but dropping the use of freshman isn’t one of them. I think that getting rid of freshman for those reasons is silly, but the term wasn’t used at all during my time in university. We just used ‘first year’, ‘second year’s, etc. and so far as I know, that wasn’t because of any political decision but simply because identifying students by year of study was the clearest method. I mean, it took me years of reading books as a child before I finally deciphered that the term ‘freshman’ meant a first year student. It is just academic jargon that is easy replaced.

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  27. I used to enjoy reading John Rosemond and think he is the one that gave me the best advice for handling discipline with a child who always seemed two steps ahead of me. Thanks, Mumsee, for the memory. I think I also shared one of his columns with a neighbor who struggled with her children.

    I sometimes think we here are on the same page but use different semantics. And I think that the devil so often uses communication to try and stir up anger between believers.

    I agree, Roscuro, you have more experience with mental illness than many, but I think nothing matches living with it 24/7. IMHO. I do not mean to discount the great service you are doing and have done in a wide variety of health areas. You are awesome in the many ways you have helped and continue helping while gaining daily experience. You are amazing how you continue to give of self to the many just as Mumsee does as she gives so much to the few. Caring for people is a giant responsibility. I was once told I should have been a nurse instead of an accountant. I realized I did not have what it would take to be a nurse. A soft and quiet voice and spirit is not the guts required to be a good nurse. I was burned out trying to be a nurse to one child with asthma. At least we survived!

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  28. Janice, living with something 24/7 can often distort the wider perspective. Focus on one individual case doesn’t always lead to wider insight. I know someone whose thyroid produces too little hormone, but the symptoms this person experiences if they forget their medication are symptoms typically seen by someone with too much thyroid hormone. If family members of that person started diagnosing thyroid disorders on the basis of their relative’s symptoms, they would be completely wrong.

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  29. Mumsee, in ascribing criminal behaviour (abuse and violence) to mental illness, it either causes those with mental illness who are innocent of crimes to be equated alongside those who are criminals, or it diminishes the severity of criminal behaviour by equating criminals with those who are considered mentally ill and thus not considered criminally responsible if they commit a crime. Either way, it tends to injustice, either blaming the innocent or exonerating the guilty.

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  30. I know people who have absolutely been helped by medications for mental illness. Those medications also have a lot of side effects and have to be changed. I think it is horrible to have children on them, unless all other options are futile. Separating what is spiritual, immaturity/selfishness or bio/chemical is not an easy thing. The meds themselves probably contribute to some immaturity, since sleeping with certain drugs or alcohol in your system can contribute to immaturity. We have dealt with mental illness with relatives for decades. Just recently there was a medication change and a few weeks later voices were being heard. What a difference those medications can make. Then there are those who dismiss all spiritual or behavioral issues.

    I do not like to say it is mental illness that causes murder because those who are mentally ill are looked at with fear when it is not warranted. It is unfair, IMO.

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  31. And when social workers let someone fall through the cracks, they have some responsibility, too. And society that promotes activities that encourage criminal behavior is responsible to a degree. It is a web of evil. Yes the criminal is fully responsible to pay the price, even the death penalty, for the crime. But it is wrong not to acknowledge what factors converged to bring on criminal behavior. “It’s not my child who did the crime so I don’t care. We won’t fix the contributing problems to save someone else from such tragedies,” is folly, but that is how it is in many cases so criminal activity escalates. It’s all very sad. I saw the train wreck in the making for that young man’s life. He was without a support system. I never would have suspected it would have ended so badly. But as the saying goes, “Hurt people hurt people.”

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  32. Are there really freshwomen? 🙂

    I remember those terms used more in high school than in college — but I went to a state university so it wasn’t particularly fancy; most of the students also worked (and commuted to campus) so when one graduated didn’t necessary correlate to exact years in which one had been attending.

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  33. Lovely sunshine here. We are trying something new at school. We have an annual sports day, which, for some children is the highlight of their year. Due to restrictions, we cannot have the crowds. So we are doing a modified version at lunch recess and during PE classes. Such joy and encouragement yesterday as several grades did the obstacle course. Exciting to see those who simply threw themselves over a concrete culvert or a high jusmp. On Friday I will help at the high school as they do a lesser version of their sports day.

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  34. I am having a very slow day, put out feelers on a couple stories but nothing’s coming back.

    I thought I lost my phone, was afraid I’d pitched it with a stack of papers I’d tossed out, but found it in the spare bedroom.

    I finally got the Christmas front door wreath put away (it’s been in the patio waiting to be boxed).

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  35. DJ’s experience of “freshman” etc. is quite different from mine. In high school we were “juniors” and “seniors”, but before that we were “9th-graders” and “10th-graders”. In those days 9th grade was still junior high anyway, so calling us freshmen wouldn’t have made sense, and somehow that carried over to 10th grade.

    In college, on the other hand, the names for the classes were an important identifier of where you fit in. Freshmen were usually “frosh”, standard terms were used for the others. It probably matters that it was an almost 100%-residential school, unlike DJ’s.

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  36. Yeah, my college was residential, too, and we used “freshman” and so forth. The only complication was that we had a program (in the process of being phased out while I was there, and since dismantled) that was only three years to complete and we had another program that took five years. So those who were in the third year of the three-year program and those who were in the fourth year of the five-year program were never quite sure what to call themselves.

    In fact, one of my friends switched from the three-year program to the four-year program, and then took an extra semester or two to finish, so he made it into the yearbook as a senior three times. 🙂 Then the year after he graduated, I was captioning photos one of our photographers took, and my friend’s face popped up in one of them. It seems he was on campus to help with some computer training, and my photographer got a photo that had him helping a student with something. I wanted to say, “No, the dude already had five years to get his photo in the yearbook!”

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  37. Maybe we were 9th – 10th graders too, but we were definitely called and self-identified as seniors in high school. There was a “Senior Square” on campus where only seniors were allowed to eat lunch or even set foot onto the space. If a non-senior was caught walking across the square, he or she would be punished and made to paint or do some other chore as determined by the seniors who caught the offender.

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  38. I took a walk down to my pond this afternoon, and while I was there I watched a Canada goose and four small animals that are predators, but are also rather small, and wondered how they would fare if locked up together. I suspect the dragonfly might have been snatched up by any of the other three; the frog would have made a nice meal for the green heron and might or might not have been too large for the watersnake. I was trying to decide whether the snake was too big for the heron, and which one would be a threat to the other; I was leaning toward a win for the heron when the heron came over my way, and the snake showed it had come to the same conclusion I had; it silently slipped all the way under water and glided away!

    The green heron seems to have decided I’m not a threat, though, which is really wonderful for allowing me chances to take photos. It’s very small for a heron (the size of a crow), and I can get better photos if it is on the same side of the pond I’m on. Well, this afternoon when I walked down to the pond, I didn’t see the heron was on a log near the edge until I was down there, and it didn’t fly. There were some grasses between me and the heron, but it was less than ten feet from me, maybe just six or seven feet, and that’s close for a heron. When I walked down to the edge again later, the heron wasn’t there, but it ended up circling the edge of the pond and walking right toward me for a while before it walked into some grasses out in the pond. (That was when it got too close to the snake, which was at the edge of those grasses.) I saw it make at least three catches in less than ten minutes, plus a couple of stalking attempts that didn’t result in prey, so hopefully it will decide this is a great pond for raising chicks.

    The seventeen-year cicadas are just beginning–I didn’t see any today, but saw a few yesterday and a good number of shells–and I suspect it will be a year for good survival rates for baby birds, with that wonderful big protein morsel so easy for parents to catch.

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  39. Eighth graders were among the students in my high school. We entered as “Sub-Freshmen.” Can’t get much lower than that! And I remember the term fresh. Had not thought of that word in years.

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  40. I’ve kept a clay pot of impatiens going for a few years now in the backyard. They’re sensitive plants as I learned shortly after moving here and having them wilt and die in a heat wave.

    They don’t like the sun or heat, so they just need to be well watered and kept in more of a shady spot. During heat waves I’ll move them all the way onto the shaded patio and give them extra water.

    I see them at the nursery but would never buy them again, they’re very high maintenance. But I have managed to keep the one pot going for quite some time now.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. It seems I remember my folks cutting impatiens down and sticking them in water over the winter to keep them inside during the cold months and then they would make roots in the water and they would replant them when it got warmer. Not totally sure about that, but it seems lik ed it was impatiens.

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  42. I have no idea what anybody was called in college. Nor did I know where the bio lab was. or the psych lab or anything else. There was a good reason I dropped out my freshman year.

    In high school we were freshmen, sophmores, juniors, and seniors. The juniors served at the senior prom but did not attend as prom goers. Here everybody from eighth grade up is invited. Same with the senior sober party after graduation. I think that is strange. But there are only a few graduates each year, under ten. I guess it makes for a better party.

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  43. It’s midnight and I have not heard from the Tax Man. Not a good sign. He may be in line to mail things at the post office to get that date stamp. We have done that in the past on tax deadline day.

    I think the Ace bandage wrap is helping my leg. Thanking God for that.

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