Is It ‘Self-Quarantine’ OR ‘Marshall Law?’

Sitting on my back porch reading the morning paper, joined by my darling grand-daughter Zoe Mae Del Valle
The View from my back porch.

It is my view that I want to talk about this morning. I have had this view for the better part of 40+ years. That is a point I want to stress this morning, those 40+ years.

In all that time we have rarely had a rodent problem and given the innumerable apartment buildings that engulf the neighborhood that is somewhat surprising. Food establishments are a mere 2 blocks away, to the East and to the North. There was 1 season that WE DID have a rodent problem and I called the City 311 Hotline to report it. I identified myself as having been a tenant of this building 40 years. He asked me, “do you have dog walkers in your neighborhood?” Show me a neighborhood that doesn’t. He went on to suggest that that dog excrement attracted rats. I interrupted him and told him that this was the first time in 40 years that we have had this problem and we have had dog walkers a lot longer than that. He didn’t want to listen to me he had his pat answer ready at hand to answer whatever I said.

I want you to look at the picture with the view from my back porch. You will see a walkway there. That is a well walked walkway. To the left, out of view, is a tot lot playground. Even further out of view a block away are the Metra Station as well as an El STOP for Main Street. That makes that walkway a pedestrian path for workers going in the morning and coming home at night. I have watched them for 40 years.

It is the same today as it has always been. Even with the onslaught of the Cyrus. With all the commotion about avoiding large crowds these workers have to work to feed their families. They are not going to stop using those trains and els to go and come home. This whole hysteria surrounding this calamity is totally unwarranted. It is the height of idiocy. You are trying to prevent people from getting the flu. And you have never done that before and people upon 10’s of thousands die every year, including children. But no, this is something different.

Was it P. T. Barnum who is oft quoted as saying ” there is a sucker born every day.” I don’t think he confined that statement to any particular class of people. The actions taken by authorities around the world have shown how gullible they have taken the bait and destroyed age old pastimes begs the question, HAVE YOU ALL GONE MAD? They all have. I always thought it was going to be a WAR or NATURAL DISASTER, or a meteor from the sky that would take the world down. Because there is nothing in the Bible that suggests this is what is going to bring about Armageddon.

One thing is certain. We are all in this together, which means we all should have a sayso about how it is affecting us. I, who am in the category most often sited as the most vulnerable am most disturbed that we are being played like this and so many people are going for the okie doke. I have no fear that Cyrus is going to get me but I have my doubts about the leadership in all camps of empowerment. I’m not done. I’m saving my biggest outcry for them. The End ( for a minute, anyway)

Suggested Practices

Gwen Van LaekenFebruary 29 at 1:55 PM

Coronavirus… actual steps worried people can take:
(thanks Holly McGregor Anderson for sharing)

Date: February 26, 2020 at 2:35:50 PM EST
Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Dear Colleagues,
As some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.
The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon.

This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it.

Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.

I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share.

Good luck to all of us!
James Robb, MD FCAP

You Can’t Train A Man While In Captivity, For Liberty

Where to start? The significance of moving on March 1st. It was March 1st (1978) that I left the Federal Halfway House in Chicago and moved to a communal Church in Evanston and lived with a group of church members. THAT (moving) was not the biggest aspect of that date. GETTING OUT, was the biggest aspect, because in the 20 years, going back to when I was a 14 yr. old, I had only lived on the streets 2 1/2 years. It was because of that fact that the U. S. Parole Board stated as a disclaimer of sorts, “There is no reasonable probability that you will live at liberty without violating the law.”

When Mary told me God could change my life, and I later accepted His Son as my Saviour, He didn’t have a whole lot to work with and I had no conceptualization of how that was going to come about. I had lived in over a dozen reform schools, jails and prisons, but how to live on the streets I had never done successfully as an adult. That those people would even take me in was a miracle, and I don’t use that word loosely, but there were so many miracles before then and since then.

Let’s fast forward through these 41 years of freedom and 39 years of marriage to today. Mary, has been a stalwart of a helpmate that Jesus has provided. She is my rock here on earth as Jesus is in Heaven. There have been many, many others along the way who have contributed to get me where I am today. My best years may be behind me but there are still more before me. I haven’t done right by what God continues to give me every day and there’s a whole lot more i can do. it is with that fervor that I want to move out of the doldrums of day to day, taking my medicine and waking up each day with not a whole lot in between.

Facebook has actually contributed well to my life. Of my amount of friends, 31% are family, 24%% are from Hazel Crest (the town I grew up in my teen years) 34% from my church and 11% Friends I met along the way. None of that would have materialized were it not for Facebook.

What I want to conclude with are two things, 1) It’s not like I am dieing, I will be at scotirish.org and 2) I really appreciate every one of you. Thanks for the exchanges and at times, your prayers. Au Revoir

42 Years and Counting

Tomorrow is March 1st. For the past month and a half I have been visiting with this Christian household comprised of an elder and his wife, (Dennis and Maurine Chesley) with one adopted son, a single mother and her two young children (Charlotte Oda), and what would soon become 4 single women, Judy Hullings, Gaye Hurtig, Cindy Warner Baker and Lindy Combs. Lindy didn’t live in the household, she rented a room in a home nearby. Tomorrow Judy will drive me down to the YMCA at 836 So. Wabash in Chicago to pick up my sole possession, a box of books. We will return to Evanston where I will reside with this household during my term on parole, for I have just left prison after 6 1/2 years. (For bank robbery). Nobody in the household will ever ask me what I was in for. We are bound together in our belief in Jesus Christ, yet we are pretty much strangers (to me). Looking back I can see many questions about how this could turn out, but none are asked. This is God’s plan, on that we all agree and pray that it is so. There is no more dressing to this story. The household did come down to the prison to meet me for the first time on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Day. Dennis and Maurine were friends with Mary Lipscomb from years past and while Mary was in the Fellowship she was not part of this household. Now how well did Mary know me? Very little and only as a volunteer and school teacher in the prison. Everybody is trusting God on this one. For the past month and a half I have been looking for work. In the back of my mind I am realizing that getting out of prison has never worked for me, 3 months the longest I have ever made it. The Bureau of Parole stated, “There is no reasonable probability that you will live at liberty without violating the law.” These people, every last one of them are committed to helping me adjust every step of the way. The date was March 1st 1978, 42 years ago. Thanking God and these people is why I celebrate this date every year.

1.7 Seconds

That’s how long I have to grab your attention before you scroll on to the next shiny thing. But this morning, or sometime else during the day I am going to post it at various other times because we are never on here altogether noways.

As we wend our way through the morass that we call the election process our focus will be guided by those who have skin in the game to what’s important. We have had the President’s ‘pat on the back’ State of the Union which portends to tell us just that, the state of the union. We even had our President and Vice President tell us where we stand in preparation for the advance of the coronavirus. In my opinion, none of any that I described amounts to a hill of beans.

It does not account for ‘the people’ who are hurting in America. Our economy might be great in financial terms while homeless encampments abound in major cities. Mass shootings, gangland shootouts, brazen robberies might call for gun control in politicians minds but in my mind I see a lot of people in anguish at the loss of their loved one, the desperation of those committing these heartless acts speak to lost souls whose lives are earmarked for desolate endings. It’s not the disparity between the have’s and have not’s, It is the hopelessness of the have not’s that they ever will have.

Those without, tend to do without for a long long time. The government will never comfort ye my people. Jesus said, the poor you will have with you always. And a lot of people think, okay, it’s not me. That is the group we need to heal first. Those that believe it’s not them, who fend for themselves, who make do as best they can, who live just above that threshold of pain either don’t know, or have forgotten where they came from. There is no condemnation of those folks. I’m just pointing out where our help is going to come from. From the same We The People group who live and walk among us.

Which brings us to We, to Me. The ones who are going to MAKE A DIFFERENCE are US. Where is our part, what can we do…and we don’t need permission. One kind act can turn a frown to a smile. One word of encouragement can light a spark of hope. Sharing knowledge, not selling it can provide a new path to someones future.

On March 1, 1978. a young woman drove me to downtown Chicago for the purpose of extricating my mere possessions of a box of books as I signed out of the Half Way House completing that portion of my 12 year prison sentence to become ostensibly a FREE MAN. Without a job, or place to stay or any additional help I would need with my finances, ($22.00), my medical health, readjusting to society after 7 1/2 years, I moved into a household of barely met Christians who belonged to a communal church, Reba Place Fellowship. Without that Difference Making Love. I most surely would have drowned in despair. And as I had so many times before, gone back to ‘my people’ behind Walls of hopelessness.

God’s Promises small group .

We Lament Alot…

We lament a lot. I am not even going to attempt to answer the many questions that arise from out Lamentations. Indeed, I cringe sometimes when I hear religious people respond so quickly with some christian retort that is not only hurtful but neglects my pain when I cry out against the injustice of a death that needn’t have happened.

Murdered on stage. Christina Grimmie

We live in a fallen world, yes that would be a true expression of our condition were it religious or not. I could easily slip into a denunciation of all the deranged people in the world but I really want to reflect on our lamentations. Since we are lamenting all the time, daily, personally, incessantly, we need, one would think anyway, I resist people saying “we need” anything. No you need to stop saying ‘we need’, you may need, I don’t. Okay, forgive me for getting sidetracked. How do we lament is a better question., because you can bet before the week is out we are going to be lamenting another horrid death or condition somewhere.

Murdered on stage. Selena

I was listening to the heart wrenching words of a woman from the Netherlands describe how she promised her son that he would be safe as he was with his older brother as they boarded Flight #17 that would be shot down by Russian missiles. There’s not enough lamenting to assuage the guilt she feels that she led her son to die. Nor would I find it manageable myself. Even Jesus, while on the Cross said; “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.”

I am not going to suggest how you deal with lamenting I can only hope and pray when it comes time for you to lament that you find a way. Peace,

The End

“You’re A Blabbermouth”

I wrote this a year ago and I don’t think it included punctuation because even I was out of breath by the time I got done. What is it? My bio, meshed into one paragraph.

Before I step out today, I have already been deluged by information overload. I have heard that term for awhile now but, have never felt that it applied to me because how was one to act having been overloaded with information. I guess you start with a dazed look. Then when you write and you forget something or worse yet, somebody’s name you just say ‘what’s his name?’ That doesn’t even begin to describe the problem. Write something they say. Write what? How does that make you feel? Now you’ve done it and maybe you should step back a few paces. Really, you want to know how I feel. Let me check what the consequences might be for actually telling you how I feel. So, I was amused by this woman who decided she wanted to be in the Olympics and took, let’s say, unconventional means to get there. And then duped somebody to actually allow her to ski in an event. Her performance was underwhelming to say the least. And there are people who are upset with her that she has done this. I can understand how everyone must feel. I in part, did something similar but not as quite extraordinary. I ran for City Council of Evanston, no, that wasn’t all that out of the realm, many people run for political office, even people with records such as I have or worse than mine. Nor was it the run for the Park District, that’s the same thing. Nor was it the little class I devised to teach Creative Writing, Geography, and Math, using nothing more than baseball cards as my text. That was unique and fun, and by the way I had a class of 6 or so, did it for 3 years, got a former MLB Pitcher and Traveling Secretary of the Chicago White Sox to be our Guest Speaker at the Banquet we held at the conclusion one year. I even approached Robert Crown to host my class for which I received a class room (and they paid me). I like to start things and things that I am not suppose to be able to do. They told me and I quote, “There is no reasonable probability that you will ever live at liberty without violating the law.” So, I ran for public office, became a Notary Public, served as an Election Judge for 20 years, normal stuff, and I may have got a traffic ticket or two, and maybe the biggest thing I have done which is due in large part by this amazing woman I married, is raise a family, who now have kids of their own and made me a grandpa. On March 1st, 1978, Judy Hullings drove me to the YMCA at 832 Wabash, Chicago and I picked up my box of books never more to return to any Dept of Corrections. Except for when I returned to the same prison I left when I brought in a choir for Christmas, or basketball teams to play the men, or as a volunteer to visit the men, or actually work for the DOC as a counselor for the State Halfway House. I think I did make it to the Olympics of Life, I was reanimated and brought to life. The End

Before She was Gaga.

Today’s discussion is brought to you by In The Rear Mirror. Other people have their own opinions and I am not contending with that fact. The hardest part of halting smoking was picking a day. Should I tie it into something like the day they supposedly landed on the moon. (Man, that was so fake looking. We had nothing to compare it too.) The hardest part was having a cigarette available when you woke up the next morning. ‘Were you going to stop when you woke up or after that first cigarette and then you quit.’ The hardest part was, do I wean myself off cigarettes or use some sort of assistant approach, like patches? The hardest part was do I tell someone I am going to quit or not. People will really show themselves on this one. People who were most vocal about me quitting, dropped me like a lead balloon, once I quit. I was selfish though and that more than anything got me through. The hardest part was those first 3 days. That’s how long it takes me to break a habit. 3 days. In three days I saved $30, add $10 a day and I am on my way, and even though 95% of people who quit ‘cold turkey’ fail. Well, let’s just say I once went on a hunger strike while I was in the hole for 7 days so I know my will or is it stubbornness. ALL THAT TO SAY. You know I weigh myself every morning and for awhile now I have been hovering around the 257/8 mark. Then a few days ago after having been feeling ill for a few days, I noticed I was down to 252.8 lbs having lost 4 lbs. in about 5 or 6 days. Today I was 251.4 h’mmmm, I say to myself, I may be on to something. But I am not going to tell you what that is. We’ll see how it goes, because it could blow up overnight. The End

Zoe In The Rear Mirror


“I’m very much down to earth. Just not this earth.” Karl Lagerfield

I really don’t know why but Vonn is getting on my last nerve. Every where I turn it’s Vonn this and Vonn that. I haven’t watched one minute of the Olympics but she is really a distraction. Fred Hoiberg is another one, but I think I took a vow not to talk about the Bulls anymore so let me just move on from that. Who do I like these days? As celebrities go, no one really. The crybabies are already coming out of the woodwork over the new rules in baseball aimed at speeding up the game. I hope Contreras does make a fool out of himself because eventually they’ll put some teeth to the new rules and he’ll be catching down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama somewhere. I am excited about the White Sox core of young talent though and may fixate my allegiance on the south side where I was born and raised. Dang, I missed the news at 10. Oh well, they’ll replay it in the morning. That drive at 5 in the morning is going to be a real humdinger with the conditions being what they are going to be. And for all the talk about taking a nap this afternoon, I never did. Watched a couple of movies that I have seen scores of times and got caught up playing Tetris which I am probably going to have to throw my phone away because I am addicted. And we missed Queen Victoria on Masterpiece Theater last Sunday because we had the Charlie and Zoe show here. They’ll re-run it again a couple more times before the next and final episode plays in two weeks. They have already indicated that there will be a 3rd season. Reckon I oughta turn in for the night. On The Morrow.

I walked into a flea market in Missouri once and there sitting on a table looking all lonely for its appearance sat a stack of books. I immediately recognized them as “See You At The Top” by Zig Ziglar. I was amazed at the price they wanted $2. There were 8 books in the stack. I purchased 4 of them to be used as gifts for young people when they graduated high school, or college. When I went to purchase them I was further amazed!!! They wanted $2 for all 8 books. Whoa, they didn’t know the gold that laid between those covers. I was going to leave some copies so as to allow others to benefit from them but then no one had up to that point so I took them all and over the years did exactly what I had intended, gave them away as gifts to graduates. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

“Mary Munson, who got out of the Bridewell on Friday was found on the street the same afternoon very drunk and attracting a large crowd by her noise. She was arrested and discharged on promising to do better.” Mary Munson never knew, nor anyone else for that matter, that her story would be repeated 157 years later. This story is from the Chicago Tribune dated February 20, 1860. And that’s the way it was.

In the Year of my birth, 1944.