When I first saw this show I was, as most, probably stunned. Not by what happened to Archie, of late we find it happening far to often. Then too, I have known men personally who have experienced the same ordeal as Archie. Upon further research I have learned that AGT is not the only show Archie has been on, and I am all for Archie getting as much exposure as possible.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to do any amount of time in prison for a crime you did not commit, and for 37 years. But it happens. Archie did not let that time destroy him, but as Seneca says “Thou hast been reduced to a low estate, BUT, as GOLD is refined in FIRE, so are BRAVE MEN born of adversity. May you have a loving and prosperous future, Archie.


People Who Know Me…

It was once suggested that a 7 second delay be instituted so as to give pause to what I might say, allowing me of course to reconsider whether I really wanted to say that. People who know me, know this.

In the confines of my car I drove throughout my community to see what its inhabitants were doing. I’m not saying, because I saw in a comment in response to someone seeing children playing in the park, someone responded, “call the police.” Let me say, what I did see was encouraging and leave it to you to imagine what that might have been.

I actually had to consider what store I was going to stop at and purchase a needed gallon of milk. What store would be least populated. I had grown irritated with my source of toilet paper for charging $2 a roll and $5.50 for a brand of hand sanitizer from India. They no longer deserved my loyalty. Later I would read that those in supermarkets, cashiers and such are under great threat being exposed to the public in checking out customers. I would consider them to be essential in the market place. But still it can feel like Russian Roulette in traversing the aisles, everything is cool until someone sneezes.

I did not serve in the military as my son and 2 brothers and my sister did. I never fought in a war nor know what it was like to be ON THE FRONT LINES. But I had to consider, with few choices to obtain what I needed I had to fend for myself, and was I on the Front Lines, in doing so. It would really be bad if you were the one who brought Cyrus into your home. I do have Jesus as my shield, but I, equally acknowledge others who have died no doubt were believers as well.

While it delights me to read of those who are GIVING to the betterment of the situation there are those who are doing just the opposite and furthering the destruction of, literally, the world. Good vs Evil. I’m not comforted by your telling me it has always been that way, even when, it’s always been that way.

Our Government has been less than stellar and while what few rights we have left include free speech, I can choose not to hear it. Friends or otherwise. Until he got married, I had a close friend who it was understood, he and I were diametrically opposed to each others political beliefs. We respected each other’s friendship more than our right to spout off about what we believed politically. That is rare and almost unheard of on Facebook. Not only do I tire of that, but when I weighed the outcome of all this and the unlikelihood that I am going to come through it, I decided I’d much rather devoid myself of a friendship than to accept their onslaught on my ears.

Which is why I was going to take a furlough from FB, but again as PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME, will attest. He’ll be back. True, you know me too well, but if we are going to heal, which I have extreme doubts, then people have to start being and showing conciliatory attitudes. I don’t see that. What I see is the spewing of hate and venom. And I can protect my eyes and ears with the click of a button. It’s not likely we’re ever going to see each again anyway. The End

Living Together In A World Falling Apart

“Living Together In A World Falling Apart”. At first blush, you might think what an appropo title for such a time like these. That being true, we’ve never in our lifetime had such a time like these. There were other times when the title if you will, because that is what it is, (not to be confused with the greeting “what it is?” back in the day) it is a title. Probably the best times I can recall were the late 60’s, 68 to be exact, when it sure looked like the wheels were coming off the bus. Who can forget the 1968 Democratic Convention held here in Chicago. The Chicago Police Rioted, yes, you read that right. They bludgeoned and bloodied the hippies and protesters and anyone who happened to be in the streets of Chicago.
Then too, there were the assassinations of Martin Luther King, and the 3 miles of riotous destruction on the west side of Chicago. Not the south side? No, the prevailing gangs at the time came together and said we’re not going to burn our neighborhoods down. Riots were prevalent around the country, including Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo. They too, mobilized and headed to Springfield, Mo. to further their destructive response, but like on the South side of Chicago they were met on Highway 44 by locals of Springfield and turned back. The original Nimbys, Not In My Back Yard.
In June of 68, while running for President of the United States, Robert Kennedy, brother to John F Kennedy was shot and killed while campaigning in California. The same Robert Kennedy who gave an impassioned speech in Indianapolis thwarting yet another riot back in April. I could go on and on about demonstrations against the VietNam War, the shooting of Governor George Wallace, College Campuses ablaze in flames of their own riots. And yes it sure did seem like the world, our world, here in America, was falling apart.
And now, here we stand amidst such confusion with dire predictions of more calamity the likes of which we have no idea. I, whether I want to admit it, have a target on my back, or chest. Like Tom Hanks, I have Diabetes 2, one of the diseases that the Cyrus is most destructive on. I also have COPD, another disease that affects breathing and the lungs. I also have Heart Failure. I know I always liken my situation to having 4 of the 7 leading causes of death, bur #4 doesn’t come to mind at the moment. Those 3 are enough.
Ironically, the original book, “Living Together In A World Falling Apart” had no such background for its story. The book was about living in Christian Communes dotted around America. The Authors lived at Reba Place Fellowship in Evanston, Illinois. The very same Reba Place Fellowship I would come to in 1978 on the day of my release from prison. Dave Jackson would go on to write Dial 911 about how christians responded to crime in a way other than dialing 911. He would include a Chapter, titled Broken Chains, that would describe my troubled life up to that point of my life. And now you have the rest of the story. But the story never ends.

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.