Harris Comment: I wish the Marshall News Messenger would quit publishing current photographs  such as are displayed in today’s edition. One group shot shows 10 valuable and mostly intelligent local citizens and leaders posing, without masks, is a conference room. Two other small photos show smaller groups, semi-distanced from each other.  On page 3 A the group is almost distanced sitting around a table. On that same page is a Hallsville Chamber of Commerce picture with folks very, very closely packed. Well, since both of these pictured gatherings are promoting good causes, by decent, well meaning, prayerful, citizens, they don’t need to worry about even one of them carrying and spreading Covid. Do they? 

Why should I wear my mask if the leaders of the city don’t? Maybe it doesn’t matter since by about Tuesday of next week the city is likely to be closed down by the governor again.

By the way, all the non ICU Covid beds are full in Longview. You can lay around in various ER’s for a day or two and wait for someone to be discharged or to die. 

Here’s what JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) said yesterday in an editorial:

“… many, if not most, COVID-19–related deaths could have been prevented, showing that critical public health strategies must remain a major societal focus for the present and future. A national plan for a pandemic response must include robust federal coordination of testing capacity so that supply can meet ever-growing demand, better contact tracing, more robust supplies of personal protective equipment, and heightened emphasis on social distancing that includes travel precautions for the ongoing holiday season. With only 37 states currently having statewide facial covering mandates, President-elect Biden has announced his intention to ask all US residents to wear a mask for his first 100 days in office.

Hang On for Three More Months

(J. Harris: Some encouragement and it is probably valid and it’s worth reading the article.)

“While apples-to-apples comparisons are hard—we were testing so much less in the spring—we almost certainly face a much bigger nationwide epidemic today than we did in the early, awful days of the pandemic, but the death rate is now much lower. Better clinical practices, more drugs, and a deeper understanding of how to treat COVID-19 have improved outcomes. However, those gains are fragile. The current surge of cases has placed hospitals around the nation under great strain. Some face shortages of beds and space, or even more dire, of trained personnel. An ICU bed without ICU nurses, after all, is just a bed….”

Exclusive-WHO vaccine scheme risks failure, leaving poor countries with no COVID shots until 2024

Dozens of children went to see Santa. He may have exposed them to the corona virus

(J. Harris: Give Santa a break this year and avoid him. This type gathering has already caused problems this year in Marshall, downtown, I am told. 

Santa needs to get over his Covid. Mrs. Claus is also ill. At this time, there are no reports of sick reindeer.


COVID-19 Vaccines and Herd Immunity

This is a current understandable video regarding vaccines right now as well as when and how we will acquire herd immunity.

What did Snow White say when she came out of the photo booth?  Someday my prints will come.

My doctor told me I needed to break a sweat once a day so I told him I’d start lying to my wife.


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By George Smith — 12/18/2020

Are you a member of or have your ever been a member of a cult?

Cult — a misplaced or excessive “admiration for a particular person or thing.

A typical cult has a charismatic, unaccountable leader, persuades by coercion and exploits its members, economically, sexually or in some other way.

The word cult can be broadly defined as “formal religious veneration,” “a system of religious beliefs and its body of adherents,” “a religion regarded as ‘unorthodox or spurious,'” “great devotion to a person or idea” as well as “persons united by devotion or allegiance to an artistic or intellectual movement or figure.”

Think about it: These general definitions could potentially include everything from Barbie doll collectors to so-called “Trekkies” and die-hard Elvis fans.

According to a book (“Cult Formation”) by psychologist Dr. Robert Lifton on the “glue” that holds cult together, three factors must be present in destructive cults:

1. A charismatic leader, who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose power. That is a living leader, who has no meaningful accountability and becomes the single most defining element of the group and its source of power and authority.

2. A process [of indoctrination or education is in use that can be seen as] coercive persuasion or thought reform [commonly called “brainwashing”]. The culmination of this process can be seen by members of the group often doing things that are not in their own best interest, but consistently in the best interest of the group and its leader.

3. Economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.

Liftin states, “The destructiveness of groups called cults varies by degree, from labour violations, child abuse, medical neglect to, in some extreme and isolated situations, calls for violence or mass suicide.

“Some groups that were once seen as “cults” have historically evolved to become generally regarded as religions. Power devolved from a single leader to a broader church government and such groups ceased to be seen as simply personality-driven and defined by a single individual.”

Tipton gives 10 warning signs of a potentially unsafe group or leader.

• Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

• No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

• No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.

• Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

• There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

• Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

• There are records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports that document the abuses of the group/leader.

• Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.

• The group/leader is always right.

• The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Now, take a deep breath. Are you or someone you know a member of a cult?


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