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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Silas last won the day on April 26 2018

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  1. I think we need to take a step back and look at the good news regarding this virus I have looked extensively at studies and data in the US and elsewhere: CDC info, WHO, state health departments, and independent research. These are some of the findings: 1. Multiple studies have been done to determine the number of people exposed to the virus in a given area, judging by the antibodies they carry. There has been some debate about the accuracy of these tests, nevertheless, a common pattern can be seen https://time.com/5826686/coronavirus-antibody-tests-new-york/ The NY they concluded that 14% of people statewide were likely exposed to the virus and 21% were exposed in NYC. Studies done in California and Washington yielded similar results. If one looks at the rough numbers (population of NYC 8,000,000 x .21 =1,680,000. Deaths from COVID at 14000 / 1,680,000) we get a .0083 fatality rate. NOT 3, 4, or 7% Another study estimated that at least 4% of the population of Los Angeles was exposed to the virus (https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/04/20/usc-study-estimates-over-4-percent-of-angelenos-have-contracted-coronavirus/). There have been around 2000 deaths in California from the illness, and if we say, conservatively, that 2% of the state population of 39 million has been exposed (it is probably much, much higher than that), it means that we have 7.8 million cases and a .0002 fatality rate. And deaths are declining. California saw a 33% drop in virus deaths on April 22 2. Now let's look at the demographics in terms of the virus. Using the State of Massachusetts data (https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-dashboard-april-30-2020/download) we see the following: average age of person hospitalized from COVID-19 = 69 average age of death from COVID-19 = 82 75% of deaths are in people aged 70 and older, and only one death was in a person under the age of 39 98.2% of people who died had other, underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Many were obese these numbers are consistent with what we have seen from Chinese and Italian studies, and in other US states. 3. Hospitals in the US were NOT overrun with COVID-19 cases, save for a couple in NYC that became very busy and hectic, but not enough to offload patients to the medical ship that was parked in the harbor (it was barely used). Officials in the US failed to take into account the fact that the US has 3 times the number of critical care beds than Italy and a much younger population. In addition to this, the US can greatly expand its medical resources quickly, and did. Contrast that with Iran, which is dealing with crippling sanctions, and lack of medical personnel and supplies, etc. --- So what does this all mean? I means that in terms of raw math, real research, and historical outcomes, politicians and some medical advisors were WILDLY off in their estimates of the impact of COVID-19 (some were saying over 2 million would die in 5 months in the US, when we have had 50,000 die), and the duration of the outbreak (many said the curve would continue rising into late Summer --it hasn't). The narrative that was pushed by some medical experts and politicians about hundreds of thousands of young people dying from this illness has been proven to be categorically false and intellectually dishonest. COVID-19 poses less of a risk to people under the age of 50 than regular influenza. Every significant study has proven that. There is no proof that general lockdowns work in a meaningful way to lessen the impact of the virus. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Sweden never locked down their economies, and they have fared better than the US. Toyko has 1/10th the number of deaths than NYC, and they never locked down. The fact is this: COVID-19 poses a specific risk to the following demographic: people over the age of 65 with serious, underlying health conditions. Many of these people are obese (thus the elevated numbers in the US vs. Japan), male, and minorities seem to be hit especially hard. The virus does not pose any additional risk for the general population than regular influenza (less in fact),and those who are turning it into a crisis have a vested political and ideological agenda. Stop believing the distortions and outright lies regarding this illness, and simply look at the statistics, studies, and outcomes.
  2. Some things to consider: 1. The US has many times the number of critical care beds per 100k of population than Italy and other countries.In fact, it has the highest number at 34.7 (vs. 12.5 for Italy). 2. Italy has the 5th oldest population on Earth, with a median age of 45.5. The US is ranked 61 at 38.5 (Spain is 42.7). 3. There are more smokers in Italy than the US These factors dramatically affect the outcome of the virus hitting a specific region, but no one took them into consideration in the US. Politicians simply panicked and started closing down the economy and cities. Aside from two hospitals (one in NYC and another in Detroit, both of which were mismanaged, understaffed, and of poor quality), NO hospitals in the US were overwhelmed by the virus, and temporary facilities, such as convention centers turned into medical wards, were never used. Iran was hit hard because of international sanctions, lack of equipment and medicine, and other issues. The narrative that the virus was to blame was to deflect the blame away from the US and others. 91% of deaths from the COVID-19 in the US are in individuals 55 years of age and older. 78% of the deaths are in people 78 and older. Almost 90% of these individuals had other underlying health conditions (diabetes, very high blood pressure, COPD, etc.) --those are stats directly from the CDC SO what does this all mean? It means that this is a disease that almost exclusively affects older people in poor health, and hospitals are overrun when insufficient facilities and medical supplies are already an issue. In places with good healthcare and a younger population, this virus isn't much worse than a regular influenza outbreak.
  3. Silas

    Short poem

    Voice everything is stale perfection and postcard gloss, perfectly delineated in patchwork geometry of emerald lawns, and winding taupe pavement with propped-up homes, roofs crooked in my jaded sight, and my unwelcome tears nothing left to add to this placid scene and nothing left to take away from me, whose internal music is toneless and hollow, in the limits of jealous music that fills an empty and hollow cathedral, choirless and candid, spacious and serene And in my soul is a shaded garden where God speaks through trees obscured, behind a somnolent black curtain with syllables of scattered leaves flashing orange and crimson but colorless to my waking eye
  4. Amazing! https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/alireza-firouzja-defeats-magnus-carlsen-in-final-of-banter-blitz-cup-result/news-story/05366970985b499d3f2a70fab39fa791
  5. This is maybe the greatest short poem in the English language. The sheer power and command of language is astonishing here, and the whole thing is like a magical spell. Dylan Thomas was an amazing poet of endless talent. "The Force that through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower" The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees Is my destroyer. And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose My youth is bent by the same wintry fever. The force that drives the water through the rocks Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams Turns mine to wax. And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks. The hand that whirls the water in the pool Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind Hauls my shroud sail. And I am dumb to tell the hanging man How of my clay is made the hangman's lime. The lips of time leech to the fountain head; Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood Shall calm her sores. And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind How time has ticked a heaven round the stars. And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.
  6. Salam Ali: There was a short story written by Hemingway called "Indian Camp". In it, a father and son witness the suicide of a Native American, and at the end of the story, the boy asks his father "Dad, is dying easy"? And the father replies "yes Nick, I suppose it is". Dying is easy when life is terrible and there is nothing to hold on to. No father should ever tell his son that dying is easy. It could mean leaving behind the ones we love, and the life we know. Allah did not give us this life to despise it. So you should fear death in the sense that you love life, but you should not let that fear paralyze you, or fill your days with worry. It is a sign that you have found meaning in your life, and things which you do not want to leave behind.
  7. (a classical poem I wrote about the fall of Troy and the death of Helen) Last Song of Paris A phalanx of countless vapors From Heaven’s outrage born brings siege to a wall of black towers this ancient city tempest torn. Bright lightning, a jagged buttress burns across an inverted sky; virgin sea deflowered, And the black sky rouses the heart that yearns absolution from which to give, no priest or Prophet is empowered. My life turns not with the Earth, in these violent nights, but doubles-back—regresses with paralyzed mind, and petrified pen, never again to see that face, nor touch those tresses her image faded in the shaded larders of recollection and though half-seen, fails to inspire this broken lute, this rusted lyre The sandy taupe slope is stripped by that bone-white brigade that swallows sand and shatters rock, and with this sovereign Demeter unlocks an offended apparition, a violent gale which haunts the shore, rendering bare trees and shrubs once full and fair, And so it seems I devoured her, but in my blindness failed to see that she in turn feasted upon me. A forbidden allurement in her stolen dreams, hoped to find her carved images within that great building where beside iron-clad doors lions climb. On these nights besieged and restless I could feel her swallowed pain, a suppressed sadness only Helen’s silent face would conceal, and as the storm of arrows fell, madness mother of genius, festered in her fragile mind. Scarlet canals dance on this broken window their chaotic patterns seize the eye, the arteries branch, ebb, and flow, and from this bed I lie I see through cracked glass; chased by the blossom hue of dawn, the age of this great people begin to pass The prosperous squares are empty, and Ilium’s great avenue drowns and this frantic heart that pounds moves not these limbs, nor stirs this mind, for as all things touched or seen abide as slaves of time, trapped I remain in this wounded body, thin and listless with only a desperate stare since gazing upon the basilisk; my dead lover lying there.
  8. The approach you take for working through this largely depends on the source of your PTSD. But there are some things that always help: prayer, contemplation, or maybe charitable works Aside from those things, I write poetry and fiction to work through my emotions, and might listen to some music (classical or instrumental --nothing objectionable) psychotherapy can help, but so can the advice of friends
  9. Silas


    Unfinished My soul is a project unfinished its narrative cut short by your torrent of violent impulse, which concealed a shattered little girl, living in a narrow apartment, with rooms separated with dirty sheets and even filthier secrets And who is there to tell? About the consequences of our youthful conviction: Nocturnal rallies, brawls at daybreak, and stolen train rides, as I held you against me through the screaming city And who could I tell? Of the things I thought we could be: this girl pale and ephemeral twisting in leather, saffron-eyed, with her outlandish projects and her adoring outlander And who is there to care? That I could for a short moment outlive the illusion, and go back to the time before I betrayed you and put my chin against your neck to whisper something sincere because then I wouldn’t be unfinished
  10. Silas


    Very good and to-the-point. A lesson in verse
  11. This is good scholarly discussion brothers. Keep it civil and respectful. I love Aquinas, as I love Jesus but that does not mean I accept the Trinity or the divinity of Jesus people born into a Christian household cling to these ideas as physicists cling to the Steady State Theory of the universe, while they know intuitively that such a theory is an invention, and is incorrect. As there was a single point in creation (from the will of Allah), there is the unity of God. There are no spirits or God made manifest in a human who argues with himself. No strange mystery only the elect can decode.
  12. I think I have mentioned before that the Trinity (and the divinity of Jesus in general) were issues I had with Christianity Theologians and philosophers were to great lengths to explain these things, and were often met with contradiction. This was one of the reasons are starting going towards Islam, as I saw there the unity of God and the end of contradiction
  13. Silas


    Aran On this sea-blasted and primordial island is a small shop with a thatched roof near the turbulent coast where I will buy my lover a gray sweater of Aran’s wool woven, a color fitting for her inscrutable heart In the world’s extremities, treeless and bleak away from the riot of streetcars, and the radiant crowds, on a moss-covered expanse, I will admit to myself with shameless anonymity, what I have lost and I’m still losing I sit in the rocky field some distance from the shop. This is a place for broken men, and a lost people forgotten by conquerors, shrouded in the rolling sky with a suffocating mist that gathers like tears on tearless faces This exotic gift is without consequence or effect no matter its origin, or its ultimate fate but it is necessary nonetheless, for the man at the fulcrum between the vertiginous cliffs of finality and the ether of his heartbreak
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