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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New Mexico
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 87,258

Journal Archives

Panama Papers--Why No Americans?

This is a two part discussion that answers the question very obliquely, although we now know there were 441 American names/ companies in those papers. They also explain why prosecutions and changes in the law will happen slowly. Still, they do point out that one thing that has already happened in countries where this has gotten coverage is that the frayed social contract between the elites and working people has been further shredded:



The Book of Mormon gets reviewed at Amazon

“Hello wardies!” one member of the Provo Young Single Adults 9th Ward group wrote. “Many people against the Church have, sadly, written negative comments about the Book. … The challenge for us is to go to the amazon website and write a positive rating and review. … I personally found that my love and testimony for the Book of Mormon has increased tremendously as I wrote down my testimony as a review, and I know it will be the case for you as well.” The post helpfully provided instructions for creating an Amazon account (and recommended that students just borrow their parents’ accounts if they didn’t want to start their own.) And it established a deadline: “Please accomplish this challenge by the end of the week (3/6). Thank you for serving the Lord!”

And lo! The glowing critical appraisals poured in. One five-star review currently on display raves: “This book is true. It has the ability to help you find peace and happiness in this life. It is another testament of Jesus Christ.” Another said: “Best thing that ever happened to me was when I first read this book. I felt like everything in my life finally made sense.”

But when news of the church’s missionary work reached Reddit, a great anger rose in the hearts of the people. And they scattered single stars on the page of the budding lit-world darling. They wrote:

A trite, misogynistic, racist collection of demonstrably false stories written by a convicted con artist and peddled as Gospel truth by a masonic country club of ancient white men who gleefully scam their ovine followers out of time, money, and critical thinking skills while infusing the Utah State Government and Congressional Delegation with hyper-religious special interest puppets whose utter lack of spiritual value might be forgivable were it not for its complete dearth of literary merit.

More at http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/03/21/byu_campus_leaders_asked_students_to_write_glowing_amazon_reviews_for_the.html

and of course at http://www.amazon.com/Book-Mormon-Another-Testament-Christ/dp/0385519478/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458576480&sr=1-4&keywords=book+of+mormon

File this one under "be careful what you ask for."

OK, so after 2 major fires and one fatality, they shut the DC Metro down for inspection today

Just look at what they found in 6 places, inspection only 80% complete:


This is long, but it's an even handed examination of the English workhouse system, its punitive as well as its progressive nature. S

It's exactly where the moralists want to take this country, poverty seen as a moral failure as well as contagious disease.

The Victorian Bakery

This is the first of another of the Beeb's "time travel" series, this one concerned with a small village bakery turning out fewer than 200 loaves a day. Check the size of the oven they're doing it in, wow! Other equipment looks familiar, like the big troughs for proofing dough, things I saw in the 70s when I was doing nutritional labeling for a big commercial bakery supplying the entire northeast.

In any case, it's a fascinating look back. Episode 2 is at the site on You Tube, just click the title of this video.

Reshma Saujani: Teach girls bravery, not perfection

For International Womens' Day:

Touched by his noodly appendage


There is a reason big girls don’t cry. We haven’t the time. FROM HELEN:

Margaret, as you would expect, I have been glued to the news ever since the voting started in Iowa and now moves on to New Hampshire…up there near you, honey. I bet politicians are worse than the leaf peepers in fall. Being so close to Vermont, I am wondering if you can tell me why the youngsters are so excited about Senator Sanders? I thought all of us old fogeys were too square these days.

I saw a young woman on MSNBC talking about how Hillary’s feminism was not her feminism. Oh honey. If you only knew. When my mother was your age, she wasn’t allowed to vote. When I was your age, journalists wouldn’t have even bothered to ask for my opinion. They would have wanted my husband’s instead. Your opinion actually made news around the world. That’s just remarkable. Trust me when I tell you that my mother’s feminism became mine. And mine became Hillary’s which most definitely became yours. Feminism isn’t a vote. It’s a birthright.

Much more plus a wisecrack from Margaret at http://margaretandhelen.com/2016/02/08/there-is-a-reason-big-girls-dont-cry-we-havent-the-time/

TCM ALERT: "Hearts and Minds"

It has already started, but if you've ever wondered where this country went so wrong, it's worth watching.

I don't know if I'll finish, the sight of so many conservatives, jowls wobbling, ranting about the "commie-nist conspiracy" is making me want to blow chunks, just like it did 42 years ago.

First, you are conflating dependence and addiction. They are vastly different

Second, healthy people would rather have their heads clear most of the time. Out of 10,880 patients in the early 80s getting powerful narcotics in the hospital, there were only four new addictions. Four. Out of nearly eleven thousand. Think about that one.

Third, doctors are being heavily leaned on not to dispense these drugs to people in pain. Untreated pain is fatal, leading to social isolation, depression and suicide to make it all stop. You call the drugs "ample." They are, in fact, parsimoniously dispensed.

Fourth, adding layers and layers of bureaucracy to discourage people from seeking help with pain is driving them to the black market, supporting the most vicious criminal gangs worldwide, think about that one, too.

Fifth, all the drug war has done is suppress the safer drugs, encouraging the development of bathtub drugs like krokodil that no one, not even a desperate addict would touch if there were any alternatives available. Think about that one, too. All prohibition does is get you more of the same, only more dangerous forms of it.

The drug war, held so dearly by conservatives in both parties, is the most dismal failure of social, legal and military policy this country has ever had, wasting billions of dollars and millions of lives. You need to rethink your stand.
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