Archive for the ‘Caught Our Eye’ Category.

Richard Overton, WWII Veteran

Memorial Day, 2017

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Titles of Nobility

The Title of Nobility Clause is a provision in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution that forbids the United States from granting titles of nobility and also restricts members of the government from receiving gifts from foreign states without the consent of the United States Congress.

“What do you do?” may be the No. 1 question asked in[side] the Beltway. It achieves two things: It gives the asker the opportunity to brag about their own job title and lets them know whether the person they’re talking to is worth their time.

Job titles and associations are the lifeblood of D.C. You’re no one unless you have a title, whether it’s “congressman,” “ambassador,” “chief of staff,” or an impressive title at a firm or media company. Unlike most jobholders in America, poli­ticians in D.C. get to keep their titles for life. Think about it: You can be the CEO or vice president of the largest corpora­tion in America, but once you leave that job, so goes the title. In Washington, D.C., you can have the title of “president,” “congressperson,” or “senator,” and that is your title for life. It doesn’t matter if you were a terrible congressperson who served only one term; you will forever be referred to and in­troduced as a “congressperson.”

It’s bizarre perks of D.C. power such as this that draw thou­sands of young, type-A recent college grads to Washington — out of a desire not to serve our country but to get a title. And if you don’t have a title, good luck getting someone to talk to you for longer than two minutes. Washington is a town ob­sessed with titles and where being an obnoxious blowhard is socially acceptable. But it wasn’t always like this, and it’s cer­tainly not what our Founding Fathers envisioned.

A Country Steeped in Humility

obnoxious blowhards and Ozymandias.

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Trump and Obama

Trump is crude and politically clueless, but no more so than the Clintons, Sanders — or Obama.

. . .

I would not vote for Donald Trump in the primary, given that I have no idea what he would do as president and thus most certainly hope he does not get the nomination. But he seems about on par with the current president, in terms of reckless speeches, inexperience, crudity, and cluelessness. Yet I don’t recall hearing that many in the Democratic party ever felt that Obama’s provocative and ignorant campaign utterances, along with his past associations with the likes of Tony Rezko, Revernd Wright, Bill Ayers, and Father Pfleger, had driven them to vote for a far more sober and judicious John McCain or Mitt Romney.

Trump: A Bogeyman or Just a Man?

Moral Preener in Chief

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Microbiome

Scientific discoveries in recent years suggest that some serious conditions could be cured by adding “good” bacteria to your digestive tract. Now several companies are racing to develop drugs that do so.

It’s a jungle in there: massive populations of microbes, immune cells, and cells of the gut tissue are interacting and exchanging countless chemical and physical signals. Disruptions to this complex ecosystem, often called the microbiome, have been linked not only to gastrointestinal problems but also to metabolic, immunological, and even neurological disorders.

One such problem, which occurs when a very common species of bacteria, Clostridium difficile, colonizes the gut and becomes too abundant, can be cured by adding good bacteria to the digestive tract—but the method for doing so requires a transplant of another person’s feces, and the reasons it works are not well understood. The next generation of microbiome medicines will instead be “real drugs” that are “easy to take, clean, and safe,” says Roger Pomerantz, CEO of Seres Therapeutics.

Companies Aim to Make Drugs from Bacteria That Live in the Gut

Fermented food is good for your microbiome

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Christmas 2015

According to the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus was born in a barn, there being no room for him and his parents in the inn at Bethlehem. His way of living forsook the acquisition of wealth and worldly goods. His message celebrated and elevated the poor, and he was quick to warn of the danger of materialism: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Two thousand years later, observe the Christmas celebration in our modern, capitalist culture: a shocking emphasis on gifts, material exchange and consumption. Christians believe that it is imperative to know Jesus and that to know him we have to live like him. It is very difficult to argue that the civic rituals of modern Christmas reflect Jesus’s way of living.

Christmas comes once a year, but it highlights a larger question: Does capitalism, and the consumerism it enables, have adverse effects on the moral character of individuals and society? Is modern capitalism incompatible with Christian living?

Here again, it is easy to argue that it is hard to live a deeply Christian life in a market economy. And not just because of the culture of consumption.
. . .
But the story changes if gifts are given and received in the service of love, in commemoration of what Christians believe to be the most important gift our creator ever gave us. If gifts are not elevated above their proper station, then they are perfectly compatible with celebrating the arrival of our redeemer — with hope realized, the waiting ended, the child in a manger, the star overhead.

Has capitalism devoured Christmas?

Rather than buy ourselves and our young adult children gifts this Christmas, we decided to walk the walk. You know. That walk where you stop indulging yourself with increasingly frivolous items and actually reach out to help others not as fortunate.

We bought several Walmart gift cards with funds we would have used to buy our gifts for one another and our kids. Then our daughter and daughter-in-law (who is pregnant with twins, our 10th and 11th grandchildren, so yes, we have more than enough blessings in our life), Mr. Wilkinson and I went to our local Walmart yesterday, a beautiful Sunday morning. Not quite knowing how to do what we wanted to do, just praying we’d get it right and not embarrass anyone or get arrested. Our girls decided on an approach, took the gift cards, and my husband and I stood at a distance, ready to help if needed.

The girls walked along and watched the check-out lines, and when they felt a tug at their kind hearts, they went up to people ready to check out and asked,

“May I buy your groceries?”

. . .

The initial responses were ones of shock and disbelief. No one was rude, or dismissive. They just wanted to know why. The girls answered that they were part of a family who decided this was the way they wanted to celebrate Christmas. Then a few asked if they were with a church or an organization. No, the girls said, we are just a regular family and this is our gift to you! No strings attached! From us!

Then the miracles came.

Walmart is a Holy Land

Christmas 2015

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Culture of Death

Count all those aborted as “dead,” and it will be seen that life expectancy is once again falling; that infant mortality has been steeply on the rise. The international toll is unbelievably high; far higher than from the plagues and genocides through all previous history.

Latest from the death cult

Ozymandias

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What Makes a Place Good for People?

I want to get back to the idea of human scale and how the best parts of Yucca are the little spaces between and around the buildings instead of the big parking lots and super wide street frontage. Everywhere I go in the world I find some of the best streets are barely wide enough for a car to pass through…

The Other Side of the Tracks, by John Sanphillippo

“Tribal and narrow minded” LOL!

In December, the Metropolitan Council of Minneapolis and St. Paul is scheduled to vote on a vision for the region’s housing and transportation future. “Thrive MSP 2040” is the council’s comprehensive development plan for the seven-county Twin Cities metro area for the next 30 years. It’s a regional growth plan that will result not in a cure for the area’s ills, though, but in a virus that will kill its vitality.

The Minneapolis/ St. Paul area is one of the most livable regions in the nation. That’s not because residents were forced onto transit and into high density housing, as ‘Thrive’ will do. Growth occurred in a natural manner, in an area with great schools, because people here had the freedom to choose the size of yard for their kids, and the ability to embrace the natural openness of the region. The vigorous suburban growth that resulted has helped our vitality, despite past decisions from the Met Council to neutralize it.

The Metropolitan Council isn’t alone in adopting New Urbanist plans on a wholesale basis. Their approach, and the problems that go with it, are being repeated by many planning boards nationwide. The 350-page ‘Detroit Future City’ plan is a tunnel-vision strategy based on the same New Urbanist thought. With the best of intentions — goals of avoiding pre-fabricated monotony and sprawl, and creating affordable, livable communities — municipalities are actually writing prescriptions that will do just the opposite.


Would the Twin Cities Survive New Urbanism?
by Rick Harrison

New Urbanists are just another kind of philosopher king.

Continue reading ‘What Makes a Place Good for People?’ »

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Craigslist Uber Scam #UberScam

Craigslist Uber Scam posts are starting to show up around the country (text and screen shots below).

Orlando

Philadelphia

Nashville

DC

Greensboro, NC

Chicago

Also see UberX Driver – Your Private Underpaid Driver

Uber ads on Craigslist would be more accurate if they read something like:

Make a few extra bucks every week!

You can join the 50,000 others who already have new jobs this month! (Err, freelance gig with no wages, no benefits, AND you provide your own car and buy all the gas!)

Good Money Our top partners typically make minimum wage AFTER expenses (such as Self Employment tax, gas, depreciation, maintenance, tires, etc., etc.) and some make as much as $GodOnlyKnowsAskTravis. Get checks deposited into your bank account weekly via Uber-cool and Uber-new direct deposit! (Don’t worry, we won’t start charging you weekly data fees and phone deposits until after the rate cuts that follow our promotional discounts!)
Flexible Hours Unlike other minimum wage jobs where the employer provides the tools of work, you can work when you want! And did we mention you get to use your own car and buy all the gas?!! (Oh happy day!)
Safe and Transparent Your riders (even the drunk ones!) rate you and you rate your riders (especially the ones who go on short trips and don’t tip and failed to give the correct location to be picked up!). And just ignore that $1 “Safe Rides Fee” that we collect on each and every trip, no matter how short! We provide some kind of commercial liability insurance (but please do NOT mention to your auto insurer that you are driving for Uber! Mum’s the word. Shhhhhh).
Good Communication We provide every single one of our suckers (err, “partners”) with an email address that they can use 24/7/365 to communicate with Uber about their concerns. We guarantee to use our best standard-form responses! And we will respond eventually!
Don’t have a car, or have one that is too old? Want to get a new car to use with Uber? We can help connect you to companies who will offer you special rates available to virtually any driver. And the payment will remain the same even after we unilaterally drop the rates with little advance notice to you! You could be in a brand new car within a week, regardless of credit history! And remember, the payment will remain the same even after we unilaterally drop the rates with little advance notice to you!

Easily make a few extra bucks every week!

So come on, sucker!

Apply today!

UberDrivers on reddit.

UberPeople.net

DC

(image 1) (image 2)

UBER SCAM (ALL LOCATIONS)

uber’s whole game now is to offer riders fares that are so low that only a math-challenged or truly desperate person would provide services in THEIR personal automobile for less than minimum wage.

Continue reading ‘Craigslist Uber Scam #UberScam’ »

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Chinese Dialects

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We Americans Are Very Fortunate

As we reflect on all matters at the turn of the new year, maybe we should think about how lucky we all are to live in a country as rich, diverse, and beautiful as ours. One that allows the Robertson family and Ellen DeGeneres to live their lives freely, and to make a living without fear of reprisal for simply being who they are, and for believing what they believe.

And as some among us seek to cleanse the world of sound bites and speech that hurt our feelings and sensitivities, maybe we can reflect on Thomas Jefferson’s great words on the subject: “It does me no injury for my neighbors to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my legs.”

For a New Year’s resolution, let’s stop breaking legs and destroying the livelihoods of people for the mere act of disagreeing with us. Or saying something we don’t like.

We are better than that. And tougher.

Lee Habeeb

Well, maybe we’re not as fortunate as we thought….

Ironically, both the conservative false confidence in consensus and the liberal false confidence in uniqueness have a similar downside: smugness. Evidence for this is about as hard to find as hay in a haystack. Liberals often talk as if only the backward masses disagree with them, and conservatives often assume that only overeducated weirdos and radicals could object to their agenda. Hence Barack Obama’s infamous explanation for why rural Pennsylvanians didn’t support him: They were too busy “clinging” to their God and guns. Tellingly, conservatives took that line as a badge of honor.

Smugness is also the chief source of political problems for both the Left and the Right.

Myths to Ditch in 2014

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