* Tehran rally shakes fist at America and outreach

Tehran rally shakes fist at America and outreach

Something struck me in the TV footage of this 11/04/13 demonstration, perhaps given the fact that it’s a challenge for me to buy coffee at McDonald’s.

This was not spontaneous. There was some big money behind it. Someone paid for the big effigies/pictures of Obama; for the American flags that got burned; for the signs, including a mural that read “Down with America” in English. Someone organized the presence of the tens of thousands; someone called them out, saying be at this place at this time.

Who?

What does this say about demonstrations we see in this country?

Previous pertinent post: Will the real Malala please stand up?

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* The new panhandling controversy in Baltimore

City considers crackdown on panhandling near businesses, parking meters
Baltimore has another fit of panhandler anxiety

For years, I had the mantra: “Most panhandlers aren’t homeless, and most homeless people don’t panhandle.”

Now I have many acquaintances who do one or the other.

Given recent instability in my support system, I myself may soon become one who does both.

My experience is much informed by what I’ve seen at the McDonald’s I frequent at Baltimore and Light Streets, where some people seem to panhandle outside all day long.
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* Will the real Malala please stand up?

Malala, survivor of Taliban, resented in Pakistan hometown

Malala Yousafzai’s friends wounded in Taliban attack continue education

Malala Yousafzai: Why the global hero is scorned in Pakistan

The media have been bringing us contradictory reports of how Malala is viewed in her homeland.

Conspiracies do occur.  In my previous work as a legal secretary, I was privy to secret campaigns to manipulate public opinion in various ways.  That often comes to mind when I see a flurry of media coverage on any given subject.  In recent years, for example, there was an explosion of coverage of the creation of vaccines for new, terrifying strains of the flu — that may not have proved so terrifying after all, but for the media hype itself — that impressed me as very likely a campaign to raise public esteem for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Here we have two competing constituencies that, for whatever reason, are competing for U.S. public opinion concerning this woman.

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* Grow the pie, or re-slice it?

Here comes the spoils society

Don’t let that odd title put you off.  I think this op-ed by Robert J. Samuelson is pretty important.

The question is whether we direct the economy so as to increase wealth for everyone, or instead merely give poorer or richer people larger pieces of the “pie.”

In my conversations with other homeless folk and poor people generally, I hope to emphasize the desirability of creating wealth as opposed to merely taking it away from others.

On that point, I’m certainly prone to agree with Andy Kessler, though I have uneasiness as to whether or not he would support corresponding policies.

Other recent articles on similar questions:

An Obituary for the American Middle Class
Race, income, education increasingly polarize U.S. families since recession
Higher education’s biggest challenge is income inequality

As to Catharine Hill’s piece, I really have to question what “special services” rich families are “demanding” that are bidding up tuition costs.

 

She discovered the opiate receptor

Candace B. Pert, neuroscientist who discovered opiate receptor, dies at 67

The significance of this discovery is not to be underestimated.

I would have supposed it occurred much earlier.  To put things in context, 1973 is the year I graduated high school.  So maybe that’s about right.

This opened the door to study of the whole world of receptors, with many important developments.  Discovery of the serotonin receptors was key to invention of the medicines now most widely prescribed, and most successful, for treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Discovery of the insulin receptors has wholly changed research into diabetes.

At least from its Amazon page, Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d seems to deserve attention.

* Sneak peek

Thanks to the reader who sent me this link:

Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds

I am preparing a substantial response and should have it ready to publish a few weeks from now.  In the meantime, I thought others might be interested in the original article.

* Andy Kessler, Round 3: Guilty as charged

I participate on a certain online discussion board.  My premiere antagonist is a man who got trounced by a playground bully in fifth grade.  He never fails to seek to re-enact that battle with me (or any of certain others), hoping for a different outcome this time.  He casts his opponent by turns as the bully he wants to be or the chump he fears he was; and interacts with those projections.  It has nothing to do with me.  He might as well be playing with his G.I. Joe dolls.

Andy Kessler’s 07/08/13 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Summer Jobs for the Guilty Generation,” is little different.  In his quotations of others’ expressions, I hear compassion; he hears guilt.  I hear gratitude; he hears guilt.  I hear hope; he hears guilt.  What’s up with this?

Kessler projects his own guilt feelings onto his son’s generation.  That’s easier than owning them, but solves nothing.
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