* 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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* “Alice in Wonderland” had a Tea Party, too.

I’m angry. I don’t usually talk this way. But for better or worse, for the moment, I will.

I don’t know the numbers, and I’d welcome if someone would tell me. I also don’t understand how the numbers work here, and I’d also welcome if someone would tell me.

How is it that the Tea Party has not just hamstrung the Republican Party, but also the House as a whole?

Let’s say the President proposed that “tomorrow” be defined as “the day after today.”  Let’s also suppose there are 100 Tea Partiers in the House; of 235 Republicans; and that the remaining 200 House members are, you know, Them.

Obviously, the 100 Tea Partiers will oppose the President here, just as they do as to anything else.  But how can the remaining 135 Republicans, along with the 200 Them, fail to pass such a thing?

Call it kairotic, call it synchronicity, call it whatever.  I am working on the “substantial response” mentioned here, specifically just now on a passage about how the emotionally needy, the infantile, those who stomp their feet and throw tantrums like two-year olds, lack the wherewithal to learn problem-solving skills, being intransigent and unwilling and unable to compromise or negotiate.  I’m speaking there of what may be called the “underclass,” but the equal pertinence to the Tea Party leaves me speechless.

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.

* Prayer is work, too.

(Reblogged 12/02/13.)

Saint Benedict ran a monastery.  He ran into the problem that many monks wanted to spend all their time praying and studying, and not do any of the dirty manual labor — housekeeping, tending livestock, working in the fields — needed to keep the place going. So he adopted and enforced the motto, Laborare est orare — “Work is prayer.”

In excess, religious study can become a drain on society’s resources.  Many Haredi, or “ultra-orthodox,” men in Israel want to spend all their time in religious study instead of earning any money.  (Article.)  Meanwhile, a majority of them live on welfare, with eight to fifteen children.  This places a burden on the remainder of society that that economy can no longer bear.

What about me?
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