Saturday, February 3, 2018
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Thursday, September 21, 2017
Yes, those skilled workers I have in mind are in Gate City. And y'know what else is in Gate City? It no longer stops in Gate City, it merely ruins the property values of older buildings, but we still have a railroad in Gate City. It carries just a few coal trains these days. It used to carry passenger trains. It could be carrying workers to jobs in Bristol, Kingsport, Big Stone Gap or who knows where-all else. The company could reasonably be required to do that, just to make the railroad earn its keep!
After last week's post about how well matched the numbers looked for Republicans' and Democrats' popular (and less popular) books on Amazon...
...I received an e-mail asking for links to my reviews. I dug up a few and tested them. None of them worked any more. I e-mailed Amazon to ask what had happened. This morning, Amazon replied. The reply went out with a smarmy Orwellian heading that looked like an ad and almost got deleted as I checked this web site's group account, which is also our Amazon Associate account, for something that should have been clearly identified as a response to a complaint.
I didn't copy the text of the reply; basically, it said that Amazon's new policy was to display reviews only after customers had spent $50 with a credit card.
Here's what I e-mailed back:
Last year I bought several books from Amazon; I wrote informative reviews, and a publisher sent me several more books for review purposes. Recently someone asked about my reviews. I clicked the links in the e-mails showing where four of them had been posted. They had disappeared. I asked what had happened to them, and was told that the new policy was to accept reviews only from people who'd purchased things with a credit card.
I've never used a credit card, and I never intend to use one. I saw how much trouble they got other students into and burned the "free trial" offers I got in college! Online, any direct use of any bank information, even debit cards, invites even more trouble--fraud, and potentially espionage and terrorism (since this information enables identity thieves). I've bought things from Amazon using giftcards; I would have bought more if Amazon had worked with Paypal to accept fully anonymized payments that trace back to Paypal's company account rather than an individual's bank account.
Although online information about me is information about a registered business not an individual, I'm real. So are my purchases and reviews. I don't like seeing reviews I took the trouble to write for you, free of charge, discriminated against because I've followed FBI recommendations to protect my identity.
You need to base your business on giftcards that can be sold for cash in real stores, and/or fully anonymized Paypal payments that trace back to Paypal's company account rather than any individual's bank account, and/or real money orders sent through real mail. Even debit cards, which are safer for individuals in real life, should never be used online.
And actually, although I think (without checking) my Amazon purchases add up to more than $50...don't you find that people who've bought only one one-cent book are more likely to buy other things when they see their reviews go live? I thought that was one of the secrets of Amazon's success.
Gentle Readers, all of us need to stand firm with businesses that may have bought into some sort of lucrative deal with greedhead credit card companies. Customers rule...and customers should destroy any credit cards they may own, before their credit information is stolen and used to help somebody hijack a plane!
Yes, it's ironic that this is going on at what claims to be "America's most customer-centric company," and it's even more ironic that it started during the week of September 11...
We have the best armed forces and the best civil defense forces on Earth...but no country will ever be secure enough that its citizens can afford to post their identity and bank information on the Internet. That's like setting fire to your house just to watch the firefighters at work.
I often object to the way writers confuse “forgiveness” and “releasing the emotions” when you are the one who wants to feel better. “You don't have to believe that what they did was acceptable, just forgive them...” No. That line of thinking interferes with people's ability either to give or to receive real forgiveness. If “they” was a teacher who molested you when you were fourteen, and they're still teaching and molesting students today, you cannot forgive them. What you're likely to feel better for having done is to denounce them, to make sure they can't go on being teachers. Even while you're doing that you might choose to begin to release the emotional reaction you had ten years ago. You would do that if you found it easier to be a hero when you've not reliving being a victim. But none of that has anything to do with Christian forgiveness, which begins with the molester confessing that s/he did wrong and asking for help to change and atone. When we need to practice Christian forgiveness, I've not found that “Just sweep everything under the rug” type thinking helps at all.
It's very easy to be flippant and nonchalant about other people's concerns being "small stuff" as far as we're concerned; Wayne Dyer, his disciple Richard Carlson, and Carlson's widow and disciple Kristine Carlson, notoriously encouraged this undesirable tendency most of us have. On the whole I've not found their approach as helpful as those that focus more directly on physically controlling blood pressure and muscle tension, which can free us to fix facts without the need to write unpleasant realities off as "small stuff." I note that Wayne Dyer died at a fairly early age, Richard Carlson died looking unusually "old" at a very early age, and Kristine Carlson's not looking so good either--which suggests that sweeping unpleasant facts under the rug and focussing on the feelings don't work for those who practice it as a spiritual discipline...
Still, many people find some useful ideas in the "small stuff" books. They're popular. I've been given copies of them to resell, and I can't say they're unfit to resell. Gardening, cuddling children, and training family members to become "self-cleaning" are very useful suggestions for women who want to reduce the stress levels in their lives. Most people who appreciate being reminded to organize and minimize their baggage for a less stressful trip are old enough to spot the less functional ideas in books like this one.
So...I have these books. I've read some of them. If you buy them here, under this web site's rules, since Kristine Carlson is still alive, the ones that are widely available as secondhand books become Fair Trade Books: $5 per book, $5 per package (I think eight of these books might fit into a package, which would cost $45), plus $1 per online payment, and we send $1 per book to Carlson or a charity of her choice.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
You can also mail a U.S. postal money order to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.)
Editor's web site: http://jackcanfield.com/welcome.html
"Chicken Soup" books sell fast and turn up as used books fast, so you might as well buy them here. Other sellers may offer better prices but when you buy Fair Trade Books here, usually for $5 per book, $5 per package, and $1 per online payment, we send $1 to the author or a charity of his or her choice. Four "Chicken Soup" books, including the earlier title Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, should fit into one package for $25 or $26, and if you order four of them, Jack Canfield or his charity will receive $4 (assuming, of course, that his charity accepts $4 payments).
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
I know very little about Falun Gong beyond what's posted on their web site; if members of the group are being prosecuted for something other than their stated teachings and practices, the world wants to know what that might be. Although this web site has no foreign policy, I think the Chinese government needs to know that it's being accused of religious persecution, and clear itself of those accusations in the Global Court of Public Opinion.
Amazon link? The resources of Amazon are astonishing. Here, although I'm not sure I'd recommend it if I'd read it, is a book about the imperial tree, also known as the Empress' tree, Princess' tree, Paulownia tree, or Paulownia tomentosa. Though native to Asia, it thrives in the Eastern States and is becoming a familiar "exotic" sight; some even worry about its becoming "invasive."
You can also mail a U.S. postal money order to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.)
One of the more unusual writing contests publicized at winningwriters.com was for poems that just casually mentioned Singapore, written by people who were not in, of, or from Singapore. As a hack writer, I just happened to have written something like that one day, so I sent it to the contest. It didn't win. So, as usual with things other people haven't bought or published, it's going live here just to assert my moral right to it. (To see the poems that won, click here:
Here's what I wrote, back in 2015. Details have been blurred; I'm 5'4", not 5'6", an so on.
Beyond that...this web site tried to say supportive things about Turkey, once, long ago, after Reuters had reported some sort of weather disaster there, and not long after that my Yahoo account was hacked into by some vile person, reportedly in Turkey, who changed my Yahoo Classic to Yahoo Neo. Ugh, ick! How can I ever feel any sympathy for anyone in Turkey, ever again! This web site currently gets a lot of traffic from Turkey. If I had faith that that traffic meant readers rather than hackers, I'd be pleased.
Maybe, if we have actual Turkish readers, they'll post comments...Google doesn't handle comments on Blogspot blogs well because Google tries to route them through Google +. Google + is global and easy to join; you don't have to disclose inappropriate information or pay for anything, and e-friends who also use Google + are easy to find. I don't want to grow a horrible prejudice against Turkey, so if you are an actual reader in that country, please identify yourself on Google +; I'd be delighted to meet you.
To buy it here, send $5 per book, $5 per package (four books of this size would fit into one package), and $1 per online payment to the appropriate address from the very bottom of the screen.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Title: The Coconut Diet
Author: Cherie and John Calbom
Author's web site: https://www.juiceladycherie.com/Juice/
Publisher: Time Warner
Length: 310 pages
Quote: “Coconut oil works wonders when combined with a low-carb diet because it...helps improve metabolism.”
Is coconut oil a health food or a mild poison? The answer seems to vary from person to person. For those who can digest coconut, the pulp, juice, and oil seem to have nutritional benefits. Some people, mostly those whose ancestors lived in cooler climates, do not digest coconut. For us it may help us lose weight quickly, in perhaps a safer way than popping laxative pills, but it does that by making us sick.
It's called biodiversity and it improves the chances of humankind being able to survive in different conditions. One person's meat is another's poison.
Coconut is poison as far as the members of this web site are concerned, and a high-fat low-carb diet isn't sustainable either. So, nothing in this book is useful to me or has been useful to anyone I know, but there are people who apparently lose weight and feel healthy on low-carb diets. The Calboms developed this diet by working with those people. They might help you too.
If you can eat coconut (a lot of coconut), you'll probably enjoy this recipe collection and meal plan. If you live in a place where you can have coconut trees in the back yard, this book will be a real frugal favorite.
To buy The Coconut Diet here, send $5 per book, $5 per package (four books of this size will fit into one package), plus $1 per online payment to the appropriate address below: Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, or the e-mail address you get by e-mailing salolianigodagewi.