Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 12 Link Log

Categories: Books, Boondoggles, Bristol, Cybersecurity, Education, Food, Funny, Green, History, Politics, Psychology, Where Are They Now, Zazzle


It's Amazon "Prime Day." You can use other people's Amazon code to buy books in aid of their charities, if you so choose. The question is, how many charities do you want to support as you buy new books?

Hmm. This link, shared via Twitter, would be a good one to use when you shop for political books. For those unaccustomed to browsing on Amazon, you need to be able to type or paste in the correct spelling of the author's last name (as it shows on the book jacket) plus the "important" words in the title, as in "brooks book conservative heart" or "ingraham book hillary trap":


If you'd rather support my official favorite charity, I had a couple of local ones in Washington that don't show up on Amazon Smile; the charity that shows up there is the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency. Here's an old, but delightfully written, history of ADRA. ("Delightfully written history" can mean many things; in this case it means that although this primary historical text dates back to 1960, the stories collected in it will actually keep middle school children reading for pleasure.) I'm not finding it easy to get my Amazon Smile link onto this page, probably because I'm logged in as a for-profit Amazon Associate. I've linked this particular book to my Smile account, though:

In order to set up a link (I think) you can use to support, say, the Heifer Project, I had to set up a whole new Amazon account linked to that charity. I picked Heifer in honor of Ozarque; since she doesn't even do e-mail any more I linked the Smile account here to one of my e-mail addresses that's not published here:

Whew. I don't have the time or the skills to do this often, but today, as a celebration of Prime Day, here are three Amazon links you can use for the profit of charities rather than this for-profit web site. (Which, of course, is not nearly as well funded as any of the charities...)


I won't have enough online time to research this petition today, so let's just say that what some nervous-sounding types are presenting as a health hazard looks to me, at first glance, more like a great big expensive annoying BOONDOGGLE. (That word here means "something that is likely to cause you to pay more for poorer electrical, phone, radio, TV, and WiFi service," fellow North Americans.) It may also be a health hazard--existing electrical, phone, radio, TV, and WiFi service have been accused of that, and there's some basis for the accusations. It will indisputably be a boondoggle. (She says, having lost her Internet connection, from a site within sight of the transmission tower, earlier this afternoon.) Just say no.

Btw, if you want to e-mail your U.S. Senators, it's neither necessary nor recommended to the whole blinkin' list into your e-mail. Find your pair and e-mail them; they may prefer that you e-mail from their web pages. U.S. Senators and Representatives other than your own are supposed to throw away your e-mail if they do get it. There are exceptions, since members of Congress can of course e-mail anybody, anywhere, on non-legislative issues, but a good activist knows what his or her elected officials and their staff prefer to read.


Bristol (Murders) 

I hesitated to post this, because why feed a color war when we all know better, etc. etc. etc....but on reading the story I'm wondering whether it fits into a different narrative altogether. Even if Lakeem Scott thought in his troubled mind that he wanted a color war, why did he pick these people? Strangers? Is he yet another victim of Prozac Dementia? (All the SSRI antidepressants, not only Prozac, can cause Prozac Dementia.)


Bristol (Now That That Is Out of the Way) 

We can be sure Lakeem Scott won't be back on the streets of Bristol any time soon, so go ahead and enjoy the attractions. Casey Higgins got it right.



I don't use Facebook. I don't recommend using Facebook. If you don't use Facebook, are you entitled to send a petition to Facebook? It seems reasonable to leave this one up to Facebookers. However, I will comment on cybersecurity generally. The way to stop scammers and spammers from impersonating web site users is not to "verify" more personal information, least of all by demanding copies of confidential identity documents that should never be allowed to be transmitted through cyberspace! Common sense takes care of a lot of the scammers and spammers. For instance, the Internet does automatically identify what part of the world people are posting from. Google very kindly notifies our Message Squirrel, Saloli, every time this web site is opened from anywhere more than about ten miles from Yuma, Virginia, where it was created--even when I've been posting from Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Facebook could easily do that without relying on information that should never exist in electronic form. And all large web sites should be required to do it.



"Terrible" was Ken Cuccinelli's headline on this story. Mine would be "Lame." "Backdoor Common Core" means that although "Common Core" curricula have been considered and rejected by several states, and deemed a failure by other states, the Obama administration is trying to mandate "Common Core" nationwide anyway. Fellow Virginians will remember why we didn't adopt "Common Core": We already have higher academic standards, and see no reason to lower those. We've said that before. This article contains a link you can use to send your comments to the Department of Education. (Cookie warning: the link opens a page that will remember your computer. You can post multiple comments if you have a lot to say on this topic, or have different friends or relatives sign their comments within the text, but you can't get back to the same landing page you might want to share with other people...they have to go through the article.)


Here's another take on it...Martinez is targeting Catholic audiences, but in a general way, what he says applies to Christian schools generally. Seventh-Day Adventist schools are restful to the mind of anyone who previously attended public school in Virginia, to put it charitably, but even they are likely to do a better job than Common Core.



This web site has often discussed what are officially and properly known as "ugly fruit and vegetables." The term could have been "irregular," but people chose "ugly" to emphasize the point: To gardeners, these odd-shaped or too-small fruit and veg look good, because we know how good they taste. To too many supermarkets, they're ugly, and too many farmers order fruit pickers to drop them on the ground.



Somebody sent me an invitation to see Donald Trump in Cleveland. Gentle Reader, why, after all those years when I avoided seeing him free of charge in Washington, would anyone imagine that I'd want to go to Cleveland just to look at...Actually, the resemblance to my late distant cousin Oogesti gets stronger as the orange fades from Trump's hair, and if Trump were willing to haul my cats to and from the vet, free of charge, I could probably stand to look at him too. But...Cleveland?


Another study links "pesticides," generically--how evasive can you get?--to Parkinson's Disease in California. Some readers may remember that Michael J. Fox tried posting a link to an earlier study on this subject at his site, and was pressured to remove it...this is a new study.


Whatever you think of their position on the Brexit Vote, in some ways Scotland is a shining light to the rest of the nations.



Shared by a Twit known as +Ed Seibold (Google + wants to tag him there too; why not?). He's shared a lot of cool Independence-Day-related stuff lately.


National holidays apart, this web site has stated that July tends to be a boring time of year. Dan Lewis has, however, determined that the most boring day in the twentieth century may have fallen in April.


Politics (Election)

It'll be in your printed paper if you don't want to deal with Huffington Post cookies: Bernie backs Hillary:


Meanwhile, Virginia Republicans symbolically uphold the right to vote their conscience:


Politics (Philosophy)

Tom DeWeese finds the "Brexit" vote inspiring...I'm not sure what to say to this. Where I am, it's too hot and humid to think this kind of heavy thoughts. For those whose tolerance for heat is greater than mine, which is probably a majority of humankind, here's the gist of TDeW's e-mail:


The people of Great Britain voted to take back control over their lives.

Now it’s OUR turn.

We the People of the United States demand our right to be heard.

We demand our voice in deciding how much power government will have over our lives.

And we demand to have the ability to vote on that power – to not be controlled by a non-elected dictatorship like the United Nations!

Sign your Demand for a Referendum to Exit the UN

The fact is the UN is driving to enforce global policies that would:
  • Tax us without representation and set up a global IRS.
  • Create an international police force that would threaten the independence and security of our nation.
  • Create its own court system with no right to trial by jury of our peers, with a special focus on prosecuting “right wing extremists” (that means you and me!).
  • Interfere with our Constitutional form of government through a series of international treaties.
  • Ram thousands of ‘refugees” from the hate-America Islamist Third World into our cities and towns, overriding the objections of American citizens.
When King George did these things to the colonies, our Founding Fathers took action to stop him. 

The British, themselves, are reconsidering and debating. This web site has no foreign policy but, for those whose feelings about the Brexit have not been informed by recent reportage from Britain, this web site suggests searching for British news reports. The Guardian, which prints lots of non-political fun stuff, is notoriously biased so you might want to search for "conservative" reportage too. Pick your own dang favorites; if I picked'em for you that would become a point of foreign policy.

Meanwhile, those who want to relive a "Long Hot Summer" with many a "Black Day in July," from the 1960s, should...chill. If this web site were within range, this web site would dump ice buckets on them. The next best thing may be Missouri State Representative Dogan's article in the National Review.


(Here's where digital music fans can download the song, "Black Day in July"...I'd forgotten that Lightfoot ever looked that young. Thank you, Amazon.)

Michele Hickford's report may not help lower readers' blood pressure, but it does tend to steer readers away from the idea of a color war and toward the idea of useful, individual solutions.



Kira Newman sheds further light on why efforts to teach empathy in the public schools are unlikely to succeed. For many if not most children, school is the most anxiety-inducing place on Earth; I remember that my brother and I used to look forward to annual teeth-cleanings, because going to the dentist was so much more fun than school. Admittedly Dr. McDaniels was an unusually likable dentist, but...


This seems to be the place where a link to Tim LaHaye's book, not new but available at a new discount price, belongs today. I have a copy of Why You Act the Way You Do and recommend it to anyone who doesn't have one. Yes, medical research has identified lots of hereditary physical traits that can shape our personalities, in addition to High Sensory Perceptivity, which ancient philosophers called a melancholy temperament, Long Brain Stems, which they called phlegmatic, "strong will" or "Type A," which they called choleric, and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, which they called sanguine. Yes, we can learn a lot about ourselves and others just by checking for signs of these four most obvious and common temperament traits.


Where Are They Now? Update 

Remember Robert Reich? Locked in the Cabinet? Well, if you don't, I seriously recommend reading it; it's obviously history by now, but it's more interesting history than the other Clinton associates' memoirs. You probably don't remember George Peters' FacTapes, so I'll recycle my comment on Locked in the Cabinet from the Clinton FacTape on which I read it: "Pat Robertson was called antisemitic for making certain observations about the U.S. Federal Reserve, many but not all of whose members are Jewish. Robert Reich is also Jewish, his disagreements with Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan come from a point of view almost opposite to Pat Robertson's, and what d'you know--his opinions about the role of the Federal Reserve in federal policy sound a lot like Mr. Robertson's." (The FacTapes were primarily for senior citizens so we always used titles.) I always think that when people who disagree as radically as Reich and Robertson do agree on something, that thing is worth reading. And it doesn't hurt anything that Reich wrote his own memoir, which made it a better written book than the hack-written memoirs of many of his colleagues. He came across as a likable Democrat, worth following.

I support some, not most, Moveon.org petitions. I've noticed a Democratic Party bias at that site, yes. And a bias toward memory-hogging videos, which I understand some people love, but which I (and the computers I use) haaaate. I didn't realize, though, that Robert Reich had moved on to Moveon.org. If you're a fan of his, or if you like videos, you might even want to use his fundraising link:


For over a year now, MoveOn and I have partnered on making a new video every few weeks. These videos—on issues like money in politics, too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks, mass incarceration, the fight for a $15-per-hour minimum wage, threats to Social Security, the skyrocketing cost of education, and Bernie Sanders—have gotten tens of millions of views and helped change the public debate...
Click here to chip in $3 to help MoveOn’s new Video Lab.


Long summer days...bright hot sun...blistering your nose...can lead to skin cancer...can cause scars on the end of your nose...not to mention, exposure to bright light can cause cataracts. I've been defending my all-but-literally White mother's right to wear big floppy hats, without being accused of calling attention to herself, just to prevent sunburn and worse, for twenty years. Where is my (small, plain, very modest) floppy hat? In the closet. Why? No valid excuse. Readers are hereby invited to slap proper headgear onto my head whenever they catch me walking out into sun like today's, bareheaded, which I did. For those who thought your family's collection of brimmed hats was sufficient, heh-heh, Zazzle has fresh, clever motifs for you...

Remember, Zazzle actually promises a better commission to the one who shared a link to a Zazzle hat than to the one who created the hat. So in case Neworleansdog wants to return the compliment...

Personalized Adjustable Hat
Personalized Adjustable Hat by PriscillaKnits
View other Blank Embroidered Hats at Zazzle.com