Bob and the Dodo

My oldest grandchild, Bob, who will be 10 this July, has taken an interest in the Dodo Bird.
He’s done some research and shared a few facts during his last overnight – like, the Dodo Bird was large (“the size of James and Max put together”) and was pretty good eating.
He also informed me that the Dodo lived on two islands East of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean: Reunion and Mauritius.

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The Supremes

Did Hell freeze over today?
As reported by AP:
The Supreme Court expanded job protections for roughly half the nation’s work force Wednesday, ruling that federal law allows people 40 and over to file age bias claims over salary and hiring even if employers never intended any harm.
Who’d you guess was on the side of workers? Sure, the so-called “liberal wing” – John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer –
and in a separate opinion: Antonin Scalia.

Agnostics Need Not Apply; Pederasts, on the Other Hand…

The Dallas U.S. Attorney’s office announced today that the former national director of programs for the Boy Scouts of America has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
As we all know, the Boy Scouts preclude dangerous people like agnostics and atheists from their membership. And gays. But at least one consumer of kiddie porn had a 39 year run with same organization.

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Third World Children

If you dare, read this article , but only on an empty stomach.
It’s another one about the rape of Third World kids. But this time, it’s by UN troops, Jordanian soldiers in Timor, who “routinely” sexually assaulted little boys.
When an Australian Corporal reported the children’s complaints to his superiors, the manly Jordanian fighters retaliated by threatening the Australian “diggers” with M-16’s.
Tough. Macho.
According to the article, the UN essentially shoved the whole matter under the rug: “Jordan was too valuable an ally in its contribution to the Middle East peace process to alienate.”

Just Hang Up

Received a recorded phone message this morning from the Dove Foundation, which rates TV shows, movies and video games for children.
Since I’m on a “Do Not Call” list*, I declined to listen to the rest of the phonecall, and filed a complaint with the FCC.
And having researched the “Dovies” thereafter, I’m glad I did.
Their website includes, for example, the following from a review of “Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban”:
Although it is a highly entertaining and well-made film, Dove cannot award it the Dove Seal because of the emphasis on divination, incantations and dark themes.
PS: The Western Michigan Better Business Bureau doesn’t like them either: This organization does not meet the … BBB Standard(s) for Local Charitable Accountability.
*Evidently charitable organizations are exempt, but even so, they must remove you from their list – that is, if you ever get a chance to tell them to do so….

Gardener’s Diary

It warmed up a little over Easter weekend, so I got to remove several baskets of leaves from the flowerbeds and toss the winter decorations from the flower boxes.
It’s supposed to rain most of the week, good time to Hollytone Peter’s tree, maybe. The contractor had planned to do the town water install, but the weather slowed him and the plumber down – seems like precip has thwarted our maintenance plans generally, including clean-up in Peter’s yard, which has been put off due to snow since January 11.

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Less Is More

Lot of wisdom in this excerpt from CNN/Money:
Less really is more.
You have material desires like everyone else. But you recognize that those desires are fueled by an advertising-driven culture that encourages you to feel like you never have enough. You understand that the quest to possess can be never ending unless you consciously apply the brakes.
The true signs of a financial grown-up: Instead of ratcheting up your lifestyle every time you get a raise, you consciously live below your means, value the nonmaterial wealth in your life, such as family and friends, and resist the urge to buy the next big thing simply because you can.
In the end, says James Gottfurcht, president of Psychology of Money Consultants in Los Angeles, you know that you’ve reached money maturity when you realize that “financial freedom and success go not to those who have the most, but to those who need the least.”

Schiavo: One Woman’s Perspective

Actually, more than one of us women has wondered the following about the Schiavo case:
Far from reflecting an “angelic” repose, those home videos from 3 years ago are revolting and humiliating. Terri Schiavo evidently took great pride in her appearance. We’ve wondered if she’d be horrified that the whole world has been pummelled with images of that vacuous, hideous, infantile grimace which her parents interpret as cognizance.

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Dress for Duress

The brouhaha about Desiree Goodwin, the woman who is suing Harvard for discrimination – based on derogatory comments about her manner of dress, she claims they’ve denied her opportunities for promotion 16 TIMES – poses an ethical quandry.
First, working in an office is stressful for the majority of people. Over 50% of American workers are unhappy with their jobs, and no wonder: their work environments are sealed deathtraps (e.g., 9/11) where, statistically speaking, one out of every 25 of their coworkers is a nutcase (see my post on sociopathy in the US).

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