24 September 2014

GONE THINKING…

1920 by Jeff Hess

For the next 10 days, Thursday, 25 September through through Saturday, 4 October, I will be on retreat and enjoying an Electronic Fast. I’ll be reachable by phone and I’ll check emails once a day for emergencies, but don’t expect any new posts until Sunday, 5 October. Enjoy.

24 September 2014

24 HOURS TO HIGH SCHOOL WALKOUT…

1918 by Jeff Hess
  • Living on 24 Hours saved 27 days ago.
  • Westminster Crackers saved 19 days ago.
  • Willpower Expert Roy Baumeister on Staying in Control saved 3 days ago.
  • Immigration protest cancelled over Mexican cartels ‘death threats’ saved 2 days ago.
  • ‘We attribute too much to luck. Luck is an atheistic word for God’ saved 2 days ago.
  • Why is Thomas Piketty’s 700-page book a bestseller? saved 2 days ago.
  • Five best laptops to suit any budget saved 1 days ago.
  • Denver area students walk out of school to protest ‘censored’ curriculum saved today.
  • This is my exercise in shoveling out the blogpile…

    24 September 2014

    WHAT PRECISELY IS ALMOST…?

    0730 by Jeff Hess

    FBOFW 140924

    24 September 2014

    NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

    0500 by Jeff Hess

    TODAY’S MARIETTA TIMES FRONT PAGE

    Today’s headlines include:

    Local News

    Political signs
    Grand jury to review Sunday fatality
    County studies health care plans
    ‘Old habits’ cost drug dealer jail time
    Man wanted in death of year-old girl caught in Mexico

    Top Headlines Poll: How much do political signs influence your vote?

    Great pictures of Marietta

    What’s going on here

    Previously

    23 September 2014

    GOOD ON PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA…

    0800 by Jeff Hess

    Companies that seek to avoid US tax by shifting their headquarters abroad are being targeted under tough new rules announced by the Obama administration that it claims will dramatically reduce the benefits of so-called corporate inversions.

    The controversial technique, which has allowed companies such as Burger King to move abroad by buying a smaller foreign rival, had become a major test of White House resolve in the face of a failure to agree a legislation solution in Congress.

    But after several weeks examining legal options for unilateral executive action, Treasury officials say that a series of changes to their “administrative guidance” will suffice to stamp out much of the practice in future.

    “It’s critical that this unfair loophole is closed,” Treasury secretary Jack Lew told reporters.

    He said the series of measures would “significantly limit companies’ ability” to carry out inversions in future by making them “substantially less economically appealing”.

    Specifically, companies will no longer be able to escape tax on their US earnings by using internal loans, dividends and share swaps to restructure themselves under foreign ownership.

    Dan Roberts writing in Obama to target ‘inversion’ firms moving HQ abroad to avoid US taxes for The Guardian.

    Too late to help Cleveland, but a good move nonetheless.

    23 September 2014

    RULE NO. 83: OCCASIONALLY BREAK THE RULES …

    0600 by Jeff Hess

    Rule No. 83 – Break the Rules Once in a While.

    From Food Rules, an eater’s manual by Michael Pollan

    Previously…

    Found in my electronic chapbook. See also Eating Mindfully by Jan Chozen Bey.

    23 September 2014

    NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES: HESS IN THE NEWS…

    0500 by Jeff Hess

    >marietta times sherri hess

    TODAY’S MARIETTA TIMES FRONT PAGE

    Today’s headlines include:

    Local News

    Open city space
    Barlow’s 4-day blast
    Appeals court allows judges to carry weapons
    Marietta board acts on personnel
    Wolf Creek board OKs volleyball coach hiring

    Top Headlines Poll: What’s your favorite part of the Barlow Fair?

    Great pictures of Marietta

    What’s going on here

    Previously

    22 September 2014

    MICHAEL BROWN MEMORIAL BURNS…

    1919 by Jeff Hess

    This internal thread concerning events in and about Ferguson, Missouri,
    is stuck to the top of the blog, newer, less vital, posts appear below.

    Meanwhile, comments on PZ Myers’ Good Morning, America now exceed 1,600…

    At least two protesters were arrested and some businesses were damaged Tuesday night after a memorial to Michael Brown was destroyed in a fire. The confrontation reignited tensions in the St. Louis suburb that was rocked by violence this summer after Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot by a Ferguson police officer.

    Police responded Tuesday evening to a reported break-in of a beauty supply store on West Florissant Avenue, according to multiple reports. Then several gunshots were heard and approximately 200 people gathered at the site where demonstrations were held following the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, 19, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

    Casey Nolen reporting in Tensions flare in Ferguson after Brown memorial burns for KSDK-TV.

    —***—

    Civil rights leaders have described the deal [in Portland, Oregon, JH] as a potential model for co-operation in other cities, such as Ferguson, Missouri, which was rocked by protests over the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer last month.

    The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform, an association of Portland civil rights groups that is a party to the deal, Continue Reading »

    22 September 2014

    THERE’S WORK AND THEN THERE’S WORK…

    0700 by Jeff Hess

    Linda Tirado, 32, was attending college and working in two low-paid jobs when she first posted her essay about America’s poverty trap on an online forum. The post went viral, and Tirado extended her essay into a book while still working at a pancake shop near her home in Utah. She now lives in Washington DC, with her husband, a former marine, and two small daughters. She works as a new-media activist and journalist.

    Were you expecting what happened after your essay was published?

    Oh, God, no! I was just on a message board. I was just talking to my friends the same way I’d done for many years. Then I went to bed, and then I went to work. It took me about two weeks to realise I was awake because I was pretty sure I was having a really fucked-up dream. There is no processing what happens when the internet looks at you and says: it’s your turn. It was insane: people were outside my house, they were calling my elderly relatives, I got 20,000 emails in a week. I still have no idea why it was this piece at this moment; it’s nothing me and my friends haven’t been saying for years. I don’t understand why it was controversial. Period.

    After the initial fuss, some journalists began muck-raking, trying to prove that you weren’t what you said you were. How did that feel?

    I’m not going to recommend it as a lifestyle choice. I lost a ton of weight in three weeks. If you need a crash diet, go viral. Whatever it was I managed to capture had enough power truly to upset some people. A lot of them hoped I was a poor little rich girl, living in a McMansion. Emotionally, it would have been easier to deal with. But I’ve never claimed to be anything that I’m not. Guys, I called the thing “Why I make terrible decisions”. So, I gave my welfare records to the Washington Post. Those things, and the teeth video, closed it down [in her essay, Tirado wrote that her teeth had rotted because she could not afford dental care, and that this made her unsuitable for working front-of-house in restaurants and offices; when this was disputed she posted a video online in which the ugly gaps in her teeth can clearly be seen]. The trouble is that a lot of people simply don’t understand the stratification in the lower classes. I wasn’t born in Appalachia with no running water. At Burger King I made $28,000 a year. Yes, you can survive on that money. But that’s not the point. It’s a 90-hour week. What is your life like while you’re surviving? Can you keep a family on it?

    In your book you say the rich are afraid of the poor. Do you think fear played a part in the media’s treatment of you?

    In America we have this myth that if you deserve it, you will have it. We’re afraid to look at our downtrodden because it undercuts that myth. There is a fear of the poor that is uniquely American. It’s especially hard to look at someone who could be one of their kids – someone like me who’s white and intelligent – and see them as poor. When the crash happened, there was a panic among the rich because suddenly —continue reading…

    Rachel Cooke writing in Linda Tirado: ‘It was insane. I got 20,000 emails in a week’ for The Observer.

    Read Tirado’s essay in ‘Poor people don’t plan long-term. We’ll just get our hearts broken’ for The Observer.

    22 September 2014

    RULE NO. 82: COOK…

    0600 by Jeff Hess

    Rule No. 82 – Cook.

    From Food Rules, an eater’s manual by Michael Pollan

    Previously…

    Found in my electronic chapbook. See also Eating Mindfully by Jan Chozen Bey.

    22 September 2014

    A BIT OF WISDOM FOR MY STUDENTS…

    0530 by Jeff Hess

    dilbert 140922

    22 September 2014

    NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

    0500 by Jeff Hess

    TODAY’S MARIETTA TIMES FRONT PAGE

    (Note: Newseum doesn’t usually update the front pages until 0630 or so)

    Today’s headlines include:

    Local News

    Marietta Youth League focuses on the basics
    Marietta teen dies in wreck
    Devola wants its own trail
    Families dig archaeology at museum
    Once a Scout, always a Scout

    Top Headlines Poll: What’s your reaction to state grades of your school district?

    >

    Great pictures of Marietta

    What’s going on here

    Previously

    21 September 2014

    STEPHEN KING ON ELEMENTARY EDUCATION…

    0800 by Jeff Hess

    In the current issue of The Atlantic, Jessica Lahey interview Stephen King in How Stephen King Teaches Writing. Here are a few bits I found interesting.

    Lahey: If your writing had not panned out, do you think you would have continued teaching?

    King: Yes, but I would have gotten a degree in elementary ed. I was discussing that with my wife just before I broke through with Carrie. Here’s the flat, sad truth: By the time they get to high school, a lot of these kids have already closed their minds to what we love. I wanted to get to them while they were still wide open. Teenagers are wonderful, beautiful freethinkers at the best of times. At the worst, it’s like beating your fists on a brick wall. Also, they’re so preoccupied with their hormones it’s often hard to get their attention.

    Previously…

    21 September 2014

    RULE NO. 81: GROW SOME OF YOUR FOOD…

    0600 by Jeff Hess

    Rule No. 81 – Plant a Vegetable Garden if You Have the Space, a Window Box if You Don’t.

    From Food Rules, an eater’s manual by Michael Pollan

    Previously…

    Found in my electronic chapbook. See also Eating Mindfully by Jan Chozen Bey.

    21 September 2014

    AND THEN MY FRIENDS FELL OVER LAUGHING…

    0530 by Jeff Hess

    zits 081026 140920I think this happened in my Freshman year at Warren High School. A relative in his 20s was using the word dude a lot and, like all non-conformist teenagers, I tried the word out for myself. After my friends stopped laughing, I never used the word again.

    21 September 2014

    NOT THE (SUNDAY) MARIETTA TIMES…

    0500 by Jeff Hess

    TODAY’S PARKERSBURG NEWS AND SENTINEL FRONT PAGE

    TODAY’S PARKERSBURG NEWS AND SENTINEL FRONT PAGE

    Today’s headlines include:

    Local News

    Teri Ann’s to hold in-store celebration
    Day For Kids
    Harvest Moon Festival kicks off at City Park
    Morrisey: Issues can be addressed
    Annual Cookbook Contest deadline fast approaching

    Top Headlines Poll: Would you camp out in line for the launch of a corporation’s hot new product?

    Great pictures of Marietta

    What’s going on here

    Previously

    20 September 2014

    NOW IF OUR CEOS HAD THIS ATTITUDE…

    1230 by Jeff Hess

    Earlier today I addressed the media and through them the Australian public about ongoing investigations into a group of officers and NCOs whose conduct if proven has not only brought the Australian army into disrepute, but has let down every one of you, and all of those whose past service has won the respect of our nation.

    There are limits to how much I can tell you because the investigations into this network by both the New South Wales police and the ADF Investigative Service are ongoing. But evidence collected to date has identified a group of men within our ranks who have allegedly produced highly inappropriate material demeaning women and distributed it across the internet and Defense’s email networks.

    If this is true then the actions of these members is in direct contravention to every value the Australian Army stands for. By now, I assume you know my attitude to this type of conduct. I have stated categorically many times that the Army has to be an inclusive organization in which every soldier, man and women, is able to reach their full potential and is encouraged to do so. Those who think that it is okay to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this Army.

    Our service has been engaged in continuous operations since 1999, and in its longest war ever in Afghanistan. In all operations, female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian Army. They are vital to us maintaining our capability now and into the future. If that does not suit you, then get out. You may find another employer where your attitude and behavior is acceptable, but I doubt it.

    The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others. Every one of us is responsible for the culture and reputation of our army and the environment in which we work. If you’ve become aware of every individual degrading another then show moral courage and take a stand against it. No-one has ever explained to me how the exploitation or degradation of others enhances capability or honors the traditions of the Australian Army.

    I will be ruthless in ridding the Army of people who cannot live up to its values, and I need every one of you to support me in achieving this. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. That goes for all of us, but especially those who by their rank have a leadership role. If we are a great national institution, if we care about the legacy left to us by those who served before us, if we care about the legacy we leave to those who, in turn, will protect and secure Australia, then it is up to us to make a difference.

    If you’re not up to it, find something else to do with your life. There is no place for you amongst this band of brothers and sisters.

    —Lieutenant General David Morrison, Chief of Army, Australian Defense Force

    20 September 2014

    ANOTHER LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR…

    1100 by Jeff Hess

    This is the letter-to-the-editor I’m sending to The Marietta Times in response to Glenna Clutter’s letter this morning calling David Burton a mild-mannered and intelligent man. Clutter went on to write that Burton’s reasoned explanations make sense to those not too deaf to listen. He does not peddle hate and intolerance, but he does promote social responsibility and ethical conduct.

    Thomas Jefferson, statesman, author of our Declaration of Independence, third president of our United States and our greatest mind is one of my personal heroes. One of the most important texts in my personal library is Merrill Peterson’s “Thomas Jefferson: Writings.” I have read Peterson’s collection of Jefferson’s published works many times and I never fail to learn from that experience.

    This past week, a pseudo-historian infamous for falsely appropriating Jefferson’s words and twisting them to his own financial benefit as a darling of the puppeteers behind the Tea Party, came to Marietta to speak to some 350 of the Washington County Republican Party faithful at that group’s Reagan Dinner. I was not in attendance so I have no first-hand knowledge of what Mr. Barton said, but I do know his history from his printed word and his appearances on Glenn Beck’s television show.

    Mr. Barton’s lies are too numerous to list here, but allow me one example. In his book, “The Jefferson Lies” Barton writes on page 35: “Jefferson affirmed that American Lawyers used Blackstone’s with the same dedication and reverence that Muslims used the Koran.”

    What Jefferson actually wrote, in his letter of 26 May 1810 to John Tyler (page 1225 of Peterson) was:

    “I have long lamented with you the depreciation of law science. The opinion seems to be that Blackstone is to us what the Alcoran is to the Mahometans, that everything which is necessary is in him , and what is not in him is not necessary. I still lend my counsel and books to such young students as will fix themselves in the neighborhood. Coke’s institutes and reports are their first, and Blackstone their last book, after an intermediate course of two or three years. It is nothing more than an elegant digest of what they will then have acquired from the real fountains of the law.”

    What Barton attempts to twist into an endorsement of Blackstone was actually a condemnation of the work. This is ever Barton’s method: cherry pick and isolate to scrape together spurious evidence in support of his fantasies.

    Jeff Hess
    North Royalton, Ohio

    20 September 2014

    MARK TWAIN UNDERSTOOD THE DANGER OF LIES…

    0900 by Jeff Hess

    Reader Fred O’Neill writes:

    “The Man Who Came to Dinner” at the Republican fall fiesta this year, is an influential, Texas-based, evangelical guru who receives lots of free-meals by peddling revisionist notions about the role of religion in American history. The problem is that David Barton knows about as much about American history as I know about nuclear-physics.

    While he is known for issuing controversial and sometimes nasty remarks about gay persons, minorities, and those of different faiths, his main claim-to-fame (and the reason he was invited to Marietta by the small cadre of extremist ideologues who now run the local Republican machine here) is his often-stated contention that the founders of this country were all devout Christians who believed that one religion—and one religion only—should hold supremacy over all others, and that Biblical principles should rule both personal and government actions.

    Barton’s opinions on this matter are pure unadulterated baloney!

    If one looks at the real historical record—not the phony one concocted in recent years by the likes of Barton, Glenn Beck, and Mike Huckabee—one discovers that those who established the United States were neither unbelieving atheists nor Bible-thumping evangelicals. The dogmatic “born-again” variety of fundamentalism being pushed into the marketplace by modern evangelicals did not even come into being until the “revivalist” movement of the early 1800s. During that time, various sects like Baptists, Universalists, Pentecostals, and Methodists began to spread their (at-the-time unorthodox) views westward with the expanding frontier. Yes, the authors of The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution were religious men, but the religion they practiced was based upon science and reason.

    Washington and Patrick Henry were Virginia Episcopalians. Sam Adams was a Boston Congregationalist. His cousin John Adams was a Unitarian. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and (later) James Madison were self-described “deists” who believed in an amorphous “Creator” that made “man” the final arbiter of his own spiritual and temporal fate. Revolutionary writer Thomas Paine (not an atheist as some have claimed, but a person who was suspicious of all dogma) opened his 1794 treatise The Age of Reason by saying “My own mind is my own church.” In Poor Richard’s Almanac, Continue Reading »

    20 September 2014

    DEBUNKING DAVID BARTON’S LIES…

    0830 by Jeff Hess


    —From Chris Rodda, author of Debunking David Barton’s Jefferson Lies.

    Prior to about a week ago I knew nothing of David Barton other than he was one of the religious wrong and influential in tea-bagger circles. I’ve since begun to educate myself because of Barton’s visit to my hometown. What makes Barton so hard to deal with is that he lies so much, setting the record straight on his lies becomes a nearly Herculean task (and I imagine that there was much less horse shit in the Augean stables than that to be found in Barton’s words).

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