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Showing posts from March 20, 2017

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind

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["So much of how people view the world has nothing to do with facts." What has happened to our sense of the truth? The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs. *RON*]
Julie Beck, The Atlantic, 13 March 2017
“I remember looking at her and thinking, ‘She’s totally lying.’ At the same time, I remember something in my mind saying, ‘And that doesn’t matter.’” For Daniel Shaw, believing the words of the guru he had spent years devoted to wasn’t blind faith exactly. It was something he chose. “I remember actually consciously making that choice.”

There are facts, and there are beliefs, and there are things you want so badly to believe that they become as facts to you.

Back in 1980, Shaw had arrived at a Siddha Yoga meditation center in upstate New York during what he says was a “very vulnerable point in my life.” He’d had trouble with relationships, and at work, and none of the therapies he’d tried really seemed to help. But with Siddh…

American Carnage: The New Landscape of Opioid Addiction

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[I'd looked at this before and gave it a pass but, having looked at it again, it's important, and pertinent to Trump's forays into the class wars. A good supplement to J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy. *RON*]

Christopher Caldwell, First Things, April 2017

“We should all be dead,” said Jonathan Goyer one bright morning in January as he looked across a room filled with dozens of his coworkers and clients. The Anchor Recovery Community Center, which Goyer helps run, occupies the shell of an office building in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Founded seven years ago, Anchor specializes in “peer-to-peer” counseling for drug addicts. With state help and private grants, Anchor throws everything but the kitchen sink at addiction. It hosts Narcotics Anonymous meetings, cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, art workshops, and personal counseling. It runs a telephone hotline and a hospital outreach program. It has an employment center for connecting ne…

Today's Trumpery

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FBI director Comey testifies on Russia and wiretapping claims – live

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[If you're curious enough you can click on the above link throughout the day to see if any major bombs drop! Though it's sounding to be a bit of a dud: "We don't confirm whether investigations exist or talk about investigations in progress." ADDED: I guess never speak too soon! Comey: FBI Is Investigating Whether Trump Campaign Coordinated With Russia, AND Russia hearing live: FBI director Comey says no information to confirm Trump's wiretap claims. *RON*]
John Murray Brown, Demetri Sevastopulo, Courtney Weaver, Financial Times, 20 March 2017


FBI director James Comey is on Capitol Hill today, where he is testifying to the House intelligence committee on the bureau's investigation into Russia's attempts to interfere in last year's US presidential election. He is testifying alongside NSA Director Michael Rogers.

Mr Comey, who came under fire during the election campaign for his handling of Democratic candidate…

Happiness report: Norway is the happiest place on Earth

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[Only 7th, Canada? We can do better! :-D (The US was 14th.) *RON*]

BBC World News, 20 March 2017
Norway is the happiest place on Earth, according to a United Nations agency report - toppling neighbour Denmark from the number one position.

The World Happiness Report measures "subjective well-being" - how happy the people are, and why.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and and Finland round out the top five, while the Central African Republic came last.

Western Europe and North America dominated the top of table, with the US and UK at 14th and 19th, respectively.

Theresa May to trigger article 50 on 29 March

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[Here we go! UK’s permanent representative to the European Union has told the bloc to expect a letter on that date. *RON*]

Jessica Elgot, The Guardian, 20 March 2017

Theresa May will trigger article 50, the formal mechanism for starting negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union, on Wednesday 29 March, the prime minister’s spokesman has confirmed.

The UK’s permanent representative to the European Union, Sir Tim Barrow, notified the EU on Monday morning that a letter should be expected on that date. The move will put the UK on course to leave the EU on the same date in 2019.