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Member since: Mon Dec 5, 2016, 05:05 PM
Number of posts: 3,504

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"The Fall" on Netflix

with Gillian Anderson is pretty good, but I'm having a real problem tolerating her breathless whispery voice. I didn't watch X-files, so I don't have any idea whether this is how she normally speaks on TV, but I'm at the point of wanting to slap her. Is anybody else watching this series?

I am ready to concede that I'm crazy, but

I want to get this off my chest. It may have a lot to do with my age (I'm 70), but this is bugging the hell out of me.

I like to solve crossword puzzles, and I'm pretty good at it. The daily puzzle in my local paper is too easy to be any fun; I have bought books of NYT puzzles, including diagramless and puns and anagrams. I sometimes am able to solve entirely the Nation's very tough crossword. I finish the Sunday Times puzzle in an hour or so. So I'm not new to this game.

Almost all the puzzles I encounter have been created by men, unless there are a lot of female puzzle constructers named Bill or John, and it really pisses me off when they use what I consider sort of *private* words pertaining to women in their solutions.

I object to the use of the word "bra" as the inevitable answer to "part of a bathing suit," "panties" in any context, and--especially--"pad" used in the context of women's toiletries. "Pad" could be the answer to any number of clues--where do these men get off using "our" word like that? Especially since I'm of a generation that talked about such things (if we talked about them at all) as "sanitary napkins."

I have to backtrack a little on "panties" because it was used in a clever way in last Sunday's Times puzzle, as part of "smarty-pants" ("smart panties". But we called them "underpants." And pantyhose are "stockings."

I don't know what made that show up above.

Michael Scott, a warning?

I've been rewatching "The Office" (US version) and am struck by how much Michael Scott resembles Donald Trump in his pathological need to be loved, his preference for form over function, his inability to tolerate criticism, his profound ignorance. It really is worth a look.

Just think--ten years ago I was laughing at a guy like that.
Posted by cyclonefence | Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:15 AM (2 replies)

Jerry Lee Lewis redux

Here we go again with the age-old question of the unfit priest. Is the money Harvey Weinstein donated *to a good cause* tainted because he is a dreadful human being?

The notion of accepting money from a known sexual predator is revolting, and had his history of abusing women been known before Democrats accepted his financial support, of course his donations should have been refused.

But the money was accepted in all innocence--afaik, no one in our party was privy to his secret life--and therefore I don't think we ought to be returning it.

Can an evil person perform good deeds? Are the deeds less admirable because the doer is a horrible human being? Does his character make his good works less beneficial? No, sez I.
Posted by cyclonefence | Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:00 AM (9 replies)

Excerpt from The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

This is from the chapter by John D. Gartner, "Donald Trump is: a) Bad b) Mad c) All of the Above":

"...Trump is a profoundly evil man exhibiting malignant narcissism. His worsening hypomania is making him increasingly more irrational, grandiose, paranoid, aggressive, irritable, and impulsive. Trump is bad, mad, and getting worse. He evinces the most destructive and dangerous collection of psychiatric symptoms possible for a leader. The worse-case scenario is now our reality.

"...It's a catastrophe that might have been avoided if we in the mental health community had told the public the truth, instead of allowing ourselves to be gagged by the Goldwater rule...History will not be kind to a profession that aided the rise of an American Hitler through its silence."

Another of the authors points out that the Goldwater rule prohibits psychiatrists from talking about Trump's mental health without having had him as a patient; but if he were a patient, they couldn't talk about his mental health either, because of patient confidentiality.

Posted by cyclonefence | Fri Oct 6, 2017, 10:28 PM (2 replies)

Paul Ryan's solution to gun violence: mental health

from http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-problem-paul-ryans-focus-mental-health-and-guns:

By Steve Benen

Following every high-profile mass shooting, much of the public naturally turns to policymakers to ask what, if anything, they’re prepared to do to help save lives. Yesterday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had an answer in mind.

In the wake of one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, which happened in Las Vegas Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked what Congress could do to prevent these tragedies in the future. Ryan answered with what Congress has already done.

“One of the things we have learned from these things, we have learned from these shootings, is often a diagnosis of mental illness,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly press conference Tuesday.

The Wisconsin congressman went on to talk about various mental-health reforms lawmakers have pursued in recent years, which he’s supported.

And at first blush, this may have sounded like a sensible response to the question. If we assume at the outset that Ryan will never consider measures to limit access to firearms, focusing on helping those with mental illness at least appears to be a constructive approach to the situation.

The trouble, however, comes when we look a little closer at the details. We could start, for example, by noting that the House Speaker has pushed for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits, which includes mental-health treatments. We could also note that Ryan has pushed aggressively for deep cuts to Medicaid, which provides mental health treatments to many low-income Americans. If the Republican leader is serious about this piece of the puzzle, he should probably reconsider some of his budget priorities.

But let’s put that aside and focus on the bill Ryan helped pass in February that expanded gun access to the mentally impaired.

As regular readers may recall, when an American suffers from a severe mental illness, to the point that he or she receives disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, there are a variety of limits created to help protect that person and his or her interests. These folks cannot, for example, go to a bank to cash a check on their own.

The Social Security Administration reports the names of those who receive disability benefits due to severe mental illness to the FBI’s background-check system – and one of the House Republicans’ first priorities for this Congress was passing a measure to undo that reporting. With overwhelming GOP support, this passed and received Donald Trump’s signature.

To be sure, there’s nothing to suggest the Las Vegas gunman took advantage of this policy. Indeed, we have very little information about the shooter’s motivation or the state of his mental health.

The point, however, is that Ryan’s argument is disjointed: asked about a brutal mass murder, the House Speaker turns his attention to mental health just eight months after he advanced a measure to make it easier for the mentally impaired to buy firearms.

He’s going to need some better talking points.
Posted by cyclonefence | Wed Oct 4, 2017, 04:06 PM (8 replies)
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