ECLECTIC RANT: Snowden and the NSA Surveillance Program

By Ralph E. Stone
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 09:01:00 AM

Much, maybe too much, has been reported on Edward Snowden's leaking of classified information, the NSA Surveillance Program, and Snowden's desperate attempts to find asylum. I would just add a brief comment, -more-

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Poison Gas & Arabian Tales

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 08:39:00 AM

“It is not unlike Sherlock Holmes and the dog that didn’t bark. It’s not just that we can’t prove a sarin attack, it is that we are not seeing what we would expect to see from a sarin attack.”

--Jean-Pascal Zanders, former senior research fellow at the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies

Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, cracked the case of the “Silver Blaze” by concluding that a murder and theft had to be an inside job because the watchdog never barked. It would be a good idea to keep this in mind when it comes to determining whether the Syrian government used poison gas against its opponents. And since the Obama administration is citing “proof” that the chemical warfare agent sarin was used by the Syrian government as the basis for escalating its intervention in the two-year old civil war, this is hardly an academic exercise.

Like Holmes, start with the facts. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: The Arc of the Moral Universe: Same-Sex Marriage

By Bob Burnett
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 08:36:00 AM

Martin Luther King, Jr., famously observed, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards Justice.” The American civil rights movement has made slow progress since May 17, 1954, when the Supreme Court struck down the “separate but equal doctrine” in Brown vs. Board of Education. Nonetheless, few anticipated the rapidity of acceptance of same-sex marriage.

The American civil rights era began on December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to give up her seat to a white man. As the African-American civil rights campaign began to produce results, it was joined by the women’s liberation movement, the campaign for Hispanic-American civil rights, and the gay pride movement. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Self Acceptance, Employment and Other

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 08:57:00 AM

Persons with mental illness, because we have a legitimate disability, should not feel bad about ourselves if unemployed.

Our society puts a great deal of value on employment. This is changing to an extent, since unemployment has become rampant. To many people's surprise, unemployment has become somewhat of an acceptable occupation. Furthermore, employment at a "good" volunteer job is often seen as more valuable than paid unskilled employment.

When seeking some type of employment or volunteer work, you might ask yourself if you are doing so in order to receive appreciation or to survive. These are two very different motivations. If you are trying to survive, go ahead and work at a carwash. If you're after respect from others, or from oneself, you should seek something more meaningful. (If things were ideal, a person would work at something mostly because they are interested in what they're doing. However that's off the subject of self-esteem.)

As a good starting point, why not learn to accept yourself, or even respect yourself, regardless of what you're doing or not doing? -more-


By Helen Rippier Wheeler,
Wednesday July 10, 2013 - 08:47:00 AM

If you enjoyed PBS’ ‘Call The Midwife’ and want to know more about Jennifer Worth, RN RM, read on. You can also go to YouTube for an April 14, 2009 interview with her plus lots of related photographs. -more-