Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Cure: The Cure

Some groups’ albums are not that great, and this is one by The Cure that fits this description. Too bad; what a shame.

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The Cure: Mixed Up

A good album of rehashed tunes by one of my favorite musical groups, The Cure.

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Irish Tenors: Heritage

A nice album, but a bit annoying. Not as nice as I had wished. I enjoy this type of music at this time of year, but I was disappointed, overall.

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Difference of Phones for EBT

I don’t know if certain cellphones do not allow access to state automated systems, or whether the reverse is true! Recently, the cell phone with which I’d been accessing my food stamp records had fallen on the floor, and had also been plugged into the wall during a fierce lightning storm. After these incidents and over a weekend, I eventually noticed that the battery of this phone had not charged, although the light on the charger had been on during this entire time. So, I was unsure whether the phone could be fixed by purchasing a new battery or charger, etc.

First, I went to one phone store, whose representative told me that the charger had become obsolete. This is what had happened to my previous phone, and was the reason that I had purchased this newest phone, which was now (perhaps) broken. While it does represent a good reason to upgrade myself and my technology, personal finances lead me to hang onto and try to fix whatever I have.

The representative at the second phone store I visited was able to provide a charger to fit, and which also showed its light operating when plugged into my phone, but I wasn’t entirely convinced that the problem with the battery was solved.

I went to a third store and found a fantastic, time-limited deal on cheap phone service and an inexpensive phone, which would be a far better proposal in the long run than even the one I had been using, so I purchased the whole shebang.

When I utilized my old phone, which turns out to have no problems that the new charger couldn’t fix, to call the food stamps telephone number, I was eventually able to get through.

When I tried to use my newest phone, I received a completely different telephone menu, and the state system would not recognize this latest technology and phone number I used.

This caused me to wonder whether the system is able to further discriminate among the callers it receives, the order they will take these callers, whether they will take these callers, etc.

Has anyone else had these same problems with this system?

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Reparations

It has been a long fight for the Jewish people to receive acknowledgment from the world of its plight during the Holocaust. Eventually, Germany has been made to make financial reparations in recompense for the genocide perpetrated upon the Jewish people during the Nazi reign.

Other groups have also unfairly been attacked by others, even in the United States. These have included wars against the Native Americans and slavery imposed upon the Black population.

While many efforts have been undertaken to offset the deleterious effects this has had upon the afflicted populace, such remedial programs as affirmative action and the outlawing of slavery have only had a small, gradual, positive effect, to date.

None of the above measures truly comprise an act of contrition and remorse; they only represent the measures which should have always been followed by the American people in providing for the treatment of all individuals alike. The discrimination of the one against the other, however, negates the precepts of the Constitution.

Therefore, I feel that financial reparations to the above-mentioned groups are indeed in order. Although I have heard on some radio shows that it would be very difficult to determine to whom they should be paid (and, indeed– once some thought is put into it, the difficulties inherent in its implications would indeed be a feat of herculean proportions), I feel that the time has been way overdue to begin this process, and to right the wrongs that have been perpetrated upon these wonderful people that are all a portion of the fabric of this country.

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What Animals Tell Me: True Stories of an Animal Communicator – by Dr. Monica Diedrich

I wish more people were tuned in to the animals and pets that live on the planet with us. If we were, there would be less abuse and more love to go around for all. Meanwhile, I can’t help but cry when I see the ASPCA (I think) ads on television. Each time they come on, I know that they’re going to feature poor little puppy dogs looking dejected, and sad little kitties, and I try my best to say to myself that I will not cry this time. But, it doesn’t work. I really try not to cry and make a full-out effort not to do so, but no…..

So, anyways, this book is about a person who believes they can receive telepathic communications from people’s pets. Dr. Diedrich writes her stories about the stories of the pets which she has visited, and seems to have helped them with their people parents.

I do believe this ability is possible, and I do believe, for the most part, that she does so. I wonder why more people can’t?

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The Complete Book of Home Crafts: Projects for Adventurous Beginners – Edited by Carine Tracanelli

Top quality projects are featured in this highly advisable, easily readable book. From jewelry-making to mosaics, stencilling to batiking, each craft is presented in a professional, artistic manner.

I would love to do each and every project listed, and I would appear to be quite the proud folk artist if I did!

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Kasztner’s Train: The True Story of an Unknown Hero of the Holocaust – by Anna Porter

An important book recounting the story of a fabled and controversial individual who saved a number of Jewish people from the jaws of death during the Nazi and Communist slaughters of the 1930’s and beyond.

A difficult book regarding the ethical ramifications inherent in having to select some over others, but one that must be read.

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Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (American Empire Project) – by Robert Dreyfuss

This is a very good book; different, somewhat conspiratorial, but definitely unkind to Israel.

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Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type – by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger

This is a great book, which should be used by job seekers and job placement counselors alike to determine types of jobs best fitting specific personality types.

However, the jobs recommended occasionally apply across the board to a broad spectrum and don’t necessarily seem all that targetted to the individual, and “testimonials,” which are supposed to be written in a person’s own voice, but clearly seem to be written by the authors, themselves, become a particularly annoying feature of these authors’ writing styles and detract from the credibility of their work.

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The Everything American Government – by Nick Ragone

This is an excellent book which explains the generalities of the American political process, although it could use even more basic definitions for those readers who truly would like to start at the very beginning to comprehend American government and how it has evolved.

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On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft – by Stephen King

How good it is to read a book written by a master craftsman-of-the-written-word in a genre different than that to which his readers are accustomed.

Here, we get a glimpse into Mr. King’s life, from past to present, including his journeys both physical and mental of the trajectory of his career.

This book is hard to put down. As Amy Tan, one of my favorite writers states, you can hear his “somewhat salty voice, its language.”

By the way, one of the interesting footnotes in this novel, is that some of the most famous authors of our time, Stephen King included, have formed a rock band called The Rock Bottom Remainders (quite funnily named, when one considers those hard-to-sell books in the discount bins, covers ripped off, etc….). The band is comprised of the following individuals: Stephen King, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, and Mitch Albom. I’d love to hear what they have composed musically, considering the popularity of their written works!

Neat trivia facts, a recommended reading list, rough and refined edit comparisons, do’s and hardly any don’ts (if at all) are also added, and it’s nice to see what Mr. King has to say about all this!

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Islam and War: A Study in Comparative Ethics – by John Kelsay

Intelligently crafted sentences go round and round, like Arab speech, to seem to denounce, or to appeal to logic of mind, that Islam is a just and tolerant religion, while at the same time stating that the purported goal of Islam is worldwide hegemony and rule.

It succeeds in its attempt to emulate Arab speech in declaring the above.

Author John Kelsay, a teacher in the Department of Religion at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida in 1993 at the time of publication of this book creates credibility issues regarding the sources of quotations found throughout the book. For instance, there is a discrepancy regarding the exact sentences provided by Abdulaziz Sachedina of the University of Virginia on the back of the book and the same iterations repeated in the voice of, and written by, John Kelsay in the Introduction to the book!

Additionally, there are two instances of bias, at least: on page 130 in Notes, Kelsay argues that the US and Israel commit acts in an unjust cause (and what about the subject matter at hand? Do not the Muslims commit atrocities?). He also puts the word “nation,” when he writes about the (former) nation of Yugoslavia, in quotations on page 113.

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