Member Of The Month Quotes

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Brittany Ellis, I'm goin' to prove to you I'm the guy you believed in ten months ago, and I'm gonna be the successful man you dreamed I could be. My plan is to ask you to marry me four years from now, the day we graduate."'And I guarantee you a lifetime of fun, probably one with no lack of fightin', for you are one passionate mamacita . . . but I definitely look forward to some great make-up sessions. Maybe one day we can even go back to Fairfield and help make it the place my dad always hoped it would be. You, me, and Shelley. And any other Fuentes or Ellis family member who wants to be a part of our lives. We'll be one big, crazy Mexican-American family. What do you think? Mujer, you own my soul.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
Smedley D. Butler
Gregor’s serious wound, from which he suffered for over a month - the apple remained imbedded in his flesh as a visible souvenir since no one dared to remove it - seemed to have reminded even his father that Gregor was a member of the family, in spite of his present pathetic and repulsive shape, who could not be treated as an enemy; that, on the contrary, it was the commandment of the family duty to swallow their disgust and endure him, endure him and nothing more.
Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis)
My present self is formed almost completely of the people around me. I am currently made up of 30 percent Mrs. Izumi, 30 percent Sugawara, 20 percent the manager, and the rest absorbed from past colleagues such as Sasaki, who left six months ago, and Okasaki, who was our supervisor until a year ago. My speech is especially infected by everyone around me and is currently a mix of that of Mrs. Izumi and Sugawara. I think the same goes for most people. When some of Sugawara’s band members came into the store recently they all dressed and spoke just like her. After Mrs. Izumi came, Sasaki started sounding just like her when she said, “Good job, see you tomorrow!” Once a woman who had gotten on well with Mrs. Izumi at her previous store came to help out, and she dressed so much like Mrs. Izumi I almost mistook the two. And I probably infect others with the way I speak too. Infecting each other like this is how we maintain ourselves as human is what I think.
Sayaka Murata (Convenience Store Woman)
The meetings consisted mostly of the members who showed up every other week arguing with the ones who came every other month about what exactly “bimonthly” means.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
but that in case of Dr. Jekyll's "disappearance or unexplained absence for any period exceeding three calendar months," the said Edward Hyde should step into the said Henry Jekyll's shoes without further delay and free from any burthen or obligation beyond the payment of a few small sums to the members of the doctor's household
Robert Louis Stevenson (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror)
Her skin is cold, and clammy; her eyes are the color of sky, on the grey, wet days that leach the world of color and meaning; her voice is little more than a whisper; and while she has no odor, her shadow smells mucky, and pungent, like the skin of a snake. Many years gone, a sect in what is now Afghanistan declared her a goddess, and proclaimed all empty rooms her sacred places. The sect, whose members called themselves The Unforgiven, persisted for two years, until its last adherent finally killed himself, having survived the other members by almost seven months. Despair says little, and is patient.
Neil Gaiman (The Absolute Sandman, Volume 1)
even when other team members were exceptionally talented and intelligent, one individual’s bad behavior brought down the effectiveness of the entire team. In dozens of trials, conducted over month-long periods, groups with one underperformer did worse than other teams by a whopping 30 to 40 percent.
Reed Hastings (No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention)
Doctor MacKenzie says "Sometimes I think the Victorians had the right idea. When you lost a family member back then you were suppose to be in full mourning, dress in nothing but black, for a whole year. Then you went into something they called 'half mourning' for another full year, adn during those two years, you were pretty much expected to have emotional breakdowns, you could do it whenever you felt you needed to, and everybody would support you. Now?, A month after a tragedy, maybe two, and you're expected to be all better-or down pills so you can pretend you are.
Mercedes Lackey (Conspiracies (Shadow Grail, #2))
I don't think you're a pervert at all, Sam. If you were a member of my generation you could cum in a special jar over a period of months and then post pictures of the jar online. A foot fetish..." She took a deep breath. "A foot fetish is like a beautiful meadow in comparison. A foot fetish is Pachelbel's Canon.
Patricia Lockwood (No One Is Talking About This)
It took him four months for him to die, three more than the oncologists had predicted. "Your dad's a fighter," they would say when we visited, which was a crock, because he'd already been soundly beaten. If he was at all aware, he had to be pissed at how long it was taking him to do something as simple as die. Dad doesn't believe in God, but he was a life-long member of the Church of Shit or Get Off the Can.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
So," Benji says when Chloe finds Georgia next to him, "I know things have been crazy, but I just wanted to say, oh my god! Shara Wheeler is in love with you, and Georgia has been secretly dating a member of the Homecoming Court. Like, what is going on?? Also, when do I get a hot person??" "I saw you flirting with Ace," Chloe counters. "Yeah, he's, like, Dodge Truck Month level straight. I'm not wasting my time.
Casey McQuiston (I Kissed Shara Wheeler)
A New Year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes—a
Alcoholics Anonymous (Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members)
First they burned her - that was last month. Actually just two weeks ago. Now they're starvng him. When he's dead, they'll burn him too. Oh, how jolly. All this burning of family members in the summertime.
Lydia Davis (Varieties of Disturbance)
If I’ve picked up on anything over the last few months of wearing a costume, it’s that humans are stronger than you’d expect,” I said. It was as much to myself as to Sundancer. “We can endure a hell of a lot of punishment before we break, and even after we’re broken, we tend to keep on going. Could be physical punishment: getting stabbed, getting scarred, broken bones. Could be mental: losing a loved one, being tortured, even the way I feel like breaking down and crying over the fact that just about every other member of my team is probably fucked, but I’m holding myself together? Humans can put up with a hell of a lot.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
I sleep for an entire day. And when I wake up I’m a new person. I’m empty. I’ve cried out everything I had in me. I’m an empty shell waiting to be filled with what comes next. Or I’m just being a total drama queen. I’m not empty. I’m still a person. I cried over a bad thing that happened in my life, but I probably shouldn’t have. Compared to Mom’s crisis, mine was small. Compared to a thousand other girls’ around the world, mine is insignificant. It wasn’t bad. Not compared to everyone else. It was just a couple seconds. It wasn’t years. It wasn’t months, like Mom. It wasn’t a family member. Wasn’t someone I see anymore. It didn’t even hurt. There was no blood. It wasn’t bad. Not compared to others’. So I should stop crying.
Sara Wolf (Lovely Vicious (Lovely Vicious, #1))
Remaining for a moment with the question of legality and illegality: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368, unanimously passed, explicitly recognized the right of the United States to self-defense and further called upon all member states 'to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of the terrorist attacks. It added that 'those responsible for aiding, supporting or harboring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of those acts will be held accountable.' In a speech the following month, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan publicly acknowledged the right of self-defense as a legitimate basis for military action. The SEAL unit dispatched by President Obama to Abbottabad was large enough to allow for the contingency of bin-Laden's capture and detention. The naïve statement that he was 'unarmed' when shot is only loosely compatible with the fact that he was housed in a military garrison town, had a loaded automatic weapon in the room with him, could well have been wearing a suicide vest, had stated repeatedly that he would never be taken alive, was the commander of one of the most violent organizations in history, and had declared himself at war with the United States. It perhaps says something that not even the most casuistic apologist for al-Qaeda has ever even attempted to justify any of its 'operations' in terms that could be covered by any known law, with the possible exception of some sanguinary verses of the Koran.
Christopher Hitchens (The Enemy)
Just a few months ago, the well-regarded Silver Slayers were rumored to have met an unlikely end when their junior member broke rank and charged through a hatchery with an ill-advised war cry, awakening several Acid Drakes and their hungry progeny. “Let’s hope not, aye? Come on.
J. Zachary Pike (Orconomics (The Dark Profit Saga, #1))
Well, let's argue this out, Mr Blank. You, who represent Society, have the right to pay me four hundred francs a month. That's my market value, for I am an inefficient member of Society, slow in the uptake, uncertain, slightly damaged in the fray, there's no denying it. So you have the right to pay me four hundred francs a month, to lodge me in a small, dark room, to clothe me shabbily, to harass me with worry and monotony and unsatisfied longings till you get me to the point when I blush at a look, cry at a word. We can't all be happy, we can't all be rich, we can't all be lucky - and it would be so much less fun if we were. Isn't it so, Mr Blank? There must be the dark background to show up the bright colours. Some must cry so that the others may be able to laugh the more heartily.
Jean Rhys (Good Morning, Midnight)
To realize the value of 1 week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper. To realize the value of 10 years, ask a newly divorced couple. To realize the value of 4 years, ask a graduate. To realize the value of 1 year, ask a student who has failed their final exam. To realize the value of 9 months, ask a mother who has given birth to a stillborn. To realize the value of 1 mont, ask a mother who has given birth prematurely. To realize the value of 1 minute, ask a person who missed the train, bus or plane. To realize the value of 1 second, ask a person who has survived an accident. To realize the value of freedom ask a person who's in prison. To realize the value of success, ask a person who has failed. To realize the value of a friend, relative, family member or partner, LOSE ONE." Time waits for no-one, treasure every split-second.
Katlego Semusa
Thank you," he said. "Welcome. Welcome especially to Mr. Coyle Mathis and the other men and women of Forster Hollow who are going to be employed at this rather strikingly energy-inefficient plant. It's a long way from Forster Hollow, isn't it?" "So, yes, welcome," he said. "Welcome to the middle class! That's what I want to say. Although, quickly, before I go any further, I also want to say to Mr. Mathis here in the front row: I know you don't like me. And I don't like you. But, you know, back when you were refusing to have anything to do with us, I respected that. I didn't like it, but I had respect for your position. For your independence. You see, because I actually came from a place a little bit like Forster Hollow myself, before I joined the middle class. And, now you're middle-class, too, and I want to welcome you all, because it's a wonderful thing, our American middle class. It's the mainstay of economies all around the globe!" "And now that you've got these jobs at this body-armor plant," he continued, "You're going to be able to participate in those economies. You, too, can help denude every last scrap of native habitat in Asia, Africa, and South America! You, too, can buy six-foot-wide plasma TV screens that consume unbelievable amounts of energy, even when they're not turned on! But that's OK, because that's why we threw you out of your homes in the first places, so we could strip-mine your ancestral hills and feed the coal-fired generators that are the number-one cause of global warming and other excellent things like acid rain. It's a perfect world, isn't it? It's a perfect system, because as long as you've got your six-foot-wide plasma TV, and the electricity to run it, you don't have to think about any of the ugly consequences. You can watch Survivor: Indonesia till there's no more Indonesia!" "Just quickly, here," he continued, "because I want to keep my remarks brief. Just a few more remarks about this perfect world. I want to mention those big new eight-miles-per-gallon vehicles you're going to be able to buy and drive as much as you want, now that you've joined me as a member of the middle class. The reason this country needs so much body armor is that certain people in certain parts of the world don't want us stealing all their oil to run your vehicles. And so the more you drive your vehicles, the more secure your jobs at this body-armor plant are going to be! Isn't that perfect?" "Just a couple more things!" Walter cried, wresting the mike from its holder and dancing away with it. "I want to welcome you all to working for one of the most corrupt and savage corporations in the world! Do you hear me? LBI doesn't give a shit about your sons and daughters bleeding in Iraq, as long as they get their thousand-percent profit! I know this for a fact! I have the facts to prove it! That's part of the perfect middle-class world you're joining! Now that you're working for LBI, you can finally make enough money to keep your kids from joining the Army and dying in LBI's broken-down trucks and shoddy body armor!" The mike had gone dead, and Walter skittered backwards, away from the mob that was forming. "And MEANWHILE," he shouted, "WE ARE ADDING THIRTEEN MILLION HUMAN BEINGS TO THE POPULATION EVERY MONTH! THIRTEEN MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO KILL EACH OTHER IN COMPETITION OVER FINITE RESOURCES! AND WIPE OUT EVERY OTHER LIVING THING ALONG THE WAY! IT IS A PERFECT FUCKING WORLD AS LONG AS YOU DON'T COUNT EVERY OTHER SPECIES IN IT! WE ARE A CANCER ON THE PLANT! A CANCER ON THE PLANET!
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
Two-thirds of the terminal cancer patients in the Coping with Cancer study reported having had no discussion with their doctors about their goals for end-of-life care, despite being, on average, just four months from death. But the third who did have discussions were far less likely to undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation or be put on a ventilator or end up in an intensive care unit. Most of them enrolled in hospice. They suffered less, were physically more capable, and were better able, for a longer period, to interact with others. In addition, six months after these patients died, their family members were markedly less likely to experience persistent major depression. In other words, people who had substantive discussions with their doctor about their end-of-life preferences were far more likely to die at peace and in control of their situation and to spare their family anguish.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
In the 1970s only about 3 percent of retiring members of Congress went on to become Washington lobbyists. By 2016, fully half of all retiring senators and 42 percent of retiring representatives had turned to lobbying, regardless of party affiliation. This wasn’t because more recent retirees have had fewer qualms than their predecessors about making money off their contacts in government. It was because the financial rewards from corporate lobbying had ballooned. The revolving door rotates the other way, too: If a lobbyist can land a plum job in an administration, he or she becomes even more valuable on leaving. In his first six months as president, Trump handed control of every major regulatory agency to lobbyists from the industries they would oversee.
Robert B. Reich (The Common Good)
I knew a young man once, he was a most conscientious fellow, and, when he took to fly-fishing, he determined never to exaggerate his hauls by more than twenty-five per cent. “When I have caught forty fish,” said he, “then I will tell people that I have caught fifty, and so on. But I will not lie any more than that, because it is sinful to lie.” But the twenty-five per cent. plan did not work well at all. He never was able to use it. The greatest number of fish he ever caught in one day was three, and you can’t add twenty-five per cent. to three – at least, not in fish. So he increased his percentage to thirty-three-and-a-third; but that, again, was awkward, when he had only caught one or two; so, to simplify matters, he made up his mind to just double the quantity. He stuck to this arrangement for a couple of months, and then he grew dissatisfied with it. Nobody believed him when he told them that he only doubled, and he, therefore, gained no credit that way whatever, while his moderation put him at a disadvantage among the other anglers. When he had really caught three small fish, and said he had caught six, it used to make him quite jealous to hear a man, whom he knew for a fact had only caught one, going about telling people he had landed two dozen. So, eventually, he made one final arrangement with himself, which he has religiously held to ever since, and that was to count each fish that he caught as ten, and to assume ten to begin with. For example, if he did not catch any fish at all, then he said he had caught ten fish – you could never catch less than ten fish by his system; that was the foundation of it. Then, if by any chance he really did catch one fish, he called it twenty, while two fish would count thirty, three forty, and so on. It is a simple and easily worked plan, and there has been some talk lately of its being made use of by the angling fraternity in general. Indeed, the Committee of the Thames Angler’s Association did recommend its adoption about two years ago, but some of the older members opposed it. They said they would consider the idea if the number were doubled, and each fish counted as twenty.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
Working extra hours can hurt team dynamics. Not everyone on the team will have the flexibility to pitch in the extra hours. Perhaps one team member has children at home whom he has to take care of. Maybe someone else has a 2-week trip planned in the upcoming months, or she has to commute a long distance and can't work as many hours. Whereas once the team jelled together and everyone worked fairly and equally, now those who work more hours have to carry the weight of those who can't or don't. The result can be bitterness or resentment between members of a formerly-happy team.
Edmond Lau (The Effective Engineer: How to Leverage Your Efforts In Software Engineering to Make a Disproportionate and Meaningful Impact)
Actually, the data reveals that checking in with your team members once a month is literally worse than useless. While team leaders who check in once a week see, on average, a 13 percent increase in team engagement, those who check in only once a month see a 5 percent decrease in engagement.
Marcus Buckingham (Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World)
Most churches do not grow beyond the spiritual health of their leadership. Many churches have a pastor who is trying to lead people to a Savior he has yet to personally encounter. If spiritual gifting is no proof of authentic faith, then certainly a job title isn't either. You must have a clear sense of calling before you enter ministry. Being a called man is a lonely job, and many times you feel like God has abandoned you in your ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible. And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career. It is not a job you pursue. If you don’t think demons are real, try planting a church! You won’t get very far in advancing God’s kingdom without feeling resistance from the enemy. If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. Once a month I get away for the day, once a quarter I try to get out for two days, and once a year I try to get away for a week. The purpose of these times is rest, relaxation, and solitude with God. A pastor must always be fearless before his critics and fearful before his God. Let us tremble at the thought of neglecting the sheep. Remember that when Christ judges us, he will judge us with a special degree of strictness. The only way you will endure in ministry is if you determine to do so through the prevailing power of the Holy Spirit. The unsexy reality of the pastorate is that it involves hard work—the heavy-lifting, curse-ridden, unyielding employment of your whole person for the sake of the church. Pastoral ministry requires dogged, unyielding determination, and determination can only come from one source—God himself. Passive staff members must be motivated. Erring elders and deacons must be confronted. Divisive church members must be rebuked. Nobody enjoys doing such things (if you do, you should be not be a pastor!), but they are necessary in order to have a healthy church over the long haul. If you allow passivity, laziness, and sin to fester, you will soon despise the church you pastor. From the beginning of sacred Scripture (Gen. 2:17) to the end (Rev. 21:8), the penalty for sin is death. Therefore, if we sin, we should die. But it is Jesus, the sinless one, who dies in our place for our sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to take to himself the penalty of our sin. The Bible is not Christ-centered because it is generally about Jesus. It is Christ-centered because the Bible’s primary purpose, from beginning to end, is to point us toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation and sanctification of sinners. Christ-centered preaching goes much further than merely providing suggestions for how to live; it points us to the very source of life and wisdom and explains how and why we have access to him. Felt needs are set into the context of the gospel, so that the Christian message is not reduced to making us feel better about ourselves. If you do not know how sinful you are, you feel no need of salvation. Sin-exposing preaching helps people come face-to-face with their sin and their great need for a Savior. We can worship in heaven, and we can talk to God in heaven, and we can read our Bibles in heaven, but we can’t share the gospel with our lost friends in heaven. “Would your city weep if your church did not exist?” It was crystal-clear for me. Somehow, through fear or insecurity, I had let my dreams for our church shrink. I had stopped thinking about the limitless things God could do and had been distracted by my own limitations. I prayed right there that God would forgive me of my small-mindedness. I asked God to forgive my lack of faith that God could use a man like me to bring the message of the gospel through our missionary church to our lost city. I begged God to renew my heart and mind with a vision for our city that was more like Christ's.
Darrin Patrick (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission)
...give a great deal of attention to keeping his managers and his technical people as interchangeable as their talents allow. The barriers are sociological... To overcome this problem some laboratories, such as Bell Labs, abolish all job titles. Each professional employee is a "member of technical staff.
Frederick P. Brooks Jr. (The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering)
When General Pikalov, commander of the chemical warfare troops, gave his initial situation report on the thirty-kilometer zone to the visiting leaders of the Politburo Operations Group, he forecast that decontamination work would take up to seven years to complete.54 Upon hearing this, the hardline Politburo member Yegor Ligachev exploded in fury. He told Pikalov he could have seven months. “And if you haven’t done it by then, we’ll relieve you of your Party card!” “Esteemed Yegor Kuzmich,” the general replied, “if that is the situation, you needn’t wait seven months to take my Party card. You can have it now.
Adam Higginbotham (Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster)
One of his first initiatives for the church, for instance, was to set up a “serious evangelistic campaign” that would be carried on throughout his first full year. “This campaign,” he wrote in a letter of recommendation, “shall be carried out by 25 evangelistic teams, each consisting of a captain and at least three other members. Each team shall be urged to bring in at least five new members within the church year. The team that brings in the highest number of members shall be duly recognized at the end of the church year. Each captain shall call his team together at least once a month to discuss findings and possibilities.
Donald T. Phillips (Martin Luther King, Jr., on Leadership: Inspiration and Wisdom for Challenging Times)
The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb. My ingrained self-censorship immediately started working: I registered the fact that there was an orgy of weeping going on around me, and that I had to come up with some suitable performance. There seemed nowhere to hide my lack of correct emotion except the shoulder of the woman in front of me, one of the student officials, who was apparently heartbroken. I swiftly buried my head in her shoulder and heaved appropriately. As so often in China, a bit of ritual did the trick. Sniveling heartily she made a movement as though she was going to turn around and embrace me I pressed my whole weight on her from behind to keep her in her place, hoping to give the impression that I was in a state of abandoned grief. In the days after Mao's death, I did a lot of thinking. I knew he was considered a philosopher, and I tried to think what his 'philosophy' really was. It seemed to me that its central principle was the need or the desire? for perpetual conflict. The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what? But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was, it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilize them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the tasks undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide. The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance. Because of his calculation that the cultured class were an easy target for a population that was largely illiterate, because of his own deep resentment of formal education and the educated, because of his megalomania, which led to his scorn for the great figures of Chinese culture, and because of his contempt for the areas of Chinese civilization that he did not understand, such as architecture, art, and music, Mao destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage. He left behind not only a brutalized nation, but also an ugly land with little of its past glory remaining or appreciated. The Chinese seemed to be mourning Mao in a heartfelt fashion. But I wondered how many of their tears were genuine. People had practiced acting to such a degree that they confused it with their true feelings. Weeping for Mao was perhaps just another programmed act in their programmed lives. Yet the mood of the nation was unmistakably against continuing Mao's policies. Less than a month after his death, on 6 October, Mme Mao was arrested, along with the other members of the Gang of Four. They had no support from anyone not the army, not the police, not even their own guards. They had had only Mao. The Gang of Four had held power only because it was really a Gang of Five. When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Then, while the other members of my family were waiting in the living room, my mom pulled me aside at the top of the stairs. "Before it gets too crazy, I need to tell you something," she said... "Elizabeth, what this man has done is terrible. There aren't any words that are strong enough to describe how wicked and evil he is! He has taken nine months of your life that you will never get back again. But the best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy. To move forward with your life. To do exactly what you want. Because, yes, this will probably go to trial and some kind of sentencing will be given to him and that wicked woman. But even if that's true, you may never feel like justice has been served or that true restitution has been made. "But you don't need to worry about that. At the end of the day, God is our ultimate judge. He will make up to you every pain and loss that you have suffered. And if it turns out that these wicked people are not punished here on Earth, it doesn't matter. His punishments are just. You don't ever have to worry. You don't ever have to even think about them again. ... “You be happy, Elizabeth. Just be happy. If you go and feel sorry for yourself, or if you dwell on what has happened, if you hold on to your pain, that is allowing him to steal more of your life away. So don't you do that! Don't you let him! There is no way he deserves that. Not one more second of your life. You keep every second for yourself. You keep them and be happy. God will take care of the rest.” It's been ten years since my mother said those words. The years have proved she was right.
Elizabeth Smart (My Story)
Menopause had finally terminated her fantastically involved and complex relationship with her womb: a legendary saga of irregular bleeding, eleven-month pregnancies straight out of the Royal Society proceedings, terrifying primal omens, miscarriages, heartbreaking epochs of barrenness punctuated by phases of such explosive fertility that Uncle Thomas had been afraid to come near her—disturbing asymmetries, prolapses, relapses, and just plain lapses, hellish cramping fits, mysterious interactions with the Moon and other cœlestial phenomena, shocking imbalances of all four of the humours known to Medicine plus a few known only to Mayflower, seismic rumblings audible from adjoining rooms—cancers reabsorbed—(incredibly) three successful pregnancies culminating in four-day labors that snapped stout bedframes like kindling, vibrated pictures off walls, and sent queues of vicars, mid-wives, physicians, and family members down into their own beds, ruined with exhaustion.
Neal Stephenson (The Baroque Cycle: Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World)
I hope you’ll take the next right step today and choose just one way to be kind. Then another. Then another. Then another. Here’s a few ideas to get you started. Write a thank-you note. Extend an invitation. Bring muffins to the office. Offer someone a ride to the airport. Donate blood. Challenge yourself to go a day without saying anything negative. Call your grandmother. Look at the month ahead for birthdays and plan something special for a friend or family member. Send a care package. Send congrats flowers for a friend who reached a new milestone. Make a double batch of soup and bring half to someone who just moved. Wave at kids on a school bus.
Candace Cameron Bure (Kind is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously)
the Yale Cancer Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Massachusetts General Hospital supports this notion. It found that dying patients who had open conversations about their death experienced a better quality of life in the weeks and months leading to their passing, as judged by their family members and nurse practitioners.
Michael Easter (The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self)
I regularly invite educators and leaders to send me their questions, and hundreds of them do so every month. The most common question, however, is one to which my response is probably most disappointing. The question is “How do I get better buy-in from my staff before I implement some critically needed changes?” The answer is “You don’t.
Douglas B. Reeves (Transforming Professional Development into Student Results (ASCD Member Book))
But the police said nothing about SLA members, who could have been arrested and locked up 24 days before Patty Hearst was kidnapped. And for nearly three months, they did not reveal that they’d found notes concerning “Patty Campbell Hearst, Ambush, Art student,” and other clues that she might be kidnapped. And they did not warn the Hearsts, either.
Mae Brussell (The Essential Mae Brussell: Investigations of Fascism in America)
This change of perspective makes it apparent that the ‘Pro Life’ or ‘Right to Life’ movement is misnamed. Those who protest against abortion but dine regularly on the bodies of chickens, pigs and calves can hardly claim to have concern for ‘life’ as such. Their concern about embryos and fetuses suggests only a biased concern for the lives of members of our own species. On any fair comparison of morally relevant characteristics, like rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, autonomy, pleasure and pain and so on, the calf, the pig and the much derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy – whereas if we make the comparison with an embryo, or a fetus of less than three months, a fish shows much more awareness.
Singer Sewing Company (Practical Ethics)
Each of these people has an extreme version of what we call a high-conflict personality. Unlike most of us, who normally try to resolve or defuse conflicts, people with high-conflict personalities (HCPs) respond to conflicts by compulsively increasing them. They usually do this by focusing on Targets of Blame, whom they mercilessly attack—verbally, emotionally, financially, reputationally, litigiously, and sometimes violently—often for months or years, even if the initial conflict was minor. Their Targets of Blame are usually someone close (a coworker, neighbor, friend, partner, or family member) or someone in a position of authority (boss, department head, police, government agent). Sometimes, though, the Target of Blame can be completely random.
Bill Eddy (5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life: Identifying and Dealing with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other High-Conflict Personalities)
Sophia “Seawolf” Smith was one of the founding members of the Wolf Squadron. As such, despite being fifteen, she was a shareholder and not a minor one, as well as being a member of the Captain’s Board as skipper of the thirty-five-foot Worthy Endeavor. The boat had gotten beaten up by nearly six months at sea, not to mention the zombies that took it over, but it was still her boat.
John Ringo (To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2))
It was in the nature of the Nazi movement that it kept moving, became more radical with each passing month, but one of the outstanding characteristics of its members was that psychologically they tended to be always one step behind the movement—that they had the greatest difficulty in keeping up with it, or, as Hitler used to phrase it, that they could not “jump over their own shadow.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
She closed her eyes to suppress tears. Rejection based on her religion. She was facing it for the second time in six months. Earlier, someone had rejected her love for the same reason. Now, this old man was refusing to sell one of his apartments to her. Earning money and earning respect were two different things, it appeared. Being a member of a minority community was, after all, not easy.
Hariharan Iyer (Surpanakha)
The gentle smile, the burning sting, the anticipation of the follow-up appointment—their first meeting was like the very essence of love. A distillation of love. No wonder they’d gotten married. A whirlwind courtship; they were walking down the aisle less than six months after their first date. Yet no friend or family member protested or raised a single doubt—it was clear they were meant to be together.
Katherine Heiny (Games and Rituals: Stories)
The AWU had polled its own members and he knew the men and women of the union overwhelmingly supported Howard blocking the Tampa. That election proved a life lesson for Shorten: he saw the power of wedge politics. At the Press Club a few months later, he called on unions to act as a conservative check on the rank and file. Unions represent 2 million workers and who, he asked, do Labor’s branches represent?
David Marr (Quarterly Essay 59 Faction Man: Bill Shorten's Path to Power)
In 1970, Alix Kates Shulman, a wife, mother, and writer who had joined the Women's Liberation Movement in New York, wrote a poignant account of how the initial equality and companionship of her marriage had deteriorated once she had children. "[N]ow I was restricted to the company of two demanding preschoolers and to the four walls of an apartment. It seemed unfair that while my husband's life had changed little when the children were born, domestic life had become the only life I had." His job became even more demanding, requiring late nights and travel out of town. Meanwhile it was virtually impossible for her to work at home. "I had no time for myself; the children were always there." Neither she nor her husband was happy with the situation, so they did something radical, which received considerable media coverage: they wrote up a marriage agreement... In it they asserted that "each member of the family has an equal right to his/her own time, work, values and choices... The ability to earn more money is already a privilege which must not be compounded by enabling the larger earner to buy out of his/her duties and put the burden on the one who earns less, or on someone hired from outside." The agreement insisted that domestic jobs be shared fifty-fifty and, get this girls, "If one party works overtime in any domestic job, she/he must be compensated by equal work by the other." The agreement then listed a complete job breakdown... in other worde, the agreement acknowledged the physical and the emotional/mental work involved in parenting and valued both. At the end of the article, Shulman noted how much happier she and her husband were as a result of the agreement. In the two years after its inception, Shulman wrote three children's books, a biography and a novel. But listen, too, to what it meant to her husband, who was now actually seeing his children every day. After the agreement had been in effect for four months, "our daughter said one day to my husband, 'You know, Daddy, I used to love Mommy more than you, but now I love you both the same.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
I should have mentioned before, that, in the autumn of the preceding year, I had form'd most of my ingenious acquaintance into a club of mutual improvement, which we called the JUNTO; we met on Friday evenings. The rules that I drew up required that every member, in his turn, should produce one or more queries on any point of Morals, Politics, or Natural Philosophy, to be discuss'd by the company; and once in three months produce and read an essay of his own writing, on any subject he pleased. Our debates were to be under the direction of a president, and to be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute, or desire of victory; and, to prevent warmth, all expressions of positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction, were after some time made contraband, and prohibited under small pecuniary penalties.
Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
Romantic literature often presents the individual as somebody caught in a struggle against the state and the market. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state and the market are the mother and father of the individual, and the individual can survive only thanks to them. The market provides us with work, insurance and a pension. If we want to study a profession, the government’s schools are there to teach us. If we want to open a business, the bank loans us money. If we want to build a house, a construction company builds it and the bank gives us a mortgage, in some cases subsidised or insured by the state. If violence flares up, the police protect us. If we are sick for a few days, our health insurance takes care of us. If we are debilitated for months, social security steps in. If we need around-the-clock assistance, we can go to the market and hire a nurse – usually some stranger from the other side of the world who takes care of us with the kind of devotion that we no longer expect from our own children. If we have the means, we can spend our golden years at a senior citizens’ home. The tax authorities treat us as individuals, and do not expect us to pay the neighbours’ taxes. The courts, too, see us as individuals, and never punish us for the crimes of our cousins. Not only adult men, but also women and children, are recognised as individuals. Throughout most of history, women were often seen as the property of family or community. Modern states, on the other hand, see women as individuals, enjoying economic and legal rights independently of their family and community. They may hold their own bank accounts, decide whom to marry, and even choose to divorce or live on their own. But the liberation of the individual comes at a cost. Many of us now bewail the loss of strong families and communities and feel alienated and threatened by the power the impersonal state and market wield over our lives. States and markets composed of alienated individuals can intervene in the lives of their members much more easily than states and markets composed of strong families and communities. When neighbours in a high-rise apartment building cannot even agree on how much to pay their janitor, how can we expect them to resist the state? The deal between states, markets and individuals is an uneasy one. The state and the market disagree about their mutual rights and obligations, and individuals complain that both demand too much and provide too little. In many cases individuals are exploited by markets, and states employ their armies, police forces and bureaucracies to persecute individuals instead of defending them. Yet it is amazing that this deal works at all – however imperfectly. For it breaches countless generations of human social arrangements. Millions of years of evolution have designed us to live and think as community members. Within a mere two centuries we have become alienated individuals. Nothing testifies better to the awesome power of culture.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
This first stage of life runs from birth to eighteen months. This is when you learn that either you can trust your parents/caregivers and the larger world around you or you cannot. If the care you receive is consistent, predictable, and reliable, you can develop an innate sense of trust that your critical needs (for being fed, cleaned, held, soothed, protected) will be met. By developing trust in infancy, you also develop the virtue of hope.
Sherrie Campbell (Adult Survivors of Toxic Family Members: Tools to Maintain Boundaries, Deal with Criticism, and Heal from Shame After Ties Have Been Cut)
Jobs spent part of every day for six months helping to refine the display. “It was the most complex fun I’ve ever had,” he recalled. “It was like being the one evolving the variations on ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ ” A lot of features that seem simple now were the result of creative brainstorms. For example, the team worried about how to prevent the device from playing music or making a call accidentally when it was jangling in your pocket. Jobs was congenitally averse to having on-off switches, which he deemed “inelegant.” The solution was “Swipe to Open,” the simple and fun on-screen slider that activated the device when it had gone dormant. Another breakthrough was the sensor that figured out when you put the phone to your ear, so that your lobes didn’t accidentally activate some function. And of course the icons came in his favorite shape, the primitive he made Bill Atkinson design into the software of the first Macintosh: rounded rectangles. In session after session, with Jobs immersed in every detail, the team members figured out ways to simplify what other phones made complicated. They added a big bar to guide you in putting calls on hold or making conference calls, found easy ways to navigate through email, and created icons you could scroll through horizontally to get to different apps—all of which were easier because they could be used visually on the screen rather than by using a keyboard built into the hardware.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
My evolution had begun, but as my Navy SEAL future crystallized over the next several months, I learned that when you change, not everyone in your life will be on board. You will get some serious resistance, and it will be a pain in your ass. Everywhere I turned, I found family members, friends, and coworkers resistant to my evolution because they loved the Ecolab-spraying, chocolate-shake-slurping fat ass. At three hundred pounds, I made them feel much better about themselves, which is another way of saying, they were holding me back.
David Goggins (Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within)
The color revolutions did not change the post-Soviet world, but they left a lasting legacy and the hope that it would change one day. Ukrainians reappeared on the world’s television screens in November and December 2013, when they poured onto the streets of Kyiv once again, this time in support of closer ties with the European Union. At a time when enthusiasm for the European Union was at a low ebb among its member countries, the readiness of the Ukrainians to march and stay on the streets in subzero temperatures for days, weeks, and months surprised and inspired
Serhii Plokhy (The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine)
In fact, they wanted to charge her not with infanticide but with murder. And so we found ourselves in the middle of a really difficult area of both the law and pathology. No wonder the office had been so pleased to hand me this case. Infanticide is manslaughter, and so carries a far lighter sentence than murder. It was introduced in 1922 for the prosecution of mothers who killed newborns under thirty-five days old. Back then, killing a baby was not considered such a terrible offence as killing an adult. It was believed that no baby could suffer like an adult victim and no baby would be missed like an adult member of the family. And it was well understood that one possible motive was shame at illegitimacy. We might discount this thinking today, but one important aspect of the 1922 Act has endured. The law recognized that there could be a ‘disturbance of a mother’s mind which can result from giving birth’, something which today we call postnatal depression – or its even more serious sister, puerperal psychosis. This view was retained by a new Infanticide Act in 1938. From then until now, a mother who kills a baby under twelve months old
Richard Shepherd (Unnatural Causes)
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Marxism cannot, even on the grounds of political expediency or party solidarity, be reduced to a rigid formalism like mathematics. Nor can it be treated as a standard technique such as work on an automatic lathe. The material, when it is present in human society, has endless variations; the observer is himself part of the observed population, with which he interacts strongly and reciprocally. This means that the successful application of the theory needs the development of analytical power, the ability to pick out the essential factors in a given situation. This cannot be learned from books alone. The one way to learn it is by constant contact with the major sections of the people. For an intellectual, this means at least a few months spent in manual labour, to earn his livelihood as a member of the working class; not as a superior being, nor as a reformist, nor as a sentimental "progressive" visitor to the slums. The experience gained from living with worker and peasant, as one of them, has then to be consistently refreshed and regularly evaluated in the light of one's reading. For those who are prepared to do this, these essays might provide some encouragement, and food for thought.
Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi (Exasperating Essays: Exercises in the Dialectical Method)
give a credit. Or whatever else we think is best.” Like 140 or so of her fellow employees, Michelle was an owner of ECCO. She was a member of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that controlled 58 percent of the company’s stock. When I met her, her stake was worth $12,000. More important, she felt like an owner and believed she was treated like one. She had a lot of direct contact with the CEO, Ed Zimmer. Among other things, he held a regular monthly lunch with all the people who had a birthday that month, and they talked about themselves and the company and whatever else they wanted to discuss.
Bo Burlingham (Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big)
It works like this: when your team gathers to kick off a new project, conclude that meeting by pretending to gaze into a crystal ball and say, “Look six months into the future. The news is not good. Despite our hopes, the project has failed. How did this happen?” Give your team members three minutes to run a mental simulation, and ask them to write down why they think their work derailed. All sorts of reasons will emerge. For example, “There were too many distractions,” “The project was overly ambitious,” or “We pushed the project too much toward our own self-interests, without considering those of our partners.
Barry Z. Posner (The Leadership Challenge)
Returning home to the postwar housing shortage, Weinstein took out a $600,000 loan, built an apartment complex in Atlanta, and offered the 140 family units to veterans at rents averaging less than $50 per month. “Priorities: 1) Ex-POWs; 2) Purple Heart Vets; 3) Overseas Vets; 4) Vets; 5) Civilians,” read his ad. “… We prefer Ex-GI’s, and Marines and enlisted personnel of the Navy. Ex–Air Corps men may apply if they quit telling us how they won the war.” His rule banning KKK members drew threatening phone calls. “I gave them my office and my home address,” Weinstein said, “and told them I still had the .45 I used to shoot carabau [water buffalo] with.
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption)
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert talks about this phenomenon in his 2006 book, Stumbling on Happiness. “The greatest achievement of the human brain is its ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real,” he writes. “The frontal lobe—the last part of the human brain to evolve, the slowest to mature, and the first to deteriorate in old age—is a time machine that allows each of us to vacate the present and experience the future before it happens.” This time travel into the future—otherwise known as anticipation—accounts for a big chunk of the happiness gleaned from any event. As you look forward to something good that is about to happen, you experience some of the same joy you would in the moment. The major difference is that the joy can last much longer. Consider that ritual of opening presents on Christmas morning. The reality of it seldom takes more than an hour, but the anticipation of seeing the presents under the tree can stretch out the joy for weeks. One study by several Dutch researchers, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010, found that vacationers were happier than people who didn’t take holiday trips. That finding is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the timing of the happiness boost. It didn’t come after the vacations, with tourists bathing in their post-trip glow. It didn’t even come through that strongly during the trips, as the joy of travel mingled with the stress of travel: jet lag, stomach woes, and train conductors giving garbled instructions over the loudspeaker. The happiness boost came before the trips, stretching out for as much as two months beforehand as the holiday goers imagined their excursions. A vision of little umbrella-sporting drinks can create the happiness rush of a mini vacation even in the midst of a rainy commute. On some level, people instinctively know this. In one study that Gilbert writes about, people were told they’d won a free dinner at a fancy French restaurant. When asked when they’d like to schedule the dinner, most people didn’t want to head over right then. They wanted to wait, on average, over a week—to savor the anticipation of their fine fare and to optimize their pleasure. The experiencing self seldom encounters pure bliss, but the anticipating self never has to go to the bathroom in the middle of a favorite band’s concert and is never cold from too much air conditioning in that theater showing the sequel to a favorite flick. Planning a few anchor events for a weekend guarantees you pleasure because—even if all goes wrong in the moment—you still will have derived some pleasure from the anticipation. I love spontaneity and embrace it when it happens, but I cannot bank my pleasure solely on it. If you wait until Saturday morning to make your plans for the weekend, you will spend a chunk of your Saturday working on such plans, rather than anticipating your fun. Hitting the weekend without a plan means you may not get to do what you want. You’ll use up energy in negotiations with other family members. You’ll start late and the museum will close when you’ve only been there an hour. Your favorite restaurant will be booked up—and even if, miraculously, you score a table, think of how much more you would have enjoyed the last few days knowing that you’d be eating those seared scallops on Saturday night!
Laura Vanderkam (What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off (A Penguin Special from Portfo lio))
That afternoon, King telegraphed Kennedy that “the Negro’s endurance may be at the breaking point.” Kennedy, who had been deliberating for months, went to Congress to meet with House members. He decided the time had come to speak to the public. On television that night, he addressed the nation: “If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public; if he cannot send his children to the best public school available; if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him; if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place?
Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States)
Here was a temporary solution. Parole would get Mofokeng and Mokoena out of jail as quickly as possible. Other details could be sorted out later. I accompanied Nyambi to Kroonstad jail at the end of October and remember that as he told Mofokeng and Mokoena the news—that they would be home for Christmas—smiles slowly but surely transformed the sombre, cautious expressions on their faces. Big problem: it was discovered in December, a full two months after the judgment was made, that the court order does not mention the NCCS at all. Consequently, the NCCS interpreted the court's order as having removed the NCCS's jurisdiction to deal with any "lifers" sentenced pre-1994. The members of the NCCS packed their briefcases and went home. No one knows why the judgment didn't mention the NCCS; maybe the judge who wrote it, Justice Bess Nkabinde, simply didn't know how the parole system operates; but eight of her fellow judges, the best in the land, found with her. The Mofokeng and Mokoena families, who are from 'the poorest of the poor', as the ANC likes to say, are distraught. But the rest—the law men, the politicians and the government ministers—well, quite frankly, they don't seem to give a fig. Zuma has gone on holiday, to host his famous annual Christmas party for children. Mapisa-Nqakula has also gone on holiday. Mofokeng and Mokoena remain where they were put 17 years ago, despite not having committed any crime.
Jeremy Gordin
I do have a bad habit,” he says. “of falling in love. With regularity and to spectacular effect. You see, it never goes well.” I wonder if this conversation makes him think of our kiss, but then, I was the one who kissed him. He’d only kissed back. “As charming as you are, how can that be?” I say. He laughs again. “That’s what my sister Taryn always says. She tells me that I remind her of her late husband. Which makes some sense, since I would be his half brother. But it’s also alarming, because she’s the one who murdered him.” Much as when he spoke about Madoc, it’s strange how fond Oak can sound when he tells me a horrifying thing a member of his family has done. “Whom have you fallen in love with?” I ask. “Well, there was you,” the prince says. “When we were children.” “Me?” I ask incredulously. “You didn’t know?” He appears to be merry in the face of my astonishment. “Oh yes. Though you were a year my senior, and it was hopeless, I absolutely mooned over you. When you were gone from Court, I refused any food but tea and toast for a month.” I cannot help snorting over the sheer absurdity of his statement. He puts a hand to my heart. “Ah, and now you laugh. It is my curse to adore cruel women. He cannot expect me to believe he had real feelings. “Stop with your games.” “Very well,” he says. “Shall we go to the next? Her name was Lara, a mortal at the school I attended when I lived with my eldest sister and her girlfriend. Sometimes Lara and I would climb into the crook of one of the maple trees and share sandwiches. But she had a villainous friend, who implicated me in a piece of gossip—which resulted in Lara stabbing me with a lead pencil and breaking off our relationship.” “You do like cruel women,” I say. “Then there was Violet, a pixie. I wrote terrible poetry about how I adored her. Unfortunately, she adored duels and would get into trouble so that I would have to fight for her honor. And even more unfortunately, neither my sister nor my father bothered to teach me how to fight for show. I thought of the dead-eyed expression on his face before his bout with the ogre and Tiernan’s angry words. “That resulted in my accidentally killing a person she liked better than me.” “Oh,” I say. “That is three levels of unfortunate.” “Then there was Sibi, who wanted to run away from Court with me, but as soon as we went, hated it and wept until I took her home. And Loana, a mermaid, who found my lack of a tail unbearable but tried to drown me anyway, because she found it equally unbearable that I would ever love another.” The way he tells these stories makes me recall how he’s told me many painful things before. Some people laugh in the face of death. He laughed in the face of despair. “How old were you?” “Fifteen, with the mermaid,” he said. “And nearly three years later, I must surely be wiser.” “Surely,” I say, wondering if he was. Wondering if I wanted him to be.
Holly Black (The Stolen Heir (The Stolen Heir Duology, #1))
Steve Harmon, thirty-six, had esophageal cancer growing at the inlet of his stomach. For six months, he had soldiered through chemotherapy as if caught in a mythical punishment cycle devised by the Greeks. He was debilitated by perhaps the severest forms of nausea that I had ever encountered in a patient, but he had to keep eating to avoid losing weight. As the tumor whittled him down week by week, he became fixated, absurdly, on the measurement of his weight down to a fraction of an ounce, as if gripped by the fear that he might vanish altogether by reaching zero. Meanwhile, a growing retinue of family members accompanied him to his clinic visits: three children who came with games and books and watched, unbearably, as their father shook with chills one morning; a brother who hovered suspiciously, then accusingly, as we shuffled and reshuffled medicines to keep Steve from throwing up; a wife who bravely shepherded the entire retinue through the whole affair as if it were a family trip gone horribly wrong. One morning, finding Steve alone on one of the reclining chairs of the infusion room, I asked him whether he would rather have the chemotherapy alone, in a private room. Was it, perhaps, too much for his family—for his children? He looked away with a flicker of irritation. “I know what the statistics are.” His voice was strained, as if tightening against a harness. “Left to myself, I would not even try. I’m doing this because of the kids.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies)
Those citizens employed at the resort had been induced to submit to injections sixteen months earlier, when their employer offered free flu vaccinations and implied that anyone refusing wouldn’t be paid for work missed due to influenza. Because these inoculations were also provided free of charge to family members of employees and anyone else in town who wanted them, within two weeks 386 of the 604 residents were programmed with nanomachine command mechanisms. During the next two months, those who hadn’t been converted in the first wave were, at the most opportune moments, sedated without their knowledge by family members; while sleeping, they were brought into the fellowship of the adjusted. Only seven had a chance to resist, and only two had of necessity been killed.
Dean Koontz (The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk, #2))
We have weathered deep depression, hurtful arguments, separation, estrangement, anger, bewilderment, deep disappointment and suspicion of words and deeds—all in connection with those nearest to us. We have overcome our own and our spouses’ thoughts of suicide, as well as an actual suicide attempt by one spouse and another by a surviving child. We have had to deal with a sibling turning to drugs in hopes of relieving the hurt. The repercussions of our children’s deaths will echo forever in our lives and those of our close family members. The bitterness and the fury will diminish, but they will never completely disappear. But the one relationship that has never faltered has been that which we had and continue to have with our deceased children. That closeness, which we probably took for granted when our children were alive, has grown to the point that they are forever with us and within us. Our dead children have become omnipresent in our lives. They are the one sure thing. Everything else surrounding us can ebb and flow, change and perhaps go, but our dead children are as much a part of us as they were when we carried them through nine months of pregnancy. We cannot, and will not, ever think of them as no longer existing. We cannot say for certain that they are watching us from heaven, but the thought that they may be doing just that comforts us and encourages us to go on with our lives. At times, it even makes us feel a certain comedic awkwardness. No matter what is happening, our child is in the room. Phyllis: “My son and his wife came
Ellen Mitchell (Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child)
its lack of natural resources. In that same month, the British general staff came up with a war plan that anticipated a deep crisis in Germany beginning in late 1941, followed by that country’s collapse. The British, therefore, did not need to prepare for a war fought in huge battles like those of 1914–18. From 1942 onwards they would be primarily engaged in terminal care for a Nazi empire disintegrating of its own accord. In the end, Churchill succeeded in winning over all twenty-five members of his government. ‘I am convinced that every man of you would rise up and tear me down from my place if I were for one moment to contemplate parley or surrender. If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon
Geert Mak (In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century)
Trusting in God's Direction When I served as a denominational leader in Vancouver, one of our churches believed God was leading it to begin three new mission churches for different language groups. At that time, the church had only seventeen members. Human reason would have immediately ruled out such a large assignment for a small church. They were hoping to receive financial support from our denomination's Home Mission Board to pay the mission pastors' salaries. One pastor was already in the process of relocating to Vancouver when we unexpectedly received word that the mission board would be unable to fund any new work in our area for the next three years. The church didn't have the funds to do what God had called it to do. When they sought my counsel, I suggested that they first go back to the Lord and clarify what God had said to them. If this was merely something they wanted to do for God, God would not be obligated to provide for them. After they sought the Lord, they returned and said, “We still believe God is calling us to start all three new churches.” At this point, they had to walk by faith and trust God to provide for what He was clearly leading them to do. A few months later, the church received some surprising news. Six years earlier, I had led a series of meetings in a church in California. An elderly woman had approached me and said she wanted to will part of her estate for use in mission work in our city. The associational office had just received a letter from an attorney in California informing them that they would be receiving a substantial check from that dear woman's estate. The association could now provide the funds needed by the sponsoring church. The amount was sufficient to firmly establish all three churches this faithful congregation had launched. Did God know what He was doing when He told a seventeen-member church to begin three new congregations? Yes. He already knew the funds would not be available from the missions agency, and He was also aware of the generosity of an elderly saint in California. None of these details caught God by surprise. That small church in Vancouver had known in their minds that God could provide. But through this experience they developed a deeper trust in their all knowing God. Whenever God directs you, you will never have to question His will. He knows what He is going to do.
Henry T. Blackaby (Experiencing God)
On Saturday, 28 February 1953, Josef Stalin invited four of his senior associates to the Kremlin: Georgy Malenkov, Lavrenty Beria, Nikita Khrushchev, and Nikolai Bulganin.1 During the final six months of his life, Stalin and these four men constituted what was known as the “ruling group” or simply the “Five.” They met regularly in Stalin’s home. The leader’s other old friends—Vyacheslav Molotov, Anastas Mikoyan, and Kliment Voroshilov—were in disgrace, and he did not wish to see them.2 Assembling a small group of supporters to act as his right hand in ruling the country was a key element of Stalin’s modus operandi. He liked to name these groups according to the number of members: the Five (Piaterka), the Six (Shesterka), the Seven (Semerka), the Eight (Vos’merka), the Nine (Deviatka).
Oleg V. Khlevniuk (Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator)
DETECTIVE FRANK GEYER WAS A big man with a pleasant, earnest face, a large walrus mustache, and a new gravity in his gaze and demeanor. He was one of Philadelphia’s top detectives and had been a member of the force for twenty years, during which time he had investigated some two hundred killings. He knew murder and its unchanging templates. Husbands killed wives, wives killed husbands, and the poor killed one another, always for the usual motives of money, jealousy, passion, and love. Rarely did a murder involve the mysterious elements of dime novels and mystery stories. From the start, however, Geyer’s current assignment—it was now June 1895—had veered from the ordinary. One unusual aspect was that the suspect already was in custody, arrested seven months earlier for insurance fraud and now incarcerated in Philadelphia’s Moyamensing Prison
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God. My beloved brethren and sisters, I accept this opportunity in humility. I pray that I may be guided by the Spirit of the Lord in that which I say. I have just been handed a note that says that a U.S. missile attack is under way. I need not remind you that we live in perilous times. I desire to speak concerning these times and our circumstances as members of this Church. You are acutely aware of the events of September 11, less than a month ago. Out of that vicious and ugly attack we are plunged into a state of war. It is the first war of the 21st century. The last century has been described as the most war-torn in human history. Now we are off on another dangerous undertaking, the unfolding of which and the end thereof we do not know. For the first time since we became a nation, the United States has been seriously attacked on its mainland soil. But this was not an attack on the United States alone. It was an attack on men and nations of goodwill everywhere. It was well planned, boldly executed, and the results were disastrous. It is estimated that more than 5,000 innocent people died. Among these were many from other nations. It was cruel and cunning, an act of consummate evil. Recently, in company with a few national religious leaders, I was invited to the White House to meet with the president. In talking to us he was frank and straightforward. That same evening he spoke to the Congress and the nation in unmistakable language concerning the resolve of America and its friends to hunt down the terrorists who were responsible for the planning of this terrible thing and any who harbored such. Now we are at war. Great forces have been mobilized and will continue to be. Political alliances are being forged. We do not know how long this conflict will last. We do not know what it will cost in lives and treasure. We do not know the manner in which it will be carried out. It could impact the work of the Church in various ways. Our national economy has been made to suffer. It was already in trouble, and this has compounded the problem. Many are losing their employment. Among our own people, this could affect welfare needs and also the tithing of the Church. It could affect our missionary program. We are now a global organization. We have members in more than 150 nations. Administering this vast worldwide program could conceivably become more difficult. Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim. I am pleased that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a targeted nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down. We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation.
Gordon B. Hinckley
HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED RETURNS ‘In a brief statement on Friday night, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge confirmed that He Who Must Not Be Named has returned to this country and is once more active. ‘“It is with great regret that I must confirm that the wizard styling himself Lord – well, you know who I mean – is alive and among us again,” said Fudge, looking tired and flustered as he addressed reporters. “It is with almost equal regret that we report the mass revolt of the Dementors of Azkaban, who have shown themselves averse to continuing in the Ministry’s employ. We believe the Dementors are currently taking direction from Lord – Thingy. ‘“We urge the magical population to remain vigilant. The Ministry is currently publishing guides to elementary home and personal defence which will be delivered free to all wizarding homes within the coming month.” ‘The Minister’s statement was met with dismay and alarm from the wizarding community, which as recently as last Wednesday was receiving Ministry assurances that there was “no truth whatsoever in these persistent rumours that You-Know-Who is operating amongst us once more”. ‘Details of the events that led to the Ministry turnaround are still hazy, though it is believed that He Who Must Not Be Named and a select band of followers (known as Death Eaters) gained entry to the Ministry of Magic itself on Thursday evening. ‘Albus Dumbledore, newly reinstated Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, reinstated member of the International Confederation of Wizards and reinstated Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, has so far been unavailable for comment. He has insisted over the past year that You-Know-Who is not dead, as was widely hoped and believed, but is recruiting followers once more for a fresh attempt to seize power. Meanwhile, the “Boy Who Lived” –
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
A large brand will typically spend between 10 and 20 percent of their media buy on creative,” DeJulio explains. “So if they have a $500 million media budget, there’s somewhere between $50 to $100 million going toward creating content. For that money they’ll get seven to ten pieces of content, but not right away. If you’re going to spend $1 million on one piece of content, it’s going to take a long time—six months, nine months, a year—to fully develop. With this budget and timeline, brands have no margin to take chances creatively.” By contrast, the Tongal process: If a brand wants to crowdsource a commercial, the first step is to put up a purse—anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000. Then, Tongal breaks the project into three phases: ideation, production, and distribution, allowing creatives with different specialties (writing, directing, animating, acting, social media promotion, and so on) to focus on what they do best. In the first competition—the ideation phase—a client creates a brief describing its objective. Tongal members read the brief and submit their best ideas in 500 characters (about three tweets). Customers then pick a small number of ideas they like and pay a small portion of the purse to these winners. Next up is production, where directors select one of the winning concepts and submit their take. Another round of winners are selected and these folks are given the time and money to crank out their vision. But this phase is not just limited to these few winning directors. Tongal also allows anyone to submit a wild card video. Finally, sponsors select their favorite video (or videos), the winning directors get paid, and the winning videos get released to the world. Compared to the seven to ten pieces of content the traditional process produces, Tongal competitions generate an average of 422 concepts in the idea phase, followed by an average of 20 to 100 finished video pieces in the video production phase. That is a huge return for the invested dollars and time.
Peter H. Diamandis (Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World (Exponential Technology Series))
The Communists at the works said that it was a purely imperialist war, that Daladier and Chamberlain were just as much enemies of the people as Hitler, and that the duty of the proletariat was to fight against its enemies at home, instead of serving as gun-fodder for their purposes. Put into practice, that would mean to surrender France to Hitler and the French working class to the Gestapo. But if you said so to a member of the C.P., you were a lackey of the bourgeoisie and a traitor. Half a year ago they had said exactly the contrary; they had issued fiery proclamations, urging the entire French nation, workers and bosses, to unite for the fight against the Nazi, and if you said anything critical about it, you were a Gestapo agent and a traitor. It was impossible to argue with Communists, they had a different party line every six months, and they were so fanaticized that they genuinely forgot what the last one had been; and if you reminded them, you were a Trotskyist provocateur and a traitor.
Arthur Koestler (Scum of the Earth)
The members of the board were very sage, deep, philosophical men; and when they came to turn their attention to the workhouse, they found out at once, what ordinary folk would never have discovered - the poor people like it! It was a regular place of public entertainment for the poorer classes; a tavern where there was nothing to pay; a public breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper all year round; a brick and mortar elysium where it was all play and no work. "Oho!" said the board, looking very knowing; "we are the fellows to set this to rights; we'll stop it all in no time." So, they established the rule, that all poor people should have the alternative (for they would compel nobody, not they) of being starved by a gradual process in the house, or a quick one out of it. With this view, they contracted with the waterworks to lay on an unlimited supply of water; and with a corn-factor to supply periodically small quantities of oatmeal; and issued three meals of thin gruel per day, with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on Sundays. They made a great many other wise and humane regulations, having reference to the ladies, which it is not necessary to repeat; undertook to divorce poor married people, in consequence of the great expense of a suit in Doctor's Commons; and, instead of compelling a man to support his family, as they had theretofore done, took his family away from him, and made him a bachelor! There is no saying how many applicants for relief under these two heads, might have started up in all classes of society, if it had not been coupled with the workhouse; but the board were long-headed men, and had provided for this difficulty. The relief was inseparable from the workhouse and the gruel; and that frightened people. For the first six months after Oliver Twist was removed, the system was in full operation. It was rather expensive at first, in consequence to the increase in the undertaker's bill, and the necessity of taking in the clothes of all the paupers, which fluttered loosely on their wasted, shrunken forms, after a week or two's gruel.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
Racism was a constant presence and absence in the Obama White House. We didn’t talk about it much. We didn’t need to—it was always there, everywhere, like white noise. It was there when Obama said that it was stupid for a black professor to be arrested in his own home and got criticized for days while the white police officer was turned into a victim. It was there when a white Southern member of Congress yelled “You lie!” at Obama while he addressed a joint session of Congress. It was there when a New York reality show star built an entire political brand on the idea that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, an idea that was covered as national news for months and is still believed by a majority of Republicans. It was there in the way Obama was talked about in the right-wing media, which spent eight years insisting that he hated America, disparaging his every move, inventing scandals where there were none, attacking him for any time that he took off from work. It was there in the social media messages I got that called him a Kenyan monkey, a boy, a Muslim. And it was there in the refusal of Republicans in Congress to work with him for eight full years, something that Obama was also blamed for no matter what he did. One time, Obama invited congressional Republicans to attend a screening of Lincoln in the White House movie theater—a Steven Spielberg film about how Abraham Lincoln worked with Congress to pass the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery. Not one of them came. Obama didn’t talk about it much. Every now and then, he’d show flashes of dark humor in practicing the answer he could give on a particular topic. What do you think it will take for these protests to stop? “Cops need to stop shooting unarmed black folks.” Why do you think you have failed to bring the country together? “Because my being president appears to have literally driven some white people insane.” Do you think some of the opposition you face is about race? “Yes! Of course! Next question.” But he was guarded in public. When he was asked if racism informed the strident opposition to his presidency, he’d carefully ascribe it to other factors.
Ben Rhodes (The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House)
When he reached home Prince Andrei began thinking of his life in Petersburg during those last four months, as if it were something new. He recalled his exertions and solicitations, and the history of his project of army reform, which had been accepted for consideration and which they were trying to pass over M silence simply because another, a very poor one, had already been prepared and submitted to the Emperor. He thought of the meetings of a committee of which Berg was a member. He remembered how carefully and at what length everything tele-ing to form and procedure was discussed at those meetings, and how sedulously and promptly all that related to the gist of the business was evaded. He recalled his labours on the Legal Code, and how painstak-ingly he had translated the articles of the Roman and French codes into Russian, and he felt ashamed of himself. Then he vividly pictured to himself Bogucharovo, his occupations in the country, his journey to Ryazan, he remembered the peasants, and Dron the village elder, and mentally applying m them the Personal Rights he had divided into paragraphs, he felt astonished that he could have spent so much time on such useless work.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
out. This was the turning point: “From this illness, my father never quite recovered.”26 Had there been any possibility of Eleanor’s experiencing the joys or even routine of childhood, that time was now passing. In August, she was sent away to Grandmother Hall’s, and at Tivoli learned that her brother Elliott Roosevelt, Jr., had been born on September 29. She wrote a letter to her father, in which she wished her parents well, offered advice to the baby’s nurse should the newborn cry, then came straight to the crucial question about any child of Anna Roosevelt’s: “How does he look? Some people tell me he looks like an elephant and some say he is like a bunny.”27 Except for one pitiable moment at Half-Way Nirvana when Eleanor identified an Angora kitten as an “Angostura,”28 those aromatic bitters that flavored her father’s liquor, she showed few signs of registering the impact of addiction on their lives. “Little Eleanor is as happy as the day is long,” Elliott convinced himself during the heavy self-medicated month following his accident: “Plays with her kitten, the puppy & the chickens all the time & is very dirty as a general rule. I am the only ‘off’ member of the family.”29
David Michaelis (Eleanor: A Life)
claque, aka canned laughter It’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s nothing new under the sun (a heavenly body, by the way, that some Indian ascetics stare at till they go blind). I knew that some things had a history—the Constitution, rhythm and blues, Canada—but it’s the odd little things that surprise me with their storied past. This first struck me when I was reading about anesthetics and I learned that, in the early 1840s, it became fashionable to hold parties where guests would inhale nitrous oxide out of bladders. In other words, Whip-it parties! We held the exact same kind of parties in high school. We’d buy fourteen cans of Reddi-Wip and suck on them till we had successfully obliterated a couple of million neurons and face-planted on my friend Andy’s couch. And we thought we were so cutting edge. And now, I learn about claque, which is essentially a highbrow French word for canned laughter. Canned laughter was invented long before Lucille Ball stuffed chocolates in her face or Ralph Kramden threatened his wife with extreme violence. It goes back to the 4th century B.C., when Greek playwrights hired bands of helpers to laugh at their comedies in order to influence the judges. The Romans also stacked the audience, but they were apparently more interested in applause than chuckles: Nero—emperor and wannabe musician—employed a group of five thousand knights and soldiers to accompany him on his concert tours. But the golden age of canned laughter came in 19th-century France. Almost every theater in France was forced to hire a band called a claque—from claquer, “to clap.” The influential claque leaders, called the chefs de claque, got a monthly payment from the actors. And the brilliant innovation they came up with was specialization. Each claque member had his or her own important job to perform: There were the rieurs, who laughed loudly during comedies. There were the bisseurs, who shouted for encores. There were the commissaires, who would elbow their neighbors and say, “This is the good part.” And my favorite of all, the pleureuses, women who were paid good francs to weep at the sad parts of tragedies. I love this idea. I’m not sure why the networks never thought of canned crying. You’d be watching an ER episode, and a softball player would come in with a bat splinter through his forehead, and you’d hear a little whimper in the background, turning into a wave of sobs. Julie already has trouble keeping her cheeks dry, seeing as she cried during the Joe Millionaire finale. If they added canned crying, she’d be a mess.
A.J. Jacobs (The Know-it-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World)
In the winter of 18077, thirteen like-minded souls in London got together at the Freemasons Tavern at Long Acre, in Covent Garden, to form a dining club to be called the Geological Society. The idea was to meet once a month to swap geological notions over a glass or two of Madeira and a convivial dinner. The price of the meal was set at a deliberately hefty 15 shillings to discourage those whose qualifications were merely cerebral. It soon became apparent, however, that there was a demand for something more properly institutional, with a permanent headquarters, where people could gather to share and discuss new findings. In barely a decade membership grew to 400 – still all gentlemen, of course – and the Geological was threatening to eclipse the Royal as the premier scientific society in the country. The members met twice a month from November until June8, when virtually all of them went off to spend the summer doing fieldwork. These weren’t people with a pecuniary interest in minerals, you understand, or even academics for the most part, but simply gentlemen with the wealth and time to indulge a hobby at a more or less professional level. By 1830 there were 745 of them, and the world would never see the like again. It is hard to imagine now, but geology excited the nineteenth century – positively gripped it – in a way that no science ever had before or would again.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
On Sunday, November 10, Kaiser Wilhelm II was dethroned, and he fled to Holland for his life. Britain’s King George V, who was his cousin, told his diary that Wilhelm was “the greatest criminal known for having plunged the world into this ghastly war,” having “utterly ruined his country and himself.” Keeping vigil at the White House, the President and First Lady learned by telephone, at three o’clock that morning, that the Germans had signed an armistice. As Edith later recalled, “We stood mute—unable to grasp the significance of the words.” From Paris, Colonel House, who had bargained for the armistice as Wilson’s envoy, wired the President, “Autocracy is dead. Long live democracy and its immortal leader. In this great hour my heart goes out to you in pride, admiration and love.” At 1:00 p.m., wearing a cutaway and gray trousers, Wilson faced a Joint Session of Congress, where he read out Germany’s surrender terms. He told the members that “this tragical war, whose consuming flames swept from one nation to another until all the world was on fire, is at an end,” and “it was the privilege of our own people to enter it at its most critical juncture.” He added that the war’s object, “upon which all free men had set their hearts,” had been achieved “with a sweeping completeness which even now we do not realize,” and Germany’s “illicit ambitions engulfed in black disaster.” This time, Senator La Follette clapped. Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Lodge complained that Wilson should have held out for unconditional German surrender. Driven down Capitol Hill, Wilson was cheered by joyous crowds on the streets. Eleanor Roosevelt recorded that Washington “went completely mad” as “bells rang, whistles blew, and people went up and down the streets throwing confetti.” Including those who had perished in theaters of conflict from influenza and other diseases, the nation’s nineteen-month intervention in the world war had levied a military death toll of more than 116,000 Americans, out of a total perhaps exceeding 8 million. There were rumors that Wilson planned to sail for France and horse-trade at the peace conference himself. No previous President had left the Americas during his term of office. The Boston Herald called this tradition “unwritten law.” Senator Key Pittman, Democrat from Nevada, told reporters that Wilson should go to Paris “because there is no man who is qualified to represent him.” The Knickerbocker Press of Albany, New York, was disturbed by the “evident desire of the President’s adulators to make this war his personal property.” The Free Press of Burlington, Vermont, said that Wilson’s presence in Paris would “not be seemly,” especially if the talks degenerated into “bitter controversies.” The Chattanooga Times called on Wilson to stay home, “where he could keep his own hand on the pulse of his own people” and “translate their wishes” into action by wireless and cable to his bargainers in Paris.
Michael R. Beschloss (Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times)
For many, an explosion of mental problems occurred during the first months of the pandemic and will continue to progress in the post-pandemic era. In March 2020 (at the onset of the pandemic), a group of researchers published a study in The Lancet that found that confinement measures produced a range of severe mental health outcomes, such as trauma, confusion and anger.[153] Although avoiding the most severe mental health issues, a large portion of the world population is bound to have suffered stress to various degrees. First and foremost, it is among those already prone to mental health issues that the challenges inherent in the response to the coronavirus (lockdowns, isolation, anguish) will be exacerbated. Some will weather the storm, but for certain individuals, a diagnostic of depression or anxiety could escalate into an acute clinical episode. There are also significant numbers of people who for the first time presented symptoms of serious mood disorder like mania, signs of depression and various psychotic experiences. These were all triggered by events directly or indirectly associated with the pandemic and the lockdowns, such as isolation and loneliness, fear of catching the disease, losing a job, bereavement and concerns about family members and friends. In May 2020, the National Health Service England’s clinical director for mental health told a Parliamentary committee that the “demand for mental healthcare would increase ‘significantly’ once the lockdown ended and would see people needing treatment for trauma for years to come”.[154] There is no reason to believe that the situation will be very different elsewhere.
Klaus Schwab (COVID-19: The Great Reset)
In October 2004, seven Milwaukee police officers sadistically beat Frank Jude Jr. outside an off-duty police party. The Journal Sentinel newspaper in Milwaukee investigated the crime and published photos of Jude taken right after the beating. The officers were convicted, and some reforms were put in place. But the city saw an unexpected side effect. Calls to 911 dropped dramatically—twenty-two thousand less than the previous year. You know what did rise? The number of homicides—eighty-seven in the six months after the photos were published, a seven-year high. That information comes from a 2016 study done by Matthew Desmond, an associate social sciences professor at Harvard University and New York Times bestselling author of Evicted. He told the Journal Sentinel that a case like Jude’s “tears the fabric apart so deeply and delegitimizes the criminal justice system in the eyes of the African-American community that they stop relying on it in significant numbers.” With shootings of unarmed civilians being captured on cell phones and shared on the internet, the distrust of the police is not relegated to that local community. The stories of the high-profile wrongful death cases of Tamir Rice in Cleveland or Eric Brown in New York spread fast across the country. We were in a worse place than we were twenty years earlier, when the vicious police officer beating of Rodney King went unpunished and Los Angeles went up in flames. It meant more and more crimes would go unsolved because the police were just not trusted. Why risk your life telling an organization about a crime when you think that members of that organization are out to get you? And how can that ever change?
Billy Jensen (Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders)
In 2014, the American media exploded with news of ISIS beheadings in Syria—six thousand miles away from the United States. Meanwhile, the beheading capital of the world is just to our south, a stone’s throw from American homes, businesses, and ranches. When the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria first began posting videotaped beheadings online, it was as if no one had ever heard of such barbarity. In fact, decapitation porn was an innovation of the Mexican drug cartels.45 One “ISIS” video circulating in 2014 showed a man being beheaded with a chain saw. Then it turned out the video wasn’t an ISIS beheading, at all: It was a Mexican video from 2010.46 After American David Hartley was shot and killed by Mexican drug cartel members while jet skiing with his wife at a lake on the Mexican border, the lead investigator on the case was murdered and his head delivered in a suitcase to a nearby military installation.47 In 2013, there was a huge outcry over Facebook’s video-sharing policy when an extremely graphic video of a man beheading a woman appeared on the site. That, too, was a product of Mexico.48 Where is the 24-7 coverage for these champion beheaders? If it seems like you never hear about all the dismemberments in Mexico, you’d be right. In a search of all transcripts in the Nexis archive in the first eight months of ISIS’s existence as a jihadist group, “beheading” was used in the same sentence as “ISIS” or “ISIL” 1,629 times. During that same time period, it was used in the same sentence as “Mexico” or “Mexican” twice. Indeed, in the previous five years Mexican beheadings were mentioned only sixty-six times.49 If a tree falls and beheads a woman in Mexico, does anyone hear it?
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
I do not know the substance of the considerations and recommendations which Dr. Szilárd proposes to submit to you,” Einstein wrote. “The terms of secrecy under which Dr. Szilárd is working at present do not permit him to give me information about his work; however, I understand that he now is greatly concerned about the lack of adequate contact between scientists who are doing this work and those members of your Cabinet who are responsible for formulating policy.”34 Roosevelt never read the letter. It was found in his office after he died on April 12 and was passed on to Harry Truman, who in turn gave it to his designated secretary of state, James Byrnes. The result was a meeting between Szilárd and Byrnes in South Carolina, but Byrnes was neither moved nor impressed. The atom bomb was dropped, with little high-level debate, on August 6, 1945, on the city of Hiroshima. Einstein was at the cottage he rented that summer on Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, taking an afternoon nap. Helen Dukas informed him when he came down for tea. “Oh, my God,” is all he said.35 Three days later, the bomb was used again, this time on Nagasaki. The following day, officials in Washington released a long history, compiled by Princeton physics professor Henry DeWolf Smyth, of the secret endeavor to build the weapon. The Smyth report, much to Einstein’s lasting discomfort, assigned great historic weight for the launch of the project to the 1939 letter he had written to Roosevelt. Between the influence imputed to that letter and the underlying relationship between energy and mass that he had formulated forty years earlier, Einstein became associated in the popular imagination with the making of the atom bomb, even though his involvement was marginal. Time put him on its cover, with a portrait showing a mushroom cloud erupting behind him with E=mc2 emblazoned on it. In a story that was overseen by an editor named Whittaker Chambers, the magazine noted with its typical prose flair from the period: Through the incomparable blast and flame that will follow, there will be dimly discernible, to those who are interested in cause & effect in history, the features of a shy, almost saintly, childlike little man with the soft brown eyes, the drooping facial lines of a world-weary hound, and hair like an aurora borealis… Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible.36 It was a perception that plagued him. When Newsweek did a cover on him, with the headline “The Man Who Started It All,” Einstein offered a memorable lament. “Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb,” he said, “I never would have lifted a finger.”37 Of course, neither he nor Szilárd nor any of their friends involved with the bomb-building effort, many of them refugees from Hitler’s horrors, could know that the brilliant scientists they had left behind in Berlin, such as Heisenberg, would fail to unlock the secrets. “Perhaps I can be forgiven,” Einstein said a few months before his death in a conversation with Linus Pauling, “because we all felt that there was a high probability that the Germans were working on this problem and they might succeed and use the atomic bomb and become the master race.”38
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
what I knew that morning in March 1977 as we settled around the conference table. I wasn’t even sure how these guys reached us, or how they’d arranged this meeting. “Okay, fellas,” I said, “what’ve you got?” It was a beautiful day, I remember. The light outside the room was a buttery pale yellow, and the sky was blue for the first time in months, so I was distracted, a little spring feverish, as Rudy leaned his weight on the edge of the conference table and smiled. “Mr. Knight, we’ve come up with a way to inject . . . air . . . into a running shoe.” I frowned and dropped my pencil. “Why?” I said. “For greater cushioning,” he said. “For greater support. For the ride of a lifetime.” I stared. “You’re kidding me, right?” I’d heard a lot of silliness from a lot of different people in the shoe business, but this. Oh. Brother. Rudy handed me a pair of soles that looked as if they’d been teleported from the twenty-second century. Big, clunky, they were clear thick plastic and inside were—bubbles? I turned them over. “Bubbles?” I said. “Pressurized air bags,” he said. I set down the soles and gave Rudy a closer look, a full head-to-toe. Six-three, lanky, with unruly dark hair, bottle-bottom glasses, a lopsided grin, and a severe vitamin D deficiency, I thought. Not enough sunshine. Or else a long-lost member of the Addams Family. He saw me appraising him, saw my skepticism, and wasn’t the least fazed. He walked to the blackboard, picked up a piece of chalk, and began writing numbers, symbols, equations. He explained at some length why an air shoe would work, why it would never go flat, why it was the Next Big Thing. When he finished I stared at the blackboard. As a trained accountant I’d spent a good part of my life looking at blackboards, but this Rudy fella’s scribbles were something else. Indecipherable.
Phil Knight (Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE)
Missy and I haven’t spent a lot of time asking God why Mia was born with her difficulties. We have accepted that it’s yet another opportunity to glorify Him. A couple of years after Mia was born, one of the nurses at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe called Missy. The nurse told her that there was a couple at the hospital, and they had just given birth to a baby with a cleft lip and soft palate. The couple was really struggling with the shock, and the nurse told Missy she remembered how we handled it. Missy and I went to the hospital and talked to the parents. Missy told the nurses to call us whenever a similar situation occurred. A few months later, Missy and Mia were in Dallas for a checkup. The nurse from St. Francis called Missy and told her there was another baby born with the same condition. Since Missy was out of town, she called me. “Jason, you have to go up there,” she said. “I can’t do this,” I said. “The parents are devastated,” she said. “You have to go.” “I can’t,” I said. After I hung up the phone, I thought about the situation for several minutes. I remembered how Missy and I felt when Mia was born, and I knew the parents at the hospital needed all the support in the world. I called Missy back and told her I was going. When I walked into the hospital room, the parents were there with some family members. Everybody was crying, and it seemed like the normal joy of a child being born was missing. They looked at me like, “Who is this guy?” I was so quiet I could have heard a pin drop. Their new son was with the other babies in the nursery, and I could see him through the glass wall that separated the waiting room and the nursery. I’d brought along before-and-after photos of Mia. I took them out of my pocket and held them up. “I have a girl named Mia, and when she was born she looked a lot like him,” I said. “All I can tell you is that you can make it through this. It is going to be okay.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
MATHEMATICAL MIRACLE Some years ago, I heard a story which has been making the rounds in Midwest A.A. circles for years. I don’t have any names to back up this story, but I have heard it from many sources, and the circumstances sound believable. A man in a small Wisconsin city had been on the program for about three years and had enjoyed contented sobriety through that period. Then bad luck began to hit him in bunches. The firm for which he had worked for some fifteen years was sold; his particular job was phased out of existence, and the plant moved to another city. For several months, he struggled along at odd jobs while looking for a company that needed his specialized experience. Then another blow hit him. His wife was forced to enter a hospital for major surgery, and his company insurance had expired. At this point he cracked, and decided to go on an all-out binge. He didn’t want to stage this in the small city, where everyone knew his sobriety record. So he went to Chicago, checked in at a North Side hotel, and set forth on his project. It was Friday night, and the bars were filled with a swinging crowd. But he was in no mood for swinging—he just wanted to get quietly, miserably drunk. Finally, he found a basement bar on a quiet side street, practically deserted. He sat down on a bar stool and ordered a double bourbon on the rocks. The bartender said, “Yes, sir,” and reached for a bottle. Then the bartender stopped in his tracks, took a long, hard look at the customer, leaned over the bar, and said in a low tone, “I was in Milwaukee about four months ago, and one night I attended an open meeting. You were on the speaking platform, and you gave one of the finest A.A. talks I ever heard.” The bartender turned and walked to the end of the bar. For a few minutes, the customer sat there—probably in a state of shock. Then he picked his money off the bar with trembling hands and walked out, all desire for a drink drained out of him. It is estimated that there are about 8,000 saloons in Chicago, employing some 25,000 bartenders. This man had entered the one saloon in 8,000 where he would encounter the one man in 25,000 who knew that he was a member of A.A. and didn’t belong there. Chicago, Illinois
Alcoholics Anonymous (Came to Believe)
Sitting in a bar for hours on end wouldn’t help matters, but Tristan Archer figured he might as well try it out. It may take him far longer to get drunk than it would if he were human, yet he figured he’d give it a go. After the hellish few months he’d had, he would try anything at this point. He ran a hand through his short, auburn hair that tended to look brown in the bar’s lighting and sighed. He shouldn’t have accepted his friend Levi’s invitation to dinner and drinks at Dante’s Circle in the human realm. He should have rejected the offer and gone back to the thousand other things he had to do within the fae realm and inside the Conclave. Tristan wasn’t just any fae. He was a nine-hundred-year-old fae prince with responsibilities that lay heavily on his shoulders. He was also a Conclave member, where he helped govern every paranormal realm in existence with another fae member and two others from each race. That was how he’d become friends with Levi, a wizard and prince in his own right. So here he was, in Dante’s Circle, a bar owned and named after a royal blue dragon; the meeting place of seven women and their mates with a history he couldn’t immediately comprehend. Of course, it was because one of those women that he’d rather be in the fae realm instead of the dark bar with oak paneling and photos on the walls that spoke of generations of memories and connections. He’d been here a few times in the past, always on the outside of the circle of lightning-struck woman and their mates, but never fully excluded. They’d welcomed Tristan into their fold, even if they didn’t understand why it hurt him so to be that close to what he couldn’t have. Or maybe they understood all too well. After all, one of their own was the reason for his confusion, his torture. The object of his desire. “If you keep glowering at her over in the corner, you’ll end up scaring her more than she already is,” Seth said from his side. Tristan closed his eyes and took a deep breath, immediately regretting the action as soon as he did. The man next to him smelled of the sea. And hope. His heart ached and his dick filled. Seth Oceanus was a merman, a friend, and his mate. His true half. Or at least one of them. Not that he or Seth could do anything about it when the other part of their triad didn’t feel the same way.
Carrie Ann Ryan (An Immortal's Song (Dante's Circle, #6))
How I Turned a Troubled Company into a Personal Fortune. How to ________ This is a simple, straightforward headline structure that works with any desirable benefit. “How to” are two of the most powerful words you can use in a headline. Examples: How to Collect from Social Security at Any Age. How to Win Friends and Influence People. How to Improve Telemarketers' Productivity — for Just $19.95. Secrets Of ________ The word secrets works well in headlines. Examples: Secrets of a Madison Ave. Maverick — “Contrarian Advertising.” Secrets of Four Champion Golfers. Thousands (Hundreds, Millions) Now ________ Even Though They ________ This is a “plural” version of the very first structure demonstrated in this collection of winning headlines. Examples: Thousands Now Play Even Though They Have “Clumsy Fingers.” Two Million People Owe Their Health to This Idea Even Though They Laughed at It. 138,000 Members of Your Profession Receive a Check from Us Every Month Even Though They Once Threw This Letter into the Wastebasket Warning: ________ Warning is a powerful, attention-getting word and can usually work for a headline tied to any sales letter using a problem-solution copy theme. Examples: Warning: Two-Thirds of the Middle Managers in Your Industry Will Lose Their Jobs in the Next 36 Months. Warning: Your “Corporate Shield” May Be Made of Tissue Paper — 9 Ways You Can Be Held Personally Liable for Your Business's Debts, Losses, or Lawsuits Give Me ________ and I'll ________ This structure simplifies the gist of any sales message: a promise. It truly telegraphs your offer, and if your offer is clear and good, this may be your best strategy. Examples: Give Me 5 Days and I'll Give You a Magnetic Personality. Give Me Just 1 Hour a Day and I'll Have You Speaking French Like “Pierre” in 1 Month. Give Me a Chance to Ask Seven Questions and I'll Prove You Are Wasting a Small Fortune on Your Advertising. ________ ways to ________ This is just the “how to” headline enhanced with an intriguing specific number. Examples: 101 Ways to Increase New Patient Flow. 17 Ways to Slash Your Equipment Maintenance Costs. Many of these example headlines are classics from very successful books, advertisements, sales letters, and brochures, obtained from a number of research sources. Some are from my own sales letters. Some were created for this book.
Dan S. Kennedy (The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your Sales.)
Almost as though this thought had fluttered through the open window, Vernon Dursley, Harry’s uncle, suddenly spoke. “Glad to see the boy’s stopped trying to butt in. Where is he anyway?” “I don’t know,” said Aunt Petunia unconcernedly. “Not in the house.” Uncle Vernon grunted. “Watching the news . . .” he said scathingly. “I’d like to know what he’s really up to. As if a normal boy cares what’s on the news — Dudley hasn’t got a clue what’s going on, doubt he knows who the Prime Minister is! Anyway, it’s not as if there’d be anything about his lot on our news —” “Vernon, shh!” said Aunt Petunia. “The window’s open!” “Oh — yes — sorry, dear . . .” The Dursleys fell silent. Harry listened to a jingle about Fruit ’N Bran breakfast cereal while he watched Mrs. Figg, a batty, cat-loving old lady from nearby Wisteria Walk, amble slowly past. She was frowning and muttering to herself. Harry was very pleased that he was concealed behind the bush; Mrs. Figg had recently taken to asking him around for tea whenever she met him in the street. She had rounded the corner and vanished from view before Uncle Vernon’s voice floated out of the window again. “Dudders out for tea?” “At the Polkisses’,” said Aunt Petunia fondly. “He’s got so many little friends, he’s so popular . . .” Harry repressed a snort with difficulty. The Dursleys really were astonishingly stupid about their son, Dudley; they had swallowed all his dim-witted lies about having tea with a different member of his gang every night of the summer holidays. Harry knew perfectly well that Dudley had not been to tea anywhere; he and his gang spent every evening vandalizing the play park, smoking on street corners, and throwing stones at passing cars and children. Harry had seen them at it during his evening walks around Little Whinging; he had spent most of the holidays wandering the streets, scavenging newspapers from bins along the way. The opening notes of the music that heralded the seven o’clock news reached Harry’s ears and his stomach turned over. Perhaps tonight — after a month of waiting — would be the night — “Record numbers of stranded holidaymakers fill airports as the Spanish baggage-handlers’ strike reaches its second week —” “Give ’em a lifelong siesta, I would,” snarled Uncle Vernon over the end of the newsreader’s sentence, but no matter: Outside in the flower bed, Harry’s stomach seemed to unclench.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Some years ago I saw a documentary on dying whose main theme was that people die as they lived. That was Jimmy. For five years, since he began undergoing operations for bladder cancer and even after his lung cancer was diagnosed, he continued the activities that he considered important, marching against crackhouses, campaigning against the demolition of the Ford Auditorium, organizing Detroit Summer, making speeches, and writing letters to the editor and articles for the SOSAD newsletter and Northwest Detroiter. In 1992 while he was undergoing the chemotherapy that cleared up his bladder cancer, he helped form the Coalition against Privatization and to Save Our City. The coalition was initiated by activist members of a few AFSCME locals who contacted Carl Edwards and Alice Jennings who in turn contacted us. Jimmy helped write the mission statement that gave the union activists a sense of themselves as not only city workers but citizens of the city and its communities. The coalition’s town meetings and demonstrations were instrumental in persuading the new mayor, Dennis Archer, to come out against privatization, using language from the coalition newsletter to explain his position. At the same time Jimmy was putting out the garbage, keeping our corner at Field and Goethe free of litter and rubbish, mopping the kitchen and bathroom floors, picking cranberries, and keeping up “his” path on Sutton. After he entered the hospice program, which usually means death within six months, and up to a few weeks before his death, Jimmy slowed down a bit, but he was still writing and speaking and organizing. He used to say that he wasn’t going to die until he got ready, and because he was so cheerful and so engaged it was easy to believe him. A few weeks after he went on oxygen we did three movement-building workshops at the SOSAD office for a group of Roger Barfield’s friends who were trying to form a community-action group following a protest demonstration at a neighborhood sandwich shop over the murder of one of their friends. With oxygen tubes in his nostrils and a portable oxygen tank by his side, Jimmy spoke for almost an hour on one of his favorite subjects, the need to “think dialectically, rather than biologically.” Recognizing that this was probably one of Jimmy’s last extended speeches, I had the session videotaped by Ron Scott. At the end of this workshop we asked participants to come to the next session prepared to grapple with three questions: What can we do to make our neighborhoods safe? How can we motivate people to transform? How can we create jobs?
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
By the time Jessica Buchanan was kidnapped in Somalia on October 25, 2011, the twenty-four boys back in America who had been so young during the 1993 attack on the downed American aid support choppers in Mogadishu had since grown to manhood. Now they were between the ages of twenty-three and thirty-five, and each one had become determined to qualify for the elite U.S. Navy unit called DEVGRU. After enlisting in the U.S. Navy and undergoing their essential basic training, every one of them endured the challenges of BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training, where the happy goal is to become “drownproofed” via what amounts to repeated semidrowning, while also learning dozens of ways to deliver explosive death and demolition. This was only the starting point. Once qualification was over and the candidates were sworn in, three-fourths of the qualified Navy SEALS who tried to also qualify for DEVGRU dropped out. Those super-warriors were overcome by the challenges, regardless of their peak physical condition and being in the prime of their lives. This happened because of the intensity of the training. Long study and practice went into developing a program specifically designed to seek out and expose any individual’s weakest points. If the same ordeals were imposed on captured terrorists who were known to be guilty of killing innocent civilians, the officers in charge would get thrown in the brig. Still, no matter how many Herculean physical challenges are presented to a DEVGRU candidate, the brutal training is primarily mental. It reveals each soldier’s principal foe to be himself. His mortal fears and deepest survival instinct emerge time after time as the essential demons he must overcome. Each DEVGRU member must reach beyond mere proficiency at dealing death. He must become two fighters combined: one who is trained to a state of robotic muscle memory in specific dark skills, and a second who is fluidly adaptive, using an array of standard SEAL tactics. Only when he can live and work from within this state of mind will he be trusted to pursue black operations in every form of hostile environment. Therefore the minority candidate who passes into DEVGRU becomes a member of the “Tier One” Special Mission Unit. He will be assigned to reconnaissance or assault, but his greatest specialty will always be to remain lethal in spite of rapidly changing conditions. From the day he is accepted into that elite tribe, he embodies what is delicately called “preemptive and proactive counterterrorist operations.” Or as it might be more bluntly described: Hunt them down and kill them wherever they are - and is possible, blow up something. Each one of that small percentage who makes it through six months of well-intended but malicious torture emerges as a true human predator. If removing you from this world becomes his mission, your only hope of escaping a DEVGRU SEAL is to find a hiding place that isn’t on land, on the sea, or in the air.
Anthony Flacco (Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six)
As it turned out, Mary Jo White and other attorneys for the Sacklers and Purdue had been quietly negotiating with the Trump administration for months. Inside the DOJ, the line prosecutors who had assembled both the civil and the criminal cases started to experience tremendous pressure from the political leadership to wrap up their investigations of Purdue and the Sacklers prior to the 2020 presidential election in November. A decision had been made at high levels of the Trump administration that this matter would be resolved quickly and with a soft touch. Some of the career attorneys at Justice were deeply unhappy with this move, so much so that they wrote confidential memos registering their objections, to preserve a record of what they believed to be a miscarriage of justice. One morning two weeks before the election, Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy attorney general for the Trump administration, convened a press conference in which he announced a “global resolution” of the federal investigations into Purdue and the Sacklers. The company was pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as well as to two counts of conspiracy to violate the federal Anti-kickback Statute, Rosen announced. No executives would face individual charges. In fact, no individual executives were mentioned at all: it was as if the corporation had acted autonomously, like a driverless car. (In depositions related to Purdue’s bankruptcy which were held after the DOJ settlement, two former CEOs, John Stewart and Mark Timney, both declined to answer questions, invoking their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves.) Rosen touted the total value of the federal penalties against Purdue as “more than $8 billion.” And, in keeping with what had by now become a standard pattern, the press obligingly repeated that number in the headlines. Of course, anyone who was paying attention knew that the total value of Purdue’s cash and assets was only around $1 billion, and nobody was suggesting that the Sacklers would be on the hook to pay Purdue’s fines. So the $8 billion figure was misleading, much as the $10–$12 billion estimate of the value of the Sacklers’ settlement proposal had been misleading—an artificial number without any real practical meaning, designed chiefly to be reproduced in headlines. As for the Sacklers, Rosen announced that they had agreed to pay $225 million to resolve a separate civil charge that they had violated the False Claims Act. According to the investigation, Richard, David, Jonathan, Kathe, and Mortimer had “knowingly caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to federal health care benefit programs” for opioids that “were prescribed for uses that were unsafe, ineffective, and medically unnecessary.” But there would be no criminal charges. In fact, according to a deposition of David Sackler, the Department of Justice concluded its investigation without so much as interviewing any member of the family. The authorities were so deferential toward the Sacklers that nobody had even bothered to question them.
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
A similar theological—and particularly ecclesiological—logic shapes the Durham Declaration, a manifesto against abortion addressed specifically to the United Methodist Church by a group of United Methodist pastors and theologians. The declaration is addressed not to legislators or the public media but to the community of the faithful. It concludes with a series of pledges, including the following: We pledge, with Cod’s help, to become a church that hospitably provides safe refuge for the so-called “unwanted child” and mother. We will joyfully welcome and generously support—with prayer, friendship, and material resources—both child and mother. This support includes strong encouragement for the biological father to be a father, in deed, to his child.27 No one can make such a pledge lightly. A church that seriously attempted to live out such a commitment would quickly find itself extended to the limits of its resources, and its members would be called upon to make serious personal sacrifices. In other words, it would find itself living as the church envisioned by the New Testament. William H. Willimon tells the story of a group of ministers debating the morality of abortion. One of the ministers argues that abortion is justified in some cases because young teenage girls cannot possibly be expected to raise children by themselves. But a black minister, the pastor of a large African American congregation, takes the other side of the question. “We have young girls who have this happen to them. I have a fourteen year old in my congregation who had a baby last month. We’re going to baptize the child next Sunday,” he added. “Do you really think that she is capable of raising a little baby?” another minister asked. “Of course not,” he replied. No fourteen year old is capable of raising a baby. For that matter, not many thirty year olds are qualified. A baby’s too difficult for any one person to raise by herself.” “So what do you do with babies?” they asked. “Well, we baptize them so that we all raise them together. In the case of that fourteen year old, we have given her baby to a retired couple who have enough time and enough wisdom to raise children. They can then raise the mama along with her baby. That’s the way we do it.”28 Only a church living such a life of disciplined service has the possibility of witnessing credibly to the state against abortion. Here we see the gospel fully embodied in a community that has been so formed by Scripture that the three focal images employed throughout this study can be brought to bear also on our “reading” of the church’s action. Community: the congregation’s assumption of responsibility for a pregnant teenager. Cross: the young girl’s endurance of shame and the physical difficulty of pregnancy, along with the retired couple’s sacrifice of their peace and freedom for the sake of a helpless child. New creation: the promise of baptism, a sign that the destructive power of the world is broken and that this child receives the grace of God and hope for the future.29 There, in microcosm, is the ethic of the New Testament. When the community of God’s people is living in responsive obedience to God’s Word, we will find, again and again, such grace-filled homologies between the story of Scripture and its performance in our midst.
Richard B. Hays (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New CreationA Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethic)
PATTERNS OF THE “SHY” What else is common among people who identify themselves as “shy?” Below are the results of a survey that was administered to 150 of my program’s participants. The results of this informal survey reveal certain facts and attitudes common among the socially anxious. Let me point out that these are the subjective answers of the clients themselves—not the professional opinions of the therapists. The average length of time in the program for all who responded was eight months. The average age was twenty-eight. (Some of the answers are based on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest.) -Most clients considered shyness to be a serious problem at some point in their lives. Almost everyone rated the seriousness of their problem at level 5, which makes sense, considering that all who responded were seeking help for their problem. -60 percent of the respondents said that “shyness” first became enough of a problem that it held them back from things they wanted during adolescence; 35 percent reported the problem began in childhood; and 5 percent said not until adulthood. This answer reveals when clients were first aware of social anxiety as an inhibiting force. -The respondents perceived the average degree of “sociability” of their parents was a 2.7, which translates to “fair”; 60 percent of the respondents reported that no other member of the family had a problem with “shyness”; and 40 percent said there was at least one other family member who had a problem with “shyness.” -50 percent were aware of rejection by their peers during childhood. -66 percent had physical symptoms of discomfort during social interaction that they believed were related to social anxiety. -55 percent reported that they had experienced panic attacks. -85 percent do not use any medication for anxiety; 15 percent do. -90 percent said they avoid opportunities to meet new people; 75 percent acknowledged that they often stay home because of social fears, rather than going out. -80 percent identified feelings of depression that they connected to social fears. -70 percent said they had difficulty with social skills. -75 percent felt that before they started the program it was impossible to control their social fears; 80 percent said they now believed it was possible to control their fears. -50 percent said they believed they might have a learning disability. -70 percent felt that they were “too dependent on their parents”; 75 percent felt their parents were overprotective; 50 percent reported that they would not have sought professional help if not for their parents’ urging. -10 percent of respondents were the only child in their families; 40 percent had one sibling; 30 percent had two siblings; 10 percent had three; and 10 percent had four or more. Experts can play many games with statistics. Of importance here are the general attitudes and patterns of a population of socially anxious individuals who were in a therapy program designed to combat their problem. Of primary significance is the high percentage of people who first thought that “shyness” was uncontrollable, but then later changed their minds, once they realized that anxiety is a habit that can be broken—without medication. Also significant is that 50 percent of the participants recognized that their parents were the catalyst for their seeking help. Consider these statistics and think about where you fit into them. Do you identify with this profile? Look back on it in the coming months and examine the ways in which your sociability changes. Give yourself credit for successful breakthroughs, and keep in mind that you are not alone!
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
The Seventh Central Pay Commission was appointed in February 2014 by the Government of India (Ministry of Finance) under the Chairmanship of Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur. The Commission has been given 18 months to make its recommendations. The terms of reference of the Commission are as follows:  1. To examine, review, evolve and recommend changes that are desirable and feasible regarding the principles that should govern the emoluments structure including pay, allowances and other facilities/benefits, in cash or kind, having regard to rationalisation and simplification therein as well as the specialised needs of various departments, agencies and services, in respect of the following categories of employees:-  (i) Central Government employees—industrial and non-industrial; (ii) Personnel belonging to the All India Services; (iii) Personnel of the Union Territories; (iv) Officers and employees of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department; (v) Members of the regulatory bodies (excluding the RBI) set up under the Acts of Parliament; and (vi) Officers and employees of the Supreme Court.   2. To examine, review, evolve and recommend changes that are desirable and feasible regarding the principles that should govern the emoluments structure, concessions and facilities/benefits, in cash or kind, as well as the retirement benefits of the personnel belonging to the Defence Forces, having regard to the historical and traditional parties, with due emphasis on the aspects unique to these personnel.   3. To work out the framework for an emoluments structure linked with the need to attract the most suitable talent to government service, promote efficiency, accountability and responsibility in the work culture, and foster excellence in the public governance system to respond to the complex challenges of modern administration and the rapid political, social, economic and technological changes, with due regard to expectations of stakeholders, and to recommend appropriate training and capacity building through a competency based framework.   4. To examine the existing schemes of payment of bonus, keeping in view, inter-alia, its bearing upon performance and productivity and make recommendations on the general principles, financial parameters and conditions for an appropriate incentive scheme to reward excellence in productivity, performance and integrity.   5. To review the variety of existing allowances presently available to employees in addition to pay and suggest their rationalisation and simplification with a view to ensuring that the pay structure is so designed as to take these into account.   6. To examine the principles which should govern the structure of pension and other retirement benefits, including revision of pension in the case of employees who have retired prior to the date of effect of these recommendations, keeping in view that retirement benefits of all Central Government employees appointed on and after 01.01.2004 are covered by the New Pension Scheme (NPS).   7. To make recommendations on the above, keeping in view:  (i) the economic conditions in the country and the need for fiscal prudence; (ii) the need to ensure that adequate resources are available for developmental expenditures and welfare measures; (iii) the likely impact of the recommendations on the finances of the state governments, which usually adopt the recommendations with some modifications; (iv) the prevailing emolument structure and retirement benefits available to employees of Central Public Sector Undertakings; and (v) the best global practices and their adaptability and relevance in Indian conditions.   8. To recommend the date of effect of its recommendations on all the above.
M. Laxmikanth (Governance in India)
that everything that had ever happened to me had been a loving step in that process of my progression. every person, every circumstance, and every incident was custom created for me. It was as if the entire universe existed for my higher good and development. I felt so loved, so cherished, and so honored. I realized that not only was I being embraced by deity, but also that I myself was divine, and that we all are. I knew that there are no accidents in this life. That everything happens for a reason. yet we always get to choose how we will experience what happens to us here. I could exercise my will in everything, even in how I felt about the wreck and the death of my family members. God didn't want me to hurt and feel put upon as if my son and wife had been taken from me. He was simply there assisting me to decide how I was going to experience it. He was providing me with the opportunity, in perfect love, to exercise my personal agency in this entire situation. I knew my wife and son were gone. They had died months earlier, but time didn't exist where I was at that moment. rather than having them ripped away from me, I was being given the opportunity to actually hand them over to God. To let them go in peace, love, and gratitude. Everything suddenly made sense. Everything had divine order. I could give my son to God and not have him taken away from me. I felt my power as a creator and cocreator with God to literally let go of all that had happened to me. I held my baby son as God himself held me. I experienced the oneness of all of it. Time did not matter. Only love and order existed. Tamara and Griffin had come into my life as perfect teachers. And in leaving me in such a way, they continued as perfect teachers to bring me to that point of remembering who I was. remembering that I was created in God's image and actually came from Him. I was aware now that I could actually walk with God, empowered by what I was learning in my life. I felt the divine energy of the being behind me inviting me to let it all go and give Griffin to Him. In all that peace and knowledge, I hugged my little boy tightly one last time, kissed him on the cheek, and gently laid him back down in the crib. I willingly gave him up. No one would ever take him away from me again. He was mine. We were one, and I was one with God. As soon as I breathed in all that peace, I awoke, back into the pain and darkness of my hospital bed, but with greater perspective. I marveled at what I had just experienced. It was not just a dream. It felt too real. It was real to me, far more real than the pain, the grief, and my hospital bed. Griffin was alive in a place more real than anything here. And Tamara was there with him. I knew it. As the years have passed, I've often wondered how I could have put my son back in the crib the way I did. Maybe I should have held on and never let go. But in that place, it all made sense. I realized that no one ever really dies. We always live on. I had experienced a God as real and tangible as we are. He knows our every heartache, yet allows us to experience and endure them for our growth. His is the highest form of love; He allows us to become what we will. He watches as we create who we are. He allows us to experience life in a way that makes us more like Him, divine creators of our own destiny. My experience showed me purpose and order. I knew there was a master plan far greater than my limited earthly vision. I also learned that my choices were mine alone to make. I got to decide how I felt, and that made all the difference in the universe. even in this tragedy, I got to determine the outcome. I could choose to be a victim of what had happened or create something far greater.
Jeff Olsen (I Knew Their Hearts: The Amazing True Story of Jeff Olsen's Journey Beyond the Veil to Learn the Silent Language of the Heart)
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes about gifts: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Recognize that the gifts inside you are not only for you; just as the gifts inside other people around you are not only for them. We are meant to help each other. God designed us this way on purpose! All being members of one body, our successes are shared — there is no need to be threatened by another person’s gift. Use your gifts, and encourage the people in your life to use their gifts as well. You will be blessed as a result! Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from asking for help or taking advantage of the talents in people around us is pride. Never allow pride to keep you from asking for counsel when it is needed! 1 Corinthians 12:20 is another passage about gifts: “now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ ” We need each other, and joining our gifts together will result in a much stronger body. If you have time, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-20. Reflect on how there can be unity in the diversity of gifts if we use our different gifts properly. Determine that you will not be threatened by anyone else’s gifts! Esther was not afraid of the gifts in the people around her. Let’s see how she responds to the wisdom of others today. And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her. Esther 2:11 Every day, Mordecai goes to the palace gates to inquire after Esther and learn of what was happening to her. He goes to the palace gates with purpose. He paces in front of the women’s court until he has learns the day’s news about Esther. Even though she is no longer under his roof, he stills feels a strong responsibility toward her, and acts accordingly. He is a faithful man, and has set a great example before Esther. The news that he hears concerning Esther daily must be good: her inward beauty and submission to authority are two of the many wonderful traits that God placed in her so that she will be effective in Persia. Even though Esther is in an unfamiliar place and experiencing “firsts” every day in the palace, God is making sure she has what she needs. Esther did not need to feel nervous! She needed wise counsel; it has been provided for her in Mordecai and Hegai. She needs a pleasant and patient personality; that has been being developed in her by the Lord for many years. In your own life, you are constantly undergoing change and growth as you are submitting to the Lord. Whether or not you can see it, God is continually preparing you for what lies ahead so that you will have what you need when you need it. The God who loves you so much knows your future, and He is preparing you today for what you will experience tomorrow. Esther is receiving what she needs as well. She is in the palace undergoing her beauty preparations — a twelve month process! Even through this extended period of time, Mordecai is still at the palace gates every day (the Bible does not say that he stopped his concern for her at any point). It is an entire
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
Adventists urged to study women’s ordination for themselves Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson appealed to members to study the Bible regarding the theology of ordination as the Church continues to examine the matter at Annual Council next month and at General Conference Session next year. Above, Wilson delivers the Sabbath sermon at Annual Council last year. [ANN file photo] President Wilson and TOSC chair Stele also ask for prayers for Holy Spirit to guide proceedings September 24, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Andrew McChesney/Adventist Review Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, appealed to church members worldwide to earnestly read what the Bible says about women’s ordination and to pray that he and other church leaders humbly follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance on the matter. Church members wishing to understand what the Bible teaches on women’s ordination have no reason to worry about where to start, said Artur A. Stele, who oversaw an unprecedented, two-year study on women’s ordination as chair of the church-commissioned Theology of Ordination Study Committee. Stele, who echoed Wilson’s call for church members to read the Bible and pray on the issue, recommended reading the study’s three brief “Way Forward Statements,” which cite Bible texts and Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White to support each of the three positions on women’s ordination that emerged during the committee’s research. The results of the study will be discussed in October at the Annual Council, a major business meeting of church leaders. The Annual Council will then decide whether to ask the nearly 2,600 delegates of the world church to make a final call on women’s ordination in a vote at the General Conference Session next July. Wilson, speaking in an interview, urged each of the church’s 18 million members to prayerfully read the study materials, available on the website of the church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. "Look to see how the papers and presentations were based on an understanding of a clear reading of Scripture,” Wilson said in his office at General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. “The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we are to take the Bible just as it reads,” he said. “And I would encourage each church member, and certainly each representative at the Annual Council and those who will be delegates to the General Conference Session, to prayerfully review those presentations and then ask the Holy Spirit to help them know God’s will.” The Spirit of Prophecy refers to the writings of White, who among her statements on how to read the Bible wrote in The Great Controversy (p. 598), “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.” “We don’t have the luxury of having the Urim and the Thummim,” Wilson said, in a nod to the stones that the Israelite high priest used in Old Testament times to learn God’s will. “Nor do we have a living prophet with us. So we must rely upon the Holy Spirit’s leading in our own Bible study as we review the plain teachings of Scripture.” He said world church leadership was committed to “a very open, fair, and careful process” on the issue of women’s ordination. Wilson added that the crucial question facing the church wasn’t whether women should be ordained but whether church members who disagreed with the final decision on ordination, whatever it might be, would be willing to set aside their differences to focus on the church’s 151-year mission: proclaiming Revelation 14 and the three angels’ messages that Jesus is coming soon. 3 Views on Women’s Ordination In an effort to better understand the Bible’s teaching on ordination, the church established the Theology of Ordination Study Committee, a group of 106 members commonly referred to by church leaders as TOSC. It was not organized
Anonymous
Anna Chapman was born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko, in Volgograd, formally Stalingrad, Russia, an important Russian industrial city. During the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, the city became famous for its resistance against the German Army. As a matter of personal history, I had an uncle, by marriage that was killed in this battle. Many historians consider the battle of Stalingrad the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Anna earned her master's degree in economics in Moscow. Her father at the time was employed by the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where he allegedly was a senior KGB agent. After her marriage to Alex Chapman, Anna became a British subject and held a British passport. For a time Alex and Anna lived in London where among other places, she worked for Barclays Bank. In 2009 Anna Chapman left her husband and London, and moved to New York City, living at 20 Exchange Place, in the Wall Street area of downtown Manhattan. In 2009, after a slow start, she enlarged her real-estate business, having as many as 50 employees. Chapman, using her real name worked in the Russian “Illegals Program,” a group of sleeper agents, when an undercover FBI agent, in a New York coffee shop, offered to get her a fake passport, which she accepted. On her father’s advice she handed the passport over to the NYPD, however it still led to her arrest. Ten Russian agents including Anna Chapman were arrested, after having been observed for years, on charges which included money laundering and suspicion of spying for Russia. This led to the largest prisoner swap between the United States and Russia since 1986. On July 8, 2010 the swap was completed at the Vienna International Airport. Five days later the British Home Office revoked Anna’s citizenship preventing her return to England. In December of 2010 Anna Chapman reappeared when she was appointed to the public council of the Young Guard of United Russia, where she was involved in the education of young people. The following month Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World and in June of 2011 she was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine. In 2012, the FBI released information that Anna Chapman attempted to snare a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, in what was termed a “Honey Trap.” After the 2008 financial meltdown, sources suggest that Anna may have targeted the dapper Peter Orzag, who was divorced in 2006 and served as Special Assistant to the President, for Economic Policy. Between 2007 and 2010 he was involved in the drafting of the federal budget for the Obama Administration and may have been an appealing target to the FSB, the Russian Intelligence Agency. During Orzag’s time as a federal employee, he frequently came to New York City, where associating with Anna could have been a natural fit, considering her financial and economics background. Coincidently, Orzag resigned from his federal position the same month that Chapman was arrested. Following this, Orzag took a job at Citigroup as Vice President of Global Banking. In 2009, he fathered a child with his former girlfriend, Claire Milonas, the daughter of Greek shipping executive, Spiros Milonas, chairman and President of Ionian Management Inc. In September of 2010, Orzag married Bianna Golodryga, the popular news and finance anchor at Yahoo and a contributor to MSNBC's Morning Joe. She also had co-anchored the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America. Not surprisingly Bianna was born in in Moldova, Soviet Union, and in 1980, her family moved to Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a degree in Russian/East European & Eurasian studies and has a minor in economics. They have two children. Yes, she is fluent in Russian! Presently Orszag is a banker and economist, and a Vice Chairman of investment banking and Managing Director at Lazard.
Hank Bracker