62 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 6-16-20

  1. Well, I got about 3 hours sleep. After going to bed early to accommodate the 7 a.m. PT appt this morning, I read for way too long, then tossed and turned, then read some more.

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  2. Husband is off to drive shuttle for river trips. Children are planning to head to town to help a guy with his firewood. That will probably leave me with baby. Unless the firewood is canceled due to the rain.

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  3. I knew immediately it was Michelle’s desk. Whose else could it have been? Maybe Cheryl’s.

    I came to say that our history is being rewritten. Always in the past, to the victor have gone the spoils of war. The winner writes the history. Every historian knows that. Now it is being rewritten to reflect our oh so enlightened views. George Washington, First in War, First in Peace, and Father of Our Country is no longer a hero. He owned slaves, we must denounce him. Thomas Jefferson, now he is a slave owner, a rapist, and a pedophile. We must denounce him. One of the greatest generals to graduate from West Point? Sorry folks, he sided with Virginia when war broke out, so we must strip him of all honors and denounce him. I think his picture has been removed from West Point.
    You may agree with what is happening now, but I caution you. When will they rewrite more modern history. We already sweep under the rug some of WWII history and have now question Truman’s decision to bomb Japan, never mentioning how we occupied it and rebuilt it to the country it is today.

    I can’t help that I was born white. No one can help how they were born, continuing to over compensate and fall on our knees, gnashing our teeth, and rending our clothes is going to backfire and when it does all hell will break loose.

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  4. Kim, I agree, the history ‘cleansing’ is foolhardy, dangerous and really quite pointless in the end.

    I was held hostage in PT for 90 minutes (granted, 10 minutes for ‘heat’ and 10 minutes for ‘ice,’ but still … ).

    Leg lifts and pulls, massage gun (not very pleasant), knee traction, knee rotations, intense calf and thigh stretches-lifts and holds, stationary bicycle. Wearing a mask the whole time is complicated in terms of breathing well & glasses continually getting fogged, but it’s the protocol and I understand it in that setting. But it does make it all physically a bit more challenging and awkward.

    I need to start wearing sneakers like everyone else, I’ve been wearing the Birkenstocks for ease with this knee (easy to slip in and out of), they’ve probably tagged me “birkenstock girl” by now.

    I am, of course, entirely grateful for the whole process. But it did wipe me out so early in the morning and after only a few hours sleep. I told my editor “one more day” out, please-please, we can use this one as a vacation day if they want which also will help keep my vacation hours from capping out again. I just need … one. more. day. please. …

    Mobile dog groomer comes at 3 p.m. so the dogs will get much needed baths and grooming sessions with hair cuts.

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  5. The ‘cleansing’ of statues seems to be very cathartic during these times (but it’s something that’s been ongoing, off and on, for a number of years now, of course). The mob-element of it all, people lassoing defaced statues and hauling them down to destroy and drag them in front of cheering crowds is disturbing.

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  6. Careful which “experts” you listen to.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/fifty-four-scientists-have-lost-their-jobs-result-nih-probe-foreign-ties

    “Fifty-four scientists have lost their jobs as a result of NIH probe into foreign ties”

    “Some 54 scientists have resigned or been fired as a result of an ongoing investigation by the National Institutes of Health into the failure of NIH grantees to disclose financial ties to foreign governments. In 93% of those cases, the hidden funding came from a Chinese institution.

    The new numbers come from Michael Lauer, NIH’s head of extramural research. Lauer had previously provided some information on the scope of NIH’s investigation, which had targeted 189 scientists at 87 institutions. But his presentation today to a senior advisory panel offered by far the most detailed breakout of an effort NIH launched in August 2018 that has roiled the U.S. biomedical community, and resulted in criminal charges against some prominent researchers, including Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University’s department of chemistry and chemical biology.

    “It’s not what we had hoped, and it’s not a fun task,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in characterizing the ongoing investigation. He called the data “sobering.””

    ————

    More….

    https://freebeacon.com/national-security/54-scientists-given-nih-grants-fired-for-failure-to-disclose-foreign-ties/

    “The NIH since 2018 has been investigating instances of fraud by scientists who received federal grant money. In 93 percent of cases investigated by NIH, these scientists failed to disclose their ties to China. Nearly $165 million in grants had been disbursed to these scientists.

    The findings, first reported by Science magazine, provide evidence that China has amplified its efforts to place its scientists into sensitive U.S.-funded research programs. Once in the NIH system, these scientists can steal research and send it back to China, where it can be used to boost the Communist regime.

    Congress has been concerned about stolen U.S. scientific research for some time. A 2019 investigation by the Senate Permanent Select Committee on Investigations found that Chinese scientists enlisted in the country’s Thousand Talents Program, which recruits overseas researchers to bring their talents back to China, “set up ‘shadow labs’ in China … and, in some cases, transfer U.S. scientists’ hard-earned intellectual capital.”

    Three quarters of the scientists found to have hidden their ties to foreign governments like China had active NIH grants.

    NIH identified 399 scientists of possible concern, according to Science magazine. The FBI confirmed that at least 30 percent, or 121 individuals, lied about their ties to foreign governments.”

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  7. Thanks for sharing the news, Aj. But, perhaps, it would be good to keep news on the news thread. I feel that this thread is more sharing and personal. It is a safe place.
    Ducks her head and hides…..

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  8. A tweet today from a former colleague & copy editor:

    ~ Young journalists would do well to make it a lifetime habit to read and read and read up on history. History is complicated — look for the nuances. (Just my opinion. I don’t claim to be smart.) ~

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Back in the Dark Ages when I was at UCLA, several of the Daily Bruin reporters interviewed at the LA Times. One apologized that he had a degree in engineering and not journalism.

    The LATimes editor said, “We can teach anybody how to write, but we can’t teach the, how to think or backfill 4 years of subject matter education”

    Both writers went on to work for the last 40 years in LA journalism. The PoliSci major is at the Times, the engineer at NBC news.

    I think about that when I meet fine folks who proudly explain they’re good reporters because they majored in journalism or Communications. Too many times I smile politely and think, “ but you don’t know anything.”

    Okay, so I have a “so what are you going to do with it? Degree in English.

    That degree gave me some mastery of the language and how to communicate. But it also taught me how to think and organize a thought to a conclusion. But I’m old school, of course.

    More importantly, while I’ve read maybe a half dozen poetry books since I graduated, I’ve read thousands of history books.

    I see trends. They leave me uneasy.

    So yes, we have ignorant—in the sense of not knowing history or how to explain the context of events— telling is their interpretation of events without understanding all the nuanced layers that preceded it.

    Truth and understanding are the casualties. A tragedy for all

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  10. Kim, when Roscuro posted a week or two ago that she sees some amounts of racism in younger generations (not trying to misquote her and I don’t remember exactly what she said), I thought part of the reason might well be the virulence of “the cause.”

    Let’s say you’re white and your best friend since grade school is black. You really and truly don’t have a racist bone in your body. Your black friends have more money than you do, but that doesn’t bother you. You have a hard time getting a job after college since it turns out that white people are “overrepresented” in your field, and even though racial minorities aren’t actually clamoring in large numbers to join your field, those with lesser degrees who didn’t do all the internships you did are all getting hired easily. But you hear about your white privilege and your racism (racism you can’t escape because it comes with your pigment).

    When I was growing up, my little brother (three years younger) was capable of being a serious pest. If it was our night to do dishes together, for instance, he’d kick me in the shins if I did something he didn’t like. I wasn’t purposely doing anything the kid disliked, so I’m not even sure what got me the treatment, but maybe if I accidentally splashed him or something. By the end of the dishes, my shins would be sore. Occasionally I would be annoyed enough that I would do something to keep him from hitting me or kicking me, maybe grab his arm when he reached for me or put something between us so that he’d end up kicking it instead. I was always careful not to hurt him, but he’d go crying to Mom and I would get punished. I could easily have said, “I’m going to get punished even if I don’t hurt him, and he deserves to get hurt occasionally, so this time I’m going to hurt him.”

    But people run around saying “all white people are racists” and you can’t ever NOT be a racist, well, some people are going to shrug and say, “Fine, I might as well do it.” There are all a lot of people stoking racial hatred. And there are a lot of people really tired of being accused of (and sometimes punished for) things we didn’t do. There’s an awful lot of resentment building in an awful lot of people. I don’t live in a big city, and I’m a distance from all of it. But I do know enough about human nature to know you can’t keep backing people into a corner and have them keep saying, “yes, sir; no, sir.” Right now people are in “appease” mode. If I put signs in my yard and I go to rallies myself, they’ll see me as a friend and everyone will leave me alone. But it won’t work. White people are seen as the problem and can’t ever not be the problem. Eventually people stop being passive when you shove them enough times.

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  11. Re the header photo: I’ve never had two screens; I just have one big enough to have two pages on the same screen when necessary. But yes, the lots and lots of books for research resonates.

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  12. I took someone to lunch years ago. She spent the time telling me that I was not a missionary because I did not do the work that she felt defined a missionary. Then she went on to extol her daughter who majored in computer science and had a good job and put down all those, like my children, who majored in English or the humanities. She felt that they could not hold down a job and had wasted their time. I paid for the lunch, but have not seen her since, not a pleasant experience.

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  13. Loud rock music and a gardener with roaring gadgets next door nixed my plan for a nap.

    I believe it was a sermon by Allistair Begg I listened to recently in which he spoke about bringing back the terminology of racial “prejudice” — which is not really the same as “racist.”

    But racist seems to be the only term I ever hear anymore to cover a full range of real or perceived biases. When i was growing up, ‘racist’ was the extreme characterization when it came to racial attitudes and labels. It was not used casually or that often in regular political or public discourse that I could remember.

    It’s like loosely throwing around the term “nazi” or fascist.

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  14. Some Christian friends advised their home schooled children to major in the sciences as they went into Ivy League colleges, as the social sciences by then (1990s) were fully tainted with a liberal bias. The sciences, they reasoned, could not be so easily infiltrated (although that’s proven a misconception since the advent of global warming, I suppose). All went on to become accomplished architects, math teachers, a large-animal veterinarian. …

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  15. Art has been doing great today. Thank you all for your prayers. This has been the best of all the kidney stone procedures so far. He did not have to have a catheter to wear home. We watched a really good Hallmark movie yesterday afternoon. Thankful he is having a few extra hours to enjoy cable now that we have it.

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  16. Various degrees of racial prejudice are probably fairly common, I’d say. It’s part of our sin nature. Some or even much of it may be subconscious. It is often subtle, something that lies within the human heart that reflects upbringing, life experiences, influences along the way. A person may not see or recognize signs of it within their own heart.

    “Racist,” to me, denotes a much more intentional, sinister state of mind, something that’s been cultivated and pursued deliberately with an intent of malice.

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  17. On another note, Mrs B and I watched Casablanca the other night. It’s the first time I’ve seen it. I don’t know why people think it’s such a great movie. There’s nothing original about it. It’s all full of cliches.

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  18. Kevin, they became clichés as a result of the movie.
    “Play it again Sam”

    Donna, there are no longer degrees of racism. Everyone who doesn’t agree with me is racist.
    You don’t want to rename Calhoon St. (A major Charleston thoroughfare)>
    You’re a racist. Debate over..

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  19. History is not just what we want the past to be, history is what the past was. Choosing to tell only a part of what we know of the past for the sake of maintaining a historical reputation is not telling the whole truth. The Bible not only records the acts of faith of Abraham, the Father of Faith, it also records his liaison with a slave woman and his repeated cowardly lies about his wife. The Bible does not just tell of the victorious militant faith of David, the man after God’s own heart, but also of how he took a faithful officer’s wife for himself and had the officer murdered by battle, and how he spoiled his sons Ammon and Absalom at the expense of his daughter Tamar and the unity of the country, and how indulging his military pride caused the death of 30,000 men by plague. God unflinchingly related the past of his people, both good and bad, without concern that the bad would damage his reputation as their God. He did so in order that his church would learn from them. If we only remember the good of the past, we will learn nothing.

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  20. I will also say that more of my “liberal” friends and people I thought never would are discussing getting guns. I cautioned each of them to go to a firing range, take a gun safety course and know it inside and out. Me? I haven’t fired a gun in 15 or more years. I had one that was loaded at one time, but before I met Mr. P I asked my ex-husband to take the bullets out for me. I wasn’t comfortable anymore. Maybe I do need to go to a firing range and take a gun safety course myself. I don’t know. I feel cocooned in my little world and think I am safe from everything, but logically I know I am not.

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  21. My comment about cliches in Casablanca was completely tongue in cheek. I enjoyed it a lot. I didn’t know anything about the plot other than that Rick had a cafe in Casablanca and there was a woman, so I was in real suspense about what would happen.

    One of the DVD set’s bonus items is the Looney Tunes short, “Carrotblanca”. Bugs Bunny as Rick, Daffy Duck as Sam, Sylvester the cat as Victor, Penelope Pussycat as Ilsa, Tweety Bird as Ugarte, Yosemite Sam as the Nazi Major Strasser, and Pepe LePew as the French Captain Renault. The mix of famous Casablanca lines and famous Looney Tunes lines (“What’s up, doc?”, “I tot I taw a puttytat”) was hilarious.

    Besides “Play it, Sam”, what lines do you remember?

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  22. My crack about it being full of cliches wasn’t original with me. I heard someone else make the same joke after reading Shakespeare for the first time. “It’s just full of cliches!”.

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  23. Cheryl, envy is an evil, not a mitigating factor, and envy is always misplaced. I began with economic disadvantages, coming from a low income family and being the first in my family to obtain a university degree. Yet, I had enormous advantages in my stable family and parents who could read and valued learning. When I completed my course in OR nursing, I failed to get a job in the field, despite getting an honours certificate and being told by my instructor, who also was in management at the OR where I completed my clinical, that he would like me to work in his OR. Among my fellow students in the course were three immigrants, who were taking the course using a special funding program for immigrants that guaranteed a job once the course was completed. I mentioned about my fellow students to my mother at the time. Years later, my mother brought it up again, lamenting that I could not find a job while the immigrant students had been guaranteed them. I pointed out to her that they were obligated to take the jobs at the end of the program, and if I had been locked into such a program, I might have been obliged to take the OR job that I had interviewed for where I was informed I could not refuse to assist in abortions. The apparent advantage those immigrant students had – incidentally they were Polish, Russian, and Filipino – was, in another light, a grave disadvantage. If younger people are choosing racist attitudes because of perceived disadvantages, then they are simply displaying self-centred immaturity.

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  24. Kevin, I got the joke 🙂 The only character I actually liked enough to care about what happened to him in that film was the French policeman, although I felt slightly sorry for the Resistance leader. The leading man and woman could go jump in a lake for all I cared.

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  25. Catchphrases from Casablanca:
    “I’m shocked, shocked to find there is gambling in this establishment”
    “Of all the gin joints in all the cities in the world, she walks into my place.”
    “Round up the usual suspects”

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  26. Roscuro, yes, I liked the story more than I liked most of the characters, but the French policeman, Captain Renault, stood out. He made me laugh several times. I did not know that “I’m shocked, shocked!” or “the usual suspects” came from Casablanca.

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  27. And “Play it again, Sam”, is one of those lines that doesn’t exist exactly in the film it’s famous for. “Play it, Sam”, but never with the word “again”. Same as “No, Luke. I am you father.” Close, but “Luke” is not actually in the line. I think it got inserted in populate lexicon to make the context clear. There are other lines like that, but I can’t think of them now.

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  28. Kevin, Claude Raines stood out in whatever film he played. The first feature film I watched as a child was the 1935 ‘Adventures of Robin Hood’ and Claude Raines as Prince John with Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy of Gisborne were both so much fun to watch being utter villains.

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  29. Is everyone else hearing a lot of neighborhood fireworks this ‘summer,’ more than usual? We’re getting a barrage of them every night — bang-bang-bang-KA-BOOM — for a couple hours at least.

    We’ve always had folks setting off fireworks leading up the 4th of July but a lot more this year, maybe because of the covid situation. Everyone’s just a little stir-crazy, to say the least.

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  30. I watched the old, original “Gidget” movie on TV the other night, made in maybe 1959? Sweet, I’ve seen it before but not in a while.

    My PT guy ‘Graham’ was telling me about his weekend, he did leg and arm workouts (I guess for fun?) and went surfing. These folks are so in shape, you’ve got to admire it.

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  31. Mobile groomer arrived and is working on Cowboy in the van in the driveway.

    I think I’m finally beginning to feel like myself again, I slept for a few hours today, read. I was really wiped out. Ninety-minute, early morning PT sessions with a bum knee on only 3-hours sleep are no walk in the park.

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  32. Roscuro, I wasn’t talking about envy. And I understand that people can grow up poor and still have many advantages–I grew up quite poor by American standards, yet I had married parents, a Christian home, and a family love of reading, all of which stood me in good stead. On the other hand, I grew up with no social skills, and that was a serious handicap.

    What I’m saying is more along this line: Let’s say that our culture turns to disfavor Christians, and being a Christian becomes a serious disadvantage in getting a job, being considered a good neighbor, or even volunteering anywhere. Yet popular culture emphasizes strongly that everything is stacked in favor of those nasty Christians–when it isn’t true. The response wouldn’t be envy; it would be something else.

    Note that I am NOT saying that everything is stacked to favor minorities. That certainly is not the case. At the same time, some things definitely are biased toward minorities, and other things aren’t biased against them today in a way that perceived wisdom says. For a person who grows up in today’s era, where a black woman is on every employees’ wish list and white males actually have some real disadvantages, being told you are “privileged” and “prejudiced” could get old. If you aren’t a Christian or don’t trust in the sovereignty of God, there could come a time when you “hit back.” I’m not “justifying” that, just recognizing that to be the case.

    Take policemen right now, for instance. Not a particularly high-paying job, and a dangerous one with a lot of stress and a lot of marriage problems. Well, imagine being a police officer today, right now, in a time when culture has decided police are all racist, and their hands are being seriously tied. The danger has just gone way up, and the satisfaction has gone way down. One wrong step one direction and you’re dead, but one perceived misstep and you lose your job. It wouldn’t be shocking if we start seeing huge numbers of police officers quitting. And I suspect we’ll start seeing police officers dying of stress-related illnesses and suicide in higher numbers. Being pushed against the wall isn’t a pleasant experience. In fact, we also could see instances where an officer’s life is in jeopardy, but he knows that if he defends himself, he will lose his job and his reputation . . . and he just snaps and moves from basic self-defense into rage.

    I still think it’s easier to be white in American than to be black–particularly to be a black male. But race-baiting is an ugly sport, and I suspect that a lot of people today (of all ethnicities) are pushed toward racism and not away from it by the culture in which we live.

    For another quick example: Fornication is always wrong, in all times and places. But non-Christian culture today doesn’t see it as a sin at all. And Christians tend to see it as a sin other people commit. So no one anywhere is holding young people accountable. It’s still as much a sin as it was 50 years ago . . . but it’s a much easier sin to commit today, with the culture being what is is today.

    I am not justifying any sin, but I think it’s helpful to understand the pressures that make one sin or another an easier trap. I might be wrong about some of the reasons prejudice and actual racism are on the rise (if indeed they are), but I have a hunch at least some of it is accurate.

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  33. Cheryl, I do not know the pay of an officer in the US, but the pay here is quite good, at an average of over $30 an hour and experienced officers make a six figure income. But what I saw behind the racism/prejudiced of that young, ‘white’, male officer in Nunavut was envy. He more than once, when I was present to hear what was said, compared his childhood in an isolated and impoverished region of Canada to the isolated and impoverished conditions of the Inuit, and complained the Inuit had it better than he did. It didn’t matter to him that he, at that point, was making far, far more than any Inuit person in the community could dream of making – he openly said that he was only there for the money – in his mind, he compared his situation to theirs and decided they were getting preferential treatment. That is the definition of envy, comparing oneself with another and deciding the other person has been given a better deal. Eldest Niece and I were discussing the topic yesterday, and she said it reminded her of the parable of the servant who was forgiven a great debt by his master and then went and threatened a fellow servant who owes him a few bucks.

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  34. DJ – I have written in a couple places about using the word “prejudice” instead of “racist”. Pretty sure I’ve written here on the blog at some point.

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  35. I’ve seen some of that. So interesting how there no longer is a reasonable nuance, right? Prejudice isn’t “good,” but is, I think, a relatively common tendency among human beings.

    Racism seems entirely different to me, much more malicious and hostile and intentional.

    ++++++++++++

    In LA, at least, it’s the pensions and benefits that make police work worth all the risk. Retirement is available at 50 or 55, I believe, when many then collect full-pay pension but also then go on to launch other careers or private businesses.

    +++++++++++++

    Dogs are groomed. Tess took a hit, but I knew she would — shaved, groomer who was from England showed me the dense undercoat he had to get out, said it reminded him of the shorn sheep in his homeland. But had to be done, it had been December since they’d been given the full treatment which was way overdue thanks to Covid and other delay factors.

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  36. I was on the phone with Wesley tonight when my brother was trying to call me. I surprised them both by merging the calls. I had the phone on speaker so Art could talk, too. We had a little family reunion happening. Miss Bosley was very confused hearing but not seeing the other two guys. Wesley is cat sitting and one of those cats yowled and hissed. It was an enjoyable conversation. I especially liked hearing the hussy cat.

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  37. Roscuro, it does indeed sound like that young officer was consumed with envy, and it wasn’t helpful to him or to anyone.

    I don’t think all comparison is envy (not that you said it was). For example, when I was dating my husband, I mentioned that my sister has prettier hair. He immediately told me not to put down his beloved, or something to that effect. But I wasn’t bemoaning that she has prettier hair (I’m quite happy with my own), just stating an opinion. Likewise I might note that so and so has a boss who is easier to work for, or that this other person is better at math than I am. I might notice that in my town, men are treated with much more respect than women are . . . or that women are treated with more respect. “Envy” is more than noting the comparison, or even noting that someone’s situation is “better.” It’s being discontent with one’s own situation as a result.

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  38. I think I remember the line “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid” from Casablanca. Perhaps memory fails me.

    Oh Kare (or is it 6 arrows?)- This is #61. 62 is yours.

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