The criteria for a failed state are pretty specific: Loss of authority over the use of force, loss of the authority to make collective decisions, inability to provide public services, and the inability to interact with the international community.
As child, the doctor came to our house if I was ill. Things change. I remember the day I got sick, and my parents bundled me into their car and drove to the doctor's office to see him., Today no one expects a doctor to make house calls.
What's the first thing you do when you find yourself in a hole? Stop digging!
Does anybody actually listen to robo phone calls?
More and more of our soldiers are coming back from war with traumatic injuries of one sort or another. High on the list are brain injuries, but depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders are common among service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Have you voted yet? If not, you have a few hours left. Do it!
What do you know about opinion polls? We're confronted with them every day. The polls say this, the polls say that, but unless you have taken a course in statistics, you probably don't understand the finer points of opinion polling.
When the lights went out, I was in the bathroom sorting through the various medications I take each day - little round pills that can roll under the claw-footed bathtub if they spill, small ovals that bounce goodness-knows-where if they're dropped. One false move and I would knock the whole kit-and-boodle all over the floor and spend the next hour trying to finding them ... when the power came back on.
I have a note taped up over my computer that reads: "Be prepared for synchronicity in your life. It grew out of some unnamed force somewhere in the universe. Acknowledge it when it appears. Be grateful and give thanks, for if you think deeply, you will find it is not random at all."
Confession time: These days I read my horoscope, printed on page 2 of this paper. It's all nonsense, of course, but sometimes it can be downright spooky.
No joke. There really is a Flat Earth Society. Conspiracy theorists are everywhere these days, but I really did think the idea of a flat earth died out years ago, especially after our astronauts took those beautiful photos of our planet from their space capsules. But then the flat earth people say that too is a conspiracy, a hoax by NASA.
At one time or another we've all received a survey from an organization or a political campaign.
What's the difference between a discussion and a debate?
It started with a quote my brother found in a book he was reading, "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes: "History, that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."
The idea of God is endlessly fascinating, but I am not a "believer." In fact, I do not believe "believers." We all doubt, but doubt scares many individuals to a point where they willingly surrender their critical faculties and accept whatever they're taught.
When it came time to buy a new car (a new used car, in this family), I had very few stipulations: good fuel economy and enough clearance to get up our long mountain driveway. I didn't care about the color, and the fewer bells and whistles the better.
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