Justice-American style

There were massive protests in Washington DC on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration and the authorities rounded up large numbers of people. Of course, it will not do to have people protesting in the streets. What do these people think, that they are living in a democracy? So in order to deter such unseemly behavior in the future, the authorities decided to throw the book at the arrested people, charging them with conspiracy to riot, that could have resulted in decades in prison if they were found guilty.
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The US kill list

The US government, through its various agencies like the CIA, murders people on a regular basis. The government actually has what is known as a secret ‘kill list’ of people it seeks to murder. This should not be a surprise to anyone who has any idea of the history of US government actions. What may surprise people is how easy it is to get on the kill list and how hard it is to get off it once you are on because the criteria used are secret and amorphous.
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Mexico will never pay for the wall

The Mexican president Enrico Pena Nieto’s scheduled visit to the US was called off because he refused Donald Trump’s demand that he stop publicly saying that Mexico would not pay for Trump’s beloved wall. One of Trump’s favorite lines to his adoring crowds during his campaign and even after winning the election, is that the wall will be built and that Mexico would pay for it and it irritated him that Nieto would keep denying this.
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The story behind Portugal’s decriminalization of personal drug use

I have mentioned before Portugal’s bold move in 2001 to decriminalize personal possession of drugs and how that led to a reduction in heroin use and deaths in its population that had reached epidemic proportions, not to mention the elimination of all the waste in policing and financial resources that goes into arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating people who use drugs.

This video explains how it came about that Portugal took this step.

We can’t say we weren’t warned about Alexa

Alexa is the name given to the voice that responds to your commands on the Amazon Echo device. In a recent post, I discussed the creepiness of having someone potentially listen to every conversation in its vicinity. As I understand it (not having one) the device is only supposed to be activated if you first say “Alexa” but apparently that is not the case.
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Dementia news not as grim

I am of the age group where we encounter the phenomenon of people having Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia on a fairly regular basis, either because our parents or the parents of friends or even in rare cases with people closer to our age group who succumb to early onset forms of the disease. As a result, the conversations often assume the inevitability of our own serious cognitive decline. The attitude is that it is a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’, and various strategies are bandied about as ways of delaying it.
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Good luck with that appeal, bishop!

A Catholic bishop in Ireland says that those Catholics who voted in favor of repealing the ban on abortion have committed a sin and should go to confession. He tried to explain the vote.

He said the result indicated something “a little bit shocking” in Irish society. “There are cultural Catholics and committed Catholics… To be honest, many people would consider themselves Catholics, religion has become somewhat divorced from faith.”

He said “I think perhaps one of the problems we face is that for too long we’ve tended to rely exclusively on a model of faith formation which is addressed to young people in schools, and apart from the Sunday homily there hasn’t been serious faith formation in our parishes.

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