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About Ormond

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    Council Member
  • Birthday 07/10/1951

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    Omaha, Nebraska
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    Besides ASOIAF:Given names, their usage and history

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  1. The relevant issue for a Senator though would not be just the raw "disapproval" or "popularity" figures but the priority the issue would have in determining voting intentions. I really can't see there being very many people who disapprove of DeVos -- even those who tell pollsters they disapprove of her "strongly" -- who actually will be motivated to get out and vote against a Republican senator on the basis of their vote to confirm her by itself. I would think there would be many more people who would feel personally threatened by changes in healthcare who would get out and vote on that basis.
  2. I know the discussion has moved way on from this link -- but I have to add my personal experience to one aspect of Democratic stupidity mentioned in this article: As someone who contributed money to the Ossoff campaign (and now really regrets sending all my contributions to Georgia instead of sending some to Parnell in South Carolina) I really agree with the terribleness of these fundraising emails. The last two weeks from the election I got about 15 of these things a day, either directly from the Ossoff campaign or from "progressive" organizations that claimed to be backing him. Almost all of them had this outrageous doom and gloom tone that tried to make you feel guilty for not sending more money. I got several that were linked to my specific zip code "We need x more contributions from 68107 or Ossoff will lose!" 68107, my zip, happens to be largely Hispanic and blue collar (I'm unusual to live in it and be an Anglo male with a Ph.D.). Realistically, they were darn lucky anyone who lives in this Omaha, Nebraska zip code could afford to send them two cents. I have been so turned off by the tone of these fundraising emails that I have vowed to take a break from giving any money to any Democrat for the rest of the summer. They can try me again in September, maybe. I feel like little ole me in Omaha (and the rest of the small contributors to the Dems) is being blamed for the failures of the Democratic leadership over the last 20 years, and it makes me just want to throw up my hands, close my wallet, and say "to hell with it, they really don't have any self-confidence in their own ideas anyway."
  3. I think the following quote from the discussion in the article is relevant: It would be really interesting here to study people like me who described ourselves as "conservative" when we were in our 20s (close to the age of participants in this study) but have moved toward the liberal side as we age, or those that have moved in the opposite direction.
  4. http://www.omaha.com/living/evans-nicole-popularized-by-films-france-fitzgerald/article_9a970fda-9574-5fb4-9f07-c6db650c8df1.html Above is the link to today's column. One of the most mysterious things about name fashions to me is the Nicola/Nicole contrast between Britain and the USA. Nicola actually became popular in England about a decade before Nicole really hit it big in the USA. But Nicola is very rare in America. One of the most reliable guesses you can have on the basis of a name alone is that if you meet a female Nicola she was born in the UK (or perhaps Ireland.) Also, I wish I had space to discuss Nikki in the column. Nikki actually came BEFORE Nicole in the USA as a baby name -- partly because of a character originally introduced on the Ellery Queen radio program who later was in several Ellery Queen movies.
  5. What is really disturbing to me about the response is that it does NOT say he condemns or even disagrees with the idea expressed in the tweet. It merely says "those are not his words." Of course, the way the response is phrased it also sounds like it also comes from a staffer rather than from the Senator himself. But it is still a very weak response.
  6. I'm not sure there is enough difference between "a few minutes" and "ten minutes" for that to be significant at all. This of course is precisely the sort of event where eyewitnesses are going to have very different memories. Of course we should be extremely grateful no one was killed outright, and hope and/or pray no one later succumbs to their injuries.
  7. Can we also note that this student is 59 years old? So much of the discussion of "entitlement" in college students focuses on the supposed negative characteristics of the "millennial" generation. But in my experience and that of other professors at my university, older adult students are just as or even more likely to believe they deserve to get A's just for enrolling for the course and doing a minimal amount of work as traditional age students are. This is a general problem with American culture -- and one that does have a negative impact on our politics.
  8. So there are no atheists in Trumpholes?
  9. Trump may have won Kansas "easily", but I remember seeing a map showing that Kansas was the only Midwestern state where Clinton's percentage of the vote in 2016 was higher than Obama's in 2012, even though it was just by a smidgen. So Kansas Republicans can pretty well see that Brownback's policies have their electoral fortunes moving in the wrong direction, and would want to nip that in the bud. The % of Democrats in the State House went from 22% to 32% in 2016. So in that body I don't think their proportion is "tiny" -- that's about the same % chance Trump had of winning the presidency, after all.
  10. The name of the Queen of Sheba is not given in the Bible. Bilqis (which also turns up as Balquis, Balkis, Belkis, and Bilkis) is a name originally assigned to her in Islamic commentaries on the story. It is not sure where it comes from, but it may be an "Arabized" version of a Hebrew word meaning "concubine." Here is the link to today's column: http://www.omaha.com/living/evans-lion-s-share-of-daniel-s-cachet-is-thanks/article_84941b56-5e85-5ee1-960c-8252f1c85b2d.html
  11. Personally I think Trump just likes to get validation, period. I think it's a combination of his realizing that the coal miners and the alt-right are going to give him more validation in the long run than the highly educated, even CEOs, and his belief that he appears "strong" when he sticks to the Europeans, who to him are "competition."
  12. Yes, many psychologists think this is really strange, too. Freud was brilliant, and a few of his ideas are still accepted in psychology (the most important being the basic idea that a lot of the motives for human behavior are unconscious -- though his claim that they are unconscious because they consist of sexual and aggressive wishes that are being actively repressed has not been backed up by research.) But for decades I've been telling my students in introductory psychology that the main reason they have to learn the basics of Freudian theory is not because he's still important in psychology, but because psychoanalysis has had such a huge impact on Western culture in general, it's something they need to know about to understand a lot of literature, films, and other cultural products -- including those French postmodernists!
  13. You know, that's an overly simplistic view of the present situation, because so much of the traditional "right" also hates Trump. I don't remember a lot of left-wing newspaper columnists saying Obama was incompetent and dangerous, and basically urging congressional Democrats to impeach him, even when they strongly disagreed with one of his particular policies. There are many conservative "public intellectuals" right now who are saying Trump is incompetent and dangerous and congressional Republicans should get rid of him (or at least support investigations into his shadier dealings.)
  14. This is a very interesting thread -- though I don't pretend to fully understand some of the deeper philosophical points. As an academic psychologist, though, the funniest thing to me in the original linked-to article was the sign at Pacifica University that read: “B.F. Skinner is the Anti-Christ”. This must have been in 1998 at the very earliest -- when Skinner had been dead for at least 8 years and the field of psychology had already moved beyond his version of radical behaviorism which was super-positivist in its orientation. By the time Skinner died, psychology had entered what is sometimes called the "cognitive revolution" where most scientific researchers in the subject believed one had to look at what was going on inside the heads of human beings instead of just "immediately observable behavior." To see people actually still taking Skinner seriously enough to call him the Anti-Christ at that point in history shows they just weren't keeping up with Skinner's own field. The findings of cognitive psychology are a big part of what someone else in the thread mentioned as the basis within science itself for showing how an individual's subjective reality affects their interpretation of the world. On the other hand, some of the strongest satements of some postmodernists about language don't seem to hold up. Language can shape how we think, but the strongest version of what's called the Whorfian hypothesis, which posits that one simply cannot think certain thoughts in certain languages, is going too far. It may take more words to explain a particular concept in some languages than others, but it can be done. Psychology today is actually rapidly moving toward biology and neurology. Its problem today is too many "pop psychologists" making really simplistic and overly broad conclusions about how "religion" or "conservatism" are caused by particular brain structures based on very preliminary research findings. That's how people like Sam Harris end up being criticized as "phrenologists", as was mentioned in another thread. A small dose of postmodernist thinking is a good antidote to such reductionism -- as long as one doesn't take it too far and reject the possibility of getting closer to the "Truth" of the matter with further research.
  15. And that's of course a travesty no matter where within NOAA's predicted range the season turns out.