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About Ormond

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  • Birthday 07/10/1951

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  1. People who have physically unstrenuous jobs and who are stars in their field often never want to retire. If you are a U.S. Senator, you have to a certain extent reached "star level" in the US political system. And that of course is way more true of someone in Manchin's position who's getting all this attention for being the ultimate "swing vote" in today's Senate. Plenty of famous actors and actresses never retire until they get dementia or major physical disabilities. And university and college professors are another group where lots of the "stars" never want to retire and develop the idea that somehow they are indispensible. Here is an article by a University of Vermont professor (who if you read the page about him on that university's site is surely a "star" within his institution) about why he's still working at age 80. I think the most relevant quote is: I think people like Manchin (and Dianne Feinstein or Chuck Grassley) may well have convinced themselves that they are indispensible to the political system in the way Robert J. Nash has convinced himself he's irreplaceable on the University of Vermont faculty. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2019/06/12/professor-who-has-taught-more-half-century-explains-why-he-hasnt-been-willing And personally I am really, really happy I retired as a university professor last September 1 at age 69. But the only place I'm a star is within The American Name Society, not exactly a powerhouse among academic organizations.
  2. If you read the entire article, you'll see that the NAACP is upset with the entire establishment of the West Virginia Democratic party. not just Manchin, because of how they feel they've been treated and their concerns ignored. Different constituencies within the Democratic party (or any party) are going to prioritize issues differently, and I can see how if it's precisely on those issues which are most important to African-Americans where Manchin is voting with the Republicans how they might not care that much if he was replaced by a Republican.
  3. It is quite possible that Toobin's skills as a lawyer are middling, but it's his status as a straight white male who has been a national TV commentator for years and who has written best-selling books that earns him this forgiveness. The average "middling lawyer" wouldn't get this even if he were a straight white male.
  4. I was told once that on the rare occasions when Thomas sides with the more liberal members of the court it's usually because he can see how that particular issue might especially affect African-Americans. Do you as a more knowledgeable person on this think that's true?
  5. I think there are many other religious organizations (Scientology and Jehovah's Witnesses, to name two) that have been much more abusive and caused more suffering in relation to their size and the percentage of their members they have seriously harmed than the Roman Catholic church has.
  6. No, the percentage is not irrelevant. I don't know how much the RC church in various places has spent to cover up abuse, but I am sure that it is a small percentage of of the total amount of money it's spent on all of its activities during the last decade, and therefore to me it is perfectly reasonable for a devout Roman Catholic to continue to give money to the church, no matter how much they disagree with that particular activity.
  7. Good grief. The total % of one's donations that would go to covering up sex scandals would be very small. Why would one stop giving money on that basis when they know that the majority of their funds are going toward running their local parish and its activities and supporting other works of the church that have nothing to do with the sex scandals?
  8. I looked up present figures on education and it turns out the Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, and Montana have a higher % of residents over age 25 with a four year degree than Florida, North Carolina, and Texas do. Obviously Utah's LDS population makes it an especially different case, but perhaps it's not weird to think that the other three states might also occasionally be able to elect a Democratic senator within the next 25 years, as younger generations become a bigger part of the electorate and as Nebraska and Kansas at least probably will get more urban/suburban as a total percentage of voters. (I was surprised looking at the charts to see Iowa's education level is more like Ohio's than Nebraska's, which might help explain its rightward shift.)
  9. The point about stocks is interesting, but don't you have the wrong date in your argument? The taxes that are due on April 15 are those for the previous calendar year. The relevant date for whether stocks are up or down would be December 31, not April 15.
  10. Here's the link to today's column. It was surprising to me just how rare Melanie was before Gone With the Wind: https://omaha.com/evans-how-big-a-splash-will-melanie-make/article_6260125a-c320-11eb-a920-3bc486ddbb59.html
  11. You can tell how much the series went out of fashion (or how badly the publisher was treating it) by how many physical copies of each volume are available in libraries. In WorldCat, which includes data from many public and academic libraries all over the world, as of tonight I count the following number who say they have a copy of each of the four titles: The Judging Eye: 564 The White-Luck Warrior: 451 The Great Ordeal: 278 The Unholy Consult: 154 It's normal for there to be more copies of earlier books in a series available, but the difference here seems a lot greater than normal. I was able to buy a copy of The Unholy Consult for $8.90 including tax in June 2020 from BookOutlet. It probably isn't readily available now. -- and I myself still haven't found a copy of The Great Ordeal in at least "very good" condition for what I consider a reasonable price. On Amazon at the moment the cheapest one, which is only "good condition", is $149.73.
  12. Gosh, how young are you? The gas chamber has been used in the past as a method of carrying out the death penalty in 12 different states in the United States. The first such execution was in Nevada in 1924. The last was in Arizona in 1999. California used the gas chamber for decades. It was originally introduced because it was thought it would be a more humane form of execution -- the same reason it was itself later replaced by lethal injection. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_chamber#United_States
  13. I still had to explain it to undergraduate college students in my classes in Nebraska within the last few years.
  14. I would not be at all surprised if it was some staffer who wrote this. But that doesn't mean the staffer was British themselves. WIth the international nature of the Internet and media today, younger people in the USA have often adopted a lot of "Britishisms" without even realizing it. I still remember how surprised I was when Chris Hayes on MSNBC used the word "cheeky" with no idea that the majority of his American viewers probably would not understand that word. And that had to have been before March 2013 because it was when he still have his morning show instead of the evening one he has now.
  15. I'm sure that may very well be her eventual career path, but I'm not at all sure that she's rational enough to be consciously "angling" for this.
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