During the day, do you read a story and you feel it is worth sharing?  Where to place it? I don’t like to disrupt someone’s thread or thoughtful post and it is not worthy of posting a lengthy article, do you?  Let’s try to leave this up in speakers corner and we can share some news!

From the Afghan  Women’s Writing Project

Colorful Days after Black Nights”

I remember the Taliban were searching houses ten times a day with different groups to find a book, cassette, picture, TV, or video game. If they found any of these, they shot the whole family. After we returned home, my mom burned books that my older sister and brother had collected over many years. She burned most of the books in our mud-brick oven, then threw the rest away in sacks very far from the house so the Taliban would not know they were ours. My heart was broken and I was at a loss……

I wove carpets for four years and forgot everything about studying or getting an education. We were stuck at home, and never allowed to go outside. When the Taliban were removed from power in Afghanistan after almost five years, most of the schools eventually reopened. My siblings returned to school, but I did not, because I was so afraid of everyone, still thinking that Taliban were close.

Read More…..

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javaz
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B’ito!!!

We lived in France for 2 years, and here’s the link to prove that I’m not telling a fib!!!

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/pet/rintin.html

Google it, as there are more sites, and I’ve often wondered if the Belgium Tintin et Milou were made in Rin Tin Tin name, since Rin Tin Tin was a rescue dog from World War I and brought back here.

Rin Tin Tin died in Jean Harlow’s arms, and he was originally buried here, but then sent back to France, where he was born.

I’m not fibbing about this, b’ito!

I didn’t know it either until we lived in Paris.

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Khirad
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javaz
Member

Just found out that one of my bosses from Honeywell died, and this guy was my second boss after moving here.

Sheesh, I admire Jeff Phelps, and he was 79 years old when he died, and have no idea what he died from, but that guy, I want to live like he did!

Jeff, honest to God, never gave a crap what anyone thought of him.

He was a hard drinker, heavy smoker and a character.

He was rough and gruff, and complained about bleeding heart liberals, but he was likable.

He was also a womanizer, and flirted with every and any woman, but I liked him, even if he was a Republican.

The man had no shame, and I do admire that quality.

He was married for over 50 years to a woman he’d known all his life, and she died 2 years ago, but she was also a heavy drinker and smoker, and when they drank, they used to fight.

They liked going to a local bar in their area, and it got so bad with them fighting that the bar wouldn’t allow them in the bar at the same time, so they did shifts – LOL – and Jeff had no problem telling people that!

LMAO

He was honest with who he was, and he was a Korean War Veteran, and at one time a very good engineer, but by the time I got to Honeywell, Jeff was a major fuck-off without apology, and he was a boss.

That’s what big corporations did with fuck-offs back then, they either made them a boss or gave them some other position, and we saw it time and time again, and yes, when you work there, it causes problems with those of us who do the actual work, but that was life.

All that changed, of course, during all the downsizing, but I never held it against Jeff, and now that I’ve been out of the workforce for so long, I don’t hold it against any of the fuck-offs.
Most of them were laid off or retired.

If you think that you’ve done things in your life when you’ve been drunk that you should regret, just remember Jeff Phelps, because he did it all and he never felt bad for any damn thing. In fact, he’d brag about it and that is the truth.

And that is the truth.

I admire him and am going to strive to live as he did – live to the fullest without regret and fuck everyone else!

LMAO

Seriously, that is how Jeff Phelps lived and I’ve never met another person like him.

He will be missed.

(excuse my language, but that is in memory of Jeff Phelps!)

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javaz
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Kalima ~waves to Kalima from over here~

I followed your advice about sending a card to my late-brother’s partner and he called me last Friday.

He’s grieving so, and he is an older gentleman, but we had a very nice talk for about 40 minutes.

I know from losing our daughter that most people dislike hearing about the deceased or dealing with tears, so I stayed with him and let him cry and talk and I listened and tried offering words of comfort, but I think that was the right thing to do.

He seemed touched that I cared and am thinking about him, because things between us, well, that’s all water under the bridge now.

I just wanted to let you know that your advice was excellent and I thank you once again for listening to me.

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Kalima
Admin

That’s great news javaz, I’m happy for you. A little kindness really does go a long way. Well done, you made a difference and should feel good about yourself. 🙂

You are very welcome but you made the decision after all, the credit is all yours.

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javaz
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Oh sheesh, another wingnut-paranoid-birther and the attorney general of Virginia!

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R-VA) has positioned himself as the leader of a state-based movement on the right to invalidate key progressive reforms. Announcing a lawsuit to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency

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javaz
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Howell Raines has an interesting point concerning FOX and the MSM and Joe Strupp of media-matters wonders if he’s right –

“Through clever use of the Fox News Channel and its cadre of raucous commentators, [Roger] Ailes has overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II. Yet, many members of my profession seem to stand by in silence as Ailes tears up the rulebook that served this country well as we covered the major stories of the past three generations, from the civil rights revolution to Watergate to the Wall Street scandals,” Raines writes. “This is not a liberal-versus-conservative issue. It is a matter of Fox turning reality on its head with, among other tactics, its endless repetition of its uber-lie: ‘The American people do not want health-care reform.'”

http://mediamatters.org/strupp/201003150030

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SueInCa
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The Washington Posts coverage and investigative journalism was responsible for breaking the Watergate scandal wide open. We just don’t seem to have much of that except for maybe Greg Palast. The emphasis is on speed and ratings so not much is done except regurgitating the info on the wires.

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javaz
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B’ito, have you heard about the horse that’s stranded on a sandbar on the Gila River?

I sure hope this has a happy ending.

BUCKEYE — For three days, a horse named Colorado has been stranded on a sand bar in the Gila River after he and two other horses, along with three riders, were swept away Friday afternoon southwest of the Valley. A special harness that will hopefully allow rescuers to air-lift the horse to safety.is being brought in from Los Angeles.

http://www.azfamily.com/video/featured-videos/Equipment-on-the-way-to-help-rescue-horse-stranded-on-sand-bar-87649157.html

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nellie
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Student-Loan Bill Begins Showdown Week

The push for student-loan legislation, carrying the potential of billions of additional dollars for higher education, enters its showdown week with the expected release Monday of a new official cost estimate that may help determine its fate.

The legislation would end the bank-based system of distributing federal student loans and channel the savings into Pell Grants and other education programs. Democratic leaders in Congress, after months of waiting, are preparing to combine it with their equally long-awaited health-care legislation in a maneuver they hope will win enough votes to pass both measures by the end of this week or early next week.

The article makes a good case for keeping this provision in the health care bill.

“It is clear that in this poisoned political climate,” said Richard T. Williams, a higher-education lobbyist at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-advocacy organization, “there will be no second chance to pass the student-aid bill if it is not included” with the health-care bill in a single package.

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nellie
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Department of State Launches New Tool to Foster Online Open Dialogue

The Department of State today launches “Opinion Space”, an interactive site hosted on State.gov that seeks to foster global conversations on foreign affairs.

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Blues Tiger
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Blues Tiger

Oklahoma City mom is given 20-year term in child

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SueInCa
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TB
I sat on a mock jury once for a lawsuit filed against the state of Nevada. The typical story of the CPS(child protection services) not following up on reports of abuse and not making any attempts to remove a child from foster care. The beating was so bad the child was rendered a vegatable and then the state wanted the family to take over. We ruled on 250k in favor of the family and 333 million for punitive damages.
While we were deliberating there was a guy in the room watcching. We polled for the settlement in a written vote so he did not know what arrangement we had come to. When we read the verdict, his face registered shock. He was the state attorney who was trying to decide whether to fight in court or go the settlement route. I bet he took the latter. It was astounding to me that he would think outsiders looking at the story would not be outraged at the state’s lack of action.

You would think the religious right with their increased interest of counseling for adults prior to being granted a divorce would also go after this issue. But then again, they are not concerned about after the child is born, just to the decisions made before.

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kesmarn
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Good to hear that you have advocated for the protection of kids, BT.

I’ve been baffled for years at the way the court system and its poorly trained but extremely powerful social workers will force a “bonding” situation (unsupervised visitation with people who are known to be law-breakers and totally irresponsible to boot) regarding young children. The rights of the child are almost never considered. It’s always the parent’s right to access to the child that is the primary consideration, even if the consequences of that access during visitation are terrible for the poor kid. If a parent tries to buck the system too hard, there is the threat of losing custody because of “instability.”

It’s amazing to me that a parent who does not have a child ready for visitation with the potentially abusive other parent will have a sheriff’s deputy at the door in 3 minutes. But a parent who is years behind, and tens of thousands of dollars in arrears on child support, will be somehow “unfindable.” In our area child support dodgers are almost never arrested. But miss one visitation and you will need legal assistance!

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Blues Tiger
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Blues Tiger

It was a major battle here… Your correct that the counselors were using the instability or he’s irrational attacks on people here… It was really like having to fight some sort of “man hating mafia”… The divorce counseling classes were court ordered and as a male you would have to endure weeks of biased lectures and threats if you wanted to see your kids (every counselor involved was a divorced woman)…
We managed to get the courts to become more reasonable about granting joint custody, more liberal visitations,creating standards that included granting custody to most involved parent, following the letter of the Law in granting Victim Protective Orders and making them reciprocal if granted if it was part of the divorce proceedings and no visitation if co-cohabiting… The power of the Judges was taken away from opinion to having to follow a set of guidelines…
Ironically, and something you might appreciate kes, the people who helped me the most and offered the best suggestions for guidelines for us was a group of divorced RN’s from the Hospital I was employed at!!! I learned to listen to them because everytime I did it worked… 😀

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kesmarn
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BT, glad to hear that the RNs treated you right!

Weirdly, in my area, it’s a kind of “woman hating mafia,” with an almost totally male sheriff’s dept. and male-dominated court system that bends over backwards for “father’s rights,” even when “father” does things like drive the kids around, un-seat-belted, while he himself is staggeringly drunk. But I realize that the unfairness can and does go either way.

When it’s all said and done, there almost seems to be a consistent, perverse “protect the rights of the bully” and “use the child as a de facto therapist for the craziest parent” philosophy, regardless of where you live!

I don’t get it! So often the victims get victimized and the perpetrators have loads and loads of “rights.” So frustrating.

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Blues Tiger
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Blues Tiger

I agree and no matter how much you do to protect children something like this story always happens…

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

Well, we still have half of my neighbors tree sitting precariously up against my 100 yr. maple in my front yard, the other half is laying in the street waiting for the town’s DPW to come by after this weekends big storm, looks like it’s going to be a long time before they get to it.

In all my time living here, through all the hurricanes and Nor Easters, I have never seen sustained winds this high and this length of time, it started blowing at 11 am Sat to 1 am Sunday morning. Nor have I ever seen this much damage to trees and homes. It looks like a battle zone here, there is not house/building that doesn’t have some kind of damage.

As I reported Saturday night, my neighbors 60 ft. tree came down, as it fell it ripped the power line that goes from our house to the poll and hit part of the roof of our front porch, minor damage to that. What a noise, you could hear the creaking and cracking before the actually fall, with such a loud thud that it shook the house.

The power line was still connected to the house, but half of it was laying on the ground, the other half connected to the pole. We were lucky, we still had power, unlike 55,000 that didn’t at the height of the storm.

In our section of the town, we have a small taxpayer owned power company, so the guys were out to re-attach the line to the house at 6 am Sunday morning. Hubby gave the guys some coffee after they finished, they had been up all night trying to keep up with all the damage and lines down.

They told us that at one point during the storm, around 6 pm Sat. night, all utility workers and first responders were called in to wait it out because it was so dangerous.

A tree had come down on a fire truck in the next town over and another tree coming down took off the bucket from a utility vehicle, thank God no one was in the bucket at the time. The wind was clocked by my husband, gusting at 60 MPH, sustained winds at 40 MPH. Around 1 am Sunday, everything dyed down and the crews, police and fire were able to go back out.

Here are some pictures of the damage, number 6, the big pine resting up against the power lines is right around the corner from our house, the tree was still there yesterday afternoon, waiting to be removed.

http://www.ctpost.com/traffic/slideshow/Storm-damage-469.php

Story of storm from local paper “The Hour”, which we call “the minute” because it takes only a minute to read it! 🙂

http://www.thehour.com/story/483574

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javaz
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Holy high winds, BDM!

It took awhile for me to make it through all the pictures, but the devastation is amazing.
I dislike winds, too.

We had those 60-70mph winds quite a few weeks back, and I’d never seen anything like that before, but thank goodness our storm didn’t last anywhere as long as the one you had, and thank heaven, we didn’t have heavy damage.

And it is sad seeing all those beautiful trees felled, but you’re quite lucky that you maintained power and suffered minimum damage to your porch, so someone’s watching over you!

Aside from the storm pics, you sure do live in a gorgeous area.
I miss seeing trees like that at times.

Glad to hear that you, your husband and the doggies are safe.

This is an image of the Superstitions that are north of where we live on the mountain range.

The jutting rocks to the side climbing up are called the walking ‘monks’ by us locals.

http://www.planetware.com/i/photo/superstition-mountain-arizona-az0029.jpg

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escribacat
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How scary, BDM. I hope your maple is okay! We get winds like that here — they come down from the foothills of the Rockies. Sometimes clocked at 130 mph. Trailers get blown over, garages and roofs blow away. I hate the wind!

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

It blows off the water here all the time, so I am used to it, the only time I don’t like it is when it’s 15 degrees and I’m out walking the dogs….. 😯

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Chernynkaya
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WOW, BDM!! That’s amazing. I’m so relieved your house didn’t suffer any damage! I always have the worry of earthquakes here in LA in the back of my mind, but when you get right down to it, I guess there is really no completely safe place.

Those photos were shocking to me. And it’s also so lucky that you kept your electricity. I recently saw a PBS show about the blizzard in Buffalo 1977. It was declared a federal emergency. Completely overwhelmed the city.

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

Cher, I remember that blizzard, I was home from college…it took three days for us to dig out from that, my poor ’68 VW Beetle, it was buried up to the roof! There was so much snow, they were taking the snow and dumping it into the sound because they had no where to put it.

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Blues Tiger
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Blues Tiger

My cousin and his wife lived up there during that, they have pics him standing in the walkway he dug out to the front door… It’s all you see, the waklway, no house, no car’s just snow and a walkway…

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SueInCa
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BDM
thanks for keeping us updated. Sustained high winds like that for that long are always going to be unkind to old trees. We see that alot out here in CA. The older more established neighborhoods are beautiful with their aged landscaping but in this type of incidence, are a big worry for good reason. I would still choose to live in an area with beautiful old trees than not though. We have always been lucky though. We had a palm tree once that was probably 40-50 ft high. It would sway, but th roots were grounded so we never worried too much, the pines and maples were another story. We had a maple come down but it hit just before our house.

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Pepe Lepew
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What state are you in?

Someone from Connecticut was posting on another site that this weekend was insane.

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

Pepe – Southwestern CT, 40 min. from NYC on the Metro North line…yes, it was insane, just got another reverse 911 call from our beloved Mayor, electric will not be restored for some until Wed. due to so much damage in so many areas.

They have now opened up the City Hall and another HS as shelters today, wind has started picking up again, 15-20 MPH, Hubby called and said to stay home, more trees and large branches still coming down, hearing lots of sirens again….

My husband says the extra high tide has cut him off for now, it’s flooding the main road that follows the channel where he has his business…I’m leaving clean up of the sea grass and all the small branches in my back yard until tomorrow, everything is just a wet mess!

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kesmarn
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What a great reporting job, BDM! Those pictures look almost like tornado damage. What a storm! I’m glad you and your family are safe.

The photos looked so familiar to me. I lived in Killingworth for a few years, so the area affected by the storm is so recognizable! Do I remember correctly that there was an Inn at Cornfield Point (near Katharine Hepburn’s family home)? I seem to remember going there for Sunday brunch…delicious! And that Pequot library building–what a treasure! Love the architecture on that one.

I feel for everyone having to cope with all the damage and clean up. The one picture of the Lexus…ouch!…that car is officially totalled, I imagine.

Thanks for giving us a glimpse into what a Nor’easter can do, and you all–including the pups–stay safe!

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

That would be the “Old Saybrook Inn” I think, we were married there, outside right on the water, beautiful location…Ah yes, she is know as “Our Kate” up there in Saybrook, they seem to like to own her, because she lived there all her life, beautiful home, she did a lot for that area.

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kesmarn
Admin

What an awesome place for a wedding, BDM!

CT is so interesting. There’s such a diversity of history, culture, environment…you name it. I know this sounds weird, but I used to like to drive around and find those little old cemeteries. There were often some ancient…and I do mean ancient…tombstones with such interesting engravings. One of them that I saw more than once was something to the effect of: “Visitor, as you are passing by, remember, as you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you will be. Visitor will you think of me?” If that isn’t Old New England, I don’t know what is!

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

kes, we have one of those ancient quirky cemeteries here in our part of town, we all belong to the association that maintains it.

Many who fought and died during the battle for Norwalk, that took place in our harbor, when the British landed on our shores, are buried there. Their ancestors still live in this part of town…and are proud to be “sons and daughters of the Revolutionary War heroes”.

They have a commemoration every year and a battle re-enactment at the beach where they landed.

Yep, CT is one of the original 13 Colonies….my town fought the British and lost a lot of good men, (and women), had their homes and businesses burned to the ground, so that we could all be free from King’s tierany…wonder if Tex-ass will re-write that history?

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kesmarn
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b’ito and BDM, my reply to you was vaporized…twice!

Just meant to say that I was glad to find kindred spirits who enjoyed “haunting” old cemeteries as much as I did.

Will be out for a while today, so I’ll catch you later, I hope!

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kesmarn
Admin

Good afternoon, b’ito! And BDM! I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who loves “haunting” old cemeteries! I’m fascinated by trying to figure out what the lives of the people were like from the scant info there.

You’re so right, BDM. Texass will surely have it’s own “special” version of American history. I’m sure George Washington was a founding member of the Republican Party in their book. And all the Founding Fathers must have had a hearty contempt for social justice, according to the Beckster!

Will have to be out for a while this afternoon, so I’ll be off the radar for a bit. (I know I have emails to address, too, and will get to ’em pronto, as soon as I can!) Back latah!

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Blues Tiger
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Blues Tiger

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe

The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands, Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs, which nation will be affected next, and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy like their American cousins.

http://www.aolnews.com/story/child-abuse-claims-sweep-catholic-church/950121

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

Morning BT and javaz, looks like the Catholic Church/Vatican are going to have to sell some of that land they own to cover these lawsuits…several diocese here in New England had to that, here in CT, the Bridgeport diocese is just about bankrupt.

The abuse of any child should not go unpunished…and in my opinion, the guy at the top, the pope, of this organization is ultimately responsible.

javaz, saw “The Magdalene Sisters”, wonderful movie, honest account on some of the abuse that was going on in the church in the ’50’s-’60’s, but which I’m sure goes back to the beginning of start of the church.

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javaz
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The Vatican could sell some of the art and other ill-gotten gains that they acquired through the crusades and other ventures.

Is your weather better, BDM?

We’re starting to see wildflowers but this week with temps going up to 80 and with the sun, the wildflowers should erupt everywhere.
We are looking forward to a colorful spring, which might last 2 weeks and then WHAM, the 100 degree temps begin.

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BigDogMom
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BigDogMom

Going to post an update on the storm this weekend…see above.

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javaz
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Good morning, BT, and everyone.

It stuns me a bit that abuse by the Catholic church is only coming out now in Europe when Ireland has a long history of abuse by the nuns and priests.

Have you ever seen “The Magdalene Sisters”?
Or “Falling For A Dancer”?

Both movies touch on the abuse and at the end of “The Magdalene Sisters”, there’s an interview with three of the women who suffered the abuse at the hands of the church.

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Blues Tiger
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Blues Tiger

Good morning javaz!!! I have watched “Magdalene Sisters” a couple of times but I haven’t seen “Falling for a Dancer”…

It looks like more and more of this abuse will be exposed…

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