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Roberto Rivera - Internally Displaced Person

“No one likes a moralizing coprolite.”

That’s how I might have responded to a listener’s e-mail on a recent edition of The Diane Rehm Show. The topic was the sad and disturbing phenomenon of hoarding. After hearing experts describe the way hoarding takes over and destroys hoarders’ lives, the listener’s take was simple and to the point: These people are lazy.

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Rating: 3.00

I’ve never eaten at a Chik-fil-A although I have been told the food is good. Nearly everything I know about the company concerns its distinct corporate culture, which Forbes compared to a “cult.”

This culture goes beyond not being open on Sundays: Many franchises host Bible studies; and the chain was criticized for its links to “anti-gay” groups like Focus on the Family.

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A teacher of mine once compared apocalyptic literature like the book of Revelation to a “pebble in a sneaker.” I don’t recall much more about the simile but I do recall that it struck me as apt at the time.

In any case, they don’t make pebbles like they used to.

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No matter how hard you try to hide from them, your worst fears will eventually find you. Mine found me in what someone I know calls “the good part of the paper”: the part of the Sunday Washington Post containing sales flyers, the comics, and the Sunday magazine.

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Internally Displaced Person

It’s Monday morning* -- do you know where your bracket is?

Apart from bookies, no one is as glad to see the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Championship, a.k.a. “March Madness,” roll around as the NCAA itself, if for no other reason than to draw attention away from the scandals and controversies surrounding college football.

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Internally Displaced Person

Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. I Corinthians 6

It seems that everywhere I turn, someone is talking about food. When I channel-surf, there’s a network, The Food Channel, devoted to the subject, and another, The Travel Channel, where the actual travel is, as often as not, from the site of one meal to the site of the next.

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Internally Displaced Person

Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.

Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

If you ask a serious baseball fan to name the best baseball town in America, chances are the answer will be “St. Louis.” The combination of passion, knowledge, and civility, plus the Cardinals’ history (the second-most successful franchise behind the Yankees) makes St. Louis a lot of fans’ second-favorite team.

All of this makes the possibility that the game’s best player, Albert Pujols, will end his career in something other than a Cardinal uniform painful to imagine.

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The "unrest" that toppled Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt has now spread to Libya and Iraq. ("Unrest" because it's almost as though the western media is avoiding the Arabic word for what is going on, intifada, which means "shaking off" and "awakening.")

I don't know how and where this is going to end but I do know where it began: Tunisia. So, what better song for this particular Friday than The Astounding Eyes of Rita by Anouar Brahem, a native of Tunisia?

Inspired by the poem "Rita and the Rifle" by Mahmoud Darwish, this song reaches into the depths of my Mediterranean soul. If you don't have such a soul, I'll lend you mine. Just be sure to give it back.

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Internally Displaced Person

I used to love boxing. Back in the late '70s and early '80s, I could name every champion in every weight class recognized by the World Boxing Association and its rival, the World Boxing Council. I was savvy enough to know that whereas the WBA called 122-pounders "junior featherweights," the WBC called them "super bantamweights." Read More >
Rating: 5.00
Comments: 3

Internally Displaced Person

Recently, North Korea revealed that, unbeknownst to just about everyone, it had built an “ultra-modern uranium enrichment facility.” Victor Cha, a member of the National Security Council during the Bush administration, told Reuters that “from an intelligence perspective, it’s sort of your worst nightmare.”

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Rating: 5.00
Comments: 2

Internally Displaced Person

If you want to understand the looming debt crisis, watch the 2008 documentary I.O.U.S.A. Scrupulously fair and nonpartisan, its story, about the danger posed by America’s ballooning national debt, is divided into four sections, each of which describes a particular deficit that has made our debt crisis possible: the “budget deficit,” which includes not only current spending but currently unfunded liabilities; the “savings deficit” that results when people live beyond their means and don’t save; the “balance of payments deficit,” which includes but isn’t limited to the well-publicized trade deficit; and the “leadership deficit,” which basically includes our entire governing class with a few exceptions.

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Rating: 3.00
Comments: 126

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