Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 7th, 2022

5 Foods You Should Always Buy Organic And Why!

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This is definitely worth watching.

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2022 at 6:08 pm

Taking a break by the Salish Sea

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That’s Mount Baker in the distance (Bakeryama).

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2022 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Daily life

The continuing struggle to make America what it claims to be

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Heather Cox Richardson looks at the history of America’s conflicted aspirations:

On this day in 1880, the Republican candidate for president, James A. Garfield, spoke to thousands of supporters from the balcony of the Republican headquarters in New York City. Ten years before, in 1870, Americans had added the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, making sure that Black men could vote by guaranteeing that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

As soon as the amendment was ratified, though, white southerners who were dead set against their Black neighbors participating in their government began to say that they had no problem with Black men voting on racial grounds. Their objection to Black voting, they claimed, was that poor, uneducated Black men just out of enslavement were voting for lawmakers who promised them public services, like roads and schools, that could be paid for only with taxes levied on people with the means to pay, which in the post–Civil War South usually meant white men.

Complaining that Black voters were socialists—they actually used that term in 1871—white southerners began to keep Black voters from the polls. In 1878, Democrats captured both the House and the Senate, and former Confederates took control of key congressional committees. From there, in the summer of 1879, they threatened to shut down the federal government altogether unless the president, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, agreed to end the federal protection of Black Americans in the South.

The congressional leader who eventually forced them to back down was James A. Garfield (R-OH). Impressed by his successful effort to save the country, in 1880, party leaders nominated him for president.

Garfield was a brilliant and well-educated man and had served in the Civil War himself. On August 6 in New York City, he singled out the veterans in the crowd to explain how he saw the nation’s future.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “ideas outlive men; ideas outlive all earthly things. You who fought in the war for the Union fought for immortal ideas, and by their might you crowned the war with victory. But victory was worth nothing except for the truths that were under it, in it, and above it. We meet tonight as comrades to stand guard around the sacred truths for which we fought.”

“[W]e will remember our allies who fought with us,” he told them. “Soon after the great struggle began, we looked beyond the army of white rebels, and saw 4,000,000 of [B]lack people condemned to toil as slaves for our enemies; and we found that the hearts of these 4,000,000 were God-inspired with the spirit of liberty, and that they were all our friends.” As the audience cheered, he continued: “We have seen white men betray the flag and fight to kill the Union; but in all that long, dreary war we never saw a traitor in a black skin.” To great applause, he vowed, “[W]e will stand by these [B]lack allies. We will stand by them until the sun of liberty, fixed in the firmament of our Constitution, shall shine with equal ray upon every man, [B]lack or white, throughout the Union.” As the audience cheered, he continued: “Fellow-citizens, fellow-soldiers, in this there is the beneficence of eternal justice, and by it we will stand forever.”

Garfield won the presidency that year, but just barely. The South went solidly Democratic, and in the years to come, white northerners looked the other way as white southerners kept Black men from voting, first with terrorism and then with state election laws using grandfather clauses that cut out Black men without mentioning race by permitting a man to vote if his grandfather had voted, literacy tests in which white registrars got to decide who passed, poll taxes that were enforced arbitrarily, and so on. States also cut up districts unevenly to favor the Democrats, who ran an all-white, segregationist party. In 1880, the South became solidly Democratic, and with white men keeping Black people from the polls, it would remain so until 1964.

But then, exactly 85 years after Garfield’s speech, on August 6, 1965,  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2022 at 2:39 pm

Seven years of sex abuse: How Mormon officials let it happen

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Michael Rezendes reports for the Associated Press:

BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) — MJ was a tiny, black-haired girl, just 5 years old, when her father admitted to his bishop that he was sexually abusing her.

The father, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an admitted pornography addict, was in counseling with his bishop when he revealed the abuse. The bishop, who was also a family physician, followed church policy and called what church officials have dubbed the “help line” for guidance.

But the call offered little help for MJ. Lawyers for the church, widely known as the Mormon church, who staff the help line around the clock told Bishop John Herrod not to call police or child welfare officials. Instead he kept the abuse secret.

“They said, ‘You absolutely can do nothing,’” Herrod said in a recorded interview with law enforcement.

Herrod continued to counsel MJ’s father, Paul Douglas Adams, for another year, and brought in Adams’ wife, Leizza Adams, in hopes she would do something to protect the children. She didn’t. Herrod later told a second bishop, who also kept the matter secret after consulting with church officials who maintain that the bishops were excused from reporting the abuse to police under the state’s so-called clergy-penitent privilege.

Adams continued raping MJ for as many as seven more years, into her adolescence, and also abused her infant sister, who was born during that time. He frequently recorded the abuse on video and posted the video on the internet.

Adams was finally arrested by Homeland Security agents in 2017 with no help from the church, after law enforcement officials in New Zealand discovered one of the videos. He died by suicide in custody before he could stand trial.

The Associated Press has obtained nearly 12,000 pages of sealed records from an unrelated child sex abuse lawsuit against the Mormon church in West Virginia. The documents offer the most detailed and comprehensive look yet at the so-called help line Herrod called. Families of survivors who filed the lawsuit said they show it’s part of a system that can easily be misused by church leaders to divert abuse accusations away from law enforcement and instead to church attorneys who may bury the problem, leaving victims in harm’s way.

The help line has been criticized by abuse victims and their attorneys for being inadequate to quickly stop abuse and protect victims. Yet the Utah-based faith has stuck by the system despite the criticism and increasing scrutiny from attorneys and prosecutors, including those in the Adams case.

“’I just think that the Mormon church really sucks. Seriously sucks,” said MJ, who is now 16, during an interview with the AP. “They are just the worst type of people, from what I’ve experienced and what other people have also experienced.”

MJ and her adoptive mother asked the AP to use only her initials in part because videos of her abuse posted by her father are still circulating on the internet. The AP does not publish the names of sexual abuse survivors without their consent.

William Maledon, an Arizona attorney representing the bishops and the church in a lawsuit filed by three of the Adams’ six children, told the AP last month that the bishops were not required to report the abuse.

“These bishops did nothing wrong [!!! – LG]. They didn’t violate the law, and therefore they can’t be held liable,” he said. Maledon referred to the suit as “a money grab.” [An extremely narrow view of right and wrong. The Mormon church lacks any moral compass. – LG]

In his AP interview, Maledon also insisted . . .

Continue reading. Lots more. Despicable organization.

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2022 at 1:20 pm

Fermenting raw potatoes for prebiotics and probiotics

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2 Yukon Gold potatoes
in a 1-liter canning jar

I do a fair amount of fermenting vegetables — see this post — but I have not previously thought of fermenting raw potatoes. But I read an interesting post at drdavisinfinitehealth.com on fermenting raw potatoes, and that intrigued me. However, that site is cranky and now won’t let me see the post, even though I am registered and logged in — perhaps because I registered for the free subscription, which apparently does not include access to the site’s blog articles. As a result, I don’t have a link for the post.

The post had these instructions:

To make fermented raw potatoes, place approximately 4 cups of filtered water [or bottled spring water – LG] into a jar, followed by enough salt to generate the level of saltiness you desire (e.g., 1 tablespoon). [Use sea salt or Himalayan salt, not iodized table salt. To actually use 4 cups of water, you’ll need a 1.5-liter or 2-qt jar because the potatoes take up a fair amount of room, as you see in the photo. Or — and this is what I will do — use a 1 liter jar, but initially put in only the diced potatoes. Then separately dissolve 1/2 tablespoon (1.5 teaspoons) sea salt or Himalayan rock salt in 1 pint of spring water. (You can just use a measuring cup for that.) Pour that water over the potatoes in the 1-liter (or 1-qt) jar to fill it up. — LG]

Chop potatoes (unpeeled; if any green tinge is present on the skin, remove) into half-inch cubes, then add to water. Cover with paper towel, cheesecloth, or other non-air-tight device. [Flat-bottomed paper coffee filters work well. Secure the (upside-down) filter with a rubber band, or if you are using a canning jar, with the ring part of the lid. – LG]

You will see the water turn cloudy over the next 48 hours, along with tiny bubbles, all reflecting the process of fermentation. If any white film appears on top, remove with a spoon and discard. When the water is moderately cloudy and potatoes have that lactic acid “zing,” transfer jar to refrigerator. Consume within the next week.

The mildly tangy flavor of these fermented raw potatoes go well tossed into a salad, though you can just eat them right out of the jar, too.

He notes earlier in the post:

Because they are raw, there are zero net carbs but plenty of dietary fiber [i.e., prebiotics – LG]. (When heated, however, this fiber depolymerizes — breaks down into sugars. When raw and unheated, fiber remains in polymer form.) Raw potatoes therefore provide you with prebiotic fiber to nourish your gut microbiome.

When you lactate-ferment these raw potatoes, you also cultivate beneficial bacterial species such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, Leuconostoc species and others [i.e., probiotics – LG] that add to healthy gut microbiome.

Note that he does not use a starter culture, just using starting microbes in and on the potatoes (thus he leaves the skin in place). When I make my fermentation starter, I’ll definitely try using that with potatoes (an excellent source of potassium).

I would say that Yukon Gold potatoes would be a good bet (and more nutritious than white potatoes). I’m going to try this with Stokes Purple® potatoes. See this video.

Update a couple of hours later: First batch underway: 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, pink Himalayan salt. The jar I used (1 liter) is too small for the full four cups of water to fit once potatoes have been added.

The result

I gave the ferment about 52 hours. I did indeed get bubbles, and after the two days, it seem to have quieted down. The potatoes are pretty good. I put some in a bowl and ladled some stir-fry on top, and I can see that they would be good in a salad and even as a snack.

Definitely will repeat, and next time:

  1. Will again use a 1-liter jar, but I’ll separately dissolve 1/2 tablespoon sea salt in 1 pint of spring water (not tap water), and then use that to fill the 1-liter jar that contains the potatoes. I’ll use 3 Yukon Gold potatoes or 4 Stokes Purple potatoes, which should take up half the liter jar, with the water filling the other half.
  2. Will try Stokes Purple potatoes, but will also continue to use Yukon Golds from time to time.
  3. Will experiment with using a little starter culture to see whether that makes a difference.
  4. Will also try using fermentation starter once I’ve made some.

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2022 at 12:09 pm

Advice to follow to become a narcissistic jerk

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I saw this on Facebook. I can see how this would have appealed strong to me when I was an adolescent:

You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.    — Mandy Hale

TL;DR: Rules are for other people, not for me.

Mandy Hale is the author of The Single Woman. I’m not surprised.

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2022 at 11:20 am

Posted in Daily life, Psychology

Teaching for learning in organizations

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I have always been a reader, and when I was working in various organizations over my career, I would (naturally) read books about organizations and how to work effectively in them.

Occasionally, I found a book that struck me as providing excellent guidance. Some of these are listed among the books I find myself repeatedly recommending — for example:

When I found a book that taught me a lot, then to ensure I fully absorbed the ideas, I would teach it. I’d offer to present the material to a few fellow employees. The session — one or two or even three hours — would be a presentation with slides, handouts, and worksheets.

Teaching the material of course deepened my own understanding, and I also gained the benefit of insights from participants’ comments and questions.

Generally after the first teaching session, I would improve and extend the teaching materials (slides, handouts, and worksheets) and then offer a session to another group. Word would get around, and I would end up doing the presentation several times, and in so doing fully absorb and internalize the ideas. (And in fact, I continue doing this — see my posts on Covey’s 7 habits, for example, or on my diet — writing and adding to those has helped me understand them better and has also (I hope) helped my readers.)

Back then, I used this tactic — teaching the essential ideas from a book whose content I wanted to master — fairly often. It was a good way to learn, it seemed to be helpful to others, and I could do it on my own initiative: no permission required. And, of course, it was in my interest for my fellow employees to become better (using the books listed) at making decisions, planning, and negotiating — and it was in their interest as well: a win-win situation.

These books worked especially well because each presents a well-defined process, which means that (a) you know what is to be done, and (b) you know where you are in the process: what is complete and what remains to be done. Other books — the books by Chris Argyris, for example — gave me useful insights but did not lend themselves so well to teaching in the short-session format that I used.

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2022 at 10:20 am

We Make More Virtuous Choices When Using Pen and Paper

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Maferima Touré-Tillery and Lili Wang write in Harvard Business Review:

From ordering food to buying a new book to making a charitable donation, more and more decisions that used to be made on paper are now being made on digital devices like tablets, phones, and computers. And this trend toward digitalization has many advantages, in particular when it comes to efficiency and sustainability — but could it also be negatively influencing how we make decisions?

We conducted a series of studies with more than 2,500 participants across the U.S. and China to explore the impact of the medium you use to make a decision, with a particular focus on decisions with some sort of moral component, such as whether or not to make a donation to a charity, or whether to choose a healthy or unhealthy entrée at a restaurant. We asked the participants to make a variety of these sorts of choices using either a paper form or a digital tablet, and despite controlling for all other variables, we consistently found that people who used paper made more-virtuous decisions than those who used a digital device: For example, participants who read their options and made a selection on paper were significantly more likely to give money to charity, choose a healthy entrée, and opt for an educational book rather than something more entertaining.

When a Decision Feels More Real, We Act More Virtuously

Why might this be? Our research suggests that the key mechanism driving this effect is how “real” the decision feels. We asked participants in two of our studies to describe how real or tangible a decision felt, as well as the extent to which they perceived the decision as representing who they were as people, and they consistently indicated that making a choice on paper felt more real and representative than making the same decision on a digital device. Follow-up analyses confirmed that when a decision felt more real, participants were more likely to feel that it was representative of who they were as a person, ultimately making them more likely to go with the virtuous or responsible option.

Interestingly, we found that this effect does not occur when people are making a decision on behalf of someone else. In another experiment, we asked participants to choose an entrée either for themselves or for a friend, on paper and on a tablet. When choosing for themselves, participants were much more likely to select a healthy option on paper than on a tablet — but when choosing for a friend, the medium had no effect on their choice. This further supports the idea that people are more likely to select the virtuous option when it feels like the decision reflects who they are as a person, whereas when a decision isn’t related to themselves, the “realness” of the medium makes less of a difference.

To Encourage Virtuous Decision-Making, Consider Using Paper

It may seem like a minor detail, but our research shows that the medium with which your customers, employees, or community members make a decision can have a major impact on the choices they make. This has implications for marketers, policymakers, and anyone seeking to encourage any sort of virtuous behavior. For example, to encourage customers to choose healthier options, restaurants might consider opting for paper rather than digital menus. Similarly, parents and educators might opt to provide students with paper rather than online book order forms, to increase the chances that they’ll choose educational reading materials. Charities and political groups may also benefit from paper pledge forms and volunteer sign-up sheets, rather than relying on websites or apps to solicit support.

Indeed, the shift to remote and hybrid work has pushed many decisions that might once have been made exclusively on paper onto digital platforms. While our experiments looked at a very specific set of decisions made in controlled environments, it’s possible that similar effects may be at play when it comes to in-person versus virtual interactions. If a decision made over Zoom or via an online poll feels less real and thus less representative of who you are than an equivalent in-person interaction, it could have important ramifications for the virtual workplace (though there are no doubt many other factors that contribute to employees’ decision-making in a real-world work setting).

Of course, using paper is far from a guarantee of virtuous behavior — and it certainly doesn’t make sense in every context. It’s also important . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

7 August 2022 at 8:40 am

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