John Oliver and his doings:”Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption”.



John Oliver buys $15 million of medical debt for $60,000 and forgives it all, because he could

By Travis W. Lyon| June 6, 2016

“Debt. It’s the reason Nicolas Cage has made so many great choices in recent years…”

From the second John Oliver started his segment about debt buyers in the United States last night, everyone knew it was going to be a good one, but as regular viewers of Last Week Tonight know, nobody could guess how it would end.

Near the end of the segment, which provided a damning portrait of the debt buying industry, Oliver claimed that “Any idiot can get into it, and I can prove that to you, because I’m an idiot and I started a debt buying company and it was disturbingly easy.”

Read More: How You Can Attend the Global Citizen Festival: Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and More

Oliver then proceeded to detail how with $50 and knowledge of the law he was able to successfully apply online to create a debt buying company named “Central Asset Recovery Professionals”, or as Oliver put it, “CARP” named after “a bottom-feeding fish.”

After setting up a rudimentary website for CARP, the satirical, but still real company was offered a $15 million package of medical debt for $60,000.

Oliver explained that the debt was out of statute, which means it is the kind of debt that a collector can only continue to collect, but not sue the debtor for.

Then, instead of chasing down the 9,000 debtors in the debt package as a normal collection agency would, Oliver decided to stage the largest one-time giveaway in television history and work with the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt to forgive the $15 million with no consequences for the debtors.

Oliver’s actions last night continue his penchant for big-moment activism.

When he was taking on the topic of tax-exempt organizations and televangelists, Oliver and his team started a tax-exempt church called “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption”.

I shall never stir my tea with bones.

Oh, mug, so noble, men might worship you
You hold a pint of Earl Grey Tea with milk.
That’s more than I can fit inside my shoe.
The very notion makes my body wilt.

From Amazon, you traveled all alone
Until I took you to my heart complete.
I shall never stir my tea with bones.
Not shall I  for my writing press, delete.

I drink a pint of tea when dawn arrives
I dream of broken teeth and opiate drugs.
But when I waken, I am still alive
And to an opiate, prefer a mug.

Yet has my life been abstinent and harsh?
Still my mouth can never , now,  be parched!

Attention with feeling



Simone Weil on Attention and Grace


Simone Weil on Attention and Grace

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”

“Attention without feeling,” Mary Oliver wrote in her beautiful elegy for her soul mate, “is only a report.” To fully feel life course through us, indeed, we ought to befriend our own attention, that “intentional, unapologetic discriminator.”

More than half a century before Oliver, another enchantress of the human spirit — the French philosopher Simone Weil (February 3, 1909–August 24, 1943), a mind of unparalleled intellectual elegance and a sort of modern saint whom Albert Camus described as “the only great spirit of our times” — wrote beautifully of attention as contemplative practice through which we reap the deepest rewards of our humanity.

Despite this sky and frost upon the trees.

The gray sky and the dullness of the trees
Confirm my heart’s aloofness from this earth.
Yet both await  the movement of the  breeze

Stasis  makes me numb, yet I believe
We shall outlast the pain and feel of worth;
Despite this sky and frost upon the trees.

Carpe diem, would I ‘d hands to seize.
Am I evil, am I under curse,
Waiting for some movement in the breeze?

As winter came, I lost all I believed
But I shall travel , though in emptiness
Despite this sky and frost upon the trees.

Where is that communion I received?
Why must I go through this frozenness,
Waiting for some movement in the breeze?

Why do humans feel we are deceived?
Must we suffer all these little deaths?
The gray sky and the dullness of the trees
Like me await  the whirling of his  breeze

Love bade me welcome.

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
                              Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
                             From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
                             If I lacked any thing.
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
                             Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
                             I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
                             Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
                             Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
                             My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
                             So I did sit and eat.
Source: George Herbert and the Seventeenth-Century Religious Poets  (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1978)

How to write when you don’t feel like it



How To Write Whether You Feel Like it Or Not


“3. Take a deep breath. If that doesn’t work, take a walk.

If you’re stuck in the middle of a writing project, you may be just need to reset your brain. Try closing your eyes and taking several deep breaths.

If that doesn’t work, grab a notebook and a pen (or your iPhone with Evernote) and take a walk. This will clear your head and get your subconscious working to solve your creative blocks. Plus, you probably need the exercise!”

Fuzzy logic tutorial


Fuzzy Logic Systems (FLS) produce acceptable but definite output in response to incomplete, ambiguous, distorted, or inaccurate (fuzzy) input.

What is Fuzzy Logic?

Fuzzy Logic (FL) is a method of reasoning that resembles human reasoning. The approach of FL imitates the way of decision making in humans that involves all intermediate possibilities between digital values YES and NO.

The conventional logic block that a computer can understand takes precise input and produces a definite output as TRUE or FALSE, which is equivalent to human’s YES or NO.

The inventor of fuzzy logic, Lotfi Zadeh, observed that unlike computers, the human decision making includes a range of possibilities between YES and NO, such as −


The fuzzy logic works on the levels of possibilities of input to achieve the definite output.

Another word for reckon

  • I reckon that’s something that needs to be done, and them children would be better off with a woman looking after them.
  • You reckon them Injuns knew we was around?
  • I never met your mother, but if she was anything like you, I reckon he thought she’d do just that.
  • Frost, not uncommon in New Hampshire as late as June, was considered by Howie a villain to reckon with.
  • From it the exact time is conveyed each day at one o’clock by electric signal to the chief towns throughout the country; British and the majority of foreign geographers reckon longitude from its meridian.


No accounting

There’s no accounting for taste.
There’s no accounting for waste.
How did you figure that out?
How did your figure get out?
Do you reckon I am wrong?
If you but beckon, I am summoned.
No, but you are quite calculating at times.
No, but you are quietly evaporating at times
I can’t account for my behavior at all.
I can’t get a discount for my behavior at all?
I can’t get a discount for my behavior in your hall?
The configuration of the participating was accurate enough.
That is a very weird sentence.
That is not a sentence at all.
Well, you can have your head cut off instead.
Well, you can have  your  shed cut out  in bed
I reckon you are mad.
I reckon I’ve been bad.
I beckoned  that bad lad
Compared to whom or at whom?
Compared to tombs or coombes?
I ‘ve  got you all figured out.
I’ve got you all jiggered about
How about my psyche?
How about me, crikey!
Sorry, this is a  recycling shop.
Worry! This is a retirement coup!
I didn’t even know it was a shop at all.
I didn’t even glow in a shop at all
What did you think it was?
What did you think ink was?
A doctor’s surgery.
A doctor’s  perjury.
Well, stone the crows and count your blessings.
Don’t mention algebra!
Don’t mention our zebra!
Don’t sanction our Barbara
How about horology?
How about topology?
Good sigh

Metaphors, maths,jokes and other words




We know by direct physical experience what it means to be warm or cold. We use these words as metaphors in many ways:

  • We refer to a person as having a warm or cold personality. This has nothing to do with their body temperature.
  • When someone is on a treasure hunt we may tell them they are “getting warm”, even if they are hunting outside in the snow.
  • Children don’t always sort meta­phors out correctly. Father: “We are all going to fly to Saint Paul to see your cousin Petunia.” Child: “But Dad, I don’t know how to fly!”

Definition of “calculating” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press

  • 4788

“Calculating” in British English

 See all translations

calculating adjective

UK /ˈkæl.kjə.leɪ.tɪŋ/ US /ˈkæl.kjə.leɪ.t̬ɪŋ/


Famous depressives

How 7 Historic Figures Overcame Depression without Doctors


William James (1842-1910)

One of America’s greatest psychologists and philosophers, James suffered periods of depression during which he contemplated suicide for months on end. John McDermott, editor of The Writings of William James, reports that “James spent a good part of life rationalizing his decision not to commit suicide.” In The Thought and Character of William James, Ralph Barton Perry’s classic biography on his teacher, in the chapter “Depression and Recovery,” we learn that at age 27, James went through a period that Perry describes as an “ebbing of the will to live . . . a personal crisis that could only be relieved by philosophical insight.”

James’s Antidotes: James’s transformative insight about his personal depression also contributed to his philosophical writings about pragmatism, as James came quite pragmatically to “believe in belief.” He continued to maintain that one cannot choose to believe in whatever one wants (one cannot choose to believe that 2 + 2 = 5 for example); however, he concluded that there is a range of human experience in which one can choose beliefs. He came to understand that, “Faith in a fact can help create the fact.” So, for example, a belief that one has a significant contribution to make to the world can keep one from committing suicide during a period of deep despair, and remaining alive makes it possible to in fact make a significant contribution. James ultimately let go of his dallying with suicide, remained a tough-minded thinker with scientific loyalty to the facts, but also came to “believe in my individual reality and creative power” and developed faith that “Life shall be built in doing and suffering and creating.”

It figures


It figures.

It makes sense.; It confirms what one might have guessed.; I’m not surprised. Bob: Tom was the one who broke the window. Bill: It figures. He’s very careless. Ann: Mary was the last one to arrive. Sally: It figures. She’s always late.
See also: figure
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

it figures

Also, that figures. It’s (or that’s) reasonable; it makes sense. For example, Hanging it upside down sounds likeweird idea, but it figures, or It figures that they won’t be coming this year, or So she’s complaining again; that figures.This idiom alludes to reckoning up numbers. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: figure
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Do you ken?



knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception:

an idea beyond one’s ken.

range of sight or vision.
verb (used with object), kenned or kent, kenning.

Chiefly Scot.

  1. to know, have knowledge of or about, or be acquainted with (aperson or thing).
  2. to understand or perceive (an idea or situation).

Scots Law. to acknowledge as heir; recognize by a judicial act.

Archaic. to see; descry; recognize.

British Dialect Archaic.

  1. to declare, acknowledge, or confess (something).
  2. to teach, direct, or guide (someone).
verb (used without object), kenned or kent, kenning.

British Dialect.

  1. to have knowledge of something.
  2. to understand.
Origin of kenExpand

before 900; Middle English kennen to make known, see, know, Old English cennan to make known, declare; cognate with Old Norse kenna, German kennen; akin to can1

Can be confusedExpand

What we should know about democracy


1. Demokratia, the ultimate origin of our word ‘democracy’, is a portmanteau abstract noun (feminine) in ancient Greek, combining the two words Demos and Kratos. Kratos meant Power, Might, Strength, Grip. (In modern Greek it is the word for ‘state’, as in ‘the nation-state of Hellas’.) Demos is a very ancient Greek word, attested as far back as the second millennium BCE among the ‘Linear B’ archival clay tablets produced by the bureaucracy of the – very much not democratic – Late Bronze Age/Mycenaean kingdoms of mainland Greece and Crete. There it meant village, a local designation that persisted into classical Greek, but already in the epic poems of Homer (c. 700 BCE) it had come to mean also ‘people’.

2. However, demos in that sense of ‘people’ is ambiguous and therefore ambivalent, since it could be taken to mean either i. (All) the People or ii. the Masses (the majority, specifically the poor majority) of the People. So, to use deliberately anachronistic modern analogies,demokratia might be translated/interpreted as either i. ‘government of the people by the people for the people’ (Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, 1863) or ii. ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ (Karl Marx followed by V.I. Ulyanov, a.k.a. Lenin). In that ambivalence lies the explanation for the class-conscious struggles in antiquity to define and implement (or oppose) demokratia: who is/are the demos that holds and wields the kratos, and over what or whom is the kratos being held and wielded?

I have made my bed on winter leaves

I have walked the silent paths of grief
Sunless, dreary, cold and all alone.
I have slept on beds of winter leaves.

I feel that death’s a cruel, mysterious thief.
Although my heart weeps , and my joy has gone,
I have never felt I was deceived.

I have learned that human life is brief.
I have learned by sorrow we’re undone.
I  have sifted earth and what’s beneath.

I have felt my dark emotions seethe
While I’m cruelly mocked by glaring sun.
I have learned the geography of grief.

I wait in patience for my life to ease.
Will  I know when my Last Supper’s  come?
Will my tale be written on a leaf?

Unconsoled  grief  can make   us dumb
Into  our  hearts, we drag the ice  that numbs
I have walked the silent paths of grief
I have made my bed on winter leaves

Commit a crime?

My cat got run over and he was not even in the road, [some loon drove across the lawn]; my husband died and I fell downstairs and broke my  twinkles
But look at it this way-I am getting a rest.I   saved money by having Xmas dinner in hospital and I had a good excuse not to send any cards.
Next year, what will I do to evade buying Xmas presents?
Commit a crime? It will have to be serious; otherwise, I’ll get bail.I  can’t think of a crime that won’t hurt somebody else nor spoil Xmas for them.Unless I commit suicide.But that’s murder, which is evil.And somebody may be sad.
I’ll just have to grit my teeth and save some money.Sell myself to the highest bidder.Not the devil, I hope.Will I recognize him?

Writing can make you feel worse.



Writing about your emotional pain could make you feel worse, unless you do it with “self-compassion”


“How does self-compassionate introspection fare against simple distraction? In a second study, 152 undergraduates (107 female) took the compassion and rumination tests and endured the “negative mood induction” of Prokofiev and terrible slides.  After a five-minute breather “to let your mind wander,” half did the self-compassionate writing exercise and half watched letters appear on a computer screen and responded when they saw “X”— this was the “distraction”.

In the mood-measurements, the participants in both groups experienced a similar reduction in “negative affect” post-exercise, so this was a tie. If you tend to think distraction is worthless, take note. However, distraction didn’t increase “positive affect” whereas self-compassion did, so it can be said to have won the contest. There’s also hope for brooders/ruminators. They had more “negative affect” hanging over from the Prokofiev, but they also experienced more change.

Clinicians might learn from these results that introspective approaches are dangerous for ruminators without a lot of stress on compassion. The risk is significant since rumination is linked to depression and significant procrastination. Pouring out painful feelings could turn into a binge-and-purge experience, which leaves you in a bad way and becomes a habit.

Ruminators, many say, need better forms of distraction. But the research literature on distraction is murky, the authors note, with many studies lumping all kinds of distraction together. They’d like to see research comparing a variety of distraction tasks with emotion regulation tasks like the self-compassion exercise. I’ll confess I’ve tried writing out my painful feelings and have innocently passed on that advice to others, without any instructions about compassion since I didn’t get any. I’m grateful to have read this research and next time will pass it on instead.”


Slow and patient like these worms

Winter weather, frost, dark sky,
See white geese and silver stars.
Two cooing doves with collars red,
Are watching out for seeded bread.

From the sun, low in the sky,
Light falls slantwise to my eyes.
Trees bud, though invisibly,
Nothing that our eyes can see.

Bulbs shoot up from dark cold soil
Where worms and beetles quietly toil.
We take for granted air and sky,
Love the birds we see fly by.

But who can love the worms and slugs
And those creatures we call bugs?
So in our dark cold winter time,
Praise these creatures in the grime.

Without these worms, our crops would die.
No cornfields for us to lie,
Amidst the poppies’   fine red   blooms.
So we forget all winter’s gloom

Praise the snails and bees and ants
For these and spiders, let’s give thanks.
As the lightness needs the dark,
From darkness come life-giving sparks.

Enrich darkness with our gifts.
Look not always to the swift.
Slow and patient like these worms,
Nature’s lowness is my theme

The expression of the sensed conveys delight.

There’s nothing on this page until I write
A word and then another word  and more:
The sentences that bring me my delight

No sense is quite as needed as our sight
Moral blindness is by most deplored.
There’s infinity upon this page I write

I  have pondered in the early  winter nights,
Whether there are senses we ignore.
The expression of the sensed conveys delight.

Could there be, unseen,  a different light
We might see by if we sought its door?
There’s  blankness on this page until I write

The possible encounter,  through a rite,
With God whom we and angels must adore.
My senses then  might bring me grace and light

In the soul, oh, deep within that core,
Who shall, patient, find the unknown door?
There’s an opening upon this page l write.
Can other words, on other tongues, invite?

Walt Whitman saw Donald Trump coming


Quote:“I say that democracy can never prove itself beyond cavil,” Whitman wrote in “Democratic Vistas, “until it found and luxuriantly grows its own forms of art, poems, schools, theology, displacing all that exists, or that has been produced anywhere in the past.” Democratic politics demand democratic culture, and without the committed cultivation of that culture, a question will forever haunt the new nation: “The people of our land may all read and write, and may all possess the right to vote — and yet the main things may be entirely lacking?”

Homogeneity is impossible in a country as diverse as America. It now seems that there are elements of American culture lacking the main things — curiosity, avidity, hospitality — while there are other elements failing and failing better as people dedicate their time, thought and labor to building a country of Whitman’s imagination; the “beloved community” of Martin Luther King’s dreams. If that project fails, as Whitman warned, “if America is eligible to downfall and ruin,” it is “eligible within herself, not without.”

Well, fuzzy logic is not so hard, Mary whispered.


Annie Laughton, neighbor of Mary Brown, widow of Stan , the  almost world famous logician, came out of her oak-panelled front door deliberating over whether her teal color 7/8  length wool coat was the best one for her to wear in the frosty smog covering Knittingham and the River Quaint.[Now breathe]
She decided a full-length raspberry maxi coat would be wiser however she did not take her own advice but wandered next door, to see what Mary was doing.
Mary was reading some book reviews.
There is a new type of illness, she told Anne.
Almost flu.almost depression, almost measles……almost happy.

[Almost happy: Is My (or My Loved One’s)happiness a Problem (The Almost Effect)?]

Surely you either have measles or not, Annie mumbled.
Not so, Mary answered.That is Aristotelian logic; nowadays we use fuzzy logic.It’s a degree of indefiniteness or its opposite……….get it?
This is why Trump got elected, Annie cried.
We want it simpler.apart from Leonard Cohen who wanted it darker and so it has been for him.

Well, fuzzy logic is not so hard, Mary whispered.
Any logic is hard, Annie replied. Prehistoric man had no logic and look at us now.Are we happier?Or we wiser? 
You seem a bit moody, Mary told her.By the way, I love your new coat.Where did you get it from?
I stole it from the cloakroom at the Cricket Club, Annie teased her
Are you not worried the owner will see you? said Mary anxiously.
No, it was in Newcastle under Lyme!  Annie cried
But it is still both a crime and a sin.Mary retorted logically
Actually, I got it from Lands End, Annie said triumphantly.They had a big sale on.Because it was a warm autumn.It was only £6,788.09.
My, that’s cheap, said Mary.Once you could buy a house for that much.
My pension is £189 a week so how long will it take me to pay off the credit card? Annie wondered.
If we ignore interest and assume you pay £100 a week it will be 16788/100 which is about  168 weeks or 3 years.Can you live on £89 a week for 3 years?
No, I knew I should have stolen a new coat but I lost my nerve.
I am still wearing my old clothes, Mary boasted.
Yes, I  can see all the moth holes, Annie screamed humorously.Your darning is pathetic
I know, Mary said.Stan was good at darning.
Well, he can’t do it now, Annie informed her logically.Well. he might darn God’s tablecloth but not your skirts and jumpers.
God’s tablecloth is perfect, said Mary.It lasts for eternity unlike our clothes
Are we going out?It looks so cold.Why don’t we stay in and teach Emile to thread a needle?Annie pondered
Do you believe that a cat could ever learn that? Mary cried.
O ye of little faith, cried Annie.With God all things are possible.
Your argument has only one flaw, Mary cried.We are not God.
And so say all of us

Formidable the quest to match one’s soul.

He loved my blue eyes, not my wandering mind.
In fact, he  wished me  always to be  mute
I knitted Mobius strips whilst intertwined.
And listened to his voice as to a flute.
I soon grew tired of hearing his  crazed  views
I found a man who liked to hear me speak.
Until I mentioned I owned ten green shoes.
Bottles yes, but shoes made me a freak
Then I found a man who never spoke.
He listened with a kind, inviting smile.
I would have liked to test him with a joke.
But feared I might then harm his utter guile.
Formidable the quest to  match one’s soul.
I need a body too to make me whole

Read about postmodernism in poetry.


Belle Lettre on the Postmodern


“Universals of the mind and the senses make poetic movements and schools possible. Universal sensibilities provide generations with solidarity around the voice of particular poets. It is the privileging of a poet’s voice that gives rise to his or her subjectivity. This subjectivity has enabled the evolution of Twentieth century free verse of the postmodern period. The magnitude of the free verse movement is a result of the order surrounding the poet’s voice. Postmodern poetry evolved into the dominant literary mode of the last half of the Twentieth century;and subsequently reflected the poet’s concern for cultural ontology. The poet’s voice in the second half of twentieth-century  American poetry depicted the abundant populace of American identities (i.e., African-American, Asian-American, Chicano, Latin@, LGBTIQ); its distinctive subjective trait now saturates the poetic experience. The subjective is now the dominant discourse, and it has become a postmodern paradox.”

I can’t say what I want.

As I reflect, I am caressing one hand with the other,
the way I might apply hand lotion.
Or my lover might.
My elbows are on the arms of this old chair.
When I am puzzled, I place
the palm of my right hand
Over the back of the left and pull it to and fro,
as if to ease out a thought;
ask for a gift,
or pull it out of this hand by magic.
I write a line then sit up straight.
My lips are pursed;
I look up as if asking God to help
but I’m looking inwards
where a dream image may float by.
My left foot taps on the carpet,
calling the dead to return.
Now I’m  kneading my hands, I am anxious.
I  am uncertain.
I can’t say what I want.
I  intertwine my fingers, pull on them both ways
while looking out of the window.
The sap is rising  in the shrubs
and though no leaves  open
The branches and twigs have more color
than last year.
But you were here last year.
I bite my lip and narrow my eyes;
Who am I fighting?
Now my hands stretch and relax;
I smile.
The mind lives in the body.
The mind is the body.
I frown in confusion and slight anger
at him for going.
It’s coffee time.
The door bell rings.
I stand up.