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Derek PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Dr. Karen Stollznow   
Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:00

“Have you watched Derek yet?” seems to be a question I’m hearing often of late. Not to be confused with the German detective show Derrick, Derek is a British comedy drama available on Netflix. The six-part “mockumentary” is written and directed by Ricky Gervais who also stars as the lead character Derek, a care worker in a home for the elderly.

An old folk’s home initially seems like an unlikely setting for a sitcom. In watching it you can almost smell the antiseptic, porridge, and mustiness in the air. First impressions aside, I found Derek to be a bittersweet comedy that is at times touching and heartbreaking. With great sensitivity, the show raises sobering issues of disability, loneliness, poverty, sickness, and death, all written and performed in a sensitive and poignant way. For a show written by a “mean” and “nasty” atheist, Derek has soul.

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How I Was Scammed By Kevin Trudeau PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Cherry Theresa   
Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:00

 Kevin Trudeau spent a night in jail last month and then his living expenses were cut off by a judge the following week, so I’ve decided to share my story. This is how I fell for Kevin Trudeau’s lies, how I realized I was being deceived, what I learned from it, and how I use my experience to try to help others. It’s not fun admitting you’ve been had, but not exposing this fraudster wouldn’t be great, either.

In 2005, I started experiencing severe pain that persisted even with strong painkillers. It became so bad that I had to quit my job and band, deplete my savings, ruin my credit, and put my life on hold to figure out what was wrong and to get treatment. I had to have several surgeries over the years and I continue to take medication for it to this day.

While I was going through the worst of this ordeal, I became very frustrated with the U.S. healthcare system. It took a long time to even find out what was wrong due to referrals and approvals, among many other issues, and I had some bad doctors, improper medication, and a failed surgery that made my affliction worse. Since my condition made me unable to work, I had to go a year with no income and without a life while I waited in pain. I nearly got evicted, all while creditors were hounding me for bills I could not pay.

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DING-DONG! PROSECUTOR CALLING! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jamy Ian Swiss   
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 09:00

Down the street from me there’s a psychic storefront. It’s the kind of thing you passCrystal Ball so routinely it eventually becomes invisible. But the other day, I was meandering down the block, eating an ice cream cone, and something about it caught my eye.

There’s a banner above the store that reads: “Clairvoyant.” Beneath this, along the awning, it says, “Tarot Reader” and “Spiritual Advisor.” And then there’s a big neon sign in the window that declares, “PSYCHIC.”

And then I noticed there’s a little sign by the door that says, "Please Ring Bell."

Hm …

Anyway, lots of psychic stuff in the news these days it seems, and I suppose the psychics among us already know that. As for the rest of us quintasensory types, here now, the news:

Last week I reported that Rose Marks was convicted on all 14 counts of her prosecution for mail fraud and other charges related to her and her family psychic operations. She won’t be sentenced until December, but her eight relatives who previously copped pleas are due to be sentenced in the interim, and this past week, three family members were issued their sentences by the judge, in some instances even more substantially than had been asked for by the prosecution.

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Monster hoaxes: This week in Doubtful News for October 8, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Sharon Hill   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:00

Here is this week's summary of the swindling, finagling and obfuscating occurring around the world this week courtesy of Doubtful News.

It was monstrous week at Doubtful News - the source for all Bigfoot and Loch Ness Monster news (because it's all doubtful). This was a disappointing week for monster lovers and rational thinkers alike as the media delivered uncritical coverage of really awful cryptozoological news.  First, Bigfoot. Melba Ketchum grabbed the spotlight again by promoting her study from the beginning of the year repackaged with video footage promoted by Adrian Erickson that was supposed to come out with the study months ago. 

Once you see that the footage is just terrible, blurry and matches too well with a mask of a certain tall hairy Star Wars character, you feel duped. Ironically, Erickson has curtailed release of the footage as part of a documentary because of all the hoaxing buzz going on right now. 

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Flying Witches and Africans PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Leo Igwe   
Monday, 07 October 2013 11:00

When superstitious beliefs go unchallenged, they sometimes take very bizarre forms. Sometimes they are regarded as ‘science’ and promoted openly and confidently as if they are based on facts and evidence. They could be vested with sacredness and shielded from critical examination and scrutiny. Superstitions are often invoked by politicians to demonstrate power, legitimacy and authority

Embracing superstitions should call into question a people's mental state and cause others to question their claim to rationality. Making superstitious claims should reinforce the idea that some human beings are backward, trapped in pre-modern age and still down the ladder of human civilization in an unenlightened state. Irrational beliefs expressed publicly by public leaders embarrass a nation and a generation. This is the case in Swaziland.
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