Udemy – online learning platform

Udemy … a website that enables anyone to teach and learn online. Launched in 2010, Udemy tries to democratize online education by making it fast, easy and free to create online courses. You keep 70% of the revenue from your courses (or 85% if you directly refer the customer to the course).

Unlike academic MOOC programs driven by traditional collegiate coursework, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses which can be offered to the public, either at no charge or for a tuition fee.

Learn more on YouTube.

Thanks Mike.

President George H. W. Bush resigns from the NRA

He did the right thing.

Bush resigns NRA

May 3, 1995

I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as “jack-booted thugs.” To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as “wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms” wanting to “attack law abiding citizens” is a vicious slander on good people.

Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country — and serve it well he did.

In 1993, I attended the wake for A.T.F. agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi.

John Magaw, who used to head the U.S.S.S. and now heads A.T.F., is one of the most principled, decent men I have ever known. He would be the last to condone the kind of illegal behavior your ugly letter charges. The same is true for the F.B.I.’s able Director Louis Freeh. I appointed Mr. Freeh to the Federal Bench. His integrity and honor are beyond question.

Both John Magaw and Judge Freeh were in office when I was President. They both now serve in the current administration. They both have badges. Neither of them would ever give the government’s “go ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens.” (Your words)

I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of N.R.A.’s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns.

However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.

You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre’s unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list.

[ signed ]
George H. W. Bush

NRAtabloidThis is the guy I blame more than any other for the disproportionate influence of the NRA on American politicsWayne LaPierre, vice president of the National Rifle Association.

contraception reduces abortion

In the United States 98% of women have used birth control at some point in time and 62% of those of reproductive age are currently using birth control …

(I assume the other 2% practice abstinence.)

About a third of American women will have an abortion in their lifetime. It’s a difficult and traumatic decision for most. :-(

Anything we can do to reduce the rates of unwanted pregnancy and abortion should be considered.

A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that the availability to free contraception caused a drop in teen birth rates and cut the rate of abortions for all participants by more than half.

For American teens, the drop in abortion rates may be closer to 75%.

Colorado teen birthrate dropped 40% over a few years when low-cost birth control was made available. An anonymous donor funded the $23 million initiative

old white men deciding what women can do with their bodies

old white men deciding what women can do with their bodies

If you restrict access to sex education and contraception, expect more abortions.

Roman Catholics and (many) evangelicals should expect more abortions because they limit access to contraceptives.


The Roman Catholic Church should council women not to have abortions. But then provide help for those additional children they want born. Many are born to young, poor and distressed mothers who don’t have access to abortion.  Those children really need the help of the Church.


… Around 44 million abortions occur each year in the world, with a little under half done unsafely.

Abortion rates have changed little between 2003 and 2008, before which they decreased for decades due to better education about family planning and birth control. …

Those who are against abortion largely claim that an embryo or fetus is a human with a right to life and may compare it to murder.

Supporters point to a woman’s right to decide over her own body and to human rights in general. …

The blue and green colours indicate those nations where abortion is mostly legal on request.


Every Sperm is Sacred” is a Monty Python musical sketch satire of Catholic teachings on reproduction that forbid masturbation and contraception by artificial means.

Obviously 1 egg or 1 sperm is NOT life.

But there is a legitimate argument on when a human life actually begins. I don’t have a strong opinion on this.

A late-term abortion often refers to an induced abortion procedure that occurs after the 20th week of gestation. Those are – obviously – even worse than first trimester abortions.

FRONTLINE | Secrets, Politics and Torture

One of the many things that revolts me about the GW Bush years was their introduction of “enhanced interrogation techniques“.

A new documentary reminds us of American torture.

FRONTLINE investigates the fight over the CIA’s controversial “enhanced interrogation” methods, widely criticized as torture. Based on recently declassified documents and interviews with key political leaders and CIA insiders, filmmaker Michael Kirk investigates the secret history of what the CIA did — and whether it worked.

It didn’t work. It was torture. If another nation had used these techniques on Americans, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld would have called it torture.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

You can watch the hour long documentary on PBS.


Enhanced interrogation techniques … … methods included prolonged stress positions, hooding, subjection to deafening noise, sleep deprivation to the point of hallucination, deprivation of food and drink — as well as waterboarding, walling, nakedness, subjection to extreme cold, confinement in small coffin-like boxes, and repeated slapping or beating.

There were also cases of medically unnecessary forced rectal feeding (anal rape) and threats to harm family members. …

A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks concluded that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it. …