Lies, damn lies, and the spouting forth from single-issue lobby groups.

Never mind statistics, there were lies, damn lies, and the spouting forth from single-issue lobby groups. Blinkered, fanatical and blind to counterargument and reason. Facts they didn’t like they ignored or dismissed as lies. Sometimes they were just the foot soldiers in a bigger game, being used and manipulated by puppet masters working silently in the dark. Some were misguided and wrong. Others were plain crazy. A few had valid points, but these were often lost in rhetoric and fury. Ask an animal rights supporter if he would rather have a new cancer drug tested on him first and he will say “That’s not the point.” But it’s exactly the point. If his mother were diagnosed with cancer, he would demand treatment to cure her. He’d be the first to blame the government and the health services if it didn’t exist.8520

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  1. I have loved reading Dick Francis’ books since I was in high school (25+ years ago)! I don’t know if authors realize what an impact they can have. It was because of reading Dick Francis’ books that my husband and I went to visit horse racing/breeding venues on our honeymoon in Ireland. It is because of Dana Stabenow’s books that we took our children to visit Wrangell/ St. Elias on our trip to Alaska a couple of years ago! (And this winter I made “dog quilts” inspired by Mutt’s old quilt that she loved to have in front of the fireplace)

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  2. Dick Francis was the delight of my mom and dad, me, and at least two of my siblings. Easy engagement, interesting characters, and really good research made his work enjoyable in any circumstance, and we loved his mind. As our personal libraries have been winnowed, I have sent at least one copy of each of his paperback works of fiction–he wrote a memoir, I think, that I did not send–to a shelter for homeless women. The woman who runs the reading center for the guests there says they are among her most popular for all the reasons that I have mentioned plus one more: they are light, and so can be carried easily in a pocket. The center gives the books to guests without a required return, but the Francis books, she says, often come back so other guests can enjoy them, and are usually returned by a different person than the one who took it because it had been passed along. Authors never know who their biggest fans will be, I guess.

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