Thursday, November 28, 2013

I'd Be Thankful if These Words Disappeared from Common Usage

Here are words constantly belabored into a meaningless
meld, words which are overused and given to overpraise,
whether about oneself or others:

(1) He or she is "amazing". I hear that easy, therefore mindless,
flattery passed out many times a day. How extraordinary or
outstanding can just about anybody actually be?

(2) "Awesome". This word is related to number (1), but at a
supposedly more exalted level, yet it is far too commonly
used. I save it for God and places like the Grand Canyon,
the Himalayas, the world's oceans, per the original intention.

(3) "Passion."  Here again, a thoughtlessly overused word,
depriving it of its original special meaning. Better to substitute
or describe one's dedication or one's focus more specifically,
rather than insert passion as a quick way to communicate
ardor for a person or a project. With Americans' "passion"
and time given over to fun, what's the hurry, anyway?

(4) --And then there's "fun". So much preoccupation as
to whether one has it, has had it, will have it, and will
there ever be enough of it? Resenting others who seem
to have more of it, ad nauseam. This nation is declining,
let's find fun in pulling it back from the brink!

(5) "Tweak" and "Nuance", two twin trolls of presumed
sophistication, seldom realized but constantly uttered. Once
again, employment by an English speaker of a French word
(nuance) or phrase is not automatic entree into the hallowed
halls of expressional expertise or excellence. (Yikes, I've
stooped to such at times meself....)

You get the drift, if rejecting its import. Still, I'd be thankful
if people would strive to be more thoughtful with their speech.

Meanwhile, I'm deeply thankful for the good things and people
still left on this Earth, and pray they stay so.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Homo Sapiens? No, Homo Fecundis

...the sapient part is highly exaggerated and quite undeserved,
in my opinion. Many otherwise intelligent writers still insist on
describing humans as apart from nature and the other mammals
(all animals), in stultifying defiance of the obvious: breasts,
urinary, defecatory and sexual parts, etc. To top it off,
because of our extraordinary fecundity, we are overrunning
the Earth, and it is only due to worsen, as China has just
announced a loosening of its one child policy.

Say, China, just WHERE do you plan to put all the extra
people?  It is past time for such selfish individualism
(i.e., what I want is more important than anything else)
and high time for this planet's humans to prove their

Until then, Homo Fecundis it is.

~25 Illinois Tornados: Nature's November Deadly Dance--A New Normal?

Two  striking features stand out about the tornadic tragedy that
swept through central Illinois and other state locations yesterday,
Nov. 17th:

(1) Amid the horrific damage around our state, only six are
confirmed dead. (I pray there aren't any further finds; these are
sad enough.)

(2) Weathermen repeatedly reminded us that these kinds of
storms are rare in November.

Lives were saved because many heeded the forecasts and
took cover when sirens went off--good job, no kidding.


--Will the unlikely become a sort of new normal? --Is this a
consequence of global warming? --Is there a way to accurately
ascertain likely future scenarious since our NOAA satellites
go blind in a few months?

We can't help but stay tuned and informed. These deadly
dances of wind-whirling dervishes are devilish, deadly art,
photo portraits of which are as close as anyone wants to be.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Silly Quests Define Our Decline: NYC and Chi Compete, Again

A long, expensive, much-publicized contest is now
over, and--NYC won. Did anyone think Chicago's
Sears (Willis) Tower had any chance against the
emotional power of the phoenix-like World Trade
Center 2.0?  The two structures are very close in
height; there was a squabble over duelling definitions
of antennas allowed, etc. New York City now has
the nation's tallest building, if not the world's.

In normal times I don't object to obsessing on the
signally silly, like the above-mentioned race to the
top, but with new, ill-advised trade agreements
(the TPP), persistent high unemployment (recall
that 3-5% was considered "structural or normal"
for decades) and  apparently successful efforts
aimed at bringing the U.S. back to a harsher, more
rights-impoverished era continuing, this is no time to
concentrate on "fun", or less substantive matters.

...But fun is a never-ending national focus, except for
horrifying tragedies like the latest typhoon in the
Philippines, death toll of ~10,000 expected. Right
now many of us are galvanized into helping with
funds and goods, but such concerted care fades,
and our persistent problems remain, dealt with
in haphazard or downright wrong fashion.  

PLEASE: Let's have more serious emphasis
on tackling what matters, punctuated by rest
and recreation, yes, yet not as the main goal
and activity in life.

Such silly quests brought Ancient Rome to her
knees and the vandals. Such may quite easily
define our decline.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The $15.00/hr. Minimum Wage: An Unrealistic Dream That Will Be Denied

Memo to all the relatively unskilled front-line workers in the U.S.:
Hopes for a  $15.00/hr. federal minimum wage won't win out.
The reasons are many, but I will list just a few:

(1) Unskilled work doesn't have the power to demand such
high wages here, perhaps nowhere. The fact of large families
struggling to exist on $7.25/hr. wages is very sad, but whose
obligation is it to provide a "living" wage for these families?
I  had only one child, knowing how uncertain economies,
even ours, can be; I too held a number of modestly-paying jobs.
There is no "right" to have five or more children, particularly
when would-be parents don't possess high-level skill sets.
(2)  Prices at fast-food restaurants would go up exponentially,
putting many of them out of business, as they could no longer
profitably compete. Most jobs at McDonald's, Burger King,
et al. aren't really designed for a lifetime career unless workers
earn significant promotions. Many such employees are high
school and college students, spouses with employed partners,
and Social Security/pension recipients. Employers might solve
their problem with terminations, making miserable those who

(3)  A more controversial reality centers on wage competition
between the highly skilled (degree holders or technically
trained) and those with negligible or modest abilities. Why
would anyone pay a low-level worker what a skilled employee
earns who finished college and has firm computer capabilities,
for example? It will not happen.

Poor people or the young starting  out can't "have it
all" unless they inherit, have rich parents, win the lottery, etc.
What should happen is simple: step by step, build that larger
life. Swimming carelessly through one's existence, then
expecting everybody else to pick up the pieces for you
isn't smart or fair. Want a big family? Make sure you can
pay for it. In the meantime:

Please realize there will be no national, $15 an hour
minimum wage. Set your sights on something you can
personally accomplish-- such "dreams" won't be denied.