It’s Been Happening For Eons

Several times a year, we read about this or that species threatened with extinction — or actually becoming extinct.

I’ve long wondered who so many learned people, who should know better, worry themselves over something that happened repeatedly since the dawn of time.

So what, in the big picture, does it matter if the ‘mealy grasshopper’ (to make up a species) ceases to exist? As it supposedly exists on some other species’ diet in the food chain, is its demise going to have a domino-falling affect on other species?

And Life Goes On

Dinosaurs and wooly mammoths, to cite but two examples, came and…

What Year Is This???

32.688535, -97.617858

Please look at a calendar and confirm, for yourself, that this is the month of May in the year 2021. Got that?

Now, consider this: A number of ninth grade students in Aledo, Texas — a town of roughly 3,000 a bit west of Fort Worth — recently, a mere few weeks ago, set up an ‘auction’ in a Snapchat group where classmates of color were offered for sale. Prices ranged, according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, from $1 to $100.

When school authorities found out about the auction, they demanded it be shut down, and participating students…

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wrote an op-ed recently that I really wanted to comment on — to him, not just to The Guardian, where the piece was published.

I went to his official web site. I spent more than a little time trying to find a way to send an email message to him.

Even the official directory of Senators fails to provide a way to reach him, short of sending a piece of ‘snail mail’. I refuse to do that because (1) it’s terrible inconvenient, necessitating printing a note (at a cost to me), enclosing it in an envelope…

(The source of this photo was unidentified by Google.)

I’m sorry, what?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had harsh words and ill-advised advice this week for business leaders speaking out against voting law changes in Georgia. Like many members of the public, they believe the revisions passed by Georgia’s congress and signed by its governor will make voting more difficult, if not impossible, for many minorities.

Still, McConnell said, “I found it completely discouraging to find a bunch of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics,” at a press conference in his home state of Kentucky on Monday. “My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is…

Big Problems, Possible Simple Solution

Official USPS Logo

It’s been widely noted, over the past decade or more, that the US Postal Service (USPS) isn’t doing its job — delivering letter and package mail daily, as required, to every household and business address in the country — as efficiently as earlier efforts had proved it can.

There’s been considerable debate, in and beyond Congress, which oversees the service and, to some degree, funds it, why this is so. No conclusions have been reached — as ever more questions have been raised.

Between 2015 and 2020, the number of households in the US increased from 124.59 million to 128.45…

Some ‘stuff’ is pretty hard to find these days

Random slices of Swiss cheese (uncredited)

‘Stuff’ seems to be having difficulties moving from one place to another these days — thanks, it seems, to shipping containers not being empty and where they are most needed. So Costco CEO Richard Galanti told investors during a recent earnings call.

Galanti reported his stores are seeing limited supplied of various foodstuffs, including cheese, as well as sports equipment, gardening supplies and, among other things, furniture, because increased consumer demand is making it hard for ports — particularly western US ones — to offload containers from ships. …

Few things are scarier than experiencing, even remotely, a friend having a stroke — or, in this instance, a mini-stroke. (They differ only by degree, but either is, as my friend put it, “a road to Damascus” moment. Aside: Of all the places one might imagine visiting now, Syria’s capital would not rank high among them!)

And that feeling — the ‘road to Damascus’ moment — can occur to (even virtual) observers, too. My friend is rounding out his 78th year this week. I’ll do the same in January.

“I felt like I had all the time in the world…

A sad reflection on the Upper House

of the US Congress

This ‘Great Seal’ ain’t barking

I recently sent email letters to Virginia’s two senators, suggesting what I, in my innocent wisdom, think would be a good approach to getting the USPS back on track.

Simply stated, the suggestion noted that, since Amazon has mastered the art of getting ‘stuff’ from Point A to Point B quickly and efficiently, it might be a good idea to find and hire — to run and top-staff the USPS — the brilliant minds who, via their delivery algorithms and systems, made Jeff Bezos able to afford daily head-shaves.

Can’t Reach Him!!

What’s ‘culture’ for some is superfulous for others

Ming Joong Art: A New Cultural Moment from Korea

The following paragraph, in an NPR review of the new HBO film ‘Allen vs Farrow’, kicked me in the gut.

We are, in this current cultural moment, slogging through a long overdue re-examination of past pop culture scandals, reassessing them with fresh sensibilities. After learning tough lessons on the structural nature of racism and sexism — and the ability of powerful, charismatic celebrities to shape their own narrative and avoid consequences — journalists have returned to the stories of Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein and Britney Spears with new, sharper insights.

Who’s Got Time?

It’s nice that many (many!) people can be…

‘Free’ America is Killing Itself

The Two Face Twins from Worthing’s artist impression of Hayley’s original image, in the National Gallery, London

Some say the US has the worst record among the world’s countries on dealing (effectively) with the coronavirus. The media, and the government, in the UK might cause you to think otherwise.

A long Messenger note from a friend near London cited a draconian directive from the government outlining steps to be taken as the UK backs off a near-total lockdown. More will be permitted than is presently the case, but there still will be enough closings to keep a sizable share of the population grumbling. Example: Pubs and other “entertainment venues” will, all being well, be allowed to reintroduce…

Doug Harris

50+ years a writer, 80+ unique bylines. Two blogs have reached 60+ countries.

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