Thursday, October 30, 2014

Citizens United is dis-uniting and destructive

What is it the wealthy say?  Money is speech.  Or is it: speech is money?
Some say that 'money is free speech' but it certainly isn't free.  It costs millions of dollars to speak that freely.

The problem I have with this wicked affront to common sense is this:  I don't know who is speaking.  The money spent on free speech comes from unknown sources who don't have to reveal identity.

My speech comes with a face and a name.  The millions spent on political campaign speech come out of darkness: no names, no faces.  We don't even know if they are Americans.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ignorance kills another word

Journalists, TV anchors, and editorial writers are hard at work destroying another valuable word.

They are abetted by the badly educated doctors and scientists in charge of the so-called 'Ebola crisis.'

What word?  Protocol.

Dictionaries define the 1st meaning of protocol to be the forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state.
The 2nd meaning is the first copy of a treaty or other document prior to its ratification.
The 3rd (and final) meaning is any preliminary draft or record of a transaction.

There is nothing in those meanings related to responding to  a dangerous disease or  wearing a hazmat suit.

The better word would be "procedures." 

What caused this post is the front page of today's issue of the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.  A color photograph is headlined "Airport team flies into action."
The photo shows three men in white hazmat suits surrounded by six firemen in varied stages of assistance with the suits.  The caption for the photgraph reads as follows:

"The Fort Lauderdale Fire Department demonstrates its protocols for handling Ebola patients who might arrive on an airplane."


Friday, October 17, 2014

Ebola Czar? How about the Surgeon General?

I have been checking all the media reports on ebola on a daily basis and wondering why we don't hear from or about the Surgeon General of the United States.  I admit that I didn't know his (or her) name so I looked it up on Google.
Guess what?  There is no Surgeon General.  The nominee is "tied up in politics."
What a Congress!  What a President!

But, somehow, all will get together to find an Ebola Czar.  Do I laugh or do I cry?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weather is dangerous? This is news?

Has anyone noticed a trend in TV news when a weather system is moving from West to East across the United States?
Tonight CBS News reported a storm moving east with 24 million people in its path.
Last week ABC News reported a storm with 52 million people in its path.
Similar reports were heard this past summer and each time we were given the news that millions of people were in their paths.
Each time we were shown the obligarory photographs of destruction: trees blown over, roofs torn off, flooding, etc.
Is this information of population count a new requirement of meteorology?  Does it change anything or make anything clearer?  Does it have any purpose other than the obvious one which is to hype the news and make us afraid?