Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Musings on a snowy day before Thanksgiving. Another toxic wreck. Bonding? Reverse Potemkin village?

I will wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving today because I intend to take the day itself off.  Hope it will be a good day of food, friends and family for you.

Is it me or is this kind of story appearing more often now-a-days?  And, if these incidents are more frequent, what should be done about them?  I readily acknowledge that our industries need to transport a wide range of volatile, dangerous, or toxic materials but people have a right to live in safe environments.  How do you balance the risks and benefits?  And who reaps benefits and who pays absorbs risks?

This totally resonates with me.  I think it says something sad about a society.  Some of my relatives are in the competitive camp and I have watched them planning their shopping "campaign" with the intensity and attention to detail Eisenhower and his generals planned D-Day.  But I think it says something very sad about our society when people have to bond over a shopping experience or they consider standing in a line for hours, if not days, to get the latest "must have" product or advertised deal (which may not be all that much of a deal.)

I have a stock phrase for the examples of ridiculous excess like the stainless steel and leather smart phone retailing for $4,000 that was featured on the morning news:  more money than brains.  Here is another exhibit that has me at a total loss for comments caustic enough to express my disgust.

 I have seen the commercial cited in this article all too often and I always grumble that, even if I lived in Illinois, the candidate's $18 watch means zip.  I wouldn't be voting for the damned watch.  Evidently, frugality is defined differently when you are a multi-millionaire.  Maybe he thought the cheap watch would make the unemployed, underemployed or declining middle class think he is one of them.  Sorry--hasn't worked.

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