Archive for March, 2009

Depleted Uranium Disease (DUD) (March 30, 2009)

Posted in Bush, Iraq on March 30, 2009 by

The DOD denies even the possible existence of radioactive DUD (Depleted Uranium Disease).  The Department of Defense adamantly refuses to admit that it is engaged in a protracted nuclear war in Iraq.  There are in fact Weapons of Mass Destruction (WeMaD) in Iraq which were sold and delivered to and/or dropped on the country by the United States.  Since 1991, the United States has been involved in this nuclear war in the Gulf.  Bush I started it, Clinton I did little to address it, and Bush II accelerated it.

DOD will concede that some of the troops are suffering from “Gulf War Syndrome” which it dismisses as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a psychological rather than a physical problem.  PTSD was called “shell shock” in WW I and “battle fatigue” in WW II.  The combatants and non-combatants involved in World War III are suffering a disease that condemns them and their offspring.

Two movies, “Beyond Treason” (2005) and “Gulf War Syndrome: Killing Our Own“ (2007), address the problem.  When Bush II triggered World War III in March, 2003, a few individuals who thought seriously about the costs of the invasion and occupation suggested that it would cost three (3) Trillion.  Everyone else said that Iraqi oil would pay the freight.  Now the costs to address the environmental and health consequences of the war appear likely to greatly exceed that figure.  The entire county of Iraq is now a Superfund site.  And the travesty in not even a blip on the national radar screen.

Bumper sticker of the week:

PTSD:  Don’t Leave ‘Nam Without It

Boycott Water (March 23, 2009)

Posted in Boycott Series, Global Climate Change, Water on March 23, 2009 by

Boycott bottled water.  Boycott plastic bottled water.  Water in a bottle is more expensive than oil in a barrel.  Worldwatch does the math and shows that bottled water costs as much as $336 per bottle.  The quality may be less than water available from the tap.  Some bottled water is little more than tap water in a plastic bottle.  Water in the Middle East is becoming as valuable as oil.  Encourage the economic production and distribution of safe drinking water.

Things like bisphenol A and phthalates don’t sound healthy.  The one word advice to young Benjamin Braddock–“plastics”–is an admonition to all, young and old, who risk being absolved more quickly and painfully of their mortality.

[See article dated May 9, 2007.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Celebrate World Water Day – March 22.

Boycott bottled water

even if it is the only water on the dive boat

even if it is the only water after a race

even if it is the only water.

Less Government Regulation Series: English Language (March 16, 2009)

Posted in Language, Less Government Regulation Series on March 16, 2009 by

The English language is vexing, illogical, inconsistent, and beautiful, mellifluous and inspiring.  Make it sing.  Don’t pass legislation making it mandatory or exclusive.  Let the market decide.

Life would be easier if English were always the default selection on a telephone menu of options.  State in the foreign language to push “2” for the foreign language.  Those who know the language won’t care; those who don’t know won’t care.  Never fear, the children of immigrants always have learned and will learn English.

Post Script:  When all is said, English will remain number 1.

Bumper sticker of the week:

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row .

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.  There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.  English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France.  Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.  We take English for granted.  But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?  If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth?  One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?  Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?  If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?  If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?  Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?  Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?  Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?  You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.  That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

P.S. – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this:

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?  At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?  Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends.  And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.  At other times the little word has real special meaning.  People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.  To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing:  A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.  We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!  To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.  In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.  If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.  It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.  When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.  When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so………… it is time to shut UP!

Oh . . . one more thing:

What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?

On Generosity and Magnanimity (March 9, 2009)

Posted in Society on March 9, 2009 by

Generosity is a willingness to give or share bestowed on someone else.  Magnanimity is generosity bestowed on someone else who was not necessarily generous or who may not deserve it.

[With a nod to Montaigne’s essais.]

Bumper sticker of the week:


Less Government Regulation Series: Drugs (March 2, 2009)

Posted in Crime/Punishment, Drugs, Less Government Regulation Series on March 2, 2009 by

“Can any policy, however high-minded, be moral if it leads to widespread corruption, imprisons so many, has so racist an effect, destroys our inner cities, wreaks havoc on misguided and vulnerable individuals and brings death and destruction to foreign countries.”

Milton Friedman, Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics

“Eighty-five million Americans have experimented with illegal drugs.  Since the object of criminal law is to detect and punish the wrongdoer, should we reason that 85 million of us should have spent time in jail.”

William F. Buckley, Jr., Founder of the magazine “National Review”

One in every hundred American citizens is now in prison.  The War on Drugs is really the War on the Populace.  Once again, because victory is impossible, declare victory and call off the war.

Bumper sticker of the week:

There oughta not be a law