Maybe it’s the rose-colored nostalgia of pleasant family memories. Maybe it’s impending middle age. Or maybe, just maybe, I am not as patient as I’d like to think I am…. but I’ve decided air travel has degenerated into little more than exhausting exercise of getting from Point A to Point B in the most frustrating way possible.
Increased security requirements aside – some of which are bizarre and seem somehow foolish, but ultimately serve to protect us all, what has really turned air travel into a patience test is all of the changing individual airline policies, and the havoc they (inadvertently) unleash.
Continue reading Systematic Failure: The Schizophrenia of Air Travel
With a black man holding the highest office in the land you would think America is past the race-bashing hate-mongering crap that has crippled us from within for the last 200 years or so. Sadly two recent very public events provide more evidence than I really wanted of the cancer that continues to infect our society.
This past weekend protesters associated with the “Tea Party” camped out in front of the U.S. Congress to express their dismay with proposed health care reform – exercising a constitutional right to activism and turning it into a sad public display of small-minded foolishness.
They spat at Congressmen. They hurled racial-slurs at the gay and black communities.
Continue reading Systematic Failure: Wal-Mart gets it right?!? Whodda thunk?!?
For a moment there, I forgot what planet we are on. Last time I checked I was living on planet earth – but former Marine general John Sheehan seems to be stuck in a parallel dimension where demeaning gay-bashing comments are socially acceptable.
I am not a member of the LGBT community, but I was Outraged (yes – that’s Outraged with a capital “O”) to see reports of Sheehan giving testimony before the U.S. Congress that pegged Dutch troops failures to prevent the Srebrenica massacre to The Netherland’s acceptance of openly-gay individuals in the military.
Continue reading Systematic Failure: Gays unworthy? Says who?
Dear Fellow Travelers, Airline Personnel and Rude Individuals –
A recent airplane trip reminded, again, of how crazy this world can be. It seems that many travelers have lost all sense of common decency, common sense and manners. Most of the time its comical – but it’s also pretty sad. Please consider the following as a desperate plea for some consideration and a return to sanity.
Continue reading Flying into Chaos
Just when I thought it was impossible to be any more disgusted by the shenanigans of politicians, along come two New York Times stories that turned my stomach.
First up? John Edwards.
After repeated denials and lots of puppy dog eyes, the former Democratic presidential nominee-hopeful has now publicly admitted that, yes, he is the father of his former mistress Rielle Hunter’s 2 year old daughter.
Continue reading Systematic Failure: How low can a politician go?
So a few not-so-random thoughts as a follow-up to my post: Perils of Living in a Fast Food Nation.
According to this Der Spiegel article from Germany, governments across the European continent are examining legislative ways to trim the fat out of their nations’ diets. Like residents in the U.S. and other regions, Europeans are seeing an explosion of expanding waistlines. Proposals on the table reportedly include more taxes on chocolate in Denmark and fast food in Romania, limits on the use of trans fat in Spain and an end to advertising of sweets to children under 12 in Germany.
Continue reading Systematic Failure: Perils of Living in a Fast Food World?!?!
If there’s one thing guaranteed to foil my best attempts at a healthier lifestyle, it’s not remembering to stock the fridge with better-for-you snacks; and it’s not getting in a 30 minute walk at least 3 times a week — it’s fast food (following very closely by rich, chocolate desserts). It’s a battle I’ve fought – fairly unsuccessfully – for years, … and one that society in general also seems to be losing.
But not anymore!!! Two really gross stories this week may finally tame my FF addiction.
Continue reading Systematic Failure: Perils of Living in a Fast Food Nation
A South Korean grandmother is celebrating the attainment of a dream. After 950 attempts, the 68-year old finally managed to pass the written exam for a driver’s license.
It took Cha Sa-soon the better part of 5 years and $4,200 in application fees, but Cha reportedly told Reuters “don’t give up your dream, like me. Be strong and do your best.” Cha, who wants a vehicle so she can better sell vegetables, still has to pass the practical road test before getting an actual license.
Continue reading Systematic Failure: A Driver’s Education
I have to cringe when I hear or read right-leaning politicians and commentators wax poetic about how the U.S. has the “greatest” system in the world – the best health care, the best education, the best government, etc, etc, etc. It’s not that I don’t support the effort for the U.S. to be the best it can, but to categorize things as the “greatest” or “best” implies that these accolades represent achievements perfected and maintained to a level we need no longer worry our pretty little heads about it.
All one has to do is take a walk down the street – pretty much any street in the country with the exception of perhaps Rodeo Drive – to see that we are a long way away from the best we could be.
Continue reading Systematic Failure: Too many children left behind ….
Hands down the best thing I’ve encountered said, written, posted or screamed about health care in recent weeks is a letter to President Obama from 12-year old Californian Nick Armitage. (So, ok, his parents probably helped him write it or a teacher put him up to it, but who cares – this kid was able to frame the argument in its most simple form; and any person of conscience can’t argue against it.)
“Health insurance is not a privilege but a necessity,” says Armitage’s letter, as seen here on the Huffington Post.
Finding a reasonable way to ensure all Americans have some basic coverage for medical expenses is a laudable goal — long, long, long overdue. If we can all agree that Mr. Armitage’s sentiment is sound, then we should be able to find a reasonable solution.
Continue reading Reasonable health care debate? Thank the Child