Tag: Responsibility

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Games We (Poorly) Play

Yesterday, one my neighbors expressed surprise about filling out paperwork at a doctor’s office, where she was presented with choice of a dozen genders. I would think that a medical practice would stick to the science: Humans are biologically either male or female. How people feel about themselves is something else.

All through the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, we kept hearing about the science—physicians and researchers following it, and we should, too. In 2024, should a doctor’s office do no less? Meaning: Put basic biology before social culture?

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Clickbait, Misinformation, or Both?

I don’t write enough about the dreadful disdain that my profession deserves. But, occasionally, some story is so ridiculously egregious that I must admonish the story, its writer, and the editors. This afternoon, when turning on Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, Windows 11 Start menu teased with news that might interest me. I clicked mainly curious why our AI overloads would pick something about the Republican presumptive presidential candidate.

From Newsweek, headline: “Donald Trump Stung in Primary As Huge Number of Republicans Vote Against Him“. Lede: “Donald Trump suffered a blow in a number of primary votes on Tuesday, after thousands of Republicans refused to vote for him”. Well, yeah, that would be news if true. But, before proceeding, let’s dispatch any confusion caused by semantics.

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The Immeasurable Value of Books

The third weekend each month, the book sale room opens at the University Heights branch of San Diego Public Library. Of course, I would forget and come happenstance while walking somewhere else on Sunday about 90 minutes before closure. Inside I went, searching for older titles to take home.

Current cultural, progressive values are imposed all about us, with the greatest casualty being history and how the past is revised and censored to match these same norms. The Telegraph gives good example with Nov. 20, 2023 story (headline and dek): “Roman emperor was trans, says museum. Elagabalus will be referred to as she after claims in classical texts that the emperor asked to be called ‘lady’. Except: “Some historians believe these accounts may simply have been a Roman attempt at character assassination”.

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Crisis is the Best Measure of Character

One of my direct neighbors—meaning living in the same apartment building—had her SUV stolen four nights ago, while visiting a friend in Mission Valley. We live in University Heights, which overlooks that San Diego community. Also taken: Cell phone, purse, and wallet. To say the least, this is a devastating event.

Rather than rant, or be angry, she nervously laughs about what happened. I understand. There’s an absurd, “this can’t be real” quality that is tragically laughable. She takes charge of the situation and doesn’t whine “Why Me?” or seek sympathy as a victim. She is determined and matter of fact in her resolve to recover life quickly.

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For the Survivors

While driving through Escondido, Calif., I came upon the most unusual sight: A vast garden of kids’ windmills—pinwheels, if you prefer—planted upon a grassy enclave. Later, I walked over to the intersection, where they were: Citracado Parkway and Autopark Way.

What were they for? I wondered. The answer is on the sign that is more readable in the second photo: “April is child abuse prevention & sexual assault awareness month. These pinwheels represent each survivor Palomar Health served last year”.

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Do Your Laundry!

Two weeks from today, Americans officially cast ballots in the Midterms. Early and mail-in voting already is underway in some states. Given the current chaos in the economy, partisan politicking, progressive policy-making, and societal factionalism—among other seemingly endless bouts of turbulence—you have every reason to be an active voice this election.

Party affiliation is immaterial. Consider alternatives and possibly choosing someone other than your state or local government’s career politician(s). I see public service as just that. Elected office should not be a job for life, or even decades. Put in a few years for the greater good, so to speak, and return to private life. Otherwise the wheels of government build up gunk (e.g., conflicts of interest and corruption) that clogs the gears.

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Membership Matters

Tonight I contemplate the polarized, partisan divide about voting, enlightened by an experience while shopping during late-afternoon. I had gone to Costco for kitty litter, which cost $2.30 more for 42 pounds than a few months ago. At least the manufacturer raised prices without shrinking size—surely such action is inevitable.

As I approached self-checkout, a new procedure greeted. An employee asked each customer to show the back of his or her Costco card—for photo identification. In some instances, the staffer also asked to see a driver’s license. I inquired why, when making my presentation. Answer: To prevent people from using someone else’s membership, which is not free ($60 to $120 annually).

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Will the Meaning be Lost?

So-o-o, should I presume somebody’s sidewalk message is meant to be sarcastic? According to the good folks at Merriam-Webster, a factory farm is “a large industrialized farm, especially: a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost”. Presumption: Animal cruelty—or so claims fourteen of the first fifteen results to my search query.

Let me ask then: We should eat less food as a means of not supporting factory farming? That starvation will put the entities out of business and thus diminish livestock hardship? Timing is odd, given all the warnings about food shortages.

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Someone Explain This to Me

Please forgive me for being critical, but this is what happens when a state sends mail-in ballots to all (presumably) registered voters: Citizens post on Election Day—that’s for Primaries here in California. I came across this outgoing ballot at 11:09 a.m. PDT and wondered why not mail before the recommended May 31 or take to the dropbox inside the public library, which is a half-mile walk?

Sure, the ballot is valid if postmarked today but why wait until voting day if the plan is to post? Call me confused, which wouldn’t be unusual, but still… My other question: Which is more secure—the vote mailed or cast live? I ask because the local polling place doesn’t check IDs; not today, anyway. At least the mail-in ballot envelope has the citizen’s name and signature. I dunno. You tell me.

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The Law of Unintended Consequences

I came upon the strangest circumstance today: Firemen rushing into a home with water hoses to put out nothing. The residents hadn’t called for emergency services, and they were surprised to be cleared out onto the street. The Featured Image, taken quickly using iPhone 13 Pro, shows some of the gallant first responders after everyone realized that a bystander had badly blundered.

This, ah, older gentleman observed what he thought was smoke coming out of a vent, which is why he rang 911. What he really saw: Steam from someone showering. Whoops. My first inclination would be to bang on the door yelling “Fire!” Wouldn’t you? Maybe he did but there was no response because the person was in the shower and she couldn’t hear him.

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It’s Fake!

My wife and I came upon this sign, affixed to a utility pole, today, along Mission Avenue between Louisiana and Mississippi streets. Call me surprised, for having seen no other in our San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. So I got to wondering if a resident attempted a little scare tactic to get dog owners to clean up after their mutts. More effective: Place the notice higherand above, out of reach, a mock surveillance camera.

I walked about several streets inspecting every sign of every kind and all others shared in common: Tiny print somewhere indicating that the thing is the property of the city. By comparison, this one’s credit is “SmartSign.com”, which sells the warning, with a stake kit, for 27 bucks on the website.