Tag: society

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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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‘Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution’

These posters suddenly are all about my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Ah, do these people not know the killing machine that is communism? I did some quick Googling this evening seeking an answer.

Marking a century since the 1917 revolution, Wall Street Journal published, on Nov. 6, 2017: “100 Years of Communism—and 100 Million Dead“. Dek: “The Bolshevik plague that began in Russia was the greatest catastrophe in human history”. Same year, October 28, from Cato Institute: “100 Years of Communism: Death and Deprivation“.

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When Did You Last Go to the Movies?

I can’t remember.  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns pretty much squashed my movie-going, coupled with too-high ticket pricing. The theatre is pretty much always better than streaming at home, so to be clear: couch-potatoing isn’t my reason for abandoning an afternoon show.

I used Google Pixel 3 XL to capture the Featured Image five years ago today: Dec. 21, 2018. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 70, 1/50 sec, 28mm (film equivalent); 12:10 p.m. PST; composed as shot. This AMC is located at Westfield Plaza Bonita in National City, Calif.

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Boom Button

One week ago tomorrow, Hamas terrorists launched an assault into Israel that slaughtered entire families (yes, children included), grabbed hostages, and raped women. Need I say more? As Israel prepares to invade Gaza Strip, regional tensions rise—perhaps even exceeding the raw emotional reaction among Jews and many other human beings.

My concern: Atrocities were meant to evoke such anger that Israel acts out the script of a plan meant to give Hezbollah an excuse to join Hamas in a counteroffensive that would devastate the Jewish state and lead to global war—as nations like the United States take military action for its longstanding ally and Muslim countries like Iran directly or, by proxy, indirectly intervene for the terrorist groups.

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Who Can It Be Now?

What to say? I don’t drink alcoholic anything, but here we are for a third time romping over Bud Light. Perhaps you know the once popular beer that undergoes the mother of all boycotts—after Anheuser-Busch made the marketing mistake of aligning with a transgender TikToker.

Previously, on this torrid topic: “‘Hey, I Thought There was a Boycott!‘” and “Delivering or Removing?” So with the beer’s sales flushing down a toilet, I was surprised to see—on Oct. 8, 2023—a bag of empties tied up nicely for someone like Pat to grab and cash in at the local recycler. The Featured Image was a compulsory capture, if for no other reason than how cleanly the cans were gathered together and neatly sacked.

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Cop Copter

I could count dozens of ways Southern California is oddly different from anywhere else I have lived, or traveled. With respect to the USA, I have been to every state—and Puerto Rico—but one: Hawaii. Among the oddities: Around San Diego, and presumably Los Angeles, helicopters frequently fly over with loudspeaker blaring some warning or notice.

“Suspect six-foot-ten black male wearing black hat, black hoodie, black jeans, and black backpack. Last seen scaling the fence at the 4500 block of Cleveland Avenue. Stay inside and lock your doors. Call 911 if you see suspect six-foot…” You know, repeats.

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Where is Everybody?

Walking about my neighborhood of University Heights last night, I passed few people on the streets. Some small crowds gathered at several restaurants along El Cajon Blvd, but few folks appeared elsewhere. The Featured Image, taken at 8:28 p.m. PDT, provides timeframe.

Desolate best describes the scene, which would have made great setting for shooting an apocalyptic movie. Zombie. Viral Armageddon. Alien invasion. You suggest one. Where was everybody? This is summer-year-round San Diego. The cool evening—21 Celsius (71 Fahrenheit)—appealed to me. Was everyone else home streaming content and ordering GrubHub? Is that the sorry state of society?

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What’s More Inclusive Than Welcome?

On July 14, 2023, as the prideful descended upon San Diego for the annual alphabet-letter parade the next day, I stopped with my wife to gawk at the fence, along Adams Ave. in University Heights, that is subject of the Featured Image.

The “Welcome” sign and homage to the “brave”, along with an American flag out of frame, stood starkly—proudly and patriotically—in contrast to the many rainbow flags we encountered nearby along Panorama Drive. (Say, why do these banners have six colors when the real deal in the sky is seven?)

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Delivering or Removing?

I don’t drink beer—or any alcoholic beverages, for that matter—yet for the second time in a fortnight, I write about boycotted Bud Light. The first followed a discarded can’s meaning as July 4th approached and Anheuser-Busch offered $15 off cases of 15, essentially bringing the purchase price to zero, or near it. Desperation makes sense: For the week ending July 1, 2023, sales slumped 31.2 percent year over year. Yikes!

In what I would call a pathetic plea, Anheuser-Busch chief executive Brendan Whitworth asks beer drinkers to have heart and think about the company’s 65,000 employees; no sales, no work. I’m all choked up; give me a minute to grab a hanky. Because I know what corporation would be so heartless as to put profits before employees? (Someone grab a bucket to catch all the dripping sarcasm.)

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‘Hey, I Thought There was a Boycott!’

So said I to my wife when we passed by the discarded can today. I don’t drink beer—or any other alcoholic beverages—and am only aware of the Bud Light boycott because it blasted across every avenue and alley along the Information Superhighway (yeah, call me archaic), starting in April 2023. Anheuser-Busch made the marketing mistake of aligning with a transgender TikToker.

Sales plummeted, and the brewer stumbled into “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” territory. Distancing damage control precipitated a backlash among the Rainbow coalition of gender-identifying letters. Along the spectrum of staunch conservatives to prickly progressives, Anheuser-Busch managed to offend just about everyone who drank Bud Light, which was the most popular beer in the United States before the fiasco’s start.

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The Case for Monogamy

Along University Ave., in San Diego neighborhood North Park, two billboards that typically market local drug dispensaries warn about syphilis and gonorrhea. There are two! A block apart, straddling Louisiana and Texas streets.

Take my advice: Stop smoking pot and sleeping around. That’s how you reduce—or eliminate among faithful spouses—the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Advertising that changed from cannabis shops to STDs—drugs and sex—there is a connection.

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National Pride

June is when come out the proud boys—and I don’t mean the group caught up in what occurred inside and outside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Rainbow banners fly in homes and businesses around San Diego, supposedly supporting the prideful.

So I was quite surprised, today, to come upon colors of different character and national pride. At the corner of Madison and Texas streets, someone set up a stand selling the flag of Mexico and related sundries. Driving to Costco and stopped at a red light, I rolled down the car’s window and used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to shoot the Featured Image and companion.