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Guest Blogger – Daily Kos

October 16th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Thank you Daily Kos for allowing Whadawethink to print this. This is a wonderful piece that we felt utterly compelled to show it here on our blog, in case you don’t visit Daily Kos. This resonates so strongly with us and we want everyone to see and read this. Perhaps we all will have a better understanding of what “Occupy Wall Street” is trying to accomplish.
Hello,

I briefly visited the “We are the 53%” website, but I first saw your face on a liberal blog. Your picture is quite popular on liberal blogs. I think it’s because of the expression on your face. I don’t know if you meant to look pugnacious or if we’re just projecting that on you, but I think that’s what gets our attention.
In the picture, you’re holding up a sheet of paper that says:
I am a former Marine.

I work two jobs.
I don’t have health insurance.
I worked 60-70 hours a week for 8 years to pay my way through college.
I haven’t had 4 consecutive days off in over 4 years.
But I don’t blame Wall Street.
Suck it up you whiners.
I am the 53%.
God bless the USA!

I wanted to respond to you as a liberal. Because, although I think you’ve made yourself clear and I think I understand you, you don’t seem to understand me at all. I hope you will read this and understand me better, and maybe understand the Occupy Wall Street movement better.
First, let me say that I think it’s great that you have such a strong work ethic and I agree with you that you have much to be proud of. You seem like a good, hard-working, strong kid. I admire your dedication and determination. I worked my way through college too, mostly working graveyard shifts at hotels as a “night auditor.” For a time I worked at two hotels at once, but I don’t think I ever worked 60 hours in a week, and certainly not 70. I think I maxed out at 56. And that wasn’t something I could sustain for long, not while going to school. The problem was that I never got much sleep, and sleep deprivation would take its toll. I can’t imagine putting in 70 hours in a week while going to college at the same time. That’s impressive.
I have a nephew in the Marine Corps, so I have some idea of how tough that can be. He almost didn’t make it through basic training, but he stuck it out and insisted on staying even when questions were raised about his medical fitness. He eventually served in Iraq and Afghanistan and has decided to pursue a career in the Marines. We’re all very proud of him. Your picture reminds me of him.
So, if you think being a liberal means that I don’t value hard work or a strong work ethic, you’re wrong. I think everyone appreciates the industry and dedication a person like you displays. I’m sure you’re a great employee, and if you have entrepreneurial ambitions, I’m sure these qualities will serve you there too. I’ll wish you the best of luck, even though a guy like you will probably need luck less than most.
I understand your pride in what you’ve accomplished, but I want to ask you something.
Do you really want the bar set this high? Do you really want to live in a society where just getting by requires a person to hold down two jobs and work 60 to 70 hours a week? Is that your idea of the American Dream?
Do you really want to spend the rest of your life working two jobs and 60 to 70 hours a week? Do you think you can? Because, let me tell you, kid, that’s not going to be as easy when you’re 50 as it was when you were 20.
And what happens if you get sick? You say you don’t have health insurance, but since you’re a veteran I assume you have some government-provided health care through the VA system. I know my father, a Vietnam-era veteran of the Air Force, still gets most of his medical needs met through the VA, but I don’t know what your situation is. But even if you have access to health care, it doesn’t mean disease or injury might not interfere with your ability to put in those 60- to 70-hour work weeks.
Do you plan to get married, have kids? Do you think your wife is going to be happy with you working those long hours year after year without a vacation? Is it going to be fair to her? Is it going to be fair to your kids? Is it going to be fair to you?
Look, you’re a tough kid. And you have a right to be proud of that. But not everybody is as tough as you, or as strong, or as young. Does pride in what you’ve accomplish mean that you have contempt for anybody who can’t keep up with you? Does it mean that the single mother who can’t work on her feet longer than 50 hours a week doesn’t deserve a good life? Does it mean the older man who struggles with modern technology and can’t seem to keep up with the pace set by younger workers should just go throw himself off a cliff?
And, believe it or not, there are people out there even tougher than you. Why don’t we let them set the bar, instead of you? Are you ready to work 80 hours a week? 100 hours? Can you hold down four jobs? Can you do it when you’re 40? When you’re 50? When you’re 60? Can you do it with arthritis? Can you do it with one arm? Can you do it when you’re being treated for prostate cancer?
And is this really your idea of what life should be like in the greatest country on Earth?
Here’s how a liberal looks at it: a long time ago workers in this country realized that industrialization wasn’t making their lives better, but worse. The captains of industry were making a ton of money and living a merry life far away from the dirty, dangerous factories they owned, and far away from the even dirtier and more dangerous mines that fed raw materials to those factories.
The workers quickly decided that this arrangement didn’t work for them. If they were going to work as cogs in machines designed to build wealth for the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Carnegies, they wanted a cut. They wanted a share of the wealth that they were helping create. And that didn’t mean just more money; it meant a better quality of life. It meant reasonable hours and better working conditions.
Eventually, somebody came up with the slogan, “8 hours of work, 8 hours of leisure, 8 hours of sleep” to divide the 24-hour day into what was considered a fair allocation of a human’s time. It wasn’t a slogan that was immediately accepted. People had to fight to put this standard in place. People demonstrated, and fought with police, and were killed. They were called communists (in fairness, some of them were), and traitors, and many of them got a lot worse than pepper spray at the hands of police and private security.
But by the time we got through the Great
Depression and WWII, we’d all learned some valuable lessons about working together and sharing the prosperity, and the 8-hour workday became the norm.

The 8-hour workday and the 40-hour workweek became a standard by which we judged our economic success, and a reality check against which we could verify the American Dream.
If a family could live a good life with one wage-earner working a 40-hour job, then the American Dream was realized. If the income from that job could pay the bills, buy a car, pay for the kids’ braces, allow the family to save enough money for a down payment on a house and still leave some money for retirement and maybe for a college fund for the kids, then we were living the American Dream. The workers were sharing in the prosperity they helped create, and they still had time to take their kids to a ball game, take their spouses to a movie, and play a little golf on the weekends.
Ah, the halcyon days of the 1950s! Yeah, ok, it wasn’t quite that perfect. The prosperity wasn’t spread as evenly and ubiquitously as we might want to pretend, but if you were a middle-class white man, things were probably pretty good from an economic perspective. The American middle class was reaching its zenith.
And the top marginal federal income tax rate was more than 90%. Throughout the whole of the 1950s and into the early 60s.
Just thought I’d throw that in there.
Anyway, do you understand what I’m trying to say? We can have a reasonable standard for what level of work qualifies you for the American Dream, and work to build a society that realizes that dream, or we can chew each other to the bone in a nightmare of merciless competition and mutual contempt.

I’m a liberal, so I probably dream bigger than you. For instance, I want everybody to have healthcare. I want lazy people to have healthcare. I want stupid people to have healthcare. I want drug addicts to have healthcare. I want bums who refuse to work even when given the opportunity to have healthcare. I’m willing to pay for that with my taxes, because I want to live in a society where it doesn’t matter how much of a loser you are, if you need medical care you can get it. And not just by crowding up an emergency room that should be dedicated exclusively to helping people in emergencies.
You probably don’t agree with that, and that’s fine. That’s an expansion of the American Dream, and would involve new commitments we haven’t made before. But the commitment we’ve made to the working class since the 1940s is something that we should both support and be willing to fight for, whether we are liberal or conservative. We should both be willing to fight for the American Dream. And we should agree that anybody trying to steal that dream from us is to be resisted, not defended.
And while we’re defending that dream, you know what else we’ll be defending, kid? We’ll be defending you and your awesome work ethic. Because when we defend the American Dream we’re not just defending the idea of modest prosperity for people who put in an honest day’s work, we’re also defending the idea that those who go the extra mile should be rewarded accordingly.
Look kid, I don’t want you to “get by” working two jobs and 60 to 70 hours a week. If you’re willing to put in that kind of effort, I want you to get rich. I want you to have a comprehensive healthcare plan. I want you vacationing in the Bahamas every couple of years, with your beautiful wife and healthy, happy kids. I want you rewarded for your hard work, and I want your exceptional effort to reap exceptional rewards. I want you to accumulate wealth and invest it in Wall Street. And I want you to make more money from those investments.
I understand that a prosperous America needs people with money to invest, and I’ve got no problem with that. All other things being equal, I want all the rich people to keep being rich. And clever financiers who find ways to get more money into the hands of promising entrepreneurs should be rewarded for their contributions as well.
I think Wall Street has an important job to do, I just don’t think they’ve been doing it. And I resent their sense of entitlement – their sense that they are special and deserve to be rewarded extravagantly even when they screw everything up.
Come on, it was only three years ago, kid. Remember? Those assholes almost destroyed our economy. Do you remember the feeling of panic? John McCain wanted to suspend the presidential campaign so that everybody could focus on the crisis. Hallowed financial institutions like Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch went belly up. The government started intervening with bailouts, not because anybody thought “private profits and socialized losses” was fair, but because we were afraid not to intervene – we were afraid our whole economy might come crashing down around us if we didn’t prop up companies that were “too big to fail.”
So, even though you and I had nothing to do with the bad decisions, blind greed and incompetence of those guys on Wall Street, we were sure as hell along for the ride, weren’t we? And we’ve all paid a price.
All the” 99%” wants is for you to remember the role that Wall Street played in creating this mess, and for you to join us in demanding that Wall Street share the pain. They don’t want to share the pain, and they’re spending a lot of money and twisting a lot of arms to foist their share of the pain on the rest of us instead. And they’ve been given unprecedented powers to spend and twist, and they’re not even trying to hide what they’re doing.
All we want is for everybody to remember what happened, and to see what is happening still. And we want you to see that the only way they can get away without paying their share is to undermine the American Dream for the rest of us.
And I want you and I to understand each other, and to stand together to prevent them from doing that. You seem like the kind of guy who would be a strong ally, and I’d be proud to stand with you.
EDIT: Thanks to everyone for the recommendations and to Kos for the promotion to the front page. I’m really stunned. I hope it isn’t weird to add an edit like this after you’ve been promoted to the front page. But I wanted to say how much I appreciate the opportunity to be heard and I appreciate all the kind comments (which I will probably spend most of the rest of the night reading).
Originally posted to
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Some More George Carlin – Variations and Spin-offs of “The Seven Dirty Words”

October 14th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
I literally almost laughed myself into unconsciousness; I had almost forgotten how fumy and silly “The Seven Dirty Words” were. This morning I spent some time listening to the variations of “The Seven Dirty Words” and several of the spin-offs on YouTube. We here at WhadaWeThink do not generally use profanity unless in quotes; it is not that we are opposed to the use of such words per se, but we just do not feel the need to use them in our journalistic prose. We are not trying to be elitist here, after all Shakespeare is replete with vulgarisms and the very Bible itself has its share of profanity. The use of dirty words is very effective and serves a greater purpose when there is dialogue or interaction as in a play or screenplay. This is the subject and topic for many more blogs to come. Right now, just prepare to laugh as you have never laughed before. I’ve gathered and collected some of the best and funniest bits and spin-offs of the “Seven Dirty Words” (George wrote and performed the original  “Seven Dirty Words” in 1972. Just amazing! Almost 40 years later and it has not lost an iota of its freshness.)
Click onto the links and enjoy!
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The “The Seven Dirty Words” by the Late and Great George Carlin Still Resonates

October 13th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
I cannot believe George Carlin has been dead for more than three years. I miss George and I don’t think a single day goes by in which I don’t smile or break into spontaneous laughter thinking about his bits, stand-up material, and just his silly, irrational human behavior laced commentary.
I ‘ve written about George Carlin in the past on this very site, and I’m now seriously thinking about setting up a niche blog devoted entirely to him; he was after all the best comedian who ever lived – bar none.
George has been the talk of the town on the upper west side of Manhattan, W. 121 St. between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave to be precise(the neighborhood in which he was raised and resided for more than 20 years) , and dead or alive Mr. Carlin is stirring up controversy once again inasmuch as at least 6500 people have signed a petition in an attempt to get the street renamed after the great, though fiercely caustic comic.
Most folks are amenable to the renaming of the street – but guess who is against the idea? Well one need not be a rocket scientist to figure this out – the CHURCH of course. And not just any old church, in fact it’s George Carlin’s very own Catholic alma mater. The Reverend Raymond Rafferty is leading the barrage of reasons by way of insults and ad hominem in an attempt to block the petition to rename the street after George Carlin.
Hey Reverend Raymond Rafferty – pipe down! The brilliant George Carlin was a comedian and a satirist and did nothing more than tell the truth and make people laugh – and nobody did it better. In my opinion no stand – up comedian came or comes remotely close to George. No not Seinfeld, not Richard Pryor (though I must admit, Pryor is a legend and an icon too), nor Rosanne Barr; Not Robin Williams, not Billy Crystal, nor Eddie Murphy. Nobody, none, zero – zip. Only one comic genius was, one can say, not close, but rather in Carlin’s league in terms of breaking ground and originality and that was Lenny Bruce. However, that is it -and Lenny Bruce was not as funny, witty, smart, and clever as Carlin. George’s observational humor and DELIVERY was much better than Bruce’s. Lenny Bruce was great, courageous, and broke ground and paved the way for comedians to follow; and he did much to preserve and strengthen the first amendment for free speech at a time when our society wouldn’t allow television to show Elvis Presley from the waist down only because he gyrated his hips –ABSURD ! (Sorry I digress, Lenny Bruce, the fifties, censorship and the first Amendment are other blogs and grist for  WhadaWeThink’s ever-grinding mill).
George Carlin was simply the best and that is that. Here is a little laundry list: 1) If you don’t or didn’t like George Carlin then don’t view, listen or buy his CDs, DVDs, etc. 2) Just because Reverend Raymond Rafferty and his congregation do not like Carlin’s material or are offended by it, doesn’t mean that everyone else doesn’t like it – sorry Reverend this is a democracy and most people love Carlin. 3) George Carlin was a comedian, satirist, and a superlative observer of the silly, crazy, stupid, and irrational things we human beings say and do day in and day out. 4) What are you afraid of Reverend Rafferty ? Aren’t you an adult? 5) This is neither Stalinist Russia nor Nazi Germany. This country, the U.S.A. is the freest country in the world thanks to the First amendment and freedom of speech. 6) Lastly, (this itemized list could be much longer but…) there is a place and time for everything. It would be inappropriate for me to start spewing profanity when I am in church, at a funeral, at work or talking to my mother.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it – Reverend Rafferty. Let’s please not let this ignorant reverend impede our right to speak our minds. 6500 people in the neighborhood want to pay homage to a man they loved and adored. George Carlin made millions of people think and laugh – this is a no-brainer, rename the street for George.
So WhadaweThink ? What do you think? I love George Carlin, do you?
Here is the “seven dirty words” This is only for intelligent adults with a sense of humor, so Reverend Rafferty this is clearly not for you. As for everybody else – click on and enjoy.
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Tortoise Shell

October 12th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

Unwrap the morning paper
From its sleeve.
Smooth out the fold
And lie it flat
Against the silence
Yet unbroken.
Let it bleed.
Violence in Yemen.
Let it bleed.
It will still be there
Tomorrow.
Left unread.
Bullets falling dead
Against the tortoise shell.

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Political Witches Brew

October 9th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

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Baseball Update: The Philadelphia Phillies Are knocked Out in the First Best-of-Five Division Series 2011

October 8th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

Do I have a crystal ball? – No. Do I know and understand baseball? Yes. I am not going to re-iterate yesterday’s blog, I’ll just advise you to Read it. Well, just as I stated – the two best teams who we were supposed to see in the World Series this year, are already knocked out of the playoffs thanks to the absolute stupidity of MLB. Are they that dumb? Is MLB just suits and ties who know nothing about the game of baseball? Well, apparently yes; unless of course they want subpar baseball and inferior teams playing in the World Series.
The owners are stupid too – wasting all their money on big name players. It doesn’t really matter with the Yankees and the Steinbrenners because the New York fans will always show up if you put a good team on the field. The New York Yankees could buy every single superstar in the league and have a billion dollar payroll and that would just be swell for the typical New York fan. I will in the future write several blogs about bloated payrolls, the yanks buying the division every year (not the World Series – because they can’)t, and the teams who have and the teams who have not.
Again, this is about the nonsensical best-of-five  first round division series. Baseball has a lot of problems but let’s tackle one problem at a time. Today, most of the regular season games don’t mean a damn thing. PLEASE – I’m beseeching you MLB – you have 162 regular-season games; isn’t it just common sense to have a best-of-seven first round division series? If the Phillies or the Yankees lost in a best-of-seven series, well then that would be ok. I know it’s just two more games but statistically it really does make a difference. Or shall we keep it status quo and have the fourth and fifth best teams play in the World Series ? Sure, and nobody will watch, the ratings will be in the toilet, and everyone will lose.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? The Yankees play the Red Sox 18 times during the course of a regular season. Let me repeat that, the New York Yankees play the Boston Red Sox and everyone else in their division 18 times. For what? The games are virtually meaningless if winning the World Series is the goal. When and if the average fan realizes this, ticket sales will go way down. It’s nice to go to a ballgame in the summer just for the sake of going, but if you are a serious fan and you think any particular game has meaning in terms of winning a championship, well read my blogs.

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Baseball: when will Major League Baseball wake up, shorten the regular season, and extend the Post-season?

October 8th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

The New York Yankees, arguably the best team in Major League Baseball this year (the best for sure in the American league and maybe the National league too), were eliminated from the playoffs by the Detroit Tigers yesterday 3-2 in the deciding game of the first round of the best-of-five division league series. Am I surprised that the superior New York Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers? Of course not! I will never understand why MLB has elected to have such a short series for the first round of the playoffs. It just makes no sense! In other words, because of the short division series, there is a very good chance, that the two best teams will not play each other in the World Series.
Unlike any other sport, at the professional level, bad or inferior baseball teams beat great baseball teams all the time. The reason this is the case, is because 90% of the game relies on good pitching. Even if a team has an Ace staff, the pitcher can easily have a bad game. A pitcher can be off  his game and lose every  1 out  of 3 times he pitches and end up winning the Cy Young award i.e. a record of 18 – 9 or 20 – 10. And as for offense (the remaining 10 %) a batter who fails 2 out of 3 times or in other words gets a hit every third at bat, will hit .333 and if he does that every year for the rest of his career, he would be a shoe-in for the Hall of fame. That is just the way it is – that’s baseball.
The Yankees ended up with a record of 97 – 65 which was good enough to secure the division title and win more games than any other team in the American league.  In fact, the Yankees had more W’s than any other team in the whole league except for the Philadelphia Phillies. However comparing the number of wins with the other league is like comparing apples to oranges
There are 162 regular season games and given the nature of baseball, it’s not uncommon for a great team to lose 10 in a row or a bad team to win 10 games in a row during the course of a long season. Baseball is a streaky game, so it’s not the best team that wins the World Series, it’s the hottest team.
Not only are there too many regular season games, let’s not forget, Picher’s and catchers, spring training, and the meaningless 25 or so pre-season games. It’s too much –the baseball season is seemingly interminable. What should MLB do? In essence, there are three problems: 1. there are too many games or to be more precise there are too many meaningless games – pre-season and regular season 2. There are not enough MEANINGFUL and post-season games.3. The first playoff series is best of five; which in my opinion is the most troublesome problem, because it makes much of the regular season seem unimportant and basically a waste of time. A team does not even have to win its division; the wild card gets you into the playoffs.
The solutions to these problems are easy to rectify. Now obviously, you don’t want to play baseball in November when it’s too cold and certainly MLB would like to maintain some parity and give a small market team a chance to go all the way.  However, if one wants to see the best team in baseball representing the American league and the best team in the National league play each other in the World Series, then at the very least, trim the season from 162 games to 160 and change the division series to best –of –seven instead of best-of-five.    With this modification the owners won’t lose revenue, the underdog with the small player payroll will have a chance, and though the best-of-seven series would not ensure the best team will win and make it to the World Series, at least it’s fairer. (I know there are a lot of things that are not fair in baseball i.e. the Yankees win their division or at least make the playoffs every year because they have the highest player pay roll but that’s another blog)
So whadaya think ? What do you think? This could be a much longer blog and I have more solutions that are more radical but I’ll save that for another time. I look forward to your comments.

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“We’re Here To Put A Dent In The Universe.” – Steven Jobs, 1955 – 2011

October 6th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
To finish the quote from this blog: “We’re here… universe. Otherwise, why else even be here? “This is a quote from Steve Jobs who is credited with having originated this; however there is evidence that Socrates said it first just in different words; Whether or not this is the case is irrelevant because Mr. Jobs had always proudly and openly admitted that Socrates influenced his whole life. Steve went as far as to say that he would trade all his technological knowledge he acquired throughout his life, just to spend an afternoon with Socrates.

This blog is going to have many quotes by virtue of the fact that that Steve Jobs was a genius, an entrepreneur, a man who studied Socrates, an obvious visionary, and a huge mover and Shaker who made a lot of money. People who possess the aforementioned attributes are listened to, taken seriously, and are often quoted – Why? Because in a nutshell we want what they have and what Steve had (not the pancreatic cancer, of course) and by studying him and memorizing  his quotes we will be taken seriously and who knows perhaps if one is a good student , we ourselves may acquire some of the great things Jobs had. “R.I.P. Steve Jobs. You touched an ugly world of technology and made it beautiful.” A twitter user quoted. (Not only is Jobs quoted but even the people who talk about him are quoted.)
Let’s  take a look at some of the things Steven Jobs accomplished:

As a child:

The founder of Hewlett-Packard, William Hewlett, was so impressed with the obviously gifted young Steve Jobs that he personally hired him to work at Hewlett-Packard when he was just 13 years old.

This is an offbeat accomplishment: Steven discovered that the whistle that came in the cereal box of Captain Crunch was tuned to a frequency that made it possible to make free long distance calls by blowing the whistle in a certain way into the phone. Wow!

As an Adult:
He made the personal computer easier to use by designing and developing the Macintosh computer.(Note: his 1979 visit to Xerox’s research center in Palo Alto was without question, the key moment for the development of Jobs’ Macintosh computer; he took note of the graphic video display and the mouse pointing device. Wow! The mouse-pointing device – that’s it! So easy and user-friendly, a 90 year-old great grandpa could figure this out with ease.  No technology experience needed, as simple as seeing what you want, pointing, and clicking.)

He developed and brought to market the i-Pod, the i-Phone, and the iPad.

He was a friend of George Lucas, the famous Star Wars film writer, producer, and director, and consequently started a company called Pixar Animation Studios. This company founded by Jobs had such an impact on the world, that computer-animated film became a mainstream art enjoyed by children and adults worldwide. The first film Pixar worked on was the blockbuster – “Toy Story.”

There is so much more he accomplished and I can go into so much more detail but this is a blog. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do….” Said Steve;. All successful people know this truism – if you love it you do it with care and as a result you do it well.
Steve was not your suit and tie business guy, though there are pictures of him with a tie, as soon as he had the power he shed the corporate look and supplanted that wardrobe with jeans, sneakers and a casual shirt. He sometimes would walk around the office barefooted. Mr. Jobs was after all a hippie at heart and a true San Franciscan – and yes he was a practicing Buddhist and indeed he experimented with LSD which he boldly went on to say that the experience of altering consciousness with this drug forever changed his life for the better. He even proclaimed that ingesting LSD was actually two or three of the most important things he had ever done with his life. (Experimenting with hallucinogenics, such as LSD and mescaline, was not uncommon amongst intellectuals and visionaries. The great Aldous Huxley, author of” Brave New World” (1932), consumed mescaline and had written an incredibly thought-provoking book about the experience – “The Doors of Perception” (1954).
“Innovation has no limits. The only limit is your imagination.” Steve was as innovative and visionary as they come. He was very interested in the look of his products – not only did his products have to be efficacious but they also needed to look good and have style; Jobs was prodigiously interested in taste. “There is no shortcut to excellence.’ Steve perhaps was stating the obvious, but this is a hugely important quote because I think it’s what young people of the United States suffer from today – instant gratification isn’t quick enough. I want it now! I’m not  going to medical school, it’s 12 years of my life and I won’t make a dime until I’m 30. Well, I think we all should try to be more patient and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day; we ought to practice delayed gratification and view it as a profound virtue. (I know, I could die tomorrow and what’s the point of going to school and not reaping the benefits. True, nothing in life is guaranteed and people die before they even have a chance. But when you’re dead you are dead and what if you don’t die?)
I’m paraphrasing here but Jobs stated that we, as Americans are always taking things – the food we eat is not grown by ourselves, we speak a language that other people already developed, almost everything we possess comes from the blood, sweat, and tears of others. (I mean we pay for these things if we’re not criminals, but you know what I mean.) He went on to say that creating something new and adding it to the pool of already existing human experience and knowledge is the greatest feeling in the world. And, I personally think he unveiled the secret of happiness and a good life. Giving, helping others, and making a difference. As the title of the blog says: We’re here to put a dent in the universe.
Oh, there is so much more to write about this incredible man who was only alive on this planet for 56 years. The tears are starting to come and I just want to say, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had Steve around for another 20 or 30 years.
Finally WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I will end this Op-ed obituary and blog with a statement from Steven Jobs and Apple’s archrival, Microsoft’s Bill gates when he heard that Steve passed away at the age of 56. “For those of us lucky enough to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.” God bless Steven Jobs, R.I.P.

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A Speaker’s Worst Fear – Being Grammatically Incorrect; A Writer’s worst fear – Being Ungrammatical and Having Punctuation Errors

October 6th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Do you put any stock in the title of this blog? Well, if you’re a writer or a public speaker, the title resonates loudly and clearly (I almost inserted loud and clear but I’m modifying the verb – resonates, so I need adverbs not adjectives). Additionally, If you are some sort of an authority on grammar or if you possess the distinguished title of a grammarian, the fear of making a mistake is even more resounding.  But why is this the case? Should we be this terrified of not constructing our sentences the way we ought to?   How about ending a sentence with a preposition like I just did in the previous string of words? I am tipping my hand but my real answer is fear – NO, care and consideration – YES.
Here is a shocking disclosure and revelation – WE ALL MAKE GRAMMATICAL MISTAKES! Even E.B. White, the ultimate authority on grammar and the author of “Strunk & White,” I’m sure would admit that he would blunder from time to time. Certainly, his miscues would be fewer than the average writer or even a great writer for that matter, but a mistake here and there I can assure you he made– no doubt. The truth of the matter is the English language, grammar, and syntax is: 1. prodigiously difficult 2. arbitrary 3. utterly confusing 4. and forever evolving and changing.
As a teenager and young adult, one invariably speaks and talks like his or her parents do. If your parents were well educated, spoke well, and deemed grammar as important, then you most certainly would follow suit and have a tremendous head start in life. (I know it stinks and it’s unfair but that’s life. It’s not unlike the “rich get richer” adage. ) If on the other hand you were like me, whose parents were poor working class folks ( I love my parents and I wouldn’t change places with anyone) then I’m certain you got less than excellent marks on your written assignments. Moreover, to further undermine your already low self – esteem, I bet your teachers, especially your English teachers whenever you opened your mouth, always corrected you.
My favorite paradox is “There are no absolute truths except that there are exceptions to every absolute truth.”  So, on a occasion you will find the youngster at a very young age who buries his face in books and looks up every word in the dictionary and breaks out of the “bad grammar” cycle. This scenario usually occurs when the uneducated parents scrape together their funds and send their children to private schools. Another possibility, so as not to stray from the topic of grammar, is that your parents may be well-off and still have bad grammar – for example the rich folks who own a welding facility or some other blue-collar establishment. In my case, it wasn’t until I was in college and majored in journalism that my grammar improved significantly.
Anyway, to end with the point I want to drive home, I’ll will conclude with the truism that – Grammar is supposed to facilitate the use of the English language not stifle it. So the better your grammar, the better you write and speak. The written and spoken word will be clearer, more lucid, more intelligible, and less ambiguous; and isn’t that what communication is all about – connecting with other people. And as for Punctuation, just think of it as traffic signs for readers; the pauses , tone, geatures and expressions, etc. – punctuation is just a matter of choice. A comma means pause, the period means stop and an exclamation mark emphasizes a crucial moment.
So whadaYaThink ? What do you think? My philosophy is if you can actually be clearer and more expressively lucid using less than perfect grammar and you have a unique and appealing style Like Jack Kerouac, then be ungrammatical. And if some pedantic, word-watching, snob chooses to look down his condescending nose, well  the grammarian is none the wiser. Just do it, do not be self-conscious, use your own style, and just remember that grammar exists to help you elucidate and clarify communication not hinder it.

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire Will More Than Likely Be The Number One Ipad According To Experts

October 4th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Look out Apple ipad, here comes the Kindle Fire! This tablet, the Kindle Fire, is set to be released in November of this year and the folks at Apple are already nervous and concerned and for good reason. The IT gurus are predicting that the Kindle Fire will give Apple’s ipad a good run for its money and even bolder statements have been made suggesting that it’s a foregone conclusion; the Kindle Fire, for the price, is simply superior to Apple’s ipad and will crush Apple and its competition.   The cost of the Kindle fire is a mere $199.00 and has all the features that Apple’s ipad has such as: streaming movies and TV shows, a 7-inch multi-touch display, and total access to the Amazon Appstore.  Yet the consumer today can’t even begin to think about purchasing an ipad without spending at least 5 bills – $499.00 to be exact. For all you “techies” out there, here are some of the specs:
The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch touch-sensitive color screen.

It will run on a customized Android 2.3 operating system on a GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual-core processor.

Connectivity is through 802.11n Wi-Fi and USB 2.0

8 GB OF Storage.

Now to put the aforementioned specs into English: The Kindle Fire is awesome and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. You will be able to watch movies, listen to music (it can carry 800 songs) & hold 6000 books. Wow ! Is it even possible for $199.00? Yes and there is more.   You have access to the Amazon Appstore, e-mail, webmail (which literally combines all your e-mail, yahoo, Hotmail, AOL into one).
So WhadaYaThink ? Is it too good to be true? I look forward to all your comments.
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