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Eight Hours

October 28th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
Ca-Ca-Ca-rawling
Across the wall
Just like a shadow
Spreading like fear,
Eight legg-ed
Arachnid,
Eight hours to kill.
Sa-Sa-Sa-leepless
Night,
My clocks a face
With that look of alarm
And eight hours of nil.
Ca-Ca-Ca-rawling
Across my eyes,
The dust of eons,
The must of peons
With eight hours,
Eight hours to chill.
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Trick or Treaters

October 22nd, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
The age old custom of Trick or Treating originated in the British Isles in the 1890’s but was borrowed from what was once called “souling” in the Middle Ages. Needy people, disguised as evil spirits in order to placate them, would go from door to door on November 1st (known as Hallowmas) to ask for food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day. (Personally, I believe this was a creative ruse devised to quell the stabs of hunger in their bellies brought on by starvation). Interestingly, Shakespeare mentions the tradition in The Two Gentlemen of Verona when one accuses the other of “puling” (whining) like a beggar at Hallowmas.
As kids, we all remember the sheer nervous anticipation of participating in this annual event and the delight in receiving as much candy and treats than could conceivably be devoured. All for nothing. Ah! Let me expound on that. In recent years, engaged in the ritual on the other side of the door, I have witnessed such complacency in the practice causing bemusement rather than amusement. The doorbell rings. I get up and six characters of assorted shapes and sizes stand at the door with their bags out. There is no jubilant chorus of “TRICK OR TREAT!” Not a peep. They stand there mute and expect you to dole out the goods without question. Don’t their parents teach them Halloween etiquette? In olden days, not only was this a prerequisite for receiving the expected treat, but the caller would be asked to recite a poem or sing a song as retribution. These days, by the time each child is given candy, they turn and run off to the next house without my seeing whether they were ghost or goblin, Obama or Mitt Romney (or isn’t that the same thing?)  I feel like shouting, “Wait! Let me see your costume!” But there’s no time for chit chat. After awhile I’m inclined to get a bit perturbed when they don’t say the three magic words. I’ve been known to open the door and say, “Yes? May I help you?” which prompts only one of the bunch to utter a half hearted “trick or treat”. The rest stare blankly or look a bit perplexed as though it were I that has two heads and not one of them. In fact, that might be a good costume with which to greet them.  At least I’d get a reaction.
Since so little is received in return for my generosity to appease the souls of ill informed (and ill mannered) ghouls, I’ll begin using the honor system; place a basket by the door and hope one or two greedy beggars don’t spoil it for everyone else. I can watch from the window at my leisure, examine their costumes that would otherwise escape in a tail end blur, and won’t have to control the urge to smack the hand that grabs too much.  It’s either that or dress the part of a Victorian schoolmarm, “Now say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ or all you’ll get is a note home to your mother”. For the convenience of parents, the following is a handy dandy introduction on the procedure for your kids:
1. Choose a house decorated for Halloween. (Avoid those with none or be prepared to stand waiting for an indeterminate length of time after the doorbell’s been rung several times in irritating succession).
2. Ring doorbell. (Once is sufficient).
3. When the door opens, say “Trick or Treat”. For added emphasis, put some heart into it. It’s supposed to be fun.
4. Wait, don’t grab for treats. And don’t say “Can I have the Sour Patch Kids instead?” because they’re way down at the bottom of the basket causing treats to spill all over the floor.
5.  Say, “Thank you” or if you ask for more for your invisible kid brother, say “please”, then “thank you”.
6. If you have the time, politely allow the home owner to admire your costume. Look monstrously scary or adorably cute, whichever your character dictates.
7. Run off to the next house and repeat the aforementioned process.
8. Along the way, it is acceptable to indulge in some, not all, of the treats, disposing properly of any wrappings. Scattering to the wind is not proper but it is fun. I’ll allow it this once.
9. Remember to smile behind your mask. You’re a kid that’s supposed to be having a good time.
10. One more thing. Be nice to the old lady who only gives you pennies. She needs to get rid of them and this is the perfect opportunity. You can always throw them around and people will think they’ve found pennies from heaven. It will make their day.
So…………..whadayathink? What’s your beef with Halloween Trick or Treaters? Do you see changes in kids over the years or is cynicism getting the better of me? The best Trick or Treaters don’t expect anything. One year upon answering the door, several older boys were sprawled on the front lawn like corpses. In a few seconds, they all jumped up and ran away. The performance was repeated at the next house. All that was required was a look of surprise and a sense of humor.
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Why is Government Funding A Dirty Word?

October 19th, 2012 by Michael Tabor
Written by guest blogger, Karl Larson

In the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s was the beginning of the growth of technology that eventually created the mobile phone, computer, internet, and GPS, it was government funded university research; the military funded Military Air & space programs and NASA that originally fueled these industries. These technologies would have never been fueled by private enterprise most of the tough specifications required funding that might be considered too risky for private enterprise. These early stages of development and success created in industry and system of venture capital investments that snowballed the process fueling the exponential growth in the 1980’s 1990’s and early 2000s.

We are using everyday products that were created during this time that we only read about in Science fiction novels / movies and television shows. Who would have thought that more than 3 Billion people are connected everyday via the mobile phone or that 1/6 of the world’s population can communicate on an internet device daily via Facebook. These were all created by the process explained above not by just private enterprise but by government programs and private enterprise working together sometimes not even knowing it, but working together all the same.

We are currently stuck in neutral and need other program(s) like these to fuel the next innovation and growth boom. Private enterprise can not create this alone, we need to have programs that to some seem unprofitable to fund technologies that might seem way too risky for the private investor. Government programs can fuel economic growth as they did in the past. Private enterprise and small business alone can not drive economic prosperity in the USA. Private and public enterprises all demand a profit, and shareholders today wish to see that profit in months not years or decades. Government backed or generated programs are not in it for the profit, the programs should be designed to fuel new unproven technologies. Some will fail,but the successful ones will create new markets and business’s we have never even predicted.

Austerity and Cutting of spending will only lead to more economic uncertainty. Fighting with China for their low paying jobs is a losing proposition. Putting tariffs in place will not work. The Low paying jobs that went to China will not come back; we need to focus on what will work here now. Focusing on high tech alternative energy and technologies, New ideas fueled within the university system. Aerospace, Military and NAS programs. if we expand H1A Visa’s foreign students who get their degrees here in the USA will actually stay and work here innovating HERE not in China or India or Japan, Korea. It will be these students and our own kids who will create industries that we don’t even know about or can imagine yet. Making it easier to manufacture here with minimum restrictions and regulations and low Business taxes will make it more attractive to actually innovate here then keep the manufacturing here and not ship it to Contract Manufactures in south east Asia.

Whomever is the President in January needs to work with the congress and get this economy out of the mud and make this country a powerhouse of innovation and prosperity for all. That in my opinion is the most important issue. I have not heard from either candidate a solid action plan that will really create these opportunities. What happened to accountability? What happened to actually holding these guys to a standard of telling us exactly how they are going to get it done. Where is the plan? I have only seen fluff and meaningless vaporware.

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The Genius of Bureaucracy

October 19th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

The most effective and most powerful tool the government or big corporations of any kind can possess to control vast numbers of people is bureaucracy. The secret and key to bureaucracy is to make it as large (full of red tape) messy , complicated, and Labyrinthine enough so that one (actually part of the bureaucracy but doesn’t know it) is so involved with his or her own little task, not unlike a cog in a big machine, that it becomes impossible to see the big picture. The Nazis were simply the best at bureaucratizing, propagandizing (bureaucracy’s twin) everything so that 98% of its citizenry were in the dark on everything and as for the other intellectual 2%, Hitler’s henchmen just used brute force to shut them up.
One of the preeminent authors of the twentieth Century, Franz Kafka, spent his entire writing career spilling ink on bureaucracy, and for which his legacy is forever embedded in the annals of literary thought and social consciousness. Yes, the eponymous adjective, Kafkaesque, describes the senseless (for us) multi- layered, prodigiously frustrating menacing complexity the super – rich minority use to control the poor and middle – class majority with laser beam precision.
Now Hitler and Nazism is certainly the most extreme example of bureaucracy gone twistedly awry, however every single person on the face of the earth must deal with it every single day of our lives. The spectrum is monumentally wide from having to fill out endless forms and other paper work and waiting on long snaking lines at Motor Vehicle to life and death circumstances when an innocent person is sitting on death row because all of the powers that be have not signed the pertinent paperwork. What’s so awe-inspiringly Machiavellian and efficacious about bureaucracy is that 1. It seems to have a life of its own, no human intervention is necessary once it’s successfully emplaced i.e. Microsoft doesn’t exist, it’s a corporate entity – it’s not tangible. 2. No one person gets blamed – the more convoluted and intricately involved the bureaucracy is, the more effective and numbers of blameless people you have. We all have heard the statement, “I was only following orders”, “My boss told me to do it”, “It’s company’s policy…” ad infinitum.
Regular readers of this blog know that there is Rhyme and reason to WhadaweThink: A.We raise a compelling issue that may be topical, trending, in the news, the talk of the town (to borrow from The New Yorker), or actually we often have an enduring and eternal principle that perhaps Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle would be discussing. B. provide a few examples and illustrations C. Give a personal opinion or actual experience D. Then finally ask what you think, the readers, and welcome debate and discussion.
So to conclude this essay, I want to say that I am personally being forced to jump through hoops to land a low paying part – time job, i.e. “I would hire you on the spot, but you must apply online and wait, etc. What is that all about? Because of today’s bureaucracy, it’s harder to get a blue collar job with a big company than it’s to work for a smaller company – even if it’s an executive position. So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I talked about what can happen to an entire country when bureaucracy is in full swing but what about on a smaller more personal level when one is just looking for a job or even registering to vote (Photo Id’s, and well that’s another blog) What is your story? Are you frustrated with bureaucracy ?

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What should We Do With Juvenile Killers?

October 14th, 2012 by Michael Tabor
On the front page of the New York Times 10/14/12, there is an article about a  young man, Maurice Bailey, from Pennsylvania who killed his 15 year old pregnant girlfriend, was shortly thereafter apprehended and subsequently indicted, convicted and sentenced to Life imprisonment without parole. This horrific crime occurred in 1993 and Maurice is now 34 years old; there is no question about his guilt – Law enforcement did an excellent job and got the right guy.
I have, however, 3 concerns about this sad story 1.There is an inconsistency with every state’s criminal justice sentencing policy – I mean why didn’t this juvenile (Bailey was also 15 at the time he committed the crime) get at least a chance at parole when the poster boy for heinous crimes, Charles Manson, is eligible (he’s always denied, thank God, but he does get a chance). 2. Maurice Bailey has never denied having committed the crime, is remorseful, and is a completely different man. 3. Inasmuch as Bailey is now a responsible adult and no longer a stupid, violent kid (Btw, I also want to let everyone reading this, that this was also a crime of passion) your holding or even very often (if the inmate is on death row) putting to death an altogether different person.
Let me be clear on this, if the victim were my child, I probably would not want the killer of my daughter to EVER get out, so I completely UNDERSTAND and can relate to the feelings and thoughts of the victim’s family. However, if the killer was truly rehabilitated, remorseful, and no longer a threat to society, I hope I would have the compassion (not unlike Jesus) to realize that the person who killed my child is no longer the same person and has paid his debt to society. I believe that EVERY human being is precious, and although my daughter would never get a second chance and would be gone forever, perhaps this once horrible person can be released and make a positive difference in the world. Killing or incarcerating a once upon a time monster won’t bring back the victim, it’s just a waste – another victim gone forever.
My neighbor, Valerie Vickers, 16,(I had a boyhood crush on her) and best friend with my sister, Mary, was murdered by another Juvenile (I’ve forgotten the killer’s name and couldn’t find him on Google) in the early 1970s when I was just 13. He was a gun collector, and for reasons, only the killer knows, shot Valerie in the chest, neck, and face area; she was so disfigured that the casket had to be closed. I remember the wake like it was yesterday – Fran Vickers, her mother, was literally laying on top of her daughter’s casket sobbing uncontrollably. I can also vividly recollect the state of Greg Vickers (the father) and Greg, jr (Valerie’s brother) – Ineffably and unspeakably sad. I still remember the spirited Valerie showing me the gigantic frog she caught and kissing me on the cheek for accompanying her on a scary ride at the local fair in our small town. The then surviving Vickers, Greg Sr., Greg, Jr., and Fran are all dead now (they tragically all died too young of cancer) and I have no idea what happened to her killer, but if he is still alive, and TRULY reformed, what good is it now, to just let him rot in prison.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I miss Valerie and my eyes are filling with tears when I think of that whole wonderful family, but what if her killer is truly a good man now. I will leave you with a French proverb that no human is capable of , but we can all try ! “To know all, is to forgive all.”
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Gallery Of Junk

October 14th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
Under glass.
Preserve the rust
Of ages.
Don’t touch.
Don’t set the wheels
In motion,
The jagged jaws
Of time.
No euphemism
Softens the blow.
The art has died
With its creator.
And on the sidewalk
It’s just junk.
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Could it be True That Facebook and LinkedIn are Guilty of Collusion ?

October 11th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

My Letter to the New York Times:

Dear Pierre,

Thank you for taking my call and affording me the opportunity to inform you of what may be our worst fears realized – Mark Zuckerberg, 28, Founder and Chief Executive of Facebook and Jeff Weiner, 39, CEO of LinkedIn are in cahoots and more disturbingly censoring the comments of those individuals whom they perceive to perhaps have a deleterious effect on each billionaire’s respective empire. I left an innocuous comment on Facebook, simply stating the fact that Jeff Weiner has publicly and privately remarked that Facebook is a light and breezy forum through which friends and loved ones can interact. Mr. Weiner has continually stated that LinkedIn dwarfs the substantive, scholarly, and professional value of Facebook and that to even compare the two social networking sites is laughable. Furthermore, I went on to comment and defend Facebook by stating that I am a daily visitor to Mr. Zuckerberg’s site and though LinkedIn is certainly the place to go if one is interested in business relationships, Facebook is second to none in terms of exchanging messages with friends and loved ones. I also must say that I resorted to ad hominem in regards to Mr. Weiner’s thoughts about Facebook and when I inserted a curse word, however I relied on the acceptable –  **&^&%&, etc.

The story is that if:  Had  I made the disparaging comments on LinkedIn , I would almost understand, but certainly not agree (the New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, always allow criticism) censoring my remarks, but what makes this absolutely deplorable is that I criticized LinkedIn and defended Facebook on FACEBOOK, and they sabotaged my commentary. This is absolutely unacceptable and a glaringly blatant infringement on my (our) 1st amendment rights of freedom of speech. Now did they break the law – of course not, they can do whatever they want. However I think that it’s imperative that the New York Times alert their readers that 1. Facebook and LinkedIN are certainly guilty of collusion and 2. Any well-written disparaging remarks or comments by a subscriber will more likely than not be censored. The world’s two biggest social networking sites will not allow criticism of itself – my goodness, that’s not democracy and it’s an outright disgrace.

Best regards,

Michael

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Quote from Lao Tzu

October 9th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Lao Tzu, circa 5tth B.C.E.

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We, The American People, Have Put to Death Scores of Innocent People

October 8th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

I’ll begin by saying that I am vehemently an advocate for killing really bad people like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy; these individuals are monsters, analogous to CANCER who must be eliminated ASAP. However, to dive right into what I want to say – we sadly have killed 1000s of truly innocent people. Saturday night I saw a documentary titled ‘Deadline’ about the story of why Governor of Illinois, George Ryan (R) granted clemency to all 156 inmates on Illinois’ death row.
This chilling documentary upset (understatement – I cried), appalled, and literally rattled the very core of my being when I heard that SEVENTEEN (17) Inmates on the state’s death row were through DNA and careful reexamination of the evidence, exonerated. Many of whom had spent more than a decade in a 6 by 8 cage doing time for a crime they didn’t commit. How did this happen ? Can you imagine being incarcerated for something you didn’t do? Doesn’t that just want to make you scream? Guess who these people were? Yep, you guessed it – the poor, uneducated, and mostly black (90%). The other 10% comprised Hispanic (couldn’t speak English and thereby defend themselves adequately) and a couple of rootless white guys.
True, most of the inmates were GUILTY and had committed the most heinous crimes imaginable and deserved to be there, however nearly 11% were found to be INNOCENT! That is outrageous, I thought the death penalty was supposed to be reserved for the real monsters about whom there was absolutely Zero doubt. I think that if the state makes a mistake and even ONE innocent person is imprisoned for 2 decades and finally murdered, then the death penalty ought to be abolished, period.
I strongly recommend that everyone “Netflix” ‘Deadline – it covers in great detail everything I’ve written about thus far. But, in the interim let me explain in a nutshell what is going on and why we’re killing innocent people. Obviously, this is the greatest country in the world (however, prodigiously flawed) and we want to get the bad guy. Nevertheless, when there is a high – profile case (not nationally but locally) there is a tremendous amount of pressure from the public to find and jail the perpetrator as soon as possible. Hence, law enforcement works 24/7 to accomplish the aforementioned, which is good and bad, mostly bad – here’s why: When the police have a suspect, and some evidence on him, they want so badly to get an indictment that the interrogators literally BEAT a confession out of them. Cleverly, they ensure that no marks are left; blunt instruments are used to club the suspects over the head (no blood) or to the stomach, so externally there’s no evidence of a beating. There are also a plethora of other techniques – sleep deprivation, loud music, even medieval methods such as a makeshift rack wherein a person’s limbs (both arms & legs) are stretched out (very often dislocating the person’s extremities out of the socket) to an extreme degree causing intense pain. The next problem is the poor, inarticulate suspect with no money is stuck with a public defender who more often than not, is a lousy lawyer or is someone green right out of law school. Additionally this PD is going up against the state, which has all the money and resources in the world. Next problem is once there is an indictment and then conviction, the prosecution does not want to go back, redress the whole trial and ADMIT they were wrong (this is sickening! Many prosecutors know the guy is innocent, but their career and reputation is more important than killing an innocent person). Next – the politicians know that the public LOVES the death penalty and if you’re going to be elected, you “gotta” be tough on crime and no one wants to hear about their elected official commuting a sentence. Lastly, the saddest group, the victim’s loved ones. When you set someone free, obviously someone got away with murder, you didn’t get the right guy, there was no justice rendered, not to mention the fact, the family has to relive the horror.
So WhaDaYaThink, What do you think? This essay is a little longer than I intended, and I made a promise to daily readers of this blog, that I was going to elaborate on how George W. Bush, former Governor of Texas and the worst president in the history of this country refused to reexamine questionable cases. Texas, when he was governor, was the leader in putting people to death. There is no question in anyone’s mind that some of those people he gave the green light to kill were INNOCENT ! George W. Bush is a monster and a hypocrite, and truth be told, he, himself ought to be on death row for war crimes, lying to the American public, subverting the Constitution of the United states and starting an illegal war. This however is gist for our ever-grinding mill of lively blogs to come.

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Portrait Of You

October 8th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
My portrait of you
Is a still life painting
Of books in a pile,
Opened and scattered
Across the floor,
On tables and chairs.
Trails of thought,
Like a scientific formula,
Abbreviated and scribbled
On pocket sized pads.
Have you found the secret
To your life changing event?
My portrait of you
Is a still life painting.
Books in a pile.
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