Earth Day: Packaged for the Masses

Oscar the Grouch at  home in trash can.

Like us, Oscar the Grouch lives in a trash can. But at least he is green.

[we’re giving the Earth a bad wrap]
I’m feeling guilty.

Two days ago, I discovered I was running low on razors.  Just some simple razors to cut hair off.  (I won’t admit to where the offending hair is.)  I felt particularly stupid having not gotten some during my last visit to the drug store and didn’t really want to make a second trip.  I admit it.  I was too lazy to get into a machine that would take me the half mile to the drug store.  So,  I took a chance and looked at Amazon.

Lo and behold, I found the exact same razor pack my drugstore sells.  Only Amazon sells them in “superpacks”.  The superpack is a triple package, basically like buying in bulk, but each package contained the usual 12 razors plus a bonus razor which my drug store packages didn’t even have!  And here’s the kicker:  this superpack was retailing on Amazon for less than 3x the cost of the individual package in the drug store.  And that price doesn’t even include the 3 bonus razors!

I would actually be paying less – even before the bonus razors – by buying through Amazon.  Throw in that (a) I wouldn’t have to pay sales tax on the products and (b) they would be delivered right to my door and all of a sudden it became a no-brainer.  Mohammed didn’t have to go to the razors, the razors would come to him.

Lazy?  Ha!  I was a smart consumer. I was actually saving money by not going to the drug store. What a great country! Think about it:  I was having a special shipment of razors sent directly to me.  How can that be more efficient than having a bulk box of razors shipped to the drug store where they have regular deliveries anyway?

Please, don’t interrupt my euphoria about price.

Well, today, on Earth Day, I get the package.  Continue Reading

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United States Civil War: A Warning from History

William Sherman as photographed by Matthew Brady

General William T. Sherman, photographed in 1865 with a black armband for the recently assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Today he reminds us the consequences of pushing extremism.

[…those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out…]
Today, April 12, many will be talking about the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s orbital mission into space.  It is also, however, the 150th anniversary of the Confederacy’s attack on the federal garrison on Fort Sumter – the action that required President Abraham Lincoln to finally act decisively on the rebel states.

Thus began a Civil War, that in many ways has not ceased today.  As then, today conservative forces (this time Republican, not Democratic as 150 years ago) complain of an intrusive Federal government and speak of a trampling of “states’ rights”.  Ironically, these same conservative forces claim a love of God, Constitution, and Country – though their political actions hardly show such love or empathy. “No compromise” is the rallying theme of these extreme forces. Then… and now.

Three and a half years after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, during his famous “March to the Sea”, Continue Reading