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Alex Baer

Another Steam Plume - Part 2

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More than a month ago, Trayvon Martin was killed.  We are still trying to find out what happened, precisely, amid cascading failures by local police, temporary steps and side-steps to shore up this or take a peek into that.  The static view to date of these "stand your ground" killings shows us later-stage symptoms of an American disease no longer in remission: Racism.

You need not be an expert to know something has gone terribly wrong in life and liberty here, and feel a cold, clammy, unsettling change in the American character and nation, whatever its superficial and surface appearances may say.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:02

Another Steam Plume - Part 1

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Half-promised this would not happen again, trudging down these muddied and bloodied paths again, sledging through this sludge, examining the worst possible aspects and traits of human beings -- yet, here we are, we keep arriving here once again.

Geologists will tell you, in nature, steam plumes are necessary for relieving pressure building up inside something, that they keep things from exploding.  Good enough.  We'll run with that relief for the moment, and ignore the fact that those columns of super-heated steam are also signs of imminent danger right under us, just beneath our surfaces, where no-one can see.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:42

Water, water...

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World Water Day came and went recently, Thursday, the twenty-second.  I saw it lap at my feet for a moment, then, it was gone again, vanished, submerged back into our busy world, three-quarters of it water.

It is difficult to remember, to not take clean water for granted:  We grew up around it, seems like an automatic birthright, it's always been clean, always been here.  Liquid water, a rarity among bodies in space, plenty of it right here:  It nurtures and sustains us, grows our food, helps us exist and be.

Clean water's a no-brainer, or always used to be, as most basics of life and living once were. Of course, nations go through pendulum swings and phases, and, by all measures now, we are in an uber-right wing phase, worst ever seen or tracked, in which no aspect of life and living thing is certain, not in this climate of winner-take-all, right-is-wrong, and screw-you-I-got-mine.

Last Updated on Monday, 26 March 2012 21:32

Timing's Everything

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Timing's everything, crucial in humor. Once in a while, Life cooperates, makes slim allowances for fine coincidences -- as in a recent flurry of fun headlines.  Maryland hosted a double-header: free roadside cash, and a stranded superhero by the side of the road, too.

First, 58-hundred bucks flew the coop from an armored truck cruising down I-270, when cash hit the road in two plastic bags, bursting apart when they splashed down, making the paper money fly and fly.  A woman headed to work told AP:  "It was in the traffic lanes and on the shoulders and just generally kind of like a snow globe of cash." Timing, all the way, for the 40 or so who pulled over, stopped to stoop and bend, scooping up bills lickety-split.  The truck continued down the road.  Police have a no-questions-asked, amnesty policy in place for any errant cash being turned in:  so far, a hundred bucks -- good luck with that.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 March 2012 17:47

Breaking Through to Another Side

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Life has its low points, and a whole bunch of whatever lumped into the middle, and a few bright, diamond-dust highs scattered here and there.  Obviously, the trick is to get out from under the lows, clutch and cling at the middle like crazy, and run the clock, waiting for some highs.

It's never obvious that the lows will in fact bottom out, not while you're in them, hoping the blows will pass.  It's not evident things will turn the corner if shabby luck has the habit of breezing on in, triple-bundled, arriving in wholesale batches from three to thirty-three, by the case and the gross.  Somehow, those low points actually come to an end:  We get through, get back to the middle, and even go on to some more highs.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 March 2012 11:56

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