Our Squirrely World

A few more things: First, a post-script on the modern military combat veteran. In the age of endless deployments & re-deployments, statistics document the highest suicide rate among them than ever before. Post dramatic stress disorder. Well, done, Pentagon, Bush, Obama.

Who’s your personal hero? Most admired, whatever…Mine is Ralph Nader. He posts his commentaries, analysis on his website, and I wish I were half as insightful, articulate and spot-on as he is. He’s the person I most wish I could meet some day. Ralph can deploy a laser beam of logically irrefutable barbs and broadsides that scares the mainstream politicos and media mavens shitless.  I know this because he gets systematically marginalized, if not completely ignored, when he attempts formal foray into the modus operandi of modern American socio-economic policies of all ilk, including a recent posting where he excoriates the New York Yankees for polluting their broadcasts with commercial “sponsorships” of every aspect of the game’s action as it unfolds. Maybe the Yankees will bar him from attending their games now.  It wouldn’t the first time Ralph will be persona non grata if they did, though. I think it was the 2004 presidential election debate when organizers had him not only excluded from being a participant (he was on the ballot in most states) but wouldn’t even allow him to be in the audience! Mr.Nader is in his late 70s and I hope he stays healthy and engaged for many, many more years. He’s a neglected national hero (a legendary consumer safety advocate) whose character dwarfs that of those who fear him. Ralph knows it, and so do they. He’s got a sense of humor, too, having hosted Saturday Night Live once, maybe twice.

Random: why do urban-area squirrels attempt to cross busy roads when the side they depart from appears as woodsy and safe as the one to which they are headed? Are these squirrels having an affair across the road? The road kill seems inevitable if they attempt it more than a couple of times. But if it’s in the name of squirrel love then they, like humans, are creatures of folly.

In less than two weeks, daylight starts getting shorter. After the 21st of June the sun will start setting earlier, on a relentless decline until six months later when the days again start getting longer. It always comes as a sort of head-scratcher, knowing that, even on a 93 degree day in late June, that it’s unavoidably all downhill til late December. Then again, on some frigid day in late December, when a Chicagoan’s lips are turning blue, he or she can take cold comfort in knowing that, inexorably, it’s all back uphill heading to the third week of the following June. It’s just a state of mind…and a matter of layers of clothing.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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