Prelude to a Money Rant: Mini Post About the Koch Brothers

Charles and David Koch - The Koch Brothers
Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

On my way to doing some research for another post I had planned for today, I saw a prompt from The Blogging Meetup. The topic was money and I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance.

Now, I came across a video from The Real News Network about the Koch Brothers (Charles and David), two of the wealthiest individuals in the world who inherited an oil fortune. The video, narrated by Danny Glover, was instructive and I came away from it knowing more about the Kochs than I did before.

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Famous Sayings: #79 — ‘Cut to the Chase’

September 16, 2017

Let’s cut to the chase.

cut to the chase, chase scene, famous sayings
Chase scenes have evolved over the years. (Screenshot from YouTube)

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I’ll cut to the chase and say that I really need a new computer. While doing the research for this phrase, I had to deal with nonresponsive keys (the N key and B key don’t always work when I press them and now the =/+ key and CAPS Lock are slow to respond, as well.) It’s a mess but unfortunately, it will be a while before I can resolve this problem.

Anyway …

This was a fun phrase to research and I didn’t really think about its origin until now but it’s really interesting.

But first, let’s talk about the meaning of this phrase.

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On Second Thought … (Blog Update for September 14, 2017)

blog update, natural disasters, What Happened, rift on the left

This is an impromptu blog update, but I wanted to fill my readers in on what I plan to do and to briefly discuss some current events.

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September 11: Where We Were and Where We Are Now

Twin Towers-NYC

I remember September 11, 2001 clearly.

Sixteen years ago, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. The Twin Towers were the first structures targeted.

The scene was jarring. At around 8:46 am in NYC, the Northern tower was hit. The south tower would be hit at 9:03 am.

But the attacks didn’t stop there. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Then a third crash landed in a field in Pennsylvania.

I was not awake when the fits planes hit but someone alerted me to the news about the Twin Towers.

It was total chaos. No one understood what was happening and after the Pentagon was attacked, we expected even more to come, but the last attack was thwarted. George W. Bush, who was reading a story to Kindergarteners, was frozen when a Secret Serviceman whispered the news in his ear.

Oddly enough, Dick Cheney’s location was unknown. Just where was he?

On the television, there were scenes of people fleeing the burning building, but the most unfortunate people in the buildings had nowhere to escape. Some of them jumped from windows high up as the towers smoldered.


Unprecedented Terror

Within an hour, at 9:59 am, the south tower fell. It was followed by the collapse of the north tower at 10:28 am. Building 7 also fell much later in the day and other buildings in that complex suffered damage.

More importantly, 2,996 lives were lost. Among the victims were passengers of the airlines, diplomats and workers from around the world, and hundreds of first responders.

For a while, New York City looked like a war zone. Some compared the scenes to what a nuclear winter would look like.

This was a devastating attack, the largest act of terrorism on American soil. But in the following days, many of us allowed ourselves to set aside our differences and recognize that we were all citizens of the world. Americans in particular expressed a type of solidarity never seen since.


Bush’s Response

September 11, George W. Bush, first responders, ground zero, terrorism

By the time Dubya visited the area that came to be known as “Ground Zero,” many of us cheered him on when he said the following words in response to a first responder who yelled, “I can’t hear you!”

I can hear you. I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all us soon.

Bush’s words were met with cheers and chants of “USA! USA!”

Bush’s words were what many of us needed. We needed someone who showed leadership, reassured us, and gave a stern warning to the people responsible for that attack.

For all intents and purposes, this was uncharted territory. For so many young people, it marked the end of their innocence. For those who had heard and read about terrorism before, this was likely their first look at it up close.

At that moment, Bush had more trust than he previously had on Inauguration Day. He had more respect around the world than he ever had and he had a tremendous amount of political capital …

Part of what followed was the War on Terror.


The War on Terror

As we soon found out, the perpetrators of the attacks were operatives of a terrorist organization named Al Qaida. The network was created by Osama Bin Laden, a native of Saudi Arabia who had been an heir to a fortune, but lived in mountainous regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As it turns out, fifteen or sixteen of the hijackers on September 11 had also come from Saudi Arabia.

We had to respond, but how? Afghanistan had come to be known as the “Graveyard of Empires” and the Soviets had been bogged down when they made an incursion into that area — or so we believed.

Regardless, we felt that our military had to go. But there stood the Taliban, a regime that had given Al Qaida sanctuary in the 1990’s but refused to hand over the network’s senior leaders. The United States would have to fight the Taliban, too. And so the war in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001.

At home, anxiety levels were raised as the military went abroad and people had to see their loved ones fight in a war many of us felt was justified. What we did not know was how long it would take — nor did we know that Iraq would serve as another stage in a global war on terror.


The Long-Term Effects of the September 11, 2001 Attacks

This war is currently in its 16th year and with each year, more and more people are questioning the efficacy of it. While most people will say they’d like to see an end to terrorism once and for all, the question remains: Can this be done with conventional fighting?

Whenever that question is asked, it might be met by silence or outright mockery. And often we are told to look at the next threat. Yesterday, it was Syria. Tomorrow, it might be North Korea. But we are already dealing with secret wars in Pakistan and parts of Africa …

The kids and many adults are growing weary.

Additionally, we are still dealing with the fear and mistrust of Muslims, at home and abroad. Now, a case can be made about vetting entrants into countries and every year we hear about attacks in Europe which have been carried out by those linked to militant Islamists. The United States (and Canada) have tough vetting standards as it is and many of our Muslims are fairly progressive in their views and peaceful. But the prejudice persists, often reinforced by news outlets …

These are some of the challenges we face today. What will be our way forward?

Famous Sayings: #78 — ‘A Face Only a Mother Could Love’

September 8, 2017

That girl has a face only a mother could love.

a face only a mother could love, Emma Mae, famous sayings, insult
The phrase “a face only a mother could love” might have originated from a 1976 independent film. The screenshot was taken from the scene where that line was uttered. (Pictured: Ernest Williams II as “Jesse Adams.”)

I know, I know. This isn’t a nice saying, but the search for its origin was well worth it. In the process, I was able to learn something new (as always) and I had an excuse to look a film I had never heard of before.

Before talking about the origin, let’s fist define what the saying means.

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Re: The Recent Hurricanes (Harvey & Irma)

Hurricane Irma 4-5 September GOES Floater Rainbow IR view

I shared this message on Facebook, concerning the recent hurricanes.

We will know more about storms in the coming days, but it was important to talk a little bit about them now. I have sent messages to some people in Florida and I hope anyone who resides in the affected areas will be alright.

Labor Day 2017: Four Work-Related Articles

Labor Day, working hard, work smart, productivity

This year, I wanted to share a few links for Labor Day. Recently, I have come across some links with a work theme. I came across one while working on my latest Famous Sayings post (#77 — Working Hard or Hardly Working). Another article led to yet another and a blog post.

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Famous Sayings: #77 — ‘Working Hard or Hardly Working’

September 1, 2017

Are you working hard or hardly working?

working hard or hardly working, Labor Day, famous sayings, chiasmus
Has this man been working hard? To me, it looks like he was hardly working. (Photo by Jason Ernst via Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.)

For Labor Day Weekend, I wanted to do another themed post. Originally, I wanted to look at this phrase last year, but I decided to go with something else for two reasons: First, there wasn’t a lot of information out there. Second, I thought this phrase seemed a bit disrespectful for the occasion.

Since then, I found some articles related to this theme, some with bits of inspiration. However, it was hard to pin down the origin of this phrase.

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Free Speech for All, Even on the Internet?

free speech, Internet, Write Anything Wednesday

While I was offline, there were more developments stemming from the violence in Charlottesville, VA. I already talked about the planned protests by white supremacists, but I plan on talking about more of the details in the coming days. But one caveat of this discussion involves free speech, which I will discuss now.

I was made aware of this issue because of an article on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website. As the writers of this article point out, the actions of the services involved set an alarming precedent.


What Happened?

The Daily Stormer, the Neo-Nazi website which was used to help organize the event in Charlottesville, became embroiled in a controversy involving freedom of speech.

Sometime after the attack in Charlottesville, the writers at that site insulted Heather Heyer, the woman who died when she was run over in Charlottesville in a heartless, disgusting article.

Days after that article, The website was essentially taken from the open Internet by GoDaddy and Google. GoDaddy, a domain hosting service, kicked the Daily Stormer off its service and Google cancelled the website’s Internet registration.

This move forced the Daily Stormer to move to the Dark Web. The managers of the website took to twitter on Tuesday, August 15, to tell their followers how they could access the website after the takedown.

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Famous Sayings: #76 — ‘Sweep Her off Her Feet’

August 25, 2017

Carol wishes someone would come and sweep her off her feet.

sweep her off her feet, love, famous sayings

Yesterday, I looked at the expression “flying by the seat of your pants.” Today, I will look at another phrase which metaphorically suggests that someone’s feet are off the ground.


What Does It Mean When Someone Is Swept off Their Feet?

To be swept off one’s feet can mean several things, but it depends on what is being discussed. In short, it means someone is falling in love, finding something or someone attractive, or something or someone has captured (another) person’s imagination.

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