Friday, November 17, 2017

Turkeys of the World Unite

Image result for tofurky day

On Turkey Day

One bird we honor on this day of thanks;
Alongside our symbol of freedom she ranks.
Regard for her grows as we near “Turkey Day.”
(I’ll parse her death as “regard,” if I may.)

Are turkeys the victims of vile human power?
A simpering few harbor thoughts fairly dour:
“These birds live their lives in a self-conscious way;
These birds aren't for stuffing, or eating,” they say.

"Why don't they admit that tradition's a right;
One sufficiently strong to eclipse the bird’s plight?
Perhaps they’re just bored, confused, or hate cooking;
It’s only a bird (and rather ill-looking)."

"Those in the know limit thought to our brains:
Alone we can suffer, feel pleasures and pains.
Just meeting our needs – a formidable feat;
How dreary the world, each entrée sans meat!"

"Life’s like a raft, with but room for one kind;
(So barely embrained and too simple to mind.)"
The turkey we honor on this day of thanks;
Alongside our symbol of freedom she ranks.


Friday, October 27, 2017

(CMI) (Disaster) Capitalism to the Rescue

(CMI) Extraterrestrial Commentary on Income Inequality

"I say, Glorp, these earth-creatures and their leaders seem curiously driven to defend an obscenely inequitable distribution of earth-goods.”

“Quite right, Zplork.”“Is it true that a mere 1% of the population possesses more than 50% of all the wealth on the planet?"

”That is indeed the case, my friend. 30 Earth-years ago, when I was but a gleam in Glorp Sr.’s compound eye, the gap between the richest 20% of the population and the rest stood at 30-to-1; now it's 74-to-1. And over the same period, while the (real) income of the bottom 90% of the U.S.A. nation-state fell by 7%, the income of the top 1/100 of 1% of the people of that country rose by nearly 600%.  Worldwide, just 8 human males currently own as much wealth as half the global population."

"Well, that must surely infuriate the average denizen of the U.S.A. nation-state!"

"Oddly enough, these particular earthlings are happier than most to defend radical inequalities in wealth, power, and income. While they suffer from the highest rate of inequality among similarly developed nation-states, they do comparatively little about it; and a recent terrestrial survey suggests that its citizens are mostly unconcerned about the plight of those least advantaged by the current inequalities.”

“That is a disturbing bit of news, Glorp. But I suppose we shouldn't expect too much from a creature sporting such a tiny brain and but two lower limbs.”

”Let’s not confuse aesthetics with science, Zplork. While no doubt physically repulsive, animal ethologists back on Mars have concluded that humans are sufficiently sentient for us to expect that they can, at least in principle, consistently adopt the moral point of view."

"Well, perhaps some of them can. Let’s not forget that this one nation-state spends nearly as much as all of the others combined preparing for and waging war.”

“That is indeed a sign of a serious cognitive and moral deficiency, my translucent green friend…"