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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Is This Progress or a Slippery Slope?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our society is gradually being de-sensitized (to make emotionally insensitive or callous) in many ways. As only one example, words that were considered inappropriate just a few years ago are now used regularly on prime time television. Another simplistic example is when a person becomes accustomed to being "just a bit" late. They gradually become later and later.

Marrying a person of the same sex, divorce, co-habitation, unwed mothers, and bi-racial marriages are other acts which were considered taboo not too many years ago. The "every child in a competition must get a ribbon," the minimizing use of good manners such as "thanks," and the sending of thank you notes.......

Acceptance of the previously unacceptable -- will there ever be a reversal? Youth does not recognize the changes, so they are becoming permanent. Not exactly the decline of the Roman Empire stuff, but it is a very "slippery slope."

Of course there is the other side of the coin -- slavery, and women's suffrage are two prime examples. A vast majority of Americans believe those decisions were right. Will a vast majority of future Americans believe the first examples I set forth to be right?!

And then there is the granddaddy of all -- "Do not do for yourself what government will do for you if you do nothing."

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"SUFFRAGE: the right to vote, especially in a political election." I would have thought the word came from suffer and rage.

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If you were an employer and one of your employees was "uncooperative," what would you do, if his ironclad contract prevented his firing? That is the situation Gov. Terry Branstad was faced with in the case of Chris Godfrey, the state's Worker Compensation Commissioner. Appointed to a six-year term in 2006 by then-Gov. Tom Vilsack, his term doesn't expire for nearly four years.

After Godfrey's repeated refusals to resign, and dissatisfied with his performance, the Governor cut his salary from $109,000 to $73,259 a year, the lowest level of his pay grade. That is roughly $35,000 lower than the 12 deputy workers' compensation commissioners he supervises.

If you were the employee and your boss told you he wanted you to resign, would you want to stay in a situation that was uncomfortable, to say the least? That is one question -- another is why are the "deputies" (a misnomer) being paid that much? Democrats have cried "foul" to the downsized salary and want an investigation.

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The pioneer of the electric incandescent light bulb in the United States was not Thomas Edison as might be believed, but more likely Cincinnati, Ohio born John Wellington Starr, who invented his lamps ca. 1850.

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110 years and counting. That is how long an incandescent lamp made by the Shelby Electric Company has continuously burned at Fire Station #6 in Livermore, California. A hand blown bulb with a carbon filament, it began life as a 60 watter, but currently shines over the fire trucks at just four watts. I can identify with that -- having seen my power shrink somewhat correspondingly!

Last week a Rasmussen Report Poll said that sixty-seven percent of those polled oppose the ban on the sale of traditional light bulbs, and although I agree that they should be phased out, government shouldn't have decreed it. Their life-cycle cost is less and they work just fine.

The "Livermore Centennial" bulb has been off for only short periods for a move, power outages and a building renovation.

The bulb has been declared the oldest known working light bulb by Guinness Book of World Records. Charles Kurault of the TV program "On the Road with Charles Kurault " visited it in the 1970s, and it has been recognized by Presidents, Congress, and Ripley's Believe it or Not.

The second longest burning bulb was listed in the 1970 Guinness Book under the heading Most Durable says that in 1908 a stagehand at the Byers Opera House, Fort Worth, Texas screwed in a new light bulb and that it was still burning."

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Wife Heather will again be among the 10,000 riders when RAGBRAI starts next Sunday, snaking 454 miles from Glenwood to the Mississippi River tire-dipping festivities in Davenport. Good riders, lousy navigators. I could do it in about 315 miles. This year's riders will climb a total of 21,206 feet. Over the years, fifteen routes have been hillier, so the climb is in the moderate range.

In contrast, this year's six day "Ride The Rockies" tour in Colorado, which goes over several mountain passes, climbs a total of 21,604. The north central area notwithstanding, Iowa really isn't as flat as a pancake.

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

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By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That


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