Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, January 05, 2021

Yes, I give a species-squashing name to the recent wave of fin-and-feathered demises:

Ever since residents of Beebe, Ark., woke up on New Year’s Day to thousands of blackbirds that had dropped mysteriously from the sky, other sudden animal deaths have been reported furiously around the world. In a nearby Arkansas town, thousands of fish washed ashore on Monday. On Tuesday, another 500 blackbirds were found dead in Baton Rouge, La.

Then the story went international. Sweden reported dozens of birds falling out of the sky and New Zealand reported hundreds of dead snapper washing ashore. The Chesapeake Bay has 2 million fish estimated dead. Around 40,000 crabs died on the coast of Kent in Britain.

I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational, non-Mayan explanation for this die-off. Meanwhile, I’ll be switching the carnivorous portion of my diet to beef and pork, until further notice. Or until the cows and pigs start flinging themselves off cliffs.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/05/2021 11:14pm
Category: Science
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Part of this new year’s transfer of power in Congress includes a semantic shift, especially where the nation’s employees are concerned:

For years, the committee was called Education and Labor. But when Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over the House in 1994, they wanted to show that there was a new sheriff in town — and he was not a pro-labor sheriff… So it was soon changed to Education and the Workforce.

“Workforce” is a term employers are likely to use, while “labor” is more evocative of the union movement — after all, they call it the American Federation of Labor. So when the Democrats recaptured the House in 2006, they changed the name of the committee back.

Now it’s the Republicans’ turn to control the House. And they’re changing the name back to Workforce.

Or, to put it more bluntly:

No longer is it your labor. Now, it‘s big business’s workforce.

Class warfare with labor pains. The birth of fresh partisan zeal, at least until everyone inevitably settles into the standard Washington rhythm.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/05/2021 09:21pm
Category: Business, Politics, Wordsmithing
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