Where I Become a Member of the Walking Dead

It is the first working day in Daylight Savings Time in most of the U.S.  A day which should live in infamy.

This monstrosity is apparently used in some 70 countries worldwide.  Then again, just because 70 countries like to play in traffic, or jump off cliffs the way lemmings to, is no reason the U.S. should continue to follow suit.

I exaggerate, but only a little.  I don’t really mind daylight savings time.  I mind the shift back and forth.  Particularly the shift into daylight savings (the “lost” hour).  It takes my wife and I the better part of a week to become accustomed to the different schedule, during which we are irritable, exhausted, and not at all fun to be around for our children, co-workers, even our pets.

We aren’t the only ones.  Apparently heart attack rates go up during the adjustment period, as do accident rates both vehicular and industrial.

I know most people don’t like having it be dark when they leave their home, particularly when the kids go off to catch the school bus.  I don’t like that either.  During the depth of winter, my commute starts in pitch blackness and I arrive home from the daily train in pitch blackness.  I hate that, but it will self-correct in another 3 and a half years when I can retire.  (yay!)

But, leaving and  returning in the dark beats the zombification of shifting to DST.  Sunday is bad enough. Realizing that, in spite of all the warnings, we forgot that the clocks needed to be changed and we missed church (okay, we missed church due to the press of other activities, but I want to blame the clock). Since we don’t have to get up as early on Sunday, it doesn’t have a great effect.  We probably slept as many hours on Sunday as we would have without the shift.

Monday, on the other hand, is a totally different story.  We get up an hour earlier than we’re used to, regardless of what the clock says, and the lack of sleep is telling.  Its roughly equivalent of recovering from jet lag.  Possibly worse.

Yet, its for our own good, the government tell us.  Sure.

We use less energy?  No.  What we would have saved on one end of the day is still used on the other.

Natural light for our commutes?  I don’t know about you, but more sunlight in my eyes as I drive to the east in the morning is not what I need.

Time shifts like this are so last century.  We need to leave them there.

Your thoughts?


Bloody Shirts

First, my hearts and prayers are with the people of France and Paris.

Second, yes, I know not all Muslims are terrorists or even terrorist-sympathizers.  I also know that a good percentage of Muslims – perhaps a majority – do not wish harm to the West or to Westerners generally (the fact that they maybe Westerners notwithstanding).

But, neither of those points are what I really wanted to talk about….

First, it seems evident that at least one  of the Parisian terrorists was admitted to Europe as a Syrian refugee.  Possibly more, though I have seen no evidence in public reports that would indicate that.  This is not to condemn refugees from the conflict in Syria with a broad brush, but instead to warn.  Allowing large numbers of refugees from Syria increases risk to Western populations.

Yes, any intelligent Western government would do extensive screening on prospective refugees who may be resettled in their territory.  On the other hand, how many intelligent Western governments actually exist?  The Obama Administration wants to drastically increase the number of refugees we accept, both in general and specifically from Syria.  Yet, our administrative infrastructure for that is not capable of handling that many.  Can we adequately screen them all for our own national security purposes?  Will we have the political will to do so given the international pressure to “do more?”  Will the rest of the West, whose security screening doesn’t seem as robust as ours?  I, obviously, have my doubts.

Second, as usual, we here in the States have already started using the Paris attacks for our own partisan purposes.  The Left complains that the Right’s language of exclusion and violence has no place in polite society anymore because it seems to give excuse to the terrorists (???).  They also all but claim the West (and specifically the U.S.) deserve what happens to us because of our past deeds.  The Right argues that their preferred interpretation of Second Amendment rights, applied to France, would have saved lives and that all Syrian refugees should be…something, sent back to Syria, they aren’t quite clear on that point.

There are some valid political discussions that can take place as a result of  these  attacks.  The refugee crisis is one – though most refugees are just trying to flee the mayhem, we cannot assume that they all are doing so.  We must make sure that we do thorough security screening on any refugee before they arrive in the U.S. or in any territory that they can get into the U.S.