Wednesday, August 31, 2005


The AJC published an article Sat. on the lack of affordable housing in Atlanta, which included a list of salaries of several occupations. It listed the salary for fast-food cooks as $13.42/hour. At the restaurant chain I work for, most of the cooks make between $6.40 and $7.50 /hour. The beginning pay for the top cooks is $9.01/hour but none of the cooks I've met here make that much.

A helping hand

Rick Badie reported a heart-warming story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) about a car jacking in Norcross, GA. When a woman made a quick stop at a Quik Trip, she left her baby in the car. A man stole the car while she was in the store. She left the key in the car to run the air conditioner for her baby. Mohammed Kabir, a man from Bangladesh saw her run out of the store after her car, screaming "My baby is in the car." He followed the car, calling 911, until he saw the driver stop and place the child, in it's car seat, in a parking lot. Mr. Kabir stayed with the infant until the police came. This is a heart-warming story, and I thank Mr. Badie for printing it.

However, when he criticized the dozens of other people who were there, and did not help, I feel he is being unfairly critical (although I understand how he feels.). Social scientists who have studied such cases have found that when we are in trouble, we are actually more likely to be helped when there is only one bystander than when there are many. Some of these bystanders who did act might have done so if they had been the only witnesses. Of course, Mr. Kabir deserves special credit because he actually did act, even though there were so many other people around.
There is an article about this at:

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

How would Jesus drive?

I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and sometimes when I'm driving, I think about having a bumber sticker made:

Jesus didn't say, "Love your neighbors except when you're driving."

School funding

There was a recent article about the possibility of replacing property taxes with sales taxes to fund schools. A childless man said he didn't want to pay taxes to fund schools because he doesn't have children in public school. People whose children are grown often say the same thing. Of course, most of these people went to public schools themselves, and thus benefitted from taxes on those who did not have children in school. Even if we and/or our children went to private schools, one or more of our ancestors probably went to public schools, which ultimately benefitted us.

Regardless of our families immediate benefit from attendance at public schools, we all benefit from good (or at least adequate) public education, because it helps create a healthy economy and better-informed voters. The children of today are the employees and parents of tomorrow. When you are old or disabled, and dependent on others, you will need help from other people's children, even more so if you yourself are childless.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Football mascots

I am of Irish, Danish, and German descent. Does that mean I should get upset about the Minnesota Vikings, or the Notre Dame Fighting Irish?

I did meet an American Indian once who was upset about American Indian sport mascots, but then she was the kind of person who is always looking for something to be mad about. If nobody wanted to have an Indian mascot, she might have been insulted by that!

Funny book

I just finished a good book. It is a parody of fantasy/romance, with Harry Potter influences:

"Heroics for Beginners: a novel" by John Moore

Help our troops

Winter is coming in Iraq. Buying a yellow ribbon car decal made in China isn't going to help keep our people warm. But if you can knit or crochet, you can make a helmet liner. Also, donations are needed to send them to the troops.

Directions are provided at

Nothing is impossible

At last, I've come up with a form of my aphorism in haiku form, so you won't have to see it again (unless I get an irristible inspiration).

Nothing is too hard
if you are not the person
who has to do it.
- Patricia Shannon

Mind your manners, please

I saw these posted years ago in ladies' restrooms in Huntsville, Alabama. On or the other needs to be posted in all ladies rooms:

If you are too neat
to sit on the seat
be neater yet
and don't get them wet!

If you sprinkle
when you tinkle,
be a neaty,
wipe the seaty.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pride: Justified or not?

Pride is an emotion we should feel because of choices that we deliberately make, not because of our accidental state of being. We often feel pride when what we should feel is gratitude. Eg, we should feel pride when we do something to try to benefit our country; we should feel gratitude that we are citizens of the U.S. A person should be grateful if they are talented in some way; pride is only appropriate if they try to do use their talents in a positive way. We might admire some of our ancestors, but pride is inappropriate. The desire to feel pride when we have expended no effort is a manifestation of our desire to get something for nothing - perfectly normal, but hardly admirable!

Helping Libertarians

When I ask a Libertarian if they think that if I saw them being mugged, I should help them, at least call the police, they always say "yes". When I ask them why I should go to the trouble, they are stumped, because according to their own philosophy, there is no reason that I should help them.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

It didn't hurt them?

I've noticed that almost w/o exception, everyone who says something like "My parents beat me when I was a kid and I turned out fine" has an unpleasant personality that I certainly would not want my child to have.

Waste hurts us all

Why don't people realize that ordering food because it's included in the price, when they know they are not going to eat it, and other ways of wasting food, hurts all customers, including themselves, because the price a restuarant charges has to cover what it pays for the wasted material. It also hurts all of us environmentally. The more food or other resources are used, the more the environment that we live in is polluted. Eg., Any material thing we acquire needs to be transported, which helps pollute the air we breathe.

Killing ex's

Why don't people who kill their ex's (and often their own children) realize that they are proving to the whole world that their ex was fully justified in leaving them?

minimum wage for tipped employees

Until I got a job as waitress, I, like many people, did not know that the normal minimum wage (currently $5.15/hour) does not apply to people like waitresses. The following is copied from the U.S. department of labor web site (

A tipped employee engages in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 per hour in direct wages if that amount combined with the tips received at least equals the federal minimum wage. If the employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.