From deep in my college memories, I recall one definition of politics as “the exercise of power, influence and authority.” In the Northwest, salmon are politicians. They are power for the metaphorical machine that drives decisions on billions of dollars of public spending. They influence our outlook, our actions and plans for the future. They supply political leverage and motivation for countless government actions, programs and appropriations.
Accidents come with statistical near-inevitability. Unless you cease your risky behavior, it is difficult technically to reduce the chance of an accident to zero. If the probability is something above zero, then accidents will happen, somewhere, sometime. You can do what you can to reduce the chances, and lessen the consequences, but whatever you do, it will happen. You or your successors will have to deal with it.
It’s all the buzz on the national wires today. Walmart, largest private employer in the United States, will raise its minimum wage to $9 per hour soon, and $10 by February, 2016, says the New York Times. That applies in some degree to 500,000 of its 1.3 million employees.
I had the mumps. If you don’t know, mumps is a once-common childhood disease. It is a memorable infection, at least the parts after the fever subsides. I remember well the primary symptom, severe swelling of the salivary glands until you look like Dizzy Gillespie going for a high C. It was painful enough to stick in my memory for nearly 60 years, even if I avoided the more common complications, like meningitis. You do not want your child to get the mumps. Believe me.
We may be enjoying this lovely spring-in-February weather, pulling out the shorts or prepping the lawnmower, but I can’t help thinking of what might come by late July. Who knows how the weather will treat us between now and then, but right now I can almost smell the smoke. It is truly a shame when that feeling of sunny warmth on your cheek brings a tightness in the stomach. Too warm, too dry, and summer fires will be our punishment. Not again, please.