Tagged: michael konik essayist

What the Frack!?

In 1969, the Cayahoga River, one of Lake Erie’s major tributaries, caught fire. This provided the kind of visual evidence boring old science never could. Folks got hip: Industry, they realized, was using American waterways as a massive free sewage system for their most noxious waste. Americans got serious about pollution in our water for...

Evolutionary Doubts

Mr. Darwin has some ‘splaining to do. Our species, which has managed to rise to the top of the food chain, conquer and colonize every region of the planet we care to inhabit, and control the fate of almost every other species unlucky enough to exist contemporaneously with humankind, seems to be partially exempt from...

Commuting and Cocooning

As non-commuters, weve always assumed that commuting to and from work or school was a kind of five-times-a-week penury, a semi-voluntary temporary confinement that people endured as a necessary but hated element of getting by. Stuck in traffic, rolling past the same landmarks ten times a week was brightened only by the opportunity to listen...

Blame the Poor

COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY of “THE WAR ON POVERTY.” At 25 of the 100 largest U.S. Corporations, at places like Ebay, Boeing, and Verizon, the chief executive earns more than the entire company pays in federal income taxes. These patriotic chaps, who, in their defense, are merely competing in the Financial Olympics according to the...

American Gladiators

Life just got better for millions of Americans. The badly paid semi-professional scholar-athletes begin their campaigns this weekend at college campuses around the nation. The extravagantly paid mercenaries of the NFL begin theirs next. Are you ready for some football?! Of course you are. Our corporate overlords wouldn’t have it any other way. Bread and...

Educating Everyone Excellently

My dear mother is a knee-jerk liberal hippie Democrat progressive pro-labor vegetarian yoga-doing leftie. For most of her adult life she’s served as one of the most beloved and revered elementary school educators in her community. She’s taught across the spectrum of scenarios: inner-city public school with “at risk” students; suburban public school with “smart...

A Simple Plan to Save the World

Here’s how we feed everyone, repair our environment, and provide meaningful work: convert lawns into organic vegetable gardens. Imagine if all the property owners currently pumping water and fertilzer into their grass carpets used our precious natural resources to grow food — healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-rich vegetables. Imagine if vast swaths of public land currently serving...

A Lost War

On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” And thus was the war on drugs commenced. This week marks the 40th anniversary of another failed American war effort. The numbers, courtesy of the folks behind the next California “legalize...

A Royal Reminder

The recent nuptials of one of Britain’s crown princes to a commoner — yes, commoner without quote marks; this is the official style — taught a useful lesson, one that we learn early on and need to be reminded of with periodic regularity: some folks truly are better than others. No matter how kindly we...

A Prayer on Easter Sunday

As Thomas Jefferson did in the 1700s, let us set aside the Bible’s confounding melange of mythic mysticism, foggy mumbo-jumbo and confusing contradictions. Instead, let us concentrate on the principles that a dangerous Jew from ancient Nazareth was willing to die for. Let us behave less like the charlatans who organize their businesses around lost...