Excess Noise Blog

Opinions and informal analyses by Cemil (Jim) Alyanak - K3MRI

Excess Noise Blog

Risks & Dangers: Step 1

June 3, 2019

Why do we ignore warnings? Why have we become so laissez-faire that even a fire alarm, a signal telling us that the building might burn down and kill us, will not rouse us? We sit there in our apartment or hotel room wondering when this annoying noise will stop. The obvious first answer is that we have heard so many false alarms, that we no longer associate that ringing with actual danger. It’s probably some…

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The Comic Arts

August 9, 2017

Those who know me, know my passion for comics. They can say so much more in one image than pundits can in a day. Regardless of your political affiliation, or maybe because of it, a comic will either confirm your world view, reject it or cause you to think about it. The image I’ve chosen to best illustrate this is one drawn by Joe Heller. Again, regardless of whether you agree with the substance of…

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Rule by vanity

April 3, 2013

Our countries are ruled by vanity. This morning, walking back from dropping off my daughter in school, I was crossed by a teenager on a bicycle. Nothing alarming about this, I grant you. In fact, he was clearly not alarming in that he was wearing a helmet. What struck me was the look on his face as we crossed. I don’t claim to be a mind reader but his look betrayed his discomfort: his mind…

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Bieber AP Breaking News

March 8, 2013

AP, sorry but you lost me. I have been a stalwart supporter of AP for as long as I have been in news, media and communications. Well, last night they lost me. I was sitting at the World Affairs Council gala, listening to the keynote speaker General Dempsey, the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was engrossed in his vision of the world when my phone buzzed. I looked down only to see…

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The perfect alliance

February 10, 2013

This is NOT a political statement. This is NOT a historical reassessment. This IS an economic analysis. There, now that I’ve laid the groundwork, I’ll get right to the point: Imagine if Germany and Israel became economic allies! It struck me that the two countries in Eurasia that have consistently performed, economically speaking, are Germany and Israel. Both are their regional economic powerhouses. I have no idea where this came from. I have no inkling…

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Forgotten war

February 8, 2013

I’ve just finished watching a documentary on the war in Afghanistan. What a disgrace that we do not keep it more in our minds and hearts. We, the collective we, go on with our lives, planning, dreaming, as though we were not involved in a war. This is not breaking news. Most of us are simply numb, I guess. When I say most of us, of course I don’t refer to the thousands of friends…

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Empty school busses

January 29, 2013

So, here I am trying to find solutions to the critical century; what impact do empty school busses have in this grand scheme? I keep harping at systems. Our systems are flawed. They are bloated and stiff. We need systems that are, instead, streamlined and malleable. Only then will we keep up with fast changing chaotic social, fiscal, political and environment realities. Back to my bus. School busses around the world cost too much. They…

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4 Days!

January 24, 2013

Governments are ours, in democracies anyway. They are here by us and for us. They are here to make our lives better and to support us as we try to contribute to society. So, with this in mind, one would assume that, at the very least, governments would do unto us no worse than what they would ask us to do unto them. Follow me so far? Take taxes for example. Here’s a quirk that…

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The big purge

January 12, 2013

I once left a company that I had founded and the next management group meticulously tried to purge me, as though I had never existed. Actually, they did so as it suited their needs. When it was useful to keep my name alive, they kept it. Well, as it happens, the Big Purge seems to be a common theme in business, government and philanthropy. There’s something twisted going on in ‘the next generation’s’ mind. Granted,…

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Scream, whine, give up or act?

January 1, 2013

As the new year begins, if we take an honest look around the globe, we will see much good and much bad. I’m not sure which is winning. On the good side, daily, there are close to 500,000 children born, many in good health, people are loving one another, helping one another, earning an honest wage and otherwise engaging in activities that benefit their family, friends, society, civilization and the planet. Then there is all the…

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Water matters

December 30, 2012

A few years back, a friend from the US was staying at our home in Europe. She was helping out in the kitchen washing some vegetables. The conversation was, admittedly, interesting. She continued washing the vegetables. Actually, by now the veggies were more than clean, but the water kept running and she kept talking. It took about a minute for it to hit me that this amounted to a complete disregard for water conservation. She…

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Silence is not an option

December 22, 2012

I tend to be centrist. I tend to avoid pointing fingers. I tend to seek compromise. And, I tend to remain objective. American guns are the proverbial drop that made that glass overflow (feather and camel’s back works too). We meet too many negative aspects of our society with a shrug of the shoulders. We are resigned to inaction due to our perception of helplessness. We are convinced that we are too small to matter. And…

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To strike or not to strike?

November 19, 2012

I have been involved, in one way or another, with the trade union movement for years. I have advised, advocated and at times encouraged labor action. So what I am about to say comes from a place steeped in understanding and empathy. My question is, at what point is a strike not worth it? I’m motivated by the current Hostess bakeries bankruptcy and liquidation process. As I understand it, 15,000 workers, many of which were…

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Answer the question!

October 22, 2012

I want to see an interview — actually I would even pay to see an interview — in which the interviewee answers the question. Of course, I am referring to the US presidential elections. Why do they robotically answer questions — actually, not answer questions — by defaulting directly to talking points? No matter what question is asked, by Fox or MSNBC and whether the respondent is Democrat or Republican, the result is always the…

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