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Happy Belated B-Earth Day

24 Apr

via Happy Belated B-Earth Day

Mercy, Mercy…Us

23 Apr

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It’s the day after Earth day, 2019. Earth Day has become an annual event, celebrated every April 22, when events are held to demonstrate the support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

In 1971 Marvin Gaye wrote a song entitled Mercy, Mercy Me and subtitled (The Ecology Song) in which he sang about the sad state of affairs that the Earth and the human condition found themselves in and how, on the Earth of 1971, “Things ain’t what they used to be”.

That was 48 years ago and after 50 Earth Day observances in which the world has come together to support and rally for environmental protection across the planet… how is the Earth doing?

In his song Marvin Gaye asked the question: Where did all the blue skies go? Today in China the sun hardly even shines and in its largest cities the morning sunrise is broadcast over giant televisions in efforts to cheer the population as they begin another workday. Smog alerts and air quality announcements are common in all major cities throughout the world and who among us can say that allergies and breathing ailments are not known to exist within ourselves or our families.

Mr. Gaye next lamented the oil slicks that could be found in the oceans of 1971 along with the fish contaminated with mercury. Today, in 2019, oil slicks and oil spills are still a common occurrence and when they occur they occur in amounts greater and greater each time and 49 years later we are still using oil and fossil fuels in increasing, not decreasing, amounts, while new and more imaginative ways for digging, sucking and fracking these substances from the planet’s very core are being pioneered each year and even as debate continues over whether or not we should invade our national parks and coastlines in the search for more and more.

As for fish and the oceans? Temperatures are rising, corral reefs are dieing, the ice caps are melting and fish are disappearing while plastic debris and garbage is replacing plankton within the fish food chain. Mercury continues to be a problem contaminant and tuna, perhaps the world’s most famous fish, are so contaminated with mercury that the FDA recommends no more than 1 can be ingested per person each week. And now many scientists predict that the oceans may be without fish all together by the middle of this century.

Radiation and air, water and ground contamination from nuclear power plants was a worry and concern back in the 70s and the subject of Mercy Mercy Me‘s next refrain, but back then the nuclear industry was promising safer standards and designs and yet years after this song was produced the very real scare of a melt down at 3 Mile Island occurred in 1979 in Pennsylvania. Then a real melt down happened at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986 and then again in Fukashima, Japan in 2011. Radioactive debris from that disaster is still in our oceans today yet many of our politicians are still championing nuclear energy as the panacea for our future…and safer… energy needs.

Mr. Gaye then concluded his song with lyrics that discussed the over population of the world in 1971, a year that would see the greatest percentage of population increase in the world’s history, and the great strain that mankind was putting on the planet Earth with a world population of almost 3 billion 800 million inhabitants… Today, we have more than doubled that number and the Earth now has Over 7 billion 700 million human residents with a total world population of 12 billion predicted by 2050…we should reach 8 billion by 2022.

So, what have we accomplished with our 48 Earth Day celebrations since the debut of Marvin Gaye’s ecology anthem, almost 5 decades ago? Have these Earth Days been rallies to help raise awareness of the Earth’s plight and our complicity in its demise along with the sharing of a process for us to change our ways… or have they simply been a series of going away parties? A way to pay lip service to ourselves and our late, great planet Earth while we continue to pursue our ever more increasingly decadent and deadly ways?

Well, the only thing we can say for sure is that the most prophetic line of Mr. Gaye’s song was it’s first and it still rings true for each and every year that passes into the next…

Things sure ain’t what they used to be!

In fact, they are decidedly worse…In 2017, President Trump disbanded a federal climate panel whose task was to evaluate the National Climate Assessment. In 2018, he created a wildlife protection panel composed mostly of trophy hunters and politically connected donors to hunting groups. And the Trump administration has rewritten the mission statement of Department of the Interior, and has promoted the deregulation of fossil fuels through the Environmental Protection Agency.

But just to brighten your spirits, I will leave you with a bit of 1971 trivia that is perhaps even more prophetic and of greater irony than Marvin Gaye’s Mercy Mercy Me, the Hot Soul Number 1 Single on Billboard’s charts that summer… for what song did it replace at the top of the charts?…And you climate change deniers will just love this…

James Brown’s… Hot Pants!

Hey-uh!                                                                                                                                                      Ooooh! Bring it home!
One more! Hit me! Aaay!
Bring it home! Bring it home!
Oh uh! Bring it on home
Bring it on home…

Hot Pants!

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What Happened to Earth Day?

23 Apr

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via What Happened to Earth Day?

The Outback Presidency?

18 Apr

No Rules.

Just……………………………………………………………………………………Right.

Why Wealthy Folks don’t need tax Breaks!

2 Apr

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Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among dozens of people recently charged by the FBI in an elite college admission scheme…Surprise! Surprise! Rich people use their excess wealth to bribe and influence people to get what they want! Who would have thunk it?

 

The Hollywood stars joined CEOs of private and public companies, real estate professionals and a fashion designer in paying up to 6 million dollars in bribes to ensure that their children were accepted to schools such as Yale and Georgetown. Most of the parents paid $250,000 to $400,000 per student.

Imagine being able to spend all of that money sending your kids to schools that they are really not going to attend anyway! Couldn’t you think of a much better way to spend that kind of money on your children…or yourself…or your family? And do you remember how hard it was to put yourself or your children or to have your family pay to put you through school? You might even still be paying for it…and at 8% interest! (Thank you Congress!)

 

The scheme, which the FBI called a “nationwide conspiracy,” allowed parents to pay for their children to cheat on exams and apply to elite schools as student athletes, regardless of their actual skills. Top college coaches at the schools are also among those charged, but authorities said they are not investigating the schools themselves.

Of course not! Why investigate the schools? We wouldn’t want to put schools out of the “rich family schooling business” would we? Even if they qualify and sanction ne’re-do-well rich kids as bonafide scholars, it’s still great business…and an education for us all. Money Talks! It really, really does. It talks so much that even our U.S. Supreme Court, a fine collection of 9 “scholars” themselves, has declared money to be free speech…just like the kind of speech that we humans invented and which sets us apart from the lower animals.

But I digress because The bribery ring got its start several years ago when William Rick Singer founded a for-profit college admissions company in Newport Beach, California, that masqueraded as a not-for-profit group. This “sham charity” allowed him to conceal the nature of the payments made by parents, who could then take a tax write-off at the end of the year!

So the rich parents not only paid millions of dollars to get their children into colleges in which they didn’t belong and had no qualifications to attend but they were then able to write off the expense as a charitable one for a charity that didn’t exist! (unless of course you consider yourself to be a charity case) Holy Catholic sex offender restitution program, Batman!!! …This is what the wealthy do with their money!

And we thought they used it to help the poor! Instead they use it to trickle down on the likes of : Yale, Stanford, the University of Texas, USC, UCLA, the University of San Diego and Wake Forest University…to name a few of the struggling institutions that these wealthy parents sought to help…  and Some parents even paid for someone to pose as their child during entrance exams ― and even during classes ― with those scores submitted as part of the college application…and Other cases involved exam administrators allegedly providing students with answers during the tests or correcting wrong answers afterward. 

 

And it gets even worse because some parents also falsely claimed that their children had learning disabilities, requiring extra time on the exams, and that those claims were bolstered by notes from therapists! Holy Tax Reform, Bat Girl! Is there no end to what rich people will do to get even richer?

According to one witness in the scam, the one rationale that most parents accepted as they prepared to cheat their children’s way into a “good school” was

“Everybody’s doing it” …and… “The whole world is scamming the system!” Oops! That’s 2 rationales!…but whoever paid attention in school anyway?

Which brings us full circle and back to our own current United States Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, who believes that our public schools are “a dead end” and who has said that her education advocacy would “advance God’s kingdom.” And that “my generation hasn’t done a great job when it comes to dealing with one another in grace.”

What she wants to gracefully do is cut overall federal funding to public education for the third year in a row (7 billion dollars)…and she wants to cut the entire budget for the Special Olympics, which is about 18 million dollars. Ms. Devos and her family have a net worth of 5.4 billion dollars of which 18 million dollars would constitute less than 1% or .0033 to be exact. To put that in perspective, if you earned a minimum wage of $15 per hour (a wage that rich folks think is far too much for poor folks to earn by the way) then you could save the Special Olympics by donating $102.96 of your salary.

Would you spend that kind of money to save the Special Olympics? I bet you would. But an incredibly wealthy (and devoutly Christian) person like Betsy Devos wouldn’t because she has 10 yachts and 2 helicopters to feed. (besides her mortal soul)

And that is why we should never give tax breaks to wealthy people! That and because they will never show you their tax returns… nor their college grades neither!… And yet we still wonder why? (Hint: It’s not because they are being audited…by anyone)

 

Truth In Advertising?

18 Mar

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I know that one of the major side affects of living in a capitalist society is that the individual citizen is constantly bombarded by advertising…and if there is one thing that Americans have become very good at it’s advertising…both sending and receiving.

Here, I’ll prove it: “Like a good neighbor….. (Did you sing the ending too?) And how about: “It takes a tough man to make a… (And did you remember his name also?… But I digress because as I was on my way home from a medical center in new Jersey today,  I saw this vehicle advertising “Stress Free” ambulance services!

A stress free ambulance? Is that even possible? Who could possibly be stress free in an ambulance? The patient? The loved one who gets to ride along? The paramedics and driver? I certainly would hope that they are all experiencing some stress while attempting to: save my life…or keep me alive…or get me to the hospital on time!?

And what about picking me up? How fast would a stress free ambulance go while on their way to my emergency? I don’t want anyone(else) to get into any accidents but a little stressful driving just might be what saves my life!

Unless of course, I’m being transported after I’m already dead!? Then I’d be in a hearse wouldn’t I? A stress free hearse I could understand…maybe. But a stress free ambulance? Do I really want to get into one of those?

How about you?

 

Only In America…

13 Mar

Can a guy from anywhere go to a Superbowl party with the former owner of a chain of Florida massage parlors, eventually patronized by one of his best friends and The owner of the most prolific NFL football franchise, who both contribute thousands of dollars to his campaign… and grow up to be President!

And of course they all employ illegal immigrants…which they encourage to come here so they can exploit them at slave wages, even though they publicly hate them and do their best to stir up anger and resentment among the common masses, all for political and personal gain.

It’s America after all! Where anything is possible…as long as you can imagine it and have the money to create it… And where at the same time nothing can be accomplished, as long as you have the money to obfuscate, lawyer up or make it go away.

If you really want to stop immigrants from coming to this country illegally you could pass laws that make it a crime to aid and abet them by hiring them for any job at all…but of course that would upset wealthy employers…and cost them money.

If you wanted to catch immigrants who have come here illegally you could look for them in all of the places where they can be found…like the homes, gardens, nurseries and grounds of wealthy folks and wealthy farms and wealthy corporations…instead of building walls or stopping motorists or inspecting those who need emergency assistance and medical care…that’s the hard way!

But even if you were really serious about catching and removing immigrants who have come to this country illegally, there are already about 12 million of them here now. So if you were identifying and capturing and expelling said persons at 1 thousand per day or 365 thousand per year (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed approximately 226,000 people from the country in 2017) it would take 3 years to deport 1 million illegal aliens!

So at that rate it would be 36 years before the USA was Illegal Immigrant free! But don’t forget, immigrants come to America every year. More than likely that’s how you got here…and many if not most or all of the illegal immigrants that are here are not here to rape and kill and join gangs but rather they are imported or employed by the likes of the 3 people mentioned at the top of this blog.

so we might just as well stop chasing our tales. Look at the smiles of all of those people at that Mar-a-Lago Superbowl party in the photo above. Do they look worried or upset or outraged about anything? And yet they’ve got the rest of us frothing at the mouth and at each others proverbial throats over the 3% of the countries population that they use and abuse and make money from with impunity.

So now we are going to cut food stamps and healthcare so we can have more money to waste on a symbolic wall that won’t keep one wealthy “entrepreneur” from exploiting, using, abusing or hiring as many illegal aliens as they want.

Of course we could try to solve our citizenship problems by treating all human beings, no matter who they are or where they live or where they come from, with humanity, kindness and compassion…but I ask you…where’s the profit, opportunism and…angst… in that?

 

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