Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Creeping Smog: A Man Made Disaster That Keeps on Killing

                                          Good Day World!

When I was growing up in Southern California, in the San Gabriel Valley (circa 1960s), the smog was so thick we frequently had public health warnings.

We were advised to stay indoors many times. How things can change however.

Go there now and you'll be surprised at how good the air quality is. Regulations were put in place. Problem solved. It can be done.

I think about that now when I read about countries like China and India. Both have unhealthy levels of smog and are getting worse by the day.

This season the air pollution in China - stemming from power plants, factories, vehicles and other sources - has grown so bad that it has put the safety of half a billion people at risk.

Yet, the Chinese government doesn't do anything about it. 

According to The China Dailythe smog has been so disruptive to travel that severe flight cancellations and delays have taken place at local airports.

You think that's bad? Look at India.

The Indian capital of New Delhi has smog so thick, it's plainly visible from space, showing up as a milky blanket covering northern India.

The smog poses serious public health threats, including heart disease, heightening cancer risks and elevating mortality among the more vulnerable populations.

Delhi has some of the most polluted skies in the world, rivaling if not beating parts of China for this distinction. 

Among some of the varied causes for this? Garbage fires, dung-powered cook stoves, diesel-powered vehicles and coal-fired power plants. 

Yet the Indian government doesn't do anything about it.

My question is why? Is it a matter of politics? Money? Reluctance to regulate? Perhaps all three.

My concern is that at some point China and India's smog problem will become ours, and there won't be an easy fix.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, December 23, 2016

Not So Merry Christmas: 'Tis the Season of Discontent

Good Day World!

'Tis the season of discontent.

Grinches roam the streets, and the mallsspewing hatred instead of Christmas cheer this year.

A demoralized majority of Americans can expect stockings of coal from Santa Trump this Christmas Day, but not the KKK.   

Boardrooms on Wall Street are  brightly festooned with early Christmas presents in the form of nominations that will set social progress back for a generation.
The average American is afraid of what's going to happen under Trump's administration.

And for good reason.

If Trump even keeps half of his campaign promises we're going back to the "bad old days" when 1st Amendment rights were regularly violated, and racism was validated.

Crosses are burning throughout the Old Confederacy, celebrating a "White Christmas" this year. The alt-right are dressed up in their holiday finery and are feasting on fear.

Minorities know they're in trouble as they gather on this Christmas Day, and the only thing they can do is pray.

The ugliness that Trump brought into politics this year, lingers instead of good old fashioned Christmas cheer. 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

In the Spirit of Christmas Let's Create 'Little Miracles'

Good Day World!

Are you having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year?

How about something that will kindle your inner fire and help you go "Ho, Ho, Ho" this holiday?

The answer; spread cheer and create "little miracles" for others in need of one. It's easier than you think.

Quick example:

My wife and I went out to dinner recently and noticed a young couple in a nearby table. They had three boys, and mom was pregnant with number four.

The parents looked so young to us and we couldn't help remembering when we were that young and the financial struggles we had to contend with.

When we were ready to leave we asked the waiter for their bill. After paying it, we both had fun imaging their surprise when they were ready to leave.

A little miracle. Did Santa's elves pay for their meal?

It doesn't have to take money to create little miracles. Just imagination and observation.

I was in Costco the other day and when I came out to the parking lot and saw an older gentleman who looked confused. I stopped to ask him if I could help.

He'd been looking for his car and couldn't find it. It was 24 degrees out and he looked weary, clutching a bag of dog food to his chest. 

I asked him what color and model it was and helped him look. As we walked around the parking lot we had a good conversation.

He seemed to perk up as we looked and chatted. By the time we found his car he was smiling. He thanked me for helping and appeared less weary.

A little miracle. Help when it's least expected.

Spreading good cheer around this time of year should be everyones goal. 

It's a time of peace and giving. The rewards for spreading Christmas cheer will last you throughout the next year!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Sad Reality: Democracy Is a Mockery in America

                                       Good Day World!

Today's poem is about Democracy. We live in a Republic. Our society isn't a Democracy, nor do we practice it's basic tenets. 

The divide between rich and poor grows wider every generation.

is a fantasy
a mythology
a novelty
for a minority
victim of bureaucracy
unable to see
the conspiracy
by the autocracy
whose baloney
is so phony
claiming equality
but really
a rich man's ideology
is all they ever see
a political economy
not meant to be
a reflection of their reality
a policy
of hypocrisy
crippling democracy
under a corporatocracy
run by the wealthy
who can only see
the color of money

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Day Social Media Tore Down The Fourth Estate

Good Day World!

Take a peek into the future.

On a wintery day in 2030, historians released a comprehensive report on how Facebook and Twitter crushed America's Fourth Estate.

Researchers pointed to Donald Trump's rise in politics - while Twittering like a grotesque orange bird - for the beginning of the end of journalism. Facts fell to world views based on lies and propaganda from there on.

Despite the fact that Trump was impeached for corruption after his first year in office, the power of Twitter and Facebook continued to grow.

Trump's successors furthered their clout, effectively weakening the print media's influence until the day came when their corporate overlords decided they were no longer profitable.

People could barely read and relied on social media's graphics, holograms, photos, and videos, to get all of their news.

The demise of journalism went un-noticed by the under-educated masses.

Webster's American Dictionary went out of print, along with all the rest, and still no one noticed.

By the time someone was too late.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, December 19, 2016

How Santa Trump Saved Christmas and Made It White Again

Good Day World!

Of all of Donald Trump's many lies, the one that he saved Christmas has to be the biggest whopper.

During his little (rub my ego) victory tour recently, he informed the crowd that he was bringing Christmas back. From where, I don't know, but the Trumpenzees were certainly elated and howled like hyenas in heat.

It was kinda like saying the Grinch is bringing Christmas back. 

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that Santa Trump is not really an evil elf with a "Yuge" ego problem. Not too mention that he would be on the real Santa Claus's naughty list for serial lying.

Santa Trump, supported by the alt-right, promised his minions, during the campaign, that a white Christmas was on it's way.

He wasn't kidding. Take a look at all of his appointments thus far. Nearly all white men. There's a few token white women thrown in for good measure.

Operating out of Trump Tower, his own North Pole in Manhattan, Santa Trump has lot's of surprises for everyone. 

Right now he's handing out appointments like candy canes to what he feels are good little boys and girls who speak Trumpinese.

Why is this an issue at all?

In part because the past few years have seen the issue of "Merry Christmas" as an effective point of leverage in political culture wars.

That's the only reason Santa Trump adopted the issue: he recognized its resonance, particularly among religious conservatives.

It was a vote-getter from a segment of society that felt political correctness was running amok. It was attacking the greeting "Merry Christmas" and forcing them (somehow) to accept other ways to greet the holidays. 

With the help of white evangelic voters, Santa Trump was able to make Christmas "great" again. Coupled with the alt-right, you have to admit, he did bring the white back into Christmas.

Related: America Never Stopped Saying 'Merry Christmas'

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Refreshing News That Won't Give You The Blues

Good Day World!

There's just not enough positive news stories being shared nowadays.

I find myself hunting daily for positive, life affirming, news stories in the vast wasteland of our mainstream and social media.

But it's worth it.

Here's a few I've selected for you:

From Inside Edition
An inspiring story of a woman with Down syndrome, Collete Divitto,  who was tired of being rejected by prospective employers and took matters into her own hands.

The 26-year old started her own bakery out of her house. Divitto's first client was a local grocery store, the Golden Goose Market.

Since then her story has gone viral and she has more than 4,000 orders to fill.

There's been numerous stories about gangs this year, especially in Chicago, that are killing each other - and innocent people - daily.

Finally, something good to report on this subject from the Good News Network:

There's an organization in Baltimore that has been using ex-cons to deescalate street violence in five different neighborhoods, and it's making a big difference.

Safe Streets is a groundbreaking community program that has been a resounding success in the toughest neighborhoods.

I love reading positive stories about police officers because they have such a tough job. 

It's good to see the human side of those men and women in blue that are making the streets safe for me, and you.

Police Officer Goes Extra Mile For Kid Whose Elf On The Shelf Got Stolen

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...