Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Reality Revolution: People Are Tired of Being Marginalized

"We need to try and focus less on ethnicity in this country and concentrate on trying to improve the lot of the marginalized whoever they are." - Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi

Good Day World!

African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Muslims, the LGBT community, and a collection of other minorities are tired of being marginalized in America.
(cartoon via USA Today)

They're fed up.

A recent poll highlighted this assertion by showing the popular candidates aren't the ones leading in the primary pack.
Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders are the people's choice (national polls), but chances are neither will become president.

No one should be surprised that organizations like Black Lives Matter are stepping up and getting the message out (seeking equality) for African-Americans.

Asian have Ascend, a group that promotes their interests in America. It's full of useful information and contacts for Pan-Americans.

One of the fastest growing minorities in America, Hispanics have 21 various groups that support them in numerous ways.

One of the most oppressed minorities in the country today are Muslims. They have the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to support them.

Still fighting for equality, the LGBT community has support organizations like Human Rights Campaign working to get their message out.

Reactions like this are becoming more commonplace.



Despite these organizations, progress has been slower than a snail climbing up a greased pole.

Listening to the hateful rhetoric being spewed from presidential wannabees only proves my contention: a lot of Americans are tired of being marginalized.

Is this how revolutions start? You bet it is...

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Shameful Case of Greed: Children's Health at Risk For Convenience

Good Day World!

Imagine a common everyday product like laundry detergent.

Now imagine putting that detergent into brightly colored laundry pod. (photo - TODAY)
That's just what the industry decided to do in the name of convenience.

Big problem.

Young children eat them because they think the brightly colored little pod is a goodie. The result:


Despite repeated warnings about the dangers to young children from laundry detergent pods, calls to poison control centers continue to rise, according to a new study.
Researchers found an increase of nearly 20 percent in reports of children putting the brightly colored packets into their mouths, with serious and sometimes even fatal consequences, according to the study published in Pediatrics on April 25th.

What baffles me is that the manufacturers are still making these pods! They've made a couple of changes to them, but nothing that has slowed the increase of poisoned children down.

Instead lawmakers defend the industry's use of them, while making weak attempts to mitigate the pod problem.

It should be a no-brainer. Stop making the damn things! When warnings have to go out to households with children not to use them that should be enough to pull the plug on the pods.

Related: Increasing reports to poison centers prompt new laundry pod labeling

What's more important here? Convenience, or children? It appears to me that the industry has made that choice.

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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Where Does Yelling Get You?



Good Day World!

Having a loud mouth is not a virtue unless you're an auctioneer or a carnival barker.

President Obama recently called out the Black Lives Matter movement saying that activists should be willing to sit down and discuss their agenda with leaders in power rather than "yelling at them."

Not a bad idea.

You can't just keep on yelling at them and you can't refuse to meet because that might compromise the purity of your position," Obama said. 
"The value of social movements and activism is to get you at the table, get you in the room and then start trying to figure out how is this problem going to be solved. 
You then have a responsibility to prepare an agenda that is achievable —that can institutionalize the changes you seek and to engage the other side."

Congress would do well to listen to this advise. Members yell at one another all the time. Politicians in both houses are so polarized that have alienated the American people.

People are ready to vote for anyone who has no ties to Congress. It could be Mickey Mouse or Donald Trump. Doesn't matter.

The bottom line is yelling doesn't get you anywhere. It doesn't validate Black Lives Matter or Congress. Both are suckling on the teat of ideology instead of reality.

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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What's the funniest thing you ever did?

Good Day World!

What's the funniest thing you ever did?

In the spirit of sharing, I searched through 65-years of memories seeking the best example and came up with...

It was back in the late 1970s when I decided to impress our two toddler sons with my outdoor abilities (of which truth be told I had none).

It was the week before Christmas and I took my wife and boys to the nearby mountains to cut down a Christmas tree. We were all excited.

Pause for a moment.

Have you ever seen National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? It's about a young family preparing to celebrate Christmas.

There was a scene in it when the main character's son (Rusty) asks his dad (Clark), if he brought a saw as they study a giant tree. He didn't. Chaos reigns and somehow they get the tree home.

Back to my young family. It was our first experience in the snow, in the mountains, and actually cutting down a Christmas tree. 

I was as enthusiastic as Clark and wanted to make it a special Christmas. But I didn't make Clark's mistake and take on a giant tree.

My wife and two sons followed me up a snowy slope like ducklings in my tracks. Then I saw THE TREE. It wasn't too big for me. It was just right.

Pulling out a little hatchet that I recently purchased, I gestured for them to step back a little. This was a man's work!

The sun peeked out from the clouds as if to watch me perform my task. A squirrel stopped running and watched me intently as I came up to the tree and swung my manly hatchet...

And missed the tree, but NOT ME. I nailed my shin and somehow managed not to scream. My embarrassment helped me focus and I checked to see if they saw what happened.

They didn't. They were all looking a little puzzled, but eager.

I smiled reassuringly and this time my aim was true and the hatchet bit into the tree instead of me. A few whacks later and the tree was down and I was sliding it down the slope like an old hand.

It wasn't until we got into the truck that my wife noticed the blood on my leg. My long underwear and jeans we're dyed a dark red.

We didn't say anything to the boys on the way home. I made my wife promise to never tell anyone what a clod I was. She smiled and shared the story before the week was out.

I have to say, it's much funnier in the telling than it was at the time!

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

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Cat Tale Plus Where the Phrase About Having 9 Lives Comes From


                                       Good Day World!

    There are reasons why people say cats have nine lives.

 Just ask any cat owner if they have a tale about how their feline got into trouble and survived multiple times.
     Why nine lives, you ask? I wondered too so I did a little research and found University of Winnipeg English professor Mark Morton who offers three possibilities for picking the number nine: 
    “First, it’s pretty clear it would have to be one of the many numbers that has traditional significance in Western culture, of which nine is among the most resonant.
Second, while seven, for example, is almost always positive and 13 is almost always negative, nine can have both positive and negative connotations: for example, cloud nine versus the nine rivers of hell. I think this may reflect our ambivalent cultural attitude towards cats.
Third, assonance often plays a role in such idioms. In this case, the long ‘i’ in both nine and lives functions as a near rhyme, as is even more clear in ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’” 
    I was raised with cats. 

   At a very early age my mother made me go under the house to “rescue” our cat Tiger, an enormous orange tabby with an attitude, when he was fighting with another feline. This happened more times than I care to think about. I remember their glowing eyes and high pitched screeches practically paralyzed me as I crawled around trying to “rescue” that red devil! 
    Don’t get me wrong. I love cats. Asia, a Siamese, was one of my wife, two sons, and my favorite. He lived 19 years before we had to put him down because of numerous health problems.
    When we lived in 29 Palms, Asia was attacked by a pack of coyotes. Somehow, he got outside when we went to bed (we were always careful to make sure he was inside as we knew coyotes were plentiful) and ran into a vicious pack of nocturnal desert predators.
     My wife woke up when she heard “yipping” sounds outside our bedroom. She glanced out the window, opened the closet and grabbed my shotgun - sans ammo - because she couldn’t reach high enough to get it, and charged outside screaming at the top of her lungs. I followed.
     The coyotes were playing a game of hot potato with Asia. They were so startled they dropped him and ran away. We gently picked him up (he was in shock), and ran the to the local veterinarian’s house and woke him up. He put in more than one hundred stitches and told us it didn’t look good for Asia.
     We took Asia home, and after a couple of days he started eating and drinking again. One life less, he recovered and moved on. There was another situation, while we lived in La Quinta (another happy hunting ground for coyotes), when Asia got out and disappeared for several days.

    Our whole family was heartbroken. We figured he'd used up his mythical nine lives. Then one night at 3:00 a.m. my wife heard a scratching and familiar meow. She got up and let Asia in, none the worse for wear. Her happy voice greeting Asia woke the rest of us and we all danced around the house like idiots!

  That was 30 years ago. Today we have three cats; Tommy, Oliver, and Bob. Oh yeah...and a pug too!

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

America is in trouble when Sheriffs side with radicals who misinterupt the Constitution

Good Day World!

One of the most serious domestic threats in America (according to FBI reports) comes from fringe groups like the Sovereign Citizens.

Particularly troubling is the alignment of a group of renegade Sheriffs who call themselves the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.  

The group is headed up by a former Arizonia Sheriff, Richard Mack, who encourages law enforcement officers to defy laws that the group decides are illegal.

Mack has referred to the federal government as "the greatest threat we face today," and describes his association — which states on its website it is supported by the John Birch Society and Gun Owners of America, as well as annual dues payments of $50 — as "the army to set our nation free."  

How scary is that?

Mack claims the dues-paying support of several hundred of the nation's more than 3,000 sheriffs and the sympathies of hundreds more, but it's hard to assess how many endorse his denunciation of the federal government as the corrupt and illegitimate enforcer of laws that trample on states' rights.

Mack and his cronies believe that Federal agents cannot come into their county to enforce laws. Legal scholars have flat have out denied that Sheriffs have that kind of power under the Constitution. 

Nowadays, sovereign citizens number in the hundreds of thousands, and U.S. law enforcement agencies consider them the top terrorist threat in the country, according to a July 2014 survey by a University of Maryland-led terrorism study consortium.

The irony of officers of the law defying the law, seems to escape these radicals who keep trying to achieve a high ground through their misinterpation of the Constitution.

I'll go with the legal scholars when it comes to interrupting our Constitution. It's a better bet that going along with radicals who believe that our government is the biggest threat today against Americans.

I beg to disagree with their twisted philosophy. 

Groups like the so-called Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and those involved with the Sovereign Citizens movement are the biggest threat to peace in America today.

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

'Cry Me a River' - Trump's Sob Story

Good Day World!

Time for a pacifer.

Why would anyone vote for a racist demagogue that cries every time things don't go his way?

Donald Trump's current sob story has to do with the GOP's delegate system. He doesn't like the way it's set up and claims it's "rigged" and "corrupt.

If Trump had bothered to do his homework before soiling his diaper, or hire someone to do it for him, he would have understood the whole system and wouldn't be blubbering about it now.

It's no mystery. Trump however, doesn't like rules that he didn't make up himself. So to change the narrative, and keep it dumbed down for his core followers, he's crying foul.

Why not? He's the only man I've ever seen in the public eye that can lie without blinking an eye! Then he doubles down on the lie. By the time the lie is exposed, he moves on taking his loyal Trumpetts with him down the Yellow Brick Road.

It's amusing watching a billionaire who is use to getting his own way all the time, creating chaos within the Republican party and then telling the leadership he's going to unite them.

His experience as a reality star, via the Apprentice, has earned him TV fans who are following their hero wherever he goes.

The emperor has no clothes, but the faithful don't care.

The author of the book "Primary Politics" Elaine Camarck, explains how the modern nominating process works. When asked about Trump's accusations she didn't mince any words;

"Trump's out of his f***ing mind. Every single presidential candidate except for him knows what this system is. It’s not corrupt. It’s the system by which the parties pick their nominee. Parties are protected under the First Amendment’s freedom of assembly. No American is forced to participate."

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Seeking Dreamland: The Joy of Sleeping

(Illustration by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin - Hermitage, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8494653)

Good Day World!

Dreaming about a full night's sleep. Even a good nap. What a pleasure that can not be bought! 

No amount of money will induce Morpheus to come to you until he's ready.

Earnest Hemingway once said, "I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"

Homer said; "There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep."

Some wits have cures for people who have trouble sleeping. For example W.C.Fields claimed; "The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep."

Sometimes sleep comes unbidden, when exhaustion takes it's toll. Take the story of the FedEx ground worker who found himself in mid flight after an unexpected nap:


Airplane Stowaway Turns Out to be FedEx Worker Who Fell Asleep


We need to sleep. It's as important as breathing for a well rounded life.


 Thomas Dekker summed up the importance of sleep nicely:

"Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together."

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Great News for Conservatives, Republicans, and Libertarians! Sort of...

Good Day World!

Have I got great news for America's Conservatives/Republians and Libertarians!

(Vit Jedlicka, self-declared president of Liberland, fourth from left, poses with flag and supporters of the Liberland idea Serbia, on May 1, 2015.AP)

You all better sit down for this one. How'd you like to live in a place where there are no mandatory taxes? I'm about to help you realize your dream!

Welcome to Liberland: The Tax-Free Start-Up State Between Croatia and Serbia.

The founders of Liberland aim to create a state where "the economy and the government are separated" and people can live without government interference, Liberland's self-proclaimed president Vit Jedlicka told NBC News recently.

The idea is to introduce voluntary taxes and crowdfunding for government projects — all under the motto "To Live and Let Live."

Sounds great eh? One little problem...

While this free-market enclave may seem like a libertarian utopia to some, neither Jedlicka nor the 400,000 people who have registered for citizenship on the country's official Facebook page can actually travel to their own turf.

Bottom line.

I guess that die-hard Copnservatives, Republicans, and Libertarians will just have to put up with things as they currently are here in America, or at least until Liberland becames a reality.

No worry. We've managed thus far. 

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

I'm guilty of anthropomorphizing animals - Are You?

Good Day World!

I'm guilty!

I treat animals like they were humans. Animal lovers are like that...yeah they are. 

In my defense, it's not uncommon to anthropomorphize animals and ascribe their behavior to human emotions.

Take the above photo for example: CLAIM: A photograph shows a female wolf protecting a male's throat during a fight.

ORIGIN:A photograph purportedly showing a female wolf "pretending" to be scared so that she could protect a male wolf's throat during a fight started recirculating on the internet after it was posted to the web site Reddit in April 2016. While the photograph is real, the caption often associated with it is incorrect.

All three wolves in the photograph are male, and the "female wolf" in the image wasn't trying to protect the male wolf's throat. According to Cameron Feaster (a wolf specialist), this photograph was simply taken at the moment one wolf backed away and accidentally bumped into another. (Via Snopes.com)

I have to admit, I thought the idea of a female wolf protecting her mate was super cool and believable. But there you have it; I'm one of those people that tend to treat animals like humans.

Sometimes I go overboard in my beliefs about animals, but reality usually kicks in, and I discover the rest of the story! 

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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Skateboard Memories: Step Aside for the Big Kahuna!

Good Day World!

My first skateboard (1957) was red, and had metal wheels. 

The Roller Derby #10 Skateboard was narrow and often unpredictable.

Like a puppy, my feet were too big for my body and when the early sixties rolled around I was looking for a bigger platform for my gunboats (Dad called them that and predicted I'd be tall).

That's when I made my own skateboard. I modeled it after a surfing manufacturer in Southern California Hobie, who started turning out skateboards that resembled small surfboards.

Hobart Alter began making skateboards in 1962 and by 1964 he teamed up with the Vita Pakt juice company to create Hobie Skateboards. Alter went on to sponsor the Hobie Super Surfer skateboard team. (Wikipedia)

I made my board in wood shop as a school project. I recall talking my teacher into it. It was red with a yellow stripe down the middle. I bought some of the popular clay wheels at the time made by a manufactuer called Chicago.

No one knows who made the first skate/surfboard. The story goes that California surfers got bored when there were flat waves and took the sport to the pavement via modified skateboards.

By 1964 the first skateboard magazine, The Quarterly Skateboarder (wished I'd have saved that collection of just four issues!) came out.

Publisher John Severson wrote an editorial suggesting that skateboarders were pioneers in a new sport. I liked the idea of being a pioneer. 

But hard times hit shortly thereafter, as bad press dogged skateboards with stories of terrible accidents and what a public nuisance they were. 

They made a comeback in the early 1970's, and as you know, they're still popular today. 

They've almost evolved in the 21st century. Hoverboards were all the rage last Fall, that is until their lithium batteries suddenly ignited and started fires.

So, it's back to the pavement for dedicated borders. As much as I'd like to ride on one today, it's just not possible with my bad knees. I'll stick with my memories.

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

Sunday Sacraments: Wine, Peyote, Cannabis, and Holy Water

A divine sip of wine is one way to worship God. According to Christians " alcohol is a gift from God that makes life more joyous,"...