Archive for October 31, 2012

“Neighbors to Each Other”

A TV news reporter described people’s responses to the suffering of those caught in Super Storm Sandy: “It shows how we are neighbors to each other.”  Ambulances from Indiana pulling into Atlantic City.  Texas, Indiana, even Canada sending power-workers to restore electricity.  Shelters accepting pets, which are of great comfort to frightened children.  Neighbors helping each other search for some little object to keep the past alive while sharing the heartache of destroyed homes.  Near-strangers dividing up their quickly dwindling supplies to help each other get through the day or night. Even news trucks letting people use their power supply to charge their cell phones so loved ones can be in touch and reassured.  All this in addition to the organizations and churches sending members to help wherever they can.

It does show people being neighbors to each other.  It shows humanity at its best.

Garments that are Grateful?

Grateful Garments??!!  Sounds strange until you know what this project is all about.  It’s something that never entered my mind.  That is, a victim of sexual assault must undergo an exam that’s disturbing, to say the least, in both the physical and emotional senses.  After that, she may finally shower and prepare to go home.  But in what?  Her clothing has been taken for possible forensic evidence.

Enter The Grateful Garment Project.  They provide new clothing and slippers or flip-flops for these exhausted, demoralized women to wear home after their exam, which can last as long as ten hours.  Although food is not important in their minds at that time, they do need snacks to get them through, which the Project makes available to them.  Before they leave, however, they want to bathe; the Project gives them sample-sized soaps and shampoos and an opportunity to wash away some of the hurt and degradation.

These small comforts remind the women that they are more than just victims, that they are valued and cared for.  After what they’ve been through, they need and deserve the support the Project provides.

To learn more or to donate toiletries, clothing, or money, go to www.gratefulgarment.org.  Or contact Lisa at (408)674-5744 or lisa@gratefulgarment.org.

People First, Politics Later

60 million people—1/3 of us Americans—are in the midst of Sandy, which promises to be a devastating storm. Our two Presidential candidates are responding in totally opposite ways.  Obama has cancelled his planned campaign stops, returned to Washington, and is working with FEMA to handle the emergency so that human suffering is lessened. Romney, too, has cancelled campaign speeches, but only in the storm-affected areas, where people are being evacuated anyway.  Instead, he’s playing politics in the Midwest and, at a safe distance, sending wishes and prayers to those 60 million souls. Meanwhile, with FEMA on the scene helping people, you can bet he won’t be reminding voters of his intention to disband FEMA.

To be fair, Obama is in a better position to help people.  It is, after all, his job to lead rescue and rebuilding efforts.  Romney doesn’t have a job that puts him into such a position of power.  On the other hand, he does have considerable influence.  Couldn’t he be using that to help organize relief efforts or to remind big businesses in the rest of the country that they should help if only because the damage to 1/3 of our country harms businesses throughout the country? Couldn’t he find some way to roll up his sleeves and help?  Or is the advantage of Obama’s being occupied and off the campaign trail too great an opportunity to pass up?

Shouldn’t the basic concern of anyone, especially the Man-Who-Would-Be-President, be people over politics?

Earth-Friendly Tip: Wrap it Right

Cover up responsibly.  Avoid aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and baggies.  Use reusable containers with lids for sandwiches and leftovers.  Glass ones are best, since plastic is made with oil, but at least you’ll be reusing those plastic ones again and again.

[For more easy, Eco-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/ view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-tailer.]

Inside the Death House

For 15 years, Carroll Pickett was chaplain of the State Penitentiary in Huntsville – the home of the Texas death house.  After the executions of each of 95 men to whom he ministered, Pickett would go to his house across the street, sit down, turn on his little tape recorder and start talking about what he’d experienced.

“Ministry of Presence” is excerpted from those tapes – it takes you inside the death house in a deeply affecting, non-graphic and non-polemic way.  Most of the tapes have not been heard by anyone before – including Reverend Pickett.

“Ministry of Presence” will air on KCRW’s UnFictional this evening Friday, October 26th at 7:30PM and will be rebroadcast Tuesday. October 30th at 2:30PM.  If you live in the L.A. Area, you can listen live on 89.9FM.

You can listen online at KCRW.com http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/uf/

The piece will also be available to stream or download on Friday afternoon.

(From California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty)

Thoughtful Thursday: For a Rough Day

I was feeling sorry for myself when I saw this and it pulled me right back up.  Save this for a time you need it.

 

 

There’s an App for That!

Download an app now to your i-phone or Android and check out the candidates and issues you’ll be voting on.  On election day, the app will inform you of election results.  You’ll know all you need or want to know before voting and as Election Night unfolds.

Walmart’s Low Prices

When you pay a dime less at Walmart than you would at, say, Target, understand what you’re promoting.  A look at a current lawsuit gives you a glimpse of Walmart’s business practices.  Temporary workers are suing because they are required to arrive early, leave late, and interrupt their lunch hour when told to help a customer or check stock—and they don’t get that break-time back.  Of course, they don’t get paid for their extra time.

Taking advantage of employees in terms of wages and hours is common with Walmart. In early October, the company settled 63 (yes, sixty three) such lawsuits in 42 different states.

In other words, Walmart actually does get full price—and then some—for what they sell.  The difference is that the customer pays part and employees make up the difference.

That’s why I don’t shop at Walmart.  It’s too expensive.

 

 

#1 Rule for Tonight’s Debate

If I were running things, I’d make both Presidential candidates follow one rule at tonight’s debate or be disqualified from running for election.  I came up with this while watching the previous two debates. The rule would be this: ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTION THAT YOU’RE BEING ASKED!

 

Perturbed

Do it Before Midnight Tonight!

 

Still haven’t registered to vote?  Today’s the deadline. RIGHT NOW click on https://rtv.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote, which will take you to the CA Secretary of State’s website, where you can register on line.  Have your CA drivers license or state-issued ID handy–that’s all you need. It takes only a few minutes.

Then watch the final Presidential debate tonight at 6:00 our time (all major channels).  Once you’re registered, you’ve earned the right to yell at those two guys, screaming the battle cry of the rest of us:  “Answer the question that was asked!”

Then vote.  Otherwise, you’ve lost your newly established right to give the President and other politicians a piece of your mind.