Archive for November 30, 2012

World AIDS Day

Tomorrow, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day.  It’s a time for us all to reflect on this pandemic and the strides made fighting its destructive influence: in terms of medical advances, increasing longevity of victims, and attitudinal changes as it has become clear that all people are in danger of being affected, not just those who choose to participate in risky behavior.  This disease that was once considered “God’s vengeance on evil people” is being increasingly looked at as itself an evil to be eradicated and those with HIV/AIDS as our brothers and sisters in need of help and compassion.  May this be one of the last years a World Aids Day is necessary.

Thoughtful Thursday: A Dogged Truth

My teacher’s name is Riley.

 

Startling Statistic

There are currently more than 6 million Californians living in poverty.  

 

Jackie’s New Website

I’ve redone my old www.JackieODonnell.net site.  It’s cleaner and, I think, more readable. There’s a new poem, new ideas for people with disabilities (under Adept-Able Living), a new link to a jewelry-artist I’ve just re-discovered, and previews & reviews of my books.  I’ve also discarded R.O.A.D. and am putting the thoughts & ideas into a newly-added Blog so that people can comment on them more easily.

Please go there and let me know what you think.

Tuesday is for Giving

A new holiday was launched this year to balance out the self-absorbed madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Giving Tuesday.  That’s TODAY!  People from all over—business, charities, communities, families—are entering into the spirit of giving.  In fact, as of yesterday, the movement’s website listed over 2100 partners in this endeavor.

The beauty of this is that EVERYONE can participate.  If not with our wallets, then with our excess food in our pantries or the second Buy-one/Get-One-Free item.  Or with that like-new clothing we that loved when we bought it but know we’ll never wear.  Or with those toys our kids opened Christmases ago but sit in their boxes, unplayed with.  Or blankets and rain ponchos for the homeless who are about to be caught in what promises to be a series of bad storms.  Or simply with the gift of our time: to help at a shelter or soup kitchen; to visit a lonely elder in a nursing home; to comfort a grieving family; to be with a troubled child.

Yes, I really like this idea of a Giving Tuesday and hope it grows larger and stronger every year.  It turns my sour taste of Friday and Monday into the sweet anticipation of a Christmas season packed with all the meaning it’s supposed to have.

 

Those Deductions Add Up!

Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.

Based on research by the Tax Policy Center, tax deferrals and deductions and other forms of tax expenditures (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes), which largely benefit the rich, are worth about 7.4% of the GDP, or about $1.1 trillion.

Other sources have estimated that about two-thirds of the annual $850 billion in tax expenditures goes to the top quintile of taxpayers.

(Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams, 11/19/12)

Earth-Friendly Tip: Sports Equipment

When outfitting the kids for sports, buy safe, recycled equipment from friends, a thrift shop, a store specializing in used sports equipment, or on-line (Craigslist, Freecycle).  If you must buy new, do so from a member of the Fair Trade Federation  (www.fairtradesports.com/gearshop) so your money supports a greater good.

[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.]

 

Generational Example

The Santiagos know the value of example.  In 1983, after the bad flooding in Alviso, this Sunnyvale couple began their yearly visit there as Mr. and Mrs. Santa, cheering the children who had lost most of what little they had.  Over the years Joe and Judy added their own kids to the holiday trek and started giving out gifts.  29 years later, the 4 generations of Santiagos–now with a grandson as Santa–continue the tradition of giving.  They give gifts, bring joy, and offer thousands of dollars in scholarships a year through their Santa Visits Alviso Foundation.

It’s a family thing.  That’s my point.  Years ago Joe and Judy set an example of giving of themselves to others, and four generations later that example continues to be passed on.  This is a reminder to all of us parents: what we teach our children has the potential to affect countless others into the future long after we have left this world.

Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for.  I trust that you do, too.  Enjoy your gifts today: family, friends, freedom, and living in a country that aspires to peace and quality of life for all.

 

Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Purple picture

 

“Lincoln”: A Must-See

Go see “Lincoln.”  There are few movies I like well enough to recommend highly .  This is at the top of my list.  The actors do a superb job (Sally Field has come a long way from “The Flying Nun” to Mary Lincoln).  Lincoln’s sense of humor, intelligence, and determination are clearly presented.  The history is gripping.  The 2½ hours of the film fly by.  Yes, this is well worth seeing.

In fact, I think all Republicans should see “Lincoln” and be reminded of the roots and founding principles of their party.  The Democrats—I prefer where they are now.

An interesting side note: the two parties were just as much at each other’s uncompromising throats back then as they are today.  Now I KNOW it’s PAST time for them to stop acting like spoiled siblings.