Archive for July 30, 2013

New Ideas Available (Updated Website)

I’ve just updated my other website (http://www.jackieodonnell.net) and invite you to take a look.  There’s some of my poetry (Poetry page); the most popular blogs from the last time I updated (Pop-Posts page); some suggestions for a useful product and equipment maintenance, plus some disability law, a thoughtful quote, and bit of humor–all for people living with a disability himself or in his family or among his friends (Adept-Able Living page).

While you’re there, look on the Home page for a special offer for my website/blog readers for a good discount on any of my ebooks, then go to the My Books page to learn how to apply the offer.

And, as always, I welcome comments!

 

Pope Restates the Obvious

It’s good that Pope Francis stated again that the Church must accept homosexuals into the fold, as they, too, are part of God’s family.  He says we should accept and not judge any person who follows God, even, I assume, homosexual priests (gasp!).

Well, duh!  Homosexuality is a “sin” when practiced.  If a person is, within himself, a homosexual–or tax cheater or liar or Tweeter of unsavory pictures–he has the inclination but doesn’t “sin” until he actually practices that inclination.

Priests take a vow not to enter into sexual relationships.  Which is more important, that one is inclined toward AC or DC or that he breaks that vow?  If he keeps his vows and goes about a life of priestly work and doesn’t flaunt or promote his sexual preference–who cares?  If God does, isn’t that between God and him?

Let the Church discipline and reject those who fail to keep their vows, not just a group that “real” men somehow feel threatened by.

 

 

Earth Tip: Save Our Chief Agricultural Workers–Bees

[Let the Congressman tell you about the crisis and how you can help.]

Bee populations are in serious jeopardy. That’s why Congressman John Conyers and I just introduced the Save America’s Pollinators Act, which would suspend the use of bee killing pesticides. With the help of CREDO’s new petition site, I’m gathering support to alert my colleagues in the United States Congress to this important cause. My petition says the following:

” Last month, 50,000 bumble bees died after trees in Wilsonville, Oregon were sprayed with dinotefuran, the neonicotinoid ingredient in Safari pesticide. This was the largest bee die-off ever recorded. With bee populations declining across the country at an alarming rate, I urge you to support the “Save America’s Pollinators Act” to restrict the use of these chemicals until we can be sure that they are safe and being used properly.” 

From flowers to chocolate, berries to tequila, pollinators are integral to the planet, economy, and many aspects of our lives. In fact, the USDA estimates that about one in every three bites of food is either directly or indirectly made possible by bee pollination. Both our environment and food supply are inextricably tied to the welfare of bees, making the decrease in bee populations a cause for great alarm.

The death of 50,000 bees after the neonicotinoid dinotefuran was applied in Wilsonville, Oregon last month is a wake-up call.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is investigating the die-off and is temporarily restricting the use of 18 pesticide products containing dinotefuran, and the Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing the use of these chemicals. However, that review is not scheduled to be completed for another five years. Meanwhile, Europe has already moved forward with restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids.

We must act now. This week I introduced H.R. 2692, the Save America’s Pollinators Act, with my friend Congressman John Conyers to suspend certain uses of neonicotinoids until the Environmental Protection Agency reviews these chemicals and makes a new determination about their proper application and safe use. This will increase pressure on the EPA to speed its review before another mass bee die-off occurs.

Raising public awareness of the integral role of pollinators to the world, the precarious state of their population, and what we can do to protect them is of the utmost importance. I hope you’ll join me as a citizen co-sponsor of this important legislation.

Will you join me and add your name to my petition to the United States Congress, to demand that it stops the pesticides that are killing bees?

Thank you for your support.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer

 

Sign the petition ►

 

 

For My World-Weary Friends

Right now I know so many people going through unbelievable trials. This saying isn’t offered as a platitude but as a reminder of the strength of the human spirit.

 

 

 

Thursday Thought: The Power of Words/Seeing through Blind Eyes

 

This very short Youtube video struck me on so many levels.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzgzim5m7oU&sns=em

 

 

Follow Your Congress-people on Their Vacations

Have something you want your Congress persons to hear?  Then, follow them on vacation. 

August is their “vacation” time—away from Washington but closer to their constituents.  During the entire month, they come home to get back in touch with us. They’re more available and open to contact in August than during any other month of the year.

Now is the time, in other words, to get them to listen to you about that issue that is so important to you and your family. Call, write, email, send smoke signals, or whatever to their local offices.  Write a letter to the editor (they’re more likely to read and respond to it in August.) Arrange a meeting with them.  Go onto your representatives’ or senators’ websites to find out when they’ll hold a town hall meeting you can attend.

You have only a week to start composing those letters or arranging for meetings.  Why are you sitting there reading this?  Get going!

 

 

The Royal Baby: A Reminder of All Children

As we greet the new royal child, let’s think about how we can protect ALL the children of the world.  This little future king—as well as our two American princesses—will never face hunger, homelessness, exploitation, or death by diseases that are virtually unknown in most of the world.  They won’t have to work long hours in the field before even their tenth birthday to help support their families.  For a certainty, they will have the opportunity for a first-rate education and be able to pass on their good fortune to their own children.

Not all babies are born into that world.  Many, many face abject poverty, malnutrition, and illiteracy.  Those who do survive to have families of their own will pass those conditions on to their children as their only possible legacy.

Those of us who are in a position to do something about the futures of these children must actually do something.  If we have the means, we can donate funds to organizations, here and abroad, that fight poverty, feed the hungry, and educate all the children.  We can volunteer as baby-rockers in at-risk hospital nurseries; aides for teachers of limited-English-speaking classes; tutors for underachieving students or those locked away at Juvenile Hall.  We can visit a museum, art gallery, zoo, tech museum, or the like, taking with us a child of parents struggling to find jobs or working several jobs to meet the bills.  We can invite a latch-key child to help make a double batch of cookies or casserole, and send half of it home with the young cook to show off to the family.  We can do…a million little things that will make a difference in a young life, things that will make a lasting impression, build his or her self-esteem, teach a concept or a skill, and, therefore, provide a step toward a better life than the child might have had.

After all, isn’t each child a royal child?

 

 

I Celebrate the ADA

For those of us with disabilities, this is a week to celebrate.  It’s the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  During those years we’ve seen businesses and offices look at us as customers who are important enough to them to make access into their buildings a reality for people needing mobility devices.  We’ve seen potential employers listen to our qualifications instead of dismissing us offhand because of what they assume we can’t do or because we don’t have a “look” that they’re comfortable with.  Those of us with hearing loss can enjoy a concert or stage play, and we can participate in civic meetings, all because we can ask to borrow one of the available hearing devices, and those who are blind can expect to find braille signs and dots on walkways to warn us that we’re close to a curb cut.  If we have a child with a learning disability or other special need, we can expect our education system not to just shuffle him off to an isolated program but help him become part of the school’s culture now so he can become a productive member of a society that values what he has to offer.

Yes, the ADA is truly something to celebrate!

 

 

Personal Note: 32 Years

Today my husband and I have been married 32 years.   Like everyone else, we’ve had our ups and downs.  Unlike many Hollywood couples, we took the downs and used them as building blocks for a stronger marriage and partnership. Together we overcame spiteful ex-spouses, financial hardship, deaths of loved ones, serious illness, and other life changes we didn’t plan for or want.  Also together we regained financial stability, built a successful business, matured in a variety of ways, changed directions for the better, and made it into our later years without killing each other or heading for divorce court–all of which strengthened us as a couple.  And together we produced and raised Brian, a rather remarkable human being who never stops making us proud.

That’s not a bad record for 32 years.  We don’t have 32 more, of course, but that’s okay.  We’ll accept what we have and enjoy the ride together.

Happy anniversary, Frank, and to all others who share this anniversary date with us.

 

 

Earth-Friendly Tip: How to Stop Junk Mail

Here’s how to keep that junk mail out of your mailbox.  Catalog Choice (www.catalogchoice.org), Direct Marketing Assn. (www.dmachoice.org), or www.DirectMail.com give a free, quick way to get your name off commercial mailing lists.  For unwanted credit card and insurance mailings, go to www.OptOutPrescreen.com or call 1-888-5-OPTOUT.

 Leaf 6

 [For more easy, money-saving, 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.]