Archive for September 30, 2013

Save Money & Be Healthy

Starting tomorrow, we’ll pay LESS for health insurance premiums–that’s according to (believe it or not) an insurance company, Kaiser, who cites a government report as its source and apparently believes it. Under “Obamacare,” rates will vary among states but will be overall lower than current rates.  If that’s true, and if all Americans will have affordable access to health care (a healthy nation is a strong nation!), why is that one group of legislators trying to kill the plan?*

Read the article for yourself in KHN News.

*[Note: I’m still soliciting members for my new political party, the Coffee Party, where our motto is “We are the caffeine to wake up America.”]

 

 

Restaurant-Goers Lament: Leftovers

Cities are starting to ban Earth-harming Styrofoam from restaurants (San Jose starting 1/1/14). That shouldn’t cause us leftover-lovers any grief, though.  In fact, we can get in the habit now of bringing small reusable containers with us to our meals out. We can carry them (empty or full) in a decorative, washable draw-string cloth bag. Sharing with the dog later is optional.

 

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.]

A Government Shut-Down is a Good Thing

Let the government shut down. It would be a good thing. It will show the silly majority of lawmakers that, just because they pass a law or program, that doesn’t mean we’ll let them put it into action. It would be good, too, for people on welfare, food stamps, Medicare, and other government entitlement programs so they’d learn that they shouldn’t always depend on staying on the Gimme Track—then they’ll all go out and get jobs, food, housing, health care, and anything else they need, on their own—because they could do it if they really made an effort.  Yes, it might affect those brave veterans who’ve defended our country, but only for awhile, and their families were paid well while they were off to war, so they should have saved enough to get them by.  Besides, it’s not as though we’d be setting a precedent for the U.S. defaulting on our debt; it happened on George Washington’s watch.  Yes, a lot of good would come out of this.  So it’s time that we show those guys what happens when a vocal, stubborn group like us doesn’t get our way.

 [P.S. Vote for me when I run for Congress soon on the Coffee Party ticket, where our motto is, “We’re the caffeine to wake up America.”]

Salute flag

Dalai Lama: No Strangers

Adopting this simple thought from the Dalai Lama can change our lives:

 

Steroids & Fistfights—Wholesome NFL Activities

This morning’s news taught me something I didn’t know: steroid use, fistfights, illegal tackles, semi-nude cheerleaders and dancing girls gyrating provocatively are all considered “wholesome” by the NFL. So is teammates giving the finger to each other on the sidelines. How did I come to this conclusion? Easy. The NFL never complains or does anything to curtail most of these activities (well, maybe a half-hearted attempt with steroids…when some player gets caught). But they’re suing rapper MIA for $1.5 million for giving the finger in 2012 during her half-time show, saying that it was an “offensive gesture … in flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl” and not in keeping with their “reputation for wholesomeness.” It seems to bother them only with her, telling me that all the other stuff is okay and within the values of the “wholesome” NFL.

 

 

Steve Jobs No; Selma Yes

They’re trying to make Steve Jobs’ childhood home a monument.  Why him?  Just because he’s rich and famous?  Yes, he achieved a lot, but so did Selma.  As she grew up she read whatever she could lay eyes on, experienced and dealt with discrimination, dreamed up businesses she would one day run, began writing at an early age and submitting letters to her school principal and the editor of the local newspaper pointing out injustices she saw.  She and her mom planted a garden full of vegetables and flowers and set up habitat for critters visiting their yard–then she taught her friends how to do it, getting them involved and enthusiastic about gardening and looking out for bad things happening to the land around them.

In other words, while she was growing up, she was becoming a socially conscious person, even active in promoting social justice in small ways; she was also a budding entrepreneur, environmentalist, and teacher.

Today she, like Steve Jobs, uses what she learned and the skills she developed as a child in that home.  Today she’s just a mother, teacher, spokesperson for the environment, advocate for social justice.  Her house isn’t important enough to preserve as historically important, because she’s nobody famous.  Just a world-changer in her own right.

 

 

“Wheel of…”–Discrimination?

“Wheel of Fortune” did it again.  This is the third time I remember.  The first one really sticks in my mind: a person said “Silicone” (as in “Valley”) in a pronunciation that is quite common–but not the one the show’s producers wanted.  Recently they disqualified a contestant for having dry-mouth and stumbling over the tongue-twister “Corner Curio Cabinet.”  (Let THEM try to say that a few times in a row!)  Each time a contestant lost in this way it was obvious to everyone, including the producers, that he was identifying the phrase accurately.

This is a form of discrimination.  Against those who are nervous or not good at tongue-twisters, of course, but potentially to others.  To avoid charges of discrimination, “Wheel” should screen people better, not allowing anyone on the show who is foreign-born, with English as their second language; from the South or other areas of the U.S. where variations in English pronunciation are the norm; or from ethnic groups with accepted languages variances (e.g., a Black person who says “ax” instead of “ask” is in trouble). And be sure not to accept applicants who have speech impediments or Tourette Syndrome.

In short, everyone who would compete on “Wheel of Fortune” MUST have perfect So. CA diction–or at least what the producers’ accept as such.

OR…the producers can learn to be reasonable, fair people.

 

 

Halvsies: Old Idea Worth Repeating

Doing “halvsies” is a good idea.  Use only the quantity of shampoo, detergent, cleaners, etc.  needed to do the job. If half of what you’ve been using works, next time try half of that. Repeat until you get the minimum workable amount. This trick leads to benefits for your wallet and the Earth.

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.]

Black/Hispanic Women Worth $100

The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 IN NET WORTH.

The Insight Center for Community Economic Development reported that median wealth for black and Hispanic women is a little over $100. That’s much less than one percent of the median wealth for single white women ($41,500).

Other studies confirm the racially-charged economic inequality in our country. For every dollar of NON-HOME wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.

[Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams, 11/19/12]

 

 

Who Gets all that Income?

The economy may be improving, but the rich are getting richer and the rest of us?  Well….  Here’s an unnerving statistic: the gap in income is currently the largest that it has been since the early 1930s–yes, the Great Depression.  Today, 1% of the people are getting 95% of the income.

This is having an effect on all of us, but especially the poor who are trying to climb up out of the well the recent bad economic years have put them into.