Archive for April 30, 2014

Torture that Many Approve Of

Granted, Clayton Lockett committed a despicable crime, and he was legally sentenced to death.  Like it or not, however, we must remember that he was a human being, and no humans should be subjected to torture like he was.

If you missed the story, yesterday he was strapped onto the table in the Kansas death chamber and given the first of three shots of a new, unproven “cocktail.”  It didn’t take.  He didn’t lose consciousness as he was supposed to; he began convulsing and talking and tried to get up from the table, obviously in great distress.  Some 43 minutes (yes, 43) later he finally died–of a heart attack.

Botched executions are not uncommon, although this one was particularly bad.  Our country claims to abhor torture, yet there are people who will say he deserved it, and so do all the others being executed.  I disagree.  Even the Old Testament law (supposedly replaced by New Testament mercy) of “an eye for an eye” didn’t include torture.  Plain and simple, it’s against the 8th Amendment, being cruel, and it’s out-and-out barbaric.



Speak Up To Help Children

Picture this: You’re 20 and working hard at a job you’ve had since age 14.  In fact, 14-year-olds and younger work by your side.  Bathroom visits must be quick or you’re physically and verbally abused.  Your hours are from 8:00 am to midnight, sometimes to 3:00 am, seven days a week, with no days off.  You may make $125 a month or not be paid if the factory’s goal isn’t met.  You know that the building’s structure is weak but try to ignore the danger, because your family needs the income you earn.  Finally, one day, it collapses, killing some workers, trapping you under rubble for twelve hours and injuring you to the point that you can’t return to that job but must find little jobs here and there, where you (and you weakened body) can.

This is Rana Plaza’s story, and the story of countless others in places where clothing is made to be sold cheaply in our Walmarts, Children’s Places, and other discount stores.  In other words, the pennies that we save buying those items bring misery to children and adults in other parts of the world.

True, if we just stop buying those items people lose their livelihoods.  However, we can demand safer, fairer conditions for workers by raising our voices.  Walmart has to listen if we shout loud enough; they’ve had so many black eyes from their civil rights violations NOT to listen, as they’re currently trying to rebuild a more positive image.

Read Rava’s story–which mirrors millions of children’s stories–at Credo’s website. While you’re there, make your voice heard by signing the petition to Walmart and Children’s Place.



Women Deserve to be Paid Less than Men

Women are just lazier than men. That’s the argument New Hampshire State Rep. Will Infantine makes for higher pay for men.  He calls the pay gap “justified” because men willingly do riskier jobs and work more hours.  Read more about this at the Huffington Post.

If you think there’s any truth to what he claims, you can read the report by the American Association of University Women, “Graduating to a Pay Gap.” It looks at men and women a year after graduating from college with the same major and accounts for other factors that might affect the results. That 7% pay gap is still there.






Don’t Be a Drug-Hoarder

Stop accumulating those drugs!  Today is National Drug Take-Back Day.  Gather all your left-over prescriptions, drugs that you don’t need, and ones that are outdated (no needles/injectable pens, aerosols, or liquids). Take them to a local collection site to be disposed of properly.  Call your local police department to find a location.

Medications don’t have to be in their original containers.  Also, you just drop them off–no questions about who you are or where you got them.

This cleans out your medicine cabinet, safeguards young children in your family, and prevents the drugs from pollution and poisoning, which happens when drugs are flushed down the toilet or tossed into the garbage.

Do this as soon as you read this, because collections are only from 10:00 am to 2 pm today.

And mark your calendar for this day next year.



Cute but Thought-Provoking Quote from Eddison

I love my computer and understand my friends’ umbilical-cord tie to iPads and such, but I can’t help agreeing with Alan M. Eddison, director of Green Earth Affairs headquarters based in Zimbabwe:

Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology.


A Wedding Surprise

I’m sure you’re familiar with the song about the Broken Hallelujah. This currently popular song is being adapted in interesting ways. One adaptation tells the Easter story.  Another was a surprise for a bride and groom as they sat in their wedding chairs on an Irish altar.  The priest walked to the altar.  Gentle music began playing. And he sang out his version of the song, tailored to the happy (and startled) couple.  I found it fun and charming.  Take a look:



How About “Earth Month”?

April is a very earthy month, with Earth Day (today) and National Arbor Day (Friday the 25th).  PLUS, we’re in the midst of the season of renewed life, Easter.  It’s a marvelous time to think about what we can do for our home, the Earth.  No room in your yard for another tree?  In my area we have Our City Forest—you probably have such an organization in your area, too.  Sign up with them to help with planting projects in your city.  Stroll along the banks of a local river, lake, or pond, carrying tools to pick up trash.  Spend time around your home, building a birdhouse, creating a habitat in that unused corner of the yard, or planting non-thirsty plants.  Take your family to an Earth Day event, or follow up on an eco-activity you learned at one.  This month, begin a new habit: at least once a day get out of the house and smell the roses and the fresh air, listen to birdsongs, feel cool clean lake water on your toes, bite into a mouth-pleasing, messy orange, watch cloud-swans glide through clear, blue skies.  Then, determine to keep all these available for future generations.


A Simple Thursday Thought

I saw this on a poster and it struck me as worth passing on: 

Animal Cruelty

Pets are part of 63% of American families.  We love and protect them.  But what about all of the other animals around us?  The U.S. has not only 480 million stray dogs and cats but also 60 million farm animals living a poor existence.  Then there is the thriving worldwide black market ($10 billion a year) in which wildlife is being inhumanely treated and their parts sold illegally.  Do something during April, Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month. Adopt an unwanted dog or cat and have it spayed or neutered.  Insist on laws that ensure healthy living conditions for farm animals.  “Adopt” an Arctic Fox at  Learn about trapping, the circus, zoos, wildlife trade, and related issues by going to  Learn about the Multinational Species Conservation Fund’s Semipostal Stamp Act, which raises money for endangered species.  Work to ensure wildlife habitats are preserved—and create one in your own back yard.  Call the SPCA or search online for “wildlife protection” for other ways to become involved.  Americans are animal-lovers.  We must also be their guardians.



Responsible Weed-Killing

Weeds starting to bother you?  They’re the downside of the Spring we’ve been looking forward to.  So, get rid of them.  But don’t hit them with toxic weed killer.  Instead, spray them with vinegar right from the bottle and watch them wither.  Kill weeds, not 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 view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-tailer.]