Archive for January 31, 2015

A Book You Don’t Need

In this electronic age, few of us use the Yellow Pages to look up a phone number.  After all, isn’t Siri easier and more friendly?  But the big, tree-killing Yellow Pages (a couple of versions) keeps showing up on our doorsteps. Take action.  Recycle the ones you already have.  Then go to to opt out of future deliveries to your home.

Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, earth-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.]

Third Political Party is Devious

No, I’m not talking about the Tea Party being a third political party.  Looking at how much is budgeted to be spent, though, there IS another party.  The Republicans, Democrats, and Koch brothers each plan to spend close to 900 million dollars to win the 2016 elections.

Where is the Koch Party’s pot of gold coming from?  Mainly from non-profit groups who, by the way, aren’t required by law to disclose who their contributors are, unlike the Democratic and Republican parties.  So, who is contributing how much?  Are the Kochs footing most of the bill and, therefore, buying most of the influence to get their ultra-conservative agenda and candidates in?  Who else is pouring money into the pot, and whom or what do they represent?

If the  Kochs want to act like a political party, they should at least have to abide by the same disclosure rules and make it clear whom and what they’re supporting so we voters can make more informed decisions.




From Willy the Bard

Here’s a Thoughtful Thursday thought from the Bard:

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice




How to Stop ISIS & Save a Life

As my family coughed its was through the week, it occurred to me that there’s a simple, bloodless way to stop ISIS and save the Japanese prisoner and possibly future ISIS captives: agree to their proposed prisoner exchange.  But before sending the prisoner back to ISIS, make sure she’s in the process of developing this year’s flu.  She can spread it during her welcome-back celebration.  Those tough guys won’t be able to handle it because they can’t shoot or blow up germs, and that’s all they know how to do.




European Standard Language is Coming!

[This one comes from Linda Younts, who knows how much I love word-play.  Enjoy.]

The  European  Commission has just announced an agreement  whereby English will be the  official language of the  European Union rather than German, which was  the other  possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room  for  improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become  known as “Euro-English”.

In the  first year, “s” will  replace the soft “c”.. Sertainly,  this will make the sivil servants jump  with joy. The hard  “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should  klear up  konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less  letter.

There  will be growing  publik enthusiasm in  the  sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with  “f”.  This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the  3rd year,  publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted  to  reach the stage where more komplikated changes are   possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of  double  letters which have always ben a deterent to  akurate  speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl  mes of the  silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it  should go  away.

By the 4th yer peopl wil be  reseptiv to steps such  as replasing “th” with “z” and “w”  with “v”.

During ze fifz  yer, ze unesesary “o” kan  be dropd from  vordskontaining “ou”  and after ziz fifz  yer, ve vil hav a reil  sensi blriten  styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun  vil  find it ezi TU understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united  urop vil finali  kum tru.

Und  efter ze fifz  yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to  oza  pepl.



We Spent How Much on that Study?!

The results reported in the Psychological Review showing that anger and stress in Tweets correlate with heart disease and death made me, once again, yell “No fecal matter!”  I’m frequently flabbergasted by expensive studies that show what common sense already tells us.  I don’t know how much any of these studies cost, but here are 13 that have my “fecal matter” meter registering high:

  • The Western diet is bad for you
  • Sleeping beauty is no myth
  • Racists are close-minded
  • Morbid alert! Hanging is bad for the heart
  • Cheating men have strong sexual urges
  • Shy teens find friends online
  • Take smaller bites, eat less
  • Umbrellas protect you from the sun
  • People buy more fruits and veggies when they’re cheaper
  • Bad relationships depress people
  • Reality TV skews reality
  • Drugs and driving don’t mix
  • Women find musicians hot

Yes, these were all actual studies.  You can read about them at

I want to do a study on the effect of gravity on scientists being dropped out of a tenth-story university lab.  Let me know if you’re willing to contribute to this vital project.


No Name-Calling?

We’re in the middle of “No Name-Calling Week”  (  It’s an annual event carried on in schools, aimed at making life for students more livable and shutting up bullies, because there’s nothing they can think of saying.

This is a great idea.  How about if adults observe the week, too?  Imagine no name-calling at work or home, on the road or in bustling crowds, at sporting events or in the bars….



Why Bother Working?

Most of us work hard at our jobs, hoping to get ahead, watching for the next pay-raise, and looking forward to the day when our family is not only out of debt but comfortable enough financially so we can stop worrying about taking a nice vacation.  We in America have a better chance of that, of course, than elsewhere.  But where, exactly, is the world’s pot of gold going?

The Wall Street Journal sums it up like this:  “The super rich are getting super richer.”   According to Oxfam, an international anti-poverty coalition, by next year 1% of people will own more than 50% of the world’s wealth–those 1% will own more than the rest of us combined.

Meanwhile, poverty, malnutrition, disease, homelessness, and wars fought over who gets to use natural resources increase throughout the globe.  And the average frustrated working person struggles to keep from experiencing those conditions.

What’s the answer?  In all fairness, I don’t know.  I wish I did.



I Marched With Martin

I marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., almost 50 years ago.  Not literally.  I watched the events unfold on our family’s black and white TV.  They didn’t cover it nearly as much as stations would today, but I saw enough to inspire me, to horrify me, and to make me ashamed that my country didn’t allow all of its citizens to vote.

I watched history being born.  I watched a war for citizens’ rights being waged.  I watched victories and disappointments, physical wounds and healing emotional wounds, and people waking up to the stark realization that a large group of Americans didn’t really believe that “all men are created equal.”

It was an exciting, emotional day.

As the scenes in Selma replay in my mind, I’m thankful for how far we’ve come in these last 50 years…and distressed over how much farther we have to go.



G.B. Shaw Knows his Dogs

Here’s a Thursday Thought from George Bernard Shaw:

“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.”

‘Nuff said……