Archive for April 30, 2015

This Russian Understands Compassion

A Thursday Thought from a famous Russian author and philosopher:

“Compassion is the chief law of human existence.”– Fyodor Dostoyevsky



A Comforting Creature

There’s too much tragedy and sorrow in the news right now.  Here’s a creature who can help us take a needed breath.  Then we can regroup and gather the strength we need to help our fellow earth-dwellers recapture their lives.




Dead Metaphor or Thoughtless Cruelty?

We often condone cruelty to animals without even realizing it.  Consider some of the dead metaphors we use, that is, expressions we use so often that eventually we no longer think about their origin or literal meaning.  If we actually pictured the phrases in our minds, how comfortable would we be using them?

Here are some examples:

“Didn’t have a dog in that fight” and “Dog-eat-dog world” (legitimizing bloody dog fights and setting one dog on another)

“Kill two birds with one stone” (most likely sling-shot hunting of birds, for sport or “fun”)

“Cat’s out of the bag”  (practice of putting cats or kittens into bags for drowning)

“A real cat fight” (joking description of two women fighting)

“Bull pen” (cramped space where bulls are held just before being released to be part of a bull fight that ends up with the death of the animal)

Maybe these are just words.  On the other hand, maybe our unthinking words reflect our acceptance of the unacceptable–animal cruelty.

[By the way, April is ASPCA’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month.]

Hoarding Drugs

Stop accumulating those drugs!  There are National Drug Take-Back Days throughout the year, but today is as good as any day to take care of this important chore.  Gather all your left-over prescriptions, drugs that you don’t need, and ones that are outdated. Take them to a near-by collection site to be disposed of properly.  Call your local police department to find a location or ask at your favorite pharmacy.

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 polluting the earth and poisoning wuildlife, which happens when drugs are flushed down the toilet or tossed into the garbage.

Do this as soon as you read this, so you don’t forget.


How Water-Efficient are You?

If you’re struggling with drought conditions and water restrictions, go to to help determine how much water your household uses per day and how water-efficient your usage is.

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[For more easy, money-saving, earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite E-book seller.]


ISIS Militants Turning Capitalists

Another cold-hearted action: ISIS militants recently killed a group of Ethiopian Christians in Libya for being Christian.  They did it, of course, in the name of their vision of Allah.  It was a terrible case of man’s inhumanity to man.

There’s an irony to their actions, though.  These “true-belivers” gave the Christians a chance to live, if they’d convert to Islam.  I understand that, sort of.  What I don’t understand, though, is the victims’ other option, which was to pay a tax to remain Christian.  These people would still be Christian, wouldn’t they, and an affront to the militants’ vision of Allah?

I guess even those who fight for all that’s holy can be bought off. Is Western capitalism taking hold within ISIS?


Women Getting Even

This appeals to my sense of warped justice.  A group at a Montana college held a bake sale.  Their delicious-looking cookies were priced at 77 cents for women buyers and a dollar for men.  Outrageous?  The idea was to call attention to the wage gap in America, with women earning 77 (some say 78) cents and men a dollar for the exact same job.

You have the munchies, guy, but don’t want to spend the whole dollar?  Listen to what women employees are being told when they question the wage gap:  That’s the way the cookie crumbles.



Breakthrough on Alzheimer’s Disease

Wonderful news!  A study by Duke University may have found a new cause of Alzheimer’s Disease: problems with the immune system.  The study suggests that cells in the immune system gobble up an important nutrient, arginine, while trying to protect the brain.  Researchers were able to block this process in mice.

Read more about this study and note at the bottom this statement: This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (AG031124, AG031845, T32-GM007171), the Alzheimer’s Association (IIRG-07-59802), and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.  In other words, a whole bunch of experts in the field believe that Duke researchers are onto something.  To any of us who have a friend or loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease, this means new hope.


Proposed New Saying for the Post Office

There needs to be an addition to the inscription on the General Post Office on 8th Ave. and 33rd St. in New York City (no, it isn’t the Postal Service’s motto–they don’t have one).  Keep what’s there but add four words so that it would read, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor White House security stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  It’s the least we can do to honor the spirit of 61-year-old Florida mailman and gyro-copter pilot Douglas Mark Hughes.



Truth or Lie–Doesn’t Matter

On this Earth Day, the debate continues: Is global warming a lie? Common sense says that the ever-increasing numbers of humans sharing our planet means quicker depletion of its resources, especially if we waste them.

Even if I assume that earth’s ruin still lies years ahead, it makes sense to try to prevent it, or at least put it off even farther.   I can start with small steps.  I can’t afford a hybrid car, but I can avoid Styrofoam, disposable diapers, incandescent bulbs, and toxic garden chemicals.  I can adjust my thermostat to more efficient levels and do a better job at recycling, especially flashlight batteries and engine oil.  I can air-dry at least some of my laundry.  Why, I could go vegetarian once a week!  I could even go  to and download a free copy of Jackie’s Green Riches: Help the Earth and Your Budget  so I can get ideas on easy steps I can take.  None of this is hard.  But it IS a start.

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