Archive for January 22, 2022

(Wasted) Food for Thought

20 pounds of food each month, thrown away, wasting 40% of America’s food supply each year. This waste affects us in more ways than most of us realize.  Consider what it costs to put that food in front of us: 10% of our energy budget, 50% of our land, 80% of the fresh water we use, and $165 billion each year in uneaten food. Polluting chemicals related to food production include fertilizers and insect-and-disease-control, but let’s not ignore the fact that all that food rotting in landfills produces 25% of the methane gas in our country.

It’s time to bring back the old “Clean Plate Club” many of the older generation grew up with.  If we aren’t going to eat the food we produce–or share it with the hungry in our country and all over the Earth–we should not be producing it.  It makes financial, ecological, and moral sense.

[The statistics were taken from the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Read their article on wasted food at http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp.]

Consider This Before Vaccinating

It’s your decision, of course. If you aren’t COVID-vaccinated (even if you’ve had the virus, say the experts), I’m sure you’re protecting your families and friends and others by taking careful precautions when around them. And yourself, naturally.

Before you decide totally against it, though, here are some current numbers from the CA Dept. of Public Health: People who have not been fully vaccinated are

4x more likely to get infected

6x more likely to be hospitalized

18x more likely to die from the virus

Kindness & Snow

I offer you today’s Thursday Thought quote/picture because, well, just because I like it.

Dancing Spirit

This picture reminded me that I can choose to age in two different ways. My body may be crumbling, but my spirit still dances! I focus not on what I can no longer do but on what I can still do, including learning and experiencing new things.

Signs of Trafficking

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Be aware while you travel. Watch for any of these 7 signs that a person is being trafficked:

1.  A traveler is not dressed appropriately for their route of travel.  You might notice right away that a traveler has few or no personal items. Victims may be less well dressed than their companions. They may be wearing clothes that are the wrong size, or are not appropriate for the weather on their route of travel.

2.  They have a tattoo with a bar code, the word “Daddy.”  Many people have tattoos, so a tattoo in itself is obviously not an indicator, but traffickers or pimps feel they own their victims and a barcode tattoo, or a tattoo with “Daddy” or even a man’s name could be a red flag that the person is a victim.

3.  They can’t provide details of their departure location, destination, or flight information.  Traffickers employ a number of tools to avoid raising suspicion about their crime and to keep victims enslaved. Some traffickers won’t tell their victims where they are located, being taken, or even what job they will have. Because victims don’t have the means to get home or pay for things like food, they must rely on traffickers in order to get by, forcing them to stay in their situation.

4. Their communication seems scripted, or there are inconsistencies with their story.  Sometimes traffickers will coach their victims to say certain things in public to avoid suspicion. A traveler whose story seems inconsistent or too scripted might be trying to hide the real reason for their travel and merely reciting what a trafficker has told them to say.

5.  They can’t move freely in an airport or on a plane, or they are being controlled, closely watched or followed. People being trafficked into slavery are sometimes guarded in transit. A trafficker will try to ensure that the victim does not escape, or reach out to authorities for help.

6.  They are afraid to discuss themselves around others, deferring any attempts at conversation to someone who appears to be controlling them.
Fear and intimidation are two of the tools that traffickers use to control people in slavery. Traffickers often prevent victims from interacting with the public because the victim might say something that raises suspicions about their safety and freedom.

7.  Child trafficking.  A child being trafficked for sexual exploitation may be dressed in a sexualized manner, or seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A child may appear to be malnourished and/or shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, such as bruises, scars, or cigarette burns.

What you should do:  It’s important to remember that even if you spot a number of these signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone is being trafficked. But if you do suspect someone is being trafficked, do not confront suspected traffickers or attempt to rescue suspected victims — instead, call emergency services or alert the airport authorities.

Save to cell phone and report suspicious activity
1-888-3737-888 – National Human Trafficking Hotline and Resource Center
Text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733)
If a victim is in urgent need of assistance, call 911
Text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733)

Silence MLK’s “Dream” Speech

Tired of hearing about MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, given over 50 years ago?  It definitely was a speech from his heart, being formed as he stood there giving it rather than written, rewritten, edited, and practiced. That could be why it was so powerful and resonates with many of us today.

But I’ve heard it and heard it and heard it until I’m sick of it! you may cry.  If that’s so, I have a suggestion for you: silence it by making the speech irrelevant; get out there and DO something to make MLK’s dream a reality.

Those Deductions Add Up!

Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.

Based on research by the Tax Policy Center, tax deferrals and deductions and other forms of tax expenditures (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes), which largely benefit the rich, are worth about 7.4% of the GDP, or about $1.1 trillion.

Other sources have estimated that about two-thirds of the annual $850 billion in tax expenditures goes to the top quintile of taxpayers.

Silence & Words Not Spoken

Again and again we hear people excuse their inaction in the face of cruelty and injustice with the declaration that one person can’t make any difference.  They acknowledge that people are suffering but believe that the problem doesn’t really affect them or their loved ones.  Martin Luther King, Jr., had a very different view, which I offer to you as today’s Thursday Thought quote.

  • He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
  • History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
  • In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  • Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

It’s time to speak up!

Celebrate Family

Today I indulge myself.  I just ran across this picture from 2013. We had a visit with New Jersey family, including a granddaughter we hadn’t seen in nearly five years.  In this picture, Grandpa Frank is helping Gwyneth with her math homework.  Both are enjoying an experience they seldom had a chance to share…a closeness in so many ways.  Today, I just want to celebrate Family.

What is a “Regular” Nurse?

This has been bothering me ever since I heard it on the news recently.  A nursing rep was commenting on two nurses just killed in a crash of their air ambulance.  She said, “They were not just regular nurses.  They both had really high standards.  They took [nursing] very seriously.” I’m bothered because most “regular” nurses I’ve known in my life, as a frequent patient, relative of a beloved patient, or friend, have had high standards and take their work seriously.  That woman’s comment demeaned all nurses!