Saturday, October 25, 2014

Solvable Crisis

Sometimes I get impatient with humankind. We make so many things a crisis and at the same time ignore those crises that are solvable.

We, and I don’t mean you and I, but those “we’s” that run stuff and like to ring our bells. They like to make money off of our insecurities and our naiveté. This Ebola crisis until recently has been ignored in the United States. It’s OK if they are dying; West Africans have been dying from Evola for decades.

Now it’s a big deal. But you know what is a big deal? Hunger, not only in the world but also in the United States. Did you know that 50 million Americans suffer from hunger? And included in that number 17 million children.  Almost 15% of households in the United States have issues with hunger.

In 2011 8% of seniors in the U.S. had hunger issues, which translates into one million households. Shameful really, when you consider it is food we are talking about and not some unknown virus.
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."—Franklin D. Roosevelt 
Check out The Hunger Site Maybe there is something you can do to help.

And if you want to venture outside the borders of the United States you will find statistics that are really staggering.

  • Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year.

  • The vast majority of the world's hungry people live in developing countries, where 13.5 percent of the population is undernourished.

  • Some 805 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth.

Go to World Food Programme for more information.

Hunger is a solvable crisis.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Obama Appoints Czar

Tzar Nicholas II - 1898

No, not that Tzar, this Czar, Ron Klain. He is the new Ebola Czar and you can read the full story here.
The NYT article says:
"Mr. Klain is known for his ability to handle high-stakes and fast-moving political crises. He was the lead Democratic lawyer for Mr. Gore during the 2000 election recount, and was later played by Kevin Spacey in the HBO drama “Recount” about the disputed contest."
Hmmm, I thought Ebola was a medical crisis. Wouldn't that be handled by our Surgeon General? Oh, wait, that's right we don't have a Surgeon General. It seems the Surgeon General nomination  got caught up in politics.

Maybe Mr. Klain would best be the Czar of clearing up Surgeon General Nominations, then we would have a Surgeon General, aka, a medically trained person, that could work on the Ebola medical crisis.

On the other hand if we just declared War on Ebola I am sure our Defense Department could take care of everything lickedly split.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Yucca Mountain Now Deemed Safe

"Yucca, a volcanic structure adjacent to what was formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, where the government exploded hundreds of nuclear bombs, was never described as the best place for burying nuclear waste, only an acceptable one about which a consensus could be achieved." ~ Read the full story here

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

American Horror Stories and Beyond

Just some of the frightening tidbits making news these past few days:

  • Reproductive Rights on the Ballot  "Amendment 67 in Colorado is a modified but no less unconstitutional version of the preposterous “personhood” proposals Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected in 2008 and 2010. It would redefine the terms “person” and “child” in the state’s criminal code and wrongful death act to include “unborn human beings” — conferring on fertilized eggs legal rights and protections that apply to living individuals, criminalizing abortion even in cases of rape or incest or to protect a woman’s health." ~ New York Times, Opinion Piece by the Editorial Board
  • Callaway nuclear plant replacing 30-year-old reactor part "Workers will also replenish the plant's uranium dioxide supply, conduct inspections and tests, and replace 84 of the reactor core's 193 fuel assemblies, according to the release. The fuel assemblies are bundles of 12-foot metal tubes that house the uranium dioxide pellets." ~ Taylor Wanbaugh, the Missourian
  • The Fear Equation "Fear is not a weakness; it’s how people respond to danger. Unless it is calibrated properly, however, fear quickly turns into panic, and panic moves faster than any virus. ~ Michael Specter, The New Yorker
  • Police Arrest Dozens in Ferguson, MO 'Amid rain showers and a tornado watch, police in Ferguson, Mo., made dozens of arrests Monday afternoon and into the evening of people who had gathered to protest the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the black 18-year-old who was killed by a white police officer in August." ~ Scott Neuman, NPR, The Two-Way
  • Police Investigating Match-Fixing Allegations in Badminton (Reuters) Vittinghus told DR [Danish Broadcasting Coroporation]: "It is quite scary to be contacted this way by people who want to harm our sport. The only thing I could do was to report the would-be fixer to BWF [Badminton World Federation]. ~ Hans-Kristian Vittinghus is one of Denmark's leading badminton player

Monday, October 6, 2014

"How" do I love thee?

It seems the use of these three letters; h, o, and w, when formed into the simple word "how" has conjured up some serious legal action.  Who owns "how"?

Chobani, you know the yogurt people - they come along and say,  "HOW MATTERS". 
Voila! A Mr. Dov Seidman pops up and says, "No, no, no. 'How Matters' is mine".

Battle ensues...

You've stolen my HOW
And I want it back now 
Not with green yogurt
Blue or even PINK 
Not wrapped in cashmere
Or even in MINK 
Give me my word
And give it back NOW 
 The ways I can count If you want me to show HOW

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Republican Men, Climate Change and Women's Rights

"Hey, baby boy, take your hand off me!"

Oh, oh. It looks like the denial of climate change is going to come back to bite those stuffy old white Republican men right where it hurts most.

I guess there is more than one way to get even and patience can be a virtue. Recent studies show that climate change could alter the human male-female ratio.  It seems that male fetuses are extremely vulnerable to climate change.
"The reason why male babies may be more vulnerable to extreme temperatures is not known. But it has been reported previously that male embryos are affected negatively by stress factors such as earthquakes or toxic agents, Fukuda said."
Seems in the end it is best not to mess with Mother Nature.