Greta Thunberg — Simply Amazing

I have written before about the young Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, and in fact she was one of my ‘good people’ one Wednesday last December.  Sometimes an activist will start like gangbusters, and then after a few months you hear nothing more about them, but not so Ms. Thunberg.  I see her name in the news at least once a week, and she has been inspirational to many young climate-conscious groups around the world.

Today, she is back in the news, and in a big way! A couple of big ways, actually.

Greta-Thunberg

Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and The 1975’s Matty Healy pose for a photo. (Photo: Jordan Hughes)

The first is that she is featured on the first track of the forthcoming album of British pop-rock band The 1975.  In the track, Greta delivers a speech about the global climate emergency, against an instrumental background by the band.  Now, I have never heard of The 1975, but I give them two thumbs up for this effort, as well as the fact that all proceeds from the track will be going to the climate action group Extinction Rebellion.

The full text of Greta’s speech on the track is at the end of this post.

In an interview with The Guardian, Greta said …

“I’m grateful to get the opportunity to get my message out to a broad new audience in a new way. I think it’s great that The 1975 is so strongly engaged in the climate crisis. We quickly need to get people in all branches of society to get involved. And this collaboration I think is something new.”


The second thing is that Greta has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year.  She was nominated by Freddy Andre Oevstegaard, a parliamentary representative in Norway …

“We have nominated Greta because the climate threat may be one of the most important causes of war and conflict.”

greta-2.pngThe Norwegian Nobel Committee will announce its latest laureates in October, and those selected will receive their prizes in December.  I do so want to see her win it!


And the third thing that has put Greta in the news this week is that she will be coming to the U.S. next month to attend a United Nations summit meeting on global warming in New York!  Now, you may remember from my previous post about Greta that she does not fly on airplanes because of the CO2 emissions, so you may be wondering how she plans to get here.

“Good news! I’ll be joining the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York. I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II.”

Malizia-2

Malizia II

Malizia II, is outfitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate electricity. That should make the entire trip possible without burning any fossil fuels.

Boris Herrmann, who will skipper the boat, said the voyage would not be the luxury cruise that a high-tech yacht might conjure in the popular imagination. The Malizia II is built for speed, not comfort. It has no kitchen, refrigeration system, air-conditioning or showers.

Think about this one for a minute, folks.  This young woman is so committed to saving our planet that she is willing to spend two weeks on a small boat, eating mostly freeze-dried and vacuum-packed meals, in order to do her part to save the environment.  Greta is sixteen years old … most kids her age are attached at the hip to their cell phones, ipods, laptops, and wouldn’t dream of missing a shower or a hot meal, let alone spend two weeks in a small boat on choppy seas!

Greta will be accompanied on the trip by a filmmaker; her father, Svante; and Pierre Casiraghi, the head of the Malizia II racing team who is also the grandson of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the American actress Grace Kelly.

Greta is, with her parents’ approval, taking the year off from school to campaign against climate change, also plans to attend the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks in December in Santiago, Chile.

I was impressed by this young woman when I first wrote about her eight months ago, but today … the only word I have is “WOW!!!”  She puts us all to shame, and particularly those who would “deny” climate science in order to justify their own greed.


I would like to end with a quote that was sent to me tonight by a very special friend:

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

Ms. Thunberg is doing something that she can do … let’s all try to do just one thing more that we can do to help heal and protect our home, planet Earth.


Full text of Greta’s speech on The 1975 track:

We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis.

And we need to call it what it is. An emergency.

We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control and that we don’t have all the solutions yet. Unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things.

We admit that we are losing this battle.

We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed.

But homo sapiens have not yet failed.

Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.

But unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance.

We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.

Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.

And either we do that, or we don’t.

You say that nothing in life is black or white.

But that is a lie. A very dangerous lie.

Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming, or we don’t.

Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, or we don’t.

Either we choose to go on as a civilization or we don’t.

That is as black or white as it gets.

Because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival.

Now we all have a choice.

We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations.

Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail.

That is up to you and me.

And yes, we need a system change rather than individual change. But you cannot have one without the other.

If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level. People like you and me.

So, I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible.

Today, we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.

So, we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.

Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.

So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.

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Open Border

And speaking of immigration … Clay Jones sums it up nicely in both a ‘toon and his commentary …

claytoonz

There are a lot of fallacies that persist in this country, mostly due to Republican messaging. Republicans love spreading lies like Critical Race Theory is being taught, liberals are groomers, there’s something on Hunter Biden’s laptop, election fraud stole the election from Trump, the January 6 attack on the Capitol building was a protest, Tucker Carlson’s testicles have dropped, and there’s nothing dangerous about giving the nuclear code to a 300-pound orange toddler who has ketchup tantrums. But let’s focus on two that deal with immigration, and we’re not even going to talk about the lie that George Soros is paying for migrant caravans.

The first one is that immigration is the greatest threat facing this nation. It is not the greatest threat. It’s not even close. The greatest threats facing this nation are hate, division, false information, climate change, war on women and minorities, Ted Cruz, Rudy Giuliani farting…

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A Chilling Tweet

There are probably no more than five Republicans sitting in Congress today who are deserving of the honour of representing We the People, and of the new ones currently seeking a seat in Congress, not a single one is qualified.  And yet, their lies and wild conspiracy theories have gained them a following and there is a possibility that Republicans will gain a majority in one or possibly both chambers of Congress next year.  That, in and of itself should make intelligent people of good conscience more determined than ever to overcome the barriers and get out to vote, take their neighbors to the polls, volunteer as a poll worker … whatever it takes to keep Republicans out of Congress.  I have never been a member of either party, have always been an Independent, but I’ve never felt as affiliated, even if unofficially, with a party as I do the Democrats today.

This morning, the following text by Kevin McCarthy sent a distinct chill down my spine …

And the first thought that came to my mind was … they plan to impeach President Biden!

For what?  For nothing.

The article he refers to in the New York Post was written by none other than McCarthy himself and the ignoble Jim (Gym) Jordan, neither of which are known for being truthful or men of good conscience.

Let’s be clear here … I neither know nor particularly care what Hunter Biden did or didn’t do when he worked for Burisma Holdings.  Hunter Biden is not the president of the U.S.  Hunter Biden does have a drug problem, but that does not make him a criminal, and frankly I think we all … each and every one of us … have a family member with a drug or alcohol problem … I know I do.  But more to the point, we don’t blame people for the sins of their family members … if we did, nobody could ever be elected to any public office.  If we did, Justice Clarence Thomas would have been ousted from the Supreme Court already.

In fact, McCarthy himself does not have a clean nose.  He dropped out of the race for Speaker of the House in 2015 after his affair with a congresswoman from North Carolina was made public, and … his brother-in-law owns a construction company that has suspiciously received more than $7.6 million in federal contracts since 2000.  All of which is irrelevant, but points to the old saying that “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Think about this one for a minute … if the Republicans gain a majority in the House and Senate, and if the Republicans are stupid enough to vote for McCarthy to be the Speaker of the House following November’s election, then they could indeed begin investigations and could indeed dig up or make up something about some member of the President’s family, could embellish it to the point of making it sound like a smoking gun, and vote to impeach.  See, here’s the thing … the Republican Party of today is one without values, without integrity, without a conscience.  The Constitution no longer means anything to them … We the People no longer mean anything, except to be manipulated and used as a tool for their own benefit. It is a party that is in the fearsome grip of a madman who hopes to become the dictator of this nation two years hence.  So, even without any viable or legitimate evidence, there is no doubt that the Republicans in both chambers of Congress would fall in line, be in lockstep with McCarthy’s plot.

So, what if they impeach Biden?  Kamala Harris would be the only thing standing in the way of a “President Kevin McCarthy”.  Are you chilled yet?  And we can bet money that a “President McCarthy” would be a puppet of the evil ‘man’ currently residing at Mar-a-Lago.

We the People have the power to stop this plan in its tracks, but WE MUST ALL VOTE!!!  That is, literally, the ONLY way to preserve what is left of the democratic foundations of this country.  VOTE McCarthy OUT, for Pete’s Sake!  Vote them all out!!!  The Republican Party is no longer one of decency, of conscience, of integrity or values.  Their only goal is power … absolute power … and they will lie, cheat, and steal to obtain that goal.  And that, my friends, should scare the hell out of you.

♫ All You Need Is Love ♫ (Redux)

I had a song in mind for tonight, but once I read the lyrics I changed my mind.  But all is not lost!  Our friend Keith has a unique talent for planting earworms that take root and fill the empty spaces (of which there are many) in my head!  In a comment on my music post yesterday (Imagine) he mentioned this song, and thankfully it was a good earworm, for I’ve only played this once before here and that was three years ago.  This is another like “Eve of Destruction” and “Imagine” that is timeless and even more relevant today than when it was first recorded.  Thanks, Keith!!!


Yesterday, I re-blogged David Prosser’s post about a philosophy of humanity called Ubuntu A short time later, a fellow-blogger asked me to look at her post, and this video was on it.  The connection between this song and David’s post struck me almost like a lightening bolt, and I knew I had my music post for tonight.

The original goal of this song was to combine the love of all nations displaying the possibility of hope and peace as a common denominator in the world.  This was played at Party at the Palace, a British music concert and celebration held in London in 2002.  Artists, including Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, and many more contributed to this extravaganza.  The song is originally a Beatles’ classic that in and of itself is quite meaningful …

The Beatles played this for the first time on the “Our World” project, the first worldwide TV special. Broadcast in 24 countries on June 25, 1967, the show was six hours long and featured music from 6 continents, with The Beatles representing Britain.

The concept of the song was born out of a request to bring a song that was going to be understood by people of all nations. The writing began in late May of 1967, with John and Paul working on separate songs. It was decided that John’s “All You Need Is Love” was the better choice because of its easy to understand message of love and peace. The song was easy to play, the words easy to remember and it encompassed the feeling of the world’s youth during that period.

Joining in 2002 at the Buckingham Palace Garden, the stars of the generation gather to spread the message of hope, peace and unity to London, England.

Ubuntu … the philosophy that we are all connected, the idea of humanity, and this song about love … put it together, and then ask yourself what is keeping us from living in this world?

All You Need Is Love
The Beatles, et al

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy
Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
Love is all you need
(Love is all you need)
(Love is all you need)
(Love is all you need)
(Love is all you need)
Yesterday
(Love is all you need)
Oh
Love is all you need
Love is all you need
Oh yeah
Love is all you need
(She love you, yeah, yeah, yeah)
(She love you, yeah, yeah, yeah)
(Love is all you need)
(Love is all you need)

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
All You Need Is Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Saturday Surprise — Fun Critter Facts ‘n Pics!

Today’s Saturday Surprise is … well, just a hodgepodge of animal facts, some with pictures and a few accompanied by short video clips.  I thought critters would be more likely to bring a smile than humans at this juncture.  I hope these provide you with some interesting new info and bring a smile to your face to kick off the weekend!


The male seahorse goes through pregnancy and gives birth to babies. They are the only animal on earth where the male carries the baby rather than the female.

The male seahorse has a pouch on its stomach in which to carry babies—as many as 2,000 at a time.

Roosters prevent themselves from going deaf due to their own loud crowing, by tilting their head backs when they crow, which covers their ear canal completely, serving as a built-in ear-plug.

A study showed that their crowing averages over 100 decibels, which is roughly the same as running a chainsaw. 

Otters “hold hands” while sleeping, so they don’t float away from each other.

And it’s super-cute. Look.

A common garden snail has 14,000 teeth.

Their microscoptic teeth are called radula, and some species actually have over 20,000 teeth.

The pangolin is able to roll up into an armour-plated ball, so lions can’t eat them.

A Blue Whales tongue can weigh as much as a car, or a small adult elephant.

A Blue Whales tongue can weigh approx. 2.7 tonnes, or 6,000 – 8,000 pounds (2,720 – 3,630 kg).

Axolotl are able to regenerate lost limbs and body organs.

Mexican walking fish can regrow the same limb up to 5 times, and even regenerate parts of its brain.

An ostrich legs are so powerful that their kicks can kill a lion.

Or a human! Each two-toed foot has a long, sharp claw – making them formidable weapons. Animals often end up running away from the large bird.

The Japanese Spider Crab has the longest leg span of any arthropod.

From the tip of one claw to the other can be as long as almost 4m! Japanese spider crabs have 10 legs stretching out from a central body, giving it its spider like appearance. They live deep in the oceans south of Japan.

Emperor penguins are the world’s biggest penguins, and they trek 50–120 km (31–75 m) across the Antarctic to reach breeding colonies.

The impressive emperor penguins reach 100 cm (39 in) in length and weigh 22 to 45 kg (49 to 99 lb). They breed during winter, when they emerge from their more natural habitat in the ocean to trek long distances over treacherous ice.

The lesula, discovered in 2007, has giant human like eyes and a blue bottom.

This relatively newly discovered monkey lives in the Congo. The lesula eyes are very distinctive because of their human-like appearance, as are their bright blue bums.

Honeypot ants swell up to a huge size with food.

Honeypot ants have to be seen to be believed. During wet season, certain ants consume huge amounts of nectar, making their abdomens swell up to the size of a grape. Then, during dry season, they provide the other ants with food by throwing the nectar back up again. Yum!

I’m sorry … I just couldn’t resist this one …

The Donald Trump caterpillar looks identical to the ex-president’s hair.

This species of caterpillar, prior to 2016, was known as the Flannel Moth Caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis). It gained popularity as it is very furry and bright orange, giving it an uncanny resemblance to Trump’s hair (wig?). This ‘fur’ however, is actually composed of multiple venomous ‘hairs’. Grabbing hold of one of these caterpillars is a painful experience.

And that’s all I have for this Saturday, my friends!  I hope you all have a nice relaxing weekend and that the temperatures aren’t unbearably hot where you are.

Can Democracy be Saved, and what happens if it’s Destroyed?

Robert Vella of The Secular Jurist is a published author and political opinion writer who I have followed for a number of years. His post today is both thoughtful and thought-provoking and well worth the few minutes it will take you to read it, so PLEASE, if you read nothing else today, do read this from start to finish. I am especially drawn to the quote by Albert Einstein … truer words were never spoken. Thank you, Robert, for this well-considered post about not only our current situation here in the U.S., but around the globe.

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella – June 30th 2022

Now that the House Select Committee has begun public hearings on its investigation into the deadly and destructive January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol which attempted to forcibly overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election (see:  House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol), concern for the future of democracy has finally reached the crisis level.  What then-President Donald Trump, his Christo-fascist minions (which have seized control of the Republican Party), the white supremacist group Proud Boys, and the anti-government group Oath Keepers, among other factions, had tried to perpetrate was nothing less than a violent coup d’état;  and, that is precisely the terminology used by the committee on June 9th in its opening statements.

The political class and government bureaucracies, which had for years avoided any such…

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♫ Imagine ♫

I seem to play this one at least once every year, but it never becomes dated, never loses its relevance to what is happening in our world.  In the past, I usually only provided the song, along with my own commentary, but no trivia.  This time, I thought I’d add a bit of the history of the song.


John Lennon wrote and recorded this song at his Tittenhurst Park estate in the English countryside where he and Yoko took up residence in the summer of 1969. When they moved to Tittenhurst, The Beatles hadn’t officially broken up, but they were on the outs and would never record together again (the last Beatles photo shoot took place there in August, 1969).

In early 1971, Lennon worked up songs for a new album – Imagine was one of them. In May, he summoned several of his musical cohorts to Tittenhurst to record it, including Phil Spector, George Harrison, bass player Klaus Voormann, piano man Nicky Hopkins, and drummers Alan White and Jim Keltner. They recorded on-campus in the studio Lennon had recently built, which he called Ascot Sound Studios. It was a genial atmosphere; footage from the sessions shows Lennon and his cohorts enjoying each others’ company, but also getting down to business when it came time to work – Phil Spector kept the sessions on track, and Lennon was exacting in his musical detail. Imagine was one of the first songs they recorded. With a very simple arrangement designed to spotlight the lyric, it required just Lennon’s vocals and piano, Voormann’s bass, and White’s drums. Strings were overdubbed later.

Some listeners had a problem with the “no possessions” line, finding Lennon hypocritical because he was so well-off. Yoko Ono addressed this in a 1998 interview with Uncut, where she said of her husband’s intentions: “He sincerely wished that there would be a time when all of us could feel happy without getting too obsessive about material goods.”

A sidewalk mosaic spells out the word Imagine in a section of Central Park dedicated to Lennon. The area is called Strawberry Fields, and is located across from Lennon’s apartment where he was shot.

Released as a single in America, Imagine climbed to #3 in November 1971. In the UK, John and Yoko decided not to release it as a single to put focus on their Christmas peace anthem Happy Xmas (War Is Over). In 1975, Imagine was issues as a UK single for the first time, reaching #6. Soon after Lennon’s death in 1980, it was re-released in the UK and hit #1 on January 10, 1981, where it stayed for four weeks.


Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today (ah ah ah)

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Songwriters: John Winston Lennon
Imagine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management

Something A Bit More Uplifting

I needed to step away from the politics of the day for just a few moments, and had just about decided to skip doing a morning post today, but as I scrolled through the 400+ emails awaiting some disposition, I came across one from World Central Kitchen.  You all remember them … the organization started and led by renowned Chef José Andrés.  I thought that maybe you guys could use a break from the angst of the moment, too, so I decided to share Chef Andrés’ letter with you for a bit of extra ‘good people doing good things’ around the world to remind us all that not everything is doom & gloom.


As missiles hit shopping mall and apartment buildings in Ukraine, WCK jumps into action

The past several days in Ukraine have seen horrific attacks on purely civilian targets, including a busy shopping mall in Kremenchuk, and apartment buildings in Kyiv & Mykolaiv–and just tonight, an apartment building in Odesa where at least 10 people were killed. In response to the missile strikes, WCK teams have jumped into action, bringing food & water. After the shopping mall was destroyed, we delivered hot meals, sandwiches, fruit, 2 tons of water & tea—and brought a generator & built a rest area for rescuers.

Hot meals, water & baby formula for communities devastated by deadly earthquake in Afghanistan

The most damaging earthquake in two decades struck the remote, mountainous provinces of Paktika and Khost in eastern Afghanistan last week. Killing more than a thousand people and injuring many more, families and rescue teams continue to care for survivors as medical facilities become more overwhelmed each day.

Together with Hospitality for Humanity–whose team lead is from the affected region–we are distributing thousands of hot meals every day to shelters, hospitals & clinics working around the clock. To increase capacity and serve more communities in need, we established two Relief Kitchens cooking for families. While the UN delivered tents, WCK is the only organization currently providing food & water.

Serving both lunch and dinner, fresh meals have included lobia chalaw (beans with tomatoes, parsley, mint, and spices), kabuli palaw (considered the national dish of Afghanistan composed of meat with rice, raisins, and carrots), naan, and fruit.

Assisting families and medical staff in need of clean water, we are also providing both bottled water and six 15,000-liter water tanks with our fresh meals. Damage from the earthquake destroyed entire villages and has left many families sleeping outside in the rain.

Tragically, many children have lost both of their parents. To provide as much comfort to these kids as possible, we’ve set up a special tent to give them a safe space where they can draw, read books, and enjoy some fresh fruit. Additionally, the team is starting a baby formula program to deliver bottles to mothers in hospitals.

Meet Some of the #ChefsForUkraine Team

WCK’s work across Ukraine is managed and carried out by thousands of brave Ukrainians every single day. Our team now includes more than 4,500 people—chefs, drivers, warehouse managers, logistics experts—who help us serve over 1 million daily meals.

In Zaporizhzhia, Alex Beluga and his namesake Beluga Restaurant feed thousands of people every single day. One village he serves is Mala Tokmachka, a community near Russian-occupied territory—prior to the invasion, Mala Tokmachka had 3,000 residents, but there are now just 600-800 people left. Alex brings WCK food kits for families here living with no power or electricity. Deliveries here are dangerous—their vehicle has been damaged by shelling—but Alex is dedicated to supporting families not receiving any other form of help.

Katya, WCK’s regional lead in the eastern city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, delivers critically needed food to families in the area. It was in Kramatorsk where we witnessed the horrific missile attack on the train station as families—including many young children—were desperately trying to flee. But Katya and her family have stayed behind, playing a vital role in supporting many who are unable to leave, even as attacks from Russia increase. Despite the danger, she says, “I really enjoy meeting and communicating with people, helping them—and this gives me the strength and desire to keep working.”

Earlier this month, a boxcar carrying pallets of WCK food to be delivered in eastern Ukraine was hit by a missile. Working with the incredible team from Ukrainian Railways, Katya helped clean up the mess and get the salvageable food to families in need.

Artem works with our WCK team in Dnipro to distribute thousands of WCK food kits and meals to families every day. He’s been traveling to frontline communities in the occupied Kherson region, and villages under attack in Donetsk. When he learned that water had been out for 2 months for 2,000 families, Artem brought a WCK generator to get the pumps working again–and 5 villages now have access to clean water.

Nastia is only 12 years old and came to Dnipro from Kharkiv with her mother Yulia in early March. They left their native town, home, and everything else, trying to save their lives. After receiving hot meals from a local WCK restaurant, they both began volunteering every day to help prepare meals for other Ukrainians forced to flee home!

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls …

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued yet another ruling that is devastating, to say the least.  The news stories reported that this is a “serious blow to Biden’s climate agenda.”  NO, my friends, this is a serious blow to the lives of every single person around the globe, today and forever.  No, that is not hyperbole … that is FACT.  I am left spluttering … not speechless, but so filled with words that I cannot corral them into a coherent post just yet.  Fortunately, Robert Reich has no such problem …


The beginning of the end of regulation

The radical Supreme Court is giving the big business backers of the GOP exactly what they paid for

Robert Reich

June 30

Today the Supreme Court – again, with the 6 Republican appointees on one side and the 3 Democratic appointees on the other — limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. This ruling deals a major blow to America’s (and the world’s) efforts to address climate change. Also — as with its decision reversing Roe v. Wade — today’s ruling has far larger implications than the EPA and the environment.

West Virginia v. EPA is the latest battle pitting America’s big businesses (in this case Big Oil) against the needs of average Americans. In this Supreme Court – containing three Trump appointees, two George W. Bush appointees, and one George H.W. Bush appointee – big business is winning big time. The financial backers of the Republican Party are getting exactly what they paid for.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts admitted that “capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day.’” But then came the kicker: “But it is not plausible,” he wrote, “that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme.”

Not plausible? Congress enacted the Environmental Protection Act in 1970. As with all laws, Congress left it to an administrative agency – in this case, the EPA – to decide how that Act was to be implemented and applied. That’s what regulations do: They implement and apply laws.

For the Supreme Court to give itself the authority to say whether Congress intended to delegate this much regulatory authority to the EPA is a truly radical act – more radical than any Supreme Court in modern history. If Congress has been unhappy with decades of EPA regulation, Congress surely has had the power to pull that authority back. But it has not.

As Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the dissenters, countered: “The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decision maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

The implications of the ruling extend to all administrative agencies in the federal government – to the Securities and Exchange Commission implementing the Securities Acts of 1933 and 1934, to the Federal Trade Commission applying the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, to the Department of Labor implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and so on, across the entire range of government – and the entire range of regulations designed to protect consumers, investors, workers, and the environment. (This same Supreme Court has ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was not authorized to impose a moratorium on evictions and that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was powerless to tell large employers  to have their workers be vaccinated or undergo frequent testing.)

In passing laws to protect the public, Congress cannot possibly foresee all ways in which those laws might be implemented and all circumstances in which the public might need the protections such laws accord. Starting today, though, all federal regulations will be under a cloud of uncertainty – and potential litigation.

A final implication of today’s ruling is that the filibuster has to go. If the Supreme Court is going to require that Congress be more active and specific in protecting the environment or anything else, such a goal is implausible when 60 senators are necessary to enact it. Senate Democrats now have it in their power to abolish the filibuster. Today’s case should convince them they must.

♫ Eve of Destruction ♫

Somehow, this song has remained relevant for more than 50 years now.  Tonight, I am looking upon the world, and as I do, this song comes to mind.  It very much feels, at least here in the U.S. and I’m sure other places like Ukraine, Somalia and others, like we truly are on the eve of destruction.  Human forces are largely to blame … no, let me recant that … human forces are completely to blame by destroying the environment, building weapons of mass destruction, slashing human rights ’round the globe, even in western democracies like the U.S..  And nobody seems to be doing anything to stop the destruction … hell, half the people see the damages in a positive light!  And so, while I wish I could give you a nice, happy tune tonight, I am deep within the rabbit hole and simply cannot.  Perhaps tomorrow.


According to SongFacts …
A protest song about political issues of the ’60s, many radio stations refused to play “Eve Of Destruction” because of its antigovernment lyrics. There was an upside to this controversy, however, as it piqued interest in the song, sending it to #1 in the US.

The song takes on racism, hypocrisy, and injustice at a volatile time in American history. The assassination of US President John F. Kennedy in 1963 was a big influence on the lyric.

This was written by 19-year-old P.F. Sloan, who was a staff songwriter at McGuire’s label and went on to form The Grass Roots. Sloan wrote on his website: “The song ‘Eve of Destruction’ was written in the early morning hours between midnight and dawn in mid-1964. The most outstanding experience I had in writing this song was hearing an inner voice inside of myself for only the second time. It seemed to have information no one else could’ve had. For example, I was writing down this line in pencil ‘think of all the hate there is in Red Russia.’ This inner voice said ‘No, no it’s Red China!’ I began to argue and wrestle with that until near exhaustion. I thought Red Russia was the most outstanding enemy to freedom in the world, but this inner voice said the Soviet Union will fall before the end of the century and Red China will engage in crimes against humanity well into the new century! This inner voice that is inside of each and every one of us but is drowned out by the roar of our minds! The song contained a number of issues that were unbearable for me at the time. I wrote it as a prayer to God for an answer.

I have felt it was a love song and written as a prayer because, to cure an ill you need to know what is sick. In my youthful zeal I hadn’t realized that this would be taken as an attack on The System! Examples: The media headlined the song as everything that is wrong with the youth culture. First, show the song is just a hack song to make money and therefore no reason to deal with its questions. Prove the 19-year old writer is a communist dupe. Attack the singer as a parrot for the writers word. The media claimed that the song would frighten little children. I had hoped thru this song to open a dialogue with Congress and the people. The media banned me from all national television shows. Oddly enough they didn’t ban Barry. The United States felt under threat. So any positive press on me or Barry was considered un-patriotic. A great deal of madness, as I remember it! I told the press it was a love song. A love song to and for humanity, that’s all. It ruined Barry’s career as an artist and in a year I would be driven out of the music business too.”

One thing I did not know, or if I did I have long since forgotten, is that this was originally recorded by The Turtles, who released it on their first album earlier in 1965. The Turtles did not release it as a single, and McGuire’s version became the hit.

Eve of Destruction
Barry McGuire

The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it’s the same old place,
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Songwriters: P. F. Sloan
Eve of Destruction lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

Two More Crawling From Under The Rocks

Unfortunately, Tuesday’s primaries across the nation yielded some deeply disturbing results.  I want to take a look at two, in particular – Lauren Boebert and Mary Miller.

Lauren Boebert has been a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives for a year-and-a-half now and has been nothing but trouble since day #1.  I had sincerely hoped that the Republicans in Colorado’s District 3 would see the horror they had voted for in 2020 and oust her this time ‘round, but apparently they’ve been drinking their fair share of Kool-Aid at Boebert’s Shooters Restaurant and weren’t able to see clearly when they went to the polls on Tuesday.  We all know of Boebert’s gun fetish.  During the pandemic, she sat in on a congressional Zoom meeting with a wall of many guns as her background, and she has caused trouble more than a few times demanding that she be allowed to carry a loaded pistol into places in the Capitol where guns are forbidden.

But it is her latest little tirade that has left me growling …

“The reason we had so many overreaching regulations in our nation is because the church complied. The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it. And I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter and it means nothing like what they say it does.”

GOOD GRIEF!!!  She took an oath swearing to uphold the Constitution, and she hasn’t even read the damned thing!  The concept of separation of church and state comes from the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment … which quite obviously Ms. Boebert either never read, or didn’t understand.  And just WHICH religion does she think should be ‘directing’ the government?  There are roughly 4,200 religions, churches, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, etc. worldwide today!  Would she advocate for … say … Islam to be the official religion of the nation?  Or Judaism?  And if she answered ‘Christianity’, then which sect or cult, for there are three main branches of Christianity:  Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox.  Among those three branches are more than 200 separate denominations in the United States alone, more than 45,000 worldwide!  So, pick a religion, and no matter which one you pick, you’re going to be excluding the vast majority of the people in the nation!  And this doesn’t even bring into account folk like me who are non-religious!  We pay taxes and have rights, too, y’know Lauren!

Representative Adam Kinzinger refers to Boebert’s ideology as the “Christian Taliban” and I cannot help but agree with him!  A woman this stupid has absolutely ZERO business sitting in the United States Congress … or any lawmaking body, for that matter … and can only be considered a laughingstock, albeit a very dangerous laughingstock.  I would like to be able to say I’m hopeful that the Democratic candidate for the 3rd District in Colorado can wipe the pavement with her on election day in November, but sadly … it’s doubtful because of the 184,794 votes cast for both parties in yesterday’s primary, Boebert scored 83,217 of the votes and her Democratic opponent, Adam Frisch, only received 24,961 votes.  Republicans scored 68% of the total votes, so it looks like the 3rd District in Colorado is populated by people who care more about their guns than their future.

And then there’s Mary Miller, another newbie in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Illinois’ 15th District who also won her primary yesterday.  I had not heard of Ms. Miller until she flew onto my radar last week with this comment after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v Wade decision …

“President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.”

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR … 🤬

First of all, there is NO “president trump” and second of all … a victory for ‘white’ life???  What a (cover your ears, Keith!) ignorant, ugly, racist pig she is!!!  She later claimed that she meant to say “the right to life”, but I don’t believe that for a minute, for she would have caught and corrected herself immediately had that been the case, not waited until she was confronted about her comment.

Miller has done a number of troublesome things in her 18-month tenure in Congress, from quoting Hitler to introducing anti-trans legislation to passing along anti-Semitic and white supremacist propaganda, but the “white life” comment is the first time she floated onto my radar and frankly I wish she had stayed off!


So, my friends, it looks like certain parts of this nation are seeking some serious change … change that, if they are successful, is likely to drive us directly from a democratic republic into a fascist dictatorship, a nation where only white males have any value and the rest of us will be dominated by them.  Surely we’re not going to sit still for this?  Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and now Mary Miller … where does it end?  Is this to be our future, or are these just momentary blips on the radar?