Good People Doing Good Things —

I usually focus on every day, average individuals in these ‘Good People’ posts, but on occasion I like to highlight companies, businesses, and organizations that are going above and beyond to make people’s lives a little bit better in one way or another.


In Dubuque, Iowa, there is a school, Alternative Learning Center, that has found a unique way to encourage students to help others.  In lieu of running laps for their physical education credits, students can volunteer to help disabled and senior citizens.

Hitzler-2The learning center is specifically geared towards junior and senior high students who are at risk of dropping out of traditional schools.  Teacher Tim Hitzler is the man behind the program, and he has directly overseen it.  The students volunteer to do yardwork or other chores for those who struggle to do these things themselves.  According to Mr. Hitzler …

“The students and I and other students come out and help them. Could be raking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting grass, cleaning gutters, just depends on what they need. The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning, but once they get involved and start doing the yard work, they become more motivated. What they really like is … helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.”

Hitzler-1.pngTurns out this is not Tim Hitzler’s first journey into altruism.  He is also the founder of a non-profit, Key City Creative Center, in Dubuque, that lends space, tools and studios to people to work on a variety of projects.  Veterans are given free membership, others pay a small fee.  As Tim says …

“The tools and the space are very valuable. But the collaboration and the knowledge you get from other people here are where the real value is.”

Take a look …

Thumbs up to Tim Hitzler and the Alternative Learning Center for helping people, and especially for teaching young people the value of being good people, of helping others.


Back in March, I wrote in another ‘good people’ post about a large supermarket chain in the UK, Sainsbury’s, and gave them kudos for being a company that took care of their people.  Well, this week Sainsbury’s is back on my radar for another extraordinary move, this time taking care of the environment.SainsburysThe company has already implemented measures that are leading to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes (that’s 17,859,626 pounds) of non-recyclable plastic and “virgin plastic” every year.  But now, in addition, they have committed to cutting a further 1,284 tonnes (2,830,732 pounds) of plastic from their supply chain over the course of the next year, including plastic cutlery, bags, lids, and trays.

Plastic cutlery will be removed from all their over 1,400 stores as well as plastic trays for asparagus and sweetcorn; plastic cream pot lids; plastic tomato and carrot trays; and plastic sleeves from herb pots.plastic-freeThe company has also committed to replacing their black plastic trays; plastic fruit and vegetable film; PVC and polystyrene trays; and plastic egg trays with recyclable alternatives.

According to Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe …

“We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores. Our customers expect us to be leading the way on major issues like this, so I am determined to remove and replace plastic packaging where we can and offer alternatives to plastic where packaging is still required to protect a product.”

Yo!  Kroger, Giant, Safeway, Food Lion … are you guys listening???  Thumbs up, once again, to Sainsbury’s!


Mike-Than-Tun-Win.jpegMeet Mike Than Tun Win, a businessman and entrepreneur in Myanmar.  Mike is the founder of Flymya.com, a successful travel agency, and is CEO of BOD Tech Co., Myanmar’s first fully tech-based vehicle financing company.  Sounds just like many a rich capitalist, eh?  But what sets Mike apart is his big heart and the fact that he is using some of his success to help others.

Mike Than Tun Win created a non-profit organization called LessWalk which is buying up the bikes and making them suitable for students, then donating them to underprivileged children across the country who walk miles to school.

“It’s a common sight to see lines and lines of students walking long distances from home to school in rural villages. Some students can walk up to one hour from home to school and the families can hardly afford a simple form of transport like bicycle or motorcycle… a school bus is almost unheard of to the students in rural villages.”

Than was able to purchase the bikes at $40 per bike, costing a total of $400,000. Half of the money for the project has been funded through donations to LessWalk. Than himself provided the rest.

“I’m only halfway through the journey. The remaining 50 percent is making sure we have an impact.”


And, while this final story doesn’t exactly qualify as ‘good people doing good things’, it is heartwarming, and isn’t that, after all, what the good people posts are all about?

Harold Nelson started fishing when he was eight-years-old.  He later joined the military and served in the third infantry during World War II under General George S. Patton. Throughout the war, he made six amphibious invasions and was shot four times.

Ten years ago, when he was a spry 94-years-old, he was on a bus on his way to a casino near his Colorado home when a young lady, Jeanne Gold, happened to sit down next to him.  Jeanne was a spring chicken, only 84 years of age at the time!  The two hit it off, and it was a matter of days ‘til Harold introduced Jeanne to his one true love:  fishing.  Well, she took to it like a fish to water, and the two became boyfriend & girlfriend. Harold-JeanneToday, the couple are still boyfriend/girlfriend, Harold is 104 and going strong, and they still fish together most every day!  Though a gust of wind may knock him over, as it has in the past according to his recollection, Nelson has no plans to hang up his fishing pole anytime soon.

“When I’m pushing up daisies, I’m going to quit fishing.”

Just goes to show, you just never know when or where love will strike, and … you’re never too old to fall in love.  Maybe I’ll go buy me some hip-waders and take a bus ride!paragraph divider 2

Thoughts

There are days when my focus is sharp, I’m on a story like a dog with a bone.  Then there are days when my mind bounces furiously from topic-to-topic and I cannot seem to concentrate on any one for more than 47 seconds at a time.  Then, there are days like today when I am introspective, have some thought that isn’t particularly apropos of anything, but it stays in my mind, begging to be let out.  Thus, I share with you today, two of the thoughts that are meandering through the crevices of my mind.


An incumbent president should not be spending massive amounts of time campaigning for the next election, especially when that election is nearly two years away.  First of all, a sitting president has a full-time, all-encompassing job to do … it is what he was elected for, what he gets paid for, and what We the People expect him to be doing:  running the country.  Second, and perhaps even more importantly, if … IF he is doing that job properly, he has no need to be on the campaign trail, for his record will serve as his campaign.

In the case of the current officeholder, he has been on the campaign trail virtually since before he took office on January 20, 2017.  He officially filed his campaign with the Federal Election Commission on the day of his inauguration and began spending on his re-election campaign weeks before even taking office.  Could explain why he never had time for all those pesky transition meetings that were scheduled to help him learn his new job.  In December 2016, the month before his inauguration, he held nine campaign 2020 rallies!  He held approximately 64 rallies in 2017-2018, and has held an average of one per month this year.

Now, it seems to me that if he were doing a great job, as he claims, he wouldn’t need to go out and rile the masses with rhetoric, for his performance in office, the results of his hard work, would convince people to vote for him.  One earns respect, and he is in a position that he has every opportunity to earn the respect of the nation, but instead he chooses to do a poor job and rely on campaign rallies to help him keep that job.  Hopefully, the voters of this nation are astute enough to see that he can somewhat talk the talk, but after two-and-a-half years, hasn’t yet learned to walk the walk.

There is some evidence that voters are waking up, for in eleven battleground states (seven of which Trump won in 2016), Trump faces a net approval rating that’s in the negative. Several of those states have net disapprovals that are in the double-digits.  In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan — three states that helped propel Trump to victory three years ago — Trump’s net approval ratings were -13, -7, and -12, respectively.

In business, the best strategy for keeping your job is to do a good job, rather than pandering to the bosses.  Trump claims to know a lot about business, but that is a lesson he has failed to learn.


In one corner of my kitchen, we have a three-tier metal rack on which we keep canned foods, among other things.  Yesterday, I was looking for a can of ancho chilies in adobo sauce, a small can buried somewhere among the cans of corn, tomatoes, and green beans, and as I searched, I found myself thinking about labels … how happy I was that all these cans had labels to tell me what was inside.  (Yes, I have strange thought processes.)  Labels, like almost anything else, can be useful if used properly.  What if, though, every can had a label that just read “Vegetable”?  Confusing, yes?  Surely corn, peas, green beans and the like are vegetables, but beyond that, they have differences that are important.

People are much the same … no, Joe, I’m not saying people are vegetables, though some might as well be.  There are times we have no choice but to label a person.  If I am witness to a hit-and-run accident, it might be necessary for me to describe the driver of the car by saying it was a white female with blonde hair.  That is not to say, however, that all hit-and-run drivers are white blonde women!  And that is what we do when we refer to republicans or democrats or journalists or immigrants as “the enemy”.  Sure, most republicans have some things in common, but they also have individual beliefs that may or may not fit in the label as we perceive it.  Christians, presumably, all believe in a higher being, but beyond that, there are vast differences in their set of beliefs.  Most Christians I know, for example, are not homophobic and have friends within the LGBT community.  Yet there are those, like Franklin Graham, who give the impression that all Christians are anti-LGBT when he says that Christians are “offended” by the rainbow-adorned gay pride flag.

Most of us are able to laugh off the labels people assign to us, for we know there is much more depth to us than the colour of our skin, our religion or lack of, our hair & eye colour, or level of education.  But, when we crucify people based on any of those traits alone, we automatically give ourselves a label:  bigot.  A bigot is defined as a person who is intolerant to those who are different or hold different opinions.  It takes many forms from racism to Islamophobia to misogyny, but the one thing they have in common is that they are self-limiting and cruel.

I could offer a thousand examples, but you all know what I’m talking about.  It’s when we hear people in power say, “all democrats believe in socialism”, or “all republicans are against abortion”.  Or when the head of government says that all Hispanics are gang members and rapists, all Muslims are terrorists, all women are sex objects.  We need to try harder to remember that the members of every group are unique individuals.  If we praise or criticize, we should do so based on actions alone, not on characteristics.  Criticize the group that sets out to burn a synagogue or burn a cross on someone’s yard, but criticize them for their actions, not for the colour of their skin or their religion.


Okay, I’m done thinking for today.  Yes, I know that was rather a rambling bit of monologue, but sometimes I just need to clear the detritus from my brain.  Thanks for listening!

♫ Just The Two Of Us ♫

There seems to be a steady stream of songs that run through my head these days.  I no sooner banish one ear worm than another pops in.  No wonder there isn’t room in my head for coherent thoughts … it is filled up with tunes!  Ah well, they are all good tunes, old friends as it were.  Last night, when I was in search of a good version of Pastime Paradise, Google recommended another … Just the Two of Us … released in 1980 by Grover Washington and Bill Withers.

Grover Washington was a very respected Jazz saxophone player who died of a heart attack in 1999. Bill Withers is a songwriter and vocalist responsible for songs like Lean On Me and Ain’t No Sunshine. Withers sang lead on this, but it was credited to Washington and appeared on his album.

According to Withers …

“I’m a little snobbish about words, so they sent me this song and said ‘We want to do this with Grover, would you consider singing it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, if you’ll let me go in and try to dress these words up a little bit.’ Everybody that knows me is kind of used to me that way. I probably threw in the stuff like the crystal raindrops. The ‘Just The Two Of Us’ thing was already written. It was trying to put a tuxedo on it. I didn’t like what was said leading up to ‘Just The Two Of Us.'”

When Withers went in to record his vocals, it was the first time he met Washington. They were rarely together when they recorded this, and they never got to know each other very well. Withers admired Washington because Grover did the first cover version of any song he’d written – an instrumental version of Ain’t No Sunshine that appeared on his first album.

Just the Two of Us
Grover Washington Jr.

I see the crystal raindrops fall
And the beauty of it all
Is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind
When I think of you sometime
And I wanna spend some time with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

We look for love, no time for tears
Wasted water’s all that is
And it don’t make no flowers grow
Good things might come to those who wait
Not for those who wait too late
We gotta go for all we know

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building them castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

I hear the crystal raindrops fall
On the window down the hall
And it becomes the morning dew
And darling when the morning comes
And I see the morning sun
I wanna be the one with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us, just
(Just the two of us)
Just the two of us
Building big castles way up high
Just the two of us
You and I

(Just the two of us)
(We can make it, just the two of us)
(Just the two of us)

Songwriters: Ralph Mac Donald / William Salter / William Harrison Withers Jr.
Medley: Just the Two of Us lyrics © Bleunig Music, BMG Rights Management

Break Open Da Piggy Bank …

Last week, Trump traveled to the United Kingdom for a state visit.  I’ve already written about his bizarre, juvenile behaviour and will leave that topic alone for now, but my jaw dropped yesterday morning when, after assessing our family finances and deciding I better wait until next week to order my insulin, I read what Trump’s little jaunt cost We, the Taxpayers.

UK-Junior

Junior strutting in his finery

First, consider who went.  Donald and the sour-faced spouse, Melania – the only two who were actually invited.  Then there was Don, the hunter, Junior; the useless duo of Ivanka & Jared; Eric and his potty-mouth wife, Lara; and the usually-unseen Tiffany … I guess she couldn’t pass up a trip to London on our dime.  So … eight principal characters, all of whom, of course, require round-the-clock Secret Service protection.  Then there were about a dozen of his ‘advisors’, though since he never listens to them and they are mostly witless anyway, it’s unclear why they went along.  Among them was America’s #1 bimbo Kellyanne Conway, resident liar Sarah Huckabee Sanders, white supremacist Stephen Miller, and boot-licker Steve Mnuchin as well as his wife.  And to ice the cake, he also brought along some friends, like Chris Ruddy, CEO of the conservative media organization Newsmax.

UK-Trump-children

Could the women have found any uglier dresses???

First, there were the costs to fly Air Force One from Andrews Air Force Base to London … about $2.5 million for the round trip.  The Trump kids did not fly on Air Force One, but whatever they did fly on cost the taxpayer an undisclosed amount, and their Secret Service protection cost even more.  I’m not sure why we are protecting these useless people, but …

Along with people on Air Force One, the presidential limousine and Marine One helicopter were transported, along with a multitude of supporting vehicles and staff. They’re all designed to keep the president safe and away from protesters.  You know … those protestors that Trump claimed he didn’t see?UK-presidential-limNext, there was the cost of Secret Service protection for all the above-named people … while I have searched and cannot find any credible information about the costs of Secret Service protection, there is no doubt whatsoever that it runs into the millions.  Just a weekend jaunt to Mar-a-Lago runs over $1 million.

Then came the accommodations. Trump and part of his entourage stayed at the Qatari-owned Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, at a cost of approximately $1.3 million.  Other members of the party stayed elsewhere:

  • London Hilton on Park Lane ($339,000)
  • Cumberland Hotel at Cumberland Place ($92,000)
  • Hyatt Regency Churchill hotel ($37,000)

UK-Park-Lane-Hotel-exterior

UK-Park-Lane-Hotel-suite

Trump’s suite at Intercontinental Park Lane

While there are many costs that I can find no information about, there was a crowning end to his trip when he detoured for a visit to his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland.  This extra jaunt cost the taxpayers $3.6 million more than if he had remained in London!  To add insult to injury, he conducted a bit of business while he was there … not U.S. government business, but rather business concerning his golf course, which is part of Trump Enterprises.  No, no conflict of interest here, folks … move along now … see that snake oil salesman just across the street?

And the UK paid a hefty price for the Trump family visit as well.  Contrary to what Trump claims, tens of thousands of protestors were out in force last Tuesday, ensuring that a strong police presence would be required. While I have not heard a final tally, prior to Trump’s visit the estimate for security by Scotland Yard was £40 million, or $50.7 million! UK-protestors.jpgIt should be noted that in 2012, when President Obama traveled to Spain, Trump had nothing but criticism about the cost of the trip …

“The Obama’s Spain vacation cost taxpayers over $476K. They love to spend money.”

A mere fraction of the cost of the Trump family’s London vacation … ah, but that was President Obama, whose skin wasn’t quite the right colour to suit Trump.

No matter what the final figure for this trip is on either side of the Atlantic, the taxpayers of both the United States and the United Kingdom have been royally ripped off.  What did we gain from this trip?  Nothing.  The Trump boys had a lot of fun pub-hopping over in Ireland, Trump had a blast making up stories, claiming that people loved him and that the Queen never had a better time than with him.  And he embarrassed the heck out of this nation by threatening to force our horrendous health care on the Brits, among other things.  Melania, Ivanka, Jared, Junior, Eric, and Tiffany got to see the sights and be treated like royalty. UK-pub

We, the taxpayers?  We got nothing, not even a lousy T-shirt.

London The Baby Blimp June 2019 UK Trump Protesters Funny Shirt

Time For ‘Toons!!!

Ever have one of those days where nothing goes right?  It started with getting up late, finding that the kitties had knocked over my flowers and water was everywhere, then trying to quickly get a beef roast into the crock pot for supper took me nearly an hour for some reason.  So, long story short, I am in a time crunch today and thought … what a perfect opportunity to showcase some cartoons!  Political cartoons sometimes make us laugh, sometimes shake our heads, and sometimes make us want to cry, but they say so much with a simple drawing.  So, let’s see how the cartoonists have viewed the past week or two …


Trump does love tariffs.  Too bad he doesn’t understand them.  

tariffs-1tariffs-2tariffs-3toon-2tariffs-4


One of the biggest issues dividing this nation … one of the few hundred, that is … is guns.  Every time there is a multiple-death shooting as there was in Virginia Beach on May 31st, the debate becomes more vocal, with the gun nuts saying “this isn’t the time to discuss it”, and the rest of us positing that this is exactly the time to discuss it. 

guns-1guns-2guns-3


Of course, regardless of political party, the “I-word” is on everybody’s mind these days …

impeach-1impeach-2impeach-3cover-up.jpg


Who can resist poking fun at ol’ 2-faced Lindsey Graham?

Lindsey-Graham


And just for kicks …

democracyTom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190609.tiftoon-1.jpg


Have a great week, folks … remember, humour helps us maintain perspective in these troubled times!

♫ Pastime Paradise ♫

A dear friend, whose name I shall not say except to note that the first and last letters of his first name are the same, shot this song into my brain last night, whereby it lodged and refused to budge.  All day, I have been humming or whistling this song, and so … sigh … sorry folks, but from my brain to yours it goes …

Pastime Paradise was first released on Songs in the Key of Life, which has become Stevie Wonder’s most highly praised album. Michael Jackson considered it Wonder’s best, whilst Elton John told interviewers it was “the best album ever made,” a sentiment shared by many in the listening public.

When one thinks of Stevie Wonder, “joy” is the operative word, but in Pastime Paradise the synthesizer strings – one of the first novel attempts at using this sort of string-synthesis in a song – create an edgy atmosphere of anxiety, substantiated by the lyrics which are insistently negative in tone until the final stanza. A combination of issues, from race and religion to the economy are vaguely alluded to by using catchwords like “Race Relations” and “Exploitation” without any further explanation. Anyone that would have been hearing these words in 1976 at the tail-end of the Black Power movement (1965-1975) would know exactly what they were referring to. However, Wonder’s final statement defines the actual message of the song: “Let’s start living our lives, living for the future paradise,” as opposed to living in the unhappy past, or the illusory future in order to escape present social issues.

Pastime Paradise
Stevie Wonder

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been wasting most their time
Glorifying days long gone behind
They’ve been wasting most their days
In remembrance of ignorance oldest praise

Tell me who of them will come to be
How many of them are you and me
Dissipation
Race relations
Consolation
Segregation
Dispensation
Isolation
Exploitation
Mutilation
Mutations
Miscreation
Confirmation, to the evils of the world

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been looking in their minds
For the day that sorrows gone from time
They keep telling of the day
When the savior of love will come to stay

Tell me who of them will come to be
How many of them are you and me
Proclamation
Of race relations
Consolation
Integration
Verification
Of revelations
Acclamation
World salvation
Vibrations
Stimulation
Confirmation, to the peace of the world

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
We’ve been spending too much of our lives
Living in a pastime paradise

Let’s start living our lives
Living for the future paradise
Praise to our lives
Living for the future paradise
Shame to anyone’s lives
Living in the pastime paradise

Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
Pastime Paradise lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Jolly Monday — Slightly Short

jollyGood morning friends!  I’m so happy to see you, for Jolly and I have missed you!  I must admit that I am fairly exhausted this morning and have struggled to even pull together this pathetically small Jolly Monday post.  In fact, I considered saying “to heck with it” and going to bed, but … Jolly reminded me that you guys count on our humour to get your week started.  So, it may not be much, but hopefully you will find something to bring about a smile this Monday morn … grab a snack and a the beverage of your choice …


What would you do if you were craving tacos, went to your local Taco Bell, only to find that they had run out of taco shells?  Personally, I would then head to the grocery, pick up a pack of taco shells, go home and make my own.  It takes 15 minutes and it ain’t rocket science.  But a patron in Slidell, Louisiana, had other ideas.  He … or she … called 9-1-1!!!Taco-Bell-Slidell-policeNo word as to whether the caller was cited or not, but I certainly hope so.  And perhaps Taco Bell should have been cited, too … I mean, that’s like Ben & Jerry’s running out of ice cream!  It’s like Burger King running out of ground beef!  It’s like … it’s like Starbucks running out of coffee!


Ben Burville said he was deep sea diving off the coast of Northumberland, England, when a curious grey seal took an interest in first his face mask, then when he couldn’t get that off, his headwear.  Ben sat mostly still, letting the seal give it his best shot, and eventually the seal lost interest and left.


Topdezigners is an Instagram page that reposts gorgeous sleek, modern, and innovative furniture, room, and even outdoor architectural designs.  Some of these are truly amazing, and I thought I’d share a few of my favourites.  You can find many more by just hopping over to Bored Panda.

design-booktree-bookshelf

I must have this!!!

design-Ćernośice Villa

And this … what a brilliant idea for using otherwise wasted space!!!

design-indoor-wood-slide

A wooden slide alongside the staircase … it would make getting the basket of laundry downstairs SO much easier!!!

design-cool-bedroom

Imagine falling asleep at night looking up at the stars … I love it!

design-sheep-toilet-paper-holder

A goat toilet tissue holder … COOL!

design-Fonte-Da-Luz-House

Imagine this room, with all the skylights, on a snowy day …

design-hanging-seat

What a way to spend a summer day, eh?


A teacher had her Pre-K class contribute recipes for a cookbook.  Here are some of the results …

cookbook-donutscookbook-macaronicookbook-pancakescookbook-spaghetticookbook-tacos


And of course, we cannot end Jolly Monday without a cute animal video …

Have a wonderful week, my dear friends, and remember to share those smiles with people you meet who don’t have one of their own.

Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and …

jolly

JOLLY!!!

An Open Letter To Our Grandchildren

This crossed my radar earlier this week and I saved it to share with you.  It speaks for itself and needs no introduction from me.  At the end, there is a short (3 minute) video clip that I urge you to watch.

We Trashed Your Future: An Open Letter to Grandchildren Everywhere

Dear Grandchildren Everywhere,

It is with immense regret that I must write you this letter of apology for the actions of my generation and previous generations that preceded me. We have trashed your planet and your future, and now we must take responsibility (albeit too late) for the Earth we are passing on to you.

In our quest to conquer nature and stock pile material wealth, we have systemically destroyed Earth’s life support systems, so that a few people could get rich beyond their wildest dreams. We have polluted the land, the rivers and the oceans. We have decimated global biodiversity and caused the climate disaster that now threatens your very survival. And the tragedy is that we knew the facts and realized the consequences of our actions long before we reached the point of no return.

At the time of writing this letter to you, the world’s leaders seem more focused on Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, global trade wars and Brexit than they are on your future. So preoccupied with what might happen tomorrow, they fail to consider the magnitude of what might happen a year, a decade or a generation from now. Needless to say, many of today’s grey-haired politicians will not live to see the dystopian future they have bequeathed you, and perhaps that is part of the bigger problem.

Nevertheless with every passing day we destroy our planet and ourselves through slow and painful destruction. We have created an economic system in which every natural resource is a commodity to be extracted and sold to the highest bidder. Every living tree, drop of oil, pool of water and patch of fertile soil is up for sale. And by the time you grow up, I fear much of what is left today will have been contaminated beyond restoration or have disappeared for good.

Of course, you have the right to feel deep anger and frustration, the right to question why we were so blind to our destructive ways and the right to ask why we did very little to fix Earth’s growing environmental problems while there was still time. I cannot blame you for feeling a deep sense of resentment towards us. We failed to safe-guard your future due to our never ending greed.

But now I ask only one thing: Do whatever you can to restore Earth’s systems and eek out a peaceful future for yourselves. We can only hope you learn from our towering mistakes and succeed where we failed. Sorry and good luck.

Yours Sincerely,

Your Ancestors

Alex-MoxonAlex Moxon is founder of Susticity.com. He is a sustainability and social justice writer with a “pay it forward” attitude, aiming to have a positive, uplifting impact on others in everything he does.

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♫ It’s The Same Old Song ♫

This is the song I was planning to play last night, until Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight wouldn’t leave me alone.  This song had an interesting inception.  Like so many of the Motown songs, it was written and produced by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland.  The song was reportedly created—from initial concept to commercial release—in just 24 hours!

The story goes, according to SongFacts …

The Four Tops were signed to Columbia Records in 1960, releasing just one single – “Ain’t That Love” (written by their lead singer, Levi Stubbs) – before moving on to Riverside Records and eventually joining Motown in 1963. As “I Can’t Help Myself” was coming off the charts, word got out that Columbia was going to re-release “Ain’t That Love” to capitalize on the group’s sudden success. Motown head Berry Gordy made a big push to thwart this, and put the rush on a new song. Fortunately, Holland-Dozier-Holland were very good at reworking their hits – they did it the previous year when they followed up their Martha & The Vandellas smash “Heat Wave” with the copycat “Quicksand.” The Four Tops were also up for the task, as they were one of the most seasoned Motown acts.

HDH quickly wrote the song, and on Thursday, July 8, it was furiously recorded and pressed. It was delivered to radio stations the next day, and by that Monday, it was in stores.

Columbia did issue “Ain’t That Love,” but it stalled at #93 on the Hot 100.

It’s the Same Old Song
Four Tops

You’re sweet as a honey bee
But like a honey bee stings
You’ve gone and left my heart in pain
All you left is our favorite song
The one we danced to all night long
It used to bring sweet memories
Of a tender love that used to be

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

Sentimental fool, am I
To hear a old love song and wanna cry
‘Cause the melody keeps haunting me
Reminding me how in love we used to be
Keep hearing the part that used to touch my heart
Saying together forever, breaking up never

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
But it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone

Precious memories keep a lingering on
Every time I hear our favorite song
Now you’re gone, left this emptiness
I only reminisce the happiness we spent
We used to dance to the music
Make romance through the music

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland
It’s the Same Old Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Sigh … More Snarky Snippets …

Some nights the mind bounce simply does not allow me to focus on my more in-depth projects … I have three of them in-process at the moment … and so nothing will do but a few snarky snippets.  Sorry, folks … I simply cannot help myself.  Sigh.


Underpaid???

I want you to get out your box of tissues and don your sympathy hats, for this one’s a real tear-jerker.  Members of Congress have not had a pay raise … not even so much as a cost-of-living increase … since 2009 – ten years!!!  The horror!  I mean, the majority of them only earn a paltry $174,000 per year!  How on earth are they managing?  So, two republican representatives, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, have quietly proposed a pay increase … just about a 2.5% increase … ballpark $3 million per year in total … nothing to break the bank.

But wait!  The minimum wage rate of $7.25 also has not been raised since 2009.  The full-time minimum wage worker earns $15,080 per year.  Um … that is a mere 8.67% of what those members of Congress are earning.  All of which might not cause a raised eyebrow except … back in March there was a bill in Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in increments by 2024.  Guess what?  The bill ran into a bit of a snag, with every single republican, including Representatives Scalise and McCarthy, committed to voting against it, and even some democrats refusing to support it, saying it would place an “unfair burden” on small businesses.  Unfair burden?  Unfair burden???  What about the burden of all those people working second jobs just to survive???

The very people who are poised to grant themselves a $4,500 per annum pay increase, would deny the minimum wage worker an increase. The bill hasn’t garnered the 218 votes needed to pass the House, and even if it passes the House, Mitch McConnell has indicated that he will not bring the bill to a vote in the Senate.  And even if it passed both the House and the Senate, in all likelihood Trump would veto it.

Think about that one … the people who are making 11.5 times as much as minimum wage earners, most of whom are already millionaires, want a raise for themselves, but none for the man or woman who is struggling every day to feed their children, pay the rent, pay the doctor’s bills, and keep the electricity from being shut off.  My answer to the members of the U.S. Congress is do what the minimum wage earners are having to do … take a second or even third job!!!


Ignorance

In year’s past, a president might be applauded for a brilliant speech, or criticized for one that wasn’t so good, but it tells you all you need to know about Don Trump when he is praised for not veering off-script.  The speech he gave at the ceremony for the 75th anniversary of D-Day was praised by two of Trump’s media antagonists, Jim Acosta and Joe Scarborough, not for it’s content (Trump didn’t write it) or sincerity (there was none), but because he stayed on script and didn’t go off on a tangent as he is prone to do.

“This is perhaps the most on-message moment of Donald Trump’s presidency today. We were all wondering if he would veer from his remarks, go off of his script but he stayed on script, stayed on message …” – Jim Acosta, CNN

“I’m also glad the president chose to have the discipline to stick to script …” – Joe Scarborough, MSNBC

Sorry, guys, but given that he spent three full days making an ass of himself and of this nation while visiting our allies, he gets no kudos from me for managing a few minutes reading from a paper without veering off course.  Two and a half years in office, and this is his crowning achievement – being able to read a speech that somebody else wrote???  That’s sad.  That’s really, really sad.


Truer words have never been spoken than these by President Dwight David EisenhowerD-Day


Th-th-that’s all f-f-folks

bugs bunny