Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weird Shit – It’s a Mystery To Me

I miss George Carlin.  He always had a bit about the weird shit in life.  You know, those things that when you look at them logically they just don’t make any sense.  That’s the kind of stuff that has been swirling around in my head lately.  So here are some questions for you……………….

People who hoard guns, including semi-automatic weapons and large ammo clips are, according to Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, just gun fanciers.  Yet women, most of them older, who rescue homeless, unwanted and often injured cats from the street are Crazy Cat Ladies.  So why does society value objects whose purpose is to kill and ridicule compassion? 

Why were states, ruled by Republicans, so concerned about voter fraud in the last election, especially when they could only provide, at best, less than 10 cases of voter fraud in the previous 5 or 10 years?  Yet this same political party reassures us that only reasonable people will buy semi-automatic weapons and large capacity ammo clips at a gun show or pawn shop, without any background check.  How does the damage done or the danger posed by a few hundred, thousand, or ten thousand fraudulent votes compare to the damage done by a 30 round ammo clip in a crowd of people?


Those very same state legislatures felt the most pressing agenda item was to further restrict a woman’s access to a legal (by Federal law) abortion, imposing a waiting period and counseling prior to having an abortion performed, yet they object to a 3 day waiting period to purchase a gun.  If abortion is murder to them, exactly what do they think the purpose of a gun is?  Costume jewelry?  A lovely wall hanging?  Maybe a hood ornament for their truck?

Why does society practically deify the Wall Street gamblers, most of whom get richer by having access to insider trading tips (cheating), instead of valuing the hard working people who go to their jobs, either creating tangible objects or providing a much needed service, each and every day?

In light of the damage done to our air, water, ground and overall health by the extraction and use of fossil fuels do humans choose fossil fuels over cleaner energy that will benefit the humans, plants, animals and environment?

Why do those who call themselves Pro-Life generally support the death penalty and the elimination of the social safety nets that primarily benefit living, breathing children?  How does a fetus have more value than an already born child?  

Why do those same Pro-Life people object so loudly to contraception, which is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and decrease the number of abortions?  

Again, why do these same people, who say they are so concerned about fetuses continue to vilify Planned Parenthood, which in so many areas of the U.S. is the only source of low cost or free prenatal care?  Prenatal care is the best way to insure a woman gives birth to a healthy baby.

Following the exposition of the disgusting and deplorable actions of the Catholic Church, for hundreds of years, regarding their complicity in the thousands of cases of pedophile priests around the world, why are people still attending the Catholic Church and supporting anything said by any Catholic priest, bishop or Pope?

Consider this part of an ongoing list of things about society that continue to baffle, confound and anger me.  Feel free to add some of your own to the list in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for all to give thanks for all that they have.  

Christmas and Hanukkah are holidays where gifts are given to family, friends, neighbors and even co-workers.

As I have lost all of my immediate family, as well as beloved dogs and cats, over the years the holiday season has taken on new meaning – or no meaning – to me.  Certainly, as a vegetarian, the feasts with the carcass of a dead animal as the centerpiece is repulsive.  In the past few years I have chosen to enjoy my time off from work in unconventional ways.  Tomorrow, Christmas Day, I plan to see The Hobbit.  With any luck the theater will be nearly empty.

As far as gifts are concerned, most everyone I know has followed my request for NOTHING PLEASE.  I need to divest myself of enough stuff to fill a large store.  When that will happen is anyone’s guess.  The last thing I need is MORE STUFF.  To practice what I’ve been preaching, both last year and this year, instead of buying gifts for my employees I have donated to a non-human animal charity of my choice.  Both are grassroots, local nonprofits.

Last year I made a monetary contribution to the building fund for the Spay N Save's low cost spay/neuter clinic.  They opened their clinic earlier this year to one and all.  To find out more about Spay N Save, check out this link:
This year, thanks to the recommendation of a friend, I chose the kennel at Harbor House.  Earlier this month Harbor House, a shelter for women who are battered by their partners, opened their kennel for the companion animals of the women who are staying at the shelter.  Most shelters for women who are battered do not permit them to bring their cats and/or dogs with them.  Due to that fact, many women remain in abusive relationships to protect the animals they love.  

This link for Harbor House ( provides a complete description of why these caring people chose to open a kennel that provides a safe haven for these animals.  For many of us, myself included, our companion animals are precious, priceless, irreplaceable members of our families.  

While I realize that it is too late for anyone reading this post to choose to make a donation to a charity this year, I want to encourage each of you to consider doing this for future “special” occasions where you would normally purchase a gift.  Instead of continuing to fall prey to the crass consumerism that abounds, help out a good cause.  Your money will help and you may start a tradition within your circle of family and friends.  You will, most certainly, help raise awareness of the causes you support.  Most of us, especially in the developed world, have enough stuff to last several lifetimes.  No gift is too small for those in need.  

During this enduring recession, it has been the small, grassroots and local nonprofits that have suffered the most.  The majority of these groups do not have a stockpile of money to help them through the tough times.  Local cat and dog rescue groups often operate in the red because of mounting veterinarian bills to save the lives of the sick, injured or abused animals they take into their care.  I encourage each of you to look around your community and find good nonprofits that need some help.  If you can’t give items they need or make a monetary gift, consider volunteering your time.  Most need caring, reliable volunteers for everyday tasks throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.  

The giant nonprofits that you’ve heard of or whose ads you often see of television generally have endowments or large bank accounts.  Don’t believe me?  Check out Guidestar to see the latest IRS 990s of some of the nonprofits you have heard about.  The larger the group, the larger the staff, the larger the expenses that don’t go directly to their cause.  United Way, for example, takes at least 15% of your donation simply for managing the fundraising.  When you get a phone call to raise funds for your local police or fire department, that call is made by a fundraising firm.  That firm may keep 40% or more of each donation they collect.  You would be better off taking some home baked cookies to your local fire station or even donating some money if the local firefighters are volunteers.  

This is just my 2 cents.  Take it for whatever it’s worth to you.