100 Days of Hope (Let's Stop the Hunger)

One of the many problems in the world today is world hunger. And by world, I want to make sure you understand that I absolutely include the U.S. in that. I am thrilled that President Obama is addressing that issue. I am doing what I know I can do (which, I am sure, is not nearly enough).

At the G20 summit in London this month, Obama announced that he intends to double U.S. assistance for global agricultural productivity and rural development. He also called for a comprehensive food security strategy to alleviate chronic hunger that affects one-sixth of the world's population.

Anyway, what can we do to help? Donate food to the food bank. Don't waste your own food. Recognize the not only is food a basic necessity, it is an unalienable human right. Champion that idea...

Thank you....that is all. :)

Why are people the way they are?

I generally try to stay away from being controversial. I would much rather people like me. Is that a bit sad...probably. I have taught my daughter to stand up for what she believes in (which I do as well--but in a nice way). I have taught her that it doesn't matter what other people believe (and I don't care, either). But she has turned out more like I wish I was. She stands up for people until there is incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. She is loyal to a fault. She is willing to listen to other sides of any story. In short, she is awesome.

But I digress...

My husband is in charge of staffing the Little League concession stand with a mix of unpaid and paid volunteers. One of the paid volunteers has done a "no call, no show" not once, but twice. She is often late. She always has an excuse, but after the last "no call..." my husband told her that we would not be needing her services any longer. She embarked on a calling campaign--calling me, my husband, the other concession stand person, and the president of Little League. She blamed everyone but herself for her problems getting there. She tried pulling the guilt card--telling everyone how her husband hasn't worked in two years and how this "job" is what puts milk on her table. Which is where the controversy comes in. It's not like we don't want to help our neighbors...we do. But if you consider this a "job" (which it isn't, really), shouldn't you treat it like a job?

And now my really controversial thought (I hope I don't sound holier than thou!)--I really believe that life throws us all curve balls. But how you handle them really shows your character. I think that most (if not all) of the people at the "bottom" of society in America have chances given to them--and the choices that they make keep them at the bottom. There is a bit of a victim mentality there--if you don't recognize your own part in the problem, your life will never get better.

Anyway, my 2 cents...

Change Your Name!

I was reading the New York Times this morning and came across this article about how Chinese people are being told to change their names if they have unusual names not recognized by their computer system. The system currently recognizes approximately 32,500 of the 55,000 characters available in the writing system of China.

This makes me really appreciate our 26 character system.

I personally think that China is getting a bit big for its britches--shouldn't naming children (and keeping our own names) be a given? At what point is too much government involvement? The really scary part about this is that China is the largest country by population in the world. And China owns a large part of the United States (where do you think we keep getting money from?). At some point in our future (perhaps not in my lifetime), this could be us....

“All right, I’ve got your three junior chili cheese wraps, a B.L.T., chicken strip sandwich, extra long Coney and a mozzarella stick. And a kid’s hot dog meal and kid’s hamburger meal, one with a grape slush, the other with a Powerade slush.”
Tiffany Clay, a Newark High School (Ohio) student who should be going to a top college on a music scholarship, but won't because she needs a job that pays the bills.

I want $80,000 to take a year off!

Wouldn't we all like to work for a company who will pay us $80,000 to take a year off of work? Granted, the $80,000 is only a third of the workers base pay--but I think many of us wouldn't have a problem living off of it (I wouldn't).

I think this is a brilliant plan to cut costs--especially since you are not required to take it. If you can afford to take the cut in pay, by all means--what an opportunity! In this case, the firm is a law firm, and many of the lawyers who are taking advantage of this program will be going out into the community and doing pro bono work.

You don't often hear good things about lawyers--more often the down and dirty stuff--so it is a relief to hear about a firm doing something to help their employees and help the community at the same time, even if it is all in an effort to cut costs.

Maybe I should go to law school...

Unite for Hunger and Hope

I was going through my email (you know--deleting the junk mail, responding to the important stuff, and enjoying the rest) this afternoon, and I came across an email inviting me to UNITE FOR HUNGER AND HOPE. Well, sheesh--I am always up for a good uniting, so I clicked the link, read the info, and decided that I would definitely participate! I personally have never experienced real hunger (and I hope I never do), but that doesn't mean I would wish it on anyone else. You all know how much I love food--and that love is something I certainly want to share with the rest of the world. Good food, that is. Although I imagine that for some people, any food would be better then nothing. Or maybe not.

Did you happen to see Wall-E? It occurred to me whilst I was watching it that the food they were eating was not the best food for them. Actually, what really struck me was that we (the U.S. and the world) are heading right in that direction--that if we don't watch ourselves, the human race will end up just like the human race did in Wall-E. Social commentary. At least that's how I saw it. Which isn't to say I didn't love the movie--because I actually did. But--sheesh, people. Take care! You are what you eat!

Luckily, we can help those who don't have food get some. Bloggers, Unite, ya'll. :)

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I'm not one, but I play one on tv...LOL! Actually--I'm really not a shopaholic, most of the time! When this movie first came out, the NY Times ran an editorial suggesting that in a time of economic crisis, perhaps this wasn't the best movie to run. Now that I've actually seen it, I personally disagree. Ü

I think that this movie portrays the bigger symptom of our economy. We got into this mess because we couldn't find it within ourselves to say no. We were drawn in by the lure of pretty things telling us that we deserved them. Hell with the finances--that's what credit is for! And damn it--just like those evil credit card companies that keep sending out pre-approved credit letters to everyone and their brothers...well, the mortgage industry started to do the same thing. And we started to believe that we really could afford those huge mortgages on our meager salaries. We were being taught to live beyond our means--and being applauded for it.

It's been a long time since the depression. Many of our grandparents who lived through it aren't around any more--they are no longer the voice of reason telling us that we have to work for what we have--we have to earn it. That voice isn't the loudest anymore--the loudest voice has been that of the bankers...insisting that we can afford this loan, that we can afford this credit card.

Apparently we need to start listening to the quiet voice--the one that tells us that we can have whatever we want AFTER we have worked for, saved, and earned it.

Dogs and Cars

My daughter and I were driving to the ball fields yesterday when we witnessed a truly horrible thing--a dog got hit by a car. The driver saw the dog and swerved, unfortunately the car swerved right into the dog and hit it. My daughter started to get out of our car, even before I could stop. The other driver kept on going. My daughter lovingly picked the dog up out of the road and came back to the side. The dog had passed away. She called the dog's owner who said he would come get the dog. My daughter said she was never leaving the house again.

A couple of questions crossed my mind as this was happening.
First--why do people let their dogs run loose? We live in a small rural town with lots of empty spaces. I know it seems like your dogs should just be able to go where they will--but they are dogs and it is your responsibility to take care of them. Just opening the door and saying "you're on your own" just doesn't cut it.
Secondly--OMG! you just hit a dog--why are you still driving? What kind of person takes a life and just keeps going on with their's? Yeah, it's not a person, but it is still a life and life is sacred. Come on, people.
Thirdly,--well, honestly I was wondering why it happened in front of my daughter. She seems so empathically connected to animals and this was extremely painful for her. She absolutely did the right thing, but it drains her. Sigh...

Take care of your animals, people. They have no one to rely on except you. They are like your children, and if you can't care for them as such, then don't take on the responsibility at all.