Posts Tagged ‘congress’

with sadly shaking head

OK–medical care…Pandora, many would have you close that box, but it ain’t happening. I have no issue with spirited, even vigorous debate–I kind of thrive on it, to be honest–but some of the lows to which our society sank during this contentiousness are inexcusable.

I know I’m a day late and a dollar short on this being newsworthy as it is a few days old and has been blogged, tweeted, status’ed, and shared via so many avenues ad nauseam…but I can’t let this festering sleeping dog lie. My blood boils each time it comes up. When some of the “Teabaggers” , who falsely pretend to speak for Republicans, wanted to rally and rail against the pending legislation in Washington DC last week, they somehow justified in their riled (tiny) minds that it could be OK to spit on a congressperson, and shout racial (the N-word) and sexuality (the F-word…not the 4-letter one) epithets. Not even on the kindergarten playground is this OK.

I’m sorry, it is flat our unacceptable. You must leave the playground now. This is not freedom of speech, and while freedom of idiocy is somehow, I suppose, implied in our society, you embarrass yourselves and your lost cause by embracing it. This is not behavior that can be tolerated—so yes, your hand should be slapped. Hell, I, mondo-pacifist that I am, think your face should be slapped. Even if your face is reddened by the slap, I can’t imagine it would matter—surely you have the good sense to never again show your uneducated, neanderthal, un-evolved face in public again.

I love your passion, I truly do. I embrace the folks who are spurred on to greater steadfastness in their beliefs by a defeat on an issue: an old elementary school friend who posted on facebook “The fight isn’t over. Be damn sure I’ll be there to fight for our constitutional rights and what our forefathers fought for…” This is cool by me. I don’t agree but I genuinely respect the intent and the tone.

But the spitters and the screamers, I loathe your lack of class, grace, or even civility. You were so frustrated and wanted to be heard, and now, how can anybody take you seriously? I mourn the loss of your voice—you have sacrificed it. You simply cannot be heard.

Shame on you. Not in the school marm/grandmother way, but truly, literally, SHAME. on. you. You’ve done an expert job of bringing shame upon yourselves and are a disgrace. Nicely forfeited, as you clearly just…gave up.

A far more poetic and level-headed man than I, NY Times op-ed writer Bob Herbert, commented, “At some point, we have to decide as a country that we just can’t have this: We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress…”

Yes, this is a photo of a soggy, used teabag washing down the drain…

Photo: Bullit/stockxchng

Bat Signal Alert

1097720_80219348Defenders of Wildlife is a pretty astounding organization working tirelessly to protect a huge array of species around the world. It can be pretty harrowing to read updates and their newsletter about the slaughter of wolves, the plight of starving polar bears, and so many more, but I encourage you to support them.

From DOW comes a new alert about bats in North America. I know people get freaked out by bats, but they are brilliant and the best way to keep down the mosquito population (can you say West Nile Virus?). They don’t suck your blood, they don’t try to divebomb you and get tangled in your hair, and they are incredibly helpful to each ecosystem where they live.

THAT is the problem–their living. North American bats are dying off in numbers too rapid to ignore, this summer is going to be a make or break season for them, and it is simple to take action on their behalf. See below from the DOW newsletter:

Scary Times for Bats

North America’s bats are in trouble. A mysterious disease called white-nose syndrome has already claimed the lives of an estimated one million of these often misunderstood flying mammals. The spread of this terrible disease shows no sign of slowing, with white-nose syndrome killing nearly 100% of the bats at some hibernating sites.

To save our bats from this emerging disease, Defenders of Wildlife is calling on Congress for emergency action.

Lend your voice to the fight to save our bats. Urge your U.S. Representative to support critical research funding to fight White Nose Syndrome and protect America’s bats.

Take Action

Climate Ride

You know the water filtering pitcher you’ve got in your fridge–the one I hope you’re using to refill a non-plastic water bottle more often than you’re buying bottles of water–if you are like  most households that have filtering pitchers, it is probably a Brita. Brita has plenty of big ol’ commitments to the planet, and one of their terrific initiatives is the Brita Climate Ride. Are you looking for a biking challenge/getaway that is more about best for the earth than personal best? This is a 300-mile, five-day bike ride from New York City to Washington DC. Once at the steps of the capitol in the capital, riders will meet with their elected representatives from their congressional districts to encourage action.

It’s not just a bunch of Spandex-clad jocks—in addition to motivated riders, renewable energy experts and environmental activists provide talks and discussions each evening at the rest camps where you’ll learn as much about the issues as you can absorb. It is a “Climate Conference on Wheels.” Above is a video clip from the 2008 ride.

Riders pay an entry fee of $100 and are asked to raise an additional $2,400 in tax-deductible donations (feel free to raise a bunch more), and the money raised goes to Focus the Nation, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Clean Air Cool Planet. (click the links to find out more about these hard-working organizations)

The ride takes place September 26-30 (there are special arrangements for Climate Riders who observe Yom Kippur) during the beautiful beginnings of autumn coolness along the scenic corridors connecting New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland on the way to DC. It’s a pretty great active vacation plan—and a great way to make a difference for yourself and the future.