The United Nations conference is taking place in Paris on May 29 to June 2.
Thoughts and Prayers
Every Action Matters! Treat everyone with respect.
Fill the world with positive energy, listen intensely and remember to smile!
There is a solution to gun violence, at least some of it, but Americans are incapable of electing leaders with good sense, and gun violence in America is rampant. Death by guns has become the number one killer of America’s children and teens. Why do we vote from fear rather than truth and understanding?
The post below is from a Dutch man, Alexander Verbeek. He writes a newsletter, The Planet, https://alexverbeek.com/ and his Daily Planet Newsletter : firstname.lastname@example.org
“It’s time for America to prioritize the safety and well-being of its citizens over corporate interests and the opportunism of politicians.”
A hundred years from now, historians will study the first decades of this century and shake their heads in disbelief about this age of folly. They will wonder why problems that caused unmeasurable harm to so many people were discussed as if there was no readily available solution.
One of these problems is school shootings.
While all western countries have adopted gun control laws that have proved exceptionally effective in reducing mass shootings, the U.S. can’t solve its gun pandemic. The latest addition to America’s heavy book of gun misery and shame was just hours ago when a woman entered a Christian school in Nashville and fatally shot three children and three staff members. Then the police fatally shot her.
End of story.
Not for the family members; think of the lifelong trauma for the parents of these kids. And think of the lives not lived, playing, studying, loving, and caring. But thoughts don’t help, and prayers have proven to be just as useless in preventing the next shooting as the politicians that refuse to take action on gun control.
In a democracy, people vote for politicians that will govern the country for them. However, if corporate greed has taken over democracy, lives become the currency to pay for the higher shareholder value of gun factories. Therefore, gun control in America is about the moral values of politicians.
The only country in the world with more guns than people
The U.S. has more guns than people, with 121 guns for each hundred Americans, which was still 88 in 2011. It puts America at the top position on the world ranking of gun ownership. The runner-up is Yemen, with 53 percent. It’s lonely at the top.
And the numbers of mass shootings in the U.S. are on the rise, increasing from 273 in 2014 to 647 last year. Sadly, this means you will forget about today’s mass shooting in Nashville. Because who can remember more than 600 names of towns where mass shootings occur yearly in the U.S.?
I’m a Dutchman, and I can quickly sum up all the city names where we ever had a mass shooting in the Netherlands in my lifetime; it’s not difficult to remember two city names.
We have more bicycles than people, while the U.S. has more guns than inhabitants. Bikes are good for your health, and people who cycle to work are happy. But the positive effect of firearms on health remains to be proven, nor do guns seem to make people particularly happy.
And a few more statistics: in the U.S., 79 percent of homicides are gun-related killings; in the U.K., that is four percent. Every half hour, an American is fatally shot.
An assault weapons ban
While I type these numbers, I check for the latest updates. No surprises here; politicians, gun lobbyists, and journalists all have their playbooks ready. So I read about useless details and know now what door the shooter used to get into the school (lesson learned: all schools lock your side door). President Biden, for decades already on the right (meaning left) side of gun history, calls on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban. Parents are interviewed, describing the horror, as if I need to be convinced. I read that the fire department created a reunification area, and the church opened its doors. For thoughts. And for prayers, of course.
Let’s pray for politicians who actually do what they are supposed to do; to lead, to represent the will of the overwhelming majority (57%) who want stricter gun laws. As a politician, you’re not supposed to get rich; you’re asked by your people to serve. You’re also not supposed to be the voice of the 10% of the voters who want less strict gun laws unless you represent that minority.
Perhaps it is time to add a name and a picture to this story. The Republican Andrew Ogles represents the Nashville district where the latest school shooting occurred. He reacted to the shooting by saying he was “utterly heartbroken” by the shooting.
Not so fast: this is the 2021 Christmas card of Ogles and his happy family, showing a true Christian spirit.
Fast forward to 2123, when those historians of the future study the news clippings of March 27, 2023. Again, they wearily shake their heads. They conclude that a massive structural failure in American politics allowed the killing of its people to go on. At the same time, there was no other western country with a killing score that even remotely came near to the nearly two mass shootings per day record of the U.S.
And the future historians will study the wisdom of Rep. Ogles who expressed today: “We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost”.
It’s time for America to prioritize the safety and well-being of its citizens over corporate interests and the opportunism of politicians.
A Plastic Treaty Needed
The first round of negotiations on a global treaty to halt plastic pollution has ended in a split on whether goals and efforts should be global and mandatory, or voluntary and country-led.
More than 2,000 delegates from 160 countries met in Uruguay for the first of a planned five sessions of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), a UN negotiating body aimed at crafting the first legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.
The world desperately need a plastics treaty and it will be a long process to agree to something. The chemical industry that produces plastic plans to make more and more plastic, and controlling a strong industry is difficult! They argue recycling is the answer, but they have done a terrible job making plastic recyclable and safe for the public. Recycling is not the answer, less than 9 percent has been recycled since plastic’s creation.
If there is one thing you do for your health, don’t drink bottled water!
Plastic particles are in our organs and blood streams. Plastic particles are in our babies when they are born. Plastic contains lots of toxics, I would avoid eating and drinking from plastic containers!
Macroplastics like bags and bottles, and microplastics like fibers from synthetic clothing—is a planetary catastrophe of the highest order, and one that’s getting exponentially worse. Humanity is now churning out a trillion pounds of plastic a year, and that’ll double by 2045. The Planet Desperately Needs That UN Plastics Treaty | WIRED
Vote for Democracy and Truth
There are so many things wrong with this election it is hard to know where to start. Too many lies, too much money, voter restrictions, election deniers, conspiracies, and awful candidates.
Vote! The most important thing you will do in November!
What is good? This is our voice, our participation in democracy. A voice that can be taken away if we vote for the wrong candidates.
Be open minded and vote for the future.
Voting is not easy, and no one wants to be a gullible voter. Never base your vote on campaign ads. Good voters guides are easily available. Newspaper endorsements are good sources for how candidates stand on the issues, even if you don’t agree, they often give both sides of the issues. Websites of candidates work also. Be open minded and look for the issues you care about.
Look for the positive. Who has a vision for the future instead of just attacking their opponents. Never vote for bullies or those who call for violence.
This is your vote for a better society. Make a plan and get yourself to the polls. Thank you.
An excellent interview with Liz Cheney: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/rep-liz-cheney-on-political-violence-jan-6-committee-and-future-of-gop
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
– Albert Camus
October is a magical month bursting with rich colors of red, orange and yellow, with a background of green. Stunning! Go for a walk or bike ride! Love our fragile planet!
Nature overperforms in October, and we need to respond by overperforming to take care of her! Every action matters.
Protect our beautiful world!
Unfortunately, 2022 has been an awful year for bad storms, and this year’s extreme weather is worse than in the past, and sadly future weather extremes will be worse than what we have seen this year. The good news is that it is not too late; scientists agree that we can still avoid many of the predicted impacts of future climate change, but only if we take compelling and urgent climate action. Because elected officials are slow to respond, we must all take individual climate action.
We are in a climate crisis, a plastic crisis, a democracy crisis, mental health crisis and a lying crisis.
We need to work overtime to protect our planet!
What can we do? Individual action is a powerful tool for reversing the climate crisis especially when millions of us unite together. The Actions for Happiness calendar below will help you navigate in a positive way through each day. Add your own daily positive thing to do for the Earth; use less plastic, drive less, waste less, vote, and always tell the truth, Demand people you know tell the truth and never share anything that might not be true. Like a historian check all your sources for truth! Finally, vote for our planet and truth!
Everyone can play a part by raising their voice, sharing solutions, and advocating for change –
Communicating on Climate Change | United Nations
Wealthiest 10% Responsible for Nearly 50% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Study Finds – EcoWatch
Climate Change: Everything You Need to Know – EcoWatch
Overperform this October, be optimistic, have fun, and enjoy this magical time!
Peace On Earth
September 21 is the International Day of Peace
“As long as we have humanity, we have hope!” Amanda Gorman
Peace for Ukraine
Last night I had the strangest dream, I dreamed the world had put an end to war!
2022 Peace Day Theme:
End Racism. Build Peace.
We all have a role to play in fostering peace. Tackling racism is a crucial way to contribute to this effort.
I’m calling on Valdimir Putin to end this awful war in Ukraine. This is an unjust attack on innocent people. I traveled to Ukraine about ten years ago. The people were charming and worked so hard to help and communicate with us. We loved the beautiful country and people. This is an unjust war and Putin needs to be held accountable.
In the past month I have read three books about immigrants. The dangerous journeys they take to escape violence are incredible. It is amazing they survive and they should be treated with kindness and understanding by all of us that have been lucky to live a life of freedom and safety.
Kindness makes a difference!
- Ukrainian troops took the city of Izium in the country’s east from Russian forces, and made more gains in other regions, the military said.
- The seizure was the latest triumph in a Ukrainian advance that has reshaped the war in just days.
- Here’s where Russian forces are retreating in northeastern Ukraine.
- Once-vocal supporters of Russia’s invasion criticized President Vladimir Putin over the retreat.
- Bridge building has become a crucial, if low-tech, tool for both sides in the war.
Holding Hope Alive
We need a dose of good news!
|A deal, for now|
This is from David Leonhardt of the New York Times
The U.S. has a uniquely important role in fighting climate change. It has produced far more greenhouse gases over the course of history than any other nation and remains a leading emitter today.
|Many parts of federal policy shift back and forth over time. Taxes rise and fall, as do spending on anti-poverty programs and the military. If a package of policies doesn’t pass one year, it might pass in a future year, and the long-term trajectory of the United States probably won’t be affected much.|
|Climate policy is different.|
|The world has already warmed to dangerous levels. Heat waves, wildfires, droughts and severe storms have become more common. The Arctic is melting, and seas are rising. If countries do not act quickly to slow their emissions of greenhouse gases — and, by extension, slow global warming — the damage could be catastrophic, scientists have warned.|
|The U.S. has a uniquely important role in fighting climate change. It has produced far more greenhouse gases over the course of history than any other nation and remains a leading emitter today. In recent years, the U.S. has done considerably less to reduce emissions than Europe. The U.S. also remains the world’s most powerful country, with the ability to influence climate policy in China, India and elsewhere.|
|Until yesterday, the Democratic Party seemed as if it were on the verge of squandering a major opportunity to combat climate change. Democrats control both Congress and the presidency, and yet they had been unable to agree on a package of climate policies to accelerate the use of clean energy and reduce emissions. Senator Joe Manchin had been blocking any deal, and the Senate is so closely divided that the Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote.|
|Yesterday, however, Manchin appeared to change his mind. He announced that he had agreed to include hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs in a bill that would also reduce prescription drug prices, raise taxes on the affluent and shrink the federal deficit.|
|If Manchin and other Democrats remain united, it would be a very big deal. “This has the opportunity to be an enormous breakthrough for climate progress,” Sam Ricketts, co-founder of Evergreen Action, an environmental group, told The Times.|
|It’s especially significant because congressional Republicans have almost uniformly opposed policies to slow climate change (a contrast with conservatives in many other countries). And it remains unclear whether Democrats will again control both Congress and the White House anytime soon. If Congress fails to pass a climate bill this summer, it may not do so for years — while the ravages of climate change worsen.|
|After all the recent bickering among Democrats, I know that many people remain skeptical that they actually have a deal until Congress has passed a bill. That skepticism makes sense. Last night’s announced deal between Manchin and Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, is different from a complete bill that can pass in both the Senate and the House.|
|But I would say this: If this tentative agreement leads to legislation, it will probably have more lasting importance than anything else President Biden signs in his first two years in office.|
There is nothing pro-life about allowing more people to carry guns and there is nothing pro-life about making women carry a birth to full term if they are sick, raped, or incapable of taking care of a child.
The Supreme Court violated states’ rights in taking away a New York gun restriction and allowing more people to carry concealed weapons. More individuals will lose their lives. In the abortion decision they gave states the right to regulate and ban abortion. This is taking away women’s right to manage their own lives and bodies and is unjust for many poor, black and brown women. These decisions are freedom for men, restriction of freedom for women! Have you noticed that women have just become too powerful for some men?
“The state controlling a woman would mean denying her full autonomy and full equality.”
Both these decisions are unfortunately “White Male” without any understanding or caring about the consequences, it is only about imposing their ideology and power on all the American people.
These decisions have nothing to do with the constitution, they are about ideology– White male Christain ideology. These decisions are not about healthy communities, they are about using unrestricted power to dominate others.
Women must always vote. It is the only way we can change political power.
Do something kind!
We live in an unjust world. Children are shot for being at school, shoppers are shot buying groceries, and whole countries are under siege because leaders are full of lies and visions of power. Poor countries are suffering from climate change created by wealthy countries. We live in an unjust world
Justice and Truth!
We must work for justice and truth. As a civilization we will not survive if we don’t work harder for justice and electing leaders who speak the truth and do not spew hate.
We must do more to keep our children safe, and gun violence should be an issue Americans vote on, only then things will change!
Gun violence in America kills more children than any other cause. This is not a civilized society! All countries have mental health issues, but the United States needs the gun restrictions that other countries have managed to pass. See information from John’s Hopkins below.
Make an effort to spread kindness every day! Kindness creates a ripple for more kindness!
From John’s Hopkins University:
“Ten people shopping for groceries in Buffalo were killed in a racist act of gun violence. The next day, worshippers at a California church were shot in another racist incident. Last week, tragedy struck again, but this time in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people, including 19 students and 2 teachers were killed in a mass shooting.
All are tragic reminders of why we need lawmakers to implement gun violence prevention policies that can prevent this needless loss of life.
As the new Center for Gun Violence Solutions – formed from the recent merger of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy – we are continuing to fight for evidence-based policies to reduce mass shootings including firearm purchaser licensing, firearm removal laws such as extreme risk protection orders, and bans on large capacity magazines.” John’s Hopkins University
This is an excellent speech: https://www.nbcnews.com/now/video/watch-president-biden-s-full-speech-addressing-gun-control-after-recent-mass-shootings-141353029701
Good suggestions for working for community health and a kinder world:
The Hill We Climb
“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be—a country that is bruised, but whole, benevolent, but bold, fierce, and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain, if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.” Amanda Gorman
We, the successors of a country and a time,
Where a skinny black girl,
Descended from slaves and raised by a single mother,
Can dream of becoming president
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover. … The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”