- The media has inundated us with stories and images of the worsening refugee crisis throughout Europe. Every now and then their cameras capture a very brief glimpse of someone handing a bottle of water to a traveler or candy to a child. I wish they would show more stories on television about the number of charities and volunteers that give so freely of their time and resources to assist the beleaguered thousands as they seek refuge in a strange land. The frightened and sad children make good news copy. However, there are also photos of some of these children going about just being a child - even under terrible circumstances.
- I saw one volunteer giving a doll to a grateful little girl; a photo of a child blowing bubbles in front of a barbed wire fence. We would benefit from seeing more images like these to remind us that these little children are still finding ways to be a child. Perhaps this would open our hearts and pocketbooks to help provide them with more opportunities. The heartbreaking stories and scenes have a tendency to make us want to quickly exit and try to forget. Please support the agencies and the volunteers who are often risking their lives to help these people.
- Royal Dutch Shell recently pulled out of the Arctic Ocean, which delighted environmentalists. A Shell spokesman said that after spending $8 billion dollars, they found not enough oil and gas to warrant further exploration. Although it is a boon to Alaskan wildlife, some jobs were lost for about 300 Anchorage citizens. Let's hope that some other resource can replace those jobs. I wonder about solar energy in Alaska. Aren't the days longer there in the winter. Does that mean more sunlight?
(Photo by Emily Schwing, KUCB-Unalaska)
- Due to declining numbers of pandas around the world, the birth of a new cub is seen as a triumph for conservationists working to save the endangered species. The National Zoo in D.C. had a pair of twins born in August, however, one twin didn't survive. Less than 1,864 pandas remain worldwide, with 300 of them living in zoos and breeding centers around the world. Ten cubs have been born at the Chinese breeding center this year! Below, China shows off 14 adorable baby pandas born two years ago at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan, China. Is it any wonder they are so popular with zoo visitors? Kudos to the wonderful people who work to help conserve wildlife around the world.
- In June, the Texas legislature passed the open-carry law that allowed guns on campus. On October 1, students and faculty from UT protested this law. 162 professors will not allow guns in their classrooms. Pro-gun supporters tried to interrupt the protest and were asked to leave. Maybe more of these protests against open-carry will create enough interest to revoke these state laws. The latest mass shooting at the college in Oregon was done with "open-carry" in effect. It didn't save the ones who were killed.
(Ralph Barrera/ American-Statesman)
One has only to look at the records of countries with stricter gun laws than the U.S. to know that they work.
These statistics were compiled in 2007. I obtained them from an excellent article on global comparisons of gun policies at this site Council of Foreign Relations.
With the latest tragic mass shooting in Oregon, the presidential candidates are now beginning to speak out on stricter gun laws. That's a good thing. Even better if/when we see them being enacted in Washington instead of individual states. Our politicians need to stop allowing the NRA to blackmail them into refusing to adopt gun laws that will stop so many homicides in our country.
As a grandmother of three boys, I have never wanted any of them to play football. Hearing about the devastating brain injuries received by professional football players, I often wondered why we didn't hear more about injuries of high school and college football players. My nephew was a talented high school player. He received enough injuries in high school that he's had to have more than one operation on his knees. He still suffers, even in his 50s. A worse story: his dad was courted by all the armed forces when he graduated from high school for his prowess on the football field. He decided on the Air Force, and played on their team. While stationed in England, my sister pregnant with their first child, he broke his neck while playing football. That ended his football career -- thank goodness. He recovered completely after an emergency air flight to a hospital in Germany, and months of wearing a full body cast.
- Recently, more reporting has been covering the tragic loss of life among young players. This year in September alone there were three deaths of high school players on the football field in the U.S.. The good news is that more and more schools across the country are dropping their football programs and substituting soccer instead.
CBS News High Schools Drop Football recently reported the following:
- "The number of high school football players in the U.S. has declined by 25,000 over the past five years. Last year, five high school players died playing football. That's more deaths than in college, semi-pro, or professional levels according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injuries."
More good news in regards to prison reform and the death penalty. It is still being reviewed by Congress, so more on this subject later. I am trying to train my brain to pick up on anything good I hear or read in the news. Sometimes it's not easy, as there are so many tragic happenings all over the world. Why not send me the "good" that you have heard in the recent news?
Peace and love,