Wednesday, February 25, 2015


 The news has been full of sea lions in distress.  I got a first hand look a while back, an about 8 month old sea lion, who really looked like just a pup, had pulled itself up on the rocks at the beach.  I had taken my mom (and LUCY) for a walk at low tide to see the tide pools.  And there was this emaciated pup.  When it stretched its little head up to see what we were doing, it looked like a super model, bone structure visible.  There was already a volunteer there keeping track of it.  The volunteer told me that at that point there had been more than 80 rescues and the centers were over capacity.  I asked if that was for the state, and she said it was for the county.  Less than two weeks later, they are already over 100 almost what it was for the whole year (we aren't even at two months!). It is disheartening ... sad and distressing, but more so because folks see these little guys and feel compassion ... but still take plastic bags at the store and throw their trash where it will end up in the ocean.  They still get in their SUVs and crank up the ac.  I'm sorry ... but we are doing this to them.  So, no we can't save them all, one by one, but we can change our habits and stop pretending that we are complicit in climate change.  The volunteer told me very clearly that the problem is the changing tides (read climate change and excess water changing the sea level) that is disrupting the sea lion feeding patterns.  Heartbreaking most of all because it is preventable.  It's not too late to change this ... will we do what needs to be done or just dump on the volunteers for not being able to "rescue" each of these adorable creatures?

Wondering if the Republicans think this is judicial overstep, or if they just think that when the rulings go against them.

American lynching has a wider scope than we generally discuss.  This article is a promo for a book, and it focuses largely on Texas. But there are more comprehensive books that describe the use of lynching not as a way to sentence (mob style) suspected criminals, instead in California lynching was used as another way to take away people's land and especially gold claims.  For those who do not want to review our historical atrocities (see the comments), I wonder if they watch FOX news that does real time lynching of anyone and anything that does not fall into their viewpoint.  History is what it is, we obviously cannot change it.  But if we want a different (better, even) future, then we must learn the lessons of history.  That includes taking responsibility for our actions rather than excusing them.

Early Tuesday morning, my alarm clock radio started giving the news as it does every day.  About six am, the local newsperson announced there was a collision between a truck and the commuter train, and minutes later, I heard the emergency vehicles from all around our home rushing to the site.  All day, I heard updates, read some in the newspaper, and most unfortunately read posts on fb speculating about the driver.  The thing about jumping to conclusions rather than applying compassion is that it diminishes our own humanity.  I think the appropriate response to this kind of tragedy should always start with care and concern for all involved, including the truck driver and the many people responding to the incident.  Of course, my heart breaks for those on the train and their families, waiting to hear that everyone is "ok."  This commuter train is the one that I take into Los Angeles when I can.  At least two times in the past few months I have been on the train when an "incident" caused significant delays.  These incidents were probably suicides - thus they don't get widely reported in the same way that this collision did.  However, I believe at the heart of this matter is the same real pain of grief that those whose depression drives them to jump in front of trains.  Compassion, however simple and small a gesture it may seem, is the appropriate response, unless you can also muster love.  It's what we all need more of ... everyday in every way.

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