September 8, 2012


Scotts Miracle-Gro ponies up for selling bird seed poisoned with toxic pesticides and selling lawn & garden products containing undocumented, imported pesticides.

This blog hasn't seen a post from me for, shall we say...a smidge of time.  But this was so-o-oo-o-o worth coming out of 'retirement' and putting aside the kinder, gentler, I-don-t-give-a-fuck-about-small-shit-or-Scotts' attitude that I've managed to cultivate over these last several years.  It was worth coming in off the trails to set at my computer.  And if you knew how much I'd rather be hiking, that's saying something.

The "chump change" reference in my title here reflects just how much of a dent in Scotts' pockets this will make.  Their image however might not come off so unscathed.  Although take heart Mr. Hagedorn (CEO of Scotts) you will still hold hostage those hordes of environmentally-myopic, sycophantic lawn Nazis who will cling to their bags of your poison lawn products and continue to spray that liquid poison crap on their petunias and tomatoes, as well as those pathetically naive organic-wannabes who ignorantly attest to the organic-ness of your (blahhahahahahahaaa) "Organic" product line.  **The use of the word organic and Scotts together in the same sentence is still an overwhelming anathema to me**

I read Scotts' admission statement, wherein they actually admit to no wrong doing or criminal negligence,  but are paying the fine anyway.  I suppose...out of the goodness of their heart?  No.  More likely Hagedorn doesn't look all that fashion-forward in prison garb.  Envisioning of ole Jimbo taking a shower in some lock-down facility and being on the receiving end of what he & his company have basically been and continue to do to our environment does create some poetic justice imagery.

Anyway, about that statement.  Yeah.  Right.  What usually happens when a sucessfully- sued or defunct company's shit hits the financial fan?  Someone's head has to roll.  Someone has to fall on the sword, take the fall, the punch, the dive, the blame.  In Scotts' case it was some unnamed woman employee who allegedly "acted alone" in falsifying documents re imported pesticides and without the knowledge of another living, toxic-breathing Scotts' soul.  (Another oxymoronic word combo).

"Acted alone"

Can anyone see some big ass company, say like a WallyMart,  involved in something that if made public, could ultimately cost their yellow smiley-faced icon to turn green and barf and relegating that line of obfuscating defense to one single individual    One single, solitary Wally serf bearing the lone responsibility for filing documents proving that their Chinese-imported toys weren't really generously slathered with chemicals that some little tyke might ingest and suddenly sprout another head?   When in fact, they were practically emitting a radioactive glow inside the packing crates stacked on the Bentonville loading dock.  I think not.  Unless you're Mr. Wally or Mr. Hagedorn, employee autonomy is non-existent in behemoth businesses like these.   No one acts alone.  Even bathroom breaks have to pass committee.

But then.....there was the 1962 magic loogie in Dallas.   Bleech!

So I go and check some gardening/lawn care/environmental forums and while this issue isn't exactly garnering page after page of comments, the comments I did scan were more like:  "Ooooh, Scotts is soooo bad.  I'll never buy their products again."  Excuse me, but, uh, if you're organic (such a misused, much-tossed around and bastardized word to begin with)...then what the hell were you doing buying the crap in the first place?  Did you, like, ever read any information or comments from other organic gardeners or environmental advocates?

Oh, piffle.  I forgot.  I gave up caring about whiney babies who don't bother to look before they leap, read the contents or ingredients of the products they buy,  or carry a map or compass before heading out on the trail and never check the weather beforehand and wonder why the heck they get the rain.

In the end, as long as businesses like Scotts or Monsanto (folks, stop getting it screwed up that these two poison-peddlers are joined at the hip) continue to pollute our environment and our health and as long as the MacMansioners and MacMansioner-wannabees absolutely must have that greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen lawn, poifect termaters and bug free (including bees & butterflies) gardens, then this actually isn't any kind of end at all.  The pesticides, insecticides and other toxic crap just keeps rolling out of Home Depot's garden centers as fast as their pimply-faced employees who couldn't tell a begonia from a bougenvilla keep loading them in the back of their Volvos.  That's why it's chump change to Scotts, early retirement (no doubt with a big departing bonus) to one poor ex-Scotts employee and a mere blip on Hagedorn's end-of-year financials.

Oh, but there is one silver lining.  Scotts has agreed to tangentaly contribute to bird habitats.  Funny, I thought they already er....contributed?  Although the dead and or dying house finches and other neighborhood birdfeeder visitors (as well as dead or dying squirrels who feasted on the toxic seed) might differ on Scotts'  meaning of the word.

April 3, 2010

Whatever Happened To The Organic Gardener?

I find it rather ironic that at a time when Green living has finally caught on and is being marketed to death in all forms, a whole crop of backyard organic gardeners are whoring the original tenets of Robert Rodale, the father and founder of organic gardening:

"Do The Least Harm"

But perhaps it is precisely because "Green" or "Organic" or "Natural" is so haphazardly and almost euphemistically slapped on labels and in product advertising faster than bags of Scott's Ween-n-Feed are still hopping off the Big Box store shelves. Everything is Green these days. Organic is fashionable. People's vocabularies are now peppered with words like "sustainable" and "free-range" while they drive their hummers to pick up a bucket of KFC.

Is this oxymoron based on laziness? Irresponsibility? Underlying greed? Or are they merely following the examples set by our so-called leaders and media icons? Do people still not get it? Is the disconnect due to faulty comprehension of organic gardening's paradigm or just selective denial? Or all of the above?

Basically, it seems to have come down to: "What does it matter if I fudge a little? What's a few ounces of Round-Up or a just one feeding of Miracle Gro or a few spritzes of Sevin or Malathion or if my square foot garden is built from old railroad ties as long as I layer on cartloads of compost, mulch my grass clippings, grow heirloom plants from non-GMO seed? I mean..I'm doing something. You can't expect me to make an effort in every area! I'll "go organic" but not if it means I have to sacrifice everything and afterall, toxins and poisons enter my body every day and the earth is being still being polluted without my control so what does it matter if I make a few concessions here and there?"

We can't lament the 'poisons and toxins entering our bodies everyday without our control" or the earth still being polluted as well, if we are part of the problem and one of the contributors.

While Robert Rodale's mantra was to do the least harm, the other and too-often overlooked aspect of his philosophy was that everyone - in their own way - can make a difference no matter how small they may think their efforts. Organic gardening doesn't demand (nor should it expect) perfection. It just requires effort, commitment and dedication to exemplify that tenet of doing the least harm to your self, your children, your pets, your neighbors, your soil and Your Garden: Earth.

Thinking globally and acting locally is more than just another pithy catchphrase and can pertain to running a full-scale farm, maintaining a backyard garden or tending pots on a porch. We can stop making excuses, justifications, qualifying, defending, obfuscating and copping out. We can step up to the compost plate, keep our eye on the organic ball and swing away with sincere effort, credibility, honesty to the best of our ability. Not with perfectionism our goal. Not a home run each time. Just a few ground balls that will move the runner ahead to second base. Think globally and act locally. It all begins at the tip of your bat. If you hit too many sacrifice flies because it'll end the game sooner and you may console (or excuse) yourself that you're only one player and shouldn't be expected to win the game single-handed, then you're not a team player, and you might as well forfeit the game.

We're all on the same team. We're all players. It's the last game of the series and the bottom of the ninth with two out. It's someone's turn at bat. Maybe yours, and you can only do the best you can. Not the most convenient, not what everyone else is doing (how 12-year old), not the quickest, easiest or "if it was good enough for our grandparents, it's good enough for us". So was DDT, segregation and child labor. We might not win the World/Earth series in the end, but our grandchildren's children can take pride in the position we played in the playoffs.

While we do have limitations and individual, personal parameters to work within, we are not without some choice. We can choose to be part of the problem or be part of the solution.

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March 1, 2010

To Each Her/His Own

The last time I looked I had free will. At least as far as my own conscience, my own priorities, my own thinking and inside my own heart.

I am [nearly] forever being castigated and finger-wagged-at by holier-than-thou-ers for not prioritizing what I should be prioritizing
...according to their judgement anyway.

I (and my husband) make the bulk of our charitable givings for animal welfare. Do I hate poor humans? Am I heartless to the plight of underfed children? Is the health of environment anathema to me? and...uh, no.

But because I CHOOSE to concentrate whatever monies can be set aside for the care, well being and safety of a variety of animals, I am taken to task for NOT choosing any of the aforementioned three or a myriad of causes others deem the destiny for my pennies.

There's a little thing in life called "perspective". It's how each of us CHOOSE to view things as well as what we CHOOSE to view in the first place and whether we CHOOSE to be proactive and how.

If everyone CHOSE only one thing (and apparently that decision must be determined by either one very omnipotent being or a panel of ominpotents), then anything and everything else would suffer. I often wonder just how much of the all-seeing, all-knowing ones' monies, time and effort go to support that one single cause they seem to believe everyone else on the planet should be supporting in lieu of any other cause. How many starving children in Africa do they receive letters from each month thanking them for their monthly tithings?

Here's the thing: What say each and every one of us CHOOSE a cause to support. That way no other living thing (that includes the environment which in my opinion is a living thing of sorts)....that way no other living thing will be overlooked or short changed or under funded. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm????

Oh, have I mentioned that where my money goes and where my support lies is my CHOICE?

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December 30, 2009

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cat

Here is an excellent article Indoor Vs. Outdoor Cat Debate. In this day and age of sadists, diseases, felons, animal experimenters and those who use cats as bait in dog fights, it amazes me that this is still being debated at all. But, then I'm also amazed at the naive reasoning on the part of the "outdoor-only" crowd who reason that:
"It's a cat's nature to be outdoors".
How valid is this? One only has to reference bazillion animal welfare organizations and hospitals to dispute that in a millisecond. Also ...could that alleged reasoning substitute for an "excuse" to abdicate their responsibility as an owner? Or possibly a lack of imagination to create an atmosphere in which a cat would actually prefer to stay indoors? Some people can be so creative in one way and yet so incredibly devoid of it when it comes to implementing ways and means of coercing and training - yes I said 'training' - their cats to not only stay indoors but enjoy doing so. I speak not from my hip, but from my own experience. All but one of the cats I've had were formerly outdoor-only cats who I enabled to live a healthier and safer life indoors thereafter with just a little patience (well a lot of patience) and ingenuity on my part. As with anything worthwhile, you have to ask yourself just how much time and effort you're willing to put into something. They were all worth every second of my time and every scintilla of my effort, which in retrospect, involved no real effort at all. Just love.

Whether it's not wanting to clean out that dirty ole litter pan or the total disconnect with 'owners' and their companion animals or the much maligned and continued fallacy that cats are distant, unresponsive and aloof, I'm sure there are a myriad of other reasons that the people who expound what is - in my opinion - a misguided reasoning that cats 'belong' outdoors simply because "the cats really want it". Hello? If your child really, really wants to do something that someone else sees as harmless and judges 'natural', yet in your opinion presents an enormous potential for harm and is in no way 'natural'....then on which side do you err for their welfare? Doesn't all life deserve the same consideration? Or are animals just disposable, and if one gets hit by a car because you think they 'belong' outside, you blithely replace it with another? Are we such a throw-away society that philosophy should extend to living creatures, too? Apparently in some folks' estimation - it does.

This isn't the days of horse and carriages plodding along the streets, but fast-moving and reckless cars. It's also the day of increasingly sadistic youth who gain more pleasure from seeking the pain of an innocent kitten than they do in their next video game. Illness, disease, other animal predators and nefarious human predators who steal kittens and cats for animal laboratories and, more commonly, as bait in dog fighting are all part of this wonderful new millennium of ours.

And yet, there are still those who cling to that notion of "live free". Well, this isn't Africa and Fluffy isn't Elsa and, quite frankly, The Veld is safer than Main Street.

In the final analysis who's getting more pleasure and safety out of Fluffy being outside: You or Fluffy? Is it really and truly in their best interest or are you just trying to convince yourself they're better off outside so you can slough off your guilty conscience when they get hit by a car, stolen, poisoned, murdered or tortured?

Toss around in your head some of those questions and scenarios and information you can easily cull on the web and hopefully rethink your formerly held fallacious philosophy. Spare at least that much time and effort for your cats' welfare.

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December 29, 2009

Just One Dog

One animal out of millions. One life saved.

It only took one person to care enough and urge another to care and another and another until each paid it forward to save one life. How many innocent lives could be spared? How many other abandoned, lonely, hurt and hopeless animals would be able to feel love, safety, kindness ...and hope if each person cared enough to make the first move?

Only one animal saved. Yes. But there are millions more waiting for their one person.

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November 11, 2009

Greece Ignoring Animal Rights Laws: Boycott Greek Tourism & Products

Situations like this complete disregard and outright cruelty to animals occurs all over the world as well as in the United States. All countries bear a certain amount of guilt and the citizens of those countries will pay the ultimate punishment of having damned their own souls to hell.

Greece is the latest to be 'revealed' as the purveyor of this inhumane behavior. Read About Greek Animal Atrocities

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November 5, 2009

When All Else Fails, The Idiots Survive

Squirrels. The nemesis of the civilized (?) world.


Shot gun, em, .22 em, or whatever other caliber you choose to murder them to protect your pathetic little garden. Hello? They're digging around to look for food? What are you doing? Somebody want to blast you in the back when you're scouring the produce aisles in the supermarket?

Am I the only person left in this world to truly - TRULY - believe in the phrase "Live and Let Live"? Oddly, some of the bloodthirstiest are organic gardeners. Yes the very same kinder, gentler, earth-loving, tree-hugging, lovers of nature, friends of all things natural, blah, blah, freaking blah. The ones who allegedly garden with the credo of "leaving as small a footprint on the environment as possible" would just as soon step over and onto any creature - also part of the 'environment' - in order to ensure 100% accountability for their three tomato plants. (The caveat here - as I've repeatedly stated - may be for those who grow food for sustenance, survival or livelihood. )

So if they don't have access to guns, arrows, poison, etc. (ooop, scuse me...they're uh......"organic" so they wouldn't use poison) about good old fashioned BB guns? Yeah. Hit one in the back and see how it lays there or runs off (while it can still run) to hide and die a miserable death whilst you and the kiddies roar your sick asses off. Fun family gatherings you folks must have. When do you hold the sacrifices?

Next time you tell junior to "Go BB one for Daddy or Mommy", tell the little tyke to stick around and watch when the BB'd squirrel comes crawling across the yard looking for water to drink or a single seed to find. Not actually 'crawling', but actually dragging himself because his hind legs are paralyzed due to the injury in his spine from junior's BB. Watch as he raises his head and flails his tiny paws in death throes because he cannot reach food or escape predators. Watch and hee-haw yourselves silly. Oh, don't forget to get a few yucks as he opens his little mouth gasping for air and dies with his eyes open. They die with their eyes open, you know. All animals do. I've buried enough of them to know.

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October 18, 2009

No Arguing With Hunters

When one enters into a discussion with a hunter on the 'merits and necessity of hunting', one is entering into a losing battle with one of their loaded guns. Not that they are right, but because their stoic feet are so planted in the blood of the dead animals they revel in destroying.

The recent slaughtering of the Yellowstone wolves despite a federal court ruling that their removal from the endangered species act was held Illegal is a perfect example of hunters justifying their 'hobby'. Even The National Park Service weighs in with facts and figures to dispute the hunters', farmers' and ranchers' claims.

Contrary to their statements that the wolf population in Yellowstone has increased, this is false if they'd check their facts. The population, in fact, has decreased since 2007 due to incidences of mange and more seriously, widespread Distemper

The real truth remains - and always will remain true - that hunters will justify any slaughter if it means they can slaughter other animals. In other words, in the case of the wolves of Yellowstone, hunters really consider them "competition". After all, any deer or elk the wolves kill for survival is one less deer or elk a hunter can mount on his wall.

Their alleged 'overpopulation of wolves contributing to the and safety and survival of the deer and elk population' is a bogus justification for wolf slaughter that smells as much as the piles of dung left by the elk and deer herds as they flee from the...uh..."sportsmen/women".

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October 1, 2009


He was one of my favorite singers in the 60's. Never missed one of his Christmas specials (even if that did mean having to sit through segments with The Osmond Brothers). There was no denying that the man had a beautiful voice. Unfortunately, now his voice is becoming a little well as his thinking.

In London this week Andy Williams joined the cadré of crazies along with Jon "Everybody's-Talkin-At-Me-And-That's-Why-I-Hear-Voices Voight all likening Pres. Obama to the anti-Christ.

Andy prefaced his denouncement of Obama as a card-carrying Marxist with fawning praises of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. In an effort to assuage Obama supporters, he traveled down Moon-River-Memory-Lane by reminiscing about the time he worked for Bobby Kennedy in California when Kennedy campaigned for president in '68. But then segued into: "I think Obama wants to create a socialist country. The people he associates with are very Left-wing. One is registered as a Communist". Zounds!

So, by old Andy's logic if you associated with someone "x" number of years ago, and they had a certain philosophy or penchant, that automatically makes you share the same philosophy or penchant.

Hmmmm? Andy's ex-wife, Claudine Longet, was convicted of negligent homicide for shooting her lover, Olympic skier "Spider" Sabich in 1977. Guess that means Andy's capable of offing any of his senior-citizen amours down there at ole Andy's Moon River Theatre in Branson, Mo. if they decide to lose the walkers and take to the slopes. (Are there slopes in Missouri?)

He also discovered, sponsored and publicized (ad nauseam) the aforementioned Osmond Brothers. Lesseee???? Marie Osmond has a line of dolls she sells on Andy diddling dollies in his spare time? Pervert!!!

Sorry Andy, no pandering mea culpa about the Kennedy's gets you a free pass by the overwhelming majority of Americans who've had enough of this guilt-by-association meal first served up by McCarthy and then put back on the menu by Chefs O'Reilly, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and Rove. Stick a fork in it Andy et. al. It's been done.

The kicker irony here is that Williams is doing a book signing for his new tome "Moon River & Me" and his next scheduled signing is October 24 with Left Bank Books at The Ethical Society.

Sometimes you just can't make these things up. It's too easy. It writes itself. Baahaahaaa!

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September 18, 2009

What Exactly Is A "Bleeding Heart"?

Used to be back when I was do'in mah thang in the 60's (you know, the decade when young people actually gave a damn and did something about it), the term "bleeding heart" usually prefaced "liberal". Nowadays, the suffix isn't always used. Seems "bleeding heart" kinda covers it for most critics.

I am, I suppose, what the Catholic church calls "a fallen-away Catholic". Yeah. I guess. I skipped and rolled for awhile and eventually took the big dive off the deep end decades ago. Then, again, I probably would have fallen away from just about any organized religion eventually if given enough time to realize that while organized religion can bring great solace to some, on the whole, it came to represent to me the height of hypocrisy and the single biggest reason behind history's major conflagrations.

But I digress (for which I will surely burn in hell). Back to "bleeding heart". I can still remember those artists' renderings of Jesus plastering the walls of the Catholic school where I attended after (public) school catechism classes. In most all those works of art Jesus is painted with one hand held upward - as if in a blessing - and the other hand pointing to or resting upon a very visibly depicted heart bleeding from the wounds of a crown of thorns surrounding it. The nuns and the occasionally visiting priests would always remind us that this represented Jesus' heart bleeding for all of us in order to selflessly give of himself to others.

For all my formative and pre-political (and pre-fallen-away) years, I understood and accepted the definition given to me at that time and still accept it today. Despite my physical separation from any organized religion, I still very much believe in a loving God and one who suffers each time the diety's name or basic ideology (and not that of sociologically-agenda-driven biblical theologians) is taken in vain or is used as a weapon instead of a representation of selfless, unconditional love.

So I pose the same question I've asked myself for decades: When did the term "Bleeding Heart" become a negative? A slur? What exactly is a "Bleeding Heart" by modern standards?

I've always found it rather oxymoronic that "bleeding heart" became the chosen derogatory mantra of the more politically & socially conservative folk toward those who weren't. Soon, "bleeding heart" degenerated into an insult, a putdown, a label from which many distanced themselves for fear of being drowned in the waves of pious paranoia that flooded this land. It was a pox, a symbol, a "666" identifying that person as one to avoid, ridicule, slander and, ultimately, of course - fear.

Inasmuch as I've admittedly 'fallen away', I don't think I could ever fall far enough away to forget what I still believe to be the real meaning of "Bleeding Heart". Yet I will continue to be sadly perplexed by - and a bit contemptuous of - those who brandish the cross, beat their bibles, yell from their pulpits, chant from their pews and praise His name while defiling the true meaning of His heart.

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