HOW ELDERS ARE GETTING BY IN PUERTO RICO
This week, President Donald J. Trump tweeted that he is ready to abandon the American citizens of Puerto Rico.
When he said this on Tuesday, FEMA estimated that 36 percent of the people still have no access to safe drinking water, food is scarce and 90 percent of the island lacks electricity.
On October 6 and 9, U.S. News reporter, Lisa Esposito, spoke by text and iffy phone with Paul Stearns who happened to be visiting his 81-year-old mother on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques when the hurricane hit and is still there caring for her.
Some excerpts from Esposito's conversation with Stearns:
”Since the storm I am surprised [at not seeing] any special attention being given to older adults and other vulnerable populations here on the island.”
”We are eating and [the] grocery store is open but [with] limited options for a healthy and balanced diet. Fresh vegetables have been nonexistent and [we] mostly count on canned foods. Our home and many others have electric stoves so it is difficult for me to make a balanced meal for her. I am currently using a single Sterno with a hibachi grill supported by two cans of corned beef.”
”After the storm there were people who could not get medicine such as insulin and inhalers because they had no cash. The pharmacy refused and it took a local hotel to front the cash. We are an all-cash society now.”
”On the day Maria arrived landline phone service was cut and we had no way to dial 911 and still don't since cellphone service doesn't reach every part of the island.”
”Some people have already left and more are planning to leave until the electrical infrastructure has returned…It is hard for [my mother] to get a good night's rest without [air conditioning] and some days she is overly hot.”
”One other item I'd like to add is with older adults and their pets: The Humane Society is here and I volunteered with them yesterday. I asked what was specifically being done to help these older adults with pets. There seems to be [nothing].”
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and others have tried to walk back Trump's tweet about abandoning Puerto Rico. We'll see. We'll see.
Read the entire story at U.S. News.
TRUMP “DISGUSTED” AT FIRST AMENDMENT
That tweet (above) was Tuesday. On Wednesday, Trump said in the Oval Office, “It’s frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever they want to write. People should look into it.” Here is a report about that:
As several reporters have since noted, a 71-year-old native American should know by now that the First Amendment ensures freedom of the press. More at Vox.
TOM TOLES' ON ENDING THE WAR ON COAL AND...
Washington Post editorial cartoonist, Tom Toles, did a masterful job of combining the president's various hints about possible war with North Korea (or some other country, depending on the day) and EPA chief Scott Pruitt's declaration that the “war on coal” is over:
Amanda Marcotte at Salon has a good analysis of the war on coal pronouncement. Some excerpts:
"'The war against coal is over,' [Donald Trump's EPA head] Scott Pruitt announced with great fanfare at an event with coal miners in Hazard, Kentucky, on Monday. 'No better place to make that announcement than Hazard, Kentucky.'
“Pruitt's ostensible reason for this attempted rollback is that the Clean Power Plan was not crafted 'carefully, properly, and with humility,' but he hasn't taken any great pains to hide the real reason he opposes it: The plan encourages states to shift away from coal and towards natural gas or renewable resources to generate electricity...
“'Continuing to prop up the coal industry is bad for the economy, just as it’s bad for the environment,' Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, told Salon.
“As Brune explained, the Sierra Club has invested immense resources — 160 of its employees — in the task of monitoring the nation's coal-burning power plants. What they've discovered, he said, is that coal plants are shutting down as other energy sources become 'more accessible and more affordable.' Since 2010, in fact, almost half of the coal-burning plants in the country have either been retired or have a planned retirement date.”
Breathing may become optional thanks to Pruitt.
Whew! That's a lot of hard-to-take stuff. Following is your reward for getting through it starting with
OH NO – HAVING ANOTHER A BAD DAY?
When I check the headlines each morning, I know just how the panda in this gif feels: (Via giphy)
BIRTH OF THE ISRAELI AIR FORCE
Almost every day now I need to find something uplifting or inspirational that restores my faith in the human condition. Here is one.
When Israel declared statehood on May 14, 1948, they had no air force. World War II pilots, mostly Americans, were secretly recruited and trained to help Israel defend itself from the Arab nations and were eager to do so.
The documentary Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force was produced to tell the story. This is an excerpt.
FALL COLORS PHOTOS
Where I live, the fall color spectacular is in full, gorgeous swing. My friend, Darlene Costner, sent a series of stunning fall foliage photos.
As with most forwarded photo exhibits, there are no credits. This is, of course, no fault of Darlene's. For those of you who do not live near desiduous trees or do live in places on the globe where it is spring, here is a sampling of them.
THE 1940'S/1950'S UK RADIO STATION
An email arrived this week from Jay Lawrence telling me about having found my story on the 1940's recording of Manhattan Tower which will be playing on his U.K. radio programme, The M&M Show soon. (Note my spelling of that word in deference to the origin of the show.)
It is actually two radio stations, referred to collectively as the UK 1940s and 1950s Radio Stations. I had not known of this website before and have been having a fine ol' time listening to songs of my childhood and teen years.
I'm telling you because I'm pretty sure a lot of the people who read this blog would like it too. You can listen live here.
Jay's THE M&M SHOW is broadcast at 6AM & 6PM GMT on the 1950s site. He also hosts a programme titled From Stateside that is heard daily on the UK 1940s Radio Station at 8AM AND 8PM GMT which is where the Manhattan Tower will be broadcast in rotation beginning today.
You can find out what time to listen where you live at this GMT time converter.
CHICKEN FARMER'S SIDE-SPLITTING LAUGH
Frederik van Wijk is a chicken farmer in the Netherlands. Both he and a reporter broke into uncontrollable laughter on camera when the reporter realized that Mr. van Wijk's laugh sounds a lot like a chicken. Take a look:
SAND CAT VIDEO PROBABLY THE FIRST EVER
Sand cats look a lot like your house cat but they are wild cats who live in the extreme weather of the African desert. They are also shy and are hardly ever photographed. This is believed to be the first-ever video of them.
The footage was shot by the Sand Cat Sahara Team. There is more to read at the group's Facebook page.
Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.
You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog IF you include the name of the blog and its URL.