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Opinion: Happy Birthday, America!

Gravy by the Slice has been missing from this spot for a while. It’s probably not too hard to figure out why. Fred’s death has left me without adult supervision for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, I also fell a couple of times. I found the trigger that broke me, and after deep contemplation, I have made peace with the incident. I can’t promise I am back for good, but please know I really do want to be.

This is a holiday weekend. Please don’t show your pride in America by imbibing and getting behind the wheel of your car. And just as important as “don’t get high and drive,” is be careful with your Independence Day fireworks. Have a bucket of water and a hose with a nozzle at the ready before lighting up the night sky.

Pet owners watch out for your fur babies. The phones at the Tribune ring off the hook on July 5th due to lost pet ads. Plan ahead and safety first.

Living alone for the first time, I have the television on almost all the time. The house is just too quiet without it.

While I don’t care about the inane programming that has filled the screen in the last month, the commercials, played repeatedly, have made quite an impression.

For example, I have seen the plastic recycle ad stating that only nine percent of the plastic we dutifully put in the blue bin is actually recycled. I would be surprised if I have viewed that one less than 100 times.

Wouldn’t it be better if the money spent in this bombardment of advertising dollars were to be spent actually recycling more of that plastic? Instead, they love to show the debris dumped into various waterways throughout the country. It makes me angry to think about it. I couldn’t tell you what product they are hawking. That message is lost behind the videos of all that plastic waste.

There must be a way to stop the illegal dumping and clean up the garbage that pollutes beaches and waterways in this country.

All the money thrown at unsuccessful programs should be diverted for a few years to save the sources of water in this country. Why California doesn’t have giant desalination plants on the coast is still a mystery to me.

I have often thought it would be an exciting act of vandalism to “borrow,” a backhoe and a dump truck to go down into the Fresno River when it is dry and pull out the trees and other vegetation along with any other debris that clogs the riverbed.

A couple of Sundays when no one is paying attention would be time enough to do the job. I can only imagine the size of the bail and fines for the person or group caught if this idea were to become a reality.

There are no doubt dozens of environmental opinions that my idea would do more harm than good, but it is still fun to think about.

Another television ad campaign that breaks my heart is the ones where it talks about the abuse of animals. I understand the mission to raise both awareness and funding for this animal advocacy group. It makes me feel like a bad person because if the remote is close at hand I change the channel. I just can’t stand it. There are also similar ads for elephants and tigers but they don’t affect me near as much as the ones with the dogs and cats.

Another problem for me is if you actually send money to help the abused animals, the organization turns around and spends a small fortune sending me mail asking for more money and selling my name and address to other groups and then they fill my P.O. Box with requests for money.

If this part of today’s story makes our readers think I am an uncaring person I’m just going to have to live with that. I hope many more see my point.

What portion of every dollar earned is spent on fundraising? What kind of salaries are the executives and employees of these “causes,” pulling in?

My charity dollars go towards the number of good causes benefitting our community. I do the best I can with what I have.

Too many people want in our wallets with no regard for bettering my community. If this makes me a small-minded person I’ll just have to live with that.

Have a blessed holiday weekend and be safe!

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix at or @tamijonix on Twitter.


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