Froma Bird's Eye View

By Raven West

It’s Not Plastic v Paper that’s the Problem. It’s People


In the opening scenes of the movie “Independence Day”, Jeff Goldblum’s character was furiously taking soda cans out of the general trash and putting them in the recycle bin complaining to no one listening about how pollution was going to destroy our planet.

All the while the aliens were on their way to do that very thing and no amount of recycling was going to save the planet or anyone living on it.

Flash forward some 23 years. Cities across the country are passing laws that ban plastic straws! Plastic straws are now the “enemy” we have to destroy before they destroy our planet.


You don’t have to be a “MIT-educated technological expert” to know it’s not the material that’s the problem, it’s the people. People create garbage and people, in general, don’t care about the environment.

While it might make a few, very few, people feel good that they are using paper instead of plastic to improve our environment, the fact is that’s not necessary true.

See: Paper vs. Plastic Straws: Is Paper Really Better for the Environment?

What these paper v plastic laws do, in fact, is create a new revenue stream for the government with fines ranging from $100 to as much as $1,000 depending on how the ordinance is written.

Why stop at straws? Let’s make a law to get rid of ALL disposable plastics including diapers, water bottles, and the garbage bags we put our garbage IN!

Let’s not stop at being forced to sip our soda from a disintegrating straw. If we’re going to be serious about our disposable plastic problem, then let’s make a law to force of us to bring our own reusable containers to a restaurant to avoid having to throw out non-disposable plastic containers. Or be charged extra to request them, like the straws.

Better still. Let’s fine every single person who leaves a restaurant with their take-out in a plastic bag, including fast-food drive ins. Can you imagine the amount of money the government would make just by staking out one local McDonalds?

When are we, as concerned citizens, going to take personal responsibility and voluntarily act to change without having the government force us to with laws that only serve to increase their revenue?

Apparently, not anytime soon.

You Can’t Plan Spontaneity – Why the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock Failed

I was not all that surprised the 50th anniversary of Woodstock concert was cancelled.

The “reunion” failed in 1994 and again in 1999. The HuffPost covered this in “The Day the Music Died” (apologies to Don McClean)

In 1969, what is now known as Woodstock, was originally billed as an “Aquarian Expo” (as noted in my diary entry). This was a party. It was a celebration of peace and love at a time when there was nothing but war and hate on the nightly news. This music festival was going to unite us and bring us hope that our generation was going to change the world… for the better.

Thousands of people came together. There were only 3 accidental deaths, no fights, no shootings, no violence at all!  Thousands of people listened to great music, got stoned and drenched, loved openly and experienced joy and freedom unlike any other event before or after.

Woodstock was a spontaneous celebration of humanity and all that we are and could become. You can’t plan spontaneity – it happens only once in a lifetime.

We came away from the weekend with hope that anything was possible. That somehow, the thousands that came together for one wet weekend would stay together and bring that feeling of peace and love to the entire world, or at the very least to our entire country.

It didn’t happen.

The next entry in my diary was the same as it had been before the festival. In fact, I didn’t write anything at all until December of that year, the week I turned 16 and could drive.

We all went back to our “regularly scheduled lives” and days later, we pretty much forgot all about Woodstock. So, is it any surprise that a 50th reunion was going to fail in today’s world? We accomplished nothing. We learned nothing.

Vietnam became Afghanistan and Iraq. Violence against the Black community is now violence against the immigrant community. The glass ceiling has been reinforced with concrete in many sectors, including pay and the right to choose what we put into, or have come out of own bodies. Politicians are corrupt. Those in the entertainment, sports industry and religious communities are exposed as sexual predators. Mass shootings and violence against the “other” is being reported on the 24-hour news networks.

We blame the rich for not giving more to the poor. We blame the poor for taking everything from the rich.

And everyone still hates the Jews.

For anyone to think, for one second, that the hopes and dreams of the Peace and Love generation could be re-lived, even for one day let alone an entire weekend is living in a fantasy.

Woodstock 50 was destined to fail, because many who attended Woodstock, or were even a small part of that weekend 50 years ago became the very establishment we were fighting against!

If anything positive came out of that time, it’s the legalization of recreational marijuana. Everyone should get high. It’s very difficult to fire a MK-47 assault rifle when you’re stoned. It’s nearly impossible to be angry at anyone for anything when you’re laughing at EVERYTHING!

And 2019 is not, nor will it ever be 1969.

Who knows, with a little luck and a whole lot of hope, not to mention peace and love, and hard work in another 50 years, Woodstock 2069 will be a success.


*Note – there WILL be a 50th Anniversary celebration on the site of the Original Woodstock festival, but no matter, it still won’t be the same!

Original Woodstock Site Will Host 50th Anniversary Festivities This Weekend

A Writer…Writes

writerFor as long as I can remember, I’ve been a writer. It’s not what I do, it’s who I am.
Stories come very easily to the creative side of my brain and flow through me onto paper with an almost supernatural compulsion via any means available; be it pencil, pen, or typewriter.
Nothing in my life compares to the ultimate joy I feel when an incomprehensible jumble of 26 letters comes together to form a perfect word that joins with other letters and words to become that perfect sentence.
Only another writer can fully understands what that means.
So why, do you ask, if you’re so inclined to ask at all, after finishing the last three novels nearly ten years ago, where did Raven West go? What happened to those first 50,000 words of Vashti’s Daughter that won the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge in 2011? What happened to Bourbon for Brunch and Daiquiris for Dinner the sequels to Red Wine for Breakfast?
Well, for the most part I’ve spent the better part of these past years using the practical, logical side of my brain, something I was never very good at but necessary, for basic survival skills of working at a variety of paying jobs.
In-between I’ve managed to keep my non-fiction writing skills alive by covering local events for my column “Heard it on the Grapevine” for the on-line e-news site CitizensJournal and being compensated with free tickets to events (food and wine) and advertisements for my novels.
For the past several months, I’ve attended the local Writer’s Club, looked up my old Linkedin writer’s groups, created a text Fan Club, been interviewed on YOUTUBE sites that no-one sees and finally came to the realization that real writers don’t do any of these.
I’d admit that motivation is difficult and distractions are many. Whether in the real world with annoying noise outside my window, or in the on-line world of social media “noise” of emails and Facebook, not to mention spending more hours in one day in front of the television than I ever had in my entire life!
Years ago, I wrote a monthly column “On the Road to Riches” for Amazing Authors Showcase on the subject of publishing. I’ve also written political commentary for the Nolan Chart, that actually paid per view. I created this blog “From a Bird’s Eye View” 10 years ago when it was advertisement free.
(Note to my readers, sorry for the ads, but I’m not about to spend $100 for what was once a free service!)
As of August 1, 2019, at the youthful age of 65, this writer is going to commit to writing a blog post every week. Feel free to comment as you wish, but there will be rules!
1. No profanity
2. No arguing with others who are commenting (you can argue with me all you’d like, but not with each other)
3. If you have a complaint, spell it out in detail and we can have an adult conversation. I’m not always right (don’t tell my husband I said that, please!)
4. Feel free to re-post any article to your social media sites, as long as you credit the author (me) and put in a link to my website:
I will turn OFF; the internet, my cell phone, my landline, my ipad and the TV to concentrate on the one thing that I enjoy more than anything else.
FOLLOW this blog, share it with all your Facebook “friends” and enjoy my “Bird’s Eye View” of the world and JOIN my Fan Club for a FREE ebook of Red Wine for Breakfast on SMASHWORDS, then download the KINDLE or purchase the hard copy of First Class Male and Undercover Reunion on Amazon.
I once wrote the “overnight success” takes about 10 years. I’ve since changed that to 20, which gives me 10 more to go!
– Raven West
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