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On April 26, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed CISPA – the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act, H.R. 3523 – by a vote of 248-168. This week, the Senate may vote on CISPA-like bills (Lieberman-Collins S.2105 or McCain S.2151).

CISPA gives the government, including military spy agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), virtually unlimited powers to capture our personal information — medical records, private emails, financial information — all without a warrant or proper oversight.

Civil liberties groups and progressives unanimously opposed the bill, as did Ron Paul. President Obama warned the House that he will veto the bill because it does not protect our privacy, but they ignored his warnings.

Tell your Senators to protect your privacy from Big Brother and oppose CISPA.

Here’s the link to the petition at democrats.com, http://www.democrats.com/stop-big-brother-stop-cispa

Keep it real.

-Cara

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Listen and learn about the toxins in our cosmetics that no one talks about.  Learn about how nothing’s really changed from the 50’s till now as far as toxic chemicals usage. There is no need for these poisons in our products. The lack of regulation of cosmetics means anything at all can be put in their ingredients. To learn more check out: www.safecosmetics.org/

Here’s what actions you may take to make a difference, http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-cosmetics/act/ and also some additional information on what’s up, http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-cosmetics/learn/.

Take back your face!

-Cara

Occupy Wall Street

:]

-Cara



Faith Laugier is a Journalist/Radio show host on WBAI, New York 99.5FM and on 11-17-11  according to her friend who filmed this video, “… she was indiscriminately grabbed from the crowd while moving away from the chaos, as instructed to do by NYPD. At the very start of this video you can see a police officer rush her from behind and body slam her to the pavement. Handcuffs were then placed on her in such a way that caused the veins in her arms to erect. Officers refused to loosen her cuffs as well as explain why she was being detained.

Also, several times in the midst of my filming and photographing her arrest several police officers attempted to swat and take my camera from me. At one point an officer shouted, “grab that man”, me. I was able to remain safe.”

Journalist Faith Laugier was assaulted then arrested by NYPD without committing any crime. According to The First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Yo America, what’s going on here? You better stop playing games.

-Cara

Check out this great interview with Mark Read the person behind the “bat-signal” on boingboing.

We are unstoppable. Another world is possible.

Do not be afraid.

-Cara

Tell Congress not to censor the internet NOW! – fightforthefuture.org/​pipa

PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites– they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”

The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.

Bottom line here is it is a way for corporations to annihilate smaller businesses and stop revolutionaries! Check out Fight for the Future  and AmericanCensorship.org.

Fight the power!

-Cara

“Back in July of 1975 we descended into a trough between some whales, and we just sat there in this boat really transfixed. As a whale rolled about on the surface I caught his eye and he looked straight at us and I saw understanding. I saw that the whale understood what we were trying to do, but the other thing I saw in that eye was pity, and not for himself or his kind, but for us. At that moment a harpoon went over our heads and slammed into the backside of one of the females in the pod, and she screamed and rolled on her side. It was like a woman screaming. I said “well, here we are destroying this incredibly intelligent, socially complex, beautiful creature.” and that’s when it occurred to me: we’re insane. As a species we’re insane, so quite frankly, I don’t really care what people think about what we do. They can criticize us all they want, but their opinions mean nothing to me.”

-Paul Watson, of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

The average are the most insane. Don’t get lost in normal.

-Cara

I haven’t had a TV since April 2008, so I am not really up to date on what’s on. I have been on vacation surrounded by TVs for the last week and honestly I am really happy with my decision to give it up. Then just now on Animal Planet this show, “Whale Wars” came on. I can’t believe no one ever told me about it. It is amazing and makes me have hope in people. Good people doing good things on TV. I had no idea. Check out the Sea Shepard site to see what I am talking about.

Remember, every fight for good is important. Every time we do something good for someone else or for something else we are a step closer to the beauty we all deserve in this life. Finding this show amongst all the trash that pulls us down I am inspired, hopeful. Even in darkness you will always find some light.

We must fight to win. If you can donate please do to get Steve Irwin out and back to sea.  If you can’t donate money here is a link to help out in other ways.

We haven’t lost the war yet. Fight!

-Cara

Marcia

Marcia

12 dogs with only hours left to live. The shelter will open at 8AM. You must call at 8 if you can rescue or adopt. DO NOT LEAVE A MESSAGE! Keep hitting 0 until someone answers. If they do not, call/email the following people:Julie Bank – jbank@nycacc.org (p212-442-2059/f212-442-2066),​ Ellen Curtis- ecurtis@nycacc.org, or Richard Gentles rgentles@nycacc.org.

A new “To Be Destroyed” list comes out every night between 5:00-6:00 pm. If there is a dog you can adopt call the ACC number if it is BEFORE 8pm. You will HAVE to pick up that dog that day. They will not hold the dog they will kill it. The only way they will hold it for 24 hours is if an approved rescue calls the hold in. Go to the the shelter in which the dog is located. If you cannot make it to the city..you again can get an approved rescuer to pull and there is a possibility of transport. If you have any questions please ask on the page. We have many “seasoned” helpers who can direct you on the page.

*Post under the ALBUM and PIC if you are interested in a dog. Ultimately, the earlier you offer/contact a rescue, the better. You should not just rely on this page but contact as many rescues on the APO list as you can. http://www.animalalliancenyc.org/aboutus​/apos/atoz.htm

*New? Get approved by an APO TODAY to foster/adopt later on. That way, no mad dash! You are already approved. The earlier you plan, the better.

* NO calls to shelter to hold a dog unless YOU are local AND YOU are the adopter. ONLY CALL TO ADOPT IF YOU CAN GO GET THE DOG ASAP YOURSELF. Otherwise get a rescue to help you.
NYC ACC
Manhattan: 212-722-4939 PRESS 0
Brooklyn:718-272-7201
PRESS 0

*To locate APPROVED ACC RESCUES so you can find one to pull the dog you want to ADOPT or FOSTER, use this link
http://www.animalalliancenyc.org/about/a​pos/atoz.htm

Here is the Facebook page where they list what dogs they are euthanizing next. Like it, share it spread the word as these dogs are being killed because the humans that adopted them could no longer take care of them, abused them, they ran away, etc. You would not kill human children after a week of no one adopting them, why do we kill cats and dogs? We know they feel and have a grasp of what is going on.  We should do better as their guardians in this world.

Some other ways to help are to help raise funds for billboards. Here is their deal…

I was recently offered the use of 30 billboards (as they become available) for just the cost of artwork! That means for $840, we could help spread the word about our Death Row Dogs. Every day we are losing more lives to this disgrace of a shelter system… we can not rely on reporters, to do 2 minutes segments that only discuss part of the problem. The public needs to know all the facts and they need to know now!!

Please consider donating… The more people we reach with our ads, the better chance we have of saving the lives of our animals at the NYC AC&C.

or visit www.darlingdesignsnewyork.com , for every purchase made on this site they donate a portion of the proceeds to Urgent and free shipping with any order $50 or more. You can also go volunteer as a foster parent, at the shelter, etc.

Please help these New Yorkers who need you now more than ever.

-Cara

Feminist

Ladies of the world who think the good fight is over and feminists are no longer needed, it is time to educated yourselves to the truth.

  1. Women constitute an estimated 70% of the world’s absolute poor, those living on less than $1 a day. [International Labor Organization. (2003). Facts on women at work. Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved 9 Sep. 2009. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_067595.pdf.]
  2. Women work 2/3 of the world’s working hours, yet earn only 10% of the world’s income. [This data is drawn from organizations that collect and aggregate information at a global level, including the U.N. Millennium Campaign, the World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO, the U.N. Population Fund.  Secondary information retrieved 10 Sep 2009 from http://www.womensfundingnetwork.org/sites/wfnet.org/files/StatusofWorldsWomen_WFN.pdf.]
  3. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, it is now estimated that two-thirds of the world’s 875 million illiterate adults are women. In Southern Asia, nearly three in five women are illiterate, and it is estimated that half of all women in Africa and in the Arab region are still illiterate.
  4. Nearly a third of all adults living with HIV/AIDS are under the age of 25 and two thirds of them are women. [UNICEF]
  5. Women are responsible for producing 60-80% of the world’s food [Worldwatch Institute. (2008). State of the World: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy. Washington, D.C.: Gary Gardner & Thomas Prugh.  Retrieved 10 Sep. 2009 from http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/SOW08_chapter_1.pdf.] , yet hold only 10% of the world’s wealth and 1% of the world’s land. [U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.  (2005).  Gender Equality, Education and Sustainable Growth. Istanbul, Turkey, Eighth Eurasian Economic Summit: Section for Women and Gender Equality, Bureau of Strategic Planning.  Retrieved on 10 Sep. 2009 from http://portal.unesco.org/en/files/28477/11223842079Instanbul_July_2005_final.doc/Instanbul%2BJuly%2B2005_final.doc.]
  6. Over 110 million of the world’s children, two thirds of them girls, are not in school. [UNICEF]
  7. Data shows that at least one in every three woman is a survivor of some form of gender-based violence, most often by some one in her own family. [1999 Johns Hopkins global report]
  8. In countries such as Austria, Canada, Thailand, and the United States, over 30% of all businesses are now owned or operated by women. Thailand tops this list with an impressive 40%. [International Labor Organization. (2003). Facts on women at work. Geneva, Switzerland.  Retrieved 9 Sep. 2009 from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_067595.pdf ]
  9. Girls between 13 and 18 years of age constitute the largest group in the sex industry. It is estimated that around 500,000 girls below 18 are victims of trafficking each year. [UNICEF]
  10. The total value of a woman’s unpaid house and farm work adds 1/3 to the world’s GNP ( Gross National Profit). [Family Care International. (2007). Women Deliver: As Mothers, Individuals, Family Members and as Citizens.  New York, NY: Women Deliver.  Retrieved 9 Sep. 2009 from http://www.womendeliver.org/overview/WD_The_Facts.pdf ]
  11. More than 80 per cent of the world’s 35 million refugees and displaced people are women and children. [UNICEF]
  12. Emergencies puts women at risk of extreme sexual violence and abuse. In Rwanda, for example, 2,000 women, many of whom were survivors of rape, tested positive for HIV during the five years following the 1994 genocide. [UNICEF]
  13. Worldwide, over 60% of people working in family enterprises without pay are women. [U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2005). Progress Toward the Millennium Development Goals, 1990-2005. New York, NY: Statistics Division. Retrieved 9 Sep. 2009 from http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mi/goals_2005/goal_3.pdf.]
  14. 1,400 women die every day from pregnancy-related causes, 99 per cent of them in developing countries. [UNFPA]
    • In Sub-Saharan Africa, a woman has a one in three chance of dying in child birth. In industrialized countries, the risk is 1 in 4,085.
    • Direct obstetric deaths account for about 75 per cent of all maternal deaths in developing countries

This global the fight has only just begun.

We are still a minority.

We must fight together for women who can’t fight alone. Check out this site to start, Women For Women. They have a bunch of things you can do globally.

Take back the night!

I said it.

-Cara

I think a great title/idea for a reality show would be, “Who Will Be The Next Leader For The Revolution”, the American Idol for the next Che Guevara. I am saying this after a friend posted a video, “Jefferson Memorial Flash Mob Arrested For Dancing, Protesting Court Ruling” on Facebook today which made me super crazy. What got to me were all these humans filming their people getting thrown around by these park police and no one did anything to help. These cops were in the wrong. They are not allowed to act on their anger in this manner. I get they are scared, but they are to be put at a higher standard than the average Joe. That is why they get to walk around with a gun.

That was point one. Point two is 10 or so protesters dancing is not going to change much. None of these American protests mean anything to the powers that be. I feel the only way of success going forward is to truly revolt. We need a great leader and we must be willing to fight and even die to achieve this success. Peaceful protests without fear, to my knowledge, have never been successful. There have been peaceful leaders with righteous followers whose strength and numbers changed things. The fear of their determination changed things.

The powers that be do not fear us. We do not focus. We do not think. We fear feeling bad. We are weak, but we have something they do not have and that is our numbers. There will always be more of us, the disenfranchised (deprived of power; marginalized) masses, than the elite few and their soldiers. We can overthrow them, we just need a great leader (who hopefully will not be assassinated by the CIA! What? I said it.), which brings us full circle to my great idea for the next reality show, “Who Will Be The Next Leader For The Revolution”.

I’ll come up with the ideas, you implement them.

-Cara

Here are some righteous revolutionary videos to keep motivated.

America started as a place people went to escape something worse, remember? lol.

America is awesome! Politicians controlled by corporations, now that is not so awesome. Where can we run to escape the tiranical hold of big business? Or do you think we should try to take our country back?

Big Business are the real terrorists.

-Cara

Support the People’s Revolution in Egypt

ساند ثورة الشعب في مصر

This is an awesome Change.org campaign I fully support. Let’s see if a true revolution is still possible. I say yes!

Target:

Ambassador Sameh Shoukry (السفير سامح شكري), President Hosni Mubarak (الرئيس حسني مبارك), General Habib Ibrahim El Adly (حبيب ابراهيم العادلي‎), and Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq (احمد محمد شفيق‎)

Started by: The January 25 Movement حركة يناير ٢٥

On January 25, we the people of Egypt took to the streets to demand our rights! We are not unified by one party, class or religion: we are not Muslim and we are not Christian, we are not rich and we are not poor – we are the multifaceted people of Egypt – Muslims and Christian’s and Egyptians of all classes.

We demand our civil, political and human rights.
We demand the immediate resignation of the president and parliament.
We demand a new constitution.
We demand free and fair elections.
We demand the complete and total release of all political prisoners and detainees.
We demand the return of open access to all communication networks.
We demand that the police stop shooting at us, stop their brutality and stop their attacks on journalists.

We are the January 25 movement, and we are not going to stop until our demands are met! We call on Egyptians and internationals to lend a hand and help us win by signing this petition, which will be sent to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, officials in the interior and foreign ministries, and Egyptian embassies all over the world.

Winning this campaign depends on our ability to call on thousands of supporters like you. After signing this petition, please follow us on Facebook – just click ‘Like’ at the top of the page.

في 25 يناير، شعب مصرأخذ للشوارع للمطالبة بحقوقه!

نحن لا نمثل طرف واحد، أو طبقة أو دين : نحن لسنا المسلمين فقط أوالمسيحيين فقط، ونحن لسنا الأغنياء. نحن الشعب بأكمله وبأطرافه المتعددة — المسلمين والمسيحيين والمصريين من جميع الطبقات.

نحن نطالب بحقوقنا المدنية والسياسية والإنسانية.

ونحن نطالب بتغيير في النظام كامل برمته — بما في ذلك إسقاط الرئيس والبرلمان.

ونحن نطالب بوضع دستور جديد.

ونحن نطالب بانتخابات حرة ونزيهة.

إننا نطالب بالإفراج الكامل والشامل عن جميع السجناء والمعتقلين السياسيين

و نطالب بارجاع فتح الاتصال لجميع شبكات الاتصالات والإنترنت

ونطالب الشرطة وقف اعتداءاتها على الصحفيين.

ونحن نطالب بأن الشرطة توقف إطلاق النارعلى المواطنين واستخدام العنف ضد المتظاهرين

نحن حركة 25 يناير، ونحن لن تتوقف حتى تتحقق مطالبنا!

ندعو المصريين ومؤيدينا عالميا لدعمنا بتوقيع هذه العريضة، والتي سوف يتم إرسالها إلى الرئيس المصري حسني مبارك ومسؤولين في وزارتي الداخلية والخارجية ، والسفارات المصرية في جميع أنحاء العالم.

الإنتصار في هذه الحملة يعتمد على قدرتنا على دعوة الآلاف من المؤيديين مثلك. بعد التوقيع على هذه العريضة، يرجى المتابعةعلى فيس بوك —  انقر على كلمة ليك في الجزء العلوي من الصفحة

ساند ثورة الشعب في مصر

السلام عليكم

في 25 يناير، شعب مصرأخذ للشوارع للمطالبة بحقوقه!

نحن لا نمثل طرف واحد، أو طبقة أو دين : نحن لسنا المسلمين فقط أوالمسيحيين فقط، ونحن لسنا الأغنياء. نحن الشعب بأكمله وبأطرافه المتعددة — المسلمين والمسيحيين والمصريين من جميع الطبقات.

نحن نطالب بحقوقنا المدنية والسياسية والإنسانية.

ونحن نطالب بتغيير في النظام كامل برمته — بما في ذلك إسقاط الرئيس والبرلمان.

ونحن نطالب بوضع دستور جديد.

ونحن نطالب بانتخابات حرة ونزيهة.

إننا نطالب بالإفراج الكامل والشامل عن جميع السجناء والمعتقلين السياسيين

و نطالب بارجاع فتح الاتصال لجميع شبكات الاتصالات والإنترنت

ونطالب الشرطة وقف اعتداءاتها على الصحفيين.

ونحن نطالب بأن الشرطة توقف إطلاق النارعلى المواطنين واستخدام العنف ضد المتظاهرين

نحن حركة 25 يناير، ونحن لن تتوقف حتى تتحقق مطالبنا!

On January 25, we the people of Egypt took to the streets to demand our rights!

We are not unified by one party, class or religion: we are not Muslim and we are not Christian, we are not rich and we are not poor – we are the multifaceted people of Egypt – Muslims and Christan’s and Egyptians of all classes.

We demand our civil, political and human rights.

We demand a change in the entire regime – including the overthrow of the president and parliament.

We demand a new constitution.

We demand free and fair elections.

We demand the complete and total release of all political prisoners and detainees

We demand the return of open access to all communication networks.

We demand that the police stop shooting at us, stop their brutality and stop their attacks on journalists.

We are the January 25 movement, and we are not going to stop until our demands are met!

Sign it!

-Cara

NYC nightlife legend & comedian MURRAY HILL and his friends filmed an important message for the gay kids all over the world live from the Miss LEZ Pageant at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York. Many queer icons were in the house to share the love, like Michael Musto, World Famous *BOB*, JD Samson, Silas Howard, Bitch, Sarah Greenwood, and many others. All walks of life were present, loud and proud. Overheard in the audience, “It doesn’t get better, it gets f*%king awesome.” Video shot and edited by Jackson Memenza. Get to know http://mistershowbiz.com

I was there and it was a very good time. It’s cool that Murray Hill and Jacks Memenza did this video.

Don’t let other people’s ignorance bring you down. We’re all beautiful.

-Cara

Get you’re shirt on, fckh8.com.

I may not believe in the institution of marriage, but I do believe in fair is fair, everyone deserves the same legal rights. I’m sick of the church and state getting together and saying we can’t be married. I thought they were separate. I am also sick of adulterers saying I am attacking the institution of marriage.

Fuck that.

-Cara

Zeitgeist Addendum, it’s a great Sunday night movie.

Part three, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward is scheduled to be released in January 2011.

Who wants the poster? :]

Let’s do this.

-Cara

22%

22%

22% of New Yorkers have to choose between food and medical care. – City Harvest

Just thought you might want to know.

-Cara

Three days later China scores a point. I just realized on September 24th I bought Petstages Mightie Mouse toys for my cats when I was picking up their food.  Their food by the way is made in Pacoima, California not China so that is good. I didn’t even think about checking when I grabbed it.

I am lucky up till now that this is the first time this has happened as I keep remembering after the fact. Then when I check I have been relieved each time. I need to train my brain. I said it!  This time I did not even realize it till a few minutes ago when I was picking up their toys and thought man this stuff is totally made in China…whoops. :]

Listen, I’m on it.

-Cara

Starting tomorrow I am going to see how many days I can go without buying any products “Made in China”.  I have been reading all this stuff recently having to do with factories’ labor conditions in China, so I am motivated to do something.

You know I always rant to all my friends or anyone in earshot that they should not support Apple anything with all these Foxconn (a Taiwanese electronics firm that produces the iPhone) suicides (10 workers killed themselves at a factory in Shenzhen, China. An eleventh worker recently died at another factory in northern China. In total, there have been 13 suicides and suicide attempts at Foxconn factories this year). That the suicides have to be linked to working conditions and look I was right. I never have liked iPhones… Macs…iPads…iPods… it’s all junk…marketing for susceptible masses willing to overpay for the product they are purchasing. With cutting all these corners in production costs well you know, Steve Jobs is a billionaire…enough said.

I was also reading about the  KYE Factory in China that manufactures Microsoft products. In particular, some interesting discoveries on The National Labor Committee’s web site on how they treat their workers

Workers pay out of their pocket for meals using a meal card.  Workers who purchase a meal card for 30 days pay 208 RMB, $30.43, and for 31 days, 216 RMB, or $31.60.  Though the food costs seem small enough, it lowers the workers’ take home wage in 2010 from 65 cents an hour, to just 52 cents.

Workers who purchase the monthly food plan are rewarded with two free “treats” each month, usually a piece of fruit or a chicken leg.

Cafeteria management prohibits workers from throwing food out.

[source]

For the approximately 300 people on each floor, there are two public restrooms on either end of the floor, each with ten bathroom stalls; ten sinks with cold water; five cold water spigots where workers can wash their clothes by hand; and three hot water spigots where workers fetch hot water in a small plastic bucket to take a sponge bath.  Workers wanting to charge their cell phones have to go to the “electrical charging room” on the first floor of building “F” during the regulated hours.

Dorm lights are automatically shut off at 11 p.m.

In the giant KYE Systems Corp. compound, housing KYE, XYE, JYE, CYE factories, there are six dormitories-two for management and four for workers.

Single workers are not permitted to live in housing outside the factory compound.  Even married couples can only opt out of the dorms after six months, and even then they must provide their marriage certificate and their landlord’s ID card and fill out an application. [Source]

Workers are prohibited from talking, listening to music or using the bathroom during working hours.  Workers who do not follow the instructions of the foreman will be fined 40 RMB ($7.02), which amounts to the loss of 11 hours’ pay.  Workers are strictly prohibited from staying outside the factory compound overnight.  Workers who do not return to the factory are fined 200 RMB ($29.26) -more than a worker’s regular weekly pay, and immediately fired.  I mean there is tons of stuff. If you want to read the whole article click here.

Crazy thing, this is one of the better factories to work at in China if that give you an idea of the bigger issue. I don’t want to support that. Plus they make so much stuff that is unnecessary for the world and harms people and their environment.  I could go on…you know I could, but I won’t.

What I will do is personally take responsibility for me and not consume products made in China. I will make educated purchases and hold myself accountable.

I wonder if this is really going to suck or be much easier than I think it’s going to be. I hope the latter. :D I should shut up as it will be easier than working in the factories in China.

That’s right I said it.

-Cara

In describing his experience producing “Countdown to Zero“, Lawrence Bender says,

“Having produced An Inconvenient Truth, I witnessed the power of a movie to educate and inspire people. We need to make this movie a phenomenal success so we can engage the public in a big way and bring this issue to the top of the political agenda.”

Here’s the Countdown to Zero site where you can find out where the film is playing. Also, check out the Global Zero site to join the campaign…sign the declaration.

These are a few simple ways to do something forward. Why not?

-Cara

Janeen McCrae

Yes I Am Precious is a Livestrong campaign that bicyclist Janeen McCrae came up with to raise money to fight shitty cancer. The journey begins on the Atlantic side of this great country and three months later, she and her bike Precious, should arrive on the Pacific end. It is the 15th day of the ride as of this blog post, a rest day in Berea, Kentucky, the folk arts and crafts capital of Kentucky for those not in the know. :]

As the video below will show you, this isn’t just your regular ride, it makes raising money for a great cause a whole lot more cool and interesting. You can check out how many roadkills were seen along the way, how many time Janeen has been honked at, how many dogs have chased her on her long journey across America with Precious who is tweeting along the way what he is “feeling”.

Check out what they’ve done to Precious to gauge speed, incline, decline, temperature, etc, etc…

…and yes you can follow them on Twitter, Precious or Janeen, or go to Janeen’s blog about her ride, No Direction Known, and don’t forget Team Fatty, check out their About Page, good stuff.

Last but not least here is the donation page for this awesome ride.

I love biking and cool people.

-Cara

This is a re-print of an article, “What it Says About Us When a 17-Month-Old Boy Is Beaten to Death for “Acting Like a Girl” , by Michael Rowe of The Huffington Post. I want to have this article reach as many people as possible, so pass it on. It gave me chills.  I was so sure a woman wrote it before I looked. I think because of his depth of understanding and the connection he sees and acknowledges between society and what this man did to this child…or maybe just the sensitivity and sincere beauty of  how he wrote such a sad piece. Saying this I acknowledge makes me a sexist. I also need to be aware of the affects of American socialization on me. I appreciate when people push themselves to see what not one of us wants to. The inconvenient truths of the society we live in.

Please read the whole article.

-Cara

At approximately 8:25 p.m. last Sunday night, the New York State Police on Long Island logged a 911 call about a toddler in cardiac arrest. The boy, 17-month-old Roy Jones, was rushed from the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, N.Y. to Southampton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m.

According to authorities, the toddler had endured a savage beating. His tiny body had been repeatedly punched with closed fists and grabbed by the neck. By the time 911 had been called at dusk, he was already in cardiac arrest from the sheer brutality of the assault and it was too late to save his life.

Charged with manslaughter in the first degree and held without bail is the toddler’s mother’s live-in boyfriend, 20-year-old Pedro Jones, who was babysitting. The pair lived together on Shinnecock Nation tribal land, though Jones himself was not a member of the tribe. They were reportedly to marry, and Jones called the toddler “my baby,” though Roy was not, in fact his baby.

“I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl,” Jones explained. “I never struck that kid that hard before. A one-time mistake, and I am going to do 20 years.”

He told troopers that the little boy had been too feminine and that he’d been trying to toughen Roy up by literally beating the life out of him.

“I’m sorry,” he said “That’s my baby. I loved him to death.”

A nominally civilized society such as ours can only recoil in horror at any news of a child’s death at the abusive hands of an adult. Infanticide is the ultimate forfeiture of our humanity, rightly seen as a perversion of the very essence of the natural order and the circle of life. The act is a declaration of such abject monstrosity that is very nearly beyond forgiveness. But it happens every day, and we guiltily avert our eyes to these stories when we read them because, on some level, we realize that the children could easily be our own and the pain is too much to bear. In 2008, in the U.S. alone, the Department of Health and Human Services reported 772,000 cases of child abuse, resulting 1,740 fatalities–a sharp rise from 1,330 in 2000.

But there is an added and significant dimension to the tragedy. The reason given for the beating is that, even at 17 months, the toddler was perceived by his killer to be effeminate. Madhouse logic indeed, but to Pedro Jones there was a way that little boys should act and a way little girls should act.

While Jones is a tragic example of the paradigm taken to deadly lengths, society’s discomfort with gender variance permeates nearly every part of the national dialogue and runs through every part of the culture.

It’s present in the heightened male objectification of women inherent in certain types of music videos that present them as “bitches” and “hoes” who crave an answering violent thuggishness from their men. It’s present in advertising that teaches young women that they’re essentially a life support system for their physical assets, that the ideal woman is a weak-willed, mindless consumer of frivolity, whereas a “real man”–stronger, but stupider–is waiting for nothing more than the arrival of the Swedish Women’s Nude Basketball Team with cold beer.

There are coded echoes of it in the leading and prejudicial questionnaire put to servicemen and women this spring by the Pentagon regarding the viability of openly gay soldiers serving side-by-side with heterosexual ones. The document is mined with phrases that seem crafted with unease on the part of straight male soldiers as a goal, fears that their gay counterparts might not be “real” men but something inferior, less masculine, less reliable in a firefight.

It was there in June of this year when the Family Research Council hailed Republican Governor of Rhode Island Don Carcieri for vetoing hate crimes legislation that would have included transgender-identified persons as a protected class. Gloated Tony Perkins, the president of the organization, “[Governor Carcieri] deserves praise for his strong stance for the Families of Rhode Island, and other Governors can learn from his example.” Perkins neglected to explain how excluding transgender people from hate crime legislation had anything to do with protecting families.

It was there in the Hieronymus Bosch-level grotesquery of the lies, distortions, and misrepresentations of the lives of gay and lesbian couples used by the Proposition 8 supporters in their now-failed battle to make their horror of sexual and gender variance the law of the land in California by codifying their bigotry at the ballot box and in the courts.

It’s endemic in fundamentalist Christianity, which claims Biblical authority for rigid gender roles and, more importantly, the appearance of rigid gender roles. Psychologist and Southern Baptist minister George Alan Rekers, co-founder of the Family Research Council and formerly of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) who, until he was caught this year flying a gay rent-boy to Europe to “lift his luggage” and give him nude sexual massages, was best known for sharing his wisdom on how to “cure” homosexuality.

A May 2010 article in the Miami News by Penn Bullock and Brandon K. Thorp reported on Rekers’ 1974 “Feminine Boy Project” at UCLA. The article highlighted the story of a 4-year-old-year old “effeminate boy” named Kraig was subjected by his parents to Rekers’ aversion therapy.

Part of the therapy involved putting Kraig in “play-observation room” with his mother, who had instructions to avert her eyes from her child when he played with “girly” toys. An essay by Stephanie Wilkinson published in Brain, Child magazine in 2001 recounts that, during one of the sessions, Kraig became so distraught and hysterical at what must have seemed to the 4-year-old like the withdrawal of his mother’s love, that he had to be carried out of the room by the staff. At home, the “treatment” continued, with Kraig being rewarded for “masculine” behavior and spanked by his father for “feminine” behavior.

After two years of treatment, apparently “cured” of his effeminacy, Kraig was held up by the psychologist as proof that his treatment worked until, at 18, shamed and scarred by his diagnosis and treatment, Kraig attempted suicide.

Last summer, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover who committed suicide in his mother’s house after months of taunts about how he acted “like a girl” and therefore had to be gay. His mother had to cut down his dead body from the support beam from which he hung himself. The previous year, a 14-year-old classmate killed 15-year-old old Lawrence King, of Oxnard, CA because King came to school in lipstick and nail polish.

As a society, we equate masculinity with force, with violence, with aggression, with being “tough” and invulnerable. We celebrate it those things as virtues. To a widely-varying degree, we look with disdain, or pity, or condescension, or amusement at too much deviation from the prescribed norm. And we occasionally exact a terrible penalty for stepping outside those rigid parameters.

The beating death of 17-month-old Roy Jones was no less a hate crime because the victim was a baby. Whether would have grown up to be gay, or transgender, or just a gentle, sweet-natured straight boy, was still many years away. More, it was irrelevant.

The attack, and the apparent impulse behind it–that a violent man was made uncomfortable by a even a perceived variation on gender-normative behavior–is exactly what makes transgender and gender-variant Americans among the most vulnerable segment of the population, and children who even appear gender-variant are the most vulnerable of all.

It’s still early in the investigation and there are naturally more questions than answers at this point. Doubtless, facts and details will emerge about Pedro Jones along with the very real possibility that he endured horrors of his own that helped craft what he later became. It’s too early to paint him as a monster, or at least as a one-dimensional monster. With few exceptions, monsters are made, not born. They are still monsters, but they are carved with the hurtful blows of many sharp chisels, over many years.

At the very least, his own violent psychopathology notwithstanding, someone, somewhere, taught Pedro Jones that the worst thing a little boy can do is act like a girl. In the end, it matters precious little when or where he learned it, because a 17-month-old toddler ultimately paid a terrible price for that lesson.

On Sunday night, his little body wracked by agony, blackened with bruises, beaten within an inch of his life, gasping for breath in a world suddenly full of more pain than he could bear, his little light flickered and vanished into the darkness.

Maybe this time, when we read about the death of Roy Jones, before we look away and try not to think of our own children and how truly defenseless they are, not only against violence, but against an adult’s determinant view of who and what they might be, we might examine the way in which we see our society and the complex mosaic that makes up our fellow citizens.

We might say a prayer of comfort for his family, then ask ourselves what his death might say about us. We might ask what our role should be in shaping that world and, by definition, in shaping how our children will come to see themselves as citizens of it.

That’s right.

-Cara

MTA

This particular post is New York City Centric, so if your living in the Big Apple or know people who are, please sign or forward this to them as soon as possible…

Hello My Fellow New Yorkers,

The MTA is at it again. On Wednesday, they announced yet another round of fare hikes, including a plan to limit the number of rides on “unlimited” monthly MetroCards and jack up their price to almost $100.

Enough is enough. Transit riders aren’t ATMs, and endless fare hikes can’t be the answer to keeping our subways and buses moving. We need the politicians and the MTA to come up with a real plan for investing in public transportation, and keeping it reliable and affordable.

The first step is to show them New Yorkers won’t take this sitting down. I just signed the Working Families Party’s petition against the latest fare hikes. Will you join me? Just go to:

http://action.workingfamiliesparty.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2155&tag=MTA710

Stop this madness!!!

Cara

[Per: Working Families Party]

An Iranian woman in Brussels protesting the inhumane practice of death by stoning. Photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters

I just signed this AVAAZ.org petitition…

Last week a massive global outcry stopped an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, from being stoned to death.  But Sakineh still faces hanging, and today, fifteen more people await execution by stoning — people are buried up to their necks and large rocks are hurled at their heads.

Sakineh’s brave children’s international campaign shows that worldwide condemnation works. Let’s turn this family’s desperate appeal into a movement that ends stoning for good – sign the petition and send to everyone.

You will send this message to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the leaders of Iran:

We call on you to finally put an end to capital punishment by stoning and to reverse the unjust judgment in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Stop stoning, save Sakineh!

15 people are on death row awaiting death by stoning in Iran, but yesterday a woman was saved from this brutal killing by a massive international campaign. Global voices of condemnation saved her from stoning. Now I just signed an urgent petition to the Iranian government to put an end this sickening brutality once and for all and I thought you would want to join me.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

The partial reprieve of Sakineh, triggered by the call from her children for international pressure to save her life, has shown that if enough of us come together and voice our horror, we may be able to save her life, and stop stoning once and for all. Sign the urgent petition now and send it onto everyone you know — let’s end this cruel slaughter NOW!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

Sakineh was convicted of adultery, like all the other 12 women and one of the men awaiting stoning. But her children and lawyer say she is innocent and that she did not get a fair trial — they state her confession was forced from her and, speaking only Azerbaijani, she did not understand what was being asked of her in court.

Despite Iran’s signing of a UN convention that requires the death penalty only be used for the “most serious crimes” and despite the Iranian Parliament passing a law banning stoning last year, stoning for adultery continues.

Sakineh’s lawyer says the Iranian government “is afraid of Iranian public reaction and international attention” to the stoning cases. And after Turkey and Britain’s Foreign Ministers spoke out against Sakineh’s sentence, it was suspended.

Sakineh’s brave children are leading the international campaign to save their mother and stop stoning. Massive international condemnation now could finally stop this sickening punishment. Let’s join together today across the world to end this brutality. Sign the petition to save Sakineh and end stoning here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

In hope and determination,

Alice, David, Milena, Ben and the whole Avaaz team

SOURCES:

Iranians still facing death by stoning despite ‘reprieve’, The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/08/iran-death-stoning-adultery

Britain condemns planned Iran stoning as ‘medieval’, AFP:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hjVdkvkzicGeInqw2R10rCKrqs3A

The more people join this campaign, the more powerful our call will be to save her life — please tell everyone YOU CAN.

536,222 have signed the petition at the time I did. Help get to number to 600,000.

Sign here.

-Cara

Being so gay was so fun this year.

Gay Slide Show – http://www.flickr.com/photos/angel_girl_x/sets/72157624249364871/show/

Gay Details – http://www.flickr.com/photos/angel_girl_x/sets/72157624249364871/detail/

I loved it.

-Cara

Adlai Stevenson “The Egghead” NYC 1956 ©George S. Zimbel 1956/2007

“The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the Bill of Rights, to freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak of anti-communism.”

Adlai Stevenson, August 27, 1952

Things have come full circle, now instead of anti-communism they call in anti-terrorism. Take a moment to find out what rights we have lost as a country, as a people, in the name of anti-terrorism. When you do, let me know. I will start the list below.

  1. NSA Warrant-less Surveillance Controversy – concerns surveillance of persons within the United States incident to the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the war on terror. Under this program, referred to by the Bush administration as the “terrorist surveillance program”,  part of the broader President’s Surveillance Program, the NSA is authorized by executive order to monitor phone calls, e-mails, Internet  activity, text messaging, and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the U.S., without warrants.

Adlai also said earlier in the same speech, “For it is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them. ”

Ain’t that the truth.

-Cara

In case anyone is interested The Nature of Existence is playing at the Quad in New York, at least till June 22nd. I’m going to check it out.

Here’s what it’s about…in case you hate trailers. :]

What if you asked the religious experts, gurus, scientists, and everyday people of the world why we exist? Why are we here, and what are we supposed to do about it? What started the Universe, and was it a mistake? Does God exist, and why does he seem so interested in our sex lives? After exploring the phenomenon of Trekkies, filmmaker Roger Nygard took on The Nature of Existence. Nygard wrote down the toughest 85 questions he could think of, roamed the globe to the source of each of the world’s philosophies, religions, and belief systems, and interviewed people who have influenced, inspired, or freaked out humanity.

-Cara

Let’s use this Democracy we are so blessed to have. It will work if you work! Sign this petition that Care2.com hosts, urging the U.S. Senate to pass strong legislation that will lift this $75 “chump change” million dollar cap, and make BP and other multi-billion dollar polluters responsible for the damages their disasters have on our communities, environment and shared resources. Stand up and be counted.

Target: U.S. Senate
Sponsored by: Food and Water Watch

Fishing boats are docked, seafood prices are skyrocketing and oil is still washing up on the shores throughout the Gulf of Mexico. We may not know the full impact of the BP oil rig explosion, yet one thing is clear: the oil spill is BP’s fault and they should pay for the harm they’re causing.

The current law puts a $75 million cap on how much an oil company has to pay in the event of a disaster. Unfortunately, the fishing communities, restaurant owners, tourism industry and other individuals affected by the oil spill have already lost more.

Urge the U.S. Senate to pass strong legislation that will lift this cap, and make BP and other multi-billion dollar polluters responsible for the damages their disasters have on our communities, environment and shared resources.

It’s time to bring electric cars to the forefront, solar panels, wind power, water power

Do something.

-Cara

Martin Niemoeller

Martin Niemöller, a German theologian and pastor, on a visit to the United States after the war. A leader of the anti-Nazi Confessing Church, he spent the last 7 years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. United States, October 4, 1946.

In Germany, they came first for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time, there was no one left to speak up.

—Martin Niemöller

See.

-Cara

Here is another Care2.org petition. This one is about saving bears in Russia! Please take a second to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. They are trying to reach 50000 signatures – please sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/534/084/459

Target: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

Sponsored by: International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

During Russia’s annual bear hunt, hibernating mother bears are lured out of their dens by dogs to be shot and killed, leaving their infant cubs to freeze or starve to death. Each year, den hunting leaves up to 4,000 cubs motherless. Some of these homeless cubs end up as pets to local villagers, while others are taken as cruel props for entertainment or to be eaten in restaurants. Most are abandoned and left to die.

You can give these tiny bundles of fur a second chance at life. Please urge the Russian Prime Minister to ban the cruel practice of den-hunting.

It is one thing to hunt bears in the summer, but it is cruel to wake them and kill them during hibernation. It is just as disgusting as hunting wolves from the air.

Please ban the practice of den-hunting of bears in all of Russia.Den hunting — waking hibernating bears, driving them out of their dens and then shooting the frightened and confused animals — is not only cruel to the bears shot, but also to the orphaned cubs left behind.

Den hunting kills thousands of bears each year and orphans many thousands more. In some areas of Russia, and in Western and Eastern Europe, brown bears are already extinct. The bears being hunted in Russia are from the last healthy population in the world.

Here is the petition, http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/534/084/459

Thank you for your consideration of ending this cruel practice.

-Cara

Gay Pride that’s what…but what happens first??? The Veggie Pride Parade, but even before that is the Veggie Prom of 2010!!!! Say what??? :] Here is a little promo for both events, as I think being a vegetarian or vegan is super fresh.

veggie prom

Veggie Prom is 8 p.m. Friday, May 14, 2010. It will be at Littlefield in Park Slope: 622 Degraw Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.

Click on the prom flyer above for more info. A raffle will benefit Mercy for Animals. They say creative prom attire is encouraged, couple themes welcomed and like as in life, no date required.

Then post prom is the big parade.

Veggie Pride Parade

NEXT VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE:
SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010 info@vivavegie.org….….
212-242-0011

  • LINE-UP TIME 11 a.m.
  • LAUNCH TIME: 12 Noon
  • DATE: Sunday, May 16, 2010
  • START LOCATION: West Village, where Little West 12th St., Gansevoort St., Greenwich St. and 9th Avenue converge. (NOTE: Start location is 2 blocks south of 14th Street and 9th Avenue.)

Go veggies (and fruits)! ;]

-Cara

Electric Mini

Alright people this Care2.com petition needs some more people to sign, let’s make it happen.

Here’s what’s it about,

Target: National Automobile Dealers Association Director
Sponsored by: Union of Concerned Scientists

In early April the Obama White House announced a strong final rule for national fuel economy standards for vehicles. The new rule would help cut global warming pollution, reduce America’s oil consumption, and save consumers billions of dollars at the gas pump.

But now the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is suing to block the new fuel standards and keep cleaner cars off our roads.

Take action and tell your state’s National Automobile Dealer’s Association director that American drivers want cleaner cars, not obstructionist lawsuits.

Here is what the letter says that they send off to the NADA Director…

Dear NADA Director,

As both a potential customer and a concerned citizen of our state, I am writing to express my profound disappointment that the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has decided to use its lawyers and lobbyists to try to keep cleaner cars away from American drivers.

Today’s autos emit hundreds of thousands of tons of smog-forming and cancer-causing emissions every year. In fact, only four nations emit more global warming pollution than U.S. autos do alone! The new national clean car standards will ensure that the cars, pickups, and SUVs we find on your lot maximize today’s technology to save gasoline and minimize hazardous emissions. The auto industry and union support this effort.

Yet NADA lawyers and lobbyists seem determined to turn back the clock and deny me the clean car choices I want. You litigate to stop progress toward implementing clean car standards that can protect the air we breathe and lobby to block the government’s ability to rein in global warming pollution from cars.

[Your comment inserted here]

As a state director for NADA, you are culpable for this irresponsible stance, and I will be letting all of my friends and colleagues know this. I hope, instead, to be able to tell them that you have stood up for drivers in our state and demanded that NADA end all legal and lobbying efforts to delay or defeat clean car standards.

I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]

I want my electric car!

-Cara

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