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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

“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

Finally something to do with the soda can tabs I pop off all the time, the “Do It Yourself Picture Hanger“. The Make Projects site has more details on how to get the job done.

This is a simple but great idea.

-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.

Fake News

I think I may start posting pictures to bring the point home of what is going on in my world. I don’t need to go all into it, this picture here is a perfect example of what I mean.

Maybe this will help us connect and realize we are not he only ones out there that see this ridiculous truth.

:]

-Cara

 

The EPOC headset and Tan Le are super fly.  In just a few years I imagine the headset will be minute, hidden from vision. I will walk into a room and control it with my mind.

Watch out world…

-Cara

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

That is the truth.

-Cara

I’ve watched this two days in a row. I wasn’t going to post it as it makes me vulnerable and I worry what people think, then I thought to myself, but it is really awesome. Brené Brown is too awesome and intelligent to hide away. She gives people an important piece of the puzzle to understanding how to live a better life. That sounds soooo that way I know, but it is true, so deal with it.

Watch it, you have nothing to lose and if you hate it you can just let me have it…but I don’t think you will. :]

-Cara

Last Woman Standing

Last Woman Standing (click photo for better size/look)

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 91st of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

It has taken me awhile to get to this set. I know it is for a few different reasons. One, I don’t want to think about this Championship being Suzy Hotrod’s last game with Queens of Pain. I mean really? That’s crazy.  I am also sad the Ladies of Pain lost as they have always been my favorite team and well, I wanted them to win. Sorry Bronx, I love you, just in a different way. :] Also, strange enough my camera was acting up, so I did not get that many great shots that night. Then it died soon after half-time and the spare re-chargeable batteries needed charging. It was a disaster. Honestly, I did not mind that so much. I could focus more on the game, instead of getting a shot.

Here are the rest of the pictures from that night, Day 91 – Queens of Pain VS. Bronx Gridlock Championship.

It was a great Championship game. I can’t say it enough, I love roller derby. Now that I have some time till I get to watch some more derby maybe I’ll go grab some new skates (my old Pac Mans are near death), and skate around town. I need something to fill the void.

Till next season ladies.

-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

Day 57 - Homosapien Friendly

Homosapien Friendly

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 57th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

Today’s photo of the day is an obvious bit of self promotion for Be Nice, my organic cotton, hand printed, unique designs t-shirt business. I printed up two new designs for Be Nice this last weekend. One being Homosapien Friendly, a design by Marine Boudeau, which is today’s picture of the day. The second new addition to Be Nice’s repertoire is Who Stars, a design by me, Cara Reynolds. There are also the two slightly altered-for-the-better tees, Binary Queer and Wind Turbines. To check out all these new additions go to Day 57 – Be Nice.

You may pre-order the new designs if you so desire. :] Please send an e-mail to info[at]ubenice[dot]com for this special promotion before they are released on the site to all. Be Nice shirts are only $25. Send the email and we’ll get the ball rolling on delivering your new, soft, hand printed, organic cotton, super fly tee to you asap.

Much love.

-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

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

Day 33 - Vines

Shoes Vines

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 33rd of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

I don’t know the street name, but this place is on a small side street on the way to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. I’ll look next time I walk by it.

Check out the rest, Day 33 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Recycle, Reuse.

-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

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

I am the last person to judge, but… ;] I was just reading this article on the NPR site entitled, Web 2.0 Suicide Machine: Erase Your Virtual Life. It is all about deleting your web 2.0 life using this Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. Killing your Facebook, Twitter and the like. I mean they change your password, your profile picture and don’t give you said information, they un-friend and un-follow everyone…there is literally no turning back. Isn’t it exciting?

The site has become wildly famous, so much so that they were featured in the critically acclaimed series, South Park. :] Facebook has even sent them a cease and desist letter. It gives me a warm feeling.

It may be a time for me to think about this whole social network thing going on, reassess the situation as they say. I will test the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine using my personal Twitter account and record it for this entry. Be right back. Okay, my first attempt was unsuccessful, the servers it seems are too busy. Too many people are unplugging themselves. I guess it will have to wait. Ugh, now it is killing me… Let me go do something else.

Alright, so far it is a no go and I am tired of trying. I will destroy my Twitter account later today if possible, maybe even my MySpace, Linkedin (these are simple as I rarely use them) and someday, yes, someday possibly my Facebook! Until then I will post this entry on my Facebook Wall (I said it!) to see if anyone else secretly wants to break free.

See you on the outside.

-Cara

Be attentive.

…and no the video is not my work. ;]

Happy Friday.

-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

Schlitz is Vegan

I stumbled across this site VeganVanguard.com which brought to my attention that some beers are not vegetarian/vegan. Turns out certain beers are filtered using products derived from animals. For example, isinglass (one of the oldest sources of gelatin) is a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish. It is a form of collagen used mainly as a as a fining agent for wine and beer. Then there is also other types of gelatin used for the clarification of wine and beer derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones. Say what?

VeganVanguard.com compiled a list that you should go check out. They have the “yeas and neighs and awaiting replies” list for your perusal. If you don’t see your brew here and want to know more, contact the manufacture and ask.

Three non-vegan beers listed were:

Barley Creek Brewing Company

Website: http://www.barleycreek.com
Concerns: This breweries specialty beers are fined using isinglass. Some of their specialty beers also contain animal products in the ingredients. All other types of beer from this brewery are fined using gelatin. Farmer uses the spent grain as feed.
Correspondance: 11/06/03
1. Are there any animal products or byproducts (honey, etc) contained in any of your beers?
“Yes (a few of our specialty brews)”
2. Are there any animal products or byproducts (isinglass, gelatin, etc) used in the manufacture (such as in the filtering or fining process) of your products? While materials used in fining do not end up in the final product, strict vegans have an aversion to the use of animal products in situations as such.
“Yes (Isinglass for cask conditioned brews & Clear Fine, a gelatin for the others)”
3. What does your company do with the waste grain after it is used?
“Farmer gets the spent grain after a brew and uses it as feed. We feel it is better than filling up land fills with it.”
Bayhawk Ales

Website: http://www.bayhawkales.com
Concerns: This brewery’s products are filtered using animal products some of the time. However, their Stout and Hefe Weizen beer are unfiltered and therefore considered vegan.  Aside from being filtered with animal products, Honey Blonde Ale contains honey which some vegans choose to avoid.
Correspondance: 5/26/03
“85% of the time our beers are not fined with animal products. We have two beers that are never filtered, Stout and Hefe Weizen. To the best of my knowledge, no animal products ever come in contact with these two beers. We do employ Honey in our Honey Blonde Ale. Regarding our spent grain, this has always been a source of great concern to me. Unfortunately at this point in time, we have to dispose of it with the regular garbage.”
Lucky Labrador Brew Pub (Portland, Oregon)

Website: http://www.luckylab.com
Concerns: Only the beer “Organic Golden” is vegan. Spent grain is used as livestock feed by a local farmer.
Correspondance: 6/13/03
“We have one vegan beer, Organic Golden, that is 100% organic (no finings). However, we recently heard that processed Carbon Dioxide has minute traces of non-organic substances. We have not confirmed this though. Do you know? Our grain is picked up by a cattle farmer and an organic farmer.”

You can see more of their list here.

In my search for cute, funny old school beer ads I found this other site Barnivore, a vegan wine, beer and liquor guide. I wanted to make sure Schlitz Beer was vegan before I used their ad in this entry. They are. :] This site is more extensive, check it out.

Cheers.

-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

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

Nneka is what’s up.

-Cara

I just received this petition from Care2.com and thought I’d spread the word. See below…

Target: Michigan House
Sponsored by: American Humane Association

Michigan House Bill 6042, the Humane Euthanasia of Shelter Animals Act, and House Bill 6043 both would ensure that when the state’s unwanted, sick or unadoptable shelter animals have to be euthanize, the procedure will only be done by injection of sodium phenobarbital. This method is called euthanasia by injection.

The American Humane Association considers euthanasia by injection to be the only acceptable and humane means of euthanasia for animals in animal shelters.

Even though a majority of the shelters in the state use euthanasia by injection, 10 still use outdated, inhumane gas chambers. Shelter workers overwhelmingly wish to hold and comfort a frightened animal in its final moments of life. That act may be the only kindness the animal has ever known.

In contrast, even with vigilant oversight, euthanizing any animal by means of a carbon monoxide or dioxide gas chamber is both severely inhumane to medium and large animals, and demoralizing to the workers who have to euthanize. Such outdated practices also create public outcry and demean the purpose of an animal shelter.

HB 4263 is sponsored by Rep. Rick Jones and was drafted by American Humane Association and the State Bar of Michigan Animal Law Section. And HB 4803 would amend the bill entitled, “Dog Law of 1919.” Please sign today to support these bills.

Figure out a way not to kill animals at all.

I said it.

-Cara

omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

To quote a line from a cinematic great, Bitch Slap (also an ancient Chinese military general and strategist, Sun Tzu),

All warfare is based on deception.

Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable;
when using our forces, we must seem inactive;
when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away;
when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Hold out baits to entice the enemy.
Feign disorder, and crush him.

You rarely see the small things and they are what will destroy you, not big, scary monsters, those we see.

-Cara

smokey the bear

I have been super obsessed with trash lately. I think about it with every piece of garbage I throw out. Most of the thoughts I have revolve around, could I have I recycled that, if not, why? I feel that everything we make should be able to be recycled and if you can’t recycle it, don’t make it. Let me also emphasize that means if you can recycle it without releasing deadly toxins into the air, water or land.

I am no saint, I don’t want to have to clean my yogurt container, aluminum foil, plastic everything ever really. I do it, but I do not enjoy the process. I think it has to do with America and its not very user friendly local recycling processes.  There is no national recycling marketing machine out there educating us on what we can and can not recycle throughout our lives. We are not given the tools, for example, recycling bins clearly labeled on what should be contained within them. It is not second nature and could be quite easily.  I learned many things about fire prevention from Smokey the Bear. The Ad Council is a powerful tool to get some recycling PSAs out there.

Another thing is there are no real negative consequences for people who are not recycling, nor are there positive ones for people who do. We all enjoy a little positive reinforcement now and again. There are laws in America against littering in public places, but not for littering in define places. That seems ignorant. We should not be able to litter anywhere. Landfills are a disaster.

I did a little research on garbage decomposition to get myself more motivated. Here is what I came up with.

Glass…most forms of glass will never decompose or biodegrade ever. There is this glass, Obsidian, that dates back to the Cretaceous (Latin for “chalky”) geologic period and system from circa 145.5 ± 4 to 65.5 ± 0.3 million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows on the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the Cenozoic era.  For those who don’t want to do the math, that means about 36 million to 65 million year old glass. That’s crazy, some poor dinosaur foot cutting glass. I said it. :]

The good thing about glass is how simple it is to recycle. Virgin glass is primarily made of sand, lime and soda. A glass manufacturer’s boiler must run at about 2192 degrees Fahrenheit (1200 degrees Celsius) to melt the sand, soda, and lime into glass. Making glass from recycled glass uses 32% less energy than making virgin glass because it melts at a much lower temperature. This process is to shatter the glass into small fragments called “cullet”. You then melt that down to make new glass. Products made from recycled glass save on the extraction of raw materials and produce approximately 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than virgin glass. Point, recycle your glass don’t just throw it out.

I think I’ll stop with glass for today, maybe we’ll catch up with plastic bottles and bags at a later date.

Recycle, Reuse.

-Cara

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