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Day 135 - Snowflake

Day 135 - Snowflake

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 135th 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.

Denise and I were walking one night and it started to lightly snow. I looked down and on my coat there was the most perfect snowflake, it seemed unreal. Neither of us had ever seen snowflakes like that in the entirety of our lives. We didn’t believe it until another perfect snowflake landed next to the first. This picture is of that second snowflake. They were so beautiful. It was like magic…

That was the first time Denise and I experienced snow together.

-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

Here’s what the person who did this video has to say…

This is a performance meant to entertain and inspire.

If you want to help…

http://www.squidoo.com/help-the-homeless-for-free

As I said this is a performance. I don’t want there to be any doubts about my situation. I am a performer. I have a roof over my head and I have yet to start my own family. But this video isn’t about me. This is for the men, women and children on our streets who don’t have bright green puppets on their hands. The people who aren’t always as easy to see. This is for you.

Look around and see there are good people out there.

See.

-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

Looking

Looking

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 50th 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.

This Sunday Marine came over to hang out for a bit.

Here are the rest of the photographs from that day, Day 50 – Marine and the Babies.

-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

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

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

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

Human Rights Campaign

This week the New York State Senate has voted against marriage equality for same-sex couples. I think the majority of constituents were not expecting the vote to turn out this way. Human Rights Campaign quickly put together this petition to elected Senate officials.

Sign this petition so New York leaders can hear your voices

Sign this petition – and make sure the New York leaders who supported this bill know they did the right thing.

HRC will deliver these petitions to New York’s governor, state Senators who supported the bill, and leaders who have championed it from the beginning. The petition reads:

“I’m outraged that marriage equality did not pass in New York, but I’m not going to stop fighting until marriage equality is the law of the land, in New York and across the country. I thank New York’s leaders who fought for this bill.

Listen, am I of the gay persuasion? Sure, who isn’t a little bit really. ;-] Do I believe in the actual institution of marriage? Yes, as far as the business end is concerned. I mean the part where is you receive the same fresh benefits as “heterosexuals” do from the that government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The emotional, spiritual side of a marriage I think you can have without an official certificate of marriage. This is a no brainer.  You may call the commitment ceremony anything you want government, just give everyone the same benefits.

Fair is fair.

-Cara

FairTradeCertifiedCoffee

I forget sometimes how important buying fair trade is. I don’t want small children working, picking my cocoa beans to survive, and possibly being abused at the same time. I want kids to be kids, to play, laugh and just be. I want a responsible world where people who have the power to make a huge difference do just that. We have the power to, in astronomical numbers, change how companies operate in this world. We can support fair trade products and if they don’t carry them in your local store, ask them to. We live in a world where distributors can get you anything you’d like. It is not much more money to buy fair trade.  I would rather pay more and buy fair trade chocolate than to pay a cheaper price to support a company that allows families to not receive a fair wage (i.e. – contributing to the poverty of cocoa farmers) and where children have to work for a living instead of just living.

You can take a minute to take action by sending a letter through Green America to Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury, http://www.greenamericatoday.org/takeaction/cadbury/.  Here is a bit from Green America about what is going on with Todd and Cadbury.

England’s leading chocolate bar, Cadbury Dairy Milk, has announced plans to begin using Fair Trade cocoa in summer 2009. The significance of this fantastic news is that Cadbury is the first major chocolate brand to go Fair Trade with one of its main product lines, one of the goals Green America has been striving towards. Cadbury’s announcement proves what Green America has been saying for years: it is viable for a major chocolate bar to go Fair Trade without passing a significant cost increase to consumers. Congratulations on this important victory to all of you who have taken action by buying a Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate bar or writing a letter to bring us to this moment!

The deal, which will bring the Fair Trade label to 15% of the chocolate sold in England, is welcomed by Green America and our allies on both sides of the Atlantic. Increasing the amount of chocolate sold on the Fair Trade market is an important step to improve the lives of farmers around the world.

That doesn’t mean that Cadbury is now a model of sustainability. Here in the US, Cadbury’s chocolates are not Fair Trade Certified™.

Learn more about Cadbury from Green America’s Responsible Shopper.

By contrast, Green Business Network™ members in the confectionery industry like Sweet Earth Chocolates, Equal Exchange, Alter Eco, and Divine have been pioneering Fair Trade and sustainable practices for decades, and are 100% Fair Trade.

As we all know, it is critical to write companies to pressure them to improve their performance on human rights and the environment. But it is just as important to thank companies when they make a change for the better, so that company executives can bring an outpouring of positive feedback to their boards, shareholders, and employees to sustain their new, responsible practices and promote more change.

Please join Green America and Fair Trade advocacy organizations around the world in generating as many letters as possible to:

* congratulate Cadbury on the Fair Trade certification of their Dairy Milk bar in the UK

* ask Cadbury, Hershey (Cadbury’s US manufacturer) and Green and Black’s Organic (owned by Cadbury) to expand their commitment to Fair Trade in the United States by introducing more Fair Trade Certified products.

Then, commit to seeking out Fair Trade chocolate for special occasions, such as Easter eggs from Green Business leaders like Sweet Earth Organic and Divine Chocolate, instead of buying Cadbury’s Crème Egg.

Here is the form letter below. You may alter it to say what you want as well. This is the link where you are able to send and alter said letter.

Subject: Thank you for your fair trade commitment!

Dear Todd Stitzer, CEO, Cadbury:

As a conscious consumer and as a member of Green America, I would like to congratulate Cadbury on your plans to earn Fair Trade certification for the Dairy Milk bar in the United Kingdom. Thanks to your company for taking the leadership role among major chocolate brands in earning Fair Trade certification for an iconic chocolate bar with wide distribution and broad public recognition.

Through your leadership, Cadbury will transform the lives of cocoa farmers and their families, while contributing to a higher standard for ethical sourcing among major chocolate brands. Grassroots activists have been pressing major chocolate brands for years to become Fair Trade Certified. I regularly purchase chocolate from companies that offer Fair Trade Certified products in the United States because with each pound of Fair Trade cocoa purchased a fair deal is made with small-scale farmers in Ghana and other cocoa-producing countries. I am appalled at the existence of abusive child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa and do not want to buy chocolate picked by one of the hundreds of thousands of children working under “the worst forms of child labor,” as the US State Department reported. I choose to support companies that source Fair Trade because I believe that farmers should earn a price for their cocoa that allows them to meet their basic needs and have the right to participate in democratic organizations to decide the use of community development funds. Cadbury’s Fair Trade certification is a significant leap forward in resolving these issues and is a landmark for corporate social responsibility.

I look forward to the day that I will be able to buy Fair Trade Certified products from Cadbury in the United States. I am pleased that Cadbury Green and Black’s Organic has one Fair Trade bar and I encourage Cadbury to work with Hershey as your US licensee to extend Fair Trade certification to your entire range of Cadbury and Green & Black’s products.

Families in my community seek out Fair Trade Certified chocolate for special occasions like Easter. Expanding Cadbury’s commitment to Fair Trade in the United States by introducing more Fair Trade Certified products, such as Cadbury Creme Easter Eggs, Mini Eggs, Dairy Milk, and multiple types of Green and Black’s bars would give families in my community a reason to purchase more of Cadbury’s products.

I hope that Cadbury will join with communities like mine across the US to denounce forced and child labor, support small farmers and expand the selection of Fair Trade Certified products available in the United States.

Sincerely,
Your Name
Your City and State

I make the commitment to only buy fair trade, organic chocolate.

I said it!

-Cara

the market nyc

I know all my stalkers like to know when they can catch a glance of me from a safe distance of 20 to 30 feet, well tomorrow is your lucky day!  Marine and I will be selling our cute, handmade, organic, soft shirts at The Market NYC for the first time. This all courtesy of our green little company, “be nice“. If you would like to learn more about it, you can on the “be niceblog!

Hope to see some non-crazy peeps there as well.

:]

-Cara

OK kids, this is the last day of Rachel Maddow’s coverage of, “The Truth About The Lies About ACORN” on MSNBC.

Sept. 29: “Who’s Next?”

Listen people the revolution is happening, it is time. This is a very important time in our history, we need to find a balance, we need to get along and take care of each other…all of us. It is not OK for some to have and for others to have not. When there are large media publicized tragedies that happen like a hurricane, a tornado, a tsunami, people all around the world come together to help each other. These tragic stories are fine for the media to cover as their is not the fear of a monetary or power loss to anyone. They are tragedies happening all around us that are trying to be seen through this mass media haze…you need to look and see.

The one thing I know is when I do the right thing, my life is better. I want that better life for everyone. I don’t want people to have to continually fight for what’s right, I just want people to do right so they to can have a better life like the rest of us.

-Cara

I speak for myself.

I have thought about writing about ACORN before, but thought this can’t go on for long and maybe I should keep what I think to myself. Today I feel different. What is going on right in front of everyone is crazy, but no one is looking, not really letting what is happening register. This world is going to implode on itself if people don’t wake up out of this fog we seem to have gotten lost in.

People I care about are being let go, losing their jobs, where they have worked really hard for very little monetary gain. I honestly have never worked at a place where I truly believe people are working more than they are wasting away on their super social networking sites, tweeting, pinging, blogging, and just passing time till they can leave.

People are registered to vote, whose voices are now being heard, their presence being felt. Families getting homes and keeping homes. People less worried about where they are going to live, having time to breath, to think, to be more aware of what is going on around them. Having time to make a difference. In any organization there are problems, especially when you are busy fighting the good fight, so why not help ACORN fix these problems and make ACORN better. What is the point of destroying them? It is important to think about why is this really happening, and who this is happening too. It is much bigger than ACORN.

I just discovered these videos today on the ACORN web site (or should I say I finally decided to watch them…) and am super impressed. It is crazy, a woman reporter, on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow sees the big picture and saying something…on mass media. Listen, if you know me, you know I am no fan of mass media, this is an important moment. I will stop going on about this and give you the link…

Day One – September 24th, 2009: “The Media Fails ACORN” [There is an ad in the beginning of the video, sorry about that, just mute it. ]

Rachel Maddow

This is the time to see what is going on and do something about it. Go volunteer at ACORN. Go read a book. Go do something selfless for someone else. Start doing something different and see the change.

That’s right I said it.

-Cara

Lester Barnhill

I have not written in awhile. It has been awhile since I have written.

My Papa died at 1AM something this morning (September 28th, 2009), the exact time I already can not remember. He was the last of my grandparents. Well, the last of the grandparents I have known in my life. The last of my true grandparents. I need to write a memorial to him by tomorrow morning.

Here is what I think it will say,

I remember growing up with my Papa. He grew tropical fruits in his backyard, played golf, sewed upholstery for chairs he built, baked, read books, wrote, grew orchids, fixed and built anything and everything. These were among a million of his talents.

He would take me with him once he was retired, to fix up mostly older widows’ homes who needed some help with this or that. He was a good person that way. I myself have always had a keen interest in fixing things and I was lucky enough to have a Papa who knew how to fix everything. I mean what were the chances? He taught me so much.

He could do everything and was fun to be around. He was also kind, intelligent, strong, dashing and an honorable gentleman. He loved me and really believed in me. This gave me strength and confidence. Growing up around someone so extraordinary made me much less ordinary. This is something I have been blessed with in regards to the people I have been closest with, starting with my family. He is a large part of what has made me who I am today.

I miss him so much already. It is hard when people you share so many of your memories with pass. I just try to remember that I was blessed to have had the time I did with him, then think about the good times.

The End.

-Cara

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an amazing organization. We need to get people to stop destroying these defenseless marine mammals.

Do this awesome (and simple) thing to help people to become more aware of what is going on.

See Below!

Speak Out Now to Protect Whales in the Pacific Northwest

Stop Dangerous Sonar

The Navy is about to begin five years of sonar training that could harass or injure marine mammals 650,000 times. Tell our government to put protections in place now!

Stop Dangerous Sonar

Dear World,

We only have a few days left to demand better protections for whales and dolphins that will soon be facing Navy sonar in the Pacific Northwest.

The Navy is about to launch five years of sonar training in some of the nation’s richest marine habitat, including the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary — home to 29 different species of marine mammals.

Click here and tell the National Marine Fisheries Service to put protections in place that could save these animals from harassment, injury or even death.

Your official comment must be submitted by next Monday, August 10.

The Fisheries Service has proposed a rule that would allow the Navy “to take” — harass or injure — marine mammals 130,000 times during each year of the sonar training.

That is a total of 650,000 acoustic assaults on whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals.

The Navy’s mid-frequency sonar systems are designed to detect enemy submarines. Its warships deploy underwater speakers that blast the ocean with noise in excess of 235 decibels — a sonic barrage thousands of times more powerful than a jet engine at takeoff.

That barrage of noise can disrupt biologically critical activities like feeding, navigating and breeding. And the Navy itself has admitted that sonar can even kill whales.

At risk in the Pacific Northwest: blue whales, gray whales, beaked whales, harbor porpoises and the very last endangered Southern Resident killer whales — only 83 of them left! — plus dozens of other marine mammal species.

These whales should not have to suffer needless injury or harassment for the sake of military practice.

The Fisheries Service must bar or limit the Navy from operating dangerous sonar in the most sensitive habitats, like the Olympic Marine Sanctuary.

Common-sense precautions like this will not compromise military training or readiness.

Click here now and tell the Fisheries Service to put safeguards in place that will reduce the harassment and injury of tens of thousands of marine mammals over the next five years.

Please make your voice heard by Monday. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Frances
Frances Beinecke
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

Here is some more on this…and yes there will be more to come!

We can do anything!!!

-Cara

Jung

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

– Carl Jung

I like this quote. I founds  it on this blog, Reach the Sky.  I stumbled upon this particular blog, because somehow someone came from there to here. I like it when I discover things this way.

Let me start with saying I only know of Jung and not so much about him, so I did some quick research to make sure he wasn’t a crazy megalomaniac, or a human slave trader or slayer, etc. It seems he was none of these things. He was a white, Swiss psychiatrist turned philosopher. He was way into alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts. His most notable ideas include the concept of psychological archetypes, the collective unconscious and synchronicity. This is cool because I like the quote and am now interested in what this Jung may have to say. My mind has been in need of something new to absorb…

Anyway, back to the quote, I think the heart he speaks of is the soul or part of the collective unconsciousness and through connecting to that collective unconscious, we begin to change the thought process of the world.  Our energy begins to shift. People or the individual I should say do not realize the power they have to change the world just through their mind/soul/heart. To see the world just as it is in front of you is an unrealistic vision, only a part of the whole. The reality of the world/universe/existence is more than we can see physically, but not metaphysically….that’s right I said it.

Awaken yourself.

-Cara

BluePlanetEarth

Zeitgeist (n) – the spirit of the time; the spirit characteristic of an age or generation

Addendum (n) -something to be added

I never watched Zeitgeist: The Movie. I came across Zeitgeist: Addendum the other day and since my thinking hasn’t been the same. It has given me a better sense of focus, new ideas to think about and hope. Look, I am not saying I am drinking the Kool-Aide, there are things I don’t agree with; for one, their take on religion. I get where they are coming from, but I am enlightened to something else.

I will not go on and on about the movie. If you want to watch it for free you can here (although I am not sure why they would choose Google Video to host the movie. It is part of the problem, not the solution. Maybe they feel it will reach a bigger audience, but I am not too sure that is the way to go. UPDATE 1-22-2011 I JUST CLICKED ON THE LINK AND IT GOES TO VIMEO NOW. THAT’S COOL.). I myself downloaded it from someone else.  I am going to watch Zeitgeist: The Movie at some point, but for now I still have a lot to think about with Zeitgeist: Addendum, so I’ll wait. Addendum can definitely stand alone.

I would love to hear people’s opinion after watching the film. I have already had a few cool conversations about it. I have burned it for a couple of people. I would like to keep passing it around and then people can pass their copies around and see how fast it spreads.  I want a better world and I know it is possible.

Do not fear the robots.

-Cara

antibispread1

Marine is doing some research for our organic t-shirt business, be nice and sent me this web site, http://actionnetwork.org/. They are a part of Environmental Defense. One of their featured action alerts has to do with humans increasing resistance to antibiotics. Go here to send a message to your Congressperson and Senators.

I, myself have never been a big fan of Western medicine, especially that flu shot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that flu shot is just the government doing some crazy testing on us or something to that affect. I am sure of it! It is the same way with goldenseal root and penicillin, if you take them for too long or just take too much you become immune to their positive/healing effects. I also think that Western medicine mostly covers up the aches and pains of sickness till you heal, unlike natural vitamins and herbs that act as a preventative measure and heals you rather than covering up the sickness.

Heal naturally when possible.

-Cara

It is awesome…

sinsational

-Cara

Living in NYC, it is strange to wrap my mind around all that nature and chimpanzees swinging around everywhere. I think any of those jobs would be cool. The coffee sniffing, the chimpanzees studying and the farming, but maybe not on such a large scale. I’m more of a fire escape gardener than coffee farmer.

I love organic coffee, chimpanzees and fair trade!!!

-Cara

raise-hope-button

This petition to end the abuse towards women and girls is sponsored by CARE.

The Breakdown:

War has ravaged the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for more than two decades. Almost 5.5 million people are dead, and the wounds of the conflict are deep and enduring.

Women in the DRC are victims of one of the most appalling assaults the world has witnessed. Rape and brutal sexual assaults have become tools of war — spreading HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, disfiguring women and destroying families. The violence is not only traumatizing women, but their children, who often witness the attacks or who are attacked themselves.

There is no end in sight. Tens of thousands more women and young girls are at risk with the newest wave of heavy fighting between rebel and government troops.

That’s why your support for the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) is so urgently needed. This legislation will increase protection and services for women and girls facing gender based violence, and will direct more U.S. funding to violence prevention abroad.

I feel such a sense of sadness that people feel so powerless that they take power from others weaker than themselves.

-Cara

It doesn’t so much matter what you feel about the war, America, corporate advertising, etc. The point of the matter is there are a lot of young men and women and a few adults far away from home, fighting this crazy war, that feel forgotten, homesick, crazy, sad, confused, whatever it may be and these boxes of products make them happy, they represent home, America. Who doesn’t love a bag of Skittles…come on, show your humanity and help out.

Here’s How You Do It!

Step 1: Write A Letter

Write a letter to the soldier that will receive your package. You may decorate your letter however you’d like. Do something artsy. You don’t need to put a stamp on your letter, as it will be included in your package.

Step 2: Make Your Care Package

Here are some of the things you can put in your care package:

  • A Letter
  • An awesome book
  • AA Batteries
  • Crossword, Puzzle or Sudoku Books
  • Baby wipes or hand wipes
  • Ziplock bags
  • Playing cards, Cool games
  • Writing notebooks
  • Pens
  • Stationary/note cards
  • Beanie Babies
  • Packs of Gum
  • Organic Cookies
  • Lip Balm
  • Socks
  • Tooth paste and toothbrush

Please do not include anything perishable or any home-made food. Sometimes, it takes a few weeks for packages to get to the troops. All goodies should be new and fully sealed.

Step 3: Send Your Care Package

Operation Gratitude is an organization that works with the military to find soldiers who need a care package. Please send your package to Operation Gratitude and they will get your package to a soldier.

Operation Gratitude
16444 Regugio Road
Encino, California 91436
USA

I believe in peace through knowledge.

-Cara

jeffe-me

That’s right a year ago, on January 10th, 2008, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” was formed. When I first started this blog it was to have a voice in the world that differs from mainstream television, radio, satellite, newspapers, etc.  I was inspired by the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth“, drawn into the meaning of an “inconvenient truth”, the fact that you might not want to hear what the problem is and what can be done to solve said problem, but here is the truth and now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

In the beginning, what I primarily wrote about was eco, environmental “inconvenient truths”, following in the footsteps of the film, but as time went by I began to find “inconvenient truths” in other areas as well, be it the issue of gay rights, human rights, animal rights, freedom of speech, freedom of art, whatever is going on in the world that mass media does not cover or covers up, these were the pieces I exceptionally enjoy writing about. Then there are the “recycle stuff” ones, just there for some information of what extra steps you can take to make a better world, the D.I.Y. projects using recycled materials, or just how to make something green and cool for your everyday life.  Throw in a few organic recipes, cool green events, green product reviews, games, petitions, stories of amazing people who inspire me, beautiful photos, and sometimes just a funny video to relax and you have, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth“.  :]

What I am getting at with all this is to say, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” has evolved from when I began to where it is at now. I went from doing blog entries everyday from January, 10th, 2008 to October 13th, 2008, right around when I got an official 9-5 job, to now where I may not blog everyday, but no more than a few days go by without me throwing one out there. I needed to find a balance in my life and for now this works for me. I’d rather have good ones than just have ones. :]

I really like writing this blog, even when I can’t think of what to write about, or when I’d rather be playing PlayStation with Ms. Marine or web 2.0 out on the million social networks. This blog makes me more accountable.  It is something I started and am still doing a year later (see Tony). Listen, for someone with absolutely no attention span to anything (besides computers and all things tech), I am pretty amazed that “TDAAIT” is still going. What is crazier is when I started this blog I was surprised if I got 10 hits a day, to now where I get on average over 300 unique hits a day from all over the world. Though businesses like MSNBC and other corporations that I do not have any respect for, ask me to place their advertisements on my site, I refuse. I was not working a real job when I started this blog and could have used easy money like that. Instead, I was insulted that they would even ask me, so much so I responded that they obviously had not looked at my blog, because if so they would never have asked me! In retrospect, I am sure they would have asked me anyway. In their minds people are just a herd of non-thinking cows who when they see a blinking ad, inevitably they must click on it. That goes against what I am trying to achieve here. I really hate ads everywhere. I am blessed in  many other ways through this blog, so it doesn’t need to monetarily support me as well.

What else have I gotten from writing, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth”? I have learned about a lot of bad stuff that goes on, and I have learned about good people, things and ideas, living and growing here on this Earth (I liked it when Alice Walker called humans “Earthlings” in this interview.). I maintain hope and an awesome faith that things will only get better if you do good.

Something I keep in the forefront of my mind is, what each of us does affects the other. It is not just the huge things necessarily, even our smallest thoughts affect the world. Also, we can as one person change things; who you touch in turns will touch others. You may not get the gratification of seeing the change you bring to the world directly, but if you do it, you may see the world itself change. I search for happiness and peace, by going inconveniently through its sorrows, untruths, truths, and ugliness. I also keep the faith. Faith is the most important thing, without it you are lost. I guess that is what, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” is to me, a way to not lose hope and to maintain my faith during the era that is the beginning of the end.

This year I have learned that humanity is not as bad and hopeless as it seems, so that’s cool.

-Cara

One of my former co-workers, Guillaume, brought this site to my attention. The video makes it sound like it is the start of an awesome site. There is a blog about the coming of GlobalPost. There is also a registration page, where you can sign up for the launch on January 12th.

I hope it is not an illusion or distraction. We will see.

Observe your surroundings and discover the truth.

-Cara

January 1st, 2009

January 1st, 2009, NYC, NY

It’s the New Year (shout-out to 2009) and Marine and I were searching for what’s next. On the 1st of this New Year we ended up at La Palapa Cocina Mexicana in the East Village, eating really fresh Mexican food with some fantastical margaritas (good times). It is in this magical place that we came up with a plan. Our plan is to become real life educated consumers (time frame one year), in our own way. What that means is whatever we buy we need to know before we buy:

1. Location of business in regards to our Spanish Harlem apartment (we just learned yesterday that our neighborhood’s nickname is SpaHa. I really don’t like the way SpaHa rolls off my tongue).

2. Who owns the company

3. Company’s philosophy

4. Are they green? How so?

5. How the employees are treated

6. Where does the company get their inventory

7. Price

8. Product review (by the people and the industry)

9. Company review (by the people and the industry)

Exceptions

1.    Medical Prescriptions

2.    Cigarettes

3.    We Know, you don’t need to know everything

4.    Eating out, Delivery, and Pick-Up

5.    Rent

6.    Bills like ConEd, Phone, Mobile, Web Hosting, etc.

Exceptions does not mean we do whatever we want. It is just places where we indulge somewhat, it is a freedom of sorts. Who knows where this year will lead us, but I know for myself if I try to control all my elements I fail. I need to have some leeway to breath.

Today is the 3rd of January and here is the list of things we have purchased under this new regime.

1.    New York Cake and Baking Distributor, 56 West 22nd Street, NYC, NY – $8.99, tax – $0.75, total – $9.74 -Fox Run Kitchens – French Bread Pan – Made in China, Fox Run Craftsmen Ivyland, PA 18974, Concord, ON L4K 3V4, tinplate – Cara

2.   Poland Spring Natural Spring Water, 700mL, Poland Spring Water Company, Division of Nestle Waters, North America Inc. , Greenwich, CT 06830, Mood Building Vendor, 225 W. 37th Street, NYC, NY 10018, $2.00, #1 PETE plastic bottle, blue flip top – Marine

3.    Mood Fabrics,  225 W. 37th Street, NYC, NY 10018, $100 gift card – Cara

4.    Supercuts [Regis Corporation], 460 3rd Ave, NYC, NY 10016, $19 hair cut, $5 tip – Marine (It was Marine’s first time going to a Supercuts. She had said she was going to go there before the 1st of January to experience the true American less than $20 haircut. It is something everyone should experience once.)

As you can see we haven’t done so well…so far… Keep in mind this is a learning experiment. :] We bought bottled water on the 2nd of January and I didn’t even realized we had failed until today. Marine and her SuperCuts haircut… What you have to keep in mind is we have stopped ourselves from buying multitudes of things from the 1st to today, to take the time to research. For real… I will be tracking our progress here to make myself (and maybe Marine) more accountable. I know at least one person in my family reads this on occasion… :]

Keep it real.

-Cara

——————————————

UPDATE [February 24th, 2009] – OK, I need to reassess this project as it was way more difficult than I thought. I am definitely more conscientious about what I buy, but that leave me little time to log it all. I will cover cool finds here and if it becomes easier, or I become more motivated I will track my consuming for more than one day. :]

Merry Christmas to everyone and it’s true, war is over if you want it.

Much love to all who couldn’t be home this year.

-Cara

It’s a rough call. I want the world to be a place where people don’t have to bully each other to get what they want.

What do I want?

Enlightenment.

When do I want it?

Now!

:]

-Cara

death-penalty

I am very anti-death penalty. I just don’t believe in killing anything…anything, including animals and well, anything alive. I have done other entries about The Innocence Project and how Texas judges are infamous for sleeping through death penalty trials, etc.

Today I signed up for the  Death Penalty Focus site’s newsletter and also found this petition on their site where you can sign up for the elimination of the death penalty.  See below:

Sign the petition to abolish the death penalty

I support replacing the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole because I believe: 1) there is a risk of executing innocent persons; 2) there is discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, geography, or economic status, and/or 3) the death penalty system is too expensive and the money could be better spent on education, health care, child abuse prevention, victims services, or public safety programs.

SIGN NOW!

No more killing.

-Cara

modern-transportation

This design is printed with white eco-friendly ink on a galaxy organic American Apparel t-shirt. It was designed by Marine.

Modern Transportation is a futuristic water-powered car. The design is inspired from a rain drop.

You can buy it now at ubenice.com.

Do it.

-Cara

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