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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

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pretty-snow

I think it is interesting that it is snowing tonight on the day Marine wrote this blog entry, and wore her Be Nice, “Pretty Snow” shirt. Don’t you?

:]

Cara

im-local

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

“I’m Local, talking to me will not increase your carbon footprint”. I think it is a little funny. This shirt is specifically recommended for single beings.

You can get it online at ubenice.com.

certifiably-organic

This design is printed by hand with green eco-friendly ink on a natural organic American Apparel t-shirt. It was designed by me, Cara.

“Certifiably Organic” is a shirt made for people like me who are certifiable when it comes to eating, wearing, producing all things organic. If you are crazy like me about organic, then this is the perfect shirt for you! :]

You can find “Certifiably Organic” online at ubenice.com.

Be nice.

-Cara

benice

This design is printed with green eco-friendly ink on a natural organic American Apparel t-shirt. It was designed by me, Cara.

“benice” is the name of our be nice mascot. We aren’t really sure what benice is, but we do know that benice is fresh and just wants people to be nice and do good.

You can find benice at ubenice.com.

-Cara

headersplashbg

Be Nice isn’t just a cool site with organic, original shirts, but Marine and I have also created a Be Nice blog to keep people up to date with what’s going on with the two fresh chics and their biz.

You can get to it from, http://ubenice.com or go directly to the blog at, http://www.ubenice.com/blog/.

A girl can never have too many blogs.

-Cara

icecreamtruck

Amendment 2 is an initiative on Florida’s November ballot that if passed would limit the rights of both homosexual and heterosexual couples to form civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Gay marriage is already banned under Florida state law, but the initiative’s authors want to go a step further. The initiative states that “no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”

Amendment 2’s supporters say that their intent is only to define marriage and not affect civil unions, but if so, then why include the “substantial equivalent” language in the initiative?

A similar initiative passed in Michigan in 2004, and as a result the state’s courts prohibited public employers from recognizing domestic partnerships for the purpose of awarding health benefits. The ruling affected teachers, nurses, professors, fire fighters, policy officers, and government employees.

Pledge to vote no on Amendment 2!

Why take away anyone’s right to health care among other things? My native state is a rough place that way for no other reason than that it is the way it has always been.

Sign here.

-Cara

With that said…

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth via e-mail, a gift from me to you.

You’re Welcome. :]

-Cara

I am selling some stuff on Half.com. Recycling it back into the world…some books, CDs, video games and DVDs. Get ’em while they’re hot.

It’s green.

-Cara

Bert and Ernie go gangsta rap wit M.O.P.’s Ante Up.

Say what..microphone check, microphone checker….

-Cara

I thought it would be cool to put up some of my pictures once and awhile, that go along with this blog’s point, theme, mood, or whatever you want to call it. Not only just that, but my pictures and photography web site will get some exposure, which they both could use! :)

Sometimes I will include commentary and other times, like now, I will leave the photo for you to deconstruct.

This is the view of the building across the street, from my roof, in NYC.

Unplug.

-Cara

I feel a bit stuck in a rut with this blog lately and I’ve been thinking about why that is. What I came up with is themes. I think I am over the responsibility of theme days. I am going to just write whatever I feel like writing about each day. It will still be “green” and beyond, just the day’s writings will be whatever I feel like.

Like this one, instead of being about a heroine, it is about me giving up themes. I am, of course open to patterns developing..that’s different.  :-) It is also about me finding a bunch of coupons for Organic Valley Farms’ products. :-D

Nice.

-Cara

What happen to all the poets? I remember growing up reading, loving, and writing stream of conscious poetry that went on forever. I would go to hear poets read, speak, connect…There are not really any modern, media saturated stories about the famous, righteous poets, like Adrienne Rich, Audre Lourde, Dorothy Allison, e.e. cummings, or Alice Walker around. If there is any media they are not talking about their poetry. Nobody wants to be America’s Next Top Poet…or am I just running around in the wrong circles these days…

I’ve decided to publish a poem I like using this blog sometimes. It may inspire me, you, or somebody to write…you never know…

muriel rukeyser

Muriel Rukeyser

Here is a poem by Muriel Rukeyser entitled, Looking at Each Other, I really think is powerful. Words with depth that I connect too. That’s what I miss…and meeting others who connect as well. It is powerful.

Looking at Each Other

Yes, we were looking at each other

Yes, we knew each other very well

Yes, we had made love with each other many times

Yes, we had heard music together

Yes, we had gone to the sea together

Yes, we had cooked and eaten together

Yes, we had laughed often day and night

Yes, we fought violence and knew violence

Yes, we hated the inner and outer oppression

Yes, that day we were looking at each other

Yes, we saw the sunlight pouring down

Yes, the corner of the table was between us

Yes, our eyes saw each other’s eyes

Yes, our mouths saw each other’s mouths

Yes, our breasts saw each other’s breasts

Yes, our bodies entire saw each other

Yes, it was beginning in each

Yes, it threw waves across our lives

Yes, the pulses were becoming very strong

Yes, the beating became very delicate

Yes, the calling              the arousal

Yes, the arriving              the coming

Yes, there it was for both entire

Yes, we were looking at each other

Muriel Rukeyser   1978

What happen to our revolution?

-Cara

It has been a few weeks since I’ve done a new mix, so I put together some songs for your listening pleasure.  It is cathartic for sure.  Hope you enjoy.

Sing out loud.

-Cara

Babeland is going to think this is some sort of miracle. They sent me some products awhile ago (because of a Valentine’s entry I wrote with them in it) that I said I’d review…fast forward a hundred years later to the first of a few reviews I intend to do for them.

One of these products was the soy wax, chocolate hazelnut, massage candle. I love it. The candle wax, when dripped on your skin, has a soft, smoothness to it. It possesses a sweet, warm, nutty smell. The smell reminds me of growing up in Miami, and the fragrance of the women who surrounded me. When done you are softer and smell sweeter, as do your sheets and your lover’s hands.

As far as the packaging, I say lose the red and orange box (even though it’s cute). Candles already in a glass votive like that don’t need a box I would think, just a cover of a biodegradable film of some sort, if anything. Thus you reduce unnecessary packaging and have more of a sustainable product.

I also like the matches they include with the candle. I think they are more romantic than lighting a candle with a lighter. It made me think, I’m not sure which is worse buying a “disposable lighter”, matches or fluid for a refillable lighter. I say send the matches and counteract it with planting a tree or two every month for all the paper/wood products the company uses. Just an idea.

To wrap up this review, I think the product itself is great and I’m glad to have been introduced to it.

Thanks Babeland.

-Cara

CW

Today’s super chic is, Charlotte Whitton, born March 8, 1896 in Renfrew, Ontario; died January 25, 1975, a Canadian feminist and mayor of Ottawa. She was the first female mayor of a major city in Canada, serving from 1951 to 1956 and again from 1960 to 1964. Whitton is sometimes mistakenly credited as the first woman ever to serve as a mayor in Canada, but this distinction is in fact held by Barbara Hanley, who became mayor of the small town of Webbwood in 1936. Whitton was Ottawa’s city controller in 1951. Upon the unexpected death of mayor Grenville Goodwin that August, Whitton was immediately appointed acting Mayor and on 30 September 1951 was confirmed by city council to remain Mayor until the end of the normal three-year term.

Whitton attended Queen’s University, where she was the star of the women’s hockey team. At Queen’s, she also served as editor of the Queen’s Journal newspaper in 1917. From Queen’s she became the founding director of the Canadian Council on Child Welfare from 1920-1941 (which became the Canadian Welfare Council, now the Canadian Council on Social Development) and helped bring about new legislation to aide children in need.

Whitton never married, but lived for years with her lover, Margaret Grier. Her relationship with Grier was not widespread public knowledge until 1999, 24 years after Whitton’s death, when the National Archives of Canada publicly released the last of her personal papers, including many intimate personal letters between Whitton and Grier.

The two women met in Toronto, where they were both residents at the Kappa Alpha Theta Society house on the campus of the University of Toronto. Whitton accepted a position in 1918 as assistant secretary with the Social Service Council Of Canada, and Grier worked with the juvenile court, the Big Sister’s Association and the Girl Guides.

In Grier, Whitton had found a soulmate, even though the two had very diverse natures. Grier was shy, fair and quiet, with delicate features and a calm spirit. Whitton, younger by four years, was considered intimidating, confrontational, ambitious and egotistical.

In 1922, they moved to Ottawa together in order to advance Whitton’s career. They set up house and lived in a “Bostonian Marriage” type of relationship.

Whitton often wrote poetry to Grier.

So softly your tired head would lie
With gentle heaviness upon my breast
And knowing but each others’ arms
Desiring nothing more we two would rest

They owned a cottage together on McGregor Lake and escaped many a humid Ottawa summer weekend there. One letter written by Grier to Whitton while she was away on business – which was often – seems to sum up the nature of their relationship: “Just two nights gone and I’m so lonesome I could cry whenever I stop to think for a minute – Oh Lawrie, dear, I’m just about crazy all the time you are away from me.” Grier, the love of Whitton’s life, died in 1947.

Despite her strong views on women’s equality, Whitton was a strong social conservative and did not support making divorce easier. She did believe in and fought for equal pay and equal opportunities for women in the public and private sector. However, she did not believe in married women working outside of the home and held very conservative views on abortion and divorce. Her views on sexuality have been described as “prudish.” I personally feel she over compensated for being a lesbian, but that is just based on my own personal thoughts.

I leave you with her most famous quote,

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.

;)

-Cara

I don’t know. I have no one in mind to write about today. I have done some research, but am still drained from writing and learning so much about Anne Sullivan last week that I think I am scared to start another heroine entry. lol.

OK, I could not find one woman that motivated me to write, but I did find a group of awesome women to talk about, SWOOP (Strong Women Organizing Outrageous Projects).

SWOOP, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which began in September 1996 in the aftermath of Hurricane Fran in Raleigh, North Carolina.

According to their web site,

“Several friends emerged from their debris-strewn houses and yards and banded together to help each other clean up the mess. This group of women quickly discovered that, though the work was tough, they were totally invigorated by the power that they all felt from totally cleaning up a place that, when they arrived, had looked devastated.

After a couple of very full weekends of hurricane work, they decided that they enjoyed working together so much that they started “swooping in” to do outrageous one-day clean-up projects about once a month, and formally named themselves “SWOOP.” Quickly becoming specialists in awesome hurricane clean-ups, their numbers grew as friends told friends, who told friends. From the original 16 women, SWOOP membership has grown to over 500 women from the Greater Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) and beyond. Since 1996, SWOOPers have branched out from hurricane clean-ups to major yard clean-ups, fence-building, painting, refurbishing, construction, deconstruction, and renovation for those individuals or agencies that SWOOP serves. ”

These ladies are super fresh. They have done great things.

Here are two projects they have worked on,

“The Heads Up! Therapeutic Riding Program in Pittsboro, North Carolina, provides therapy to children and adults with special needs, using horses as dynamic interactive tools, to address impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in people with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. The program had been given permission to ride on two adjoining tracts of land, but had no way to clear the trails that would make this possible. In February 2005, over 90 SWOOPers arrived at Heads Up! to clear the trails, and while there, also built a fence, made a playground, and refurbished the barn. This one-day project now allows Heads Up! riders and horses to get out of the riding ring and into terrain that provides greater stimulation, an important goal of the Heads Up! program.

Facing bankruptcy, Mary (not her real name) lacked the resources for necessary upkeep and repairs on her home. In April 2005, despite cold and rainy weather, nearly 70 SWOOPers descended on Mary’s home to make extensive carpentry repairs, completely repaint the interior of her six-room home, clean up the yard, haul off junk, and remove yard waste. Mary was not in a position to accomplish any of these tasks, and no other organization would or could devote the sheer numbers of workers and time necessary to do the job. SWOOP paid over $600 for all of the necessary construction materials.”

My mom and dad just moved to North Carolina. When I go see her next week I am going to tell her about it. She is about an hour from Raleigh I think…you never know!

Strong women rock!

-Cara


anne sullivan and helen keller

[Helen and Anne]

When I was younger I found the story of Helen Keller interesting, but she never really grab my attention. Anne Sullivan, on the other hand, did. There has always been something about her I was drawn too. Maybe the hardships she suffered and the fact that she didn’t give into it. She pushed and achieved more than those who suffered little and those who suffered greatly.

Anne’s personal story remains relatively unknown. Although some of her letters still exist, it is primarily through the the words of others, that we know of her life.

Anne grew up poorer than poor in Massachusetts. She was the eldest of five children, and one of the only two of whom reached adulthood. When Anne was 7 years old she developed trachoma, a bacterial infection in her eyes. This infection went untreated. She had almost no usable sight and after numerous operations on her eyes, at the age of 15, success, her vision was restored.

Her father, Thomas Sullivan, was an alcoholic and her mother, Alice Chloesy Sullivan, died from tuberculosis when Anne was 9 years old. At first, Anne’s siblings, Mary and Jimmie, were sent to live with their uncle, and Anne remained with her father. A few months later, Jimmie and Anne were sent to the Tewksbury Almshouse (February 22, 1876), an institution that housed the poor and needy. Anne was 10 years old at the time and any semblance of a childhood she might have had ended upon entering Tewsbury. Mary (whom she never saw again after being sent to Tewksbury), on the other hand, was sent to live with an aunt. Supposedly, she didn’t end up in the institution because she was easier to handle than Anne and Jimmie. Anne had strong opinions, and expressed them passionately and poor Jimmie suffered from a tubercular hip, both were too high maintenance for the aunt I suppose.

When Anne and Jimmie arrived at Tewksbury, Anne wanted them to remain together and made it known. As a result, both siblings were sent to the women’s ward, where inmates were physically and/or mentally ill. Jimmie’s condition resulting from a tubercular hip weakened him and he died a few months later. Anne was all alone in this horrible place and in life. Imprisoned in an institution where complaints were made to the state in regards to cruelty, sexually perverted practices, and even cannibalism.

Anne, during an investigation of Tewksbury by the head of the Perkins School for the Blind, pleaded with him to allow her to go to Perkins. He agreed, and Anne excelled in this new environment. It was because she did so well that a teacher at Perkins recommended she become a governess to the unruly deaf and blind six year old Helen Keller. Helen’s parents, Kate and Arthur Keller, had contacted the famous inventor and educator of the deaf, Alexander Graham Bell in Washington, D.C. for help. He, in turn, had put them in touch with the Perkins School for the Blind, and so began the relationship between Anne and Helen, that lasted throughout Anne’s life.

Alexander Graham Bell once said about Anne’s teaching skills, “You were at least not hampered by preconceived notions of how to proceed with your little pupil and I think that an advantage. You did not take to your task standardized ideas, and your own individuality was so ingrained that you did not try to repress Helen’s. Being a minority of one is hard but stimulating. You must not lay so much stress on what you were not taught by others. What we learn from others is of less value than what we teach ourselves.”

In 1904, Anne and Helen bought a farm and seven acres of land in Wrentham, Massachusetts. In Helen’s 1955 biography, “Teacher: Anne Sullivan Macy“, she wrote that these were probably some of the happiest days of their lives.

In 1905, she married John Albert Macy, a young Harvard teacher (11 years her junior) and literary critic at the magazine “A Youth’s Companion”. Not long after they married, she burned her private journals for fear of what her husband might think of her. I am curious what such a strong woman would have to hide for her husband… Their marriage lasted only a few years and seemed to be more of a business arrangement (he was Helen’s manager and editor) to aide in getting Helen published, than a marriage. In the end, it is thought that jealously of Anne and Helen’s relationship was the reason Macy eventually left. For years after they separated (they never officially divorced) Macy would contact Anne for money, until eventually he faded out of the picture.

This picture shows Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan Macy, and Polly Thomson, with dogs Darky and Helga, circa 1931.

[Helen, Anne, and Polly]

In the fall of 1916, Anne stopped working for a period of time as a result of pleurisy and incorrectly diagnosed tuberculosis. On November 20, she and Polly Thomson (Polly started working for Anne in 1914 as her secretary) traveled to Lake Placid, New York without Helen in order for Anne to recover. While they were there Anne spotted an advertisement about traveling to Puerto Rico and immediately bought two boat tickets for her and Polly. Anne’s five months in the islands was one of the happiest times of her life.

Here is a letter from Puerto Rico she wrote to Helen in 1917,

Dear Helen:

I’m glad I didn’t inherit the New England conscience. If I did, I should be worrying about the state of sin I am now enjoying in Porto Rico. One can’t help being happy here, Helen—happy and idle and aimless and pagan—all the sins we are warned against. I go to bed every night soaked with sunshine and orange blossoms, and fall asleep to the soporific sound of oxen munching banana leaves.

We sit on the porch every evening and watch the sunset melt from one vivid color to another—rose asphodel (Do you know what color that is? I thought it was blue, but I have learned that it is golden yellow, the color of Scotch broom) to violet, then deep purple. Polly and I hold our breath as the stars come out in the sky—they hang low in the heavens like lamps of many colors—and myriads of fire-flies come out on the grass and twinkle in the dark trees! Harry Lake says that a beautiful Porto Rican girl went to a dance in a gown ablaze with fire-flies which she had imprisoned in black net.

Did you know that in tropical skies the stars appear much larger and nearer to the earth than farther north? I didn’t know it myself. Neither Polly nor I have ever seen such stars! It is no exaggeration to say they are lamps—ruby, emerald, amethyst, sapphire! It seems to Polly and me, if we could climb to the bamboo roof of our new garage, we could touch them. We lie on our cots and gaze up at them—the shack has no windows, only shutters and our view is unobstructed—we say over and over the names of stars we know, but that doesn’t help us to identify these. Is that long, swinging curve the Pleiades? We are ashamed to be so ignorant. If we could get hold of a book on astronomy, how we should study it here!

Do you remember the big globe in the rotunda at “Perkins?” Well, the moon looks as large as that sometimes, and often it is girdled with pearls as large as oranges, like the metal circle the globe hangs in. And several times we have seen it lighted as by lightning.

The place has cast a spell over me. Something that has slept in me is awake and watchful. Disembarking at San Juan was like stepping upon my native heath after a long, distressful absence. I will tell you more of these strange experiences anon.

Love to all,

Affectionately,

Teacher.

I really like that letter.

Anne, Polly, and Helen remained together, working and living until Anne’s death on October 20, 1936. Polly remained taking care of Helen after Anne’s death.

Anne some time before her death dictated the following excerpted message to Polly,

“I wanted to be loved, I was lonesome. Then Helen came into my life, I wanted her to love me and I loved her. Then later Polly came and I loved Polly and we were always so happy together, my Polly, my Helen. Dear children may we all meet to-gether [sic] in harmony.”

In Nella Braddy Henney’s book, “Anne Sullivan Macy“, Anne is quoted as saying, “How often I have been asked: “If you had your life to live over, would you follow the same path?” Would I be a teacher? If I had my life to live over I probably should have as little choice of a career as I had this time. We do not, I think, choose our destiny. It chooses us.”

Anne used her amazing abilities to bring the world to Helen and to bring Helen back into the world. In doing so it also opened up a world for Anne far from the place she began this life. It is true, we do not choose our destiny it chooses us, but I also think it is a person of strength who chooses to follow their destiny, instead of taking the simpler route.

That ended up being a few days of research and writing in between life, but more than worth it.

-Cara

For no particular reason, I always liked the actress/comedian Janeane Garofalo. There is just something about her that interests me, maybe it’s her anger, or her glasses, or her general dislike of idiots and the fact she is not quiet about it. Anyway, it was no big deal, just a general liking that if asked, “Hey, do you like that actress Janeane Garofalo?”, I’d say, “Yeah, she is great in Wet Hot American Summer. I love that flick.”

Then the other day I watched this documentary narrated by Janeane Garofalo entitled, “Dangerous Living: Coming Out In The Developing World“. It is about the lives of gays, lesbians and transgender people living in the Global South in the present time and the homophobia and injustice they face. I found it interesting that a heterosexual comedian/actress was narrating this indie documentary about homosexuals. I remembered someone telling me awhile back that she was a part of this liberal internet radio station Air America and was crazy political, so it made some sense I guess. I was interested and decided to do some Garofalo investigating. What I found out is she is no longer with the station and is acting on some TV shows [not sure which and it doesn’t matter as I don’t have a television]. The station itself was sold to some corporation that recently suspended this host Randi Rhodes for calling Hillary Clinton, a whore over and over again at some Air America, San Francisco event she was doing some shtick at. Here is my opinion on this; I feel whore is a negative term created by men to degrade women. I personally am not into women degrading women in an unproductive way, but I am into people having the right to say whatever they want, I just prefer it to be intelligent. Anyway, after the station suspended her, she resigned. I would have staid and fought, but not knowing the whole story I shouldn’t really say that…but I will anyway!

OK, sorry back to Janeane. During my Garofalo investigating/stalking I found this video on YouTube of Janeane in an interview on Fox News with Brian Kilmeade and two other reporters I don’t care enough to find out the names of, from February 2003.

This is why she is today’s heroine, not only is she well read and intelligent, she did not jump up and sucker punch Brian Kilmeade, who was trying desperately to silence her voice and make her out to be an anti-American, Saddam supporter. Fox news is disgusting. The reason they were number one at the time is they are an entertainment, fluff network. Their news is a joke, and yes all network news is a joke, but Fox News is the champion of crap.

Do not support America’s televised news! It only exists to sell you crap and distract you from the truth.

-Cara

Reason 88 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Just as smokestack emissions result in acid rain, toxic fumes from decomposing livestock waste in open-air lagoons on factory farms become poisonous to fish when returned to waterways via rainfall. The errant ammonia also ravages terrestrial ecosystems. Since Earth’s plant species evolved to efficiently use scarce amounts of nutrients, today’s gluts will generally kill them. Fallout can degrade environments as far away as 300 miles.

Let’s start this entry off with the basics, May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia. Why May 17th, because on May 17th, 1990, homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO). Who is WHO, they are the “directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends”.

Some people might be wondering what is the difference between Gay Pride Day and the International Day Against Homophobia. Pride is about people’s pride in their sexuality and celebrating it. The International Day Against Homophobia is about letting society, governments, countries and the world know that homophobia is unacceptable and it will no longer be tolerated.

Here are some things to help bring the point home that homophobia still exists, not only on an individual level, but on a global level as well.

This is a photo of the public hanging of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, two Iranian teenage gay lovers, legally murdered on July 19, 2005, because they were gay. This is real.

Next, I will review the anti-homosexual laws globally.

Let’s start with Africa

Algeria – Fine and up to 3 years in prison
Angola – Labor camps
Benin – Up to 3 years
Botswana – Fine and up to 7 years
Cameroon – Fine and up to 5 years
Comoros – Fine and up to 5 years
Djibouti- 10 to 12 years
Eritrea – 3 to 10 years
Ethiopia – 10 days to 3 years
Gambia – Fine and up to 14 years
Ghana – Fine
Guinea – 6 months to 3 years
Guinea Bissau – Labor camps
Kenya [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Lesotho – Up to 7 years
Liberia – Fine
Libya – Fine up to 5 years
Malawi – Up to 14 years[can be expelled as undesirable aliens as well]
Mauritania – Up to three years and a fine of one million francs for sexual acts with a person of the same sex under the age of 21. [Some sources say that the death penalty applies if sodomy is committed. I could not confirm.]
Morocco – 6 months up to 3 years
Mozambique – Labor camps
Nigeria – 5 to 14 years [in northern states under Muslim law the punishment can be death]
São Tomé and Príncipe – Labor camps
Senegal – 1 to 5 years and a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs
Seychelles – Fine and up to 2 years
Sierra LeoneLife
Somalia – For sexual intercourse 3 months up to 3 years, an act of lust different from sexual intercourse from 2 months to 2 years, areas under Sharia have instituted death for men and women.
Sudan – 5 years to 100 lashes/Death for sodomy [Between September 1983 and April 1985 hundreds of men and women were lashed for “intended” unlawful heterosexual intercourse, but none, as far as is known, for sodomy.]
Swaziland [Male only] – Fine US $90 – Prison
Tanzania – Fine and up to 25 years [In Zanzibar male homosexual acts are punished with up to 25 years imprisonment or fine. Lesbian acts are punished with up 7 years imprisonment or fine.]
Togo – Fine and up to 3 years
Tunisia – Fine and up to 3 years
Uganda [Male only] Fine and up to Life [The first country in the world to have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (since 2004)]
Zambia [Male only] Fine and up to 14 years
Zimbabwe [Male only] – Fine and up to 1 year

Next Let’s hit up Asia:

Bahrain [Male only] Fine and up to 10 years
Bangladesh – Life in prison/death
Bhutan – 1 month up to 1 year
Brunei – Fine and up to 10 years
India – Fine and up to 10 years
Iran [Male only] Prison/Lashings/Death [Sex change operations have been given official government support as means to cure a gender identity disease.]
Malaysia – Fine and up to 20 years
Maldives [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Myanmar/Burma – 10 years up to Life
Oman – Fine and up to 3 years
Pakistan – 2 years to Life
Palestinian Authority (Gaza) [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Qatar – Fine and up to 5 years
Saudi Arabia – Death [Jail time, fines or whipping may be used in lieu of the death penalty.]
Singapore – 2 years
Sri Lanka – Fine and up to 10 years
Syria – Fine
Turkmenistan [Male only] Fine and up to 2 years
United Arab Emirates – Death
Uzbekistan [Male only] Fine and up to 3 years
Yemen – Flogging up to Death

Europe is Next on the List

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [Male only and not recognized internationally] – Fine and 10 to 14 years

Next North America

Antigua and Barbuda – Up to 15 years
Barbados Life
Belize – Up to 10 years
Dominica – Up to 10 years
Grenada [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Saint Kitts and Nevis [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Saint Lucia [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Fine and up to 10 years
Trinidad and Tobago – Up to 25 years

Oceania is Next on the List

Cook Islands [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Kiribati [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Nauru [Male only] – Up to 14 years hard labor
Niue [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Palau [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Papua New Guinea [Male only] – Fine and up to14 years
Samoa – Fine and up to 7 years
Solomon Islands – Fine and up to 14 years
Tokelau [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Tonga [Male only] – I could not find the sentence
Tuvalu [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years

And Last but of Course not Least is South America

Guyana [Male only] – Life

[Sources: Wikipedia, Behind the Mask, and On Lesotho]

While I was doing all this research I noticed a lot of, “but these laws are rarely enforced in some cases” going around, like that makes it alright somehow. That is a flawed way to think, the point is they can be implemented at any time and it gives the impression to the citizens of these countries that homosexuals are less than and that is unequivocally unacceptable and untrue.

As Carl Schurz once said, “From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor’s rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.”

We must evolve together not individually.

-Cara


Reason 82 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When meat, fish, or poultry is barbecued, dripped fat over the open flame sends up plumes of carcinogenic smoke, coating the food. Other unhealthful chemicals are created just by extended cooking times. Chemists are telling meat eaters today to keep those grill times down. Even environmentalists are saying that restaurant grilling is an important source of soot and smog. But you still need to cook your meat thoroughly: How else are you going to kill all of those nasty bacteria?

Beauty you see in art is as important as beauty you see in nature. A connection to either beauty inspires. These paintings are by Romaine Brooks a painter who moves me. I think she did her most amazing work from 1920 through 1924, painting portraits of women in blacks and grays. Brooks’ story reminds me that you may not know it at the time, but amazing things may be around the corner, you just need to get there.

Who inspires you?

-Cara

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Reason 67 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Most of America’s cows are not “Happy Cows,” in spite of what the California Milk Advisory Board might say in its nationally televised commercials. Many cows in the Western state spend their lives negotiating bogs of their own feces and urine. Elsewhere, they may be tethered at stanchions. All are inseminated annually to keep them lactating, and many regularly suffer painful udder infections. Thanks to calcium depletion and foot infections, slaughter occurs after only three or four lactation periods. The CMAB is a government agency and so is not subject to false-advertising laws.

No, this is not becoming an arts and entertainment blog, but I watched a documentary tonight called, Dangerous Living: Coming Out In The Developing World, and now I feel like talking about it.

It is a crazy world we live in where people feel like it is OK to torture, rape, belittle, and murder each other in the name of God, Country and what is “morally” right. Dangerous Living: Coming Out In The Developing World follows the lives of gays, lesbians and transgender people living in the Global South, during this time. The film centers around the 52 men in Cairo who were arrested, tortured and imprisoned for gathering at a discothèque on the river Nile on May 11th, 2001. There is no law against homosexuality in Egypt so the Egyptian Government officially accused the men of committing crimes of debauchery. The 52 were later tried, convicted, and sentenced to 3 years in prison. Sentenced to three years in prison for being on a boat dancing with other men, can you imagine…Chelsea would be empty! No, but seriously…what? This is absurd. I am glad I found this flick, because it reminds me of all the work we still must do to undo all the ignorance that is alive and well all over the world and not just in my beautiful America. This film is not only about the 52 men in Egypt, but about homosexuals in Honduras, the Philippines, Kenya, Uganda, Brazil, Pakistan, Vietnam, Namibia, India, Fiji Islands, Iran, El Salvador, China, Malaysia, and Jamaica to name a few, that are being treated inhumanely by their fellow countrymen and being encourage to do so by their own government.

We as people need to stop hurting each other, because of our ignorance and insecurities. We need to open are eyes and hearts and then minds to create a better place to exist. It is important not only for others, but are own wellbeing. First step, watch the movie. I got it from Netflix today and will return it tomorrow so you can watch it. ;) Second, visit The the International Lesbian and Gay Association, they are a world-wide network of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people everywhere and do something!!!

Take back the night!

-Cara

p.s.- I almost forgot in all my outrage that another reason to watch it is Janeane Garofalo is the narrator of the film! That’s a sweet deal.


—————————————————

Reason 61 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
From the animal-feed breadbasket and feedlots of the nation’s Midwest, massive amounts of fertilizer, pesticides, and manure-runoff travel down the Mississippi River. This high-nutrient mix causes an eco-chain reaction that ends with microscopic organisms robbing oxygen from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Marine life must relocate or suffocate. The phenomenon is known as hypoxia. Scientists have dubbed affected areas “dead zones.” Each summer the Gulf’s dead zone grows to an area the size of New Jersey. A recent U.N. report showed a 34 percent jump over 2 years in the number of dead zones–now 200 worldwide. Today, red tides (harmful algae blooms) line some coastlines of entire nations nearly without break. Soon, the hot real-estate properties around the world will be away from the waterfronts.

Another great passion of mine is music. Music is important, like art, like living instead of surviving, like love, we all need it. Music inspires, makes us believe maybe we aren’t alone, that we are connected, that others feel like us, breath like us, hurt like us…

OK, before I keep going on and on, why I bring this up now is the other day my friend Jorge sent me a mix tape through Muxtape.com and thus I found a site I really like. It is like the good old days of making your best friend, lover/potential lover that mix, to tell them how you feel or who you are without telling them how you feel or who you are…so here you go…this is me at this moment in time and if you want to be super fresh, make one, and add the link as a comment. :)

Enjoy the mix.

-Cara

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Reason 60 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Before 1981, E. coli O157:H7 poisoning didn’t exist. Today, the deadly strain infects 80 percent of cattle on America’s feedlots. You can blame a change in feed for this. To make the animals grow five times the rate they would on hay, feedlot operators foisted a corn-based diet onto their charges and provided the perfect environment for O157:H7 to emerge. And now this terrible strain is regularly poisoning our raw veggies via cross contamination.

Joan

It is coming to a close this Super Fresh Month of Women, so time for a list of ten cool chic sites. Enjoy!

  1. Let’s start with Meredith Monk. Here is a segment of her bio from her site, “is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films and installations. A pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance,” Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception.” I personally think she rocks. :)
  2. Feminist Ecovillages web site contains information on a number of communities, both ecovillages and wimmin’s lands, at which feminism and ecology are values held by the group.
  3. This site is cool, it lists a bunch of places where awesome women made history [or herstory if you like!] They focus on 75 historic places in New York and Massachusetts associated with the varied aspects women’s history.
  4. Another site I really like is the Suffragist Oral History site. This site translates twelve interviews with twelve leaders of the Suffragist’s movement.
  5. Women time to learn your Bill of Rights, U.N. style. It’s all about the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
  6. Then there is the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-International (CATW). They are a non-governmental organization that promotes women’s human rights by working internationally to combat sexual exploitation in all its forms.
  7. Then we have The Wip! What is their mission you may ask. According to their site, the Women’s International Perspective, The WIP, is a comprehensive news website of women contributors that reports world news, opinion, and commentary. Our mission is to provide quality news from the unique perspectives of women that is accessible worldwide and free to our readers.
  8. Women’s Space Work was created by, Yvonne P. Doderer’s. Her web site, based in Germany, provides annotated links to resources concerning cyberfeminism as theory and activism, political networking, feminist and lesbian activism, art on the net, among other things.
  9. The Feminist Sexual Ethics Project explores sexual ethics within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and you can learn how the toleration of slavery in the early teachings of these religions affects the lives of women today.
  10. Last but not least, the Isle of Lesbos web site. The Isle of Lesbos web site is intended to serve as a place of art and culture for women-oriented women, offering a historical glimpse into lesbian lives and vintage views of affection between women.

Represent.

-Cara

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Genetics through single-trait selection has become as important a component of today’s intensive farming as drugs and confinement hardware. The animals themselves, right down to their DNA, must stand up to the rigors of the industrial process, both in life and in carcass form. They must produce at breakneck speeds and do so on as little feed as possible. And ultimately, the particular output they unwillingly give forth must please our final end user, the consumer, in texture, taste, uniformity, convenience, and price. Mutant genes that would never survive in the wild are cultivated to monstrous ends.

Jackie and Crew

The other day I did an entry based on my visit to stopbigmedia.com. I will not rehash all the drama, you can read it here if you want.

It leaves me sad to think about all that stuff….then tired from fighting the propaganda and advertising shoved down my throat while I watch TV, ride the train, walk the streets, listen to music, surf the web. I hear all the people telling me to then just turn it off, but do I really want to disconnect? How then can I fight the good fight to save myself and those who are still plugged in, which is the majority of people in the world? Plus, I am a super nerd and like following the evolution of technology.

Look, I’m not here to save all the unplugged people in the world. These 3 people can take care of themselves. I am here to help people like me who are excited for Season 3 of Workout, can’t get enough of Sandra Rinomato of the fantastical show Property Virgins. :D Someone who likes to sing a catchy jingle every now and again, and who has to get places in this supersaturated, advertising conglomerate called America. That is who I write for.

I was fighting with someone earlier in the day who was trying to get me to see the positive in something that was just super annoying and at that moment positivity was the last thing I was searching for, so just to be a jerk I started surfing the web for obnoxious positive quotes and “you-can-do-it”, “you-are-good-enough” crap to include in every exchange we had in this “debate”. Then a strange thing started to happen, as I read all these quotes and positive news, etc., I started to get in a better mood and feel more…positive.

For some it might be hard getting through the granola-ness of it all, my anger and desire to be annoying is what initially pushed me through it and then the good feeling I got kept me going…not bad.

Here is some of the positive sites I found for when you want to take a break from all the negative stuff surrounding you, but are too lazy to take yoga. ;)

  1. Mr. Positive has a blog! All good news, all the time! “Mr. Positive” David R. Boufford is the Founder of PNN-Positive News Network, Inc. and also a business coach and consultant.
  2. Then there is Positive News International, which has a US version as well. Positive News (PN) is a free, not for profit newspaper published four times a year. They report news from around the world in the areas of sustainability, social equality, education and happiness with a clear message that “another world is possible.”
  3. A blog, Only Positive News, who quotes the awesome Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” That’s positive!!! Their mission is to “remind you of all that is great in our world!” OK, sounds good.
  4. Lastly I was going to list some positive quotes sites I went to, but they all have so many banner ads an pop-ups I am afraid it will bring you down. Instead, I will list some positive and/or inspirational quotes I really like and you can come back to The Day After whenever you need a little bit of love!!!”
Quotes

“Hope is the dream of a soul awake.” —French Proverb

“Leap and the net will appear.” —Julia Cameron

“I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s. I will not reason and compare; My business is to create.” —William Blake

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” —Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” —Isaac Asimov

“Never give up and never face the facts.” —Ruth Gordon

“What we need is to use what we have.” —Susan Sontag

“I am an expression of the divine, just like a peach is, just like a fish is. I have a right to be this way…I can’t apologize for that, nor can I change it, nor do I want to… We will never have to be other than who we are in order to be successful…We realize that we are as ourselves unlimited and our experiences valid. It is for the rest of the world to recognize this, if they choose.” —Alice Walker, Democracy Now Feb. 13, 2006

Alright, I think that covers a vast amount of positivity. I am going to stop while I am ahead.

Keep it real.

-Cara

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The world’s exploding human population, combined with its sagging ability to feed itself, appear to be on a collision course. The Green Revolution, which facilitated much of the recent growth, has clearly stalled out. Indeed, cereal availability per capita has been declining since 1984, and the “promise” of biotech is far from certain or free of risk. Today, 70 percent of grain in the U.S. and 43 percent of grain worldwide lavishly go to feed livestock. And just as the world clamors for more grain to feed to animals, so people can eat them, per-capita world cropland declined by 20 percent in the 1990s alone. The World Health Organization says 800 million people in the world live with chronic hunger. More meat production is definitely not the answer.

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I start many things with good intentions, many, many things. This time I intend to stay focused. This time I will not leave behind what I started. This time it is larger and more important than my obsession with Martha Stewart, all design shows, and Teresa Witherspoon. :P This time it is about the greater good...this time I am serious.

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