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Feminist

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

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

This global the fight has only just begun.

We are still a minority.

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

Take back the night!

I said it.

-Cara

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

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

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

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

-Cara

Here are some righteous revolutionary videos to keep motivated.

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

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

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

Who wants the poster? :]

Let’s do this.

-Cara

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

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

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

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

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

Cafeteria management prohibits workers from throwing food out.

[source]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s right I said it.

-Cara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do something.

-Cara

Electric Mini

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

Here’s what’s it about,

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

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

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

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

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

Dear NADA Director,

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

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

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

[Your comment inserted here]

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

I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]

I want my electric car!

-Cara

Nneka is what’s up.

-Cara

smokey the bear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recycle, Reuse.

-Cara

martha stewart

Martha chats with Robert Kenner and Joel Salatin about the behavior and impact of the commercial food industry.

That is right I said it, as someone who will be enjoying a delightful, sure to be delicious, vegan Thanksgiving feast at our friend Joanna’s abode today and has had the guilty pleasure of being a stalker of all things Stewart for many a year, this is great news. I know her daughter Alexis is a vegetarian and has helped Martha to see the light that fur is not cool, but still, the classic Martha Turkey Day blow up…vegetarian? That my friend is revolutionary if you wrap your mind around the whole picture.

I have heard about Food Inc as well. It looks like an amazing movie and sounds like a great Christmas (or Yule, Chanukah, Kwanza, Three Kings Day, Day of Ashura, Holiday…) gift! :] I will definitely check it out.

I hope at some point to be the person that does not have to keep watching these types of movies, videos, etc to remember why everything we choose to do is so important.  I am very tired of how people can not see what is right in front of them or choose to not be inconvenienced.  This show with Martha Stewart promoting this film, Food Inc is inspiring to me as I do not expect someone in Martha’s position to promote something so risky. This coming from someone that was previously set up for a fall just to be taught a lesson…a lesson it seems she thankfully did not learn.

Martha Stewart is a rebel!

-Cara

Conakry, Guinea Sept. 28, 2009

A photo given to The New York Times shows some of the dead after an opposition rally in Conakry, Guinea, on Sept. 28, 2009.

On Monday, 28th of September, the military gunned down civilians attending a peaceful pro-democracy rally in the West African country of Guinea. Over one hundred and fifty people were killed and women were stripped and raped in the streets.

The Guinean people are crying out for democracy and firm pressure is needed from the international community to ensure military rule is brought to an end, more innocent people do not get killed, and violence does not spread to other fragile democracies in the region.

If we can push the African and European Unions to apply targeted sanctions on the ruling elite, this could be the quickest way to get the military to step down, with out hurting the Guinean people. Sign the petition below and spread the word – and it will be delivered to the EU and AU leadership this week:

Sign Here

To learn more, read the email below:

———————————–
Here’s the original Avaaz email:

Dear friends,

Last week, over 150 civilians were killed when the military opened fire on a peaceful pro-democracy rally in the West African country of Guinea. Women were raped and people were bayoneted on the streets as they tried to escape — a terrifying message to a nation crying out to elect a democratic, civilian government for the first time.

In spite of the international community’s condemnation of the violence and calls for the regime to allow elections, the junta is clinging to power, warning ominously that the army is acting beyond the chain of command. The tense situation threatens to spiral into inter-factional fighting or a counter-coup, which would likely see violence spill over and destabilize the whole region.

We need to act fast. The international community must send a clear message that unless the regime agrees to step down and allow a peaceful democratic transition, they will face immediate, tightly-targeted sanctions. The African and European Unions have discussed invoking travel sanctions on the ruling elite, who love to fly and shop: this could be the best chance to have quick impact, without hurting Guinea’s people — who desperately need our help. We’ll deliver this campaign to European and African leaders before they meet later this month — click the link below to sign the petition and forward this email:

Sign Here

The military ruler of Guinea, Capitan Moussa Dadis Camara, seized power in a military coup last year. He had agreed to step aside and allow for democratic elections next year — but after months of tension, recently reneged on that promise. The people of Guinea have suffered over 50 years of brutal and corrupt dictatorships. Tens of thousands of civilians who attended last week’s rally were clamouring for an end to military rule and opposing his candidacy in elections.

The violence against civilians was brutal. A human rights watch witness stated: “I saw the Red Berets [an elite unit within the military] catch some of the women who were trying to flee, rip off their clothes, and stick their hands in their private parts. Others beat the women, including on their genitals… the women were crying out.”

Firm action is needed not just to make clear that we reject the violent repression of people anywhere who stand up to demand democratic and accountable government, but because what happens in Guinea will affect dozens of other fledgling democracies across Africa, where would-be dictators are closely watching the response from the international community. Years have been spent establishing a fragile peace in neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia. If Guinea blows, they too could be at risk.

An international inquiry is needed into the violence and the army must return to barracks. But a week after the massacre, opposition leaders remain in military detention, and Capitan Camara is shirking responsibility for the violence, blaming the opposition and banning all public ‘subversive’ meetings — sending a clear signal that he isn’t going step aside easily or bend to initial international declarations.

The regional body, Economic Community of West African States, has nominated a negotiator for Guinea. But any talks must be backed up by clear international pressure — otherwise the mineral-rich regime could hold on, ruling through the biggest army in the region. A policy of targeted AU and EU travel bans, affecting the leadership personally, could be pivotal — not only could it help halt more bloodshed, it could start to lay the foundation for a democratic transition.

Sign Here

Guinea’s people desperately need international help and solidarity today. Let’s stand with them, send a clear message to the Guinean military and forces across Africa who seek to rule by the gun that the time for repressive military rule is over. Sign the petition and send it on to family and friends:

Sign Here

With hope,

Alice, Luis, Benjamin, Ricken, Graziela, Paula, Pascal, Iain and the whole Avaaz team.

More information:

Guinea massacre tolls put at 157, BBC, 30 September
http://www.avaaz.org/en/guinea_stop_the_crackdown

Human Rights Watch witnesses from the rally:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/09/29/guinea-stop-violent-attacks-demonstrators

Capitan Moussa Dadis Camara says army is out of control:
http://www.rfi.fr/actuen/articles/118/article_5312.asp

ECOWAS negotiator nominated:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a36d9e74-af56-11de-ba1c-00144feabdc0.html

Violence in Guinea threaten the whole region:
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/richard-moncrieff-repression-and-violence-are-a-danger-to-the-whole-region-1795166.html

Guinea’s Capital Fades Into a Ghost Town After Soldiers’ Rampage, New York Times, 30 September
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/world/africa/30guinea.html

Guinea’s military leader banned all gatherings and demonstrations until further notice, AP, 30 September
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/world/africa/30guinea.html

Guinea asks Russia to block UNSC sanctions
http://www.moneybiz.co.za/africa/africa.asp?story=445a8159-3639-4b5a-adb1-c1face112425

African Union statement on Guinean massacre
http://allafrica.com/stories/200909290925.html
—————————————————————–

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

mountaintop-removal-fly-over-19

Green Americans and allies have been calling on the federal government for years to stop destructive mountaintop removal mining practices. Thanks to the thousands of people who have spoken up, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now taking a stronger stance on permits for this destructive form of mining. The EPA recently reviewed 79 permits for mountain top removal operations submitted by the Army Corps of Engineers and found that all of them would likely violate the Clean Water Act.

The permits are now being revised by the Army Corps of Engineers for re-submission. Coal companies are going to be using all their influence to get these permits approved. We need you to join us today and ask the EPA to stand firm on mountaintop removal mining. Together, we can make sure that the EPA has the support it needs to stand strong against the coal industry.

And, together we can encourage the EPA to go even further, and move to end all mountaintop removal mining, preserving communities from this threat for years to come.

Take Action Now!

-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

Guess what I am doing tomorrow…

the-human

Human Countdown: Climate Wake Up Call

On Sunday,  September 20th, 2009, people of all walks of life will come together in New York’s Central Park for a bold creative action to tell world leaders that the TIME TO ACT is RUNNING OUT. More than 2,000 people will form a moving human sculpture of our world in a race against time—a massive, living Earth and Hourglass to be picked up by the media worldwide.

On the cusp of the UN climate summit, our Human Countdown will urgently call for a fair, ambitious, and binding new climate treaty, and launch global actions for Climate Week NYC and the Tck Tck Tck Global Climate Wake Up Call.

We will assemble in two groups. The first group forms the living Earth and convenes at 9am in the morning to rehearse the movements. All others come at 1pm to form the hourglass. We will perform the Human Countdown together at mid-afternoon, hear from notable national and international speakers, and conclude by 4pm.

We need a global climate treaty. This is the time, this is the place to make history – we need YOU to join the HUMAN Countdown! All are welcome!

The goal is to show our leaders that time is running out to act on global warming. Video of the image we create will be broadcast the next night at The Age of Stupid global film premiere and delivered to world leaders.

Come to the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park (Southern end of central park by 6th Ave) this Sunday at 12.30pm.

Click here to RSVP [I found all this stuff thanks to AVAAZ:

http://www.avaaz.org/new_york_climate_action

While action on climate is always urgent, this is an especially important moment for public action. This December in Copenhagen, world leaders will meet to negotiate a new global treaty to avert a climate catastrophe.

This is going to be awesome.

-Cara

Trash_Can_Beach

I was on vacation in Surf City, North Carolina a week ago and it was awesome. It was me, my crazy family (parents, aunt, grandparents, cousins, no sisters, nieces, nephews, brother-in-laws or brother this year…they came earlier to spend time with my parents…smart…) and Marine. That part was well what you would expect…well, maybe more than you’d expect, but not more than I expected. :] Anyway, the house was right on the beach, as in the stairs from the back porch end up in sand. It was gorgeous weather, the ocean was perfect for riding the waves for hours and hours (thanks to the season and Hurricane Bill), drinks were flowing and there was nowhere to be. It is what life should always be like.

The part that was not so fresh is the walks on the beach. In just a few feet of walking I ended up picking up quite a few pieces of garbage including plastics bags, candy bar wrappers, water bottles, tons of water bottle caps, chip bags, sun glasses, broken toys and more smoked cigarettes than you could imagine. I could not tell what was from people on the beach or beached from the ocean, but I was amazed with how much ended up in my hands in such a little amount of time. There are a plethora of houses with stairs leading to the beach, but only one out of maybe every 30 to 35 had a garbage can on the end of them. I think that it is crazy to have beaches with no place for them to throw away their refuse. Listen, the majority of Americans or any humans for that matter, are not going to be responsible and keep their garbage till they see the next trash can or at the very least some of that garbage is going to end up wherever they beach themselves, even if they have their own bags. You all know what I am talking about. I think it is important that in all areas we have places for people to put their garbage, so it doesn’t end up hurting animals or the world (as much). It is not that hard a task and also a way to do good. I think I will send a letter to some authority in Surf City and see what they think about placing some public garbage cans on the beach or reaching out to an environmentalist, ocean lover about setting up some program.

Please don’t litter.

-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

Sicko…

You should check it out. I really think this one will reach a wider audience…if we can somehow get the people who need to see this film to see it. You know what I’m saying!

See more here. Do something about it here.

Be more than they expect you to be.

-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

Kinda…

"i" on News

Sorry to everyone I could only find  this video with annoying ads. I try to avoid this whenever possible.

Kill your MySpace. Delete your profile.

I said it.

-Cara

whole earth

Last night I was watching a movie I found somewhere, somehow called, “Ecological Design: Inventing the Future” [1994]. We have known a lot of eco stuff for along time, now we need more action.  I challenge you to find this movie, watch it and be creative with a cool eco-design. That’s right I said it, a challenge.

One super fresh topic covered in the film was the Whole Earth Catalog. The Whole Earth Catalog was published regularly from 1968 to 1972, the founder, Stewart Brand. According to the catalog, “Whole Earth eschewed politics and pushed grassroots direct power—tools and skills. At a time when New Age hippies were deploring the intellectual world of arid abstractions, Whole Earth pushed science, intellectual endeavor, and new technology as well as old.”

To check out some of the older catalogs online, click here.

Technology and ecological design are awesome.

-Cara

Do not fear. There is a way to avoid the assassin…at least if you live in the Northeast.

Here is a cool link for the seasonal fruits and veggies in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also use this interactive map to see what’s fresh in any area, by month.

Eat fresh.

-Cara

New York Governor David Paterson—the sponsor of the marriage bill currently before the legislature—delivered poignant remarks to the thousands recently assembled in midtown Manhattan. I like this guy.

patterson-video

The New York State Assembly recently passed the marriage equality bill which now heads to the state senate. I think it’s time for marriage equality to come to New York, so I sent my state senator an e-mail through the Human Rights Campaign.

They’ve made it super simple to send a personal message to legislators. With the scare tactics being used by our opponents, we need senators to hear from as many supporters of equality as possible.

This issue is very important to me, and taking action will only take a millisecond. Please join me in writing to your senator today.

Click here:

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/nysenatemarriage/step1

Fair is fair.

-Cara

too much

Here’s what is on my mind…who is the person that will invent a Facebook-like social network and use it only for good, sustainable stuff and not unleash a fafillion marketing widgets, gadgets, capsules, snippets, modules, minis, badges, webjits, flakes, games, programs, pop-ups and gutter ads for unsustainable crap on the masses? …and no it’s not me, I’m busy!

I killed most all of my social web 2.0 drama like LinkedIn. I figured why am I part of a group called Linked In when all I really want to do is get off the grid. That whole scene is not my deal. I also killed my MySpace. Listen people…Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp…really? If you don’t get that, do some research. I don’t want to be any part of Fox News and all those brothers’ drama. Friendster, what is the point? I slowly killed most of them.

Here is my dilemma, the Facebook still has a hold on me. I think it may be because a lot of people that I had lost contact with and who were a significant part of my life found me on the book of face, more than on any of the other social network sites. It is nice to know all these people are easy to get a hold of, you are reminded whose Birthday it is (see Tony), you can check out what new pictures they have up, what drama they are up to, ETC!!! You know to be able to be a welcomed voyeur of people’s life…that’s good stuff.  :]

So who wants to invent the book of face for good?

-Cara

liquid_soap

Here’s  a simple trick for all users of hand soap, dish soap, and all other liquid soaps. When you get to the bottom of the soap vessel and think you are all out of your precious cleaning elixir, this is when you add a little hot water to the remaining soap and voila, you’ll get at least a few more days of washing. Good times.

Waste not, want not.

-Cara

water-leak

Why save water?

Of all the water in the world, only 3% is fresh. Less than one third of 1% of this fresh water is available for human use. The rest is frozen in glaciers or polar ice caps, or is deep within the earth, beyond our reach.

To put it another way, if 100 liters represents the world’s water, about half a tablespoon of it is fresh water available for our use.

Remember that our local water supplies are part of a bigger global water cycle.

Fix those dripping faucets. If it drips every second it can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.

Filling up your tub can require up to 70 gallons of water, where a 5 minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons.

When you brush those teeth of yours don’t run the water. That way you save about 8 gallons per day.

Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning.

Don’t let water run while shaving or washing your face. It’s just a waste.

Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator. You snooze you loose.

I myself save water by never drinking it except in restaurants. ;-]

Just some things to think about.

-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

Here’s a little blurb about what’s going on with my organic, handmade t-shirt company I run with Ms. Marine Boudeau.

Good times.

-Cara

Join us at Pridefest this year in the West Village:

Hudson St. between Abingdon Sq. & West 14th St
Sunday, June 28th, 2009
11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Come check out our handmade, organic, super fresh t-shirt collections, hang out, take pictures and buy plenty of shirts for you, your peeps, lovers, family…

Sign-up for our newsletter to receive any Pridefest updates and possibly discover many other amazing and interesting things.

To learn more about this super gay weekend visit NYC Pride.

Cara & Marine
Founders of Be Nice

Bybee

Common Cause has called for the impeachment of federal Judge Jay Bybee for his role in signing a 2002 memo released last week that authorized torture. Put enough pressure on Congress to launch impeachment proceedings.

Tell your Representative to launch impeachment proceedings on Judge Jay Bybee of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sign Here!

-Cara

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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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