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-Cara

Support the People’s Revolution in Egypt

ساند ثورة الشعب في مصر

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

Target:

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

Started by: The January 25 Movement حركة يناير ٢٥

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

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

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

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

في 25 يناير، شعب مصرأخذ للشوارع للمطالبة بحقوقه!

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

نحن نطالب بحقوقنا المدنية والسياسية والإنسانية.

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

ونحن نطالب بوضع دستور جديد.

ونحن نطالب بانتخابات حرة ونزيهة.

إننا نطالب بالإفراج الكامل والشامل عن جميع السجناء والمعتقلين السياسيين

و نطالب بارجاع فتح الاتصال لجميع شبكات الاتصالات والإنترنت

ونطالب الشرطة وقف اعتداءاتها على الصحفيين.

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

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

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

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

ساند ثورة الشعب في مصر

السلام عليكم

في 25 يناير، شعب مصرأخذ للشوارع للمطالبة بحقوقه!

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

نحن نطالب بحقوقنا المدنية والسياسية والإنسانية.

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

ونحن نطالب بوضع دستور جديد.

ونحن نطالب بانتخابات حرة ونزيهة.

إننا نطالب بالإفراج الكامل والشامل عن جميع السجناء والمعتقلين السياسيين

و نطالب بارجاع فتح الاتصال لجميع شبكات الاتصالات والإنترنت

ونطالب الشرطة وقف اعتداءاتها على الصحفيين.

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

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

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

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

We demand our civil, political and human rights.

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

We demand a new constitution.

We demand free and fair elections.

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

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

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

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

Sign it!

-Cara

Chasing Rumi: A Fable About Finding the Heart's True DesireChasing Rumi: A Fable About Finding the Heart’s True Desire by Roger Housden

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I could feel where Georgiou was when I allowed it to happen. The book has moved me forward, not through it’s depth or Roger Housden’s literary prowess necessarily, but by reminding me of something I have allowed to dissipate. That’s it really, it has reignited my desire for true beauty, reminded me of the truth that is. There is so much more than what is here in front of our eyes. We just need to see.

I also like how this book came into my life, as it proves a prevalent point in the novel of how things happen in your life right when you need them and for a reason. That is pretty cool.

I’m all Zen now. :]

-Cara

View all my reviews

Day 135 - Snowflake

Day 135 - Snowflake

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 135th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

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

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

-Cara

Who Stars Chic

Who Stars Chic

That’s right Be Nice is launching yet another amazing design, Who Stars, by me. :] I love owls. I have been slightly obsessed with them, super heroes and the stars at night forever, which is how this shirt came together. The question remains who is this owl in disguise? What is the story behind the mask? Stay tuned to find out more.

What a great time for Who Stars to debut in the midst of three gift giving holidays. You’re welcome! Pick yourself up one here, http://ubenice.com/shirts/girls-guys/who-stars and sign up for the newsletter to find out more on this awesome owl. You can also like Be Nice on the book of face here.

Spread the love.

-Cara

Day 92 - The Other Book

The Other Book

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 92nd of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

The other book, get it? :] Here are the rest of the shots from that day, Day 92 – Swim With the Fishes.

-Cara

Get you’re shirt on, fckh8.com.

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

Fuck that.

-Cara

Day 57 - Homosapien Friendly

Homosapien Friendly

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

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

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

Much love.

-Cara

22%

22%

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

Just thought you might want to know.

-Cara

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

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

Listen, I’m on it.

-Cara

Looking

Looking

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 50th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

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

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

-Cara

Day 27 - The Temple

The Temple

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 27th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots that didn’t make the cut.

Grabbing lunch at the Hare Krishna temple, stopping in to see Krishna.

Here’s the rest, Day 27 – Some Feet.

-Cara

The Plane

The Plane

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 21st of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots that didn’t make the cut.

This is on my way from my home, New York City towards Topsail Beach, North Carolina for some fun under the sun. Here are the almosts, Day 21 – My Little Jet That Could.

Good times.

-Cara

Downtown Brooklyn

Downtown Brooklyn

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 10th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots that didn’t make the cut.

This is Downtown Brooklyn where I work as the IT Phenomenon for a few community organizations in the area. This photograph is of a banner promoting  Downtown Brooklyn for its great shopping experience in front of the many empty storefronts for rent. Except for a tax center and a hair braiding place that are thriving downtown businesses.

The silhouette of the bike rider is implying that Downtown it is bike friendly I presume. I will admit that hey have put up more places to lock up your bikes, but then the street vendors don’t let you use them. They installed these newly art designed bike racks and the vendors lean or sit on them and no one stops them,  so it’s pointless. This not unlike the bike lanes on the street side always blocked by Lincoln Town Cars. Bike paths should always be between the sidewalk and parked cars for the safety of all. Come on!

If you’d like a better understanding of Downtown Brooklyn you can also check out the runners up for today at, Day 10 – Getting Down(town).

-Cara

Janeen McCrae

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

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

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

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

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

I love biking and cool people.

-Cara

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

Please read the whole article.

-Cara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s right.

-Cara

July was interesting. I’ve learned a great deal in this particular month. A lot of change has occurred in my life recently. Well, really everything changed. In a good way, but also a little surreal and sad, as loss always is. Well unless you lose cancer or any other deadly aliment, or a stalker, or a wart, etc, so I guess not all loss is sad, just sometimes. This loss though was.

Here’s some back story. I moved to New York City in May of 1999, which by the way doesn’t seem that long ago. I think that may be because I rarely remember the bad times. Meaning time seems much shorter than reality. No harm there. :] I also like to go on tangents as you see. Okay, I left Chicago in ’99 as it was time for me to leave (quite a fascinating story for another time), and I have now lived in NYC for eleven years and some change. For about ten of those years I was in a total of two long term relationships, with really no time in between. This, if you knew me before in Chicago, is a crazy concept. This phenomenon occurred after my first year here which consisted of a string of women, friends up for anything and a lot of sleepless nights. NYC and I had a torrid affair that first year and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Now suddenly and ironically on the anniversary of my 11th year in this crazy town I call home I am on my own again. It been almost three months now (in three days on the third…threes follow me everywhere), and I am still in this hazy fog that’s just beginning to thin out. Things are changing faster than usual. I don’t mind that. I would hate to stay the same or become someone I once was. I am just curious to how this is going to play out in the next few months…year…years…, not scared, but excited. I like to be interested in things, especially when it is my life.

I was thinking of ideas to help me clear out of the rest of this haze. I need a focus of some sort so I don’t get lost in the chaos. Something new to do. Here is what I came up with, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). It won’t be my only posts of course, just a continuous one. I like/need things like this. I’m also interested to what the culmination of all these pictures will say after that year.

That’s all.

-Cara

Nice.

-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

Martin Niemoeller

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

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

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

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

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

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

—Martin Niemöller

See.

-Cara

Nneka is what’s up.

-Cara

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

Target: Michigan House
Sponsored by: American Humane Association

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

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

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

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

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

Figure out a way not to kill animals at all.

I said it.

-Cara

Geek Girl, Inc.

What is Geek Girl, Inc.? Ladies and gentlemen, for one, Geek Girl, Inc. is another fabulous project (aka – site) coming to you from the super fresh duo of Cara Reynolds and Marine Boudeau. The coding was brought to life by the famous Marine Boudeau of MB Works. The vision, mine.

What is the point of Geek Girl, Inc.? Mostly, it is a place where people who think I am the greatest computer technician in the known universes, can refer their friends, colleagues and lovers to for some excellent computer wizardry in the 5 boroughs of this great city they call New York.

To get the real skinny (I said it.) check out mysweetgeek.com.

Watch out world, here I come.

:]

-Cara

Sweet

Clark Little Photographs Waves of Hawaii

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!! :]

Okay, now on to this post…

That’s right it is super chilly here in NYC, gray and somewhat gloomy.  I felt I needed something fantastical to get me out of my winter in Gotham funk.  Sierra Club came to my rescue with this sweet Clark Little slide show.

Check it out.

-Cara

Human Rights Campaign

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

Sign this petition so New York leaders can hear your voices

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

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

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

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

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

Fair is fair.

-Cara

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

My Mom in Miami Pregnant With Me

Here is a Care2 petition that targets the U.S. Congress and is sponsored by the SEIU.

Through the process known as “gender rating,” insurers can charge women higher premiums. This process is not only discriminatory, it is illegal in 10 states! On top of pricing disparities, insurance companies have found other ways to make money at the expense of American women. For example, many insurers refuse to cover “elective” procedures… like giving birth! Others consider domestic violence and rape victims to have a “pre-existing condition” and deny them coverage. The list goes on, but the trend is crystal clear. These are not isolated incidents but policies put in place by the insurance companies to maximize profits.

When it comes to health care, women in America deserve to be protected from these outrageous policies! Sign the petition to Congress urging them pass a health insurance reform bill that forbids insurance companies from discriminating against women.

————————
Are you serious??? I mean that is crazy. I know plenty of men who work in the blue collar field that get damaged much more than me on the day to day, and they do not pay more than the rest. These insurance companies make enough money on the people paying in who never get sick, they do not need to hike up the prices for women, for what reason because we are the ones birthing these little monsters trying to make an extra buck. Do these people not have mothers…don’t women pay enough to the world as it is? I mean my mom certainly has! :]
It is like how these car rental places, Hertz for example, charge more for the car insurance to people who reside in Brooklyn, than for those who live in Manhattan. This is based on statistics that show a higher accident rate for drivers in Brooklyn. I mean really? If Brooklyn was a race Hertz would be a racist.  I said it.
If these health insurance companies are going to be anti-chic. then I am not down.  If you are a woman or care about at least one woman in your realm please send an email (or call/write your local congress representative and tell them) and let Congress know that this is not cool.
-Cara

Celebrate Christmas with Be Nice

Yes, Thanksgiving has not even happened yet, but I know there are those that like to be done with their Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, even Halloween.  I didn’t want to leave these particular individuals out of the loop about our super fresh Be Nice gift cards. This is a perfect gift for those who feel it is too much pressure to pick out which one of our super soft, organic, handmade, awesome shirts they should buy their family, friends, boss, co-workers, neighbors, orphans, whoever you feel the need to give a soon-to-be new favorite shirt(s) to. :]

You also have the option to personalize the gift card however you feel, from choosing the amount you want to bestow on said lucky individual(s), to adding a witty, perhaps moving, personal note, and you can even schedule on which special date it arrives in their e-mail (paperless is a nice way to show a tree some love this holiday season).

We wish everyone a Merry “Green” Christmas (or if you don’t swing that way a Happy Yule, Chanukah, Kwanza, Three Kings Day, Day of Ashura…) this year from us here at Be Nice. May it rock!

Much Love.

-Cara and Marine

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

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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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