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“You are a teacher who knows nothing so don’t teach me lies.” – Nneka

 

 

Check her out, Nneka.

– Cara



Faith Laugier is a Journalist/Radio show host on WBAI, New York 99.5FM and on 11-17-11  according to her friend who filmed this video, “… she was indiscriminately grabbed from the crowd while moving away from the chaos, as instructed to do by NYPD. At the very start of this video you can see a police officer rush her from behind and body slam her to the pavement. Handcuffs were then placed on her in such a way that caused the veins in her arms to erect. Officers refused to loosen her cuffs as well as explain why she was being detained.

Also, several times in the midst of my filming and photographing her arrest several police officers attempted to swat and take my camera from me. At one point an officer shouted, “grab that man”, me. I was able to remain safe.”

Journalist Faith Laugier was assaulted then arrested by NYPD without committing any crime. According to The First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Yo America, what’s going on here? You better stop playing games.

-Cara

Feminist

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

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

This global the fight has only just begun.

We are still a minority.

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

Take back the night!

I said it.

-Cara

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.

America started as a place people went to escape something worse, remember? lol.

America is awesome! Politicians controlled by corporations, now that is not so awesome. Where can we run to escape the tiranical hold of big business? Or do you think we should try to take our country back?

Big Business are the real terrorists.

-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
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

That is the truth.

-Cara

NYC nightlife legend & comedian MURRAY HILL and his friends filmed an important message for the gay kids all over the world live from the Miss LEZ Pageant at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York. Many queer icons were in the house to share the love, like Michael Musto, World Famous *BOB*, JD Samson, Silas Howard, Bitch, Sarah Greenwood, and many others. All walks of life were present, loud and proud. Overheard in the audience, “It doesn’t get better, it gets f*%king awesome.” Video shot and edited by Jackson Memenza. Get to know http://mistershowbiz.com

I was there and it was a very good time. It’s cool that Murray Hill and Jacks Memenza did this video.

Don’t let other people’s ignorance bring you down. We’re all beautiful.

-Cara

Get you’re shirt on, fckh8.com.

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

Fuck that.

-Cara

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

This is a performance meant to entertain and inspire.

If you want to help…

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

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

Look around and see there are good people out there.

See.

-Cara

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

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

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

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

Please read the whole article.

-Cara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s right.

-Cara

An Iranian woman in Brussels protesting the inhumane practice of death by stoning. Photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters

I just signed this AVAAZ.org petitition…

Last week a massive global outcry stopped an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, from being stoned to death.  But Sakineh still faces hanging, and today, fifteen more people await execution by stoning — people are buried up to their necks and large rocks are hurled at their heads.

Sakineh’s brave children’s international campaign shows that worldwide condemnation works. Let’s turn this family’s desperate appeal into a movement that ends stoning for good – sign the petition and send to everyone.

You will send this message to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the leaders of Iran:

We call on you to finally put an end to capital punishment by stoning and to reverse the unjust judgment in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Stop stoning, save Sakineh!

15 people are on death row awaiting death by stoning in Iran, but yesterday a woman was saved from this brutal killing by a massive international campaign. Global voices of condemnation saved her from stoning. Now I just signed an urgent petition to the Iranian government to put an end this sickening brutality once and for all and I thought you would want to join me.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

The partial reprieve of Sakineh, triggered by the call from her children for international pressure to save her life, has shown that if enough of us come together and voice our horror, we may be able to save her life, and stop stoning once and for all. Sign the urgent petition now and send it onto everyone you know — let’s end this cruel slaughter NOW!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

Sakineh was convicted of adultery, like all the other 12 women and one of the men awaiting stoning. But her children and lawyer say she is innocent and that she did not get a fair trial — they state her confession was forced from her and, speaking only Azerbaijani, she did not understand what was being asked of her in court.

Despite Iran’s signing of a UN convention that requires the death penalty only be used for the “most serious crimes” and despite the Iranian Parliament passing a law banning stoning last year, stoning for adultery continues.

Sakineh’s lawyer says the Iranian government “is afraid of Iranian public reaction and international attention” to the stoning cases. And after Turkey and Britain’s Foreign Ministers spoke out against Sakineh’s sentence, it was suspended.

Sakineh’s brave children are leading the international campaign to save their mother and stop stoning. Massive international condemnation now could finally stop this sickening punishment. Let’s join together today across the world to end this brutality. Sign the petition to save Sakineh and end stoning here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

In hope and determination,

Alice, David, Milena, Ben and the whole Avaaz team

SOURCES:

Iranians still facing death by stoning despite ‘reprieve’, The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/08/iran-death-stoning-adultery

Britain condemns planned Iran stoning as ‘medieval’, AFP:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hjVdkvkzicGeInqw2R10rCKrqs3A

The more people join this campaign, the more powerful our call will be to save her life — please tell everyone YOU CAN.

536,222 have signed the petition at the time I did. Help get to number to 600,000.

Sign here.

-Cara

Adlai Stevenson “The Egghead” NYC 1956 ©George S. Zimbel 1956/2007

“The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the Bill of Rights, to freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak of anti-communism.”

Adlai Stevenson, August 27, 1952

Things have come full circle, now instead of anti-communism they call in anti-terrorism. Take a moment to find out what rights we have lost as a country, as a people, in the name of anti-terrorism. When you do, let me know. I will start the list below.

  1. NSA Warrant-less Surveillance Controversy – concerns surveillance of persons within the United States incident to the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the war on terror. Under this program, referred to by the Bush administration as the “terrorist surveillance program”,  part of the broader President’s Surveillance Program, the NSA is authorized by executive order to monitor phone calls, e-mails, Internet  activity, text messaging, and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the U.S., without warrants.

Adlai also said earlier in the same speech, “For it is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them. ”

Ain’t that the truth.

-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

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
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
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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

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

ACORN

I am out of town right now, so I am a little behind in ACORN the third day post! I also hove quite a few comments to review, post, and respond too in regards to these ACORN posts, so all those who may think I am ignoring or not publishing their comments hold tight. ;]

Alright enough talk, here is segment 3 of Rachel Maddow’s coverage of, “The Truth About The Lies About ACORN” on MSNBC.

Sept. 28: “GOP seeks wedge issue in ACORN”

I want to make it clear that I get that there are people that work for or have worked for ACORN that are not good, just like there are people who work for Fox are not evil (like the janitors, security guards…A JOKE!!!!)

I say lets make a plan to help fix ACORN and Rupert Murdoch and that FOX News gang. Who’s in?

-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

Hoffer

“We have rudiments of reverence for the human body, but we consider as nothing the rape of the human mind.” —Eric Hoffer

That my friends is very true. Especially when it comes to to what some of us choose to do for a living or for fun for that matter (like watching the boob tube for hours on end).

Eric Hoffer, the author of this quote, was an American social writer and philosopher who published ten books, a newspaper column and truly lived his life. Born in the Bronx on July 25, 1902, the son of Knut and Elsa Hoffer, immigrants from Alsace, by five he could read in both German and English.

When he was age five, his mother fell down a flight of stairs with Eric in her arms. Hoffer went blind for unknown medical reasons two years later, but later in life he said he thought it might have been due to trauma.

“I lost my sight at the age of seven. Two years before, my mother and I fell down a flight of stairs. She did not recover and died in that second year after the fall. I lost my sight and for a time my memory”.

After his mother’s death he was raised by a live-in relative or servant, a German woman named Martha. His eyesight inexplicably returned when he was 15. Fearing he would again go blind, he seized upon the opportunity to read as much as he could. His eyesight remained, but Hoffer never abandoned his habit of voracious reading.

Hoffer was a young man when his father, a cabinetmaker, died.  Sensing that warm Los Angeles was the best place for a poor man, Hoffer took a bus there in 1920 and spent the next 10 years on Los Angeles’ skid row, reading, writing, and working odd jobs.

In 1931, he attempted suicide by means of drinking oxalic acid, but the attempt failed…he could not bring himself to swallow the poison. This experience inspired a new determination to live more adventurously. He left skid row and became a migrant worker. Following the harvests along the length of California, he collected library cards for each town near the fields where he worked and, living by preference, “between the books and the brothels.”

He ended up in the mountains, where he had gone in search of gold. He remained snowed in for the entire winter. While trapped, he read the “Essays” by Michel de Montaigne. Montaigne’s book left its mark on Hoffer and influence his life and future writings.

Hoffer lived in San Francisco by 1941 and became a longshoreman on the docks of The Embarcadero. It was there he felt at home and finally settled down. He continued reading voraciously and soon began to write while earning a living loading and unloading ships. He continued this work until he retired at age 65. Hoffer considered his best work to be “The True Believer“, a landmark explanation of fanaticism and mass movements.

In retirement Hoffer continued his robust life of the mind, thinking and writing alone, in an apartment near San Francisco’s waterfront, until his death at 80 years old.

Make sure whatever it is you do for a living, you are truly living.

-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

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

watching you

According to Scroogle,

Google is asking webmasters who use AdSense,  to update their privacy policy and warn of Google’s new tracking system.

[The DoubleClick DART cookie is used by Google in the ads served on publisher websites displaying AdSense for content ads. When users visit an AdSense publisher’s website and either view or click on an ad, a cookie may be dropped on that end user’s browser. The data gathered from these cookies will be used to help AdSense publishers better serve and manage the ads on their site(s) and across the web.]

If you see any big sites with AdSense (“Ads by Google” — JavaScript required) that have not updated their policy by Google’s 2009-04-08 deadline,

[The posted privacy policy should include the following information about Google and the DoubleClick DART cookie:

  • Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on your site.
  • Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and other sites on the Internet.
  • Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.]

email that site’s owner. If they ignore you, scroogle@lavabit.com wants the URL of that site.   We plan to compile a list !

We might ask Google to pull these AdSense accounts if the list gets long enough. If that doesn’t work, some privacy activists may decide to complain to the FTC.

More information:    Link1 Link2 Link3 Link4 Link5

Fear not soldiers there is ccleaner, a fantastical tool that will annihilate cookies and a whole lot more.

I like my privacy.

-Cara

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