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On April 26, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed CISPA – the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act, H.R. 3523 – by a vote of 248-168. This week, the Senate may vote on CISPA-like bills (Lieberman-Collins S.2105 or McCain S.2151).

CISPA gives the government, including military spy agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), virtually unlimited powers to capture our personal information — medical records, private emails, financial information — all without a warrant or proper oversight.

Civil liberties groups and progressives unanimously opposed the bill, as did Ron Paul. President Obama warned the House that he will veto the bill because it does not protect our privacy, but they ignored his warnings.

Tell your Senators to protect your privacy from Big Brother and oppose CISPA.

Here’s the link to the petition at democrats.com, http://www.democrats.com/stop-big-brother-stop-cispa

Keep it real.

-Cara

 

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

 

 

Check her out, Nneka.

– Cara

Check out this great interview with Mark Read the person behind the “bat-signal” on boingboing.

We are unstoppable. Another world is possible.

Do not be afraid.

-Cara

Tell Congress not to censor the internet NOW! – fightforthefuture.org/​pipa

PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites– they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”

The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.

Bottom line here is it is a way for corporations to annihilate smaller businesses and stop revolutionaries! Check out Fight for the Future  and AmericanCensorship.org.

Fight the power!

-Cara

I haven’t had a TV since April 2008, so I am not really up to date on what’s on. I have been on vacation surrounded by TVs for the last week and honestly I am really happy with my decision to give it up. Then just now on Animal Planet this show, “Whale Wars” came on. I can’t believe no one ever told me about it. It is amazing and makes me have hope in people. Good people doing good things on TV. I had no idea. Check out the Sea Shepard site to see what I am talking about.

Remember, every fight for good is important. Every time we do something good for someone else or for something else we are a step closer to the beauty we all deserve in this life. Finding this show amongst all the trash that pulls us down I am inspired, hopeful. Even in darkness you will always find some light.

We must fight to win. If you can donate please do to get Steve Irwin out and back to sea.  If you can’t donate money here is a link to help out in other ways.

We haven’t lost the war yet. Fight!

-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

Hey New Yorkers it’s your big day.

Go out and vote.

-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

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

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

Who wants the poster? :]

Let’s do this.

-Cara

22%

22%

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

Just thought you might want to know.

-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

In describing his experience producing “Countdown to Zero“, Lawrence Bender says,

“Having produced An Inconvenient Truth, I witnessed the power of a movie to educate and inspire people. We need to make this movie a phenomenal success so we can engage the public in a big way and bring this issue to the top of the political agenda.”

Here’s the Countdown to Zero site where you can find out where the film is playing. Also, check out the Global Zero site to join the campaign…sign the declaration.

These are a few simple ways to do something forward. Why not?

-Cara

That’s right.

-Cara

MTA

This particular post is New York City Centric, so if your living in the Big Apple or know people who are, please sign or forward this to them as soon as possible…

Hello My Fellow New Yorkers,

The MTA is at it again. On Wednesday, they announced yet another round of fare hikes, including a plan to limit the number of rides on “unlimited” monthly MetroCards and jack up their price to almost $100.

Enough is enough. Transit riders aren’t ATMs, and endless fare hikes can’t be the answer to keeping our subways and buses moving. We need the politicians and the MTA to come up with a real plan for investing in public transportation, and keeping it reliable and affordable.

The first step is to show them New Yorkers won’t take this sitting down. I just signed the Working Families Party’s petition against the latest fare hikes. Will you join me? Just go to:

http://action.workingfamiliesparty.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2155&tag=MTA710

Stop this madness!!!

Cara

[Per: Working Families Party]

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

Billy (Dennis Hopper): Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like a second-rate hotel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared man.

George (Jack Nicholson): They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ’em.

Billy: Hey man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

George: Oh, no. What we represent to them is freedom.

Dennis Hopper is dead. His was a journey for sure.

R.I.P.

-Cara

Electric Mini

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

Here’s what’s it about,

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

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

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

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

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

Dear NADA Director,

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

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

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

[Your comment inserted here]

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

I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]

I want my electric car!

-Cara

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

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

Conakry, Guinea Sept. 28, 2009

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

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

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

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

Sign Here

To learn more, read the email below:

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

Dear friends,

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

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

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

Sign Here

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

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

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

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

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

Sign Here

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

Sign Here

With hope,

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

More information:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FairTradeCertifiedCoffee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subject: Thank you for your fair trade commitment!

Dear Todd Stitzer, CEO, Cadbury:

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Your Name
Your City and State

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

I said it!

-Cara

I speak for myself.

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Maddow

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

That’s right I said it.

-Cara

Guess what I am doing tomorrow…

the-human

Human Countdown: Climate Wake Up Call

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.avaaz.org/new_york_climate_action

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

This is going to be awesome.

-Cara

Repower America

Hello World,

I just signed a letter to my Senators asking them to support comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation this year.

You can too!!! Go here: http://act.repoweramerica.org/page/s/emailsenate

It’s about creating good jobs here in America, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and protecting the planet. And right now it’s up to our Senators to get working on making the transition to clean energy a reality.

Please sign a letter as well — it’s quick and easy.

Thanks!

-Cara

I went to go see this movie, “The Cove” last Thursday night at the Angelika Theater (if you happen to live in NYC). If not, go here to see if it is playing in a theater near you. You may also request it to show at your local theaters by clicking here.  It is an amazingly, awesome movie. I am not one to handle any animals being abused on screen, real or fake. I really can’t handle it, but this movie is something that people need to go see, and if I didn’t leave, you can handle it. I won’t go on and on, but if you can see it do.

We can all make some sort of difference everyday for good and in turn the world becomes a better place to exist in.

Do something that means something.

-Cara

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

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

See Below!

Speak Out Now to Protect Whales in the Pacific Northwest

Stop Dangerous Sonar

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

Stop Dangerous Sonar

Dear World,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We can do anything!!!

-Cara

My friend Jessika is participating on Sunday, September 13, 2009, in the 19th Annual Komen New York City Race for the Cure (5K run/walk), held by the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She herself lost her mother to cancer. If you would like to support her, her team and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, here is the link.

Race for the cure.

-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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