Monday, December 29, 2008
More than 300 Palestinians have been killed. Over 1400 are injured. Hospitals are overflowing with bodies of the dead and wounded. This has been the bloodiest attack since the 1967 War.
This is fucking ridiculous. For the past 3 days, Israel has been dropping F-16 bombs in Gaza. Its reason for doing so is to stop (read: murder) Hamas and other militant groups. However, its attempts to target only militants have been weak, to put it kindly. Israel shows no sign of halting this killing spree. All of this occurred after the 6 month truce between Israel and Hamas expired.
What a surprise.
The U.N., however, is condemning Israel's severe use of force and holding it responsible for the deaths and injuries of civilians.
If the U.S. acted independent of Israel, then there would be no doubt to who actually prompted these attacks. Here's a concise breakdown:
- Israel's ongoing and illegal occupation of Gaza (legally Palestinian territory) since 1967.
- Gaza militants fire rockets occasionally into Israel in protest of the occupation causing injuries.
- September 2007: Israel declares Gaza an "enemy entity". It cuts off the majority of humanitarian aid, fuel and power in Gaza.
- Israel leads an incursion into Gaza killing several people (alleged militants).
- Nov. 5th 2008, Palestinian militants respond by launching rockets.
- Above event led to the Gaza blockade, which further reduced the amount of humanitarian aid and power that Gaza receives.
- Israel bombs Gaza with F-16s murdering and injuring +300 and +1400, respectively.
The U.S. is condoning the killing of a specific group of people (could be viewed as genocide) by not holding Israel responsible. It is also increasing resentment in the eyes of the majority of the Middle-East, especially in the Muslim population, who probably feel that even when they are the victims, they are treated as terrorists.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Since November 5th, however, Gaza's borders have been blocked by the Israeli government due to the breakdown of a five month truce between Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls Gaza, and Israel. This breakdown occurred due to an incursion made by Israel into Gaza and led to the deaths of numerous alleged Palestinian militants. After these killings, Palestinian militants retaliated by rocket launches into Israeli territory, which caused several to be injured.
The blockade of Gaza's borders has caused massive socio-economic devastation. Prior to the blockade, Gaza was already entirely dependent on humanitarian aid. Now, however, the level of poverty, starvation and disease has greatly increased due to Israel blocking the majority of humanitarian aid that is trying to come in. The little aid that is let in is not sufficient enough to sustain the 1.5 million Palestinians. Presently, 46% of Gazan children suffer from acute anemia and greater than 80% of the Gazan population live below the level of poverty.
Furthermore, Israel is drastically cutting off fuel supplies, which is leading to power outages. Gaza has been dependent on Israel on electricity and fuel ever since Israel bombed Gaza's only power plant in June 2006. Without constant electricity, hospitals are substantially affected and the injured and sick are not properly cared for. These people are even denied entry to Israel to get medicalcare, which leads to even further deaths.
Israel has just recently blocked news agencies like New York Times, CNN, AP, as well as, some UN officials like Richard Falk from entering Israel, which means that less people will become aware about this situation and of the ongoing atrocities.
This blockade is nothing short of a Crime Against Humanity.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Stop stalling EPA!
I'm not getting what the EPA has yet to determine because it seems fairly obvious that global warming and GHGs negatively affect people's health. The EPA just stated in July 2008 that because global warming will increase periods of extreme heat, those periods will then lead to an increase in deaths primarily concentrated in the elderly, poor and inner city populations. The EPA also pointed out that "In July 1995, a heat wave killed more than 700 people in the Chicago area alone."
Furthermore, parasitic-caused diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, have increased and will continue to do so because mosquitoes are able to inhabit higher altitudes that because of global warming, have increased in temperature. Salmonellosis and other food-borne infections will also skyrocket because these peak in warmer months.
Not evidence enough for the EPA?
Well, scientists are studying the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in four cities: New York, Mexico City, San Paolo and Santiago. And they have estimated that by significantly decreasing fossil fuel emissions (CO2), which would thereby decrease other copollutants by 10%, those four cities could "avoid some 64,000 premature deaths (including infant deaths) and 65,000 chronic bronchitis cases." (www.Sciencemag.com)
These are the direct health complications due to GHG and global warming. The indirect consequences are infinite because with an increase in extreme and erratic weather conditions, there will be an increase of destruction and thereby an increase in poverty, starvation and unsanitary living conditions.
So, if the EPA wants to take its time on imposing regulations on GHGs, then it is also needs to realize that it is one of the agents that will cause the potential deaths of millions of individuals.
Stand-the-Eff-up! Read more!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
He just passed regulations that would protect health care workers- doctors to janitors- from providing health care services that go against their "conscience". Thus, if abortions or birth control go against their "conscience" (personal, moral or religious belief), health care workers can deny the patient of those services. Furthermore, if the health care facility that said health care worker works for forces he/she to oblige, federal health officials can cut federal funding for that facility.
Saint Obama is already discussing the reversal of this regulation. However, depending on how far along this regulation gets prior to Obama's inauguration, it may take a while for it to be reversed. Senator Clinton and Senator Murphy have already proposed a bill to reverse it. When it does get reversed, Bush's favor to the religious and conservative fanatics, will be another favor of his that has wasted a lot of time and money ( $44 million to implement this bill).
Due to the bill's vague language, this "Right to conscience" can apply to a variety of people and health care issues. For example, health care workers can deny people of sex change operations if it goes against their "conscience". It probably could go as far as denying services to gay people if they don't believe in homosexuality or they believe that it's a sin. Infertility doctors have already denied performing artificial insemination to lesbian couples and unmarried women!
So in conclusion, ladies, singles and gays beware! Make sure to get your doctor's stance on all civil rights issues prior to letting him/her perform any service on you.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The smarties at NASA developed Plasma Gasification, a process that uses very hot plasma to break down trash as it simultaneously generates energy. Geoplasma is about to put this process into use in a town in Florida. As Inhabitat expressed, "the plant will use super-hot 10,000 degree Fahrenheit plasma to effectively vaporize 1,500 tons of trash each day, which in turn spins turbines to generate 60MW of electricity- enough to power 50,000 homes!" Gasification can also heat inorganic materials into materials that can be reused for other applications. France and Japan have already implemented this process.
Best of all, Plasma Gasification is much less harmful to the environment than incineration is (how a lot of our trash is handled now). For example, Nitrous Oxide, a greenhouse gas, is 6x's higher when incinerators are used than when Plasma Gasification is. Furthermore, when compared to incinerators, gasification only emits a small fraction of sulfur dioxide, which is a compound that produces acid rain* and negatively impacts forests and streams. This trash-vaporizing process also decreases the size of our landfills, which in turn decreases methane gas, a greenhouse gas.
* Sulfur Dioxide is also a cooling agent, so in essence it decreases the negative impact of CO2 in the atmosphere. Read more!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I've been sitting on gold for a days now and I keep forgetting to share the wealth.
Credo Mobile, the greenest phone company operating since 1985, has an offer that is quite legit. Here are the specs for your pocket:
-Credo will buyout your current contract (up to $200)
-If you are on a family plan, they will buy out up to 3 lines (up to $600 in total)
-Credo will give you a new phone that looks sharper than a blade for free
-Credo will also give you a solar power charger for free
The network coverage is through Sprint, so you won't be left in the dark when you're out in the boonies trying to make a call.
AND to top it all of, 1% of your service charge will go directly to a nonprofit organization such as ACLU, Greenpeace and Global Fund for Women. So far Credo has given $60 million dollars to various organizations like the ones mentioned above, as well as, Amnesty International, Doctors without Borders and Planned Parenthood. It helped increase the first fuel-economy standards in 23 years. It protested against Prop 8. It help shut down 30 coal mines. It lobbied against the War in Iraq. Being socially responsible isn't just a fad for them.
The only catch is...
The offer expires December 18th, 2008. I know that's quite soon (my fault!) but hey, there really isn't much to lose.
Don't you want to make a difference while talking to your friends about your refrigerator's new and not-so-pleasant stench?
The promo code is 500226.
Learn more about Credo and Act Peace:
An Easy Way to Spread Peace Read more!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Hello my little balls of joy,
Mr. Bush and his glorious team of do-gooders are at it again.
After using torture and extraordinary rendition, which is the act of transferring (read: kidnapping) suspected terrorists to a state that is torture-prone, Mr. Bush may use his presidential power to pardon his administration officials from criminal charges. And of course, we should expect no less from him.
This would be another unprecedented act for Mr. Bush.
Although, under the constitution, the president is given authority to grant pardons for federal offenses, this administration had already clearly violated the Constitution when it authorized the use of torture. Furthermore, by granting pardons prior to his torture-team even being charged, those pardons would then block the conduction of criminal investigations or prosecutions.
If the Bush administration feels as though it has followed the Constitution, then why not let criminal investigations occur? If it has performed no illegal act, then it has nothing to hide.
In any case, we must make sure that Bush hears our protests. We cannot let him preemptively pardon. We cannot let the truth be hidden from us.
Say No to Pardons Read more!
Friday, December 12, 2008
*WARNING: Highly graphic content. Please stop consuming food prior to watching. This may provoke you to write me hate letters.
Kentucky Fried-Stomped-Beaten Chicken
To learn more or act peace:
the Humane Society Read more!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Most everyone knows that there is and has been conflict between Israel and Palestine, primarily over land and occupation. However, many times, the depth of that knowledge hardly punctures the surface.
Learning about its history will give us a better understanding of what is going on not only with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict now but will also give us insight into why Western and Middle Eastern relations are so poor. This will also keep us from assuming that all Arab people are inherently terrorists and are angry without foundation. By the U.S. constantly referring to Israel as "our closest ally", it is in essence condoning Israel's actions and reprimanding Palestine's. To make matters worse, the U.S. gives Israel a significant amount of foreign aid (one of the top recipients), most of which goes to military aid. Thus not only does the U.S. verbally align itself with Israel, it funds a great majority of Israel's activities. With this in mind, here's a brief history, for my benefit and hopefully for yours:
The anti-Semitism in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century led to a rise in Zionism, the Jewish national movement. Zionists wanted to have Palestine as their own Jewish state because of the reference of Eretz Yisrael (Palestine) in the Hebrew Bible.
Post World War I and the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, many countries under the once Ottoman rule came under British rule, only in the capacity of administrative assistance and advice. Palestine was the exception.
In 1917, Britain implemented the Belflour Declaration, which sought to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Between the years of 1922-1947, the Jewish population increased significantly. Violence erupted on both sides, which led Britain to pawn off the country and conflict to the U.N.
Another war occurred in 1967, which ended in Israel occupying the remaining territories, including the land that was once controlled under Jordan and Egypt- The West Bank and Gaza Strip. The rest of Jerusalem came under the control of Israel as well. Due to this, 1/2 million Palestinians emigrated.
In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon with the intention to dismantle the Palestinian Liberation Organization, PLO, which was a group that wanted to give voice to and fight for the Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon. A ceasefire was agreed upon when Israel guaranteed the safety of Palestinians in the refugee camps. In return, Palestinians withdrew from Beirut, Lebanon. Compromising the promise made, Israelis committed a large-scaled massacre of Palestinians in two refugee camps.
A mass uprising (intifada) against the Israel occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (West Bank & Gaza) occurred five years later (1987). Due to the methods of force used by the Israelis, an estimated 1,100 Palestinians were killed by Israelis while 160 Israelis were killed by Palestinians.
Various peace talks and negotiations took place between 1991 and 2001; however, the talks for the most part were inconclusive.
A second intifada occurred when Ariel Sharon, Israel's Prime Minister, visited Temple Mount, which is regarded as holy in both Islam and Judaism. Chaos and destruction ensued.
Israel built a separation wall in West Bank located in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 2002, which was considered illegal by the International Court of Justice. When the wall is completely built it will span 420 mi, which compared to the Berlin Wall, 96 mi, is mammoth. Palestinians are now forced to go through hundreds of Israeli-controlled checkpoints to not only get into Israel, but also to get into their own territories- West Bank and Gaza.
(Courtesy of MIT)
In 2005, Israel withdrew its troops from the Gaza Strip; however, it
has kept complete control over its "borders, seashores and airspace."
Currently there are more than 4 million Palestinian refugees out of the total 8 million Palestinian population.
Hilary Clinton is Secretary of State.
Obama picked her on Monday.
This was an amazing move. I'm sure many Hilary supporters feel that their voices will now be heard and their views will be rep'd in the government. Perhaps this repairs their wounds from when Obama didn't choose her for vice president.
Mr. Smartypants Obama,
<3 Read more!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Thanksgiving. Just once I would like the rest of the world to show us a little gratitude.
Traditionally the Pilgrims started Thanksgiving in 1621 to thank the Wampanoag Indians Wampanoag for helping them through a difficult winter. For the last 400 years we've been thanking the Indians for what they did for the colonists, so would it kill them to take one year to thank us for civilizing them and for introducing them to casino gambling, which has proven to be such a boon to their culture? Regrettably, the Wampanoag can't thank us because most of them were killed off by the colonists and those who claim to be their descendents can't prove they who they are so they aren't officially recognized. But there are plenty of other Native-Americans who could certainly take an hour or two off from running the blackjack tables to say, "Miigwetch, kimosabe."
They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Iraq but maybe they should start. And perhaps we could celebrate Thankstaking this year and ask the Iraqi people to show us some appreciation for liberating them from Saddam Hussein and leaving the majority of their population intact. And perhaps they could thank us for the three hours of electricity they have every day, and the 30% of their citizens who have clean water and the 20% with decent sanitation could thank us for that. And they might want to thank us for the billions of dollars we have pumped into that country, some of which has actually gotten to Iraqi citizens. Things are better now in Iraq than they have been at any time since we invaded. Shouldn't we get a little appreciation for that?
And there are many other countries that should be thanking us this Thankstaking holiday. Iran should thank us for not bombing them yet. Pakistan should thank us for helping to keep them free of an Islamic dictatorship, which would be much worse than the dictatorship they have now. Burma should thank us for asking their government very firmly not to kill all their monks. China should thank us for buying all of their very cheap and usually GHB- and lead-free toys. Mexico should thank us for giving so many of their citizens jobs that sometimes pay as much as minimum wage and for not rounding them all up and deporting them yet. India should thank us for sending so many of our other jobs over to them. You're welcome.
In 1973 Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair made a powerful radio address called "The Americans" in which he praised our incredible generosity and selflessness. "The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany," he began. "It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the world." With the American dollar now at record lows against the Euro, perhaps it's time to heed his words again. The United States is the world's largest giver of foreign aid. We give a whopping 0.13% of our gross domestic product in foreign aid, 81% of which we cleverly tied to the purchase of U.S. goods and services. Of the 21 richest countries in the world only Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, France, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany and Portugal are more generous than the United States when it comes to foreign aid, according to the Center for Global Development. It's about time someone thanked us for being more charitable than Greece and Japan.
President Bush is certainly entitled to ask for a big thank you for keeping this country safe from terrorists despite the efforts of Democrats, who will have only themselves to blame if there is another terrorist attack. And the American people certainly owe him some gratitude for what he's done for the economy, which has begun to falter not so coincidentally only since the election of a Democrat majority in Congress. Thanks to his policies a number of Americans got a chance to see what it would be like to live in homes they could not afford, memories they will always cherish long after the banks foreclose on them. And if it wasn't for President Bush, there might be no New Orleans at all. Thanks to his efforts, New Orleans has the first white majority city council in 22 years, which as James Joyner at Outside the Beltway points out, is a "good thing" because it means the city has shifted "away from race-based voting." This would not have been possible without President Bush's leadership. I hope that on this Thankstaking holiday, the President takes some credit for all that he has done for this country.
And I'm sure there are many of you out there who aren't getting enough appreciation for all of the hard work you do. Isn't it time you got a little recognition for it? This Thankstaking holiday, instead of saying "thank you" why not say "thank me" for a change. You deserve it. And don't forget to thank me while you're at it.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
- Marilyn Mach vos Savant
It was a cool night; the wind was at a standstill. In a house on the corner of a very quiet street, there lived two lovely ladies, let's call them banana and lemon, who were in a very heated conversation. The topic at hand were tree houses. But the tree houses being discussed were not like the ones you see haphazardly put together in someone's backyard. No, these were elaborate homes in forests that happened to be built up high on a tree.
So, they got to thinking that it would be pretty amazing to construct a commune of tree houses. A commune because well, it would be pretty frightening to live in a forest all by your lonesome. A means of getting to one another's homes would be by zip lining (if you're in a hurry) or by bridge. There would be a staircase or ladder (your preference) that would take you to the ground floor. At the bottom, there would be ample food being grown without negatively impacting said ecosystem. The trees used as the foundation for the homes would not be damaged AND they, as well as, all the materials used would be sustainable! Another wonderful aspect would be that there wouldn't be a need to strip the environment just to make space for us. We would literally intertwine ourselves with nature.
Don't you want to be tangled up in nature?
Friday, November 14, 2008
The global warming cycle:
The degree to which we consume and the harmful substances that we devour--> Erratic and often destructive weather--> Our homes & ecosystems ravaged--> Reconstruction of our lives--> Further negative impact on our environment.
We need to change the erraticism. We need to reverse the devastation that our overconsumption has caused. Although, complete reversal is implausible, it doesn't need to be all or nothing.
As a country, we still are not taking the steps necessary for reversal. We are one of the few countries that have yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol (signed only= not legally bound), an international environmental treaty that legally binds the signatories to reduce their consumption of 6 greenhouse gases. We need to join the international community in fighting global warming.
Red= signed & declined ratification; Grey= declined both)
Here's our chance:
The United Nations global warming treaty negotiation, a climate talk that's goal is to reduce global warming 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050, is occurring this coming December in Poznan, Poland. We need President-elect Obama to attend these negotiations, so that America can progress into a country that is compassionate about the world we live in.
We need to shock ourselves into existence.
The treatment occurring @ the prisons of Guantanamo Bay should be that shock.
Prisoners, who may not have even committed crimes or engaged in terrorist activities, are locked in an torturous environment, literally. They endure waterboarding, an act that simulates drowning (forcefully binding the person, putting a cloth over his mouth & nose and pouring water over his face), which prior to our activity, we deemed an illegal act of torture (read: unconstitutional- cruel & unusual punishment). Numerous studies have shown that using torture as a method to uncover information is ineffective because the information obtained is usually completely or partially false.
Another unconstitutional act is our refusal to grant these prisoners the right to a fair and speedy trial- they don't even have the right to a trial.
Furthermore, the international community can't take the U.S. to court for these abuses against humanity because Bush strategically took America out of an international peace treaty that banned the use of torture.
We need to hold people accountable and we need to stop this atrocious behavior.
Sign the petition (takes 17.5 seconds) & become open to the cries of humanity.
End Torture- Close Gitmo Read more!
Good morning cupcakes :),
It has been more than a week since the passage of Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in CA, and we're still causing a STORM.
Saturday, November 15th, 2008 @ 10:30 AM in front of LA City Hall, WE will continue this fight.
It's a national protest, so even states that didn't have the issue of gay marriage on the ballot will be protesting. Be a part of this movement towards equality!
We need to continue or injustice will prevail.
For more info:
Lovely day :) Read more!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
you may also want to know that as i write this, i am in the bathroom. all great things come from here.
let's start the revolution.
A T T A C K! Read more!