Friday, October 30, 2009

Afghanistan: Easy to Understand. Not!

An up close a personal view of how personal politics are in Afghanistan.

Notes from a tribal gathering

Commander Daoud
This man, Commander Daoud, is not a particularly nice man.
He was one of the people in this province responsible for widespread vote rigging in his area of influence in Zazi Aryoub district.
I tried to explain the UN’s role in the election
but somehow it all got lost somewhere between him brandishing his walking stick at me and then storming off. Well, limping off really.
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New Exciting Twist to House Parties - Live Concerts!

Forget MeetUps - have a concert in your home. Wait for export of idea or make it your own - read on!
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Dutch music project turns living rooms into live venues

A Live in Your Living Room concert

Your favorite band might just show up at your door very soon. The Live in Your Living Room project started in the Netherlands and is now out to get top musicians performing in homes all over the world.

Anyone can host a living room concert as long as they live in one of the12 Dutch and Belgian cities currently on the Live in Your Living Room tour schedule. Mainly taking place on Sunday evenings at around 8:00 pm, three diverse bands each play an initial set of 15 minutes to a gathered audience of friends and strangers.

While the Internet can take some credit for making the promotion and organization of the living room concerts much easier, Jonkheer believes that the uniqueness of the live event itself is responsible for the concept's growing popularity.

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Flushing Our Future or Toilets for a Thirsty Earth?

The farmer in Somalia needs it. The farmers in Texas, New Mexico, and Alberta need it too but you are flushing it away. Now come Juan Carlos to the rescue!
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Water friendly toilets

Juan Carlos Calizaya Luna designs and installs innovative and environmentally friendly sanitation systems that give low-income communities the ability to manage their waste in a way that is beneficial for the environment, health in a model that even increases their wealth.
Juan Carlos's new approach to sustainable waste management saves 50% of typical urban water consumption, and most importantly, it involves local citizens in development and financing to ensure sustainability.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Global Grace Day - Nov. 9th, 2009

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Global Grace Day 2009 - November 9th

Global Grace Day - November 9, 2009 :

A day for the global world community to connect to each other and to the inner source of true non-violence that will lead us into a future worth living. Grace will lead us home. Join in and get active !
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Safe City Parking for Commuter Bikes - Covina, Calif.

Neat idea and to be tried out in my hometown where cars had been king in cheap gas eras but now has bike riders and access again to commuter rail. Grin - there was commuter rail in the late 1940s and early 1950s that went bust when freeways and 15 cent a galon gas killed them.
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Hardcore cyclists will ride their bikes no matter what. But for us borderliners--people who have some interest in the green benefits of bicycle travel but are not fully vested--it's tough for us to drop hundreds or thousands on a bike when we know, through countless anecdotes from fellow city-dwellers, that all or part of it will be stolen within months.

Covina, California will be the first U.S. municipality to install the new Secure Bike Modules, starting later this year with a 10 x 25 structure that will offer 36 secure parking spaces for bikes, accessible by electronic key fobs. The modules are, as the name implies, modular, and will presumably be expanded as interest grows.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Will We See Another Land Rush to Steal Indian Land for Solar Gold?

Custer's Last Stand came after some gold fever, Oklahoma was supposed to be the "refuge" of Native Americans kicked out of homelands in North Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Ohio - until "we" decided we wanted it to. Who will the Sooners be this time? A suddenly "green" BP or Shell?
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Rethinking Green Jobs on the Rez

By Kari Lydersen

At the Indigenous Uranium Forum in Acoma, New Mexico Oct. 22-24, tribal members sounded a cautionary note about the optimism over renewable energy on Native land. The forum focused on the heavy and ongoing health toll – countless cases of cancer and kidney disease – wrought by decades of mining uranium on Native land, often by Native American miners.

If tribes aren’t vigilant and proactive, they worry, large-scale corporate renewable energy generation on their land could leave them feeling used and exploited and suffering health or environmental effects just like fossil fuels and uranium have in the past.

“Just like in Saudi Arabia, companies will want that power,” said Indigenous Environmental Network organizer Jihan Gearon. “They can still exploit us for wind and solar. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen. We need to rethink the whole concept of a green economy and who benefits.”

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Wonk Room » Wife Of Iraq Vet Suffering PTSD Fighting Deportation

Wonk Room » Wife Of Iraq Vet Suffering PTSD Fighting Deportation

Welcome to the Beginning of the End of the Afghan War?

First US official resigns over Afghanistan war

Matthew Hoh, 36, a former captain in the Marine Corps who fought in Iraq
before joining the US State department, resigned from his post as the senior
US civilian in Zabul province, a Taleban stronghold in Afghanistan. He said
that he believed the war only fuelled the insurgency, the Washington

"I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned
future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing
this war, but why and to what end."

He said that many Afghans were fighting the United States largely because its
troops were there. While the Taleban was a malign presence, and al-Qaeda
needed to be confronted, he said, the US was asking its troops to die in
Afghanistan for what was essentially a far-off civil war.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Palm Oil Plantations are Not Rain Forests! Grrrr!

Today's short term gain will have us all gasping for air and pleading for relief when the dummies find out they went too far!

Rainforest treaty 'fatally flawed'

Climate summit loophole lets palm oil producers cull vital wilderness

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

Under proposals due to be ratified at the summit, countries which cut down
rainforests and convert them to plantations of trees such as oil palms would
still be able to classify the result as forest and could receive millions of
dollars meant for preserving them. An earlier version of the text ruled out
such a conversion but has been deleted, and the EU delegation – headed by
Britain – has blocked its reinsertion.

Now they are calling on Britain to take a lead in restoring the
anti-plantations safeguard at the final negotiating session in a week's
time, saying that otherwise the agreement – which seeks to halve global
deforestation rates by 2020 – will be fatally flawed.

Regenerated palm oil trees are seen growing on the site of destroyed tropical rainforest in Kuala Cenaku, Indonesia

Regenerated palm oil trees are seen growing on the site of destroyed tropical rainforest in Kuala Cenaku, Indonesia

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BMW to Cap Executive Pay - wundervoll!

Now let me get this straight. GM, Ford, and Chrysler have all lost market share in the US and complain that worker wages and benefits made them uncompetitive. Germans assembly line workers average $60,000 a year and BMW sales have not plummeted as US car makers have.

And now, BMW says they are capping executive pay by establishing the current ration of difference 25-1 as THE ratio. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. worker earned $29,544. The ratio of CEO pay to average pay is 364:1 and to minimum wage is 885:1.

So... Why is it that US car companies have trouble competing?
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BMW to link managers' compensation to factory-worker wages

BMW plans to develop a new pay structure that links the salaries of its top executives to the wages of regular workers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday. It would be the first German manufacturer to do so.

Currently, the average salary of a worker on BMW's assembly line is around 40,000 euros a year ($60,100) while an executive board member's salary is around one million euros. In a proposal being developed by BMW, this ratio, approximately 25 to one, will remain at that level.

BMW assembly line
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Who Knew? Middle East Conflict Starts World Record Food Fight

I have tongue in cheek to get that last bit of hummus - grin. And here I thought the source of the conflict was over land and past wars.

Who knew that you could probably settle conflict in the Middle East by promoting a reality TV show called Food Fight 2010. I can see it now: the Somalis, Sudanese, Ethiopeans fight over who makes the best tef-based bread or add the Kenyans and who makes the best bright coffee!

But the ultimate game may be a toss up - sorry salad lovers - between who has the best:

1. Zatar.

2. Noodle

3. Bar-b-que sauce (We Americanss think we invented it but you know people bar-b-que all over the world. Really. Our version probably comes to us from Nigeria and Ghana - Get your red hot Suya sauce!

Wars are serious and should be ended and I can't think of a better way to do it than to leave it to the world voting online for the best hummus. And actually, I like the cheese that the Spanish make from sheep's milk better than feta _ OMG! Did I really admi
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Lebanese to Israel: Hands off our hummus!

Lebanese chefs prepared a massive plate of hummus weighing over two tons Saturday that broke a world record organizers said was previously held by Israel - a bid to reaffirm proprietorship over the popular Middle Eastern dip.

Lebanese chefs react after...
Lebanese chefs prepare a...

A similar attempt to set a new world record will be held Sunday for the largest serving of tabbouleh, a salad made of chopped parsley and tomatoes, that Lebanon also claims as its own.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Power Grab by Big Agriculture in Ohio Could Mean Raising Cats inOhio for China Market

What I have to say is in in the petition. If you know folks in Ohio and agree that putting all agriculture regulatory power in the hands of an appointed commission that could by-pass the legislature and people is a bad idea, please pass along.
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Keep Ohio Cats and Dogs Out of People and Animal Food Products

Vote no on Ohio Issue 2
Be Sure No Ohio Cats and Dogs End Up as Food Exports to China.
Be Sure You Do Not End Up (Unintentionally) Feeding Ground Up Cats and Dogs to Your Pets.
Be Sure that Cats and Dogs Do Not End Up in Ground Meat Products Sold to People

Vote no on Ohio Issue 2 which proposes to change the Ohio Constitution and establish an appointed Agricultural Commission that could without going to the legislature or to Ohio voters:

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Giving Polar Bears Some Elbow Room!

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US moves to protect polar bear habitat�-�October 23, 2009

polar.bear.jpgOver 200,000 square miles (520,000 sq km) of Alaskan territory could be designated ‘critical habitat’ for polar bears, under new proposals from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. This is the largest area ever proposed for such a designation by the FWS

If the land is designated as critical habitat any “destruction or adverse modification” of it will be prohibited under the Endangered Species Act. This would apply to oil and gas exploration activities which are currently underway in the area says the FWS.

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Cat Got Your Tongue?

Photo-realism inspired and of course by Homer, as well. Happy Friday, all!
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I Like Mountains with Tops, not Scalped for Greed


TAKE ACTION: Call on the Obama Administration to support Congress in ending mountaintop removal

In order to stop mountaintop removal, Congressional leaders must move this bill through to a vote, and the Obama administration must create regulations to uphold the language of bill.

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Working Together for Peace in Israel, Palestine, and USA

Working together for a peace today that all can live with and benefits us all is what I support.
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50,000 Brit
Tzedek Activists, Rabbinic Cabinet to Ally with J Street�s
National Grassroots Program
Veteran organizer Laurie Moskowitz to serve as senior
Carinne Luck returns to run day-to-day

"Our job now is to do everything possible to ensure President
Obama's success with his peacemaking efforts to end the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Together with J Street, we can
significantly ramp up our strategic grassroots organizing
campaigns to the next level," Masters said.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trust Shell to drill in Arctic Ocean? Nope!

Not Shell in Timor Sea but company that wants to drill off Florida, in Gulf Coast. Trust any of them nope!
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Timor Sea Drilling Spill: Two Months and Still Going

The ongoing Montara / West Atlas oil spill in the Timor Sea off Western Australia is now in its 62nd day. So far, three attempts to intercept and plug the leaking well have failed. Another attempt should happen today. A MODIS / Terra satellite image taken on October 21 - exactly two months after the blowout and spill began - shows slicks and sheen covering 2,600 square miles and approaching within 35 miles of the Kimberley coast. Satellite images show that oil has been moving to the south-southeast from the Montara platform, toward Australia, for the past few days:
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Too much e-coli got you down? Bump FDA!

thanksgiving mealPass food safety by the holidays!

A Thanksgiving meal shouldn’t mean worrying about whether the food you’re eating or serving will get you or your family sick. But until Congress passes a strong food safety bill, we’re left wondering just how safe that next forkful really is.

Why is reform so urgent? Because Americans are still getting horribly ill and dying from food most of us would think is safe. A recent study found that the riskiest foods regulated by the FDA include ones on most of our tables – lettuce, eggs, tomatoes and certain kinds of cheese.

thanksgiving meal
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