Friday, February 26, 2010

Iraq & Afghan war waste will keep on killing for years

Gulf War Syndrome -oh I heard of that. Agent Orange - That was a Viet Nam thing - right? How much do we know about about war effects on non-Americans? Not much. Should we care? Well yes, if for no other reason than to not grow more terrorists in future. So - at least read about it.

Iraq: Depleted Uranium, Political Turmoil, and Disability

Iraq is littered with pollutants, many of which are a direct consequence of military activity. This includes dioxins from sites where materiel was burned, depleted uranium1 from scores of shells fired in the 1991 Gulf War and during the present Gulf War, remains of chemical and biological weapons which have not been properly contained, and pollution from the burning of oil fields.
Rates of cancers in Iraq are skyrocketing, especially childhood cancers. Women experience breast and bladder cancer at rates which are, again, very difficult to estimate, but are known to be much higher than the norm. Numerous recent reports have also illustrated the incredibly rapid rise of genetic conditions caused by exposure to pollutants.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Clinton, Obama: Blackball Blackwater - now!

Blackwater/Xe - totally out of control, should be off tax payer payroll and in jail!
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Blackwater Threatens to Kill CODEPINK Activist

Former Blackwater Employee Threatens to Kill CODEPINK Activist in
Senate Hearing Room

Johnnie Walker, as he was leaving the hearing room, turned to me—within earshot of the U.S. Capitol Policeman Angel Morales–and said, “I’m gonna kill YOU.”

Barry shouted out to the police and Blackwater management, “Do you see the kind of people you hire–such loose cannons that they’d threaten me in a Senate hearing room?” Barry filed a complaint with the Capitol Police.

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Bikes, Commuter Trains in my California Home Town!

Who would have thought this would happen in land of cruising and cars - grin. I grew up watching Red Line commuter line that disappeared as "freeways" blossomed. Good to see trains back and bikes too!

Bikestations open: A place to park two wheels

In Covina, it also means the city now owns a much-touted 250-square-foot bike module with space enough for 36 bikes for commuters at the Metrolink Station on Citrus Avenue.

Ultimately, it means riders who commute on their bikes will have a secure, clean place to store their bikes before or after they hop off the train.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Walk in a Gaza Mom's Shoes a Bit

I once lived in Hatfield, Massachusetts - until I was 2 and a half years old. I am 65 now but I still remember the dirt and fields I played in next to the Connecticut River. So, I know how this 5 year-old thinks of Gaza as his town. It'd be nice if Yousuf could go home to a gaza at peace - wouldn't it?
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Gaza, my city

The other day, Yousuf came home from kindergarten with a small project. He was given a paper to fill out to help him learn his address.
I noticed though under “city” he had written something that did not exactly read like Columbia.
“Gosa?” I asked.
“It says Gaza” he said matter-of-factly.
Forget about explaining geography and the limits of physical boundaries to a 5 year old.
Gaza has taken a big part of his heart and he never forgets it. I think in some way, that is how we all feel. No matter how far away we are, no matter how young or old, no matter where we are born and where we end up living, Gaza is in our hearts and is always our city. It casts a spell on you.
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A Time to Mourn - Time to Act.

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Wage Peace: Afghanistan, a campaign of the American Friends Service Committee

The war in Afghanistan has claimed the life of the 1000th U.S. soldier.  The number of Afghans and Pakistanis killed is many times more and yet unknown.  We mourn the loss of life knowing that more violence will not bring peace. This war must end.

By year's end, there will be 100,000 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.  At one million dollars per soldier for deployment, we will be spending in excess of $100 billion a year, on military solutions.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Enough of this snow! Take me back to LA - now - I love it!

I grew up there - that's my story and I am sticking to it! Grin. And I really like Randy Newman.
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Watch this video in a new window

I Love L.A-Randy Newman Music Video

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

He was going to Taos - do you think he made it?

How hard does life have to get before you risk death to improve it - think it is just a whim? Can you imagine what it was like before he said good bye to life before you dismiss the death of a fellow human?

Sonoran Desert: 61 human beings found dead in four months

ARIZONA -- The number of human remains recovered on the Arizona-Sonora border since October 1, 2009 has reached 61, reports Coalición de Derechos Humanos.
"Men, women and children continue to perish on our border, communities cry out for justice, and yet nothing has been done to address the policies that have pushed migrants into the deadly Arizona terrain" continues Rodriguez. "We truly are in the midst of a devastating human rights crisis."
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

World leader in sales of weapons? Do not ask, do not tell - it is US!

$55 billion is real money - do you think some of the wrong folks end up with the weapons? Do people die, just so Boeing, Northrup, General Dynamics, Blackhawk (Xe) can make some bucks?
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America’s Global Weapons Monopoly
Don’t Call It
the Global Arms Trade”
By Frida Berrigan

In 2008, according to an authoritative report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), $55.2 billion in weapons deals were concluded worldwide. Of that total, the United States was responsible for $37.8 billion in weapons sales agreements, or 68.4% of the total “trade.” Some of these agreements were long-term ones and did not result in 2008 deliveries of weapons systems, but these latest figures are a good gauge of the global appetite for weapons. It doesn’t take a PhD in economics to recognize that, when one nation accounts for nearly 70% of weapons sales, the term “global arms trade” doesn’t quite cut it.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Zakia's Afghanistan is breaking her heart

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My Country

I am from a country where houses and schools are burned
I can smell the smoke and hear painful
voices with hearts breaking from sorrows of loss
That say: Stop. We don’t need war anymore

I am from a country where women burn themselves
to commit suicide and escape from their family’s violence
I can hear the voices
That say: Stop. We don’t need violence anymore

I am from a country where everyone struggles
to bring a positive change for a peaceful life
Where peace workers are like angels,
But the change comes too slow.

I am from a country where hundred thousands of
eyes look toward a peace
that still can barely be visualized.

By Zakia

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Will there ever be peace in the Congo?

Not as long as world suffers from nearly terminal ability to delude itself that what happens to others doesn't have an effect on everyone!
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DRC: Militias causing increased havoc in northeast
Attacks on civilians by Ugandan rebels and local militias have left 340,000 people displaced, and 30,000 refugees have fled to Sudan.
Aid workers say 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are inaccessible due to insecurity in Uélé District.
The joint DRC-Uganda military operation from 14 December 2008 until mid-March 2009 weakened the LRA but did not succeed in neutralizing it. The rebels dispersed in small, highly mobile groups into territory five times bigger than before the operation, according to civil society groups in Ituri.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why Katie is rowing the Atlantic - Safe Water!

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Day 39 — Why water matters

My passion for water began the same time I learned about ocean rowing, in literally the furthest place from my hometown in Cleveland, Ohio: Melbourne, Australia. It was in Melbourne that I learned about the water crisis as they were experiencing extreme drought. The facts are startling; over one billion or one in six people are without safe drinking water.

But there is hope. The solutions are available and often very cheaply. For as little as a $30 donation, one person can gain access to safe water for life! There is no cause that speaks louder to me — water is the source of all life!

BPR Water 2
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What is war like for a five year-old?

War is not video games. War is not glorious. War is about dreadful fear, being hungry, losing innocence.
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One Day’s Battle

I remember the day my innocence came to an end, sixteen years ago, when I was five years old.
A group of mujahedeen was attacking Farah, our city.

We set out on foot, my mother, my father, my cousin who carried the baby, my three-year-old sister and me. We were poor and did not have a vehicle. It took us about one hour to get from our house to the desert, but it seemed much longer.

I remember the rockets and bombs.
I lost my shoes. My family started to run and run.
I did not know that I was born into a world of war, or that I would grow up with the sounds of explosions and rockets being fired, or that I would still today hear of people who lose their lives in this fighting. But I have hope within me that one day we will live as other people in other countries, who have peace instead of war.
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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lunar New Year this weekend - bird flu makes comeback!

Millions upon millions of birds in live markets for sale for Lunar New Year - Avian Influenza spread by contact with feces, urine and sweat - get the picture - an unintended but real annual mutation lab for flu viruses that is now global because poultry market has been globalized and industrialized.
Some other headlines: Ban on import of chicken, eggs from Nepal to UP district, Egypt reports two more H5N1 cases, Cambodia culls bird flu-affected ducks, Bangladesh culls 13000 chickens after bird flu outbreak, Media Report: Two Indonesian Bird Flu Cases.

Roll the dice, when will bird flu cross over to the big time? But we gotta make money huh?
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Bird flu hits many provinces
Bird flu is now spreading rapidly in many provinces after a long period of containment, the Department of Animal Health (DAH) said on February 8.
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Monday, February 08, 2010

Remarkable row across the Atlantic - half way point reached!

Trying to swim from Cuba to USA once captivated public - but row the Atlantic alone - Pure moxie to the tenth power! Time to dance a little dance with Katie at her halfway point - you go girl!
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Day 37 — Halfway

1,230 miles away from the nearest land, 36 days without seeing another human being, and I just might be in one of the most remote places on the planet aside from the North and South Pole.

Atlantic beauty

So how does it feel to be smack dab in the middle of an ocean? Well, it’s the same limitless sky, same deep blue waters, same endless horizon, while sitting in the same bright yellow rowboat. But today, no sunset or wildlife could be more exciting than seeing the half-way point tick by on my GPS.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Afghan Follies: Part Three? Gorby Says Yes

This guy might know a bit about Afghanistan and what not to do - ya think - yep. Worth a read for sure.
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Soviet Lessons From Afghanistan


What began after Sept. 11, 2001, as a seemingly appropriate military response aimed at rooting out terrorism could end in a major strategic failure.

In 1979, the Soviet leadership sent troops to Afghanistan, justifying that move not just by the desire to help friendly elements there but also by the need to stabilize a neighboring country. The greatest mistake was failing to understand Afghanistan’s complexity — its patchwork of ethnic groups, clans and tribes, its unique traditions and minimal governance.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Egypt Gets Smart on Preventing Flu

All avian flu is passed through contact with feces, urine, and sweat. Ending the crowded live markets cuts down contact between birds and birds and people, as well as mutation of the influenza. If Indonesia, Viet Nam, Cambodia, India, and China would do the same - all influenza would plummet!

Live poultry sales to be banned as of July

According to Environment Minister Maged George, live poultry will be gradually phased out to be replaced by frozen poultry produced by licensed slaughterhouses.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cambodian Dead Duck Mystery Solved - Bird Flu Strikes Again!

Area in Cambodia borders Viet Nam. February 14th marks Lunar New Year which is celebrated in Cambodia, Viet Nam and China. It is as if you added Christmas, New Year, your birthday and in the US, the 4th of July and Memorial Day all together into one holiday that lasts from 3 to 10 days. And to ensure a prosperous year ahead, one MUST have duck, chicken, goose or a pig for your holiday meals. Now imagine how many ducks, geese, chickens and pigs are raised to be at their peak flavor in time to be sold "live" to millions upon millions of eager customers. Now, you understand how and why regular influenza/flu creates a new mix/mutation of flu each year in these live markets for transmission in Asia and the rest of the world. And you should understand why people are so worried that bird flu will change enough to go direct to people in a big way rather than the normal route of birds to pigs and then to people. Can you spell p-a-n-d-e-m-i-c?
Bird flu kills Takeo ducks

Sample tissue from ducks in Takeo province that died in an outbreak of a disease officials could not identify earlier this week have tested positive for the H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu
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Haitian Ladies Will Get Markets Working Again - Fast!

UN, Red Cross, US - take note what micro-financing well connected to the people in small business can do to get economy moving again!

Haiti womens micro-lending bank brings big cash to rescue

Able to quickly reach a well-developed network of women throughout the country, an alternative banking system performs while the Haitian economy is in shambles

Magazine cover - 'Haiti: How much do you know?'

At a time when Haitian commercial banks remain closed, Fonkoze, the Haitian branch of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, mobilized over one weekend to get funds to its members in rural towns as well as Port-au-Prince.

Between 2 a.m. and 2 p.m., last Saturday, January 23, Fonkoze brought in two million dollars in cash from their U.S. bank and distributed it by helicopters to regional offices in the most remote parts of the country.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Street Pianos "Play Me I'm Yours" Participative Performance Art!

Charming and almost too wonderful - grin.

Street pianos are appearing in cities across the world. Located in parks, squares, bus shelters and train stations, outside galleries, markets and on bridges and ferries, the pianos are for any member of the public to enjoy and claim ownership of. 112 pianos have been installed so far.

Who plays them and how long they remain is up to each community. Each piano acts as sculptural, musical, blank canvas that becomes a reflection of the communities it is embedded into. Many pianos are personalised and decorated.

In 2010, ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ will be presented in: London, Belfast, Barcelona, Pécs (Hungary), Cincinnati, San Jose and possibly New York City. Adelaide are presenting ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ in 2011.

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