Friday, June 14, 2013
The TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is being drafted with the help of 600 multinationals and with no input from consumers, farmers, or even Congress! Obama is trying to fast track it so there will be little or no debate. First personhood,and now nationhood for corporations! This would give them the ability to sue nations for anticipated loss of profits. For instance, if a country rejects genetically modified seeds, Monsanto could sue and overturn that country's ban on them.
It also "harmonizes" food safety standards that countries set, which is a pretty way to describe an ugly truth. If one country allows more e-coli to be present in meat, then all who sign this treaty will have to lower their standards and allow imports of the tainted meat, or risk being sued. This is so outrageous. Please take action- http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=8036&track=FB&tag=FB
From Roots Action-
The U.S. government is secretly negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Pacific nations. Here are a few highlights of what whistle blowers have revealed is in the treaty:
Corporate nationhood. The TPP will empower corporations to take real nations (including the U.S.) to court and overturn their laws.
Job offshoring. The TPP will create incentives for more exporting of jobs.
Damage to food safety.
Damage to environmental protections.
Enrichment of drug companies at the expense of human health.
Banning some generic drugs.
Further deregulating banks. (Read that one twice if you have to! We're not making this up!)
Forbidding the breaking up of too-big-to-fail financial firms, making them legally too big to fail.
Censoring the internet by effectively creating SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) despite its failure in Congress as a result of strong public opposition.
Here is what Organic Consumers has to say about it- "Consumer Alert: Secret Trade Agreements Threaten Food Safety, Subvert Democracy"
And here is an OP-Ed in the NY Times- "Obama's Covert Trade Deal"
Say NO to this plutocratic give-away!
Here in New Paltz, NY we were proud to be a part of the global March against Monsanto on May 25 to say NO to the genetic modification of our food supply.
The rest of the world woke up on this before we did. Sixty four countries already demand the labeling of GMOs and many ban them outright. But the US is catching up. After all, it was Tami Monroe Canal, of Rancho Cucomonga, CA, a stay-at-home mom and first time activist who organized the global march! She thought 3,000 participating would be a victory- she got two million! Like other moms and dads and concerned citizens across our country, she wants safe, non-toxic food and clean air and water for her family. On Maslow's hierarchy of needs- we are talking the most basic. That is why we cannot allow profits to be more important than the health of the people and the planet.
There has only been one study on how GMOs effect humans. Even though it was short-term, it showed that the new protein produced by RoundUp Ready GM soy transfers to gut bacteria and continues to function in our bodies- no follow-up studies were done. Some animal feeding studies show sterility by the third generation. Many more prove organ damage, immune dysregulation, infertility, increased mortality and many other problems. Yet, all the media does is to parrot Monsanto's claims that their products are "substantially equivalent" to other natural foods. This is why Monsanto says no human clinical trials are necessary. On their webpage they also explain that forcing DNA from an unrelated species into another is safe because "all plants have DNA" - never mind that they have changed the genetic structure of the plant permanently and in a way never found in nature in billions of years of evolution- Monsanto says "Trust us. It is safe." Reminder- they told us PCBs, DDT, Bovine Growth Hormone, Aspartame and RoundUp were safe too.
Please visit us on our new page- Hudson Valley for No GMOs and be a part of this new grassroots group born out of the March against Monsanto! Join us on Facebook at GMO? OMG! Hudson Valley for No GMOs. You don't have to be a Hudson Valley resident to benefit from the information and sharing there. If you want to be on a list for future events and to stay more involved write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tide is turning. Here are "Six Recent Events that Show Beginning of the End for Monsanto". And we can add to that Maine's House of Representatives just voted overwhelmingly to label GMOs. Momentum and truth are on our side- together we can prevail.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
|Photo: Occupy Wall Street|
Congress is at it again. This week the House voted and passed nine bills that all do the bidding of Wall Street. It will allow them to continue their reckless Wall Street gambling with derivatives and ensures that Wall Street will get another bailout if they make the economy go bust again. There were only 6 on the Financial Services Committee who dared say no to Wall St. They are:Rep Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) (D-CA), Rep Keith Ellison (@keithellison) (D-MN), Rep Steven Lynch (@RepStephenLynch) (D-MA), Rep Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) (D-NY), Rep Mike Capuano (@mikecapuano) (D-MA), and Rep Al Green (@RepAlGreen) (D-TX). Send them a tweet to thank them. Read more on the 53 who sold us out.
Mountaintop Removal's Toxic Legacy
|Photo: Appalachia Rising|
It is heartbreaking to see whole families having to protest in front of the EPA, that has continually failed them, with samples of the dirty water that they are forced to use. Please join their fight and sign the petition to protect the drinking water of families in Appalachia from mountaintop removal pollution.
Healthcare for All
From Kathie Aberman, Sullivan Co MoveOn
|From a Healthcare for All Vigil in New Paltz in 2008 B Upton|
Speak up for New York State Health on May 21st!
New York’s cost benefit analysis on securing state sponsored, quality health insurance for all New Yorkers revealed that only a single payer system like New York Health provided both universal comprehensive healthcare and reduced healthcare spending by $20 billion annually by 2019.
New York Health would significantly reduce the cost of by eliminating the estimated 30% of costs generated by high administrative overhead, excessive executive compensation, and the profit-driven practices in the private health insurance industry. New York Health would provide high quality, comprehensive health care for all New Yorkers, with access to medical services and providers of their choice, without regard to age, income, health or employment status.In adopting New York Health, NY would be joining with Vermont, Maryland, Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and California in developing a universal health care alternative with better health coverage at significantly less cost than the one offered through recent federal legislation.
On Tuesday, May 21, we will travel to Albany to urge our legislators to support the New York Health Bill, A.5389-A(Gottfried)/S.2078-A(Perkins).
We have received a generous, anonymous donation of a bus; all we need now are the people to fill it so we can WOW!!! our legislators with our presence. They need to know that we support this legislation and they should take it seriously.
We have to hear from you soon if you can come. PLEASE let us know by Friday,
May 10, and tell us where you’re coming from so we can figure out the best stops. Email me at: email@example.com
And PLEASE pass this on to anyone you think will support the New York Health Bill.Thanks for reading, and I hope I hear from you,
The Rising Tide against GMOs!
It is heartening to see that on May 25, protests are planned in nearly 300 cities in 30 countries against Monsanto and the genetic modification of our food supply.
Labeling initiatives are underway in 37 states, including New York! Please visit GMO Free NY
to contact your state assembly member and senator to ask them to co-sponsor legislation that would require labeling of GMOs.
And, best of all, sign up on FB for a Rally and March at 2PM at Peace Park in New Paltz! Organizer Beth Dulay has almost 150 already signed up! More information to come. And if you are still not quite sure why you should avoid GMOs for your health and that of your family- check this out- GMO? OMG! Ten Reasons to Never Eat GMOs
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Drones are robotic, killing machines that now make up 1/3 of US warplanes. They are terrorizing civilians and wounding and killing children and innocent people around the world. It is estimated that over 4,000 have been killed by US drones and only 2% of them have been high level terrorists. At least 180 children have been killed by our drones. Many kids in Pakistan have stopped going to school for fear of being killed by one.
"Drones have replaced Guantanamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants."
5/29/12 New York Times
They also pose a real threat to our civil liberties here at home. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 30,000 of them flying in US airspace. Consider the Argus drone which can fly three miles up and can zoom in on a candy-bar sized object on the ground with its 368 cameras with 1.8 billion pixels! Manufacturers also boast that these drones can be weaponized to deploy tear gas, rubber bullets, tasar technology and more.
Drones represent the murder of innocents, war without time or geographical limits, illegal targeted assassinations, a permanent war economy and the end of freedom as we have known it.
People are rising up to say NO to these weaponized, intrusive spying machines. Charlottesville, VA was the first city to outlaw them. In Seattle, the mayor and chief of police returned their two drones to the vendor after a public outcry.
Be a part of the outcry! Join the No Drones Network and get involved with ANSWER.
This event was co-sponsored by New Paltz Women in Black, Occupy Southern Ulster, Mideast Crisis Response, Real Majority Project, Dutchess Peace, Dutchess Greens, and other groups.
|photo by Donna Goodman- all others by Barbara Upton|
Thursday, April 18, 2013
|From the Occupy Wall St Light Brigade and the Illuminator Collective|
The rest of that quote from Martin Luther King is:
"Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."
Although my heart is still heavy after Monday's terrorist attack, I am drawing some hope and inspiration from the overall response from the American people and how it is different from the uber- patriotic, angry and aggressive tone after 9/11. With the exception of a handful of haters hurling anti-Muslim epithets, most are focusing on helping and honoring the victims, building community, caring for one another and helping each other to be strong and resilient. The emphasis is on healing, peace and love.
|One of the Many Vigils in Boston and Around the Country AP Julio Cortez|
|Alexander Brian (aka Carlos) Arredondo in his cowboy hat helping the injured|
Interestingly, I had written about Mr Arrendondo in 2004 because his story at that time was so dramatic and so moving.
On his 44th birthday, he saw a van of Marines pulling up to his house and thought it was a birthday surprise and that he'd soon be reunited with his son. When, instead, Carlos heard that Alexander had been killed in action in Iraq, he fell apart. He poured gasoline on himself and lit it. He suffered burns on over a quarter of his body and had to attend Alexander's funeral on a stretcher. After 10 months of recuperation, Carlos found a channel for his overwhelming grief- he began going around the country with a portable memorial to his son including a coffin covered with Alex's photos. He became a well known and respected peace activist taking the memorial to over 30 states. At an anti-war demonstration in DC he was attacked and beaten by counter-protestors, Gathering of the Eagles, but that did not stop him from raging against war and the terrible toll it takes on the troops and their families.
|Mr Arrendondo traveling with the memorial to his son Alexander|
I hear this story and think about the shattered lives of the mothers, fathers, widows, widowers, the children and all who loved the 6,560 US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think about the tens of thousands of veterans who suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, missing limbs, and other grievous wounds and how it may affect them and their loved ones for the rest of their lives. I think of the fact that 22 veterans commit suicide everyday and am filled with sadness for all the grieving families who will never be the same. The suffering of war is long, deep and often invincible to most Americans.
After 9/11, we invaded Afghanistan and in a short time killed more civilians than died on 9/11. We also lost our moral compass and engaged in torture (on Tuesday, a report by a nonpartisan think tank said it was "indisputable" that the US tortured following 9/11 and that the highest US officials were responsible). As a member of New Paltz Women in Black, we began standing in a weekly peace vigil in November of 2001, calling for justice for the 9/11 attacks, not revenge. We have continued standing for peace every Saturday since then.
Many now see that a violent reaction to violence only breeds more violence. In Iraq, a country utterly devastated by our immoral and illegal war of choice, 60 were killed and close to 300 wounded in 30 separate bomb attacks on the same day as the Marathon bombing. Forty-five percent of Americans now say neither war was worth the terrible price paid in blood and treasure ($2 trillion and expected to rise to $4 to $6 trillion).
I hope we will have the courage this time to see where US policies result in unacceptable, civilian violence that alienates and radicalizes people in other parts of the world. Over 4,000 people (including over 160 children) have been killed by our drones; pilotless, flying, killing machines. It is estimated that only 2% of those killed were high value Al Qaeda leaders. Many children in Pakistan have stopped going to school for fear of being attacked. How would we feel if China was going after high value terrorists in this country and killed our children as they walked to school?
Honest exploration of what is being done in our name does not mean, in any way, that the people who were killed or wounded in Boston deserved what happened to them. Of course not. But, if we want a safer world, we have to draw on our greater wisdom, empathy and compassion and see the bigger picture. We need to open our eyes, get engaged and do all we can to ensure that our actions in the world bring no harm to innocents and that we hold our nation to the highest moral standards. This strengthens who we are, how we are perceived in the world and is where our true security resides.
|Martin Richard the 8 year old killed in the Boston attack. May we honor his memory by heeding his words.|
Hundreds of thousands of people died in those wars and millions were displaced and injured.
The Boston Marathon attack happened days after an airstrike in Afghanistan killed 17 civilians, 12 of them children. It appears that the attack was carried out by a paramilitary group run by the CIA. The CIA agent who ran that group was also killed and 3 other CIA personnel were wounded. On Feb 16, a coalition airstrike killed 10 civilians, 5 of them children in the same province.
A former FBI Special Agent had this to say last month. "Iraq and other post-9 / 11 wars and war-crime abuses have only increased hatred of the United States, spawned new anti-American terrorist groups and served as a recruiting tool for existing ones. Recent polls show that more than 75 percent of Pakistanis view the United States as their enemy. Analysts estimate that during three years of drone bombing in Yemen, the Al-Qaida-inspired group there has grown from about 200 to more than 1,000."
Endless militarism kills innocents and imperils all of us.
Friday, April 12, 2013
|The military represents 57% of all our discretionary spending! sign by Shirley Warren, photo by B Upton|
In 2011, while 21,000 children died needlessly every day from poverty, hunger and preventable disease, $1.74 trillion went to military spending worldwide. People are rising up on every continent to put an end to this immoral use of resources and the insanity of war. To find a global event near you- http://demilitarize.org/
Look at what we spend compared to the next four biggest military spenders. There is clearly no existential threat to us from any country the way the USSR was in the Cold War. We could easily reduce spending without posing any threat to our security. Further, the Pentagon is rife with boondoggles like the F35 Joint Strike Fighter which cost US taxpayers $1.5 trillion and is still not deployed. This massive waste simply cannot be tolerated any longer.
Also, there is growing awareness that the costs of a war span generations. For instance, we spend over $40 billion a year on veterans benefits. Twenty-two billion of that is currently going to veterans from the Vietnam War and $5 billion is going, 68 years later, to families of WWII vets! Healthcare benefits for vets from Iraq and Afghanistan won't peak for another four decades. Our veterans deserve health care and all the benefits they need, but the next time cheer-leading begins for another war, we need to remember the long term costs in human suffering and in the economic devastation that war brings. http://www.nationofchange.org/tax-day-consider-hidden-costs-war-1365608006
|Guardian of the Forest B Upton|
Hard to believe, but true and encouraging. Do you see the guardian above?
Maryland Abolishes Death Penalty
Maryland became the 18th state to abolish the death penalty and six states have ended capital punishment since 2007.
Of 300 exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing, 25% were convicted of murder.
Renewable Energy Leading in 2013
Renewable energy accounted for 82% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity so far in 2013! http://www.nationofchange.org/renewable-energy-provides-82-percent-all-new-us-electrical-generating-capacity-first-quarter-2013-13
Students Demand Divestment from Fossil Fuels across the Country
In just the last couple of weeks, students from American University, Brown, University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan, University of Florida, Northwestern and more, all voted overwhelmingly for their schools to divest from polluting, fossil fuel companies. Colleges and universities have over $400 billion in endowment funds to invest.
Students, faculty and alumni are demanding that they use this financial power to responsibly invest in a way that is sustainable, socially just and in alignment with their school's values.
To invite The Responsible Endowments Coalition to your school, contact them at http://www.endowmentethics.org/resources-for-students/
Clean Energy Candidates Triumph!
2012 showed that candidates who ran on clean energy and protecting the environment defeated their dirty energy opponents.
Voters want candidates who stand up to polluters, favor higher fuel efficiency standards and who reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
Read the full report here
Nationwide Actions to Protest Drones
Innocent children and adults are being killed by drone warfare and it is igniting hatred and a desire for revenge in many around the world. More Americans are waking up to the immorality of drones terrorizing innocent people in Pakistan and other countries and to the threat they pose to our civil liberties. No Drones Network is coordinating dozens of actions in April across the country to end drone surveillance and warfare. http://www.nationofchange.org/anti-drone-movement-takes-flight-1365609271
ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is calling for April 13 to be a National Day of Action to say, "U.S. Drones Out of Africa, Middle East, Asia and Here!" http://www.answercoalition.org/
If you live in the Hudson Valley, take part by attending this event in New Paltz!
|Anti-Drone Collage B Upton|
From the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter
Saturday, April 13, NEW PALTZ: A demonstration against pilotless drone warfare abroad and intrusive domestic drone surveillance at home will take place today starting at 11 a.m. with a rally and vigil in front of the Elting Library (93 Main St.). At 12 noon the participants will march with signs and leaflets through the downtown area, returning to the library. Many will stand with signs visible to heavy weekend traffic until 1:30 p.m. The event is being organized by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter and is co-sponsored by New Paltz Women in Black, Occupy Southern Ulster, Middle East Crisis Response, Real Majority Project, Dutchess Peace, Dutchess Greens and other regional groups. Bring your own sign if you wish. Some signs and lots of leaflets will be available. There’s parking on Plattekill Ave., just south of main street and farther down the street at Village Hall. There will be nationwide anti-drone actions today, sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition. The largest will take place in Washington, with a White House rally and march. Information, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://activistnewsletter.blogspot.com/
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
|Robert Kennedy Jr Being Arrested AP Ann Heisenfelt|
Yesterday, 48 activists were arrested for tying themselves to the White House gate to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline. The proposed pipeline is a "carbon bomb" that will increase carbon pollution to dangerous and potentially irreversible levels and create likely damaging spills. The people arrested include Robert Kennedy Jr and his son Conor, the executive director and president of Sierra Club (the first time in that organization's 150 years they approved of civil disobedience) Bill McGibbon of 350.org, NASA climate scientist James Hansen, Julian Bond and actress Darryl Hannah. James Hansen said the tar sands are "the dirtiest of fossil fuels" and that burning them would essentially mean "game over" to curb global warming.
"It's equivalent to burning coal in your automobile. We simply cannot be that stupid if we want to preserve a planet for our children and grandchildren," said Hansen.
Kudos to all arrested for preparing the way for the thousands who are converging in DC this Sunday, Feb 17 for the largest climate action in history. A Sierra bus from our area is already full, but Occupy New Platz is assessing whether another bus can be obtained if there is enough interest. Please write to Margaret Human email@example.com or call 255-5727. Thanks to all who are going. You are making a difference.
From the UN Wire
Renewables could soon supply 80% of world's energy, Ban saysPoliticians are lagging behind scientists and military leaders in sounding the alarm over climate change, and the consequences could be catastrophic, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said this week. "It's time to move beyond spending enormous sums addressing the damage and to make investments that will repay themselves many times over," Ban said. "With the right enabling public policies, close to 80% of the world's energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century. This is not utopian or science fiction. It is current fact," he added.
GOP Misogyny Continues
Twenty-two Republican Senators voted Tuesday against the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). Despite their obstructionism, the bill passed in the Senate overwhelmingly and now faces an uncertain future in the House. Please remember these 22!!
They are: Tim Scott, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Roy Blunt, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson , Mitch McConnell, Mike Johanns, Ted Cruz, Orrin Hatch, Jim Risch, Jim Inhofe, Tom Cobun, John Thune, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Pat Roberts, Jeff Sessions, John Boozman, John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley, John Barrasso and Michael Enzi
Let's Fight Back Together!