Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The March Against Monsanto Corporation

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This weekend, thousands (possibly millions) of people took to the streets around the world to fight against agri-business giant Monsanto who routinely experiments on human beings - all of us - with their "genetically modified organisms" or "GMO" plants.

So yes, regular garden variety Human Organisms protested against the toxic corp.

Find out More at Occupy Monsanto Facebook

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From USA Today
Organizers said "March Against Monsanto" protests were held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Los Angeles where demonstrators waved signs that read "Real Food 4 Real People" and "Label GMOs, It's Our Right to Know."

Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply.

Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. But critics say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment. The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of contention in recent years, with health advocates pushing for mandatory labeling of genetically modified products even though the federal government and many scientists say the technology is safe.

From Truth-Out
Eight national governments in the European Union have banned Monsanto's MON810 maize and other forms of GMO cultivation in their countries: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland. In Poland, Amflora potatoes and MON810 were banned in January of this year, with the Ministry of Agriculture citing danger to bees in justifying its decision. Violation of the bans are sanctioned with fines of 200 percent of the value of GM seeds, with government ordinance to destroy any GMO fields.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

PBS and "Citizen Koch" - Show Us the Movie

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Jane Meyer has written a must-read article about the interplay between David Koch and PBS flagship station WNET.

Jane Meyer on New Yorker: How Far Did PBS Go to Avoid Offending Board Member David Koch?

From the "Citizen Koch" Website
Statement about “A Word From Our Sponsor,” by Carl Deal & Tia Lessin

Our film CITIZEN KOCH tells a story about how the money of the few drowns out the voices of the many. Set against the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United and the rise of the Tea Party and Occupy movements, the film explores the consequences for democracy when private interests determine who is elected to deliver public good.

Public television had commissioned our film last spring, but fearing that our film would displease one of its large contributors, public television abruptly backed out on our deal.

Investigative journalist Jane Mayer exposes the self-censorship process in her New Yorker article “A Word from Our Sponsor: Public television’s attempts to placate David Koch.” The carefully documented piece reveals how the role of billionaire industrialist and conservative activist David Koch as a trustee of and donor to PBS flagship stations WNET and WGBH compromised the independence and integrity of public broadcasting. It also tells the story of how we, as a result, lost our own public television commission for CITIZEN KOCH.

Public television viewers also lost out by being denied an opportunity to participate in a discussion of the issues our film raises.

After much thought, we decided to go public with our experience hoping that, like the film itself, it will spark conversation about how power wielded by high-dollar political donors like Charles and David Koch distorts the public dialogue.

With the possibility looming that the Kochs’ may purchase the Tribune Company of newspapers, this conversation takes on vital relevance to the public.

Documentary filmmaking is the nexus of art and journalism, and we hope that Mayer’s exposé informs honest conversations within and outside public television and the independent filmmaking community about the role and importance of public financing for public arts institutions and that it also encourages people to take a stand against censorship in any form.

- Carl Deal & Tia Lessin

Here's the trailer. I want to see the entire thing, and if PBS is too scared to show it, then it should go out on YouTube or Netflix - somewhere! And soon!

Pope Francis on Atheism

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Pope Francis made an amazing point last week, informing believers that non-Catholics must be accepted if they do good works, and that atheists are to be accepted if they do good works. True, the Pope wasn't speaking "Ex Cathedra" and therefore this isn't official Catholic Church Canon now, but words matter, and this Pope seems to know what real Christianity is all about instead of mere lip-service. I like his "back to the Bible" inclusive approach. Jesus never said "Go ye therefore and hate all nations" - instead, the opposite, in the name of peace.

From The Vatican Radio Address, May 22, 2013
"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

. . . Instead the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:

"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.

Heartwarming Reunion After Oklahoma Tornado

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This is a sweet video about a woman and her dog being reunited after the Moore, Oklahoma tornado. Originally from CBS News. I think the voice of the owner revives the pup.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Deadly Day in Moore, Oklahoma

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My prayers go out to the families of Oklahoma City after the deadly F-5 tornado passed through the suburb of Moore yesterday. When they announced on MSNBC last night that a "couple dozen" third graders were found dead in Plaza Towers Elementary, I just lost it - broke down and wept. Why did that have to happen? Why those innocent children? Why those families? Didn't they suffer enough by losing their homes, their school, their community? There are no answers.

The death toll continues to rise, and we still don't know exactly how many people are missing or have perhaps sought shelter in a place where there's no phone lines, electricity or cleared roads. It's going to take days to asses the million small tragedies of this storm, and years to understand how more lives might have been saved. Right now we can just use the trite term "Act of God" and pray that the living can continue to cope with the disaster, the stuff of nightmares.

Huffington Post
The Oklahoma state medical examiner's office said 24 bodies had been recovered from the wreckage of Monday's storm, down from the 51 they had reported earlier. The earlier number likely reflected some double-counted deaths, said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer for the medical examiner.

The 2-mile (3-km) wide tornado tore through Moore outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, trapping victims beneath the rubble. One elementary school took a direct hit and another was destroyed.

Thunderstorms and lightning slowed the rescue effort on Tuesday, but officials lowered the number of bodies recovered.

"We have got good news. The number right now is 24," Elliot said. "There was a lot of chaos."
She said additional bodies could yet be recovered.

Firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments worked all night under bright spotlights trying to find survivors at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which took a direct hit. Rescuers were sent from other states to join the search.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Place Diversion ~ Astronaut Sings "Space Oddity" IN Space

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source: crunchiness

So enjoyable!

How it all came about via David Bowie's Facebook:
It’s possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created and you may recognise the name of one of those involved in its creation.

We’re talking about Chris's fellow Canadian, the lovely Emm Gryner, who was a part of the Bowie live band in 1999/2000. Here’s what she said on her blog regarding her involvement:

“The task was in front of me. I came up with a piano part. i then enlisted my friend, producer and fellow Canadian Joe Corcoran to take my piano idea and Chris' vocal and blow it up into a fully produced song. Drums! mellotrons! fuzz bass! We also incorporated into the track ambient space station noises which Chris had put on his Soundcloud. I was mostly blown away by how pure and earnest Chris' singing is on this track. Like weightlessness and his voice agreed to agree.

And voila! And astronaut sings Space Oddity in space! I was so honoured to be asked to be a part of this. You wouldn't get too many chances to make a recording like this and not only that, to make music with someone who - through his vibrant communications with kids in schools to his breathtaking photos to his always patient and good-humoured demeanour - has done more for science and space than anyone else this generation. Planet earth IS blue, and there's nothing left for Chris Hadfield to do. Right. Safe travels home Commander! ”

From Guardian UK
A Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-man crew returning from a five-month mission to the International Space Station landed safely Tuesday on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

The Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, American Thomas Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko landed as planned south-east of the town of Dzhezkazgan at 8.31am local time on Tuesday. The Soyuz TMA-07M capsule slowly descended by parachute on to the steppes under clear, sunny skies. Russian search and rescue helicopters hovered over the landing site for a quick recovery effort.

. . . Hadfield, 53, an engineer and former test pilot from Milton, Ontario, was Canada's first professional astronaut to live aboard the space station and became the first Canadian in charge of a spacecraft. He relinquished command of the space station on Sunday.

Hadfield bowed out of orbit by posting a music video on YouTube on Sunday his own custom version of David Bowie's Space Oddity. "With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here's Space Oddity, recorded on Station. A last glimpse of the World," Hadfield said via Twitter. It is believed to be the first music video made in space.

Hadfield sang often in orbit, using a guitar already aboard the complex, and even took part in a live, Canadian coast-to-coast concert in February that included the Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson and a youth choir.

"It's just been an extremely fulfilling and amazing experience end to end," Hadfield told mission control on Monday. "From this Canadian to all the rest of them, I offer an enormous debt of thanks."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ed Marksberry Hopes to #DitchMitch McConnell in 2014 Kentucky Senate Race

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Here's a great video by Ed Marksberry, who is running in the Democratic Primary in Kentucky and hoping to "Ditch Mitch" McConnell from the Senate in 2014.

Catchy song with great lyrics written by Marksberry himself! I like him! :)

Donate Here to the Marksberry Campaign
Ed Marksberry on Twitter
Ed Marksberry for Senate Facebook Page
YouTube Channel Here

Via Hillbilly Report
For Immediate Release
April 18, 2013
Lela Graham

Marksberry for Senate Releases “What About Us”

The Marksberry for Senate campaign has released a song, “What about Us” which was written and performed by Democratic Senate candidate, Ed Marksberry and will be the theme of the Senate race against Mitch McConnell. On top of being a small businessman, veteran and community activist we can add singer and songwriter to Ed's resume.

Ed Marksberry is running a campaign that is about the hard working people that have been forgotten by their current representation in Washington. The song is about all those who have been left behind.

Ed’s campaign is proving to be a fresh new style that will not only resonate with the hard working people of Kentucky but will give them a candidate that is not a career politician corrupted by the influence of money.

You can find the song on www.marksberry2014.com