The U.S. media has made its intentions clear: the 'rebels' attacking Syria's government must have more support to advance Syria's "revolution.” This was the result of the much-hyped advance of Syria's rebels into the country’s two largest cities, which the western media portrayed as a defining moment in global democracy. But "journalists" like these have blood on their hands, with much more in the works.
Echoing the story of David vs. Goliath, janitors in Houston are on strike and taking on such corporate giants as JPMorganChase and Exxon Mobile in an effort to pressure the janitorial companies they employ to agree to the workers' modest demands. It is these big business behemoths that are the real powers behind cleaning contractors such as ABM, GCA, ISS etc. By striking against these contractors, and publicly targeting these contractors' employers, the janitors are using their collective power in a showdown that has great significance for not only the Labor Movement but all workers.
There is a new article by Bill McKibbon on global warming in Rolling Stone that everyone is talking about and you will want to read. It's in the current issue or you can read it online here
In it, McKibbon of www.350.org, argues that three numbers matter:
1. 2 degrees Celsius, the number of degrees we can afford to increase the average global temperature before we a permanently screwed.
2. 565 Gigatons is the amount of carbon we can afford to pour into the atmosphere by mid century
3. 2,795 Gigatons is the amount of fossil fuels the industry has in reserves, ready to burn right now.
McKibbon makes a convincing argument for targeting the fossil fuel industry and making them pay for the by product of their industry. See article below on same topic.
To support the Kickstarter funding of this project and to view the movie, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/506241886/frack-you.
Frack You! - a highly combustible comedy that ignites a dialogue about fracking.
* Funding ends: Aug. 10, 2012
The U.S. heat wave is slowly shaking the foundations of American politics. It may take years for the deep rumble to evolve into an above ground, institution-shattering earthquake, but U.S. society has changed for good.
On Friday, July 6, President Obama signed into law a bill that would renew transportation programs and extend low interest rates on student loans for one year. While this minimal gesture resulted in, no doubt, sighs of relief from those burdened by student debt, tucked away within the bill's pages was a little-noticed proposal to further erode the funding of workers' pensions. The bill was a brilliant sleight of hand where what it appeared to be giving with one hand distracted the public from what it was taking away with the other.
You can give input to the signage designs for the Rail Trails:
BMTS is in need of your input and opinion in the development of the Greenway Sign Plan and Design Guide. For project details, see “About the Greenway Sign Plan & Design Guide” at the bottom of this email.
We request that you go to the website at https://sites.google.com/site/bmtsgreenway/, click inside the photo above “Design Decisions”, and take just a few minutes to fill out the survey regarding the regional greenway system (RAIL TRAIL) name, sign design, and logo design.
Please complete the survey by Monday, July 16th. That will allow our consultants to provide another draft of logos for comment in advance of our working meeting with them, tentatively scheduled for July 26th.
About the Greenway Sign Plan & Design Guide
BMTS is contracting for professional services to create a Sign Plan and Design Guide for the Greater Binghamton Greenway (GBG) regional walking and biking trail system located within the Binghamton Urban Area. This task is included in the 2012-2013 BMTS Unified Planning Work Program, and will be funded by Federal Highway Administration Metropolitan Planning Program funds.
The overall objective of the project is to have this trail system recognized as a regional, contiguous system, as well as facilitate user access to and circulation throughout the GBG, by creating a uniform design & plan for wayfinding, regulatory, warning, and interpretive signing. The geographic region of the study will include the Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study (BMTS) Urban Area Boundary.
I remember about twenty years ago reading that small dairy farms were being put out of business by corporate farms driving down the price of milk, and something about middlemen squeezing the smaller operations. I also remember feeling sorry about it all but that’s pretty much all I did. Then I went on to spend the next twenty years buying dairy products wherever was most convenient, never giving any thought to the problem again, as I strolled down countless refrigerated aisles. Now those family dairies almost don’t exist around here, at least not anything like what used to be around here.
Nowadays I hear a lot about family farms around here, not just the dairies, struggling to stay afloat, having to sell off parcels of land and make even more drastic choices. We’ve got a lot of problems now because of all those empty fields, not just the farmers but all the rest of us too. Lately I have realized that I could probably pay this years’ tax bill on all the empty fields of ten family farms with just the money I’ve spent in the past twenty years on drive-thru fast food. But I can’t get that money back now because it’s gone to unknown people in unknown places. I could probably pay another twenty tax bills levied on empty fields if I could just get back the money I have spent in the past twenty years on food that is shipped into town in boxes and cans. But that money is gone now too and I have no idea who benefited from it or what they did with it. All I do know is what’s not being done with all the empty fields around here because of me, and people like me, sending money to unknown places.
I realized recently that it has been a systematic process of getting people like me to buy food the way I did, while the fields around here got progressively emptier. So a couple of weeks ago I bought food directly from a farmer who raised the animal herself, and I got that feeling of finally doing what I know I should be doing. If by any chance a family farmer happens to be reading this I want you to know I am in the game now. I can eat a lot and I am making up for a lot of lost time. Now that I have gotten a clue I intend to eat my way through all the current economic and political problems caused around here by the empty fields, which I helped create. I want things back the way they should be and my plan- find farmers/buy food- should help put back into all the empty fields what is supposed to be there.
Listen folks, calling a homophobic bigot a bigot is not bullying, just like calling a racist a racist or a misogynist a misogynist, isn’t bullying. And students and teachers actively working to create a school that is free from homophobia certainly isn’t bullying, it’s heroism. However, there have been several statements by public figures lately that have suggested that challenging injustice is a kind of reverse prejudice. For example, Fr. Johannes M. M. Smith wrote an opinion piece last month, responding to my comments at the June Pride flag raising at City Hall in which I stated that coming to our celebration and calling the gay and lesbian residents of this City the "exaltation of immorality", "perversion", "Satanic", a "scandalous abomination" and in league with the "principalities of darkness" was bullying. He suggested in his statement that my characterization of him was libelous and bullying. It was not. And then last week at the Vestal School Board, in response to the passionate efforts to remove Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield’s picture from the school’s Wall of Fame for his homophobia, and inaccurate statements about the transmission of HIV/AIDS, the board president Ms. Meyer similarly suggested that these efforts were bullying. They are not.
Speaking truth to power is not bullying. But continuing to celebrate a homophobic bigot and forcing your gay and lesbian students to walk by his picture every day is. Taking away privileges (or honors) because of bad behavior is something teachers and schools are familiar with. It should be a pretty easy call for educators that hurting gay kids (as research shows the Senator's statements actually do) is bad behavior. But just in case you’re not sure, on July 1st, the Dignity for All Students act became law in New York. This law mandates that schools intervene whenever possible to correct and prevent bullying and harassment and protect gay and lesbian kids (along with so many others that are often the targets of bullies). Let’s hope the Vestal School Board does their job and implements this law to the fullest and makes Vestal Schools safe for all their students.
Dr. Sean G. Massey
Faculty in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
The Supreme Court upheld the President Obama's health care law by a narrow, uninspiring 5-4 vote last week.
While people on both sides of the issue can argue its constitutionality, the bigger issues are getting missed. The individual mandate helps increase business for the big insurance companies by coercing more healthy young people to buy expensive insurance.
Is it right for government to help line the profits of big business? Also, where is our freedom of choice? If we are forced to buy a product, why can't we shop around by allowing insurance companies to cross state lines like other forms of insurance?
This would lower costs for sure. Some states only allow a monopoly of one insurance company within their borders.
Also, why is a "my way or the highway" approach being used when it comes to treatment? Most alternative or natural treatments are not allowed to be practiced by mainstream medicine (unless you pay cash outside the system) while forcing us into legal drugs or expensive cancer treatments, for example.
This is another protection of the current expensive health care industry in this country. The FDA for years has been picking winners and losers in the medical field almost always favoring the expensive drug treatments over natural, low cost non-patentable treatments.
The FDA often has members of the big pharma industry on their staff. It is time to free up the medical field, not control it more.
If you are in favor of lower costs and more options in health care, then take government out of the equation. We still have a court system to prosecute the occasional bad doctor or hospital. We don't need "Big Brother" to protect the interests of the wealthy insurance companies, drug companies, and bureaucrats. It is time we allow the individual to have a supermarket of choices with a wide range of prices in health care.