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Hawaiian Guitarist Wears ‘Occupy With Aloha’ Shirt While Playing For Obama, Other World Leaders
By Zaid Jilani on Nov 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is currently being held in Honolulu, Hawaii, bringing together many of the world’s leaders in both the public and private sectors. Last night, APEC held a gala attended by President Obama and his wife in addition to a number of other world leaders.
Hawaiian guitarist Makana, who had previously played at the White House in 2009, was slated to play at the gala. Rather than play his normal routine, Makana decided to make a statement. He opened his suit jacket to reveal a shirt that read “Occupy Aloha.” He then proceeded to play a protest ballad title “We Are the Many,” wherein he blasted corporate lobbyists and called on Americans to occupy “the streets.” He played this protest song for 45 minutes in a room full of the world’s elite.
He later uploaded a video where he talked about why he did what he did, including some footage of him playing for the world leaders. Watch Makana’s video:
“It was an incredible experience to sing those words to that group of people,” said Makana
President Obama at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Dinner: "March with me and press on"
September 25, 2011
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Yesterday evening, the President delivered remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. In his speech, the President stressed the importance of passing the American Jobs Act, to put more people back to work, and more money back in the pockets of people who are working:
Right now we’ve got millions of construction workers out of a job. So this bill says, let’s put those men and women back to work in their own communities rebuilding our roads and our bridges. Let’s give these folks a job rebuilding our schools. Let’s put these folks to work rehabilitating foreclosed homes in the hardest-hit neighborhoods of Detroit and Atlanta and Washington. This is a no-brainer.
Why should we let China build the newest airports, the fastest railroads? Tell me why our children should be allowed to study in a school that’s falling apart? I don’t want that for my kids or your kids. I don’t want that for any kid. You tell me how it makes sense when we know that education is the most important thing for success in the 21st century. Let’s put our people back to work doing the work America needs done. Let’s pass this jobs bill.
We’ve got millions of unemployed Americans and young people looking for work but running out of options. So this jobs bill says, let’s give them a pathway, a new pathway back to work. Let’s extend unemployment insurance so that more than six million Americans don’t lose that lifeline. But let’s also encourage reforms that help the long-term unemployed keep their skills sharp and get a foot in the door. Let’s give summer jobs for low-income youth that don’t just give them their first paycheck but arm them with the skills they need for life.
Tell me why we don’t want the unemployed back in the workforce as soon as possible. Let’s pass this jobs bill, put these folks back to work.
More at link.
EXCERPT: "Throughout our history, change has often come slowly. Progress often takes time. We take a step forward, sometimes we take two steps back. Sometimes we get two steps forward and one step back. But it’s never a straight line. It’s never easy. And I never promised easy. Easy has never been promised to us. But we’ve had faith. We have had faith. We’ve had that good kind of crazy that says, you can’t stop marching. (Applause.)
Even when folks are hitting you over the head, you can’t stop marching. Even when they’re turning the hoses on you, you can’t stop. (Applause.) Even when somebody fires you for speaking out, you can’t stop. (Applause.) Even when it looks like there’s no way, you find a way — you can’t stop. (Applause.) Through the mud and the muck and the driving rain, we don’t stop. Because we know the rightness of our cause — widening the circle of opportunity, standing up for everybody’s opportunities, increasing each other’s prosperity. We know our cause is just. It’s a righteous cause.
So in the face of troopers and teargas, folks stood unafraid. Led somebody like John Lewis to wake up after getting beaten within an inch of his life on Sunday — he wakes up on Monday: We’re going to go march. (Applause.)
Dr. King once said: “Before we reach the majestic shores of the Promised Land, there is a frustrating and bewildering wilderness ahead. We must still face prodigious hilltops of opposition and gigantic mountains of resistance. But with patient and firm determination we will press on.” (Applause.)
So I don’t know about you, CBC, but the future rewards those who press on. (Applause.) With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. (Applause.) I’m going to press on for equality. (Applause.) I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. (Applause.) I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on. (Applause.)
I expect all of you to march with me and press on. (Applause.) Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. (Applause.) Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC. (Applause.)
God bless you, and God bless the United States of America." (Applause.)
Gotta try to read between the lines sometimes while acknowledging and accepting uncertainty. OCCUPY is not leaderless on a whim.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Aug 27, 2012, 02:45 PM (1 replies)
Divisions between categories of these crimes are artificial; see Alicia Kozakiewicz's story, for example, and her work with PROTECT.
Alicia's Law: Virginia
Brief Description: Rescuing children from sexual predators, traffickers and child pornographers state by state. Alicia's Law is a state initiative that builds state capacity to combat crimes against children. Versions of Alicia's Law have been enacted in California, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.
Legislative Campaigns of PROTECT
Sunlight & Accountability
PROTECT Our Children Act
Related Grassroots Campaign: Child Rescue Emergency
Click on icons to learn more about legislative campaigns
When Americans have a special interest they are serious about, they spare no expense to defend it. In 2010, special interests spent over $19 million per day on lobbyists.*
But there have never been deep pockets sending lobbyists to defend the most important "special interest" of all: abused and exploited children.
That's why PROTECT was created. Since 2002 we've been on the front lines in state legislatures and in Washington, fighting aggressively for the protection of children, with a small staff, a modest budget and a growing army of volunteers. PROTECT, a sister organization to the National Association to Protect Children, is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.
We're conservatives and liberals united. We don't play charity softball. We play political hardball, because the stakes could not be higher. And we win.
* Source: Center for Responsive Politics
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 09:50
Police work and politics have a lot in common.
I've known cops who knew more about turf fighting than any political operative. Most could walk into a university and deliver a Ph.D. lecture series on how the American justice system really works. And there is no t.v. "reality show" that touches what a veteran detective has seen going on behind the doors of society's wealthy and powerful.
So you might be able to imagine what our jobs are like at PROTECT. We battle Congress, state government and law enforcement bureaucracies to get Internet Crimes Against Children task forces like yours more resources. We stand at the intersection of your world and the political world.
There are three things our friends in the ICAC community know about us. First, we don't take government money. That makes our motives pretty clear: we want you to get the money. Second, we play hardball when we have to, because most of the time that's the only way you'll ever see a dime. Third, we believe what you're doing—tracking child pornography back through the Internet to take out predatory pedophiles and rescue children—is the most urgent and effective work anyone has ever done to stop the plague of child sexual abuse.
That's why I'm asking you to have our back.
They said what?
Recently, two of PROTECT's best warriors, David Keith and Camille Cooper, met with two Texas philanthropists to ask for their help. We wanted them to back us in the Lone Star state and in Washington, as we fought to secure more government funding for ICACs and stronger child protection laws. These individuals have given generously to various child abuse charities, and we wanted to show them the incredible payback that comes from fighting to put more resources into your hands.
They made a call to a law enforcement acquaintance, a connected guy you might know, with ties to the Department of Justice. His inside scoop? Steer clear of PROTECT. His friends in Washington say we're too combative, not with the program. And besides, he added, this child pornography problem has been way overblown.
Now, Teddy Roosevelt once said that "aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords." That's one of our mottoes around PROTECT, so we can cheerfully handle cheap shots like this and come back swinging. Our supporters are serious about this fight. But with so many new ICAC professionals coming into the field, and with so many of our old veteran friends retiring and moving on, we want to make sure you and your allies know the truth about PROTECT, from the horse's mouth.
In 2006, total ICAC funding nationwide was $14.5 million. That was the year that PROTECT testified before Texas Congressman Joe Barton's Energy and Commerce committee, watching in outrage as one law enforcement officer after another followed orders and thanked Congress for the pittance it gave the ICACs, FBI, ICE and Postal. None of you could tell the truth about how desperate you were for help.
Rep. Barton (a Republican) railed at the Bush Justice Department, telling them they were trying to put out a forest fire with an aerosol can. He practically begged DOJ to ask Congress for serious funding increases. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and President George Bush sent lip service instead of cash.
Since then, here's what PROTECT has done:
Working with then Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Rep. Barton (R-TX), we got the PROTECT Act passed, authorizing $60 million a year for ICACs, along with a lot more (link).
Within a few years, we drove ICAC funding from $14.5 million to $30 million. This year, the FY11 federal budget (now stuck in Congress) doubles that ICAC budget to the full $60 million. We'll fight until that's in your bank accounts.
Remember the $50 million in Recovery Act funding for the ICACs? The one that every politician and his brother claimed credit for? Not one dollar of that would have been contemplated, much less appropriated, if it were not for PROTECT. We went to pro-child, anti-crime champion Sen. Barbara Mikulski asking for ICACs to share in the stimulus program, then put together the proposal that resulted in that funding. That money has saved a lot of little children. Maybe it saved your job too.
In 2007, PROTECT exposed the fact that the FBI was diverting several million from the Innocent Images National Initiative's meager $10 million appropriation. Under withering questioning before a Congressional committee, an FBI official promised to give it back. Last year, Innocent Images received over $50 million from Congress.
PROTECT also exposed budget raiding behind the scenes that was taking desperately-needed funds from another federal law enforcement agency engaged in combating child exploitation. Today, the money is flowing back to them.
In California, PROTECT secured $1 million in new ICAC funding from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during a year of deep budget cuts. In Tennessee, we doubled the ICAC budget and won new state funding to expand ICAC affiliates across the state. In Virginia, PROTECT’s Alicia’s Law has created the largest state expansion of ICAC support in America, including a permanent dedicated revenue stream from court fees.
And year in and year out, PROTECT keeps pressure on the U.S. Department of Justice. During the past two years, the Obama Justice Department has asked Congress for even less ICAC funding than their predecessors did, despite personal assurances from Attorney General Eric Holder to PROTECT that you were a top priority for him. You aren’t his priority, and he won’t fight for your funding. So who's going to do anything about it? PROTECT.
At the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, where the ICAC program is managed, the professional staff long ago weighed their interest in avoiding PROTECT's demands for accountability against your interest in PROTECT’s demands for more task force funding. You can guess which way their scales tip. Remember that the next time OJJDP staff "warns" you about PROTECT.
Why we win
If you're wondering whether it was really PROTECT who made these things happen, let me put it diplomatically: not only were we (along with members of the Surviving Parents Coalition) the only ones in the political game lifting a finger on your behalf, but we faced constant, behind-the-scenes opposition from privateers, federal bureaucrats, and quasi-governmental operators who wanted your money... or actually considered it their money.
We win because we're a lobby, not a charity, and we don’t have any conflict of interest. Our staff and volunteers asked me to tell you that it's hard, endlessly frustrating work. Do the politicians and law enforcement bureaucrats rally to your aid when we show them proof that children are being raped and tortured, children who could be saved, right now, by their action? As incoming House Majority Leader John Boehner might say, “Hell no they don’t.” The question itself is salt in the wound to anyone who has been in these trenches.
So, that's who we are, and what I think we are to you. Many ICAC professionals are right out there with us, fighting shoulder-to-shoulder. Others are great friends in private, but a little more nervous we'll get them in hot water with their federal government funders. Some of you we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.
Regardless, anyone who knows us will tell you (even those federal bureaucrats) that we keep our confidences, we are sensitive to the position you're in politically, and we don't play cop.
We’re not asking for thanks. You’re the ones who go home at night with sounds in your head of children screaming. You’re the ones who pull children out of hell. We just want you to know the truth about who we are and what we do.
POST 57. "...interdicting child pornography trafficking by sexual predators is the most effective strategy possible for detecting and stopping child sexual abuse."
POST 68. FYI (off OP topic, but relevant filmmaking). Oscar worthy, both. Neither widely distributed.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Aug 26, 2012, 01:09 PM (1 replies)
The parallels to the unfolding GMO story are evident.
Food Industry Ditches Trans Fats, Kids' Cholesterol Levels Drop
By Tom Philpott| Tue Aug. 21, 2012 3:00 AM PDT
"0 grams trans fats." That promise appears prominently on packaging for that classic American junk food, the Lay's Potato Chip. McDonald's iconic French fries? Trans-fat free—as are its Chicken McNuggets.
It wasn't always thus. As recently as 2006, journalist Nina Teicholz could report that consuming a large order of McDonald's fries and McNuggets in one sitting meant taking in nearly 10 grams of trans fats, a "substance considered so unhealthy that the National Academy of Sciences concluded, in 2002, that the only safe amount of trans fats in the diet is zero."
Trans fats are made through a process known as partial hydrogenation—basically, when you add hydrogen to ordinary vegetable oil, it becomes solid at room temperature, making it a cheap substitute for butter.
According to Teicholz, probably the journalist most responsible for exposing the ill effects of the once-ubiquitous, now-scarce substance, "A daily intake of five grams of trans fats increases the risk of contracting heart disease 4 percent to 28 percent."
Teicholz reported trans-fat production was dominated by agribusiness giants Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, and Bunge. These companies ran a trade group called the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils (ISEO), which "for decades" worked "behind the scenes to squelch bad news about trans fats." Teicholz reported:
As far back as 1968, the ISEO was mentioned in an internal memo written by the medical director of the American Heart Association: According to the memo, the ISEO objected to the AHA’s intention to include a warning about trans fats in its dietary guidelines; subsequently, the AHA took it out.
And the food industry, too, actively sought to repress research showing trans fats' ill effects. According to Teicholz, independent-minded scientists examining the topic had to "deal with the tidal wave of industry pressure unleashed against them at meetings, conferences, and events. Their papers were rebutted with unusual ferocity, and their research funding was scarce." The pressures came from the industry's highest levels:
Dr. Thomas Applewhite and Dr. J. Edward Hunter, industry scientists employed, respectively, by Kraft and Procter & Gamble (which held the original U.S. patent for trans fats), were the principal forces behind this criticism. Given that they worked for two food giants, the potential for bias was apparent, but their ability to fund research (as well as their own encyclopedic knowledge of the field) meant they could exercise considerable influence.
With independent science about its health effects virtually nil, trans fats took on a healthy sheen, promoted by a food industry that was happy to have found a cheap replacement for butter that also worked well in deep frying. By the '70s, "margarine manufacturers used the slogan 'Healthy for Your Heart' and marketed the product like a drug to doctors," Teicholz reported.
Meanwhile, damage to public health was severe. Teicholz cited Harvard epidemiologist Walter Willett, who reckoned that "of the half million Americans who die prematurely each year from heart disease—the leading cause of death in this country—at least 30,000 are killed by trans fats."
The breaking point came in 2002, when a panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences produced a scathing report on the effect of trans fats. Spurred by the NAS document, the FDA had little choice but to move on labeling, which it began to require in 2006. Then came bans on using trans fats in restaurants in New York City, Philadelphia, and California. The drop in trans fat consumption was swift—a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that trans-fat levels in the blood of white adults plunged by 58 percent between 2000 to 2009. (The fats the industry has seized upon to replace trans fats, palm oil and interesterificated vegetable oil, may present their own problems, both to health and the environment, but that is a topic for another post.)
Although a long time in coming, the melting away of trans fats in the American diet shows that progress can be made—that when independent science can cut through industry-induced fog, and when regulators are compelled to do their job—the American diet can improve. But as the Journal of the American Medical Association article shows, things are still dire. Kids' cholesterol levels are coming down, the article notes, but obesity and overweight levels remain stubbornly high.
That unhappy fact, I think, stems from another practice the food industry picked up in the late '70s—adding massive amounts of empty sweeteners to processed food. As the journalist Gary Taubes has shown, the food industry has largely managed to bury a growing body of research on the harms of that habit.
Recommended comment: birdmechanical @ 09:41 AM yesterday.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Aug 24, 2012, 11:11 AM (0 replies)
August 1, 2012
Sign Daniel Ellsberg’s petition to free Bradley Manning
Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Bradley Manning Support Network call on you to sign our petition to free Bradley Manning.
Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg asks you to sign this petition to free Bradley Manning.
Petition link: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Save_human_rights_whistleblower_Bradley_Manning/?cCTAqdb
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Aug 5, 2012, 10:34 PM (1 replies)
I haven't checked out the first link at all yet, but include it because it legitimizes the relevance of food to women/feminists. Do women control household spending, generally, and food spending, specifically? Inspired by the 'P&G salutes mothers' advertising theme during the Olympics, why don't women give the food issue the traction it needs to force responsible corporate change?
On April 12 and 13, 2007, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University’s fifth annual gender conference explored the relationship between food and gender, from production, to preparation, to consumption. Panels considered the variety of ways in which men and women shape food, and how, in turn, food and foodways shape men and women. The extraordinary culinary collection of the Schlesinger Library provided inspiration for the conference and its investigation of such topics as cooking, eating, famine, nutrition, obesity, anorexia, food writing, and food studies.
Why a Major Food Organization Is Teaming Up With Monsanto and Friends to Block Your Right to Know What's in Your Food
By Ronnie Cummins
Alternet, July 31, 2012
Straight to the Source
For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our California News page.
The California Ballot Initiative to label genetically engineered food is "a serious, long-term threat to the viability of agricultural biotechnology. Defeating the Initiative is GMA's single highest priority this year."
-- Pamela Bailey, President of Grocery Manufacturers Association, speech to the American Soybean Association, July 9, 2012
This November, Californians will vote for or against Prop 37 , the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. The outcome of that vote will likely determine whether the U.S. will one day join the nearly 50 other countries that allow their citizens to choose between genetically engineered and non-genetically engineered food through the enactment of laws requiring mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The election is three months away, but the battle lines were drawn months ago. Lining up against the consumer's right to know -- and throwing plenty of money into the fight -- is a long list of industry front groups, food conglomerates and biotech companies. Near the top of that list is the powerful Washington, DC-based Grocery Manufacturer's Association (GMA), a multi-billion-dollar trade association. The GMA represents America's $1.2 trillion "Big Food" industry, led by supermarket chains, Monsanto and other biotech companies, animal drug companies, multinational food manufacturers, and junk food restaurants -- all of whom rely on the use of dangerous chemicals, pesticides, animal drugs, and GMOs to produce cheap, contaminated food.
FSA Public Information on GM DNA in Food Out of Step with Science
GM Freeze, 31 Jul 2012
Feeding studies (peer reviewed journal publications) reported earlier this year by the international GMSAFood project found genes from GM Bt maize present in the blood of animals fed on the crop, as well as in the flesh of salmon fed on GM feed. The project also found GM proteins and, critically, antibodies to those proteins, in the blood of rats fed Bt maize, indicating an immune response to the GM proteins.
This means current safety assessments of foods from animals fed a GM diet are not sufficiently rigorous to ensure safety – long-term feeding studies are not required for meat, milk or eggs from GM-fed animals.
Pete Riley of GM Freeze said:
"The FSA must keep its public information up-to-date and accurate or people will lose confidence in it. The latest research found whole genes and proteins in the blood and flesh of animals fed GM, so the FSA can't go on telling the public 'it is possible DNA fragments may occasionally be detected'. This is not the first time we have had to point out to the FSA its public information on GM is inaccurate.
"The worrying discovery of GM proteins and antibodies to those proteins, indicating an immune system response, means food safety testing must start looking at the long-term health implications of eating GM and eating animals that are fed GM. The current system simply doesn't look for such problems, so it's not surprising it doesn't find them.
"The FSA is supposed to be the public watchdog for food safety. It needs to be honest about the scientific uncertainties surrounding GM food and feed. If GM genes and proteins are getting into people's blood streams, we have a right to know."
1. GMSAFood Conference, Medical University of Vienna, 6-8 March 2012. "Genetically Modified Organisms GMO Safety and Post Market Monitoring." Professor Ashild Krogdahl of the Norwegian Veterinary School presents the research findings at a press conference via YouTube.
2. FSA, 11 April 2012. "GM Material in Animal Feed" (accessed 31 July 2012)
3. GM Freeze, 31 July 2012. "Food Standards Agency (FSA) position and public information on the presence of GM DNA material in animal products". (letter)
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduces a GMO Labeling amendment to the Farm Bill
Posted: June 14th, 2012
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Aug 1, 2012, 03:29 PM (3 replies)
Looks as though Child Protection Act of 2012 will pass with strong bipartisan support. Vote delayed now for lack of quorum, though.
15 hours ago · reply · retweet · favorite
Incredibly eloquent statement by @DWStweets on behalf of HR 6063. "I have learned far too much about the world of child pornography."
15 hours ago · reply · retweet · favorite
House debate on Child Protection Act of 2012 next up on C-SPAN.
16 hours ago · reply · retweet · favorite
Tell Congress children R important to you & ask your Rep. to vote "YES" on our Child Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 6063) http://bit.ly/PksKe0
22 hours ago · reply · retweet · favorite
The Boston Globe has published an excellent, lengthy article reporting Homeland Security's operations to locate and rescue children from a global network of predators. This is the greatest form of "homeland security" there is. PROTECT is in the middle of a campaign now to get Congress to increase funding for these operations. This is why we fight. Warning: disturbing details. http://bo.st/Qq3WIs
Sunday at 1:10pm.
We're thinking today of the men and women on the front lines fighting child pornography. They go home every night with sights and sounds in their heads that could destroy the mental health of most people. They are truly our eyes and ears in hell, and the lifeline for untold thousands of children. Please thank them every chance you get... and demand our government support them.
July 27 at 12:52pm
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:40 PM (3 replies)
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