About Me

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For me it is All About Being of Service & Living the Life of the Give-Away....

Being Mindful of those who are unable to speak for themselves; our Non-Two Legged Relations and the Future Generations.

It's about walking on the Canka Luta Waste Behind the Cannunpa and the ceremonies.

It's about Mindfulness and Respect. It's about Honesty and owning up to my foibles.

It's about: Mi Takuye Oyacin

Monday, December 21, 2009

How Much Do You Want to Pay for Healthcare?

FDL Action

The Senate health care bill must be killed. We must do better for health care than this.
Hi Auntie Nanuuq -  
The Senate's health care bill must be killed.
It is an ungodly mess of errors, loopholes, and massive giveaways. When the American people find out what's actually in this bill, they will revolt. Congress and President Obama have no choice but to do better for health care than this bill.
Sign the petition: the Senate health care bill must be killed. 



Kill the Senate Health Care Bill.  Sign the Petition.

The Senate's health care bill must be killed.  Sign our petition to Congress and President Obama: We must do better for health care than this bill.

The Senate health care bill is an ungodly mess of errors, loopholes, and massive giveaways. When the American people find out what's actually in this bill, they will revolt. Here's why:

  1. Forces you to pay up to 8% of your income to private insurance corporations -- whether you want to or not (#)
  2. If you refuse to buy the insurance,  you'll have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS (#)
  3. After being forced to pay thousands in premiums for junk insurance, you can still be on the hook for up to $11,900 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses (#)
  4. Massive restriction on a woman's right to choose, designed to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court (#)
  5. Paid for by taxes on the middle class insurance plan you have right now through your employer, causing them to cut back benefits and increase co-pays (#)
  6. Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won't see any benefits -- like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions -- until 2014 when the program begins (#)
  7. Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others (#)
  8. Grants monopolies to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market (#)
  9. No reimportation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years (#)
  10. The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of four will rise an average of $1000 a year -- meaning in 10 years, you family's insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now (#)

We desperately need health care reform.  But we can't pass the Senate's bill.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stop California's Sarah Palin

Courage Campaign Dear Reverend Kimberly-Ann --

You got Meg Whitman's attention on global warming. But, instead of leading, "California's Sarah Palin" would rather raise money from her donors and watch California burn.

Courage Campaign members donated to produce a radio ad this week condemning Whitman's out-of-touch stance on global warming that aired across California. Our ad pointed out that Meg Whitman -- a billionaire CEO who wants to be governor -- stands with Sarah Palin, opposing legislation that directly addresses the climate crisis.

Whitman responded to the Courage Campaign's radio ad on Thursday night. In an attempt to raise money off of our ad, her campaign manager sent an email to her supporters. What's more, Whitman again called for the suspension of California's landmark bill, AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act.

It's time to show Meg Whitman she's wrong on global warming. Sign our petition. Demand that Whitman support implementation of AB 32. The Courage Campaign will deliver your signatures directly to Meg Whitman -- we won't stop until she has them in her hands:


Global warming has already led to a drier and hotter climate, producing a longer and more intense fire season that puts more homes and families at risk. The climate crisis threatens jobs in numerous industries such as agriculture, and threatens coastal communities with rising sea levels.

Instead of dealing with these problems, Meg Whitman would rather complain about "a group of liberal activists" and push off action on global warming as another out-of-control fire season looms. She is risking California's future, not leading.

It's up to Californians to lead. Sign our petition showing you continue to support the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and we'll make sure your signature gets into Meg Whitman's hands:


Thanks for taking action to protect California's future.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

No More Troops in Afghanistan

This is just Another "Vietnam"

Congress needs to hear from more people who like you believe this war must end. Tell your friends they too must watch the video and sign the petition.

Thank you,
Robert Greenwald

Johnson, Gorbachev, Obama
Published: December 2, 2009

Imagine you’re a villager living in southern Afghanistan.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Nicholas D. Kristof
On the Ground

In his blog, Nicholas Kristof addresses reader feedback and posts short takes from his travels.
Go to Blog » Go to Columnist Page »

You’re barely educated, proud of your region’s history of stopping invaders and suspicious of outsiders. Like most of your fellow Pashtuns, you generally dislike the Taliban because many are overzealous, truculent nutcases.

Yet you are even more suspicious of the infidel American troops. You know of some villages where the Americans have helped build roads and been respectful of local elders and customs. On the other hand, you know of other villages where the infidel troops have invaded homes, shamed families by ogling women, or bombed wedding parties.
You’re angry that your people, the Pashtuns, traditionally the dominant tribe of Afghanistan, seem to have been pushed aside in recent years, with American help. Moreover, the Afghan government has never been more corrupt. The Taliban may be incompetent, but at least they are pious Muslim Pashtuns and reasonably honest.

You were always uncomfortable with foreign troops in your land, but it wasn’t so bad the first few years when there were only about 10,000 American soldiers in the entire country. Now, after President Obama’s speech on Tuesday, there soon will be 100,000. That’s three times as many as when the president took office, and 10 times as many as in 2003.

Hmmm. You still distrust the Taliban, but maybe they’re right to warn about infidels occupying your land. Perhaps you’ll give a goat to support your clansman who joined the local Taliban.
That’s why so many people working in Afghanistan at the grass roots are watching the Obama escalation with a sinking feeling. President Lyndon Johnson doubled down on the Vietnam bet soon after he inherited the presidency, and Mikhail Gorbachev escalated the Soviet deployment that he inherited in Afghanistan soon after he took over the leadership of his country. They both inherited a mess — and made it worse and costlier.

As with the Americans in Vietnam, and Soviets in Afghanistan, we understate the risk of a nationalist backlash; somehow Mr. Obama has emerged as more enthusiastic about additional troops than even the corrupt Afghan government we are buttressing.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned in his report on the situation in Afghanistan that “new resources are not the crux” of the problem. Rather, he said, the key is a new approach that emphasizes winning hearts and minds: “Our strategy cannot be focused on seizing terrain or destroying insurgent troops; our objective must be the population.”

So why wasn’t the Afghan population more directly consulted?
“To me, what was most concerning is that there was never any consultation with the Afghan shura, the tribal elders,” said Greg Mortenson, whose extraordinary work building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan was chronicled in “Three Cups of Tea” and his new book, “From Stones to Schools.” “It was all decided on the basis of congressmen and generals speaking up, with nobody consulting Afghan elders. One of the elders’ messages is we don’t need firepower, we need brainpower. They want schools, health facilities, but not necessarily more physical troops.”
For the cost of deploying one soldier for one year, it is possible to build about 20 schools.

Another program that is enjoying great success in undermining the Taliban is the National Solidarity Program, or N.S.P., which helps villages build projects that they choose — typically schools, clinics, irrigation projects, bridges. This is widely regarded as one of the most successful and least corrupt initiatives in Afghanistan.

“It’s a terrific program,” said George Rupp, the president of the International Rescue Committee. “But it’s underfunded. And it takes very little: for the cost of one U.S. soldier for a year, you could have the N.S.P. in 20 more villages.”

These kinds of projects — including girls’ schools — are often possible even in Taliban areas. One aid group says that the Taliban allowed it to build a girls’ school as long as the teachers were women and as long as the textbooks did not include photos of President Hamid Karzai. And the Taliban usually don’t mess with projects that have strong local support. (That’s why they haven’t burned any of Mr. Mortenson’s schools.)

America’s military spending in Afghanistan alone next year will now exceed the entire official military budget of every other country in the world.

Over time, education has been the single greatest force to stabilize societies. It’s no magic bullet, but it reduces birth rates, raises living standards and subdues civil conflict and terrorism. That’s why as a candidate Mr. Obama proposed a $2 billion global education fund — a promise he seems to have forgot.
My hunch is that if Mr. Obama wants success in Afghanistan, he would be far better off with 30,000 more schools than 30,000 more troops. Instead, he’s embarking on a buildup that may become an albatross on his presidency.

I invite you to visit my blog, On the Ground. Please also join me on Facebook, watch my YouTube

NOAA Cleans Up Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch


Removing Marine Debris for the "Dogs that Run in the Rough Sea"

NOAA Gathers, and Recycles, Tons of Trash from Hawaii’s Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
On two separate missions in September and October, the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette set sail from Honolulu, Hawaii, to scour, somewhat literally, portions of the vast and remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The NWHI comprises nearly 140,000 square miles (362,600 square kilometers), and in June 2006, a Presidential proclamation designated the area as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the single largest conservation area under the U.S. flag, and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world.
The ship and its crew, which included 17 specially trained divers from NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and the University of Hawaii’s Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, traveled out there to pick up trash. Tons of trash, actually, much of it derelict commercial fishing gear.
The NOAA Ship Sette unloads its undesirable "catch." The NOAA Ship Sette unloads its undesirable "catch."

A Cluttered Convergence Zone

The cleanup is part of an ongoing project among NOAA, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other public and private partners to remove marine debris in the NWHI, where the highly endangered Hawaiian monk seal roams.  The native Hawaiian name for the species is Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, which translates to “the dogs that run in the rough sea.” Scientists believe that only about 1,200 individual Hawaiian monk seals remain in the wild.
The seals’ habitat within the National Monument lies somewhat south of the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, an area where huge piles of floating marine debris tend to concentrate, which is why NOAA has been working to clean up the area for more than a decade. This zone is one of many that concentrate marine debris. Another such area is the so-called “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”

‘Deep’ Cleaning

A specially trained NOAA diver confronts an enormous floating mass of marine debris, comprised mostly of derelict commercial fishing gear. A specially trained NOAA diver confronts an enormous floating mass of marine debris, comprised mostly of derelict commercial fishing gear.
Even though Hawaii itself has no commercial fishery that allows for the use of nets, the dive team from the Sette gathered mostly large, cast-off trawl and seine nets, net fragments, monofilament fishing lines, ropes, floats, and other gear. Nearby beaches accumulate plastics, glass bottles, metal, Styrofoam, light bulbs, cathode-ray tubes, and other byproducts of human life and industry.
These destructive dregs pose serious entanglement hazards to the monk seals and other marine life, such as the threatened green sea turtle. They also impede navigation, foul the area’s shallow-water coral reefs, and may serve as floating transports for invasive species, all of which lead to habitat degradation.
The free divers remove the debris by hand and are extremely careful when they must lift it off of, or cut it away from, the sensitive coral structures and other substrate below the water surface. Lift bags are sometimes used to float large bundles of net to the surface. The debris is placed in an Avon inflatable-hull boat, then gathered up by a crane on the Sette and placed in a 20-foot-square container on board. When the container fills up, the excess is stored on deck in a roped-off "corral” and in cargo nets.

The Growing Pacific ‘Recycle Bin’: Nets to Energy

A specially trained NOAA diver confronts an enormous floating mass of marine debris, comprised mostly of derelict commercial fishing gear. An endangered Hawaiian monk seal succumbs to the scourge of marine debris in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
Since 2002, nearly 700 tons of marine debris removed from the NWHI has been “recycled” into electricity as part of the nation’s first Nets to Energy Program.  The recent NOAA missions transported more than 66 tons of ocean-fouling muck to Schnitzer Steel Hawaii Corporation, where it will be cut into 18-inch (0.5-meter) chunks ready for combustion at the City and County of Honolulu’s HPower waste-to-energy facility, run by Covanta Energy.
This unique partnership, which involves more than a dozen public and private entities, has, to date, created enough energy to power 245 Hawaii homes for a year. Not such a bad use of a bad thing, perhaps, but NOAA’s ultimate goal is to halt the constant barrage of garbage from entering the ocean in the first place. This will require greater public understanding of, and better ways of preventing, the toll our blue planet pays for an ongoing ethos of waste.

Worse Than The Patriot Act

October 2nd, 2009
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Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger: PATRIOT Edition

Legislative Analysis by Kevin Bankston
Yesterday's Senate Judiciary mark-up of legislation to renew expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act was extremely disheartening--in particular because of many committee Democrats' failure to support new civil liberties reforms to PATRIOT(see our summary here). Those Senators who failed to stand foursquare behind Americans' right to privacy against government spying should be on notice that Americans who care about civil liberties are very disappointed; those that did stand up for our rights deserve our vocal thanks.
Our first wag of the finger goes to Senators Leahy and Feinstein. We expressed our disappointment with Senator Leahy last week when instead of sponsoring the Feingold/Durbin JUSTICE Act he introduced his own PATRIOT renewal bill with much fewer surveillance reforms. Most notably, that bill did not contain any reforms to last year's FISA Amendments Act, which is an even graver threat to Americans' privacy than PATRIOT.
Well, that watered-down bill was watered down again when the mark-up began: Senator Leahy negotiated with Senator Feinstein, a member of the Judicary Committee and chair of the Intelligence Committee, to create a new bill containing even fewer reforms than the original Leahy bill. Especially disappointing was the new bill's failure to require that PATRIOT Section 215 orders for the hand-over of sensitive phone, internet and credit records be limited to records that pertain to a spy or terrorist. Unfortunately, it was this even more watered-down Leahy/Feinstein bill that the committee considered yesterday, and which it will continue to consider next Thursday.
Sadly, it's no surprise that Senator Feinstein would favor government power over individual privacy when it comes to debates over foreign intelligence surveillance, especially now that she is heading the Senate Intelligence Committee. But we expected more from Senator Leahy, who has often been a staunch defender of civil liberties and who supported a much broader range of privacy protections when PATRIOT came up for reauthorization in 2005. A press release from Senator Leahy applauded this new bill as representing progress, but we must respectfully disagree.
The next wag of the finger goes to all of the Democrats who failed to support Senator Durbin's amendment to fix the Leahy/Feinstein bill's most obvious deficiency by re-injecting the new, heightened standard for the issuance of 215 orders that was in the original Leahy bill. Those eight Democrats, many of whom have supported stronger PATRIOT reform in the past, were:
Senator Leahy of Vermont
Senator Kohl of Wisconsin
Senator Feinstein of California
Senator Schumer of New York
Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island
Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota
Senator Kaufman of Delaware
Senator Franken of Minnesota
We were especially disappointed--and made curious--by continued assertions by Senators Feinstein and Whitehouse that modifying the 215 standard would interfere with an ongoing classified intelligence program (the Administration has also noted the existence of this classified program that relies on 215 orders; Emptywheel at Firedoglake has a nice round-up up those mentions here). This kind of "you'd understand how I was voting if you knew the scary things I knew" posturing is Bush-era nonsense, and we agree with Senator Feingold that more information needs to be declassified so that Congress and America at large can have an informed debate about these spying authorities. He's received the same classified briefings, and he noted several times yesterday that the classified uses of 215 amounted to an abuse of power.
Speaking of Senator Feingold, he and Senator Durbin have earned a big tip of the hat for their tireless work to reform PATRIOT, and we especially congratulate Senator Feingold on the success of his amendment to rein in sneak and peek searches by shortening the time by which targets must be notified of a search from thirty days to one week. We hope that they both will continue to offer more privacy-protective amendments next week; Senator Feingold noted that he expected to introduce up to three more amendments. We look forward to seeing an amendment to add new checks and balances when it comes to National Security Letters. We also hope that at least some of the amendments next week seek to reform the FISA Amendments Act, which broadly expanded the government's warrantless wiretapping authority and granted immunity to telecoms like AT&T that broke the law by cooperating in the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program.
Finally, we want to tip our hat to Senator Cardin and especially to the Democrats' newest member, Senator Specter, for joining with Senator Feingold to vote in support of Senator Durbin's 215 amendment. We hope that they will continue to do right by their constituents by supporting civil liberties reforms to PATRIOT and the FISA Amendments Act, and that the others who voted against Durbin's amendment will see next week as a new chance to demonstrate their commitment to surveillance reform.
However, we need your help to make that happen, so our last tip of the hat is to you, the concerned citizen. We still need your continuing help to make sure that the PATRIOT renewal process yields new privacy protections. So please, go to our action center now to tell your Senator to support strong reforms like those in the JUSTICE Act when amendments come up next week.


Social Security/Medicare Threat

Subject: Tell Dianne Feinstein: Hands off Social Security and Medicare.
Dear Friend,

You can bet Dianne Feinstein won't be eating cat food. But that may not be true for seniors, low-income people and other at-risk folks if she gets her way.

There's a powerful movement in Washington, D.C. demanding big cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Thursday that those "entitlement" programs should be slashed to bring the budget under control, instead of raising taxes on the wealthy who have benefited from his bailouts.

Now, in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Senator Dianne Feinstein is preparing to help Bernanke achieve his goal.

I just took action to stop Senator Feinstein before it's too late. Will you join me in demanding that Sen. Feinstein stop trying to undermine Social Security and Medicare and start expanding health care? Find out more information and take action by clicking the link below: