New Greetings from Holland
1 hour ago
It is important and instructive for us in the faith community to understand how closely our state works with corporations to allow and even bless environmental damage and degradation. For this process, I ask for your prayers and indications of any support you can provide, such as letters to ANR, letters to the BFP, prayers, petitions, phone calls to me, phone calls to Secretary Jonathan Wood (241-3600: leave message with secretary). If you call, please relay the message that VELCO's environmental record does not merit the Environmental Leadership designation they are seeking.(See bottom line in bold above, or formulate your own wording when you contact ANR or write LTE’s.)
The civil rights movement was a powerful community effort and movement to confront principalities and powers aligned to deny African-Americans their full humanity and their god-given civil rights. Dr. King spoke not only about civil rights but also about environmental degradation during his lifetime. As the larger faith community awakens to the need for a different model of living on Earth, we need to find ways to move beyond our different comfort levels and find ways to collectively advocate for Earth, God's Creation and our home, especially in the face of State and corporate complicity in environmental degradation. Such power structures have been supported by long-established public policy and attitudes treating Earth as a commodity for use and exploitation, but have gained the upper hand in Vermont during the last 20 years, and more egregiously in the last decade. Please join me in sending a strong message to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources that we expect them not only to enforce laws and permit conditions, but to actually teach environmental care and stewardship to those who work and do business in Vermont.
Dear Dr Elliott,
As I told you on the telephone, I was invited some weeks ago to speak this evening in a debate on the merits of the Afghan War. I learnt this morning that plans had changed due to a student occupation of a university building over University policy towards Gaza, and as the organisers of my debate were involved in the occupation, I was requested to switch my talk to the Law Faculty. I agreed to do so.
I then heard from you that the authorities had decided to exclude non-University members from the law faculty, and should I arrive to give my talk I will not be admitted; and indeed be physically prevented from entering.
I have given this some thought, and I have decided that the threat not to admit me to the University building is unwarranted.
As you may realise, I am Rector of the University of Dundee (and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law). I am not personally intending to occupy your building for longer than it takes to give a talk, and certainly intend to cause no damage. I am not a health and safety risk.
I am invited to lecture at Universities and other prestigious institutions worldwide; normally universities are urging me to come, not seeking to turn me away! I understand that a number of people are looking forward to hearing me this evening. To threaten to exclude me is a denial of freedom of speech which I find very peculiar behaviour for the University of Cambridge.
Student occupations are hardly a new phenomenon, and normally can easily be resolved through amicable negotiation. I was quite astonished to learn that Cambridge University had responded by attempting to starve the students out. To try also to ban a guest speaker seems to me likely to inflame and prolong, rather than resolve, the dispute.
It seems to me that the easiest way out of the current difficulty of my visit is for you to extend to me an invitation to speak this evening on behalf of the Faculty.
With all best wishes,
Members of a British anti-war group occupied the Glasgow offices of the BBC on Sunday, saying they would stay in the building until the national broadcaster agrees to air a charity fundraising appeal for Palestinians in the Gaza strip.Lenin's Tomb has more on the sit-in (look in the comments for first hand accounts from protesters).
The occupation followed criticism from lawmakers and religious leaders who said the BBC's decision not to air an advertisement from the Disasters Emergency Committee - a group of charities that includes the Red Cross, Oxfam, and Save the Children - was wrong.
The global reach of Obama's message of renewal is making both subliminal and not so subtle appearances in controversial advertising campaigns from Washington to Jakarta. There is the new flavour of Ben 'n' Jerry's ice-cream: "Yes Pecan!" A new Hennessy Cognac with 44 (Obama is the 44th president) on the label. There is even an Indonesian advert for a form of indigestion tablets featuring a lookalike of the man himself.For instance: another blatant example
Obama's formidable marketing potential was immediately apparent on the morning after the inauguration, when thousands of extra copies of newspapers were printed across the globe to meet demand for readers wishing to keep souvenir copies. Readers of the Daily Express, however, will have noticed their front page made no reference to the new President. It was taken up instead with a full-page advertisement for a Fiat 500 which, it turned out, happened to share its first birthday with the date of Obama's inauguration. "It's a big day for firsts," the slogan said. Rival newspapers contained a simply worded advertisement for Veet, the hair removal company: "Goodbye Bush."
If Fiat and Veet sought to quirkily exploit inauguration day, other companies appear committed to tapping into the longer term marketing benefits of Obama's presidency. Pepsi has unveiled a new red, white and blue logo which has an apparent resemblance to Obama's campaign motif, as part of a longer advertising campaign centred on themes of optimism and renewal.
Now we must extend a hand of opportunity to those who seek peace. As part of a lasting cease-fire, Gaza's border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce, with an appropriate monitoring regime, with the international and Palestinian Authority participating.Why not a helping hand without these conditions? What the fuck is an appropriate monitoring regime? Everyone knows that the PA is a lackey of the Israelis. Why not include all Palestinians in Gaza at the table?
On this radiant day we give thanks to you, o God,
for the freedom to gather united in prayer.
Strengthen and sustain Barack, our President,
that in the days to come he may lead your people
with confidence and compassion.
Grant patience and perseverance to the people of this Nation.
With malice toward none, with charity for all,
may we strive to finish the work you have given us to do
that we may achieve a just and lasting peace.
In this time of new beginnings, new ventures, and new visions,
light in us the fire of justice, and the passion for forgiveness.
Give us the strength to hold fast to what is good
that we may go forth renewed and committed to make hope a reality.
Drawn in part from Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1865
Try multiple times an hour versus once every few hours. Think of it like a radio contest and call multiple times. Hitting the "redial" button on your phone increases your chances of connecting as soon as a line becomes freeWhile Douglas and Obama policy makers piss on working class people, Michael Colby gives us much better advice.
Eight international journalists will arrive in Gaza Tuesday, traveling via Egypt, with the mission to fact-find and record first-hand Israeli violations against the people of the Gaza Strip.I'll be following his story.
Secretary General of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate Na’eem At-Tubasi confirmed Sunday that delegation, including Arab, French, Norwegian and Italian reporters, is en route to Gaza. The delegation will be followed by an investigating committee from the International Journalist Federation, which will arrive next week.
Lowery takes the cake for me. Robinson is classically prophetic and that is good, but Lowery upheld great theology, humor, blessing, scripture and cultural references, and calls to accountability while staying positive and celebrating. Robinson leaves me feeling negative. And don't get me started on Warren.
Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende's contuing refusal to agree to a public inquiry into events surrounding Dutch support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is beginning to look like the petulant behaviour of a stubborn teenager.
There are a number of questions which need to be answered about the Dutch position, and continually repeating the same tired arguments is not working.
There is evidence that civil servants had their doubts about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, doubts which the government of the day - led by Balkenende himself - ignored. The Dutch also ignored the fact there was no UN mandate for action. [read the rest]
It is hard to know what is more surprising: that HBO passed over the invocation in both the live and rebroadcast versions or that it was posted on YouTube by Sarah Pulliam of Christianity Today.The blog, AFTERELTON got on HBO's ass to find out what really happened: a developing story; HBO says it's not responsible for the slight, but clearly a better explanation is needed.
But given that most Americans could not attend the concert, instead having to watch it on television, the decision to not broadcast the prayer is being seen by many in the GLBT community as a slight.think through these sorts of nuances
The exclusion of Robinson, even if unintentional, does not reflect well on the Obama administration's ability thus far to think through these sorts of nuances.
The signature phrase of the 1960s cult classic The Prisoner [its star, Patrick McGoohan, died yesterday in Los Angeles]- "I am not a number. I am a free man!"- could have its corollary in Gaza [as well as in Afghanistan and Iraq] with the people declaring:
"We are not non-entities. We are a free people!"
The situation is very hard today. I heard something from a friend that simply gives me no peace – about two families who are fighting over the identity of someone who is lying in the hospital. Since it is impossible to identify the wounded person because his face is very badly hurt, one family claims that he is their nephew and the other family says that he is their cousin. They are fighting about it because they realize that if this is not their relative, that means that their relative is dead.Unfuckingbelievable!
I can see all of Beit Lahiya from the roof and it’s all going up in flames. There is a very big cloud over the entire northern area. Gaza is packed like a can of sardines, everything is small and crowded. People don’t understand this.
You could die anywhere in Gaza today – at home, in the street. Every place in Gaza is under attack. There is no safe place. This is what Hamas is telling people: why should you die at home? Come out and fight and at least you’ll die while defending Gaza and your home. Who can say no to such a thing?
There is no bread. I called all the bakeries in Gaza and I didn’t find even one where I could buy pitas for my children. In the end I stood in line for half an hour and got cookies. Even that was being rationed – only 1 kilo and no more. I can’t even get pitas for my children.
I’m telling you – I’m willing to come and help in Israel, in Sderot. What they are going through hurts us too but give us a chance. Just give us a chance. Don’t use our children in order to change the political reality. Do you understand that I – someone who has a respectable job and livelihood – burnt my hands while trying to heat water for my children on an open fire! My hands got burnt! Gaza is one big graveyard.
I know something of the loss felt by my Israeli friend Yitzhak, whose son Arik was captured and murdered by Hamas in 1994, and by my Palestinian friend Bassam whose daughter Abir was shot and killed by Israeli solders as she walked home from school in her West Bank village in 2007.
I cannot, though, know the loss felt by Anwar Khalil Ba'lousha, whose five daughters, asleep in their beds, were killed in Gaza by Israeli bombing on Dec. 28. I haven't the courage to imagine his pain.
The U.S. must make clear that we will not support either side when it uses violence beyond its borders. We must demand that humanitarian aid as well as press and U.N. observers be permitted to enter Gaza without delay -- and that hostilities cease so that lifesaving commodities can be distributed.
Much more importantly, it is a message to the UN to pull out. Bear in mind that UN staff have already had to suspend operations because of the risk posed by the IDF. Other aid agencies such as the Red Cross have also had to suspend crucial activities after attacks by the IDF. Eventually, the UN might well be forced to withdraw its staff entirely if it can't guarantee their safety. At that point, the UN and its few millions and scant food and supplies, will no longer be available to the civilian population. This terrorised and starving population will soon be almost completely alone.
Will the real Rick Warren please stand up?
Who is Rick Warren? What is his purpose?
In this internet age it's hard to tailor your message to your audience. Everyone has ears. And even if you don't intend for a message to be public your audience may find it convenient to make it public. (And who's to say you didn't mean it be public rather than belatedly regretting your words?)
Who is the real Rick Warren? [yes, there's more]
In Gaza, children,
you learn that the sky kills
and that houses hurt.
You learn that your blanket is smoke
and breakfast is dirt.
You learn that cars do somersaults
clothes turn red,
friends become statues,
bakers don’t sell bread.
You learn that the night is a gun,
that toys burn
breath can stop,
it could be your turn.
if they send you fire
they couldn’t guess:
not just the soldier dies -
it’s you and the rest.
Nowhere to run,
nowhere to go,
nowhere to hide
in the home you know.
that death isn’t life,
that air isn’t bread,
the land is for all.
You have the right to be
You have the right to be
You have the right to be
The City of Burlington’s water contains 1 part per million (1 ppm) of fluoride. We keep hearing that the fluoride is diluted so much that its toxic effects are essentially diluted out. But is 1 ppm REALLY such a minute quantity as to be without any effect?
One ppm of fluoride means that every liter of water contains 1 milligram, or 1 mg, of fluoride. So, for every liter of fluoridated water you drink, whether it is in the form of water, or a beverage such as soda, coffee, juice, or beer, that is prepared with fluoridated water, you consume 1 mg of fluoride. And Brita and Pur filters do not filter out fluoride.
People also consume additional fluoride from other sources: toothpaste, processed cereals, mechanically de-boned chicken, tea (the leaves of which accumulate Fluoride), fish, and pesticides residues in wine, fruits and vegetables – all of these foods frequently contain varying levels of fluoride, sometimes several mgs per serving.
So how much fluoride do you ingest per day? Adding up the beverages you drink, the toothpaste you use, and consumption of the many foods that contain fluoride, you are likely ingesting several mgs of fluoride per day, half of which is stored in your body indefinitely, and builds up over time. And a few mgs a day is not insignificant.
So how do you control this? When your children are drinking city water, juices, brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, eating chicken, and processed cereals? The answer is you can’t, and their largest exposure is coming from the drinking water.
EPA used a “safe dose” for adults of 8 mgs per day in setting its drinking water limit, however, this dose has since been found by the National Research Council to be too high to prevent adverse health effects. A daily dose of 20 mgs of fluoride is known to cause crippling skeletal fluorosis. Safety factors of 10 are normally built in to provide the public with an adequate margin of safety. This would result in an acceptable dose of 2 mg per day, or the amount you consume in only 2 L of water.
[...Continue reading all of "Tiny Amounts"]
In light of recent scientific developments indicating the potential for harm to certain subsets of the population, the Burlington Board of Health recommends immediately taking a precautionary stance by discontinuing the practice of water fluoridation. It is our opinion that drinking water should be pure and safe for all.This time the resolution to remove fluoride from the city's drinking water passed 3-2. The Board will send its recommendation to the city council.JUSTIFICATION● In 2006 the National Research Council's published report entitled “Fluoride in Drinking Water” identified vulnerable subsets of the population who may be at an increased risk from the toxic effects of fluoride. These subsets include infants, diabetics, kidney patients, and those with impaired thyroid function.
● Following the NRC's report the American Dental Association recommended that infants (0 -6 months of age) not receive fluoridated water.
● In 2008 the National Kidney Foundation discontinued its support of community water fluoridation and stated that kidney patients should be notified of the potential risks from fluoride exposure.
● The chemical being added to Burlington's water supply is Hydrofluorosilisic Acid. It is a highly toxic industrial byproduct of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing. There are virtually no human health effects studies on these fluorosilicate compounds.
● The intended purpose of adding fluoridation chemicals to the water is to provide a medical benefit to the consumer by preventing tooth decay. While we do not use the public drinking water as a medium for delivering other medications, it is our opinion that fluoride should be no exception. As with any other drug, fluoride has side effects.
● It is the opinion of the Burlington Board of Health that the public water supply should be safe for all Burlington residents with emphasis on infants, kidney patients, diabetics, and those with impaired thyroid function.
The legend, lest it be a true story, tells of how the late mathematician, Professor Haim Hanani, asked his students at the Technion to draw up a plan for constructing a pipe to transport blood from Haifa to Eilat. The obedient students did as they were told. Using logarithmic rulers, they sketched the design for a sophisticated pipeline. They meticulously planned its route, taking into account the landscape's topography, the possibility of corrosion, the pipe's diameter and the flow calibration. When they presented their final product, the professor rendered his judgment: You failed. None of you asked why we need such a pipe, whose blood will fill it, and why it is flowing in the first place.The above linked quote is from an opinion piece - not in the New York Times, not from National Public Radio (I would venture to say you'd not read it in any of the major media in America or Britain) - but written by Gideon Levy in Haaretz, an Israeli newpaper.
Regardless of whether this story is legend or true, Israel is now failing its own blood pipeline test. As Israel has been preoccupied with Gaza throughout the entire week, nobody has asked whose blood is being spilled and why. Everything is permitted, legitimate and just. The moral voice of restraint, if it ever existed, has been left behind. Even if Israel wiped Gaza off the face of the earth, killing tens of thousands in the process, as a Chechnyan laborer working in Sderot proposed to me, one can assume that there would be no protest.
They liquidated Nizar Ghayan? Nobody counts the 20 women and children who lost their lives in the same attack. There was a massacre of dozens of officers during their graduation ceremony from the police academy? Acceptable. Five little sisters? Allowed. Palestinians are dying in hospitals that lack medical equipment? Peanuts. Whatever happened to the not-so-good old days of Salah Shahadeh? When we liquidated him in July 2002, we also killed 15 women and children. At least back then, moral qualms were raised for a moment.
Here lie their bodies, row upon row, some of them tiny. Our hearts have turned hard and our eyes have become dull. All of Israel has worn military fatigues, uniforms that are opaque and stained with blood and which enable us to carry out any crime. Even our leading intellectuals fail to speak out on what havoc we have wreaked. Amos Oz urges: "Cease-fire now." David Grossman writes: "Hold your fire. Stop." Meir Shalev wants "a punitive operation." And not one word about our moral image, which has been horribly distorted.
The suffering in the south renders everything kosher, as if the horrible suffering in Gaza pales in comparison. Everyone is hungry for revenge, and that hunger is excused by the need for "deterrence," after it was already proved that the killing and the destruction in Lebanon did not achieve it....
It is doubtful whether Hamas will be cut down to size as a result of this wretched war. Yet, the face of the state has been cut down to size, as have civilian elites who are apathetic and scared. The "peace camp," if it ever existed, has been cut down to size. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz authorized the Ghayan killing, regardless of the cost. Haim Oron, the leader of the "new left-wing movement," supported the launch of this foolish war.
Nobody is coming to the rescue - of Gaza or even of the remnants of humanity and Israeli democracy. The statesmen, the jurists, the poets, the authors, academe, and the news media - pitch black over the abyss. When the time comes for reckoning, we will need to remember the damage this war did to Israel: The blood pipeline it laid has been completed.
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A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage – Herbert HooverTIMES ARGUS January 3, 2009
BERLIN – Say goodbye to "Food Stamps." Say hello to "3Squares VT."Good that the program is being expanded. The Douglas admin claims the new name gives emphasis to good nutrition. My guess it's a move away from the stigma of applying for food stamps. "I'm off to the store for my 3 Squares." I think these new-fangled names just confuse people. Vermonters just want a program that works.
The well-known Food Stamp program got a new updated name Friday, and Vermont Gov. James Douglas was on hand for the launch, standing in front of three tables of food at Shaw's Supermarket Friday afternoon. The state's expanded nutrition program was symbolized by the display of foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, underscoring the new name and "3Squares" focus on healthy eating.
Enrollment in the program currently stands at 31,000, or more than 12 percent, of Vermont's approximately 250,000 households. Those households represent more than 61,000 individuals in the state.
What makes an Eleven-Cities Tour win so unique is the fact that the race cannot be held on anything like a regular basis. Dutch winters are usually too mild to allow thick enough ice to form for outdoor skating. For this reason, alternative races are organised in Austria or Finland. However, Dutch enthusiasts maintain that there is nothing like participating in the tour when it is held in Friesland.A few of my Dutch cousins have skated it. The Prince of Orange - registered as W. A. van Buren - participated in 1986.
"It has be minus ten degrees for at least seven nights in a row for the event to go ahead," says a spokesperson in Friesland in De Telegraaf. He warns people to stick to official ice rinks, as the ice on the lakes is not safe. He could be right, as on New Year's Day the body of a 58-year-old man was found by his friends under the ice. And four people were saved from certain death by the quick thinking of a local man who used his surfboard to reach a group that had fallen through thin ice after he heard their calls for help.
Yet another insult to women: Obama chooses a sexist pastor for his InauguralI thought Bishop Jefferts Schori would have been a far better choice, too.
Rick Warren is a male supremacist. He’s a man who picks and chooses his Bible verses to buttress his preferred beliefs. Selecting him, of all people, to deliver the Inaugural invocation is yet another insult to the millions of women who voted for Obama, trusting — despite the sexism of the campaign — that Barack Obama would prove to be a champion of equality.
It’s not as if we have a shortage of Christian ministers in this country. Obama could have chosen a progressive, like Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, thus sending a powerful message of religious faith twinned with social justice.