Friday, February 29, 2008

Sustainable Living Now - Off The Grid Housing

The future is now my friends. There are current housing developments up for sale that will just make you purr. Seriously who wouldn't want to live in a sustainable off the grid home. Well not quite off the grid but monthly water bills are $5.00 dollars because rain water is collected. Passive solar, rain water collection, atrium's and all very stylish these enclaves exist. Can you imagine if all our homes were like this? We could put the oil companies out of business. Look we are the grid if we all lower our "overhead" carbon foot print we can cut back demand. In other words if we aren't buying they aren't selling. While the press cries about consumer spending being down I rejoice. Less consumption of non-essential items puts WalMart out of business. I want people to work but in industries that are not only good for the environment but good for the employee. We can get out of this funk, stagnated old business model of antiquated dirty energy consumption and move into the future TODAY. We have the know how and can live in harmony with our planet and each other - that's the goal isn't it?

Check out the link in the title and these others- the future is here and now!

Green link
Green link
Green floor plan
Green section and elevation
Utility conservation
Pictures
Videos
Resource Efficient Homes

Paul
Author-Journey Home

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio - Movie Review

This is another movie I can highly recommend especially for movie lovers, dreamers and those with the ability and who appreciate the effort of bringing dreams into reality. It is a lot like giving birth both wrenching, powerful and fulfilling. As I put this documentary into the DVD player I winced at the subtitles (long day at work) and slow pace of the introductory credits - just fast forward to the start and within a few moments (give it a chance) the apparent odyssey of the journey begins and takes hold of you. The sheer joy in playing reveals ego, dissension, ability, understanding or lack there of but also the unbriddled joy of the creative process. This film is that good and another highly recommended movie for your NetFlix list! I really loved it and musicians and music lovers will chuckle at the insights, missteps, warts and all harmony of the players, orchestra and organizers. It's a marvelous piece - ENJOY!

Paul
Author- Journey Home

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

High Mercury Content in Bluefin Tuna Not Only Reason to Pass on the Sushi


Repost from Earth Justice
Stay to the low end of the food chain kids until the status quo gets it's act together
_________________

High Mercury Content in Bluefin Tuna Not Only Reason to Pass on the Sushi

Overfishing and poor oceans management are leading bluefin tuna to the brink of extinction

February 6, 2008

Photo of bluefin tuna
Bluefin tuna
Photo: NOAA

Washington, D.C. -- Recent news reports and studies revealed dangerously high levels of mercury in bluefin tuna and other fish species. Government agencies have warned consumers to avoid eating foods with high mercury levels. And while eating too much of this fish may be bad for your health, it is also bad for dwindling bluefin tuna populations.

Bluefin tuna are a species in peril. Commercial overfishing and a poorly constructed government regulatory program are pushing the western Atlantic bluefin population towards collapse and even possible extinction. This amazing fish, which can grow up to 1,500 pounds, dive up to 3,000 feet in a matter of minutes, and traverse the Atlantic Ocean in just over a month, plays a crucial role in balancing the web of oceanic life.

"Eating bluefin tuna is bad for your health, but it’s also bad for the health of this species," said Katie Renshaw, attorney with Earthjustice. "Government mismanagement has created a broken system where commercial fishers are taking advantage of legal loopholes that allow them to target bluefin on spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico when the remaining bluefin gather to breed. If we don't act now, this species could disappear forever."

Earthjustice, on behalf of Blue Ocean Institute and its president, author and scientist Carl Safina, have challenged in court the National Marine Fisheries Service's failure to limit longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Longline fishing places thousands of baited hooks in the water, indiscriminately hooking fish, turtles and sometimes even birds. Bluefin tuna spawning in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are accidentally caught by these longline vessels. Because spawning bluefin are highly stressed, most hooked bluefin die even if they are released.

Longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico during bluefin spawning season depletes the bluefin population and cripples the potential of the bluefin to rebuild to a healthy level. Curtailing this threat would substantially protect this critically threatened species.

"Fisheries scientists have the capacity to sustainably manage bluefin fishing, but the economic and political will is lacking," said Safina. "The U.S. must stop all catches of bluefin tuna on breeding grounds during spawning season and press for a five year Atlantic-wide moratorium on bluefin fishing."

The litigation has been fully briefed and is currently awaiting judgment in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Last month, the New York Times reported that some samples of bluefin tuna sushi bought at local restaurants and grocery stores had dangerously high mercury levels. Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin; even low levels of mercury exposure in utero or during early childhood can impair the ability to walk, talk, read, write and learn. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1 in every 6 women has mercury levels in her blood high enough to harm development in unborn children.

Oceana recently issued a report on mercury levels in popular fish and sushi that demonstrate the need for the Food and Drug Administration to post advice about seafood consumption in grocery stores and restaurants. The study found that mercury levels in fresh tuna are comparable to fish already included on the FDA's "Do Not Eat" list.

Contact:

Katie Renshaw / Steve Roady, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ralph Nader for President

I actually think Nader getting into the campaign is great - will they let him debate????

Here's an eye opening issue link

I'm not so sure that middle class tax payers are duly represented in our process, and could make a case to boycott paying our taxes based on the old refrain - "no taxation without representation" - this isn't a joke. However, as I have maintained all along the power is in the legislature to make laws, and we as citizens, must and I mean must be active in the advocacy of the issues we find important.

Advocacy links
Advocacy links
Advocacy links

That's where the rubber hits the road in our form of government. The republicans shut down everything I stand for including a balanced budget, smaller government, reduced funding of the military, and the redistribution of that money (up to a third) into education and research and development. The elimination of the payroll tax, the separation of church and state, getting government out of our bedrooms, lobby reform, the protection of the environment and the species that god (not you and I) put here, being better stewards of the planet (that we did not create) increased fuel mileage to 50 mpg (not the paltry 35mpg by 2012)and transparency in government, the elimination of lobbyist writing the rules, regulations and laws, and the public financing of campaigns, paper back up to voting machines, the return of the debates to the League of Women Voters (impartial, neutral, and unfunded by Corporate America), universal health care, sensible gun laws and on and on the Republicans have turned a deaf ear to everyone and everything except big money and the status quo.

We should all stop paying taxes this year and next year until we get what we want. We should at least be able to target our tax dollars when we send them in and that one simple change in legislation could make a world of difference. Tax reform is not even being discussed. Or another idea the elimination of the payroll tax would jump start this economy like a defibrillator. Where is the creativity and "outside the box" thinking. It's certainly not being promoted by the three front runners.

Our representatives are blind to their own ambition, devoid of any new ideas, unable to stand up to the status quo because their egos are tied to their jobs and perks and do not consider the big picture of sustainability.

What runs our government is the election cycle itself, getting elected and being reelected and padding their incomes, and connections by any means necessary. The actual stewardship of the Republic and the good of mankind is a distant second. It's pathetic that not even the Constitution is put first above the self interest of our dubiously elected (mass media marketed) politicians.

It would do us no harm to have Ralph banging away at these issue for the next 9 months.

He has my vote!

Paul Burke
Author - Journey Home

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Open Letter To MOVE ON.ORG

Not that long ago Move On members voted 70% to 30% to support Obama. Since then all the information I have received from the MoveOn Organization has been cheer leading. Here is a letter I sent to them.

Dear Move On,
I want to know why you are supporting Obama it should be listed by bullet points on your homepage. Never mind the vote count of those swept away by the fashion of Obama I want to know what are the specific policies he states that have lead you and your members to this decision, and not campaign rhetoric. What has he done in the past ? What legislation has he supported on any level, local, state and federal that leads you and your members to believe he is the right choice for the job?

That's the kind of information I need to make a decision. Testimonials about how wonderful he is because he is handsome, well spoken, and delivers pulpit like Sunday morning speeches are empty. The rubber hits the road on his legislative agenda, the planks in the party, his supporters who have financed him with the BIG dollars, and his track record.

Please for the good of the country stop cheer leading and get the facts out.

Then we can all make an "educated decision" other than being swept along by a fad or because Oprah says so. Come on Move On is supposed to excel in this area. I am hearing about big coal and nuclear power funding him early on in his career. Nuclear waste in toxic drums leaching into the water system is another example of dirty energy solutions gone bad. King Coal is the thief who has designed mountain top removal and blasts the debris into the valleys and waterways destroying everything in it's path. If these two big, corrupt, well heeled corporate monsters are in bed with Obama you are all being duped and guilty of group think. If these are rumors you owe it to your members who you actively solicit for money to ferret the rumors out and dispel them.

Don't fall for the song from the pulpit and his glowing persona and charisma, but who are his big money backers? Let's do some real homework here.

I'm repulsed and dismayed at the quotes from the Obama supporters who just gush at his "leadership" style. I want to hear more than the word "change" ! You have a duty to inform the MOVE ON members just what change he has supported and what Senate votes has he ducked. Your daily emails and homepage have been extremely lacking in that regard.

I thought we were all a little more sophisticated than all that, and who's this radical preacher in his background - his mentor? Come on guys lets do our homework and help educate the Move On members to this unknown, fashion of the moment, almost cult like figure named Obama. Maybe he is the real deal, maybe he's just good at public speaking either way I assure you the Swift Boaters are laying in wait to dismantle him spreading rumors about dirty money already. They are doing their homework or making it up either way are the Obama supporters in for a big surprise along the way? The lockstep frenzy surrounding Obama has me worried. So let's talk policy, actual votes and legislative action and money, and actual background and education the serious questions instead of promoting hero worship and adulation?

This is not a popularity contest. We need to make an educated decision about real documented substance and rely on the candidates track record and ignore the rhetoric. This election of personality is bogus and does our country a great deal of harm. After all everyone thought George W. Bush was a "good guy". Well look what that "good guy" left us after eight years.

Without a doubt that is no way to choose a president!


Paul
Author- Journey Home
Related link - Nuclear Waste
Related Link - Congresspedia
Related Link - Voting Record

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Vote Your "First Choice!"

(this is an important repost)


Vote your "First Choice!" by MsProgressive

A "Republic?" You decide!

This year especially, Americans may have become disenfranchised, of
their votes, and their VOICES, by means of a carefully calculated
manipulation of "public opinion."

The Candidates whose voices have called for REAL change ... the kind
of stuff that would return us to the genuine "American Experiment" -
have been effectively SILENCED.

Broadcast pundit toadies, whose bosses are nothing more than
multinational corporations with FCC licenses, have paid willing lip
service to ONLY those Presidential Candidates who will continue to
kiss corporate butt! (Coincidentally, these are many of the Same
candidates who have plenty to spend on political advertising. "Go
figure!")

This is not a new technique. But since the League of Women Voters was
forced, in frustration, to relinquish their oversight of our
Presidential debates, the situation has become much worse.

Please ask yourself this question: How can the results of ONE caucus
and three primary elections give pundits the license to declare
impending "winners" for an office that will represent the citizens of
fifty states?

Shouldn't these assumptions raise a few "red flags?" Surely I am not
the only American voter who is reminded of those old stories about
elections in the USSR? (Where traditionally, only One Candidate ever
appeared on the ballot?)

By their deliberate acts of omission, broadcast companies have
effectively silenced any ideas that might threaten to snatch
government policymaking from the clutches of their corporate
stranglehold. (To whit: the proposals of Kucinich and Paul.)

Both Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul were unceremoniously dumped from
the final debates on the week-end before New Hampshire's contest.
When voters don't see candidates in the debates, they THINK those
candidates are no longer in the running - period!

Therefore, deciding that one candidate, or another, does not
"qualify" to be in a debate, is a lot like owning a "delete key" for
political adversaries!

Even C-SPAN seemed to be complicit in their generation of "selective"
coverage! (They followed Bill Richardson around a near-empty Dunkin'
Donuts in New Hampshire, for more than an hour, while ignoring, or
barely mentioning, several other candidates who were campaigning in
the race!)

But the corporate press is not alone in these subversions. The
dominatrix known as the Democratic National Committee has punished
her supplicants in Michigan and Florida as well. When uncowering Dems
in those states refused to respond to the mistress' demands for a
"preferred" primary date, she castrated them of their delegates.
(Leaving registered voters in two states, politically impotent!)

So I must ask you all ... Is this a Republic? Or a political rape?

Why would a political committee seek to disenfranchise so many -
unless they were trying to ensure that challengers to their agenda
will have exhausted their resources, just before America really
"weighs in?"

If we succumb to these manipulations, we have become little more than
"sheeple!" (Sporting our little flag pins and peace buttons, as we
are willingly herded off the edge of a cliff!)

So, Please! Whether your most pressing political issue is the Iraq
war, or the economy; immigration or health care ... do NOT let the
pundits convince you that your gut feeling "doesn't stand a chance."
Refuse to be "herded" by those who seek control!

Your Vote is powerful! If it were not so, why would so many millions
of dollars be sacrificed to Win that precious vote of yours?

I offer this simple solution to all Americans, no matter what their
political leaning:

Vote Your "First Choice!"

All of the candidates who have qualified for your State ballot, are
STILL on that ballot! (Even if a candidate has announced a
"withdrawal" from the race!) Therefore, I urge you all to refuse to
be "herded" into submission!

Do not let them convince you, that unless you switch your vote to one
of their chosen candidates, that your vote will be "wasted!" That is
exactly what these corporate and political strategists WANT you to
do!

Just imagine the scenario if the citizens in 24 States go to the
polls on Tuesday and reject the pundits' "front runners" by voting
their First Choice!

Do you really think that the Conventions would be able to ignore our
votes? Our ballots will all be validated, and become a part of the
Public Record!

If you agree with me, I hope you will pass these thoughts along,
because your "word of mouth" is very powerful too!

But unless we are willing to vote our "First Choice" how can anyone
ever possibly know the "Will" of the American people? Aren't the
"primaries" supposed to be a poll of the peoples' choice? If we
acquiesce to the pressure to compromise our choices, we are enabling
the devaluation of our Democracy!

As for me, I will refuse to vote for their agenda. I will be voting
for MY Agenda!

What about you?

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed
to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at
http://www.usalone.com/in.htm