NJ Bag Ban starts May 4 - what you need to know.
Access to clean and affordable water is a basic human right and must be protected
Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led a bicameral group of colleagues in introducing the Future of Water Act to amend the Commodity Exchange Act to prohibit futures trading of water or water rights and protect our country’s water. Water is a basic human right that must be managed and protected as a public trust resource.
As climate change has increased the severity and frequency of drought in our country, large corporations should not be profiting off of water or water rights. Water should be affordable, easily accessible, and guarded from markets prone to manipulation and speculation that could cause real-world price increases. The announcement of the water futures trading received condemnation from the global water community, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water who stated: “Water is already under extreme threat from a growing population, increasing demands and grave pollution from agriculture and mining industry in the context of worsening impact of climate change. . . I am very concerned that water is now being treated as gold, oil and other commodities that are traded on Wall Street futures markets.”
Some people are outraged that a 16 year old child is the only global citizen courageous enough to stand up to world leaders and explain the facts about climate change. They don’t want anyone talking about science, or obligations, or the fact that the world will come to an end if we don’t make some serious changes. And if anyone is going to talk about these things, it sure as heck should not be a child.
Luckily for the outraged, salvation has arrived! The Greta Thunberg Helpline has been set up just for adults angry at a child and needing to vent.
Camila Thorndike offers a list of some ways the GOP tax scam intends to destroy the environment. She found these items less than a day after the 500+ page tax bill was released to Capitol Hill politicians for the first time last night, just an hour before the GOP began pushing for the bill to be voted on. So more horrible measures will probably be found over time.
Good news today for people who care about students and the state of public education in America. As HuffPost put it: Arne Duncan Resigns Amid Legacy-Threatening Student Debt Crisis. And this summer, the Center for Media and Democracy wrote this about Duncan’s failed initiative to replace public schools with charters: Charter Program Expansion Looms Despite Probes into Mismanagement and Closed Schools.
Developer-owned charter schools are publicly funded but managed privately, without the obligation to provide any public accountability for either their teaching methods or financial expenditures. Not surprising that they’re a virtual breeding ground for a level of corruption so exaggerated that it turned GW Bush’s former Assistant Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch, into one of the country’s leading public education advocates.
The shockwaves of public education destruction and suffocating college student debt, has emanated out around the country from the Chicago hub where Arne Duncan and Rahm Emanuel kicked it off and from the White House where Duncan somehow came to roost as Education Secretary. How many times have I – and countless other social justice advocates – prayed that some real information about the horrific abyss into which American education has been shoved, would get through to our President and jolt him awake from the slumber into which his close relationship with Duncan lulled him: Duncan, the Judas who betrayed the trust of his friend and leader along with the values of the American public, all in one go. May the man’s soul be awarded whatever fate it deserves.
It cannot be purely coincidental that this week at Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Training in Miami, a fellow participant told Mr. Gore about the #Dyett15‘s recent 34 day hunger strike to save Chicago’s Dyett High School (achieved) and have it designated as a STEM and green technology school (not achieved). The VP asked, “Wait. Are you saying people held a hunger strike because they wanted so much for a green technology school to be created, and this wasn’t made to happen for them?”
Well yes. In a nutshell, that’s exactly what happened.
Brother Jitu Brown of the Journey 4 Justice Alliance led the education activists in the strike and on about day 20, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed that Dyett would not be shut down – as had been previously announced. The activists additionally also won an “audience” with Arne Duncan. But their second most important demand – the one which motivated the strikers to continue without solid food for another two weeks – was summarily ignored by Duncan, even though it aligns perfectly with the education policy his boss framed and has promoted throughout his years in office. I mean, seriously, what was Duncan thinking?
So, today, President Obama finally announced Duncan’s resignation … and I for one, am really pleased.
Mr. Gore asked for information about the hunger strikers and as I happen to have spent some time with the Journey 4 Justice and follow its activities, I sent him the letter you see on the right (click to enlarge).
Dawn will shine tomorrow on a brand new day in the saga of American education. I look forward to seeing how Pres. Obama, now that his vision has cleared, will use his remaining time in office to help set public education back onto the solid footing it should always occupy.
Today also marks the day of our country’s first community college shooting at Umpqua College in Oregon. I pray that the injured benefit from rapid and complete recoveries … that the family of victims who became late are comforted by the loving embrace of Our Lord and Creator and that the deceased enjoy a golden peace in the world to come, sitting at God’s right hand.
Duncan caricature by DonkeyHotey
“There is such a thing as too late, when it comes to climate change,” the President commented, and pointed out that 14 of the hottest years in over 100 years of recorded history have occurred in the past 15 years.
Watch President Obama’s enthusiastically received speech:
In my lifetime, I can’t remember being so moved by a president’s speech. We look to society’s top leaders to protect and guide us, but so often they fail us instead. Today, Obama’s demeanour and announcement visibly demonstrated that he completely has our backs and I am so grateful to him.
— Kimi Wei (@kimiwei) August 3, 2015
The President also laughed at Big Money’s false claims that environmental protections will hurt most the poor and vulnerable of our country. President Obama pointed out that neighbors in social and environmental justice communities are in reality, those being hardest hit by the impacts of fossil fuel pollution and the effects of climate change and stand to benefit most from the changes outlined in his Clean Power Plan.
— Kimi Wei (@kimiwei) August 3, 2015
1 Kill whole ecosystems.
2 Many GMO crops have pesticides in them. Insects that survive eating them become immune to pesticides and descend on other farmers’ land like locusts, consuming everything.
3 GMO seeds are patented and are bankrupting farmers. Seeds are investments for farmers and many do not understand that GMO seeds must be “re-purchased” every year. In India, every 30 minutes a bankrupted farmer drinks pesticide to commit suicide.
4 In silent GMO forests pesticides built into the trees’ DNA poison everything except the trees. Nothing else lives: no insects, birds, animals big or small. No undergrowth.
5 We do not know the long term effect that GMOs will have on human bodies.
I urge the USDA to place strong mandatory regulations on GMO crops to protect our environment, farmers and food supply. The public needs to know what we’re ingesting & feeding our families. Big chemical companies that profit from selling GMO crops should not be allowed to influence laws. Thanks for listening!
This is CHEJ’s first basic community organization manual. Although it is written for first time organizers, established leaders may find they learn a new trick or two. Topics covered include how to start a group, keep a group going, research opponents, organize your community, carry out an effective action, raise funds, and win!