Social and Political
With urbanization advancing, economies expanding, and climate change a concern, Mexico City has emerged as an unlikely environmental example for cities in developing countries suffering similar air quality issues.
Halve meat consumption, scientists urge rich world. People in the rich world should become "demitarians" – eating half as much meat as usual, while stopping short of giving it up – in order to avoid severe environmental damage, scientists have urged, in the clearest picture yet of how farming practices are destroying the natural world...
Friends. We all love 'em! But are our Facebook Friends really friends or do they open us up to all kinds of privacy issues... marketers, tracking, hacking, identify theft, potential problems with employers, etc.
As David versus Goliath battles go it is hard to imagine a more uneven fight than the one about to play out in front of the US supreme court between Vernon Hugh Bowman and Monsanto.
This talk (13 min approx) is amazing... talking about our belief in a "disposable" society... disposable bottles, cans... but it seems we also believe in disposable people. Van Jones speaks of Cancer Alley, smog, 1 out of 4 people in jail, etc. THIS IS A MUST WATCH! Want to make a difference? Start with watching this video!
An engineering survey found that the road had several structural weaknesses and that it would be very costly to renovate the road, so instead, the city government decided to demolish the highway and restore the flow to the river...
by Maureen Dowd. Hillary Clinton has fought for women’s rights around the world. But who would have dreamed that she would have to fight for them at home? “Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me,” she told an...
Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria “Nuggets”
State agent inspects sack lunches, preschoolers purchase cafeteria food instead
(cut down some of the article)
RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.
The girl’s mother — who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation — said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a “healthy lunch” would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.
“I don't feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home,” the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County.
The girl’s grandmother, who sometimes helps pack her lunch, told Carolina Journal that she is a petite, picky 4-year-old who eats white whole wheat bread and is not big on vegetables.
“What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother told CJ. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”
When the girl came home with her lunch untouched, her mother wanted to know what she ate instead. Three chicken nuggets, the girl answered. Everything else on her cafeteria tray went to waste.
“She came home with her whole sandwich I had packed, because she chose to eat the nuggets on the lunch tray, because they put it in front of her,” her mother said. “You’re telling a 4-year-old. ‘oh. your lunch isn’t right,’ and she’s thinking there’s something wrong with her food.”
While the mother and grandmother thought the potato chips and lack of vegetable were what disqualified the lunch, a spokeswoman for the Division of Child Development said that should not have been a problem.
“With a turkey sandwich, that covers your protein, your grain, and if it had cheese on it, that’s the dairy,” said Jani Kozlowski, the fiscal and statutory policy manager for the division. “It sounds like the lunch itself would’ve met all of the standard.” The lunch has to include a fruit or vegetable, but not both, she said.
Reaad the entire article:
‘Lunch-In’ Protests Crackdown on Homemade Lunches
by DANIEL HALPE, the Weekly Standard
The National Center for Public Policy Research hosted a “lunch-in” (February 23rd 2012) at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. The target of the protest? “[F]ederal school nutrition guidelines that allegedly forced at least one student to forgo her mother’s home-packed lunch in favor of chicken nuggets,” a press release announcing today’s event read.
The alleged lunch incident happened in North Carolina. “A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious,” a local reporter wrote last week. “The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.”
The story quickly became national news, causing outrage from those who say the government is waging war on lunch.
Read the entire article:
(this one not very long, can find more supporting info?)
(from Reuters, not sure if can use)
Personal Experiences Persuaded GOP Legislators On Gay Marriage
By Mary Slosson
LOS ANGELES--The personal experiences of friends, family or constituents persuaded a crucial group of Republican lawmakers to vote for same-sex marriage in three state legislatures last month, in some cases tipping the balance in favor of legalizing gay matrimony.
Among them were two Washington state legislators with gay relatives, a New Jersey state senator who changed her mind while working on an anti-bullying measure and a Maryland state House delegate inspired by a gay couple coping with cancer.
"All politics is personal," Republican Washington state Senator Steve Litzow said in explaining his vote to support gay marriage legislation.
"If people have a personal connection, know 'this is somebody I love and care about,' I think that makes a huge difference," said Litzow, one of four Republican state senators who helped the measure pass in Washington state by a vote of 28 to 21.
Gay marriage is one of the defining "culture wars" issues dividing the United States during the 2012 presidential election year. Supporters see it as a question of civil rights and equality for gay Americans. Opponents see it as morally wrong and an attack on traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
Read the entire article
Video: I Want to Know What It's Like... to be normal, to be accepted.
Very touching video expressing the gay person's perspective.
Opposition, to Its Surprise, Wins a Bit of Power in Moscow
by, New York Times
MOSCOW — While many in Russia’s protest movement have been searching for direction in the wake of Vladimir V. Putin’s victory this week in the presidential election, a splinter group of Kremlin opponents in Moscow has been drawing up plans for new park benches, pedestrian walkways and more efficient parking.
Inspired by the recent protests against Mr. Putin, but not content with street theater alone, hundreds of young Muscovites decided to run in municipal elections last weekend. To the shock of many, dozens won.
“It was completely surprising,” said Vera Kichanova, 20, a journalism student who campaigned for a seat on the Yuzhnoe Tushino district council in Moscow. “Everyone looked at us as if we were not serious competition, and we won.”
Read the entire article:
New York Times
by J. DAVID GOODMAN and JENNIFER PRESTON
How did “Kony 2012″ go viral so quickly?
In addition to using social media tools to help distribute the film, Jason Russell, the film’s director and narrator, talks in the film about how social media is empowering people all over the world to bring about change. He then asks viewers to join him in this campaign to capture Mr. Kony after describing his friendship with one of Mr. Kony’s victims and then sharing a compelling narrative about how he became involved in this effort.
In the film, Mr. Russell explains the social media strategy, which includes getting people to enlist celebrities on Twitter, including Oprah Winfrey and others with large followings, to help get out the word about the film and Mr. Kony. The group also specifically asked people who viewed the film to share it with their personal networks on social media platforms so that “Kony’s name is everywhere.”
This call to action, Mr. Russell explained, would help achieve the group’s goal of raising awareness about Mr. Kony in the hope it might keep pressure on Ugandan government officials and United States advisers...
Read the complete article
30 Dolphins stranding and incredibly saved! Extremely rare event!
Uploaded by crariyo on Mar 5, 2012
filmed by Gerd Traue
About 30 Dolphins stranded and saved by local people at Arraial do Cabo (Brazil) in the morning at 8:00 AM on March 5th 2012.
Local people and tourists in Arraial do Cabo, in Rio de Janeiro state, helped a pod of 30 dolphins swim back out to sea after they got caught in the area's strong current and became beached.
Footage of the event has received hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube since being published on 5 March. Dozens of people entered the sea and dragged the struggling mammals by their tails back into deeper water.
read more on the Huffington Post
The rally, which was supported by UC Berkeley administrators and the UC Student Association, among others, featured speakers from the UC, California State University, California Community Colleges and public office.
by Suzanne Daley. It didn’t take long for Manuel García Murillo, a bricklayer who took over as mayor last June, to realize that his town was in trouble. It was 800,000 euros, a little more than $1 million, in the red. There was no cash on hand to pay for anything — and there was work that needed to be done.
Census figures show that fewer people are leaving and many are returning as a lack of jobs in the U.S. and tighter border enforcement dissuade many who might have entered illegally.