Friday, April 5, 2013

Politics and Personal

An ExxonMobil pipeline spewed tens of thousands of barrels of tar sands oil last
, covering an Arkansas town with toxic crude. Now it's refusing to share information
that could protect the people affected.
Tell ExxonMobil to release all the information about the spill.
Sign the petition

This past weekend, an ExxonMobil pipeline carrying nearly 100,000 barrels of toxic
tar sands crude spewed into Mayflower, Arkansas.
Yards are flooded in black crude, a river of toxic oil flows down the street
, and the nearby fishing lake is covered in black grease. Families have been evacuated,
nobody knows what the dangers to the community are
, or even how much oil has been spilled. Why? Because Exxon’s not talking.
Let’s hold
ExxonMobil accountable for this spill by demanding it release all the information
on this spill
 -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- while the images of play sets and driveways
overrun with crude oil are still in the public eye.
Exxon: We want to know the truth.
Tell ExxonMobil to release information about the tens of thousands barrels of crude spilled in Arkansas.
ExxonMobil is controlling the no-fly zone over the spill site
 that the federal government put in place to keep news helicopters from capturing
images of the disaster. ExxonMobil is being so secretive because it wants people
to believe that pipelines like this are perfectly safe and pose no threat to people
or the planet. But this
catastrophe in Arkansas foreshadows a future reality for
 anyone who lives along the thousands of miles of pipeline being considered for approval
by the U.S. government.
Right now, ExxonMobil and other oil companies are
lobbying furiously for the Keystone XL
, a massive pipeline stretching across the North America that will
transport enough toxic tar to be "game over" for the planet.
 If approved, the Keystone XL will be carrying even more of the same hard-to-clean-up
toxic crude that spilled in Arkansas.
The last thing ExxonMobil and its ilk want is to tell us the truth about its dirty
business while legislators are making such a high-stakes decision on the Keystone
XL. It knows that
if we can use this spill in Arkansas to show the world the reality of these pipelines,
we may be able to stop the Keystone XL in its tracks.
 And it is especially vulnerable to public pressure right now, since images of backyards
covered in its tar sands crude are leaking out and going viral on Facebook.
Tell ExxonMobil to release all the information it has on the massive pipeline spill.
Together, we can expose the reality for people in the path of the crude spill, help
show the public that the pipelines that ExxonMobil and other major companies haven't
started construction on yet are unsafe too, and hopefully
stop future pipelines in their tracks entirely.
Thanks for all you do,
Angus, Kaytee, and the team at
More Information:
Exxon Mobil pipeline leaks ‘a few thousand’ barrels of crude oil in Arkansas.
 Washington Post. March 31st, 2013
Exxon controls skies over Arkansas oil spill.
 Salon. April 4th, 2013.
 SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations
accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
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I would want to know the health risks my family was exposed to!  Tar sands oil is Nasty stuff.

Trigger Warning:  If you have been sexually abused the following may distress you.  But we Need action.
The following concerns a rappper who has a single out glorifying drug use and his rape of a woman. 

More than 70,000 people have signed the petition asking Reebok to drop their endorsement
deal with Rick Ross, but they haven't responded.
If we all call them today and demand that they stop promoting rape and fire Rick
Ross, we'll send them a message that they can't ignore.
Can you call?
Reebok Headquarters - 781-401-5000
click here
Click Here

Reebok still thinks that rape sells shoes. More than 70,000 UltraViolet members have
signed the petition demanding they end their endorsement deal with Rick Ross, who
raps about drugging and raping on his new single.
 They’ve been called out in the press all week--including in the Associated Press,
Entertainment Weekly, and New York City's Hot 97 hip hop radio station.
Every day that Reebok remains silent is another day that they send a message that
raping a woman is not just okay, but even cool.
But with all the press coverage, we know they’re feeling the heat. And today, UltraViolet
members and our partners, including NOW NYC, are delivering the petition with all
70,000 signatures to Reebok's flagship store in New York City.
Dozens of protesters wearing athletic gear will be there to protest Reebok's Rick
Ross endorsement, and major media outlets, including the
New York Daily News
, will be covering it.
Now, we need to show them that people all over the country are still outraged and
that the bad publicity won't stop until they fire Rick Ross.
 If we can flood their corporate office with phone calls today, we'll show them that
ignoring this problem isn't going to make it go away.
Can you call Reebok and tell them to stop promoting rape and drop Rick Ross--otherwise
you won't be buying Reeboks anymore?
Here's where to call:
Reebok Headquarters - 781-401-5000
please report your call here
, so we can track our progress together.
Reebok's Rick Ross endorsement isn’t just offensive, it's dangerous. His lyrics aren't
vague--he clearly and proudly brags that he drugged and raped a woman who was not
capable of consent.
By rewarding Ross with a lucrative endorsement deal, Reebok is promoting rape culture
and glorifying rape.
 This is a dangerous message to send the boys and young men that Reebok markets to.
Rick Ross has been called out for his lyrics in publications ranging from
Ebony4 to the Washington Post,5
 and Reebok has been taking heat on Twitter all week. Even celebrities like legendary
actress Pam Grier
6 and rapper Talib Kweli7
 are speaking out, so we know Reebok's feeling the pressure.
But Reebok doesn’t just market to young men--they also have a major marketing effort
aimed at women consumers.
If we can show them that their Rick Ross endorsement is turning customers--both men
and women--away from their products, they'll have to rethink their marketing strategy
and fire Ross.
 Please call today and tell Reebok to stop promoting rape and drop Rick Ross.
Thanks for speaking out,
Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Malinda and Karin, the Ultraviolet team
Rick Ross Thinks Rape Is a Punchline
, Ebony, March 26, 2013
Rapper Rick Ross Explains Lyrics On 'U.O.E.N.O.'
, NPR, April 1, 2013
Rick Ross Responds to Date-Rape Lyric Controversy, Petition Launched Demanding Reebok Drop Rapper as Spokesman
, Entertainment Weekly, March 29, 2013
, Hot 97, March 29, 2013
Rick Ross Thinks Rape Is a Punchline
, Ebony, March 26, 2013
4. Ibid.
Bigger than Rick Ross: an industry that glorifies rape and drug culture
, Washington Post, March 29, 2103
Pam Grier on Twitter
, March 28, 2013
Talib Kweli Calls Rick Ross 'A Misguided 40-Year-Old'
, Vibe, April 3, 2013
Reebok Women
 on Facebook
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Copy of email sent to my Buddhist group or Sangha.

Dear Sangha,
I have been very deeply saddened over the years about Buddhist monks and other Buddhists
participating in war against Sri Lanka's Tamil people.  With Burmeses government
complicity it seems that Buddhist people in that country are engaging in violence
against a minority people.
I know this situation is more complex than it looks.  The government of Myanmar is
still committing violence against Buddhist citizens as well.  Also, many people are
being forced from their lands to make room for investors from other countries.
I cannot say what I would do if the lives of my children were endangered by immediate
threats from a government.  But I do think it is reasonable to ask that this violence
be investigated.  Many Muslem and Buddhist people have in the past co-existed without
violence against one another.  I pray this situation will return.
----- Original Message -----
Rachel, U.S. Campaign for Burma
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 8:37 AM
 Demand Obama investigate the Burmese government's role in violence & impunity!
Demand Obama investigate the Burmese government's role in violence & impunity!
Dear Teresa,
Tell President Obama that we demand an international investigation into the Burmese government's role in the escalating violence against minority Muslims.
The recent
 in central Burma
has displaced
12,000 people and left
over 40 people dead. Police officers failed to control the mobs and in
some cases
 the violence. The most sacred responsibility of a state is to protect its people.
But the failure of public authorities to intervene in the extreme anti-Muslim violence
in Meiktila township, Mandalay Division that erupted on March 20th demonstrates the
government's continuing complicity in violence against not only the Rohingya, but
also the Kachin and the
 mine protestors.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Human R
ights in Burma
 reports of direct government involvement in acts of violence. He also reported many
incidents "where the military, police and other civilian law enforcement forces have
been standing by while atrocities have been committed before their very eyes." But
instead of investigating government complicity, President Thein Sein
 to use military force to stop the violence. President Thein Sein's willingness to
employ force is ironic in light of his systematic unwillingness to pursue justice
and accountability for those already implicated in unjust actions against people
across Burma.
The Burmese government rarely sees value in restraint and is predisposed to use
 violence to control violence - a tactic that results in further impunity and injustice,
which in turn fuels more violence. Impunity and shameless disrespect for the rule
of law should no longer be tolerated by the international community. In order to
attain peace, people in Burma need justice and accountability from their government,
not imposed states of emergency and threats of military force.
Take action and ask President Obama to push for justice and accountability in Burma.
USCB's joint
Letter to President Obama regarding his trip to Burma
, along with earlier Special Rapporteur's
, predicted that the crisis in Arakan
 State would spread across Burma if the international community did not pressure
the Burmese government to pursue justice and accountability. Indeed, President Obama
sent the wrong message when he lifted the US investment ban a mere twelve hours after
President Thein Sein said that the
"only solution"
 to the Rohingya crisis is to deport the Rohingya and/or put them all into camps.
latest victims
 of the government's failure to recognize the rule of law are 13 boys who died when
anti-Muslim actors in Rangoon set ablaze a Muslim school. Instead of immediately
condemning the attack and pursuing justice, authorities at first intentionally and
 the fire to an electrical accident.
Please join with us in demanding that President Obama calls for an international investigation into the Burmese government's complicity in escalating violence against minority Muslims, Kachin, and protestors.
 Like ourselves, the people of Burma deserve justice and accountability.
In solidarity,
Rachel Wagley, USCB

Personal. At the end of March I was Fortunate enough to be able to buy some lamb.  This doesn't happen every year.  I had a fun time cooking for my sister and her boy friend.  It is also true that lamb, and lamb stew, spicy and hot, was something Ann and I shared as a special treat.  I still miss her when something nice or funny happens, and I miss her help with gardening, (which she loved) too.

On a much less important level, I miss fry bread to dip into the stew.  But white flour and grease are helping to kill Native people, so I don't make it anymore.

April is a hard month.  Once again, the Mo. State Legislature is talking about throwing poor children and blind people of my income group Off of the Medicaid roles.  They Could Expand Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act, (Obama Care) but don't trust the Feds. To pay for the expansion as promised.  So they're cutting the budget as usual, by cutting the poor.

I need to pay for seeds and get the garden ready, and "" is supposed to launch later this month.

It's hard not to feel depressed when I open up my mailbox and find emails like the above.

I voted in a recent local election and learned that, 1.  My absentee ballot had to be in by 7:00 P.M. on election day.  It used to be midnight.  So I gave my healthcare aide, who probably Needs Medicaid, time to drop it off at the courthouse.  It was rejected because she wasn't a first degree blood relative.  I did not know about this rule either.  I was told when I called that the county couldn't be held responsible if someone messed with my ballot.  This Assumes that a relative wouldn't do such a thing to a person who might need an absentee ballot for reasons of disability.  Bit Assumption, I think.

From now on I will mail the ballot in as I have in the past.  Anyone can take it to the Post Office for me. 

My checks were sent back to the supplier by the Post Office, I don't know why, as they were addressed correctly.

All of these are minor annoyances when compared to losing Medicaid.  Or when compared to the issues above.  But there is a lot to do in April.

When I sew I listen to audio books.  I Finally found a copy of "I Rigoberta Menchu" done by a wonderful organization which worked for twenty years to make available to print disabled people books by:  women of color, the LBGTQ community, and accepted articles by people like me in their newsletter.  But the reading is painful and heavy.  The local library (which brings audio and print books as needed to people who can't get there from here) brought Salmon Rushdie's new book, about his life during the fatwa against him.

When I first tried to read "The Satanic Verses" I quickly learned that I was too ignorant of the cultures and religions involved to  understand it well.  But with the author's explanation of the book in his newest work, I might try again.

This newest book, too, is hard going.  Time for some fluff?  Problem is, both of these books must be returned quickly to their libraries or origin.

Time to take a walk outside on this lovely day!  That always helps.

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