Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'm a Would-Be Buddhist Who is Sick of Karma

The Buddhist Who Is Sick of Karma

As I search for Fair Trade organizations employing people with disabilities I keep
running into similar attitudes, despite the religions in which they exist.
Such people are shunned, despised, beggars, hungry, stigmatized, etc.  In Christian
countries they are thought to have sinned or be marked by the sins of their parents.
In Muslim countries they are either thought to have God's disapproval or in a few
cases, Muslims think God allowed them to be born for a reason and it is the duty
of a compassionate Muslim to help.  Some Christians, (mostly from Western countries,
have this same attitude.
In Buddhist countries people with disabilities are said to be living out the karma
they deserve and are also shunned, etc.
Once I talked to a Buddhist Priest about this and he said, "Oh no, that is the Hindu
idea of karma."
But when I talked to a Westernized Tibetan I spoke of Helen Keller.  I said that
she had learned to read ten differing forms of Braille in houses so cold at times
that her fingers actually bled.  She pushed Congress to standardize Braille so that
blind and deaf-blind people would only have to learn one form of it.  This was done
and today that system of Braille covers seven different countries around the world.
Helen Keller also pushed for the establishment of the National Library Service for
the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  This system allows those who can't read normal
sized print or who can't hold a book, turn pages, etc. to receive free loaned books
in large print, audio, or Braille format.  It's the reason I had books to read during
the summers, coming to me postage free, through the mail.
Helen Keller was a socialist who wrote in favor of treating what are now called "the
working poor" with decency and dignity.
When I said I thought Helen Keller was a Bodhisattva this prominent Tibetan stated
clearly that I am wrong.  He said that maybe she became a Bodhisattva in Spite of
her disabilities, but that her disabilities Were the Result of Negative Karma.  How
does he know?
The more I investigate worldwide attitudes toward people with disabilities the more
they seem similar.  Whether you call it sin, witchcraft, or Karma, you have a ready
made excuse to ignore, fear, and avoid with arrogance, people with disabilities.
You have a ready made reason in the name of religion to blame them and feel superior.
I think that's nonsense.  What happens to the Karma of those who think they know?
Those who feel superior, judge, avoid, shun, refuse to help, people with disabilities?
I have found many disabled people who create beauty and hope for themselves and others.
Are we all sure this is "in spite of their disabilities?"  That is convenient, but
is it true?
The reason many people with disabilities in the developing world are beginning to
shine is that Someone offered them a Chance to work, to Prove what they could do.
Most often that Someone was an Christian, atheist, or agnostic, Not a Buddhist.
I believe that deliberate cruelty toward anyone will come back to bite any of us
who commit it.  But to me that is different than a categorical judgment against an
entire class of people.
Personally, I just don't buy the ""bad karma" explanation anymore than I buy the
"sin" or "witchcraft" ones.  I think I do not know or Care why someone has a disability.
My job is to offer what assistance I can and the rest isn't my business.
So if that is heresy or unBuddhist, so be it.  The Buddha is said to advise that
we use what works and not what doesn't.  I'm Sick of karma as a reason for all misfortune
and pain.    What matters to me in Buddhism is to try Not to hurt others, to try
to understand and be compassionate and peaceful.  If I focus on what I care about
I don't have time to judge others.  Of course, I have a long way to go, but this
is what I think.
Do you and Buddhist friends completely disagree?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Potentially Dangerous Food, and Dangerous Vehicles

Monsanto may have finally gone too far. Progressives in Congress are fighting to
repeal the infamous "Monsanto Protection Act" and block Monsanto's attacks on state
GMO labeling laws, and MoveOn members are leading the grassroots backlash.
Can you chip in $5 to help stand up to Monsanto?
Chip in $5
Dear MoveOn member,
Is there a company in the world more evil than Monsanto?
 I don't think so.
Last year, Monsanto spent nearly $6 million on lobbying, and their payoff was the
"Monsanto Protection Act," which was written anonymously, passed in secret, and allows
Monsanto to keep selling genetically engineered seeds even if a federal court says
they may pose a health risk.
Now, Monsanto has sneaked an amendment into the farm bill that would block GMO labeling
laws moving forward in states like Vermont and Connecticut.
This time, Monsanto may have gone too far.
A massive backlash is growing against the Monsanto Protection Act, and Senator Jeff
Merkley is demanding a floor vote to repeal it.
We can beat Monsanto, but we don't have much time to get organized, because the farm
bill has already passed the House and is being debated in the Senate right now.
Can you chip in $5 to help MoveOn members fight back against Monsanto?
Yes, I want to pitch in $5 to help fight back against Monsanto.
We know that we'll never be able to outspend Monsanto, but with your help we can
out-organize them with smart, well-timed, targeted campaigning. Together, we can
take on Monsanto by:
Supporting campaigns all over the country led by MoveOn members targeting their members
of Congress, asking them to stand up to Monsanto's influence.
Providing financial support for flyers, rallies, transportation and the other crucial
nuts and bolts necessary to run a strong campaign.
Calling out key members of Congress who are supporting Monsanto over the public interest
and making sure the public knows whose side they're on
MoveOn leaders around the country are eager to push forward, but they need your help:
f we can raise $150,000 in the next two days, we can help kick-start these campaigns
Last year, Monsanto's $6 million investment bought them several favorable pieces
of legislation. But right now, your investment of $5 can help launch a nationwide
movement to make sure that our democracy isn't auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Click here to contribute $5 to support the campaign against Monsanto.
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Wes, Linda, Mariana, and the rest of the team
1. "Lobbying Spending Database—Monsanto Co, 2013,", accessed May
21, 2013
"How the Monsanto Protection Act snuck into law
," Salon, March 27, 2013
2. "
'Monsanto Protection Act 2.0′ Would Ban GMO-Labeling Laws At State Level,"
International Business Times
, May 20, 2013
Want to support our work?
 MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions,
no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a
long way.
Chip in here.
Jeep Grand Cherokees have extremely high risk of catching on fire in accidents -- I saw a family burn to death that way. I'm asking the US government to issue a recall and get these dangerous cars off the road.
Sign Jenelle's Petition.  Last fall I was out for a drive with my dad when we hit a sudden traffic jam. A tractor
trailer couldn't stop in time, so it hit a bunch of cars from behind. We spun into
a guardrail, but we were okay. We got out of the car to see that another family had
survived, but their car, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was on fire.
My dad tried to help them out of the car, but he was only able to save one of the
teenage boys. The other boy and the mom were trapped, and burned to death. It was
the most awful thing I have ever seen.
Jeep knows the fuel tank on Grand Cherokees is in the "crush zone," which means the
car is likely to catch on fire in an accident.
Only 27 people ever died in Ford Pinto fires, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee number
is 287 and rising.
So why are these cars still on the road?
I started a petition on calling on the Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall on all 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and get these dangerous cars off the road. Will you click here to sign?
After the accident, I spent months grieving. I couldn't get that family out of my
head. Not only watching this mother and teenager burn to death, but watching her
18-year-old son watching it happen. Watching him cry, "Mom, Mom." I'm a single mom
with two teenaged boys, too, so that really hit home. When that boy was crying for
his mother, he sounded like my boys.
The scariest part is this doesn't just affect people who drive Jeeps -- if you rear-end
a Jeep Grand Cherokee in a collision, your car could catch on fire, too.
I've seen lots of petitions have success before, and I really hope mine
will be one of them. The Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration are supposed to keep Americans safe. I hope that if enough
people sign my petition, they'll do the right thing and protect our safety over Chrysler's
bottom line.
Click here to sign my petition calling on the Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees, which have killed 287 people so far.
Thank you,
Jenelle Embrey
Linden, Virginia
Sign Jenelle's Petition
Mailing Address: · 216 W 104th St., #130 · New York, NY 10025

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Barbie Who Speaks ASL?

A friend sent me the message below.  Sorry I don't know how to make the link work so you can't click on it from this post.  But it's interesting.  Wonder if she has larger hands, but maybe not.  She's made for kids who speak ASL, not TASL.

Too expensive for me and I can't read the flat sign cards anyway. Still  Still, check her out.  I want to find a blind Barbie with a cane.  If she had a Dog Guide would it be a Poodle?  Yes, that Was rather

I don't know if you knew there was a barbie doll that had one of her hands shapped
into the ASL sign for "I love you."  She's standard barbie face and stuff but she
comes with a little card that has basic signs on it.   I found them on amazon.  One
is black and one is white but it says that barbie comes with:
Cling on board with reusable vinyl sign pictures, and it  is a chalkboard, too. Inside of
package unfolds into a classroom scene.
NOTE to PARENTS: Sign Language Barbie doll was developed in consultation with the
National Center on Deafness at California State University, Nortridge.
She's expensive, 86 dollars plus but I think the black one is prettier because her
skin coloring looks like that of a black/hispanic person.  Here's the link

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Personal and Good and Bad Politics

I will be SO Glad to slip back into Doll World for a while!  But for now I have two infected ears from the mold and pollen all of the rain has set loose.  I had only been Off antibiotics a couple or maybe 3 weeks after the dog bite, now I'm using antibiotic ear drops and pills.  It's been a frustrating Winter, ever since I fell last Dec.  But besides being grumpy I am fine and will go work in the garden, in the mask which makes me feel like an alien, when I finish this.  The speeding part of my decongestant has kicked in and I need to deal with the garden before the sleepy part hits.

Then maybe I will make time to catch up on Doll Colletor blogs!

But first, some good political news, and a couple of things which personally annoy me.

There are many more petitions available at, (my personal favorite), and Walk Free, an organization working to end human slavery and ""forced work" around the world. 

I'm not posting any  more of them for now.

Thanks for sticking with me for SO Much Non-Doll stuff!

Setting Priorities.

My first priority has to be the survival of Earth.  We will all be Dead if Earth or crucial parts of Earth die.  I don't sign petitions which say "stop global waming now" without offering some alternatives.  I Do sign petitions which offer Specific solutions to specific problems, such as pulling neonicotonoid pesticides off of the shelves of Lowes and Home Depot, because it is killing bees.  People who live in cities have said they only associate bees with stings and don't see what the big deal is over bees.

As a gardener who shares food with others I will never forget the part of Barbara Kingsolver's book, "The Poisonwood Bible" where a missionary from Georgia planted American crops in Congo.  The insects there didn't like our food and refused to carry pollen from one plant to another.  So the garden plants got taller and taller, long and leggy, but produced NO Food.  If our pollinating species die there will be famine, That's what the big deal is.  We will know hunger in a way most people in the US. Haven't before.  In the cities it Won't be pretty.  This particular pesticide may also be killing birds and small water creatures that fish eat.  No food for fish, no fish, it's that simple.

Hand pollination cannot be done on a scale large enough to feed everyone.  It is extremely time consuming and labor intensive, in the hot sun.  Wind pollination will help some, but nothing is as effective as helpful insects and some bats.

Next I care about human rights.  The adulteration of human foods without warning people, forcing people to work in slavery and death traps, human trafficking,sexual assault, corporations abusing individuals, these are All human rights issues.  GMO crops are both a danger to the environment, as they cross pollinate with non-genetically modified food crops, and a potential threat to human health.  They may also threaten human rights, as the particular pesticides and herbicides, (weed killers) used to keep them alive can make farm workers sick and kill off beneficial insects and plants.

If some arctic species die, Native peoples will be forced to rely on processed foods which contribute to diabetes, which has a myriad of health complications.  On some reservations diabetes among adults effects sixty percent of the population.

These are my basic priorities because they cover everything.  Discrimination is a human rights issue, so is healthcare, etc.

Wow, what a spring!
 Together, we've been challenging retailers that are blocking an agreement that would
end garment industry death traps in Bangladesh, fighting to stop the unprecedented
death of bees worldwide, making sure the world knows what a tar sands spill really
looks like, and so much more.
With so much going on, we thought we'd pause our campaigning for just a moment to
share a bunch of cool things we did together this Spring
. Scroll down to read more.
Thanks for being part of the Sum Of Us,
-- Kaytee Riek, Campaign Manager
P.S. You asked to be able to share these updates on Facebook, and good news -- now
you can!
Click here to tell your friends about the awesome things we're doing together.
Campaign updates
 Apparel brands are signing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
NYT photo of Gap protest
 In the wake of the November's terrible Tazreen factory fire that killed 112 workers
making clothes for Walmart and other brands, we called on major apparel companies
to join the independently-monitored Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
to ensure that their clothes weren't being made under deadly conditions. The horrific
Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed more than 1,100 workers in April, only
underscored the urgency of meaningful reform in the Bangladeshi garment industry.
International Labor Rights Forum, United Food and Commercial Workers - Canada, United
Students Against Sweatshops, Workers' Rights Consortium, Corporate Action Network,
CREDO, Clean Clothes Campaign, Making Change at Walmart, Avaaz, and more
What we want:
 We wanted brands to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to
prevent tragedies like this from happening again.
Current status: We've made huge progress!
Thousands of us donated to bring Bangladeshi labor leader Kalpona Akter and Tazreen
factory fire survivor Sumi Abedin to the U.S.
 to challenge executives at Walmart, Gap and other companies. While they were here,
the Rana Plaza building collapsed and Kalpona was able to talk to reporters right
away and make sure they told the story about who was ultimately responsible for the
tragedy: the brands that turned a blind eye to known safety issues in their factories.
So many of us were moved by the building collapse that
we collectively chipped in enough money to give $35,000 -- nearly double our goal
-- to two courageous groups
 organizing in the Bangladeshi garment industry, the Bangladesh Center for Worker
Solidarity and the National Federation of Garment Workers. Meanwhile, under pressure
from consumers and workers around the globe,
more than 40 major companies -- including Joe Fresh, which our Canadian members targeted
specifically -- have signed the agreement. But Gap and Walmart are still holding
, and we won't stop until they sign the legally-binding agreement to protect their
workers from death traps.
Read More:
Shareable Facebook graphic
Drop off a letter at your local Gap
Original petition to Walmart
Petition to Joe Fresh
Press coverage:
KNWA Northwest Arkansas
Photo in the New York Times
 Exxon: Release information on the massive tar sands oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas.
Ads in DC metro
  ExxonMobil spilled 100,000 barrels of toxic tar sands crude in the Arkansas town
of Mayflower. It pressured the U.S. government to issue a no-fly zone over the spill
site to keep cameras away from the spill, and threatened reporters with arrest so
the public wouldn't know the effects of the spill. This spill happened at the same
time as the U.S. State Department was considering whether to approve or reject the
proposed massive Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline.
 Environmental Action, Oil Change International, and Tar Sands Blockade
What we want:
 We were simultaneously demanding Exxon release all the information on the spill,
and calling for U.S. State Department officials to reject the tar sands pipeline.
Current status:
Over 86,000 of us signed the original petition to Exxon. We linked up with Tar Sands
Blockade, whose brave members snuck into areas closed off by Exxon, to leak out photos
of the tragic spill. Over 1,000 members of the Sum of Us donated to
blanket the DC Metro station that State Department employees use with images from
the spill
, so that every day, on the way to and from work, they'd see the reality of what
a tar sands spill really looks like.
Read More:
The original petition
Our ads!
Shareable Facebook graphic
Petition to the White House to reject KXL
Press Coverage:
Huffington Post
Arkansas Times
WE WON! H&M: Get slavery out of your supply chain
Cotton in Uzbekistan
 Slavery is alive and well in the modern world. Every year, millions of men, women,
and children in Uzbekistan are forced to work in the state-run cotton industry. These
crimes are only possible because a multinational conglomerate called Daewoo International
operates cotton processing plants in Uzbekistan and deals in slave-grown cotton.
H&M was complicit in this tragedy, since it continued to buy cotton from Daewoo which
profits off Uzbeki cotton.
 International Labor Rights Forum, Anti-Slavery International, WalkFree
What we want:
We called on H&M to cut ties with Daewoo to help ensure that no corporation profits
from slavery.
Current status:
 We won! After 70,000 members of the Sum of Us signed our petition to H&M, the apparel
giant agreed to stop buying from Daewoo and to reach down into its supply chain and
ensure that none of its suppliers do business with Daewoo either. We're helping set
a new standard for ethical behavior in the garment industry, and we'll be calling
on other companies to cut ties with Daewoo soon.
Read More:
Original petition
H&M's announcement
GRABBING HEADLINES! FDA: Don't redefine milk
(US only)
Cows at the FDA
 The dairy lobby is pushing to change the legal definition of "milk" to allow the
addition of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, without special designation
on the front of the packaging.
What we want:
We are pushing the FDA to deny their petition, and keep milk, milk.
Current status:
 Before we picked up this campaign, it was relegated to small websites -- very few
people knew what was going on. Now,
dozens of media outlets have covered the story, and the dairy lobby is on the defensive
. Thanks to your donations, we were able to fund
radio and bus ads that got the attention of dozens of press outlets
. And this past Tuesday, we delivered our own petition with 117,000 signatures to
the FDA. We brought Sum of Us staff (and a puppy!) dressed as cows to the FDA headquarters
hand out chocolate milk to FDA employees arriving at work, and offer them aspartame
with their milk
. Unsurprisingly, no one took us up on the offer of aspartame. At the moment, the
FDA has not decided whether to take up the dairy lobby's petition and propose a redefinition
of milk.
Read More:
Original petition
Photos of the petition delivery (with cows!)
Photos of our bus ads
Press Coverage:
International Business Times
Philadelphia Inquirer
The Hill
Huffington Post
Daily Mail: Sack Richard Littlejohn for his hateful column
Daily Mail delivery
 Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn used English schoolteacher Lucy Meadows'
private decision to transition from male to female as a basis for a disgusting hit
piece in which he called on her to resign. The media circus over Lucy's transition
caused her to withdraw from her job, and she committed suicide a few months later.
What we want:
 We petitioned the Daily Mail to make a formal apology, and to sack Richard Littlejohn.
Current status:
 The outcry was immediate, and immense. We had an massive response from our UK membership,
and over 200,000 people from around the world signed our petition calling for the
Daily Mail to sack Littlejohn. Hundreds of members of the Sum of Us helped fund bicycle
ads circling the Daily Mail headquarters, and people handing out flyers at the nearest
Tube stop, calling for Littlejohn's ouster. The Daily Mail took Littlejohn's column
offline, but has yet to otherwise respond. We will continue to monitor the Mail,
and look for opportunities to apply pressure in the future to stop the paper's horrible
campaigns against ordinary citizens.
Read More:
Original petition
Photos from petition delivery
Photos of bike ads and people flyering Daily Mail employees
Press Coverage:
Pink News
So So Gay
Bain Capital: Let Guitar Center workers have their union
(US only)
Guitar Center Workers
: After Bain Capital took over the company, workers at the iconic music store Guitar
Center saw their wages slashed and their benefits gutted. Workers fought back internally
for better working conditions, and launched an organizing drive to have their union
recognized. Bain responded with a propaganda campaign to stop its employees from
Partner: The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union
What we wanted:
 We were demanding that Bain stop its union busting and recognize Guitar Center employees'
What happened:
 On Friday, workers voted to approve the union by a two-to-one margin. We hear that
having more than 50,000 people show their support gave the workers a major boost
of confidence in the final stretch of the campaign. Now as contract negotiations
begin, Bain knows that consumers are on the workers' side.
Read more:
Original petition
Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty: Keep your hands off our CBC
(Canada only)
 If Prime Minister Harper gets his way, the government will have more control over
the CBC than its ever had in the CBC’s 80-year history. The Harper government snuck
sweeping changes to the CBC deep into the last section of the budget -- on page 109
-- granting it disturbing powers to directly control and interfere with our national
 Friends of Canadian Broadcasting and
What we want:
We called for the Conservative government and the Canadian Finance Minister to take
out the provision in the latest budget bill.
Current status:
 Friends of Canadian Broadcasting delivered 113,000 petition signatures collected
by Friends, and the Sum of Us to NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal
leader Justin Trudeau. Our supporters chipped in to fund radio ads that aired in
the riding of the Finance Minister, showing him (and his constituents) that we don't
want government to control the CBC.
Read More:
Original petition
Shareable Facebook graphic
Press Coverage:
Huffington Post Op-Ed
Hill Times
Coke: Don't crush the world's best recycling system
Coke sticker
 Coke was suing an Australian state government to prevent one of the world's most
effective recycling programs, a container deposit scheme, from going into effect.
This is part of a long history of Coke fighting to oppose effective recycling programs
 The Boomerang Alliance and Greenpeace Australia
What we wanted:
 We wanted Coca Cola to drop its lawsuit against the Northern Territory Government
in Australia. We also wanted Coca Cola to abolish its global policy of opposing container
deposit recycling programs.
Current status:
 Over 114,000 of us signed a petition to Coke to drop its opposition globally. Sadly,
Coke won its lawsuit and the Northern Territories government is not allowed to implement
the container deposit recycling program as planned. The environment ministers of
each state and territory in Australia will soon decide whether or not to introduce
a national program instead. If they do, Coke and other beverage companies will be
required to participate.
Read More:
Original petition
Press coverage:
Recycling Today
Environmental Leader
Earth Techling
SUCCESS! ConocoPhillips: Stop drilling in the arctic
ConocoPhillips polar bear victory
 ConocoPhillips planned to stick with its reckless plans to drill in the Arctic,
in spite of the fact that many of its rivals -- most notably Shell -- had put a halt
to Arctic drilling.
What we want:
We demanded that ConocoPhillips drop plans to drill in the Arctic.
Current status:
 ConocoPhillips announced it will stop drilling in the Arctic!
Read More:
Original petition
Shareable Facebook graphic
Press Coverage:
USA Today
Bayer: Stop killing the bees
Sick bee
 Bayer, the global chemical company, is manufacturing a chemical called neonicotinoids
that new evidence shows is killing off bees. The global die-off of bees represents
an enormous danger to the planet. 30% of our crops -- and 90% of wild plants -- rely
on bees to thrive. Without bees, our entire global food supply is in serious trouble.
What we want:
We want Bayer to withdraw its neonicotinoid pesticides from the market, as they pose
a grave threat to bee populations worldwide.
Current status:
 Since our petition in January, further reports have emerged implicating neonicotinoids
in bee deaths, bird deaths, and mass die-offs of dragonflies and other beneficial
insects. In response, the EU has adopted a landmark ruling, banning neonicotinoids
for two years in order to assess their impact. We have taken our fight to retailers
in the United States, Canada, and Australia, asking them to pull the bee-poisoning
neonicotinoids from their shelves.
Read More:
Petition to Bayer
Petition to Home Depot and Lowe's (North America)
Petition to Bunnings Warehouse (Australia)
Press Coverage:
UK Independent
As you can tell, we’ve been busy! But we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are excited
to build a movement together, and we’re honored that you’re a part of it. We want
to keep up our momentum and make sure that corporations are taking our voices into
consideration. As we are still a tiny organization, we make sure that your donation
does the most it can to help better our world.
Please consider becoming a donor in order to help our movement grow!
We depend on members like you to keep us going. Any donation that you can make not
only improves our ability to campaign for corporate accountability, but also energizes
us, knowing that you are invested in what the Sum Of Us can do. Thank you so much
for being one of us.
Thanks for reading, and for continuing to support our growing movement for corporate
 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.
You can follow us on
Twitter and like us on Facebook,

 — There's a new petition taking off on, and we think you might be interested
in signing it:
Prada: Drop your lawsuit against former-employee Rina Bovrisse
By Ayako B.
Sign Ayako's Petition
Rina Bovrisse, a former employee at Prada in Japan, was shocked when her boss told
her to fire scores of coworkers because they were
“old, fat, ugly, disgusting or did not have the Prada look.”
 When Rina spoke out, she was fired.
Now, Prada is suing HER for $780,000 for allegedly damaging the Prada brand even
though they don’t deny their discrimination.
Prada Japan hired Rina, a Japanese national, in April 2009 as Senior Retail Operations
Manager and tasked her with overseeing 500 Prada employees. She moved to Japan with
her two year old son, excited about the opportunity ahead.
Almost immediately, Rina began observing evidence of discrimination in Prada’s HR
department. She recalls the company’s CEO ordering the demotion and transfer of fifteen
female employees (many of them long-serving, top saleswomen) because they were “old,
fat, ugly, disgusting or did not have the Prada look.”
When she spoke out against this injustice, Rina was criticized for her own appearance,
offered a demotion to an entry-level sales staff position, and then urged to resign.
In 2010, Rina and two of her Prada colleagues decided to take a stand. They filed
a lawsuit against the luxury fashion label, arguing that Prada’s appearance-based
discrimination and harassment violated Japanese law.
But in 2012, the judge ruled that Prada’s demonstrated discrimination was acceptable
for a luxury fashion label and that a well-compensated female employee should be
able to withstand a certain level of harassment.
Now, Prada is taking the outrageous step of countersuing the single mother to the
tune of $780,000 for speaking out about the company’s discrimination.
 It's bad enough Prada is discriminating this way, but to SUE a woman who fought
back? That’s unacceptable and Prada must drop the suit.
As a woman and a mother in Japan, I have experienced gender discrimination in employment
too. It’s a huge problem in my country where none of the top companies are led by
women. Rina has become the symbol of this injustice in Japan and if we let a major
company like Prada bully her, other women will be afraid to stand up against discrimination
Join me in standing for gender equality by calling on Prada to stop bullying Rina
and to drop its suit against her.
Sign Ayako's Petition

Start a petition on
Ayako, who created this petition, is not affiliated with did
not create and is not responsible for the petition content.
Mailing address: · 216 W 104th St., #130, New York, NY 10025 USA

Thank you for sending in a comment to the SEC for corporate accountability. Please
spread the word to friends and family so that we can get the maximum number of voices
into this campaign.
Can you share this petition on Facebook or forward the email below to your friends?
Click to share on Facebook
Thank you,
Claiborne and the rest of us at SumOfUs
We have the best shot we've ever had to undo the damage of Citizen's United.
 How do we know? Because
ALEC, the Chamber of Commerce, and major oil companies are freaking out
 and issuing wild, apocalyptic predictions to try and stop us.
But this isn't in the hands of the Congressmen big business has in its pocket; it's
in the hands of the brand new Securities & Exchange Commission Chairman, Mary Jo
 With one simple rule change -- backed by legal scholars, 80 members of Congress,
and 500,000 Americans and counting -- she can require corporations to disclose their
political spending.
The SEC is evaluating the rule right now
, and momentum is on our side.
 But the major power brokers are starting to catch on, and lash out. If we pile on
with tens of thousands of extra comments, we can keep the energy on our side, and
show Mary Jo White that Americans want disclosure of corporate political spending
Please join me in sending a comment to the SEC telling it to force corporations to
report political spending.
Thank you
 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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My son Cameron committed suicide after suffering a traumatic brain injury while serving in the Air Force. Now Key Bank is demanding that I pay for his student loans. Please sign my petition asking for the loan to be forgiven.
Sign My Petition

Sometimes I imagine that my son Cameron is still overseas serving in the Air Force
-- and then Key Bank sends a bill demanding that I pay for his student loans, and
reminds me that my son is dead.
Cameron committed suicide after suffering from a traumatic brain injury that left
him depressed and eventually led to a psychotic episode.
 It's been a year since Cameron killed himself, and Key Bank still won't leave my
family alone.
 I'm doing my best to grieve and to help his siblings cope with the loss of their
brother -- but the bank has relentlessly harassed my family since the day Cameron
Key Bank forgives student loans on a "case-by-case" basis, but I think all student
loans should be forgiven when a student dies.
I started a petition on asking Key Bank to forgive student loan debt for Cameron and other students who have passed away so that their families can grieve.
Click here to sign my petition now.
Cameron was my first child, and I was so proud of his ambition and accomplishments.
After college he enlisted in the Air Force and became a cryptologist, studying how
to break codes. Then, after serving for six years in the Middle East, Texas, and
Japan, Cameron was in an accident and suffered from brain damage. When he came home,
Cameron was depressed, had hallucinations, and eventually killed himself.
Cameron made payments on his loans while he was alive, but now that he's gone the
bank is demanding payment from me -- and with Cameron's brother and sister to care
for, I just don't have the money to pay off his loans and suffer the painful reminders
of the loss of my son.
All of Cameron's other debts were wiped away after his death, including his federal
student loans. But Key Bank doesn't follow the same repayment rules as the government
and continues to demand payment on his student loans.
Key Bank already folded to public pressure once in response to a petition,
forgiving the loans of another student who died and agreeing to review loan forgiveness
on a case-by-case basis.
 That's why I know that if enough people sign my petition, Key Bank will consider
changing their policy and forgiving all loans when a student has died.
Click here to sign my petition and urge Key Bank to forgive Cameron's student loan and change their policy to wipe out the debt of other students who have died.
Thank you so much for your help,
Kim Akers
Sign My Petition.
Start a petition on
Mailing Address: - 216 W 104th St., #130 - New York, NY 10025. USA

Tell your lawmakers: Abortion is a personal decision, and it needs to stay that way.
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You know who's pretty good at making my own personal health decisions? I am.
But recently, some radical abortion opponents have decided that they want to spend
a little too much quality time deciding what I can do with my reproductive body parts.
You've seen what's been going on in the states--lawmakers are passing restriction
after restriction on abortion, and it's getting out of control. Do you know what
the worst part is?
Abortion opponents are passing laws that are purposely in violation of
Roe v. Wade
 in the hope that the Supreme Court will reconsider its 40-year-old decision -- and
ban abortion completely.
Tell your lawmakers: Abortion is a personal decision, and it needs to stay that way.
After 40 years, you would think abortion opponents would have realized that women
want this decision to stay personal. In fact, 70% of Americans say that they support
Roe and want to keep abortion safe and legal.
If we've learned one thing over the past few years, it's that this vocal minority
of opponents doesn't really care about what women want.
In the first three months of 2013 alone, state lawmakers have proposed 326 restrictions
on abortion--some of which are unconstitutional.
Take action now: Tell your legislators to keep your personal health decisions out of the statehouse.
It's time for us to stand up to these opponents and make our voices heard, before
it's too late. It's time to show them that when it comes to outlawing abortion, we
won't be silent.
Thanks for making it personal,
Thao Nguyen
Campaign Director
This Is Personal2 National Women's Law Center
11 Dupont Circle NW, #800
Washington, DC 20036

Friday, May 24, 2013

Immigration with Painful Choices and two items with Trigger Warnings

Immigration, Painful Choices.  And Two Items with Trigger Warnings

This is interesting.  I Definitely think that the immigrants who are already here should be legalized.  Frankly, we Need them.  But the fact is also that every immigrant group which has come here had to bring one family member at a time.  They had to choose their smartest son and sponsor him (girls stayed home to care for others, in general) in working or schooling.  Then that husband or son brought over other family members as he could afford to help them get work or go to school.  I care about the suffering of immigrant families and being humane.  But I also want each person who benefits from working here to earn at Least the minimum wage, (which has to go up) And to meet the responsibilities of every citizen.  How should this be done?

RI4A LogoN
o parent should have to choose which of their children can access citizenship and
which cannot -- but that is the choice that millions of families could be forced
to make.
Daniel, a father of several DREAMers, spent many nights with his family around the
table talking about which child would get to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals this year because they could not afford to have all the kids become citizens
at once.
This is a choice too many families are forced make and will continue to make if the
Senate’s proposed immigration bill remains as is.
Join our friends at PICO's Campaign for Citizenship in this critical moment to demand an inclusive path to citizenship from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
There are 11 million immigrants like Daniel living and working in our country today.
An attainable path to full citizenship would mean no more broken families, access
to loans for higher education and the ability to gain lawful employment that can
put those degrees to work.
With your support we can send the message to key Senators. The more names we can
add, the more pressure we can apply.
Add your name now for an inclusive path to full citizenship – your signature will be delivered directly to our leaders in the Senate.
With hope,
Donna De La Cruz
Reform Immigration FOR America

From Ultraviolet

Thank you so much for sending a strong message to the Congress that it's time to
fix the crisis of rape in the military. We want to make sure they hear from tens
of thousands of people who are outraged and want them to do something about this
problem right away. Can you take a moment to share this with your friends and colleagues?
There's a sample letter you can send below. Please also post this link on Facebook
and Twitter.
Thank you.
--Nita, Shaunna, Karin, Kat and Malinda, the UltraViolet team
Here's the sample email you can send to your friends:
FACT: A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by a fellow service member
than killed in enemy combat. And a new report from the Pentagon itself shows that
sexual assaults in the military increased by more than 30% last year. Worse? Less
than 5% of military sexual assaults are ever prosecuted.
We need Congress to stop talking about this problem and start actually fixing it.
But they're not going to do it unless they hear from tens of thousands of us. Can
you sign this petition?

Trigger Warning:  The info. Below is Sickening and discusses all kinds of animal abuse, including sexual abuse. There's a new petition taking off on, and we think you might be interested
in signing it:
ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council): Exposing animal abuse is not a crime!
By Will P.
Washington, District Of Columbia
Sign Will's Petition
Undercover investigations have exposed patterns of horrific animal welfare abuses
on factory farms and slaughterhouses, and led to criminal convictions and public
health investigations. Rather than addressing these problems, a powerful organization
called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) wants to criminalize anyone
who brings animal abuse to light.
I have documented this extensively in my many years of journalism about the repression
of animal and environmental advocates. You can read more about ALEC at
ALEC wants to make it a crime to document patterns of animal abuse. It thinks the
solution is to have zero checks and balances on this huge industry, and leave it
up to factory farms and slaughterhouses to regulate themselves.
In the past, whistleblowers (not farm owners or inspectors) have documented baby
chicks being ground up alive, workers urinating near a live hanging area, and turkeys
and pigs being sexually abused. Investigators caught a major school lunch meat supplier
abusing cows who were too sick to even walk; this lead to the largest meat recall
in US history. The Big Ag industry desperately want to put a stop to these investigations
for one reason: money.
This bring us to "ag-gag" bills which target whistleblowers, undercover investigators,
and journalists. They have been introduced in 9 states this year, and last year they
became law in 3 states. Some go so far as to criminalize anyone who "possesses" or
"distributes" photographs and YouTube videos. As
NPR reported
, this isn't just about animal activists: these bills put journalists at risk.
Who is behind this? Big Ag corporations, working with the American Legislative Exchange
Council (ALEC). ALEC has a model bill that labels whistleblowers, investigators,
and those who share the footage as "terrorists."
You may be familiar with ALEC because this is the same force behind many efforts
to weaken environmental protections and silence free speech online. If you care about
safe food, environmental and animal protection, transparency, workers' rights, or
citizen-powered action, we need your voice!
Corporations want to use ALEC and "ag-gag" bills to keep the public in the dark.
But consumers have a right to make safe, healthy, and humane decisions about what
they buy.
Please sign to tell ALEC to back off and stop criminalizing those who are trying
to stop animal cruelty.
Sign Will's Petition
The person (or organization) who started this petition is not affiliated with did not create this petition and is not responsible for the petition content.
Mailing Address: · 216 W 104th St., #130 · New York, NY 10025