Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Keystone XL Means More Oil for Who?

Keystone XL, More Oil for Who?

We Love Our Land

Here's something you might not know about Keystone XL:
If this pipeline gets built through America's heartland, it will make your gas prices
go up. Likely to the tune of more than $100 per month.
Why? More oil will flow through our country, but not to our country.
We built a gas tax calculator to show you just how much more you'll be paying if Keystone XL gets built:
Find out how much Keystone XL will cost you
The entire point behind Keystone is to give TransCanada access to the world's oil
market. With the pipeline in place, they'll be able to send that oil overseas, lowering
prices for China, Europe, and Latin America -- and driving prices up here, especially
in the Midwest.
By allowing Keystone XL to be built, we're essentially imposing a gas tax on ourselves.
And that increase in our gas prices will be shocking.
President Obama has admitted as much about Keystone XL, saying the pipeline will
have zero long-term impact on our economy. It also will destroy ecosystems and threaten
communities across the country with environmental disaster, all for better gas prices
in China and profits for TransCanada.
We can put a stop to this pipeline -- but people have to know and share the facts.
So take a minute to use our gas tax calculator, and then pass it on:
Thanks for everything you do in this fight,
Tara McGowan
Digital Director, NextGen Climate Action
Next Generation Climate Action | 351 California St. San Francisco, CA 94104

Let Us Honor All of Our Heroes

The Best Way to Honor Dr. King

Today it has been 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech.  Haven't you heard it all over the news?  This is a Very Good remembrance of a man who dedicated himself and gave his life for justice.  I'm glad President Obama, who is partially Where he is because of the work of Dr. King and many other courageous men, women and children, will be at the ceremony today.

But I heard something on NPR which I believe honors Dr. King even more.  A young woman, Carmesha Rogers, is recovering from being shot in the head after pulling three of her Neighbor's children out of danger during a gun battle in Muskegon, Mi. I believe Ms. Rogers is 27 and her family was told she would never walk or talk again.  But happily, she is doing both now.

Her comment about her action was that she responded as a parent.  This courageous African American woman should be honored with our nation's highest equivalent of the Purple Heart, as she is not a soldier.  I wish there were a Peace Prize for her and all of the men, women, and children like her, most of whom go unnoticed.  She should be honored along With Dr. King today.

And speaking of a Peace Prize, what about a teenager named Malala  from Pakistan who was shot in the head for going to school and advocating for the rights of all girls to attend schools?

There are African American elders and some of their white counterparts who are being interviewed this week.  I have two reactions to this.

My first reaction is that this is a very Good thing, letting younger people know who paved the way for some of them to escape segregation, attend quality colleges and universities, etc.

My second reaction is that it is convenient to honor those who began a period of momentous struggle, Rather than talking about what is happening to African American people Today.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Personal and Political

Personal and Political

I don't like corn which could be feeding hungry People used to feed cars.  But there other sources of renewable fuel.  Someone needs to figure out how to convert kudzu, old cooking grease has already been successfully converted, etc.  But most people don't have renewable fuel stations available and most people on limited incomes Certainly can't afford it or those cars which cost as much as a House did before the housing bubble grew.  Still, I Do support renewable fuels because I like breathing and growing healthy food to eat and to share.  I wish our Government would Truly get behind this!  But then, the oil industry money would drain out of politics.

Tar sands oil is said to be the most polluting Kind of oil to extract and that's what Trans-Canada is selling.

Take a look at the graphic I am unable to share and the little town of Mayflower Ark.  I don't like this pipeline.

We Love Our Land
Soon President Obama will make a decision on expanding the Keystone XL pipeline.
Here are some facts:
It will transport more than 800,000 barrels of oil every day and emit 181 million
metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. In spite of those facts, TransCanada is
hitting us with a barrage of ads saying one thing: The Keystone XL pipeline won't
do any harm.
If that sounds impossible, it's because it is. Building the pipeline would be the
equivalent of adding 37.7 million new cars on the road every day. And I want to be
clear about something: There is no way to adequately offset that damage. Anyone who
tells you otherwise is spinning fairy tales.
With so much misinformation on the airwaves, it's up to us to get the truth out -- share this infographic on Facebook and tell your friends just what is on the line:
The damage from Keystone XL cannot be mitigated.
There's no scenario in which an expanded Keystone XL pipeline does less than irrevocable
damage to our country's breathable air, environments from north to south, and nearby
ecosystems like the Alberta Boreal forest.
Building the pipeline would be like firing up 51 new coal power plants, and there's
no magic button we can press to undo that damage. Canada's plans for oil sand production
would make adequate offsets impossible, but since a lot of people stand to make a
lot of money off of the Keystone XL pipeline, they're trying to sell us a fairy tale
in which our actions have no consequences, pollution has no impact on our environment,
and they get to rake in a ton of cash while we sit back and let them.
This isn't a fairy tale, this is serious. And we can't let them get away with it.
Share this graphic on Facebook today:
We can prevent the Keystone XL pipeline from expanding. But you and I can't do it
alone -- and that's why it's so important to tell others. By the time President Obama
makes his decision, our Facebook friends should be sick of hearing from us on Keystone.
What's important is that they know the facts.
Thanks for spreading the word,
Tom Steyer

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chicken Salad for Lunch at School?

Chicken Salad for Lunch?

This is Revolting!  I would rather have Jobs created to police chicken producers from Outside their system, already often foul in my opinion, than to create jobs by allowing Honeywell Corp. set up a factory to make all components for nuclear Bombs, except for the fissionable materials.  But the President okayed this one too!

Please help us All to eat Safer food.

A new USDA regulation means that
our chicken will come doused with feces and bleach --
and poultry companies will get to police themselves for health and safety
The only person who can stop this terrible rule is the president. Tell him to do
the right thing.
sign the petition
The USDA is about to slash regulations for poultry plants,
saving big corporations millions at the expense of public health and workers’ safety.
Instead of trained USDA inspectors,
 companies will police themselves
. Meanwhile, plants will be allowed to speed up production dramatically. Chickens
will spend more time soaking in contaminants (including pus and feces!), and poultry
plants are compensating by washing them in with chlorine. Independent experts like
Food and Water Watch have shown that
the new system is likely to miss serious contamination, including diseases like salmonella
Now the only person who can reverse these regulations is President Obama. We need
to send a clear message that these disgusting rules are unacceptable before the USDA
tries to expand them to the pork and beef industries.
Sign our petition to President Obama: we demand real regulation of the poultry industry.
It isn’t just consumers who’ll suffer from these new regulations. Poultry workers
who have to perform repetitive motions with sharp knives already risk serious cuts
or losing fingers every day, and many suffer muscular, joint, and back problems after
years on the job. Speeding up production will
increase the injury rates
. Meanwhile, the new chemical wash that will treat feces-stained chickens could cause
skin and breathing problems.
Why is the USDA pushing regulations that are bad for workers and consumers? The answer
corporate welfare, with a side of austerity
. The federal government will save money by laying off factory inspectors, but the
big poultry companies like Tyson and Purdue will be able to push out more chickens
with less oversight. The USDA estimates that
the poultry industry stands to make more than $250 million a year
 from the new rules.
The USDA thinks it’s just fine for workers to get hurt and consumers to be fed chicken
poop so poultry companies can increase their profits. We beg to differ.
Click here to tell the President to reverse the USDA’s disgusting poultry regulations.
Thanks for all you do,
Claiborne, Rob, and the team at
More information:
 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
, and like us on
Was this email forwarded to you?
Click here
 to add yourself to SumOfUs.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Free Books in the Public Domain

This organization serves all people who can't read print, due to learning disabilities, visual impairment, AND all people who don't hgave access and just want some audio books to listen to.  I have a sighted friend who is a truck driver who loves the audio materials available here.

Librivox is a volunteer organization that dramatizes and records books and plays
that are in the public domain and then provides the audio recordings to the public
for free.
This is a service that is of particular benefit to people who are blind or otherwise
visually impaired.
They are not a well-known organization and it is entirely run by volunteers.  They
are having a fundraiser and I ask that anyone who has the time or resources to disseminate
this information, or to make a small donation, please consider doing so, in aid of
a worthy cause.  Volunteer readers are, of course, always welcome.
Here is the information:
Dear all,
LibriVox still needs your help! Our fundraiser started off strong, but
we've have had a dip in fundraising promotional activity due to various
We've raised just over $11,000 to date, from 277 donors, with a couple of
bigger donations expected in the coming weeks.
We have some work to do to get to our target of $50,000. If you haven't
donated, perhaps you would consider it now?
If you have already donated, maybe you'd consider a post on your blog,
Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you spend your time online?
You can donate here, or point people to this link:
And if you'd like more information about why we are raising money, you can
find that here:
All the best,
(PS. our forum software inserts at the top of these
emails & we don't know how to change that. If you'd like to contact me, you
can do so at
The LibriVox Team

Monday, August 12, 2013

Something New I Didn't Know

Something New I Didn't Know

There's a new contender in the race to the bottom: A new report reveals that
 the federal government is America’s largest creator of poverty-wage jobs.
Now workers are on strike demanding that federal contractors pay living wages.
Tell President Obama that we want our tax dollars to create good, middle-class jobs.
Sign the petition

Every year the federal government pays private contractors $1 trillion to do everything
from sew military uniforms to clean the bathrooms at federal buildings to sell food
and souvenirs at national landmarks. Many of these
 contractors are paying their workers poverty wages -- sometimes even less than minimum
 -- while their CEOs make millions. The federal government is now
joining companies like McDonald’s and Walmart in creating millions of poverty-level
Last month, hundreds of contracted
 workers in federal buildings in Washington staged a series of bold strikes demanding
hat President Obama sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay
living wages. By signing an executive order, he can
lift hundreds of thousands of workers out of poverty with the stroke of a pen.
As taxpayers, this is our fight too
 -- we need to raise our voices and
 tell the President that we want our tax dollars creating good jobs
 and rebuilding the middle class.
Click here to sign our petition to President Obama: Ensure that federal contractors pay a living wage.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In the days of the New Deal and the Great Society,
when the federal government wanted to act as a model employer, it passed laws requiring
government contractors to pay prevailing wages. But those laws aren’t working anymore,
and millions of workers getting paid with our tax dollars aren’t making enough to
afford basic necessities like rent or childcare. Many have money illegally withheld
from their paychecks so that they take home less than the legal minimum wage. The
yawning gulf between wealthy contractors and the workers they exploit
has helped make Washington, DC one of the most unequal cities in America.
In his State of the Union address,
President Obama said it’s time “to reignite the true engine of America’s economic
growth—a rising, thriving middle class.”
If the president wants to put his money where his mouth is, he can start right away.
Tell the president to start rebuilding the middle class: Guarantee that taxpayer money is going to support good jobs
Thanks for your support,
Rob and the team at
More information:
Underwriting Bad Jobs: How our tax dollars are funding low-wage work and fueling inequality
," Demos, May 2012.
 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
, and like us on

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Safe Guarding Our Food Supply And Little Girls

Guarding Our Food Supply AND Little Girls

I say Thank You to the bees on my squash flowers and am Grateful for the heirloom (non-gmo) seeds which grow such good food!  This is serious, friends.

I am writing to call for the urgent and immediate passage of the Save
America's Pollinators Act of 2013.
Save The Bees Action Page:
This last winter 45 percent of all honeybee colonies in the U.S. died
off. The norm before 2005 was a 5-10% loss, but then the numbers shot
up dramatically to 30% a year or more. Without honeybees there would
be no fruits, no nuts and the loss of many vegetables.
The European Union recently put a ban in place on the new
neonicotinoid pesticides, the introduction of which strongly
correlates to these honeybee deaths. These chemical poisons were
never actually field tested before being released into the
environment, and were deployed under a conditional registration
loophole. What makes them so insidious is that they are systemic in
the plants, they are literally in the nectar on which the bees feed,
which the bees then concentrate.
This last season it took 60% of all functional honeybees in the
country just to pollinate California's almond crop alone. One more
yearly loss like this last year, which is now the EXPECTED new norm,
and there will be a catastrophic collapse of our food supply this
very next year. Indeed, the damage for next year has already been
done by the long enduring neonicotinoids already out there.
Our honeybees are dropping literally like flies. It would be nice if
our own Congress might one time have the foresight to implement good
public policy, without lurching from one monumental catastrophe to
the next. This literally may be our last chance to save our food
Save The Bees Action Page:
Despite the growing consensus among scientists that neonicotinoids
are the big new factor, there will always remain a minority of shills
and deniers (think climate change), arguing that we can't exactly be
sure of the cause, and that therefore we should do absolutely
nothing. Ironically, we happen to agree that there are other factors,
not the least of which are GMO crops also engineered to put systemic
poisons in our foods.
And that is why at the same time we continue to fight for an end to
the reckless release of more and more GMO species, and full label
disclosure of GMO content so consumers can make informed market
purchasing decisions.
So please submit the action page above. And then after you do, if you
like you can also request one of our beautiful new "GMOs Are Poison"
bumper stickers. We'll send you one for no charge, not even shipping.
Of course if you can make a contribution of any amount, this is what
makes it possible for us to send free stickers to anyone who cannot
make a donation right now.
GMOs Are Poison bumper stickers:
You may forward this message to any friends who would find it
Contributions to The People's Email Network are not tax-deductible
for federal income tax purposes.
If you would like to be added to our distribution list, go to
Or if don't want to receive our messages, just go to

Girls Married Before Age Seven?
The Nigerian Senate plans to eliminate the legal age requirement for marriage, putting girls as young as six at risk for child marriages. I'm asking the United Nations to intervene before it becomes law.
Sign E. Awa's Petition

Drinking, voting, driving and marriage are all things you can't do until you're 18
in Nigeria.
But that could change any day now as the Nigerian Senate plans to pass a law that
would allow girls to be married as early as six years old.
Many Nigerians have spoken out against legalizing child marriage but the Senate has
not taken any formal steps to allay their concerns. Without international pressure
they're unlikely to affirm protections for girls against underage marriage. That's
why I believe it's time for the United Nations to step in and intervene.
I started a petition on asking the United Nations to stop the Nigerian Senate from making child marriage legal. Click here to join over 30,000 other users and sign my petition.
Nigeria already has some of the highest rates of child marriage in the world -- 20%
of girls are married by the age of 15.
Eliminating the only legal protection for young girls from being married will only
make this worse.
 That's why pressure from an international authority like the United Nations is necessary
to convince the Nigerian Senate that this move is not worth the global criticism
or impact on young women.
My petition has the support of many Nigerians and thousands of expatriates around
the world, uniting behind the belief that girls should be allowed to be children,
not brides.
I'm presenting this petition to UN officials, and the more people I can show have
spoken up about this issue, the more likely they are to take action.
Click here now to sign my petition calling on the United Nations to intervene and prevent the Nigerian Senate from eliminating the age protection for marriage.
Thank you for your support.
E. Awa
Sign E. Awa's Petition
Mailing Address: · 216 W 104th St., #130 · New York, NY 10025

Saturday, August 10, 2013

We Often Love Where We Came From

I hate many of the attitudes held by people here, but I too love the land here.

We Love Our Land
You don’t know me. I’m nobody important to most folks.
My husband and I moved to York, Nebraska 35 years ago to find a nice quiet place
to raise a family. And we found a little piece of heaven here that we love dearly.
And now, TransCanada wants to steal away all that.
With all their money and their power, this Canadian company wants to bulldoze through
our home to build their new pipeline, all in the name of profits.
Watch this video about my family’s fight to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline now:
VIDEO: Susan Dunavan, Landowner in the Path
WATCH: "Our Little Piece of Heaven"
I just can’t begin to tell you the emotional upheaval I’ve felt over this. It’s like
everything that we’ve planned for our whole lives is being destroyed.
You hear a lot about how Keystone XL won’t create any permanent jobs, how it’ll pollute
the environment, how it’ll raise the price of gas for folks.
But before all that devastation and sadness, there’s my family and me. We’re going
to suffer first. Our homes, our land, our very way of life -- they will all be torn
up and hurt because of this pipeline. Hurt for no good reason.
I may be a nobody to TransCanada, but not to my family and my community. And I won’t
stop fighting to save them. Let me show you why:
Thanks for watching,
Susan Dunavan
York, Nebraska
Next Generation Climate Action | 351 California St. San Francisco, CA 94104
I hate many of the attitudes held by people here, but I too love the land here.

We Love Our Land
You don’t know me. I’m nobody important to most folks.
My husband and I moved to York, Nebraska 35 years ago to find a nice quiet place
to raise a family. And we found a little piece of heaven here that we love dearly.
And now, TransCanada wants to steal away all that.
With all their money and their power, this Canadian company wants to bulldoze through
our home to build their new pipeline, all in the name of profits.
Watch this video about my family’s fight to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline now:
VIDEO: Susan Dunavan, Landowner in the Path
WATCH: "Our Little Piece of Heaven"
I just can’t begin to tell you the emotional upheaval I’ve felt over this. It’s like
everything that we’ve planned for our whole lives is being destroyed.
You hear a lot about how Keystone XL won’t create any permanent jobs, how it’ll pollute
the environment, how it’ll raise the price of gas for folks.
But before all that devastation and sadness, there’s my family and me. We’re going
to suffer first. Our homes, our land, our very way of life -- they will all be torn
up and hurt because of this pipeline. Hurt for no good reason.
I may be a nobody to TransCanada, but not to my family and my community. And I won’t
stop fighting to save them. Let me show you why:
Thanks for watching,
Susan Dunavan
York, Nebraska
Next Generation Climate Action | 351 California St. San Francisco, CA 94104

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For Earth's Sake

This is controversial, I know.  But I honestly believe that if we put Half of the effort into alternative energies that Trans-Canada and the oil interests in the U.S. are in Getting the Keystone XL pipeline built, we Could change things.  If President Obama approves this pipeline he will say it creates jobs.  That's what he said in giving Honeywell, Corp. the ok to build a new plant in Kansas City which makes parts for nuclear bombs.  Yes, it Will create jobs.  But Are they the kinds of jobs You want to Mark the future of your children?  Most of us can't move away from contaminated places like Mayflower, AR.  And don't we Still have enough nucs to destroy the world several times over?  I don't want my 13 year-old niece or my 22 year-old nephew or the grade school kids down the street, who are the only ones brave enough to speak to me to have to Live with the consequences of these Jobs!

I cannot see or share a graphic on Facebook, but maybe one of you can check it out.
We Love Our Land
Thanks for signing our petition on, asking President Obama to stop the
Keystone XL pipeline and protect us from future environmental disasters.
We need only to look at the recent oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, to see the devastating
consequences of building a tar sands oil pipeline through America's heartland.
When the pipeline burst in March, 210,000 gallons of crude oil escaped. The oil was
knee-deep in schools and senior centers. Today, people are sick, the drinking water
is contaminated, the air is toxic.
Many more small towns could suffer a similar fate if Keystone moves forward. By demanding
that the President oppose Keystone and joining our online community of almost 300,000
Americans, you're helping prevent the next oil disaster and protecting future generations
from similar tragedies.
Share this graphic on Facebook so that everyone knows that the Keystone XL pipeline puts American lives at risk.
Don't let this happen in your backyard! Share our graphic on Facebook.
Right now, battle lines are being drawn. A foreign oil company, TransCanada, is spending
millions of dollars trying to convince U.S. policy makers that the Keystone XL pipeline
isn't an environmental disaster waiting to happen.
It's up to us to make sure that President Obama does the right thing and rejects
Keystone. To help win this fight, I'm building Next Generation Climate Action, a
non-profit organization committed to averting climate disaster and preserving American
prosperity through online and offline political action.
In the coming weeks, you'll receive updates from us on what you can do to stop the
Keystone XL pipeline and prevent the next Mayflower. You can get started right now
by sharing our graphic on Facebook:
Thank you again and welcome to our community.
Tom Steyer

Being Slapped in the Face Isn't Funny

No one who has e er been struck in the face finds it funny.  Is it funny online?

Dear Teresa,
The backlash against the "Slap Hillary" online game has been huge.
 The "game," put out by a Republican Super PAC named "The Hillary Project," asks
supporters to virtually slap Hillary Clinton across the face. It's disgusting, it's
offensive, and it's dangerous.
Since yesterday afternoon, more than 65,000 people have signed the petition asking
the Super PAC to take down their offensive game and apologize for advocating violence
against women--but we noticed you haven't signed yet. The press has started to take
notice of the intense public backlash against this nauseating "game"--the petition
was covered by CNN yesterday.
If we can get to 80,000 signatures today, we'll generate enough bad press for the
Republican Super PAC that they'll have to pull the game off their site and apologize
. Can you sign the petition right away?
Add your name to the petition demanding the "Slap Hillary" game be taken down.
Thanks for speaking out.
--Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin and Malinda, the UltraViolet team
P.S. Here's the original email we sent about this yesterday with more information:
An anti-Hillary Clinton Super PAC is promoting an online game where they ask supporters
to virtually slap Hillary Clinton. It doesn't matter where you fall on the political
spectrum--there is nothing funny about violence against women.
 Can you add your name to the petition demanding they apologize and take this game
down right away?
click here
Click Here

A Republican Super PAC has put out a new online "game" where they ask supporters
to virtually slap Hillary Clinton across the face. No, we're not joking.
The Super PAC is known as The Hillary Project and is an anti-Hillary Clinton group
that lists Christopher Marston--a Republican campaign consultant and a former member
of the Bush administration--as its treasurer.
Almost more disturbing is that the staff of this Super PAC are proudly promoting
the game--
emailing reporters to ask "Have you slapped Hillary yet today?"
 They sign their emails as "The SlapHillary Team."
It's disgusting, it's outrageous and--regardless of where you fall on the political
spectrum--it has no place in our politics.
 Reporters are just starting to get word of this "game." If we can show them that
there is a wave of grassroots anger spreading over it, we can create a media firestorm
so strong that the Super PAC will have to pull their website and apologize.
Can you sign the petition demanding The Hillary Project pull down this game and apologize
for advocating violence against women?
Add your name to the petition demanding the "Slap Hillary" game be taken down.
It's obvious that this "game" is offensive and sexist. And one would hope that any
person who thinks it's a great idea to advocate slapping women--of ANY party--wouldn't
have a job anywhere near politics.
But unfortunately, that's not the case. And that's why we need to speak up. With
all the rumors that Hillary Clinton will run for president, we can expect a lot more
of this sort of misogyny in the political realm between now and the election--unless
we nip it in the bud NOW.
Violence against women is not a joke. A woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 SECONDS
in our country--and more than three women are murdered every day by their partners
or boyfriends.
 When we excuse "games" that make fun of abusing women, we perpetuate a culture that
allows violence against women to stand, and that's not OK.
The vast majority of Congressional Republicans voted against reauthorizing the landmark
Violence Against Women Act--130 of them in the House alone.
 And now a Republican Super PAC is actually advocating violence against women.
It doesn't matter where you fall on the political spectrum--there is nothing funny
about abusing women.
 Can you add your name to the petition today?
Add your name to the petition demanding this game be taken down.
Thanks for speaking out,
--Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin and Malinda, the UltraViolet team.
NH Dems fundraise off anti-Hillary Clinton effort
, CNN, August 6, 2013
Republican Super PAC Wants You To "Slap" Hillary Clinton Across The Face,
 Buzzfeed, August 5, 2013
3. Ibid
Domestic Violence Statistics
Violence Against Women Act Now Touted By Republicans Who Voted Against Bill,
 The Huffington Post, March 7, 2013
You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Meat Inspector Punished for Reporting Animal Cruelty

Whether or not you eat meat or pork, all animals are able to feel pain and most also can feel fear.  We share these traits with them.  I would not want to eat meat tainted with such suffering.  This inspector should be Rewarded for reporting such Unnecessary violence at a slaughter house, Not punished!  Ok, you are warned.  This petition does describe horrific treatment of animals.  I signed the petition but didn't read it all.

My husband Jim was punished and sent to another factory 120 miles away for doing his job by reporting inhumane conditions at his slaughter plant. I started a petition calling on the USDA to stop penalizing whistleblowers like my husband.
Sign Tammy's Petition
Teresa -
My husband Jim and I have worked as meat inspectors in slaughter facilities for the
United States Department of Agriculture for almost 30 years. When Jim noticed that
some pigs weren't completely stunned before slaughter -- some still fully conscious
as they were hung upside down and bled out -- he told his supervisor.
But his report was ignored and a week later Jim was ordered to start working at a
different plant 120 miles away.
Now my husband has to live out of a hotel room and can only come home on weekends.
And with our oldest daughter pregnant and due in a couple of months it's not fair
to keep him away.
My husband should not be penalized like this for reporting inhumane conditions.
I've heard of other whistleblowers starting petitions on so I started my own asking the USDA to move my husband's job back home. Click here to sign.
My husband and I are both proud of our jobs and dedicated to ensuring safer food
and basic welfare standards for animals. By reporting what he saw happening to pigs
Jim was not only doing his job, but also looking out for the safety of his co-workers
who are sometimes injured by still-conscious animals.
The USDA is feeling pressure from whistleblowers like my husband. If people like
you continue to speak out against punishing workers for doing their jobs and more
people become aware of these despicable practices,
the USDA will be forced to examine their policy of ignoring animal welfare concerns.
Stand with my husband and sign my petition demanding that the USDA stop penalizing Jim and relocate him home. Click here now.
Thank you for your support,
Tammy Schrier
Washington, Iowa
Sign Tammy's Petition

Mailing Address: · 216 W 104th St., #130 · New York, NY 10025

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hard Week

Hard Week

They say capital letters in writing substitute for screaming.  Well I'm writing this to try and get it Out of my system because I Feel like Screaming!  So please Don't read this until you feel like putting up with a frustrated rant.

ASL Class.  The purpose of this week's class was to learn the part of visual communication which deaf people use when they aren't signing.  This includes drawing pictures in the air, miming, etc.  We were given a bag of objects and told to pick an object which no one else could see.  Then we were to describe it without finger spelling or signing.

I know that ASL is a whole body language, including facial expression, posture, and many more subtle things of which, as a blind person with a serious hearing loss, I am unaware.

I chose deodorant.  To show what it was I did sign Bath, then held an imaginary object under each arm, moving it back and forth.  Of course, everyone got it.

Then I was informed that I should have been more descriptive.  I should have drawn the shape of the stick deodorant bottle in the air, mimed pulling off the cap, Then maybe rubbed the imaginary bottle under my arms.

People were miming kicking and throwing a football, a key ring, and a TV remote without signing.  The only word I got was Elephant, because the deaf man miming it drew the trunk in the air and cuped his hands behind his ears, flopping his hands back and forth.

This miming caused a Great deal of confusion and only the man who grew up deaf got any of the objects right.

As for me? SOL! 

I have touched a football and know its shape.  But I haven't Ever seen it kicked or thrown.  The same goes for all sports except bowling, which I have done.  I don't watch TV like a sighted person.  I lean close to hear it, using an amplifier and headphones.  The person miming the TV remote was cranked back in her chair, pushing buttons with her thumb.  I've never seen a person do this.  I hold a remote differently, and to make sure I'm pushing the button I want I feel it to either count a row of buttons or to find a particular shape.  To me a TV remote can feel like a slim candy bar with buttons.

Nothing! Nothing! Looks like it Feels.  That old story about the blind men and the elephant is true as far as it goes, but it Doesn't go far Enough!

Blind people without intellectual disabilities aren't generally so ignorant as to assume that one part of an object which they know is large, sums up the Entire Object.

When I touched an elephant at the zoo as a child I touched its hide, its trunk, asked how tall it was, and touched its Huge foot.  I asked what kind of a tail it had. My teacher told me how its back sloped.

Out of all of these details I formed a mental picture.  But it Wasn't a Visual picture.  It was a Tactile Picture of what it might Feel like to sit atop an elephant or touch its large domed head.  There are Many ways of Perceiving the world!

So, what I got from the class is that I will forever be an outsider in the deaf community.  I can't understand air drawings and cannot see facial expressions.  In one to one conversation I pick up a person's feelings nearly instantly from the tone of a voice.  In groups, I cannot.  From hearing one person's voice and movements I learn something about how tall and heavy or light weight they are.  In a group I lose this.

Realizing how much of an outsider I am in the sighted deaf community brought up other unpleasant facts I usually manage to ignore.  I am an outsider in my family which still sends me pictures, even though my friends don't know my family and aren't interested in looking through them with me.  At family gatherings the only person I have a Hope of talking to is whoever happens to be sitting next to me.  In restaurants it can be very difficult to converse though I can usually manage.  In the blind community I can't keep up with the sound based jokes I grew up with if more than one person is talking.  And the telephone can be a Bitch!

During the ASL. Class I felt more and more sad.  One person told the elephant story, Without taking it any farther than usual.  Another said how much we all take for granted. . . Ok, it's true, but I've heard this stuff Thousands of times, so What?

My ways of nonverbal communication aren't beautiful, like the miming or air drawings of people who are deaf.  But they Are communication understandable by deaf people. 

When asked how I would show Football, I drew the oval shape with pointed ends, using both hands to show wider in the middle and as my fingers closed with my thumbs the ends came to a point.  Then I scooted back my chair, pointed at my foot and kicked forward.  No one had trouble with what I meant.  It wasn't beautiful or funny, but it did work.  I use my own body and my immediate space to demonstrate things, not spaces in the air where I have No tactile frame of reference.

It was a sucky day.

And I had been sharing space for a few days with a dear and helpful friend who had lost a job after moving out of her apartment.  She is an amazing person.  But sharing space was hard on her and me.  She is used to more noise in her environment and smokes.  I can't hear shit with the TV or music on very loud and am highly allergic to smoke.  My friend was extremely considerate, smoking outside and not having nearly the noise level she is used to, but it was still tough for us both.

  And the day after my friend moved out and I had that class my  website opened and I was supposed to be excited. I haven't yet caught up with myself.  I still feel tired and depressed.  I just need some Space, as did my friend who found another job and was able to move to a motel.  She did something major to help me each day, garden, dishes, cooking.  I am Not trying to blame her for my stress level.

We have, in the past, each been diagnosed with PTSD and I caused her stress too, just by being here.  She had the fear and upset of losing a job to cope with, we needed too talk.

We will probably go out for a meal on Sunday and enjoy one another's company very much.   

How Come Your Stuff Is So Pricy?

How Come Your Stuff is So Pricy?
I'm not quite sure how to write about this week, but first things first.  I do not have doll boxes and doll paperwork because a tornado hit my house in the Winter (not during "tornado season" here).   In order to save the dolls which were soaked I had to strip away all paper and cardboard so nothing would mold.  I spent a day just doing this.  For those of you who don't like "helmet heads" on female dolls caused by loads of hairspray, you will get your wish.  For instance, the curling tower of Byron Lar's "Plum Royale" was a gummy mess which had to be thoroughly washed out.

I have had to purchase shoes or boots for some dolls, as some were lost.  Although most people who make things don't get paid for their time, I did put in two outfits with most dolls and made some of them myself.  I made Barbie purses until I thought I'd hurl!  I had to buy thread, needles, and some cloth.  Pay Pal gets three cents on the dollar for each transaction, 3%.  So I know my dolls are more pricy than the $10 per boxed dolls you can find elsewhere.  As most come with two pairs of shoes, a brush or pick, one or two purses, and some with jewelry, I think they are reasonable.  I also include some non-Barbie dolls because they have Different face sculpts.

I know this blog is Not for 18 to 21 inch dolls.  But that will be the next installment of things added to the site for sale, including both outfits I've made and some Fair Trade, Mayan made clothing from Guatemala.  So if you know anyone who likes larger dolls or buys them for their kids, this is the next installment.

Thursday, August 1, 2013 is Finally a Reality


Finally, is open for business.  At the moment we are selling earrings made by a disabled woman trying to work her way Off of Social Security Disability, and fashion dolls from me.  Many have clothing I have made for them as well as Mattel fashions.  Please check it out when you have time.

Thank you for honoring me by continuing to read this mostly non-doll blog!

The truth is I covet many dolls, but am more interested in helping other disabled and poor people survive.  I still read some of your doll blogs with covetous enthusiasm.