Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 11:46:31 AM PDT
Welcome to this week's action diary! I thought I'd start today with some words from Buddha (I signed up to get the daily words of the Buddha...I'm not Buddhist, but I find them useful.
Daily Words of the Buddha
March 05, 2006
Slay anger and you will be happy,
slay anger and you will not sorrow.
For the slaying of anger in all its forms
with its poisoned root and sweet sting-
that is the slaying the nobles praise;
with anger slain one weeps no more.
Samyutta Nikaya I, 161
I've been angry for the last 5 going on 6 years. I'll probably be angry for a bit longer, but I decided somewhere along the way that I wasn't going to let anger or fear paralyze me. In other words, I'm not going to lie back and take it while Republicans try to stick it to my country. Taking action is my way of slaying anger. Please join me...
The funniest issue this week, click here to invite a leader of the religious "right" to see Brokeback Mountain with you! How funny is that...I just adore DEFCON!!
The most important issue of this week, click here to sign Harry Reid's petition demanding an independent Katrina Commission. And click here to stop FEMA from evicting Katrina victims from housing.
And now...for the action items:)
Human Rights Issues:
Last week, the Bush Administration submitted a supplemental budget request to Congress that includes $514 million for peacekeeping, food aid, and other vital assistance for the displaced people of Darfur. This money will help protect civilians caught in the crossfire of the conflict while also ensuring they have access to critical basic services, such as clean water and blankets.
Oxfam has a letter you can send to your Congresspersons asking them to fulfill the promise to help those affected by the genocide in Darfur. Click here to send your letter!
Mercy Corps also has a letter that you can send to ask Congress to send aid to Darfur. Click here another letter!
Click here to donate to UNHCR and help them help the refugees in Darfur.
Human Rights First wants you to Tell President Bush that torture should not be tolerated and that he "should adopt a zero-tolerance approach to commanders who allow unlawful conduct to persist on their watch."
Human Rights Campaign wants you to sign the Million for Marriage petition. It doesn't matter whether you're gay or straight, if you support marriage for all people, click here
The Federal Marriage Protection Amendment is back. Frist plans on bringing it up for a vote in June! Click here to send a letter through HRC and tell your Senators that you want them to oppose this amendment which would literally write discrimination into our Constitution!
Protect Pets and Wildlife:
Each year, the Canadian government and fisheries "hunt" baby seals. Here's the info from the Humane Society of the United States:
By the end of the hunt, more than 300,000 seals are expected to be clubbed or shot to death by fishermen who hunt seals off-season to pick up extra cash by selling their skins. Almost all of their victims will be babies -- some as young as 12 days old.
During a recent hunt, veterinarians who examined dead seals concluded that 42% of the seals examined had most likely been skinned while they were alive and still conscious. Polls consistently show that most Canadians oppose the hunt, but still the Canadian government and fishing industry refuse to end it.
Sign this petition to the new Prime Minister NOW!! Save these adorable baby seals.
Defenders of Wildlife has an action page that you should all visit. Please click here and do as many items as you can!! If you click and take action, you'll be able to help save wolves, tell Exxon Mobile to stop putting corporate profits over wildlife, save the Endangered Species Act, and help save some adorable pooties!!
The WWF needs your help to protect funding for several Endangered Species. Click here to send your letter and help save Tigers, sea turtles, great apes, rhinos, and more!!
Arm yourself with knowledge about how successful the Endangered Species Act has been! Then click the above link and help protect it!!
Melvin wrote a lovely diary about the dwindling numbers of fish in our oceans. Visit his diary if you missed it and take action there too, but also click here to help save the Red Snapper, whose population in the Gulf of Mexico is down to 3% of what it should be due to mismanagement of the Gulf.
Protect the Environment:
Act now to save life on earth by asking Congress to protect funding for programs that protect wildlife and habitats around the globe. When you click on the link there are some other action items for you in the right-hand column.
The Ocean Conservancy has a number of action alert items for you. Please click here and do as many items as you can!!
You've read a lot lately about the Bush Administration trying to sell off public lands. There have been a million diaries, including this one, this one, and this one just to link a few, oh...and this one from Friday. Earthjustice has a letter you can send to your Congresspeople. Please click here and send your letter! The only way to stop the sale of our lands is to make noise!
You can sign the Sierra Club's petition to prevent public land sales too! You should also sign their petition to save the Endangered Species Act!
Environmental Action has a letter you can send to help protect public lands as well.
And finally, send another letter to your Congresspeople from The Wilderness Society.
Help Defenders of Wildlife open an office in Pombo's district and let's get him the hell out of office!!
War in Iraq:
CODEPINK needs your help! The "Women Say No to War" campaign needs 100,000 signatures by March 8th! That's only 3 days from now!! They only have 44,000 at the moment. That's not enough! You can sign your name by clicking here. They'll deliver the signatures to the White House and U.S. Embassies around the world on March 8th. Let's get to work ladies!! Sign on yourselves and then send this to every woman you know!
Sign Barbara Boxer's petition demanding that Rumsfeld develop a plan to get the troops out of Iraq.
Health Care Issues:
My little sister used to work at a dry cleaner. There are some dangerous chemicals in use at dry cleaners. One of them is Perchloroethylene. There's no need to use this chemical anymore. There are new machines now, so dry cleaners just need to update to the safer alternatives. Perchloroethylene can cause cancer, liver, and kidney damage and neurological harm, so as you can see it's a super fun on the toxic scale. To ask the EPA to phase out the use of Perc by dry cleaners, click here, enter your info, and send your letters!
Rep. Slaughter wrote a diary here this week about an attempt by Republicans and Industry types to gut our food safety laws. Here's what Consumer Action has to say:
"Congress will vote next week on a bill that would gut state food safety and labeling laws, endangering the food you eat. H.R. 4167, the "National Uniformity for Food Act," lowers the bar on food safety by overturning state food safety laws that are not "identical" to federal law. Hundreds of state laws and regulations are at risk, including those governing the safety of milk and shellfish. Click here to send your letters to your Reps. The vote is this coming week!
Local and state officials are now responsible for 80% of the nation's food safety enforcement. These officials regularly improve training, sanitation and labeling standards to address new food borne diseases and other dangers to our food supply whether natural or man made. H.R. 4167 puts a straitjacket on these front-line workers, who are most familiar with local needs."
Click here to send another letter on food safety standards through the Union of Concerned Scientist's website.
National Security Issues:
Have you forgotten about the NSA's illegal spying on Americans? I didn't think so. Well, Senator Ted Kennedy wants you to add your name to Senate Resolution 350, which in short says:
"Expressing the sense of the Senate that Senate Joint Resolution 23 (107th Congress), as adopted by the Senate on September 14, 2001, and subsequently enacted as the Authorization for Use of Military Force does not authorize warrantless domestic surveillance of United States citizens."
Please click here to add your support of S. Res. 350.
"In 2006, why are women still fighting for access to contraception? It's time to bring women's health care into the 21st century! Tell Senators Barton and Enzi to use their common sense and pass the Prevention First Act.
Right now, two men stand in the way.
Who are they? Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). They have the power to bring an important bill to a vote in Congress: the Prevention First Act, which would protect all women's access to contraception and reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy."
Apparently Wal-Mart is about to start stocking Plan B in all its pharmacies nationwide. This is a victory, but Wal-Mart still allows its pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for Plan B. So, send your letters of thanks, as well as your requests that they actually change their policy of refusal for their pharmacists.
I'm guessing some of you didn't even know we HAD internet issues, but we do. For background, read the comments and do the action items in the box below...for the more recent action, skip the box and go with the latest action item from Common Cause.
Internet Freedom is under fire! Free Press has a letter you can sign. Here's what they say:
The CEOs of the largest cable and telephone companies are hatching a scheme that would give them control over what content you can view and what services you can use on the Internet. Their plan would do away with the principle of "network neutrality" and shut down the open roadway we've come to expect on the Internet. Sounds like a real money-maker for them! Anyway, click here to send your letter to your Congresspeople and the CEO of your internet provider.
Common Cause also has a letter you can send to all the CEOs of the telecom corporations. Tell these CEOs to stop trying to privatize the internets!
To read more about the plans to privatize the internets, read this article from The Nation! Don't stop with just sending the above letters either. Send letters to your Congresspeople as well!!
To let your Senators know how you feel about the internet and your desire to keep it neutral and free, click here and send a letter!
Kos's AOL charge post... http://www.dailykos.com/...
And last, but not least, Actfor Change has lots of action items for you. So, click and take action on a variety of issues! Tags: Endangered Species Act, Federal Marriage Protection Amendment, Human Rights Campaign, Earthjustice, World Wildlife Fund, Common Cause, Defenders of Wildlife, Wal-Mart Watch, ACLU, NSA, Internet Privatization, Prevention First Act, Dubai World Ports, CODEPINK, Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, public lands, Canadian seal hunt, The Sierra Club, DEFCON, action (all tags)