Town Hall Meeting

03 Mar 2012

U.S. Navy “Disposes” of Old Ships by Sinking Them at Bottom of Ocean

Filed under: — Al @ 3:09 pm

Wow, this is unbelievable. They call it “SinkEx” for Sink Exercise. The U.S. Navy blows up old warships with missiles and torpedoes, including an aircraft carrier, off the coast of California and Florida. Obviously this could cause lots of problems for the environment.

Check out the AP article here:

In the past 12 years, this has been done 109 times. Again, UNBELIEVABLE. While people struggle to meet their basic needs, the military shines its billion dollar toys, and blows up the old ones with million dollar missiles. The whole thing is repugnant. The Navy says its okay what they are doing because it gives them useful testing of their weapons. So…what is more important: sustaining life through a clean environment, or they possibly/maybe/could improve at blowing shit up?

Some reports I read just make my head spin in disbelief. Thanks to the reporters for exposing this story.

24 Sep 2010


Filed under: — Al @ 4:35 pm

Check out Larry Lessig’s TED talk about American problems and a solution. One such example is obesity, and one of it’s main causes: the artist formerly known as high fructose corn syrup. He talks about how corruption and the flood of money in politics have directly led to the corn abundance in America. Prices of vegetables between 1997 and 2000, went up 17%, while a coke has gone down 35%! He then moves into the financial collapse and the BP oil disaster. He goes on to explain how, why, and what we can do about all of it.

A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.

He includes a quote from President Abraham Lincoln in 1864:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

19 Aug 2010

Hide the Evidence

Filed under: — Al @ 5:17 pm

“The decision to use 1.8 million gallons of dispersants amounted to an environmental trade-off — it meant less oil tainting the surface, where there is noticeable and productive life, but the risk of longer-term problems down below. ”

A major study just published shows that a huge, 22 mile oil plume is just sitting a half mile under the surface of the ocean and not going away. This defies what BP has been saying and top government officials. This is so sick, they claim that the oil is magically gone, but it wasn’t magic, they dispersed it so the surface oil would go away as quick as possible, while the underwater oil would stay a lot longer. But they know that if people can’t see it, then they will more likely believe all is well. Orwell rolls in his grave.

The study was lead by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and you can read their findings here. Or read the AP version of the story here.

28 May 2010

Rant About The Oil Spill

Filed under: — Al @ 12:32 pm

First thanks to Congressman Markey for getting the video feed up (on May 12, 3 weeks after the leak started!) so we can all see with our own eyes the horrible leak.

Second, this leak is believed to have started April 22, 2010, which is Earth Day, and two days after the oil rig exploded killing 11 workers.

Third, BP claimed it has been leaking 1,000 barrels per day (then upped to 5,000), while independent scientists are saying its between 70,000 and 90,000 barrels per day. The US govt has now upped their estimate to the most conservative of the independent scientists: 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day. Note that 1 barrel = 42 gallons. So if we take the conservative estimate of 19,000 bpd, that means 29.52 million gallons of oil have leaked into the ocean, so far, minimum!

Lots of pictures and info can be found at Markey’s site.

When will Americans stop using money as the only way to value things? There are costs to what people do, that aren’t ever (let alone immediately) costly. One easy example to explain is when you buy a TV. You pay for the materials and labor for that item, but what about disposal of this toxic junk 10 years later when it breaks or becomes obsolete? In California, there is now a $16 recycling fee charged to the consumer for this problem of hidden costs of TV’s. Good job California, but this is not applied in numerous other cases. For example, freakin oil! Oil is barely taxed, and in fact is subsidized greatly by giving oil companies huge tax breaks and for building up the worlds largest military force to make sure oil flows cheaply and quickly to America and their allies. Consumers are not charged for oil spills, for climate change due to burning oil, for the wars and military buildup, or for blowback for such wars, such as 9/11 or the USS Cole bombing. I started with a question, so I’ll end with one…If you were offered $1 million dollars, but your child would have to live with crippling Asthma, what would you do?

As for the Bush-Katrina, Oil Spill-Obama comparison. I have no special allegiance to Obama, and this site should prove that. But this comparison is utter madness. Katrina was a NATURAL DISASTER, which the government does and should evacuate and do emergency management. This oil spill is a CORPORATE DISASTER, perpetrated by a company in their greedy pursuit of ever more profit. This is their problem and their horrific mistake. If you want to complain about govt for this one, it’s terribly weak regulations, allowing deep water oil drilling in the first place, corruption, etc. Now the damage is done, and BP is screwing up the cleanup royally, so I can see why the entire US should help fix this, but a hurricane and this couldn’t be more different.

The only minor justice to come of this is if BP is forced into bankruptcy and all their assets liquidated to pay for the cleanup and job losses due to this disaster.

Rant out.

And this is one view of a hidden cost of oil…don’t forget about the illnesses suffered by the people trying to clean up this mess, similar to the World Trade Center workers and volunteers after 9/11. That dispersant stuff is horribly toxic.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is the Worst in History

31 Aug 2009

How Clean Is Your Beach?

Filed under: — Al @ 3:55 pm

The Natural Resource Defense Council created a nice web tool to check out how clean or polluted your local recreational waterway is. Many major beaches across America are listed. Check it out here or click the map below.

Map of water ratings for beaches across America

22 Apr 2009

America is 39th “cleanest” Country in the World

Filed under: — Al @ 11:03 am

That’s 39th out of a possible 149, which means the US is in the 74th percentile, a weak “C” grade. On this Earth Day, this recent report is important to think about. Remember that April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated to demand fixing the horribly polluted environment in the US, the largest demonstration in US history. Nixon was forced to create the EPA because of all this pressure. Starting with Nixon though, each administration did its best to undermine the EPA’s mission and make sure corporations could profit despite disastrous pollution: the result, we are 39th, just behind Uruguay, and just ahead of Greece.

Study by Columbia and Yale…

The U.S., once a leader in environmental protection, has failed to keep pace. “Starting 25 years ago, the United States started to fall behind in relative terms. Before that time, Europe always had dirtier air and drinking water,” says Mark Levy, associate director of Columbia University’s earth science center. Then-President George H. W. Bush signed the last significant American air quality legislation in 1990, an amendment to the Clean Air Act. The U.S. scores a meager 63.5 on the ecosystem vitality scale, vs. an average score of 74.2 for the world’s richest nations. The U.S.’ overall EPI score is 81, putting it in 39th place on the list.

Here are two examples of countries ahead of the US:

Switzerland, Score: 95.5 No. 1 Overall
The world’s fifth most affluent nation on a GDP-per-capita basis is also the world’s cleanest. Switzerland scores a perfect 100 in eight environmental indicators, including sanitation and water quality, forest health and pesticide regulation. All that cleanliness translates into a life expectancy of 81 years for the Swiss. But Switzerland’s mountainous landscape forces farmers to grow crops on every slope and in every cranny, reducing the country to a merely average score in agricultural practices.

Japan, Score: 84.5 No. 21 Overall
Japan’s life expectancy of 82.12 years is the world’s longest, due in part to the country’s excellent sanitation infrastructure, avoidance of chemical pesticides and relatively low levels of air pollution. Japan even gets a perfect score of 100 for its efforts to conserve forests. But overfishing of coastal waters earns Japan a score of 81.6 for the measure of marine biodiversity, vs. 88.8 for its regional peers.

You can find the source material for the Columbia/Yale study at these two sites:

Check out this brand new Frontline report on the health of America’s waterways.

Use those canvas bags when going shopping, we’ve got a looong way to go!! :)

14 Apr 2009

Pirates and the 21st Century

Did anyone know that the 3 pirates killed by the US military were aged 17-19? Check out this interview by Davey D (Oakland representin) of K’naan a Somalian rapper, poet, activist about piracy. Again, what a novel journalistic technique: interview someone who is from the country you are reporting about! The largest point is the mass media omission of the fact that nuclear waste is being dumped into the ocean off the Somalian coast.

18 Jun 2008

The Compact

Filed under: — Al @ 2:25 pm

A group of folks at a dinner on New Year’s Eve in 2005 decided to “unplug from the matrix” and stop being a conspicuous consumer for one full year. This compact has gained a lot of traction because it not only does good for the community, but it also feels good to do things other than going to the mall. And saving a lot of money helps too! Check out one of the original newspaper reports here.

The basic rule is not to buy anything new for one year. They feel the current climate crisis and economic and socioeconomic crises are a result of out of whack consumerism. They have a blog, and a yahoo group.

Check out their original blog post from 2006:

Here is the main picture on “The Compact” Yahoo Group web page, it explains it all…

Consumers Flocking to WalMart

28 Nov 2007

The Earth Clock

Filed under: — Al @ 6:30 pm

A cool flash thing that shows some interesting stats on our one and only earth. Check it out by clicking on the picture below. Seems like the time is ticking for how much longer earth will be habitable for humans, and there isn’t any doubt in my mind that humans, especially due to unrestrained capitalism, are speeding us all to the end.

Earth Clock

28 Oct 2007

Los Angeles Protest Pictures

Another mass protest in Los Angeles, one of many around America this weekend. Here are some pictures. The war is 4 1/2 years old now. It is unbelievable how the reasons for the war were all completely proven false, yet the war goes on. WTF! I estimate the crowd at around 7500.

Los Angeles Protest Rally

08 Sep 2006

Who Voted For and Against the Stopping of Cluster Bombs?

Some names that give me concern because they are powerful and they are Democratic presidential hopefuls and they are sometimes considered liberal or centrist: Biden, Clinton, McCain, and Schumer.

Some names that give me relief are all 30 (not one Republican) who voted for it. You can see how everyone voted at the senate website: Cluster Bomb Vote Breakdown.

Who would vote against such a thing, it is beyond comprehension. This issue has been around for a while but was reignited when Israel dropped cluster bombs on Lebanon in the last days before the recent cease fire. Many of the bomblets go undetonated, and then days or weeks later innocent people might walk by and trigger them, killing or maiming all near it. This is the exact same problem with land mines and the reaosn why land mines have been made illegal all over the world. But here we have the US Senate voting 70-30 against stopping the use of cluster bombs! In case you are wondering, the US uses cluster bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan and NATO used them in Yugoslavia in 1999.

29 May 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Filed under: — Al @ 1:58 pm

I went to a 10pm showing last night and the place was full, which is great, and the parking lot looked like 5% of the cars were hybrids! I think this film is excellent. It is a documentary of Al Gore doing a presentation about global warming that he has performed over 1000 times, as he says in the movie. The reason I liked it is it lays out the problem piece by piece, including the history, the science, the arguments against it, and then gives solutions at the end that we can all do to fix the problem. And it is fixable. He gives the example of the great progress we have had as a global community in fixing the ozone layer.

A part of the movie that I was waiting for and it did deliver on was showing just how much America pollutes compared to the rest of the world. I think the average American (as do some in my own family) thinks that America has the strictest environmental laws in the world and thus does not pollute nearly as much as most others. Well, neither of those things are true, as this film points out. America’s fuel economy standards are half that of China, Europe, Taiwan, and Japan. And American pollutes more global warming causing chemicals than all other countries, and if you remove Europe, all other countries combined.

An Inconvenient Truth

They have a website called which you can check out for ideas on how to start living a life that contributes less and less to global warming. You can see the trailer here.

13 Feb 2006

Upcoming Protests in March

The anniversary of the invasion of Iraq is coming up again. There will be mass protests all around. Demonstrate your disgust for militarism, greed, nepotism, cronyism, or just go out and meet a bunch of fellow peaceful citizens. Try a google search to find a protest near you, or any of the following links:

Peace No War

26 Oct 2005

Help Bernie Sanders Become Senator

Bernie Sanders is an independent running in Vermont. He is honest and fights for very important issues, such as corporate domination of media, workers rights, and protecting the environment. I donated some money to his campaign, which you can do too by going to his website:

Bernie Sanders

You can also learn more about what he is doing now in the House of Representatives at:

24 Sep 2005

Great Turnout At Protest

War Protest, Los Angeles, September 24, 2005

What an outstanding turnout today in Los Angeles. The turnout was announced at 50,000 people. That same number was announced in San Francisco, and an amazing 300,000 announced at the main event in Washington, DC! It was invigorating to see such non-violent support for peace and justice. All of my pictures have been posted here. I’ve already seen the national press say things like “thousands of protestors showed up across the country” and “pro-Bush protestors were there as well.” I have given up on the mainstream media long ago: CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN (I don’t even count Fox since they are in a whole other league). I was there, you can see my pictures. Real reporting would include things like “hundreds of thousands protested across America today” and “people are fed up with militarism and occupations.” Thankfully we still have news programs like Democracy Now!.

12 Aug 2005

Okay Folks, Opportunity For Mass Protest

September 24, 2005 – mark your calendars! It’s a great opportunity to protest the illegal war on Iraq, the illegal occupation of Haiti, the attempted and failed coup on Venezuela’s president, and any of the other U.S. foreign or domestic policy horrors you can think of. The main protest will be in Washington, D.C. There will also be major ones in at least Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Go to our demonstrations page for links to more information.

Protest For Peace

24 Apr 2005

Will There Be Human Life On Earth In 100 Years?

Filed under: — Administrator @ 10:15 pm

For those of you who are wondering what we are really doing to ourselves and our planet, I IMPLORE you to read Elizabeth Kolbert’s article “The Climate of Man – I” in the April 25th issue of The New Yorker Magazine. This is the first of a three part article that creates a chilling (no pun intended) snapshot of where we are and where we are headed. Warning: do not read this immediately before going to sleep.


07 Apr 2005

The Corporation Documentary

Filed under: — Al @ 6:03 pm

The DVD for the flim The Corporation is now available in the U.S. If you haven’t seen this movie, check it out. It was by far my favorite film of 2004. You can watch a preview here.

19 Mar 2005

No More War!

A huge sign of solidarity against the illegal Iraq war

I attended one of the protests around the world today, this one in Los Angeles. I was hoping to see 1,000 people come out, on this rainy day. By the time the march through Hollywood started, there were about 10,000 people there. It was a beautiful event, everybody was on the same wavelength-no more war, stopping the ruling elite from killing for their profit, and there is no mistake about the connection of Iraq and Palestine. This protest is just another example that if this many people are willing to march in the rain, how many more are out there that want this vicious, illegal war to end? Of course, if you watch the chicken shit American media tonight, you won’t hear a peep about these protests. 100,000 people protested in London alone today. There were protests all over the world. The people want change, and are showing strong solidarity. The mainstream media is doing everything they can to muzzle us. I have not yet seen (I know, it won’t happen) news coverage from corporate media that actually interviews the protestors or shows footage of some of the speeches. Corporations are against us, but it is very encouraging to see the mass amount of support out there today.

02 Mar 2005

Democrats Need To Hear This

Listen to this speech given in 1988 (about 3 minutes) by a Democrat who won the state of Michigan by 55% to 28% in that years primary. Democratic leaders today should listen and know that this is what popular Democrats used to stand for. The speech is taken from the documentary by Pacifica called A Passel Of Pomp & A Circus Of Circumstance.

Democracy Now!
July 19, 2024

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