July 2012

That burger could turn your kid into a mutant

Here's another reason to eat fresh.

It turns out that it’s not just the food that our kids we need to worry about. It’s not even just the foods we eat during pregnancy. The foods we eat throughout our lives can very well have an impact on our future children’s DNA, even if we haven’t officially started, ahem, working on said children just yet. What’s even scarier is that our food choices today can affect our DNA so greatly that they will impact future generations as well.

Zombies protest Westboro Baptist Church

Even the dead can’t stand these people.

When the Westboro Baptist Church comes to your town, you know it’s time to take action. Nobody likes these jerks; I doubt their supposed god even likes them. No matter the problems in your town, if these people show up, the whole community stands against them. They are that reprehensible.

But nobody has protested them with as much style and imagination as Melissa Neace and her friends. They organized a group of dressed-up zombies to protest the WBC when they came to their community in DuPont, Washington. What they didn’t know was that when they posted the event on Facebook, they would end up with 800 protestors per eight members of the church!

Reporters banned from covering Romney

It’s hard to cover an election when you’re not even allowed in the door.

Reporters have been complaining right and left of unfair treatment while following Mitt Romney on the campaign trail as they attempt to cover one shred of news about the Republican candidate. They have apparently been given the runaround wherever they turn, from being denied entrance to events to even having to submit quotes for approval before using them!

Blue Team Go!

Take some progressive action with your coffee.

Here are some super easy ways to help causes you care about today. Just click and sign your name to the ones that you are interested in.

Call this hospital

Stories like this one are the very reason why we cannot allow people to continue discriminating against anyone, period. Paul Zilber was banned from his boyfriend’s hospital room when the nurses there discovered he was not a “friend” but a partner. After he kissed his boyfriend goodbye, he was placed on a “banned visitors” list. This is simply unacceptable. Please call the Saint Barnabas Behavioral Health Center and tell them that you do not support their actions.

Ask planes to cut their impact

Did you know that aviation is one of the largest causes of global warming? The European Union recently started mandating that airlines cut their pollution output and you’d think we could do the same—but as with any environmental legislation, the US isn’t budging on this one. Maybe it’s because our government is so intent upon maintaining this image of our personal freedoms; maybe it’s because we treat businesses like gods. Either way, we’ve got to stop with this attitude and start somewhere. Why not here? Ask the government to take on these regulations in the U.S., too.

Walking the Talk

No, I will not support your bigotry.

Last night I quit one of the homeschool organizations that we have enjoyed being in because they sent out an email blast asking members to take part in a support Chick-Fil-A day, and that "Big Gay activists" were "spewing hate-filled bigotry and intolerance toward the company in unprecedented fashion." Right, because it's Chick-Fil-A employees who are having their rights trampled on, being denied over 1,000 of the same freedoms married couples are provided with in this country... Oh, wait.

This group has never done anything like this before to my knowledge. They claim to be "generally Christian," though there are people from all faiths in it, and they pray at meetings and such, but this is the first time I've seen them do something like this. I was in the middle of writing them an email to volunteer for their annual fundraiser (they would have had a lot of volunteer hours between my strong husband, myself, my daughter, and my aunt, too) when I received the message and immediately deleted what I was working on and asked to be removed from the group.

South Dakota’s scare tactics to stop abortions

A South Dakota law was up for debate recently - a controversial law that requires doctors to advise women who are getting abortions that they have an increased risk of suicide following the procedure.  After some deliberation and a split-opinion, a court of law finally ruled that the law was okay, despite questions of whether it was unconstitutional or not.  If this link was indeed scientifically provable, this could be considered a good thing for women.  Unfortunately, the evidence to support such a connection is flawed at best, meaning that the court has just ruled that doctors must legally lie to their patients.

Gay marriage rights make headway in Scotland

It looks like Scotland will be beating the rest of the UK to the finish line when it comes to being the first country to embrace the future of human rights and legalize gay marriage.  This controversial move is being supported by both rights groups and a majority of politicians alike (almost a miracle in itself).  The enemy of the proposed legislation?  None other than the church, of course.

When asked for their reasoning behind such a tenuous political move, Scotland’s officials expressed a need for the country to become a model of equality and tolerance for the international community.  They hope that other countries will choose to follow suit and help the world progress and become a better place for everyone.

Family Circle Presidential Cookie Bake-Off

Michelle Obama and Ann Romney have a cookie bake-off!

The summer is heating up and so is the Presidential Race, but I thought it would be fun to talk about something quite unusual and at the same time sprinkle in some of the more serious stuff that I hope to keep covering.

From the heading, you can see that the wives of the candidates are having a little battle over baking cookies. This is actually a traditional thing and keeping with the current times it has incorporated Facebook too!

It’s interesting when looking at the Facebook page, how the family environment of the candidates is being promoted. I guess this has become a prerequisite to succeeding in politics. The Family Circle Presidential Cookie Bake-Off is now celebrating its 20th anniversary with Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush having the inaugural one.

Obama attack ad: Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Islands

President Obama vs. Mitt Romney: Ad Wars

Tax havens have become a common feature of the little known world of private equity that the Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney worked in to make his vast fortune. I am referring to an attack ad that I saw on TV this last week that I personally found pretty comical and at the same time worthy of being talked about here. I did want to start talking about the Presidential race and what better way than to talk about the ad campaigns.

Obama for America TV Ad: "Firms"

Hans Zimmer Song to Benefit Colorado Shooting Victims

Make a donation to get the download, plus other actions you can take today.

I know I’m not alone when I say I’m a big fan of Hans Zimmer. I have played The Dark Knight’s soundtrack over and over for days, and think his work is just hauntingly beautiful. His short but lovely song “Aurora” is no less, and it is available for download here. You can make a donation in any amount—from ten cents to $50—and 100% of your donation will go to the Aurora Victims Relief organization.

Here are a few other ways you can help people this week…

Give a Donation to Lily

When I heard about Lily on Facebook, my heart just broke; you see, she has cerebral palsy because she contracted RSV as a baby. My own child, born prematurely, also contracted RSV during her early years and very well could have been like Lily, and my heart goes out to her family. Lily is so fragile from her condition that entering and exiting her family car literally breaks her bones. Can you imagine living like that? Her family is trying to raise money for a wheelchair-accessible van and they are at about half of their goal. Please click here and give what you can to help them help Lily.

Blue State Blues

Even if you live in a red state, you can still act on these important issues.

In fact, if you live in a red state like I do, it’s even more important that you make your voice heard and fight for these progressive actions! If any of these topical items appeal to you, be sure to click on the easy take-action link provided and make your voice heard.

Help Keep the Chick-Fil-A Pressure Going

The Muppets have severed ties with Chick-Fil-A after finding out about the company’s commitment to oppressing gay people, and now all hell is breaking loose as people start to realize what this company is really about. Let’s keep the momentum going and ask other sponsors of the company to break ties with them, too! Right now there is a campaign to get the Berenstain Bears, another childhood favorite of mine, to not pair up with the homophobic company, since they are scheduled to become the fast food chain’s next partner. Click here to find out more and to ask the beloved book series to refrain from getting involved with a company that hates families like this one.

Hunger Action Friday and More

Take action for hungry kids, the environment, and your own pockets.

This action roundup of political and cause-related topics from all over the web includes some pretty heavy-hitting issues as well as some items that affect us all. Please take a moment to scan them and take action if you feel so inclined.

Hunger Action Friday

Feeding America is sponsoring Hunger Action Friday today, a day in which we can raise our voices to help spread awareness about hunger, make sure our family and friends know about poverty in America, and even raise money to help those struggling to find food in this economy. There are many facts that you can share—such as the fact that 1 in 5 kids in America is at risk of hunger, and under the current Farm Bill, almost 300,000 kids would lose their current free school meals. Can you take a moment to update your Twitter status or Facebook status with one of these or other facts for Hunger Action Friday?

America's troubling turn

Our country's wrong turn

I recently had occasion spend some time in the hospital. My first roommate was in his mid-fifties and after he left, I soon welcomed another who was in his early seventies. In neither case did either of us ask the other our political leanings nor did a blatant political discussion erupt at any time. What did happen was that as the news unfolded daily on television, we discovered through mutual shakes of the head, grunts and sighs that we were—in the cases of both roommates and myself—all Republicans.

Fight violence and injustice

Help yourself and your neighbors today.

Does violence against women disturb you? Is this economy getting you down? The one thing we can always do in this country when we are upset about something is to let our leaders know. Here are two quick actions you can take to improve the lives of both yourselves and your neighbors today.

Pass the VAWA As-Was

Did you hear that the newly ratified Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) eliminates protections that previously existed for native American women, college students, immigrant women, and LGBT survivors of abuse? If you want Congress to pass the Act in its previous incarnation—what many feminist groups are dubbing the “Real” Violence Against Women Act—click here and tell your representative that you want the Act to apply to all women in the United States, as it previously did.

Disturbing news you’ll want to know about

It turns out that fluoride is harmful, and other headlines…

Here are just a few recent news stories that you need to know about.

Fluoride Proves to Be Harmful

Many of my mommy friends have been telling me about the harms of fluoride, but I’ve been dismissing them. Fluoride saves our teeth, after all, and our government wouldn’t add a chemical to our drinking water if it were harmful, right? …right?

I suppose I should have known better. A new study shows that fluoride does have negative effects on the neurological development of children, including the lowering of their IQs. Not only that—it also helps promote tumor growth. So…does that mean we’re going to stop using it in water, or what?

Take action for animals and the environment

If not you, then who?

The animals and environments of the world depend on us to protect them from complete destruction. Please take a few moments to see if you would like to help save rainforests and whales today, then click to take action.

Stop Illegal Logging

We humans have destroyed so much of this planet’s natural resources in such little time. I am not speaking of a need to shame our ancestors, but of a need to stop what we are doing right now and protect these resources instead. Right now, the RELIEF Act is being considered by our representatives, and it would open the few protected places on earth, such as the forests of Brazil and Madagascar, to logging and complete deforestation. Celebrities like Dave Matthews, Sarah McLachlan, and Sting have all already voiced their opposition, but it’s citizens like us that our representatives need to hear from. Please contact yours today by clicking here.

Clean up the planet

Two quick actions can make a big difference.

Check out these environmental issues and see if you’d like to add your voice.

Clean Water!

Water is a pretty scarce, precious resource, so one might think that the world’s leaders would do everything in their power to ensure that it stays safe and clean for us to live off of. One would be wrong, of course, and most of us know that. Take, for example, how a House bill currently in discussion would actually reduce the enforcement of environmental law, allowing polluters to dirty our water even more than it already is. Funds given to states to help manage their water, including runoff, would also be cut, further putting our water in danger. Please click here to learn more and to voice your opinion to your elected officials.

Mitt Romney’s Wild, Wacky Trip to England!

"In addition to the ‘big blunder’, he also managed several smaller ones"

 

Mitt Romney decided to take a trip to England to show off to the world (and voters in the U.S. in particular) his amazing skills of international diplomacy.  Apparently, however, he must have forgotten to read the handbook on how to respect other peoples’ cultures as well as ignoring a few other fundamental tips.  The end result was an England that was both angry with and mocking of ol’ Mitt.  Truly spectacular diplomatic skills indeed.

What supporting Chick-Fil-A Does

Freedom of speech is nothing but a curtain for this company to hide behind.

You cannot say that you support people and then fund campaigns that destroy their rights. You simply cannot! It’s ludicrous. Think about it:

“I support immigrants! That’s why I’m funding the wall to keep them out and the people who shoot at them across the border!”

“I support women! That’s why I support mandatory vaginal ultrasounds so they can endure rape before an abortion, and I pay for candidates who enforce it.”

“I support blacks! That’s why I went to last night’s Klan meeting.”

It sounds absolutely ridiculous, right? Well, I suppose the second one doesn’t, since we hear that one all of the time, amirite, ladies? But you can obviously look at these statements and come to a clear conclusion that if you truly embraced all people, you wouldn’t infringe on their rights.

Arrest the bankers! Help the citizens!

It’s amazing what happens when you do your job.

Could you imagine what would have happened to our economy if our elected officials had, instead of bailing out the banks, bailed out its citizens instead? What might have occurred if our politicians had actually done their jobs and regulated banks (entities that are not human and therefore should not have the citizenship granted to humans), locked up bankers who swindled people out of money and pension, and simply given bailout money to citizens instead?

Honestly, I don’t know, and you don’t either, so let’s not argue about it.

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