Sunday, August 21, 2016

Our Consumption Of Earth’s Natural Resources Has More Than Tripled In 40 Years

“The alarming rate at which materials are now being extracted is already having a severe impact on human health and people’s quality of life. It shows that the prevailing patterns of production and consumption are unsustainable.” IRP co-chair Alicia Bárcena Ibarra

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Trash Spread Across The U.S. Over 100 Years

254 million tons of trash each year make their way to US landfills. Each dot represents a landfill; the larger the dot, the larger the area of the landfill it represents. Landfills that are currently open are in red, while those that have closed are in green.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

New Documents Reveal Oil & Tobacco Industries’ Dirty History Of Working Together

“Success, will depend heavily on the appeal we make to the smoker-driver. And except to say the appeal is not gasoline, we don’t intend to get into the creative requirements here. It is obvious that smoking pleasure and the freedom and leisure of auto travel must be linked successfully if we are to get this program moving.”

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Thinking About Difficult Questions And Hard Choices By Kyle Leach

Thinking About Difficult Questions and Hard Choices By Kyle Leach

About a week ago a friend of mine sent out notice, to all who would listen, that she had, finally, had enough. She’s gracious, kind, smart, funny, giving and among the most dedicated and passionate people I know.  She is heavily involved in politics, has been for as long as I have known of her, starting at the local level and moving up to the top. She let all of us know that she was changing her focus, turning things on end, and would not do what she has always done. She was going to turn her mind to her community, to service, but not through politics right now. She was going to think and do differently. She also let everyone know (who didn’t already) she was taking off the gloves, she was taking no prisoners, and you didn’t want to be on the other end of those gloves. She wasn’t giving anyone a pass anymore. She is also renewing herself, something that is probably long, long overdue.  

Her awakening was not ideological; she sits squarely in the uber-progressive realm, as I do. That did not change. She realized she wanted to change how she was reacting to the situations around her and how and who she allocated time to. She chose to stop listening and sharing the propaganda around us and started telling truths. Though she never participated in the peddling of fear and hate, that both major political parties deal, she did decide she would reject and counter both of those. She’s looking at more options, broadening her outlook and forecasting, and finding places that she can create and build and collaborate anew.

You are probably wondering where I’m going with this. Yesterday, after talking with Stan, I made my own decision to shake things up a bit, as my friend has. I’m going to go on a partial hiatus for about four months. I’m not going to abandon the things I do or the positions I hold, but I’m going to shift my attention to museum work, gardening, art, writing, poetry and place politics and digital and social media in an auxiliary position. The main thrust of what I want to do will be those things that sustain the good things in humanity and that push us to create and build new things.

When Stan and I met sixteen years ago the world was in much the same place it is now, just less death, destruction, and fear and hate had been manufactured. If you didn’t notice all the horrors of the world then, and I do mean horrors, you weren’t paying attention before it directly affected you. A ponderous chain has been built by our society in those sixteen years Jacob Marley would tell us. 

In those years Stan and I have built our life together and have grown and changed and influenced each other in ways I never imagined. We have always had a good life; difficulties abound, mainly from outside forces, but not when compared to the horrors most people of the world must endure daily. We’ve spent a lot of time investing in the future, ours and that of the world, but I forgot to live in the present and find the joys that come at you every day. I don’t know what I will do but I expect we will make the day trips we have planned for years happen, go out and see and meet people in odd and unfamiliar places, have brunch and dinner with old friends,  and hopefully some of the new. We won’t be able to afford the honeymoon we never took, but I bet we can find other ways to celebrate our love.

Many of you know I am a Dem town chair, the chair of a Dem collective, and I hold an at-large seat on the county Dem committee. I contribute to many Dem/Progressive websites and admin just as many. I’ve made a concerted effort to get people involved online and to get them to be good digital citizens. I’ve tried as often as I could to get the Dems to use online tools and to adopt them as early as possible. Those things won’t change, but I am going to change how I approach these and how and when I contribute.  I’m not going to make them a priority over the other things I have mentioned. I’m a digital immigrant; I understand how important technology is for our future and I love using it, but I’ve realized over the past few months that social media has become an unhealthy distraction for me. In some ways it has become toxic for me, so much so it is obvious now that I need time, much more time, away from it. A tool is only helping you when it lessens your burden or makes getting to a goal easier.

Since I won’t be here too often to chime in on political affairs I’ll close with some thoughts on that, because I do believe it is very important to be involved, to voice yourself, and to vote, even if that vote, that voice, that involvement  seems meaningless from where you stand. Those things are only meaningless if you don’t do them. 

There isn’t any subtle or nice way to do the next part, when your nation is a supersized, self –involved, 24/7, televised, shit show of political WrestleMania.  In November most Americans will feel they are faced with two choices, from the two largest parties, when electing the next president of the Republic, if we can even get them to a voting booth.  Both have ascended to acquire their party nomination, for all that is worth. Both have acquired massive funding and endorsements, for the little that is worth.  One is equal parts failed billionaire businessman and closet fascist, with hints of megalomania and apparently a complete lack of empathy and no awareness of even some of the simplest concepts of our government and our history.  The second is a wealthy, corporatist, neoliberal whose sell by date expired about eight years ago and has not lived a normal life for at least two decades. Out of touch doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface.  It’s like someone forgot to go shopping, opened up the fridge, found the two old boxes of baking soda hanging around in the back, and has now decided to sell them as a grand, sumptuous buffet. 

No matter what pleasant marketing you hear or what glossy words come out of their mouths believe none of it. Question everything about them.  If I believed in god I would think she was playing some kind of cruel cosmic joke; I don’t and this isn’t funny at all. Neither will help our people or the people of the world.  Neither is a good choice, in fact despite what you hear, both are very bad choices. Call them out when they lie or are wrong; make them crawl for every inch they seek to gain. Most importantly, do not let them rewrite history, especially their own. They deserve no less for seeking such a high office and deserve even more scrutiny once they hold it.

A less sizable portion of the population will have an interest in the smaller parties. You won’t hear much about them or the candidates from those parties. Corporate media completely shuts them out, they have no voice on election commissions, and most laws make it very hard from them to function.  Money also keeps them from progressing; our society requires large amounts of money to clear paths, build momentum, and bring in people. All of them are making gains since the proliferation of social media and online social networking. They are a long way from being viable- that is they can’t threaten major candidates yet, but everything has to have a beginning. People who vote for these parties or those that leave lines blank or choose to vote by write in, tend to be demonized, ostracized, and demeaned openly by both the two largest parties and candidates and supporters from those parties. This is a behavior I find most distasteful and reprehensible. This election season has been brutal in this respect.

If we really want people to be a part of the process, if we want them to vote, we should be coming from a place that supports that, no matter who the citizen chooses. I may not like that someone will vote for a fascist, but it undermines our process, it undermines the Republic, it undermines us ever getting to a representative Democracy if you do not honor the right to choose freely and unencumbered.  

Knowing all of this, I think everyone should be asking themselves some tough questions:

·         How did a possible fascist ascend to the status of a nominee in one the major parties? What ties does this have to our sexist, racist, xenophobic past and present? What are we going to do about it?
·         Why is the other nominee doing so poorly faced with such an opponent?
·         Would the nation be better off with more parties that are only publicly funded? How do we make that happen?
·         Can we make our campaigns more efficient for our people and cut down run times for campaigning?
·         With both major party nominees being highly corporatist, how do we get money out of politics, when both parties seem more than willing to keep taking any cash no matter where it comes from?
·         How do we change how politics is covered when the media is corporate owned and controlled by so few?
·         How do we report, investigate, and audit, in a world where corporate interests control and manipulate information so readily? 
·         Are we being feminists when we trumpet one female candidate and ignore others because they are not part of a major or an opposing party?
·         Why are both major parties so opposed to a national voting holiday?
·         If we can get more people to vote and participate in the process, how do we make it easier for them to get elected to higher office, once they have experience, when the process we have now prevents that at every turn?
·         How do we get the entrenched elites to hand over the mantle to younger voices more in tune with the present concerns of society?
 This is hardly a complete list, but it is a good start.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. That is up to you. I can make you no promises and unlike so many in the political world, I cannot tell you our future. That depends so much on what every citizen does now and what they will do. I will offer this advice before I go. Try new things. Learn new things. Be around people who aren’t like you. If you aren’t involved in your neighborhood or community look for ways you could connect to it. If you are unplugged, plug in and if you are plugged in all the time, unplug.  Serve on committees or task forces or councils. Donate your time to non-profits. Run for local office and keep trying if you don’t make it the first time.  Find as many things as you can to enjoy and do them often.  

 Question everyone and everything. Vote in every election, no matter how crazy the candidates seem.  Find ones you like and support them.  All of these things will strengthen us and fortify our spirit, as individuals and as a nation. We’ll need that because in four months when I reconnect, no matter who will be in the oval office next year, we will have the fight of our lives on our hands. I imagine anything before will seem like child’s play. See you all in four months when I’m recharged and reloaded.

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk via / CC BY-NC

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Monday, July 04, 2016

2016 Trustees Report Confirms That Expanding Social Security Is Fully Affordable

"According to the new report, Social Security is 100 percent funded for the next eighteen years. It is 95 percent funded for the next 25 years. It is 87 percent funded for the next fifty years. And 84 percent funded for the next three-quarters of a century.The projected shortfall over the next three-quarters of a century amounts to just 0.95 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In contrast, military spending after the 9/11 terrorist attack increased 1.1 percent of GDP virtually overnight. Spending on public education nationwide went up 2.8 percent of GDP between 1950 and 1975, when the baby boom generation showed up as school children."Nancy Altman Founding Co-director, Social Security Works

Photo credit: DonkeyHotey via / CC BY

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We Waste An Insane Amount Of Food. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

“With over 4,200 U.S. stores, we are asking Walmart, one of America’s largest retailers, to do something simple, effective and good for the retailers’ and customers’ bottom line,” the petition states. “One out of six Americans is food insecure, and more than four out of five is produce-deficient. With statistics like this, it is simply irresponsible to encourage waste of good, healthy and perfectly edible food.”

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Homeownership In The U.S. Has Plummeted, But Not By Choice

“The question is not so much whether families will want to buy homes in the future, but whether they will be able to do so,” Chris Herbert, the managing director of JCHS

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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Thousands Gather On The National Mall To Show Atheism Isn't A Bad Word

While recent surveys have shown rapid growth in the number of religious “nones” — people who identify as religiously unaffiliated or simply don’t believe in God — this segment of the U.S. population remains woefully unrepresented in Congress. Out of the more than 500 congressional representatives, not a single one has publicly expressed that he or she doesn’t believe in God. Only one member — Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — lists herself as religiously unaffiliated. More than 90 percent of Congress identifies as Christian. Nick Wing

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Universal Basic Income: Why It Is Not Crazy And Not Going Away

"And so to this relatively new idea: universal basic income. The core principle is that everybody gets a guaranteed income that is enough to live on, whether they are poor or rich, employed or not. They can earn as much more as they want, if they can find the work, but their basic needs are covered." Gwynne Dyer

(Photo: Timo Burghes/cc/flickr)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 NH Progressive Summit Sat June 25th Southern NH University

From GSP:

We are excited to announce that the 2016 NH Progressive Summit will be Saturday, June 25th at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester!

Co-hosted by Granite State Progress and the NH Citizens Alliance for Action, along with many other sponsoring organizations, this annual event provides space for new and existing activists to come together and hear from inspiring speakers, as we collectively learn, train, and mobilize for the many issue and electoral challenges and opportunities we face together.

Last year’s NH Progressive Summit theme was “Investing in Our Future.” This year’s theme is “Standing on the Brink.” Our state and country are at a critical juncture, and the decisions we make in the near future will have lasting implications for the legacy we leave behind us. Whether it’s advancing pro-active legislation at the state and federal level, guarding against conservative rhetoric, or challenging corporate political corruption of our legislative and electoral process – the 2016 NH Progressive Summit will confront the diverging paths forward and what we can do.

The 2016 NH Progressive Summit will be a jam-packed, action-oriented, day-long event, with workshops and fabulous speakers – you won’t want to miss it! Registration is $25 per participant for a full day or $15 for a half day in advance or $35 at the door, with a limited number of scholarships available.

More information will be available shortly. In the meantime, visit the NH Progressive Summit website to learn more about past summits, or to get registered. See you there!

In progress,
Zandra, Tim C., Tim, and the rest of the Granite State Progress team

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There’s Been A Startling Rise In Suicide Rates In The U.S.

“Suicide is not just a mental health issue — it is a public health issue, and it is preventable. There are quite a few programs that have been shown to effectively prevent suicide, and at the CDC we are continuing to evaluate innovative suicide prevention strategies.” Kristin Holland, a behavioral scientist in the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention Surveillance.

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Saturday, May 07, 2016

Medical Error Is Third Biggest Cause Of Death In The US, Experts Say

“Sound scientific methods, beginning with an assessment of the problem, are critical to approaching any health threat to patients. The problem of medical error should not be exempt from this scientific approach.” Researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine

Photo credit: Seluryar via / CC BY-SA

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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Show #Solidarity With Striking #Workers At Verizon-May 5th Day Of Action

Support the men and women on strike for good jobs at Verizon and Verizon Wireless.
  National Day of Action on May 5. 

From Stand Up To Verizon:

Save the Date! Join us for a May 5 National Day of Action to fight for good jobs at Verizon and Verizon Wireless.

We'll be back in touch soon with more information about actions at Verizon Wireless stores near you and how you can join the fight online.

40,000 men and women are still on strike at Verizon and Verizon Wireless determined to fight for as long as it takes to protect good jobs.

This strike is bigger than Verizon. It's about protecting good, hometown jobs in this country. It's about securing a brighter future for our families and our communities. It's about standing up to a handful of rich and powerful interests to make sure the needs of working families are met.
That's why it's so important for all of us to stand with the working people at Verizon and Verizon Wireless.

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Exploitation Of #Animals For Human Entertainment Is Cruel -NH Ringling Bros.Circus #Protest: May 2016

Please join us as we protest the Ringling Bros. Circus coming to Manchester, New Hampshire.

The exploitation of animals for human entertainment is cruel and is not entertainment.

Posters will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.

May 5th 5:30-7pm
May 6th 5:30-7pm
May 7th 1:30-3pm
May 8th 1030am -12pm.

Verizon Wireless Arena: 555 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101

Parking is available on the street or in the parking garage near by.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Senator @WoodburnJeff Praises House Vote To Protect Victims Of Unauthorized Disclosure Of Sexually Explicit Images


Following the House passage of SB 465, which closes a loophole in current law in order to protect victims of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, Sen. Jeff Woodburn released the following statement:

 “Disclosure of sexually explicit material without consent and for no legitimate purpose causes immediate, devastating, and potentially irreversible harm to victims of this crime,” said Senator Woodburn. “Unfortunately, rapid advances in technology have created a loophole in our state laws that prevent prosecution of this crime. SB 465 closes this loophole and establishes a penalty for this devastating crime.” 

 “The ability of people to gain access to and distribute private, sexually explicit material has raised all sorts of issues that we could have never imagined even just a few years ago. Police and prosecutors are seeing an increase in these types of crimes, but need the tools to protect victims of this crime.”

 “I thank the House for their swift approval of this important legislation and for supporting the victims of this devastating crime.”


April 20, 2016
Contact: Ryan Mahoney

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