In tonight’s video, Cilantro Boombox perform “Fears Away” in the woods at Utopiafest 2014. Cilantro Boombox’s rock and Afro-Latin based sound organically integrates elements of hip-hop,…
Category: MintPress News
Welcome to the first of my “bits and pieces” posts on Approximately 8,000 Words. It’s modeled after the Watercooler posts I made on Firedoglake from 2012 until my departure last week. For now, I’m calling them my Daily Ephemera. I’ll try to share a video, a link or two, and something from Twitter.
Tonight’s video is “The Verse,” a rather wonderful short fan film based on Firefly.
Written for fans and by fans who are inspired by the cult sci-fi series Firefly, An exciting new look at this beloved world featuring a new crew, a new ship and a heaping dose of misbehavin’!
Directed by Julian Higgins (@JulianHiggins)
Hunter: Ryan Caldwell (@rycaldwell)
Stack: Jennifer Wenger (@JennyWenger)
Yoke: Peter Weidman (@PeterWeidman)
Maribelle: Tybee Diskin (@hellotybeeren)
Rusty: Zack Finfrock (@ZackFinfrock)
Annie: Alex Marshall-Brown (@amarshallbrown)
Chow: Ewan Chung (@ewanchung)
Commodore Woodruff: Vic Mignogna (@vicmignogna)
Cyclists in Toronto fed up with motorists illegally parking in bike lanes are striking back – by placing stickers on cars to shame drivers into think twice about doing so in future. […] The green stickers, which cost C$5 a roll, have the words “I parked in a bike lane” on them, together with the hashtag, #IParkedInABikeLane. They were thought up by a pair of anonymous cyclists who say on their Tumblr page:
“#IParkedInABikeLane was started out of frustration for the blatant disregard for cyclists and cycling infrastructure in Toronto. The concept is simple – you see a vehicle parked in a bike lane, you slap a sticker on it. The intention isn’t to cause damage or vandalize (the stickers don’t damage anything anyway) – it’s to get drivers to think twice about what they are doing and perhaps change their actions in the future. Parking and driving in bike lanes is not only inconsiderate and selfish, but also incredibly dangerous, especially for cyclists who are not comfortable integrating with the flow of traffic.”
From Mint Press News: On MyMPN, Adam Powell’s report on how Carly’s Law could revolutionize the lives of Alabama children suffering from extreme forms of epilepsy through access to an experimental drug derived from cannabis:
Carly’s Law, which unanimously passed the Alabama House and Senate in May, allows the University of Alabama at Birmingham to research the medical uses of cannabidiol, or CBD oil, and provide it to eligible recipients.
CBD oil has proved effective in other states for limiting, if not completely eliminating, seizures and improving patient’s quality of life. Many families have moved from Alabama, Georgia and other states to Colorado just to have access to this treatment option.
Carly’s Law is named after Carly Chandler, a three year old who suffers from daily debilitating seizures, and received wide support from many families who need the medication for their children.
When moves were being made in the Alabama statehouse earlier this year, Wayne Young was on the front-lines knocking on doors and speaking with whoever would listen. While both Amy and Wayne [Young] will acknowledge, CBD oil is “not a magical drug,” but could provide [daughter] Leni Young, and thousands of other Alabama children, with comfort while also relieving her pain and eliminating her seizures.
And a Republican legislator led the way!
One of Carly’s Law’s biggest political advocates was Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, who met Leni and Carly while pushing the bill through the statehouse.
He can recall the day perfectly.
“It was kind of strange when that picture (of Ball and Leni) was taken,” Ball said. “That’s the only time I’ve ever gotten to hold her.”
Ball was in quiet reflection when Amy approached him and placed Leni in his arms.
“I held that baby and we were praying and it was like we were all alone,” Ball recalled. “It’s one of those unique moments I’ll always remember.”
This was one of the most moving stories I’ve edited. Now if we can just find a way to get our legislators to hold Palestinian babies or border children.
Activism in the 21st century …
— Jordan Mammo (@jordanmammo) September 22, 2014
Love and solidarity from Approximately 8,000 Words to everyone that took part in Flood Wall Street today!
On Aug. 5, Missouri residents voted on the state’s Right-to-Farm, Amendment 1, a new addition to the state’s bill of rights. The results were extremely close: 498,751 voted in favor of the new amendment, while 496,223 opposed it. With a difference of less than half a percent, a recount is almost certain.
Though the Humane Society of the United States donated $375,000 in opposition, the amendment had the financial backing of Big Agriculture and its deep pockets as well as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the secretive organization which writes legislation on behalf of major corporations.
That the bill came so close to defeat is a testament to the efforts of grassroots Missouri activists like the members of People’s Visioning, a coalition of diverse progressive organizations led by Columbia, Missouri, resident Monta Welch. MintPress News spoke with Welch and other members of her coalition as they rested from what they described as an exhausting campaign and considered what their next steps might be if the recount fails.
Welch explained that the conflict was essentially between large agricultural factories and consumers increasingly concerned with the sustainability and ethics behind the food they eat.
We’d gathered at Eddie Deen’s Ranch to interrupt the American Legislative Exchange Council at dinner. I was wearing a pink cowboy hat, temporarily inducted into the CODEPINK Posse, an effort organized by the local branch of the well-known national rabble rousers for peace. About 30 of us stood along the sidewalk outside the Ranch, watched by a half-dozen police officers looking bored, a chatty police detective and a pair of startled horses held by two men dressed as cowboys. Overhead, an airplane circled, towing a warning about corporate corruption.
Powerful people in suits laughed at us and snapped smartphone photos as they disembarked from the chartered buses they rode to the Western-themed restaurant. It was July 31 and ALEC was in town for its 41st meeting. After the first of several days of corporate backroom deals at the Hilton Anatole, ALEC’s members wanted to pretend they were cowboys while they ate.
The buses kept coming and out poured some of the world’s most powerful: corporate executives, rich investors, state legislators and their families. Though they’d normally disdain public transportation — when they aren’t orchestrating cuts against it in the name of austerity — I imagined the atmosphere on the bus was jovial, as if the “1%” was on a field trip.
CODEPINK are no strangers to using humor to fight evil. Duded up in pink Western-wear, with faux handcuffs and a “RUN ALEC OUT OF TEXAS” banner, they were aiming for laughter. As the suits’ humor peaked, CODEPINK Dallas — mostly older women — began chanting, “WE MAY BE FUNNY, BUT YOU ARE CORRUPT!”
Speaking out is thirsty, thankless work in the Texas heat. After two hours, a Ranch worker dressed as a cowboy brought us all bottled water.
In his recent article “Code Pink Stages Mini Protest at ALEC National Conference,” Breitbart.com’s California correspondent Jon Fleischman fabricates an encounter with an activist, erases a full day of anti-corporate protest, and makes a major source of corporate corruption in American state politics seem like a benign force for social good — all in just 250 words.
ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has helped corporations and rich private investors pass conservative legislation for over 40 years. The legislation is written by the corporations, then passed by conservative state legislators selected and groomed by the group. The group has faced increasing criticism and protest in recent years, especially since the 2011 publication of the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, a site with hundreds of these model bills and a partial membership list of the organization. Several corporate members have dropped out of the group under this pressure.
Among other policies, ALEC lobbies for the privatization of education and police and undermines laws that encourage the use of renewable energy. It also crafted the Stand Your Ground legislation that may have contributed to the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman.
Fleischman describes seeing a small group of protesters led by CODEPINK Dallas outside the cowboy-themed restaurant Eddie Deen’s Ranch, where ALEC held a kick-off dinner on the first night of its 41st national conference. Since the article features a photo of the group from inside the restaurant’s property, it’s clear that Fleischman was present on the night of July 30, 2014. But the rest departs significantly from reality.