PALESTINE = NON-MEMBER UN STATE

Thursday, November 29, 2012 – exactly 65 years after passing the Partition Plan for Palestine, the General Assembly voted by a huge majority to recognize Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status in the organization.  138 countries voted in favour of the resolution, 41 abstained and 9 voted against:  United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Panama, The Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, and Micronesia – what do they know that the other 138 countries that voted in favour of the resolution don’t?  Isn’t the UN resolution a step to a peaceful resolution between Israel and Palestine and the Middle East?  Here are the reactions to from some of the countries that voted no:

“unfortunate and couterproductive…only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestines and Israelis achieve the peace that both deserve:  two states for people, with a sovereign, viable, independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel.” Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

“The UN was founded to advance the cause of peace.  Today the Palestines are turning their back on peace.  Don’t let history record that today the UN helped them along on their march of folly.”Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor.

“The path to peace has historically rested in direct negotiations between the two parties to resolve all outstanding issues and it remains the same today.  Solutions can only come through the two sides working together….This resolution will not advance the cause of peace or spur a return to negotiations.  Will the Palestinian people be better off as a result? No.  On the contrary, this unilateral step will harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations while doing nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.” – Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird.

“Progress towards a just and lasting two-state solution cannot be made by pressing a green voting button here in this hall.”  – U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice

Here is a brief History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,,720353,00.html)

The Ottoman Empire

During the fourteenth century the Turkic peoples, who had moved west from the Steppes of central Asia, settled in the Anatolian peninsula (modern-day Turkey) and started to conquer surrounding states.  In 1516 they conquered the east coast of the Mediterranean.  At its zenith, about 1680, the Ottoman empire ran from Vienna to the Gulf and from the Caspian Sea to Morocco in north-west Africa.

1914 – 1918

The Ottoman sided with Germany during the first World War and the British supported an Arab revolt against the Ottomans promising them self-rule.  The British also promised the Jews a homeland in Palestine – the then foreign secretary, Lord Balfour, issuing a declaration in 1917. 

1918

The Arabs took over Syria led by Prince Faysal ibn Husayn of the Arabian Hashemite dynasty.  After the war, the League of Nations granted France and Britain control (‘mandates’) over former Ottoman territories.  France was given Syria; Britain got a mandate over what became Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jordan.

1921

The British divided their mandate in two – East of the river Jordan became the Emirate of Transjordan and was ruled by Faysal’s brother, ‘Abdullah.  West of the Jordan, became the Palestine mandate and remained under British control.

1930’s

Jewish immigration to the Holy Land, which had been going on since the 1880’s, increased just before the second World War due to the persecution of European Jews by the Nazis and subsequent Holocaust.  The local Arabs wanted to limit the numbers arriving.  There were clashes between the Jewish immigrants and Palestines supported by neighbouring Arab states.

1947

Britain gave up its mandate and the United Nations took over supervision.  The UN suggested two states: one Arab, one Jewish.  The Jews accepted; the Arabs rejected the plan.  David Ben-Gurion declared the foundation of the state of Israel on May 15, 1948.  Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan invaded but were beaten back.

1949

The Jews had extended, the area proposed for them by the UN.  In 1956, Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power in Egypt, Nasser integrated the armies of Egypt and Syria and nationalised the European-owned Suez canal.

1956

Israel joined with Britain and France and on October 29, 1956, invaded the Sinai peninsula in Egypt.  Later that same year, international pressure forced the Israelis to give up Sinai and the UK and France to remove their troops from the Suez canal.

1964

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was founded.  After the debacle of the six-day war, it reformed.  Under the chairmanship of Yasser Arafat, it claimed to be the sole representative of the Palestinian people and it vowed to reclaim their land and destroy the state of Israel.

1967

The six-day war.  Hostilities between Israel and its neighbours continued and both sides built up their military strength.  On June 5, 1967 – Israel launched a ‘preemptive strike’ against the Arab troops along its borders.  Israel seized the Sinai from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan.  Talks have centred around a return to pre-1967 borders ever since.

1973

The Yom Kippur war, On October 6, 1973 – Syria and Egypt launched a surprise attack on Israeli-held lands to coincide with the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.  After initial losses, the Israelis regained nearly all of the territory they occupied during the six-day war.  Syria stationed troops in Lebanon in 1976.

1979

The US combined diplomacy with financial muscle to soften relations between Egypt and Israel.  In 1979, the Egyptian president – Anwar Sadat, signed a mutual recognition pact with Israel and Sinai was returned to Egypt.

1981

Israel formally annexed the Golan Heights.  In response to terrorist attacks on northern towns, Israel invaded Lebanon as far north as Beirut on June 6, 1982.  In 1985, Israel withdrew from most of Lebanon but maintained a ‘security zone’ along the border policed by Israeli soldiers and members of the South Lebanese Army. 

1987

During the early 1980’s, the establishment of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank continued systematically.  In 1987, the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza launched the intifada (popular uprising) against Israeli occupation.

1993

The Oslo Accords were agreed, which provided for mutual recognition between the PLO and the state of Israel, and limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza.  Jordan signed a peace deal with Israel.  May 2000:  Israel withdrew from Lebanon, but Hizbullah guerrillas harried the retreating Israelis, and members of the South Lebanese Army had to flee with their families into Israel.

October 2000

Violence flared across the West Bank and Gaza Strip after Ariel Sharon made a provocative visit to the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound.  Palestinian Authority police traded fire with Israeli soldiers – many were killed, hundreds injured:  most of the casualties were Arabs, The death of 12-year old Palestinian Mohammed al-Durrah shot dead, apparently by Israeli troops, was broadcast around the world.

2000 – 2002

By the end of 2000, over 300 people were dead.  Ariel Sharon became the Prime Minister of Israel in February 2001.  After September 11, violence escalated as Israel pursued its own ‘war on terrorism’.  2002:  Tensions rose and many were killed on both sides when Palestinian militants launched a new wave of suicide bombings and Israel occupied a large part of the West Bank.

2003

The road map peace plan to a two-state solution started with US-backed Mahmoud Abbas becoming Palestinian Prime Minister.  Palestinian militants announced a ceasefire but Israel continued to kill militant leaders.  Mr. Abbas left office after a power struggle with Mr. Arafat.  Israel continued with its West Bank ‘security fence’.  A suicide attack in Haifa prompted Israel to bomb a camp in Syria.

2004

Israel continues building its security fence roughly along its pre-1967 borders but with loops into Palestinian areas.  Ariel Sharon announces a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and a re-commitment to the biggest Jewish settlements in the West Bank.  Just over 4 million Palestinians, who fled Israeli expansion and the 1967 war, are still in exile in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

All about timelines courtesy of http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,,720353,00.html

My personal thoughts in the UN resolution…..

I don’t claim to have the greatest understanding of the Israeli/Arab conflict but I do know that 138 countries in support of a UN resolution that recognizes Palestine as a non-member state with observer status, is a step in the right direction.  I know that the Palestinian and Israeli people want an end to the violence – and this a pro-active step in the peace process.  The countries that voted ‘no’ or that have abstained from voting are sending a message that is counter productive to the peace process and that gives hope for a positive resolution for all involved.  By voting ‘NO’ or abstaining from voting (especially against the majority) you are giving a clear message that you do not want to be inclusive and seem to be against a peaceful resolution.  

The UN has clearly given me hope that a democracy can work for the greater good – now all we have to do is send our positive energies (love, compassion, non-judgement) into the universe and pray that this resolution is the beginning to a long-lasting and tolerant co-existence between Arabs and Israelis.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one! 

SONG OF THE WEEK

The song I chose for ‘Song of the Week’ this week is by the ‘Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul’ – Mary J. Blige.

Mary J. Blige was born in The Bronx, New York, USA on January 11, 1971.  She has amassed album sales of over 50 million worldwide and over 15 million singles.  Billboard has ranked her the most successful R&B artist of the past 25 years.  Billboard has also named her 2006 hit single “Be Without You” as R&B song of the 2000’s, as it spent a unparalled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Mary wears many different hats – entrepreneur, philanthropist, actress, entertainer, diva, artist and songstress.  Whatever hat she wears – she can do no wrong.  Her live performances leave you breathless and wanting more.  There have been talks of Mary J. Blige portraying Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic – I would be very interested to hear Mary J. Blige performing the Nina Simone’s classic hits.

Albums (not including Greatest Hits/Compilations) – Chart:  Billboard 200

  • What’s The 411? (1992) – # 6 (3.4 million US)
  • My Life (1994) – # 7 (2.8 million US)
  • Share My World (1997) – # 1  (3.5 million US)
  • Mary (1999) – #2 (2.1 million US)
  • No More Drama (2001) – # 2 (3.1 million US)
  • Love & Life (2003) – # 1 (1 million US)
  • The Breakthrough (2005) – # 1 (3.1 million US)
  • Growing Pains (2007) – # 1 (1.6 million US)
  • Stronger with Each Tear (2009) – # 2 (900,000 US)
  • My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act 1) (2011) – # 5 (625,000)

The song I chose from Mary J. Blige is an Elton John cover written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin called, “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”.  I first saw her perform this song during a telecast of the Fashion Rocks show in 2004.  The song was included in the soundtrack of the move, Bridget Jones:  The Edge of Reason.  Here is the Fashion Rocks live performance of Mary J. Blige singing “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”.  Enjoy!

Audio:

For more information (latest news, tour, merchandise, complete discography), please visit Mary J. Blige’s official website:

 

TOO HOT TOO HANDLE!

There has been much controversy surrounding ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’.  Many skeptics believe that evidence does not support claims that the planet is warming – so why bother worrying about the ‘what if’s’.  What is the extent of the scientific consensus of global warming?  It is 95% – could 95% of the scientific community be wrong?  I would rather take my chances in believing the scientists and work towards solutions to combat this problem.  

Many people figure that there is no big deal if the planet warms by a few degrees – they should.  In 1995, Chicago experienced the worst heat wave in decades.  Temperatures approached 106 degrees for more than 6 consecutive days, killing 800 people.  In Europe in 2003 a heat wave killed 6,000 people in Germany, 14,000 in France and 19,000 in Italy.  Why was this not given more media attention?  Is it because we are to pre-occupied with materialism and things that will continue to contribute to the global warming epidemic.  Heat wave deaths are predicted to double by 2020 if global warming is not curbed.

Global warming is caused when heat is trapped on earth’s surface.  Sunlight comes through our atmosphere and gets absorbed by the surface of the earth.  The surface heats up but the heat doesn’t escape into space because it is blocked by greenhouse gases (water vapour and carbon dioxide).  The concern is not with the natural greenhouse effect but that mankind is changing it with our dependency on burning coal, oil and gas.  Scientists are sure that we are changing the climate in the forseeable future, what they are not sure of is if we can live with those changes.  Currently, global warming is responsible for the following:

  • Oceans becoming warmer (this increases evaporation causing more rain).
  • Less moderate rainfalls in the U.S.A. and more increased heavy rainfalls.
  • Decrease/depletion of drinking water due to lack of snowpacks (since 1950, spring snowpack has declined by as much as 60%).
  • Weather extremes (more hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, forest fires)

If we do not do anything to curb/stop global warming, we will lose much more of our coral reefs, species will become extinct, there will be no glaciers left and see levels will rise above 150 feet – causing major devastation to many of the major populated areas around the coastline.

Many think that it is too expensive to do anything about global warming – so they do nothing which will transfer the cost to future generations.  Are our world governments doing all they can to help our planet in the fight against global warming? NO, THE ARE NOT!!!!  Governments cater to the big oil conglomerates and the auto industry the reap the benefits of pushing oil.  We must demand action from our government to stop our dependency on oil and other corporations that have no interest in our environment.  We need to ensure our governments work towards building a future that relies on sustainable energy, like solar and wind.  We need to ask  the automobile industry to create more affordable hybrid and electric vehicles.  Going green will save the economy – by creating more ‘greener’ jobs and initiatives that will help our planet. 

It is imperative that we stand up and fight for this planet – it should be our governments top priority (not spending billions of dollars on starting/fighting wars).  We need a healthy and vibrant world – we need to be able to continue to breathe fresh air and have clean water to drink.  A more sustainable planet is not only the responsibility of our governments and big corporations, it is also up to us!  We must stop the demand of BIGGER televisions, BIGGER cars, BIGGER trucks etc.  We must stop using chemicals that pollute our waterways, rivers, lakes and oceans – the better substitutes are available.  We have to stop becoming a ‘throw away’ society and focus on creating products that will not harm the planet further.

There are many things you can do to help in the fight against global warming – such as the things I have mentioned above like;  buying more fuel-efficient cars (hybrid/electric), stop buying household cleaners that pollute our waters and use greener solutions and recycle.  But the most important thing you can do is let you Member of Parliament know that you will not vote for them if their top priority isn’t making our planet the top priority.

The following documentaries are great movies to help you understand the topic of global warming (please watch and share them):

  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • The Age of Stupid
  • Carbon Nation
  • Global Warming:  The Signs of the Science
  • Five Ways to Save the World

Be on the lookout for Chasing Ice – a new documentary following National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers and their effects on the planet.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

ELECTRIC CARS – History and Myths

The inventor of the electric car (also know as the EV) is uncertain and several inventors have been given credit.  In 1828, Hungarian Anyos Jedlik invented a small-scale model car powered by an electric motor that he designed.  Sometime between 1832 and 1839 (the exact year is uncertain), Robert Anderson invented a crude electric-powered carriage.  In 1835, another small-scale electric car was designed by Professor Stratingh of Groningen, Holland, and built by his assistant – Christopher Becker.  Also in 1835, Thomas Davenport, a blacksmith from Brandon, Vermont built a small-scale electric car.  Davenport was also the inventor of the first American-built DC electric motor.

For more on the history of EV’s – please visit www.electricvehiclesnews.com/history

There has been much controversy of the electric car – and we have to wonder why those skeptics are down-playing the efficiency of these EV’s.  Are they hired by the BIG oil and automotive companies to make the public skeptical about EV’s?  Are the positive claims about EV’s (better for environment and cheaper than cars that run on gas) even true?  Plug-In-America is and advocacy group that seeks to inform the public and shape the policy regarding all aspects of electric and plug-in electric vehicles.  Plug-In-America’s website  www.pluginamerica.org has great information about electric vehicles and their specs, along with the companies that are making these EV’s.  They have debunked 12 myths about electric vehicles:

12 Myths About Electric Vehicles (EV’s)

MYTH:  EV’s don’t have enough range.  You will be stranded when you run out of electricity.

FACT:  Americans drive an average of 40 miles per day, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Most new Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) have a range of at least double that and can be charged at any ordinary electrical outlet (120V) or publicly accessible station with a faster charger.  The latter, already in use, will proliferate as the plug-in infrastructure is built out.  At present, all it takes is planning for Electric Vehicles (EV) owners, who can travel up to 120 miles on a single charge, to use their cars on heavy travel days.  Alternatively, a Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) goes at least 300 miles on a combination of electricity and gasoline.

MYTH:  EV’s are good for short city trips only.

FACT:  Consumers have owned and driven EV’s for seven years or more regularly use them for trips of up to 120 miles.

MYTH:  EV’s just replace the tailpipe with a smokestack.

FACT:   Even today, with 52% of U.S. electricity generated by coal-fired power plants, plug-in cars reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and most other pollutants compared with conventional gas or hybrid vehicles.  Plug-ins can run on renewable electricity from sources such as the sun or wind.  PHEV’s will reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions, even if the source of electricity is mostly coal, a 2007 study by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and NRDC showed.  Read the summary of some 30 studies, analyses and presentations on this topic.

MYTH:  The charging infrastructure must be built before people will adopt EV’s.

FACT:  Most charging will be done at home, so a public charging infrastructure isn’t a prerequisite.  Still, a robust infrastructure will help, especially for apartment dwellers and those regularly driving long distances.  But at least seven companies are competing to dominate the public-charging-station market and a trade group representing the nation’s electric utilities has pledged to “aggressively” create the infrastructure to support “full-scale commercialization and deployment” of plug-ins. 

On personal note – I regularly visit Montreal, Quebec 2 or 3 times a year and have noticed that most highway service centres have converted their gas-stations to include ‘charging stations’ for EV’s.

MYTH:  The grid will crash if millions of plug-ins charge at once.

FACT:  Off-peak electricity production and transmission capacity could fuel the daily commutes of 73% of all cars, light trucks, SUV’s and vans on the road today if they were PHEV’s, a 2007 study by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found.  Also, utilities are upgrading some local distribution systems to accommodate plug-ins, just as they do when residents add more air conditioners and TV’s.  Plug-ins, which can be seen as energy storage devices on wheels, can actually benefit the grid, making green energies like solar and wind power even more viable.

MYTH:  Battery chemicals are bad for the environment and can’t be recycled.

FACT:  Ninety-nine percent of batteries in conventional cars are recycled, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The metals in newer batteries are more valuable and recycling programs are already being developed for them.  Utilities plan to use batteries for energy storage once they are no longer viable in a vehicle.

MYTH:  Ev’s take too long to charge.

FACT:  The most conventional place and time to charge is at home while you sleep.  Even using the slowest 120-volt outlet, the car can be left to charge overnight, producing about 40 miles of range.  Most new BEV’s and PHEV’s will charge from 240-volt outlets providing double or triple the charge in the same amount of time.  Charging stations that reduce charging time even more are beginning to appear.

MYTH:  Plug-ins are too expensive for market penetration.

FACT:  New technologies are typically costly.  Remember when cell phones and DVD’s were introduced?  Also, the government stimulus package includes a $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit for EV’s and PHEV’s.  Some states are considering additional incentives ($5,000 in California and Texas).  And, the purchase and lifetime operating cost of an EV is on par with or less than its gas-powered equivalent because EV’s require almost no maintenance or repair; no oil or filter changes, no tune ups, no smog checks.

MYTH:  Batteries will cost $15,000 to replace after only a few years.

FACT:  The battery is the priciest part of a plug-in, but costs will drop as production increases and the auto industry is expected to be purchasing up to $25 billion in advanced batteries annually by 2015.  Some car makers plan to lease their batteries, so replacement won’t be an issue.  The Chevy Volt PHEV will have a 10-year battery warranty that would cover battery replacement.

MYTH:  There isn’t enough lithium in the world to make all the new batteries.

FACT:  Even in a worst-case scenario of zero battery recycling, aggressive EV sales, no new mining methods or sites, existing lithium stores will be sufficient for projected EV production for the next 75 years.  See an analysis at Plugin America.org.  Also, lithium comes from many countries (24% is found in the United States), so we won’t be dependent on any one global region.

MYTH:  Lithium batteries are dangerous and can explode.

FACT:  Among the many kinds of lithium-ion batteries, lithium-cobalt batteries found in consumer electronics can pose a fire risk in certain circumstances.  These risks can be mitigated by the use of advanced-battery management systems and careful design that prevents thermal runaway.  Most plug-in vehicle makers are working with other battery types (such as lithium-iron phosphate and lithium-manganese) which have inherent safety advantages and provide more years of service.

MYTH:  Most of us will still be driving gas cars through 2050.

FACT:  Several irrefutable factors are driving the shift from gasoline to plug-in vehicles:  ever-toughening federal fuel economy standards and state caps on greenhouse gas emissions; projected price hikes for petroleum products as demand increases and supply flattens or drops; broad agreement over the need for America to reduce its reliance on petroleum for economic and national security reasons; and current climate change, which occurring faster than previously thought, according to the journal of Science and others.

We usually tend to rely on others to sway our perceptions on anything – especially the media.  If the media constantly indicated that EV’s are great economically and environmentally – we would all be lining up for the latest EV’s.  This would start a chain reaction of companies creating cars with more efficient batteries, longer ranges, etc….it would also allow governments/utilities to create more charging stations.  So why the hesitation?  Why can’t are governments end the bullying from BIG oil and the auto industry and just try.  What harm  is there in trying and who will this hurt?  Those that are making outrageous profits on are dependency on oil???  I’m ready for an EV, are you?

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

Resources:

www.pluginamerica.org

www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com

www.teslamotors.com

www.magna.com

ASPARTAME…What Is It and Is It Good For You????

Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as sugar substitute in some foods and beverages.  In the European Union, it is codified as E951.  Aspartame is a methyl ester of the aspartic acid/phenylalanine dipeptide – WHAT????

Okay – to make this easier, let’s look at the main ingredients in aspartame.  It is compromised of 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid and 10% methanol.  So what are these ingredients and why should I care?

Phenylalanine

Even a single use of Aspartame raises the blood phenylalanine levels.  High blood phenylalanine can be concentrated in parts of the brain and is especially dangerous for infants and fetuses.  Because it is metabolized much more efficiently by rodents than humans, testing and research on rats alone is not sufficient enough to denounce the dangers of Aspartame for human consumption.  Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain cause serotonin levels to decrease, leading to emotional disorders like depression.Aspartic Acid

Aspartic acid is considered an excito-toxin, which means it over stimulates certain neurons in the body until they die.  Much like nitrates and MSG, aspartic acid can cause amino acid imbalances in the body and result in the interruption of normal neurotransmitter metabolism of the brain.Methanol

 Becomes Formaldehyde better known as embalming fluid.  The most prominent danger of Aspartame is that when ingested, the methanol (wood alcohol) is distributed throughout the body, including the brain, muscle, fat and nervous tissues, and is then metabolized to form formaldehyde, which enters cells and binds to proteins and genetic material (DNA). Methanol is a dangerous neurotoxin and a known carcinogen, which causes retinal damage in the eye, interferes with DNA processes, and can cause birth defects.

Aspartame is best known by their brand names; NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet One and Spoonful and is consumed by over 1 billion people.  There have been many claims that aspartame has been linked to cause weight gain, seizures, migraines, heart attacks, strokes and cancer.  Health Canada debunks allegations that aspartame has no negative health implications and that it can be “safely consumed by most healthy individuals”.  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/addit/sweeten-edulcor/aspartame-eng.php

 Over 200 studies have concluded that aspartame is relatively safe to consume without any serious side-effects.  Who do we believe?  What studies are accurate?  I believe that we are not meant to put chemicals into our bodies – anything that is created in a laboratory can’t be good to ingest.  From personal experience – I remember how drinking artificial beverages such as; Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Diet-Coke, Diet-Pepsi, Coke Zero, etc…have made me feel – I definitely suffered migraines.  I also know that drinking diet-soda was not an effective tool for weight loss. 
 
My advice – do a study yourself.  Eliminate diet-soda and artificial sweeteners for a month (you may have a bit of anxiety and irritability due to the withdrawal) – take note of how you feel.  Are you more alert, do you have more energy, etc…After a period of about two-months, re-introduce your body to the artificial sweeteners and record how you feel after a day, a week, a few weeks, a month etc….have you noticed anything different?  Have you suffered weight-gain, headaches, mood swings, dizziness etc….Don’t rely on anyone else to let you know what your body is telling you.  The best source to indicate whether or not something is good for you – is your body.  Listen to it, what is it telling you?
 
Sources:
 
 
 

PROFILES: Representative John Lewis and Julia Butterfly Hill

I can’t imagine a world where people of colour did not have the same rights and privileges that white people had.  I am inspired by the bravery and commitment of those who faced threats of violence and even death to ensure they had the same rights as everyone else – imagine a world where people of colour could not use the same water fountain or bathroom, that was a reality less than 45 years ago.  SICKENING!

I am so grateful for those that rose up and demanded to have those same rights and liberties as everyone else, people like; Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and John Lewis.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN LEWIS

John Lewis was born on February 21, 1940 outside Troy, Alabama, USA.

As a young boy, he was inspired by the activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

As a student at Fisk University, John Lewis organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.  In 1961, he volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals across the south.  Lewis risked his life on those Rides many times by simply sitting in seats reserved for white patrons.  He was also beaten severely by angry mobs and arrested by police for challenging the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the south.

In 1964, John Lewis coordinated SNCC efforts to organize voter registration drives and community action programs during the Mississippi Freedom Summer.  The following year, Lewis helped spearhead one of the most seminal moments of the Civil Rights Movement.  Hosea Williams, another notable Civil Rights Leader, and John Lewis led over 600 peaceful, orderly protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965.  They intended to march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in the state.  The marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers in a brutal confrontation that became know as “Bloody Sunday”.

Thank You so much – Representative John Lewis, for all the love and positive change you have given back to the world.

I am also inspired by those who act with complete love and passion for the goodness of our environment and overall health of our planet.  Many people who advocate for our environment and planet, face death and the limitless financial resources of Big Corporations.  Such a person is Julia Butterfly Hill.

JULIA BUTTERFLY HILL

Born on February 18, 1974 in Mount Vernon, Missouri USA.

For 738 days, Julia Butterfly Hill lived in the canopy of an ancient redwood tree, called Luna, to help make the world aware of the plight of ancient forests.  Her courageous act of civil disobedience gained international attention for the redwoods as well as other environmental and social justice issues and is chronicled in her book, The Legend of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods.

Julia, with the great help of steelworkers and environmentalists, successfully negotiated to permanently protect the 1,000 year-old tree and nearly three-acre buffer zone.  Her two-year vigil informed the public that only 3% of the ancient redwood forests remain and that the Headwaters Forest Agreement brokered by state and federal agencies and Pacific Lumber/Maxxam Corporation, will not adequately protect forests and species.

In 2006, Hill protested (along with Daryl Hannah), the sale of the South Central Farm in an attempt to save the 14-acre (57,000 m2) farm from developers.  South Central Farm, also known as the South Central Community Garden, was an urban farm and community garden located in an industrial area of South Los Angeles, California which was in operation between 1994 and 2006.

“By standing together in unity, solidarity and love we will heal the wounds in the earth and in each other.  We can make a positive difference through our actions” – Julia Butterfly Hill

For more information on Representative John Lewis, Julia Butterfly Hill or the South Central Community Garden, please visit the following sites:

johnlewis.house.gov

www.juliabutterfly.com

www.fiercelight.org

www.southcentralfarmers.com

the-garden

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

SONG OF THE WEEK

Adele is not only beautiful but has a voice to match her beauty.  I have chosen a song from her latest album – 21.  It is called “One and Only”.  This song showcases her brilliant vocal talent and all the emotion she instills into the words she sings.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do and I hope it inspires you to love, laugh and enjoy life to its fullest!

ONE AND ONLY

You’ve been on my mind
I grow fonder every day
Lose myself in time
Just thinking of your face

God only knows
Why it’s taken me so long
To let my doubts go
You’re the only one that I want

I don’t know why I’m scared
I’ve been here before
Every feeling, every word
I’ve imagined it all
You’ll never know, if you never try
To forgive your past, and simply be mine

I dare you to let me be, your
Your one and only
Promise I’m worth it
To hold in your arms
So come on
And give me a chance
To prove I am the one who can
Walk that mile
Until the end starts

If I’ve been on your mind
You hang on every word I say
Lose yourself in time
At the mention of my name

Will I ever know
How it feels to hold you close
And have you tell me
Whichever road I choose you’ll go

I don’t know why I’m scared
Cos I’ve been here before
Every feeling every word
I’ve imagined it all

You’ll never know
If you never try
To forgive your past
And simply be mine

I dare you to let me be your
Your one and only
I promise I’m worth it
To hold in your arms
So come on
And give me a chance
To prove I am the one who can
Walk that mile
Until the end starts

I know it ain’t easy
Giving up your heart
I know it ain’t easy
Giving up your heart (nobody’s perfect)
I know it ain’t easy (trust me I’ve learned it)
Giving up your heart (nobody’s perfect)
I know it ain’t easy (trust me I’ve learned it)
Giving up your heart (nobody’s perfect)
I know it ain’t easy (trust me I’ve learned it)
Giving up your heart (nobody’s perfect)
I know it ain’t easy (trust me I’ve learned it)
Giving up your heart

So I dare you to let me be your
Your one and only
I promise I’m worth it
To hold in your arms
So come on
And give me the chance
To prove I am the one who can
Walk that mile
Until the end starts
Come on
And give me a chance
To prove I am the one who can
Walk that mile
Until the end starts

 

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

DOCUMENTARY of the MONTH

I thought I would start a new regular and monthly post entitled ‘Documentary of the Month’.  I have been watching so many documentaries that are so informative and ‘eye-opening’ that I felt the need to share them.  The first documentary I would like to feature is a film based on the book by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke entitled;  Blue Gold: The Right to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water.  My first documentary of the month feature is the movie “Blue Gold:  World Water Wars”directed by Sam Bozzo and produced by Si Litvinoff, Mark Achbar and Sam Bozzo. 

I had an understanding of the need and urgency to conserve water but what I did not understand was the complexity that privatizing water would have on poorer countries around the world, not to mention the environmental and political implications of our water supply.

Like most documentaries – this move is key in educating the world about big corporations planned take-over and of our water and the implications of this privatization has caused countries around the world.  It also delves into the immediate crisis of the world water supply and how modern agricultural practices have profound environmental impacts to our water sources.  The film also looks at the challenges today’s farmers face due to government regulations or the lack thereof.

The film is truly inspiring and has made me really appreciate and come to respect our planet and nature even further!!!

For more information about the movie and what you can do to protect our water, check at the official movie website:  www.bluegold-worldwaterwars.com

Here is the movie trailer:

I hope this movie inspires you to share this information and to be an advocate for our environment!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!