Everyday is Saturday in our world. :]
– Mushpa y Mensa
Here are a few things that we could do for less than 19 billion. We can even do a couple of these at a time. Why 19 billion? Because recently Facebook just purchased the “Whatsapp” a texting app for that amount.
2. UNICEF estimates that vaccinating a child against measles and rubella costs less than $1.50. That’s less than your coffee. And its worth more than a text. In 2011, over 400 people a day died from measles. Over a hundred babies a day were born with birth defects caused by rubella in 2008.
3. How about higher education!? Covering the cost of attendance at the Harvard College for one year for over 400,000 students. And that’s Harvard, a private, ridiculously expensive university.
4. 2014 National School Lunch Program Budget – 14 Billion. Hey, how about feeding something healthy to our kids?
5. Or how about cancer research. The enacted FY 2014 budget for National Cancer Institute is $4.923 billion. Or maybe, just maybe, making sure those 47 million uninsured Americans get some sort of health benefits.
Mushpa y Mensa does have a Kickstarter project, Mushpa y Mensa’s Magical Motor Machine Makeover! Thank you for asking. ;-]
In fact, Mushpa y Mensa’s Magical Motor Machine Makeover is now more than 50% funded thanks to all that have pledge so far! That is super awesome! Also, we want to give thanks to all that have promoted us through social media, emails, word of mouth and the like. Speaking of, Generation (WH)Y? just wrote a piece on two ongoing Kickstarter projects, one being ours, entitled, Two Cool Kickstarter Campaigns In New York City. It is a great read so read it! :]
My friends, we have 47% to go in 16 days, meaning:
Thank you for your time. :]
– La Mushpa y La Mensa
Recently I’ve been looking into insurance, and understanding this new health care reform. Not being insured by a workplace, being self-employed and having one more year to be covered under my parent’s insurance, it is time that we get this new “Obama Care” straight.
Positives? We actually might have some sort of resemblance to decent (or almost barely there) health coverage in the Untied States. We are not to Canada’s or European standards, but we have to admit that for the country where we live in, where $$$ is power, this is a breath of fresh air.
Here is a small video that shows in 4 minutes how this new Affordable Health Care Act, will function.
Negatives? YES! It is still not UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE, by the people for the people. We will still run insurance through these huge corporations, and they will still be making profits on human health, and lives. The basis for all this system is STILL profit. Insurance companies will be able to control the market place, “The Exchange”, just like all other market places, are operated by economic incentives, and insurance companies will raise premiums if they find that they are not making business. 31 million new covered?…by insurance companies.
I am still a little fuzzy about this reform, but why should it be clear? It does not seem to be straight forward, and it is only a bandage to the sickness that health coverage is in this country. It is like trying to fight cancer with cough medicine and aspirin. It might get rid of the pain for an hour or two, but the sickness still grows.
Let’s hope that 2014 brings on positive results, and more awareness on what actually needs to be done….FIND A REAL CURE!
Here’s another video that explains further this new law.
Frustrated but always caring,
The latest debate over whistleblower Snowden and the NSA has finally gotten people talking about the outrageous (is it that surprising?) fact that our government “checks in” on millions of people….just because they can.
“Fighting terrorism” is an excuse that many people are getting sick and tired of hearing, specially when we are still investing (and corporations making money) in multiple wars in the Middle East with no true solution to getting out, and leaving these nations in a so called “peaceful state”. And now Syria?…. Ok Obama….
I have a proposal.
Let’s not stop at the saying….and let’s actually get some DOING done.
Here are three easy ways to at least try to avoid getting sucked in this “system”.
***3 EASY THINGS TO DO…..****
1. Change from Gmail to another email provider, like Zoho…. research it. It’s not evil like google. Lovely IT Phenomenon Cara Reynolds (Mushpa) has written multiple posts about Google and has pointed me and a several others to the world of Zoho email. Same functions as Gmail, but has no red tail and horns. You can chat, save conversations, do document transfers…the whole shabam!
Check these out:
2. Get OFF facebook. I’ve been facebook free for 6+ months after having had it on and off since 2006…. its worth it. Facebook is like a reality tv show. Entertains the masses, and keeps them occupied…. if staying in touch is what you want, then email, phones and even letters (which is so nice to get) gets the job done when you actually TRULY want to stay in touch. You know, and often hear, how much time we “waste” on the book of face. There is so much world out there! And so much to do! Let’s ditch the “like” and get real things done : )
3. Phone companies? Well this one is trickier. I’m trying to get off Verizon with a contract….and a chunk of a fee, huh. No surprise there. They have their little Verizon drones trained so well, that they even tell you that the NSA scandal might all just be a rumor! I didn’t stick around too much to have a discussion with my Verizon rep, but so far I have ditched my cellphone (mostly because it’s a shattered iPhone, which magically breaks every year so I would have an excuse to buy a new one). It is much harder to keep up with the world with a landline…. So far I’m stuck on this one. T-mobile with their “no contract” deals still get to you in other ways. So for now a landline will suffice….and taking pictures with a real camera (which is already better) and uploading to my computer might also take an extra minute…. Apparently I’ll be going back to the dark ages….
But being righteous takes work no? Who said fighting this battle would be easy? It’s kicking my butt for sure….On to the next challenge.
Bring it world!
“Yertle The Turtle”
On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond,
Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond.
A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat.
The water was warm. There was plenty to eat.
The turtles had everything turtles might need.
And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed.
They were… until Yertle, the king of them all,
Decided the kingdom he ruled was too small.
“I’m ruler”, said Yertle, “of all that I see.
But I don’t see enough. That’s the trouble with me.
With this stone for a throne, I look down on my pond
But I cannot look down on the places beyond.
This throne that I sit on is too, too low down.
It ought to be higher!” he said with a frown.
“If I could sit high, how much greater I’d be!
What a king! I’d be ruler of all that I see!”
And Yertle, the Turtle King, gave a command.
He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone
And, using these turtles, he built a new throne.
He made each turtle stand on another one’s back
And he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack.
And then Yertle climbed up. He sat down on the pile.
What a wonderful view! He could see ‘most a mile!
“All mine!” Yertle cried. “Oh, the things I now rule!
I’m the king of a cow! And I’m the king of a mule!
I’m the king of a house! And, what’s more, beyond that
I’m the king of a blueberry bush and a cat!
I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!”
And all through the morning, he sat up there high
Saying over and over, “A great king am I!”
Until ‘long about noon. Then he heard a faint sigh.
“What’s that?” snapped the king,and he looked down the stack.
And he saw, at the bottom, a turtle named Mack.
Just a part of his throne. And this plain little turtle
Looked up and he said, “Beg your pardon, King Yertle.
I’ve pains in my back and my shoulders and knees.
How long must we stand here, Your Majesty, please?”
“SILENCE!” the King of the Turtles barked back.
“I’m king, and you’re only a turtle named Mack.”
“You stay in your place while I sit here and rule.
I’m the king of a cow! And I’m the king of a mule!
I’m the king of a house! And a bush! And a cat!
But that isn’t all. I’ll do better than that!
My throne shall be higher!” his royal voice thundered,
“So pile up more turtles! I want ’bout two hundred!”
“Turtles! More turtles!” he bellowed and brayed.
And the turtles ‘way down in the pond were afraid.
They trembled. They shook. But they came. They obeyed.
From all over the pond, they came swimming by dozens.
Whole families of turtles, with uncles and cousins.
And all of them stepped on the head of poor Mack.
One after another, they climbed up the stack.
Then Yertle the Turtle was perched up so high,
He could see forty miles from his throne in the sky!
“Hooray!” shouted Yertle. “I’m the king of the trees!
I’m king of the birds! And I’m king of the bees!
I’m king of the butterflies! King of the air!
Ah, me! What a throne! What a wonderful chair!
I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!”
Then again, from below, in the great heavy stack,
Came a groan from that plain little turtle named Mack.
“Your Majesty, please… I don’t like to complain,
But down here below, we are feeling great pain.
I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,
But down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.
We turtles can’t stand it. Our shells will all crack!
Besides, we need food. We are starving!” groaned Mack.
“You hush up your mouth!” howled the mighty King Yertle.
“You’ve no right to talk to the world’s highest turtle.
I rule from the clouds! Over land! Over sea!
There’s nothing, no, NOTHING, that’s higher than me!”
But, while he was shouting, he saw with surprise
That the moon of the evening was starting to rise
Up over his head in the darkening skies.
“What’s THAT?” snorted Yertle. “Say, what IS that thing
That dares to be higher than Yertle the King?
I shall not allow it! I’ll go higher still!
I’ll build my throne higher! I can and I will!
I’ll call some more turtles. I’ll stack ’em to heaven!
I need ’bout five thousand, six hundred and seven!”
But, as Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And started to order and give the command,
That plain little turtle below in the stack,
That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack,
Decided he’d taken enough. And he had.
And that plain little lad got a bit mad.
And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing.
And his burp shook the throne of the king!
And Yertle the Turtle, the king of the trees,
The king of the air and the birds and the bees,
The king of a house and a cow and a mule…
Well, that was the end of the Turtle King’s rule!
For Yertle, the King of all Sala-ma-Sond,
Fell off his high throne and fell Plunk! in the pond!
And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course… all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.
by Dr. Seuss
He’s got it.
American “Citizens” being killed overseas?
By our own government. No trail. Just Boom. It’s a dirty war.
This Big Bro is watching you, me, and us.
Sometimes I really just don’t know.
And that is what scares me.
We don’t know.
Today in the news, 10% of elementary schools
(the Separate but Equal Blacks and Browns)
in Chicago are closed down. No funds.
Mo’ Money for the Duurty wars.
Money for a little Gitmo, in a little island will keep them shut.
No law, no man’s lives. And 100 days of hunger? Force fed like foie-gras.
Mr. President Hussein, may I call you by your Middle Name?
You have a dark stain in you slacks.
That law. That pen. Just Exploded in your pants.
Why do you use red ink? Phew! No worries Administrators!
It blends in.
And the stain in your hands?
It’s permanent ink.
This is how I feel.
In the fall of 2006, newspapers around the United States began to publicize a unnerving phenomenon. Honeybees were a mysteriously disappearing from beehives all around the nation. Dave Hackenburg, a outspoken beekeeper, and the first to raise a stir about the crisis, reported that bees were simply vanishing from his hives. That fall, beekeepers and commercial beekeeping enterprises around the country reported losses of 30% with some beekeepers reporting losses up to 90% of all of their colonies.
I want to post a quick review about this wonderful documentary, Queen of the Sun: What are Bees Telling Us?, and just an overall shout out to the hard workers who keep us fed and alive…The Bees in our world!
It is incredible how much I learned yesterday watching this, and it’s also a bit chilling to know that these little animals are at incredible risk of disappearing from this earth, and even more daunting, our system of agriculture disappearing with them. Meaning, we are at risk as well. Our whole ecosystem actually!
From how bees choose their beekeepers, to laws banning communities from bee-keeping, to the mass production and mass destruction of honey and bees, this film really shines a light on these little workers that pollinate and do so much for us. Of course, it forms a full circle and goes back to the root of many of our agricultural conundrums in our world: Massive industrial agriculture and factory farming and how it is destroying our world. Can you believe that factory farmers actually feed CORN SYRUP to the producers of honey!?!?! I found this disgusting, outrageous, and it hurt me so much.
So what to do to help bees? The producers, filmmakers and beekeepers that put together this film have given us helpful things that we can do to keep this beautiful little creatures in our world today. So let’s get started!
1. PLANT BEE FRIENDLY FLOWERS AND FLOWERING HERBS IN YOUR BACKYARD
Bees are losing habitat all around the world due to intensive monoculture-based farming practices, pristine green (but flower-barren) sprawling suburban lawns and from the destruction of native landscapes. Just planting flowers in your garden, yard, or in a planter will help provide bees with forage. Avoid chemically treating your flowers as chemicals can leach into pollen and negatively affect the bees systems. Plant plenty of the same type of bloom together, bees like volume of forage (a sq. yard is a good estimate).
Here are a few examples of good plant varieties: Spring – lilacs, penstemon, lavender, sage, verbena, and wisteria. Summer – Mint, cosmos, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins, sunflowers, oregano, rosemary, poppies, black-eyed Susan, passion flower vine, honeysuckle. Fall – Fuschia, mint, bush sunflower, sage, verbena, toadflax. For a great list of plants honeybees love click here
2. WEEDS CAN BE A GOOD THING
Contrary to popular belief, a lawn full of clover and dandelions is not just a good thing—it’s a great thing! A haven for honeybees (and other native pollinators too). Don’t be so nervous about letting your lawn live a little. Wildflowers, many of which we might classify as weeds, are some of the most important food sources for native North American bees. If some of these are “weeds” you chose to get rid of (say you want to pull out that blackberry bush that’s taking over), let it bloom first for the bees and then before it goes to seed, pull it out or trim it back!
Yes, they make your lawn look pristine and pretty, but they’re actually doing the opposite to the life in your biosphere. The chemicals and pest treatments you put on your lawn and garden can cause damange to the honeybees systems. These treatments are especially damaging if applied while the flowers are in bloom as they will get into the pollen and nectar and be taken back to the bee hive where they also get into the honey—which in turn means they can get into us. Pesticides, specifically neo-nicotinoid varieties have been one of the major culprits in Colony Collapse Disorder.
4. BUY LOCAL, RAW HONEY
The honey you buy directly sends a message to beekeepers about how they should keep their bees. For this reason, and for your own personal health, strive to buy local, raw honey that is from hives that are not treated by chemicals. It can be hard to find out what is truly “local” and truly “raw”–and even harder yet to find out what is untreated. Here’s a few guidelines: If you find it in the grocery store and it’s imported from China, don’t buy it. There have been a number of cases recently of chemically contaminated honey coming from China. If it’s coming from the grocery store, but it doesn’t say the words “pure” or “raw” and you can’t read in the description that it’s untreated by chemicals, don’t buy it. If it’s untreated, the label will say, as this is an important selling point. We recommend a simple solution for most people. Go to your farmer’s market and shake hands with the beekeepers you meet. There are beekeepers at nearly every farmer’s market selling their honey and other products. Have a conversation with them, find out what they are doing to their hives, and how they are keeping their bees. If they are thoughtful, respectful beekeepers who keep their bees in a sustainable, natural way, then make a new friend and support them!
5. BEES ARE THIRSTY. PUT A SMALL BASIN OF WATER OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
You may not have known this one—but it’s easy and it’s true! If you have a lot of bees starting to come to your new garden of native plants, wildflowers and flowering herbs, put a little water basin out (a bird bath with some stones in it for them to crawl on does a nice trick). They will appreciate it!
6.BUY LOCAL, ORGANIC FOOD FROM A FARMER THAT YOU KNOW
What’s true for honey generally holds true for the rest of our food. Buying local means eating seasonally as well, and buying local from a farmer that you know means you know if that food is coming from a monoculture or not. This is much easier in the summer when you can get your fresh produce from a local farmer’s market. Another option is to get your food from a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm. Keep in mind, USDA Organic Certification can be expensive and you may find many great farmers and beekeepers with excellent food and honey that isn’t USDA certified simply because they don’t produce a high quantity or opt for the expense of certification. Don’t let this get in the way of supporting them and if you’re worried about their products—have a conversation with them. (Note – A huge challenge for beekeepers is to keep their bees in an area where there is no chemical spray within 3 miles, as this is really what is required to guarantee truly organic honey. All the more reason for us all to avoid the use of harsh chemicals.)
7. LEARN HOW TO BE A BEEKEEPER WITH SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES
Look up a local bee association that offers classes with natural approaches in your community and link up. Visit our resources & links page to start reading and exploring first steps!
8. UNDERSTAND THAT HONEYBEES AREN’T OUT TO GET YOU
Honeybees are vegetarians. They want to forage pollen and nectar from flowers up to three miles from their hive and bring that food back to provide food for themselves and the beehive. Contrary to what the media might have us believe, they are not out to sting us. Here are a few tips to avoid getting stung. 1. Stay still and calm if a bee is around you or lands on you. Many bees will land on you and sniff you out. They can smell the pheromones that come with fear and anger it can be a trigger for them to sting you. 2. Don’t stand in front of a hive opening, or a pathway to a concentration of flowers. Bees are busy running back and forth from the hive, and if you don’t get in their way, they won’t be in yours. 3. Learn to differentiate between honeybees and wasps. Honeybees die after they sting humans (but not after they sting other bees!), wasps do not. Wasps are carnivores, so they like your lunch-meats and soda. Honeybees are vegetarians. For a quick lesson on their differences click here.
9. SHARE SOLUTIONS WITH OTHERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
There are so many fun ways to help and be a voice for the bees. Share about the importance of bees at local community meetings, at conferences, in schools and universities, and on on-line message boards and forums. Let them know about QUEEN OF THE SUN and other great media out there that is in support of the honeybee.
Invite your friends and family to attend a screening of QUEEN OF THE SUN in your area. Find screening locations. – (You can also see it on Netflix “Watch it Now”.) Be part of our Community Screening Campaign by hosting a house-party or larger screening in your area! Click here to learn more.-If you are part of an educational institution, ask your institution to purchase an Educational DVD of QUEEN OF THE SUN (available HERE)
I want to dedicate this post to Guatemala, and all the people who have celebrated and achieved justice. Never has a former head of state been charged and convicted of genocide and abuse of human rights, and now in Guatemala history is being made.
Rios Montt is sent to jail for the torture of thousands of innocent and unarmed civilians in Guatemala, and it just shows me that even though progress is slow, we are moving the right way. This is amazing.
Check out this DemocracyNow! Special, that covers a bit of whats going on.
It also, like many times in Latin American history, poses questions of how the United States and the CIA’s role influenced these genocides. Because the Guatemalan government didn’t arm itself.
But to leave in a more positive note, indigenous rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchú, was also involved and fighting along side all people there. I really like a quote by her that says that “Peace is the daughter of co-habitation, of education, of dialogue. Respect to millenary cultures give birth to peace in the present”. Respect to our own humanity will make this Earth a more beautiful place.
La paz es hija de la convivencia, de la educación, del diálogo. El respeto a las culturas milenarias hace nacer la paz en el presente
Por la justicia,
Much love to all humans,