“And You Want To Be My Latex Salesman!”

This is kind of how I imagine a Rick Perry presidency might go down:
“The three branches of government are judicial, executive, Donner, and Blitzen. Oops!”
“My home state of Texas executed the wrong guy. Oops!”
“We’re at war with China. Oops!”


Remembering Rachel Carson

Born May 27, 1907. Died April 14, 1964. Wrote “Silent Spring” (1962), considered by many to have initiated the environmental and conservation movements.

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.
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One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, “What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?”
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The control of nature is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man. The concepts and practices of applied entomology for the most part date from that Stone Age of science. It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modem and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.

Nellie Bly

I was too impatient to work at the usual duties assigned women on newspapers.

It is only after one is in trouble that one realizes how little sympathy and kindness there are in the world.

Pioneering investigative journalist Nellie Bly (May 5, 1864 – January 27, 1922) was hired by the Pittsburgh Dispatch after writing an angry letter in response to Erasmus Wilson’s columns insisting women’s place was in the home. Bly (born Elizabeth Jane Cochran) knew women in industrial-era Pittsburgh who had little choice but to work, and her response impressed the editor enough that he asked her to write a rebuttal, which then led to a full-time job. Read more about her work detailing the lives of the poor, the overlooked–most notoriously her undercover work in an asylum for the mentally ill–here and here.

Keith Olbermann: You, Sir, Tell it Like it Is

And to all who say the left shouldn’t criticize Obama: No. We should. We have the right and the responsibility to stay informed, to express our opinions, and to demand excellence of our elected leaders. The video is about 11 minutes long, and well worth the time.

Huzzah! International Human Rights Day is Almost Here!

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl

December 10th is International Human Rights Day, which marks the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the International Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Want to read it? It’s not very long, and it’s posted here.

In New York, Amnesty International local group 9/280, of which I’m a member, is hosting an event in honor of International Human Rights Day on December 8th (’cause that’s when we could get the venue). Our event will focus specifically on children’s rights. Did you know there’s a U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child? Has been since 1990. A bit lengthy, but if you want to read it, it’s here.

Now, about the event, which I’m hoping you’ll attend if you are (or can be) in New York:

December 8, 2010, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Theatre 80 St. Marks
80 St. Marks Avenue (bet. 1st & 2nd Aves)
New York, NY 10009
Donations accepted (suggested donation $15)

A panel discussion, followed by q & a, on how to best promote and ensure human rights for children globally, including:

• Subsistence Rights: rights to food, shelter and health care
• Development Rights: rights to education and freedom of thought, conscience and religion
• Protection Rights: the right to protection from abuse, neglect or exploitation
• Participation Rights: the right to take an active role in community and political life

Discussion will be followed by a reception in the theatre lobby. Raffle, ceremonial candle lighting, reading of UDHR.

Please come if you can,  and help spread the word. After all, remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said?

They Say. . .

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home, so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world.
Eleanor Roosevelt