Sean Connery As James Bond
On July 17 of 2007, George W. Bush issued an executive order “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq”. Under this order any persons who threaten the peace and stability of Iraq or the Iraqi Government. All of this seems fine and dandy, people who try to mess up Iraq get their Assets frozen, but thats not all that it does, it also applies to people who are “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people”.

So now, anti war protest can result in the blocking of your property, but is Bush just falling in line with other presidents during times of war? The Sedition Act of 1918 made it illegal to speak any protest about a war at all, lest you be thrown in jail for up to 20 years. Eugene V. Debs was thrown in jail for 10 years for making a speech that undermined military recruitment.

How far with this Executive order carry? Will T-Shirts, bumper-stickers, and Anti-War keychains become punishable by the blocking of your property?

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

On July 7th, 2007 people all over the globe celebrated at Live Earth ‘Parties for the Planet’, a reaching-out to all kinds of people around the world to raise awareness and actually do something to stop global warming. People everywhere were encouraged to throw parties of their own, not just to watch the ones on TV, because you don’t need a concert hall to tell people how to save the earth. We, Team Gaia, an Atlantic Beach based teen environmental organization, decided to do just that. We decided to throw a big Live Earth party in our very own studio office in Mayport. We posted our party on MoveOn.org, an environmental and political website that acted as a HQ for people who wanted to go to a Live Earth party. People all over typed in their zip code, and if they were near us, our party showed up on their screens. We also got together and invited a bunch of our friends to join in! We got around 70 people, and their ages were very diverse. We had about 50 adults, some of them seniors, some middle age, and some of them even in their twenties. But at the same time we had about 20 teenagers from different schools in the area. Aside from the mere diversity, a lot of the people who came were very progressive. Members of local organizations like the Sierra Club and JaxTaxpayers.com came, along with lots of other concerned members of the community like UNF professors and school board members. All of us at Team Gaia were really excited to meet all these amazing people!

At the party we had a huge potluck where everyone brought in vegetarian and organic dishes, and we even organized getting some biodegradable silverware. The food that was there was absolutely delicious! People ate, mingled, and we showed the concerts from all over the globe on a projection screen in our studio. We kicked things off with an introductory piece from the Live Earth campaign by Al Gore, and then showed a 30-minute town meeting with different people running for government talking about the environment. We (Team Gaia) also showed our own pieces we ourselves produced about Global Warming. At Team Gaia we produce all kinds of videos spanning from global warming, to getting teens to vote, to organic food and healthy eating. We got some awesome feedback from all kinds of people, and it was really rewarding. The whole experience was simply exhilarating, and it was great to say that we took action, that we will continue to take action, and that we’ve encouraged others to take action.

Most importantly, you can take action against the climate crisis even as a simple reader of this blog! You don’t need to be a member of Team Gaia or Sierra Club or anything like that to make a change. You can change the light bulbs in your home to compound florescent, you can turn the AC up a couple degrees when it’s hot and down a couple when it’s cold, you can do what you can to use less hot water like take shorter showers, and on top of all that, you can drive less! Together, all of us can do our best to prevent global warming– that’s what ‘Party for the Planet’ and Live Earth was all about!

All throughout the world, an enormous party is being held with the planet in mind.

A party with 7 continents participating!

7/7/07: Al Gore’s Live Earth Concerts are being held all over. They are being held to raise awareness of the rising climate. The concerts sold out within the first two days .. so what are the rest of us supposed to do? Party anyway! Party for the Planet is an event anyone can celebrate anywhere. People are holding block parties.

Team Gaia asks you: What are you doing to spread the word about global warming?

Team Gaia’s doing it’s part. We’ve made a whole segment made about global warming– we truly want to make change. We’re holding a Live Earth house party, and you should too!

Party for the planet .. before it’s too late!
http://www.liveearth.org/

A hydroponic garden.

An environmental group called New York Sun Works thinks the rooftops of New York could be used as gardens to provide food for the whole city. To prove their point, they created a garden on a barge on the Hudson River. The barge is a greenhouse that uses solely rain, solar panels, wind turbines and biofuel to subsist. New York Sun Works says that if these ‘hydroponic systems’ with no water or soil were installed on the rooftops of New York, the provided food could feed 20 million people.

Cities like New York growing their own produce would encourage becoming organically inclined and aid the fight against global warming! Having the gardens on the tops of schools could feed the school, and teach lessons in science and horticulture. It would solve the terrible nutrition problems that American cafeterias face! And because space on land is often sought after in cities, what better place to choose for these gardens than the often unused rooftops?

I think this is an extremely exciting and inspiring idea! Think of the changes that this could create in American society– it would be like a tidal wave of health, beauty and tasty organic food! The greenhouses apparently produce seven times more food and they use four times less water than the traditional farm. So many benefits would be in store for New York if they chose to enforce this plan. This is truly one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard– there has to be a city who will do this. Please, someone listen to these wonderful people!

S O U R C E S:
Reuter`s Article

Berkshares, a currency accepted in Great Barrington (Massachusetts) and some neighboring communities, keeps the profit being circulated inside the community. Great Barrington is a unique community that features many organic farms, yoga studios and other such cafes and new age shops. Berkshares have been a hit with the community’s economy, and locals use the bills as almost a form of local pride. The bills allow small businesses to stay alive and compete with large chains that are sprouting up everywhere.

I am delighted to hear that this bill experiment was brought about in such a green-inclined community, and I hope that this currency will encourage other communities to do the same and create their own currencies. I would love to see the organic farms grow because of a change in economy. This seems like a great tool to combat fast food and other restaurant chains with great alternatives to their terrible food.

S O U R C E S:
Reuters’ Article.

Many parts of Northern Texas were hit with around 2 to 3 inches of rain in a single hour sunday evening, June 17th 2007. Several families were forced up on rooftops as nearby bodies of water filled with the rain simply pouring out of the sky. Several areas in Texas have received up to 8 inches of rain over that night. The rainfall bombarded the town of Gainesville, which has appeared to have received the brunt of the storm. Recent footage shows families lost on the rooftops of their homes. Power was lost to approximately 300,000 homes in the area. Luckily, there have only been two casualties, although all of us wish there wouldn’t have been any…

Texas flooding diagram.

As people continue to ignore global warming, what do they expect to come from mother nature? I think that in this day and age we truly shouldn’t be losing children to random weather accidents. But as the terrible weather becomes more intense, perhaps people will wake up to the world around them. I do not blame global warming for every rainy day, but I do think there is a very real connection between the earth’s increasing climate and the magnitude of different natural happenings. If anyone can think back to Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, they will truly understand what I’m talking about. As the line between global warming and the weather isn’t being drawn in popular media as they’re covering these horrifying tragedies, people aren’t seeing that we can aid the problem.

The Tsunami of 2004

S O U R C E S:
Disaster News’ article on the Texas flash flooding.
Reuters’ article on the flooding.
Reuters’ video of the flood.
The United Press’ Article

Narcissism

Obesity, America’s “Epidemic”, brought on by our own choice of life style. The world is moving a mile a minute and if you aren’t moving with it, your going to be left behind, you’ve got to have everything right now, and you definitely can’t wait to get something healthy, you’ll take what you can get now, even if it means that your eating a tub of fat with a little bit of pesticide soaked lettuce on top that you’ll probably just throw away anyways. Where did this idea come from? From ourselves of course. The whole Nation has become brainwashed without even realizing it, but how can we blame the masses, being hit by an estimated 3000 advertisements a day how can they avoid being convinced that they need to eat under the Golden Arches and buy all they need at the Super Center.

But, how can you live up to what you see in the advertisements, how can you maintain that healthy body, that perfect skin while your biting into a big chunk of Hormone-grown meat between two pieces of preservative-filled bread, all topped off with a dash of sesame seeds. The media constantly tells people what they should look like, but then shoves things in their faces that it cannot handle, but now we have an answer! Plastic Surgery. You weren’t born the way you wanted to be? Not your problem anymore, just a little snip snip and your however you want to be.

11.5 million cosmetic surgical and not surgical procedures were performed in 2005. People can not longer accept themselves because of the advertisements that have been thrown at them their whole lives, they think they need to change and be different. There is a growing increase in the number of cosmetic surgeries in all areas a large one being Teen boys getting surgery done to reduce the size of their chests. Because of the attitude that if you don’t look perfect you shouldn’t be seen, many boys are now getting surgery done to achieve the more perfect body.

In short, I find it disgusting that people are so ridiculed for the way they look, especially when it is something that they are not able to change.

Plastic Surgery Statistics