Brazil is on the verge of gutting its forest protection laws

Incredible! Over 740,000 signers — let’s reach one million in time to join massive marches for forest protection across Brazil.

The Amazon is in serious danger: Brazil is on the verge of gutting its forest protection laws — unless we act now, vast tracts of our planet’s lungs could be opened up to clear-cutting devastation.

This threat to the Amazon has sparked widespread anger and protests across the country and tensions are rising. In an effort to stifle criticism, armed thugs, allegedly hired by loggers, have murdered environmental advocates. But the movement is fighting back — in four days, brave indigenous people are leading massive marches across Brazil to demand action and inside sources say President Dilma is considering vetoing the changes. 

79% of Brazilians support a veto of the forest law changes and this internal pressure is leading some in Dilma’s administration to back a veto. But we need a global cry of solidarity with the Brazilian people to really force Dilma’s hand. Our global petition will be boldly displayed on banners at the front of the massive marches for Amazon protection. Let’s reach one million to SAVE THE AMAZON! Sign the urgent petition below and send this on to everyone:

People love Brazil! The sun, the music, the dancing, the football, the nature — it’s a country that inspires millions around the world. This is why Brazil is hosting the next World Cup, why Rio has the 2016 Olympics and next year’s Earth Summit, a meeting to stop the slow death of our planet.

Our love is not misplaced — the Amazon is vital to life on earth — 20% of our oxygen and one-fifth of all the world’s freshwater comes from this magnificent rainforest. That’s why it’s so crucial that we all protect it.

But Brazil is also a rapidly developing country, battling to lift tens of millions out of poverty, and the pressure on its political leaders to clear-cut and mine for profit is intense. Now, they’re dangerously close to buckling on environmental protections. Local activists are being murdered, intimidated and silenced. It’s up to Avaaz members across the world to stand with Brazilians and urge Brazil’s politicians to be strong.

Many of us have seen in our own countries how growth often comes at the expense of our natural heritage: our waters and air get polluted, our forests die.

For Brazil, there is an alternative. Dilma’s predecessor massively reduced deforestation and cemented the country’s international reputation as an environmental leader, while also enjoying huge economic growth. Let’s come together now, when indigenous and environmental leaders are taking their battle to the streets and urge Dilma to follow in those footsteps — sign the petition to save the Amazon, then forward this email to everyone:

In the last three years, Brazilian Avaaz members have taken massive leaps towards the world we all want: They won landmark anti-corruption legislation, and have lobbied their government to play a leadership role at the UN, protect human rights and intervene to support democracy in the Middle East, and help protect human rights in Africa and beyond. Now, as brave Brazilian activists are being killed for protecting a precious global resource, let’s come together around this critical day of action to save the Amazon and herald Brazil as a true international leader once more.

With hope,

Emma, Ricken, Alice, Ben, Iain, Laura, Graziela, Luis and the rest of the Avaaz Team

ICTSD: The Brazilian Forest Code: Exploitation and Preservation

WWF, More voices speak out against relaxing Brazil’s Forest Law

BBC — Brazil passes ‘retrograde’ forest code:

AP — Another Amazon activist killed in logging conflict:

Mongabay — Majority of Brazilians reject changes in Amazon Forest Code:

Science Insider — Furor Over Proposed Brazilian Forest Law:

Guardian — Death in the Amazon: a war being fought for us all:

A joke is a very serious thing … Union of Concerned Scientists


Vote now for a chance to win a 2012 Scientific Integrity Calendar featuring all 12 cartoons!

 “A joke is a very serious thing.” These words, spoken by 18th century British poet Charles Churchill, still ring true today.

That’s why we again asked 12 talented artists to create editorial cartoons that poke fun at the not-so-humorous issue of political interference in science. View the cartoons and vote for your favorite here.  

The cartoons will be published in the 2012 Scientific Integrity Calendar, which will highlight the ways that special interests manipulate, distort, and suppress the science used to make policy and undermine the public’s understanding of scientific issues—often with disastrous consequences for our health, safety, and environment.

Fifty lucky voters will be selected at random to receive a free calendar. You only have a few days to choose your favorite—the deadline is August 23. Vote today!


Michael Halpern
National Field Organizer
UCS Scientific Integrity Program

P.S. You can also pre-order your 2012 calendar, with all proceeds supporting the Union of Concerned Scientists and our work to defend science from political interference. You’ll receive 20 percent off the sticker price if you order by August 31.

What I’ve seen in Mogadishu … Cassandra Nelson

I’ve spent the last few days with Mercy Corps‘ emergency team in Mogadishu, Somalia‘s capital, where drought, famine and disease are taking a devastating toll. In more than a decade of responding to many natural and man-made disasters with Mercy Corps, the situation in Mogadishu is truly the worst humanitarian crisis I’ve ever seen.

Because your gift is helping save lives in the Horn of Africa, I wanted to write and let you know how desperately your gift was needed: Hospitals are overcrowded. Displacement camps are filled with thousands of people. Families have walked for days to find a way to keep their malnourished children alive, and now the hospital is full of mothers sitting with their malnourished babies on scraps of cardboard because there are no beds or chairs to be found.

It’s hard to look at such scenes, but it’s important to show the world what’s happening in Somalia

What we saw in Mogadishu’s hospitals was truly heart wrenching. Seven-month-old Abdulrahman, pictured above, is getting treated for malnourishment and diarrhea but remains very weak. I appeared on last night’s CBS Evening News to share what I saw. Click here to watch   .

The segment includes my footage from a hospital we visited, where I met Halima, the mother of seven-month-old Abdulrahman. Halima’s family lost all their cows and goats to the drought, and so they recently came to Mogadishu in search of food.

Little Abdulrahman is weak and much too small for his age. He’s suffering from severe acute malnutrition and watery diarrhea, a symptom of cholera. Halima and her eldest daughter have been at the hospital for several days getting treatment for the baby boy.

When I returned a day later, I found Halima still holding tight to Abdulrahman.

“He is getting better,” she told me with determination in her voice. “He will survive.”

I believe her. It may be hard to fathom that such strength can exist during famine, but I’ve seen it in countless women like Halima. They are determined to save their children.

Our staff is working hard to get aid to families in Mogadishu as quickly as possible. Because of you, I know we can help people in Somalia survive this famine. Thank you.


Cassandra Nelson
                        Mercy Corps

TGIF … Call the Whitehouse 202-456-1111 …Tell President Obama to go big bold and bad

just another rant …

In my effort to blow off steam, push back, and voice my opinion…

I hope all of us on the left… democrats, libs and progressives will continue to support President Obama we also need him to know we have his back and hope that our President Obama go big bold and badass. … Bring it to the People

What has our President done for you?

I will remind you President Obama among other things got and injected our economy with a 787billion dollar stimulus package even with all the Teapublican obstacles. The stimulus worked; he also implemented the fair pay act, chips, stopped the 8yr ban on stem cell research/treatment, implemented better fuel regulation for trucks , Sonia Sotomayor, 1st Latina was nominated and voted into the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan also voted onto the Supreme Court, got rid of osama, offered a historic health-care bill that passed, reforming immigration. Hey, for a more in depth list and analysis of President Obama’s first two years go to

The facts are right in front of our faces and yes, the last 2yrs have been better than it feels…

I believe in President Obama and his abilities but there is clearly a wall put up against any changes or moves the President has been trying to make for ALL Americans contrary to what and how the Teapublicans want or will govern. We must never forget Rep.Mcconnell’s statement that his job is to make him a one-term president. Now, we have people in Congress doing and saying things about our First President of Colour and it should serve as a reminder of just how the Teapublicans really feel about him and this attitude and behavior is the dark cloud that Presidential candidate Rick Perry spoke of only the cloud is racism. I don’t know about you but a true friend would not say let alone feel that his friend is less than because of the colour of his skin. It was a sad day to hear the words coming from Sen. Tom Coburn.  There is definitely a difference in running for office and governing as Congress, The banks, Wall Street have all shown us they want their piece thus making the road to change a journey of bumps. Our President has said time and time again, he cannot do the work by himself,” We the People,” need to unite in solidarity to push back at Corporate America, because they definitely are not cooperating, we must push our Democratic Legislators, Representatives and our Congress, who are not acting as if we are in the majority. We all know the Administration needs to call for regulation of the banks…Wall Street and AIG types who seem corrupt. We need to demand that the Administration and Congress work and vote for climate change, education and true innovation so America can become a leader once again, the base voted for change we can all believe in, not for what will NOT ruffle some. President Obama needs to know that the base wants bold changes that include Energy and Climate Change, Education, Immigration reform, Bank regulations. Only move forward not what is easy because the fight is on and it is to save the middle class. That Sir takes a lean to the left … a hard left Sir.

We the People need to start speaking out against key nominations held up by Republicans. It is absurd, offensive, reckless and should show voters just how desperate Republicans are to bring President Obama down when both parties should be working together to solve problems instead of playing politics when our American economy and or safety is fragile is beyond me.

Time to forget bipartisanship because it ain’t there anymore


Other News …


Obama administration amends deportation policy


Gaza Violence Escalates After Deadly Attack on Israelis

Reports: Bank of America cutting 10000 or more jobs

Syria Said to Fire on Protests in Defiance of Global Rebuke

Stunning 3D Imaging Records Solar Storm Engulfing Earth [VIDEO]


GOP Candidates on the Campaign Trail Today

Congressional Black Caucus Holds Town Hall and Job Fair

Motorcyclists Ride Into Washington to Honor 9/11 Victims

Ride raises money for first responders

Senate Pro Forma Session

Congress: in pro forma Session …to keep President Obama from recess appointments

The Senate will meet on the following dates and times for pro-forma sessions only with no business conducted:

– Friday, August 5th at 10:00am,

– Tuesday, August 9th at 11:00am,

– Friday, August 12th at 12:00pm,

– Tuesday, August 16th at 11:00am,

– Friday, August 19th at 10:00am,

– Tuesday, August 23rd at 2:30pm,

– Friday, August 26th at 11:15am,

– Tuesday, August 30th at 10:00am,

– Friday, September 2nd at 10:00am;

When the Senate convenes at 10:00am on Friday, September 2nd, it will adjourn until 2:00pm on September 6, 2011. Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business until 5:00pm with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.

Following morning business, the Senate will be in Executive Session to consider Calendar #109, Bernice Bouie Donald, of Tennessee, to be United States Circuit Judge for the 6th Circuit with 30 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley.

The next roll call votes will be at 5:30pm on Tuesday, September 6th. The first roll call vote will be on confirmation of the Donald nomination. The 2nd will be a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to H.R.1249, the Patent Reform bill.



1:07 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of H.Res. 375. The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on August 23, 2011.

1:05 P.M. – The Speaker laid before the House a message from the President transmitting a message to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency with the Government of Syria first declared in Executive Order 13338 of May 11, 2004, as expanded in scope in Exectuive Order 13572 of April 29, 2011–referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and ordered to be printed (H. Doc. 112-50).

1:04 P.M. – The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received a sealed envelope from the White House on August 18, 2011, at 10:46 a.m. which is said to contain a message from the President whereby he notified the Congress that he had issued an Executive Order that takes additional steps with respect to the national emergency with the Government of Syria first declared in EO 13338 of May 11, 2004, as expanded in scope in EO 13572 of April 29, 2011.The House received a communication from The Honorable Duncan Hunter. Pursuant to Rule VIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives Mr. Hunter notified the House that he had been served with a subpoena for production of business records, issued by the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. After consultation with the Office of General Counsel, Mr. Hunter had determined that compliance with the subpoena is inconsistent with the privileges and rights of the House.

1:03 P.M. – NOT DISPENSING WITH LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS – Pursuant to section 4 of H.Res. 375, the Chair announced that legislative business would not be dispensed with on this day.

1:02 P.M. – PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG – The Chair led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.JOURNAL APPROVED – The Chair announced that pursuant to section 5 of H.Res. 375, the Journal of the last days’s proceedings was approved.

1:01 P.M. – Today’s prayer was offered by Reverend Bill Kirlin-Hackett, Interfaith Taskforce on Homelessness, Bellevue, Washington

1:00 P.M. – The Speaker designated the Honorable Mick Mulvaney to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.

The House convened, starting a new legislative day.