Sign the petition: End wasteful military spending

U.S. government spending has been moved so heavily to militarism, and away from everything else, that groups and individuals who haven’t objected to it before are finally doing so.
A huge coalition is demanding that at least $200 billion be moved out of the Pentagon’s budget and into human and environmental needs. We’re taking this demand to Congress and to presidential candidates. While we’ve successfully brought similar demands to city councils and to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, this is a new and bigger opportunity to move it toward reality, with a larger multi-issue coalition advancing this demand.

U.S. military spending across numerous agencies is now at $1.25 trillion per year1, or roughly as much as the rest of the world combined, with much of that rest of the world being U.S. allies and weapons customers.2

Trump’s proposed 2020 budget makes militarism 57% of discretionary spending, leaving 43% for everything else.3

Military spending endangers us and generates terrorism.4 Reducing it makes us safer.5

Military spending is immoral6, threatens our environment7, erodes our liberties8, and fuels bigotry9.

Fractions of the $200 billion we are proposing to move could provide free, top-quality education from pre-school through college10, end hunger and starvation on earth11, provide clean drinking water everywhere it’s needed on the planet12, build fast trains between major U.S. cities13, and double non-military U.S. foreign aid.

The fact is that the United States dominates world military spending, pushes allies to spend more, and drives an arms race that it could easily choose to reverse.

Forward this email to everyone you can to help push this movement past a tipping point!

Defending the immoral funding of the criminal (can you name a recent war that didn’t violate the UN Charter?), counterproductive, catastrophic war enterprise as a “jobs program” is obscene, but it’s also false. Economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain.14

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

1. TomDispatch: Making Sense of the $1.25 Trillion National Security State Budget
2. World BEYOND War: Militarism Mapped
3. National Priorities Project: Trump’s FY2020 Budget Request Bloats Militarized Spending—and Slashes Actual Human Needs
4. Consortium News: How the West’s War in Libya Spurred Terrorism in 14 Countries
5. World BEYOND War: War Endangers Us
6. World BEYOND War: War Is Immoral
7. World BEYOND War: War Threatens Our Environment
8. World BEYOND War: War Erodes Our Liberties
9. World BEYOND War: War Promotes Bigotry
10. The Washington Post: Free College: We Can Afford It
11. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: The World Only Needs 30 Billion Dollars a Year to Eradicate the Scourge of Hunger
12. UN Environment Program: Clean Water for a Healthy World
13. The World Bank: Cost of High Speed Rail in China One Third Lower than in Other Countries
14. Political Economy Research Institute: The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: 2011 Update

How to Have a Food Safe Memorial Day

Avoid the “Danger Zone” this Summer

Summer picnic

With the summer right around the corner, families across the country will take out their grills and start spending more time in the great outdoors.  We are urging everyone to remember the four simple steps to food safety – Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill – and to steer clear of the ‘Danger Zone’ when grilling this Memorial Day weekend.

It is important to remember that bacteria grow faster in the same warm temperatures, so extra care should be taken to make sure perishable food doesn’t spend too long in the Danger Zone. That is temperatures between 40 and 140 ˚F when perishable food spoils rapidly. Foods that should be served hot or cold should not spend more than one hour in the Danger Zone when temperatures are above 90 ˚F, and two hours when temperatures are below 90 ˚F.

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Memorial day … in memory of

a repost from 2014

Most if not all memorial days are full of wonderful events and more often than not they all provide unforgettable programs!  I would like to share 3 incredible finds … In memory of

This video is no longer available. i appreciate the access i did have … anyway …

The first includes an old HGTV and Change the World show that aired in 2010; apparently, they were or still are collaborative organizations that help Vets renovate existing housing that provides housing and education to the Vets in their respective communities.   The show also recognizes a man named Hence Forland.  I tuned into this repeat special which made me think about my own brother and others who volunteer, sacrifice themselves to serve and protect us while in the military, but

seeing football players giving up their NFL jersey’s to one of the Vets who is doing great things in his community by providing veterans a place to stay, rest, think and move on to better things after coming back from War.

The second is an amazing repeat  of  a show done in 2006; about Pearl Fryar;  a self- made man and Topiary Garden Artist in Bishop, SC;

his amazing gift for making shrubs into magnificent pieces of art was very moving and yes i cried; if you see the show on cable … it tells his story, the son of a share-cropper who listened to his dad and made something of himself… as Pearl says and while his neighbors, friends and some relatives wondered what was going on with this man so obsessed, so determined who truly loved but wanted to perfect his art, it became obvious that his gift…self-taught,was definitely centered from something deep and beyond.  The viewer hears the history and witnesses the progress of his story …his idea of love, peace and goodwill in a town with racial tension he not only brought people into a town that was suffering economically but some folks from the area who normally avoided each other crossed paths just to see his artistry.

The Garden

Since the early 1980s, Pearl Fryar has created fantastic topiary at his garden in Bishopville, South Carolina. Living sculptures, Pearl’s topiary are astounding feats of artistry and horticulture. Many of the plants in Pearl’s garden were rescued from the compost pile at local nurseries. With Pearl’s patience and skilled hands, these “throw aways” have thrived and have been transformed into wonderful abstract shapes. Pearl Fryar and his garden are now internationally recognized and have been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, television shows, and even a documentary, A Man Named Pearl. Today, the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden draws visitors from around the globe.

Visitors to the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden experience a place that is alternately beautiful, whimsical, educational, and inspiring. Pearl’s garden contains over 300 individual plants and few are spared from his skilled trimming. His extraordinary topiary is complemented by his “junk art” sculptures placed throughout the garden. Pearl’s garden is a living testament to one man’s firm belief in the results of positive thinking, hard work, and perseverance, and his dedication to spreading a message of “love, peace and goodwill.”

In 2006, the Garden Conservancy and the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden, Inc. formed a partnership with Pearl Fryar. Through this partnership, they hope to preserve and maintain the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden and to further Pearl’s message of inspiration and hope.

Please consider donating to the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden, Inc. to help ensure that Pearl’s garden is cared for and kept open to inspire future generations.

For more information about the Garden Conservancy and its mission to protect exceptional American gardens, please visit the Garden Conservancy website.


The last is a c-span(video 2010) story that we cannot continue to ignore, deny or shove under the rug, c-span interviews the author of a book about Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot; 2010

An update needs to be included as the Lacks family, after years of litigation did gain an agreement

NIH makes privacy agreement with Henrietta Lacks’ family via @usatoday ~ 2013

Henrietta’s story starts in 1920 her birth and ends sometime in the early fifties, this story seems only to be coming into the light of day and while i cried again while watching this, it is sad, might be unacceptable by some, even after several children, after years of reports, publicity and whatnot the Lacks family seems to be the only one who didn’t benefit from the story of this woman whose cells were used to create a cell line for medical research but got nothing in return.   I first heard about the Lacks story in 2010 while in a coffee shop, then we all heard Oprah and some associates decided to make a movie…hopefully some of the revenue will be given to the family.   It is a story that makes you gasp, gets you upset, mad and it will make you cry and wonder how the science community got away with not paying Henrietta Lacks and or her family for her contribution.   If I understood the interviewer the Lacks family has recently gotten more PR about their Mother’s story but it’s unclear if anyone paid money for all the stories and or tv programs about her. It is a story that  appears on the surface a story of unintentional theft of her cells then used by a scientist who did not tell her or her family even after it was evident that the cells were unusual, that they were used and what effect they would eventually have on science today.I understand that back then technology may not have been as advanced but it did advance and still if the reports are correct, the science community gave Henrietta nothing or her family. It happened in a time when minorities were treated very poorly and even if the reports state that standard procedure was this that and the other .. .the 70″s gave way to new ways to handle science technologies; it’s time to pay Henrietta Lacks and her family back.

Just some things to remember … Happy Memorial Day Weekend