Tags >> activism
Apr 15
2010

National Priorities Project

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , technology , research , policy , peace , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , journalism , government , finances , education , current events , Congress , budget , activism

Bruce Robinson

If you’ve ever wondered just where the taxes you pay actually get used, The National Priorities Project can tell you.

To see where your personal tax payments are going, visit the Tax-Day website hosted by the National Priorities Project. You can also track the war spending totals, and what that money could have funded instead for Sonoma County,  Marin County, or the state of California as a whole. They are far from new to this issue, explains National Priorities Project spokesman Chris Hellman. In fact, they’ve been at it, as an organization, longer than many, maybe even most, members of Congress have been in office.

On the occasion of their 25th anniversary, the Project produced the video below that summarizes their approach and their history.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPA0B-ai0D8 360x240]

Over the years, Hellman adds, the Project has tracked budget details for many years. But to keep the information more easily digestable, they don’t try to identify long-term budgetary trends.

Apr 13
2010

Daniel Ellsberg Documentary

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , protest , politics , news , media , journalism , jail , international , history , government , events , election , Congress , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

A single significant act of civil disobedience, one that may have changed the course of American history in the 20th century, is chronicled in the new documentary film, The Most Dangerous Man in America.

Daniel Ellsberg (seen here a in 1971 news photograph)  was arrested and faced serious criminal charges for making public the highly classified “Pentagon Papers.” But the case collapsed in a mistrial, when it was revealed that the Nixon administration had interfered in it, initially by engineering a surreptitious burglary of the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. Looking back on those events now, film-maker Judith Erlich (below)  says, it’s entirely plausible to see Ellsberg as the catalyst for Richard Nixon’s downfall.

Having spent considerable time with Ellsberg over the five years it took to make the film, Erlich says she is convinced and appreciative of the sincerity of his motives, both in 1971 and over the years since.

Daniel Ellsberg was interviewed on the North Bay Report in November, 2006, prior to an appearance in Sebastopol. Here is that archival report.

This is the trailer for The Most Dangerous Man in America, currently showing at the Rialto cinemas Lakeside in Santa Rosa.

[video://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXlmQeSpqI4&feature=player_embedded 360x240]

Apr 05
2010

Hair Dye Hazard

Posted by Bruce Robinson in toxic , public safety , Marin , lifestyle , Health , education , chemicals , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

As more and more people color their hair, often starting at younger ages, their exposure to the chemicals in those dyes is increasing, and their risk of a cumulative allergic reaction is going up, too.

Since her own allergic response to PPD, nearly three years ago, Marcia Beauchamp has been alert to any other news about the compound. And she says, there has been quite a lot.

PPD (para-phenylenediamine) is also found in many Henna dyes, whether used for hair coloring or temporary tattoos. Both uses can lead to reactions, but Marcia explains that the scalp is especially vulnerable.

Online searches about PPD and allergic reactions to it now result in myriad links, enough to be more than a little confusing. Beauchamp's response to that—and her own experience—has been the creation of a website of her own, one intended to be a one-stop resource for information on the issue.

Marcia Beauchamp

 

 

 

 



Mar 24
2010

Corporate Personhood

Posted by Bruce Robinson in rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , history , government , finances , election , corporate responsibiliyt , Congress , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

California’s far north coast is home to a nationwide campaign for a constitutional amendment to revoke the concept of “corporate personhood,” as recently extended by the US Supreme Court.

More information about the proposed constitutional amendment can be found at the website for Move to Amend. Humbolt County Attorney David Cobb predicts that this issue that will generate a grassroots political movement that will gain momentum as it sweeps across the country over the next 1-3 years.

Drafting a constitutional amendment to address this issue is a complex and delicate matter, so Cobb says that, too, is being worked out in a transparent and inclusive process.

Murray Hill, a public relations firm in Silver Spring, Maryland, has seized on the Citizens United ruling to become the first "corporate person" to run for public office. Here's "his" somewhat satirical campaign ad.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHRKkXtxDRA 250x250]

By way of contrast, Ira Glasser, head of the American Civil Liberties Union offers a dissenting view  on the Supreme Court decision.