From the group "People For the American Way" June 29 2006
Dear Melissa ,
The Constitution and all Americans had great victories this week!
Today brought a major victory for the rule of law
People For the American Way Foundation filed an amicus brief in the case.
Flag Amendment Defeated!
Thank you for all you hard work in fighting to protect our First Amendment freedoms.
Another victory and renewed momentum on the reauthorization of key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
Yesterday, a band of renegade GOP House members' effort to undermine critical portions of the Act by imposing what Congressman Lewis (D-GA) called a "modern day literacy test" was soundly defeated.
People For the American Way, and our growing coalition of progressive allies NAACP, ACLU, LULAC, MALDEF, NALEO and the NEA, have collected over 35,000 petition signatures in just the past 5 days calling on Congress to immediately renew the Voting Rights Act. Today we head to Capitol Hill to deliver those signatures. www.SaveTheVotingRightsAct.org. Let's ensure voting rights for future generations -- Help us get the VRA renewed today. Thanks for your stalwart activism. People For the American Way
Stay tuned for more updates and more ways for you to take action. Thank you for your continued support and for standing with us in the fight for an America that lives up to American values.
Ralph G. Neas
Let's ensure voting rights for future generations -- Help us get the VRA renewed today.
Thanks for your stalwart activism.
People For the American Way
The momentum is building and we must not let up until the Voting Rights Act is renewed.
Please ask your family and friends to add their name to the rolls of the thousands of Americans already demanding Congress renew the Voting Rights Act. Sign the petition here:
Congratulations. Tuesday night, the Senate voted to reject the Flag Desecration Amendment by one vote. We were just one vote away from changing our Constitution to curtail rights rather than expand them.–and a stunning defeat for the Bush Administration. Ruling 5-3 in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court overturned an appeals court’s determination that military detainees are not entitled to fundamental due process rights including the right to be present at their trials and the right to confront witnesses against them. The hallmark of American justice and that of most civilized nations is that everyone is entitled to a fair trial, and today’s ruling sends a strong signal to the president that his administration cannot continue to ignore the rule of law.
(Ok, the last one seems to have gotten out of order.. let's see if we have better luck with this one...)
Today marks a great victory for human rights and the rule of law!
The United States Supreme Court vindicated Amnesty’s long-held position that the military commissions were inherently unfair by ruling that President Bush did not have authority to set up the war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo Bay and found the commissions invalid under both military justice law and the Geneva conventions.
This is a remarkable day for Amnesty International and for everyone who believes in our principals: justice, accountability, and fairness. Through the tireless efforts of tens of thousands of activists across the world this victory was made possible. Amnesty International was among the first and the loudest to condemn the presidential order in the fall of 2001 that created these tribunals and led us down this lawless path. While this is a great triumph for human rights, the fight continues. Our opponents are already preparing to use the Congress to attempt to gut the Supreme Court’s ruling. And we must reach our goal of closing Guantanamo Bay for good.
Guantanamo Bay must be closed and all detainees must either be charged and given a fair trail, or be released. And torture, wherever and whenever it occurs must stop. This means that secret U.S. detention centers must be opened to scrutiny and flying suspects to countries such as Egypt and Syria for interrogation and torture must end. These are human rights values and just as important, these are American values. Together, we will fight tirelessly to restore these values.
Executive Director, Amnesty International
I needed the good News. Thanks!!!
Have a great day. Respectfully and sincerely, Darlene
Thanks for starting the thread Melissa, and another Thanks for your good work and input here! ~Peace, Larry
P.S. Welcome Darlene!
A Marine Treasure in Hawaii Is Protected- President Bush creates vast ocean refuge to preserve rare sea animals and corals
President George W. Bush announced that he will establish the world’s largest marine protected area to safeguard a remote, biologically rich string of islands and submerged lands known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). Extending over 84 million acres, the proposed marine sanctuary is more than 38 times larger than Yellowstone National Park, and larger than Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Following the process for scientific and public input outlined by Congress, the Bush Administration has developed a plan that will manage the sanctuary to protect the marine animals, coral reefs and seabird breeding habitat in one of the most remote coral reef ecosystems on Earth. Over 7,000 species are found in the region, at least one-third of which are unique to Hawaii.
Environmental Defense scientist Dr. Stephanie Fried worked for years to secure strong protections for the waters of this 1,200-mile string of islands. Last fall, after signing regulations to safeguard state waters, Hawaii's Governor Linda Lingle thanked Fried for her advocacy. Fried is a founding member of the NWHI hui – the broad network of Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, fishers and scientists with groups including `Ìlio`ulaokalani Coalition, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance and Sierra Club/ Hawai`i, which led the campaign for NWHI protections. Thank you to everyone who made phone calls, wrote letters and sent e-mails
In the News
The creation of this national monument — more than 100 times larger than Yosemite Park — made the headlines of major news outlets.
Size of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Sanctuary—the world's largest marine protected area. Environmental Defense activists played a key role in winning this historic victory!
Last night, on a 98-0 vote, the Senate passed the bill reauthorizing the expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (S. 2703). This enormous victory could not have been won without the grassroots pressure ratcheted up by activists like you.
Throughout the fight, your calls, letters and petition signatures were instrumental in moving this critical legislation. Right-wing members of Congress tried to put up roadblock after roadblock but the message from Americans was clear that we were not about to tolerate such a blatant attack on voting rights. When the GOP leadership in both houses looked ready to acquiesce to the will of the most radical in their party, we and our allies turned up the heat with our more than 100,000 petition signatures and instead made them follow the will of the people.
We should all feel energized by this win. But we know right-wing efforts to restrict voting rights and disenfranchise poor and minority voters are far from over. People For the American Way and People For the American Way Foundation will be there to fight them at every turn. Legislation needs to be implemented and we’ll be working both in Washington and in the states to demand that the Bush administration enforce all provisions of the Voting Rights Act in every election.
So, the fight rages on tomorrow, but today we celebrate.
Thank you for standing with us in this fight and truly answering the call to save the Voting Rights Act.
-- Your Allies at People For the American Way
We’re in the home stretch of our efforts to secure lasting and effective protection for California’s Central Coast.
We're delighted to report that as a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Ocean Action Team you have already had an impact.
But our work is far from done. That is why we are asking you to join us and our colleagues at a critical public hearing next Wednesday in Sacramento. Details are below. Your voice as a citizen and as an ocean lover will make a difference.
Meanwhile, if you’re among the Ocean Action Team members who have already weighed in for the Central Coast, you have our deepest gratitude. Of the 900 letters and 25,000 emails that have poured into Sacramento, 93 percent support Package 2R – the alternative favored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Many of you who wrote in mentioned that you were inspired to act because of what you learned at the aquarium.
Great news! With the recent passage of H.R. 503 in the U.S. House of Representatives, we’re on the way to banning horse slaughter. The legislation, originally introduced in 2001, calls for a full and permanent ban on the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption abroad. The bill now has to pass the Senate, where a vote is currently pending.
VICTORY! SUPPORTERS OF SENSIBLE GUN LAWS WIN AT THE POLLS
Primaries in Maryland, New York, and Rhode Island Teach NRA a LessonCandidates who stood up for sensible gun laws won their races handily, and voters, like you, told them that preventing gun violence is an important election issue.
Hope all is well!
This was an amazing couple of weeks for our wildlife and wild places.
Defenders Action Fund helped defeat anti-wildlife candidates in 14 House races across the country, sending more pro-wildlife votes to Washington, DC (see below for the list of wins).
According to media accounts, control of the Senate has also changed -- albeit by a very slim margin. Needless to say, the Congressional landscape will be fundamentally different from the current anti-environment Congress.
Changes in Congress will provide much-needed oversight of an anti-wildlife Bush Administration that's cozy with Big Oil and other special interests.
In state elections, voters in California, Idaho and Washington rejected deceptive ballot initiatives backed by greedy developers that would have undermined land use and environmental regulations.
These victories are only the beginning.
A Winning Night for Wildlife
Confronting global warming emerges as a national priority:
Renewable energy wins out over old drill, drill, drill mentality:
Ballot initiatives show conservation values strong on local and state levels.
The ultimate wildlife win in California.In a race where conservation values were a huge factor, California voters said no to re-electing Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), who spent his career in the House of Representatives spearheading efforts to gut the Endangered Species Act and sell America's public lands to oil and gas speculators. Not only will his California seat be filled by a wind energy engineer, Jerry McNerney, Pombo's leadership position on the House Resources Committee will be turned over to Rep. Nick Rahall, (D-W.Va.), who has a strong reputation for supporting conservation. Extraordinary grassroots efforts defeated developer-backed ballot initiatives in Idaho, Washington and California that would have undermined sound land-use and environmental protection efforts. Voters also passed new renewable energy and land protection measures in dozens of states and communities. With changes in the House and possibly the Senate leadership, it is unlikely Big Oil companies can advance their agenda to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other cherished public lands. Look for a new push for investments in clean energy technologies and alternative fuels. In race after race, candidates and incumbents from both parties called for reducing our dependence on oil, investing in renewable energy and curbing global warming pollution.
NWF's members and supporters (and staff) span the political spectrum and come from all walks of life. What we share, however, is a common concern for wildlife and the world we hope to leave our children.
In that sense--no matter what your political views--this election season is a season to celebrate.
Why? I asked Adam Kolton, NWF's senior director of Congressional and Federal Affairs, for his take...
Read their lips... The American people have spoken out in favor of forward-thinking environmental policy -- and against elected leaders that pander to special interests at the expense of our wildlife and wild places.
Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund will continue to hold our elected officials accountable and make sure our most imperiled creatures are protected for future generations to enjoy.
Thanks to the support of people like you, our wolves, polar bears and other imperiled creatures have a brighter future.
But it isn’t just the enormous win -- the defeat of House Resources Chair and America’s #1 Wildlife Villain, Rep. Richard Pombo. Conservation wins came on several fronts in November's elections:
We just received exciting news about one of our most important cases -- a decision that can mean stronger clean water protections throughout the nation.
For years, the South Florida Water Management District has pumped billions of gallons of polluted water directly into Lake Okeechobee -- the state’s largest surface drinking water supply. The district had no permits to do this, and the results were massive toxic algae blooms, dramatic declines in fish and wildlife populations, and poisoned drinking water for communities that rely on the lake.
Earthjustice started fighting this problem in 1997, and on Monday a federal judge in Miami ruled that pumping such as this, without the required Clean Water Act permits, is illegal.
The decision has national implications. The court was clear: you need a permit to transfer polluted water. And that permit, of course, is going to have to impose pollution limits that meet Clean Water Act standards.
This is an important victory -- one that I wanted to share, since your support makes it possible.
Vawter "Buck" Parker
PS Hi Gerry... I know you're out there somewhere... Hope all is well... think of you often and fe'el horrible at how lousey I've been at keeping in touch... let me know how things are goin'...K?
National Environmental Trust
Thanks to the quick response of NET list members to our action alert a few weeks ago, the Pure Salmon Campaign was able to hand-deliver nearly 1,000 comments at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting on March 27th, calling upon the board to protect the integrity of the organic label.
We are happy to report that your time and effort was successful - the NOSB voted to delay its decision on whether to allow fish grown in open-net cages and fed wild-caught fish for certification under the USDA organic label.
This is great news for now, although there is still a battle ahead of us, as this is only a temporary delay and the door is still open for further consideration. The next NOSB meeting that will specifically address the use of open-net cages and wild (non-organic) fish for feed will be in October of this year.
We already have indication that aquaculture industry proponents are going to make a big push over the coming months to lobby the board on open-net cages and wild fish for feed - so we are going to need your help again. For the October meeting, our goal is to deliver at least twice as many comments as we did last month.
Please stay posted for information on when your next opportunity is to comment and please make sure to write original comments, as they are the most effective way to make your voice heard.
Thank you for taking the time to make a difference!
Pure Salmon Campaign
National Environmental Trust
Sixty years ago today, Defenders of Wildlife was founded on the principle that our wildlife is worth protecting.
A symbol of the wild, the gray wolf is once again an icon of Yellowstone National Park. But it didn’t happen overnight. Defenders led a decades-long battle to bring wolves back to Yellowstone, which culminated with their reintroduction in 1995.
And we’re not slowing down now.
Cook Inlet’s imperiled beluga whales
Diamondback terrapinsin Maryland, where over-harvesting has reduced their population by 75% in the past two decades. Yesterday, Governor Martin O’Malley signed a ban on the commercial harvest of these beloved turtles into law, after Defenders supporters sent thousands of messages and placed hundreds of calls to save Maryland’s “terps.”, a species that has all but vanished and is in dire need of protection under the Endangered Species Act. In the last several weeks, nearly 26,000 Defenders supporters spoke out in support of the protections, and last week the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMF reversed an earlier decision and proposed listing the imperiled Cook Inlet beluga whale as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). threatened by expanded hunting near their home in Alaska’s McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Refuge. Tens of thousands of Defenders supporters sent messages opposing a now-defeated proposal to increase hunting near these beloved bears’ home. poisoned by the use of lead ammunition. With your support, legislation to reduce the use of lead ammunition passed a key California committee earlier this month. Lead poisoning remains one of the largest threats to successful condor recovery. in Alaska and the American Southwest threatened with cruel and baseless elimination plans. Through your actions and crucial financial support, Defenders supporters like you helped us stop anti-wolf legislation in New Mexico and block Alaska’s gruesome, illegal wolf bounty plan.
As Defenders celebrates our 60th birthday, I want you to know that we remain committed to protecting this and other wildlife and sincerely appreciate your contribution to our work.
Defenders of Wildlife
P.S. One of our greatest accomplishments -- the return of wolves to the Greater Yellowstone area and Northern Rockies after hunting, poisoning and trapping eliminated them -- is at risk. The Bush/Cheney Administration has proposed eliminating vital protections for the wolves, despite plans in Idaho and Wyoming to kill most of the wolves within those states.
(SO, WE STILL HAVE WORK TO DO... GET READY TO SIGN MORE PETITIONS AND WRITE THOSE LETTERS!)
Again, thank you. The letters you send to decision-makers, the donations that you make and the time you volunteer are all essential to our success in protecting the natural legacy we’ll leave to future generations.
Best Regards, In the last sixty days alone, your support has helped advance our work to save…
Countless dolphins—not to mention other marine mammals—were maimed or killed by driftnets used to capture tuna before Defenders led the successful fight in the 1980s and 1990s to ban large-scale driftnets on the high seas. The result: the “dolphin safe” label on tuna cans sold by companies that no longer used driftnets.The comeback of America’s national symbol is a true endangered species success story—and one Defenders helped write. Once nearly extinct, the Endangered Species Act has restored bald eagles to their former glory. When some in Congress attempted to dismantle the Endangered Species Act, Defenders fought back, leading efforts to protect the law that protects our bald eagles and other wildlife.Since then, we’ve helped ensure passage of the Endangered Species Act, won the fight to return wolves to Yellowstone National Park and protect countless wild places and the wildlife that lives there.
To commemorate our anniversary, we’ve put together a partial list of some of the ways you’ve helped us save wolves and other wildlife over the last six decades… and the last sixty days:
Thanks believing in me! The class was on Ashiatsu... it is a form of massage that the therapist kinda walks on your back. We use bars attached to the ceiling to adjust how much of our weight is on the client. Sounds like it might hurt, but it doesn't... in fact it is billed as "The Deepest, Most Luxurious Massage on the Planet" (little trade mark thingy). It is WONDERFUL for people who suffer from low back pain. I am just SO very THRILLED that everything went so good! AND I TOOK NOT-A-ONE ANXIETY PILL!!!!! I AM OFF ALL MY MEDS, AND AM DOIN' BETTER AND BETTER.! I am sorry for "shouting"... no, I am not.... I really am very PROUD of myself! Gosh, I had fun, taught some very enthusiastic gals a whole new concept in massage, AND made money... I am on my way to buying that hybrid car I've been wanting so bad! Cool Beans!
Ok, I have calmed now. (he he he)
It is nice to hear the success stories! Thanks for the smiles!
November 7, 2007
In response to more than 10,000 public comments, the most the New England Fishery Management Council has ever received, the council voted today to protect North Atlantic Ocean life by overhauling the Atlantic herring fishery.
The action the NEFMC takes in 2008 must address three critical areas:
• accountability for what the industrial mid-water trawl fleet catches and what it dumps (bycatch)
• protecting inshore waters and marine ecosystems from industrial mid-water trawling through the use of buffer zones
• accounting for how much predators, such as whales, cod, tuna and striped bass need to eat when setting catch levels
For more information on herring, go to www.herringalliance.org.
Conserve Our Ocean Legacy (COOL) Campaign
National Environmental Trust
1200 18th St. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Toll Free 888-901-8811