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May 29, 2007

Richard Cizik is Evangelical Christianity's key advocate before Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court. In March of this year, conservative Christian leaders demanded that he be silenced or removed from his post, charging that his concerns for poverty, climate change, and torture have shifted attention away from moral issues like gay marriage and abortion. But for Cizik, war and the environment are moral issues too, and his positions have been broadly affirmed by other Evangelical leadership. ...

This is well worth the the one hour listen The Evolution of American Evangelicalism
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Posted: May 29, 2007 4:15am
Jul 11, 2006
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: United States

Oppose Rollbacks to Our Fisheries Management Laws

Fisheries management in this country is a mess -- rampant overfishing; wasteful bycatch of sea turtles, marine mammals, and non-target fish; and the ones doing the fishing are the ones who set the rules! That's why two national commissions have called for fundamental reform of our fisheries management system.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), which is currently up for renewal, is the primary law governing management of our nation's ocean fisheries. Ocean fisheries are integral to national and coastal economies but they have significant effects on ocean ecosystems so their activities need to be carefully managed.

But a recent bill by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Ca.), H.R. 5018, goes in exactly the opposite direction, and would roll back many of the most important laws we have to prevent overfishing and to disclose the environmental impacts of commercial fisheries.

We need to send Congress a message: Protect Our Oceans; Strengthen, don't weaken, the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

The House will be voting on the bill in July! Your Representative needs to know that you care about the health of our oceans and that he or she should oppose efforts to roll back critical environmental protections.

Email your Representative and ask him or him to oppose rollbacks to the MSA.

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Posted: Jul 11, 2006 1:11pm
May 13, 2006

There were two news stories about the NSA this week but you would hardly know that if you get your news from the major media outlets. The second story did receive some time from the independent sources but appears to not be resonating with many people. This is leaving me somewhat confused and disappointed. Perhaps I'm reading more into the story than is there

The story about phone records being turned over to the NSA is not new. The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed their suit against ATT several months ago concerning this very issue. The only news is that ATT is not the only company involved. The disclosure that the only information provided to the NSA was the numbers being called and no personal information seems to have given sufficient comfort to people that are rightly concerned about fighting terrorism. Of course, this administration has never lied to it's constituents...


This is why the 'other' story should have been the headliner. The Justice Department conceded that it was unable to complete a requested investigation of itself and the activities of the NSA because the NSA refused to grant sufficient security clearances to the Justice Department lawyers conducting the investigation. Why are people not bothered by this?

Under the leadership of Mr. Gonzalez, one of the architects of President's Bush spying and torture campaigns, the idea that the Justice Department is investigating itself is somewhat laughable to begin with. However, assuming that there still are some free-thinking, righteous people remaining in the Justice Department, they can not possibly do their job if not provided the proper tools. Only the NSA could have done this. The NSA operates in the shadows, apparently answering to nobody except this administration as they have chosen to go around any laws that do not fit into their mission...and we sit.

If you're still not bothered by this, consider the undisputed fact that the information being collected is not only being used to fight the terrorism you might associate with 9-11. Terrorism has a broad definition and the tools being used by this administration are also being used to intimidate an unknown number of people, U.S. citizens who simply have different political views than this administration, especially where environmental conservation clashes with corporate greed.

The citizens of the U.S. are missing the point and by turning a blind eye, we are getting exactly what we deserve.

...I couldn't help but add this link that I received as a result of this entry  

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Posted: May 13, 2006 6:28am
May 2, 2006
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: United States

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[I.D. 011806L]

Small Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Exercise Training Events Within the Hawaiian Islands Operating Area (OpArea)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS ), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application and proposed incidental take authorization; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS has received an application from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting RIMPAC ASW training events, in which submarines, surface ships, and aircraft from the United States and multiple foreign nations participate in ASW training exercises, utilizing mid-frequency sonar (1 kilohertz (kHz) to 10 kHz), in the U.S. Navy’s Hawaiian Operating Area (OpArea) in the summer of 2006.

Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an authorization to the Navy to incidentally harass several species of marine mammals during the training exercises.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than May 24, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to

Steve Leathery,
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division,
Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service,
1315 East-West Highway,
Silver Spring, MD 20910–3225.

The mailbox address for providing email comments is

NMFS is not responsible for e-mail comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here.

Comments sent via e-mail, including all attachments, must not exceed a 10–megabyte file size. A copy of the application containing a list of the references used in this document may be obtained by writing to the address specified above, telephoning the contact listed below (see

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or visiting the internet at:

Documents cited in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address. In March, 2006, the Navy prepared a revised 2006 Supplement on the 2002 Programmatic Environmental Assessment on RIMPAC. That document will be posted on the Navy’s website ( concurrently with this notice and the Navy will be accepting public comments. The Navy has also prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS ) for its Undersea Warfare Training Range (USWTR), which contains detailed supporting information for some of the issues discussed in this document and may be viewed at:

NMFS’ Ocean Acoustics Program has made additional information and references relating to the effects of anthropogenic sound available on the NMFS website at:

Jolie Harrison,
Office of Protected Resources, NMFS,
(301) 713–2289, ext 166.


Thanks to Barbara for bringing this to my attention:

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Posted: May 2, 2006 3:05am
Mar 23, 2006

Over the last few decades, technology has in one fell swoop, both simplified and complicated our lives. We have become more enlightened about the cultures of others while simultaneously witnessing the impact of a burgeoning, intertwined human population and it's affect on life all around it.

Nearly 30 years ago, many of us old enough to remember, were first introduced to the travesties of whale and seal hunting among others abuses of animals by humans. We were made aware that many whales had been hunted to near extinction - maybe some were. At the same time, we saw the tragedy of seal pups being bludgeoned to death while their blood tainted the innocence that the snow and ice seemed to represent. Multitudes of people demanded and fought to have atrocities such as these halted and many improvements were made. However, to the surprise of many of us, It was not ended.

 Already this year we have witnessed Japanese whalers, who have continued their whaling under the cover of 'scientific research', expand their self-declared quotas while claiming a cultural right to whale. They are even trying to re-create culture by serving whale meat to children in schools that have never before tasted it.

This year's barbarous seal hunt in Canada will be starting again very shortly - perhaps it already has by the time you are reading this. Beneath the disputed scientific claims and market incentives - whether for products made of the seals, or claims of attempts to protect fish stocks, there is also a demand that the cultural rights of indigenous peoples be honored.

Many of us are sincerely aware of and sensitive to the similar barbarous and unfair treatment of indigenous people throughout the world, but especially throughout the Americas that were over-run by Europeans. Before the Europeans arrived, many Native Americans lived much more harmonious lives - fully recognizing their reliance upon nature. They gave thanks for what they had and lived a much closer life to mother earth than the invading Europeans had known for centuries. There is no repayment that can ever be made to justify historic wrong-doings by people of one culture to another. There will always be an echo of guilt in my heart when I read of the tragedies that are a part of all of our histories as humans.

Later this year, Norway will also commence it's annual whale season. As a red herring, Norway has suggested that they should not face any repercussions from the international community because they have a long tradition of whaling. It is a cultural issue for them.

The Makah tribe of the Northwestern US resumed whaling in 1999 with a lot of visibility. They had not hunted whales in decades but now claimed it was their cultural and contractual right. Since so much was stolen from native Americans, there are huge mounds of guilt to be shoveled out here, but in the interim, the Makah tribe is actively working to expand their whaling efforts and within the next week, could make it more difficult to contest their efforts. *

 Culture is important and there are likely some cultures that are superior to others though you would always find someone to contest which might be best. Who could pick one of likely millions of cultures to say which is better and what are the marks we use to make these decisions? Must we respect all cultures purely for historical reasons? Do we really need a cannibalistic culture flourishing in today's world or one that is willing to destroy a human life because of the sex of the child? There are likely wonderful things about all cultures but I doubt everything about any particular culture is what we all value.

The reality is that we are all living on one, interconnected planet. Canadian seals are not being killed by Inuits with spears, knives or rocks. Traditional Japanese and Norwegian whalers did not go to sea in mammoth, sail-less ships to perform on-board processing and then ship the diced and packaged bodies of the whales they killed - while continuing their hunt. Traditional native Americans, including Inuit did not hunt in motorized boats with explosive warheads, did not leave huge amounts of the dead whale to trash or sell trinkets of whale bone in gift shops.

Traditional, cultural hunting of these animals implies that the very life of these people depends upon the skills passed down to them by their ancestors. This is very seldom the case.

 It is unfortunate that the world and all of it's creatures have been pressured to evolve as it has, that some species thrive and flourish while others struggle and eventually die, but it has. Certainly, some would say that nature has always worked that way but we have disrupted that balance. Humans of today are putting so much pressure on the planet that there is no room for 'cultural' or 'traditional' killing of it's inhabitants - especially when what is happening in reality, is organized, industrial raping and profiteering of what is beautiful in exchange for profit and the desire of a few to 'feel good'.

Culture can be beautiful and ugly. The beautiful things belong in our hearts, our memories, our photographs and stories to our grandchildren. The ugly things should not be thrown away but learned from.

Reality is both beautiful and ugly also. The beautiful things belong in our hearts, our memories, our photographs and stories to our grandchildren. The ugly things should not be thrown away but learned from. They are not different but in fact are the same. They merely coexist at different levels.

We may use culture to try and guide us though the whims and choices of everyday life but in the end it is reality that always wins and we are all but one.


May our great spirit
forgive us all
and let our hearts
become one as people
to heal
our mother earth
all my relations
unity, unity, unity


Let us not be dead to hear the cries

- Wayra (Great Eagle Flying in the Wind, 2000)

* Fisheries Service broadens study on Makah request to resume whaling

The National Marine Fisheries Service will broaden its study of the Makah request to resume whaling by including the tribe's proposed whale quotas under the Whaling Convention Act..
Makah Tribal Councilman Micah McCarty said this move would ``strengthen the study against scrutiny by the opposition.''

As for the expanded environmental study, interested parties may make written or electronic comments untill March 29.

Comments can be mailed to:

Kassandra Brown,
NMFS Northwest Region,
Building 1, 7600 Sand Point Way N.E.,
Seattle Wa. 98115.

--- Fax: 206-526-6426 Attention: Makah Whale Hunt EIS.
or emailed to:




Some groups with links and support to help stop the madness...

Whale Call Cafe
Concering the impending seal hunt
Kucinski Marine Association
Animal Wildlife Protection

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Posted: Mar 23, 2006 12:03pm


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Barry Berger
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Rockledge, FL, USA
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