Category: December 2012

Out with the Old: Recycling Cell Phones, Laptops, TVs…

CHRIS THOMAS – PORTLAND, Ore. – “Out with the old, in with the new” takes on a whole new meaning when the topic is electronic gear. A new national certification program ensures that recyclers properly dispose of items such as laptops, televisions and cell phones. According to the Basel Action Network (BAN), a toxic-waste watchdog group, the oversight is necessary for what’s become an international environmental nightmare.

GravityLight: the Low-Cost Lamp Powered by Sand and Gravity

OLIVER WAINWRIGHT – The problem of bringing light to remote parts of the developing world has been tackled in the past with everything from solar-powered lamps to wind-up devices and rechargeable batteries – all of which require relatively expensive kit or physical effort by the user. But two London-based designers have now developed a light source that operates on the stuff that surrounds you – earth, rocks or sand – with the helping hand of gravity.

We Are the Cause of Our Own Misery

JENNIFER BROWDY DE HERNANDEZ – A couple of weeks ago, when I heard that my 14-year-old son and his friend had been playing with the other boy’s air-soft pistols by shooting each other at close range, I saw red. “But it just stings like a bee-sting, Mom,” my son protested. “It just leaves a welt. Why are you getting so upset?” At the time, I wasn’t sure why I was getting so upset — after all, these were only toy guns…

Nuclear Test in Nevada Condemned by Iran, Japan

JOSEY WALES – Iran has strongly condemned the U.S. for carrying out a nuclear test in Nevada this week, saying the move threatens world peace and shows a hypocritical set of double standards set by Washington when it comes to nuclear research. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the Wednesday detonation proves that US foreign policy relies heavily on the use of nuclear weapons, disregarding UN calls for global disarmament, PressTV reports.

Understanding the Fiscal Cliff (In 2 Minutes 30 Seconds)

ROBERT B. REICH – MAKE REPUBLICANS VOTE ON EXTENDING THE TAX CUTS JUST FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS. After all the Bush tax cuts expire, have Republicans vote on an extending the Bush tax cut just for the middle-class. If they refuse and try to hold those tax cuts hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy, it will show whose side they’re on. They’ll pay the price in 2014.

Here’s How to Cut the Military Budget

RANDY SCHUTT – ilitary spending (inflation-adjusted) has nearly doubled in the past 12 years, from $361.3 billion in FY2000 to $610.9 billion in FY2012. This massive increase has taken place during a time when the United States has the most powerful military ever in history and when we have no significant military enemies. The U.S. spends more on the military than the next 14 countries combined and vastly more than any possible enemies: roughly 5 times more than China, 10 times more than Russia, and 95 times more than Iran.

U.S. Has Responsibility to Help Make Peace in Gaza

DAVID MCREYNOLDS – We should be reminded, in looking at anything involving Netanyahu, that we are not dealing with an “ordinary” head of state, but with a man of the far right. His late father was an open racist whose comments about the Palestinians are fully the equal of the Nazi views of the Jews, and was a follower of the Jabotinsky movement – the extreme right of the Zionist movement (Jabotinsky worked with Mussolini before WW II). The Israeli Prime Minister is truly his father’s son.

Nonviolence, Not Violence, Promises a Brighter Mid-East Future

MICHAEL NAGLER – The big picture is this: we live in a violent system. Overriding the unquenchable yearning for peace and unity in every one of us, and which is arguably much closer to our actual nature, is a distorting culture that possesses the world of our thoughts and emotions. We see it in, among other things, The overriding narrative of our culture, which is predicated on a dispiriting image of the human being. Institutions, like retributive justice that operate from this narrative. The guiding principle of competition that has come to be enshrined in business, education, entertainment, sports — and of course war.

Organic Seed Growers Take Monsanto to Court

JIM GERRITSEN – WASHINGTON, DC – November 23, 2012 – On November 21, 2012, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., announced that it would hear the Appeal of Dismissal inOrganic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto at 10am on Thursday, January 10, 2013. The landmark organic community lawsuit was originally filed in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York, in March 2011.

Message from Sen. Merkley About Military Spending

JEFF MERKLEY – This letter is a reply from Sen. Jeff Merkley to PeaceWorker Editor Peter Bergel in response to Bergel’s request that Merkley support major cuts to the military budget during the upcoming “fiscal cliff” debate, rather than allow cuts to social security, medicare, or other remaining components of the safety net. Let’s hold Merkley to this encouraging approach.

Occupying Democracy: Amendments to Get Money out of Politics

RUSSELL SIMMONS – We have recently seen the massive expense of the political system on all levels, and we have joined forces to fight for our democracy. We refuse to let our future be auctioned off and sold to the highest bidder. When the focus of our candidates has to be on raising money, it takes time away from working with the people on the actual critical issues.