- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
Dear Voting Activists,
I wanted to bring a couple of important items to your attentionone good, and one horrific.
First, Holt's bill is better than ever, in the latest version. Clear language expressly forbids the use of DRE (direct recording electronic) voting machines. Paperless machines have to be replaced by 2010, if the bill passes, and machines that currently produce a paper record have to be replaced by 2014. But again, that's assuming the bill PASSES in time. You can read the latest version of the Holt bill via the link at the end of this message.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that, separately, there's a very concerted effort afoot to enable Internet voting in this country. Internet voting presents a completely insecure system that has no paper trail and no way to be audited by hand.
Just as the disabled community was the excuse for bringing us unauditable DRE machines, Internet voting is being put forward as a way of helping the troops.
So our efforts have reached a crossroads. If we fail to see Holt's bill through the door this time around, we won't get another chance. Internet voting will be ushered in, and our power to `vote out' the people who don't want to help us will be seriously compromised, if not gone altogether. That's an unthinkable option, for me, and I hope for all of you as well. Please understand the push for Internet voting is a very serious effort with a real chance of succeeding if we do not act promptly.
The only bill already written, vetted, familiar to the membership, and ready to be passed is Holt's bill. It doesn't have a number yet, and won't until it's introduced.
And that's where you come in.
Rep. Holt wants to get as many co-sponsors as possible before the bill is introduced.
Will you please call your Congressperson in the next few days and find out where they stand re Holt's latest bill? If they are already a co-sponsor, thank them mightily for their political will and courage. If they are not yet a co-sponsor, please encourage them, with all the passion you feel about this issue, to support this last firewall against truly unaccountable, unauditable voting.
Time is of the essence. If we want this bill to be in effect for the 2010 election, we'd need to get this bill on the House floor for a vote by the end of July.
Here are some key points you can mention:
Holt's bill will require mandatory voter-marked paper records and a mandatory audit of those records, while still providing for accessible options for the disabled.
Holt's bill has already been vetted by the House Administration committee and is essentially ready to go, with very few changes from the last session, but with the key change of banning DREs by requiring that the paper ballot must be marked by the voter before it is counted.
By requiring both machine and hand counts (via manual audits), we dramatically reduce the possibility of a rigged vote. It's easier to rig a fully hand-counted vote or a fully machine-counted vote than it is to rig a vote that is counted by two entirely separate systems.
Holt's bill will implicitly ban Internet voting before it gets off the ground because it requires a paper record marked by the voter, something which would be impossible to do using the Internet alone.
I don't want to sound alarmist. But truly, we are at the end of the line. Each time the bill fails to come to a vote, the DRE and Internet voting vendors (one and the same) grow bolder. We need to completely cut them off at this pass before Internet voting becomes a reality. If that happens, our only recourse will be in the streets. And that's a battle I hope none of us have to fight, because that one will be much more costly to all of us.
Although some states have been moving to paper-based elections, seven states still have fully paperless, unauditable elections. Many other states have numerous counties still using paperless voting systems. How many more jurisdictions will succumb to aggressive efforts to implement Internet voting? Many people still don't get it. Most people are decent enough and innocent enough to believe Internet voting would be both convenient and safe. After all, they bank online, right? That's why the burden falls on those few of us who really do understand the dangers to do all we can while we still have a chance to make a difference.
While I'm thrilled Obama is our president, the fact that he got elected made a lot of activists complacent, feeling that our vote really isn't at risk. But it is, and more than ever before.
Please. Call your Representative and Senators this week and ask if they are supporting Rush Holt's bill banning paperless voting. (Ask your Senator to support Sen. Bill Nelson's clone of Holt's bill when it is introduced.) Talk to their staff and make the strongest case you can. Ask for an answer. Try not to just pass a comment along. Get your Congressperson on the record regarding their support, or opposition, to this bill.
If you don't know who your Representative is, you can find out at www.house.gov/writerep. By entering your address and ZIP, you can find out who represents you in Washington.
Please share this message with your friends who are politically aware. We all need to help push this one over the top. No legislation passes without a groundswell of grassroots activity behind it. The other side is working overtime to stop this legislation. It's up to us to counter their efforts.
Thank you, as always, for being such a good patriot and supporting an honest, accountable vote. I'm grateful for all you continue to do.
Author and activist
The latest version of Holt's bill:
Voter Action's strong endorsement of Holt's bill:
List of Internet voting bills being proposed:
One of the arguments has been that Internet voting would increase participation. That's the opposite of what happened in Hawaii with their recent Internet voting experiment. Voting participation dropped 83%:
List of various systems used by various states (seven have fully paperless systems, with key congressional and senate seats being determined):
If you get pushback re allowing the military to vote, point them to Holt's separate bill providing express mail services for soldiers to mail paper ballots back, at taxpayer expense. The text of this short bill is here:
Dear Mac friends,
Apple just made a serious of staggering announcements today, and I'm still blinking like a deer in the headlights trying to process it all!
Here are a few of today's most important announcements:
- First of all, the iPhone 3G is now only $99! This is an unbelievable new price!
- Next, Apple introduced the new iPhone 3G S (the "S" is for "Speed") for $199. Not only is the new iPhone 3G S significantly faster than the iPhone 3G, but it comes with built-in video recording, video editing, complete voice control, and compass. You can learn all about the new iPhone 3G S here: http://www.apple.com/iphone/iphone-3g-s/
- The MacBook Pro line is now SIGNIFICANTLY CHEAPER, FASTER, and has new features -- such as a built-in SD Card Reader for your SD Cards that you use inside your digital cameras. As an example of the new lower pricing, the 15" MacBook Pro used to start at $1,999, but now it starts at $1,699. You can read more about the new MacBook Pro line here: http://www.apple.com/macbookpro
- Snow Leopard is coming! Snow Leopard is coming! And it's only going to cost $29! Later this year, we will be upgrading all of you to Snow Leopard, since it is the faster and more refined version of the Leopard operating system that you currently use & love. At a price of only $29, Apple clearly wants everyone to be using Snow Leopard. You can read more about Snow Leopard here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/
- iPhone OS 3.0 software update is coming on June 17th! If you already own an iPhone, in just 9 days, you'll get a bevy of new features delivered right to your current iPhone! Features like cut/copy/paste, a landscape keyboard in more applications, MMS messages, spotlight searching, voice memos, holiday subscriptions in your calendar, buying movies & TV shows & audiobooks from your phone, sync your notes between your iPhone and your Mac, and much much more. You can read about all these new improvements here: http://www.apple.com/iphone/softwareupdate/
- Oh, and ScottWorld has a brand new logo. This is the first step in what will soon be a complete overhaul of the ScottWorld website, along with an introduction of brand new ScottWorld services -- such as Mac training bootcamp weekends! Stay tuned for more details....
Certified FileMaker & Mac Experts. Since 1992.
Contributing Editor, Mac|Life Magazine
My blog about life + technology:
Thanks to Rense.com for the following...
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Real News - Real Talk - Real People - Because You CAN Handle The Truth!
The Monroe Institute
Japanese Vegetarian Cuisine Explained
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Kirk Patrick, citizen journalist
Key concepts: Soy, Vegetarian and Soybeans
(NaturalNews) Even if you don't like seafood, your local sushi restaurant features an array of medicinal plant-based foods that regularly accompany each meal. This article will highlight ten healthy vegetarian items commonly found in Japanese cuisine along with their key health properties.
Part I - Seaweed Products
* Dulse - Palmaria palmata (Palmariacea)
A red seaweed, dulse contains calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, protein and zinc. Dulse also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E. Useful in treating an underactive thyroid, dulse is also low in sodium. Dulse is a seasoning and is often used in seaweed salad.
* Nori - Porphyra (Bangiaceae)
Available in red and green pigment, nori is a seaweed that contains the polysaccaraide Galactan along with choline, eicosapentanoic acid, inositol and taurine. Nori contains copper, iodine, magnesium, selenium and zinc. Nori helps treat ulcers, fights cancer and lowers cholesterol. Sheets of nori are used to wrap rice and ingredients in sushi rolls.
* Wakame - Undaria pinnatifida (Alariaceae)
Available in both brown and green varieties, wakama is a seaweed collected off the coast of Japan. Wakame contains the antioxidant fucoxanthin, a pigment known to boost the metabolism. Wakame reduces cholesterol, stimulates the liver, fights diabetes and helps treat prostate cancer. Used in miso soup, wakame is an invasive weed in New Zealand and California.
Part II - Soybean Products
* Soy - Glycine max (Fabaceae)
Soy contains lecithin which protects against mental fatigue. Soy contains vitamins A, B, and C, along with iron, phosphorous, potassium and protein. Soy boosts the immune system, helps treat diabetes, improves kidney function and promotes healthy vision and strong cardiovascular health.
Note: There has been much recent controversy regarding soy and there are several important considerations:
1) Soybeans should be organically grown. Non-organic soybeans are often bathed in solvents such as hexane.
2) Soybeans should be locally grown if possible (versus grown in China and shipped 12,500 miles). At least find companies who are willing to reveal their actual sources of their soybeans along with proof of certification. Recent studies have shown that this is easier said than done.
3) Soybeans should be fermented. Unfermented soy such as soy milk and tofu contain higher levels of estrogen-mimicking chemicals called phytoestrogens. These cause boys to exhibit female traits and cause breast cancer in women. Choose fermented soy products such as the ones outlined next.
* Tamari (Soy Sauce)
A concentrated, fermented soy product, tamari has been used in China for about 3000 years. Tamari contains antioxidants along with vitamin B6, iron, phosphorous, protein and the amino acid tryptophan. Soy sauce should be refrigerated after opening.
Made by fermenting soybeans with the Rhizopus mold, tempeh contains antioxidants, isoflavones, saponins, fiber, protein and every required amino acid. Tempeh aids digestion and boosts the immune system.
Miso is a product made from soybeans (or other grains) fermented with the Koji mold. Miso contains vitamin K, B6, B12, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous and zinc along with protein and amino acids. Miso comes in several varieties including Genmai, Hacho, Mugi, and Shiro. A must for those building a storable food supply, 12 ounces of miso paste is enough to make several gallons of soup. Unlike canned and processed foods, miso is a living food.
Part III - Condiments
* Wasabi - Wasabia japonica (Cruciferae)
A plant that contains antioxidants called isothiocynates, wasabi also contains calcium and potassium. Wasabi stimulates digestion, detoxifies the liver, and fights prostate cancer. Wasabi is the spicy green paste served alongside most sushi orders. However, most restaurants do not serve real Wasabi which is rare and expensive, opting for dyed Horseradish instead.
* Ginger (Pickled) - Zingiber officinale (Zingiberaceae)
Ginger contains soothing compounds called Gingerols. Ginger also contains vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Ginger stimulates digestion, relieves arthritis, treats nausea, and is safe for pregnant women. Ginger helps fight cancer of the ovaries and colon, and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
A blend of miso, burdock, carrot, lotus root and sesame, tekka is a little-known but delicious condiment that has the look and feel of chewing tobacco and the flavor of soy sauce. Highly concentrated, tekka is the perfect companion for rice. A good source of iron, tekka contains lotus root which helps sooth stomach and colon inflammation, along with burdock root that is known to help purify the blood.
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants - Dorling Kindersley and Andrew Chevallier
Oil price leaps to year's high
Predictions of $250 a barrel on fears for oil reserves, hopes of economic recovery and hedging against weak dollar
Terry Macalister guardian.co.uk
Wednesday 10 June 2009
Oil will last for decades, according to BP, but advocates of 'peak oil' believe reserves are dwindling
The price of oil burst through the $71 a barrel mark today amid revelations that proven reserves had fallen for the first time in 10 years and predictions that the price could eventually hit $250.
The latest high from lows of $30 only four months ago came on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where the cost of July deliveries rose by $1.35 to $71.36.
This comes on top of a $2 rise the day before as investors rushed into the market on the back of lower stockpile figures, higher demand estimates and speculation against further falls in the dollar.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we're testing $80 in a week or two," said one analyst, while BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, questioned whether $90 could be the "right" value.
Kuwait's oil minister, Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, put some of the rise down to signs of recovery in Asia but warned that overall demand was still weaker than last year. Opec would not raise supply at current oil prices but did not rule it out "if it reached $100", he said.
Alexei Miller, chairman of the Russian energy group Gazprom, raised the stakes further when he reiterated last year's estimates of $250 a barrel. "This forecast has not become reality yet, given that the [credit] crisis gained momentum and exerted a powerful impact on the global energy market. But does this mean that our forecast was unrealistic? Not at all."
The latest surge has also raised fears that higher energy costs could snuff out the nascent economic recovery. Shares on Wall Street's Nasdaq index fell 1%.
The febrile atmosphere in oil markets was fed by the publication of BP's Statistical Review of World Energy, which showed that the world's proven crude reserves had fallen by 3bn barrels to 1.258tn by 2008 from a revised 1.261tn in 2007.
Declines in important producers such as Russia and Norway offset rises in new areas such as Vietnam, India and Egypt. The figures did not include Canada's tar sands, which are put at 150bn barrels.
The drop is partly attributed to a drop in exploration drilling due to the precipitous fall in oil prices last year but also to the end of "easy" oil. Conflict this week in the Amazon and speculation about Arctic drilling underlined how oil companies are pushing into environmentally sensitive places to find new reserves.
Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, insisted there was enough crude to last 42 years at current consumption levels, roughly the same as last year. Adherents of "peak oil" the theory that the maximum rate of oil production has been reached believe supplies will run out much sooner because of growing demand.
The BP boss said: "Our data confirms that the world has enough proved reserves of oil, natural gas and coal to meet the world's energy needs for decades to come." Higher prices allowed companies to invest in finding further reserves while not choking off demand, he said.
"There is a rational argument to say that somewhere between $60 to $90 a barrel is the right sort of level," he said.
Global oil consumption fell 0.6% to 81.8m barrels a day in 2008, the first decline since 1993 and the largest drop for 27 years. North Sea output dropped 6.3% to its lowest level for three decades.
By contrast, gas use rose by 2.5% globally and 16% in China. The use of coal, the heaviest emitter of climate-changing carbon, rose 3.1%, with Chinese demand up 6.8%, leaving it with a market share of 43% despite more high-profile announcements about its commitment to renewables.
BP says it is difficult to compare "primary" carbon fuels with renewable sources of electricity. BP notes that globally solar capacity rose nearly 70% and wind by 30% year on year but says renewables only generated 1.5% of global electricity and therefore began at a low base.But it notes these sources are playing an increasingly important role in some countries with wind power providing 20% of total electricity generation in Denmark, 11% in Spain and 7% in Germany.
Despite the 2008 rise in coal consumption, the BP data showed growth in the use of the fuel continued to decline compared with 2007 when it rose 5% and five years ago when it went up by 8%.
But the coal figures will alarm environmentalists and increase the calls for companies and governments to speed up trials on "clean coal" technology and the use of carbon capture and storage.
China has promised to increase its use of renewables: Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-chairman of the China's national development and reform commission, says the country may produce as much as 20% of its energy from wind and solar by 2020.