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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The XL Pipeline bill fails to pass and Native Americans chant in celebration

The controversial “Keystone XL pipeline bill” failed to pass on Tuesday after the U. S. Senate defeated the bill with 59 Yea and 41 Nay. 
The bill, a measure introduced by the House of Representatives, needed a 60 vote count to pass.  All 45 Republicans and 14 Democrats voted in favor but it was not enough for the bill to pass.  In a recent speech President Barack Obama rejected the bill and it was believed that had the bill passed, he would had vetoed it.

The bill would have allowed TransCanada, A multibillion dollar oil corporation, to construct a US$8 billion dollar pipeline to transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Environmentalists and Native Americans were protesting the bill since it was first introduced to the House of Representatives and were outside the Senate when the announcement was made that the Keystone Vote failed.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was presiding over the Senate, and was asking the Senate to move to executive session was interrupted by one protester, who was later identified by the Washington Post as Greg Graycloud of the Lakota Tribe in South Dakota.
The Native American chant was heard throughout the floor and it was a symbol of celebration.
According to the environmentalist group, Friends of Earth, the construction of a pipeline would had been disastrous for our planet. 
In an article on their website the group listed some of the alarming reasons why this bill could have damaged the planet:  

Dirty tar sands oil
Pollution from tar sands oil greatly eclipses that of conventional oil. During tar sands oil production alone, levels of carbon dioxide emissions are three to four times higher than those of conventional oil, due to more energy-intensive extraction and refining processes. The Keystone XL pipeline would have carried 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil into the United States daily, and resulted in climate-damaging emissions equal to adding more than 5.6 million new cars to U.S. roads.
                                          Water waste and pollution
During the tar sands oil extraction process, vast amounts of heat, water and chemicals are needed to separate the tarry substance (known as bitumen) from sand, silt, and clay and to flow up the pipeline. The water used in the process comes from rivers and underground aquifers. It takes three barrels of water to extract each single barrel of oil. Ninety-five percent of the water used to extract the oil, which is about 2.4 million barrels per day, is so polluted that the water must be stored in large human-made pools, known as tailing ponds. As the heavy bitumen sinks to the bottom of these ponds, the toxic sludge, full of harmful substances like cyanide and ammonia, works its way into neighboring clean water supplies.
                                                Forest Destruction
The tar sands oil are underneath the world’s largest intact ecosystem, the Boreal forests of Alberta. The forests not only serve as an important carbon sink, but its biodiversity and unspoiled bodies of water support large populations of many different species. They are a buffer against climate change, as well as food and water shortages. However, in the process of digging up tar sands oil, the forests are destroyed. This valuable forest and its endangered caribou are both threatened by the pipeline.
                                                Indigenous populations

Northern Alberta, the region where tar sands oil is extracted, is home to many indigenous populations. Important parts of their cultural traditions and livelihood are coming under attack because of tar sands operations. Not only have indigenous communities been forced off of their land, but also those living downstream from tailing ponds have seen spikes in rates of rare cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism. In the lakeside village of Fort Chipewyan, for example, 100 of the town’s 1,200 residents have died from cancer.

These problems will only get worse, unless tar sands production is halted. Investing in a new pipeline would increase the rate of production, while decreasing the quality of life for indigenous populations.
Pipeline spills
The Keystone XL pipeline would traverse six U.S. states and cross major rivers, including the Missouri River, Yellowstone, and Red Rivers, as well as key sources of drinking and agricultural water, such as the Ogallala Aquifer which supplies water to more than one fourth of America’s irrigated land and provides drinking water for two million Americans.

            In the end, the celebration comes from the heart of those who believe the planet is in state of emergency, and the vote rejecting the Keystone pipeline gives environmentalist a new hope that our country is moving towards oil independence and a greener environment.
Brava :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Medical Marijuana-Questions and answers: Will Floridians Vote YESON2?

November 4th, 2014 is going down in history as one of the most important midterm elections in the United State and maybe the greatest progressive change for the state of Florida.

The most important debate for Floridians is going to be whether to vote YESON2; which will then legalized the use of Medicinal Marijuana for the entire state.
  • What is amendment #2 about?
Amendment 2 would make medical marijuana consumption legal in the state of Florida.
If pass, the law will allow doctors to issue certifications for medical marijuana to Floridians with "illnesses or conditions for which a physician is certain that the medical use of cannabis would most likely outweigh the potential health risks for any patient."
A recent polled conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research (ALG) Show a 62% approval in favor of passing the law; other polls show a higher number of approval.
Regardless of the fact that amendment 2 may pass there are many confusing questions for voters and having them answer will help determine the outcome.

The Tampa Bay Times published an article listing the most important facts about Amendment 2 and the legalization of Medical Marijuana. Stephen Nohlgren, a writer for the publication said, “Here is what is known about how medical marijuana would work in Florida:”
Below is a list of those answers:
  • Who could use medical marijuana?
A person with a doctor's certificate stating that the patient qualifies for medical marijuana. The Florida Department of Health would issue an identification card to be shown at purchase. The card would let law enforcement know the patient can possess amounts set by law.
  • What medical conditions would qualify?
Specific diseases or other "debilitating" conditions for which the doctor thinks benefits of use would outweigh risk. Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and Crohn's disease are all specified.
  • When could a patient start legally using marijuana?
The effective date of the amendment is Jan. 6. After that date, the Department of Health must implement regulations within six months and begin issuing identification cards within nine months. If the department fails to issue cards within nine months, the doctor's certification will serve as identification.
  • How much marijuana could a patient possess?
That will be determined by the Department of Health, based on what is "reasonably presumed to be an adequate supply.'' Patients who think they need more could appeal. Marijuana, oil, tinctures and cannabis-laced food products would be allowed.
  • How would a patient fill a prescription?
There will be no prescriptions because marijuana is not an FDA-approved medicine with controlled doses. It would be more like an over-the-counter herb. Certifying doctors must be licensed in Florida and perform a physical exam and "full assessment of a patient's history," but the amendment does not require doctors and patients to have an ongoing relationship.
  • Where medical marijuana would be sold?
Only at state-licensed dispensaries called "Medical Treatment Centers." Growers would also be licensed as treatment centers. The Department of Health would issue rules about how dispensaries would be monitored. Growing your own pot would remain illegal, as it is under current law.
  • What if the Department of Health writes regulations so restrictive that usage is effectively banned?
The department must issue "timely" and "reasonable" rules that "ensure the availability and safe use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients." If the regulations are too restrictive, any Florida citizen could sue to enforce constitutional intent.
  • Can caregivers possess marijuana?
A person over 21 can buy and handle the marijuana on behalf of up to five patients. Caregivers would have an identification card issued by the state.
  • How old must a patient be?
The amendment does not set age limits. In other states, use by minors requires parental consent, as with traditional medicinal treatments.
  • Would insurance cover it?
That would be up to the insurer. The amendment does not require coverage. Medicare does not cover nonprescription drugs and supplements.
  • What about using it at work or in schools?
Schools and employers would be free to prohibit on-site use. The amendment does not prohibit employers from requiring drug tests or imposing sanctions for positive results.
  • Would information on identification cards be public?
No. The Department of Health must keep records confidential, even from employers or family members. But the information could be disclosed for "valid medical or law enforcement purposes.''
  • Could the Legislature set up its own system to regulate medical marijuana?
Yes, but it could not contradict the amendment. For example, the Legislature could not make dispensaries illegal. However, it could permit home cultivation, which is now banned by statute.
  • Could the Florida Supreme Court ruling on the ballot language be appealed?
Not successfully. Federal courts leave interpretation of state constitutions to state courts.
  • Could pot-smoking in public be regulated just as cigarette smoking is regulated?
Yes. Calling it medicine does not confer the right to use pot anywhere.
  • What about DUI?
Driving under the influence of "medical" marijuana would still be illegal, as with alcohol.
Many other questions will surface before and after the election but hopefully Floridians will come out and vote on November 4th and voters will determine if the state is moving towards progress or wants to remain in the dark ages.

"Life is the result of our choices" - Brava :) <3 p="">

Monday, August 11, 2014

Beloved Actor Robin Williams, Dead at 63; possible suicide. R.I.P.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office-Coroner Division reported the death of famous actor, Robin McLaurin Williams this morning. The incident happened in the morning of August 11, at 12:02 pm. The initial report indicated a possible suicide but the investigation will commence in the near future.
The body was discovered at his residence in Tiburon, California at around 11:55 am.
A final report will answer all the questions surrounding the tragedy. It was known that the actor was battling depression and drug abuse. The family of the deceased request a moment of respect to allow them to cope with such horrible misfortune.
The report has shocked the acting community and many received the news with sadness and bewilderment.
The actor had always struggled with alcoholism and substance abuse; just recently, he committed himself into a rehab facility called "The Lodge" to maintain sobriety.
He was well known for his comedic roles and many serious characters where he received accolades for his outstanding performance.
Robin Williams was especially known for his role in many inspiring movies such as, "Dead Poets Society," "Patch Adams," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Good Morning Vietnam," "Good Will Hunting," "What Dreams may Come," and TV shows like Mork & Mindy.
He was nominated four times to the Academy Awards and won an Oscar in 1998 for his unforgettable supporting acting role in the movie "Good Will Hunting."
Mr. Williams was a spectacular, and at times controversial, stand up comedian dedicated to his craft and performance. It is a sad tragedy how Hollywood lost a great individual that made us laugh, cry, and sometimes think about our place in life.
Rest In Peace Mr. Williams, laugh your way through eternity...
You will forever be missed.
"Life is the Result of Our Choices"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The White House Summit for Working Families: Time for Equality & Fairness

In the summer of 2014, The White House, in partnership with the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress, hosted a progressive summit. It was held with the purpose of starting a national conversation about women in the workplace, equality and fairness in the workplace, equal pay, and raising the minimum wage.   
The summit was attended by Americans from all walks of life. Business women, entrepreneurs, advocates, labor leaders, economists, CEOs, bloggers, legislators, and activists; even the President and his staff.
The summit focused on creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans. 
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, CEOs, Legislators, economist, and everyday Americans spoke about their experiences and suggestions to help working families. 
It is time for Americans to have equal pay and equal rights and the President agrees.  "As President, my top priority is rebuilding an economy where everybody who works hard has the chance to get ahead." he said.
Working families are faced with many challenges and it is time for a real change...
Together we can make it happen :)
Life is the result of our choices

Monday, June 9, 2014

Florida Women & Families Economic Security Summit: Remarkable women sharing powerful messages

On Saturday 7th 2014, Center for American progress hosted one of the most powerful women’s summits in the state of Florida.  Women from everywhere in the state participated and shared with one another their experiences and strategized on ways to help empower other women to make their voice heard.

From media training to engaging young people, all speakers presented their ideas or experiences to help strengthen the presence of women in our government and to unite, making Florida a more progressive and fair state.

The attendees were honored to listen to many phenomenal women who displayed knowledge, respect, and encouragement.

Here are some of the most impact:

Viviana Janer

One of the many faces of the Hispanic community in Osceola County and running for the position of County Commissioner District 2, she spoke about the importance of consistence and hard work.  She is running to make a difference and to help her community.

Pat Schroeder

American politician who represented Colorado in The United States House of Representatives from 1973 to 1997.  Schroeder was the first woman elected to congress from Colorado.  She spoke about her experiences and encouraged women to keep the fight to make our voices heard.

Regina Hill

Orlando City Commissioner and a veteran of The United States Navy; Hill is working to help her community and to empower the women to progress and reach their potential.  She is outspoken, intelligent, and courageous; a fighter for women’s rights.

Kathleen Voss Woolrich

She is a tireless advocate who struggles with a deteriorating condition but who does not stop the fight to change the legislature’s refusal to expand health care access.  Having her best friend, Charlene Dill, die due to a lack of access to prescription medication for a very treatable condition, encouraged her to continue her fight and to educate others in the process. 

The summit was interesting and it was a great platform to empower Floridian Women…

Thanks to all these strong women, who are full of honor and bravery; the true heroes of our generation.

Life is the result of our choices-Brava :) <3 p="">

Friday, April 11, 2014

Other people's money!

"We will then have become a nation that makes nothing but hamburgers, creates nothing but lawyers, and sells nothing but tax shelters."-Andrew Jorgenson- Other people's money!

Life is the result of our choices

Monday, March 31, 2014

Can this be The REAL Reason Flight 370 Disappeared?

“The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possiblity of independent thought. There are therefore two great problems which the Party is concerned to solve. One is how to discover against his will what another human being is thinking and the other is how to kill several hundred million people in a few seconds without giving warning beforehand.” 
― George Orwell1984

"Life is the result of our choices"-Brava

Monday, March 3, 2014

TELEVISION- The Good, the Bad, and the Inevitable

Television is one of the most significant inventions of our time.

When I think of television and the power of this invention, memories of growing up without it come to mind.  Before TV was invented, life was about doing outdoor activities, creating, interacting with other people, and learning from real everyday life events.  

Then came television and its seductive entertainment and manipulation of our brain. TV has been able to transform each one of us into non-thinking zombies.  Television has the power to change minds, opinions, to make people indifferent, and to keep everyone stagnant.   
The power that comes with having the world's attention is scary.  Television has been able to start and stop wars, keep the world informed and misinformed, and transform the world into a gullible puppet.  

Regardless of all opinions about television, some will say that there are positive aspects of the invention, such as the ability to educate.  This invention has helped people from all walks of life, which have not been able to travel the world, learn about other cultures, and see how similar we humans are. TV can teach us about plants, animals, the universe, different skills, and many other subjects.  Moreover TV, via entertainment, can make a routine life more bearable and exciting. It can also encourage imagination and bring families together.   
However, there are some negative aspects that cannot be overlooked.   Television unfortunately encourages indifference and laziness, discourages knowledge-seeking behavior and thought, and increases obesity and violence amongst its viewers.  Having your mind fed constantly with information, images of violence, and entertainment can be desensitizing.  

The constant feed of information can succor people to lose their ability to differentiate between fantasy and reality; it creates a new perception of the truth.  

To concatenate my thoughts, television is an amazing invention that changed the world and brought us together with its charm.  It is a secret weapon with the ability to make the world chaos, a consumable drug that no one can stop. It has the ability to make the world its best or its worst.

Life is the result of our choices

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Is Racism Alive in the US?

"I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color."

Life is the result of our choices