Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bless the Bees and the Children

Bless the Bees and the Children
by C.A. Matthews

I don't care very much for daylight savings time, but I do like how in the spring the days become longer and the sun brighter in the Northern Hemisphere. It makes it easier to deal with this crazy world whenever I spy a spot of green growing along a sidewalk or a flock of birds in a field or an insect buzzing about. (Well, at least pollinators buzzing about. I won't be too happy about mosquitoes before too long.) To quote the book of Ecclesiastes and The Byrds: "To everything there is a season--turn, turn, turn!" (Video: https://youtu.be/pKP4cfU28vM)

Are there seasons in politics? I assume there are, as primary season is upon us in many states. Are there seasons in social movements? Oh, definitely there are. Turn, turn, turn!
The children are leading our new season in social movements this year. The March for Our Lives is being led by students everywhere this coming Saturday in response to the latest mass shooting at an American high school. Isn't it wonderful that our young people don't know cynicism and silent rage like their parents? Instead, they are optimistic and striving to build a better future. They're not keeping their anger contained--they're channeling it into a positive message: Human lives are infinitely more precious than AR-15s.
They are shouting, "Enough is enough! We don't care that the NRA owns you, Mr. and Ms. Senator. You're supposed to be working for our best interests. You're supposed to want to keep us, your children, safe and not your blood-money-filled bank accounts."

And so, with the coming of spring we have the coming of a new world. It's a world of our children's making. It's not going to be the world we old farts grew up in and grew too comfortable in without a thought of what we were doing to their future. It's a world where they will have to work hard to erase all the damage we've done--ecologically, environmentally, socially, politically, psychologically, morally. Thank heaven they seem up to the task.

When I grow up I want to be just like them.

Where will you be this weekend? Will you be with the children marching and demanding sane gun control laws in this sick country? Or will you be sitting at home bemoaning how much you despise the current occupant in the White House?  If you're doing the second activity rather than the first, ask yourself this: When did whining about something ever make it change for the better? 

Follow the children's example. Paint a sign and head to your local march. Stand up for their safety! Then go home and plant some pollinator-attractive plants (not coated with bee-killing pesticides or any non-organic substances) so we all can have fruit in the future. After all, the future is the direction the world is traveling in--don't be left behind!

As The Carpenters sang:
Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice
They have no choice
Bless the beasts and the children
For the world can never be
The world they see
Light their way
When the darkness surrounds them
Give them love
Let it shine all around them
Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storm
Keep them safe
Keep them warm

Follow the children's shining light. Give them love. Keep them safe. Let them have the voice they deserve in this world and in the one to come. 
Related articles:
Enough! A Million Students Walk Out of Schools To Demand Action On Guns in Historic Day of Protest (with video):
Teens Go Nuts Over Bernie’s Surprise Appearance At a Walkout Rally:  https://youtu.be/5zV2_htGpV0

Here's What Happened When the Supreme Court Ruled on Whether Students Can Protest During School (a 1969 court case):

ACLU: This is a School, Not a Jail (with video):

More Children Have Been Killed By Guns Since Sandy Hook Than U.S. Soldiers In Combat Since 9/11:

Meet the Students Leading Mass Protests for Gun Control:

Moms Demand Action (a  group fighting for gun control):


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Power to the people!
The youth-led movement against gun violence is kicking up this month with the national “March for Our Lives” on March 24th. But while those brave young people rally at the nation’s capitol, many state legislatures are quietly drafting bills designed to curb protests and silence First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. 

Sign the petition: Stop state governments from criminalizing activism. 

Ever since water protectors stood firm at Standing Rock, multinational companies have been lobbying state and federal lawmakers to pass laws to make it harder for people to protest. With the help of ALEC, the Koch brothers-funded project to push far-right legislation, 31 states have proposed anti-protest legislation.1
Some of these bills, like those introduced in Washington and North Carolina, would define political demonstrations like rallies and sit-ins as “economic terrorism.”2 Bills pending in Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri would criminalize protesting on highways and streets, carrying fines as high as $7,000 and up to 5 years in prison.3

Sign the petition: Stop state governments from criminalizing activism.

So far, the Koch brothers and pipeline companies like Energy Transfer Partners (the company behind the North Dakota Access Pipeline), lead the lobbying efforts to block protesters. But make no mistake: as our nation’s young people continue to effectively organize for gun violence prevention, it’s only a matter of time before gun manufacturers and the NRA jump on this anti-protest bandwagon as well.

Sign the petition: Stop state governments from criminalizing activism.

Thank you for taking action,
Reuben and the team at Demand Progress

1. National Lawyers Guild, “Conservative-led Anti-Protest Legislation Already Doubled Since Last Year,” February 15, 2018.
2. The Hill, “The assault on environmental protest,” March 2, 2018.
3. International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, “US Protest Law Tracker,” February 27, 2018.
From Friends of the Earth:

Bees are responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat. But supermarket giant Kroger is failing to protect them from toxic pesticides.
Kroger is still selling food grown with bee-killing neonicotinoids and other pesticides. These chemicals are linked to unsustainable bee die-offs that threaten our entire food system.

Kroger is the second largest food retailer in the U.S. So the first step to shifting the entire grocery sector away from killing bees is convincing Kroger to stop selling food grown with toxic pesticides. We need YOU to help make that happen!

The threat that pesticides pose to our food system is clear. A global body of independent scientists have reviewed thousands of studies and concluded that systemic insecticides are a major worldwide threat to biodiversity and ecosystems. They called for an immediate stop to agricultural uses of these toxic pesticides.

They even released a report showing that many alternatives exist. So there is no excuse for using these toxic pesticides.

Garden retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have committed to stop selling plants grown with bee-killing neonicotinoids. But food retailers are dragging their feet on this issue. This week, Friends of the Earth released a report showing that 20 out of 25 of the top food retailers in the U.S. are not doing enough to stop the unsustainable bee die-offs.
Kroger shouldn’t be selling food grown with these toxic pesticides. It should step up to protect our food system and its customers from these chemicals.

Kroger has the power to act on this issue. It can commit to stop stocking its shelves with food grown with pesticides like Dow’s nerve gas pesticide chlorpyrifos, Monsanto’s Roundup® and Bayer’s neonicotinoids.

Already, some supermarkets are taking steps to address this issue. Whole Foods is making progress on eliminating these toxic pesticides on the food it sells and offering more organic options. This means its customers have more access to organic food that is free of all synthetic pesticides and that supports 50 percent more pollinator species.

But we need to shift the market faster if we want to save bees and other pollinators. We’re on the brink of a second Silent Spring. If we don't rapidly move away from toxic pesticides, we could lose bees, birds, butterflies and aquatic insects that are all essential to our food production systems and our environment.

Our health and the environment can’t wait. We need to transition away from these harmful pesticides NOW in order to protect bees and all of us. That’s where you come in.

Standing with you,
Tiffany Finck-Haynes,
Senior food futures campaigner,
Friends of the Earth

This is AMAZING:
POLITICO: Schwarzenegger to Sue Big Oil for 'First Degree Murder'
We’re gathering 20,000 signatures in support of SUING Big Oil, and we need you take a second to sign on →

We're going to go after them. Because to me it's absolutely irresponsible to know that [oil] is killing people and not have a warning label on it. -Arnold Schwarzenegger
Just like Arnold, we’re ready to fight Big Oil till the end.
So we’re collecting signatures to show public support for SUING Big Oil. Please take a moment out of your day to sign →

Environmentalists have called for legal action against Big Oil modeled after lawsuits against Big Tobacco.

And that’s EXACTLY Arnold is doing.

Big Oil has known for DECADES that fossil fuels contribute to climate change -- their OWN studies confirmed it.

If a company’s product is KILLING, they MUST be held accountable.

So we need a MASSIVE showing of public support for SUING Big Oil.


Thanks for signing,

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