norest4theweary

Knowledge is Power; Share the Knowledge; Share the Power

What will it take for the youth to take over the American government?

I do not know about you but for me the result of the George Zimmerman trial was a real disappointment. In the last post, I put up videos and did not write anything because I wanted to take sometime away from the blog, so that I could think about the case. I have decided to break down the issues surrounding the case over several posts.

This post will touch light on why the American government looks like this.
hC7EB9FB1

and not like this.

dv168060a

When Trayvon Martin was killed, people took to the streets because George Zimmerman was not arrested right away; he was arrested about 45 days after the incident. I believe the youth represented a large majority of the protesters in 2012 and they make up the majority of protesters today. So with that said I want to continue fueling that youth power.

One would think, after seeing the public outcry after Trayvon Martin’s death, that George Zimmerman’s trial would result in the prosecution of Zimmerman. Because the public through petitions and protesting expressed that they wanted to see a fair system. On Change.org, about 2.2 million people signed a petition for the prosecution of  George Zimmerman. Any one in their right mind would just look at the number of petitions and see that the public have spoken. Than how is possible that the trial ended the way it did?

The video below is Democracy Now’s coverage of George Zimmerman’s Trial. The person of focus (the person who I want you to pay attention to) in the video is executive director of Dream Defenders, Philip Agnew. Mr. Agnew is a young black man who is sharing knowledge, wisdom and hope with other youths.  Phillip Agnew points out many important things but for this post I will isolate quotes that will benefit my argument. Which is that the current judicial system is old and out-dated. The system needs more youth, people of color and women who are able to think differently than the ‘old white man mentality.’

Crucial statements made by Philip Agnew:

I watched CNN, as I watched HLN, I never saw a young person of color on there able to speak.

And what we see is a system not built for people of color, not built for the poor, and not built for young people.

I think we need to look at the environment that created a situation that grew a George Zimmerman and that snuffed out a Trayvon Martin.

The quotes above represent the reality of the system,  the youth are rarely given a chance to directly influence the present and future of this country. Which is important because the youth are the ones who have to live in the future America, not the older people who take up room in the American government now.

Below is a video about a group of African Americans and Latino teenagers, who were falsely accused and charged with raping a woman in 1989. The video below is  Democracy Now‘s coverage of the documentary called, The Central Park Five (2012).

Nermeen Shaikh: Donald Trump took out full-page ads in four city newspapers calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty so they could be executed.

Nermeen Shaikh: But in 2002, the convictions in the Central Park Five case were vacated after the real rapist came forward and confessed to the crime. DNA evidence confirmed he was the sole attacker. This came after the five defendants had already served sentences of almost seven to 13 years for the assault. To this day, their case continues to impact how the criminal justice system treats juvenile offenders.

Jim Dwyer: A lot of people didn’t do their jobs—reporters, police, prosecutors, defense lawyers.

Amy Goodman: Right now New York City is refusing to settle a civil lawsuit brought by the five men whose convictions were overturned after they spent years in prison, and now lawyers for the city are seeking access to footage gathered for the new film.

Sarah Burns: -I became fascinated by this story, this miscarriage of justice and how it had happened.

Nermeen Shaikh: One of the people, Jim Dwyer, I believe, from the New York Times in the documentary says that the way this case was represented in the media had to do—like the people who were actually convicted were proxies for other wars that were being fought in the city, had to do with crack cocaine coming into these neighborhoods, increasing rates of poverty, etc.

I thought that it was important to include the video above because it works as a reminder of how cruel the American judicial system has been to people of color in the past. America has changed since its birth, it was once a country that allowed slavery, than slavery was abolished but still a black man was prevented from being seen in public with a white woman. It took some time for segregation to be seen as something that is wrong, but still America was not an innocent country. Because it took part in immoral activities like using the war on marijuana as a tool to deport unwanted Mexicans. In 1989 America was a country that wrongly accused young black and brown boys of raping a young white woman. Because we all know that a white man would never do anything like that. This cruelty is in many ways is still present even though today we have a different America. The racial demographic of America is changing, the Census Bureau estimates that by 2050, one in three people living in America will be of Latin descent. And if the current trend continues, as it is now, by 2100 half of the entire population in America will be of Latin descent. So the judicial system should reflect the changing racial demographic of America.

The next videos below feature Democracy Now‘s coverage of Kenneth Chamberlain’s death.

Officer Stephen Hart: Mr. Chamberlain!

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.: Don’t do that, sir. Don’t do that. Don’t do that, officer. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Do not do that! I’m telling you I’m OK!

Officer Stephen Hart: Open up the damn door, nigger!

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.: I’m telling you I’m OK!

Officer Stephen Hart: [inaudible]

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.: I’m telling you I’m OK.

Mayo Bartlett: But when you have the complete tapes, you know that he’s telling them repeatedly, for at least 15 minutes, that he’s fine, he’s OK, and he doesn’t need help.

Mayo Bartlett: And it’s clear that the White Plains Police Department and the city of White Plains as a whole turns a blind eye to these things.

Juan Gonzalez: The vice president of a bank, who claimed that he threw him to the pavement, beat his head on the pavement, broke his nose, while arresting him for disorderly conduct.

Juan Gonzalez: And then, finally, Sergeant Fottrell, one of the supervisors on the scene, who is facing a—who just finished a trial from an African-American woman who claimed that he used a stun gun on her while arresting her, although he was acquitted in that trial.

Juan Gonzalez: Three of them were facing, at that very moment that they were in Chamberlain’s house, charges by citizens who claimed that they had abused them. So, this is part of what you’re looking at in terms of calling for a federal investigation of the White Plains Police Department?

I included the videos above because it shows where the American government is at today. It does not matter that a black man occupies the presidential seat, people of color are still considered second class citizens through the eyes of the judicial system.

The video below features Democracy Now‘s coverage of a documentary called, Gideon’s Army. This documentary follows the lives of young public defenders who work in the deep south, helping people of color  and the poor.

Amy Goodman: In some states, it’s estimated 80 percent of people facing felony charges cannot afford to hire their own lawyers.

Amy Goodman: Often the lawyers appointed to handle their cases are faced with overwhelming caseloads and virtually no resources. The problem is especially bad in the South. The average caseload for a public defender in Miami-Dade County, Florida, at any one time is 500 felonies and 225 misdemeanors.

Amy Goodman: I mean, the figures are astounding. The U.S. has the largest imprisoned population in the world—what, two million people.

Travis Williams: I really became a public defender to fight the system, to make sure the police are held accountable, to make sure that the court system is held accountable to make justice work.

Amy Goodman: Talk about the significance of what it means to say 90 percent of people charged with a felony actually plead guilty. They don’t go to trial.

Travis Williams: They do not go to trial. You know, we have an FBI statistic, is 12 to 13 million people get arrested. So, from those people, many millions will be charged. If 90 percent of those people are pleading guilty, we are funneling people into the prison system. We are not giving them their day in court, which is what the Sixth Amendment—you know, you have the right

Amy Goodman: The facts and figures in this film—I mean, the average caseload for a public defender in Miami-Dade County—I read this already, I’m going to read it again. In Florida, Miami-Dade County, at any one time, 500 felonies, 225 misdemeanors—what, 725 cases. How is it possible? If you’re working 40 hours—and I know you work more, but 40 hours, this is like three minutes a case. How do people deal? How do lawyers deal with this?

The story about the public defenders above is an important one. Because it shows how hard one has to fight if they want to bring change to the system. The young people featured in the video represent the change that we need to see in the judicial system. Instead of the system fighting the change it sees by throwing people in jail, it should welcome the change by educating people, provide jobs, providing universal healthcare, etc. Because the people who are being criminalized (people of color and youths) are the ones who are going to guide America in the future. The only way we will get to see a better America is if everyone is welcomed to the table.

Peace!

Advertisements

What will it take?

Below are videos of Democracy Now’s coverage of the peoples reaction to George Zimmerman’s Trial.

Posted on July 15, 2013

Posted on July 15, 2013

Posted on July 16, 2013

Peace!

Egyptians are not Satisfied

I woke up to news about peaceful protests that turned violent in Egypt. I personally did not think that there was going to be so much friction in Egypt this early. I did anticipate some friction due to the journey that Egypt took  to get to this point. As well as the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood rose from the ashes of the 2011 uprising. It is not easy for a country to go from so much unrest to peace. Not to forget it is really hard to make everyone happy.

So, from what I have read, it seems that the Egyptian military suspended the constitution and ousted elected President Morsi. The reaction from the world is split. I have supported the uprising in Egypt since day one but I have to admit, the region to me is very complex.

Below I have provided a video that hosts individuals digging deeper into the issue surrounding Egypt. It was posted on Al Jazeera on July 4, 2013.

The video below is news coverage from Al Jazeera about the ousting of President Morsi; it was posted on July 3, 2013.

I wanted to add comments from world leaders about the steps that the Egyptian military took. I copied this from Al Jazeera. It was posted on July 4, 2013.

———————————————————————————————————

The Egyptian army’s suspension of the constitution and removal of President Mohamed Morsi has drawn mixed responses from world leaders:

European Union

The EU has called for a rapid return to democracy in Egypt.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: “I urge all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution, to be done in a fully inclusive manner, so as to permit the country to resume and complete its democratic transition,”

“I strongly condemn all violent acts, offer my condolences to the families of the victims, and urge the security forces to do everything in their power to protect the lives and well-being of Egyptian citizens.”

Saudi Arabia

Saudi King Abdullah sent a message of congratulations to Adly Mansour ahead of his appointment as interim president.

“In the name of the people of Saudi Arabia and on my behalf, we congratulate your leadership of Egypt in this critical period of its history. We pray for God to help you bear the responsibility laid upon you to achieve the ambitions of our brotherly people of Egypt,” the message said.

Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government, which had formed an alliance with Morsi, spoke out in favor of the ousted leader. Turkey’s foreign minister slammed the overthrow as “unacceptable” and called for Morsi’s release from house arrest. Turkey itself was hit last month by a wave of protests against Erdogan’s perceived authoritarianism and attempts to impose his conservative views on secular society.

Iran

Iran was disappointed at the fall of Morsi, with a prominent legislator saying the leader failed to reshape Egypt’s powerful military and other security agencies. After Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, the new leadership formed military and security forces loyal to the clerics and others. Morsi’s government had ended more than three decades of diplomatic estrangement with Iran dating back to the revolution, when Egypt offered refuge to Iran’s deposed shah.

Tunisia

The ruling Islamists in Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, condemned the overthrow as a “flagrant coup”. Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi expressed astonishment, saying the overthrow undermined democracy and would feed radicalism.

Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki expressed support for the Egyptian people’s choices and congratulated Egypt’s interim president, a spokesman said. The spokesman, Ali al-Moussawi, added that Iraq is “looking forward to boosting bilateral relations” and is “certain that the new president will move on with the new plan in holding elections and safeguarding national reconciliation”.

Syria

Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday praised Egypt’s protests against their leader and said his overthrow by the military means the end of “political Islam”. Assad, who is seeking to crush a revolt against his own rule, said Egyptians have discovered the “lies” of the Muslim Brotherhood. He spoke in an interview with the state-run Al-Thawra newspaper.

“What is happening in Egypt is the fall of so-called political Islam,” Assad said. “This is the fate of anyone in the world who tries to use religion for political or factional interests.”

United Arab Emirates

The UAE welcomed the change in Egypt, according to state news agency WAM, and praised the Egyptian armed forces.

“His Highness Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the foreign minister of the UAE, expressed his full confidence that the great people of Egypt are able to cross these difficult moments that Egypt is going through,” WAM said in a statement.

“Sheikh Abdullah said that the great Egyptian army was able to prove again that they are the fence of Egypt and that they are the protector and strong shield that guarantee Egypt will remain a state of institutions and law,” it added.

Qatar

Qatar’s new emir congratulated Egypt’s Adli Mansour after he was sworn in as an interim leader. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, “sent a cable of congratulations” following the swearing in.

The foreign ministry said: “Qatar will continue to respect the will of Egypt and its people across the spectrum,” the source said. Qatar was alone among Gulf Arab states in celebrating the 2011 Arab Spring revolt that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

United Kingdom

The UK urged for calm in Egypt, but stopped short of calling the military intervention a coup.

“The situation is clearly dangerous and we call on all sides to show restraint and avoid violence,” said Foreign Secretary William Hague. “The United Kingdom does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system.”

The UK called on all parties to move forward and “show the leadership and vision needed to restore and renew Egypt’s democratic transition”.

“It is vital for them to respond to the strong desire of the Egyptian people for faster economic and political progress for their country,” stressed Hague.

This must involve early and fair elections and civilian-led government, he said.

United States

The US State Department expressed concern over the military intervention.

The US ordered the mandatory evacuation of its embassy in Cairo, just hours after the army deposed Morsi. A later travel advisory confirmed that “the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency US government personnel and family members from Egypt due to the ongoing political and social unrest.”

US President Barack Obama released a statement saying he was deeply concerned by the decision by Egyptian military to depose Morsi, and called for a swift return to civilian government.

“No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve,” Obama said.

“The long-standing partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds.”

However, the US also stopped short of calling the military intervention a coup.

Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, noted that any country involved in a coup was not entitled to aid from the US.

Germany

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the military intervention was “a major setback for democracy in Egypt” and called for “dialogue and political compromise”.

“This is a major setback for democracy in Egypt,” Westerwelle said during a visit to Athens. “It is urgent that Egypt return as quickly as possible to the constitutional order… there is a real danger that the democratic transition in Egypt will be seriously damaged.”

“We call on all sides to renounce violence. We will watch developments in Egypt very closely. And then make our political decisions.

“Political detentions and a political wave of repression must be avoided at all cost. Now this is about returning to the path of democratic order.”

France

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris took note that elections had been announced in Egypt following a transition period after the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

“In a situation that has worsened seriously and with extreme tension in Egypt, new elections have finally been announced, after a transition period.”

France hoped a timetable would be drawn up respecting “civil peace, pluralism, individual liberties and the achievements of the democratic transition, so that the Egyptian people can freely choose their leaders and their future”, he added.

 

We hope for Peace.

San Francisco Celebrates Gay Marriage

ku-xlarge

Last week was a huge week for supporters of gay marriage. This is because on Wednesday (I believe it was on this day), supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy, denied voter-approved Proposition 8, which went against gay marriage. The argument behind the rejection is that private backers, who are the voters, had no legal standings to fight a case in court. The LGBT community have been waiting 4 1/2 years since the last time they had freedom to marry.  In 2008 was when Proposition 8 was passed.

The timing for this ruling could not be more perfect because this past weekend (June 29-30) was PRIDE weekend in SF. So the city went bananas this past weekend. I had to work out of the city but I could tell that everyone from around the Bay Area and from around the world was in San Francisco; the areas around SF were empty.

This was a crucial step but of course there is more to do. Thumbs up for Equality!

Here are articles and links to more information on this matter:

From The SF Examiner

And from The Guardian

Below are PRIDE pictures.

1000079_476858045741168_549192323_n1044908_476857975741175_1742159369_n1044334_476858019074504_1319969558_n1045187_476858235741149_2094022370_n

1017305_476858332407806_1856770936_n6964_476858425741130_2073190111_n

946531_476858159074490_1966294751_n999002_476858055741167_1400002508_n

COM-Pride2013-Photo11045002_476858112407828_1669942387_n

262028756_a1699d9435_z 941181_476857985741174_892866169_n

Peace!

Jumping over the Bandwagon

I have noticed that fellow bloggers have been writing about Immigration in America . This should not be a surprise because the topic of immigration (mostly focused on Latino Immigrants) has been the cause for many debates for a long time now, even before the recent election. But the dialogue, I believe is always the same for example, there is always a debate over how much money has been spent of border security. But the problem is no real solid solutions are being brought up in the mainstream media. This is because the root causes of immigration are not being debated and discussed.

I want to present some (not a lot) information that looks at the history behind Latino Immigrants and America. Juan Gonzalez, co-host on Democracy Now, wrote a very good book called, “Harvest of Empire,” it really dissects the history of Latino Immigrants and their relationship to America. His book was originally published in 1999, it has since then been revised and most recently a documentary was made based on it.

Below I provide videos on this matter.

Footage from the Documentary.

The video below sort of forecasts (this is from April 11, 2013) what is happening now.

Last but not least is headline news from Democracy Now; it was released today (July 25, 2013).

Senate Backs Amendment to Increase Border Enforcement in Immigration Bill

Senate lawmakers have backed an amendment to the immigration reform bill that would dramatically increase enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border. The proposal by Republican senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven would nearly double the number of border agents, expand the use of drones and construct hundreds of miles of border fencing. In total, the plan would cost roughly $40 billion over the next decade. The proposal reportedly spurred roughly a dozen Republicans to throw support behind a reform bill that would extend an eventual path to citizenship to millions of undocumented people.

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/25/headlines#6257

More than One Million Protesters Shake up Brazil

So, I do not know if you have heard but about 1.2 million people all over Brazil took to the streets. In protest of a number of things but we can just simply say economic inequality. I have been meaning to write something regarding the economic inequality in Brazil and its relationship to the World Cup but I couldn’t. This is because, ‘I have not been able to find this documentary,’ that I watched a couple of years ago; I have been looking for it for at least one month and fifteen days (I feel that it is really important). I know, I have said those words several times before, I wish I had anticipated that I was going to start this blog because I would have kept a record of information on how to find it. I am going to explain it a little bit of it, just in case someone reading this would know what documentary I am talking about; please share if you do.

So the documentary was about the what the government is doing to the poor people living in the flavelas. Which is locking up young black Brazilian males from the flavelas. One of the  worst parts of the situation was the prison conditions; they were unbelievable. The documentary stated that the young men and boys were being stuffed in these cells; it was at least 16 people in one small cell. The governments argument was that the boys and men were involved in violence, crime, drugs, etc. But really, the real reason is because they are poor. I am going to write another post when I have a little more time to think about this; for now this works.

With that said, I had hoped that the people in Brazil would take to the streets, anytime before the World Cup would have worked for me. I did not expect some action this early. The timing is perfect because the World Cup will help the story reach more people. This is a fight for all of humanity not just Brazilians. This is all I will say for now, below is a video and an article from Al Jazeera on the matter.

Notice the medical student, I personally am proud of the youth all over the world for rising up. If you look at all the uprisings that we have watched take place in the twenty first century, the youth have really been an important factor, even in Europe, just look at Greece. This is also a good time to point out how important education is because the youth are students. We also cannot forget the youth of the sixties for their courage as well because they are in the streets today; I have protested with them.

Article below!

Clashes with police mark biggest day of demonstrations as President Rousseff calls for emergency meeting amid pressure.

Last Modified: 21 Jun 2013 16:54
Hundreds of thousands of people have rallied across Brazil as part of a protest movement over the quality of public services and the high cost of staging the World Cup.President Dilma Rousseff called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday amid mounting pressure on her government in the face of the biggest street protests the South American country has seen in 20 yearsThe demonstrations have also prompted her to cancel a trip to Japan planned for next week.Local media reported that 1.2 million people took part in rallies across the country of 194 million people – an intensification of the movement which started two weeks ago to protest at bus fare increases.Police fired tear gas in Rio de Janeiro, scene of the biggest protest where 300,000 people demonstrated near City Hall, to disperse stone-throwing protesters. At least one person was injured in the clashes. Demonstrators also set ablaze a vehicle owned by the SBT television station.On Friday, CBN radio and the website of the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, both respected, mainstream media carried reports speculating on the suspension of the Confederations Cup, an eight-nation football tournament considered a dry run for next year’s World Cup.

Violence in Brasilia

In the capital Brasilia, security forces including military police blocked protesters trying to break into the foreign ministry building and throwing burning objects.

In Sao Paulo, an estimated 110,000 people flooded the main avenida Paulista to celebrate the fare rollback and keep the pressure on Rousseff’s leftist government to increase social spending.

Al Jazeera’s Mariana Sanchez reports on the people behind the Brazil protests.

But clashes erupted between a group of ultra-leftists marching behind their red banners and a majority of demonstrators who objected to the presence of political parties.

One of the leftists was hit in the head by a projectile and blamed a member of the ruling Workers Party. Police were forced to intervene to put an end to the clashes.

The protests have escalated into a wider call for an end to government corruption in the world’s seventh largest economy, a call prompted by resentment over the $15bn cost of hosting the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

Those opposing the hosting of the World Cup are planning a march to Rio’s Maracana stadium on June 30, the day of the Confederations Cup final.

Protesters say they want higher funding for education and health and a cut in salaries of public officials. They are also protesting against what they viewed as rampant corruption within the political class.

About 15,000 people, most of them in their 20s, gathered just before dusk on Thursday the Alfonso Pena thoroughfare in Belo Horizonte, but a prompt police response of rubber bullets sent them scuttling for cover.

“Brazil, country of corruption,” “We want a serious economic policy,” “Enough, it’s time to speak” and “Brazil is waking up,” were just some of the slogans marchers held aloft as they wound their way through the city centre.

Recife and Salvador rallies

Thousands more marched in Salvador, the capital of Bahia state, and Recife.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Sao Paulo, said police in Recife said marches there attracted more than 100,000 people, while a small protest in the northeastern city of Salvador resulted in clashes between police and protesters.

Many marching against corruption and the cost of the 2014 World Cup are also angry at the media, including the influential Globo network, accused of belittling their movement.

In Sao Paulo, Globo TV crews have been jeered while covering protest rallies and on Tuesday demonstrators set the satellite van of another station ablaze.

Social media networks have been key to the organisation of the mass protests, with demonstrators using the slogan “It’s more than just 20 cents” – a reference to the bus fare rises – to rally people to their cause. The movement has no political hue and no clear leadership.

 

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/06/201362022328194879.html

The Art of Refrigeration

I previously provided information about why it was important to eat your vegetables and fruits. So now we are going to look at how to keep vegetables and fruits in the refrigerator, based on my experience. How often do you throw away decaying produce from the refrigerator? I can happily say that I rarely do and I believe it is because I am vigilant in how I keep my produce. I will share with you some of my techniques. But first I want to share with you one of my previous experiences.

Not too long ago when I was at Safeway the cashier noticed that I was purchasing three avocados and it sparked a conversation:

Cashier:  “Every time I buy avocados they just go bad! So I do not buy them anymore.”

Me: Well, do you keep them in the refrigerator?

Cashier: Yes!

Me: At what stage do you buy them? Do you buy them when they are ripe?

Cashier: Yes, I do.

Me: I think that is your problem, I buy one that is really hard, not so hard and one that is ripe.

Cashier: Oh, okay, I see.

Me. You have to make sure to remember to eat them as well. I believe that is a problem, people forget to eat them.

Cashier: Okay I will try that.

I have not seen her since our conversation, I do not shop at Safeway that often. But if I do, I will ask her if she took up purchasing avocados again and if anything has changed?

So back to the refrigeration of produce. I would have to say that there are three key things to think about when you are considering the refrigeration of produce: aeration, temperature and if the produce is alive.

We will tackle aeration first. I am assuming that inside a refrigerator, air is constantly moving; this is a good thing as well as bad thing. Some vegetables and fruits need to be sort of shielded from this moving air because that constant moving air dries them out (again my assumption). It is sort of similar to blow drying your hair only using the cold air option on the blow-dryer, even thought the air is cold, if you wait long enough your hair will dry.

So depending on the structure of the produce, you will have to keep specific produce in a paper bag. On that note, I cannot think of a specific type of produce that I would recommend to keep in a plastic bag. The reason for this is because the plastic bag drastically minimizes air flow which means that moisture given off by produce gets trapped in the bag. Compared to keeping produce in a paper bag which allows air flow but on a minimal level. The trapping of moisture is bad because mold which is similar to almost everything else on this planet needs water to survive. Keeping produce in a plastic bag will provide mold with adequate food as well as water. In this situation, this is good for them and bad for us.

The outer layer of your produce will give you a hint, on how to keep it. There are a handful of types of vegetables and fruits that you need to keep in their own paper bag. This includes berries (blackberries, strawberries, boysenberries, raspberries, etc) and mushrooms (shiitake, portobello, white button, maitake, brown button, oyster, etc). According to WiseGeek, putting a damp paper towel with the produce mentioned above will help last even longer. I personally do not put a paper towel but you are more than welcome to.

You will also find produce that you have to keep in a paper bag but you do not have to keep them separate. What I do for this category is that I put a shopping bag (paper) from Safeway, Costco, Raleys, etc, in the bottom pull out drawer of my refrigerator and then I put the produce in the bag. I believe that this is a good method, because it helps the produce from drying out and it is a easy clean up, just take out the bag when appropriate. Produce in this section include: broccoli, carrots, celery, romaine lettuce, radicchio, red leaf, green leaf, endive, iceberg lettuce, butter lettuce, eggplant, and cauliflower.

2013-05-27 23.28.16

Paper bag of carrots and broccoli

On the other end of the aeration spectrum is produce that do not have to be kept in a paper bag at all. We can make an educated guess and say that the reason why you do not have to do anything special to produce in this category is because they have a tough outer layer. The vegetables and fruits included in this section  are: oranges, bananas, plantains, lemons, squash, pineapple, cucumber (watch these closely), melons, and beets. There are other vegetables that are sort of vigor, if I can use that word, for example, cabbage, beets, ginger, tomatoes, artichoke, turnips, radishes, apples, bell peppers, grapes, corn, radishes, garlic and onions. I personally have a decent size plastic tupperware that I keep in my refrigerator for holding most of the produce in this section.

2013-05-27 23.27.49

Tupperware full of Produce

Just a quick note, above I had mentioned tomatoes, but it is important to point out that if you do utilize the ‘tupperware method,’ do not let the tomatoes sit under other produce. Because if they are at the bottom, the weight of the other vegetables and fruits will cause bruising which speeds up the decaying process.

Next we are going to look at temperature, which is sort easy; if you are someone who has a refrigerator. This is obvious because you would just set the dial on your refrigerator at an ideal temperature and let it do its thing. But some vegetables and fruits do not need to be refrigerated, these are mostly roots and some other types of produce: potatoes, onions*, garlic*, ginger*, lemons*, grapes*, apples* and avocados*.

2013-06-21 10.41.02

My potato box

Last and but not least we have the, ‘living produce.’ Believe it or not some of the produce that you buy is still alive. The different types of produce that I am talking about here are lettuces, produce in the Apiaceae family, and herbs. The produce in this category can be put in the refrigerator while sitting in a jar/cup of water. The plants will naturally begin to take in the water, which will allow them to last 100 times longer (exaggeration).  But really you will be surprised of the difference. I personally put, spinach, kale, arugula, Swiss chard, parsley, cilantro, basil, mint, sage, thyme, etc.   This is such a cool method because  all you have to do is grab your jar (I recycle old jam jars, peanut butter jars, sauce jars, mason jars, etc) of produce pick how much of the plant you want and put it back. With this method you should pick off leaves at the bottom  of the plant as best as possible. So that they do not sit in the water (will increase rate of decay) and you should change the water maybe once a week.

2013-05-27 23.26.48

Spinach in a jar

2013-05-27 23.27.13

Jar of cilantro

2013-05-27 23.26.58

The water should be clean and kept as low as possible.

* Even though it is not necessary to refrigerate; I do. The potato only after it is cut.

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/lettuce-varieties_n_1626023.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/464325-what-are-the-benefits-of-parsley-cilantro/ refrigeration

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-best-way-to-store-produce.htm

One of the Few Existing Gems of San Francisco has a Half-Life of 365 days

2013-05-18 13.30.03

During my cool down at Kimbell.

On Saturday mornings, I have the luxury of heading down to the local sports and activities field, called

Kimbell. There I spend a good two hours playing the beautiful game of football (soccer in America). It really is a privilege. But what makes my Saturdays even more special is what I get myself into after football. 2013-05-18 13.30.11

Almost six months ago, I came across (in my opinion) one of the coolest and brightest gems in the city of San Francisco. This Gem, is  The Free Farm Stand, located around Gough  and Eddy St. This farm which I would argue has its own ecosystem, dips down in the earth, can easily by overlooked; It took me two attempts to find it. And it is only about two minutes from where I play football.

This delicate piece of land is run by one the coolest people I have met in SF: Mr. Tree. Yes, his name is Tree and

2013-06-08 12.45.47

Meet: Mr. Tree. I just put my phone in his face, stopped him in his tracks and said, ‘smile.’

he spends a lot of his time gardening and providing Free food to people who need it. I remember one of the Saturdays, Tree had told me that the garden produces thousands of pounds of produce every year and the plot of land is not that big, it is about half a block, I would say. Imagine how much food would be produced if there was a local garden on every block. But the garden includes a greenhouse, a composting area, an office, a tool shed, a labyrinth and a huge variety of plants. The farm is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 am to around 2:30 pm. It is open to anyone who is willing to get their hands dirty. The farm provides free food, on site every Saturday between 1:00pm to 2:00pm and on Sundays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Parque Ninos Unidos: 23rd St & Treat Ave.

I remember my first time there, I had the task of taking out old lettuce and plants so that something else could be planted in place, washing newly harvested produce and composting. While I was working, the sun was shining and I was surrounded by snails (I have never seen so many snails in SF), earwigs, earthworms, birds, etc. Remember I grew up interacting with nature so I felt right at home but at this time I am a more mature person who makes the effort of relocating a snail instead of throwing salt on it. Or trying not to smash and ant instead of forcing it into a battle with another ant. I can happily say I now care for animals instead of just trying to satisfy my urge for amusement, via their life.  The people there are really cool, a handful of people  consistently show up but throughout my time there I have met many nice people.

I am currently trying to spend as much time as I can there because it will only be there till the end of the year (about 196 days). I am so upset that there is nothing we can do. The city will probably build housing where the farm is now. Some people would say, ‘good,’ but I bet there will still be people on the streets. Nonetheless the rest of the time we have there means a great deal to us (gardeners and volunteers) and to the people on the receiving end of our work.

You can find Mr. Tree at this email: thefreefarm.sf@gmail.com and he has a website: http://thefreefarm.org.

2013-05-18 11.55.00

Welcoming Sign at The Free Farm Stand

2013-05-18 12.04.56

Nice place to chill

2013-05-18 13.25.36

Aerial View

2013-05-18 11.54.18

Path down to the greenhouse, office, shed, eating area and endless possibilities.

I hope that you have already or will found/find a gem like this in your life.

Peace!

Would you have done what Bradley Manning did?

Finally After 3 years the trial of the accused whistle blower Bradley Manning begins. It is not overall a good thing because Manning should be praised and given a medal for his courage and not sentenced to prison. I think this trail is absolutely ridiculous, a complete waste of time. How can people continue to pursue his persecution, I mean, just look at the information he released. Everyone on this planet needs to know what the American military does. Especially because it has at least seven hundred foreign military bases around the world. America has its fingers and whole arm( up-to the shoulders) in everything.

For those of you who do not know Bradley Manning was an intelligence analyst in the American military. He in 2010 released millions of important documents to Wikileaks some included information about how top officials lied and mislead Americans into war. There was also the controversial video of an American Fighter helicopter, “Crazy Horse one-eight,” killing about 12 civilians including two Reuters News Agency  staff members; the video is called, “Collateral Murder.” If you want more on Bradley manning go here: the Bradley Manning Support Website.

Bradley Manning is really a tough person.

We support people who take pride in speaking the truth, no matter what.

The first video is about Bradley Manning giving his story, it is found on Democracy Now  and it was posted on March 13, 2013.

The second video is features people who support Bradley Manning; the program host: The Young Turks.

The third video is about the trial, it was on Democracy Now, posted on June 4, 2013.

Take action  and help Free Manning!

Peace!

Reference:

Johnson, Chalmers. (2004, June 15). America’s Empire of Bases.  http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0115-08.htm

Economic Inequality in America: The Mentally Ill are Easily Looked Over Con’t

Below is a video found on Al Jazeera, called, “The War Within,” it was posted on April, 20, 2010. The video focuses on US war veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But it is important to recognize that most people in the military today come from low-income, working-class, and middle-class families. This is because the military provides, ‘perks,’ for joining, for example, ‘free,’ education or a check twice a month. The relationship today between the less-fortunate and war is interesting to me because I believe the this is another example of how the powerful elite influence our everyday lives.

If you did not know, war is really profitable if you are in the right place in society. Companies from, General Electric, to McDonalds benefit from war, I mean millions of dollars. These companies are the same companies that you will see paying lobbyist money to force their agenda. Did you forget that we were looking for weapons of mass destruction?

When you have economic inequality you do not need a draft. People who have no other option but to join the army because, they can get tax free housing or family supplemental sustainability allowance. Will risk their lives to better the condition of their family.

I do not hesitate to say that the powerful elites are very smart people. They provide a economic environment, if I can put it that way, that automatically supplies them able bodies because that is all they really want is bodies. To fight in wars killing people who they do not like for whatever reason and they make an enormous profit from it. These lobbyist do not care one bit about the people in the military, this video can shine some light on this. I recall watching a documentary awhile back, I do not remember the name of it or when it was; I do remember it was on Al Jazeera, so maybe I will find it later. Nonetheless, the part of the video that stood out to me went something like this: the footage was of a soldier complaining that at his base in Iraq or Afghanistan, his soldiers can at any given time of the day go to the canteen and get McDonalds but they can not get ammunition or special vehicles. Well at least at that point the US was an advocate of, Food Not Bombs.

So soldiers here leave to fight a war that they do not understand at all. Look at how many soldiers leave the wars in the middle east, asking why was I there killing people? There is no justification. Not to forget that the soldier leaves the battlefield a totally different person, mentally and in some cases physically.

This question and psychological trauma that war puts on people contributes to the statistic that comes about month after month, that more US soldiers took their own lives than died in battle.

Below is a video on Democracy Now, it features a program called, “Military Suicide Epidemic: More U.S. Soldiers Have Killed Themselves Than Died on Battlefield in 2012,” posted on June 13, 2012. the special program begins at 42:03.

Peace!

Reference:

Guina, Ryan. (2008, July 9). Do Military Members Get paid Enough. http://themilitarywallet.com/do-military-members-get-paid-enough/

http://www.aljazeera.com/focus/2010/02/20102685951740629.html

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/5/on_afghan_war_11th_anniversary_vets

Post Navigation