Source: Oneness Day Petition - potentially the most important petition ever launched toward a New Spirituality, a new humanity, a new earth.
Humanity’s Team is collecting at least 50,000 signatures as part of a campaign to appeal to the United Nations to declare a global Oneness Day, a day set aside and embraced by individuals, communities and nations each year in which people celebrate, discuss, demonstrate and thus experience our commonality, while still acknowledging and respecting our beautiful cultural diversity . . . a shared day to unite in Oneness every year for the greater good of the Human Family.
March 2010 UPDATE: We have scheduled a meeting with the United Nations in mid-May of this year. During that meeting we'll deliver this Oneness Day Petition, along with your name and "signature." Be sure to tell your family and friends about it, so their signature can be included too!
The first step takes 30 seconds. Join the thousands of others who are signing the petition. As we remember who and what we are on that day, we soon realize who and what we are every day.
Well-known and respected people such as Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Neale Donald Walsch, Timothy Freke, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Gary Bailey, Janis Roze, Joe Vitale, Yoko Ono, David Brabham, Taddy Blecher, James Twyman, Bob Proctor, Gary Renard, Michael Beckwith, Andrew Harvey and James Van Praagh signed it. Won't you?
Source: Guardian - The fourth annual lights-out event expects 1 billion participants, and counts for the first time international landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State building and the Burj Khalifa
The biggest turn-off in human history will start at 8.30pm tomorrow in Chatham, a tiny South Pacific island with only 12 street lamps.
Almost 25 hours later, but at 9.30pm the same day, it will finish on the other side of the international dateline in the Galapagos Islands, where scientists at the Charles Darwin Research Station will share a candle-lit dinner with several hundred locals and environmental activists.
In between, Earth Hour – the annual worldwide call for action against climate change – will spread darkness across all seven continents, drawing in 120 nations, 1,700 municipalities and hundreds of millions of people, including supermodels, archbishops, and footballers.
In the UK, many hotels and restaurants will be offering special candle-lit dinners where guests will be able to watch well-known sites plunge into blackness, including Big Ben, Edinburgh Castle, Wales's Millennium Stadium, Belfast City Hall, Durham Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral and the London Eye.
Now in its fourth year, the event organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature, has spread an ever-widening expanse of hour-long darkness. Two million people took part at the first switch-off in Sydney in 2007. Last year, hundreds of millions participated in 88 countries. This year, organisers expect the figure to be close to a billion.
Beijing's Forbidden City and London's Houses of Parliament, the Eiffel Tower, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the Empire State Building, Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue, and the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa. will all plunge into darkness.
Nations that have signed up for the first time this year include Saudi Arabia – long seen as resistant to climate change action – Mongolia, Nepal and the Czech Republic.
Another debutant is a first group of participants from Antarctica: the Davis Research Station, which is home to several dozen scientists who presumably will not be also switching off their heaters in -10 degrees Celsius.
James Leape, the director general of the WWF, said the worldwide event was particularly important after the disappointment of the climate conference in Copenhagen last year.
"There was a sense after Copenhagen that we, as a world, had lost momentum," he told the Guardian. "One of the important things about this year is that it is a chance for people to say 'Hey, we are still concerned about climate change.' A lot of people are looking for an opportunity. If they speak out by themselves, it may not make much of an impact, but through this shared action of Earth Hour, they have a platform to speak."
Leape is in Beijing to attend a darkening ceremony at the Forbidden City, the 600-year-old symbol of Chinese power.
Last year, China's support for Earth Hour was conflicted by the timing of the event, which coincided with the anniversary of the Tibetan unrest in 2008, prompting some organisations – including Peking university - to warn students not to get involved.
This year, with no such complications, participation is enthusiastic. Fifteen Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Dalian, have signed up. Pandas in Sichuan will be involved, along with cartoon characters in Hong Kong, and rock bands in Xiamen. Chinese organisers are using the event to kick-off a "low-carbon lifestyle week" aimed at persuading consumers in the world's most populous country not to follow the wasteful example of developed nations.
The message is catching on at the grassroots. Among the events in the former Chinese capital of Xian, will be a free unplugged music concert.
Across the world, people are expected to mark the event in ways that reflect the diversity, creativity and inequality of the human population. In cities like Tokyo, Seoul and New York, netizens are being asked to record the switch-off of landmark buildings on their mobile phones and upload them online. In Zimbabwe, hundreds of children will join a candle-lit picnic at Victoria Falls. In Canada, an Earth Hour Blackberry application has proved a hit. Elsewhere, the world's highest paid supermodel, Gisele Bündchen and World Cup-winning footballer Francesco Totti will act as spokespeople for the event, along with South Africa's archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Not everywhere is going dark. Tanzania initially did not sign up because few would notice a switch off in Dar es Salaam and other cities where only 10% of people have electricity. Instead, WWF organised a "switch on" of solar energy for a local school last year. It will scale this up to 20 schools this year.
In Madagascar, 99% of the country has no electricity and people are frightened to be on the streets after dark because of the instability that has followed the political crisis. But WWF say locals have asked to participate.
"There are only 12 street lights on the Chatham Islands and for safety reasons these will remain on," said Pickles. Organisers said locals would enjoy making the news, but the event would have to compete with a 21st birthday party at the one hotel in town.
"A lot of people will be there," said Lee Barry, Earth Hour Project Manager in New Zealand. "Hopefully someone will remember to turn the lights off."
Source: NY Times By Paul Krugman - The day before Sunday’s health care vote, President Obama gave an unscripted talk to House Democrats. Near the end, he spoke about why his party should pass reform: “Every once in a while a moment comes where you have a chance to vindicate all those best hopes that you had about yourself, about this country, where you have a chance to make good on those promises that you made ... And this is the time to make true on that promise. We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true. We are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to let whatever light we have shine.”
And on the other side, here’s what Newt Gingrich, the Republican former speaker of the House — a man celebrated by many in his party as an intellectual leader — had to say: If Democrats pass health reform, “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” by passing civil rights legislation.
I’d argue that Mr. Gingrich is wrong about that: proposals to guarantee health insurance are often controversial before they go into effect — Ronald Reagan famously argued that Medicare would mean the end of American freedom — but always popular once enacted.
But that’s not the point I want to make today. Instead, I want you to consider the contrast: on one side, the closing argument was an appeal to our better angels, urging politicians to do what is right, even if it hurts their careers; on the other side, callous cynicism. Think about what it means to condemn health reform by comparing it to the Civil Rights Act. Who in modern America would say that L.B.J. did the wrong thing by pushing for racial equality? (Actually, we know who: the people at the Tea Party protest who hurled racial epithets at Democratic members of Congress on the eve of the vote.)
And that cynicism has been the hallmark of the whole campaign against reform.
Yes, a few conservative policy intellectuals, after making a show of thinking hard about the issues, claimed to be disturbed by reform’s fiscal implications (but were strangely unmoved by the clean bill of fiscal health from the Congressional Budget Office) or to want stronger action on costs (even though this reform does more to tackle health care costs than any previous legislation). For the most part, however, opponents of reform didn’t even pretend to engage with the reality either of the existing health care system or of the moderate, centrist plan — very close in outline to the reform Mitt Romney introduced in Massachusetts — that Democrats were proposing.
Instead, the emotional core of opposition to reform was blatant fear-mongering, unconstrained either by the facts or by any sense of decency.
It wasn’t just the death panel smear. It was racial hate-mongering, like a piece in Investor’s Business Daily declaring that health reform is “affirmative action on steroids, deciding everything from who becomes a doctor to who gets treatment on the basis of skin color.” It was wild claims about abortion funding. It was the insistence that there is something tyrannical about giving young working Americans the assurance that health care will be available when they need it, an assurance that older Americans have enjoyed ever since Lyndon Johnson — whom Mr. Gingrich considers a failed president — pushed Medicare through over the howls of conservatives.
And let’s be clear: the campaign of fear hasn’t been carried out by a radical fringe, unconnected to the Republican establishment. On the contrary, that establishment has been involved and approving all the way. Politicians like Sarah Palin — who was, let us remember, the G.O.P.’s vice-presidential candidate — eagerly spread the death panel lie, and supposedly reasonable, moderate politicians like Senator Chuck Grassley refused to say that it was untrue. On the eve of the big vote, Republican members of Congress warned that “freedom dies a little bit today” and accused Democrats of “totalitarian tactics,” which I believe means the process known as “voting.”
Without question, the campaign of fear was effective: health reform went from being highly popular to wide disapproval, although the numbers have been improving lately. But the question was, would it actually be enough to block reform?
And the answer is no. The Democrats have done it. The House has passed the Senate version of health reform, and an improved version will be achieved through reconciliation.
This is, of course, a political victory for President Obama, and a triumph for Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. But it is also a victory for America’s soul. In the end, a vicious, unprincipled fear offensive failed to block reform. This time, fear struck out.
Source: Reuters - Companies should advertise healthy food, Obama says.
Food manufacturers need to work faster to re-formulate and re-package food so that it is healthier for kids, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama said on Tuesday.
Obama, who is spearheading an administration initiative on child obesity, praised members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association for reducing calories and salt in food.
"But I'm here today to urge all of you to move faster and to go farther because the truth is we don't have a moment to waste -- because a baby born today could be less than a decade away from showing the first signs of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, if he or she is obese as a child," she told the meeting of the trade association.
"So we need you all to step it up," said Obama, who sponsors local school children to help her maintain and harvest a garden on the White House grounds.
Grocery Manufacturers Association Chairman Richard Wolford, who is also chairman, president and chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods Company <DLM.N, said the group supported the initiative and had already done a lot.
"In recent years, our companies have reduced calories, sugar, fat and sodium in more than 10,000 products," he said in a statement. "They have also enhanced the nutritional profile of many products with the addition of whole grains, fiber or other nutrients and created the informative and convenient 100-calorie pack.
"Food and beverage companies have changed the way they advertise and market their products -- children under 12 now see significantly fewer food, beverage and restaurant ads on television. And at the same time, they are seeing more ads for soup, juice, fruit and vegetables."
Obama said companies need to do more.
"And we need you not just to tweak around the edges but to entirely rethink the products that you're offering, the information that you provide about these products and how you market those products to our children," she said.
President Barack Obama last month assigned Cabinet officers to come up with "a comprehensive interagency plan" and asked his wife to head a national public awareness effort.
Two industry groups, the American Beverage Association and the GMA, have pledged their help and earlier this month the beverage makers announced progress on getting sugary soft drinks out of schools.
The administration said last month it would provide $400 million for its Healthy Food Financing Initiative to eliminate "food deserts" where the only food sources are typically convenience stores or gas stations.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 68 percent of U.S. adults are overweight and half of these are obese, with a body mass index of 30 or higher. A third of U.S. children are obese. (Editing by Bill Trott)