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So much for getting over here and posting each day during the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart…oops! Thankfully I’ve not had that problem staying vegan over the past 5 days. As I’ve said before, my diet was pretty much 95% vegan already, with the only non-vegan items in my diet being the dairy-related items in some items I loved, such as Morningstar veggie bacon and sausage (egg whites in them, although they DO have great vegan options). And I’d have to say that my core, my beliefs, what guides me, has been vegan for far more years than I’ve even been vegetarian (almost 17 years veggie) in regard to sharing my life and our world with our fellow sentient beings. I think most people who aren’t vegan, or veggie for that matter, don’t realize that being vegan isn’t JUST about a diet change, it’s about the choices we make with respect to our environment and those we share it with.

Easy Bean Dip and Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips, from 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, as well as a spinach salad with Trader Joe's Goddess dressing

While I haven’t followed the daily menu from PCRM for the Kickstart, I have been eating foods I either got from their menu last time (when I did the Kickstart in January), most of which are on this Kickstart, too, as well as eating whole wheat pastas, grains, and veggies that I learned to keep stocked in the pantry/fridge via January’s Kickstart. And each workday starts with steel-cut oatmeal with a banana, some almonds, and pure maple syrup or blue agave…YUM!

Here’s today’s message, and oddly enough today’s menu  is pretty much what I’d already been planning on having–especially the Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes, which were an INSTANT classic/fave for me when I first tried them in January. Love, love, LOVE them!

You’re almost a week into the Kickstart! You must be feeling the results of a cholesterol-free low-fat diet. See what today’s message has in store for you.

Ironman Triathlete Brendan Brazier shares his knowledge about diet and endurance.
What’s the deal with vitamin D?
Watch the Cancer Project’s “Veggie Hunter” public service announcement.
Learn about protein for athletes.
Today’s Menu:

  • Breakfast: Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes and Facon Bacon
  • Lunch: Easy-Bean Dip with Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips and a side salad
  • Dinner: Easy Stir-Fry with Always Great Brown Rice
  • Dessert: Chocolate raspberry mousse
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I’m trying to stick with my goal of posting each day of the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, but I’m sooooo pooped out tonight and just don’t have it in me to spend time and non-existent energy on a lengthy post.  I do have it in me to share with you a really yummy item I ran across while going through vegan cookbooks recently with my 7 year-old nephew. I’m pretty sure it was from Vegan Family Favorites: Tasty And Satisfying Recipes Even Your Kids Will Love, but not absolutely certain since we were looking through many cookbooks. It was for a vegan “honey” mustard and couldn’t have been simpler or tasted better. (Btw, if you’re new to veganism you might not realize that honey is NOT vegan. Read more here.)

I put all the ingredients in a Good Seasons cruet I have, shook it up good, then popped it in the fridge along with other condiments.  It’s great on my Tofurky sandwiches, tossed some on quinoa, and used it on my Boca burger tonight.  Gotta love a good quickie that packs such a punch. (Yes, you can read into that WHATEVER you’d like! ;))

PS So much for a quick blog…took about 30 minutes since I included a bunch of links.

It’s right around the corner, kiddos. Tomorrow begins twenty-one days of better health, tastier food, and surprising yourself with what you can create–I promise! The picture above is actually on your menu for tomorrow: Hoppin’ John Salad. Yup, I made it, uh-huh, you know it, and DARN if it wasn’t delicious! More on that after today’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart email (you can still sign up): Read the rest of this entry »

To start off, check out today’s video message to help you “get started” for your new adventure!

When I did the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart in January, I had wished for a more comprehensive list of food items to have in order to be prepared for the program.  They provide a list of ‘staples’ to stock up on, but quite honestly I didn’t find it very helpful or directly related to the first week of meals. They also don’t give you the next week’s menu until a couple days prior which is sort of short notice for those of us who need to plan our grocery shopping trips further ahead. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s baaaaaaaack! Yes indeed, folks, the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart is making its third foray into the refrigerators and lifestyles of anyone interested in improving their health, helping our environment AND fellow sentient beings. As some of you may know, on April 11th I will have been a vegetarian for 17 years! For me it’s ALWAYS been an animal rights issue, and once I finally made the decision to become vegetarian I have not looked back or even ONCE missed being a meat-eater.  There are SO MANY delicious and healthy alternatives, never mind the fact I could never, ever, EVER again bite into something that had once been living. Read the rest of this entry »

President Obama’s weekly address hit upon one of the more troubling aspects of our government right now: the total failure of the FDA to keep us, our children, and our pets safe in the knowledge that what is consumed will not harm any of us.  He has named a new Commissioner of the Food and Drug Agency, Dr. Margaret Hamburg (go ahead, giggle as I did at her last name being Hamburg(er)–I blame the cold meds I’m taking), and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein (nope, no food-related funny with his last name) as Principal Deputy Commissioner.  Obama is also creating a new Food Safety Working Group which ultimately sounds like it will be making sure that the left hand of government agencies involved with food safety know what the right hand is doing–what a concept!

And as an animal welfare advocate I am THRILLED with the short, but oh-so-important sentence President Obama stated, “As part of our commitment to public health, our Agriculture Department is closing a loophole in the system to ensure that diseased cows don’t find their way into the food supply.”  Please read Wayne Pacelle’s email sent out this afternoon in response to this fantastic decision.  Thank you President Obama, and thank you to everyone who helped put an end to the horribly abusive downer cattle issue!

Great news from President Obama on farm animals

March 14, 2009


Our investigation thrust a global spotlight on abuse of downed cows.

Dear ******,

It’s been a long fight, and today, we closed another chapter on it. Since the mid-1990s, The HSUS has been working hard to stop as a matter of public policy the abuse of downer cattle — animals too sick or injured to walk. And today, President Obama himself announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was officially putting a stop to non-ambulatory cattle being mishandled in order to get them into slaughter plants. He made the announcement along with two top selections for the Food and Drug Administration and a series of other statements about food safety.

I invite you to read my blog post for today about the food safety crises and horrifying investigations that led up to today’s announcement.

The length of time we had to persist and what our investigations revealed are sad, but today I celebrate this news. And I hope that it is a harbinger of a far more serious attitude toward food safety and animal welfare from the new Administration. I am personally looking forward to working with Secretary Vilsack — a man of great integrity — on a wide range of issues. And I express my gratitude to him and his team today for his decisive action.

Many of you joined us in demanding change on this issue, so this is your victory as well as the animals’. Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. Did you know you can easily subscribe to receive my blog daily by email or RSS? Look for the links to subscribe on the right side of my blog, www.waynepacelle.org. I write daily about pressing issues like farm animal abuse, so it’s a great way to stay in touch.

Yes, I realize the title of this quick blog posting is not a news flash to anyone, but I’m just home for a quick lunch, saw the following on Huffington Post and just HAD to post it even though no time right now to REALLY go off on all the reasons Rush is an ass. Can somebody PLEASE permanently place a filter on that disgusting man’s mouth? Ass.

Limbaugh: Kennedy Will Be Dead By The Time Health Care Bill Passes

The Huffington Post | Rachel Weiner | March 6, 2009 02:51 PM

On his radio show Friday, Rush Limbaugh suggested that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) would be dead by the time health care reform legislation passes. “Before it’s all over, it’ll be called the Ted Kennedy memorial health care bill,” the talk show host says. He says President Obama has moved on to health care because he can’t solve the economic crisis. Listen, via Media Matters:

Kennedy was at the Senate Thursday for President Obama’s health care summit, where he made an impassioned plea for universal coverage.

panos-brands

Many of you know I’m vegetarian, so news regarding vegetarian and vegan fare is important to me, hence the need to post this recall of a PANOS brands product, for my vegan friends (and those with milk protein issues) out there.  I guess reading those labels doesn’t always work, eh?

PANOS Brands Recalls Vegan Rella Cheddar Block

Contact:
Kathie Gibbs Borkowski
(201) 843-8900 x 425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –Saddle Brook, NJ — November 20, 2008 — PANOS brands, of Saddle Brook, NJ is recalling Vegan Rella Cheddar Block, (a cheese substitute) with a Sell by date of 12/09/2008. This product is being recalled because it may possibly contain an undeclared milk protein. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk protein run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product. No other lot or variety of Vegan is involved.

The product was sold directly to the consumers from their retail stores located nationwide.

The recalled product is packed in 8oz packages with UPC Code 0 37983 00015 4 and a sell by date of 12/09/2008.

There was one reported incident of an allergic reaction associated with the consumption of the product. The product is manufactured by Swan Gardens/Tree of Life, Austell, GA. This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers who have purchased this product are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may call (800) 494-8839 ext. 425

Remember the guys from those infamous Budweiser commercials saying “Wassup” more times than we EVER wanted to hear? Well here they are facing the unpleasant “Wassup” realities in 2008.  This is truly a fantastic video–kudos to 60frames! Vote, people, vote!

And for those who missed the Wassup guys the first go-round (yes, it WAS that annoying ;)), here ya go.

Looks like it’s time for a pet food/treat recall–AGAIN!  My personal experience with practically ANY Hartz product has been horrific (and I work at an animal hospital!), so keep that tucked away in the back of your mind when shopping.  And get this, when I searched online for the Hartz website so I could post the link for you, they STILL have the recalled product listed and for sale!  Here is the information I got in an email alert from the FDA

Recall — Firm Press Release

FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.

The Hartz Mountain Corporation Voluntarily Recalls One Specific Lot of Nationwide Chicken-Basted Rawhide Chips Because of Possible Health Risk

Contact:
John Mullane
(914) 712 9150

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 20, 2008 — The Hartz Mountain Corporation, Secaucus, NJ is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Chicken-Basted Rawhide Chips due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot are potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall.

Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs, and, if there is cross-contamination caused by handling of the rawhide chips, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people Read the rest of this entry »

We’re ALL pro-life, it’s just that some of you are ANTI-choice.  People, PLEASE stop for a moment, put aside the anger/frustration/confusion, clear your head and seriously and thoughfully think about the ramifications of your vote for the McCain/Palin ticket, upon your mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.  Don’t be complacent and think the status quo shall remain the same–it can change in a heartbeat, it can change in an election. 

Say it ain’t so, folks–ANOTHER pet food recall?!?!  Hopefully this one is contained and resolved quickly, and nothing close to the hell far too many pet owners went through with the intial Menu Foods, China-related chaos 18 months ago, which blossomed into a full-blown disaster.  Appears to  be several pet foods involved (products and UPCs listed below) made by Mars Petcare US at their Everson, PA facility, and is salmonella-related. (Added: Salmonella recalls seem to be a recurring theme with Mars Petcare.  I posted this recall for the same thing in August of 2007…sigh.)   Do heed this recall notice precautionary warning for humans: Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Just finishing up making some Louisiana-style french toast (to die for!) before taking my youngest nephew to the doctor. Don’t Auntie Lala’s come in handy? Don’t you wish you had one? I’m afraid we’ve all been hit with those heebie-jeebies everyone is coming down with lately; the headache (or as said nephew reports “My brain hurts!”, hence the band-aid on the forehead in the picture), the achiness, the overall feeling of crappiness (my highly technical term ;)). He was down with it last week, rebounded, then it made its triumphant return, as it seems to be doing with all of us. Ick.

Keep your fingers crossed I don’t pick it back up again, too, because yours truly is starting work again on Thursday…woo-hoo! Nothing like NOT working to make you feel totally unproductive. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the past couple months have BEYOND sucked, so working again is definitely a step in the right direction, especially since I’ll be getting to work with one of my very good buds.

And another situation which affected me and my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe over the last few months has THANKFULLY had a surprising positive twist this past weekend, one which I could NOT be happier about–very happy heart, VERY happy heart. But with the good usually comes some bad, as was the case here. It really hurts to find out that someone you didn’t really know very well, but someone you had high regard for and who had interacted with you in only the most positive manner before, ends up doing something you still can’t wrap your brain around, and something that you just can’t imagine anyone with a heart or even an ounce of compassion doing under any circumstances, especially knowing the ones I was in. I know I need to let it go, and I will, but right now I’m extremely hurt, disappointed, and shocked, since I know full well I was in no way deserving of the action on his part, nor of the consequences. That being said, the good ultimately outweighs the bad in the entire scenario because I have a really important part of my life back, and he knows who he is. 😉

On the political front I have to say that I really enjoyed the portions I saw of the Democratic debate in Nevada, since I felt it actually gave us a chance to hear what the candidates had to say without all the snarkiness. The flare-up with the racial comments over the past days in the Obama and Clinton camps have been very disturbing and frustrating to see take place in the Democratic Party; the party that is supposed to be not only inclusive of all but a champion for all. (Yes, I quite often wear rose-colored glasses.) I’ve read some really interesting discussions over on Skeptical Brotha‘s blog, and elsewhere, so I do understand both sides of the story. It’s just sad to see that racial divisiveness still has such a firm hold in our country. Call me naive but I just don’t get it, I just don’t. It takes so much more energy to hate someone than to live with and learn from the diversity that surrounds us. I hope the democrats can get their act together because I would truly be happy with any of the main democratic candidates running, and know that we need to come together as a party to prepare for the attack on our candidate in the general election by the Republican Party. Got your armor ready?

Speaking of the republicans, what in the heck is Michigan (or anyone voting for Romney!) thinking by allowing even the remotest possibility of this man becoming president? Who on earth is going to want some man who, with forethought, did this? ARGH!

Guess that’s it for now. I don’t have a laptop so having any puter access until the weekend will probably be slim-to-none, so just thought I’d post this little catch-up until then. Have a great week everyone, and STAY HEALTHY! 🙂

(***CIGNA response added below on 12/23***)How unfortunate it is that it takes the death of such a young individual, Nataline Sarkisyan, to get people to pull their heads out of the sand and realize how unfair and unjust the health care system is in the United States. We get Los Angeles television stations in my area and it goes without saying that this local, heartbreaking story has been topping all our newscasts. As horrible as it sounds to say, I am glad to see that this case and its dire results due to CIGNA’s horrific money-grubbing choices, is also getting the national (and international) attention it needs in order to garner action by those fed up with the constant stream of people dying much sooner than they need to–all in the name of insurance companies making a profit.

I blogged about Nataline’s passing shortly after hearing the news (including informational links and a video by her brother), but so much more information and responses are coming out, so I thought I’d create this blog entry to list them. I’m including in the California Nurses Association section below, a video they put together focusing on the fight on Nataline’s behalf on the day she died. The first video posted here is a CNN report. I’ll add more links and videos as I run across them.

Too late for transplant“-CNN

California Nurses Association (CNA) web site:

Real People DENIED Real Healthcare: Nataline Sarkisyan

CIGNA 12/21/07 statement-Press-Telegram

“Our deepest sympathies are with Nataline’s family. Their loss is immeasurable, and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

“We deeply hope that the outpouring of concern, care and love that are being expressed for Nataline’s family help them at this time.”

What you “deeply hope” CIGNA, is that your callous disregard for human life exhibited in this case, and most assuredly countless others, does not come back to bite you in the ass. I, on the other hand, hope it most certainly does! Please allow me to take the first bite, on behalf of Nataline and all the others you have sent to an early grave.

Michael Moore web site:

December 22nd, 2007 4:19 pm

“Today I call upon the Los Angeles district attorney to investigate and consider bringing criminal homicide charges against CIGNA Health Care for their role in the death of Nataline Sarkisyan. If their decision was one of incompetence, then manslaughter charges should be filed. If it was a premeditated decision — where CIGNA knew in advance that Nataline would most likely die — then their corporate officers should be arrested and the full extent of the law brought to bear upon them.

“This is one more example why we not only need universal health care for all our citizens, but also to eliminate the concept of private, profit-driven ‘health care.’ Nearly every candidate running for president has a plan that leaves companies like CIGNA in charge. This must not happen and I call upon the democratic frontrunners to show some spine and say so.”

UCLA health care web site (Nataline had been a patient at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA) :

Everyone at UCLA Medical Center — the administration, physicians and staff — are profoundly saddened by the death of Nataline Sarkisyan, as we are by the death of any child in our care. Our hearts go out to the Sarkisyan family and to everyone touched by her life.

“In a Dec. 11 letter to Cigna, four doctors had appealed to the insurer to reconsider. They said patients in similar situations who undergo transplants have a six-month survival rate of about 65 percent.

The letter sent by the UCLA doctors questioned the company’s explanation that it does not cover experimental or unproven treatments, saying Nataline’s case was neither.

One of Nataline’s doctors, Robert Venick, declined to comment on her case. UCLA Medical Center staff refused to make her other doctors available for comment.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

***ADDED 12/24/07***

CIGNA defends actions over denial of transplant-CBS2.com

In a memo sent to Cigna employees today, Cigna President David Cordani and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jeffrey Kang said the company consulted its own experts who doubted the effectiveness of the procedure.

“In this case, rather than going through our standard method of appeal, we went directly to not one, but two independent experts in the field who agreed that the procedure in question, given the patient’s particular circumstances, would not have been an effective or appropriate treatment,” the pair wrote in the memo.

I’m disgusted, saddened, frustrated, and heartbroken for the family and friends of 17-year-old, Northridge, CA resident, Nataline Sarkisyan. After what had to be the very definition of the ultimate emotional roller coaster day, tonight (12/20/07) family and friends of Nataline are grieving her passing. Earlier the same day, family, friends, and members of the California Nurses Association protested in front of CIGNA‘s Glendale offices. About ten minutes into the protest, while Nataline’s mother was speaking, she was notified that CIGNA was making an “exception” and reversing their refusal to allow Nataline the liver transplant doctors said she desperately needed; with a liver transplant (a donor had been found when Nataline was in better shape) her chances of survival were 65%, without it she had NO chance of survival. Sadly Nataline’s condition worsened that same evening and she died.

I am so sick of hearing about innocent people who have been faced with the misfortune of ill health and disease, DYING because bean-counters and pencil-pushers make life and death decisions that should ONLY be made by doctors! When, oh when, are people going to become fed up with hearing painful stories such as this one, and FINALLY take action to FORCE our government, our politicians, and the health care community to change things?! It can be done, folks, and if you don’t believe me I IMPLORE YOU to watch Michael Moore’s SiCKO, especially the bonus features which show how Oslo, Norway has done it. France has health care for it’s citizens, England has done it, why in the ever loving HELL isn’t the country which is supposedly the leader of the free world, able to do it for THEIR OWN CITIZENS?! Oh wait, we know the answer to that and yes you can hear the same sounds I hear right now: ka-ching, ka-ching. It’s all about the almighty dollar, people, all about the money.

Sorry if this post might not be very focused, but when I heard the news Thursday night that Nataline had passed I just had to come here to let the emotions I’m feeling somehow pour themselves out via my keyboard. To have witnessed on television Nataline’s family being told that CIGNA was going to allow the transplant, right in the middle of the protest, then to be truly shocked to have the news come on hours later to report that Nataline had passed…well, it’s just something that’s made me pretty emotional. I have to note that as I flipped channels to catch the story on the various Los Angeles stations, I can honestly say that this is one of the few times where you could tell that each and every reporter was obviously personally affected by the heartbreaking news they were sharing with the viewers.

Please, please, PLEASE do whatever you can to help change our unfair and broken health care system, my friends. No more people should be denied access to life-saving health care just so the HMOs can continue to make money hand over fist.

Media

Take Action

***Added***

  • I just found this video made by Nataline’s brother (who had recently donated bone marrow to her) which was posted on December 18th, 2007, two days prior to her death. What an obviously devoted brother she had!

Cigna Health Denies My 17 yr old sister’s Insurance Claim

For Immediate Release
December 21, 2007

RN’s Statement on Death of Nataline Sarkisyan: ‘CIGNA Should Have Listened to Her Doctors And Approved the Transplant a Week Ago’

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today blasted insurance giant CIGNA for failing to approve a liver transplant one week earlier for 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, who tragically died last night just hours after CIGNA relented and agreed to the procedure following a massive national outcry.

On Dec. 11, four leading physicians, including the surgical director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at UCLA, wrote to CIGNA urging the company to reverse its denial. The physicians said that Nataline “currently meets criteria to be listed as Status 1A” for a transplant. They also challenged CIGNA’s denial which the company said occurred because their benefit plan “does not cover experimental, investigational and unproven services,” to which the doctors replied, “Nataline’s case is in fact none of the above.”

“So what happened between December 11, when CIGNA denied the transplant, and December 20 when they approved? A huge outpouring of protest and CIGNA’s public humiliation. Why didn’t they just listen to the medical professionals at the bedside in the first place?” asked Geri Jenkins, RN, a member of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents who works in a transplant unit at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

On Thursday, CIGNA was bombarded with phone calls to its offices across the country while a rally sponsored by CNA/NNOC, with the substantial help of the local Armenian community, drew 150 people to the Glendale offices of CIGNA – all of which produced the turnaround by CIGNA to finally reverse its prior denial of care.

CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro called the final outcome “a horrific tragedy that demonstrates what is so fundamentally wrong with our health care system today. Insurance companies have a stranglehold on our health. Their first priority is to make profits for their shareholders – and the way they do that is by denying care.”

“It is simply not possible to organize major protests every time a multi-billion corporation like CIGNA denies care that has been recommended by a physician,” DeMoro said. “Having insurance is not the same as receiving needed care. We need a fundamental change in our healthcare system that takes control away from the insurance giants and places it where it belongs – in the hands of the medical professionals, the patients, and their families.”

 

Medical miracle: Dick Cheney actually HAS a heart! News to me and I’m sure countless others.

V.P. Cheney To Be Treated For Irregular Heartbeat

Condition Found During Doctor’s Examination For A Cough

CBS News Interactive: Cheney’s Heart Troubles

(CBS) WASHINGTON Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, experienced an irregular heartbeat Monday and was taken to George Washington University Hospital for evaluation…

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket(***Pictures/commments from our rally below***)

I know this is a rhetorical question, but just how stupid DOES George Bush think the American people are?!?! This man just deprived 4 million children the health care they would have received had he NOT VETOED the bipartisan bill to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), since he claimed it was “too expensive” with the $35 billion being spread out over 7 years. Yet he has NO CONCERNS about expenses when he continues to ask Congress to give more and more money to HIS no-end-in-sight war in Iraq, to the tune of $189 billion for GWB’s latest emergency war-funding bill. Somebody explain to me why it’s okay to continue spending money on a losing war in Iraq, yet not on our country’s own children? (If all requests for spending are allowed, that would total nearly $611 BILLION spent on the war in Iraq!)

If you are as frustrated by this whole scenario as I am and want to let George Bush know that we are NOT as stupid as he apparently thinks we are, you have the opportunity to voice your opinion during rallies being held tonight throughout our nation. Yesterday afternoon MoveOn.org sent out emails to its members and the response has been incredible with over 250 rallies organized in a matter of hours. To find a rally near you, or to form one, just click here to enter your zip code. PLEASE take an hour tonight to make sure your voice is heard by not only the rest of our country and our government, but especially by the 15 or so Republicans needed to help override Bush’s veto. We can do this folks, we really can!

From MoveOn.org:

Rally for Our Children’s Health Care

President Bush just vetoed health care for children. In only his fourth veto ever, he blocked health care coverage for millions of uninsured—and mostly poor—kids. We need just 15 more Republicans in Congress to break with Bush to override the veto.

MoveOn members are hosting emergency rallies around the country to urge Republicans in Congress to override Bush’s veto.

Check here to find the gathering near you—and create one if there’s not one already.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thoughts and Pictures from Our Rally Tonight

I drove about 6 miles to get to the area where about 15-20 of us gathered for our emergency rally to make our voices heard regarding George W. Bush’s veto of the expansion of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). I can’t EVEN tell you how wonderful it was to be around so many like-minded individuals since it’s quite easy to feel alone in the bastion of right-wing, conservative folks where we live. Our host, Judy, brought signs for us to hold, but our lesson learned from the evening was to bring a long stick next time to put the signs on; let’s just say there will be many sore arms tomorrow! 😉

The intersection we were at is one of the busiest in the area, so we definitely got hundreds (if not more!) folks to read our variety of signs, with many honking their horns in support. We had at least 5 different cars of folks hollering out “We hate/can’t stand Bush, either!” which was delightful to hear. Out of the hundreds of cars that passed by us we only had one, yes ONE, person holler “If you want socialized medicine, go to Canada!” I thought we’d get more folks giving us grief, but I’ll take the pleasant surprise of not seeing that occur. (Oops, just remembered that there was one woman who shouted out  “Be an American and support the President.”  Biting my tongue, biting my tongue, biting my tongue…)  In all honesty, I question how many folks driving by actually were aware of Bush’s veto. Sad to say, but I’m just not sure people are paying as much attention to such matters as they should, since they are pretty burned out on government, this war, the lies, and the nonsense.

All in all, I am so happy I took part in this event and will definitely plan on doing it again. I really do feel it made a difference, if for no other reason than at least exposing citizens to what Bush is doing. Whether the rallies across the country will actually help sway the votes of the 15 Republicans needed to override the veto, I don’t know, but I do now know that there is at least a small group of determined activists in my area who are willing to stand at a busy intersection for nearly an hour, endure some windy and cold weather, along with sore arms, all to make SURE that their fellow citizens know we are not going to sit idly by and let George and his regime do whatever they want without hearing about it from us. Thank you to all who joined me tonight at our location, and the thousands of you who took part across the country.

Two worthwhile events are coming up in a couple of days: BlogCatalog’s “Blogging Against Abuse” on Thursday, September 27th, and PETA2’s “Hug a Vegetarian” Day on Friday, September 28th. Here is more information about each event. Hope you’ll take part. And if you’re not a vegetarian yet, here’s a link to a post I did that just might help you. Btw, this vegetarian will be expecting tons of hugs on Friday! 🙂

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

“Blogging Against Abuse” on 9/27/07

On September 27th, join 1,000s of bloggers around the world in BlogCatalog’s Blogging for a Great Cause Challenge.

This Blogging Challenge will be:

Bloggers Against Abuse
September 27th, 2007

The Outcome we are after is to be part of the largest group of bloggers to ever blog about an important cause, all on the same day.

So how do you participate?

On Sept. 27th, blog about putting an end to some sort of Abuse (you decide what kind of abuse to blog about).

In the meantime though,

* Spread the word among all the bloggers you know. Perhaps even give them a link to this Discussion.

* If you are a graphic’s designer, perhaps you can come up with some small badges announcing the event, that we can then place on our blogs. To share the badge, place it on this thread.

* List any organizations, on this thread, who are involved in putting an end to abuse.

What do you get?

You will receive a link to your Blog Post from the Blogcatalog blog when we list everyone who participated.

You get to use your blog for an important cause.

You get to create blogging history.

 

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PETA2’s “Hug a Vegetarian” Day on 9/28/07

Last year was the first-ever “Hug a Vegetarian” Day, and it was a smashing success, with tens of thousands of people taking part. Check out some photos here.

This year promises to be even bigger and better, so we have some brand-new Web banners for you to use to spread the word on your MySpace page or wherever else online. Plus, we have these amazing new signs for you to use at school, band practice, home, or pretty much anywhere you go on Hug a Vegetarian Day!

Get out there and hug your vegetarian (and vegan) buddies—and make sure your friends and family hug it up with you! Snap a picture and we’ll post your photo to peta2’s Flickr page for everyone to see. You’ll even get 2,000 Street Team points! Remember to submit your photo here.

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Received this from the FDA on 9/19/07 regarding raw diet pet manufacturer Bravo! recalling three of its pet food products:

Recall — Firm Press Release
FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company. This listserv covers mainly Class I (life-threatening) recalls. A complete listing of recalls can be found in the FDA Enforcement Report at: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/Enforce.html

Bravo! Issues Nationwide Recall of Select Poultry Products for Dogs and Cats

Contact:
David Bogner
(866) 922-9222

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –Vernon, CT — Sept. 18, 2007— Bravo! announces a voluntary recall of select tubes of three of its poultry products for cats and dogs. The pet food is being recalled because two of the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, while the other product has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Both Salmonella and Listeria are organisms which can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and if there is cross contamination, in people, especially small children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people with Salmonella infection may only suffer short-term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Long term complications can include arthritis and other more serious ailments. Healthy people with Listeria infection may only suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with any of the three products.

The recalled products are distributed nationwide to distributors, retail stores, internet sales and directly to consumers, and they can be identified by the batch ID code located on the hang tag attached to the bottom of the plastic film tubes. The recalled products should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners should return unopened frozen tubes of food to the store where purchased for a full refund. Pet owners should dispose of opened tubes of product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle) and return the washed plastic batch ID tag to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Recalled Pet Food

Product: Bravo Original Formula Chicken Blend frozen raw food
Product Numbers: 21-102, 21-105, 21-110
Sizes: 2 pound, 5 pound and 10 pound tubes
Batch ID code (on hang tag): 236
Reason for Recall: Salmonella, Listeria

Product: Bravo Original Formula Turkey Blend frozen raw food
Product Numbers: 31-102, 31-105, 31-110
Sizes: 2 pound, 5 pound and 10 pound tubes
Batch ID code (on hang tag): 236
Reason for Recall: Listeria

Product: Bravo Basic Formula Finely Ground Chicken frozen raw food
Product Number: 21-212
Size: 2 pound tube
Batch ID Code (on hang tag): 226
Reason for Recall: Salmonella, Listeria

Other Batch IDs for these same products are not involved in the recall.

Bravo! is issuing this action out of an abundance of caution and sincerely regrets any inconvenience to pet owners as a result of this announcement. This voluntary recall has been issued because the FDA detected the bacteria in samples during a recent review.

In an effort to prevent the transmission of Salmonella from pets to family members and care givers, the FDA recommends that everyone follow appropriate pet food handling guidelines when feeding their pets. A list of safe pet food handling tips can be found at:
http://www.fda.gov/cvm/CVM_Updates/foodbornetips.htm.

People may risk Salmonella infection not only by handling these pet foods, but also by contact with pets or other surfaces exposed to these foods, so it is important that they thoroughly wash their hands with hot water and soap. Anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella or Listeria infection after having handled the recalled product should seek medical attention. Consumers may report any complaints to FDA’s local District Complaint Coordinator’s located on the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html.

Healthy cats and dogs rarely become sick from Salmonella. Animals ill with Salmonella will display symptoms similar to the ones listed above for humans. People who have concerns about whether their pet has Salmonella or not should contact their veterinarian.

For more information on the Bravo recall, please visit www.bravorawdiet.com, or call toll free (866) 922-9222

#

FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts Page: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html

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9/14/07

Statement from Bill Belichick

New England Patriots

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has issued the following statement.

“I accept full responsibility for the actions that led to tonight’s
ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person
directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the
embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused. I also
apologize to Patriots fans and would like to thank them for their
support during the past few days and throughout my career. ”

“As the Commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no
impact on the outcome of last week’s game. We have never used sideline
video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress.”

“Part of my job as head coach is to ensure that our football
operations are conducted in compliance of the league rules and all
accepted interpretations of them. My interpretation of a rule in the
Constitution and Bylaws was incorrect.”

“With tonight’s resolution, I will not be offering any further
comments on this matter. We are moving on with our preparations for
Sunday’s game.”

Yeah, Sunday’s game against my San Diego Chargers, a team whose fans just HAVE to be wondering how much (if any) of Bill’s “interpretation of a rule in the Constitution and Bylaws” might have had to do with the Patriots win over the Chargers in that heartbreaking January 14th, 2007 AFC Divisional Playoff game. Nothing we can do about that now, but we can look forward to our Bolts knocking some sense into Tom Brady come Sunday night. I’ve read portions of a North County Times article over and over again to try and understand the point Brady was weakly making, and all I continue to come up with is that he feels you can do whatever you want, right or wrong, not worry about repercussions, and just go along your merry little way.

“I don’t think this is a concern of anybody,” Brady said during a conference call with the San Diego media. “It’s certainly not a concern of mine. I don’t think anybody cares too much about what people say or what people do. It’s probably more flattering to us than anything.

“People sometimes, when they think we have everything figured out, maybe it speaks to our preparation so I’m actually flattered by it.”

Flattered? Did he actually say flattered? Perhaps dear Tom has been sacked one too many times (Go for it, Merriman!), and his gray matter has begun seeping out in large portions. If the Michael Vick debacle didn’t show you that people DO take notice, and people DO care about the actions of others, Tom, then you really are more clueless than anyone imagined. So much for role models, eh? Say LaDainian, mind showing him how it’s done? Thanks. Perhaps you can don one of Belichick’s infamous hoodies, Tom, and do as Dennis Dillon of Sporting News suggested to Belichick.

Shame on you, Bill Belichick. You need to put a zipper on that hoodie so you can hide your head — and hang it.

Guess NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision doesn’t quite agree with your “I don’t think this is a concern of anybody” logic, either, Tom, since he handed down fines and the loss of draft choices to your team.

New England coach Bill Belichick was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 Thursday and the Patriots were ordered to pay $250,000 for spying on an opponent’s defensive signals. The commissioner also ordered the team to give up next year’s first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn’t.

“This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,” Goodell said in a letter to the Patriots.

While I do appreciate the tough position Goodell has been in this year from Vick to this situation, I tend to agree with Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, regarding the fact that monetary fines for those in the NFL really means diddley-squat.

Money? Roger, it means nothing. It’s the NFL.

I won’t say he totally blew it, but after discovering Belichick, who personifies the latter-day, Paul Revere-less Patriots (coincidentally, they play host to the Chargers on Sunday night) had been cheating, he should have gone Samson on the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.

Fines are not fine in 2007.

So Sunday night’s Chargers-v-Patriots game will be interesting on many fronts. Have to say it would be a lot more fun if it was a home game for the Chargers and we got to see how SD fans would express their thoughts on the cheating scandal. Oh well, either way it’s bound to be a good game. Think I’ll go with what Tony Moss of Sports Network predicts for the game.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Many will give the Patriots the advantage in this matchup of talented teams. First, because of the homefield factor, and second, because Belichick is twice the tactician that Turner is. But don’t let last week’s dominant performance against a mediocre Jets team fool you. With the new pieces on offense and Seymour and Harrison missing on defense, New England is not as good in Week 2 as it will be in Week 16, giving a San Diego club that basically had no turnover from last year’s 14-2 unit the edge. The Chargers win this battle, though things could be very different when and if these two meet in the postseason.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Chargers 27, Patriots 20

Have a great football weekend, everyone. And LET’S GO CHARGERS!

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PS Leave it to the Daily Kos to post this delightful (yet somehow all too believable) item about a possible “back up” job for Bill Belichick.

Sniffin’ out the info

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