Business Review: Living Green Market in Fort Lauderdale

On a scale on one to 5, this place gets a 5, 🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻,  hands down. The produce is always fresh and far superior to what is seen in mass  merchandisers. The fresh soups, salads, smoothies, sandwiches, pastries, quinoa, and countless other products they have available have never disappointed me. Not even once. I love that they carry organic, vegan items from a local farm as well as local dairy products. Local economy, local businesses, local foods…. all mandatory components to increasing sustainability in a community.

When I first stumbled upon this market about a year ago, I was impressed. Now, I’m in awe. It seems like there are new items or a new department every time I go there and the customer service is always exceptional.  I think they will continue to grow and broaden the aray of healthy products they stock for conscious consumers in Broward County.

I am also grateful to have Living Green in Broward.  I’ve been horribly sick with a staph infection for well over a month and it is the only place I want to shop. I am not able to consume much these days, so it’s especially important to eat, drink and use healthy products exclusively.

Check them out! http://www.livinggreenfreshmarket.com/home

 

Marando Farms: Being a Localist and Being Green In Broward

When my son and I went to Marando Farms last month, I was literally blown away and like a kid in a candy store. The assortment of organic, locally grown produce is amazing and blows Publix and Walmart away with their meager organic offerings. In addition to supporting local farms, they also support local dairy farms and many local, businesses producing products that are not only delicious but also build sustainability, health, and local economy. 

The couple that owns Marando Farms, Chelsea and Fred Marando, are dedicated to saving Florida’s farms and ranch land and do so many amazing things for their community and The Green, Local Economy Movement. Here’s a short list of some of the things that really impressed me about Marando Farms and by no means covers all the incredible aspects of what they do and stand for:

  • Farm animal section of previously abandoned animals 
  • Community Garden 
  • Pesticide free farming 
  • Artisan Market 
  • Awesome smoothie and juice bar
  • Field trips for local schools

But, don’t listen to me talk about them. Check them out. You won’t be disappointed! 

http://www.marandofarms.com

  Marando Farms


Righteous Anger: “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine

It’s an act of common sense to be angry when people see injustice in the world. Our own common sense may trigger thoughts such as: “This is wrong! Life shouldn’t be like this. Someone needs to do something!”

That kind of anger isn’t wrong. It is right, a normal response of a conscious being  with the innate knowledge of right vs. wrong.

Thomas Paine, motivated to action based on his anger of the oppression he saw all around him in The Colonies at the hands of The British Crown anonymously published a pamphlet called “Common Sense” in January of 1776. Turns out, he wasn’t the only one or part of a small percentage of the population that shared his views. The majority of The People were also tired of being exploited by an out-of-control Government which failed to respect the public and didn’t operate for the best interest of the people. No, they had had enough.

Just 7 months after “Common Sense” was published, The Declaration of Independene was issued. We all know what happened next. Based on their collective and unified righteous anger, they won their freedom from oppressive rule. They didn’t sit by and idly watch or complain. They unified and acted.

Let’s use our “Common Sense” and unite. When will enough be enough? Thomas Paine and many others shed their blood so that future generations wouldn’t have to. They gave us the tools and the RIGHTS to act when a government becomes destructive to our unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of The United States of America was designed to create a government that operated for the welfare of The People and empower future generations to alter, abolish or institute a new Government whenever any “Form of Government” has become destructive to the People.

As stated in The Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.:

It is essential that the citizens of The United States of America read those words, study them and think deeply upon them.  Have amendments to our constitution and laws been passed that are limiting our rights?  Is The Government always acting in the best interests of We The People, or do they serve the interests of Corporations, Wall Street and the powerful elite?  Do certain industries  get granted the power to do as they want, without regard to the health and safety of people and the environment? Do we know what is really in our food and water? Are we happy with monopolies controlling industry and limiting our choices? Take Monsanto and GMO’s for instance, do they serve the interests of the people and the environment or do they operate to maximize profit AT ANY MEANS possible?  Let’s think about Common Core and the erosion of parental rights and control regarding how their children are educated.  Let’s think about our legal system which creates and strictly enforces drug laws, resulting mass incarceration.  Let’s think about the privatization of the prison system which generates billions of dollars in profit while making prisoners for wages well below the “minimum wage” and how the government has signed contracts with such companies agreeing to maintain 90% occupancy at those money-making prisons.

Read this excerpt from The Daily Kos:

FRI JAN 02, 2015 AT 07:30 AM PST

U.S. incarceration rate sickening, disgraceful and far exceeds that of every other nation

byMeteor BladesFollowforDaily Kos

“we (The US)  incarcerate people at a far higher rate than any other nation. Hardly something proud to be exceptional about.

Currently, some 2.2 million people are doing time in our nation’s prisons and jails. That is a phenomenal 500 percent increase in four decades. The reason for this surge has not been a surge in crime rates. Rather it’s been a change in sentencing policies. The consequences have been prison overcrowding—and an attempt to relieve it with one of the worst ideas ever to get widely adopted in the States: private prisons.

As anyone who has paid even cursory attention to this situation is aware, the huge proportion of the increase in imprisonment has been because of drug crimes, and the vast majority of those are marijuana-related. Indeed, nearly half the federal prison population have been sentenced for drug crimes—currently 98,000 inmates—with more than a fourth of that number being marijuana-related. In 1970, that 48.7 percent total incarcerated for drug crimes was just 16 percent.

As of 2011, only about 16 percent of inmates at state prisons and local jails are there for drug crimes, but the total figure is more than twice as many as are in the federal system for such offenses: 225,000 people in state prisons and more than 180,000 in local jails for drug crimes.

The grand total: Half a million Americans are doing time for drug-related crimes.”

Further on, the article states”

“The U.S. incarcerates 716 people for every 100,000 residents, more than any other country. In fact, our rate of incarceration is more than five times higher than most of the countries in the world. Although our level of crime is comparable to those of other stable, internally secure, industrialized nations, the United States has an incarceration rate far higher than any other country.

Nearly all of the countries with relatively high incarceration rates share the experience of recent large-scale internal conflict. But the United States, which has enjoyed a long history of political stability and hasn’t had a civil war in nearly a century and a half, tops the list.”

Does this sound like a system protecting our rights?  We need to exercise the rights granted to us by our Founding Fathers and end this oppression and exploitation of The People of The United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave… I’m not so sure about the “free” part anymore, but we can unify and all be brave together.

The Greeks Refusal of Austerity: Citizen’s Rights & The Constitution

Let’s look at the People in Greece.  The People in Greece were actually given a choice, to vote “Yes” or “No”, to austerity and basically allowing The Elitist to continue to control them capitalize from their suffering, or to say, “NO!”, we have had enough.  You are not welcome here, you can take your and blood money and leave. You’re not helping us anyway, all you do is make life worse, and we are not going to continue to PAY you to harm us.  Austerity is a critical tool of Capitalism.  It is how the system makes immense profit through slashing public funding for the greater good of the people, increasing taxes and raising the retirement age.  Hmmm…. Sound familiar?  The undeniable fact is that The American People and indeed, the entire global community are feeling the effects of Austerity. The simple truth is that the people in Greece were within their rights as citizens to reject austerity as most constitutions are designed to grant citizens that right to institute changes when the government has become polluted and destructive to the rights granted to the people. such as the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It was within their right, but also a very frightening time and a huge undertaking.  We should recognize the people of Greece for their courage, bravery and unity.  That gives us all hope. That is proof that it CAN be done. We the People will also say “NO!”  Our day will come when we present the government with our demands.  We have the rights.  It is not revolution or treason to discuss it.  It is practical and within our rights as citizens.  We can and SHOULD discuss our Constitution, in our households, with our families, co-workers, neighbors, friends, City Council, Mayors, Congressman, Senators and The President of The United States Of America. We are the People of The United States of America and it’s about time we all take a closer look at our constitution and it’s amendments.  How does the original vision and purpose of The Constitution differ from what we see in today’s world?  Let’s start the conversation. Here is some food for thought

We The People, actually have a duty assigned to us by The Constitution of America, ”  read it for yourself:

“THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

In Congress, July 4, 1776

THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION of the THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.–That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operations till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining, in the meantime, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection, and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is, at this time, transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.

What would happen if we all made a list?  We should.  Let’s each make a list of how we think our rights have been compromised.  Perhaps we also need to remind our Government of the rights granted to We The People as our forefathers reminded their government. I hope they do not remain deaf to the voices of We The People as England did in the 1700’s.

Corporations Using Court Decision As Shield Against Human Rights Abuse Charges… And It’s Working

A 2013 Supreme Court decision that makes it much harder to sue foreign companies for human rights abuses is now being used by U.S. corporations to dodge culpability, a newReuters analysis reveals.

Last year’s ruling in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum tossed out a lawsuit levied by Nigerian citizens against oil giant Shell for its role in pervasive human rights abuses—including torture, rape, and extrajudicial killings—against the Ogani people in the 1990s.

The plaintiffs invoked the Alien Tort Statute—a law that dates to the 18th century and “gives federal courts the power to hear suits by aliens for torts ‘committed in violation of the law of nations,'” according to a synopsis by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

The court acquiesced to Shell’s argument, ruling that in such a case, where a foreign corporation is accused of acts abroad, the court does not have jurisdiction.

The ruling was a blow to human rights litigation, because for over three decades, the Tort Statute had been a key tool for levying charges against multinational corporations, as well as military and civilian individuals, for a host of abuses—from police torture in Paraguay to the oil company Unocal’s oppression of Burmese villagers.

Now, as Reuters journalist Lawrence Hurley explains in his new analysis, the ruling is having a chilling effect that goes far beyond limiting lawsuits against foreign corporations.Hurley explains:

In the roughly year and a half since the ruling in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, U.S. companies such as Chiquita Brands International Inc, IBM Corp and Ford Motor Co have successfully invoked the Supreme Court’s reasoning to fend off lawsuits alleging they were involved in human rights abuses in South Africa, Colombia and elsewhere.

In the seven cases involving U.S. companies that federal appeals courts have decided since the Supreme Court rulings, corporate defendants have won five, according to a Reuters review of the court documents. Only one ruling was an outright win for plaintiffs.

A similar pattern has played out in lower courts, with judges citing the Kiobel decision in favor of defendants in seven of eight human rights cases involving U.S. companies that have been decided since the ruling

With rulings tending to favor companies, human rights lawyers are thinking twice before filing new lawsuits. The Reuters review shows only one new human rights lawsuit filed against a U.S. company since the ruling came down in April 2013. In the 1990s and 2000s, up to half a dozen cases were filed every year against U.S. or foreign corporations.

However, human rights lawsuits under the Tort Statute are not completely dead.

Center for Constitutional Rights lawyers are currently invoking the statute in a federal suitbrought by four Iraqi victims of torture against the U.S. company CACI for its role in war crimes and torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

CCR lawyers are also invoking the statute in a federal suit on behalf of Sexual Minorities in Uganda against Abiding Truth Ministries President Scott Lively—a U.S. citizen—for his attack LGBTQ rights in Uganda.

In the immediate wake of the Kiobel ruling last year, Pamela Merchant, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Accountability, declared, “In spite of the Court’s decision, the human rights community will continue our work to ensure that U.S. courts give victims what they were denied abroad: a chance to seek truth, healing, and a measure of redress.”

Move To Amend: To Create Viable Solutions to Our Systems Crisis, We Must Reform the Role Corporations Play in Our Government

Let’s talk about greed, the pursuit of power and wealth and how is effects society.  It is a critical conversation we should all be having and putting considerable thought and reflection into.  When one studies human rights, sociology, psychology, politics, economics, ecology or history a trend becomes apparent.  Greed pollutes. Period.  In our society, can we pinpoint and proclaim who is the most greedy? One person, Corporation, Organization, Agency or Political Party cannot fairly be singled out and declared to be The King or Queen of Greed.  No, it’s much deeper and complicated than that.  Attempting to explain how, when or why greed and the accumulation of wealth started to poison living creatures and ecosystems would be a monumental task.  In fact, it may be down right impossible.  It’s likely that greed has existed since the beginning of time.  We see the innate unwillingness to share in infants, toddlers and many animals.  Where else can we see an innate unwillingness to share? In today’s world, I think the answer is obvious and irrefutable.  We can point to the unfair lending practices that led to the housing market crash, we can look at corporations who conduct business oversees where labor is cheap and poverty keeps millions working in unbearable conditions at slave wages to produce the very products that we buy, use or consume on a daily basis.  We can and will go on and on…  For now, let me introduce you to Move to Amend, a non-partisan organization looking to get money out of politics and therefore reduce the influence and power of corporations who do NOT conduct ethical, sustainable, and socially just business practices.  Just the opposite, they are the violators of human rights, lighting the flame behind Global Warming and causing mass destruction on a global scale all in the ruthless, relentless pursuit for ever-increasing wealth and austerity while, simultaneously, individual and community wealth and declines to fund their pursuits.  They profit.  We Pay.  We pay in countless ways.  Move To Amend’s national website, movetoamend.org provides an educational tool kit for individuals that is exceptional and diverse.

You can also view a documentary produced for Move To Amend for on their YouTube channel and gain a greater understanding of how corporations have evolved in the United States, used money and ill-gotten gains produced through human suffering to accumulate power and wealth which enabled them to literally BUY our Government.  Democracy is a dream that doesn’t exist in it’s purist form politically anymore in the United States of America.  The People are not being represented by the officials they elected into office to be their voice, advocate and protector, or those politicians genuinely out for the greater good find insurmountable obstacles preventing the kind of huge sweeping reform we are in need of now. Millions of people suffer at the hands of powerful corporate entities that only place value on profits, at whatever the cost.  To them, human life is disposable in their ever increasing global conquest to pilfer natural resources throughout the world to feed their destructive, out of control system.  Life itself, all life forms, are not valued, nourished and protected.  Indeed, life is used and controlled like pawns in their games, games of economic, class and climate warfare.  We The People have had enough.  We the People want to reclaim Democracy.

Watch this powerful and compelling video that illustrates the destructive role corporations have had for over 100 years and will continue to have if we don’t unite and take back the rights granted to us by our Founding Father’s. Reading the Constiturtion

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Are Standing Up for We the People

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders give me hope that there are politicians actually fighting for the American People and NOT the corporations poisoning our society and that of many across the globe. The Elite top 0.1% in wealth and power will never stop their relentless pursuit for global dominance. They will never grow a conscious and feel remorse for the “profit over people” philosophy has harmed millions of people and will continue to hurt all future generations if their power is not abolished. At one time, Royal Familes and Empires ruled the world. Slowly, Royal Monarchs lost power one by one until nearly all lost their grip on ruling the people. The remaining Monarchs commonly viewed are mere figure heads and lack the ability to enslave the masses for the sole benefit of the upper echelon. It has been done in the past repeatedly throughout history. Rulers come and go. They only have their power for as long as their “subjects” let them. Will we continue to let ourselves be used and abused? Or will we all stand up and demand total overhaul to create a just and peaceful society where all global citizens can live a life devoid of exploitation and corporate dominance? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are standing up. I am standing up and shouting out to you all. Many organizations and millions of people are standing up also. Will you stand up with us? I urge you to stand up. Together, we can create a better future that promotes sustainable, healthy, empowered communities,
My goal and purpose is to inspire people to stand up, to demand a new social and political structure. There are many ways I can try to achieve my goal. One method is this: highlighting the individuals and organizations throughout the world who are also standing up for global change. With respect and gratitude, I commend them for their bravery and dedication to creating a socially just world. Their courage, perseverance, creativity, relentlessness and personal sacrifices inspire and motivate me. I hope they will have the same effect on my readers.

My parting words for now are, “Will you stand up with us?”

WikiLeaks Exposed the Secret Health Annex of the TPP: Big Pharma Would Win Again

Documents released by wikileaks confirm the beliefs and criticisms of the TPP by millions of voices around the globe.  If the TPP is passed it will most certainly give even more power to the pharmaceutical industry and they will specifically seek to destroy national healthcare programs in any nation who has one.  Here is an excerpt from the beginning of WikiLeaks expose on the Health Annex portion of the TPP, ”

Today, Wednesday 10 June 2015, WikiLeaks publishes the Healthcare Annex to the secret draft “Transparency” Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), along with each country’s negotiating position. The Healthcare Annex seeks to regulate state schemes for medicines and medical devices. It forces healthcare authorities to give big pharmaceutical companies more information about national decisions on public access to medicine, and grants corporations greater powers to challenge decisions they perceive as harmful to their interests.

Expert policy analysis, published by WikiLeaks today, shows that the Annex appears to be designed to cripple New Zealand’s strong public healthcare programme and to inhibit the adoption of similar programmes in developing countries. The Annex will also tie the hands of the US Congress in its ability to pursue reforms of the Medicare programme.”

Is anyone surprised?  No, I don’t think so.  It has become public knowledge that Big Pharma won’t be satisfied until none of us can afford the drugs they produce at astronomical profit rates or until we are all enslaved by debt or insurance premiums to be good little, law abiding model citizens who keep on consuming and are manipulated to think they have no voice or power.  A culture of hopelessness is spreading it’s gloom and sense of apathetic acceptance. .  Hopeless people don’t rock the boat.  WikiLeaks feeds the public with hefty servings of hope almost as if they are passing out plates filled with truth to a hungry, starving global community.

Secrets never serve the interests of the people or the environment.  Conversely, any time that corporations team up with any government official or agency, you can be certain that they are not conspiring to benefit society in some way.  Any positive contributions they make are big news and get plenty of media attention.  I am not saying that ALL corporations are evil giants preying upon The Earth and her inhabitants but I think the good ones are few and far between when the big picture is taken into consideration. Once upon a time, long, long ago, corporations were issued a charter authorizing them to do business with the stipulation that they present a clear benefit for the public good.  More on that subject to follow….

To view the entire wikileaks post about the Health Annex of the TPP, you can go to this site:

WikiLeaks Exposes Sinister Health Annex Component of the TPP