Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."
I'd like to promote a type of extremism today... Extreme Activism.
An "Extreme Activist" is my favorite kind of person. There are a lot of extreme activists here on Daily Kos, but there can always be more! So, I'm challenging everyone today to not only take action here, but to pass along some of these action items to family and friends. The more activists we have calling our Senators and House Reps, the harder it is for them to ignore us! My dream...I'd like to see Extreme Activism as part of the X Games... :-)
Now, onto the action items...
Protect the Environment:
-- From The Wilderness Society:
"Over the strong objections of Native people, wildlife biologists, sportsmen's groups, and the general public, the Bureau of Land Management remains intent on leasing one of the most remarkable wetlands complexes on the planet. The place is the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), the largest single block of wild public land left in the United States.
-- From The Sierra Club:
"For the last six years, the Bush administration has tried to turn Giant Sequoia National Monument -- one of the world's great natural treasures -- into a tree farm. Yesterday, the trees -- with a little help from the Sierra Club -- had their day in court.
A federal judge ruled that the Bush administration's controversial plan to allow commercial logging in Giant Sequoia National Monument is illegal. "The Forest Service's interest in harvesting timber has trampled the applicable environmental laws," wrote Judge Charles R. Breyer, writing for the United States District Court for Northern California, who also ruled that the "Monument Plan is decidedly incomprehensible."
Selling off timber from Giant Sequoia National Monument is like selling the Statue of Liberty for scrap metal. The Bush administration's plan would have allowed 7.5 million board feet of timber to be removed annually from the Monument, enough to fill 1,500 logging trucks each year. This policy would have included logging of healthy trees of any species as big as 30 inches in diameter or more. Trees that size can be as much as 300 years old."
Of course, they aren't going to give up... there is even an effort in Congress to exempt some commercial logging in Giant Sequoia National Monument from environmental protections. Contact your Representatives today!
Protect Pets and Wildlife:
-- From IFAW:
Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. Senate passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which requires local and state disaster plans to include provisions for household pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster or emergency. This bill will now go back to the House for consideration and you can e-mail your Congressperson and urge them to support it here!!
-- Take a stand against the fur industry: Say NO to cruel fashion! Once you've signed the pledge, be sure to spread the word about the fur-free pledge -- you could win a trip to join Jay McCarroll in NYC at his fur-free fashion show sponsored by The HSUS.
-- From Defenders of Wildlife:
Some decent news...I know Murkowski would have been easier to beat, but this is definitely a glimmer of a silver lining.
"Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and Defenders of Wildlife -- along with local groups like Alaskans for Wildlife -- have worked hard to oppose Murkowski's anti-wolf agenda, along with the folks he charged with implementing it.
Earlier today, our sister organization Defenders of Wildlife filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging Alaska's aerial wolf killing program. The lawsuit calls for science-based conservation and rejects back room decision-making on wolf management.
And that's not all. Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund's support for Alaskans for Wildlife is bearing fruit. Local activists are incredibly close to collecting the signatures they need to put the issue of same day aerial gunning -- also known as "land and shoot" -- back on the ballot, where Alaska voters have twice before voted to ban this reprehensible practice."
-- From NOW: Sign this petition to the prospective 2008 presidential candidates -- urge them to make women's equality a major component of their campaigns.
New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina Issues:
-- Tell National TV News Anchors to Focus on Stories that Matter...like Hurricane Katrina and Iraq instead of Jon Benet Ramsey's killer 24/7.
-- Check out Acorn.org and find out how you can help with their Katrina Relief efforts.
Government Accountability Issues:
-- From Progressive Democrats of America:
"Please contact House Members - especially those on the House Armed Services Committee - in support of bipartisan strong whistleblower protections that have ALREADY CLEARED THE SENATE!" Urge Your Member of Congress to Support Whistleblower Protections!
-- From the ACLU: Say "Enough" to Illegal Spying: Tell Congress to Stand Up for Checks and Balances!! Once you're done with that one, do the others that come up too!
-- Help Amnesty International Investigate and prosecute military contractors who torture!
-- From Union of Concerned Scientists:
"Even as gas prices and global warming are starting to change American consumers' attitudes on fuel economy, McDonald's "Hummer of a Summer" campaign is peddling toy versions of the iconic gas-guzzling H1, H2, and H3 SUVs. Ironically, this promotion targets kids--a group especially at risk from the myriad respiratory and heat-related illnesses caused by smog-forming and global warming pollution from autos.
In 2003, UCS activists successfully pressured McDonald's to cut back its purchases of meat from suppliers who overuse antibiotics that are important to fighting human disease. Now tell Don Thompson, Chief Operations Officer of McDonald's USA, to demonstrate support for children's health and the environment by removing the Hummer toys from its Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals."
Human Rights Issues:
-- From International Rescue Committee:
"For over 20 years the rebel group, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), has waged a brutal war against the Government of Uganda. The ruthless fighters in this conflict have resorted to barbaric tactics of murder, mutilation, burning of villages, sexual enslavement, and abduction of civilians - especially children - to be forced to fight.
Over 90% of the rural population of Northern Uganda has been forced into 200 squalid, crowded, and unhealthy refugee camps.
-More than 1.5 million people are currently crammed into crowded camps
-30,000 children have been abducted as sexual slaves, porters, or fighters over the past 20 years
-Each week there is an estimated excess death toll of 900 civilians due to disease and 20 people die each day due to violence
-Rape and sexual abuse are a daily occurrence in camps
We are asking you to join us and sign this petition demanding that the U.S. government intensify their political action to stop the violence in Uganda and support the current peace talks in Juba, south Sudan."
-- From Walmart Watch:
"As you may remember, late last year Wal-Mart formed its own right-wing front group to try and defend the company. Wal-Mart called the group, Working Families for Wal-Mart, even though it had no working families, was funded directly by Wal-Mart, and is being run out of the same office as their public relations war room.
Since then, this group has recruited a cadre of some of the dirtiest and most extreme right-wing operatives with ties to Karl Rove, the New Hampshire phone jamming scandal and the Swift Boat Veterans. And, following Karl Rove's playbook, Wal-Mart's operatives immediately launched attacks against leading Democrats and even launched a website personally attacking WakeUpWalMart.com staff.
But, yesterday, Herman Cain, one of the steering committee members of Wal-Mart's front group and a well-known right-wing commentator, completely crossed the line in a column he wrote by describing Democrats who are standing up, on behalf of working families, and asking Wal-Mart to be a responsible corporation as "Hezbocrats.""