82 shot, 14 fatally, in Chicago over July 4th – chicagotribune.com

It was just one of dozens of shooting scenes across Chicago over the long Fourth of July weekend. In all, at least 82 people were shot, 14 of them fatally, since Thursday afternoon when two woman were shot as they sat outside a two-flat within a block of Garfield Park.

Five of the people were shot by police over 36 hours on Friday and Saturday, including two boys 14 and 16 who were killed when they allegedly refused to drop their guns.

Many of the long weekend’s shootings were on the South Side, clustered in the Englewood, Roseland, Gresham and West Pullman neighborhoods that rank among the most violent in the city.

The victims ranged from the 14-year-boy shot by police in the Old Irving Park neighborhood to a 66-year-old woman grazed in the head as she walked up the steps of her porch on the Far South Side.  Most victims were in their late teens and 20s.

via 82 shot, 14 fatally, in Chicago over July 4th – chicagotribune.com.

ADM Buys Wild Flavors

“We intend to maintain the Wild Flavors name and grow the brand and the innovative, entrepreneurial culture that sustains it,” said Woertz. “We appreciate the difference in our business models, and will support continued success of the Wild Flavors model by establishing a new business unit called Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients. The new unit will include many of our specialty ingredients.”

via ADM Buys Wild Flavors.

Translation: GMO and artificial ingredients will soon be added and with no labeling requirements – who will be the wiser?

Soylant Green is People! Consumer Reports survey ranks McDonald’s McGriddle above Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco – Louisville – Business First

Three out of three taste testers concurred: Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco doesn’t tickle taste buds like a McDonald’s McGriddle breakfast sandwich.

Consumer Reports, a Yonkers, N.Y.-based nonprofit that reviews consumer products, decided to have some fun this year while compiling stories and information related to its fast-food restaurant chain survey released this month. The survey ranked 65 fast-food chains using more than 96,000 of its subscribers’ dining experiences.

via Consumer Reports survey ranks McDonald’s McGriddle above Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco – Louisville – Business First.

Tissue Alert – Free at last: Elephant ‘cries’ while being rescued after 50 years of abuse and being kept in chains in UP – The Times of India

An elephant that was kept in chains for 50 years and abused by a drug addict who used the animal to beg has been freed.

Raju had been beaten and starved since being poached from the wild as a baby and resorted to eating paper and plastic to fill his stomach.

The chains and spikes wrapped around his legs had left him with chronic wounds and arthritis and he was in almost constant pain.

But now he is walking free for the first time after a daring rescue by conservationists with a court order by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department to take the elephant from his abusive owner.

The charity took Raju in the middle of the night on Thursday, supported by police and state officials.

The elephant’s mahout and previous owner tried to stop him being taken by adding more chains and having people block the roads for the rescue lorry.

Experts worked for hours to gain the elephant’s trust with fruit and encouragement until they could get him into the van that would take him to a sanctuary.

When Raju was being rescued, volunteers said they saw tears rolling down his face.

Pooja Binepal, from Wildlife SOS UK, said: “The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue. It was so incredibly emotional for all of us.

“We knew in our hearts he realised he was being freed.

“Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him.”

Kartick Satyanarayan, the charity’s co-founder, said the mahout tried to make the elephant charge by shouting commands.

He added: “We stood our ground and refused to back down – and as we did so, tears began to roll down Raju’s face.

“Some no doubt were due to the pain being inflicted by the chains, but he also seemed to sense that change was coming.

“It was as if he felt hope for the first time in a very long time.”

Almost two days later and 350 miles away in Mathura, the chains were removed after 45 painstaking minutes.

A video showed the moment they cut the painful spikes and chains binding the animal’s legs so he could walk freely for the first time.

Mr Satyanarayan said: “We all had tears in our eyes as the last rope which held the final spike was cut and Raju took his first steps of freedom.”

Other elephants at the Conservation and Care Centre at Mathura came to watch the new arrival.

He is being fed to restore him to a healthy weight and vets are treating his many wounds and abscesses from beatings and chains.

via Free at last: Elephant ‘cries’ while being rescued after 50 years of abuse and being kept in chains in UP – The Times of India.

Order of Melchizedek

Steve A. Wiggins

WhyPriests?A considered reflection from a long-time believer is a force never to be taken lightly. Garry Wills is a lifelong Catholic and an intellectual. His book, Why Priests? A Failed Tradition, was recommended to me by a friend and it is indeed a book that raises most profound questions. To someone born Protestant, such as the current writer, many of the arguments Wills marshals are strangely familiar. Many were lobbed in Fundamentalist harangues where clergy that believe in a literal six-day creation proved surprisingly adroit at finding the chinks in Catholic armor. The New Testament says nothing about the Christian movement having its own priests. And even the explicit command that seems to have come from Jesus—call no man father—is immediately reversed once priests become a fixture in a priestless faith. Wills explores the origins of these practices not to tear apart the religion of which he remains a…

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Afifa Aza: There’s More to Life Than Just Getting By

Petchary's Blog

“People are leaving here, because it’s not livable. I want to make it livable.”

I often see Afifa Aza in our favorite café in Kingston, perched at a table with headphones on her ears. She has a self-deprecating smile and tufty hair. She is an artist – an artist who is also an activist. She wants to “guide ideas,” to help them grow. And to help Jamaica grow into a living, breathing, vibrant, inclusive society – so that people will not want to leave. She doesn’t want them to leave (and nor do I). So, we sat down and talked, recently, in our favorite café.

Afifa Aza says she is "grounded in an African/Rastafarian spirituality." Afifa Aza is “grounded in an African/Rastafarian spirituality.”

Afifa is the co-founder (with feminist Georgia Love, who is an active member of Women’s Media Watch) of two alternative spaces – for art, learning, culture, growth, dialogue. One is SO((U))L HQ, in Stony Hill, just…

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Same Interest as Facebook – Manipulate Your Thoughts and Actions for Profit and maybe a Little Good! Participant Index Seeks to Determine Why One Film Spurs Activism, While Others Falter – NYTimes.com

Participant, created in 2004 by the eBay co-founder Jeffrey S. Skoll, is using that methodology to build a proprietary database. It will feature three echelons with 35 projects each, or about 100 distinct bits of media, annually.

The company will lean heavily toward films and television shows of its own, especially those carried on its activism-driven online and pay-television network, Pivot. But it will also index properties for partners, like the Gates and Kaiser Family foundations, and for companies or others who will pay a fee.

Participant was created in 2004 by the eBay co-founder Jeffrey S. Skoll, left, pictured here with James G. Berk, chief executive. Credit Emily Berl for The New York Times

(Prices have not been set, Mr. Berk said, but he expects to serve nonprofits at cost. He declined to say how much Participant has invested in the index.)

In an inaugural general survey, which polled 1,055 of its viewers in March and April of this year, Chad Boettcher, Participant’s executive vice president for social action, and Caty Borum Chattoo, a researcher and communications professor at American University, found some perhaps surprising results.

Even among the presumably progressive Participant audience, crime ranked near the top of the list of 40 primary concerns. It was cited by 73 percent of respondents as an important social issue, placing it just behind human rights, health care and education.

Gay rights, female empowerment and prison sentencing reform, by contrast, ranked near the bottom of the list, while climate change was stuck in the middle, a concern among 59 percent of respondents. Digital intellectual property issues, at 38 percent, brought up the rear.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story

Stories about animal rights and food production, it turned out, were the most likely to provoke individual action. But tales about economic inequality — not so much.

Over all, said Marc Karzen, a social media entrepreneur whose company, RelishMix, advises film and television marketers, Participant will most likely affirm what is becoming clear to conventional film studios: Impact can be less about persuasion than nudging an audience to go where it is already pointed.

“You have to embrace your fans, not shout at them,” Mr. Karzen said. “They need to be inspired to spread the word.”

One of the weirdest problems in measuring social impact, and one still unresolved, Mr. Boettcher said, is the paradox of “The Cove.”

That documentary, which looks closely at dolphin killing in Japan, had worldwide ticket sales of just $1.2 million after its release in 2009. Yet it has repeatedly led to campaigns to protect the Japanese dolphins, Mr. Boettcher notes, particularly among activists who are aware of the film but will not watch (and hence, would not be counted under the current methodology of the index) because of its gory content.

“They don’t want to see it,” Mr. Boettcher said, “but they will sign up.”

via Participant Index Seeks to Determine Why One Film Spurs Activism, While Others Falter – NYTimes.com.


Is it a documentary or propaganda – the folks who want to profit from your feelings don’t care – they just care about the money!

We Are Making Ebola Outbreaks Worse By Cutting Down Forests | Mother Jones

Human activity is driving bats to find new habitats amongst human populations. More than half of Liberia’s forests—home to 40 endangered species, including the western chimpanzee—have been sold off to industrial loggers during President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s post-war government, according to figures released by Global Witness. Logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, and chopping down trees for an increased demand for fire wood, are all driving deforestation in Sierra Leone, where total forest cover has now dropped to just 4 percent, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which says if deforestation continues at current levels, Sierra Leone’s forests could disappear altogether by 2018.

“We see deforestation or incursion into forests, whether it’s through hunting or just alteration of landscape, causing people and wildlife to have more contact,” says Epstein.


The 1994 outbreak of Ebola, which killed 31 people, occurred in gold mining camps deep in the rain forest.

The 1994 outbreak of Ebola, which killed 31 people, occurred in gold mining camps deep in the rain forest. Mining also appears to be a feature of this latest outbreak: Its epicenter is in the south east of Guinea, close to iron ore reserves, according to Reuters.

Mining “has become a big livelihood activity across the regions, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, as of the last couple of decades,” says Leach. And that means more mines in the forest, but also “immense movement: people going seasonally in and out of mines, coming in and out, young people coming from all over the country.” Guinea is the world’s top exporter of bauxite, the raw material used in aluminum production, according to Reuters.

“That whole sense of movement is something that means that a disease, an outbreak, once established in a place, is very likely not to stay in that place; it tends to move quite quickly,” Leach says.

via We Are Making Ebola Outbreaks Worse By Cutting Down Forests | Mother Jones.


(And it is not just Ebola that breaks out as a result of deforestation – malaria’s, and denge’s expansion is facilitated by deforestation which creates the perfect breed grounds for the mosquito that carries the deadly and more common diseases)