A Lifetime Of Service

Today’s guest post comes from Chad Elbandagji, a veteran of the United States Army and an AmeriCorps VISTAVetCorps Alum. He recently was the recipient of the 2012 National Service Impact Award and recognized as an Opportunity Leader for his work supporting the Habitat for Humanity’s National Veterans Initiative. He currently resides in Southern California where he is organizing with his peers to create pathways to college and employment for the youth in his community.

Joining the military after high school was an easy choice. I loved the idea of serving my country, and having a way to pay for college with the GI Bill. In the summer of 2000, I took the oath of service and enlisted in the United States Army. This decision has changed my life, and it gave me a clear perspective on what it means to serve.

Serving in the military is a challenge; and…

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Good idea could apply in many places around the globe and be organic too!


The maze of greenhouses, warehouses, and office spaces that is home to the Elkwood, Va.-based Blue Ridge Produce could have been custom-built for the company’s unique vision: to aggregate, process, grow, and promote local produce. But it wasn’t. In fact, the company’s founders lucked into finding an existing facility sprawled across 33 acres of land just south of the D.C. suburbs.

Blue Ridge Produce threw open the doors to its giant warehouse this growing season to welcome produce from across Virginia, only to have it quickly disseminated to wholesale buyers like Whole Foods and the University of Virginia in nearby Charlottesville.

The company also plans to lease 80,000 square feet of greenhouses to farmers who will grow tomatoes and lettuce year-round. Meanwhile, an extra warehouse will serve as a commercial kitchen for making jam, salsa, or other value-added products out of local produce. And the office spaces? Those will be…

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Right on Brother – Charlie Brown wins! and so do we all!

Sillymickel's Blog of the Obvious Unspoken Things

Wonderful Can Happen: With Dumbness at the Top and Media as the New Opiate of the Masses, Still, “Yes, We Can” Proved We Could.

Culture War, Class War, Chapter 23: Something Wonderful Can Happen

There Are Good Reasons Why Our Financial and Environmental Fortunes Careen Wildly About: Dumbness Rises to the Top

Blinded by Their Greed, They Overlook the Obvious: Why Our National Misfortunes Are Greeted with Such Surprise by Authorities and Pundits

Voices Never Heard

What I’ve been trying to say here is, there are perspectives that are relevant and are never heard. And I’m talking about perspectives that are right outside the doors of power ready to talk and be heard; often having been perspectives that had been embraced not long ago, but suddenly, not having any credibility at all…so that our democracy of many voices—now with the filthy rich and their Republican lackeys and their paid-for media in collusion…

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Queensland: A Hendra Watch & A New Vaccine – ties to Eblola and SARS

The SARS-CoV (coronavirus) outbreak of 2002-2003 – which infected roughly 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 – is undoubtedly the best known of these diseases, but is by no means the only one to emerge.


Genetic analysis of two recent novel coronavirus infections in the Middle East suggest (but fall short of proving) that bats may be the primary host for this virus as well (see Coronavirus `Closely Related’ To HK Bat Strains).


And the natural reservoir for the Ebola viruses (including Marburg) are believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family.


Prior to the SARS outbreak – during the 1990s – two new bat-borne viruses made headlines; Nipah and Hendra, both henipaviruses of the family Paramyxoviridae.

via Queensland: A Hendra Watch & A New Vaccine.

Me – “Fruit bats carrying common virus for Ebola, Marburg, SARS, Hendra…? Bats to pigs to people. But what triggers outbreak? Human and domesticated animal “invasion” of formerly naturally balanced eco-systems?”

Afghan Women’s Writing Project | I Meet the Alien God

I Meet the Alien God

November 1, 2012 1 Comment

My boss… I mean my conscience

Gave me a mission to accomplish.

I walked down from my small hut.

I was not alone, my friends were with me:

My unsatisfied desires, my hopes, my future …

We walked for sixteen years and some months.

My feet were bleeding from the thorns in the way.

My hands were bound by culture,

My face red from hard-slap beatings,

My ears tired of hearing “you are pagan.”

Finally, we arrived at God’s home.

We were so surprised!

Yes, God was poorer than all of us.

He sat alone on a small throne made of nothing.

His door was unguarded—

He was not a scary king.

I began to love him.

Now, he is my God, not my owner.

I am his creature, not his servant.

There was no religion that could help me.

By Fatima S.

via Afghan Women’s Writing Project | I Meet the Alien God.

Food Politics » The election is over whew: what’s next?

What’s ahead for food politics?With the election out of the way, maybe the FDA can now:Release final food safety rules please!Issue proposed rules for front-of-package labelsIssue proposed rules for revising food labelsRequire “added sugars” to be listed on labelsDefine ”natural”Clarify ”whole grain”Maybe Congress can pass the farm bill?As for lessons learned:The food industry has proven that it can defeat consumer initiatives by spending lots of money: $45 to $50 million on California’s Proposition 37 GMO labeling, $4 million on soda tax initiatives in Richmond and El Monte.But if enough such initiatives get started, food companies might get the message?The election leaves plenty of work to do.  Get busy!

via Food Politics » The election is over whew: what’s next?.


Barack Obama is still president. The Democrats still control the Senate. The Tea Party Republicans still control the House.

Meanwhile, the planet is still warming. And we still don’t have a plan to do anything about it.

So did anything at all happen during this election? Was it all just a mad dream of dueling polls, pugnacious debates, and SuperPAC-funded attack ads? Did red and blue just fight a draw, leaving a deadlocked status quo to stew in its bitter juices?

No: The political landscape looks the same but the tectonic plates have moved beneath the surface. Here are four big reasons why.

Obamacare lives: The president’s reelection served as an effective second ratification of his healthcare plan (third, if you count the Supreme Court ruling). That’s a huge deal. A President Romney might not have been able to get full repeal through a Democratic Senate, but he’d have wielded…

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Reflection on the Bomb and Identity « Hummus For Thought

My encounter with the Child had already destroyed that certainty I used to feel about identity and living in Ambohibola discarded it permanently. I ended up being nothing. I wasn’t a Lebanese, just someone living in Lebanon. I wasn’t an Atheist, just someone who didn’t believe in a god or gods. I wasn’t a heterosexual, just someone who was attracted to women. I wasn’t a Socialist, just someone who believed that all humans should be born equal and have equal opportunities at Life. At that point, I lost the need to even identify with a nation, or a culture, or a belief system.

via Reflection on the Bomb and Identity « Hummus For Thought.

Abbas receives phone call from Israel’s Peres | Maan News Agency

President Mahmoud Abbas received a phone call from Israeli president Shimon Peres on Sunday, official news agency Wafa reported.

Both leaders discussed the peace process, according to Wafa.

Israeli President Shimon Peres hailed President Mahmoud Abbas as a courageous partner for peace on Saturday after the Palestinian leader made clear his support for a two-state solution in an interview with Israeli TV.

“(Abbas’s) courageous words prove that Israel has a real partner for peace,” Peres said in a statement. “These are significant words … We must all treat them with the utmost respect.”

via Abbas receives phone call from Israel's Peres | Maan News Agency.

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