Sadly, there will be no posts for almost two weeks. Don't worry loyal
followers readers, Thoughts on the World will be back after that.
Friday, July 27, 2007
You can make a difference. It worked. That is amazing in its own way.
PepsiCo Inc. will spell out that its Aquafina bottled water is made with tap water, a concession to the growing environmental and political opposition to the bottled water industry. According to Corporate Accountability International, a U.S. watchdog group, the world's No. 2 beverage company will include the words "Public Water Source" on Aquafina labels.
"Concerns about the bottled-water industry, and increasing corporate control of water, are growing across the country," said Gigi Kellett, director of the "Think Outside the Bottle" campaign, which aims to encourage people to drink tap water.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Part of a series.
In July 1971, Henry Kissinger secretly journeyed to Beijing to confer with Premier Zhou Enlai, then in charge of Chinese foreign policy. This paved way for the landmark 1972 summit between President Nixon, Zhou, and Chinese leader Mao Zedong. Until then, the U.S. and China had been estranged from each for more than 20 years. Disrupted for years by internal turmoil and regional threats, Chinese leaders thought of relations with Washington as a possible chance for stability. The United States, troubled by the deepening military quagmire in nearby Vietnam, worsening relations with traditional allies and problems at home, was desperate for a political solution before the upcoming presidential election.
In July 2007, Condoleezza Rice secretly journeyed to Tehran to confer with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. This paved way for the landmark 2008 summit between President Bush, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Until then, the U.S. and Iran had been estranged from each for more than 20 years. Disrupted for years by internal turmoil and regional threats, Iranian leaders thought of relations with Washington as a possible chance for stability. The United States, troubled by the deepening military quagmire in nearby Iraq, worsening relations with traditional allies and problems at home, was desperate for a political solution before the upcoming presidential election.
We can always hope, right?
• How History and the Current Events Relate-A New Series
• Abraham Lincoln, George Bush and Civil Liberties
• Deja Vu-US looks to sell arms in the Middle East
• Looking Back
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I emailed Pepsi, and I recieved the following response:
Thank you for contacting us. In fact, we are in the process of clarifying our Aquafina label. We started discussions with Corporate Accountability earlier this year when they raised questions about Aquafina's labeling, and have shared those concerns directly with PepsiCo's CEO.
We have reviewed Aquafina's label with the goal of making it more clear and consistent about identifying the source of the water. We have decided to add the words "Public Water System" to clearly indicate the origin of the water. From there, Aquafina’s HydRO-7 purification system removes substances most other bottled waters leave in. What this means is that no matter where you buy your Aquafina, it tastes the same – every time, everywhere.
This change will occur over time as new labels are printed for Aquafina to avoid unnecessary waste of existing, pre-printed materials. Additional questions about Aquafina's sources can be directed to either Pepsi-Cola's tollfree Consumer information hotline or website at www.aquafina.com.
We appreciate your thoughts and want you to know we take your comments and the suggestions of Corporate Accountability very seriously.
Director, External Relations
• Pepsi Call-In Day - Take Action Against Bottled Water
• 7 Facts You Never Knew About Bottled Water
• The Simplest and Most Effective Way to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
• Bottled Water Miniseries
Pepsi Call-In Day– Tell Pepsi to get rid of their deceptive logo!
Do you know where your bottled water comes from? Probably not, because bottled water corporations like Pepsi, Coke, and Nestlé are reluctant to disclose this information. Instead, they prefer to use misleading branding to undermine confidence in public water systems and shape consumers perceptions of bottled water without revealing information about the sources or sites of the water they bottle. For example, the most popular bottled water brand, Aquafina, is just processed tap water, despite the image of the snow-capped mountain that appears on every label. That’s right; you could get virtually the same water out of your own tap for free!
Join Corporate Accountability International’s Pepsi Day of Action! Ask Pepsi when they will remove the misleading mountain logo on the Aquafina label and become transparent about the sources of the water they bottle. Pepsi is paying attention to this: now we need your help to step up the pressure! Every year, millions of dollars are spent to undermine the public’s faith in their municipal water systems. What we don’t realize, however, is that the water we get out of the tap is regulated far more than the bottled water we buy.
Think Outside the Bottle! Take action and join hundreds of people across the country in calling Pepsi today, in a joint Day of Action. Go to http://www.ThinkOutsideTheBottle.org/ for phone numbers and a script to help make your call faster and easier!
Background/What’s at Stake
- Ads do not disclose that more than one-fourth of bottled water sold in the U.S. comes from municipal sources, just like tap water.
- Pepsi’s Aquafina label features a beautiful picture of a snow-covered mountain, even though Aquafina is filtered municipal tap water.
- Bottled water corporations spent $158 million on advertising in 2005, promoting bottled water as better than tap water and undermining confidence in our public water systems.
- Bottled water corporations are changing the way people think about water. Today, three of four Americans drink bottled water, and one in five drink only bottled water.
Call Pepsi at (800) 433-2652.
Hi, my name is ________. I’d like to speak to CEO Indra Nooyi, please.
You will likely be asked what the question is, or to leave a message: I want to ask Ms. Nooyi, when will Pepsi remove the snow-capped mountain logo from Aquafina as a step toward revealing the sites and sources of water used for bottling? After all, Aquafina uses municipal water as its source.
If Pepsi representative responds: I’m joining other people around the country who believe water is a fundamental human right that must not be turned into a for-profit commodity. Please share my question and comment with CEO Nooyi.
Email to CEO Indra Nooyi email@example.com:
Dear Indra Nooyi,
The Aquafina Mountain label is misleading to consumers. The logo makes people think that the Aquafina water comes from a mountain spring, yet in reality it is purified municipal water. I want to know when Pepsi is planning to remove the logo as a step toward revealing the sites and sources of the water used for bottling.
I am joining other people around the country who believe water is a fundamental human right that must not be turned into a for-profit commodity. I urge your corporation to reveal the sources and sites of water used for bottling, publicly report breaches in bottled water quality, comparable to reports by public water systems, and stop threatening local control of water when sing and operating bottled water plants.
Thank you for your prompt response to this important issue.
Please let Corporate Accountability know what happened
After you call, please take a moment to let Corporate Accountability know what happened. You can report your phone calls by calling Campaign Headquarters at 800-688-8797 or by sending an e-mail to activistnetwork@StopCorpoateAbuse.org.
Corporate Accountability International is a membership based organization that for 30 years has been protecting people around the world from dangerous and irresponsible corporate practices. For more information on Corporate Accountability International, go to http://www.StopCorporateAbuse.org/.
Length of Call: ______ minutes
DID YOU …
•Get Put on Hold • Get a Busy Signal • Get Disconnected
•Spoke with Rep - What did they say? (Please be specific! Use additional page, if necessary.) Name of person you spoke to: _________________
Person's title: ____________________________
Person's department: _______________________
Thank-you for taking action - let us know about your call!
E-mail your reporting form to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.688.8797.
•Response From Pepsi - Bottled Water
• 7 Facts You Never Knew About Bottled Water
• The Simplest and Most Effective Way to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
• Bottled Water Miniseries
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
BONUS ADDITION to Gays in the Military Series:
The Obama campaign is the fourth campaign to respond to the question “What is your position on the “Don't ask, don't tell” policy? Should gays be allowed to serve openly in the military?”
Here is his response:
Thank you for contacting Senator Barack Obama and Obama for America with your thoughts on gay rights. We appreciate hearing from you.
Senator Obama supports economic, social, and legal rights for gays and lesbians. He supports full civil unions, expanding hate crimes statutes, fighting discrimination at work and in housing and other places of public accommodation, and wants to increase adoption rights. He opposes any Constitutional ban on gay marriage, opposes the Defense of Marriage Act, and opposes the current “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military, which weakens us in a time of global challenges.
Barack is a global leader in the fight against AIDS. He traveled to Kenya and took a public HIV test to encourage testing and reduce the stigma of the disease. In late 2006, Barack Obama worked to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act, one of the largest sources of federal funds for primary health care and support services for patients with HIV/AIDS.
Senator Obama has consistently supported gay rights, and will continue to work for an open, tolerant society where people of all sexual orientations are protected and their contributions are valued. Thank you again for writing.
Obama for America
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Bill Hartwell from A View from Laputa says: Being anti-war is the only way to support the troops. America's military was SUPPOSED to exist solely for the protection of America. Not for protecting other nations, not for invading foreign countries that have not attacked us.
Godwhacker from Godwhacker says: I AM against the war and I SUPPORT our troops. Not only is this possible, it's a necessity. How can you support the troops and simultaneously support forcing them to act as a nation-building police force, fighting a shadowy and ubiquitous enemy in the name oil? War should and must only be fought in defense of life and liberty, otherwise we piss on the men and women we ask to sacrifice their lives.
Many Diggers also responded.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Head over to Political Realm and join the conversation:
The topic for this week's stew is simple--with Dick Cheney temporarily assuming the presidency today, I'm wondering what would you do if you became president for a day?
There's too much to list here, but here's what should be done:
Order Guantanamo closed.
- Order Guantanamo closed.
- Make sure the United States adheres to the Geneva Convention.
- Fire all of Bush's advisers.
- Try to convince the Congress to actually get something done.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Everything from attorneys to Virginia Tech has become politicized in recent times. Strangely enough, Harry Potter hasn’t. It remains one of the few things not tainted by politics in pop culture.
Why is this?
By the way, the reason this post is so short is because I’m trying to reread all the Harry Potter books before midnight tomorrow. I haven’t gotten very far :-(
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Local Cooling is a free program that optimizes your PC’s power consumption. From the official description:
By adjusting the power mode settings our advanced algorithms will predict how much you will save based on past PC usage and statistical data. Every time LocalCooling saves power by either turning of your screen, putting your hard drive to sleep when not used or shutting down your PC when you are away your savings stats will start to grow.
It is possible to see your stats, which show how much energy you have saved. Along with how much energy saved, the little program that takes very little energy to install and run shows the how many trees and gallons of gas you’ve “saved”, by “translating” the amount of energy. Unless you have a problem with not being able to see your screen saver (occasionally), this is a simple way to save power, money, and the Earth.
•Alternative Energy Linkathon!
•Carbon Tax: A Simple and Efficient Way to Fight Global Warming
•Hydrogen and Aluminum as a Fuel
Reuters: Transformer explosion rocks midtown Manhattan
It gets worse; ever heard of breaking news e-mail alerts? When news breaks, some news organizations provide breaking news alerts. Fox News sent me this:
EXPLOSION ROCKS MIDTOWN MANHATTAN AT HEIGHT OF EVENING RUSH; OFFICIALS SAY NOT A TERRORIST ACT, COULD BE A TRANSFORMER
•Fox News: Libby Found Not Guilty
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The Cafferty File, part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 7:00 question, and Thoughts on the World's response.
What does it say about the GOP presidential field when nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back any of the top-tier candidates?
It says that many Republicans are not happy with their candidates. This is why Fred Thompson is being embraced so joyfully. This race is wide open; McCain could still win the nomination.
More Cafferty File responses here and here.
Monday, July 16, 2007
If you noticed the pop-up asking you to subscribe, don’t worry loyal visitors! You won’t see it every time you visit.
Britain expels Russian diplomats in murder row
This is a necessary first step against Russia. The U.K. requested that Andrei Lugovoy be extradited to England for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. Of course, Russia makes some ludicrous claim that “extradition is not allowed under the Russian constitution,” or something like that. As discussed previously, that is completely false. Extradition IS allowed under the Russian constitution. Extradition is not allowed, unless the person to be extradited has broken a law that is also law in Russia. Murder is illegal in Russia, in case you didn’t know.
More steps need to be taken against the Russian Federation until they realize they are breaking international law. Nothing will be accomplished at the U.N. because Russia is a veto-wielding member of the Security Council.
The West needs to put more pressure on Russia to extradite Lugovoy. Britain has the right idea, now we just need to continue.
•Extradition Is Allowed Under the Russian Constitution
•Cyber Attacks in Estonia Update
•No Missile Shield in Azerbaijan
•[POLL] Do You Support the Missile Shield in Europe?
Saturday, July 14, 2007
North Korea has shut down its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, a US state department spokesman has said.
Sean McCormack said that the US had been informed of the shut-down by North Korea and was now awaiting verification from the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA.
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency is in Yongbyon overseeing the closure, taking place under a deal agreed in February, but much delayed.
Under this deal Pyongyang got its first heavy fuel oil shipments on Saturday.
Friday, July 13, 2007
According to Wikipedia, so far, the 110th Congress has passed only three bills.
This is why Congress's approval rating is below the President.
It's not only Pelosi's fault nothing is being accomplished. You can blame the Republicans for stopping them too. Congress is too divided to get anything done. There will be no major accomplishments by the United States until after Bush is out of office and there are new congressmen and -women.
It looks like Iraq is back in Washington (did it really ever leave?). There’s going to be fighting on Capitol Hill, but we can’t forget the brave soldiers fighting in Iraq, coalition and Iraqi soldiers.
Who’s between Iraq and a hard place right now:
President Bush: Will he try to make a deal with the Democrats, orr will he go down fighting, veto style?
The Democrats: Their Congress has a lower approval rating than Bush, and the public wants them to get something done.
The Republicans: With increasing pressure from both sides of the political spectrum, it’s time for them to decide: leave or stay?
General Petraeus: Also under pressure from all sides, his upcoming report is already being over politicized.
The troops: Support the troops, stay in Iraq! Support the troops, leave Iraq! They are in the middle of a huge game of tug of war.
Iraqi security forces: If they don’t work harder and cut ties from militias, Iraq will never be able to survive.
Al-Maliki government: After meeting only 8 of 18 benchmarks, more Republicans could turn against al-Maliki and his government, unless he gets something done.
Iraqi people: They need to take control of their country.
A better question might have been, “Who ISN’T between Iraq and a hard place.” The Moderate Plan for Iraq is starting to look outdated. Maybe it’s time for an update…
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I’m going to say it straight off the bat; I’m a greenie, I love my bike above all other modes of transport, our Earth is going to hell in a hand-basket, and it’s the rich and industrialized nations of the world that are doing it to us! My kids, and my kids' kids future may already be irrevocably screwed!.. That political statement out of the way though, I want to take a look at the latest alternative-energy projects , and how they can ensure our living on Earth without gills for as long as possible.Ocean Waves Could Power the Entire Planet
The ocean occupies 70% of the earth’s surface and the waves that occur in them have the highest energy density. That means in a relative small area substantial energy can be generated making it the most viable and virtually inexhaustible energy source.
Alternative Energy - Things you didn't know
As our energy needs rise, as our supplies of fossil fuels run out and as the state of our planet become more precarious, we increasingly need to look at alternative energy sources to meet our requirements and to allow our modern lifestyles. Each of the methods below has been touted both a possible solution and as an environmentally friendly oneJobs in Alternative Energy Industries are Taking Off
There has never been a better time for an alternative-energy-loving TreeHugger to get a job, according to a story at internet job-finder Monster.com. We've been asked about this before, and have touched on getting a good job that does good as well.45 things we can do to save the environment
Here is a nice slideshow of 45 things that we can do to save the environment.
Global Warming Will Spark War
A number of recent studies have highlighted the danger that global warming could spark resource wars. One study, to be published in the August edition of Human Ecology, evaluated correlations between war and climate change between the years 1000AD and 1911AD. The study found that the occurrence of war was in sync with times of agricultural problems due to fluctuations in global temperature. With the UN warnings that desertification could displace up to 50 million does this mean war?
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Global warming is a serious threat to not only the United States of America, but to humanity as a whole. If the Earth heats to the dangerous level it is expected to, more than our national security is at stake. But the homeland will come under fire if something is not done to slow global warming. Droughts are becoming increasingly common, as are heat waves. The fight for water in poorer nations, such as those in Africa, is only aggravating conflicts there. As we saw around the turn of the century, countries in turmoil spawn frustrated, angry people that can turn in die-hard terrorists willing to do anything. Global warming has to be slowed.
Placing a small carbon tax on emissions will not amount to much to the average consumer, but it will to big emitters. They will realize that they must invest in renewable energy or nuclear power. Carbon taxes are one flat tax that is predictable and easy to implement. And the tax revenue, which will be a decent amount, can be used for research into renewable energy and nuclear power.
Monday, July 09, 2007
The Cafferty File, part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 4:00 question, and Thoughts on the World's response.
Should Congress stop funding the detention center at Guantanamo Bay?
Of course. Guantanamo is an illegal facility, illegal under both U.S. and international laws. The majority of America (and of course, the rest of the world) believes Guantanamo should be shut down. Stopping funding would be a simple, uncontroversial way to correct one of the Bush Administration's biggest mistakes. Then, President Bush would be forced to relocate the terrorists to normal prisons to be tried constitutionally.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
WASHINGTON - Flight controllers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., had to maneuver the Terra environmental spacecraft in late June to avoid orbital debris created by the Jan. 11 test of a Chinese anti-satellite (A-Sat) weapon.
As written previously, China's ASAT test was a dangerous act of aggression. The fact that NASA had to reposition a satellite only exemplifies the stupidity of space warfare around Earth.
Friday, July 06, 2007
The New 7 Wonders of the World poll is about to close (if it isn't closing while this is being written), and the site is crashing. You can't vote online, and many of the site descriptions won't load.
Well, if the site wasn't down, here how I would vote:
The Acropolis is a symbol of democracy and the ancient Greeks.
The Colosseum is a symbol of the strongest empire of all time: Rome. During of much of Rome's history, it was a republic, a symbol of (relative) freedom.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China symbolizes the greatness of the ancient Chinese, and of a new superpower.
The Hagia Sophia is mix of cultures: European and West Asian.
The Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids are a symbol of the great Egyptians. The Pyramids are the only surviving wonder from the old 7 wonders.
The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of freedom and democracy in the modern world.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj is one of (if not the best) example of a mixture of Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic culture.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Part 2 in a 2-part miniseries.
Bottled water is a huge industry but a huge waste of money and resources. No matter which way you look at it, bottled water is harmful to the environment and the economy.
Drinking tap water instead of bottled water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide you put in the atmosphere. As mentioned in 7 Facts You Never Knew About Bottled Water, 89% of water bottles are not recycled. Even if that number only went down to 70%, the result would be HUGE. And if every single water bottle was recycled…Well, we can always hope.
Standard water bottles are made of PET (Terephthalate), which is made of crude oil. One kilogram of PET uses around 6.45 kilograms of crude oil and results in 3.7 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions . 3.7 kg of emissions for one bottle of water just for making the bottle; let’s not even get in to the transportation emissions (which must be considerably higher).
If you had to attempt to give the most common reason bottled water is bought, what would you say? Most likely you would say, “Bottled water is cleaner than tap water.” Yes, why else would one buy bottled water? Tap water is more convenient and less expensive. If you found out bottled water is just as sanitary as tap water, would you use tap water? More likely than not. Well, tap water is just as sanitary as bottled water. Not only that, but 40% of bottled water starts as tap water.
If you’re still not convinced, think about this economically. Tap water is essentially free. Buy an “unbreakable” water bottle and fill it up whenever you need it.
Environmentally, economically and sanitarily bottled water is not what it appears. If you truly care about your environment (and your checkbook), you should not buy bottled water as often as possible.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Part 2 of the Bottled Water Miniseries will be posted tomorrow.
Post of the Month for May is... Why Autonomous Regions Won't Work!
Joe Biden and others have proposed that Iraq be cut up in to 3 regions. Here's why it won't work.
Autonomous regions would only survive temporarily, before they are swept up by surrounding countries. Sunnis+Saudi Arabia and Shiites+Iran. Turkey has threatened to invade Kurdistan if it becomes any more autonomous than it already is.
And how would it be possible to cut up the country? Baghdad is full of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds? The whole plan is unrealistic.
There would be a temporary period of peace before the whole region is engulfed in war.
Other options will work. It will take time and patience, but what Petraeus is doing in Iraq right now will work. We need to give them more time, something the majority of Americans are too impatient to do.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Part 1 in a 2-part miniseries.
7 facts you didn’t know about bottled water (you can draw your own conclusions):
• Tap water is just as safe as bottled water. In fact, the U.S. government requires more rigorous testing on tap water than on bottled water.  
• Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than water from your faucet. 
• Terephthalate (PET) is the most commonly used plastic for making water bottles. PET is derived from crude oil. 
• Just in the U.S., 1.5 MILLION barrels of oil are used each year for tasks such as (but not limited to) making PET, transporting bottles and powering water bottle factories. 
• 2.7 MILLION tons of plastic are used to bottle water bottles every year. 
• 86% of water bottles aren’t recycled. 
• About 40% of bottled water starts as tap water. 
Food & Water Watch 
Seattle Post-Intelligencer 
Wikipedia: Bottled water (Environmental impact)
Bottled Water Report
5 Reasons Not to Drink Bottled Water
Bad to the Last Drop? What Else? Bottled Water!
Bottled Water - Good For Business Bad For The Environment
Bottled Water, Bottled Hype (part 2, part 3)
Click here to pledge to reduce your use of bottled water.
Thoughts on the World would ask if you use this information (on a blog), that you link back to this post. Of course, you will get a link under 'For More'.