Project ChoixVert

April 22, 2009

Inspired by Kynetx Network Services, Azigo and the Information Card Foundation

By Judith Burton

Salt Lake City, Utah, April 20, 2009—The ChoixVert Information Card is the most significant use of technology for identifying eco-diligence on the Internet. Whenever I find a technology that will serve a cause I’m interested in, that’s when I get excited about technology. I am interested primarily in how to change the world, save the children, and protect women—things like that. The most important cause for me is a future of well-being for my grandchildren.

It’s incredibly important to leave the world a better place for having been here. Our grandchildren deserve a fertile earth, clean air, pure water and nothing less.

When I first heard what Kynetx was doing, I saw the possibilities for impacting a wide variety of social issues. Green or eco-diligence was the first to spring to mind. I asked for a card with the ability to identify companies with green practices and Phil Windley wrote the required rule set. Kynetx operates with the Azigo identity selector.

From my perspective this is why the Internet was invented. The Internet is the most accessible widespread exploration tool available. It’s a great equalizer providing information to vast audiences at a very individualized level. The Internet is a great dissemination tool that we can exploit for some of our most important interests, like the well-being of our planet.

Hundreds of thousands of entities on the Internet have green practices, but who would know it? When a user is looking at search results or a web site, it’s not immediately clear if the organization is green unless you have a ChoixVert Information Card–a green thumbprint shows up when you view a green company. You could visit UPS 50 times and never notice their green page about how very responsible UPS is. But if you have this card you will see on top of all the data, a green thumbprint. If you click on the thumb print, you get even more information. It’s very cool.

I was so inspired by what this could do, I wanted to expand the possibilities to identify many issues–Project ChoixVert was initiated.

It’s an odd name right? The name is a construct of the French phrase “to choose green.” In American English, it’s meant to be pronounced; schwa-vare. It’s easy to remember–“If you care, choixvert.” A French speaking person might laugh at this usage, but it works.

When Craig explained the idea, several other members of the ICF saw the possibilities and responded with ways they could participate in the Project. We will be announcing these relationships very soon.

It’s a natural fit for ICF. It’s clearly a way for the organization to foster identity selector ubiquity by featuring an information card that identifies green companies on the Internet. Not only does the ICF foster selector identity ubiquity, like many of us, they care deeply about the legacy we leave for our children and grandchildren. The excitement and passion that has come forth is very gratifying. I am so pleased at the response from all those involved, especially those who have volunteered to do the actual work to ignite Project ChoixVert.

The Information Card Foundation itself is socially responsible. They use the Internet for nearly all communications, keep travel to a minimum, and usually meet face-to-face only when they are already traveling to an essential meeting, like RSA. Of course, these measures lessen the carbon footprint.

Project ChoixVert was formed to cultivate social responsibility. The first technology implemented is the ChoixVert information Card. The design, availability, and services involved are all free to anyone who wants it. This is not a free trial, this is free. All of the companies providing the technology, distribution, data, storage, and advertising are all doing this voluntarily. Project ChoixVert is a non-profit organization funded by donations from socially responsible organizations and individuals. To learn more go to http://choixvert.org.

It’s appropriate to be announcing the ChoixVert Information Card at RSA, because this week is Earth Day, on April 22. A safe and healthy earth is all we really need to leave our grand children. Why else do we exist? jb

–Judith Burton is Executive Director of Project ChoixVert. Living in the suburbs of Salk Lake City keeps her in touch with some of the things she loves the most; family and friends, the mountains, and the flourishing natural resources so readily available in Utah. Judith is a lifetime member of the Sierra Club and an active gardener. Burton is passionate about her life, family, and friends, and advocates for many human and earth-friendly issues.

Robert Nickelsberg

About 300 Afghan women, facing an angry throng three times that number, walked the streets of the capital on Wednesday to demand that Parliament repeal a new law that introduces a range of Taliban-like restrictions on women, and permits, among other things, marital rape. *

The young women stepped off the bus and moved toward the protest march just beginning on the other side of the street when they were spotted by a mob of men. “Get out of here, you whores!” the men shouted. “Get out!” The women scattered as the men moved in. “We want our rights!” one of the women shouted, turning to face them. “We want equality!”

The women ran to the bus and dove inside as it rumbled away, with the men smashing the taillights and banging on the sides. “Whores!” But the march carried on anyway. About 300 Afghan women, facing an angry throng three times larger than their own, walked the streets of the capital on Wednesday to demand that Parliament repeal a new law that introduces a range of Taliban-like restrictions on women, and permits, among other things, marital rape.

It was an extraordinary scene. Women are mostly illiterate in this impoverished country, and they do not, generally speaking, enjoy anything near the freedom accorded to men. But there they were, most of them young, many in jeans, defying a threatening crowd and calling out slogans heavy with meaning. With the Afghan police keeping the mob at bay, the women walked two miles to Parliament, where they delivered a petition calling for the law’s repeal. “Whenever a man wants sex, we cannot refuse,” said Fatima Husseini, 26, one of the marchers. “It means a woman is a kind of property, to be used by the man in any way that he wants.”

The law, approved by both houses of Parliament and signed by President Hamid Karzai, applies to the Shiite minority only, essentially giving clerics authority over intimate matters between women and men. Women here and governments and rights groups abroad have protested three parts of the law especially. One provision makes it illegal for a woman to resist her husband’s sexual advances. A second provision requires a husband’s permission for a woman to work outside the home or go to school. And a third makes it illegal for a woman to refuse to “make herself up” or “dress up” if that is what her husband wants. The passage of the law has amounted to something of a historical irony.

Afghan Shiites, who make up about 10 percent of the population, suffered horrendously under the Taliban, who regarded them as apostates. Since 2001, the Shiites, particularly the Hazara minority, have been enjoying a renaissance. President Karzai, who relies on vast support from the United States and other Western governments to stay in power, has come under intense international criticism for signing the bill into law. Many people here suspect that he did so in order to gain the favor of the Shiite clergy; Mr. Karzai is up for re-election this year.

Responding to the outcry, Mr. Karzai has begun looking for a way to remove the most controversial parts of the law. In an interview on Wednesday, his spokesman, Homayun Hamidzada, said that the legislation was not yet law because it had not been published in the government’s official register. That, Mr. Hamidzada said, meant that it could still be changed. Mr. Karzai has asked his justice minister to look it over. “We have no doubt that whatever comes out of this process will be consistent with the rights provided for in the Constitution — equality and the protection of women,”

Mr. Hamidzada said. The women who protested Wednesday began their demonstration with what appeared to be a deliberately provocative act. They gathered in front of the School of the Last Prophet, a madrassa run by Ayatollah Asif Mohsini, the country’s most powerful Shiite cleric. He and the scholars around him played an important role in the drafting of the new law. “We are here to campaign for our rights,” one woman said into a loudspeaker. Then the women held their banners aloft and began to chant. The reaction was immediate. Hundreds of students from the madrassa, most but not all of them men, poured into the streets to confront the demonstrators. “Death to the enemies of Islam!” the counterdemonstrators cried, encircling the women. “We want Islamic law!”

The women stared ahead and kept walking. A phalanx of police, some of them women, held the crowds apart.

Afterward, when the demonstrators had left, one of the madrassa’s senior clerics walked outside. Asked about the dispute, he said it was between professionals and nonprofessionals; that is, between the clerics, who understood the Koran and Islamic law, and the women calling for the law’s repeal who did not.

“It’s like if you are sick, you go to a doctor, not some amateur,” said the cleric, Mohammed Hussein Jafaari. “This law was approved by the scholars. It was passed by both houses of Parliament. It was signed by the president.”

The religious scholars, Mr. Jafaari conceded, were all men. Lingering a while, Mr. Jafaari said that what was really driving the dispute was not the Afghans at all, but the foreigners who loom so large over the country. “We Afghans don’t want a bunch of NATO commanders and foreign ministers telling us what to do.”

MENSA Invitational

March 14, 2009

Here are the winners of this year’s  Washington Post’s MENSA Invitational which once again asked readers to  take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or  changing one letter, and supply a new definition:

1.  Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2.  Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.
3.  Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5.  Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.  The bozone layer unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6.  Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
8. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
9.  Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon: It’s  like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido:  All talk and no action.
14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of  stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
15.  Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
16.  Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into  your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17.  Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a  worm in the fruit you’re eating.

The Washington Post has  also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which  readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the  winners are:
1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
3.  Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation  while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly, adj.  Impotent.
6. Negligent,  adj.. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
7.  Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle, n.  Olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence, n.. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding  hairline.
11. Testicle n. A humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The  belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

I am a Gorilla…

March 10, 2009

 

I advocate for the displaced, invalidated and forgotten. And, for the future well-being of our greatest resources; our children and our planet. I am a gorilla gardener–I plant where no one else will.

 

Some people and organizations try to obscure the issues and  have collapsed pro-choice into abortion. Abortion is terminating a pregnancy. Pro-choice is advocating women’s rights. These are two very different concepts.

I do not foster abortion. but I do support the rights of all women having all the information available concerning reproductive health issues regardless of anyone else’s personal beliefs. It is the right of every woman to choose what happens to her mind and body. Intentionally limiting women’s knowledge is abusive and intolerable. No one person or organization has the right to artificially limit another’s knowledge, or to inhibit another’s access to appropriate health care. 

Today when I received the following letter, I immediately followed the links below to add my name to the list of supporters to have this inhumane rule overturned. Please, support President Obama in overturning Bush’s rule that restricts women’s health and well being.

Dear Friends,
Today, President Obama began the process of overturning the Bush administration rule that limits the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate reproductive health information and services. This is huge — as you might know, we’ve been fighting the rule for months, and I’m just about ready to breathe one heck of a sigh of relief.

But it’s not over yet. We still need your help!
In order to overturn the Bush administration rule, President Obama has to allow the public to comment on what he plans to do. That is where YOU come in. It is important that we show the administration that we support the president’s proposal.

Will you take a moment right now and add your name to the list of people who support reversing Bush’s dangerous rule? Thank you, once again.

You might already know the background of this situation, but here it is in case you don’t. Just before leaving office, the Bush administration put in place a rule that limits the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate reproductive health information and services. The rule allows health care personnel and institutions everywhere to simply withhold information about health care services, including things like birth control and HIV testing and treatment. It also allows health care workers to deny any basic health care service based on their personal biases.

When more and more families are uninsured and have difficulty accessing health care, and when at least one in four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted infection, implementing a rule that limits access to health care is utterly perplexing. Worst of all, it will fall hardest on those who have the least ability to find alternative providers who WILL provide them with full information and services — low-income women and folks in rural areas. Thankfully, we now have the chance to stop it. Please take a moment right now to do your part one more time.

You know, in the few weeks since President Obama took office, it’s become absolutely clear that this new administration is listening to and collaborating with people from all perspectives. I think that’s a good thing. But, quite honestly, it means that we can’t take anything for granted. We must continue to do our part to advocate for the people we serve. We have a president now, finally, who will listen. It’s up to us to speak up. Today’s action is a good opportunity for you to speak up.

Thank you, thank you, for your help today and during the next few weeks as we work to make sure that this rule is overturned for good.

Sincerely,
Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

WE HAVE 30 DAYS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. PLEASE HELP — CLICK HERE!

Thanks, for being a thought leader and advocate for equality for women. jb

Green-ism

March 4, 2009

Green-ism–the belief that responsible earth friendly practices will save the planet and thus our civilization. jb, 3/2009

I thought myself very clever to come up with the distinction “greenism.” This seemed clever for only a moment, however, until I realized others had probably thought of it before. So, I went right to Google to find the name of who should be credited for this brilliant distinction.

It seemed prudent to run a Google search. I was astounded to find the following distinction, or maybe I should say dis-stink-shun, because it’s a dis of so many fine citizens and contributors to our culture, which just stinks, and shuns entire classes of our community.

So, here it is, just as I found it at http://www.urbandictionary.com/author.php?author=Cole+Glass where you may go to vote for or against it.

greenism, when you hate all jews or gays or terrorists. when you are a real patriot of the USA. jew=gay=terrorist by Cole Glass

Talk about your terrorist… Some things and some people are so baffling to me at times; I can’t even find a place in my head to figure them out! Normally, I would think this the worst of tasteless sarcasm, making a joke of feeble thinkers. But, this time I am thinking, there is a person out there somewhere that I never want to meet. Please, Mother of all that is sacred, protect me from such gooey gray matter. “Pray with me. Can I get an Amen!?” I’m just sayin’.  jb

 

Dear Friends,

It’s official: the International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudan’s President Bashir.

Bashir could now face the full weight of international law. But he could also respond by lashing out more viciously than ever against Darfuri civilians.

In the critical coming days, we’ll pressure President Obama to ensure that Darfuris are protected and peace efforts are redoubled. And we’ll lean on world leaders to bring Bashir to justice. But, we can’t do it without you.

Give now and ensure we have maximum influence at this game-changing moment.

When the ICC prosecutor asked for an arrest warrant last summer, our urgent advocacy helped derail Khartoum’s effort to suspend the investigation. Now we must come together again and pressure world leaders to sideline Bashir and push for a lasting peace in Sudan.

The next few weeks could bring progress towards peace, or retaliatory violence from the government of Sudan. That’s why we need your support to help us expand our advocacy efforts at this critical juncture by:

  • Ensuring that the voices and stories of Darfuris like Basmat are heard through aggressive media and community outreach.

  • Lobbying the U.S. government and other members of the U.N. Security Council to ensure that Darfuri civilians are protected in the wake of the ICC decision.

  • Keeping the heat on President Obama to appoint an "owner," a Darfur point person with the stature, mandate and authority to stabilize the region.

For Darfuris who have endured rape and torture, who have seen their villages burned and their families terrorized, this moment represents enormous potential for progress. Now, at last, the world’s pre-eminent legal authorities are pursuing justice on their behalf.

We must capitalize on this moment—PLEASE MAKE YOUR DONATION TODAY!