Caped Crusader

Archive for the ‘Earth Offenders’ Category

Obama to Stand Up for the Homeless

In Earth Offenders on September 29, 2015 at 3:49 pm

This was taken about halfway up the block on the east side of Broadway, between 79th and 80th Street. It's at the north end of the "Filene's Basement" store on the corner, and it's a place where I've often seen homeless people holding up a sign that asks for assistance... With very rare exceptions, I haven't photographed these homeless people; it seems to me that they're in a very defensive situation, and I don't want to take advantage of their situation. But something unusual was happening here: the two women (who were actually cooperating, and acting in tandem, despite the rather negative demeanor of the woman on the left) were giving several parcels of food to the young homeless man on the right. I don't know if the women were bringing food from their own kitchen, or whether they had brought it from a nearby restaurant. But it was obviously a conscious, deliberate activity, and one they had thousght about for some time... What was particularly interesting was that they didn't dwell, didn't try to have a conversation with the young man;they gave him they food they had brought, and promptly walked away. As they left, I noticed the young man peering into his bag (the one you see on the ground beside him in this picture) to get a better sense of the delicious meal these two kind women had brought him... ********************** This is part of an evolving photo-project, which will probably continue throughout the summer of 2008, and perhaps beyond: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan -- between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. I don't like to intrude on people's privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they're still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what's right in front of me. I've also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting -- literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting.  So I've learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture ... after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it's pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject. For the most part, I've deliberately avoided photographing bums, drunks, drunks, and crazy people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don't want to be photographed, and I don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of them. I'm still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We'll see how it goes ... The only other thing I've noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, *far* more people who are *not* so interesting. They're probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I've photographed ... but there was just nothing memorable about them.

It has been exactly a year since the U.N. Human Rights Committee (HRC) condemned what Republicans claim is a “very exceptional” country for its hateful practice of criminalizing homelessness. The HRC labeled America’s treatment of its homeless, millions whom are veterans, “cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment,” as well as “a violation of America’s obligation to adhere to international human rights treaties.” Along with the condemnation, the HRC-conducted review drove the international organization to demand that America comply with a treaty on human rights that it ratified 1992, and to take corrective action to be in compliance.

This week, the Obama White House took a giant step toward corrective action to force communities to halt the “cruel, inhumane, and degrading” treatment of people who do not have shelter. Last month the Obama Administration argued that these vile local ordinances that criminalize American citizens for being too poor to afford shelter was unconstitutional. The Administration filed a brief in federal court arguing that criminalization violates the Eighth Amendment’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

Quote from article on PoliticusUSA here



In Earth Offenders, Politics on September 25, 2013 at 10:12 am

Step 1: Produce chicken in the U.S.

Step 2: Ship chicken to China.

Step 3: Process chicken in China.

Step 4: Ship processed chicken back to the U.S.

Step 5: Don’t let consumers know where the chicken came from.

What do you get? Mystery Meat!

Now just imagine what will happen when the Trans-Pacific Partnership makes it easier for this kind of “free trade” with other countries like Vietnam known for exporting contaminated food!

For more information on how to stop the corporate takeover of our food safety, visit


In Earth Offenders on August 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Can you trade fairly?

In Earth Offenders on July 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm


Action Alert

In Earth Offenders, Genetically Engineered on July 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm


Say No to Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Florida Keys

Right now, a British company named Oxitec is planning to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the fragile enviroment of the Florida Keys. The company wants to use the Florida Keys as a testing ground for these mutant bugs.

Even though the local community in the Florida Keys has spoken — we even passed an ordinance demanding more testing — Oxitec is trying to use a loophole by applying to the FDA for an “animal bug” patent. This could mean these mutant mosquitoes could be released at any point against the wishes of locals and the scientific community. We need to make sure the FDA does not approve Oxitec’s patent.

Nearly all experiments with genetically-modified crops have eventually resulted in unintended consequences: superweeds more resistant to herbicides, mutated and resistant insects also collateral damage to ecosystems. A recent news story reported that the monarch butterfly population is down by half in areas where Roundup Ready GM crops are doused with ultra-high levels of herbicides that wipe out the monarch’s favorite milkweed plant.

What about our native species of Florida Keys Bats. Are there any studies being conducted to see if these mosquitoes will harm the native bat population?

Why would we not expect GM (genetically modified) insects, especially those that bite humans, to have similar unintended negative consequences? Will the more virulent Asian tiger mosquito that also carries dengue fill the void left by reductions in A. aegypti? Will the dengue virus mutate (think antibiotic resistant MRSA) and become even more dangerous?

There are more questions than answers and we need more testing to be done.

Will the public be able to stop this program from happening if we don’t want it? We were told that “public opinion would be taken into account.”

Dengue fever has been absent from Key West since 2010, which indicates the current methods of control and public education are working. What’s the rush for this radical approach?

Where is the third-party, peer-reviewed research on effectiveness and safety of GM mosquitoes other than Oxitec’s own claims of success? Don’t let Oxitec bully our community! We say no to genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys!

Sign the petition HERE