By now you’ve probably (or not) heard about actress Danielle Watts being approached by police officers about a call they received that her and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas were having sex in their car. There is audio of the incident, and I must say the cop approached them with the upmost respect when asking for ID and informing them why he was there. Danielle Watts refused to ID herself and claimed it was her right to do so. And in a sense she’s right…but not at this moment. The officer had probable cause to do so, and in the state of California where the incident took place the cops can handcuff and detain you if you do not comply. She claims race was the determining factor and she also try to pull the I’m famous bullshit on the cop. The problem I have with this incident is, with all that’s going on in this country in regards to race. This will be the example that closeted racists and Uncle Toms alike will use to point out, that when dealing with “authority” people of color don’t know how to act. Kudos to the officer for keeping his cool. And maybe if Danielle Watts took her head out of her ass, then she’d know that having a white boyfriend and having minor parts in a movie and having a publicist doesn’t mean you’re above the law.

World’s largest retailer to join groundbreaking Fair Food Program; commits to work with CIW to expand Fair Food Program beyond Florida and to other crops
Just moments ago, at a ceremony under the shade of a watermelon packing shed at a farm outside of Immokalee, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers announced that Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has joined the CIW’s Fair Food Program.
“Not only will thousands of hard-working farmworkers see concrete improvements to their lives,” said Cruz Salucio of the CIW, “but millions of consumers will learn about the Fair Food Program” through the implementation of this accord.

This agreement will strengthen and expand the transformation already underway in Florida’s tomato fields, with an approximate 30,000 workers benefiting directly and immediately.  Specifically, Walmart has committed to work with CIW on the following objectives:

  • Expand the Fair Food Program beyond Florida to its tomato purchases from participating Florida-based growers with operations outside the state during the summer harvest season;
  • Reward those Florida tomato suppliers whose operations best reflect the principles of the Fair Food Program with longer term purchase commitments;
  • Work over time to expand the Fair Food Program to other crops beyond tomatoes in its produce supply chain;
  • Work with its Florida tomato suppliers to build the current Fair Food Premium directly into Walmart’s cost for Florida tomatoes, with the growers continuing to pass on the Fair Food bonus to their workers as part of the established, traceable payment system that is monitored by the Fair Food Standards Council;
  • Support the CIW and its participating Florida tomato suppliers to eventually achieve a higher, more sustainable bucket rate paid to workers for harvesting tomatoes. This change will streamline the financial foundation of the Fair Food Program to focus resources on raising the bar for ethical farm labor conditions beyond the Florida tomato industry
For the full press release and CIW’s initial analysis, click here.

Alexandra Guáqueta, chair of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, joined the CIW for the announcement.  “We are here to support the Immokalee workers and the Fair Food Program, which offers such promise for us all,” she said.  “It’s great to see the world’s biggest retailer, Walmart, join this kind of ground-breaking accountability arrangement.”

As this historic agreement makes headlines across the nation and globe, it begs one question, in CIW’s words: “What now, Publix?  What possible pretext could Publix turn to now to justify its refusal to join the Fair Food Program, quickly becoming the recognized gold standard for the protection of human rights in the US produce industry today?”  See the CIW site for a fuller analysis.

Stay tuned in the coming days for press updates, news and analysis from this historic accord, and please share the news far and wide! 

Interfaith Action of SW Florida
People of faith partnering with farmworkers to cultivate justice in the fields
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Dear friends,

Over the past year, the Fair Food Program, the fruit of determined decades of the Campaign for Fair Food – people of faith, students, and community groups working with farmworkers toward their vision of dignified work in the fields and a more just world for all – has been recognized around the country and the world for its groundbreaking success.

As the year closes, please consider donating to Interfaith Action to support us in partnering with farmworkers to continue the transformational changes taking root the fields!

In October, the CIW was awarded the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom from Want medal for “creating a sustainable blueprint for worker-driven corporate social responsibility, winning fairer wages; work with dignity; and freedom from forced labor, sexual harassment and violence in the workplace for nearly 100,000 workers.” In September, the CIW was invited to the White House to address anti-slavery leaders from around the country, and in December to the second annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.

These accolades recognize the transformative power the Fair Food Program is having in farmworkers’ lives across Florida, where now at 90% of tomato farms, there is a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and slavery and farmworkers have the right to report abuse without fear of retaliation, to have access to shade, water and rest breaks, and to work free from discrimination and grave health and safety dangers.

While these changes are real, we know that there is still much work to do to expand and cement them even further by bringing more buyers into the Fair Food Program partnership. This is why over the past year, together we have created many a powerful witness in the Campaign for Fair Food. Together with farmworkers, we:

marched 200 miles to Publix’s headquarters.
sojourned around the Southeast on the Publix Truth Tour where the grocery giant is expanding.
launched the campaign to call on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program, including actions outside their shareholder meeting in May, during Founder’s Week, Human Rights Shabbat, and the Wendy’s flagship restaurant opening near HQ in Ohio, to name a few.

The continued support of allies in the Campaign for Fair Food is vital; it is part of making the groundbreaking changes we are seeing real, and it is necessary to continue rooting out the injustice that is perpetuated by buyers like Publix and Wendy’s who continue to deny the opportunity to join the Fair Food Program. As a small, grassroots organization, Interfaith Action depends on your financial support — please consider making a tax-deductible gift to fuel this work forward in the coming year!

As we continue to bear witness to the changes taking root across the fields of Florida, we look forward to continuing to work together with you and farmworkers to create a fully transformed agricultural industry.

Happy holidays!


Claire & Elena

Interfaith Action of SW Florida
People of faith partnering with farmworkers to cultivate justice in the fields

Jacque Fresco: Futurist

Mr. Fresco’s background includes industrial design and social engineering, as well as being a forerunner in the field of Human Factors. Mr. Fresco has worked as both designer and inventor in a wide range of fields spanning from bio-medical innovations to totally integrated social systems.
The Venus Project reflects the culmination of Mr. Fresco’s life work: the integration of the best of science and technology into a comprehensive plan for a new society based on human and environmental concern. It is a global vision of hope for the future of humankind in our technological age.

What is The Venus Project?

The Venus Project is an organization that proposes a feasible plan of action for social change, one that works towards a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. It outlines an alternative to strive toward where human rights are no longer paper proclamations but a way of life.
They operate out of a 21.5-acre Research Center located in Venus, Florida.
When one considers the enormity of the challenges facing society today, we can safely conclude that the time is long overdue for us to re-examine our values and to reflect upon and evaluate some of the underlying issues and assumptions we have as a society. This self-analysis calls into question the very nature of what it means to be human, what it means to be a member of a “civilization,” and what choices we can make today to ensure a prosperous future for all the world’s people.
At present we are left with very few alternatives. The answers of yesterday are no longer relevant. Either we continue as we have been with our outmoded social customs and habits of thought, in which case our future will be threatened, or we can apply a more appropriate set of values that are relevant to an emergent society.
The Venus Project proposes a system in which automation and technology would be intelligently integrated into an overall holistic socioeconomic design where the primary function would be to maximize the quality of life rather than profit.
Experience tells us that human behavior can be modified, either toward constructive or destructive activity. This is what The Venus Project is all about – directing our technology and resources toward the positive, for the maximum benefit of people and planet, and seeking out new ways of thinking and living that emphasize and celebrate the vast potential of the human spirit. We have the tools at hand to design and build a future that is worthy of the human potential. The Venus Project presents a bold, new direction for humanity that entails nothing less than the total redesign of our culture. What follows is not an attempt to predict what will be done, only what could be done. The responsibility for our future is in our hands, and depends on the decisions that we make today. The greatest resource that is available today is our own ingenuity.
While social reformers and think tanks formulate strategies that treat only superficial symptoms, without touching the basic social operation, The Venus Project approaches these problems somewhat differently. We feel we cannot eliminate these problems within the framework of the present political and monetary establishment. It would take too many years to accomplish any significant change. Most likely they would be watered down and thinned out to such an extent that the changes would be indistinguishable.
The Venus Project advocates an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any social system that has gone before. Although this description is highly condensed, it is based upon years of study and experimental research by many, many people from many scientific disciplines.
They propose a fresh, holistic approach – one that is dedicated to human and environmental concerns. It is an attainable vision of a bright and better future, one that is appropriate to the times in which we live, and both practical and feasible for a positive future for all the world’s people.
The Venus Project calls for a straightforward approach to the redesign of a culture, in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt, environmental degradation and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but totally unacceptable.
One of the basic premises of The Venus Project is that we work towards having all of the Earth’s resources as the common heritage of all the world’s people. Anything less will simply result in a continuation of the same catalog of problems inherent in the present system.
Throughout history, change has been slow. Successive groups of incompetent leaders have replaced those that preceded them, but the underlying social and economic problems remain because the basic value systems have gone unaltered. The problems we are faced with today cannot be solved politically or financially because they are highly technical in nature. There may not even be enough money available to pay for the required changes, but there are more than enough resources. This is why The Venus Project advocates the transition from a monetary-based society to the eventual realization of a resource-based global economy.
We realize to make the transition from our present culture, which is politically incompetent, scarcity-oriented and obsolete, to this new, more humane society will require a quantum leap in both thought and action.

An Obsolete Monetary System

The money-based system evolved centuries ago. All of the world’s economic systems – socialism, communism, fascism, and even the vaunted free enterprise system – perpetuate social stratification, elitism, nationalism, and racism, primarily based on economic disparity. As long as a social system uses money or barter, people and nations will seek to maintain the economic competitive edge or, if they cannot do so by means of commerce they will by military intervention. We still utilize these same outmoded methods.
Our current monetary system is not capable of providing a high standard of living for everyone, nor can it ensure the protection of the environment because the major motive is profit. Strategies such as downsizing and toxic dumping increase the profit margin. With the advent of automation, cybernation, artificial intelligence and out sourcing, there will be an ever-increasing replacement of people by machines. As a result, fewer people will be able to purchase goods and services even though our capability to produce an abundance will continue to exist.
Our technology is racing forward yet our social designs have remained relatively static. In other words cultural change has not kept pace with technological change.
Our present, outmoded political and economic systems are unable to apply the real benefits of today’s innovative technology to achieve the greatest good for all people, and to overcome the inequities imposed upon so many. Our technology is racing forward yet our social designs have remained relatively static. In other words cultural change has not kept pace with technological change. We now have the means to produce goods and services in abundance for everyone.
Unfortunately, today science and technology have been diverted from achieving the greatest good for reasons of self-interest and monetary gain through planned obsolescence sometimes referred to as the conscious withdrawal of efficiency. For example, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, whose function is presumed to be conducting research into ways of achieving higher crop yields per acre, actually pays farmers not to produce at full-capacity. The monetary system tends to hold back the application of these methods that we know would best serve the interests of people and the environment.
In a monetary system purchasing power is not related to our capacity to produce goods and services. For example, during a depression, there are computers and DVD’s on store shelves and automobiles in car lots, but most people do not have the purchasing power to buy them. The earth is still the same place; it is just the rules of the game that are obsolete and create strife, deprivation and unnecessary human suffering.
A monetary system developed years ago as a device to control human behavior in an environment with limited resources. Today money is used to regulate the economy not for the benefit of the general populace, but for those who control the financial wealth of nations.

Resource Based Economy

All socio-economic systems, regardless of political philosophy, religious beliefs, or social customs, ultimately depend upon natural resources, i.e. clean air and water, arable land and the necessary technology and personnel to maintain a high standard of living.
Simply stated, a resource-based economy utilizes existing resources rather than money and provides an equitable method of distributing these resources in the most efficient manner for the entire population. It is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of debt or servitude.
Earth is abundant with plentiful resources; today our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival. Modern society has access to highly advanced technologies and can make available food, clothing, housing, medical care, a relevant educational system, and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy such as geothermal, solar, wind, tidal, etc. It is now possible to have everyone enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities that a prosperous civilization can provide. This can be accomplished through the intelligent and humane application of science and technology.
It is now possible to have everyone enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities that a prosperous civilization can provide. This can be accomplished through the intelligent and humane application of science and technology.
To better understand the meaning of a resource-based economy consider this: if all the money in the world were destroyed, as long as topsoil, factories, and other resources were left intact, we could build anything we choose to build and fulfill any human need. It is not money that people need; rather, it is free access to the necessities of life. In a resource-based economy , money would be irrelevant. All that would be required are the resources and the manufacturing and distribution of the products.
When education and resources are made available to all people without a price tag, there would be no limit to the human potential. Although this is difficult to imagine, even the wealthiest person today would be far better off in a resource based society as proposed by The Venus Project. Today the middle classes live better than kings of times past. In a resource based economy everyone would live better than the wealthiest of today. In a resource based society, the measure of success would be based on the fulfillment of one’s individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power.

The Choice Is Ours To Make

Human behavior is subject to the same laws as any other natural phenomenon. Our customs, behaviors, and values are byproducts of our culture. No one is born with greed, prejudice, bigotry, patriotism and hatred; these are all learned behavior patterns. If the environment is unaltered, similar behavior will reoccur.
Today, much of the technology needed to bring about a global Resource Based Economy exists. If we choose to conform to the limitations of our present monetary-based economy, then it is likely that we will continue to live with its inevitable results: war, poverty, hunger, deprivation, crime, ignorance, stress, fear, and inequity. On the other hand, if we embrace the concept of a global resource-based economy , learn more about it, and share our understanding with our friends, this will help humanity evolve out of its present state.

The Choice is Ours” Documentary series Kickstarter Campaign

You can help the Venus Project create it’s next documentary by supporting their Kickstarter campaign.

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