Share |

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cafe Lysistrata -- coming in papberback in May

A musical sex comedy for five women on one set. Paperback readers' edition contains book, lyrics, and sheet music. Coming in the merry month of May.

You'll note the Universal Hat. If you'd like to hear the song Universal Hat, as performed by the New York Ukulele Ensemble,  please go to the music and bands page on my website:

Thank you for reading and listening.
Uke Jackson

Friday, April 19, 2013

Upcoming Gigs!

Uke Jackson's Big Bottom Band will be playing on Friday April 26 and Friday May 3
from 9 pm - 1am


The Bookstore Speakeasy
336 Adams Street (corner West 4th)
Bethlehem, PA

Monday May 6 at a private country club event from 6 pm - 8 pm

Saturday May 11 from 1 pm - 3 pm


Hotel Bethlehem
437 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA

Personnel on all 4 gigs:

Uke Jackson, vox and silver ukulele
Johnny Peppers, saxophones
Paul Kendall, clarinets
TnT Pete Reichlin, tuba and trombone

Uke Jackson's Big Bottom Band will play at your company picnic and make it hugely memorable.
If you're the boss, book us now. If you're a worker, tell the boss about us.

Don't know what we sound like? You can listen here:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Organic Bytes 4/11/2013


Why GMO Labels Won’t Cost Consumers a Dime

One of the biotech industry’s favorite arguments against GMO labeling is that it will be costly for small retailers and consumers. As if Monsanto actually cares about your economic well-being?
Playing to consumers’ fears of higher food costs makes good strategic sense, especially in tough economic times. But the argument doesn’t hold water. Trader Joe’s, a multi-billion dollar retailer of organic and natural foods, second in size only to Whole Foods Market, verifies that its private-label products are GMO-free. How? By using a system that involves chain-of-custody, legally binding affidavits. It’s the same system other manufacturers and retailers use for rBGH-free, trans fat-free, fair trade and country-of-origin. It works. And it doesn’t cost consumers a dime.
Read the Essay


Action Alert

A River Of Waste: The Hazardous, Heartbreaking Truth About Factory Farms

TAKE THE PLEDGE: I’m Boycotting All Products from Factory Farms!

There’s a good chance you’ve never personally seen a factory farm, or as the industry calls them, Confined Animal Feeding operations (CAFOs). With good reason. The poultry, pork, beef and dairy industries know you’d be so appalled, you’d never buy another chicken wing or gallon of milk produced using their reckless, poisonous and senselessly inhumane methods.
A River of Waste uncovers the ugly truth about factory farms in the U.S. Their flagrant disregard for human health and safety. Their reckless destruction of the environment. Their unconscionable treatment of animals.
The documentary also tells the heartbreaking story of how poultry farms in Prairie Grove, Ark., caused the deaths of at least four children in this small town of 2,500 people. By spreading chicken waste, containing arsenic, on the town’s lands. Not one of those farms, or the companies that own them, have yet been held accountable for those deaths.
The Worldwatch Institute calls factory farms “mini Chernobyls” because of the endless amounts of pollution they spew into the air, groundwater and soil. The American Public Health Association has called for a moratorium on new factory farm facilities. But the only way we’ll end factory farming? When consumers stop buying their products.
Learn more and watch the entire documentary
TAKE THE PLEDGE: I’m Boycotting All Products from Factory Farms!



Have you Nominated Your Favorite Grocer Yet?

“When the list came out of organic companies with parent companies that funded opposition to GMO labeling in California this wonderful store immediately took items made by those companies off their shelves.”
– Helen Jankoski, in her nomination of Natural Food Co-op in Wakefield, R.I.
You told us you were happy to boycott the stores that helped defeat Proposition 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling bill. But you wanted to know more about the stores that supported your right to know. So, the search is on for the Top Ten ‘Right-to-Know’ Grocers. Have you nominated your favorite yet? There’s still time. Deadline for nominations is midnight, May 1.
From Rhode Island to Oregon and everywhere in between, nominations have been rolling in. Along with the nominations, we’ve received some great comments from organic consumers about why they love their co-op, natural food store, farmers market or their local branch of a national chain. We’ve compiled the list of nominations so far, along with some of the comments you’ve sent in. You can read the comments, and more details about the contest, below.
Enter Your Grocer in the Top Ten ‘Right to Know’ Contest




You Are Our Cape

He’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
Always trust your cape.

- Guy Clark
We put a lot of thought and planning into the work we do at OCA. Yet in the end, sometimes it just comes down to a leap of faith.
Can millions of consumers overcome the wealth and ruthless power of corporations like Monsanto? Can we convince the politicians who have influence over food and agriculture policy to ignore the lobbyists and vote instead for consumers’ best interests?
Will we be able to mobilize enough volunteers? Garner enough votes? Raise enough money?
We believe we will. With your help. Year after year, month after month, week after week, you always come through. You trust us to do this important work, to take this leap of faith, on your behalf. And we trust you to keep us going. Please consider making a gift to the OCA this week. Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states)
If you need your donation to be tax-deductible, you can donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)



Let’s Swarm the EPA on Earth Day!

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Ban Neonicotinoid Pesticides before They Devastate the U. S. Bee Population
RSVP: Swarm the EPA on Earth Day
Over the past seven years, the honeybee die-off, known as "colony collapse disorder" (CCD), has claimed 5,650,000 hives, valued at $1.61 billion.  Italy, France, Slovenia and Germany have taken action to limit the use of bee-killing pesticides. But here in the U.S.? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting ready to approve a deadly new neonicotinoid called Sulfoxaflor. Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the EPA, claiming the agency has failed in its obligation to protect one of the Earth's most vital pollinators from dangerous pesticides.
Here’s a disturbing, but perhaps not surprising fact: The EPA does not do its own testing of these pesticides. Instead the EPA relies on the pesticide-maker’s own testing to determine whether or not these chemicals can be released into the environment.
Congress needs to hear from all of us. Please take action below, and please sign on to join us in D.C. on Earth Day, Monday April 22, at noon as we swarm the EPA.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Ban Neonicotinoid Pesticides before They Devastate the U. S. Bee Population
RSVP: Swarm the EPA on Earth Day



Win a Trip to Peru!

Want to walk in the Sacred Valley of the Incas? Explore Cusco and the majestic Machu Picchu?
This World Fair Trade Day, May 11, OCA’s Fair World Project has joined with Alaffia, Alter Eco, Divine Chocolate, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Equal Exchange, Farmer Direct Co-op and Maggie’s Organics, in partnership with Intrepid Travel, to offer you a chance to win a nine-day adventure for two to Peru this October.
By purchasing fair trade products you can help farmers and workers make a decent living wage. And send their children to schools, not factories. Support World Fair Trade Day!
Enter the World Fair Trade Day Sweepstakes
If you are a U.S. natural products retailer and would like to sign up for our World Fair Trade Day promotion, click here to learn more.



Essential Reading for the Week

Leafy Greens Essential for Immune Regulation and Tumor Resolution

Fracking Free Speech Rights

Monsanto’s Next Target: Democracy

Pimp the Pavement: A Brief History of Seedbombing

Ten Retailers Urged To Pull Potentially Toxic Products

The Future of Chocolate

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Organic Bytes 4/4/2012


As Earth Day Approaches, a Message of Hope: How Grazing Cows Can Reverse Global Warming

Could grazing large herds of cattle reverse global warming? Yes, according to ecologist Allan Savory. And nothing offers more hope for a planet in distress.

For years, environmentalists have believed that removing cattle from land protects the land from turning to desert. But we’ve had it wrong, says Savory and a growing movement of "carbon ranchers", organic consumers, and climate activists. Turns out that when we remove the cattle, that's when the land turns to desert. Deserts are not only bad for growing food, they give off carbon - a leading cause of global warming.
We need green technologies to help us reduce our use of fossil fuels. But we’ll never reduce our use of fossil fuels enough in time to avert a climate crisis. There’s another way. By grazing large herds of livestock on half of the world’s barren or semi-barren lands, we could take enough carbon from the atmosphere to bring us back to pre-industrial levels. And just think of all the other problems we’d solve if we raised cattle outdoors, instead of in factory farms which pollute our water and air, and ruin our health with their antibiotics and growth hormones.

Read the Essay


Earth Day

In Honor of Earth Day: A Cook Organic,
Not the Planet Kit!

Want to do something for Mother Earth on Earth Day? Head to your local farmer’s market or natural food store and choose sustainable, grass-fed beef for dinner. Or sustainably raised, free-range chicken. Because the fact is, that while we need to reduce our use of fossil fuels and find alternative, green technologies, we have the power, now, to drastically improve the climate. Just by boycotting any food – meat, dairy or eggs – that comes from a factory farm.

As climate activist Bill McKibben writes in his article, "The Only Way to Have a Cow," "We should simply stop eating factory-farmed meat, and the effects on climate change would be but one of the many benefits."
This Earth Day, we’re asking you to spread the word about the threat that factory farming poses to our health, the environment and the animals who are needlessly confined and tortured. To help you out, we’re offering a Cook Organic, not the Planet information kit for $10, plus some free downloadable leaflets, posters and stickers. Use the materials at your local Earth Day event, or just pass them out to friends and family!

Order the Cook Organic, Not the Planet materials
Tips for Climate-Friendly Eating



Don’t Let the Senate Confirm
a Pro-Fracking Energy Secretary!

TAKE ACTION: Stop the Nomination of Pro-Fracker Moniz as Head of the DOE!

Over the protests of hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens, President Obama nominated Ernest Moniz, an ardent supporter of fracking, to be the U.S. Energy Secretary. No surprise, Moniz has a long history of ties to the oil and gas industry.

The Huffington Post reports that Moniz has spent the last decade serving on a range of boards and advisory councils for energy industry heavyweights, including some that do business with the Department of Energy. That includes a six-year paid stint on BP’s Technology Advisory Council as well as similar positions at a uranium enrichment company and a pair of energy investment firms.

Those most likely to hear our protests and scuttle Moniz’s nomination are Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). And of course, we need to keep pressuring the President.

TAKE ACTION: Stop the Nomination of Pro-Fracker Moniz as Head of the DOE!

Read the OCA Press Release




Dr. Bronner’s Matches Your $250,000. Thank You!

You did it. In just two weeks, you raised $250,000 for Washington State’s I-522 campaign, a citizens’ initiative to label GMOs. As promised, our generous donor – Dr. Bronner’s – has matched your donations. Dr. Bronner’s had already pledged $500,000 to the I-522 campaign. Now, with this additional matching gift, Bronner’s is donating $750,000. Add in the $250,000 you raised, and that’s $1 million that will go directly to help pass this critical initiative in Washington in November.

Through your generosity, you’ve proven what we’ve known all along: The GMO labeling movement is alive and well. We will not give up this fight until we have a label on every food product containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

We here at the OCA work tirelessly on the issues that we know matter most to you. When you come through for us in the way you did these past two weeks, it reminds us that without your support, we simply wouldn’t be able to do this work. To all of you who were able to pitch in this time around, thank you! For those who would still like to support our GMO labeling work, and our other campaigns around food and farming, your donations are always welcomed and appreciated. Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states)
If you need your donation to be tax-deductible, you can donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)



Join the Right to Know GMO Fight
in Your State

Want to get involved in a GMO labeling campaign in your state? You can join Right to Know GMO, the coalition of 37 states collaborating on statewide GMO labeling laws. Right to Know GMO is a grassroots movement of mothers, farmers and citizens dedicated to regaining our basic right to know what we're eating and feeding our families.

At least 24 states have introduced GMO labeling laws this year. Connecticut just this week passed a bill out of the Public Health Committee, by an overwhelming majority vote of 23-4. Washington’s I-522, a citizens’ initiative, is making its way toward a November 2013 vote. Massachusetts has five bills pending, and Vermont bill, which passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on March 1, will be voted on this week.

Of course the opposition isn’t sitting idly by. The New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau has formed a front group, NM Food Feeding Families, even though the bill there died this year. And Monsanto is cranking up its propaganda machine in Oregon, behind a front group called the Oregonians for Food and Shelter.
US map of state Right to Know efforts
Update on state legislation to label GMOs


 Reading List

Who Knew? Cows Save the Planet

Looking for a good read? Something to think about on the eve of Earth Day? Cows Save the Planet, by journalist Judith D. Schwartz, just might be the most important - and surprising - book you read this year. Did you know that undergrazing land is just as bad for the soil as overgrazing? And that while we love to blame SUVs and factories for all that carbon dioxide that’s burning up the planet, we should really be blaming our unsustainable agriculture system? Schwartz writes about the problems we face, and how we can turn these crises into opportunities. Think of her book as a call to action for the soil. And as gardeners, farmers and organic food consumers, what could be more important on Earth Day?

Learn more and order the book



Essential Reading for the Week

Yes, Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs Can Jump from Animals to Humans

The Corporate 'Predator State'

The Monsanto Protection Act? A Debate on Controversial New Measure Over Genetically Modified Crops

From Saccharin to GE Seed, Report Profiles Monsanto's History Peddling Chemicals for Food, Agriculture, War

A New Civil Rights Movement: Liberating Our Communities from Corporate Control

The Downside of Expecting America's Agriculture System to Feed the World