What really goes on inside the European Parliament?, a.k.a. Living the “High Life”

 

Amusing short-documentary, if not for the struggling near-poverty European low-class and the thousands of starving Syrian refugees.

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Unconditional Basic Income

The European Citizens’ Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income is based on the Article 25. of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Unconditional Basic Income aims to provide a safety-net to every citizen, unconditionally, by diminishing wealth inequalities (through financial and high-end taxation) and taxing luxury goods as well as polluting products and self-financing by cutting a long list of obsolete social services. It not only provides a solid cornerstone for the economy as it allows people to have more time to actually enjoy their lives, spend more time with their families and immerse themselves in the world of arts.

When it reaches worldwide scope, such a simple concept might be the first step to the society we all envision and hope for. Even those who don’t know it yet.

 

Good News Roundup

I, for one, am a huge fan of good news, the shiny silver lining amongst all the chaos happening in the world these days. For those readers that share the same liking, here lays an article that will warm your hearts and lighten your moods. These are a few stories from the past few days where Good done prevailed. Enjoy!

Last week, ONE.org was able to prevent the planned cuts in the EU budget  to help the world’s poorest, making sure that the already meager help offered does not suffer yet another slicing, further increasing the gap between developed and undeveloped countries.

“When leaders arrived in Brussels last Thursday for what would become the final budget negotiation between governments, levels of development aid were being threatened with potentially deep cuts. But thanks in large part to your incredible campaigning in these final weeks, when the numbers were released, development aid to the world’s poorest was protected at current levels, despite cuts to the overall EU budget for the first time in history.

Though the EU still has a long way to go in order to keep its promises to the world’s poorest, we managed to avoid a disastrous step back. It was the voices of citizens across Europe that helped ensure that current levels of aid were protected.”

(source ONE.org, see the photo album here)

Also last week, Greenpeace managed to reduce the deforestation happening in the forests of Indonesia, saving the endangered wildlife within and demonstrating that campaigns and large-scale pressure does indeed work.

“Imagine for a moment the forests of Indonesia, buzzing with the sounds not of chainsaws, but of birds, and other wildlife that make them truly special. I’m happy to say we’ve just taken a significant step in the right direction to make this a reality.

After more than 10 years of campaigning against Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of the biggest rainforest destroyers on the planet, the company has agreed to immediately halt any further deforestation and develop a comprehensive forest conservation policy. If these commitments are implemented it’s BIG news for the people and wildlife who depend on Indonesia’s rainforests.”

(source: Reece Turner, Greenpeace Australia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @RadReece or read the original article here)

Starting March 11, 2013, EU finally decided to ban animal testing for cosmetics, making a stand for animal rights and setting a standard for the rest of the world to follow.

“After decades of delays, disappointment and campaigning by animal advocacy groups, the European Union is finally set to enact its ban on animal testing for cosmetics this spring.

Beginning on March 11, anyone selling cosmetic products in the EU will not be allowed to test finished products or their ingredients on animals anywhere in the world, whether or not an alternative to animal testing is available.”

(source: Alicia Graef, Care2.com. Read the original article here)

It is also worthy of note the saving of a Bear Sanctuary in Vietnam by Animal Asia, home for 104 bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry; the decision from Levi Strauss‘ management, announcing that they will stop treating the clothes with chemicals that cause toxic water pollution, following Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign and raising an ideal for other brands to follow ; the Great Sioux Nation reclaimed Black Hills taken from them in 1877 after congress disregarded a 1868 treaty and is now forever free to perform their ancestral rituals on their sacred land; and finally, thanks to the pressure from animal activist groups, the U.S. Military stopped the torture of animals for combat training adopting simulation training, a more humane and harmless alternative.

Thank you, Good-doers!