Wednesday, August 16, 2006

For the Birds

For the Birds © Marilyn Dreampeace & Shalom Compost
Photo by The Orange Show

Painted by Kelly Lyles
Photo by Emily Duffy

Photo by Paul McRae

This is a cross-purpose posting. It involves birds, ArtCars, a painter, and a political campaign.

"For the Birds" is the name of the Prius Hybrid (or HyBird as they're now calling it) that Santa Cruz, CA residents Marilyn Dreampeace and Shalom Compost (yes, their real names) own. The two commissioned Seattle, WA painter and ArtCar creator Kelly Lyles to paint the Prius for them.

This car literally IS for the birds in that it produces less than 1/2 as much CO2 emissions as a regular car of its size. It also gets up to 55MPG. That's a huge savings and it's good for the environment...but how much does a hybrid car cost? Not so much actually, $21,725 compared to a Nissan Sentra at $18,100 and 28MPG!

So why is any of this important? Well, aside from the price of gas in California ($3.19 down the street from my house), have you seen the list of endangered species in California lately?

Bald Eagles, Brown Pelicans, Western Snowy Plover, Short-tailed Albatross, are on the list with over a hundred more creatures. We Californians have a unique opportunity to repair this environmental damage politically this November 7th.

One of the most heinous, corrupt, nature-hating, right-wing Republicans in the US House of Representatives (Richard Pombo) is finally, FINALLY being challenged by a terrific progressive candidate, Jerry McNerney in California's 11th district. McNerney has been endorsed by Wes Clark, and by Pombo's Republican primary challanger, Pete McCloskey, Democracy for America, and several "Netroots" groups such as MyDD, and DailyKos.

This gerrymandered district encompasses parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and San Joaquin Counties. There are more registered Republicans there than Democrats (158,000 Reps vs. 132,000 Dems) but there are more than 66,000 Greens, Independents, and Undeclared voters there as well.

Richard Pombo has been a longtime recipient of money from indicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff:
Earlier this year, Pombo solidified his relationship with the Republican majority leader to whom he owes his chairmanship. In January, Pombo and fellow Central Valley Republican John Doolittle worked behind the scenes with other House Republican leaders to alter House Ethics Committee rules in order to protect DeLay from further investigation by the Ethics Committee, which already had admonished him. DeLay has been under scrutiny for receiving gifts and travel from Jack Abramoff, a former powerhouse Washington lobbyist for Native American tribes. Abramoff, who was indicted by a Fort Lauderdale federal grand jury on fraud charges in early August, also has donated $7,000 to Pombo's political action committee -- RICH PAC.
Pombo exposé

So, how can you, Lisa or Larry Liberal, do something for the birds?

1) Stop driving your car so much!

2) If you can, buy a Hybrid (a real one not a "performance Hybrid" from Ford, that's crap).

3) Do something to support Jerry McNerney's campaign against Richard Pombo (who says he wants to drill for oil in the Alaskan wilderness, outlaw abortion, ban same-sex marriage, and kill the Endangered Species Act).

4) And finally, do something for your soul. You can see "For the Birds" along with more than 80 other fantastic, original, creative, ArtCars September 14-17th in the San Francisco Bay Area! It's ArtCar Fest's 10th Year!

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

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