From Little Acorns...Launch Issue - 9th of April 2008
Welcome to the first issue of the MICAGO Messenger. For me the road to this moment has been a long and difficult one on many levels and, on may levels, it still is. So, it is with a considerable sense of relief and gratitude that I finally find myself in a position, with regard to the now budding MICAGO Initiative, to justify writing this newsletter today. And it is each of you that I have to thank for making it possible. Because of your stand-up positive action for Unity, amid an often tumultuous sea of fragmentation and negativity, the unifying mission of MICAGO is now well and truly under way. I am thrilled to be on this exciting journey with you. From this point on, come hell or high water, may we always stand shoulder to shoulder in the pursuit of that much needed Unity, and be a persisting, walking-the-walk example of it.
Before continuing with the newsletter proper please note; that with the single exception of this launch issue, the MICAGO Messenger is strictly a private newsletter intended for MICAGO Members only. It should never be redistributed or publicly reproduced anywhere, at any time, for any reason. While this launch issue can indeed be made publicly available anywhere - all subsequent issues cannot. These will be permanently archived at MCS International in a non-public area of our web site and all MICAGO Members will notified shortly, by standard email, on how to freely access it at any time. That said...
Down To Business: Thanks to our latest member this month, the Allergy & Environmental Health Association of Ottawa, we are now a reasonably sized spring-board coalition of 14. For the MICAGO Initiative to move forward from here and continue to realise - and maximise - its considerable unifying potential, the most fundamental, foundation requirement at this stage is publicity. If nobody knows we exist then MICAGO goes nowhere worthwhile and does little when it gets there. So, the name of the game, at this point in time, is very much about simply getting the message of the MICAGO Initiative to as many relevant individuals, groups and organisations as possible - as quickly as possible. As I see it, we have three basic avenues available to us for doing that, and I hope that we can make the very best promotional use of all of them:
The 1st and 3rd options from the list above are relatively self explanatory, but what do I mean by "Active MICAGO Members" in the 2nd list statement above? Before we can understand that more fully we first need to back up a bit and look at the envisioned evolution of member "participation possibilities" in MICAGO as it develops, and the pyramidal 3 tier structure planned to support and facilitate that. Of this 3 tier pyramidal structure only the first two tiers are presently functioning:
On Passive Involvement: This is the minimum, automatic, default level of MICAGO Membership. Once your MICAGO application has been accepted your site details are added to the MICAGO Members page and that - as they say - is that! You need do no more. You have bravely pinned your colours to the MICAGO mast publicly in the name of Unity, not just for the Chemically Injured everywhere, but for all the flora and fauna on the planet, along with our many precious wild and social environments too. And that, in and of itself, is a very valuable and very much appreciated contribution.
On Active Involvement: Coming back now to the question raised earlier about "Active MICAGO Members"; for some, hopefully most, but ideally all, "Passive Involvement" will not be enough. In this instance, the first step in becoming an "Active MICAGO Member" is in displaying the "MICAGO Member Logo" (as shown above) on your own web site(s). Ideally this would be somewhere prominent like the homepage. If for any reason that is simply not feasible then somewhere prominent on some other popular page would be a good second best. The second step is to ensure that in using the MICAGO Member Logo that you always retain the original size dimensions of the logo graphic - which are 156 x 54 pixels (Available Here). Doing that will ensure that there is never any degradation in the quality of the member logo graphic when displayed on your site(s). The third step is to make the MICAGO Member Logo graphic itself a clickable link to MICAGO's birthplace and spiritual home: MCS International's MICAGO Declaration page (html coding provided for this below).
Completion of said three steps are the minimum prerequisite for "Active Involvement" in the MICAGO Initiative. Any helpful activity beyond that is purely voluntary and, of course, most welcome. Some suggestions for additional voluntary support might be; to promote the MICAGO Initiative regularly via your writing (articles, news updates, newsletters, etc); to encourage other suitable groups and/or organisations to join MICAGO by introducing them to the MICAGO Declaration and its supporting web pages, then inviting them to fill in our short on-line application form; to encourage possible sympathetic web sites who feel, for one reason or another, unable to become official MICAGO Members themselves but who, none-the-less, wish to support the MICAGO Initiative indirectly, to display one or more of our MICAGO logo's (range of types/sizes currently being developed). A good example of this would be 3 party use of the "MICAGO Initiative Banner" at the foot of this newsletter, linked it to its corresponding MICAGO Initiative gateway page at MCS International.
I am very happy to be able to say here that the MICAGO Initiative already has its very first "Active MICAGO Member". This historic honour :-) falls to Matthew Hogg of EIR who, in his enthusiasm, preemptively copied the MICAGO Member Logo from MCS International and wrote a Big Blog about MICAGO on his site using it; quoting the entire MICAGO Declaration there as well. Thank you Matthew! I half joked with him later "I hope your enthusiastic support is rampantly contagious".
On Campaigning Involvement: This level of MICAGO Member involvement will only become possible (for those that wish it) when the MICAGO Initiative has achieved a certain "critical mass" in membership. How precisely that "critical mass" point is to be determined and, consequently, recognised when it actually arrives, is a matter that is still very much under careful consideration, as the most optimal equation appears, almost certainly, not to be merely numerical but qualitative also. This is a matter that we can return to and explore further as a collective, if desired, in future issues of the MICAGO Messenger.
Whatever the form of its arrival, when the MICAGO Initiative finally achieves enough thrust, through optimal membership, to at last achieve "escape velocity" (so to speak), and fly weightless for the first time above the retarding gravity of its own substantial recruitment needs, then - and only then - will the real "Work" of MICAGO begin in earnest; campaigning hard for the kind of changes that we all know in our hearts the world so desperately needs. And having come of age, and having sprung from our unfaltering unity along the way a big set of impressively sharp teeth - with both the will and the wisdom to use them wisely and effectively - who is to say what the limits are to what MICAGO may go on to achieve in terms of the only real bottom-line benchmark that really matters at the end of the day; worthwhile practical results.
Between "now" and "then" however, there is still much to be done. Development will, of course, be an organic process (ho ho) with the opportunity for ample discussion along the way. Probably with one or two individual member PDF survey/feedback forms in there as well. Good lines of communication will, of course, be absolutely essential at the 3rd tier "Campaigning Involvement" stage, so there is a real good chance that some kind of free internet telephone software (like Skype or similar) may be made mandatory for those MICAGO Members who may wish to be active at that level. Additionally (over the next few months hopefully) I will be setting up a private MICAGO Forum exclusively for members which, it is hoped, will act as a persistent and transparent record of our development as an international coalition, as well as a record of member feedback, suggestions, discussions and so on. This forum will be freely available to all MICAGO Members who request it - regardless of their preferred level of involvement.
Ok, I think that just ought to about do it for now. Your thoughts, feelings, questions, feedback etc, on this launch issue of MICAGO Messenger are most welcome, and you can give them Anytime From Here. Please note that your feedback (or parts of it) may find their way into our next issue of MICAGO Messenger unless you mark your feedback "Private". The MICAGO Member Logo is available for immediate Download From Here and, as you might expect, I am hoping that you will all opt to make good use of it. The html linking code needed, including the logo-loading part, is provided below:
The html coding given above assumes that you keep your graphic files in a folder called "images". If not then please change that part of the given html coding accordingly to reflect the actual physical location of the logo file on your web site. And also please remember never to change the dimensions of the logo file, its filename, or its "alt" description. Thank you.
A Few Last Words: Please do what you can to encourage your group/members etc, to help with the MCS research work of our much respected MICAGO colleagues, Prof Pamela Reed-Gibson and her MCS Reseach Team at James Madison University, USA. This is easily done simply by pointing them to either our recent MCS International News Page on the matter, or directly to Pamela's own MCS Research Team web site.
I hope I have managed in this newsletter to lay out for you a good basic foundation for the MICAGO Initiative. One that we can refine and evolve together as we go along. I hope also that this "basic foundation" has gone at least some way towards fleshing out for you what MICAGO is really all about. And that this has helped inject some fresh new life and vitality into your idea of the whole MICAGO deal. As I said at the beginning of this newsletter, I am absolutely thrilled to be on this unique and exciting MICAGO journey with you, Especially now as we take the whole initiative to the next level. As we do so I know that each of you will do "what you can - when you can" to advance our bold collective endeavour, so pregnant with possibilities, so brimming with empowering new potential. Let's aim high and see where it takes us.
Finally, if you get the chance please watch this Video On Monsanto (1 hr 46 mins) for a sharp reminder of why so many of us are so ill, why so much of the planet is covered by PCB's, and why what we are trying to achieve here with the MICAGO Initiative is so very important. Meantime, thank you all for your continued support. Until next time, stay safe - and be well.
Towards a toxin free future