Newark Mayor to Trump: Forget the wall, fix the water system

In open letter, Mayor Baraka calls on President Trump to fix nation’s failing water infrastructure rather than pursuing a manufactured border crisis #p2

You’re not ready to know all that Google and Facebook know about us

What Google & FB have on you ss
Source: Dylan Curran’s article on The Guardian

It’s awe-inspiring and terrifying to know how much Google and Facebook know about us: where we go, what time we go to the gym, what you’ve searched, what searches you’ve deleted, what apps you use, what you and your friends talk about, and more. Dylan Curran, writing in The Guardian, says,

They can access your webcam and microphone
The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to. read more

Bernie Sanders will hold Town Hall on inequality with Elizabeth Warren & Michael Moore

inequality town hall 180319
Photo: PBS

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Thursday that on March 19 he will host Inequality in America: A National Town Hall on Facebook Live focused on inequality in the United States in partnership with The Guardian, NowThis, The Young Turks and Act.tv.

Sanders, along with filmmaker Michel Moore, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, economist Darrick Hamilton and other experts, will discuss poverty in America, the 40-year decline of the middle class, the growing power of corporate interests and how we an economy that works for all Americans.

“The issue of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time and it is the great political issue of our time, yet it gets very little coverage from the corporate media,” Sanders said. “I am excited to build on the success of our Medicare for All town hall and go outside the traditional media to talk about who owns America, why the middle class is declining, extreme poverty and how we create an economy that works for everybody, not just the 1 percent.”

The event, titled “Inequality in America: The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class,” will be held in front of a live audience at the Capitol Visitor Center’s Congressional Auditorium in Washington from 7:00 to 8:20 p.m. and live streamed across the partners’ social media channels.

“The political establishment has completely turned away from the middle class and abandoned the American blue collar workers in favor of the wealthy elite,” said TYT host Ana Kasparian. “Tax cuts are only helping the top one percent and have become corporations’ best and most loyal friend . Our government needs to create opportunity for all people and it’s imperative that our elected officials make sure wages increase with the productivity of this country. I applaud Sen. Sanders’ work in making this the issue of our time. I look forward to working with Michael Moore, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Darrick Hamilton and the many other esteemed guests to advance the conversation and create change.”

John Mulholland, Guardian US editor said: “The Guardian strives to illuminate the most pressing and underreported issues facing America today. Widening levels of inequality are of huge concern to our American readers. We’re pleased to be involved in this event, helping to amplify one of the most endemic injustices in our society.”

“We need a government that works for all of us, not only the 1 percent. Likewise we are proud to partner in this town hall and amplify such a vital issue. Another world is possible, but we need a better media to make it,” said Harry Waisbren, co-founder of Act.tv.

Guests interested in attending in person can find more information here.

PANELIST BIOS

Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts
Elizabeth Warren has made her life’s work the fight for middle class families. She is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts on bankruptcy and the financial pressures facing middle class families, and the Boston Globe has called her “the plainspoken voice of people getting crushed by so many predatory lenders and under regulated banks.”

Michael Moore, filmmaker and author
Michael Moore is an Academy-Award winning documentary filmmaker, activist, and author. Among many issues his work has examined globalization, gun ownership, health care, and domestic and foreign policy.

Darrick Hamilton, Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, The New School, New York City
Professor Darrick Hamilton teaches economic and urban policy at the New School in New York. Both his academic work and activism is aimed at promoting greater economic, political, and social inclusion. His work examines inequality and identity, racism, and socioeconomic outcomes.

Catherine Coleman, Flowers, founder, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise
Ms. Catherine Coleman Flowers is the founder of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation. Ms. Flowers has called attention to the lack of environmental and climate justice in poor rural communities, including exposing how some communities live surrounded by raw open sewage. Last year she invited the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty to Alabama, and he characterized what he saw as “uncommon in the first world.”

Cindy Estrada, Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union
Cindy Estrada is a longtime union organizer and social activist. She was first elected as vice president in 2010 and is the first Latina elected to serve as an International officer. Cindy developed a passion for the labor movement while listening to her grandparents and other family members talk about their experiences working on farms and inside the factories of Detroit. Their stories were the first of many that have guided Estrada in her dedication to empower workers and show them they deserve a seat at the table to raise and resolve workplace problems and improve their working conditions.

Professor Gordon Lafer, Political Scientist, University of Oregon
Dr. Gordon Lafer, a political economist, is a Professor at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center and a Research Associate with the Economic Policy Institute. He has spent many years working as a union organizer and has seen how people have been mistreated or ripped off by their employers. His most recent book is The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time (Cornell University Press, 2017).

Gov. Murphy will provide $2.1M for free legal help for NJ immigrants in need

New Americans in NJ
Source: Immigration Council

Newark, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that he intends to allocate $2.1M to fund free legal representation for immigrants facing detention or deportation who cannot afford private attorneys. In New Jersey, the vast majority of immigrant detainees fight their deportation cases without an attorney. It is not surprising that only 14% of unrepresented detainees are successful and able to remain in the United States, given the complexities of our immigration laws and the challenges of gathering evidence while incarcerated. Individuals facing deportation have no right to appointed counsel.

“While the funding will not be enough to ensure representation for all of the approximately 2,000 immigrants currently detained in New Jersey detention facilities for civil immigration violations, it is a promising first step towards protecting the due process rights of both long-time New Jersey residents with deep ties to our communities and who have families who would be devastated by their detention and deportation, as well as recently arrived immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries,” said Nicole Miller, Legal Services Director for the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program (AFSC) in Newark, NJ. “AFSC has been representing immigrant detainees for over 20 years in New Jersey and we have seen firsthand the significant impact that legal representation has on a detainee’s ability to present their case to an immigration judge. It also ensures that detainees are treated with dignity and respect as they navigate a dehumanizing immigration system that tears families and communities apart.”

“We will continue to advocate on behalf of immigrant detainees and look forward to a day where the state of New Jersey fully funds a universal representation program that provides access to counsel to all immigrants detained in New Jersey and facing deportation,” stated Chia-Chia Wang, AFSC’s Director of Organizing and Advocacy.

AFSC, the ACLU of New Jersey and the Seton Hall Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic recently issued a report entitled “The Meaning of Counsel in the Immigration System: New Jersey Case Stories”, that highlights the importance of access to counsel for detained immigrants in New Jersey by documenting the stories of eleven New Jersey immigrants detained in immigration detention centers, many of whom are AFSC clients.

Trump attacked workers’ pay and rights in 2017. Here are the worst violations.

McDonalds NYC demo
McDonalds NYC Demonstration for workers rights & fair pay Source: IUF.org

The focus of the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) report issued on January 12, 2018 is in its name: Ten actions that hurt workers during Trump’s first year: How Trump and Congress further rigged the economy in favor of the wealthy

See the article for facts about how workers are affected by each action on this list:

McDonalds NYC demo
McDonalds NYC Demonstration for workers rights & fair pay Source: IUF.org
  • Enacting tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the wealthy over the average worker
  • Taking billions out of workers’ pockets by weakening or abandoning regulations that protect their pay
  • Blocking workers from access to the courts by allowing mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts
  • Pushing immigration policies that hurt all workers
  • Rolling back regulations that protect worker pay and safety
  • Stacking the Federal Reserve Board with candidates friendlier to Wall Street than to working families
  • Ensuring Wall Street can pocket more of workers’ retirement savings
  • Stacking the Supreme Court against workers by appointing Neil Gorsuch
  • Trying to take affordable health care away from millions of working people
  • Undercutting key worker protection agencies by nominating anti-worker leaders
  • read more

    Some ways the GOP tax bill will destroy the environment

    Margaret Mead Quote
    Source: quotefancy.com

    Camila Thorndike offers a list of some ways the GOP tax scam intends to destroy the environment. She found these items less than a day after the 500+ page tax bill was released to Capitol Hill politicians for the first time last night, just an hour before the GOP began pushing for the bill to be voted on. So more horrible measures will probably be found over time.

  • Hands out a billion dollars to oil companies and preserves $14 Billion in fossil fuel subsidies, more than renewables by a 7:1 ratio.
  • Suddenly axes tax breaks for electric vehicles.
  • Eliminates the commercial solar investment credit.
  • Jeopardizes wind energy by reducing credit for future projects by a third and threatening those underway.
  • Randomly opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, making an industrial oil field of this wild land, which is sacred to the indigenous Gwich’in people and home to 250 species and migratory birds from all 50 states and 6 continents. This, after three generations of bipartisan protection.
  • Further weakens the EPA (think: drinkable water, breathable air, EJ), DOI (think: national parks and public lands
  • and NOAA (think: oceans, weather), and then all state agencies that will scramble to fill in the gaps.
  • read more

    The North: a new collection of interactive multimedia stories of Newark that “must be told”

    The NorthAuthor of Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power Dr. Junius Williams introduces The North multimedia storytelling project with these words:

    THESE STORIES MUST BE TOLD
    Sometime ago, those of us who entered political movements for change walked on our first picket line or marched in our first demonstration. At some point we got hooked on concepts like “Freedom”, “Direct Action” and “Resistance” to get rid of Jim Crow racism. Eventually we came to learn how to spend time in jail, survive police and vigilante violence; to organize poor and working class black people; to extract perks and building blocks from federal programs and build coalitions among unpredictable community groups; to fight city hall; to negotiate agreements that produced opportunities and skill development for community development; and to manage campaigns to elect black politicians.

    But then one day we looked around and realized that many of our friends (and enemies) who made that journey, or similar journeys, were no longer with us….to laugh with, relive old conquests, or just tell lies. Too many have moved to places unknown, gotten sick, or passed on to the next life.

    So many of our collective stories go untold.

    These stories must be told, and hence the evolution of this project entitled, The North: Civil Rights and Beyond in Urban America. read more

    Foro educativo en español Oct 28 en Rutgers Newark: logrando el grado universitario

    Rutgers college forum en español

    En el 28 de octubre 2017 de 3:00-9:00pm, Rutgers y El Grupo Latinoamericano de Cónsules en New Jersey (GLACO) auspiciarán su tercer foro educativo en español para informar estudiantes y sus familias sobre las vías asequibles para obtener el grado universitario en New Jersey. Asistentes aprenderán de panelistas expertos y recibirán consultas legales confidenciales acerca del estado migratorio de individuales estudiantes y sobre las nuevas políticas DACA. Consejeros de admisión y de asistencia financiera de varias universidades estatales estarán disponibles para contestar preguntas y ayudar con navegar el proceso de admisión.

    Los consulados de Perú, Ecuador, Colombia, Salvador y México tendrán mesas de servicio en el evento.

    El propósito de este foro es asistir a los estudiantes con matricularse en universidades como Rutgers y disfrutar experiencias universitarias exitosas.

    FECHA y LUGAR | DATE and PLACE
    28 octubre 2017 3-9pm | Oct 28 2017 3-9pm
    Rutgers University Newark
    15 Washington Street
    Newark, NJ 07102
    Cerca de la estación
    de tren Lacahuana en Broad St. junto a la parada de autobuses

    PARA MAS INFORMACIÓN
    Luz Carreño de Colombia Nos Une
    201-561-1721
    luz.carreno@cancilleria.gov.co
    Ingrid Renderos de Rutgers University Newark
    973-353-3334
    ingrid.renderos@rutgers.edu

    English
    On October 28 2017, Rutgers and Grupo Latino Americano de Consules en New Jersey (GLACO) will hold their third Spanish-language forum aimed to provide information to parents and prospective students about the pathways toward higher education in New Jersey. Participants will have the chance to attend information panels, receive one-on-one education-related legal advice about a student’s immigration status and DACA policies; to speak directly with admissions counselors and learn about financial aid.

    The consulates of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Salvador and Mexico will have service tables at the event.

    This event is designed to help bridge the educational gap and help students navigate the admissions process to matriculate into universities like Rutgers and enjoy a successful college experience.

    Kim Guadagno is an immigrant hate machine echoing 45’s rhetoric

    Immigrants
    Steve Rhodes via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    Gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno released a TV ad on October 12 reiterating her statement from the first gubernatorial debate referring to undocumented immigrants as “murderers and rapists”, using disparaging language like that of Donald Trump.

    “Phil Murphy was very clear in the debate that he condemns murderous acts committed by anyone and that the people who commit those crimes should be prosecuted,” said Chris Estevez, President of the Latino Action Network. “Guadagno’s Trump-like approach paints all immigrants and Latinos as murderers and rapists.” LAN has condemned Guadagno’s statement.

    According to Rudy Rodas, another LAN official, “Programs that deputize local police to carry out federal immigration enforcement, like that instituted by Kim Guadagno when she served as Sherriff of Monmouth County, make communities less safe since law abiding immigrants are less likely to report crimes or cooperate with police investigations when they fear that they will also be detained.”

    “We have faith that New Jersey voters are intelligent people who won’t fall for Kim Guadagno’s Donald Trump impersonation and her hateful and divisive speech toward immigrants,” concluded Estevez.

    Photo source: Steve Rhodes via Flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

    San Juan mayor responds to 45’s genocidal tweets: without help we will die

    Mayor Cruz

    The Nation reported on October 12, “San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz woke up to Trump’s vindictive tweets on Thursday, and she texted a long message to Representative Luis Gutierrez of Chicago, who shared it with reporters.”

    Follow Mayor Cruz on Twitter

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
    Here’s the body of the Mayor’s message:

    Puerto Ricans have suffered greatly in the past month. Two hurricanes devastated our homes and our electrical infrastructure leaving us without the essentials to survive: drinkable water, food and medicine. But perhaps more frustrating has been the devastating actions, time after time, by a President whose tweets, comments and actions seem to be taken out of a book on “how to add insult to injury” rather than a book on “how to help during a humanitarian crisis”. He is simply incapable of understanding the contributions, the sacrifices and the commitment to democratic values that Puerto Ricans have shown over decades. His actions are unbecoming of a leader of the free world.

    Mr President, you seem to want to disregard the moral imperative that your administration has been unable to fulfill. Your replacement of the FEMA Coordinator in Puerto Rico is an admission that things are not going the way they should. Your tweets and comments just show desperation and underscore the inadequacy of your government’s response to this humanitarian crisis. It is not that you do not get it, it is that you are incapable of empathy and frankly simply cannot get the job done.

    Ever since this ordeal began, San Juan has had over 300 sustained volunteers from the United States. Good, hard working people from New York, Florida, California, Texas and many others who embody the fundamental values of compassion, ingenuity and hard work that you are certainly unable to express. These men and women, most of them union workers, have literally taken care of our bodies and souls. They did not come for a photo op or to throw paper towels and insults at us. They came to help, something you seem to be unable to grasp. These volunteers have seen the horror that you continue to want to dismiss. They embody the true spirit of the American values that you dismiss with every inappropriate and derogatory action and comment.

    Tweet away your hate to mask your administration’s mishandling of this humanitarian crisis. While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots and the world are sending love and help our way. Condemn us to a slow death of non drinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine while you keep others eager to help from reaching us since they face the impediment of the Jones Act.

    I ask every American that has love, and not hate in their hearts, to stand with Puerto Rico and let this President know we WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE. I ask the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a President that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls.

    No one needs an invitation to help, to feed the hungry, to cure the sick, to give a helping hand to those in need. Simply put: HELP US. WITHOUT ROBUST and CONSISTENT HELP, WE WILL DIE.

    Mr. President fulfill your moral imperative towards the people of Puerto Rico.

    Carmen Yulin Cruz
    Mayor of San Juan read more

    Phil Murphy apoya a Puerto Rico en su hora de necesidad

    Photo Phil Murphy, Puerto Rican Convention Sept 30
    Fuente: Roberto Bustamente

    Elizabeth – El candidato demócrata para gobernador de New Jersey Phil Murphy prometió trabajar mano a mano con los puertorriqueños en New Jersey para superar los estragos del Huracán María y reiteró su solidaridad con miles de familias, ancianos y niños afectados en la isla.

    “Yo siento la misma preocupación de ustedes, porque la crisis humanitaria nos afecta a todos”, dijo el líder demócrata durante la Convención Anual del Congreso Boricua en Elizabeth, en la cual se rindió un minuto de silencio en la memoria del lider puertorriqueño Eliu Rivera, ex -director de la agencia PACO fallecido el 30 de septiembre.

    “Los puertorriqueños son nuestros compatriotas estadounidenses y ellos nos necesitan más que nunca”, enfatizó Murphy tras indicar que New Jersey es el hogar de casi medio millón de puertorriqueños. Al responder las preguntas relacionadas con la ayuda humanitaria puntualizó: “el pueblo de Puerto Rico se enfrenta a un largo camino por recorrer para volver a la normalidad, y necesita nuestro apoyo”.

    “Washington debe actuar de manera agresiva, rápida y decisiva para acelerar la ayuda humanitaria a Puerto Rico”, indicó Murphy, quien mantiene directa comunicación con el gobernador de Puerto Rico.

    Murphy aseguró que trabajará por una economía sólida y justa para todos. “Tenemos que estar seguros que nuestra economía sea fuerte para que podamos beneficiar a toda la población y seguir ayudando a nuestras comunidades”.

    La convención puertorriqueña ha sido organizada por el Puerto Rican Congress de New Jersey y Lydia Valencia es su presidenta y CEO.

    Nick Cannon kills it in ‘Stand for What’ video

    Source: Nick Cannon Stand for What
    Nick Cannon’s Stand for What via YouTube

    Published Sep 24, 2017


    Stand For what?!
    You want me to stand for a song that continues to remind me of all the harms that have done me wrong?
    Stand for what?!
    For your Army that none of our sons truly belong
    Stand for what?
    The 100 years it took them to convince Congress to become the anthem after 40 failed attempts
    Stand for what?
    Your forefathers who really just Pimps.
    Stand for What?
    A song about War, not freedom
    That’s how you want to lead them
    Brainwash your people? that’s how you want to treat em
    Slavemasters whips to Cops night sticks, that’s how you continue to beat em.
    Stand for what
    the beginning of Slavery in 1619
    Or the end of those Black Marines of 1814
    That’s really what the lyrics are about
    They may have taken the word slave out
    but they forget to remove the slave connotations from their brains and they mouth The mentality to make America Greater than your imagination is how you pout
    Hating because we burned down their White House
    Gave proof through the night, that its light out
    For the old elitist white man thinking
    Drunk off they ass with power at baseball games singing and drinking

    Man stand for what?

    Stand for something or fall for dumb shit!

    Stand for what

    To salute the Red White and Blue, on a Flag where my Colors not reflected

    Stand for what
    To uphold laws that were embedded to have my community negatively affected
    Stand for what
    Your racist systemic melodies of mind manipulating rhetoric?
    Did you know the government pays Sports organizations for plays, to make people more patriotic
    This MK Ultra Soul control needs to stop it
    I can still love my country and hate that fucked up song about rockets, and bombs bursting air
    Reminds me of Charlottesville’s vicious glares
    And police shootings with no care like the dash cameras wasn’t there.
    Stand for what
    Monuments and statues of old slave masters
    Constant reminders of our nations disasters
    The Heros in Houston, the Doctors, the Poets and the Pastors.
    That’s who I want to shape our greatness after
    I honor and respect our men and women of service
    But we’ve been taught to idolize wars without purpose
    The majority of our Militaries casualties are minority soldiers
    So let’s make statues of those warriors because they truly deserve it
    Mt Rushmore was built by the Ku Klux Klan, so why the fuck should I have respect for those men

    Damn, This is not my country and it’s not yours either.
    Go back to Africa? I wish we never had to leave it
    But the entire World is our neighborhood
    So why do we perceive certain blocks to be bad and other blocks to be good?

    Instead of glorifying the past we gotta focus on the future
    Dick Gregory warned me if U speak up They probably gonna shoot ya!

    But I shout for his eternal voice along with Martin, Malcolm and Marcus Garvey and
    march wholeheartedly for their legacy
    Because I’ll say it loud as you can see
    Fuck Francis Scott Key and Robert E. Lee
    They don’t represent me and neither do either of these hypocritical political parties
    I am a native to the cosmic and Universal God Energy.

    Even though the constitution really doesn’t apply to me
    I’ll try to exercise my freedom of speech

    So you can tell them you heard it from me.
    Yeah I said it
    Brutality, Historic Fallacies and
    All war is wrong and so is that fucking song!
    It’s Been way too long!
    It’s time to make a change and acknowledge that your home of the brave was built on the back of a Slave.

    So bowing down to a true King
    Is the only way to let freedom ring

    Stand for what?

    I ain’t standing For Shit… except Kaepernick!

    Lyrics and video ©2017 Nick Cannon #SpokenSundays #StandForWhat #poetry Hat tip to Chuck Saunders for the share

    Safe channels for giving to Hurricane Harvey victims and other help resources

    Worker rescues Asian vic of Hurricane Harvey
    Texas National Guardsman rescues Hurricane Harvey victim Source: US DOD

    Here are organizations that reliable sources have vouched for as safe for receiving donations for Hurricane Harvey victim relief. Providers of other types of help are listed too. I’ll continue adding to this list as I find more outlets.

    Safe Organizations for Financial Donations

    Providers of other kinds of help

  • To find family & friends or to register yourself as safe, visit the American Red Cross Safe & Well site
  • To report a missing child, contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 1-866-908-9570
  • Get help for emotional distress from the storm at Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990. Or text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • read more

    Advice from a Navy Seal commander: To change the world, make your bed

    Admiral William H. McRaven
    Source: Texes Exes 2014 U Texas Commencement Speech

    Former US Navy Admiral William H. McRaven shares sage advice with 8000 plus University of Texas, Austin class of 2014 graduates on how to change the world. The admiral’s first life lesson of ten is, “If you wanna change the world, start off by making your bed.”

    The short version on why making your bed is such an important task (1:41 mins):

    The full 19:26 minute speech with all ten of the admiral’s life lessons:

    Chris Pine plays #TheChimp in brilliant skit ‘Why do we put up with these people?’

    Chris Pine blocks sight

    Brilliant skit starring Chris Pine playing highly erratic and childish company president (president – get it?) points out the extremely awesome truth: we don’t need to put up with the nut or his buddies. And p.s. if these loons worked in industry, they would have been ousted long ago with minimum fuss.

    The good news? Yes, we can vote and get rid of them. Learn how and where at SaveTheDay.vote.

    Skit stars Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, J. August Richards, Jillian Morgese, Romy Rosemont, Josh Zar, Zac Oyama and David Fury.