A ‘former bastard cop’ says demilitarizing police and investing in communities can heal society

Militarized police

A 'former bastard cop' says demilitarizing police and investing in communities can heal society #p2

How by abandoning their vows to serve the public, American politicians precipitated the pandemic meltdown

Sanders looking up

In a brilliant New Yorker article, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor lays out the steps by which the abandonment of middle and poor Americans by both US political parties led to society’s present collapse. Although the coronavirus was the immediate trigger, the erosion of society’s wellbeing began way back in 1969. Collapse was an occurrence primed to happen at some point, and now just happened to be the time.

For 50 years, since 1979, national leaders increasingly backed away from their obligation to care for vulnerable and working class Americans. As they did, financial instability increased and the chance to acquire wealth became much more limited. Those were the perfect conditions for the meltdown known as American life in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Millions were driven into a state of deprivation that made happy lives impossible. And over time, the country destabilized economically. Students were still paying back college loans into their golden years. Aspiring homeowners could not afford mortgages. Urban residents live with air quality so poor that one in four has asthma and health concerns affect all areas of family’s lives. Poor health affects the’ ability to earn adequate incomes and keep up with the demands of digital life.

For years, the United States has gotten away with persistently chipping away at its weak welfare state by hiding or demonizing the populations most dependent on it. The poor are relegated as socially dysfunctional and inept, unable to cash in on the riches of American society ... The debate over the role of government in addressing income inequality, housing insecurity, debt accumulation, and health care continues, now against the grim backdrop of the raging coronavirus. It is difficult to articulate the speed with which the U.S. and, indeed, the world, has descended into an existential crisis.  read more

In NYC you can still hate immigrants – but now it’s illegal to say so

Times Square, NY via Wikipedia

If you’re the type who enjoys hating on immigrants, telling people, “Go back home!” or threatening to call immigration on somebody, well, a word to the wise. Whilst in New York City, best keep those thoughts to yourself, ’cause now it’s illegal to speak them.

If you really can’t stop yourself from hating immigrants out loud, there’s a remedy for that: be prepared to pay the city a fine of up to $250,000 smackeroonies.

If you have the urge to scream at a 16 year old, you may need The Greta Helpline

Some people are outraged that a 16 year old child is the only global citizen courageous enough to stand up to world leaders and explain the facts about climate change. They don’t want anyone talking about science, or obligations, or the fact that the world will come to an end if we don’t make some serious changes. And if anyone is going to talk about these things, it sure as heck should not be a child.

Luckily for the outraged, salvation has arrived! The Greta Thunberg Helpline has been set up just for adults angry at a child and needing to vent. read more

‘Searing’ eyewitness account found chronicling the destruction of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa massacre

Franklin’s typewritten Tulsa massacre account

The grandson of a survivor of the Tulsa massacre is a senior program manager at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where now resides the manuscript detailing the Tulsa, Oklahoma massacre and its impact on Black Wall Street residents. It is a first person account written by attorney Buck Colbert Franklin (1879-1960), who survived the massacre although his law practice was burned to the ground.“I could see planes circling in mid-air. They grew in number and hummed, darted and dipped low. I could hear something like hail falling upon the top of my office building. Down East Archer, I saw the old Mid-Way hotel on fire, burning from its top, and then another and another and another building began to burn from their top,” he wrote.  read more

Iddris Sandu – the 21 yo genius that left Big Tech & Uber to share knowledge with The People

Iddris Sandu
Iddris teaching design via Apple

21 year old Iddris Sandu was born to parents from Ghana. At age 10 he taught himself a bunch of programming languages and at age 18 was consulting for Snapchat. He’s sold algorithms to Instagram and Uber and Google was so impressed with Sandu, they created an internship position just for him was he was 13.

But Iddris found himself, “wanting to help impact kids that looked like me, and being able to provide information to the masses.” So, he said goodbye to Big Tech and now teaches tech and design, makes music and inspires us all. read more

AOC speaks to us from the future about the green movement that changed everything

AOC speaks to us from the future

.@AOC speaks to us from the future and tells about the movement she helped start that gave us back a future of hope, equity and a livable plant

The best chance for anti-people politicians is to discredit Bernie Sanders – and they’re trying.

Bernie talks to youth

Anti-people politicians think they can win the presidency by discrediting @BernieSanders – and they're trying #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).

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

    If you want a different kind of new year, be a new you

    Happy New Me 2018 graphic
    Image from a Foztee sweatshirt

    Sam Soto and I loved Corey Teague’s 2018 New Year message so much we translated it to Spanish. Corey is keeping it real – and we can all benefit by following suit.

    Now we have reached the part of the show where everyone begins talking about who they plan to “cut off” and how they plan to be “new” and how everything will just be different. Look out, here comes a reality check: unless you don’t wake up tomorrow, it’ll be Monday. That’s it, Monday. And then, there will be Tuesday, Wednesday, so on and so forth. Nothing out of the ordinary will happen UNLESS you do something unordinary to provoke an unordinary event to occur. Remember, NOTHING FROM NOTHING LEAVES NOTHING. You must be willing to do something in order to get something. That’s how life works. This attitude that life owes you something must die within you before you can begin mentally preparing yourself to receive something. What have you done lately for someone other than yourself? If you have to take longer than 30 seconds to answer then you’re living in a vacuum. It’s time to step out and live in 2018. If not, this new year will begin and end just like every other year. read more

    Three big lies the UN spread in 2017 that stoked hatred of Israel and Jews

    Source: UN Watch

    Here are three examples of lies the United Nations spread about Israel in 2017. The ostensible goal was to provoke hatred of Israel and Jews. But United Nations Watch is on hand, monitoring statements and correcting records in order, “to repel the darkness and light the candle of truth.”

    Executive Director Hillel C. Neuer writes about the three lies:

  • When UNRWA launched a global campaign showing 11-year-old girl “Aya from Gaza” in a bombed-out building—portraying Israel as a cruel oppressor of Palestinian children—UN Watch exposed a fraud: the photo was actually from Syria! The story went viral online. UNRWA suffered massive embarrassment, and was forced to remove the photo worldwide.
  • When the U.N. held its ‘Hate Israel Day,’ we brought the Son of Hamas to deliver an epic speech exposing Palestinian crimes. He stunned the assembly into silence, and literally caused heads to turn. The video has been seen more than 8 million times on Facebook and YouTube. Israel’s prime minister called it “an extraordinary moment of truth at the United Nations.”
  • When Arab states accused Israel of Apartheid, I took the floor at the U.N. to remind the world that “Israel’s 1.5 million Arabs enjoy full rights to vote and to be elected in the Knesset; they work as doctors and lawyers; they serve on the Supreme Court.” Then I asked the accusers: “How many Jews live in your countries? Once upon a time, the Middle East was full of Jews. Algeria had 140,000 Jews. Algeria, where are your Jews? Egypt used to have 75,000 Jews. Where are your Jews?” The speech went viral—viewed more than 5 million times—and continues to reverberate.
  • read more

    Join John Legend in the conversation to FreeAmerica

    John Legend invites you to join Free America
    John Legend invites you to join FreeAmerica

    Join the conversation with John Legend on his listening tour of American prisons for the FreeAmerica project.

    “FreeAmerica is a multi-year culture campaign initiated by John Legend to change the national conversation about our country’s misguided policies and transform America’s criminal justice system.”

    Its ambitious goal is to end mass incarceration in the United States of America. Get involved.

    Youth incarceration
    Source: freeamerica.org

    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