The WE ACT grassroots organization Peggy Shephard founded in Harlem, New York City has brought extraordinary benefits to the community: they have transformed the once filthy and decrepit Harlem piers into a gem of a neighborhood park, forced the city to upgrade its entire bus fleet to a cleaner diesel system, spearheaded robust community engagement activities and have led initiatives to bring fresh food and cleaner air to residents of upper New York City. In her TedX talk, Shephard tells about these and other of WE ACT’s fantastic accomplishments.
Allan Savory has discovered a fool-proof method for turning dry deserts into lush, green and growing lands. The method? Run huge herds of livestock through the land and watch grass, bushes and eventually trees, spring up in their wake. Food and fauna can grow there. Ecological systems are renewed and recovered.
As the land is repaired and regenerated, carbon is also sequestered in the soil. There is no downside to Savory’s method. Watch him tell all about it in this TED talk.
A 'former bastard cop' says demilitarizing police and investing in communities can heal society #p2
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.
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.
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.
.@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
Anti-people politicians think they can win the presidency by discrediting @BernieSanders – and they're trying #p2
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.
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).
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.
Tom Lehrer performs his parody about National Brotherhood Week – that difficult week in February when Americans, “…are supposed to stop whatever we’re doing … burning, killing, whatever and love everybody else … and it’s really quite a strain.”
Some of Tom’s lyrics:
Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics and the Catholics hate the Protestants, and the Hindus hate the Moslems and everybody hates the Jews!
But During National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week, step up and shake the hand of someone you can’t stand. You can tolerate him if you try … It’s only for a week so have no fear. Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year!
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.
Lily Seville posted this story on Facebook August 18 and made it publicly available so it can be shared.
I haven’t told any stories from England since I got home but it seems like maybe we could all use a good story about a civil war statue, a good story about an American President, and a good story about the power of the common people against the rich and powerful, so I’m going to start with this one. It’s probably for the best that you’re reading this here because I haven’t managed to tell this story in person without crying.
I was in Manchester with a bit of time to spare on a cool, sometimes rainy morning that reminded me of home. Since I had a minute I turned on Pokemon Go on the off chance that there would be a Mr. Mime in range. As luck would have it there was one only two blocks away from my intended destination! The game led me to a small square and as I approached I could’ve sworn that it had an enormous statue of Abraham Lincoln right in the middle of it. Much to my dismay the closer I got, the more it looked like Lincoln. When I was close enough to read the inscription I learned that it was in fact, a statue of Lincoln. What was a statue of Lincoln doing in a lonely square in Northern England?!
Then it got weirder.
There was a large blue sticker that was somewhat haphazardly stuck onto the base of the statue that said something along the lines of “talking statues of Manchester” and had a QR code with no further explanation. There was no question, I had to know what that QR code said! I immediately installed a QR scanner and no sooner had I clicked the shutter button then my phone rang. That was weird and more than a little creepy, but if they say one thing about me when I’ve gone it will be that I never passed on an adventure.
I answered the phone.
There was no preamble, no explanation, just a man’s voice saying “to the working men of Manchester” he then continued in beautiful, archaic prose to praise the workers of Manchester and thank them for their courage and sacrifice. It seemed to be a letter and when it came to an end it was signed “Abraham Lincoln”. When he had finished uttering his name President Lincoln hung up on me. It was a tantalizing letter to a child of Lincoln’s far future standing alone in a rainy square, 4,500 miles away from home. President Lincoln did not bother to list the brave acts or to sum up the sacrifice. Why would he? The people of Manchester knew what they had done.
Luckily, after the phone call ended a screen popped up offering links to learn more. I stood in the drizzle, read an amazing story and wondered why I had never heard it before.
As you probably know during the Civil War the North imposed a Naval blockade on the South. The economic hardship that this caused was an important factor in the North’s victory. What I didn’t know was that the blockade also badly hurt the people of Lancashire, England. At that time the mills of Northern England produced the fabric that clothed the world. Seventy five percent of all the cotton grown on Southern plantations was sent to Lancashire where it was spun, dyed, and woven.
A year into the war and the embargo found Northern England in real distress. Sixty percent of its mills were shuttered, thousands of people were without work. The desperate wealthy mill owners started lobbying the British government to send the British Navy to break the blockade and let the cotton through.
Then an amazing thing happened. The workers themselves organized a mass meeting in the Manchester Union Hall to discuss the matter and those working class men, who had the very most to lose, chose to refuse cotton grown by enslaved hands. The blockade held and the men did indeed lose. In one town alone only five out of thirty-nine mills continued to operate. People went without fuel for heat, there was wide spread starvation, families lost their homes. And still–an ocean and a world away from a war in a place they had never seen–the people of Manchester chose to live and die by their values. They would not support slavery.
When the war ended that letter came from President Lincoln and it was followed shortly after by ships loaded with food and supplies for the people of Lancashire from the people of America, in gratitude.
And that is how I ended up crying in the rain 4,500 miles from home, in a square named for Lincoln in a country that he never set foot in.
I also caught my Mr. Mime.
If you are interested in reading the letter you can do so here.
I have made this post public so that it can be easily shared if you know someone who could use a hopeful story too ~ Lily Seville
Ed note: This story came to me via Han Broekman. Thanks for the beautiful share, Han.
Washington Post gives a neat synopsis of what The People stand to lose if Trump appointed Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets his wish and finds a way to reverse the Obama era protections establishing net neutrality, which WaPo defines as, “the regulations that forbid Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic.”
The rules, approved by the FCC during the Obama administration, classified Internet providers as “common carriers” — a move that allowed the agency to regulate those companies more strictly than before. In addition to banning the blocking or slowing of Internet traffic, the regulations also gave the FCC the ability to investigate business practices among Internet providers that it deemed potentially anticompetitive.
Supporters of the regulations argue that they are a vital consumer protection that prevents Internet providers from abusing their strategic position between Internet users and the rest of the Web. Without strong regulations, they say, Internet providers will be free to raise costs for consumers — such as charging customers extra to keep their personal data private, or to be able to view certain websites or use certain apps. Meanwhile, advocates say, ISPs could be allowed to charge website owners extra fees to reach consumers’ screens, and determine what apps and services may flourish online.
Over at the Palmer Report, Bill Palmer tells us the way National Park employees found to stand up to Trump, who is blocking federal employees from commenting on climate change to the extent that he has issued a gag order to prevent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from mentioning it and has deleted tweets made by the National Park Service (NPS) and even suspended the Twitter account of one park account that tweeted about climate change. An anonymous group of individuals has created an unofficial Twitter account for park and climate change news that Trump can’t touch.
The anonymous Park Service account is @AltNatParkSer, which bills itself as The Unofficial “Resistance” team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised!
Here are the details of what happened:
In his first days in office, Donald Trump has made a point of censoring and restricting what the National Park Service can and cannot say on its various official Twitter accounts. After the NPS tweeted photos of Trump’s small inauguration crowd, he temporarily suspended its Twitter privileges. And when the Badlands tweeted about climate change today, those tweets were then deleted. But now some unnamed individuals within the National Park Service have created an unofficial Twitter account that Trump can’t touch.
Trump doesn’t have the ability to shut down a Twitter account, or to suspend it from being usable; only Twitter the company would be able to do that. Instead he’s been sabotaging the National Park Service Twitter accounts by presumably threatening to fire people if they dare to tweet things he doesn’t like, or if they tweet during times when he’s put them in the penalty box. But he can only do that if he knows who’s tweeting.