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America's Forgotten Mass Imprisonment of Women Believed to Be Sexually Immoral - HISTORY
So, beginning in 1918, federal officials began pushing every state in the nation to pass a “model law,” which enabled officials to forcibly examine any person “reasonably suspected” of having an STI. Under this statute, those who tested positive for an STI could be held in detention for as long as it took to render him or her noninfectious. (On paper, the law was gender-neutral; in practice, it almost exclusively focused on regulating women and their bodies.)

READ MORE: How Ireland Turned 'Fallen Women' into Slaves

The Plan enjoyed complicity, if not outright support, in high places. New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia gave speeches lauding the Plan; then-California Governor Earl Warren personally spearheaded its enforcement in his state. In 1918, the attorney general personally sent a letter to every U.S. attorney in the country, assuring them this law was constitutional; he also sent a letter to every U.S. district judge, urging them not to interfere with its enforcement. During World War II, the American Civil Liberties Union not only failed to oppose the Plan; its founder, Roger Baldwin, sent a memorandum encouraging its local branches to cooperate with officials enforcing it.
STI  women  prison 
10 weeks ago
Exploring Sausal Creek: Ancient Redwoods And Ohlone Roots | KALW
We pass under Hwy 13 and walk a short distance to where the trails fan out through the Oakland hills and examine a large map of the Sausal Creek watershed at the kiosk just off the paved road. As Dodson explains, “This is a really popular trailhead to Joaquin Miller Park, we’re at the lowest part of Joaquin Miller at Palos Colorados trail.”

The Palos Colorados marks the end of my hike with Stan Dodson. It’s also a juncture for this story because - as I learned later from an Ohlone Indian tribal council member at a cafe near the University of California in Berkeley — it was near the Palos Colorados that some of the East Bay’s first people made their homes for centuries.

Vincent Medina introduces himself in Chochenyo, the ancient language of his ancestors: “I’m Vincent Medina and I’m a member and I’m a council member for the Muwekma tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area.”

Medina, along with many descendants of Chochenyo-speaking Ohlone in the East and South Bay, re-established themselves as the Muwekma Ohlone tribe about 30 years ago.
Sausal_Creek  Ohlone  Chocheynyo  Oakland  parks 
10 weeks ago
Compare Medicare-for-all and Public Plan Proposals | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Several bills have been introduced in the 116th Congress that would expand the role of public programs in health care. As more legislation is introduced, we will continue to update the side-by-side comparison tool. The bills range in scope from broad proposals to create a new national health insurance program for all residents to more incremental approaches that offer a public plan option in addition to current sources of coverage, private or public. These bills are grouped into five general categories:

Medicare-for-all, a single national health insurance program for all U.S. residents:
Medicare for All Act of 2019 by Rep. Jayapal, H.R. 1384
Medicare for All Act of 2019 by Sen. Sanders, S. 1129
A new national health insurance program for all U.S. residents with an opt out for qualified coverage:
Medicare for America Act of 2019 by Rep. DeLauro and Rep. Schakowsky, H.R. 2452
A new public plan option that would be offered to individuals through the ACA marketplace:
Keeping Health Insurance Affordable Act of 2019 by Sen. Cardin, S. 3
Choose Medicare Act by Sen. Merkley, S. 1261 and Rep. Richmond, H.R. 2463
Medicare-X Choice Act of 2019 by Sen. Bennet and Sen. Kaine, S. 981 and Rep. Delgado, H.R. 2000
The CHOICE Act by Rep. Schakowsky, H.R. 2085 and Sen. Whitehouse, S. 1033
A Medicare buy-in option for older individuals not yet eligible for the current Medicare program:
Medicare at 50 Act by Sen. Stabenow, S. 470
Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act of 2019 by Rep. Higgins, H.R. 1346
A Medicaid buy-in option that states can elect to offer to individuals through the ACA marketplace:
State Public Option Act by Sen. Schatz, S. 489 and Rep. Luján, H.R. 1277.

To compare proposals, select an option from one of the columns below.
healthcare  medicare  Democratic  president  Kaiser 
10 weeks ago
U.S. Economy: Personal Bad Behavior Isn't What Causes Poverty - Bloomberg
According to this perspective, if people were just to work hard, avoid drugs, alcohol and violence, and stop having children out of wedlock, poverty would be rare.

But there is at least one rich country where people follow all of these prescriptions -- where they work hard, avoid risky, self-destructive behavior and make wise life choices. That country is Japan. And it still has plenty of poverty.
Given all of this good behavior, conservatives might expect that Japan’s poverty rate would be very low. But the opposite is true; Japan has a relatively high number of poor people for an advanced country. Defined by the percentage of the population earning less than half of the median national income, Japan’s poverty rate is more than 15% -- a little lower than the U.S., but considerably higher than countries such as Germany, Canada or Australia:
poverty  Japan 
10 weeks ago
Trump admin's 'tent cities' cost more than keeping migrant kids with parents
WASHINGTON — The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created "tent cities" is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings.

The reason for the high cost, the official and several former officials told NBC News, is that the sudden urgency to bring in security, air conditioning, medical workers and other government contractors far surpasses the cost for structures that are routinely staffed.

It costs $256 per person per night to hold children in permanent HHS facilities like Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas. And keeping children with their parents in detention centers like the one run by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement in Dilley, Texas cost $298 per resident per night, according to an agency estimate when it awarded the contract for the facility in 2014.

At those prices, the additional cost to operate a 400-bed temporary structure for one month at capacity would be more than $5 million. The average stay for separated kids is nearly two months.
refugee  immigration  children  cost  $775/day 
11 weeks ago
Bay Area Toile · Flavor Paper

Comedy troupe The Lonely Island teamed up with artist Matt Ritchie and Flavor Paper to create a limited edition artist’s run Bay Area themed toile wallpaper. The wallpaper incorporates Matt 136’s original artwork of Bay Area legends, such as rappers Too $hort, E-40, Humpty Hump and Mac Dre as well as culinary icon Alice Waters, football hall of famer Joe Montana, political activist Angela Davis and newscaster Dennis Richmond as well as classic bay area landmarks. “We were inspired by Mike D’s ‘Brooklyn Toile’ wallpaper. It’s a way to celebrate the Bay Area even when you no longer live there” said Lonely Islander Jorma Taccone. “Matt created a beautiful hand drawn toile that represents what it’s like to grow up in the Bay.”

Maquette photo by Jen Siska shot in Fiorella in San Francisco.

Each $200 order comes with one “A” roll and one “B” roll, each 24” wide x 10.5’ tall—giving you up to 48” in total width. The rolls are printed on our Pre Pasted, Pre Trimmed, PVC Free paper—perfect for a DIY installation.

“Mac Dre and Alice Waters? That’s the Yay to me.”

— Jorma Taccone
Oakland  wallpaper 
11 weeks ago
Mayors in Alameda County want shuttered jail converted into homeless shelter -
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office closed Glenn E. Dyer Jail last month as a cost-cutting measure amid declining inmate populations and rising incarceration costs.

The mayors from 14 cities proposed the jail conversion this week at a meeting with the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, where they asked for more support from the county in dealing with the homeless crisis. The number of shelter beds available is not enough, they said.

“This is an incredible opportunity because it’s this huge piece of land in little downtown Oakland with multiple buildings that could be redeveloped,” said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín. “I do think given the severity of the crisis, we do have to think outside the box. We’ve seen a significant increase in unsheltered homelessness. We need more space for shelter. We need more expanded mental health services.”
Oakland  East_Bay  homelessness  jail  building  solution 
11 weeks ago
Becerra backs change in murder law that's widely opposed by state prosecutors - The San Diego Union-Tribune
State Senator Nancy Skinner
21 hrs ·

Good news for my legislation, SB 1437, which was signed into law last year:

"The court filings from Attorney General Xavier Becerra contend the state’s new felony-murder law is constitutional, a significant break from the positions of scores of prosecutors across the state."
Criminal justice reform advocates said the law unfairly swept up and punished individuals for a crime they did not personally commit. The new law says an accomplice can only face murder charges if they directly participated in the killing, aided and abetted it, or were a “major participant” and acted with reckless indifference. The law does not apply to killings of police officers.
murder  justice  law  Nancy_Skinner 
11 weeks ago
Can Elizabeth Warren Beat Trump in 2020? Inside Her Radical Plan - Bloomberg
She was the first major candidate to call for Trump’s impeachment. “If he were anyone other than the president of the United States,” she said in May, “he would be in handcuffs and indicted.” A new CBS poll shows that 56% of Democrats in battleground states believe Warren would “fight for” them, more than any of her rivals.

The possibility that Democrats may choose ruthlessness in a nominee above all else could put Warren in a strange position, since it would mean primary voters will have picked the professor-turned-senator less for her intellectual skills than her pugilistic ones. That would turn the rationale for her candidacy on its head. All those minutely detailed plans to tax the rich and provide Medicare and cut college tuition—the foundation of Warren’s campaign—might not be why they vote for her at all. If she defeats Trump on those terms, the most radical Democratic agenda since Roosevelt could end up being ushered into the White House almost as an afterthought.

And how would Warren feel? “I’d be totally fine with that,” she says.
11 weeks ago
Who invented rocky road ice cream? It’s complicated — Quartzy
According to company lore, Melvin Fenton, grandson of Fentons founder Elbridge Seth (E.S.) Fenton, was the first person to invent rocky road ice cream. A more detailed version, outlined in old Fentons marketing materials (and referenced in simplified form on the current Fentons menu), tells it like this:

“George Farren, candymaker at Fentons Creamery, was making a Rocky Road candy bar at Fentons and decided to blend it into an ice cream flavor. At the time, he was good friends with William Dreyer and Joseph Edy, who had an ice cream shop on Grand Avenue in Oakland. As the story goes, Dreyer soon began making Farren’s recipe for Rocky Road to serve his customers, using almonds instead of the English walnuts.”
ice_cream  Rocky_road  Dryers  Grand  Fenton's 
12 weeks ago
Oakland homelessness surges 47% — per-capita number now higher than SF and Berkeley -
In the count taken in January using federal guidelines, Oakland had 861 sheltered people and 3,210 unsheltered people, bringing the estimated number of homeless people to 4,071. In 2017, Oakland had 859 sheltered people and 1,902 unsheltered residents, a total of 2,761.

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The spike, which shocked many at City Hall, comes despite efforts by the city to tackle the homelessness problem, including the creation of community cabins and the opening of a safe RV parking site.

“Of course, it is disappointing ... that we’ve had the highest increase, at least in the Bay Area,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “It shows that we need to do more; we need to do things differently and we need to act with a sense of urgency that is greater than anything we’ve seen in the past.”

Oakland’s homelessness rate is now 940 per 100,000 population, slightly higher than San Francisco, at 906, and Berkeley, at 898.

The city’s homeless population accounts for nearly half of Alameda County’s tota
Oakland  homeless  data  20190722 
12 weeks ago
Eponis | Sinope (Self Care Help)
Self Care Help

Hey, friend. This page gathers together some resources you might want if you’re struggling to keep afloat in your life. (Note: I am not affiliated with anything beyond my Tumblr.)

If you’re feeling bad and can’t pinpoint why, try running through this list of questions: “Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up.” They won’t fix everything, but they’ll help take care of the low-hanging fruit so you can work through the hard stuff. A printable one-page PDF is here. Jace Harr made a more in-depth, interactive guide that asks similar questions; you might prefer to use it here.

If you’d like to see other self-care posts I wrote or liked, they’re gathered here. You can also ask me a question directly.

If your thoughts are racing and you need a small sanctuary of calm, check out The Quiet Space Project. You can also put on soothing background noise, like rain or a purring cat, at myNoise.

If you’d like some reassurance, Calming Manatee is full of great wisdom.

Finally, if you are seriously considering ending things, please take the time first to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255); they will put you through to a local organization, 24/7, to listen and offer no-judgment resources. If a phone call is too difficult for you, they also have an online chat room available here.
self  care  help  depression 
12 weeks ago
David Steinberg: Tying up loose threads in the curious case | Power Line
David Steinberg: Tying up loose threads in the curious case

In four intensely reported investigative columns — here (August 13, 2018), here (October 23, 2018), here (October 30, 2018), and here (November 5, 2018), — David Steinberg has explored the evidence suggesting that Ilhan Omar entered into a sham marriage with her brother in 2009. This is his fifth. He titles it “Meet Leila Elmi: The Missing Link Showing Ilhan Omar Married Her Brother.” Drawing on his research, interviews, and social media evidence he makes the case that Omar has engaged in a variety of fraudulent activities and willful misrepresentations related to her marital arrangements. He writes:
Rep_Omar  marriage  brother  conspiracy  facts 
12 weeks ago
It's time for the press to suspend normal relations with the Trump presidency - PressThink
Journalists charged with covering him should suspend normal relations with the presidency of Donald Trump, which is the most significant threat to an informed public in the United States today.

That is my recommendation.
Trump  truth  journalism 
12 weeks ago
California struggling to get food stamps to the hungry – Times-Herald
SACRAMENTO — California, a state with the nation’s highest poverty rate, consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to enrolling low-income people in CalFresh, the state’s name for the federal food stamp program.

That translates to a lot of federal money that California forsakes each year. Low-income Californians would have received an additional $1.8 billion in 2016 in federal funding if CalFresh reached every eligible person, estimates California Food Policy Advocates, a non-profit that promotes greater access to food for low-income people.

“It’s outrageous that so many Californians struggle to put food on the table,” said Senator Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat. “We’re leaving money on the table and people aren’t getting the food that they need. It’s time to kick into gear, streamline the system, get people signed up and stop with the excuses.”

Just 72 percent of eligible Californians were enrolled in CalFresh—the fourth lowest rate in the nation—in 2016, the last year for which national data is available. A bill by Wiener, currently winding through the Assembly, would require the state to enroll 95 percent of eligible households by 2024, with no county enrolling fewer than 85 percent. It also requires the state to develop a new metric to better track who’s getting CalFresh at a local level and who’s not.
food  foodsecurity  legislation  hunger 
12 weeks ago
Pazit Zohar - Eyewitness sworn statement describing Trump conduct...
Eyewitness sworn statement describing Trump conduct with 12 and 13 year old girls at four Epstein parties. Paragraphs 8-14 most related to Trump. Posting this for people who would rather know though horrifying to read. Comment re witness credibility below, as well as more detailed and horrifying sworn statement of the victim.
Trump  Epstein  child  rape  pedophile 
12 weeks ago
Animated Knots by Grog | Learn how to tie knots with step-by-step animation
We’ve Got the Knots.

Animated Knots by Grog is the web’s premiere site for learning how to tie knots of any kind. From Boating Knots, Fishing Knots and Climbing Knots to tying a tie, or even Surgical Knots — we’ve got it covered.

Follow along as ropes tie themselves, showing just the essential steps, so you can master a knot in no time. Jump into any category to get started. If you’re unsure where to begin, try starting with the Basics, our Knot of the Day or check out every knot we’ve got!
knot  knots  howto 
12 weeks ago
Orpheus + Eurydice Winner! “Eyes Full of Promise” » Mythic Beast
There are poets after me who sought to sing this song, and some things they kept true while others—well, who am I to question a fellow singer’s license?

My lady and one true love had hair of shadows and eyes the color of the sweetest promise ever whispered in a lover’s ear. Promise needing uncovering filled every bit of her when I first knew her. She was quiet, sought little at first, and it was for me to show her how to ask for things.

Beware finding the one who suits you best for, should she die, your bereavement will know no limit, no end, til death itself take you.

Thanks to the Lord Apollo, I had no need of further patron.
Orpheus  Eurydice  story 
12 weeks ago
Medusa Story: “Debts Discharged” » Mythic Beast
Already I had learnt that the Lady Athena was the goddess of wisdom and the law. It was wisdom I needed then, so I might learn what to do. There was no artistry about my prayer, then: it was wrung from heart and guts as a prayer ought to be:

Lady Athena, tell me what I must do. My parents mean to sell me to slavers. Help me, goddess, please!

I returned to my chamber. It was a hot summer’s day, yet I shivered under my coverlet with fear of discovery on the one hand and of abandonment on the other. Goddess, please!

(they are not your true parents, child. your parents died of plague while you were too young to remember it.)

I heard the voice somewhere between my mind and my ears, as if she had whispered from one to the other, and I held still under my covers to listen.

(you must find the temple. the priestesses will shelter you there.)
Medusa  story 
12 weeks ago
Why I’m Leaving Lights For Liberty - Kristin Mink - Medium
I am one of the five co-founders of Lights For Liberty. I was disappointed to see on the @Lights4Liberty Twitter feed last night that the other four founders have decided to turn L4L into a nonprofit. When we started L4L just a few weeks ago, the stated intention of everyone in the group was to amplify and uplift local organizations already doing the work. There are already a massive number of existing nonprofits doing incredible immigration rights and social justice work (coincidentally, I posted about a bunch of them yesterday morning). These orgs desperately need financial and other support, and by becoming another nonprofit, L4L diverts funds and takes up space in an already crowded arena.

I also find it very troubling that the four other founders, white women, do not appear to be divesting control of L4L to POC and impacted people.
whiteness  POC  race  centering_whiteness  white_woman_tears  skin_in_the_game 
12 weeks ago
Detroit's police commissioner arrested at commissioners' meeting for demanding answers about secret meetings where facial recognition was planned / Boing Boing
Alan Wendt writes, "Detroit commissioners arrested the police commissioner Willie Burton during a public meeting because he wouldn't stop talking about the secret meetings where the commission decided to install facial recognition systems."

The commissioners are likely to formally approve the city's controversial facial recognition scheme next week.

Burton was trying to call out the Board of Police Commissioners for holding illegal committee meetings that neither he nor the public were allowed to attend. During one of those closed-door sessions, commissioners quietly hashed out a policy for the city’s pervasive and controversial facial recognition system.

But board chairwoman Lisa Carter didn’t want to hear it.

As three police officers dragged Burton to the ground, officers held back protesters, some of whom were wearing masks to show their opposition to facial-recognition technology.
police  face  recognition  facial  arrest 
12 weeks ago
Man facing sexual abuse charges killed by SMART train north of Rohnert Park
A Rohnert Park man charged in May with sexually and physically abusing disabled children and adults at his in-home care operation was struck and killed by a SMART train Tuesday night.

Authorities think Keith Marcum, 68, took his own life, making him the third fatality on the passenger rail line in less than two weeks. Video from the train showed Marcum lying on the tracks moments before it approached him at about 9:30 p.m., Sonoma County Sheriff’s officials said in a statement Wednesday.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train was traveling north when the conductor spotted the man on the tracks roughly 15 yards south of the Scenic Avenue crossing north of Rohnert Park, said Jennifer McGill, SMART chief of police. The conductor pulled the emergency brake, sounded the train horn and flashed lights before hitting Marcum, she said. Trains in that area run at speeds of up to 79 mph.

“From our perspective at this time, the man was intentionally trying to get hit,” McGill said. “This is another case of someone having a clear intention of taking their own life.”
Keith_Marcum  suicide  Nick 
12 weeks ago
13 Counts Of Sex Abuse Filed Against Caregiver For Disabled: DA | Rohnert Park, CA Patch
13 Counts Of Sex Abuse Filed Against Caregiver For Disabled: DA
The charges against Rohnert Park psychologist and in-home care facility operator Keith Marcum allege there were at least three victims.
By California News Wire Services, News Partner
May 6, 2019 3:38 pm ET | Updated May 6, 2019 8:35 pm ET
Keith_Marcum  sex  abuse  Nick 
12 weeks ago
Most Veterans Say America’s Wars Are a Waste. No One’s Listening to Them. | The New Republic
Among veterans, 64% say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, while 33% say it was. The general public’s views are nearly identical: 62% of Americans overall say the Iraq War wasn’t worth it and 32% say it was. Similarly, majorities of both veterans (58%) and the public (59%) say the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting. About four-in-ten or fewer say it was worth fighting.

Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those engagements than those who did not serve in these wars. And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience.
veterans  oppose  war  Iran  Iraq  Afghanistan 
12 weeks ago
Oakland ordered to fire 5 officers in fatal shooting - San Francisco Chronicle, 7/19/2019
The Oakland Police Department must fire five officers involved in the fatal shooting of a homeless man last year, a disciplinary oversight panel ruled, in a case that has pitted the department against its court-appointed monitor.

The Oakland Police Commission’s disciplinary committee made its decision July 9 in the 2018 shooting death of Joshua Pawlik, and the department released the panel’s seven-page report on Thursday.

The Police Department offered no comment, but the city administrator said the officers will be given due process, including the opportunity to attend a disciplinary hearing.

The case stems from the March 11, 2018, shooting of 32-year-old Pawlik, who was killed just after waking up between two homes in West Oakland. Pawlik failed to respond to officers’ repeated commands that he take his hand off a gun. Police said he raised the gun and pointed it at them when they opened fire.

Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick has supported the officers. An Oakland police investigative panel, the Community Police Review Agency, exonerated the officers in April, and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges.

But the Police Commission’s disciplinary panel said in its ruling that body camera footage of the incident “speaks for itself.”
Oakland  police  shooting  killing  homeless  20180311  20190719 
12 weeks ago
Amazon Alternatives
Giving up Amazon

If you’re going to give up Prime and/or Amazon, you’re going to need to know how to replace it. We are Prime members ourselves and have been busily trying out many alternatives in preparation for launching this campaign. Our goal is to offer the most lovingly curated selection of Amazon and Prime alternatives anywhere, to make giving up Amazon easier and to encourage more people to spend their money with businesses that have higher ethical standards.

We've discovered that it’s often possible to find lower prices, sometimes substantially, by shopping elsewhere—if you know where to look.
Amazon  alternative 
july 2019
Why Don’t Police Catch Serial Rapists? - The Atlantic
When the members of Cleveland’s task force began shipping rape kits to the state lab, they didn’t imagine they’d end up fomenting a small revolution in criminology. Yet those evidence boxes uncovered new clues about the behavior of sexual assailants and overturned some basic assumptions—about how often they offend, whom they attack, and how they might be captured.
What struck her first was the sheer number of repeat offenders: Of the rape kits containing DNA that generated a CODIS hit, nearly one in five pointed to a serial rapist—giving the Cleveland investigators leads on some 480 serial predators to date. On a practical level, this suggested that every allegation of rape should be investigated as if it might have been committed by a repeat offender. “The way we’ve traditionally thought of sexual assault is this ‘he said, she said’ situation, where they investigate the sexual assault in isolation,” Lovell told me. Instead, detectives should search for other victims or other violent crimes committed nearby, always presuming that a rapist might have attacked before. “We make those assumptions with burglary, with murder, with almost any other crime,” Lovell said, “but not a sexual assault of an adult.”
crime  police  rape  DNA  serial  rapists 
july 2019
Lessons from testing decades of forgotten rape kits: serial rapists are common, they don't follow a pattern, they're not very bright, and they're often the same men who commit acquaintance rape / Boing Boing
The first insight is that serial rapists are very common and very prolific. Police departments had assumed that rapes with different types of victims and different techniques were committed by different men, but it turns out that serial rapists aren't meticulous and careful repeaters of patterns: they're chaotic and impatient and even if they're looking for a specific kind of woman to attack, if they can't find someone who matches their desires, they'll just attack any handy woman.

So rapists also aren't very smart about their crimes: their poor impulse control leaves behind plenty of physical evidence that can be used to convict them (Former Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty: "These are not the Napoleons of crime. They’re morons. We were letting morons beat us"). They get away with it because the cops don't investigate rapes.

They're also not discriminating as to the kind of crimes they commit: as the old rape kits are subjected to DNA tests, we're learning that many men who've been committed for petty property crimes or non-sexual assaults have also committed strings of rapes. Frequently, these men start with vulnerable women (poor women, sex workers, women with disabilities, women who are addicted) and then rape women with more privilege, which sometimes leads to the police taking action. But the lack of action on rape kits meant that even when a rapist was convicted for an assault on a wealthy white woman, we didn't know about the string of rapes on less-privileged women in his past.
rape  serial  rapists  crime  rape.culture  police  test  data  facts  DNA 
july 2019
How to run a small social network site for your friends
How to run a small social network site for your friends

Since August 2018 I have run a social network site called Friend Camp for about 50 of my friends. I think Friend Camp is a really nice place, and my friends seem to agree that it has enriched our lives. I'd like to see more places like Friend Camp on the internet, and this document is my attempt to provide some practical guidance as to how you might run a social network site like this.
Friend Camp is an intentionally small social network so the home page doesn't look like much if you don't have a login. You can read some of our policies if you like.
Who this guide is for

If you're tired of Facebook or Twitter or wherever else and have thought that there's got to be a better way, this is for you.
socially  network  community  software  howto  facebook  fix 
july 2019
Leveling the Playing Field for Entrepreneurs - Team Warren - Medium
The small business gap is another example of how the racial wealth gap in America holds back our economy and hurts Black, Latinx, Native American, and other minority families and communities. And because the government helped create that wealth gap with decades of sanctioned discrimination, the government has an obligation to address it head on — with bold policies that go right at the heart of the problem.

That’s why I have a new plan: a Small Business Equity Fund to help close the startup capital gap for entrepreneurs of color. Because it’s part of my economic patriotism agenda — which aims to use all the tools of government to defend and create good American jobs — this new program will be run by my new Department of Economic Development,
economics  race  opportunity  reparations  Elizabeth_Warren 
july 2019
(10) Angie Buchanan - Wow. Here’s your back up for the arguments about...
Michelle Martin, PhD Cal State Fullerton summed up the most important FACTS:

There is so much misinformation out there about the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" policy that requires criminal prosecution, which then warrants the separating of parents and children at the border. Before responding to a post defending this policy, please do your research...As a professor at a local Cal State, I research and write about these issues, so here, I'll make it easier for you:

Myth: This is not a new policy and was practiced under Obama and Clinton - FALSE. The policy to separate parents and children is new and was instituted on 4/6/2018. It was the brainchild of John Kelly and Stephen Miller to serve as a deterrent for undocumented immigration, approved by Trump, and adopted by Sessions. Prior administrations detained migrant families, but didn’t have a practice of forcibly separating parents from their children unless the adults were deemed unfit.…/press-rele…/file/1049751/download…
children  refugees  separate  ICE  Trump  2019  facts 
july 2019
A Good News Budget
To help communities respond to our homeless and housing crisis, the budget includes $2.4 billion in funds that will go to cities, counties, and community-based organizations to build new affordable housing, expand homeless services, and provide rental and legal assistance to people struggling to stay in their homes.

For schools, the 2019-20 budget contains much higher per pupil funding to put more money into our classrooms, pays down school pension debt, and reduces the pension contribution individual school districts have to make.

Funding in the budget will also help middle-class Californians cover their health care costs. And California families additionally benefit with two more weeks of paid family leave time, more funding for childcare and preschool, and no more sales tax on diapers and tampons.

Here are some additional highlights:

Boosts funding for higher education so that 15,000 more CA students can attend UC and CSU.
Increases per pupil funding for our K-12 schools to highest levels in state history.
Provides more school districts with funds for full-day kindergarten.
Supports 0-4 early care and education with funding to expand childcare facilities, improve affordability, and support workforce development for childcare providers.
2019  CA  budget  Nancy_Skinner  California 
july 2019
How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’ | Common Dreams Views
While many of us are working to ensure that the Occupy movement will have a lasting impact, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different.

Both countries had a history of horrendous poverty. When the 1 percent was in charge, hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to avoid starvation. Under the leadership of the working class, however, both countries built robust and successful economies that nearly eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided excellent health care available to all as a matter of right and created a system of full employment. Unlike the Norwegians, the Swedes didn’t find oil, but that didn’t stop them from building what the latest CIA World Factbook calls “an enviable standard of living.”
Norway  Sweden  1%  Occupy_Wall_Street  economy  socialism 
july 2019
Understanding "transfer pricing": how corporations dodge taxes through financial colonialism / Boing Boing
Every day, the world's poorest countries lose $3b in tax revenues as multinationals sluice their profits through their national boundaries in order to avoid taxes in rich countries, and then sluice the money out again, purged of tax obligations thanks to their exploitation of tax loopholes in poor nations.

The secret to all this tax-dodging is a complex grift called "base erosion and profit shifting" (BEPS). Like many of the most important and dangerous things in the world, it's boring, complicated, and very important, and the reason it persists is that the boringness and complexity baffles and bores people so they stop paying attention to it, leaving it to chug along, despite its importance.

At its core, BEPS involves using bookkeeping fictions to transfer your profits to low-tax jurisdictions and your costs to high-tax jurisdictions. BEPS abuses "transfer pricing," which is the pricing of goods and service between multinational companies, by using prices of convenience for transactions within a single company's international divisions.
taxes  scam  loophole  KPMG  Amazon 
july 2019
The Human Costs Of Kamala Harris’ War On Truancy | HuffPost
She charged six parents with infractions in 2008, using a newly created truancy court that had special procedures. The judge deferred any punishments as long as families began to comply with the law. “The goal was not to get them into trouble but to find a way to exert enough pressure on them that they would change,” said David Kopperud, the longtime chair of California’s statewide student attendance review board.

What it ended up being, practically, is families and kids having to come to court to be told to utilize certain services in order to come to school. Which, from where I sit, is very much the job of the school district and not the job of the criminal court. a public defender

San Francisco’s truancy rate began to fall. In a speech she gave a few years later, Harris credited her tough approach, saying, “We threatened the parents of truants with prosecution, and truancy dropped 32 percent.”

What distinguished Harris’ approach wasn’t the process itself as much as who was involved, and when. She was using the same basic system — the school identifies a truant student; the school contacts the parents; the school, or a local attendance board, holds a meeting, if necessary; the school refers the problem to the district attorney, if necessary — that counties across California had been following for decades. Harris’ innovation was that school authorities and the district attorney would work in concert, articulating the threat of prosecution much earlier in the process and keeping school officials involved long after a case was transferred to court.

“It was using the law to support what the school was doing, and vice versa,” Kopperud said. “And she had a lot of success.”
Kamala_Harris  school  truancy 
june 2019
MacTutor History of Mathematics
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mathematics  biography  history  women  Black  African 
june 2019
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history  math  mathematics  world 
june 2019
This mother's description of her tween son's brain is a must-read for all parents. - Upworthy
It's amazing what happens when we explain to kids the physiological reasons for what they're going through.

Eberhardt continued, “The other thing is that one of the first parts of your brain that gets super-sized to be like an adult is the amygdala. That’s the part that controls your emotions and your survival instincts. You know how we’ve talked about fight/flight/freeze before, and how sometimes our brains think that being asked to speak in public is the same level of threat as being attacked by a sabre tooth tiger?”

Her son laughed. “Yes. So you have to tell your brain that there’s no sabre tooth tiger to help you calm down.”
teen  emotions  behaviour  14-year-old 
june 2019
Improving Q&As with peer-review / Boing Boing
At the start of the Q&A, Tuck "[makes] it clear that it is the audience’s responsibility to help craft a positive public speaking experience for graduate students and early career scholars," then she declares a 5-10 minute break for the audience to talk with one another, suggesting that they "use the time to peer review their questions" and to

* "make sure it is really a question"

* "make sure they aren’t actually trying to say that THEY should have given the paper"

* "figure out if the question needs to be posed and answered in front of everyone"

Then she asks that "the first question come from particular people in the room— Indigenous graduate students, etc" and then asks each questioner whether they peer-reviewed their questions.
Q&A  questions  peer-review  howto 
june 2019
You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you - The Oatmeal

This comic was inspired by this three-part series on the backfire effect from the You Are Not So Smart Podcast.

If you want to learn more about the backfire effect and other related behaviors (confirmation bias, deductive reasoning, etc), I highly recommend listening to the whole thing:
Podcast Part 1 - Podcast Part 2 - Podcast Part 3

I would also like to thank my wonderful girlfriend Theresea for calling my attention to the backfire effect in the first place. The past year has been rough for a lot of people, and she pointed me in a direction that could actually help people. Theresea: you're amazing, I love you, thank you.
USC Creativity and Brain Institute

Neural correlates of maintaining one’s political beliefs in the face of counterevidence
By Sarah Gimbel and Sam Harris.

Official website
Other fun reading

Reddit - Change My View
Wikipedia's list of common misconceptions
comic  belief  change  hard  psychology 
june 2019
The ENIAC Programmers: how women invented modern programming and were then written out of the history books / Boing Boing
Kathy Kleiman, founder of the ENIAC Programmers Project, writes about the buried history of the pivotal role played by women in the creation of modern computing, a history that is generally recounted as consisting of men making heroic technical and intellectual leaps while women did some mostly simple, mechanical work around the periphery.

Kleiman summarizes her twenty years of research into the programmers of the ENIAC -- the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, the first modern computer -- whose first programmers were six women: Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Jean Jennings Bartik, Betty Snyder Holberton, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum and Frances Bilas Spence.

The ENIAC programmers had to invent programming as we know it, working without programming codes (these were invented a few years later for UNIVAC by Betty Holberton): they "broke down the differential calculus ballistics trajectory program" into small steps the computer could handle, then literally wired together the program by affixing cables and flicking the machine's 3,000 switches in the correct sequences. To capture it all, they created meticulous flowcharts that described the program's workings.

The women stayed on the ENIAC project after the war because "no solider returning home from the battlefield could program ENIAC,"
women  science  computer  programming  history  hidden 
june 2019
KPMG is in the middle of an unbelievably dirty cheating scandal that keeps on getting uglier / Boing Boing
For more than a year, regulators have known that KPMG employees had been stealing regulatory information and using it to cheat on inspections of its audits -- they'd steal the FEC's list of upcoming inspection targets and revise their work to make sure the inspections didn't find any flaws. The SEC was set to hand down a $50m fine.

Then, yesterday, the SEC announced that they'd found a second, even more disturbing pattern of cheating, one that went right to the top, with KPMG's most senior staff cheating on their integrity exams (!!), sharing answers in advance, and hacking the tests to lower the score needed to pass it (the tests were delivered online, and in the URL for the test was a variable that set the percentage needed for a passing grade: "MasteryScore=70" -- by lowering this value, cheaters could turn any number of right answers into a pass). Some auditors "passed" their ethics exams with a score of only 25%.

These exams tested auditors on their ethics, their expertise, and their mastery of the continuing education courses they were required to take to remain licensed to practice.

As Matt Kelly says, the scandal reveals "chronic, widespread and intentional illegal behavior by senior partners including some leading public company audits for the firm."
KPMG  accountint  audit  cheating  lies  liar 
june 2019
Billionaires and ultra-wealthy Americans are asking for a wealth tax - Business Insider
A group of 18 ultra-wealthy Americans including George Soros and Abigail Disney published an open letter asking presidential candidates to support a moderate wealth tax, a copy of the letter published by The New York Times shows.
The revenue of the wealth tax could be used to fund environmental initiatives, fuel economic investment, and fund health care, according to the letter, in addition to protecting America's democracy by reducing inequality.
The letter's signatories are among the 74% of Americans who support the introduction of a wealth tax, a 2019 survey published by The Hill found.
wealth  tax  billionaire  support 
june 2019
Elizabeth Warren’s plan to cancel student debt has its origins in Occupy Wall Street - MarketWatch
For many Americans, the idea of large-scale student-debt cancellation likely came to their attention for the first time this week, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, announced as part of her campaign for president a plan to wipe out millions of Americans’ student loans.

But it’s a concept Ann Larson has been thinking about for years.

Larson, the co-founder of the Debt Collective, a debtor membership organization, first started talking about the idea of broad student-loan cancellation in 2011 as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, when activists protesting economic inequality took over a park in Manhattan’s financial district for nearly two months and introduced the world to the rallying cry, ‘We are the 99%.’
Elizabeth_Warren  student  debt  cancellation  Occupy_Wall_Street 
june 2019
Ta-Nehisi Coates gave Mitch McConnell a powerful lesson on reparations - Vox
“For a century after the Civil War, black people were subjected to a relentless campaign of terror,” Coates said. “A campaign that extended well into the lifetime of Majority Leader McConnell.”
“Victims of that plunder are very much alive today”

After describing the vast economy built on the backs of enslaved men and women and the “torture, rape, and child trafficking” they endured, Coates then listed several acts of racism and injustice against African Americans that occurred during McConnell’s youth.

He cited two stories in particular: the 1944 state-ordered execution of 14 year-old George Stinney — who was swiftly convicted (and later posthumously exonerated) for the murder of two white girls — and the severe beating and blinding of Isaac Woodard, a black man arrested and disabled by police officers hours after his honorable discharge from the Army in 1946.

“Majority Leader McConnell cited civil-rights legislation yesterday, as well he should, because he was alive to witness the harassment, jailing, and betrayal of those responsible for that legislation by a government sworn to protect them,” Coates said. “He was alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion.”
Ta-Nehisi_Coates  racism  reparations  McConnell  HB40 
june 2019
Ta-Nehisi Coates Dismantles Mitch McConnell’s Remarks on Reparations – Rolling Stone
Here are Coates’ remarks in full:

Yesterday, when asked about reparations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a familiar reply: America should not be held liable for something that happened 150 years ago, especially since none of us currently alive are responsible. This rebuttal proffers a strange theory of governance: that American accounts are somehow bound by the lifetime of its generations, when well into this century, the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of Civil War soldiers. We honor treaties that date back some 200 years, despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for, but we are American citizens, and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach. It would seem ridiculous to dispute invocations from the Founders or the Greatest Generation, on the basis of a lack of membership in either group. We recognize our lineage as a generational trust, as an inheritance and the real dilemma posed by reparations is just that: a dilemma of inheritance.

It is impossible to imagine America without the inheritance of slavery.
Ta-Nehisi_Coates  racism  reparations  HB40 
june 2019
Ta-Nehisi Coates's Testimony to the House on Reparations - The Atlantic
But we are American citizens, and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach. It would seem ridiculous to dispute invocations of the Founders, or the Greatest Generation, on the basis of a lack of membership in either group. We recognize our lineage as a generational trust, as inheritance, and the real dilemma posed by reparations is just that: a dilemma of inheritance. It is impossible to imagine America without the inheritance of slavery.

As historian Ed Baptist has written, enslavement “shaped every crucial aspect of the economy and politics” of America, so that by 1836 more than $600 million, almost half of the economic activity in the United States, derived directly or indirectly from the cotton produced by the million-odd slaves. By the time the enslaved were emancipated, they comprised the largest single asset in America. Three billion in 1860 dollars, more than all the other assets in the country combined.
Ta-Nehisi_Coates  racism  reparations  McConnell  HB40 
june 2019
Bill would cancel most of the country's outstanding student loan debt
Elizabeth Warren will introduce legislation to cancel student loan debt for most borrowers
Published Thu, Jun 13 2019 3:36 PM EDTUpdated Fri, Jun 14 2019 1:15 PM EDT
Annie Nova

Key Points

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren isn’t waiting for the election to push forward her proposal to erase the majority of the country’s outstanding student debt.
The Massachusetts senator and Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) announced on Wednesday their plan to introduce legislation in the House and Senate to eliminate up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans.
Elizabeth_Warren  student  debt  college  house  bill 
june 2019
Elizabeth Warren has lots of ideas. Bad ideas. - The Washington Post
Based mainly on her own estimates, I added up the cost of Warren’s commitments so far. The most expensive slice is the Medicare-for-all plan written by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and endorsed by Warren; independent analysts peg the cost at up to $32 trillion over 10 years. Add in Warren’s own programs, and the cost is about $36.5 trillion over 10 years, or $3.6 trillion a year.
Elizabeth_Warren  policy  cost 
june 2019
The Rantin’ Raven: Songs for the Old Religion, in Context | Dana Corby
I’m asked if Pagan music was important in the 70’s. Well, not as such, though individual Witches who were also musicians could not help writing songs that expressed it — I wrote several myself, including The Sungod, which appears on the album. Folk music was crucial, because so many of the secrets and mysteries are encoded in old folk songs. Witch rituals were intended to have music, specific old songs for the Sabbats, Moons, and other occasions. Pagan music — Witches’ music as it was then — grew out of that. Gwydion was to my knowledge the first to compile and sell his music, and even then it was sold at first as sheet music, for other people to learn and perform among themselves. The album was an afterthought, the result of a serendipitous meeting between Gwydion and me.

Pagan musicians in particular ask me about the Pagan music scene of the time – who else was doing what we did, what clubs played Pagan music, how records got distributed, and so forth. Wow. They really have no idea. There was no ‘Pagan music scene’ in 1975; SFTOR started it. There were no Pagan clubs, though there were a couple of short-lived metaphysical coffee houses and of course the Bodhi Tree in Los Angeles which is as of this writing finally closing its doors, alas.
pagan  music  Gwydion  Dana_Corby  witch 
june 2019
The Rantin’ Raven: Songs for the Old Religion – Part 1: the Making | Dana Corby
The Rantin’ Raven: Songs for the Old Religion – Part 1: the Making
June 6, 2015 by Dana Corby

In 1973, a friend of mine returned to Southern California from a visit to a Wiccan gathering in the Bay Area telling me about a musician he had met by the name of Gwydion Pendderwyn who had a songbook full of wonderful music all about the Craft. My friend gave me the address of an organization called Nemeton from which one could order the book. So, for the extravagant sum of $2.50 plus postage I did and set about learning to sing and play some of the songs.

Two years later, I was spending a few weeks guesting in the home of a Gardnerian couple known as Athena and Dagda. While I was there, Gwydion came to visit, and I played and sang for him including an arrangement I’d done of his Harvest Dance for Appalachian dulcimer.
pagan  music  Gwydion  Dana_Corby 
june 2019
There's no such thing as an alpha male - Business Insider
In nature, Mech writes, wolves split off from their packs when they mature, and seek out opposite-sex companions with whom to form new packs. The male and female co-dominate the new pack for a much simpler, more peaceful reason: They're the parents of all the pups.

Mech writes on his website (with the lovely title Wolf News and Info) that his original book is "currently still in print, despite my numerous pleas to the publisher to stop publishing it."
alpha  male  wolf  false  hen 
june 2019
How a little-known Democratic firm cashed in on the wave of midterm money - The Washington Post
They now are considering trying to land a 2020 presidential campaign as a client.

“We want to be at the center of the Democratic universe,” Lipsett said.

Action figures of 2016 Democratic presidential contenders Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Hillary Clinton are among the tchotchkes at the Mothership Strategies office. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

The digital consulting firm said that it helped raise nearly $150 million in donations for political clients in the 2018 elections. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Some critics note that the firm charges some clients a commission of 15 percent on funds raised online — much higher than the industry standard of 7 to 10 percent.

The company’s profits are built on exaggerating fears, some fellow Democrats say, and could erode trust among small donors needed to help 2020 presidential contenders compete with Trump’s loyal base of contributors — and beyond.

“The people we’re talking to right now are the same people we’re going to be talking to for two years, four years. If every day is, ‘The sky is falling, and the world is about to end,’ then eventually that message stops working,” said Betsy Hoover, who served as director of digital organizing for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and helped found 270 Strategies, another Democratic consulting firm.
2020  campaign  finance  emails  fundraising 
june 2019
Open Forum: Exaggerating California crime to protect their livelihoods -
California has seen seven years of transformative justice system reforms: AB109, enacted in 2011, lowered the prison population; Proposition 47, approved by voters in 2014, reduced certain nonviolent crimes to misdemeanors; Prop. 57, passed in 2016, gave more people a chance at parole and reduced prosecutors’ power to try children in adult court; and, in March, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on the death penalty.

California’s crime rate, meanwhile, is near historic lows.
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But to listen to the politicians and law enforcement officials leading the charge against California’s recent reforms, the state is in crisis. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood claims that reform will inevitably drive up crime; Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer asserts that California voters are “uninformed” and that “weak laws” will drive up violence; and Assemblyman Jim Cooper, a Sacramento County Democrat and Sheriff’s Department veteran, says law enforcement is under attack. This doom-and-gloom chorus calls for a return to the era of tough-on-crime, dumb-on-safety policymaking.
police  violence  crime  statistics  liars 
june 2019
'Corporations Are People' Is Built on a 19th-Century Lie - The Atlantic
The Supreme Court’s opinions are officially published in volumes edited by an administrator called the reporter of decisions. By tradition, the reporter writes up a summary of the Court’s opinion and includes it at the beginning of the opinion. The reporter in the 1880s was J.C. Bancroft Davis, whose wildly inaccurate summary of the Southern Pacific case said that the Court had ruled that “corporations are persons within … the Fourteenth Amendment.” Whether his summary was an error or something more nefarious—Davis had once been the president of the Newburgh and New York Railway Company—will likely never be known.

Field nonetheless saw Davis’s erroneous summary as an opportunity. A few years later, in an opinion in an unrelated case, Field wrote that “corporations are persons within the meaning” of the Fourteenth Amendment. “It was so held in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad,” explained Field, who knew very well that the Court had done no such thing.

His gambit worked. In the following years, the case would be cited over and over by courts across the nation, including the Supreme Court, for deciding that corporations had rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.
14th_amendment  corporations  persons  Supreme_Court  liars 
june 2019
Michigan authorities drop all criminal charges relating to Flint water crisis
The office of Michigan’s attorney general dismissed every pending criminal case related to the water crisis in Flint on Thursday, effectively restarting an investigation that began three years earlier and grew to encompass charges against multiple state and local officials.

Authorities described the decision to dismiss without prejudice charges against eight people as a necessary corrective to an inquiry they said had been flawed until now. They also pledged a “vigorous pursuit of justice” and said their ongoing investigation had uncovered more information and evidence related to the crisis.

“We are now in the best possible position to find the answers the citizens of Flint deserve and hold all responsible parties accountable,” Fadwa A. Hammoud, who was named Michigan’s solicitor general this year and tapped to lead the Flint criminal cases, said in a statement issued with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy.

“Our team has already identified additional individuals of interest and new information relevant to the Flint Water Crisis,” they added. “These investigative leads will be aggressively pursued.”
2019  Flint  water  lead  criminal  investigation  restart 
june 2019
Michigan AG dismisses current charges, reopens criminal investigations in Flint water cases
On Thursday afternoon, Michigan’s attorney general’s office announced its Flint Water prosecution team has dismissed all of the criminal charges originally brought against former Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon and eight others by the former Office of Special Counsel appointed by former Attorney General Bill Schuette.

According to a statement released by the attorney general’s office on Thursday, the charges are being dismissed “without prejudice … in order to conduct a full and complete investigation.”

A joint statement issued by Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said the reason for the move was shoddy work by the former team of investigators, which was originally led by special prosecutor Todd Flood. Attorney General Dana Nessel gave Hammoud control of the Flint criminal team in February. Flood was either fired, or resigned due to illness, in April.
Flint  water  lead  criminal  restart 
june 2019
Microsoft Word - saez-zucman-wealthtax-warren-v5.docx - saez-zucman-wealthtax-warren.pdf
Wealth inequalityOne of the key motivations for introducing a progressive wealth tax is to curb the growing concentration of wealth. The figure below depicts the evolution of the share of wealth going to the top 0.1% of wealth holders vs. the bottom 90% based on the Saez and Zucman (2016) data (updated to 2016). It shows that the top 0.1% wealth share has increased dramatically from about 7% in the late 1970s to around 20% in recent years. Conversely, the wealth shareof the bottom 90% of families has declined from about 35% in the late 1970s to about 25% today. This fall has been primarily the consequence of increased debt for the bottom 90% (through mortgage refinance, consumer credit, and student loans). As a result, the top 0.1% today owns almost as much wealth asthe bottom90% of US families, which includes the vast majority of US families.
wealth  inequality  income  Elizabeth_Warren  taxes 
june 2019
Why Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Would Work | The New Yorker
In theory, there is nothing to prevent Congress from abolishing the “step-up in basis” loophole and raising the capital-gains tax rate. In 2016, the Obama Administration suggested doing both of these things, but the Republicans who controlled Congress ignored the proposal. Theoretically, we could go even further in this direction, forcing taxpayers to declare their over-all wealth every year on the basis of market prices, and making them pay the capital-gains tax on any increase over the previous year. “That’s the obvious thing to do,” Kopczuk said. “You can go much further in the direction of taxing wealth accruals on an annual basis, compared to what we are doing now.”

As the election campaign moves along, critics of Warren’s proposal are sure to repeat these types of arguments. But the designers and supporters of the Warren plan have already anticipated many of them, including the issue of tax evasion and avoidance. In their written assessment of the Warren proposal, Saez and Zucman assume that “households subject to the wealth tax are able to reduce their reported net worth by 15% through a combination of tax evasion and tax avoidance.” The $2.75 trillion revenue projection takes this level of evasion into account.
Elizabeth_Warren  wealth  taxes  capital_gains 
june 2019
I Understand Why Democrats Don't Want to Impeach Trump
After a failed impeachment trial, Trump, being the person he is, would claim that he was exonerated, a claim that would be buttressed by his propagandists at Fox News (as if Trump would ever admit he was wrong). So, instead of fulfilling their constitutional duties, Pelosi and her cabal of soothsaying moderates have chosen to sidestep justice in favor of politics.

This is the kind of justice that black people have become accustomed to. Democrats won’t pursue justice because they assume the all-white, Republican jurors won’t convict him. This is the same reason why the killers of Alton Sterling, Emantic Bradford Jr., Korryn Gaines and Eric Garner never faced a jury in a criminal trial.

This is the definition of injustice.
Let the ongoing investigations continue

Almost five years after the whole world witnessed Eric Garner dying with a police officer’s arm around his throat, the NYPD is still investigating whether or not it was a chokehold. Footage of Sandra Bland’s 2015 arrest wasn’t released until a few weeks ago, because of an “ongoing investigation.” Emmett Till’s murder is still being investigated, over a half-century later.

Even when something is readily apparent, they will trot out the “ongoing investigations” excuse as the first line of defense. Robert Mueller wrote an entire report that more than 1,000 prosecutors say shows obstruction of justice, yet Nancy Pelosi wants to “investigate.”

White people really trust investigations.
impeach  Trump  racism  African-American  justice 
june 2019
Elizabeth Warren 2020 interview: her theory of the presidency - Vox
The 2020 candidate on how she’d get rid of the filibuster, curb political corruption, and persuade Americans that government can work for them.
By Ezra Klein@ezraklein Jun 12, 2019, 8:50am EDT
Transcription by Catherine Kim

Oligarchic capitalism? Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has a plan for that. Opioid deaths? She’s got a plan for that, too. Same is true for high housing costs, offshoring, child care, breaking up big tech, curbing congressional corruption, indicting presidents, strengthening reproductive rights, forgiving student loans, providing debt relief to Puerto Rico, and fixing the love lives of some of her Twitter followers. Seriously.

But how’s Warren going to pass any of these plans? Which policy would she prioritize? What presidential powers would she leverage? What argument would she make to her fellow Senate Democrats to convince them to abolish the filibuster? What will she do if Mitch McConnell still leads the Senate? What about climate change?

I caught her on a campaign swing through California to ask about that meta-plan. The plan behind her plans.
Elizabeth_Warren  Ezra_Klein  wealth  inequality  podcast  transcript 
june 2019
Elizabeth Warren isn’t Hillary Clinton - Vox
Warren’s plans underscore her longstanding loathing of what American capitalism has curdled into.

It’s common for Democrats to talk about income inequality. Warren fixates on wealth inequality. During our conversation, she used the word “wealth” 23 times but mentioned “income” only four times. There’s a reason for that. Wealth is where income pools into power and privilege. When your money comes from income, it is, at least in theory, being earned through work. When it’s just wealth creating more wealth, it’s a hoarding of resources divorced from the labor and innovation that drives economies forward.

“Think of it this way,” she told me. “The bottom 99 percent last year paid all-in on their taxes 7.2 percent of their total wealth. Top 1 percent? They paid 3.2 percent of their total wealth.” Those huge fortunes, she continued, “are growing on their own. They are now capital. You don’t have to work if you’ve got one of those big fortunes. Those things are managed by professional managers.” Listen to how Warren talks about this. It offends her.
Elizabeth_Warren  Ezra_Klein  wealth  inequality 
june 2019
Sen. Nancy Skinner Issues Statement on California’s 2019-20 Budget | Senator Nancy Skinner
Budget Highlights:

$2.4 billion for affordable housing and homeless investments, including $650 million earmarked for cities, counties, and organizations to provide care and services for homeless people and prevent homelessness through legal and rental assistance for tenants facing economic hardship.
Highest level of school funding and per pupil funding in state history
$300 million for full-day kindergarten.
$500 million to improve and expand childcare facilities, improve childcare affordability, and support workforce development for childcare providers.
California’s paid family leave plan increased from six to eight weeks.
No more sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products, like tampons, for two years.
Targeted funding to train law enforcement on de-escalation techniques to reduce deadly use of force incidents.
Close to a billion dollars in Greenhouse Gas Reduction funds for low carbon cars, trucks, and buses, climate smart agriculture, healthy forests, ensuring safe, clean drinking water, and reducing toxic air pollutants.
And a robust reserve of $19.4 billion in case of future economic pressures.
CA  budget  taxes  SD09  Nancy_Skinner 
june 2019
Elizabeth Warren opens door to reparations for Native Americans - The Washington Post
Warren is one of four Democratic presidential hopefuls who have said in recent days that they are open to providing some type of reparations to African Americans who are descendants of people who were enslaved in the United States, although they have offered varying levels of details about how the goal would be achieved.

So far, Warren is the only one to entertain the notion of including Native Americans. “I think it’s a part of the conversation,” she said when asked whether the group should also receive some kind of relief. “I think it’s an important part of the conversation.”

In a statement released Saturday, Warren offered more context. “I fully support the federal government doing far more to live up to its existing trust and treaty responsibilities and that includes a robust discussion about historical injustices against Native people,” she said, adding that tribal nations “deserve a seat at the table in all decisions that will affect the well-being of their people and their communities.”
Elizabeth_Warren  reparations  African-American  Native_American 
june 2019
Elizabeth Warren Wiki - Elizabeth Warren Wiki
1 Elizabeth Warren Biography — Early Life, Education, Marriages, and Family
2 Elizabeth Warren Biography — Academic, Government, and Political Career
2.1 Academic Research Controversies
2.2 Elizabeth Warren for President in 2016 movement
2.3 Elizabeth Warren 2020 Presidential Campaign
3 Elizabeth Warren Income and Net Worth
3.1 Federal PACER Fee Waivers
4 Intellectual Foundation of Occupy Wall Street Movement
5 "Factory Owner" Speech
6 Legal Representation of Major Corporations
6.1 Law License Controversy
7 Claim To Be First Nursing Mother To Take NJ Bar Exam
8 Elizabeth Warren Wikipedia Page Controversy
9 Elizabeth Warren Native American / Cherokee Controversy
9.1 Native American / Cherokee Criticism of Elizabeth Warren
9.2 High School Debate Partner Does Not Recall Warren Being Native American
9.3 Pow Wow Chow Cookbook
9.4 Listed As "Woman of Color In Legal Academia"
9.5 Elizabeth Warren Refusal To Meet With Native Americans
9.6 Elizabeth Warren Does Not Register As Native American In U.S. Senate
9.7 "Unaccountable - Elizabeth Warren and the Cherokee"
9.8 Says Has Photo Proof Of Native American Heritage, But Will Not Show
9.9 Claim to be Native American / Cherokee becomes campaign issue in 2012 Senate Race
9.10 Elizabeth Warren DNA Test Results Controversy
Elizabeth_Warren  Native_American  wiki 
june 2019
Elizabeth Warren apologizes for calling herself Native American - The Washington Post
Warren, asked in a brief interview Tuesday if she’d intended the apology to include labeling herself as Native American when at the University of Pennsylvania and at Harvard University, replied “yes.” She gave the same response when asked if it included labeling herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools directory.

“I told him I was sorry for furthering confusion about tribal citizenship,” Warren said. “I am also sorry for not being more mindful about this decades ago. We had a good conversation.” CNN reported her broader apology on Monday.

The apology has met with mixed reactions. Several tribal members applauded her. “This closes the matter,” tweeted Keith Harper, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council. “Onward.”

But not all were pleased.

“I want to see it in writing,” said David Cornsilk, a historian and genealogist who is also a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. “I want her to go on national TV. I want her to do a video like she did to announce her DNA results. It just seemed very lacking.”
Elizabeth_Warren  Native_American  claim  apology 
june 2019
Obama rejects Keystone XL project, citing U.S. climate leadership - The Washington Post
November 6, 2015

President Obama announced Friday that his administration will not issue a permit for construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that approval would undermine the U.S. effort to curb greenhouse gases.

“America’s now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change,” Obama said. “And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face — not acting.”

Denying TransCanada Corp. a permit for the 1,179-mile pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Neb., ends a seven-year fight over a project that became a symbol in the political battle over climate change.
Keystone  KXL  oil  pipeline  Obama 
june 2019
What do Native Americans want from a president? - The Washington Post
I asked Nez for an example of a treaty obligation that presidential candidates could commit to that would, in his phrase, offer “a hand up rather than a handout.” The one at the top of his list sounds boring, but it is vital, because it underlies so much else: infrastructure, especially roads. Lousy roads undermine economic development, education, health care and public safety.

While the words “roads” and “infrastructure” don’t appear in the Navajo treaty, those obligations have been extrapolated in federal law as part of the duty the United States took on in its relationship with tribes. Shoddy infrastructure is a treaty breakdown across Indian Country, where some areas still lack running water and electricity, let alone broadband. The problem is especially acute in the Navajo Nation, given its size. It has 10,700 miles of roads — and 9,000 of those miles are dirt roads.

A look at the numbers suggests the United States is no more serious about fixing the roads and other infrastructure in Native America than it is about funding health care. The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs budget for road maintenance on all reservations is $36 million this year, compared with a maintenance backlog of $300 million to $400 million, according to the bureau. As for new highway construction, the Navajo Nation recently took over that responsibility from the federal government in a bid for self-sufficiency. The nation still receives about $55 million a year in federal highway funds to do the work. Since it costs about $3 million per mile to pave a dirt road, the nation can pave about 18 miles a year. Yet 450 dirt miles are so highly traveled as to require paving immediately. At current funding levels, it will take 25 years to pave just those most important routes — and five centuries to pave the rest.
Native_American  2020  treaty  president  law  policy  politics  Elizabeth_Warren 
june 2019
FACT: Elizabeth Warren’s Heritage Played No Role in Her Hiring | Fact Squad
Disgusting: When Racism & Slurs Become Political Strategy
Donald Trump uses racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry and hate to divide and distract us while he rigs the system for the rich and powerful. But our country’s disrespect of Native people didn’t start with President Trump. It started long before President Washington ever took office.
Elizabeth_Warren  Native_American  facts 
june 2019
What Actual Native Americans Think of Elizabeth Warren's DNA Test
Keene said that the whole episode shows that “lots of Americans are wholly ignorant about the fact that tribes determine their own membership, and that it appears that lots of Americans would find the idea that a Native American tribe would identify someone as their own with such low amounts of Indian blood as detestable.”

Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman with Warren’s senatorial re-election campaign, emailed a statement from the senator first given to the Boston Globe: “I wish that I had been more mindful of the distinction between heritage and tribal citizenship Only the tribes can determine tribal citizenship and I respect their right. That’s why now I don’t list myself here in the Senate as Native American.”

Warren also tweeted about the distinction between the test and belonging to a Native American nation:

“Ultimately, however, the bigger problem of Warren's Indian DNA story is that it reinforces the narrative of Indian identity as being race-based,” said Gilio-Whitaker. “This is what the political right is using right now to erode Native sovereignty by undermining important laws like the Indian Child Welfare Act, Native exclusions to Medicaid rules, and in the big picture, terminate the US's treaty-based responsibility to Native nations.”

Keene said, “We know that Elizabeth Warren isn't able to certify that her probable Indian Blood is in fact Cherokee, but this reveal has sparked an interesting and I think disturbing conversation that is pro-blood quantum and at its heart anti-tribal sovereignty.”
Native_American  Elizabeth_Warren 
june 2019
What’s Really at Stake in the Debate over Sen. Warren's Claim to Native American Heritage - Native News Online
For far too long, your [Native American’s] story has been pushed aside, to be trotted out only in cartoons and commercials.”

On that point, I couldn’t agree with Warren more. I strongly believe that the stories that are told about Native Americans (and not told) have a profound impact on our rights in this country. Which is why when I read the news articles and the comment threads about Warren’s contested Cherokee identity, I find cause for deep concern. If we take Warren out of the picture and just examine the content of the debate, what non-Native people are concluding about Native identity is deeply troubling.

As an example, on Thursday a Boston Globe reporter wrote this about her own family’s stories of Cherokee ancestry. “If the family stories are true, my mom would be 1/64th Cherokee, about 1.56 percent. That number is so small that it’s possible it would not show up in her genetic material at all… My mom also says her DNA test identified a small percentage of her blood as East Asian, which she believed could be a mismatch of the Cherokee.”

Rather than Americans learning about the importance of tribal sovereignty and community identification from this controversy, most non-Native Americans are walking away with the messy conclusion that Native identity is determined by things like self identification, family stories, and DNA tests. And, unfortunately these misconceptions about Native identity have a profound impact on Native rights. To make my point, I would like to focus on one issue that both the left and right have ignorantly used: blood quantum.
Native_American  Elizabeth_Warren  blood_quantum  tribal  sovreignty  *** 
june 2019
A Tale of Two Budgets | Drake Talk Oakland
The way it works is-the mayor proposes a budget with the help of the staff the mayor put in place. The city council then makes their own changes or amendments to that budget (after the Council President offers her version) then the Council negotiates as it hears testimony from the public-starting today June 10th- before coming to a final vote.

Mayors and city managers can be forgiven for underestimating revenue but city councils can also be forgiven for asking the hard questions, listening to their constituents and fighting for the possible.

We have elected, after a number of years of conservative and mayor-obedient CMs, a truly progressive council who are able to see the emergency we find our selves in-housing desperation, infrastructure failure and the continued monitoring of our police department by a federal judge-and believe that this a time to fund some of our overwhelming needs.
From Council President Kaplan’s Budget

“The Mayor’s budget assumes a first-year growth rate of 1% for General Purpose Fund unrestricted tax revenues……This growth rate is far below the historical trend of 7% annual average growth over the past 8 years, and long-term growth averaging 5.8% annually for the past 13 years. Notably, this long-term average includes the Great Recession (data provided in the City’s Preliminary Baseline Revenue and Expenditures Report, provided to Council on February 25, 2019). “
Oakland  city  budget  numbers  statistics 
june 2019
‘Police Scorecard’ raises questions about use of force and accountability in California - Los Angeles Times
Campaign Zero, which aims to reduce police violence in the U.S., released its “Police Scorecard” in the hopes of shaping future legislative and police policy decisions in California around statistics that it argues highlight inherent bias and other problematic trends in American law enforcement, organizers said.

“We have the data we need to make decisions that will save lives,” said DeRay Mckesson, a police reform activist who gained notoriety after the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. “This project allows citizens to see data about their communities and demand change and accountability.”

The project compiled data for the years 2016 and 2017 from the California Department of Justice’s open data website and FBI Uniform Crime Reports, as well as information obtained through hundreds of public records requests.

Though the current study focused on the state’s 100 largest municipal police departments, organizers plan to expand the project to include data from sheriff’s departments as well as internal disciplinary records that can now be requested under a new state law that opens up some police personnel records.
police  use_of_force  killing  unarmed  racism 
june 2019
a collection of gleanings » Things food snobs are wrong about
here are sources on all of these, most of them fairly recent academic studies or otherwise the most up-to-date I could find:

Organic food isn’t better for you: [1] [2] [3]
Tracing food industry slave labor: [1]
Healthier food is more expensive: [1] [2]
Saturated fats (i.e. “junk food”) still provide needed energy, aren’t as bad as people thought: [1] [2]
“Processed” isn’t synonymous with less healthy, because it means a lot of different things: [1]
“Chemicals” also means a lot of things and many food components are misunderstood by the general public: [1]
MSG is not harmful: [1] [2] [3]
GMO’s are not dangerous to eat: [400 sources collected here]
food  myths  health 
june 2019
Latino leaders sound alarms over Trump reelection in 2020 - POLITICO
Castro was the first Democratic hopeful to issue an immigration plan and has visited Nevada the most, but his inability to eclipse low-single-digits has troubled activists. Elizabeth Warren has placed nearly 30 staffers in Nevada and is working to hire Latino interns and to set up caucus trainings in Latino communities. Cory Booker is doing Latino outreach through social media as well as digital and TV, notably appearing on the Univision show “Despierta America” the day he announced.
Trump's top 2020 challengers

Harris, whose campaign declined to say how many people it has in Nevada, has prioritized hiring Spanish-speaking organizing staff in the state and rolled out a paid fellowship program. She caught the attention of activists for providing headphones with real-time Spanish translation at an early Nevada town hall. Pete Buttigieg has no staffers on the ground, but his constituency director is Latino, and the campaign plans to hire a person dedicated to outreach to the Latino community.
2020  Latinx  vote 
june 2019
US 'now a full-fledged banana republic' after revelations over Mitch McConnell wife's $78m grants | The Independent
Donald Trump's transport secretary designated a special liaison to help with grant applications from her senator husband’s state, paving the way to fund projects worth $78m (£62m), it has been reported.

Elaine Chao personally asked a Department of Transportation aide to serve as an intermediary and advisor to Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and his Kentucky state officials, according to emails seen by Politico.

The projects funded – as Mr McConnell prepared to campaign for re-election – reportedly included road improvements in Republican political strongholds for which grant applications had previously been rejected.

Walter Shaub, a former director of the US Office of Government Ethics, described the arrangement as “the sort of thing that should lead to the impeachment" of an official.

“We are now a full-fledged banana republic,” the vocal Trump critic added.
Mitch_McConnell  Elaine_Chao  bribery  congress  corruption 
june 2019
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