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ellenrr's Journal
ellenrr's Journal
May 31, 2015

Tom Hayden had stroke

5/27 - Famed 1960s activist Tom Hayden has suffered a stroke and has canceled his May 29 Jamaica Plain speaking appearance, according to event host Jamaica Plain Forum.

“Tom Hayden was hospitalized after he suffered a stroke last week and unfortunately he will not be able to travel to Boston for the event,” said Tracy Bindel of JP Forum in an email. “He’s doing well, but there are still a lot of unknowns. He’ll begin rehabilitation therapy immediately, and he and his family are hoping for a full recovery. Please send your thoughts and prayers to Tom and his family for a quick recovery.”

Hayden drew fame and notoriety as a founder of Students for a Democratic Society; a Vietnam War protester alongside his former wife, Jane Fonda; and a defendant acquitted of conspiracy to disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention in the infamous “Chicago Eight” trial. He later became a California state legislator and now heads the Peace & Justice Resource Center.

Hayden was slated to appear Friday at a JP Forum event to discuss his book “Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters.”

- See more at: http://jamaicaplaingazette.com/2015/05/27/famed-activist-hayden-suffers-stroke-cancels-jp-event/#sthash.IEW0BTrb.dpuf

May 29, 2015

Texas & Alaska Floods: El Nino & Hot Oceans Start a Year of Hellish Weather

The super El Nino is moving the global center of tropical convection towards the Americas. More moisture than normal is available to storms in the U.S. now, because of the excess vapor rising of the overheated waters. Strong trade winds in the tropical Atlantic have blown Atlantic moisture towards Texas where it converged with winds and moisture from the Pacific.

On the other side of the world, the monsoon in India is likely to be weak and delayed as they suffer from weak winds and overheated air.

A record breaking May heatwave has rapidly melted all the snow causing extreme flooding in northern Alaska and northwestern Canada.

The extraordinary Alaskan heat combined with heat in the Barents sea on the Atlantic side of the Arctic has driven Arctic sea ice extent (best measured by Japanese scientists) to record low levels for late May. (graph at site)


May 24, 2015

Rojave model: direct democracy, and denial of the nation state strucutre

Since the beginning of the Syrian war, people living in Syrian Kurdistan, not only the Kurdish majority but also Arabs and Christians and many other ethnicities and religious communities, have been desperately trying to survive the attacks not only of Assad’s regime forces but mainly at the hands of Daesh and other jihadists. At the same time, they have been trying to build a democratic administration and to institutionalize and further strengthen the dynamic of radical transformation in their society through the implementation of a hybrid model of socialism and direct democracy.

The Rojava model is based on two main pillars which may prove very efficient in the strengthening of democracy in the region. The first pillar is direct democracy as the basis of a communalist system in which citizens participate actively in decision-making and the management of the polis, from the neighborhood to the municipality and as far as the government. The second pillar, equally revolutionary, is the denial of the nation state structure and philosophy as such. In Rojava, many different religious and ethnic groups--Christians, Yezidis, Arabs, Turkmens, Chechens, Armenians--live together with the large Kurdish majority. By officially and insistently denying the nation state and by trying to create administrative structures that incorporate these different elements, the Rojava model gives to minorities a participatory role unprecedented in the Middle East – a role as equals in the management of the polis.


May 24, 2015

sHell No: Activists chain themselves to Arctic Challenger

Activists have chained themselves to the anchor chain of Shell's drilling support ship Arctic Challenger in Bellingham Bay, WA, in a protest to raise awareness of the serious impacts of Shell's proposed oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.


May 21, 2015

I am about to become a low-income organizer, on my own...

and I need support.
I need moral support, and I need to know about resources.
I have no organization, I just have myself and my righteous anger.
I am tired of being pushed around and taking it!

Are there any other low-income people on DU who are either organizing, or who are outraged?

What organizations do you know of that are raising hell for older, low-income folk?

I have for years been out in the streets for Black Lives, LBGTQ, low-wage retail workers, the Earth, the animals, and all of that was and is right for me to do. And I will continue to do it. One does not exclude the other.

But now I want to organize for low-income people, particularly, but not exclusively, elders.

I am really interested in hearing from low-income people, not from middle-class people with good intentions.
Are there any on here?

I don't know anyone like me. I know lots of middle-class people who are progressive. I know lots of poor people who complain a lot.
I'm not saying all poor people only complain; clearly a lot do a lot more. I just don't know any.


May 16, 2015

NYTimes public editor faults paper for failing to quote Jews who support BDS -

In recent days we have made a lot of the fact that the New York Times ran a front-page article equating the campus Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel with anti-Semitism. The piece completely left out the fact that many Jewish students support BDS (about one in five of activists Weiss has seen in his travels).

Well, Margaret Sullivan, the Times public editor, agrees. In a piece titled, “A Jewish Litmus Test Was Unacceptable,” she hammers on the fact that David McCleary, a University of California PhD candidate who is Jewish and supports BDS, was subjected to the third degree by a Times stringer because his name doesn’t sound Jewish and that neither he nor any

other Jewish student who supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was quoted or represented in the story.

Sullivan quotes David Nasaw, a professor at CUNY and biographer of Joseph Kennedy, complaining about the framing of the piece:

I am distressed about the lack of evidence in the piece to support the authors’ assertions about this deeply sensitive and volatile issue. Divestment is supported by a large group of individuals — some of them members of minority groups, and some Jews. (I, incidentally, do not support the movement). To make this into a “Minority vs. Jewish” question, without supplying evidence, is to distort the issue.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/editor-failing-support#sthash.D1HKLISE.dpuf
May 16, 2015

The Warren-Obama "slug-affair" about TPP

if you think that Barack Obama, one of the coolest cucumbers ever to occupy the White House, sat down for a scheduled interview in front of a professional softballer like ex-Times and current Yahoo pundit Matt Bai – a setup that's the presidential media equivalent of a spa treatment – and just suddenly "lost it" in a discussion about the TPP, you've been had.

Almost without a doubt, Obama's remarks were carefully scripted. And it's likely all of these "whispers" suddenly circulating on the Hill about a percolating genuine personal feud between Obama and Warren also came from a focus-group-aided strategy meeting somewhere.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-democratic-party-would-triangulate-its-own-mother-20150514#ixzz3aI4ApYpK
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

May 15, 2015

Bernie Sanders' Troubling History of Supporting US Military Violence Abroad

The attack on Kosovo is hardly the extent of Sanders' hawkishness. While it's true he voted against the Iraq War, he also voted in favor of authorizing funds for that war and the one in Afghanistan. More recently, he voted in favor of a $1 billion aid package for the coup government Ukraine and supported Israel's assault on Gaza. At a town hall meeting he admitted that Israel may have "overreacted", but blamed Hamas for the entire conflict. After a woman asked why he refused to condemn Israel's actions, he told critics: "Excuse me! Shut up! You don’t have the microphone.”


May 14, 2015

Amtrak Disaster: Lawmakers Moved To Delay Rail Safety Rule Weeks Before Philadelphia Derailment

David Sirota:
As investigators on Wednesday continued to sift through the wreckage of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia, seeking to understand how the cars derailed in an accident that took the lives of at least seven people, the cause of the tragedy remained undetermined. But a look at recent legislative history reveals that Congress, only weeks ago, moved to loosen a safety rule that was designed to prevent the sort of disaster that just unfolded. On Wednesday afternoon, a National Transportation Safety Board official said that had the PTC technology been installed on the track, the accident in Philadelphia "would not have occurred."

The Amtrak train that derailed was traveling near a notorious curve where cargo and commuter lines come together. The freight rail industry has for years lobbied to limit requirements that it add the safety gear to its tracks, complaining that the mandate was expensive and offered too short a time frame for implementation.


May 13, 2015

Wyoming just criminalized citizen science

...Photos are a type of data, and the new law makes it a crime to gather data about the condition of the environment across most of the state if you plan to share that data with the state or federal government. The reason? The state wants to conceal the fact that many of its streams are contaminated by E. coli bacteria, strains of which can cause serious health problems, even death.

A small organization called Western Watersheds Project (which I represent pro bono in an unrelated lawsuit) has found the bacteria in a number of streams crossing federal land in concentrations that violate water quality standards under the federal Clean Water Act. Rather than engaging in an honest public debate about the cause or extent of the problem, Wyoming prefers to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. And under the new law, the state threatens anyone who would challenge that belief by producing information to the contrary with a term in jail.


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