Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Jenny von Westphalen

Jenny von Westphalen's Journal
Jenny von Westphalen's Journal
September 30, 2022

Photos from Rikers Island show inmates covered in feces, locked in shower stalls turned caged cells


Rikers Island is out of control and New York City Mayor Eric Adams‘ actions suggest he would like it to remain that way.

Rikers is New York City’s infamous pre-trial detention center where Black and brown New Yorkers have been terrorized since 1932. A lesser-known fact is that the people held there have not been convicted of a crime, they many times simply do not have the money to purchase their freedom and fight their case from the outside.

New York City is one of the largest and most diverse cities in the world. There are almost 9 million people crammed into this little city, over 41% of whom are white. Yet over 90% of the people held at Rikers are Black or brown.

In 2019, the Campaign to Close Rikers emerged and advocates introduced a plan to shut it by reducing the jail’s population to 3,300 and closing the additional run-down city jails committing the same abuses against the people within it. A third measure would divert the $1.8 billion that would be saved annually by lowering the population to 3,300 into housing, healthcare, education, economic development and youth services in poor communities.

Adams promised that if elected, he would support former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to close the jail altogether and to create “systemic change.” Adams has now expressed skepticism about the plan to close Rikers by 2027.

September 30, 2022

Lenin on the New York Public Library in 1913

There are quite a number of rotten prejudices current in the Western countries of which Holy Mother Russia is free. They assume there, for instance, that huge public libraries containing hundreds of thousands and millions of volumes, should certainly not be reserved only for the handful of scholars or would-be scholars that uses them. Over there they have set themselves the strange, incomprehensible and barbaric aim of making these gigantic, boundless libraries available, not to a guild of scholars, professors and other such specialists, but to the masses, to the crowd, to the mob!

What a desecration of the libraries! What an absence of the “law and order” we are so justly proud of. Instead of regulations, discussed and elaborated by a dozen committees of civil servants inventing hundreds of formalities and obstacles to the use of books, they see to it that even children can make use of the rich collections; that readers can read publicly-owned books at home; they regard as the pride and glory of a public library, not the number of rarities it contains, the number of sixteenth-century editions or tenth-century manuscripts, but the extent to which books are distributed among the people, the number of new readers enrolled, the speed with which the demand for any book is met, the number of books issued to be read at home, the number of children attracted to reading and to the use of the library.... These queer prejudices are widespread in the Western states, and we must be glad that those who keep watch and ward over us protect us with care and circumspection from the influence of these prejudices, protect our rich public libraries from the mob, from the hoi polloi!

I have before me the report of the New York Public Library for 1911.

That year the Public Library in New York was moved from two old buildings to new premises erected by the city. The total number of books is now about two million. It so happened that the first book asked for when the reading-room opened its doors was in Russian. It was a work by N. Grot, The Moral Ideals of Our Times. The request for the book was handed in at eight minutes past nine in the morning. The book was delivered to the reader at nine fifteen.

In the course of the year the library was visited by 1,658,376 people. There were 246,950 readers using the reading-room and they took out 911,891 books.

This, however, is only a small part of the book circulation effected by the library. Only a few people can visit the library. The rational organisation of educational work is measured by the number of books issued to be read at home, by the conveniences available to the majority of the population.

In three boroughs of New York—Manhatten, Bronx and Richmond—the New York Public Library has forty-two branches and will soon have a forty-third (the total population of the three boroughs is almost three million). The aim that is constantly pursued is to have a branch of the Public Library within three-quarters of a verst, i.e., within ten minutes’ walk of the house of every inhabitant, the branch library being the centre of all kinds of institutions and establishments for public education.

Almost eight million (7,914,882 volumes) were issued to readers at home, 400,000 more than in 1910. To each hundred members of the population of all ages and both sexes, 267 books were issued for reading at home in the course of the year.

Each of the forty-two branch libraries not only provides for the use of reference books in the building and the issue of books to be read at home, it is also a place for evening lectures, for public meetings and for rational entertainment.

The New York Public Library contains about 15,000 books in oriental languages, about 20,000 in Yiddish and about 16,000 in the Slav languages. In the main reading-room there are about 20,000 books standing on open shelves for general use.

The New York Public Library has opened a special, central, reading-room for children, and similar institutions are gradually being opened at all branches. The librarians do everything for the children’s convenience and answer their questions. The number of books children took out to read at home was 2,859,888, slightly under three million (more than a third of the total). The number of children visiting the reading-room was 1,120,915.

As far as losses are concerned—the New York Public Library assesses the number of books lost at 70–80–90 per 100,000 issued to be read at home.

Such is the way things are done in New York. And in Russia?

Published in the Rabochaya Pravda No. 5, July 18, 1913

Well, nowadays you probably don't need a violent revolution and civil war to have public libraries, although they are getting privatized by some governments now. Still, amusing to read.
September 29, 2022

This website makes me download an empty HTML file

Happened once before but never caught the filename before deleting. This time it was "f2s7FNx4". Any explanation?

September 29, 2022

Blood Orange

Purchase info for his albums: https://bloodorange.dominomart.com/
September 27, 2022

Republican ex-congressman suggests colleagues 'had serious cognitive issues'

The Republican congressmen Louis Gohmert and Paul Gosar adopted such extreme, conspiracy-tinged positions, even before the US Capitol attack, that a fellow member of the rightwing Freedom Caucus thought they “may have had serious cognitive issues”.

Denver Riggleman, once a US representative from Virginia, reports his impression of his former colleagues from Texas and Arizona in a new book.

The Breach: The Untold Story of the Investigation into January 6th is published in the US on Tuesday. The Guardian obtained an early copy.

Riggleman is a former US air force intelligence officer who lost his seat in Congress after he officiated a same-sex marriage. In his book, he describes fallout beyond his primary defeat, including someone tampering with the wheels of his truck, endangering the life of his daughter.

September 26, 2022

Sen. Sinema defends bipartisanship at McConnell Center

Source: Associated Press

Sinema plays an outsized role in defining what’s possible in Congress. One of two moderate Democrats in the 50-50 Senate, her willingness to buck the rest of her party has limited the ambitions of President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

She is a staunch defender of the filibuster, a Senate rule effectively requiring 60 votes to pass most legislation in the 100-member body. Many Democrats, including Biden, say the filibuster leads to gridlock by giving a minority of lawmakers the ability to veto.

She said the filibuster should be restored for areas where it’s been eliminated, such as judicial confirmations.

“Those of you who are parents in the room know, the best thing you can do for your child is not give them everything they want,” Sinema said. “And that’s important to the United States Senate as well. We shouldn’t get everything we want in the moment. Because later, upon cooler reflection, you recognize that has probably gone too far.”

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/arizona-kentucky-mitch-mcconnell-kyrsten-sinema-5ad2752a337b3586b1638277750e79f8

September 26, 2022

Jake Sullivan: US will act 'decisively' if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine

America and its allies will act “decisively” if Russia uses a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday, reaffirming the Joe Biden White House’s previous response to mounting concerns that Vladimir Putin’s threats are in increased danger of being realized.

“We have communicated directly, privately and at very high levels to the Kremlin that any use of nuclear weapons will be met with catastrophic consequences for Russia, that the US and our allies will respond decisively, and we have been clear and specific about what that will entail,” Sullivan told CBS’s Face The Nation.

Sullivan said that the Russian leader Putin had been “waving around the nuclear card at various points through this conflict”, and it was a matter that Biden’s administration has “to take deadly seriously because it is a matter of paramount seriousness – the possible use of nuclear weapons for the first time since the second world war”.

In a separate interview with CBS, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he was not certain that Putin was bluffing with nuclear threats. “Maybe yesterday it was bluff. Now, it could be a reality,” he said. “He wants to scare the whole world.”


Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Current location: Canada
Member since: Sat Sep 24, 2022, 04:15 PM
Number of posts: 89
Latest Discussions»Jenny von Westphalen's Journal