Community Articles from 2016

Privatizing the Clearing of Homeless Encampments

Privatizing the Clearing of Homeless Encampments
by Ansel Herz
Posted May 12, 2016

privatizing destroying homeless peopleThe fast-growing, progressive city of Seattle is privatizing some of the work involved in evicting its many homeless people from unauthorized camping sites to a new company—a firm specially created to clear out the places where the homeless sleep.

The company is called Cascadia Cleaning and Removal, and its website advertises “Homeless Encampment Abatement and Removal” services. On a recent morning, I encountered two of their workers manning a trash bin next to a homeless encampment—where an elderly man was still sleeping—on a sidewalk beneath I-5, a few blocks away from City Hall. One worker told me they “toss everything” if no one is around to claim their belongings. He said they would come back again later because the camp was still occupied.

The city is paying the company $240 per hour for “encampment cleanup in designated locations as needed,” according to a copy of its contract, $80 per hour per worker in a three-person crew. More…

This company and its employees sell their souls for profit and money. Perhaps they should remember and internalize these words: “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Recognizing TRUTH…In 5 Steps

Recognizing TRUTH…In 5 Steps
By Lisa Young
Posted April 20, 2016

recognizing truthHow do you recognize and trust what is Truth? With so much conflicting information available to us on every imaginable topic, how do you discern what is Truth, what is fabricated, or just confused half truths?

Truth is actually an energy, a formula and a principle of Source. Before it is articulated into specific information or “fact”, it is an energy and a specific frequency. Because it is an energy, it can bypass the human mind and organically be registered by the body and spirit for confirmation. Many times we “feel” the Truth of something and cannot even explain it. We just “know” it is right. More…

A New Pact With The Planet

A New Pact With The Planet
by Vandana Shiva
Posted April 16, 2016

new pact with EarthHuman survival demands that we make a new pact with the Earth and between diverse peoples, based on a new vision of planetary citizenship. A pact based on reciprocity, caring and respect, on taking and giving back, on sharing the resources of the world equitably among all living species. It begins by seeing and cherishing the soil as a living entity, a Terra Viva, whose survival is essential to our own.

The future will be cultivated from the soil, and no longer from the skewed global market of fictitious finance, corporate personhood and consumerism. We need to move from this corporate-centred worldview to one centred on the Earth family. Wherever we are on this planet, the soil is our bedrock. The Earth is our home. We must reclaim it from corporate manipulation and greed, and care for it, together, in recognition of our common humanity and common responsibility. More…

Food Sovereignty and the Commons

Food Sovereignty and the Commons
by Adrianna Natsoulas
Posted April 14, 2016

food sovereigntyFood sovereignty is a holistic approach to a global need. The seven principles of food sovereignty are as follows: Food: A Basic Human Right, Agrarian Reform, Protecting Natural Resources, Reorganizing Food Trade, Ending the Globalization of Hunger, and Social Peace and Democratic Control. Farmers are at the heart of the dialogue to actualize food sovereignty, yet its essence is inclusive, bringing together many sectors of society to protect a common good.

The commons is also a holistic approach to actively ensure the health and well being for all that society shares. The commons approach is broader than food sovereignty by incorporating aspects of life that relate to the natural; social and institutional; political; and, intellectual and cultural. Food sovereignty covers those same themes, but within the umbrella of food. More…

A Model for Self-Governance

A Model for Self-Governance
by Cindy Kay
Posted April 10, 2016

self governanceThe most exciting thing about transitioning to a self-governing society is that we are limited only by our imagination. That said, we have to begin somewhere. And so I will make suggestions here with the understanding that they will likely serve mostly as launching pads for creativity.

Conventional wisdom says it is easier to begin anew than to retool a structure that is already in place. I would like to suggest a combination of “old” and “new.”

It is possible, even likely, that some will feel uncomfortable being part of a band or tribe at first. That’s okay. Everyone transitions at their own pace and is to be respected for where they are in the process. Those living in proximity who are building free energy devices, planting permaculture gardens, or developing healing modalities will likely spend time together, learning from each other and having fun. The others may eventually be attracted to the lifestyle and want to join in. More…

The Crisis in Education Is That the Super Wealthy Corporate Education System Wants to Destroy Public Schools

The Crisis in Education Is That the Super Wealthy Corporate Education System Wants to Destroy Public Schools
By Diane Ravitch
Posted April 8, 2016

wealthy want to own schoolsIt has become conventional wisdom that “education is in crisis.” I have been asked about this question by many interviewers. They say something like: “Do you think American education is in crisis? What is the cause of the crisis?” And I answer, “Yes, there is a crisis, but it is not the one you have read about. The crisis in education today is an existential threat to the survival of public education. The threat comes from those who unfairly blame the school for social conditions, and then create a false narrative of failure. The real threat is privatization and the loss of a fundamental democratic institution.”

As we have seen again and again, the corporate education industry is eager to break into U.S. public education and turn it into a free marketplace, where they can monetize the schools and be assured of government subsidization. On the whole, these privatized institutions do not produce higher test scores than regular public schools, except for those that cherry-pick their students and exclude the neediest and lowest performing students. More…

One man in Tennessee isn’t waiting for his corrupted officials—he built his own broadband network

One man in Tennessee isn’t waiting for his corrupted officials—he built his own broadband network
By Walter Einenkel
Posted April 6, 2016

broadband without big mediaJohn “Thunder” Thornton is a Chattanooga developer who needed broadband, high-speed internet access to his residential development in the Jasper Mountain area of Marion County. Chattanooga, Tennessee, had some great success bringing the fastest internet to its municipality by created its own broadband service.

They were subsequently sued by Comcast because Comcast is a monopoly and not unlike this guy, feels that squeezing out resources is best done for a profit and with no regard towards the betterment of humanity. They lost all of their lawsuits because all of their lawsuits were lies based in bigger lies, on top of a corporate lawyer sitting on Pinocchio’s nose.

Unfortunately, Comcast isn’t the only telecom with monopoly greeds needs and so AT&T launched their corporate hyena squad—and threw around some big money—at and into Chattanooga. Their claims also used the airtight logic of a madman living inside of a Terry Gilliam film. All of this leads us back to land developer John “Thunder” Thornton: More…

Flint’s decline, Grand Rapids’ success predicted in 70-year-old study

Flint’s decline, Grand Rapids’ success predicted in 70-year-old study
By Jim Harger
Posted April 5, 2016

Flint dependence on large employers was its downfallIn 1946, sociologist C. Wright Mills and economist Melville Ulmer concluded the fortunes of two of Michigan’s largest cities, Flint and Grand Rapids, were headed in opposite directions. Seventy years later, their predictions are getting new notice from academics.

The researchers warned Flint was overly dependent on its big employers even though its workers made 37 percent more than the national average at the time. The warning seemed out of place. By 1950, Flint was labeled “the happiest city in Michigan” and the “epicenter of the American Dream,” thanks to its thriving auto industry. More…

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