Thursday, October 10, 2019

Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison, Jeremy Hammond Uses Allocution to Give Consequential Statement Highlighting Global Criminal Exploits by FBI Handlers


[NEW YORK, NY] Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old political activist, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). The Ceremonial Courtroom at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York was filled today with an outpouring of support by journalists, activists and other whistleblowers who see Jeremy Hammond’s actions as a form of civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.jeremy hammond by molly crabapple



Jeremy Hammond, by Molly CrabappleThe hearing opened with arguments as to what sections of the court record will remain redacted after sentencing. While Jeremy’s attorneys initially erred on the side of caution in previous memorandums and kept large pieces of the record redacted, both the defense and prosecution agreed this morning that many of the sections should now be made available for public view. The prosecution, however took stiff exception to portions of the court record being made public that indicate victims, specifically foreign governments, that Jeremy allegedly hacked under the direction of Hector “Sabu” Monsegur, the FBI informant at the helm of Jeremy’s alleged actions. Judge Preska ordered that the names of these foreign governments remain sealed.Jeremy’s lead counsel, Sarah Kunstler, who is 9 months pregnant and due to give birth today, delivered a passionate testimonial as to the person that Jeremy is, and the need for people like Jeremy during our changing socio-political landscape. She was followed by co-counsel, Susan Keller, who wept as she recalled her experiences reading the hundreds of letters from supporters to the court detailing the Jeremy Hammond’s selflessness and enthusiastic volunteerism. She pointed out that it was this same selflessness that motivated Jeremy’s actions in this case. She closed her testimony by underscoring that, “The centerpiece of our argument is a young man with high hopes and unbelievably laudable expectations in this world.”Susan was followed by Jeremy Hammond himself, who gave a detailed, touching and consequential allocution to the court. The following is Jeremy’s statement to the court. We have redacted a portion [marked in red] upon the orders of Judge Preska. While we believe the public has a right to know the redacted information therein, we refuse to publish information that could adversely effect Jeremy or his counsel.JEREMY’ HAMMOND SENTENCING STATEMENT | 11/15/2013



Good morning. Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Jeremy Hammond and I’m here to be sentenced for hacking activities carried out during my involvement with Anonymous. I have been locked up at MCC for the past 20 months and have had a lot of time to think about how I would explain my actions.Before I begin, I want to take a moment to recognize the work of the people who have supported me. I want to thank all the lawyers and others who worked on my case: Elizabeth Fink, Susan Kellman, Sarah Kunstler, Emily Kunstler, Margaret Kunstler, and Grainne O’Neill. I also want to thank the National Lawyers Guild, the Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee and Support Network, Free Anons, the Anonymous Solidarity Network, Anarchist Black Cross, and all others who have helped me by writing a letter of support, sending me letters, attending my court dates, and spreading the word about my case. I also want to shout out my brothers and sisters behind bars and those who are still out there fighting the power.The acts of civil disobedience and direct action that I am being sentenced for today are in line with the principles of community and equality that have guided my life. I hacked into dozens of high profile corporations and government institutions, understanding very clearly that what I was doing was against the law, and that my actions could land me back in federal prison. But I felt that I had an obligation to use my skills to expose and confront injustice—and to bring the truth to light.Could I have achieved the same goals through legal means? I have tried everything from voting petitions to peaceful protest and have found that those in power do not want the truth to be exposed. When we speak truth to power we are ignored at best and brutally suppressed at worst. We are confronting a power structure that does not respect its own system of checks and balances, never mind the rights of it’s own citizens or the international community.My introduction to politics was when George W. Bush stole the Presidential election in 2000, then took advantage of the waves of racism and patriotism after 9/11 to launch unprovoked imperialist wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. I took to the streets in protest naively believing our voices would be heard in Washington and we could stop the war. Instead, we were labeled as traitors, beaten, and arrested.I have been arrested for numerous acts of civil disobedience on the streets of Chicago, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I used my computer skills to break the law in political protest. I was arrested by the FBI for hacking into the computer systems of a right-wing, pro-war group called Protest Warrior, an organization that sold racist t-shirts on their website and harassed anti-war groups. I was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the “intended loss” in my case was arbitrarily calculated by multiplying the 5000 credit cards in Protest Warrior’s database by $500, resulting in a total of $2.5 million.My sentencing guidelines were calculated on the basis of this “loss,” even though not a single credit card was used or distributed – by me or anyone else. I was sentenced to two years in prison.While in prison I have seen for myself the ugly reality of how the criminal justice system destroys the lives of the millions of people held captive behind bars. The experience solidified my opposition to repressive forms of power and the importance of standing up for what you believe.When I was released, I was eager to continue my involvement in struggles for social change. I didn’t want to go back to prison, so I focused on above-ground community organizing. But over time, I became frustrated with the limitations, of peaceful protest, seeing it as reformist and ineffective. The Obama administration continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, escalated the use of drones, and failed to close Guantanamo Bay.Around this time, I was following the work of groups like Wikileaks and Anonymous. It was very inspiring to see the ideas of hactivism coming to fruition. I was particularly moved by the heroic actions of Chelsea Manning, who had exposed the atrocities committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. She took an enormous personal risk to leak this information – believing that the public had a right to know and hoping that her disclosures would be a positive step to end these abuses. It is heart-wrenching to hear about her cruel treatment in military lockup.I thought long and hard about choosing this path again. I had to ask myself, if Chelsea Manning fell into the abysmal nightmare of prison fighting for the truth, could I in good conscience do any less, if I was able? I thought the best way to demonstrate solidarity was to continue the work of exposing and confronting corruption.I was drawn to Anonymous because I believe in autonomous, decentralized direct action. At the time Anonymous was involved in operations in support of the Arab Spring uprisings, against censorship, and in defense of Wikileaks. I had a lot to contribute, including technical skills, and how to better articulate ideas and goals. It was an exciting time – the birth of a digital dissent movement, where the definitions and capabilities of hacktivism were being shaped.I was especially interested in the work of the hackers of LulzSec who were breaking into some significant targets and becoming increasingly political. Around this time, I first started talking to Sabu, who was very open about the hacks he supposedly committed, and was encouraging hackers to unite and attack major government and corporate systems under the banner of Anti Security. But very early in my involvement, the other Lulzsec hackers were arrested, leaving me to break into systems and write press releases. Later, I would learn that Sabu had been the first one arrested, and that the entire time I was talking to him he was an FBI informant.Anonymous was also involved in the early stages of Occupy Wall Street. I was regularly participating on the streets as part of Occupy Chicago and was very excited to see a worldwide mass movement against the injustices of capitalism and racism. In several short months, the “Occupations” came to an end, closed by police crackdowns and mass arrests of protestors who were kicked out of their own public parks. The repression of Anonymous and the Occupy Movement set the tone for Antisec in the following months – the majority of our hacks against police targets were in retaliation for the arrests of our comrades.I targeted law enforcement systems because of the racism and inequality with which the criminal law is enforced. I targeted the manufacturers and distributors of military and police equipment who profit from weaponry used to advance U.S. political and economic interests abroad and to repress people at home. I targeted information security firms because they work in secret to protect government and corporate interests at the expense of individual rights, undermining and discrediting activists, journalists and other truth seekers, and spreading disinformation.I had never even heard of Stratfor until Sabu brought it to my attention. Sabu was encouraging people to invade systems, and helping to strategize and facilitate attacks. He even provided me with vulnerabilities of targets passed on by other hackers, so it came as a great surprise when I learned that Sabu had been working with the FBI the entire time.On December 4, 2011, Sabu was approached by another hacker who had already broken into Stratfor’s credit card database. Sabu, under the watchful eye of his government handlers, then brought the hack to Antisec by inviting this hacker to our private chatroom, where he supplied download links to the full credit card database as well as the initial vulnerability access point to Stratfor’s systems.I spent some time researching Stratfor and reviewing the information we were given, and decided that their activities and client base made them a deserving target. I did find it ironic that Stratfor’s wealthy and powerful customer base had their credit cards used to donate to humanitarian organizations, but my main role in the attack was to retrieve Stratfor’s private email spools which is where all the dirty secrets are typically found.It took me more than a week to gain further access into Stratfor’s internal systems, but I eventually broke into their mail server. There was so much information, we needed several servers of our own in order to transfer the emails. Sabu, who was involved with the operation at every step, offered a server, which was provided and monitored by the FBI. Over the next weeks, the emails were transferred, the credit cards were used for donations, and Stratfor’s systems were defaced and destroyed. Why the FBI would introduce us to the hacker who found the initial vulnerability and allow this hack to continue remains a mystery.As a result of the Stratfor hack, some of the dangers of the unregulated private intelligence industry are now known. It has been revealed through Wikileaks and other journalists around the world that Stratfor maintained a worldwide network of informants that they used to engage in intrusive and possibly illegal surveillance activities on behalf of large multinational corporations.After Stratfor, I continued to break into other targets, using a powerful “zero day exploit” allowing me administrator access to systems running the popular Plesk webhosting platform. Sabu asked me many times for access to this exploit, which I refused to give him. Without his own independent access, Sabu continued to supply me with lists of vulnerable targets. I broke into numerous websites he supplied, uploaded the stolen email accounts and databases onto Sabu’s FBI server, and handed over passwords and backdoors that enabled Sabu (and, by extension, his FBI handlers) to control these targets.These intrusions, all of which were suggested by Sabu while cooperating with the FBI, affected thousands of domain names and consisted largely of foreign government websites, including those of XXXXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXXX, XXXXXX, XXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXXXXXX and the XXXXXX XXXXXXX. In one instance, Sabu and I provided access information to hackers who went on to deface and destroy many government websites in XXXXXX. I don’t know how other information I provided to him may have been used, but I think the government’s collection and use of this data needs to be investigated.jeremy hammond hearing
Sketch from inside Judge Preska’s courtroom by Molly Crabapple


The government celebrates my conviction and imprisonment, hoping that it will close the door on the full story. I took responsibility for my actions, by pleading guilty, but when will the government be made to answer for its crimes?The U.S. hypes the threat of hackers in order to justify the multi billion dollar cyber security industrial complex, but it is also responsible for the same conduct it aggressively prosecutes and claims to work to prevent. The hypocrisy of “law and order” and the injustices caused by capitalism cannot be cured by institutional reform but through civil disobedience and direct action. Yes I broke the law, but I believe that sometimes laws must be broken in order to make room for change.In the immortal word of Frederick Douglas, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”This is not to say that I do not have any regrets. I realize that I released the personal information of innocent people who had nothing to do with the operations of the institutions I targeted. I apologize for the release of data that was harmful to individuals and irrelevant to my goals. I believe in the individual right to privacy – from government surveillance, and from actors like myself, and I appreciate the irony of my own involvement in the trampling of these rights. I am committed to working to make this world a better place for all of us. I still believe in the importance of hactivism as a form of civil disobedience, but it is time for me to move on to other ways of seeking change. My time in prison has taken a toll on my family, friends, and community. I know I am needed at home. I recognize that 7 years ago I stood before a different federal judge, facing similar charges, but this does not lessen the sincerity of what I say to you today.It has taken a lot for me to write this, to explain my actions, knowing that doing so — honestly — could cost me more years of my life in prison. I am aware that I could get as many as 10 years, but I hope that I do not, as I believe there is so much work to be done.STAY STRONG AND KEEP STRUGGLING!To schedule interviews with Jeremy Hammond’s attorneys and supporters following today’s sentencing please contact Andy Stepanian, 631.291.3010, andy@sparrowmedia.net.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Kudos for Tony Tekaroniake Evans's public presentation at the Community Library

Verily, a dream project come true

I am impressed and find it refreshing to see this long and multi-faceted effort by Tony, Mike Healy and others, reach fruition in several areas. The detailed way in which these authors have passionately documented local Indigenous History and distilled it here with clarity so well is a crowning achievement and excellence at its best. Some cultures might even call it a gift of "Owl medicine." 
 
 
Some highlights I especially enjoyed are: Mohawk Social Dance; The Rabbit Dance 04:07

Brief explanation and etymology of Tony's Mohawk name Two Skies: 05:12

Interview quote from Pulitzer winner Elizabeth Fen: "Native History IS American History, there is no separation between the two." 06:43

In 1970, the likeable Georgian 3rd grade teacher, while studying "The First Thanksgiving teaching what she had been taught, telling Tony there were no more Indians, while studying "The First Thanksgiving." 08:09

Kids Love Indians!: 10:01

Major resolution of a 3rd Grade Indian- teaching oversight, with School District purchasing book copies.: 12:45

Tewa: 14:00

Mini Pow Wow in Sun Valley: 15:00

Friendship & Education Big Al Ross: Scottish Schoolteacher turned Fur Trapper discovers a arrow-wounded grouse just over Galena Summit. 17:35

A highly questionable "Doctrine of Discovery." Sheepeater Indians: https://history.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/0024.pdf "Archeologists missed a lot." -will elaborate later...

Indian maps and trails: 23:00

Spellbinding Redfish Overhang experience with guardians (near lake outflow): 24:02

Serious troubles on the Camas Prarie. Need to roast the very nutritious camas bulbs properly. Provisions here were promised. Promise broken. American Army had little tolerance, bloody conflict ensued. Cover of Owyhee Avalanche newspaper advertised $5 for child Indian scalp. 34:00

Hailey's Hop Porter Park was an Indian camp and trade center. 36:00

Powerful Buffalo hunting bows were crafted by Indians from Bighorn Sheep horns. 38:08


Some forbidding assimilation policies: 40:32


Even Medicine Men were jailed for practicing their sacred healing ceremonies: 42:00

Wagon Days Pow Wow with Fort Hall Ghost Drum Group playing and singing and Tee-Pee raising. 43:30

Some things archeologists missed: Elkhorn "tool making site" was actually a strategic lookout for hunting animals. That's why there's a 7,000 years layering of piles of chips. A small fine perfect arrowhead masterfully crafted, becomes a holy grail, valuable enough to become currency. : 44:22

More comprehensive signage honoring Indigenous History highlights, which have been much obscured until now, would complement Idaho's already popular and successful Statewide Roadside Historical Signage program. Remember: Kids love Indians! 45:25

Only seven thousand people (?) still speak the native Bannock language. Modern linguists have developed 'Rosetta Stone' tools to assist in easier learning of the now much obscure Bannock language. 48:38

Ketchum's Museum features a broad array of Indigenous artifacts: 49:00

Russ Fields an early 1900's Fairfield homesteader, would see Indians come through on horse-drawn wagons during Camas root harvest season. He finally made an effort to meet many of these Indians, who were abiding by their (broken, by being cheated) treaty, harvesting camas lily bulbs. 49:40 
 Story goes into more depth...

Tony broke the story of the new friendship between Lionel and Curly, the friendship which led to Camas Lily Days and much more, indeed much of what's here in this video.

A Cornell Hall of Fame Track Star, slowing down for a second for a nice snapshot. 56:40

Revising history more accurately in the Stanley Basin, e.g. perhaps explaining better or elaborating more of why "Roving Indians," reminded me of something that happened to us when Boise Professor Tom Trusky as part of his "Statewide Movie Signage Proposal" suggested a legend for a small tribute to Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider film. Tom, Brad N. and I came up with a suggestion for the legend, which included the words: "With a theme as timeless as the Boulder Mountains, a nameless preacher protects a poor prospecting town from a gang of ruffians, send by a greedy mining corporation to intrude on their claim." The State liked our proposal, but took out the wood 'greedy' and instead of posting a full tribute the film (remember the SNRA cell tower controversy) near the Boulders, posted a smaller mention on the Wood River Mines sign north of Bellevue. Anyone interested in this type of stuff would likely enjoy reading Dr. James W. Loewen's book "Lies Across America.' When reading this be sure to check out the chapter about Almo, Idaho, near City of the Rocks. Dr. Loewen rates the lies there about the made up Indian raid that never happened as second place in his eye-opening book of signage lies. -J.B.

Indian Presentation

I am impressed and find it refreshing to see this long and multi-faceted effort by Tony, Mike Healy and others, reach fruition in several areas. The detailed way in which these authors have passionately documented local Indigenous History and distilled it here with clarity so well is a crowning achievement and excellence at its best. Some cultures might even call it a gift of "Owl medicine." Some highlights I especially enjoyed are: Mohawk Social Dance; The Rabbit Dance 04:07 Brief explanation and etymology of Tony's Mohawk name Two Skies: 05:12 Interview quote from Pulitzer winner Elizabeth Fen: "Native History IS American History, there is no separation between the two." 06:43 In 1970, the likeable Georgian 3rd grade teacher, while studying "The First Thanksgiving teaching what she had been taught, telling Tony there were no more Indians, while studying "The First Thanksgiving." 08:09 Kids Love Indians!: 10:01 Major resolution of a 3rd Grade Indian- teaching oversight, with School District purchasing book copies.: 12:45 Tewa: 14:00 Mini Pow Wow in Sun Valley: 15:00 Friendship & Education Big Al Ross: Scottish Schoolteacher turned Fur Trapper discovers a arrow-wounded grouse just over Galena Summit. 17:35 A highly questionable "Doctrine of Discovery." Sheepeater Indians: https://history.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/0024.pdf "Archeologists missed a lot." -will elaborate later... Indian maps and trails: 23:00 Spellbinding Redfish Overhang experience with guardians (near lake outflow): 24:02 Troubles on the Camas Prarie. Need to roast the very nutritious camas bulbs properly. Provisions here were promised. Promise broken. American Army had little tolerance, bloody conflict ensued. Cover of Owyhee Avalanche newspaper advertised $5 for child Indian scalp. 34:00 Hailey's Hop Porter Park was an Indian camp and trade center. 36:00 Powerful Buffalo hunting bows were crafted by Indians from Bighorn Sheep horns. 38:08 Some forbidding assimilation policies: 40:32 Even Medicine Men were jailed for practicing their sacred healing ceremonies: 42:00 Wagon Days Pow Wow with Fort Hall Ghost Drum Group playing and singing and Tee-Pee raising. 43:30 Some things archeologists missed: Elkhorn "tool making site" was actually a strategic lookout for hunting animals. That's why there's a 7,000 years layering of piles of chips. A small fine perfect arrowhead masterfully crafted, becomes a holy grail, valuable enough to become currency. : 44:22 More comprehensive signage honoring Indigenous History highlights, which have been much obscured until now, would complement Idaho's already popular and successful Statewide Roadside Historical Signage program. Remember: Kids love Indians! 45:25 Only seven thousand people (?) still speak the native Bannock language. Modern linguists have developed 'Rosetta Stone' tools to assist in easier learning of the now much obscure Bannock language. 48:38 Ketchum's Museum features a broad display of Indigenous artifacts: 49:00 Russ Fields an early 1900's Fairfield homesteader, would see Indians come through on horse-drawn wagons during Camas root harvest season. He finally made an effort to meet many of these Indians, who were abiding by their (broken, by being cheated) treaty, harvesting camas lily bulbs. 49:40 Story goes into more depth... Tony broke the story of the new friendship between Lionel and Curly, the friendship which led to Camas Lily Days and much more, indeed much of what's here in this video. A Cornell Hall of Fame Track Star, slowing down for a second for a nice snapshot. 56:40 Revising history more accurately in the Stanley Basin, e.g. perhaps explaining better or elaborating more of why "Roving Indians," reminded me of something that happened to us when Boise Professor Tom Trusky as part of his "Statewide Movie Signage Proposal" suggested a legend for a small tribute to Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider film. Tom, Brad N. and I came up with a suggestion for the legend, which included the words: "With a theme as timeless as the Boulder Mountains, a nameless preacher protects a poor prospecting town from a gang of ruffians, send by a greedy mining corporation to intrude on their claim." The State liked our proposal, but took out the wood 'greedy' and instead of posting a full tribute the film (remember the SNRA cell tower controversy) near the Boulders, posted a smaller mention on the Wood River Mines sign north of Bellevue. Anyone interested in this type of stuff would likely enjoy reading Dr. James W. Loewen's book "Lies Across America.' When reading this be sure to check out the chapter about Almo, Idaho, near City of the Rocks. Dr. Loewen rates the lies there about the made up Indian raid that never happened as second place in his eye-opening book of signage lies. -J.B.

Rent from Rigorious Intuition - Sixth comment thread


Re: Rent

Postby stickdog99 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:39 pm
Think how far we have come: from Shirtwaist factory at minimum wage all the way to Shirtwaist dormitory at maximum rent.
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Re: Rent

Postby Cordelia » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:44 am
Protests in Toronto making news in Washington (where the blatant disregard over disparity between extremes in wealth and poverty is never visible :roll: ).

Fine dining ‘with a view’ experience protested for being within view of homeless encampment

by John Gage

April 08, 2019

An anti-poverty group is staging protests against Toronto’s fine diners at the new pop-up restaurant experience Dinner With A View, which allows its guests to enjoy a luxury three-course meal while seated in a transparent dome with a 360-degree view.
The dining room is within sight of a homeless encampment.

“Toronto, like most cities, is in the midst of a housing crisis,” an organizer Yogi Acharya told the Washington Post. “There are people who are homeless who have nowhere else to go but under a highway. The brazenness of putting on meals like that not far from where people were hungry and cold all winter was jarring, and we believed it demanded a protest.”

The group, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty has labeled the restaurant “Dinner With A View — of the Rich.”

“Homes Not Domes” and “Evict the Rich,” are just a few of the signs held by protesters angry that this fine dining experience would be placed under an overpass that the homeless, just a mile away, had been evicted from recently.

The luxury dome experience costs a minimum of $550, Canadian, for a group of four people to enjoy a menu of Italian, French, and Mexican-inspired food.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news ... encampment


Image

From the restaurant's website:

A completely luxurious dining experience in a highly unexpected setting. The adventure begins as guests are ushered into a unique outdoor space - a wondrous environment perfect for sharing via social.

Our domes are transformed into terrariums with distinct terrains. A terrarium is an elegant encapsulation of an ecosystem; a living biosphere captured in time. Here, we bring that notion to life inside our domes, each corresponding to a different region of the earth’s terroir: tundra, tropical, grasslands, arid and boreal forest. These extraordinary spaces are designed using resplendent materials such as live flora, luxurious textiles and elegant illumination.

The dining experience is anchored by the Chef’s savoir-faire, and the landscape from which our food is grown. For example, from award-winning René Rodriguez’ Mexican heritage to his exploration of French and Italian cuisine, the chef’s menu is truly embodiment of regional diversity.

The ingredients have been locally sourced by Chef Rodriguez, who designed and prepares a delicious 3-course blind menu, including meat, fish and vegan options.

Artistic spectaculars will frame the stage which will offer opportunities to capture that perfect photograph against an iconic urban background.”

https://www.dinnerwithaview.ca/en/about



'Dinner With A View' guests can join celebrity chef René Rodriguez in rubbing salt into the wounds of hunger and homelessness...

ImageImage





...in the other domes with their 'iconic urban background'.

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The greatest sin is to be unconscious. ~ Carl Jung

We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content. ~ Dag Hammarskjold 'Waymarks'
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Re: Rent

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:57 am
I'm halfway convinced the design of those dining domes was intentional. Sort of a sick joke that even the patrons don't get. Maybe a little disdain for the uppity eaters. I can't quite wrap my head around it, if instead, it's upscale role playing of the worst kind in such a blatant display. Perhaps it's a bit of both.
Don't believe anything they say.
And at the same time,
Don't believe that they say anything without a reason.
---Immanuel Kant
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Re: Rent

Postby Cordelia » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:36 pm
^^^I agree, and if their patrons didn't get it earlier, they do now (as they get a police escort to dine in their symbolic domes).

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Dinner With A View: Toronto's middle finger to the poor

Anger and contempt: protest of chi-chi dining pop-up under the Gardiner exposes the ever-widening fault line between haves and have-nots


by Peter Biesterfeld

April 10, 2019

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Most of the 300 or so people who showed up to protest the swishy Dinner With A View dining pop-up under the Gardiner on April 5 are long gone. But the angry sound from the drums of Rhythms of Resistance, the samba-inspired collective that plays for social justice, continue to resound in the night, ricocheting off the concrete pillars soaring over the Bentway.

The popular event space that operates as an independent charity leased space to the Amex-sponsored dinner promoted as a “completely luxurious dining experience – in a unique outdoor space,” with locally sourced cuisine “designed” by Top Chef Canada winner Chef René Rodriguez.

But the “part pop-up restaurant, part outdoor oasis” offering up $100-a-plate dinners inside heated geodesic domes (reserved for an additional $149 and a short distance from where a tent city of homeless people was evicted last month) only serves to expose the widening fault line between haves and have-nots in the city.

The domes, each an illuminated “living biosphere,” sit like intergalactic pods waiting for lift-off behind a steel security fence lined with a black curtain for privacy. Swaths of the curtain come down when people gathering for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s (OCAP) protest, called Dining With A View – Of The Rich, begin rocking the fence to reveal the diners in their bubbles.

The sarcastic outburst of applause from demonstrators that follows is met with equally contemptuous clinking of the wineglasses of a few of the diners who toast the protestors.

“I’m repulsed that somehow we are not all offended and enraged,” says Sarah Shartal, a lawyer who works with people who are marginally housed.

“It tells us something about the state of our city, who feels welcome, who feels safe, who has power and in this case, who profits,” says Ryan Hayes, a researcher with Workers United Canada and one of the featured speakers at the protest.

“Dining in a bubble for people who live in a bubble,” offers another demonstrator.

But in the battle of sound systems, dinner music for patrons in their domes is overpowered by OCAP’s speakers booming out Phil Ochs’s 1966 anthem, Ringing Of Revolution: “And the merchants of style, with their red velvet smiles….”

Meanwhile, at the busy Strachan Avenue entrance to the domes, police are escorting patrons past protestors who are banging pans and shouting “Shame on you!” Placards that read “Your privilege is showing” and “You’re being pretty shitty” are hoisted above the crowd. Safely inside, one of the patrons turns to face protestors and holds up both middle fingers.

OCAP organizer Gáetan Héroux says the decision to protest the event reflects a deep-seated anger over growing inequalities in our city. Says Héroux, “Like hell you’re going to flaunt your wealth in front of us while we suffer.”

On the grassy knoll overlooking the domed encampment, James Cushing, a retired union activist with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union joins the crowd in giving a collective middle finger to those in the domes below.

“It’s pretty disgusting that this takes priority for the city over homelessness,” he says. “That upsets the hell out of me.” On this side of the fence, volunteers are serving up their own dinner – samosas, roasted vegetables, cold-cut sandwiches and chocolate cake – to a long lineup of supporters.

Zoë Dodd, an organizer with the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society (TOPS), delivers the most poignant speech of the night.

TOPS, a collective of volunteers who opened the first overdose prevention site 18 months ago in response to the opioid crisis – saving hundreds of lives – now finds itself fighting the Ford government, which wants to shut them down.

“We cannot just be on our Facebook pages and on social media or be at rallies,” Dodd says. “We need to be seriously organizing because our earth is fucking dying, and people are living in arenas."

She nods in the direction of the Fort York Armoury nearby where the city temporarily warehouses homeless people during extreme cold weather alerts. “We can’t pay our rent and our province is being destroyed by cuts. And fuck the audacity of these motherfuckers eating here in their domes. I hope they’re uncomfortable.”


MORE: https://nowtoronto.com/news/dinner-with-a-view-protest/


The outrage expressed by Toronto's homeless advocates needs to spread far and wide.

(I wasn't familiar w/the concept of 'Pop-up' restaurants until now. Previously the 'Dining w/a View' website showed more urban locations--including several in the U.S--for upcoming dates, but they've since been scrubbed from their site. Does that mean they're abandoning their dome project and will re-group in a different style of bubble, or that these will pop back up again when the pressure dies down? :shrug: )

The Basics of Pop-Up Restaurants

Originally started as supper clubs back in the 1960s, pop-up restaurants have seen a resurgence. Just as their name implies, pop-ups often occur in unexpected places, for a limited time.

Many chefs open a pop-up restaurant as a way to showcase their talents to a wider audience, perhaps drawing in investors for a restaurant in the future. Other pop-ups are a test run by would-be restaurateurs who are thinking of opening their own restaurant. Pop-ups are also used by community groups as fundraisers. Some pop-up proprietors seek to offer high-quality food at more affordable prices, allowing more people access to gourmet dining.

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/pop-up-re ... ts-2888299
The greatest sin is to be unconscious. ~ Carl Jung

We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content. ~ Dag Hammarskjold 'Waymarks'
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Re: Rent

Postby alloneword » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:16 pm
They remind me of 'Claustropheres', from (tosser) Ben Elton's (shitty - don't bother) novel 'This Other Eden':

Rather than adopt a more eco-friendly approach to life, most people have instead invested in a "claustrosphere", a dome-shaped habitat in which all water, food and air is endlessly recycled in a completely closed environment. A person can therefore survive indefinitely within a claustrosphere no matter what ecological horrors may happen outside.
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Re: Rent

Postby Sounder » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:57 am
Cordelia wrote...
The outrage expressed by Toronto's homeless advocates needs to spread far and wide.


Then perhaps more 'pop-ups' would be a good thing.

At any rate, rent is high because washing hot money through real estate is so damn easy.
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Re: Rent

Postby Cordelia » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:36 am
Sounder » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:57 am wrote:Cordelia wrote...
The outrage expressed by Toronto's homeless advocates needs to spread far and wide.


Then perhaps more 'pop-ups' would be a good thing.


Dunno; maybe we'll find out since their website now shows Chef Rodriguez will take his dining in the dome zone to other cities including, early next year, the city w/ the fourth largest homeless population in the U.S, San Diego......

Image

I’m reminded of way back in the early 1980's, when Washington D.C.’s leading homeless advocate, Mitch Snyder, and the Community for Creative Non Violence made National News by serving 30 members of Congress a homemade gourmet meal that included crab quiche and berry shortcake made with ingredients brought in from supermarket dumpsters.
“CCNV, a controversial but innovative group that occasionally tangles with the law, has also made a cause celebre of salvaging edible food from supermarket dumpsters. It catered for a congressional committee a highly publicized lunch including crab quiche made from what they scavenged: food from a dumpster, discarded for being beyond the ''pull date'' and cosmetically imperfect produce. As a result of that demonstration and attendent publicity, both Giant and Safeway Supermarkets in Washington have agreed to allow authorized feeding groups to pick up daily loads of produce, dairy, and baked goods slated for the dumpster, screen them for edibility, then distribute them to soup kitchens and other programs.”

https://www.csmonitor.com/1982/1210/121044.html


Had Snyder lived, would he be shocked by how much things have worsened post Reagan?

On a more positive note, in San Francisco last year one group took creative cooking, job training and homelessness to open another, more inclusive Pop-Up restaurant:


At These Pop-Up Dinners, The Chefs (And The Guests) Are Homeless


Farming Hope teaches culinary skills to San Francisco’s homeless, and then serves meals where homeless diners eat side by side with people who pay full price for the meal.

Image

By Adele Peters

On a recent night at a pop-up dinner in San Francisco’s Civic Center neighborhood–with a menu including seared mushroom red potato tostada and roasted broccoli with honey sriracha, some of the guests had paid $55 for a ticket for the multi-course meal. Other people, who are homeless, paid nothing. They sat together and talked, eating food prepared by people who are also homeless.

The startup nonprofit behind the dinner, Farming Hope, wants both to provide new job training for people who are trying to work their way out of homelessness–so they can later land jobs in the Bay Area food world–and to bring people together around food in a different way.

“We want an environment where it’s not just a restaurant where no one who’s very poor is coming to eat, and it’s not just a soup kitchen, where it’s only homeless people eating donated food as quickly as possible,” says Jamie Stark, one of the cofounders of Farming Hope. “It’s a nice environment where people want to be, where there’s a unique mix of people, and where some of that empathy and understanding and human-centered thinking can spread.”

Stark and cofounder Kevin Madrigal met as students at Stanford, where both had an interest in food as a tool for social empowerment and social change. They incubated the nonprofit in a summer business incubator at Stanford’s design school. In January 2017, they began working with their first cohort of employees in San Francisco–people who wanted to find jobs and begin to move out of homelessness.

As they initially began to design the nonprofit’s approach, they interviewed people experiencing homelessness and identified a key component–to feel needed. “Homelessness is not just a crisis of economic poverty, it’s also a crisis of social poverty,” Stark says. “So kind of rebuilding that sense of being needed in a community is incredibly important if you’re actually going to do transformational justice work, and get people into a different space and into the life they want to live.” Helping homeless people work with food and serve it to others, they realized, would be one way to address that need.

The program teaches participants to grow some of their ingredients, working in community gardens–including a rooftop garden on a local homeless shelter–and then offers training in cooking and serving restaurant guests. They quickly pared the training course down to three months to match the length of time that someone can have a bed at a homeless shelter.

“When we started last January, we were having guys doing really well with us–and then they would lose their beds and be off in the streets and they would drop off, because they didn’t have the stability,” says Stark. “So we really realized we had to work faster and better identify the folks who were very ready to get into employment, but they needed a job on their resume, they needed the confidence and the money, and somebody who could write them a letter of recommendation before they could get there. And we needed to push them to do this in a short enough timeline where they wouldn’t have everything upended when they had to move yet again.”

After the program, the nonprofit will help participants apply for a jobs. In the video below, one person who went through the program talks about the job he got with Whole Foods. Of eight participants in the startup program in 2017, four went on to get long-term, full-time employment.

MORE: https://www.fastcompany.com/40563529/at ... e-homeless
The greatest sin is to be unconscious. ~ Carl Jung

We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content. ~ Dag Hammarskjold 'Waymarks'
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Re: Rent

Postby Cordelia » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:53 pm
Homeless in San Francisco's 'Clinton Park'... between a rock and a hard place.


Everybody must get stoned: Clinton Park boulders are San Francisco’s clumsiest metaphor


By Joe Eskenazi | Sep 30, 2019

Image
A sleeping man finds room between the anti-homeless stones placed on Clinton Park, purportedly by fed-up neighbors. Photo by Taylor Ahlgren
....

In San Francisco, perhaps the richest city in the history of cities or money, we’re fighting a proxy war over rocks. We’re doing this while the level of suffering on our streets resembles a scene out of a failed state. We’re doing this after the city’s neglect regarding unsafe and miserable conditions on this and so many blocks led residents to consider vigilantism as an attractive option (there was, apparently, no city permission sought nor granted prior to dumping tons of rocks on the sidewalk — this, in a city where installing a pink flamingo in the front yard likely requires several rounds of permitting).

https://missionlocal.org/2019/09/everyb ... t-metaphor


(clever 'prop'--empty carton of Rolling Rock.
The greatest sin is to be unconscious. ~ Carl Jung

We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content. ~ Dag Hammarskjold 'Waymarks'
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Re: Rent

Postby alloneword » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:04 am
Watson's a bit of a dick, but this was still worth watching:
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Re: Rent

Postby Cordelia » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:02 pm
^^^Very worth watching--Thanks!

S.F. Apodments for $1,200/month (more for upper bunk safety bars, or more for floor-level shoe space and under-bunk storage? What about the Pentpods? :shrug: ).


Image
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/05/success/ ... index.html
The greatest sin is to be unconscious. ~ Carl Jung

We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content. ~ Dag Hammarskjold 'Waymarks'
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Re: Rent

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:12 am
(CNN)If you're in the market to rent a home in San Diego, this backyard shed could be yours for a whopping $1,050 a month. Yes, really.

The studio is located in the backyard of a home in the North Park neighborhood, which is one of the city's most walkable neighborhoods.
The listing calls the shed a studio, but neighbors aren't exactly convinced.

"I was amazed it was going for that much money," Joe Moreno, who lives nearby, told CNN affiliate KGTV. "Does it have plumbing? I mean, does it have facilities?"

The 200-square-foot studio apartment does have plumbing, an air conditioner, stove and small refrigerator. It doesn't, however, have a washer and dryer or parking, the listing said.

While the rent seems outrageous to some, the asking price is $300 per month less than a typical studio in the area. The company renting out the property, J.D. Property Management, doesn't expect to have an issue with the price, considering the former tenant paid $1,100 a month for two years.

"Maybe it is high for what it is offered at, but the reality is that the square footage and the location is exactly what this market needs," housing industry analyst Alan Nevin told KGTV.

Applicants interested in renting the shed must have a credit score of 650, an income of 2 1/2 times the rental amount, no history of evictions and rental references, https://www.zumper.com/apartment-buildings/p411204/4733-35-oregon-st-north-park-san-diego-ca.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/02/us/san-d ... index.html

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Multi-tasking thoughts

I encountered a twelve year old Atlantic Magazine article:

The Autumn of the Multitaskers

"Neuroscience is confirming what we all suspect: Multitasking is dumbing us down and driving us crazy. One man’s odyssey through the nightmare of infinite connectivity"

-and while reading this, remembered a nearly century old Strand Magazine article about THE ULTIMATE MULTI-TASKER: HENRY KAHNE.

I blogged about Mr. Kahne before, making the argument that multitasking can help keep about-to- doze-off-drivers more wakeful. Now looking at this again, see that the Copyright is due to expire in a little over 3 years. 

For now, here's the gist of it, with a link to the original 1925 article:




Strand Magazine
(October 1925)


"The Man With The Multiple Mind"

An Interview with Harry Kahne, Whose Brain can do Six Things at the Same Time
By Fenn Sherie
It is said that Mohammed and Caesar could, upon occasions, perform two distinct mental operations --- such as writing a letter and carrying on a conversation --- simultaneously. Not having interviewed either of them I am unable to confirm this. I can, however, vouch for the fact that the present generation has produced a remarkable young man who can make his brain do six different things at the same time --- involving, according to the psychologists, no fewer than 14 separate mental processes.

 
When I first heard of his existence I was (as the reader may be at present) a little dubious. However, now that I have witnessed his public performance, put him through several private tests and chatted with him regarding his remarkable talents, I am in a position to state the facts.

 
His name is Harry Kahne, his age is 28, and his native land is America. He has a charming personality, a nasal accent, and above all, a wonderful brain.

 
His demonstrations of multiple mind concentration have to be seen to be believed, but the reader will gather some idea of his remarkable abilities from a careful study of the accompanying photographs with their descriptive captions.

 
Whether he is performing before music hall audiences or learned professors of psychology, Mr Kahne has the happy knack of keeping his audiences amused as well as amazed. Even whilst jotting down rows of figures, writing them upside down and backwards, he manages to maintain a steady flow of amusing chatter.

 
"Will somebody please call out a number?" he asks. "You may call out your age if you like. Ladies may call out the age of their lady friends."

 
And whilst he is writing out news headlines backwards and doing difficult mathematical calculations at the same time, he continues to invite questions from members of the audience, to all of which he has a ready reply.
 

"Talk to me! Talk to me!" he pleads.
 
"What is the population of Manchester?" shouts a voice from the back of the hall.
 
"The population" --- he writes two letters and adds a figure --- "of Manchester" --- he writes two more figures and another letter --- "is 730,551. Anybody else? Talk to me!"
 
"Are you married?" shouts a girl in the gallery.
 
"No", he answers, promptly, jotting down a word as he talks; "It’s my work that makes me act like this."
 
And in his final demonstration of "word-juggling", clearly explained in the photograph on the next page, he maintains the interest by hanging upside down and reciting a poem!
 
"That boy will go mad", said a woman sitting behind me in the theater where I first saw Mr Kahne perform.
 
"He is a genius", exclaimed a gray-haired gentleman who looked like a medical man."Very wonderful, but he won’t live long", he added, shaking his head.
 
But to talk to Mr Kahne is to discover that, although he has exceptional abilities, he is not by any means a freak. If he displays genius, it is not the kind that is akin to madness, but rather of the more creditable variety, generally spoken of as "an infinite capacity for taking pains".

Strand Magazine article continues here:

 http://www.rexresearch.com/kahne/kahne.htm


Now, back to my other six works-in-progress... 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

On the air with Dayle Ohlau

Ketchum resident Dayle Ohlau knew what she wanted to do with her life when she was in second grade, wrapping a jump rope around a plastic flute to fashion a microphone to interview her little brother.
“I knew I wanted to be in radio when I was 6 years old,” said Ohlau, now 59 and soon to take over as general manager of KDPI, the local nonprofit community radio station based in Ketchum.
dayle.jpg

Dayle Broadcasting from Disneyland in the early 1990's


Ohlau grew up in San Diego, where her father attended barber school, ran three salons and worked with the Chamber of Commerce to help develop the town of Chula Vista.
After her parents divorced, she led a peripatetic existence with her mother, attending 16 schools in nine years from California to Indiana.

“My mother needed to explore,” Ohlau said. “Moving around taught me resilience and how to meet people.”

In fifth grade Ohlau interviewed a disc jockey to learn about the craft of hosting a radio show. During her senior year at an Indiana high school she worked at the student-run WGBD. From then on, her life has been punctuated by a series of radio station call letters, beginning with WNON in Lebanon, Ind., where she cut her teeth in commercial radio by driving 100 miles round trip to work the 7 p.m.-to-midnight shift.

At DePauw University she worked at student-run station WGRE and joined Sigma Delta Chi, founded in 1909 and now known as the Society for Professional Journalists.
“The goal of the organization was to grow the idea of ethics and truth in journalism,” said Ohlau, who also joined the Association for Women in Communications, a national organization geared toward supporting female journalists.

Ohlau returned to San Diego to work at several stations, eventually hosting for three years an award-winning public affairs show called “Time for Women” at KWXY.
Tragedy struck when Ohlau’s brother committed suicide, and she soon found herself in an acrimonious divorce. She hung up her microphone and came to the Wood River Valley in 2002. Her son and daughter entered the school system and she put down roots.
“I didn’t want my kids to have the wandering life I had as a kid,” she said.

Ohlau taught communications classes at the College of Southern Idaho campus in Hailey and worked for two years as news director at three local radio stations before a staff consolidation left her again jobless.“The new owners basically used stories from the Idaho Mountain Express and so they no longer needed their own news director,” she said.

With her children old enough to take care of themselves, Ohlau journeyed to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago, a medieval Christian pilgrimage route sought out by those in need of change.


“I had a lot of things to let go,” she said, “including my brother’s death, a divorce and family dysfunction. It turned out to be a transformative experience that recalibrated my life.”


Ohlau, who had previously earned a master’s degree in human behavior, decided to return to academia. She enrolled at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco to pursue a Ph.D. in the School of Transformative Studies.


Two and half years later, she has completed her coursework and is preparing an 80-page thesis proposal titled “Homo-Spiritus: Radical Compassion, a New Paradigm for Spirit-Based Journalism.”

“My work is theoretical rather than quantitative,” Ohlau said. “It traces our history from the end of World War I to today, and studies media biases that led us to where we are now, with a distrust of the media and a weakening of the Fourth Estate [journalism]. We have become so tribal. Due to our confirmation biases we only listen to or read what we already believe.”

A recent $11,000 donation from 100 Men Who Care, a local philanthropic group, drew Ohlau back to the nonprofit station that she had helped General Manager Mike Scullion get started in 2013. She will be able to draw a small salary putting together new ideas for the station.

“For me this will be a synergy between my studies and my radio career,” she said. ‘It’s an opportunity to generate compassionate and ethical communication in our community. I think of it as harkening back to the days of the town square.”

Friday, September 27, 2019

A recent follow up Letter to PennDOT regarding some transportation safety concerns


Thank you M.,

As I relayed earlier, I'm primarily curious for now about how transportation businesses in general handle their red-flag info gleaned from the newfangled data recorders. Having myself, a strong background driving trucks, taxis and limos, I can understand how complicated and hectic managing ever-mobile vehicles, while trying to juggle noisy dispatching calls often becomes. And this bustling busyness is a likely contributor of why red-flagged reckless driving is suspected of being overlooked. Who has time for that, if they're always short-staffed, as one driver with five years experience told me they always are?


I wonder if transportation companies and business's even budget one hour per month to check in or follow up on this sort of safety concern? If not, or rather, if so; then perhaps the season now is ripe for some of them to re-prioritize their allotted time for specific safety area focuses like this / these. 


Some places already have safety-prevention managers who are responsible for overseeing these crucial areas. I imagine that you M., and / or your PennDOT work-colleagues know of some of these people. Safety managers who are located, may have some of these same concerns. I encourage you to see if these experts already have broad ideas to expound upon and solutions to suggest, in what ways would be most viable to investigate and improve Commercial reckless-driving accountability.

Thank you,
& Best regards
JB

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Attendant Parking

"When I used to drive a truck for Sagebrush Interiors, which was located on the far opposite corner from here and where Iconoclast set down for a decade after that, there was a line of parking adjacent to the Community Library where you could legally parallel park ALL NIGHT, even in winter, because it was actually private property which extended into the road.

Anyhow, parking the work-truck there would upset some seasonal high-end condo owner who lived in the complex in the top portion of this photo. Twice he walked out angrily and asked / demanded we find a different spot for the truck because seeing it there tainted his view.

It's hard to say actually what the true cause of his peculiar anger was, but my work colleagues speculated it was because he had invested a large sum of money in his condo, and eventually had it dawn on himself that it was overvalued. And now he was desperately projecting this by nit-picking visual details.

The artwork painted on the truck-side, visible from his window view was a stand-out photo of a cowgirl amidst lasso action, and meticulously painted by a local esteemed artist. Ironically, when Sagebrush closed and sold that same truck to the Open Room, a fight ensued over the highly valued painting when another artisan removed it for the new logo.

But beholden in the eyes of the penthouse owner, the truck featuring this same Wild West themed masterpiece was so distasteful to his view that he ended up letting it bug him to the point that he became confrontational about it."

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Unfunny for the sensitive



This fresh idea of third-hand smoke,
It is no longer, not merely a joke,


If you hug a smoker or two today,
Be brief, as smoke sticks, and then relays,


Unto innocents, via dark shirt,
Bad Smoke shall not filter, it is not inert,


New fanged Chemical Scientists insist,
For third-time transfers, then rich$smoke must exist!

-->

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