Posts tagged across
Source: www.pewstates.org – Sunday, June 09, 2013
"This report explores how the Great Recession affected the wealth and retirement security of baby boomers relative to younger and older age groups…. Early boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) were approaching retirement in better financial shape than the age groups that came before them…. The picture of wealth accumulation and savings for Americans born after 1955 was more mixed…. Both coho
Retirement Security Across Generations
Source: kfor.com – Monday, May 20, 2013
Live Streaming on KFOR.com
Tornadoes move across central Oklahoma
Source: www.npr.org – Friday, May 03, 2013
Huge Solar Plane Tries For First Transcontinental Flight : The Two
Huge Solar Plane Begins Slow Flight Across The U.S.
(via Occupy.com) We can all stop wringing our hands about “the next Occupy.” Whatever our reasons for doing so—worrying that it might sweep the globe with irresistible force, or worrying that it won’t—we can rest assured that it is coming, just in a form we haven’t imagined yet.
We must remind ourselves that the global phenomenon we called “Occupy” was the (far from spontaneous) coalescence of various currents and codes based in self-organization that had already been around for decades—and are still around. This anarchistic ethos burst into the broader public consciousness in a new way, and though it was beaten back underground by astonishing state repression on a global scale, it will emerge again.
And if this coalescence called “Occupy” was in part a product of advances in communications, a brief moment when people were a step ahead of authorities—organizing using technologies not yet fully understood, monitored, or otherwise compromised by state power—the next global coalescence will be too. The democratization of communication technology continues to barge forward, and movements continue to develop in parallel.
Where are these movements, then, these communities and networks of self-organized resistance in opposition to the stronger-than-ever forces of militarized global neo-liberalism and corporate fascism?
Right before our eyes, frankly. I can only speak to what I know: for example, in my hometown of Minneapolis, which I have been following with interest from afar, Occupy Homes has been active and successful in the ongoing struggle against evictions, sometimes using the tactic which their name describes and which has been practiced in Europe for decades: squatting.
Living in Switzerland, my activities with Occupy Zurich brought me in contact with the local squatter scene here. Note: the affinity between these movements is well expressed by the fact that the same German word is used for “occupy” and “squat:” besetzen. And it is worth briefly exploring these so-called “self-organized spaces,” since my impression is that squatting is a phenomenon taken largely for granted in Europe, but relatively unknown in the United States.
Seen as a threat, and threatened with extinction
Autonomous communities and the buildings they occupy are a particularly pressing topic in Europe at the moment. As austerity sweeps the continent, squats—among the last remaining scraps of common space (Freiraum) and therefore burrs in the saddle of neo-liberalism’s charging horse, privatization—are being systematically cleared out.
In Greece, the wave of squat evictions has been largely driven by the need to eliminate real centers of active opposition that threaten the status quo (see my January portrait of Athens’ antagonist movements, http://www.occupy.com/article/dispatch-greece-meeting-antagonist-movements and http://www.occupy.com/article/thank-god-fascists-dispatch-weimar-greece).
In Switzerland, however, the threat to the status quo by the existence and activities of autonomous communities is not as deeply felt; anarchists are seen as an amusing if sometimes annoying minority worth scant attention in the political sphere. But the moves to eliminate these communities here are equally hysterical and harsh.
Even self-organized spaces that have a widely recognized and appreciated function in city life—like the Autonomous School of Zurich (ASZ), which provides language courses and legal advocacy help for severely under-served migrant communities—are being threatened by encroaching “development” and often face disproportionate police violence when they resist eviction or attempt to squat new spaces.
Where there was a mysterious fire last month at Villa Rosenau, a squat beloved enough in Basel that supportive editorials even appeared in the right-leaning Basler Zeitung, the building was simply demolished by police with no warning or explanation.
And last weekend, residents and supporters of Binz, Zurich’s longest-established squat (and the one more or less carrying the torch of the Freiraum movements from the late ‘60s and early ‘80s through today), were met with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons when a party turned into a march towards the city center to protest their imminent eviction.
This all reminds me very much of what I saw in Greece this past winter. Perhaps as a result of examples in Athens, there is a growing awareness and fear among Swiss authorities about what autonomous communities can become, should conditions be allowed to change. There seems to be a compulsion to “nip it in the bud,” to crack down early while these groups are still small, disorganized and vulnerable.
Strength in numbers: Building networks, changing the narrative
But these groups are in fact not small, disorganized, or vulnerable. That is, as long as they continue to explore new technologies and methods of communication, to network within countries and across borders in ways that were impossible only a short time ago. There has been a recent proliferation of facebook pages, blogs and hacktivist communities promoting solidarity and active cooperation among squats and autonomous zones all across Europe.
When the Villa Amalias squat in Athens was raided in late December of 2012, and completely shut down a month later, there were solidarity actions from Barcelona to London to Copenhagen, with squats throughout Germany and the former Yugoslavia showing particularly broad-based support. The ripples even reached Chicago.
And among the nearly 4,000 Binz supporters whom the police attacked last Saturday—turning Zurich’s city center into a soggy, stinking swamp of tear gas and trash fires—were not only former residents of Villa Rosenau in Basel, but a noticeably large number of German Autonomen. Solidarity was declared online, with astonishing speed, from Athens to Berlin.
This latter seems perhaps insignificant—a blog post or a lively discussion on facebook isn’t the same as a united continental front organized in credible opposition to the neo-liberal power structure. But it isn’t terribly unrealistic to say it is a step in that direction, and one that was unimaginable in the “old media” context.
Speaking of “old media,” the few major newspapers that carried stories about last weekend’s three-hour, city-disabling street battle in the heart of Zurich (which one would think deserves a bit of in-depth reporting) focused solely on the extent of damage caused by vandals and avoided any reference to the political underpinnings of the event—underpinnings which would have shown the interconnectedness of similar actions and reactions occurring all over Europe.
This is the same media narrative that has been changing the subject and discrediting anti-capitalist movements for nearly two decades. Reporting on the 1999 Battle in Seattle comes to mind; it goes nearly without saying that similar propagandist tactics were also employed in coverage of Occupy. And even the best attempts by proponents of these movements to reframe the conversation—Rebecca Solnit’s writing is a great example—have until recently been largely ineffective.
“10,000 Squats Against Their World of Depression!”
The point is, this is changing. The newspapers and networks will keep telling the same story. But with the explosion of online social networking and New Media, television and newspaper versions of events are becoming less and less relevant to the discourse actually occurring among people.
The communication, coordination and solidarity becoming evident among previously insular squatter communities is a very promising sign. The next step will be to begin directing this communication from the movement outward—that it might become perceived as a movement, and therefore a movement that people can join.
Stories are surfacing about pensioners in Germany squatting a senior center under threat of closure due to lack of funds; of Spanish indignados breaking into sealed, vacant apartment buildings not to squat themselves but to provide living space for recent evictees of all stripes; of Minnesotans fighting the banks and refusing to leave their homes; even of anarchist movements being forged in the current tumults of the Middle East.
The time appears ripe to begin introducing squatter philosophies such as self-organization and the struggle for Freiraum and community preservation into the broader public discourse.
So I will start now with an appeal, from Europe to the United States, to radicalize. It is often remarked how many houses stand vacant in America—enough to outnumber homeless families. What to do with all these homes? Move into them.
Move in, and use every New Media channel available—from social networking sites to blogs to podcasting to the still-emerging Commotion software—first to organize and to learn about the practicalities of squatting, then to make sure everybody knows why you’re occupying the homes.
You can expect solidarity and support from Europe.
This article was written by Ed Sutton and is republished with permission from Occupy.com.
Source: www.facebook.com – Sunday, March 10, 2013
"Anti-nuclear rallies took place across Japan, on the eve of the second anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster, urging Japan’s new government to abandon nuclear power. Tens of thousands gathered in Hibiya park in central Tokyo, where activists and unionists packed a concert hall to voice their opposition." via The Raw Story : Thousands protest against nuclear power in Japan | The Raw Story www.rawstory.com Anti-nuclear rallies took place across Japan, on the eve of the second anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster, urging Japan’s new government to abandon nuclear power.
Source: oceana.org – Thursday, February 21, 2013
Oceana Study Reveals Seafood Fraud Nationwide
Angela Kinsey: Oceana Uncovers Rampant Seafood Fraud Across United States
Source: usnews.nbcnews.com – Tuesday, December 25, 2012
A large part of the country didn't have to dream of a white Christmas. It got one. Mike Seidel of The Weather Channel reports. By M. Alex Johnson, NBC News A major winter storm pummeled large parts of the U.S. on Tuesday, killing two people as it dropped heavy snow on the Southern Plains and spinning off damaging winds and tornadoes in warmer areas southward. Treacherous holiday travel was expected to become even more of an ordeal by the time the storm arrives in the Northeast later this week. Follow @NBCNewsUS A weather map of the U.S. looked like a child's coloring book, with a variety of advisories, watches and warnings spreading across the middle and the southern half of the country: Blizzard warnings were in force for parts of Indiana, Texas and Oklahoma. Two people were killed when high winds toppled trees in Tomball, Texas, near Houston, and in Richland Parish, La., while 21 cars and tractor-trailers crashed in a massive pileup on roads coated with freezing rain in Oklahoma City. Winter storm warnings stretched from those states north and east to Arkansas and Ohio. Almost 150,000 customers were without power late Tuesday across Arkansas, Entergy Arkansas said. At least 31 tornadoes were believed to have been spotted across the South from Texas to Alabama, the National Weather Service reported . Numerous tornado-related injuries were reported in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, but, remarkably, none of them were b
Last weekend, anti-austerity activists including UK Uncut targeted the U.S. corporation Starbucks for tax avoidance while making a point about the disproportionate impact of austerity on women. Over 40 protests occurred across the UK at Starbucks shops, UK Uncut’s biggest day of action yet. Protesters staged sit-in occupations and transformed Starbucks cafes into refuges, crèches, libraries, and homeless shelters in protest against the impact of the government’s cutting of services ranging from subsidies for single mothers to rape crisis centers. Occupy Wall Street stands in solidarity with this brilliant action to attack austerity and demonstrate the alternatives of mutual aid and resistance, while also calling attention to the inherent hypocrisy of governments’ allowing multinational corporations to avoid taxes while cutting services to the poor. This issue is by no means limited to the UK only; these actions stand as an inspiration and one possible model for resistance movements fighting austerity across the world.
Growing public anger at Starbucks was clear today as over 40 of their shops across the UK- including in Liverpool, Cardiff, Bristol and Shrewsbury- were targeted today by the anti-cuts direct action network, UK Uncut.
In central London a creche and women’s refuge were set up in Starbuck’s flagship stores, and in Birmingham people slept in sleeping bags on the floor to highlight homelessness. In Barnet, activists turned Starbucks into a library, while in York protesters handed out free tea and coffee in store.
The group took action to confront the company over its tax avoidance and highlight the impact of the government’s cuts on women.
The group says that Starbucks’ offer of £10 million is a ‘PR stunt straight out of their marketing budget’. Starbucks and other tax-dodging companies, including Google and Amazon, have had to face increasing public outrage and stinging criticism from the Public Accounts Committee over their tax practices this week. Nearly £5 billion new cuts were announced by George Osborne on Wednesday in the Autumn Statement.
Protesters say that they chose to target Starbucks as a result of its tax avoidance practices. They say that the government should be clamping down on tax avoidance by companies such as Starbucks rather than making cuts to the welfare state and the NHS which are devastating people’s lives.
Women’s groups  and local UK Uncut groups from Glasgow to Belfast to Cornwall participated in their biggest national day of action yet. Sit-in style protests saw Starbucks branches transformed into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters to highlight the disproportionate impact of the government’s spending cuts on women.
Sarah Greene, a UK Uncut activist said: “It is an outrage that the government continues to choose to let multinationals like Starbucks dodge millions in tax while cutting vital services like refuges, creches and rape crisis centres. It does not have to be this way. The government could easily bring in billions by clamping down on tax avoidance that could fund vital services by clamping down on tax dodging.”
Responding to Starbucks’ announcement that it will not claim tax deductions in the UK on a range of its tax arrangements and Starbucks statement regarding worker safety, Hannah Pearce, a UK Uncut supporter said:
“Offering to pay some tax if and when it suits you doesn’t stop you being a tax dodger. This is just a PR stunt straight out of the marketing budget in a desperate attempt by Starbucks to deflect public pressure – hollow promises on press releases don’t fund women’s refuges or child benefits.
The government must force Starbucks and every other tax dodging company to pay their fair share, instead of cutting welfare and tax credits for single mums and disabled women. All of our protests are fun, creative with a serious message to Starbucks management and the government, the hypocrisy of Starbucks execs claiming to concerned about workers’ safety because of protests is staggering at a time when workers are reporting they are being forced to sign new contracts with reduced benefits or lost their jobs.”
Kara Moses, at the UK Uncut protest in Birmingham, said “So many people have come to this protest because there is genuine public outrage that multinational companies are being allowed to avoid tax while benefits and essential services are cut. Starbucks’ admission that they have not been paying enough tax is a clear admission of guilt, and shows that direct action by the public works. We will keep the pressure up to end tax avoidance and these cuts that are devastating women’s lives around the country”
A spokesperson from Global Women’s strike, one of the women’s groups supporting Saturday’s action said:
“Women – in families, homes, communities and jobs – bear the brunt of austerity. At our Women’s Centre we see more women cut off benefits, losing their jobs, being made homeless and going hungry. Already, 3.5m children live in poverty, 1 in 5 mothers skips a meal to feed her children, and many walk miles to get food handouts because they can’t afford the bus fare. Women are also expected to pick up the pieces as services disappear or turn people away, saying they are overwhelmed. Asylum seekers were the first to be made destitute, and this is now becoming the norm. Victims of rape and domestic violence are particularly affected as more will be forced to stay in violent relationship to keep a roof over their heads.”
Starbucks has come under fire after a Reuters investigation disclosed that the company had paid no UK corporation tax in the last three years, despite reporting sales of £1.2bn. The company was also reported to have filed accounts saying the companies UK operations were making a loss, while reporting strong UK profits to investors. Campaigners have highlighted research showing that women will experience a disproportionate impact as a result of the government’s public spending cuts.
Women are bearing the brunt of cuts to public sector jobs, wages, housing benefit, childcare, and pensions. Additional hardship on women is being caused by the government’s decision to cut £5.6m from violence against women services, £300m from Sure Start centres and a further £10 billion in benefit cuts. Every day 230 women are turned away from refuges as a result of the government’s cuts to women’s services.
Sheena Shah, a UK Uncut activist said “Women have had enough of being attacked by a cabinet of out-of-touch millionaires. The government’s savage austerity plans are pushing the cause of women’s equality back decades. Welfare, healthcare, Sure Start centres, childcare, rape and domestic abuse services are being cut and female unemployment is rocketing. Benefits cuts are forcing women to choose between heating the house and feeding the family. No one should have to make these choices.”
1- UK Uncut is a grassroots anti-cuts direct action network, well-known for targeting corporate tax avoiders: www.ukuncut.org.uk
2- Go Feminist, UK Feminista, Southall Black Sisters, Global Women’s Strike – http://ukfeminista.org.uk/ http://www.southallblacksisters.org.uk/ http://www.globalwomenstrike.net/
5- http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/Gender_Impact_of_the_Cuts.pdf & http://fawcettsociety.org.uk/documents/The%20Impact%20of%20Austerity%20on%20Women%20-%2019th%20March…
7- http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/care/charities-have-to-turn-away-women-seeking-refuge/6520815.article & http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1237
Source: losangeles.cbslocal.com – Sunday, November 11, 2012
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Dozens of observances are being held across Southern California on Sunday to pay tribute to the country’s veterans. El Monte will observe Veterans Day with the groundbreaking of a 40-unit comprehensive apartment development at 9 a.m. described by city officials as “the first of its kind” in the San Gabriel Valley. The El Monte Veterans Apartments in the 11200 block of Ramona Boulevard will offer health and wellness programs, job training, family reunification and legal services on site. The ninth annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade will begin at 11:11 a.m. at the corner of Laurel Canyon and San Fernando Mission boulevards. Rep. Adam Schiff will join other dignitaries at 11 a.m. for West Hollywood’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the Sal Guarriello Veterans Memorial. The event will be held at the intersection of Holloway Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard. Also at 11 a.m., Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills will hold its 53rd annual Veterans Day program that will include a reading of the presidential proclamation by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonich and an aerial performance by the Golden Stars Skydiving Team. By 1 p.m., the seventh Northeast Los Angeles Veterans Day Parade will begin at Fire Station 55 on York Boulevard with Daniel L. Van Dyke as grand marshal. Dyke served in the Army in Vietnam from 1970-1972; in Korea from 1977-1979 and in Army intelligence. Also at 1 p.m.,
|All Related | More on Veterans Day|
Source: www.wjla.com – Sunday, October 28, 2012
SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. (AP) – Forget distinctions like tropical storm or hurricane. Don't get fixated on a particular track. Wherever it hits, the behemoth storm plodding up the East Coast will afflict a third of the country with sheets of rain, high winds and heavy snow, say officials who warned millions in coastal areas to get out of the way. "We're looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people," said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As Hurricane Sandy trekked north from the Caribbean – where it left nearly five dozen dead – to meet two other powerful winter storms, experts said it didn't matter how strong the storm was when it hit land: The rare hybrid storm that follows will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities by 8 p.m. Sunday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was criticized for not interrupting a vacation in Florida while a snowstorm pummeled the state in 2010, broke off campaigning for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in North Carolina on Friday to return home. "I can be as cynical as anyone," said Christie, who declared a state of emergency Saturday. "But when the storm comes, if it's as bad as they