Class Segregation: Rich Hunker Down in Wealthy Enclaves — Leaving the Rest of America’s Neighborhoods to Deteriorate

From Alternet:–_leaving_the_rest_of_america%27s_neighborhoods_to_deteriorate/

America’s rich haven’t just become richer, according to a new study. They’ve become far more likely to live among their own kind.

By Sam Pizzigati
November 27, 2011

Just 40 years ago, most Americans rubbed elbows with neighbors from a fairly wide cross-section of income levels. But today’s rich, Census data show, are keeping everyone else at arm’s length — and more.

How many neighborhoods have you ever seen with oodles of rich residents — and poor schools? Or, vice versa, how many neighborhoods do you know with lots of poor people and richly appointed schools?

Silly questions. We all know the answers. Kids in affluent neighborhoods don’t go to schools with leaky roofs, tattered textbooks, and uncertified teachers. Kids in poor neighborhoods do.

And what goes for schools, of course, goes for every other public service as well — from parks and libraries to road repair and garbage pick-up. You’re going to be much better off, as a person of modest means, if some of your neighbors have more substantial means.

Back in 1970, the vast majority of Americans lived in neighborhoods that did mix people of substantial and modest means. No more. In fact, says a new study just released by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, the share of Americans living amid intense income segregation has more than doubled.

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No War but Class War…

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OWS Protesters Defy LA Eviction Order

From Slate:

Police have so far held off on a plan to forcibly evict demonstrators from City Hall encampment.

By and
Posted Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

UPDATE Monday at 9:35 a.m.: Los Angeles police are holding off on a plan to forcibly evict Occupy LA protesters from their encampment near city hall for now, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The city had originally set a midnight deadline for the protesters to clear the area, but later pushed back the deadline to 4:30 a.m. local time after thousands of protesters gathered at the location to show their support for the movement.

According to the Times, police issued an order to disperse shortly after 5 a.m. to protesters who had spilled over from the encampment into a nearby intersection, and most people complied, moving back into the park that is home to the city’s OWS encampment. Still, the paper reports that a few refused to leave the street and that four people were arrested after several protesters began throwing things at police.

Hundreds of police wearing riot gear have lined the streets but currently continue to show restraint. The LAT: “Police said that there are still no plans to begin evicting people from the City Hall park, which was officially closed at midnight Sunday. They said their main intention was to clear the streets for morning commuters.”

Sunday, Nov. 27: As many get ready to head back to work after a holiday weekend, Occupy protesters in Los Angeles are preparing to defy LAPD’s assertion that their fun is over, too.

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Occupy L.A. protesters to seek court order to block eviction

From The LA Times:

November 28, 2011

Protesters plan to file for a federal injunction that would prevent police from dismantling the Occupy L.A. encampment around City Hall.

The complaint, which was to be filed at 10 a.m. Monday in federal court, names the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, alleging that the protesters’ civil rights were violated. The three protesters who planned to file the suit would be seeking a court order to prevent the city from evicting the camp from the City Hall lawn.

The complaint accuses the city of engaging in “arbitrary and capricious action in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments by first approving the Occupy presence for 56 days before suddenly revoking permission through the unilateral action of defendants.”

Chief Deputy City Atty. William Carter said the city attorney’s office was reviewing the complaint and was ready to respond or appear if necessary.

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Apple iTunes flaw ‘allowed government spying for 3 years’

Yet another reason why I think Apple totally sucks. Aside from the fact I can’t build one from off the shelf parts the way I can build a PC.

From The Telegraph UK:

An unpatched security flaw in Apple’s iTunes software allowed intelligence agencies and police to hack into users’ computers for more than three years.

By , Technology Correpsondent
24 Nov 2011

A British company called Gamma International marketed hacking software to governments that exploited the vulnerability via a bogus update to iTunes, Apple’s media player, which is installed on more than 250 million machines worldwide.

The hacking software, FinFisher, is used to spy on intelligence targets’ computers. It is known to be used by British agencies and earlier this year records were discovered in abandoned offices of that showed it had been offered to Egypt’s feared secret police.

Apple was informed about the relevant flaw in iTunes in 2008, according to Brian Krebs, a security writer, but did not patch the software until earlier this month, a delay of more than three years.

“A prominent security researcher warned Apple about this dangerous vulnerability in mid-2008, yet the company waited more than 1,200 days to fix the flaw,” he said in a blog post.

“The disclosure raises questions about whether and when Apple knew about the Trojan offering, and its timing in choosing to sew up the security hole in this ubiquitous software title.”

On average Apple takes just 91 days to fix security flaws after they are disclosed, Mr Krebs wrote.

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Hartmann: Buying local is just a starter

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All Student General Strike Monday – November 28

From Occupy All Colleges:

November 28th – In solidarity with UC Davis , UC Berkeley, CUNY Schools and all students who are defending their right to protest against rising tuition cost and out of control student debt. We ask you to STRIKE! No work, no school – please join together in a central area of your choosing and stand up against the VIOLENCE and SUPPRESSION that is happening in our schools.

Please abide by the Pledge of Non-Violence to Participate in the Student Strike:

We are an open, participatory, democratic, horizontal, peaceful, and nonviolent movement.

We are not a leaderless movement, we are a movement of leaders.

As a nonviolent movement, we have agreed to refrain from violence against any person, from carrying weapons, and from destruction of property.

We reject violence, including property destruction, because we recognize that it undermines popular support and discourages the broadest possible participation among the 99%.

We believe nonviolence promotes unity, strength of message, and an environment in which everyone’s voice might be heard.

We affirm that it is the personal responsibility of every individual participant in our movement to promote and maintain nonviolent discipline and to intervene to prevent violent action by anyone in our movement.

For more information and to join in Go to:

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Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

From ACLU Blog:

Posted by Chris Anders
November 23, 2011

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.

Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.

The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.

I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?

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Occupy Wall Street: A Leader-full Movement in a Leaderless Time

From Alternet:

The OWS movement is personal democracy in action, where everyone plays a role in shaping the decisions that affect our lives.

By Micah L. Sifry
November 27, 2011

Thirty-one year-old Iraq War veteran Thomas L. Day wrote a powerful oped for the Washington Post Friday, expressing his “final loss of faith” in the wake of the Penn State child molestation scandal. In it, he lambastes his parents generation for what he sees as its many failures of leadership. Right now it’s flying around the web, driven by links from the likes of Michael Moore, who tweeted, “If you read only one thing online this week, please read this.” Day writes:

With the demise of my own community’s two most revered leaders, [Jerry] Sandusky and Joe Paterno, I have decided to continue to respect my elders, but to politely tell them, “Out of my way.” They have had their time to lead. Time’s up. I’m tired of waiting for them to live up to obligations….

We looked to Washington to lead us after September 11th. I remember telling my college roommates, in a spate of emotion, that I was thinking of enlisting in the military in the days after the attacks. I expected legions of us — at the orders of our leader — to do the same. But nobody asked us. Instead we were told to go shopping.

The times following September 11th called for leadership, not reckless, gluttonous tax cuts. But our leaders then, as now, seemed more concerned with flattery. Then- House Majority Leader and now-convicted felon Tom Delay told us, “nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes.” Not exactly Churchillian stuff.

Those of us who did enlist were ordered into Iraq on the promise of being “greeted as liberators,” in the words of our then-vice president. Several thousand of us are dead from that false promise.

We looked for leadership from our churches, and were told to fight not poverty or injustice, but gay marriage. In the Catholic Church, we were told to blame the media, not the abusive priests, not the bishops, not the Vatican, for making us feel that our church has failed us in its sex abuse scandal and cover-up.

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UK secretly helping Canada push its oil sands project

From The Guardian UK:

Canadian interests and oil lobby win coalition’s support for highly polluting process in runup to European fuel quality vote, Sunday 27 November 2011

The UK government has been giving secret support at the very highest levels to Canada‘s campaign against European penalties on its highly polluting tar sands fuel, the Guardian can reveal.

At the same time, the UK government was being lobbied by Shell and BP, which both have major tar sands projects in Alberta, and opened a new consulate in the province to “support British commercial interests“.

At least 15 high-level meetings and frequent communications have taken place since September, with David Cameron discussing the issue with his counterpart Stephen Harper during his visit to Canada, and stating privately that the UK wanted “to work with Canada on finding a way forward”, according to documents released under freedom of information laws.

Charles Hendry, the energy minister, later told the Canadian high commissioner: “We would value continued discussion with you on how we can progress discussions in Brussels,” with Hendry’s official asking the Canadians if they had “any suggestions as to what we might do, given the politics in Brussels”.

Canada’s vast tar sands – also known as oil sands – are the second largest reserve of carbon in the world after Saudi Arabia, although the energy needed to extract oil from the ground means the process results in far more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil drilling, as well as causing the destruction of forests and air and water pollution.

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From Business Insider:

Joe Weisenthal
Nov. 27, 2011

If you’re looking for some good Euro-scare meat, look no further than this column from the FT’s Wolfgang Münchau. The basic gist: No really, nowwe’re getting into endgame.

Why now? Because the increase in core yields, the failure of that German bund auction, and the increase in Spanish and Italian short-term yields, as well as the tightening of money for the banks, means it’s all almost over unless Europe immediately cooks up some kind of ECB-backed/Eurobond/fiscal union concoction.

I am hearing that there are exploratory talks about a compromise package comprising those three elements. If the European summit could reach a deal on December 9, its next scheduled meeting, the eurozone will survive. If not, it risks a violent collapse. Even then, there is still a risk of a long recession, possibly a depression. So even if the European Council was able to agree on such an improbably ambitious agenda, its leaders would have to continue to outdo themselves for months and years to come.

Kevin Annett – Hidden From History – The Canadian Holocaust

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A Town Creates Its Own Department Store

I grew up in the Adirondacks about 70 miles from Saranac Lake.  When we visited my birth place in 2002 there was a Walmart on the outskirts of town and most of the businesses in what had been the down town were gone.

I applaud small towns that just say no to the big box stores be they Walmart or Target.

Once upon a time, not so terribly long ago different towns and cities used to have different stores and business, individual character.  Now every city, every town have been poisoned by corporate blight that destroys their character, rots them at their core and like a fungus plant a cancerous growth in the form of a mall full of corporate clone stores on the outskirts.

They say they are offering consumers a choice, all they have to do is give up individuality and become a logo wearing corporate consumer.

Good for Saranac Lake.

From The New York Times:

Published: November 12, 2011

THE residents of Saranac Lake, a picturesque town in the Adirondacks, are a hardy lot — they have to be to withstand winter temperatures that can drop to 30 below zero. But since the local Ames department store went out of business in 2002 — a victim of its corporate parent’s bankruptcy — residents have had to drive to Plattsburgh, 50 miles away, to buy basics like underwear or bed linens. And that was simply too much.

So when Wal-Mart Stores came knocking, some here welcomed it. Others felt that the company’s plan to build a 120,000-square-foot supercenter would overwhelm their village, with its year-round population of 5,000, and put local merchants out of business.

It’s a situation familiar to many communities these days. But rather than accept their fate, residents of Saranac Lake did something unusual: they decided to raise capital to open their own department store. Shares in the store, priced at $100 each, were marketed to local residents as a way to “take control of our future and help our community,” said Melinda Little, a Saranac Lake resident who has been involved in the effort from the start. “The idea was, this is an investment in the community as well as the store.”

It took nearly five years — the recession added to the challenge — but the organizers reached their $500,000 goal last spring. By then, some 600 people had chipped in an average of $800 each. And so, on Oct. 29, as an early winter storm threatened the region, the Saranac Lake Community Store opened its doors to the public for the first time. By 9:30 in the morning, the store, in a former restaurant space on Main Street opposite the Hotel Saranac, was packed with shoppers, well-wishers and the curious.

The 4,000-square-foot space was not completely renovated — a home goods section will be ready for the grand opening on Nov. 19 — but shoppers seemed pleased with the mix of apparel, bedding and craft supplies for sale.

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Harvey Milk Speech – Hope

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Occupy Los Angeles Plans To Stay At City Hall, Ignore City Deadline To Vacate

From The Huffington Post:

By ANDREW DALTON, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Despite a fast-approaching deadline set by the mayor and police chief, very few of the anti-Wall Street protesters from Occupy Los Angeles had begun breaking down their tents Saturday on the City Hall lawn – and most said they didn’t intend to.

The Occupy LA encampment was abuzz with activity, but nearly all of it was aimed at how to deal with authorities come Monday’s 12:01 a.m. deadline.

Some handed out signs mocked up to look like the city’s notices to vacate, advertising a Monday morning “eviction block party.”

Dozens attended a teach-in on resistance tactics, including how stay safe in the face of rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and pepper spray.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Friday that despite his sympathy for the protesters’ cause, it was time for the camp of nearly 500 tents to leave for the sake of public health and safety.

The mayor said the movement is at a “crossroads,” and it must “move from holding a particular patch of park to spreading the message of economic justice.”

But occupiers did not intend to give up their patch of park too easily.

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Van Jones and Democratic Party Operatives: You Do Not Represent the Occupy Movement

If the highly paid Professional Activists want to be part of the movement let them come and join it.  They had their 40 years of failing as leaders.

I’m sick of activist organizations who seem to spend most of their time begging for funds to lobby instead of living among the people and actually creating change.

From Occupy Washington DC:

Make Your Own Program Don’t Try to Steal Ours

By Kevin Zeese
Occupy Washington, DC
November 23, 2011

The corporate media is anointing a false leader of the Occupy Movement in Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream.

The former Obama administration official, who received a golden parachute at Princeton and the Democratic think tank Center for American Progress when he left the administration, is doing what Democrats always do—see the energy of an independent movement, race to the front, then lead it down a dead end and essentially destroy it. Jones is doing the dirty work of a Democratic operative and while he and other Dem front groups pretend to support Occupiers, their real mission is to co-opt it.

Glenn Greenwald says in a recent blog, “White House-aligned groups such as the Center for American Progress have made explicity clear that they are going to try to convert OWS into a vote-producing arm for the Obama 2012 campaign.”

Before he ran to the front of the Occupy Movement, Jones’ Rebuild the Dream had been saying that its first task was to elect Democrats. Now he is claiming there will be 2000 “99% candidates” in 2012. These Democrats will be re-branded as part of the 99% movement. Democrats will now be re-labeled and marketed as part of the 99% movement. Republican operatives did the same thing to the Tea Party.  Tea Party candidates, who often used to be corporate “Club for Growth” candidates, ran in the Republican Party.  See, e.g. Senator Pat Toomey – before and after.

Jones is urging the Occupy Movement to “mature” and move on to an electoral phase. This would only make us a sterile part of the very problem we oppose. The electoral system is a corrupt mirage where only corporate-approved candidates are allowed to be considered seriously. At Occupy Washington, DC, we recognize that putting our time, energy and resources into elections will not produce the change we want to see. What we need to do right now is build a dynamic movement supported by independent media that stands in stark contrast to both corporate-bought-and-paid-for parties. 

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New Anti-Gay Group Calls Marriage Equality Unconstitutional, Discriminatory

From Right Wing Watch:

by Brian Tashman
November 23, 2011

David Usher, president of the Center for Marriage Policy, a right-wing group founded last month with the blessing of Phyllis Schlafly, argues in a column yesterday that marriage equality is unconstitutional because same-sex marriage is tantamount to polygamy, with the third partner being the government. He argues that the National Organization for Women is trying to use marriage equality to “to convert marriage into a feminist-controlled government enterprise and subordinate the rest of America to entitle it.”

Usher claims that by legalizing same-sex marriage, women regardless of their sexual orientation will marry other women in order to collect government benefits in an “arrangement of government-sponsored economic polygyny,” placing what he calls an unconstitutional and discriminatory social and economic burden on men. “Sexual orientation does not matter when two women marry and become ‘married room-mates,’” Usher writes. “They can still have as many boyfriends as they want, and capture the richest ones for baby-daddies by ‘forgetting’ to use their invisible forms of birth control.”

Forget the terms “same sex” and “gay” marriage. These are victim-based marketing ploys invented N.O.W. to send us off into a heated debate about homosexuality and equal rights — distracting us from seeing their real goal of establishing “feminist marriage”.

Feminists made “feminist marriage” their top long-term goal twenty-five years ago, and invested tremendous resources in it, because they intend to convert marriage into a feminist-controlled government enterprise and subordinate the rest of America to entitle it.

Feminist marriage is a marriage between any two women and the welfare state. It constitutes a powerful feminist takeover of marriage by government, and places the National Organization for Women in the position of dictating government policy as a matter of “feminist Constitutional rights”.

Feminist marriage will be far more attractive to all women than heterosexual marriage. Sexual orientation does not matter when two women marry and become “married room-mates”. They can still have as many boyfriends as they want, and capture the richest ones for baby-daddies by “forgetting” to use their invisible forms of birth control. On average, a feminist marriage will have at least four income sources, two of them tax-free, plus backup welfare entitlements.

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Some how I have this mental picture of David Usher being this disgusting woman hating pathetic ugly pig that has never had sex that he hasn’t had to pay for, who mostly gets his jollies wacking off to porn and then self flagelating.

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