Post-Columbine generation demands action on guns: ‘We don’t deserve this’

By Amanda Holpuch : theguardian – excerpt (includes video)

Survivors of the Florida attack have grown up in a world where school shootings are the norm, and they want a different future

Unsure whether he would be a victim or survivor of the mass shooting taking place outside his Florida classroom, 14-year-old Aidan Minoff sent an eight-word tweet.

“I am in a school shooting right now … ” Aidan said, before the world knew the day would end with 17 students and teachers dead.

Tens of thousands of people locked onto Aidan’s feed for the next 86 minutes, where he posted messages from the linoleum floor of his classroom, amid a forest of metal desk legs.

When the carnage ended, Aidan, and other teenagers who survived the attack, faced the cold lens of news cameras, not knowing the fate of all their friends and teachers, but they were sure about one thing.

Solutions must be found to tackle US gun violence crisis. “How are we allowed to buy guns at the age of 18 or 19? That’s something we shouldn’t be able to do,” Lyliah Skinner, who survived the shooting, told CNN…

“It was about guns. Guns give these disgusting people the ability to kill other human beings” – Carly Novell, shooting survivor

“We’re children,” David Hogg, a 17-year-old survivor, said. “You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done.”…


The Resisitance Now: ‘Throw them out’: plans to eject politicians ‘beholden to the gun lobby’

By Adam Gabbatt : the guardian – excerpt

Moms Demand Action and Everytown launch campaign to empower voters following the horrors of Parkland...

Activists pressure politicians to act on gun control

Activist organizations have renewed calls for gun control in the US in the wake of the school shooting in Florida.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, together with Everytown for Gun Safety, launched a campaign on Friday which it says will “empower voters to find out where candidates stand on gun safety”.

“Throw them out” will target members of Congress who are “beholden to the gun lobby”, Moms Demand Action said. They’ve set up five steps people can follow to pressure lawmakers, including how to get politicians on the record as committing to stricter gun control and a tool to encourage friends to vote.

The campaign uses a Washington Post interactive to help people track donations by the National Rifle Association. It means voters can understand which of their representatives have received money from the lobbying organization…

Indivisible, the progressive organization made up of thousands of groups across the country, is pursuing another line – encouraging people to pressure their members of congress to oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. That bill would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry a hidden weapon across state lines…

Meanwhile a petition on MoveOn, which calls for military-style assault weapons to be banned, had attracted 122,000 signatures by midday on Friday…(more)

National school walkout planned after calls for gun control grow louder


Los Angeles Times owner sells paper to local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, ending a long-troubled relationship

: washingtonpost – excerpt

The Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Times completed its sale of the newspaper on Wednesday in a surprise move that probably spells the end of its long-troubled relationship with Southern California’s leading news outlet.

The buyer is Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Los Angeles-area physician and a major shareholder of the paper’s former parent company, Tronc. Soon-Shiong is the billionaire founder and chief executive of NantHealth, based in Culver City. As part of the $500 million deal, he will also buy its sister newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune

Soon-Shiong, 64, made his fortune — estimated at around $9 billion by Bloomberg — by starting and selling biotech companies and by operating an empire of interlocking enterprises. A surgeon by training, he has no background in newspapers, except as an investor in Tronc. Among his investments is a small stake in the Los Angeles Lakers…

He has vowed to “solve health care” and to “win the war on cancer,” two grandiloquent claims that have made him controversial within health-care circles..

Soon-Shiong advised Donald Trump on health-care issues during the presidential transition last year, and also consulted with former vice president Joe Biden on Biden’s cancer initiative. Soon-Shiong has directed his political contributions primarily to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton in 2016… (more)

The media moguls never quit. This article details the history of the recent turmoil at a major US Newspaper that had a reputation for excellence in journalism.

Will the unique culture of Miami’s Coconut Grove survive?

By Suzette Laboy, Associated Press : sfchronicle – excerpt

MIAMI (AP) — With its artsy vibe, lush landscapes and free-roaming peacocks, Coconut Grove has long been known as a bohemian paradise.

It’s also Miami’s oldest neighborhood, established along the shores of Biscayne Bay in 1873 before the city existed. Located nearly 5 miles from what is now Miami’s downtown, its streets are shaded by thick canopies of trees and its housing stock includes some of Miami’s oldest homes.

But as new architecture goes up and its business district revitalizes, Coconut Grove is at risk of losing its unique history and tropical culture. Older homes are being turned into mansions of concrete and glass. Locals are fighting to reduce the size of new construction and preserve green space…

orge Perez, one of the most influential names in Miami real estate, has called Coconut Grove home for over 35 years and says he’s committed to maintaining its historic charm. His company, The Related Group, along with The Terra Group, are behind the new Park Grove project, a 297-unit luxury condo development on the Coconut Grove waterfront. The project features three wavy towers, a restaurant and “lush landscaping that the Grove is known for,” Perez says, along with a park “filled with sculptures that will be very much in the spirit of the Grove.”…(more)

Coconut Grove was one of the choice distinations for Beaux Artists leaving Pinellas Park for greener pastures. They found friendly open-hearted fun-loving easy-going creative spirits there.

Now the Grove is facing the same devastation all cities are as unfriendly groups like The Related Group bring their bag of tricks to gentrify the neighborhoods they want to overtake. One of their tricks is to make deals with local governments to replace public parking with bike rental stations to gentrify neighborhoods.

Don’t know how successful they will be getting people out of their air-conditioned cars in Florida, but I’m sure they will try. I’m also sure the Coconut Grove folks will fight back to preserve what they love the same way we all do.



Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs

By Andy Beckett : theguardian – excerpt

Work has ruled our lives for centuries, and it does so today more than ever. But a new generation of thinkers insists there is an alternative.

Work is the master of the modern world. For most people, it is impossible to imagine society without it. It dominates and pervades everyday life – especially in Britain and the US – more completely than at any time in recent history. An obsession with employability runs through education. Even severely disabled welfare claimants are required to be work-seekers. Corporate superstars show off their epic work schedules. “Hard-working families” are idealised by politicians. Friends pitch each other business ideas. Tech companies persuade their employees that round-the-clock work is play. Gig economy companies claim that round-the-clock work is freedom. Workers commute further, strike less, retire later. Digital technology lets work invade leisure…. (more)

We have been looking at this problem for the last five years as changes in technology loom around us. It is past time for a serious consideration of life without work, before the robots take over our jobs. How do we educate people to use their free time constructively in a post work world?

Summer of Love concert promoter won’t give up — seeks ballot measure

By Sam Whiting : sfchronicle – excerpt


Promoter Boots Hughston, rejected over and over by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission in his bid to stage a free 50th Anniversary Summer of Love Concert in Golden Gate Park last summer, is now planning to take it to the voters and stage it for the 52nd anniversary…

“No Cost Permit for Summer of Love Anniversary Concert” is the title. If a simple majority of voters approve, the concert will be held in September 2019.

“We are talking about calling it ‘The 50th Anniversary of Woodstock featuring the Summer of Love’,” Hughston said. The initiative calls for Hughston and his organization, the Council of Light, to hold a free event with no fences at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park. There will be 26 or 27 bands and 17 featured speakers. He expects the crowd to be 70,000 — minimum…

As part of the initiative Hughston has asked that all permit, inspection, landscape and management fees for the event be waived.

“The Summer of Love is an earmark for our generation,” Hughston said. “We are in our 70s and our 80s and we saved the world. We should be able to do one last big show and promote peace, love and compassion.”… (more)

One last attempt at one last bash for freedom peace and love before we throw in the towel on San Francisco’s role in history. Will these San Francisco residents support a “free” historical event to honor the fearless freedom fighters who got us where we are today, with our legal buds?

Former Google and Facebook executives are sounding the alarm about the pervasive power of tech. Will we listen?

By John Harris : theguardian – excerpt

Former Google and Facebook executives are sounding the alarm about the pervasive power of tech. Will we listen?

One source of angst came close to being 2017’s signature subject: how the internet and the tiny handful of companies that dominate it are affecting both individual minds and the present and future of the planet. The old idea of the online world as a burgeoning utopia looks to have peaked around the time of the Arab spring, and is in retreat.

If you want a sense of how much has changed, picture the president of the US tweeting his latest provocation in the small hours, and consider an array of words and phrases now freighted with meaning: Russia, bots, troll farms, online abuse, fake news, dark money.

Another sign of how much things have shifted is a volte-face by Silicon Valley’s most powerful man. Barely more than a year ago the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, seemed still to be rejoicing in his company’s imperial phase, blithely dismissing the idea that fabricated news carried by his platform had affected the outcome of the 2016 US election as a “pretty crazy idea”. Now scarcely a week goes by without some Facebook pronouncement or other, either updating the wider world about its latest quest to put its operations beyond criticism or assuring us that its belief in an eternally upbeat, fuzzily liberal ethos is as fervent as ever…(more)

Now that the traditional media has been replaced by online content, online entrepreneurs are the news gatekeepers, and they could be more dangerous than the traditional media lords were as they have a broader reach. All media follows the same stories. There is very little difference between the channels

Younger minds more impressionable minds are being targeted in the race to spread influence, as very young children are given smart phones and are encouraged to “start learning” by playing games. How young is too young for impressionable minds? Are humans at risk for developing strange maladies from over-dosing on wireless technology?

As we write the new history of our creative society will our voices be heard or are we pushing our thoughts into a mirror in order to content ourselves that we tried to warn the world? Can our creative efforts make a difference?

Recent developments and stories like this on “mainstream” media sources like the guardian give us hope, as do stories by youthful journalists as they uncover the truth about how governments manipulate them. Here is the latest from the SF Bay View News. You may recognize a similar plan in your city that needs to be exposed. Transportation gentrification:  How Bus Rapid Transit is displacing East-Oakland/

What Amazon’s HQ2 plan gets right: Move the jobs to the workers

: washingtonpost – excerpt

One disconnect in the American economy these days involves the thousands of high-paying jobs in cities such as New York, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco without workers to fill them. One culprit: housing shortages caused by zoning and other restrictions that make it impossible, or too expensive, for workers to move to these cities to take those jobs.

According to one widely cited study, this housing shortage has reduced economic output by 9 percent, costing the average American household $6,700 in forgone income.

The “zoning is strangling the economy” story has caught the attention of conservatives who dislike regulation, liberals who care about affordable housing, and environmentalists who want everyone to live in walkable cities. Not surprisingly, it has also been embraced by the technology sector, where most of the unfilled jobs are found, as well as by construction and real estate industries eager to build and sell more housing…

Before we rush to turn every San Francisco into a Houston, however, we need to ask ourselves whether the better strategy wouldn’t be to move the jobs to workers rather than move the workers to the jobs…

That seems to be the approach taken by one of the country’s most successful companies,, which announced this past week that it would spend $5 billion to create a second, “equal” headquarters campus somewhere other than its home base in Seattle. Rather than wait for Seattle to solve its housing and congestion problems, Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive (and the owner of The Washington Post) decided to help create another Seattle someplace where his company’s spectacular growth can be more easily and inexpensively accommodated…(more)

This is the best idea we have heard in a long time and one we have been suggesting for a while. Move the jobs to the people where they live and where the work in needed instead of crowding people into dense over-crowded small uncomfortable units. What happened to personal space?

Big cities have major problems that will not be solved by increasing property values and to raise property taxes as many civic leaders are attempting to do. The current rush to build and invest in capital improvements has left no funding for operation and  maintenance of those systems that are falling apart. We need another to feed the economy and maintain the infrastructure that is falling apart.