Restoring Localism

by Joel Kotkin : newgeography – excerpt

Americans are increasingly prisoners of ideology, and our society is paying the price. We are divided along partisan lines to an extent that some are calling it a “soft civil war.” In the end, this benefits only ideological warriors and their funders.

One key source of this deepening division is the relentless centralization that has overtaken both our economy and our politics. Leaders of both parties have sat by while the forces of capital and government have centralized power and authority in ever fewer hands. When the federal executive branch changes hands, it’s not a political shift in the constitutional order but something closer to the kind of regime change associated with unstable countries. Increasingly, progressives favor ever more government control over people’s lives while conservatives see no limits to the power of the market.

Fortunately, there is a way out of this dilemma: a shift to local control. In a country that is ever more diverse culturally, racially, and economically, the best option is, within limits, to allow localities to determine their own fate, congruent with their own values and aspirations… (more)

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Selective Anger At “Freeloaders”

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In my dialogues with defenders of statism, online and off, I routinely encounter people – usually though not always on the political right – who express feelings of anger, disgust, contempt, etc., toward those whom they characterize with terms like “lazy”, “bums”, “freeloaders”, “parasites”, “anti-social”, “welfare queens”, “druggies”, “illegals”, “junkies”, “leeches”, “the homeless”, “non-productive members of society”, etc. Most of the criticisms seem to boil down to resentment that the people who are the objects of their ire are in some way being assisted or provided for by government at the expense of others.

Are such feelings a step on the path toward libertarian enlightenment, or just narrow-minded self-justification? I’d like to think the former, and in some cases that may be the case, but I often have my doubts. Because from where I sit as a long-time observer of San Francisco politics and local political attitudes, the sad truth is that not just the folks who are often criticized in such terms, but the vast majority of the local population, appear, both from their voting habits and from their own comments, to want to be taken care of by the nanny-state in one way or another.

It is bitterly ironic, and hypocritical as hell, for anyone who wants government to provide them with “free” elementary schools, “free” libraries, “free” fire protection services, a “free” regulatory bureaucracy of immense scale and complexity that intrudes into everything from air travel to household pets, “free” enforcement of border controls and persecution of people who reside in or attempt to enter the U.S. without government permission, a “free” military whose budget is inching toward $1 trillion with hundreds of bases in other countries, “free” enforcement against people lying on sidewalks or sleeping in tents in the commons, etc., to look down their noses at somebody who wants “free” food stamps, “free” SSI, or “free” housing vouchers as being necessarily a much worse leech or parasite than themselves or their friends…

Before we judge anyone else too harshly, here’s an illuminating pair of questions for each of us to ask ourselves:

1) How much theft, and how much coercion, would be required for government to do the things that I want it to do?
2) How can I reduce the amounts of theft and coercion that I am effectively demanding?… (more)

These are some pretty profound statements from an anti-war “anarcho-capitalist” Libertarian.

 

United Methodist Church, Financially Troubled, Attempts Hostile Takeover of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco

By: Zennie Abraham : oaklandnewsnow – excerpt

Glide Memorial Church (best known by the work of now former pastor Cecil Williams and recently used as a “demonstration safe injection site for drugusers”) prides itself in continually striving to meet the challenge set by Lizzie Glide in 1930 to welcome all. Glide was established by Lizzie Glide to honor her late husband as well as a means to share her spirituality and commitment to those in need.

In a San Francisco that has changed dramatically over the past decades and veered into a Manhattan-like gluttony for monetary gain and social status, Glide has remained the heart and soul of the city, serving as the last refuge of the downtrodden, the poor, the disenfranchised, and a place where anyone can say “I am somebody” and find some hope.

Now Glide Memorial Church Faces The Greatest Threat To Its Existence In Its History

Ironically, the threat comes from Glide’s partner, the United Methodist Church itself, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., which is financially crumbling and looking for every penny, nickel and dime to save itself–no matter the impact on the Glide and the thousands of needy it serves every day with food and social services and prayer.

The dispute has been portrayed primarily by the United Methodist Church as a fight over theology. The United Methodist Church has accused Glide of not following the denomination’s rules and regulations. Glide says it’s being asked to conform to a new bishop’s “personal idea of Methodism and Christianity,” according to news reports… (more)

What are we coming to when religious institutions are turning into cut throat capitalist land grabbing carpetbaggers, intent on  staying alive instead of helping people live in dignity? Is this the 2018 remake of Sodom and Gomorrah story? Is it time for the church to fall upon the sword and give up all its earthly goods to benefit mankind?

Press Here: Solving gentrification that results from tech hiring practices.

pressheretv – excerpt (includes video)

https://www.pressheretv.com/oaklands-opportunity-zones/

Press Here looked at gentrification in our cities that is often blamed on the hiring practices of tech companies, and explores ways governments may use opportunity zones to change that legislatively. It appears there was some language written into Obama era federal legislation that set them up.

https://www.pressheretv.com/oaklands-opportunity-zones/

Oakland’s Opportunity Zones

Posted On: August 24, 2018
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Cross Culture Ventures’ Marlon Nichols encourages investing in under-served neighborhoods.

and

http:/Straight Talk for Startups

Straight Talk for Startups

Posted On: August 24, 2018
Posted In: , , , , , , ,
Kleiner Perkins’ Randy Komisar tells startups how to beat the odds.

You may want to respond on line at the source and share. These problems are plaguing cities everywhere, as property values and costs of living are rising at a much faster pace than wages.

Al Gore says Trump undoing environmental regs has done less ‘damage’ than he once feared

by Diana Stancy Correll : washingtonexaminer – excerpt

President Trump’s efforts to unravel environmental policies has not caused as much “damage” as former Vice President Al Gore once feared.

But Gore, a vocal environmental activist, remains wary for a number of reasons, including increased leeway on regulations for coal ash dumps, where toxic metals can be held, after Andrew Wheeler, the acting secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, provided more flexibility to more than 400 U.S. coal-fired power plants.

“There are hundreds of other environmental procedures and regulations that Trump’s group has begun to undo,” he told the Associated Press. “So he’s doing some damage, but overall I would say less than I had feared.”… (more)

As this Al Gore points out the courts are protecting many of the EPA regulations and procedures that are under attack. These courts and the justices need to be protected and that should be a primary focus and consideration as voter return to the polls in November. Meanwhile, sorry to hear about the horrendously long red tide season in Florida, the major floods and New England and the devastating wildfires in the West. Too bad we can’t pipe fresh excess water from the East Coast to the West and find some algae eaters to clean up the Gulf. Meanwhile, some possible solution to preventing wildfires is coming from the historical knowledge of Native Americans.

Can Silicon Valley workers rein in big tech from within?

In our undemocratic digital world, people have little power to shape the tools that affect their lives. But tech workers could change that

An unprecedented wave of rank-and-file rebellion is sweeping Big Tech. At one company after another, employees are refusing to help the US government commit human rights abuses at home and abroad.

At Google, workers organized to shut down Project Maven, a Pentagon project that uses machine learning to improve targeting for drone strikes – and won. At Amazon, workers are pushing Jeff Bezos to stop selling facial recognition to police departments and government agencies, and to cut ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice). At Microsoft, workers are demanding the termination of a $19.4m cloud deal with Ice. At Salesforce, workers are trying to kill the company’s contract with Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The media has been following this story closely. But so far it has missed an important part of the picture. Journalists have largely described these campaigns as examples of “employee activism”. That isn’t quite right. The reason these campaigns have gotten traction isn’t because they’re led by activists. It’s because they’re led by workers. They’re labor actions, in other words – and that’s what gives them their power… (more)

What would happen if workers in other industries were inspired to take similar actions to push back against injustice where they find it on the job? Please read this amazing article. Comments and ideas and thoughts on conscientious objections are welcome here.

Mission nonprofit seeks to buy historic Redstone Building to keep tenants in place

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

The Mission Economic Development Agency is seeking to purchase the Mission District’s more-than-a-century old Redstone Building after its owner put it on the market earlier this year, placing its nonprofit and artist tenants at risk of displacement.

Formerly known as the Redstone Labor Temple, the historic building at 16th and Capp streets once served as the organizing hub for city unions and now houses over a dozen community groups and many independent artists.

MEDA, a nonprofit Mission District housing developer, is currently involved in negotiations with longtime landlord David Lucchesi over a potential purchase of the building in an effort to retain it as a community resource.

“The Mission cannot afford to lose this vital asset, so we are currently exploring public and philanthropic financing options — contingent on ongoing feasibility studies of the property and feedback from tenants — so that MEDA can preserve the Redstone for our community,” MEDA Senior Project Manager Feliciano Vera said in a statement on Monday…(more)

This is the story in all gentrified cities. Out with the old and in with the new money. Is it any wonder America has turned to “fake news” and comedy for relief?