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Infoshop News / Review: Interview With Kevin Doyle about The Worms That Saved The World
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Today at 06:37:28 AM »
Review: Interview With Kevin Doyle about The Worms That Saved The World

This is a storybook for kids. We decided that a direct appeal to their natural rebellious instincts was what was required. In our book a community of earthworms must fight for their home and their lives.
Source: Review: Interview With Kevin Doyle about The Worms That Saved The World
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Manufactured ignorance: The strange case of Juan Cole and the Kurdish Freedom Movement, and the International Liberal Intelligentsia

Cole approaches contemporary Middle Eastern politics from what is often described as an anti-imperialist perspective?though he has been known to depart from it in specific instances (he supported NATO intervention in Libya). - See more at: http://www.focaalblog.com/2018/02/16/david-graeber-manufactured-ignorance/#sthash.UDhZh7Br.CF0KDmYL.dpuf
Source: Manufactured ignorance: The strange case of Juan Cole and the Kurdish Freedom Movement, and the International Liberal Intelligentsia
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Infoshop News / How Do You Practice Intersectionalism? An Interview With bell hooks
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Today at 06:37:28 AM »
How Do You Practice Intersectionalism? An Interview With bell hooks

In June of 2009 bell hooks agreed to be interviewed. We met at a local coffee shop and, over bagels and espresso drinks, discussed her books, politics and thoughts on recent events such as the economic downturn. I found her as forthright in person as on the page and with a subtle wit not always apparent (to me) in her writing.
Source: How Do You Practice Intersectionalism? An Interview With bell hooks
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AlterNet / We All Use Drugs, So Treat Drug Users as You Would Want to Be Treated
« Last post by AlterNet on Today at 06:37:27 AM »
We All Use Drugs, So Treat Drug Users as You Would Want to Be Treated



 
 
 



Let's help people with drug problems, and hold responsible the people who harm others.


 

We are all drug users. Coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, weed, Viagra, ecstasy, antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills and more: people are using these drugs on a weekly or even daily basis.

Why do we all use drugs? Because drugs work. We all have our personal reasons for using, whether for pleasure, or treating pain or otherwise. And of course many people face challenges from their drug use.

Coffee helps me start my day and gives me a little boost in the afternoon. While I know how harmful my cigarette habit is, it also gives me pleasure. I enjoy my smoke breaks throughout the day, going outside and getting some space, clearing my head and doing my people watching as New Yorkers walk by. I really appreciate my vodka sodas after work. Whether I am kicking up my feet at home or hanging out with friends, it is pleasurable for me. Smoking weed can both relax me and also give me energy. I like watching movies or eating a nice meal after a smoke and also enjoy getting deep with friends or doing some creative writing while a little high.

It?s clear to me that some of my drug use is because of stress and an attempt to push down some anxiety and difficult feelings. Life can be hard. Most of us are stressed when it comes to jobs, money, paying bills and god forbid trying to save a little bit. Watch the news and you are inundated with scary, deadly fires, hurricanes and floods. There are wars happening around the world and people fleeing violence and oppression. We have a President who is constantly attacking women and marginalized communities and playing a game of nuclear war chicken with North Korea. We read about school shootings on a weekly basis. We are living in nerve-wracking times. I sometimes joke, if you are not self-medicating, you are not paying attention. There is a serious opioid overdose crisis in our country right now and the reasons are many and complex. But I would wager that people?s physical and spiritual pain is a major factor contributing to the widespread use and misuse seen today.

While most people use drugs, not everyone has the same relationship with these different drugs and some of us have different experiences with drugs depending on the night or what is going on in our life at that time. The majority of people can enjoy alcohol, but for some, alcohol is a harmful drug and causes real harm and destruction in their lives. Some people can enjoy a couple of cigarettes when they have a couple of drinks. For others, there is no moderation and a single cigarette easily turns into a pack a day habit. Some use their opioids in a healthy way for their pain and for others, it can lead to serious addiction that can become the focus of their life.

While it is counterintuitive, it is worth pointing out that the overwhelming majority of people who use drugs don?t become addicted. Dr. Carl Hart, a neuroscientist and professor at Columbia University has done groundbreaking work around drug use and addiction and notes that, ?80 to 90 percent of people who use illegal drugs are not addicts. They don't have a drug problem. Most are responsible members of our society. They are employed. They pay their taxes. They take care of their families. And in some cases they even become president of the United States.?

While drug use and abuse don?t discriminate, our drug policies do. The war on drugs is a vicious war on people and African Americans and people of color feel the brunt of this war. Despite similar rates of use and sales, African Americans go to prison at 13 times the rates of whites for drugs. While marijuana legalization is becoming mainstream and entrepreneurs are getting rich, we still have hundreds of thousands of people getting stopped, frisked and arrested for marijuana ? mostly young people of color. Last year, in ?progressive? New York City, 18,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession with African Americans and Latinos making up 85% of the arrests. People who are arrested often face immediate and long-term consequences that can make it difficult to get and keep a job, maintain a professional license, obtain educational loans, secure housing, or even keep custody of a child or adopt.

So if we can agree that the majority of people in society are using drugs, and if most people who use drugs don?t have a problem, what should be done about it? The answer is not what Donald Trump is proposing. His proposals are building a wall along the border, telling people to ?Just Say No? and doubling down on law enforcement and mass incarceration. I think it is pretty obvious that our 50-year war on drugs is not the answer.

So how should our society deal with people who use drugs? I propose four simple solutions: 1) Offer treatment and compassion to people who want help for their drug problems; 2) leave people alone who don't want or need treatment; 3) continue to hold people responsible for crimes that harm others; and 4) fight like hell to end the war on drugs and stop locking up our brothers and sisters.

1) Offer treatment and compassion to people who have drug problems. While our society gives lip-service to helping people struggling with drug misuse or addiction, 90 percent of folks who want treatment can't get it. Meanwhile, thousands of people are forced into treatment every year simply because they were arrested for drug possession, even though many of them don't meet the diagnostic criteria for substance dependence.

We should have free treatment available on request. We should remove barriers to entering treatment, which is far more effective and less expensive than putting someone in jail. We need to reduce overdose deaths by getting the overdose reversal drug Naloxone into the hands of people who use opiates and their family members. We need laws that allow people to call 911 when witnessing an overdose without fear of arrest. We need supervised injection facilities where people can use in safe places with medical staff on hand to make sure people don?t die from an overdose. We should make methadone and replacement therapy available to those who want it. We should acknowledge that relapse happens and not kick people out of treatment who slip up.

2) Leave alone people who don't want or need treatment. As I mentioned earlier, the vast majority of people who use drugs don't have problems from their use.

More than 1.5 million people are arrested every year in the U.S. simply for drug possession. The majority of these people don't have drug problems and yet we are handcuffing them and saddling them with criminal records that will severely limit their opportunities in life.

3) Continue to hold people responsible for crimes that harm others. People who harm others, whether on drugs or not, need to be held responsible. Simply using or possessing drugs should not be cause for arrest, but if someone gets behind the wheel while impaired, or commits a predatory or violent crime against someone, they should continue to be held accountable.

4) Fight to end the war on drugs and stop locking up our brothers and sisters.
The war on drugs is really a war on us. It is time to decriminalize all drugs and stop arresting people simply for using or possessing a certain substance. We are all using drugs, most non-problematically. How can we allow the police to target, arrest and lock up our brothers and sisters in cages for something we are all doing? Let's help people with drug problems, leave in peace those without a problem, hold responsible those who harm others and end this tragic, inhumane war on drugs. Let's get people to care about this.

\This piece first appeared on the Drug Policy Alliance Blog






 

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Source: We All Use Drugs, So Treat Drug Users as You Would Want to Be Treated
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Inter Press Service - Labour / Bangladesh?s Garment Industry Boom Leaving Workers Behind
« Last post by Inter Press Service on Today at 06:37:25 AM »
Bangladesh?s Garment Industry Boom Leaving Workers Behind

Although Bangladesh has made remarkable recent strides like building green factories and meeting stringent safety standards, garment workers here are still paid one of the lowest minimum wages in the world. While the fashion industry thrives in the West, the workers who form the backbone of the 28-billion-dollar annual garment industry in Bangladesh struggle to […]

The post Bangladesh?s Garment Industry Boom Leaving Workers Behind appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Bangladesh?s Garment Industry Boom Leaving Workers Behind
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Infoshop News / Men Are Responsible for Mass Shootings
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:09:30 PM »
Men Are Responsible for Mass Shootings

So let?s start talking about the culture of toxic masculinity that makes men believe they should get a gun and shoot people with it.
Source: Men Are Responsible for Mass Shootings
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Infoshop News / Notes from the U.S.
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:09:30 PM »
Notes from the U.S.

Freedom?s long-running US correspondent Louis Further does his monthly roundup of some of the lesser-known stories that have emerged over the last few weeks.
Source: Notes from the U.S.
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Kept Out: Banks Across U.S. Caught Systematically Rejecting People of Color for Home Loans


Redlining is alive and well in America.


 

A shocking new investigation by Reveal and the Center for Investigative Reporting has uncovered evidence that African Americans and Latinos are continuing to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts across the country. Reveal based its report on a review of 31 million mortgage records filed with the federal government in 2015 and 2016. The Reveal investigation found the redlining occurring across the country, including in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Antonio. We speak to Aaron Glantz, senior reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, and Rachelle Faroul, a 33-year-old African-American woman who was rejected twice by lenders when she tried to buy a brick row house in Philadelphia, where Reveal found African Americans were 2.7 times as likely as whites to be denied a conventional mortgage.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: A shocking new investigation by Reveal and The Center for Investigative Reporting has uncovered evidence that African Americans and Latinos are continuing to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts across the country. Reveal based its report on a review of 31 million mortgage records filed with the federal government in 2015 and 2016. This is Reveal data reporter Emmanuel Martinez speaking on PBS NewsHourabout the investigation.

EMMANUEL MARTINEZ: Here we have the likelihood of denial. So, black applicants in Philadelphia are almost three times as likely to be denied a conventional mortgage.

REPORTER: Reveal found this troubling pattern in dozens of cities. Philadelphia was one of the largest.

EMMANUEL MARTINEZ: In 61 metros across the country, applicants of color are more likely to be denied a conventional mortgage, even if they have the same financial characteristics as a non-Hispanic white applicant.

AMY GOODMAN: The Reveal investigation found the redlining occurring across the country, including in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Antonio, Texas. The report is being published as the nation is preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Fair Housing Act in April of 1968.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: The voice of justice speaks again. It proclaims that fair housing for all, all human beings who live in this country, is now a part of the American way of life.

AMY GOODMAN: We?re joined now by two guests: Aaron Glantz, senior reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, his new investigation headlined ?Kept Out: How banks block people of color from homeownership?; and we?re joined by Rachelle Faroul, a 33-year-old African-American woman who was rejected twice by lenders when she tried to buy a brick row house in Philadelphia, where Revealfound African Americans were 2.7 times as likely as whites to be denied a conventional mortgage. She was only able to buy a home when her half-white partner, Hanako Franz, signed on. At the time, Hanako was nearly unemployed and working part-time at a grocery store.

Aaron and Rachelle, we welcome you both to Democracy Now! Aaron, let?s begin with you in San Francisco. First of all, explain what redlining is and, then, how African Americans and Latinos are kept out, why this is such a critical story today.

AARON GLANTZ: Well, Amy, 80 years ago, the federal government drew lines on map?

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we seem to have lost Aaron for a moment, in a little satellite glitch. So, why don?t we go right off to Ta-Nehisi Coates He talked about the legacy of redlining during an appearance on Democracy Now! a few years ago, the significance of what this means for the black and the Latino unity.

TA-NEHISI COATES: There?s no way to understand housing as it exists today without federal policy. Black people, as was the thinking at the time, could not be responsible home loaners. The FHA literally drew up the redlining map and then basically distributed?I?m sorry, the Home Owners? Loan Corporation actually did it, and then distributed to banks who used that as policy to determine how they would lend and who they would lend to. The racism in the system was pervasive and total. And the fact that African Americans have been cut out of it is not shocking if you understand what the country was in the 1930s and the 1940s. And this redounds throughout generations. As we know, homes are how people in America build wealth, largely. And if you cut black people out of that opportunity, a lot is explained about what the African-American community looks like today.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that was Ta-Nehisi Coates. Rachelle Faroul, tell us your story. You managed a million-dollar grant in your job at the University of Pennsylvania, are a contractor with Rutgers University. Two lenders turned you down when you tried to buy a home?

RACHELLE FAROUL: Yes. And thank you so much for having me.

I started my homeownership journey in 2016, soon after I moved to Philadelphia from Brooklyn, where I was born and raised. And I wanted to own property, like my mom, like many of her siblings and their parents. And from the beginning, it was just so difficult for me to make this happen. And it?s not to say that I am at all surprised. As an organizer, as someone who is very well read and well versed in all of the ways that black people in America have been disenfranchised routinely over the years, I was more hurt than surprised.

And it really wasn?t until my partner, Hanako?who identifies as Asian, not half-white?stepped in and offered to be my co-borrower that it was pretty much smooth sailing, to the extent that our application was approved. But as soon as she came on, I was largely ignored, and really all that mattered was my money.

That is, unfortunately, not the experience of a large number of black people who try to buy homes in America. Most of us are routinely denied, our applications are rejected, and we are forced to continue to rent from people who don?t care about us, don?t care about our well-being and don?t really consider or value the ways in which we help them accrue wealth.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Rachelle, could you talk about how it is?I mean, you tried, on two different occasions, to get a loan. How did the loan officers treat you, and how did they treat your partner?

RACHELLE FAROUL: Sure. So, in 2016, when I started this process by myself, I had all of the paperwork. I had my tax returns, which I do every year. At that time, I was freelancing and was told that I needed to have more steady income, because so much of my income at the time was undocumented, and to the extent that I was being paid in cash or I wasn?t being paid regularly, and they told me that I needed to have a full-time job.

I then asked if it was possible for me to have a co-signer, and they said yes. I asked my mom. She said yes right away, because this has been just as much a dream for her as it has been for me. And we were rejected right away. And Angela Colloi from FHA told us that the reason why my mom couldn?t be a co-signer was because she had too much student loan debt from her Ph.D., from my bachelor?s and also from my brother?s. My mom has been incredible in helping me stay afloat, my brother and I stay afloat, over the years. And it was really hurtful. At that time, I was mostly hurt for her, because she wanted to be able to support her child in this, you know, really impactful and powerful way and was told that she couldn?t.

And so, I left it at that and got a full-time job here at Penn, where I still work, managing a large grant. And about a year later, I started the process again with the Penn Home Ownership Services, a forgivable loan that?s offered to Penn employees. And again I experienced a lot of difficulty, this time with Santander Bank.

It was, overall, a?I would say, a humiliating process, but one that was also really beautiful, in a way, because all of the people who showed up for me, including Aaron, Ray, the entire team at The Center for Investigative Reporting, Hanako, who is an incredible human, my friends, my colleagues. Folks really, you know, understood the meaning of what is happening, and did as much as they could to support me in my journey. And so, while this has been?and still is, you know, months after we closed?this has been, you know, a reckoning. Again, I am really happy with the way some people showed up for me.

AMY GOODMAN: So you only got it when Hanako signed on with you?

RACHELLE FAROUL: I?m sorry?

AMY GOODMAN: You only got it when Hanako signed on with you?

RACHELLE FAROUL: Yes. And it?s kind of ridiculous. I mean, it?s something that we still laugh about. So, Hanako?s co-borrower application was approved at a time when her credit score was in the 700s. And that is what mattered most, for whatever reason. What didn?t matter at all was the fact that Hanako was working part-time at a grocery store. Her most recent pay stub was like $115. I was helping her pay her health insurance, because, you know, she had such little cash.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, listen, before we get to the end of the show, we wanted?

RACHELLE FAROUL: But even so, she was considered more qualified than me.

AMY GOODMAN: We wanted to bring Aaron Glantz in, although I think we just have you on the telephone, not in a studio, Aaron, because of the satellite glitch. But explain what redlining is and why this is such an important exposť, ?Kept Out: How banks block people of color from homeownership.?

AARON GLANTZ: Well, I mean, as you said earlier, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act in 1968, and that was supposed to make mortgage discrimination illegal. And it was supposed to allow people to build wealth, no matter what their race was. And it was supposed to end segregation. And what we found in our investigation, 50 years later, is that in dozens of cities across the country people of color are still being turned away from the opportunity to live the American dream.

And further, we found that the government is completely dropping the ball on its enforcement of these laws. We found that the Obama administration had sued only a handful of banks for violating the Fair Housing Act. In his first year in office, the Trump administration?s Justice Department did not sue a single financial institution. And the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, which is in charge of enforcing another law called the Community Reinvestment Act, which is supposed to get banks to lend in low-income communities and underserved neighborhoods, was passing these institutions on their community lending reviews, 99 point?99 percent of the time. So, basically, the government is saying that everyone in the banking and mortgage industry is doing a fantastic job. And yet we found that across the country people of color are being turned away, even when they make the same amount of money as whites, even when they?re trying to take on the same size loan as whites, and even when they?re trying to buy in the same neighborhoods as whites.

AMY GOODMAN: And you found that Philadelphia, where Rachelle Faroul is, was particularly egregious.

AARON GLANTZ: We found that in Philadelphia African Americans were 2.7 times more likely to be turned away for a loan, even when you take into account factors that loan officers should be using, like income, that race was still a factor, even after taking into account income and the size of the loan. But, as you mentioned, Philadelphia is not the only city. We found this problem in Atlanta. We found it in Washington, D.C. We found it in San Antonio, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Tacoma, Washington. All over the country, 61 metropolitan areas total, we found?

AMY GOODMAN: We?re going to have to leave it there, Aaron, but we will link to your piece, ?Kept Out.? And thanks so much to Rachelle Faroul.

 

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Source: Kept Out: Banks Across U.S. Caught Systematically Rejecting People of Color for Home Loans
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Infoshop News / Class War defeat Qatari Royals and protect protest rights
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:01:43 AM »
Class War defeat Qatari Royals and protect protest rights

There?s something delicious about seeing very rich and powerful people take on a fight and then realise they?ve bitten off more than they can chew. They?re not used to it and sometimes seemingly small victories are the best we can hope for.
Source: Class War defeat Qatari Royals and protect protest rights
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Infoshop News / If We Want Kids to Stop Killing, the Adults Have to Stop, Too
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:01:43 AM »
If We Want Kids to Stop Killing, the Adults Have to Stop, Too

America's rage-sickness trickles down from the top.
Source: If We Want Kids to Stop Killing, the Adults Have to Stop, Too
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