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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Wed May 18th 2011, 05:21 PM

We have been doing the short-range emergency thing for 30 years now. People are stuck in a rut in their thinking.

It is causing much harm, but there isn't enough "progressive" discussion to actually move people out of their rutful ( ) thinking.

Its why I get so frustrated. To move to good solutions,, we need to know the problem. To know the problem, we need to have the attention of the progressive media. To have the attention of the progressive media, it needs to be on the corporate news. To be on the corporate news, there needs to be something new happening. For something new to happen, there needs to be good solutions.


where is the pulling out hair emoticon??

Thanks.. your reply means a lot, and I hope you can understand my deep frustration. There is no way, without all of YOU, that I can figure out how to break that insidious endless loop!

H E L P.....
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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Mon May 16th 2011, 02:22 PM
For all of you talking about taking over old abandoned buildings, and empty homes, this is important to think about, including that is used both public and private funds:

Making Denver's East Colfax Avenue better (but not too much better)
The street's best new designs bring hope, but respect the urban realities
By Ray Mark Rinaldi
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/28/2011 03:28:16 PM MSTUpdated: 01/31/2011 01:50:25 PM MST


At Pearl Street, rethinking the affordable. The latest Colorado Coalition for the Homeless project aims to change lives while fitting in. The $17 million building uses the latest green technology.

Lofts for the homeless? Yes, and plenty of windows to let in the light, picturesque views of the cathedral next door, brightly painted hallways, 10-foot ceilings, a shared computer lab and on-site counselors. The roof is covered with energy-converting solar tubes, and hyper-efficient elevators, and mechanical systems keep utility bills low for residents who need that the most.

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the hallways frame views of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception nearby.

The goal is to integrate homeless people into the community and for the building itself to provide a "revitalizing uplift" to the neighborhood, coalition president John Parvensky said. While half of the units will be reserved for coalition clients, the rest will lease to folks who make $35,000 or less a year. Rents will range from $250 to $600 a month

Designed by Humphries Poli Architects, the building links to the sidewalk through five storefronts where retail tenants get a rent discount if they offer jobs or training to residents. Due first: an outlet of the trendy, earth-friendly Pizza Fusion chain.

Design-wise, the building tries to accomplish a lot. On three sides it is a modern loft development, with exterior sections of stucco, corrugated metal and composite siding — an uncomplicated box that adds a touch of this era to a street that has developed in various styles over a century.

Rooftop photovoltaic tubes will generate electricity for the building. The lofts were constructed to current green standards with energy-efficient elevators and appliances.

John Parvensky, president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, in the courtyard of the Uptown Lofts, the nonprofit's 15th residential project. (Photos by Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post )exaggerated finials.

More at the link, including the new LGBT Center next door

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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Thu May 12th 2011, 03:29 PM
The credit crunch tent city which has returned to haunt America
by Paul Thompson
Last updated at 12:35 PM on 6th March 2009

A century and a half ago it was at the centre of the Californian gold rush, with hopeful prospectors pitching their tents along the banks of the American River.
Today, tents are once again springing up in the city of Sacramento. But this time it is for people with no hope and no prospects.With America's economy in freefall and its housing market in crisis, California's state capital has become home to a tented city for the dispossessed.

Rich and poor: The tents and other makeshift homes have sprung up in the shadow of Sacramento's skyscrapers

Shanty town: The tent city is already home to dozens of people, many left without jobs because of the credit crunch


Ben Cardwell, carries supplies to his tent at a homeless settlement

Tammy Day, a homeless woman, cooks potatoes on a campfire at the site

Homeless: Keith and Tammy Day cook dinner

Authorities in Sacramento, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has his office,
admit the sight of families living in such poverty is not pretty.
But faced with their own budget crisis and a £30billion deficit, they have had little choice but to consider making the tent city a permanent fixture.
The city's mayor Kevin Johnson said: 'I can't say tent cities are the answer to the homeless population in Sacramento but I think it's one of the many things that should be considered and looked at.'

Shanty towns sprung up during the Great Depression as people lost their jobs and homes

Migrant Mother: Dorothea Lange's famous photograph from the Great Depression features Florence Owens Thompson, 32, a mother-of-three who had just sold the family's tent to buy food

As America's most powerful state California had the same gross domestic output as Italy and Spain, but it has been among the hardest hit by the recession and housing crisis.Foreclosure rates last year rocketed by 327 per cent, with up to 500 people a day losing their home. Coupled with massive job cuts that have seen one in ten workers laid off, many people who once enjoyed a middle class existence are now forced into third world conditions. Former car salesman Corvin and his wife Tena are among the newest residents of the tent city.

Tent city residents queue up to receive supplies handed out by a local charity
The couple, who are in their fifties, lost their home and jobs around the same time. With homeless shelters full in Sacramento, they had little choice but to use what savings they had left to buy a tent. The couple admit they have yet to tell their grown-up children about their hand-to-mouth existence. Tena said: 'I have a 35-year-old son, and he doesn't know. I call him, about once a month and on holidays, to let him know that I'm well and healthy. 'He would love me anyway, but I don't want to worry him.' The shame of Sacramento's tent city was given a much wider airing after it was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show which is watched by more than 40 million people a week. Many of those who have found themselves homeless worked in the building trade. But with no new home builds and as many as 80,000 people losing their job every month, there is little chance of employment. Governor Schwarzenegger last month approved a budget to address the state's deficit, ending a three-month stalemate among lawmakers. As well as increasing taxes, he has imposed drastic cuts in education, healthcare and services that will affect everyone living in the state.

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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Wed May 11th 2011, 01:56 PM
While we need to help who we can who is right in front of us, we ALSO need to take care of the JUSTICE part, also.

I have spoken up many times here against charity, and it is for this reason.. we don't DO the other side, the JUSTICE side. That charity without the justice is what they neocons do, and what they want this society to Be.

I wish that for every act of charity that people here give, they would also devote time to working for Justice, to END the circumstances that cause people to be in need in the first place.

If everyone here would do a One For One, it would make a big difference in the overall picture of poverty.

PLUS, it would save a lot of people from future humiliation.
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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Sun May 08th 2011, 08:13 PM

As many of you know, my son was kidnapped when he was 8. It caused many years of pain, resulting in illness, which caused other trauma.

For so many years, Mothers Day and my son's birthday were more than I could bear. It is better now, but I think of other mothers who share this emptiness.

It can never heal, but I hope we all find some solace now.

Peace to all......

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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Mon Apr 25th 2011, 12:39 PM
to time:

I highly recommend it. Especially from about 46:

Protesters, Keep sounding the alarm!

Prophets and preachers keep declaring the truth, even, if like Martin, they don't listen to you at first!

I will OBJECT until Justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream!

We need YOUR voice, and we need YOUR support for our efforts.... it is will-breaking work.

thank you...

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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Thu Apr 14th 2011, 08:13 PM /

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is one of the letter’s 22 signators.
As it becomes increasingly evident that Congress is too mired in politics to reform our broken immigration system, a steady chorus demanding executive action is growing. This week, 22 U.S. Senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, sent a letter to President Obama asking him to grant “deferred action”─a stay from deportation─to DREAM Act-eligible students. The letter follows a campaign by immigrant rights and advocacy groups earlier this month calling on the Obama Administration to use executive authority to reform immigration policy.

Referencing the Bush Administration’s use of prosecutorial discretion, 22 members of Congress urged President Obama to use his executive authority to provide relief in a letter sent Wednesday. They write:

You are the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and are, of course, obligated to
enforce the law. However, the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in light of
law enforcement priorities and limited resources has a long history in this nation and
is fully consistent with our strong interest in the rule of law. Your Administration
has a strong record of enforcement, having deported a record number of undocumented
immigrants last year. At the same time, you have granted deferred action to a small
number of DREAM Act students on a case-by-case basis, just as the Bush Administration did.

We would support a grant of deferred action to all young people who meet the rigorous
requirements necessary to be eligible for cancellation of removal or a stay of removal
under the DREAM Act.

Although the enforcement-only crowd loves to claim that the President’s use of executive authority would be an attempt to make “end-runs” around Congress, the American Immigration Council highlighted the “important and completely legitimate role the Executive branch of government has always played in interpreting and implementing existing laws” in a statement issued this week. The Council also urged the Obama Administration to stop insisting its hands are tied when it comes to immigration.

*********************************************************************************************** /
Gillibrand to Obama: Stop Deporting DREAMers
April 13, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Contact: Angie Hu (917) 841-0354


Washington, DC – U.S .Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined Majority Leader Harry Reid and 16 of her Senate colleagues today in calling on President Obama to halt deportations of young people who qualify for the DREAM Act and grant those students and young people deferred action on deportation proceedings. Currently, tens of thousands of young people who were brought to this country by their parents and pose no threat to our national security face the prospect of being deported.

“Current law unfairly punishes thousands of young people who grew up here and know only America as their home, holding them back from making a contribution to our country’s military and economy,” said Senator Gillibrand, an original co-sponsor of the DREAM Act. “These young people deserve better. They deserve a chance at the American dream – to work hard, get a good education, serve in the military, earn their way to legal status, help grow our economy and keep our country safe. While we work to move this important bill forward, I urge the President to take action now by halting these deportations to strengthen our national security and our economy.”

The Senators wrote in a letter to President Obama, “We would support a grant of deferred action to all young people who meet the rigorous requirements necessary to be eligible for cancellation of removal or a stay of removal under the DREAM Act. We strongly believe that DREAM Act students should not be removed from the United States, because they have great potential to contribute to our country and children should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes.”

The DREAM Act is legislation that would provide 50,000 to 65,000 young people who were brought to America by their parents access to an affordable college education, U.S. citizenship, and eligibility to serve in America’s armed forces. The DREAM Act passed the House last year, but was blocked by a Senate filibuster in December 2010. Senator Gillibrandwill continue to push for passage of this legislation in the 112th Congress.

--More at the links--

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Posted by bobbolink in Poverty
Mon Apr 11th 2011, 06:51 PM
In everyway I can, I am trying to create some understanding here. Just like whites finally understood what it was to be black when they saw peaceful black protestors attacked with hoses and dogs, *I* am trying to paint a picture of what it is like to be destitute and IGNORED.

And that right there, is just how diabolical this whole thing has become. Middleclass people can SEE physical abuse, and most will be moved by it, but being IGNORED *cannot* be seen! THAT is what I am trying to get all of you to grasp.

I have suggested this before, and I am going to beg you.. please listen to or read Elie Wiesel's speech, The Perils Of Indifference, which he delivered in the Clinton White House. I think he does a good job of describing the violence of ignoring people.

He posits that the opposite of love is NOT hate; the opposite of love is indifference....separation.

I ask you to listen to the first part of his speech. In this opening, he talks about the anger of the US soldiers when they saw and freed the Jews at Buchenwald. As he describes it, the prisoners were so beaten down that they felt nothing. The anger of the soldiers was important... it told them they were PEOPLE... it told them they had value and worth. The ANGER of the soldiers freed the people to once again feel like human beings!

That is what WE need from all of you now... we need to hear your anger, your rage, that we are homeless refugees in our own country... that we are left hungry and malnourished in our own country.

Listen as he describes what Indifference does... because that is the harm that we are experiencing right now, and all the explanations, all the rationalizations don't change that harm one bit. It only exacerbates it!

Then, I ask you to read what I quoted earlier in this thread... this is the value that we have, the gift we bring to the middleclass, if only you would recognize it and value it. Don't include us because we are desperate..... include us because we bring something important to this battle!

The Gift of the Poor
The people with the best sense of what is essential to a community, of what gives and maintains its spirit, are often doing very humble, manual tasks. It is often the poorest person - the one who has a handicap or who is ill or old - who is the most prophetic. People who carry responsibility must be close to them and know what they think, because it is often they who are free enough to see with the greatest clarity the needs, beauty and pain of the community.
- Jean Vanier, Community and Growth, p. 262

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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Sun Mar 27th 2011, 11:47 AM

There is much more about the women of Libya at the link. Salwa Bugaighis said that for over 40 years of the rule of Ghaddafi, women weren't able to speak freely. Now the women are meeting together and gaining political experience.

The women fighting, organising, feeding and healing Libya’s revolution
Sarah Birke
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2011

In a bare, shabby side room in Benghazi's central courthouse, the hub of pro-democracy Libyan operations, Salwa Bugaighis talks animatedly, hardly flinching as gunshots ring out from the raucous crowds outside. They, like her, are in a mood that veers between celebration and defiance to anxiety. They flood the area of the seafront, which is littered with boards displaying caricatures of the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi and stalls selling souvenirs since the eastern part of the country was liberated on February 20.

The 44-year-old lawyer, an elegant woman dressed in black trousers and jacket, her eyes neatly lined with kohl, was on the steps of the courthouse at the first protest on February 15, when a group of legal professionals and academics gathered to protest the arrest of a colleague and to call for legal reforms, including a constitution. She has barely left the building since. By February 17 the government's vicious reaction had led to calls for regime change, and just three days later rebels claimed control of the city, Libya's second largest after the capital Tripoli.


For her, that means an amorphous job running logistical operations and acting as a liaison between the street and the National Transitional Council, the interim governing body led by Qaddafi's former justice minister, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, that heads a number of city councils around the east. This morning she has been talking to young people on the street, relaying their messages to the council's members. Later, she will meet with the military committee to discuss how to prepare Benghazi against an attack - government forces were then quickly heading east, though the new UN-imposed no-fly zone has lessened the threat - while fielding calls about arriving food shipments.


Day jobs have been shed, replaced by a spirit of volunteerism that has led to ad hoc committees and fledgling democratic institutions. Some, like Bugaighis, are members of the organisational institutions centred in the courthouse. She is joined by her sister Iman Bugaighis, a professor-turned-spokeswoman for the rebels, and by Salwa el Deghali, the women's representative on the council. But, as was the case in Egypt and Tunisia, women were involved in the protests from the start, and Libyan women across all classes and levels of education are now playing a role from providing food to keeping up numbers in the streets, regardless of the outcome of the rebellion.

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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Wed Mar 23rd 2011, 02:50 PM

17:03 More on that pro-coalition rally in Benghazi, from AFP, as thousands of people march through the streets, gathering in the city's central square.

Men, women and children filled the streets of the rebel stronghold, carrying the red, green and black rebel flag and chanting "The people want the no-fly zone", the news agency reports. The march interrupted the unusual quiet that persists in the city, where most shops remain closed and fairly few people can be seen in the streets during the day.

Many demonstrators carried French flags and signs in French thanking President Nicolas Sarkozy for his efforts to secure a United Nations Security Council resolution authorising the no-fly zone and strikes on government forces.

"One, two, three, merci Sarkozy," protesters chanted as they walked towards the courthouse square that has become the gathering place for demonstrators in the coastal city.

18.37 The current EU president has claimed western air strikes have prevented a refugee crisis which could have seen Egypt flooded with hundreds of thousands of Libyan citizens. Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said:

Had there been no air strikes... most probably now the number of refugees at the Egyptian-Libyan border would not be thousands but most probably hundreds of thousands.

That catastrophe was now avoided... we can safely say that at least this operation saved not only the lives of many, many people but also pre-empted the occurance of such a crisis situation with refugees.
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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Wed Mar 23rd 2011, 11:56 AM
A bright voice from Libya's darkness

"We just wanted our freedom, that's all we wanted, we didn't want power. Before, we could not do a single thing if it was not the way he wanted it.

All we wanted was freedom. All we wanted was to be free. We have paid with our blood, with our families, with our men, and we're not going to give up.

We are still going to do that no matter what it takes, but we need help. We want to do this ourselves, but we don't have the weapons, the technology, the things we need. I don't want anyone to say that Libya got liberated by anybody else.

If NATO didn't start moving when they did, I assure you, I assure you, half of Benghazi if not more would have been killed. If they stop helping us, we are going to be all killed because he has no mercy anymore."

Go ahead, tear this apart. Tear me apart for posting it. I no longer care... I find I am caring more about the Libyan people than I do those in my own country anymore. They have heart and compassion... the US..not so much.

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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Mon Mar 21st 2011, 03:34 PM
This is an article with some good information, and worth the read. I have just picked a few parts I find quite interesting:

denver and the west
Denver bison herd evolving back to ancestry, gaining value
By Bruce Finley
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/21/2011 01:00:00 AM MDTUpdated: 03/21/2011 01:05:02 PM MDT

Denver's expanding municipal herd of bison, bred from ancestors domesticated after commingling with cattle, shows signs of reverting to its roots. The evidence from DNA tests, wild appearance and behavior delights conservationists. Some now seek a federal "endangered" designation to bolster the nation's purest bison.
Bison calves increasingly are born with prominent humps on their backs, distinct from flat- backed cattle. About 30 are expected this spring.
Today, calves showing cattle traits are auctioned. The 54 sold over the past two years brought in about $53,000. The revenue offsets costs of veterinary services and hay that sustain the herd during winter.
(About a rejected effort to protect Bison as endangered) "We're likely to challenge that decision. Bison need further protection," said Noah Greenwald, endangered-species program director for the center. "Today's conservation herds aren't sufficient to preserve bison."

At the end of the article are some statistics about bison. The newspaper version has more pictures than are online.

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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Thu Mar 03rd 2011, 09:55 PM
Jim Wallis continues: "And cutting programs that help the most vulnerable (which are among the most cost-effective and least costly public spending we have) isn't going to get us out of financial trouble, or reduce the deficit in ways that we now need. Excessive deficits are indeed a moral issue and they place crushing burdens on our children and grandchildren. But how we reduce the deficit is also a moral issue."

For every federal dollar spent on food stamps, $1.84 is returned to the local economy.

Subsidized housing brings in MILLIONS to the local economy, AND creates jobs.

Yet, the proposed cuts to low-income housing, to food stamps, to school lunch programs and Head Start, to heating cost for poor people are being ignored. These cuts Will go through, because there is not an outcry from people like all of us... people who claim to care about others.

There are only two weeks to make your voice heard!

Get this out by Twitter and Facebook, speak to every one you know to put a stop to these cuts.

We poor people are NOT responsible for the budget mess.... don't make us take the brunt of the hits.
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Posted by bobbolink in General Discussion
Thu Mar 03rd 2011, 09:46 PM
It is too hard to look at ourselves and see that we are letting this happen.

Raygun deleted 417,000 people from disability, and there were many suicides, but they, also, were ignored.

The same is happening now, and it is again ignored.

When despots kill their own people, it is represhensible. But when a government that prides itself on being "clean" forces so many of its citizens to KILL THEMSELVES, that is beyond reprehensible. It is no longer in any way human.

And that is what we have become as a nation.

Thank you for stating it. Too bad it is ignored.
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