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Member since: Wed Dec 10, 2014, 12:21 AM
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"they got subsidized by some bigger publication. Some mainstream successful thing."

Robert Crumb confirms my suspicion that Charlie Hebdo was subsidized (as its low circulation wouldn't have supported its staff):

They had offices and staff – they seemed to have reasonable funding…

Yeah, I just read this recently that they were actually being subsidized, especially after that 2011 bombing, they got subsidized by some bigger publication. Some mainstream successful thing. It was like an old institution on the radical end of things, you know. Yeah, it doesn’t exist in the US, there’s nothing like that. It just went on for so long, you know. And it’s gonna still go on, they’re going to keep it going

Read more at http://observer.com/2015/01/legendary-cartoonist-robert-crumb-on-the-massacre-in-paris/#ixzz3OXHkxWuA

The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle

The apparent recent surge in popular anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States has been driven by a surprisingly small and, for the most part, closely knit cadre of activists. Their influence extends far beyond their limited numbers, in part because of an amenable legion of right-wing media personalities — and lately, politicians like U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who held controversial hearings into the radicalization of American Muslims this March —who are eager to promote them as impartial experts or grassroots leaders. Yet a close look at their rhetoric reveals how doggedly this group works to provoke and guide populist anger over what is seen as the threat posed by the 0.6% of Americans who are Muslim — an agenda that goes beyond reasonable concern about terrorism into the realm of demonization.

Of the 10 people profiled below, all but Bill French, Terry Jones and Debbie Schlussel regularly interact with others on the list. Most were selected for profiling primarily because of their association with activist organizations. People who only run websites or do commentary were omitted, with two exceptions: Schlussel, because she has influence as a frequent television talk-show guest, and John Joseph Jay, because he is on the board of Pamela Geller's Stop Islamization of America group. Three other activists, Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes and Frank Gaffney, have interacted with many of the core group as well and also have offended many Muslims, but they are somewhat more moderate in their views of Muslims than those who are profiled below...


How "Giftivism" Helped Turn a Tough Oakland Street Into a Close-Knit Community

The Fruitvale district of East Oakland, California, is the turf of three major gangs. Yet the residents of Casa de Paz never lock their doors. Anchored by Pancho Ramos Stierle and Adelaja Simon, Casa de Paz is part of a group of homes that form an intentional community of peace and nonviolence in an area rife with structural and physical violence.

In order to serve their community, they live with the people—laugh with them, cry with them, and eat with them. They embody "giftivism," practicing radical acts of generosity that change the world, one heart, one home, one block at a time.


How the Real Teens Behind "The Fault in Our Stars" Are Bringing Empathy to the Internet

“I’m proud to be a Nerdfighter in part because I wish so much I could have been one in seventh grade.”

Nerdfighters are bringing kindness and empathy to the native environment of its teenage members—the Internet.

Those are the words of John Green, author of the number-one New York Times bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars, source of the film out this weekend. John is one of the founders of the millions-strong online movement called Nerdfighters, and the author’s success (he once held four spots on the NY Times best seller list at the same time) and anticipation for the film belie not just Green’s popularity among teens, but also the desire for an earnest, emotionally gratifying Internet experience of the kind offered by the Nerdfighters.

So, what’s a “Nerdfighter” and why does Green wish he could have been one? Nerdfighters are a group of mostly teenagers who spend a lot of time on the Internet, especially Youtube, making videos and participating in their brand of social change, which includes everything from spreading anti-bullying messages to raising money for charities. They inhabit a digital neighborhood they refer to as “Nerdfighteria,” and communicate in a language that may leave the uninitiated scratching their heads.

According to the Nerdfighters, there exists a certain amount of “world suck” that can be combated with "awesome." To this end, Nerdfighters created the Foundation to Decrease World Suck, which every year holds The Project 4 Awesome, a fundraising competition to raise money for organizations decreasing suck around the world.

This is the language of the Nerdfighters, and it is used wholly without irony. Nerdfighters are “made of awesome” and work together to “fight against world suck.” The motto is DFTBA: Don’t Forget To Be Awesome. Part of being in Nerdfighteria means understanding the language, the hand-signals, and the countless inside-references.

But the Nerdfighters are doing more than fundraising, sharing Youtube videos, and passing along in-jokes. They are bringing kindness and empathy to the native environment of its teenage members—the Internet—a place that too often lacks both...


Why Is the FBI Harassing Activists in Cascadia? (megaloads)

Here's something I've never heard of:

In August 2014, two activists with the environmentalist group Rising Tide spent a week riding the backwoods highways of Idaho monitoring a megaload—a big rig hauling equipment for processing tar-sands oil that’s wide enough to take up two lanes of road, too high to fit under a freeway overpass, can be longer than a football field, and can weigh up to 1,000,000 pounds.

They had no idea that they would soon be wrapped up in a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe that encompassed three states and several environmentalist groups.

Helen Yost of Moscow, Idaho, and Herb Goodwin of Bellingham, Washington, have spent years travelling through area the bioregion of Cascadia to halt megaloads, from Washington and Oregon to Idaho and up through Montana. They are used to harassment from law enforcement. That week, Goodwin said, the two were stopped on average twice a night, by law-enforcement agencies ranging from state troopers to local police in Sandpoint and Moscow.

Usually carrying equipment to upgrade and expand tar sands mining in Alberta, Canada, megaloads make a torturous crawl along rural roads at night to avoid traffic, questions, and complaints. But activists like Goodwin and Yost have been remarkably successful at organizing the people in mountain country. In August 2013, more than a hundred people in Idaho participated in a four-day mobile blockade of a megaload on U.S. 12 headed for the Nez Perce reservation. The Nez Perce Nation said the megaloads threatened treaty-reserved resources, historic and cultural resources, and “tribal member health and welfare.” Tribal chair Silas Whitman was one of the blockaders arrested, while activists from Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), the group Yost helped form, played important support roles.

Rising Tide North America’s network, spun out of the Earth First! grass-roots environmentalist movement in 2005, now spans the Cascadia bioregion, with chapters in Seattle, Spokane, Olympia, Bellingham, and Vancouver, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Moscow, Idaho; Missoula, Montana; and Vancouver, B.C. In the last six months, they have collaborated on an average of a blockade per month, and have helped to spearhead the movement against fossil-fuel exports through the Pacific Northwest. The network has worked in solidarity with indigenous peoples to halt megaloads, has marched in pickets with unions to shut down ports, and has aided community groups to stop permits for coal, oil, and gas terminals on the Pacific Coast.


NYC Cops Prove They Aren’t Really Needed

A huge number of entitled, mostly white cops in New York City, who have apparently been engaging in a two-week job action to protest their boss’s (that’s Mayor Bill deBlasio’s) support for protesters against the police killing of Eric Garner, a black man busted for selling “loosie” cigarettes on the street on Staten Island, may be unintentionally offering the public a demonstration of their own irrelevance.

For two weeks now, the largest police force in the nation has essentially stopped making arrests. According to a lead story in the New York Timestoday, ticket issuance by police in this city of 8.4 million is down by 90 percent. The paper reports that:

Most precincts’ weekly tallies for criminal infractions — typically about 4,000 a week citywide — were close to zero.

And yet, New York continues to function normally, with people going about their business, secure on sidewalk, street, public transit and in their homes.

Could it be that the city has been wasting much of the nearly $5 billion it spends annually on its over 34,000 uniformed cops (15% of the city’s budget)? Could it be that having all those cops cruising around neighborhoods harassing people — mostly, statistics show, people of color and poor people — by stopping them and frisking them, by busting them for “crimes” like public urination, smoking a joint, drinking a beer outside, selliing trinkets or “lossie” cigs, or just “looking suspicious” — has been doing nothing to reduce major crimes and violence after all?

(getting rid of police) would cut the bloated police force in the city down to size, and, because almost all of those dropped from the payroll would be white, it would go a long way towards making the NYPD much more reflective, racially, of the city they are policing.

If New York still continued, at that point, to function normally, without any evident surge in lawlessness, the Mayor would find himself suddenly with the funds he needs to do those progressive things that so far he has been blocked from doing by lack of funds and by obstruction from the governor, fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo — things like universal preschool, rent subsidies for the poor, etc.


(Last week): Hollande eyes end to Russia sanctions

French President François Hollande discussed the options for lifting sanctions on Russia, ruled out unilateral military action in Libya and addressed Greece’s looming snap election in a wide-ranging interview Monday on France Inter radio.

The French president said biting Western sanctions against Russia should be lifted if progress were made in resolving the Ukraine crisis. "I think the sanctions must stop now. They must be lifted if there is progress. If there is no progress the sanctions will remain," he said. The sanctions began in March after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea and have since been stepped up amid claims Russia is stoking separatist conflict in the country’s east. "Mr Putin does not want to annex eastern Ukraine... The crisis in Ukraine has prevented France from completing the delivery of two "Mistral-class" warships to Russia. Paris has pushed back the delivery of the €1.2 billion vessels "until further notice", and could be liable for a hefty fine if it breaches the contract.

Greece ‘free to choose’

With three weeks to go ahead of a critical general election in Greece, Hollande said the Greeks were “free to choose their own destiny” but also bound by their European commitments. Polls say the January 25 snap election could see victory for the left-wing Syriza party, which has vowed to scrap austerity policies imposed by Greece’s EU partners and negotiate a write-off of half the country’s debt. The prospect of a Syriza government has roiled jittery markets and revived fears of a Greek exit from the eurozone. Hollande’s warning not to interfere with the Greek election has been interpreted as a swipe at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose government has described a Greek exit from the euro as “almost inevitable” should Syriza come to power. Greece alone can decide," Hollande said, though adding that “there are certain engagements that have been made [by Greek governments] and all those must be of course be respected".


Phylicia Rashad Defends Bill Cosby, Slams "Orchestrated" Abuse Claims

Phylicia Rashad is breaking her silence on the sexual abuse allegations against her longtime co-star Bill Cosby.

The 66-year-old Tony-winning actress, who shared the screen with Cosby for eight seasons as Clair Huxtable on NBC's The Cosby Show, defended the embattled comedian while speaking to Showbiz 411 at an event for the film Selma.

"Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV," Rashad continued, referring to people other than the accusers. "And it’s worked. All his contracts have been canceled." She lamented that the legacy of the Cosby Show, a family-friendly comedy once beloved by millions of viewers, is now "being destroyed."


A Restaurant Just Banned Tips And Employees Are Thrilled

A Pittsburgh restaurant just banished tips and in return, started paying employees a $35,000 salary with benefits.

The restaurant, called Bar Marco, is also giving its workers health care, 500 shares in the company, and paid vacation.

"America needs to realize that working in the restaurant industry is an occupation," Bar Marco co-owner Robert Fry told Eater.

All 20 of Bar Marco's employees have signed the new contracts, which state that they will work a maximum of 40 to 44 hours per week and get two days and one night off a week. Employees will also get 10 paid vacation days per year.

"This is truly touching and incredible," employee Csilla Marie Thackray wrote on the company's Facebook page. "So proud to be a part of such a phenomenal and supportive company."

Full-time salaries are rare in the restaurant industry and the minimum wage for tipped workers is meager. In Pennsylvania, the tipped minimum wage is is $2.83.


5 Cities Where Poverty is Soaring

5. Salisbury, N.C.
> Poverty increase: 12.4 ppt
> 2010-2012 Poverty rate: 28.4%

4. College Park, Md
> Poverty increase: 13.0 ppt
> 2010-2012 Poverty rate: 32.0%

3. Goshen, Ind.
> Poverty increase: 13.3 ppt
> 2010-2012 Poverty rate: 27.0%

2. Cookeville, Tenn.
> Poverty increase: 13.4 ppt
> 2010-2012 Poverty rate: 35.2%

1. Eastpointe, Mich.
> Poverty increase: 14.9 ppt
> 2010-2012 Poverty rate: 27.1%

Despite signs of economic recovery, the number of U.S. residents living in poverty remains stubbornly high. An average of 15.7% of the U.S. population lived below the poverty line during the three-year period of 2010-2012, a considerable increase from an average of 13.6% during the previous three-year period of 2007-2009.

In some of the nation’s smaller cities, poverty is an even more severe problem. In Eastpointe, Michigan, the poverty rate rose from 12.2% during 2007-2009, slightly below the U.S. average rate, to a 27.1% average rate during 2010-2012. According to the latest data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in more than 20 cities with populations of 25,000 or more increased by at least 10 percentage points between those two three-year periods...

Nationally, the average home value during the three-year period of 2010-2012 was down by 9% compared to the previous three-year period. In eight of the 10 cities with soaring poverty rates, property values fell by at least 10%. Homes in Eastpointe lost nearly half of their value. In Inkster, Michigan, another city where poverty grew substantially, an average of 43.3% of homes were worth less than $50,000 between 2010 and 2012, compared to just 11.8% of homes during the 2007-2009 period.

Job losses also hit these cities hard. Nationally, unemployment rose from 4.6% in 2007 to 8.1% last year. In the majority of these cities, unemployment increased, and remained above the national rate. In North Chicago, which had one of the largest increases in poverty, unemployment rose from 10.5% in 2007 to 15.4% in 2012.

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