priorities, American style

September 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

“When a country places more importance on sports than on academic achievement, its decline is inevitable…”

“Until we get our collective head out of our ass and treat teachers and cops and sanitation workers and firefighters and the men and women we send into combat as the priceless resources that protect our lives, care for our children and make our country worth living in, we’re doomed to a future of self-centered stupidity and civic ignorance.”

Highest-Paid public employees, by state.  Click image to enlarge.
sports_vs_academic_acheivement

– From: Everything Wrong with America.  An article worth reading.  I think the title and tone are abrasive.  Be prepared for fairly course language.

priorities, American style was originally published on It Matters

the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens

October 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

…the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone… Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter. – Bill Mollison

Australian biologist/permaculture pioneer Bill Mollison.

What a potent set of points addressing two major global issues. I think it far more effective and interesting when people present solutions when criticising.

Geography Lessons

September 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

This is neither “anti-American” nor snobbery.  It’s simply true.  We live so far removed from other countries and across an ocean from almost all of them.

“God created war so that Americans would learn geography”  – Mark Twain

Ferguson Missouri 2014 mapping tragedy

August 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Bloomberg Businessweek

What does a map have to do with a riot? Everything, in the case of Ferguson, Mo., where a police officer shot dead a black teenager, some residents looted and rioted, and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

453803670-police-officers-arrest-a-demonstrator-on-august-18-2014.jpg.CROP.rtstoryvar-large
See video to understand St. Louis and Ferguson from a more tangible perspective:
 http://www.bloomberg.com/video/st-louis-urban-decay-ferguson-protests-89prJxAyT~GcxIusttJicA.html

The crazy quilt that is St. Louis County government helps explain why violence broke out in Ferguson, of all the places in the country for a riot. It’s not because Ferguson is desperately poor; it’s lower-middle-income, with a healthy business district and a range of big, close-by employers.

It’s also not because civic leaders have turned their backs on Ferguson’s black population. John Gaskin III, a spokesman for the St. Louis County NAACP, is no pushover. He calls Missouri “the most racist state in the country.”  But he praises the leadership of key business leaders.

Fragmentation is the key.

The problem, rather, is that St. Louis is locked into a pattern of inequitable development, as shown in a remarkable series of maps that Iowa’s Gordon has posted on the Web.

“The Gateway City [St. Louis] is,” he writes, “by any measure, one of the most depopulated, deindustrialized, and deeply segregated examples of American urban decay.”

(Click here for a Bloomberg TV interview with Gordon and here for a series of maps showing the area’s population shift.) Fragmentation “is not the principal cause, but it certainly fed into what’s happening in Ferguson,” says Robert Cohn, author of The History and Growth of St. Louis County, Missouri.

Dating as far back as the 19th century, communities set themselves up as municipalities to capture control of tax revenue from local businesses, to avoid paying taxes to support poorer neighbors, or to exclude blacks. Their behavior has ranged from somewhat parochial to flatly illegal.

Ferguson is comparatively populous at about 21,000 people. Many of St. Louis County’s postage-stamp municipalities have fewer than 1,000 people. Champ may be the smallness champ, with a 2010 population of 13, all white

The result of fragmentation today is a county whose small towns are highly stratified by both race and income. As blacks move into a town, whites move out. The tax base shrinks, and blacks feel cheated that the amenities they came for quickly disappear, says Clarence Lang, a University of Kansas historian who has studied St. Louis. Ferguson flipped from majority white to majority black so quickly that the complexion of the government and police force doesn’t match that of the population. That mismatch was a key factor in the tense race relations that contributed to the riots and, perhaps, the shooting itself.

Taken from

The County Map That Explains Ferguson’s Tragic Discord by Peter Coy:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-15/how-st-dot-louis-countys-map-explains-fergusons-racial-discord

It is best to read the article for a more complete view.  It’s not long.

Today’s Term:  “White Flight”  Blacks move into town, and whites move out.  A term I heard growing up in Illinois, near St. Louis.  It defines St. Louis as a whole much more than I had ever known.

 

 

Ferguson Missouri 2014 mapping tragedy was originally published on It Matters

Ferguson Missouri 2014 mapping tragedy

August 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Bloomberg Businessweek

What does a map have to do with a riot? Everything, in the case of Ferguson, Mo., where a police officer shot dead a black teenager, some residents looted and rioted, and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

453803670-police-officers-arrest-a-demonstrator-on-august-18-2014.jpg.CROP.rtstoryvar-large
See video to understand St. Louis and Ferguson from a more tangible perspective:
 http://www.bloomberg.com/video/st-louis-urban-decay-ferguson-protests-89prJxAyT~GcxIusttJicA.html

The crazy quilt that is St. Louis County government helps explain why violence broke out in Ferguson, of all the places in the country for a riot. It’s not because Ferguson is desperately poor; it’s lower-middle-income, with a healthy business district and a range of big, close-by employers.

It’s also not because civic leaders have turned their backs on Ferguson’s black population. John Gaskin III, a spokesman for the St. Louis County NAACP, is no pushover. He calls Missouri “the most racist state in the country.”  But he praises the leadership of key business leaders.

Fragmentation is the key.

The problem, rather, is that St. Louis is locked into a pattern of inequitable development, as shown in a remarkable series of maps that Iowa’s Gordon has posted on the Web.

“The Gateway City [St. Louis] is,” he writes, “by any measure, one of the most depopulated, deindustrialized, and deeply segregated examples of American urban decay.”

(Click here for a Bloomberg TV interview with Gordon and here for a series of maps showing the area’s population shift.) Fragmentation “is not the principal cause, but it certainly fed into what’s happening in Ferguson,” says Robert Cohn, author of The History and Growth of St. Louis County, Missouri.

Dating as far back as the 19th century, communities set themselves up as municipalities to capture control of tax revenue from local businesses, to avoid paying taxes to support poorer neighbors, or to exclude blacks. Their behavior has ranged from somewhat parochial to flatly illegal.

Ferguson is comparatively populous at about 21,000 people. Many of St. Louis County’s postage-stamp municipalities have fewer than 1,000 people. Champ may be the smallness champ, with a 2010 population of 13, all white

The result of fragmentation today is a county whose small towns are highly stratified by both race and income. As blacks move into a town, whites move out. The tax base shrinks, and blacks feel cheated that the amenities they came for quickly disappear, says Clarence Lang, a University of Kansas historian who has studied St. Louis. Ferguson flipped from majority white to majority black so quickly that the complexion of the government and police force doesn’t match that of the population. That mismatch was a key factor in the tense race relations that contributed to the riots and, perhaps, the shooting itself.

Taken from

The County Map That Explains Ferguson’s Tragic Discord by Peter Coy:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-15/how-st-dot-louis-countys-map-explains-fergusons-racial-discord

It is best to read the article for a more complete view.  It’s not long.

Today’s Term:  “White Flight”  Blacks move into town, and whites move out.  A term I heard growing up in Illinois, near St. Louis.  It defines St. Louis as a whole much more than I had ever known.

 

 

Ferguson Missouri 2014 core

August 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Micheal Brown was a thug, why are all those people in Ferguson?

problems not people Javon Johnson

I had been researching to simplify, and make the issue more approachable.  Avoiding statistics and annectdotes.  This message wisely addresses the core of the issue that has people so fiercely protesting.   Think about the statement above as you watch the video at this link.  A man wandering down the street is shot dead in the afternoon – I believe he had a pocket knife.

"When this woman held up her protest sign at a vigil in Washington, D.C., she had no idea she would become a symbol of history." - Alternet

“When this woman held up her protest sign at a vigil in Washington, D.C., she had no idea she would become a symbol of history.” – Alternet

Quotes:

“It’s not about whether or not the shooter is a racist.  It’s about how poor black boys are treated as problems well before we’re treated as people.”
– Dr. Javon Brown

“I cannot believe I still have to protest the shit!!!”

See also: http://pensivestates.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/ferguson-missouri-2014-side-note/ for a graphic example on video.

Ferguson Missouri 2014 core was originally published on It Matters

Ferguson Missouri 2014 core

August 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Micheal Brown was a thug, why are all those people in Ferguson?

problems not people Javon Johnson

I had been researching to simplify, and make the issue more approachable.  Avoiding statistics and annectdotes.  This message wisely addresses the core of the issue that has people so fiecely protesting.   Think about the statement above as you watch the video at the link below.

“When this woman held up her protest sign at a vigil in Washington, D.C., she had no idea she would become a symbol of history.

"When this woman held up her protest sign at a vigil in Washington, D.C., she had no idea she would become a symbol of history." - Alternet

“When this woman held up her protest sign at a vigil in Washington, D.C., she had no idea she would become a symbol of history.” – Alternet

Quotes:

“It’s not about whether or not the shooter is a racist.  It’s about how poor black boys are treated as problems well before we’re treated as people.”
– Dr. Javon Brown

“I cannot believe I still have to protest the shit!!!”

See also: http://pensivestates.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/ferguson-missouri-2014-side-note/ for a graphic example.

St. Louis MO, 2014 side note | video, shocking

August 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

I have quite a bit to say/post about Ferguson.  No surprise.  My attitude and opinions will fluctuate as things develop both legally and civically.

Before I had anything written, I saw this video and have now forgetten my ideas.  I hope I recall them shortly – I wish that I had not seen this video.  The visual content is not graphically disturbing.  The ease in which a life is lost, tossed like garbage,  is shocking.

This is the shooting that occured in north St.Louis a couple of days ago.  Well after Micheal Brown was killed.  There is a longer version of this video.  The man that was shot was 23, wandering around being odd (mental illness?).  The photographer et al, were watching him and laughing.  I don’t know why the police showed up.

This serves as a wake-up for me and people that cannot comprehend the fear and frustration of life in such a context, especially raising a black son.

St. Louis MO, 2014 side note | video, shocking was originally published on It Matters

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