23 July 2016

ISSUES FOR YOUR TOP-OF-MIND AWARENESS…

0000 by Jeff Hess

There are a number of stories that I come back to again and again. My friend Eric Vessels once wrote that I do a consistently good job of following up, and Scene Magazine said that my daily posts remind the public of Cleveland controversies long after the local media gets bored and moves on.

So, that is what I’m attempting to do here with three stories: our ongoing conversation on Racism in America, the vital need to slam the brakes on Global Warming/Climate Change and the struggle to free Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

While this post is stuck to the top of my blog as a constant reminder to my readers and myself, new stories on many other topics do appear below.

Enjoy. Think, Discuss, Act…

top of mind

End Racism Xenophobia in America… Stop Global Warming… Free Raif Badawi…

the counted

23 July 2016

AMERICA’S LAST ELECTION…

0700 by Jeff Hess

23 July 2016

BLUE BLOOD: DANNY REAGAN VS. JAMIE REAGAN…

0600 by Jeff Hess

As a young second-class petty officer stationed in San Diego (living in Chula Vista, which borders on Mexico) I went south more than a few times. One trip, riding in the back of Bugsy Boatright’s yellow Toyota pickup, took me to Hunan’s in Ensenada. We were celebrating someone’s birthday and in the course of the afternoon and early evening we consumed a lot of tequila.

In the parking lot, as we were preparing to leave, an expatriate backed into Buggsy’s truck. The damage was minimal, but still a confrontation arose. The local police were summoned and before we knew how we got there, we all found ourselves outside the local police station.

While Bugsy and the guy who did the damage were in side, the rest of us stayed on the street where another expatriate when off on how us gringos came down here and raised hell causing problems for guys like him who just wanted to enjoy the margarita vibe in peace. Without really thinking about what I was doing, I talked to the guy, got him to tell me about life in Ensenada. We talked. He mellowed and I actually learned a bit.

Afterwards, one of my shipmates told me he was impressed with how I deescalated the situation. I didn’t think much about what I had done at the time, but reading Tom Dart’s ‘Verbal judo’: the police tactic that teaches cops to talk before they shoot brought the memories back.

Dart writes:

Bored with his life in academia, George “Doc” Thompson left his prestigious career and went on to teach a million police officers to ask questions first and shoot later.

Thompson was a judo black belt who ran a dojo, studied rhetoric and persuasion at Princeton and had a PhD in English literature. But after 10 years of teaching university classes, Thompson wanted a change. He took a sabbatical and decided to become a cop, working the midnight shift as a patrol officer in New Jersey.

The father of a tactical communication style known as “verbal judo”, he wrote his first book on the subject in 1983 and became a successful law enforcement trainer.

“Anybody can teach English,” he said in one of his training video from the 1990s. “Not anybody can talk a knife out of somebody’s hand.”

I referenced two characters from the television show Blue Bloods because the two brothers—Danny and Jamie—are polar opposite in the way they handle criminals. Danny is an old-school detective who gets on top of a situation, shouting and making demands in a confrontation. Jamie, a rookie patrolman, negotiates, does his best to defuse the situation. Some will argue, perhaps correctly, that Jamie simply hasn’t been on the job long enough and that, given experience, will turn into his big brother. Doc Thompson is the real-world case for not giving in to the cynics.

In the current context of tensions inflamed by a series of police shootings of African Americans and of cops killed in revenge attacks, the use of verbal de-escalation to defuse combustible encounters has rarely seemed so important—or so under threat.

More than 30 years ago, Thompson codified what he saw as common sense: using tactical language calmly under pressure to achieve a clearly defined goal—with the priority of keeping officers safe.

“I simply used my academic background to put words to what great cops have always done,” he said. “Verbal judo is not the flavour of the month. It’s been around for 200 years. Great sheriffs never ran a town badmouthing people and put people down and disrespected people; they’d have been shot out of the saddle.”

Thompson’s research found that almost every injury came from an escalation in a situation, rather than from the officer arriving when violence was already underway.

“We know that the most deadly weapon we carry is not the .45 or the 9mm, it is in fact the cop’s tongue … A single sentence fired off at the wrong person at the wrong time can get you fired, it can get you sued, it can get you killed,” said Thompson.

Thompson died in 2001, but the lessons he learned and taught continue.

Joel Francis, a former police officer in New York, is a national instructor at the Verbal Judo Institute, teaching techniques he deployed on the beat. His clients are private companies, as well as law enforcement departments. “Our calendar is pretty full,” he said.

“There’s so many times when people are screaming and yelling and you just go to them: ‘Hey, buddy, how you doing? My names’s Sergeant Francis, I’m with NYPD, I noticed that you’re really upset, now what’s going on with you, is there any way I can help?’” he said. “What’s the expression on your face, what’s the tone of your voice? A lot of it has to do with keeping yourself calm. We have to have some sort of a professional language to use, and that’s what verbal judo really supplies.”

He added: “We know that we can always use the strong arm of the law to make them comply, but we’re trying to give our officers tools that will generate voluntary compliance.”

Makes a hell of a lot of good sense to me.

23 July 2016

NINA TURNER ON THE NIGHTLY SHOW PANEL…

0500 by Jeff Hess

23 July 2016

PUSH THROUGH THE CHILL AND FEEL THE BURN…

0400 by Jeff Hess

Miles Goodrich, writing for 350.org, emails:

Friends,

Watching the Republican National Convention unfold this week was chilling.

In an often-ridiculous horror show, Republicans officially nominated a climate-denying racist for President and a puppet of the Koch brothers as his VP. They also introduced the most regressive, bigoted party platform this country has seen in decades, attacking most of what the climate movement has been working so hard to achieve.

This week scared me, but it also bolstered my resolve: We must defeat the Republican’s hateful, divisive political rhetoric, willful denial of the crises we face, and catastrophic platform—while also demanding more ambitious climate action from the Democrats.

To do that, we’ve got to organize. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be organizing bird-dogging actions, turning folks out to vote, and sharing stories online—and we need your help.

Take the pledge: I will take action to stop Trump and make sure the Democrats get serious about climate change.

This election is undeniably ugly, offering hard choices for climate activists who want to see fossil fuels kept underground. But it’s also undeniable that the Republican platform put in action would set this country back decades—decades that we can’t afford.

The Republican platform ratified this week in Cleveland looks like a Christmas wish-list for the fossil fuel industry. In a lot ways it is, since many of the delegates who wrote it have taken thousands of dollars from the worst polluters in the world, including Exxon. In the hottest year ever, the Republicans call for:

  • Constructing the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Abandoning the Paris Climate Agreement
  • Scrapping the Clean Power Plan
  • Fracking and drilling on our public lands
  • Mining as much coal as possible
  • And that’s not to mention the long list of policies that would set back racial, economic, and social justice for thousands of Americans.

    We know that we can shift what’s politically possible in this country. The climate movement’s tireless bird-dogging efforts during the primary resulted in Hillary Clinton’s opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline and Atlantic drilling. Next week, we expect the Democrats to ratify the strongest climate platform to date, thanks to the leadership shown by local activists across the country fighting to #keepitintheground. But we’ve still got a ways to go.

    We can’t let a climate-denying racist into the White House next year, and we’ve got to hold the Democrats to their promises.

    Take the pledge to act and organize this election, so that we can make sure to keep you plugged in.

    Onward,

    Miles and the 350 Action team

    P.S. Yesterday, hundreds of Americans took a stand against hate and denial. You can see a couple photos from the Stop Trump actions, and from the Movement for Black Lives actions.

    Previously in The Guardian emails…

    Keep Carbon In The Ground…

    23 July 2016

    PLAYING THE GODLESS CARD AT THE DNC…

    0300 by Jeff Hess

    FROM: MARSHALL@dnc.org
    TO: MirandaL@dnc.org, PaustenbachM@dnc.org, DaceyA@dnc.org
    DATE: 2016-05-05 03:31
    SUBJECT: No shit

    It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

    FROM: DaceyA@dnc.org
    TO: MARSHALL@dnc.org, MirandaL@dnc.org, PaustenbachM@dnc.org
    DATE: 2016-05-05 12:23
    SUBJECT: Re: No shit

    AMEN

    Amy K. Dacey
    Chief Executive Officer
    Democratic National Committee

    Yes shit.

    Score another point for transparency and Wikileaks.

    Sam Biddle writes in New Leak: Top DNC Official Wanted to Use Bernie Sanders’s Religious Beliefs Against Him:

    Among the nearly 20,000 internal emails from the Democratic National Committee, released Friday by Wikileaks and presumably provided by the hacker “Guccifer 2.0,” is a May 2016 message from DNC CFO Brad Marshall. In it, he suggested that the party should “get someone to ask” Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders about his religious beliefs.

    That would have played well with Marshall’s Southern Baptist peeps, but with the under-45 voters who came out for Bernie and now have one additional reason to tell the Democratic National Committee in general and Hillary Clinton in particular, to go fuck themselves, not bloody likely.

    22 July 2016

    WHEN YOU NEED HILLARY CLINTON TO SAVE YOU…

    0900 by Jeff Hess

    first dog 160722

    22 July 2016

    RALPH NADER WRITES TO PRESIDENT OBAMA…

    0800 by Jeff Hess

    Ralph Nader, in An Open Letter to President Obama—Domestic Catastrophic Risk Demands Action Behind the Talk, writes to President Barack Hussein Obama:

    President Barack Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, D.C. 20500

    July 22, 2016

    Dear President Obama:

    As Senators, you and Joe Biden were leaders in highlighting the threat of America’s hazardous chemical plants—and in calling for solutions that included moving these facilities to inherently safer technologies. In 2006, you bluntly stated “these plants are stationary weapons of mass destruction spread all across the country.”

    Unfortunately, three years after the West, Texas, ammonium nitrate explosion, after you spoke at a memorial service for the 15 deceased individuals, and after you issued an executive order demanding action, your EPA has released a proposed rule that does too little to require a shift to safer technologies.

    That is outrageous, given the risk of more catastrophes by negligent accident, natural disaster, sabotage, or terrorism. Since the West, Texas tragedy, which federal investigators recently determined was deliberately set, there have been more than 430 chemical incidents and 82 deaths. The EPA has identified 466 U.S. chemical facilities that each put 100,000 or more people at risk.

    In 2005, the Homeland Security Council estimated that a major attack on just one of these chemical facilities would kill 17,500 people and injure tens of Continue Reading »

    22 July 2016

    PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT…

    0700 by Jeff Hess

    There has been a political conspiracy meme running this election year(s) that Donald Trump is actually in cahoots with the Clintons, more effectively than anyone could have imagined, to destroy the traditional Republican candidates and then self-destruct so that Hillary can dance into the White House. Or, maybe the run is all a prank gone bad.

    We’ve passed so many moments where we’ve thought, OK, he’s toast, that I can’t say that anymore. The hate is working for Trump and, barring some extraordinary event, he will crush Hillary and become President of the United States in a Nixonian landslide.

    All of that is prelude to the most bizarre nomination acceptance speech of my lifetime when Donald Trump plagiarized this guy.

    Jon Schwarz, reporting in Donald Trump’s Convention Speech Rings Terrifying Historical Alarm Bells for The Intercept, writes:

    Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination for president will probably go down as one of the most frightening pieces of political rhetoric in U.S. history.

    Even for people who believe the danger of genuine authoritarianism on the U.S. right is often exaggerated, it’s impossible not to hear in Trump’s speech echoes of the words and strategies of the world’s worst leaders.

    Trump had just one message for Americans: Be afraid. You are under terrible threats from forces inside and outside your country, and he’s the only person who can save us.

    The scariest part is how Trump subtly but clearly has begun melding together violence against U.S. police and terrorism: “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities,” he said, “threaten our very way of life.”

    This is the favorite and most dangerous message of demagogues across all space and time. After all, if we know our external enemies are deeply evil, and our internal enemies are somehow their allies, we can feel justified in doing anything at all to our internal enemies. That’s just logic.

    In Donald Trump’s Long Rant Thrilled David Duke, But Alienated Many Others also for The Intercept, Robert Mackey writes:

    As Donald Trump shouted for 76 minutes on Thursday night about how horrible everything is in the dystopian fiction he’s confused for America, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan found himself nodding along in agreement.

    So the white supremacist David Duke, who was nearly elected governor of Louisiana in 1991 by channeling white resentment, posted a rave review of the address on Twitter.

    Great Trump Speech, America First! Stop Wars! Defeat the Corrupt elites! Protect our Borders!, Fair Trade! Couldn’t have said it better! —David Duke, 22 July 2016

    We can say that the David Dukes out there are few and far between and that the vast majority of Republican voters must surely be appalled by what they’ve seen here in Cleveland and heard last night. I’m not so sure.

    Still, Mackey finds a couple of reasonable Republicans to quote:

    Trump’s long, error-riddled address — which began with the boast that he’d won 14 million votes (or 2.8 million less than Hillary Clinton) — went down less well with critics of the candidate, including members of his own party like Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, and Stuart Stevens, who ran Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012.

    He is summoning primal forces of anger/fear, displaying leadership without moral guardrails, religious principles or civic responsibility. —Michael Gerson 22 July 2016

    Give him credit for this: is a dark, disturbed man & he sees in the country what he sees in the mirror. —stuart stevens 22 July 2016

    Come November, however, how much do you want to bet that Gerson and Steven will, along with all the other high-profile Republicans who stayed home from the convention, at best, stay home or, more likely, walk into the voting booth and vote against Hillary by voting for Trump?

    Andrew Sullivan’s live blog of the speech is equally depressing.

    Once again, Bernie shows with this tweet how to really stand up and be an American:

    Trump: “I alone can fix this.” Is this guy running for president or dictator? —Bernie Sanders 22 July 2016

    If I can’t vote for Bernie and Nina, perhaps I’ll be able to vote for Jill and Nina.

    21 July 2016

    THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LOVES HILLARY…?

    0700 by Jeff Hess

    As if anyone needs the final little nudge to convince them that both parties are fucked because they’re both so far up the asses of the billionaires that Charon gets more sunlight, then consider this headline from The Intercept: Chamber of Commerce May Prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.

    Zaid Jilani writes:

    The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday signaled that the big-business community is still undecided between newly minted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Chamber President Tom Donohue’s statements to Fox Business News on Wednesday morning represented an astonishing break from the organization’s nearly invariable support for Republican candidates.

    “Trump talks about some important things in energy and taxes and financial areas,” Donohue said. “Hillary perhaps has more experience and businessmen like that—businessmen and women like that—but I don’t think that’ll be decided until you hear the speeches here and next week and you see the first debate, and I think people will start to move more clearly to where they’re going to vote.”

    More experienced, riiggghhhhtttttt. Jilani gets down to the core reason in the next paragraph.

    Chief among Donohue’s complaints about Trump was his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    “We need a trade deal that opens markets for us,” Donohue complained. “I like where he says we’ve got to get a little tougher on some of the fulfillment. But you want to stop trade? You want to get rid of NAFTA? NAFTA is 14 million jobs in the United States.”

    The Chamber spent tens of millions of dollars backing GOP candidates and attacking President Barack Obama during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. Although the organization remains supportive of congressional Republicans, it has clashed with Trump over international trade agreements. Trump has said the Chamber should “fight harder” for workers.

    Donohue has also suggested that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would implement the TPP—a major chamber priority—despite her current position of opposing the agreement.

    I am really, really hoping for that Jill Stein, Nina Turner ticket in November.

    (Yes, the story is still the most read on Have Coffee Will Write.)

    21 July 2016

    OR HE WENT TO HARVARD LAWLESS SCHOOL…*

    0600 by Jeff Hess

    bolling 160721

    *Harvard Lawless School…

    21 July 2016

    ON THE NECESSITY FOR SPELLBINDERS AND POETS…

    0400 by Jeff Hess

    The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 7” with Joyce Cary:

    Religion is organized to satisfy and guide the soul—politics does the same thing for the body. Of course they overlap—this is a very rough description. But the politician is responsible for law, for physical security, and in a world of tumult, of perpetual conflict, he has the alternatives, roughly again, of persuading people or shooting them. In the democracies, we persuade. And this gives great power to the spellbinder, the artist in words, the preacher, the demagogue, whatever you call him. Rousseau, Marx, Tolstoy, these were great spellbinders—as well as Lacordaire. My Nimmo is a typical spellbinder. Bonser was a spellbinder in business, the man of imagination. He was also a crook, but so are many spellbinders. Poets have started most of the revolutions, especially nationalist revolutions. On the other hand, life would die without poets, and democracy must have its spellbinders.

    I think that Cary would easily qualify Donald Trump as one of our greatest spellbinders.

    Found in my electronic chapbook

    21 July 2016

    HOW GETTING SOME PERSPECTIVE MIGHT WORK…

    0300 by Jeff Hess

    There may be a benefit in living to Cleveland: we’re small enough (urban population: ~390,000), and far enough away from cool cities like Toronto, 292 miles; Chicago, 343 miles and New York, 464 miles, for non-Clevelanders to think the ideas we conceive to be abstract. Maybe.

    At least that’s what Oliver Burkeman suggested in Want to get ahead? Move to Perth.

    Imagine learning that a resident of Perth has invented something clever: a running shoe that uses nanotechnology to adjust itself to the wearer’s foot, reducing blisters. On a scale of one to 10, how creative does that sound to you?

    Whatever your response, it’s likely to be higher than if I’d told you the inventor lived down your street. Or that’s the implication of a recent study by the US management scholar Jennifer Mueller and her colleagues, who concocted that shoe example. When an idea’s presented as originating far away, they found, people picture it in the abstract: they grasp the gist, focus on the end goal, and appreciate the ingenuity. When it’s described as coming from nearby, they zoom in on detailed practicalities, focus on means, not ends, and imagine all the potential problems.

    Like Burkeman, I’ve been to Perth. Lovely city. I was there just after Skylab crashed into the Australian outback and I’ve got the t-shirt as proof. I actually considered emigrating to Australia in 1980 but made other plans. Now I have another regret. Thanks Ollie.

    Burkeman, however, drills down on the phenomenon and offers some important insights.

    Could this help explain that frustrating phenomenon whereby people in organisations can’t get a fair hearing for their suggestions, but then, as soon as some outside consultant suggests the very same thing, the boss goes wild with enthusiasm? Then there are those people who can’t hear advice from family or friends—yet if they find it in a book, or from some spiritual guru, they suddenly can’t stop preaching it.

    The family analogy is spot on.

    Burkeman closes by turning the concept around to explain how getting perspective is helpful.

    People like to talk, vaguely, about the benefits of “getting some distance” on your problems: leaving your desk for a walk to figure out some challenge at work, or flying off to India to get over a break-up. But these findings suggest why this is good advice: that when we’re imagining people and things as physically farther away, we see the salient features instead of distracting details, the forest instead of the trees. If, like me, you get all your best insights about life on trains and planes, perhaps that’s because your life, at such times, is “far away” and “over there”. From that distance, its basic contours are easily graspable; the people in it are little Playmobil figures. No wonder it all seems easier to get your mind around. The tricky part is integrating those insights into everyday existence once you’re back in your life and it turns out the people weren’t tiny after all.

    20 July 2016

    WE’VE MOSTLY GOT THIS…

    0700 by Jeff Hess

    Via Mano Singham…

    20 July 2016

    TURKISH DRONE COMING FOR 1857 MT. EATON RD…?

    0500 by Jeff Hess

    mount eaton road

    The Everwar is a single drone strike away from 1857 Mt. Eaton Road in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. For decades both Republican and Democratic governments have engaged in extra-judicial executions of the suspected enemies of the United States in other sovereign nations by drones. Why shouldn’t other democratically governments do the same?

    Glenn Greenwald, in Would Turkey Be Justified in Kidnapping or Drone-Killing the Turkish Cleric in Pennsylvania? writes:

    Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan places the blame for this weekend’s failed coup attempt on an Islamic preacher and one-time ally, Fethullah Gulen, who now resides in Pennsylvania with a green card. Erdogan is demanding the U.S. extradite Gulen, citing prior extraditions by the Turkish government of terror suspects demanded by the U.S.: “Now we’re saying deliver this guy who’s on our terrorist list to us.” Erdogan has been requesting Gulen’s extradition from the U.S. for at least two years, on the ground that he has been subverting the Turkish government while harbored by the U.S. Thus far, the U.S. is refusing, with Secretary of State John Kerry demanding of Turkey: “Give us the evidence, show us the evidence. We need a solid legal foundation that meets the standard of extradition.”

    In light of the presence on U.S. soil of someone the Turkish government regards as a “terrorist” and a direct threat to its national security, would Turkey be justified in dispatching a weaponized drone over Pennsylvania to find and kill Gulen if the U.S. continues to refuse to turn him over, or sending covert operatives to kidnap him? That was the question posed yesterday by Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor of Guantánamo’s military commissions…

    That question, of course, is raised by the fact that the U.S. has spent many years now doing exactly this: employing various means — including but not limited to drones — to abduct and kill people in multiple countries whom it has unilaterally decided (with no legal process) are “terrorists” or who otherwise are alleged to pose a threat to its national security. Since it cannot possibly be the case that the U.S. possesses legal rights that no other country can claim — right? — the question naturally arises whether Turkey would be entitled to abduct or kill someone it regards as a terrorist when the U.S. is harboring him and refuses to turn him over.

    So, is Kerry refusing because he doesn’t think Turkey has a case, or, as I think, is Kerry (and every other politician terrified by the possibility of all our chickens coming home to roost) scared witless?

    Greenwald continues:

    After 9/11 the U.S. threatened Afghanistan with bombing and invasion unless the Taliban government immediately turned over Osama bin Laden, and the Taliban’s answer was strikingly similar to what the U.S. just told Turkey about Gulen:

    The ruling Taliban of Afghanistan today further complicated the status of Osama bin Laden and rejected the ultimatum of the United States that he and his lieutenants be handed over to answer for their suspected role in last week’s terrorist attacks in the United States.

    The Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, said at a news conference in Islamabad, “Our position in this regard is that if the Americans have evidence, they should produce it.” If they can prove their allegations, he said, “we are ready for a trial of Osama bin Laden.”

    Asked again whether Mr. bin Laden would be surrendered, the ambassador replied, “Without evidence, no.”

    The U.S. refused to provide any such evidence—“These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion,” said President George W. Bush at the time—and the U.S. bombing and invasion of Afghanistan began two weeks thereafter, and continues to this day, 15 years later. The justification there was not that the Taliban were incapable of arresting and extraditing bin Laden, but rather that they refused to do so without evidence of his guilt being provided and some legal/judicial action invoked.

    So, should the other residents along Mount Eaton Road be concerned that that annoying buzzing in their ear is not from a fly trapped against a screen in the kitchen? Probably not, but they, and the rest of us, should be very concerned about the precedents our government continues to set in our names.

    I also find Daniel James’ (via Ralph Nader) arguments applicable in this case as well.

    20 July 2016

    RALPH NADER KNOWS WHAT THE MEANING OF IS IS…

    0400 by Jeff Hess

    Ralph Nader writes in Harvard Lawless School and You:

    Harvard Law School professors love to use hypotheticals in their classes. So let’s try one that they have not subjected their students to in its 200 years of storied history. What if the Law School split itself into two parts—each with different professors and students on its crowded campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts? One half would retain the name Harvard Law School, while the other half would be called Harvard Lawless School. How would the courses differ?

    Well, the Harvard Law School curriculum would remain pretty much the same, accepting the law as is, working its interpretation by courts, regulators and legislatures and speculating a little about how it could be clarified and improved.

    Harvard Lawless School would be more grounded in grim realities, where there are no operating laws to discipline raw power or where the laws are so violated as to be systematically inoperative over a large range of activities.

    Lawlessness, the kind that is considered as factual non-compliance with existing law, is often far more widespread than the studied phenomenon known as compliance.

    I am reminded of the long history of this duality by in a 1932 review by Daniel James of The Modern Corporation and Private Property—a famous book by Adolf A Berle, Jr. and Gardiner C. Means that documented the split between Continue Reading »

    20 July 2016

    CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS US ALL UNEQUALLY…

    0300 by Jeff Hess

    May Boeve from 350 emails:

    It’s hard to know what to do in times like these, with violence, xenophobia, and hate on the rise. As an organization dedicated specifically to working on climate change, we’ve really wrestled with how to engage with what feels like a historic moral and political moment.

    The climate crisis affects all of us, but it doesn’t affect all of us equally. Climate change dramatically magnifies inequalities like race, consistently hitting Black, brown, Indigenous, and poor communities first and hardest. Climate justice is inextricably tied to the fights against racism, inequality, and hate.

    This year—with the election dominating the public consciousness, a climate-denying racist on the ballot, and #BlackLivesMatter protests gaining momentum around the country—we have an opportunity as climate activists to draw these connections. We have an opportunity to show up, and to take a stand against both hateful, divisive political rhetoric and the willful denial of the multiple intersecting crises we’re facing. Our movements are linked, and we can build power together.

    With that in mind, here are two things you can do this week:

    Donald Trump is about to be the most dangerous presidential nominee in modern history, running a campaign built on violence and fear. If elected, he would be the only national leader in the world to outright dismiss the science of climate change, and the decisions he would make could set back most of what we’ve been working on in the climate movement. On Thursday, July 21st, a coalition of progressive organizations are organizing “Stop Trump” actions to coincide with the end of the Republican National Convention.

    Also on Thursday, The Movement for Black Lives is mobilizing around the country against police violence and systemic racism. Join the Facebook event.

    What happened over the weekend in Baton Rouge is chilling. More than ever, standing against hate and for nonviolent resistance is crucial. We are strongest when we spread that message together.

    This moment of upheaval and change calls on us to do more — to break out of our comfort zones, to grapple with complexity, and to show up.

    See you in the streets,

    May

    Previously in The Guardian emails…

    Keep Carbon In The Ground…

    20 July 2016

    THE PEOPLE PAY AND THE BILLIONAIRES PLAY…

    0200 by Jeff Hess

    ccpc 160720Steve, Matt and Tristan with Chuck D of Public Enemy, during the march.

    The Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus emails:

    Can you make it to The Bevy in Birdtown this evening? We are showing the movie Pay 2 Play, which is about how corporations have taken over our democracy. We are asking for $10 donation if you are able. More info and RSVP HERE We’ll also have our new CCPC shirts for sale!

    Thank you to all who came to the “March to End Poverty” yesterday! We had a great (and peaceful) time standing up for economic justice!

    Not a member? Join, it’s free!

    Learn more about CCPC

    Give to the cause.

    Steve Holecko
    440-220-1874
    steve.holecko@gmail.com

    19 July 2016

    THE DISHONESTY OF SHERROD BROWN…

    1400 by Jeff Hess

    Am I the only one who looks at this picture and sees Edgar Bergen and Mortimer Snerd?

    So, today I get a begging letter from Senator Sherrod Brown who was last re-elected to office four years ago, in 2012, which means he will be up for re-election two years from now, in 2018.

    How then am I to understand this:

    Can I count on you for $25, $50 or even $100 so I can remain in the Senate and fight back against Trump if he’s elected?

    Does that mean that Sherrod doesn’t think that the Ohioan from the Democratic party who is running for Senate this year, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, doesn’t have a prayer against the junior senator from Ohio, Rob Portman, or that Sherrod is simply grabbing for the money and throwing Ted under the fundraising bus?

    Then there’s the little question of Sherrod being on Hillary’s short list of vice presidential candidates. In the unlikely event of that happening, and the even more unlikely event of Donald Trump not wining by a landslide of Nixonian proportions, any money he raises this year won’t go to any re-election campaign at all. Poor Ted.

    18 July 2016

    LOUSY FEEDBACK AND A NEW WORD…

    0500 by Jeff Hess

    Someone, probably a frustrated writer, once wrote: The most primal human urge is not to procreate, but rather to edit someone else’s copy. One-upmanship is part of our genes and, as Oliver Burkeman writes in The perils of feedback for The Guardian, even when we try to formalize the process, we suck.

    Too many managers muddle three types of feedback, write Stone and Heen: appreciation (praise for accomplishments), coaching (tips for improvement) and evaluation (rating someone’s performance, especially relative to others). At the least, they argue, companies using formal reviews should separate those three into different sessions. And outside the office, don’t be surprised if a friend or lover gets shirty when you respond with coaching—“Here’s how you can solve your problem!”—when all she or he wanted was appreciation, or a shoulder to cry on.

    I’ve discovered over the years that I consistently suck at the last example. I so want to fix problems that I fail to understand that that is not what is being asked of me.

    Burkeman, Stone and Heen offer some hope:

    The real shift we need to make, they say, is from focusing on how feedback’s delivered to how it’s received: we all need to get better at hearing feedback. That doesn’t entail always accepting it; indeed, part of being a good receiver of feedback is knowing when to conclude that your boss or partner is so critical that it’s time to walk away. (It’s a common misconception, when people disagree, that their disagreement must be resolved. But as Stone and Heen put it, if someone you’re breaking up with gives the feedback “that you are a terrible person, the two of you don’t need to reach consensus on this point”.)

    What it does entail is abandoning the kneejerk response of “wrong-spotting”—railing against feedback you consider unfair—and instead trying to figure out why the difference of viewpoint has arisen. At work, it means demanding clarity: is this an evaluation session, coaching, or what? Are you making suggestions or issuing commands? The book asks a question worth memorising: “What’s the one thing you see me doing that gets in my own way?” For feedback-givers, meanwhile, it’s simple. Tell me what I did well, tell me what I should do differently, and don’t confuse the two.

    Oh, the new word? Shirty.

    Next »