“Berkeley’s homeless Hate Man dies at 80” by Kevin Fagan (sfchronicle.com)

SFGATE:  Hate Man Memorial in People’s Park April 3, 2017

The Hate Man, one of the most colorful and endearing homeless people ever to hit the sidewalks of the Bay Area, has died at the age of 80.

His actual name was Mark Hawthorne, but he hadn’t called himself that since 1970, when he abandoned his job as a reporter for the New York Times after nine years and first took up residence on the streets of Berkeley.

Failing in health for the past year, he died of heart failure Sunday night at a hospital in Berkeley, according to friends who were helping take care of him.

Share This Item

A Poor Tour update (from Mike Zint)

 

 

 

 

 

April 2, 2017

Today, I was told that I was a deadbeat by Genevieve Wilson. (It is recorded) She also called me a pothead who smokes large amounts of weed. ( I weigh 96lbs and have a prescription) I was then told that I’m lying about my health, and don’t have anything from a doctor. She then demanded that I prove it to her.

Homeless are dying. Housed do this. And as far as who runs ftcfth, it’s not the housed, and will never be the housed. Since it was implied that it’s not me, I request people who don’t think we are in charge to try to post their theory right here.

Oh, they can’t, can they? Guess they are only in charge in their own minds!

Share This Item

I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE by Michael Franti

I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE BY MICHAEL FRANTI

Winner of Best International Documentary, Harlem Film Festival and San Francisco Film Festival

Stay Human

Michael Franti’s film spotlights war’s human toll

By Michael Shapiro

Frustrated by the lack of media coverage about the human side of the war in Iraq, musician, poet and peace activist Michael Franti decided to go there and see it for himself. “I really wanted to see with my own eyes what was happening over there, not [hear about it] from generals or politicians,” Franti says by phone from his San Francisco home. “They never mention the human cost.”

Though he didn’t know if he could visit Iraq, Franti found that “all you need to get into the country is a plane ticket.” Of course, when entering a war zone, you also need to take safety precautions. Franti and his traveling companions–two human-rights lawyers, his manager, a drum tech, a retired U.S. Army captain, and a beauty salon owner “just for good measure”–found a driver who shepherded them to a hotel outside the Green Zone. But that didn’t mean they weren’t frightened.

“I’d stay up every night and think, ‘What’s gonna happen to me?'” Franti, 38, says. “It was scary every night, every minute, but we found great drivers to guide us safely from place to place.”

Traveling with a guitar and video camera, Franti, who leads the band Spearhead, says he had no intention of making a film. But after sharing so many heartrending and uplifting moments with Iraqis, and later with Israelis and Palestinians, Franti felt compelled to sift through 200-plus hours of footage and create a documentary.

The result is I Know I’m Not Alone, a personal view of war’s effect on people. Franti appears live to screen the doc on Oct. 14 and says it’s about what locals endure every day: life without electricity; the fear that any moment the car next to you might explode. While traveling and after he returned home, Franti wrote more than 20 songs inspired by the trip. Some are featured in the film, which Franti calls “a musical journey.”

When he arrived in Iraq, Franti, who vociferously opposed the invasion, says his antiwar songs “seemed unimportant. I saw that what matters is the way people relate to each other. So I wrote songs about how we either get closer to one another or put barriers between one another. Mostly it’s about the resilience and beauty I found every place I went.”

He also found that carrying a guitar led the people he met to open their homes and their lives. There are lots of black people in the Middle East, he says, but most of them are wearing uniforms. “I wasn’t there to tell them where to go or arrest them. I was just playing music.”

After spending a week in Iraq, Franti traveled to Israel, where he met with Palestinians in the occupied territories who spoke of such hardships as being detained for hours at security checkpoints. Yet feeling that he didn’t get the Israeli side of the story, Franti returned to the Middle East last February to meet with Israeli families who’d lost a loved one in what seems a never-ending conflict. He even jammed with some Israeli soldiers, who sang along as Franti played Bob Marley songs.

Asked if he could distill his impressions into a single lesson, Franti says, “Occupation never works. It hasn’t worked for three generations in Israel, and it’s not working in Iraq. Sure, they’re glad to be rid of Saddam–he was like the Wicked Witch–but now there are car bombs and shootings.”

So why can’t Americans see that the occupation isn’t working?

Because, Franti says, most people have no idea what’s going on over there. Television news doesn’t show the effect of the war on innocent people or soldiers, he says. “If people knew what was going on, they wouldn’t support the occupation. We have to have conversations, we have to have agreements.”

Share This Item

Own a small business or know someone who does? Support SB 562 – single payer health care – in the small business alliance (from JP Massar)

Sign on as a business to support SB 562, single payer health care for
California, here:

https://www.ba4hcal.org/become-a-supporter

No more worries about your employees getting health care or all the
red tape associated with Obamacare regs!

If you know someone who owns a small business suggest they sign on as
a supporter as well.

Thanks!

Share This Item

Occupy.com Turns 5 Years Old!


Occupy.com was born on April 1, 2012, with the publication of the Declaration of the Occupation, a document originally written and distributed by the New York City General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street in September 2011. Since the days of the Occupy movement, our media organization has continued to cover national and global issues through the lens of the 99%, focusing on political-financial corruption, climate change, police brutality, alternative movements for social change, and much much more. Through original reporting contributed by dozens of correspondents, from San Francisco to Athens, Sao Paolo to New Orleans, Manchester to Hong Kong, we have continued to shine a light, day after day, on the crucial economic, political and environmental issues that have led us to the precipice. Inequality has never been greater. Money has never had a stronger grip on our politics. Injustice and corruption infects us al. In response, we must all be part of the solution. Here’s to 5 years traveling the road of resistance with Occupy.com.

Share This Item

Mike Pence Asks Waiter To Remove Mrs. Butterworth From Table Until Wife Arrives (theonion.com)

WASHINGTON—Expressing concerns about the propriety of being left alone with a syrup container of the opposite sex, Vice President Mike Pence reportedly asked his waiter Thursday to remove Mrs. Butterworth from the table until his wife arrived to join him at a local diner. “Excuse me, sir, would you please take this out of my line of sight until my wife gets here?” said Pence, who reportedly attempted to put the table’s sugar dispenser and salt and pepper shakers between him and the feminine syrup bottle before deciding that even having Mrs. Butterworth within arm’s reach could lead him to have impure thoughts. “It just would not be right for me to sit here alone with a woman-shaped container, particularly one as shapely as this. In fact, I would advise you to do the same for the man sitting over there—I see he is sitting very close to Mrs. Butterworth even though he appears to be wearing a wedding ring.” At press time, Pence had asked the waiter to pour syrup on his pancakes for him, as it would be unseemly to handle the curves of the plastic woman in such a public place.

Share This Item

Homeless in Hawaii: My “little grass shack” report (Jane Stillwater’s Web Log)

Thursday, March 30, 2017
     Remember that old song describing the wonders of living in a “little grass shack” in Hawaii?  Those days are long gone.  Why?  Because there are almost no little grass shacks left in Hawaii any more (probably due to building codes) — and as a result, there are a lot of people here who are homeless.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMRxbFkO6gU
     On Waikiki Beach alone, I recently counted approximately 23 megalith-style high-rise hotels and/or condos.  And I might have missed some too.  Each hotel charges at least $200 a night — but usually a whole lot more.  Two-bedroom condos here sell for a million dollars a bedroom.  What homeless person can afford that?
     For many people in Hawaii these days, those little grass shacks have been replaced by shipping container boxes — but this is actually a good thing.  As the State of Hawaii, like the rest of America, discovers that more and more of its citizens are becoming homeless, the government here has tried everything it can to house as many people as it can by any means that it can — hence the wide-spread use of shipping container boxes as homes.
     According to Mike Zint, a national advocate for the rapidly increasing homeless population in America, “What does it take to get off the streets?  Money?  Affordable housing?  Employment?  Of course the answer is yes, but none of those things is the first step.  The first step is stability.  And stability is the one thing that is most commonly removed [from the homeless].”  So Hawaii is at least making an effort to get some stability into the lives of those who are forced to go homeless.  https://occupysf.net/index.php/2017/03/12/stability-first-says-homeless-leader-mike-zint/
     Hawaii also offers many boot-strap-like services to get homeless Hawaiians back on their feet.  Some of these efforts are working.  Some of them are not.  And as the native Hawaiian population becomes less and less able to afford housing in their beloved Hawaii, they are being forced to move over to the mainland in droves where the rent is cheaper.
     According to one native Hawaiian I met here, “So many of us are now moving to Las Vegas due to its lower rents and warm climate, that Las Vegas is now known as Hawaii’s ninth island.”
     But this migration to the mainland is also a two-way street.  “Many of the colder mainland states are purchasing airline tickets in order to send their homeless population here.  This is true.  I have seen it myself.”
       In addition, “We also have a lot of people who come here from Micronesia who get priority for our HUD housing because they can no longer live on their radioactive atolls because many of them have become really sick due to cancer from the nuclear weapons tests.  So they move them here — out of sight, out of mind.”
     Another factor in the severe limitation of affordable housing in Hawaii is the huge US military presence here.  The so-called “Pivot to Asia” apparently starts here.  “The US military is our number-one economic factor,” said my Hawaiian friend.  Even greater than tourism?  Apparently so.  I saw some pretty posh military housing spread out all around the island of Oahu — definitely not little grass shacks.
     I’ve been living on pineapple and macadamia nuts here for too long — and also French fries.  Remember what happened in “The Martian”?  He lived on potatoes for a whole year because of their protein?  A whole year is too long to live on potatoes, even in beautiful Hawaii.  It’s time for me to fly back home to Berkeley — where the 1000-plus homeless population just manages to squeak by on pizza-by-the-slice.
PS:  Am currently reading a book called The Up Side of Stress, and apparently one way to reduce stress is to be altruistic.  “Caring for each other amplifies our resources,” says the author.  “Human beings have a basic need to help others…and the more that they help others the happier they are because altruism both creates hope and prevents the defeat response.”
     This need for hope is apparently one of the reasons why the State of Hawaii is so compassionate towards its homeless citizens.  Hawaiians try to honor the human “tend and befriend” response to stress instead of the more well-known “flight or fight” response.  Hawaii even has a word for this befriending response to stress.  It’s called “Aloha”.
PPS:  Remember that bumper-sticker from back in the day that read “Life is a competition.  The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds”?  Or as they said in Lawrence of Arabia, “Allah favors the compassionate”.  And this truism is still true, no matter how many Americans die from lack of housing and healthcare here and how many babies our war contractors murder in the Middle East.   https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/1a9e93f1-5667-415d-b0ab-53c169aaa2f1
     Am I pissed off by all this lack of compassion here at home and heartless slaughter in the Middle East?  Hell yeah.  Once people in power in America found out that there are huge profits to be made by stealing homes and murdering babies, there appears to be no stopping them from stealing and slaughtering again and again — both here and abroad.
(Contributed by Mike Zint)
Share This Item

“‘Fearless Girl’ statue stares down Wall Street’s iconic bull” by Verena Dobnik (AP)

March 9, 2017 (SFGate.com)
Share This Item

Ralph Nader, Nancy Pelosi and Single Payer

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington.  She is the top Democrat in the Republican-controlled House. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ORG XMIT: DCSA127

January 19, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she’s for a single payer Medicare for All, everybody in, nobody out health care system.

But she refuses to co-sponsor single payer legislation in the House (HR 676) or to organize to build support for it.

Ralph Nader has now written a letter to Pelosi calling her out.

“I see you were quoted in The Hill newspaper recently saying that you are for single payer health insurance,” Nader wrote to Pelosi. “You had this preference before Presidents Clinton and Obama, who ideally agree with you, dismissed single payer as ‘impractical’ given the entrenched and powerful healthcare industry.”

“A couple of years ago, I wrote an article titled 21 Ways Canada’s Single Payer System Beats Obamacare.

“Within a week or so, your colleague, Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan), will re-introduce HR 676, the single payer bill in the House.”

“Will you actively support this much more efficient and comprehensive legislation, with its many advantages proven in other countries, and persuade other House Democrats to also co-sponsor?”

“Last year, only 63 Democrats co-sponsored.”

“Obamacare, without a public option, has been a complex patchwork in so many ways —  including forcing individuals to purchase inadequate insurance from private health insurance companies —  insurance that carries with it high premiums, deductibles, co-pays and forces narrow networks.”

“For many, Obamacare is quasi-catastrophic insurance with limited choice of doctor and hospital.”

“If the Republicans repeal Obamacare, Democrats need to be ready and offer to replace it with something that can attract left/right support — single payer, Medicare for All — everyone in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital, no medical bankruptcies, no coercive co-pays or deductibles, with all their accompanying fears and anxieties, and no more deaths due to lack of health insurance.”

“A December 2015 national Kaiser public opinion poll found that 58 percent of adults in the U. S. supported single payer (Medicare for All), including 81 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of Independents, and 30 percent of Republicans. Imagine the poll numbers when Full Medicare for All starts to be explained, in its clear simplicity, and promoted by a major political party.”

“Let’s work together to present the American people something both more efficient and responsive that they want and need — Medicare for All and freedom to choose their doctor, clinic and hospital.”

(singlepayeraction.org)

Share This Item

Sweet Honey in the Rock – Would you harbor me?


An internationally renowned all-woman, African-American a cappella ensemble: this is Sweet Honey in the Rock, whose name was derived from a song, based on Psalm 81:16, which tells of a land so rich that when rocks were cracked open, honey flowed from them.

“Would you harbor me” was written by Ysaye Barnwell and comes from the album “Sacred Ground” (1995). One of their albums “Raise your voices” (2007) has the cover shown at the beginning of the video.

The group was formed in 1973. In 1979, Ysaya Barnwell joined the group. She is a prolific composer who has been commissioned to create music for dance, choral, film and stage productions. She holds a B.S. and an M.S in speech pathology, a Ph.D. in cranio-facial studies and a post-doctoral degree in Public Heath. She also taught in the School of Dentistry for a decade.This woman is extremely multi-talented.

She leads this group who express their history as women of color through song and who address other topics such as motherhoood, spirituality, freedom, civil rights, domestic violence and racism.

Lyrics:

Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you?
Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you?
Would you harbor a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew,
A heretic, convict, or spy?
Would you harbor a runaway woman or child,
A poet, a prophet, a king?
Would you harbor an exile or a refugee,
A person living with AIDS?
Would you harbor a Tubman, a Garret, a Truth,
A fugitive or a slave?
Would you harbor a Haitian, Korean, or Czech,
A lesbian or a gay?
Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you?

Cultural notes (names referred to in the song):

a Tubman: refers to Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) who was instrumental in rescuing and guiding slaves to freedom. One of her nicknames was “Moses” because she led her people out of slavery towards a “promised land”.

a Garrett: refers to Thomas Garrett (1789-1871), a great humanitarian who helped 2,700 slaves escape to freedom in his career as “station master” of the Underground Railbroad.

a Truth: refers to Sojourner Truth, a woman who championed the cause of equality for black women. Born inbto slavery, she became a remarkable preacher who delivered her most famous speech at a woman’s convention during which she said her legendary phrase, “Ain’t I a woman”

the “Underground Railroad”: refers to a vast network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and to Canada.

Share This Item
| Powered by Mantra & WordPress.