Category Archives: Community News

Tropical Storm Barry Threatens Louisiana With Epic Flooding

Compliments of CNN

Tropical Storm Barry presents New Orleans with an unprecedented problem, according to the National Weather Service. The Mississippi River, which is usually at 6 to 8 feet in midsummer in the Big Easy, is now at 16 feet, owing to record flooding that’s taken place this year all along the waterway.

In the meantime, Barry is spinning away in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening a storm surge of 2 to 3 feet at the mouth of the river, said Jeffrey Graschel, a hydrologist with the weather service’s Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, Louisiana.

The unusual confluence of factors adds up to a forecast that has the river cresting Saturday at 19 feet, a level not seen since February 1950 and about 2.3 feet shy of the record set in April 1922, the weather service said Thursday.

“Look, there are three ways that Louisiana floods: storm surge, high rivers and rain,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday. “We’re going to have all three.” States of emergency have been declared in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes. Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish have instituted mandatory evacuations as a precaution in low-lying areas or those outside major levees.

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Mitch McConnell and Slavery – A Dark Fable of Americas Past and Present

Compliments of Chauncy Vega, Salon Media

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes that reparations for the crimes done to black Americans, both during centuries of white-on-black chattel slavery and then 100 years of Jim Crow American apartheid are not deserved. On this point, McConnell said last month, “I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, when none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea. We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We’ve elected an African American president.”

McConnell can try to outrun history and thus escape its grasp. But America’s ignoble history is looking him (and many other white people) in the face every day when he looks in the mirror. Researchers working with NBC News have discovered that McConnell’s great-great-grandfathers were slave-owners who held at least 14 black people as human property.

NBC News provides these details:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said recently he opposes paying government reparations to the descendants of American slaves, has a family history deeply entwined in the issue: Two of his great-great-grandfathers were slave owners, U.S. census records show.

The two great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned a total of at least 14 slaves in Limestone County, Alabama — all but two of them female, according to the county “Slave Schedules” in the 1850 and 1860 censuses.

The details about McConnell’s ancestors, discovered by NBC News through a search of ancestry and census records, came in the wake of recent hearings on reparations before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

 

CHAUNCEY DEVEGA

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at Chaunceydevega.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

July 4th Holiday Earthquakes Roll & Rock Southern California

The magnitude 6.4 earthquake on July 4th, 2019 in the Mojave desert was widespread and felt from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.  This earthquake was followed by a magnitude 7.1 on July 5th in the same community, 11 miles north of Ridgecrest.  Shaking was felt from Monterey to San Diego and from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

The July 4th event affected a small community in the Mohave desert with multiple fires reported and buildings knocked off their foundations.  Fortunately no reports of bodily injury were reported.  The July 5th earthquake was more intense and felt over a wider region.  Residents throughout the region report a rolling and rocking experience that lasted up to one minute.

These events are reminders for all communities to check their emergency supplies, review emergency plans, update family communication, evacuation, and re-connection plans.

Visit the UC Network #911 DAPP (Disaster Awareness Preparedness and Planning) channel  for more emergency preparedness information.

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Sharing Economy Helping or Hurting?

By: Ephrat Livni of QZ

No kid ever dreamed of growing up and driving for Uber or styling for Stitch Fix. In part, that’s because none of those companies existed when most of today’s adults were young. It’s also because, besides its much-touted “flexibility,” the gig economy isn’t much of a place to build a career. Instead, over the course of less than a decade, the self-described “tech companies” that connect people to gig work have managed to erode hard-fought labor protections in place for a century.

In Hustle and Gig, to be published in March by University of California Press, sociologist Alexandrea Ravenelle interviews 80 gig workers who are struggling, striving, and succeeding. She analyzes their stories in the context of US employment history and concludes that “for all its app-enabled modernity, the gig economy resembles the early industrial age…the sharing economy is truly a movement forward to the past.”

Although gig work was initially seen as a way to maximize worker freedom and create opportunities, it has, in its short history, proven corrosive. Ravenelle notes that a small percentage of people are making lots of money via side hustles, but they tend to be those who need it least. For example, she speaks to independent hoteliers in New York renting out rooms and apartments via AirBnB, including a corporate lawyer and a man with a chain of laundromats. Because they already had capital, have steady sources of income apart from their side gigs, and are willing to skirt rental laws, these two individuals are able to invest heavily in their “gigs” and create lucrative businesses.

Sadly, those who most need to work can find themselves trapped in a cycle of struggle. Ravenelle interviewed men and women signed up to do tasks on Task Rabbit—prior to its acquisition by IKEA—and who drove for Uber, for example. They were not employees and so had no health insurance, workers’ compensation protections, employer contributions to Social Security and payroll taxes, paid time off, family leave protections, discrimination protections, or unemployment insurance benefits.

Sometimes, this gig work also requires an initial outlay of capital. (My own neighbor just traded in her old vehicle for a new car, taking on thousands of dollars in debt so that she can make extra money driving for Lyft.) At the very least, a potential worker needs a smartphone and wi-fi service. Ravanelle’s book boasts an image inside of a young man in a park panhandling for $30 to activate his phone service so that he can start picking up work.

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

Los Angeles Communities Mourn The Loss Of Community Leader Nipsey Hustle

Nipsey-Hussle_HOBChicago_090430_adam-bielawski

Murder is a a horrible crime and this one is being taken especially hard.  The impact of Nipsey Hussle’s murder in South Los Angeles has left the community heart broken, frustrated, and angry, searching for answers.  His loss has impacted the community so deeply because he was one of the bright lights working to reduce gang violence and bring peace.  A philanthropist and role model, Nipsey Hussle was a Grammy Award nominee, business owner, supported a  S.T.E.M. education center for inner city youth, remodeled the local school playground, and was about to meet with local law enforcement to help improve community relationships.

The murderers identity is not yet known, but not for long.  There is  an unanimous outcry and support for Nipsey’s murderer to be caught.   Community residents, leaders, business owners, officials, celebrities, clergy and law enforcement are rallying together and sharing information to find out who took the  life of such a positive contributor to the community, and why.

Hearts are broken and Nipsey Hussle is simply gone too soon.

For More Information Visit:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/us/nipsey-hussle-death-los-angeles.html

 

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

MAGA Supporters Attack Against Empire’s Jussie Smollett IS A Hate Crime

JussieSmollett

Two men wearing MAGA (Make America Great Again) caps attacked Empire star Jussie Smollett in Chicago this morning and while calling him homophobic names, racial slurs, and shouting that this is MAGA country, they beat him, broke his ribs, put a noose around his neck, and tried to pour bleach down his throat.  These masked assailants are still at large.  The increase in hate crimes, mass murders, and racial divides since President Trump took office to “Make America Great Again”  is not very “great” at all.  These actions represent the worst of America and humankind.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jussie, an innocent actor, and his family for his full recovery from this horrible hateful crime.

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

A National Day of Mourning in America for President George HW Bush

photos courtesy of CBS News live event coverage.

HWBush-10

America as a nation celebrated the life of POTUS #41, George HW Bush in a funeral service most befitting for a President.  The flawless service would make any American proud as it represented the 41st President with dignity, respect, honor, and royal class.  The musical performances were excellent along with each speaker who resonated with the tone of loyalty, family, friendship, and devotion to country exemplified by President George HW Bush.   There are those who did not agree with his politics or decisions, however, most everyone in America and abroad would agree that he upheld his office as President with dignity and respect.

HWBush-4w

The passing of President George HW Bush and the passing of the Hon. John McCain earlier this year marks the end of an era in America when soldiers dedicated to country held political office to uphold the constitution for the betterment of America and her people.  President George HW Bush called for a kinder and gentler nation, and although he only served one term as President he made many notable accomplishments including; the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), the clean air initiative with Canada, and support of health reform for all Americans.

HWBush-6w

President George HW Bush and his family are political royalty in America.  They are undeniably privileged, yet ruled with a heart for all people, not just other privileged.  Perhaps the Last Great Soldier-Statesman, we honor his service as a President and Patriot.

HWBush-1w

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and to all of America for the loss of a true American President.

Links to more about President George HW Bush:

 

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

America’s Religious Affiliates Are On a Steady Decline

By: Jean Hopfensperger of Star Tribune

The men and women relaxing on yoga mats recently at a Minneapolis meditation center didn’t know it, but most belonged to the fastest-growing religion in America — none at all.

They included a former Lutheran who left the church because the Bible clashed with science, a former Catholic who became leery of its teachings, a former Baptist uninspired by Sunday services, a young man raised with no religion.

They reveal a major force behind the empty pews in churches across Minnesota and the nation. Nearly one in four Americans now declare themselves unaffiliated with any organized religion. An estimated 56 million strong, and growing, there are more of them than all mainline Protestants combined.

The church experience that was central to many of their parents’ lives has lost relevance and credibility.

“I can’t imagine that only one religion has access to the pearly gates,” said Lisa Pool, explaining her church breakup after class ended. “I realized there are all kinds of different paths to being a good person.”

The surge has Minnesota religious leaders wrestling with implications for the future of their churches, the future of Christianity. More than half of U.S. churches now see fewer than 100 worshipers on weekends, and they’re getting older, reports the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

Particularly alarming is the plunge in church membership by people in their 20s and 30s. One in three are now churchless, according to the Pew Research Center. Faith leaders are racking their brains over how to reach these adults who may never step under a steeple.

“We are [all] worried,” said the Rev. John Bauer, pastor at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. “We all know it’s an issue, but don’t know what to do about it. It’s clear we can’t rely on the old ways of doing things for this next generation.”

Read More 🤔

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JEFF FLAKE DELAYS KAVANAUGH VOTE FOR JUSTICE

Amidst the controversial and political divides in Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Justice appointment, Republican Senator Jeff Flake took a brave and honorable stand to delay the Senate Judiciary Committee vote and allow the FBI to investigate the sexual assault claims made by Dr. Christine Ford.  This opportunity for due diligence is viewed by many as a civil way to appease both sides and reveal the truth about Dr. Ford’s claims that Judge Kavanaugh assaulted her in High School.

Senator Flake’s decision to take a stand for justice was motivated by two young women who confronted him in an elevator about Kavanaugh’s credibility and the crowds’ request for an FBI investigation.   Voting for Kavanaugh without the FBI’s due diligence implied that achieving political agendas are more important than Dr. Ford’s assault and women’s rights, in general.

The FBI investigation should help to clear Judge Kavanaugh or Dr. Ford’s name as the facts are investigated.  Although, many of Dr. Ford’s alleged witnesses are already saying that they do not remember the incident.

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome 

KAVANAUGH HEARINGS MARK AN IMPORTANT MOMENT IN US HISTORY

Millions of Americans watched the Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearing as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified about being sexually assaulted by him during High School.

Although the incident happened a long time ago, it challenges Judge Kavanaugh’s character and questions if he is the appropriate person to be appointed to the highest court in our country for life.  Dr. Ford tried to make her allegations known when it was publicized that Judge Kavanaugh was on President Trump’s short list of candidates.  She stated in her testimony that she felt it was her civic duty to let her truth about his character be known as she tried to remain anonymous.  By the time she made it through the necessary channels to be heard, President Trump had already announced that Judge Kavanaugh was the Supreme Court nominee.

Supreme Court decisions are upheld by laws that impact future generations.  That is why composed, fair, honorable, and unbiased people are sought after for this lifetime position.  We have to wonder why Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment was being rushed through to confirmation with these outstanding accusations that were not fully investigated.  One of the greatest privileges of a US President is to appoint a Supreme Court Justice for life.  President Obama was blocked from doing this for over a year and never got the opportunity before he left office.  Yet, President Trump, amidst personal controversy over his own election, leadership, and sexual misconduct, has appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch and now pushes the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh amidst more controversy.

Beyond the sexual assault charges by Dr. Ford that Judge Kavanaugh vehemently denies, his composure under pressure was clearly broken, his position was partisan and accusatory in an appointment that must uphold the law for all people regardless of political party, and his portrayal as a spoiled white privileged brat that is entitled to such an honor regardless of his behavior, leaves many questions about him being an appropriate Supreme Court Justice for the United States of America.

Moreover, the lives of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh are forever changed.  Dr. Ford is a highly educated and credible witness who gave a believable testimony that won the hearts and sympathy of viewers around the world.  She is being called a hero for her courage to come forward with her truth about someone whose position of power would affect the lives of Americans for generations to come.   However, she has received death threats and had to move her family twice since coming forward.  Judge Kavanaugh maintains that he was never at the parties, never drank in excess, was a model student, and his good name has been ruined with these accusations.  Regardless of the outcome in his Supreme Court appointment, and regardless if the accusations are true, Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation, integrity, and truth is now questionable.

This is a moment in our American history that we will not forget.  Are political agendas ruining a perfectly innocent man’s career and life?  Or are political agendas overlooking a woman’s sexual assault and deeming such violations as insignificant?  Either outcome has a historical impact on the current women’s movement that has vindicated many women who have experienced sexual misconduct by men in power positions.

A successful nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court amidst these accusations without proper investigation will tell every woman in America that crimes against her do not matter.  Politics are more important than any women’s rights and male white privilege rules in America regardless of justice.   The only way to show that this is not so is to postpone the vote and have a proper investigation for this type of allegation.  Meanwhile, even if he is found innocent of the accusations by Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh’s arrogant, biased, and angry disposition during his testimony is concerning and definitely a questionable disposition for an Honorable Supreme Court Justice.

More women are coming forward with their truth about being sexually violated.   The  #MeToo movement and accusations of sexual misconduct have brought down the careers of many seemingly untouchable and powerful men, bringing them into accountability.   While some accusations are true,  some men have been accused and lives destroyed in the court of public opinion before proper investigation.   Therefore, is it possible that some men are being brought down unjustly?  The proper investigation goes both ways; to confirm the victim’s truth or to vindicate the accused for a crime they did not commit.

The future outcomes and historical accounts will reside in the conversations we have today with our children.  What will we tell our daughters in America, the land of the free, about their country, their worth, their potential, our leaders, our values, our morals, and trust in the American judicial system?  What will we tell our sons about appropriate behavior, respect, and justice?

This historic appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, or not, will mark who we are as a country at this date in time because of the statement it will make to all women and the men who respect women.  It is a historic stand that we will take for our daughters and their liberation from having to endure inappropriate sexual behavior without recourse.  It is a historic moment for us to seek justice and truth over achieving political agendas.  This truth must not be ignored if we are to ever take our country’s judicial system seriously.

 

What do you think of this post?
  • Boring 
  • Useful 
  • Interesting 
  • Awesome