• Maudits gazons - Le Monolecte

    Je ne crois pas qu’il existe quelque chose de plus stupide qu’une tondeuse à gazon. En dehors d’une piscine individuelle. Ou d’une voiture (encore que…). Le genre d’engin qui coute un bras à l’achat, qui ne sert à rien 99 % du temps, qui ne t’apporte aucun plaisir à l’usage et qui est prévu pour te pourrir la vie jusqu’à te claquer dans les pattes de la manière la plus contrariante possible.

  • Revolt of the gig workers: How delivery rage reached a tipping point -

    Gig workers are fighting back.

    By their name, you might think independent contractors are a motley crew — geographically scattered, with erratic paychecks and tattered safety nets. They report to faceless software subroutines rather than human bosses. Most gig workers toil alone as they ferry passengers, deliver food and perform errands.

    But in recent weeks, some of these app-wielding workers have joined forces to effect changes by the multibillion-dollar companies and powerful algorithms that control their working conditions.

    Last week, Instacart shoppers wrung payment concessions from the grocery delivery company, which had been using customer tips to subsidize what it paid them. After outcries by workers on social media, in news reports and through online petitions, San Francisco’s Instacart said it had been “misguided.” It now adds tips on top of its base pay — as most customers and shoppers thought they should be — and will retroactively compensate workers who were stiffed on tips.

    New York this year became the first U.S. city to implement a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft, which now must pay drivers at least $17.22 an hour after expenses ($26.51 before expenses). Lyft, which sued over the requirement, last week gave in to driver pressure to implement it.

    For two years, drivers held rallies, released research, sent thousands of letters and calls to city officials, and gathered 16,000 petition signature among themselves. The Independent Drivers Guild, a union-affiliated group that represents New York ride-hail drivers and spearheaded the campaign, predicted per-driver pay boosts of up to $9,600 a year.

    That follows some other hard-fought worker crusades, such as when they persuaded Uber to finally add tipping to its app in 2017, a move triggered by several phenomena: a string of corporate scandals, the fact that rival Lyft had offered tipping from the get-go, and a class-action lawsuit seeking employment status for workers.

    “We’ll probably start to see more gig workers organizing as they realize that enough negative publicity for the companies can make something change,” said Alexandrea Ravenelle, an assistant sociology professor at New York’s Mercy College and author of “Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy.” “But companies will keep trying to push the envelope to pay workers as little as possible.”

    The current political climate, with tech giants such as Facebook and Google on hot seats over privacy, abuse of customer data and other issues, has helped the workers’ quests.

    “We’re at a moment of reckoning for tech companies,” said Alex Rosenblat, a technology ethnographer at New York’s Data & Society Research Institute and author of “Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work.” “There’s a techlash, a broader understanding that tech companies have to be held accountable as political institutions rather than neutral forces for good.”

    The climate also includes more consumer awareness of labor issues in the on-demand economy. “People are realizing that you don’t just jump in an Uber and don’t have to think about who’s driving you and what they make,” Ravenelle said. “There’s a lot more attention to gig workers’ plight.”

    Instacart customers were dismayed to discover that their tips were not going to workers on top of their pay as a reward for good service.

    Sage Wilson, a spokesman for Working Washington, a labor-backed group that helped with the Instacart shoppers’ campaign, said many more gig workers have emerged with stories of similar experiences on other apps.

    “Pay transparency really seems to be an issue across many of these platforms,” he said. “I almost wonder if it’s part of the reason why these companies are building black box algorithmic pay models in the first place (so) you might not even know right away if you got a pay cut until you start seeing the weekly totals trending down.”

    Cases in point: DoorDash and Amazon also rifle the tip jar to subsidize contractors’ base pay, as Instacart did. DoorDash defended this, saying its pay model “provides transparency, consistency, and predictability” and has increased both satisfaction and retention of its “Dashers.”

    But Kristen Anderson of Concord, a social worker who works part-time for DoorDash to help with student loans, said that was not her experience. Her pay dropped dramatically after DoorDash started appropriating tips in 2017, she said. “Originally it was worth my time and now it’s not,” she said. “It’s frustrating.”

    Debi LaBell of San Carlos, who does weekend work for Instacart on top of a full-time job, has organized with others online over the tips issue.

    “This has been a maddening, frustrating and, at times, incredibly disheartening experience,” said Debi LaBell of San Carlos, who does weekend work for Instacart on top of a full-time job. “When I first started doing Instacart, I loved getting in my car to head to my first shop. These past few months, it has taken everything that I have to get motivated enough to do my shift.”

    Before each shopping trip, she hand-wrote notes to all her customers explaining the tips issue. She and other shoppers congregated online both to vent and to organize.

    Her hope now is that Instacart will invite shoppers like her to hear their experiences and ideas.

    There’s poetic justice in the fact that the same internet that allows gig companies to create widely dispersed marketplaces provided gig workers space to find solidarity with one another.

    “It’s like the internet taketh and giveth,” said Eric Lloyd, an attorney at the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, which represents management, including some gig companies he wouldn’t name, in labor cases. “The internet gave rise to this whole new economy, giving businesses a way to build really innovative models, and it’s given workers new ways to advance their rights.”

    For California gig workers, even more changes are on the horizon in the wake of a ground-breaking California Supreme Court decision last April that redefined when to classify workers as employees versus independent contractors.

    Gig companies, labor leaders and lawmakers are holding meetings in Sacramento to thrash out legislative responses to the Dynamex decision. Options could range from more workers getting employment status to gig companies offering flexible benefits. Whatever happens, it’s sure to upend the status quo.

    Rather than piecemeal enforcement through litigation, arbitration and various government agencies such as unemployment agencies, it makes sense to come up with overall standards, Rosenblat said.

    “There’s a big need for comprehensive standards with an understanding of all the trade-offs,” she said. “We’re at a tipping point for change.”

    Carolyn Said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @csaid

    #USA #Kalifornien #Gig-Economy #Ausbeutung

  • Sikh drivers are transforming U.S. trucking. Take a ride along the Punjabi American highway - Los Angeles Times

    By Jaweed Kaleem, Jun 27, 2019 -
    It’s 7:20 p.m. when he rolls into Spicy Bite, one of the newest restaurants here in rural northwest New Mexico. Locals in Milan, a town of 3,321, have barely heard of it.
    Punjabi-operated truck stops

    The building is small, single-story, built of corrugated metal sheets. There are seats for 20. The only advertising is spray-painted on concrete roadblocks in English and Punjabi. Next door is a diner and gas station; the county jail is across the road.

    Palwinder Singh orders creamy black lentils, chicken curry and roti, finishing it off with chai and cardamom rice pudding. After 13 hours on and off the road in his semi truck, he leans back in a booth as a Bollywood music video plays on TV.

    “This is like home,” says Pal, the name he uses on the road (said like “Paul”).

    There are 3.5 million truckers in the United States. California has 138,000, the second-most after Texas. Nearly half of those in California are immigrants, most from Mexico or Central America. But as drivers age toward retirement — the average American trucker is 55 — and a shortage grows, Sikh immigrants and their kids are increasingly taking up the job.

    Estimates of the number of Sikh truckers vary. In California alone, tens of thousands of truckers trace their heritage to India. The state is home to half of the Sikhs in the U.S. — members of a monotheistic faith with origins in 15th century India whose followers are best recognized by the uncut hair and turbans many men wear. At Sikh temples in Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield and Riverside, the majority of worshipers are truck drivers and their families.

    Over the last decade, Indian Americans have launched trucking schools, truck companies, truck washes, trucker temples and no-frills Indian restaurants modeled after truck stops back home, where Sikhs from the state of Punjab dominate the industry.

    “You used to see a guy with a turban and you would get excited,” says Pal, who is in his 15th year of trucking. “Today, you go to some stops and can convince yourself you are in India.”

    Three interstates — the I-5, I-80 and I-10 — are dotted with Indian-American-owned businesses catering to truckers. They start to appear as you drive east from Los Angeles, Reno and Phoenix, and often have the words “Bombay,” “Indian” or “Punjabi” on their storefront signs. But many, with names like Jay Bros (in Overton, Neb.) and Antelope Truck Stop Pronghorn (in Burns, Wyo.) are anonymous dots on a map unless you’re one of the many Sikhs who have memorized them as a road map to America.

    The best-known are along Interstate 40, which stretches from Barstow to North Carolina. The road, much of it alongside Historic Route 66, forms the backbone of the Sikh trucking world.

    It’s a route that Pal, 38, knows well. Three times a month, he makes the seven-day round trip between his Fontana home and Indiana, where he drops off loads and picks up new ones. Over his career, he’s driven 2 million miles and transported items as varied as frozen chickens and paper plates. These days, he mostly hauls chocolate, rice and fruits and vegetables from California farms. Today, it’s 103 containers of mixed produce, with mangoes, bell peppers, watermelons, yellow onions and peeled garlic among them. All are bound for a Kroger warehouse outside Indianapolis.

    Across the street from Spicy Bite, dozens of arriving drivers form a temporary village of 18-wheelers in a vast parking lot by the interstate. Most are white. Nearly all are men. More are older than younger.

    But every now and then there are Sikhs like Pal, with long salt-and-pepper beards, colorful turbans and thick Indian accents. They head straight toward Spicy Bite.

    Lines can form out the door at the restaurant, which opened two years ago outside the Petro Stopping Center, a longtime mainstay for truckers headed east.

    Pal makes a point to stop by the restaurant — even just for a “hello” — when he sleeps next door. The Sikh greeting is “Sat sri akaal.” It means “God is truth.” In trucking, where turnover is high, business uncertain and risk of accidents ever present, each day can feel like a leap of faith and an opportunity to give thanks.

    Punjabi Americans first appeared on the U.S. trucking scene in the 1980s after an anti-Sikh massacre in India left thousands dead around New Delhi, prompting many Sikhs to flee. More recently, Sikhs have migrated to Central America and applied for asylum at the Mexico border, citing persecution for their religion in India; some have also become truckers. Estimates of the overall U.S. Sikh population vary, placing the community’s size between 200,000 and 500,000.

    In recent years, corporations have pleaded for new truckers. Walmart kicked up salaries to attract drivers. Last year, the government announced a pilot program to lower the age for driving trucks from 21 to 18 for those with truck-driving training in the military. According to the American Trucking Assn., the trucker shortage could reach 100,000 within years.

    “Punjabis are filling the gap,” says Raman Dhillon, a former driver who last year founded the North American Punjabi Trucking Assn. The Fresno-based group advises drivers on regulations, offers insurance and tire discounts, and runs a magazine: Punjabi Trucking.

    Like trucking itself, where the threat of automation and the long hours away from home have made it hard to recruit drivers, the Punjabi trucking life isn’t always an easy sell. Three years ago, a group of Sikh truckers in California won a settlement from a national shipping company after saying it discriminated against their faith. The drivers, who followed Sikh traditions by wrapping their uncut hair in turbans, said bosses asked them to remove the turbans before providing hair and urine samples for pre-employment drug tests despite being told of the religious observance. The same year, police charged a man with vandalizing a semi truck at a Sikh temple in Buena Park. He’d scribbled the word “ISIS.”

    Still, Hindi- and Punjabi-language newspapers in the Eastern U.S. regularly run ads promising better wages, a more relaxed lifestyle and warm weather as a trucker out West. Talk to any group of Sikh drivers and you’ll find former cabbies, liquor store workers or convenience store cashiers who made the switch.

    How a rural Oklahoma truck stop became a destination for Sikh Punjabis crossing America »

    “Thirty years ago, it was hard to get into trucking because there were so few people like us in the business who could help you,” says Rashpal Dhindsa, a former trucker who runs Fontana-based Dhindsa Group of Companies, one of the oldest Sikh-owned U.S. trucking companies. When Pal first started, Dhindsa — now a close friend but then an acquaintance — gave him a $1,000 loan to cover training classes.

    It’s 6:36 a.m. the next day when the Petro Stopping Center switches from quiet darkness to rumbling engines. Pal flips on the headlights of his truck, a silver ’16 Volvo with a 500-horsepower engine. Inside the rig, he heats aloo gobi — spiced potatoes and cauliflower — that his wife prepared back home. He checks the thermostat to make sure his trailer isn’t too warm. He takes out a book wrapped in a blue cotton cloth that’s tucked by his driver’s seat, sits on a bed-turned-couch and reads a prayer in Punjabi for safety on the journey: There is only one God. Truth is His name…. You always protect us.

    He pulls east onto the highway as the sun rises.

    Truckers either drive in pairs or solo like Pal. Either way, it’s a quiet, lonely world.

    Still, Pal sees more of America in a week than some people will in their lives. Rolling California hills, spiky desert rock formations, the snow-dusted evergreens of northern Arizona, the fuzzy cacti in New Mexico and, in Albuquerque, hot air balloons rising over an orange sky. There’s also the seemingly endless fast food and Tex-Mex of Amarillo and the 19-story cross of Groom, Texas. There’s the traffic in Missouri. After hours of solitude on the road, it excites him.

    Pal’s not strict on dogma or doctrine, and he’s more spiritual than religious. Trucking has shown him that people are more similar than different no matter where you go. The best of all religions, he says, tend to teach the same thing — kindness to others, accepting whatever comes your way and appreciation for what’s in front of you on the road.

    “When I’m driving,” Pal says, “I see God through his creation.”

    His favorite sights are the farms. You spot them in Central California while picking up pallets of potatoes and berries, or in Illinois and Indiana while driving through the corn and soybean fields.

    They remind him of home, the rural outskirts of Patiala, India.

    Nobody in his family drove trucks. Still, to Pal, he’s continuing tradition. His father farmed potatoes, cauliflower, rice and tomatoes. As a child, Pal would ride tractors for fun with Dad. Today, instead of growing food, Pal transports it.

    He wasn’t always a trucker. After immigrating in 2001 with his younger brother, he settled in Canoga Park and worked nights at 7-Eleven. After he was robbed at gunpoint, a friend suggested trucking. Better pay, flexible hours — and less dangerous.

    Three years later, he started driving a rig he didn’t own while getting paid per mile. Today, he has his own company, two trucks between himself and his brother — also a driver — and bids on shipments directly with suppliers. Nationally, the average pay for a trucker is just above $43,000. Pal makes more than twice that.

    He uses the money to pay for the house he shares with his wife, Harjeet Kaur, 4-year-old son, brother and sister-in-law, nieces and parents. Kaur threads eyebrows at a salon and video chats with him during lunch breaks. Every week before he leaves, she packs a duffel bag of his ironed clothes and stacked containers of food for the road.

    “I love it,” Pal says about driving. “But there are always two sides of the coin, head and tail. If you love it, then you have to sacrifice everything. I have to stay away from home. But the thing is, this job pays me good.”

    The truck is fully equipped. From the road, you can see only driver and passenger seats. But behind them is a sleeper cab with a bed that’s 6-foot-7 by 3-foot-2.

    Pal likes to connect the TV sitting atop a mini-fridge to his phone to stream music videos when he’s alone. His favorite songs are by Sharry Maan, an Indian singer who topped charts two years ago with “Transportiye.” It tells the story of a Sikh American trucker who longs for his wife while on the road. At night, the table folds down to become a bed. Pal is just missing a bathroom and his family.

    The life of a Sikh trucker is one of contrasts. On one hand, you see the diversity of America. You encounter new immigrants from around the world working the same job as people who have been truckers for decades. All transport the food, paper and plastic that make the country run. But you also see the relics of the past and the reminders of how you, as a Sikh in 2019, still don’t entirely fit in.

    It’s 9:40 a.m. on Saturday when Pal pulls into Bowlin’s Flying C Ranch rest center in Encino, N.M., an hour past Albuquerque and two from Texas. Here, you can buy a $19,999 stuffed buffalo, Baja jackets and fake Native American moccasins made in China in a vast tourist stop attached to a Dairy Queen and an Exxon. “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood plays in the background.

    It reminds Pal of the time he was paying his bill at another gas station. A man suddenly shouted at customers to “get out, he’s going to blow up this place!” “I will not fight you,” Pal calmly replied. The man left. Those kinds of instances are rare, but Pal always senses their danger. Some of the most violent attacks on Sikhs this century have been at the hands of people who mistook them for Muslims or Arabs, including the case of a turban-wearing Sikh man in Arizona who was shot dead by a gunman four days after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    For Pal, suspicious glances are more common. So are the truckers who think he’s new to the business or doesn’t speak English. None of it fazes him.

    “Everybody relates to us through Osama bin Laden because we look the same,” he says, driving across the plains toward the Texas Panhandle. “Or they think because my English sounds different that I am not smart. I know who I am.”

    Every day, he wears a silver bracelet that symbolizes a handcuff. “Remember, you are handcuffed to God. Remind yourself to not do bad things,” Pal says. It reminds him to be kind in the face of ignorance and hatred.

    At a Subway in Amarillo a few hours later, he grabs his go-to lunch when he’s taking a break from Indian food: a chicken sandwich on white bread with pepper jack, lettuce, tomato and onion. At home, the family is vegetarian. Pal relishes chances on the road to indulge in meat. He used to depend solely on his wife’s cooking. Today, he has other options. It’s a luxury to switch from homemade meals to Punjabi restaurants to fast food.

    Trucking has helped Pal find his faith. When he moved to the U.S., he used to shave, drink beer and not care much about religion. But as he got bored on the road, he started listening to religious sermons. Twelve years ago, he began to again grow his hair and quit alcohol; drinking it is against the faith’s traditions. Today, he schedules shipments around the temple calendar so he can attend Sikh celebrations with his family.

    “I don’t mind questions about my religion. But when people say to me, ‘Why do you not cut your hair?’ they are asking the wrong question,” Pal says. “The real question is, why do they cut their hair? God made us this way.”

    It’s 4:59 p.m. when he arrives in Sayre, Okla., at Truck Stop 40. A yellow Punjabi-language billboard advertises it as the I-40 starts to bend north in a rural region two hours from Oklahoma City.

    Among the oldest Sikh truck stops, it has a 24-hour vegetarian restaurant, convenience store, gas station and a housing trailer that functions as a temple — all spread over several acres.

    Pal has been coming here for more than decade, since it was a mechanic shop run by a Sikh former trucker who settled on the plot for its cheap land. When he has time, Pal lingers for a meal. But he’s in a rush to get to Joplin, Mo., for the night so he can make his drop-off the next day.

    He grabs a chai and heads to the temple. Resting on a small pillow upon the altar is the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book. An audiotape plays prayers on a loop. A print of Guru Nanak, the faith’s founder, hangs on the wall.

    Pal prostrates and leaves a few dollar bills on the floor as a donation for upkeep. He prays for God to protect the temple, his family and himself on the 891 miles that remain until he hits the Indianapolis suburbs.

    “This feels like a long drive,” Pal says. “But it’s just a small part of the journey of life.”

    #USA #LKW #Transport #Immigration #Zuwanderung

  • Rendez-vous avec la Lune

    Cette image est l’œuvre de Andrew McCarthy, un astronome amateur de Sacramento (États-Unis). Elle a nécessité 50.000 clichés pris de nuit depuis son jardin, qui ont en suite été recombinés pour réaliser une photo unique en très haute résolution du satellite de la Terre.

    Pour la prise de vues, Andrew McCarthy a utilisé un télescope Orion XT10, monté sur un pied EQ6-R Pro, et un appareil numérique ASI224MC capable de capturer plusieurs dizaines, voir centaines, de clichés à la seconde. La capture a été pilotée à partir d’un ordinateur portable avec le logiciel spécialisé Firecapture (gratuit sous licence propriétaire).

    L’assemblage de l’image a en suite été réalisé avec Autostakkert un autre logiciel spécialisé (gratuit sous licence propriétaire), et Photoshop pour la retouche. La photo finale a une résolution de 81 mégapixels.

    #photographie #astronomie #informatique

  • Can the Manufacturer of Tasers Provide the Answer to Police Abuse ? | The New Yorker

    Tasers are carried by some six hundred thousand law-enforcement officers around the world—a kind of market saturation that also presents a problem. “One of the challenges with Taser is: where do you go next, what’s Act II?” Smith said. “For us, luckily, Act II is cameras.” He began adding cameras to his company’s weapons in 2006, to defend against allegations of abuse, and in the process inadvertently opened a business line that may soon overshadow the Taser. In recent years, body cameras—the officer’s answer to bystander cell-phone video—have become ubiquitous, and Smith’s company, now worth four billion dollars, is their largest manufacturer, holding contracts with more than half the major police departments in the country.

    The cameras have little intrinsic value, but the information they collect is worth a fortune to whoever can organize and safeguard it. Smith has what he calls an iPod/iTunes opportunity—a chance to pair a hardware business with an endlessly recurring and expanding data-storage subscription plan. In service of an intensifying surveillance state and the objectives of police as they battle the public for control of the story, Smith is building a network of electrical weapons, cameras, drones, and someday, possibly, robots, connected by a software platform called In the process, he is trying to reposition his company in the public imagination, not as a dubious purveyor of stun guns but as a heroic seeker of truth.

    A year ago, Smith changed Taser’s name to Axon Enterprise, referring to the conductive fibre of a nerve cell. Taser was founded in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Smith lives; to transform into Axon, he opened an office in Seattle, hiring designers and engineers from Uber, Google, and Apple. When I met him at the Seattle office this spring, he wore a company T-shirt that read “Expect Candor” and a pair of leather sneakers in caution yellow, the same color as Axon’s logo: a delta symbol—for change—which also resembles the lens of a surveillance camera.

    Already, Axon’s servers, at Microsoft, store nearly thirty petabytes of video—a quarter-million DVDs’ worth—and add approximately two petabytes each month. When body-camera footage is released—say, in the case of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man killed by police in Sacramento, or of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, this past fall—Axon’s logo is often visible in the upper-right corner of the screen. The company’s stock is up a hundred and thirty per cent since January.

    The original Taser was the invention of an aerospace engineer named Jack Cover, inspired by the sci-fi story “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle,” about a boy inventor whose long gun fires a five-thousand-volt charge. Early experiments were comical: Cover wired the family couch to shock his sister and her boyfriend as they were on the brink of making out. Later, he discovered that he could fell buffalo when he hit them with electrified darts. In 1974, Cover got a patent and began to manufacture an electric gun. That weapon was similar to today’s Taser: a Glock-shaped object that sends out two live wires, loaded with fifty thousand volts of electricity and ending in barbed darts that attach to a target. When the hooks connect, they create a charged circuit, which causes muscles to contract painfully, rendering the subject temporarily incapacitated. More inventor than entrepreneur, Cover designed the Taser to propel its darts with an explosive, leading the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to classify it a Title II weapon (a category that also includes sawed-off shotguns), which required an arduous registration process and narrowed its appeal.

    A few years after Tasers went on the market, Rick Smith added a data port to track each trigger pull. The idea, he told me, came from the Baltimore Police Department, which was resisting Tasers out of a concern that officers would abuse people with them. In theory, with a data port, cops would use their Tasers more conscientiously, knowing that each deployment would be recorded and subject to review. But in Baltimore it didn’t work out that way. Recent reports in the Sun revealed that nearly sixty per cent of people Tased by police in Maryland between 2012 and 2014—primarily black and living in low-income neighborhoods—were “non-compliant and non-threatening.”

    Act II begins in the nauseous summer of 2014, when Eric Garner died after being put in a choke hold by police in Staten Island and Michael Brown was shot by Darren Wilson, of the Ferguson Police. After a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson—witness statements differed wildly, and no footage of the shooting came to light—Brown’s family released a statement calling on the public to “join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.”

    In the fall of 2014, Taser débuted the Officer Safety Plan, which now costs a hundred and nine dollars a month and includes Tasers, cameras, and a sensor that wirelessly activates all the cameras in its range whenever a cop draws his sidearm. This feature is described on the Web site as a prudent hedge in chaotic times: “In today’s online culture where videos go viral in an instant, officers must capture the truth of a critical event. But the intensity of the moment can mean that hitting ‘record’ is an afterthought. Both officers and communities facing confusion and unrest have asked for a solution that turns cameras on reliably, leaving no room for dispute.” According to White’s review of current literature, half of the randomized controlled studies show a substantial or statistically significant reduction in use of force following the introduction of body cameras. The research into citizen complaints is more definitive: cameras clearly reduce the number of complaints from the public.

    The practice of “testi-lying”—officers lying under oath—is made much more difficult by the presence of video.

    Even without flagrant dissimulation, body-camera footage is often highly contentious. Michael White said, “The technology is the easy part. The human use of the technology really is making things very complex.” Policies on how and when cameras should be used, and how and when and by whom footage can be accessed, vary widely from region to region. Jay Stanley, who researches technology for the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the value of a body camera to support democracy depends on those details. “When is it activated? When is it turned off? How vigorously are those rules enforced? What happens to the video footage, how long is it retained, is it released to the public?” he said. “These are the questions that shape the nature of the technology and decide whether it just furthers the police state.”

    Increasingly, civil-liberties groups fear that body cameras will do more to amplify police officers’ power than to restrain their behavior. Black Lives Matter activists view body-camera programs with suspicion, arguing that communities of color need better educational and employment opportunities, environmental justice, and adequate housing, rather than souped-up robo-cops. They also argue that video has been ineffectual: many times, the public has watched the police abuse and kill black men without facing conviction. Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan-African studies at Cal State Los Angeles, who is active in Black Lives Matter, told me, “Video surveillance, including body cameras, are being used to bolster police claims, to hide what police are doing, and engage in what we call the double murder of our people. They kill the body and use the footage to increase accusations around the character of the person they just killed.” In her view, police use video as a weapon: a black man shown in a liquor store in a rough neighborhood becomes a suspect in the public mind. Video generated by civilians, on the other hand, she sees as a potential check on abuses. She stops to record with her cell phone almost every time she witnesses a law-enforcement interaction with a civilian.

    Bringing in talented engineers is crucial to Smith’s vision. The public-safety nervous system that he is building runs on artificial intelligence, software that can process and analyze an ever-expanding trove of video evidence. The L.A.P.D. alone has already made some five million videos, and adds more than eleven thousand every day. At the moment, A.I. is used for redaction, and Axon technicians at a special facility in Scottsdale are using data from police departments to train the software to detect and blur license plates and faces.

    Facial recognition, which techno-pessimists see as the advent of the Orwellian state, is not far behind. Recently, Smith assembled an A.I. Ethics Board, to help steer Axon’s decisions. (His lead A.I. researcher, recruited from Uber, told him that he wouldn’t be able to hire the best engineers without an ethics board.) Smith told me, “I don’t want to wake up like the guy Nobel, who spent his life making things that kill people, and then, at the end of his life, it’s, like, ‘O.K., I have to buy my way out of this.’ ”

    #Taser #Intelligence_artificielle #Caméras #Police #Stockage_données

    • Belle sélection américaine pour une si petite liste, mais ce sont les seuls que je n’arrive pas à écouter :

      Future Mask Off
      Migos Bad and boujee
      Outkast Elevator (Me & You)
      Russ Do It Myself
      Guru Lifesaver
      Breaux Bridge
      Buckshot Lefonque Music Evolution
      EPMD Da Joint
      Saba LIFE
      #Erykah_Badu The Healer
      Clear Soul Forces Get no better
      Eminem The Real Slim Shady
      La Nouvelle-Orléans
      $uicideboy$ ft. Pouya South Side Suicide
      Mystikal Boucin’ Back Lexington
      CunninLynguists Lynguistics
      Los Angeles
      Cypress Hill Hits from the bong
      Dilated Peoples Trade Money
      Dr. Dre The next episode ft. Snoop Dogg
      Gavlyn We On
      Jonwayne These Words are Everything
      Jurassic 5 Quality Control
      Kendrick Lamar Humble
      N.W.A Straight outta Compton
      Snoop Dogg Who Am I (What’s my name) ?
      The Pharcyde Drop
      Pouya Get Buck
      Atmosphere Painting
      A tribe called quest Jazz (We’ve Got) Buggin’ Out
      Big L Put it on
      Jeru the Damaja Me or the Papes
      Mobb Deep Shook Ones Pt. II
      Notorious B.I.G Juicy
      The Underachievers Gold Soul Theory
      Wu-Tang Clan Da Mistery of Chessboxin’
      Lords of the Underground Chief Rocka
      Pacewon Children sing
      Das EFX They want EFX
      Doap Nixon Everything’s Changing
      Jedi Mind Tricks Design in Malice
      Mac Miller Nikes on my feet
      Mad Skilzz Move Ya Body
      Blackalicious Deception
      San Diego
      Surreal & the Sounds Providers Place to be
      San Francisco
      Kero One Fly Fly Away
      Boom Bap Project Who’s that ?
      Brothers From Another Day Drink
      SOL This Shit
      Stone Mountain
      Childish Gambino Redbone
      Washington DC
      Oddisee Own Appeal

      Limité mais permet des découvertes.

      Mark Mushiva - The Art of Dying (#Namibie)

      Tehn Diamond - Happy (#Zimbabwe)


    • « Global Hip-Hop » : 23 nouveaux morceaux ajoutés dans la base grâce à vos propositions ! Deux nouveaux pays (Mongolie et Madagascar) et 11 nouvelles villes, de Mississauga à Versailles en passant par Molfetta, Safi, Oulan-Bator ou Tananarive ?

  • Le tueur du « Golden State » identifié grâce à des sites de #généalogie | États-Unis

    Les enquêteurs ont utilisé de l’#ADN prélevé sur les lieux d’un de ses #crimes. Pendant des mois, ils l’ont comparé aux profils #génétiques disponibles sur les sites comme Ancestry ou Genealogy.

    Les enquêteurs et l’équipe de la procureure ont exploré les arbres généalogiques de familles dont les ADN s’approchaient des échantillons prélevés. Finalement, jeudi dernier, l’enquête s’est focalisée sur Joseph DeAngelo, qui avait vécu dans la zone de beaucoup des agressions, dans une banlieue de Sacramento, et avait le bon âge.

  • California police worked with neo-Nazis to pursue ’anti-racist’ activists, documents show | World news | The Guardian

    Au moins c’est clair !

    California police investigating a violent white nationalist event worked with white supremacists in an effort to identify counter-protesters and sought the prosecution of activists with “anti-racist” beliefs, court documents show.

    The records, which also showed officers expressing sympathy with white supremacists and trying to protect a #neo-Nazi organizer’s identity, were included in a court briefing from three anti-fascist activists who were charged with felonies after protesting at a Sacramento rally. The defendants were urging a judge to dismiss their case and accused California police and prosecutors of a “cover-up and collusion with the fascists”.

    #extrême_droite #police #Californie #répression #protestation #anti-fa

  • USA : Barrage d’Oroville en direct par USA Today = Les autorités viennent de mettre en garde les citoyens qui résident tout près du barrage d’Oroville de se tenir prêts à évacuer une nouvelle fois

    * La vidéo ne peut pas être « en direct » puisqu’il fait noir à Sacramento en ce moment. Ces images ont donc été prises plus tôt par le USA Today, ou bien, plus tôt cette semaine ! Les autorités, via les médias, disent que l’état du débordement est "sous...

  • I signori del cibo: chi decide cosa arriva sulla nostra tavola

    “Pochi grandi gruppi controllano la produzione, la commercializzazione e la distribuzione del cibo che mangiamo”, spiega Stefano Liberti. “Queste industrie trattano il cibo come se fosse un giacimento di petrolio. Si cerca di produrre il più possibile al minor costo possibile, a scapito della qualità degli alimenti, dell’ambiente e dei diritti dei lavoratori che operano nella catena alimentare”.
    Stefano Liberti, autore del libro I signori del cibo. Viaggio nell’industria alimentare che sta distruggendo il pianeta (Minimum fax 2016), ha seguito la filiera di quattro prodotti alimentari – la carne di maiale, la soia, il tonno in scatola e il pomodoro concentrato – per scoprire come si sta trasformando il mercato globale del cibo.
    #alimentation #finance #spéculation #chaîne_alimentaire #Stefano_Liberti #porc #soja #thon #tomates #globalisation #mondialisation

    • I signori del cibo. Viaggio nell’industria alimentare che sta distruggendo il pianeta

      Dopo A Sud di Lampedusa e il successo internazionale di Land grabbing, Stefano Liberti ci presenta un reportage importante che segue la filiera di quattro prodotti alimentari – la carne di maiale, la soia, il tonno in scatola e il pomodoro concentrato – per osservare cosa accade in un settore divorato dall’aggressività della finanza che ha deciso di trasformare il pianeta in un gigantesco pasto.
      Un’indagine globale durata due anni, dall’Amazzonia brasiliana dove le sconfinate monoculture di soia stanno distruggendo la più grande fabbrica di biodiversità della Terra ai mega-pescherecci che setacciano e saccheggiano gli oceani per garantire scatolette di tonno sempre più economiche, dagli allevamenti industriali di suini negli Stati Uniti a un futuristico mattatoio cinese, fino alle campagne della Puglia, dove i lavoratori ghanesi raccolgono i pomodori che prima coltivavano nelle loro terre in Africa.
      Un’inchiesta che fa luce sui giochi di potere che regolano il mercato del cibo, dominato da pochi colossali attori sempre più intenzionati a controllare ciò che mangiamo e a macinare profitti monumentali.

    • Le #capitalisme raconté par le #ketchup

      La force d’un système économique tient à sa capacité à s’insinuer dans les moindres replis de l’existence, et en particulier dans nos assiettes. Une banale boîte de concentré de tomate contient ainsi deux siècles d’histoire du capitalisme. Pour son nouvel ouvrage, Jean-Baptiste Malet a mené une enquête au long cours sur quatre continents. Une géopolitique de la « malbouffe » dont il présente ici un tour d’horizon inédit.

      Dans la salle d’un restaurant décorée d’ours et de cobras empaillés, au cœur de la vallée de Sacramento, en Californie, un homme mord dans son hamburger face à une bouteille de ketchup. M. Chris Rufer, patron de la Morning Star Company, règne sur la filière mondiale de la tomate d’industrie. Avec trois usines seulement, les plus grandes du monde, son entreprise produit 12 % du concentré de tomate consommé sur la planète.

      « Je suis une sorte d’anarchiste, explique M. Rufer entre deux bouchées. C’est pourquoi il n’y a plus de chef dans mon entreprise. Nous avons adopté l’autogestion » — une « autogestion » où l’informatique remplace les cadres, mais qui ne prévoit pas que les travailleurs contrôlent le capital de l’entreprise. Mécène du Parti libertarien (1), M. Rufer laisse aux employés le soin de se répartir les tâches qui échoient encore à des êtres humains. Dans les ateliers de la ville de Williams, la Morning Star transforme chaque heure 1 350 tonnes de tomates fraîches en concentré. Lavage, broyage et évaporation sous pression sont entièrement automatisés.

      Traversé continuellement d’un essaim de camions tractant des doubles bennes de fruits rouges, l’établissement est le plus compétitif du monde. Il fonctionne en trois-huit et n’emploie que soixante-dix travailleurs par rotation. L’essentiel des ouvriers et des cadres ont été éliminés, remplacés par des machines et des ordinateurs. De ce traitement de « première transformation » sortent de grandes caisses contenant différentes qualités de concentré.

      Mises en conteneurs, elles circuleront sur tous les océans du globe. On les retrouvera, aux côtés de barils de concentré chinois, dans les mégaconserveries napolitaines qui produisent l’essentiel des petites boîtes de concentré vendues par la grande distribution européenne. Les usines dites « de seconde transformation » des pays scandinaves, d’Europe de l’Est, des îles Britanniques ou de Provence emploieront également du concentré importé comme ingrédient dans leur nourriture industrielle — ratatouille, pizzas surgelées, lasagnes... Ailleurs, ce produit pourpre et visqueux, mélangé à de la semoule ou à du riz, entre dans les recettes populaires et les mets traditionnels, du mafé à la paella en passant par la chorba. Le concentré de tomate est le produit industriel le plus accessible de l’ère capitaliste : on le trouve sur la table des restaurants branchés de San Francisco comme sur les étals des villages les plus pauvres d’Afrique, où il se vend parfois à la cuillère, comme dans le nord du Ghana, pour l’équivalent de quelques centimes d’euro (lire « Des produits chinois frelatés pour l’Afrique »).

      Toute l’humanité mange de la tomate d’industrie. En 2016, 38 millions de tonnes de ce légume-fruit (2), soit environ un quart de la production totale, ont été transformés ou mis en conserves. L’année précédente, chaque Terrien avait en moyenne absorbé 5,2 kilos de tomates transformées (3). Ingrédient central de la « malbouffe » (4) autant que de la diète méditerranéenne, la tomate transcende les clivages culturels et alimentaires. Elle n’est soumise à aucun interdit. Les civilisations du blé, du riz et du maïs décrites par l’historien Fernand Braudel ont aujourd’hui cédé la place à une seule et même civilisation de la tomate.

      Lorsqu’il presse le flacon Heinz pour couvrir ses frites d’une nouvelle giclée de ketchup, produisant ce bruit caractéristique que des milliards d’oreilles ont appris à reconnaître depuis l’enfance, M. Rufer n’a sans doute en tête ni la composition de la sauce ni son histoire mouvementée. Si, malgré sa couleur rouge, le « tomato ketchup » n’a pas le goût de la tomate, c’est que sa teneur en concentré varie entre 30 % et... 6 % selon les fabricants, pour 25 % de sucre en moyenne. Aux États-Unis, il s’agit de sirop de maïs (génétiquement modifié, la plupart du temps). Mis en cause dans l’épidémie d’obésité qui frappe le pays, omniprésent dans l’alimentation industrielle des Américains, ce « glucose-fructose » coûte moins cher que les sucres de canne ou de betterave. Dopés à l’amidon modifié, aux épaississants et aux gélifiants comme la gomme xanthane (E415) ou la gomme de guar (E412), les pires ketchups représentent l’aboutissement d’un siècle de « progrès » agroalimentaire.

      Dans les usines de M. Rufer comme dans toutes les installations de transformation du globe, l’essentiel de la technologie vient d’Italie. Née au XIXe siècle en Émilie-Romagne, l’industrie de la tomate a connu une expansion planétaire. C’est en émigrant, à la fin du XIXe siècle, que des millions d’Italiens diffusent l’usage culinaire de la tomate transformée et stimulent les exportations de conserves tricolores vers l’Argentine, le Brésil, les États-Unis. En Italie, durant la période fasciste, la boîte en fer symbolise la « révolution culturelle » inspirée du futurisme qui exalte la civilisation urbaine, les machines et la guerre. La tomate en conserves, nourriture de l’« homme nouveau », conjugue ingénierie scientifique, production industrielle et conservation de ce qui a été cultivé sur la terre de la patrie. En 1940 se tient à Parme la première « Exposition autarcique des boîtes et emballages de conserve », un événement qui fait la fierté des hiérarques du régime. La couverture de son catalogue montre une boîte de conserve frappée des lettres AUTARCHIA. L’autarcie verte, la voie économique suivie par le fascisme, rationalise et développe l’industrie rouge. « De nos jours, deux aliments globalisés de la restauration rapide, le plat de pâtes et la pizza, contiennent de la tomate. C’est là, en partie, l’héritage de cette industrie structurée, développée, encouragée et financée par le régime fasciste », souligne l’historien de la gastronomie Alberto Capatti.

      Apparues au XIXe siècle aux États-Unis, la boîte de soupe à la tomate Campbell’s et le flacon rouge Heinz — dont il se vend annuellement 650 millions d’unités à travers le monde — rivalisent avec la bouteille de Coca-Cola pour le titre de symbole du capitalisme. Fait méconnu, ces deux marchandises ont précédé l’automobile dans l’histoire de la production de masse. Avant que Ford n’assemble des automobiles sur des chaînes de montage, les usines Heinz de Pittsburgh, en Pennsylvanie, fabriquaient déjà des conserves de haricots à la sauce tomate sur des lignes de production où des tâches telles que le sertissage des boîtes étaient automatisées. Des photographies de 1904 montrent des ouvrières en uniforme Heinz travaillant sur des lignes de production : les bouteilles de ketchup s’y déplacent sur un rail. Un an plus tard, Heinz vend un million de bouteilles de ketchup. En 1910, il produit quarante millions de boîtes de conserve et vingt millions de bouteilles de verre. L’entreprise est alors la plus importante multinationale américaine (5).

      Dans le sillage de la vague néolibérale des années 1980, et grâce à l’invention des conditionnements aseptiques (traités pour empêcher le développement de micro-organismes), qui ouvrent la voie aux flux intercontinentaux de produits alimentaires, les géants tels que Heinz ou Unilever sous-traitent progressivement leurs activités de transformation de tomates. Désormais, les multinationales du ketchup, de la soupe ou de la pizza se fournissent directement auprès de « premiers transformateurs » capables de fournir du concentré industriel à très bas coût et en très grande quantité. En Californie, en Chine et en Italie, quelques mastodontes transforment à eux seuls la moitié des tomates d’industrie de la planète. « Si les Pays-Bas, où s’est implantée une usine Heinz gigantesque, sont le premier exportateur de sauces et de ketchup en Europe, ils ne produisent pas de tomates d’industrie, précise le trader uruguayen Juan José Amézaga. Tout le concentré employé dans les sauces qu’exportent les Pays-Bas ou l’Allemagne est produit à partir de concentré d’importation en provenance de diverses parties du monde. Les fournisseurs peuvent se trouver en Californie, en Europe ou en Chine. Cela fluctue en fonction des périodes de l’année, des taux de change, de l’état des stocks et des récoltes. »

      Premier producteur mondial de concentré de tomate, la Californie ne compte que douze usines de transformation. Toutes sont titanesques. Elles fournissent à elles seules la quasi-totalité du marché intérieur nord-américain et exportent vers l’Europe des concentrés vendus parfois moins cher que les concentrés italiens ou espagnols. À la différence des « tomates de bouche », destinées au marché de frais, les variétés buissonnantes de « tomates d’industrie » ne sont pas tuteurées. Parce que le soleil dispense une énergie abondante et gratuite, elles poussent exclusivement en plein champ, contrairement aux cultures sous serre qui alimentent les étals toute l’année. En Californie, les récoltes débutent parfois dès le printemps et s’achèvent, comme en Provence, à l’automne.

      « Améliorées » depuis les années 1960 par des généticiens, les tomates de l’agro-industrie sont conçues d’emblée pour faciliter leur transformation ultérieure. La science qui guide l’organisation du travail intervient aussi en amont, au cœur même du produit. L’introduction d’un gène a par exemple permis d’accélérer les cueillettes manuelles et rendu possibles les récoltes mécaniques. Tous les fruits de la filière mondiale se détachent de leur pédoncule d’une simple secousse. Bien qu’aujourd’hui les tomates d’industrie du marché mondial soient majoritairement de variétés dites « hybrides », la purée de tomates est entrée dans l’histoire comme le tout premier aliment OGM commercialisé en Europe (6).

      Avec sa peau épaisse qui craque sous la dent, la tomate d’industrie supporte les cahots des voyages en camion et le maniement brutal par les machines. Même placée au fond d’une benne sous la masse de ses congénères, elle n’éclate pas. Les grands semenciers ont veillé à ce qu’elle contienne le moins d’eau possible, contrairement aux variétés de supermarché, aqueuses et donc inadaptées à la production de concentré. L’industrie rouge se résume au fond à un cycle hydrique perpétuel et absurde : d’un côté, on irrigue massivement les champs dans des régions où l’eau est rare, comme la Californie ; de l’autre, on transporte les fruits dans des usines pour évaporer l’eau qu’ils contiennent afin de produire une pâte riche en matière sèche.

      Un article qui date de 2017, avec une infographie de @odilon... je mets ici pour archivage

  • Uber : les nouveaux cochers de fiacre

    Il a 42 ans, il vit à Sacramento où il n’a pas assez de travail pour les VTC, alors tous les lundi matin il va à San Francisco. Là, chaque jour il conduit jsqu’à ce qu’il ait amassé 300 dollars (ça lui fait 230 quand il a payé l’essence). Il lui faut à peu près 12 heures pour y arriver. Donc quand il a terminé, il est trop crevé, il faut qu’il dorme. Et comme il gagne tout juste ce dont il a besoin, pas question de se payer un hôtel, alors il va au parking, où il dort dans sa voiture, avec quelques autres. Le phénomène n’est pas restreint à San Francisco. A Chicago ou à New York des chauffeurs Uber se partagent l’adresse de spots où ils peuvent s’installer pour la nuit, parce que les gardiens les laissent tranquille, ou parce qu’il y a du Wi-Fi. Il s’agit d’une conséquence extrême de la volonté de Uber : la plus grande flexibilité pour ses chauffeurs qui peuvent travailler où ils veulent, quand ils veulent, le temps qu’ils veulent (jusqu’à 14h d’affilée). A Chicago l’un des chauffeurs explique dormir dans sa voiture depuis presque deux ans, et y avoir été contraint quand il a quitté son emploi précédent et acquis une voiture en leasing, ce qui l’obligeait à travailler plus pour couvrir ses frais. L’hiver, ce n’est pas pratique de dormir dans sa voiture, toutes les trois heures il se réveille pour faire tourner le moteur et réchauffer l’habitacle.

    On signalera aussi :
    « Germinal au royaume des plates-formes numériques ? » par Mediapart

    #Cocher #GV_(entreprise) #Germinal_(roman) #Numérique #Politique #Précariat #Travail #Travail_précaire #Uber_(entreprise) #Économie

  • Investiture de Donald Trump : l’autre Amérique entre en résistance

    Depuis l’élection du 8 novembre, les voix contestataires se multiplient dans le pays et la désobéissance civile s’organise. En particulier en Californie, qui se revendique capitale de la dissidence.

    Ne leur dites pas qu’ils ressemblent au Tea Party. Un Tea Party de gauche, bien sûr, mais même. La comparaison leur paraît de mauvais goût. « On n’est pas dans la négativité », se défend Renee ­McKenna, l’une des centaines de milliers d’anonymes qui s’apprêtent à manifester contre Donald Trump le 21 janvier. Eux se revendiquent de la « résistance ». Le terme est apparu quelques heures après l’élection de Trump. Un hashtag sur Twitter : #Resist. En même temps que #NotMyPresident. Pas mon président. Depuis que les comptes ont été finalisés et que Donald Trump a été déclaré vainqueur alors qu’il avait recueilli 2,864 millions de voix de moins qu’Hillary Clinton, la détermination a redoublé : « pas » est devenu « jamais » : #NeverMyPresident.


    A la veille de l’investiture, ils sont des milliers – femmes, jeunes, écologistes, syndicalistes, Noirs, Latinos – à récuser par avance le programme du 45e président. Décidés à lutter pendant les « 1 461 jours » du mandat de Trump pour « protéger les progrès » accomplis en huit ans. « Je montrerai à Trump le même respect qu’il a montré à Obama », annonce sur son fil Twitter le chanteur Ricky Davila. Pas question de « collaboration » avec « le républicanisme radical » de Trump, proclame le Resistance Party, l’un des groupes qui ont éclos au lendemain du 8 novembre.

    En 2009, dans l’autre camp, il n’avait pas fallu deux mois avant que la contestation ­anti-Obama s’empare de la rue. Le 16 février, les premières manifestations avaient commencé – à Seattle, à Nashville. La base républicaine protestait contre le plan de relance de Barack Obama, qu’elle jugeait intolérablement « socialiste ». Le nom Tea Party était apparu mi-avril, moins de 100 jours après l’investiture d’Obama. Aux élections de ­mi-mandat en 2010, le Tea Party revendiquait 100 candidats au Congrès.

    Voiles noirs et bonnets roses

    Les dirigeants des groupes de pression démocrates espèrent que l’Histoire va se répéter, à leur profit. Ils rêvent d’un « Tea Party bleu ». La gauche n’a pas le choix. A un moment où les républicains contrôlent tous les leviers du pouvoir (la Maison Blanche, les deux chambres, 33 gouvernorats et 69 des 99 assemblées locales), l’opposition devra s’exercer « dans les Etats, les tribunaux et, comme dans les années 1960, dans la rue », anticipe le journaliste du New Yorker Jelani Cobb, dans un article sur « Le retour de la désobéissance civile ».

    A la veille de l’entrée en fonctions du nouvel élu, la « résistance » se signale par des centaines d’initiatives dans tout le pays. Certains appellent à éteindre les télévisions le 20 janvier pour priver Trump de son motif d’autosatisfaction favori : l’audience. D’autres, de voiler de noir les portraits sur les réseaux sociaux, pour créer une « solidarité » entre ceux qui estiment que « la démocratie est en danger ». Des femmes du projet « Pussy Hat » tricotent des bonnets roses pour les marcheuses de la Women’s March du 21 janvier à Washington. Des écologistes prônent un « jour antidéni », contre les climatosceptiques. Les profs s’affichent avec des pancartes visant à rassurer la communauté immigrée : « Mon nom est Montserrat Garibay. Je suis éducatrice et je n’ai pas peur. Je travaille avec et pour des étudiants et des familles sans papiers »…

    Une pétition dans la Silicon Valley

    Pendant les années Obama, le Texas a été le haut lieu de l’opposition au premier président afro-américain. A partir du 20 janvier, la Californie va devenir la capitale de la « résistance » anti-Trump. Hillary Clinton y a remporté 62,3 % des suffrages, le meilleur score en quatre-vingts ans pour un candidat démocrate. Les électeurs ont très mal vécu le fait que plus de 60 millions de leurs compatriotes aient préféré un républicain aussi ­ « rétrograde ». Jusque dans la Silicon Valley : de Tim Cook (Apple) à Marc Benioff (Salesforce), les grands noms du high-tech se sont adressés à leurs employés aussitôt après l’élection pour réaffirmer les « valeurs communes ». Cela ne les a pas empêchés d’aller à la rencontre du président élu le 14 décembre, à la Trump Tower, à New York. Pragmatiques, les patrons savent qu’ils ont beaucoup à gagner des promesses de réduction de l’impôt sur les sociétés. Mais, à la base, une pétition anti-Trump a été lancée : « Nous, ingénieurs, concepteurs, commerciaux… » Quelque 2 840 signataires se proclament solidaires des musulmans américains et s’engagent à ne pas participer à « la collecte de données basée sur les croyances religieuses ».

    San Francisco en a perdu son zen. « La nuit des élections, je me suis réveillée subitement, raconte Kerri, une universitaire. Et ce qui m’est venu à l’esprit, c’est : ça y est. Je vis dans le pays de Trump. » Le lendemain, « j’avais ­besoin d’air. J’ai fait une grande marche. » depuis, Kerri est passée par toutes sortes de phases. Après « le grand choc » est venu le rejet des trumpistes. « Un truc viscéral, décrit-elle. On ne veut plus rien avoir à faire avec ces gens qui ont voté pour un mâle blanc de 70 ans, xénophobe et misogyne. » Elle est maintenant à la phase de mobilisation. Kerri a envoyé un chèque au planning familial, que Trump et les républicains du congrès ont décidé de priver de financements publics. Elle n’est pas la seule. Depuis l’élection, Planned Parenthood a enregistré un record de dons et une augmentation de 900 % des demandes de prescriptions de contraceptifs.

    Solidarité à l’égard des Latinos

    En Californie, le mouvement est parti du plus haut de l’Etat. Dès le 9 novembre, une partie des officiels sont entrés « en résistance ». Les responsables de l’Assemblée et du Sénat locaux, les démocrates Anthony Rendon et Kevin de Leon, ont publié un manifeste, en anglais et en espagnol, pour rassurer tous ceux qui, comme eux, s’étaient « réveillés avec le sentiment d’être étrangers » dans leur propre pays. « Nous nous opposerons à tout effort qui viserait à déchirer notre tissu social ou notre Constitution », ont-ils juré. L’Etat compte 2,3 millions d’immigrants sans papiers et un tiers des 744 000 « dreamers », les jeunes amenés clandestinement aux Etats-Unis par leurs parents et régularisés par décret en 2014. Ceux-là sont bouleversés. Dans toute la Californie, un grand mouvement de solidarité a commencé à l’égard des Latinos. Les villes, les universités, les Eglises se sont déclarées « sanctuaires » : elles empêcheront les reconduites à la frontière. La municipalité de Los Angeles a voté un crédit de 10 millions de dollars pour défendre les immigrants qui seront poursuivis par l’administration Trump.


    Le gouverneur Jerry Brown a de son côté prévenu qu’il ne ferait pas machine arrière sur l’environnement. Il venait de signer, en septembre, la loi sur les émissions la plus contraignante du pays (une réduction obligatoire de 40 % sous le niveau de 1990 d’ici à 2030). Si Donald Trump met à exécution la menace de couper les crédits pour les satellites météo de la NASA, « la Californie lancera elle-même son satellite, a-t-il tonné le 15 décembre. Nous avons les scientifiques ! Nous avons les universités ! Nous avons les laboratoires nationaux ! Nous avons les juristes ! Nous avons une vraie puissance de feu ! ».

    Le gouverneur a nommé un nouvel attorney general (procureur), ­Xavier Becerra, pour défendre les acquis californiens devant les tribunaux. Début janvier, l’Assemblée a de son côté annoncé avoir recruté Eric Holder, l’ex-ministre de la justice de Barack Obama, pour représenter les intérêts de l’Etat à Washington. La Californie « va être le centre de la dissidence et des recours en justice contre Trump », prévoit le journal Sacramento Bee. D’un procès à l’autre, l’Etat devrait réussir à bloquer les assauts éventuels de l’administration républicaine pour quelques années. Mais la tactique est coûteuse : la Californie pourrait y perdre des centaines de millions de dollars de financements fédéraux.

    Déçus par le Parti démocrate, qu’ils jugent déconnecté, les « résistants » en ont assez de donner 3 dollars ici, 5 là, comme gages de soutien à des militants professionnels qui ont perdu la Maison Blanche. « Le Tea Party a installé une majorité républicaine dans 33 Etats en six ans. Nous n’en avons que 4 », alerte le groupe Indivisible, créé par deux anciens aides législatifs, auteurs d’un « guide anti-Trump ». Pour eux, l’ennemi est l’esprit de compromis. Ils ne veulent pas concéder « un pouce » à la nouvelle majorité, comme le jure le groupe Not an Inch. Ce mouvement a lancé une pétition pour exiger des sénateurs démocrates qu’ils refusent de confirmer le juge de la Cour suprême que nommera Trump, en signe de représailles contre l’obstruction des républicains à l’égard du magistrat choisi par Barack Obama. Œil pour œil, dent pour dent, voilà les « résistants ».

  • La tempête en Californie fatale à un séquoia géant emblématique | JDM
    AFP | Lundi, 9 janvier 2017

    LOS ANGELES | La tempête qui a touché la Californie ces derniers jours a été fatale à un séquoia géant particulièrement célèbre, attraction touristique dont le tronc avait été creusé pour créer un tunnel où pouvait passer une petite voiture.

    Le Pioneer Cabin Tree, situé dans le Calaveras Big Trees State Park, âgé probablement de plus de 1000 ans, est tombé dimanche, selon les responsables du parc.

    « Nous avons perdu un vieil ami aujourd’hui, le Pioneer Cabin Tree, l’arbre à travers lequel on pouvait passer en voiture, a succombé à la nature et est tombé », a indiqué Jim Allday, un volontaire de ce parc situé au sud-est de Sacramento dans un message sur Facebook, accompagné d’images de l’arbre au sol.

    Ce séquoia avait été creusé dans les années 1880 et était depuis devenu une attraction touristique majeure.

    La femme de M. Allday, Joan, a précisé au journal San Francisco Gate que l’arbre s’affaiblissait et penchait d’un côté depuis quelques années.

  • Pills that kill: why are thousands dying from #fentanyl abuse? | Global | The Guardian

    By the time the epidemic finally started to get public and political attention, more than two million Americans were addicted to opioid painkillers. Those who finally managed to shake off the drug often did so only at the cost of jobs, relationships and homes.

    After the government finally began to curb painkiller prescriptions, making it more difficult for addicts to find the pills and forcing up black market prices, Mexican drug cartels stepped in to flood the US with the real thing – heroin – in quantities not seen since the 1970s. But, as profitable as the resurgence of heroin is to the cartels, it is labour intensive and time-consuming to grow and harvest poppies. Then there are the risks of smuggling bulky quantities of the drug into the US.

    The ingredients for fentanyl, on the other hand, are openly available in China and easily imported ready for manufacture.

    #pharma #antidouleurs #répression #drogue #chine #mexique #carfentanil (et aussi #Prince, une des premières victimes de ce #marché_noir)

  • The Believer - If He Hollers Let Him Go - by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

    Chappelle’s comedy found fans in many worlds. At a recent barbecue in Philadelphia, a friend of the host dutifully but disinterestedly interrogated me about my life, and got excited only when my mother let it slip that I was working on a piece about Dave Chappelle. “Aw, man. I miss that guy,” he said. “He was my friend. I really felt like he was my friend.” I hear this a lot, usually from white people, and usually from white people without many black friends—like this seventy-year-old comparative literature professor in Birkenstocks. Part of what made the show so ingenious was that Chappelle’s racial invective found friends in strange places. With a regularly broadcasted television show, Chappelle was finally able to display what writer and activist Kevin Powell described in an Esquire profile as a “unique capacity to stand out and blend in, to cross boundaries and set up roadblocks.” Almost overnight, Chappelle became America’s black friend. He was a polyglot. He told Powell that, growing up, he used to “hang out with the Jewish kids, black kids, and Vietnamese immigrants,” and it was apparent that Chappelle had used these experiences to become America’s consul and translator for all things racial.


    • Chappelle did such a good job of truth-telling, on every subject, that nobody knew what to do when he just stopped talking. In no way did his quitting conform to our understanding of the comic’s one obligation: to be funny. To talk to us. To entertain us. To make us laugh. We aren’t used to taking no for an answer, to being rejected, especially not by the people who are supposed to make us smile. Especially not by black men who are supposed to make us smile. And yet Chappelle did just that. And so, like everyone, I wondered what had happened. What had happened, and, more so, what had brought Chappelle to—and kept him in—Yellow Springs?At a stand-up appearance in Sacramento in 2004, a frustrated Chappelle lashed out at his hecklers from the stage, yelling, “You people are stupid!” So what was it about this small college town—where hippies slipped me bags of Girl Scout cookies, where Tibetan jewelry stores and fair-trade coffee shops dotted the main street, and where kindly white ladies crossed the street to tell me my wild hair was giving them life—that made it more satisfying than celebrity or fame?

    • Seon was born in Washington, DC. Her father was a fair-skinned man who was adopted by a black woman. Although he self-identified as black, by all accounts he looked Greek. He was also blind. On the day Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, Chappelle’s grandfather was on a city bus and overheard rumblings of a beat-down about to happen to a white fellow on his bus. That guy’s gonna be in trouble, he thought. He did not realize that he was the white man being threatened. This anecdote about his grandfather would inspire Chappelle’s “Clayton Bigsby” sketch—the unforgettable short mockumentary about a blind white supremacist who does not know he is black.

    • Soit-dit en passant, où l’on apprend que le type a refusé un contrat de 50 millions de dollars préférant (re)partir vivre dans le bled où il a grandis, qui ressemble à ça (je suis nul en microblogage) :

      Although the city of Dayton is small and has been hit hard by the decline of industry, in Xenia and Yellow Springs the land is green, fecund, and alive, even in the relentless heat of summer. Xenia is three miles from where the first private black college, Wilberforce, opened, in 1856, to meet the educational needs of the growing population of freed blacks that crossed the Ohio River. Yellow Springs, a stop on the Underground Railroad, was initially established as a utopian community in 1825. In 1852, Horace Mann founded Antioch College and served as its president. During the ’50s and ’60s, Antioch and Yellow Springs were hamlets of anti-McCarthyism and antiwar and civil rights activism. Today there are a lot of hippies and there’s even more tie-dye. Between the villages, you can drive over rolling hills and pastures and not see another car for miles, and only far off on the horizon will you be able to spot a farmhouse.

      I spent a week in this part of Ohio, and during my stay I was invited to do all sorts of things with people of all kinds—rich and poor, white and black. I was invited to go flying, dig for worms at midnight, and plant raspberry bushes. My request to drive a tractor was turned down, not because I don’t know how to drive but because the tractor had been put away. In Ohio, there is space for people to do what they want. There is a lot of land, plenty of it. This is where enslaved people ran to, certain that they had finally evaded capture. This is where America’s first prominent black poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, wrote “We Wear the Mask.” And somewhere in the midst of it all is Dave Chappelle’s home.

  • #États-Unis : solidarité avens les antifascistes de #Sacramento

    Le 26 juin dernier, à Sacramento (Californie), l’Action antifasciste locale, avec le soutien de centaines de camarades antifascistes venus de tout le pays, a réussi à faire échouer la tentative du #Traditionalist_Worker’s_Party (TWP), un parti suprémaciste blanc, de faire un meeting dans la capitale de l’État. Les manifestants ont réussi à empêcher les fascistes [&hellip

    #International #solidarité_antifasciste #solidarité_internationale

  • États-Unis : Les flics américains, de vrais petits soldats
    par Raphaël Kempf

    Landy Black est fier de son nouveau jouet : un véhicule blindé, résistant aux mines et pouvant essuyer sans danger des tirs nourris. Plus connu sous le nom de MRAP (mine resistant, ambush protected), ce mastodonte surmonté d’une tourelle vaut la bagatelle de 700 000 dollars. Le chef de la police de Davis, une ville universitaire proche de Sacramento, en Californie, en a vanté les mérites auprès du conseil municipal en août 2014. Obtenu gratuitement, rappelle-t-il aux édiles, il s’agit « d’une version légère des blindés que l’armée a utilisés en Afghanistan ». Et Landy Black lui trouve de nombreuses qualités : il consomme peu, est en bon état et permettra à sa police de mieux faire face à tout type d’événements comme en cas de tuerie de masse ou encore si ses subordonnés doivent essuyer des attaques armées. Il reconnaît toutefois à demi-mots que sa capacité de résistance aux mines ne devrait guère lui être utile…


  • J’en parlerai à mon cheval • Feminist texts written by women of color

    This list is stil a work in progress, but I really wanted to get it posted. I have either read parts of/all of the texts below or they have been recommended to me. Please reblog and add your own suggestions to the list. Each time someone adds something new, I’ll go back to this original post and make sure to include them. Thanks and enjoy!


    Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
    Women Culture and Politics by Angela Davis
    Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
    Borderlands/La frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua
    Aint I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
    Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks
    Feminist Theory from Margin to Center by bell hooks
    Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
    Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity by Chandra Talpade Mohanty
    Medicine Stories by Aurora Levins Morales
    Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home by Anita Hill
    Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts
    Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide by Andrea Smith
    Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions (Feminist Constructions) by Maria Lugones (submitted by oceanicheart)
    Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism by Jessica Yee (submitted by oceanicheart)
    Communion: The Female Search for Love by bell hooks (via easternjenitentiary)
    Nervous Conditions by Tsisti Dangarembga (via easternjenitentiary)
    A Taste of Power by Elaine Browne (via tinajenny)
    Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism by Aileen Moreton-Robinson (via jalwhite)
    I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism by Lee Maracle (via jalwhite)
    Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics by Joy James (via jalwhite)
    Re-Creating Ourselves by Molara Ogundipe-Leslie (via reallifedocumentarian)
    Chicana Feminist Thought by Alma M. Garcia (via eggplantavenger)
    Queer Latinidad by Juana Maria Rodriguez (via eggplantavenger)
    The Truth That Never Hurts by Barbara Smith (via sisteroutsider)
    Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions by Maria Lugones (via guckfender)
    Consequence: Beyond Resisting Rape by Loolwa Khazzoom (via galesofnovember)
    The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid (via wherethewildthingsmoved)


    Companeras: Latina Lesbians by Juanita Ramos and the Lesbian History Project
    Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism edited by Daisy Hernandez
    This Bridge Called My Back edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
    this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation edited by Gloria Anzaldúa and AnaLouise Keating
    Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critial Perspectives by Feminists of Color edited by Gloria Anzaldua
    Women Writing Resistance: Essays from Latin America and the Caribbean edited by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez
    Unequal Sisters edited by Ellen DuBois and Vicki Ruiz
    Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings edited by Alma M. Garcia (submitted by oceanicheart)
    Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice (submitted by oceanicheart)
    The Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology
    I Am Your SIster by Audre Lorde (via marlahangup)
    Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture edited by Cheryl Suzack, Shari M. Huhndorf, Jeanne Perreault, Jean Barman (via jalwhite)
    Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire edited by Sonia Shah (via jalwhite)
    Pinay Power: Feminist Critical Theory: Theorizing the Filipina/American Experience edited by Melinda L. de Jesus (via titotibok)
    Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire edited by Sonia Shah (via titotibok)
    MOONROOT: An Exploration of Asian Womyn’s Bodies (more Asian Pacific Islander American ones here) (via titotibok)
    Making Space for Indigenous Feminism edited by Joyce Green via jalwhite)
    All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of Us are Brave: Black Women’s Studies, more commonly known as But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies edited by Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scot, and Barbara Smith (via jalwhite)
    Homegirls: A Black Feminist Anthology edited by Barbara Smith (viasisteroutsider)
    Theorizing Black Feminisms: The Visionary Pragmatism of Black Women edited by Stanlie James and Abena Busia (via sisteroutsider)
    Black Woman edited by Toni Cade Bambara (via ancestryinprogress)


    “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.” by Kimberle Crenshaw
    The Combahee River Collective Statement
    “Tomboy, Dyke, Lezzie, and Bi: Filipina Lesbian and Bisexual Women Speak Out” by Christine T. Lipat and others (via titotibok)
    “Rizal Day Queen Contests, Filipino Nationalism, and Feminity” by Arleen De Vera (via titotibok)
    “Pinayism” by Allyson G. Tintiangco-Cubales (via titotibok)
    “Practicing Pinayist Pedagogy” by Allyson G. Tintiangco-Cubales and Jocyl Sacramento (via titotibok)
    “Asian Lesbians in San Francisco: Struggle to Create a Safe Space, 1970s – 1980s” by Trinity Ordona (via titotibok)
    “A Black Separatist” by Anna Lee (via girlsandgifs)
    “For the Love of Separatism” by Anna Lee (via girlsandgifs)
    “Separation in Black: A Personal Journey” by Jacqueline Anderson (via girlsandgifs)
    “Separatism is not a Luxury: Some Thoughts on Separatism and Class” by C. Maria (via girlsandgifs)
    “Coming Out Queer and Brown” by Naomi Littlebear Morena (via girlsandgifs)
    “Internalising the Lesbian Body of Color” by Jamie Lee Evans (via girlsandgifs)
    “In Search of Our Mother’s Garden” by Alice Walker (via wherethewildthingsmoved)

    Other authors and poets you should know

    Maya Angelou
    Toni Morrison
    Alice Walker
    Nawaal El Sadaawi
    Mary Crow Dog
    Zora Neale Hurston
    Arundhati Roy
    Zadie Smith
    Dorothy Roberts
    Nikki Giovanni(submitted by my bff maskofmaterials)
    Lucille Clifton (submitted by my bff maskofmaterials)
    Gwendolyn Brooks (submitted by soemily)
    Octavia Butler (submitted by soemily)
    Nalo Hopkison (submitted by soemily)
    Trinh T. Minh-Ha (via eggplantavenger)
    Ananya Roy (via eggplantavenger)
    Paola Bacchetta (via eggplantavenger)
    Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (via pitcherplant)
    Andrea Smith (via crankyindian)
    Ashley Love (via guckfender)
    Linda Martin Alcoff (via guckfender)
    Oyèrónké Oyěwùmí (via guckfender)
    Staceyann Chin (via guckfender)

    Tumblr authors of color who are woc that you can follow:

    Tayari Jones ( @tayarijones)
    Roxane Gay ( @roxanegay)
    Ijeoma Umebinyuo (@theijeoma)
    Janet Mock ( @janetmock)
    Maza Dohta (@maza-dohta)

    literally so many others

    #féminisme #blackféminisme #antiracisme #lecture #liste

  • Modern libraries are lending more than just books — NewsWorks

    “Across the nation, libraries are experimenting with lending more than books. One library in Maine lends snowshoes, another in Alaska lends animal skulls and pelts. When it comes to technology, libraries in New York and Chicago lend mobile WiFi hotspots, while a library in Sacramento lends GoPro cameras. One library in Baton Rouge, Louisiana lends telescopes, paintings, sculptures and, more recently, Arduino kits.”


  • California’s Katrina Is Coming | WIRED

    California’s always been for dreamers. Dreams of gold brought the forty-niners. Easy seasons and expansive arable acreage brought farmers, dreaming of an agricultural paradise. Fame, natural beauty, and the hang-loose cultural mosaic have brought dreaming millions to the state where summer never seems to end.

    The summer dream has become a nightmare drought. But the years-long dry spell isn’t what keeps engineers, economists, and state water planners awake at night. No, they worry about the network of levees at the crux of California’s plumbing—a massive freshwater confluence called the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

    #eau #californie #états-unis #sécheresse

  • BBC News - The Hurricane Station: WWL, the New Orleans radio station that fought to keep listeners alive during Hurricane Katrina

    On Friday afternoons in the Big Easy, people clock off early.

    True to its reputation as America’s most hedonistic city, offices empty as bars and restaurants fill up.

    On 26 August 2005, many were scrambling to watch their beloved football team, the Saints, play against the Baltimore Ravens in the New Orleans Superdome.

    Built in the 1970s, the Superdome sits next to a spaghetti of concrete flyovers. An imposing steel structure with a white roof, it sits in stark contrast to the Spanish inspired balconies with lace-like finishes in the French quarter, where tourists flock.


    Katrina Washed Away New Orleans’s Black Middle Class | FiveThirtyEight

    Ten years ago, shortly after the floodwaters subsided, James Gray stood in the ruins of his New Orleans home and tried to salvage what remained of his belongings. They fit inside a handbag.

    “I don’t know if my wife will ever get over that,” Gray said recently.

    But Gray and his wife have since restored the New Orleans East home where they have lived for more than 20 years. Most of their neighbors have returned, too. And Gray, who now represents the neighborhood on the City Council, points to other evidence of rebirth in a district that has long been home to much of the city’s black middle class: a gleaming new hospital, which opened last year; new schools open or under construction; national chains such as Wal-Mart and CVS that are returning after years of absence.


    A ’new’ New Orleans emerges 10 years after hurricane Katrina -

    New Orleans — American taxpayers put New Orleans back on its feet after hurricane Katrina. Matt Haines helped take it from there.

    The young New Yorker came to New Orleans in 2009 as part of Ameri-
    Corps to help resurrect the city after one of the worst natural disasters in US history, and, like more than 30,000 other people, never left. He bought a rickety house in the rough St. Claude neighborhood, fixed it up, then bought another. Today he still lives in that second shotgun house – a classic narrow rectangular box with a brightly painted Gothic facade.


    White people in New Orleans say they’re better off after Katrina. Black people don’t. - The Washington Post

    This week marks the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans. By all accounts, the city has made enormous strides since the 2005 calamity.

    But how much residents think that’s true depends largely on their race.

    A new Louisiana State University survey found that black and white people in New Orleans had starkly different assessments of their community’s strides since the storm.


    Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30[thinsp]years : Abstract : Nature

    Theory1 and modelling2 predict that hurricane intensity should increase with increasing global mean temperatures, but work on the detection of trends in hurricane activity has focused mostly on their frequency3, 4 and shows no trend. Here I define an index of the potential destructiveness of hurricanes based on the total dissipation of power, integrated over the lifetime of the cyclone, and show that this index has increased markedly since the mid-1970s. This trend is due to both longer storm lifetimes and greater storm intensities. I find that the record of net hurricane power dissipation is highly correlated with tropical sea surface temperature, reflecting well-documented climate signals, including multi-decadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming. My results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential, and—taking into account an increasing coastal population—a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century.


    Is New Orleans in danger of turning into a modern-day Atlantis? | Cities | The Guardian

    In the years before Hurricane Katrina, residents of New Orleans sought solace in the belief that the Crescent City could build itself out of all environmental threats. Despite a sinking urban footprint, a shrinking coastal buffer and rising sea levels, they had faith that strong stormwater infrastructure was enough to keep them safe. The huge, federally built levee system encircling the metropolitan area enshrined that belief.


    Hurricane Katrina | US news | The Guardian

    Hurricane Katrina: The latest news and comment on Hurricane Katrina. The Guardian is marking the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with the series Hurricane Katrina: 10 years on.


    10 Years After Katrina, Will California’s Capital Be The Next New Orleans? | ThinkProgress

    A 2011 New York Times Magazine story sounded the alarm: “Scientists consider Sacramento — which sits at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers and near the Delta — the most flood-prone city in the nation.” The article went on to note that experts fear an earthquake or violent Pacific superstorm could destroy the city’s levees and spur a megaflood that could wreak untold damage on California’s capital region.

    #mississippi #katrina #nouvelle_orléans #états_unis #désastre #ouragan #climat


    Dear Counsel:

    I hope you are well and are enjoying the summer.

    This will serve to discuss various matters dealing with the two above referenced actions. At times, each counsel is addressed individually and at times issues are addressed to all (or the majority of) counsel collectively, as follows:

    1. YOLO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES DAVID ROSENBERG AND DAVID REED — First, as to the part of this communication addressed to Messrs. Michael Fox, Keith Fink and Olaf Muller, please be informed that an upcoming federal action of Levi v. Girardi & Keese will include one cause of action seeking only equitable relief against “Yolo County Superior Court.” Since your clients (Judges David Rosenberg and David Reed) are part of the “Yolo County Superior Court”, I wanted to give you a heads-up of the upcoming action, as well as to inform you that it is unrelated to the topics which were previously the subjects of various agreements.

    Simply put, and as discussed in more detail below as events relate to other parties, there have been serious new developments dealing with: a) Yolo DA / AARP b) Michael Cabral / Yolo and Riverside DA’s offices/ SNR Dentons - Rod Pacheco - James Hsu / Yolo County’s Cache Creek Casino - Chief Marshall Mckay/ Mark Friedman / DLA Piper / Kapor Enterprises.

    As far as (a) — developments involving Yolo DA and AARP, etc, note that last week I learned that AARP — where George Davis (formerly a California Bar BOG member who voted to press false criminal charges against me with Yolo DA, president of AARP-California, and with strong financial ties to CCPF) and Barbara O’Connor (AARP and AARP Foundation Director, Link America Foundation Director - whom I caught in major alleged fraud re Washington DC party to celebrate the “linking” of the two Americas — which in actuality was a Barack Obama inauguration party - and employee of Sacramento-based Donna Lucas’s Public Affairs) — has bestowed an unusual grant of $40,000 on the Yolo County District Attorney (see attached press-release and HERE ) headed by Jeff Reisig and Jonathan Raven.

    As far as (b) — developments involving Yolo / Riverside Assistant District Attorney Michael Cabral — note that during the pendency of the criminal action against me, a very unusual theory was explored by which Cabral had been transferred from Riverside County DA to Yolo County DA for the sole reason of falsely and maliciously criminally prosecuting me in order to intimidate me into silence and otherwise confiscate incriminating evidence through the execution of an invalid search warrant.
    At that time, I looked into those facts and rejected the theory dealing with Cabral (See story HERE). About one month ago, I learned that Cabral is no longer with the Yolo DA, and has returned back home to the Riverside County District Attorney.

    As you may recall and as I stated previously, I agreed to a plea of no contest to a charge of misdemeanor attempted extortion as a stopgap measure since I was under duress on various fronts. As part of the plea bargain I agreed to, among other things, not contact the State Bar of California Board of Governors/Trustees directly, and other overreaching conditions.

    Both as a journalist and as a victim of the above alleged malfeasance, I am obviously interested in informing the State Bar of California Board of Governors/Trustees and the public vis-a-vis press releases, published articles, and by contacting other journalists of those events. However, per conditions imposed on me while under duress as part of the plea bargain in the criminal matter by Judge Reed, I am prohibited from directly contacting BOG members. As such, in addition to suing some of the above named and others in federal court, I plan to ask the same federal court for relief to allow me to freely exercise free speech.

    As such, if the attorneys for Judges Rosenberg and Reed believe that advancing an action against Yolo County Superior Court for equitable relief is not consistent with the spirit or language of our prior agreements, please let me know.

    Note that from my perspective past events are all forgotten history and there is absolutely no desire to rehash old claims against Rosenberg and Reed. In fact, as I mentioned to Rosenberg’s attorney (Mr. Fink) over the phone, I am a huge fan of Rosenberg and was recently disappointed that he was not appointed as a justice to the California Supreme Court given his outstanding judicial qualities, experience, and political background (i.e. former chief of staff to Governor Jerry Brown; Judicial Council member; mayor of Davis, etc).

    2. SERVICE OF BRIEF AND APPENDIX — California Rules of Court Rule 8.124 (e)(1)states that “a party preparing an appendix must: (A) Serve the appendix on each party, unless otherwise agreed by the parties....”

    As far as the service of the appendix, I am hoping that each party will agree to waive formal service and instead agree that the service of a searchable PDF Appendix via electronic mail is sufficient. Note that I will be advising the court of my request and the responses received from counsel, if any.

    Similarly, I am hoping that you will also agree to waive formal service of a hard copy of the appellant’s brief and to instead agree that the service of searchable PDF and/or Microsoft Word version of the brief via electronic mail is sufficient. I will also be letting the court know that I made this request of counsel and the responses received, if any.

    I would like to urge everyone to agree to the above in order to save a tree, costs, and the unnecessary labor of printing, copying, and binding thousands of pages.

    3. SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS — As applied to the two above referenced actions, I would like to remind everyone that the window to engage in settlement discussions has been closed, as was stated previously. As such, due to multitudes of reasons, in connection with the above two referenced actions, please refrain from extending any settlement offers, attempting to engage in settlement negotiations, or offering anything of value. The only exception will be if the undersigned originates a proposal.

    4. DOCKET — As far as the matter pending before the California Third District Court of Appeal, note that the docket maintained by the court contains many inaccuracies and is otherwise lacking. For example, a search for the last name of defendant/respondent “James Brosnahan” yields no result. Ditto defendants Freada Kapor Klein, Michael Cabral, Mark Friedman (only the name of the late distinguished Morton Friedman OBM appears), Fulcrum Property (only “Fulcrum Davis” appears, which I assume is associated with the Friedmans), Mary Cary Zellerbach, Martin Investment Management, Ronald Olson, Jeff Bleich, Chris Young, Kamala Harris, Douglas Winthrop, Holly Fujie, Ophelia Basgal, and others.

    As such, I ask that each of you contact the court of appeal on behalf of your respective clients — similar to the 4th entry of the docket by which the attorney for Darrel Steinberg independently wrote the court to advise that Steinberg is a respondent, see HERE — to inform the court of the problem and ask for it to be rectified.

    Moreover, please ensure that the name of your clients are spelled correctly i.e. “Munger,Tollis” or “Freada, Kapor, Klein” are not the correct spelling, at least based on my understanding.

    The attorney representing Ms. Kamala Harris is requested to inform the court to remove a comment by which the docket states that Ms. Harris was sued in her capacity as the attorney general or forward proof where I allege she was sued in such capacity.

    The attorney from Locke Lord representing defendants Cary Zellerbach and Martin Investment is asked to inform the court to correct the docket which does not mention either yourself, your firm, or your clients. Also with respect to your client that has thus far managed to avoid service, please be advised that the California statute of limitations is tolled and I intend to pursue claims against her either in state or federal court. REDACTED

    5. SKADDEN ARPS — ISSUES RE RAUOL KENNEDY REPRESENTATION OF CALIFORNIA JUDICIARY — Mr. Russell, as you may recall, in reply to my inquiry you wrote: "My colleague Raoul Kennedy does indeed represent Justice Robert Mallano in Mallano v. Chiang et al., LASC Case No. BC533770. As you may know, Judge Elihu Berle granted class certification in Mallano on January 15, 2015. The class members have not yet been identified because notice has not been circulated, nor has the period for opt outs occurred. Nevertheless, regardless of which judges or justices eventually become members of the class, pursuant to section 811.9 of the California Government Code, the “fact that a justice, judge, subordinate judicial officer, court executive officer, court employee, the court, the Judicial Council, or the Administrative Office of the Courts is or was represented or defended by the county counsel, the Attorney General, or other counsel shall not be the sole basis for a judicial determination of disqualification of a justice, judge, subordinate judicial officer, the county counsel, the Attorney General, or other counsel in unrelated actions.” Cal. Gov’t Code § 811.9. As a matter of law, there is no conflict. The statute is attached for your reference."

    As a reply, I wrote in part that the statute applies only to one justice, and in the case at hand Mr. Kennedy represents (as of now and assuming none chose to opt out) the entire qualified panel of justices of the Third District and that, most importantly, per the statute, the representation must be the “sole” basis. Here, the representation of Skadden/ Kennedy is NOT the sole basis. Rather, there is an additional basis for the disqualification — which is the fact that Skadden itself is also a DEFENDANT in the “unrelated action.”

    In any event, this will serve to inform you that I intend to seek to disqualify any and all judicial officers who are clients of your firm. As such, I ask for you to please forward a list identifying the class members and all those who chose to opt-out of the litigation.

    6. MORRISON & FOERSTER: Mr. Besirof, associate Davis indicated that you replaced Mr. Dresser as the attorney in this matter. Please let me know if you have any questions or require certain clarification. Since you are new to the case and since it is summer, if you need extra time to catch up on materials as far as the filing of an appellate respondent brief, I am extending to you (and by extension everyone else) an additional 60 days in which to file your brief.

    7. DEFENDANT MARK FRIEDMAN / COUNSEL - BROTHER PHILIP FRIEDMAN — Mr. Friedman, in connection with events dealing with Michael Cabral / Yolo DA / Chache Creek Casino and SNR Dentons, can you please provide a list of all the partnerships between defendant Mark Friedman and the Rumsey / Yocha Dehe tribe which operates Cache Creek Casino in Yolo County?

    A lawsuit (attached) the tribe/casino filed against your brother and REDACTED lists the following: Government Property Fund,LLC; Government Property Fund II, LLC ; Government Property Fund III, LLC ; Government Property Fund IV, LLC ; 4330 Watt,LLC; Fulcrum Management Group LLC ; Fulcrum Friedman Management Group, LLC ; Illiniois Property Fund, GPF ; and Illinois LLC. Are these partnership still in effect ?

    Also, for purposes of determine potential conflicts of interest in the current pending matter as far as your ability to serve as legal counsel given your role as a potential witness, please inform me whether Paragraph 108 of the lawsuit which states: “The other Vectors partners included REDACTED and Opper, as well as Friedman, Friedman’s father and brother, and John Krasznekewicz (a Friedman friend)” refers to you, Philip Friedman. In essence, what I am asking is are you the Vector partner or is the brother alluded to someone else ? Also, starting in 2006 to the present, were you involved in any other partnership with the tribe and the casino ?

    8. MUNGER TOLLES & OLSON: Mr. Senator, if not a bother, I will appreciate if your firm would forward me the following:

    a - copy of the report prepared by your colleague Bart Williams dealing with alleged misconduct by Joe Dunn, especially in connection to a trip overseas by which Dunn was accompanied by Howard Miller of Girardi & Keese and Tom Layton. As you may be aware, accompanying the Yolo County District Attorney officers during the execution of the search warrant at my home was also Tom Layton — who served as liaison. As such, if said report is in the public domain, I will appreciate if you forward a copy.

    b - your colleague Jeffrey Bleich recently solicited as clients a group of UC Davis APA law students in connection with their bid to admit post-mortum an APA applicant to the State Bar of California. If not a bother, will it be possible for you to please forward to me a copy of the motion and all other pleading submitted to the California Supreme Court.

    9. FREADA AND MITCHELL KAPOR / LEVEL PLAYING FIELD INSTITUTE : Mr. Medina, at your earliest, I will appreciate if you please address the following:

    a. In order to determine your status as potential witness, can you please forward your employment history to date beginning from around 2006 ? Were you ever employed at the DLA Piper office in Sacramento ? If yes, can you please state the dates of your employment.

    b. Are you and your clients in a position to disclose who is paying Kapor and LPFI’s attorney’s fees? If it is DLA Piper who set you up to defend the two or otherwise is paying your attorney’s fees, please let me know. As you may know, DLA Piper managing partner Gilles Attia, daughter Sarah Attia, and partner Steve Churchwell played a huge role in CaliforniaALL / Obama for America. Also, separately and around the same time, there is an allegation that DLA Piper laundered $50,000 to “Obama Victory Fund” through defendant Level Playing Field Institute / Kapor Enterprises vis-a-vis the so called “Kapor Maneuver.”

    c. Recently, I have learned from a YOU-TUBE video featuring Mr. Kapor that he is heavily invested in what he refers to as “Ed-Tech” companies.

    It will be appreciated if you let me know if Mr. Kapor, his wife, or their entities have any business relationships with Steve Poizner or former California Bar Foundation treasurer Lindsay Lee — both of whom are also involved with Ed-Tech.

    d. Yesterday, just as I was about to send you settlement business proposals, much to my chagrin and indignation, I encountered the following article in USA Today. Under the heading of “Kapors pledge $40 million investment in tech diversity” it stated, among other things: “Mitch Kapor and wife Freada Kapor Klein will invest $40 million over three years in a set of initiatives designed to give women and underrepresented minorities a better shot at becoming technology entrepreneurs.” The article further stated that “Kapor Capital will make more than $25 million in investments in technology start-ups working to narrow the achievement gaps. At least half of the companies will have founders from underrepresented groups.” (See story )

    My understanding is that any and all non-profit and for-profits companies operated in the State of California are deemed to be “business establishments” that come within the purview of Civil Code Section 51 known as The Unruh Civil Rights Act.

    Be advised that the plan by the Kapors and Kapor Capital to “make more than $25 million in investments in technology start-ups working to narrow the achievement gaps. At least half of the companies will have founders from underrepresented groups” runs afoul of The Unruh Civil Rights Act which reads: “All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.”

    In other words, Kapor Capital’s plan to pick and choose “founders from underrepresented groups” (based on the article, women and “underrepresented minorities”) is unlawful. If you or your clients disagree, please forward an explanation. Otherwise, I shall await word from you that there has been a change of plans.

    e. As you may be aware, starting around 2000, the former executive-director of the State Bar of California (Ms. Judy Johnson) secretly served as the president of the “California Consumer Protection Foundation” ("CCPF") an entity which obtained millions of dollars from class-action “cy pres” awards and from fines, settlements and payments the CPUC — during the time Michael Peevey and Geoff Brown served as commissioners — imposed on various utility companies. For example, anytime a merger took place i.e. between various cell-phone companies such as Verizon, millions were paid to CCPF.

    CCPF, in turn, funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to entities in South-Central Los Angeles [with very close connection to State Bar of California BOG members Shrimpscam’s Gwen Moore and George Davis], a dubious entity in Venice for “Youth Radio”, an entity headed by Michael Shames, various Asian-American entities with close connections to State Bar officials (Holly Fujie and Madge Watai — Little Tokyo Service Center, etc.) and money to entities headed by associates of Justice Ming Chin.

    Based my estimation, around $3 million cannot be accounted for, and separately I alleged that CCPF submitted false reports to the IRS. Months before the execution of the search warrant, I complained to the IRS against CCPF as well as filed an ethics complaint against Judy Johnson and others with the State Bar of California. Later, as you may recall, the State Bar of California BOG voted to file criminal charges against me, alleging among other things, that the CCPF ethics complaint constituted criminal conduct which served as one basis for the search warrant.

    Based on my recollection, it also appeared that CCPF may have funneled money to entities established by the Kapors. Since all the materials have been confiscated by the Yolo DA and are otherwise inaccessible, at your earliest, I will appreciate the names of those entities and the dates / amounts each of these contribution.

    f. Please consider this a formal request for “Kapor Center for Social Impact” to produce its 3 last 990 forms submitted to the IRS. If you need me to request this information from the entity directly, please let me know.

    Thank you for your attention to these matters. Please let me know if you have any questions.

  • Le FBI enquête sur une série de dégradations de câbles Internet

    Dans la nuit de lundi 29 à mardi 30 juin, trois importants câbles intercontinentaux reliant la ville de Sacramento ont été dégradés, causant de sérieuses perturbations dans l’accès à Internet des habitants de la zone. Et ce n’est pas une première. Depuis un an, au moins onze dégradations de ce type ont eu lieu en Californie ; ce qui a poussé le FBI à ouvrir une enquête. (...) La coupure la plus récente a eu lieu à Livermore, une ville proche de San Francisco. Elle aurait provoqué des perturbations jusqu’à Seattle, selon le Wall Street Journal, une ville située plus d’un millier de kilomètres au nord de la Silicon Valley. Une action coordonnée, selon le FBI, nécessitant un outillage adapté, pour s’attaquer aux gaines qui protègent les câbles.

    #sabotage #interruption