weekend links

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» Fifty years later, Black Panthers’ art still resonates – this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers’, the architects of our current day school lunch and WIC program.

» More colleges open food pantries to address hunger on college campuses

» Exploring the Untold Stories of Refugees with Rolling Blackouts Cartoonist Sarah Glidden

»  Does Big Ag Really Feed the World? New Data Says Not So Much

» via  Bad memes I made on my phone …

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This is a fascinating lost interview from 1979 with Ronald Reagan , 18 months before he was elected President. I think listening to this helps me understand why my Grandfather  (grew up poor during that same era) loved Reagan so much. It’s interesting to hear him discuss the way the political parties had shifted at that point. Much talk of bootstraps. He says the way to help poor people is that poor people have to “get over” being poor like it’s a mindset and not an economic situation.

 

 

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ICYMI: Hundreds of poor residents being forced out of DC housing,Texas sends poor teens to adult jail for skipping school, more about Kansas shenanigans… (and more)

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Seems like a lot of inequality shenanigans to mention this week.

× Texas is sending poor teens to adult jail for skipping school – That doesn’t quite seem like the answer to getting them stay in school, Texas

× Remember that apartment building being built in NYC that had a separate entrance for poor people? There are currently 88,000 applicants for the 55 units in the ‘poor door’ building.

× Beyond Gentrification: Hundreds of predominantly poor Black residents are being forced out of their homes to make way for new developments

Sounds like a case for Nelson & Murdock

× Also, in DC, the Capital Bikeshare program is not reaching low income residents who would benefit the most. Half of the participants make $100,000 or more /year . Other cities are finding the same issue and have discovered that a small percentage makes less than $50,000/yr.

× I am a cook in the US Senate but I still need food stamps to feed my children – Bertrand Olotara is a single father who works 70 hours a week and still struggling. He’s calling on politicians he serves in the Senate to do something about it. Do you think they’ll respond?

× A Day in the Life of a Welfare Recipient, according to the GOP – Another commentary on restrictions states are placing on how TANF money is spent based on stigmas and false stereotypes.

× Can you survive on $4.17 a day? – I know I’ve made it abundantly clear how much I dislike food stamp challenges but I always read them. I can’t discount everything said about them. This one has great points about how US citizens focus unfairly on SNAP while government spends a lot of money on ridiculous things.

×  $17 million at risk in Nebraska if they don’t get their act together and approve or deny food stamp applications in a timely manner

× Less Money, More Problems – Kansas has a history of stigmatizing low income people instead of creating policy to help them

via Collective Evolution

5 Recent Examples of How Bad Silicon Valley Class Warfare Is :: Tech :: Lists :: Paste

5 Recent Examples of How Bad Silicon Valley Class Warfare Is :: Tech :: Lists :: Paste.

5 Recent Examples of How Bad Silicon Valley Class Warfare Is

While its residents toil away finding brilliant ways of disrupting our lives through groundbreaking technological innovations, Silicon Valley has become a place so ridiculous and prone to self-parody that TV shows mocking it are basically documentaries. But while its culture of extreme hubris mixed with extreme nerdiness may be amusing on its own, combined with the massive amounts of money flowing into the region, a decidedly 21st century form of class tension has emerged in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While this is far from a full examination of the complex socioeconomic implications of this trend, here are five particularly egregious examples of recent class warfare in Silicon Valley.

1. “In Downtown San Francisco the Degenerates Gather Like Hyenas”

Greg Gopman runs AngelHack, a startup that offers helpful services to other startups like hackathon planning, recruiting, and community management. Unfortunately, he’s not nearly as charitable towards those whose problems can’t be solved with clever coding. Here’s a fun game to play while reading these quotesfrom his Facebook page: modern day actual human being or cartoon 19th century Charles Dickens villain?

“In other cosmopolitan cities, the lower parts of society keep to themselves. They sell small trinkets, beg coyly, stay quiet, and generally stay out of your way. They realize it’s a privilege to be in the civilized part of town and view themselves as guests.”

“In downtown SF the degenerates gather like hyenas, spit, urinate, taunt you, sell drugs, get rowdy, they act like they own the center of the city, like it’s their place of leisure.”

“I’ve traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down Market Street in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. Each time I pass it my love affair with SF dies a little.”

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He would later go on to apologize in the Facebook post above, but his Facebook friends didn’t seem to have a problem with the distasteful things he said.

2. The Great Google Bus Hoax

With housing near Silicon Valley itself become ever scarcer, many of its employees live in towns up to 40 miles away. So companies like Google began deploying private shuttles to ferry their workers to and from their offices. However, these buses soon became the automobile embodiment of Silicon Valley’s poisonous influence on nearby communities whether it’s obnoxious private use of public services like bus stops, gentrification like skyrocketing rent costs in areas near the stops, or the idea that Google could make the whole thing just go away by throwing some money towards transit for low-income children.

But the whole episode reached a new level of insanity late last year when protesters actually hired an actor to pretend to be a Google employee saying things so horrible they were literally unbelievable, “This is a city for the right people who can afford it. You can’t afford it? You can leave. I’m sorry, get a better job.” And even though protesters later clarified that this was merely an act of “political theater,” the surprisingly large number of people actually fooled by the hoax demonstrates how the fact of Silicon Valley class warfare is now stranger than any fiction.

3. Six Californias

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As the continued struggles of Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have shown us, adding just one more star to the United States flag is pretty tough. But if tech investor Tim Draper had his way we’d be adding five with his “Six Californias” plan. The logic goes like this: California is a huge, densely populated state with lots of disparate groups of people that can’t be effectively served by a single state government. So let’s split it up into six smaller states that can better handle more local issues and concerns.

Sounds reasonable enough, but then start looking at the specifics of the plan. These six new hypothetical Californias would include Jefferson, North California, Central California, West California, South California, and of course, Silicon Valley. Setting aside just how dystopian the idea of Silicon Valley as an actual state with its own license plates and technocratic government would be, the separation would also siphon wealth, political power, and precious resources like water away from poorer areas. Fortunately, the initiative failed to qualify as a 2016 ballot measure, so would-be residents of the great state of Silicon Valley will have to wait to realize their dream of finally freeing themselves from the burden that is the rest of the country.

4. SketchFactor

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One of the great successes of modern society, at least here in America, is that we’ve made outright racism mostly unacceptable. If someone were to say something as blatantly awful as “I don’t want to walk through that neighborhood. There are too many black people,” most would agree that’s pretty uncool.

Unfortunately, nowadays it’s as easy as switching to a simple code word to share one’s fear and distaste for “the others.” And there’s even an app for it. SketchFactor uses crowdsourced user data to rank how “sketchy” certain neighborhoods are and determine whether or not to avoid them. However, many worry that by depending on information as reliable as the gut feelings of anonymous Silicon Valley dwellers predominantly minority and lower-income communities will be disproportionately, negatively affected by digital white flight. But don’t take our word for it, download the app yourself and try to spot the institutional racism in action.

5. Tinder Minus Poor People

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And finally, continuing the theme of removing inherently inferior people out of one’s life from the comfort of a smartphone screen comes LUXY, self-described as “Tinder minus the poor people.” It’s understandable that people are drawn to those similar to them, and a person’s wealth can definitely make them more or less attractive. But nothing better sums up Silicon Valley’s current mantra of “technology as a tool for class stratification” than an app that strategically plucks out less affluent users looking for love so rich people can get together and have lots of rich babies that dominate the world.

From the LUXY press release: “Who doesn’t want to date somebody both attractive and wealthy? Privately, we all know we prefer to have both of these things. One user said: ‘Tinder was pretty awesome when it came out, but there’s a lot of riff raff on there. I would rather know the guy has a couple bucks in his pocket.’ With the rise of high-speed digital dating, it’s about time somebody introduced a filter to weed out low-income prospects by neighborhood.”

Riff raff.