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Nine charged for giving food to homeless in California

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The group oppose a rule in El Cajon, California, which prohibits food sharing in public places.
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Technicalleigh
4 days ago
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"You can go out there, pick them up, take them back to your house and feed them and board them and room them and have them take a shower if you're really wanting to help," [council member Ben Kalasho] said.

In other words, you're not _really_ trying to prevent the spread of hepatitis a, you're just using it as a smokescreen to further criminalize homelessness.
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
sarcozona
7 hours ago
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Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: The Market for Lemons

jwz
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Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: The Market for Lemons

In this article, we argue that the mafia arose as a response to an exogenous shock in the demand for oranges and lemons, following Lind's discovery in the late eighteenth century that citrus fruits cured scurvy. More specifically, we claim that mafia appeared in locations where producers made high profits from citrus production for overseas export. Operating in an environment with a weak rule of law, the mafia protected citrus production from predation and acted as intermediaries between producers and exporters. Using original data from a parliamentary inquiry in 1881 -- 1886 on Sicilian towns, the Damiani Inquiry, we show that mafia presence is strongly related to the production of oranges and lemons. The results hold when different data sources and several controls are employed. [...]

Our results are also strongly associated with research on the p "curse of natural resources". We claim that the economic boom in international citrus demand, and the subsequent rise of Sicilian exports during the nineteenth century, are key factors behind the rise of mafia. This is also consistent with the more recent finding that windfall gains from natural resources are often associated with intense rent seeking and patronage politics. For instance, Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Arvind Subramanian (2003) argue that political corruption related to oil revenues hampered Nigeria's growth for decades. Daron Acemoglu, Thierry Verdier, and James A. Robinson (2004) show how mineral wealth in Zaire allowed President Mobutu to buy off political challengers. A recurrent theme in this tradition is that resource windfalls might actually destabilize and deteriorate institutions, if key groups in the society believe that predation is more profitable than production.

Hmmm, 'Key groups believe that predation is more profitable than production', what does that remind me of... Oh right! The entirety of the tech industry!

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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sarcozona
7 hours ago
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satadru
5 days ago
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New York, NY
acdha
7 days ago
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Washington, DC
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1 public comment
kbrint
6 days ago
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Interesting article, not sure about the tech snipe.

Free Public Wi-Fi

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Shaw and City of Vancouver have put in place around 550 free public Wi-Fi locations in the City of Vancouver, with more to come. Shaw’s PDF HERE.

Locations are clustered along commercial areas in the city.  Apparently, there is no cost to the city, and none to the public during use.

. . .  the Shaw offering also includes an additional 500 plus WiFi locations spread widely throughout the downtown core and surrounding areas, including the following highly-concentrated spaces:

• Broadway (Oak to Cambie)
• Commercial Drive (Venables to 1st Ave)
• Davie Street (Jervis to Burrard)
• Denman Street (from Davie to W. Georgia)
• Downtown Eastside
• Gastown
• Granville Street (from Drake to Cordova)
• Main Street (Broadway to E. 16th Ave)
• Robson Street (from Denman to Burrard)

It also includes 125 Mobi by Shaw Go bike station locations, of which 49 are currently enabled with #VanWiFi provided by Shaw.

Bandwidth speed will generally be 10 Mbps and there is no limit or cap on data
usage. No personal information is required to access the VanWiFi network.

To connect to VanWiFi:

  • Select the VanWiFi network name from your device’s Wi-Fi settings menu
  • Open your browser and you will be automatically re-directed to the WiFi terms and conditions page. Read and then click the button to accept the terms and conditions.
  • You will be re-directed to the VanWiFi home page (vanwifi.vancouver.ca) and are then connected to the internet.




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sarcozona
7 hours ago
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How Haiti became poor

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haiti.jpg

In case you missed it, the President of the United States called Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries “shitholes,” then pretended like he didn’t say it, but basically said it all over again.

This matters not just because it’s racist (the President is racist, in fact, he is professionally racist), because it’s vulgar (“shithole,” one of the all-time great swear words, is forever sullied by this), and because it’s catastrophically bad for foreign and domestic relations. It matters in part because of the history of Haiti, and the history of racist discourse about Haiti.

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, a professor of education and scholar who’s closely studied these narratives, writes:

The reason why White nationalists like 45 always name Haiti because the Haitian nation & people are unique. Haiti defeated Napoleon, threw off the chains of slavery, and exposed the lie of White supremacy & European imperialism. So there’s no end to their hatred for Haiti.

Jonathan Katz, a journalist and former AP correspondent in Haiti who wrote The Big Truck That Went By about Haiti’s 2010 earthquake and the cholera epidemic that followed, has a longer thread spelling out how these narratives about Haiti were generated and how they work. Here’s a thick excerpt:

In order to do a victory lap around the GDP difference between, say, Norway and Haiti, you have to know nothing about the history of the world. That includes, especially, knowing nothing real about the history of the United States… You’d have to not know that the French colony that became Haiti provided the wealth that fueled the French Empire — and 2/3 of the sugar and 3/4 of the coffee that Europe consumed…

You’d have to not realize that Haiti was founded in a revolution against that system, and that European countries and the United States punished them for their temerity by refusing to recognize or trade with them for decades. You’d then have to not know that Haiti was forced to borrow some money to pay back that ridiculous debt, some of it from banks in the United States. And you’d have to not know that in 1914 those banks got President Wilson to send the US Marines to empty the Haitian gold reserve… [You’d] have to not know about the rest of the 20th century either—the systematic theft and oppression, US support for dictators and coups, the US invasions of Haiti in 1994-95 and 2004…

In short, you’d have to know nothing about WHY Haiti is poor (or El Salvador in kind), and WHY the United States (and Norway) are wealthy. But far worse than that, you’d have to not even be interested in asking the question. And that’s where they really tell on themselves… Because what they are showing is that they ASSUME that Haiti is just naturally poor, that it’s an inherent state borne of the corruption of the people there, in all senses of the word.

And let’s just say out loud why that is: It’s because Haitians are black.

Racists have needed Haiti to be poor since it was founded. They pushed for its poverty. They have celebrated its poverty. They have tried to profit from its poverty. They wanted it to be a shithole. And they still do.

If Haiti is a shithole, then they can say that black freedom and sovereignty are bad. They can hold it up as proof that white countries—and what’s whiter than Norway—are better, because white people are better. They wanted that in 1804, and in 1915, and they want it now.

The history of Haiti is weird because it is absurdly well-documented, yet totally poorly known. It’s hard not to attribute that to ideology. We don’t teach the Haitian Revolution the way we teach the American, or the French, or the Mexican, because it’s a complicated story. Kids are more likely to hear variations of “Haiti formed a pact with the devil to defeat Napoleon” (this is real thing, I swear) than Toussaint Louverture’s or Jean-Jacques Dessalines’s names.

Also, while Haiti’s revolution was an early, signature event in world history-the first time a European power would be overthrown by an indigenous army (but not the last)-the causes of Haiti’s poverty are basically identical with those of almost every poor nation around the world: a history of exploitation, bad debt, bad geopolitics, and bad people profiting off of that poverty (almost all of them living elsewhere). And this is basically true about poverty in American cities as well (with all the same attendant racist myths).

Some recommended reading:

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sarcozona
1 day ago
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acdha
7 days ago
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Washington, DC
zippy72
6 days ago
Paul Foot's remarkable lecture on Toussaint Louverture was fascinating and that was what started me being interested in Haitian history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt4hxbkfibU
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Uber Used Another Secret Software To Evade Police, Report Says

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schwit1 shares a Bloomberg report: In May 2015 about 10 investigators for the Quebec tax authority burst into Uber Technologies's office in Montreal. The authorities believed Uber had violated tax laws and had a warrant to collect evidence. Managers on-site knew what to do, say people with knowledge of the event. Like managers at Uber's hundreds of offices abroad, they'd been trained to page a number that alerted specially trained staff at company headquarters in San Francisco. When the call came in, staffers quickly remotely logged off every computer in the Montreal office, making it practically impossible for the authorities to retrieve the company records they'd obtained a warrant to collect. The investigators left without any evidence. Most tech companies don't expect police to regularly raid their offices, but Uber isn't most companies. The ride-hailing startup's reputation for flouting local labor laws and taxi rules has made it a favorite target for law enforcement agencies around the world. That's where this remote system, called Ripley, comes in. From spring 2015 until late 2016, Uber routinely used Ripley to thwart police raids in foreign countries, say three people with knowledge of the system. Allusions to its nature can be found in a smattering of court filings, but its details, scope, and origin haven't been previously reported. The Uber HQ team overseeing Ripley could remotely change passwords and otherwise lock up data on company-owned smartphones, laptops, and desktops as well as shut down the devices. This routine was initially called the unexpected visitor protocol. Employees aware of its existence eventually took to calling it Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver's flamethrower-wielding hero in the Alien movies. The nickname was inspired by a Ripley line in Aliens, after the acid-blooded extraterrestrials easily best a squad of ground troops. 'Nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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sarcozona
1 day ago
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satadru
8 days ago
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New York, NY
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Link: History of The Population Bomb

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Charles C. Mann has written a historical account of Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb as a part of Smithsonian magazine’s retrospective on the year 1968: “The Book That Incited a Worldwide Fear of Overpopulation”.

I learned a number of things from the article that I hadn’t known about the book’s genesis (as a political tract) and Ehrlich’s march to prominence as a public intellectual (aided by Johnny Carson).

Mann also discusses the broader impact of the book in the movement toward population control worldwide:

Such statements contributed to a wave of population alarm then sweeping the world. The International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the World Bank, the United Nations Population Fund, the Hugh Moore-backed Association for Voluntary Sterilization and other organizations promoted and funded programs to reduce fertility in poor places. “The results were horrific,” says Betsy Hartmann, author of Reproductive Rights and Wrongs, a classic 1987 exposé of the anti-population crusade. Some population-control programs pressured women to use only certain officially mandated contraceptives. In Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, South Korea and Taiwan, health workers’ salaries were, in a system that invited abuse, dictated by the number of IUDs they inserted into women. In the Philippines, birth-control pills were literally pitched out of helicopters hovering over remote villages. Millions of people were sterilized, often coercively, sometimes illegally, frequently in unsafe conditions, in Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Mann has written a book that covers a part of the history of doomsaying in the early 20th century by William Vogt, and the technical optimism of Norman Borlaug. The book, The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World, is released later this month.

I’m looking forward to it!

Link: History of The Population Bomb was originally published by John Hawks at john hawks weblog on January 09, 2018.

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sarcozona
1 day ago
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The best way to reduce fecundity is improve access to education for women and girls and give them access to good healthcare. Basically, destruction of the patriarchy. Without that, your solutions end up being quite monstrous
acdha
7 days ago
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Washington, DC
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