Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Beastie Boys "LIVE & DIRECT"

and I found this bootleg clip from Monday night's show I was at and loved!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

School of Life Monday:

This Greek philosopher, one of our favourites, spent his life arriving at fascinating answers to the largest puzzle there is: What makes people happy?

“The Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was born in 341 BC, on the island of Samos, a few miles off the coast of modern Turkey. He had an unusually long beard, wrote over three hundred books and was one of the most famous philosophers of his age.
What made him famous was his skilful and relentless focus on one particular subject:happiness. Previously, philosophers had wanted to know how to be good; Epicurus insisted he wanted to focus on how to be happy...”

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Patagonia wants the outdoor industry to start a pro-public lands movement as powerful as the NRA

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has called on the outdoor industry to join him in backing politicians who believe in preserving public lands; his company has now backed Montana Democratic Senate incumbent Jon Tester (facing a Trumpian challenge from Republican Matt Rosendale, who espouses the cultlike belief that the Constitution bans the federal government from owning land, a belief that was spread by Cliven Bundy and a group of racist Mormon extremists) and Nevada Democratic Congressional incumbent Jacky Rosen with a 97 percent approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters.

Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario says the outdoor industry should lead a political movement as well-organized and effective as the NRA, but aimed at protecting public lands. Both conservative and liberal voters disapprove of Trump's record on public lands, making it a rare bipartisan issue.
With the momentum of the past two years, this almost seems an inevitable step for Patagonia. The company’s current CEO, Rose Marcario, has said she’d like to see the outdoor industry become a political force like the NRA. “We cannot give up an inch of protected land on our watch,” Marcario told Streep. “Not an inch.” That campaign kicked off most publicly when Patagonia forced a decision on the governor of Utah: either come out against President Trump’s plan to shrink Bears Ears National Monument, or Patagonia, REI, and the North Face would use their clout to move the Outdoor Retailer show and the $45 million it bestowed on the state’s economy each year.

Now the show’s home is Denver. And after Trump signed an executive order that cleaved Bears Ears by 1.35 million acres, Patagonia sued. Its homepage, in black and white, read bluntly, “The President Stole Your Land.” That led the House Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Utah Representative Rob Bishop, who harped loudest for the resize, to tweet a mockingly similar image that read, also in black and white, “Patagonia Is Lying to You.” Chouinard and Marcario had their confrontation, weenies be damned.
Patagonia Endorses Tester and Rosen [J. Weston Phippen/Outside]

(via Naked Capitalism)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

In America, the young find distinguishing fact
from opinion easier than their elders

from Boing Boing:
A recent Pew poll challenged subjects to distinguish between factual statements and statements of opinion in news articles; it found that there is a large gap in accuracy between 18- to 49-year-olds (32% of whom correctly labeled 100% of the facts, and 44% of whom correct labeled 100% of the opinions) and those aged 50 and up (20% correctly labeled all facts; 26% correctly labeled all opinions).

Young people performed well regardless of the ideological nature of the facts and opinions, while older subjects' ability to sort fact from opinion was more likely to struggle when such sorting cut against their ideological bias.
For example, 63% of 18- to 49-year-olds correctly identified the following factual statement, one which was deemed to appeal more to the right: “Spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up the largest portion of the U.S. federal budget.” About half of those ages 50 and older (51%) correctly classified the same statement. Additionally, 18- to 49-year-olds were 12 percentage points more likely than those at least 50 years of age (60% vs. 48%, respectively) to correctly categorize the following factual statement, which was deemed to be more appealing to the ideological left: “Immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally have some rights under the Constitution.”

Among the opinion statements, roughly three-quarters of 18- to 49-year-olds (77%) correctly identified the following opinion statement, one that appeals more to the ideological right – “Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient” – compared with about two-thirds of older Americans (65%). And younger Americans were slightly more likely than older adults (82% vs. 78%, respectively) to correctly categorize this opinion statement, one appealing more to the left: “Abortion should be legal in most cases.”
Younger Americans are better than older Americans at telling factual news statements from opinions [Jeffrey Gottfried and Elizabeth Grieco/Pew]

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

I’m suing the U.S. government for causing the climate change crisis #YouthVGov

from Boing Boing:

My name is Kelsey Juliana and I’m suing the United States government for causing and accelerating the climate change crisis. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been a climate advocate for more than half of my life.

The constitution guarantees all Americans the right to life, liberty, and property. But how is anyone supposed to live a life of freedom amid a climate crisis? My own government is violating my constitutional rights by its ongoing and deliberate actions that cause climate change and it’s not right.

I, along with 20 other young people from around the country, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in 2015, called Juliana v. United States

We’re not asking for money. Instead, we’re asking the Court to order the government to develop and implement a National Climate Recovery Plan based on the best available science.

This plan should end the reign of fossil fuels and quickly decarbonize our atmosphere so that we can stabilize our climate system before it’s too late.

The longer we go without climate recovery, the more we risk allowing our climate to spiral completely out of control.

All of the expert witnesses in our lawsuit say that we are currently—already—in the “danger zone” and an “emergency situation” with only 1°C of planetary heating. Allowing the planet to heat up any more is not safe for our species, as well as so many others. And according to the Trump administration’s most recent environmental impact statement, the planet could heat as much as 7°F before the end of this century.

We cannot allow this to happen because we simply will not survive.

We originally filed our lawsuit against the Obama administration. That administration tried to have the case dismissed, but the judge ruled in our favor and found that we should be allowed to go to trial.

In 2017, the Trump administration inherited the lawsuit and it has done everything in its power, employing every conceivable tactic, to deny my fellow plaintiffs and me our right to present our case in court. This administration is so fiercely attempting to silence our voices.

At this point, every level of the federal judiciary—the U.S. District Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court—has denied the Trump administration’s efforts to have the case thrown out. Yet it will not halt its efforts to avoid standard legal procedures and confront us, the nation’s youth, in court.

Just last week the Trump administration asked the United States Supreme Court to again circumvent the ordinary procedures of federal litigation and stop our case from going to trial.

Our trial is officially scheduled to begin on October 29, 2018 in Eugene, Oregon
, but it is currently on hold while the Supreme Court considers the Trump administration’s new request.

What we’re asking for could change everything.

My fellow plaintiffs and I want you with us as we fight for our right to be heard at trial to confront the United States government for knowingly violating our constitutional rights. Supporters will hold rallies in every state around the country on October 29, so if you can’t be with us in Eugene, find your local rally here.

Get regular updates by following @youthvgov on social media.

You can learn more about this case and get regular trial updates by tuning in to the No Ordinary Lawsuit podcast here.

Lastly, if you have the means, click here to make a donation to Our Children’s Trust, the nonprofit organization that supports our lawsuit and many others like it around the country.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

America, Compromised: ...
corruption in words small enough for the Supreme Court to understand

from Boing Boing:
Lawrence Lessig was once best-known as the special master in the Microsoft Antitrust Case, then he was best known as the co-founder of Creative Commons, then as a fire-breathing corruption fighter: in America, Compromised, a long essay (or short nonfiction book), Lessig proposes as lucid and devastating a theory of corruption as you'll ever find, a theory whose explanatory power makes today's terrifying news cycle make sense -- and a theory that demands action.

For decades, America has been undoing the great work of history's anti-corruption movements, allowing the wealthy to intervene directly in politics, creating political outcomes that increase their wealth -- lather, rinse repeat.

The courts and their ideological backers -- the Chicago School economists who used shitty math to prove that greed is good and that corruption consists solely of direct quid-pro-quo bribery -- have served as enablers and even cheerleaders for this new Gilded Age, celebrating anonymous political cash contributions as a form of speech protected under the First Amendment and arguing that the Framers of the Constitution would have agreed wholeheartedly with them.

Lessig walks a fine line between academic and activist as he rebuts this argument, drawing on the research produced by the fellows at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, an interdisciplinary corruption-study center he founded at Harvard and then turning to the rhetoric that made him such an inspirational figure in the Free Culture movement.

Lessig lays out the historic case for the Framers' understanding of corruption as a systemic phenomenon, in which the structure of institutions demand that even the best, most moral people sacrifice their principles to thrive (or just survive) -- a conception at long odds with the Chicago School orthodoxy and the think tanks and ruling elites that back it.

From this historic perspective, Lessig painstakingly builds up an argument about how inequality has fueled corruption, which has fueled inequality -- and how the bankrupt ideology of the Chicago School corrupted every institution, forcing each of us to make one tiny compromise after another, until we arrive at the present moment.

Lessig's use of case-studies alternated with broad statistical and political analysis flips back and forth from the microcosmic to the macrocosmic, from individuals and institutions to the whole society and back again, in a story that is as compelling as it is infuriating.

Lessig is well-known for having formulated the "four forces" theory of social change: that the world is moved by markets (what is profitable), norms (what is considered ethical), code (what is technically possible) and laws (what is legal). In his final section, he presents a set of prescriptions touching on all four factors, from the discussions we need to have with one another about these issues (norms) to the tools that would help us hold the powerful to account (code) to the policies that would reverse the damage (laws) to the kinds of businesses and nonprofits that could help us make a better world (markets). In a moment when the monopolism of Big Tech is replicating itself in every sector from energy to aviation to prisons to finance, these prescriptions are both reasonable and compelling.

This is a short book, but it's full of very big ideas. Lessig's dual identities of "scholar" and "activist" have never been so perfectly merged.

America, Compromised [Lawrence Lessig/University of Chicago]

Monday, October 22, 2018

School Of Life Monday:

Looked at over time, we’re gradually picking up slightly better manners – but what are we doing now that might, in future eras, be considered bad manners?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

HR of the Bad Brains > Flip at CBGB
on my IG

View this post on Instagram

Another of H.R. of the Bad Brains at CBGB's circa 1982 doing his FLIP! ... I think i made this photo the night i started selling copies of my 'zine MY RULES in NYC visiting from LA. (I'm figuring this out because this photo didn't make it in the 'zine, and it was probably shot the xmas after the ones that did make it in. i probably brought a bunch of them, out east visiting family for the xmas holiday, the Bad Brains played two or three nights in a row at xmas time in 1981 and 1982 maybe another year as well, probably some of the best Bad Brains shows ever, that live at CBGB dvd that's out was shot during this weekend, it's pretty fucking incredible! I can see my flash going off capturing/creating some of my classic Bad Brains shots and just standing toward the back of the stage watching in others. Some great great shows, im thinking a peak period as far as i was concerned. This photo of course is in the new MY RULES bigger than ever. Look at the style and ask yourself who was #inspired #badbrains #HR #Punk #FVK #PMA #NYC #washingtondc #OG #theOriginal #inspiration #integrity #photography #classic #fingersnapin #style ... The best of my photos in FUCK YOU TOO and FUCK YOU HEROES + about 30% more stuff never seen are all in the new book MY RULES ... Time to pick it up if you already haven't ! #MyRules #GetTheNewBook

A post shared by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

Saturday, October 20, 2018

As the fracking protesters show, a people’s rebellion is the only way to fight climate breakdown

from The Guardian Opinion pages:

George Monibot

Our politicians, under the influence of big business, have failed us. As they take the planet to the brink, it’s time for disruptive, nonviolent disobedience
It is hard to believe today, but the prevailing ethos among the educated elite was once public service. As the historian Tony Judt documented in Ill Fares the Land, the foremost ambition among graduates in the 1950s and 60s was, through government or the liberal professions, to serve their country. Their approach might have been patrician and often blinkered, but their intentions were mostly public and civic, not private and pecuniary.

Today, the notion of public service seems as quaint as a local post office. We expect those who govern us to grab what they can, permitting predatory banks and corporations to fleece the public realm, then collect their reward in the form of lucrative directorships. As the Edelman Corporation’s Trust Barometer survey reveals, trust worldwide has collapsed in all major institutions, and government is less trusted than any other.

As for the economic elite, as the consequences of their own greed and self-interest emerge, they seek, like the Roman oligarchs fleeing the collapse of the western empire, only to secure their survival against the indignant mob. An essay by the visionary author Douglas Rushkoff this summer, documenting his discussion with some of the world’s richest people, reveals that their most pressing concern is to find a refuge from climate breakdown, and economic and societal collapse. Should they move to New Zealand or Alaska? How will they pay their security guards once money is worthless? Could they upload their minds on to supercomputers? Survival Condo, the company turning former missile silos in Kansas into fortified bunkers, has so far sold every completed unit.

Trust, the Edelman Corporation observes, “is now the deciding factor in whether a society can function”. Unfortunately, our mistrust is fully justified. Those who have destroyed belief in governments exploit its collapse, railing against a liberal elite (by which they mean people still engaged in public service) while working for the real and illiberal elite. As the political economist William Davies points out, “sovereignty” is used as a code for rejecting the very notion of governing as “a complex, modern, fact-based set of activities that requires technical expertise and permanent officials”.

Nowhere is the gulf between public and private interests more obvious than in governments’ response to the climate crisis. On Monday, UK energy minister Claire Perry announced that she had asked her advisers to produce a roadmap to a zero-carbon economy. On the same day, fracking commenced at Preston New Road in Lancashire, enabled by the permission Perry sneaked through parliament on the last day before the summer recess.

The minister has justified fracking on the grounds that it helps the country affect a “transition to a lower-carbon economy”. But fracked gas has net emissions similar to, or worse than, those released by burning coal. As we are already emerging from the coal era in the UK without any help from fracking, this is in reality a transition away from renewables and back into fossil fuels. The government has promoted the transition by effectively banning onshore wind farms, while overriding local decisions to impose fracking by central diktat. Now, to prevent people from taking back control, it intends to grant blanket planning permission for frackers to operate.

None of it makes sense, until you remember the intimate relationship between the fossil fuel industry, the City (where Perry made her fortune) and the Tory party, oiled by the political donations flowing from both sectors into the party’s coffers. These people are not serving the nation. They are serving each other.

In Germany, the government that claimed to be undergoing a great green energy transition instead pours public money into the coal industry, and deploys an army of police to evict protesters from an ancient forest to clear it for a lignite mine. On behalf of both polluting power companies and the car industry, it has sabotaged the EU’s attempt to improve its carbon emissions target. Before she was re-elected, I argued that Angela Merkel was the world’s leading eco-vandal. She might also be the world’s most effective spin doctor: she can mislead, cheat and destroy, and people still call her Mutti.

Other governments shamelessly flaunt their service to private interests, as they evade censure by owning their corruption. A US government report on fuel efficiency published in July concedes, unusually, that global temperatures are likely to rise by 4C this century. It then uses this forecast to argue that there is no point in producing cleaner cars, because the disaster will happen anyway. Elsewhere, all talk of climate breakdown within government is censored. Any agency seeking to avert it is captured and redirected.

In Australia, the new prime minister, Scott Morrison, has turned coal burning into a sacred doctrine. I would not be surprised if the only lump of coal he has ever handled is the one he flourished in the Australian parliament. But he dirties his hands every day on behalf of the industry. These men with black hearts and clean fingernails wear their loyalties with pride.


If Jair Bolsonaro takes office in Brazil, their annihilistic actions will seem mild by comparison. He claims climate breakdown is a fable invented by a “globalist conspiracy”, and seeks to withdraw from the Paris agreement, abolish the environment ministry, put the congressional beef caucus (representing the murderous and destructive ranching industry) in charge of agriculture, open the Amazon Basin for clearance and dismantle almost all environmental and indigenous protections.

With the exception of Costa Rica, no government has the policies required to prevent more than 2C of global warming, let alone 1.5C. Most, like the UK, Germany, the US and Australia, push us towards the brink on behalf of their friends. So what do we do, when our own representatives have abandoned public service for private service?

On 31 October, I will speak at the launch of Extinction Rebellion in Parliament Square. This is a movement devoted to disruptive, nonviolent disobedience in protest against ecological collapse. The three heroes jailed for trying to stop fracking last month, whose outrageous sentences have just been overturned, are likely to be the first of hundreds. The intention is to turn this national rising into an international one.

This preparedness for sacrifice, a long history of political and religious revolt suggests, is essential to motivate and mobilise people to join an existential struggle. It is among such people that you find the public and civic sense now lacking in government. That we have to take such drastic action to defend the common realm shows how badly we have been abandoned.

• George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist


Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Harley Flanagan Show
My appearance taped in one live take just a few days ago

I interviewed Harley Flanagan on Monday for a film project I am slowly working on.

I also Interviewed H.R. of the Bad Brains before him, both in the club where A7 used to be... had a great time.

Then Harley surprised me, and his Wife Laura puled out her iPhone and said we shoot "the Harley show" live in one take! How can I say no? "We go back like rocking chairs"

Here's a digi-still i made during my interview of him on Monday:

Keeping it real here folks... here's a photo I made of Harley back in 1979 when he was just 12 years old playing with the Stimulators:

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Earth’s population is skyrocketing. How do you feed 10 billion people sustainably?

from The Washington Post:

The human population has reached 7.6 billion and could number 9 billion or 10 billion by midcentury. All those people will need to eat. A sobering report published Wednesday in the journal Nature argues that a sustainable food system that doesn’t ravage the environment is going to require dramatic reforms, including a radical change in dietary habits.

To be specific: Cheeseburgers are out, and fruits and veggies are in.

The 23 authors of the report, hailing from Europe, the United States, Australia and Lebanon, reviewed the many moving parts of the global food system and how they interact with the environment. The authors concluded that the current methods of producing, distributing and consuming food aren’t environmentally sustainable and that damage to the planet could make it less hospitable for human existence.

A core message from the researchers is that efforts to keep climate change at an acceptable level won’t be successful without a huge reduction in meat consumption.

“Feeding humanity is possible. It’s just a question of whether we can do it in an environmentally responsible way,” said Johan Rockström, an earth scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and a co-author of the study.

The report comes on the heels of a warning from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that global leaders need to take unprecedented action in the next decade to keep the planet’s average temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

Global warming has typically been linked to the burning of fossil fuels, but food production is a huge and underappreciated factor, and the new report seeks to place food in the center of the conversation about how humanity can create a sustainable future.

“Everybody knows that energy has something to do with climate — we need to transform our energy system. There’s very few people who realize that it’s just as, and maybe more, important to transform our food system,” said Katherine Richardson, director of the Sustainable Science Center at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Richardson, who was not part of the team producing the new study, added, “the food system is broken and needs to be fixed if we have any hope of feeding 9 to 10 billion.”

Already, half the planet’s ice-free land surface is devoted to livestock or the growing of feed for those animals, Richardson said. That’s an area equal to North and South America combined, she said. Rain forests are steadily being cleared for cropland. And the demand for food is increasing faster than the population: Rising income in China and many other formerly impoverished countries brings with it a higher demand for meat and other forms of animal protein. Some 70 percent of the world’s fresh water is already used in agriculture, and the demand for that water will intensify.

The Nature report, titled “Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits,” contends that, without targeted changes, pressures on various environmental systems will increase 50 to 90 percent by 2050 compared with 2010. There’s no simple solution, the authors write, but rather “a synergistic combination of measures” will be needed to limit the environmental damage.

One obvious measure is a change in diets. Researchers say meat production, which includes growing food specifically to feed to livestock, is an environmentally inefficient way to generate calories for human consumption. Moreover, ruminants such as cows are prodigious producers of methane as they digest food, and methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The report says greenhouse-gas emissions from the global food system could be reduced significantly if people reduce red-meat consumption and follow a diet built around fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.

To limit greenhouse-gas emissions, “we won’t get very far if we don’t seriously think about dietary changes to a more plant-based diet,” said Marco Springmann, lead author of the report and a senior researcher at the Oxford Martin Program on the Future of Food.

He said that what is good for the planet is good for the eater. For most people eating a typical Western diet, eating less meat will generally mean better health.

The report is agnostic on whether the world should adopt genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the food supply. The report also does not take a position on population growth. Although birthrates have declined dramatically in many countries — to levels far below the replacement rate — the global population continues to rise. A 2015 U.N. report estimated that the population would reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Decades ago, the prospect of so many human beings crowding the planet inspired predictions of widespread famine. The “green revolution” in agriculture changed the equations. Still, the food is not evenly distributed. About 3 billion people are malnourished today and 1 billion of them suffer from food scarcity, according to Rockström.

At the core of this research is the argument that Earth has several limits, the “planetary boundaries,” that can’t be exceeded without potentially dire consequences. These boundaries — which involve factors such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, atmospheric aerosols (smog), stratospheric ozone depletion and the supply of fresh water — define the “safe operating space” for humanity. Proponents of the hypothesis say that human civilization has thrived in the geological epoch known as the Holocene, covering a period of roughly 11,700 years since the end of the last ice age, but that damage to the environment could put humanity into an existential crisis.

“You can imagine a scenario in which contemporary society starts to unravel” because of degradation in the environment, said Will Steffen, an emeritus professor of Earth-system science at the Australian National University and a proponent of the planetary-boundaries hypothesis. “So it’s a long fuse, big bang.”

He noted that there is a movement in Australia to promote the consumption of kangaroo meat, since kangaroos are not ruminants and don’t have the same ecological footprint.

“It’s a gamier taste, but it’s also a much leaner meat. It takes more talent to cook it to make it easy to chew and digest,” he said, before quickly adding, “I don’t like the thought of the poor little guys getting shot.”
Read more:

Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond 4 of 9 ‘planetary boundaries’

Spaceship Earth: A new view of environmentalism

A former omnivore comes out as vegetarian

Monday, October 15, 2018

School of Life Monday:
Why Socrates Hated Democracy

We’re used to thinking hugely well of democracy. But interestingly, one of the wisest people who ever lived, Socrates, had deep suspicions of it.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


from Dangerous Minds:
I’m a person just like you, but I’ve got better things to do…

Ian Mackaye never intended to lead the straight edge revolution. Songs like “I’m Straight” and “Keep it Clean” prove that the punks had restraint before the Dischord-boom. That being said, Ian’s high school band Teen Idles did put out the Minor Disturbance EP, their only release, with younger brother, Alec MacKaye’s valiant, X’d up fists on its cover. The X’s, now a symbol of the anti-inebriation subculture, was meant to signify that he was underage and therefore “incapable” of drinking. In 1981, Ian’s DC-hardcore band Minor Threat released its fundamental, self-titled debut EP - on it included the moniker song “Straight Edge.” During a time when being a punk meant sniffing glue (“Just Say No”), Ian wrote a forty-six second statement about how you could be “straight” and still be like everybody else. So yeah, Ian Mackaye pretty much is the Godfather of straight edge.

Bands like Youth of Today, SS Decontrol, Gorilla Biscuits, and 7Seconds helped promote the core values of straight edge. Those being that one could rebel through self-control and individuality. And for punk rock, which already was reactionary toward the excesses and hedonism of the boomer generation, being straight edge was yet another way to resist the mainstream. At least I can fucking think…..

In the mid-to-late nineties, straight edge caught wide appeal. By this point, newer variations of hardcore began to embrace a lifetime commitment to a substance-free existence. Vegetarianism and social justice issues were integrated into its list of convictions and newer, more radical takes on the subculture began to appear. Hardline was a faction of vegan straight edge that promoted its oftentimes conservative judgements through imposition and direct action, even if by any means necessary. “Hate edge” militant gangs and crews formed, most notably in places like Salt Lake City and Reno, where McDonald’s locations were being firebombed and fellow punks were getting jumped for smoking and drinking. So naturally, the parents of America got concerned.

Similar to its interpretation of punk a decade prior, the media had a hard time comprehending the straight edge phenomena. Described as a “strange development,” several local news outlets across the country ran investigative reports into the drug-free hXc lifestyle and what it meant for our communities. Should I be concerned if my son is a straight edger? Mostly no, according to multiple reports, although a few of them profiled the animal liberation guerrilla efforts of hardline activists and the growing wave of violence committed by them. Straight edge was soon the subject of an episode of America’s Most Wanted and even on the daytime talk show Rolonda, in 1997.

Back in 1995, CNN’s Anderson Cooper was a correspondent for ABC News. That same year, he traveled to Syracuse, NY to report on a growing youth movement known as “straight edge.” The segment is introduced with shocking new evidence that teenage use of marijuana and illegal drugs is on the rise. Notwithstanding, rookie newscaster Anderson Cooper had supposedly “discovered a small, but growing group of young people who are refusing to engage in such self-destructing behavior.” Among them were brothers Trevor and Justin, the center of our cultural probe, who came upon a drug-free lifestyle to protest the self-indulgence of their generation, and of those past. Cooper narrates the report, but can be seen around the two-minute mark, sitting within a pow-wow discussion group of X’d up hardcore teens.

How many of them do you think still hold edge today? Watch Anderson Cooper’s investigative report on straight edge, along with other news reports on the sXe sensation below.

go to the original article to see more SXE news clips

Saturday, October 13, 2018

How ‘The Walking Dead’ helps Revere High School make the grade

from The Boston Globe:
Revere adopted a method more common to affluent private schools, and boosted academic performance. Now it is evangelizing the technique.
Teacher Nancy Barile with some of her students from Revere High School.
Most days in Nancy Barile’s English course at Revere High School, a visitor might begin to wonder when the real class is going to start. Discussions focus on plot points, character development, and persuasive writing, yes, but the text at their center isn’t Hamlet or Catcher in the Rye. It’s the television series The Walking Dead.

Three years ago a student who wasn’t completing his work dared Barile to watch the zombie show, saying he’d study if she did. Another teacher might have balked, but Barile had helped organize a punk rock scene growing up in Philadelphia and brings that “why not try it?” ethos to her teaching. She watched the series and then built an entire curriculum around it (content rated TV-MA means the course is only open to juniors and seniors). “The show has everything — sociology, psychology, interpersonal relations, ethics,” says Barile, who is in her 24th year of teaching. “We watch the show and dissect it.”

In class, students study all the familiar concepts of high school English, but they’re applying these concepts to a work they care about passionately. Through the lessons, they also have greater control over the pace and content of their curriculum. Barile says students who take the class are more engaged and show more improvement in their writing. The juniors are more likely to sign up for AP English as seniors than students who take other classes.

Barile’s class is a prime example of how Revere High School uses “student-centered learning” to reach a highly diverse student body. Under this approach, lessons are structured around the interests and needs of students, not box-checking convenience for teachers and administrators. Students learn at different paces and via different teaching styles, the thinking goes. Give them more control over the manner in which they’re taught and how their work is assessed and you’ll produce more involved, successful students. In history, students might pick historical characters and analyze major events of their era from the character’s perspective. Math students might flip the class, watching videos explaining the concept beforehand, then use the teacher as a coach during class time — if they need help.

Revere’s school district is one of the leaders in Massachusetts in advancing student-centered learning, which is surprising on multiple levels. It’s an approach associated with affluent private schools — free from state curricula and testing mandates. But Revere is a working-class city just north of Boston Logan International Airport, best known for having the oldest public beach in the country. About 80 percent of the high school’s 1,900 students come from low-income households, district officials say. Many are recent immigrants — 32 different languages were represented in the student body last year — whose English skills may be limited at best (about 19 percent are categorized as English language learners).

Also, Massachusetts public schools have been relatively slow to adopt student-centered learning, perhaps in part because traditional teaching approaches seem to work so well here — last year the state’s averages topped the National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores in reading and math. Other states, such as Virginia, which has tried to limit standardized testing and replace it with locally designed ways of measuring student achievement, are much further along in adopting student-centered learning principles in the public schools, says Rebecca E. Wolfe, associate vice president of Jobs for the Future, a Boston-based nonprofit that helps educators and school districts adopt student-centered learning.

Revere High’s move to student-centered learning started when Lourenco Garcia became its principal in 2010. Garcia, who held the role until this summer, was concerned that so many students seemed unable to connect with their teachers or the material. This was reflected in the school’s standardized test scores, particularly those of minority students. Only 50 percent of its black students and 63 percent of its Hispanic students had achieved proficient or advanced scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System statewide English test in 2009. Garcia, who had taught for 16 years in Brockton before becoming a high school principal in Rhode Island, researched student-centered learning and felt the techniques could provide an antidote to a form of torture found too frequently in schools: boredom.

He thinks the approach is especially potent for immigrant students, who often feel disempowered as they adapt to a new country. Garcia himself came to the United States 22 years ago from the island nation of Cape Verde.

Finally, the approach breaks from traditional classrooms where students are expected to sit and listen. “That’s the old factory model, where you were a passive learner,” he says. “This approach is dynamic. It motivates kids and brings a lot of enthusiasm into the classroom.”

At Revere High School, students use the show “The Walking Dead” to study English concepts, instead of classic texts. From left: Students Jenna Geraci, Michael Guzman, and Joselyn Bonilla Rosales.

After Garcia implemented student-centered learning at Revere High, proficient or advanced scores on the MCAS for English jumped; in 2017, 82 percent of black students and 77 percent of Hispanic students achieved them. Gains were just as dramatic in math and science. The school’s four-year adjusted graduation rate rose from 71.5 percent in 2009 to 87.9 percent in 2017.

For a district with Revere’s demographics, this sort of performance drew national attention. In 2014, the high school was chosen as the top urban high school in America by the National Center for Urban School Transformation. Educators from as far away as Ohio, Texas, and California — and as nearby as Harvard University — flocked to the oceanside town to see the method in action. Candice Hazelwood, an educational consultant who was part of a group of Ohio educators that visited Revere in 2017, says “they have taken giving the students a voice to another level.”

* * *

IT’S HARD TO HEAR above the two dozen students in Charles Willis’s class The History of Revere, which looks at how the community, first settled in the 1630s, has changed over time. The students have separated into groups to discuss oral history interviews they had conducted at a local senior center, an assignment they largely designed themselves as a way to get real-life examples of the city’s evolution.

Students have a say in how the classroom experience is structured, as well. They sit alongside teachers on some of Revere High’s 12 school improvement teams that focus on different aspects of student-centered learning, such as how students demonstrate proficiency, or how to extend learning beyond classroom walls. The teams sign off on all major changes at the school, meaning little goes forward without teacher buy-in.

The flip side of Garcia’s allowing teachers and students more creativity was requiring more accountability. In a school setting, that translated to more scrutiny. Garcia set a rule that he and his senior staff observe at least two teachers every single day. They fan out across the school, slipping into classrooms and watching what the teachers do, and how students respond, then write up an observation report within three days.

Garcia, 55, has an inclusive leadership style, and is known for working hard to connect with students. He plays a little game he calls “Where in the world is this student from?” On a spring day last school year, he spots a young man in the school cafeteria wearing a green sweatshirt and preparing to inhale a sandwich. Garcia walks over and asks, in perfect Portuguese, “Voce e do Brasil?” (“Are you from Brazil?”)

A smile creases the teen’s smooth face as he nods. Garcia smiles back. When he immigrated at the urging of family members who were already here, Garcia knew only a few words of English. But he’s good with languages — he speaks seven (Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, and Cape Verdean Creole). He also knows how hard it is to make it as an immigrant. He did odd jobs — bagging groceries, working in a laundromat — to support his family while he attended college, on his way to a job as a social studies teacher in Brockton.

Garcia believes principals and teachers don’t have to have his experience as an immigrant and a minority to make student-centered learning work in schools with significant percentages of both. He was the only minority in a leadership role at Revere High, for instance.

Revere, along with a handful of other Massachusetts school districts, is trying to spread this style of learning. Three years ago, Revere was among six school districts — the others were Attleboro, Boston, Lowell, Somerville, and Winchester — to start the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment to advance personalized learning and student assessment. So far, the consortium has trained teachers in 40 schools to swap multiple-choice tests for more creative ways of evaluating students, such as podcast production, narrative writing assignments, and architectural design projects. (The Revere school district received a grant for its work from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, also one of The Hechinger Report’s donors.)

Somerville aims to make student-centered learning apply not just to the academic but also to the physical, social, and emotional well-being of students, says Mary Skipper, superintendent of Somerville’s schools. The district is now renovating Somerville High School to introduce flexible classrooms conducive to collaborative work, one way to reduce the time students spend listening to a teacher lecture. “The ultimate goal is to have projects that incorporate things that motivate students, that they like, and from that be able to teach a variety of standards,” Skipper says.

While student-centered learning has shown promise for schools with high numbers of low-income students, including four Northern California high schools studied by Stanford, the approach has yet to be tried on a large scale. But Revere has found that progress isn’t always steady, and it doesn’t work with every student.

Recently, an influx of immigrant students with little formal education affected Revere High’s performance on some state measures, hitting pause on the school’s climb on state rankings during Garcia’s tenure. The high school dropped from a Level 1 school in 2015 to a Level 3 school in 2017 on the state report card, which looks at standardized test scores. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced last December that it would no longer use the 1-5 levels to rate schools, moving away from relying so heavily on standardized tests to label schools. That decision, too, is part of the accelerating shift away from top-down, one-size-fits-all approaches to education.

“Assessment drives what gets taught and how it’s taught,” says Dan French, executive director of the Center for Collaborative Education, a Boston group that’s working with the student-centered learning consortium. “If students are focused on rote memorization to pass a state test, they will not be prepared for the higher-level thinking required in college and increasingly in careers.”

French says employers increasingly complain that graduates come to them unable to perform tasks needed to help their businesses thrive, such as analyzing and synthesizing data and collaborating with teammates. In effect, the focus on standardized tests winds up harming business productivity and the national and local economies. French says the desired skills are much more likely to be developed in a student-centered learning environment.

Samantha Karl, who graduated from Revere High School in 2017, says she and her classmates appreciated the school’s approach because it allowed them to move at their own pace. “For someone like me who likes to move a little faster, if I understood something I wouldn’t have to spend class listening to the teacher going over something I already understand,” says Karl. She says even the class clowns “started showing up to class prepared.”

Karl, now a sophomore at Boston College, thinks learning to work on her own prepared her for college in a way that she might not have experienced in a more traditional system.

Revere is moving to spread student-centered learning across its 11 schools. This past summer, Garcia was promoted to executive director of data and accountability for the entire Revere district. Part of his job will be evangelizing for student-centered learning.

Revere’s superintendent, Dianne Kelly, says she created the position for Garcia because of his ability to identify struggling students and develop creative strategies to help them. John Perella, a Revere native and an assistant principal at the high school (before Garcia’s arrival) who spent the past seven years as principal of Medford High School, was named to replace Garcia. Perella says student-centered learning will continue to be a big part of the high school experience. “The future of education is based on these types of ideas where we engage students differently, we look at them less as a recipient of knowledge than as an integral part of the learning process,” he says.

That’s welcome news at Revere High, where teachers warmly embraced Garcia’s laser focus on student and teacher needs. According to June Krinsky-Rudder, who has taught art at Revere for 17 years, Garcia would approve art projects that she admits sounded a little “crazy.” After a tornado hit the area in the summer of 2014, she assigned her students to create installations based on their impressions of the tornado. Some of the nine works were big and bold, such as a sculpture of a person breaking through glass and one of junk hanging from a tree.

Not only did Garcia let her put on an art show, he personally called parents to ask them to attend — using whatever language he needed to communicate with them.

Garcia is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this kind of attention to detail to administrators across the district — with the hope that it will trickle down to students, ultimately keeping them at the center of everything he does.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

MY RULES comment

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In November of 1982 i published MY RULES, this "photozine" myself, they call it D.I.Y. now, but truth is thats the only choice we had then, and in the end we are all much better for it. We had to teach ourselves how to do things and make things happen on our own. None of the lazy ass slacker, type it in google to figure it out bull shit (not that that can't be put to good use, because of course it can, but its so damn easy, and any neuroscientist will tell you, easy shit doesn't stimulate the brain the way difficult things do... Jus sayin'). By actually talking to people not texting or speaking on message boards, by socializing FACE TO FACE motherfuckers, making phone calls and having conversations in REAL TIME WHEN SPOKEN TO not at your leisure when you feel like it or have the time to think of something witty to say, i think of it as LIVING IN REAL TIME, getting shit done, takin' care of business, workin' your hustle... No one had printers in there homes, NO ONE, you'd have to create pages on graph paper (thats an actual sheet of paper with lines preprinted on it), make "half-tones" of photographs and art, paste them on a page, titles would been hand glued or waxed onto a page one letter at a time, text would be taken from a typewriter or sent out to a typesetter who would let you pick one of a few fonts for a price, and if you wanted "different" fonts you'd pay a lot more and have to find a type house that did it even... Luckily for printing i was able to call on my bro's at Thrasher who i figured owed me a favor pr two, bringing them some credibility coming from "SkateBoarder" after "Action Now" folded... Anyway, i got ad's from a few friends who had record companies to help pay for the printing, Thrasher got thier ad in trade for letting me use their facilities up in the San Fransisco ship yard where they operated from all the years i worked with them. SST didnt pay for theirs in cash, Black Flag's Van is what travelled with me and roadie Davo over 500 miles to bring the 10,000 zines back to my room at my moms house just south of Olympic blvd., stacked more than six feet high they filled up most of my room in boxes of 200 copies. Continued on next post...

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This is part 2/3:
Before i went to print i told everyone that this would be "The One and Only Issue". Flipside said they were printing around 4000 at the time, and Maximum Rock'N'Roll said they were printing between 2,500 and 3,500 at the time (they were by far the biggest Punk Fanzines at the time), Thrasher, which at that moment was the ONLY national skateboard magazine (but only B&W photos) told me the were doing 20,000... So i figured, being a one time thing, it'd be cool if i did 10,000, i had confidence the national & worldwide punk scene (there were pockets of punks all over the globe in major cities) would be into it. It wasn't until we were at the bindery, getting the zines all cut, trimmed, collated, & stapled together, that i found out the truth regarding Thrashers numbers by accident... The binder, whom Thrasher put me on to, asked me, "how many copies total you got here?" I said "half of what Thrasher does" he said "this looks like a lot more than that!" And then he told me they usually printed only around 6,000 copies a month, HAAAAA! I couldn't believe it, and here i am with 10,000, more than they ever did! Oh well... It cost me about .30¢ each to print, i wholesaled them for $1.00 to record distributors and magazine stands and record stores, the cover price was $2.00 the ads paid for about half the printing and the other $1500. was outa my own savings account, (no fucking kickstarter bullshit, its DIY!) i shipped them via UPS & USPO as well as drove many to distributors & records stores myself, and made all the calls to sell & collect myself. Every dot on every page i put there on purpose or by accident, myself or by Kevin Thatcher (Thrasher original Editor who gave me invaluable assistance in creating & cutting & pasting all my photos & ideas onto the page. My first solo homemade publication! Sold 8,000 copies in the first two years all over the country and mail orders came to me from over a dozen countries world wide, Yugoslavia and Chile being two of the farthest and most impressive to me, the currency sent in envelops from all over, much of it i would never trade in (some i still have & put in the collage in the MY RULES book endsheets)..

This is part three of three of the story...
The last two thousand trickled out over the following 8 years or so, and now a days some of my last few N.O.S. go for over $300 a pop, on eBay you can find them at different times for as little as $30 and as much as $399 just depends on the timing... Anyway, theres my day off sermon, hope you liked it

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Secret to Leaving Comments Online

Reading the Comments sections beneath films and articles can leave one feeling certain that humanity must have gone mad - or is inherently vicious and unkind. The truth is a good deal less tragic: it's just that we've never been taught how to comment or how to spot the connection between our own unhappiness and alienation - and our desire to take vengeance in the anonymous digital world.