Media censorship – censorship OF or BY the media

Censorship OF the media, whether by government, by business interests, by influential individuals or by powerful groups, is universally condemned in open societies. Censorship BY the media, however, often goes unchallenged. Too often media censors elections by treating the election as a horse race, calling from the sidelines, giving odds. Media often censors in failing to take an in depth examination of issues and nuances. Much of media, with business interests of its own, censors when candidate positions run counter to advertiser concerns. Media censors when candidate campaigns are unconventional. Media censors when it sensationalizes. And media censors when it does not like the message, bristling at the truth spoken.

When media censors elections, elections descend to popularity contests, to tribal expressions (Dems vs Reps), to fundraising contests, to a resignation to a two party system, to photo-op contests, to a poverty of ideas, to fashion contests, to a narrowing of options (current and future),and to a violation of democracy.

Louisville’s future, the world’s future, is at stake in local elections. Let us hope that local media will cover well local elections.

Fischer’s courting (and buying) economic development

There is a better way to attract economic development from locals and out of towners. Fischer’s wine and dine approach, as outlined in the WFPL / Jacob Ryan report (  ), coupled with his ‘buy the investment’ approach (OMNI) sells short Louisville.

If we take measures to become the most sustainable city in the US, investment (local and out of town) will come. Sustainable cities are compact, dense, public transit rich, surface parking lot poor, pedestrian and bicycle friendly, powered by renewable energy, have adequate affordable housing, healthy neighborhoods, an educated public, clean air, clean waterways and are verdant, peaceful and just. This is the better way.

Fischer celebrates destruction of farm, field, forest and floodplain

Fischer celebrates the destruction of more farm, field, forest and floodplain. His celebrated Urton Lane bridge and extension will assure much more destruction than just the mentioned 400 acres. It will demand expansion of MSD sewers. The acres of new parking and roads will assure greater flooding – as MSD already struggles to cope. The promised jobs will be in the wrong place, with insufficient TARC service. The extension is another $1.5 million misspent.
Sustainable cities are compact, dense, public transit rich, surface parking lot poor, pedestrian and bicycle friendly, powered by renewable energy, have adequate affordable housing and an educated public, and are verdant, peaceful and just. Sprawl and more roads are unsustainable. UrtonLaneBridge

Spencer county worries about sprawl

Spencer county’s worries about sprawl are legitimate, but a bit late. The past fifty years have seen the region’s abandonment of urban Louisville and the destruction of farm, field and forest. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) plans on widening I-265 (the Gene Snyder Freeway) is just a repetition of our transportation errors.  Sustainable cities are compact, dense, public transit rich, surface parking lot poor, pedestrian and bicycle friendly, powered by renewable energy, have adequate affordable housing and an educated public, and are verdant, peaceful and just. Sprawl and more roads are unsustainable.

Children and the camping homeless

The space enclosed behind this sign is a playground for students at Brown School on First Street. Beyond the far fence and visible on either side of the sign are two homeless shelters. Do we want our kids exposed to this? Can we establish an officially sanctioned homeless campground? Is it acceptable for our commons to be trashed?
Many of the homeless are not from Jefferson County. Can we accompany them to Frankfort to lobby for state funding of urban homeless shelters?
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Fischer, Violence, CLOUT

Fischer’s refusal to discuss violence de-escalation with the leadership of CLOUT is yet another reason he should not occupy the mayor’s office. Louisville needs a mayor who will lead in de-escalating violence. Louisville’s mayor should reject the presence of firearms in our public spaces and insist that LMPD officers leave their firearms in cruisers until needed. Officers can retreat when faced with potential danger, giving everyone time to defuse tension. (A recent study of the 25 most dangerous jobs in America, published in USA Today, rated police officers at #14, behind pilots, roofers, garbage and recycling collectors, iron workers, truck drivers, farmers and ranchers, loggers, construction workers, landscapers, and mechanics. ).
The day after I stood, then marched, then stood for four hours in rain at the recent gun control march, I watched two armed officers in the alley behind my house looking for someone who stole a couple bags of garden mulch. There is no justification in the pursuit of two bags of garden mulch by two armed officers. There is no justification for officers routinely showing up at neighborhood association meetings, in ours libraries, in our parks, etc. with lethal arms. It is not on relating to the NRA that black parents instruct their youth, but to police and armed security guards. Nearly every week we hear a variation on the shooting of a ‘young man holding a cell phone in his grandmother’s backyard’. The mayor’s office must lead in creating a peaceful Louisville.

Non-violence is central to a sustainable world – non-violence toward each other, toward property and toward the natural world.

<> on July 26, 2012 in Washington, DC.

The Green Earth Gang

Two perspectives on gangs, Greg Fischer’s and Jackie Green’s. But first, two perspectives on why youth join gangs, LA Police Department’s and’s.

LA Police Dept
. Identity or Recognition – Being part of a gang allows the gang member to achieve a level of status he/she feels impossible outside the gang culture.
. Protection – many members join because they live in the gang area and are, therefore, subject to violence by rival gangs. Joining guarantees support in case of attack and retaliation for transgressions.
. Fellowship and Brotherhood – To the majority of gang members, the gang functions as an extension of the family and may provide companionship lacking in the gang member’s home environment. Many older brothers and relatives belong, or have belonged to the gang.
. Intimidation – Some members are forced to join if their membership will contribute to the gang’s criminal activity. Some join to intimidate others in the community not involved in gang activity.
. Criminal Activity – Some join a gang to engage in narcotics activity and benefit from the group’s profits and protection.
. Lack of jobs for youth
. Poverty compounded by social isolation
. Domestic violence
. Negative peer networks
. Lack of parental supervision
. Early academic failure and lack of school attachment

The Fischer endorsed gang bill was characterized by one media outlet as the “Put More Black Kids in Jail Bill”. (LEO, Pip Pullen and Andrew Dewson) “Some allies of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and officials in his administration told Courier Journal they were blindsided when he threw his support behind a proposed crackdown on gang violence that they say will worsen racial disparities in the city’s criminal justice system.…” (Courier Journal, Phillip Bailey)
Fischer’s support of the gang bill is as bad as his failure to oppose the solar bill.

The Green perspective focuses not on punishment and imprisonment, but on redirection and redemption. The Green perspective asks more of Metro, of the community, of schools, churches, businesses, gangs, youth, adults and of our values. We can fulfill the identity, recognition, fellowship and brotherhood needs. We can break the social isolation of youth. We can create positive social influences. There is enough regenerative work to occupy youth creatively while teaching lessons and needed skills.  Empty lots need gardened. Abandoned houses need remodeled. Trees need planted in the commons. Honeysuckle, multiflora rose, garlic mustard and other invasives in our parks need removed. Our streets and creeks are littered. The physical degradation of our city invites escape into narcotics, crime and violence. We need a ‘Louisville peace corps’ comprised of youth and adults – a Green Earth Gang – regenerating our city and ourselves. Funds spent on prosecuting and imprisoning need to be channelled into keeping youth out of gangs and in helping gang members embrace more productive lives.

City regeneration also requires a regeneration of our cultural values. Examination of media advertising makes obvious that we place inordinate value on power, money, cars, guns, alcohol, clothes, jewelry, vacations, material consumption, personal experiences, and so much more that is counter productive.  Much of what is overvalued is beyond the reach of the poor. Conspicuous consumption, whether it is broadcasting personal trips or excessive spending, is socially (and environmentally) toxic. Those who cannot ‘accumulate’, ‘arrive’, or ‘achieve’ by legal means turn to illegal means. We need to de-escalate consumption, redefine our values. We need to value decent housing, a commons that is litter-free, education, skills, trades, labor, personal health, personal contribution to healthy neighborhoods, trees, parks, gardens, public transit, and the arts.

Join the Green Earth Gang. Take your green bandanas to the hood, along with friends and tools of your choice, and get to work regenerating Louisville and her people. If you do not have a green bandana, we have one for you.
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