March 9, 2018 in 5,413 words

Four longtime Colorado residents currently in sanctuary rally support for legislative help

In the face of increasingly hostile immigration policies, a record number of undocumented immigrants have claimed sanctuary in churches and communities of faith around the country in the last year. But they are not hiding.

Resolved to stay with their families and in their communities, many of these immigrants have become outspoken advocates for change. There are currently four women living in sanctuary in Colorado, one each in Mancos, Denver, Carbondale and Boulder. On March 8, International Women’s Day, they are launching a “people’s campaign,” asking individuals, as well as businesses, community groups, law enforcement agencies, faith communities and elected officials, to endorse a resolution that they hope will provide a blueprint for legislators to make policy changes.

Ingrid Encalada Latorre (with sons Bryant and Anibal) is currently in sanctuary in Boulder.

“We realized that uniting would give more strength to the movement,” says Ingrid Encalada Latorre, who has been in sanctuary in three different churches in Colorado since November 2016. She’s been at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder since mid-December. “And the reason unifying the four of us is more powerful is it unifies the state from north to south, unifying the churches that support us as well as the communities.”

Each woman’s case is unique, but there is little, if any legal recourse for any of them. The new campaign sets out what the women and immigration advocates say are simple solutions to their legal issues.

Trump’s steel tariffs are mere political theater

The practical effect of the tariffs will be small, so why did Trump do it? The answer is: politics

‘He’s looking at his poll numbers; they’re going up; the mid-terms are coming into focus and things are right on track.’

On Thursday, Donald Trump announced a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum, likely excepting Canada and Mexico – and perhaps America’s strategic partner Australia in due course. It was, of course, a shocking thing.

When was the last time a US president did such a shocking thing? Well, actually it was in the first week of March 2002, at exactly the same point in a presidential first term. The president was George W Bush, of the Republican party, and the steel tariff he imposed was 30%. And before that? Ronald Reagan, with his “voluntary export restraints”.

As the man from Vaudeville ran out on stage to announce: don’t clap too loud, it’s an old theater.

A difference is that both Reagan and Bush were ideological free-traders, globalists, union-busters, dedicated to the approved ideology in these matters. So when they imposed tariffs, they largely got a pass – except from a few principled free traders on their own staffs, who did complain, as Gary Cohn has done now.

As a declared protectionist, on the other hand, when Trump makes a protectionist move, zero tolerance applies. But … since when is a 25% tariff higher than a 30% tariff? (Hint: it’s not).

The practical effect of the tariffs will be small. The steel industry has about 150,000 employees in total; the aluminum industry claims about the same amount. No producer will commit the billions required to expand capacity, knowing that tariffs come and go; the Bush tariffs were taken off after only two years. If there is spare capacity that can be brought into service under the tariff barrier, that will show mainly as increased productivity rather than many new jobs.


Even a moron would understand imposing higher tariffs on imported steel will make the price of everything made with it go up.

Opting instead to source steel domestically will make the price of everything made with it go up. Steel costs more to produce in the United States because of emission controls, better working conditions and higher wages paid to steelworkers.

Thinking further along those lines, say you purchase a new car…

If it’s made with foreign steel, it costs more due to the tariff. The tariff will go directly into the United States Treasury (where it’ll help fund the unfunded tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy).

If it’s made with domestic steel, it costs more because steel costs more to produce domestically. There may be a few more steelworker jobs created… but the industry isn’t likely to ramp up production capacity because this turd is dead once Trump is out of the White House.

… And sales and use taxes paid to various government entities will increase because the car costs more.

It’s a win for everybody

Especially if you’re wealthy, a corporation, or a local, state or federal taxing authority. It’ll all trickle back down, right?!?

The radical promises Donald Trump has backtracked on

Aesop Wept

Once there was a shepherd boy who found life in the pasture very dull…

Seven days ago, Donald Trump issued a market-moving edict that threatened to alienate the US’s closest allies and start a global trade war. The US would levy across-the-board taxes on imports of steel and aluminum, he said.

Update, 3:50pm ET: This afternoon, Trump walked that back, exempting Canada and Mexico from tariffs pending NAFTA negotiations. The two account for a quarter of US steel imports. He also left the door open for other countries to negotiate their tariffs (25% on steel and 10% on aluminum) with commerce secretary Wilbur Ross. “These tariffs don’t go effective for at least another 15 days,” he added.

The chaos in DC that preceded today’s announcement has come to be something of a Trump trademark. A novice politician, Trump has made a potentially reputation-damaging habit of issuing hard-hitting edicts and quietly letting the courts, his own party, private business, or other world leaders walk them back. Here are a few:

Fake news travels six times faster than the truth on Twitter

News travels fast, especially when it’s wrong.

An analysis of news stories tweeted by three million people between 2006 and 2017 shows that fake news spreads significantly more than the truth on social media.

Sinan Aral and his colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) cross-checked the spread of 126,000 stories on Twitter against a database of stories fact-checked by six independent organisations, including Snopes, Politifact and Factcheck.

“What we found was scary,” says Aral. “False news travels farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth in every category of information – many times by an order of magnitude.”

Truthful tweets took six times as long as fake ones to spread across Twitter to 1,500 people – in large part because falsehoods in the sample were 70 per cent more likely to be retweeted than the truth, even after accounting for account age, activity level and their number of followers. The most viral fake news was political in nature.

Don’t blame it on the bots

Despite the belief that armies of bots are sowing discord and spreading information, it is people, rather than automated accounts, most likely to share incorrect information. Aral and his colleagues analysed the diffusion of information with accounts they identified as bots both included and removed. Although bots did spread fake news, they also shared true news at the same rate.

For another point of view…

The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News

Falsehoods almost always beat out the truth on Twitter, penetrating further, faster, and deeper into the social network than accurate information.

“Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,” Jonathan Swift once wrote.

It was hyperbole three centuries ago. But it is a factual description of social media, according to an ambitious and first-of-its-kind study published Thursday in Science.

The massive new study analyzes every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter’s existence—some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years—and finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor. By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds: Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories.

“It seems to be pretty clear [from our study] that false information outperforms true information,” said Soroush Vosoughi, a data scientist at MIT who has studied fake news since 2013 and who led this study. “And that is not just because of bots. It might have something to do with human nature.”

The study has already prompted alarm from social scientists. “We must redesign our information ecosystem in the 21st century,” write a group of 16 political scientists and legal scholars in an essay also published Thursday in Science. They call for a new drive of interdisciplinary research “to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed.”

“How can we create a news ecosystem … that values and promotes truth?” they ask.

Yet another point of view…

Gigantic Study of Fake News Online Finds the Enemy Is Humanity

Over the last year, “fake news” has gone from being a niche concern that charlatans exploited for profit, to a code red existential threat to the fabric of society—or something in between. But our scientific understanding of how and why false stories spread is still limited. Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab are diving in to correct that blind spot and for anyone looking to point a finger, we have some bad news.

A new paper published in on Thursday is the largest ever longitudinal study of the spread of false news online. Much of the scientific work that’s been done to assess fake news and its spread through social networks has focused on the study of individual rumors. There’s little research to point to that comprehensively evaluates the differences in the spread of true and false news across a variety of topics, or that examines why false news may spread differently than the truth. Soroush Vosoughi and his colleagues took a look at 126,000 rumor cascades tweeted by three million people more than 4.5 million times in order to better understand the qualities that go into an effectively viral news story.

The researchers emphasized to Gizmodo that they had to avoid the term “fake news” because it’s come to mean different things to different people. So, for the purposes of the study, they’ve limited their phrasing to “falsehood” and “false stories.” They set out to answer two primary questions: How do truth and falsity spread differently, and what factors of human judgment explain these differences? The answers aren’t particularly revolutionary, but in a time when pundits, tech giants, politicians, and the public are all flailing around making assertions about fake news, it’s important to have some factual grounding in what we’re talking about.

Opioid crisis is just getting worse

The number of Americans turning up in emergency rooms suffering from opioid overdoses has risen sharply in recent years, according to new federal data, as the size and scope of a devastating public health crisis evolves in ways officials say is difficult to combat.

Data released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased by 30 percent between July 2016 and September 2017.

Rust Belt states have been hardest hit, with emergency room visits rising 108 percent in Wisconsin, 80 percent in Pennsylvania and 65 percent in Illinois. Indiana and Ohio also experienced substantial growth in overdose treatments.

While the crisis began in rural America among low-income whites, it has now moved into larger urban areas, where minority communities now account for the fastest growth among overdoses and deaths. Emergency room visits in large cities rose by 54 percent over the last year, the CDC data show.

“We often talk about the opioid epidemic as a singular epidemic. But if you look at it it’s actually two distinct epidemics going on simultaneously,” said Jon Zibbell, a senior public health scientist at RTI International, a public health nonprofit. “In some states, prescription opioids were driving the epidemic. In other states, illicit opioids are driving the epidemic. And in some states it’s both.”

6 Hilarious Loopholes Normal People Used To Beat The System

The world is full of rules, and whilst we know that a vast number of them are there to keep us safe and not-dead, many others come straight out of a bull’s anus (to put it delicately). In their haste to clamp down on everyone’s fun, however, the powers that be sometimes leave unintended loopholes, which the clever can ride straight to their hilarious conclusions. Look at these heroes …

6. The NYC Subway Bans Dogs Unless They’re In “Containers,” So New Yorkers Start Carrying Them In Bags

For a few years now, New York City has banned pet owners from bringing any type of animal into the subway unless they’re service dogs or if it’s a K-9 (PAW Patrol for our younger readers) type situation. Presumably, the fear is that they’ll poop on the floor and temporarily improve the atmosphere. While it’s probably for the best that you can’t bring a giraffe or something, not everyone agreed with the notion that a dog can ruin the experience of being trapped in a sweaty tube with someone’s armpit two inches from your face whilst a mime picks your pocket.

As New Yorkers are renowned for not giving a single damn, however, they found a workaround to the rule: putting their dogs in bags.

Although that last one is clearly a bag with legs and a head.

We should explain. The MTA rules are strict about dogs unless they’re “enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.” They were thinking of pet carriers, or at most, some tiny Chihuahua in a handbag. The rest of the city thought “time to dust off that old hiking backpack.”

Mumbai’s 41 leopards may be protecting locals from thousands of rabid stray dogs


The unlikely saviour.

A fleeting glimpse of the black spots and gold fur of a leopard is not an uncommon sight at Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the Indian city of Mumbai.

Leopards are often thought of as a threat to humans, but rather than being a problem in Mumbai, they may actually be helping their human neighbours—even saving their lives—as we argue in our paper published today in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Recent studies suggest there may be as many as 41 leopards roaming the 104km2 park. That’s about two to three times the leopard density you’d find in some of the most productive savannas in Africa or Sri Lanka.

Mumbai’s leopards live alongside people, mostly in informal settlements, and they hunt and kill dogs in and around their villages. On average, dogs make up about 40% of a Mumbai leopard’s diet.

So what, you might ask. Leopards are one of the world’s most adaptable big cats, feeding on more than 100 prey items worldwide, so aren’t they just doing what an opportunist would do?

Nuclear fusion on brink of being realised, say MIT scientists

Carbon-free fusion power could be ‘on the grid in 15 years’

A visualisation of MIT’s planned fusion experiment.

The dream of nuclear fusion is on the brink of being realised, according to a major new US initiative that says it will put fusion power on the grid within 15 years.

The project, a collaboration between scientists at MIT and a private company, will take a radically different approach to other efforts to transform fusion from an expensive science experiment into a viable commercial energy source. The team intend to use a new class of high-temperature superconductors they predict will allow them to create the world’s first fusion reactor that produces more energy than needs to be put in to get the fusion reaction going.

Bob Mumgaard, CEO of the private company Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which has attracted $50 million in support of this effort from the Italian energy company Eni, said: “The aspiration is to have a working power plant in time to combat climate change. We think we have the science, speed and scale to put carbon-free fusion power on the grid in 15 years.”

The promise of fusion is huge: it represents a zero-carbon, combustion-free source of energy. The problem is that until now every fusion experiment has operated on an energy deficit, making it useless as a form of electricity generation. Decades of disappointment in the field has led to the joke that fusion is the energy of the future – and always will be.

The just-over-the-horizon timeframe normally cited is 30 years, but the MIT team believe they can halve this by using new superconducting materials to produce ultra-powerful magnets, one of the main components of a fusion reactor.

These penguins found a camera in Antarctica and captured a surprisingly good ‘selfie’

The selfie-snapping animals are at it again.

Two emperor penguins in Antarctica captured a short video of themselves after coming across a camera left on the ice by a human.

The Australian Antarctic Division posted the comical, 38-second clip to its social media channels Thursday. One of the group’s expeditioners, Eddie Gault, had placed the camera on the ground near the Auster Rookery — home to a large emperor penguin colony — while visiting the nearby Mawson research station.

” … It didn’t take long for the naturally curious birds to seize the opportunity for a selfie,” the group said.

The video isn’t a true “selfie” — the camera was recording when the birds approached it — but charmed viewers don’t seem to mind.

These huge new wind turbines are a marvel. They’re also the future.

The latest model has blades longer than football fields.

The GE Haliade-X, a big-ass wind turbine.

The declining price of solar power gets more press, but there are big things happening in wind technology too. And I mean big.

The math on wind turbines is pretty simple: Bigger is better. Specifically, there are two ways to produce more power from the wind in a given area.

The first is with bigger rotors and blades to cover a wider area. That increases the capacity of the turbine, i.e., its total potential production.

The second is to get the blades up higher into the atmosphere, where the wind blows more steadily. That increases the turbine’s “capacity factor,” i.e., the amount of power it actually produces relative to its total potential (or more colloquially: how often it runs).

The history of wind power development has been the history of engineering taller and taller turbines with bigger and bigger blades. It’s a tricky and delicate business. Tall, skinny things, placed in higher winds, tend to bend and flex. When long turbine blades bend, they can crash into the tower, or hub, like this Danish system did in 2008 after its “brake” failed and it spun out of control:

So the third engineering challenge is to find designs and materials that can stand up to the stresses that come along with height and higher winds. Those stresses get quite intense — check out this video of engineers testing an enormous turbine blade by pulling it to and fro with “the weight of approximately 16 African elephants.”

Anyway, making turbines bigger and bigger is the name of the game. When it comes to land-based (onshore) turbines, that process begins to run into various non-technical limitations — transportation and infrastructure chokepoints, land use concerns, worries about views, large birds, shadows, etc.

Rage against the machine: self-driving cars attacked by angry Californians

Local residents are hitting back at their new robot neighbors – literally – as reports detail assaults on driverless cars.

One incident involved a pedestrian crossing the street and striking the autonomous vehicle ‘with his entire body’.

The great promise of self-driving cars is that they will save innumerable lives by removing the most fallible and unpredictable element from vehicle traffic: the human.

But in San Francisco at least, fickle human behavior is taking a stand.

Two of the six collisions involving autonomous vehicles in California so far this year involved humans colliding with self-driving cars, apparently on purpose, according to incident reports collected by the California department of motor vehicles.

On 10 January, a pedestrian in San Francisco’s Mission District ran across the street to confront a GM Cruise autonomous vehicle that was waiting for people to cross the road, according to an incident report filed by the car company. The pedestrian was “shouting”, the report states, and “struck the left side of the Cruise AV’s rear bumper and hatch with his entire body”.

No injuries occurred, but the car’s left tail light was damaged.

Watch a Robot Solve a Rubik’s Cube in Less Than Half a Second

The builders say the robot wasn’t even working at full capacity.

Robots have once again shown their superiority to humans, this time by solving a Rubik’s Cube in less than half a second. The new build, created by software developer Jared Di Carlo and MIT Biometrics Lab Master’s student Ben Katz, can solve a 3X3 square Rubik’s Cube in just .38 seconds.

Humans have steadily increased their Rubik’s cube solving speed over the past few decades but have been no match for robotic competition. The current human world record holder, SeungBeom Cho, solved the cube in a by-comparison slothlike 4.59 seconds.

Prior to Katz and Di Carlo’s build, another robot made by Infineon Technologies called Sub1 Reloaded was able to complete the task in just .63 seconds.

Ed. More video goodnesses at the link.

‘The Simpsons’ Oral History of ‘Last Exit to Springfield,’ The Best Episode Ever

Showrunners Al Jean, Mike Reiss, writers Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky and director Mark Kirkland weigh in on the episode’s 25th anniversary.

Twenty-five years ago, “Simpsons” writers Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky begged their bosses not to cut the core joke in “Last Exit to Springfield,” the best episode in the history of the show.

It’s a long, weird bit that goes thirty awkward seconds without a payoff. The words “dental plan” and “Lisa needs braces” bounce around Homer’s brain as he waits in a beer line, until he blurts out a realization that reveals to viewers, for the first time, how dumb he truly is.

“It went on for a page and a half! We gotta cut this. This doesn’t make any sense at all,” Mike Reiss, who was co-showrunner of “The Simpsons” at the time, remembers thinking. “And Jay and Wally said, you gotta do it. Trust us on this.”

The idea of the episode is simple — Homer Simpson becomes a union leader to fight for his dental plan — but it spawns endless jokes, movie and TV parodies, and even a folk song. Outlets from USA Today to The Ringer have named “Last Exit to Springfield” the best “Simpsons” episode ever, which it is.

But the writers told TheWrap that “Exit” — which premiered 25 years ago this Sunday, on March 11, 1993 — was just another episode to the frazzled, exhausted “Simpsons” team. The writers were so burned out that the next week’s episode was a clip show.

Here is the complete oral history of “Last Exit to Springfield.”


Tanya G. asks: Why did the Village People dress up in those outfits?

The creation of the Village People is directly attributed to French composer and producer Jacques Morali, a gay man who wanted to create disco music gay men would appreciate. Moreli, a legendary disco beat-smith who was responsible for producing a string of disco hits in the early 1970s, was approached by a struggling singer called Victor Willis with a demo tape in 1977. Morali liked the demo and came up with the idea of packaging Willis as a member of a group called, you guessed it, Village People. As to why he chose the name, Village People, this was a nod to the thriving gay community in Greenwich Village, New York.

Morali, using his clout in the disco world, saw to it that his new creation was signed to Casablanca records and soon after the Village People released their first self-titled album in 1977, with Willis the only member of the “group”. To maintain the illusion that Village People was an actual group and not a carefully crafted gimmick, Morali employed extensive use of vocal layering and backup singers while recording and mixing the aforementioned album.

Initially there was little problem with there only being one Village Person, but soon enough the album started gaining traction and the “group” began receiving offers to perform live in clubs around New York. As he couldn’t just send Willis out to sing on his own, Morali hired a team of dancers and backup singers to support Willis on stage.

So where do the crazy outfits the group wear come into this?

Video Goodnesses
and not-so-goodnesses

Parody of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen – Based on the arrangement by Pentatonix. To support our work please visit


Open Letter to Wayne LaPierre

You see yourself the defender of
the amendment passed to you from above,
and any change that happens must go through ya.
While other freedoms slipped away
with nothing standing in their way,
you waved your gun and claimed your hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

We’ve heard you say these words before,
about the guns that you adore.
There really is no point in talkin’ to ya.
You pride yourself the ears and eyes
of five or so million other guys,
and think your words will draw their hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your mind is stuck in sixty-five
when cold-war commies were alive.
And those who wanted change were out to screw ya.
And gun controls of any kind
mean liberal commies in your mind
who’ll steal your rights then raise their hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your logic is profoundly flawed,
with teachers for your new vice-squad.
You’d arm them to the teeth but they see through ya.
Your rigid stance results in death.
You claim that right with every breath,
howling through your broken hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

We think it’s time that you step down.
Just walk away and pass the crown,
before someone decides they need to sue ya.
The arms race lost, it would appear
and you’ve become the thing you fear
an echo of your bloody hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah


“Hallelujah” was composed by Leonard Cohen, a Canadian singer/songwriter, and was first released on the album titled Various Positions in 1984.

Probably due to Cohens performance style, the song achieved little initial success, when first released. the song found greater popular acclaim through a recording by John Cale, which inspired a recording by Jeff Buckley. It is considered as the “baseline” of secular hymns.

After the song was featured in the film Shrek, many performers discovered the innate power of the work and multiple arrangements and versions began to spring up.

Many arrangements have been performed by many and various singers, both in recordings and in concert, with over 300 versions known. So I guess this makes 301. The song has been used in film and television soundtracks and televised talent contests. “Hallelujah” experienced renewed interest following Cohen’s death in November 2016 and appeared on multiple international singles charts, including entering the American Billboard Hot 100 for the first time.

Cohen wrote around 80 draft verses for “Hallelujah”, with one writing session at the Royalton Hotel in New York where he was reduced to sitting on the floor in his underwear, banging his head on the floor. His original version, as recorded on his Various Positions album, contains several biblical references, most notably evoking the stories of Samson and treacherous Delilah from the Book of Judges (“she cut your hair”) as well as King David and Bathsheba (“you saw her bathing on the roof, her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you”).

There are two great American cults that preach blind adherence to dogma, but only one is heavily armed.

Anger, white privilege, and guns are a lethal combination. Also how you make a Sith Lord.

Colorado may seem like the gorgeous haven of the great American West, but Mike Rubens met the man dismantling it with a single tax law.

THANKS to TBS and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee for making this program available on YouTube.

President Trump holds a roundtable on gun violence in video games despite studies that show no correlation between the two.

Desi Lydic explores the ethics of human-robot sex, including the way women are reduced to inanimate objects and how the sex bots could impact humanity.

THANKS to Comedy Central and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for making this program available on YouTube.

Trump was angry with his Press Secretary for breaking her oath to tell the untruth, the whole untruth, and everything but the truth.

McDonald’s flipped their golden arches upside-down, Barbie unveiled a tribute to iconic females, and other ways the world celebrate International Women’s Day.

THANKS to CBS and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for making this program available on YouTube.

Seth takes a closer look at Donald Trump’s escalating scandals related to everything from Russian meddling to porn stars.

THANKS to NBC and Late Night with Seth Meyers for making this program available on YouTube.

In Iowa, a spike in opioid abuse among people under 30 is causing another public health crisis: cases of Hepatitis C — a virus that attacks the liver — are up 375 percent according to the CDC.

To combat the problem, a group of Iowans has been operating an underground needle exchange. And now, they’re lobbying for a bill to legalize that effort. Under state law, it’s illegal to possess or distribute clean syringes for an “unlawful” purpose.

The Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition, founded in 2016 by medical student Sarah Ziegenhorn, 29, provides weekly outreach services in cities across Iowa by distributing safer injection kits, condoms and test kits for HIV and hepatitis C. The clean syringes, provided by partnering non-profit Prairie Works, are handed out discreetly from the back of a car.

More than 30 states have legalized distribution of needles and Iowa could be next if the bill, slated for a vote in the Senate next week, continues its journey to the governor’s office. Ziegenhorn is a weekly fixture at state capitol, leading the charge and drawing numbers of constituents to bring the issue to the attention of legislatures.

This is the second attempt to legalize in a state where there are very few opioid related regulations or policies in place. Many legislators believe the presence of needle exchange programs would encourage drug use and prevent proper law enforcement.

THANKS to HBO and VICE News for making this program available on YouTube.

Proving economists at your uncle’s house right, Ontario’s minimum wage hike has completely destroyed the economy.

THANKS to The Comedy Network and The Beaverton for making this program available on YouTube.

CAUTION: Some language may not be appropriate for work or children.

Hope you enjoyed this mega compilation. I’ll keep ’em coming every 6-8 weeks I reckon.

So focused on his chewing.

Max continues his destruction.


Right to Rest Act, take four

For the fourth year in a row, Colorado lawmakers are considering the Right to Rest Act, a piece of legislation aimed at local policies around the state that prohibit people experiencing homelessness to sit, camp, eat and have their property in public spaces. After an initial postponement to accommodate possible amendments, the bill will be presented at a House Local Government Committee hearing on March 14 that is expected to take considerable time. (Last year it lasted more than 10 hours.)

As in past attempts, getting the bill through the legislature is an uphill battle for the homeless advocates and legislative sponsors behind it. Each year, the proposed bill has failed to make it out of committee and to a vote in the House. That’s to say nothing of getting it passed in the more conservative Senate. But that isn’t stopping the bill’s supporters.

“Homelessness is a systemic problem that is caused by our housing market and our economy and that the answer to addressing the widespread crisis of homelessness in our nation is not to try to criminalize folks and move folks around, but is to give people basic rights and dignity and bring back actual attainable housing for poor people in our country,” says Terese Howard, organizer with Denver Homeless Out Loud and Western Regional Advocacy Project, which helped draft the bill.

Sponsored by Democratic Representatives Joe Salazar (Thornton) and Jovan Melton (Aurora), the Right to Rest Act is commonly known as the Homeless Bill of Rights. Similar campaigns are currently making their way through Oregon and California. The goal is to shift the focus and resources away from criminalizing homelessness and toward adequate solutions like affordable housing.

Ed. More tomorrow? Probably. Possibly. Maybe. Not?