About stuartbramhall

Retired child and adolescent psychiatrist and American expatriate in New Zealand. In 2002, I made the difficult decision to close my 25-year Seattle practice after 15 years of covert FBI harassment. I describe the unrelenting phone harassment, illegal break-ins and six attempts on my life in my 2010 book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee.

Brazil: Judge Acquits Lula and Dilma of Illicit Financing

Woman holds a sign that reads 'Lula was not tried. He's the victim of political persecution' in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Nov. 27, 2019.

Woman holds sign that reads ‘Lula was not tried. He’s the victim of political persecution’ in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Nov. 27, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

A federal judge has acquitted former presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff of the charge of association to commit crimes.

Brazil’s Federal Justice Wednesday acquitted former leftist presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff of accusations of being part of a criminal organization whose purpose was to divert public funds to the Workers’ Party (PT).​​​​​

“Before an impartial judge, we have obtained Lula’s summary acquittal. The Brazilian magistrate highlighted an ‘attempt to criminalize political activity’ by the misplaced charge known as the ‘quadrillion,’ which is part of lawfare against Lula,” former president’s lawyer Cristiano Zanin tweeted.

The Federal court’s acquittal also benefits former PT’s treasurer Joao Vaccari and former Finance Ministers Antonio Palocci and Guido Mantega.

All of them were accused of having formed a criminal organization whose purpose was to extract money from the oil company Petrobras and other state-owned companies to finance the PT’s electoral campaigns.

This supposed diversion of money would have happened during the governments of Lula da Silva (2003-2010) and Rousseff (2011-2016) […]

Walmart Store Holding Thanksgiving Charity Food Drive — For Its Own Employees!

Walmart staff are paid so poorly that a store in Canton, Ohio holds an annual Thanksgiving drive to collect canned foods for fellow Walmart employees in need.

AGR Daily News

Walmart Store Holding Thanksgiving Charity Food Drive — For Its Own Employees!

Recently, Yahoo’s 24/7 Wall Street column sought to identify the nation’s 10 worst paying employers, based on the methodology ultizied by the National Employment Law Project in its 2012 report, “Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage.”

To the surprise of nobody, Walmart came out on top, achieving the distinction of being the worst paying company in America.

Still, when it comes to Walmart, there are certain analysts and observers who can’t seem to remove the blinders. They continue to insist that Walmart pays its workers an average of over $18.00 per hour when even the company acknowledges that the average full time, hourly rate is $12.83—and that number includes the salaries of some of the highest paid employees in the averaging such as the CEO who earned $20.7 million last year.

via Forbes Walmart Store Holding…

View original post 9 more words

Seattle’s Food Forest – Free Food For All!

There’s free food everywhere, if you know where to look. Falling Fruit, which maps publicly available produce in several countries, lists 554 edible varieties (mostly plants) in 570,000 locations. It’s mostly stuff that currently goes to waste, like fruit that drops into streets, only to get mashed into concrete.

For All

Seattle’s Urban Food Forest Is Open For Foraging

If you’re in Seattle, you can soon skip the farmer’s market. The Beacon Food Forest will grow plums, apples, walnuts, berries, vegetables, and herbs—all free for the taking.

There’s free food everywhere, if you know where to look. Falling Fruit, which maps publicly available produce in several countries, lists 554 edible varieties (mostly plants) in 570,000 locations. It’s mostly stuff that currently goes to waste, like fruit that drops into streets, only to get mashed into concrete.

Most of the locations on Falling Fruit’s map are single trees (including some on private property, where asking the owner is advised) or small community spaces. But foraging is gaining scale all the time. Several places are planting dedicated forests for public use.

Look at Seattle’s embryonic Beacon Food Forest

View original post 99 more words

Gandhi’s Followers: Barefoot Mahatma Followers Undermining Capitalism

Gandhi’s Followers: Barefoot Mahatma Followers Undermining Capitalism

RT (2019)

Film Review

This is an odd documentary that tours India “to hear from Gandhi’s modern day disciples.” The title is misleading. I honestly can’t see any way the groups the filmmakers visit are undermining capitalism, especially the group “Bikers Against Animal Cruelty.” The latter use Harley Davidson motorcycle tours to educate high school students about the life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi.

In my view it’s more accurate to describe the activist groups depicted as working to undermine India’s devotion to global consumerism. All have a strong focus on voluntary simplicity and care of the poor – both heavily promoted by Gandhi.

I also question filmmaker claims attributing the British decision to quit India to Gandhi’s nonviolent campaign for independence. The nonviolent resistance practiced by Gandhi and his supporters occurred in conjunction with a parallel independence movement that included violent tactics such as bombing, targeted assassination, riots and looting. I suspect that latter were far more influential in persuading the British to leave.

Likewise the far majority of Gandhi followers in the film wear shoes.

 

 

Uber’s free-wheeling era of growth is coming to an end

Ride-hail companies have entered a new era, marked not by breakneck growth but by skeptical and emboldened regulators. Cities lost the first round against Uber, which strong-armed them into passing rules it wrote to suit its ride-hail service before anyone could figure out what was happening. Now, cities have regrouped and are flexing their muscles. One by one, Uber’s most important markets—London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the entire state of California—are proposing taxes and rules that one way or another make rides more expensive.

Featured Image -- 23579

Uber Lyft Drivers

[By Alison Griswold]

November was a bad month for Uber. London declined to renew its license. Seattle approved new fees on rides and a to-be-determined minimum wage for drivers. Chicago passed a congestion tax on ride-hail services that adds as much as $3 to private rides during peak hours. New Jersey hit the company with a $640 million bill for misclassifying drivers as independent contractors.

Uber’s share price slipped by 6% in November, to $29.60. Even equity analysts, a famously optimistic bunch, have lost faith in Uber and lowered their price targets to an average of around its $45 IPO price, a mark Uber has closed above only twice since it went public in May.

Ride-hail companies have entered a new era, marked not by breakneck growth but by skeptical and emboldened regulators. Cities lost the first round against Uber, which strong-armed them into passing rules it wrote to…

View original post 458 more words

No child left behind except U.S. school students

One decade into the Common Core grand experiment, and educational achievement in US high school students is as poor as ever. No progress to speak of in 20 years of high stakes testing, according to Program for International Student Assessment exams given in school systems across the globe.

Blaska Policy Werkes

Maybe education ‘experts’ don’t know squat

Here’s a shocker to all you Blaska Policy Werkes platinum subscribers: Common Core ain’t workin’. 

One decade into this grand experiment, high school students in the U.S. are just as stupid as ever. No progress to speak of in the last 20 years, according to test results just in exams given in school systems across the globe by the Program for International Student Assessment. 

“About a fifth of American 15-year-olds scored so low on the test that it appeared they had not mastered reading skills expected of a 10-year-old,”the New York Times reports today.

“Those students … face pretty grim prospects on the job market,” an educator told the Times. No S♣♦♠ Sherlock.

Another measurement showed that two-thirds of children were not proficient readers.

il_570xn.1198466490_r9xl

American schools got issued this report card of futility despite billions of dollars thrown at a…

View original post 243 more words

With Trump/Democrat Encouragement, Hong Kong Protest Spreads To Mainland

Quote

Police and protesters stand off outside government offices in Wenlou, Guangdong
Police and protesters stand off outside government offices in Wenlou, Guangdong 

A Chinese town has been forced to abandon plans to build a crematorium after residents took a cue from protesters in Hong Kong by taking to the streets, chanting a similar slogan and setting up barricades.

Hundreds of people in Wenlou clashed with riot police after learning that the authorities had included a crematorium in a proposed £8 million ecological park without notifying the public. In China crematoria are seen as inauspicious.

The demonstrators in Wenlou, which is about 60 miles from Hong Kong, chanted “revolution now”. One villager told a newspaper: “Just like Hong Kong, the protests have broken out throughout the township.” A township is a municipality with its own governance […]

 

via With Trump/Democrat Encouragement, Hong Kong Protest Spreads To Mainland