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Juan Cole on the Middle East

Juan Cole
Peter B. Collins

The conversation between Juan Cole and Peter B. Collins concerned Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Israel, Palestine, the CIA and drones.

Juan Cole has testified before the U.S. Senate and knows Arabic and Persian. He blogs at Informed Comment and is a historian of South Asia. He has been a guest on PBS News Hour, ABC Nightly News, Nightline, the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, the Colbert Report, Democracy Now! and many others. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years.
Source: Foreign Policy Roundup: U. Michigan’s Prof. Juan Cole

Cancer Alley Case Gets Surprising Support from EPA Administrator Jackson

Mossville, Louisiana sits in the shadow of 14 petrochemical refineries.  For decades, Mossville residents have complained about their health problems to industry, and to state and federal agencies. They reached past the U.S. regulators to take their case to the highest human rights court in the western hemisphere, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Now a candid comment from the highest U.S. environmental regulator appears to have boosted their petition. Living on Earth and Planet Harmony’s Ike Sriskandarajah reports.
Source: Obama Administration Divided Over Cancer Alley Case

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

Petition to Stop Foreclosures, Hold Banks Accountable!

Want to stop foreclosures by the banksters and keep the banks accountable? Please sign this petition, written by Patrick Porgans, to stop foreclosures, hold the banks accountable and keep people in the homes. Please send this out to all of your friends and relatives! For more information, contact pp [at]
We the People - Occupy Wall Street "99 Percenters"




In California, foreclosures continue to batter homeowners, averaging out at 1,866 a day, 77 an hour each day the past 10 months, or 1.3 foreclosures per-minute. That’s surely on the minds of many Occupy Wall Street “99ers.”

According to Shum Preston, spokesman for the California attorney general’s office, there was a recent “surge in foreclosures” between July and August bringing an additional 560,000 homes into the foreclosure process.

Folsom City Council Cannot Turn Its Back On Working Families


The Folsom City Council is poised to repeal its mixed-income housing ordinance at its January 11, 2011 Council meeting. The City of Folsom’s mixed-income ordinance requires that when “market rate” development occurs, that a portion of those homes be affordable for people that make less than the area median income. The City Council has also expressed a willingness to go back on its commitment to facilitate development of 405 units that are affordable to working families by 2013, at a time when this housing is needed more than ever.

For a family of four earning $58, 000 or less a year, housing options in the City of Folsom are limited. These families can include; teachers, firefighters, child care workers, retail employees and many others.

An employee working at one of the many Folsom Outlet retail stores earning less than $14.00 per hour would have to work more than 75 hours per week to afford rent in Folsom. Many of these employees are forced to commute. This adds to traffic gridlock and degrades air quality for everyone in the region.

According the most recent census data:

· 33.9% of Folsom households pay 30% or more of income on rent

· More than 30% of households in Folsom work in: retail, social services, education, food services, administrative or other types of service industries.

The Folsom City Council cannot turn its back on working families who struggle to make ends meet. The time to insure affordable housing options for people at all income levels is now.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Folsom City Council members need to hear from you! Tell them not to turn their backs on working families; retain the affordable housing ordinance and meet the City's written housing commitments for households earning less than the median income.

You can do that by:

Ca. Court Rules in Favor of Racist Slumlord Donald Sterling?!?

California Court Okays Discrimination Against Section 8 Tenants

by Dean Preston of Tenants Together‚ Apr. 13‚ 2010

    Remember Donald Sterling, the NBA team owner and Los Angeles mega-landlord who has been sued multiple times for outrageous housing discrimination, most recently by the U.S. Department of Justice? Sterling is back in the news this week, again for discrimination in his role as landlord. This time, however, Sterling convinced a California Court of Appeal that it was just fine for him to discriminate against a Section 8 tenant. At this point, anyone who still believes in the myth that judges are “liberal activists” needs to have his or her head examined.

Celebrate World Habitat Day! "Safe Groundâââ€Ã

Celebrate World Habitat Day!
"Safe Ground…Homeward Bound"

Monday, October 5, 2009
8:00am - 10:00am
Habitat for Humanity Build Site
2777 Forrest Street
Sacramento, CA

Phone: 9164554900

Please join the Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA) and Sacramento Habitat for Humanity (SHfH) in celebrating World Habitat Day, October 5th, 2009. The day will begin at 8:00 AM with a “Pancake Breakfast,” followed with an announcement of resolutions from the State of California, the County of Sacramento and the City of Sacramento declaring October 5, 2009 as “World Habitat Day – Safeground…Homeward Bound.” Following, homeless people and invited guests will then roll up their sleeves and begin working together to help build a Habitat for Humanity home on Forrest Street. *****Sorry! October 5th's Volunteer list is full! But you can still help us celebrate!*****

Fall CORE Convening

Fall CORE Convening
Please join us for thought-provoking discussion, strategizing, and planning for an equitable Sacramento region.

Friday, October 16, 2009
8:30am - 1:00pm
Sierra 2 Center
2791 24th Street
Sacramento, CA
Phone: 9164554900

The agenda will include a discussion of policies to make the region more equitable, the SCORECARD project, and updates on what CORE has done over the past year. At the Convening, we hope to build consensus around policies to pursue to move toward regional equity, gain an understanding of what is important to advocates and community members around the region, and form working groups to continue discussion of the identified topics and policies.

The Secret Test That Ensures Lenders Win on Loan Mods

[Related: Wells Fargo exec used Malibu Colony home lost by Madoff-duped couple for extravagant parties, and from earlier this year - Wells Fargo cancels multi-million dollar Las Vegas trip after it is made public, while at the same time - Eviction patrol heats up on U.S. foreclosures]

The Secret Test That Ensures Lenders Win on Loan Mods

by Alexandra Andrews and Emily Witt, ProPublica - September 15, 2009 2:18 pm EDT

    “NPV Test: Failed.”

    That was the red-lettered verdict on the computer screen of a CitiMortgage negotiator in June. The result: An 83-year-old widow in Illinois was denied a loan modification through the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable program, even though the employee admitted in an e-mail, “I am unable to come up with a reason for the denial.”

    The Net Present Value test is a complex computer model used by loan servicers to determine whether a homeowner qualifies for the federal loan modification program. The test compares two scenarios – modification and foreclosure – and determines which would be more profitable for the lender. If it’s foreclosure, the lender has no obligation to modify the loan. But the model is a black box. What goes in isn’t entirely clear, and what comes out isn’t always reliable.

    The Treasury Department has refused to release the exact formula for the NPV model, bringing criticism from homeowner advocates and industry experts. Cloaking the NPV formula in secrecy makes it difficult to identify any potential flaws in the design of the program, which has generated fewer modifications than anticipated [1]. There are assumptions built into the model, and they may not be the right ones, said Diane Thompson of the National Consumer Law Center. “Someone needs to be able to review it.”

Safe Ground Rally and March with Papa Roach!

Join the Rally and March to what we hope will be our new Safe Ground site
With Special Guests Papa Roach

Wednesday, July 1st - 10:00 a.m.
Meet at Loaves & Fishes
1321 North C Street, Sacramento, CA 95811

"Safe Ground" is…

§ A secure location, sanctioned by the city & operated by the residents
§ A place with clean water, toilets, and garbage collection
§ A place where residents can be free from harassment and danger
§ A place where homeless people can access services they need to turn their lives around

Every day, more than 1,200 homeless men, women, children and families are struggling to make it on Sacramento County’s streets.

Homelessness is not a new problem. But a bad economy means more people on the streets, and fewer government dollars to help them.

Great Valley Center - 2020 Foresight

About 2020 Foresight

When: May 6 & 7
Where: Radisson Hotel
500 Leisure Lane
Sacramento, CA

20/20 Foresight takes a small leap forward. Looking ahead beyond the current issues and politics, conference will focus on five broad areas where short term actions can have longer term effects.

* Health and Community Well Being
* Transportation, Land Use and Housing
* Energy, Environment and Agriculture
* Water, Air and Natural Resources
* Workforce preparedness and Education

Keynote Speakers

Safe Ground Rally - Homeless People Deserve a Safe Place to Stay

Homeless people deserve a safe place to stay.

We believe everyone deserves SAFE GROUND!

April 21, 2009, Tuesday, 2 pm
Sacramento State Capital

There are over 1200 people sleeping outside every night in Sacramento and the numbers are growing! Shelters are full, so for many the options are few: sleep in a car, if you have one, or break the law and sleep illegally on the streets.

This is unfair and unjust!

Everyone should have a safe place where they can go at night and sleep without fear. That’s why we need a safe ground. Sacramento needs a safe “legalized” campground where homeless folks can have clean water, bathrooms, and trash services until our City, County and State are willing and able to provide adequate shelters and affordable housing for the growing numbers of homeless folks.

We need you to join us on April 21, Tuesday at 2pm on the Capital Steps for the:

Safe Ground Rally

Where God Left His Shoes - A fundraiser for Faith & Homeless Families Initiative

Where God Left His Shoes - Starring John Leguizamo
A fundraiser for Faith & Homeless Families Initiative

Giving the gift of hope through housing

Date: Wednesday, February 18
Time: 6:00—8:00 pm
Place: The Crest Theatre
1013 K Street, Sacramento
Tickets: $20.00 General Admission; $10.00 Students, Seniors, or Disabled

Where God Left His Shoes is the story of a family that refuses to break apart during the darkest time of their lives and discovers that they will survive as long as they have each other.

The Faith & Homeless Families Initiative will be launched in early 2009 as a pilot program of the Ending Chronic Homelessness Initiative with the support of City Councilmember Rob Fong to help families avoid or escape homelessness. This initiative matches homeless families with faith communities to mentor and help them obtain self-sufficiency and permanent housing.

Please make checks payable to:
Community Services Planning Council/FFI
Tickets available at:
>> R5 Records, 2500 16th St, Sacramento
(cash only at this location)
>> Crest Theater Box Office
For more information please contact:

Please Sign Loaves & Fishes Open Letter to the Mayor and City Council

Please take a moment to sign the letter from Loaves and Fishes to Sacramento's Mayor and City Council. Attend the Feb 10th City Council meeting as well if you can. Details are below.

Thanks as always,

From: Joan Burke, Loaves & Fishes

Dear Friend and Supporter,

It’s been a tough winter on North C Street . We’ve all felt the chill of many below freezing nights and the sadness of realizing that the number of homeless people who must come to Loaves & Fishes for survival services continues to rise. It’s been a tough winter everywhere with widespread unemployment, economic uncertainty and fear.



Location: SIERRA 2- Curtis Hall
2791 24th Street, Sacramento, CA 95818 US
When: Thursday, December 18, 6:00PM
Phone: 916.455.4900

PLEASE JOIN US TO CELEBRATE THIS SEASON OF HOPE. We'll mix, mingle and celebrate the holidays with all of our friends, supporters and members! Please note that the party's at the Sierra 2 Community Center this year so you don't miss out on all the fun! Entertainment, food and refreshments will be served...just bring your jolly old self and your goodwill towards man, (and woman!) Happy Holiday... Happy Holiday... May the calendar keep bringing Happy Holidays to you! THe SHA Staff and Board Members

Foreclosure Rally at the California State Capitol

Dear Friends of CRC

More than a million of our neighbors have lost their houses in the last year. The Governor has proposed softball initiatives and the Legislature has passed a few bills that help some people. Still, our neighbors are losing their homes in the hundreds of thousands and our neighborhoods and cities are bleeding.

Come join CRC, the Sacramento Housing Alliance and ACORN in a press conference and rally at the North Steps (L St.) of the Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, November 25, at 11 a.m.

The Governor and state legislature need to stop the political posturing and act to save our neighborhoods now! Please come join us next Tuesday.