NYCB’s Ashley Bouder’s flawless foutette turns at 6 ½ months pregnant!!!

(From Ashley Bouder’s insta)


Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence described in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. The six principles include:

PRINCIPLE ONE: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.

It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  

PRINCIPLE TWO: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.

The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.                                                                                                        

PRINCIPLE THREE: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people.
Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims and are not evil people.

The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil not people.

PRINCIPLE FOUR: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.

Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.    

PRINCIPLE FIVE: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body.          

Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.  

PRINCIPLE SIX: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.
The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.

Nonviolence believes that God is a God of justice.  

photo: David Castenson

Gentrification report proposes bold solutions to stop displacement in Oakland
April 20, 2014

Last week Causa Justa::Just Cause (CJJC) released a report titled Development Without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area. The 112-page document, prepared in collaboration with the Alameda County Public Health Department, goes beyond describing the public health implications of gentrification to proposing steps that cities like Oakland can take to stop displacement of historic residents.

Six key principles create a framework for the report’s policy recommendations:

  1. Baseline protections for vulnerable residents
  2. Production and preservation of affordable housing
  3. Stabilization of existing communities
  4. Non-market based approaches to housing and community development
  5. Displacement prevention as a regional priority
  6. Planning as a participatory process

“Because gentrification is an issue that crosses various different kinds of aspects, you actually do need a variety of policy strategies,” said Maria Zamudio, San Francisco Housing Rights Organizer with CJJC.  “There is no silver bullet to take on the housing crisis.”

The report classifies neighborhoods by their place on a spectrum of gentrification. “Gentrification in different neighborhoods is in different stages, so the need for policy interventions is different,” she said.

The report lays out proposed policies, including just cause eviction ordinances, proactive code enforcement to make sure current affordable housing stock is maintained, inclusive zoning that mandates affordable housing be part of development projects, and community trainings to encourage resident participation in planning processes. A proposed community health impact analysis of new projects would be designed to help cities like Oakland welcome much-needed development while mitigating displacement.

The report advocates against the market-driven planning process that is the norm in cities throughout the Bay Area. Instead, it suggests, cities should invest in affordable housing through Community Land Trusts and Limited Equity Housing Co-Ops and levy taxes aimed at making real estate speculation less attractive to investors.“Right of first refusal” and “reparation and return” policies would allow residents displaced by habitability issues or urban renewal the opportunity to return to their former homes. A “No Net Loss” policy would “require all affordable units lost through renovation, conversion, or demolition be replaced within the same neighborhood if possible and within the same city at a minimum.” Public data on civic investment and demographic changes by neighborhood would highlight areas of  neglect and displacement where resources are most needed.

“Policy fights need to be organizing opportunities,” said Zamudio, highlighting another recommendation:  to bring affected communities into the process of preventing their own displacement. “Our policies are never going to be visionary enough to take on the problem,” she said, without input from “the most impacted residents of neighborhoods” experiencing gentrification.

Some of the proposals in the report are already being implemented in other cities. San Francisco is listed as a model for a number of the proposals. Yet displacement is, if anything, a bigger problem in that city than in Oakland. “We’re seeing a compounding of impacts,” said Zamudio. “Planning by the city has been in line with changes that the speculative market wants.” She noted that demographic shifts, as working class residents are pushed out, compound the problem by raising the median income and, with it, the threshold for affordable housing. “The income of the city is unbalanced,” she said, which leads to increasing challenges in finding housing affordable to working class residents.

Full article


Jordan Hunt performing Fall, at Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, May 2013.

At the origin of language structure

There are languages that place the verb between the subject and the object (SVO order — Subject/ Verb/ Object) while others place it at the end of the trio (SOV order). The order of these elements, far from being purely decorative, influences efficiency of expression. A team from SISSA’s Language, Cognition and Development Lab (along with two Iranian institutions) studied the mechanism that controls the transition from the SOV form, considered the “basic” order by scientists, to the SVO order while the language is evolving, demonstrating that when the computational load on the brain is lightened, humans choose more efficient systems of communication which encourage the use of more complex grammatical structures.

Subject, verb, object: a triad that in spoken discourse (as well as written) can be arranged in different positions (six, in principle) although in the overwhelming majority of world languages, 86%, they occur in two forms: SVO (“Johnny eats the banana”) and SOV (“Johnny the banana eats”). In particular, the latter is the most common and scientific literature supports the hypothesis that it is a basic form, perhaps the first to emerge when a new language or communication system is born. To back this up is the fact that over the course of history many languages have passed from SOV to SVO, but never the other way around.

What specifically determines the preference for SVO in a language over SOV? That was the question posed by Hanna Marno, a researcher at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste (SISSA). The study by Marno and other SISSA colleagues (Alan Langus and professor Marina Nespor), as well as colleagues from the Medical University of Tehran and the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences of Tehran has been published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology.

“We started from the hypothesis that as languages change, they move towards greater efficiency of expression and along the way tend to grammaticalize more and more, that is, sentences can contain more complex structures. However, there is an element that opposes this growth: the limit of computational load that our cognitive system is able to withstand,” explains Marno. “It is the balance between these two opposing ‘forces’ which makes SOV languages less palatable when grammar becomes more complex.”

In languages that use the SOV order, it is necessary to use “marks”, i.e. small particles attached to nouns to clarify their function within the sentence. These particles add to the computational load, however, favoring transition to the SVO form, which does not use these marks.

Based on this hypothesis, and beginning with a series of experiments previously conducted at SISSA in 2010, Marno and colleagues prepared a series of new tests. In the original experiments (performed by Alan Langus and Marina Nespor), two groups of subjects (one speaking Italian, an SVO language, and another speaking Turkish, an SOV language) had to communicate messages using gestural language they invented. A clear preference for the SOV form emerged, regardless of the language of origin.

“We hypothesized that if we made the participants’ task easier by lightening the cognitive load of the linguistic task, we would observe a preference for the SVO form.” To do this, Marno and colleauges, rather than having the subjects invent their own gestures, taught them instead during a training period before the actual experiment (also using two groups, one speaking Italian, the other, Farsi). “Relieved of the job of having to invent their lexicon, the subjects were able to concentrate on spontaneous language expression and, as we expected, they chose the SVO order.”

“This is a strong result” concludes Marno. “It explains an important aspect of the mechanisms of language change.”