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An Office of Public Private Partnership Denver Doesn’t Need

February 17, 2018

Single Family Home on Tennyson Street in NW Denver – jammed now between two monster development apartment projects. …typical of the kind of uncontrolled development taking place in Denver right now and leading to dramatic displacement of middle, working class, poor folk, people of color from the neighborhood. A demographic epidemic in the making over the past two decades

An Office of Public Private Partnership Denver Doesn’t Need.

At a time when the city could use more oversight, more public regulation of development and major real estate projects from the city council and auditor’s office, from all appearances, the Denver City Council seems to be going full steam ahead in the opposite direction. By way of example, the Council’s recent barely noticed nod to Mayor Hancock’s request to create an Office of Public Private Partnership.

Let us say outright, that we oppose the creation of the Office of Public-Private Partnership. Read more…

The Wobbling Narrative: Reduced Knee-Jerk American Jewish Support For Israel

February 16, 2018

11-30-2016 Demonstration in front of the Jewish Community Center in Denver organized by new group of young Jewish radicals, “If Not Now, When?” It protested the anti-semitic overtones of the then just elected Donald Trump and criticize the silence of local mainstream Jewish organizations to address the rising wave of antisemitism. Several hundred people, almost all of them Jews of all ages, were in attendance.

(This blog entry – reflection I suppose would be more accurate – is a result of reading the article below this morning and…a lengthy meeting and discussion I had recently with a young Jewish member of Jewish Voice for Peace here in Denver.)

An article appeared in the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz (The Land) entitled “Vast Numbers of Progressive California Jews Disengaging from Israel, Survey Finds.” Its subtitle reads “Only a minority of young Jews in San Francisco’s Bay Area believe a Jewish state is important and only a third sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians.” It goes on to add:

The survey targeted a variety of people in Northern California’s 350,000 Jewish Community, only 21% of whom identify themselves as “strongly attached to Israel.” So nearly 80% are not so attached. Read more…

No to the 2026 Olympics in Denver…Colorado’s latest PPP Boondoggle-In-The-Making

February 6, 2018

City Park and downtown Denver, viewed from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Or…where’s Gene Amole when we need him?

The discussions among the anointed ones, the participants didn’t gravitate around whether or not Denver should host the Olympics, ie., the positives and negatives. Instead several people in the room, rather crudely focused on what they specialize in: What’s in it for them! 

Hi Folks…

For those of you in Colorado – which is most, but not all – or who have lived here and still care…there is a move afoot – usual developer-big finance stuff – to bring the Olympics to Denver in 2026. A number of people with good political noses have been predicting such plans were in the hopper – I wasn’t one of them – . They based their suspicions on certain developer-contractor patterns unfolding in the city, put it all together and it spelled “OLMYPIC BID”…and they, the friends, were “spot on.” All this was done with what is now become the traditional lack of “transparency. “But as the time to make a formal bid for the Olympics is fast approaching, the Olympic bid organizers have had to come out of the closet, so to speak to win public approval for plans already decided upon behind closed doors. Read more…

GES Coalition’s Public Comment on “Housing an Inclusive Denver”

February 5, 2018

A 300 plus apartment-condo unit, a true monstrosity in the neighborhood, being built at the corner of Lowell and 38 Ave in NW Denver, here in the early stages of development. The structure is now completed, with people moving in. Typical of the nearly un-controlled growth taking place all over Denver.

Denver – actually pretty much all of the Front Range (of the Rockies) in Colorado – is experiencing a housing crisis. People are moving to Denver from all over the country at an alarming rate – with the metropolitan area (Denver-Aurora-Lakewood) now at close to 3 million. Denver’s population alone is now nearing 700,000 after decades of hovering around half a million. There are more than 1000 people a month coming here with no slowdown in sight. The demand for housing combined with are some of the most poorly regulated housing codes in the country has triggered dramatic demographic shifts as well. Rental rates have soared as have housing prices, resulting in, over the past decade, an epidemic of displacement of middle-income, working class and poor people. People of color especially, Blacks, Browns, Reds, are among the most adversely affected. No surprise as part of the mix that homelessness is also a serious problem with homeless folk numbers consistently above the 10,000 mark. Read more…

An Outsider’s Look at the January 18, 2018 Protests in Tunisia

January 20, 2018

 

An Outsider’s Look at the January 18, 2018 Protests in Tunisia The link takes readers to five commentaries at http://www.nawaat.org on the Tunisian protests. Below is my contribution somewhat more elaborated.

They’ve been sitting in cafes for seven years, maybe more.

As the news of the protest movement made its way into the media (to follow in far off Colorado), a vivid memory of Tunisia in 2011 came to mind. It was almost a year after the widespread revolt of initiating “the Arab Spring” which swept Zine Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi and their two completely corrupted extended family clans from power. Young men are sitting in a Tunis café in a not very prosperous neighborhood. They arrive in the morning as soon as the café closes; many stay all day, till late in the evening when the café closes, playing cards, talking. Day after day, all day. The coffee is subsidized, the government fearing what might happen if coffee was unaffordable.

They are in their great majority unemployed, bored, angry. Read more…

Jacques Foccart; Foccart Speaks But Says Very Little

January 13, 2018

Photo of the leaders of the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon – 1950s – the national movement for a truly independent post-French colonial Cameroon crushed by France with more than 200,000 killed. One of the key architects of this butchery – and that is what it was – Jacques Foccart. This is part of France’s history in Africa of which Foccart ne parle pas.

Jacques Foccart

I remember reading about a discussion that took place in the British cabinet at the end of World War II. Many of the cabinet members were worried about how “history” would view their role in the war, especially the British cowardly and blind kowtowing to Hitler prior to the war – Chamberlain’s concessions being high among them, the humiliating and utter defeat of the British force in Europe and the stampede withdrawal from Dunkirk, etc. But Churchill was nonplussed and commented, “History will be kind to me for I will write it.” Write it he did – a magnificence self-defense of his actions from the Boer War, through Gallipoli, the poison gas bombing of Iraq to British spinelessness in the buildup of the Nazi war machine. Historians have had something less than an easy task of deconstructing what is little more than a series of spins, exaggerations and lies that Churchill perpetrated. Among his other skills – indeed might have been a stone-cold reactionary defender of the British Empire, but no fool – Churchill was a master at “shaping the narrative’ – sometimes mistaken to be history.

For a variety of reasons, Jacques Foccart, Charles De Gaulle’s expert on Africa and no small personage in French 20th century history, tried to do likewise – to shape the narrative of French involvement in post-colonial Africa – but failed. He did so in a series of sixty interviews that became a two-volume work by Philippe Gaillard, entitled Foccart Parle (Foccart Speaks), a narrative that plays well domestically in France – with some notable exceptions – but, like the current president of the United States (2018) is not taken very seriously outside of French circles, and downright ridiculed pretty much everywhere in Africa. So Foccart failed where Churchill, at least for half a century, succeeded – in shaping the narrative.

It is now more than twenty years since Jacques Foccart, close adviser to three French presidents on African affairs, died of Parkinson’s Disease. Born in the Ambrières (Mayenne) France in 1913, he spent his early years in Guadeloupe; his family moved back to France in 1919 where he spent the rest of his life. During World War II Foccart, joined the French Resistance, serving directly under General Charles De Gaulle. It was during that period that the relationship between the two solidified. After De Gaulle’s death, Foccart remained in the Administration of Georges Pompidou. He formerly left political life in 1974 with Pompidou’s death, but returns to be an adviser of Jacques Chirac in 1986 until his death in 1997 from Parkinsons’ It would last a lifetime. Read more…

Kyler Grabbingbear, Lakota Sioux Youth, Killed In Adams County Colorado For Running Away From A Deputy Sheriff.

December 11, 2017

Kyler Grabbingbear

Kyler Grabbingbear, a 19-year-old Lakota Sioux who had dreams of being a surgeon is dead. He was shot by an unnamed Adams County Deputy Sheriff from whom he had fled and later gotten into a scuffle. Until now, the Adams’ County Sheriff’s Department has refused to identify the name of the deputy. The deputy sheriff was on another call – having nothing to do with Grabbingbear – when the latter saw the sheriff and took off running, believing that the authorities were after him for an unrelated minor driving infraction.

This evening (December 11, 2017) a memorial protest was held at the Adams County Sheriff’s Department in Brighton. I went to pay my respects and express my sympathy with the family. There were fifty-sixty people there, including Grabbingbear’s mother and father. Also there was Lynn Eagle Feather, whose son, Paul Castaway was shot and killed by Denver Police two years ago. The parents were in shock but spoke with dignity, doing their best to control their grief. The crowd was made up mostly of youth – of course I couldn’t tell exactly but most of the youth there seemed to be in their late teens and early twenties, some were Indians, others Anglo, virtually all in tears. A number of Indian adults were present as well. It was all dignified, profoundly sad.

And so now, once again, the calls for an investigation, for justice begins for yet another young man cut down in the prime of his life, from all appearances, killed because he ran away from poorly or inadequately trained “officer of the law.” According to the Washington Post, 1000 people a year are killed by police officers nationally; of those nearly half are non-white youth.

At the Protest-Memorial for Kyler Grabbingbear in front of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office