Archive for the ‘From us to you’ Category

“What’s incredible about this is these people were actually hiding,” said López. “In the case of this person, he’s in Boston, which has a large Puerto Rican community. … Our work right now will be about activating our community in Boston, letting them know this person has been hiding and making sure we go to his houses and his companies to hold them accountable.”

Here he is folks! Go get him!

From the Intercept

For years, the identity of the owner of one of the largest holdings of Puerto Rican debts has been a mystery.

That mystery has finally been solved, with the help of the The Baupost Group, who unmasked themselves to The Intercept. The Baupost Group, a Boston-based hedge fund managed by billionaire Seth Klarman, owns nearly $1 billion of Puerto Rican debt, purchased under a shell company subsidiary and hidden from public scrutiny. Baupost acquired the debt through an on-paper Delaware-based corporation named Decagon Holdings LLC, whose beneficial owner had been unknown until now.

“The Baupost Group is a holder of COFINA bonds through the Decagon entities,” said Baupost spokesperson Diana DeSocio. “Baupost regularly makes investments through subsidiary holding entities.” She added that Klarman, one of the richest hedge fund managers in the world, did not hold any Puerto Rican debt individually.

Though the island, currently recovering from a catastrophic hurricane, has been mired in a borrowing crisis for years, it’s difficult to get precise information about the creditors. Many of them scooped up bonds on the cheap, seeking an astronomical payout by forcing the island to pay them back at par (or 100 cents on the dollar). This has led to widespread suffering, as punishing austerity has been imposed to encourage Puerto Rico to pay back the bondholders in full. (Only now has some of this austerity been lifted in the wake of Hurricane Maria.)

Using shell companies to buy Puerto Rican bonds, then, can shield wealthy investors from public knowledge of their complicity in the misery of millions of U.S. citizens.

Julio López Varona, state director of Make the Road Connecticut and a member of the HedgeClippers coalition, which is organized to challenge the concentrated power of hedge funds, said the revelation of Klarman’s involvement will have political ramifications.

“What’s incredible about this is these people were actually hiding,” said López. “In the case of this person, he’s in Boston, which has a large Puerto Rican community. … Our work right now will be about activating our community in Boston, letting them know this person has been hiding and making sure we go to his houses and his companies to hold them accountable.”

In July, as part of a court order to comply with bankruptcy procedures, a coalition of holders of “COFINA” bonds, backed by the island’s sales taxes, were required to supply the names of its members. The largest member in terms of bond value was Decagon Holdings, which had 10 separate purchasing subsidiaries (Decagon 1-10) holding $911.6 million in COFINA bonds.

But there was no information about Decagon in the court filing, other than a Boston address of 800 Boylston St. That’s the 52-floor Prudential Tower skyscraper in the Back Bay district. The Intercept sent an associate to the Prudential Tower to find Decagon Holdings’ office, but they were not listed in the directory. (more…)

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Yes we are old fashion we refuse to use (his)-story month. Its all of ours not just his so we use ourstory. Let’s begin with the great sign.

and may we add fuck you if you don’t like it.

You remember from our other stories that Arvey Jones as a young man fled his home in Good City with only the shirt on his back, nothing in his pockets except a comb, heading for New York, New York. If you don’t remember the story you can make one up as you go along. Here is Arvey’s recollections of a coffee pot, the one in the photo, that he has been carrying around in all of the travels and settling in over the course of the last 50 some years.

Coffee Pot view with handle.

It was a sunny Saturday, the kind of day that everyone enjoys except for those who like it blasting cold with snow swirling or raining. Yes, I do know there are folks who like such things and I am one of them who likes all things. Never has the weather made me mad, or to cry out loud, “This fucking weather is going to fuck up my plans.” No what ever the weather the weather may be if its good enough for Mother Nature then its good enough for me. I was walking down on the Bowery, the old Bowery not the superficial one that is the Bowery now. The real deal Bowery of flop houses, cheap bars, panhandlers, A.I.Residence, junk shops, cheap clothing stores, used restaurant equipment, and down and out folks all over the place. Gerry warned me, “Stay a night in one of those hotels and get bugs like you wouldn’t believe.”  There was a junk store or a “we got a bit of everything” type of a place that I loved to poke around in and see what I could find. The owner, a delightful older Jewish man took to me right away and we had many a good talks when ever I was around. Well I spied what was to become my coffee pot for many a years after that. If not traveling to my new destination then packed away in my old trunk, stored in someone’s home until I could come back and retrieve it. Coffee pot 5 cents, couldn’t go wrong. A drip coffee maker that Carl told me was a French Drip Coffee Pot and that it made some very good coffee. Some of the best. Here look I have the same type in my back room. Sit down awhile and I will make us a cup of coffee. Carl’s brother ran a business out of the West Village, a work ready place where assignments would come in and he found the people to fill it. He got me the job that I had at the time. He told me about Carl’s store and said I should stop by there as he had good things cheap. Not in it for the money but for something to do. When the going got tough for some folks they knew that if they had something to sell go and see Carl. He was fair and would throw in a couple of extra dollars just because. One thing he wouldn’t deal with was the junkies. I can spot them a mile away and don’t want any of their stolen property. They want to get sober, well I know folks who would help them. But if not stay away.

Coffee all made I have to admit it was some of the best coffee that I had ever drank. So began my love affair with my French Drip Coffee pot. You know I think that if I had one bag to bring on my journeys I would leave out a change of socks, underwear, or any thing else just so my coffee pot would fit. It was my security blanket, a reminder of my home, a token of closeness. This coffee pot has traveled to San Francisco and back to NYC. The pot traveled through all the states in the middle of America. In a suitcase to Sterling City, California and a small steamer trunk to Davenport Iowa. It was in my trunk when I moved to Woodstock New York and came here in the same trunk when I moved to Hartford in 1978.

Coffee Pot view with spout.

I will never forget the afternoon that I couldn’t find my coffee pot. Where, oh where, was it? I searched and searched. I even went out to the dumpster pulled out the bag of trash that I had put in and searched. I finally gave up and said, It must have vanished in thin air or I have a little elf in the house playing tricks on me. I looked at my cat Sammy, “Sammy did you see my coffee pot?” and he meowed back. Well later in the day I went into the refrigerator to get some juice and there I spied it. In a real lapsed I had put the coffee put behind the milk and the juice. “Alleluia,”  I yelled and they heard me the other side of town. Sammy cat came into the kitchen to see what was going on.  Well I went about making a nice cup of coffee so happy that I had found my coffee pot.

I gave up coffee and my French Drip Coffee pot around 20 years ago. At that time there was a scare about using aluminum cooking utensils. But I hung on to the coffee pot. It resurfaced again when I was packing to move. I had placed it in a large kettle stored with a box of candles, wooden matches, and small cooking pans. There in the emergency kettle was my dear old coffee pot. The items were suppose to be used if the lights went out and we needed to cook on a steno burner.  I thought to myself, “How foolish you would never be able to heat up enough boiling water to use in the pot.” So guess what ? I am going to turn it into a work of art. Yeah, Yeah, art.  Now I can’t promise that I will have a show, put the coffee pot in it and make coffee as I would not want to be accused of helping anyone’s diseases along the way. I am sure we all got something brewing in us and of course its not from one cup of coffee from a aluminum drip coffee pot, but you know how it is now-a-days. Everyone knows everything, some know something, there are jack of all trades running around, and a bunch of goof balls in change of the United States. I once knew a anarchist woman who thought a beautiful bouquet of flowers was disgusting because the vase had come from Walmart. Honey get out of the way, you are not going to make any change that way.

So enjoy my photos of the coffee pot and my little recollections. I know just the artist that may want it for one of his terrific installations. I will ask him or maybe leave it on his door step. On the door step would better but I’m not sure where he lives.

Many thanks to Arvey Jones for this first person account of his French Drip Coffee Pot.

 

 

Chick-fil-A funds anti-LGBT youth home in Georgia

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Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A – which once pledged to treat LGBT people with honor after donating millions to anti-gay groups – is again funneling money to anti-LGBT organizations, including one in Georgia that proclaims homosexuality is evil.

So much for CEO Dan Cathy’s charm offensive and pledge to focus on chicken and not anti-LGBT causes.

The company’s charitable foundation made headlines in 2011 when IRS filings showed it pumped millions into anti-LGBT groups. It didn’t help that soon after Cathy dissed gay marriage and criticized LGBT activists. Cathy later apologized, said the foundation would curtail its donations to anti-LGBT groups and promised to use only his inside voice when condemning LGBT equality.

Nevermind that years later, little has changed with the company’s charitable giving. The foundation’s most recent IRS filings show that it donated more than $1.4 million to anti-LGBT groups in 2015, according to Think Progress.

The donations include more than $200,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which is in Vidalia. The facility calls homosexuality an evil that is caused by the abuse of children. Via Think Progress: (more…)

June-July 2017 – Volume 38, No. 3

Tribute to gay rights pioneer Tamara Turner

Historian, wit, and flagrant socialist feminist, 1940–2017

Megan Cornish
June 2017

A foremother of the LGBTQ movement, Tamara Turner graduated from the anti-gay 1950s school of hard knocks. She played a crucial role in shaping the Freedom Socialist Party’s (FSP) groundbreaking program for queer liberation. She was a historian of the gay movement, an ardent bibliophile, and a brilliant satirist who filled her 77 years with commitment, generosity, and humor. Turner died March 22 in Seattle after a long battle with leukemia.

Playwright and director Drew Emery says of her, “She had a quick wit, an undying passion for social and economic justice, and she was flat-out one of the best storytellers I ever knew. I learned a lot from her and have long considered her one of my heroes.”

Merging gay liberation with Marxist feminism. Tamara was the first open lesbian to join Radical Women, FSP’s sister organization, in 1972. Her loyalty was won after extensive discussions of lesbian oppression led her to the conclusion that Radical Women (RW) was serious about gay liberation.

Tamara shared her knowledge of history with the organization, from the influence of early lesbian and gay writers to the origins of the homosexual movement. She particularly brought to life the period of the anti-communist McCarthy witch hunt. She explained how the taint of being queer was used to get rid of radicals, and vice versa. She told her own story of being forced into counseling at the University of Washington for her supposed “mental illness” of lesbianism and of freeing herself from this requirement by declaring herself “cured.”

Raised on her mother’s single income, Turner had a deep knowledge of the centrality of class exploitation and its interconnection with gender and sexuality oppression. So it was logical that she soon joined FSP as well. As she later became fond of saying, “Capitalism can’t have its cake without eating ours too!”

Her influence led to socialist feminist theory embracing the understanding that the oppression of sexual minorities, like sexism and racism, is rooted in the private property system, and dependent on the nuclear family. And she mentored a flood of new lesbian and gay members who joined the party and RW.

But as this multi-issue, class-based analysis gained traction in the gay community, fireworks erupted. In 1973, lesbian separatists spray-painted the RW and FSP meeting hall with slogans like “Straights out of lesbian politics.” Tamara participated in the stinging defense of the right to be radical that followed.

Organizing, writing, spinning ideas. While working for the Pierce County Library system in the mid-1970s, Turner was elected to the union’s contract bargaining team and initiated the selection of FSP founder Clara Fraser as chief negotiator. The resulting landmark contract won a substantial wage and benefit increase, plus a guarantee of constitutional rights on the job, a model grievance procedure, extended seniority rights with separate affirmative action lists, and a broad nondiscrimination clause.

Later in her professional life, she was Director of Medical Library Services at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital for 17 years.

Tamara helped produce the Freedom Socialist in its early years and wrote prolifically for the paper, including the satirical column Malice Aforethought under the byline Ms. Tami. (Her articles are available at socialism.com.) She wrote and performed in innumerable comedy sketches and roasts over the years, with her Elvis Presley impersonation a fan favorite. (more…)

Furbirdsqueerly sends out a liberation greeting to all of our readers, friend, comrade and foe. Here is one of our favorite liberation warriors who we celebrate today and everyday. How many times over the years have we said the same. No Pride for Some of US without Liberation for All of US! or as I use to say, I do not want my rights if all of my comrades can’t have theirs. (note to the mainstream)

Marsha P (Pay It No Mind) Johnson

The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson

You know this happened to us last time when we were up here in Vermont. We were handed a two dollar bill in our change not once but twice. Strange we never see a two dollar bill in Connecticut.

 Well dear hearts if we were in Ecuador this would be our lucky day. A two dollar bill there is considered to be good luck. Here in the U.S and no one knows for sure why the two dollar bill is considered to be unlucky. Well its just plain old money to me and that’s that. I got enough to worry about without some superstitious fools telling me the two dollar bill I got back in change is unlucky. But you know what I will do says dear old Olga, I’ll keep it just in case. Stick it in my box and hope that some how some money will find its way to me and I promise with no fingers crossed that if it does I will then become a believer in the power of the Two Dollar Bill. ( 1 ) Not paying too much attention to the news Olga thought she heard that some man was robbed in his home and among the items taken was a stash of two dollar bills. Police wanted info from folks if they received any two dollar bills and where they got them from. Damn if I know snorted Olga, and does anyone really think that I would hand over my two dollar bill to the police. Nah I’m no fool the next thing you know they would be here in my hotel room asking all sorts of questions and then take my two dollar bill away and I would never get it back. I’ll just keep it and be quiet. The very next day Bessy Marie reported that she also got a two dollar bill in her change. Somethings up at the store across the street.

Out the Train Window

Olga was so happy that in many spots along the route the train slowed down. Really down, a crawl. Better to look out the window and see what I can see. I love looking out the window as everything passes by. Sometimes I go and stand at the back of the train and look out the back door at everything receding down the track. Goodbye, see you on the way home.

Image result for skunk cabbage

Skunk Cabbage

You know Skunk Cabbage always got a bum rap. Smelly stuff that grew around the sewer outlets in the town where I grew up. One time as children we pick a whole bunch and threw the leaves on old Mrs. Wilson’s front porch. She was a nosy old crone, always yelling at the kids in the neighborhood, calling our parents for anything and just a all around mean lady. Well we were having none of that. I think someone’s aunt told us to go pick some skunk cabbage and rub in and throw it all over old lady Wilsons porch. Well that is just what we did.

A few years later I found out that Skunk Cabbage, (yes it does smell like a skunk) was a healing plant and worked wonders for many a people. I first heard about the use of Skunk Cabbage from Mrs. Bates a member of the Wongnuk Tribe who lived in my home town. Her nephew and I would accompany her out to gather wild plants, nuts, roots, barks and berries in the woods. She told us, people take Skunk Cabbage for a variety of reasons bronchitis, asthma, cough, and whooping cough. It is also used for painful condition such as join and muscle pain, headache and toothache. It is used for treating infections such as worms, ringworm and scabies. Once when old grandfather Bates got bitten by a snake we used Skunk Cabbage and you know he lived to be we think 106. Mr. Bates loves to eat Skunk Cabbage and I cook up a batch of leaves for him. Many times some of the herbalists I know have used the tea for a blood purifier and to stop bleeding from surface wounds. Here is something that I bet not many folks know. The root of the Skunk Cabbage may live several hundred years or perhaps over a thousand as long as the soil that it grows in is undisturbed. Check out a plant if there are numerous leaves then you can bet the rhizome is old. This species has survived through millions of years since the Cretaceous period. ( 2 )

I never saw flowering skunk cabbage but here is a photo I found of what the flowers look like.

Fiddlehead Ferns (more…)