WHAT THEY SAY IS WHAT THEY WILL DO REGARDLESS OF GOVERNMENT CODE OR STATUTE.
As American citizens are pushed from being homeowners to being tenets we are seeing as well in US cities where the rich and global investment firms are buying and owning houses. When this happens we lose all of what used to be strong tenet rights. Cities like Baltimore have always protected landlords but across the nation this is a growing trend.
The examples today may not be life-threatening but we must have our government providing good information and not simply saying anything. I am standing on a street corner when the same citizen places her residential trash along the street next to a street trash can. I inform her that is not legal she must take her trash behind the apartment complex to use that disposal location. She says her landlord will not provide trash cans. This is a multi-unit building and the landlord IS REQUIRED to provide trash cans. When landlords have too much power they simply ignore tenet rights and VOILA----TENETS ARE FORCED TO BUY TRASHCANS. What happens then as a tenet stakes claim on a trash can in an alley where anyone can use it? This is why landlords ARE REQUIRED to provide trashcans.
I CALL BALTIMORE CITY'S 311 CITY SERVICES LINE AND THE STAFF TELLS ME LANDLORDS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE TRASHCANS---THAT TENET MUST BUY HER OWN TRASHCAN.
Now, if someone is new or not aggressive in finding the right information we see tenet rights disappearing with bad information. This staff person was not going to stop to check her information-----
Re: Landlord responsibility to provide trash cans to tenants
From: John Kyle
email: pres at boltonhill dot org
Agree: I ACCEPT the Guidelines, POST this message
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
Date: 06 Aug 2007
From an April 2007 publication: "In a single-unit building, the occupant is responsible for providing garbage cans. For all other dwellings, the landlord is responsible for providing a sufficient number of garbage cans for tenants." This is in "Housing Code Enforcement," a handbook for Baltimore City residents published jointly by the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. The handbook encourages the reader to check out www.baltimorehousing.org and click on "Housing Code Enforcement," and notes that the "Building, Fire and Related Codes of Baltimore City" (BFRCBC) can be found in its entirety at http://cityservices.baltimorecity.gov/charterandcodes
One reason for the increase in wrong info with no desire by staff to look up local city code MAY BE that our US city call centers have been OUTSOURCED and the people we are talking to when we dial 311 are not even in our city. She takes my message and keys it in and it gets sent to each US city's call center/agency. I am very sure this is what is happening. Baltimore these several years of Rawlings-Blake had audits finding 311 call centers were not performing duties as funding seemed directed elsewhere. What's the best way to get consumers to stop calling to complain----ask any global corporation with a call center.
“And then just gave up and walked away from that money, because it basically wasn’t worth my time,” Charney said'.
THIS WILL BECOME COMMON IF US CITIES ARE DEEMED INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONES-----THERE IS NO US CITY CODE IN FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
City Leaders Say Sacramento 311 Service Call Centers Are Overwhelmed
May 29, 2015 6:51 AM
2SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento’s goal is to answer most 311 calls within a minute. But, according to the city auditor, people usually wait much longer than that – some as long as half an hour, and that’s if their calls are even answered at all.
“I was impatient. I’d chunked a bunch of quarters into a ten-hour meter, then all of a sudden it died,” said Robert Charney, one person who has had a bad 311 experience.
When a parking meter ate Charney’s quarters, he dialed 311 – Sacramento’s catch-all, non-emergency call center.
Charney says he waited, and waited on hold.
“And then just gave up and walked away from that money, because it basically wasn’t worth my time,” Charney said.
According to a new city audit, Charney’s frustrating experience is not too uncommon.
“[It’s] an area that needs significant improvement,” said Jorge Oseguera, a Sacramento City Auditor.
Oseguera broke down the numbers: The city’s goal is to answer four out of every five 311 calls within a minute. Out of the nearly 370,000 calls last year, that only happened 31 percent of the time.
In fact, the audit shows about one in every four callers waited more than five minutes on hold – and about in one in five calls didn’t get answered at all.
“People are on the phone for 10, 15, 20 above 30 minutes in some cases. That is definitely something we need to address, given that 311 provides such a critical service for the city, and is the face of the city,” Oseguera said.
Why the long wait times, and what’s the city doing about it?
Sacramento’s IT department says call volume is way up – by about 30,000 calls each year.
To improve response times, the call center just hired three new employees. The city is pushing people to use its 311 app and redesigned website in hopes of decreasing calls. They’re also adding new technology – like voice recognition – to their phone system, so people can get things done without having to wait on hold.
“It’s really something I think could get taken care of,” Charney said.
The city says the new staff has already helped improve wait times. The IT department is also looking at new ways to proactively reach out to people who’ve already made service requests so they don’t have to call back to follow up.
After calling 311 about sanitation issues I waited some more for a bus by taking a free newspaper from the news stand to read. In this case the Baltimore Times had a front page article saying unemployment for black citizens was down to almost full employment!
National media are deliberately present two sets of numbers for unemployment---the Federal Labor stats that are taken from unemployment benefits stats giving those low unemployment figures. The Participation in Workforce stats have been the source of real unemployment trends these few decades of LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT. People are being categorized as not wanting jobs when indeed high percentages of citizens do want jobs but are being made DISCOURAGED.
Below we see an article saying just this----I am posting it not to draw immigrant labor into these employment stats---placing refugees should be no problem----there are plenty of jobs that could be created but the only ones hiring are the global corporate campus jobs.
Baltimore – With Hefty Black Unemployment Rate – Is Planning On Bringing in More Syrian Refugees
Jim Hoft Sep 14th, 2015 4:30 pm
Baltimore city is planning on bringing in more Syrian refugees this year.
Unemployment among young black men is at 37% in Baltimore.
There is nothing more insulting than to pick up a US media report that keeps lying about the extent of American unemployment. This misrepresentation affects all Americans but especially women and black citizens. Since the only work being done is on global corporate campuses-----then the global labor pool will be the only hiring and they do not factor into UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. Restaurant hiring is indeed the job area creating most jobs and is also one of the lowest wage jobs.
Here we see a Baltimore media outlet using a far-right 1% Wall Street global corporate neo-liberal think tank---Brookings Institute for employment policy discussion.
'According to The Hamilton Project, an economic policy think tank at the Brookings Institution, the economy would need to add 204,000 jobs every month until May 2017 to reach pre-recession employment levels'.
Becoming unemployable ----do you know the monthly job creation figures-----150,000----250,000 have been for these several years part-time and temporary---each time a worker is laid off from those jobs the next month that new part-time and temporary worker becomes that month's hiring stat. All age brackets are wanting REAL employment and are being allowed to be called LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED AND UNEMPLOYABLE.
'North says this helps explain part of the participation rate woes among America's prime-age workers. Individuals who were laid off during the Great Recession and were out of work for a few months, or even years, fall behind on their job skills and have a harder time getting a job, he says.
"Those people become unemployable for two reasons. One is they lose their job skills and the technology around them has changed so much that they need new job skills and can't get them," he says. "And the second part of it is it's a real impediment to employment when you submit your resume and your cover letter to a hiring manager and it shows you've been basically out of work for the last three years."'
Black unemployment rate falls in August
Freddie Allen | 9/9/2016, 9 a.m.
(NNPA) — The unemployment rate for black workers improved from 8.4 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August, according to the latest jobs report from the Labor Department. Even though the black jobless rate has decreased more than one percentage point since last year (9.4 percent in August 2015), it is still nearly double the white unemployment rate (4.4 percent).
Nationally, the economy added 151,000 jobs in August, but the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9 percent, the same mark set in July and June.
The labor force participation rate, which measures the share of workers that are employed or looking for jobs, was 61.9 percent for black workers in August, an increase from 61.2 percent in July and only a slight uptick from the black labor force rate last year (61.7 percent in August 2015). The participation rate for white workers was 62.9 percent in August, July and June and has only edged up slightly since last August (62.6 percent)
The unemployment rate for white workers was 4.4 percent in August, the same mark set in August 2015, and a slight increase from the 4.3 percent rate recorded in July.
The unemployment rate for black men over 20 years old was 7.6 percent in August, an improvement from 8.2 percent in July. The jobless rate for black women over 20 years old was 7.1 percent in August, which was a step forward from the 7.3 percent rate a month ago.
The unemployment rate for white men over 20 years old was 4.1 percent in August, the same as July. The participation rate, which was 72 percent in July showed no improvement. The unemployment rate for white women was 3.9 percent in August slightly higher than the 3.7 percent mark set in July.
The unemployment rate for Hispanic workers was 5.6 percent in August 2016 a step back from the 5.4 percent rate set in July.
According to The Hamilton Project, an economic policy think tank at the Brookings Institution, the economy would need to add 204,000 jobs every month until May 2017 to reach pre-recession employment levels.
In a statement about the August jobs report, Main Street Alliance, a national network of small business coalitions, noted that growth in the retail and restaurant sectors signals “increased consumer confidence and spending heading into the holiday shopping season.”
The Alliance also reported that Washington State led the nation in small business job growth and Seattle topped the list of metropolitan areas.
“With job creation and small business success widely attributed to consumer confidence and spending, it is hard to ignore Seattle's rising minimum wage and the role boosting the wages of the lowest-level earners played in earning them the top spot on the list,” the Alliance statement said.
The Labor Department also reported upward trends in several service industries, including food services and drinking places.
Bill Spriggs, the chief economist for the AFL-CIO, a national group of 56 unions that represents more than 12 million workers, noted gains in fast food jobs and in health care in a series of tweets last Friday.
“Despite whining about minimum wage increases, fast food establishments gain 34,000 last month, 312,000 over the year,” Spriggs tweeted.
Spriggs suggested that the black unemployment rate likely decreased, “for right reasons,” because the employment-population ratio, which is the share of the population that is currently employed also improved from July (56.1 percent) to August (56.9 percent).
Spriggs also tweeted that black workers that earn associate degrees experience a 5.4 percent jobless rate, which is only slightly better than the unemployment rate for white high school dropouts (5.6 percent).
In a statement recognizing the importance of Labor Day, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), said that although America has made significant strides toward an economic recovery in recent years, too many working people are still going without the basic necessities.
“It does not have to be this way,” said Scott. “Ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to make a decent life for themselves and their families is the central challenge of our time. Whether we rise to meet that challenge will define us for generations to come.”
After taking this Baltimore Times newspaper telling me that Baltimore is nearing full employment I then checked the local bus through a cell phone tracking system now that we do not have bus schedules posted at most stops. MTA TRACKER service has bus consumers having to seek out where our buses are on route rather than expect those same buses to arrive at a scheduled time. It is crazy stuff.
So, I enter the codes to see how long I will wait for the Baltimore Circulator to arrive and it tells me 3 minutes. Three minutes comes and goes and I enter the code and now the tracker is telling me 15 minutes. What is happening is Circulator has been over these few years of its service slowly removing routes to save money---what was a bus coming every 15 minutes went to every 20 minutes ---and is now around 25-30 minutes. As we see in this article---what was supposed to be simply a downtown free shuttle is now covering much of city center. This is because Baltimore is PRIVATIZING MTA with VEOLA TRANSPORTATION and simply expanding that privatization with extended routes. So, now it takes longer----and routes being cut to save money-----leaving citizens constantly getting UNRELIABLE TRACKING DATA for bus schedules. The same of course is happening with our public MTA buses. It devolves down to citizens simply standing and waiting however long to catch a bus in Baltimore.
Remember, the goal of outsourcing MTA is simply to kill public transit---not to provide quality service. This article states if Circulator cannot do it we will outsource it to another contractor. All that needs to be done is make free-ride zones for existing public MTA buses.
They will no doubt decide Circulator needs to charge bus fees and we will still not be able to have a routine schedule
Baltimore extends Charm City Circulator contract for $12.4M
Charm City Circulator Orange photographed on E Pratt Street. (Cassidy Johnson, Baltimore Sun)
Luke BroadwaterContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
City cuts deal to run Charm City Circulator until 2016.City officials on Wednesday extended the contract of Veolia Transportation to operate the popular Charm City Circulator for 18 more months.
The $12.4 million deal keeps Veolia as the bus service's contractor until July 2016. The new deal includes a 1.6 percent increase in the hourly rate paid to Veolia, because of an "increase in the vendor's labor costs," according to Board of Estimates documents. The board approved the contract extension Wednesday.
City officials are "working right now to evaluate the Circulator and to look for efficiencies," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. "I believe that work is important because the Circulator is one of the highest rated city services that we offer. ... If that means we have to have an extension to continue that work, I think that's important."
IT'S A GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD FOR SLAVE LABOR.
The contract extension gives the Department of Transportation time to seek competitive bids to operate the free bus service, which began as a way to shuttle passengers around the downtown area, and now connects Locust Point to Mount Vernon and Johns Hopkins Hospital, city officials said.
In 2009, former Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration introduced the Charm City Circulator, and approved a five-year agreement with Veolia Transportation, Inc. The bus service quickly became a hit. More than 4 million people use the Circulator each year.
Charm City Circulator running $11.6M deficit Last year, Rawlings-Blake said the circulator was operating at an $11.6 million deficit — which is projected to expand to $73.2 million over the next 10 years unless city officials figure out how to pay for it.
The mayor said her administration is evaluating whether to eliminate routes or increase wait times, charge a fare or raise the tax on parking in city garages. Rawlings-Blake said officials plan to first study ridership trends and that she wants to exhaust all options before considering a fare or parking-tax increase.
A consultant has been hired for $130,000 to explore options, and a report was due in January. Kathy Dominick, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation, said the consultant's report is "still not finalized at this time."
Baltimore OKs study on Charm City Circulator fees Rawlings-Blake said the city is still exploring what to do next.
"We're taking a look at those options now," she said.
WE DO NOT HAVE A BROAD CITIZEN VOICE ON ANY MEDIA PROGRAM----QUOTED IN PRINT MEDIA----SO THE TALKING POINTS STAY THE SAME.
Baltimore media has a long history of allowing only a select few organizations and leaders access to major public forums for discussion. Whether this forum is a selected panel----or a leader from a few major organizations---we hear the same voices on these same issues with no ability to reach beyond a set of talking points. Folks around the nation listening to National Public Radio--APM will hear from a Sheila Kast or a Dan Roderick for weekday scheduled programming. WYPR is Baltimore----and it is Johns Hopkins no matter how much they say not. It comes from a Bush/Hopkins neo-conservative or a Clinton/Obama neo-liberal viewpoint-----when citizens listen to these programs they are not aware of where and from what policy discussions come.
This discussion on charters and the NAACP which finally made a stance for stopping the advancement of charters in black communities calling it a mirror of subprime mortgages and they are right----is between two organization leaders we always go to when talking about issues of education. I love DAVON LOVE----he always says good things but Leaders of the Black Struggle are the predominant voice in education as is MARYLAND CAN AND KIPP.
As always any think tank referenced by WYPR will be Clinton neo-liberal and corporate as with EDUCATION WEEK-----a Bill Gates and corporate education journal. Do Baltimore citizens attend a KIPP because of choice or because family choices are limited? KIPP has been outed in more than one investigation and in research for doing just what was said----skimming and keeping the better students. Private donations from facilities to scholarships draw students to what is a national Wall Street charter chain.
The Charter School Debate
By Sheilah Kast & Maureen Harvie • Sep 8, 2016
Credit Maryland GovPics/Flickr via Creative Commons
The country’s newest and oldest civil-rights organizations are calling for a halt in opening new privately-managed charter schools. The NAACP compared expanding charter schools in poor communities to the sub-prime mortgage disaster, and expressed concerns that charters have increased school segregation rather than encouraging integration. Here in Maryland, charters are non-profits, authorized by local school boards. A third of Maryland’s pupils are African-American, but in charter schools here 4 out of 5 pupils are African American. Is that just because most of the state’s charters are located in Baltimore city? Do those who run charter schools represent public goals and values? We’ll talk to a reporter covering the national debate, a community activist and former charter school principal.
Here is our Baltimore Sun newspaper and it too only gives voice to the same groups of organizations and leaders and in this case it is BUILD. BUILD is that national Wall Street Development Corporation organization that PRETENDS to be fighting for low-income citizens but always pushes the development that most harms US city citizens. There are BUILDs in many of the US cities deemed International Economic Zones and in each case they ultimately support and MOVE FORWARD development tied to MASTER PLANS of US cities as ONE WORLD.
Here is how ridiculous it gets. Everyone knows these TIF and corporate tax deals are bad for the city-----most understand that a global corporate campus like UnderArmour will not end well for Baltimore and its citizens----everyone is sick and tired of these corporate subsidies----and every time BUILD comes in and says it negotiated good terms for poor citizens while negotiating with corporations that lie, cheat, steal, and never do what these agreements say.
Baltimore Sun reporters will go right to these same groups----to the same leaders for comment on all issues and of course---we hear the same talking points this time on development.
WE NEGOTIATED A STRONG DEAL SAYS BUILD----OH, REALLY???????
Now, if we look at who is pushing this we see Brown Memorial Park Ave right in the center of Bolton Hill------Bolton Hill will be one of the most wealthy of city center communities as this MASTER PLAN MOVES FORWARD.........this may be why Rev Connors is losing his perspective on bringing global corporate campuses with global factories known all around the world for enslaving labor and devastating environment
Current ministry----Rev. Andrew Foster Connors
The current pastor of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Church since 2004 is Andrew Foster Connors. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in 2001. He is a recipient of the prestigious David H. C. Read Preaching Award, named for Presbyterian clergyman and author David H. C. Read of New York City's Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Baltimore Sun and BUILD are tag-teams in making sure only establishment candidates for Mayor of Baltimore are heard in major election venues and forums.
BUT THEY PROMISED BUILD SAID 30 YEARS AGO-----BUT THEY PROMISED BUILD SAID 2O YEARS AGO-----BUT THEY PROMISED BUILD SAID 10 YEARS AGO----AND THEY PROMISED LAST YEAR AND THE YEAR BEFORE-----AND IGNORE THOSE PROMISES EVERY TIME.
Is Brown Memorial or Rev Connors going to take on all that bond debt after this coming economic crash from bond market collapse and fraud? I think they are nervous this economic crash will happen before all these bond deals are in place.
Activists call for City Council to force vote on stalled Port Covington bill
On Monday, the Baltimore City Council is set to vote on two of three bills pertaining to the Port Covington development. The third bill is stuck in committe but could be drafted out. (Emma Patti Harris/Baltimore Sun video)
Luke BroadwaterContact Reporter
The Baltimore Sun
Several council members said they support a move to draft the stalled Port Covington bill out of committee.An influential group of Baltimore ministers is calling on the City Council to force a vote next week that would greenlight the Port Covington development, bypassing the committee where necessary legislation has stalled. Several council members say they would support such a move.
"We're terribly frustrated," said the Rev. Andrew Foster Connors of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, which negotiated a $100 million community benefits deal with the developer. "We've delivered an unprecedented deal. It needs to be brought to the council for a vote."
The Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee, chaired by Councilman Carl Stokes, unexpectedly stopped short Thursday night of approving $660 million in bonds for Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank's Port Covington development. After approving two of three necessary bills, Stokes abruptly called the meeting to a close without explanation.
Stokes later told reporters he was concerned that the public had not had time to thoroughly review the $100 million deal Plank's Sagamore Development Co. made with the city. The agreement had been announced hours earlier.
Stokes also expressed concern about projections that show city schools would lose millions of dollars in state funding as a result of the project.
Stokes delays vote on Port Covington financing, leaving deal in temporary limbo
But Foster Connors and other proponents of the development say the deal with Sagamore addresses those concerns. It states that the developer will not request any bonds be issued "if there is a projected negative impact on State education funding for Baltimore City Schools."
THE COLLAPSING BOND MARKET WILL TAKE OUT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
"We did everything Chairman Stokes asked us to do, including protect education funding," Foster Connors said. "We have no idea what he's doing at this point."
Two of three bills authorizing the bond deal for Port Covington are up for a vote Monday before the 15-member City Council. Stokes' committee passed them, 3-0, Thursday night. The bills create a special taxing district for the Port Covington development.
Union says workers should be guaranteed more pay for Port Covington work The bill that didn't get a committee vote would authorize the $660 million in bonds, which would pay for roads, utilities and other infrastructure. The bill could be forced out of committee if eight members of the City Council vote to do so.
Several members told The Baltimore Sun on Friday that they support such a move.
"It's time for the full council to vote on it," said Councilman Eric T. Costello, who represents the area. "It's a great project. We spent a great time in negotiations. I'm hopeful the project can move forward."
Sagamore, the Rawlings-Blake administration, key City Council members and BUILD — which had opposed the project — spent weeks negotiating the community benefits deal, thought to be key in winning the council's approval of the Port Covington project.
The $100 million deal builds off a $39 million agreement between the developer and six neighborhoods near the project. That agreement includes $25 million to train workers at a new Port Covington training center and $10 million for no-interest loans or other funding streams for minority- or women-owned startup businesses.
The developers also agreed to hire at least 30 percent of all infrastructure construction workers from Baltimore, pay a minimum wage of at least $17.48 an hour, and set aside 20 percent of housing units for poor and middle-class families — though 40 percent of such housing may be built elsewhere in the city.
City Council Vice President Ed Reisinger said the way Sagamore negotiated with nearby neighborhoods, including Cherry Hill and Westport, encouraged him to support the project.
"It's sad that the leadership is not there in the committee," Reisinger said. "In all the years I've been on the council, there's never been a developer who was investing like this. And they have to deal with this craziness and lack of leadership?
"I apologized to them for what happened last night. Who is going to want to come into Baltimore to invest if they have to deal with this? It's frustrating. It's crazy and it's stupid."
Stokes said Thursday night that he believed the deal required more study, and he planned to bring the final bill up for a vote within a week. He said Friday that he would oppose any effort to bypass his committee.
"The committee has asked for another week," Stokes said. "I voted for the first two bills. I stand by what I said. I'm good with that."
City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke agreed, saying she does not support any move to force the bill out of committee. Clarke said she believes the legislation needs more work and plans to introduce amendments requiring the Port Covington developers to pay a $23-an-hour "prevailing wage" to all construction workers.
She also plans to introduce an amendment that would require all companies that move into the development to pay their employees a "living wage."
"I think the committee has acted responsibly," Clarke said. "This is giving everyone a window to say, 'Let's take another look.' This is a big, big deal. We're deferring decades of tax revenue.
"This is a reasonable thing and it's an appropriate thing. We deserve to have this time out."
Sagamore has proposed a mixed-use waterfront development that would include a new headquarters for Under Armour, restaurants, shops, housing and manufacturing space, among other features. The land includes the site of The Baltimore Sun's printing plant, for which the newspaper has a long-term lease.
Sagamore has asked the city to float $660 million in bonds to build infrastructure for the project. The developer would have to pay back the bonds through future taxes.
Critics contend such deals divert money for decades from the city's general fund, where tax revenue could pay for services, such as firefighters and schools.
Barbara Samuels, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, argued that the council should not vote on the Port Covington deal without more work — citing what she views as weak guarantees for affordable housing, local hiring and good wages.
"I can't believe anyone is even considering voting on a bill, given they don't know what they're voting on," Samuels said. "They don't have the profit-sharing agreement and the new [memorandum of understanding] hasn't been made public yet. Clearly, Councilman Stokes felt uncomfortable with the way things were going."
But City Councilman Robert W. Curran said he's met with proponents and opponents of the deal, and supports bypassing the committee.
"In five years, will the city be better off with this or without this?" Curran said. "I think the city will be much better off with it. It will be a nice place to live and a nice place to shop."
Councilman Brandon Scott agreed. He said the community benefits agreement attached to the project could serve as a national model for development.
"I am very pleased with how this project is so much different than the ones before it," Scott said. "The way this project was negotiated will change how these projects are dealt with, not just in Baltimore, but around the country."
If you noticed two things happened in media soon after the 2008 economic crash. National Public Radio NPR and American Public Media went global corporate with only Wall Street global neo-liberal/neo-con think tank and public policy discussions. NPR had been captured to the far-right these few decades but it went officially to being GLOBAL NATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE----with Market Place Money taking lead on story content. This trickles down to our local public media----Maryland's public TV and radio is all corporate.
The second thing we saw was the roll out of TED-----this is the global ONE WORLD media format that quite frankly doesn't care if anyone listens. What these stations and media outlet are doing is creating what will be public policy history for the 21st century. Just as we had socially progressive news journals last century to which we search for historical perspective----TED is simply creating that historical perspective whether WE THE PEOPLE listen or not. Remember, this is the world of the 1% and their 2% and we can simply watch if we want.
As the article below states----it is simply an exercise in self-importance. The people highlighted on TED are the same being highlighted on our national news media only TED gathers those folks from each nation and allows them to be heard by other nations. It is an insular media platform and if someone is invited to be part of TED----you know they are 5% OR 2% to the 1%!
All of this is designed to MOVE FORWARD WITH ONE WORLD AND GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONES---they don't speak about stopping or reversing this global neo-liberalism ---they are simply expanding existing policy. No talk of billions of people around the world fighting against ONE WORLD and the NEW ECONOMY.
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.
Our Mission: Spread ideasTED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, we're building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world's most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.
In fact, everything we do — from our Conferences to our TED Talks to the projects sparked by the TED Prize, from the global TEDx community to the TED-Ed lesson series — is driven by this goal: How can we best spread great ideas?
TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. Our agenda is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.
The trouble with TED talks
In the cult of TED, everything is awesome and inspirational, and ideas aren’t supposed to be challenged, says Martin Robbins.
By Martin Robbins
- I've long been amused by the slogan of TED, makers of the ubiquitous TED talks. TED’s slogan is this: ‘Ideas worth spreading.’ Apparently TED has some ideas, and we should spread them. What ideas? Ideas that TED in its infinite wisdom has picked out for us, ideas which are therefore implied to be true and good and right. What should we do with these ideas? We should build a message around them - slick presentations by charismatic faces captured in high definition - and we should spread that message far and wide. If this doesn’t yet sound familiar, try replacing ‘TED’ with ‘GOD’. ‘Ideas worth spreading’ sounds more like the slogan of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I start with a talk by Rob Legato, and sixteen minutes later I’m aware of only three things: the talk was awesome, I can’t remember anything of substance from the talk, and I’m now watching a weirdly artificial standing ovation - by sheer coincidence a camera happens to be pointed at some of the first audience members to rise to their feet; then the rest of the audience follows, compelled by social instinct to follow their peers. Of course standing ovations occur more frequently in homogenous audiences, and what better crowd could there be than social elites who’ve invested thousands of dollars for the opportunity to bask in the warm glow someone else’s intellectual aura.
I choose a talk by Ben Goldacre next, a man whose work I know and enjoy. Ben’s high-speed presentation style was once described by a fan as like being ‘skull-fucked with his data-cock’, and his appearance at TED did little to restrain his exuberance, but I found myself switching off after a while; I’d seen his talk before, at The Royal Institution. In fact, virtually none of the talks I watched were particularly new or original – presentations that are that well-polished rarely are.
One of the common charges against TED is that it’s elitist, and yet many of the speakers were the sort of people you might find at your local ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ event. The genius of TED is that it takes capable-but-ordinary speakers, doing old talks they’ve performed many times elsewhere, and dresses them up in a production that makes you feel like you’re watching Kennedy announce the race to the moon.
The videos aren’t given star ratings; instead you have to rate them by checking words from a list: ‘jaw-dropping’, ‘persuasive’, ‘courageous’, ‘fascinating’, ‘beautiful’ and an array of similarly vapid adjectives. Cameras lurk below the eye-line of the speakers looking up at their sharply defined forms, picked out by spotlights against dark backgrounds like a Greek god’s statue in a museum display case. The crowd acts as a single helpful entity; laughing when it should laugh, whooping when it should whoop, awwing when it should aww. Quotes are picked out and highlighted as if they carry some profound truth: “There's no such thing as a dumb user,” says Timothy Prestero, a designer who has clearly never read the user comments on Comment is Free. Or indeed the articles. There are no questions here: in the cult of TED, everything is awesome and inspirational, and ideas aren’t supposed to be challenged.
The problem with this evangelical approach, discarding the voice of scepticism and mindlessly parroting ‘fascinating’ ideas instead of challenging them, is that you risk spreading some utter codswallop. A couple of weeks ago, TED posted a list of the 20 most-watched TED talks to date. Occupying third and fifth place is pair of talks viewed more than sixteen million times, dedicated to a “paradigm-shifting” technology with “thrilling potential” from 2009. It was called ‘SixthSense’.
Nope, nor me. And yet its inventor, Pranav Mistry, is described by the on-stage TEDster as a ‘genius’ and “truly one of the two or three best inventors in the world right now,” the latter assertion based, amusingly, on “the people we’ve seen at TED.” That Mistry is talented and clever I wouldn’t dispute for a second, but words are cheap, and they get cheaper when overused. The presentation looks to my tired eyes like a slightly ropey sales pitch, except the ruthless interrogators of Dragons’ Den have been replaced by a whooping, clapping audience displaying the world-weary cynicism of an arena-full of Beliebers. Anyone who posed a meaningful question in this environment would be treated like they’d thrown a shit in someone’s face.
With the world’s easiest audience, many inaccuracies and errors go unchallenged. A talk by Terry Moore on algebra was littered with unsourced claims about Spanish language and history. Their coverage of science topics is at best superficial, and sometimes downright misleading. Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s infamous claim that bacteria could incorporate arsenic into their DNA led to a huge backlash from the scientific community, during which she refused to engage with critics and said that: “Any discourse will have to be peer-reviewed in the same manner as our paper was, and go through a vetting process so that all discussion is properly moderated.” Not long afterwards, she signed up to do a distinctly un-peer-reviewed TED talk. ‘Ideas worth spreading’ . . . except in this instance the ideas didn’t survive peer-review.
Ultimately, the TED phenomenon only makes sense when you realise that it’s all about the audience. TED Talks are designed to make people feel good about themselves; to flatter them and make them feel clever and knowledgeable; to give them the impression that they’re part of an elite group making the world a better place. People join for much the same reason they join societies like Mensa: it gives them a chance to label themselves part of an intellectual elite. That intelligence is optional, and you need to be rich and well-connected to get into the conferences and the exclusive fringe parties and events that accompany them, simply adds to the irresistible allure. TED’s slogan shouldn’t be ‘Ideas worth spreading’, it should be: ‘Ego worth paying for’.