Friday, August 19, 2016

Fwd: [DW] CNet: Australia keeps refugees in technology limbo

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Steven Clift" <>
Date: Aug 17, 2016 12:39 PM
Subject: [DW] CNet: Australia keeps refugees in technology limbo
To: "newswire" <>, "" <>, "A List for Open Knowledge Networks in Australia." <>, "poplus" <>

Democracies Online
Photo of Steven Clift
CNet: Australia keeps refugees in technology limbo
by Steven Clift
in Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire

Part of "Life Disrupted" series of refguees and tech:
This is part of our Road Trip 2016 summer series "Life, Disrupted,"
about how technology is helping with the global refugee crisis -- if
at all.
Behrouz Boochani has been stuck on an island in the middle of the
Pacific for the past three years. He's 7,000 miles from home and still
far from the place he's trying to reach. His lifeline is a feeble
internet connection that he says is slowly turning his hair gray.
Still, he's only ever a few minutes away on WhatsApp.
The political journalist fled Iran after his offices were raided and
colleagues were arrested. Traveling to Australia to seek asylum as a
refugee, Boochani arrived by boat in July 2013 on the remote
Australian territory of Christmas Island, 1,000 miles off the coast of
Western Australia.
Enlarge Image
Hidden camera footage, obtained for thedocumentary film "Chasing
Asylum," shows the desperation that exists inside offshore detention
"Chasing Asylum"
That's as far as he got.
Not long afterward, he was transferred to Manus Island, Papua New
Guinea (PNG) and was told by the Australian government he wouldn't be
allowed to settle in Australia.
Unwilling to return to Iran and blocked from reaching Australia, he's
been working as a journalist and human rights advocate, writing
remotely from Manus Island. In 2013, he traded clothes and shoes for
about 50 cigarettes that he used to buy a beat-up mobile phone from
smugglers. When it was confiscated by guards, he had to sell more
possessions to buy another.
It's a reminder of the vital role technology plays in keeping refugees
across the world connected and the lengths they go to to keep in touch
as they face the most difficult journey of their lives.
Steven Clift - Executive Director, - +1 612 234 7072
@democracy - - My radio app

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fwd: Between Worlds: The Moth Mainstage in Pittsburgh on August 31st

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures <>

Trouble viewing this email? Read it online

See The Moth Mainstage at the Byham Theater!

Between Worlds: The Moth Mainstage in Pittsburgh

at The Byham Theater
101 6th St Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 
Doors open at 6:30 pm Stories begin at 7:30 pm

New and Noted Buy Tickets

Tickets are $45 for the first floor and $20 for the balcony.
All tickets are available online,  by phone at
412.622.8866, or at the Byham Theatre Box Office on August 31st between 5:30 and 7:30 pm.

Our Host:

Kate Tellers is a performer (Upright Citizens Brigade, Off Broadway), writer (the Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy, and teacher whose students range from fledgling eight-year-old stand-up comedians to Fortune 500 CEOs. In 2007 she discovered The Moth and has been a part of it ever since. She lives in Brooklyn with her furry husband, baby and dog.

Our Storytellers:

AdamAdam Edmund Linn is an American author and essayist. His work has been described as "brilliantly illuminating that poignant and often humorous intersection, where everyday life veers past the absurd and into the profound." Linn's recent work includes the satirical novel American Sexy. Several of his personal essays have been adapted for audio broadcast, airing on NPR's Snap Judgment, and the Yum's the Word Podcast. Linn is currently working on his memoir, Seeing Life, which explores the challenges of growing up without a father, going blind, and eventually becoming a father himself. In addition to his writing, Linn is an award winning director: his debut film, Smell the Light, screened at festivals around the world and on Canadian television. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Juliana, daughters Zoe and Isabelle, and Nadia, their lovable, but intensely co-dependent German Shepherd.

AbbasAbbas Mousa emigrated to the United States in 2009 from Iraq through the Special Immigrant Program for Iraqi translators and was granted U.S. citizenship. Mousa received his Master's degree in Economics in the summer of 2015 and now works as an Economist for the Department of Commerce. Mousa is currently writing his memoir and has two more novels to work on after finishing his first book.

CatherineCatherine Palmer is an audiologist and University professor. Her stories center around well-meaning parenting gone wrong resulting in various adventures around the world. She grew up in the Boston area and lived in Taos New Mexico, Long Beach California, and Chicago Illinois before settling in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where she and her husband have raised their two boys. She is a frequent storyteller at the Pittsburgh Moth StorySLAM.

KellyKelly e Parker is a mother, grandmother and partner, drummer, poet, jewelry maker, metalworker, crocheter, welder and professional driver. Kelly was born in Portsmouth, VA, raised in Washington, PA and became aware in Pittsburgh, PA. She started her work as an advocate for women (wimmin) and children, working first in domestic violence at age 17 and continued Social Services work in addiction, sexual assault, prevention and intervention with youth for the next 35 years. Kelly began using drumming as a means to work with at risk youth and families in 1989; through that work she discovered a love of African Drumming and culture. In 2005 she traveled to Africa to study drumming and drum making. She formed Abafasi ("Many Wimmin"), an all wimmins drumming group in 2006. Abafasi has performed in and out of Pittsburgh for the past 10 years, opening for artists such as Ngtozake Shange, Angela Davis, Maya Angelou and many others.

SuziSuzi Ronson has worked in various capacities for well-heeled individuals as a household manager, music producer and consultant in New York City, the Hamptons, Florida and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. She is a singer-songwriter who performs only for friends. She also loves horses and traveled on the horse riding circuit in the U.S. with a young girl who was competing. Suzi lives in the West Village of New York City, while her daughter and the rest of her family live in London. She swears she'll go back one day.

Our Musician:

SenaSena Jane Thompson is a Minnesota native who studied Suzuki violin from the age of three. She went on to earn a Performance Degree, studying classical styles with Marilyn Bos and Dr. Harry Dunscombe as well as composition with Steve Heitzeg. During this time she also attended the International Aspen Music Festival. In addition to her classical studies, Thompson studied jazz with violinist John Blake, the Turtle Island String Quartet, and Dr. Billy Taylor. She has also toured with the roots rock group The Urban Hillbilly Quartet and the new music ensemble Anahada Nada. Currently, she is a freelance performer and maintains a private studio in her home. Her most recent experience includes performing and recording with Pittsburgh's Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra and with jazz artist Carolyn Perteete. In her free time Ms. Thompson is songwriter, singer, and keyboardist for the band Viola Formica.

About The Moth

The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, and a recipient of a 2012 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions (MACEI). Through its ongoing programs—The Moth Mainstage, The Moth StorySLAMs, The Moth Community & Education Programs, and Moth Corporate Programs—The Moth has presented more than 17,000 stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth podcast is downloaded over 30 million times a year, and the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, produced by Jay Allison and presented by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange, airs weekly on over 400 radio stations nationwide. The Moth Mobile App for iOS and Android, and the international bestseller, The Moth: 50 True Stories (Hachette), are available now.

WESA logo small

Listen to The Moth Radio Hour in Pittsburgh, Sundays from 6 to 7 pm on 90.5 WESA. Support for The Moth Mainstage provided by The Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation.


Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures
301 S Craig Street Suite 200
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15213
United States

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fwd: Celebrate-Friday, August 12th, 3 pm--Successful Teens

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>

PLEASE JOIN US this Friday, August 12th, 3:00 pm at 5321 Penn Avenue to celebrate the summer achievements of youth in our community.


These achievements include:

·      170+ young adults successfully completed a summer Learn and Earn internship at local businesses and summer camps in the area,

·      22 high school students earned college credits in the Carlow Summer College Program,

·      3 young adults led financial literacy trainings for 100+ students thanks to support from Citizens Bank

·      100+ students recovered failed high school credits to get back on the path to graduating on time,

·      and MUCH MORE.


This is a great OPPORTUNITY to hear positive testimony from youth who participated in these programs. We will also have free food and music.


This is also an opportunity to thank the sponsors and partners who made these programs happen, including: 3 Rivers Workforce Investment Board, City of Pittsburgh—Pittsburgh Partnership, Neighborhood Learning Alliance, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Citizens Bank, Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center, Allegheny County, and the 70+ businesses and organizations that hosted summer learn and earn interns!





Rick Flanagan                                                                        Wesley Davis

Youth Development Director                                   Community Projects Coordinator

Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation                             Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation

Saturday, August 06, 2016


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kevin McCarthy <>

Dear Michael:


I hope you are having a great summer with family friends and AAU activities!  This is Kevin McCarthy with SKWIM International and SKWIM USA.  I am reaching out to you today in the wake of several local North West youth drownings this summer, to open a dialogue with you about the AAU and regarding the new and growing water-sports game entitled SKWIM. 


SKWIM™ (pronounced like 'swim' but with the added 'k', 'skwim')  is an internationally growing 8-year old water-disk sports game for the whole family and all of the community.  The game dynamic and equipment allows the activity to be enjoyed from ages 5 to 95.   SKWIM is played in both shallow and deeper water, both recreationally and competitively, and by beginning, intermediate and advanced swimmers.  SKWIM is the very first water sport game to invite all ages and abilities to participate despite their ability or inability to swim, and therefore has the growing potential to quickly become the most widely played and enjoyed water activity ever.  SKWIM programming includes learn-to-swim, open water safety and lifesaving curriculum and is coached by certified lifeguards.   


I am reaching out to you in this 'Olympic' season because I want to learn more about the AAU and any interest the AAU might have locally and nationally in helping to enhance water safety through game play.  Unlike any other physical activity, swimming provides simultaneous full-body exercise and therapy.  Also unlike any other physical activity, water exposure takes the lives of thousands each year in the USA and hundreds of thousands internationally.  SKWIM USA was founded in 2010 as a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to significantly reduce the drowning rate in the USA and to also help curb the international drowning rate, by offering an engaging and interactive team game that both teaches and certifies youth and adults in water safety and lifesaving aquatic skills.  


The game of SKWIM promotes swimming, communication and teamwork within an exciting and engaging structure, while encouraging individual self-expression and style.  SKWIM shares the vital success traits of soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, football, hockey and cricket, which are globally the most popular sports activities for participation and for spectatorship – and all interactive team games.   



Games provide the vast majority of player, spectator, media, retail, wholesale, commercial, and fan engagement, of all the athletic and physical activities.


1)     An implement for passing to teammates and scoring (a soft SKWIM Disk)

2)     Interactive Strategic Team Play (The SKWIM Disk is played on the water)

3)     A Score zone or goal for each team (enhanced by 360-degree scoring in SKWIM)

4)     Personalized Uniforms and or headwear (SKWIM Team Headbands, Jerseys with numbers and names)

5)     Specialized Footwear (PDF SKWIM Fins which increase speed, maneuverability and safety in open-water)

6)     Lifetime and Generational Play (SKWIM Starts at age 5 and is easily played into late senior years)

SKWIM is the first game to feature all of these elements in aquatic play.  SKWIM is governed by the nonprofits SKWIM USA and SKWIM international.  The game equipment is distributed by the international lifesaving brand eLifeguard in Florida. I hope the AAU might find this game to be a great match for its mission in the water, and that we can explore ways to help youth find water safety, fitness, and aquatic team play.  SKWIM is developing cooperative relationships with the Red Cross, USLA, USA Swimming, U.S. Aquatics Sports, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, JCC, CYO, Special Olympics and Diversity in Aquatics.  We hope to build a relationship also with the AAU for 2017 play. 


Michael, if you would like to join in on a recreational SKWIM game, you are invited any Friday evening to join in at the Evans Pool Green Lake- Seattle at 6:45pm, which hosts a family SKWIM game for all ages!


Hope to see you there!






Coach Kevin I. McCarthy

SKWIM® Global Development

Cell  1 - 425-802-2167  (USA)

Address: 1125 205th Avenue NE

Sammamish WA  98074-6654 USA

Transform your pool, your community, and public safety with SKWIM® game play!     



   -     RESPONSE            -             ENDURANCE             -            DISTANCE    -

International SKWIM® Certification

Water Safety, Spirit and Sportsmanship through SKWIM® Game Play



SKWIM® USA is a 501c3 non-profit





Saturday, July 16, 2016

Summer Reading for a LONG ROAD to the future

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Hemington

Many of us, myself included, are searching for some way of changing the destructive neoliberal domination of much of the world.  It is now crystal clear that whomever is elected president in November will continue these neoliberal/ neoconservative policies which have devastated so much of the Middle East and Southeast Asia and wreaked havoc on non-elites in the U.S. and Europe.

This will mean that playing the game as structured by the dominant political parties in the U.S. will no longer be an option.  Bernie Sanders demonstrated this by cravenly submitting to endorsing Hillary Clinton on her terms.  It will mean that serious local community organizing will become an essential focus of any alternative strategy.  If change is to come it will come from the bottom up and not from assaulting the powers-that-be directly on their turf.  It will be a radical alternative to what is.

This is and will not be a simple quick fix for the multitude of systemic issues we face.  It will require serious, hard-fought, slogging victories at local, state and regional level in order to succeed.  Fortunately there is a model which can be followed, that of the religious right and the Tea Party operatives.  It will take dedication and commitment on the part of all involved – and it will take time.  But I can see no other alternative.

To succeed we need to work to elect committed folks to the "basement" offices at the local and state levels of government and, where possible, national representatives.  Because of the difficulty of establishing working third-parties in this nation some of it may have to take place within the dominant political party structure.  The key, however, is to find and elect people who will not sellout when elected – and, if they do, immediate defeat them at the next opportunity.

I believe that anyone seriously considering such an effort should first be well-grounded in the history and development of the current neoliberal/neoconservative worldview.  I have just finished an excellent, informative and, in my opinion, essential book in coming to grips not only with the ideological precepts involved; but also the methodology utilized in converting large swaths of the American public into blind supporters of this ideological trap.  The book is The Age of Acquiescence:  The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power.  Steve Fraser traces these developments from the end of the Civil War until the present.    Whether you are familiar with this history or not this is an exceptionally revealing historical and current analysis of where we are and how we got here.  It is the best source I have yet encountered explaining the existing divisions within our society and the reasons behind them.  Following is some information about and a couple of reviews of the book:

A groundbreaking investigation of how and why, from the 18th century to the present day, American resistance to our ruling elites has vanished.

From the American Revolution through the Civil Rights movement, Americans have long mobilized against political, social, and economic privilege. Hierarchies based on inheritance, wealth, and political preferment were treated as obnoxious and a threat to democracy. Mass movements envisioned a new world supplanting dog-eat-dog capitalism. But over the last half-century that political will and cultural imagination have vanished. Why?

THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE seeks to solve that mystery. Steve Fraser's account of national transformation brilliantly examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts to protect the democratic commonwealth, and the great surrender to today's delusional fables of freedom and the politics of fear. Effervescent and razor-sharp, THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE will be one of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year.

"Steve Fraser is that rare writer who combines a deep knowledge of history with a penetrating analysis of our current political and social condition. Here, in the lively prose that marks all his writing, he probes the similarities and differences between America's two gilded ages – the late nineteenth-century and today – offering provocative observations about why the first produced massive popular resistance and the second resigned acquiescence."―Eric Foner, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

"Over the last few years, there's been a wealth of books describing our new Gilded Age and bemoaning the extreme economic inequality that now defines modern America. Steve Fraser's fascinating The Age of Acquiescence is indispensable because it explains how that happened, how America's long standing opposition to concentrated wealth was defeated. Steve Fraser, in other words, is Thomas Piketty with politics, providing a crucial guide in helping the ninety-nine percent understand the terms of their defeat and, more importantly, how it can once again go on the offensive."―Greg Grandin, author of The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World and Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City

"A splendid and illuminating book. Fraser's writing is clear-headed and free of cant. I know of no better an accounting for the division of America over the last forty years into a minority of the terrified rich and a majority of the humiliated poor."―Lewis Lapham, editor of Lapham's Quarterly and author of Pretensions to Empire: Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration

"Steve Fraser has given us a sweeping account of the economic and cultural changes in American society that combined to create an earlier era of working class struggle and hope, and then in our present moment have generated quiescence and despair.  Read this book for its synoptic account of the ways that cultural manipulation have accompanied intensifying economic exploitation.  But read it also to snatch glimmers of a better future from the past."―Frances Fox Piven, author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America

About the Author

Steve Fraser is the author of Every Man a SpeculatorWall Street, and Labor Will Rule, which won the Philip Taft Award for the best book in labor history.  He also is the co-editor of The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order.  His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York TimesThe NationThe American ProspectRaritan, and the London Review of Books.  He has written for the online site, and his work has appeared on the Huffington PostSalonTruthout, and Alternet, among others.  He lives in New York City.