Saturday, October 08, 2011

Occupy Together: Legitimacy

FACT CHECK: Romney misfires on defense : Associated Press News Article: "Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised in his first major foreign policy speech to reverse "massive defense cuts" that actually have not happened. And he pledged to deploy missiles and ships that already are largely in place."

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Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Together: The Daily Show from October 5

As usual, many good points...


As for Ann Coulter's comments in this clip, here are some words from Facebook...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Occupy Portland - October 6, 2011: Photographs

From 2011-10-06 Occupy Portland

Currently editing and uploading the pictures from yesterday to Picasa:

2011-10-06 Occupy Portland

Update: 8:00 PM - I've been working on these off and on all day. I need to break for the night before my eyeballs fall out. I'll get the rest up tomorrow.

Occupy Together: Fox News Will Lie About This

From 2011-10-06 Occupy Portland

Comic: God hates who?

Spotted by Jacob Cardwell on Facebook.


Time for a little levity: "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Some Monty Python posted by Occupied Portland Media on their Facebook page.

Lewis Black on 2012 Candidates, Obama, and visiting Occupy Wall Street

Actually, I am in complete agreement with him on Obama.  Someone who speaks in paragraphs was definitely all I was expecting out of his presidency (the system is too rigid for real change on the pace most people were hoping for), so I am much less disappointed than many on the left.

Anyway, I love Black.  His host, much less so, but she doesn't talk too much.

Lewis Black Live at Occupy Wall Street from Turnstyle Video on Vimeo.

Occupy Wall Street Protests Sprout 928 Offshoots On Overnight

Occupy Wall Street Protests Sprout 928 Offshoots On Overnight: "Occupy Wall Street, which began with a couple hundred protesters in Manhattan’s financial district Sept. 17, has sprouted “Occupy Seattle,” “Occupy San Francisco” and several other solidarity events in more than 200 cities across the U.S.

The independent events, some simply community discussions, have been loosely tracked with Facebook, Google maps and links lists. Now, group meeting platform is assisting the protesters in their grassroots efforts.

“We were contacted by the good people at, who got in touch because they heard we were in need of some technical assistance and advice,” says a blog post on Occupy Together, a site linked by Occupy Wall Street websites and protest publication The Occupied Wall Street Journal‘s Kickstarter page. “Little did we know we’d go from listing 4-5 locations in one night to receiving hundreds of emails in a day. We were slowing the flow of information because us volunteers weren’t able to keep up.”"

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Thousands demonstrate during Occupy Portland (Photo Essay) |

Thousands demonstrate during Occupy Portland (Photo Essay) |

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Occupy Portland - October 6, 2011: Video - Police Liaison Meeting

1:23 PM - Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon. Occupy Portland Rally.

Occupy Portland - October 6, 2011: Photographs

From 2011-10-06 Occupy Portland

Currently editing and uploading the pictures from yesterday to Picasa:

2011-10-06 Occupy Portland

Update: 8:00 PM - I've been working on these off and on all day. I need to break for the night before my eyeballs fall out. I'll get the rest up tomorrow.

Winning hearts and minds

Wall Street Journal: neutrinos show climate change isn’t real | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

Wall Street Journal: neutrinos show climate change isn’t real | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine:

OpEds — editorials expressing opinions in newspapers — are sometimes a source of wry amusement. Especially when they tackle subjects where politics impact science, like evolution, or the Big Bang.
Or climate change.
Enter the OpEd page of the Wall Street Journal, with one of the most head-asplodey antiscience climate change denial pieces I have seen in a while — and I’ve seen a few. The article, written by Robert Bryce of the far-right think tank Manhattan Institute, is almost a textbook case in logical fallacy. He outlays five "truths" about climate change in an attempt to smear the reality of it.
I won’t even bother going into the first four points, where he doesn’t actually deal with science and makes points that aren’t all that salient to the issue, because it’s his last point that really needs to be seen to believe anyone could possibly make it:
The science is not settled, not by a long shot. Last month, scientists at CERN, the prestigious high-energy physics lab in Switzerland, reported that neutrinos might—repeat, might—travel faster than the speed of light. If serious scientists can question Einstein’s theory of relativity, then there must be room for debate about the workings and complexities of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Seriously? I mean, seriously?

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Occupy Portland - October 6, 2011: Video - Drums

2:01 PM - Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon. Occupy Portland Rally.

Occupy Movement: Librarians on the March

Stole this one from Ken McComb on Facebook. I am not sure where it was taken, but I like it.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A sad headline for Mitt Romney

Can Mitt Romney finally convince Republicans he’s the frontrunner? | The Ticket - Yahoo! News: "When Chris Christie decided not to run for president in 2012, the media spectacle cast light on the dueling storyline of the Republican race so far: The party's effort to find a candidate who can beat President Obama next year--while also finding a candidate who is not Mitt Romney."

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Occupy Portland: Thursday, October 6, 2011

From 2011-09 (Sep)

ABOUT OCCUPY PORTLAND, OR | Occupy Portland"A note from the Morale Team and Occupy Portland Organizers regarding posts on this page, the forum, the facebook group or any other gathering place virtual or otherwise in Occupy Portland’s name: Occupy Portland WILL NOT tolerate calls to violence, drugs or illegal activity (property destruction etc). Please find a different place to debate those topics, and if you become aware of any topics of this matter PLEASE let us know so we can take the proper actions against instigators. Thank you so much!"

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The Occupy Portland Model | Occupy Together"As we have followed some of theses group’s efforts we’ve seen many different approaches to organizing. We’ve also fielded many questions on advice and how to information on effectively organizing. We wanted to feature Portland as an example for those of you would like a model to follow or to take from as they have done a great job joining and organizing efforts in a very short amount of time. Of course, each group dynamic is going to vary and what worked for Portland may not work for you, but at least this will give you an idea of how others are doing it.

A couple of members from Portland filled us in on their process:

Basically it all comes down to networking and extensive planning. The initial construction of the Occupy Portland Facebook group was backed by some pretty frequent tweeting. Once we started getting a huge following, there were more and more discussions popping up on the Facebook group. We were discussing where it should be, what Portland laws were regarding “urban camping”, as well as a number of other concerns. We then held a General Assembly to further organize where were all in consensus with our future actions and demonstration details. After we compiled notes from the GA, we discussed them further on the Facebook group. Once we had the frame work of what everyone wanted and expected we set up a Facebook page and web site to better organize and announce future details."

Occupy Seattle/Occupy Wall St.: Video from Seattle (10-2-2011)

Looks like the Seattle Police Department and the protesters are handling things a bit differently than they did on N30, over a decade ago.  Also looks like the crowd is smaller by several thousand people.  Video spotted by The Young Turks on Facebook.

Is it legal to marry your cousin as long as you are not the same gender? Sure, in these states.

Spotted by Rhonda on Facebook.

Sarah Palin Out

So it looks like our 2012 GOP primary ballot is finalized. Have fun with that, Republicans. Are you ready for a Mormon, former centrist governor of Massachusetts as your candidate or should you just concede to Obama right now?

BBC News - Sarah Palin says she will not run for president in 2012: "Mrs Palin said in a statement that the decision came after much thought, and that she and her husband, Todd, "devote ourselves to God, family and country"."

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Neal Stephenson discusses America's"Innovation Starvation"

This is a very good essay by a writer I enjoy alot.  His novel Anathem is one of my favorite books ever.  It is the first novel I ever read where, as soon as I finished it, I turned back to the first page and started in again...  He is worth listening to.

Found this one via Brad on Facebook.  Thanks!

Innovation Starvation | World Policy Institute - johniac's posterous:

"I worry that our inability to match the achievements of the 1960s space program might be symptomatic of a general failure of our society to get big things done. My parents and grandparents witnessed the creation of the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, and the computer to name only a few. Scientists and engineers who came of age during the first half of the 20th century could look forward to building things that would solve age-old problems, transform the landscape, build the economy, and provide jobs for the burgeoning middle class that was the basis for our stable democracy.

The imperative to develop new technologies and implement them on a heroic scale no longer seems like the childish preoccupation of a few nerds with slide rules. It’s the only way for the human race to escape from its current predicaments. Too bad we’ve forgotten how to do it.

“You’re the ones who’ve been slacking off!” proclaims Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University (and one of the other speakers at Future Tense). He refers, of course, to SF writers. The scientists and engineers, he seems to be saying, are ready and looking for things to do. Time for the SF writers to start pulling their weight and supplying big visions that make sense. Hence the Hieroglyph project, an effort to produce an anthology of new SF that will be in some ways a conscious throwback to the practical techno-optimism of the Golden Age.

China is frequently cited as a country now executing on Big Stuff, and there’s no doubt they are constructing dams, high-speed rail systems, and rockets at an extraordinary clip. But those are not fundamentally innovative. Their space program, like all other countries’ (including our own), is just parroting work that was done 50 years ago by the Soviets and the Americans. A truly innovative program would involve taking risks (and accepting failures) to pioneer some of the alternative space launch technologies that have been advanced by researchers all over the world during the decades dominated by rockets.

But to grasp just how far our current mindset is from being able to attempt innovation on such a scale, consider the fate of the space shuttle’s external tanks [ETs]. Dwarfing the vehicle itself, the ET was the largest and most prominent feature of the space shuttle as it stood on the pad. It remained attached to the shuttle—or perhaps it makes as much sense to say that the shuttle remained attached to it—long after the two strap-on boosters had fallen away. The ET and the shuttle remained connected all the way out of the atmosphere and into space. Only after the system had attained orbital velocity was the tank jettisoned and allowed to fall into the atmosphere, where it was destroyed on re-entry.

At a modest marginal cost, the ETs could have been kept in orbit indefinitely. The mass of the ET at separation, including residual propellants, was about twice that of the largest possible Shuttle payload. Not destroying them would have roughly tripled the total mass launched into orbit by the Shuttle. ETs could have been connected to build units that would have humbled today’s International Space Station. The residual oxygen and hydrogen sloshing around in them could have been combined to generate electricity and produce tons of water, a commodity that is vastly expensive and desirable in space. But in spite of hard work and passionate advocacy by space experts who wished to see the tanks put to use, NASA—for reasons both technical and political—sent each of them to fiery destruction in the atmosphere. Viewed as a parable, it has much to tell us about the difficulties of innovating in other spheres.

Innovation can’t happen without accepting the risk that it might fail. The vast and radical innovations of the mid-20th century took place in a world that, in retrospect, looks insanely dangerous and unstable. Possible outcomes that the modern mind identifies as serious risks might not have been taken seriously—supposing they were noticed at all—by people habituated to the Depression, the World Wars, and the Cold War, in times when seat belts, antibiotics, and many vaccines did not exist. Competition between the Western democracies and the communist powers obliged the former to push their scientists and engineers to the limits of what they could imagine and supplied a sort of safety net in the event that their initial efforts did not pay off. A grizzled NASA veteran once told me that the Apollo moon landings were communism’s greatest achievement."

Another article on suburban opiate junkies

Suburbia's Now the Opioid Front Line | The Fix: "Rates of opioid abuse and overdoses are skyrocketing in southwest Pennsylvania, particularly in the suburbs, as people who become addicted to strong painkillers turn to cheaper heroin and mix it with benzos. The suburbanization of Pennsylvania's problem echoes what's been noted in other areas of the country like Chicago. “The trend is unbelievable with what we’ve seen here,” Holly Martin, a psychologist and COO of Greenbriar Treatment Center in Washington, Pa., told The Fix. “We have more heroin and opioid addicts in treatment than ever before. Ten years ago, about three percent were opioid admissions, and now it’s almost 50 percent.” "

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bank Consolidation Chart

GOP senior officials quietly trying to restore science to their agenda | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

GOP senior officials quietly trying to restore science to their agenda | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine: "The attacks on science by the far right are not new, but the openness and outspoken nature of it are fairly recent. Even Newt Gingrich, who used to a be a strong supporter of science, is making Michele Bachmann-level misstatements about it.
So I was very glad to read an article at the National Journal saying that older leaders of the Republican party are trying to re-establish the role of science in the GOP:

But quietly, many acknowledge a deepening GOP schism over the issue, as many moderates grow increasingly disturbed by their party’s denial of proven science. A number of influential Republicans who have left the battlefield of electoral politics are now taking action in an effort to change the GOP’s stance."

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Occupy Wall Street: A couple Facebook posts from Nicholas D. Kristof...

Thanks for your comments on my "Occupy Wall Street" column, and apologies to those like Christy and Jessica who thought I sounded condescending. And if you have trouble with the link, try this: My basic take is that capitalism itself is an amazing system for raising living standards (hey, I lived under Communism, in China), but that banking needs better regulation to function properly -- and that we need plenty more accountability all around. Other suggestions for measures to recommend welcome as well.

My column looks at the "Occupy Wall Street" protests: Are they Tahrir on the Hudson? More important, I offer some suggestions for specific reforms to address the protesters' concerns. Read the column and let me know what you think.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Dangerous Minds | First ‘official’ statement from the Occupy Wall Street movement

A little strange seeing an ad for TGIFriday's at the top of the web page this lives on, but what the hell?  The revolution will need chicken wings.

Dangerous Minds | First ‘official’ statement from the Occupy Wall Street movement:

This was unanimously voted on by all members of Occupy Wall Street last night, around 8pm, Sept 29. It is our first official document for release. We have three more underway, that will likely be released in the upcoming days: 1) A declaration of demands. 2) Principles of Solidarity 3) Documentation on how to form your own Direct Democracy Occupation Group. This is a living document. you can receive an official press copy of the latest version by emailing
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.
Via reddit

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Nice design: Occupy Wall Street

Organizations with good design sense have a short cut into my heart.  Isn't this true with most political movements?  "Yeah, those guys are scary, mean, and bad for the country, but they have great design, so what the hell?  Hand me a brown shirt."

But these Occupy Wall Street folks do have some legitimate points...

Occupy Wall Street on CNN iReport

Full disclosure:  I haven't had a chance to look through these yet

Occupy Wall Street protests continue: News & Videos about Occupy Wall Street protests continue - CNN iReport"The protests, dubbed "Occupy Wall Street," are a decentralized and leaderless movement begun by activist magazine AdBusters and modeled after social-media-driven demonstrations in the Middle East. The sit-in is planned to last for two months, or longer.

Are you attending or covering the protests in Wall Street? Have you witnessed the marches, sit-ins, and arrests taking place? Send us your photos and video."

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A moment of levity: Just who f***ed it up?

Spotted this on  Funny and fun.  What is great is that it works for all sides, the left, the right, and the center, because whomever you are...  Well, I am pretty sure it wasn't my side who fucked it up.

Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations & A Virtual March on Wall Street: An email from

From 2011-09 (Sep)

More information, new to me, at least...  But I've been in an intentional media blackout for a few days.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

An email from

Occupied Wall Street

Over the last two weeks, an amazing wave of protest against Wall Street and the big banks has erupted across the country.

In Seattle, San Francisco, Ohio, and Boston (where 3,000 people rallied),1 grassroots groups have shut down banks and held sit-ins to demand that giant banks pay their fair share of taxes, end the foreclosure crisis, and create jobs.
In financial centers like Chicago and Atlanta, hundreds of people have set up encampments in front of major financial institutions for round-the-clock demonstrations.
Outside Los Angeles, community members have been running a 24-hour vigil around the home of Rose Gudiel, who faces eviction after getting foreclosed on for being two weeks late on a mortgage payment after her younger brother was murdered.2
But the biggest protests are on Wall Street itself. "Occupy Wall Street," which began with a brave group of young people, has swelled to thousands of students, unemployed folks, union members, and others who have persevered through intense police harassment and mass arrests to sustain a rolling 24-hour-a-day protest against the bankers who've wrecked our economy and undermined our democracy.3
On Wednesday, MoveOn members will join labor and community groups in New York City for a huge march down to the protest site—the biggest yet.
And because we can't all be in New York, we're going to stage a massive "Virtual March on Wall Street" online with our friends at Rebuild the Dream. Together, we'll add hundreds of thousands of voices of solidarity from the American Dream Movement for the protests across the country and show just how widespread outrage at the Wall Street banks really is.
The protests on Wall Street have been running for two weeks straight and are only getting bigger every day. The signs, placards, and chants focus on standing up for what the protesters are calling "the 99%" of us who are suffering while Wall Street bankers grow richer by the day.
In a telling moment last week, a group of bankers even went so far as to mock the protests while sipping champagne from balconies overlooking thousands of people marching down Wall Street.4
But adding mockery to the callous disregard for our country that we've seen from the big banks isn't slowing down the Occupy Wall Street movement one bit. The protests on Wall Street are set to grow even more this week and solidarity actions are already planned in dozens more cities.
You can see what's planned in your area by visiting the solidarity site Occupy Together:
And you can sign up to add your voice to the national "Virtual March on Wall Street" online here:
Thanks for all you do.
–Justin, Robin, Peter, Elena, and the rest of the team
1. "BofA's Boston Building Draws Protesters; 21 Arrests Are Made,", September 30, 2011
2. "La Puente Family Fights Eviction from Foreclosed Home,", September 29, 2011
3. "Anti-Wall Street Protestors Vow to Keep Up Fight," Reuters, October 2, 2011
4. "Occupy Wall Street Protestors Meet Champagne Sippers,", September 30, 2011  

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, the police, and the New York Times

Spotted by Bryley on Facebook...

It is a small tweak, but it does shift the emphasis.  It changes the focus from the police to the demonstrators as the actors to whom the other party was responding to.

I really haven't been paying any attention to these demonstrations yet.  I plan on taking a closer look next week. But this did catch my eye and I wanted to share it.

Still, I do not think there was an intentional shift in the bias here.  Another reporter was also added to the by-line and I am assuming that the story was updated with more details here during the 20 minutes between one screen capture and the other.

However, these little sorts of tweaks, when done unintentionally, can have a small effect on the readers' interpretation of events.  When done somewhat intentionally, they can have a larger effect.

I would guess that the change might have come from information the second reporter had from the police that was unavailable to the first reporter, such as... "No, we didn't want to let them on the bridge, but we couldn't stop them in time."

Having not read the article, I do not know for sure.  But I suspect that this change is meant to be more innocent than it looks.  However, I do agree that the effect it has on the reader may be significant.