Saturday, November 12, 2011

Occupy Portland: Violence

Last night when I got home from taking my 11.11.11 pictures and videos, we were talking about the Occupation. My twelve year old told me that the news was saying that the camps were "building weapons," that he saw it on the news. I poo-pooed him. This morning, I apologized after seeing some of the news clips from yesterday.

I am sensing a disconnect between the news coverage and the reality of the situation in the camps. But I haven't been there, so I do not know for sure.
Survival stores busy ahead of Occupy Portland eviction
Protesters tell FOX 12 that some demonstrators are gearing up for a fight.
Police remove plywood, concrete from Occupy Portland:
A skirmish erupted this afternoon when officers went into the Occupy Portland camp to remove plywood and concrete, police say.

I suppose anyone planning violence is still a part of the 99%. But they are not a part of the occupation movement.

One thing that I have been concerned about with this movement since day one is it being used by other groups or individuals as an excuse or an opportunity for violence.  So far, these occurances accross the country seem to be limited, though, and relatively contained.

However, any time something does happen, as in Oakland (Occupy Oakland: Tear Gas, Spray Paint, &  Fireworks), the mainstream media has a very hard time telling the difference between the occupation movement itself and the outside extremists.  Another critical issue is that the actions of the few extremists can often be the catalyst for disproportionate police action, which can trigger a very nasty cycle of violence.

Both of these things happened in Seattle during the WTO/N30 protests, and I fear seeing this happen with the occupation movement.
Timeline of police confrontations involving Occupy Portland
For the most part, police and Occupy Portland protesters have co-existed without incident, but there have been several confrontations.

Occupy Portland: A Closer Look

Shot on October 6:

Occupy Portland: Eviction

Labor rally to support occupation - Tonight, 6:45 PM, 3rd & Main
Eviction - Tonight, 12:01 AM

Two stories, depending on where you look.

Dirty, violent, out of control, homeless vagrants on drugs?

Or not?

Mike covers the points of the eviction well, and the positives and the negatives of the current camp situation. Excellent video.

Mayor Sam Adams' Statement - 11.10.11:

Transcript: Wait! This isn't cute anymore! A Statement from Mayor Sam Adams regarding Occupy Portland

To be fair, I think the mayor has been pretty supportive of the movement, overall.

Statement being read to occupation members:

Press conference, 11.11.11:

KPTV (Fox News 12, Portland) were the ones interviewing Mike, but I could not find any clips of the interview on their website.

Occupy Portland eviction deadline nears: Tension between protesters and occupiers came to a head Friday when officers removed plywood and concrete from the camp.

The local Fox channel, unlike many local Fox affiliates, seems to do a decent job of being objective, not aping the shenannigans of the cable news giant. However, their narrative of the occupation story seems to be following the current trends.

A dissenting opinion:

What is up with the whole "Mexican Swag" obsession? This guy looks like an idiot while the woman working the information booth sounds very well informed and eloquent. Anti-occupation propaganda? Fail.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns | Environment | The Guardian

From 000-FB Photo of the Day

World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns | Environment | The Guardian:

The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be "lost for ever", according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.
Anything built from now on that produces carbon will do so for decades, and this "lock-in" effect will be the single factor most likely to produce irreversible climate change, the world's foremost authority on energy economics has found. If this is not rapidly changed within the next five years, the results are likely to be disastrous.
"The door is closing," Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said. "I am very worried – if we don't change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever."

'via Blog this'

Occupy Portland: Wait! This isn't cute anymore! A Statement from Mayor Sam Adams

"Thanks guys, it's been fun.  See ya' next time...  I, like, really support you and all that, but the rest of us are getting a little tired of this and y'all aren't getting bored and drifting off like ya' all were supposed to."


This is exactly when these movements get interesting.  This is when they do start accomplishing things.  Camping out for a month, getting bored, drifting off...  That is what those in power always expect to happen.  It throws them for a loop when people actually turn out to be serious about their causes.

"Wait, you want change, not just to camp in a park for a month and to blow off some steam?  Ah, crap... Now we have an issue!  This isn't cute anymore!"

A Statement from Mayor Sam Adams regarding Occupy Portland:
The City will soon temporarily close Lownsdale and Chapman Squares to the public, to put an end to safety, health and crime problems, and to repair the park land. When the City re-opens the parks, the City will enforce all park and criminal laws in the Squares and the sidewalks, and the park land will be available for large, organized speech events by permit.

At 12:01 am on Sunday, November 13, all persons and property in Lownsdale and Chapman Squares will again be subject to enforcement of all laws including the laws against being in a park after midnight (PCC 20.12.210), and erecting structures in a park (PCC 20.12.080). On or after November 13, by authority of Portland City Code, the City will close Lownsdale and Chapman Squares for repair and to remediate any remaining safety, health and crime problems.

Portland Police are carefully preparing for this closure, and share my goal for an orderly and peaceful closure to the camps.

I want to make it clear that this action is not an action against the Occupy Portland movement.

In fact, the Occupy Portland movement has highlighted the challenges our community, like many across the country, are facing with homelessnesss. Too many in our community are without a safe place to call home. Despite fiscal challenges, the City has continued to invest in long term solutions to end homelessness. Commissioner Fish and I will be working closely with our dedicated network of service providers to make sure everyone at the camp is aware of the resources that are available. Experienced outreach workers will be reaching out to the homeless people at the camp to help them access existing resources in our community, like health care, emergency shelter, permanent housing placement assistance, and short term needs.

I have said from the beginning that I believe the Occupy movement would have to evolve in order to realize its full potential.
'via Blog this'

Rubble: Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: November 10, 2011, Occupy Portland - "Will Work For Democracy"

From 000-FB Photo of the Day
Re-post from Rubble.

Photo of the Day, November 10, 2011. Taken October 6, 2011. Occupy Portland launch rally. Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Portland, Oregon.

Buy prints and other products featuring this photograph on deviantArt. (Art makes great gifts!)

RIP Bill

Bill Keane rarely made me laugh, but his influence was undeniable.

Coughing up the viral goo... This week's viral picture collection

A collection of recent viral images that made me laugh, think, or scream... Because sometimes it is hard to type with fists. 

Only in order of how they landed on my Facebook wall...  It's been a bit longer than a week, so there are quite a few.

Occupy Portland - Video: How to respond to police action / violence (Police Liaison Meeting - October 6, 2011)

Seconds ago, Sam Adams announced that Landsdale and Chapman Squares will be cleared at 12:01 AM on Sunday, November 13.

Top Ten Ways Teachers’ Unions Caused The Economic Crisis | Progressive Political Cartoon by Barry Deutsch

Top Ten Ways Teachers’ Unions Caused The Economic Crisis | Progressive Political Cartoon by Barry Deutsch:

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A video by Softbox : Federal Government Deficit & War: What Eats Up 53 Cents Of Every Tax Dollar?

I post this coming from neither a pro nor anti war angle, but when both sides in Washington sit around and start pointing fingers at each other about who caused the deficit and wailing about how their party is not to blame, there is one gorilla in the room everyone tends to ignore...

I'm just saying, you know...  The Republicans were in office when we went in.  Still, someone should have thought about how we were going to pay for this back in the day...

Chart: Corporate Profits vs. Unemployment, 2001-2010 - The Top GOP Myth And What You Can Use To Fight It

Found on MotherJones. Originally submitted to by volunteer editor Jessica S.

The Top GOP Myth And What You Can Use To Fight It | MoveOn.Org:
Do lower taxes, and therefore higher profits, mean more jobs? See for yourself:
'via Blog this'

Republicans Too Liberal For Today's GOP: Theodore Roosevelt

Found on Facebook. Originally submitted to by Laura S.

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

-Theodore Roosevelt

Exploring income inequality in America

From 2011-10-06 Occupy Portland

This first link goes to a video by Yahoo News...  Not much to say here.  The article and video pretty much speak for themselves.
Remake America: Income Inequality - Yahoo! News:
Five ways income inequality happened, and will continue | Reuters:

The reasons for the growing disparity, which the CBO, without irony, measured by an increasing "Gini coefficient," were buried deep in the report. It's how income was taxed that allowed the ultra-wealthy to keep more of what they earned compared to middle- or lower-class Americans.
Most lower- and middle-class earners make their money from wages, which are subject to Social Security, Medicare, federal and state taxes. But income from businesses, capital gains and dividends may be taxed at lower rates. In the CBO study period, the share from capital gains and business income increased, meaning upper-income families reaped greater after-tax benefits just from the kinds of non-wage income they reported.
When you're on salary, you get taxed regularly through your paycheck. If you hold stocks, bonds, business equity and property, your capital gains -- if any -- can be delayed for years. Holding securities in tax-deferred retirement accounts can put off taxes for decades.
Again, no surprise here. But when you can structure your compensation so that it's tax-deferred, paid in stock options or paid as capital gains, dividends or carried interest, you can pay much less to Uncle Sam and keep more of your income. Long-term capital gains, dividends and carried interest are taxed at a maximum 15 percent rate.
When the bulk of your income comes in those forms, you avoid taxes at the maximum 35-percent marginal federal rate. So those at the top of the compensation pyramid not only made more in gross income, their overall tax rates were lower because of how their pay was received. Billionaire Warren Buffett is a good example. His average rate was 17.4 percent.
Since the highest earners were paying less in overall taxes because they were paid in non-wage income, their payroll tax rate was also lower. The CBO found that the lowest fifth of families paid an average 8 percent in payroll taxes while the highest-income group paid under 2 percent.
Why are the poor paying quadruple the amount of payroll taxes than the rich?
They are unlikely to report investment or business income at the lowest rates. Attention tax reformers: You could make a case that the wealthiest Americans are not paying their fair share for Social Security, Medicare, state and federal programs. But since the tax code allows them to avoid paying any more, it's perfectly legal now.
'via Blog this'

Related Post:  A good chart on income inequality: The top 1% versus the Median Income since 1947

A Simple Graphic: 1 in 4 Millionaires Pays Lower Taxes Than The 99% | MoveOn.Org:
Source: Center For American Progress
Found on Center For American Progress. Originally submitted by volunteer editor Jayne C.

'via Blog this'

A handy chart to help pick the Republican presidential candidate who's right for you!

Picking From The Field Of 9 GOP Candidates: A Hilarious Flowchart | MoveOn.Org:

'via Blog this'

Monday, November 07, 2011

Another great video: "Why Occupy Portland?" by Softbox

An amazing, wonderful video: Charlie Chaplin's speech in The Great Dictator

Video description by thelakeysisters on YouTube:
(Song: Window by The Album Leaf) One of the most inspirational speeches in recorded history was given by a comedian by the name of Charlie Chaplin. If you like what you see please share the video any way you can and pass the message on.
I do, however, agree with this comment from tminusquigley on YouTube:
I truly love the message of this video, but this is from the movie The Great Dictator, and Chaplin is decrying the sins of fascism and of the dictators of the day. When he's talking about evil dictators, he's talking about Hitler and Mussolini, Goebbels and Goring. Our presidents have made mistakes, but the faces of the past presidents do not belong in the same reference as those men.