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November 12, 2011

And if you’d like to save that biodiversity, then get out there and raise some hell and fight for the world you want instead of acquiescing to the one corporate interests deem good enough for the rest of us.

Unless of course you like eating genetically modified peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches. The latter ingredient are doing quite well what with warming oceans and vertebrate marine life rapidly disappearing.

53 Comments leave one →
  1. sisdevore permalink
    November 12, 2011 1:51 pm

    wordpress is having a hard time authorizing me.

    just wanted to say I love “Octupi…”

  2. artemis54 permalink
    November 14, 2011 10:37 am

    So wrong. That’s why I can’t stop laughing:

    • cometman permalink*
      November 16, 2011 6:20 pm


    • triv33 permalink
      November 17, 2011 7:33 am

      oh….my. PMPL!!!

  3. artemis54 permalink
    November 15, 2011 10:35 am

    There were up to four livestreams running from Zuccoti last night. One that I was watching had over 24K viewers at one point, and the whole apparatus was getting creaky. For those who did not watch. Amy Goodman did a stellar job this morning. She and her crew went down to the site within a short time of police arrival and got excellent footage.

    She covers among other things the fact that the written eviction said possessions could be reclaimed at a specific address. (I heard that on the police loudspeaker on livestream as well.) But when she asked sanitation workers what they were doing the stuff, they responded they were taking it to the dump. There may be a very real 4th amendment case here, as belongings including electronic equipment, books, clothing, tents etc were destroyed after a mere ten minutes notice to leave,

    She also spoke briefly with Dan Siegel, Quan’s former legal advisor. He left little doubt as to his reasons, describing himself as “horrified” by the actions in Oakland and Zuccotti.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 16, 2011 10:13 pm

      Almost seems like the Portland OR mayor’s fairly reasonable request to break up the encampment was seized upon by other civic leaders who aren’t sympathetic to the movement to crack down. Guess I was mistaken in thinking it might draw some attention to the homeless and other problems and get local governments to finally pay attention and offer some assistance to the protesters with some needed services.

      This response in particular seemed a little harsh

      The city of Chapel Hill, North Carolina made a name for itself over the weekend by sending at least 25 heavily armed commandos to arrest eight unarmed “Occupy” protesters who’d taken over a building left abandoned for over a decade.

      And I was quite pleased to see Siegel resign in disgust. Oakland handled things abysmally from what I saw.

      Around here, one local paper today said the city has no plans to evict anyone from the park. I imagine that could change in a hurry though, but probably not without a fight. I’ve met the lawyer involved with the protesters and he strikes me as extremely tenacious with a big axe to grind against Wall St.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 17, 2011 8:59 pm

      Looks like I was a little off base with the above comment.

      Other cities weren’t just following the Portland OR mayor’s lead, they had made a nationwide strategy beforehand – Police Crackdowns on OWS Coordinated among Mayors, FBI, DHS.

      Oakland Mayor Jean Quan let slip in an interview with the BBC that she had been on a conference call with the mayors of 18 cities about how to deal with the Occupy Wall Street movement. That is, municipal authorities appear to have been conspiring to deprive Americans of their first amendment rights to freedom of assembly and freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances.

      More here

      Who organized that critical conference call? Was it Quan or one of the other mayors, or was it someone in the federal government? Siegel says he doesn’t know, and Quan isn’t saying.

      But both Siegel and Boghosian say they strongly suspect federal involvement in the planning of the recent spate of police violence against occupiers. Says Siegel, “It’s only logical to assume that the ‘Fusion Centers’ are involved, especially after the Oakland occupiers shut down the port in Oakland.”

      Some 72 Fusion Centers, located around the US and funded by the US at a cost of half a billion dollars, are a post 9-11creation of the new Homeland Security Department. Bringing the FBI together with local law enforcement departments, they both collect and share domestic intelligence, and can serve as command centers to direct local law enforcement in helping implement national law enforcement goals.

      Pretty disgusting, all to kick out people who are well within their rights. All this is doing is pissing even more people off and will probably cost cities quite a bit of $$$ after people get done suing them.

      More on this below.

  4. artemis54 permalink
    November 16, 2011 10:18 am

    A couple days after the Seattle city council endorse Occupy Seattle and agreed to disentangle itself from Wells Fargo, we get this: Elderly woman, priest pepper-sprayed during Occupy protest

    There were actually two pepper spray incidents yesterday, but the spraying of 84 year old Dorli Rainey, a much loved elder in the activist community, and of a pregnant woman has generated a lot of anger.

  5. artemis54 permalink
    November 16, 2011 12:05 pm

    There are occasions when Keith O’s bombastic style is just right:

    • cometman permalink*
      November 16, 2011 10:28 pm

      Spot on. Bloomberg’s an even bigger douche than I had realized. As was alluded to, kind of like a little Berlusconi, minus the prostitutes. As far as we know anyways as clients 1-8 are still unidentified. If Anonymous needs anything else to do…

  6. cometman permalink*
    November 16, 2011 6:19 pm

    Learned something new while OWSing yesterday.

    A woman approached our group and asked if there were any politicians who could turn things around. I answered no. I was mistaken.

    The correct answer turned out to be Ron Paul.

    • sisdevore permalink
      November 16, 2011 8:01 pm

      the horror! (of the correct answer)

      I posted this on FB, but it is being ignored, though I swear I have at least 120 friends:

      “too funny—I was watching news clips on MSNBC, then the pre-commercial asking which ad experience I would prefer came on—-and the choice was between Bank of America and Goldman Sachs!”

      I think I may start blogging again at One Small Middle Finger.

      • sisdevore permalink
        November 16, 2011 8:48 pm

        whoops. I think wordpress deleted my other blog cuz I never posted. There’s still the underwater deli…..

        • cometman permalink*
          November 16, 2011 10:30 pm

          I still check over there from time to time to see if you’ve left any pearls. I think it’s still on.

  7. cometman permalink*
    November 16, 2011 10:38 pm

    More mic checks –

    Chamber of Commerce –

    Rove gets rattled –

  8. artemis54 permalink
    November 17, 2011 9:23 am

    Arundhati Roy in NYC, 11/16

  9. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2011 9:54 pm

    The crackdowns on OWS in other cities has led to some solidarity here. Today was by far the largest group on the street I’ve seen so far with two or three dozen people holding signs and getting a lot of positive response from passers by.

    At one point a Department of Homeland Security vehicle drove by the gathering prompting a few people to wonder if they were doing some surveillance. I didn’t think so since I often see DHS vehicles driving through town, especially by the customs house, but you never know. Told my buddy that I wouldn’t be surprised if there were one or two spooks among the crowd though at which point he pointed to some young guy with a Marine style buzzcut wandering around the outskirts of the group snapping photos and talking on his cell but not talking to anybody else. This guy was trying waaaaaaay too hard to fit in with his baggy sweatpants hanging just a little too low and sporting a bit too much pseudo-anarchist gear. Somebody really needs to update the cops on supposed hipster fashion – letting their hair grow longer than 1/8″ before letting them out in public might help the disguise a bit. The guy wandered off around the corner after a while and not 5 minutes later the black and whites showed up but all they did was tell drummers to knock it off (which I was actually grateful for). My buddy wasn’t 100% positive but shortly after the uniformed cops showed up, he thought he saw Mr. Obvious drive by in a police vehicle. He couldn’t tell for sure because while in the car he had put the hoody he wore for undercover purposes up.

    After that the crowd went downtown and mic checked the Merrill Lynch offices and the cops soon followed as the brave bankers inside called them almost immediately. We had a little repartee with them with one woman asking them to join us (they didn’t). I thanked them afterwards for keeping their cool and not arresting anybody but they were pretty tight lipped. All I got out of them was “it’s a two way street” which could be taken in a few different ways I suppose. One of them did mouth off to a woman who had brought her young daughter along, saying “nice place to bring your kids” as he walked by. Had to wonder as we left if the four or five young kids in the crowd were the reason for the cops restraint or not. We’ll see… People seemed invigorated today though and don’t look like they are going to let up anytime soon.

  10. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2011 10:26 pm

    Good ???s in this one – Who coordinated the raids?

  11. cometman permalink*
    November 17, 2011 11:00 pm

    Holy shit. Greece’s new Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks is goddamned fascist. Really. Mark Ames: Austerity & Fascism In Greece – The Real 1% Doctrine

    This whackjob Makis ‘The Hammer’ Varidis hangs out with some pretty unsavory characters, among them Jean Marie Le Pen.

    And then fucking Forbes came out endorsing a military coup, which I’m sure went over like a short hair in the moussaka with the junta still fresh in the minds of most there. Met some who lived through it and it didn’t sound very pleasant. Hadn’t realized it before but Ames mentions in that first link (which is well worth reading in full) that Papandreou had dismissed the entire military brass just before proposing the public referendum. Sure sounds like he knew the crackdown was coming and at least tried to give the people a chance before being hung out to dry. Ames ends with this –

    The implications of the EU and bankers forcing Greece, the birthplace of democracy, to cancel a popular plebiscite as “irresponsible,” forcing instead an austerity regime composed partly of neo-Nazis fascists to administer more “pain”–is something that should frighten the shit out of everyone. Because like it or not, we’re all in the cross-hairs of the same banking interests, and we’re all going to face it again and again. Greece just happens to be the first in line.

    Really getting ugly out there….

  12. artemis54 permalink
    November 18, 2011 4:14 am

    Alan Grayson won me over with a John Brunner reference. Speaking of OWS on Rev Al’s show, he said

    the sheep are looking up

  13. cometman permalink*
    November 18, 2011 8:28 pm

    Bad ass.

    And with V for vendettarific musical accompaniment –

    Egyptians get tired of waiting for the new military dictatorship to get out of the way and tens of thousands protest again.

    And in sharp contrast to these rather iconic moments, a local Occupier, apparently upset that the horn section had been replaced by percussion for an impromptu early AM reveille, beat the offending drummer with a hammer. And is it wrong that I find that kind of funny? Probably….

  14. cometman permalink*
    November 19, 2011 1:16 pm

    More evidence of climate change from looking out the window –

    Mid-November and the weather has been abnormally warm in the mid-50s to mid-60s most of the month. Looked out into the yard and saw a couple fairly large gray animals and thought my cats had escaped. Turns out it was just the neighborhood squirrels who have gotten unusually fat this year as they continue to feast rather than hibernate. Not sure if they’ll be a bumper crop of squirrel-lettes next year or if they’ll all catch diabetes.

    Missed a few plants in the yard cleanup and I’ve got a couple annual daisies and pansies putting out blossoms right now as there has been no killing frost. Not right at all.

  15. cometman permalink*
    November 19, 2011 1:25 pm

    Physicists double check and neutrinos still won’t listen to Einstein, as they are again measured traveling faster than light.

  16. cometman permalink*
    November 19, 2011 2:03 pm

    Chris Hedges speaks for me today (H/T to the Veterans for Peace guy I met on the street a couple days ago who mentioned it to me)- This is What Revolution Looks Like. Worth reading in full but this sticks out in light of recent developments –

    I have seen my share of revolts, insurgencies and revolutions, from the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America to the civil wars in Algeria, the Sudan and Yemen, to the Palestinian uprising to the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania as well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked force. The vast million-person bureaucracy of the internal security and surveillance state will not be used to stop terrorism but to try and stop us.

    Speaking of naked force, this one is making the rounds today, as one ratfucking cop casually pepper sprays students posing no threat whatsoever-

    The way he brandished the can immediately before spraying as if they were vermin sure makes it look like he was enjoying it. But, it was just one rat bastard doing that. I imagine others could have joined in with impunity if they so chose. As Hedges mentions –

    Despotic regimes in the end collapse internally. Once the foot soldiers who are ordered to carry out acts of repression, such as the clearing of parks or arresting or even shooting demonstrators, no longer obey orders, the old regime swiftly crumbles.

    Maybe I’m overly optimistic after the events of the last couple days, but I really don’t think this is going to work. They shut down Zuccotti and more people than ever showed up locally in support. The mainfesto projected across the Verizon building in NYC must have given the Powers That Be pause, and was exactly the type of evolution of the protest I was looking for.

    In Oakland, a 2nd vet was injured a few days ago by the cops who ruptured his spleen. But as much as the PTB watch us, they are being watched as well. Now a video has come out showing the cop beating the guy down. The guy who took the vid hadn’t realized at first that it was this veteran’s assault he had captured –

    That ought to help the Oakland PoPo with their little “investigation” into the incident. And again, it was just one cop out of the whole line who felt it necessary to beat the shit out of this guy. Maybe I’m reading too much into a few videos, but it looks like some of those ordered to shut these protests down are reluctant to start bashing skulls. One retired cop even joined the protests (and was arrested).

    You’d think the elite in this country who are shaking in their boots right now would be smart enough to realize that you can’t kill an idea. You’d think they would have come across this concept at some point during their educations, but maybe they were too distracted jizzing themselves in macroeconomics class. I’d like to think this movement is close to critical mass if it isn’t there already. The more the PTB try to suppress it, the more pissed off people will show up in the streets.

    Hedges has been one of the most despondent journalists I’ve read in recent months, but his final thoughts were very heartening –

    There were times when I entered the ring as a boxer and knew, as did the spectators, that I was woefully mismatched. Ringers, experienced boxers in need of a tuneup or a little practice, would go to the clubs where semi-pros fought, lie about their long professional fight records, and toy with us. Those fights became about something other than winning. They became about dignity and self-respect. You fought to say something about who you were as a human being. These bouts were punishing, physically brutal and demoralizing. You would get knocked down and stagger back up. You would reel backward from a blow that felt like a cement block. You would taste the saltiness of your blood on your lips. Your vision would blur. Your ribs, the back of your neck and your abdomen would ache. Your legs would feel like lead. But the longer you held on, the more the crowd in the club turned in your favor. No one, even you, thought you could win. But then, every once in a while, the ringer would get overconfident. He would get careless. He would become a victim of his own hubris. And you would find deep within yourself some new burst of energy, some untapped strength and, with the fury of the dispossessed, bring him down. I have not put on a pair of boxing gloves for 30 years. But I felt this twinge of euphoria again in my stomach this morning, this utter certainty that the impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 24, 2011 8:44 am

      Bringing the events at UC-Davis up to date –

      After the pepper spraying incident, students stand by silently and force chancellor Linda Katehi to do the walk of shame –

      Katehi last I heard had refused to resign, citing the “need to heal”. Because evidently nobody can “heal” without the person who beat the living shit out of them for no good reason present.

      Now here’s where things get really interesting. Katehi is Greek and with everything going on in Greece right now you’d think she’d know better, especially as she lived through the (CIA backed) military junta in Greece. Not only did she live through it, she was a student at the Athens University that led the student uprisings and eventually overthrew the junta. After the junta, Greece banned the presence of any military or police forces on any university campus, creating de facto zones of political asylum.

      That is until recently. And guess who had a hand in weakening the asylum law in Greece?!??!? Linda fucking Katehi – How UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Brought Oppression Back To Greece’s Universities:

      Earlier this year, Linda Katehi served on an “International Committee On Higher Education In Greece,” along with a handful of American, European and Asian academics. The ostensible goal was to “reform” Greece’s university system. The real problem, from the real powers behind the scenes (banksters and the EU), was how to get Greece under control as the austerity-screws tightened. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that squeezing more money from Greece’s beleaguered citizens would mean clamping down on Greece’s democracy and doing something about those pesky Greek university students. And that meant taking away the universities’ “amnesty” protection, in place for nearly four decades, so that no one, nowhere, would be safe from police truncheons, gas, or bullets.

      Thanks to the EU, bankers, and UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi, university freedom for Greece’s students has taken a huge, dark step backwards.

      Here you can read a translation of the report co-authored by UC Davis’ Linda Katehi–the report which brought about the end of Greece’s “university asylum” law.What’s particularly disturbing is that Linda Katehi was the only Greek on that commission. Presumably that would give her a certain amount of extra sway–both because of her inside knowledge, and because of her moral authority among the other non-Greek committee members. And yet, Linda Katehi signed off on a report that provided the rationale for repealing Greece’s long-standing “university asylum” law. She basically helped undo the very heart and soul of Greece’s pro-democracy uprising against the junta.

      Small world, huh?

      A few words for all the Katehis of the world – as my old boss used to say “gamo to xorio sou!”

  17. cometman permalink*
    November 24, 2011 8:49 am

    If any of our vast readership checks in today, here’s hoping you all have a great time and a tasty dinner with family and friends, no matter how you get there –

  18. artemis54 permalink
    November 25, 2011 7:44 pm

  19. artemis54 permalink
    November 25, 2011 7:49 pm

    Jaysus H.

    Against better judgment, I went to Thanxgvng dinner at a neighobor’s. There was some other guest there – an out-of-town loudmouth racist asshole – somebody’s friend I guess, it was hard to see whose – who piped up every two seconds with some idiotic bitching about Obama. I left as soon as seemly, since it wasn’t my house, and gave thinks I didn’t have to listen to his bullshit one second longer. I pity his poor wife and hope she gets enough and knifes him in his sleep one of these days. I defy any jury to convict her.

  20. artemis54 permalink
    November 26, 2011 10:16 am

    Looks like the little town of Bingen WA, across the river from the windsurfing paradise of Hood River, could use a little occupyin’.

    I wonder what those “robust custom payloads” are all about?

    • cometman permalink*
      November 28, 2011 12:20 pm

      Sigh. Just found out over the holiday that an in-law of mine’s new job is for a company that among other things manufactures small (think model airplane sized) unmanned aircraft for the military. Looked it up and these aren’t big enough to carry a missile – supposedly they are for recon. Linked here to an article a while ago discussing the military’s wish for smaller and smaller drones right down to insect size and it struck me that the inlaw’s company might just be helping to develop these, even if they aren’t exactly aware of it. Of course, I was told that my inlaw’s company on makes things for “defensive purposes” to “protect our troops”. Not sure how to convince them otherwise without becoming the annoying relative at the holiday gatherings myself. And the really unfortunate part is that this job is probably about the best he can get in the small rural town they live in.

      Another inlaw can’t even tell us who she works for, but I’m pretty certain it has something to do with the defense industry. Background checks were done on family members when she got married evidently. I probably don’t even want to know what she really does.

      Fucking defense industry really has managed to get its hooks in just about everywhere in this country

  21. artemis54 permalink
    November 26, 2011 10:24 am

    Happy Holidays!

  22. sisdevore permalink
    November 26, 2011 7:34 pm

    Ok, I’m doing thanksgiving tomorrow. I don’t think I’ve ever had a frozen turkey before, so I didn’t calculate thaw time. Yeah, I could have forced it today, but see no point in stressing out. I hope all of you had something tasty, warm or interesting.

    • artemis54 permalink
      November 26, 2011 10:32 pm

      You know you can just toss it in frozen, and add ten minutes per pound. Do not stuff however. You probably won’t like the frozen as well, they really dry out. It would be worth doing the butter soaked cheesecloth thing.

      I did a pretty good bird Mon before thanks, just cuz i like turkey a couple times a year and there were nice fresh ones on sale. By this weekend I was done with that and resorted to a pot of beans to get rid of all my lingering peppers etc before they rot.

      Actually I have more fun messing around with the dressing than anything, but was pretty conservative this time around, just lots of peppers and apple.

      Miss D on actual Thanksgiving I had a little feast with Lucky, this poor neglected Pomeranian from across the way. He’s got a whole rasta look going on, poor thing. I was messing around in yard when he busted loose and came over. Went through a whole little bag of doggie treats i keep for him, plus a very small amount of turkey. He stuck around for a couple hours and guarded me in the yard. Keep thinking of abducting him and finding a better home – it wouldn’t be hard – but he seems oddly happy with his lot and actually loves those dumb assholes.

      Other than that, on a kick reading about Teddy Roosevelt and the period. Very interesting to me; I am so ignorant of American history.

  23. cometman permalink*
    November 29, 2011 12:14 pm

    Couple items that tickled the humerus –

    Naked Capitalism had this satirical interview with a libertarian. Pretty funny in an appalling sort of way. I wont belabor the stupidity of libertarianism any more than I already have. Linking to it mostly as an excuse to post this graphic I ran across recently that might come in handy in the future –

    And then there was this article from a blog which lays into the pharmaceutical industry- What if academics were as dumb as quacks with statistics? – which decries how scientists often misapply statistics and produce faulty results. Particularly enjoyed this terse comment –

    It’s clearly all part of a vast right-brain conspiracy.

  24. cometman permalink*
    November 29, 2011 12:37 pm

    An excellent investigative piece from Pro Publica and Frontline on all around bad actor David Coleman Headley, an American citizen who had a pretty big hand in the Mumbai attacks. From Pro Publica – The American Behind India’s 9/11—And How U.S. Botched Chances to Stop Him.

    And the Frontline program – A Perfect Terrorist.

    So the FBI spends untold amounts framing already marginalized citizens with diminished mental capacities, planning plots for them and providing them with “weapons”, assassinates US citizens and their children in Yemen on no evidence whatsoever except for some youtubes and Barry’s say-so, and this Headley character who aided and abetted real terrorist acts not only walked around free for years but was on the payroll of various government agencies?!?!?!?! And he’s a junkie and a heroine smuggler?!?!?!? And as this and a myriad other articles have mentioned, the Pakistani ISI foments terrorism all around the world and yet the Pakistani govt still gets billions in US aid, at least some of which presumably gets funneled right back into terrorist activities?!?!?!?!

    Well worth reading and watching in full. Have to wonder whether the US really “botched” chances to stop this guy or whether he did exactly what he was intended to do. Looking at the evidence, it doesn’t appear than the Powers That Be really want “terrorism” stopped at all, being so good for business and all.

    And then we have the US military slaughtering a couple dozen Pakistani soldiers but supposedly it was all a big “mistake”. And do I even want to know what’s really going on here because it sure is difficult to make heads or tails of any of it.

  25. cometman permalink*
    November 29, 2011 1:31 pm

    Some notes on how various cities have handled the OWS protests without calling in the paramilitaries –

    In Detroit – A Lesson in Restraint: Detroit Police and the Occupy Movement

    …the Occupy Detroit group has enjoyed a unique, peaceful relationship with police. During the five weeks the group camped out in Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit there has not been a single arrest by that city’s Police. And recently the Chief of Police, Ralph Godbee, praised occupiers “for working with DPD to truly maintain peace and exercise free speech in a manner we all should be proud of!”

    Like similar groups Occupy Detroit engaged in their share of unlawful behavior. For one thing, they shut down rush hour traffic across the Ambasssador bridge linking the US and Canada. The bridge carries 10,000 trucks a day and OD demonstrators formed a human chain closing it on the Detroit side. The police waited out the demonstrators and did nothing. After an hour the demonstration ended with no arrests.

    In St. Louis (and from what I can tell the author is a supporter of OWS) – Gods Help Us, St. Louis Did it Right #OWS. The city gave the protesters a deadline but then the cops did not show up and instead waited for most of the protesters to leave on their own. When they finally did come to evict the remainder –

    Ah, but the cops did more than just show up after two head-fakes and with sufficient numbers … they did right exactly what the Obama administration told everybody else to do wrong. They didn’t show up in riot gear and helmets, they showed up in shirt sleeves with their faces showing. They not only didn’t show up with SWAT gear, they showed up with no unusual weapons at all, and what weapons they had all securely holstered. They politely woke everybody up. They politely helped everybody who was willing to remove their property from the park to do so. They then asked, out of the 75 to 100 people down there, how many people were volunteering for being-arrested duty? Given 33 hours to think about it, and 10 hours to sweat it over, only 27 volunteered. As the police already knew, those people’s legal advisers had advised them not to even passively resist, so those 27 people lined up to be peacefully arrested, and were escorted away by a handful of cops. The rest were advised to please continue to protest, over there on the sidewalk … and what happened next was the most absolutely brilliant piece of crowd control policing I have heard of in my entire lifetime.

    All of the cops who weren’t busy transporting and processing the voluntary arrestees lined up, blocking the stairs down into the plaza. They stood shoulder to shoulder. They kept calm and silent. They positioned the weapons on their belts out of sight. They crossed their hands low in front of them, in exactly the least provocative posture known to man. And they peacefully, silently, respectfully occupied the plaza, using exactly the same non-violent resistance techniques that the protesters themselves had been trained in.

    If you have to remove people, that seems a fer better way of doing it than cracking skulls.

    In LA, protesters have defied orders to leave and the cops have not cracked down – yet. Who knows how long the LAPD will be able to contion themselves though.

    And on the use of paramilitary tactics, former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper has seen the error of his ways and now decries the jackbooted tactics being used by police forces all around the country – Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street

    My support for a militaristic solution caused all hell to break loose. Rocks, bottles and newspaper racks went flying. Windows were smashed, stores were looted, fires lighted; and more gas filled the streets, with some cops clearly overreacting, escalating and prolonging the conflict. The “Battle in Seattle,” as the WTO protests and their aftermath came to be known, was a huge setback—for the protesters, my cops, the community.

    More than a decade later, the police response to the Occupy movement, most disturbingly visible in Oakland—where scenes resembled a war zone and where a marine remains in serious condition from a police projectile—brings into sharp relief the acute and chronic problems of American law enforcement. Seattle might have served as a cautionary tale, but instead, US police forces have become increasingly militarized, and it’s showing in cities everywhere: the NYPD “white shirt” coating innocent people with pepper spray, the arrests of two student journalists at Occupy Atlanta, the declaration of public property as off-limits and the arrests of protesters for “trespassing.”

    The paramilitary bureaucracy and the culture it engenders—a black-and-white world in which police unions serve above all to protect the brotherhood—is worse today than it was in the 1990s. Such agencies inevitably view protesters as the enemy. And young people, poor people and people of color will forever experience the institution as an abusive, militaristic force—not just during demonstrations but every day, in neighborhoods across the country.

    Amen brother. Love to see Stamper out there with the rest of the protesters.

    And this guy asks members of the military what they will do if, or more likely when, they are called to crack down on US citizens themselves – An Open Letter to the Winter Patriot

    Now, more than ever we need your sacrifice. But, I’m asking you to soldier in a different way. If called upon to deny the people of their first amendment right to peaceably assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievance, disregard the order. Abstain from service. Or if you are so bold, join us. Make no mistake: The consequences for such decisions are severe. You will be prosecuted under the full extent of the law. But sacrifice is your watch word.

    And finally in the “you have to laugh a little bit or you’ll go nuts over it all” department, the UC Davis pepper spray cop has really pissed off Hitler. Normally I find these Hitler things annoying but this one was pretty good –

    • artemis54 permalink
      November 30, 2011 1:43 pm

      Dorli Rainey is one of Stamper’s biggest fans and always goes out of her way to refer people to him

  26. cometman permalink*
    November 29, 2011 2:09 pm

    Some notes –

    Very odd to me that it has been Bloomberg news that has forced many financial disclosures that banks have tried to hide, like this one recently – Secret Fed Loans Helped Banks Net $13 Billion. Perhaps Mikey is doing it not out of any concern for fairness, but to get a leg up on the competition. He’s only the 12th richest after all…

    Still waiting to see how this ominous news via the ACLU plays out – Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

    The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.

    Judge Jed Rakoff again says no fucking way to a proposed slap on the wrist settlement between Citigroup and the SEC –

    Finally, in any case like this that touches on the transparency of financial markets whose gyrations have so depressed our economy and debilitated our lives, there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth. In much of the world, propaganda reigns, and truth is confined to secretive, fearful whispers. Even in our nation, apologists for suppressing or obscuring the truth may always be found. But the S.E.C., of all agencies, has a duty, inherent in its statutory mission, to see that the truth emerges; and if it fails to do so, this Court must not, in the name of deference or convenience, grant judicial enforcement to the agency’s contrivances.


  27. artemis54 permalink
    November 29, 2011 11:07 pm

    Hmm. I don’t want to say too much about Moon as you should see it cold. But you should see it. There is a point at which it turns into a heartbreaking reverie on loneliness, memory, identity. And Kevin Spacey does a nice turn as a much more benevolent version of HAL from 2001.

    Shhhhh! free here

    • cometman permalink*
      December 1, 2011 10:55 am

      Thanks! Watched it last night. That’s one of the movies I’ve been meaning to watch and then can’t remember when I get to the video store.

      Excellent movie – I wish there were more sci-fi movies like that. 90 minutes and not one big explosion or car chase and yet I was still enthralled. Spacey is one of my faves and the nod to 2001 was well done I thought.

  28. artemis54 permalink
    November 30, 2011 1:49 pm

    Following its recent sale (yuck) for $34,000 (we should have bought it) SciTech Daily has “a whole new look. Me no like, but then I don’t handle change well.

  29. artemis54 permalink
    December 1, 2011 5:17 am

    So I watched Eastwood’s biopic of J Edna Hoover, or rather watched the first two thirds or so.

    Am a fan of Eastwood’s films, esp Gran Torino ,but this was one colossal bore at best. Three thumbs down. What in the hell was he thinking?

    Part of the problem is that the film asks you to respect at least what he was up against and some of his efforts, and at the same time to laugh at him and worse. It is hard to admire and despise someone at the same time.

    But the worst of it, that I couldn’t get past, is that the whole thing is shot in dark panelled interiors. On a big screen maybe it wouldn’t be quite so claustrophobic, but it left me gasping for air. Even Edna’s mother’s house doesn’t seem to have any windows. And that’s another point: when you take away the glaring oddities of his personal life, there isn’t any human interest left. No romance, no development, no journey beyond his 60 years or whatever of plodding paranoia. Just a sad little man of no interest whatsoever. Certainly not enough interest to justify a full length film.

    • cometman permalink*
      December 1, 2011 11:13 am

      Thx for the review. I’m a big Eastwood fan as well but I was having a hard time imagining DiCaprio playing Edna at all convincingly. Very odd casting choice. Think I’ll watch Unforgiven for about the 87th time instead.

  30. artemis54 permalink
    December 1, 2011 5:33 am

    Ha hahha ha Courtesy of Loki himself, Ron Paul, the GOP primary goes into full Auto Destruct mode:

    • artemis54 permalink
      December 1, 2011 5:34 am

      • artemis54 permalink
        December 1, 2011 5:35 am

        • cometman permalink*
          December 1, 2011 11:08 am

          Funny stuff. Really don’t know what the little amphibian was thinking when he threw his hat into the ring – maybe that several years away from the limelight would make him look reasonable compared to the new crop? Whatever it was, it isn’t going to work. Barry is already running ads against Romney and I’ve had him pegged as the 2012 nominee since election day 2008.

          Just what I was hoping for – a choice between two slick empty suits (on voting machines that don’t work properly). Yay. There’ll probably be some local ballot initiative that will make me go out and fill in the circles again but I really don’t see much point in national elections anymore since whoever wins will be largely just a figurehead.

  31. artemis54 permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:46 am

    Speaking of movies, I just saw that Spielberg is making a bio of Lincoln, starring Daniel Day Lewis. Probably should just hand him the Oscar now and save all the trouble, but I suppose it could go off the rails like Edna.

  32. artemis54 permalink
    December 1, 2011 1:56 pm

    Want to hear something amazing? The little burg of Dayton WA has a new minister at the Congregational church and she is a lesbian with a partner. There were a few walkouts, but the vast majority stayed and like her, including my cousin who has been going to that church for at least 50 years

    • cometman permalink*
      December 1, 2011 3:08 pm

      Wow, I thought the Congos were pretty hard core and wouldn’t allow that type of thing. But maybe that was just the bible-thumping one I unfortunately attended as a youngster, where I learned that if the weekend were the only time for yardwork, I really ought to mow the lawn on Sat so as not to piss off Jeebus H Weedwhacking (but never on Sunday) Xrist. IIRC, they were an independent church and not affiliated with the national Congos, so maybe they differed from the rest with their strict and literal interpretations of just about everything.

      Kudos to your cousin.

  33. artemis54 permalink
    December 1, 2011 9:39 pm

    I don’t know how it all works, being a heathen and all, but they are affiliated with the United CofC which is pretty progressive. It certainly seems to suit the cuz, who sees her religion as a guide to living her life, not a club to beat other people.

  34. artemis54 permalink
    December 2, 2011 1:31 pm

    Movies again: Clooney’s ballyhooed Ides of March sucked too. This is leftover shit from the sixties, Allen Drury would have written it better, never mind Gore Vidal. This is some old stale shit. With everybody involved, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Dicaprio and everybody else, we had a right to expect at least a B movie and it barely qualifies. Another point while I’m bitchin, I don’t see why the gay press makes so much of Ryan Gosling. He isn’t hideously malformed or anything, he delivers his lines, but that’s about it.

    • cometman permalink*
      December 2, 2011 7:41 pm

      Hadn’t even heard about that one. The synopsis I just read doesn’t make it sound all that interesting – political thrillers have been done to death but maybe it’s just that I’m so damn cynical about it all at this point. I have become a bigger fan of Clooney in recent years and enjoyed Syriana and Michael Clayton quite a bit. Maybe I’ll try this latest on the day you can rent two and get one free…

      And speaking of Michael Clayton, it appears that somebody may have taken a scene from that movie and used it in real life recently. More on that in a new post coming up shortly if I can get it written.

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