I don’t like occupying myself with politics very much. It’s a part of life but a relatively minor part for me. If I had my druthers I would and pursue my real love which is art in all its forms. I am attuned and immersed in beauty not politics, business or economic life. However, political issues have to be front and center for all of us right now.
We are faced with such overwhelming collective issues that no one can stay on the sidelines-we must all carry some weight in the struggles we are facing. The most obvious and critical issue we face is the matter of climate-change. Because the Earth is a very complex system it is hard to arrive at any conclusive finding on what the results of human activity on climate are. In short, the science of any complex system can only be approximate and even then there’s always a possibility that the opposite of what we think is true may be true due to one critical detail we missed in our analysis. Such is the nature of complex systems. It is also a matter of philosophy that there is always dramatically more to life than we can ever know even if science were to systematically chart all possible avenues from here to eternity. I will not go through why I have come to that conclusion but that’s the conclusion I’ve come to from a lifetime of questioning, searching and, frankly, finding what I can only call “the mysterious.”
The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉
“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author
Occupy Wall Street NYC now has a web site for its General Assembly with up dates and information. Very informative and user friendly. It has information about events, a bulletin board, groups and minutes of the GA meetings.
Spirits were high last night as occupiers were joined by 92-year-old folk legend Pete Seeger for a late night march to Columbus Circle, where a midnight performance featuring Seeger’s grandson Tao Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, composer David Amram, bluesman Guy Davis and others.
A live stream of the action offered millions an opportunity to view the transcendental nature of the moment that was unfolding. The march was one of the most inspiring yet because the repetitive chants were abandoned for folk songs Pete Seeger & others are known for singing. “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” “O Mary Don’t You Weep” & “This Little Light of Mine” were all sung by people while marching to Columbus Circle.
It was truly a spiritual experience and opportunity for younger generations to hear some of the best folk/protest music in the history of America. Songs like “This Land is Your Land” have become patriotic songs yet the song written by Woody Guthrie is actually a song for revolutionaries. That is why a sanitized version of the song is often sung. Pete Seeger actually sang the version with lost verses during a “We Are One” concert at the Lincoln Memorial that was part of Obama’s Inauguration.
This is one of the typically absent verses:
“As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.”
Pete Seeger, Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Guy Davis, Tom Paxton, Tom Chapin and David Amram joined Occupy Wall Street on a march from Broadway and 95th Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, down to Columbus Circle at Broadway and 59th Street. When we got there, this is what happened.
Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman celebrates the Occupy Wall Street movement’s ability to refocus the country’s and Washington’s attention from deficits to jobs when economists like Krugman could not. “It turns out that no number of learned papers on how we’re doing this wrong, no number of sober editorials on how we’re doing this wrong was making a dent.”
I visited Zuccotti Park yesterday. Michael Moore gave a short speech, transmitted by the human microphone. I gather that right-wingers are claiming that OWS is anti-Semitic; someone forgot to tell the excellent Klezmer band.
Overall, what struck me was how non-threatening the thing is: a modest-sized, good-natured crowd, mostly young (it was a cold and windy evening) but with plenty of middle-aged people there, not all that scruffy. Hardly the sort of thing that one would expect to shake up the whole national debate. Yet it has – which can only mean one thing: the emperor was naked, and all it took was one honest voice to point it out.
As for how the emperor got that naked: read Ari Berman’s article on the austerity class, and its dominance in Washington.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – When “Occupy Wall Street” protesters took over two parks in Portland’s soggy downtown, they pitched 300 tents and offered free food, medical care and shelter to anyone. They weren’t just building, like so many of their brethren across the nation, a community to protest what they see as corporate greed.
They also created an ideal place for the homeless. Some were already living in the parks, while others were drawn from elsewhere to the encampment’s open doors.
According to the official records of the Army Graves Registration Service deposited in the U.S. National Archives in Washington, four bodies were transported to Chalons from the cemeteries of Aisne-Marne, Somme, Meuse-Argonne and Saint-Mihiel. All were great battlegrounds, and the latter two regions were the sites of two offensive operations in which American troops took a leading role in the decisive summer and fall of 1918. As the service records stated, the identity of the bodies was completely unknown: “The original records showing the internment of these bodies were searched and the four bodies selected represented the remains of soldiers of which there was absolutely no indication as to name, rank, organization or date of death.”
The four bodies arrived at the Hotel de Ville in Chalons-sur-Marne on October 23, 1921. At 10 o’clock the next morning, French and American officials entered a hall where the four caskets were displayed, each draped with an American flag. Sergeant Edward Younger, the man given the task of making the selection, carried a spray of white roses with which to mark the chosen casket. According to the official account, Younger “entered the chamber in which the bodies of the four Unknown Soldiers lay, circled the caskets three times, then silently placed the flowers on the third casket from the left. He faced the body, stood at attention and saluted.”
Bearing the inscription “An Unknown American who gave his life in the World War,” the chosen casket traveled to Paris and then to Le Havre, France, where it would board the cruiser Olympia for the voyage across the Atlantic. Once back in the United States, the Unknown Soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.
The World War I Unknown lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda from his arrival in the United States until Armistice Day, 1921. On November 11, 1921, President Warren G. Harding officiated at the interment ceremonies at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. During the ceremony, the World War I Unknown was awarded the Victoria Cross by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Beatty, on behalf of King George V of the United Kingdom. (The Victoria Cross being the highest award for valour issued in the UK, on par with the Medal of Honor. Earlier, on March 4, 1921, the British Unknown Warrior was conferred the U.S. Medal of Honor by General of the Armies John Pershing.) In 1928, the Unknown Soldier was presented the Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished service to America’s youth by the Boy Scouts of America.
What Glenn is describing in the top quote (link) is a virulent strain of what I call fan politics, which is most visibly seen today by Obamabots, as they’ve been called around here since 2007. Greenwald has been attacked on this site (Taylor Marsh) by them, as has Mr. Krugman. Fan politics is about people, like the Obamabots, who support a politician regardless of the policies he or she delivers upon, thinking anyone finding fault in their candidate of choice is committing some larger sin for not following in line. Fan politics is particularly destructive because it demands party loyalty take the place of political dialogue, party trumping principle.
Die hard party loyalists don’t seem to get there is a undulating political upheaval slowly taking place, which has been happening on the right for several years, with the left joining in, the foundation of their discontent the continued drag right of the Democratic Party, which began under William Jefferson Clinton. What saved Clinton from the wrath being felt today, besides the fact that new media hadn’t matured, was the courage he had to launch the largest tax increase in decades, though Lawrence O’Donnell claims it was the biggest ever, which, along with the tech boom, led to peacetime prosperity for everyone.
(T)he background of the left’s discontent is the belief that if Obama is reelected he will tinker with the New Deal, because he won’t have anything to lose, with his legacy of accomplishments his only priority. But as we’re seeing with health care, as the Administration scuttles Teddy Kennedy’s CLASS, not even Obama’s accomplishments are safe, because of the ramshackle way ACA was designed. Obama also seems to believe, joining conservative Democrats and Republics, that entitlement “reform” should be a priority, leaving most to rightly think that whether it’s a Democrat or Republican in the White House in 2012, the people’s safety net will be weakened.
What is at the root of Obamabot invective, however, is the palpable fear and realization that Pres. Obama could actually lose in 2012. This is a stunner for them, especially considering where Barack Obama started his presidency.
But now the President’s fans have their own egos attached to him and the thought of Obama losing is scaring the crap out of them. Their goal to get Obama reelected now tied to not being proved wrong about him, but also to protect gloating rights, never mind that the current choices from either party leave a lot to be desired. The sad truth is there isn’t very much difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney that will be felt by people. For Obamabots, it’s not just about Pres. Obama winning reelection in 2012. It’s not about their belief that Barack Obama will champion greater policies in a second term. There is no evidence he will. Obama’s reelection is now also about them. It’s personal, not political or policy driven.
Fan politics for the sake of the politician being supported is always toxic. It also usually disappoints. Just ask the bookend to the Obamabots, die hard fans of Sarah Palin.
US regulator declines to enforce ‘death penalty’ on oil company despite environmentalists’ fury
The Obama administration has infuriated environmentalists by giving BP the green light to bid for new drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico.
The move – seen as a major step in the company’s political rehabilitation as an offshore driller following the Deepwater Horizon accident – was revealed by the head of the US safety regulator after a congressional hearing in Washington.
BP declined to comment, but Friends of the Earth said it was appalled. “Governments should be administering the death penalty to all deepwater drilling rather than waiting for yet more devastating incidents like the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico or in any other part of the world,” argued Craig Bennett, director of policy and campaigns at the environmental group.
“It is not just BP operations that are deeply flawed,” he added. “There is not a single oil company that can say with a high degree of confidence that it can drill safely and how it will clear up if something goes wrong. It is clear in the context of climate change we need to develop new clean technologies, not hunt for fossil fuels in ever more remote and hard-to-reach areas.”
In May, the environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben – pondering a simmering energy issue – asked a NASA scientist to calculate what it would mean for the Earth’s climate if Canada extracted all of the petroleum in its rich Alberta oil sands region.
The answer to McKibben’s query came a month later: it would push atmospheric carbon concentrations so high that humans would be unable to avert a climate disaster. “It is essentially game over,” wrote James E. Hansen, who heads NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and is one of the nation’s leading voices against fossil fuel energy.
“This project represents a collision of multiple national interests and multiple political interests,” said P.J. Crowley, who served as spokesman for the State Department during part of the review process. “Energy security and environment normally go together, but in this case they are somewhat at odds. All have come together to make this a bigger deal than it might have appeared at first blush.”
Charles K. Ebinger, a senior fellow for energy at the Brookings Institution, said the issue has “become a test case for the Democrats” with two factions within the Obama camp asking the same question: “Is he with us or against us?”
“I do think it has become a defining political issue,” Ebinger said. “I don’t think he’s going to win any friends whichever way he goes.”