B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘OWS’ tag

650,000 customers fled corporate banks last month

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Bank of America - Kodachrome
Bank of America – Kodachrome

We did close a Bank of America account (presumedly), but haven’t yet closed our Chase accounts.

Yes, The Big Banks DO Care If We Move Our Money

650,000 customers moved $4.5 billion dollars out of the big banks and into smaller banks and credit unions in the last month.

But there is a myth making the rounds that the big banks don’t really care if we move our money. For example, one line of reasoning is that no matter how many people move their money, the Fed and Treasury will just bail out the giants again.

But many anecdotes show that the too big to fails do, in fact, care.

Initially, of course, if the big banks really didn’t care, they wouldn’t have prevented protesters from closing their accounts.

(click here to continue reading Big Banks Plead with Customers Not to Move Their Money | The Big Picture.)

A Fool Too Long
A Fool Too Long

and no matter how much the One Percenter Banks claim they don’t care if we move our money elsewhere, of course they do care:

Even though the government may keep throwing money at the dinosaurs, the Basel regulations do have some capital requirements, and so the big banks need to bring in some actual deposits to fund their casino gambling.

Moreover, if too many depositors leave, the illusion that the big banks are serving the American public will be burst, and a critical mass of consciousness will occur, so that the banks’ questioned control over the American political and financial systems will start to be questioned.

So moving our money is an effective step towards reclaiming America.

Written by Seth Anderson

November 10th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Business

Tagged with , ,

Outrage Grows Over Oakland PD injury of Scott Olsen

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Purple Lotus Society - Lomo

Purple Lotus Society, Oakland

Sometimes it is the small incidents that stand for the whole – like Bull Connor turning the water cannons and setting the police dogs to attack civil rights protestors in Birmingham. Not that Scott Olsen’s injuries are small, or that Oakland Mayor Jean Quan handled the aftermath correctly,1 but rather this was less than two minutes of the international OWS protest. A potent symbol, in other words, one that expands upon the NYPD pepper spray incident with Tony Bolgna, et al.

OAKLAND, Calif. — For supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, whose diffuse anger has been a defining and sometimes distracting characteristic, the wounding of an Iraq war veteran here has provided a powerful central rallying point. Multimedia

The veteran, Scott Olsen, 24, was critically injured on Tuesday night when he was hit in the head with a projectile thrown or shot by law enforcement officers combating protesters trying to re-enter a downtown plaza that had been cleared of an encampment earlier in the day. Mr. Olsen, who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine, suffered a fractured skull.

And while Mr. Olsen’s condition has since improved, his injury — and the oddity of a Marine who faced enemy fire only to be attacked at home — has prompted an outpouring of sympathy, as well as calls for solidarity among the scores of Occupy encampments around the nation. On Thursday night, camps in several major cities — including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia — were expected to participate in a vigil for Mr. Olsen, according to Iraq Veterans Against the War, of which he is a member.

“I think people would have been outraged even had this been a civilian,” said Jose Vasquez, the group’s executive director, “but the fact that he survived two tours of duty and then to have this happen to him, people are really upset about that.”

(click here to continue reading Outrage Grows Over Scott Olsen, Veteran Wounded at Occupy Oakland Protest – NYTimes.com.)

and the backstory, if you hadn’t heard about it already:

An Iraq war veteran has a fractured skull and brain swelling after allegedly being hit by a police projectile.

Scott Olsen is in a “critical condition” in Highland hospital in Oakland, a hospital spokesman confirmed.

Olsen, 24, suffered the head injury during protests in Oakland on Tuesday evening. More than 15 people were arrested after a crowd gathered to demonstrate against the police operation to clear two Occupy Oakland camps in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Jay Finneburgh, a photographer who was covering the protest, published pictures of Olsen lying on the ground.

“This poor guy was right behind me when he was hit in the head with a police projectile. He went down hard and did not get up,” Finneburgh wrote.

Olsen was taken to Highland by fellow protesters.

(click here to continue reading Occupy Oakland: Iraq war veteran in critical condition after police clashes | World news | guardian.co.uk.)

And he’ll hopefully recover full faculties, though that’s uncertain still:

Scott Olsen requires surgery to relive the pressure on his brain, according to his roommate Keith Shannon.

“Neurosurgeons have decided he needs surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain and it will happen in a day or two,” Shannon said.

He added that Olsen’s parents should be arriving at the hospital to be with their son shortly.

Earlier on Thursday a spokesman for Highland hospital confirmed that Olsen’s condition had improved to “fair” from “critical”. It is understood he is in intensive care. Highland hospital could not be immediately reached for confirmation that Olsen would undergo surgery.

(click here to continue reading Occupy Oakland – police under scrutiny Thursday 27 October | World news | guardian.co.uk.)

Video here:

Footnotes:
  1. she should resign []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 28th, 2011 at 6:36 am

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with ,

Jean Quan Is a Know-Nothing And Proud

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Sorry to hear of Mayor Jean Quan’s evasion of responsibility re: the horrific police riot in Oakland that left Scott Olsen, a 2-tour Iraq Veteran, in the hospital with brain swelling and skull injuries. If you haven’t seen the video, here’s a short version with commentary:

Oakland — Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who is being criticized from all sides for a police sweep of the Occupy Oakland encampment, said Wednesday that she was not involved in the planning and did not even know when the action was going to take place.

The decision to raid the camp outside City Hall was made by City Administrator Deanna Santana on Oct. 19 with consultation from interim Police Chief Howard Jordan after campers repeatedly blocked paramedics and police from entering the camp despite reports of violence and injuries.

News conference

Quan told a news conference at City Hall on Wednesday that her input on the raid was limited.

“I only asked the chief to do one thing: to do it when it was the safest for both the police and the demonstrators,” she said.

The mayor said “I don’t know everything” when asked by reporters if she was satisfied with how police conducted the sweep. She said she spent Wednesday meeting with community groups.

She also defended “99 percent” of police officers “who took a lot of abuse” and who “have really been trying to re-establish that connection with the community.”

(click here to continue reading Occupy Oakland: Jean Quan ‘I don’t know everything’.)

So basically, the Mayor is saying she isn’t that interested in what the police are doing in her city, and doesn’t think that is important for her to be involved, or even informed. Oh, and stop being so mean to the poor, poor police, they were just trying to pet kittens.1

Keith Olbermann was disappointed as well, saying (on Current-TV)

Olbermann discussed Mayor Quan’s 20 year liberal career in Oakland and then said, “And in the last two nights Mayor Jean Quan has betrayed all of that. There is no excuse. There is no justification. There is no rationalization for being the mayor who may have begun the great march backward in this country to the days when mayors like Sam Yorty of Los Angeles and Hugh Addonizio of Newark and Richard Dailey of Chicago stood back and their police incited, bullied, overreacted, and brutally assaulted protesters at the height of the Civil Rights and Vietnam movements. Those protests began non-violently, positively with singing and marching and cooperation with authorities, but the police like the police in Oakland, California this week, they injected the violence. Then it escalated and echoed, and soon there wasn’t just one Iraq vet in a hospital with a fractured skull, but there were dead men and women on the streets in this country and no one in this country wants to see that again today.”

He continued, “The mayor of any city is not out on the front lines with cops, and not everything they do can be lain at the mayor’s feet, but if one night a group of peaceable protesters exercising the rights given to them under the Constitution and not rights made up for the cops by the cops like lawful command and imminent threat. If they are attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets and the mayor’s only comments are to commend the police chief for a, “generally peacefully resolution to a situation, “ and after that claim democracy is messy, after the unprovoked actions horrify a nation, she is endorsing and assuming for herself whatever havoc the out of control police officers wrought.”

Later Olbermann closed by pointing out that it was only 15 months ago that Mayor Jean Quan was bullied by the police department, “Fifteen months ago Mayor Jean Quan was bullied by the Oakland Police Department, and tonight she is the bully. Mayor Quan is left with two choices. She can dismiss the acting police chief Howard Jordan and use her mayoral powers to authorize Occupy Oakland to protest again without harassment, or having betrayed everything she supported and all those who supported her, she must resign.”

(click here to continue reading Keith Olbermann Calls Out The Police for Instigating Occupy Oakland Violence.)

Footnotes:
  1. Or funny versions []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 27th, 2011 at 8:52 am

OWS Is Bigger Than Pundit Class Can Comprehend

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Blank Verse
Blank Verse

Dahlia Lithwick is right, Occupy Wall Street has nothing to do with the professional pundit class. Thankfully, because too often those self-satisfied mandarins are part of the nation’s problem. Fox News is the worst, but they are not alone. Do you think a news organization mostly owned by a defense contractor1 is going to fully report on challenges to the status quo? Or a news organization2 that has Frank Carlucci of the Carlyle Group on its Board of Directors?

I confess to being driven insane this past month by the spectacle of television pundits professing to be baffled by the meaning of Occupy Wall Street. Good grief. Isn’t the ability to read still a job requirement for a career in journalism? And as last week’s inane “What Do They Want?” meme morphs into this week’s craven “They Want Your Stuff” meme, I feel it’s time to explain something: Occupy Wall Street may not have laid out all of its demands in a perfectly cogent one-sentence bumper sticker for you, Mr. Pundit, but it knows precisely what it doesn’t want. It doesn’t want you.

What the movement clearly doesn’t want is to have to explain itself through corporate television. To which I answer, Hallelujah. You can’t talk down to a movement that won’t talk back to you.

Occupy Wall Street is not a movement without a message. It’s a movement that has wisely shunned the one-note, pre-chewed, simple-minded messaging required for cable television as it now exists. It’s a movement that feels no need to explain anything to the powers that be, although it is deftly changing the way we explain ourselves to one another.

Think, for just a moment, about the irony. We are the most media-saturated 24-hour-cable-soaked culture in the world, and yet around the country, on Facebook and at protests, people are holding up cardboard signs, the way protesters in ancient Sumeria might have done when demonstrating against a rise in the price of figs. And why is that? Because they very wisely don’t trust television cameras and microphones to get it right anymore. Because a media constructed around the illusion of false equivalencies, screaming pundits, and manufactured crises fails to capture who we are and what we value.

(click here to continue reading How OWS confuses and ignores Fox News and the pundit class. – Slate Magazine.)

Footnotes:
  1. NBC, MSNBC, et al []
  2. CBS []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 27th, 2011 at 8:20 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Naomi Wolf: arrested at Occupy Wall Street

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Sheriff's Line Do Not Cross
Sheriff’s Line Do Not Cross

The police and their insistence upon their own power being ultimate, no matter the legality of the situation, is troubling.

Naomi Wolf, author and political consultant was attending an event sponsored by the Huffington Post, and ended up getting arrested. She reports:

I went up [to the phalanx of NYPD cops] and asked them why [the OWC folks were moved away from the event]. They replied that they had been informed that the Huffington Post event had a permit that forbade them to use the sidewalk. I knew from my investigative reporting on NYC permits that this was impossible: a private entity cannot lease the public sidewalks; even film crews must allow pedestrian traffic. I asked the police for clarification – no response.

I went over to the sidewalk at issue and identified myself as a NYC citizen and a reporter, and asked to see the permit in question or to locate the source on the police or event side that claimed it forbade citizen access to a public sidewalk. Finally a tall man, who seemed to be with the event, confessed that while it did have a permit, the permit did allow for protest so long as we did not block pedestrian passage.

I thanked him, returned to the protesters, and said: “The permit allows us to walk on the other side of the street if we don’t block access. I am now going to walk on the public sidewalk and not block it. It is legal to do so. Please join me if you wish.” My partner and I then returned to the event-side sidewalk and began to walk peacefully arm in arm, while about 30 or 40 people walked with us in single file, not blocking access.

Then a phalanx of perhaps 40 white-shirted senior officers descended out of seemingly nowhere and, with a megaphone (which was supposedly illegal for citizens to use), one said: “You are unlawfully creating a disruption. You are ordered to disperse.” I approached him peacefully, slowly, gently and respectfully and said: “I am confused. I was told that the permit in question allows us to walk if we don’t block pedestrian access and as you see we are complying with the permit.”

He gave me a look of pure hate. “Are you going to back down?” he shouted. I stood, immobilized1, for a moment. “Are you getting out of my way?” I did not even make a conscious decision not to “fall back” – I simply couldn’t even will myself to do so, because I knew that he was not giving a lawful order and that if I stepped aside it would be not because of the law, which I was following, but as a capitulation to sheer force. In that moment’s hesitation, he said, “OK,” gestured, and my partner and I were surrounded by about 20 officers who pulled our hands behind our backs and cuffed us with plastic handcuffs.

(click here to continue reading Naomi Wolf: How I was arrested at Occupy Wall Street | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.)

Homeland Security Federal Protective Service Police
Homeland Security Federal Protective Service Police

and this bit is extremely troubling:

Another scary outcome I discovered is that, when the protesters marched to the first precinct, the whole of Erickson Street was cordoned off – “frozen” they were told, “by Homeland Security”. Obviously if DHS now has powers to simply take over a New York City street because of an arrest for peaceable conduct by a middle-aged writer in an evening gown, we have entered a stage of the closing of America, which is a serious departure from our days as a free republic in which municipalities are governed by police forces.

The police are now telling my supporters that the permit in question gave the event managers “control of the sidewalks”. I have asked to see the permit but still haven’t been provided with it – if such a category now exists, I have never heard of it; that, too, is a serious blow to an open civil society. What did I take away? Just that, unfortunately, my partner and I became exhibit A in a process that I have been warning Americans about since 2007: first they come for the “other” – the “terrorist”, the brown person, the Muslim, the outsider; then they come for you – while you are standing on a sidewalk in evening dress, obeying the law.

Footnotes:
  1. sic, UK spelling []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 20th, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,