Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, November 14, 2011
(11-14) 08:51 PST OAKLAND — Mayor Jean Quan’s chief legal adviser resigned early this morning after what he called a “tragically unnecessary” police raid of the Occupy Oakland camp.
Dan Siegel, a civil rights attorney and one of Oakland’s most active and vocal police critics, said the city should have done more to work with campers before sending in police.
“The city sent police to evict this camp, arrest people and potentially hurt them,” Siegel said. “Obviously, we’re not on the same page. It’s an amazing show of force to move tents from a public place.”
Siegel strongly and vocally opposed any plan by the city to take down the month-old camp in the days leading up the police raid.
“I am really disappointed with the city,” Siegel said at the protest near City Hall. Oakland has become “the most hostile city to the Occupy movement. Where else are they having 600 police officers take down some tents?”
At a news conference today, Quan said she has known Siegel since the two attended UC Berkeley together and noted that they have been known to disagree. She said Siegel had been working on “a small project on a volunteer basis in my office” and would only say this of his departure: “He’s moving on. I’m moving on.”
Siegel said he wasn’t impressed with Quan’s response to the protest.
From World Socialist Web Site: http://wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/port-n14.shtml
By Hector Cordon
14 November 2011
Police finally succeeded in forcing hundreds of Occupy Portland supporters from their camp on Sunday, capping a tumultuous evening and morning in which thousands of sympathizers flooded downtown Portland to defend the protesters’ site.
Democratic Mayor Sam Adams ordered the two parks where protesters had set up camp sites to be cleared, citing as his pretext reported assaults and health and sanitation issues. In an interview on public television he declared, “The camp itself is inherently unsafe.”
In response, thousands of people, many of them young, arrived downtown late Saturday, packing the sidewalks and streets around the two parks. As protesters counted down to the 12:01 am deadline to evacuate Occupy Portland’s camps and no effort was made by authorities to clear the area, a celebratory mood ensued, with hundreds of young people singing, dancing and playing drums on Main Street, between the parks.
The police simply waited for the crowds to dissipate and implemented their eviction plan Sunday morning. Once again there was an influx of as many as 2,000 supporters.
Julian told the World Socialist Web Site, “The police seemed visibly daunted by the number of people who had turned out to support Occupy Portland on the night of its planned eviction. The crowd, from my observations, reached its height around 12:30 a.m., half an hour after the planned beginning of the eviction. Both occupied blocks and the portion of Main Street between them were filled with people. Many more congregated on the sidewalks on the far side of the street.
Continue reading at: http://wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/port-n14.shtml
When We first arrived in Texas, we started checking out the barbeque joints where we discovered they served such things as the three meat combo.
My first comment and one I will stand by is that meat is not a side dish for meat and that just for the sake of not stroking out at fifty y’all might want to actually scarf some vegetables along side of all that meat, and I don’t mean corn that has been processed by an animal into yet more meat.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a vegan who acts disgusted over people eating meat. I’m an omnivore. Being an omnivore means I eat vegetables and grains along side of meat and fish and eggs.
I worked passing out food samples in a big box store for three years. Some of the products they asked me to sell were really garbage that no one should put in their bodies, composed of fat, salt, artificial flavors and colors.
Mostly though I sold some of the healthier stuff because I could cook and talk at the same time and because I did better selling healthy environmentally friendly products.
I listened to obese right wing slobs tell me, “Healthy… Then it can’t taste any good…”
It’s as though eating better is considered a left wing plot and I guess it is.
Let me explain.
Along with peddling extreme caricatures of gender roles and using them to sell garbage to people too drugged out by the constant propaganda feeds, they use these same propaganda channels to encourage hatred of LGBT/T folks, feminists, hippies, liberals.
If the media drugged out masses actually listened to folks who do stuff like eat healthy, jog, cycle, do yoga etc they might be less inclined to eat the fast food crap sold by the cookie cutter fast food franchises that have turned this country into McUSA. The corporate fascists are concerned that if people see an alternative to their unhealthy garbage they might opt for that instead. This is particularly true given their unhealthy garbage that disguises the fact it really tastes like shit with a ton of salt and high fructose corn syrup as well as a shit load of artery clogging fat.
I like pizza and because I like pizza I am very proud to say I have never ordered a “Godfather Pizza”. I avoid most pizza chain pizzas like the plague. Their products taste like crap disguised as food. The only way they can sell it is by attacking the masculinity of men who make healthier and generally better tasting choices.
But let’s look at something else. The men who follow the macho real men don’t eat vegetables crap wind up with a host of health problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease. All of those issues are treated with drugs which have impotency as one of their major side effects.
As a result the corporations sell them drugs to treat impotency.
The circle goes round and round. Corporations convince you to buy and eat crap that leads to health issues then they sell you drugs to treat the problems you wouldn’t have if you had eaten better in the first place.
Herman Cain is s corporate shill. Nothing more… A dancing clown selling crap.
Republican presidential candidate says real men like an abundance of toppings on their pizzas — as long as they aren’t vegetables.
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO told GQ magazine that he likes “lots of meat” on his pies.
“The more toppings a man has on his pizza, I believe the more manly he is,” Cain explained. “Because the more manly man is not afraid of abundance.”“Is that purely a meat question?” GQ‘s Alan Richman asked.
“A manly man don’t want it piled high with vegetables!” Cain exclaimed. “He would call that a sissy pizza.”
What Herman Cain doesn’t get is that real don’t sexually harass women only jive-assed turkeys like Herman Cain and Clarence (Corporate suck up Uncle Tom) Thomas do that.
What the moralists who are trying to close down sex ads don’t get is that working the ads is the safest form of sex work.
Close them down without offering alternatives to sex work that pay a decent wage equal to that which sex workers make and they wind up working the streets which is suicidal.
By Michelle Chen
Friday Nov 11, 2011
In a perfectly “free” labor market, everyone theoretically has the right to exchange work for commensurate compensation. But a free market is not necessarily a just one. And when the commodity is sex, how free is too free?
Sex work, and its attendant culture wars, have moved over time from traditional brothels of urban lore to online marketplaces, raising new questions about private and public freedom. In the digital world, how should trust and power be negotiated between provider and client, both encircled by systemic gender and economic inequities?
On this slippery battlefield, anti-trafficking advocates are campaigning against Village Voice Media’s Backpage, an ad portal featuring “adult” ads notorious for facilitating sexual services involving minors.
Village Voice Media’s editorial side has mounted a counterattack with reporting aimed at debunking popular myths (those familiar salacious tales of powerful men exploiting innocent youngsters). Reporter Kristen Hinman cites research on underaged prostitutes that undercuts the stereotype of the classic prostitution ring, writing that “the typical kid who is commercially exploited for sex in New York City is not a tween girl, has not been sold into sexual slavery, and is not held captive by a pimp,” and that “Nearly all the boys and girls involved in the city’s sex trade are going it alone.”
That doesn’t mean the sex business is squeaky clean. Critics are unconvinced that Backpage can police itself (or “cover its collective arse,” as neofeminist blogger Maggie McNeill put it). Clergy and women’s rights groups dismiss the company’s free speech defense as window dressing.
“If I tried to sell crack online through Backpage,” Malika Saada Saar of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights told the Daily Beast, “the Village Voice would not stand up and say this is about the First Amendment… It’s convenient and politically easy for them to frame this as a free speech issue and it’s not. It’s a human rights issue.”
Sex workers agree that it’s a human rights issue. But they see the war on Backpage (and before that Craigslist) as the wrong answer to a wrong-headed question.
Sunday November 13, 2011
In order to come to grips with the actual government of the United States, we have to understand the theory and practice of oligarchy. Over the last three years, we have seen the failure of ordinary politics to deal with the depredations of the rich. Our bought and paid for congress protects the interests of the richest citizens in the country. The President refuses to hold any of them accountable for their crimes. Regulators from the Obama Administration slap a few of them on the wrist as a sop to our outrage. The President refused to carry out his campaign pledge to raise taxes on the rich.
This is exactly what you would expect from a nation governed by an oligarchy fused with a democracy, as described in this important paper by Jeffrey Winters, Oligarchy in the United States? (.pdf, kindly provided by Professor Winters), and fleshed out in his book Oligarchy. From the book:
Oligarchs are actors who command and control massive concentrations of material resources that can be deployed to defend or enhance their personal wealth and exclusive social position.
Oligarchy refer to the politics of wealth defense by materially endowed actors.
Oligarchs are defined by their wealth and their unrelenting efforts to defend that wealth against legitimate and illegitimate claims. That would include thieves, crooks, cheats and frauds, and the legitimate claims of taxing authorities.
Oligarchic wealth today is not created by tangible personal property, although the richest among us have plenty of that. It is defined by ownership of paper rights, stock in companies, bonds issued by the government and corporations, oil wells, patents, deeds to real estate and so on. The only substantial protector of both forms of wealth is the State, meaning both local and national government.
One more reason to be an Atheist.
Yet more proof Dominionists aren’t actually Christians.
by Brian Tashman
November 11, 2011
Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries and the Oak Initiative has regularly provided his “prophetic” analysis of the Republican presidential nomination race, and claimed to have met with at least one candidate, Michele Bachmann. But today, Joyner focused on the accusations against Herman Cain that have drawn immense media scrutiny not only into Cain’s background but also his campaign management skills, as he and his chief of staff have since blamed everyone from Rick Perry to the “Democrat machine” and even a reporter who they falsely accused of working for Politico and being the son of one of his accusers.
But Joyner is rallying to Cain’s defense in a “special bulletin” he sent to members today. The “prophet” portrayed Cain as the victim, not the two women who received settlements from the National Restaurant Association or the two other women who said Cain had harassed them.
Joyner argued that if Cain was harassing women, how come no one “has come forth admitting to having an affair with him”? Speaking about Sharon Bialek, Joyner said that “the attack she claimed happened in a car would have been impressive even for someone with the dexterity of Spiderman”:
One of the accusers, who we now know has a history of filing complaints like this and seeking compensation, did not file a complaint when she supposedly was harassed by Cain. Why? This has to raise even more questions about her credibility.
Then the attack she claimed happened in a car would have been impressive even for someone with the dexterity of Spiderman. This accuser, who claimed she had nothing to gain from making this accusation, then happily began making the rounds of the morning talk shows.
Another missing ingredient to these charges against Cain is that no one has come forth admitting to having an affair with him. Another is that when someone is as aggressive as these accusers claim that Cain was with them, there is almost always a pattern of behavior that has grown over time, and there are usually many people who know about it. People who worked with Cain for many years have to date said this was not something they had ever witnessed in him.
By MALIA WOLLAN and ELIZABETH A. HARRIS
Published: November 13, 2011
BERKELEY, Calif. — Goodbye city park, hello college green.
As city officials around the country move to disband Occupy Wall Street encampments amid growing concerns over health and public safety, protesters have begun to erect more tents on college campuses.
“We are trying to get mass numbers of students out,” said Natalia Abrams, 31, a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and an organizer with Occupy Colleges, a national group coordinating college-based protesters.
Though only a handful of colleges have encampments at the moment, tents went up last week at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and here at the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, protesters in California have vowed to occupy dozens of campuses in the coming days.
Last Wednesday at Berkeley, about 3,000 people gathered on Sproul Plaza to protest tuition increases, and many then set up a camp. Demonstrators linked arms to protect their tents, but police officers broke through and took down more than a dozen tents, arresting about 40 protesters.
University officials said they had watched city governments struggle to deal with expanding camp sites and decided to take a stricter line: no tents, no sleeping, period.
“The present struggles with entrenched encampments in Oakland, San Francisco and New York City led us to conclude that we must uphold our policy,” the university chancellor, Robert J. Birgeneau, and other top administrators said in a statement.
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-3
Many have commented on the remarkable callousness fashioned by this Republican presidential field. Most prominently, Herman Cain maintained that the poor and unemployed are responsible for their own plight; Ron Paul claimed that people who refrain from buying health insurance but become debilitated should not be bailed out by government healthcare—they should just die instead, his audience helpfully suggested (or hollered, rather); and just about all the candidates have recommended ever harsher, ever more absurd measures to keep out poor immigrants on our border with Mexico: double fences, electric fences, even soldiers with ‘real guns and real bullets,’ as Herman Cain put it.
What’s driving this show of meanness? You might say it’s just what the electorate—or some loud part thereof—wants. It seems like there are some seriously angry voters out there these days, and I’m sure the recession is taking a toll on people’s patience and generosity. And yet, I suspect this is no fleeting trend, but something with deeper ideological roots. In short, I sense Ayn Rand.
Rand has always had a good following, but her popularity has surged in recent years as conservatives repeatedly invoked her to counter Obama’s “Socialist” agenda. She has an impressive roster of conservative devotees: Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Ron Paul. Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul quoted Ayn Rand at length during a congressional committee meeting this past year—to argue against government mandates for energy efficient light bulbs, of all things. Congressman Paul Ryan, the rising star from Wisconsin who drafted the Republican’s celebrated plan to slash the federal budget, reportedly urges all his staffers to read her works.
This is a powerful fan-base, and many have feared the consequences of Rand’s influence. I think we are seeing it now, for there are clear strains of her venom in the excesses of the Republican candidates—and beyond. Her trademark callousness is increasingly evident throughout our political discourse regarding the poor and vulnerable of society. The congressional super-committee charged with agreeing on a trillion dollars in federal deficit reduction is reportedly contemplating cuts to food stamps, while Republicans remain steadfast that taxes not rise on the rich. This, as the recession lingers and poverty rates soar, and we witness the greatest concentration of wealth among the rich since the 1920s. The Republican stance is mind-boggling in these circumstances—but Rand would certainly approve; indeed, she might favor far worse. Consider:
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-3
Hollywood has a reputation for being a bastion for liberalism in America. It hasn’t totally earned it.
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
November 10, 2011
This week the film director Brett Ratner, known for his high-speed movies and extravagant lifestyle, angered people all over the country with his unflappable mouth. First: during a screening of his latest film, Tower Heist, Ratner responded to the question, “How do you rehearse your actors?” with the answer that “rehearsals are for fags.” His use of the pejorative term was the spark of a week-long outrage, which eventually led him to make a public apology and resign as producer of this year’s Oscars. (Eddie Murphy, the star of Tower Heist who agreed to host at Ratner’s prodding, also resigned.)
His exit from the awards show wasn’t solely about his gay slurs: this week, Ratner appeared on the Howard Stern show and spoke quite disgustingly about very specific parts of his sex life (and his sexual anatomy), making comments that “appalled” the president of the Academy. And if that wasn’t enough, he smeared his ex-girlfriend, actress Olivia Munn, telling “Attack of the Show” that “I banged her a few times, but I forgot her.” So, homophobia, misogyny and displays of alpha masculinity that are both cavemanish and juvenile? Check, check and check. Our creep radar is going bananas.
As the conservative mainstream media frames it, Hollywood is a place festering with pinkos and radicals, or at least where the bulk of America’s artsy liberals go to live and work. This narrative has been so pervasive that even progressives think of Tinseltown as a place where our allies reside, and indeed many do: actors like Sean Penn, Angelina Jolie, Danny Glover, and Matt Damon all participate in hands-on activism and deliver speeches that inspire us to greatness.
But while Hollywood’s reputation for liberal politics continues, the concept that only progressives and the socially conscious populate it might as well have come direct from Industrial Light and Magic. Brett Ratner’s actions this week are a reminder that, though some of its marquee names are politically liberal, the movie industry is completely contrary to that: trade organizations gouge wages, studios have legacies of union busting, roles written for people of color are limited and stereotypical, and actors remain closeted because they’re afraid of losing straight roles. (“An out male star can never be a leading man,” wrote Emily Nussbaum, in a New York magazine profile of out gay actor Neil Patrick Harris. “Straight women won’t be able to fantasize about him; straight men won’t be able to relate.”)
Continue to read at: http://www.alternet.org/story/153041/why_%27liberal_hollywood%27_is_a_myth/
By Joe Romm
Nov 11, 2011
It is the Subcommittee’s judgment that if action is not taken to reduce the environmental impact accompanying the very considerable expansion of shale gas production expected across the country – perhaps as many as 100,000 wells over the next several decades – there is a real risk of serious environmental consequences and a loss of public confidence that could delay or stop this activity.
The consequences to the nation from unrestricted gas fracking could be very serious if multiple actions aren’t taken quickly by energy companies and the government. That the somewhat surprising conclusion of The Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Subcommittee (SEAB) on Shale Gas Production.
It’s a bit surprising since “six of the seven members have current financial ties to the natural gas and oil industry.” It just shows how inescapable the dangers are when looked at by serious people.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, pumps water, sand and chemicals underneath shale formations to force out trapped gas. It allows companies to access massive reserves of gas that were formerly unreachable. But drilling operations leak large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and are associated with a host of problems including groundwater contamination and even earthquakes — see Shale Shocked: “Highly Probable” Fracking Caused U.K. Earthquakes, and It’s Linked to Oklahoma Temblors.
And fracking is poised to become commonplace around the country, as the map from the full report (PDF here) makes clear.
From Inside Climate News: http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20111110/epa-fracking-wyoming-aquifer-drinking-water-natural-gas-wells?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+solveclimate%2Fblog+%28InsideClimate+News%29
Wells drilled deep into an aquifer in Pavillion, Wyo., contain high levels of cancer-causing compounds and at least one chemical used in fracking.
By Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica
Nov 13, 2011
As the country awaits results from a nationwide safety study on the natural gas drilling process of fracking, a separate government investigation into contamination in a place where residents have long complained that drilling fouled their water has turned up alarming levels of underground pollution.
A pair of environmental monitoring wells drilled deep into an aquifer in Pavillion, Wyo., contain high levels of cancer-causing compounds and at least one chemical commonly used in hydraulic fracturing, according to new water test results released yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The findings are consistent with water samples the EPA has collected from at least 42 homes in the area since 2008, when ProPublica began reporting on foul water and health concerns in Pavillion and the agency started investigating reports of contamination there.
Last year—after warning residents not to drink or cook with the water and to ventilate their homes when they showered—the EPA drilled the monitoring wells to get a more precise picture of the extent of the contamination.
The Pavillion area has been drilled extensively for natural gas over the last two decades and is home to hundreds of gas wells. Residents have alleged for nearly a decade that the drilling—and hydraulic fracturing in particular—has caused their water to turn black and smell like gasoline. Some residents say they suffer neurological impairment, loss of smell, and nerve pain they associate with exposure to pollutants.
Continue reading at: http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20111110/epa-fracking-wyoming-aquifer-drinking-water-natural-gas-wells?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+solveclimate%2Fblog+%28InsideClimate+News%29