Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some OWS stuff...

Blame Matt! You have to read Matt Taibbi today. Apparently, Rush Limbaugh is accusing him of being one of the masterminds of the Occupy movement. Sez Rush:
This whole thing is a construct of the media-Democrat complex, industrial complex…
Sez Matt in response:
I nearly fell over laughing when I heard this. What the fuck is the Media-Democrat-Industrial Complex? Has Rush been reading Noam Chomsky books on the side? Calling any group that includes me and Glenn Greenwald an “industrial complex” is extremely high-concept comedy. We should have t-shirts made...

(Also, I love the phrase “emails have been found.” Actually, it was more like “a sleazy cyber-provocateur and amateur FBI informant stole the emails.” But who’s quibbling?)
Of course the notion that this is all a media fabrication is ludicrous. Dylan Ratigan didn’t invent four million people in foreclosure, he didn’t invent ten trillion dollars in bailouts, and he didn’t invent Wall Street’s $160 billion bonus pool the year after the crash of its own creation.

People out there do not need media figures to tell them how fucked things are, or how pissed they should be that the same bankers who caused the crash are now enjoying state-supported bonuses in the billions, while everyone else gets squeezed. As someone who has been covering this stuff for three years, I can say with confidence that people across the country don’t need a push to be angry. They’re already there, and have been there for years. Rush should go hang out outside a foreclosure court in his home state of Florida for a few hours, if he wants to see where the rising heat under these protests is coming from.
Rush's attack is part of a larger GOP strategy of blaming the OWS movement on an imaginary "journalists' conspiracy."
“The problem is the Times pretends to be objective,” said Lee Stranahan, the writer and filmmaker who posted the video of the Times freelancer on Big Government, Breitbart’s website.
Stranahan sparked the latest bit of scurrying on Monday after he posted a video of New York Times freelancer Natasha Lennard, who formerly worked at POLITICO, discussing the protests somewhat sympathetically as part of a panel.
I had a run-in or two with Stranahan during the Weiner affair. Basically, he's a Breitbarter with a twist, in that he pretends to be liberal, or liberal-ish -- even though all of his links and associations go right. There are a couple of guys like that. I suppose the libertarians consider them useful, even though they ain't foolin' no-one.

Trademarked: A couple in Long Island paid nearly a thousand bucks to trademark the phrase "Occupy Wall St." So from now on, anyone who tries to sell an OWS t-shirt will have to go through them


Those awful, awful Cat-licks: The Vatican (somewhat obliquely) supports the 99 percent movement. The Church also opposed the Iraq war and capital punishments. Nevertheless, to judge from the ludicrous commentary at the other end of the above link, Catholicism remains the Church Everyone Loves to Hate. In particular, liberals despise it with a vehemence they would never feel toward the Southern Baptists -- who supported the war, capital punishment and financial deregulation.

Occupy Baltimore. There are a lot of people who got degrees in the sciences from Johns Hopkins who have found that their PHDs do not translate into jobs. (This gets us into Riverdaughter's territory, doesn't it?) They are really pissed. Scientific American, of all periodicals, does a report on the unemployed scientific Occupiers of Balmer.
And scientists have certainly had much cause to protest during the last decade. With the sidelining of the American Competes act, the failure of Congress to pass climate change legislation, and the nationwide crisis afflicting science, technology and math (STEM) education, many of us are feeling helpless and angry, not just Cross and Rubin.

As an astrophysicist, I’ve watched funding sources in my field wither and my own students struggle to stay employed. Studies show that only half of U.S. adults can correctly answer the basic question: How long does it take for the Earth to go around the Sun? This statistic disheartens me. And the recently threatened closing of physics departments in Texas and Florida would not help the situation. I’m almost ready to protest too.
Critics have called the movement disjointed, and lacking in focus. Indeed, at the Baltimore protest, I spotted signs addressing gay rights and hemp use right next to signs about big pharma and climate change. (The international climate campaign 350.org has urged its supporters to join the movement.) These may all be worthy causes, but one wonders how a single movement can effectively represent all of them.
I've been saying much the same thing, although not with such scientific detachment.

On the other hand: People really don't know how long it takes the Earth to go around the sun? Yow! Maybe we should just chuck this OWS thing. There is no hope.
I dont know precisely either. I think its 365.25 days, but thats not quite right is it?

Nah! There's always hope. In the UK, it was reported that the majority of people when asked what an umbilical chord was responded:

A musical note!

LOL. At least that's funny.

As for Limbaugh's conspiracy theory? What an unmitigated wind bag. Limbaugh rallied around the Army of God's right to exist because they're . . . 'Christian.' Pule-e-se.

I'm sure Taibbi had a good laugh at the fat man's accusation.

What's not so funny are the number of scientists and other well-educated and trained professionals thrown in the dumpster because of this corporate/financial driven disaster. Though I've had plenty of problems with the Catholic Church over the years [raised a Catholic but haven't practiced for years], the Church is on the right side of things with their recent released memo on financial reform. I've been surprised that interfaith representatives haven't been speaking out loudly on the gross economic injustices all around us, the unethical practices that spun this mess into being, and the highway robbery/ exploitive behavior that continues.

Well, now the Vatican has spoken. Though I'm usually a harsh critic of the Church's social stands, I have to say: this time they're on the side of the angels. The memo refers to a warning that John Paul made in the early 90s about:

"the risk of an “idolatry of the market, an idolatry which ignores the existence of goods which by their nature are not and cannot be mere commodities.” Today his warning needs to be heeded without delay and a road must be taken that is in greater harmony with the dignity and transcendent vocation of the person and the human family."

Which keys into a term that I absolutely despise: 'human resources.' With that in mind, working men and women [labor] are simply another commodity. No better or more important than pulp.

I still have hope for OWS and the 99ers. Because what else is there?

Peggy Sue
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