10/14/2011 archive

This Week In The Dream Antilles



When I arrived in late afternoon, La Bahia was asleep.  I tiptoed up to her. She was only partially covered by the white and grey cotton blanket, frequently used, often washed and very soft. I could see her bare back as it rose and fell with her breath. I watched her sleep.  I listened to her breathing. I did not wake her.

As I think about this and try to write it down, I know that this is what love feels like when it is raining.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles.  It is something else.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Bernard E. Harcourt: Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Political Disobedience’

Our language has not yet caught up with the political phenomenon that is emerging in Zuccotti Park and spreading across the nation, though it is clear that a political paradigm shift is taking place before our very eyes. It’s time to begin to name and in naming, to better understand this moment. So let me propose some words: “political disobedience.”

Occupy Wall Street is best understood, I would suggest, as a new form of what could be called “political disobedience,” as opposed to civil disobedience, that fundamentally rejects the political and ideological landscape that we inherited from the Cold War.

Civil disobedience accepted the legitimacy of political institutions, but resisted the moral authority of resulting laws. Political disobedience, by contrast, resists the very way in which we are governed: it resists the structure of partisan politics, the demand for policy reforms, the call for party identification, and the very ideologies that dominated the post-War period.

Richard Reeves: Which Side Are You On!

I am all for Occupy Wall Street-and a lot of other places-but I wish I understood where this is going. And why it took so long to get going.

“When men can speak in liberty, you can bet they won’t act,” a Philadelphia lawyer named Charles Ingersoll told Alexis de Tocqueville almost 200 years ago as the French writer traveled the United States (24 of them) taking notes for what would become his great work, “Democracy in America.”

The United States has followed that line for most of its history, and it has generally worked. Because of Ingersoll’s words, I was chilled a bit by the fact that New York City has denied the Occupy people the liberty of a sound system to allow them to speak to more than just the people within earshot.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Street Heat Nation

Three years ago, when the banks took down our economy-and people’s homes, savings and lives with it-we wondered, Why aren’t more people out in the streets?

When the banksters were bailed out with no strings attached-no foreclosure relief, no megabank breakups, no controls on exorbitant salaries-we wondered, Why aren’t more people out in the streets?

And finally when those same corporations returned to record profits but hoarded the cash, keeping credit frozen and jobs scarce-we wondered, What will it take for people far and wide to hit the streets?

It took Occupy Wall Street.

Michael Winship: Occupy Wall Street Wins Labor’s Love

Early last Friday morning, as the Occupy Wall Street protesters were just uncurling from their sleeping bags, I went downtown for a walkthrough of their campsite at Zuccotti Park, now also known as Liberty Plaza. I met up there with AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka and New York City Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez. (I’m president of an AFL-CIO affiliated union.)

There were just a few of us in our group, and as the sun burned through the dawn’s chill, not much attention was paid as we took the tour. We kept our voices low and walked carefully, doing our best to keep from tripping over and waking those who were still asleep

One or two reporters hooked up with us, not including the kid you may have seen with the fake cardboard Fox News camera and microphone, who tossed out questions as he walked along behind us. That was the extent of the media coverage.

Steve Frazer: The All-American Occupation: A Century of Our Streets Vs. Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street, the ongoing demonstration-cum-sleep-in that began a month ago not far from the New York Stock Exchange and has since spread like wildfire to cities around the country, may be a game-changer.  If so, it couldn’t be more appropriate or more in the American grain that, when the game changed, Wall Street was directly in the sights of the protesters.

The fact is that the end of the world as we’ve known it has been taking place all around us for some time.  Until recently, however, thickets of political verbiage about cutting this and taxing that, about the glories of “job creators” and the need to preserve “the American dream,” have obscured what was hiding in plain sight — that street of streets, known to generations of our ancestors as “the street of torments.”

After an absence of well over half a century, Wall Street is back, center stage, as the preferred American icon of revulsion, a status it held for a fair share of our history.  And we can thank a small bunch of campers in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park for hooking us up to a venerable tradition of resistance and rebellion.

Tom Engelhardt: Blowback on Wall Street?

Last weekend, in Washington Square Park in downtown Manhattan at a giant mill-in, teach-in, whatever-in-extension of Occupy Wall Street’s camp-out in Zuccotti Park, there was a moment to remember.  Under what can only be called a summer sun, a contingent from the Egyptian Association for Change, USA, came marching in, their “Support Occupy Wall Street” banners held high (in Arabic and English), chanting about Cairo’s Tahrir Square (where some of them had previously camped out).  The energy level of the crowd rose to buzz-level and cheers broke out.  

And little wonder.  After all, it was a moment for the history books.  An American protest movement had taken its most essential strategic act directly from an Egyptian movement for democracy: camp out and don’t go home.  It had then added (as one of the Egyptians pointed out to me) a key tactic of that movement, the widespread and brilliant use of social media to jumpstart events.  And keep in mind that some of the Egyptian organizers at Tahrir Square had been trained in social networking by organizations like the International Republican Institute and the Democratic National Institute (created and indirectly funded by the U.S. Congress).

Service Interruptions

A little Meta housekeeping.

Our 2 sites, The Stars Hollow Gazette and DocuDharma, have been experiencing service interruptions, some of them extended and inconvenient.  Last month Soapblox updated our software and shifted our hosting to Amazon cloud servers.  A few temporary glitches are only to be expected.

TheMomCat and I are aware of these problems, as are the technical support people at Soapblox.  Edger is acting as a contact person for us and several other sites he supports which we think has the benefit of not flooding inboxes with too many duplicate messages.

On a personal note I experienced a hard crash on my main computer and have been unable to access my customary environment for the last few weeks.  I hope my level of obnoxiousness has not suffered materially.

I have arrived at what I think is a reasonable hardware solution and over the next few days I’ll be trying to get that functional.  I may decide to bore you with the details at some point because I think the process has been instructive and may benefit readers who are considering similar situations.

As always, thank you for your indulgence.

Morning #OWS Update

Occupy Wall Street Stays in Park

By Aaron Rutkoff, The Wall Street Journal

October 14, 2011, 6:57 AM ET

The real-estate company that owns the small park at the center of the Occupy Wall Street movement has postponed a planned cleaning of the site, a New York City deputy mayor announced early Friday morning.

The decision by Brookfield Office Properties Inc. to delay its planned cleaning of Zuccotti Park means that the protesters who have been living at the site for nearly a month will not be forced to depart and remove the tarps, beds and other items accumulated during the ongoing demonstration.

Wall Street sit-in goes global Saturday


Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:52am EDT

For an October revolution, dress warm.

That’s the word going out – politely – on the Web to rally street protests on Saturday around the globe from New Zealand to Alaska via London, Frankfurt, Washington and, of course, New York, where the past month’s Occupy Wall Street movement has inspired a worldwide yell of anger at banks and financiers.

Italian police are preparing for tens of thousands to march in Rome against austerity measures planned by the beleaguered government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Yet in crisis-ravaged Athens, where big protests have seen violence at times of late, a sense of fatigue and futility may limit numbers on Saturday. In Madrid, where thousands of young “indignados”, or “angry ones”, camped out for weeks, many also feel the movement has run out of steam since the summer.

Germans, where sympathy for southern Europe’s debt troubles is patchy, the financial centre of Frankfurt, and the European Central Bank in particular, is expected to be a focus of marches calling by the Spanish-inspired Real Democracy Now movement.

NYC official says cleanup of protest site has been postponed; demonstrators consider new march

By Associated Press

Updated: Friday, October 14, 7:15 AM

NEW YORK – The cleanup of a plaza in lower Manhattan where protesters have been camped out for a month was postponed early Friday, sending cheers up from a crowd that had feared the effort was merely a pretext to evict them.

Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said the owners of the private park, Brookfield Office Properties, had put off the cleaning. Supporters of the protesters had started streaming into the park in the morning darkness before the planned cleaning, forming a crowd of several hundred chanting people.

“I’ll believe it when we’re able to stay here,” said protester Peter Hogness, 56, a union employee from Brooklyn. “One thing we have learned from this is that we need to rely on ourselves and not on promises from elected officials.”

Nobel Prize-Winning Former President Of Poland To Visit Occupy Wall Street

By Christopher Robbins, Gothamist

October 12, 2011 4:14 PM

Lech Walesa, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning former president of Poland, will show his support of Occupy Wall Street by paying Zuccotti Park a visit. “How could I not respond,” Walesa said, “The thousands of people gathered near Wall Street are worried about the fate of their future, the fate of their country. This is something I understand.”

4 live streams courtesy of Elliott @ Firedog Lake below.

On This Day In History October 14

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 14 is the 287th day of the year (288th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 78 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1947, U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Charles Elwood “Chuck” Yeager (born February 13, 1923) is a retired major general in the United States Air Force and noted test pilot. He was the first pilot to travel faster than sound (1947). Originally retiring as a brigadier general, Yeager was promoted to major general on the Air Force’s retired list 20 years later for his military achievements.

His career began in World War II as a private in the United States Army Air Forces. After serving as an aircraft mechanic, in September 1942 he entered enlisted pilot training and upon graduation was promoted to the rank of flight officer (the World War II USAAF equivalent to warrant officer) and became a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. After the war he became a test pilot of many kinds of aircraft and rocket planes. Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 13,700 m (45,000 ft). . . .

Yeager remained in the Air Force after the war, becoming a test pilot at Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base) and eventually being selected to fly the rocket-powered Bell X-1 in a NACA program to research high-speed flight, after Bell Aircraft test pilot “Slick” Goodlin demanded $150,000 to break the sound “barrier.”  Such was the difficulty in this task that the answer to many of the inherent challenges were along the lines of “Yeager better have paid-up insurance.” Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental X-1 at Mach  1 at an altitude of 45,000 feet (13,700 m). Two nights before the scheduled date for the flight, he broke two ribs while riding a horse. He was so afraid of being removed from the mission that he went to a veterinarian in a nearby town for treatment and told only his wife, as well as friend and fellow project pilot Jack Ridley about it.

On the day of the flight, Yeager was in such pain that he could not seal the airplane’s hatch by himself. Ridley rigged up a device, using the end of a broom handle as an extra lever, to allow Yeager to seal the hatch of the airplane. Yeager’s flight recorded Mach 1.07, however, he was quick to point out that the public paid attention to whole numbers and that the next milestone would be exceeding Mach 2. Yeager’s X-1 is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

#OWS Emergency Action

EMERGENCY CALL TO ACTION: Keep Bloomberg and Kelly From Evicting #OWS

Posted Oct. 13, 2011, 2:14 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt


Prevent the forcible closure of Occupy Wall Street

Tell Bloomberg: Don’t Foreclose the Occupation.



This is an emergency situation. Please take a minute to read this, and please take action and spread the word far and wide.

(h/t tahoebasha3, riverdaughter, Joyce Arnold, and lambert)

Live streaming video courtesy of TheMomCat

2011 NLCS- Brewers at Cardinals Game 4

As bad as you think Lohse is (and he had a terrible 5 Run 6th against the Phillies), Wolf was positively torched in the 5 Run 1st by the Diamondbacks and surrendered another 2 in the 3rd.

So this might be a high scoring game.

With a 2 – 1 Series advantage, the Cardinals need not leave the friendly confines of Busch Stadium while in the battle of the beers the Brewers desperately need a road victory to send it back to Miller Park.

Either way a defeat won’t crush the Cards who look to be the better team for all their wild cardiness (heh), but the Brewers, while not in desperation mode just yet, will be trying hard to even this one up.

Up Date by TheMomCat:

The site server was down but we are back. Here is a recap of what has happened so far:

MLCS Brewers at Cardinals Game 4:

Weather could be a factor. It’s very windy

Line up

Top of the 1st: Pitching for Cardinals is Kyle Lohse

1 out; 2 out;

Brewers’  Braun Base hit, single

Brewers’ Fielder strikes out, side retires one runner left on

Bottom of 1st: Randy Wolf pitching for the Brewers

1 out; 2 outs; 3rd out inning over

Top of the 2nd:  1 out at 1st, 2nd out; 3rd out on a fly ball

Bottom of the 2nd: 1 out; Solo home run by Matt Halliday

1 – 0 Cardinals with 1 out.

Ground rule double by Molina

Base hit to 1st, Molina on 3rd; 1 out

Base hit out at 1st, runners on 2nd & 3rd

Pitcher Lohse at bat and je strikes out

Top of the 3rd: 1 out; Brewer pitcher Randy Wolf with a double