Daily Archive: 11/15/2011

Nov 15 2011

Court Upholds Eviction of #OWS from Zuccotti Park

A Manhattan judge has ruled against the #OWS protesters, upholding the eviction and vacating the TRO:

A New York court has ruled that a pre-dawn police raid on the Occupy Wall Street camp at Zuccotti Park was legal.

The ruling means protesters will remain barred from setting up tents and sleeping in the park, although New York officials say protest will be allowed.

Here is Judge Michae Stallman’s decision:

   To the extent that City law prohibits the rerection of structures, the use  of gas or other combustible materials, and the accumulation of garbage and human waste in public places, enforcement of the law and the owner’s rules appears reasonable to permit the owner to maintain its space in a hygienic, safe, and lawful condition, and to prevent it from being liable by the city or others for violations of law, or in tort.  It also permits public access by those who live and work in the area who are the intended beneficiaries of this zoning bonus.

   The movants have not demonstrated that they have a first amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators, and other installations to the exclusion of the owner’s reasonable rights and duties to maintain Zuccotti Park, or to the rights to public access of others who might wish to use the space safely.  Neither have the applicants shown a right to a temporary restraining order that would restrict the City’s enforcement of law so as to promote public health and safety.

   Therefore, petitioner’s application for a temporary restraining order is denied.

David Waldman aka KagroX

I wish I could defy a TRO and then win on appeal anyway. I’m gonna try that next time.

I don’t think that this is the end of this.

Nov 15 2011

The Just Anger of the People

I am the anger, the just anger of the people, and that is why they listen to me and believe in me.

Why Tents Have Little to Do with Reason Behind Occupy Wall Street Eviction

By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake

Tuesday November 15, 2011 11:01 am

Bloomberg’s statement on the major police operation that resulted in hundreds of arrests, including the arrest of a reporter and city councilman, who was injured, shows once again the contempt and scorn the power elite have for democracy. He claimed, “The law that created [Liberty Square] required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day. Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with, as the park has been taken over by protestors, making it unavailable to anyone else.”

Essentially, Bloomberg is saying it had become nearly impossible for someone to go down to the park and be apathetic and ignore the critique of corporate greed and impunity for Wall Street criminals, which the occupation has been making since its first days. He is suggesting that if one cannot go down to the park for their lunch break and eat in peace, without having to hear about issues of unemployment, poverty or debt, then the city has to intervene on behalf of New Yorkers that want to be able to tune out.

This is similar to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s argument against Occupy Oakland camping. “Camping is a tactic,” she stated after the second raid of Occupy Oakland on November 14. “It is one that has divided Oakland, a city of the 99 percent. It’s time to work together on the issues of unemployment, foreclosures and education cuts. While the camping must end, the movement continues.”

The notion that camping should not be allowed because it presumably “divides” the 99 percent or that it should not be allowed because it does not allow for “passive recreation” all stems from the ideology of politicians like Bloomberg or Quan. They see themselves as democracy managers. As Sheldon Wolin writes in Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, they find that one of their main functions is “to foresee the unexpected, eliminate or cope effectively with the unforeseen (“risk management,” “crisis management”); to exploit or contain change insofar as it affects his or her enterprise; and to seize opportunities and aggressively use them to advance the power advantage of the firm – and of him- or herself.”



(I)t is all too clear why the encampment had to go today, Tuesday, November 15. It has less to do with the presence of tents and more to do with the growing power of Occupy Wall Street.

On November 17, occupiers had planned a massive day of action to mark their two-month anniversary. They planned to hold a massive demonstration at 7 am in front of the New York Stock Exchange. They were preparing a “block party the 1 percent” would “never forget.” They said they would “shut down Wall Street.” After that, they would get on subway trains to tell the “stories of disenfranchised Americans.” The occupiers planned to march across the Brooklyn Bridge and even hold a demonstration in Foley Square at 5 pm.

The massive day of action scared Bloomberg, the NYPD and city officials. It frightened the 1%, comrades of Bloomberg. They did not want to see what would happen on November 17 because they have already suffered from this movement. They have already seen it stop banks from slapping fees on debit cards and push hundreds of thousands of people to move their money from Big Banks into credit unions. They have been paying attention to how the people are building up organization to prevent banks from foreclosing on homes. And, those on Wall Street, more than anything, tremble at the movement’s momentum because it could produce investigations that would strip them of the immunity from prosecutions that they have enjoyed since contributing to the collapse of the economy in 2008.

Nov 15 2011

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”.

Felix Salmon: Krugman vs Summers: The debate

I’m glad I found myself in Toronto this evening, because tonight’s Munk Debate was illuminating and enjoyable. The motion was that “North America faces a Japan-style era of high unemployment and slow growth”; Paul Krugman was arguing for it, while Larry Summers was arguing against.

Krugman found himself with the home-team advantage through being paired with Canadian economist David Rosenberg; Summers had strong rhetorical backup from Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer. But at heart, this was Krugman vs Summers, which is an inspired match-up: especially in election season, one of the most important criteria for any debate is that it not cleave easily and obviously along party-political lines. That way people just end up voting their party and rehearsing tired party-political talking points.

This debate, because it took place within a basically Keynesian, leftist worldview, was very interesting. Both Krugman and Summers spent a lot of time saying that they agreed with each other – with one big difference. They both quoted Keynes as diagnosing “magneto trouble” – the engine of the economy is broken, and it needs to be fixed. Summers has faith that, in Churchill’s phrase, “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities” – the right thing, here, being to fix the magneto with expansionary fiscal and monetary policy. Krugman, by contrast, sees political gridlock as far as the eye can see, and says that it doesn’t matter how innovative or philanthropic or demographically attractive the U.S. is – if you don’t fix the magneto, the car won’t start, and America’s magneto ain’t gonna get fixed any time soon.

New York Times Editorial: Health Reform and the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s decision to review the constitutionality of health care reform means it will be issuing a ruling in the middle of the 2012 presidential campaign. This can be a highly politicized court, and, for the public good and its own credibility, it must resist that impulse.

If the court follows its own precedents, as it should, this case should not be a close call: The reform law and a provision requiring most people to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty are clearly constitutional.

The court agreed to hear appeals from a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which struck down the individual mandate to buy health insurance but left other parts of the law standing. Opponents of the law contend that Congress went beyond its authority in the reform measure. But Congress, under the commerce clause, plainly has the power to regulate the national health care market.

Eugene Robinson: The GOP’s Message Problem

Unemployment is at 9 percent, the housing market is moribund, “consumer confidence” is an oxymoron and three-fourths of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. So how is it that President Obama leads each of his likely Republican opponents in the polls? And why on earth is the gap widening rather than closing?

It’s simple: Voters are paying attention to what the GOP field is saying-not just the applause-line attacks on Obama but also what the candidates propose to do about the economy. The more they talk, the more discouraged the electorate seems to become.

This should be the Republicans’ election to lose. They seem well on their way.

George Zornick: Will Clarence Thomas Recuse Himself From Obamacare Case?

Today, the Supreme Court agreed to hear constitutional challenges brought on by twenty-six states and a business group to President Obama’s healthcare reform bill. There will likely be arguments in the spring and a ruling by July, right in the heat of the presidential election.

This is a good time to recall that seventy-four members of Congress have signed a letter asking Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any ruling on the Affordable Care Act because of his wife’s work as a conservative activist and lobbyist, where she specifically agitated for the repeal of “Obamacare.” The recusal effort was spearheaded by Representative Anthony Weiner, and his resignation in June slowed the momentum around this issue on Capitol Hill-but there’s still ample evidence for concern.

Dave Zirin: The World Joe Paterno Made

Meet John Matko. John Matko is a 34-year-old Penn State class of 2000 alumnus, distraught by the recent revelations that Coach Joe Paterno and those in charge at his alma mater allegedly shielded a serial child rapist, assistant Jerry Sandusky. He was livid that students chose to riot on campus this week in defense of their legendary coach. He was disgusted that the Board of Trustees decided to go ahead as planned with Saturday’s Nebraska game just days after the revelations became public. John Matko felt angry and was compelled to act. He stood outside Saturday’s Penn State-Nebraska game in Happy Valley and held up two signs. One read, “Put abused kids first.” The other said, “Don’t be fooled, they all knew. Tom Bradley, everyone must go.” (Tom Bradley is the interim head coach.)

The response to Matko gives lie to the media portrayal of last Saturday’s game. We were told the atmosphere was “somber”, “sad” and “heart-rending”, as “the focus returned to the children.” The crowd was swathed in blue, because, we were told, that is the color of child abuse awareness (also the Penn State colors). The team linked arms emerging from the tunnel. They dropped to a knee with their Nebraska opponents at midfield before the game. Once again, broadcasters told us, “the players were paying tribute to the victims of child abuse.” We were told all of this, and I wish to God it was true.

Ann Wright: No Speedy Trial for Bradley Manning; Now in Pre-Trial Confinement for 560 Days

3 of 34 Arrested for Protesting Manning’s Quantico Pre-Trial Conditions Found Guilty of Obstruction of Traffic-$15 Fine

Five months ago, on April 22, 2011, over 400 citizens converged on Quantico Marine Base to protest the pre-trial conditions of alleged Wikileaks whistleblower US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning.  Manning was arrested on May 26, 2010, on a U.S. military base in Iraq on suspicion of giving classified material to the website WikiLeaks.

No Speedy Trial-Manning still in pre-trial confinement after 560 days

Manning still is in pre-trial confinement, 560 days after he was arrested.

Manning was charged on July 5, 2010, with transferring classified materials on his personal computer, and communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source. An additional 22 charges were added on March 1, 2011, including wrongfully obtaining classified material for the purpose of posting it on the Internet knowing that the information would be accessed by the enemy; the illegal transmission of defense information; fraud; and aiding the enemy.  In April, 2011, he was found fit to face a court martial and currently awaits the first hearing.

Nov 15 2011

On this Day In History November 15

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.

On this day in 1867, On this day in 1867, the first stock ticker is unveiled in New York City. The advent of the ticker ultimately revolutionized the stock market by making up-to-the-minute prices available to investors around the country. Prior to this development, information from the New York Stock Exchange, which has been around since 1792, traveled by mail or messenger.

The ticker was the brainchild of Edward Calahan, who configured a telegraph machine to print stock quotes on streams of paper tape (the same paper tape later used in ticker-tape parades). The ticker, which caught on quickly with investors, got its name from the sound its type wheel made.

Calahan worked for the Gold & Stock Telegraph Company, which rented its tickers to brokerage houses and regional exchanges for a fee and then transmitted the latest gold and stock prices to all its machines at the same time. In 1869, Thomas Edison, a former telegraph operator, patented an improved, easier-to-use version of Calahan’s ticker. Edison’s ticker was his first lucrative invention and, through the manufacture and sale of stock tickers and other telegraphic devices, he made enough money to open his own lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where he developed the light bulb and phonograph, among other transformative inventions.

Stock tickers in various buildings were connected using technology based on the then-recently invented telegraph machines, with the advantage that the output was readable text, instead of the dots and dashes of Morse code. The machines printed a series of ticker symbols (usually shortened forms of a company’s name), followed by brief information about the price of that company’s stock; the thin strip of paper they were printed on was called ticker tape. As with all these terms, the word ticker comes from the distinct tapping (or ticking) noise the machines made while printing. Pulses on the telegraph line made a letter wheel turn step by step until the right letter or symbol was reached and then printed. A typical 32 symbol letter wheel had to turn on average 15 steps until the next letter could be printed resulting in a very slow printing speed of 1 letter per second. In 1883, ticker transmitter keyboards resembled the keyboard of a piano with black keys indicating letters and the white keys indicating numbers and fractions, corresponding to two rotating type wheels in the connected ticker tape printers.

Newer and more efficient tickers became available in the 1930s and 1960s but the physical ticker tape phase was quickly coming to a close being followed by the electronic phase. These newer and better tickers still had an approximate 15 to 20 minute delay. Stock ticker machines became obsolete in the 1960s, replaced by computer networks; none have been manufactured for use for decades. However, working reproductions of at least one model are now being manufactured for museums and collectors. It was not until 1996 that a ticker type electronic device was produced that could operate in true real time.

Simulated ticker displays, named after the original machines, still exist as part of the display of television news channels and on some World Wide Web pages-see news ticker. One of the most famous displays is the simulated ticker located at One Times Square in New York City.

Ticker tapes then and now contain generally the same information. The ticker symbol is a unique set of characters used to identify the company. The shares traded is the volume for the trade being quoted. Price traded refers to the price per share of a particular trade. Change direction is a visual cue showing whether the stock is trading higher or lower than the previous trade, hence the terms downtick and uptick. Change amount refers to the difference in price from the previous day’s closing. These are reflected in the modern style tickers that we see every day. Many today include color to indicate whether a stock is trading higher than the previous day’s (green), lower than previous (red), or has remained unchanged (blue or white).

Nov 15 2011

It’s Just Good Business

PhotobucketPolice have stormed Liberty Park tonight, as part of a co-ordinated series of round-ups across the country designed to crush the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Well, it’s not going to work.

Time to hoist the colors.

In order to affect a timely halt to deterioriating conditions, and to ensure the common good, a state of emergency is declared for these territories by decree of Lord Cutler Beckett, duly appointed representative of His Majesty, the King. By decree, according to martial law, the following statutes are temporarily amended:

  • Right to assembly, suspended.
  • Right to habeas corpus, suspended.
  • Right to legal counsel, suspended.
  • Right to verdict by a jury of peers, suspended.

By decree, all persons found guilty of piracy, or aiding a person convicted of piracy, or associating with a person convicted of piracy, shall be sentenced to hang by the neck until dead.

You will listen to me! LISTEN! The other ships will still be looking to us, to the Black Pearl, to lead, and what will they see? Frightened bilgerats aboard a derelict ship? No, no they will see free men and freedom!

So what can we do?

Well, I’ve always been an advocate of revolution in the small things.  We can make this country ungovernable and by that I mean we can simply refuse to do the things that are expected.

Why not stop spending?  My big gift this holiday season is a week’s supply of Chinese underwear, but I could skip it.  My relatives and friends (who am I kidding, my relatives) might receive a poem or picture since while my domestic skills are servicable they are hardly artistic.  Maybe a pie.

You can hardly stop going to work if you expect to get paid, but the performance standards of your bosses are a poor example that you need not exceed out of some misguided sense of loyalty or ‘team spirit’.

Deny your eyeballs.  Persistent propaganda rots your teeth as well as your brain.

You might deride my prescriptions as insufficiently dramatic, but what we have consistently seen from the overweening egos of the elite is the desire to be worshiped.

Fuck that shit.

You are Hapsburg lipped inbred morons and that I refrain from calling for pitchforks and torches or spitting in your faces as you walk the streets is a mark of the moral superiority of the “common man” over you evil rapacious twits.

You’ll run out of bullets and destroy all your wealth before you’ll break the will of people to be treated freely and fairly.

Nov 15 2011

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 60 #OWC NYC Has Been Raided

The NYPD raided Zuccotti Park this morning on the pretext that the site had become unsafe and unsanitary. There has also been some speculation that this was planned and coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security with the blessings of Barack Obama. Subway stations around the park have been closed and the Brooklyn Bridge has been closed. The protesters were given little notice of the eviction that started shortly after 1 AM EST when they were handed a flier that ordered them to leave. Police surrounded the park and refused to allow the press access. Most of the tents, sleeping bags, books and equipment was tossed into garbage trucks. There are videos and pictures of the police trashing and destroying the encampment while laughing and joking. The protesters have been told they will be allowed to return to the park but tents, sleeping bags and tarps are banned.

Reports from Brian Devereaux of Democracy Now courtesy of the Guardian‘s Liveblog:

   Hundreds of officers with the New York City Police Department descended on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Lower Manhattan late this evening. At approximately 1.00am protesters say the NYPD set up emergency vehicles around the park and turned on massive flood lights. Scores of officers in riot gear began entering the park and handing out notices of eviction. Protesters say there was little time to respond the department’s orders to disperse. Several hundred of the demonstrators rallied around the park’s central eating area.

   With roughly 200 protesters collected in the kitchen space, police and sanitation workers began tearing down tents and any standing structures around the park. Protester’s belongings were thrown into massive piles then loaded into large trucks.

   Media were repeatedly directed away from the square and eventually confined to a metal pen at the far end of the block. Police buses were later parked in front of the pen, blocking clear shots of the park.

   Meanwhile in the kitchen area six protesters reportedly used bicycle locks to chain themselves together by the neck. The demonstrators gathered at the centre of the park were free to leave but chose to stay, forming seated columns with their arms locked.

   A mass of police officers began to gather around the kitchen area to begin arresting the remaining protesters. Reports from inside indicated the arrests were orderly and non-violent, but some protesters and press who managed to leave the area reported that they saw officers beating and stepping on demonstrators.

Police break up New York ‘Occupy’ camp

Police sweep into Manhattan park to dismantle camp that has become focal point for anti-Wall Street protests.

New York Police are evicting anti-Wall Street demonstrators from the New York square where the nationwide ‘Occupy’ movement first began.

“Liberty Square [Zuccotti Park], home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months and birthplace of the 99% movement that has spread across the country and around the world, is presently being evicted by a large police force,” the demonstrators said in a statement released on Tuesday.Al Jazeera’s Cath Turner, reporting from New York City, said police used “heavy-handed” tactics to evict demonstrators.

“It seems like the New York Police Department came out about a half an hour ago, about 1:15 in the morning here in New York City, and have surrounded the park. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of police started moving people from their tents.

“At the moment there are maybe a couple hundred people who are still sleeping down at Zuccotti Park for the Occupy Wall Street movement. They started pushing them out their tents and started clearing them out and pushing them away from the park.” [..]

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

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.

NYC General Assembly #OccupyWallStreet

Nov 15 2011

ek hornbeck – incorrigible troublemaker

ek hornbeck, You are…an incorrigible troublemaker.

You are…a registered incorrigible troublemaker.

You have always been…a registered incorrigible troublemaker.