If there were lobbyists in the 18th century, would there be a provision in the US Constitution …

… to restrict their activities?

David Cay Johnston doesn’t say that, but on reading his essay, I was thinking that. The corporations that occupy Congress won’t tell you anything you weren’t already thinking about how the government serves corporations, but it is a well framed and well written and reasonably detailed update that you should read. Continue reading

Forbes’ Gene Marks Needs To Check His Priv

Gene Marks, you wrote an essay for Forbes that has gotten a lot of people rather upset. People are upset because you display insensitive unchecked privilege and, essentially, you blame an entire class of people as the victims of what is mostly not their fault but rather, your fault and the fault of the modal Forbes reader, as well as society more broadly, history, culture, economics, racism and all sort of other things that are largely beyond the control of the Poor Black Kids of the Inner City of whom you write.

I think you meant well, but you did not do well. There are many ways in which you display a marked lack of a clue about your topic. How so? Let’s start at the beginning of your essay: Continue reading

Top GOP Strategist: “Occupy Matters”

The Republican Governor’s Association met in Florida this week and featured pollster Frank Luntz, who … told attendees that he’s “scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death.” The pollster warned that the movement is “having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

Apparently, there are some interesting changes going on in the current culture of politics. According to Luntz, people still prefer “capitalism” to “socialism” (we all know the average American has no clue what either one is, so when we say “capitalism” and “socialism” we speak not of the systems but the words themselve… but I digress). But, he says, people know that capitalism is immoral. That’s an improvement! He suggests to his Republican mentees that they avoid the word “capitalism.”
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The Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street

Based on Richard A. Epstein’s new Broadside, this video outlines the differences between the classical liberalism of the Tea Parties and the progressive agenda advanced by the OWS movement, and reveals that the painful performance of the American economy in the past decade is not a function of bad luck, but the product of flawed institutional design….

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Lost in (economic) history ….

…These days, when I drive out Route 55, also known as the Olsen Highway, most of the buildings I see were built since I stayed in that run down little motel, which by the way was long ago torn down and replaced with new development. Nothing about that drive is familiar now, except for the Rainbow which had just been built when I stayed there, and an old beat up strip mall from the mid 20th century. There was once wilderness, a few farms, the usual lakes. Then, Boom! Building everywhere.

And the funny thing is that today, many of those buildings are for sale, vacant, for lease. There are even buildings built in the last ten years that are at risk of deterioration through misuse. And that isn’t a particularly depressed part of town.

It seems that civilization, and its economy, are like the proverbial river that you can’t step into twice: It is always there, but never is it the same. This has been true since the Industrial Revolution: Cheap hydroelectric power harnessed by modern turbines under emerging brick mills filled with rural transplants, mostly women and children, losing the occasions finger or hand to the machinery but driving a brave new economy with the production of cloth or flour. But the water allowed only a certain amount of growth, so it was supplemented with coal-powered steam engines running the mill’s machines. Then the coal became the main form of energy. Homes lit by burning tallow and whale oil became brighter with the introduction of gas lines and lamps, and the streets glowed at night in London and New York and Minneapolis, and eventually liquid petroleum found its use to drive more industrial engines, and eventually cars, and eventually furnaces in our homes, and eventually along side coal power stations that produced the electricity that made our homes even brighter….

That is part of an essay I wrote for Financial Engagement, a Public Thing. It is published (in print) as part of a newspaper project. There is a PDF version of the while shebang, which you can get to here.

Police beat protesters at Day of Action

Several members of the NYPD formed a circle to keep the protesters away while another group of officers held a protester down and took turns beating and kicking him. Screams of they’re hurting him, an he’s bleeding can be clearly heard on the video.

Source

People with iPhones: Please do not hold your camera sideways while taking videos! It makes people think you are an idiot!

Boston: Occupy can occupy

A judge handed Occupy Boston a major win today, granting a court order that forbids police to carry out a New York-style clearing of the Dewey Square encampment except in cases that pose a major threat to public safety.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre issued a temporary restraining order this afternoon, saying Occupiers will allowed to stay camped peacefully opposite South Station until a court hearing for a preliminary injunction Dec. 1. Police are still allowed to clear the park if there is an “outbreak of violence” or a catastrophe such as a fire, she said.

source

A state “supreme” court (meaning a lower level state court) in New York State and a County level Court in Massachetts disagree on pretty much the same issue. I would think that the First and Second federal district courts would now be in the running to see this case to the next level, depending on if it is an appeal in Boston or NY.

Take Action in Minneapolis!!!!

Occupy Protesters Pepper Sprayed

Occupy The Police State

All around the US Occupy Protesters are being tossed out of the parks and public squares they have occupied. The New York Times is actually asking “Now that the protests are over, what will happen next?” But the 1% has forgotten something. They’ve forgotten that you don’t just tell the protesters that it is time to stop, that it is time to go home, that it is time to shut up. It has never worked that way and it is not going to start working that way now.

Thursday is the second month anniversary of the start of the Occupy Protests. The 1%, formerly known as The Man, is closing down the ongoing protests and clearing out the encampments because they want it all to end before the anniversary. Word is that they heard the protests might swell on that day, that there might be more visible action, that the Occupy movement might gain additional momentum, and thus, additional significance. So they sent everyone home, in order that Thursday would be a quite, normal, run of the mill day of the week like it usually is.

That, my friends, was almost certainly a miscalculation.

SIGN…

up to take action. Click here and if you can, volunteer.

MEET…

on the West Bank at the UMN Law School on Thursday at 4:00 PM

RALLY…

show that you are part of the 99%

MARCH…

to the 10th Avenue Bridge

Judge Rules Against US Constitution, Sides With 1%

As you know, Mayor Bloomberg, the Billionaire Mayor of New York City and Poster Boy for the 1%, had the police rather violently toss the Occupy Wall Street protesters out of the park they were occupying during the dark of night very early this morning. The idea, according to Bloomberg, who has never been that good at telling the truth but strangely not that good at telling lies either, was to clean up the park and let the protesters back in. But … Continue reading

Take Action on Occupy Raid

I just got this from BoldProgressives.org and I’m passing it on to you:

Occupy Wall Street is being raided by NYC police, and the 99% movement is asking for everyone’s help. From Occupy Wall Street on Twitter:

1:10am: Raid happening NOW at #libertysq MOBILIZE!

1:43am: Call #nypd at: 646-610-5000 and respectfully demand 1st amendment rights!!

1:47am: The whole world is watching! Watch here: livestream.com/occupynyc

I just called the number above, and it’s pretty busy. Good! it’s really important that people keep calling. Here are some other numbers.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg: 212-639-9675
NY Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
NYPD 1st Precinct: 212-334-0611
NYPD 5th Precinct: 212-334-0711
NYPD 6th Precinct: 212-741-4811
NYPD 7th Precinct: 212-477-7311
NYPD 9th Precinct: 212-477-7811

You can also sign our petition to Mayor Bloomberg here — and tell your friends.

If you personally know any New York political leaders, please call them and ask them to take a stand against this outrage.

The people united will never be defeated.

In solidarity,

— Adam Green & the PCCC team

Police Move Into Zuccotti Park

Police Rip Apart Protester's Tents in Zuccotti Park in early morning raid to end Occupy protests before they get out of hand and become inconvenient, by order of Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg (1%).

As an apparent response by Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg (1%) to fears that protesters (99%) would ramp up their activities this Thursday on account of the two month anniversary of the protest, hundreds of riot gear clad police moved into Zuccotti Park in New York at 1 AM this morning to evict everyone. This is the main, original group of protesters. Shortly thereafter, an injunction allowing the protestors back into tyhe park with their tents was wrangled by the National Lawyers Guild.

At a morning news conference at City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city knew about the court order but had not seen it and would go to court to fight it. He said the city wants to protect people’s rights, but if a choice must be made, it will protect public safety.

[nyt]

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Occupy: Possible Showdowns in Minneapolis

Minneapolis has a very cool mayor who would probably be sleeping in a tent with the occupy movement if that wouldn’t have various ethical and legal implications. But Minneapolis is also in Hennepin County and the County has a lot to do with what happens in the city. The County owns property and provided a significant amount of police service in Minneapolis. For instance, if you go Downtown on Friday Night you’ll see a lot of cops in the bar districts, and a large percentage of them are wearing County Sheriff Brown.

The Occupy Minnesota protest has been happening in Government Plaza which apparently is under control of the County. County officials have told the Occupiers that there will be no more overnight camping in the Plaza, and they’ve thrown in a few other rules about posting signs, etc.
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