The Wall Street protests against economic inequality and corporate greed that targeted the nerve centre of American capitalism are no longer merely a New York phenomenon. This weekend, from Seattle and Los Angeles on the west coast to Providence, Rhode Island, and Tampa, Florida, on the east, as many as 70 major cities and more than 600 communities have joined the swelling wave of civil dissent. The slogan “Occupy Wall Street” has been suitably abbreviated to a single word: “Occupy”
Sunday Morning…Posted: October 9, 2011
A few things first, things are still hot over in Libya, the rebel forces claim to have taken control of some key locations in Gaddafi’s hometown. In Syria, Washington Post is reporting Iraq is siding with Iran by offering financial support to Assad’s regime. They have hosted official visits with Syrians to build business relations and offer political support.
I don’t know why this is such a surprise to the US, it seems like a good way to put the screws on the Obama Administration…and assert their own government control, by joining Iran in support of Assad. Lets just wait and see, this is going to build and give Obama a reason to stay in Iraq a bit longer.
In other Syrian news, this past week the UN Security Council had a rare double veto, With United Nations Veto, Russia and China Help Syria
By vetoing a Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its oppression of antigovernment forces, Russia and China effectively tossed a life preserver to President Bashar al-Assad, seemingly unwilling to see a pivotal ally and once stalwart member of the socialist bloc sink beneath the waves of the Arab Spring.
Russia enjoys military and commercial deals with Syria worth billions of dollars annually, plus its alliance and only reliable Arab friend give it an entree into the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations. In addition, Moscow maintains perks left over from its superpower days, for instance, a naval base at Tartus, Syria, that accommodates visits by warships like Peter the Great, a nuclear-powered missile cruiser, during its Mediterranean jaunts.
China worries that the reverberations from falling Arab despots will inspire civil disobedience at home.
But beyond those concerns, and a stated interest in averting violent change in Syria, China and Russia are also increasingly allied in shutting down what they see as Western efforts to use sanctions and other economic measures to put the United Nations seal of approval on Western-friendly regime change.
Hillary Clinton had some harsh words for Russia and China, Clinton says U.N. Security Council failed Syria
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the U.N. Security Council failed its duty by not passing a resolution on Syria and said Russia and China would have to explain their vetoes to the Syrian people.
“We believe the Security Council abrogated its responsibility yesterday,” Clinton told reporters, saying the measure vetoed by Russia and China represented the “bare minimum” of what the international community should do in response to the bloody crackdown by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“The countries that chose to veto the resolution will have to offer their own explanations to the Syrian people, and to all others who are fighting for freedom and human rights around the world,” Clinton said in the Dominican Republic, where she was on an official visit.
This past week also marked the tenth anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. Some of the #Occupy protesters marked this decade of war…Atlanta’s Occupy was one of the cities that timed their protest to correspond with the anniversary. Group begins Day Two of ‘Occupy Atlanta’
On Friday, several hundred members of the group rallied in the park to protest, among a number of topics, corporate greed and the war in Afghanistan. By early Saturday, a few dozen milled about the park enjoying the warm sunshine and cups of coffee.
The protests are timed for the 10th anniversary for the war in Afghanistan and patterned after an Occupy group that has been encamped in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan since mid-September.
Anti-war protests in Washington DC forced the closure of the Air and Space Museum. Some of our Banjoville 8th graders are on a field trip this weekend in DC…I hope this did not affect their planned trip to the museums. Stop the Machine Protest Closes National Air and Space Museum
A spokesman for the Smithsonian, John Gibbons, said a large group of demonstrators, estimated at 100 to 200 people, arrived at about 3 p.m. and tried to enter the museum. When a security guard stopped the group from entering, saying they could not bring in signs, the demonstrators apparently held him, Mr. Gibbons said. A second guard arrived and used pepper spray on at least one person, and the crowd dispersed.
A number of groups have been demonstrating in the city in the past week. The group at the museum Saturday included people affiliated with the October 2011 Stop the Machine demonstration, which has been taking place in Freedom Plaza in protest of war and what the group calls corporate greed. It also included protesters affiliated with Occupy D.C., which is modeled on Occupy Wall Street in New York.
The group was protesting a drone exhibit at the museum. #Occupy protest are getting some notice in the foreign press, Guardian has a reporter in Seattle covering the protest there. Occupy America: protests against Wall Street and inequality hit 70 cities | World news | The Observer
This article focuses on some of the older people joining the young college students.
“This could be the tipping point,” said Dick Steinkamp, 63, a retired Silicon Valley executive at the Occupy Seattle protest being held in the heart of the city’s shopping and restaurant district . He and his wife had driven two hours from their home in Bellingham, north of Seattle, specifically to join the rally and give it support from more conventional professionals.
“I marched against the Vietnam war before I was drafted into the army and this movement is now getting towards that critical mass,” he said.
One of the favourite messages of the protesters is that almost 40% of US wealth is held in the hands of 1% of the population, who are taxed more lightly than the majority of Americans. Steinkamp was holding a sign saying “I am the 99%”. And there is widespread anger that ordinary people have born the brunt of the financial crisis with dire job losses and house repossessions.
“I came here because I wanted to show it wasn’t just young anarchists,” said Deb Steinkamp, also 63 and a retired marriage counsellor, wearing a green cagoule and sensible shoes against the damp, chilly Seattle weather.
Sensible…hmm, not fashionable. I guess Deb has reach the age where sensibility outweighs cool hip and chic style.
The protest is also getting the notice of some powerful people in Washington… Pelosi Supports Occupy Wall Street Movement
House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she supports the growing nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement, which began on the streets of downtown New York City in mid-September.
“I support the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, that change has to happen,” said Pelosi in an exclusive interview with ABC News “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour. “We cannot continue in a way this is not relevant to their lives.”
Pelosi said she sees the protestors’ anger stemming from unemployment, which remains pinned at 9%. Pelosi added that the failure of TARP, or commonly known as the bank bailout, to add liquidity to the Main Street marketplace is fueling Americans’ animosity towards Wall Street.
“The thought was that when we did that [pass TARP], there would be capital available and Main Street would benefit from the resources that went largely to Wall Street,” said Pelosi. “That didn’t happen. People are angry.”
Wait…isn’t Pelosi part of that 1%? That quote about TARP, it bothers me for some reason. The to small to succeed stimulus that was just the right amount to bail out the banks that were too big to fail. Oh yeah…that any of that cash was going to trickle down to main street was such a pile of stinking bovine excrement.
“We’ve needed jobs for a while,” Pelosi added. “What he [the President] is proposing is job creating. And it’s really important for him to explain what this is about, or at least keep saying it over and over.”
Ugh…I don’t have the will to post more of this article from ABC…just click the link if you want to read the rest of it…I’ve lost respect for Pelosi years ago. Anything she says now is just empty words…Like these:
“Count me among those… who object to the way Congress is conducting itself,” said Pelosi. “We have a responsibility to try to find common ground.”
Moving on to another talking “democrat”…I just want to see Obama do his best impersonation of Rodney Dangerfield, “I get no respect!” Dakinikat had a post last night that you should take a look at. In it she discusses a rather long op/ed in the Washington Post…so here is the link and a bit of her post: The Big Beltway Chill « Sky Dancing
Autumn brings campaigns and the chilly season. This year also seems to be bringing chilly retrospectives on the Obama Presidency. This Presidency has disappointed many. I think there’s finally some introspection going on within the Washington Press Corps as well as the retrospection. They may be wondering how they became so enamored of some one who seems so detached from leadership basics.
People have been leafing through their copies of Confidence Men. I read an article today by Ezra Klein called “Could this time have been different?” Klein almost steps outside of his Beltway Bob mentality. Almost. Klein is still making excuses for how the administration got the economy so wrong even though the tick tock and the economic rationale make sense. Now, politicos will have to read this one from Scott Wilson–the white house correspondent at WAPO–with it’s interesting title: “Obama, the loner president”. It seems the defining campaign moment should’ve have been “Why can’t I just eat my waffle” because Wilson says that’s how the president handles in job.
Just read her post, it is awesome.
A couple of more links for you today, Michele Bachmann is pulling the PLUB card, I guess it is just a “Hail Mary” move to gain more exposure and support from her wacko base. Michele Bachmann Proposes Mandatory Ultrasounds For Women Seeking Abortions
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) proposed a bill on Thursday that would force women in the early stages of pregnancy to have a physically invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure before they can legally consent to having an abortion.
The “Heartbeat Informed Consent Act” requires doctors to make the fetal heartbeat visible and audible to the woman prior to the abortion procedure and to describe the ultrasound image to her in detail, even if she prefers not to hear about it. If the woman is between four and five weeks pregnant, the doctor has to perform a “transvaginal ultrasound” in order to hear the heartbeat, which involves a probe and can be physically uncomfortable for the woman.
“It’s similar to a pelvic exam, which can come with discomfort for the woman, and it’s invasive,” said Dr. Nancy Stanwood, an obstetrician and board member of the health advocacy group Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. “It’s also medically unnecessary. Some politicians might see it as ideologically necessary, but it’s medically unnecessary, so the government telling you that you need to have one sounds ridiculous on many levels.”
She backs up her new bill with highly scientific research from a study done by Focus on the Family…she is so quick to cite various sources that seem to spring from her ass. It is all a show, because in Texas, a similar bill was struck down by a Federal Court. But Bachmann says she doesn’t care if the bill passes or not…she is committed to protecting life, and protecting what ever primary votes she can wrangle by this display of wingnut legislative action.
From Minx’s Missing Link File: This article from earlier in the week caught my attention, Population study suggests we’re still evolving – Technology & science – Science – LiveScience – msnbc.com
Humans, like all other organisms on Earth, are subject to the pressures of evolution. New research suggests that even in relatively modern societies, humans are still changing and evolving in response to the environment.
“Whether humans could or could not evolve in modern times could have interesting implications,” study researcher Emmanuel Milot, of the University of Quebec in Montreal, told LiveScience. It could help us understand changing trends for the different traits of a population.
By studying an island population in Quebec, the researchers found a genetic push toward younger age at first reproduction and larger families. This is the first direct evidence of natural selection in action in a relatively modern human population.
The study used data from 30 families who settled on île aux Coudres, located in the St. Lawrence River outside of Quebec City, between 1720 and 1773. A church on the island held historical records of all births, deaths and marriages on the island, from which researchers were able to build extensive family trees.
The researchers analyzed the data from women who married between 1799 and 1940, comparing their relations, any social, cultural or economic differences, and the age they had their first child.
The researchers found that over a 140-year period, age at first reproduction dropped from 26 to 22, with somewhere between 30 percent and 50 percent of this variation being explained by genetic variation in the population, not by other factors, such as changes in cultures or social attitudes.
“We think, traditionally, that the changes in human population are mainly cultural, which is why a non-genetic hypothesis is given priority over a genetic or evolutionary hypothesis, whether or not there is data to support that,” Milot said. “We have data that we analyzed from the genetic and non-genetic point of view, and we find that the genetic factors are stronger.”
The researchers didn’t look at which genes might have changed over time, but they suggest reasons for the age change could include differences in fertility and how early a woman hits puberty, or even heritable personality traits that would nudge a woman to procreate earlier. These genetic factors would be changing in response to the natural selection for a higher number of kids overall.
“In that particular population, selective pressure seemed pretty constant for the study period,” Milot said. “Maybe it has to do because it has a newly founded population and it was not disadvantageous to have big families.”
The study says that larger families would have been an advantage by increasing the likelihood that one’s genes would carry on.
Seeing natural selection in modern populations is incredibly difficult. Because this population was highly related and relatively cut off from outside populations, the correlation between genetic factors and age at first reproduction was easier to see.
Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week: I have always been fond of Madeleine Albright, in fact one of her quotes is very special to me…“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Anyway, Madeleine Albright’s Famous Pin Collection Is Coming To The Denver Art Museum In April 2012 (PHOTOS)
Political junkies and feminists alike may be delighted about the pins and needles exhibit coming soon to the Denver Art Museum in April 2012.
“Read My Pins” is the emblematic collection of former U.S. Secretary Madeleine Albright’s pins worn during her history-making diplomatic tenure. Secretary Albright was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the first woman to serve as the U.S. Secretary of State, and the highest ranking woman in politics of her time. Many of the delicate-looking ornaments were worn by her to relay a symbolic message or tone during her trips abroad.
“I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal,” Albright has said of her collection.
One of Albright’s most famous is a gold snake pin, which she tells CNN she wore to Iraq after Saddam Hussein called her a serpent.
“So I decided I had a snake pin that I bought earlier sometime, so I thought ‘I’ll wear it when we do Iraq’ so I in fact did wear it. President Bush had said ‘Read my lips’ so I said, ‘Read my pins.’
Well, that is all I have for you this morning. I will again point out a couple of yesterday’s post by Dakinikat and Wonk the Vote, they are excellent, so please give them a read if you missed them. Have a wonderful Sunday, and I hope to see you in the comment section later today.