Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Occupy Everywhere: Michael Moore, Naomi Klein on Next Steps for the Movement Against Corporate Power

Great Talk organized by The Nation magazine from Democracy Now

How does the Occupy Wall Street movement move from "the outrage phase" to the "hope phase," and imagine a new economic model? In a Democracy Now! special broadcast, we bring you excerpts from a recent event that examined this question and much more. "Occupy Everywhere: On the New Politics and Possibilities of the Movement Against Corporate Power," a panel discussion hosted by The Nation magazine and The New School in New York City, features Oscar-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore; Naomi Klein, best-selling author of the "Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism"; Rinku Sen of the Applied Research Center and publisher of ColorLines; Occupy Wall Street organizer Patrick Bruner; and veteran journalist William Greider, author of "Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Occupy Wall St - The Revolution Is Love

"Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says 'more for you is less for me.' But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. This shift of consciousness is universal in everybody, 99% and 1%." ~ Charles Eisenstein

This short film was Directed by Ian MacKenzie

Watch video with Spanish/French subtitles

CHARLES EISENSTEIN is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution.


"This movement isn't about the 99% defeating or toppling the 1%. You know the next chapter of that story, which is that the 99% create a new 1%. That's not what it's about.

What we want to create is the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible. A sacred world. A world that works for everybody. A world that is healing. A world of peace.

You can't just say "We demand a world of peace. Demands have to be specific. Anything that people can articulate can only be articulated within the language of the current political discourse. And that entire political discourse is already too small. And that's why making explicit demands reduces the movement, and takes the heart out of it. So it's a real paradox, and I think the movement understands that.

The system isn't working for the 1% either. You know if you were a CEO, you would be making the same choices they do. The institutions have their own logic. Life is pretty bleak at the top too - and all the baubles of the rich are this phoney compensation for the loss of what's really important. The loss of community, the loss of connection, the loss of intimacy. The loss of meaning.

Everybody wants to live a life of meaning. And today, we live in a money economy where we don't really depend on the gifts of anybody. But we buy everything. Therefore we don't really need anybody, because whoever grew my food, or made my clothes, or built by house, well if they die, or if I alienate them, or if they don't like me, that's okay because I can just pay someone else to do it.

And it's really hard to create community if the underlying knowledge is "we don't need each other." So people kind of get together and act nice, or maybe they consume together. But joint consumption doesn't create intimacy. Only joint creativity and gifts create intimacy and connection.

You have such gifts, that are important. Just as every species has an important gift to give to an ecosystem, and the extinction of any species hurts everybody. The same is true of each person, that you have a necessary and important gift to give.

And that for a long time our minds have told us that maybe we're crazy, that maybe we're imagining things, that's its crazy to live according to what you want to give. But I think now, as more and more people wake up to the truth, that we're here to give, and wake up to that desire, and wake up to the fact that other way isn't working anyway - the more reinforcement we have from people around us that this isn't crazy. This is makes sense. This is how to live.

And as we get that reinforcement, then our minds and our logic no longer have to fight against the logic of the heart which wants us to be of service. This shift of consciousness that inspires such things is universal, 99% and the 1% and it's awakening in different people in different ways.

I think love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says 'more for you is less for me.' But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings.

That's love, love is the expansion of the self to include the other. And that's a different kind of revolution. There's no one to fight. There's no evil to fight. There's no other in this revolution.

Everybody has a unique calling and it's really time to listen to that. That's what the future is going to be. It's time to get ready for it, and contribute to it, and help make it happen.

Uploaded by fiercelightfilms
A taste of the upcoming feature documentary, Occupy Love. This is a community funded film. Please support our crowd funding campaign at

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Revolution Is Being Televised, cont.

Consistently the Best Occupy Coverage is from this Kid.

Occupy Wall Street General Assembly
WeAreTheOther99 on USTREAM

I was telling people for a while via twitter and my blog that this kid was the one to watch, for quality and coverage.
My friend Xeni as well as many of you picked up on him soon thereafter.

The following interview from Xeni Jardin at BoingBoing:

The Dronecam Revolution Will Be Webcast:
Interview with Tim Pool of "The Other 99"

In recent weeks, one source of live news coverage for the Occupy Wall Street movement stood out above all others. Not a cable news network, not a newspaper, but a 25-year-old guy named Tim Pool. He packs a smartphone with unlimited data, a copy of Ustream's mobile video streaming app, and a battery pack to keep it all going — which he has for 21 hours straight, on big news days. Soon, Tim and team plan to have have their own hacker-made flying camera-drones, to provide aerial footage TV news chopppers can't. The guerrilla web stream "The Other 99" has reached more than 2 million unique viewers over the last two months, and become a source of eyes on the ground unmatched by big media. The project runs solely on donations. Is The Other 99's webcast the start of a new news normal, and could Pool be one of many DIY backpack broadcasters to come? I tracked him down in New York between streams to find out what he thinks, and how and why he does what he does. — XJ

Xeni Jardin: Break down your current gear setup for us, would you?

Tim Pool: The backpack I use is just a regular backpack. My gear is a Samsung GALAXY S II (on Sprint, because they offer unlimited data) and an Energizer XPAL 18000, and I literally slide the external battery into my back pocket and I plug my phone into it. That’s pretty much it.

Xeni Jardin: And that equipment was purchased for you with donations?

Tim Pool: The Energizer battery, yes. The cellphone is just my cellphone.

Tim Pool's gear kit for the "The Other 99" web stream. Yup. That's all.

Xeni Jardin: Where are you from?

Tim Pool: Chicago. I came up to New York on the fourth day of the Occupation, up from Newport News, VA. I had been staying there with my brother, working with friends to create a community skate park and producing videos to show how to do some of my favorite skateboard tricks.

Xeni Jardin: And what inspired you to come up to OWS?

Tim Pool: I knew about Occupy Wall Street a little bit before it happened. The financial sector problems happening in this country, government corruption and collusion with big corporations, all of that concerned me. So this spoke to me. When I first heard about it, I was skeptical that people wouldn’t actually stand their ground. I'd become jaded over the years as an activist and nonprofit volunteer, and didn't have much hope.

But then, I saw this video of police brutality at Occupy Wall Street. The officers were arresting a man, and they grabbed him by his ankles and started dragging him by his hands. When they let go, you could see that his hands were bleeding. That really riled me up.

So I thought, these people have been sleeping in the park, they are serious, and I have to be down there and support them.

Xeni Jardin: So you took the Chinatown bus from Virginia up to New York, and then what?

Tim Pool: When I first arrived I thought: I know can add something to this, but it was extremely difficult to adapt. It's a problem a lot of people have with Occupy Wall Street, if you don’t understand it, it appears to not be focused. But really, the Occupy Movement is just trying to create a new system because the old one is broken.

It was difficult to integrate myself into all of this, and I didn’t fully understand what they were fighting for, because there were so many different things to fight for.

After a while I realized, maybe the best thing to do is document this as truthfully as possible so we could have just transparency. I felt like an independent media outlet that was external -- not exactly a part of the movement, but not part of a corporate machine bound by the typical rules of the TV business, either. That way I wouldn’t have an internal or external bias, I could sort of float in between and tell the story from my point of view.

Xeni Jardin: You mentioned you had done nonprofit work before. Tell me a little bit more about that? Were you a political activist? What was it that you were doing before, and were you doing video?

Tim Pool: Not video. The extent of my video just involves skateboarding tricks and pointing a camera at my friends. But I did fundraising, street canvassing for Greenpeace, and Environment America. And then I have also been on a few actions with the World Can't Wait, and just anti-war protests and things like that.

Xeni Jardin: What was it like when you arrived in New York?

Tim Pool: I got there really late at night, on September 21st. I got off the bus in Chinatown. I had never been to New York before, had no idea where I was, and I just walked up to the first person I saw and said, "I am looking for Liberty and Broadway." They pointed me in the right direction, and I started walking.

It was really incredible when I first arrived, because there was really nothing there. The food section, the kitchen? Just a few bowls covered with plastic wrap. There was some torn carpet that people were sleeping on. And when I arrived I just laid down on a torn piece of carpet, covered myself with some plastic to protect against the rain, and it was just incredible. I was like, hey, this place is occupied, and I am in it.

Xeni Jardin: And then what was the morning like? Did you bring your gear with you, were you thinking already about video?

Tim Pool: No, I just had a backpack full of clothes, and I was floating around trying to figure out where I would fit in. I met Henry James Ferry later that day, and he was uploading a video. Henry had started a media fund to raise money, and he was actually buying a lot of supplies for the people on the park. And then a day or two later he said, I think I want to fund some independent journalists, people are donating this money to me, and we need to be able to tell the story, because the news isn’t going to do it.

The action really started on day eight. I had a cellphone and I was using Twitter, and that was when we saw the pepper-spraying of the protestors by Officer Bologna. Henry was the one who actually uploaded that footage and got that out there.

When that video took off, within three days it had over a million hits. Henry got me a computer and said, let's do this, let’s use this computer, and let’s do a blog, we will set up a WordPress or something. How can we do this? He was also doing a bit of political theater—"The Conversation with the 1%," where he set up a little coffee table and two chairs and he would invite people from the 1% of society to come down and just have an open debate.

I told him, I am pretty good with computers, I could probably set up a live channel for you, what do you think? And he was like, yeah, yeah, let’s do it.

So I looked at the two main programs that people seemed to be using; Livestream and Ustream. I chose Ustream, because they had the mobile app, so I could shoot and broadcast just with my cellphone.

We had originally planned to webcast scheduled events, where people would tune
in and watch the political theater, but all of a sudden, this police action started to explode.

I just instinctively turned my phone on and went live, and we had seven or ten viewers who tuned in, just by hearing about it on Twitter.

We did the Times Square March, and we had about 200 viewers simultaneously. Then, 700. And I had a big old smile on my face like, "Wow, this is working, we are doing something good." We actually had over 5,000 people look at our channel to see what was going on and 700 stuck with us for the most part.

There were some other live broadcasts after that. I ended up doing the Oakland Solidarity March, that day. I was with Henry, but we got separated. Until that point Henry had been the one communicating as a correspondent, and I was just the cameraman. But when the action really heated up that night, about 2,000 people were marching down the street, they took over Broadway, they had taken the orange "kettling" net away from the police, and I was on my own. So I took over the narration. And we hit over 2,000 simultaneous viewers that night, and had about 25,000 unique hits.

Then, the real action happened that Tuesday during the NYPD eviction of OWS at Zuccotti Park. I couldn't get into the park. I had been at the Spokes Council Meeting, which was off-site. I just turned the phone on and said, I have got to do this. It was just instinct. I really didn’t have a plan, but I had my phone plugged into my external battery.

And I guess because the police had taken everyone by surprise, the other live stream teams didn't have a chance to charge their batteries. I was the only one streaming. If you wanted to know what was happening that night, you pretty much had to go through my stream. Global Revolution put my broadcast on their channel, because I was the only source, and I quickly went from 50 people to 5,000, then 6,000, and then we actually hit 12,000 simultaneous viewers that day.

We never knew what was going to happen next that day. There was something new happening every minute. I kept broadcasting throughout the entire day with the support of a friend who let me use his MacBook to get a charge into my cellphone, because I was down to about 3% at one point. Then, a few people pitched in and bought me the XPAL 18K batteries to keep me going.

I finished that day after 21 hours of handling a live broadcast with narration, but I didn't really realize what I had done. I was just sort of, hey, whatever, I am doing a live broadcast. But by end of the day I was on the front page of, and I'd been put out by Al Jazeera.

Honestly, there were so many different outlets that had taken my stream as a primary source. It was just -- yeah, I didn’t realize the impact of what had happened.

The really big event was that Thursday for the #N17 action. We peaked out with 31,000 simultaneous viewers and a total of 737,000 unique viewers for the broadcast, within the span of about 12 hours.

Xeni Jardin: Why are you doing this?

Tim Pool: I felt compelled to do it. It just sort of happened. When I first started doing it, it was kind of just, hey, these cops are out of line, it’s safer to turn on the live broadcast, because the footage will go straight to the Internet and they can’t destroy it.

But as time went on I started to feel an obligation to people who had become loyal to our channel. Those viewers were loyal to me and I am in turn loyal to them.

I am an activist for transparency. I am a huge fan of the ideals behind WikiLeaks. I think information wants to be free, it deserves to be free, and the only way we are going to have a functioning government for the people is if people can see and understand why decisions are made. I hope I am contributing to that.

Xeni Jardin: Have you been offered a job by a TV network or anything like that?

Tim Pool: Not a network, but very prominent talent agents have -- yeah, they want to, and there is no way I am going to do that. I can’t trust the television networks and the editing, and I really don’t think there’s a way to --

Xeni Jardin: Tim, listen to me, those are good instincts. What you're doing is great. Please don’t fuck it up.

Tim Pool: No seriously, I would rather ask 1 million people for $1 than one person for $1 million. And I won’t turn our stream on just for the sake of having a stream on. A lot of people ask, "Why aren’t you broadcasting today?," and I try to remind everyone the mainstream news outlets have to produce a show. So you see news every day, but it’s a television show, and when it gets slow they are like, "Hey you guys, look at this cat." I am not going to do that.

Xeni Jardin: There you go! You have got your head on straight. What are you, 25?

Tim Pool: Yeah.

Xeni Jardin: That’s good! Don’t ever lose that spirit. So what’s next for you guys? You have a little office, there are people volunteering to help you out to keep things going. Where is the funding coming from?

Tim Pool: Small donors. We are all volunteers. The only pay we get is minor expenses. It’s like, hey, your cellphone is getting paid, maybe your rent will get covered. That's it. We are pretty broke, but we have enough to keep the story going, keep the narrative going.

Xeni Jardin: How can people support?

Tim Pool: Well, if you go to our Ustream channel, The Other99.TV, that’s simple, underneath the Video window there is a link to our donation page. And the new project that I am taking donations for, a side project is, There is a We Pay page listed on there and that’s for a live broadcast of an occupation road trip. The plan is to drive to as many occupations as possible and make sure that every second of it is live, like ‘The Truman Show’.

The idea seemed obvious. A lot of documentaries are biased, they leave out of information. Well, we are not going to leave out any of the information, because you are going to see every second of it. You will get to see everything real and raw and get a real experience of traveling to these places and meeting these people.

Xeni Jardin: What was the most intense moment for you behind the camera over these past few weeks?

Tim Pool: During the Oakland Solidarity March where about 2,000 of the occupiers took to the streets, there was a point where the police had made an attempt to kettle them with the orange netting again. But this time, the protestors weren’t having it, and they grabbed the orange net and pulled it away from the police. They lifted it over their heads and started marching and chanting, "Whose net? Our net!"

I was completely overwhelmed, and I just blurted out over the screen, "Tonight belongs to Occupy Wall Street!" And it was just -- it was amazing! The occupiers took the orange net and they started ripping out small sections to make armbands and headbands and they wore them as like a badge of honor for being a part of it.

Xeni Jardin: What was the most grueling stretch you've done?

Tim Pool: The most physically intense was the Occupy Oakland March, because I think we actually ended up marching about five miles. I was so dehydrated, I couldn’t run, I could barely walk by the time we were returning. I was struggling to move my legs, I thought I was actually going to pass out.

Xeni Jardin: What’s the longest you have stayed awake and stayed online streaming?

Tim Pool: 21 hours. Last Tuesday when NYPD did the Zuccotti eviction. I was up that Monday and it was the end of the day. I had been up since about 9 in the morning and the eviction started at around 1pm. I started streaming, and I didn’t actually go to sleep until around 1 in the morning Wednesday. So yeah, I was up for over two days and I had a 21-hour broadcast.

Xeni Jardin: Have you ever had problems with the police?

Tim Pool: Yes. I have been shoved, I have been thrown, I have been pushed into the middle of traffic. The thing is that the NYPD really don’t care who you are. They see me, a guy carrying a cellphone that says "Ustream" on the front and has a sticker, and they just assume I am one of the protestors. They're like, "Oh, another one of these guys."

We actually have press passes for TheOther99, and the police are like, "Oh, I am sorry, if you don’t have an NYPD credential, you can’t come back here." And then to the press who actually do have the NYPD passes they say, "Oh, if you come back here, we will take your credential away." For those reporters it's a decision of, "If I lose my credential, I get fired," so they are really scared and they act accordingly.

Last Thursday the police said at one point, anyone with an NYPD press badge that goes from the sidewalk on to the street loses their credentials. The supervising officer said to what appeared to be his unit, any member of the press that steps in the street loses their credentials, take it from them. And when the press heard him say that, you could see them all just run back to the sidewalk. I stood right next to him, I was like, "I don’t have a press pass you can take."

Xeni Jardin: Have you tried to get a NYPD press pass?

Tim Pool: We all thought about getting them, but with the way the police treat the people with NYPD press credentials -- it’s a waste of time. There are stipulations, like, you need to have produced six pieces of breaking news over the past few months to qualify. And Occupy Wall Street doesn’t count as breaking news, they say; it’s just an ongoing event. It’s really funny, because there are people from TIME Magazine, who have never needed to cross police lines, who now want to document Occupy Wall Street and can’t. They have been with TIME or some other big publication for ten years, and they can’t get a press pass.

The police know who I am. On our stream just the other day a police officer identified me by name. I met him and I said, what’s your name, and I shook his hand. I said, nice to meet you. "We keep up," he said.

I have been told that the police watch my stream, because it’s a good source of information. I don’t doubt it. I mean, I think they would be fools not to.

Xeni Jardin: So you have had some interactions with them that have been pretty cordial. Have you had negative interactions with police?

Tim Pool: I was pushed by an officer into traffic. But that sounds worse than it was. It wasn’t like cars were speeding past me, but he essentially pushed me off the sidewalk into the street, and that kind of pissed me off.

I was told the other day that I couldn't stand in the sidewalk and I showed him my press pass, and he said, I don’t care, you can either get behind the barricade or you can go to the pen. And I said I would start walking.

I am fortunate enough to have not encountered that situation. I think they try to avoid the live broadcast cameras, because they know these are -- you don’t want to hit the guy with the live broadcast, because people are going to flood the department with the phone calls, because they are all watching it live.

During the #N17 action an officer actually lifted up a barrier and used it as a sort of a shield to shove us. I was lifted up the ground, I got smashed in between people; it was pretty intense.

I have never been scared. It’s exciting, and I can feel the adrenaline, but I am really not worried about getting hurt. But after I was pushed out of that barricade situation, I saw the officer slam a photographer to the ground and, man, it’s really intense. They don’t care if you are press. If you are hanging on the side, they just start shoving and throwing people.

Xeni Jardin: Have you ever been arrested?

Tim Pool: I have been arrested for skateboarding.

Xeni Jardin: How about for what you are doing now with OWS?

Tim Pool: No.

Xeni Jardin: What are your thoughts about the possibility that you could be?

Tim Pool: It would be very interesting to have the live broadcast and with me getting arrested to see how that would play out for the NYPD. At the same time, I don’t want to be arrested, because it’s important that I document what’s happening, but the possibility is there. I am not really worried about sitting in a cell for a day or two and then getting out; getting a disorderly conduct charge that will eventually just disappear, and essentially meaningless.

Xeni Jardin: Where do you want to go from here? The documentary, the Occumentary as you call it— that would take you away from the action in New York City. Are you worried about missing something?

Tim Pool: Well, generally what I had been doing before these two marathon events, I just generally do updates. I will stick with the march, maybe get an hour or two of footage if there is an action, I will film the March, and then go offline. Everyone sort of assumes that I am this marathon broadcaster who goes on 24 hours a day, everyday. And it has really never been what I did, I just saw -- I saw the necessity for these two days to do it and I did.

But there is action happening in other places that is equally important, and my plan right now is to either go to Los Angeles or Oakland. It’s probably going to be Los Angeles, because on December 12 they have a plan for a West Coast Port Shutdown. I want to break out of the shell and see the other occupations.

Xeni Jardin: What's this I hear about you guys building a drone to compete with the TV news choppers?

Tim Pool: Well, everyone's seen that Polish video, the "Robokopter," right? We got lot of emails from people saying, "Why don’t you guys use an aerial drone to get overhead shots?," and it was really interesting to see all these coming at the same time. Someone actually donated, just a few days ago, $500 towards the purchase of the AR.Drone toy from Walmart. But it can’t stream and it can’t broadcast the video to a computer in which I could do a desktop capture.

So I spoke with Geoff Shively, and he said, we have got plans for a hack that’s going to make this essentially the most badass drone— "The SkyWitness," is what he calls it. But it’s going to be able to travel between wave points, so that I can send it to Henry based on whatever signals he is using, get an aerial overhead to fly over Zuccotti park. I think Geoff may build it with Noisebridge and with help from other hackerspaces. It looks like we are going to have a drone soon with an aerial camera to add to the mix.

Xeni Jardin: Some people will complain that you are acting as a journalist covering a movement that you feel a part of, or you feel aligned with. There is this long-held idea that journalists must be objective.

Tim Pool: I am an activist. I do feel support for the movement. However, there is something more important, and that’s the truth. I think Occupy Wall Street is great, because it's the people trying to work out their problems and make a space where they can communicate with each other.

It's sort of an end to the division, where we have the left and the right, the bottom and the top. They are trying to do away with that and understand one another. That’s awesome, that’s great! But if I see something happening in the movement and it’s wrong, I am going to film that too, and that’s just the way it is. I'm not going to spare people bad news about Occupy.

The truth is, it's just people. Good people, bad people, regular people, strange people; it's just a big group of people.

Xeni Jardin: What does your family think about what you are doing?

Tim Pool: My mom is super proud, and my dad is too. My brother is excited, and wants to join me. I guess I didn’t know what I was doing when I started doing it.

It's really strange for me, because I still don’t think about it, it’s just kind of normal. I turn my camera on and I just talk and everyone tells me it’s an amazing narration, and I kind of don’t think so. I am kind of just confused by it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Florida Atheists' Xmas ad campaign

from BoingBoing

After years of hearing the Christian right complain about the nonexistent "War on Christmas," the Florida chapter of American Atheists have decided to finally essay a skirmish. They'll be placing bus-ads in Florida this season advertising the fact that millions of Floridians are atheists and inviting atheists to attend their Ft Lauderdale convention Dec 18-19. I'm assuming that religious fundamentalists will oblige them by going crazy and make a huge stink, which'll ensure that the news of the convention is spread far and wide.

"Every year groups like The Catholic League and American Family Association told Americans about a war on Christmas that simply did not exist," American Atheists Communications Director Blair Scott says in the announcement. "Last year we thought we would give them what they seemed to want and fired the first shot in the war on Christmas. To both groups we say, 'Happy Holidays!'"

Atheist Group's New Florida Billboards About to Piss Off a Whole Bunch of Jesus Fans

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shepard Fairey Occupy UPDATE !

After Conversations with Occupy Wall Street Organizers, Shepard Fairey Releases Revised “Occupy Hope” Design

By Shepard Fairey
I am not directly associated with either the Obama re-election campaign or the organizers of Occupy Wall St. After I put my Occupy HOPE image and brief statement online [last] Friday, I received responses from people and some very important issues were raised. It is hard to put across complex ideas with an image, and even harder to have a reasonable discussion in this polarizing, sound-bite oriented, media landscape, so I was grateful for some thoughtful feedback. My most eye-opening discussion was with an organizer of Occupy Wall St. who remains anonymous to preserve the lack of hierarchy within the movement. Below is a bit of our dialogue, which shows the many nuances to be navigated…

This image represents my support for the Occupy movement, a grassroots movement spawned to stand up against corruption, imbalance of power, and failure of our democracy to represent and help average Americans. On the other hand, as flawed as the system is, I see Obama as a potential ally of the Occupy movement if the energy of the movement is perceived as constructive, not destructive. I still see Obama as the closest thing to “a man on the inside” that we have presently. Obviously, just voting is not enough. We need to use all of our tools to help us achieve our goals and ideals. However, I think idealism and realism need to exist hand in hand. Change is not about one election, one rally, one leader, it is about a constant dedication to progress and a constant push in the right direction. Let’s be the people doing the right thing as outsiders and simultaneously push the insiders to do the right thing for the people. I’m still trying to work out copyright issues I may face with this image, but feel free to share it and stay tuned… -Shepard Fairey

Response from an Occupy Wall Street organizer:


The design is brilliant and powerful on many levels. I’m sure many people will love it. I don’t know if you know the history and evolution of the OWS 99% movement, but a core subgroup within Anonymous played a significant role, so to see that you used the V mask is very fitting. That being said, if it is not too late, we would like to make suggestions that we believe will make the design much more broadly accepted within the movement. You’re the artistic genius, so take what we say for whatever it’s worth to you.

Unfortunately, as it stands now, I myself and several other organizers cannot in any way be connected to this design. The 99% movement is wholly non-partisan and we have been repeatedly attacked as being a front for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Our movement is about uniting people, from all different walks of life and all different political viewpoints, against the global financial elite who have bought control of our government through campaign finance, lobbying and the revolving door.

As Obama has raised more money from Wall Street than any other candidate in history, it would make us naive hypocrites to support him under present circumstances. I have written many investigative reports on our economic crisis, I know the situation very well from a policy perspective. All hope was lost with Obama as soon as he picked Tim Geithner as his Treasury Secretary. He also made Larry Summers his lead economic advisor and Bill Daley his Chief of Staff. He even supported the reconfirmation of the Bush-chosen Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. You cannot have a worse group of people when it comes to the economic destruction of the US. Geithner, Summers and Bernanke have made a career out of exploiting the 99%.

Some of us are of the opinion that Romney would be worse than Obama on some issues and many OWS supporters may end up voting for Obama over Romney. However, this movement is about empowering people to take actions themselves to fight for the structural change we urgently need. To reduce us to an Obama re-election campaign will not help anyone. Our political system is corrupt and broken. As naive as it may sound, we have to stop looking to leaders and we must be the change.

When you say that you “see Obama as a potential ally of the Occupy movement if the energy of the movement is perceived as constructive, not destructive.” That is a highly offensive and disrespectful comment. Everything we do is designed to be constructive. In the face of repeated police brutality, we have remained non-violent. We use the money that has been donated to us to feed people at our camps that don’t get food otherwise. We have medical professionals and psychologists who help people who can’t afford care. We had drug addicts directed to our camps by the police in attempts to make us look bad, and we have professional councilors treating them if they need or want help. We have put our bodies on the line in a peaceful non-violent manner so we can give voice to the voiceless. Our camps have become a place where people can air their grievances and engage in dialogue to find constructive ways out of the dire situation they are in. Of course the Fox News type outlets are going to work to create a false impression, but why would you feed into their propaganda framing?

As for the design, the fact that you put the 99% inside the Obama O is crossing a sacred line. While it definitely looks cool, whether intended or not, this sends a clear message that Obama is co-opting OWS. Just the fact that you are the person creating the design and using your iconic red, white and blue gives the Obama connection more than enough room to make your pro-Obama statement. Without the 99% being in his O, it would be a fair balance of interests, in my opinion. With the 99% being in his O, this sends a clear message that Obama is attempting to co-opt OWS and creates serious problems for the movement.

Also, given the fact that Obama’s HOPE is written out just as it was last time, it is again excessive and in my opinion weak to pleadingly address the president as hoping he is on our side. If you want to win over the movement in a genuine way, I would suggest saying something like “We Are Hope” and then underneath the word “Hope” you can really get some street cred by writing, “Expect Us.”

Obviously, this is your design and powerful statement, and you are brilliant in conveying your message. I’m sure you will find a large audience that will love it. Given my admiration and respect for you as an artist, I am conflicted in the fact that I cannot support or endorse this as it currently is. Depending on the intensity of the backlash that the movement endures in response to it, I sincerely hope that we can find ways to work together moving forward. I will do my best not to publicly comment on it and will work to advise other organizers to not speak out against it. Sorry for having to write these things, my every move has been under intense scrutiny. At the end of the day, I have great respect for you and your art.

Shepard’s response:

I get everything you are saying. I don’t agree with all of it, but I appreciate it. I get that the Occupy movement is non-partisan. I see a conflict for you and the movement there. However, my poster is not in any way a re-elect Obama poster. I have zero contact with the Obama campaign. I am disappointed with many aspects of Obama’s presidency and I am far from an unconditional Obama supporter. The round logo I made is not Obama’s O logo. His O uses curved stripes and a white sun. The stripes in my 99% logo are straight. I saw my 99% logo as subverting his logo more than amplifying it. I wanted a patriotic frame for the 99% logo to assert that the Occupy movement IS patriotic. The use of the word HOPE is more saying that Occupy is the greatest Hope we now have, but it would be great if Occupy pushed Obama in the right direction. You may find any appeal to Obama to support Occupy as unrealistic, but I have always believed in working EVERY angle. I’ve called it the “inside/outside strategy” for many years. Outsider activism is where I come from, but outsider elitism is incredibly unhealthy because it excludes moderates.

I have no interest in pandering to Obama. I see my image as a reminder to him that he has alienated his populist progressive supporters. If the threat of not being re-elected pushes Obama to do more to reform Wall St. etc… then I’m all for that! I’m also terrified of a Republican taking office. I voted for Nader in 2000 and if people like me won Bush that election I’ll regret that forever. I did not make the Occupy HOPE image to become THE image for Occupy. I believe very strongly in the Occupy movement, but I’m looking more at the politics of the entire nation than the politics within Occupy. I’m sure I may not be extreme enough for some people. When I said “if the movement is perceived as constructive, not destructive” I mean exactly that… PERCEIVED. I am trying to be realistic, not offensive. I have written that the movement is intelligent, civilized, peaceful, and tolerant in stark contrast to the Tea Party, but I have also been to Occupy LA and NY and seen and heard some views that I think undermine the movement’s potential to resonate. Some of the loudest people are putting across anti-capitalist, anti-government messages. I have plenty of issues with capitalist greed and our government’s policies, but constructive phrasing about reform is essential. I’m not feeding into Fox’s framing, I’ve witnessed this myself. I’m all for freedom of speech, but I desperately want the movement to succeed!

Most of the rhetoric is not too radical for me, but I’m well aware that much of the country is scared and cautious. I know that you and the organizers are very intelligent, dedicated, and engaged. I meant no disrespect to 98% of the 99%. I’m incredibly frustrated too, but evolution, much less “revolution”, scares most people. I want progress to be made! I made a series of images calling out villains and issues (I actually made these several months before Occupy started): I donate money and art to I want campaign finance reform ASAP. We may disagree on some things. I want to support Occupy as much as I can without undermining its potential to move things in the right direction. I have tons of issues with the two-party system, but I don’t see it being dismantled any time soon. I want reform to happen and I’m trying to look at realistic routes to ideal outcomes. I’m very open to hearing suggestions from you, and I’d also be into sharing this dialogue publicly if you are open to that. I think it could be valuable to people to hear a thoughtful discussion of these issues. Let me know.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Remember this Thanks Giving Day:
You Cannot Evict An Idea.

and a note from Michael Moore:
Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here? ...a proposal from Michael Moore

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011


This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement's "vision statement" to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

We Envision: [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society; [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus; [3] where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making; [4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others; [5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments; [6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few; [7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings; [8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible; [9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed.

The next step will be to develop a specific list of goals and demands. As one of the millions of people who are participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, I would like to respectfully offer my suggestions of what we can all get behind now to wrestle the control of our country out of the hands of the 1% and place it squarely with the 99% majority.

Here is what I will propose to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore

1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).

2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.

3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.

4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.

5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.

6. Reorder our nation's spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.

7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.

8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.

9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can't run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)

10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:
a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.

c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a "second bill of rights" as proposed by President Frankin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.

Let me know what you think. Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (at Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don't have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.

We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we've been hoping for, waiting for. If it's going to happen it has to happen now. Don't sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Michael Moore

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

a note from my friend Shepard Fairey

This image represents my support for the Occupy movement, a grassroots movement spawned to stand up against corruption, imbalance of power, and failure of our democracy to represent and help average Americans. On the other hand, as flawed as the system is, I see Obama as a potential ally of the Occupy movement if the energy of the movement is perceived as constructive, not destructive. I still see Obama as the closest thing to “a man on the inside” that we have presently. Obviously, just voting is not enough. We need to use all of our tools to help us achieve our goals and ideals. However, I think idealism and realism need to exist hand in hand. Change is not about one election, one rally, one leader, it is about a constant dedication to progress and a constant push in the right direction. Let’s be the people doing the right thing as outsiders and simultaneously push the insiders to do the right thing for the people. I’m still trying to work out copyright issues I may face with this image, but feel free to share it and stay tuned…
-Shepard Fairey
from OBEY

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dorli Rainey - Sunday Inspiration - Listen Up!

Eighty-four-year-old activist Dorli Rainey tells Keith Olberman about her experience getting pepper-sprayed by the police during an Occupy Seattle demonstration and the need to take action and spread the word of the Occupy movement. She cites the advice of the late Catholic nun and activist Jackie Hudson to "take one more step out of your comfort zone" as an inspiration, saying, "It would be so easy to say, 'Well I'm going to retire, I'm going to sit around, watch television or eat bonbons,' but somebody's got to keep 'em awake and let 'em know what is really going on in this world."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Congress: pizza is a vegetable when it is fed to children

from BoingBoing:
After intense lobbying from frozen pizza makers, and the potato and salt industry, Congress is poised to pass a spending bill whose riders establish that pizza is a vegetable and can be served in school cafeterias in substitute for actual vegetables.

We’re now facing a policy decision that has replaced science-backed common sense with the assertion that pizza ought to count as a vegetable when it’s served to schoolchildren.

(Side note: we’re not even talking about whole-grain pizza loaded with veggie toppings! We’re talking about frozen cheese pizza with tomato paste.)

If you want to take a look at the bill’s language, go for it, but the main takeaway is this: our Congressional leaders are on a fast track to overrule nutrition science in favor of political expediency. This is a dangerous precedent to set and not good public policy.
Pizza Counts as a Vegetable? How the Spending Bill in Congress Could Unravel Progress on School Nutrition (via Reddit)

Friday, November 18, 2011

TERMINATOR is Born and it's Given Name is ASIMO HONDA

The is not a human in a costume, it's a humanoid robot built by Honda. This is absolutely incredible and insanely creepy at the same time.
Honda unveiled the latest version of their humanoid robot, All-new ASIMO, on November 8th 2011. This video shows some of its capabilities.

More info:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chomsky on Vegetarianism

From Z Magazine, November 2001
(I think, though it seems to come from an interview from between '93 and '96.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


November 17th
National Day of Action
Facebook Event | Twitter #N17 | Direct Action Resources

On Thursday November 17th, the two month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, we call upon the 99% to participate in a national day of direct action and celebration!

New York City Schedule

BREAKFAST: Shut Down Wall Street - 7:00 a.m.

Enough of this economy that exploits and divides us. It's time we put an end to Wall Street's reign of terror and begin building an economy that works for all. We will gather in Liberty Square at 7:00 a.m., before the ring of the Trading Floor Bell, to prepare to confront Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice. There, before the Stock Exchange, we will exchange stories rather than stocks.

LUNCH: Occupy The Subways - 3:00 p.m.

We will start by Occupying Our Blocks! Then throughout the five boroughs, we will gather at 16 central subway hubs and take our own stories to the trains, using the "People's Mic".

Fordham Rd
3rd Ave, 138th Street
163rd and Southern Blvd
161st and River - Yankee Stadium
Broadway Junction
Borough Hall
301 Grove Street
St Jose Patron Church,185 Suydam St, Bushwick
Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave.
Jamaica Center/Parsons/Archer
92-10 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights
125th St. A,B,C,D
Union Sq. (Mass student strike)
23rd St and 8th Ave
Staten Island
St. George, Staten Island Ferry Terminal
479 Port Richmond Avenue, Port Richmond
DINNER: Take The Square - 5:00 p.m.

At 5 pm, tens of thousands of people will gather at Foley Square (just across from City Hall) in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country's infrastructure and economy. A gospel choir and a marching band will also be performing.

Afterwards we will march to our bridges. Let's make it as musical a march as possible - bring your songs, your voice, your spirit! Our "Musical" on the bridge will culminate in a festival of light as we mark the two-month anniversary of the #occupy movement, and our commitment to shining light into our broken economic and political system.

Resist austerity. Rebuild the economy. Reclaim our democracy.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NYC Transit Rules of Conduct
Re: Skateboarding

NYC Transit Rules of Conduct -
It is a violation to:
Stand on a skateboard
Jump the turnstile or enter the system improperly
Move between end doors of a subway car whether or not train is in motion
Damage subway or bus property - that includes graffiti or scratches
Filmed and edited by Colin Read.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Probably The Most Beautiful Images I've Ever Seen Of Our Planet

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space | Fly Over | Nasa, ISS

Notes from the Vimeo page where the video was found:
Note: Still couldn't find any appropriate, reliable source describing
the technical setting for this footage. The same applies to any specific
information about the responsible person in charge of the photographs.
Please let me know, if you have any information, links or the like.

Time lapse sequences of photographs taken with a special low-light 4K-camera
by the crew of expedition 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from
August to October, 2011. All credit goes to them.

HD, refurbished, smoothed, retimed, denoised, deflickered, cut, etc.

Music: Jan Jelinek | Do Dekor, faitiche back2001
w+p by Jan Jelinek, published by Betke Edition |

Editing: Michael K├Ânig |

Image Courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory,
NASA Johnson Space Center, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

Shooting locations in order of appearance:

1. Aurora Borealis Pass over the United States at Night
2. Aurora Borealis and eastern United States at Night
3. Aurora Australis from Madagascar to southwest of Australia
4. Aurora Australis south of Australia
5. Northwest coast of United States to Central South America at Night
6. Aurora Australis from the Southern to the Northern Pacific Ocean
7. Halfway around the World
8. Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East
9. Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East
10. Pass over Canada and Central United States at Night
11. Pass over Southern California to Hudson Bay
12. Islands in the Philippine Sea at Night
13. Pass over Eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam
14. Views of the Mideast at Night
15. Night Pass over Mediterranean Sea
16. Aurora Borealis and the United States at Night
17. Aurora Australis over Indian Ocean
18. Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia at Night

Sunday, November 13, 2011

High Speed Liquid and Bubble Photographs by Heinz Maier

from COLOSSAL art+design:

It never ceases to amaze: just when you think you’ve seen every possible permutation of an artform or technique—be it figurative sculpture, stop motion animation, or in this case, high speed photography—somebody comes along and manages to do something radically different. German photographer Heinz Maier says that he began taking photographs less than a year ago in late 2010. He claims to not know what direction he’s heading in just yet, right now he’s experimenting with macro photography, mostly insects, animals, and these delicate high speed water droplets. Personally, I think he’s found a great direction. There are so many things happening here to make these photographs simply outstanding: the lighting, the colors, the occasional use of symmetry in the reflection of water, let alone the skill of knowing how to use the camera itself. It’s hard to believe these aren’t digital. See much more of his work here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Story of Broke


These last few years, I’ve had to get a lot more careful about how I spend my paycheck. Everyone has. Like I’m eating out less often, holding back on expenses I don’t really need, saving for my kid’s college.

I’m getting more responsible, taking control of how I spend.

But one thing I can’t control is that every month a big chunk of my paycheck goes off to the government.

It’s not the most fun part of my budget, but I believe in paying taxes.

Not just because it’s the law but because that’s how
I invest in a better future that I can’t afford to build on my own.

You know that future we all want and nearly every candidate promises us — great schools, a healthy environment, clean energy, good jobs.

But a funny thing happens to our money on its way to that better future. It seems to disappear.

And by the time we get around to investing in it, all we hear is, “sorry, not this year, we’re broke.”

In fact, we’re so broke, they say, that we have no choice but to slide backwards, cutting things that made this country great — like schools and the EPA , maybe even Social Security and Medicare.

Wait a minute. Broke? I’m sending in my share of hard-earned cash every month and so are you!

Now, what we’ve got to work with shrinks a lot thanks to corporate tax loopholes and unprecedented tax breaks for the richest 1%.

But even after those, we’ve still got over a trillion dollars.

So if we’re broke, what’s happening to all that money?
I decided to look into it and it turns out this whole “broke” story hides a much bigger story — a story of some really dumb choices being made for us — but that actually work against us. The good news is that these are choices, and we can make different ones.

So, where is all that money going?

Well ?rst the military takes a big chunk – $726 billion in 2011.

Wow! We could build a lot of better future with that kind
of money.

Spending billions on ?ghter planes we don’t need or wars with no end, and then saying we’re broke, just isn’t honest. It’s like calling your kid from your billion-dollar yacht to say you can’t afford her lunch money.

Then hundreds of billions more go to propping up the dinosaur economy. You know, the obsolete system we talked about in The Story of Stuff — the one that produces more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other on Earth — and doesn’t even make us happy. In so many ways, it’s just not working, but we’re keeping it in on life support instead of building something better.

A lot of that life support comes in the form of subsidies.

A subsidy is a giveaway that gives some companies a lift over others. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — we should help companies that are building a better future. The problem is the government keeps lifting up companies that are actually dragging us down.

Everywhere you look along the dinosaur economy, you’ll ?nd these subsidies.

There’s spending subsidies: where the government just gives our money away — like payments that bene?t big agribusiness, while helping drive family farms off a cliff.

Or the less obvious version where the government foots the bill for things corporations should pay for themselves like cleaning up toxic chemical spills or giant livestock manure ponds.

Or building roads that go to only one place — a new Walmart.

Or paying for polluting and wasteful garbage incinerators that would never make ?nancial sense to build on their own.

Then there’s tax subsidies: which excuse big corporations from contributing their fair share — like the enormous tax breaks granted to oil and gas companies even in times of record pro?ts.

These subsidies amount to billions of dollars we should be collecting and putting to good use.

And there’s risk transfer subsidies: where the government acts as an investment bank and even an insurance company for corporations doing risky things, like building nuclear reactors.

If anything goes wrong, we have to cover for them.

There’s freebie subsidies: where the government gives stuff that belongs to all of us to corporations for cheap or even free. That’s billions more we should be collecting but never see! Like permits to mine public lands, granted at prices set
in the Mining Law of 1872.

Really. 1872. President Grant signed this law to encourage settlement of the West. News ?ash: it’s settled.

And all this doesn’t even count externalized costs. They don’t show up on any spreadsheet and could amount to trillions of dollars — they include the damage to the environment, public health and the climate that this dinosaur economy causes. Without laws that make the polluters pay, we all pay with the loss of clean water and air, or increased asthma and

By the time we’ve handed out all these subsidies, there isn’t even enough money to pay our bills — forget about building
the better future.

So why is there always enough money for the dinosaur economy, from big oil to bailouts for big banks, but when it comes to building a better future we’re supposedly broke? Maybe it’s because these guys know how to ask for it.

Their lobbyists and giant campaign contributions let the government know what they want, and what they’ll do if they don’t get it. And it works. US Senators who voted to keep big oil subsidies in 2011 had received 5 times more in Big Oil campaign cash than those who voted to end them.

So, while subsidies should be a tool for government to help companies that are helping all of us, instead, they’ve become a prize for those with the most power to get on the handout list.

But you know who has the real power? We do! What if we got as protective of our tax dollars as we are with the rest of our money? What if we told the government what we want and what we’ll do if we don’t get it – starting with voting them out!

We could re-direct these dinosaur subsidies, freeing up hundreds of billions of dollars. Forget broke, we could build a
better future right now!

We could start by reinvesting the $10 billion in oil and gas subsidies
to renewable energy and energy ef?ciency projects.

With just half of that amount, we could put solar systems on over two million rooftops. Then use the rest to retro?t half a million homes, creating jobs and saving energy year after year.

The average cost of cleaning up a toxic site on the Superfund list is $140 million.

Let’s make the polluters pay and instead invest our money in developing safer materials so we don’t have to worry about them spilling in the ?rst place.

Most chemicals today are made from oil — that’s why they are called petro-chemicals. Switching just 20% of them to biobased materials would create over 100,000 new jobs.

Instead of subsidizing garbage incinerators, let’s subsidize real solutions, like zero waste.

Raising the US recycling rate to 75% would create one and a half million new jobs — with less pollution, less waste, less pressure to harvest and
mine new stuff. What’s not to like?

That would still leave hundreds of billions of dollars for improving education — the best investment for a healthy
economy. With $100 billion, we could increase the number of elementary school teachers by over 40% and give college scholarships to over 6 million students.

See, we can rebuild the American Dream; we can afford to have a healthy environment, good jobs, and top-notch public education. But not if we continue subsidizing the dinosaur economy.

So next time you have an idea for a better future and someone tells you, “that’s nice, but there’s no money for that,” you tell them we’re not broke.

There is money, it’s ours, and it’s time to invest it right.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Incredible Swarms

"Amazing flock of starlings filmed flying over Oxfordshire, Scotland.

"Swarming fish, demonstrating distributed computing..."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


from DangerousMinds

Directed by Emile de Antonio, Haskell Wexler and Mary Lampson, Underground (1976) tells the story of radical activists the Weathermen via interviews and news footage of the civil rights and anti-war protests of the 1960s and 70s.
De Antonio reports that he had little difficulty contacting the radicals-in-hiding. Along with cameraman Haskell Wexler and editor Mary Lampson, he filmed the interview in a California safe house, avoiding his subjects’ faces by filming them through sheets and from behind. One camera angle used by De Antonio became a hot topic of discussion among film students. The Weathermen and women are filmed through a mirror. We see De Antonio, Lampson and Wexler with his camera staring right at us, but only the backs of the subjects’ heads. The angle states exactly how the film was made and acknowledges the presence of a camera at all times. What’s more, it suggests that the filmmakers are an active part of the testimony, and not separate from it. To some the shot suggests solidarity with the Weathermen. Others see it as a challenge to the F.B.I.: we’re exercising our First Amendment rights and we’re not hiding from anybody.”
De Antonio, Wexler and Lampson were subpoenaed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an effort to locate the Weathermen. The film was pulled from circulation.
The three, all prominent within the Hollywood community, hired the best lawyers that they could find, and with the support of other filmmakers and actors, including Elia Kazan, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty, were able to get the subpoenas repealed . The three were able to use their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, as well as the rights of journalistic integrity which allow for confidentiality of sources.
The Weather Underground were a divisive force within the anti-war movement. Their violent approach to protest, which included bombing symbols of the corporate war machine, was reviled by pacifists who felt their tactics were just a mirror image of the forces the peace movement was railing against. But despite their lack of support, The Weather Underground managed to shake up the system without anyone getting killed but themselves. Three Weathermen died when a nailbomb blew up in a townhouse on 11th street in Manhattan in 1970.

Monday, November 7, 2011


from DangerousMinds

Thanks to New York photographer Robert Chin for videotaping this and uploading it to Youtube.
Recorded November 3, 2011, 10.15am. The People vs. Goldman Sachs mock trial people’s hearing held at Liberty a/k/a Zuccotti Park with fiery commentary by Dr. Cornel West, eloquence by Chris Hedges, and testimonies from people directly affected by Goldman Sach policies.
You can keep up-to-date with the always compelling Cornel West at his website.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize winning human rights journalist who writes a weekly column for Truthdig .

This is the kind of street theater we need to see in cities all across America. In addition to marching and occupying public places, we need to explore creative and provocative ways to capture the attention of the media. In our ADD culture, we’ve got to keep things interesting. West and Hedges are taking a page from the Abbie Hoffman play book.

Hedges was arrested along with 15 other protesters following the “people’s trial” when they staged a sit-in outside the headquarters of Goldman Sachs.

The Gothamist reports:

Over a dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested today outside Goldman Sachs, where they had marched with 300 others after holding a mock trial of CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Among those arrested were performance artist gadfly Reverend Billy and author and columnist Chris Hedges, who is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute. Hedges and the Rev joined several others in a direct action protest outside the firm, sitting down on the sidewalk, linking arms, and refusing to leave. It seems clear the activists intended to be arrested; earlier today Reverend Billy tweeted, “I’ll spend the afternoon in a police van with Chris Hedges and come out ten times more READY for the miracle! Revolujah!”

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Couple of Songs to Wake You The Fuck Up

One New One Old - both killin' it!

First let's go with the present. Atari Teen Age Riot has released the 2nd edit of their fan based video mash-up re-mix, "Black Flags" this version of the song is timely and features Boots Riley throwing down some extra vocals. DOPE!

The old is from The Sonics, I've heard the songs before but never until recently knew who these bad ass motherfuckers were. This song is from 1965, dig it!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Noam Chomsky at Occupy Boston
- Occupy the Future -

This article is adapted from Noam Chomsky's talk at the Occupy Boston encampment on Dewey Square on Oct. 22. He spoke as part of the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series held by Occupy Boston's on-site Free University. Zinn was a historian, activist and author of "A People's History of the United States.")

Delivering a Howard Zinn lecture is a bittersweet experience for me. I regret that he's not here to take part in and invigorate a movement that would have been the dream of his life. Indeed, he laid a lot of the groundwork for it.

If the bonds and associations being established in these remarkable events can be sustained through a long, hard period ahead, victories don't come quickly, the Occupy protests could mark a significant moment in American history.

I've never seen anything quite like the Occupy movement in scale and character, here and worldwide. The Occupy outposts are trying to create cooperative communities that just might be the basis for the kinds of lasting organizations necessary to overcome the barriers ahead and the backlash that's already coming.

That the Occupy movement is unprecedented seems appropriate because this is an unprecedented era, not just at this moment but since the 1970s.

The 1970s marked a turning point for the United States. Since the country began, it had been a developing society, not always in very pretty ways, but with general progress toward industrialization and wealth.

Even in dark times, the expectation was that the progress would continue. I'm just old enough to remember the Great Depression. By the mid-1930s, even though the situation was objectively much harsher than today, the spirit was quite different.

A militant labor movement was organizing, the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) and others, and workers were staging sit-down strikes, just one step from taking over the factories and running them themselves.

Under popular pressure, New Deal legislation was passed. The prevailing sense was that we would get out of the hard times.

Now there's a sense of hopelessness, sometimes despair. This is quite new in our history. During the 1930s, working people could anticipate that the jobs would come back. Today, if you're a worker in manufacturing, with unemployment practically at Depression levels, you know that those jobs may be gone forever if current policies persist.

That change in the American outlook has evolved since the 1970s. In a reversal, several centuries of industrialization turned to de-industrialization. Of course manufacturing continued, but overseas, very profitable, though harmful to the workforce.

The economy shifted to financialization. Financial institutions expanded enormously. A vicious cycle between finance and politics accelerated. Increasingly, wealth concentrated in the financial sector. Politicians, faced with the rising cost of campaigns, were driven ever deeper into the pockets of wealthy backers.

And the politicians rewarded them with policies favorable to Wall Street: deregulation, tax changes, relaxation of rules of corporate governance, which intensified the vicious cycle. Collapse was inevitable. In 2008, the government once again came to the rescue of Wall Street firms presumably too big to fail, with leaders too big to jail.

Today, for the one-tenth of 1 percent of the population who benefited most from these decades of greed and deceit, everything is fine.

In 2005, Citigroup, which, by the way, has repeatedly been saved by government bailouts, saw the wealthy as a growth opportunity. The bank released a brochure for investors that urged them to put their money into something called the Plutonomy Index, which identified stocks in companies that cater to the luxury market.

"The world is dividing into two blocs, the plutonomy and the rest," Citigroup summarized. "The U.S., U.K. and Canada are the key plutonomies, economies powered by the wealthy."

As for the non-rich, they're sometimes called the precariat, people who live a precarious existence at the periphery of society. The "periphery" however, has become a substantial proportion of the population in the U.S. and elsewhere.

So we have the plutonomy and the precariat: the 1 percent and the 99 percent, as Occupy sees it, not literal numbers, but the right picture.

The historic reversal in people's confidence about the future is a reflection of tendencies that could become irreversible. The Occupy protests are the first major popular reaction that could change the dynamic.

I've kept to domestic issues. But two dangerous developments in the international arena overshadow everything else.

For the first time in human history, there are real threats to the survival of the human species. Since 1945 we have had nuclear weapons, and it seems a miracle we have survived them. But policies of the Obama administration and its allies are encouraging escalation.

The other threat, of course, is environmental catastrophe. Practically every country in the world is taking at least halting steps to do something about it. The United States is taking steps backward. A propaganda system, openly acknowledged by the business community, declares that climate change is all a liberal hoax: Why pay attention to these scientists?

If this intransigence continues in the richest, most powerful country in the world, the catastrophe won't be averted.

Something must be done in a disciplined, sustained way, and soon. It won't be easy to proceed. There will be hardships and failures, it's inevitable. But unless the process that's taking place here and elsewhere in the country and around the world continues to grow and becomes a major force in society and politics, the chances for a decent future are bleak.

You can't achieve significant initiatives without a large, active, popular base. It's necessary to get out into the country and help people understand what the Occupy movement is about, what they themselves can do, and what the consequences are of not doing anything.

Organizing such a base involves education and activism. Education doesn't mean telling people what to believe, it means learning from them and with them.

Karl Marx said, "The task is not just to understand the world but to change it." A variant to keep in mind is that if you want to change the world you'd better try to understand it. That doesn't mean listening to a talk or reading a book, though that's helpful sometimes. You learn from participating. You learn from others. You learn from the people you're trying to organize. We all have to gain the understanding and the experience to formulate and implement ideas.

The most exciting aspect of the Occupy movement is the construction of the linkages that are taking place all over. If they can be sustained and expanded, Occupy can lead to dedicated efforts to set society on a more humane course.

© 2011 Noam Chomsky

Friday, November 4, 2011

Finding Life Beyond Earth: Take A Spectacular Trip

Guess what? We are on the verge of answering one of the greatest questions in history: Are we alone?

From NOVA and PBS come this must see episode Finding Life Beyond Earth. Turn the sound up, chill out and go on this 2+ hour animated space journey where NOVA asks the questions about how planet earth came to be and what’s going on with other nearby planets and whether any signs of life will soon be found.

Hearing all about the mysteries of space reminds us that that planet earth is just a tiny speck in relation to the rest of the universe. For example, did you know that 1,300 Earth’s could fit inside Jupiter? We’re also incredibly vulnerable to a major cosmic event happening that could drastically change the course or destroy the planet as we know it. Two awe-inspiring and slightly terrifying thoughts that can put things in perspective rather quickly.

How’s that for reality TV?

Take a spectacular trip to distant realms of our solar system to discover where secret forms of life may lie hidden. Combining the latest telescope images with dazzling animation, this program immerses audiences in the sights and sounds of alien worlds, while top astrobiologists explain how these places are changing how we think about the potential for life in our solar system. We used to think our neighboring planets and moons were fairly boring—mostly cold, dead rocks where life could never take hold. Today, however, the solar system looks wilder than we ever imagined.

Powerful telescopes and unmanned space missions have revealed a wide range of dynamic environments—atmospheres thick with organic molecules, active volcanoes, and vast saltwater oceans. This ongoing revolution is forcing scientists to expand their ideas about what kinds of worlds could support life. If we do find primitive life-forms elsewhere in the solar system, it may well be that life is common in the universe—the rule, and not the exception.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Watch Finding Life Beyond Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.