Picture of the Day: Castor II

The Castor transport has reached it’s destination.

The overwhelming majority of protesters remained peaceful, which in itself is surprising, given the official contempt for their cause. Since the first CASTOR rolled in 1995 all they got was more police in full riot gear, but noone listened to their just complaints. The Gorleben storage site is labeled temporary, that is a lie. As of yet there are not even serious attempts at finding a final storage place, I can’t blame the residents of the area for their wrath.

The State of Lower Saxony has another site, which is already in deep trouble.


Watering Hole, Friday, October 21st: O-C-C-U-P-Y W-A-L-L S-T-R-E-E-T

As I believe I’ve mentioned before, the one redeeming feature in “The New York Post” is the puzzle page, particularly the word game in which you’re given a particular word and have to make as many five-letter words as possible out of that word.  The rules are simple:  no proper nouns, no plurals ending in ‘s’, no foreign words.  For my own amusement, I often play this game with a word or phrase of my own choosing.

The other day I sat down and started playing around with the phrase “OCCUPY WALL STREET.”  As I started jotting down five-letter words, I noticed that many of the words were pertinent to the actual OCCUPY WALL STREET movement.  Obviously, many were not, but there seemed to be a striking number which were applicable to the protests.  I’ve listed all of the words that I came up with, in vaguely alphabetical order, below the fold.  If anyone comes up with a word that I missed, please let me know and I’ll add it. Continue reading

Watering Hole: Monday, October 17, 2011 – #Occupy

If you need an explanation for the “Occupy”, then you are part of the problem.  It was a very windy day in the City of Brotherly Love on Saturday which made carrying the banner a bit difficult.

Occupy Philly

This photo was taken in front of Philadelphia City Hall which is a beautiful structure.  The building surrounds a courtyard where many different preaching and protesting activities can be seen and heard any day of the year.  You can’t see it in this photo, but there is a statue of William Penn on the top of the building.  There was a gentleman’s agreement that no skyscraper would be built that was taller than William Penn’s hat.

Philadelphia City Hall was intended to be the tallest building in the world, so there was no reason to suppose anything in Philadelphia would be taller. Gradually, taller buildings in other cities were built, but there grew up a gentleman’s agreement that no skyscraper would be built in Philadelphia that was taller than William Penn’s hat atop his statue on the tower of City Hall. Planning in the city was organized around this premise, which affects subways and other transportation issues in the city center. Because of assassination fears, a similar tradition in Washington DC was enacted into law, and it must be admitted that the flat skyline of that city looks a little dumb and boring. But Philadelphia neglected to pass a law, and so at the end of the Twentieth Century first one and then half a dozen skyscrapers were built that were twice the height of City Hall, immediately destroying the organizing visual center of the city. Pity.

At the end of the twentieth century, the gentleman’s agreement was put aside and the beginning of building skyscrapers began.  Now, the Philadelphia skyline looks like just any other big city skyline.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

Sunday Roast: Silent Gesture

AP photographer

On this day in 1968, Americans, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, and Australian, Peter Norman, all wore badges for the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), and Smith and Carlos raised their fists in the air — not in a Black Power salute, but as John Carlos later wrote in his autobiography, in a salute for human rights.

From Wikipedia:

On the morning of October 16, 1968,[2] U.S. athlete Tommie Smith won the 200 meter racein a world-record time of 19.83 seconds, with Australia’sPeter Norman second with a time of 20.06 seconds, and the U.S.’s John Carlos in third place with a time of 20.10 seconds. After the race was completed, the three went to collect their medals at the podium. The two U.S. athletes received their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks, to represent black poverty.[3] Smith wore a black scarf around his neck to represent black pride, Carlos had his tracksuit top unzipped to show solidarity with all blue collar workers in the U.S. and wore a necklace of beads which he described “were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed and that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.”[4] All three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges after Norman, a critic of Australia’s White Australia Policy, expressed empathy with their ideals.[5] Sociologist Harry Edwards, the founder of the OPHR, had urged black athletes to boycott the games; reportedly, the actions of Smith and Carlos on October 16, 1968[2] were inspired by Edwards’ arguments.[6]

Both U.S. athletes intended on bringing black gloves to the event, but Carlos forgot his, leaving them in the Olympic Village. It was the Australian, Peter Norman, who suggested Carlos wear Smith’s left-handed glove, this being the reason behind him raising his left hand, as opposed to his right, differing from the traditional Black Power salute.[7] When “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, Smith and Carlos delivered the salute with heads bowed, a gesture which became front page news around the world. As they left the podium they were booed by the crowd.[8]Smith later said “If I win, I am American, not a black American. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight.”[3]  

This “silent gesture” was viewed as “a deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit,” although the Nazi salute was accepted during the 1936 games in Berlin.  But Smith and Carlos were scary black men, so their gesture was taken as a racial protest — which in a way it was, but it was for human rights, not a promise that white people would be murdered in their beds.

Today, in the OccupyWallStreet protests, we are again fighting for human rights and equality all over the world, and I think it quite fitting to honor Tommie Smith and John Carlos for their commitment and courage to the cause of human rights.

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind?

Here’s what the Occupy Wall Street protesters are angry about

via Business Insider

1. Unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression (with the exception of a brief blip in the early 1980s).

2. At the same time, corporate profits are at an all-time high, both in absolute dollars and as a share of the economy.

3. Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. In other words, corporate profits are at an all-time high, in part, because corporations are paying less of their revenue to employees than they ever have. There are lots of reasons for this, many of which are not the fault of the corporations. (It’s a global economy now, and 2-3 billion new low-cost employees in China, India, et al, have recently entered the global workforce. This is putting pressure on wages the world over.)

4. Income and wealth inequality in the US economy is near an all-time high: The owners of the country’s assets (capital) are winning, everyone else (labor) is losing.

The United States is one of the most unequal developed countries in the world.  We can’t continue this way, and the Occupy Wall Street protesters are marching GLOBALLY to bring attention to the problems we’re facing because of the greed of the top 2% and the policies that enable them.

Greek Protests turn Bloody

The BBC reports:

At least three people have been killed in the Greek capital as protesters set fire to a bank during a general strike over planned austerity measures.

The fire brigade said three bodies were found inside the bank in Athens. Two other buildings are also on fire.

Petrol bombs were thrown at police who responded with pepper spray, tear gas and stun grenades.

Protesters are angered by spending cuts and tax rises planned in return for a 110bn euro (£95bn) bail-out for Greece.

Parliament is to vote on the measures by the end of the week. (read more)

This is sad. People will blame the Greek people for what a few protesters did and still none of the corrupt and treacherous Greek “elites” will go to jail for having provoked this crisis. Let alone, those who aided them in ruining the country.