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.

The Cowardice of Conservatives

News Hounds has uncovered a gem. If you want to know what today’s Conservatives are like, just listen to the people who claim to speak for them. Now, I have a hard time understanding how Conservatives think (which inspired me to write “Conservative” below), and I just can’t reconcile the nonsense I hear out of people like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, and the philosophy of Conservatism I heard preached by conservative giants like Barry Goldwater. One thing Goldwater always said Conservatism was about was Continue reading

All hell is breaking loose in Tehran (UPDATED)

Lots of news on CNN.

Nico Pitney continues to live-blog news from Iran here.

UPDATE:  Statement by President Obama on Iran.

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said – “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.

UPDATEA young girl dies after being shot by a Basij member.  Apparently, she was watching the protests, not participating.

WARNING, this video may be disturbing to sensitive viewers!

UPDATE:  I’ve been watching the coverage on CNN.  Frustrating, because it’s so sanitized — too many talking heads.  MSNBC is MIA today, and Fox has too much lip gloss and political posturing.

Huffington Post has photos on their front page, here.

Nico posted this commentary from the photographer:

I could not get through. the guards were hitting people really hard to block their way. I got hit a few times, fortunately a few bruises but nothing major. they were hitting the women as hard if it didn’t seem harder. they smashed all mobiles and then smack the mobile owners with batons. they also blocked all above ground routes out. the only way out was via the metro

Also via Nico’s live-blogging, this text from an op-ed piece by Roger Cohen in the New York Times:

The Iranian police commander, in green uniform, walked up Komak Hospital Alley with arms raised and his small unit at his side. “I swear to God,” he shouted at the protesters facing him, “I have children, I have a wife, I don’t want to beat people. Please go home.”

A man at my side threw a rock at him. The commander, unflinching, continued to plead. There were chants of “Join us! Join us!” The unit retreated toward Revolution Street, where vast crowds eddied back and forth confronted by baton-wielding Basij militia and black-clad riot police officers on motorbikes.

UPDATEMSNBC is reporting that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is threatening even tougher crack-downs if the protests by the people continue.  Opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was not present at today’s confrontations, but called for the people to strike if he is arrested.

Chants of “Death to the dictator!” were heard in the streets of Tehran, and police responded with tear gas, water cannons and live ammunition (as evidenced by the video above).

Mousavi says he’s ready for martyrdom, and will continue on his present path.

UPDATE:  More video from Iran.  I can’t help thinking that this should have been us in 2000 — minus the violence, if possible.

HT: Nico at HuffPo

UPDATEDailyKos has an unconfirmed report that the young girl shot to death in the video above was named Neda.  Her father was next to her when she died.  Heartbreaking…

UPDATENico is reporting that according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, injured demonstrators seeking medical attention at hospitals are being arrested.

The arrest of citizens seeking care for wounds suffered at the hands of security forces when they attempted to exercise rights guaranteed under their own constitution and international law is deplorable,” said Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign. “It can only be taken as a sign of profound disrespect by the state for the well-being of its own people.

UPDATE (Sunday):  More information on Neda from Nico:

6:55 PM ET — A bit more on Neda. A blogger apparently in touch with Neda’s family members offers some new details (translated by reader Nima): she was born in 1982, apparently her full name was Neda Agha-Soltan, and she was at the protest with one her professors and several other students. She was, they said, shot by a basiji riding by on a motorcycle. Also, she was apparently buried today at a large cemetery in the south of Tehran. ABC News’ Lara Setrakian writes, “Hearing reports Neda was buried in Behesht Zahra cemetery earlier today, memorial service cancelled on orders from authorities.”

Born in 1982, the same age as my oldest son, and shot down in cold blood because she attended a protest objecting to an obviously stolen election.

Neda has become the face of this potential revolution.  Moussavi was a moderate who most likely wouldn’t have shaken things up too much, but he stood for equal rights for women.  It seems that was a bit too much for the dictatorship.  They shot Neda down in cold blood, and the world has witnessed it.  May her death not be in vain…

UPDATE:  Andrew Sullivan has lots of coverage at The Daily Dish.

Good Afternoon from Europe – 432 Days to Go

 Swing at the “Tenuta Le Piane”

Who wants to rule France? “Le Petit Nicholas” will have to try and overcome the French’s resilience, when it comes to giving up their cherished vested rights. Sarkozy will find out presently, whether his plans to cut pensioner’ rights, social security and many other long-fought-for privileges, will stand a chance against the rebelliousness of his people.

If all else fails, the French still have their wine and even find an upside to global warming.

A German saying goes: “Ein Affe, ohne zweiten, kann nicht streiten!”  (One monkey, without another one, can’t get into a fight). Apt, when one considers the USA-Iran conflict. Whenever the Bush Administration is toning down the language even one tiny bit or remains silent for a change, rest assured, Ahmadinejad will step up the warmongering rethoric. Now, to keep the tempers up, there is infighting in Tehran, seasoned with a slight against Britain.

The well informed neo-con elite knows, that Iran is not a nuclear power, but claims it’s plenty dangerous. Pakistan, however, has nukes. And Pakistan is in political turmoil. Worrying, isn’t it?

Well, no, not really says the Pentagon:

 “At this point, we have no concerns,” said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell. “We believe that they are under the appropriate control.”

Ohokay…

And finally a ray of hope.

 Michael Mukasey, who was sworn in Tuesday, has reopened a dormant inquiry into the US government’s warrantless wiretapping programme which was effectively blocked by the president 18 months ago.

 “Europeanview” will go to sleep now and hopefully wake up to a better world tomorrow morning. You all stay safe and take care!

Deals with the Devil

(picture via: private.addcom.de/asiaphoto)

The Myanmar junta has brought the uprising of it’s people mostly under the control of their brutal riot police, it seems. There are some demonstrations going on, but information is scarce. A dear price has been paid by scores of buddhist monks and Burmese civilians. The International community failed even to condem the regime’s brutal attacks against its citizens. “The Guardian” takes a look behind the scenes and informs us about the reasons of China’s aid to the Generals.

But it’s not only the Chines who are dealing with the devil. The French, namely the oil/energy company “Total” are busily doing business with the generals. President Sarkozy has hypocritically asked French companies to freeze new investments, fully aware of the fact, that only Total is working in Myanmar and doesn’t plan any new investments anyway.

Good Morning from Europe – The Myanmar Horror

 (Via Mala, Switzerland)

Today the news is dominated by the situation in Myanmar, more and more countries protest against the brutal crack down on the protests there, but to little avail.

Myanmar: 

There is only very little information obtainable from Burma, as the military junta has closed down all internet traffic, land and mobile phone lines are down as well. There seem to be demonstrations still. However, the monks, who were leading the uprising up to now, are mostly missing from the scene. They are allegedly held in internment camps, it may well be they simply aren’t around any more. Please do not forget to visit “The Guardian’s” blog on this and the latest developments. Showing we’re interested and that there is a large international audience, are probably the only means we have, to offer our support to the Burmese people.

Japan is reeling from the pictures of the willful shooting of Mr Nagai a video journalist. The scene was captured by another camera. (The event is very upsetting, so feel free to skip this.)

Blackwater is at least partly responsible for the surge in violence in the Fallujah region 2004, says the US House of Representatives.

After the murder of Blackwater employees in Fallujah, US troops launched an offensive, which ultimately cost the lives of 36 US soldiers, 200 Iraqi insurgents and 600 Iraqi civilians. It turns out, that Blackwater disregarded warnings about the dire security situation in Fallujah, before sending in their men. While Blackwater is rightly blamed for a variety of their actions, the blame for the disastrous planning of the war, which led to the reliance on private mercenary armies, lies elsewhere.

More details as to the shooting that triggered the Blackwater Affair have come to light as well, read more here.

Have a good day and take care everybody!

Good Morning from Europe

 

(Squirrel in Hyde Park – London)

Myanmar uprising: The Myanmar military has conducted raids on buddhist monasteries. Hundreds of monks have been arrested in an effort to curb the ongoing non violent protests. This morning, shots were fired again at protesters and riot police issued threats of more violence to participants in the demonstrations. Meanwhile, the UN Security council couldn’t find a majority to condemn the junta’s actions. China and Russia voted “Nay” to efforts to impose further sanctions on the Burmese military regime. Developments, as they unfold, can be followed here.

While some show an optimistic Al-Maliki, others rather point out the fact, that a division of Iraq in three parts is desired by the US Senate. Talk of different perspectives!

In his first meeting with President Bush, after the Blackwater Affair, Premier Maliki has discussed the affair in the context of Iraqi sovereignty issues, more specific talks on this subject will follow, when Al-Maliki meets with Condoleeza Rice.

The US led Climat Summit is not going down well with many Europeans. “Greenwashing” the climate summit is one perception of the show and some European diplomats are just as bluntly issueing their sentences. German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel is the highest ranking non US representative, however he doesn’t expect any results from the summit. So, why go there at all ?

Meanwhile, another ecological disaster is finally called thus, even by it’s own architects. China’s Three Gorges Dam, which was celebrated – despite the dire warnings of ecologists – as one of the greatest achievements in engineering and energy production, turns out to be every bit as detrimental to the environment as predicted.

Too late! The money to be made with it, has been made already!

Bushisms are not only a favourite with progressive Americans, Europeans like them, too. Or, getting explained why there weren’t any.

Europeanview wishes you all a very good day and take care!

Deja Vu: Gen Pace’s Comments about Gays Elicit Loud Protests

Via Think Progress:

In March, Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace declared, “I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral.” Today, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) called them “very hurtful comments, very demoralizing comments.” Harkin then offered Pace, who was attending his final hearing before resigning his post, an opportunity to clarify his remarks. But Pace only caused more anger with his explanation

So I would repeat. My upbringing is one that says, sex, other than between man and a woman inside the bonds of marriage, is a sin. … We should respect those that want to serve the nation, but not through the law of the land condone activity that in my upbringing, is counter to God’s law.

The outrage from the audience was such that Senator Byrd (D-WV) was forced to temporarily adjourn the hearing.

Anti-Bush Protesters Arrested Near the UN

By Karen Matthews, AP, via Truthout:

New York – About a dozen war protesters were arrested Tuesday morning during a peaceful demonstration against President Bush’s speech before the U.N. General Assembly.

They were among about 400 protesters opposing the Bush administration’s war in Iraq and its incarceration in Guantanamo Bay of more than 300 men on suspicion of terrorism or links to al-Qaida or the Taliban. Many in the crowd wore orange jumpsuits in solidarity with the Guantanamo detainees.

“I’m sick to my stomach about the war in Iraq,” said Anastasia Gomes, 22, of Queens. “We as the youth are standing up and saying this president does not represent us.”

Police took the arrested demonstrators into custody by police after they knelt on the sidewalk in an act of civil disobedience at the rally near the United Nations. One of them, 58-year-old Bill Ofenloch, said they were trying to serve an “arrest warrant” on Bush for “high crimes against humanity.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Let’s see more of this Americans!