Sunday, November 20, 2011

UC Davis officers placed on leave

UC Davis officers placed on leave.
Two UC Davis campus police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave over their controversial use of pepper spray on student protesters, university officials announced Sunday. A video that showed an officer dousing a group of students who were huddled on the ground Friday quickly went viral on the Internet, drawing outrage and calls for the chancellor's resignation.
The university decision is fair, but let's not be naive. It was the video of the pepper-spraying going viral that did it and not the concern of the consequences of the policing methods on campuses throughout America.

Wall Street is feeling uncomfortable

Huffington Post publishes a memo of a lobbying firm to one of its clients in Wall Street. Let's quote the paragraph in full:
Leading Democratic party strategists have begun to openly discuss the benefits of embracing the growing and increasingly organized Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement to prevent Republican gains in Congress and the White House next year. We have seen this process of adopting extreme positions and movements to increase base voter turnout, including in the 2005-2006 immigration debate. This would mean more than just short-term discomfort for Wall Street firms. If vilifying the leading companies of this sector is allowed to become an unchallenged centerpiece of a coordinated Democratic campaign, it has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye. It shouldn't be surprising that the Democratic party or even President Obama's re-election team would campaign against Wall Street in this cycle. However the bigger concern should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies -and might start running against them too.
Two things transpire from the memo: 1- Republicans are the party of Wall Street. 2- Wall Street is feeling the sting.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

A new Europe for the 1%


In Greece and Italy the technocrats have taken the reins of government (Spain and Portugal may follow).

€urope is now divided into two: one poor, one rich. Germany and France are the 1%. In the poor Europe, political power is a theater to maintain social order to ensure the uninterrupted flow of capital (from Europe's center to Europe's periphery).

Who benefits? The 1%: Germany, Europe's main exporter, and poor Europe's 1%.

Germany comes to the rescue with a debt package, so that poor Europe may continue buying German manufactured products. The asymmetric relation will feed the prospects for the next crisis -yes, there will be another crisis.

Meanwhile, the imposed austerity measures on the 99% achieve the opposite of what they seek to solve. "Austerity" is a narrative designed to internalize debt guilt, to prevent social unrest, and keep business as usual (unfavorable labor contracts, low wages and fewer corporate regulations).

Who wins? Europe's 1%.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When the duty of protection becomes incoherent: New York Police Department gives in to the interests of the 1%

Update: Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman orders that protesters can come back to Zuccotti Park.  ruled against the protesters:
The movants have not demonstrated that they have a First Amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators, and other installations to the exclusion of the owner's reasonable rights and duties to maintain Zuccotti Park, or to the rights to public access of others who might wish to use the space safely. Neither have the applicants shown a right to a temporary restraining order that would restrict the City's enforcement of law so as to promote public health and safety. Therefore, petitioners application for a temporary restraining order is denied.
What demonstration is needed?  

The New York Times 

The Huffington Post

The Washington Post

El País, Spain

Le Figaro

The Independent

Frankfurter Allgemeine

In the middle of the night and preventing access to the press, New York Police swept the Occupy Wall Street encampment. The powerful forces of Wall Street, now led by Michael Bloomberg, prevail over American civil society. Zuccotti Park was too much of a challenge for the interests of the 1%. Of course, this will not be the end of the movement.

The 99% is regrouping. A new phase has begun.

Monday, November 14, 2011

To torture or not to torture

During the last republican debate, the topic of torture came up. Ron Paul and John Huntsman agreed with the present administration that water-boarding constitutes torture. On the other hand, Bachmann and Cain  endorse Cheney 's doctrine: Water-boarding is not torture.

Here is a United Nations Convention definition of torture:
...any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.
Wouldn't it be better for Cain & Bachmann to just admit they are in favor of torture?

Monday, November 7, 2011

And God created corporations

Failure of markets, inappropriate macroeconomic politics, excessive speculation, inappropriately valued currency, doctored exchange rates, cross-border and intra-firm transfer prices, bad timing of short-term debts, strong black market, abuse of monopoly power, inadequate legal and financial infrastructure, non-protection of ownership rights, lack of accountability and transparency, inadequate standards in financial reporting, crony-capitalism, bribery, corruption, lack of truthfulness, trust and social responsibility, greedy investors and institutions. (Paraphrasing John Dunning's Global Capitalism at Bay).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rego et ses Commandos

I still dream of Africa
some frightening that wake me in a cold sweat
some leave me bland
red cars zoom past reminding me
walks on sand dirt filled in the hollow of success
disgust me.

And where is time?
Rolling over the sea on the backs of waves
air filled next to lizards running up your walls.
Africa still haunts me.-- AkOsUa

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the inequality of conditions usually maintained by political institution, is calculated greatly to enhance the imagined excellence of wealth

Honoré Daumier, Gargantua
There is a numerous class of individuals, who, though rich, have neither brilliant talents nor sublime virtues; and, however highly they may prize their education, their affability, their superior polish and the elegance of their manners, have a secret consciousness that they possess nothing by which they can so securely assert their pre-eminence and keep their inferiors at a distance, as the splendour of their equipage, the magnificence of their retinue and the sumptuousness of their entertainments.-- William Godwin

Occupy Miami (Alicia Cruz)

Alicia Cruz, a young activist, talks about the latest at Occupy Miami.