Category Archives: politics

Iconoclasm in Kiev

demol

Click over to the Guardian to see protesters in Kiev pull down the statue of Lenin, and read about how statues – invisible symbols of entrenched and assumed power in our everyday lives – becoming sitting ducks during an expression of revolutionary disobedience. Since the dawn of man, in our freest moments we have torn the idols down.

Some pics from RT:

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Direct link to video:

 http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/dec/09/kiev-ukraine-protesters-statue-lenin-video

#OccupyLA: Eviction and the Detention of Tyson Heder


I drove myself down to City Hall on Tuesday night to take part in what would probably be the most important political event in our city for a long time.  I live tweeted as much as I could – right up until my Android phone ran out of batteries.  For those of you who thought I may have been arrested or hurt – do not fret.  Yours truly stayed well out of the way of both protesters and the police, I didn’t even yell and scream.  I just wanted to be there to show support for all involved, and to witness and document a moment in history.

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The End of Apocalypse Nobody Noticed

There is a lot going on right now with all the subjects I like to write about: Occupy LA is getting evicted (probably tonight) to make way for a movie shoot (starring Sean Pennironically).  CitiBank’s deal with the SEC to protect them from fault in the MBS mess was overturned by a New York judge.  SOPA and PIPA are threatening the free space of the internet for the sake of protecting intellectual property laws conceived in the 19th century.

But I wanted to point out some good news that I stumbled upon while reading an article on ESPN about the recent success of Tim Tebow’s high-school style offense for the Denver Broncos:  The age of multi-megaton, city-destroying  nuclear weapons has come to an end.

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Why I Left My Bank


Let's chat about bank fees, shall we?

#remember X 2

#nov5

#BankTransferDay #treason #plot

#aintnoreasonwhy

#neverforget

#BankTransferDay is Upon Us

It probably wouldn’t surprise you if I told you I was participating in Bank Transfer Day, the Occupy-inspired day of protest where people are encouraged to move their deposits into credit unions and out of the major banks.  You might be surprised when I tell you it was primarily a personal budget decision between my partner and I, and not one made from idealism or outrage.  I even did it early, to avoid any trouble with my November rent check.

It isn’t often that the prudent aligns with the ideal.

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#OWS: The Morning After

Hope is not an exit strategy.

You know the argument about a rising tide, and how it lifts all boats?  This has always seemed a dubious metaphor to me because of all the assumptions it must make in order to apply, and all of the obvious features of the ‘tide’ that it conveniently leaves out of the idiom.

Join me while I break it down.

(much more below the fold)

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#OccupyLA: Who Speaks For Us?

We Don’t Need a Leader, But We Need Something

When the General Assembly in Woodruff Park in Atlanta declined to allow John Lewis, famed civil rights activist and sitting U.S. Congressman to deliver a few words of encouragement, I believe this movement made a curious and possibly detrimental turn toward the irrelevant.  The reason for this is straightforward:  I do not believe you can assault our broken democracy and our broken economic system simultaneously.  By rejecting elected and aspiring representatives of the people from engaging in this movement and taking its message to city halls, state houses, and the impotent galleries of the U.S.  Congress, there is a chance we could doom this protest to the alternate fates of destructive riots or perpetual but inconsequential unrest.

<much more below the fold>

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#OccupyLA: How 500 = 99%

It seems like fuzzy math, to see a tiny crowd of mostly white youngsters with a spattering of legitimate community organizers claiming to be 99% percent of the population.  Likewise is it hard to believe that a handful of redditors and youtube jockeys with their somewhat short-sighted stories about personal debt and unemployment could somehow embody the experience of almost the entire population of the richest country on Earth.  On a day when everyone was making suggestions to these protesters on what their demands should be (including of course, yours truly) there were just as many people speaking out against the ‘dangerous’ ‘class warfare’ of a handful of idiot hippies who want to make us like the Communists.

It’s just as easy for opponents of this protest to dismiss its participants and their desires as it was for liberals to dismiss the Tea Party in its early days.  Back then, the Tea Party seemed like an over-hyped Fox News focus group, suddenly transformed from studio audience to vocal mob, chanting and waving signs about liberty and socialism and Sharia law.  But just as the Tea Party grew into a legitimate social movement with electoral power, this movement has the same potential, and it’s because its concerns do really do line up with the desires of 99% of people in this country.  

(Much more below the fold)

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#OccupyLA: What It Is, What It Could Be

The Counter-Counter Revolution

I took a trip to Los Angeles City Hall last night because I heard a rumor that there was the start of something big going on down there.  Since I have a full time job in business development (read: job creation) I couldn’t attend during the day.  I was, thankfully, able to drive my $750 automobile and park it in a garage for $15.00 and make my way to the ad hoc camp that serves as the epicenter of a new wave of the ongoing populist movement in America.  I expected to find a handful of stalwarts, sharing tamales and tugging on one-hitters, waiting for the next day of shallow media coverage to march and yell.  What I found instead was a diverse village of individuals, mostly young, self-organizing as a spontaneous protest spurned on by a feeling of hopelessness and invisibility.

But where is it going, and how is it going to get there?

(There is an epic rundown below the fold.)

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It’s a Theory That’s Out There

Darwin Facepalm.

In an op-ed in the ‘On Faith’ section of WaPo, Richard Dawkins lays into Rick Perry and every other politician who uses their ignorance of facts as a tool to court the scared and uneducated Republican base.

Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well.

And this:

Darwin’s idea is arguably the most powerful ever to occur to a human mind. The power of a scientific theory may be measured as a ratio: the number of facts that it explains divided by the number of assumptions it needs to postulate in order to do the explaining. A theory that assumes most of what it is trying to explain is a bad theory. That is why the creationist or ‘intelligent design’ theory is such a rotten theory.

I love that he focuses on the elegant simplicity of Darwin’s theory (using the word theory correctly, of course) and how implausible and complex intelligent design actually is.  I tend to think people who accept intelligent design as possible have switched these distinction in their minds – they think evolution requires complexity where God is simple.  He isn’t, but his followers are.

Miss USA Contestants Are Idiots (MA + CA Excluded)

Miss California knows evolution is true, and thank GOD she won.

Big surprise.  49 out of 51 Miss USA contestants don’t believe evolution should be taught in school, or believe that the choice to teach it should be up to individual localities.

This doesn’t account for how they completely misunderstand evolution (most of them refer to biogenesis, which is different) and how they don’t remember ever learning evolution when they were in high school six months ago.  It seems the only thing they took away from school is that high school students get to decide what’s true and tell their teachers to shove it.

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