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.
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 Penn, ironically). 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.
Posted in politics, sports
Tagged b53, Cold War, Denver Broncos, espn, gregg easterbrook, hardtack oak, iran, Nuclear weapon, Soviet Union, Tim Tebow, United States, World War II
Let's chat about bank fees, shall we?
#remember X 2
#BankTransferDay #treason #plot
#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.
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)
Posted in economics, Features, politics
Tagged Capitalism and Freedom, Earth, Employment, Free market, libertarian, Milton Friedman, Occupy Wall Street, OccupyLA, ows, protest, Rupert Murdoch, Sun, Zuccotti Park
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>
Posted in economics, Features, internet, los angeles, politics
Tagged Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Kanye West, Occupy Wall Street, OccupyLA, ows, Slavoj Žižek, United States, Wall Street, Woodruff Park, Zuccotti Park
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)
Posted in economics, Features, internet, los angeles, politics
Tagged Debt, Donald Trump, Federal Reserve System, Freedom, Mad Max, Occupy Wall Street, OccupyLA, Sharia, Tea Party, Tea Party protests, Wall Street
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.)
Posted in Features, internet, los angeles, politics
Tagged Ann Coulter, Barack Obama, los angeles, Los Angeles City Hall, New York City, OccupyLA, OccupyWallStreet, Wall Street
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.
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.
Posted in atheism, people, politics, Quickies
Tagged Darwinism, god, Intelligent design, Republicans, Richard Dawkins, Rick Perry, Scientific theory, Texas
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.
Best Constitutional loophole, ever.
We all knew it would happen eventually. Last night, New York Times reporter Charlie Savage broke the news that President Obama rejected the opinion of Justice Department lawyers that continuing the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization was a violation of the War Powers Resolution. The President and his close staff (and presumably, the military and CIA) decided that the use of American air assets, logistical capabilities and remote drone attacks to blow away the President of another country didn’t rise to the level of ‘war’, and they said so in a letter to lawmakers and Speaker John Boehner.