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OccupyWallStreet D17: Where is that space?

Today is the 3 month birthday for Occupy Wall Street and there’s going to be another party, this time in an effort to RE-Occupy NYC.  I went to the N17 party and was surprised and delighted by the batsignal on the side of the Verizon building.  Who knows what they’re planning for today?  I hope it’s spectacular.

This party will start at Duarte Square at the corner of 6th Avenue and Canal St.  The birthday announcement hints at another sleepover.     Hmmmm, what does it mean?  Here’s the poster:

So, it looks like you can tune into the festivities on WBAI at 99.5 on your fm dial (as we used to say in the 70s).  WBAI is the NYC station for Pacifica Radio.  The station announcement says that the event will feature appearances by Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Cornell West, Michael Moore and others.  I think using the radio station is a good idea.  The people’s mic is pretty effective when you’re standing there and it has a peculiar way of focussing your attention but it’s harder to convey a lot of information since everything has to be parsed into short phrases with long delays between each one.  This should help occupiers coordinate  messages.  There is a live stream available for those of you following along at home.

There also seems to be some interesting movement around the concept of occupying the space at 6th and Canal that is owned by Trinity Church.  I don’t think this is Duarte Square (or is that the name for it?) but it’s at the same intersection.  Trinity Church is holding out on giving this space to the occupiers for some reason.  Who knows, maybe Bloomberg called the Church’s insurance company and suggested that the church might be held responsible for cracked heads.  Or maybe he told them they would have to pick up the tab for security.  Or maybe the problem is that Trinity Church owns so much acreage in Lower Manhattan that they are sort of like the Temple in Jerusalem where the moneychangers go to do business and pray.  Sure, they’ve been kind by offering their bathrooms and hot chocolate and everything but hosting the occupation on their own property is a bit more of a commitment than they want to make.  We musn’t upset  the benefactors in a season of charitable giving, right?  Whatever the reason, the eviction from Zuccotti park leaves the occupiers with no outside visible place to hold their open air salon.  I loved the fall days in Zuccotti park when there were so many people  stopping in to participate.  The smear job on the occupiers was outrageous and highly inaccurate.  And without a physical space, it is impossible for ordinary Americans who are curious about Occupy Wall Street to check it out and find that the occupiers are – ordinary Americans.  From the letter from the National Council of Elders to Trinity Church, the importance of occupying a physical space is spelled out:

We know that some question the need for Occupy to continue to occupy physical space but we have witnessed the impact of communal, inspirational, face-to-face contact in which people can be visible to the world and to one another. We have also been challenged to respond to the question from Occupy, Where can you go if you don’t own something? Does a public even exist if it has no space? And finally, like visionaries before them, many Occupiers have chosen to give up everything to invest in a future that does not exist except in their dreams and visions. In a world where the majority of our nation is oppressed by economic and racial inequality, experiencing isolation and dehumanization at every turn, the Occupy movement in its public presence has provided hope and purpose and a pressing challenge to us all.

So, I hope that Trinity Church relents and realizes that this is the right thing to do and that NOT doing it would be more than a little like collaborating with the Romans to keep the peasants from speaking out during passover, if you get my drift.  If the occupiers are willing to freeze their asses off for justice in America, how can Trinity Church not want to assist in this courageous act?

Anyway, ’tis the season.  I don’t think I can go today.  Brook is having a Solstice party this week and she’s offering to help clean.  How could I pass up an offer like that?  Besides, I’ll only go if she goes.  Hmmm….

Can this be topped?:

Wouldn’t you like to find out? ;-)

Clap harder, CLAP HAAAARDER!!!

Typed “daily” into the Google search bar looking for the Daily Show, got DailyKos instead.  What the heck, let’s see what they have on the first page.  Oh, it’s a post by DemFromCT titled “What if the Economic News Gets Better?

{{faceplant}}

First, there’s an oh so brief blurb on the Greek sovereign debt crisis, that looks like it’s going to turn out ok anyway!  Isn’t that great??  The stock market is doing ok and the Euro bounced back, but we still hate Wall Street.  But our 401Ks are doing well, not that any Kossacks care about materialism and filthy lucre made on the backs of working people all over the world.  Dayum, do you see the slope on that curve?  It’s f%c^ing *awesome*!

But then, the post gets serious and discusses the GDP.

Right, who are we fooling?  Oh, right, these are Kossacks, who were used as a giant male fraternity party clueless focus group for the Obama campaign in 2008.  So, the bad news is that GDP was only 0.7% for the first half of the year.  The good news is that it was 2.5% in the 3rd quarter!  Isn’t that great?  That will keep those nasty wasty Republicans (boo!, hiss!  boo!) at bay next year because if this keeps up for the 4th quarter, we’ll have an average annual GDP for 2011 of …

… wait for it…

.

.

.

… it’s going to be good…

.

1.6%!!

{{cue the bad magician music}} Da-da-DA-DA-da-DA-da-DA-DA, Da-da-DA-DA-da-DA-da-DAAA!!

Uhhh, guys?  That’s not that good.  And you know what?  9.2% unemployment is a bigger number and likely to stick in the public’s mind a lot longer.  Just think about it: next year, presidential candidate’s debate, Obama gets up there and announces a sensational 1.6% GDP, pats himself on the back, because that is so Barry. Romney furrows his brow (provided he can actually move it) and says, almost sotto voce “9.2% unemployment”, shakes his head, glances at Obama, looks down at his podium, shuffles his notes, shakes his head again, sighs.

See where I’m going with this?   A GDP of 1.6% is anemic.  Check out this post from Brad Plumer at WaPo.  Here’s the money quote:

The economy grew at a 2.5 percent annualized pace in the third quarter of 2011, according to new Commerce Department data released this morning. Seeing as how plenty of economists were grumbling about a double-dip recession not too long ago, even modest growth counts as cheering news. But 2.5 percent growth won’t bring us back to full employment anytime soon. So how much growth do we actually need?

Short answer: A lot more. Back in August, the Congressional Budget Office released its revised GDP forecasts and predicted that the economy would gallop along with 3.6 percent growth between 2013 and 2016. Now, as Jeffrey Frankel has shown, government forecasters tend to err on the optimistic sign, but even in the CBO’s sunny scenario, we wouldn’t hit full employment until 2017.

It’s not enough to keep Social Security payroll taxes streaming in to keep the system going.  One year or two maybe we can make up the difference.  But four?  With another four more years of Barry at the wheel carrying on the Bush legacy and trying to make Grand Bargains with the Republicans to give away virtually all we have left?  What are you guys smoking over there?

The next part of the post is the funniest:

Sure, none of this changes the huge need for jobs or fixes the housing crisis, but with Obama pounding jobs bills and student relief (and some of it actually getting into the headlines and onto the news), it might just reverse the bad news coverage Obama has been getting this year.

It’s of special importance because the GOP really has nothing beyond economic frustration to run on. Their plan, be it this week’s flat tax, last week’s 9-9-9 or Paul Ryan’s disastrous roadmap is all the same: coddle the rich and screw the middle class. No one likes their plan, but with a tanking economy, no one is going to reward incumbents.

So what happens if a year from now, the economy isn’t tanking? Keep in mind the Republicans have no Plan B if America does well.

So, we admit that Obama has been a failure, just as we Conflucians predicted him to be back in 2008, given that he was an inexperienced, political unknown who seemed to flinch whenever anyone called him a Democrat and was being funded by Wall Street in vast quantities (We HATE Wall Street! Remember? But look at my 401K!!).  And we admit that he clusterf^&*ed the housing foreclosure crisis and the unemployment crisis and sure, it looks bad.  But that’s just because Obama keeps getting bad news coverage.  If he gets *good* news coverage, we unemployed people who can’t pay our mortgages will just let bygones be bygones.

And what’s this about the GOP plan to “coddle the rich and screw the middle class”?  I thought that was Obama and the Congress’s plan.  Isn’t it?  Because that’s what it looks like to me.  If Obama and the Democrats have the same plan as Romney and the Republicans, how are we supposed to tell them apart?  Better yet, why should I vote for either of them?  There are other options on the ballot and, who knows, by this time next year, there may be a third viable candidate.  The Occupy movement has unveiled a deep dissatisfaction with both parties.

What is Obama’s Plan B anyway?  I mean, if he wins re-election in 2012, he doesn’t have to have one, you nitwits.  Which is why you shouldn’t be giving him a pass.  You should be on his case and vowing not to vote for him unless he does something for you *before* the election.  Unless all you care about is your 401K.  (Didja see the slope on that graph??)  Even Steve Jobs told Obama that his poor performance on the economy was going to cost him the White House in 2012.  True story.  It’s in Jobs’ new biography by Walter Isaacson.  And we know that Jobs was pretty damn good at getting a feel for what people want.  (Have you checked the quarterly earnings for Apple these days??  Amazing!  Oh, but we HATE Wall Street)

Look, you Kossacks screwed up good in 2008 and as a result, the pain and misery for millions of Americans is going to continue for a long, long time if either Romney OR Obama wins next year. Yes, YOU, You are responsible. The best thing you can do is stop trying so hard to make this sound better than it is.  Stop lying to yourselves and each other.  If you want to make this better, tell Obama to step down now and let someone else with longer coattails take on the Republicans.  Even you guys can’t possibly be as delusional as DemFromCT’s post.

By the way, he could have stopped what happened in Oakland on Tuesday night if he really cared about citizens and their first amendment rights.  There’s an Iraq War veteran who is now in the hospital in critical condition because of this out of control overreaction by “riot police”, if that’s what we’re calling them these days.

I don’t know what is worse, that they knocked this poor guy out and seriously injured him or that they tried to prevent other people from helping him.  I haven’t been so disgusted with the behavior of police in a long time.  This is outrageous.

**************************

In a bit of good news, apparently, Elizabeth Warren’s embrace of the Occupy Movement hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of the people of Massachusetts who want to work for her senate campaign.  This is a picture of the people who volunteered on Tuesday to lend her campaign a hand.

Golly!  Can we clone her??

OccupyWallStreet: The people in the park

These are pictures of OccupyWallStreet in Zuccotti Park taken on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011.  The freaky people can be found on the perimeter of the park facing outwards, which is one of the reasons I suspect some of them were hired by Fox News.  On the interior of the park, all ages and ethnicities can be found.  As you can see, the vast majority of people in the middle of the park are perfectly normal looking and acting.  It’s just that you have to pass through a phalanx of some pretty strange looking people to get to the middle.  This is a shame because, even though the passersby could see that there were a lot of typical, average people in the park, the media audience won’t know that because that’s too mundane.  What’s so fascinating about potentially meeting your neighbor at an occupation?  Let’s be voyeurs and take a picture of the scary looking guy with the tattooed face!

The park is full.  There are people sleeping it off in sleeping bags in unexpected places.  It’s hard to see how they manage to sleep with all of the activity going on around them, especially when there’s a good possibility that they could get trampled.  There’s really nowhere to sit so the plantar boxes and stairs are where people congregate to rest, if you can find a bum sized space.

This guy was brave or trying to demonstrate his arithmetic skills.  Most people stopped to talk to him  and he seemed to be having some good interactions.

This is where you can leave your ideas for the OWS think tank.  Keep in mind that the occupation is prohibited from erecting structures in the park so makeshift tables and recycling/sanitation bins made of cardboard pop up here and there.   If you have an idea and you want to develop it into a policy with other 99%-ers, you can contact the think tank at OWSthinktank@gmail.com.

It’s impossible to keep all religion out of the park.  The Hassidim are celebrating Sukkot this week and are looking for Jews in the park to perform a blessing.  I thought it was kind of nice.  It’s a “green” holiday.  Partition Function was singled out by a boy of about 11 who made him bless the four directions with the palm fronds.  Then he turned to me and asked, “Are you Jewish?”  “1/8th”, I replied.  “Mother or father?”, he said, hopeful that he might have snagged another one.  “Father”, I said.  “Nope”, he said, and moved on.  For a brief second, I was crushed.  But I got over it.

The scene below is more representative of the occupiers of Zuccotti Park.  I include day trippers such as myself.  Many people came and stayed for awhile.  There seems to be more men than women, although at the General Assembly, the genders seem more evenly split and the directing facilitator that night was female, with a big voice.  About the GA, there is a reason why they use the People’s Mic and hand signals.  There is no voice amplification allowed in the park.  To get a permit for a megaphone would cost more money than they have.  So, the people’s mic is necessary to make sure everyone can hear what the speaker says, while the hand signals cut down on clapping and other noise that tend to interrupt these kinds of meetings and drown out the speaker.  It’s very effective, you can hear the speaker pretty well and it forces you to listen closely.  I think it’s brilliant.

This picture is rather big and may be partially cutoff in your browser.  In mine, I can only see the left half of the picture.  Open it in a separate window to get a better view of the 99% in Zuccotti Park.  Note that the smoothie stand on the right makes a nice bubble tea, if you’re into black tapioca balls in your drinks.

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