Power to the people: Occupy Wall Street uses bikes to generate energy. In short, the asshole cops, probably on demand from the asshole mayor, take away the gas-powered generators the protesters have used for over one month because storing fuel in the park is against the fire code (but apparently wasn't an issue for the previous four weeks) and the protesters respond by producing their own power with a bicycle-dynamo contraption designed by a supporter. And now they have four. And they plan to ask tourists to join in and pedal (which you know they will so they can have their New York experience). Clever. OWS, 1. Asshole mayor and cops, 0.
Thanks to Jim for the link.
How a Pizza Joint Became the Official Caterer of the Revolution. I think it is pretty cool that people from around the world are sending pizzas to the kids occupying Zucotti Park in the Financial District of NYC (I used to work a block away but have been exiled to a building near the Staten Island ferry terminal building--not a perk).
What makes things even more swell is that a small mom and pop business is kept busy and rises to the occasion (going to have to try an Occu-pie). That said, my friend Max stopped by to chat with the protesters at lunch and they need blankets. Thanks to global climate change, NYC is wetter and colder this September. I don't know how people not in the City can help get blankets to the protesters, but I'll see if I can find a link to a donation site. If anyone knows, please put the info in a comment.
News of the World to close on Sunday. The headline and subheads at the Guardian read:
This story just exploded. I will say what I've hinted at for the last few weeks: I think this could bring down Cameron. Again, if Nick Clegg has any self-respect left and a working testicle (doubtful, but who knows?) he is chatting with Ed Miliband about the next coalition government. And Murdoch? Just wait until the hedge fund boys go after him. By the way, you can't short News Corp on E*Trade because they can't get shares to borrow. Yeah, I checked last night. And this morning. Champagne on me if Murdoch goes down in flames.
91 victims and rising: Met police admits scale of phone hacking. The subhead reads "High court proposes four test case hearings as Sienna Miller offered £100,000 to settle." I'm guessing Miller doesn't need the money, so she is probably not exactly motivated to settle. And why should she? Her persistence (along with a handful of others) could very well kill this filthy "news" outlet and be the first salvo against the evil News Corp monster. I wish her well.
Have to add this bit, because it made me laugh my ass off: Michael Silverleaf QC, for News Group Newspapers, said the £100,000 the company had offered Miller was the maximum she could expect to win.
"She cannot realistically recover more than we are offering," he told the judge. "The civil litigation process does not exist for people to vent their feelings in public. It provides a remedy for wrongs. We have admitted the wrong and agreed to pay her the maximum sum."
Well, Michael, $100,000 times 3,000 = end of News of the World, don't you think? Actually, it equals $300,000,000, which has to hurt. Long and short, you can smell the flop sweat all the way over here. I wonder how many current and former News of the World journalists, editors and executives are chatting with their lawyer friends?
Bigger question: Do you think that the phone hacking was limited to News of the World? Because there is no limit on civil damages in the U.S. Just saying.
Coulson, who would later serve as British Prime Minister David Cameron's communications director, claimed to have not condoned the practice of illegal phone hacking. However, "in the tape that Grant secretly recorded, McMullan contradicts him, saying Coulson regularly ordered phone spying." Uh, oh.
Uh oh, indeed. You see, the investigator who did the hacking and one editor were convicted in this matter and got jail terms. But due to the persistence of a number of people who were hacked--including Sienna Miller--the case is getting another looksy and two more News of the World employees were recently arrested. If Coulson regularly ordered phone spying, he could be looking at a prison sentence (he stepped down as Cameron's communications director because "the investigation blah blah blah, interferring with his duties, blah, blah, innocent, of course"). And the best bit? In the U.S., the authorities need a warrant (or used to prior to W and Obama) to tap your phone. If they didn't get one and they listened and got evidence that you committed a crime, the evidence could not be used against you in a court of law because it would be "fruit from the poisonous tree." I wonder if the UK has a similar law. If they do, no worries--Grant isn't a cop. No reason why they can't act on it.
Well played, Mr. Grant.
Why the left’s showing in Wisconsin Supreme Court race is a big deal. One quibble: Sargent states that even if Kloppenburg loses in the recount, this election will still be "a victory for unions and Dems." Um, maybe the Wisconsin democratic party and members, but not so much for the national democrats, particularly Obama. Why? Because while the state party was actively involved in this race, the organic response to Walker's overstepping--taking over the capitol building, the daily protests, the endless delivery of free pizzas--wasn't coordinated by the national democrats or even, at first, the state party. No. The initial response to Walker's thug tactics was essentially leaderless--but not rudderless (yes, various unions were involved, but there wasn't one or more names being identified as the face of this movement).
There is a real hunger by lots of left leaning people to fight back against these mean-spirited, anti-American positions that the republicans are pushing and the democrats (certainly the national democrats) invariably "cave" to. That doesn't bode well for President Watch Me Reach Out to the Chamber of Commerce as I piss on the Progressives/Labor/Queers, does it? That said, Obama started his 2012 election campaign a few days ago. I believe the line they are using is "Are You In?" (because even they realize that they can't recycle "change you can believe in"). My guess is that Obama will be lucky if he get 1/5th of the response he got in 2008. But it's not as if left leaning people are unwilling to make an effort--look at the sustained efforts in Wisconsin to fight back with protests, law suits, recall drives, and races. All I'm saying is that a certain sign that Obama's team is worried about the enthusiasm of his (rapidly dwindling) base is if he suddenly starts standing up to the republicans and pledging to save social security as it is or claims to support programs that mean something to people who, unlike him, are principled. The next couple of week could be interesting.
Thanks to #5 for the link.
No, I'm definitely not talking about the Super Bowl (although the Packers did win). Nope, I'm talking about the people of Wisconsin refusing to put up with the soul-crushing antics of their new rightwing asshole governor who wants to get rid of collective bargaining for state employees, among other things. Did the state workers and other concerned citizens roll over? No fucking way: BREAKING: Madison Schools Closed Due To Teacher Walk-Outs! And here's an interesting factoid, the Green Bay Packers is the only publicly owned football team. No surprise, then, that seven current and former members issued a statement supporting state workers and the right to collective bargaining. I think I have a favorite football team now.
If you live in Wisconsin or just want to know what's going on, click here: Not My Wisconsin. And to my brother-in-law: you're welcome.