IBI Watch 11/21/11

22 11 2011

These People Make the Connection //

Criticizing the OWS protesters is easy.  “They don’t have a focus.”  “You can’t tell what they are fighting for.”  “It’s too chaotic.”  You have probably heard similar knocks.  I have heard working-class people say things like, “I just don’t want to get involved,”  “I am trying not to pay attention,” and even, “I think they should throw them all in jail.”


I say – criticizing  is easy because the protesters are big-picture thinkers.  And I have several examples to prove it.  Of course, powerful interests are trying to stop the protests.  You have probably seen the brutal police treatment of peaceful protesters.  But the response is only making the protests grow stronger.  I think this could be a last hope to salvage what is left of our American democracy. Occupy democracy!


First link – Watch this appalling video of police at University of California-Davis methodically pepper-spraying a long row of seated students.  Then stay tuned as the university’s chancellor walks through a gauntlet of silent, protesting students.  The silence is deafening.  Then, Elli Pearson, a very articulate agriculture student, clearly explains how the protests connect to sustainability.  You can just see from her demeanor how violent and pepper-spray worthy this student really is.  Second link – Joshua Holland of AlterNet has done us a major service – compiling video of a range of violent police responses to OWS protesters. Third – an inspiring video.  Can you imagine how quickly someone writing graffiti on Wall Street buildings would be pepper-sprayed, slammed to the ground or worse?  Ah, but there are other, higher-tech ways to get the word ONTO the Street.  Video ends with a new song by guitar wizard, supporting the protests.  Finally, E.J. Dionne puts the broader movement into context.






The Climate vs. Pignorance

Careful climate observers saw a major announcement this past week.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has more news for us on what we are doing to the atmosphere, the consequences we are already seeing.  This is the story we SHOULD be paying attention to, and responding with sustainable policy.  Ah, but the story has no Kardashian angle, does it?  If you follow this issue – and I hope you do – you know that lots of things are the solution – energy conservation, alternative energy, rethinking cities, all that.  So what are Republicans doing?  Witch-hunting, of course – it’s Solyndragate.  Check the third link for an amazing animation that illustrates how the US climate will be affected by the bidness-as-usual approach – the one we remain committed to.  HOW many 100-degree days???  (BTW, for new readers – ‘pignorance’ = pretend ignorance.)  Fourth link – Stephen Colbert holds 350.org climate activist Bill McKibben’s feet to the fire . . . sort of.  And the final link in this group shows just what an eternal optimist McKibben really is.







Your Choice – A Hurl or a Belly Laugh (or Both!)

Submitted for your consideration – publicly pious conservative Republicans witnessing for the holy masses, and on the other hand, satires of the major candidates.  Choose wisely.




Supercommittee Surrenders to the Obvious

Are you surprised?  Me neither.  Actually, the only thing that really surprised me was that the Democrats did not completely cave to Republicans’ trunks-locked opposition to any tax restoration (that’s my term – we are not really talking about tax hikes, but putting BACK some taxes that we were propagandized into believing it was wise to cut!) If you are still not familiar with the infamous Grover Norquist, please invest just 13 minutes and get to know this snarky, dodgy, shadowy architect of American plutocracy.  The video is a brand new, very well-executed interview with this apostle of greed.  If you are half as angry as I was after watching this, check the last link to sign onto maybe the most important quest – amend our Constitution to get the money out of politics (and of course put Norquist out of a job!)






Environmental Progress and Heroes

Yes, good things do happen.  How about wind energy without bird-killing blades?  How about an organization dedicated to this vision – preserving half the land for nature?  How about a tireless  urban environmentalist – Majora Carter – acquiring a much higher platform from which to promote sustainability? It’s all here, friends!






“Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt




Contributed links to this posting – Jeff Carlson, Allyson Harper






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