LIVE! Livestreaming from today’s Anti-Fracking Rally at St John the Divine in NYC!

1pm-3pm Eastern Time, TODAY

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sarakarl

Cross your fingers it all works with the Cathedral’s connectivity (theirs is more divine than electronic, shall we say?) and we get to broadcast live. Otherwise, it will be recorded and broadcast after.

Here’s hoping!

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Anti-Fracking Rally today 1pm NYC

This anti-fracking rally is happening today!

Have you seen St. John the Divine? It’s the largest cathedral in the world, breathtaking, beautiful.

1-3pm at St John the Divine, 110th St & Amsterdam, NYC!

Hop on the 1 train, 110th st stop

(or you can take the B/C trains to 110th & Central Park West, and walk a few blocks west)

I hope to see you there!

 

Occupy Wall Street Has Already Won – according to Eliot Spitzer

I love this man!!  If you all remember about him is the unfortunate sex scandal (why can’t they ever keep it in their pants?? And why, oh why, is it always the Democrats who get busted, when the evidence of Republicans visiting prostitutes is just as rampant? Methinks it’s sort of like the phenomenon of religious zealots poring over album lyrics and books to find, and interpret, the dirtiest words and ideas they can find. I’m just sayin… Does it need to be said? Obviously, if you’re pious enough to be offended by someone else’s personal expression or private habits, why are you spending your time looking for sexual content?) anyway, if all you remember about Eliot Spitzer is the unfortunate sex scandal that spawned a tv show (CBS’ The Good Wife with Mr. Big and Julianna Margulies) please watch The Inside Job, an extremely well-made documentary about the crash of our economy. It should be mandatory viewing for all Americans, in my opinion, if for no other reason, just to prove that regular people can understand what happened on Wall Street. Don’t believe anyone who tells you “it’s too complicated for you.” About anything, because a) how patronizing is that? But in particular about our economy because b) it’s our country, we live here, and we are the ones trying to make a living, pay our rent and figure out how to make enough money to pay the phone bill or the gas bill or even the babysitter so we can go to a $12 movie and forget our troubles for a couple of hours for godssakes!

reprinted from an article in Slate by Eliot Spitzer

Occupy Wall Street has already won, perhaps not the victory most of its participants want, but a momentous victory nonetheless. It has already altered our political debate, changed the agenda, shifted the discussion in newspapers, on cable TV, and even around the water cooler. And that is wonderful.

Suddenly, the issues of equity, fairness, justice, income distribution, and accountability for the economic cataclysm–issues all but ignored for a generation—are front and center. We have moved beyond the one-dimensional conversation about how much and where to cut the deficit. Questions more central to the social fabric of our nation have returned to the heart of the political debate. By forcing this new discussion, OWS has made most of the other participants in our politics—who either didn’t want to have this conversation or weren’t able to make it happen—look pretty small.

Surely, you might say, other factors have contributed: A convergence of horrifying economic data has crystallized the public’s underlying anxiety. Data show that median family income declined by 6.7 percent over the past two years, the unemployment rate is stuck at 9.1 percent in the October report (16.5 percent if you look at the more meaningful U6 number), and 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty—the most in more than 50 years. Certainly, those data help make Occupy Wall Street’s case.

But until these protests, no political figure or movement had made Americans pay attention to these facts in a meaningful way. Indeed, over the long hot summer, as poverty rose and unemployment stagnated, the entire discussion was about cutting our deficit.

And then OWS showed up. They brought something that had been in short supply: passion—the necessary ingredient that powers citizen activism. The tempered, carefully modulated, and finely nuanced statements of Beltway politicians and policy wonks do not alter the debate.

Of course, the visceral emotions that accompany citizen activism generate not only an energy that can change politics but an incoherence that is easily mocked. OWS is not a Brookings Institution report with five carefully researched policy points and an appendix of data. It is a leaderless movement, and it can often be painfully simplistic in its economic critique, lacking in subtlety in its political strategies, and marred by fringe elements whose presence distracts and demeans. Yet, the point of OWS is not to be subtle, parsed, or nuanced. Its role is to drag politics to a different place, to provide the exuberance and energy upon which reform can take place.

The major social movements that have transformed our country since its founding all began as passionate grassroots activism that then radiated out. Only later do traditional politicians get involved. The history of the civil rights movement, women’s rights movement, labor movement, peace movement, environmental movement, gay rights movement, and, yes, even the Tea Party, follow this model. In every instance, visceral emotions about justice, right, and wrong ignited a movement. Precise demands and strategies followed later. So the critique of OWS as unformed and sometimes shallow may be correct, but it is also irrelevant.

Just as importantly, most of those who are so critical of OWS have failed to recognize inflection points in our politics. They fail to recognize that the public is responding to OWS because it is desperate for somebody to speak with the passion, and even anger, that has filled the public since the inequities and failures of our economy have become so apparent.

Will the influence of OWS continue? Will it continue to capture the imagination of the public? Will it morph into a more concrete movement with sufficiently precise objectives that it can craft a strategy with real goals and strategies for attaining them? These are impossible questions to answer right now.

Could it launch a citizen petition demanding that a Paul KrugmanJoseph Stiglitz, or Paul Volcker be brought into government as a counterweight to or replacement for the establishment voice of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner? Maybe. Could OWS demand meetings with top—government officials? Could it demand answers to tough questions—from the specific (explain the government’s conflicting statements about the AIG-Goldman bailout) to the more theoretical (why “moral hazard” is a reason to limit government aid only cited when the beneficiaries would be everyday citizens)?

There is much ground to cover before real reform, but as a voice challenging a self-satisfied, well-protected status quo, OWS is already powerful and successful.

Officer Friendly

My second day at the Occupy Wall Street protests, on September 21, 2011, which is Day 5 of the protest in NYC. No arrests have been made at this point. I was down there shooting video of the mostly quiet streets, and ran into this very friendly policeman, who asked me what was my definition of hypocrisy. Love the part where he says some people don’t like cops; “if I wanted to be loved, I shoulda been a fireman.”

It’s very quiet in the financial hub of the world, lots of barricades and empty streets – sort of eerie, almost like a ghost town in some areas. There were WAY more cops than protestors; maybe a few dozen demonstrators and at least four times that many police.

My cousin is a cop in Seattle, and I have seen some of the pressures of his job and the complexities of situations involving cops and large numbers of people, such as protests, so I have sympathy for policemen – I know I would not want to be a member of the NYPD right now, that’s for sure. They are mostly just folks trying to get by, like the rest of us, and not getting paid all that much to be shot at, screamed at and hated while putting their lives on the line to protect us. However, there’s a douchebag in every crowd, and that goes for crowds of law enforcers as well as demonstrators.

Welcome f@#*ing home!

Girl Eating Spaghetti on Subway Incites Brawl

Sometimes when someone is eating on the train, you’re like, Ew, do I really need to watch this person scarf down a McDonald’s snack wrap? But guess what. Yes, you do! And you’d be lucky if it was just a snack wrap! (Because those aren’t that messy if they get thrown at you.) In this video, a girl is confronted for eating pasta on the subway, and she does not care for the interruption. “What kind of animals eat on the train?” asks a fellow rider. “What kind of fat bitches look like you?” the pasta eater fires back. (Her friend calmly advises the attacker, “You take a look in the mirror, miss. Don’t talk about nobody else.”) Watch it after the jump!

And you thought eating pasta on the subway was only for rats.

Subway Fight Erupts After Passenger Objects To Spaghetti Eating [NYCtheblog]