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The ad that didn’t run

This is a hysterical parody of Elizabeth Warren’s campaign announcement:

‘These are the ideals of the Bible’

Richard Crocker, the chaplain at Dartmouth College, gives a sermon on Occupy Wall Street. Go read the rest:

… Now I expect that some of you are agreeing with the Amos and Jesus and me. But others of you are not convinced. You wonder what I (or perhaps Amos and Jesus) know about economics. And the answer is: very little. But we do know what is right. We do know that the exploitation of the poor by the rich and powerful is wrong. And we do know that any nation that countenances such policies is really planting the seeds of its own destruction.

But wait – you may say: this is a democracy. We can change the policies of our nation by voting. Ah, yes. But it is not easy. Jeffrey Sachs, who is a well-known professor at Columbia and who does know something about economics, points out that “the rich finance candidates while the poor cannot. Political scientists have shown that members of Congress – many of whom are wealthy themselves – devote their legislative votes to the wishes of their well-to-do constituents. President Obama has dined regularly with the lords of finance; meanwhile, billionaire oil magnates fund the tax-cutting frenzy of the Tea party.” And Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize winning economist, said in Friday’s New York Times: “The protestors indictment of Wall Street as a destructive force, economically and politically, is completely right.”

Why am I saying this to you?? What can you do about it? I am saying it to you because we are all here very privileged. We are part of the wealth of this country, even if we are not all among the top 1 per cent – though some of us at Dartmouth certainly are. You are forming your ambitions and commitments, determining how you are going to spend your lives. And the pressures at Dartmouth, the contours of passage, the incentives and structures, encourage you to give your talents to corporate America – to occupy Wall Street. I want you to question that ambition – not only for yourselves, but for your friends. Where should the most talented youth in our nation devote their energies? You must answer that question.
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West Philly, represent

If you’ve been a long-time reader, you know that the West Philly High School Hybrid X team is near and dear to my heart (you can donate here if you like what you read):

Who says teenagers can’t change the world? In their free time after school, 15 teens from a low-income high school in Philadelphia built a car. And not just any car: their 160 mpg Factory Five GTM biodiesel hybrid kit car has outperformed other fuel-efficient cars built by professional engineers and graduate students from Ivy League universities.

Yesterday, this group of teenagers — the West Philly Hybrid X Team, a crew of 15 high school mechanics from West Philadelphia High School — were honored with the “Next Generation Award” at the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards, which recognizes visionaries whose innovation in the fields of technology, medicine, space exploration, automotive design, and environmental engineering is changing the world we live in. Other winners include Steven Squyres and his Spirit & Opportunity team, who created robotic surrogates for humans on Mars, as well as director James Cameron, who was honored with the “Leadership Award” for innovations in filmmaking technology used for the film Avatar.

Under the guidance of faculty advisor Simon Hauger — a former electrical engineer who now teaches math and science — the West Philly team entered two vehicles into last year’s Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, a $10 million prize for which 111 teams signed up. Out of the 111, West Philly was the only high school team. Their entries were a Factory Five GTM biodiesel hybrid kit car that achieved the equivalent of 160 mpg over 100 miles, and a converted Ford Focus gasoline plug-in hybrid. The team blew everyone’s expectations out of the water when they made it to the semifinals, beating out over 80 teams. Equally astounding is the fact that at a school where 85 percent of students are economically disadvantaged and in a region with a drop-out rate of over 50 percent, every single member of the X Prize team graduated.

The program at West Philly started in 1998 with an electric go-cart which won the science fair. And, as Hauger adds, “Kids from West Philly aren’t supposed to win the science fair.” Over the next few years the team developed a full-sized vehicle that got 180 mpg equivalent, and went on to beat MIT and 40 other teams in 2002 at the prestigious Tour de Sol competition.
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Harvest festival

I’ll be out of town this weekend (going out of state) but if you’re around Philly, fun doings at the Reading Terminal market.

Amazing. First Robert Pear rattles off the depressing income figures of a country in decline, then he casually notes that “the economy has been growing.” How is he defining economic growth? More here.

Occupy Lawrence KS

Look, over there!

A terror plot!

FBI and DEA agents have disrupted a plot to commit a “significant terrorist act in the United States” tied to Iran, federal officials told ABC News today.

The officials said the plot included the assassination of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir, with a bomb and subsequent bomb attacks on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. Bombings of the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, were also discussed, according to the U.S. officials.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in an announcement today that the plan was “conceived, sponsored and was directed from Iran” and called it a “flagrant” violation of U.S. and international law.

“The U.S. is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions,” Holder said. He said the White House will be meeting with federal agencies before announcing “further action” in regards to Iran.


Naomi Klein:

“Why are they protesting?” ask the baffled pundits on TV. Meanwhile, the rest of the world asks: “What took you so long?” “We’ve been wondering when you were going to show up.” And most of all: “Welcome.”

Life is a treadmill

And some days, you just want to get off!

Occupy Chicago

Oh, come on. When was the last time a congressman asked a question like that?

Police arrested 26 demonstrators, many wearing Chicago Teachers Union T-shirts, who linked arms and sat down in Monroe Street as they chanted “Save our schools, save our homes!” They were ticketed and released. Another demonstrator was arrested and faces a charge of battery on a police officer.

Nearby, a crowd chanted “Shame on you!” to members of the Futures Industry Association who peered out from a balcony of the Chicago Art Institute, where they attended a party.

Several protesters paid $2,245 per badge to gain admission to the Mortgage Bankers Association event, organizers said.

One protester, dressed in a suit, got to a microphone during a panel discussion and asked Michael Heid, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, a top national mortgage lender: “How do you sleep at night?”

The man asked Heid how could he even visit the Chicago area since so many been affected by foreclosures locally.

Heid answered that he felt like he was before a congressional panel with such a tough line of questioning.

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