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Supporting OWS

From Econ4.org, a group that’s devoted to building an alternative to the economics orthodoxy that the economy is about Wall Street and not about the well-being of working people, a statement that’s been signed by 170 economists so far:

We are economists who oppose ideological cleansing in the economics profession. Equally we oppose political cleansing in the vital debate over the causes and consequences of our current economic crisis.

We support the efforts of the Occupy Wall Street movement across the country and across the globe to liberate the economy from the short-term greed of the rich and powerful “one percent”.

We oppose cynical and perverse attempts to misuse our police officers and public servants to expel advocates of the public good from our public spaces.

We extend our support to the vision of building an economy that works for the people, for the planet, and for the future, and we declare our solidarity with the Occupiers who are exercising our democratic right to demand economic and social justice.

Amherst, Massachusetts
November 13, 2011

The whole world is watching

Via Gawker (h/t Noz), this story about how authorities are using the U.S. as a role model for handling protesters. Yes, the whole world is watching (see the front page of the Iran Daily):

Two people were killed in Cairo and Alexandria this weekend as Egyptian activists took the streets to protest the military’s attempts to maintain its grip on power. And guess how the state is justifying its deadly crackdown.”We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state,” an Egyptian state television anchor said yesterday (as translated by the indispensable Sultan Sooud al Qassemi; bold ours).

Yeah—it gets harder and harder to maintain a moral high ground when videos like this andpictures like this are unavoidable. But American police haven’t killed anyone!

Faces come out of the rain…

When you’re strange.
No one remembers your name

Feeding the new poor

Isn’t this heartbreaking? The country is now even more starkly divided into haves and have nots, and most of them are people who followed the rules but got screwed, anyway – and if that’s not a recipe for social upheaval, I don’t know what is:

In Forsyth County’s rolling subdivisions near Atlanta, Easy Street seems to run forever. What recession? The average household here earns $88,000 – the highest in Georgia, 13th highest in America.

But for more families here, prosperity is a pretense. The job’s lost, the savings are gone, and the big house is either in foreclosure or on its way. And just keeping food on the table is a struggle.

So Forsyth’s newly-needy file into local food banks.

Yesterday’s givers have become today’s takers.

“People lost their jobs and went from great incomes to no incomes,” said Sandy Beaver, Sandy Beaver leads The Place, Forsyth County’s biggest non-profit center for social services. She calls those who visit The Place “the new poor.”

The Place’s main mission: Feed the hungry.

“Who are the new poor in this county?” asked Strassmann.

“The new poor could be you, me, your neighbor, your church member, somebody who has been affected by the economy,” she said. “Many of our people who have come for assistance used to be our donors. And they’ll say, ‘I never thought I’d have to do this, never in my wildest dreams.'”

“People who two, three four years ago, the hunger would have been unimaginable?” asked Strassmann.


Check out this comment from FDL:

stephen dossick MD on November 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm said:
Hi bmaz, Wheel,

Since my first post to you 6 1/2 weeks ago when the cops sprayed the hippy chicks that Saturday on 12th street below my office window, I have become the volunteer psychiatrist to OWS, Zuccotti version. (yes, I have stories). Well today, I had to leave my beloved Dolphins in the 3rd qtr to go downtown to our Medical Support group meeting–it’s me and a bunch of commie docs. BTW, they allow my fins back on TV now, and Matt Moore can play! They must have been going nuts at the official fins NY bar, Third and Long. Anyway, I want to give you an update on those brain dead cops. Monday night they completely destroyed our new medical tent and supplies as well as our treatment records. They dragged out a woman who was sleeping there because she recently had heart surgery. But the worst thing I heard at our meeting was that some of the peoples’ dogs are missing after the raid, and people are saying they were swept up with the tents. The motherfucking NYPD threw the doggies in the trash. That is seriously bad law enforcement.

Just another afternoon at the E.R.

But they did switch my medication, they did an ultrasound of both eyes and found NO signs of vitreous or retinal detachment, and referred me to the ophthalmology clinic ASAP to rule out any other problems. If they don’t find anything, I guess it’s off to neurology!

The receptionist told me she sees more people without insurance than she does with it. “I’ve worked here eight years part-time, hoping to get brought on full-time with benefits, but it hasn’t happened. I needed emergency surgery, and they told me to take all my money out of the bank and put it in a safety deposit box so I’d qualify for Medicaid, but that didn’t work,” she said. “Finally, they agreed to do it for me for free — but only because I worked here.”

She said she’s been going to school and finally got an LPN, “so maybe I can get health insurance somewhere.”

Robert Hass, former poet laureate of the U.S., was among the teachers and students brutalized by UC Berkeley cops on the very site where the Free Speech Movement was born 50 years ago. More here.

Chain of Fools

The NYT columnist ruffled George Will’s feathers on “This Week”:

“I have a structural hypothesis here,” [Paul] Krugman told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour Sunday. “You have a Republican ideology, which Mitt Romney obviously doesn’t believe in. He just oozes insincerity, that’s just so obvious. But all of the others are fools and clowns. And there is a question here, my hypothesis is that maybe this is an ideology that only fools and clowns can believe in. And that’s the Republican problem.” More here.

Marathon fatalities are uncommon, but that doesn’t make what happened today any less sad:

Officials confirmed that a 21-year-old Asian male collapsed at the finish line, while a 40-year-old white male collapsed a quarter of a mile before the finish line. Both men were taken to Hahnemann University Hospital and pronounced dead of apparent heart attacks. More here.

Before training for a marathon, see your doctor.

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