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Peanuts

That’s what Gov. Corbett has agreed to allow local governments to charge for the damage done by fracking.

Occupy Denver

Occupy KC

Occupy the world

Talking to Fox News

Ministry of Truth at the OWS park:

TRANSCRIPT
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‘The penalty of treason is death’

I’m appalled by the execution of Anwar al-Awlaki. Don’t I get to be? I really hate this kind of asshole mouthing-off:

So proclaimed supposed left-winger Bill Maher to the applause of his supposed left-wing audience Friday night. The question: a brief consideration of Ron Paul’s critique of Obama’s assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. Seth MacFarlane commented that while he trusted Obama with this power, he would be troubled with the exercise of such power by someone like Michelle Bachmann. Salman Rushdie, apparently unbothered by any consideration of irony regarding unilateral issuance of death edicts, informed us that those who commit treason forfeit any claim to rights, a comment which prompted Maher’s succinct editorial conclusion: “…And the Penalty of Treason is Death.”

That was the cue for the audience applause, but it also served as a reminder that what supposedly passes for “liberal” is usually anything but. The liberal would have corrected Rushdie that US presidential edict is not sufficient to establish the crime of treason. It has to be substantiated in open court. And the liberal would have reminded Bill Maher that death is not the only the punishment prescribed by congress for this crime. The penalty for those convicted is either death or imprisonment not less than five years. However, the liberal would also be quick to remind both Rushdie and Maher that “treason” hitherto has been a very rare charge/prosecution in American history, with conviction even rarer still, and execution yet even rarer. Indeed, there have been as many pardons of “treason” convictions as executions.

7 pm Wednesday, Oct. 5
Walt Whitman Arts Center, 2nd Floor
101 Cooper St.
Camden, NJ

David McKenna, a.k.a. Odd Man Out, will read “Chokepoint,” from Idiot Lights, his collection of thematically related short stories set in Atlantic City and Philadelphia.

Also reading will be fiction writer Violet LeVoit, author of the short story collection I Am Genghis Cum, and poet Seve Torres.

Directions from Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Center City Philly:

1. Stay in the right lane.
2. On Jersey side, take the Sixth Street/Broadway exit toward Camden
3. Turn right onto N 6th Street
4. Turn right onto Cooper Street

Destination will be on the right:

101 Cooper St
Camden, NJ 08102

(For a map, Google “Benjamin Franklin Bridge” to “101 Cooper St., Camden, NJ”)
More here.

Do you hear the people sing?

From Les Mis, a show I never much liked until now:

Which side are you on?

David Atkins over at Digby’s place:

It is quite literally impossible to say with a straight face that working to elect more or even better Democrats will actually create the change necessary to address the grievances being expressed in Zuccotti Park. It’s laughable. That ship has been sailing away for decades, and disappeared completely over the horizon with the disappointment of January 2009 through November 2010 and beyond. It is painfully obvious that electoral politics alone are utterly inadequate to deal with the nation’s problems.

The reality is that putting Democrats in power is a necessary but insufficient condition to creating real change in this country.

Republicans are ideologically opposed to creating the necessary changes, and are more afraid of being primaried by an even more crazy conservative, than of even the biggest protest movements from the left. Democrats, meanwhile, are ideologically compatible with most of the changes, but are variously stymied by the system, blinkered by a desire for “compromise,” fearful of conservative anger, or corrupted by the influence of big money.

In order for change to take place, good Democrats do need to be in power. But only an angry and motivated populace angry with both Parties and strongly intent on holding Democrats accountable with scare and motivate Democrats enough to do what they were elected to do.

LBJ wouldn’t have been pushed to do the right for civil rights without MLK. But neither would MLK have brought his dream to fruition without a president in power with the courage to enforce desegregation.

Ultimately, the institutionalists need to allow the Occupy Wall Street protests to develop organically without attempting to convert them into electoral activism in any form. Supporting the protests is perhaps the most important thing progressives can be doing right now. As Robert Cruickshank tweeted:

We need to focus on generating the waves, not recruiting people to surf them.

But on the other hand, it would behoove movement progressives not to dismiss the arena of electoral politics and those who engage in it. If Mitt Romney becomes president or John Boehner remains the House Speaker, it won’t matter how big or successful the protests become. For things to really work, Democrats will have to be in power and a powerful progressive protest movement with a healthy distrust of institutional Democrats will need to be in place to hold them accountable.

I don’t know that I dismiss electoral politics so much. It’s more that right now, electoral politics simply aren’t capable of making the great leap forward that’s necessary to rebuild the system. Electoral politics (and the politicians) are fixated on tweaking the system that already exists and I’m more interested in building a new system. This one seems too thoroughly corrupted to do the work of democracy.

What do you think?

The price of dissent

Amy would probably prefer being able to do her job to the money:

New York, NY; Monday, October 3, 2011 – Today, Amy Goodman, the award-winning journalist and host of Democracy Now! news hour, will announce details of a six-figure settlement in a federal lawsuit brought by her and Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar against the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and the U.S. Secret Service, challenging the policies and conduct of law enforcement during the 2008 Republican National Convention held in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which resulted in the unlawful arrests of Democracy Now! journalists as they were trying to report on public protest and political dissent.

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