Posts filed under ‘Occupy Wall Street’
For those of you wondering what the “message” of the Occupy Wall Street protesters is, here’s a hint:
Chief executive pay has roared back after two years of stagnation and decline. America’s top bosses enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40% last year, according to the largest survey of US CEO pay. The dramatic bounceback comes as the latest government figures show wages for the majority of Americans are failing to keep up with inflation.
America’s highest paid executive took home more than $145.2m, and as stock prices recovered across the board, the median value of bosses’ profits on stock options rose 70% in 2010, from $950,400 to $1.3m.
The Guardian’s exclusive first look at the CEO pay survey from corporate governance group GMI Ratings will further fuel debate about America’s widening income gap. The survey, the most extensive in the US, covered 2,647 companies, and offers a comprehensive assessment of all the data now available relating to 2010 pay.
This year’s survey shows CEO pay packages have boomed: the top 10 earners took home more than $770m between them in 2010. As stock prices began to recover last year, the increase in CEO pay outstripped the rise in share value. The Russell 3000 measure of US stock prices was up by 16.93% in 2010, but CEO pay went up by 27.19% overall. For S&P 500 CEOs, the largest companies in the sample, total realised compensation – including perks and pensions and stock awards – increased by a median of 36.47%. Total pay at midcap companies, which are slightly smaller than the top firms, rose 40.2%.
“Wages for everybody else have either been in decline or stagnated in this period, and that’s for those who are in work… Bosses won in every area, with dramatic increases in pensions, payoffs and perks – as well as salary.
What’s most infuriating is that “wages for everybody else have either been in decline or stagnated in this period…” The fat cats are giving themselves raises but they’re not sharing the wealth with their employees. Not even a little bit.
There are what looks like several thousand Occupy Oakland protesters occupying the Port of Oakland this morning (I believe they have closed the port). Watch it live here.
A slew of “car-to-car” emails exchanged by members of the Denver Police Department about Occupy Denver protesters have surfaced. “Denver Police spokesman Lieutenant Matt Murray concedes that some of them are unprofessional.”
There was this, “text message sent by an unidentified officer from a squad car that read in part, “A few of us set up a Twitter account to harass the ‘Occupy Denver’ people.”
And this, showing an utter lack of understanding of what the Occupy movement is all about:
“They’re supporting the same BS protests that are going on on Wall Street. The typical ‘Tax the Rich’ ‘Eff the Cops’ anarchist crap.”
“Denver protesters are too pathetic for us to have anything like that.”
“lol, that might not be a bad thing… at least we aren’t in the media ;) — for now that is.”
“If you think about it, large scale protests are a good way to waste city money and possibly cripple the system.”
“I bet if you guys dropped a box of skunks in the middle of the… they would probably scatter real quick.”
Another set of messages refers to the protesters as “stupid” and “retards.”
Here’s a log of all the texts that have been released.
So, good to know the DPD is so respectful of our first amendment rights, huh?
This is out from TIME magazine today:
On Sept. 17, a couple hundred protesters demonstrating against the excesses of corporate execs and the pervasive influence of high finance in U.S. politics set up camp in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park and refused to leave. It was an unlikely occupation, one without leaders, agendas or even a clear sense of goals, but it soon was echoed in myriad cities across the U.S. and the world. To some, Occupy Wall Street is the left-wing iteration of the Tea Party, directing their rage not at big government but at the big banks that gutted the world economy and took billions in bailouts from the U.S. government while awarding themselves hefty bonuses.
I’m actually pretty cynical about this. While I agree with TIME‘s choice, I think this designation is a way for TIME to avoid naming the 99% their “person of the year.”
Less than a month ago TIME posted and opened voting on the nominee. See a screenshot of the list as of November 12 here. The 99% was winning by a landslide.
Here is the list as of today:
Oh, and P.S.: I can’t wait to see what happens here. Look at the votes Julian Assange is getting. Can you imagine TIME naming him their Person of the Year? Me neither.
Geezus. Republicans can’t stop calling the unemployed and the Occupy Wall Streeters lazy slobs but take a look at the 2012 calendar for the House of Representatives, a schedule set by its leader, Republican Eric Cantor:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor released the 2012 House calendar today, and lawmakers will be spending even less time in Washington next year than they did this year.
There are just six scheduled working days in January. Three in August. And five in October. In all, the House of Representatives is scheduled to be in session 109 weekdays next year, and will be in recess 151 weekdays – meaning recess days will outstrip working days by nearly a 3 to 2 margin.
So, does their salary change depending on the number of days worked? It doesn’t? Why not?! It would for the 99%.
Why in the world aren’t we all raising our arms and shrugging our shoulders and saying hey, where are all those jobs the “jobs creators” were supposed to create? All we’ve heard for the last ten years is that we little people should put our present and future lives on hold for the “jobs creators” because they are our salvation. Wait just a sec, they say, those jobs are comin’!
Yeah? So where where the hell are they?
Tired old Newt is stuck on rerun when it comes to that:
I repudiate, and I call on the President to repudiate, the concept of the 99 and the 1. It is un-American, it is divisive, it is historically false.
When I am president, I will be president of all the American people, not part of the American people. And I will seek to unify the American people, not to divide them against each other. And I think that’s an important distinction. You are not going to get job creation when you engage in class warfare because you have to attack the very people you hope will create jobs.
Forget Grover Norquist. We 99%ers need to drag that job creation crap to the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.
Gee, if I owed the City of Boulder $139,000 in back taxes, I doubt it would come by and clean up my place much less spend millions of dollars protecting it:
City taxpayers have poured millions of dollars and hundreds of police hours into keeping the peace at the privately owned Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street protests.
The least the park’s owners could do is pay their taxes.
The city Finance Department says park owner Brookfield Properties and its parent company, Brookfield US Corp., currently owe the city more than $139,000 in unpaid business taxes from 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued this statement today regarding the Los Angeles Police Department removing American citizens — OccupyLA protesters — from City Hall Park, which they own:
Last night, we witnessed perhaps one of the finest moments in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department.
After 58 days of the Occupy LA protest, 1,400 officers enforced the closure of City Hall Park. The closure, conducted in a professional and restrained manner, was meticulously planned and involved coordination with multiple city departments. Over 200 people were arrested with a minimal use of force and with no major injuries to the police or to protesters. The activists’ fundamental rights were respected. This was a peaceful and orderly conclusion of the encampment at City Hall.
Today, the LAPD stands as a shining example of constitutional policing.
Although we expect further protests as Occupy LA works to broaden its movement, we will work hard to ensure that the City handles these actions with the appropriate restraint. I hope that the Occupy LA activists will do the same.
The movement’s message of restoring the balance to American society is too important to be lost amid clashes and conflict.”
“Restoring the balance to American society…?” Why don’t you send the LAPD to the Citigroup offices and arrest them? That would restore some balance.
I heard someone say the other day that Villaraigosa, a Democrat, has gone over to the side of the 1%ers.
Oh, and what the hell is “constitutional policing?” A new, Orwellian phrase we’ll no doubt be hearing more of.
This is happening in the United States of America on November 29, 2011 @ roughly 7:12 p.m. PT:
Follow Kevin Gosztola here.
Take a look at this:
59% to the military, a pittance to housing, education, health and human services, energy and transportation.
The amount spent, or rather NOT spent, on energy is particularly infuriating to me. We should be pouring billions into putting solar panels on the roof of every building in the country. How ’bout we take three or four or eight billion from the military and do that? Not only could we decrease our dependence on oil, we could put thousands of people to work. Seems like a no brainer to me.
What a great idea. I would put my money (such as it is) in an Occupy credit union in a heartbeat. There couldn’t be a better way to support the movement and to diss Wall Street than this.
Take a look at these posters from the Occupy movement.
Here are two of my favorites:
Larger version here.
Love the colors in that one. Larger version here.
Oy, there is so much to do:
Eating tinned soup may be associated with increased levels of a chemical that is linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes, a study suggests.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is added to the lining of food and drinks cans to stop rusting and keep food fresh. It is also found in plastic bottles, pizza boxes and dental sealants.
The chemical mimics the effects of oestrogen and some studies suggest it hinders neurological and reproductive development. It is already banned from baby bottles in Europe.
So, given the current state of affairs in the United States, we know the canned food lobby will win this one (it already has) and congress won’t do squat.
The canned food industry could do what’s right and stop using BPA on its own, but it won’t until We the People hit them in the gut, where it hurts, and that would be in $$.
Fist bump to us.
We can do it.
Hat’s off to the guy in the glasses:
A protester handed President Barack Obama a note while shaking hands along a rope line in New Hampshire today [November 22, 2011]. AP photographer Charlie Dharapak smartly zoomed in so you can read the note for yourself.
I just heard a report on the CBS radio news about a lady who has been camping out at a Best Buy (forgot where) since Monday, waiting to tear into the store when it opens on “Black Friday.”
She’ll probably be arrested any minute now, right? Oh, wait! Hell will have frozen over the day consumers are arrested for camping out in front of stores. The Occupy protesters on the other hand…
This is the headline over at Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post right now:
During the first two months of the nationwide Occupy protests, the movement that is demanding more out of the wealthiest Americans cost local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services, according to a survey by The Associated Press.
The heaviest financial burden has fallen upon law enforcement agencies tasked with monitoring marches and evicting protesters from outdoor camps. And the steepest costs by far piled up in New York City and Oakland, Calif., where police clashed with protesters on several occasions.
The first decade of the 21st century was tough on the middle class in America. From 2001 through 2007, median household incomes actually fell after accounting for inflation. And as wages stagnated, huge costs such as health care and higher education continued to rise dramatically. And this was even before the onslaught of the Great Recession, which destroyed almost $20 trillion in wealth and nearly 9 million jobs.
Check out this message on the home page of the UC-Davis Department of English:
Here’s a link to the original version. It’s easier to read.
Last night when New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg held a press conference and announced that his NYPD “foiled” a very limp-looking (my words, not his) “terror plot,” I surmised Mikey’s objective was primarily to divert attention from the thuggish tactics the NYPD used against Occupy Wall Street protesters and to, in essence say, “See. Without my cops, you could be dead so forget those ‘little’ indiscretions and those dirty looser hippies.”
Well, voila. Lookie here:
FBI did not pursue Pimentel case because they thought he was incapable of carrying out terror plot, according to officials
The FBI did not pursue a case against an alleged al-Qaida sympathiser accused of plotting to blow up police and military personnel because it believed he was mentally unstable and incapable of pulling it off, officials said on Monday.
Investigators from the New York Police Department, which announced the arrest of Dominican-born US citizen Jose Pimentel, 27, at a press conference late on Sunday night, sought to involve the FBI at least twice.
But both times the FBI concluded he wasn’t a serious threat, according to officials who spoke to the Associated Press.
From NYC to UC-Davis — the curtain is being pulled back on these wizards of Oz.
If you have the time, take two minutes and 16 seconds out of your day and watch this kick-ass video with Robert Reich explaining why the Occupy folks aren’t the “nuisance,” the real “nuisance” is the “tsunami of big money into politics.”
He’s exactly right.
Here is the terrifying, terrifying, evidence Michael Bloomberg displayed tonight when he announced he and his police department “foiled” a “terror plot:”
Run for your life!
My, my, my. What a coincidence:
We’re waiting (@7:28 p.m. ET) for a 7:30 p.m. ET news conference by New York City Mayor Michael Boomberg. He will allegedly announce that his police department has “foiled” a “terror plot,” the details of which we don’t know.
I just got some info from CNN, namely that this is a “foiled terror plot” that neither the FBI nor the Department of Homeland Security is/was involved in and that is was more like a “sting” operation (meaning the police set up or stumbled upon a wannabe macho lackey who was trying to impress people with his tough talk).
The New York City Police Department, and billionaire Mayor Bloomberg, have been under fire of late for their handling of the Occupy Wall Street protests so the timing of this is verrrrrrry interesting indeed.
Imho, this is all about Bloomberg saying:
See. Without my cops, you might be dead, so forget their ‘little’ indiscretions with those looser hippies.
It’s all about fear folks. And it’s all about the 1% winning. Remember, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
There are many days when I come across articles or bits of info that I think are worth posting but I just don’t have the energy because of, well, pure and simple: outrage overload. So I guess my new thing is going to be, at the end of such a day, to put up a post and let you all decide what you think is important; what you want to take a look at.
So, here are my outrage overload links for today:
●●● Where governments get their surveillance technology (I’m thinking boycotts here).
●●● A slide show: Suppressing Nonviolent Dissent — An anthology of police brutality at encampments across America. Check out this tank used by police in Tampa:
What happened to “protect and serve?”
●●● Journalist Suspended from National Press Club for Aggressive Questioning of Saudi Royal. That should read: Journalist suspended for being a real journalist and for not kissing Saudi royal’s ass.
●●● Michelle Obama Booed at NASCAR Race. I’m waiting for every single Republican who said we should respect the office of the presidency “during times of war” to scream bloody murder about this. So far? Crickets.
●●● The never-to-be-missed Glenn Greenwald: The Roots of the UC-Davis Pepper Spraying. (Not the best title.) He talks about the right — on paper, as in the Constitution — of American to freedom of speech and a right to assembly but how that is rather quickly being quashed by our authoritarian government:
The genius of this approach is how insidious its effects are: because the rights continue to be offered on paper, the citizenry continues to believe it is free. They believe that they are free to do everything they choose to do, because they have been “persuaded” — through fear and intimidation — to passively accept the status quo. As Rosa Luxemburg so perfectly put it: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” Someone who sits at home and never protests or effectively challenges power factions will not realize that their rights of speech and assembly have been effectively eroded because they never seek to exercise those rights; it’s only when we see steadfast, courageous resistance from the likes of these UC-Davis students is this erosion of rights manifest.
Pervasive police abuses and intimidation tactics applied to peaceful protesters — pepper-spray, assault rifles, tasers, tear gas and the rest — not only harm their victims but also the relationship of the citizenry to the government and the set of core political rights. Implanting fear of authorities in the heart of the citizenry is a far more effective means of tyranny than overtly denying rights.
●●● Quote of the day: From Greenwald’s piece, immediately above:
Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.
– Rosa Luxemburg.
●●● Reminds me of Martin Luther King, Jr’s:
A riot is the language of the unheard.
Due to the aggressive and repressive way in which the
police henchmen for the top 1% have responded to Occupy Wall Street protests across the United States, authorities in other countries feel justified in doing the same, or worse:
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…
The United States has lost the moral authority to speak out against governments who brutalize their citizens. It signals a tragic and dangerous turn in world politics. If the United States does it, it must be OK.
At 9:16 p.m. ET: Here’s a live feed from the campus of UCDavis (see below if you don’t know what’s going on there).
Granted, it’s via the corporate media — CBS — so it could go dark at any minute but it’s on now, here.
I will never understand why people in high places lie when there is immediate access to video evidence proving that they are.
Such is the case with UC-Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza. This is what she said about the incident early Friday evening when one of her officers pepper sprayed a group of Occupy protesters who were peacefully seated on the ground,
Spicuzza told the Sacramento Bee that police used the pepper spray after they were surrounded. Protesters were warned repeatedly beforehand that force would be used if they didn’t move, she said.
“There was no way out of that circle,” Spicuzza said. “They were cutting the officers off from their support. It’s a very volatile situation.”
Here is a picture of “that circle” and the “very volatile situation:”
And here is video.
Annette Spicuzza is a liar.
This happened at a U.C.-Davis Occupy protest Friday afternoon.
Here’s a still photo of the cop who started it all. Look a the ho-hum expression on his face. He might as well be mowing his lawn:
Now that so many cities have banned camping in parks or near city halls in response to the Occupy movement, it’s going to be very interesting indeed to see how people like Christine Orta of Tampa, Florida are treated:
Christine Orta of Tampa is ready to take advantage of big Black Friday deals at her local Best Buy. She’s so ready, in fact, that she started camping out in a tent in front of the store on Wednesday, a full nine days before the deals will be offered, NBC affiliate Tampa Bay Online reports (h/t The Consumerist).
But Orta’s not alone in her quest for discounts, she’s camping with three other families who plan to share resources while awaiting the biggest shopping day of the year.
So it’s OK for people to camp out when they’re being a consumer, like Ms. Orta or these people who camped outside an Apple store in New York City to buy an iPod:
But when people are protesting the corporatocracy, it isn’t.
I’d say that’s a telling example of where our priorities lie.
I just got this tweet:
And Tim Cool, the intrepid guy who’s been live streaming all day (go here to watch), just said he thinks there might be as many as 30,000 people there (at City Hall Park, preparing to march to the Brooklyn Bridge).
So cool. This is what America looks like!
The United States has completely lost its way:
Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two named Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on a government application in order to obtain food stamps.
Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you have a record of criminal drug offenses. States have the option of opting out of that federal ban, but Mississippi is not one of those states. Since McLemore had four drug convictions in her past, she was ineligible to receive food stamps, so she lied about her past in order to feed her two children.
The total “cost” of her fraud was $4,367. She has paid the money back. But paying the money back was not enough for federal Judge Henry Wingate.
Judge Wingate said this about McLemore:
“The defendant’s criminal record is simply abominable …. She has been the beneficiary of government generosity in state court.”
Like McLemore, fraud defendants like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank have “been the beneficiary of government generosity.” Goldman got $12.9 billion just through the AIG bailout. Citigroup got $45 billion, plus hundreds of billions in government guarantees.All of these companies have been repeatedly dragged into court for fraud, and not one individual defendant has ever been forced to give back anything like a significant portion of his ill-gotten gains. The closest we’ve come is in a fraud case involving Citi, in which a pair of executives, Gary Crittenden and Arthur Tildesley, were fined the token amounts of $100,000 and $80,000, respectively, for lying to shareholders about the extent of Citi’s debt.
Neither man was forced to admit to intentional fraud. Both got to keep their jobs.
Can you hear me screaming now?