Quote of the day

Peter Linebaugh quotes Heinrich Heine while discussing the destruction of the Liberty Place library:

… wo man Bücher verbrennt,

Verbrennt man

Auch am Ende Menschen.

(Where man burns books he will burn people.)

Quote of the day

Bob Urie takes a union to task:

Last week SEIU (Service Employees International Union) echoed the language of the Occupy Wall Street movement to give an early endorsement to Barack Obama in his re-election bid for the presidency in 2012. Service Employees International UnionFor both tactical and strategic reasons this endorsement works against the interests of organized labor. And using the language of OWS to endorse the singular symbol of American political dysfunction undermines the efforts of the thousands of OWS protesters who have put themselves at significant risk of physical harm to bring about substantive political and social change.

We might have to travel back to the early 1970s to find a labor bureaucrat making a blunder of this magnitude. I’m referring, of course, to decrepit and foolish George Meany‘s dance macabre with Richard Nixon and George McGovern. Meany hated McGovern for, among other things, McGovern’s opposition to the Vietnam War. Yet McGovern was the most pro-labor candidate for President of the two legacy parties in the nation’s history! The upshot: Not only was the 1972 Presidential election “big labor’s” nadir within the Democratic Party, the election also stands alone as the signal event marking the political realignment brought about by the ascendency of the New Right.

Mary Kay Henry — a fool belonging to a tradition made by fools.

A Philly Cop joined an Occupy Wall Street March!

His sign:

Quote of the day

Gabriel Kolko wrote:

The best argument for radicalism is the status quo itself.

Coincidence?

If it seemed to you that the recent evictions of some local occupations were directly related, reports indicate you may have been right to suspect the actions were instances of a coordinated effort. As Gregg Levine of FireDogLake states:

Embattled Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, speaking in an interview with the BBC (excerpted on The Takeaway radio program–audio of Quan starts at the 5:30 mark), casually mentioned that she was on a conference call with leaders of 18 US cities shortly before a wave of raids broke up Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country. “I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation. . . .”

Look at the Empire striking back

Some American cities have recently cleansed or have attempted to cleanse the following occupations from their public and private parks:

  • Austin
  • Chapel Hill
  • Denver
  • New York
  • Oakland
  • Portland
  • Richmond
  • St. Louis

The authorities might find suppressing a decentered and informally organized movement difficult, akin, perhaps, to herding cats.

Democrats on the Super Committee offer to cut Medicare benefits

It was big money, too. They did it before, and they’ll do it again till they make cuts the Republicans will accept. As Jon Walker noted, “No wonder young people upset about income inequality are occupying the streets instead of rallying to elect Democrats. Americans need something better than just austerity lite.”

Idle hands are the devil's workshop

A bad day for the Republican Party…

…is a good day for democracy in America! Attaturk summarized the carnage at FireDogLake:

  • Ohio voters reject Issue 2, thus conserving collective bargaining rights of public sector unions in Ohio and thereby embarrassing Governor Kasich.
  • Mississippi’s voters soundly defeated Amendment 26, the so-called the personhood initiative.
  • Maine voters voted overwhelmingly for Question 1, thus restoring same-day election registration in Maine.
  • Arizona voters opted to recall State Senator Russell Pearce, a Republican and the author of Arizona SB 1070, the notorious Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.
  • Iowa voters elected Democrat Liz Mathis to the State Senate, a result which retained a 26-24 pro Democrat split in the Senate and which undermined Iowa’s Republican Governor’s ability to pursue his arch-conservative agenda.

Bond markets push Italy closer to the abyss

The New York Times reports:

Italy’s financial crisis deepened on Wednesday despite a pledge by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign once Parliament passes austerity measures demanded by the European Union.

The move failed to convince investors, propelling Italy’s borrowing costs through a key financial and psychological barrier of 7 per cent, close to levels that have required other euro zone countries to seek bailouts. Cornered by world markets and humiliated by a parliamentary setback, Mr. Berlusconi appeared to become the most prominent victim of the broader European debt crisis. But his decision did not remove wide uncertainty about Italy’s ability to tackle the crisis, and some analysts said the prospect of a protracted period of political wrangling could exert further pressure for a quicker exit from the impasse.

Kulturkampf

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