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2011 October — Why Now?
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Posts from — October 2011

Befehl ist Befehl.

That is the simplest statement of the Nuremberg defense in German – “An order is an order.” Normally it is presented in the more elaborate form “I was just following orders” as a defense against prosecution.

Comrade Misfit has a post up, “Patrolman, Go Beat That Defenseless Old Woman to Death!”, that concerns the latest scandal in the NYPD, primarily dealing with fixing tickets, and has a picture of a protest by members of the patrolman’s union with signs that read “Just Following Orders”.

Fixing tickets is a Class A Misdemeanor in New York under Official Misconduct [Article 195.00 NYSPL]. Cops are paid to prevent crimes, not commit them. If someone in a white shirt told you to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it?

The defense didn’t work for the German General Staff, and it won’t work for NYPD officers.

October 31, 2011   2 Comments

Halloween Cat Blogging

I’m Not Evil

Halloween Cat Blogging

It’s only the black cats that are evil… well, and the fluffy white cats who hang around with evil geniuses… OK, so some people are nervous about calicos… I guess Ted means you have to include the tuxedo cats… but no one thinks brown and beige tabbies are evil.

[Editor: Ted is found at Poor Mouth , and he is proud to be listed with evil cats everywhere. Despite appearances Excise is more of a klutz that evil… I mean: is that face evil? Really? You think so?

October 31, 2011   9 Comments

More Resigned Clergy

Now a supporter of the removal of the protestors: St Paul’s Dean Graeme Knowles resigns over protests

The dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London has resigned, saying his position had become untenable.

The Very Rev Graeme Knowles said the past fortnight had been a testing time.

It follows weeks of protests outside the cathedral by anti-capitalist protesters, which led to the building being closed for several days.

The news comes as the City of London authorities ordered protesters outside St Paul’s to remove their tents and equipment within 48 hours.

Dean Knowles said he was stepping down “with great sadness”.

I assume that ‘Highway’ has a somewhat different meaning in Britain, probably going back to the original when it was any passage raised above the muck that was a feature of the life of the Middle Ages.

It is a bit of stretch to call the multi-nationals and 1% ‘capitalists’, plutocrats is closer to reality.

October 31, 2011   Comments Off on More Resigned Clergy

A Little Justice

The BBC reports that MF Global files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

US brokerage firm MF Global has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after revealing £4bn of eurozone debt exposure.

The US brokerage, which has 2,000 staff worldwide including 600 in London, is said to be planning to sell its assets to rival Interactive Brokers Group.

Jon Corzine, who took over as chief executive of MF Global last year, made big bets on sovereign bonds issued by European countries, it is claimed.

MF Global’s roots go back nearly 230 years to a sugar brokerage on the banks of the River Thames in London.

They lost big bets made by a new CEO and they were a very old established firm. That’s the quick read.

This is being reported because it could be the first ‘rock’ of the coming avalanche caused by greed and austerity, but the mention of the sugar trade of 230 years ago should have reminded those that stayed awake in history class of the Atlantic Triangular Slave Trade, sugar being a major element of that system.

Even more interesting is the CEO. Yes, it is the same Jon Corzine who was a CEO of Goldman-Sachs before becoming a Senator and then governor of New Jersey. He was such a wonderful governor, that the voters elected Chris Christy to replace him. A dyed through the hide cerulean cur of a Democrat, who showed people where Zero wants to take the entire country. The 1% enjoy the thrill of gambling, but they do it with other people’s money.

Update: according to Duncan’s quoted article it would seem to have been ‘other people’s money’.

October 31, 2011   Comments Off on A Little Justice

All Hallowed Evening

Jack o' lanternWhether you celebrate Celtic New Year’s Eve [Samhain], the evening before All Saints Day [Halloween], or the posting of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 [Reformation Day], have a happy one.

Wikipedia does its normally thorough job of covering all of the bases on the holidays that share October 31st.

My remembrances of Halloween

These “harvest festivals” aren’t fooling anyone.

October 31, 2011   Comments Off on All Hallowed Evening


People are beginning to notice that some of the worst abuses against the right to ‘assemble and petition for the redress of grievances’ are in cities with Democrats for mayors and governors. Are they on a special mailing list telling them that ‘hippie punching’ is the approved policy in the party?

It has been noted that while the local affiliates of ABC and CBS had live feeds on the march protesting the destruction of Occupy Oakland, both feeds were cut off just as the marchers encountered the police line. Strange coincidence that… must be why there is no video of ‘the protestors throwing rocks and bottles’ … [/sarcasm]

October 30, 2011   6 Comments

Yes, Badtux, There Is A Confidence Fairy

October 30, 2011   6 Comments

In Other News

Well, now we know the name of the woman who created and was carrying what Barry Ritholtz called ‘The Greatest OWS Protest Sign Ever’. skippy reports that her name is Caitlan Curran, and she was a freelancer for public radio station WNYC until she told them that it was her.

The ‘whipped dog syndrome’ of public broadcasting is a thing to pity, but not to support. The PRI business program, Marketplace, took a different approach. They had a segment that discussed the contents of the sign seriously.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Occupy Wall Street isn’t a political movement, nor is it affiliated with any political party. They are asking that the government return to its roots and represent the interests of the majority of the actual people in the country.

On a more political note, Badtux reviews Zero’s student loan plan. If you haven’t got a job, it doesn’t make any difference if you are given an opportunity to consolidate your student loans. I haven’t seen it mentioned, but normally there are fees associated with refinancing, and, given the example of HAMP, you probably have to be current on your payments to apply.

October 29, 2011   16 Comments

The 1% Are Clueless

Qantas, the Australian airline, has been in labor negotiations with its union over a new contract with the standard position that the airline has to cut costs, so the workers are going to have to sacrifice pay and benefits. Pretty standard starting position, but then it got very strange as ABC business analyst, Peter Ryan, notes: Grounding eroding Qantas’ reputation

Then there is increasing scrutiny of Mr Joyce’s $5 million pay deal approved by shareholders on Friday.

Even with a 71 per cent increase, Mr Joyce is a discount chief executive compared the $10 million his successor Geoff Dixon received in his final year.

But taking a significant pay increase while asking unions to compromise and to trade in traditional terms and conditions is raising the cynicism stakes with the government and general community.

That’s right, while asking for the workers to take a hit, he got a 71% raise to $5 million, and then he grounded the entire fleet, a lockout, stranding people all over the world.

Qantas is losing millions of dollars every day this continues. It is seriously annoying the customers, and the secondary vendors who serve those customers. I am trying to determine what Mr. Joyce hopes to achieve other than bankruptcy.

Virgin Australia is rushing to be ‘helpful’ to the stranded Qantas customers, and other airlines are ramping up to fill the opening, so other than losing market share, this makes no sense.

With thinking like this, the guy was being paid way too much before the raise.

October 29, 2011   9 Comments

The Plutocrats Still Flailing

McClatchy reports [unlike most of the M$M] Occupy Oakland: Officials shift into damage control

Civil rights attorney Jim Chanin, who has fought the department on many reform issues, said the department on Tuesday had violated its own crowd-control rules, which call for medical services to be available when tear gas and other control measures are used.

Under court order, the department signed a policy requiring the safety precaution, stemming from a 2003 protest in which officers fired “less-than-lethal” munitions on a crowd at the Port of Oakland protesting the war in Iraq.

These jerks are already under a consent decree, and they pull this crap. Everyone above the rank of patrol officer should be replaced before they corrupt any more officers who actually want to do the job.

Given the murder rate in Oakland, what in hell is the police department doing worrying about a camp out?

The BBC reports Occupy Wall Street: Arrests in Nashville and San Diego

Protesters in two US cities have been detained after police moved into their camps during the night.

In Nashville, a new law was enacted preventing camping overnight near the Tennessee state Capitol.

In San Diego, police arrested 51 people at 02:30 (9:30 GMT), removing tents, canopies, tables and other furniture.

On the US East Coast, many of those taking part in Occupy protests are preparing for an unseasonally cold storm due to hit this weekend.

They had to pass a new law to make what the Occupy movement was doing illegal, so they could suppress their rights. That was a feature of the Soviet system also. San Diego has always attacked any idea to the left of Genghis Khan.

Tsar Michael is at it again: Protesters lose generators amid Occupy crackdowns nationwide. The Tsar has decided that generators are a ‘fire hazard’ that can’t be permitted in an open air plaza. What about all of the construction sites?

In the UK London in legal action to oust Occupy protest. This is to best of my knowledge the City of London, which is a separate entity within metropolitan London. It is the financial district, and is self-governing.

Jams O’Donnell chimes in on this decision which is dividing the clergy. A senior cleric, Fraser Dyer, a chaplain at St. Paul’s Cathedral, has resigned over this decision.

The 1% are looking for a way to shut the protest down, are willing to write new laws and find new violations to do it. Given their history of lying, cheating, and stealing, it should surprise no one. The scum floats to the top of the sewage retention pond.

October 28, 2011   2 Comments

Post-Tropical Cyclone Rina – Day 6

Post-Tropical Cyclone RinaPosition: 21.9N 86.1W [ 4PM CDT 2100 UTC].
Movement: East-Northeast [060°] near 5 mph [ 7 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 30 mph [ 45 kph].
Wind Gusts: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1007 mb ↑.

Currently about 110 miles [175 km] North-Northeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

All Watches and Warnings have been cancelled as Rina is being systematically dismantled by strong upper level wind shear.

The storm has degenerated into a remnant low. This is the final advisory.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

October 28, 2011   Comments Off on Post-Tropical Cyclone Rina – Day 6

Friday Cat Blogging

The Underhouse Family Dinner

Friday Cat Blogging

Quick, he’s watching!

[Editor: All three surfaced from under the house to grab some grub [spoonfuls of wet cat food], before retiring to their seclusion.

Friday Ark

October 28, 2011   3 Comments


Having publicly praised the ‘work’ of the Oakland Police Department et al. for vandalizing the Occupy Oakland encampment, Think Progress carries the report that Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Says She Will Minimize Police Presence And That She Supports The Movement.

It is too late for her 180° turn. She is toast as a politician. She should have reviewed the videos before issuing her ‘Heck of job, Brownie!’ statement to the media. She has lost all credibility with her base.

I have seen people saying that flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets were used on the Oakland demonstrators, and I didn’t see any more evidence of that, than evidence of protestors throwing rocks and bottles at the police.

I did see a lot of tear gas canisters thrown, and the obvious results of using 12 gauge ‘bean bag’ rounds. The tear gas produces a flash and a bang when it ignites, and this is a typical “bean bag” injury.

They have reduced the powder load on the ‘bean bag’ rounds, and no longer fill them with #9 shot, but the procedure is no closer that 20 feet, and go for the abdomen. The picture shows someone who was probably closer, and was hit in the head. The rounds can break bones, which is why you don’t fire at the head or the chest where there is little tissue to cushion the shock to the bone. That said, someone hit in the abdomen at up to 30 feet can have internal injuries. and bleeding. These weapons are ‘non-lethal’, not ‘non-wounding’.

Frankly, the claims of demonstrators throwing rocks and bottles would have been more believable if the police were carrying the plastic shields to protect themselves from that threat. They apparently didn’t think they were necessary.

October 27, 2011   4 Comments

Tropical Storm Rina – Day 5

Tropical Storm RinaPosition: 20.5N 87.2W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: North [360°] near 7 mph [11 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 70 miles [110 km].
Hurricane Wind Radius: 15 miles [ 20 km].
Minimum central pressure: 996 mb ↑.

Currently about 20 miles [ 30 km] West of Cozumel, Mexico.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Northeast Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Punta Allen to San Felipe.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

October 27, 2011   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Rina – Day 5