A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
- Prairie Weather


“Protest works. Just look at the proof”


The last place you will hear about the new American labor movement is in big American outlets.

Via lambert, via susie. See them, their blogrolls, Twitter hash tag #1u and just about any other outlet where citizens can get the word out.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

The CIW is a community-based organization of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida. Via.


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« Wisconsin Goes to DC | Main | We are the media - Corrente edition »

Weekend wrapup

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post


Our image in the Muslim world would probably improve if we stopped killing so many Muslims that I have to fucking pad my fucking sentences to make room for all of the fucking links.


Combat operations have concluded for:

  1. Army Staff Sgt. Robert B. Cowdrey, 39, of Atwater, OH.
  2. Marine Lance Cpl. Scott D. Harper, 21, of Winston, GA.
  3. Army Sgt. Nathan L. Wyrick, 34, of Enumclaw, WA.
  4. Army Chief Warrant Officer James B. Wilke, 38, of Ione, CA.
  5. Army Capt. Drew E. Russell, 25, of Scotts, MI.
  6. Army Capt. Joshua S. Lawrence, 29, of Nashville, TN.
  7. Army Spc. Ricardo Cerros Jr., 24, of Salinas, CA.
Via.

Days since Washington Post has updated its Faces of the Fallen site: 14.


Two US drones crash in south Somalia. Here is your updated drone crash scorecard:


The Occupy movement is not issuing demands or seeking electoral solutions. Direct actions like this are helping out people right now in the real world. I’m not sure how perpetual negotiating with corrupt politicians seeking to drain the vitality of the movement would be an improvement. Good for them - great for them - and here’s hoping they keep it up.

It seems to me one of the goals of the occupations is to route around a broken and corrupt political/media establishment. Proposals like this are audacious, in line with the movement’s approach so far, and about as clear a repudiation of the status quo as you could ask for. It is the ultimate route around, and sends about as clear a message as you could want to the powers that be: We have withdrawn our consent for you to govern. That, my friends, is a potentially earth-shaking development.

UPDATE: Video of the foreclosure blockade (via):



Amazing and inspiring.


Catching up. I overlooked this last week, so here it is (via) better late than never. Charles P. Pierce:

Sal Cioffi and Randy Otero are union electricians from Local 3 of the IBEW in New York. They’re working on the Freedom Tower a few blocks over in lower Manhattan. Over the past couple of days, they’ve taken to having their lunch in Zuccotti Park, in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street protesters who have set up camp here. The event has grown sufficiently that it’s now attracted almost as many food trucks and mobile falafel units as it has television-news trucks, so there’s always some place for Sal and Randy to buy lunch. So they park themselves on the stone bench, put their hard hats on the ground and, almost organically, they become part of the event.

“We’ve had demonstrations, and it never makes the news,” says Sal. “We could have 10,000 workers demonstrating, and it won’t make the news. At least, something like this, they get the publicity.”
This is why coalitions matter. Union workers marching over collective bargaining issues can be dismissed as parochial concerns. But add in lots of people who aren’t in that union, who don’t have a direct stake in the outcome and who are acting solely out of enlightened self interest: Well now you might just get lots more peoples’ attention.

Occupy Wall Street hits its one month anniversary tomorrow, which is awesome and inspiring.


When you start seeing strong presence at places like Occupy Pensacola you know something big is happening. (Via @SocialApocalyps retweet.)

Occupy Cleveland goes polka:



I love those people.


This is incredibly funny only because I am no longer capable of outrage:

Meanwhile, President Obama decried this plot as “a flagrant violation of US and international law.” But maybe some Persian Marty Lederman in Tehran wrote a secret legal memo concluding that this was all in accordance with domestic and international law, which - as we know - is conclusive and provides a full shield of immunity.


Suzanna Andrews on Elizabeth Warren:

She went on television shows to criticize the government’s secrecy, the huge bank bonuses, the fact that even after the bailout the banks had escaped disciplinary measures. Obama’s top economic advisers, according to a former administration official, thought Warren was “a pain in the ass.” On Wall Street, Warren was regarded, says one bank vice-chairman, as “the Devil incarnate,” and, according to another executive, a “showboater,” who didn’t really know what she was talking about.

But her sin was actually quite the opposite: she knew what she was talking about. Wall Street’s power in Washington, says a former congressional staffer who worked on the Dodd-Frank bill, has been built partly on the fact that few people outside Wall Street understand the esoterica of finance - the intricacies of C.D.O.’s and the labyrinthian structures of credit-default swaps. And that knowledge is used to control and confuse. But Warren did understand. Says Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democratic representative, “She understands the information as well as the top players in the business.” She knew the secret handshake, the secret language - and she used it against “that tight little group,” as Warren would refer to Wall Street C.E.O.’s and Washington officials who basically controlled the terms of the bailout.


John Cole is hilariously jaded, but here’s the thing: observations like this really do cut through all the crap.

And so, the jobs bill is dead. It didn’t go down exactly how I expected it would, but close enough. I would have thought the GOP would have found a way to separate the tax breaks from the “useless” spending on teachers, roads, etc., and then allowed the Democrats to pass that and take the hit from their base, but it turns out that straight up nihilism wins. Out of a job? You’re on your own, folks. The GOP have an election to win, and the obvious two pronged approach is doing whatever they can to destroy the economy while actively engaging in voter suppression.

All that is left now is for Chuck Todd and David Gregory to explain how this is a failure on the part of Obama.
I’d say he understands the Village better than Villagers themselves, but I think they understand all this every bit as well as he does. It’s just that John will tell you what’s going on and they won’t.


The GOP debates have brought out the funny in everyone. The commentary on Twitter and various blogs after this week’s were a scream. Here is one of my favorites:

I predict at least one own-goal gaffe by Willard (probably in his role as a lifelong denizen of the Uncanny Valley), something egregiously offensive to those of us who are not straight white men with money from one or more of the non-NH-based candidates, and - unless the security services conduct rigorous TSA-style body searches plus multiple auditorium sweeps - a hail of beer cans from the audience during the now-established “viral video GOP embarrassment” round.
Winning tweets here and here.


Jim Crow Republicans on the march.


Things could actually get a lot worse. Via.


ECONNED EXCERPT from pp. 172-3:

In 1977, John Meriwether, later of Long Term Capital Management fame (or infamy), set up a spread trading unit, the Domestic Bond Arbitrage Desk. The group would speculate with house money, a principal trading group, and not make prices to customers. Meriwether had a string quantitative bent and as his gambles paid off, he was made partner in 1980. He recognized something that everyone heretofore had missed: trading could be approached in a far more rigorous fashion. In 1983, he started hiring financial economists, many of them with MIT affiliations. They went churning through data looking for past relationships and tried to divine future patterns. They also hunted for inefficiencies for the traders to exploit.

As the group started minting money, Meriwether’s reach expanded. The Bond Arbitrage Group traded corporate bonds, Japanese warrants, Eurobonds, and junk bonds, creating frictions with the traders who worked in the same markets trading customer order flow.

Gutfreund was no longer in control. Although called the King of Wall Street in those days as Salomon moved from strength to strength, Gutfreund had only a dim notion of what the Bond Arbitrage Group or even the mortgage backed traders were really up to. The complexity and mathematical intensiveness of these profit machines were beyond his ken. Even worse, he failed to install proper controls on the other rapidly growing areas, such as derivatives and mortgage trading. Salomon showed huge losses when the mistakes surfaced.

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