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PORTSIDE  October 2011, Week 2

PORTSIDE October 2011, Week 2

Subject:

Tidbits - October 10, 2011

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:05:49 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (325 lines)

Tidbits - October 10, 2011
* Freedom Plaza Is Now Ours
* Bread & Roses Centennial Fundraiser
* Afghan casualty study on Democracy Now
* Re: Occupy Wall Street:  For What? For Whom? Where?
Why? (Peter Marcuse) 
* Re: Something Big Is Happening:
Occupy Together; Why the 99 Percent is Crying... (John,
Jean, Brian & Chris Mulvey) 
Tidbits - October 10, 2011
* Re: Dark Energy: Can We
Explain It Away? (Thane Doss)

==========
Freedom Plaza Is Now Ours 

By David Swanson

http://warisacrime.org/content/freedom-plaza-now-ours

And we're never giving it back.  Our permit for Freedom
Plaza in Washington, D.C., expired, we refused to
leave, and the Park Police has just proposed to let us
stay for four more months.

We've agreed.  We have not said that when the four
months are over and the American Spring is here we will
leave.

In fact, we intend to make it possible for anyone to
visit D.C. with free accommodations.  Just bring a
sleeping bag and agree to work with us to pressure
Congress, the White House, K Street, the Pentagon, and
all the lobbyists and profiteers for peace and justice.
 We have free food, we have free drink, we have free
trainings and seminars, we have tents, we have peace
keepers, we have a big victory under out belts, and we
welcome all peace makers for they shall inherit Freedom
Plaza.  We own it.  It is ours.  It shall remain ours
world without end.

The Taste of DC food festival just gave us all their
remaining food.  Or at least all the individual booths
did.  Ben and Jerry's just endorsed us.  Busboys and
Poets just fed us.  Businesses that support us will be
honored and supported by 99 percent of this country.

So, here's the plan: Bring us your reports from around
the country at your local Occupations.  Fill us in here
in the Empire's Capital.  We will fill you in too.  We
will train and inspire and connect you with the rest of
this global movement.  Then go back home energized. 
Come down from New York and go back up.  We need to
coordinate on a personal level.

Our brothers and sisters in McPherson Square have a
growing occupation too.  Join them.  Join us.  We're
family.  We disrupted the work of the NSA today, and
the Association of the Army's convention at which our
women had generals crawling under tanks to avoid
cameras.  We shut down a celebration of Christopher
Columbus as well.

And Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. sharp in Our Freedom
Plaza we will set off to "welcome" Congress back to
town.  Join us.  We are legion.

The one thing that we need now is money, and you can
contribute it at http://october2011.org

Or you can wait for the bankster war machine to
confiscate your money, eat your retirement, swallow
your healthcare, foreclose on your home, and tax you
into debt to pay for plutocrats' profiteering.

It's up to you.

It's up to us.
-- 


===
From: 	Robert Forrant 
Date: 	October 10, 2011
Subject: Bread & Roses Centennial Fundraiser

Hello,

In just three months we will begin to celebrate and
learn from the Bread & Rose Strike, which tool place in
lawrence, MA in 1912. Many aspects of the strike
resonate today. Working people suffered from terribly
low wages and dangerous working conditions when they
were fortunate enough to have a job. Immigrant workers
were highly exploited by many of Lawrence's mill
owners. Women comprised a large number of the low-wage
mill workers and they made up a large number of the
25,000 workers who walked off the job in January 1912.

The centennial years provides us with an opportunity to
link worker struggles then and now. We need your
support to make this happen.

On October 23 at 4:00PM at Temple Emanuel in Andover,
MA we are hosting a fundraiser concert to raise money
to support a full calendar of events spread across
2012. This is our only large-scale fundraiser and we
need you to buy tickets!

A BESERE VELT, THE YIDDISH COMMUNITY CHORUS OF THE
BOSTON WORKMEN'S CIRCLE will perform "The Cloth from
Which They Are Cut," a concert in commemoration of the
100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.

For ticket information and to purchase your tickets on
line visit: breadandrosescentennial.org

All tickets are being sold on line.

Thanks for your support of all of us who have been
working on Centennial events for the past several
months and we hope to see you and three of your friends
on October 23.

And, if you've already purchased your tickets, thank
you.

Prof. Robert Forrant UMass Lowell Dept. of History,
978-934-2904 Co-director, Center for Family, Work &
Community, 978-934-4675 Chair, Bread & Roses Strike
Centennial Committee

****

From:Michael Zweig 
Subject: Afghan casualty study on Democracy Now! 
Date: 	October 10, 2011

Michael Zweig appeared on Democracy Now! this morning
to discuss findings in the new report "American
Military Deaths in Afghanistan, and the Communities
from Which These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines
Came," by Michael Zweig, Michael Porter, and Yuxiang
Huang.  Here are the links to the segment from
Democracy Now!

HEADLINE: America's Longest War: New Study Examines
Demographics of U.S. Casualties in Afghanistan

LINK:
http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/10/americas_longest_war_new_study_examines

YOUTUBE: See the interview posted at
http://www.YouTube.com/democracynow

Marking the tenth anniversary of the start of the
current war in Afghanistan, the Center for Study of
Working Class Life at the State University of New York
at Stony Brook releases its report "American Military
Deaths in Afghanistan, and the Communities from Which
These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines Came," by
Michael Zweig, Michael Porter, and Yuxiang Huang.

The study presents a detailed picture of the men and
women who have died in the war, and the communities
which have lost them.  It compares these findings with
people and communities in the country as a whole.  The
report is based on a reading of obituaries and tribute
pages for each of the 1,446 U.S. military personnel who
died in Afghanistan from the start of the war in
October 2001 to the end of 2010, and analysis of Census
and other data for the communities from which they
came. The report addresses the racial and gender
composition of the dead, their education levels and
reasons for joining the military, and their position in
the class structure of the economy.  The report also
details the geographic origins of the dead and presents
key economic data for their communities.

The findings challenge a number of widely held
assumptions about the identity and motivation of
Americans who have died in Afghanistan and the economic
conditions in their home communities.  Whatever one's
views on the war, it is important to know who is dying
from doing the work of it.

See the full report and data appendixes at
<http://www.stonybrook.edu/workingclass/publications/
afghan_casualties.shtml>.

Contact Michael Zweig at 631.632.7536 (land line)
646.823.5508 (mobile) [log in to unmask]


===

* Re: Occupy Wall Street:  For What? For Whom? Where?
Why?

I've written a piece on the Occupy Wall Street movement
which may be of interest.:

"Occupy Wall Street: For What, For Whom, Where, Why?"

It makes 4 points:

1. Occupy Wall Street doesn't make specific demands.
Understandably. There is a difference between immediate
demands and claims of rights, and the Occupy movement
is about targeting claims of rights.

2. This is not only for strategic reasons - it's not
their role - but also on principle; its supporters don'
want to get into the game, they want to change its
unfair rules.

3. They do not seek consensus but understand the
inevitably of conflict. They wish to stand with the 99%
and recognize that this means losses for the 1%,  but
not losses that would seriously impinge on their needs.

4. The space they have chosen to organize their protest
is not classic public space, but space in the heart of
the territory in which the activities and forces they
target operate. It is both a physically and a
symbolically well- chosen space for their purpose.

I've added

5. A short reflection on what I saw and felt at the
march to Zuccotti Park on March 5, and

6. A somewhat flip comparison between the Occupy Wall
Street movement and several others, from the tea party
to the reform Democrats to the fringe cultural
conservatives, hinting that they are all reacting to
much the same basic insecurity/discontent.

The whole text is four pages, and I've put it on my
blog (although unsure, given the rapid advance of
communications technology, whether that's the best way
to do it?) . In any event, it's at
http://pmarcuse.wordpress.com.

Peter Marcuse Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning
School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Columbia University

==========

* Re: Something Big Is Happening: Occupy Together; Why
the 99 Percent is Crying...

Dear Mr. Hightower, I agree 100% with your analysis of
the Occupy Wall Street movement.  In fact, I briefly
joined with the protesters several weeks ago and
marched with a friend around the block with these
courageous young people.  In fact my union, the UFT and
several other NYC unions marched with them recently. 
The next time that I am in the city of New York I will
march and protest with them again to stop the Greed of
the Wall St. crowd and their rich republicans
supporters.  Keep me informed about future events and
keep up the good journalism.

Fraternally,

John, Jean, Brian and Chris Mulvey

==========

* Re: Dark Energy: Can We Explain It Away?

I haven't tried to work out the math on this, but given
that when we look further and further away, we are
looking back in time, the further back we look, the
less time gravity has had to decelerate expansion away
from the center of the Big Bang. Since we've never been
able to find anything like enough mass to result in an
oscillating universe, I'm fine with the idea that
gravity won't stop expansion. But I don't see any
reason to think that means gravity didn't work at all
in the early universe. The universe expands from the
moment of the Big Bang, yes, but after that moment,
within the space already created, gravity pulls toward
the center, and that force (a force is an acceleration
or deceleration of matter) continues over time--grower
weaker as the universe gets bigger. Things decelerated
for less time-- those things furthest away from
us--appear accelerated from our point of view a
significant portion of the age of the universe later.

Assuming a center of the Big Bang for gravity to work
toward while also assuming an expansion rapid enough to
swamp any evidence of that center except at distances
great enough for significant passage of time to have
occurred creates some constraints, but they seem less
problematic to me than a mystical dark energy or
cosmological constant. (Of course, Stephan Hawking and
Kip Thorne have probably already addressed this in
_Astrophysical Journal_ or elsewhere.)

Thane Doss
Tokyo

==========

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