Category Archives: Outside world

#OccupyOakland General Strike Recon 11/2

Photos below are from just before noon today along likely General Strike march route.

The port police are ready, OPD is ready. Make sure to stay visible to BART riders. Bring lots of water, energy bars, clothing (will be cold later!!), led flashlights… coordinate with your peeps by social media and RADIO. If police can check up on us with infiltrators, we can do same with police band radio checkups. Perhaps carry fingernail clippers in your back pocket to clip zipties. Onward!

Port police patrolling 7th Street, above.

Below you’ll find OPD squad cars, motorcycle patrolmen, City of Oakland Public Works trucks… all hands on deck today. For better or worse.

Very glad to see and hear today on KPFA that protestors demonstrated in front of all the BIG TAPEWORM BANKS I’ve railed against repeatedly here on my blog in 2008, 2009, 2010.

People are finally getting it.  How many Oakland “progressives” bank with these zombie banks which are sucking us dry?

Lest I repeat myself… big banks who received bailout “tarp” money 2008+:

  1. Bank of America/ Merril Lynch (more recently, $75 Trillion of derivatives moved to “Fed”/Treasury books!! unholy bailout of 2011!)
  2. Wells Fargo/Wachovia (drug money launderers, not to mention mortgage nonsense)
  3. J. P. Morgan Chase  / WaMu
  4. HSBC
  5. ING – another Euro bank we bailed out
  6. CitiBank – massive fail
  7. Societie Generale – FRENCH bank we bailed out due to their own risky “mortgage-backed securities” fraud schemes failing – to the tune of billions of dollars

The elites/oligarchs/plutocracy doesn’t count every vote. They buy votes. What they DO count is every DOLLAR. Move your Dollars!!

2:30PM Update: More great photos from today so far:

Aerial view of city hall plaza

Challenge Corporate Power banner (“skyscraper” format for you ad network folks)

Crowd at Bway/14th this morning

One of two streetlamp climbers hoisting anti-zombie bank banner by CHASE Bank this morning at Webster/20th

And… where is FRANK CHU??? (12 Galaxies)

 

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Bitter Tea and Tasty Sandwiches: Yesterday’s MTC “You Choose Bay Area” Workshop and “Tea Party” Eruptions

Attended MTC’s second Oakland spring workshop for Bay Area future planning and visioning tonight, May 24th, 2011.  The visioning process is called “You Choose Bay Area” which is part of ABAG and MTC’s “One Bay Area” project.  You can “vote” on the type of sub/urban future you’d like to see at the YCBA site. The workshop was from 5:30-8:30pm with basic box sandwich dinners provided.  Ham, roast beef, tuna and chicken. Tea was also provided…though not by MTC. I’ll dive into that later.

The purpose of this event (like the oversubscribed May 19th workshop I missed) was for residents of Alameda County to tell the MTC what they’d like their future to be like: Business As Usual or new and different.  How to prioritize land use and transportation options, policies and incentives and tax money.  Everyone did that quite well, though some less civilly.

The night’s most memorable negative feature was the sizable and obnoxious contingent of all-white* folks mostly from Livermore, Alamo, Dublin and other 680/580 suburbs. Some people might call these people “Tea Partyers.”  They were variously very dismissive, distrustful, extremely rude/shrill/loud/uncouth, (think Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin and ten of their dittohead friends in a room), ignorant about fossil fuel realities and were completely “antiMTC, public mass transit, planning, taxes, regulations and density. By re-arranging the letters in WASP, we get SAWP, or Super Angry White People. That’s what they were.

[*5/28/2011: At this point, let’s take a break and discuss race. I couldn’t help but notice that all the people who were loud, or anti-MTC/transit, happened to be white.  Does that mean the tensions in the room were due to race issues? In some people’s minds it very well could play a strong part. In a better read of the situation, it really boiled down to who was from newer  suburbs/exurbs, vs who was from older suburbs and urban cities.  Urban workshop participants were also largely white, but far more racially mixed (Asian, black, etc) given the more mixed demographics of the urban Bay Area.  I’m leaving the text as I wrote it, but keep this in mind. It’s more of a “inland vs coastal” sparring match. In microcosm, the US coasts vs the “heartland.” You can see charts of this I commissioned in 2008 for a city sustainability study.

Inlanders from the 680 valley were defending their car-based single family home way of life against decreased funding for them (which they’ve enjoyed for decades mind you), and increasing funding for less car-based, more “dense and convenient” ways of life.  I also have to note, based on the Bay Citizen story this week, that it is self-serving for Tea Party efforts to be led by a sales commission-based realtor… but still the main tension is over “The Economy, Stupid.” Also, there are no black UN (US) helicopters forcing people out of their SFHs and cars back into cities… economics alone do that. We’re in the “maturity and death” part of our society cycle right now. A new society will be born in the US by 2030. Now back to original post…]

You could say they were the ultimate version of that group of NIMBYs in North Oakland and Berkeley who frown upon any buildings taller than two stories or  Bus Rapid Transit. From talking to other people who tried to engage with them, and seeing their actions and hearing their words, I could see that they were there to get their point across to MTC (fine) but their manner of doing so was extremely rude. “Ghetto” would not be far from accurate. They were a riot. The irony! Continue reading

Behind Government Budget Problems

Sutro Baths Steps by sirgious
Sutro Baths Steps, a photo by sirgious on Flickr.

This month’s post by Gail the Actuary explains our country’s (and the world’s) economic situation better than I ever could, so here it is.

This obviously speaks for Oakland as well, since we’re one of hundreds of US cities built upon a once lustrous but increasingly potholed and cracked foundation of cheap (and now all burnt up) oil and gasoline.

We’ll need to find other means of social lubrication, and in the meantime, don’t be poor!

The ramifications touch every part of our society, and thus I’ve tagged this with all categories. Put on your systems thinking cap and get reading!

2011: Reality check

It’s been a rough year economically in the US for most people. Next year will be rougher. The ‘new normal’ will keep sinking in terms of most people’s ability to borrow and spend money, find jobs, take long car trips and dine out. Not ideal, not terrible, more flight to quality over quantity, more focus on basics. At least it will be for people with brains and open eyes.

Here is what Governor-elect Jerry Brown (former Oakland mayor) said about California’s 2011 budget this past Tuesday a while ago per LATimes:

“We’ll present a budget on Jan. 10. It will be a very tough budget, but it will be transparent,” he said. “We’ll lay it out as best I can. We’ve been living in fantasy land. It is much worse than I thought. I’m shocked.”

Continue reading

Municipal budget fire to keep adding alarms

Today’s Opinion

Pensions. Unions. Full-time jobs with benefits. Dinosaurs. What do these four things have in common? Continue reading

How to spiff up Oakland BART stations: Go Corporate

Add an Apple Store right outside, apparently!

At least, that is how it went down in Chicago recently. Check this out:

Apple invests in public transit

Well, urban living is the past and it will be the future, so why not beat (or keep up with) the Joneses? This is an example of a “public-private partnership” or P3 — similar to PBS being “funded in part by” Chevron Oily Mess Corporation, Your Tapeworm Bank Name Here, etc. Continue reading

.get your influence peddling on.

fyi….

September 30th  is the last day you can give free money to your Oakland mayoral candidates — and have it “count” on the chessboard of public opinion. (Since figures will be released early October.)

Continue reading