Welcome! "What's Happenin'?" is a casual community diary (a daily series, 8:30 AM Eastern on weekdays, 10 AM on weekends and holidays) where we hang out and talk about the goings on here and everywhere.
We welcome links to your writings here on dkos or elsewhere, posts of pictures, music, news, etc.
Just about anything goes, but attacks and pie fights are not welcome here. This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.
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Topsail Island. (Photo by joanneleon. November, 2011)
"The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots. As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line. The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel. The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is flooded from end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel also took on water and was closed. Six bus garages were disabled by high water. We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery. Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal."
-- MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota
|The Beatles - Help||Drop in
day or night
to say hello.
News and Opinion
OCCUPY SANDY RECOVERY
Occupy Sandy is a coordinated relief effort to help distribute resources & volunteers to help neighborhoods and people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We are a coalition of people & organizations who are dedicated to implementing aid and establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution. Members of this coalition are from Occupy Wall Street, 350.org, recovers.org, InterOccupy.net and many individual volunteers.
OCCUPY SANDY RECOVERY FOR NEW JERSEYVia Amazon:
Occupy Sandy is a coordinated relief effort to help distribute resources & volunteers to help neighborhoods and people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We are a coalition of people & organizations who are dedicated to implementing aid and establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution. Members of this coalition are from Occupy, 350.org, and InterOccupy.net and many individual volunteers.
Occupy Sandy NJ and Occupy Sandy NJ's Wedding Registry
Your donations make a difference! Critical supplies support NJ residents seeking shelter, food, warmth, and human kindness in Sandy's aftermath. For up-to-date information about how to help, visit http://interoccupy.net/... or http://www.jcnjrecovery.org/. Items purchased will be sent to the Jersey City Sandy Recovery distribution center at Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne St, Jersey City, NJ, 07302. If you have Amazon Prime or are able to pay for expedited shipping, prompt delivery is GREATLY appreciated. Items may not show as purchased until they are shipped. Rest assured that they are in queue. Feedback welcome at email@example.com. @SandyRegistryNJ is Leah Barton hunkered down in Houston, TX, with strong support from Heather Balliet Lee in Jersey City. Hat tip to the original @SandyRegistry in NY. Check out https://www.facebook.com/... for additional needs. **SATURDAY UPDATE from the terrific Barrow Mansion volunteers - We are able to deprioritize food now that other organizations are up and running. We still need COATS and BLANKETS and TOOLS FOR UPCOMING RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS.** 600 BOXES have been delivered to date - details at http://tinyurl.com/.... Please spread the word through your networks! THANK YOU for your incredible support!
NOTE: This couple has requested no gift wrap.
Do the MathThe original title to this article (as you can see from the URL) as "Where FEMA fell short, Occupy Sandy was there" but somebody changed the title. I'm not sure if they edited the text too but it's a long article and well worth reading. Occupy Wall Street says that this is the NYT's first coverage of Occupy Sandy. If so, it only took the nation's so called paper of record about 11 days to report on it. I shouldn't really talk. I haven't done anything to help yet either except to promote them. KBO and I are figuring out a way to drive up this week and deliver some clothing. KBO has been bringing soups and pet food to the collection bin at Starbucks.
On November 7th, we’re hitting the road to jumpstart the next phase of the climate movement.
It’s simple math: we can burn 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount. And they’re planning to burn it all — unless we rise up to stop them.
This November, Bill McKibben and 350.org are hitting the road to build the movement that will change the terrifying math of the climate crisis. Join us.
Occupy Sandy: A Movement Moves to Relief
This stretch of the coast remained apocalyptic, with buildings burned like Dresden and ragged figures shuffling past the trash heaps. There was still no power, and parking lots were awash with ruined cars. On Wednesday morning, as the winds picked up and FEMA closed its office “due to weather,” an enclave of Occupiers was huddled in a storefront amid the devastation, handing out supplies and trying to make sure that those bombarded by last month’s storm stayed safe and warm and dry this time.
“Candles?” asked a dull-eyed woman arriving at the door.
“I’m sorry, but we’re out,” said Sofia Gallisa, a field coordinator who had been there for a week. Ms. Gallisa escorted the woman in, and someone gave her batteries for her flashlight. As she walked away, word arrived that a firehouse nearby was closing for the night; the firefighters there were hurrying their rigs to higher ground.
“It’s crazy,” Ms. Gallisa later said of the official response. “For a long time, we were the only people out here doing relief work.”
Maligned for months for its purported ineffectiveness, Occupy Wall Street has managed through its storm-related efforts not only to renew the impromptu passions of Zuccotti, but also to tap into an unfulfilled desire among the residents of the city to assist in the recovery. This altruistic urge was initially unmet by larger, more established charity groups, which seemed slow to deliver aid and turned away potential volunteers in droves during the early days of the disaster.
The People’s Bailout
Like many folks, Occupy Wall Street has been some doing good work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping people on the ground.
Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in development for months. OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT. (If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it — traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME.)
This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need — to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy. As you can see from our test run, the return on investment approaches 30:1. That’s a crazy bargain!
We never died. You just weren't paying attention, corporate media.
Occupy Sandy: With a Hurricane, a Movement is RebornThe Wall Street Journal is surprised.
The nerve center for Occupy Sandy is a church in Sunset Park, miles from the financial district. St. Jacobi's Lutheran has essentially been handed over to the movement, and when I visited the other day, there were people streaming in and out of the building: dozens of volunteers loading up cars with food, or sorting mountains of garments. About twenty new recruits sat in the church pews as Yael Sverdlik conducted a quick orientation session.
Sverdlik estimated that around 5,000 volunteers had funneled through the church over a 5-day period, before being whisked off to a disaster zone. Many had no prior connection to Occupy, only hearing about Occupy Sandy through Twitter or Facebook. Others, like musician Stephen C. Baldwin, had been with Occupy since its heyday when it took over Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan.
Sister Connie worried that as the days went by, people might lose whatever connection they had to their normal lives.
"Suicide," she said. "That worries me. People can get so despondent, and so cold. And so, without hope, that they can do terrible things to themselves."
She had been handing out cash to some residents, and hoped the city would start chipping in. The crisis was the worst she'd ever seen in the community. But she said the Occupy volunteers were "angels," including the medics who were helping take care of diabetics and residents with high blood pressure.
"It's the caring that counts," she said, and then she waited for another storm to descend.
Occupy Sandy: Onetime protesters find new cause
NEW YORK — You might be surprised at what has become a lauded and effective relief organization for victims of Superstorm Sandy: Occupy Wall Street.
They're the ones who took food and water to Glenn Nisall, a 53-year-old resident of Queens' hard-hit and isolated Rockaway section who lost power and lives alone, with no family nearby.
"I said: 'Occupy? You mean Occupy Wall Street?'" he said. "I said: 'Awesome, man. I'm one of the 99 percent, you know?'"
They lined up in an ice-cold abandoned store that had been hastily transformed into a makeshift pharmacy. Gauze bandages and bottles of disinfectant were piled on tables behind a tattered curtain.
"I think we wouldn't be able to survive without them," said Kathleen Ryan, who was waiting for volunteers to retrieve her diabetes medication, stamping her feet on the plywood floor to keep warm. "This place is phenomenal. This community. They've helped a great deal."
Is this Occupy Wall Street's finest hour? In the church basement, Carrie Morris paused from folding blankets into garbage bags and smiled at the idea.
"We always had mutual aid going on," she said. "It's a big part of what we do. That's the idea, to help each other. And we want to serve as a model for the larger society that, you know, everybody should be doing this."
The purity of drones
Israel's drone export business to Latin America is leading Colombia to replicate the economic model.
In April of this year, Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak staged a visit to Bogota, where his activities included marketing Israeli drones to the Colombian state.
According to a subsequent report in the Colombian newspaper El Espectador, one of Barak's selling points was that the technical intelligence provided by drones helps reduce the failure rate seen in operations in which only human intelligence is relied upon.
Given the recent history of drone operations in various parts of the world, it would seem that there's not exactly an inverse relationship between use of said aircraft and the incidence of failure, at least insofar as rampant slaughter of civilians qualifies as failure.
Conveniently, however, the state of Israel has tended to look less frowningly on certain types of civilian slaughter, converting the practice into evidence of the "purity of arms" - a military code of ethics upheld in projects ranging from the ethnic cleansing of Palestine to the extermination of nearly 20,000 persons in Lebanon in 1982 to the drone-assisted massacre at the United Nations compound in Qana in 1996.
Climate Change Report Outlines Perils for U.S. Military
WASHINGTON — Climate change is accelerating, and it will place unparalleled strains on American military and intelligence agencies in coming years by causing ever more disruptive events around the globe, the nation’s top scientific research group said in a report issued Friday.
The group, the National Research Council, says in a study commissioned by the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies that clusters of apparently unrelated events exacerbated by a warming climate will create more frequent but unpredictable crises in water supplies, food markets, energy supply chains and public health systems.
Hurricane Sandy provided a foretaste of what can be expected more often in the near future, the report’s lead author, John D. Steinbruner, said in an interview.
The study was released 10 days late: its authors had been scheduled to brief intelligence officials on their findings the day Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, but the federal government was shut down because of the storm.
At Soldier’s Hearing, Grisly Descriptions of Chaos and Horror
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Through a live video feed from half a world away in Afghanistan, in an extraordinary night court session, descriptions of chaos and horror poured into a military courtroom here as if from an open spigot.
“Their brains were still on the pillows,” said Mullah Khamal Adin, 39, staring into the camera with his arms folded on the table, describing the 11 members of his cousin’s family he found dead in the family compound — most of the bodies burned in a pile in one room.
Mr. Adin, in a hearing that started here late Friday, was asked about the smell. Was there an odor of gasoline or kerosene?
Just bodies and burned plastic, he replied through a translator.
Across US, Veterans Day commemorations under way
Saturday marked the first of what will be three days of Veterans Day commemorations across the United States.
The holiday falls on a Sunday, and the federal observance is on Monday. It's the first such day honoring the men and women who served in uniform since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in December 2011.
Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest
I went to a seafood disco last night. I pulled a mussel.— Bad Joke Cat (@BadJokeCat) November 10, 2012
Respond to many tweets on Petraeus; this is not about Benghazi or the CIA; this is about the elections and the holding of the information.— William M. Arkin (@warkin) November 10, 2012
Petraeus; who cares?But in this case, I'm with the conspirators; this was held until after the elections.— William M. Arkin (@warkin) November 9, 2012
Silly commentary on matters of the heart: Petraeus just another official who believed he was immune or that rules didn't apply to him.— William M. Arkin (@warkin) November 10, 2012
Petraeus also a Christian moralist. In my book C St I wrote of his illegal endorsement of fundamentalist guide for soldiers.— JeffSharlet (@JeffSharlet) November 10, 2012
I went to Shifa Hospital in Gaza right after I heard this news, Many of the injured were kids. #GazaUnderAttack— ShahdAbusalama (@ShahdAbusalama) November 10, 2012
68% of US sees global warming as 'serious problem.' let's make it a serious problem for oil companies. math.350.org— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) November 10, 2012
CIA report finds climate change leading to frequent, unpredictable crises. (report's release was...delayed by Sandy) nytimes.com/2012/11/10/sci…— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) November 10, 2012
The Beatles - Yesterday
Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?
Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.
Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." ~ Noam Chomsky