Archive | November, 2011

The corporate tax plunge: Down, down, down – Taxes –

17 Nov

The percentage of corporate profit (after taxes) paid as income tax has been on a steady downward trend since the 1950s. In the last year or so, it has rebounded a trifle since hitting its all-time low during the Great Recession, but still sits comfortably below any other point in the last six decades.

via The corporate tax plunge: Down, down, down – Taxes –


OCCUPY NOTE 11/17/11 Contagion #ows – Global Guerrillas

17 Nov

Occupy is an open source protest. That means it doesn’t have a specific message. It is a container for may groups/motivations/passions held together by simplest of ideas: it is possible to permanently occupy of places of power. Anyone that tells you it needs to have a specific policy agenda is a) not an expert and b) still living in the 20th Century.

The Occupy approach, a permanent 24x7x365 geographically ubiquitous protest movement, may be about to zoom. Reinforcements are coming.

via OCCUPY NOTE 11/17/11 Contagion #ows – Global Guerrillas.

The GOP’s third party nightmare scenario – Opening Shot –

17 Nov

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last week showed the libertarian congressman receiving 18 percent of the vote in a race against Barack Obama and Mitt Romney — a number that came mainly at Romney’s expense. In a two-way trial heat, Obama led Romney by six points, 49 to 43 percent. But that margin doubled when Paul was tossed in, with Obama opening a 44 to 32 advantage over Romney. Notably, Paul fared much better than another potential third party candidate, Michael Bloomberg, who netted only 13 percent.

via The GOP’s third party nightmare scenario – Opening Shot –

As Occupy Enters Third Month, a Look at How Protesters Are Building a Global Movement

17 Nov

And one of the things that I found most fascinating was a woman named Marisa Holmes, who I think has been on the show before and said, you know, at those early meetings, a lot of the traditional left groups walked out, and they weren’t there, and it left artists and media makers and writers and people who just were sort of thinking in terms of imagination rather than kind of very strict, you know, policy 10-point programs. And I think that’s key to what happened, is that imagination.

via As Occupy Enters Third Month, a Look at How Protesters Are Building a Global Movement.

Surprise, Homeland Security Coordinates #OWS Crackdowns

16 Nov

But it’s also now confirmed that it’s now, as some Justice Department official screwed up and admitted that the Department of Homeland Security coordinated the riot-cop raids on a dozen major #Occupy Wall Street demonstration camps nationwide yesterday and today.

via Surprise, Homeland Security Coordinates #OWS Crackdowns.

Did Fukushima kill the nuclear renaissance No, that renaissance died right here at home – The Tech

16 Nov

Bottom line: right now, independently of Fukushima, nuclear power doesn’t make economic sense.

On the eve of the Tohoku earthquake, U.S. nuclear power looked just as moribund as it is today. The cause of this decline is not renewed concerns about safety, or even that old red herring, waste disposal — instead, it is simple economics. Other technologies, particularly natural gas, offer much cheaper power than nuclear both today and in the foreseeable future.

In 2009, the MIT Future of Nuclear Power study released an update to its 2003 estimate of the costs of nuclear power. Estimating a capital cost of $4,000/kW and a fuel cost of $0.67/MMBtu, the study’s authors projected a cost of new nuclear power of 6.6 cents/kWh. Using the same modeling approach, the cost of electricity from a natural gas plant with capital costs of $850/kW and fuel costs of $5.16/MMBtu would be 4.4 cents/kWh.

What’s worse, the estimate of 6.6 cents/kWh assumes that nuclear power is able to secure financing at the same interest rate as natural gas plants.

via Did Fukushima kill the nuclear renaissance No, that renaissance died right here at home – The Tech.

Devastation at Japan Site, Seen Up Close –

16 Nov

As we head into the holiday season remember nuclear radiation, the gift that keeps on giving:

While no one died in the nuclear accident, the environmental and human costs were clear during the drive to the plant through the 12-mile evacuation zone.

Untended plants outside an abandoned florist were withered, and dead. Crows had taken over a gas station. The dosimeters of the journalists on the bus buzzed constantly, recording levels that ticked up with each passing mile: 0.7 microsieverts in Naraha, at the edge of the evacuation zone, 1.5 at Tomioka, where Bavarian-style gingerbread houses had served as the welcome center for Fukushima Daiichi. It was there that Japanese visitors to the site were told a myth perpetuated over decades in Japan: that nuclear power is absolutely safe.

The level recorded just outside the center Saturday was 13 times the recommended maximum annual dosage for civilians.

At the plant, journalists, outfitted in full contamination suits, were kept aboard the bus in recognition of the much higher radiation levels there.

via Devastation at Japan Site, Seen Up Close –

Occupy Wall Street Organizers Consider Value of Camps –

16 Nov

OWS is like the little boy who said “the emperor has no clothes.” Everyone knew it, that the 1% were running away with a rigged game, but everyone didn’t know that everyone knew. Now we do. What do we do with that knowledge?

Still, some acknowledged that the crackdowns by the authorities in New York and other cities might ultimately benefit the movement, which may have become too fixated on retaining the territorial footholds, they said.

“We poured a tremendous amount of resources into defending a park that was nearly symbolic,” said Han Shan, an Occupy Wall Street activist in New York. “I think the movement has shown it transcends geography.” …

Marina Sitrin, a postdoctoral fellow at the City University of New York who is involved in the movement, said its influence would continue to ripple out. People are already assembling to address local issues in Harlem and Brooklyn, she said. “There’s so much more than Zuccotti Park,” she said.

Indeed, with winter looming, it seemed possible that Occupy Wall Street’s encampment would end on its own as the cold drove people away.

Maurice Isserman, a history professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., said New York City officials might have done Occupy Wall Street a favor “by providing a dramatic ending.”

Still, the encampments were an effective way of generating coverage, both in mainstream media and in the rest. Thus think of the 100s of thousands of photos and videos people have taken and posted to their blogs. How do we generate that coverage now?

via Occupy Wall Street Organizers Consider Value of Camps –

Occupy Wall Street Library Removed as NYPD Evicts Protesters

15 Nov

If true, it’s a crime that speaks loudly, very loud:

Fliers were handed out during the protester removal, according to several reports, with a message from Brookfield Properties (the owner of Zuccotti Park) and the City of New York telling protesters to remove all property immediately or it would be taken and stored in a Department of Sanitation facility at 650 West 57th Street in Manhattan. Property could be picked up by owners with proper identification as of noon today, according to the notice.

It is unknown if the library books were taken to that site. A post on the Occupy Wall Street Library website said that “it was clear from the livestream and witnesses inside the park that the property was destroyed by police and DSNY workers before it was thrown in dumpsters.”

via Occupy Wall Street Library Removed as NYPD Evicts Protesters.

On the eve of destruction – Occupy Oakland –

15 Nov

But Occupy Oakland can’t fight police violence with violence. The movement’s high point may have been the Nov. 2 general strike, which grew out of mass revulsion at the police tactics used to tear down the camp the week before. At least 10,000 people joined a day-long peaceful protest that culminated in closing down the Port of Oakland, with the support of the traditionally radical longshoremen’s union. But the movement began sliding downhill the same day, first when splinter groups broke windows and vandalized storefronts during the peaceful march, despite efforts by the vast majority of protesters to either stop or discourage the violence. Then that night about 200 people broke into and occupied a downtown building, inviting new clashes with cops. Videos showed members of the violent faction even attacking other Occupy Oakland supporters, and some fervent occupiers began to claim that the violence was coming from outsiders unaffiliated with the Occupy movement.

via On the eve of destruction – Occupy Oakland –