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Watercooler: Democracy Now on #Sandy

6:15 pm in Watercooler by Kit OConnell

Stay dry, y’all.

So much of today’s Democracy Now! program on Hurricane Sandy lines up with today’s myFDL articles that I had to share it as a closer to today’s coverage — nuclear power, climate change denial, human survival, and the crucial need to halt our damage to the environment and change our dependence on environmentally damaging finite resources. It’s worth the time just to hear Jeff Masters of Weather Underground call climate change the ‘Voldemort of our time.’ We also featured the David Swanson review of the latest book by DN!’s Amy Goodman.

Enjoying the dry, mild Texas weather with a steady supply of electricity, I felt accutely aware how lucky I am — and worried for the many people I know in the storm zone. My thoughts are with my family and friends in Connecticut, the many Occupiers throughout the region I’ve connected with since joining that movement, and of course Ellie Elliott, Scarecrow, Jane Hamsher, Cynthia and all firepups that live in affected areas. Check in when you can & stay safe!

Twitter provides the most up to date coverage of this actively developing event. Check the hashtag #Sandy and related ones like #SandyNYC for the latest from regular people on the ground (though beware of misinformation and pranksters). And share your news in the comments here.

This is our latest open thread — what’s on your mind?

Watercooler: Be the Media

6:00 pm in Watercooler by Kit OConnell

Hi, y’all.

It’s often said we must be our own media. This report from the NY Daily News about Occupy Sunset Park arming a tenants with cameras is a great example:

10 residents who live at buildings 545, 553 and 557 on 46th St. used disposable cameras to take amateur shots of their terrible living conditions for an art show opening Saturday.

The photos feature tenant nightmares ranging from piles of garbage; cracked windows and floors; and a rickety fire escape.

Occupy Sunset Park organizer Dennis Flores helped distribute 50 disposable cameras to the tenants. The exhibit was the brainchild of Bedford-Stuyvesant photographer Noelle Theard, who supplied the cameras through a grant and taught the tenants how to take the pictures.

I am reminded of the work here in Austin that the Peaceful Streets project is doing, but of course with a housing angle. Reminding people that they have free speech and giving them allies to back them up when they speak is one of the best ways to empower the populace.

What’s on your mind tonight? How was your weekend? This is the latest myFDL open thread.

Watercooler: Guthrie’s March

7:13 pm in Watercooler by Kit OConnell

Hi, y’all.

Been a rainy day, some stong lightning here so I shut off my laptop for a little while and watched it. It is nice to see Texas finally get the water it needs. Though this summer has been hot, it’s been a contrast to last summer’s desperate dryness. Our grass has mostly stayed green although some of my garden has had trouble keeping up with the heat!

Today the Occupy Guitarmy’s 99 Mile March reached New York. If you haven’t heard, Tom Morello’s Guitarmy, now a regular part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, have been marching from Philadelphia, site of the Occupy National Gathering, back to the home of the Occupy movement itself. The march is in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, as many see him to be a musical forefather of today’s people’s rebellions. According to Twitter, about 50 people made the march. They stopped in Staten Island today, after some obligatory harassment by NYPD, and plan to complete the journey tomorrow.

This is tonight’s MyFDL open thread. What’s on your mind?

Watercooler: Mud

6:00 pm in Watercooler by Kit OConnell

Hi, y’all.

I had a lovely weekend camping at a small camp-out in the Texas hill country, a small followup (or ‘decompression‘) for the bigger festival I attended last month. I had a great time dancing in the rain, but now all that’s left is the mud on my dancing boots. It’ll soon wash away — except today it’s raining in Austin, so now it’s not the time for drying my things.

A DJ turned the Ben Harper song to the right into a foot-stompingly good mix late Saturday night, but I found a live track for you in all its unaltered glory. And speaking of dancing, how about this story of dancing in New York from the Daily Mail (admittedly, not the world’s most reliable paper)?

Caroline Stern, a dentist, and George Hess, a movie prop master, were waiting for a train at the Columbus Circle station after a late evening at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing last year when they began dancing the Charleston to a musician playing the steel drums. … That’s when police came in and spoiled the fun, they told the New York Post.

The officers demanded their ID. When Ms Stern only had a credit car, the police ordered the couple to go with them.

When Mr Hess pulled out a camera to start recording the incident, the officers called for backup and the situation turned nasty, the couple says.

After being wrestled to the ground, they spent 23 hours in jail. Though the incident occurred last summer, it’s receiving renewed attention because of a lawsuit the couple brought against the city. Besides, if Occupy Wall Street has taught us anything, it’s that the NYPD hasn’t gotten any less repressive of free expression in the last year.

That’s what’s on my mind tonight. This is tonight’s open thread. Come chat with MyFDL.