The city of London announced yesterday that it would begin legal actions to have the more than 200 protesters who have been encamped near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London evicted. The protesters had been there since Oct. 15 to protest the nearby London Stock Exchange as part of the Occupy London Stock Exchange protests.
In response to the planned eviction of the demonstrators, the Rev. Dr. Giles Fraser, the canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, has announced that he will resign in protest. Fraser said he will not accept “violence in the name of the Church.” An Occupy London spokeswoman said that Fraser’s action was “very inspiring“:
In a statement to the Guardian, Fraser, who was appointed canon in May 2009, confirmed his resignation, saying: “I resigned because I believe that the chapter has set on a course of action that could mean there will be violence in the name of the church.” [...] A spokeswoman, Naomi Colvin, added: “Courage like that is really very inspiring. It reassures us that what we’re doing is important. The people who have a bit of integrity, it’s becoming more obvious who those people are. I hope we can do well enough to justify their sacrifices.”
The “City of London Corporation, which is the local authority for the Square Mile, is meeting on Thursday to discuss plans for any eviction. A formal meeting will take place on Friday, when the corporation’s planning and transportation committee considers advice on how to resolve the deadlock.”
Royal Dutch Shell announced their 2011 third-quarter earnings, reporting profits of $6.98 billion, more than double their profits posted a year ago, bringing their total profits for 2011 to over $21 billion. Below is a quick look at Shell by the numbers:
– Shell has spent nearly $8 million on lobbying in 2011, making it one of the top 20 spenders of 2011, and the second biggest spender of the oil and gas industry.
– The oil and gas industry ranks as the third largest spender on lobbying in 2011, spending a combined total of over $75 million.
– Shell is sitting on $13 billion in cash on hand. Added together, the Big Five oil companies ? BP, Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Shell — are sitting on cash resources of $59 billion and made nearly $1 trillion in profits over the past decade
– Big oil tax loopholes, including oil industry-specific tax breaks and unnecessary general provisions, will cost the federal treasury $40 billion over the next decade.
Foster Kamer points out an interesting statistic reported in the New York Times that half of families with incomes over $75,000 have used internet-capable mobile devices to download applications for their children, while just one of 8 families with incomes under $30,000 have. There’s always a tendency to assume when one set of people has or can afford something and other people can’t that the thing is important, and particularly so if it’s something that’s billed as good for childhood development. And I get that impulse ? nobody wants their children to be deprived, whether of educational advantages or of pleasure.
But I think it’s pretty early to worry that an app gap is going to cause lasting educational deficiencies for poorer children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is clear about the lack of benefits of screen time for children under 2. And there doesn’t seem to be particularly definitive evidence that apps give children who use them an advantage in literacy or other kinds of learning. According to a white paper from the Arizona State University College of Teacher Education and Leadership:
It is difficult to gauge what is actually happening, because the little that is known about the effects of digital media on emergent literacy skills development comes from educational television and computer studies, as well as from a few studies of other media and surveys…Digital media may be transforming the language and cultural practices that enable the development of emergent literacy skills. A new generation of young children is experiencing a new kind of interconnectedness in the language they see, hear, and use.
It may be that the optimism of folks like GeekDad or app evangelists may be justified. But until it’s proved to be so, it’s probably not worth a panic. That doesn’t mean that it’s worth doing nothing, either ? it would, of course, be too bad if it turns out apps are a critical development tool and a lot of kids had been missing out. But I wonder if the best way to go about it is for developers to think beyond the Apple App store. You’re not going to get everyone to come to Apple, nor should you. If we’re worried about a digital gap, we should meet people where they’re at. And more parents should probably be getting the Academy of Pediatrics warnings through their doctors. That only 14 percent of them are getting that information from their doctors may actually be a more worrying suggestion that medicine isn’t adapting to the digital age as well as we might wish.
According to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy grew by 2.5 percent in the third quarter, an improvement over last quarter’s 1.3 percent growth. This quarter’s growth is right in line with analysts’ expectations.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteThis is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.Find the past "On This Day in History" here.October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap[...]
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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE?
It's Very Simple
I call it the Cut, Balance, Cap, Push, Sprout, Tickle,
Fluff, Shave, Pop, Vent, Shift, Scoot, Hack, Slash, Tease,
Clear, Hold, Build, Buy, Sell, Rent, Twirl, Pound, Erase,
Oscillate, Vacillate, Undulate, Puree, Ruffle, Expand,
Contract, Itemize, Atomize, Wish, Pray and Clap tax plan.
Let me tell you how it works. We start by cutting wasteful provisions that?
[Two hours later]
?then we ruffle the coefficients to dovetail with the fiduciary assessments of quarterly growth, which leads to expansion of?
[Two more hours later]
And then everybody says "Amen" and claps. And best of all, it fits on a postcard. A postcard that measures thirty feet by sixty feet if you use 5-point type.
And that's my tax plan. Can I be president now?
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Two stories today, one on Euro debt talks and the other on projected GDP growth, have potential political implications.
Global stocks rallied on Thursday after European leaders reached a deal to share the pain of restructuring Greece?s debt and took steps toward the adoption of broad measures to contain the crisis in the euro zone.
Forecasters expect that when the Commerce Department releases its first estimate of the number, gross domestic product will have risen at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter. That would be the highest growth rate in a year and would trump the 0.7 percent average pace over the first half of this year.Sure, none of this changes the huge need for jobs or fixes the housing crisis, but with Obama pounding jobs bills and student relief (and some of it actually getting into the headlines and onto the news), it might just reverse the bad news coverage Obama has been getting this year.
It's of special importance because the GOP really has nothing beyond economic frustration to run on. Their plan, be it this week's flat tax, last week's 9-9-9 or Paul Ryan's disastrous roadmap is all the same: coddle the rich and screw the middle class. No one likes their plan, but with a tanking economy, no one is going to reward incumbents.
So what happens if a year from now, the economy isn't tanking? Keep in mind the Republicans have no Plan B if America does well.
See? I do remember your birthday. Heh. You always teased me when I said, "Is your birthday Wednesday or Thursday?" One of our jokes. Its only because I rarely know what the date is today, not the date of your birth. I still have to look at the phone to[...]
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The following text was provided by people helping Scott Olsen, including IVAW and Occupy Wall Street: Scott Olsen, 24, a Marine veteran who did two tours in Iraq, was hit by a police projectile during the brutal police crackdown on Occupy Oakland on[...]
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Visual source: Newseum
European leaders, in a significant step toward resolving the euro zone financial crisis, early Thursday morning obtained an agreement from banks to take a 50 percent loss on the face value of their Greek debt.AP:
European stock markets shot higher Thursday as investors waded into riskier assets, emboldened by EU leaders? pre-dawn agreement to slash Greece?s massive debts.
Oil prices rose above $92 per barrel while the euro gained strongly following the European summit dedicated to fixing a debt mess in Greece before it provokes a bigger debt crisis across the continent.
Rubio on a national ticket could be risky bet for Republicans...NY Times:
Democrats had already questioned whether a Cuban American who has voiced conservative views on immigration and opposed the historic Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina justice, could appeal to a national Hispanic electorate of which Cubans are just a tiny fraction but have special immigration status. And Rubio?s support in Florida among non-Cuban Hispanics has been far less pronounced than among his fellow Cubans.
That ethnic calculus was further complicated by records, reported by The Washington Post last week, showing that Rubio had incorrectly portrayed his parents as exiles who fled Cuba after the rise of Fidel Castro. In fact, their experience more closely resembles that of millions of non-Cuban immigrants: They entered the United States 21 / 2 years before Castro?s ascent for apparent economic reasons.
Despite a school of thought in Washington that Mr. Obama?s support among blacks has weakened because of the poor economy and a sense of unmet expectations, interviews and public opinion surveys show that his standing remains remarkably strong among African-Americans.NY Times:
The question now for the Obama campaign is whether it can energize those voters ? many of whom were drawn to the polls for the first time in 2008 by the historic nature of his candidacy coupled with an aggressive registration program ? even with a rate of joblessness among blacks that far exceeds national figures.
Changes in Black Voter TurnoutNY TimesClick for bigger pic.
The 2008 election was the first time that black voters in the United States made up a slightly larger share of the electorate than their share of the population.
Following the violent clashes that broke out between police and Occupy Oakland protesters last night, some have started to questions the level of force used.
It?s an amazing thing about the Washington Establishment and its obsessions. The Establishment purports to be all serious and concerned about important things. But in truth, its concerns come and go like teenage fashion trends.Great insight on why Very Serious People should never be taken too seriously.
What struck me about Rick Perry?s unveiling of his flat tax proposal is how little attention most of the coverage paid to the massive increase in the deficit it would cause ? or the enormous cuts it would require. Perry tossed off a ceiling on federal spending of 18 percent of GDP but gave us absolutely no details. And no wonder. A ceiling set at that level would require enormous cuts in Medicare, Social Security and/or military spending.
Whenever I write about Occupy Wall Street, some readers ask me if the protesters really are half-naked Communists aiming to bring down the American economic system when they?re not doing drugs or having sex in public.
The answer is no. That alarmist view of the movement is a credit to the (prurient) imagination of its critics, and voyeurs of Occupy Wall Street will be disappointed. More important, while alarmists seem to think that the movement is a ?mob? trying to overthrow capitalism, one can make a case that, on the contrary, it highlights the need to restore basic capitalist principles like accountability.
To put it another way, this is a chance to save capitalism from crony capitalists.