Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: So consider ... ''Where the Hell Is the Outrage ?'' by Richard Eskow

Posted 1 year ago on July 9, 2013, 2:26 p.m. EST by shadz66 (19985)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

''Where the Hell Is the Outrage ?''

by Richard Eskow

From the first breaths of life to the last, our lives are being stolen out from under us. From infant care and early education to Social Security and Medicare, the dominant economic ideology is demanding more lifelong sacrifices from the vulnerable to appease the gods of wealth.

Middle-class wages are stagnant. Unemployment is stalled at record levels. College education is leading to debt servitude and job insecurity. Millions of unemployed Americans have essentially been abandoned by their government. Poverty is soaring. Bankers break the law with impunity, are bailed out, and go on breaking the law, richer than they were before.

And yet, bizarrely, the only Americans who seem to be seething with anger are the beneficiaries of this economic injustice – the wealthiest and most privileged among us. But those who are suffering seem strangely passive.

As long as they stay that way, there will be no movement to repair these injustices. And the more these injustices are allowed to persist, the harder it will be to end them.

Where the hell is the outrage ? And how can we start some ?

Quiet in the Streets

A number of studies have linked political participation with economic conditions, typically with results like those Krugman describes. But that doesn’t explain why Brazilians took to the streets in such large numbers recently.

A majority of Brazilians believe that their economy’s improving, according to a recent Pew survey : 59 percent of Brazilians rate their economy positively and 74 percent say their personal financial situation is good. By contrast, the same organization’s most recent US polling showed that only 46 percent of Americans said they believe the economy’s getting better, while 50 percent think it’s getting worse.

The polling says that Brazilian political unrest is driven by a divergence in goals and priorities between political leaders and the population, triggered by poor public services, bus fare increases, and the cost of hosting the World Cup.

A similar divergence of priorities exists in this country. Washington’s been focused on deficit reduction, while the public wants more job creation and economic growth. But Americans are quiescent.

US voter turnout is extremely low when compared to other developed nations, even though we rank among the highest in terms of income inequality. And other forms of political expression are also under-used. The Occupy movement was originally very popular, for example, but most people were easily persuaded to abandon it and return to a state of quiet desperation.

Why ?

Wealth inequity and other economic injustices are the product of deliberate policy choices – in taxation, Social Security, health care, financial regulation, education, and a number of other policy areas. So why aren’t Americans taking action?

The “change” theories Krugman mentioned don’t tell the whole story. For one thing, it’s not true that the lives of the majority are frozen in an ugly stasis. Conditions continue to become objectively worse for the great majority of Americans. But these ongoing changes – in actual wages, in employment, in social mobility and wealth equity – have received very little media attention or meaningful political debate.

It’s not that things aren’t changing. It’s that people don’t know they’re changing. And without that knowledge the public becomes a canary in a coalmine, only aware of its declining oxygen supply when it keels over and dies.

It’s an almost classic state of alienation, in which people may be acutely aware of their own increasing difficulties (although sometimes they can be numb to that as well) but experience them in a state of isolation. That turns the anger inward, leading to crippling reactions like guilt and despair. And repeated individual failures – failures made increasingly likely in a skewed system – lead to a sense of learned helplessness. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness ).

The Radical Rich

Interestingly, the “change = political pressure” theory helps explain the rage of the “radical rich” who – despite their almost unprecedented lives of wealth and privilege – are articulating an anger which seems at first to be inexplicable. But they, unlike the vast majority, are experiencing perceptible (if minor) changes.

No current policy proposals would substantially affect their historic levels of wealth and privilege. But some Democratic policies would slightly discommode the ultra-wealthy, and conservative forces have been shrewd enough to trumpet that fact far and wide in a tone of barely suppressed hysteria.

The wealthy have already seen a cultural change, as the Occupy movement led to previously-unheard public criticisms of their riches and political influence. That helps explain today’s seemingly paradoxical political situation, in which the beleaguered majority accepts the injustices heaped upon them while coddled and ultra-wealthy Americans erupt in fury.

The Alienators

The media has failed to tell the story of our broken economy. The two-party system is failing, too, as corporate forces complete their corruption of the GOP and seize an ever-increasing chunk of the Democratic Party.

That’s one of the reasons why voter turnout may not be the best indicator of political awareness. Even pronounced financial hardship won’t result in increased turnout or participation in electoral politics if neither party is clearly articulating the majority’s needs or actively fighting for its interests.

Many politicians and pundits have also embraced the “structural unemployment” argument which says people have the wrong skills for the economy of today and tomorrow. But they told us the same in the 1960s, the 1970s … In fact, they’ve said it for the last fifty years.

And yet technology jobs were down in last week’s jobs report. “Structural unemployment” is another way of telling you it’s your fault if you don’t have a job. It’s a lie.

Action Plan : So what do we do ?

  • 1) Expand our avenues of political expression: First, we need to remind ourselves that electoral politics is not the only productive avenue for political activism –that we need strong and independent voices and movements.

  • 2) Refuse to let politicians use social issues to exploit us economically: We also need to reject the exploitation and manipulation of progressive values by corporatist politicians who use social issues like gay marriage and reproductive rights exactly the way Republicans do – to manipulate their own base into ignoring their own economic interests. Politicians who don’t take a stand on economic issues should be rejected, up and down the ticket.

  • 3) Explain what is changing – and contrast what is with what should be: We need to do a better job of explaining what’s happening, so that we can make people aware of the harmful changes taking place all around them. And it’s not just about “change”: It’s also about contrast – between economic conditions as they are, and conditions as they should be and could be, if we can find the political will.

  • 4) Expand the vocabulary of the possible: The “learned helplessness” outlook says “the rich and powerful always win; we don’t stand a chance.” History tells us otherwise. From the American Revolution to the breaking up of the railroads, from Teddy Roosevelt’s trust-busting to FDR’s New Deal, from Ike’s Social Security and labor union expansion to LBJ’s Great Society victories, we need to remind ourselves of what we’ve accomplished under similar conditions.

  • 5) Tell stories: And we need to tell stories – human stories. That’s why Tuesday night’s Bill Moyers special on PBS is so important. [ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/two-american-families/ ] “Two American Families” tells the story of a white family and an African-American family in Milwaukee over two decades. Their stories bring home, in a personal way, the agony that has accompanied the destruction of middle-class jobs – a destruction that only happened because politicians made conscious policy decisions.

To explain, to provoke, to inspire, to tell stories is to begin the process of political change. As Paolo Friere said, “To speak a true word is to transform the world.”

veritas vos liberabit ...

[Article abridged under 'Fair Use' from : http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/17460-where-the-hell-is-the-outrage & refer here for the full piece and all embedded links]

312 Comments

312 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (21606) 7 months ago

"Food Pantries On The Rise At College Campuses As Tuitions Increase"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/15/food-pantries-college_n_4971139.html

How about that to stir up some outrage? And, what exactly will happen to these kids when they graduate and can't find decent jobs but have to pay back all the debt they were forced to incur just to keep pace with what used to be a high school diploma?

The Pathetic States of America, that's where we live. Where corporations and the wealthy get richer and richer and average Americans hope that the local food pantry is open.

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 months ago

''Wall Street’s big banks and their financial networks that collapsed the U.S. economy in 2008-2009, were saved with huge bailouts by the taxpayers, but these Wall Street Gamblers are still paid huge money and are again creeping toward reckless misbehavior. Their corporate crime wave strip-mined the economy for young workers, threw them on the unemployment rolls and helped make possible a low-wage economy that is draining away their ability to afford basic housing, goods, and services.

''Meanwhile, Wall Street is declaring huge bonuses for their executive plutocrats, none of whom have been prosecuted and sent to jail for these systemic devastations of other peoples’ money, the looting of pensions and destruction of jobs.

''A Wall Street transaction tax was imposed in 1914 and was more than doubled in 1932 to aid recovery from the Great Depression before it was repealed in 1966. But the trading volume then was minuscule compared to now with computer-driven trading velocity. A tiny tax – far less than state sales taxes on necessities – coupled with the current huge volume of trading can free students from this life-misshaping yoke of debt.

''Some countries in Europe have a securities transaction tax and they also offer their students tuition-free university education to boot. They don’t tolerate the same level of greed, power and callous indifference to the next generation expressed by the monetized minds of the curled-lipped Wall Street elders that we do.

''What about young people who are not students? The Wall Street tax can help them with job-training and placement opportunities, as well as pay for tuition for technical schools to help them grow their skills.

''It is time for, young Americans to act! Push Congress to enact a Wall Street speculation tax to help roll back your student debt and give you additional opportunities that are currently denied to you by the inside bank robbers who never had to face the sheriffs. They owe you.'' Article abridged from :

Thanx very much for your excellent if rather infuriating link from HuffPo bw. Without real ''outrage'' there is only a coerced and conditioned blind acceptance and continued slavery to The Corporate Extraction Machine - in the ''United States of Amnesia'' (Gore Vidal, RiP) - so ''Open your eyes ; Time to wake up ; Enough is enough is enough is enough'' {Chumbawamba}. Solidarity @ The 99% and also fyi, consider :

verb. sat. sap. ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 7 months ago

"A youth movement with a laser-beam focus, using traditional forms of demonstration and connecting in person, plus social media must come down on Wall Street with this specific demand. Unfortunately, while Occupy Wall Street started an important discussion about inequality, they did not advance the transaction tax (backed vigorously by the California Nurses Association), when they were encamped near Wall Street and in the eye of the mass media in 2011. A missed opportunity, but not a lost opportunity. Fighting injustice has many chances to recover and roar back." Ralph Nader.

And, from Dr. Ahmed: "A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution."

"Currently, high levels of economic stratification are linked directly to overconsumption of resources, with "Elites" based largely in industrialised countries"

"The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth. Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion."

Occupy Wall Street! Never ever give up! Thanks for this copious and informative comment.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 months ago

"Casino capitalism does more than infuse market values into every aspect of higher education; it also wages a full-fledged assault on public goods, democratic public spheres, and the role of education in creating an informed and enlightened citizenry. When former presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum argued that intellectuals were not wanted in the Republican Party, he was articulating what has become common sense in a society wedded to narrow instrumentalist values, ignorance as a political tool, and a deep-seated fear of civic literacy and a broad-based endorsement of the commons. Critical thinking and a literate public have become dangerous to those who want to celebrate orthodoxy over dialogue, emotion over reason and ideological certainty over thoughtfulness.

''Right-wing appeals to austerity provide the rationale for slash-and-burn policies intended to deprive government-financed social and educational programs of the funds needed to enable them to work, if not survive. Along with health care, public transportation, Medicare, food stamp programs for low-income children, and a host of other social protections, higher education is being defunded as part of a larger scheme to dismantle and privatize all public services, goods and spheres. The passion for public values has given way to the ruthless quest for profits and the elevation of self-interests over the common good. The educational goal of expanding the capacity for critical thought and the outer limits of the imagination have given way to the instrumental desert of a mind-deadening audit culture. But there is more at work here than the march toward privatization and the never-ending search for profits at any cost; there is also the issue of wasteful spending on a bloated war machine, the refusal to tax fairly the rich and corporations, the draining of public funds for the US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ongoing consolidation of class power in the hands of the 1 percent.

''The university needs to be reclaimed as a crucial public sphere where administrators, faculty and students can imagine what a free and substantive democracy might look like and what it means to make education relevant to such a crucial pedagogical and political task. This could be a first step in taking back higher education as a precondition for developing a broad-based social movement for the defense of public goods, one capable of both challenging the regime of casino capitalism and re-imagining a society in which democracy lives up to its promises and ideals.'' - Savagely abridged from this essential article :

Solidarity bw and many thanx for your critical excerpts from Nader and Ahmed & I append the latter's follow up piece :

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 7 months ago

Interestingly, today in the Guardian it has come out that the increase in tuition fees in the UK may be a total flop as 48% of graduates may not be able to pay back their loans!

"the rate of default on student loans is now so high that the £9,000-a-year tuition fees system could end up producing zero financial reward for the government." From: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/mar/21/tuition-fees-former-tory-adviser-government-maths-wrong

Shhhh. We don't want to face that reality here in the U.S. We'll just keep putting our students in more and more debt and crossing our fingers.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 months ago

Great link but very troubling too. In fact I have got to go get my ''Weekend Grauniad'' pdq but before I do, re. even more reason for ''OUTRAGE'', I append with the question ''And What Do These Debt Indentured Kids Do After Graduating ?'' WHEN ...

''It’s often assumed that people are paid what they’re worth. According to this logic, minimum wage workers aren’t worth more than the $7.25 an hour they now receive. If they were worth more, they’d earn more. Any attempt to force employers to pay them more will only kill jobs. According to this same logic, CEOs of big companies are worth their giant compensation packages, now averaging 300 times pay of the typical American worker. They must be worth it or they wouldn’t be paid this much. Any attempt to limit their pay is fruitless because their pay will only take some other form.

"Paid-what-you’re-worth" is a dangerous myth.

''Fifty years ago, when General Motors was the largest employer in America, the typical GM worker got paid $35 an hour in today’s dollars. Today, America’s largest employer is Walmart, and the typical Walmart workers earns $8.80 an hour. ''

''The reason Wall Street bankers got fat paychecks plus a total of $26.7 billion in bonuses last year wasn’t because they worked so much harder or were so much more clever or insightful than most other Americans. They cleaned up because they happen to work in institutions — big Wall Street banks — that hold a privileged place in the American political economy.

''And why, exactly, do these institutions continue to have such privileges? Why hasn’t Congress used the antitrust laws to cut them down to size so they’re not too big to fail, or at least taxed away their hidden subsidy (which, after all, results from their taxpayer-financed bailout)?

''Perhaps it’s because Wall Street also accounts for a large proportion of campaign donations to major candidates for Congress and the presidency of both parties.''

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 7 months ago

It is all very difficult to come to terms with. The debt being put on our kids would go beyond their lifetimes. Is that what the financialization of everything is doing? Setting up debt for hundreds of years? It's nuts and I just don't understand how our governments continue on this path when, here in America, our Constitution calls for the governement to protect the "general welfare" of the people. It does just the opposite.

Private colleges in America can cost $60,000 per year now, with fancy sports teams and stadiums and dorm facilities that are like high end hotels, yet they still get federal money. Maybe it's time our kids seek out a real basic excellent education where they have broken drawers on their dressers and some peeling paint in classrooms like I had. Something has to give. Our entire ethos is off base, but one step at a time, first thing I would do is shun these expensive schools.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 months ago

''What A Destructive Wall Street Owes Young Americans'', by Ralph Nader :

''It is time for, young Americans to act! Push Congress to enact a Wall Street speculation tax to help roll back your student debt and give you additional opportunities that are currently denied to you by the inside bank robbers who never had to face the sheriffs. They owe you.'' Thanx for the heartfelt comment.

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (21606) 7 months ago

These statistics are pretty outrageous too:

  1. 10.5 million: The number of people currently unemployed in the US

  2. 3.8 million: The number of people in the US who have been unemployed 27 weeks or longer

  3. 11.8 weeks: The average duration of unemployment in 1950

  4. 37.1 weeks: The average duration of unemployment in 2014

  5. 1,000%: The rate at which the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay has increased since 1950

  6. 204: The number of times that a Fortune 500 CEO's salary eclipses an average worker's

  7. 874: The number of times more, per hour, a CEO makes compared to a sales associate at a sample of US retail and fast-food chains

These stats are from "American Dream breeds shame and blame for job seekers" by Debbie Siegelbaum.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26669971

Our young people need to focus on the structural problems of the economy, as do all Americans, the deep rooted problems a sick economy is causing, because it is not the fault of the American people that they are having a hard time finding jobs and making ends meet, it is the fault of a failed economic system.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 months ago

''Our young people need to focus on the structural problems of the economy, as do all Americans, the deep rooted problems a sick economy is causing, because it is not the fault of the American people that they are having a hard time finding jobs and making ends meet, it is the fault of a failed economic system.'' Succinctly true - as ever bw & also fyi :

Thanx for the powerful stats, link and comment & solidarity @ you and yours. Justice for The 99% !!!

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 6 months ago

"The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest" by David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy, NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.html?_r=0

"Although economic growth in the United States continues to be as strong as in many other countries, or stronger, a small percentage of American households is fully benefiting from it."

"The findings are striking....the United States has maintained its lead as the world’s richest large country. But those numbers are averages, which do not capture the distribution of income. With a big share of recent income gains in this country flowing to a relatively small slice of high-earning households, most Americans are not keeping pace with their counterparts around the world."

"...the American poor now clearly trail the poor in several other rich countries. At the 20th percentile — where someone is making less than four-fifths of the population — income in both the Netherlands and Canada was 15 percent higher than income in the United States in 2010.

By contrast, Americans at the 95th percentile of the distribution — with $58,600 in after-tax per capita income, not including capital gains — still make 20 percent more than their counterparts in Canada, 26 percent more than those in Britain and 50 percent more than those in the Netherlands. For these well-off families, the United States still has easily the world’s most prosperous major economy."

More sad statistics, Shadz, but if we don't face them, if we don't get our hubris filled heads out of the sand, soon, we're going to be finished.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 months ago

''The Real Money-Making Methods of the Super-Rich'', by Paul Buchheit :

Warren Buffett once claimed that the "genius of the American economy, our emphasis on a meritocracy and a market system and a rule of law has enabled generation after generation to live better than their parents did." The Economist suggested that "people succeed through brains and hard work." Economist Tyler Cowen believes in a "hyper-meritocracy" in which wealth is created by the most intelligent and motivated people. That all sounds very inspirational. But the super-rich tend to make their money in less meritorious ways.''

We don't have Democracy - we have demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy !!!

We don't have a meritocracy - ''Perhaps demeritocracy is more apt'' !!

We don't get what we need - 'cause we're 'mind managed' & farmed !

Thanx for your hard hitting excerpt and NYT link above. Yes, ''sad statistics'' indeed but we have to face them. Keep up your attempts to inform and educate - despite the hubristic provocations and patronising conceits. You've forgotten more than some people around here will ever know. Solidarity to you & yours.

ipsa scientia potestas est ...

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (21606) 6 months ago

Great points. And, Thomas Piketty has recently trenchantly verified that meritocracy is a joke. He points out in his new book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" that, in fact, it is wealth, largely from inheritance, not merit, or hard work and talent as many have believed, that creates more wealth. Hence, this leads to the increasing inequality we find ourselves living in. Meritocracy is a myth in a capitalist society.

Here is Paul Krugman on "The Piketty Panic":

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/opinion/krugman-the-piketty-panic.html

Solidarity, Shadz. Never give up on the 99%.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 months ago

''The really striking thing about the debate so far is that 'the right' seems unable to mount any kind of substantive counter-attack to Mr. Piketty’s thesis. Instead, the response has been all about name-calling — in particular, claims that Mr. Piketty is a Marxist, and so is anyone who considers inequality of income and wealth an important issue.

''For the past couple of decades, the conservative response to attempts to make soaring incomes at the top into a political issue has involved two lines of defense: first, denial that the rich are actually doing as well and the rest as badly as they are, but when denial fails, claims that those soaring incomes at the top are a justified reward for services rendered. Don’t call them the 1 percent, or the wealthy; call them “job creators.”

''But how do you make that defense if the rich derive much of their income not from the work they do but from the assets they own? And what if great wealth comes increasingly not from enterprise but from inheritance?

''What Mr. Piketty shows is that these are not idle questions. Western societies before World War I were indeed dominated by an oligarchy of inherited wealth — and his book makes a compelling case that we’re well on our way back toward that state.

''Now, the fact that apologists for America’s oligarchs are evidently at a loss for coherent arguments doesn’t mean that they are on the run politically. Money still talks — indeed, thanks in part to the Roberts court, it talks louder than ever. Still, ideas matter too, shaping both how we talk about society and, eventually, what we do. And the Piketty panic shows that the right has run out of ideas.''

~

Excerpted and abridged from your very interesting link. Many thanks for that and in compliment to both your excellent comment and link, I append the following :

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 5 months ago

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that the rich have an outsized influence on politics. There have been signs and symptoms of misanthropic wealth pestilence all over this land. Premature deaths, one in five children in poverty, the worst income disparity since the Gilded Age, the highest incarceration rate on the planet. It's just that it couldn't be absolutely, scientifically established that a plague of oligarchs has descended upon us, chewed us up, digested the nutritious bits, and upchucked the rest.

Until now, that is. The pathology report is in, folks. At long last, we have irrefutable proof that the one indispensable nation has been subsumed by a bona fide oligarchy, leading to regressive tax policies, cuts in social programs, and capture of the mass media by corporate interests."

"And don't forget the power of their influential fascist jackboots pressing down ever more sadistically upon the neck of democracy's corpse. The rich are too stupid to realize that gluttonous feasting upon the diseased, the dying and the dead is harmful to their own health. Those ivory towers they build upon the weak foundations of an overflowing graveyard will soon tumble and fall."

From "Oligarchy USA" by Karen Garcia.

Even greed is unsustainable, history proves it.

[-] 1 points by flip (7174) 6 months ago

I am pretty sure that if you looked into hours worked, vacation and pensions and the different types of support in other countries we look even less good than this study shows. if you know many Europeans it is clear that the bulk of the population has been living better than that is the u.s. for some time now.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 6 months ago

That is so true, and the article does speak about how some Europeans have 5 weeks paid vacation. Here you are lucky to get 5 days. This all has an affect on our income, our wealth, our quality of life, and no small thing, how we raise our children. Our commitment to our humanity is tiny here, compared to our commitment to materialism and profit. I find it all to be quite sad.

[-] 2 points by flip (7174) 6 months ago

in 1996 I was traveling in turkey - met a nurse there who was from Belgium. she told us she had 59 vacation days when you add everything together! my friends in Sweden get almost $300 per month per child from the state. he does not really need it (I am sure it helps though) but everyone with children gets that. also years ago my hockey team paid about $5000 (16 guys paying 310 each) to play through the winter season - his team (the swede) paid $100 for the whole team. there are so many support systems all through out Europe.

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (21606) 6 months ago

No mandatory vacation in the U.S.

The U.S. is the only country in the developed world with no mandatory time off for workers. We should all think about how this affects our society. I think quite profoundly.

I like to look at this wikipedia page every now and then. It's a real eye opener for anyone who thinks the U.S. is the best country in the world. So silly to think that, when it needs to improve in so many ways.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_statutory_minimum_employment_leave_by_country

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 months ago

Please don't ''quit the site'' 'cause - just as you surmise, ''that is the point of all of'' these provocations !!! What I said before was along the lines of this : ''This is a sad state of affairs ! I echo those sentiments !! IF we can't show solidarity here between ourselves then wtf does that say about us here - and is our own 1% trying to 'dvd & rl' us here ?!'' & now also see ...

EDIT : My reply to flip is hanging on it's own here 'cause his comment has been ''Removed'' !! Sheeesh !

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by flip (7174) 6 months ago

i have been to plenty of demos where the cops or someone sends in people to disrupt things - i wonder if zen and shooz know what they are doing. i would have more respect for them if they did!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 months ago

Alors - 'agents provocateurs' n'est ce pas ?! C'est vraiment et tres bien mon ami !! Solidarite' a toi !!! Et :

''La beaute' est dans la rue'' !!!

salut ...

[-] 2 points by flip (7174) 6 months ago

good article - you read a lot!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 6 months ago

Yep but that's why my eyesight is on the way out so I also like to watch and listen too, when I can :

pax ...

[-] 1 points by JGriff99mph (507) 7 months ago

One good thing about all inclusive and not getting too specific was it engulfed an incredibly large amount of young people from all walks of life and views, and they are now all getting active in their own regards.

I don't agree with all of their views, but an active public is better than not so I'll take it.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 2 months ago

R.I.P Annie Wiswell

"Former Occupy Wall Street protester found dead in park"

http://nypost.com/2014/08/09/dog-walker-finds-dead-woman-in-riverside-park/

"Anne Wiswell, 23, at the Occupy Wall Street protests. Wiswell had to drop out of the New School after her parents said they can no longer afford to pay for school."

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/occupy-wall-st/voices-occupy-wall-street

The despair of our young people continues. And, the fight for the 99% goes on.....

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

Very Sad. R.I.P Annie Wiswell. Occupy The Hereafter ...~*~...

requiescat in pace 'AW' et fiat lux ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

"Twenty-three-year old Anne Wiswell has been active in the Occupy Wall Street protests from the start. She says her family's reversal of fortune is why she's here. She was a student at the New School until last year, when her parents told her they couldn't afford pay for her education any more."

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

Why is the Sign Up page down? Why is there nothing, zero, nada about the events for the third anniversary of Occupy Wall Street which is 4 days away?

What about all the suffering of the 99%? Maybe those who started this thing have given up, but the 99% sure haven't. They haven't moved on to fancy jobs and boutique consultancies. So, hand the site over to someone who still has it in them to care about other people.

[-] 4 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

RIP Annie Wiswell & yes .. ''What about all the suffering of the 99%? Maybe those who started this thing have given up, but the 99% sure haven't. They haven't moved on to fancy jobs and boutique consultancies. So, hand the site over to someone who still has it in them to care about other people.'' Well said bw & with Annie Wiswell and The 99% in mind, I append and recommend :

From which : ''The main problem is the power that finance capitalism exerts over domestic society and the abuses that it inflicts. Finance capitalism is economically unproductive (it does not create true wealth), socially parasitic (it lives off the revenues produced by other sectors of the economy), and politically antidemocratic (it restricts the distribution of wealth, creates unparalleled inequality and fights for exclusive privileges). At the turn of the 20th century, finance capitalism, which led to what V.I. Lenin called capitalism's highest stage of development - i.e., imperialism - was still seeking to bring industry under its control and exercised its brutal power largely on undemocratic societies overseas. By the late 1970s, finance capitalism had subjugated industry at home and took control of government power in the same manner that the great industrialists of the 19th and 20th centuries were able to influence public policy. The difference is that finance capitalism has no vested interest in seeing the living standards of ordinary people improve and regards any public intervention as an attack on its freedom to exploit society's economic and financial resources as it sees fit. Industrial capitalism was a progressive stage of economic development relative to agrarian capitalism and feudalism. This much was admitted by capitalism's most brilliant critic, Karl Marx. But the dominance of finance capitalism represents a setback for society as a whole.''

ad iudicium ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

An update from Richard Eskow on the outrage:

"The Middle Class and Working Poor's Lifelong Losing Game -- In 10 Slides"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/the-middle-class-and-work_b_5826810.html

"The middle class and working poor are increasingly trapped in a cycle of economic decline, a downward slope which stretches from their golden youth to their sunset years. And there's no way out, unless we find one for ourselves."

On this eve of the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, I implore all Americans to consider their economic status and face it head on. Take a stand and do something to fight for your rights! We don't have to live like this!

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

http://www.robinhoodtax.org/ & RIP Annie Wiswell. Thanx for your excellent link and comment & again :

fiat lux ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

"Simply put, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate hundreds of billions of dollars. That money could provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net here and around the world. And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.

This small tax of less than ½ of 1% on Wall Street transactions can generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the US alone.

Enough to protect American schools, housing, local governments and hospitals. Enough to pay for lifesaving AIDS medicines. Enough to support people and communities around the world – and deal with the climate challenges we're facing."

Very interesting.

[-] 1 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

http://www.robinhoodtax.org/ is a very good idea but The Banksters & 0.01% Parasite Class will never allow it, irrespective of the good it could do - because the fraudulent nature of their smoke and mirrors confidence trick about 'money' and 'High Frequency Trading' by algorithms instead of humans - would unravel under the accounting scrutiny.

Also consider : ''The collapse of the investment banks and the loss of wealth by those who had lent them money or had made uninsured loans to FDIC insured banks would have made the immediate downturn worse than what we saw in 2008 and ’09. There is no reason, however, to believe this would have condemned us to a decade of stagnation. For we know the other big secret to avoid another Great Depression: Spend money.

And further : ''President Franklin Roosevelt did this to some extent with the New Deal, which brought the unemployment rate down to the single digits by 1936. However, it was the massive deficit spending associated with World War II that finally got us out of the Depression.'' from this piece by Dean Baker :

e tenebris ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

"22% of workers laid off in the past five years are still unemployed, according to a new survey."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/22/long-term-unemployment-_n_5861882.html

And, what about those who found jobs making less pay than before, and hardly a living wage to be found!?!

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 4 weeks ago

80%+ of The 99% are in precarious reality, with very li'l savings & a pay-check or two from penury - as most of us are like hamsters running in wheels inside cages, trying to live, work and service debt !! The 99% are being pauperised by extraction by The 1% & gleaned from your 'Huff.Po' link, please consider :

From which : ''We can never know if this pattern of prosecution would have nailed big fish like Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein or Citigroup’s Robert Rubin. We do know that Holder never even tried. As a result the Wall Streeters who profited most from illegal acts in the bubble years got to keep their haul. This is the message that bankers will take away going forward. This virtually guarantees ongoing corruption in finance.

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

The suffering of the 99% is the reason we've been here for almost three years trying to wake up the people who've been brainwashed, duped and financialized for decades now by an elite who doesn't give one sh-t about them.

Solidarity, Shadz, and thanks for all you do here.

[-] 7 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

''It is three years since Occupy Wall Street shook the world—and the reverberations are felt everywhere. No longer seen with the occupation of parks, plazas and squares, Occupy has relocated, it is in us, it is in our ways of being, relating and coming together. People are changed—feel more dignity and organize for a different world because of it. Occupy was never about a place or a moment—it was and is about a way of being and doing. As all ways of relating, it changed and changes, and must do so as to thrive.'' from :

Solidarity bw & to all here, for all the 99%-Centric good work !

The Struggle Continues Everywhere !! Resistance Is - Fertile !!!

consilio et animis ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

"...the Occupy movement did not simply fizzle out or lose steam. The fact is, Occupy encampments were broken up in a coordinated effort led by the Department of Homeland Security working with local police departments. This coordination was reported by Jason Leopold after acquiring DHS documents through the Freedom of Information Act. Far from losing momentum, the Occupy presence had grown so intense nationwide, gaining sustained media coverage, that this had become the biggest threat to the status quo in modern times."

"...our gratitude and admiration go out to all who occupied and inspired. Thank you for showing us that we are not alone. Our patriotism and compassion will push this pay-to-play system into the dustbin of history."

Great article about Occupy on it's 3rd anniversary. John Wellington Ennis gets it. Nice!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-wellington-ennis/three-years-later-what-ha_b_5833682.html

[-] 4 points by trashyharry (2894) from Waterville, NY 1 month ago

Occupy 3 was a gathering of totally committed people who are not playing games.The posers are Gone-Hangers-on-Gone-Sturdy Beggars and Rascals-Gone.The Homeless people who showed up were not looking for free food or an opportunity to steal camping equipment.They are Homeless because they are street activists who are willing to stake their all in Occupy.Most of all thank God all those bogus and embarassingly clueless Hipsters are gone.True to form,hardly any artists showed up.I might have been the only one.I'm all happy and excited because it's totally easy to go right in the face of the 1% armed only with a tambourine and an endless supply of Rhyming insults.I am about to get started on the very best work of my life! One of the worst things that can happen is to be the object of sarcastic and hyperbolic rhyming insults.It is incredibly annoying.I can't wait for the wealthy scoundrels to start trying to buy off Occupy so they don't have to think about it anymore.LOL-no matter how much money they offer Occupy activists,it will be turned down.LOL!

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

Awesome, trashyharry. Thanks for sharing. I feel really proud of you.

[-] 3 points by trashyharry (2894) from Waterville, NY 1 month ago

I have done as much as I could-but feel happy for the old hippy dudes who protested war and the Murdering Scumbucket MIC all through the 60's right up until now.They were giggling and giddy with Glee.They said:"Bloomberg is Gone-But We're Still Here!" And the cops standing there stoicly obeying Orders-Leave them Alone-They Are Nothing.I assure you,the cops hated to see our jubilation!

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

So who ''was looking out for Americans in this modern Depression? Basically, no one, because things got so bad in the first place because our elected leaders have become so beholden to their campaign donors. Since the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United allowed unlimited outside spending in elections, candidates had dropped all pretense of serving their constituents, instead shifting their attention (and positions) in deference to billionaire kingmakers and Super PACs.

''When beholding such a zero-sum option, it might seem clear why the only option left would be to get everyone you know to go out to the streets and bring this messed up paradox to the attention of everybody. Which is why, for whatever Occupy Wall Street is remembered for at its height, it should be considered an intervention for the country -- a staged disruption by those who care, trying to alert an ailing entity to the damage it is inflicting.'' - from your very nice 'Huff-Po' link & in compliment, by the same author as the OP here, I append this important article :

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1486) 1 month ago

Gotta wonder what the "mental health issues" were.. most likely nothing more than going to a counselor to talk about issues, etc.

Not to go off topic but this corporate health care and the information sharing happening is scaring a lot of people from going for help, for fear as being labeled just like this poor woman was.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 month ago

People don't have the money to go for help either. Deductibles, co-payments, reasonable and customary, are all enough reasons to scare any wage worker away from going for help.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1486) 1 month ago

Good points. At $100 a pop, its not exactly feasible for someone making $30k a year to spend almost 10% a year of it on biweekly appts.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 1 month ago

I don't have a mental health issue

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 1 month ago

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 5 months ago

"49 Million Americans Go Hungry, Despite So-Called Recovery"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/08/food-insecurity_n_5250592.html

"As of 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, there were about 49 million Americans who, like the Ryans, were “food insecure,” meaning they have limited access to sufficient amounts of food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

Imagine this? In the United States of America, the world's richest country.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 5 months ago

Re. the reply to ''Oligarchy USA'', by Karen Garcia :

''Capitalists spread prosperity only when threatened by global rivalry, radical movements and the risk of uprisings at home.''

''The 1% are not about to expropriate themselves, even if asked nicely. And they have spent the past 30 years creating a lock on media and politics to ensure no one will do so through electoral means.''

''Since no one in their right mind would wish to revive anything like the Soviet Union, we are not going to see anything like the mid-century social democracy created to combat it either. If we want an alternative to stagnation, impoverishment and ecological devastation, we're just'' going to have to figure out a way to unplug the machine and start again.''

Thanx for your strong huff.po link above too. Some seriously outta whack priorities in The U$A for sure !

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 4 months ago

"Pope Francis Warns The Global Economy Is Near Collapse"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/13/pope-francis-economy_n_5491831.html

"An economy built on money-worship and war and scarred by yawning inequality and youth unemployment cannot survive..." "We are excluding an entire generation to sustain a system that is not good” - Pope Francis.

Hope springs eternal. Maybe the voiceless have found a voice in this new pope. I sure hope so because people like Piketty and Graeber and Hedges and Chomsky and West get poo pooed. So, I'll take the Pope adding to the mix and giving legitimacy to the left. Thank you, Pope Francis.

[-] 4 points by StillModestCapitalist (476) 4 months ago

I agree with Pope Francis. Good quote. I just want to add that the very concept of extreme personal wealth should be regarded as the same horribly destructive, corrupting, and intoxicating form of evil that it truly is regardless of who exhibits it and what excuses they make to justify it.

The very concept of extreme personal wealth is nothing but self-centered, self-serving, black-hearted, evil. It serves no purpose but to corrupt the mind and concentrate the wealth. I don't care if it's Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or the Koch brothers. It is PURE EVIL.

Unless by some miracle, the masses finally stop making excuses and exceptions for their favorite One Percenters, until they stop VOLUNTARILY SUPPORTING their favorite One Percenters, the concept of social justice or anything remotely resembling reform will remain nothing but an absurd fantasy.

It will NEVER be voted into place. It MUST be spent into place.

So please, EVERYONE, for the good of society, STOP GIVING SO MUCH OF YOUR MONEY TO RICH PEOPLE.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 4 months ago

Exactly. Well said. Now, how do we get Americans to end their religion of materialism and the lionization of the rich and famous?

[-] 3 points by StillModestCapitalist (476) 4 months ago

I don't know of any legal way to have even the slightest effect on the warped consumer junkie moron celebrity worshiping mentality that has come to define America. As far as I can tell, the vast overwhelming majority are beyond reach.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 4 months ago

It is the great conundrum of our time and the most worthy cause because the affects of our shallow ethos are tremendous and the legacy will be a sad one if it doesn't change.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

[ EDIT ] Hmmm ever try subtle sarcasm? Attribute something wonderful to a celeb - something this celeb has no clue about - wait for a reaction of belief or disbelief and then laugh. OH and be obvious that you are waiting for the reaction.

EDIT-> Or even not so subtle =

Hey guys - did ya here the latest? Beyondsay has developed a new and unique diet.

What??? you say? Yeah really - see she has been a bit concerned about all the extra chunkiness she has been gaining since living the good life of celebrity. Yeah - SERIOUSLY - she has been concerned as there has not been any diet program that she could get herself to commit to. So - she took her world wide concerns for poverty and hunger and came up with a vow. YEP. A VOW. She took and figured what she spends in a month on food and entertainment - AND - has decided to cut half of that amount out of her budget and donate it to charity - I think feed the children or some such. Anyway - she figures that this can be adjusted upward if she is still gaining chunkiness after a period of time to see how the budgetary diet is coming along - if she is not losing and becoming sleek and svelt - then she will cut her budget in half again - adding it to the prior amount that she is already donating for life - and she will continue to do this = halving her budget and adding it to her for life donations until she finds equilibrium. Some very dedicated to all life for life diet - Hey?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

BTW - By doing this she figures that she may be able to end hunger in at least one country all by herself.

Chris Christie hearing this - figured that he could easily end hunger in three countries all by himself - starting with China.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

The Card-ash-iens ( Car-dash-iens ? ) figgured that they would work with Green Peace to save the Whales and would start by donating no less than 50% of their ass fat to relieve the need for whale blubber for at least 50 years - while looking into alternatives for the future.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

In a rare display of being somewhat very distantly related to the human species - Rushing Limpballs was moved to tears and vowed to donate his past present and future drug purchase money to rehabilitation centers for the needy. This thought was seconded by an un-named ( as yet ) political figure from Canada

[-] -1 points by turbocharger (1486) 4 months ago

Oh! You got a problem with booty now? :)

Perhaps becoming rich and famous is what everyone deep down wants, hence the love of celebrity?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

Sad to think so many hate their lives so much that they would indulge in such empty fantasies.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

Good statement - poking the hornets nest? Be prepared for outrage.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 4 months ago

''We Have A Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'' (Matt Taibbi) :

Further to your excellent HuffPo link, I wonder what Papa Frank would make of that Taibbi video ?! Wonder if he supports Argentina or Italy ?!! Italy lost to Costa Rica ... RiP, England re. WC2014 !!!

oremus ...

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (21606) 4 months ago

Something not big enough, but something not small:

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick raises the minimum wage to $11 by 2017.

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2014/06/patrick_signs_massachusetts_minimum_wage_hike

Not enough, but better than nothing, and Massachusetts, once again, leads the way. As Patrick said, "This minimum wage is great progress, but it's not a livable wage."

And, finally, the US is still to prove itself in the democratic world of football. We'll see.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 4 months ago

Well Seattle may have something to say about that bw, lol but I do get your point too ! ''This minimum wage is great progress, but it's not a living wage'' !! Hell, yeah ! Thanx for the 'BH' link & also fyi, see :

fiat justitia ...

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (21606) 4 months ago

True re: Seattle, lol, but Massachusetts is raising the minimum wage for the entire state which is a big deal and I like that Duval Patrick admits that it is not enough, that it's not a living wage. Progress! We're making progress!

From the first truth out piece: "Thirty-seven percent of all sexual harassment reports filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) come from women in the restaurant industry, making it the single largest source of sexual harassment claims in the United States."

"It's a demeaning situation to be in when you earn $2.13 an hour as a woman and you are completely reliant on customers' largess, off the mercy of the clientele,""

Interestingly, I think labor laws are so poorly enforced in America and so little known that most restaurant workers don't realize that in most states the employer is required to tip servers out and up to the minimum wage if their earned tips do not bring them to minimum wage.

Workers have to know their rights and they have to learn to fight for them. If we all sit around with our tails between our legs, believe me, capitalists will take advantage, they will exploit. That is the basis of the whole economic system in which we find ourselves, exploitation.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 3 months ago

''Workers have to know their rights and they have to learn to fight for them. If we all sit around with our tails between our legs, believe me, capitalists will take advantage, they will exploit. That is the basis of the whole economic system in which we find ourselves, exploitation.''

Yes bw, Economic Justice Is What The 99% Need ! Thanx for the excerpt and sound points & also fyi ..

Sorry about the 'CP' link on this 4th of July holiday but sometimes hard truths have to be clearly said.

fiat lux ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 3 months ago

"In our haste to see capitalism as an international system, we often forget one of its salient features, that of inter-capitalist rivalries that, historically, have been productive of wars, and, among capitalism’s chief worries, the seeds sown for revolution." From the Counter Punch piece.

Great quote which holds many truths. The exploitation of capitalism happens on a micro and a macro level. It can be as micro as on the level of a household or within a nation. We see this today on our Glorious Fourth of July as Americans protest, actually blocking buses filled with immigrant children. Capitalism is at hand here because of the severe competition of scarce resources and the fear it instills in people.

Most Americans are immigrants or children of immigrants but because of how poorly the 99% are treated under our economic system they live in fear and don't want to share. Why? Because there isn't a lot to share! This is capitalism at work.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 3 months ago

''The frustrations of austerity didn’t generally lead to radicalization, but only increased pressures on working-class families to maintain as much consumption as they could. Absent collective solutions, they found other ways to support themselves, with profound implications for undermining the development of the working class as an oppositional class. Family members extended their hours of work, students also became full-time workers, and young couples moved in with their families to save for a mortgage or accumulate a buffer against an uncertain future. Tax cuts were seen as the equivalent of a wage increase even when they inevitably led to cuts in the social wage, and rising stock markets were cheered because stock values determine future pension levels. Looming environmental threats were overridden by the pressures of more immediate problems. Debt dependence increased and homes became assets for future security.'' from ...

Thanx for the 'Counter Punch' excerpt and your important points. Solidarity.

fiat justitia ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

Think it might be fun to see a Pope Francis sermon to the "faithful" Catholic 1%er's ? Don't be shy Francis = name names and see what they have to say for themselves.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 4 months ago

Hmmm. And, perhaps the Church itself could consider it's own wealth.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

[ EDIT ] Absolutely

Pope Francis announced today that the Vatican is gonna have a Garage and Basement/vault sale.

Yep everything must go - all of the marble statues and other treasures - ABSOLUTELY MUST GO

All proceeds to go to programs to benefit society - such as implementation of clean energy - and expansion of non-gmo - "real" organic foods and and and

Hurry on down the treasure won't last - as - IT - Has - GOT - To GO

BTW - Pope Frank is looking for solidarity support and a copy of example from all religions = Spend that wealth on creating a healthy society.

EDIT -> Cash sales only credit cards and checks not accepted. Also - you break it? - You Bought It. Absolutely NO Refunds or Exchanges.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 4 months ago

That'd be interesting to see. The Church returning to it's roots of asceticism. It'd be a good lesson for all of us. I just have a funny feeling that it would only be the 1% attending those sales, sadly.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

I just have a funny feeling that it would only be the 1% attending those sales, sadly.

Stands to reason - only ones with disposable income ( hoard ) - but the masses could no doubt buy souvenir vials of holy water and perhaps a Pope Frank Button or commemorative plate or something special to mark the occasion.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 4 months ago

I think I'll take a vow of poverty and then live among the greatest wealth of the world. What a coup.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 months ago

OOOOO good one - huh - funny thing - 1% of the worlds population have taken that "same" vow ( kinda ) to make sure the rest us ARE living in poverty.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 11 months ago

Elizabeth Warren has some outrage:

"The suggestion that we have become a country where those living in poverty fight each other for a handful of crumbs tossed off the tables of the very wealthy is fundamentally wrong," Warren said. "This is about our values, and our values tell us that we don’t build a future by first deciding who among our most vulnerable will be left to starve.

"We don’t build a future for our children by cutting basic retirement benefits for their grandparents," Warren said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/18/elizabeth-warren-social-security_n_4298336.html

Go Elizabeth!!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

(Bernie) ''Sanders said he would be happy with a Warren candidacy. - "I like Elizabeth Warren very much," he said. "Her beauty is that she is very smart. She speaks English. She can explain economics in a way that everybody can understand." from :

''Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to make sure that there is a strong progressive voice in the 2016 presidential field, and he's willing to jump in if no one else does.''

Thanx for your timely quote and link bw & yep - ''Go Elizabeth'' !!!

spero meliora ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 11 months ago

The tide is turning. "Socialist to Occupy Seattle City Council:"

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-c1-seattle-socialist-20131120-dto,0,7140015.htmlstory#axzz2m3MBFtzt

And, "A Town Near Seattle Just Voted To Pass A $15 Minimum Wage — The Highest In The Country:"

http://www.businessinsider.com/ballot-measure-to-enact-15-minimum-wage-near-seattle-wins-narrow-victory-2013-11#ixzz2m3MsaikY

It just takes one to set the ball rolling....

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

''It just takes one to set the ball rolling....'' Roger that and if that ''one'' has a global pulpit, then all well and good ...

Thanx for the excellent links to an important and inspiring development. Solidarity & as Kshama Sawant says : ''It is time, high time, that we workers opt for a mass political alternative to the two big-business parties!'' Therefore, I append in compliment :

''How is it possible that there is so much wealth in society, and you can see that there are so many wealthy people who are just wealthy beyond measure, and you have such unimaginable poverty and misery, and just absolute horrendous conditions that human beings are living in…'' globally and locally.

consilio et animis ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 11 months ago

"Francis is a pope of a different feather. His recent comments on capitalism suggest that he is a man who understands something about economics — specifically the link between unbridled capitalism and inequality. In an 84-page document released Tuesday, Pope Francis launched a tirade against a brutally unjust economic system — a tirade that Marx himself would have cheered:

"Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say, 'Thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills...As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world's problems or, for that matter, to any problems."

Awesome! We need an economic revolution, and not one single thing short of it. Go Pope Francis!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

Excellent excerpts and if The Pope is onside with The 99% (unlike his predecessor !!) then we'll have to take it as a sign of The Zeitgeist to come. With this leitmotif in mind, I append fyi :

''Debt Slavery is the new modern-day slavery as millions continue to buy products on credit becoming perpetual servants of mega corporations and international banks. How? As you buy with credit cards or loans, the “interest rates” attached to the purchases made is the bond that ties you and the corporate interests or bankers for eternity. The debt people get into is difficult to escape as interest rates accumulate over time it becomes extremely difficult to repay since it keeps adding up.'' ergo, consider :

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 10 months ago

"Debt can be an instrument used to control an individual or a nation for that matter. In this case, an individual is dependent upon “Credit” to buy products. Then the credit becomes a debt that has to be repaid. It becomes a “control mechanism” as the creditor becomes the “Slave Owner” and the debtor becomes the “Slave”. What is the point? In today’s world of unlimited credit, consumers become modern-day slaves to their creditors."

More and more people are waking up to this. The problem is, that the American people have taken on so much debt that they are beginning to reach the point that they can hardly cover the minimum payments. I believe once people can no longer take on any additional debt and therefore must live within their means, and they realize that their means are paltry because their pay is so low and they must service prior bank debt, we will see an uprising of sorts. At least, I hope.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 months ago

''I believe once people can no longer take on any additional debt and therefore must live within their means, and they realize that their means are paltry because their pay is so low and they must service prior bank debt, we will see an uprising of sorts.'' BAM !!! & a BIG Fat ditto :-)

''Pope Francis may prove himself open to considering Marx’s ideas in order to think about a more human-centered economic system. The American press is already buzzing nervously with the idea: “It would make for some pretty amazing headlines if Pope Francis turned out to be a Marxist,” wrote Helen Horn of the Atlantic, before quickly concluding that, no, “happily for church leaders,” such a thing couldn’t be true.''

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 10 months ago

Ah, and isn't the real truth that anyone can be a Marxist in their heart yet not call themselves such or even know that they are such? This Pope does appear to put people over profit and I can't help but think of how extraordinary it is that that is extraordinary.

And, as far as Wall Street is concerned, they need all the help and encouragement they can get to find their humanity.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 months ago

That's a huge point you make and I agree re. The Pope. However, I think the denizens of Wall Street are - in the main, beyond redemption or exhortation and must be removed by an assertion of Democracy by The 99% and a reclamation by societies of the power to issue money and the Nationalisation of Central Banks. In support of your succinct but wide-ranging comment, I append :

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 10 months ago

"Again and again at critical junctures in our national journey, socialist thinkers and organizers, as well as candidates and officials, have prodded government in a progressive direction. It may be true, as historian Patrick Allitt suggests, that “millions of Americans, including many of these critics [of the Obama administration], are ardent supporters of socialism, even if they don’t realize it and even if they don’t actually use the word” to describe public services that are “organized along socialist lines,” like schools and highways."

That quote from John Nichols is so true. It is the socialists, the real left in this country, that has kept an unregulated capitalist free wheeling economic system from completely taking over. And, it will be that same left that gets it back on track as well because, as we know, it has lost it's way. The moderates have allowed far too much corporate plunder. Look to the far left to push an end to that.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 months ago

''The term neoliberal is a bit misleading. The doctrines are neither new, nor liberal...However, neither "neoliberalism," nor its earlier versions as "liberalism," have been myths, certainly not for their victims...the doctrines are, to a substantial extent, a "myth" for the rich and powerful, who craft many ways to protect themselves.'' from :

The ''moderates'' are far from benign & in their support and enablement of The 0.01 Parasitic Extractive Class. Americans are programmed with prejudices re.'Socialism' (see my last link in my previous reply, as well as : http://occupywallst.org/forum/social-security-is-strong-by-sen-bernie-sanders/ ) but it really matters not what we call it - the connection of head and heart ; logic and love, for the creation of public policy is the definitive future path for The 99%. For example, the removal of the venal, private, extractive profit motive from healthcare should really be a non-brainer for any democratic society. Thanx for your excellent excerpt and I recommend that (& the other) link/s to all students of history. Solidarity ~*~

ad iudicium ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 10 months ago

"I think decent human survival is at stake." Chomsky sums up capitalism right there rather nicely.

Definition of an "Economic System" from the Free Dictionary - "the system of production and distribution and consumption."

Definition from Wikipedia: "An economic system is the system of producing and distributing of goods and services and allocating resources in a society."

Seems fairly simple. An economic system is clearly man made. It is not something that grows up out of the ground. And "society" is an interesting concept there, inferring that, my gosh, the economic system is there for society, which would include ALL people in that society, not just a few. But, somehow, the humans in charge of making the laws that run the economic system have lost their way. They've set it up to only benefit the few while the masses suffer. Obviously democracy is not working, or maybe we don't really live in a democracy, because we live in a plutocracy! Yes, that's it, democracy is dead as long as the wealthy and corporations have bought out our representation.

In the end, the economy can be fixed. It can be changed. It is up to the people to demand change. The economy is man made. It is not a growing cancer although it appears that way. It is fixable. And, the people have to stand up and demand the rights given to them just by the fact of their humanity.

The Social Contract still exists and it always will, because the Social Contract is an idea, it is an unwritten moral law that supersedes all written law.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 months ago

Great OWS placard shots !!! Very Nice Comment !! Thanx bw !

My favourite = ''That we're Young - Only Means we have The Most to lose by standing idle'' !!!*!!!

Now that's a meme that needs to be implanted in every school, college and university - everywhere ~*~

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (21606) 10 months ago

Oh, that is a good one! And, it's the reason we're all here, right? For the young ones! To support them and show them that they can stand up and fight. Peace and love to the world for 2014. :)

[-] 0 points by michaeljames (-78) from New York, NY 10 months ago

There are many different types of democracy. What do you mean when you refer to democracy? A pure democracy, where everyone would vote on everything? That's impossible. We need to define the type of democracy that we think would be ideal. What do you think?

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 months ago

''The Social Contract still exists and it always will, because the Social Contract is an idea ... it is an unwritten moral law that supersedes all written law.'' Amen. Many thanx for your cool, clear, concise, compassion centred comment & also fyi :

fiat lux ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21606) 10 months ago

That video is very interesting and puts into question our ability, as humans, to have empathy and compassion for groups of people. This is a huge problem, as I see it, since, actually, the people who need empathy and compassion from the wealthy, for instance those earning poverty wages, or the developed world, those nations last in to capitalism, are large groups numbering in the millions and billions.

How do we put a face, an understandable face to those large numbers? Telling specific stories is very powerful. This makes me think of Zuccotti Park where so many had created their own placards that told of their particular stories. It was very moving and easy to relate to. Here is the google images of the placards at Zuccotti:

https://www.google.com/search?q=signs+at+occupy+wall+street&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=G1HEUpSaOJCjkQeNx4HYAw&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=640

[-] 3 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 months ago

oh look

google can't find a NO WAR sign at occupy

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 months ago

as far as Wall Street is concerned, they need all the help and encouragement they can get to find their humanity.

Like pro-"active" mental health care - Go Universal Health Care - Woo-Hoo

[-] -1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 11 months ago

And Go Bernie too!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

Sanders : ''Social Security is Strong'' :

A report ... ''by Social Security trustees showed the program's trust fund has $2.7 trillion in reserves and will grow to $3.06 trillion by 2021, enough to maintain the unbroken record of paying every nickel owed to every beneficiary in full for another two decades.

''Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced legislation to strengthen Social Security and guarantee benefits for 75 years by extending the payroll tax that most Americans already pay to those who earn above $250,000 a year.

"The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the next 75 years is to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on income above $250,000. Right now, someone who earns $110,100 pays the same amount of money into Social Security as a billionaire. That makes no sense," said Sanders, the chairman of the Defending Social Security Caucus. He also chairs the Senate ageing subcommittee.''

So, yep at the ''prospect'' of Bernie running for POTUS - it'd certainly put a cat amongst the rats !!!

crede quod habes, et habes ...

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

A report ... ''by Social Security trustees showed the program's trust fund has $2.7 trillion in reserves and will grow to $3.06 trillion by 2021, enough to maintain the unbroken record of paying every nickel owed to every beneficiary in full for another two decades.

Now imagine if everyone got a minimum living wage or better - and then - If the wealthy individuals and businesses paid a proper tax or any tax at all. Talk about robust - Hey?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

A $15/hr Living Wage would very quickly restore the US economy and The 99% to very rude health and coupled with Bernie's suggestions and a scaled down Imperial War Machine would benefit The US 99% and small, medium and even large businesses, like nothing else really could .. but your greedy bastard ; Randian ; 0.01% Parasite Class & their 1% lackeys in MSM, Politics and academia just can not handle the idea of sharing the pie as they avoid and evade taxes whilst threatening 'Capital Flight'. Scumbags !!!

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

A $15/hr Living Wage would very quickly restore the US economy and The 99% to very rude health

Yep - $15.00/hr would still be scraping the edge of being poor - BUT would be a whole hell of a lot healthier than current circumstances.

and coupled with Bernie's suggestions and a scaled down Imperial War Machine would benefit The US 99% and small, medium and even large businesses, like nothing else really could .. but your greedy bastard ; Randian ; 0.01% Parasite Class & their 1% lackeys in MSM, Politics and academia just can not handle the idea of sharing the pie as they avoid and evade taxes whilst threatening 'Capital Flight'. Scumbags !!!

Also very true - the greedy are blind to the fact that the healthier worker would mean a healthier economy and so healthier sales. GREED IS BLIND GRASPING INSANITY.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

''On November 5, Seattle voters made Occupy activist and economics professor Kshama Sawant the first avowed socialist city council member in their city’s history & the country’s first big city socialist council member in decades. In an interview on Thursday – one day before her vote count lead spurred her opponent to concede the race, Sawant slammed Obama economics, suggested she could live to see the end of U.S. capitalism, and offered a socialist vision for transforming Boeing. A condensed version of our conversation follows'' ...

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

BTW - TWEET

Thanks shadz.

DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

The End of U.S. Capitalism http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36895.htm

GR8 Interview

GR8 Food 4 Thought

Addressing the needs of a Healthy Society

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

'' On November 5, Seattle voters made Occupy activist and economics professor Kshama Sawant the first avowed socialist city council member in their city’s history "

Now that is spectacular - most especially if she stays the course.

1st the legalization of marijuana and now this - things are looking up in Washington State.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

If you read the article, you'll see that she's complimentary about developments in MN too !!

per aspera ads astra ...

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Yep it is gr8 to see recognition from out state - Occupy Mn - a very worthy movement. It will be good when all worthy efforts go national & world wide.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Hmmm - funny thought on that $15.00 an hour minimum wage.

What if income of a single person 40hrs/wk making minimum living wage was not taxed? Anything over but not at or under 40hrs/wk. The taxes ( other than SS contribution - not a tax - so continued to be taken out of the paycheck ) would be trivial on that amount of income - so for a family though that would be for a figure of 80hrs/wk max tax relief. Just imagine how much more would go out to the general economy while making low income earners more financially healthy.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

A tax free personal income allowance set at $30k/annum in the US would be excellent - such that only income over that is liable to income tax & makes sense. The current dollar equivalent of that in the UK is $16k ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24976305 ) but the principle has value for most working people.

Also pertinent to this thread about ''outrage'' & fyi :

''One part of the TPP that shows why negotiators want to minimize public awareness of the agreement consists of provisions giving corporations the right – as is the case under the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) – to directly sue governments for regulations that infringe upon their profits or potential profits. This, too, is much worse than the WTO, where a corporation has to convince its government to file a case against another government. These private enforcement actions – which if won collect from the defendant government – are judged by special tribunals outside of either country's judicial system, without the kinds of due process or openness that exists, for example, in the US legal system. A currently infamous example is the action by Lone Pine Resources, a Delaware-incorporated company, against the government of Quebec for its moratorium on fracking.

''Perhaps less known than its other failings, the TPP doesn't even offer any economic gains for the majority of Americans who are being asked to sacrifice their constitutional rights. The gains from increased trade turn out to be so small that they are equivalent to a rounding error in the measurement of our GDP. The study most touted by proponents of the agreement, published by the Peterson Institute of International Economics, shows a cumulative increase of 0.13% of GDP by 2025. This would be trivial in any case; but the worse news is that, taking into account some of the unequalizing effects of the agreement – these treaties tend to redistribute income upwards – a Centre for Economic and Policy Research study showed that most Americans will actually lose because of the TPP.''

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

'' One part of the TPP that shows why negotiators want to minimize public awareness of the agreement consists of provisions giving corporations the right – as is the case under the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) – to directly sue governments for regulations that infringe upon their profits or potential profits."

Pure insanity - also a problem with current corp(se)oRATions - as just recently I read somewhere that they can sue for loss of future income for product that is ordered to be removed off the shelves for any reason including it being a health hazard. I wonder if that is part of the insanity behind letting toxic derivatives stay in play.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

A tax free personal income allowance set at $30k/annum in the US would be excellent - such that only income over that is liable to income tax makes sense. The current dollar equivalent of that in the UK is $16k ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24976305 ) but the principle has value for most working people.

And yet the assholes tax social security recipients - even though what most get is nowhere near enough to live on and for many ( most? ) is their sole income.

Things are bass ackwards. And yet there are still people who are mystified as to what the problem is.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

The nature of The 0.01% Parasite Class is - least to those who need it most and most to them that need it least. This is now the stark reality of 'Pseudo-Democracy' USUK style - with it's 'Manufactured Consent' and Corporate MSM & I really recommend this short video on sff's latest thread to you and all :

ad iudicium ...

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

The nature of The 0.01% Parasite Class is - least to those who need it most and most to them that need it least.

It stands to reason that these would be mentally ILL = Greed

As would be all (? - ! ) who pursue extreme wealth.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

BTW - Thanks = http://occupywallst.org/forum/chomsky-on-democracy/ with Bill Moyers &

More easily seen ( more relevant ) today than even back in 1988.

[-] -2 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

Solidarity and the original URL = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljaXy1t0I44 .

pax ...

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Gotta get this stuff constantly circulated.

True Democracy = Socialism

Socialism is not a four letter word.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

Exactamundo Amigo Y Solidaridad Siempre :-) + fyi :

As always - together we are stronger ! Nationally AND Internationally !! Viva OWS & The 99% !!!

''Socialism is not a four letter word'' - you're absolutely right but CRAPitalism might as well be !!!

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

TWEET

DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljaXy1t0I44

Gotta get this stuff constantly circulated.

True Democracy = Socialism

Socialism is NOT a four letter word

[-] -1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 11 months ago

Truly Bernie is a Prince amongst a pile of rubbish. Have you ever thought about what a long, lonely trip he has had....both in the House and then the Senate. The courage and the fortitude that he must have is exemplary. That guy is my definition of a 'man.'

Thanks for all that info. Solidarity

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

''Greed, Excess and America's Gaping Class Divide'', by Matt Taibbi :

I totally concur with you re. Bernie Sanders and he's the exception that proves the rule of that 'Duopoly' word. In the U$A, y'all barely have a 'Republic' never mind a 'Democracy', yet the parties use those very words & your corrupt polytrix is increasingly a sham BUT .. like Bernie and others .. there is still hope :

''In the absence of movements, especially mass movements, people tend to feel atomized, and everybody is privately thinking that “the system is not working for me.” The Occupy movement, what it did was it ended that silence and people were more openly talking about the economic crisis, the fact that the banks got bailed out and the rest of us were left with unemployment, low-wage jobs, and an epidemic of foreclosures and evictions. So I think, contrary to what people thought…It’s really been a period where newer, small but new movements are starting to rise up. There’s been the Occupy Homes campaign in Minnesota, which has actually prevented several foreclosures…And there’s been sort of initial eruptions of the environmental movement.

''Now, what [the] Left has to do is to recognize that there is an opening here, there is a hunger among people in the United States, especially young people, young working people…In reality, what has become a dirty word is capitalism. Young people can see that the system does not offer any solutions. They can see that a two-party system is not working for them. But what is the alternative? We have to provide the alternative…''

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 11 months ago

When you lose "hope", it's time to start digging your own grave.

Today, it should not be forgotten is the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. While I hope that none of us have to ever make the sacrifices that those brave men did, our task is similar, and our struggle is a formidable one and it is a World-wide one. The closing words to that famous speech reflect that;

..."It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us.....that this nation......., shall have a new birth of freedom, and that... government[s] of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

As Occupy both leads and learns, it is showing the way by example; schooling people in Resistance and Outreach...facilitating, co-ordindinating group's direct actions and alternatives, it remains a key player in this revolution. The coalitions that have formed and the determination of an awakened people are indelible. That is especially true for the the young who have many decades ahead of them.

As for "alternatives," there's a bright young man, Omar Freilla, one of the founders of the Green Worker Co-operatives, who is walking the talk.

http://www.greenworker.coop/

And here he is answering questions with the other panelists at a recent symposium in NY. And he was not upstaged in the least by either Professor Wolff, Ms Goldstein, or Marc Armstrong of the Public Banks Institute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wwPSX3Unz4

Good links, thanks.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 months ago

''As Occupy both leads and learns, it is showing the way by example; schooling people in Resistance and Outreach...facilitating, co-ordindinating group's direct actions and alternatives, it remains a key player in this revolution. The coalitions that have formed and the determination of an awakened people are indelible. That is especially true for the the young who have many decades ahead of them.''Ditto p22 and in compliment of your post and points :

Thanx for your video & for http://www.greenworker.coop/ . A very nice site from which I quote : ''Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much'' (Helen Keller). I only briefly looked at your You-Tube link of Prof. Wolff & co. but hope to come back to it later. Thanx & solidarity to you and your comrades in resistance and also fyi :

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 11 months ago

All five of those people in your link deserve an immense amount of credit for "Keeping the Movement Alive"...and flourishing in ways perhaps that were unforsseen in the early days of Occupy.

While I don't know her well, I have talked to Laurie Wen briefly, and I have seen her work hard during a Healthcare For The 99% collaborative event with Strike Debt... at the Judson church and in the streets and parks of lower Manhattan.

Now as for Cathy O'Neil...her I know quite well, and believe me when I say that, she is the salt of the earth. Cathy is a plain-spoken very caring mother of three, and although she knows my name, she calls me sweetie (me sweet..lol?). For this super intelligent person to have given up a life albeit a superficial one, in which she had to be monetarily compensated very well.... and then to concentrate her efforts into making this a better World...well she has my undying respect.

Make no mistake about it though, these people and a lot more people very much like them are just as likely to be found in a protest march, or doing another kind of act of civil disobedience, as they are to be found behind a podium, desk or a computer. And they are joined and buoyed in their efforts to make our society a better one by people who might never get the recognition that they deserve, but still they are undeterred because 'recognition' is not what they are there for, instead it is in knowing that they are amongst kindred spirits.... and in the satisfaction that they are involved in a noble movement for justice in which we and our progeny will all benefit from when it comes to fruition.

One of the things you learn early in Occupy is the necessity to be there for each other when you or friends feel down about the progress of our struggle, or have seen one of your comrades arrested for the cause.... or when you see someone who has simply burnt out from their intense efforts to progress this movement. I know a young couple who have been afflicted by the latter, and maybe some money troubles to boot. Only earlier today I invited them to a very positive Alt Banking meeting with me on Sunday, and I sweetened the deal..the invitation with breakfast on me! She texted me back saying, "You are very pursuasive :-)", and they would think about it.

Popular Resistance has been on my home screen for a while, but visiting the site now, I have noticed that it has really improved a lot. One of the founders of that site is Margaret Flowers (and possibly Kevin Zeese too). These two people are wonderful writers, who often collaborate on articles, and they are of the same ilk as all the people that were mentioned in your post. And I have noticed that you have put up many links to articles that they have written. But I am a bit concerned though that they appear in that dang forei'n ICH too...lol.

Margaret Flowers and Jill Stein, both physicians who have been arrested for civil disobedience 9 times between them, 6 for Ms Flowers and 3 for Ms Stein give a wonderful interview to Bill Moyers and in which they talk about those arrests, and a whole bunch more. And don't leave off with the interview, instead Follow..The 9th... and Moyers' closing for some added inspiration.

The Path of Positive Resistance

http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-the-path-of-positive-resistance/

Solidarity my friend

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

"Hunger Games, U.S.A." by Paul Krugman.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/opinion/krugman-hunger-games-usa.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

Is this the nation we want to be? Do we want to be ruled by a minority of greedy, sick people who take all they want and leave only crumbs for the rest? "Let them eat cake," Marie Antoinette said, and we know what happened to her.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

The critical distinctions between the making of money and the creation of wealth is The Key to seeing through Wall Street’s illusions.

Real wealth actually includes fertile land ; pure water ; clean air ; healthy food ; caring relationships ; healthy, happy children ; quality education and health care ; fulfilling opportunities for service ; peace and even time for meditation and spiritual reflection.

These are just a few among the many forms of 'Real Wealth', to which we should all properly expect a sound economy to contribute - but Wall Street has so seriously corrupted the language however, that it is now difficult even to express the crucial distinctions between money, which is a facilitator of actual economic activity & real wealth - the purpose of economic activity.

Financial commentators will routinely use terms like wealth, capital, resources & assets when referring to the 'phantom wealth financial assets, which makes them sound like something real, substantial and tangible - whether or not they are backed by anything of real value. Similarly, they identify folks engaged in market speculation and manipulation as investors, thus glossing over the distinction between those who game the system to expropriate wealth and those who contribute to its creation.

Thanx for your excellent link and salutary words bw and finally fyi :

fiat lux ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

Amen, Shadz. The purpose of economic activity should be to increase the overall quality of life for the most people, not to exploit and maximize profits for the few.

And, the 10 things most Americans don't know about America are:

  1. Few People Are Impressed By Us

  2. Few People Hate Us

  3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World

  4. We Are Poor At Expressing Gratitude And Affection

  5. The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great

  6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us

  7. We’re Paranoid

  8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention

  9. We Are Very Unhealthy

  10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''The 40 percent of the American electorate that typically isn't motivated to vote has, in some sense, a higher political consciousness than the 60 percent who vote time and again for the continuance of class society, because the 40 percent know consciously or unconsciously that these elections are not going to improve their lives in any meaningful way. Only when a mass Labor Party enters the arena will bourgeois elections take on real significance for the bottom two-thirds majority.

''Time and again, when people fight shoulder to shoulder against the common enemy, the differences melt away. This is what the ruling class fears most.'' Excerpted from :

Thanx for your excerpted bullet points above & all your efforts for a bw, bw. Solidarity.

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

Now if only we could get Americans to realize that for the most part they are laborers, workers. Be proud of being a worker! Stand up and join with others and fight for what is rightfully yours. There is no shame in being a worker! Workers are what built this nation.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''How We Are Impoverished, Gentrified and Silenced - And What To Do About It'', by John Pilger

Thanx for your rather beautiful comment bw and tho' set in The UK I append the article above a) because I'm a huge fan of JP & b) because it is emblematic of the plight of workers everywhere. Wherever we are on this Good Earth, we all need to realise we're workers & 'unite as we we have nothing but our chains' !

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

An excellent, insightful article, shadz. A must-read, in my opinion.

"Political fightbacks have coalesced recently around many "separate" struggles, such as those of public union workers in Wisconsin, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the coal miners, the US postal workers, the fast-food workers, public school teachers, the anti-war movement, those determined to stop global warming, the free speech and press freedom movements, communities fighting to stop police harassment, the reproductive rights movement, the LGBT movement and a hundred others."

Now, if we can only convince these disparate entities that our struggles are connected, our enemy the same.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Consider : ''human beings have trouble in detecting slow-moving threats. You can watch us failing to do it every day : we persistently ignore the fact that we are running into trouble at a civilisational level, even though the evidence is all around us.'' from :

Furthermore, ''if we can only convince these disparate entities that our struggles are connected, our enemy the same'' then we are more than halfway there. It may feel like a long shot sometimes - but it can be done & here's an unlikely insight into the possibilities of democracy - if and when the 99% can get our shit together : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZyHsCrybQM !!!

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

It's a long shot, but it certainly can be done. I thought 'webmuskie's' comment at top was, among other things, inspirational. And before I go off for a moment to read your newest ICH link, I'll trade you link for link. It's not as deep and insightful as many, you could almost say it speaks the obvious. But it's a short read and dead-on in it's contention:

http://www.activistpost.com/2011/02/real-revolution.html

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Fkn A !!! ''Real revolution will take place when people realize what indeed is really happening, who is behind it, and then no longer paying into their corrupt system. This (can) translate into boycotting the corporate combines behind the very policies we deplore, and replacing "their" system that benefits only them, with our own system that solely benefits ourselves.'' {from your excellent link} ...

AND Agitating, Educating and Organising for a real Labour Based 99% Party in coalition with all 99% Independents and Greens and Non-ALEC-Corporate-Koch-Sucking, Left-Libertarians and challenging and exposing the established corrupt duopoly at every level !!

Thanx for your great link & I know of the author and have read his stuff in the past - on ICH - of course ! Did you see the wee video in my previous comment above ? Finally, I'm cross linking here to :

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] -3 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Sorry for the delay, my friend. That damn web and all it's damn interesting links, lol. That's is another sobering ICH article, to be sure. It's later than we think, shadz. Later than we think. Which is, not coincidentally, the title of a post I've been mulling around in my head for a week.

And you mean that 'wee' video with my buddy facts? Heheh, yeah I watched that a few nights ago. I'm gonna watch it again here in a few, to refresh my memory. Me and facts don't see "eye-to-eye" but that doesn't mean the boy doesn't have some good things to say. Ah, but if only he could see the light in regards to the truth of our, ahem, electoral 'process.' But hey, we're still on the same team.

Now, I'm off to check out your cross-linked forum post. I scanned the beginning as I was logging in but didn't finish, 'cause I saw a PM box that had to take priority. ;-)

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Until Americans' awareness catches up to the realities of the increasing US class divide, shrinking life opportunities for the majority and disappearance of social mobility, we will be unable to address the problems of high unemployment and economic stagnation.

''It's no secret that inequality today is at its highest level since 1929. Countless commentators lament record high inequality as a danger to our society and to American prosperity - a point that even establishment papers like The New York Times are now acknowledging. In an October 2012 story, for example :

''the paper warned that "income inequality may take [a] toll on growth," and reported that " a growing body of economic research suggests that it might mean lower levels of economic growth and slower job creation in the years ahead."

''Income inequality is at its greatest level since The Great Depression, with the top one percent of Americans capturing an astounding 93 percent of all annual income gains in the post-2008 era. This represents a dramatic acceleration of an already extreme trend from the 1980s through the 2000s, when the top one percent captured one-sixth of all income created, and the top 10 percent captured approximately one half of created wealth.

''With the dramatic decline in the economic fortunes of most Americans, one would think that awareness of the growing class divide in the United States would be as pronounced as ever. Sadly, this is not the case. On one level, recognition of inequality and elite power is fairly high among Americans. For example, a December 2012 Pew Research Center poll found that 76 percent of Americans felt that "it's really true that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer." Similarly, a Pew survey from January 2012 revealed that 77 percent agreed "there is too much power in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations in the United States."

''Despite these findings, evidence suggests that Americans - while they are concerned about wealth inequality - are not sufficiently aware of the fundamental divide that exists within the American economic class system. Americans are concerned with growing inequality and with excessive corporate power, but they aren't aware of just how extreme the American wealth divide has become. This point was made clear in a 2011 Duke-Harvard study, which found that perceptions of inequality were far less extreme than actual inequality.'' - Excerpted from :

No delays and so no contrition necessary mate. Only the sharing of info for The 99% in good time is all that is important here. Solidarity.

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Thanks, my friend. And although a large percentage of Americans believe "it's really true that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer" and "there is too much power in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations in the United States," I suspect to most citizens these concepts are fuzzy at best. They may agree to the statements but they're probably unaware of the true meaning, repercussions or severity of it all.Very few of them probably see it in terms of the big picture or what it means to us in the long term.

I wrote that before reading your ICH article about class and it seems to confirm my assessment, but goes much deeper in explaining it, as there seems to be widespread denial that there is, in fact, a class divide in this country.

"A majority of Americans rejected the attempt to frame the US as divided between haves and have-nots in most every Pew survey done from the mid-1980s through 2011. . . The optimistic view that "everyone is middle class" is blatantly contradicted by the finding that the vast majority of new wealth created goes to the wealthiest one percent, and that half of Americans have no financial wealth. The long-standing conviction that America is not divided along class lines, and that those willing to work hard will be rewarded, appears to be the relic of a bygone era. This delusion is held by Americans who cling to the promise of prosperity from a system that is increasingly leaving the masses behind."

"Those who have grown up in affluent communities, and who benefit from material affluence as adults stand on the winning side of the class divide. These individuals look at much of the public anger at the current economy and try to generalize their own positive experiences to those who are less fortunate and often denied the opportunities available to them. A predictable line of questioning and rationalization of the status quo I've heard so many times from privileged Americans goes something like this: "What are these people complaining about? I worked hard and have been financially successful. So that means anyone can do it, and these people are simply complainers who want something for nothing."

And as I read the last portion of the article, it made me think about the short video posted by Matt earlier, "The Story of Stuff" and particularly the comment made by the narrator. She spoke of walking into a Radio Shack and buying a cheap radio for $4.99 and as she stood in line the realization hit her that the cheap price in no way reflected the true cost of that radio in terms of production, distribution and warehousing, let alone the cost to the store in terms of shelf space and employee wage.

My point being, the abundance of cheap toys and distractions here helps mask the true wealth disparity, the real class-divide that so obviously exists and is only getting worse. As long as low-income earners can pay for their endless distractions, they'll never see the situation as it really is. And I'm sure this fact isn't lost on the 0.01%.

That YT clip never gets old and I think we all should view it at least once.

And here's a couple YT clips of my own, from two people that clearly fit the definition of 'the haves' but certainly haven't let that fact skew their perceptions of reality:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIhOXCgSunc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYZpWTvre9c&feature=fvwp

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

George Carlin cuts though the crap so beautifully and Nick Hanauer is a person of conscience and true integrity. Thanx for these excellent short videos and your important comment and the connection to 'The Story Of Stuff' series is very apt indeed. I have been linking to that site on and off for as long as I've been here but hadn't done so for quite a while, so now do so again with relish due to your timely & fitting cue :

Also, your comment, point & acute observation : ''the abundance of cheap toys and distractions here helps mask the true wealth disparity, the real class-divide that so obviously exists and is only getting worse. As long as the low-income earners can pay for their endless distractions, they'll never see the situation as it really is. And I'm sure this fact isn't lost on the 0.01%.'' - is so spot on that it deserves repetition - and often. Solidarity 'g'.

fiat lux ...

[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Worthy links. I'd forgotten about 'The Story of Stuff' until Matt posted it again. Well worth the few minutes it takes to watch.

And I'd forgot to post one more link in my response to you, that I had saved for just this sort of occasion:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/two-american-families/the-state-of-americas-middle-class-in-eight-charts/

I thought Chart #2 was interesting for the fact that the two lines are essentially mirror images of one another, showing with utmost clarity the extraction of wealth from the middle class to the top 20%, a trend that seems to be accelerating.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''For many middle-class families, the American Dream can feel as though it's slipping away. For others, it can seem lost for good.'' - Sigh and thanx for that great set of graphs. #8, #7, #6 got my attention and #5 was also very interesting and an echo of your point re. #2. Thanx again 'g' and I strongly recommend your great link & given your link to Bill Moyers' film, ‘Two American Families’ (A Must Watch Video) :

Pls. watch Bill Moyers’ July 9, 2013 Frontline documentary about two ordinary, hard-working families in Milwaukee via the links above. Since 1992 Bill Moyers has been following the story of these two middle-class families -- one black, one white -- as they battle to keep from sliding into poverty. He first met the Stanleys and Neumanns when they were featured in his excellent 1990 documentary - 'Minimum Wages : The New Economy' ( http://billmoyers.com/content/minimum-wages/ ). The families were then revisited in 1995 for 'Living on the Edge' { http://billmoyers.com/content/living-on-the-edge/ }, and again in 2000 for 'Surviving the Good Times' [ http://billmoyers.com/content/surviving-the-good-times/ ].

Bill Moyers revisited his reports on the Stanleys and Neumanns and talked about the issues raised with authors Barbara Miner and Barbara Garson on the July 5 episode of Moyers & Company, “Surviving the New American Economy.” - http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-surviving-the-new-american-economy/ . Also for both the record and later consideration :

Folk need to read, watch, share, get cross, question and connect dots. Solidarity & Occupy Wall St. !!!

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

'Two American Families' is definitely high on my 'must-watch' list. Many thanks for mentioning it in the first place a short time ago, and ditto for your excellent links. I've seen them, but others may not have and repetition is an absolute necessity on a forum where vital information can fall beneath the radar rather quick. One thing especially notable about the Shadow Stats graph is what's indicated post-2010. Whereas the official and broadcast numbers show a drop in the unemployment rate, the reality is true employment is quickly reaching a level not seen since the First Great Depression. And nothing, nothing is being done to stem this tide.

"Folk need to read, watch, share, get cross, question and connect dots." Absolutely!

Solidarity, my friend.

[-] -3 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

That last link to the Heist was brilliant.

Passed that around. Thanks.

[Removed]

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 3 months ago

Iran gives women free birth control as do many others. See the map.

http://www.vox.com/2014/6/30/5857904/where-the-pill-is-free

The U.S. is behind the times and going backward. Another outrage.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 3 months ago

''Iran gives women free birth control as do many others'' !!! Or course those three exclamation marks are only there because we are meant to think that Iranians are somehow 'irrational'', right ?!! As for the U$A, well .. hmmm - you get me bw ?!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 3 months ago

The wider point, is, as you make it well, that Americans hold an unwarranted hubris about their own greatness and superiority to others.

"Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, has promised healthcare for all Iranians in the next four years in a move reminiscent of Barack Obama's patient protection and affordable care act, dubbed Obamacare."

What American would have thought?

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 3 months ago

Re. reasons for ''outrage'', perhaps also consider :

Sadly, when it comes to ''thought'', there's li'l of that re, Iran in The USA imo but solidarity 4 a bw.

multum in parvo ...

[-] -1 points by turbocharger (1486) 3 months ago

Im sure the Iranian insurance companies are just as greedy as the ones here :)

[-] 3 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 5 months ago

bump.... this is a GREAT post

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 9 months ago

"State of the Union's Workers: Screwed"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/state-of-union-workers_n_4681994.html

"The number of workers living in poverty exploded during the Great Recession and its aftermath, as people were hobbled by part-time work, temporary employment and the disproportionate growth of low-wage jobs. Most workers have endured at least a decade of wage stagnation, with their pay being well outstripped by corporate profits."

C'mon Obama, do something about it!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 months ago

''In the final analysis, the sympathetic corporate Democrat and the arrogant corporate Republican offer only small variations on the same menu: ever increasing austerity. Obama bragged about reducing the deficit, never acknowledging that this has been accomplished on the backs of the poor, contributing mightily to economic inequality and social insecurity.'' from :

Thanx for your strong 'HuffPo' link'. Anybody who gives two shits for American workers should read that.

per aspera ...

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

Income inequality in one chart:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/06/rich-richer_n_4731408.html

"So what does this all mean in actual dollars? It means that more than half of U.S. wage earners made less than $30,000 in 2012, which is not far above the $27,010 federal poverty line for a family of five. Meanwhile, the top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country's total income in 2012."

From Glen Ford: "In the final analysis, the sympathetic corporate Democrat and the arrogant corporate Republican offer only small variations on the same menu: ever increasing austerity."

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 months ago

A ''rising tide has lifted a few boats and washed the rest aside'' & frankly there's a huge question about this ''rising tide'' which ebbs as quickly as it flows and only brings illusory and temporary benefits to the few while disregarding the many. Despite long held platitudinous, economic faux / pseudo, truths ... like your excellent 'HuffPo' link shows, there ain't no ''Trickle Down'' these days .. as it much more a case of 'Hoover Up Economix'. OWS, Bernie Sanders, Kshama Sawant et al, show the way and finally fyi, see :

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

I highly recommend "Breaking the Set" as well. Thanks for the links. Abby Martin has just gotten better and better.

Have you heard about the supposed "Politics of Envy." Good grief. I was watching some news show this morning where they were talking about how the 1% believes they work harder than everyone else and so are therefore, deserving of their money, and that the 99% are just "envious" of their riches. Unf-ing believable! Work harder! Most of them don't work at all. They have no understanding of how capitalism works and that how the basis of capitalism is exploitation. Or, if they do have an understanding, they just don't really give a shit because they are on the right side of the equation, the greedy bastards.

The 99% are the hardworking backbone of this country and every country, and they deserve a fair piece of the profit pie. The kind of arrogance shown by the 1% makes me think that they won't change on their own. They're not getting the message. And, that is a problem, because if we continue down this path of growing income inequality and "Let them eat cake" mentality it will get ugly. Have these people not had enough of a warning? What is it they don't understand? Do they know nothing of history?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 months ago

''Breaking The Set'' with Abby Martin is just the kind of current affairs show that the US Corporate Networks don't have the balls or motivation to run :

Re. your excellent and clearly heartfelt comment, I hear you loud and clear and concur & re. your final question, I append and thoroughly recommend :

''Occupy's position was that systemic financial corruption immensely benefits both Republicans and Democrats. The "profiteers" at the other end of "corrupt transactions" were clients or patrons of both parties. If one party breaks rank, it would lose a substantial amount of contributions and effectively cede an election to the other. So to the chagrin of Democrats, Occupy remained outside electoral politics.''

fiat lux ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

"January 25th's and Occupy Wall Street's political failure may in fact be their triumph. In demonstrating the inability of representative governments to meet the ambitions and ideals of the 21st Century mind, protestors in Cairo and in New York achieved a cultural coup. They educated the broader public about what is not possible within current political-economic structures and what alternative structures could be."

This is the important legacy of Occupy. It is first and foremost, an idea. An idea now embedded in the minds of the American people that has absolutely nothing to do with the current political and economic structure because those structures simply do not work.

The idea of Occupy has to do with the nation's ethos, it's priorities and the morality of fairness that we all know underpins our Constitution as set out by the founding fathers. A Constitution that is to promote the general welfare of the people, not just the wealthy and corporations, and that in no place demands a capitalist economic system.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 months ago

''The idea of Occupy has to do with the nation's ethos, it's priorities and the morality of fairness that we all know underpins our Constitution as set out by the founding fathers. A Constitution that is to promote the general welfare of the people, not just the wealthy and corporations, and that in no place demands a capitalist economic system.'' Nice & thus in compliment :

''What we are trying to do, I assume, is really to get back to the principles and aims and spirit of the Declaration of Independence. This spirit is resistance to illegitimate authority and to forces that deprive people of their life and liberty and right to pursue happiness, and therefore under these conditions, it urges the right to alter or abolish their current form of government-and the stress had been on abolish. But to establish the principles of the Declaration of Independence, we are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the laws that demand killing or that allocate wealth the way it has been done, or that put people in jail for petty technical offenses and keep other people out of jail for enormous crimes. My hope is that this kind of spirit will take place not just in this country but in other countries because they all need it. People in all countries need the spirit of disobedience to the state, which is not a metaphysical thing but a thing of force and wealth. And we need a kind of declaration of interdependence among people in all countries of the world who are striving for the same thing.''

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

This made me think of some similarities between the colonies back in the 18th century and the masses of Americans today. When the Declaration of Independence was written it was mainly to provide economic freedom to the colonies from Britain. Today, the masses of Americans living under the thumb of corporate America need that same Declaration of Independence along with the Constitution, that states that the government must promote the general welfare of the people, to stand up and fight for their own economic freedom from the chains of corporatism. Nothing has really changed in this country. We still value liberty and understand that economic liberty underpins all liberty.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 months ago

''Today, the masses of Americans living under the thumb of corporate America need that same Declaration of Independence along with the Constitution, that states that the government must promote the general welfare of the people, to stand up and fight for their own economic freedom from the chains of corporatism.''

Totalitarian Crapitalism as displayed by monopolistic and cartel behaviour of the Extractive, Price Gouging, Usurious Corporations, is the new oppressive colonial power. In compliment of your excellent comment, I append :

facta et verba ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

People become fearless when they have nothing left to fear losing. We see this in history and in the parts of the world, today, where people are the most oppressed. Fearlessness is growing here and it's just a matter of time before it creates actions that result in lasting change.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 months ago

''Fearlessness is growing here and it's just a matter of time before it creates actions that result in lasting change.'' Amen bw and in compliment, please consider :

''Hypocrite of the Day? Perhaps Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who criticized fracking regulations for "holding back the American economic recovery," and then protested when a fracking water tower was to be built near his home. Or maybe banker Camden R. Fine, who called Post Office Banks "the worst idea since the Ford Edsel," even though low-income families pay almost 10 percent of their income in fees to traditional banks. The hypocrisy keeps on coming, and our country's wealth keeps moving up to the hypocrites.''

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

Five hypocritical justifications from the Buchheit piece:

  1. Poor People Just Need to Get a Job. But there are No Jobs.

  2. Government is the Problem. Unless the Rich Need a Subsidy.

  3. "The Free Market System Distributes the Fruits of Economic Progress Among All People" Laughable.

  4. Entitlements Must Be Cut. Except for the Entitlements Owned by the Rich.

  5. The Super-Rich are the Most Productive Americans - They Earn Everything They Make (though they sit around on their asses most of the time, I might add)

And, here is Robert Reich on why increasing the minimum wage is the right thing to do:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/real-job-killers_b_4876204.html

"Finally, it's important to remember the real source of job creation. Businesses hire more workers only when they have more customers. When they have fewer customers, they lay off workers. So the real job creators are consumers with enough money to buy."

"The real job killers in America are lousy jobs at lousy wages."

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 months ago

Or - 5 legitimate reasons to slap lobbyists and public representatives in the face with a 2x4.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 months ago

''The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says a minimum wage increase would be a job killer. Republicans and the Chamber also say unions are job killers, workplace safety regulations are job killers, environmental regulations are job killers, and the Affordable Care Act is a job killer. The California Chamber of Commerce even publishes an annual list of "job killers," including almost any measures that lift wages or protect workers and the environment.'' - from your excellent 'HuffPo' link by Robert Reich.

Right Wing Corporate Organisations & Lobby Groups like The US CoC, ALEC, 'Citizens United' et al, ad nauseum and their Neoliberal Lackeys & Lickspittles spewing their class hatred on The Corporate MSM - are the definitive job killers, wealth extractors and enemies of The 99%. Furthermore ...

''There is a need for a massive social movement with distinct strategies, organizations and the will to address the roots of the problem and imagine a very different kind of society, one that requires genuine democratic socialism as its aim. Democracy is on life support in the US and working within the system to change it is a dead end, except for gaining short-term reforms. The struggle for a substantive [99%] - democracy needs more, and the American people expect more.'' from Henry Giroux in conversation with Bill Moyers :

qui tacet consentire ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

And, heck, all this talk about the minimum wage while what we need is a living wage!

Here's a new link by economists at MIT with a way to calculate living wages all over America, very interesting:

http://livingwage.mit.edu/

Also, let's not stop there. Let's have a "Global Minimum Wage" to keep international competition in check:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/06/20136910314254268.html

"If we're going to have a global labour market, it stands to reason that we need a global system of labour standards, something that will put a floor on the race to the bottom and guarantee a baseline level of human fairness. The single most important component of such a system would be a global minimum wage."

As well as a Basic Income Guarantee !:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income

None of these ideas for wages and income are out of this world and none are unattainable. They are all doable, real, concrete actions that can be put into place to raise millions out of poverty, anxiety and suffering.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 months ago

The US chamber of CONmerc's - HUH - anyone surprised? If so - well then - You should NOW plainly see what all of the protesting is about!!!

[-] 0 points by flip (7174) 8 months ago

well done!

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 months ago

Re. http://livingwage.mit.edu/ - that is a great link. Many thanx for that and your excellent comment and links bw. In compliment, I refer you to my link from Richard Eskow above, re. ''The Left'' in The USA and I also append and recommend :

fiat justitia ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

Extreme inequality and the greed that causes it is the great poisoner of the earth.

[-] -2 points by JGriff99mph (507) 8 months ago

I agree with a lot of what you say BW, but creating a global minimum wage with fluctuating markets and monies is not something Im hoping these sociopaths attempt to achieve.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 8 months ago

Well, how about a global minimum wage that is set by the masses of people and not the greedy bastards? How about we, the masses of people, tell them, the small number of greedy bastards, what we're willing to work for? No more of them telling us what crumbs they are willing to pay. There is power in numbers.

And, I understand your concerns, a global minimum wage would be complicated to set up, but it is entirely doable, and while at it, it should probably be a global living wage. You see, there is enough wealth in the world to end poverty. The wealth just has to be shared fairly.

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 10 months ago

"The Myth of the American Dream"

http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/09/news/economy/america-economic-mobility/index.html?iid=Lead

"Likelihood you'll be stuck in the same class as your parents....it's actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations."

And, here's a story of a guy trying to get on by on low wage, part time jobs, that, I think, represents millions:

http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/12/news/economy/4-low-wage-part-time-jobs/index.html?iid=HP_LN

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 months ago

''The American Dream is supposed to mean that through hard work and perseverance, even the poorest people can make it to middle class or above. But it's actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations.'' from your first link & from the second :

''Bingham is 37 years old and has a college degree, but like many Americans, is stuck working many hours in low wage, part-time jobs. Each week, he works a total of about 60 hours in his jobs as a massage therapist, a waiter at a Mexican restaurant, a delivery man for sandwich chain Jimmy John's and a receptionist at his massage school. He brings home about $400 a week, or $20,000 per year, and has joined the nationwide movement of fast food protests fighting for higher wages. "I've come to the point in my life where I wonder if I can ever support a family," he said. "I have no idea how that's ever going to logically happen." Thus in compliment, I append :

''Look at how the U.S. government has treated students borrowing for their education. When the government was not guaranteeing the gouging interest rates and fine-print traps of Sallie Mae and other corporate lenders that still have the iron collar around millions of college graduates, Uncle Sam was directly making money from students with interest rates around 6 percent. Other western nations offer tuition-free higher education as a great investment for their societies.

''Skyrocketing student loans now exceed credit card loans outstanding – $1.2 trillion in student loans compared to $1 trillion in credit card loans. With her proposed “Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act,” Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to reduce the student interest rate to the same rate paid by large banks borrowing from the Federal Reserve Bank, less than one percent.

''It is stunning how shortsighted this policy of gouging student borrowers is for the health of the economy. Their loan burden after graduation is such that they are less able to buy homes and cars in their twenties and thirties.'' Also fyi : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37120.htm Hmmm.

fiat lux et fiat justitia ...

[-] 3 points by webmuskie (10) from Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Let me repost here my reply to the original article:

Where is the outrage? All around you. If you sit down with an "ordinary person" (meaning someone who is not a part of the left/activist subculture) and lay out the case for revelution (in plain English, not in-group leftspeak, which puts people off), odds are what you'll get back is furious nodding and an interjection or two of cases in point and additional arguments in favor.

I've been talking politics with ordinary people for many decades (I'm a retired cabbie who nowadays gets my daily chat fix with whatever near-minimum-wage worker that the agency sends in to help with my personal care that morning). Never, before the Wall Street crash and associated flagrant theft, would you have gotten such a response. Not ever. Not even in the heyday of the 1960s would you have gotten that kind of response. The common people are anything but apathetic today.

History is chock-a-block with radical "leaders" who wrote in despair of the apathy and passivity of the people on the very eve of great revolutions. Mass movements just don't work the way we think they ought to work, on the schedule we would set for them. It's possible to recognize the environment in which they form, but not at all possible to predict exactly when they will emerge. And emerge they do, suddenly, unexpectedly, in response to the most insignificant of triggers even though grave offense after grave offense seemingly come and go to a collective yawn.

You can't organize a mass movement. All you can do is till the soil and let it emerge in its own time. All the angst expressed over the centuries about apathy and passivity and hopelessness has been misplaced despair rooted in misplaced ideas about change and our role in it. We're the vanguard in the sense that we come to the conclusions of its necessity the earliest. But we are not its "leaders". We do not direct it. We don't choose the time and place. Change is led from the bottom up. Real change always has been and always will be.

(Yes, it is true that educated, usually better off, persons seem to "lead" revolutions. Certainly they're the ones who write the most about their exploits and put themselves at the center of things. But they are not the ones who make up the masses that storm government buildings in the teeth of bullets, bayonets, and tear gas. They don't make up revolutionary armies that march in bare feet and sleep, hungry and shivering, on the ground, a few hours here and a few hours there. That they write a lot about themselves and often manipulate the situation to take charge after the revolution has passed, does not make them the true revolutionaries. It's good that they participate (and "they' here includes me as I did get an education, even though I grew up working class and have spent my life vacillating between extreme poverty (of the homeless and starving sort) and the marginal working class). Their contributions often give a movement a philosophical framework and a body of inspirational writings. But without the common people, they are full of words without substance-- words without implementation, sometimes words entirely detached from reality).

Instead of bemoaning the passivity of the masses, we need to continue in our work as the advance team-- preparing for the day and spreading the word-- and trust our true leaders, the people themselves, to set the date.

Again, when you look at history, what you see is that there is almost always an early eruption or two of the movement for change -- an eruption that runs out of steam or is suppressed by the authorities -- before our leaders, the people, create the real deal. Those eruptions often show a flash of the power hidden within the nascient movement. Who on earth would have thought that a tiny protest organized by a few anarchists in New York City would have exploded into a national movement? Lets face it, protests by anarchists are a dime a dozen. Why should that one have played out so differently, unless it was the first stirrings of a mighty force?

Occupy was a dress rehearsal for what is to come, just as the Boston Tea Party was a dress rehersal for the American Revolution, and 1905 was a practice session for Russia, 1917. Though I put no faith in the Christian God, by analogy, "no (wo)man shall know the day and hour" of revolutionary change, but there are signs knowable to those who see, signs that happen time and again during prerevolutionary periods. Occupy was a sign. Like its many antecedents, it seemed to fizzle, but what came of it was people talking to people, both within the movement, and outside of it, and tools being invented and widely shared. And if it is like its antecedents in the rhythm and flow of history, those connections will be a foundation for what once came, and is to come again, and what in fact will come about whenever a few oppress the many.

We're suffering, all of us, both personally and when those mirror neurons in our heads are tweaked and we feel compassion. We'd like change to have happened yesterday. Occupy raised our hopes, and dashed some of them too. But according to the rhythms and patterns of history this remains a time rich with promise.

The national security apparatus hires a lot of historians, too. They too can read the patterns of history, and so the elite they advise is arming itself and trying its best to disrupt the "ringleaders" of any movement. But the ringleaders are not in truth the leaders of a mass movement, and you can't arrest all the people. All the hollowpoint bullets in the world will not protect them when police refuse orders to shoot, and armed units of the state defect to the people. Arming and training local forces to defend the colonies became the Crown's worst problem at Concord and Lexington. Having a crack unit of marines, the best troops of the empire, stationed just outside the capital only made matters worse for the Czar when those units at Kronstadt joined the revolution.

The only real hope for the people who own the world right now is to give most of it back to the folks they stole it from. But they've made it amply clear that a decisive majority of them will not. History will roll on in spite of their insolence, and it will in due time destroy them.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

Nice comment in many ways but surely we need our intellectuals. We need our Chris Hedges', our Matt Taibbi's, our Richard Wolf's, our Noam Chomsky's, our Cornell West's. They spread the word with their courageous intellects. And, march like a soldier goes the writer who throughout history has taken great risk to publish controversial and even illegal sources to seed revolution. Many have been blacklisted, put under surveillance, jailed, and even killed. So, I'm getting the part about how slow revolution is, it can take many decades, but I'm not getting the part about how the intellectuals are not important.

I also don't think Americans are quite as outraged as you say. They are unhappy with their plight, yes, but they very much blame themselves, because they fail to understand that the economic system is rigged against them and instead, feel inadequate and a failure.

[-] 4 points by webmuskie (10) from Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Oh yes, we do need intellectuals, as I had tried to say. The point I was making is that intellectuals are not the people who determine when where and what takes place, that they are really not "leaders" in any conventional sense. They inspire and incite and analyze but for all that they do revolutions happen when people collectively reach a breaking point. If "leader" is understood as the person in charge, the "leader" of a mass movement has to be the masses.

As to people blaming themselves: humans are good at holding two disjoint thoughts simultaneously. The public knows -- and this is documented in polls -- that they've been screwed over and ripped off, and that their political leaders are not listening to them. When you give them permission to turn those thoughts towards revolution, they do so. After all what's a revolution but the ultimate expression of "throw the bums out".

That's the macropicture. But many (a big number, maybe a majority, I don't know of any statistics here) also believe that if they just tried harder that they could somehow individually overcome the disadvantageous position they are in. I wouldn't be surprised in fact if most of us here harbor in our minds somewhere the idea that we can personally outsmart our circumstances. It would be hard to get out of bed in the morning if we didn't harbor a few unrealistic notions about ourselves.

Things will get very interesting when the disjoint beliefs collapse on themselves and the public really gets it that the game is far more rigged than they could ever hope to overcome.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (6413) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

The "ordinary person" has become disengaged because so many people tell them they have no real choice when of course the truth is very different, lies always lead to despair and sorrow...

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Where is the outrage ? All around you. - The common people are anything but apathetic today. - Mass movements just don't work the way we think they ought to work, on the schedule we would set for them. - You can't organize a mass movement. All you can do is till the soil and let it emerge in its own time. - Instead of bemoaning the passivity of the masses, we need to continue in our work as the advance team -- preparing for the day and spreading the word -- and trust our true leaders, the people themselves, to set the date.'' Sigh. Occupy a hug :-)

Thank you very much for your wise, engaging and hopefully prescient words. I have read your important comment twice and it leaves an deep impression on me. Occupy IS ''a sign'' and we must continue to ''till the soil'' with a view to a better common future for all.

Consider, that the critical distinctions between the making of money and the creation of wealth is The Key to seeing through Wall Street’s illusions. Real wealth actually includes fertile land ; pure water ; clean air ; healthy food ; caring relationships ; healthy, happy children ; quality education and health care ; fulfilling opportunities for service ; peace and even time for meditation and spiritual reflection.

These are just a few among the many forms of 'Real Wealth', to which we should all properly expect a sound economy to contribute - but Wall Street has so seriously corrupted the language however, that it is now difficult even to express the crucial distinctions between money, which is a facilitator of actual economic activity & real wealth - the purpose of economic activity.

On a side note, you are far from alone in Burlington as along side your fellow Occupiers @ The Decker Towers there is another long established OWS poster (''ZenDog'') and maybe you both can touch base and exchange ideas and information and possibly a beverage and I shall bring your excellent comment above to his attention. I leave you with my sincere best wishes and the following :

Solidarity to you 'webmuskie' in all you do & keep sharing with us + http://www.popularresistance.org/ .

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Why Aren't Americans Fighting Back ?'', by E. Douglas Kihn :

''The answer is simple and plausible - but the explanation is a bit more complicated. The majority of Americans are suffering terribly from the current economic crisis, but they do not yet have a political self-identity that will allow for a successful fightback. They don't know who they are or what they're fighting for. Neither do they understand whom or what they are fighting against.''

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Americans have forgotten who they are, and what it takes to bring about systemic change when either or both social and economic injustices become the accepted norm. They have have been conditioned into believing that compliance and conformity are the hallmarks of being a good patriotic American...

Throughout the world, and throughout time the systemic changes for the better did not happen from the top down, but rather from the bottom up in grass-root movements

Examples of the courage and tenacity it takes to bring about a sea change abound......the up-risings in Eastern Europe.....Gandhi's struggle for independence...Sweden and Norway's break from the oligarchs, and most recently Iceland's break from the corrupt banking syndicates and advocacy for transparency in government..... , then in this country, prime examples of this were the the break from the late 19th/early 20th century Gilded Age which resulted in the New Deal...the Women's Suffrage movement....the Civil Rights struggle..., and the Vietnam War

It is only when people become emboldened, and realize the power they have in their numbers will anything change

Until the time that the corrupt elite feel threatened with losing it all....nothing will change

~Odin~

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

A timely shot in the arm and an excellent, inspiring comment if ever there was one.

''Throughout the world, and throughout time the systemic changes for the better did not happen from the top down, but rather from the bottom up in grass-root movements

''It is only when people become emboldened, and realize the power they have in their numbers will anything change''

Emphatic ditto 'Odin' and in compliment, support and solidarity - I append and recommend :

''One of the most important and yet most neglected determinants of the outcomes of the economic crisis and resultant deepening of social inequalities and immiseration is the ‘class struggle’.

''The future lies in building bridges within and between the millions of exploited, excluded and dispossessed who have lost everything and have finally recognized that only via the class struggle can they recover their humanity and a dignified standard of living.''

Solidarity to you and yours and also fyi, I append these important links from shooz :

pax, amor et lux ...

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] -3 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 1 year ago

Very well said webmuskie..

~Odin~

[-] 6 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''As we become new people, we will be learning many lessons through smaller defeats, victories, and stalemates. American workers have to develop an abiding faith in democratic principles and our own abilities, and we have to relearn how to win fights. In the words of that old ruling class warrior Winston Churchill, "Americans always do the right thing, after they have tried everything else first.", from :

Solidarity @ y'O'u & yours :-)

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by eklutna (101) 2 months ago

I love that quote that you put up as it exudes HOPE.

[-] 3 points by elf3 (2738) 1 year ago

HERE!!!!!!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Some people get it, especially as they are feeling it, so good for you that you realise that the actions of the ruling elite reveal a certain deep contempt for working people. It should be clear by now to others too that the economic system is actually at a critical impasse and therefore becoming less and less useful.

America is not as prosperous as it once was, although some Americans can still enjoy the wealth of the sovereigns of old. Americans work harder and longer than they used to, with less pay and less benefits and less chance for advancement - while some Americans have advanced beyond their wildest dreams. The stench of inequality reeks in the land of equals and sadly ...

We are not beaten unless we give up !!! Resistance Is Fertile !! Solidarity elf !

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

One point missing here is the shame factor. Most Americans are convinced that the Horatio Alger story is not a myth. They are convinced that it is their own fault they are in debt, their own fault they make a low salary, their own fault they don't have health insurance. So, I think the "learned helplessness" outlook is not quite accurate. It's more of a "taking the blame on themselves" outlook. Most Americans look up to the wealthy and see them as success stories that they only wish they could mimic. And, if they can't mimic them, well then, they are just not good enough and are ashamed to admit it by asking for anything or complaining that things are not quite right.

They are wholly wrong, or course, and this is where we need to educate and agitate. Americans need to understand that Horatio Alger is a myth and that the economic system they live under is, in fact, set up to make sure that very few people benefit from it in any meaningful way. It is, in fact, set up to exploit the masses, and their is no shame in being angry about that and agitating and demanding a system that ensures the dignity of every single American.

[-] 4 points by elf3 (2738) 1 year ago

In total agreement with your post bw - is it possible that lower class Americans have become so subdued by the wealthy our culture and propaganda, that we are all suffering textbook symptoms of abuse and guilt on a massive scale? Always trying to win over and appease our abusers that we work even harder and blame ourselves always trying to figure out what we're doing wrong and what we can do better? A psychological social experiment being carried out - is Corporate America using basic psychology to make us carry the shame they should bear?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

Thanks, elf. And, yes, I think this is the crux of the matter. It is the reason we don't see Americans out on the street. You say it all so well there. The masses are subdued by the wealthy and our culture and propaganda. They seek to appease their abusers or exploiters by constantly feeling shame and trying to figure out what they are doing wrong. When, in fact, they are doing nothing wrong! There is no way to make this system pay a fair living wage, provide healthcare, affordable education, etc. etc. so people continue to suffer, failing to understand that how they got to this point is not their fault at all! And, yes, I think a lot of psychology is at play here by TPTB.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

The erosion of 'the social contract' - especially since Reagan and the national mythos of the 'rugged individual' combined with a materialistic and individualistic ethos has resulted in what you so astutely and powerfully describe above. ''Shame'' is a powerful negative emotion which can be and indeed, is - manipulated to control and more accurately 'alienate', people from each other. It was not ever thus.

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

"Only 47 percent of all adults in the United States have a full-time job at this point, and 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year."

"Meanwhile, the number of part-time jobs has hit an all-time record high, and the number of temp jobs is absolutely exploding."

This is serious serious stuff. When a civilization no longer allows humans to support families, what do you get? You get the decline of that civilization. Good luck, America. The psychology used on Americans to keep them down, the shame factor and rugged individual b.s., and all, is great in the short run, but in the long run, it will backfire big time.

You can't raise a family on s--t wages with no benefits. Children will not have what they need to flourish and future generations will suffer and ultimately, this country.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''America likes to think of itself as a land of opportunity, and others view it in much the same light. But, while we can all think of examples of Americans who rose to the top on their own, what really matters are the statistics: to what extent do an individual’s life chances depend on the income and education of his or her parents?

''Nowadays, these numbers show that the American dream is a myth. There is less equality of opportunity in the United States today than there is in Europe – or, indeed, in any advanced industrial country for which there are data.

''This is one of the reasons that America has the highest level of inequality of any of the advanced countries – and its gap with the rest has been widening. In the “recovery” of 2009-2010, the top 1% of US income earners captured 93% of the income growth. Other inequality indicators – like wealth, health, and life expectancy – are as bad or even worse. The clear trend is one of concentration of income and wealth at the top, the hollowing out of the middle, and increasing poverty at the bottom.'' from : http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-price-of-inequality & see :

The effects of this inequality will cascade down generations and accumulate and compound over time as 'The Brahmins' detach themselves and tell themselves they are not responsible for anything. No system like that can continue. This period since Reagan and maybe for another 10 years or more hence, will be seen for the historical aberration that it is - as Empire retreats and American's rediscover the 'New deal' rationale of Roosevelt and reassert and recapture their democracy from the Corporatocracy, Plutocracy & Kleptocracy of the present. Sometimes things have to get worse in order to get better, as unpleasant as that is to say or even think.

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

"Half Of Recent College Graduates Lack Full-Time Job, Study Says"

"Of all those who have graduated college since 2006, only 51 percent have a full-time job, according to a Rutgers University study released Thursday. Eleven percent are unemployed or not working at all."

A sobering statistic for the wealthiest society in human history. Maybe it's time to stop worshiping corporate profits and start putting human beings first.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/college-graduates-full-time-jobs-study_n_1496827.html

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

A damn strong 'huffpo' link and I recommend it to all interested readers. Thanx bw and I get the distinct impression that you're rather busy these days but I just wanted to say hi, offer a wave of solidarity AND Very Strongly Recommend this rather excellent documentary to you & all who you may know and love :

This film link won't be around too long I don't think, so I'm strongly recommending it to you because it goes deep and straight to the heart of all matters re. OWS and The 99% in my opinion. Solidarity bw.

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

I've only watched a few minutes and already I've got a few great lines from it:

“To understand something is to be liberated from it.”

“The West has not yet come to terms with it’s fading supremacy.”

I want to watch the whole thing but can't right now because you're right, I've been and am busy. This doc looks worth putting in the time for, though, so thanks, maybe I'll watch with a friend some night soon. Solidarity, Shadz.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

The 'Four Horsemen' pulls no punches in describing the consequences of continued inaction - but its message is one of hope. If more people can equip themselves with a better understanding of how the world really works, then the systems and structures that condemn billions to poverty or chronic insecurity can at last be overturned.

Solutions to the multiple crises now facing humanity have never been more urgent - but equally, the conditions for change have never been more favourable.

For a selection of clips and interviews that did not make the final edit, please also consider in due course : http://www.fourhorsemenfilm.com/video/ & solidarity @ u & yrs, bw.

fiat lux ...

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] -2 points by JPB950 (2254) 1 year ago

I'm not sure I can agree that people are "wholly wrong" to feel part of the fault for their situation is theirs. No system can give you dignity, if you don't develop it for yourself you don't actually have any.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

This is an economic system set up to keep the masses down while enriching and empowering the wealthy and corporations. Dignity isn't even a consideration here. Humans don't matter. Only profits do.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 1 year ago

I certainly agree capitalism is organized around perpetuating itself and the individual doesn't matter at all to it. Unfortunately that's probably true of most economic and political systems.

I do believe it is possible though for people to succeed within it though. It's also possible to make our political system work, but too many fail to make an effort to change things.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

Well, if Americans would wake up and realize that none of this is their fault, because it's not, a capitalist economic system actually requires exploitation in order to survive, maybe they would no longer "fail to make an effort to change things." Maybe they'd get out on the street and make demands. Maybe they'd say no to working for slave wages and no benefits.

You see, no where in the Constitution does it ever say we must have a capitalist economic system that exploits solely for profit. We can institute changes to this system so that it works better for ALL people or better yet, we can institute a new economic system that works in the post Industrial Revolution era, which is global and technological in nature.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 1 year ago

Unfortunately you've mentioned exactly why things won't change, at least any time soon. People refuse to wake up, act as a group, and do anything to change the system. Most are concerned about their own self interests, not the interests of society in general. Those households making over the median income are relatively content (at least content enough not to demand or work for real change). There are also enough of those below the median income level that either don't care enough to change things or see their economic situation as likely to improve and won't work for change. Either way it continues to give the status quo a clear majority.

You are of course correct that capitalism works best for the owners, but until a majority truly feel personally oppressed by it and become willing to do more then complain, it's unlikely to change. I agree the constitution doesn't say anything about the economic system we employ. However the constitution and laws in every state guarantee the right to private ownership, a key ingredient in capitalism. Those property laws are something else I don't see a majority being interested in changing.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

Yes, the brainwashing has been severe, and the governmental oppression, when people do try to protest peacefully in this country, is overwhelming. Hopefully, Americans will wake up to the fact that they are not as free as they have been told that they are. Until then, yep, we're stuck with status quo and major decline.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 1 year ago

There was a comment on here a while ago, I don't remember who wrote it. It said essentially that we don't understand how we're being oppressed. We think of it as being like Orwell's "1984", but in reality it's closer to Huxley's "Brave New World". We're controlled more by government handouts then actual oppression, pleasure controls us not fear.

The poor are given just enough in aid and reality TV, to keep a majority of them docile and indifferent to their situation. Bread and circuses for the mob. It comes down to the idea that there isn't enough misery actually being felt by enough people to make any popular movement effective.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21606) 1 year ago

There is truth in what you say, the government is very calculating in how it does things. However, it is important to distinguish that although the people are not yet starving in the street, they are being treated (share of wages from profits, for instance) extremely unfairly and are being exploited.

I would also argue that debt can only be held and maintained for so long. At some point this is all going to crumble.

[-] 1 points by bostongary (-7) 1 year ago

The government is formed by citizens like you and I. It can be changed. Vote of the Occupy Political Party to reclaim control of politics. http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-occupy-political-party/

[-] 0 points by bostongary (-7) 1 year ago

Real change comes from politics. Join the Occupy Political Party. http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-occupy-political-party/

You cannot accomplish change by posting in a forum.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Re. your link - spamming and browbeating folk and being negative bodes ill for your endeavour and under what authority do you unilaterally start ''THE' Occupy Political Party ? We are all in a long haul, pro-99% generational struggle and the building of a 'Movement' and so socio-cultural awareness and engagement is of paramount importance. Maybe starting your web-site and introducing yourself would actually have been more 'cordial'.

pax ...

[-] 1 points by bostongary (-7) 1 year ago

I introduced myself in my posting. Our website is in development. The Occupy name is not trademarked and there is no longer any general assemblies to decide on the issue. The original Occupy is no longer. We want to move to new horizons. It is a long struggle. We can win with politics. Direct democracy did not work. Many in our ranks have been in Occupy since the beginning. We believe Occupy should fight on all fronts. Posting in a web forum is not enough.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Posting in a web forum is not enough.'' - I agree totally BUT it is 'something' AND telling people ''You cannot accomplish change by posting in a forum'', when people try to post with purpose, passion and perseverance for The 99% is, I'd humbly suggest 'impolitic', especially for an aspirant political party ;-) Good luck in all you do and keep touching base with us here and remember that if you want to catch (alas increasingly rare) bees - use honey 'cause we live in sufficiently sour, vinegary times as it is :-)

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by bostongary (-7) 1 year ago

This forum was useful in the past, but no longer. It has barely any hits. You preach to a tiny few who already support Occupy. Spend your time to reaching the masses and creating real change: http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-occupy-political-party/

Do you want to keep writing for the ten people who already agree with you? No, you want to join the Occupy Political Party and reach millions of Americans.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

You're quick to reply but seem slow to take stock at what is said to you. You are also coming across as strident, impatient and prickly, hmmm - not good, but understandable given the times we all live in. Furthermore, I fear that I am hearing a voice and tone that I know, echoing in the not too far distance.

This forum and these threads are a standing record for all things Occupy. Go do your thing and come back here and link and encourage and entice but stop trying to disrupt, distract and dilute. That is pretty much the sworn purpose of another somewhat infamous character here who considers himself a legend in his own lunchtime. Perhaps you know of him.

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by bostongary (-7) 1 year ago

I will keep you posted on the Occupy Political Party. We will be needing writers soon. If we seem impatient it is because we want change. The occupiers in our group have been here since the beginning. They are becoming impatient. Take care.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

OWS - ''The Best Among Us'', by Chris Hedges from 30 Sept. 2011 :

There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.

To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher.

Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs.

The only word these corporations know is more. They are disemboweling every last social service program funded by the taxpayers, from education to Social Security, because they want that money themselves. Let the sick die. Let the poor go hungry. Let families be tossed in the street. Let the unemployed rot. Let children in the inner city or rural wastelands learn nothing and live in misery and fear. Let the students finish school with no jobs and no prospects of jobs. Let the prison system, the largest in the industrial world, expand to swallow up all potential dissenters. Let torture continue. Let teachers, police, firefighters, postal employees and social workers join the ranks of the unemployed. Let the roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grids, rail lines, subways, bus services, schools and libraries crumble or close. Let the rising temperatures of the planet, the freak weather patterns, the hurricanes, the droughts, the flooding, the tornadoes, the melting polar ice caps, the poisoned water systems, the polluted air increase until the species dies.

Who the hell cares? If the stocks of ExxonMobil or the coal industry or Goldman Sachs are high, life is good. Profit. Profit. Profit. That is what they chant behind those metal barricades. They have their fangs deep into your necks. If you do not shake them off very, very soon they will kill you. And they will kill the ecosystem, dooming your children and your children’s children. They are too stupid and too blind to see that they will perish with the rest of us. So either you rise up and supplant them, either you dismantle the corporate state, for a world of sanity, a world where we no longer kneel before the absurd idea that the demands of financial markets should govern human behavior, or we are frog-marched toward self-annihilation.

Those on the streets around Wall Street are the physical embodiment of hope. They know that hope has a cost, that it is not easy or comfortable, that it requires self-sacrifice and discomfort and finally faith. They sleep on concrete every night. Their clothes are soiled. They have eaten more bagels and peanut butter than they ever thought possible. They have tasted fear, been beaten, gone to jail, been blinded by pepper spray, cried, hugged each other, laughed, sung, talked too long in general assemblies, seen their chants drift upward to the office towers above them, wondered if it is worth it, if anyone cares, if they will win. But as long as they remain steadfast they point the way out of the corporate labyrinth. This is what it means to be alive. They are the best among us.

~

per aspera ad astra ...

~

[Article copied verbatim under 'Fair Use' from : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29271.htm ]

[-] -1 points by bostongary (-7) 1 year ago

Chris Hedges is one of our consultants.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Good for you if you're legit but not if you're not ( http://www.occupyparty.org/ ) !!!

minima maxima sunt ...

[-] 2 points by bullfrogma (448) 8 months ago

Nice. I think there's outrage in most people. Everyone I've met will tell you this stuff is ridiculous. But seriously, what can they do? People have a house to take care of, or a job to keep, even kids to raise. The mass of people is an avalanche, a tremendous momentum pouring through the cracks of our environment. Is somebody supposed to just up and defy their comfort zone when nobody else is? That's madness.

People need an option, something to participate with. There's plenty of outrage but practically zero opportunity. You could get pretty much the entire country to sign a petition if only it would reach them. Organization is that power of people. We need it.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 months ago

''The Problem is Civil Obedience'' - Howard Zinn (Video & Transcript) :

''What we are trying to do, I assume, is really to get back to the principles and aims and spirit of the Declaration of Independence. This spirit is resistance to illegitimate authority and to forces that deprive people of their life and liberty and right to pursue happiness, and therefore under these conditions, it urges the right to alter or abolish their current form of government-and the stress had been on abolish. But to establish the principles of the Declaration of Independence, we are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the laws that demand killing or that allocate wealth the way it has been done, or that put people in jail for petty technical offenses and keep other people out of jail for enormous crimes. My hope is that this kind of spirit will take place not just in this country but in other countries because they all need it. People in all countries need the spirit of disobedience to the state, which is not a metaphysical thing but a thing of force and wealth. And we need a kind of declaration of interdependence among people in all countries of the world who are striving for the same thing.'' Also consider :

Thanx for your comment & I agree with you that 'Organisation Is The Power Of The People'.

consilio et animis ...

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 1 year ago

The biggest lie we have believed is why we are not in the streets. We, the United States, are NOT the biggest and the best, democracy is NOT the only way to effectively govern -- if it is even one of them. "We may not have the best government possible, but we have the best of what exists" Plus, just enough education, just enough employment, and just enough entertainment keeps most of us believing we can't do any better than this. I don't know how bad it will have to get before we get that.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Just enough education, just enough employment, and just enough entertainment keeps most of us believing we can't do any better than this.'' is a frightening yet fundamental observation. I am a militant for 'democracy' but sadly a demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy is what so clearly prevails in The U$A but as per point 4 of' ''Action Plan : So what do we do ?'' above, hope is not lost. Americans have done it before and asserted their democracy & 'social contract'. We're at a critical juncture & ''the choices are stark'' :

at spes non fracta ...

[-] 5 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 1 year ago

The Ralph Nader interview on Moxnews that someone else directed me to had an excellent suggestion on how to get local, fast, and grow from there. He's been very aware for a very long time, and his ideas and group would be in line with all things non-corporate. timeforaraise.org -- I am going to check it out now.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Re. Ralph Nader on Moxnews, I'm not quite sure which video you mean but I did come across this :

''The concentration of power has become ruthlessly efficient'' he says and seldom was a truer word said. This video of a recent book tour lecture & seems like an excellent round up of Nader's continuing thesis. The man has been fighting for The 99% longer than I've been alive & may he have many more years yet.

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 3 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 1 year ago

That's the one. Every man made disaster has been predicted and warnings issued; Nader was at the forefront. I'm glad he is reminding us, but it continues. We don't fix things until they totally collapse, it seems. If we do prepare for something, and it goes smoothly, we say "We didn't have to do all that; it went fine," -- I kid you not; that was L.A. when they had the Olympics there -- good planning, smooth result. So, no disaster, no dreadful traffic -- people said it wasn't even necessary.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

We have both a moral obligation and practical reasons to work for justice and sustainability and foresight and prudence are defining human qualities - allegedly :

''No one has a blueprint for creating a just and sustainable society, but here is a list of a few basic assumptions and assertions that make justice and sustainability imaginable : (1) nature is not something humans have a right, divine or natural, to subdue and exploit ; (2) for most of human beings’ evolutionary history, our social systems encouraged the solidarity and cooperation required for survival, and our social systems today should foster those same values ; (3) systems that place profit above other values inevitably cause problems they cannot solve ; (4) solutions must be holistic, linking the always interdependent parts of a system, such as producers and consumers ; (5) technology is not automatically beneficial and must be scrutinized before being used; and, perhaps most importantly - (6) humans have the moral and intellectual capacity to make choices that will preserve rather than destroy the larger living world.''

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 1 year ago

When individuals go through the process of internal self analysis, the hardest part seems to be acknowledging the "shadow side." Some refer to this process -- seeing, admitting, forgiving, accepting all of your aspects -- as passing through the dark night of the soul. It feels very much like our species is undergoing the first part -- which is why everything is being seen for what it is. Once we have forgiven and accepted our species' mistakes, it is my hope that we will free the spirit within all of us that knows we are connected and the only way to survive is through shared effort. I have long had an image that keeps coming back of soldiers in a field suddenly "waking up", looking around in a daze, and throwing their weapons down -- once we accept that we are all energetically connected, weapons will make no sense at all.
I would add somewhere in the assertions that humans are the only part of nature that is not in sync with the intrinsic natural order -- we have discovered and used this Order (math, science, physics, etc.), but we did not create it. So, what did we do to get out of sync?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Wise words re. ''Shadow'' & re. 'Spirit', please try to consider :

''Man get's tired ; Spirit don't ; Man surrenders ; Spirit won't'' ...

pax et lux ...

[-] 3 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 1 year ago

Wahooo! What a great song. More and more we are, indeed, waking up to spirit. Just in time :)

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Thanx and we must be wary of allegedly omniscient, secular saints and pseudo-prophets - irrespective of reputation. ''Spirit'' lives best in The 99% :

pax ...

[-] 2 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 1 year ago

In my view, "spirit" and "leader" are mutually exclusive.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Attention to and nurturing of spirit has been neglected far too long.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 1 year ago

We have been more aware in recent years -- if not decades -- and it really is my hope that we will allow our spirit to govern our actions instead of our mental notions of what spirit might be, and other illusions.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Although they're talking about a much bigger picture than the UMWA pension debacle, I couldn't help feeling a bit of déjà vu regarding your Truthout article:

"The union says that Patriot was intentionally created by a couple of big coal companies (Peabody and Arch) to dump that pension liability and offload it by declaring bankruptcy. Sure enough Patriot declared bankruptcy last July. And a federal judge now has to decide whether the claim is legitimate."

It seems to have become somewhat of a modus operandi for these criminals, obviously.

Good article, btw, with much to consider about the present and future state of the American laborer.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''We are in the midst of an epic battle between the people of the world and transnational corporations. Wealthy governments and corporations are merging in a global system in which private corporations have absolute power over your life. This is a battle the people can win and when we do it will show that we can defeat corporate power on issue after issue.'' Thanx for your excellent excerpt and comment & I reply by excerpting from :

''In 2007 a hedge fund manager (John Paulson) conspired with a financial company (Goldman Sachs) to create packages of risky subprime mortgages, so that in anticipation of a housing crash he could use other people's money to bet against his personally designed sure-to-fail financial instruments. His successful gamble paid him $3.7 billion. Three years later he made another $5 billion, which in the real world would have been enough to pay the salaries of 100,000 health care workers.

''As an added insult to middle-class taxpayers, the tax rate on most of Paulson's income was just 15%. As a double insult, he may have paid no tax at all, since hedge fund profits can be deferred indefinitely. As a triple insult, some of his payoff came from the middle-class taxpayers themselves, who bailed out the company (AIG) that had to pay off his bet & the people we elect to protect our interests are unable or unwilling to do anything about it.''

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Worthy links, my friend. A few random excerpts and thoughts, first, from Truthout:

"The current text of the TPP is only available to the trade representatives and the 600 corporate advisers who are involved in writing it. They have real-time access to the text on their computers."

We desperately need Anonymous (or someone) to do all they can to access this information and make it public. That would be a godsend.

"The new US Trade Representative, Obama’s classmate Michael Froman who worked at CitiGroup, and the more than 600 corporate advisers involved in writing the TPP, have direct access to the text of the treaty, but members of Congress have only limited access and the public and media are excluded. Recent calls for transparency by members of Congress have been denied, so the extent of what we know comes from leaks."

Can you believe this shit? Congress (neutered) has limited access? Yet more proof a coup d'état has occurred in this country without our knowledge. But I have to disagree slightly with the opening sentence:

''We are in the midst of an epic battle between the people of the world and transnational corporations." As you'll assuredly agree it's not a battle, it's a war. What's desperately needed is to stop the TPP. That, coupled with the current fight against Monsatan for example, might just start to turn the tide.

And this caught my eye from the Buchheit article:

"Our society allows one man or one family to possess enough money to feed EVERY hungry person on earth."

So, I was curious about how many people on the planet have a net worth in excess of $30 billion.The facts of the article are without dispute, but considering it's a year old, the Forbes link is a bit dated, listing nine people with a net worth that high. But I did find this link, which may be a bit more current, listing 15:

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/list/top-100-richest-people-in-the-world/

Although no one expects any of them to step forward and give away all their cash to feed the poor, there's no doubt the richest 100 people on this planet could pool their resources, end worldwide hunger tomorrow, and not put even the smallest nick in their lifestyles.

Good excerpt about Paulson, another poster child of all that's wrong with Wall Street. Not surprisingly, Wikipedia makes no mention of his double-dealing:

"Paulson "shot to fame and fortune" when his investment strategies paid off during the sub-prime housing market crash. His bet against the sub-prime mortgage bubble has been called the greatest trade ever, among others, by Gregory Zuckerman." (emphasis mine)

It absolutely sickens me people like this are lauded for their, ahem, 'achievements.' And consider some of the names on that billionaire's list and how they made their money:

Gates (thieving, backstabbing megalomaniac)

The Koch brothers ('nuff said)

The four Walton heirs (no qualms at all about fucking every employee and community they've polluted with their presence while siphoning millions from the taxpayers)

Invar Kamprad, founder of Ikea (slave labor and massive resource exploitation)

This is a sick, twisted, fucked-up world we find ourselves in, my friend. And we're entering the eleventh hour. The clock's a-tickin'.

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Your increasingly acute research skills are an asset to this forum and many thanx for your excellent comment, excerpts and link 'gno' - in compliment to which, I append :

''The second largest employer in the United States is now a temp agency. Kelly Services has become the second largest employer in the country after Wal-Mart. But it is really hard to pay the bills stocking shelves at Wal-Mart or working temp jobs for Kelly Services.

''Unfortunately, these days millions of American workers find themselves having to take whatever they can find. We now live during a period of chronic unemployment. In fact, according to John Williams of shadowstats.com, unemployment in the USA is really higher than it was at any point during the last recession after you factor in discouraged workers and workers that have taken part-time jobs for economic reasons.''

fiat lux et fiat justitia ...

[-] 5 points by windyacres (1002) 1 year ago

"Kelly Services has become the second largest employer in the country after Wal-Mart." That is a serious slap in the face to Americans.

Democracy is dead, I challenge anyone to debate whether democracy exists in the US government! Shame on the still comfortable millions that remain silent and allow this country to decline this deeply!

Demand truth and democracy to vote for things that matter!

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

And there you have it. A government can be no more democratic than the people who demand it.

[-] 3 points by windyacres (1002) 1 year ago

We must change the minds of many people that think we still have a democracy! Why can't they see the truth, we don't have democracy at all?

[-] 5 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

Because they have never cared. It's not just Americans, it's humanity around the globe for thousands of years that has consented to tolerating tyranny. As is stated in the Declaration of Independence:

"all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

http://occupywallst.org/forum/none-are-more-hopelessly-enslaved-than-those-who-f/

From the very beginning of the Constitution, the people had never demanded to have the power of recalling their elected representatives. The people had never demanded to have the power of initiative and referendum. Thus, the people have never cared to have any power over their government that the government itself did not decide to grant them. The people have always been content to be governed even through all of their various complaints. I think George Bernard Shaw had said it best when he said:

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."

http://occupywallst.org/forum/free-democracy-amendment/#comment-520061

[-] 1 points by windyacres (1002) 1 year ago

You have stated it as well as anyone. Humanity suffers...even when it is so simple to prevent suffering.

[-] 5 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

I find this interesting

http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/street_politics_101_2013/

from

http://occupywallst.org/forum/another-reason-to-quit-participating-in-politics/

how democracy i.e. elections were used to quell a rebellion only to then betray it. The rebellion had grown because many different issues had combined in a single expression of discontent but the moment that a main source of the discontent had been addressed only to be later betrayed, the wind had been removed from the sails of agitated activism. Because it isn't truly democracy, the people have nether the means of enforcing a politician's promises nor removing that politician from office upon betrayal.

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

This is not the case in Australia.

We do not tolerate BS at all.

We have mandatory voting, and it works.

We also have preferential voting, and that results in minorities having as much political clout as majorities.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

Are you saying that the Australian voters can recall the members of Parliment? That the Australian voters can engage in national referendum and initiative? That the Australian voters don't have any complaints about their government due to having the democratic power over it to fulfill their interests?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

No. Yes. No.

Our system is the Westminster system, fraught with the usual gerrymandering of electorates risks. Public opinion has seen the former democratically elected PM deposed by his 2IC, who then scraped in by cowtowing to the minority factions of Greens and Independents, before being ousted by the original PM (Kevin Rudd), prior to the next federal election.

My point is, the two-party farce that is US politics, really doesn't represent a democratic system at all. Lobbying and corporate personhood has created something so far removed from democratic principals that I'm not surprised at the dismal voter turnout.

Our preferential voting system, where we can vote the party ticket, OR number each representative in our selected order, is closer to democracy than the democratic republic model.

We are still under the auspices of colonial rule, with a Governor general, who is largely a figurehead, and who hasn't really been involved politically since the ouster of PM Gough Whitlam back in the mid nineteen-seventies.

[-] 4 points by LeoYo (5909) 1 year ago

The different voting system just means a different section of the same boat. A hammer is needed to nail up a sign. One section of the boat is offered a choice between apples and oranges while another section of the boat is offered apples, oranges, and lemons with a more elaborate means of making their choice. Neither section can initiate the choice of a hammer. Neither section can recall the ones withholding the choice of a hammer. One section can have a referendum limited to constitutional matters when allowed but unlike the other section, it takes no part in determining its section leader or in determining the upper house of its leaders. It's still all the same boat with everyone complaining about the lack of a hammer but never uniting to demand the hammer.

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Interesting analogies.

We are a nation of minorities, no doubt. We do have recourse to direct democracy, vis a vis petitions, and those have been used effectively to force a mandate upon the government, however minority-based that mandate is.

Our legal system is, however, dominated by those who can afford representation at the upper levels, and that, in no way, represents democracy, but more accurately divides the classes further, and creates animosity.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

That's why demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy is my preferred construction these days 'windy' & also consider : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35503.htm , from which, I briefly excerpt :

''We need first to imagine, and then begin to create, alternative systems that will reduce inequality and slow, and we hope eventually reverse, the human assault on our only ecosphere. To work toward those goals, individuals can (and should) make changes in their personal lives to consume less ; corporations can (and should) be subject to greater regulation & the most corrupt political leaders can (and should) be turned out of office. But those limited efforts, while noble and important in the short term, are inadequate to address the problems if no systemic and structural changes are made.'' Also see :

However not all Americans are blinded and anaesthetised to reality and unable to rouse themselves :

Re. the video, a somewhat different topic but the principled and passionate resistance is still inspiring.

at spes non fracta ...

[-] 3 points by windyacres (1002) 1 year ago

"But those limited efforts, while noble and important in the short term, are inadequate to address the problems if no systemic and structural changes are made.''

We need democracy and politicians still pretend that we have it. Democracy is the structural change needed, but many think we already have it, unaware that it's been taken from us.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Sad sigh & ''Heist'' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDnS6RMFLvc !!

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Reported Employment figures can't be stated much better then :

" continuously revised and seasonally maladjusted data to support that illusion "

Thx shadz

BTW - TWEET

DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

The Decline Of Breadwinner Jobs Has Resulted In The Longest Bread Lines In American History http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35506.htm#.Ud7OVzMooLc.twitter

Facts U NEED

SHARE

Pls

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

25% does ring more true. http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

Cool - http://www.exposethetpp.org/ They forgot to attach a twitter forwarding option - Guess I'll have to do it my self - SIGH {:-])

The Trans-Pacific Partnership n. 1. A “free trade” agreement that would set rules on non-trade matters such as food safety, internet freedom, medicine costs, financial regulation, and the environment. 2. A binding international governance system that would require the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, and any other country that signs on to conform their domestic policies to its rules. 3. A secret trade negotiation that has included over 600 official corporate “trade advisors,” while hiding the text from Members of Congress, governors, state legislators, the press, civil society, and the public.


DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

http://www.exposethetpp.org/

What U Need 2 Know about the TPP

Stop Corp(se)oRATion Domination

Pls read consider SHARE

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

You always provide the good information.

Hey check out my new " One Subject At A Time " Post. I am sure to get a bit of flack over it.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Heist - Who Stole The American Dream ?'' :

Very Strong Recommendation re this short synopsis. Solidarity and thanx.

multum in parvo ...

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

BTW -

DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

Heist! - The Movie Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDnS6RMFLvc

Do You Have Good Control of Your Anger?

I can't wait for the full Movie.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Now you're just showboating. {:-])

Looks to be another must see - Just Like Inside Job Is A Must see. I just started watching - but the opening was very good - gotta go back and finish watching now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDnS6RMFLvc

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Lol !!! This 15 minute clip is really just a synopsis / extended trailer of the doc. film for which I've been unable (thus far) to find a link to the whole 75m film. The copyright clamp down on this documentary is very strong and slightly suspicious. Given the nature of the subject matter, I would have presumed that the makers would want this film and it's thesis to be shared with as many people as possible however I suspect that the distributors and TPTB would rather it just fade away. NOT if I can help it !! Solidarity !

fiat lux ...

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Keep-on Keeping-ON

Hope the trailer does not get pulled.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

"Inside Job'' : http://vimeo.com/62026076 in compliment & thanx for the reminder as it sits well here.

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

it sits well here.

That it does indeed. http://vimeo.com/62026076

Thanks for posting the link again - it is time to be re-TWEETED.


DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

Inside Job'' : http://vimeo.com/62026076

Refresh Your Memory Of What We R Fighting

Open a credit union account Yet???

Pls Share

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

You're too kind, my friend. Too kind.

But in regards to your ICH link, sobering and depressing. And it's only going to get worse, despite the cheerful protestations of ones such as Kavatz (God bless 'im). And I'll repeat a quote I posted late last night that sums up the realities here pretty well. From Arun Gupta (excerpt from 'The Guardian UK' Nov. 2011):

"Having driven some 7,000 miles and visited 23 cities in reporting on the Occupy movement, it's become apparent that the US is essentially an oil-based economy in which we shuttle goods we no longer make around a continental land mass, creating poverty-level dead-end jobs in the service industry."

And yet millions of Americans remain absolutely clueless. What's it gonna take???

Solidarity

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Yet millions of Americans remain absolutely clueless. What's it gonna take ???'' Sad Sigh. Difficult to say but there must be a breaking point 'g' - right ? Especially in respect of ...

This shit can't go on indefinitely !!! It just can't !! Solidarity ! Also perhaps see :

''The corporate forces that are looting the Treasury and have plunged us into a depression will not be contained by the two main political parties. The Democratic and Republican parties have become little more than squalid clubs of privilege and wealth, whores to money and corporate interests, hostage to a massive arms industry, and so adept at deception and self-delusion they no longer know truth from lies.

''We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism—one that will insist on massive government relief and work programs, the nationalization of electricity and gas companies, a universal, not-for-profit government health care program, the outlawing of hedge funds, a radical reduction of our bloated military budget and an end to imperial wars—or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite and shackled and chained by our surveillance state.

''The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. But this does not mean our corporate masters will disappear. Totalitarianism, as George Orwell pointed out, is not so much an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia. “A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial,” Orwell wrote, “that is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” Force and fraud are all they have left. They will use both.''

per aspera ad astra et dum spiro, spero ...

[-] -2 points by cruisecontrol (-49) 1 year ago

could that be why our corporate puppet peaceprizeprez in trying to bankrupt the coal industry?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

I don't know the details behind your statement, but my feeling of déjà vu has to do with the fact that I just posted yesterday about a similar incident involving Monsanto and their spin-off Solutia years ago:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/monsanto-everthing-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-g/#comment-985852

[-] 0 points by cruisecontrol (-49) 1 year ago

I'd have to google it, but also seems to me that corning glass pulled something like that over asbestos and maybe even someone who made silicon beast implants, too/

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Yeah, it seems to be a pretty clever way for companies to avoid their liabilities and obligations.

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by cruisecontrol (-49) 1 year ago

All courtesy of General Accounting Principles and our Internal Revenue laws and regulations. I really wish that this Congress could come up with major tax reform. Like starting over with a clean sheet of paper. They say Baucus would really like to get that before he retires.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Major tax reform would be a dream come true. I think OTP mentioned once there's over 70,000 pages in our current tax code. That's absolutely insane.

[-] 0 points by cruisecontrol (-49) 1 year ago

Wouldn't doubt it. I was struck a couple years ago about how much thicker the instruction book was with the Ind state return. When you read thru it (I was an acct at one time) you see the added pages are all about NEW EXEMPTIONS AND CREDITS. Have you ever really looked at the fed 1040 and wondered why railroad pensioners have all sort of special rules? I always, of course skimmed over it til one day I said WTF? How is it that rr workers got a bone! Must go back to early 20th century.

Not picking on the few rr workers left in this country, mind you. It's just an example that pops in my mind as to why the tax laws are so voluminous.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

It's a good example, though. I used to be an independent contractor and the instruction book for businesses is full of such things. It can get complicated real quick, that's for sure.

I agree with you, a clean slate would be best. But of course, it'd take years to figure that thing out.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

You don't think the coal industry needs to be shut down? BTW - why would a corp(se)oRAT puppet do that?

[-] -1 points by cruisecontrol (-49) 1 year ago

So the Corporatists can walk away with a fistful of money and dump their pension liabilities on the taxpayers vis a vis PBGC.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Ummmm that really made no sense.

[-] -1 points by cruisecontrol (-49) 1 year ago

oh c'mon. They cry "uncle" claiming they are being bankrupted before they really are and dissolve their companies leaving their retirees to the pension guarantee govt corp. Accounting is an interesting profession!

[-] -2 points by cruisecontrol (-49) 1 year ago

Oh, and I would not be closing down coal plants until we had a cost competitive cleaner alternative.....nuclear just seems too risky and natural gas is now coming from fracking. Wind seems to kill birds and there's some question about its effects on people who live near them and solar still requires some sort of battery technology to store power for cloudy days. Not every town can build a hoover dam.

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Durvasa (-4) from Davie, FL 7 months ago

Platitudes

[-] 0 points by Illuminated (5) 1 year ago

"Middle-class wages are stagnant." That's not true. Real wages as measured by the BLS have been steadily rising. They took a quiet pause during the recession, but have been marching higher since.

The issue is not stagnant wages. I't s keeping up with the Joneses, and the Joneses are getting richer much faster than we are. That's not fair and we need government to do something about it.

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Illuminated'' but still in the dark !!! Know a Corporate Koch Sucker by his lack of facts, stats or evidence and his exposition of Lipertopian opinion as fact, without corroboration in the face of all the evidence !!

fiat lux ...

[-] 3 points by Illuminated (5) 1 year ago

I just go by the facts like Paul Krugman. No reason to deny the truth.

And I don't know what you're ranting about and following it up by pointing to a sensationalized wealth inequality, when I specifically pointed to wealth inequality being unfair. Sheesh!

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

"Class Is a Five-Letter Dirty Word : The Lack of Class Consciousness in an Era of Record Inequality", by Anthony DiMaggio :

''Sheesh'' indeed & read it please IF you are really interested in The 99% & the reasons behind OWS.

ad iudicium ...

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

You vacuous, reactionary, Koch sucker, corporate-troll - have you anything remotely useful or pertinent to add here or are brain-farts all that you're good for ?

et temet nosce ...

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by UnitedWeStrike (6) 1 year ago

Americans are NOT Egyptians; nor are they rugged, tough, courageous and enduring...our movies are. With police enforcers willing to undermine the constitution; and protect powerful criminals, by bashing in the heads of protestors; shooting canisters into their eyes; breaking limbs; the American public is not going to subject themselves to that....yet. United We Strike has a awesome and timely strategy, for OCCUPYING at home. Resisting by using en masse non-compliance; and national strikes, from the relative safety of our homes. If Americans won't support, push and advance even a strategy and movement for resisting from their homes; let's be honest; we deserve tyranny. The entire OCCUPY movement, and all others, in America needs to consider adopting this strategy. check out UNITED WE STRIKE

[-] 2 points by UnitedWeStrike (6) 1 year ago

Americans, most of whom are a lot softer, and weaker, than their grand parents, as well a easily demoralized, and suffering from normalcy bias and dissociation; will piteously cry, it's too late, it won't work, when asked to support non compliance and stay at home strikes.The cure for such demoralization is history repeating, and being subjected to even more pain, and suffering than if you had actually pushed back, and resisted en masse; and dying from democide definitely delivers a profound lesson, as you take your last breath.

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

I agree with much if not all of what you say and just had to twinkle you to +1 now because your clearly pro-99%, OWS-centred comment had been stinkled to zero. What that should tell us, is that there are right-wing reactionaries & pro-corporate Koch-suckers who haunt this forum as they realise what many here don't - that it is still an important avenue for information dissemination and inspiration for The 99%.

You speak much sense & I'd request you to try to put up some links re. ''UNITED WE STRIKE'' but no worries if you are busy or unable right now, as I will do so later. Finally, I refer you to the item linked to 'Phanya' above and to :

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

@ MODS : I'm old enough & ugly enough to 'moderate' my own forum-posts - thank you very much ~{:-(

multum in parvo ..

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Awesomely popular comment shadz.

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

What precipitated my reaction was the very first comment was removed without me even seeing it and now I note there are some 9 (at the time of writing) removed comments - one of which I saw and replied to {as evidenced below}. This is irritating and irksome. Stupid comments are self-exposed as are shills and reactionaries, imo, so there is possibly some value in giving these fools just enough rope to hang.

Over-zealous moderation can be counter-productive and there is the possibility that Trashy has made some of us a li'l ultra-twitchy. I can deal with his b-s & I get why moderation is necessary but we must not allow one shallow, reactionary, 'faux anarchist', bullshitter to over ride our collective common sense.

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (25009) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

but we must not allow one shallow, reactionary, 'faux anarchist', bullshitter over ride our collective common sense.

TRUE/AGREE

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by 71deadflies (-1) 1 year ago

Agreed. Moderation has gone overboard.

It doesn't bother someone to get banned, what's annoying is not being able to read the comments of those that are banned. It's easy to find ways around censorship, it's impossible to read was what censored.

Why should you need a moderator to choose what you can or cannot see? You're an adult. You should be free to read the comments you want to read, and ignore those you want to ignore.

I have always advocated for one of the two following solutions.

  1. Provide an ignore function on the forum. This way a user can ignore whoever he wants. The person being ignored doesn't know who is ignoring him so he happily keeps on writing postings and comments instead of creating new users to evade bans.

  2. Provide an option to view the forum moderated or unmoderated. This way a user can choose to have moderators act as their guardian angels, and those who are more adventurous can do information filtering on their own.

You could even combine the two ideas.

I don't always agree with the moderators either. There's some people allowed free reign which I consider trolls, and there's some people our moderator considers trolls that I consider interesting posters. Moderation always leads to a more restrained idea set. There's nothing good about it.

Furthermore, considering the low numbers of readers and writers on this forum, moderation is not really useful anymore. There was a time when people posted like crazy. Spam and bots could flood the forum and render it useless. Nowadays, there's just a few people around so there's not that much to read anyways, who cares if there's a few postings and comments you might disagree with. Words won't hurt you.

The best way to disable a person you think is a troll is to ignore him or her. Don't reply. Simple. If you reply with name calling, then that user gets banned, he'll just come back under a different ID and the cycle is reborn. If people ignore him and the moderators leave him alone, then he'll just go about posting and commenting and no one will have to read the contributions if they do not wish. He or she will be easily identifiable since the username will not change.

My two cents, for what it's worth.

But, more importantly, we need a Bridge to the Ground.

[-] 4 points by Renneye (4004) 1 year ago

I have to make a distinction here, Thras...seeing as you named me and gnomunny specifically, here...

http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-miss-odin-otp-zendog-gypsyking-and-many-others/#comment-984850

...and I am sheepishly putting it here on Shadz' forum post, as I know your forum post will likely be shadow banned. Forgive me, Shadz. What's that old saying, again? "I'd rather ask for forgiveness than permission."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thras, to say that I 'support you', carte blanche, is an overstatement.

I can't speak for gnomunny. But, as for me, I can isolate a quality, or isolate an idea regardless of personality, and judge it on its own merits...without bias. Even in the beginning, despite everything, I voted you up if what you said made sense for the good of humanity.

I want to be clear, that though I don't always approve of your methods, I do not feel that you, or anyone else should be banned. Had bans been permanent, forum members like Odin, hchc/OTP, PeterKropotkin, Nevada1 and many other active contributors/occupiers would have been lost, along with a beautiful and invaluable archive of ideas, data, solutions, and indeed...universal love from some of the warmest, conscious thinkers and fellow human beings this world was fortunate enough to bring together here at OWS.

My humble opinion, is that only spam comments/forum-posts should be removed. Everything else should remain. I know there are others who have also expressed this opinion. Some privately and some on the forum. I like to, and can, make up my own mind regarding what information is important. I'm odd that way.

I do not know what percentage of "removed" comments and forum posts are removed manually, compared to automatically due to a trigger word or link, but the amount of 'removed' comments in a thread has stopped me from reading through the whole thread as I can't see the whole conversation. I imagine many ideas have been lost in the abyss of removed comments and censored forum posts.

Trolls are only as bothersome as we let them. I do not view you as a troll, Thras, but as an example, early on, when you and I were at constant odds, I eventually stopped answering you, you got tired, and left me alone. We've co-existed on the forum just fine ever since. That's the best way to deal with anyone who's opinion or personality we don't appreciate. Trolls get tired of not being answered and they leave.

"Teetering fortune cookie" aside, I think you and I get on ok, now. You leave me alone, and I don't call you a nincompoop. ~.^ . And, there actually are a couple of interesting and bigger, globally unifying issues that we see eye-to-eye on. A more panoptic view of the global solution and not the smaller divisive issues that TPTB want us all e-n-d-l-e-s-s-l-y bickering about, and possibly killing each other over. Those smaller political and heated social issues have their place and need to be hashed out...BUT, as an aside...not when we're trying to build a new type of governance, which would hopefully be one similar to my beloved 'People's Society', governed by a democratic and collective self-rule.

I wish the forum had two separate pages. One for strictly discussing ideas and tangible solutions on how we would actually 'set up' our new society functionally, such as 'e-democracy'....the other page for folks who want to debate and hash out social 'issues', since I don't think we could ever convince those folks that these issues aren't the main focus, at this historic moment. Nor should we try to convince them. We all have different strengths and areas of interest. The issues are where their passions lay...so be it. They are important issues in and of themselves and do require attention as well.

Also, there are ideas that we need to share with each other here, like co-operatives, permaculture, etc., that can be worked on locally everywhere while we are setting up a new type of governance. These would need to be on the 'new society' page as well, I think...as it makes sense to be working from the bottom up, as well as from the top down, to best protect ourselves.

Another distinction I should make...though I may like an 'idea' you have, it doesn't always mean that I agree on the 'process' of how to get there. But those details can be debated upon, if you were allowed to post without being banned or having your comments removed. I have tried, but could not get to your posts before they were removed.

I would comment on the fact that, despite how some people here may feel about you, you are part of the 'core' group, if I can call it that...and the very people who complain about wanting you gone, are the same ones who debated rigorously with you for months on end. Much was learned in those exchanges. Many learned from your ideas...and I would point out that you learned much from us as well. We have all evolved in this process...and as such, I feel that OWS would garner the best possible solutions if all of the 99% were allowed to bring their ideas to the forum without persecution...and discussed, debated and fine-tuned for the most cultured answers to the problems of our world, moving forward to an enlightened humanity.

And that's my two cents.

...and now, I think I'm in hot water. Oh well.

[-] 4 points by bullfrogma (448) 8 months ago

That was great and well said. I think most people debate with a self-preservation, but few people are immune to reflection and discovery. It's rare to see someone change their mind in the heat of battle. There's a dedication to open-mindedness that rivals our automatic process, provided by a sound explanation (also rare, given babel).

I tried mailing jart a few times, and brought up having a couple of categories for the forum. I think having that kind of intention could be extremely productive. But for that I got no response, assuming as zendog suggested that she might feel the forum is enough, so maybe you could try her. The more the merrier.

[-] 1 points by JGriff99mph (507) 8 months ago

Thanks for the props :)

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Nah Trashy - your tedious, self-serving, two-faced twaddle isn't worth two cents to me !!! As per usual, you have sweetFA to say about anything substantive !! No one would or could keep this shit up - who wasn't paid to lol, hmmmm and hrumph ! + see :

cui bono ?

[Removed]

[-] -3 points by 79deadflies (-2) 1 year ago

Nope, not paid. Like you I enjoy posting my opinions here. Unlike you, I don't enjoy fantastic conspiracy theories, and don't dismiss the opinions of others with baseless logical fallacies. I enjoy debate, especially when good arguments are used. Dismissing the opinion of another user by saying he is paid is nothing more than an appeal to motive, a lame logical fallacy. It does nothing to debate the ideas and arguments of the user.

I believe in transparency, and I believe this is an important concept if we want to create a new better world. I also believe this website, as well as other Occupy sites and activities, must embrace all the elements which will make up this new better world. Occupy must be the example in practice of the new better world we want to create.

The ideas I have shared above are simply ways to give more options towards better transparency. To be against them is to be against options, freedom, and an increase transparency.

Giving the option to every user to ignore who they want is spreading power in the vein of anarchy. Instead of creating the hierarchy of moderators over users, every user becomes his own moderator. This gives equal power to everyone, thus by increasing each user's freedom. You could ignore me if you wished, others would be free not to. The way it is now, moderators have more power than users. They decide who gets to read what. Not a transparent solution, and not what I think we should strive for in creating a new better world.

The other option is less elegant, but also provides for more transparency and more freedom. A person who wishes to have a moderated forum can. That person can read the website with the protection of guardian angels who "remove" the postings and comments which could hurt him or her. Other people can decide to view the website without moderation; to see exactly what the moderators see. That extra freedom comes with the extra burden of doing more information filtering.

I believe giving more options to increase people's freedoms and to increase the level of anarchy is a good thing.

What would be interesting is for you to provide proper counter-arguments to explain why you are against these ideas for more options. Perhaps you have good reasons. This would be interesting to read. Attacking my position with logical fallacies is boring for both of us since it leads nowhere.

[-] -1 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

'Tr@shy-Two-Face' - not a god damned thing you say can be trusted you mean-minded, mendacious, manipulative munchkin [ http://occupywallst.org/forum/rand-paul-proves-the-apple-doesnt-fall-far-from-th/#comment-986625 ] !!!

Your myriad attempts to steer, usurp and indeed censor this forum are not forgotten by those of us with memories superior to goldfish !!

Your pro-SOPA ; pro-Police ; pseudo-socialist ; ersatz-anarchist ; Bilderberg defending ; neo-feudalist ; divisive, deceptive and diversionary warblings are not forgotten or lost on me & you know that I can pull up references to all of that. However I have never called for you to be banned as you do serve a purpose here even IF it's at odds to your intent !

temet nosce ...

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by adoy (-7) 1 year ago

Not all ugly and old, mods are.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

why higher an old tech for a new tech

lot's wife

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Trashy will use his votes / monikers / bots to twinkle my one line reactive comment above, as it suits his agenda so I've just had to stinkle myself, lolol. He has fk all powers of persuasion - on me or most here as demonstrated by our smacking him about the chops for well over a year now.

Re-reading the comment - I'm giggling now 'cause of course he's just done it again and of course this is a faux-comment to which I'm replying. Anyway, none of us need get too excited IF we can reflect upon the ancient Greek concept of ''agon'' and thus spare ourselves much agony, lol. ZD needs a li'll bit more 'Zen' and a little less 'Dog' but we love him and would be appalled if he were banned. It is all really only about The 99% and therefore shills and reactionaries will only motivate us to bigger, better & bolshier !

fiat lux ...

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by turbocharger (1486) 1 month ago

Most people live in the now, not looking much further than two months. Forget about two years. For now, we still have enough, are in Alinksky's "have a little, dont want to lose it" state.

Have nothing might come sooner than later, when it does, we'll see what happens. Do the people band together, start holding meetings or something similar to GA's, or do they follow the politicians who can either promise the most of blame someone else the most effectively?

History shows us its overwhelmingly going to be choice two. But history is starting to be a guessing game with the information age.

We'll see.

[-] 0 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

We'll have to savour the Human Being in future - NOT the 'human buying' or the 'human having' or the 'human doing' .. just the 'human being' ~*~

Sadly had I not been posting at the same time as you, I would not have noticed your reply. Solidarity.

minima maxima sunt ....

[-] -1 points by turbocharger (1486) 1 month ago

You don't get the replies showing up on your screen anymore?

[-] 0 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

Not for ''shadz66'' - I don't :-( & fyi, re. OWS & #S17 :

pax ...

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 1 month ago

test

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 1 month ago

Islamist militias.

I hardly believe that that Saudi Arabia has much of any claim to islam

they have been western dictators

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

Re. the Saudis - you are both right and wrong. No they have no claim as such - yet they have usurped a leading role in Islam through their oil wealth and by being ''The Guardians of the Holy Places'' !!!

All the egalitarian aspects of Islam are utterly antithetical to this totalitarian monarchical dynasty & they push a really hard right-wing version of Islam - that does not question their tyranny !!

They are arch-reactionaries who have also been arch US allies for 90 years !

Please do read the two very insightful articles, above and below Matt.

For more reasons for ''Outrage'' closer to the U$A, please see :

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1733) 1 month ago

test

[-] 0 points by ShadzSixtySix (1414) 1 month ago

Then ''test'' this :

I do get reply boxes fr ''SSS'' - but of course NOT for 's66' was the point I was trying to make btw.

multum in parvo ...

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by Durvasa (-4) from Davie, FL 8 months ago

Excuse me! The Occupy Wall Street group is a bunch of fake tree hugging faggots. You low life's have been talking and talking and talking about this over and over and over again; since before Socrates! RELIGION is the enemy that lies of static states. I was part of PROJECT MK-ULTRA, i am of Edward Bernays and FREUD. The Magnification of Uncertainty is perfected through the fraudulent totality of god. It is time to tell all the little boys and girls that our loved ones will eventually die. Ideas will eventually die. Truth will become lies and lies will become truth. This is evolution in infinity!

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 months ago

Hmmm & on this 'World Book Day' (6th March'14) :

Good luck with whatever it is that ails you EddyB !

ab absurdum(b) ...

[-] -1 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

here is part of "the center cannot hold" - I will try to get you the link at the end - it is pretty long but this will give you a good idea - "One month ago, Joseph Andrew Stack crashed his small plane into an office building in Austin Texas, hitting an IRS office, committing suicide. He left a Manifesto explaining his actions. It was mostly ridiculed, but it deserves much better, I think.

Stack’s manifesto traces the life history that led him to this final desperate act. The story begins when he was a teenage student living on a pittance in Harrisburg PA near the heart of what was once a great industrial center. His neighbor was a woman in her ‘80s, surviving on cat food, the “widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on”; and Stack could have added that there have been concerted and continuing efforts by the superrich and their political allies to take even that away on spurious grounds. Stack decided then that he couldn’t trust big business and would strike out on his own, only to discover that he couldn’t trust a government that cared nothing about people like him but only about the rich and privileged; or a legal system in which, in his words, “there are two `interpretations’ for every law, one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us.” A government that leaves us with “the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies [that] are murdering tens of thousands of people a year,” with care rationed largely by wealth, not need. All in a social order in which “a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities… and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours.” And much more.

Stack tells us that his desperate final act was an effort to join those who are willing to die for their freedom, in the hope of awakening others from their torpor. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had in mind the premature death of the steel worker that taught him about the real world as a teen-ager. That steel worker didn’t literally commit suicide after having been discarded to the trash heap, but it’s far from an isolated case; we can add his and many similar cases to the colossal toll of the institutional crimes of state capitalism. There are poignant studies of the indignation and rage of those who have been cast aside as the state-corporate programs of financialization and deindustrialization have closed plants and destroyed families and communities. They reveal the sense of acute betrayal on the part of working people who believed they had a fulfilled their duty to society in a moral compact with business and government, only to discover that they had been only instruments for profit and power, truisms from which they had been carefully protected by doctrinal institutions.

There are striking similarities in the world’s second largest economy, investigated by Ching Kwan Lee in her penetrating inquiry into Chinese labor. Lee draws the close comparison between working class outrage and desperation in the discarded industrial sectors of the US and the fury among workers in what she calls China’s rustbelt -- the state socialist industrial center in the Northeast, now abandoned by the state in favor of state capitalist development of the southeast sunbelt. In both regions Lee finds massive labor protests, but different in character. In the rustbelt workers express the same sense of betrayal as their counterparts here, but in their case betrayal of the Maoist principles of solidarity and dedication to development of the society that they thought had been a moral compact, only to discover that whatever it was, it is now bitter fraud. In the sunbelt, the workers lack that cultural tradition and still rely on their home villages for support and family life. They denounce the failure of authorities to live up to even the minimal legal requirements of barely livable workplace conditions and payment of the pittance called salaries. According to official statistics there were 58,000 “mass incidents” of protest in 2003 in one province of the rustbelt, with 3 million people participating. Some 30-40 million workers who were dropped from work units “are plagued by a profound sense of insecurity,” arousing “rage and desperation” around the country, in Lee’s words. She expects that there may be worse to come as a looming crisis of landlessness in the countryside undermines the base for survival of the sunbelt workers, who lack even a semblance of independent unions, while in the rustbelt, workers do not have anything like the civil society support that often exists here. Both Lee’s work and the studies of the US rustbelt make clear that we should not underestimate the depth of moral indignation that lies behind the furious and often self-destructive bitterness about government and business power.

We find something similar in rural India, where food consumption has sharply declined for the great majority since the neoliberal reforms were partially implemented, while peasant suicides are increasing at about the same rate as the number of billionaires, amidst accolades for India’s fabulous growth. Fabulous growth for some, that is – but not so attractive for the workers transferred to India to reduce labor costs by IBM, which now has three-fourths of its work force abroad. Business Week calls IBM the “quintessential American company,” not inappropriately: it became the global giant in computing thanks in large part to the unwitting munificence of the US taxpayer, who also substantially funded the IT revolution on which IBM relies along with most of the rest of the high tech economy – mostly under the pretext that the Russians are coming.

There is much excited talk these days about a great global shift of power, with speculation about whether (or when) China might displace the US as the dominant global power, along with India – which, if it happened, would mean that the global system would be returning to something like what it was before the European conquests. Their recent GDP growth has indeed been spectacular. But there is more to say. In the UN human development index, India retains its place near the bottom, now 134th, slightly above Cambodia, below Laos and Tajikistan. China ranks 92nd, a bit above Jordan, below the Dominican Republic and Iran. By comparison, Cuba, under harsh US attack for 50 years, is ranked 52nd, the highest in Central America and the Caribbean, barely below Argentina and Uruguay. India and China also suffer from extremely high inequality, so well over a billion of their inhabitants fall far lower in the scale. Furthermore, an accurate accounting would go beyond conventional measures to include serious costs that China and India cannot long ignore: ecological, resource depletion, and others.

The speculations about global shift of power overlook something that we all know: nations divorced from the internal distribution of power are not the real actors in international affairs, a truism brought to our attention by that incorrigible radical Adam Smith. He recognized that the principal architects of power in England were the owners of the society, in his day the merchants and manufacturers, who made sure that policy would attend scrupulously to their interests however “grievous” the impact on the people of England and worse, the victims of “the savage injustice of the Europeans” abroad: British crimes in India were the main concern of an old-fashioned conservative with moral values.

To his modern worshippers, Smith’s truisms are ridiculed as “elaborate theories of how world history was being manipulated by shadowy corporatist/imperialist networks,” one of the tragic legacies of the ‘60s, to quote NYT thinker David Brooks; actually the ‘70s, 1776 to be exact. One of many illustrations of how the intellectual and moral level of today’s “conservatism” compares to what its heroes understood full well.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that I’m identified as the villain who adopts Adam Smith’s heresy.

Bearing Smith’s radical truism in mind, we can see that there is indeed a global shift of power, though not the one that occupies center stage: a shift from the global work force to transnational capital, sharply escalating during the neoliberal years. The cost is substantial, including the Joe Stacks of the US, starving peasants in India, and millions of protesting workers in China, where labor share in national income is declining even more rapidly than in most of the world. http://www.countercurrents.org/chomsky200410.htm

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 months ago

Re. 'The Center Cannot Hold", thanx for that absorbing read & link. Adam Smith is cherry picked by libertarian right-wing-nuts although they seldom actually read him. He is first and foremost a 'moral philosopher' who repeatedly warns against 'the invisible free hand of The Market'. In compliment, I append and recommend :

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by flip (7174) 9 months ago

as usual we agree!