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OWS Organizer Questions Intentions of Secretive Affinity Group

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Posted on Nov 22, 2011
Brennan Cavanaugh (CC-BY)

Occupy Wall Street protesters rally in New York City last week. The writing projected on the wall reads: “This revolution will not be privatized.”

By Alexander Reed Kelly

NEW YORK CITY—At 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, I got a text message from a confidential source who worked closely with Occupy Wall Street for the past two months. Within 45 minutes the two of us were seated in a Tribeca coffee shop just a few blocks north of Zuccotti Park. There, over a pair of steaming coffee cups, I was told that a secret faction has developed within New York City’s Occupy movement, made up of a coalition of big-name celebrities and would-be leaders, some of whom look determined to steer the movement in a direction of their choosing, including into the hands of traditional political forces.

It’s not easy getting things done at Occupy. Since day one the group has paid faithful allegiance to the ideal of direct democracy, working to ensure that all major decisions—especially the allocation of funds—are made through a consensus process at nightly general assemblies in which anyone may participate. As you might guess, this means that things move slowly, and it is mounting frustration with this challenge that my source believes has motivated a small group of Occupiers to split away from the main body and begin making decisions on their own.

The story seems to center around a young man named Thorin Caristo. Caristo is an early Occupier who started his own media operation within Liberty Park and who in an early interview appears exhausted but level-headed and thoughtful. He has played a foundational role in organizing major events and has pushed without success for an occupation of Central Park. I’d heard his name before, mostly in conversation with people from the end of the plaza where the occupation’s lower-income contingent had gathered, some of whom claimed Caristo said disparaging things about them. Others from the better-to-do side of the park have paused and tensed up when I mentioned his name.

My source accused Caristo of holding secret meetings with an elderly New York-based activist named Jean-Louis Bourgeois. If a bizarre audiotape posted on YouTube last Sunday by an independent OWS media team is to be believed, then Bourgeois is Caristo’s private benefactor, providing him with the cash, connections and other resources needed to cast their opaque agenda as the movement’s own. My source asserts that a number of other now visible figures within the movement have worked or are working closely with Caristo, many of whom are alleged to have met or exchanged messages with celebrity supporters and possible financial and publicity sponsors of OWS, including Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons; documentary filmmaker Michael Moore; civil rights attorney, former director of the New York branch of the ACLU and political aspirant Norman Siegel; and actor and possible New York City mayoral candidate Alec Baldwin.

Transparency and accountability kept surfacing as my source’s main concerns. Repeated attempts to understand what their colleagues were up to while out of view were met with curt dismissals and claims that they were too busy to explain. “This is a group that is supposed to represent everybody,” the source said. “If they’re raising money and organizing independently of the group, and representing themselves as leaders to celebrities and other business people—which they’re not—that alone is a giant conflict of interest. There are no leaders like that. We’re all leaders or the group doesn’t exist. Nobody should have anything to hide.”

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Bloomberg’s eviction of the Occupiers from Zuccotti Park made it easier for organizers to work literally behind closed doors, especially at a new office space on the 12th floor of a building at 50 Broadway that is being funded by an unnamed sponsor. If my source is right, then Zuccotti Park and its nightly showings of democracy in action may be at risk of becoming an elaborate front for a political operation directed by an ambitious, however well-intentioned, few. In the days ahead, I’ll try to confirm whether Occupy’s supporters have any reason to be concerned.

***

Truthdig reporter Alexander Kelly has been reporting on Occupy Wall Street from New York City. For more, visit truthdig.com/occupy


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By maydaytree, November 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Michael Moore should back off and allow the Occupy movement to proceed in its own way, in its own time, and on its own terms—i.e., with its integrity intact. This is a movement committed to horizontal power, inclusive process, and consensus decision making. Who are Moore and others in this “secret faction” to assume that they know better than a massive grassroots movement that’s evolving outside the paradigm of top-down power structures and conventional politics? The Occupiers I’ve talked with are light-years ahead of Moore and his cohorts; I trust them to be wise enough to see this attempt at co-option for what it is and to disregard it altogether.

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By news flash - ITS NOT COOL TO BE A MORONIC FOLLOWIN, November 26, 2011 at 10:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

BLOCKING ROADS, BRIDGES, OCCUPYING??? THINGS YOU DIDNT PURCHASE??? RIOTS MOBS??? PRETENDING TO STAND FOR SOMETHING??? YOU ARE LITTLE MORE THAN SUCCESS ENVIED SHEEP/// BLEATING,,, FOLLOWING REPEATING, SLOGANS FROM STALIN & COMMUNIST FROM THE 1930s UNEDUCATED, IDIOTS. WHO THINK THEY ARE ENTITLED TO WHAT ANOTHER WORKED AND EARNED!!! USE ANY LABEL YOU WANT, ITS A LIE. FOR LAZINESS.

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By NICE WHITEWASH OF FRAUD-BRIBES-MONEY LAUNDERING, November 26, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NOT EVEN 1% OF THE FACTS….

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By Allan, November 25, 2011 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OWS leadership issues are perplexing.  My only suggestion would be to consult AA in NYC to see what they say about the question since they have been dealing with this for decades.  Briefly read the AA traditions to know where the organization stands on such matters but their record speaks for itself.

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By kerryrose, November 25, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Michael Moore has stepped in and co-opted OWS.  He is the ‘celebrity.’  He will stamp ‘Democratic’ on the movement and steer it mainstream.

Once Moore gets a hold of OWS it is as good as gone.

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By redteddy, November 25, 2011 at 3:16 am Link to this comment

@ghostofwatergate

I don’t see how my points can be construed as “complaints”, they are my
opinion and perspective on the movement. I have been a part of OWS so I know
of what I speak, if you fully read my posts you would know that. I know a lot of
people who are dissuaded from the movement simply because they don’t see
what it is the movement is trying to achieve. Also where did I refer to Anarcissie
as a “commie” or an “anarchist”, its not only besides the point its not a point I
have made. Its arrogant to assume Anarcissie is the only unrepresented
American, the majority of americans are not being represented. I’m not being
represented. If this movement is one where ‘all voices are inclusive’ then this
surely includes mine.  You seem to have a complaint but I’m not sure what it is.
You’ve made many assumptions, including assuming that I’m a liberal whatever
that means. Or even that I’m afraid, I don’t live in the US most of the time and
get a very good chance to see in flounder from the outside, this being said I am
anything but afraid.  But thanks for your input, its exactly the kind of attitude
that keeps you isolated and alienates those who would join.  Again tell me
about how inclusive you are and your tolerance of ‘many voices’. Ha!

...Oh yeah, and how much you represent the majority. But your reaction to my
criticism and my suggestions are interesting though, it points to an intolerance
of opinions that do not mirror your own.  And as for what I post I have been
posting here long enough to know it has its share of debates, verbal battles and
pontificating.  I would appreciate it if you didn’t try and police my ‘freedoms’.

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By ghostofwatergate, November 25, 2011 at 12:48 am Link to this comment

@ redteddy:

First, let me apologize for my abrupt reply; I didn’t read your whole post (tl;dr is a big problem in this internet columns).

But I will say this, you come off as having an almost juvenile urgency in demanding the OWS draw up an Agenda.

You got a complaint? Take that complaint to your local Occupy. Here there is no single voice, just fragmented hints and allegations. As to whether Anarcissie is a commie or an anarchist is beside the point; she’s still an unrepresented American citizen, and I for one resent that you think she should hide her political orientation or Utopian dreams because of   your liberal fear of failure.

You want to dump, dump on OzarkMike and his ilk, not that it will do a bit of good. But understand that this place does not have enough room, and that the debate is OUT THERE.

You say you’ve hung with OWS? Well, go back, clear your space and bring some charts and shit and raise your voice, make your arguments.

This is not the place and we’re just internet tough guys.

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By ghostofwatergate, November 25, 2011 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

@redteddy:

The “problem” is not that this or that program is sustainable (we don’t really know, the actual budget is not publicly disclosed), or did the Dems draw a line in the sand (they didn’t), or is Obama a sellout (he is), the “problem” is that a small group of greedy banksters, aided and abetted by the so-called representatives of the citizenry of a theoretical republic, deliberately destroyed the world’s economy and robbed all our money, and you believe that they didn’t and that the “problem” lies elsewhere, ie, in some unsustainable social welfare bill will-o’the wisp.

But this is old news on Truthdig, which you would know if you were an actual Truthdig reader rather than a troll in the comments columns looking for an internet fight that can’t be won.

If you care, I say, if you actually care about what the “problem” actually is, I suggest you look around, click on Chris Hedges columns for starters and get to reading, get educated.

This here is a comment-on-the-last-post section, not the debating society: that’s out on the city commons, or your local city council meeting, or at your local Occupy, if you care to show up.

But first, get a clue.

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By redteddy, November 24, 2011 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

The movement could benefit from having one message, not one voice but one goal. Let’s start with election finance reform for example, you could bring the majority of americans on board with that one goal alone.  Even that one goal would be a difficult fight but one goal is achievable, fighting everything everywhere willy-nilly only exhausts the movement and all the voices begin to sound too muffled. If the movement managed to reach that goal post the movement could then galvanize itself to address reinstating regulations such as Glass-Steagal.  Then when you have government and the financial sector on a short leash the movement can address issues such as tuition hikes, unnecessary
wars, foreign policy etc and god only knows what else but you need those initial changes for anything else to happen.  Otherwise its like pissing in the wind while hoping to fill a pool.

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By redteddy, November 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie who wrote:

“It seems to me that if people are inspired by OWS to involve themselves in
party politics, leadership, government, and power—of the right, progressive
sort, of course—there are ample opportunities to start or join regular political
parties and thus escape the dread taint of anarchism, socialism, communism,
consensus, polymorphous perversion, etc. etc., and take power, and straighten
everything out.  So why don’t they?  Why did liberals and progressives allow
things to reach the state where their beloved Social Security and Medicare were
on the chopping block with the consent of their great leaders?  Why descend on
poor little anarchist-tainted OWS to carry your burdens and do what you won’t
do?”

I do think that people are inspired by OWS, I also think that most progressives
and some liberals are and have been involved in grass roots movements as well
as attempting to sway the regular channels of politics whether it be through the
Dem party or voting for Nader.  If you voted for Obama then you mistakenly
believed you had ‘taken power’,  this of course was a pipe dream.  Its the Dems
who are saying they don’t want to touch Medicare & SS which is why there was
gridlock on fiscal policy not too long ago. But Medicare & SS are only part of the
story because even Republicans know its unpopular to attack Medicare & SS
(think AARP and their votes).  The problem in the US isn’t about whether you cut
Medicare of SS, fiscally speaking SS & Medicare are being challenged simply
because its unsustainable under the current system. 

“Social Security expenditures exceeded the program’s non-interest income in
2010 for the first time since 1983. The $49 billion deficit last year (excluding
interest income) and $46 billion projected deficit in 2011 are in large part due
to the weakened economy and to downward income adjustments that correct
for excess payroll tax revenue credited to the trust funds in earlier
years…Medicare costs (including both HI and SMI expenditures) are projected to
grow substantially from approximately 3.6 percent of GDP in 2010 to 5.5
percent of GDP by 2035, and to increase gradually thereafter to about 6.2
percent of GDP by 2085. http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/index.html

If you know how to make SS and Medicare sustainable then outline the plan. 
OWS doesn’t have a plan to secure SS or Medicare, its simply knows that it
doesn’t want to lose it, well I have news for you, neither does anyone else.  If
OWS claims to REPRESENT the majority then you cannot claim to alone carrying
the cross since its 99% of the hard working people who have been carrying
these burdens whether it be through foreclosure, job loss, closing industries,
loss of pensions etc etc.  If OWS insists on using communist & anarchists as
representative then you are definitely a minority.  I have marched with OWS and
I have taken part in GA’s and have even donated supplies but I don’t consider
myself so blind as to see that protesting a variety of venues on a variety of
issues does not amount to a strategic strike against a corrupt system. What it
does is show discontent instead of quietly bearing the burden, something I
believe is important but only one step on a long road. The fact of the matter is
that you need the MAJORITY of americans to participate and not simply
sympathize. So why don’t they participate?  Well besides the fact that there are
many who are struggling to survive by working more than one job to keep food
on their table, there are those who simply don’t know exactly what it is OWS is
trying to achieve from a practical POV. If you hint at being communist or
anarchist you lose the majority who are the 99%. Why?  Because its ideologically
antithetical to what it is they want to see happen in the country.  The majority
of americans are not radical.

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By ghostofwatergate, November 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

@OzarkMike

I don’t know you, why would I brand you a fascist? I do however have the
firm conviction that your are hopelessly retarded in the humor department,
and that I will testify to in court, as God is my witness.

(You idiot, you think we don’t know a commie when we see one? Or care?
Jesus was a fucking commie, for that matter.)

lrn2history/religion/politics/debate

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By OzarkMichael, November 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

interesting.

any mention of the communists, or what they intend to do, gets me branded a fascist.

interesting.

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By ghostofwatergate, November 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

Aw shit, Anarcissie, Mike is right,

Why descend on poor little anarchist-
tainted OWS to carry your burdens and do what you
won’t do?...
... its the communists too. You know it, and for all
your talk about Occupy Everywhere, you never mention
any problem with that little detail.

We must initiate the Purge, immediately!

OK, comrades, up against the wall! Let’s see your
memberships cards, macht schnell!

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By OzarkMichael, November 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

Why descend on poor little anarchist-tainted OWS to carry your burdens and do what you won’t do?

It isnt just the anarchists, its the communists too. You know it, and for all your talk about Occupy Everywhere, you never mention any problem with that little detail.

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By Anarcissie, November 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

It seems to me that if people are inspired by OWS to involve themselves in party politics, leadership, government, and power—of the right, progressive sort, of course—there are ample opportunities to start or join regular political parties and thus escape the dread taint of anarchism, socialism, communism, consensus, polymorphous perversion, etc. etc., and take power, and straighten everything out.  So why don’t they?  Why did liberals and progressives allow things to reach the state where their beloved Social Security and Medicare were on the chopping block with the consent of their great leaders?  Why descend on poor little anarchist-tainted OWS to carry your burdens and do what you won’t do?

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By redteddy, November 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Rumblingspire my comment links to yours but it is actually addressed
towards Anarcissie.

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By redteddy, November 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

@do over who wrote:

“...the decentralized process enables the changes to develop into a vision that
is widely accepted by the people and then the process of implementation
begins.  Implementation is the second process, developing the vision is the
first.  Those who believe as you do are welcome to join the process of debate
and visioning.  That is what the decentralized process enables.  Those who
believe as you do are likely participating and as such will influence the
outcomes to the extent people buy into your viewpoints.  All voices are
welcome.”

How?  How do you build a common vision between an anarchist, communist,
capitalist, socialist and moderates (moderates being those who only want to
tweak the system by implementing regulation & election finance reform)?  There
isn’t a common vision here as there was in Egypt which was simply the removal
of Mubarak.  The only thing everyone has in common is the nature of the
problem (washington/the financial sector and deregulation leading to economic
inequity).  All voices being welcome is a great idea but how can implementation
work when there are so many voices?  At the end of the day protesting isn’t
going to change the system, the system can ignore protests or simply make
minor changes and scoff that the movement is asking too much.  Also the
protests are spread too widely, one day its police harassment, the next its wall
street crimes and the day after its tuition hikes.  All of these are valid problems
but you cannot implement change and draw in the majority of americans who
do not belong to the far left unless you focus on one or two issues and then
strategically advance them through a political process.  Remember that the IWW
(wobblies) didn’t just fail because of government suppression they also began
to split due to internal ideological divisions.  Its seems to me that if there were
one or two main objectives on which to focus on like election finance reform
and introducing financial regulation, then the group can focus on that and force
the political system into minor changes that lead to greater changes.  Right now
the voices are all over the place and so is the focus, more voices only mean
more to deliberate and more to focus upon.  The movement needs not the
sympathy of the majority it needs the active involvement of the majority but
that cannot happen if the movement is ideologically spread far and wide.  The
average american doesn’t really want radical revolution, they want
representation, rule of law and protection from financial speculators which can
be achieved but it has to go through the system to be achieved and you need
strong political focus to do that, simply garnering numbers in the streets
shouting 50 different things isn’t going to bring about a vision never mind
implementation.

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By ghostofwatergate, November 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

Oh, almost forgot. Abraham Lincoln invented the
Thanksgiving Day holiday during the Civil War.

We can succeed only by concert. It is not
“Can any of us imagine better?” but “Can we all do
better?” Object whatsoever is possible, still the
question recurs, “Can we do better?” The dogmas of
the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.
The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we
must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so
we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall
ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

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By ghostofwatergate, November 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

@Anarcissie: you’re funny as hell and sharp too; keep it up. To the rest of you, yes, all of you:

Michael Moore has never ever claimed to represent Occupy and neither has Alec Baldwin, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Noam Chomsky or Richard Reich. Period. It never happened.

They have visited the camps, made suggestions, they have listened, they talked, we listened, we asked questions, they give their OPINIONS and then left and we go back to what we were doing.

We have a “spokesman.” In LA we call that person a Media Representative, as in “representative”, not Leader.

We know we are infiltrated. We know who many of these people are, and in some cases where they live. People give us money and stuff. We know many of these people by name while some (most) of them are anonymous. Etc etc. We KNOW what the game is. Why the hell do you think we’re out here??

That’s for the reality check everybody. OzarkMike can rest assured that he can keep his guns; we don’t care. But keep in mind that while as an individual I would personally (albeit regretfully) shoot him *if necessary* and a matter of self-defense, while as a member of the group, with the group, I will be nonviolent when the Authorities come to mace me. But bear in mind that Mike is a vigilante, and vigilantes have no rights to nonviolent response. And yes, Mike, many of us radicals are secretly military veterans from some rather ugly conflicts and we seriously know how to HURT you, so shut up about that nonsense.

Trust me on this, when we’re ready, we will present a list of thoughtful recommendations for rechartering this democracy. Until then, thanks for your support.

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By redteddy, November 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

@Rumblingspire who wrote:

” Once the worship starts, it will be very easy for professional operatives to
move in and divert OWS into something lifeless like the 2012 Democratic Party
campaign.  But maybe they won’t be able to get it started, if the anarchos and
the commies and the other bad people hang in there.”

Well first I want to say I agree with others who point to the article as being one
sided piece of he said she said and is destructive to the movement by hinting
towards conspiracy. But the part of your post I want to address is what qualifies
as ‘lifeless’, I agree that the Democratic Party is inefficient and ineffective when
it comes to addressing the concerns of the 99% but I would also claim that OWS
is just as lifeless.  It is said that the movement has changed the public
discourse which is true but changing the discourse doesn’t equate to public
officials changing their agenda’s to meet the issues being discussed or does it
mean that the discussion of these issues within the movement are leaning
towards a focused agenda of how to fix issues.  How can it when you have a
group of disparate people with different agenda’s who have differing ideas of
what should be done?  You cannot build a consensus between a communist and
an american moderate the latter of which represents the MAJORITY of
americans.  Secondly the communist, anarchist factions within the movement is
alienating the majority of americans.  Everyone can agree that that there is an
unholy alliance between the financial sector and Washington, almost everyone
can agree that the wars abroad are bankrupting the country and you can get a
majority to agree that deregulation in favor of the financial sector has created
global economic hazards but what you cannot get the majority to agree with is
that communist and anarchist models can or should replace the system or that
they are a viable political alternative.  I consider myself a member of OWS and
have attended general assemblies as well as protests and yet I can see that
these elements which are highlighted as REPRESENTATIVE of the movement
(especially by the media) threatens the movement in the long run.  An
interesting opinion on this very issue was posted on youtube by someone who
is not affiliated with the movement.  I think he makes some valid points, let me
know what you think:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Ie-Xr6NMY

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By heterochromatic, November 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Ana—- I’m not much for worship, but I’m fond of your writing.

(though I might prefer Plato to Aristotle in this field)

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By Anarcissie, November 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

I was ambivalent about celebrities showing up.  On the one hand,  I thought it might keep off the cops (wrong) and attract some mass-media attention (besides the usual propagandistic abuse and drivel).

On the other hand, what celebrities are good at, obviously, is drawing attention to themselves, usually as superior beings of some sort.  Celebrity culture is akin to leadership culture, the pernicious idea that most people need to be told what to do by their betters.  Therefore it’s hardly surprising to find a celebrity and forty plus nameless lesser beings assuming the role of defining ‘vision and goals’ for the movement.  It’s just so natural.  As Aristotle says in Politics, some are born to rule, others to be slaves.

If you would prefer to worship in peace, though, just skip my little writings.  As EmileZ has pointed out, I’m unimportant.

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By heterochromatic, November 24, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

are we simply going to stand back and allow celebrities freedom of association
and freedom of thought? 


were we unhappy when famous people used their celebrity to bring attention to
OWS or did we welcome the extra attention and little bit of associative glitter?

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Egads!!!

Sorry Anarcissie, I take it all back.

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By Michael Shaw, November 24, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

I can’t believe some of the attacks I’ve seen on people like Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky,  suggesting they are trying to hijack OW. Is that the case or is it that the ideas as promoted by Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky present a problem for powerwealth that must never catch on? First the talk of unions hijacking the movement. Then Moveon and now it’s Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky. Seems to me someone is attempting to infest paranoia, to make the various progressive groups involved in OWS to eye each other with suspicious scrutiny.


If this movement is ever going to grow and make things happen, it is going to need people like Michael Moore and Chomsky, who for decades have been working very hard to expose the workings of corporate power. Doesn’t it almost seem as though a “divide and conquer” type situation is trying to unfold? Remember one thing, divide and conquer is the power wealth’s best mechanism in maintaining its own status. What better way to do that than to splinter apart a strong united group like OWS?

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By BloomMountain, November 24, 2011 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with Ken and others above who criticize this article. Michael Moore did a lot with his documentaries on 9-11, health care, and Wall Street to prepare the ground from which OWS sprang, and has been celebrating its advent with wonder, amazement and joy. How exactly is that a danger or a threat? To view that cynically and wash one’s own catty little thoughts in public is a disservice to the general movement and merely provides fodder for the rightwing bloggers and media, who want to marginalize the OWS as a bunch of dirty, irresponsible punks and hippies with piercings and strange hair. The remarkable strength of OWS is that it is an idea whose time has come, and that it really is of the 99 percent of us. Moore or Chomsky or Alec Baldwin couldn’t coopt this if they tried, and that is the last thing they’d want to do anyway. On the other hand, to have available the expertise of people like Robert Reich or Paul Krugman who have been right all along is an invaluable resource, if you are interested at all in the truth and in what can actually work.

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By OzarkMichael, November 24, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Most people believe they have the better doctrine, and many feel that they should convey it to others.  This doesn’t necessarily confer the same sense of ineffable superiority, because anyone can adopt the superior doctrine.


Let me sharpen it by saying that OWS superior doctrine allows them to use exclusive use of methods which other, lesser beings may not use for other, lesser causes.

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By djnoll, November 24, 2011 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Over the last two months I have noticed something that this article alludes to:  celebrities who can get media time are the ones who claim to speak for the OWS movement.  People like Michael Moore who just yesterday posted a piece about the mission and 10 goals of the movement.  While such celebrities get media time, I have found myself wondering why millionaires and Hollywood celebrities are getting media time to claim to represent OWS.  I find support for the movement that gets attention is from millionaires like Van Jones or Keith Olbermann (although to his credit, Keith has brought on many non-celebrities like Dorli Rainey and Scott Olson’s friend and Occupy reps from the ranks on his show), and celebrities like Susan Saradan or Robert Reich.  I have heard a great deal of speculation about whether OWS will be co-opted by a political party like the Tea Party was by the GOP.  And, as the article points out, who is financing much of this next evolution after eviction so that the movement can stay alive?

If OWS wants to remain organic, it must realize two things:  first, it needs a leader or at the very least a spokesperson who can relay to public officials and the media issues and demands; and second, it must take control of the seats of power, not through consensus, but through election.  Ruling by consensus is great if you have small numbers - that is the idea behind town halls - but in a nation of 300 Million plus people it is insanity and anarchy.  However, majority rule through the election process is possible, and if we have a large populace behind you, it can be done.  OWS has awakened a great many people in this nation, and if its members capitalize on that instead of sticking to this idea of protesting and consensus, then they can truly achieve the goals they want to achieve.

I urge everyone who supports OWS or who just wants to put this nation on a better course to run for office at all levels of government in 2012.  I have put up a page with links to state governments where information on running can be found for the 2012 elections.  I am running and I hope to get others to run as well.  I have put up a platform that addresses many of the OWS issues, and am doing a series of YouTube videos over the next 8 months before going on the road next summer to campaign in person where I discuss the various issues and a few other random items.  I am running as an INA candidate - an Independent, Non-Affiliated candidate whose allegiance is to the people who vote for me, not a party or a corporation or a rich donor.  If OWS wants to remain “pure” then let them run as individuals for office, not puppets of faux progressive millionaires or corporations who claim to be green.

PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS OPPORTUNITY PASS YOU BY IN 2012!  RUN FOR OFFICE AND GET YOURSELF ELECTED BY GOING STRAIGHT TO THE VOTERS, NOT TO A PARTY!

http://www.weeeevoteamerica2012.org
http://www.devonnollforpresident2012.org

VOTE FOR AMERICA IN 2012!

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

What is it like when Chomsky “pulls rank” on you???

What exactly does it entail???

As a sycophant that has never gotten near to the man (he is after all, a celebrity), I just can’t get enough of the Chomsky experience, and would love to hear yours. Flesh it out. After all, YOU brought it up. You must have done so for a good reason.

Actually, I can guess.

He kind of blows you off. Is that correct???

Sounds sublime.

I hope you never pull rank on me and blow me off, as I would find such an experience extremely unpleasant.

You are unimportant. You will always be unimportant.

“You will never be on the whip-end of slavery.

Never be the one to wield hunger against humanity.

Your body will always belong to someone else.”

-Jesse Bernstein

“Go to your freezer and get a popsicle.”

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By Anarcissie, November 24, 2011 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

EmileZ—I’m not telling you what to do; I’m merely making my usual cynical, pessimistic, paranoid observations.  I suppose I did suggest an obvious course of action for those who are not entertained by them, but believe me, it was mildly and helpfully meant.

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

I am a member of OWS, so if you could please refrain from making strong suggestions as to my course of action. I am not altogether sure my poor little mind can proccess your sinister directives. The threat of being co-opted is ever-present at the forefront of my imagination/consciousness/being, and I am most determined to not let it be corrupted.

You just can’t be too careful these days.

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By Anarcissie, November 24, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—Most people believe they have the better doctrine, and many feel that they should convey it to others.  This doesn’t necessarily confer the same sense of ineffable superiority, because anyone can adopt the superior doctrine.  I dare say you may feel that way yourself.

EmileZ—If my half-baked analyses annoy you, the best way to deal with them is to ignore them, as so many others do.

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By OzarkMichael, November 24, 2011 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

I think celebrity, like great wealth, physical beauty, unusual intelligence, and so on, tempts its carriers to start thinking of themselves as somehow ineffably better and more worthy than other people, even though they would vehemently deny the thought if you put it up to them.

Nice analysis. You left out one catagory of folks who feel ineffably better and more worthy than other people: The original wealthy campers of Occupy Wall Street, who seem to believe they were born with spurs so they can ride the rest of us.

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

@ JDMysticDJ

Another way to look at it (which you might like) may be…(in answer to your query)


The republicans who are running against the worst (corporate spineless bluedog) democrats, who have had their candidacies contested for the long term greater good of the party and/or the country, and/or the planet.

I urge you to take an honest inventory of who these worthless Democrats are. I think you will find they make up well over half the party (a conservative estimate) and are in many or most cases sitting pretty because they know the so-called left has no where else to go.

Like a certain commenter once said… it is the slow death option. I want something better for the human race and the planet.

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By EmileZ, November 24, 2011 at 1:00 am Link to this comment

@ JDMysticDJ

I am offering a glimpse into the great beyond. Seeing without looking.

Extend your horizons my friend. Unbind your mind.

Discorporate!!!

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By JDmysticDJ, November 24, 2011 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

EmileZ

Anarcissie is not half baked. She’s totally baked.

Incidentally, which of the current crop of Republicans are you looking forward to after dividing the Left between Democrats and a never to be politically viable Third Party?

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By do over, November 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

Robespierre115 wrote:
“you’ll see that these champions of decentralized, libertarian socialism still emphasized a focused, disciplined, clear revolutionary movement ready to form the organs of power needed to wipe away the old world. They also presented clear, partisan alternatives. “
In an environment of hyperculture and instant worldwide communication
the decentralized process enables the changes to develop into a vision that is widely accepted by the people and then the process of implementation begins.  Implementation is the second process, developing the vision is the first.  Those who believe as you do are welcome to join the process of debate and visioning.  That is what the decentralized process enables.  Those who believe as you do are likely participating and as such will influence the outcomes to the extent people buy into your viewpoints.  All voices are welcome.  The primary difference between your views and mine are that you rely much more heavily on the past to inform you than I do. Today the pace of change is so vary fast that decentralized processes are needed to make order out of chaos.  That order will be different in different places as it should be.  No centralized decision making or political idea or ideology is large enough to accommodate decentralized change.  Trust the process and trust the people. As has been done in the past, today no centralized entity has the capacity to over take or disable the change resulting from decentralized participation.  You debate well for your viewpoint but I see it as outdated.  JMO

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By EmileZ, November 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

Oh what the heck, I’ll just say it…

I am only attempting to cut the conversation short for the time being because I am so tempted to make some kind of half-baked psychological analysis of your personality as it relates to our argument of sorts. I am afraid if did, I might make an ass of myself once again, and expose my own character flaws, neurosis, etc.

I thought you might have a chuckle at that. See, I am turning the tables in a subtle way to cleverly make you realize that your own psychological analysis was half-baked etc.

Forget it, I am just being silly.

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By EmileZ, November 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

I am not trying to bring the discussion to a premature end, but…

Thank you for responding. Happy bullshit Thanksgiving!!!(depending on how you look at it I suppose, the bullshit part that is, oh nevermind).

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By rumblingspire, November 23, 2011 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“who stops to think about?
who thinks about the one on the other sidewalk?”

The Superfine Dandelion-The Other Sidewalk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X07ISOLi85g&feature=related

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By Anarcissie, November 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

I haven’t dealt with Moore personally, but I have ‘debated’ with Chomsky, and he pulls rank and allows himself to be surrounded by sycophants.

I think celebrity, like great wealth, physical beauty, unusual intelligence, and so on, tempts its carriers to start thinking of themselves as somehow ineffably better and more worthy than other people, even though they would vehemently deny the thought if you put it up to them.  That’s why we get Moore and ‘40+’ and Chomsky telling OWS what it must do as if he were one of the WaPo shills Truthdig holds up for us to deride.  Once the worship starts, it will be very easy for professional operatives to move in and divert OWS into something lifeless like the 2012 Democratic Party campaign.  But maybe they won’t be able to get it started, if the anarchos and the commies and the other bad people hang in there.

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By EmileZ, November 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

I think I see what you are saying (perhaps he should keep detailed notes of everyone he speaks to for the sake of egalitarianism not that I suppose it would make much difference to you as you would still see them as the “in group”), but at the same time I am glad Mr. Moore is making the effort.

I also don’t see why you would take exception to someone like Noam Chomsky showing up to speak to and answer questions from Occupy Boston. If you don’t like what he has to say, that is one thing, but what is wrong with showing up to speak?

Not to get too into Michael Moore, but I might add that he is not exactly your typical celebrity. Although I don’t always agree with him, he has a certain amount of credibility and a natural affinity between Mr. Moore and a great deal of OWS’ers is to be expected as I believe they have many goals in common. I believe they may be able to learn a great deal from each other and have a mutually beneficial relationship. We shall see.

@JDMysticDJ

I look forward to OWS creating a serious principaled party of its own to challenge the Democrats at the local, state, and national levels, even if it means spoiling the elections so to speak (for the democrats). This long-term strategy is the only way I can see of moving forward within the electoral system, and the only way our voices will be heard and our vote taken seriously (those of us who want real systemic change that is).

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By rumblingspire, November 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

a “little general” walks the street.
he knows a mob and anarchy is not his thing.

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By Joseph Couture, November 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Morpheus says to Neo, “All I’m offering is the truth, nothing more.”  Are you ready for the truth?  Will you accept the pill?  If you think so, this is your moment. The moment brought to you by the very essence of what the Occupy movement represents. 

“Awakening to the Nightmare” at http://www.josephcouture.com  The truth is waiting for you.

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By Anarcissie, November 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Emile Z—On the one hand, we have the principles of equality and inclusiveness.  On the other, we have celebrities, whose main talent is drawing attention to themselves—that’s why they’re celebrities.  When celebrities arrive at something like OWS, they automatically start trying to divert it into a vehicle for self-promotion.  That’s why I received a message about how ‘I, Michael Moore, and forty or so other people whose names are irrelevant because they’re not me, are meeting to determine the vision and goals of OWS.’  The in-group, no doubt.

I don’t know how OWS can deal with this sort of thing, celebrities, great leaders, savvy media operators, party politicians, but maybe they can figure something out to take the curse off.  It’s up to them.

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By JDmysticDJ, November 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

I would like to officiate at a dual between O[B]zerk Michael and Robespierre115. Two paces, turn and fire; that would be a nice trimming of the fat (headed.)

Moore appears to be the boogieman here. Personally I would like to see Moore or any other authentic left-wing person put Occupy Wall Street on a course of meaningful achievement. Occupy Wall Street is in danger of being a footnote in history, like the Know Nothing Party, only a smaller less referenced footnote.

Occupy Wall Street has served a valuable function in reframing the national political debate, but as it now exists, it is impotent in actually achieving its avowed objectives. Occupy Wall Street is making a serious mistake buy not aligning itself with the political Party most attuned to its goals.

Yes, a serious mistake that could have tragic consequences. First on Occupy Wall Street’s list of grievances is Wall Street abuses. Second on Occupy Wall Street’s list of grievances is that the two Political Parties do not represent their interests. Occupy Wall Street has one too many grievances. One Political Party does represent Occupy Wall Street’s interests.

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By OzarkMichael, November 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Look what happened to the Iran students who took over the American embassy in Iran, they where shoved aside by the religious fanatics, look what is happening in Egypt, always opportunists their to make a power grab.

During the revolt, factions joined hands hands with whomever supported the revolt. Anarchists, Communists, Socialists, conservatives, Muslim Fundamentalists, liberals and even the military seemed to be happily united behind some good principles.

I suspect each faction thought they could control the agenda after the dust settled. A time comes when everyone must pay the piper, when one faction steps up to run the show. 

To pretend it isnt going to happen is foolhardy. It is also foolhardy to say that the Muslim Fundamentalists werent there from the start. They were there all along, with far more support than any other faction. The polls(I am talking about Egypt) showed that a few years ago.

There were plenty of warnings, and by the way, I was the one who gave them(on Truthdig). Shall we go back and read the posts? I recall the Leftist response to my warnings at the start ofthe Arab Spring, namely that I was ‘a fascist’, etc. ad nauseum.

Same-old same-old.

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By E.T., November 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The consensus process is slow, ponderous and resistant
to change, including some needed changes.

While I agree that decisions shouldn’t be made by a
bare majority, the bar for consensus is set too high.

As for this group I find them amusing, more than
threatening to the Occupy Wall Street Movement which
they seen to misunderstand.

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By EmileZ, November 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

@ AlanSmithee

What was it exactly that Michael Moore got “caught” doing???

What makes you think I am a Democrat???

Are you being sarcastic???

On second thought, don’t answer that. I really don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling donut what you have to say. You sound like some right-wing asshole trying to be clever.

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By AlanSmithee, November 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Every damn time some DNC shill like Moore gets caught, dozens of fauxgressive democrats come out of the wood work whining about “purity.”  “Oh don’t be so PURE!  You’re so PURE!  PURITY PURITY PUREPUREPURE!”

Well fuck you sideways, demotards.  I know integrity repels you spineless jellyfish like garlic repels a vampire - too bad, so sad.  Now stop pissing and moaning about it.  You’re oh-so-pwogwessive Michael Moore got caught trying to fuck with the OWS.  Deal.  With.  It.

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By OzarkMichael, November 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

ok, i see that you were making fun of both of us… now. it didnt loom that way at the time. so I deserve the bark jokes.

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By EmileZ, November 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

@ Anarcissie

I think people should resist espousing some sort of Occupy dogma, which excludes people because they are well known, or don’t pass some sort of purity test.

I think the Occupy groups are calling for change sufficiently radical (or substantive), that the establishment-centric, are scared to get involved or voice any kind of support beyond making statements like: “I feel the pain of the 99%”, or “Income inequality and bank fees are a problem”.

The only basic rule which I think should be observed by all is a commitment to non-violence.

I don’t think it is advisable for a group with the slogan “We are the 99%” to take on some sort of hard-line militant ideaology that goes about denouncing everyone who is not just like them, or doesn’t follow their special rules as counter-revolutionary or whatever.

There is plenty of room for criticism and discussion, and there is room for inclusion as well.

Having read Michael Moore’s article, I can’t find any place where he presumes to tell the Occupy movement what to do. Also, it doesn’t strike me as anything more threatening than the results of a brainstorming session among activists.

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By urbadn, November 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“there has been activity behind the scenes from the
start.”

What encourages me is that we seem to know some of
those names. It’s not like people with money who
support Occupy haven’t been thinking about ways to
support it, including financially. The best thing
that we have going for us (besides a plea for
nonviolence) is social media. It’s a new kind of
revolution. Social media can help us gain
transparency and trust in a new society. Just like
the campers are not rejecting flashlights or tents,
which may have been created with slave labor, who
knows, OWS should perhaps be more open to accepting
money from people who have it and who support the
cause. I do look forward to having the books as open
as the light of day at some point.

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By heterochromatic, November 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

hey Tahnksgiving and time to salivate like Pavolv’s dogs.   


let’s bite the bird ( or tofurkey, à son goût) and get too stuffed and stupefied to
bark.

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By Anarcissie, November 23, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, November 23 at 10:48 am:

here Anarcissie says:

  “Here I think you are falling into a fallacy which I call the ‘fails to denounce’ fallacy, although it probably has a nice Greek or Latin name, too.”

Not quite what happened. Robespierre called for violence to smash the system. I explained why that wont work, because conservatives would fight back.

You then accused me of wanting to violently attack OWS, which is a lie, a hateful lie. You made no mention of Robespierre.

That means you took his side….’

No, it means I was making fun of both of you with your childish calls for blood and thunder.

However, I must point out that if your army of armed conservatives are going to defend the established order, you will have to shoot the dirty, violent, diseased hippies at OWS to defend Obama and his bankster friends from them.  But wait a minute!  They’re covertly on Obama’s side!  So Robespierre115 will have to shoot them, and you’ll have to defend them by filling Robespierre115 full of holes….  Well, I’ll leave it up to you guys to figure it out.  I’m going to go clean my AK-47, and buy some ammunition and vicious dogs.

If I have any time left over, I’ll work on a list of people you’ve failed to denounce.  But first, the dogs!

Bark bark bark

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By heterochromatic, November 23, 2011 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Oz, Ana was correct.

Your disparagement of the apathetic non-denouncements of a comment
suggesting violence was not sound.

Silence not not imply consent…...

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By Not One More!, November 23, 2011 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

While Michael Moore has some positive attributes, his support of the Democratic party is an indication that while he is willing to voice dissent of the corporate corruption of our political process, he seems unwilling to do anything about it when it would matter.

I don’t want him to become the voice, or direct the actions of OWS. Moore, and other supposed progressive celebrities like Bill Maher who support the ‘Democratic’ Party, have become the obstacles to achieving a true and just democratic society.

Voting for a Democrat is giving consent to the current political process.

Michael Moore, and other ‘liberals and progressives’ who still support the democratic party don’t understand the scope of the betrayal of the American people by our elected officials, or worse, are playing their game because they benefit.

“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ~ Sinclair Lewis

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By OzarkMichael, November 23, 2011 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

here Anarcissie says:

Here I think you are falling into a fallacy which I call the ‘fails to denounce’ fallacy, although it probably has a nice Greek or Latin name, too.

Not quite what happened. Robespierre called for violence to smash the system. I explained why that wont work, because conservatives would fight back.

You then accused me of wanting to violently attack OWS, which is a lie, a hateful lie. You made no mention of Robespierre.

That means you took his side.  It isnt unheard of that Anarchists and Communists form an alliance. Its happened before. oh yes it did. both sides think they can manage the other.

Good luck managing Robespierre.

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By Anarcissie, November 23, 2011 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

In regard to the actual subject matter here, some attempts to take over OWS are not so covert.  I received an email last night (from Portside) to the effect that Michael Moore had been meeting with OWS activists.  Here are his very words: ‘This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people….’  (See the rest here.)  Right away we notice that Moore does not understand that the movement already has vision and goals and does not need Michael Moore to tell them what they are.  Some groups were tasked with coming up with statements of the already-existing vision and goals, since the media and the blogosphere seemed to desire them so ardently, but of course that’s beyond Moore’s comprehension—he’s a celebrity, and therefore a ‘leader’.

(The whole notion of celebrity is antithetical to the egalitarianism of the movement, that is, if it hasn’t already been traduced and suborned by the innumerable celebrities who have descended upon it like a flock of blood-sucking vampire bats.)

These people are a far worse danger to the Occupations than any of the foul-mouthed purveyors of right-wing filth and abuse.  Give these ‘friends’ five or ten years, and all that’s left of the movement will be people waggling their fingers at corporate board meetings as instructed by corporate consensus coaches.  But long before that, the lists of ‘demands’ will have been weaseled into mere party propaganda for one cheek of the established order’s fundament.

Oh, well….

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By Anarcissie, November 23, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, November 23 at 6:18 am:

‘Now we come to another double standard.

First, a Communist talks about violence to smash the old order. What do the Leftists here say about it? Nothing. He is a comrade, after all. ...’

Here I think you are falling into a fallacy which I call the ‘fails to denounce’ fallacy, although it probably has a nice Greek or Latin name, too.

It is used a lot in mainstream politics.  The target T is attacked for failing to denounce undesirable person, group or thing U.  If U is insufficiently undesirable, FTDs can be chained.  For example, when Jesse Jackson was running for the Democratic Presidential nomination, one of his enemies, Ed Koch, accused him of failing to denounce Yasser Arafat, who in turned had failed to denounce some terrorist or other.  The chain can be extended in the other direction: if someone said something nice about Jesse Jackson, then Koch could denounce that person for failing to denounce Jesse Jackson who had failed to denounce Yasser Arafat who had failed to denounce Abu Nidal, etc. etc. etc.  Sometimes, failure to denounce is relative; the target is known to have denounced the denunciation-object, but in insufficiently strong terms.

This practice was happily adopted by people who post messages on the Net, from bulletin board systems to mailing lists to such advanced venues as Truthdig.  It is, however, logically fallacious.  Because A fails to denounce B does not tell us anything about A under most circumstances, because there are infinitely many bad things in the world to denounce, and A may simply not have had time to get around to B.

For instance, you claim that leftists here have failed to denounce Robespierre115, and that this proves they are all complicit in some evil being perpetuated by Robespierre115.  But in fact they may have already denounced Robespierre115 in a message which you have missed, or may plan to do so in the future when time permits, or may just find ravings about violent revolution a bore.  (They are, after all, not very interesting theoretically and not very likely to be fulfilled.)  If I denounced everyone I disagree with, I would still be working on messages posted in 1986.

I invite you escape from this fallacy into the sunlit uplands of enlightened, fallacy-free discourse.

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By OzarkMichael, November 23, 2011 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Now we come to another double standard.

First, a Communist talks about violence to smash the old order. What do the Leftists here say about it? Nothing. He is a comrade, after all.

So I warned about the inevitable counter-revolution that would occur if the ‘old order’ is smashed, and suddenly I am castigated by the Leftists for advocating violence against the little lambs of OWS.

Your Leftist double standard is overwhelming. Your lies about me(and conservatives in general) are constant and almost overwhelming.

When push comes to shove, you side with a Communist against a conservative. Not only are you maintaining a Leftist double standard, you are being stupid.

I guess in your minds that is some sort of viictory.

Well, hurray for your side.

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By parzival, November 23, 2011 at 3:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robespierre115 said; “...but because they see OWS as an annoyance, Bloomberg and Obama are not terrified that the Bolsheviks or Anabaptist peasants are about to storm the Czar’s palace.
So what you have here is a situation similar to the indignados in Spain. The “indignados” openly proclaimed they wanted political change without actually getting involved, or without forming any kind of alternative vision, and so the state simply ignored them and passed the austerity measures. In fact, anyone who keeps up with world news knows that on Sunday the right-wing PP party, which was formed out of the remnants of the fascist Franco dictatorship, swept the general elections with a landslide victory, so the Plaza del Sol occupation has basically resulted in nothing…”

I beg to differ Mr.bourgeois just add water and have instant results for everything in life…
Above and beyond the mistakes the government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero may have committed, the parliamentary elections were influenced by the “indignados” - “indignant” or “angry” - movement that emerged in May, occupying squares in cities across the country to protest an economic model they perceive as socially unjust, and a political system they say is subordinate to economic concerns.

Ahead of the elections, the indignados - also known as the 15M movement, for May 15, when a clampdown on a demonstration in Madrid gave rise to a spontaneous mass protest at the famous Puerta del Sol square – worked hard to undermine both the socialist PSOE and the PP, and to strengthen smaller alternative parties.

The PP and the PSOE are identical parties. The so called “socialist” PSOE’s (Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol) social policies-lower pension, lower salaries-, privatization, and adjustment economic measures are the same proposed by PP (the rightist Partido Popular). Like in USA there is one party that alternate in the government through two factions. PP being the republican and PSOE could be democrat but in fact is also republican.Smaller parties have few chances. The electoral system favor PP and PSOE. Nothing has changed in Spain:PP=PSOE . We share the same “democratic” principles.

Experts say that if the administration of prime minister Mariano Rajoy implements the tough austerity measures demanded by the banks, business community and international financial institutions,unemployment will rise further and social unrest will continue to grow.  In the meantime the smaller alternative parties will have a chance to grow and become stronger. This is exactly the course OWS should take, regardless if it takes another month, year or two years to reverse decades of pathology.

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By Not One More!, November 23, 2011 at 12:56 am Link to this comment

Egypt got rid of the dictator, but not the dictatorship.

The democratic party would love to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street movement. If they succeed in making OWS a democratic party movement, if would mean that Occupy Wall Street has failed.  The democratic party is part of the problem. Clinton with his ‘deregulation’ of Wall Street, Obama with his bailout etc.

The sign of the Wall Street Occupation having any credibility would be if they pointed out that both parties, republican and democrat, are only working to protect the corporate elite (the 1%).

If people are serious about making the world a just and peaceful place for all, it would advocate voting for third party candidates.

Voting democratic party is giving consent to everything that Occupy Wall Street is against. Now is the time to be vigilant against those individuals that act as gatekeepers, attracting people with their message of change, but keep the gate firmly closed against any change in the status quo.

We are all mice, and keep electing fat cats to be our leaders. The solution? Stop voting for cats. Stop voting for rich politicians who don’t have any intention of doing what is fair.

http://www.NotOneMore.US

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By heterochromatic, November 23, 2011 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

OWS is far from out, though it’s disarrayed.

As of 10PM tonight, OWS is debating winter strategy, working off a list of larger
parks in Manhattan and pondering whether to pitch tents in one or more.

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By SteveL, November 22, 2011 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

For those that cannot stand the OWS patriots using their First Amendment free speech and assembly rights, keep in mind your rights to worship as you please is granted in the same Amendment.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, November 22, 2011 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

Alexander Kelly

Please keep us updated. I have been active in Occupy Minnesota since Day One. I have been fighting this very thing here as well. I am convinced that these co-opters will fail.

Please refer to my article inn Twin Cities Daily Planet- In the Free Speech Zone titled “Occupy Minnesota- Lessons From Wisconsin.” It says it all for me.

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By Anarcissie, November 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

As OWS changes from an event into an organization, and from an organization into an institution, it will be possible for it to contain plots and schemes and secret masters.  It will also be easier for the hyenas of political expediency to pull it apart.  Poor fluffy bunny rabbits, laced with parasites and with hyenas all around!

But never fear, Ozark Michael has promised that battalions of armed conservatives will march to New York City and save the hyenas from the bunny rabbits.

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By heterochromatic, November 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

good comment from galeww, wait and see.

and Robes as well. not everyone will be willing to keep on keeping on with a vague
agenda kept vague in hope of maintaining solidarity. paths diverge over time.

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By ken, November 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Irresponsible reporting and surprisingly irresponsible of Truthdig to run this
story full of unnamed sources, decontextualized allegations, and unverified
innuendo.  Not one iota of evidence is presented to show that this alleged
secret group has done something lacking integrity. Do your research
thoroughly BEFORE printing smear pieces on the internet, and then present real
facts if you have them.  I don’t know who Alexander Kelly is—hopefully just a
very bad journalist, because the alternative is a lot worse.  Study the history of
COINTELPRO, the counterintelligence program of the 60’s and 70’s, designed by
the FBI and other repressive state forces to disrupt, sabotage, and destroy
progressive and revolutionary movements in the U.S., and it should make you at
least ask the question when you see stories like this. 

The bottom line: what’s behind the Occupy movement is not a few activists
meeting privately, but popular outrage against a capitalist, imperialist system in
which a fraction of 1% controls the world’s resources and labor to enrich
themselves while oppressing the rest of humanity and threatening the viability
of life on the planet.  Let’s find ways to keep building and supporting Occupy
and other progressive movements, and resist getting sidetracked by
undocumented stories like this.

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By OzarkMichael, November 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

If you want to support Robespieere’s violent revolution, you are even stupider than i thought.

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By Leefeller, November 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

When the right starts talking about having guns and knowing how to use them, I guess OWS has pushed a few buttons, unlocking the knuckle daggers cage doors, so we see them lumbering with their propagated baggage of bigotry heaping feisty pollinating helping of fear, ah just like the good old days, but more KKKish,. Not quite fascism yet!

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By Leefeller, November 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

When the right starts talking about having guns and knowing how to use them, I guess OWS has pushed a few buttons, unlocking the knuckle daggers cage doors, so we see them lumbering with their propagated baggage of bigotry spewing hefty helpings of fear, ah just like the good old days, but more KKKish,.... Not quite refined fascism yet!

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By afs, November 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Micheal…

There 20 million #occupy supporters. There’s absolute tops 50,000 Tea Party.

You right wingers are yellow backed cowards. All Dick Cheney has to do is wave a Koran at you and all shit all over yourselves simultaneously. You refuse to even leave the house to go grocery shopping or a beer run without sidearms. You refuse to go any place where anyone other than and your friends you MIGHT be armed.

Hell would freeze before even one right winger does what those UC Davis students did, sit down unarmed on the ground for a cause and refuse to cooperate with an armed officer knowing the officer is about to violate their Civil rights, or get hurt. One of you right wingers would piss all over themselves 6 different ways as they ran the other way.

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By destroythecons, November 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@OzarkMichael

Can’t speak for Roby, but I for one cannot wait for you to give up your red neck for your guns and sisterfucking. I can only wish I am there to see it. You are too stupid to even be a fascist. Just a dumb inbred bubba. But you are right on one point, the US is full of shit like you.

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By Haudenosaun, November 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

Transparency and group consensus is not really viable when there’s
infiltration. I’ve no doubt that the group has read enough to understand some
of the pitfalls and to expect some of the tricks used by the establishment to
thwart such movements. 

Having everyone know what the next plan of action will be a week or so before
the event could destroy the “surprise element”  (if there are indeed infiltrators
in their midsts).

More troubling than the above article, are those claiming that there is a
powerful group behind the movement.  This of course sounds like an attempt
to discredit the organization. But I agree with galeww, let’s wait and see.

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By Robespierre115, November 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

@do over, Riiight, well, you’re rhetoric is pretty but it’s just empty, postmodern jargon. But let’s look at your point about decentralization, I agree that a more “libertarian” or even “council communist” (not to be confused with 20th century Leninism) ideas will drive revolutionary movements in our time, it could be said that Marx had his day, and now the era of Bakunin is dawning (although I think a Rosa Luxemburgist phase is needed as a transition). BUT if you read actual anarchist writings by people like Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin etc., you’ll see that these champions of decentralized, libertarian socialism still emphasized a focused, disciplined, clear revolutionary movement ready to form the organs of power needed to wipe away the old world. They also presented clear, partisan alternatives. Again, this is clear to people fighting for freedom in the Third World, but here the population is still trapped in a tame, postmodern haze where revolution means venting from a park, enduring police attacks and hoping the elites in power will somehow have a change of heart.

In a way I respect OzarkMichael’s rants a little more, he shows that the fascist counterrevolution is ruthless, organized and is clear about what it wants and doesn’t want. He will lose in the end, and his kind will be swept away into the dustbin of history, but a formidable opponent he remains.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, November 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

For any interested, I wrote an article titled “Occupy- Lessons From Wisconsin” in the Twin Cities Daily Plannet in the Free Speech section.

I have fully expected Michael Moore and his well heeled, well connected friends to attempt this.

The article is a refute of that that they are attempting. With the reasons on what that would be bad. Using the example of what happened in Wisconsin.

Take it or leave it.

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By OzarkMichael, November 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Robespierre said;

Let’s be honest, in postmodern America people still have the luxury of being able to simply sit somewhere to vent a (valid) grievance, nobody is fighting for their lives to smash the old order as in Cairo, Athens, Bahrain, Chile, Colombia etc.

Oh Robespierre, lets be honest, in America plenty of us are willing to give our lives… to preserve our freedom. We are called ‘fascists’ by such as you.

Even if you could “smash the system”, a tidal wave of counterrevolution would sweep you away in a week. 

When your communist or anarchist revolution finally happens, even if you manage to kill the top 1% and take all their funds, it wont matter. I repeat… it wont matter at all.

There are millions upon millions upon millions of us conservatives(known to all of you as fascists).. many are middle class or poor.

They have guns and they know how to use them. They wont need or want any leadership or money to do what is right.

Lets be honest. That idea that we are paid agents is stupid. It is a Leftist smokescreen. You guys apparently have been lying to each other about it for so long that now you believe your own propaganda. Thats very stupid. 
 
But I think deep down you know the truth. That is why you radical Leftist revolutionaries can only hide, or sit on your butts, or whine. You KNOW what would happen if you tried anything. Even if you co-opted the police and the military, you would still be overwhelmed.

Robespierre, I am fed up with your communist agitprop. I am fed up your useful idiot allies too.

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By Ednahilda, November 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s amusing to hear people talk about consensus decision-making as something novel or even radical.  It’s not.  Quakers have been doing precisely this for hundreds of years.  This is how each local Meeting makes decisions about everything from building maintenance to the allocation of funds for other needs.  It can be slow and even frustrating, but it allows everyone to be heard and participate equally.

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By do over, November 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

The DECENTRALIZED PROCESS is the key to maintaining the independence of the Occupy Movement. No CENTRALIZED entity such as a secretive affinity group, a political party, or a corporate or governmental group has the capacity to co-opt the Occupy Movement.  The Movement is too decentralized, located in too many diverse locations, with too many participants of differing viewpoints and different locational issues to ever be co-opted.  Here once again is a clear explanation of the process.
The fundamental difference between 20th Century change and 21st Century change lies in the ARCHITECTURE of change.
Change in the 20th Century was CENTRALIZED.  It is represented by a triangle where power rests in the hands of the few at the top, and was dictated downward to the People.
Change in the 21st Century is DECENTRALIZED.  It is represented by an inverted triangle where power rests with the people at the top.
The architecture if the Internet is one of DECENTRALIZATION.  Now, each participating Citizen is a potential publisher and participant.  The DECENTRALIZED change process is vitalized by free and open communication in all directions by the participants.  A VISION results from the free and open communication when the majority of the participants adopt an idea or concept in their minds and hearts.  VISIONS are FLUID and will change as the minds of people evolve and change.

The OCCUPY Movement is deeply decentralized and EVERY PARTICIPANT IS A LEADER. A firm understanding and belief in the DECENTRALIZED PROCESS is necessary to obtain the resistant nature required for successful transcendence of the current corrupt system.
A vision developed by the majority of people will survive traditional attempts to derail it.  The participation of ORGANIZATIONS should be avoided, BUT individual participation encouraged. 
Goals are a centralized decision making process.  Visions are more complex and result from decentralized decision making.  Many people feel that the current governmental and economic systems are so corrupt as to be unchangeable.  Decentralized change can TRANSCEND the current system and establish a new system, and new pathways to a better future No one yet knows the shape of the future.  What is sure IS the pathway to that future.  It is in the PROCESS being envisioned by widely decentralized cooperating participating Citizens.  As visions are developed and implemented,  the old will be transcended as the visions take hold.  WE ARE ON THE PATHWAY OF INVENTING THE FUTURE, A FUTURE THAT WILL UNVEIL ITSELF AS WE PROCEED.  “ TRUST THE PROCESS.”
Finally, this is not a POLITICAL movement to be used by the media or political parties to divide us. This Movement derives from a deeper place in our minds, hearts, and spirits.  Everyone is welcome to participate in this Movement and the greater the participation,  the more meaningful and balanced will be the results.  Seek to act with non-violence and unity as the system is transcended
If this decentralized process is followed, no secretive affinity group will succeed in co-opting the Occupy Movement because decision making is so widespread.  If a New York Occupy group is compromised by political party, it will make little difference because the movement is so much bigger than the New York group.  Participants will continue to make independent decisions in their local Occupy Groups.  The movement will thereby NOT be COLORED by politics or wealth.  The Movement is too decentralized to be controlled.

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By Robespierre115, November 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

Hate to sound like the broken record, but this is precisely what was bound to happen if you’re only goal is to simply camp out and protest. Let’s be honest, in postmodern America people still have the luxury of being able to simply sit somewhere to vent a (valid) grievance, nobody is fighting for their lives to smash the old order as in Cairo, Athens, Bahrain, Chile, Colombia etc. Yes, the capitalist state has responded with police brutality, but because they see OWS as an annoyance, Bloomberg and Obama are not terrified that the Bolsheviks or Anabaptist peasants are about to storm the Czar’s palace.

So what you have here is a situation similar to the indignados in Spain. The “indignados” openly proclaimed they wanted political change without actually getting involved, or without forming any kind of alternative vision, and so the state simply ignored them and passed the austerity measures. In fact, anyone who keeps up with world news knows that on Sunday the right-wing PP party, which was formed out of the remnants of the fascist Franco dictatorship, swept the general elections with a landslide victory, so the Plaza del Sol occupation has basically resulted in nothing. Here in the U.S. the situation is different, because OWS remains a postmodern entity with no other purpose other than protesting the general ills of the current economic situation, the opportunists with money will start taking it over and most likely turning it into some Obama 2012 campaign bloc, don’t be surprised if some version of OWS even ends up officially “endorsing” Obama in mid-2012.

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By Anarcissie, November 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

I think the concept of ‘forcing consensus’ is extremely cute. 

Plus, we’re getting a conspiracy.  A conspiracy to get things done.  Grrrr.

Ozark Michael—I know you’ve been hungering for the plot to be exposed.  Well, let me introduce you to your buddy-to-be Slavoj Žižek, who is sure that anarchist groups and anarchist consensus are driven by ‘secret masters’.  Here’s Slavoj interviewed for Bad Subjects by Doug Henwood:


BS: You describe the internal structure of anarchist groups as being authoritarian. Yet, the model popular with younger activists today is explicitly anti-hierarchical and consensus-oriented. Do you think there’s something furtively authoritarian about such apparently freewheeling structures?

Žižek: Absolutely. And I’m not bluffing here; I’m talking from personal experience. Maybe my experience is too narrow, but it’s not limited to some mysterious Balkan region. I have contacts in England, France, Germany, and more — and all the time, beneath the mask of this consensus, there was one person accepted by some unwritten rules as the secret master. ...

So there you go—a kindred spirit, one with secret masters on hand.  Have I not made your day? 

I myself have always been jealous as hell of Žižek.  Not only does he have a weird Slovenian letter in his name, unheard of in the respectable West, but he’s got two of them.  Untrammeled, inordinate greed.

Žžžžžž.  Grrrr.

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By Rupert Optimal, November 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Until this article has more concrete information—as
opposed to a pair of names and the subtle reactions
of people when asked about them—it can only be
counterproductive to post it. Fox News “researchers”
and bloggers hostile to the aims of the Occupy
movements both read Truthdig and will no doubt dredge
this report up and present it out of context.

If this article can present a less vague claim and
support it with better evidence, than it warrants
publication. Telling the readership to “wait and see”
on a topic is inviting OWS opponents not to, and spin
even more absurd conspiracy theories to discredit one
of the most civil, sane and broadly supported
citizens movements in recent history.

Having re-read the report, it comes off as a smear
against OWS *and* Truthdig. What happens in that 12th
floor office? They’re printing copies of Das Kapital
and feasting on Smarties that fell from a shattered
Ronald Reagan-shaped pinata. Who is the mysterious
“unnamed sponsor”? George Soros! Jet fuel cannot melt
steel!

Give me a break. Even if there is some monied elite
floating around OWS, they won’t be able to convince
those who *do* take part in direct democracy not to.
Until economic inequality is a mainstream metric for
describing the economy in everyday terms (like
inflation, or unemployment), OWS still has work to
do.

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By afs, November 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

At some point, sooner rather than later, 100%/90%
consensus decision making is going set aside, and
majority rule decision making re-established.
#OccupyPortland was paralyzed the consensus process.
The only reason OccupyWallStreet is still functioning
with consensus decision-making is because the best of
the best of the left are in Manhattan. People that
can make any situation workable.

The rest of just human lefties are ready to chuck
consensus decision making and the small number of anarchists and their facilitators forcing consensus
making on the entire occupy movement into the nearest
ditch.

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By ToyotaBedZRock, November 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think your preoccupation with this is what will hurt OWS.

1. He looks like he is on drugs, no one will trust him.
2. If he has connections, so what? He isn’t the dictator.
3. Famous people are normally busy, so they might have a person they prefer to share ideas with, who will then come and suggest those ideas to the GA.

In closing, STOP SMOKING YOUR GETTING PARANOID!

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By Leefeller, November 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Gale is right, all groups have sub groups who have caucus meetings, except for the Mormons, Repulcians and insane!

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By turning point, November 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would have expected this article to be reported by Fox to undermine OWS. Alexander uses ‘his source’ and reports only that info. A good journalist will get both sides of the story and name the sources involved, not just the person this story is clearly an attack on, thus making it a one sided, non-transparent report.

Just based on what I have read here, it sounds to me like nothing more that an article about contention within OWS, which should be discussed and resolved in private amongst the parties involved.

All this does is expose, and jeopardize the OWS movement, and I’m quite sure that this goes on within every movement.

So….check your egos and pettiness at the door before joining OWS.

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By Eric, November 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If this accusation is true, these celebrities will only be meddling in something that isn’t theirs. The OWS movement doesn’t belong to anyone, nor does it specify concrete goals, so all are welcome. And I hope it stays that way. I’m sick of our problems being appropriated for TV dramas by Al Sharpton, Michael Moore, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and the likes.

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By OzarkMichael, November 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Does anyone else find this ironic?:

I’d heard his name before, mostly in conversation with people from the end of the plaza where the occupation’s lower-income contingent had gathered, some of whom claimed Caristo said disparaging things about them. Others from the better-to-do side of the park have paused and tensed up when I mentioned his name

The original Occupiers were the young wealthy college kids who started Occupy,and they are the ones who have nice meetings among themselves to decide things. Then there is the lower class Occupiers who are relatively powerless followers.

I already knew there was the poor part of Zuccotti park, and then an upper class wealthier part of Zuccotti Park. But now we hear(surprise surprise) that there is a small group of very Elite people,  a shadowy Elite power faction which ‘was never there before’... which makes me wonder how long its been there. From the beginning?

Oh my. Is there a shadowy elite that organized the Occupation and now wishes to exert some control?

Occupy Wall Street claims to be so transparent, but there has been activity behind the scenes from the start.

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By galeww, November 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

The article is very interesting.  OWS, and affiliate groups, have caused a national sensation.  It remains to be seen what the secret N.Y. meetings and “meeters” are about.  I do not find it alarming.  Within our own local group, there are many side meetings, dinners and discussions.  It might produce paranoia in absent memebers. But, members are free to do whatever they like as long as they do not use the name OCV without permission.  I doubt the secret N.Y. “meeters” will use the name OWS without adhering to the principles of the OWS group.  Getting endorsements for OWS and affiliate groups is sought after.  Wait and see what happenes.  Do not panic.

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By Steve Media, November 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We expose in the name of transparency. In no way are we
trying to break apart the movement. The official
livestream team and the media committee are very strong
and committed and we thank them.

http://www.livestream.com/owsnyc is independent media, so
please edit your article to say that (we are who
exposed them)

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By Leefeller, November 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Occupy as other causes in history will have people who seeking power and opportunity as they see fit from a selfish perceptive, their intentions may be noble or they could be shrills working for someone, this is not important for the end will be the same, just the direction will change as what will be the outcome.

Disenfranchisement all over again?

Look what happened to the Iran students who took over the American embassy in Iran, they where shoved aside by the religious fanatics, look what is happening in Egypt, always opportunists their to make a power grab.

Maybe Occupy needs to set its grievances as clear goals, it will be a hard fight to keep a direct democracy working as pure and direct. Just like anything else people seeking power are ruthless as are their competitors.

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By red diaper, November 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The mystery people are natural enough, but dangerous too, because they cannot be trusted to act against their own individual interests. They may be genuine and sincere and they even might not run, but they can’t be trusted. “A liberal is the guy who leaves the room when a fight starts.”
- Big Bill Haywood

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