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Why the Elites Are in Trouble

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Posted on Oct 9, 2011
Illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

“After the circles broke I felt disheartened because it was sort of chaotic,” she said. “I didn’t have anybody there, so it was a little depressing. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

“Over the past few months, people had been meeting in New York City general assembly,” she said. “One of them is named Brooke. She’s a professor of social ecology. She did my facilitation training. There’s her and a lot of other people, students, school teachers, different people who were involved with that … so they organized a general assembly.”

“It’s funny that the cops won’t let us use megaphones, because it’s to make our lives harder, but we actually end up making a much louder sound [with the “people’s mic”] and I imagine it’s much more annoying to the people around us,” she said. “I had been in the back, unable to hear. I walked to different parts of the circle. I saw this man talking in short phrases and people were repeating them. I don’t know whose idea it was, but that started on the first night. The first general assembly was a little chaotic because people had no idea … a general assembly, what is this for? At first it was kind of grandstanding about what were our demands. Ending corporate personhood is one that has come up again and again as a favorite and. … What ended up happening was, they said, OK, we’re going to break into work groups.

“People were worried we were going to get kicked out of the park at 10 p.m. This was a major concern. There were tons of cops. I’ve heard that it’s costing the city a ton of money to have constant surveillance on a bunch of peaceful protesters who aren’t hurting anyone. With the people’s mic, everything we do is completely transparent. We know there are undercover cops in the crowd. I think I was talking to one last night, but it’s like, what are you trying to accomplish? We don’t have any secrets.”

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“The undercover cops are the only ones who ask, ‘Who’s the leader?’ ” she said. “Presumably, if they know who our leaders are they can take them out. The fact is we have no leader. There’s no leader, so there’s nothing they can do.

“There was a woman [in the medics unit]. This guy was pretending to be a reporter. The first question he asks is, ‘Who’s the leader?’  She goes, ‘I’m the leader.’ And he says, ‘Oh yeah, what are you in charge of?’ She says, ‘I’m in a charge of everything.’ He says, ‘Oh yeah?  What’s your title?’ She says ‘God.’ ”

“So it’s 9:30 p.m. and people are worried that they’re going to try and rush us out of the camp,” she said, referring back to the first day. “At 9:30 they break into work groups. I joined the group on contingency plans. The job of the bedding group was to find cardboard for people to sleep on. The contingency group had to decide what to do if they kick us out. The big decision we made was to announce to the group that if we were dispersed we were going to meet back at 10 a.m. the next day in the park. Another group was arts and culture. What was really cool was that we assumed we were going to be there more than one night. There was a food group. They were going dumpster diving. The direct action committee plans for direct, visible action like marches. There was a security team. It’s security against the cops. The cops are the only people we think that might hurt us. The security team keeps people awake in shifts. They always have people awake.”

The work groups make logistical decisions, and the general assembly makes large policy decisions.

“Work groups make their own decisions,” Ketchup said. “For example, someone donated a laptop. And because I’ve been taking minutes I keep running around and asking, ‘Does someone have a laptop I could borrow?’ The media team, upon receiving that laptop, designated it to me for my use on behalf of the Internet committee. The computer isn’t mine. When I go back to Chicago, I’m not going to take it. Right now I don’t even know where it is. Someone else is using it. But so, after hearing this, people thought it had been gifted to me personally. People were upset by that. So a member of the Internet work group went in front of the group and said, ‘This is a need of the committee. It’s been put into Ketchup’s care.’ They explained that to the group, but didn’t ask for consensus on it, because the committees are empowered. Some people might still think that choice was inappropriate. In the future, it might be handled differently.”

Working groups blossomed in the following days. The media working group was joined by a welcome working group for new arrivals, a sanitation working group (some members of which go around the park on skateboards as they carry brooms), a legal working group with lawyers, an events working group, an education working group, medics, a facilitation working group (which trains new facilitators for the general assembly meetings), a public relations working group, and an outreach working group for like-minded communities as well as the general public. There is an Internet working group and an open source technology working group. The nearby McDonald’s is the principal bathroom for the park after Burger King banned protesters from its facilities.


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By prosefights, October 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

Bad cats. Let’s try to do something about this legally, of course.

http://www.prosefights.org/deaton/deaton.htm#titomadrid

Report this

By Litl Bludot, October 17, 2011 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

Would like to share info. re. latest ploy by CIA (mass murderer/torturer incarnate
Patreus now in charge), FBI (Holder, AG in trouble for giving arsenal to US asset
Mexican Drug Mafia, zetas, who BTW, were trained by US, no reference here, but
google it) to link with fellow fascist government Israel to justify confiscating all
Iranian wealth—oil, whatever they’ve got above and below the ground-while at the
same time strengthening the military/industrial/bankster (fronted by chief
frenemy Obama).

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?
option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=74&jumival=790

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/14/the-cia-and-the-iran-caper/

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By gersey, October 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

have supported this movement from it’s onset…have been down to the park and
marched. now my comments are being deleted from all their pages for asking why
move-on.org has their logo on some of their videos. as someone who does not
like fox news or the koch brothers…is not a tea partier and agrees with the
message of the movement…knowing little about move on… i’m still pretty
distressed by this

Report this

By prosefights, October 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Rogers and Crocker may help send us into WW III with their Mickey Mouse liberal arts ‘educations’?

Sunday October 16, 2011 21:02

Whitman College English major ambassador Ryan Crocker featured on 60 Minutes today October 16, 2011.

Both Crocker and Rogers appear to be poorly ‘educated’ liberal arts grad incompetents.

Rogers was born in Livingston County, Michigan. He graduated from Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan in 1985, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology,

http://www.prosefights.org/deaton/deaton.htm#mikerogers

Below guys are not messing around, we suspect.

Sunday, January 07, 2001 5:52 PM

Dear Friend,

we saw some of these documents http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Congress/8327/buehlerpayne.html but we would like your commentary about what happened and all circumstances so we can post it on our website but as well as a report to the mailing lists.

With thanks

On behalf of SMCCDI

A. Zoubin ( Information Committee) http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/

Wednesday, January 17, 2001 7:10 PM

Dear Friend,

A stand for Ahmad but why this question?

Not Albert.

Report this

By prosefights, October 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Sunday October 16, 2011 20:28

Whitman College English major ambassador Ryan Crocker featured on 60 Minutes today October 16, 2011.

Both Crocker and Rogers appear to be poorly ‘edcated’ liberal arts grads.

Glad we waited for Mike Rogers.

Rogers was born in Livingston County, Michigan. He graduated from Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan in 1985, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology,

http://www.prosefights.org/deaton/deaton.htm#mikerogers

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By Alf, October 16, 2011 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unfortunately for the political/corporate elites they can hold no physical power over a determined, well informed mind.

We’ve seen through history that a single persons will and sense of right can brush aside any false God.

To all “Occupy Wall Streets” around the world, history will tell that you overcame the greatest evil this planet has ever witnessed.

Always believe.

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By TheFiddler, October 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJXx-d1KkWA
Much love everyone. From Seattle to New York, we are going to help inspire the world, the whole world’s 99%, to come together and stop all this madness. I love you all for what you are out there doing. Cheers!

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By prosefights, October 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt

Good advice.

Let’s see what happens.

Natural gas is our focus now.

http://www.prosefights.org/nmgco/nmgco.htm#homan1

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By Night-Gaunt, October 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Interesting but I don’t use Alex Jones for my information hub. He has some good ideas but too right wing for me. I don’t find the idea impossible since there are people in both Israel and USA who want to obliterate Iran and the 77,891,220 (July 2011 est.) people living there. Store it and keep looking is my recommendation. Compare and contrast.

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By prosefights, October 15, 2011 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Strike on Iran within two weeks?

http://www.silvergoldsilver.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=57&Itemid=9

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By Dbaby, October 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What may have appeared to be a ‘one off’ has now gone global.  October 15th marks the day of ‘occupation xxx’ - ie fill in the name of your city.
And its not all ‘hippies and layabouts’.  In fact, most of the people I know are regular Joes who are in support of a change.
We are starting to realize that we are now part of a global integral society where what happens one place affects everything else.  The current financial crisis highlights this.  Due to this gridlock in funds, its become clear how the system has operated - corruptly and in favor of an elite few.  The mass population has become aware of this and has found a voice to say ‘no more’.
All the governing systems used in the past are now redundant because they operated on ‘service for self’ or ‘greed’. 
We are at a defining moment when we have to realize that in order to come out of this crisis, we are going to have to take into consideration everyone.  No more selfish demands by rich or poor.  Its time to rise above and look at the good of the whole of society - and society also consists of you and me.  By working toward benefiting the whole of society, we all come out as winners.  This means we will need to start thinking differently - rather than just base everything on ‘my needs’ the shift needs to be ‘our needs’.  Noone can be above this. 
By their gatherings, masses at the occupation rallies are symbolizing what we all need to do - unite!  Take each other into account, ‘do not do unto others that which is hated by you’, and ultimately, ‘love your neighbor as if he were yourself’.  The crises are pressuring us to do this - lets hope we listen before the squeeze suffocates us.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Prosefights I find the timing of this conspiracy to be too good to be true. Just as the wave against the top 10% depredations an manipulations an penetrations of our gov’t bother them deeply. Just imagine if someone or other in our gov’t/corporation (our military is 50% corporation now) start firing a series of cruise missiles at select targets in Iran would certainly knock off most coverage of this, bury it. But would they be audacious, and foolish enough to launch some kind of attack on Iran? Now that I can’t speculate on but I find it an ominous turn.

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By prosefights, October 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - While President Barack Obama and top aides have been united this week in grave warnings over an alleged Iranian assassination plot, some U.S. government officials are privately expressing disquiet that the outlandish-sounding plan has triggered U.S. calls for stiff new action against Iran.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/14/usa-security-iran-plot-idUSN1E79D0UX20111014

The elites may be headed for serious trouble?

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By Les Moore, October 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

At Chacaboy - I’m sure you know that Glass-Seagall repeal was started in the Senate by Phil Gramm (R) and in the House by Jim Leach (R).

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By JDmysticDJ, October 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

By snoozefest, October 14 at 10:16 am

It’s not about 15 minutes of fame. It’s about centuries of prolonged infamy.

Some people can not be educated; they lack the framework for an education.

How does one appeal to a person’s sense of fairness and to their humanity when they are devoid of both.

People such as you have no value other than as foils, glaring examples of the worst of humankind.

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By John Gabriel, October 14, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well written article. However, what you forget to
mention is that the elite will be held accountable with
their lives, not only our possessions.

They have a chance to do the right thing before it is
too late.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 14, 2011 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Per snoozefest, “You do not even represent a simple majority of Americans.  You are a cloistered faction repeating the same unrealistic nonsense to one another in a feedback loop.”

Same can be said for the tea-partiers or most Limbaugh devotees, but they are indeed in the 99%.  And BTW, I’m not so sure you know about the various demographics of folks here on TD.  These TDers are not the same people you see on the OWS live feed. 

On another note, I wonder if the OWS movement has already been co-opted, hence mis-directed and now a tool of the corporate Dems.  There may not be an exact symmetry, no Koch Bro’s as the Tea Party has, but I have to ask if one were to ‘facilitate’ a movement toward the sidelines, toward marginalization, what would you do differently than what has been done?

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By chacaboy, October 14, 2011 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

“Remaining focused is difficult; distractions abound. Democracy being a messy
business is an axiom, as is politics making strange bedfellows.”

I couldn’t agree more, and what this is now is in its nascent stages. We have to
wait to see what it becomes, and I suspect our attitudes about it will have little to
do with the outcome.

But to say this is about Wall Street abuses is a little beside the point. Most of the
abuses - not all - were legal abuses because Bill Clinton made them legal when he
helped dismantle Glass Seagal. Wall Street makes money anyway it can - you
might as well blow out some hot air demonizing Las Vegas - and come out
looking like a prude. We as a democracy allowed them to do what they did. How
this could happen and why it still isn’t fixed is what needs attention.

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By tommy, October 14, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I saw that the IRS reported that the top 1% starts with people making 300,000.  Not sure I would call that elite by any means.

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By snoozefest, October 14, 2011 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

**NEWSFLASH**

You are not “The 99%”.

You do not even represent a simple majority of Americans.

You are a cloistered faction repeating the same unrealistic nonsense to one another in a feedback loop.

You are clueless.

Enjoy your “15 minutes”.

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By JDmysticDJ, October 14, 2011 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

“Insure” not “assure”

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By JDmysticDJ, October 14, 2011 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

Otto Von Bismarck, one of histories renowned statesmen declared, “Politics is the art of the possible.”

Remaining focused is difficult; distractions abound. Democracy being a messy business is an axiom, as is politics making strange bedfellows. For example, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul are diametrically opposed in economic philosophy and philosophy regarding the function of government, but Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul have co-sponsored anti-war legislation. Political factionalism is much more complex than a simple matter of Left/Center/Right and perceived placement on a political spectrum. A nation’s traditional political spectrum may bear no resemblance to a global political spectrum and what some perceive as being the Left might only encompass a tiny left corner of the Bell Curve. Some may perceive a Center as being Right and vice a versa. Clearly some on the Right consider Obama to be far- left, and some on the Left consider Obama to be far-right.

One could argue that Occupy Wall Street has already performed a valuable function by bringing the issue of Wall Street abuses to the forefront of political debate. The primary focus of Occupy Wall Street has indisputably been Wall Street abuses. The issue of perceived Wall Street abuses has not gone unreported in the Corporate News Media, but the Corporate News Media appears to be focused on Occupy Wall Street itself, and not the issue of Wall Street abuses.

Like it or not, the reality is that the vast majority of the American populace receives its political news and information from the Corporate News Media, only a small percentage of the electorate seeks other sources of information outside of the Corporate News Media. The Corporate News Media encompasses nearly all disseminators of news and information, publishers as well as broadcasters in terms of populace consumption. The leading disseminators of news and information seek to put forth the image of being fair and balanced, but due to the bureaucratic and hierarchical structure of the Corporate News Media, impartiality on the part of the Corporate News Media would appear to be highly suspect, if not unachievable.

(More below)

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By JDmysticDJ, October 14, 2011 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

#2

One could argue that only political activism can serve as a counter balance to the perceived partiality of the Corporate News Media. The “possibility” of political activism influencing or changing public opinion is contingent upon on many factors, not the least of which is the dominance of the Corporate News Media as disseminators of political news and information. Another factor would be the perception of the general population regarding the necessity of activist goals as well as the validity of activist claims and the perception by the populace of the integrity of the activists themselves.

It should be obvious that right-wing politicians, pundits, and the more right-wing examples of the Corporate News Media are actively engaged in obfuscating the objectives of Occupy Wall Street as well as being actively engaged in impugning the integrity of Occupy Wall Street activists, while the more Main Stream Corporate News Media appears to be portraying Occupy Wall Street activists as a minority of zealots whose claims are outside main stream opinion and whose integrity is questionable. Even on PBS’s “News Hour” Occupy Wall Street activists have been portrayed as being scruffy, bearded, long haired, bongo players, prone to primitive dancing, who rely on fast food restaurants to perform their bodily functions, and to fulfill their hygienic needs. This portrayal is exaggerated, but it is the perception of truth that is important in shaping public opinion. According to the most recent polls, 37-38% of those polled have a favorable opinion of Occupy Wall Street activists. It’s interesting to note that, at present, the same polls show that Occupy Wall Street activists receive higher approval ratings than do Tea Partiers, but it is politicians supported by Tea Partiers, and who are in favor of Tea Party objectives, that are currently shaping, some would say dominating our politics, dominating in the sense that Tea Party supported newly elected Congress people have changed the balance of power, now controlling the legislative agenda and the purse strings in the U.S. House of Representatives, and additional numbers of legislators in the U.S. Senate facilitating the ability to shape and block legislation.

I’ll proffer that the Tea Party has demonstrated the, “Art of the possible,” while the possibilities of Occupy Wall Street shaping our politics and governance is as yet undetermined. The primary objective of Occupy Wall Street is indisputably the pointing out of Wall Street abuses, but an obvious secondary contention of Occupy Wall Street activists is that both political parties are equally corrupt and equally the servants of Wall Street. It is this contention by Occupy Wall Street activists that I dispute, and the actual evidence that this contention by Occupy Wall Street activists is false is manifest in our politics. Only one political Party has sought regulation to restrain the abuses of Wall Street, only one political party has sought to implement a more equitable tax policy, only one political party has sought legislation to promote job creation, only one political party has demonstrated genuine concern for the welfare of ordinary Americans, only one political party has voiced their sympathy for Occupy Wall Street activist’s anti-Wall Street complaints, and only one political party has blocked each and every one of these initiatives, and vehemently voiced their disdain for Occupy Wall Street activists.

(More below)

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By JDmysticDJ, October 14, 2011 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

#3

I would be the first to agree that our government has been corrupted by the inordinate influence of money and that our elected representatives are not now, nor have they ever been true representatives of “We the People.” It’s my belief that our nation has been inclined towards corruption and injustice since its inception, that it was founded on the principle of, “Government of the Bourgeoisie, by the Bourgeoisie, and for the Bourgeoisie.” Unequal representation, slavery, etc. all are the realities of our nations history.  The reality of our nations history is replete with: The cruelty and injustice of slavery, real and de facto genocide committed against the indigenous population of the “New World,” Manifest Destiny, wars for territory and on and on up to and including the New World Order, The American Century, the quest for Empire etc. etc. and on and on. One could expound in great detail relying on documented history about the injustices, cruelties, and miseries perpetrated by this nation not just in the “New World” but across the globe. One could recount the suppression of political movements, the over-throw of popularly elected governments, military intervention, and overt and covert actions etc. etc, ad nausea, recounting the numbers of dead, maimed, wounded, displaced, oppressed, exploited, and on and on. Such expounding has great value, such expounding serves to educate, and such expounding serves dialectic opposed to continuing such activities. My own belief is that such expounding should never be considered redundant in a public forum and is always valuable, but at some point good people who are knowledgeable, informed, and aware must come to the realization that we can not go back in time and change the events of history, or change the course of history retroactively. Realistically, all that we can do is work to assure that such injustices and cruelties do not continue into the future.

Occupy Wall Street activists are focused on current events, specifically the abuses of Wall Street. Few, if any, believe that Occupy Wall Street activists will be able to “overthrow” Wall Street, or, in and of itself, create a new economic and political paradigm. The most rational people can hope for is that Occupy Wall Street activists will serve to shift public opinion towards a new paradigm, and that Occupy Wall Street activists will create an incremental change for the better.

My dialectic has been, and continues to be, that change can only come incrementally, and that making the best choices is imperative. Clearly, demagoguery aside, one political party is more attuned to the objectives of Occupy Wall Street activists, while the other political party is vehemently opposed to Occupy Wall Street activist objectives. Hoped for change can not be achieved by allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the better, our focus must be on, “The art of the possible.”

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By workingjo, October 14, 2011 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for the most coherent article I’ve read on OWS.
I agree the “elites” are in trouble. We may not use the guillotine ala French Revolution in 2011, but just like other recent revolutions in 2011, we may insist on “war crime”-type prosecution for those who defrauded the 99%. That includes bank executives, government officials who gave billions to the 1%, and any who have conspired to deprive the 99% of earned benefits.

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By examinator, October 14, 2011 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

Reading Jones,
Great idea .....have you people heard of Credit Unions?
They’re owned by the members and profit go back to the members in services and you can vote for who runs it too. I’ve been banking through one for (mumble, mumble) years.
Now the bad news the big banks get most of their money from loans, short term money market and other groups like insurance companies and superannuation funds etc.
Although your average small account is cream they make packets on fees and credit cards etc.
Perhaps a spending strike on their credit cards might shake them up….Credit unions have credit cards too….check who backs them and perhaps swap over.

I also favour a campaign of a many class action law suits all over the country in a rolling lodgement so they can’t be grouped…..that would cost them gazillions to fight they would have to employ many different legal firms to fight them (currently they use a retainer system with one or two firms). That would have to hit their bottom line and be a declared at annual general meeting…additionally their sources of investment would start to shy away particular if they were attacked for supplying the money to banks for “Callous indifference” it would be a PR nightmare for both. Again causing them to spend on ads and PR to cover up.
Most importantly the press would be all over it like breakfast on a baby’s face.

Each group would need to have a different key talking point and stick to it. perhaps swapping with others if the old one loses media traction.
An old adage on PR goes for every negative $ attack one needs to spent 100x more to counter.
Sadly this need co-ordination and conviction equalling the rump of the “right” (sic)..i.e. the rank and file members.
This strategy would cause that rump to lose momentum and enthusiasm to do the plutocrats dirty work.

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By Ricosuave, October 14, 2011 at 12:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think ReadingJones has a point somewhat, a run or two on the banks would force the
elites to take notice. Money taken out of the banking system would deprive them of
power and the ability to charge interest.

1. Don’t take any loans, regardless of the interest rate or terms.
2. Close accounts @large nat’l banks and use credit unions instead.
3. Pay balances on credit cards as much as possible to reduce the principle, then use
cash only.
4. Don’t invest in the ponzi scheme/house of cards stock market, it’s success depends
on the availability of cheap labor/new markets in developing countries and stolen natural
resources in said countries.
Starve the beast!

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By Kenneth, October 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope that a vigorous anti-capitalist movement sweeps the US, but I don’t think these folks, as well intentioned as they are, are going to be effective. They have all the attributes that turn off most decent Americans:

(1) Ties to the worn out old hippies of the 60-70’s far-left.
(2) The traditional hobby-horses of the American far-left: radical environmentalism, which is a job killer and the whole Lesbian/Gay/transgender crowd which turns off ordinary Americans.
(3) The stink of Bohemianism
(4) Doctrinare Socialism
(5) Few contacts with the real working class
(6) Chicks with names like Ketchup

  There needs to be a new paradigm for American Anti-Capitalism. How about something a bit more conservative socially, but quite radical on economic issues while avoiding Marxism. I think it can be done!

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By ReadingJones, October 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges Good Summary. If the occupiers wish to get
serious attention from the elite they should persuade a
significant % of the 99s to move their financial
business away from the big banks.

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By dood, October 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

U had me till u started with the “they know that
unfettered capitalism and globalisation arent the right
way” bit…

because there is where you impart your ridiculous
marxist views on something that is much bigger than 10%
of the crazy liberals out there…

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By prosefights, October 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

The eletes may be in even more trouble because of their promotion of natural gas as a way to solve future energy problems?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/DRILLING_DOWN_SERIES.html

http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/whats-fracking

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By LeeMcD, October 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Compelling and very funny videos about politicians, Wall St, the Fed, unemployment and the economy…must see…

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Bank?: An Uncensored Investigation of the U.S. Federal Reserve (Part 1 of an 8-Part Episode)...

http://www.youtube.com/user/BaitAndSwitchTV#p/u/0/_M_Rh_fgKEQ

The Proud, The Rich, The Reserves: Self-Serving their Country Since 1913…

http://bit.ly/nEiTJS

Sub-Primal Scream Therapy - Big Bank Financial Crisis Explained

http://bit.ly/qWoSED

The Real Housewives of Tent City-Hot New Reality Show

http://bit.ly/pOzWDO

Banking on It:  A new sitcom from the makers of the financial crisis

http://bit.ly/nTr7Q2

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By Gabriel, October 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

re: thethirdman, October 10 at 4:52 pm

Seems like we found a big lie. Your link of Atlanta video and John Lewis being dissed is actually a Tea Party spin off. It’s setup to mock what Occupy Atlanta is doing.
Here’s proof:
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/10/13/us/politics/100000001111394/protesting-the-establishment.html

So quit being an idiot as everyone in the 99% has the same goals. From your previous comments you are not super rich or don’t pay taxes, therefore you are part of the 99%.

Note to self: add “thethirdman” to shill list & database if he doesn’t stop lying.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 13, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

I have no problem with tis from skimohawk,
“Don’t vote for incumbents.
Don’t vote for Democrats.
Don’t vote for Republicans.
See how easy that is?”

But the anti-anti-anti Lib/Prog tirades are tired, spent, frustrated.  I am not saying I disagree with them.  I am saying perhaps the OWS participants can be guided along to form a truly viable party.  That said, another splintered-left alternative with a pre-disposition to single out ‘special cases’ for attention is not much of an alternative.  WE have that, it’s how the Dems buy votes from the poor, and how Reps buy votes from the rich.

Neither do we need what would be framed as a ‘centrist’ or ‘moderate’ (compromis(ed))party.  WE need a radically different approach, one that recognizes NO special interests domestic or foreign.  Mull it over.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, October 13, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

I’ve always considered it to be practical advice to advise people to sensibly only vote for natural person policies, rather than carelessly corporate (R) & (D) party vote to provide popular mandates for sociopathic corporate person policies.

Liberals reliably, routinely and mindlessly (D) vote for what they say they oppose, and against what they say they are for.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 13, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Will miracles never cease, DJC has some practical advice.

Lafayette, the link requires a login.  Can’t it just be posted in a more public manner?  Some might call me paranoid, others prudent.  I’m in the Google is or will turn Evil camp.

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By Lafayette, October 13, 2011 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

WIP: Layfaeetts follow-up of October 12 at 11:32 pm shows he understands the need to focus and prioritize.  Unfortunately, the link didn’t work.

 

Where there’s a link, there’s a way ...

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By diman, October 13, 2011 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Last time I looked, the elites had been doing just fine, it was us who are fucked.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, October 13, 2011 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Winter is coming soon, so the Occupy movement should start preparing for it.

Here’s weather maps for both the old school and a new approach forecasts:

The Farmers Almanac’s “Wet, Wild” Winter 2011-2012:

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather/2011/08/29/2012-us-winter-forecast/

AccuWeather.com’s “Heavy Snow” Winter 2011-2012:

http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/meteomadness/story/53551/snow-forecast-for-the-winter-of-20112012.asp

WINTER OCCUPATION OPTIONS:

1) Migrate to Occupy in the South.

2) Stay in, or migrate to Occupy North.

For those choosing the Northern Occupation Option…

How to build an igloo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-x5QOSqP3E
_____________________________

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By kw, October 13, 2011 at 6:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

that is why Marshall law is being employed. more and more people are waking up. their city is underground. they are not worried.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 13, 2011 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

chacaboy, October 12 at 9:43 pm It’s clear you have many of the problems in sight, and without doubt, you could expand the list nicely.  The problem is taking on too much at once. 

Layfaeetts follow-up of October 12 at 11:32 pm shows he understands the need to focus and prioritize.  Unfortunately, the link didn’t work. 

“The purpose of the debate is to keep concentrated on that which is important to the whole and not just the parts of a movement for fundamental reformative change in America.”  —a big YES, AMEN.  The initial protesters need to become sensitive to the unrepresented.  The completely unrepresented.  99% of the currrent protesters (judging from the videos) are ‘20 somethings’.  Within that group they are finding diversity, ways to divide themselves.  Why?  Why not search for the common? 

There might be those who say if you want represented, then show up, but out there in America are many, many people who couldn’t dream of going to a local OWS city, or NYC to be represented.  They are occupied with survival of their family.  We will always (hopefully) have a representative government, and the problem is the current ‘representatives’ are not sensitive or responsive to ‘We the People’.  They are responsive to special interest groups and those corporations and individuals who buy their way into the system.  What ‘We the People’ don’t want is for the OWS movement to set itself up as being systematically responsive to those special interests who ‘buy’ themselves more representation that the faceless, nameless average American, the ‘common man/woman’.  I hope they think about this.

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By Lafayette, October 12, 2011 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

FUNDAMENTAL REFORMATIVE CHANGE

cb: And, what will happen to the viability of the ‘movement’ as it caters to more and more special interest groups.

You are right to have this concern.

The Left in the US, from whence the present movement evolved, is a rainbow of coloured interests. OWS is just a geographic focus on one element that generated the most disgust. The movement must move beyond Wall Street as a focus to attain “Grassroots America” across the nation.

Which is why it is important to focus only on Key Objectives to coalesce the momentum towards electing Progressive Candidates to Congress - on either side of the political divide (Republican or Democrat).

Subscribing to such an agenda would be a litmus-test for Progressive Candidates. Most such candidates will be Democrat, but if they are Republican as well that can only help to advance Progressivism in America.

Once this has happened, we can get back to partisan issues - but after Congress has changed complexion and not before. To do so before will diffuse the effort, which will dissipate its impact in the run-up to November of next year.

Which is why I have suggested for debate A Progressive Agenda for Political Action, that can be accessed here.

MY POINT

The purpose of the debate is to keep concentrated on that which is important to the whole and not just the parts of a movement for fundamental reformative change in America.

Partisan skirmishing on blogs is divisive - which is EXACTLY what the opposition, sponsored by the Rabid Right, wants of us on the Left. To flame out quickly so as not to harm their plan for regaining full control of LaLaLand on the Potomac in November, 2012.

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By chacaboy, October 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

This is only the beginning and yes - the beauty of it is that no leadership is
necessary. It will gain focus and articulation as it goes on and leaders will probably
emerge. It’s a question of how bad things will get when all the budget slashing is
done and whatever leaders emerge in this movement get thrown in the can with
Julian Assange. The demands? Where do you start? End the war in Afghanistan,
free Julian Assange, re-implement Glass Seagall, fire Geitner, demand single payer
health care, end coal burning power plants, demand quality education as a human
right, I could go on all night with this.

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By litlpeep, October 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

“But perhaps the most important rule adopted by the protesters is nonviolence and nonaggression against the police, no matter how brutal the police become.

“The cops, I think, maced those women in the face and expected the men and women around them to start a riot,” Ketchup said. “They want a riot. They can deal with a riot. They cannot deal with nonviolent protesters with cameras.”

Alas, Americans can create functioning democracy!  That is what happened in the years between 1765 and 1775 up and down the colonies!  Then, as now, the ruling elites had no idea what was happening!  They had plenty of armed men and plenty of money, and wasted it until the sleepy masses woke up and said, “Hey, stop wasting our children and our money OVER THERE.”

Maybe there is hope.  Obviously, the politicians are so paralyzed all they can do is mealy mouth the whole thing, Obama included.

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By litlpeep, October 12, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

“The undercover cops are the only ones who ask, ‘Who’s the leader?’ ”  There’s a great answer for that question; it comes from the Vietnam War movie, Apocalypse Now.  An officer asks a grunt, “who’s in charge?” and the grunt looks at him with a puzzled look, and says, “aren’t you?”

This blurb indicates that we pay Congress members far too much: “The work groups make logistical decisions, and the general assembly makes large policy decisions.”  Congress has a similar arrangement, but they are so busy wheeling and dealing with the public treasury they have no time to make decisions, much less do they have time to make policy.  So they pass several thousand pages of legislation calling it a landmark bill, and then nothing happens. So they go back to wheeling and dealing with public property.

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By skimohawk, October 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Having been offline for some time, I was looking forwared to logging in here to see what was being said here about the “occupy” thing.

Who in God’s name changed the font in the comments to this near-impossible-to-read-wanna-be-Roman-text?
Put it back to a sans-serif font so it can be read.
I managed to get through a few dozen, but my eyes are sore now and I have to go rest.

Mr Cyr, of all the comments I was able to read, yours bring up the most salient point:
The Democratic Party is a farce.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party is even worse.
Both are owned by corporate interests.

Hopefully out of this will come a real alternative come next November.

Don’t vote for incumbents.
Don’t vote for Democrats.
Don’t vote for Republicans.
See how easy that is?

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By litlpeep, October 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

Did “the $4.6 million JPMorgan Chase gave* to the New York City Police Foundation” go into their legal defense fund so they would feel powerful out there cracking heads on behalf of Jamie Dimon and his ilk?

Also, “That is why they keep asking what the demands are. They don’t understand what is happening. They are deaf, dumb and blind.”  Uhm, wouldn’t that be more accurate if it went, “WILLFULLY deaf, dumb, and blind”?

Finally, with the listening gap between the USA and the Wall Street-Washington, D.C., consciousness-neutralizing garter, why should they listen?  They own the half the world’s military “defense” madness.\
As Obama,(like Bush 43, Clinton, et. al., all the way back to…to… Have we ever had a president who was not ready to deploy the blazing guns?) repeatedly shows, they are not reluctant to deploy the blazing guns on any piece of ground anywhere around the globe.  Why does anyone thing they have been organizing a “domestic order” multi-military force in the US for several years?

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By gerard, October 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Congratulations, Wall Street Occupation!  All of you.
You have my heart-felt gratitude for what you are doing—a great job of nation-wide public education and a living illustration of nonviolence and horizontal decision-making in action.

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By sallysense, October 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

((Sallysense says, “occupywallstreet deserves the support of all 99% of us!...”  I say, not blind faith and unlimited resources without accountability.  That’s what got us in the mess we’re in.

Support the people, hell yes.  But OWS leadership has responsibilities to produce a high quality result, and there must be accountability.

Assuming supportwallstreet.org is tied to some leadership core, great.  They need to communicate to us, we the people, the 99%, what the policy priorities are, then we’ll see how much support they should get.  Life’s too short to be half-arsed about things.

Of the two sets of ‘demands’ referenced in my post of October 12 at 6:18, one is pretty darn good, (though it needs some work) and it deserves and demands support of the 99%.  The other one, the one that’s currently posted?  That one’s far too comprehensive, grandiose, and general to be implemented at present.

My vote is get serious financial reforms and accountability as the bulk of the ‘demands’.  Take one really solid step in the right direction, don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Be specific about the details and time-frame to get legislation (with teeth) in place.  Then let the Legislature know in clear terms that each and every one of them is going to lose their re-election if it does not happen.  We care not if a legislator votes for or against…....each individual legislator must be held accountable for their ability to get the entire legislative body to do the job.  All or nothing fellas.))

...

hiya ‘what is progress’... the means you’re looking for…

is the same method that got hi-jacked by ulterior motives…

and became the driving force steering our nation into this current mess…

through processes that detour and exclude and render general consensus insignificant…

(look at what happened to our country via a few calling the shots and not we-the-people!...

and a system’s faulty features won’t fix what’s wrong with it)...

and now we-the-people (the 99%) are starting to reclaim significance via peaceable assembly and redress of grievances and support and more!...

and there’s more accountability at occupywallstreet now… than there’s been with our government for decades!...

for updates and information… and to join or support… in whatever way any of us 99% can!...
see…

http://occupywallst.org

(occupywallstreet deserves the support of all of us 99%’ers!... and hopefully all us 99%’ers can see why!)...

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By Gabriel, October 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

re: What Is Progress

Outright bullshit you say.
Seems like you missed all the solutions in this thread and what Occupy Wall St is all about.
Go back and read it all.

Now some questions for you:
What leaders, what leadership?
Why is a leadership needed when individuals are smart enough?
Why believe Chris Hedges when there are 1,000’s of voices?
Who are the originators of this Occupation?
What are the ages of PPL there and from what backgrounds?
What gives anyone the right to govern over someone else?

Answers are all in this thread and links provided. I suggest you go read it again, and again til you see it.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

You are right they need our support, and perhaps some guidance?  What’s the point if they re-invent the wheel and fall into the same traps? 

People are people, they’re not corporations and corporations are not people, and a given special grouping of person is no better or worse than any other, right?  Sadly for some, that means old white males are no better and no worse than anyone else, so why treat them that way?  Those who are being discriminated against with the staking are there to help.  How fair (or thoughtful) is the ‘movement’ if at it’s outset it singles out a group based on the stereotype that the white males are the problem? 

The problem is the behaviors of a certain few, and there are many right wing people of color (Clarence Thomas for one) who are problems in the extreme.  So, I hope these ‘young people’ take a quantum leap forward and adopt a very fundamental cornerstone of being completely blind to favoritism and it’s ugly and inseparable twin, discrimination.  None of it.  If one has a problem with white males, needing a scapegoat, a villain to blame for some past issue, perhaps they should get over that.

Frankly, if I were a paid disruptor of this ‘movement’, I’d certainly, under the guise of fairness, (what a sick joke) implement the stack jumping protocol and facilitate the formation of every diversity based caucus imaginable.  Divide and conquer.  Talk about naive.

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By chacaboy, October 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

I would add that these people need your support. They are mostly young people
and naive as they are they are the ones with the energy and idealism to make this
happen. If most college students were not up to their ears in five or six figure
debt, which is just where the opposition wants them to be, there would be ten
times more people in the street.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Actually, I should have asked you to deal with the issue of favoritism.  And, what will happen to the viability of the ‘movement’ as it caters to more and more special interest groups. 

Does ‘caucusing’ help or hurt efforts to represent all the people equally in the Legislature?  Or, does it only help those who are powerful enough to assemble a caucus at the expense of everybody who is not (powerful)?  The dynamics of favoritism   and special interest are so corrosive to real recognition of human rights for all, human rights above corporate rights that is.  When you over-represent any select group of people, you are operating in a system which permits such favoritism.  IF it is permitted, it will quickly be abused. 

OWS is endorsing a system of favoritism.  Systematic favoritism.  Is this not true?

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By chacaboy, October 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

“It tells a lot about the group, and what it tells makes the opposition laugh.  Deal
with that.”

It tells me many in the group are young and a bit naive and they’ll get over it too.
As for the opposition, I couldn’t care less what they laugh at.  Let ‘em laugh.

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By Dale, October 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@chacaboy:

I fail to see how you could infer that my feathers are ruffled. Quite the contrary! I’m viewing the proceedings from afar (teaching English in Ecuador at the moment), so I enjoy a perspective different from both the people in Liberty Park, and others who are currently residing in America, watching the events in NYC (and now elsewhere) unfold. Indeed, if I were living in America now, I would make it a point to be a participant at one of the Occupy events, and the length of time I’d have to wait to be heard wouldn’t bother me in the least.

If I feel strongly about anything, it is about the ideas themselves, and whether they are being effectively conveyed to others. Your struggle - our struggle - is for hearts and minds. Both my prior missive and this one are intended as words of caution; the messages you *think* you’re conveying may not always be the ones that others are receiving. I want the best possible outcome for the current protests, as well as the ones that will surely follow, and that is why I wrote what I did.

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By Steven White, October 12, 2011 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe that the next step should be a call for a National Day of Protest to support OWS.
Any day will do…..let’s say Nov.01
Nobody goes to work. Nobody goes to the store. A do nothing day to protest.

If everyone did it…well the 99 percent anyway.
They might get the idea.
I was introduced to this site a couple of days ago and joined up today. It pleases me greatly to know that so many other people out there think like I do.

God Bless the 99 Percent

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Chacaboy, you miss a really important point.  By insisting on divisions, groups, special interests, the whole effort is no better than some lobbying effort.  Favoritism based on group is a fundamental problem.  Equal rights.  Pulling the pendulum back the other way might feel right to you, but it divides a potential movement into the classic fractious groups scrambling for all sorts of metaphorical crumbs. 

It’s ‘We the People’, not We, a collection of special interest groups.  Adopting that stacking protocol goes a long way toward assuring defeat.  It tells a lot about the group, and what it tells makes the opposition laugh.  Deal with that.

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By chacaboy, October 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

“I know that what I have written ruffles the feathers of some people on this board,
but I assure you that it is not a racist statement. It’s simply an observation based
upon history.”

It doesn’t ruffle my feathers and I don’t think it’s racist, but as a white male I think
it’s a waste of your energy and their are much more important things going on
here. You are the one with ruffled feathers. White guys have had their way for
hundreds of years.  Even if it doesn’t jive with your idea of fairness and you’re not
in the mood to wait as payment for the sins of your brethren. . Big deal. So what
you go down in the stack. Wait your turn and get over it.

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By Lafayette, October 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

DJC:  It’s been the (D) dedication of “progressives” that has kept the wars being waged; kept the war debts mounting

What twaddle.

Abracadabra, Dubya was a Dem progressive who dumped $1.5T over in the sandbox bringing the Iraqis democracy.

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By mrfreeze, October 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette -Your link down-the-thread doesn’t open. Try again?

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By Gabriel, October 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

re: David J. Cyr, October 12 at 5:52 am

Today’s youth is much more educated and sophisticated than you say or can imagine. It’s the internet age silly: the biggest library known to man.
When I can get high-speed internet in the middle of the desert or backwoods cabin, I think you need to get out of the 50’s and 60’s.
Some of the brightest minds on this planet, young and old and in between, are involved.
You have a loooong educational curve to catch up on ... as do most on TD.

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By Textynn, October 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

99ers.
Here is what you need to be demanding as your one big start as THE demand of the people.  This ONe thing will give you most all being asked for.  It will force the Dems to chose sides and show their true colors as well.

State Banks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0rJWnRFUJA

North Dakota has a state bank . It is not in debt. Its people are protected from foreclosure. Its private farms are protected from Big Ag.  They have jobs and no real unemployment.

This is a clear answer and it it THE ANSWER to address a huge chunk of our demands.

If the Dems endorse OWS. Let them prove it by awarding all the remaining 49 states State Bank Charters and helping them to get them going.  If they refuse, the party should be abolished and sent to sit with the Repubs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad0gant1zeo 

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/112420/why-north-dakota-may-be-best-state-in-country-to-live-in

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By Dale, October 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What I’m about to write isn’t a pleasant truth, but it needs to be written:

Any national movement that marginalizes, to any degree, the voices of a significant proportion of said nation’s majority race is doomed to fail.

In the case of OWS, it is the process of ‘jumping the stack’, at the expense of white males.

All the good intentions in the world won’t matter, for it is perception that counts. The typical person, upon being informed that stack-jumping is the order of the day rather than ‘first come, first served’, will say “Why should I support a movement that favors one group at the expense of another? Irony of ironies, isn’t that what the OWS protesters are fighting against, namely the exaltation of the one percent at the expense of the other ninety-nine percent!?”

No significant American social movement has succeeded absent either the decisive support and input of white people, or persistent and fervent attempts to win over the hearts and minds of white people as a whole. For the former case, feminism (Friedan, Abzug, Steinem, et cetera) immediately comes to mind, while the civil rights movement is a prominent example of the latter.

I know that what I have written ruffles the feathers of some people on this board, but I assure you that it is not a racist statement. It’s simply an observation based upon history.

Also, I have to agree with a previous poster who questioned the wisdom of beginning the protest in September, instead of April or May, say. If OWS hasn’t disbanded two months from now, you’re going to have a lot more people volunteering for dumpster diving duty, in efforts to minimize their exposure to the cold, snow, and wind.

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By GW=MCHammered, October 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Occupy Wall Street: What Life Is Like for Protesters
http://www.cnbc.com/id/44874685

Just made a donation. My personal and business monies then what’s left of my current Wall Street-invested retirement will soon go into a local credit union and other ‘hard’ investments. Support!

http://october2011.org/donate
http://nycga.cc/donate

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By balkas, October 12, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

david j cyr,
sees reality. next election, uncle’s party get’s 98%
of ballots cast.

whether lady gaga, palin, obama, bachman, me,
clooney, angelina get’s the presidency, doesn’t
matter.tnx

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, October 12, 2011 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, of an avatar being a painting in many (D)evious shades of blue:

“If Occupy Wall Street evolves into a viable Political Party with a realistic possibility of influencing Policy, Occupy Wall Street and its candidates will receive my support.”
________________

Oh yes, the old liberals are always saying, “Build it — make it ‘viable’ first — and then we will come.”

It was the corporate party’s (D) dedicated “progressive” liberals who ensured that no non-corporate alternative political party could become a “viable” opposition to the corporate party that “progressives” protect.

It’s been the (D) dedication of “progressives” that has kept the wars being waged; kept the war debts mounting; kept the poor in poverty; kept SickCare sick; kept the richest getting richer and near everyone else in debt; and kept climate change from being given the serious response it should.

If every liberal who’s ever claimed they’d vote for people’s candidates — “if only they could win” — had themselves all voted for the people’s candidates when they could have, then the people’s candidates would have won.

It’s the liberal voters who ensured that elections would not serve any good purpose… other than what the corporate persons consider “good” to be.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 12, 2011 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Sallysense says, “occupywallstreet deserves the support of all 99% of us!...”  I say, not blind faith and unlimited resources without accountability.  That’s what got us in the mess we’re in. 

Support the people, hell yes.  But OWS leadership has responsibilities to produce a high quality result, and there must be accountability. 

Assuming supportwallstreet.org is tied to some leadership core, great.  They need to communicate to us, we the people, the 99%, what the policy priorities are, then we’ll see how much support they should get.  Life’s too short to be half-arsed about things.

Of the two sets of ‘demands’ referenced in my post of October 12 at 6:18, one is pretty darn good, (though it needs some work) and it deserves and demands support of the 99%.  The other one, the one that’s currently posted?  That one’s far too comprehensive, grandiose, and general to be implemented at present. 

My vote is get serious financial reforms and accountability as the bulk of the ‘demands’.  Take one really solid step in the right direction, don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Be specific about the details and time-frame to get legislation (with teeth) in place.  Then let the Legislature know in clear terms that each and every one of them is going to lose their re-election if it does not happen.  We care not if a legislator votes for or against…....each individual legislator must be held accountable for their ability to get the entire legislative body to do the job.  All or nothing fellas.

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By JDmysticDJ, October 12, 2011 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

“Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again” Bob Dylan (Edited)

Oh, the ragman draws circles
Up and down the block
I’d ask him what the matter was
But I know that he don’t talk
And the ladies treat me kindly
And furnish me with tape
But deep inside my heart
I know I can’t escape
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.


Grandpa died last week
And now he’s buried in the rocks
But everybody still talks about
How badly they were shocked
But me, I expected it to happen
I knew he’d lost control
When he built a fire on Main Street
And shot it full of holes
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.


Now the senator came down here
Showing ev’ryone his gun
Handing out free tickets
To the wedding of his son
And me, I nearly get busted
And wouldn’t it be my luck
To get caught without a ticket
And be discovered beneath a truck
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.


Now the preacher looked so baffled
When I asked him why he dressed
With twenty pounds of headlines
Stapled to his chest
But he cursed me when I proved it to him
Then I whispered, “Not even you can hide
You see, you’re just like me
I hope you’re satisfied”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.


Now the bricks lay on Grand Street
Where the neon madmen climb
They all fall there so perfectly
It all seems so well timed
And here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice
Oh, Mama, is this really the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

Ketchup is very exclusive with her condemnations and her approvals. Shouldn’t the black white blond be perceived as an equal?

Having been there, I know that a once unified peace movement dedicated singularly to non-violently ending the war was co-opted by other agendas, agendas that proved harmful to the peace movement and served to garner support for opponents of the peace movement.

If Occupy Wall Street evolves into a viable Political Party with a realistic possibility of influencing Policy, Occupy Wall Street and its candidates will receive my support. If Occupy Wall Street only serves as a divisive force that serves the interests of those I abhor, I will be adamantly opposed to Occupy Wall Street, just as I was opposed to the Yippies, the Weathermen, the Weather underground, the radicals who burned down the R.O.T.C. building at Kent State and then witnessed the massacre of innocents, and the likes of the Symbionese Liberation Army, and all who served, to a greater or lesser extent, as a counter revolutionary obstacle to achieving positive goals.

The leviathan of corporatism can only be dismantled in increments; any suggestion to the contrary is utopian folly, utopian folly that would have grave consequences. Occupy Wall Street as it now exists will cease to exist before Christmas if it does not come to a tragic end before then; what it will then become is of the utmost importance. Is this a defining revolutionary moment, or merely a political anomaly similar to the events in Wisconsin? Only a unified Left can defeat a unified Right. A sizable affectively apolitical “independent” movement will only serve the interests of a Right co-opted by reactionary radicalism.

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By radson, October 12, 2011 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

This is not about the so-called Left as you correctly state ,solerso ,this is about people that are Fed-up
with the Freeloader class.Also with the total infiltration of the Elephant party by the corrupt family’s of Europe at the expense of the American people and also to the detriment of the rest of the world.

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By sallysense, October 12, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

occupywallstreet deserves the support of all 99% of us!...

(there’s plenty of things anybody can do to help!)...

(the urges of corporate greed spur tons of wealth for themselves…
and pound more deterioration into our nation in return!...
hence those knowing that this must stop though still not helping…
really say rather little until they give from their own self first!)...

http://occupywallst.org

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By prosefights, October 12, 2011 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

Biden also said that U.S. action against Iran could go beyond sanctions, but added that “we’re not going there yet.”

“The idea that they would attempt to go to a Mexican drug cartel to solicit murder-for-hire to kill the Saudi ambassador? Nobody could make that up, right?” Clinton said shortly after U.S. prosecutors accused two suspected Iranian agents of trying to murder Saudi envoy Adel Al-Jubeir.

‘Where do journalists come from? They are manufactured in America’s universities in a liberal arts curriculum.’ Mark Mathis

About first 45 minite Wednesday Octiober 5, 2010 conversation with fly fish guide Garratt on the Missouri river at Craig, MT mentions Iran.

http://www.prosefights.org/craig/audio/garratt.mp3

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 12, 2011 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Per examinator, “.....that some of these extreme feral capitalists are guilty of ‘Callous indifference’ under the law and individuals need to be either prosecuted or sued personally…...”.

It is a privilege, not a right that the FED owns our money.  CAN we revoke the privilege?  SHOULD we?  How would it work, if the US were to issue and control its own currency?  Is this level of intercession necessary? 

Callous indifference at least is the crime, how abot reckless endangerment, or outright fraud?  FED monies and the laws which solidify FED monies as our only legal tender, taken together with the investment/insurances industries make it possible to manipulate relative wealth of people by private parties. 

I’ve seen two lists of demands by OWS.  One I’ll just call unrealistically broad.  It’s the ‘official one’ as of this a.m. on the OWS website.  The other is restricted to serious financial reforms, though it stops short of calling for actions to de-privatize or abolish the FED.  May I suggest this list of demands is realistic and has some relationship with Layfayette’s ‘primary colors’. 

But to return to the key point: banking is a serious responsibility.  WE need to weed out the ‘banksters’ and waste in the banking system.  Frankly, the profession should become a trusted privilege of service to ones nation, not of service to elite billionaires at the expense of the nation, we the people.  The behaviors have been egregious and our rights and dignity as a free people have been grossly abused, our nations wealth mis-invested and squandered by time.  Banking and investing capitol are such serious human responsibilities that there must be consequences when public trust is abused. 

I conclude by urging OWS to return to a list of demands focused on our financial sector, such that the message will not be written off as some ‘looney left’ agenda.  Perhaps then a ‘gathering’ might evolve into a real movement.

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By David J. Cyr, October 12, 2011 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

The young Occupy movement people are being criticized for engaging in consciousness raising techniques, in the conduct of their democratic assemblies.

While it is truly sad that they need to go back and begin all over again where their parents were 40 to 50 years ago, it’s important to understand why.

When the streets were filled with rebellion in the 50’s, and with rage in the 60’s, The System provided two roads converged within one corporate party. A few refused to travel either of those roads leading to the same state, but near all rebelling back then chose one of the two offered.

Near everyone who raised their consciousness, back then, comfortably chose to life-long participate in and affirmatively support the devious (D) choice within the corporate-state’s corporate party.

Consciousness raised liberals considered conservative overt racism and meanness toward poor people to be contemptuous, but the liberals voted for the class war party’s Democrats to covertly maintain the poor in poverty and in prisons, as a permanent underclass.

Consciousness raised liberals were filled with anger against rash Republican warmongers, but they voted for the war party’s Democrats to perpetually credit card fund weaponry and wars, and to patiently manage more wars “better” than Republicans would.

Consciousness raised liberals were disgusted with unregulated pollution, but they voted for the polluted party’s Democrats to regulate environmentalists, and make the profits of polluters more sustainable.

Consciousness raised liberals reviled the Chamber of Commerce small-minded businessmen, but the liberals voted for the pump-and-dump capitalist crime party’s Democrats to remove the wall between banks and finance — the wall between banksters and limitless speculation.

Consciousness raised liberals were concerned about “healthcare” costs, but they voted for the privatizing party’s Democrats to take all care for people’s health “off the table” — something Democrats say we can’t do here because “there are too many legacy system” sick profit considerations.

Consciousness raised liberals considered legal limits upon torture to be repulsive, but they voted for the “School of the Americas” party Democrats to remove all limits upon torture, other than requiring it to be done out-of-sight-out-of-mind in far off “black site” places where the screams will not be heard, with no embarrassing trophy pictures allowed.

Consciousness raised liberals ridiculed the ignorant climate change deniers, but they voted for the extraction industry party’s Democrats to ignore climate change — to just watch and wait, while the glaciers all disappear and the permafrost becomes impermanent.

Having raised their consciousness, the liberals considered it acceptable for their so especially sensitive “intelligent” selves to lifelong (D) do everything unconscionable.

Our young now need to begin organizing resistance with consciousness raising all over again — beginning at square 1, again — because most of their parents wasted half a century MovingOn backwards, as unconscionable Democrats supporting the corporate party… regularly routinely providing popular vote mandates for a continuum of all the crimes of the corporate-state.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By nathanielstruth, October 12, 2011 at 5:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I look upon the protesters with great admiration, one question echos in my mind. How many of these protesters have children?

The reason I care is that once you have kids that are dependent on you, the ‘powers that be’ have you by the throat. In order to secure their ‘future’ I feel as though I am forced to toe the line so that they have the opportunity for a ‘good’ life. As a white male, I have been conditioned to believe that the purpose of my existence is to earn as much money as possible to provide them with the best opportunity to do the same for their children… and so on. It’s a vicious cycle that causes me to wish for a better way of managing our society without the risk of ruining their chance at security and ‘happiness’.

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By Marc Schlee, October 12, 2011 at 2:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

*******

You’ll know when the elites are really in trouble, because they’ll start rounding us up and killing us.


FREE AMERICA

BUY A GUN AND LEARN HOW TO USE IT

*******

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By Boethius, October 12, 2011 at 2:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So Ketchup had a copy of a book by Howard Zinn, did she? Zinn’s a deep cover false opposition sellout who declines to interest himself in the obvious truth that 9/11 was engineered-literally, in that three buildings in NYC were brought down by controlled demolitions etc. etc. Is “Ketchup” anything more than on appealing construct, a fiction serving to advertise the Occupy- movement or perhaps to undermnine it by identifying it with marxist phonies and the gullible people who sit at their feet?

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By Gabriel, October 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

re: Lafayette

Why would anyone be stupid enough to go back to old corrupt system of government when it has failed at every turn?

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By Lafayette, October 11, 2011 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

A LITMUS-TEST

examinator: Consider, why then are the Liberals less popular?
Two reasons.
They are disunited (disorganised) by definition, lots of little hobby horses
They don’t offer the confirmation of what they understand and therefore,  predictability and order.

Well put.

The American Left-of-Center is a rainbow of colours. It could use some judicious trimming of its spectrum to be a credible political force during an election year.

Say, down to some Primary Colours? (Pun intended ...)

That is, enough to get the main objectives communicated simply to the grass-roots and thus have them select knowingly progressive candidates to represent them in Congress. Rather than being swayed by the mindless Media-Messaging Babble (of negativism and character defamation) that the upcoming electoral campaign inevitably will employ.

For this present movement to mature into a potent political force, I suggest that it needs a defined, concise Progressive Political Agenda. A sort of litmus-test for the right of passage as a Progressive Politician for whom it is worth voting.

My contribution to that effort is here.

MY POINT

Let’s turn the discourse to defining that agenda, instead of the steady stream of vitriol that woe-is-me journalists are spewing presently.

Yes, we are living in mess. We all know that! It need not be repeated and repeated and repeated like a polemical mantra!

Let’s focus on how to get the hell out of it.

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By Gabriel, October 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

re: Mr. Chris Hedges ... you did it again ... EPIC FAIL

Now The truth: This movement was started by Anonymous as part of a 3 step process.
This is only step 1 of 3 .. clear enough for you yet?

Practice runs were: demonstrations against Scientology [an extension of CIA mind experiments and MK Ultra], blocking of Wikileaks, detention of Bradley Manning, etc. etc.

Occupy Wall St. is step 1 to get the people together and to share ideas, practice Horizontal thinking instead of Pyramid Scheme thinking, to provide a means for general public to come up with best ideas for what’s to come.

It’s messy, it’s confusing, the ruling class don’t understand or comprehend it .. and for good reason, it’s a child growing by leaps and bounds along the guidelines of Anonymous core and pure democratic decentralized ideas. It’s a movement that connects not just US citizens but 99% of this planet who have had enough of being abused, mistreated, enslaved, lied to and murdered.

This movement is not only using the surface ideas you report but well thought out and proven precedents from all of history. This is what you fail most at. Go back and learn till you get it.

The New Paradigm is that we don’t need government when everyone participates in decision making. The best of the best are used per situation. Not some old farts in present government that don’t know sh*t or are more interested in saving their careers and promote greed.

There is an economic crash coming, it’s only a matter of time, and when it comes it will be global. That’s 7 Billion who will be dumped into poverty. Are you and everyone ready for it?
Do you have the means to survive past the first month, few months, a year or 10 years?
Do you have the tools and tech. to move forward? The answer is a big NO.

If Wall St. doesn’t give back to We the People what they stolen there will be Millions, if not Billions, that will die. Are you going to be responsible for their deaths when you fail to report the real truth as you fail now?
I’m sure there will be many who will blame you for not doing the right thing.

Hint: Get off your lazy butt and start reporting what is actually going on at Occupy Wall St. & Occupy the Planet.

As for the rest of you: Let this be Your warming as well. 124 comments full of gibberish and little to no solutions.
Wake up, Learn, share, spread it far and wide.

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By Lafayette, October 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

And after last night’s vote to torpedo the Jobs Bill, why not ... OccupyTheSenate?

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By Litl Bludot, October 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

This is another wonderful piece by Hedges. It proves, again, that he knows what
is happening to our planet and species, and he can convey the reality of a sane
human as opposed to that of the corporate fascist human infected with a terminal
parasitic ideology.

Those of us who make the comparison to the spread of fascism in the thirties
may ponder the fact that the threat now is not just to humanity’s freedom from
torture and slavery, but now to the survival of the biosphere, i.e. all life. This is
possible because the corporate fascists are infected with a parasitic ideology that
views all life as a commodity, to be package and sold, literally. There is no
undamaged place (niche) for any creature to continue to survive.

Takeover of the country and the planet by these insane individuals infected with
this parasitic ideology is a terminal condition, i.e., it means the ultimate end of
life. This is the conclusion. Either you isolate the humans infected with this
parasitic ideology so that they can do no more harm, or we all perish, along with the indescribable beauty that life makes of this planet.

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By prosefights, October 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

WWIII?

The Obama administration on Tuesday directly accused Iran and its elite Quds Force of backing the alleged attempt to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, using hit men from a Mexican drug gang. The allegation plunged U.S.-Iranian relations into crisis and sent U.S. officials scrambling in search of new punitive measures to impose against a country that has already been hit with multiple rounds of sanctions.

Where do journalists come from? They are manufactured in America’s universities in a liberal arts curriculum.

Landscaper did not arrive or phone today.

Tengo que llamar un otra ajardenero.

Pido primero, “Quantos dollares por cada hora quiere ganar?”

Some advantages of a liberal arts education. Foreign language required for graduation.

http://home.comcast.net/~bpayne37/index.htm

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By examinator, October 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Consider this in the current context. Why do you think the repubs appeal to the most ignorant and the rabid capitalists? They crave the P&O.
Consider, why then are the Liberals less popular?
Two reasons.
They are disunited (disorganised) by definition, lots of little hobby horses
They don’t offer the confirmation of what they understand and therefore,  predictability and order.

The Tea party offers that, albeit absurdly simplistically and in the long run counter to the interests of the people ( specifically its members).
Uber capitalists on the other hand want P&O to protect and facilitate their personal wealth mechanisms (power) not surprisingly they aren’t so committed to the Society’s Responsibilities (MUTUAL benefits). The Feral capitalists only see Society as a means of protecting THEIR wealth and power.

Neither do I believe it’s valid to dismiss the complaints of the public by pointing out that the government (public coffers ) made a profit from the bailout. Frankly that misses the point. The bone of contention is that these ‘bankers’ created World wide crisis and then believe they an buy out their responsibility ( callous indifference)by a ‘‘oop here’s a few Billion profit USA”. It’s too little too late and sends the message US doesn’t give a sh*t .
It is a logical fact that any authority that doesn’t consider its ‘charges’ FIST is on the inevitable road to oblivion. Look what has happened to all the other great colonial powers of the past…. Ancient Palestine to the Spanish, Portuguese, Brits, Japan, Germany ….is the US next
Make no mistake this whole issue has damaged the US’s credibility in its claim that they and their systems are the best for the world…

I would posit that some of these extreme feral capitalists are guilty of ‘Callous indifference’ under the law and individuals need to be either prosecuted or sued personally…...
The change needed is simple in theory ….a law that makes capitalists (bank executives et al legally culpable for their actions under either ‘callous indifference’ to the state and the public. Simply tighten up the legal test of proof and make such cases more accessible to the public (cheaper).
The law shouldn’t be primarily a profit centre its primary purpose is to protect the people. Corporations are tools not people.
 

On this basis I’m not convinced either way least of all who is right or wrong.
What I am convinced of is that the US citizens need to take back their country from the selfish, opportunistic who’s real interest isn’t that of the people writ large before it’s too late.

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By prosefights, October 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

Not good.

WASHINGTON — The United States on Tuesday accused Iranian officals of plotting to murder Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States in a bizarre scheme involving an Iranian-American used-car salesman who believed he was hiring assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/us/us-accuses-iranians-of-plotting-to-kill-saudi-envoy.html

Liberal arts media ‘educated’ at work.

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By prosefights, October 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Trouble?

Clinton said the U.S. announcement that it had foiled the plot demonstrated that Tehran was a “bad guy” and a threat to the world at large.

“What everybody is learning is that nobody is safe from the Iranians. They have their own logic, their own way of thinking about the world and their place in it and they’re vying with everybody for influence,” Clinton told Reuters in an interview.

“This case will, I think, reinforce the well-grounded suspicions of many countries about what they’re up to.”

Clinton spoke shortly after U.S. officials said they had foiled a plot by two men linked to the Iranian government to assassinate the envoy of Saudi Arabia, Tehran’s traditional rival for influence in the Gulf.

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By chacaboy, October 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

After Obama stammered out the utterance that America might have gone a little
bit soft, news commentators took it a step further and showed in nearly every
category - from education to competitiveness, to productivity, to ability to
change, to medical care - this nation is in steep decline and falling. The
overarching theme to this decline has been short term benefits and profits at
the expense of long term growth and choices that involve prescience and
sacrifice - such as making the right decisions about environmental protection
when - they don’t show immediate black ink.

This situation has become entrenched in a truly fatuous political climate where
we have actual elected leaders of this country capable of nothing but pathetic
self-serving yammering, as though they have lost all threads of common sense.
The results of this miasma are more than a put-together leftist philosophy can
embody at this point, and far more tangible. This is a measurable decline and
the OWN movement will grow as the decline worsens.

It will serve us all to stick to the facts as much as possible and point them out
in every possible way. No one out there getting press attention seems capable
of speaking the truth. (Obama coughed it up like a luigi). The lion’s share of the
work here will have to be getting the facts on the table and sticking to our
truth, which is the obvious need, and eventually the demand, for social and
economic justice.

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By Anonymous United Plurality, October 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Meg
First, your statement reminds me of what the pro-right wing posters tend to do online and all the pundits everywhere do.  It’s a redirection.  The last refuge of a person with no argument, or an invalid one.
Second, The quotes and statements about feminism are all about transferring power from one group to another.  I am about questioning illegitimate power and constantly testing power and making it justify it’s legitimacy.  My way doesn’t require one to note, judge, or even know anything about the sex, race, etc., of anyone on either side of the test.

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By politicky, October 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Mr. Hedges, for reporting on the OccupyWallSt NY
demnstrations.

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By Meg, October 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anonymous United Plurality, I think we misunderstand one another. That system that constrains you as a man and tries to fit you into a narrow box of masculinity? The one where men hold power as a GROUP while individual men feel powerless? It’s the same system that confines us all in this movement. It’s called patriarchy, and it isnt one person or even one man.

Here is Michael Kimmel, asking you to join in a movement that brings people together based on the simple belief that “we want the same things out of life.” I’m sure we both want the same things if we met over a beer and discussed them:

“The feminist definition of masculinity as a drive for power is theorized from women’s point of view…When confronted with the analysis that men have all the power, many men react incredulously. ‘What do you mean, mean have all the power?’ they ask. ‘What are you talking about? My wife bosses me around, my kids boss me around. My boss bosses me around. I have no power at all! I’m completely powerless!’...In this sense, men’s experience of powerlessness is REAL - the men actually feel it and certainly act on it - but it’s not TRUE, that is, it does not accurately describe their condition. Our imperfect analysis of our own situation leads us to believe that we men need more power, rather than leading us to support feminists’ efforts to rearrange power relationships along more equitable lines.”

- Michael Kimmel “Masculinity as Homophobia,” 1994

“Rearranging power relationships along more equitable lines:” this is exactly what OWS is attempting to do in their process. Again, I salute them!

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By kibitzer, October 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Nice thoughts, Jim Pharo @1:58pm.  The “false dichotomies of left vs. right”
indeed.  As I put it on my OWS petition contribution:

“Be aware, folks, that the real answer to the world’s situation is to go neither
Left nor Right but Up.

“As the world’s socio-econo-political process of unfoldment has now gone
global, we have great Opportunity to provide a global way out.  And that,  I
encourage all to realize, is not to keep the process on the same level as the
problem (mere action-reaction), or to assume that the best outcome will be on
the same level as the problem.

“It’s game-changer time, folks.  Turning Point time.  Indeed: the Great Turning,
on planet Earth.  Let’s not blow it, with demonstrations of lesser consciousness.

“Love, not Power, is the key to the future on Gaia, our home away from home.”

It’s time, that is to say, to eliminate the money-changers from the temple of
life, and bring about a better world, based on gratitude to our Creator for life
with meaning.  And if we do - when we do - all else will be added unto us.

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

And to those who believe that Man is the be-all and end-all of existence, and
we are just clever mammals, I have good news for you: You’re wrong.  And
therein lies our salvation.

Oh, and Islandnotes: Yes, energy is a major player in the new paradigm
a’borning.  With the end of the era of Oil signaling the end of an era of history
itself.  And as we develop our Zero Point Energy devices (and including the
‘economic’ splitting of water for the hydrogen), so will we return to being in
harmony with our Mother Earth, aka Pachamama.

And if you don’t want to sing Kumbaya in the new paradigm, of cooperation
and community (common unity): You don’t really have to.  Because Love, not
Power, will rule the new day.

P.S. And when I refer to the ‘elimination of the moneychangers’, I of course
don’t mean by force.  I just mean by profession.  Because without interest-
bearing money, and fractional-reserve banking, they will go out of business.

Now won’t THAT be an example of justice rendered…(getting their just
desserts, I think it’s called)

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By islandnotes, October 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Why is it that protests on Wall Street and elsewhere — denouncing corporate greed and perverse distribution of wealth and the attendant corruption of our institutions — why don’t we recognize energy policies and energy’s absolute relevance to inequity? (Indeed, amassing capital essentially correlates to determining energy policy.)

But do you really think this is primarily about class struggle? When we toss the capitalists out, who exactly are we going to bring in to assist in managing this cluster**ck we call our society? Some good old anti-capitalist professionals? Maybe even some young ones?

Well, did you ever consider the inequity and degradation that necessarily result from a high-energy consumption economy? Forget capitalist or socialist. Think: Society gorging itself on energy actually deprives and frustrates the hell out of us.

Significantly, in this mostly unacknowledged aspect of quanta of energy as it correlates to inequity, the actual source of energy is irrelevant; whether it be petroleum, nuke plants, the “clean” energies of wind and solar, the hoped-for magnificent new battery; maybe even gushing cheap plentiful energy from used kitty litter, or some other techno-splendorous future development.

This is about levels of energy (and by extension, technology).

Could it be? Could it be that beyond a certain threshold of energy consumption, that technical processes begin to dictate social relations? No way you say? And you’re going to put that on your Facebook friend wall — maybe even “dislike” it? Well, friend, you’re not alone in being sort of troubled by such a notion. The fact is that if you begin to accept this entirely rational line of reasoning, you’re probably going to run, more likely drive, into some other awakenings that just don’t sit well with that little gremlin that lives in your wilderness, as you hunt for legitimacy and authenticity as a good citizen trying your best.

So ya, greedy bastards, snarfing up all the resources of our planet is indeed part of what troubles us. However, it’d seem to be rather disingenuous to not observe that the high energy that is controlled and utilized by the affluent (that’d be us too) is what generates the inequities.

Beyond carrying a placard announcing “That a-hole has too much money!”, how in the world do we possibly go about tweaking this reality?

Consider the energy inputs, and the industrial complex-energy outputs, and the reality of their costs to our society. A fairly obvious, and now rightly considered absurd, illustration would be something like the supersonic Concorde jet of decades ago. As the price of acceleration for a small affluent group of travelers, the majority of the people paid the societal cost; in pollution and otherwise. Now what is often overlooked in such scenarios is the disutility — the disabling — of those unable or unwilling to adopt the apparent technological sophistication. This leads us to what has been termed “radical monopoly”, whereby an industrial consumer-value, say our system of motorized transportation, is adopted to the extent of the exclusion of self-powered transit — and other appropriate use-value oriented technologies.  (Where I live, as I walk my sorry ass through the parking lot, trying to locate my motorized crutch — my car — I feel as though I’m just a hapless terrorist in the war on pedestrians.)

To summarize, and in looking at possible alternative approaches to fixing some crappy aspects of crumbling empire, I’d suggest that communities, in the historical sense, find ways to engage in the political process; to assess from an enlightened local perspective; what levels of energy and technology are in their interests and where limits might be appropriate.

(For more information regarding this, read the sociologist Ivan Illich’s Energy and Equity.)

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By JohnSwims, October 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

The Elites are in trouble only if their puppets, the Democratic and Republican parties and their candidates are elected in.  Wake up America.

America is run by the 1%‘ers, the Dictators who controlled their puppet government.

Enough.

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By Jim Pharo, October 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

I hate to simply pile on, but I really want to share a couple of thoughts on this
moving and important piece.

1.  The OWS movement has ALREADY succeeded.  The most powerful force of
humankind is the power of ideas. OWS has already introduced the idea that the
people of the US must rise up themselves and take on their foes directly.  OWS
fulfills the promise Obama dangled in 08: we ARE the change we’ve been
waiting for.  No other savior is on the way.  Just us.

By refusing to buy into false dichotomies of left vs. right, OWS has staked out a
moral and ideological position that is already resonating with millions.  They
have struck a bell that cannot be unrung.  I believe our children’s children will
know what the “human mic” is.

2.  As an (older) white male, I could not be more tickled, pleased and delighted
with the rule that anyone that is ANYTHING other than an apparent white male
can cut the speakers’ line.  Finally, a little ‘shoe-on-the-other-foot’ justice.  I
think ‘my kind’ have had enough advantages for several lifetimes.

3.  The OWS movement’s peculiar MO—it’s grass-roots, direct-democracy
mentality, it’s desire to itself BE a more just and sustainable community—
speaks to the fundamental nature of the challenge we face. By my lights, the
challenge we face is ultimately one of scale—simple as that.  For a group of
30, or 300, or 3000,  sustainability and justice, not to mention food and media
relations,  is something that can be home-grown by the participants.  It’s rather
like democracy in a small setting where everyone votes on everything.  Fine for
a New England town, but impractical in a society of three hundred million, let
alone 7 billion.

To move forward, we need to re-jigger our thinking about how we respond to
the enormous scale of human activity.  We need to solve for a system that
ensures each one of us has a reasonably comfortable life.  Once we develop a
system that works towards this goal, we can afford to turn to schemes to allow
some of us to have unbelievably comfortable lives, but always subject to the
requirement that no one goes without the basics of a comfortable life, no
matter what.

In a sense, this is how I read Christianity’s core message: so long as one person
is doing less well than you, your duty is unambiguously to assist that person
until she has at least what you have.  While I’m no religious “believer,” I do
believe this is the value that should guide all our activities.

Imagine if instead of 4 cable channels constantly broadcasting the minutiae of
which Fortune 500 company met its earnings estimate and which European
bank has had its debt down-graded—instead of that—what if we had four
cable channels broadcasting the minutiae of which African nation just reported
lower-then expected TB infections, and which US state just achieved the highest
college graduation rate ever.

We can have any society we want.  It’s simply an exercise in imagination.

4.  OWS may or may not be the catalyst that moves us forward.  But forward we
shall go.  The current system is plainly unsustainable. Things that cannot go on
forever don’t.  This system is dying.  The question is when and how it ends, and
what replaces it.

5.  This is a stunningly beautiful essay, partly due to Chris’ deft writing, but also
due to the beauty of Ketchup and her experience.  She is a wonderfully distilled
example of the plight of the 99%—she has nothing of real value, she has no
security of any kind, she has no idea where she is headed.  But she has love in
her heart (as we all do, deep down), and now she has faith in her fellows.  And
she is discovering the power she wields.

6.  Think the elites aren’t worried?  Watch the vehemence with which the
blowback is mounted.  The OWS people are non-persons are far as they are
concerned— the price to be paid to anyone who dares to mention that the
emperor in fact has no clothes.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, October 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

The counter revolution was tried by the rich in 1934 and just barely failed—-they were not punished.

Now since 1980 they have been taking down, taking over or messing up our country. For the reason they want it to fall with only them standing. Then they will be allowed to take over and run things their way. Then the USA will be no more.

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By hidflect, October 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

I sense a spring in the step of Chris Hedges’ reporting in the column. A good thing too as his writing was growing darker and darker (till OWS came along).

But it would be rash to over-invest so much early hope in the Occupation. The 1% have the law, the land and the loot on their side… and that’s before they’ve even lifted a single finger in counter-offence.

And they may be venal but they’re not stupid.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 11, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Oh, and redteddy again:

Where do you think I get my facts? Pull them out of my ass? I wouldn’t have said anything about Chavez if I didn’t know my facts. Obviously you don’t know who I am or where I come from. I’ll remind you ... PhD from Stanford in the mid 70s. Lots of interesting work and travel plus a pretty damn good scientist in my day. Worked at the Los Alamos National Labs as a principal researcher so I know all about research and getting my facts right. Look it up idiot instead of inserting foot in mouth with a stupid challenge.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, October 11, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Well Chacaboy, I hope it does accomplish something positive, and that it does not burn out people like you and John R in the process.  That is why I’m going to be extremely critical of the thing…...to let the leadership know they have a responsibility and there will be accountability.  The damn thing had better leave this country and it’s people better off than before it started. 

If it amounts to a clusterf@ck (and I hope not) and all it accomplishes is draining enthusiasm and alerting the power elite they need to do a better job of preemptively screening for troublemakers, well, how many chances does a People get to straighten a few things out?  That is, do it right, there won’t be another shot at it.

I don’t see any indication the leadership or follower ship sees the depth and breadth of the problems.  Hell, the wall street jerks (and they are jerks) are a great lightning rod.  Look at all the pensions out there which depend on Wall St.  How is your leadership going to ensure some 89 year old algebra teacher continues to get her pension?  I’m not saying it can’t be done.  I’m not saying you can’t take control back from the power elite, but does anyone understand where it ends?  This problem is far more complex than a giant ball of string.  Pull one string to loosen the thing…....it gets tighter someplace else. 

Go for it, but frankly, my prediction is you’ll just end up with the federal government (us) paying for a whole new level of security around Wall St, or perhaps they’ll de-concentrate geographically.  Rupert Murdoch is very likely to sell his house in NYC and go low profile.  Anyone with money is going to try and hide it better.  Sales of personal security services and products for millionaires will rise.  Everywhere with an OccupyThisPlace movement will spend time and money improving security for the very fat-cats you rail against.

But what will improve for Joe Blow, Jane Blow-Hard, and their 2.3 spoiled, self-centered entitled children?  Their education will deteriorate at a slightly higher rate (thanks to that security money we spent in the last paragraph), and will we develop an industrial policy or an energy policy which does not favor big private capital?  Probably not. 

We could go on and on about what might come of this, and unfortunately, we seem to have about a 10 minute memory span anymore, but one things for sure: actions have consequences.  For all our sakes your leaders and the followers must take this seriously and don’t act like arrogant children having a good old time with a big sit-in. 

Good luck, it won’t hurt.

p.s. Know your leadership.  Make sure whoever they are they’re going to have to live with the results, and that you have a good memory.  That might help to weed out some of the big-mouth attention getters.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 11, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

redteddy:

In 2002 the ‘elites’ arrested Chavez and imposed a sham government. The poor stood up to them and the army and got Chavez restored to power. The original coup was lauded by the Bush administration. Get your facts straight before shouting someone down. If you don’t believe me, just Google ‘Chavez coup’ to read all about it.

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By chacaboy, October 11, 2011 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

What is Progress, every movement begins in a hopeless state, which is why the
movement begins. All I know is the civil rights movement succeeded. It changed
the behavior of millions of people but it started in a state of hopelessness in
which many people believed that its participants had nothing better to do than
to make trouble.

As Frederick Douglas pointed out “Power concedes nothing without a demand -
it never has and it never will”. It is futile to believe that this Occupy Wall Street
movement, such as it is, will change people and make them less greedy or
prone to abuse, but history has shown that silly looking movements grow and
obtain power and focus as they move forward and are met with resistance from
power. If what you say is true - that no one will let go of their greed and habits
long enough to fix things so people no longer feel like they are getting screwed
so bad the only recourse is to get out in the street - this is more likely to make
the movement succeed than to make it fail.

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By Anonymous United Plurality, October 11, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Meg’s post and these racist tactics aren’t condemned by the entire movement then this is proof that this is a racist movement.  Racism is not the answer to racism.  I never owned a slave.  No one in my family ever owned a slave.  I grew up in an all white, extremely racist part of the country and took great risks defending women, minorities, and homosexuals before I had ever even met anyone other than straight whites.  I was called “(n-word) lover”, I was called “probably gay” I was told “you are just as bad as they are”.  I guess standing up for you was a mistake.  I wish I could take it all back now.  You judge me and condemn me because of the color of my skin and my sex?  I think you might want to be careful what you wish for.  You are destroying centuries of progress that will take us back to a place where your worst fears exist as law.

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