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We are the 99 percent

On The Anniversary of The Triangle Shirtwist Factory Fire: Lessons Learned?

Posted 11 years ago on March 26, 2013, 10:58 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: labor, triangle shirtwaist factory fire, history

The Great Hall at Cooper Union in lower Manhattan was packed, standing room only on this November 22nd, 1909 day. Garment workers from all over the city came to the same auditorium where Abraham Lincoln had denounced the proliferation of slavery nearly fifty years earlier. They were there to consider an industry-wide strike in support of the striking Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers. Union leaders (men) droned on for nearly two hours, when suddenly a 23 year old, immigrant union organizer named Clara Lemlich burst up onto the stage uninvited, and said, “I would like to say a few words.” She then turned to her audience and said, “I have listened to all the speakers and I have no further patience for talk. I am a working girl, one of those striking against intolerable conditions. I am tired of listening to speakers who talk in generalities. What we are here for is to decide whether or not to strike. I offer a resolution that a general strike be declared now!” Her peers were wildly supportive. She then led a modified version of an old Jewish oath, “If I turn traitor to the cause, I now pledge may this hand wither from the arm I now raise.” And so began what was soon known as The Uprising of 20,000. The next day, all over the city garment workers walked off their jobs, and met in Union Square Park for a solidarity rally. The eleven week strike saw over 700 arrests. Strikers were being beat by company-hired thugs, and prostitutes, and police often turned their backs, and in some cases even participated in the beatings. Finally it ended with a Peace Protocol, with the hundreds of clothing manufacturers making different deals with their workers. Many companies became union shops where only union workers could be hired. The owners of Triangle Shirtwaist Factory resisted, giving in to only modest wage and hour concessions. The unsafe, over-crowded conditions remained the same at Triangle with doors only opening inward, shabbily constructed fire escapes, a barrel of oil stored on the floor, cloth tailings that were not removed on a regular basis, and incredibly exit doors that were locked during working hours.

Then late in the afternoon on a beautiful spring Saturday (March 25th, 1911), while having tea with a friend near Washington Square Park a woman named Frances Perkins suddenly heard screams and sirens going off. She ran across the park and came upon the horrific site of seeing the first of 50-60, mostly women jumping out of the fire engulfed upper floors, of the ten-story Asch building. Triangle Shirtwaist occupied the 8th-10th floors. In the little more than a half hour that fire raged, 146 people died; 129 of them were women; Italian and Jewish immigrants mostly; the average age was 19, and the youngest, Kate Leone and “Sarah” Rosaria Maltese only 14. The bodies were brought to a covered pier on E 26th St so families could conduct the gruesome task of identifying their loved ones, if they could.

New Yorkers were gripped with an immense feeling of grief and mea culpa. A meeting was called on April 2nd at the old Metropolitan Opera House to see what could be done so that these young women did not die in vain. The meeting became tense as people from different socioeconomic groups started squabbling - that until a young, immigrant, union organizer, named Rose Schneiderman started to speak. She held her audience spell-bound with her angry, chastising speech. Decades later Frances Perkins who was in attendance said, “..Wonderful, what a speech she made.” After the meeting, and that incredible oratory, a safety commission was formed. Ms. Perkins became the lead investigator, and their mission expanded into looking at all aspects of factory life in the over 2,000 factories that were inspected in New York state. Over thirty new laws were passed, and many of them were emulated by other states.

At no time were the feelings of guilt and sorrow probably more evident than on a cold rainy April 5th day, when between 80-120,000 people gathered in and around Washington Square Park where a funeral procession was to begin for the victims of the fire. It was led by six horses pulling an empty hearse, followed by victims’ families, survivors of the fire, and garment workers from throughout the city. It is estimated that another 200-400,000 people lined the streets of the route towards, and up 5th Ave. This tragedy caused union enrollment to soar. People started to feel a sense of empowerment, and knew that there was strength in unity. Religious groups, community groups, unions, radicals, and reformers all banded together, putting aside their differences for the greater shared goal of improving people’s lives. And they did not ask for change, but rather they demanded it.

The social advancements in this era, and in the decades that followed were made possible by people who had courage and were willing to make tremendous sacrifices so that they, and their progeny could live a life with dignity. And it is undeniable that most of us and our loved ones, past and present benefited greatly from the pain that those people endured to secure those gains. What we have forgotten is that - it is a never-ending battle to keep what we had inherited. The crisis that we find ourselves in today begs the questions; Do we have an economic system that can be adapted to a sustainable world in which not only the environment is taken into account, but where the peoples’ well-being is considered more important than profits? And the next more important question is; Do we as a people possess the mettle that our ancestors had to make the changes that we must make? Well..

It was said, “The New Deal began March 25th, 1911,” and the woman who said that was the first woman Cabinet member, Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins - Yes that same Frances Perkins whose tea was interrupted on that fateful, shocking, life-changing day for her, all those years ago.



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[-] 5 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

This is a great story for OWS and everybody else to learn from.

It is sad their are still too many folks in America who are complacent to let the rights and things which Clara Lemlich and people like her so bravely fought for slip away.

[-] 1 points by socialmedic (178) 11 years ago

and Alice Paul

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Clara Lemlich was an amazing woman. Even in her later years when she was in a nursing home in California, she organized a boycott of lettuce and grapes in support of the United Farm Workers, AND if that wasn't enough, she organized the staff at her nursing home too. lol And just for the record, she was a radical,


[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

Nice addition to the story. Such a tragedy. Now we export this kind of poor exploitive work conditions to 3rd world countries, although we still have abuse here as well.

We have so much hard work ahead.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

I have studied this tragedy, and its aftermath, and will bring it up in future comments

At the commemorative ceremonies, they also honor the victims of fires of clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh and Pakistan. It's very beautiful, and I will comment on it later too

You're right we have a lot of hard work to do.


[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Further to this 'News Post' and to your words and efforts on this & other OWS matters, I append :

Solidarity @ you, OTS, OWS & all in this struggle.

respice, adspice, prospice - nunc et semper ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Swedish retailer, H&M, promises a living wage and Bangladesh is one of the countries where they will implement it.

"H&M, the Swedish retailer known for inexpensive yet hip clothes, said last week that it wants to ensure that workers who make its T-shirts and jeans are paid a living wage."



[-] 6 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Again the Scandinavians show themselves at the coal face and cutting edge of the developement of ethical behaviour and solidarity with their fellow humans & so in support of your very important link :

Most of the world's people are decent, honest and kind. Most of those who dominate us are inveterate bastards who don't give two shits for the rest of us or our children, or even the planet and ecosystem.

A basic income (aka 'citizen's income') would give everyone, rich and poor, without means-testing or conditions, a guaranteed sum every week. It would replace some but not all benefits (there would for instance, be extra payments for pensioners and people with disabilities). It also banishes the fear and insecurity stalking the poorer 4/5s of the population of western deMOCKERYcies. Economic survival would thus becomes a right, not a privilege to be handed to The 99% as an act of fickle largesse.

A basic income removes the stigma of welfare benefits while also breaking open what politicians call the 'welfare trap'. Because taking work would not reduce your entitlement to social security - there would be no disincentive to find a job as all the money you earn is extra income. The poor would not be forced by desperation into the arms of unscrupulous, venal employers and usurious lenders, as people will work if conditions are good and pay fair but will refuse to be treated like mules or debt-slaves.

It would redress the wild imbalance in bargaining power that our current system exacerbates and would be financed by progressive taxation ; a clear anti-corporate tax dodging strategy ; a 'Robin Hood / Tobin' Tax on speculative financial transactions and by a 'land value tax'. In short, we won't tax income or even consumption so harshly but tax wealth and 'rentier returns' and spread it for the betterment of The 99% and indeed all of society, including the 1% though we should expect the maximum resistance from The 0.01%, Parasite Class of course.

Such ideas require courage - the courage to confront the government, the so called 'opposition' ; the plutocrats ; the kleptocrats ; the Corporate MSM and even the suspicions of a timid, propagandised electorate - but without proposals on this scale, progressive politics is dead on its feet. Such ideals strike that precious spark so seldom kindled in this age of Corporatocracy ... the spark of hope ~*~

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

I'm all for a Basic Income Guarantee. What do you think of a Global Minimum Wage? Of course, it would be complex, with different monetary systems and standards of living, and all, but I'm sure our brilliant economists could come up with some way of ensuring, say, that folks all over the world can have protein in their meals, roofs over their heads, educated children, healthcare, etc.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

If we could leave Neoliberalism and Psychopathic Randianism then a 'Global Minimum Wage / Basic Income Guarantee' has deep value for the reasons I go into above & further on this matter, please see :

consilio et animis ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

We hear crying all the time that globalization is the cause of so many of our problems, well, here is one way to help solve that. A global minimum wage.

From the heartfelt gawker piece: "In America, we accept the minimum wage as a given. It enjoys broad support. It is the realization of an ideal: that there is a point at which low pay becomes a moral outrage. (Where that point is, of course, is up for continuous debate.) Do not mistake the minimum wage for some sort of consensus of nonpartisan economists; it is a moral statement by our society. A statement of our belief that the economically powerful should not have a free hand to exploit the powerless.

Yet we are all hypocrites. We protect ourselves with a minimum wage, while at the same time enjoying the low consumer prices that come with ultra-low wages being paid to workers abroad. "

This, of course, can be fixed. We can care for all people, all over the globe, and throw our nationalism aside. A global minimum wage is one be one great place to start!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

We hear crying all the time that globalization is the cause of so many of our problems, well, here is one way to help solve that. A global minimum wage.

Coupled with a global defanging of corp(se)oRATions and all similar constructs of other countries.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

A global minimum wage would do that, it would help to eliminate labor competition among nations.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

No - as it would not stop the toxic rape of the planet by the corp(se)oRATions.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Well, I wasn't talking about the environment, but probably true, yes, although, if you think about it, the less inequality there is around the world, the more we might see less competition and a more caring attitude, overall.

[-] -3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

From your post........

"an ancient Mexican philosophy"

When, exactly, was the "ancient Mexican" period?

Sorry to see though, that you seem to need an opportunistic self help guru, that Invents a non-existent time period....

On the other hand, your response, had nothing to do with the subject at hand.

Which was this. "I found your response rather snide as well.

It's not like there are no threads on Bangladesh that would have been more appropriate.


There are other realities there as well. realities that go beyond anything discussed here.


As well as other realities in Sweden that don't get discussed here.

Including, but not limited to their complicity with the NSA.


As far as wages?

I've been calling for World wide unions here for over 2 years.

The bottom line?

Just because the soap opera, doesn't like me, doesn't mean I'm incorrect."

One would also have to ask, why you're not following this "philosophy"?

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

Most Scandinavians that I have known in my life are usually up-front. What you see if what you get, and there are rarely any hidden agendas. Whatever they are lacking in, they make up for by being a tenacious people, or even hard-headed. Hence whenever you're thinking about having a revolution, you should get some of them on your side.

It's amazing to me that at the same time that Sweden and Norway were going through those tumultuous times (in the early 20th century) brought on by a corrupt elite, that we were having the same struggle here as evidenced by this thread about the times both before and after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

The most apropos quote that comes to mind is; "Those who who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Winston Churchill

Let's learn from our courageous and 'tenacious' ancestors who enabled us to have a more just society for oh so long.

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

Now that their berzerker days are pretty much over, I rather like Scandinavians (it's just Norsemen that I can't stand, lol ;-) and to further quote Winston Churchill (who was half American on his mother's side) : "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else."

spero meliora ...

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

Yes our "berzerker days are pretty much over,"...;-(.. as we now eat with knives and forks & have learned to say 'please' & 'thank you'

But when it comes to a righteous battle for our dignity and for justice, we haven't changed much.

Your Churchill's quote definitely rings true today, but the "right thing" to do isn't even on the agenda in our country's capital. That fortunately is not the case for more and more people who have begun to awaken though.

BTW...I'm still not over the news that ICH is not a British organization like I thought, and that it is a California based group. Golly that must mean that la-la land is in on this rev... too! Now that is positive news.

Edit; Good link, thanks

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

Jenny Jerome's son never lost his affection for his mother's birth country and it tempered his deep views accordingly. He was a great war leader, vociferous in the cause of 'freedom v. totalitarianism' but also a reactionary, conservative who was an imperialist and great friend to Bankers and Capitalists and I hope he's right about Americans. I love Americans and am related to a good number and ICH from Cali has been ahead of the 'rev curve' for over 10 years. Solidarity to you and yours and in compliment :

I'd suggest putting down your 'knife and fork' & channelling your inner 'berzerker' only via a punch-bag ;-)

consilio et animis ...

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

In spite of all this talk about Sweden, a simple fact has been continuously bypassed.

It's not perfect either.


Stark hope indeed.

[-] 7 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

I'm aware of that news from Sweden that you link to from six months ago and I really do like Aditya Chakraborty and share his worries for The UK, as it slowly starts to mimic The US. Sweden is not a panacea but we do have much to learn from them and bw's excellent link from which I took inspiration was the crux of this post. I was really trying to make the very widest 99% point from my own 'leftist' perspective & really regard my final five paragraphs above as the substantive portion of my comment.

So ''in spite of all this talk of Sweden'', there was not really that much talk of Sweden at all. We all need ''hope''. The proverbial glass can seem half empty instead of half full at this time of year but depleting the contents even further to make some tenuous point is a tad self-defeating from a 99% pov, imo + fyi :

''How could Barack Obama say, in his State of the Union speech, “let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour”?

''Back in 2008, Obama campaigned to have a $9.50 per hour minimum wage by 2011. Now he’s settling for $9.00 by 2015! Going backward into the future is the price that poverty groups and labor unions are paying by giving Mr. Obama a free ride last year on this moral imperative. How can leaders of poverty groups and unions accept this back-of-the-hand response to the plight of thirty million workers who make less today than what workers made 45 years ago in 1968, inflation adjusted?

''But, of course, the poverty groups and labor unions chose not to mobilize some of the thirty million workers who grow our food, serve, clean up and fix things for us to push for a meaningful increase in the minimum wage before Election Day.

''It gets worse. The Obama White House demanded “message discipline” by all Democratic candidates. That meant if Obama wasn’t talking about raising the minimum wage to catch up with 1968, none of the other federal candidates for Congress should embarrass the President by speaking out, including Elizabeth Warren, of all people, who was running for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts.

''It didn’t matter that the U.S. had the lowest minimum wage of any major western country (Australia is over $15, France over $11, and the province of Ontario in Canada is $10.25 – all of these countries also have health insurance for all).

''It didn’t matter that several cities and 19 states plus the District of Columbia have higher minimums, though the highest – Washington state – reaches only to $9.19.

''It didn’t matter that two-thirds of low-wage workers in our country work for large corporations such as Walmart and McDonald’s, whose top CEOs make an average of $10 million a year plus benefits. Nor did it matter that these corporations that operate in Western Europe, like Walmart, are required to pay workers there much more than they are paying Americans in the United States where these companies got their start.''


Read it and weep shooz and then dry your eyes and gird your loins for the fight ahead ! Viva Los 99% !!

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago


Read this and weep.

I'll gird my lions and dry my eyes wondering why I had to post it, instead of you.


If you can change subject, like changing a shirt, so can I.

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

There was no 'subject change' and look back at my comments above to see the flow and I'm aware of student loan difficulties and protests in The UK but I did not consider how USers would either relate or consider it relevant here but you too can ''change subject'' all you like but despite your cantankerous, curmudgeonly, contrariness you can't avoid what Nader rightly said about your Glorious Leader ! + Fyi :

fiat lux ...

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago


It is!

I'm still wondering what the purpose of coughing up an 8 month old thread on a manufacturing disaster is.

This new line of posting is so far off subject it's a crying shame.

Al it would do is distract the new viewer, thinking that by the top titles, we don't really care about Wallyworld workers.

Instead they're talking BS about Sweden. ( I'm just saying )

A new thread on that subject could have and should have be made....

Yep. It's off topic and a definite subject change..

As I've said a 100 times before.

The cure to the WallWorld issue, is unionization.

I don't see anybody talking about that/

Do you even have them in the UK?

---Med snorkråkor på toppen---

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Pfffffffftt is the required response right now, I believe but still I'll append - for the standing record here -'with extra boogers on top' - 'cause you already know my views on unions I think (great idea but poor leadership for last 30 years) and so with hope springing eternal :

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

"I'm still wondering what the purpose of coughing up an 8 month old thread on a manufacturing disaster is." Really, shooz? On a thread that is about a manufacturing disaster?

I started this discussion with Shadz bringing up the fact that H&M, a Swedish retailer, is willing to pay a living wage to workers in Bangladesh who are quite similar to those Americans who died in the Triangle Factory Fire.

We're trying to connect the dots from the past to the present. What looks bad on this thread now are your snide remarks.

[-] -2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

I found your response rather snide as well.

It's not like there are no threads on Bangladesh that would have been more appropriate.


There are other realities there as well. realities that go beyond anything discussed here.


As well as other realities in Sweden that don't get discussed here.

Including, but not limited to their complicity with the NSA.


As far as wages?

I've been calling for World wide unions here for over 2 years.

The bottom line?

Just because the soap opera, doesn't like me, doesn't mean I'm incorrect.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

There is an ancient Mexican philosophy which I adhere to in my life called Toltec wisdom. I really like it. I especially like the Four Agreements. Here, check it out. Peace, shooz.


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

education should be free

[-] 0 points by hotdays (-3) from Miami, FL 10 years ago

No, it should be remunerated.

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

good point

[-] 3 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

You're right, Sweden isn't "perfect" as was pointed out in shadz link. Sweden, starting in the '70s with Chilean refugeess has taken in far more refugees than any country in the Western World aside from perhaps Germany (which has taken in more Syrians), in proportion to its population.

Predictably this has fueled resentment amongst native born Swedes due to the housing and job shortages that have increased dramatically due in part at least to the government's refugee-friendly policies. And we have to remember too, that many of those refugees became so because of our hegemonic pursuits.

That together with the belated neoliberal policies that Sweden has been toying around with and in some cases instituting has caused much of the turmoil amongst their population.

Still though, the Swedish system of government seems far superior to our's. And it is up to their people to see that the neoliberal policies do not advance like they have here, otherwise all or most of the progress that was made by the social democrats in the 30s will be wiped out like they have been here..


[-] 0 points by hotdays (-3) from Miami, FL 10 years ago


[-] -1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago


[-] 0 points by hotdays (-3) from Miami, FL 10 years ago


[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

Some 6 days of riots went by and scarcely a word for any of the Sweden promoters, and now you want to squiggle around a way to blame the US?


I have NOTHING against Sweden, would love to visit, and yeah, their system looks better on the surface, but those riots showed some much deeper issues, that that system failed to deal with.

I'd like to see some figures on your immigration comment.

If it's true, it wouldn't surprise my to find the libe(R)tarians were doing it to "force" certain issues.

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

No country is perfect and i have humbly admitted that is true for Sweden also. And I have also outlined the reasons for some of the tensions there. But still their system of governemnt is far superor to our's.

I do agree though that the libeRDopey-ans that now populate both parties in our country are a huge problem.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

Next up, is for you to finally understand that the libe(R)topians are worldwide.

from India,


To Thailand and beyond


But perhaps their most dangerous place is in the US court system.



Not to mention the State courts.

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

No offense, but "Next up, is for you to finally understand" you would be one of the last people who I would come to for a better understanding of how the World ticks or on what this revolution is about.. my emphasis.

I just got back (written last night) from participating in not only the Alt Banking protest at JP Morgan's headquarters at 48th St & Park Ave, but I went on from there to take part in 4 more protests from mid-town to downtown...5 miles of walking at least....14 hours from the time I left home to the time I returned. Am I looking for some sort of adualtion from you or anyone? NO...definitely not. I don't need it ...and there are oodles & oodles of other people who do so much more and deserve it...and that is not what I am here for... Just take my word for it though, Occupy is not a partisan movement whether you like it or not.

I have never, ever heard anyone mention the term libe(R)topian.....or its implication that Occupy should become a partisan movement....either on the streets or now even the Alt Banking classrooms of NY.

And if you were to carry on in NY like you do here, you would most likely be ostracized or ignored by most of the Occupiers I know.

Just saying.

And BTW, good links, but they leave out the fact that the left has betrayed us too...sold us out that is. So the new word that I have 'coined' is not "libe(R)tarians," but rather 'libe(((R&D)))opeyans.'

Remember shooz, systemic change always happens from the bottom up.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

You ostracize people now?

Nice of you to admit.

Kinda like you did here?

Do you spend most of your time there blowing your own horn, like you do here?

Offence, on the other hand MUST be taken, as you did use this to blow your own horn AGAIN.

Some people never learn.

Nice to know you don't care to comment on events in India, nor in Thailand.

I get it that you don't give a shit about Detroit, or Michigan, among other places.

They're so gauche.

Are you sure you can't find a way to blame liberals?

Dip shit.

I'm the one who's been saying all along to start in the States, fo r a long time, and I've taken a lot of guff for it.

The bottom up, as you say.

While you go with the flow, sucking up to the perceived in crowd.

You still don't get what the Koch's have done.

And that's a shame.


[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

The 1st crack in the dam that will release a flood?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Exactly. They prove that it's doable, that profits can be shared with employees in a much more humane way. Bravo.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

Also sets a precedent that others may 1st be forced to follow if they want to be able to continue hiring the workforce.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Imagine a workforce expecting a living wage and working for nothing less!

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

"THAT" really should be an automatic. In that it is not - just goes to show the effectiveness of the employers at having kept the workers divided.

[-] 0 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

The positive initiatives that are being taken on by the Swedish retailer H&M in implementing a "living wage" for the people producing their clothing should be emulated by low wage employers in this country as well. And if it did hurt their bottom line a bit, they might feel compensated by being able to sleep better at night.

In the below link mathbabe (;-) discusses the pros and cons of that very concept in clear, rational terms, and is ready to be proven wrong in her belief that it would not behoove Walmart to raise wages. She also brings up the external costs to tax-payers which includes medicaid and food stamps for their employees, and how it is not factored in by most people on Walmart's low prices. She believes "we need to raise awareness at how the system actually works," and then goes onto say, "...we should either raise the minimum wage - and then tie it to inflation - or establish a basic income guarantee."


Here's another scenario or slant though from *The Guardian"

"The best thing the top brass at Walmart could do to preserve their privlileged status would be to raise wages for their workers. A recent study by the progressive thinktank Demos illustrated that the compnay could afford to pay its workers an additional $5.83 an hour (pdf), enough to bring their wages just above the poverty level, simply by ending the company's share-buyback program. This way prices could stay as they are but sales would increase as more workers would have more money to spend."

Although this would be a great start, preserving the Walton's "privileged status" or that of any low wage company should not be our goal. So I agree with Ms O'Neil that, "The incentives are wrong," and that we need to raise political awareness about how the system actually works."

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

I understand what she is saying but I would argue much more simply that the extraction of profit does not have to exploit people to the extent that WalMart does. WalMart can survive on far less profit, as can most corporations.

Think about it. The Walton family has amassed billions of dollars through the profits made in large part by paying employees measly wages and utitlizing taxpayer benefits to make up the difference in their lives. But, do they need that much money? What can they really do with that much money? The answer is: They don't need that money. The Walton's would have done just fine with half as much, having paid employees a decent wage all these years.

There is just no argument to support the obscene extraction of profit for the few at the hands of the masses.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

Half??? One tenth. Less!!!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Oh, really good point. LOL. How about .01%?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

Even better. Although - one hundredth still seems like too much.

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

I agree with everything you say bw, but the question that Ms O'Neil brings up is whether Walmart's and other low-wage employers bottom line will improve by paying their emplyees better. And hence them having more disposable income. She is in no way is advocating that their profits and the Walton's wealth isn't obscene and should be maintained. It's just an anylitical or mathematical look into that scenario.

And once again, to me, she believes instead that as our long-term goal, "we need to raise awareness at how the system actually works" and we should either raise the minimum wage - and then tie it to inflation - or establish a basic income guarantee."

Ms O'Neil supported the Walmart protest in Secaucus NJ which had several Alt Bankers there, including me. And the protests that took place throughout the country served a very useful purpose as they have raised awareness of the plights of low wage earners and in actuality all of us; they have put an enormous amount of pressure on the employers; and have emboldened people who now are beginning to understand that there is strength in unity, but it may not be the long-term solution. That's all.

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

Cathy isn't saying that Walmart deserves the profit margins they are getting and the enormous amount of wealth that the Waltons are accumulating. Rather I believe she is looking at this from a mathematitician's point of view and saying that if employees were to get a substantial raise, she is unconvinced that Walmart's bottom line would improve (not that she thinks it should) with the workers having more disposable income to buy stuff there. She by no means is defending Walmart or the rigged neoliberal policies that got us to this point though. And she does offer alternatives that would have to be instituted by the government such as "raise the minimum wage - then tie it to inflation - or establish a basic income guarantee."

Chipping away at all low wage employers is great for now as our struggle gathers steam, but a lasting solution which involves educating and "raisng political awareness on how the [crummy] system actually works" including the external costs to tax payers might be the long-term answer.

As for your second and third paragraphs, I agree and while I cannot speak for Ms O'Neil, I believe that she would also agree.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Right. And, let's face it, the Walton's bottom line is no concern of ours.

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

The Walton's bottom line and their obscene wealth is a huge concern of ours as is the omnipresent, overall wage/wealth disparity in this country. The question is; What is the best way to put it to rest for good?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

It would not be hard to put checks and balances on profits by ensuring that workers earn a living wage, here and abroad, and that consumers don't get ripped off when corporations charge too much for the goods they sell as well as charge usury interest rates.

I argue this about Apple as well. If Apple has more money in the bank than the U.S. treasury then why the hell were they charging consumers so much money for their goods? Where are the watchdogs for workers and consumers? Oh, right. That used to be the government, until it got bought out by the corporations.

And, I hear what you are saying but what I meant was that preserving the Walton's bottom line is no concern of ours.

[-] 0 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

I agree ;-), so conversely 'disrupting' the Walton's "bottom line" when the workers get their fair share.. should be a concern of ours, and I would bet money that Ms O'Neil is a kindred spirit on that one.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Absolutely. Of course she is. We're all just trying to sift through this information overload of how we've been ripped off for so long and it's hugely important to think of each and every way we can possibly make things better.

I went to my local McDonald's drive through today for some coffee and I swear, the employees seemed happier. Hopefully, yesterday's protests can bring about some change for them.

[-] 0 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

Yes and that info.. overload coming from an ever expanding network of sources together with all the resistance there is going on makes it very difficult, for me anyway ;-) to keep up with it all..and that in itself is very encouraging.

When I went to to NY Wednesday for the Alt Banking protest at JP Morgan, I had no idea that there was a full day of protests going on, some running concurrently I believe

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago

They were smiling, because they finally know how much to tip their au pair.


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

what about non-tax payers ?

[-] -1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

Do you mean like Exxon, or the poor?

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

the poor

[-] 0 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

The "poor" are the first vicitms... as they are the most defenseless of the corrupt system, and we will be next.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

"International Retailers Decline to Aid Factory Victims in Bangladesh"

Not surprising. In a heartless capitalist system all that matters is profits.


We need a new economic system that puts people, humanity, first! How do these people live with themselves?

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

“Compensation is so important because so many families are suffering — many families don’t have anyone left to support them,” said Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. “There’s been a good response from some European brands, but so far none of the U.S. retailers have agreed to pay a single penny for compensation.”

Sickening. Profits over people ; me over us ; now over later ; wants over need ; economy over efficiency ; war over peace ... we are so out of whack on so many fronts .. but take heart - there is a awakening to which you are party as many worldwide are thinking along the lines of ''a new economic system that puts people, humanity, first'' ...

Also from your link : ''Production documents recovered after the Tazreen fire indicate that two months before that fire erupted, 55 percent of the factory’s production was being made for Walmart contractors. Walmart has repeatedly been asked to contribute to the anticipated $6 million compensation program for Tazreen survivors and families

''Walmart is the one company that is showing an astonishing lack of responsibility, considering that so much of their product was being made at the Tazreen factory,” said Samantha Maher, a campaign coordinator for the British arm of the Clean Clothes Campaign, a European anti-sweatshop group.

''Walmart has also been asked to contribute to the planned Rana Plaza fund because production documents were found in the building rubble indicating that a Canadian contractor was producing jeans for Walmart in 2012 at the Ether Tex factory inside the building. Walmart said that unauthorized contractors were producing garments without the company’s knowledge.'' & so further consider ...

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Hence Occupy's call to nationalize the wealth of the Walton family. Hey, if you never learned how to share in kindergarten, you might find yourself being forced to. How these people sleep at night, I have no idea, their greed is beyond evil.

I'm reviewing the list of companies who used that factory for production and I'll be boycotting.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Re. your boycotting ideas - don't hesitate to share them here and re. Walmart, I hereby append fyi :

''The Black Friday rallies and demonstrations represent a dramatic escalation of the growing protest movement among employees of America's largest private employer. But they also represent the vanguard of a sharp challenge to the nation's widening economic divide and the declining standard of living among the majority of Americans.'' Also see :

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

And, here's another problem that lingers, getting money out of politics. Political contributions that buy our government right from under us, such as that of the Walton family and WalMart:

"Brooke Buchanan, a Walmart spokesperson, emphasized that the Walton family and Walmart's PAC are different. She noted that 49 percent of the PAC's contributions went to Democrats in the 2011-2012 election cycle.

"Our giving is very equal between parties across the country," she said.


[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

''The Walton family and Walmart's PAC are different. She noted that 49 percent of the PAC's contributions went to Democrats in the 2011-2012 election cycle. - 'Our giving is very equal between parties across the country' she said.'' Cue Big Barf !!! & ...

multum in parvo ...

[-] 3 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

The change in Obama's tone can be directly attributable to a bunch of kids who set up camp in Zuccotti Park and the ever-increasing grass-root groups (and people whose voices were not listened to for oh so long) that picked up the baton and joined in on the struggle for a better World.

As more people come out of the comatose effects of an MSM-induced stupor, they will become emboldened in knowing there is strength in numbers....and in also knowing that systemic change always comes from the bottom up.

The ruling elite who picks our Presdients is worried, very worried and they will do their best to appease us with as little as possible. It is up to us to resist any minor overtures from them and continue to shoot for the stars in wanting a government that answers to the people first and foremost.

From your link, Obama and the Class War, by Margaret Kimberly

.."It should be obvious that supporting the Democratic party is to act against oneself. When a Democrat gets away with austerity and wars of aggression it is truly time to admit that a new paradigm is needed. The plea to stick with the Democrats should by now be completely discredited. Barack Obama has become the teflon president like his idol Ronald Reagan."..

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

''The ruling elite who picks our Presdents is worried, very worried and they will do their best to appease us with as little as possible. It is up to us to resist any minor overtures from them and continue to shoot for the stars in wanting a government that answers to the people first and foremost.'' Truth. Amen. Sigh. Solidarity & :

ad iudicium ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Big Barf is right. Down with WalMart! And, kudos to those who participated on the ground this past week.

From the Guardian piece: "Behind the divisiveness lies a deeper bipartisan consensus in which donors own democracy and there are no votes in reform"

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

''Everyday Low Wages at Walmart : Brought to You by Government Policy'', by Dean Baker :

''The folks pushing for the higher pay at Walmart and other chains of low-paying stores and fast food operations are not just asking for a helping hand. They are demanding that we end a government policy that has the effect of redistributing income to the large shareholders at Walmart and other members of the one percent.'' & Kapow! re. your critical quote above !!!

fiat lux et fiat justitia ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Day before national protests, President Obama throws support to increase the minimum wage:


I'll take this glimmer of hope. $10.10 an hours sure beats the paltry $7.25 that millions of people are living on.

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

''Barack Obama warned that a "relentless, decades-long trend" of growing inequality and social immobility posed a fundamental threat to the American dream on Wednesday, throwing his support behind a grassroots movement to address chronically low wages across the US. ... the president said reversing the growing gap between rich and poor was "the defining challenge of our time".

''Obama told the audience that economic inequality could no longer be viewed as a "minority issue". He said the gap in test scores between rich and poor children was now "nearly twice" that between black and white students. "The opportunity gap in American now is a much about class as it is about race, and that gap is growing," he said.''

I excerpt the above from your important link & I agree with your succinctly made point and further to Oblah-blah's desperately delayed concession to reality, I append :

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

"The ‘Walmartization’ of the US economy has created a downward spiral in wages and destroyed small businesses and communities while heightening the wealth divide that is at the root of so many problems.

The people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing." - From http://truth-out.org/news/item/20424-we-are-in-a-class-war (Responding here to your comment below)

And, I was thinking, I'd like to see consumer labels that include things like wages paid per item, profits kept for shareholders per item, etc. I'd shop based on information like that.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Yes, ''The people are fighting back and the elites recognize it. There is fear in the investor class as they see people organizing and mobilizing.", I agree with your nice quote from Kevin Zeese and your idea re. ethical labelling has huge value I think but like I have said on the matter elsewhere, tho' it could not be mandated due to Corporate resistance and lobbying, voluntarily doing so by ethical service and goods providers - would show the way forward and best practices could garner consumer support.

Finally, ''We do not live in a true democracy. We live in a country controlled by corporate interests and wealthy individuals. They are the rulers and they determine who does and doesn’t serve in public office and what those people can and cannot do. They choose the politicians before we know their names and Barack Obama is exhibit A in that regard. There is a nationwide casting call made up of rich, influential people who give a thumbs up or down to potential presidential candidates. The people who promise to work on their behalf get the yea vote before anyone votes in Iowa or New Hampshire. That is how the ruling class works.'' - excerpted from the Margaret Kimberly link above.

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 years ago


You have to call out and stop, people like that dead in their tracks.

Nothing else will do.

BTW: I called for "truth in pricing" 2 years ago.

[+] -5 points by darmand (-15) from Williamsport, PA 10 years ago

Bah, doesn't matter which party gets the cash. They are both corrupted and right wing. There's no left wing in US.

Yes, we really need to get money out of politics. Couldn't they just do Internet campaigns now. Make it illegal to create big adverts all over the place. It's just pollution. Have the parties detail their platforms on the Internet. Create a website for each party, and one website for the election where all the information can be found. If candidates want to go speak in public, then they do it on their own time. Or, each party gets the same amount of cash taking from taxes. Just a small amount to run a normal sized campaign. But yeah, moving a lot of it on the Internet would make it cheaper.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Publicly funded campaigns would be best at this point.

[+] -5 points by darmand (-15) from Williamsport, PA 10 years ago

Yes, definitely. Pointing to problems and stating ideal replacement systems is easy these days. We are in a strange time. We know what the problems are for the most part, and we know how things should be. What's really difficult is finding the path towards implementing those solutions. (The big guys don't wanna budge!)

Do you have any idea on how we could implement publicly funded campaigns. What is the road towards that change. I'm completely stumped in that regard. Is there something we can do as individuals to help make that change possible? Protesting? Anything else? Writing to our congressman? I would love to have a list of things to do on a daily basis to help us move towards the better world we all envision. I find it hard to know what to do to effectively move towards change. Any ideas?

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Wake up a sleeping people.

[+] -4 points by darmand (-15) from Williamsport, PA 10 years ago

Most people I talk to aren't sleeping anymore. I guess it depends who your friends are. Most of my friends are well educated. All of them are aware of the problems. We all want change. None of us really know how to achieve it. I think the idea that people are asleep is somewhat of a myth. I think the problem is most people feel stuck. They know the problem, know what the solution should be, but don't know what they can do as individuals to make that change happen. I think Occupy should really work on that aspect. Really work on coming up with a detailed step by step plan of things to do as individuals to make change happen. That would really give us a feeling of accomplishment. It would give us power and some new wind in our sails. It would empower us. Surely, there is path that could be taken. A series of steps that would move us closer to the better world we desire. I'd love to see a website dedicated to this. Remember the environment movements, they always give things we can each do to lower our footprint. We can't just keep talking about the problems without devising a path towards solutions. No?

Also, if many people are still asleep, probably the best way to wake them up is not simply stating problems. They witness those problems everyday, if they are still asleep it's because those problems don't bother them that much. A good way to wake them up would be to show them how to change things. To show them change. Then they would taste what a better world could be like and would find the energy to move towards it.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago
[-] -1 points by darmand (-15) from Williamsport, PA 10 years ago

Thanks! Great link. I'll spend some time reading it. Cheers.

[-] -3 points by darmand (-15) from Williamsport, PA 10 years ago

Good video, and some good comments there. I really like the idea of starting coop type businesses. I always believed Occupy should have helped and encouraged people to create self-suffisant cooperatives. Occupy kind of died down when the cops closed the camps, but they would eventually have shut down by themselves simply because occupiers weren't making enough to live from donations.They were depending on others. I think the movement would really take off if it started working on these types of coops. It would help give occupiers jobs. And, bringing many people with revolutionary dreams under the same coops is good. When occupiers stick together they talk about Occupy and keep it growing. When everyone splits up because they need to make money, then the Occupy energy dies down.

Imagine creating coops where it's more fun to work in than big businesses. Where everyone feels like they are part of the show. This would attract others to replicate the model. We could grow like weed.

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

The oligarchy that was in place in the early twentieth century is strikingly similar to the times we live in now.

Today like then, it will take an emboldened, courageous people in a powerful grass-root's movement to put it to sleep.

And in order see that it stays asleep, it will take an involved citizenry.

The question is; Are we up to the task?

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

All true. We're nearly back to the way things were in the early days of industrialization. Are we up to the task? I often wonder, but I have to keep hoping. I think the tide is turning.

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

The "tide [definitely] is turning." It's just painfully slow. I do outreach on a regular basis by starting up conversations with people from all walks of life about Occupy which I must admit was not easy at first. I'm holding a copy of the Occupy Finance book for an acquaintance (a mayor of a little town) who seemed to be in despair to me over the World his 13-15 year old teen-age daughter will grow up in, and I want to tell him when I give him this book that there are good people working hard to change things.

Anyway, I am continually amazed at how many people have become aware of the dire straits that our country is in. While that does not translate into a public that is ready to take action, it's a start in the right direction, and for now we have no choice, but to settle for that, while increasing our outreach.

And BTW, I noticed from another one of your posts that you were interested in getting an Occupy Finace book. I suggest if you do, wait until the 2nd edition comes out as some minor improvements were made. It will probably be available in a week or two. There is a link within this Popular Resistance link that has an email address where you can order a book. I don't know if they ask for a donation, but I know that they do appreciate it.


[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

I'm definitely more hopeful today as fast food workers in over 100 cities across America fight for their right to a decent wage. CNN just reported on it and it really does give me hope. They even talked about how these corporations, like McDonald's and WalMart cost taxpayers loads of money because their employees need social welfare programs (paid for by the American people) in order to survive. I am watching CNN today because too often MSM fails to cover these protest days (as you know). Maybe the tide really is turning.

And, thank you so much for that information. I'm definitely going to get a copy and I'd be happy to make a donation.

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

You are welcome, and I am much more hopeful too.

On one of the links on here, they figured it cost $2,000 in public assistance, food stamps and healthcare for every Walmart employee. And that's just Walmart. There' a job for someone to do in figuring out the external costs for all low-wage corporations.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23790) 10 years ago

Telling the American people exactly how much of their money is spent on health and welfare programs for the employees of WalMart and other corporations would be very powerful indeed. Because, in the end, those are "entitlements" to WalMart and the Walton family, not the employees.

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

A piece was shown on my local channel 11's world news coverage tonight - pointing out the protests by restaurant/fast-food workers for a minimum living wage - it pointed out that the restaurants said that they would have to increase prices - but it also went on to say that better than 50% of food workers receive government assistance ( public money ) so that they can get by.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

The Asch now renamed the Brown building and part of NYU now ,was one of the better garment-maker shops and considered fireproof at the time, and the fact that the fire burned itself out in just over half an hour bears that out

The main problem other than tyrannical bosses, long hours and low wages were cloth tailings that hadn't been picked up in over two months, the barrel of oil on the work floor, and then of course locked doors, shitty fire escapes, and doors that opened inward

The fire broke out on the 8th floor, and the tenth floor where the owners were was notified, but nobody on the 9th floor where the fire came up through an air air shaft knew there was a fire, hence most of the victims were on that floor

Painters had left behind a ladder at the adjacent NYU building, and that was extended to the roof of the Asch building so that people could escape the inferno

There are a lot of conflicting facts, but most of what i have read has said the workers' hours ranged from 10-14 hours a day, Mon-Fri with Saturday being the short 8-9 hour day, the fire breaking out 20 mins before the 5:00 pm quitting time, and with most workers probably thinking about their Sunday off day

Other than I think the 23 or so families that brought civil suits and were awarded $75 each, most of the victim's families got considerably less, and the kicker was the insurance companies paid the owners quite a bit more

At the 102nd Triangle commemorative ceremony, 8-10 year old kids placed carnations on the sidewalk in remembrance of those who have died in clothing factory fires in Pakistan and Bangladesh too. There is another comment on here somewhere about this beautiful ceremony that is held every year

Unlike the NYPD, I have nothing, but respect for the courageous people in the FDNY, one of whom I had a nice conversation with in remembering a friend we both knew who was a victim of NY's Father's Day Fire, just a few months before 9/11. Anyway the FDNY together with The Remember The Triangle Fire.org group do a wonderful job of putting on this tribute

Thanks for all your continued support shadz


[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Solidarity and many thanx for the excellent summary and observations above, further to which - I append with an eye on Easter / 'Eostre ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%92ostre ), the following :

"As modern New Testament scholars have reconstructed the context in which Jesus lived and taught, they have realized that Jesus was not simply a religious figure. He was a severe critic of those who controlled the Temple, those who controlled the Empire, and those who controlled the economic systems that starved and robbed the poor and left the orphan and the widow to fend for themselves. To Jesus, these issues all tied together."

Wishing Happy 'Eostre' to you and yours 'Odin' and keep keeping your 'eYe' on The Prize. Solidarity ~*~

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

I knew this couple once where the woman was Christian, and her husband Muslim. She and her sister had boiled up and colored some eggs for Easter only to realize later that they were not thoroughly cooked. So he decided to try and finish one of them off in the microwave. I had great fun in teasing him of trying to sabotage Easter after the egg blew up into smitherines, and I took a picture of the mess.

I will not be so bold as to say that we are doing God's work, but our mission is a noble one, as we like the one interpertation of Easter, like Jesus are trying to bring about "economic and political justice" And as such we at least deserve the claim of being on a noble mission, and we should conduct ourselves accordingly.

Happy 'Eostre' to you shadz and your relatives in Brooklyn, where i will be tonight for an OTS meeting. I will look for proper English/Latin speakers with a Brklyn accent!

And a reminder to all that: "You can crush the flowers, but you can't stop the spring."....Alexander Dubchek....from the Prague Spring

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Dubchek and The Prague Spring are well worth a mention in the light of OWS and our Global Struggle. Thanx for your lovely comment and tho' more set in the UK, I append fyi, the following article rom today's 'Guardian' paper (2ndApril'13) as we Brits & Americanians are increasingly inhabitting 'USUK' :

My kin in Brooklyn are kin by marriage and my kin in Queens are kin by blood but you are kin by spirit. Solidarity shipmate & thanx again for being the definitive "bridge to the ground" - lol, hmmm ... and ~*~

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Your struggle in the UK is the same one that we are in here as we both know, and your link illustrates that very clearly

Occupy Wall Street represents one of the places where "inspiring transfiguring ideas" are being incubated

I agree with Mr Monbiot's assessment that: "These ideas require courage: the courage to confront the government, the opposition, the plutocrats, the media, the suspicions of a wary electorate. But without proposals on this scale, progressive politics is dead. They strike that precious spark, so seldom kindled in this age of triangulation and timidity - the spark of hope."

Your kin must be right across Newtown Creek from those feisty Brklnites with all your chutzpah. The feeling is shared by me on our being kin by spirit. Don't tell Thr@ssy that i am his BTTG...ok?...lol..


[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

"Truth Is Offensive", by Paul Craig Roberts :

"In America truth is offensive. If you tell the truth, you are offensive. I am offensive. Michael Hudson is offensive. Gerald Celente is offensive. Herman Daly is offensive. Nomi Prins is offensive. Pam Martens is offensive. Chris Hedges is offensive. Chris Floyd is offensive. John Pilger is offensive. Noam Chomsky is offensive. Harvey Silverglate is offensive. Naomi Wolf is offensive. Stephen Lendman is offensive. David Ray Griffin is offensive. Ellen Brown is offensive. Fortunately, many others are offensive. But how long before being offensive becomes being 'an enemy of the state' ?"

I thoroughly agree that OWS "represents one of the places where "inspiring transfiguring ideas" are being incubated" & your 'BTTG' are secrets safe with me, lol & I'd suggest that you are that for us all.

Solidarity @ u, yrs & OTS :-)

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

People here who tell the truth are already considered more than "offensive," they now fall into the category of being unpatriotic, subversive heretics in the oligarchs' mind

It is more difficult though for the corrupt system to brand OWS as an "enemy of the state" when you are the one promoting good citizenship and a return to good old fashioned 'honest' values, and when you have an open format. All this while doing outreach by just presenting people with the facts, and perhaps even a bite to eat at the same time ;-) Err, I mean there is nothing subversive about a good bowl of chile, is there?...

THIS open, innocent even... modus operandi shadzy and the vast amount of networking that is going on between Occupy groups, and other altruistic groups is what is worrying, and perplexing this corrupt system, as to what course to take

And considering this movement is mostly youth-driven, how long will people tolerate their children being branded and possibly imprisoned for being classified as "enemies of the state"

Thanks, I'll humbly do my best, and I view my role here as just another small contribution amongst the many good people in OWS who know that Another World Is Possible.


[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Yes, Another World IS Possible !!! You're an inspiration, Odin !! Solidarity !

We should all take deep note when you (as the de facto forum 'BTTG' ;-) say that "this movement is mostly youth driven". 'We are many, they are few' irrespective of what they try to pull, we shall persevere and prevail :

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

That was a good link on the criminal injustice system and yet another reminder of how far this country has gone astray

One of the first people that i met (through a friend from Alaska) in Occupy was a young French woman whose father was a world renown senior economist for a major organization. She is now back in France after having worked very hard for OWS. Another young lady i met in late 2011 or early 2012, worked as a spokesperson for Occupy, and she had clearly led an upper-class life having been educated at Yale. I never saw her again, until this MLK day where she was working out of St Jacobi's church in Brooklyn in support of Occupy Sandy with her boyfriend there

My point: Is it possible we will have how own "Mink Brigade" like the garment strikers in 1909-1910 had where children of prominent figures of the corrupt Gilded Age, like JP Morgan's daughter Anne and others supported the strikers in countless ways? Maybe that would be too much to expect of the progeny and spouses of the elite to support us, but still it's possible as we already have the support of luminaries from the entertainment world today.

Wow you are putting some stress on me shadzy with this "BTTG" thing...err me hopes my transverse beams hold up. lol Thanks and although not in the same context as when Bogart said it to Bergman in Casa Blanca, "Here's looking at you kid."


[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

No stress buddy, just appreciation and encouragement and as this important News-Post is concerned with history, I also append fyi :

respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Replying here. Wow that well-written expose on Thatcher was very enlightening to me, and powerful in its righteous condemnation of her. I hope some day that will be her true legacy in the MSM


[-] 4 points by GirlFriday (17435) 11 years ago

Mayhap the better headline should be "Lessons Forgotten" as it seems that the US seems to suffer from collective amnesia. Better fire exits?

[-] 5 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

You'r right Gf, those lessons from the early 20th century labor movements were forgotten

And like book critic Mike Wallace very prophetically said,..."But resting on our ancestors' laurels won't prevent a return to the conditions he deplores; only constant pressure from informed citizens and an organized work force can accomplish that."


[-] 7 points by Renneye (3874) 11 years ago

My over arching concern as well, is that we haven't come very far, at all. In my view, its worse than ever. The globalist oligarchs have just become more sly. I have only to go to various posts on this forum to find that eroding workers' rights and the oligarchs' apathetic view of 'workers' today in fact contribute to 'modern day slavery', as carefully researched and written about in "gnomunny's" recent thread...


There are scores upon scores of so-called mandated government oversight agencies, global, national and local that are supposed to ensure dignity and safety, yet the problem grows and grows, seemingly unabated. Where's the oversight and accountability? The UN is gutless, Amnesty International is impotent, etc. So what is happening? One can only conclude that all is happening exactly as the oligarchs have intended it to. Globalist tyrants and corporate governments who privately rape our world at the expense of 'their' expendable workers...will never stop, until we stop them. Its that simple...and that arduous.

Only a leadership in the hands of 'the people' will ensure that our fellow human beings are consistently treated with love and dignity. WE understand what life is for everyday people. 'They' don't give a damn. Never have and never will. WE, then should be the ones making the decisions. On occasions where we see that manifest, such as in co-operatives...we flourish.

~ "Sweatshops Didn’t Go Away - Garment industry sweatshops are hardly a thing of the past in New York City: They are a feature of commerce today." ~


~ "To the activists and students who have protested against a handful of local businesses in recent years, however, the cheerful facade is merely that, hiding a host of exploitative employers who pay less than minimum wage, harass and abuse their employees, steal tips and withhold overtime pay. ~


~ Informative link;


~ Reckoning

She was a woman worth a certain amount

to her family: a pension or lump sum.

All I could say was this is human

when I saw her on the street, red

gathered at what must have been her neck. Count

the holes in my body — she faced me: I retched — some

of which I made when jumping. What man

reckons what the living owe the dead?

I didn’t kill you. My every liberal part

aches for the laborer, the immigrant,

the seamstress whose callused finger bled.

I’m killed and rise up daily. My scalded heart

fibrillates, a sack of worker ants.

My words in your mouth are beit-din’s lead.

-  Zackary  Sholem Berger



~ The Fire Begins

A cord extends from wall to wall, a hanging line

for cloth, the folds of fabric like a galleon’s sails.

What startles first—the sound, or heat or light?

A girl looks up from work, her features calm.

Her hands are flat against the bench, her triceps

and her shoulders tense. She doesn’t rise at first,

but stares, as do the other girls, at wings of fire—

the fabric burning on the line. What beast

has entered here, has climbed the stairs in silence?

What will burn—the walls and ceiling, beams

and floor? The makers of the building claim

it “fireproof,” an invitation, words becoming form.

Perhaps the women disbelieve at first—a shudder

in the chest, a feeling of embarrassment, as if a girl

has said, unmeaning to, the name of whom she loves.

The clarity of fear is like a net. Nobody moves.

And then, as if it were a parlor trick, the cord

that holds the cloth burns through and fire is given

motion, sweeping through the air, two vines of flame,

the swatches shedding light and smoke and ashes.

  • Jonathan Fink



[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

The dismantling of the New Deal began soon after the laws that comprised it were passed, and it has been a steady downward slide for the 99% since

The goal for the oligarchs is to regain their prominence, and power over us, and establish what is clearly a Neo Gilded Age, which is very similar to the one that the tragic Triangle Fire helped put to bed

In order for this to have gone undetected for so long by a supposed intelligent populace, it was necessary for the oligarchs to take control of the MSM which the corrupt neoliberals have done almost completely, and then feed us the propaganda that renders us impotent

How can you have accountability when most people are in a coma-like state? This is so atypical to past generations that would have been outraged at what has been going on in this country for the past thirty plus years in particular

What has been amazing to me though is that a younger generation seems to have become more acutely aware of this slide, or maybe they feel more empowered to do something about it than the older generations who lived through better times

I'm going to leave this for now and come back to it tomoorow as it is late, but your thought provoking comment deserves more attention from me. Thanks Renny


[-] 3 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

"Religious groups, community groups, unions, radicals, and reformers all banded together, putting aside their differences for the greater shared goal of improving people’s lives. And they did not ask for change, but rather they demanded it."

By and large, these sound like the very people who should be banding together now, and the quote should be the OWS mindset.

[-] 4 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Yes, and they're divided only in their mindsets.

Just like the oligarchs intended all along.

Can't have any form of cohesiveness amongst the community.

If it ever looks like the people are becoming a single voice, attack them with anything you've got, like gay marriage, gun ownership, single parents getting benefits, minorities enjoying handouts, immigrants without visas taking jobs, workers abusing food stamps, women deciding what happens in their own uterus, you know the score......

[-] 4 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Oh yeah. And it's interesting that the modern divide and conquer strategy, utilizing the media as its most potent weapon, began at roughly the same time.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

That may be the case.

I'm thinking that the whole regatta of religious "instruction" was designed to allow a ruling class to pull the wool over everyone else's eyes.

Maybe I'm just cynical? Dunno.

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Well, I was skeptical about including religious groups in the mix, but there are a lot of small religion-oriented organizations, not necessarily churches, that help a lot in the poor and lower class neighborhoods. Free food, free clothing, assistance with utilities and home repairs, drug and substance abuse, etc. So I figured they were worthy of inclusion.

[-] 4 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

My mother is a Salvation Army officer.

I understand the need for such selfless sacrifice as we find amongst religious chariities.

I also understand how the deletists abuse this weak spot in the psyche of most thinking people. They are ruthless criminals, and I don't give any of them the slightest chance of redemption, as the Christians amongst us would.

They (the deletists) see that as a weakness to be capitalised upon. And that, my friend, frames their whole psyche; they are predators.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

What's a deletist? It's not in the dictionaries.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

I'm tired of the term "elitist", so I coined my own term.

Those fuckers are doing it all the time, so I just took a leaf out of their book. They are now, "deletists".

They aren't going to be with us much longer.

I forgot to add the Mwahahahahahahahahah bit there. Sorry. grins

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

I like that, Builder, that's pretty creative. Now your comment makes sense.

I like your optimism as well.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

It's going to get better.

We are going through a period of disaster capitalism, ala Milton Friedman, and the Shock Doctrine. They've been at this shit for decades.

If we can raise the awareness of the general public as to WTF these criminals are trying to do, maybe we can put a stop to this pathetic attempt to ride us like we are camels.

Solidarity, by friend Odin.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

The general public is definitely waking up, let's just hope enough of them do so before it's too late. I haven't been getting around a whole lot the last couple years and I've seen a change. So if I'm seeing it in my relatively small circle, it's definitely happening.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

It's tough to talk about it here in Australia, because there's no austerity, and very little unemployment.

Little do the people know what's on the horizon.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Oh yeah, it may be a long plane ride from here to there, but bytes travel at the speed of light. No country is going to be immune.

Gotta love that globalization!

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

They're here now, and already offshoring mining jobs.

Australians will be in the service industry in short order, and people will be wondering what the fuck happened to our prosperity.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Saw something today that people that work in Automation will be displaced by automation in the future. First capital investment started automating jobs, then some of those Manufacturing jobs went overseas, then service industry jobs have been displaced by automation ... and this continues now with ATM Machines, Self Check out, Self Check in, self ticketing, ... but some of the automation jobs will be performed by robots and automating taking over millions more jobs in 20 years or something. I guess the technology is already here.

where I saw that.... BusinessInsider.com


[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Well, then I'd like to be the first American to officially welcome you to the club.

Welcome to 21st century serfdom, mate.

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Replying here. Thanks, my Dad usually told it as he saw it....too

The other quote i remember him saying was actually someone elses, "Let China sleep, when she awakens the world will be surprised."

Good Night


[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

"Gotta love that globalization," yeah "like a toothache in the middle of the night," as my Dad used to say.


[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Good quote. I can certainly relate to that one!

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Taking control of the media was paramount to the success of neoliberalism

Our forefathers warned us of the need to have a strong independent media, but we did not heed their advice


[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

But the oligarchs should beware because there is a concerted effort that I see in NY to heal all that has divided us

I'm not particularly fond of meetings, but I have been to a half dozen of them over the winter, and the amount of networking with different groups both within and out of Occupy, and projects going on is amazing


[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

I truly wish I could be at those meetings, Odin.

Faint heart never won fair maiden.

If we wait for an election to see if things get better, we are stuck with four-year cycles of graduated destruction of all of our value systems, while we are forced to look on.

How long that can last, is anyone's guess. I honestly think that any concerted uprising will be beaten down with a vengeance.

I'm expecting total rebellion. I'm wishing for better outcomes. You know we aren't enemies.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

I consider myself fortunate to be amongst these dynamic people although because of the distance to NY, I cannot do as much as I would like in my once a week trips up there

This is a young people's revolution that's being joined by more and more older people as time goes on

I was very happy to see this news item go up because I knew the history of this tragedy very well, and one of the main reasons that I went up to those meetings was to promote having OWS recognize this anniversary in a really big way

I obviously did not succeed, but still there is slight hope that OWS will do something for the anniversary (April 5th) of that funeral procession that had something like a 100,000 people in it, and over 200,000 people lining the route on a cool rainy day. A candlelight march would be very powerful. I know because I was in one on MLK day 2012.


[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

More power to you, my friend.

We are in this fight together.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Yes we are in this together, and it is a world-wide rev

I appreciate very much having you here

And whether we sink or swim is up to all of us


[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

The feeling is mutual, Odin.

We have one life to live.

There are no dress rehearsals.

Let's focus on what we want for our children.

The future is not mapped out. We paint it for our kids.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

That was a beautiful, but a very sad documentary that should make us all think

And so was the 102nd Triangle annivesary commemoration ceremony That is it was both beautiful and sad. There were speeches.....the FDNY was there with their ladder truck and the ladder extended to only the sixth floor, the highest that the ladder could reach in 1911......

There were teenagers....the same age as most of the victims dressed as protesters carrying crosses with hand-made shirtwaists on them......

And perhaps 25-30.. 8-10 year olds in rotation each saying the name of each victim....a fireman in dress uniform chiming a brass bell after each of the 146 names was said....then each kid placing a white carnation on the sidewalk where most of those women landed after jumping.....

Then the same for victims in Pakistan and Bangladesh where many of our clothes are made, only this time it was red carnations.

Occupy should have been there. Their struggle then to come out of the Gilded Age is our struggle today

I held on tightly to the poster I was given which had pictures of some of the victims, as well as Rose Schneiderman, and Clara Lemlich, and I went home. That poster is now hanging on my wall, and the fact that Clara Lemlichs's granddaughter gave it to me makes it all the more special.


[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

You are certainly a legend, Odin.

I salute you for your efforts, and for your recognition of the importance of things that are happening in your time, and in your sphere.


[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

The people that I know who go to meetings 4-5 times a week .......meeting in parks, little cafes, or union halls after working or going to school all day.....who are networking with each other from morning till night before events, and who have been arrested for our cause....THEY are the "legends" Builder, not me.


[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Fair call. I've convinced a handful of associates about the current disaster capitalism that is happening, but life is pretty good here, so it's difficult to maintain a sense of urgency with most of them.

Our State govt. slashed jobs and services like a wildfire, and the potential for the opposition to win election and do the same nationwide is already recognised. All this in the middle of supposed economic boom, and nobody seems to question any of it at all. It's just "politics" to most.

Sad really. It will take some radical downturn in our standard of living before people wake up.

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

It's even more incomprehensible here that more people haven't awoken considering we have been in a downturn not only economically,

But also in the way that our freedoms are dwindling away


[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

That is a wonderful quote gnomunny, but

It is not until we are prepared to make similar sacrifices, like the people in the early 20th century did, do we deserve, or will it be even possible for us to reclaim their legacy as our own. Nor will we have the potential to regain all that has been stolen from us in those intervening years. The choice is ours.


[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

Thanks, my friend. And the line that follows is quotable as well, and if we can succeed at what we're attempting now, perhaps it will be a line written by future historians in describing the struggles of OWS:

"The social advancements in this era, and in the decades that followed were made possible by people who had courage and were willing to make tremendous sacrifices so that they, and their progeny could live a life with dignity."

Some things are just timeless, I guess.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Yes principles always stand the test of time. As much as i am enjoying the exchanges I am having with you and Builder...do me a favor and sign off an hour before you go to bed, then make a cup of tea, pour a glass of wine, turn the lights down low, light a candle and watch this 1 hour documentary. I will watch it again with you guys for the third time.



[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Very appropriate selection with teaching details. Thanks..

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

You're welcome. You are talking about the doumentary Middleaged, right? If so, everyone here should see that.

The other amazing thing is that so many of the OWS gatherings are right there in Washington Square Park, one block from where that fire was, and Union Square Park which has been a hotbed of political activism for a long time

Once again, the quote from George Washington atop of that beautiful arch at WSP reads, "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hands of God." I have read it took three hours from the time that the Triangle funeral procession started until the last person passed under that arch."


[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

You know when I felt I was wronged as a kid... I knew that people who felt guilty that they did something wrong would go to lengths to either show remorse, convince others that they are good, or convince their own Ego/Id that they are good people.

I tend to trust women more than men in such displays. Men proved themselves violent & uncaring... even proved they were inhuman by beating the women protesters. It makes me cynical.

I like protesters, activists and even new age people in that they seem honest about their beliefs. Often I see the world as a cynical place with salesmen. People sell themselves to each other. Maybe we can't give up, we have to try, we have to learn, we have to strive....

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

An adendum to my reply below

That lack of remorse by the people who have caused the 2008 near meltdown and all the subsequent human misery that came with it is despicable


[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Yes, that corporate focus. Cheney & Bush have the same thing proving that politicians are heartless. We all notice that people at the Top never take responsibility, blame, or admit guilt or mis-steps. And the other Leaders of the USA seldom ask for Responsibility from Our Public or Private Executives.

Perhaps that is the Final Corruption or the Final Proof of Corruption.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

And that "Final Proof of Corruption" that you have so accurately pointed out is probably the main reason for most of us being here

And that is why failure is not an option


[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Overall I trust women more than I do men, but I think men have attributes that women don't possess in abundance too

In all honesty Middlaged, I see some of the best in human nature in the mostly young people who are near the heart of this struggle that we are in

Admittedly though, that does not always come out in the heat of a direct action or protest when our anger is often unleashed

I've mentioned this before. I met a very interesting young 50 yr old woman who was at the Rolling Jubilee/OTS event, and who had lived in such far flung places as Kansas, France, and now NY.

She said what I have been saying all along, that the people that she has met in OWS are some of the best people that she has ever known

Anyway the case could easily be made that this rev is mostly about returning to a better set of values and like i have also said the Rolling Jubillee & Occupy Sandy are shining examples of this

And that is exactly the kind of attitude and the camaraderie that comes with it that we will need to overturn the current corrupt status quo

The energy we will need will not come from a revival of the hate based politics of the past that has been very successful in keeping us divided

That's for sure


[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Thanks. I find value in what you are saying about values. Yes, and you are reminding me of some of the people I have met over the years. People People I guess. Some people are all about people and not so much about competition. Some people are constantly giving. They constantly are stabilizers or helping everyone to get along and showing others what community is about.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

'Walking the talk' is important to me, although admittedly I have failed from time to time

It again leads back to Danny Thomas's quote: "There are two kinds of people in the world: Givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better."

BTW Mr Thomas walked the talk too in helping to set up the wonderful St Jude foundation for kids who have cancer

His legacy as being a humanitarian far exceeds that of being an entertainer



[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Thanks. Just the thing I needed to hear. I remember him.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

You're welcome, and I'm glad

On a side note, that uncle Tonoose was a riot, eh?


[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Well seems like I mostly remember him as nice guy or a funny guy or as a family kind of guy. You probably remember him better, but the article pulls together more of a 3-D depth for him. Times were different for him later. But his world might have been just as crazy as today in many ways... But sounds like Faith was a powerful influence on the direction of his life... Dedication, impact, community, friendships, Lifestyle, and connections.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Replying here. I'll go with the "Golden Rule," and try to treat people the way that I want to be treated

"The Platinum Rule states that you treat people the way they want to be treated." What if they want to be treated better than they treat me? I know that sounds immature, but still I follow that implied rule in reverse if I believe I am being treated poorly

Yes human beings deserve the chance to live their life with dignity above that of an animal, but please know that I am an animal lover, and the Dad of a strong animal rights advocate

People should have the freedom to do what they want as long as they do not harm others, steal, or destroy another person's property

Eccentric behavior should not be taken to be insanity, as they are often the most genuine people

That about answers the many topics/scenarios you brought up in your comment, I think


[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Yes, actually we can extend human dignity to animals. US people probably do ok in general at treating animals well.

Animals are beings with emotions. I'm not sure what the definition of a being is. Animals are not different from people in intelligence, emotion and spirit. Animals can be raised to a higher level than humans ... since they don't engage in politics. The difference between people and animals is tongue. Probably dogs and cats can understand some of our language.

Now that I think about it... I can see why animals are sacred to some cultures.

Hope I didn't turn you off with my rambling writing. I do that while waiting for ideas to come to me.

Anyway, your golden rule sounds like the same thing as the Platinum rule in practice. Maybe I don't see things straight, but some of my past supervisors seemed not able to treat people very well. Actually my standards might be just different from theirs. I think egotistical abrasive people are useless to me... but they just value work, directness, and competition.

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Danny Thomas while living in tumultuous times..the Cold War, the McCarthy era, etc, took time out from his career to help make the world a better place, and his faith was a motivating factor

I wish more people of faith exemplified it the way that Danny Thomas did, and i wish churches and religions did the same

In NYC there are churches that I know that support Occupy like Riverside church on the upper west side of Manhattan, where a beautiful, large MLK 2012 celebration took place, and where he gave his famous Beyond Vietnam speech in 1967 or '68

The Judson church in lower Manhattan, across the street from Washington Square Park, and a block and a half from where the Triangle fire took place. And where Mahilia Jackson has sung and Eleanor Roosevelt has visited.... AND where the recent Rolling Jubille/OTS event took place, as well as a host of other Occupy events

And finally St Jacobis in Brooklyn where the MLK 2013 celebration took place. That church has also been very insrumental in supporting the Occupy Sandy efforts

These churches represent the best in religion in taking on social injustices


[-] 4 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Was just exploring Jesus as a Subversive with Shadz about a link he provided. I have to run right now. But will try to check some more links I have been sent. Chris Hedges points out that when we learn to think for ourselves we become subversive. The systems are not just and the mass of people don't really think straight. Leaders have always twisted our minds with their words and their manipulations. They even manipulated the meaning of Jesus in that most people don't try to live like Jesus, act like Jesus, or talk like Jesus.

You have provided great examples of "Right Thinking".

Each of us is an example and a kind of leader as we walk through life and perhaps offer guidance. We are always in a moment that could be important for transmitting knowledge.


[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Replying here. Thanks, but there comes a time and there is always something that the student can teach the teacher, so don't underestimate your contibutions on here

AS far as 'teachers' on this forum though, there is no better than shadz66

Often times i have found out throughout my life is that a novice can come up with a really good idea that was overlooked by people who had far more experience in something

The noble revolution that we are in begins with small steps in improving our own lives with the realization that who you 'were' is not who you have to be from here on in.


[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Well said. It helps to realize or label our efforts as noble or possibly both noble & very meaningful. I hate to admit that I might be stuck. I think that could be true for many men. Small Steps are the first steps to my redefining myself. This has become tougher for me as I got to Middle age.

LOL, just as long as I don't start trusting the government.

[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

No apologies are necessary Mid..., and don't strive to be more like me, but rather the best that you know you can be

Start by putting a smile on someone's face everyday as I try to do. It's contagious. Self depracating humor works great..lol, and it also sets you on a path to not taking things or yourself too seriously

You're a thinker and that's good, but don't over-analyze everything,

As a teenager a guy told me there are two categoies in life, "major and minor," and the overwheling majority of obstacles in lfe fall into the "minor" category. I never forgot that simple lesson, obviously

My simplistic advice, just constantly strive to be better at whatever you do, and on a spritual level as well. That's all now, we've been off on a tangent for a while. Good Luck.


[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Very kind remarks that help me to stay in conversation about OWS issues.

It seems you are a facilitator of a kind. Perhaps you have lead workshops or been a teacher. I think we all just appreciate leaders and teacher ... we don't really need to compete and know where they come from.

I have been exposed to some new history and new teachers here in the OWS Forum. I don't feel I am in trouble or in peril from the different influences. We all end up in a kind of Dialectic by saying what they think is true here in the Forum. SO, it seem like everything works itself out here.

Yes, I'm a thinker. Yes, I am over thinking. Yes, I have some trouble with things like trust & Commitment. Yes, I think you are correct in your guidance to avoid over-analyzing.

I guess relationships lead us to ...not sweat the small stuff. I have only to start some relationships to move forward. The spiritual part has been on my mind for a few weeks. Probably I will have to change up routines and make some personal commitments... to make head way.

[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Replying here. This is my last comment on this so you can finish off

I have had a good upbringing... being taught good values, and have passed them on to my chidren

What you articulate is some ways is what I simply do out of a gut feeling of right and wrong which is based on what I was taught and what i have observed in my life

I am on a quest to be a better person though with a deeper understanding of myself, for people and the world around me. That's all.


[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

You are the better person. God grant you luck. I will struggle more to be like you.

This week, Easter, it is clear that kids are great and give so much. But adults must give smiles and understanding ... whether you are a work-aholic or not... kids need to be recognized and given an ear at least. I struggle with this, but I haven't had kids so I will hope not to abandon my kids if I have them.

Sorry you might feel uncomfortable with my brain storms. I have engaged in power struggles before, but this doesn't feel like a power struggle between you and I.

I like to get off into the details and have seen some of the dirty parts of life. I have no claim to say I live well. I have no claim to say I have taught people. I have no claim to say I give value to society.

You have lived a good life. You know what a good example is and how it teaches. Please accept my apology for brining the discussion to low points. I am just a student and must be a student since I have not had kids or a wife. I must be what I am. I must be a student...

[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Replying here. Although I do realize that animals often have many traits that are superior to humans, I still would not put them on par with human life

No you did not turn me off with your rambling writing, rather i took it as thought provoking

Getting back to the Platinum Rule, here's another question that is inversely stated to my previous one: What if someone with bad life experiences has low self-esteem and consequently feels he doesn't deserve to be treated well? Should I apply the Platinum Rule and accommodate him/her, or should i attempt to help build him up as a human being in reminding him/her that there is always hope for redemption or simply changing yourself? Am i pulling this our of my ass now?

Now the tie-in to OWS: Isn't HOPE what this is all about?


[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

No, that is the perfect question. It seems we as people have to have some kind of spiritual basis to help ourselves and to help others. This is why I tend to think your Golden Rule is pretty much the same thing as my platinum Rule. The wielder of the Rule makes a big difference I suppose.

This could be part of some philosophical question in an established philosophy... I just don't know which one it would be.

The Greeks View of Intellectual Virtue and the place of character in Ethics and critical thinking seems to support that we can't just have a Golden Rule or Platinum Rule ... there is deeper development and education that is required to make a good citizen.

But you also raise a point that is opposed to the idea of Self determination. I may not have thought through this idea of self determination ... in the case where a person hurts themselves ... we can say they are a free person(not property), we can say they can chose their path in life and in educational institutions provided that they are willing to pay for the tuition.... but where do we draw the line on extravagant or eccentric behavior ... Social pressures come in many forms and would seem to oppose self destructive behavior.

Criminals develop sometimes probably due to self destructive situations or abusive ones. paint huffing or glue sniffing and other things now in Europe destroy the mind and probably lead to stealing and problems with public behavior or fighting. They have something in Europe that actually starts to kill off parts of the body as well as the mind.

There has to be some intervention when kids are huffing paint on street corners. We have to punish or lock up people who are clearly violent, hurting people & disturbing the peace.

I'm guess the person that wants to be abused and doesn't want to be treated well ... should be told he is not thinking correctly, and there should be some kind of social pressure to instruct him to act differently. Not saying that police or social workers should be called ... in the USA we see lots of official intervention at some point... obviously we don't want our kids to see people that abuse themselves in public. Perhaps there is a kind of test. If public behavior disturbs people, the individual must be told to go home and keep the behavior out of sight of kids.

So... I think we would agree there has to be both spiritual & Ethical Aspects of the Golden Rule. The physicians Creed is "First Do No Harm" ... to me this means don't hurt the person with any intervention and probably we will tell the person to change his behavior as a human minimal step.

[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Replying here. I didn't now that Chris Hedges said "when we learn to think for ourselves, we become subversive." That is definitely true, and i am not surprised that he said that. I would also add to that being 'honest' with ourselves. When society has gone astray from the teachings of most religions, being labeled a "subversive" is an honorable thing.

Hedges was also the son of a Presbyterian minister, and he received a Master of Divinity at Harvard

I don't consider myself to be "right thinking," but rather 'clear thinking' and hence am mystified at how so many churches/religions in this country can overlook the social injustices that are carried out under either false pretenses and/or without compassion, as that is antithetical to the teachings of most religions

Thanks for your thoughtful comments



[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Yes, it was a TV Book Review for all of Chris Hedges Books in 2012 as his new book was getting ready for press. It is like a 2 hour interview I think... He says thinking for yourself is subversive...

I had a computer problem earlier and lost some links for thinks like Intellectual Virtue, Clear Thinking, Equanimity, and some Greek works that reflective thinking, virtue, perfection, beauty, and ethics all tie into "Clear Thinking". There are like 3 kinds of normative ethics, A) is deciding for the maximum good for everyone, B) Is doing your duty to follow the Doctrine or Law C) is where a persons character virtues enter into decision making either for ill or for good ethics.

[-] -2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Replying here. Anyone who thinks for himself is bound not to agree with the doctrine of the people who do things for self-serving reasons which unfortunately is most often the case. Hence he will be labeled a subversive

I don't pretend to be able to articulate what ethics is exactly, other than treating other people the way that you would want to be treated

I do know that people who preach ethics and morals rarely have them

This is a very good 3 hr Cspan interview which i have seen two or three times



[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Which raises a point, the Platinum Rule states that you treat people the way that they want to be treated. The golden rule states that you treat people the way that you would like to be treated. I think the Platinum Rule is worth considering.

How does this translate politically? If people sit at the State or Federal Level,... should they treat people the way they want to be treated ... acknowledge that people have great differences and that they are humans with human rights ... Do Humans deserve dignity above that of an animal?

What is Human Dignity... Do we give people privacy, allow them Free Speech, allow them free thoughts, allow them to have self determination when they appear to sin or engage in heavy drinking ...

There is a Broad Range of Human Behavior. Is it human dignity to allow privacy of sexual practices ... to allow purchase of sex toys ... to allow drunkenness ... to allow them to chose abusive and physically abusive relationships ... to all them to ignore parents and family contact if they chose .... to allow them to refuse to see other people and engage in banter ...

Or should be allow them strange consumer behavior ....? What it a person chooses to give away their belongings and fortune. Is this a mental illness? Should the government intervene. Well, the money or belongings could belong to a spouse, so ... inquires should be made, perhaps ... with no guns drawn.

What is person chooses not to pursue college or technical school.

What if a person chooses rock and roll instead of corporate life.

Is a Mohawk subversive and anti-social... are parents prepared to allow 18 year old children to look like a punker or a radical rocker.

If a person wears a hoodie ... could they meet requirements to be investigated with federal money, background checks, investigations, testimonies at their former high schools,... should tax payers pay the bill for this. Surely the privacy of a Punker, Anarchist, and person who wears a hood has had his privacy taken.... But it could be gay behavior, or ethnic behavior, or religious behavior that triggers an investigation and loss of privacy.

Not sure where I was going but ... think I made the point that people that are different ... like Jews in Germany probably deserve the Platinum Rule.

And I would point out that Nazi Germany is still a good Bench Mark for our government Behavior or proper government behavior and individual rights.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago

That sounds like a plan. I'll just have to stay up a little later than usual.

Hell, I guess I'll be sleeping in tomorrow, ;-)

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

I'll sign a note for you. ;-)


[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

I'll watch it too.

History making can wait.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Good......Good Night


[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Three buddies on two different continents learning what a turning point in the history of social justice that the Triangle Shirwaist Factory Fire was. I 'll sign off at 2:30 EST, about 17 mins from now. And we will talk about it tomorrow, OK


[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 11 years ago


[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

Supporting workers against fire should be a no brainer because of the triangle deaths.


[-] 2 points by socialmedic (178) 11 years ago

50 percent of the student classes in architecture are women, only 6 percent are represented in the offices ... we encourage women to higher education saddle them with debt in equal proportion to men without equal opportunity and then women have to marry anyway to men they don't love because they can not get the careers they trained for ... and many of them, myself included, in massive debt. And those of us who do not become members of this female trafficking, will die alone. I do not think this is what Alice Paul had in mind for my future when she starved herself for women's rights.

[-] 2 points by socialmedic (178) 11 years ago

Please help pass this bill for student debt relief. It is more reasonable in terms than those passed before it. http://signon.org/sign/support-the-student-loan-6?source=c.url&r_by=5462310 This has got to be front page news for everyone held hostage by student loan debt, pleas put it first as soon as you can. So many American students rely on reformed student loan policy and they are competing with people who are coming here from other countries on a free ride who have no empathy for their struggles whatsoever. The far right does not go to college unless they are determined to obstruct secularism and back the poor business policies that have led to economic failure, not for the wealthiest participants but for the general well being of the country for the last three decades.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

and the forgotten union that was spurred into being.

Almost gone now.


[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

That was an interesting link shooz, thanks

The demise of unions in this country is very sad, and it correlates directly with the downward slide of the 99%

I know one of the young ladies in Occupy Town Square has her bank account with the still union owned Amalgamated Bank

And every year that bank helps sponsor the beautiful commemoration of the Triangle tragedy...see other comment here on that

I met another man at a May Day planning meeting who also has his account at that bank. He represents a group called USLAW (US Labor Against War), and we have exchanged several very amicable emails where we both understand that while our groups play different roles, this is not a bad thing as we both want basically the same thing

Knowing that OWS considers itself the radicals in this movement and believes that systemic change can only come about by building community and direct actions, he somewhat uneasily asked me to sign his petition, and I did

Another man I met at the Triangle ceremony (mentioned before) worked in the boiler room or maybe maintenance at NYU, and said he had been in several unions in Ireland. When i started to explain what Occupy was about saying that we were the radicals in this, he interrupted me and said, "Oh you gotta have radicals..."



[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

And Norma Rae, is long forgotten.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

"We like her,! We really really like her!"

Sorry.couldn't resist. Norma Rae was a brave fighter.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Yes, but where is that union today?

WallStreet shipped all that work overseas, to places like Bangladesh.

And the REAL issue was distanced from the "end user".

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

That's true. Profit over people has destroyed/shipped millions of American jobs.

There is much work to do.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Know more.

Watch this.


Learn well the name Ivy Lee.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

I'll have to get to that later. But I will get to it.


[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

I started to watch this the other day when my internet conection went down, but i will return to it

While living in Vermont, I lived down the road from Ivy Lee's son Jim

He was not a good guy either


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Do watch it. It isn't what the title implies.

It is much more about modern propaganda.

[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

I figured that it was about propaganda as part of it concerns Ivy Lee, and I will watch the rest of it.


[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Yeah, I have to admit that I did forget her plight

One of the main problems now is that most of the laws are written in favor of the employers

The companies hired a team of Philadelphia lawyers to break the union I was in

And they were experts at breaking unions


[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Union busting.

Just another expensive, corporate cottage industry, we the people pay for.

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Yep we pay to get screwed. It would be funny if the consequences weren't so bad


[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

The Ludlow Massacre.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

And a whole lot more


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

A return to the concept of the IWW is the way forward.

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

A union for all workers, sounds like a good concept to me

Anything that will restore our share of the pie and then some

Unlike the past though we have to stay vigilant, no matter what political system comes out of this


[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

Women challenging Corp power


For womens history month, A well deserved bump & in compliment to this important post. In honor of the fighters we've lost and will lose.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

The commemorative ceremonies are sponsored by the below group (link), and many of the descendants of the victims attend

It is also really neat that the FDNY takes part in the ceremony

They both do a tremendous job

I'm so glad that Occupy recognized this tragedy in this news item, and all the good things that came out of it



[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

Heres another brave fighter challenging corps, and a site with current actions.


[-] -2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Thanks. Women are often the most victimized by unfettered capitalism

And they are usually the more courageous, and often at the forefront of struggles that are seeking systemic change


[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

Amazing fact isn't it.?

Women have stood up against greater odds and won. They are truly a guiding light.

I love women.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Many of the most determined and courageous people that I know in Occupy are women


[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

I believe it.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Like Clara Lemlich, “I am tired of listening to speakers who talk in generalities.” I hope for the day the leaders of OWS will stop talking in generalities and take on the Republican Party. Only when you stop trying to please everybody and address the problem will we see change.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

There is power in the union!!

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

Labor rights threatened!!


This is protest worthy. Get involved!!

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 11 years ago

Yet another example of disaster-triggered management of the U.S.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 11 years ago

You tell me if we learned anything when the afl-cio just joined the chamber of commerce in fucking the american. worker.http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/30/us-usa-immigration-deal-idUSBRE92T0B920130330

[-] 3 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 11 years ago

i am concerned with 2 things fair trade and american workers.

[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

i am as well. We should not accept imports that are made with child labor, exploited low wage labor, labor under dangerous conditions, labor in environmentally poor conditions. And the true cost (pollution quotient) of shipping should be part of the price for imported goods.

Punish outsourcing, reward insourcing.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 11 years ago

i would settle for just not making exporting american jobs incentive laden.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

I would certainly accept that and I do acknowledge what I ask for is idealistic and almost impossible to get passed.

But I can dream

[-] 0 points by mandy9 (-5) 11 years ago

Oh yea...all my friends can't stop talking about that fire 105 years ago. That and the Mississippi paddle boat explosion in 1896.

Man!..talk about occupying all our time.

You fucking losers.

[-] 0 points by buyme225 (0) 11 years ago

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[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Being a history buff, I knew the history of this tragedy, and how it led right up to the New Deal.

When Clara Lemlich gave this speech, she was still recovering from 6 broken ribs suffered at the hands of company hired thugs. She was arrested 17 times for direct actions

The speech that Rose Schneiderman made at the old Metropolitan Opera House was absolutely incredible

What women of courage they were. I have nothing, but respect for them



[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Rose Schneiderman's famous We have Found You Wanting speech

I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if i came here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public and we have found you wanting

The old Inquisition had its rack and its thumbscrews, and its instruments of torture with iron teeth. We know what these things are today; the iron teeth are our necessities, the thumbscrews are the high-powered and swift machinery close to which we must work, and the rack is here in the firetrap structures that will destroy us the minute they catch on fire.

This is not the first time girls have been burned alive in the city. Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers. Every year thousands of us are maimed. The life of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred. There are so many of us for one job it matters little if 146 of us are burned to death.

We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers, and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know how to protest against conditions which they know are unbearable, the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us.

Public officials have only words of warning to us - warning that we must be intensely peaceable, and they have the workhouse just back of all their warnings. The strong hand of the law beats us back, when we rise, into the conditions that make life unbearable.

I can't talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement."

This speech was delivered by Ms Schneiderman on April 2nd, 1911 at the old Metropolitan Opera House in NYC, and what a speech it was.


[-] -1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

I do wish that Occupy had remembered the victims, of the Triangle Fire in a much bigger way, as we OWS should be the heirs to their legacy

There's still time though, as the 102nd annivesary of the Triangle vicims funeral procession is April 5th

How neat if would be for a candle-light march along the same route