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Forum Post: So ... ''Two Years After the Eviction of OWS, Here's 5 People Keeping the Movement Alive.''

Posted 8 years ago on Nov. 16, 2013, 2:38 p.m. EST by shadz66 (19985)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

''Two Years After the Eviction of OWS, Here's 5 People Keeping the Movement Alive'' :

by Kathleen Anne Bradley.

It was a cold night in late January 2012. The New York subway doors opened and a tall, dark-haired, 30-ish young man dressed entirely in black—leather jacket, jeans, and boots—stepped into the car. Hanging from his backpack were an orange plastic bullhorn and a small drum; tied on top was a thin sleeping mat.

He was one of the small army of Occupy Wall Streeters who had been driven from the park on November 15—two years ago today. He and some friends had been camping out in a vacant house to prevent the bank from foreclosing on it, he told us, but the winter weather had forced them to leave.

After protesters like him were evicted, no one knew where the movement was going and what it was going to do next. Two years later, though, the answers to those questions are beginning to become clear.

One way to get a handle on what became of the Occupy movement is to track the continuing work of its participants, five of whom are profiled here. All of them were active in Occupy encampments, and now they are focused on channelling the energy and true commitment, to direct social action that fuelled the movement into ensuring that Occupy groups born in the parks - will continue to grow and work for lasting change.

Laurie Wen : 'Healthcare for the 99%'

Just a week or so into the occupation, Laurie Wen and other members of Physicians for a National Health Program joined a solidarity march and then camped out overnight in Zuccotti Park to advocate for single-payer, publicly financed universal health insurance.

"That is still the mission of the group," she says.

At the group's speak-outs and teach-ins in parks around the city, doctors and patients talked about what is wrong with the nation's healthcare system and how to fix it. "The doctors would talk about how painful it is to see their patients suffering because they don't have enough insurance or have the wrong kind," Wen says.

During "99 Doctors Give Flu Shots to the 99%," an event the group held on November 13, 2011, members gave a couple hundred flu shots to people in Zuccotti Park. They also held rallies and marches—some targeting private insurance companies "because their mission is profit, not necessarily to provide care," Wen says. "And that very much jibes with the central tenet of OWS—corporate greed versus human need."

Physicians for a National Health Program continues to advocate for putting human needs first, she says. Right now they're working on a bill that would provide universal single payer healthcare in New York state, and pushing for its passage. "We have majority co-sponsorship in the New York State Assembly—enough legislators to pass the bill if Speaker Sheldon Silver would just bring it to the floor." The group also supports the proposed "Robin Hood tax" on financial speculation.

"That money could very well fund a lot of human needs," she notes, "including health care."

Tim Franzen : 'Occupy Our Homes Atlanta'

Atlanta's chapter of Occupy Our Homes came out of conversations in downtown Woodruff Park after Occupy assemblies in Atlanta began in October 2011, according to organizer Tim Franzen. "We were thinking about how to challenge the financial institutions that crashed the economy," he recalls, "and some of us started talking about [fighting] foreclosures and evictions as ways to do that."

The first step in that process came through social media. As an experiment, Occupy Homes put out a tweet saying they wanted to put a face on the foreclosure crisis. First to respond was a law enforcement officer facing eviction along with his wife and three kids. The group mobilized quickly—surrounding the house with tents, dropping a banner over it that said "THIS HOME IS OCCUPIED," and maintaining a presence day and night. After a press conference that got a lot of media attention, other cities caught on to the idea—culminating in a nationwide day of home occupations on December 6. The most active chapters of Occupy Homes at the moment are in Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, according to Franzen.

The Occupy Homes website contains a petition page that makes it easy to mobilize support for resisting a foreclosure or eviction. "Once they get 100 signatures," Franzen explains, "an organizer calls them and coaches them through the process of creating a public pressure campaign: how to get press, organize bank protests, negotiate with their lender or landlord."

The national movement has launched over 350 housing campaigns, he says, and the growing Atlanta group has won over 20 campaigns locally—with many more ongoing. "These are people who need a place to eat and sleep, and if we can fight the financial institutions that treat our communities like ATMs, then it's a worthwhile fight—even if it's not the pure revolution we're hoping for."

Grace Davie : 'Occupy Faith'

Grace Davie met Rev. Michael Ellick of New York's Judson Memorial Church—one of the founders of Occupy Faith—at a spring awakening in Central Park in 2012. "He said they were talking about creating a Truth Commission on the 2008 financial crisis," she recalls. She was impressed, and after she joined the group "one of the first things I did was go to Albany with a number of faith leaders to call for a moral budget."

She also got very involved in the ongoing planning for the Truth Commission project, which is partly modeled on the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated the killing of anti-Ku Klux Klan protesters in 1979. Davies says she feels a similar process could be applied to the 2008 financial collapse.

"So many people were harmed by the foreclosure crisis—and about 14 million Americans are still facing foreclosure." She says the group is hoping to create a space—like in Zuccotti—where people can come together to talk about what happened to them, explore the root causes, learn from one another, and come up with a plan of action.

Moral Mondays is another idea the group has been interested in. She says the event started in North Carolina, organized by faith leaders and their allies. "Every Monday people go to the state house and engage in civil disobedience to protest cuts to the social service budget," Davie says. "We need new ways for people to meet and become involved. And it may be that Moral Mondays could provide that."

Right now she senses a new energy in Occupy Faith, and new actions on the horizon. "When the social safety net is shredded," she notes, "it's the churches and faith communities that see the effects and are asked to help." Communities of faith also have a special language to express the ideas of love and nonviolence she sees at the heart of Occupy. "I feel the actions I went to were motivated not by hatred or anger, but by love. And if people misunderstood or ridiculed them, that was something [we] were ready to take."

Cathy O'Neil : 'Alternative Banking'

Cathy O'Neil had a Ph.D. from Harvard and taught mathematics at Barnard before a segue into finance in 2007 took her to a hedge fund where she worked with former Harvard University president and World Bank chief economist Larry Summers.

But he and others "clearly didn't understand the shadow banking system—credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations and mortgage-backed securities … the whole thing to do with the housing bubble," she says. From her position at the center of the crisis, she began to suspect that these supposedly brilliant experts had no idea what they were doing.

O'Neill also saw the "too-big-to-fail banks" had little incentive to change their way of doing business "because the taxpayers were backing them up in case they got into trouble." So about a month after Occupy started, she helped to organize an Alternative Banking group to try to improve the financial system. They've been meeting weekly ever since, dedicated to "agitating for reform" by "educating the public about the current dysfunction." The group's first big project was a deck of cards—"52 Shades of Greed"—to celebrate their one-year anniversary. The idea started when a member of the Alternative Banking group brought in a deck of cards printed by the United States military that showed the most-wanted members of Saddam Hussein's government. "Somebody said 'We should do this for bankers,'" O'Neill explains.

In September 2013 they launched their second major project, publishing their handbook Occupy Finance in hard copies and on the web. It details how and why our financial system is failing, and proposes strategies for giving the 99 percent a representative voice in the political and regulatory processes. The group has started a book club to publicize it, and members are thinking about launching a public access TV show or organizing a conference or speaker series.

Meanwhile, they continue to work on what they see as key financial reform issues. "Right now we're focusing on too-big-to-fail and too-big-to-jail as separate but related problems. We're especially targeting HSBC this year—they were responsible for outrageous money laundering for drug lords and terrorists but only got slapped on the wrist."

Nick Mirzoeff : 'Occupy Theory'

London-born Nick Mirzoeff studied history at Oxford and at the University of Warwick, where he got involved with British cultural studies—"understanding contemporary culture from a political perspective." After moving to the U.S. he started teaching at New York University, and in his 2011 book The Right to Lookobserved that "we face a choice between continuing to authorize authority or democratizing democracy."

So when Occupy started, he says, "I really felt like I couldn't not be involved in it." He attended a General Assembly, connected with the "Education and Empowerment" group, which was "very diverse and eclectic," he recalls, "and lots of things came out of that intersection."

{Continued in comments}


respice, adspice, prospice ...


[Article copied verbatim under 'Fair Use' from : http://truth-out.org/news/item/20084-two-years-after-the-eviction-of-ows-heres-5-people-keeping-the-movement-alive ]



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[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Nick Mirzoeff : 'Occupy Theory' / 'Tidal' - contd.

One of them was the concept that became 'Occupy Theory'. "The idea was basically that a lot of people are writing about the movement but we needed to have a place where we ourselves could have that discussion."

The group's primary project is the free magazine Tidal ( http://www.tidalmag.org/ ) , which is collectively edited, produced and, often, written. "There is no radical action without radical thought," Mirzoeff emphasizes, and Tidal is meant as a space for discussing movement-generated theory and practice. "Tidal understands that we are engaged in the early stages of an anti-capitalist struggle," declares the magazine's website. "Our immediately role is to…transform existing power structures."

The first issue was distributed just after Occupy's eviction from Zuccotti, and there have been three issues since. Themes have included the role and future of Occupy, the big 2012 New York May Day event, the Strike Debt campaign, and cities — "what we call learning from Detroit, both what happened to it and the visionary organizing that emerged because of all that." In addition to the online edition, hard copies are distributed at bookstores throughout New York City, in several other U.S. cities, and in Tunis.

Next step for Occupy Theory: extending their educational outreach by creating "living/learning/organizing centers" worldwide. The centers will offer free classes and serve as places where people can come together to reflect on their political work. If they succeed, the centers should also strengthen the sense of connection that Mirzoeff believes the magazine has created. "It's all about exploring what a different kind of democracy might be like. But mainly writing the Tidal is about trust, and the word used a lot around Occupy is love—not romantic love, not religious love, but a sort of bonding. And that continues."

And the young man on the subway that cold January night? Has he found another way to carry the OWS energy forward? If he reports in, we'll let you know.

per aspera ad astra ...

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

''Protest JP Morgan at noon on Wednesday 4th Dec. #OccupyJPM #OWS'' :

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

Thanks for the promo. On my way to the JP Morgan protest now, and bringing 11, 4'-5' cardboard rolls with me for the signs in your link and more like them..

And BTW I am sitting alongside a man on the bus who I have been conversing with about the sad state of our country , and whose NJ born granddaughter lives in Sweden. The last time he asked her when she was coming home, she replied, "I am home."

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

"We have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love and the community to produce a kind of human paradise. But we are led by the least among us – the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary. We are led by the least among us and we do not fight back against the dehumanizing values that are handed down as control icons." (Terence McKenna)

Solidarity @ you and yours and your 'AltBank' comradres and I do suspect that sometimes, you could almost agree with both that grandfather on the bus & his clearly beloved grand-daughter in Sverige + fyi :

''The idea that rational thinking should govern political decision making in America dates back to our very founding. “Facts are stubborn things,” John Adams said, “and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

''Oh, John Adams, where are you when we need you? Facts have been buried in a political era in which partisan ideology overrides reason. And while the Republican Party has embraced fact-free governance as its personal brand, Democrats are not entirely innocent either.

''Suddenly, the research used to back the case for austerity was 100 percent disproven. And yet, conservatives - as well as a few too many spineless Democrats - continue to assert that austerity makes for good economics, in spite of the fact that real-world evidence and theoretical science now decisively prove otherwise. In Spain and Greece and beyond, citizens have been mounting protests against a backdrop of skyrocketing rates of suicide and devastating unemployment wrought by austerity measures. And yet these mass protests receive far less attention than the outmoded assertions by the monied elites''.

timendi causa est nescire ...

[-] 3 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

I agree, we have all the ingredients for a far better World than what we have now. It is our leaders who answer to special interests that are the biggest impediment to our having that more just, peaceful World.

Yes I could relate to that grandpa very well, and I suspect that I would get the same answer from my one granddaughter if I were to ask her when she was coming home... and her saying, "I am home"...jiddo. The other little sweetie would probably just say goo-goo though.

Both my ex and I have come from families that are spread across numerous time zones and continents. It has not always been easy as you can imagine...missing birthdays, holidays, graduations, births and deaths, but it does have advantages in the way that you look at life. And as you know, I will not be missing the next holiday with most of my family thanks to some good advice..

Our Alt Banking protest at JP Morgan's world-wide corporate headquarters (Wed, the 4th) on Park Ave was a big success and I had figured on going home to hang out after it ended, but unbeknownst to me, there were a whole day of direct actions that had been planned in NY. So figuring this was going to be my swan song for my Occupy activities for 2013, I went for broke and joined some of my other Alt Bankers in going to three more direct actions followed by a rally at City Hall Park.

These Occupy people are nuts and I love them for all the time and effort that they put in planning and participating in these things.

First we walked up to an office building on 51st St & 6th Ave where one of the big honchos (maybe the CEO) in Walmart has his office and protested their greed there.

Then it was down to Bank of America's big office building on 42nd & 6th Ave where there was a very vibrant protest that started just after we got there.

Then we got on the downtown B train, switching over to the E train (luckily I was with NYers here), and after having coffee, we met a group of Affordable Housing protesters who didn't much like a guy named Larry Silverstein (the owner of the World Tade Center) who made out like a bandit on the insurance claims after 9/11, and who also thought that NYC should be full of luxury condominiums even if it meant displacing poor people. So after an outdoor rally, we decided to pay him a visit at 7 World Trade Center (the new one), although he wasn't exactly expecting us. The three guards were no match for the 6 or more doors and a hundred plus people.... some with 6'- 8' high apartment bldg props... who barged into the lobby. We were having a really good time there singing chants & stuff until a whole swarm of cops came and told us we would be arrested for tresspassing if we did not leave, so we did leave.


We then walked up to Cty Hall Park where we had a cool rally, and then for me, I passed on an uptown train and walked up Broadway, the 2-3 miles to the bus terminal reflecting on the good day that I had with so many really good, courageous people, all of whom I respect greatly and quite a few who have become really good friends.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Your 'Alt Banking' escapades [ http://altbanking.net/ ] with your comrades are extremely interesting & heartening to me. Awareness of the duplicitous doings of money lenders like JPM is increasing by the day and with this in mind, I append - while asking that you take note of ''Odious Debt'' as a concept :

I really rate Dr. Michael Hudson and I'm sure your 'AltBankers' are aware of him & Prof. Bill Black & of 'Odious Debt'. My link is to a short but important clip and further embedded there, is a link to 'Surviving Progress' from where the clip originates & which I link to in my 'to and fro' wth bw on this thread & also recommend to you, so maybe you can watch it with your daughters - if your grand-daughters permit, lol.

Thanx four your report back & it is a shot in the arm for those of us a li'l far from the coal-face of Devious Banking in NY (or London). Solidarity to you and yours and to your comrades in the street and excellent to hear of your imminent departures to lands of midnight sun. Thanx also for that rather interesting, brain jolting video and so many of our struggles overlap at so many intersections. Finally a wee audio file from someone who we both respect :

I say ''wee'' but it is an hour long, lol - but maybe you can listen as you pack for your travels. Be well and warm ; safe and sound in all your doings. Bon voyage mon ami et oui vraiment ...

la beaute' est dans la rue !


[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Of course Occupy is still alive! Occupy is an idea, an idea that is now embedded in the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

The truth is out that the global economic system is rigged for a tiny number of people while the masses are left to scrape for crumbs. And, for every one of the 5 awesome people in that article their are many more doing what they can to make the world a better and more equitable place.

Occupy Wall Street has changed the conversation permanently. No longer is capitalism revered as the be all, end all, of man. Sorry, Francis Fukayama. Occupy sheds a light on all of it's shortcomings and brings back a humanity and awareness and vitality to a world that has been alienated and pillaged. In short, Occupy gives us hope.



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

''Occupy is an idea, an idea that is now embedded in the hearts and minds of people all over the world.''

''The truth is out that the global economic system is rigged for a tiny number of people while the masses are left to scrape for crumbs.''

''Occupy sheds a light on all of its shortcomings and brings back a humanity and awareness and vitality to a world that has been alienated and pillaged. In short, Occupy gives us hope.''

Sigh and a slightly misty eyed ditto bw. Thanx also for your great links. 'Occupy The Imagery'' with your first and from your second :

Francis 'Fuk-yu-ya-ma(d) Freak' always had an arse and elbow confusion and his imperialist conceits and hubris, as expounded by his infamous thesis, should really have been - 'The End of His Story' !!

Solidarity bw, to yours and you and many thanx for all you do.

consilio et animis ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

"When the Occupy movement came into being in the summer of 2011, its critics said that a lack of identifiable objectives and strategy for achieving them meant it was doomed to fail. This was a monumental underestimation of its potential impact. Two years on, the debate about the ethics of corporate capitalism in its current form, the fairness of the remuneration of those at the top, the widening wealth gap and the morality of tax avoidance is alive and well. The concept of the "99%" is now part of the collective consciousness. All this is, in no small part, down to the fuse lit by the Occupy movement." From Andreou.

It is certainly the end of FF's story, but it is just the beginning of the story of the masses of people around the globe who work day in and out to feed their families. The seeds of change for a global revolution in the way the world economy is structured have been planted. It will take time, but we are on the right path.

And, lol, re: the Zeese piece. Correct, Obama should have apologized for not fighting to the bone for universal, single-payer, not-for-profit healthcare. That is what we need, nothing short of it.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Now if only we can prevent TPTB from committing murder/suicide with Global Warming Fossil Fuel - just out of spite if not just for their blind GREED.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

"Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions"

"Chevron, Exxon and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show."


[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Its not really surprising that the 0.01% is consistent in it's destructiveness to the world as it is to the common individual !!!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

The environment and economics are forever linked. One affects the other. The environment provides resources to the economy and the economy pilfers those resources.

A great book on this matter is "A Short History of Progress" by Ronald Wright. He shows how civilizations throughout history brought about their own demise by not being wise about the use of resources! Most societies eventually implode after denuding the earth of it's riches.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Most societies eventually implode after denuding the earth of it's riches.

Ummmm I am still going with societies/governments/nations fail when they stop looking out for the welfare of all. GREED the great destroyer.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

I would agree that, ultimately, greed is the daddy of them all. And, therefore, greed is the overriding reason that civilizations have denuded the earth of it's resources. The unsatiated desire for more and more, materially, leads to less and less environmentally, a sad irony, as in the end there is nothing materially left.

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Also GREED in TPTB pretty much cancel the idea of reaching out and seeking cooperation harmony with others.

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

''Wall Street’s foreclosure crisis, which began in late 2007 and forced more than 10 million people from their homes, has created a paradoxical problem. Millions of evicted Americans need a safe place to live, even as millions of vacant, bank-owned houses are blighting neighborhoods and spurring a rise in crime. Lucky for us, Wall Street has devised a solution: It’s going to rent these foreclosed houses back to us. In the process, it’s devised a new form of securitization that could cause this whole plan to blow up -- again.'' - In support of your point & taken from :

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Hmmmmm - debt relief jubilee opportunity? How many pennies on the dollar for a foreclosed home - I wonder.

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

''The Terrorism Of Debt'' : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4368.htm and also see ...

''The End of Poverty?'' (Documentary) : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29844.htm .

It's a very good question that you ask but I don't recall any answer from the Truth-Out link above. I'll look again later but I append the ICH links above re 'Debt' on the larger scale and also append for the record :

fiat lux ...

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

The truth of being a debt slave as well as a wage slave has become more apparent every year going forward from the 1970's

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

Re. ''Mutant Capitalism'' & how corporations take control of countries and how capitalism drives the expansion of the Military Industrial Complex, please see :

''The Truth of being a debt slave'' ... applies to sovereign nations as much as it does to individuals. As John Perkins says : ''We can not have 'Homeland Security - until we realise that the whole planet is our homeland''. Solidarity to OWS and all here who give a sh*t - irrespective of our occasional differences & anyone heard from hchc ;-) ? That cat is/was/will be, a natural born occupier & occasional contrarian ;-)

multum in parvo ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Another thought - what if a one month 85,000,000,000 wallstreet stimulus ( a waste as well as a public rip-off ) was transferred to buying foreclosed homes and setting-up the former owners with a non-inflated rather than a false value mortgage - with payments of no more than 25% take home pay and 0% interest.

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

''The 1% Are The Very Best Destroyers Of Wealth The World Has Ever Seen'', by George Monbiot

''If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire. The claims that the ultra-rich 1% make for themselves – that they are possessed of unique intelligence or creativity or drive – are examples of the self-attribution fallacy. This means crediting yourself with outcomes for which you weren't responsible. Many of those who are rich today got there because they were able to capture certain jobs. This capture owes less to talent and intelligence than to a combination of the ruthless exploitation of others and accidents of birth, as such jobs are taken disproportionately by people born in certain places and into certain classes.

''Until recently, we were mesmerised by the bosses' self-attribution. Their acolytes, in academia, the media, thinktanks and government, created an extensive infrastructure of junk economics and flattery to justify their seizure of other people's wealth. So immersed in this nonsense did we become that we seldom challenged its veracity.''

Excerpted from the early days of OWS & OLSX ('Occupy London Stock Exchange') Solidarity @ All ~{~

et spero meliora ...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

"In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us."

So very true and an auspicious start to the article and video.


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

Carl Sagan always had a way with words. If you liked that 3.45m video, then this somewhat longer one, will also be good food for thought :

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Replying here:

It is more and more apparent that the following statement is the "ABSOLUTE TRUTH":

Greed is the #1 cause of Disease Death & Destruction in the Whole Wide World.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

BTW - I sent them an inquiry - well more of a - what do you think about this - e-mail.

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

A happy Thanxgiving & I'll give thanx for your excellent thoughts above with those below. Solidarity ~*~

“The dead human ape has fulfilled its potential," - "now we must transform, become enlightened, so that we can access the next realm of conciousness necessary for evolution.” Who'd've thunk it ?! ~ommm~

fiat lux et fiat pax ...

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (15549) 3 hours ago

A happy Thanxgiving & I'll give thanx for your excellent thoughts above with those below. Solidarity ~*~

''The Only Thing That Matters To Any Of Us Is Love'' (Short Video) : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36986.htm .

“The dead human ape has fulfilled its potential," - "now we must transform, become enlightened, so that we can access the next realm of conciousness necessary for evolution.” Who'd've think it ?! ~ommmm~

fiat lux et fiat pax ...

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

Happy Honda.......................Oooops cough gag spit..............Happy"Holiday" {:-])

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

How'd you know I drive a Honda ?! Cue 'Twilight Zone' music !! Too weird, lol !!!

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (15562) 4 minutes ago

How'd you know I drive a Honda ?! Cue 'Twilight Zone' music !! Too weird, lol !!!

verum ex absurdo ...

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

OH no NO I'm not psyickic ( well perhaps that ) uuum psychic. No just bombarded ( shell shocked ) with the seasons commercialism.

Thank God ( higher power ) for people starting to boycott the greedy assholes who deny a living wage to their employees and take away their holidays with their families and friends.

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

With a view of the physical from the metaphysical via the scientific but still numinous :

You'll get what I mean with my waffle when you avail the ICH link and thanx for your reply and solidarity.

pax ...

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

How wrong the world was to expect anything from Obomber yet how reasonable it was to do so too !!! You get me bw ?!! Especially after that utter buffoon GWB, right ?!

However, for those of a revolutionary or R:Evolutionary / Rapid Evolutionary bent, these two terms of Obummer are the final and utterly irrefutable proof of the 'Two Parties/One System' - War & Austerity nature of The US Body Politic & I append fyi :

''The Occupy tactic was a remarkably successful tactic. If I’d been asked a month before Zuccotti Park whether to do this, I would have said, you’re crazy. But it worked extremely well. It just lighted a fire all over the place. People were just waiting for something to light the spark. And it was extremely successful, but it’s a tactic, and tactics are not strategies.

''A tactic has a half-life; it has diminishing returns. And in particular, a tactic like this is going to arouse antagonism, because people don’t want their lives disrupted and so on. It will be easy to fan it the way you do with public workers. So it’s a tactic that had to be revised. Frankly, when the police broke the occupations up, it was harsh and brutal and didn’t have to be done like that. But in some ways, it wasn’t a bad thing, because it turned people to what they have to do next. And what they have to do next is bring it to the general population.

''Take up the topics that really bother people. Be there when you’re needed like Sandy. Be there for the foreclosures. Focus on debt. Focus on a financial transaction tax, which ought to be instituted. Nobody else is bringing it up. That’s what the Occupy movement ought to be doing, and not just as a national movement, but as an international movement.''

ad iudicium ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Occupy goes beyond political parties, beyond the structure of the status quo to seek watershed change.

That's a brilliant quote by Chomsky. If you think about it, he's absolutely right. We have to bring this thing to the general population now and that is why I keep going. The discourse has changed in this country and slowly the ideas of Occupy, (because, after-all, in my opinion, Occupy is an idea first and foremost,) are seeping in. The seeds have been planted. It will take a while but it will happen. This nation can't go on like this and the American people know it in their hearts.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

''Occupy is an idea first and foremost'', emphatic ditto and an idea whose power still inspires many millions across the USA & the world at large, Going forward, a quick reminder as to 'Why Occupy ?' :

fiat lux ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Occupy will not go away until the enormous income disparity in this country goes away. 47 million on foodstamps, 49 million uninsured. WTF? In America?

From truth-out, "In hindsight, it’s clear that the Great Recession fueled a terrific wealth and asset transfer away from ordinary Americans and to financial institutions. During that crisis, Americans lost trillions of dollars of household wealth when housing prices crashed, while banks seized about five million homes. But what’s just beginning to emerge is how, as in the recession years, the recovery itself continues to drive the process of transferring wealth and power from the bottom to the top."

This is not lost on most Americans anymore, in large part due to the Occupy movement.

[-] 5 points by gsw (3400) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 8 years ago

This loss of wealth has affected youth and poor.

Here is a great book I have been reading, Children of the Common Core, http://www.childrenofthecore.com , best on contemporary education crisis, much overblown by testing corporations, who wish to create a dumbed down work force and citizenry, and take over public education, and destroy unions, and vilify teachers.

Childhood Poverty is the cause of much education performance issues. Standardized tests and curriculum, high stakes tests, will not address poverty.

This is an excellent book, also there is a web resource for free info, above, I recommend this resource for info on current education issues. ALEC and Bill Gates are identified as nefarious groups.


[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

I can't tell you how many times I have had people look at me like I am nuts when I say Bill Gates has no business being involved in our public schools. Dumbing down for sure. Basically, they want to teach our kids to become little corporate robots. And, the same people who think initiatives like Gates' are so wonderful are the same people who want to cut teacher pay and eliminate their rights to bargain.

I tell you, our education system is f-kd. I've been through it with my own kids and it took a ton of effort on my part to teach my kids what really matters in life.

Also, I recently saw a statistic that 1 in 4, 1 in 4! American children will be on food stamps at some point growing up. While corporate profits are at an all time high! We need to get our priorities straight in this country and soon before it is too late.

Thanks for the link. That looks like a great book. We need more people like Kris Neilson to break people of their blindness to propaganda.

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

RiP Nelson Mandela :

Striving for a beautiful world for all, it is all about about the kids as we look forward - but not without looking back too ~*~ May all that was best be remembered but the struggle for true justice not end.

requiescat in pace et .. respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

In the spirit of kids everywhere:


Persevere. Never give up. Remember what is important. You are. :)

"Take only what you need from it" and it might still be there for you later.

And, may we have more Nelson Mandela's who will fight for their future. RIP.

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

Speak not ill of the dead - but be wary of the eulogies of past opponents and 'fair weather friends' ...

multum in parvo ...

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

"In South Africa, the miserable life of the poor majority broadly remains the same as under apartheid, and the rise of political and civil rights is counterbalanced by the growing insecurity, violence and crime. The main change is that the old white ruling class is joined by the new black elite. Second, people remember the old African National Congress that promised not only the end of apartheid, but also more social justice, even a kind of socialism. This much more radical ANC past is gradually obliterated from our memory. No wonder that anger is growing among poor, black South Africans.

South Africa in this respect is just one version of the recurrent story of the contemporary left. A leader or party is elected with universal enthusiasm, promising a "new world" – but, then, sooner or later, they stumble upon the key dilemma: does one dare to touch the capitalist mechanisms, or does one decide to "play the game"? If one disturbs these mechanisms, one is very swiftly "punished" by market perturbations, economic chaos and the rest. This is why it is all too simple to criticise Mandela for abandoning the socialist perspective after the end of apartheid: did he really have a choice? Was the move towards socialism a real option?"

Tough questions and Žižek articulates these painful truths so well in that piece.

"At this precise conjuncture, radical emancipatory politics faces its greatest challenge: how to push things further after the first enthusiastic stage is over, how to make the next step without succumbing to the catastrophe of the "totalitarian" temptation – in short, how to move further from Mandela without becoming Mugabe."

These challenges face not only South Africa but much of the world today. Will we humans rise to the occasion? Are we up for the task to take things to the next level?

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

''These challenges face not only South Africa but much of the world today. Will we humans rise to the occasion? Are we up for the task to take things to the next level?'' by bw/OWS forum & thus consider :

''Many decent people are locked into the embrace of a system that is rotten to the core. If they are to earn even a reasonable living they have no other job option except to give the devil his due : they are only ‘following orders,’ as Eichmann famously claimed, ‘doing what the system demands’ as others now put it, in acceding to the barbarous and immoral principles and practices of the Party of Wall Street. The coercive laws of competition force us all, to some degree of other, to obey the rules of this ruthless and uncaring system. The problem is systemic not individual.'' by David Harvey :

Žižek spoke at OWS in Liberty/Zucotti back in the 'early daze' & I remember watching mesmerised on LiveStream just a day before being guided to the forum from the frenetic 'LvStrm, real-time chat'. Here's the video of that actual speech :

How this plays out is yet to be decided and there is no guarantee of success but this time surely it’s obvious that capitalism can no longer masquerade as a democracy, a ‘democracy’ by the way that it never actually 'gave' us as we have fought for it over the past two centuries. However, even if we all did regain some political democracy, it is now even clearer that we have never had economic democracy - the one that really counts and from which - all else flows. OWS has started something. Keep seeding.

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

"The Party of Wall Street has one universal principle of rule: that there shall be no serious challenge to the absolute power of money to rule absolutely. And that power is to be exercised with one objective. Those possessed of money power shall not only be privileged to accumulate wealth endlessly at will, but they shall have the right to inherit the earth, taking either direct or indirect dominion not only of the land and all the resources and productive capacities that reside therein, but also assume absolute command, directly or indirectly, over the labor and creative potentialities of all those others it needs. The rest of humanity shall be deemed disposable."

Pretty much, yep, Harvey is right. We have a big fight on our hands here. We either convince these greedy grubbers that the way they are conducting themselves is unsustainable or we have a revolution. The revolution is inevitable. "Let them eat cake" has never gone down well in history.

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

OWS is integral to a New American Awakening. It takes as long as it does but without struggle, class conciousness and a mass movement then there will only be a creeping Fascism but sometimes the merest thing can help give a real and deep perspective ...

"In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." & also fyi, I highly recommend the following short video lecture to you and all :

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

"Arctic sea ice coverage is now at the lowest level it’s been for a million years. It will likely disappear in the summer by 2015. The loss of summer sea ice is linked to the accelerating melt of permafrost, releasing the vast underground stores of methane – about 30 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon."

"By mid-century, if we fail to act, world crop yields could fall as much as 20-40 per cent due to global warming."

"The heart of the problem is the skewered structure of our current form of capitalism, which makes endless material growth at any cost a seemingly rational imperative. What is this structure? It comes down to who owns the Earth. Today’s capitalism is based on a completely natural condition where approximately 1-5 per cent of the world’s population, owns the entirety of the planet’s productive resources, as well as the technologies of production and distribution. This is the outcome of centuries of colonisation, imperialism and globalisation, which has centralised control of the earth’s resources and raw materials into the hands of a few."

"So how can we respond? We must first awaken to the reality that this is not the end, but the beginning. We are witnessing the collapse of the old paradigm, which hell-bent on planetary suicide, isn’t working. By the end of this century, whatever happens, civilization in its current form will not exist. The question we must therefore ask ourselves is this. What will we choose to take its place?"

"Our economies, rather than being assumed to exist in a vacuum of unlimited material expansion, are seen as embedded in wider society, such that economic activity for its own sake is recognised as the pathology that it is. Instead, economic enterprise becomes aligned with the deeper values that make us human – values like meeting our basic needs, education and discovery, arts and culture, sharing and giving: the values which psychologists say contribute to well-being and happiness, far more than mere money and things."

Nafeez Mosadeqq Ahmed is a big thinker with lots of specific ideas (and loads of facts) on how we can move forward to save ourselves and the environment. Bravo.

Thanks for the links, Shadz.

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

"Our economies, rather than being assumed to exist in a vacuum of unlimited material expansion, are seen as embedded in wider society, such that economic activity for its own sake is recognised as the pathology that it is. Instead, economic enterprise becomes aligned with the deeper values that make us human – values like meeting our basic needs, education and discovery ; arts and culture ; sharing and giving : the values which psychologists say contribute to well-being and happiness, far more than mere money and things." Many thanx for the crucial excerpts and I encourage any and all readers to avail this short 17 minute lecture and synopsis of N.M.Ahmed's ''Crisis Of Civilisation'' book and documentary ...

In reply, I'll append the following two short articles from one of my all time favourite journalists, John Pilger - which tho' from a UK perspective, still have wider lessons for us all, as well as a polemical 'Truth-Out' piece :

Solidarity to you and yours and I share your view of N.M.Ahmed as a 'join-the-dots' thinker for our times. Finally ... ''Everything is interconnected, poverty, wealth, resources, jobs, physical health, environmental health, the human spirit and ethos, consumerism, materialism, education, communication. All of it. Until we get this, we will not be able to move forward in a successful way.'' from :

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

"Momentous change almost always begins with the courage of people taking back their own lives against the odds. There is no other way now. Direct action. Civil disobedience. Unerring. Read Percy Shelley - "Ye are many; they are few". And do it." Amen.

"What's wrong," a Clara Street man told me, "is the thing the politicians don't want to talk about any more. It's governments not caring how we live, because we're not part of their country."

And, back to the environment which gets plundered as a result of all the greed and exploitation, because not only are people plundered, but poor Mother Earth is as well, another good source is "A Short History of Progress" by Ronald Wright. In the book, he outlines how civilizations throughout history have failed to realize that they must conserve natural resources and this failure often led to their decline as they used up everything they needed to stay functioning.

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

''A Short History Of Progress'' is a book that you have repeatedly referenced and recommended. It comes out of a series of lectures by Ronald Wright and was made into a documentary film too, called 'Surviving Progress'. As such, thanx for your persistence with this and I append the following for all interested readers :

Solidarity and thanx to you for bringing this to our attention on the forum. I had a copy once but gave it to a dear friend before I had fully read it - so I'm inspired to replace it soon and get around to finishing it.

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Very nice. "A Short History of Progress" is the kind of book every human being should read. The end of it is pretty powerful, I'd say, so beware.

And, thanks for the excellent links, :).

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

Yes, "there is a price to be paid," and the people who pay first are usually the most marginalized, defenseless members of society, the poor and people of color. Put your seatbelt on though because as you implied.... we're next.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Share with others, live a life where less is more, base your life on love, not fear. If we could all do that, most of our problems would disappear.

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

''Breaking The Set'' with Abby Martin had Thom Hartmann on yesterday's show & given your reply re saving t'other link, lol - I'll thoroughly recommend the following :

'Occupy Finance' can be obtained in hard copy & it really seems to be an excellent resource for us all.

pax ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Abby Martin has been terrific lately. I did miss that show though, so thanks. And, I'll have to look into getting a hard copy of "Occupy Finance." I'd really like to have that. :)

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

I really do think that the real thanx is due to you here for your persistently bringing up ''A Short History of Progress'' but thanx for your kind words & in both appreciation and compliment, I append two links - one for now and the other for later - I'll leave it to you to decide which :-)

fiat lux ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

"We have slid, at first slowly and then rapidly, into making wealth our only measure of value, and we have encouraged our financial sector in its drive to find more and more ways to turn the necessities of life into profits. But there is a price to be paid. Some people are paying now and paying dearly. For the rest of us, the cost may be delayed — but the bill will come due."

"Occupy Finance" looks like a very good read. I prefer a real paper book, but I guess that one I will read on the 'puter.

I'll save the other 'til later, lol. Thanks.

[-] -2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

Replying here. I agree that in "liv[ing] a life where less is more" and "bas[ing] your life on love not fear" is what we have to do.

For far to long we have been bombarded with a system that has promoted consumerism with the idea I would suppose that by having more stuff, we will be happier.

I think slowly that consumerism is being examined and challenged by the young people in particular and people want to see us take on a new set of "ethos," and that word and and idea is something that you taught me, and I have given it a lot of thought. Thank You.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

I think people are starting to get these ideas. Thanks for all you do here, Odin. Can't think of any good reason why you were downvoted for saying what you said, but, hey, we keep going no matter what and I appreciate your tenacity.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

How wrong the world was to expect anything from Obomber yet how reasonable it was to do so too !!! You get me bw ?!! Especially after that utter buffoon GWB, right ?!

Hell - we might have even elected an ex professional wrestler.

Hell - we might have even elected a B Movie actor - OH - wait a mo - that actually happened.

Truth " can " be stranger than fiction.

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

Inequality is the biggest economic issue of our time. It's only surprising it took so long for a globally prominent figure to say it ...

As the Pope wrote in his "apostolic exhortation" :

  • ''The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings.''

His thoughts on income inequality are also searing :

  • ''How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality.''

''Pope Francis, in his simple black shoes and unassuming car and house, is the first pontiff in a long time to reject flashy shows of power and live by the principle of simplicity. That makes him uniquely qualified to make the Vatican an outpost of Occupy Wall Street. His message about spiritual salvation applies mainly to Catholics but it would be sensible for economists and lawmakers to recognize his core message about the importance of income inequality applies to those even those who have no belief in religion.

''Capitalism has always seen itself as an amoral pursuit, where the guiding stars were not "good" or "bad", but only "profit" and "loss". It's going to be harder to sustain that belief over the next few years.''


''Truth " can " be stranger than fiction'' indeed. Solidarity ~*~ & http://otherwords.org/broke-weve-robbed/

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 5 points by therising (6643) 8 years ago

Right on. I've been blown away by the new pope's comments and actions as well. Another quote from him:

"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules..In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule."

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

Solidarity @ you, 'therising' and very good to see you around these parts again. Hope that all goes well with you and yours and with OWS in mind and fyi :

Lots to digest there and hope to see you around here going forward and solidarity in all your doings 'tr'.

pax ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

''The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings.''

Good one - I wonder what he thinks of his church's horde of art treasures

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

Good point ; well made & in the spirit of brevity, I append :

fiat pax et oremus ...

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

" How America’s military spending stacks up "

Insane spending by those who can not know true fellowship. Thereby ruining their own society with poverty.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

BTW - very appropriately ( when considering the path to ruin by the MIC and also by other interests ) this video opened wit a BP commercial - death by greed/pollution.

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

Thanx and a propos the day & further on the theme of 'greed', I append :

''Black Friday may be important to the retailers who depend upon the orgasmic gush of consumer spending to put their earnings for the year "in the black" - where the term came from, if you didn't know - but it has metastasized into perhaps the most gruesome display of everything that has gone sideways in American society.''

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

''Black Friday may be important to the retailers who depend upon the orgasmic gush of consumer spending to put their earnings for the year "in the black"

Kind of the height of poor business and employer practices that they should have to depend on holiday sales - Hey? People should be financially healthy enough to make any year a good year without business hoping for holiday sales.

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

'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.'' from :

Walmart epitomise ''the height of poor business and employer practices''.

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Being the USA's largest private employer as well as abuser of employees - it is very appropriate that they should spark ( fuel ) major demonstrations for fair employment.

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

''Five Ways to Support Striking Walmart Workers'', by Kevin Mathews :

consilio et animis ...

[-] 1 points by darmand (-15) from Williamsport, PA 8 years ago

We can change the world. Don't give up.

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

Yes, very much so & with that in mind : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoL2WMtMb_0 ('Spirit').

pax ...

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

It is not news to you or other people here on this forum that I have been extremely critical of the religion that I was born into, Caholicism. Even so, I like many other people both in and out of Occupy reveled in the words of Pope Francis's call for a humane financial system. It made me think of the speech that I heard in 1999, which was delivered at the Fordham commencement ceremony. Fordham is where one of my daughters graduated from (magna cum laude), and the ceremony where she received her diploma was held at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. I tried to get a copy of that speech which was so inspirational, but to no avail.

I was surprised to learn from a devout Catholic woman only this past Sunday (who I had struck up a conversation with while waiting on a line for a bus) that Pope Francis was the first Jesuit Pope. She was ecstatic about what the Pope said, and which from my point of view and other Occupiers closely mirrors what Occupy is about, and I shared that with her.

I went on to learn that the Jesuits are the most rebellious; the best educated; the best teachers and the ones who walk the talk more than any of the other orders in Catholicism. They are also the people who run Fordham University, where my daughter not only received an excellent education, but it is also where the values that her mother and I tried to instill in her were reinforced by Jesuits. Hence it is not surprising to me that after going on to law school, she refused to get into corporate law, and politely turned down help that was offered to her by her cousin's husband who is a partner in a powerful Washington law/lobbying firm.

Instead my daughter chose to be a public defender as some of you know, and for the past 5-6 years she has worked very hard to see that her clients get a fair shake. And there is little doubt in my mind that someday she will become a compassionate judge, as her peer who she has worked many cases with just did.


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

Thanx for that rather moving comment. I have some serious issues with 'The Society Of Jesus' over a few things but am hoping that this Pope can reflect the developing Zietgeist and he is without a doubt - a massive improvement on his arch-conservative and reactionary predecessor, Joseph Ratzinger.

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra­lized workings of the prevailing economic system.” - Yep, we'll take that - for now ~*~

On a day like today [RiP : Nelson Mandela] it perhaps focuses our mind a little on the ongoing and developing struggle for freedom, justice and yes - love. Solidarity to you mate, your daughters, your colleagues and comrades in compassion and thanx for all your ongoing efforts for OWS & The 99%.

pax ...

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

While I do not know of the histrory of the "Society Of Jesus;" considering it was connected to the Catholic church and the abuses that they have carried out throughout their history (including the present times), I assume it is a sordid one.

And I worry about the state forming close ties with any religion, as we are seeing now with the christian right and their support of the neoliberal agenda..

Even so, I view Pope Francis's Apostolic Exhortation... in which he called for a more humane economic system.... to be like a breath of needed fresh air to all people who want a more just World, and who want their religion to live up to the values that they expouse.

I could never understand when Mandella RIP was in the midst of fighting his battles for justice..... why this courageous man wasn't supported far more and celebrated in this country. But I understand now. He was a threat not only in South Africa, but to the burgeoning neoliberal system world-wide.

For Lech Walesa, we seemed to take a somewhat different approach. We supported his union and call for justice with lip service while hypocritically we started dismantling unions in our own country. In this case I suppose what we were really just supporting were his anti-communist views.

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

There can be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Pope Francis is a MASSIVE improvement to Pope Benedict - Joseph Ratzinger, an arch-reactionary, conservative and more a politician than a man of the cloth & I append a pdf of The Apostolic Exhortation fyi :

The CIA were directly responsible for Mandelas's arrest due to the intelligence they supplied to The SA Apartheid regime and both USUK govts. hated the idea of The ANC coming to power. Now isn't the time to question the great man .. but sadly he made more concessions to neo-liberalism than I would wish to go into right now. You are very right to draw contrast between Mandela & Walesa and I agree with your analysis. Finally :

pax ...

[-] -1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

You are not the only Occupier who has high praise for Pope Francis.

In fact this young Mom who is a friend of mine has gone the extra step and invited him to be an Occupier.


Imagine the NYPD having to face the embarrassing prospect of having to arrest the Pope for having stood up for his convictions.

[-] 3 points by Nevada1 (5843) 8 years ago

Arrest would be a polarizing event.

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

Yeah, I guess then it would come down to, do you side with the Pope and the many good people who are in our struggle, OR the corrupt elite who have brought on so much human misery in the World?

As it is though, just from the many truths he spoke in his Apostolic Exhortation, it will force people to reexamine their beliefs, and Occupy as well.

[-] -1 points by darmand (-15) from Williamsport, PA 8 years ago

Forever Occupy!

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 8 years ago

Oh wow. I'd love to see that arrest. Can you imagine?? This recent statement by the pope really nails it:

"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules..In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule."

[-] 0 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

Yes having Pope Francis being arrested at an Occupy wage/wealth disparity direct action would definitely be the kick-start that we need..Edit; WOW!

His intelligent articulation of what is wrong with the economic system in this World was better than any Occupier I have ever heard and they mirror what this struggle is about exactly.

How refreshing it is to hear the leader of the Catholic Church speak out like he has. T

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

''War Criminal George W. Bush Crawls Out From Under His Rock'' (Video) :

''Determined to prove that bull*hit baffles brains, George W. Bush launches PR campaign to whitewash his crimes with the help of the mainstream media. Bush said that history will judge his legacy. But he didn't appear concerned.''

Bush's attempts at white washing go beyond his recently opened 'Lie-Bury' and re. your - 'Truth " can " be stranger than fiction.' ... shooot, ain't that the truth ?!!!

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] 3 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago
[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

''Fear Not the Path of Truth'' (Video) : http://vimeo.com/80051615 .

This documentary follows Ross Caputi, veteran of the 2nd siege of Fallujah, as he investigates the atrocities that he participated in and the legacy of US foreign policy in Fallujah, Iraq & am appending this here for you, tho' you may wish to later transpose it to your 'NO WAR' forum-post in due course.

fiat lux ; fiat pax ; fiat justitia ...

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

Bit of an esoteric choice Matt, lol & so : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiInBOVHpO8 - it'll change your whole view on music, maan ;-) +

fiat lux et fiat pax ...


[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23646) 7 years ago

I'm sure there are many more at this point such as Occupy Sandy and Strike Debt, but congrats to all who have stuck with this movement, this idea that will not go away.....

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3340) 8 years ago

'Unequal Beyond The Edge Of Humanness' - http://www.nationofchange.org/unequal-beyond-edge-humanness-1385738469 and also see - http://www.nationofchange.org/tis-season-celebrate-mammon-1385309447 Like the '5 People' of your posted article - Never Give Up Occupying! Occupy Solidarity!

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Here come Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. It’s a month-long season of friends and family, spiritual reflection, and time to decompress from our usual helter-skelter lives, right?

Good lord, shout the corporate bosses, are you nuts? Do you think America is some kind of Norman Rockwell fantasyland? This is the season of mass consumerism, bucko. So lift your tail-end out of that La-Z-Boy and hit the malls — pronto.

And if you happen to have a job in a chain store, don’t even think about taking a holiday — or you won’t have a job the next day. Let us now praise the one God we all serve: mammon.

Years ago, Macy’s started “Black Friday” sales as a kickoff to this Holy Month of Frenzied Commercialization. But it produced such a surge of profit that Walmart and other chains converted to the Church of Perpetual Selling.

Black Friday used to begin the morning after Thanksgiving. Last year, reaching for more, the Elmer Gantrys of Walmart dared to desecrate Thanksgiving itself by opening their doors to the Black Friday masses at 8 p.m. — on the night of the Thursday holiday.

This year, Macy’s, Target, Toys “R” Us, J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and others are also pushing the Friday Shop-a-Rama into Thursday. Walmart will open at 6 p.m., intruding even deeper into Thanksgiving’s family dinner hour.

And, pushing excess to a new high, Kmart will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Yes, 6 a.m.! Still, a Walmart executive says, “We thought 6 o’clock was the exact right time to win the weekend.”

Wow — did you ever think of Thanksgiving as something to “win”? But, then, your spiritual devotion to mammon probably isn’t as ardent as that executive’s.

Meanwhile, the same guy reports that the one-million low-wage workers who’ll have to staff the Thanksgiving profit grab are “really excited to work that day.”

Sure they are. As long as you think “excited” means furious.


e tenebris, lux ...


Copied under fair use from your link http://www.nationofchange.org/tis-season-celebrate-mammon-1385309447 by Jim Hightower & in compliment, I append :

spero meliora ...

[-] 6 points by Ache4Change (3340) 8 years ago

'Poverty Wages In The Land Of Plenty' - http://www.nationofchange.org/poverty-wages-land-plenty-1386255805 & thanks for the excellent 'truth-out' article which everyone should read and from which -

'A Growning Social Movement - The swelling anger over inequality began with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in September 2011 and spread quickly from New York City to cities across the country. The Occupiers were soon evicted from the parks and other places they temporarily inhabited, but the movement's message has continued to resonate with the American public. Activists as well as many politicians and pundits have embraced its "1% vs. 99%" theme, which has quickly become part of the Americans' everyday conversations.'

Nothing Will Be Achieved Without Struggle & Nothing Will Be Awarded - Everything Has To Be Fought For! Never, Ever Give Up 'Hoping For Better'! Occupy The Imagination! Solidarity.

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

''Parallel to the Wal-Mart campaign is a drive for higher wages in the fast-food industry. In more than 100 cities, workers are organizing protests and strikes ... and winning. In SeaTac, the Washington state municipality where the Seattle-Tacoma Airport is located, voters approved a local minimum wage of $15 an hour. As with Wal-Mart workers, fast-food giants like McDonald’s and Yum Brands (which owns KFC and Taco Bell) all feast from the public trough: Their workers, earning poverty wages, depend on public-assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid, while their enormous CEO benefit packages qualify for corporate tax deductions, as reported by the Institute for Policy Studies this week.'' - From your link & so, fyi :

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 5 points by Ache4Change (3340) 8 years ago

'We live in a global economy, as pundits are so fond of proclaiming. The global economy is the delightful playground of multinational corporations. They're able to drastically lower their labor costs by outsourcing work to the world's poorest and most desperate people. And they're able to escape paying taxes, like normal businesses do, by deploying armies of lawyers to play various countries' tax codes off against one another. The result is that money that should, in fairness, go to workers and governments ends up in the pockets of the corporation. The global economy is extremely advantageous to corporations, who owe no loyalty to anyone or anything except their stock price; it is disadvantageous to normal human beings, who exist in the world and not as a notional accounting trick.'

'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.' from your excellent 'gawker.com' link and in compliment from the perspective of US workers, see -




Never, Ever Give Up On Workers! Occupy The 99% Issues! Solidarity.

[-] 4 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

I agree, never give up.

[-] 8 points by windyacres (1197) 8 years ago

Walmart and McDonalds are the two biggest but the power would come from ALL fast food chains, ALL retail stores, and ALL restaurant workers working in concert. Add progressives and let Democracy take over, that's a lot of people!

[-] 4 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

Yes there are a lot of people working hard to make this a better World. I hope that you and your 2 fine sons I met are doing well. It's good to call you a friend.


[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

A Global Minimum Wage would help minimize the ability of multinationals to exploit workers.


And, clothing manufacturer, H&M is willing to provide a living wage to workers in Bangladesh and Cambodia proving that it is doable:


Solidarity, A4C!

[-] 4 points by Ache4Change (3340) 8 years ago

'The company said it would use the Fair Wage Method, an established process for achieving a living wage. After identifying workers' basic needs, a wage is agreed and is then reviewed regularly with better dialogue between workers and employers.' (The Guardian) and from your first link - 'Putting a floor on the 'race to the bottom - In a context of globalisation, it's clear that country-by-country fixes just won't do. If we improve labour standards in one poor country - as with the Bangladesh Accord - then companies are likely to move somewhere else, wiping out local jobs and slashing much-needed GDP. The upshot is that local policymakers have a perverse incentive to not improve things too much, for fear of causing more harm than good. Even if they wanted to, they often can't: most free trade agreements - like NAFTA and the forthcoming TPP - empower foreign corporations to sue sovereign governments for regulatory legislation that reduces their profits.'

Thank you for your very interesting links about encouraging developments but on a slightly different note, please see - http://www.nationofchange.org/jp-morgan-chase-foreign-corrupt-practice-act-and-corruption-america-1386600375 by Robert Reich. Never Give Up On The 99%! Occupy The 1%! Solidarity.

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

"Never before has so much U.S. corporate and Wall-Street money poured into our nation’s capital, as well as into our state capitals. Never before have so many Washington officials taken jobs in corporations, lobbying firms, trade associations, and on the Street immediately after leaving office. Our democracy is drowning in big money.

Corruption is corruption, and bribery is bribery, in whatever country or language it’s transacted in."

It is pretty funny how the finger gets pointed at other nations for the same things we do here.

Watching Obama's speech at Mandela's funeral, which I thought was very good, by the way, I was kind of struck when he talked about nations that suppress dissidence. Obama said:

"There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people."

Okay, but hey, how about what happened to the Occupy movement here in the "free" United States of America while you were President?

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

Our awakening is starting to cause all kinds of fissures in the corrupt neoliberal system, and eventually they will form into major clefts as more people become emboldened.

I guess that is why 'they' were so worried about Occupy and grass-roots' movements, eh?

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

Yes, '''they' were so worried about Occupy and grass-roots' movements'' - Very Much So & never doubt that of 'Them' and those 'They' (The 0.01% Parasite Class) co-opt but like you say, The 99% awakening to corrupt neoliberalism and neocon neo-colonialism - has started. Finally, two links fyi :

Solidarity to you and yours and all your good works.

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago
[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Humans as a whole are mostly peaceful

civilization could not exist if humans were always fighting their neighbor

machines have got the worst of us

because destruction is easier than construction


When the lights went down in San Diego

the stars shone through the gray

the people came out to walk along the main drag

down to the beach


And the moon was shining

just a night from almost full

the people were laughing and smiling in her light

when electricity failed


It's sad, oh

there's been warnings

of looters around without laws

without the lights

but people were friendly, everyone that I came by.


From, your excellent forum-post : http://occupywallst.org/forum/no-war/ and your posted poem there.

Furthermore - re. http://occupywallst.org/forum/no-war/#comment-1010599 - the embedded video of the full doc. of ''Unmanned - America's Drone Wars'' is very appreciated and highly recommended & so in compliment, I append :

''When Edward Snowden leaked information about the NSA's blanket surveillance on Americans, many insiders said, "Yeah, we thought the NSA was doing that, we could not prove it, but no one who follows the NSA was surprised." But the broad public had no clue - because it had never been clearly reported where most people could see it, because critics' claims couldn't be directly verified. When Ed Snowden blew the whistle, the broad public found out, and that's why it's plausible that Congress will now force a change in policy. And that shows that transparency matters. -- Where we are now with the drone strike policy is where we were with the NSA before Snowden's revelations: Insiders know what's going on, but the broad public doesn't.''

fiat lux et fiat pax ...


[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

I made this reply to you on another thread, but it belongs here. We are all so lucky to be amongst good people who are striving for the same thing we all are, A Better World.


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

''The Path of Positive Resistance'' :

Also am copying your full comment from that thread to here now :


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thanx for an excellent comment & GR8 re http://www.popularresistance.org/ & it is the brainchild of the indomitable Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese but ICH [ http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/ ] isn't 'foreign' .. it's based in California and actually, talking of Cali - for some 'secret history', please consider :

e tenebris lux ...

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 8 years ago

Thank You for transposing my comment onto this thread. I did put a bit of time into those words in trying to give an honest account of Occupy as I see it.

The Bill Moyers' show, Path Of Positive Resistanceve was excellent, but I was particularly stirred by the segment on Following The Ninth....Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Moyers commentary. I have very eclectic likes in music... from hip-hop to classical and everything between. I just really appreciate good music no matter what genre it falls into. Anyway that part of the show spurred me on to do some research of that symphony; Beethoven and the times he lived in, and in particular the last verse of that symphony, The Ode To Joy which has been used and abused by the Nazis; by being a drinking song, to being the anthem of the European Union and then even to selling video games. It's a travesty to me that this beautiful piece of music was maligned, misused and trivialized in such shallow ways. This is a people's music and for me it represents a call to bring out the best in mankind and a triumph of the human spirit.

Here's an 11 minute clip from Moyers show.


I went on from there to watch The Ode To Joy being performed by different people...in different settings, from the streets to shopping malls to elegant opera houses throughout the World. One of the performances which was very touching to me was a group of young people performing it in Chile, as I thought back to the Chilean woman on the Moyers show. It made me think of of the horrible life that the parents and/or grandparents of those kids were forced to endure under Pinochet's brutal regime. And I wondered if they were thinking about that too...and how they coped with such an evil World. I thought about how this splendid piece of music comforted and restored the spirit of a broken people... at least some of them in those dark times.

My favorite performance of the Ode to Joy though was a Flash Mob started by a little girl throwing a coin in a hat. Although not political in the traditional sense, from where I could view, I could easily picture Occupiers and all people who sacrifice so much to make this a better World in the audience and gaining strength from this august music.


Considering the tumultuous times that Beethoven lived in, which bear a remarkable resemblance to our time and our struggle today..... The Napoleonic Wars and then a consolidation of the monarchys' power throughout Europe....well people that work hard to make this a better World would be a very befitting assembly for an Ode To Joy consert and just by being there, they would do this delightful, inspiring piece of music the justice it deserves.

"What a destructive disorderly life I see and hear around me, nothing but drums, cannons, and human misery in every form." Beethoven

In speaking about the Tianamen Square up-rising, a student leader said, we regained our dignity, "For me, that was a movement for hope."

In a book review by The Atlantic magazine's Benjamin Carlson of Harvey Sachs book, The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824, Carlson said, "Sachs circumspectly and pursuasively, describes Beethoven's only vocal symphony as a statement of freedom in the repressive political environment of Europe after the Congress of Vienna." Sachs interprets The Ninth.. as a "declaration of universal brotherhood." And in closing, he said, "There is one inescapable fact": "the symphony belongs to each person who...attempts to listen to it attentively." It belongs to me too.. now.


Once again, a man who we all are so fortunate to have on our side, the side of humanity, Bill Moyers in his closing to The Path of Positive Resistance,

"Those of you who despair the collapse of civilization; For those of you who report it; And all of you who are trying to repair it, can take heart from what emerged out of hard and bitter times. Take heart in how Beethoven erected in Jan Swafford's words "a movement of epoch scope" on a humble little tune that anybody can sing, mysterious, yes as mysterious as hope in a broken world."

Thanks for the informative link. There can be no forgiveness of the Catholic Church for the atrocities that they committed for oh so long, until there is acknowledgement and redemption. If that's not in the Bible, it should be. And this harsh critique of Catholocism is coming from someone who was baptized and raised in a Catholic household.


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

Bill Moyers is a 99% warrior with a deep & wise mind and the following is a good 'Occupy' resource :

I enjoyed your comment and links re 'Ode To Joy' and this is the tune which has been adopted by The European Union as its anthem. Your thoughts on Monbiot's article re. The Pope and on the history of Catholicism in California were very apt indeed. On a slightly different musical tip & pertinent to 'OWS', I will append the following links fyi :

Solidarity to you on ''The Path Of Positive Resistance'' and finally at the risk of inducing apoplexy, see :

e tenebris, lux ...

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

Re. Pope Francis, I'm transposing your comment above here :


''In fact this young Mom who is a friend of mine has gone the extra step and invited him to be an Occupier.

''Imagine the NYPD having to face the embarrassing prospect of having to arrest the Pope for having stood up for his convictions.''


Thanx for that link & that is some blog-site from your friend who of course is also mentioned in my forum-posted article. Solidarity to you both.

Thinking of what you said and extrapolating the principle, perhaps in future a Rabbi, Priest, Imam & Hindu / Buddhist Priests who sympathise with OWS can literally, be in the front rank of future OWS marches and events. This would be a rather powerful symbol about the ethical and indeed - spiritual, dimensions of the 99% struggle & movement. Finally, to go with Cathy O'Neil's great site, I'll strongly recommend the last link in my previous reply immediately above and here's an alternate link and font :

Solidarity to all @ OWS and the great work being done. Onwards & Upwards.

per ardua ad astra ...


[-] -2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 8 years ago

I can't believe you do not understand, I can't see a line of reasoning that is not broken at several keys points by the facts, and I can't justify your ignorance with lack of access. You are on the internet.

BW, 66, and several others, not including the obvious Trolls & Zombies, you just need butterfly nets so you can chase Unicorns, Politics just ain't UR Thang, OR, just admit it: YOU ARE RW, FASCIST, REPUBLICON, TROLLS!!!! Here to sabotage the left as they did AAR!!

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

Please feel free to educate me & the ''several others'' out of our ''RW, FASCIST, RERUBLICON, TROLL'' ignorance or conversely, to explain your own mental illness or psychic meltdown !!!

Being trapped within existing binary paradigms is one thing but vociferously demanding that everyone else also follow suit and repeat the same old actions again and again, whilst somehow expecting new and different results - is really the very definition of madness !!

WTF do you know of ''the left'' btw Winston & d'you get that Obomber is basically an 'Empire abroad & Austerity at home' conservative or are you minded that The US Democratic Party Machine is somehow the actual saviours of The US/Global 99% ?

I don't know whether to laugh or cry now so I'll roll a wee medicinal one and shake my head sadly while I contemplate why OWS exists !

''Parliament operates much as Congress in the United States does : the lefthand glove puppet argues with the righthand glove puppet, but neither side will turn around to face the Corporate Capital that controls almost all our politics. This is why the assertion that parliamentary (and Congressional!) democracy has been reduced to a self-important farce has resonated so widely ...

''So I don't blame people for giving up on politics. I haven't given up yet, but I find it ever harder to explain why. When a state-corporate nexus of power has bypassed democracy and made a mockery of the voting process, when an unreformed political funding system ensures that parties can be bought and sold, when politicians of the three main parties {Only Two In U$A!} stand and watch as public services are divvied up by a grubby cabal of privateers, what is left of this system that inspires us to participate?''

verum ex absurdo et multum in parvo ...