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Forum Post: Why Shut Down A Stupid Port?

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 13, 2011, 2:29 a.m. EST by puff6962 (4052)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

What the hell is the point of it.....do you want to show your power or gain real power?

Is the point to show that you are against Chinese imports?

Are the dockworkers being abused? Did they ask for your help in some labor negotiations? Aren't you seen just getting in the way of commerce and strengthening those who brand you Anti-capitalism?



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[-] 2 points by maybenot (5) 10 years ago

i'm interested in general strikes in perspective of the Indian and Nepali tradition of bandah. Is this a tactic that is appropriate to America? General shutdowns have certainly, in Nepal, assisted political revolutions, but have also entailed many negative implications to the working people there which may or may not have been justified in the light of the revolutionary stance in question. How does this work in a country like America?

[-] 2 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

In America, you have to have velvet movements. Anything seen as too radical will die a quick death. Successful change occurs in increments and, when that change has not produced some catastrophe, suddenly it lurches forward.

So, the LAST thing OWS should be seen doing is anything hurting the little guy or espousing something anti-capitalistic.

You have to gauge your actions based on "the grandma test." If you can explain your ideas to your grandparents without them thinking you are nuts....then you are onto something.

If they leave the room.....you need to rethink.

Everything depends on the grandparents because OLD PEOPLE VOTE.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

Because it's not stupid, It is a major choke point for capital flow,

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

Why shut down capital flow? Are you anti-capitalism? Do you want to be seen as obstructing capitalism in the middle of a mini-depression?

There are better messages OWS could be projecting.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

Regarding capitalism are you asking me personally or asking what the movement position is? The point is, as a hoizontally based movement anybod's point of view is as legitimate as anyone else's and the movement is extremely broad politically incorporating liberals, radical democrats, anarchists, the handful of socialists in the US and even libertarians, though most OWS activists would reject any political label and are essentially politically unformed, OWS has produced very few political documents intended to speak for the movement as a whole, Probably the best is the Declaraation of the Occupation of New York City found on this website and elsewhere on the web, I suppose that it is fair to say that OWS is anticorporate though not necessarily anticapitalist, Shutting down capital flow is a way to draw attention to the inordinate power of giant corporations,

[-] -1 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

Blah blah blah.

Shutting down a port only gets you bad press.

Shut down Fox News and you would have made a statement.

I would type more, but I'm finishing my Christmas shopping while I wait two minutes to respond to all of these.

While we're waiting, go gather about 30 of your friends and sit up some tents in front of Fox's headquarters.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 10 years ago

No shutting down the ports did bring more supporters to OWS, though I will admit that some people became more hostile to OWS as a result, but that is the nature of politics and particularly of political movements, They polarize people, That is what they are supposed to do, The project for the social movement during this polarization process is to do everything they can to win people over to their side rather than in opposition to them, Of course they cannot do this by laying down and doing nothing,

Personally, I was extremely skeptical of the plan to shut down the port before the fact, I really did think that it would alienate more people than not, but looking at it after the fact I think I was wrong and the port action I think brought more people to OWS, not mere sympathizers who do little for the movement but say they are for it but real activists who are ready to participate in GAs and Working Groups and occupations on at least a part time basis.

[-] 1 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 10 years ago

Why not? An action which is not expected is helpful.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

How is it helpful? What laws get passed? What economic reforms become favored? What moderates are swayed to your cause?

Wasted energy.

You might as well be at a Beyonce concert.

[-] 1 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 10 years ago

It is a psycho-operation, it undermines the legitimacy of extortion and a fiction of public support.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

It's not the port that's stupid ; ) Occupying foreclosures is very smart.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

Yes, during the Great Depression, gangs of farmers would show up at foreclosure auctions and intimidate potential bidders. Often, the prior owners of the farm were able to repurchase it at a much reduced price.....sometimes for a dollar.

How could this method be applied to the current housing crisis?

[-] 2 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

Get a legal team to drown the banks in paperwork and motions till they're spread so thin they are hog tied! Gangs of occupiers will arrive on the foreclosure scene with boiler plate docs and brow beat the sheriffs away. Just a fanciful notion. I'm sure there has to be some way. Did you know mortgage is french for 'death pledge'?

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

That is actually a strategy. OWS could find sympathetic legal counsel to file legal challenges in each municipality. Do this across 5000 cities and you will have the banks tied up in knots and you could supply the leverage needed to force these guys to markdown the value of the property and allows refinancing.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

A taste of their own medicine. Hope they choke on it.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 10 years ago

Honestly, I think that's a great idea; I'd hope that we could get NLG and possibly the ACLU to help with that but who knows?

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

Way to depress the prices of neighboring homes of people who actually honored their mortgage contracts .

[-] 2 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

No. By placing a "stay" on the foreclosure, and forcing the banks to write down the mortgage rather than to write off the asset, you are reducing the flood of underpriced assets into the market. Home prices would actually be propped up.

You can believe what your ideology tells you, or you can choose reality.

Of course, it is nice to have an ideology, isn't it. It means you don't actually have to think.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

I'm sure continued empty homes or having bum protestors squatting in them is going to increase value of the surrounding homes.

[-] 2 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

Way to ignore the 4,000,000 frauds the banks liars loans created while not one criminal referral has been forthcoming.


[-] -1 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

No bank forced a person to sign for a McMansion they couldn't afford. These fools speculated and need to take personal responsibility.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

The Bill Black video I posted above is 4 minutes long so it's obvious you didn't even watch it.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

I'm not going offsite to watch a stupid video. If you have a valid reply to my point, you should be able to explain it in 1 paragraph yourself.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 10 years ago

Hmm, I found the video to contain valid information and an offer of further information. All of which supports AFarewellToKings position. Those who first desire a 1 paragraph explanation are usually the ones who then ask for documentation. In this case the documentation was offered in lieu of the simple explanation.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

or less

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

Exactly, like my previous posts. A lesson in concise and effective writing for you.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

It's not the video that's stupid.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

Right, you finally agree - it's the stupid buyers of McMansions that put only 0-5% down on adjustable rate mortgages.

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 10 years ago

tell that to bill black stupid

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

I'm not going offsite to watch a stupid video. If you have a valid reply to my point, you should be able to explain it in 1 paragraph yourself.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

99.999999% of Americans believed that housing could not go down in price. If those who bought their dream house in 2006 were fools then those who purchased their homes in 2011 are the luckiest fools in the history of man.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

And it's the bank's fault that all Americans were stupid?

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

Throughout all of human history, it has always been the lender who must be the adult at the table. They are, after all, the one's who have the most capital to lose if the deal sours.

However, securtization, derivatives, synthetics, and CDO's allowed crap to be rated AAA and the originators, bundlers, and merchants of this paper couldn't get enough.

So, money went in search of a borrower.....for the first time in history.....money went in search of a borrower.

Were unsophisticated people dumb, was there predatory lending, did people get caught up in the bubble.......yes, yes, and yes.

But, you speak from the standpoint of someone who did not get burned in this process. You're lucky.

When there is a banking panic, there are runs on good banks as well as bad banks. In fact, the majority of the banks that went down in 1932 were entirely solvent and well run.

Similarly, ALL Americans have seen their property values drop by the calamity....not just those who were caught in the hubris. I've live and invested through three bubbles in my lifetime and I will tell you now that there will be others.

Pray that you are not caught in the wave of such an event. You may then have to learn some measure of empathy.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 10 years ago

No, it's the adult who must be the adult.

I wasn't lucky. I knew it was a bubble and I didn't buy a property then. I did this year.

The idiots who bought with only 5% down with ARMs deserve their fate for not getting educated about the contract they were signing.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

There but for the grace of God go you.

You were smart enough not to buy a home in 2006. Congratulations, you're on the lifeboat.....and you're telling everyone else to tread water until they drown.

But, I have news for you. Real estate values during the Great Depression dropped by 80% in some areas.....and the bottom was not reached until 1937.

So, sorry to tell you this Sparky, but you may be out there treading water with the rest of America.

There but for the Grace of God go I.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

First Power, Then Change.

[-] 0 points by Spankysmojo (849) 10 years ago

Because it's stupid.

[-] 0 points by SecularAnimist (51) 10 years ago

Capitalism is over.

[-] 2 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

No. It will, however, morph just as it did during the Great Depression.

The question is in what direction shall it change.

You must understand that there are two opposing camps. One, the Democrats, wants to reign in excesses that have blossomed since 1980......the other, the Republicans, want to use the crisis as a means of reversing the New Deal.

Decide you must what camp you shall choose.

For there is no third rail. There shall be no new economic order. Capitalism shall remain because capitalism has trampled every other economic system placed before it.

[-] 1 points by SecularAnimist (51) 10 years ago

Science is a process of formulating models that predict outcomes in a natural system under certain conditions, and then testing them to see if the future predictions agree. However, the goal is to find how the model is inadequately representing the natural system. When the model is refuted, it is adjusted to form a new model from what is learned about the system. Since there is an underlying system that is being approximated by the models, there is an "objective reality" (exists independently of human conceptualization) to be described by conceptual models. The models evolve representations of the relationships and features that are defined by the system. Models are useful to humans. Models are respected when they better reflect the nature of the system.

Economics is an artifact of human imagination and all human conceptualization, and the agreement among certain humans who "play the games" together -- thereby it is a social technology. There is no underlying physical reality other than what is identified by the players to be components. Nevertheless, the economic properties are determined by and limited only by the beliefs of the "players." To build economic models one must assume certain features, and the models become part of the generators of the results. Since they are not inherently tied to the physical and biological realities(no physical referent), they may fail arbitrarily as the physical and biological world view of humans change -- or as people believe the physical and biological world exists.

Economics in large part reflects human belief systems. Modern economics does not exist if we collectively don't believe it. You can't say the same about thermodynamics.

Market economics is a highly irrational pseudo-science based on false assumptions. Capitalism as a philosophy is dead. Economics is just politics dressed in complex math. It will be 'a minor blip in the history of humanity if it does not take us down with it's suicidal rules . Capital is now in it's twilight years as it's starting to eat itself. Keep hanging on though, people did to feudalism as well.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 10 years ago

Yes, but economics, sociology, politics, and etc. often fit more into the definition of a chaotic system where, by slightly altering the initial conditions, you will produce drastic changes in the final results.

That is why small things matter. Smart decisions matter. Making sure a movement is organized around core principles matter.

Capitalism behaves as both a chaotic system and a linear one. It is prone to undulations and is sensitive to finite changes in inputs. Yet, it is a self correcting structure.

The problem occurs where these undulations are so severe that they threaten to upset the very system itself. This cycling was very common in the Gilded Age and the main precept of the New Deal was to ensure some mechanism of stability.

This was largely successful. However, given the right set of circumstances, we have now been shown that our system of moderated capitalism is still prone to bubbles and wild excitation by a confluence of greed and dispersion of responsibility in financial decisions (derivatives).

The later, derivatives, are the most dangerous aspect of modern capitalism as they exist largely outside the system of our economic exchange until they massively explode.

So, now our economy behaves more like an earthquake zone where, over many decades, pressure builds along the fault lines and, the longer the durations between quakes, the greater is the subsequent disruption.

How to correct this is beyond the scope of this forum....I posted it once and the answer didn't seem to curl anyone's toes.

But, derivatives are weapons of mass destruction as long as they exist outside of an open exchange. They exist as a black box, much like company information prior to the SEC. The absence of standards for financial reporting prior to the mid 1930's likely caused a great deal of the collapse in our stock market then.....as did derivatives and MBS's in 2008.