Saturday, November 26, 2011

Misconceptions about OWS

 As support for OWS is waning, the main stream media continues to ignore, ridicule and discredit OWS (Occupy Wall Street). Let's clear up some misconceptions about OWS:

1. OWS doesn't know what they want

Yes, they do. See Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. They know our democracy has been hijacked and corrupted by the elite. They know that the Democrats are just as corrupted by political donations and lobbyists as the Republicans. They know that the will of the people is no longer relevant. They know that many in the financial industry were able to get away with fraud, looting the US Treasury and forging foreclosure documents on homeowners in order to grow profits and bonuses to record levels. They know that the mainstream media has also been corrupted. See this. They know that the rule of law no longer applies to those in and close to the government. See this. They know that the psychopathic behavior of the elite is extremely self-destructive and that it will destroy the United States, the environment and the world. They also know that the only recourse that they have left is to take to the streets.

2.OWS protesters are shutting down bridges and subway stations

Nope. See this:

And this (from The Fox/NYT nexus on OWS):
Yesterday’s NYT article on the various OWS protests by reporter Katharine Seelye “reported” as follows: “There was much confusion throughout the day in New York as protesters caused disruptions at the New York Stock Exchange and at Zuccotti Park before they moved in the afternoon to shut down subway stations” (h/t sysprog).
The current version of that article does not contain that passage, and there is no editorial note or correction noting that it had been removed, nor is there anything about this error on today’s Correction page. The NYT‘s own media critic apparently thought this reporting error was significant enough to warrant a long critique — when the error was Fox’s (and indeed, he noted that “other stations in New York City briefly suggested that the protesters might try to shut down the transit system”) – but the NYT, which likely played at least some role (if not the key role) in spawning this erroneous reporting, simply deleted the passage from its article without any acknowledgment of its error, even as its media critic bashed Fox for the same error. It’s like it just never happened (a not uncommon way of dealing with significant errors at the NYT).
This is straight out of '1984' where changes to the status quo were made retroactively as if it were always that way. It is, it was and always will be. Welcome to the end of history brought to you by the Ministry of Truth.

4. OWS doesn't have to disrupt normal business operations

Yes they do. The whole point of protesting is to get people to notice you. It wouldn't do them any good to protest on Antarctica.

5. OWS protesters are violent

I've never seen more peaceful protesters. All the Occupy protests have been incredibly non-violent. Why? Because they know that they can't win that battle. The police, on the other hand, have been, at times, extremely violent. See this. I am personally appalled that we the People are not giving the same shock and outrage to protesters as when the police are caught beating an unarmed person such as the Rodney King beating.

6. The crackdowns on the occupy movements are not related

Probably false. Although mayors have the final word, for now, on the crackdowns, there is some evidence that they are being coordinated through conference calls with PERF (Police Executive Research Forum). From their website:
PERF is dedicated to improving policing and advancing professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate.
This is what we know: Oakland Mayor Jean Quon has admitted that she was on conference calls with 18 other mayors. (source). PERF, for its part, has stated that it was a part of some of at least two of the conferencde calls. (source). Also see Confirmed: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) coordinating Occupy raids.

Happiness is freedom from fear

There is a reason that the police are violently cracking down on protesters: fear. The government wants you to think that if you protest then you are fair game to be pepper sprayed, beaten, kettled or arrested. We must refuse to be afraid any longer. See Freedom from Fear By Sheila DeButler.

*   *   *

Whatever your opinion on whether Occupy Wall Street should be allowed to pitch tents, sleep in Zuccotti park and generally take over the park to the exclusion of the general public, we should all be upset at the inhumane way the police cleared out the park:
  1. The police raid came without notice.
  2. The police raid came in the middle of the night while the protesters were sleeping and disoriented. Those familiar with 'Shock Doctrine', know this trick of ramming through their agenda while the people are in a state of shock.
  3. The police raid gave the protesters 10 minutes to gather their belongings and exit the park.
  4. The police came in full riot gear; aka stormtrooper or robocop suits.
  5. The police cut off all access to the park including access by reporters.
  6. The police assaulted and arrested reporters who refused to leave.
  7. The police used excessive force in evicting the protesters including the use of pepper spray, batons, head butting with helmets. They had a sound machine ready to go.
  8. Some of OWS's property was packed up. Much of the property was destroyed and thrown into dumpsters for the owners to claim later.
  9. The police dumped all the remaining property in a dumpster.
  10. Some of OWS's library was packed up for later retrieval. Many of the books were ruined when they were thrown into the dumpsters. 79% of the books from the Occupy Library are ruined or missing. (source).
  11. The OWS medical tent was torn apart with patients still in the tent. Medicine was apparently destroyed.


From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Nation in just two months

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Police officer pepper sprays line of U-Cal protesters

UC Davis launches probe after pepper spray video

Three visions of the future

Guest blogger Mindsweeper writes:

In rereading/relistening to some of Paul Craig Roberts, Michael C. Ruppert and Chris Hedges, I'm struck by the similarity of their 'perception of reality' and their vastly different visions of the future.

Roberts doesn't seem to have much vision; he accurately points out the massive citizen complacency in the face of overwhelming hypocrisy, domination and corruption. He maintains the American 'people' have no chance of surviving. He predicted the Occupy shutdowns here: Western Democracy: A Farce and a Sham.

Hedges shares Roberts' view of terrible state of affairs, but is hopeful (deliriously?) that OWS is 'the revolution' that will save us. Ruppert seems to have the most dire vision of imminent collapse and sees OWS as 1 means to help re-establish a non-unlimited growth paradigm after the collapse. He seems more than a bit out there claiming that a looming Supreme Court decision will facilitate ironfisted HSD control over states+municipalities-->directly to civil war.

Of course the NY Times (‘Exceptionalism’ Argument May Prove Potent for Republicans) continues along in typical "vote in our rigged political theater" (CHedges This Is What Revolution Looks Like/)

Robert Scheer's column on Bloomberg is pretty good: The Villain Occupy Wall Street Has Been Waiting For

It seems to me that Hedges places undue hope in OWS. Yes, OWS has gotten the status quo a bit worried and has changed the main stream media dialogue some. More power and growth to it! Having identified a major symptom (Wall Street) of the problem, it now has to pivot and move to the only means for peaceful change: Congress, state and local legislatures. The status quo will only change peacefully if and when the Legislative branch at every level (local, state, Federal) becomes directly responsive to the 99% and hostile
to the 1%. We need: Occupy the Senate, Occupy the House, Occupy the NY Senate, Occupy the NY House.... Expecting the foxes to voluntarily give up guarding the hen house is absurd. You have to either shoot them or put up a huge (legislatively-electrified) fence around the hen house to keep the foxes out.

It's nice to long for the 60's and how the 'movement' ended the Vietnam War. Yep, it sure did, but what did the foxes do? They licked their wounds for awhile and abolished the draft so that the perpetual war state could move forward at an accelerated pace, immune to draft protest. Those foxes are very clever and get better and better at feeding their insatiable appetites. Look at the Civil Rights movement and its progress: Barrack Obama as President? Cruel joke! As of 2003, 10.4% of the entire African-American male population aged 25-29 was incarcerated. In 2000 there were 791,600 black men in prison and 603,032 enrolled in college. In 1980 there were 143,000 black men in prison and 463,700 enrolled in college. (Source: Prison Population Exceeds Two Million).

As of 2009, African-Americans account for slightly over 10% of the total U.S. population. They also account for nearly 50% of the total U. S. jail and prison population. Of the estimated 36,500,000 crimes reported annually in the U.S., African-American's are involved in less than 9% but have the highest conviction and incarceration rate annually of any other group. This evidences the unspoken rule within the U.S. justice system to hold minority American's accountable to a different code of justice than the majority population.
The average annual cost of caring and housing a prisoner in the U.S. is nearly $29,000. This is a 300% increase over the past 10 years and is out pacing every governmental agency spending cost except for Medicare. It is accounting for an average 6.7% of most states general fund expenditures. The incarceration of America has become big business and very expensive. Extrapolating the current rate of growth over the next 20 years, by 2030 nearly 15% of the U.S. population will be accountable to the American correction system. If that occurs, the FEMA prisons the conspiracy theorists have been talking about for years will become reality.

The land of the free and the home of the brave a prison colony, well that is one way to halt illegal alien immigration. I am sure when this information is translated into different languages it will force immigrants to rethink resettlement in America. The only way to truly halt this growth is to return to the original Bill of Rights and reinstitute Habeas Corpus. A crime is only committed when there has been injury to another person or property. Victimless consensual crime laws must be removed from the U.S. judicial code of laws. (See: U.S. Prison Population is the Largest on Earth).

Recent American history proves this 'movement stuff' is 'kumbaya crap' even if they save a few hens, integrate some schools, end a war, get a shorter work-week and pensions. The freakin' foxes come back harder and stronger than ever, waging a perpetual 'war on terror' killing millions, cutting off funding for education so as to privatize schools for profit, busting the unions and stealing their pensions while outsourcing their jobs, locking up minorities at rates several times greater than whites while privatizing the prison system for profit at taxpayer expense.

While I remain proud of those who participate in #Occupy and hopeful for 'their miracle', haven't the foxes come through the past 5 years wealthier and more powerful than ever? Isn't the political hypocrisy, corruption and greed more dominant than ever at all levels of government? Aren't this nation's policies both domestically and abroad more murderous, fascist, and destructive than ever before? And #Occupy will somehow dramatically alter those trajectories? Call me cynical and pessimistic for thinking "no way". If #Occupy is really persistent, the foxes will back off from some token hen houses for a short while and then - BACK WITH A VENGEANCE !!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Call to Occupy

A Call to Occupy

Posted 52 minutes ago on Nov. 15, 2011, 8:23 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

#OccupyWallStreet Convening 9 a.m. Sixth Avenue and Canal Street.

New York, NY — We are a global movement that is reclaiming our humanity and our future. We have stepped into a revitalizing civic process, realizing that we cannot fix our crises isolated from one another. We need collective action, and we need civic space. We are creating that civic space.

To occupy is to embody the spirit of liberation that we wish to manifest in our society. It is to exercise our freedom to assemble. We are creating space for community, values, ideas, and a level of meaningful dialogue that is absent in the present discourse.
Liberated space is breaking free of isolation, breaking down the walls that literally and figuratively separate us from one another. It is a new focus on community, trust, love and hope. We occupy to create a vision of equality, liberty and social justice onto the blank paving stones of public parks, in the silent hallways of abandoned schools, banks, and beyond. Public space plays a crucial role in this civic process and encourages open, transparent organizing in our movement. As we have seen in Liberty Square, outdoor space invites people to listen, speak, share, learn, and act.
Last night, billionaire Michael Bloomberg sent a massive police force to evict members of the public from Liberty Square—home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months. People who were part of a dynamic civic process were beaten and pepper-sprayed, their personal property destroyed.
Supporters of this rapidly growing movement were mobilized in the middle of the night, making phone calls, taking the streets en masse, and planning next steps. Americans and people around the world are appalled at Bloomberg's treatment of people who peacefully assemble. We are appalled, but not deterred. Liberty Square was dispersed, but its spirit not defeated. Today we are stronger than we were yesterday. Tomorrow we will be stronger still. We are breaking free of the fear that constricts and confines us. We occupy to liberate.
We move forward in the grand tradition of the transformative social movements that have defined American history. We stand on the shoulders of those who have struggled before us, and we pick up where others have left off. We are creating a better society for us all.
Occupy Wall Street has renewed a sense of hope. It has revived a belief in community and awakened a revolutionary spirit too long silenced. Join us as we liberate space and build a movement. 9 a.m. Tuesday morning at Sixth Avenue and Canal we continue.
Global actions will be posted on this page.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald's new book, "With Liberty and Justice for Some" charges that there is no longer equal protection under the law. From his article "Tomgram: Glenn Greenwald, How the Rich Subverted the Legal System" about his book:
The American Founders were clear that they viewed inequality in wealth, power, and prestige as not merely inevitable, but desirable and, for some, even divinely ordained.
While the Founders accepted outcome inequality, they emphasized -- over and over -- that its legitimacy hinged on subjecting everyone to the law’s mandates on an equal basis. Jefferson wrote that the essence of America would be that “the poorest laborer stood on equal ground with the wealthiest millionaire, and generally on a more favored one whenever their rights seem to jar.” Benjamin Franklin warned that creating a privileged legal class would produce “total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections” between rulers and those they ruled. Tom Paine repeatedly railed against “counterfeit nobles,” those whose superior status was grounded not in merit but in unearned legal privilege.
Today, it is glaringly obvious to a wide range of Americans that the wealth of the top 1% is the byproduct not of risk-taking entrepreneurship, but of corrupted control of our legal and political systems.
Greenwald is incredibly brave as he knows that there is no one that the government would like to silence more than himself. Read Glenn Greenwald in his own words:
Glenn Greenwald's speech is excellent (around 51 minutes):
The follow videos are in addition to speech above (sorry):

One of the articles that Greenwald recommends we all read is "The Quiet Coup" by Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF.

And if you haven't read, "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" by Matt Taibbi, read it.  The subtitle says it all:
Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.
Down on 'Occupy Wall Street' the protesters show their understanding of this issue with the chant:
Banks got bailed out! We got sold out!

The incoming police state - part II

The US creates, encourages and entraps its own citizens into terrorism:
This is straight out of  Orwell's '1984'. Is it fiction copying reality or is it reality copying fiction? It's as if the US government is using '1984' as their playbook.

The new "terrorists"

Our government, with all its new sweeping powers, is now focusing on dissidents and protesters:

It's the same with the US's 'War on Drugs'. The CIA not only traffics cocaine and heroin to fund illicitly their operations:
But also so that our police can do this:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The incoming police state

George Orwell wrote "1984", first published in 1949, so that future generations would recognize all forms of totalitarianism and tyranny.  Aware of Nazi, Italian and Spanish fascist regimes as well as Soviet communism, he had also observed English imperialism firsthand while he was working in Burma. In "1984", he identifies tyranny as (see Why Orwell wrote "1984"):
  • constant surveillance of the citizenry
  • fictitious government with the real government completely unknown
  • perpetual war
  • torture of citizens
  • drumming the masses with hate propaganda while they were kept in a constant state of fear
  • revisionist history
  • a fictitious enemy
  • entices and entraps its own dissidents 
Naomi Wolf, in her book, "The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot", outlines 10 steps that an open society takes toward becoming a closed society. Read Naomi Wolf's article in, 'The Guardian': Fascist America, in 10 easy steps.

A documentary has been made based on Wolf's book: 'End of America'. I've previously written about Naomi Wolf here. Her latest article is, "We May Be Witnessing the First Large Global Conflict Where People Are Aligned by Consciousness and Not Nation State or Religion".

 Here's Wolf's list (the comments are mine):

Step 1: Invoke an Internal and External Threat

Authorities say terrorists but these days that seems to include Muslims and dissidents inside and outside of America.

Step 2: Establishing Secret Prisons Where Torture Takes Place

It's not just Guantanamo Bay, about which Bush has said something like , "I want Guantanamo Bay in the equivalent of legal outer-space". For suspected "black sites" the name recently used to describe secret prisons operated by the CIA generally outside US territory and legal jurisdiction, see Black Site on Wikipedia. Also, see this article by Glenn Greenwald:  How the U.S. government uses its media servants to attack real journalism.

Step 3: Develop a Paramilitary Force

Think Blackwater. Since renamed Xe Services. Blackwater was present in New Orleans during the aftermath of Katrina. (Source: Blackwater Down)

Step 4: Surveillance of Ordinary Citizens

Warrantless, roving wire tapping. Complete internet snooping and filtering. (Hi NSA/FBI/CIA/etc!)

Step 5: Infiltrate Citizens' Groups

The CIA has done this for years.

Step 6: Detain and Release Ordinary Citizens

This happened to Naomi Wolf herself:

Step 7: Target Key Individuals

The US has a secret watch list of more than 1 million Americans. Are you on it?

Step 8: Restrict the Press

Sure there's some censorship by the authorities. See this. And then there's censorship by Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and the telecoms. See thisthis and this. There's also the closing down of information made available to the public. For example, in 2006 the Federal Reserve stopped reporting M3 and related statistics. The government now classifies 77 million documents a year of which 16 million are classified top secret. (See  and source1 and source2).

The most dangerous restriction of the press is the self-censorship by the press.  For example the main stream media dismisses, ridicules and attacks real investigative journalism. See again: How the U.S. government uses its media servants to attack real journalism.  Also, see The US Media.

Step 9: Recast Criticism as Espionage and Dissent as Treason

The government is coming down hard on whistle-blowers. Bradley Manning was being held in torturous conditions and is still awaiting trial. If you protest or criticize the government you could be labeled a terrorist and striped of all your rights as an American citizen. One day the government could round up everyone on its watch list and detain them indefinitely. Or worse.

Step 10: Subvert the Rule of Law

The executive office has bestowed on itself more and more authority in the name of national security and an ineffectual congress. Glenn Greenwald, an author and a former Constitutional and civil rights litigator, who regularly writes about the declining rule of law in his Salon column, his latest piece is especially heartbreaking: The human toll of the U.S. drone campaign.

We think we live in an open society, that we have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the rule of law reigns supreme. In many ways we do have freedom of speech in America but our free speech has been limited to Republican and Democrat's views. If we venture outside outside that very limited band of free speech, the first line of defense is the US propaganda machine.

For example, there is no strong anti-war movement anymore. NPR has never met a war it didn't like:
The president of National Public Radio (NPR), Kevin Klose, is the former head of all the major, worldwide US government broadcast propaganda outlets, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and the anti-Castro Radio Marti, which broadcasts into Cuba from Florida. NPR, it can be said, has never met an American war it didn't like. It was inspired to describe the war against Yugoslavia as Clinton's "most significant foreign policy success."
--William Blum in Rogue State
"Rahm Emanuel, [Obama's White House chief of staff], took pains to weed out anti-war candidates." (source) The last bastion of the anti-war crusade comes from older people who remember the anti-Vietnam war protests. Here are three of those dissenters:
  1. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and co-author of, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, gives an excellent description of America's transformation in: The Day America Died.
  2. William Blum, worked for the State Department, one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press and author of "Killing Hope" and "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower", maintains a blog at  His latest post is certainly worth the read and fits in quite nicely to this discussion:  Anti-Empire Report #99.
  3. Tom Engelhardt, book editor by trade, fellow of the National Institute, co-founder and co-editor of the "The American Empire Project", also creates and maintains TomDispatch. His latest article is very good, "Tomgram: Engelhardt, Wall Street by the Book".
Naomi Wolf's, "End of America", focuses on the Bush administration but the national security complex grew in size and scope since the national security act was enacted in 1947. The Secret Government PBS 1987 Bill Moyers which in part describes this secret shadow government:

(Further reading: The institutions.)

From: Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State:
Calling the reaction to al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack a “war” ensured that the government could justify classifying everything associated with fighting it. Under President George Bush, journalists’ efforts to figure out how the United States was waging this war against al-Qaeda were often criticized by senior administration leaders, members of Congress, cable television pundits, even the public. Many of those journalists hoped that would change under the presidency of Barack Obama. It is true the president and his cabinet members have not publicly disparaged the news media as much as his predecessor did. But behind the scenes, the situation is actually much worse. President Obama’s Justice Department has taken a more aggressive tack against the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by pursuing more so-called leak investigations than the Bush administration.
Naomi Klein, in her book "Shock Doctrine" describes how natural, economic or other disasters can be used as a distraction as substantive changes in policy are implemented very quickly while the people are stunned in a state of shock from the disaster. She calls it the "disaster capitalism complex." The book is fabulous and the documentary based on it can be purchased here. Two examples of "Shock Doctrine" in the US were the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, both well described in her book. (Aside: Paul Craig Roberts has something to say about 9/1,1 which is the best I've read, The Critics of 9/11 Truth: Do They Have A Case?)

Skipping ahead to those calling for mass protests:

Enter Occupy Wall Street

The discourse has changed. It's now class warfare.  It's now the 99% vs. the 1%. Maybe it's the 99.9% vs. the 0.1%, but really it's only the very, very few that have hijacked our democracy and corporations, bought off our politicians and judges, created and attended secret organizations where they colluded and conspired, committed fraud, caused the financial meltdown and put short term bonuses ahead of the long-term viability of the corporation to which they were entrusted. Read this: Chris Hedges Arrested in Front of Goldman Sachs. Matt Taibbi of RollingStone magazine, who has written extensively on Wall St, debunks the conservative spin and lays the bulk of the blame on the banks who were scheming up ways to make money: Mike Bloomberg's Marie Antoinette Moment. Bill Moyers has something to say too: Our Politicians Are Money Launderers Not Too Different from Tony Soprano.

Most of the 1% are in favor of paying more taxes:
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi
Noam Chomsky doesn't think that the United States will succumb to fascism. I hope he's right but I think it has a lot to do with us not allowing ourselves to be brainwashed into it. Noam Chomsky Speaks to Occupy: If We Want a Chance at a Decent Future, the Movement Here and Around the World Must Grow. Certainly, the national security complex will not relinquish its power voluntarily:
One reason America is stuck at Yellow Alert — “Significant Risk” of terrorist attack accompanied by no specific information — and stuck with such an enormous complex of organizations and agencies trying to defend the country is that being wrong is too costly for politicians in Washington. “Who wants to be the guy that says we don’t need this anymore and then three weeks later something happens?” asked Obama national security adviser James Jones, former commandant of the Marine Corps. “I don’t think you can ever get it back” to a smaller size. (Source: Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.)
This is what a police state looks like:
But there's real hope. John Perkins of, "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" fame, is also encouraging us to fight back with the only way we have left:  “These are the Times. . .”

Note: I apologize for the plethora of links. The following two articles are short and will give you an excellent overview: