The Smell of Corporatist Fear, Smells Just Like . . . a Lobbyist Memo

Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

UPDATED: Newton’s Third Law of Motion is commonly expressed by the phrase “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”.  The action in question is the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  The reaction in question is fear.

Huffington Post obtained a copy of a memo being sent by high-powered Washington lobbying firm Clark, Lytle, Geduldig, Cranford to one of its major Wall Street clients over Thanksgiving.  Previously unnamed, it has been revealed that the major Wall Street client in question is the American Bankers Association.   The four page memo was first revealed by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, host of the show “Up with Chris Hayes“.  The first two paragraphs of the memo are indicative of the mood and probably sets the tone for what many in the lobbying industry are having to admit as an inconvenient truth.   Namely the truth that the OWS Movement is gaining traction for their cause and doing so in such a way that politicians are eventually going to be forced to put on the appearance of action in bringing the criminals on Wall Street to justice if not actually bring them to justice.  The fear on behalf of the lobbyists and their Wall Street clients is palpable.

The first two paragraphs of the Thanksgiving Memo read as follows:

Leading Democratic party strategists have begun to openly discuss the benefits of embracing the growing and increasingly organized Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement to prevent Republican gains in Congress and the White House next year. We have seen this process of adopting extreme positions and movements to increase base voter turnout, including in the 2005-2006 immigration debate. This would mean more than just short-term discomfort for Wall Street firms. If vilifying the leading companies of this sector is allowed to become an unchallenged centerpiece of a coordinated Democratic campaign, it has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the Democratic party or even President Obama’s re-election team would campaign against Wall Street in this cycle. However the bigger concern should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies — and might start running against them too.

While phrased in partisan terms, the memo is possibly indicative of not just fear on behalf of Wall Street and their K Street cohorts, but rather recognizes that the problems created by not bringing to justice those who wrecked our domestic economy and nearly wrecked the global economy with their unfettered greed and massive systemic fraud is growing to ultra-partisan proportions.  Consider the words of Joshua Stephens, a participant in OWS New York City, who said “The danger is not whether or not politicians will defend these institutions. My fear wouldn’t be that.  My fear would be that the politicians that come to their aid will be increasingly irrelevant…That’s the real threat and that’s where things are going.”  OWS is serving as a wake-up call for both Wall Street and Washington.  A wake-up call that this memo acknowledges presents a real and serious problem for both the corporate bankers and the politicians that have been protecting them from prosecution and doing their political bidding in helping dismantle the regulations around the banking industry.  A call for justice that transcends party affiliation and loyalty to the point that the bankers responsible may actually have to face trial with the possibility of prison sentences.  A call for justice that may force politicians to take steps to break up the big banks to prevent the myth and the lie of “too big to fail” from being used in the future as an excuse by corporatists  to raid our nation’s tax coffers thus making society pay for the risks of their private failures all while the banks reaping massive record private profits in the process.  A call for justice that might mean the return of regulation to the banking industry and a return of regulation with teeth.

Perhaps even more telling that the 1% are starting to feel and fear the political pressure is the context of the memo as a sales pitch.  What is it that CLGC is offering to sell the ABA? $850,000 worth of spin.  In the new MSNBC article by Jonathan Larsen and Ken Olshansky, the deliverable of such a spin project is summarized as ” ‘opposition research’ on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct ‘negative narratives’ about the protests and allied politicians.”  If you’d like to read the memo in its entirety, it can be found here in .pdf form.  You may feel a bit queasy after reading it.

OWS could be, should be and might be even bigger than this one set of issues though.  It should be a notice to Washington and the graft merchants of K Street that the United States Constitution says in plain language where the true political power rests in this country and who is really the boss of Washington when push comes to shove: “We the People of the United States”.  Not “We the Corporations” or “We the Biggest Campaign Contributors” or “We the K Street Lobbying  and Revolving Capital Hill Door Conflict of Interest Machine”, but “We the People”.  Washington would be wise to take heed to call to substantively start addressing the needs and demands for justice of the 99% instead of catering to the greedy desires of the 1% and their own over-inflated egos.  Our nation was founded in reaction to the tyranny of oppression and non-responsive government of King George.  Just so, it can be reshaped  in reaction to the tyranny of oppression and non-responsive government of as exemplified by the incestuous nexus of today’s Wall Street and Washington.  We didn’t throw off the yoke of a mad, capricious and economically exploitative king in the 18th Century just to have it replaced by the yoke of venal and corrupt plutocrats and their political lackeys in the 21st.

Are Wall Street and their lobbyists starting to fear Main Street?  Is the government?  Is this a sign of the beginning of the end of OWS?  Or is this a sign of the beginning of the beginning of OWS and the effort to reclaim the government for “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”?

What do you think?

Source: Huffington Post, MSNBC, CLGC Memo

~Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

467 thoughts on “The Smell of Corporatist Fear, Smells Just Like . . . a Lobbyist Memo

  1. I smell fear in the morning. The huge overreaction by police is a tip-off. On the evening news, Brian Williams and the others talked breathlessly of six police officers getting small cuts on their arms, while we see videos of semiconscious protesters on the ground bleeding from head wounds.

    The fix is in with the media, but the question becomes how long can they keep a news lid on this in the age of twitter, facebook and the blogs.

    I see the National Lawyer’s Guild has filed FOIA requests seeking evidence of a Federal role in the coordinated violent crackdowns on protesters.

    National Lawyers Guild leaders, including Executive Director Heidi Beghosian and NLG Mass Defense Committee co-chair and PCJ Executive Director Mara Veheyden-Hilliard both told TCBH! earlier this week that the rapid-fire assaults on occupation encampments in cities from Oakland to New York and Portland, Seattle and Atlanta, all within days of each other, the similar approach taken by police, which included overwhelming force in night-time attacks, mass arrests, use of such weaponry as pepper spray, sound cannons, tear gas, clubs and in some cases “non-lethal” projectiles like bean bags and rubber bullets, the removal and even arrest of reporters and camera-persons, and the justifications offered by municipal officials, who all cited “health” and “safety” concerns, all pointed to central direction and guidance.

    And this:

    The NLG says the Occupy Movement, which is now in over 170 cities around the U.S., “has been confronted by a nearly simultaneous effort by local governments and local police agencies to evict and break up encampments in cities and towns throughout the country.”

    Veheyden-Hilliard says, “The severe crackdown on the occupation movement appears to be part of a national strategy,” which she said is designed to “crush the movement,” an action she describes as “supremely political.”

    Political protest should not be treated as a criminal activity, but that is exactly how it is being treated. We are also aware of the deafening silence coming from Eric Holder and the DoJ. Is the FBI going to have to be dragged into this by the heels, kicking and screaming, just as LBJ had to make J. Edgar Hoover get off his fat ass in the 1960s? Unfortunately, we do not have an LBJ type in the White House right now.

  2. If I recall a segment on NPR states that the OWS movement is partly funded by unions and they are keeping a low profile so no one can be served a order of restraint.

    Good topic gene.

  3. ekeyra brings up a very important point that thus far seems to have eluded the OWS folks. Part of the OWS frustration derives from seeing Wall Street get bailed out while Main Street and homeowners have been left to fend for themselves. Many OWS protesters associated that frustration on their student loans, but certainly the frustration with TARP goes well beyond that for the country at large.

    Another component is knowing that much of what was done by the banksters that created this economic mess we’re still mired in was completely legal. Dodd-Frank, as weak and imperfect as it is, was passed to make some of those activities illegal, protect consumer and demand accountability. I don’t think we would have seen people on the street had that been the end of it. But when politicians began attacking and trying to undo Dodd-Frank, the influence of the monied interests became all too apparent.

    One could probably come up with several other reasons people took to the streets, but whether they know it or not the primary issue is MONEY IN POLITICS and the corupted and rigged system such money propagates. We should all be joining with Randi Rhodes and Dylan Ratigan in trying to get money out of politics via a Constitutional Amendment. There is a website that appears to be gaining attention from folks on both sides of the aisle sick to death of being victimized by the real oligarchic power of big money in politics.

    As a side note, it is my belief that the messes in Greece, Spain, Italy, etal. can be traced back to the same cause as our own. Those countries’ crises evolved out of the liquidity crisis exposed by defaults in the mortgage backed securities and other exotic instruments the bankers created–despite what Mayor Bloomberg claims.

  4. Looks like Obama will have to dust off those old campaign speeches about supporting the middle class. They’ll probably turn out too be as effective as the first time. People will believe him and the day after election he’ll turn his back on us…not that any Republican would be any better.

    I wish I had some of the optimism of the OWS crowd.

  5. Just watched the discussion of the memo on Chris Hayes this morning. The real fear seems to be that the tea party and the OWS might get together. The consensus was that the cultural and political differences are too great which I agree with. The tea party was better organized and was effective in getting members elected and OWS does not have candidates. The great thing about OWS is that they have changed the dialogue and talk of economic inequality is now dominating the news. When John Edwards brought it up in 2004, he was accused by the republicans and Fox news of trying to start class warfare. Great topic,Gene, and the Chris Hayes show is the best one on MSNBC.

  6. Gene, Gene, Gene. With all due respect “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction ” here’s mine to your post,

    Your wrong. To which, according to Newton, you will tell me you are right which is why someone is always wrong on the internet.

    Lets look at a few things. First, Elizabeth Warren. Ms. Warren the women who stated she “laid the intellectual groundwork” for the OWS movement has somewhat distanced herself from the movement by refusing to sign a petition backing the movement. “For every action, there is an equal opposite reaction. ”

    ” U.S. Senate hopeful and Harvard Law prof Elizabeth Warren, who has claimed she laid the “intellectual foundation” for the Occupy Wall Street movement, is jilting the anti-corporate proteges in her own Ivy League yard, refusing to sign a petition in support of Occupy Harvard.”

    Then there is the latest public polling data.

    “The move distances Warren from an organization that is losing public support, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released yesterday.”

    In the beginning the OWS had good support. When the OWS movement first started it was with good intentions. Then it was overtaken with anarchist,rapist,child molesters,drug abusers etc. etc. Basically non law abiding citizens. You break the law you get arrested. “For every action, there is an equal opposite reaction. ”

    I previously gave you examples of why the movement would loose public support. You dismissed it saying that it was all for the greater good. Let me give you another example of how it will continue to loose support if they continue on the same path.

    The other day I was on my way home during rush hour traffic. The traffic seemed to be a little heavier than normal. As I got closer to the interstate the traffic slowed to a crawl. There was a major accident on the freeway. The folks around me looked angry because like me they were trying to get home to their families and nobody was moving. I finally got home two hours later then I normally do. I pay my babysitter $10 an hour. The accident cost me 20 bucks. I lost two hours of quality time with my daughter. Instead of my family getting a quality meal we had to settle for something quick. I missed the 6:30 news. Everyone had to rush to get showers and get ready for bed. In short, the accident cost people money, threw the whole evening routine off, not to mention pissing off a lot of other people who had a similar experience such as myself. This doesn’t take into account where someone would normally stop to do business or have a regular meeting that they may have missed do to the accident.

    Now think about this. If people in mass had to go through the same example above because other people were blocking intersections screaming we are the 99% do you think the people in mass would look at those screaming we are the 99% in a favorable light ? It’s one thing to get stuck in traffic due to an accident. It’s another thing to get stuck in traffic because someone has caused you to on purpose.

    “For every action, there is an equal opposite reaction ”

    What say Eugene:)

  7. One of the people arrested in New York was a retired Supreme Court judge. She was wearing the “uniform” of an official legal observer. When she told a police officer he did not have to rough up a protester, either arrest the girl or let her go, he threw the judge to the ground and arrested her.

    …retired New York Supreme Court Judge Karen Smith, who worked as a legal observer Tuesday morning in New York after the police raided the Occupy Wall Street encampment. “I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested… As I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, ‘I need to get in. My daughter’s there. I want to know if she’s OK.’ And he said, ‘Move on, lady.’ And they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head,” says Smith. “I walk over, and I say, ‘Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, ‘Lady, do you want to get arrested?’ And I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘You want to get arrested?’ And he pushed me up against the wall.”

    Wonder what the fallout from arresting Judge Smith will be? She was not a protester but acting as one of the lawyers assigned to be observers.

  8. Bdaman, the ‘Black Bloc’ anarchists were never a part of OWS. Their tactics were rejected from the beginning. And as far as anyone can tell, not a single crime against persons or property was committed by one of the OWS protesters. However, many OWS protesters have been shot, beaten, and have had their property stolen or destroyed by the police.

    As I said in my note above, the nightly news was all breathless about a half dozen officers getting pulled muscles and a few cuts and bruises sustained when they were swinging batons and yanking protesters around–including young girls and the elderly. In the meantime one Marine is in intensive care from being shot at close range with a so called non lethal round and there were numerous other serious injuries inflicted by the police.

    Sorry pal, concern trolling does not set well with the reality based community.

  9. There is a sign seen in the protests that says, “They did not call it class warfare until we started fighting back.”

  10. Bdaman, the ‘Black Bloc’ anarchists were never a part of OWS. Their tactics were rejected from the beginning. And as far as anyone can tell, not a single crime against persons or property was committed by one of the OWS protesters.

    O.S. this may be true but they are imbedded within the OWS. They are committing crimes against personal property. People running through the streets disrupting the lives of ordinary people is not a logical way to effect change but a sure way to piss people off.

  11. This new video making the rounds on a number of blogs is one to watch all the way to the end. The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee illustrates how the haves and the have nots of the Occupy Wall Street protesters lived together in Zucotti Park for two months and eventually became what they fought against–an upper class and a lower class.

    The bit is revealing and humorous. More importantly, it also shows that no matter how hard a group like OWS tries, strategies like “consensus” or “horizontal” decision making, human nature trumps class and social engineering constructs that individuals attempt to create to stifle what makes us human.

  12. “Activists and organizers at Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park have been struggling recently with an influx of people not participating in the movement, some of whom are said to be known drug addicts, homeless, or have mental illnesses. And some reports, including an eyewitness account shared with Campus Progress, indicate that the New York Police Department may be encouraging some lawbreakers to go to Zuccotti Park.”

  13. UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said it would not be safe or sustainable for demonstrators to camp in the quad.

    “It’s not safe for multiple reasons,” Spicuzza said.

    At least one woman left by ambulance for treatment of chemical burns.

    Yep, it is not safe. The police made sure it was unsafe by beating on people, arresting them then pepper spraying into crowds. Real unsafe chief. Now why did we not figure that out? Chief, you really need to get a life.

  14. Bdaman, we also know some police or “security’ operatives have been embedded in the OWS protesters as well. Some of them were poor at the art of disguise and were outed by alert OWS people. Some behaved as agents provocateurs, such as the guy who was observed trying start a fight in Zuccotti Park then ran and hid behind the line of police officers. They clearly knew who he was.

  15. So we now know from the arrest reports of anarchist, rapist, child molesters,drug abusers etc etc that we now have agents provocateurs imbeded within the movement. Sounds like something I would like to be a part off even though I know that these people are really not a part of the movement itself.

  16. what strikes me as sad – beyond the police state tactics being used, I’m talking about this blog and how it reflects the larger world – is the whole Bdaman thread. He is part of the 99% being screwed by our bankster overlords. Assuming he earns a paycheck he is paying higher rates of taxes then the 1% while helping to cover their losses. In every way he is just like most people. But instead of being outraged instead of demanding that the government be of the people, by the people and FOR the people he has decided to troll for the benefit of the 1%.

    A lot of the confederate apologists are fond of reminding us that most of the traitors were not slave holders, which is true. But they fought and died for a system that hurt the small farmer, the small businessman, the craftsman. The reason the South was backwards while the North was growing and vibrant was the impact of slavery on their economy. I never understood how they could have been so blind to the damage being done to them by their slavery overlords and I will never understand how Bdaman, and many like him, can be so blind to the damage the banksters are doing to them.

    Given that he has shown no signs of growth or learning after months of trolling here I see no point in responding to him any more – let him go yell into a well someplace. Anyone can be ignorant, it just requires missing information but it takes a special kind of person to remain ignorant when presented the facts time after time.

  17. Don’t be sad Frankly, be happy.

    Here’s a ;little song I wrote you might want to sing it note for note don’t worry be happy:)

  18. Here you go Frankly be happy for more people.

    “What the downturn in Occupy Wall Street’s image suggest is that voters are seeing the movement as more about ‘Occupy’ than ‘Wall Street.’ The controversy over the protests is starting to drown out the actual message,” wrote Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling.

    Public support for the Occupy Wall Street movement is down and opposition up sharply in a new national survey taken by the Democratic-leaning firm of Public Policy Polling.

    By a narrow margin, more of those surveyed have a higher opinion of the Tea Party movement than Occupy Wall Street, according to the poll taken Nov. 10 to 13, as authorities ordered OWS encampments dismantled in a number of cities.

  19. Hey Frankly I bet you didn’t see this coming.

    In the latest survey, 33 percent voiced support for Occupy Wall Street, down from 35 percent in a previous poll, while opposition to the movement climbed from 36 percent to 45 percent. Twenty-two percent were unsure.

    The poll asked: “Do you have a higher opinion of the Occupy Wall Street movement or the Tea Party movement?” Forty-three percent opted for Tea Party, 37 percent for the occupiers.

  20. Very timely subject Gene, especially in light of new census data and new analysis of those data.

    The Old America is no more, the new America is clearly a plutocracy with a strange economy plutonomy.

    One hundred million Americans, a third, now live on the edge of economic catastrophe, one thread from oblivion.

    The new game can’t be played by the old rules, and OWS type movements are here to stay until things change.

    The 1% who rule (see link) are in no mood to make real changes because it means not only stopping the plunder, it also means disgorgement of the booty.

  21. Like I said it started off good.

    From October 25, 2011

    Forty-three percent of Americans agree with the views of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll that found a widespread belief that money and wealth should be distributed more evenly in America.

    Twenty-seven percent of Americans said they disagree with the movement, which began more than a month ago in lower Manhattan and has since spread across the country and around the world. Thirty percent said they were unsure.

  22. Hey Frankly this is what you would expect when people try and disrupt the lives of EVERYDAY PEOPLE.

    The poll of 500 Oakland adults, conducted Monday by the firm SurveyUSA on behalf of CBS 5, showed 47% supported Occupy Oakland, while 41% opposed it; 12% were unsure.

    These latest numbers reflect a rising disatisfaction with Occupy Oakland, which had enjoyed a 64% support level during the last CBS 5 poll on the topic on Nov. 4.

  23. Hey Frankly, Here’s one from the KOS I found interesting. We know Republicans by and large don’t support it but here’s what I found interesting.

    -Democrats are 45% favorable; 19% unfavorable; 36% haven’t heard enough.

    -Independents are 29% favorable; 42% unfavorable; 28% haven’t heard enough

    This means that a little less than half of Democrats find the movement favorable but Gene suggest that the Dem Reps will embrace the movement.

  24. Otteray Scribe 1, November 19, 2011 at 4:36 am

    I smell fear in the morning … Is the FBI going to have to be dragged into this by the heels, kicking and screaming …
    Their real role will be to infiltrate and subvert the movement IMO. (see last paragraph at this link about “The Farm”).

    Fear will guarantee it.

  25. -Democrats are 45% favorable; 19% unfavorable; 36% haven’t heard enough.

    It’s the 36% that hasn’t heard enough that I find real interesting. This to me says they don’t want to talk about it.

  26. “what strikes me as sad ….is the whole Bdaman thread.

    Your observation of Bdaman and the misguided protection of monied interests isn’t sad, though. It’s pitiful. I don’t know how people can deliberately accept the wealhy’s position that the middle class should be made to endure cuts in their social safety net so that the wealthiest 1%-2% can keep the tax cuts enacted in 2001 in the face of an anticipated budget surplus. How is that not class warfare? It screams of an attitude of I’ve-got-mine-screw-you and then they have the unmitigated gall to belittle the OWS movement for not thinking that’s okay . It’s outrageous, cruel and arrogant.

  27. The wealthy make the laws, protest them. Most all in Congress are Rich and are part of the 1%. What don’t you get. Those are the ones you should be protesting against and not encouraging people to disrupt the lives of the real 99%.

  28. To Bankers: Give me a loan; I wanna buy a politician too. (One of my favorite OWS signs.)


    Excellent analysis of the situation.

    In my thoughts I juxtapose the memo you quoted and the picture of Wall streeters on a balcony, drinking champagne as they watched the first protest marchers pass by on the street beneath them. The smirks on their faces as they sipped their champagne were fleeting and have, indeed, been replaced by worry lines as visions of prison cells dance in their heads.

    Here in Ohio many of us know that one of the reasons Issue 2 was defeated with such apparent ease was partially due to the influence OWS is continuing to gain within the voters’ minds.

    The message I see in between the lines of that memo is, “We have lost control, escape while you still can!”

  29. Bdaman, it disrupted the lives of working people in Birmingham when they boycotted the buses and walked to work instead. Did I mention those working people were black?

    How did that work out for them?

    Did you ever notice you have to break an egg to make an omelet?

  30. Rcampbell,
    Bdaman lives to back the monied interests over the vast majority of citizens. His constant claims that the OWS movement is not growing, is made up of mother rapsts, and is not liked by x number of people is just part of the corporate movement against the OWS movement. Gene is right again. The fear is palpable. Great article Gene!

  31. Gene, thank you for addressing this issue. Per this article cut & pasted from NewScientist, it’s the tight inter-connectivity transnational corporations cultivate that threaten our republic.

    Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world

    Updated 13:15 24 October 2011 by Andy Coghlan and Debora MacKenzie
    Magazine issue 2835. Subscribe and save
    For similar stories, visit the Finance and Economics Topic Guide

    AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

    The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.

    The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).

    “Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market,” says James Glattfelder. “Our analysis is reality-based.”

    Previous studies have found that a few TNCs own large chunks of the world’s economy, but they included only a limited number of companies and omitted indirect ownerships, so could not say how this affected the global economy – whether it made it more or less stable, for instance.

    The Zurich team can. From Orbis 2007, a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide, they pulled out all 43,060 TNCs and the share ownerships linking them. Then they constructed a model of which companies controlled others through shareholding networks, coupled with each company’s operating revenues, to map the structure of economic power.

    The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.

    When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

    John Driffill of the University of London, a macroeconomics expert, says the value of the analysis is not just to see if a small number of people controls the global economy, but rather its insights into economic stability.

    Concentration of power is not good or bad in itself, says the Zurich team, but the core’s tight interconnections could be. As the world learned in 2008, such networks are unstable. “If one [company] suffers distress,” says Glattfelder, “this propagates.”

    “It’s disconcerting to see how connected things really are,” agrees George Sugihara of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, a complex systems expert who has advised Deutsche Bank.

    Yaneer Bar-Yam, head of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), warns that the analysis assumes ownership equates to control, which is not always true. Most company shares are held by fund managers who may or may not control what the companies they part-own actually do. The impact of this on the system’s behaviour, he says, requires more analysis.

    Crucially, by identifying the architecture of global economic power, the analysis could help make it more stable. By finding the vulnerable aspects of the system, economists can suggest measures to prevent future collapses spreading through the entire economy. Glattfelder says we may need global anti-trust rules, which now exist only at national level, to limit over-connection among TNCs. Sugihara says the analysis suggests one possible solution: firms should be taxed for excess interconnectivity to discourage this risk.

    One thing won’t chime with some of the protesters’ claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. “Such structures are common in nature,” says Sugihara.

    Newcomers to any network connect preferentially to highly connected members. TNCs buy shares in each other for business reasons, not for world domination. If connectedness clusters, so does wealth, says Dan Braha of NECSI: in similar models, money flows towards the most highly connected members. The Zurich study, says Sugihara, “is strong evidence that simple rules governing TNCs give rise spontaneously to highly connected groups”. Or as Braha puts it: “The Occupy Wall Street claim that 1 per cent of people have most of the wealth reflects a logical phase of the self-organising economy.”

    So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zurich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power. Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion. Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.

    When this article was first posted, the comment in the final sentence of the paragraph beginning “Crucially, by identifying the architecture of global economic power…” was misattributed.

    The top 50 of the 147 superconnected companies
    1. Barclays plc
    2. Capital Group Companies Inc
    3. FMR Corporation
    4. AXA
    5. State Street Corporation
    6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
    7. Legal & General Group plc
    8. Vanguard Group Inc
    9. UBS AG
    10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
    11. Wellington Management Co LLP
    12. Deutsche Bank AG
    13. Franklin Resources Inc
    14. Credit Suisse Group
    15. Walton Enterprises LLC
    16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
    17. Natixis
    18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
    19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
    20. Legg Mason Inc
    21. Morgan Stanley
    22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
    23. Northern Trust Corporation
    24. Société Générale
    25. Bank of America Corporation
    26. Lloyds TSB Group plc
    27. Invesco plc
    28. Allianz SE 29. TIAA
    30. Old Mutual Public Limited Company
    31. Aviva plc
    32. Schroders plc
    33. Dodge & Cox
    34. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc*
    35. Sun Life Financial Inc
    36. Standard Life plc
    37. CNCE
    38. Nomura Holdings Inc
    39. The Depository Trust Company
    40. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
    41. ING Groep NV
    42. Brandes Investment Partners LP
    43. Unicredito Italiano SPA
    44. Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan
    45. Vereniging Aegon
    46. BNP Paribas
    47. Affiliated Managers Group Inc
    48. Resona Holdings Inc
    49. Capital Group International Inc
    50. China Petrochemical Group Company

    * Lehman still existed in the 2007 dataset used

    Graphic: The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy

    (Data: PLoS One)–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html?full=true&print=true

  32. “To Bankers: Give me a loan; I wanna buy a politician too.”

    The beauty of that sign is that it defines the enemy (bankers and politicians) and is completely nonpartisan. Very, very smart.

  33. Blogger Roger Fox has again hit a home run with his research. He has posted the name, photo and some biographical data on the UC Davis officer who bravely and courageously stood his ground against those terroristic protesters with his trusty pepper spray. (For the literal minded, that last was sarcasm).

  34. Gene,

    Great article. The essence of the OWS succes can be measured in the fear it engenders in the elite.
    They’ve already won the first battle. We can tell it by this memo and Bdaman’s flurry of activity. All polling is suspect and his attacks on indivuals is an obvious gambit. Why he supports those who oppress him is an open question. You’ve got to admire his tenacity even if its in a mistaken cause.
    As for the embedding of counter espionage I’d remind everyone of Cointelpro.

  35. This memo is propaganda for Democrats. That ‘s why it was “leaked”. It is designed to make them believe that Obama and many other advocates for Wall Street within the Democratic party are on the side of the 99%. Glenn Greenwald eviscerates such a message in his column today.

    In addition to the facts Greenwald points out, I will add some others. First, the opposition to OWS has already been in full swing, long before this memo was “leaked”. The opposition goes well beyond making members of OWS look bad.

    There is a tax payer funded surveillance center at Wall Street where the police, federal forces and WALL STREET CORPORATIONS gather in order to engage in surveillance the population. This surveillance system was begun under Bush and continues under Obama. Here, the private lizard lords of Wall Street freely enter a “public” law enforcement zone filled with banks of computers which keep tabs on the rabble outside. This should really bother citizens.

    Because most people do not realize there is such an entity and such events, memos like this easily fool people into the belief that Obama and other Democrats are “for the 99” while Republicans are against us. Yet this center has the blessing of Obama and other Congressional Democrats as well as Republicans.

    Beware the Trojan horse of “leaked” memos. All is not as it seems. When we look carefully, we will see that.

  36. Jill, I think you may be right. On careful reading it smells like cleverly constructed concern trolling.

    One thing the OWS movement has going for it is thousands upon thousands of bloggers who fact check everything and trust nothing. The progressive/liberal side seems to be better at it than the conservative/reactive side. Liberals do not mind taking their own to task if they get it wrong, but conservative bloggers tend to cherry pick. Kind of like some who hang out here.

    And speaking of moles, that is something on which the right wing does not have an exclusive. The left has its own informants and members of the 1% who are sympathizers. They sometimes blog or feed inside information to trusted bloggers.

  37. SEIU has endorsed Obama, and the union is participating in OWS so some people such as Glenn Greenwald are viewing that negatively. Doesn’t OWS need labor on their side? The anti war movement did not get union support if I remember correctly.

  38. Jill,

    Concern troll is a new term of art that may have several meanings, all similar. The general use of the term is that it refers to a person who posts on a site or blog, expressing concern for policies, comments, attitudes of others on the site. It is viewed as insincere, manipulative, condescending. Below are a couple of actual examples of concern trolling:

    A typical concern troll comment: “You should be careful about what you write because you might get in trouble with the government.”

    Another concern troll wrote, “This debate makes our side look disorganized.”

  39. S.M.,

    Greenwald is pointing out the class loyalties of the head of SEIU as opposed to its membership. Many top union leaders are completely corrupt and are allied with if not actually members of the lizard lords! They have endorsed Obama, trying to portray him as helping the 99%. Greenwald objects to this endorsement because it falsely portrays Obama as helping the 99% when nothing could be further from the truth. He points out that Obama, other Republicans and Democrats in Congress and in mayor’s offices (to name some) cannot accurately be portrayed as friends of the 99%.

    OWS welcomes the participation of individuals in the labor movement and will ally with them on a common goal of social justice for workers. It’s just that the endorsement of a corrupt leadership in a union has nothing to do with social justice for the working class.

  40. Jill, Don’t think that the SEIU has class loyalties to the top 1!. I think most of us can thank unions for the benefits we have. Why do some prefer to ally themselves with the tea party and insist unions are corrupt?

  41. O.S.

    I have seen this type of trolling. IMO, the best way to look at things is this: 1. make certain that the person isn’t making an actual point, even when one disagrees with that point. If the person is making a point, it really doesn’t matter if they are a troll or not. Failure to recognize an argument that one doesn’t agree with and instead to attack the credibility of the speaker as a “troll” is one of the philosophical fallacies “argument against the man”. Make a counter argument when an argument is present that one disagrees with.

    Otherwise, just move on past.

  42. S.M.,

    I really have a difficult time with your personal attacks. I would have hoped you would stop it but I guess that is not possible for you. So, let’s play pretend. I am a secret member of the tea party working on the payroll of the Koch brothers. That is why, before you came to this blog, I regularly called for the impeachment of GWB and Dick Cheney. I was a psychic who knew, in advance, you would come to this blog. I am amazing!!!

    Now to the reality based community. You asked why Greenwald criticized SEIU leadership’s endorsement of Obama. I explained why. You don’t have to accept that reason but I did portray his reason accurately as you can read for yourself by reading his column. We are a proud union family here and I agree entirely with you that unions have been essential to bringing about safer working conditions, trying to end child labor, better wages and benefits. I actually have no argument with you about these things. Where we may differ is that I believe union leadership has often been corrupt.

  43. Ignoring is usually the best; however it does not always work. Remember kderosa? He was classic. Responded to every point and made a point of thread hijacking. Classic. The problem with many such trolls is that no matter what the discussion, the troll injects an irrelevancy into the thread in order to make the discussion almost unreadable. And kderosa kept it up until he was put in moderation. Had that not been done, he would likely still be here disrupting the Professor’s blog. The guy apparently did not sleep much, but stayed on line for hours at a time, days at a time. Since he claimed to be an attorney who had a high hourly billing rate, I figured he was either a liar about his rate schedule and had no business, or was being paid very well to troll. I know that several of us suspected the latter.

  44. I was not the person that said you were a tea party member so deal with that person. I do find it strange that you apologize for the tea party and attack every single democrat.

  45. S.M.,

    The other day you did accuse me of that, saying I had “cast suspicion upon myself”. So I am dealing with one of the people who said that! I think it’s really stupid to keep saying I apologize for the tea party and attach every single democrat. That simply isn’t accurate. In fact, if you read my post on this thread, you will clearly see I accuse Republicans and Democrats alike.

    Now, may we talk about the actual post and the ideas about it? That would be my choice. If you want to talk about everything unrelated to this post, go on, but leave me out of it!

  46. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

    Police charge second man in Occupy hammer assault
    City officials will meet with Occupy Maine’s lawyer and several members on Monday

    City officials will meet with Occupy Maine officials and the group’s lawyer Monday to discuss two violent incidents and some code violations in Lincoln Park.

    The city’s lawyer, Gary Wood, wrote the Occupy Maine lawyer, John Branson, Friday to request the meeting.

    Wood’s letter said the alleged assault that occurred Friday morning was “of particular concern” along with the code violations, such as having open fires, smoking in tents and propane heaters in tents in the encampment.

  47. Jay Carney White House Press Secretary He gets it

    “Obviously every municipality has to make its own decisions about how to handle these issues,”

    “We would hope and want, as these decisions are made, that it balances between a long tradition of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech in this country, and obviously of demonstrating and protesting, and also the very important need to maintain law and order and health and safety standards, which was obviously a concern in this case.”

    “which was obviously a concern in this case.”

  48. Bdaman,

    You’ve mistaken me for someone who doesn’t consider you compromised in their interests in every possible meaning of the words.

  49. My hope against hope post — One of the major functions of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Dep’t of Justice : Prosecute violations of criminal statutes that prohibit specified acts of interference with federally protected rights and activities, such as conspiracies to interfere with or deny a certain individual or group of individuals the exercise of these rights. (Took it from their web site)

  50. Frankly says – “But instead of being outraged instead of demanding that the government be of the people, by the people and FOR the people[.]”

    Early last century, a high school student recited the Gettysburg Address at a 4th of July event. Afterwards, an old man complimented the student except for the last sentence: “Lincoln emphasized the word PEOPLE.” The old man added, “It makes a difference – I was there.”

    This Government . . . of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE

  51. Frankly says – “Anyone can be ignorant, it just requires missing information but it takes a special kind of person to remain ignorant when presented the facts time after time.”

    No, not really. Not if you are PR Troll, or are pecuniarily vested, or an Authoritarian follower. For the latter, see —

  52. Here is another poster for them to fear.

    For those who have been living in a cave and have not seen Jesse LaGreca on TV or YouTube, he seems to be everywhere. He is one of the most articulate and quick witted interview subjects around. He blogs on Daily Kos as “Ministry of Truth.”

    From the interview with Ed Shultz:

    SCHULTZ: O`Reilly says it`s dead, he says it`s a good thing. Your response.

    LAGRECA: So is Dr. George Tiller unfortunately. I think Bill O`Reilly hurt enough people with his words. And I think that it shows how out of touch he is to think that this populist uprising all across America — well, if the Republicans can`t own it, I guess they have to destroy it. That`s their modus operandi.

  53. Your pimping for the 1% is for the greater good, Bdaman? Again, you’ve mistaken me for someone who doesn’t consider your interests compromised in every possible meaning of the words.

  54. Say what you want, think what you want, it’s still a free country. But like I’ve explained to you before it’s about disrupting the lives of everyday people. I’ve given two examples, one here and the one on the Egyptian thread. You’ll figure it out, your a pretty smart guy.

  55. Bdaman,

    Say what I like?

    Don’t mind if I do!

    I’ve explained to you before the difference between millions of victims and the disruptions of the lives of the few as an inevitable consequence of the actions of Wall Street criminals and those aiding and abetting their escape from prosecution is not a rational justification for letting the Wall Street criminals go unpunished but rather provides further impetus and incentive to bring the Wall Street criminals to justice and thus remove the causation of the protests in the first place. You’ve given two examples that effect a few people and I and others have given you many times that number of examples illustrating that disparity of scale between millions of victims and few victims of ancillary incidents all of which are traceable back to the root cause of failure to prosecute Wall Street and reign in their excesses that created the millions of victims in the first place. You’ll probably never figure it out as your basic math skills are as bad as your basic logic skills in addition to your interests being fundamentally compromised by an interest in seeing the original criminals – the Wall Street Bankers and their political lackeys – go unpunished. You’re right about one thing though. I’m a pretty smart guy. Statistically speaking, in a room of 100 random people, there are only 1 or 2 that are as smart or smarter. That’s why I don’t buy any of your lame apologetic bullshit on behalf of the 1% criminals. Yours is a facile analysis composed of irrelevant but emotionally loaded conclusions that bear no relation to the reality of the causation of the situation in general. I don’t buy what you are selling because it is both false and specious reasoning as well as transparent in the light of the underlying truths of the political, social and economic injustices that created the OWS Movement in the first place.

  56. Obviously, someone at this whorehouse/lobbying firm wasn’t on board with this. Even in the world of hacks and flacks, you can find people who don’t want to abet a snow job. It’s probably an intern or a low level person–perhaps an admin assistant whose been denied a raise, but even in a house of slime, there are people who recognize this si too much.

  57. Well let me ask you another way Gene. Do you really feel that shutting down traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge will bring about effective change. Camping in a park? Running wildly through the streets ?

    If you were in your car and got stuck on the bridge, and was made say, two hours late getting home, like the example I gave above, would you think man I’m pissed off at the one percent for pissing off the 99% who in turn made me two hours late or would you say you fucking people made me late get out of my way.

    I mean the movement is two months old. In your eyes Mr smarter than 99%, what exactly have they accomplished ? Please tell me something other than they brought attention to this or that.

  58. P.S. I’ve always been led to believe that smart people make alot of money. Seeing how your smarter than 99% are you in the 1%. Just curious.

  59. Your frustration at not getting anyone to buy your bullshit is showing, Bdaman. As to what OWS has accomplished? Aside from calling attention to the underlying multiple injustices perpetrated by Wall Street in conjunction with their bought and paid for political lackeys, they’ve spoken their position to government and industry that inaction and complicity is no longer acceptable behavior. In a democracy, the government works for all the people and as such this form requires not only that government listen to the will of the people but that the people make their will known. What else has OWS accomplished? They’ve reminded Washington and Wall Street what democracy in action against injustice and oppression actually looks like.

  60. Please tell me something other than they brought attention to this or that.

    Thought so Mr smarter than 99%. The question is can they turn it into votes unless you think effective change can be brought about by mob rule.

  61. “The question is can they turn it into votes unless you think effective change can be brought about by mob rule.”


    I heard that same cynical question asked after Bloody Sunday in Selma. How’d that work out?

  62. mespo,

    Thanks. For the first time in a long time, OWS has given me the possibility of relatively peaceful resolution to the multiple injustices that plague this nation. I still fear the worst and the worst would be yet to come, but at least OWS represents a step more on the path to change as described by Gandhi and King and less on the path to change as ultimately described by Jefferson and the other Founders. The ultimate goal is the reclamation of actual democracy, the restoration of the principle of justice being blind and for all, and the restoration of the rule of law over the rule of moneyed special interests. The question remains as to what price in blood the restoration will claim. Of course, the lower, the better.



    “The question is can they turn it into votes unless you think effective change can be brought about by mob rule.”

    Mob rule? You make me laugh with your loaded words.

    As to votes? Well the obviously fearful language in the CLGC memo indicates that they consider the potential impact to voting both very real and a substantive enough threat to their clients the American Bankers Association to think they can sell them a smear/spin campaign for $850,000.

  63. I’m glad Gene everyone needs to laugh, the more the better. Did you know laughter can have an amazing effect on ones medical condition. Of course you did. Your smarter than 99%.

    The question remains as to what price in blood the restoration will claim. Of course, the lower, the better.

    It’s for the greater good

  64. Bdaman:
    “Oh Mark that comparison is getting old.”

    Old things that retain their value over time are called “classics”.

    “Oh Mark, that comparison is a classic”; there, I fixed that for you. :-)

  65. I posted this on another thread but I’m going to post it here also, If you watch it to the end, it looks like fear to me:

  66. Jill do you believe that blocking a public sidewalk is legal? Can you yourself erect a barricade onto a public sidewalk refusing someone access or the ability to pass without some type of penalty for doing so.

  67. Who did they spray ? Only the ones who were blocking the sidewalk. I’m sure they were given a command to move. They didn’t, it’s what happens when you disobey a lawful order. They knew they were gonna get sprayed.

  68. If you want to keep bringing up my intelligence, Bdaman, the only salient point is that I’m smarter than you so you’re wasting your time trying to convince me that your facile analysis and propaganda regurgitation is anything other than what it is. Otherwise? Your continued mention of the subject simply reeks of jealousy and ineptitude. I spent a large part of my life hiding my intelligence from others because it made them uncomfortable. One of the benefits of getting older is I’m less interested in catering to others if it requires me not to be myself. I am smarter than many, but that is irrelevant. I don’t judge people solely by their native intelligence, but rather by their willful ignorance – which is something you display in abundance on certain topics. Like I said before, if you’re a troll, you’re not a very good one. Persistent? Sure. Effective? Not really. Being that you consistently pimp for the 1% against OWS and for the oil industry about AGW, all I can say is that reality is really funny. So eager to do your master’s bidding yet so unable to do so successfully. As to your earlier impertinent question? Let’s assume I am part of the 1%. What would that tell you given that I vocally support OWS? It should tell you that there is something more important to me than money. That something is justice in all its forms. A just society is a peaceful society. Justice requires equity, both in outcome and application of process. How much money I make is irrelevant to the topic at hand just as the only relevance of my intelligence is that I can see your bullshit for the bullshit that it is and expose it as such. The relevant issue is that I stand for justice for all whereas you stand for justice only for those who can buy it, which ironically enough, isn’t justice at all. Justice is truest when it applies to all. The pursuit of justice is by definition the pursuit of the greater good.

  69. Great article, Gene.
    There was a time (90s) when I was an active activist and I remember one less active activist (who owned things and therefore had something to lose) asking me: “Aren’t you afraid?”
    I was puzzled. “Of whom?”
    “The FBI, the courts, the judges, whoever.”
    My answer: “Courts, Judges, they have done everything they can to me already so what’s to fear. The FBI? If they thought I had any power at all I’d have been killed already in some kind of accident or natural death. The proof that I am powerless and actually useless is that they aren’t the least bit afraid of me. So, no, I’m not afraid. If I ever get really good at what I’m trying to do, I won’t have TIME to be afraid; I’ll be GONE before I can catch my breath from the first whimper.”
    She was silent. So was I. Then she said, “Wow, you really don’t trust the government do you?”
    I’m known for answering questions with other questions. I said, “do you?”

  70. Gene I’m not the one who brought it up. I’m just reminding everyone that chances are your smarter than they are. Kinda reminds me of those bumper stickers of years past. My kids smarter than your kid. Your the one touting how intelligent you are. I said you were a smart guy and you said,

    “You’re right about one thing though. I’m a pretty smart guy. Statistically speaking, in a room of 100 random people, there are only 1 or 2 that are as smart or smarter.”

    I’m sure everyone here would agree. I know your smarter than me. Anybody else doubt that Gene is smarter than you.

  71. The relevant issue is that I stand for justice for all whereas you stand for justice only for those who can buy it, which ironically enough, isn’t justice at all.

    No you don’t Gene, you have said on more than one occassion that if a few people get hurt along the way it’s for the greater good. The ends justifies the means. If a little old lady gets pushed down to the ground you say she should have picked better friends.

  72. Has anyone noticed how touching Bdaman’s concern for the little person is? He is so very worried about the small business owner who might have a crowd outside the store, or the driver who is inconvenienced crossing a bridge?

    I want to know where that concern is when the small business owner cannot get a loan from bank that was too big to fail so got a multibillion dollar bailout from taxes that small business owner paid. I want to know where that concern is about the motorist who is losing his home to a bank that used zombies to sign foreclosure papers. I want to know where that concern is when the veteran who got clubbed while walking down the street cannot get his PTSD treated at the VA because of budget cutbacks because the billionaires want more tax breaks. I want to know where the concern is when the pregnant mother cannot get prenatal care for because a Republican Congressman marches in lockstep with the leadership to block all health care legislation. I want to know where the concern is when an 83 year old lady is pepper sprayed for not moving fast enough when a jack booted policeman yells at her to move faster.

    I want to know where the concern is when my 23-year-old daughter cannot get health insurance for any price because she had childhood cancer. Where is it?

    Most of this is because a Republican congress, a wholly owned subsidiary of the megabanks and oil companies, want more and better tax breaks for those who least need them. Also the stated goal of making the first black President to fail.

  73. OS the Occupy Movement only needs to be in Washington D.C. Not disrupting the lives of ordinary citizens across the country.

  74. I want to know where the concern is when an 83 year old lady is pepper sprayed for not moving fast enough when a jack booted policeman yells at her to move faster.

    Where was the concern for the 80 something year old lady that got knocked to the ground by an OWS. Gene says it was for the greater good and she should have picked better friends. I say the same thing for the 83 year old lady you point out.

  75. Bdaman, I really kind of feel sorry for you. That is, unless you are another of those paid shills for the 1%, in which case you would be beneath contempt. If you really believe what you are trying to sell, then your contact with reality is tenuous at best and wish you could get help for your problem.

  76. O.S. I am part of the majority at the moment that feels the OWS is misplaced and misguided. If you want to feel sorry for me/us that’s fine. I can tell you this, if this was the T Party doing all of this ( rapes, murders, destroying personal and private property, not to mention disrupting peoples daily lives) you would be up in arms.

  77. Overheard on the live feed early Thursday morning:

    Cop to OWS group: You can’t be here, you don’t have a parade permit

    One quick thinking OWSer to cop: This isn’t a parade you idiot, it’s a protest.

    The unions got on board at the very beginning. Although there are all ages involved in OWS, the vast majority are young and they are going to vote. I was involved in many meetings where this was discussed and the analysis was on target … they turned out and helped us defeat Issues 1&2.

    They aren’t going to respond to a partisan plea for all politicians are suspect. They will respond to issues if the issues are geared to bringing fairness back to the system. It’s as simple as that.

    This strict adherence to fairness, what the phrase “mic check” points out, appeals to many voters in and out of Political Party affiliations. The OWS influence is going to continue to grow. Its time has come.

  78. Blouse, while exact numbers are hard to come by, crowd estimates from yesterday run between 10 and 15 thousand people in New York alone. Movement shrinking as some here have posited? Lessee, the first OWS protests were a few dozen people hanging out and camping in Zuccotti Park. If you tried to get ten thousand in the park, I reckon it would overflow just a bit. Getting smaller and dying? Hardly.

  79. Bdaman, I am sure you would have advised Rosa Parks to just sit down and shut up. That seems to be your style of protest when you see an injustice.

  80. As I write this, I have received word from Madison, Wisconsin that the crowd there is between 25,000 and 40,000 and growing.

    If you look at local media web sites, you will mostly see……..crickets.

    We MUST go the other way and keep Congress from passing legislation that will further allow media outlets to concentrate power. Back when I worked at a radio station, the Fairness Doctrine was in force. Also, no single corporation could own more than six stations.

  81. OS,

    The funny thing is that is exactly what Rosa Parks did … she was tired and her feet hurt so she just sat down and refused to speak or move.

    She wasn’t trying to start anything … but the time had come …

  82. “SEIU has endorsed Obama, and the union is participating in OWS so some people such as Glenn Greenwald are viewing that negatively. Doesn’t OWS need labor on their side? The anti war movement did not get union support if I remember correctly.”


    Glenn Greenwald is a good man and he gets many things right. He is at times over the top in his defining a person or groups purity. In your quote you get the essence of his problem with the SEIU. The Anti-War Movement didn’t get labor’s support because they were so taken with their need to be pure that they didn’t understand that having the proper perspective and the logical truth does not win political battles. Alliances and organization is what wins, especially against an entrenched plutocracy that isn’t afraid to bloody their hands. As a former union activist and office holder in NYC I had many dealings with the SEIU and they were and are one of the most progressive unions in the country. Glenn doesn’t like that they endorsed Obama, but the in truth Glenn would rather be right than protect the people. OWS is succeeding because they don’t define their purity and are willing to accept proffered help.

    The damned point is saving the 99% from feudalism and economic enslavement, not winning a purity contest. The purists of this world constantly bring billy clubs to gunfights and then wonder why they get shot before they can get a shot in. I you’ve read my words you understand that I have a very dire analysis of the current situation, that won’t prevent me from making common cause with anyone who can protect us from future disaster. to put it in other words: I like your perspective.

    As far as Jill goes she is intelligent and capable, gives as good as she gets, but constantly plays the role of victim. I see nothing in your comments to her that was out of line, or inappropriate from your perspective.

    By the way Jill, you’ve played the victim game with me before and it is getting old at this point. If you think SwM has put you down, put her down, but please stop crying foul. If I bothered to analyze your past output I know very well that I would find you attacking people. We all do it here at times, but you cry foul when the ball is hit up the middle metaphorically speaking, SwM has been nowhere near disturbing the civlity of this blog with her comments

  83. Oh, but Blouse, Rosa Parks took a seat from a poor white guy who would either have had to stand or sit in the back of the bus. We could not have that, now could we? (using Bdaman’s logic)

  84. Bdaman,

    Again, your own personal feelings of inadequacy are showing. Also, it’s not my fault that you don’t understand that justice only for those who can buy it isn’t justice at all or that the actual price of securing liberty and justice is sometimes paid in blood. Or do you think the Revolutionary War was fought with paintball guns, that the troops on Omaha Beach were getting shot at with spit wads or that nobody got hurt in the largely peaceful Indian Revolution? Conflict breeds casualties. Injustice breed conflict. The conflict here is causally related to the crimes of Wall Street and the malfeasance in office of their political lackeys that both aided in the crime and in the avoidance of punishment. If a few people get hurt to restore democracy and the rule of law in this country? It is unfortunate, but such a restoration may require such sacrifices and such a restoration would be well worth the price. The longer injustice festers, the greater the eventual conflict will be. That’s just the sociological fact of the matter and a pattern repeated in every revolution throughout human history.

  85. OS,

    We really did start analyzing OWS back in early October. We liked what we saw … run by committee and 1 man 1vote law, no formal spokesperson, 5 minute speaking time duration, no mics or bullhorns (everything done by mouth from front to back), strict no political party adherence, lots of young voters who were very quietly going about the business of getting their fellow members registered to vote(this is super important and being done with great efficiency and without fanfare), a strict non-violence policy … there was an integrity we liked.

    We figured it would take off but like everyone else, we had no idea how fast it would be.

    Hindsight always sees when “the time has come”. 😉

  86. Blouise: “They aren’t going to respond to a partisan plea for all politicians are suspect. They will respond to issues if the issues are geared to bringing fairness back to the system. It’s as simple as that.”

    Ekyra: reference to Washington DC as the place to be.

    That’s in major part Ms.Blouise is what the politician’s fear is centered on and why people aren’t massing in DC. The political establishment has rendered themselves superfluous (much like Badman’s arguments) because they are divorced from reality. Their obvious servitude to the 1% and complete unresponsiveness to the needs of the country have rendered them not even worthy of attention. People know where the real power is and that’s where they are going.

    I agree, partisan pleas aren’t going to work. I’m suspecting that if the President went to an OWS gathering and yelled ‘Mic Check” people wouldn’t respond (well maybe, out of courtesy alone) – what’s he got to say that anyone wants to hear?

    30K in this weeks march on Wall Street, not bad for a 2 month old movement that started with a couple of hundred people in a park.

  87. OS,

    re: Ms. Parks … I know … I just don’t bother with Bda when he gets into one of these moods ’cause he’s always off beat.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like talking to Bda about all sorts of things but when he’s on this bandwagon … he doesn’t always say what he really believes (in my opinion) so I don’t bother.

  88. Lottakatz,


    I was sent to a place to talk to a bunch of OWSers back in Oct. If I went back and read your words to them today they would nudge each other, nod, and say …”She gets it.” (You’d be in. :) )

  89. Blouise: “There were originally 17 people who started this whole thing back in September.” Amazing isn’t it?

    I recall on the day the bailout was signed a spontaneous, small gathering of people showed up on Wall Street, at the bull. They said when interviewed that they just felt that here was where the should be. Some of them had hastily made signs but most didn’t. They were just pissed and I think disappointed in their country and what the legislation meant, or revealed. Not handcuffs but billions, the country’s future given away to thieves and brigands.

    I am so glad they were but a preview of things to come.

    (I also think the police and the 1% are scared that at some point people just might decide to step off the sidewalk.)

  90. Blouise: “Lottakatz, … I was sent to a place to talk to a bunch of OWSers back in Oct.”

    I like you, you’re a total shit-disturber. I respect that greatly.:-)

  91. Mike S, One of my lifelong best friends is an attorney for AFSCME and has worked harder for working people than anyone that I know..She has worked for lower pay than she could earn in the private sector her whole life. Even with a bad form of breast cancer she goes in the cold to demonstrate in Madison. Jill can’t convince me or you that the public employee unions are corrupt, and it is better to form a coalition with the tea party than the unions because the tea party hates Obama more.

  92. From Plutocracy Files on OWS in Missoula, Montana:

    “….several of the 24/7 occupiers at Occupy Missoula that the police have dropped off drunken, belligerent people at the occupation. I happened to be there when just that happened. A woman who was extremely drunk and was belligerent was dropped off by Officer Kasey Williams of the Missoula Police Department, Badge #348. She headed directly into the occupation and was belligerent and threatening. This very small occupation was forced to handle this on their own (which, by the way, they did very well).

    I am sure the concern trolls will have a good rationalization for this.

  93. Over two hundred years ago, Robert Burns penned these memorable words,

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us

    An foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an gait wad lea’es us,
    An ev’n devotion!

    How others see us:

  94. OS, my favorite, pithy Burns saying: “Burn everything English except their coal.” Not that I have anything in particular against the English, I just like the way the sentiment was expressed. I also like his ballad of John Barleycorn.

  95. What I think is funny, is there are three people on here that I know are most probably in the 1 per cent…and only one is assailing attacks….Hmmmmm… defense is an offense….

    Gene…still a great article and most deserving….of the commentary….

  96. Snobbery btw comes from all walks of life….there are some folks on here that have education without wisdom…and some folks have wisdom…because they have tried…it is sorta of like demanding class once you have money…it almost never happens….You have to be able to remove the tooth pick when a lady approaches…

  97. Tom that is to be expected. We just went through the greatest recession since the Great Depression.

    “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

  98. SwM,

    AFSCME is a great union also and my Local #371 in NYC was a member of DC37. Were they perfect in operation, not always. When it came to support for the 99%, they were there. That’s the reason Glenn sometimes misses the mark, he demands total purity in word/deed, or else lumps you with the enemy. No one is ever perfect.

  99. “Wait til it catches up with you, then we’ll hear a different tune.”

    Tom I’ve been hesitant to post this but the fact of the matter is I was the owner of a multi million dollar company in the construction industry. When the recession hit it that was the first industry to take a hit. Prior to that it was gang busters with new housing starts and businesses. I had a total of 25 employees at my peak. I’ve since closed the company. I lost all of my equipment, some paid for and some not. I also had five rental properties. When my renters started loosing their jobs they couldn’t pay the rent. I lost all five with the exception of my mothers house in which only by strong prayer and Gods blessing was it saved. I was able to quit claim deed it into my mothers name and then do a reverse mortgage in her name. Now for as long as my mother lives in the home their will not be a mortgage payment on the home. After she passes I have one year to do away with it or give it back which will likely be the case because it will not be worth what the loan will be. My wife and I just received foreclosure papers on our home. We have filed with an attorney to forestall the process. We don’t want the home any longer due to faulty construction and the dollar amount it would take to make further repairs not to mention whats owed verses what it’s worth. The bank can have it. When I was loosing EVERYTHING I WORKED FOR, it was the bottom of the pit in my life. I could not get suicide out of my mind. There was a period of about six months where I would lay awake at night in disbelief that I had gone from being on top of the world to under it. It has only been the last six months to where I have started to turn my thought process around and I now stand ready to mount my comeback. Prior to that I was having my own self pity party. I’m working on several ideas that I hope will come to fruition. I’m very fortunate to have a successful spouse who has been able to provide for us and with keep our head above water.

    Now everyone knows, I’m no longer ashamed of where I am in life but accept that it is what it is. I know that what was lost can be found again through hard work and dedication and not a handout. I use to complain about everything but realized it wasn’t helping my situation. The one thing I found very helpful in the process was to learn to look at myself in the mirror each morning after brushing my teeth and smile and put on a happy face, then frown and make my face look as if it was one in disgust. Then I ask myself which one I liked better. It’s easy to do and simple to choose. So when you say wait til it catches up with you, it already has and it’s behind me, well almost, my bankruptcy is filed but it shouldn’t be long now.

  100. Based on Bdamans arguments tailgating should be met with brutal police suppression.

    “Yale Tailgate Party Accident: Truck Strikes Yale-Harvard Tailgaters, Killing 1”

    “NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A driver of a U-Haul truck carrying beer kegs through a tailgating area before the Yale-Harvard game Saturday suddenly accelerated, fatally striking a 30-year-old Massachusetts woman and injuring two other women, police said …. Six years ago, Yale began shutting down all parties after halftime in an effort to curb binge drinking and keep students and alumni safe. “Saturday, the university said it planned to review its policies and regulations on tailgating before games.

  101. I’m very fortunate to have a successful spouse who has been able to provide for us and with keep our head above water. -Bdaman

    You admit that you’re very fortunate. What if you didn’t have a successful spouse?

    “I lost all five with the exception of my mothers house in which only by strong prayer and Gods blessing was it saved.”

    “Only by strong prayer and Gods blessing,”, you say? Come on, Bdaman.

  102. “Only by strong prayer and Gods blessing,”, you say? Come on, Bdaman.

    One of the most amazing stories in how it all worked out. you wouldn’t believe it. Based on your comment it sounds like your a non believer anyway.

  103. “Based on your comment it sounds like your a non believer anyway.” -Bdaman


    There you go, leaping to another conclusion…

  104. “I’m very fortunate to have a successful spouse who has been able to provide for us and with keep our head above water. -Bdaman”


    Having had to deal financial problems for most of my life I feel a lot of empathy towards your troubles. I also don’t put down your use of prayer as a means to get you through, on one very low occasion it worked for me. Coming into the
    Rosh Hashonnah High Holiday in 1996 my family was faced by disastrous financial woes surrounding us on all sides. On the first day I was in shul and I prayed for a way out and then lost my self in “davening” (reciting the Hebrew prayer service). The Jewish New Years service is almost five hours in length and I was lost in something akin to meditation. Walking out afterwards with my family, a thought occurred to me out of nowhere, about a conversation I had with a friend some months before. He had told me that at a rough period in his life he drove Limos on the weekends. From there I contacted him, got the name of the place he drove for and for the next 4 months, in addition to my NYC executive job, I drove Limos for 36 hours on weekends. It was tiring, it was hard and to be honest I hated it, but it got my family through. I was then approached by a friend in my Agency who offered me the biggest, highest paying job of my career and I could quit driving Limos.

    In my mind I ascribe the solution to my prayer in time of need. Whether a message from the Creator, or not, the prayer helped me. In my life, while far from easy, the important needs have always been met and I do believe that it is because of my good karma. Given this, I can understand the importance that prayer and your faith have for you.

    I must say though, as AN has done already, many people don’t have the good fortune to have such a spouse? What about them? Not all financial holes can be dug out of by hard work and faith. Many good people are drowning in this economy now. I know very well what you are against, but I’m hazy as to what you are for with respect to turning the economy around. Nobody on the Republican side has offered viable programs to do this save for talking of “freeing up business”, which has been done since Reagan. What about all those good people less fortunate in life than you and I? Whether or not you like their tactics that is what OWS is about and they are at least suggesting some viable means to recover the economy. Given what you’ve been through lately isn’t there empathy in your heart for those not as fortunate as yourself and answers more realistic than simply work harder?

  105. Bdaman, may you find a way out of the tribulations in which you find yourself. My heart goes out to you and your family. I know your mother has been a big priority in your life and I hope you are able to treasure the time you have left with her.

    Let me just echo what Mike Spindell has said. I have a somewhat different view of prayer than both Mike and AN, but agree with Mike that it sometimes help. Perhaps it is the meditative aspect that frees up the creative part of your mind and allows one to find previously hidden solutions. Whatever works for you is always good.

    I just wish you would open your mind to the fact there are not always solutions and some people do have to depend on more than hard work. Some people are not capable of hard work or creativity. Some who are willing to work hard and are creative simply find themselves with no viable options. There are those who are forbidden by circumstances from having their needs met. Those are the angry people who are beginning to take to the streets. Jokes are made about pitchforks and torches, but desperation sometimes calls for desperate measures. I hear the disparaging cry of some of the Wall Street bankers and investors to, “Get a job!” When there are no jobs to be had. My daughter cannot seem to find a job despite the fact she is about to graduate in December, types over a hundred words a minute and is trained in office management and record keeping. She is competing in an area where there are a hundred people looking for every single opening. And as I said before, cannot buy health insurance for any price because of her history of being a cancer survivor.

    I truly hope you find a way out of your mess and are on your way back to being an employer again. I am confident you will survive successfully because you have a strong spouse, if for no other reason. I had the same good fortune for 55 years. But, I know you are a smart guy who will manage to make lemonade out of the lemons you have been handed.

    And despite the occasional disagreement on how to run the country, we love ya man.

  106. Chancellor Katehi of UC Davis refused to leave her office last night. She stayed until after dark. The students were seated with a wide path between them so she could leave the building. Finally someone convinced her it was safe for her to leave. The students sit in stony silence and her discomfort is palpable. The only sound is the the echo of Katehi’s shoes on the concrete. The students remain seated, staring at her with disdain and disgust.

    For one of the most surreal moments I have ever seen on video:

  107. Blouise, the manner in which the students behaved toward the Chancellor is exemplary. The contempt in their eyes is haunting.

    Yes, it is powerful.

  108. Mike Spindell –

    You wrote:

    “In my life, while far from easy, the important needs have always been met and I do believe that it is because of my good karma.”

    Although I very much doubt you meant it this way, this could be read to mean that those who don’t “have their important needs met” should blame it on their own bad karma, something with which I would strongly disagree.

    I’m sure most would agree that there are many millions of good people who suffer from not having their most basic needs met in this country and in others, as well as the converse being true, and I thought this point was important to clarify. Being a good person is neither necessary nor sufficient to guarantee one’s well-being of any sort.

  109. “this could be read to mean that those who don’t “have their important needs met” should blame it on their own bad karma, something with which I would strongly disagree.”


    Why would you possibly think given the entire context of what I wrote that I would feel that way. first of all from it you could easily see I’m Jewish. Could you possibly believe that I felt all who died in the Shoah had “bad karma”. Secondly, would I state:

    “Not all financial holes can be dug out of by hard work and faith. Many good people are drowning in this economy now.”

    Do you believe that I feel all those people are suffering from bad karma?

    However, let me address this head on. In my life, certainly not one blessed with wealth and celebrity, I have been overly fortunate. Considering my innate recklessness in early behavior, my inattention in school and my cavalier approach to living my life as I saw fit, I have received many great blessings and have been having a good life. I treat others well, am kind and considerate.
    When I love, I love unconditionally and when someone makes me angry I am quick to forgive and forget. I do follow certain religious rites but i’m far from what you would call a religious man. Yet given the scrapes I’ve gotten into and out of, I’ve come to feel that I have been protected because of my good karma.
    Why any creative force of this universe should feel kindly towards me I don’t know, but somehow feel that it is there looking out for me.

  110. OS,

    We have witnessed a great many occurrences in our lives but this OWS movement is one of the fastest moving I’ve ever seen. I suspect it is the advanced technology which they all know how to use with expertise.

  111. Blouise, you are absolutely spot on. The Egyptians and Libyan governments found out the hard way about the speed of communication in the internet/smart phone age. YouTube and streaming video has been a powerful force as it brings live shots of events in real time. This was technology not even invented at the time of the first gulf war.

  112. Bdaman,

    Given yours story, your position on the OWS matter is even more perplexing than before. Hang in there, but know this: you are not the only one bedeviled with bad luck, but you are one of the lucky few with equally good luck to mitigate your disasters. You know what bad luck can bring from personal experience and yet the lesson you learned was make the unfortunate work harder instead of trying to help them in any way possible? A lot of those OWS people you disparage so readily are in a worse place than you. They have loved ones they’d like to be able to care for but can’t because there are no jobs in the wrecked economy. They may not be able to help themselves because they have no fortunate spouse to lean on during the hard time. Yet you defend those who wrecked the economy while reaping gluttonous profits from the righteous outrage of those that they wronged? I submit you’ve learned the wrong and/or incomplete lessons from your misfortune or are perhaps suffering from some kind of Stockholm-like Syndrome where you sympathize more with the criminals than with those you have more in common with: their victims.


    In re your poster link.

    As a long time supporter of House Atreides, I think I can say with confidence that they along with the Fremen are sympathetic to the OWS movement.😀



    That karma, she’s a wheel don’tcha know?😉

  113. Gene,

    It was positively stupendous karma from your last lifetime that brought me to you this lifetime … and vice versa of course …😉

  114. I have a couple of comments on OWS:

    Chuck Wexler, head of group that coordinated police crackdown on #Occupy Wall Street serves on Dept of Homeland Security council

    And two, one of the founders of OWS worked on Wall Street:

    VLAD TEICHBERG: Well, my specific job was I was a derivatives trader. I was basically working for large banks, betting basically their money on these derivatives products. And my job was sort understanding how these products worked, really [inaudible] to the level of models, that used to price them, but also figuring out what models didn’t work and so on.

    For me, the philosophical transformation was the—basically the whole globalization philosophy that was being pushed in the early mid-’90s, that would ultimately be—ultimate equalizer of the world turned out to be faulty because of the effective multinationals. Towards the late ’90s, I mean, I think a lot of people came to the same conclusion: globalization was actually doing more harm than good, and there was more inequality in the world. And by late—by late ’90s, it was very, very clear that that was the case. And that’s pretty much when I started shifting out of being a supporter of this Ayn Rand approach to looking at the world.
    Watch the rest of the interview here:

  115. So, in light of globalization and Multinationals, all the old arguments from both conservatives and liberals do not apply. This is the 21st Century. Everything changed in the 90’s, and not for the better.

    If we do not change this corrupted system of crony capitalism, neo conservatism and neo liberalism the world will become a terrible place for all of us except the 1%.

    btw, there is a new piece of legislation coming out that will end corporate money in politics, it is called the OCCUPIED bill. Occupy Movement now has an amendment named after it:

    In one of the greatest signs yet that the 99 Percenters are having an impact, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced an amendment that would ban corporate money in politics and end corporate personhood once and for all.
    Deutch’s amendment, called the Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Amendment, would overturn the Citizens United decision, re-establishing the right of Congress and the states to regulate campaign finance laws, and to effectively outlaw the ability of for-profit corporations to contribute to campaign spending.

    This is the third direct action brought on by the Occupy Movement. First BofA drops their debit card fee in response to Bank Transfer Day. Then Obama delayed the Keystone pipeline which will cause the project to lose investors.

  116. When a person who is a victim of Wall Street/Federal Reserve/ FIRE sector on Wall Street keeps defending them, I know just how good a job our Main Stream Corporate media is doing to keep people confused and uninformed. They earn that money.

    So, I guess the next fake bubble blow up and vulture opportunity will be in student loans, amirite Wall Street? Of course there will be a bail out.

  117. Another action in favor of Occupy:

    By Kevin Zeese

    Washington, DC: The Occupation of Washington, DC published “The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending” detailing plans to not only reduce the deficit but close the wealth divide, create millions of jobs, strengthen the safety net and develop a democratized economy. This report has been provided to the twelve members of the Congressional Super Committee.

    After holding an Occupy Super Committee Hearing on November 9, Occupy Washington DC published an evidence-based report that:

    – Raises $600 billion in annual revenues thereby achieving the deficit reduction goals in two years; shrinks the wealth divide by taxing wealth more and labor less; restores a progressive tax system; taxes speculation by investors and taxes wealth held overseas.

    – Cuts hundreds of billions in annual spending through reducing the bloated military budget and ending the wars, stopping corporate welfare and negotiating better pharmaceutical drug prices.

    – Creates millions of jobs by solving the housing crisis, creates public sector jobs for much-needed work on infrastructure, transit, education and other areas, creates health care jobs as part of improving Medicare and expanding it to cover everyone in the United States, invests in the more efficient civilian economy rather than the expensive military economy and stimulates the economy by erasing student loan debt.

    – Saves and strengthens the safety net by restoring the amount of income covered by Social Security to 90% of all income as was always intended, ends poverty retirement by expanding Social Security, reduces spending on health care by expanding Medicare to cover everyone in the United States.

    – Presents steps to creating a democratized economy, the already developing new economy that will replace the failed finance, corporate capitalism.

    The report points out why the Congressional Super Committee will be unable to put in place these obvious evidence-based solutions by detailing the campaign donations received by the twelve members of the Super Committee. The report describes the committee as being occupied by monied interests that prevent them from confronting the extreme wealth divide. This corruption by concentrated wealth makes the committee dysfunctional.

    The report concludes that the American people will see “corruption reign supreme” and that economic and political elites should expect to see this historic American revolt of the 99% grow larger and stronger in its resolve to create a just and sustainable future.


  118. Reporters For Right-Wing Publication Daily Caller Beaten By NYPD, Helped By Protesters
    By Zaid Jilani on Nov 17, 2011

    The right-wing Daily Caller website has been anything but kind to Occupy Wall Street, even going so far as to condemn the protest movement as generating riots, murder, and arson.

    But when a couple of Daily Caller employees were at Occupy Wall Street this morning, it was the very protesters they had been demonizing who ended up helping them out. Daily Caller reporter Michelle Fields — who faced off with actor Matt Damon earlier this year over education policy — and videographer Direna Cousins both claim they were attacked by the New York Police Department (NYPD) while covering the raucous protests in the Financial District today. Fields added that Occupy Wall Street protesters immediately came up to her to offer their help:

    “Direna had a camera in her hand and I had a microphone, and we were being hit,” she said. “When I fell to the ground I said at one point, ‘I’m just covering this! I’m covering this!’ And the officer just said, ‘Come on, get up, get up,’ before pulling me up by my jacket.’” “The protesters came up to me right away and asked if I needed any medical assistance. They were actually very kind and helpful. It was the police officers who were very aggressive,” Fields added.

    Fields says that protesters right now are effectively “barricaded” in Zuccotti Park, which was the spot from which they were ousted from on Tuesday.


    Daily Caller reporter, videographer assaulted by NYPD during ‘Occupy’ protests
    By Jordan Bloom
    The Daily Caller
    Published: 12:03 PM 11/17/2011

    Thursday morning, Daily Caller reporter Michelle Fields and videographer Direna Cousins were struck by NYPD officers as police tried to clear Wall Street of protesters.

    “The police officers were beating the protesters with batons, and were also beating the media,” Fields told TheDC. “They hit Direna and me with batons. They hit other members of the press in order to get them to move out of the street.”

    Both were struck, but neither sustained injuries that required hospitalization.

    Clear indications that Fields and Cousins were members of the press didn’t stop the NYPD beating.

    “Direna had a camera in her hand and I had a microphone, and we were being hit,” she said. “When I fell to the ground I said at one point, ‘I’m just covering this! I’m covering this!’ And the officer just said, ‘Come on, get up, get up,’ before pulling me up by my jacket.’”

    In the crush of the crowd, Fields and Cousins were unable to get out of the street and comply with the NYPD’s orders.

    “The protesters came up to me right away and asked if I needed any medical assistance. They were actually very kind and helpful. It was the police officers who were very aggressive,” Fields added.

    The throng of protesters massing around entrances to the New York Stock Exchange was just the first indication of a full day of “nonviolent direct action” the Occupy Wall Street movement has planned for November 17.

  119. Occupy Cleveland Saves Woman’s Home From Imminent Foreclosure
    By Zaid Jilani on Nov 15, 2011

    Last week, Occupy Atlanta encamped at the Snellville, Georgia home of a Gwinnett County police officer in an attempt to save his family’s home from foreclosure. At the time, Occupy Atlanta organizer Tim Franzen said that he hopes this tactic spreads nationwide.

    Now, one Cleveland mother can be glad that it has. After her husband left her and refused to provide any real support, Beth Sommerer was due to be evicted from her home today, along with her children. But at the last moment, she made a desperate plea to the protesters of Occupy Cleveland. Soon afterward, Occupy Cleveland pitched its tents in Sommerer’s yard, vowing not to move unless she was allowed to stay in her home. On Monday, a local court gave in and gave a 30-day stay on the eviction order…

    “The Occupy movement is mostly about the little people. I live on Main Street and they helped me out,” said Sommerer after the news broke that her family could stay put for a little longer.

  120. These protests are not going to get much attention from the corporatist press until more of their reporters are beaten and arrested. I am awaiting with baited breath until a Fox News (an oxymoron if there ever was one) reporter is beaten, pepper sprayed, tasered and arrested.

    Hannity and O’Reilly will get a sprained brain from the mental gymnastics they will have to do in order to blame the protesters.

  121. Freezing Free Speech: Winter Tents Are ‘Contraband’ For Occupy Boston
    By Brad Johnson on Nov 20, 2011

    Occupy Boston is one of the largest and best established occupations of the 99 Percent movement, in the city known as the Cradle of Liberty for its role in sparking the American Revolution. With a court order preventing the city of Boston from tearing down the encampment, the occupiers are planning to maintain their protest indefinitely at Dewey Square, in the heart of Boston’s financial district, in the shadow of the Federal Reserve and Smith Barney. Despite the temporary restraining order that finds that the Occupy Boston plaintiffs “have clearly met their burden of establishing that abridgment of their First Amendment rights would constitute irreparable harm,” the Boston Police Department is preventing the occupiers from winterizing their encampment.

    In the last few days, Boston police have blocked the occupiers from bringing in a winterized tent intended as a safe space for women, and have searched a truck for “contraband” tents and insulation materials. In an exchange that resembles a vaudeville comedy routine, a Boston police officer explains to activist Clark Stoekley why he searched the truck for “items we don’t want in the camp”:

    I came to the truck because uh, we were afraid you had contraband that we don’t want in the camp . . . items we don’t want in the camp . . . Winter tents and, um, any type of insulation materials for tents that are already presently there…

    The officer later explains that he doesn’t know why protection from the cold is banned in Boston, saying, “I just do what I’m told.”

  122. Gene H:

    “there are no jobs in the wrecked economy.”

    that is not correct, there are many jobs in welding, machining and other skilled trades that are going unfilled because of a lack of competent trades men and women.

    I heard Jack Welch in an interview say or productivity now is a good or better than is 2007 with fewer people working.

    Down turns usually provide an opportunity for companies to dump ballast.

  123. Bron, in our county there are a number of machine shops. They are not hiring, and in fact some have laid off people for lack of work. Those who have jobs are not going anywhere.

    How about the many people who would not know a wrench from a screwdriver? What welding jobs will they get?

    My daughter can do all kinds of office work, but there are as many as 100 applicants for every posted office job. Despite being college educated, computer savvy and can type in excess of 100 WPM, she has been passed over every time. She has been keeping track and so far this year she has applied for 90 jobs in her area of work, and some that were simply menial labor. No job. If it were not for me, she would be homeless. A number of her friends come from dysfunctional families and are not so lucky. Any suggestion for her, Bron?

  124. Bron,

    Evidently, I’m not the only person who thinks Welch destroyed GE:

    The Man Who Destroyed GE
    Henry Blodget|March 04, 2009
    Business Insider

    As GE’s stock struggles to hold $7 $6, a level at which it is still arguably expensive (17X cash flow), shareholders are calling for CEO Jeff Immelt’s head.

    And it’s true: Jeff has had 7 years to reduce GE’s dependence on the business that is sinking the ship–GE Capital–and he has chosen not to do so. Until last fall. When it was too late.

    But let’s not forget who built GE Capital in the first place: GE’s legendary CEO, Jack Welch.

    True, Jack Welch left the company eight years ago, but his legend–and legacy–live on. Thanks to Jack, Jeff inherited a company that was highly dependent on a financing business, one that already carried more than $300 billion in debt. (The total is now more than $500 billion).

    It was in no small part this debt load that allowed Jack Welch to post his legendary (and eerily consistent) earnings numbers over his 20 years at GE’s helm. It is also this debt load that is crushing GE shareholders today.

    GE’s round-trip from $7 to $40+ to $7 has now eliminated much of GE’s stock appreciation during the legendary Welch’s reign. If GE were valued at a more reasonable multiple of free cash flow (say 10X), all of the stock’s appreciation during Welch’s tenure would be wiped out (and then some).

    So as GE shareholders gaze in disbelief at the stock’s shriveled remains, they should direct at least some of their frustration at the man who transformed GE from an industrial company to a bank in the first place.

  125. Bdaman seems to manage several talking points at a time. Bron? Not so much. I am old enough to remember what a cracked record really sounds like. That’s our Bron.

  126. Breaking news this morning.

    Police Chief Annette Spicuzza of UC Davis police department has been placed on ‘administrative leave’ pending the outcome of the investigation. The investigation had originally been scheduled to be completed in 90 days, but has since been fast tracked to complete in 30 days.

    Chancellor Linda Katehi said she is not resigning because the university ‘needs’ her. The irony hangs heavy this morning.

    The University of California system is feeling the heat. UC President Mark Yudof said he would convene a meeting of all 10 UC Chancellors. The stated purpose of the meeting is, “…to ensure law enforcement reacts proportionally to future protests.”

  127. These low level lackeys are expendable. Are they too stupid to know that? They also made the mistake of attacking a wealthy student body. Again, what were they thinking?

    I am continually amazed by the stupidity of functionaries in a fascist state. Their level of violence is appalling.

    The police state incompetentsia (the US govt.) knows they are looking badly after all their violence, so they’ll need to sacrifice some real low level sadistic functionaries for the sake of better PR. Katehi will be moved to another position but the police are going to get it. It’s possible, given that the student body has the wealth to file civil actions, that even Katehi will have to pay her fines.

    Meanwhile DHS is working hard with a wonderful private company to coordinat the crackdowns. The Guardian has this story. Those are the people who most need jail time. They won’t get that because they’re too high up in the fascist food chain.

    The increasing violence and use of techniques such as forcing open people’s mouths and spraying in chemical agents shows us that torture overseas has come home to our population. It is the direct result of “looking forward” and the continuation of torture by the Obama administration.

  128. Otteray Scribe:

    yes. Tell her to go to the North/South Dakota oil field or come to the DC area.

    She should be able to find a job.

  129. Oh, bullshit Bron. She is not going to go across the country to work in an oil field. And she is not going to DC. That suggestion is beyond idiotic.

    Like all your observations so far, you are simplistic and absurd in the extreme.

  130. Otteray Scribe:

    When I got out of school, there were no jobs where I lived. I looked and looked and then I thought where are people hiring and I looked around the country and found a couple of places that were and then I took a job with a company that paid me to move there and put me up in a hotel until I could find a place. I worked for that company for as long as I needed to find a job in my chosen line of work. It took about 6 months.

    Flipping hamburgers in South Dakota is better than nothing for a short period of time until you can find something you have been trained to do.

    I have also packed up my car and moved to an area that was hiring while I was in school, it usually worked.

    I also did odd jobs for myself while I was in school when I could not find a job.

    As far as complexity goes? Life is simple once you know certain principles.

    Like for example:

    1. you cant find a job where there arent any.
    2. water flows downhill unless pumped or under pressure.
    3. wish in one hand and shit in the other and the hand you shit in fills up first.
    4. people who believe in complexity never get anything done.
    5. there is no such thing as perfection, good is good enough if it is on time and under budget.

  131. Otteray Scribe:

    Why is that idiotic? How old is she? If she is around 20, I would think she could do that easily with some help from you.

    I would council my daughter to do the same. She worked at the beach all summer and paid her way for all but the first months rent and about 200 dollars in seed money.

    I think I recollect that you live somewhere in TN, that is only about 12 hours from DC. The beach was 6. A plane from Nashville to BWI takes around 2 hours and it takes 1 hour to get to DC. Time wise closer than driving or taking a plane to the beach because you would still have to drive a couple of hours.

    It is only idiotic because you dont want her to do it for whatever reason you have. In and off itself, the idea is pretty sound.

  132. “Chancellor Linda Katehi said she is not resigning because the university ‘needs’ her. The irony hangs heavy this morning.” (Otteray Scribe)

    Nobody needs her which is something she is about to discover. I doubt Greece even wants her to visit.

    The Chancellor is just one more semi-important person to discover that all her good press relations mean nothing because the media lost control of the OWS story a long time ago. They can’t protect her by keeping a story quiet.

    The internet has taken over the job of mainstream media and once you go viral, baby … your goose is cooked … all over the world.

    Police Departments are learning this lesson as are Mayors …

  133. “We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people …” – anchor on
    Egyptian state television, justifying latest military crackdown
    that’s killed at least 11 protestors so far

    You’re Welcome, Egypt!
    Pennsylvania company Combined Tactical Systems manufactures tear gas
    and rubber bullets used by Egyptian government

    Bron, Bdaman, the things that worked for people in the past in finding a job no longer apply. We did not have globalization back then to the extent we have now, and the Multinationals had not completely taken over our government like they have now.
    It is a vastly different nation than the one in which you and I came of age. Not at all the same.

  134. Bron, she does not want to leave the mountains. Her mother is buried here as well as her brother. Our family is here. She has a support system and she loves her mountains. Our family helped settle this county 230 years ago. Why in hell should she leave when she does not want to? To go off on a junket two thousand miles away for the “possibility” of finding work?

    All because Grover Norquist and his enablers do not want to pay their fair share of taxes. Grover, who had his great insight at the age of 12. Grover who appears to have never developed morally beyond the age of 12, and is still a petulant, greedy 12-year-old at heart. Must be your hero.

    You gave away your problem with your little list. You see the ability to understand complexity as a handicap. I see the lack of ability to analyze a situation in all its complexity a handicap.

    So far, every time you have offered advice, it is with the level of social comprehension of Dick & Jane in a first grade reading text.

  135. OS,
    Mr. Bron is just following orders. It is amazing when the Right claims that there are jobs to be had. Sure, as long as you do like flipping burgers for minimum wage. I have done those jobs and I have worked in the factory to pay my way through school, but as Blouise mentioned earlier, the days of finding good paying jobs is over. At least until the Republicans decide that they can now actually try to fix the economy instead of trying to keep their corporate and wealthy masters in business.

  136. All of this seems coordinated to me, not just in the US but around the world. The 08 banking crisis was known to the US and European govts, along with the corporations who own them, well before it collapsed everyone’s economies. Not one of these govts. took the legal or regulatory measures to reign in what the corporations were doing.

    The bailouts, in each case became windfalls for the corporate class while impoverishing the mass of people who were forced to underwrite the corporate/govt. criminals. Corporate crime has continued under multiple regimes, both “liberal” and “conservative” in Europe, the US and other world nations such as Egypt.

    In the meantime corporations and govts. “liberal” and “conservative” have colluded in the formation of police states against their own citizens. These police state actions cross US state borders and world borders with weapons being bought and sold from everyone to everyone.

    It would appear the cleptocrats are going for broke. They well understand the consequences of austerity for everyone but themselves. Austerity for the masses brings prosperity for the cleptocrats. Austerity and completely disfunctional govts. who care nothing for the well being of the earth or its people are bound to create unrest among those people who need work and think that social justice and a govt. which works for the people is necessary.

    Events are connected. The cleptocrats must be jailed and pay reparations for what they have stolen and what they have done to the earth and its people along the way to their ill gotten gains.

  137. On November 17, PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler acknowledged PERF’s coordination of a series of conference-call strategy sessions with big-city police chiefs. These calls were distinct from the widely reported national conference calls of major metropolitan mayors.

    This is the same man: Chuck Wexler, head of group that coordinated police crackdown on #Occupy serves on Dept of Homeland Security council


    Concerning the pepper spraying incident at UCD:

    This event is powerfully symbolic. It is about contempt from those in power and the wanton use of force against the powerless.

    We have seen similar things over and over again in the past few years. We have seen it in banks lobbying for public handouts and then denying relief to millions of exploited homeowners. We have seen it in tax breaks and bonuses for the rich while millions of Americans are out of work. We have seen it in church and university officers abusing children and then covering it up. We have seen it in the censorship of climate science performed in the public interest. We have seen it in the absurd declaration that corporations are “people” and entitled to spend billions of dollars to elect representatives that they will then own. We have seen it everywhere we turn.

    The police officer is Congress. Our banks. Our clerics.

    The students are us.

    If I had to sum up the attitude of America’s governing classes in one word, I would say: contempt.

    We are seeing the beginning of a worldwide movement to fight for dignity and intelligent, collective governance. It is remarkable, the parallels between what we see in Tunisia, in Cairo, in Rome, in Zucotti Park, in Oakland, California, and now at UC Davis.

  139. The fight is engaged:
    “Sunday, Anonymous hacktivists assaulted PERF because of their alleged involvement in coordinating police crackdowns on Occupy protests across the country.
    Anonymous hacktivists assaulted PERF, the Police Executive Research Forum, by taking down their website and releasing the private information of Sherwin B. “Chuck” Wexler – Executive Director at PERF.

    PERF is a private but extremely influential national, non-governmental organization with close ties to law enforcement agencies across the country, as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The group allegedly orchestrated and coordinated the sometimes brutal police crack down on Occupy Wall Street, and other Occupy movements across the country.

    After several news organizations identified PERF as being responsible for advising and coordinating the police crackdowns resulting in Occupy evictions and other brutalities, the hivemind of the nebulous and notorious international Internet collective known as Anonymous began to swarm, and sting.”

    This is going to cost our government millions of dollars. The bigger the resistance grows, the more costly it will become. And that is a good thing. We tried the carrot, now the stick is in play.

    Just voting for people, and then having them try to work in a system that is thoroughly corrupted has not worked. We all know it. This will continue until the system is radically changed to one where money does not influence politics and they do the bidding of the 99%, not the 1%

  140. shano,
    It is amazing that cities somehow think that repressing free speech is the way to “control” the masses. They have not learned anything from recent history.

  141. “Meanwhile DHS is working hard with a wonderful private company to coordinate the crackdowns. The Guardian has this story. Those are the people who most need jail time. They won’t get that because they’re too high up in the fascist food chain.” -Jill


    Do you have a link for the Guardian article?

  142. From video of confrontation with police at UC Davis. Numbers are time stamps. The transcript is not mine.

    6:12 “Mic check! Mic check!” (hoarse, urgent) “Shame on you!” Shouting.

    6:15 Three weapons raised horizontal [by police].

    6:20 “Mic check! Mic check! We are willing…”

    Occupiers: “WE ARE WILLING…”

    MC: “to give you a brief moment…”
    Occupiers: “TO GIVE YOU A BRIEF MOMENT…”

    MC: “of peace…”
    Occupiers; “OF PEACE…”

    MC: “so you may take your weapons…”

    MC: “and your friends…”
    Occupiers: “AND YOUR FRIENDS…”

    MC: “and go.”
    Occupiers: “AND GO.”

    6:35 Policeman in front of line of weapons, now, holding two red cans, presumably pepper spray. Police faces behind visors puzzled.

    MC: “Please do not return!”
    Occupiers: “PLEASE DO NOT RETURN!”

    MC: “We are giving you a moment of peace.”

    MC: “You can go! We will not follow you!”
    Occupiers: “WE WILL NOT FOLLOW YOU!” “You can go!” [confused shouting]

    7:04 Occupiers: Chants, shouts, “You can go!”, “You can go!”, “You can go!” (repeated)

    7:11 And the police begin to back down the path. “You can go!”, “You can go!” “None of you is getting a pension!”

    7:14 Now for the first time, the camera pans left to show who the police were facing: A loose crowd of students in hoodies and student gear, many of them holding cameras, chanting and shouting. No violent body language, no visible weapons.

    7:20 Police still in a block formation, backing away.

    7:45 Finally the police turn their backs on the Occupiers and walk down the path. Cheers. “Yeah!” (Somewhere military historian John Keegan says that in a rout, the first troops to flee are not at the front, but at the back of the column, instancing the collapse of the Old Guard at Waterloo. Notice that here, the first police to turn their backs and walk away are indeed those at the back of the column, and not those, weapons still partially raised, at the front.)

    “Shame on you!” “Shame on you!” “Our university!” “Whose university?” “Our university!”

    “Whose quad?” “Our quad!” “Whose quad?” “Our quad!”

  143. OS,
    That was an amazing video. What kind of guns are those campus cops brandishing? Are those gas guns or guns for rubber bullets? Since when do campus cops need that kind of riot gear?
    Their actions were more than shameful, they violated the free speech rights of those students and the officers in charge and the administrators who coordinated that affront to justice should be pounding the pavement for a new job.

  144. “All of this seems coordinated to me, not just in the US but around the world. The 08 banking crisis was known to the US and European govts, along with the corporations who own them, well before it collapsed everyone’s economies. Not one of these govts. took the legal or regulatory measures to reign in what the corporations were doing.”


    I agree with you this is coordinated world wide. The power plays aimed at Greece, Italy and Spain all were done with the intent of foisting “austerity” measures on them. In this context “austerity” means screw everyone but the 1%.


    I’d like to see you send your 21 year old daughter to some burgeoning oil town in North Dakota. Have you the slightest notion of what a town whose population rose 400% in a few years, due to an oil boom, is like? It would have been unsafe for me in my 20’s and i’m a 6 footer that can handle himself. It’s the Wild West Bron. North Dakota is beautiful and the people are great, I’ve been there, but all boom towns share the same characteristics of hard living. As for
    working any job I was completely on my own at 18 and I worked my way through college in a variety of crappy jobs also. However, you and I grew up in times of economic growth, back when America still led the world in making things. It isn’t the same now and the law of shipping jobs overseas to be taken by low wage workers is too tempting to those who you would free from government regulation and control. For a smart man, at times you can be downright immature, colored by your political/economic outlook.

    It is amazing that cities somehow think that repressing free speech is the way to “control” the masses. They have not learned anything from recent history.”


    This morning during my daily ablutions I was pondering just this question. Why are the powers that be being so stupid as to use violently repressive means towards the OWS protests and their offshoots? What occurs to me is that they are really trying to frighten the movement in the same way that the Kent State Murders sent a message to the Anti-War Movement. It really is dumb given that they control the MSM, but in truth many of the 1% are dumb, it’s just their ruthlessness that carries them forward.

  145. “As Rosa Luxemburg so perfectly put it: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”” -from Greenwald’s article

    Sunday, Nov 20, 2011

    The roots of the UC-Davis pepper-spraying

    By Glenn Greenwald


    If a population becomes bullied or intimidated out of exercising rights offered on paper, those rights effectively cease to exist. Every time the citizenry watches peaceful protesters getting pepper-sprayed — or hears that an Occupy protester suffered brain damage and almost died after being shot in the skull with a rubber bullet — many become increasingly fearful of participating in this citizen movement, and also become fearful in general of exercising their rights in a way that is bothersome or threatening to those in power. That’s a natural response, and it’s exactly what the climate of fear imposed by all abusive police state actions is intended to achieve: to coerce citizens to “decide” on their own to be passive and compliant — to refrain from exercising their rights — out of fear of what will happen if they don’t.

    The genius of this approach is how insidious its effects are: because the rights continue to be offered on paper, the citizenry continues to believe it is free. They believe that they are free to do everything they choose to do, because they have been “persuaded” — through fear and intimidation — to passively accept the status quo. As Rosa Luxemburg so perfectly put it: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” Someone who sits at home and never protests or effectively challenges power factions will not realize that their rights of speech and assembly have been effectively eroded because they never seek to exercise those rights; it’s only when we see steadfast, courageous resistance from the likes of these UC-Davis students is this erosion of rights manifest. (end of excerpts)

  146. “Why are the powers that be being so stupid as to use violently repressive means towards the OWS protests and their offshoots? What occurs to me is that they are really trying to frighten the movement in the same way that the Kent State Murders sent a message to the Anti-War Movement. It really is dumb given that they control the MSM, but in truth many of the 1% are dumb, it’s just their ruthlessness that carries them forward.” -Mike S. to raff and shano

    Again, “in truth many of the 1% are dumb, it’s just their ruthlessness that carries them forward.” (Well said, Mike.)

    Hopefully, their hubris will bring them down.

  147. The destruction of private property in Zuccotti Park is going to cost the city a couple hundred thousand dollars, our tax dollars.

    The NYPD stated that the private property should have been confiscated and stored, not destroyed. The contempt is showing in the act of destruction.

    OWS is claiming damages totaling over $250,000. The destruction of the last personal effects of some of the more poverty stricken protesters is obscene.
    They destroyed everything, indiscriminately. From industrial kitchen equipment, to 5,000 books to personal computers, a wireless tower, medical supplies, et al. Total loss and destruction in violation of NYPD rules.
    They will pay, meaning WE will pay with our tax dollars. to say nothing of the hundreds of legal cases resulting from police brutality.

  148. “The US turned right in 2010, and we could do it again with Gingrich in 2012. Remember the tea party thinks Obama is a socialist even though we know it is far from the truth.”


    In the last 6 days I received 1 robo call each day with the same recorded campaign message from Newt. He is well funded and can appeal to the entire party, but then there is that hubris factor. Newt drips with it.

  149. “… but then there is that hubris factor. Newt drips with it.” -Mike S.

    Hubris and hypocrisy… What a combination.

  150. And now the 1% start fighting amongst themselves. This is what happens when the rule of law doesn’t apply and corruption is the order of the day:

    The lawsuit marks an unusual effort to force the government to pay shareholders, who have seen AIG’s stock price tumble 98 percent since the middle of 2007, when the insurer’s risky bets on mortgage debt through credit default swaps began to falter.

    Greenberg’s company filed a separate, related lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    Starr International Co, which once had a 12 percent stake in AIG and was its largest shareholder, said the government illegally took a nearly 80 percent AIG stake without seeking a shareholder vote, hoping to provide a “backdoor bailout” for AIG trading partners such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    It said the bailouts that began on September 16, 2008 violated shareholders’ rights to due process and equal protection, and a Fifth Amendment ban against taking private property for public use without just compensation, known as the “takings clause.”

    Good luck with that.

  151. Don’t know, rafflaw. He is the president of the whole UC system not the chancellor of UC Davis. Maybe she did not consult him. There are calls for her resignation. We shall see.

  152. Keep up with events in NYC on Global Revolution, livestream.
    Or Ustream/theother99. (this is Tim Pool, he was livestreamed by all the MSM outlets all over the world on the 17th)

    Today, in Zuccotti Park, they have students dressed in graduation gowns and chains, placed on them by the Bankers:

  153. I see that the rioting in Egypt is getting worse as is the police/military crack down on protesters, especially in Tahrir Square. The US State Department is clutching their collective pearls breathlessly, cautioning the Egyptian authorities about it.

    Where is that concern about the crackdown in the US? I hear……crickets.

    Don’t you just love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning?

  154. OS, Obama better pick up his pen and write a goddamned speech about the Constitutional Rights of US citizens.

    I am appalled by his silence on current events in America.
    Just gob smacked.

  155. Mike, well put on your several points, especially about throwing my daughter to the wolves in an oil boom town where she would know no one and have no support system. She has no experience living away from home, and although she can shoot a tight group with a revolver, I don’t think that would protect a 5’3″ girl much in a boom town.

    Bron is like the people on Wall Street yelling at protesters to, “Get a job.” What jobs? If they were able to get a job, would they be out protesting the lack of jobs?

  156. When billionaire Billy Joe “Red” McCombs, co-founder of Clear Channel Communications Inc., reported a $9.8 million loss on his tax return, he failed to include about $259 million from a lucrative stock transaction.
    After an audit, the Internal Revenue Service ordered him to pay $44.7 million in back taxes. McCombs, who is worth an estimated $1.4 billion and is a former owner of the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs sports franchises, sued the IRS, settling the case in March for about half the disputed amount.
    McCombs’s fight with the IRS illustrates an overlooked facet in the debate over tax rates paid by the nation’s wealthiest. Billionaires — from McCombs to Philip Anschutz to Ronald S. Lauder — who derive the bulk of their wealth from stock appreciation are using strategies that reap hundreds of millions of dollars from those valuable shares in ways the IRS often doesn’t classify as taxable income, securities filings and tax court records show.
    “The 800-pound gorilla is unrealized appreciation,” said Edward J. McCaffery, a professor of law, economics and political science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

    They not only are protesting lack of jobs, but the unfair advantages of the rich and well connected to avoid taxes, while cutting our social safety nets to cover this practice. More obscenity.

  157. Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts
    POSTED: November 17
    Matt Taibbi

    Had a quick piece of news I wanted to call attention to, in light of the recent developments at Zuccotti Park. For all of those who say the protesters have it wrong, and don’t really have a cause worth causing public unrest over, consider this story, sent to me by a friend on the Hill.

    Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two named Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on a government application in order to obtain food stamps.

    Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you have a record of criminal drug offenses. States have the option of opting out of that federal ban, but Mississippi is not one of those states. Since McLemore had four drug convictions in her past, she was ineligible to receive food stamps, so she lied about her past in order to feed her two children.

    The total “cost” of her fraud was $4,367. She has paid the money back. But paying the money back was not enough for federal Judge Henry Wingate.

    Wingate had the option of sentencing McLemore according to federal guidelines, which would have left her with a term of two months to eight months, followed by probation. Not good enough! Wingate was so outraged by McLemore’s fraud that he decided to serve her up the deluxe vacation, using another federal statute that permitted him to give her up to five years.

    He ultimately gave her three years, saying, “The defendant’s criminal record is simply abominable …. She has been the beneficiary of government generosity in state court.”

    Compare this court decision to the fraud settlements on Wall Street. Like McLemore, fraud defendants like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank have “been the beneficiary of government generosity.” Goldman got $12.9 billion just through the AIG bailout. Citigroup got $45 billion, plus hundreds of billions in government guarantees.

    All of these companies have been repeatedly dragged into court for fraud, and not one individual defendant has ever been forced to give back anything like a significant portion of his ill-gotten gains. The closest we’ve come is in a fraud case involving Citi, in which a pair of executives, Gary Crittenden and Arthur Tildesley, were fined the token amounts of $100,000 and $80,000, respectively, for lying to shareholders about the extent of Citi’s debt.

    Neither man was forced to admit to intentional fraud. Both got to keep their jobs.

    Anita McLemore, meanwhile, lied to feed her children, gave back every penny of her “fraud” when she got caught, and is now going to do three years in prison. Explain that, Eric Holder!


    But white-collar criminals of the type we’ve seen in recent years on Wall Street – both the individuals and the corporate “citizens” – do not suffer these ramifications. They commit crimes without real consequence, allowing them to retain access to the full smorgasbord of subsidies and financial welfare programs that, let’s face it, are the source of most of their profits.

  158. “Obama better pick up his pen and write a goddamned speech about the Constitutional Rights of US citizens.

    I am appalled by his silence on current events in America.
    Just gob smacked.” -well-said by shano

    “Actions speak louder…”: Anwar al-Awlaki

  159. I have stopped being surprised at anything Judge Henry Wingate does. He was the first black Federal judge in Mississippi, and I thought he had some progressive ideas back when he was working as an Assistant Attorney General and teaching some law classes at a local law school. He was the sentencing judge in the despicable matter of Paul Minor, which had Karl Rove’s fingerprints all over it. Henry has become a right-wing reactionary and I never would have guessed it thirty years ago when I first knew him.

  160. The charges against Bradley Manning are an indictment of our government’s obsession with secrecy,” he says. “Manning is accused of revealing illegal activities by our government and its corporate partners that must be brought to the attention of the American people. The Obama administration lacks the courage to confront the crimes and injustices that now stand exposed.” -Daniel Ellsberg

    Thanks for the Manning update, shano. Interesting timing… His 24th birthday is the day after the pre-trial hearing.

  161. Shano, that truck is no doubt in a secure garage somewhere, while NSA and/or CIA operatives dissect it like a frog in 11th grade biology.

    If you can convince me it is really “lost” I will buy you a steak dinner. A safe bet, methinks.

  162. OS, my prediction is the Wikileaks truck is at the bottom of the Hudson river right now.

    big OWS protest planned on Mannings birthday.

  163. SM, have they seen what Hillary is doing at State? She is just as bad as Obama and in some ways worse.

    Bill Clinton brought us NAFTA, CAFTA, etc. & the entrenchment of Neo Liberalism that has done great damage to the world economy and people all over the world.
    This has been the biggest factor in amplifying and extending the take over of the Multinationals, both in government and in strengthening their global power base..

    Remember the campaign promise of both Hillary and Obama to renegotiate NAFTA to include living wages and environmental protections?
    What we got was 3 more ‘free trade’ deals instead of Fair Trade.

    This was one of my major hopes for real change coming on the election victory for Democrats. Now we know the problems cannot be fixed at the election booth. the system itself has to change.

  164. The Richest 0.1 Percent Of Americans Make Half Of All Capital Gains
    By Pat Garofalo on Nov 21, 2011

    The preferable treatment that investment income receives in the tax code is one of the factors driving the income inequality and galvanizing the Occupy Wall Street movement. Because the capital gains tax is capped at 15 percent, “anyone making more than $34,500 a year in wages and salary is taxed at a higher rate than a billionaire is taxed on untold millions in capital gains.”

    The reason this low rate helps create an income divide is that capital gains are made almost exclusively by the wealthy. In fact, “over the past 20 years, more than 80 percent of the capital gains income realized in the United States has gone to 5 percent of the people.” And the concentration is actually far greater than that, as half of all capital gains are made by the richest 0.1 percent of Americans:

    Income and wealth disparities become even more absurd if we look at the top 0.1% of the nation’s earners– rather than the more common 1%. The top 0.1%– about 315,000 individuals out of 315 million– are making about half of all capital gains on the sale of shares or property after 1 year; and these capital gains make up 60% of the income made by the Forbes 400.

    It’s crystal clear that the Bush tax reduction on capital gains and dividend income in 2003 was the cutting edge policy that has created the immense increase in net worth of corporate executives, Wall St. professionals and other entrepreneurs.

  165. OS:

    “So far, every time you have offered advice, it is with the level of social comprehension of Dick & Jane in a first grade reading text.”

    Maybe so but I have a job and so do the people who pulled up stakes and moved. I wonder if their might be some connection?

  166. Mike Spindell:

    “I’d like to see you send your 21 year old daughter to some burgeoning oil town in North Dakota.”

    If she wanted to go, I would let her. I would be afraid for the men. I have worked with a lot of oil field people from all around the world and they are by and large very good people. Most are married and have families.

    It is a small community relatively speaking but good people and hard workers. Maybe things have changed in the last 25 years but people are people and oil field people are not trash as you imply.

    So yes, I would let my 21 year old daughter go if she wanted to. I am more fearful for her down at her college with those candy ass frat boys and assorted liberal professors. They scare me more than a man who actually works for a living doing something useful.

  167. From the Christian Science Monitor link posted by Swarthmore mom:

    “$11.6 million every hour of every day. That’s how much money would be flowing into the US Treasury, but isn’t, as a result of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans.”

  168. “Maybe so but I have a job and so do the people who pulled up stakes and moved. I wonder if their might be some connection?”


    Sometimes I think your attitude is I got mine and put all the blame for those who don’t have anything only on them. Do you really think that most of the unemployed are lazy and incapable? Just because you are capable of some action doesn’t mean that every one else is equally capable of that action. Their home and their roots are important to many people, while others are closely tied to their family. In any event when there is more information amassed about that North Dakota oil boom, history leads me to strongly suspect that it is not
    going to be the next putative utopia, but possibly another version of Tombstone, or Deadwood.

  169. EM: Since they have all this income from capital gains, they have also bought legislation that lets them avoid paying taxes, any tax at all, on this income:

    McCombs’s fight with the IRS illustrates an overlooked facet in the debate over tax rates paid by the nation’s wealthiest. Billionaires — from McCombs to Philip Anschutz to Ronald S. Lauder — who derive the bulk of their wealth from stock appreciation are using strategies that reap hundreds of millions of dollars from those valuable shares in ways the IRS often doesn’t classify as taxable income, securities filings and tax court records show.
    “The 800-pound gorilla is unrealized appreciation,” said Edward J. McCaffery, a professor of law, economics and political science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


  170. Bron,

    I’ve known people who pulled up stakes and moved for jobs–and then lost those jobs. Some people can’t afford to relocate in hopes of finding work because they don’t have the financial resources. My husband was once offered a job in California. He declined because I would have had to give up my job, which was much more secure. In addition, we would have lost the support and company of our extended family. My mother provided daycare for my young daughter when I was at work. You make it sound all too simple a thing to leave one’s roots. My daughter flourished surrounded by a loving family and caring friends. She was truly a fortunate child.

    You appear to look at the world and the way things are with tunnel vision. Nothing happens outside of your own narrow point of view. There are no exceptions in the world according to Bron

  171. “Maybe so but I have a job and so do the people who pulled up stakes and moved. I wonder if their might be some connection?”

    When did you do this? Because if it was before 1990, you had it good. This is no longer possible.
    For the record, I also did this in 1972, moved from Colorado to Maryland where I had a very good career. Now I live back out west again. What I did is no longer possible or advisable. People must rely on their families in this economy.
    i dont care what kind of propaganda is coming from our government about unemployment rates (much worse than the ‘official’ rate) or inflation, since they no longer count gas and groceries, they are in complete denial about the real cause of our problems. this means nothing will be fixed.

  172. “Just because you are capable of some action doesn’t mean that every one else is equally capable of that action.”

    Heck, just because somebody was capable of an action at a specific point in time doesn’t mean they would be capable of that same action at other points in times.

    You never step in the same river twice.

  173. “I have worked with a lot of oil field people from all around the world and they are by and large very good people. Most are married and have families.”


    That statement is no doubt true, on a superficial level. The 60 Minutes peace on the North Dakota Oil Boom did mention that there isn’t enough housing to go around and the men and women are living communally in large dormitory type affairs. I have no doubt that many of the men there have left their wives and children behind and even while making good money their is no housing available to bring them with them. Most of the people in the Armed Forces are also good people, but on weekend leave away from home, watch out. My guess that the biggest non-oil related growth industry out there is prostitution, followed closely by crystal meth.

  174. instead of penalizing millionaires lets figure out how to make people making 34,500 per year wealthy.

    A good start would be to let them stop paying all taxes of any kind and allow them to eliminate the SS tax if they would take the 15% and invest it in the market. Dont tax any of their capital gains or their dividends and let them put more than 15% aside tax free.

    7,000 dollars per year at an average return of 8.5% for 30 years would yield $1,052,000. if you then at age 55 (assuming 30 years of work) retired and invested in something safe, say an annual return of 4% you would have a retirement income of $54,195 if you only got a 3% return it would be 47,533.

    Seems to me government is screwing the middle class something fierce. What does social security pay? about $1,000 to $1,500 for most people. vs about $4,000 if they could have their own retirement accounts.

    This kind of stuff just makes me laugh at all the suckers who think government is protecting them. Yeah sure it is.

    Lets see on the one hand government takes your money and gives it to everyone else on the other hand you can keep your money and retire at 55 and be a legitimate millionaire. That way your tax dollars wont go to bailing out billionaires.

  175. Bron, that is not the problem. SS has been the most successful government program in history. it has nothing to do with the deficits either. It is solvent for the next 37 years. all we have to do is raise the ‘cap’ so the rich are paying their fair share.

    . And do tell. where in the hell can you get a SAFE 4% annual return now? Because I would sure like to know! You really are stuck in some sort of alternative universe.

  176. Mike Spindell:

    so all working class people are crystal meth addicts? Maybe you are right but the guys I knew just drank since drugs would get you canned. The companies I worked for were serious about drug use to, it is dangerous in those working conditions to you and everyone around you.

  177. “What does social security pay? about $1,000 to $1,500 for most people. vs about $4,000 if they could have their own retirement accounts.”


    Social Security and my pension pay me enough money to live on and have since I was forced to retire due to health 7 years ago. Medicare paid for the heart transplant that saved my life. I retired involuntarily at the time of my greatest earning potential and certainly not out of choice. As far as retirement accounts go, you are right about the return, but at the time I needed every penny I could make and didn’t have the money to invest in a retirement account. When it’s a choice of paying for a sick child’s antibiotics, or paying the phone bill, what do you think gets delayed? That’s how tight my money situation was for many years with both my wife and I working and higher income than perhaps 50% of America. You’ve forgotten, if you’ve ever known how hard it is to support a family of four.

    “if they would take the 15% and invest it in the market.”

    Are you so delusional to believe that for an average family $34,500 is they type of wage that allows them to invest? The extra income if they paid no taxes would quickly be subsumed by daily needs. Also too, when you are at that income level you pay more into SS & Medicaire, then into the IRS. Oh wait I forgot you want to eliminate those programs and then we can all invest our money into that famously stable institution…..the stock market. As Elaine said you have tunnel vision and can only seem to see the world from your own perspective. At times you have expressed sympathy for unfortunate people, but you seem incapable of feeling empathy. Sympathy and empathy are two different things. The former is akin to pity, but the latter is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. You won’t let yourself do that not because you are a bad person, I think you are a good person at heart, but you won’t do it because if you did, you would realize how messed up your political outlook really is.

  178. Bron, at this point it hardly matters who we elect. Sure the Republicans are a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multinationals, but the Democrats are doing their bidding also.

    It is not who we elect at this point. The system itself is corrupt and has to be changed. Get money out of politics. Stop free trade deals.

    End the power of the Multinationals, because if we do not, everyone will be driven into poverty and serfdom, not just the poor in third world nations.

  179. shano:

    we should be producers. You cannot be a consumer without first being a producer.

    By the way, I could just do a voice over with a few minor changes and it would be the democrat party being chastised. Both parties are the same, there is no real difference anymore.

  180. I recall once when I assessed a guy and thought he was malingering because no one could possibly be that crazy. I got him back on another referral a couple of years later and concluded that I was wrong. It WAS possible for somebody to be that crazy.

    Then we come to Bron. I thought he might be able to reason at least as well as your average goose. I was wrong; he is as dense as depleted uranium.

  181. Bron,

    Did I mention anything about fear? I’m mad as hell! I’d say you’re someone who is fearful that the wealthiest 1% might be asked to pay more taxes. I have no sympathy for the greedy boo-hoo billionaires and heirs of the wealthy who didn’t earn their own fortunes–the entitled people of this country who look down upon the middle and working classes–the people who labor long hours in order to live a decent life.

    Go on…cry me a river about the plight of the rich if they had to pay more taxes.

    Unpopular ‘Supercommittee’ Deal Stymied by Popular Opinion

    Democrats tried. They really tried. They were ready to accept deal points that the polls – and their hearts – should have forced them to refuse: Benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare. A permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. A deal that was heavily weighted toward spending cuts, rather than revenues, even during an economic crisis.

    They might have done it, too, except for one thing: The Occupy movement has changed the subject from the Washington-driven theme of deficits to the economic hardships faced by most people in this country. Sure, the Tea Party is getting credit (yes, I said “credit”) for killing a disastrous deal, and it’s true that it played an important role.

    But so did the Occupy movement. There was talk of occupying Congress, and even occupying the “Super” meeting’s meeting space in the now-infamous Room 200. A march and rally is scheduled for tomorrow, and an Occupy group walking from Wall Street to Washington is scheduled to arrive the day after tomorrow.

    Democrats who signed on to this deal were going to feel the wrath of the 99%, and there’s no way they couldn’t have known it. People who have spent the last two years wishing that they had a Tea Party of their own, one that would pressure Dems the way the Tea Party pressures Republicans, can now rest easy. It’s here. And it’s changing things.

    The moral for Democrats? Embrace jobs and growth, not cuts and austerity. You’ll thank yourself next November. And some Republicans will probably thank you, too, as you’ll see from the next headline.

    “Left” Anti-Supercommittee Views Supported by Almost 3 Out of 4 Republicans

    We’re already hearing that the unwillingness of some Democrats to sign on to cuts in Social Security and Medicare – the few, the proud, the real Dems – is a sign of “ideological rigidity on the extreme left.” Pundits are referring Senators like Bernie Sanders and Representatives like the members of the House Progressive and African-American Caucuses.

    Extreme left? Their position is supported by three out of four voters – Republican voters, that is. A new poll confirms what previous polls have shown: Once voters have these proposed deals explained to them, they hate them.

  183. Bron,
    The talking point that here is no difference between both parties is all wet. The Republicans want to take away a women’s right to choose and many want to end ontraception! Mant Republicans want to end child labor laws! One Republican Presidential candidate wants to end civilian on’t roll of the military! Those are just a few differences.

  184. Reporter at Baruch slammed into revolving door, will file charges. One student taken in ambulance.
    Police beating people in school building. Tim told he cant film, but keeps filming. National Lawyers Guild in attendance.
    Not letting people out of the building.

  185. RT @jasonfarbman: @Newyorkist 100 were seated inside, 200 outside, when police entered pushing and beating. Two women reported being groped.

    Yea, I can see the police taking advantage of women in these situations. What won’t they do?
    So far they have denied freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, destroyed private property, stole a truck, sent people to the hospital……

  186. Elaine:

    Have a home brew and relax. It isnt about the 1%, raising their taxes isnt going to change anything. Even if you took every penny from them it would only run the government for a few weeks.

    When the income tax was first introduced it was only a couple of percent and only on the top income earners in the US, approx 100 years later it touches everyone with a pretty hefty burden.

  187. CUNY Erupts: “Public Safety” officers charge and club public university students who were nonviolently assembled at Baruch College #N21 #OWS

    Keep it up, police. it only makes the Occupy Movement stronger.

  188. Everyone but the 1%. They have the lowest tax rate in 50 years. So for the past 10 years we have had record low rates on the rich- where is the ‘trickle down”?

    You really need to read David Stockmans book, Bron.
    Trickle down was a marketing idea for Reagan, not based on any economic reality. Even Stockman is saying it was a farce & he is originator of this idea. good god.

  189. From the economist who predicted the 2008 meltdown:

    Nouriel Roubini
    Super-Committee: Super-Failure, Super-Pathetic, Super-Gridlock, Super-GOP-Lunacy on Taxes, Super-Fiscal Drag in 2012 that ensures double dip

  190. rafflaw:

    and democrats want to control what we eat, what we can purchase, whether we can smoke and drink, they want to control our bodies and our pocket books.

    So I ask what is the difference? You are too hung up on abortion. It is legal, it isnt going to be repealed at the worst it will be legal in some states and illegal in other states. A bad idea, I admit but with democrats they wouldnt even allow some states to be free from their nonsense.

    Republicans are as bad as democrats and neither party believes in human freedom. That is what scares me. They both allow corruption by monied interests and they both do not believe in our individual sovereignty. They do not believe in us as free individuals.

    I dont know about you but in 2012 I am voting for none of the above. I am hoping someone else runs for congress and senate.

  191. Bron,
    It is about Grover Norquist and the 1 per cent. Abortion is legal but is being attacked at the state level and the federal level. The parties have some overlap, but the Republicans are all about corporatism and protecting the almighty wealthy. Just listen to the Republican Presidential candidates. If you can’t see the difference, you aren’t listening.

  192. If you think that way, Bron, you are an Occupyer. Our politicians have to raise a billion dollars to run. We need public financing of campaigns and to take back our airwaves, for three months before each election only, for equal time media play.
    That way the people we elect can concentrate on policy instead of politics, problems would be solved with no corporate influence. The hard sciences would have as much weight as corporations. Everything would get better.

    It is not too much to ask. The airwaves are a common good, we should be able to use it for short periods of time. Corporations have a sweet deal on all of our other natural resources too. Very sweet deal, tax breaks and subsidies.
    We can never have a free market system as long as giant Multinationals can buy our politicians.
    Not just me saying this, it is what a derivatives trader on Wall Street said.

  193. raff, bottom line is that he is not listening, does not want to listen, refuses to stop and think about what he is really saying and is tying himself into knots trying to make the illogical logical.

  194. OS:

    what is illogical is what you guys promulgate. All it does is lead to more government and a further diminution of our freedoms.

  195. There is no diminution of freedoms by taxing the wealthy! How does that add more government? That dog won’t hunt. By the way, why do conservatives want less regulation, except when it comes to women’s bodies and corporations and the wealthy paying ther fair share?

  196. No, not more government, I do not think any liberal group wants more government! Show me where any liberal group wants more government! these are things the right wing says that have no basis in fact.

    The liberals want government that fulfills its duty to the people and the common good. Not corporate interests

  197. Bron,

    A homebrew? I prefer bourbon. Why don’t you take your own advice and relax? The ultra-wealthy are still safe in their penthouses and gated communities.


    Closing The Hedge Fund Manager Tax Loophole Would Raise $4 Billion Annually From The 25 Richest Managers
    By Pat Garofalo on Jul 6, 2011

    During the negotiations regarding raising the nation’s debt ceiling, congressional Republicans have gone to the mat to defend all manner of unwarranted tax breaks, including those for oil companies and corporate jet owners. Despite the drain on the Treasury caused by these tax breaks — and the negligible benefit they provide — Republicans have threatened to allow the nation to default on its obligations rather than abandon them.

    One of the tax breaks upon which President Obama has focused is a provision that allows hedge fund managers — who make billions annually — to receive a substantial tax break. This particular tax break, known as the carried-interest loophole, allows hedge fund managers to treat the money they receive from investors as capital gains, subject to a 15 percent tax rate. Though this money is a paycheck received for services, just like a movie star receiving a bonus if her movie does well, it’s treated as investment income.

    Since hedge fund managers are some of the richest people in the country, this tax break actually causes a significant loss of revenue. In fact, according to calculation by RJ Eskow, closing this loophole would raise more than $4 billion per year just from the 25 richest hedge fund managers:

    The top 25 hedge fund managers in the United States collectively earned $22 billion last year, and yet they have their own cushy set of tax rules. If they operated under the same rules that apply to other people — police officers, for example, or teachers — the country could cut its national deficit by as much as $44 billion in the next ten years.

  198. shano:

    there is a leviathan down the road from me. it sucks a good portion of our yearly output, it controls what we can do on many different levels. Are you kidding me?


    some regulations are necessary but most are not. Abortion is a private matter of conscience. How much should the rich pay? What is their fair share?

  199. I am not interested in anything a Rupert Murdoch owned media outlet has to say. The WSJ used to be a respectable publication. Not any more. Their editorial credibility is nothing more than Fox News in print. See the Dickinson University poll results above.

    Bron, you are a real piece of work. And a perfect clinical example of the Dunning–Kruger effect in action.

    What you are selling, no one is buying.

  200. Otteray,

    I agree with you. One must always consider the source of information provided.

    About that WSJ article about the study that Bron provided a link to:

    “Mr. Klein is a professor of economics at George Mason University.”

    George Mason University–a subsidiary of the Koch Brothers Industries.

    Koch Brother Buys Professors At Public University to Spread Free Market Propaganda — Is Public Education the Kochs’ Next Front?
    The latest Koch brother affront is an “unheard of” breach of academic freedom–a donation to FSU only on the condition they can oversee the faculty appointees.
    AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer
    May 10, 2011–_is_public_education_the_kochs'_next_front

    The reality is, the Koch brothers have been mostly focused on creating their own think tanks and institutes rather than infiltrating universities and attempting to bend economics departments to their own ideological will–with one exception. They have, in fact, been doing something similar at George Mason University, right outside DC, and it’s had a demonstrable effect on public policy, as Hundley reported:

    The big exception has been George Mason University, a public university in Virginia which has received more than $30 million from Koch over the past 20 years. At George Mason, Koch’s foundation has underwritten the Mercatus Center, whose faculty study “how institutions affect the freedom to prosper.”

  201. Jon Corzine’s firm stole over $1 billion but they should be fine unless they sit down on a pathway and peacefully lock arms.

    That about sums up America these days. Students can’t afford higher education so they get beat. Wall Streeters can steal a billion dollars and walk away unscathed.

    Sure, these guys do not need any more regulation….heavens no!

  202. Bron,
    The answer is more! They should pay at least the same percentage that I pay. They should pay Social Security on all of ther income, like I do. If abortion is a personal matter, why do all of the Republican candidates(almost all) think government should outlaw it?

  203. Another developing story:

    RT @studentactivism: UC Davis students are erecting a 30-foot geodesic dome on the quad. Should have let ’em keep the tents. #OWS

    haha those kids.

  204. Bron,


    Confirmation Bias in Everything
    E.D. Kain, Contributor

    In June of 2010, Daniel Klein and Zeljka Buturovic published a study which they said proved that liberals and progressives were less enlightened about economic issues than their libertarian and conservative counterparts. Klein followed up with an Op/Ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining their methodology and results.

    As I wrote at the time, conservatives happily spread the results of the study across the right-wing blogosphere.

    I later participated in a response forum hosted by Econ Journal Watch, which originally published Klein and Buturovic’s study, though my piece there was essentially the same as my piece in the Washington Examiner.

    At the time, I wrote of the paper, “Whether or not you agree or disagree with Klein’s economics it’s important to note that this is bad polling done for strictly partisan reasons. The bias is practically dripping from the Op-Ed’s pages.”

    Apparently Klein read my piece, because he quotes me in his discussion of his and Buturovic’s latest, and improved study over at The Atlantic. Indeed, the entire thrust of Klein’s Atlantic piece is that the original study was tainted by confirmation bias – which is exactly what I and many others argued at the time. His piece is titled “I Was Wrong, and So Are You.”

    The op-ed set off fireworks. On The Journal’s Web site, the piece peaked at No.2 in most-e-mailed for the month it was published. The Examiner, in Washington, D.C., ran two opinion pieces in response, one approving and one critical. (The latter noted, correctly, that conservatives were “happily disseminating the results across the right-wing blogosphere.”)

    That’s me, though I’m not named in the piece. C’est la vie…

    Here’s Klein again:

    It turned out that I needed to retract the conclusions I’d trumpeted in The Wall Street Journal. The new results invalidated our original result: under the right circumstances, conservatives and libertarians were as likely as anyone on the left to give wrong answers to economic questions. The proper inference from our work is not that one group is more enlightened, or less. It’s that “myside bias”—the tendency to judge a statement according to how conveniently it fits with one’s settled position—is pervasive among all of America’s political groups. The bias is seen in the data, and in my actions.

  205. From, a group that’s devoted to building an alternative to the economics orthodoxy that the economy is about Wall Street and not about the well-being of working people, a statement that’s been signed by 170 economists so far:

    We are economists who oppose ideological cleansing in the economics profession. Equally we oppose political cleansing in the vital debate over the causes and consequences of our current economic crisis.

    We support the efforts of the Occupy Wall Street movement across the country and across the globe to liberate the economy from the short-term greed of the rich and powerful “one percent”.

    We oppose cynical and perverse attempts to misuse our police officers and public servants to expel advocates of the public good from our public spaces.

    We extend our support to the vision of building an economy that works for the people, for the planet, and for the future, and we declare our solidarity with the Occupiers who are exercising our democratic right to demand economic and social justice.

    Amherst, Massachusetts
    November 13, 2011

  206. shano:

    “Jon Corzine’s firm stole over $1 billion but they should be fine unless they sit down on a pathway and peacefully lock arms.”

    wasnt Corzine a liberal/progressive?

  207. OS:

    you are right about the WSJ not being what it once was. But not for the same reasons. Although once in awhile they do have a good editorial.

    Ah, the old Dunning-Kruger response when someone has no clue as to how to respond. If they dont understand or are dumb as a pallet of bricks bring out Dunning-Kruger. Its a 2 fer, makes them look smart [even though they arent] and is most likely going to intimidate the other person because who wants to be accused of being so uninformed they dont know they are.

    Good one, I will have to remember that.

  208. Bron,

    It appears that libertarians and conservatives aren’t any smarter than liberals when it comes to economics after all. So sorry to burst your “my-kind-is-smarter-than-your-kind” balloon.

  209. Elaine:

    so what? I posted that in response to OS talking about conservatives. Thanks for making my point. I am glad someone caught it.

    Hats off to you Elaine, you are one smart liberal!

    By the way, George Mason has a pretty good economics department. James Buchanan taught there (Nobel Prize in Economics), Walter Williams is a professor Emeritus, it is and makes no bones about being a pro free market economics department.

    Nothing wrong with the truth and Klein should be ashamed of himself for doing what he did.

    Keynes or Jean Baptiste Say? That is the choice and one is better than the other. One relies on government the other relies on individuals.

  210. rafflaw:

    I dont know why. It is very worrisome to me. I am personally against abortion but that is my personal belief and I have no right to impose that on anyone else. And I especially dont want government involved in that decision. China requires one child and now they dont have enough females, the next logical step is for their government to require the abortion of male children to increase the number of females in the population.

    I think my conservative brethren assume government is benign and beneficent. They forget that what government makes illegal it can also compel.

  211. Koch and George Mason University

    Funding and Connections

    Since 1985, George Mason University (GMU), and its associated institutes and centers, has received more funding from the Koch Family Charitable Foundations than any other organization—a total of $29,604,354. The George Mason University Foundation has received the most funding, $20,297,143, while the Institute for Humane Studies has been directly given $3,111,457, the Mercatus Center $1,442,000, and George Mason University itself has received $4,753,754.

    In addition to financial ties, Koch also has personnel involved with the university. Richard Fink, the vice president of Koch Industries, Inc., and the former president of the Charles G. Koch Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, serves on the board of directors of the George Mason University Foundation and the Mercatus Center. Fink’s connection to George Mason University is strong. Besides teaching at the university from 1980-1986, Fink has also served on a number of boards at the university including the Institute for Humane Studies and the Center for the Study of Public Choice, the Board of Visitors, and the Student Affairs Committee.

  212. Bron,

    “so what? I posted that in response to OS talking about conservatives. Thanks for making my point. I am glad someone caught it.”


    I proved that your point about liberals being no smarter than fifth graders when asked questions about economics was incorrect. You were hoping we’d buy that WSJ piece of biased writing. Nice try!

    What did OS say about conservatives? Did he suggest they were dumber than liberals when it comes to economics?

  213. Elaine:

    here you go:

    From OS above:

    “Poll just out from Dickinson University’s PublicMind research project. The findings are that people who watch Fox News are less informed than people who watch no news at all.

    Bizarre. Who would have suspected that watching Fox News would make you stupid? I think we have found out Bron’s secret.

    As I said, what I posted was in response to this. You can find anything on the Internet to support your opinions and that was my point which you made so well.

  214. rafflaw:

    apparently not concerning abortion. Otherwise they wouldnt want government involved in that decision.

    So I am not trying to fool anyone.

  215. Bron,

    Did OS say anything about conservatives? He provided a link to a study that found that people who watch Fox News are less informed. Do you believe that isn’t the case? Do you think the research project was flawed in some way? I’m willing to listen if you can provide proof that it was.

  216. Elaine:

    “The poll — which asked New Jerseyans where they find news and information about current events — found that Sunday morning news shows are the most informative, while Fox News actually leads people to be less informed than those who consume no news at all.”

    Do you see the flaw in the poll?

  217. Bron,

    Here’s a link to the poll:

    Monday, Nov. 21, 2011
    8 pp.
    Contact: Daniel Cassino 973.896.7072 or Peter Woolley 973.670.3239
    Some News Leaves People Knowing Less

    According to the latest results from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll, some news sources make us less likely to know what’s going on in the world. In the most recent study, the poll asked New Jerseyans about current events at home and abroad, and from what sources – if any – they get their information. The conclusion: Sunday morning news shows do the most to help people learn about current events, while some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who don’t watch any news at all.

    Among other topics, New Jerseyans were asked about the outcome of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East this past year. While 53% of New Jerseyans know that Egyptians were successful in overthrowing the government of Hosni Mubarak, 21% say that the uprisings were unsuccessful, and 26% admit they don’t know. Also, 48% knowthat the Syrian uprising has thus far been unsuccessful, while 36% say they don’t know, and 16% say the Syrians have already toppled their government.

    But the real finding is that the results depend on what media sources people turn to for their news. For example, people who watch
    Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hourcable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other newssources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors).
    Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.”

    Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch
    Fox News,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll. “Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news a tall.”

    By contrast, some media sources have a positive effect on political knowledge. For example, people who report reading a national newspaper like The New York Times or USA Today are 12-points more likely to know that Egyptians have overthrown their government than those who have not looked at any news source. And those who listen to the non-profit NPR radio network are 11-points more likely to know the outcome of the revolt against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. However, the best informed respondents are those that watched Sunday morning news programs: leading to a 16-point increase in the likelihood of knowing what happened in Egypt and an 8-point increase in the likelihood of knowing what happened in Syria.

    “Sunday morning news shows tend to spend a lot more time on a single issue than other news broadcasts, and they are less likely to degenerate into people shouting at each other,” said Cassino. “Viewers pick up more information from this sort of calm discussion than from other formats. Unfortunately, these shows have a much smaller audience than the shouters.

  218. Elaine:

    they asked only people from the state of New Jersey. What was their sample size? What was the sample population? What was the educational level? Socio-economic level?

  219. Elaine,

    I think there is something larger at work here than Fox news. All our news is managed. It is truly difficult to find information. It takes moving from overseas sources, to listening to all our news like people in the USSR listened to Pravda–information is in there sort of, but it’s only coming through in bits and pieces. I find this alarming.

    I don’t think Fox news is there to inform its customers, but I don’t think NPR-National Pentagon Radio, is either. I do think left wing people worry an awful lot about right wing propaganda while ignoring left wing propaganda.

    I feel it might help everyone to look most carefully at the propaganda aimed at our own particular demographic AS WELL AS the propaganda aimed at other demographics. From these parts, we will begin to see the whole. It would reveal the level of manipulation and misinformation we are all, right and left, subjected to. We can then begin to understand what the govt. wants us to believe, how they are lying to us, what crap are they putting out today!

    There is a real arrogance I have found on the left, a deadly arrogance about being manipulated. Studies of manipulation show that no group is immune, yet the left wing seems to believe we are “above” being manipulated. Facts do not bear this assessment out.

    The best way to confront manipulation is to understand that is is happening, that anyone can fall for it, and to try to see if we can catch the manipulation by putting are collective heads together to ferret it out. What one person cannot see, another can. What they cannot see, someone else can. And so on.

    So sure, let’s look very closely at Fox news. But let’s also look very closely at the so called “liberal” media. If we look at all of it, we can put things together much better.

  220. Jill,

    I posted a link to an article that proved that the poll that supposedly showed liberals to be less informed than conservatives and libertarians on economic issues was seriously flawed. The author of that study admitted his own bias. Regarding the Dickinson research findings: I provided a link to and an excerpt from the report. You seem to have inferred something about me from my comments that isn’t a fact.

    Where in any of my comments did I suggest that the media aren’t managed? On many occasions on the Turley Blawg, I have criticized the mainstream media. I am not as dumb, naive, gullible, or as biased as you seem to think. In addition, I don’t need you to educate me on the failings of the American news media.



    Who said Jill was a liberal?

  221. Pepper Spray is nothing to mess with……

    What is Pepper Spray?
    How does it work to stop an attacker?

    Pepper spray is made up of an active ingredient called OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) and other inert ingredients. They can be water or oil based. The best formula being oil based as oil based products do not have the problem of separation. Separation is where the final blend will not stay blended and the oil (OC) will separate from the water base. This is very similar to putting oil in water. The oil will want to rise to the top. All OC products that the Pepper Spray Store sells are non-toxic and non-flammable. The effects of the pepper spray last between 20 and 90 minutes, giving the user plenty of time to escape their terrifying situation. Pepper spray units can be fired multiple times and can have a range of 8 to 20 feet, depending on the particular model you purchase.

    The newest defensive spray agent, Oleoresin Capsicum, is a derivative of hot cayenne peppers. OC is an inflammatory agent and unlike tear gas it is effective on those under the influence of drugs and alcohol. When the OC contacts the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat, and lungs), symptoms will appear instantly. The capillaries of the eyes will immediately dilate, causing temporary blindness. Inflammation of the breathing tube tissues will cause difficulty in breathing; however the victim will still be able to breathe. Pepper spray will not deteriorate with age and will not cause lasting aftereffects, however the short-term effects are quite effective.

    16,000,000 Scoville Units Pure capsaicin and Dihydrocapsaicin

  222. Bron,

    Thank you. I thought about what you wrote yesterday and would like to hear your response. I believe you are correct to point out that going to N.D. is a possible option for finding a job. There are problems with this idea though.

    First it is a solution only available to a small group of people. One must have the resources to move, those being both financial and physical health. Where I live people literally may not have $10.00 for gas. They would be completely unable to afford moving to another state. They cannot even get to work sometimes. It really is that bad and these are people with full time jobs.

    People who have homes that are underwater cannot sell their homes. There is a glut in the rental market so renting is not necessarily possible. If you leave that home in many states, you will be in a serious legal situation.

    People with parents who are ill or anyone taking care of the sick cannot do this. It is usually not safe to move a sick person. There are many other similar reasons people simply cannot take that course of action.

    We should also look at the situation from a macro level. Most places with employment opportunities are in the boom phase. History teaches us that booms are followed by busts. As people move out of their area this kills off businesses and public services. Tax revenues cease, businesses cannot survive a lack of costumers and they collapse. An economy is not healthy when many places are stripped out by people leaving to find work.

    A society is not healthy when it requires people to leave their neighbors, friends and family to keep from starving to death. A healthy society and economy is one where every place affords people a living wage and decent standard of living.

  223. OS:

    I did, it was a study only of New Jerseyeans. Said it was random and gave an overview of what it asked and the results.

    OK, so what? I now know that New Jerseyeans who watch Fox news arent well informed. Who watches only one news source? Maybe people who just watch Fox News in New Jersey arent curious about what is going on in the world.

  224. AT, look for pepper spray to be on school menus everywhere. After all, peppers are members of the same plant family as tomatoes and are considered a vegetable.

    Well, technically a fruit, but that is just a quibble. I guess we could put it on the dessert menu.

  225. “Maybe people who just watch Fox News in New Jersey arent curious about what is going on in the world.”


    Wow! Talk about being damned with faint praise.

  226. Elaine,

    I am very tired of your name calling. Would you be able to simply not respond or to respond to what I am saying without adding on snide remarks such as, “who says Jill is a liberal”?

    I no longer consider myself a liberal because liberals are people who support torture and murder when Democrats order them. So, yes, I’m not a liberal but I would have been called that in the past when that term had a real meaning.

    You keep taking offense to what I am saying because you keep thinking that I am attacking you instead of asking us to all consider something together. You somehow miss that I agreed with you, even capitalizing it, that we should look at right wing media. I didn’t accuse you of the things you attribute to me so I cannot respond to something I didn’t do.

    I do notice that many people on this blog are consistently obsessed with saying how stupid and manipulated people on the right are. That amount of obsession should be a tip off that something is very wrong. Why would it be true that only people on the right wing are stupid and open to manipulation? That doesn’t really make sense. I wish we could put our heads together and understand what is going on.

    Glenn Greenwald tries very hard to dissect what is going on in the MSM and the “left” wing media as well as the right wing media. I agree with him that this is the way to go.

  227. Elaine and OS,

    It is ironic that I consider peppers a delicacy…I am in search of the most perfect pepper…and if pepper spray is added to the pizza alls you need is just a little cheese to make my day….

  228. Jill,

    What name have I ever called you on this or any other thread? I’d like some specifics, if you please.

    If I take offense, it’s because you seem to think that no one else who comments here is as wise to the media as you are–or as unbiased and open-minded.

    You wrote: “I no longer consider myself a liberal because liberals are people who support torture and murder when Democrats order them.”

    You also wrote: “I do notice that many people on this blog are consistently obsessed with saying how stupid and manipulated people on the right are. That amount of obsession should be a tip off that something is very wrong.”

    You ought to practice what you preach. I guess you are the only one who is allowed to make generalizations about people.

    I’m a liberal. I do not condone torture or murder–no matter who orders it. Many other liberals who comment on this blog have criticized President Obama for a number of his actions. Some of these liberals have even said that they plan not to vote for him in 2012. I think you have selective memory. (BTW, I don’t consider our president to be a true liberal.)

    Is Jeremy Scahill a liberal or a conservative? How about Glenn Greenwald?

    I guess I was right to ask Bron about your being a liberal.

  229. Elaine M.,

    LOL….. Winning Friends 202…. I have observed this…. The ones that are the staunchest defenders of FREE SPEECH are the ones quickest to be offended by your free speech….

  230. Elaine,

    I am going to ignore your comments from now on. I don’t believe there is a way for us to communicate without you degenerating into personal attacks. I’m sorry about that because we share many concerns in common.

  231. Jill,

    That’s fine with me. I guess you haven’t been able to find proof of my name-calling. Otherwise, you would have responded to my request. You often criticize others for their comments–but it seems you feel that no one should criticize what you say. It’s a two-way street, my dear.

  232. Jill:

    Free up the economy and stop trying to control that which cannot be controlled. The rest will take care of itself.

    Government does not create jobs, it only transfers capital to inefficient producers. Which is exactly what OWS is protesting although they probably dont know it.

  233. Bron,

    I don’t know about that. We have never seen a pure capitalist system in place. We have seen the brutal force of corporate/govt. capitalism.

    In some periods of our history, when the govt. was responsive to the people, restraints against things like child labor, unsafe working conditions, pollution of our common environment, etc. were put in place and have ameliorated our living conditions.

    The founders set up our govt. to prevent tyranny of one group by another. They were limited in their thinking about this because they only protected wealthy, land owning white men from tyranny, while allowing themselves to have tyranny over slaves, women, indentured servants, the lower classes, etc. But my point is, even our founding fathers understood that people tend to get tyrannical and there needs to be a force that will restrain that.

    I don’t think there will be an economy that won’t create tyranny under the current version of capitalism. I don’t think capitalism is sustainable because it relies on continued growth, something our planet can no longer support.

    Until we create a very different set of social values we will need some kind of countervailing power to tyranny. Normally that would be the govt. However, not this one. It is clearly in collusion with tyranny at every point.

  234. President Obama was mic checked at Manchester High School in New Hampshire. It was the high school students who used the “people’s microphone” to put their message before him. He acknowledged them briefly, but his response was not exactly responsive.

    I think the mic check phenomenon is a perfect way to make the collective voice heard in a coherent way. One of the ways those in authority have used to shut off debate is to not allow constituents or workers access to the microphone. How many times have we seen the sound crew turn off a microphone when someone wants to confront an authoritarian businessman or politician.

    Let;\’s see how the MSM covers the story. I am confident it will be spun many ways, depending on the political agenda of the particular media outlet. One thing we can expect is that the students will be depicted as “unruly” and “disrespectful.” I doubt they will be presented as thoughtful and frustrated with the way the 1% are running–and ruining–the country.

  235. AY & Elaine:
    Regarding pepper spray as a food product. Here are some reviews from Amazon.

    This is my favorite:

    I casually used this product to try to disperse a small band of non-violent campers who had locked their arms together. Although initially it seemed to be effective, it took two applications! The worst part is that the next day they multiplied exponentially! Now what?

    One positive outcome, I did receive a paid vacation for my efforts.

  236. Bron,

    “Government does not create jobs, it only transfers capital to inefficient producers.”

    The first half of your sentence is just not true. Whether you agree that the jobs created at the DoD, DoE, EPA, judges, federal courts, libraries, customs, Coast Guard, etc. are “efficient” is another question.

    Additionally, the first half of your sentence also implies that government policy does not create jobs as you did not delineate in your use of the term “government.”

    You are more correct in the last half of your sentence than you know, and given your posts in this thread, for all the wrong reasons.

    The transfer of wealth in the boondoggle known as TARP, and the $12 trillion bandied out by the Federal Reserve in 2008-2009 (approx. $3 trillion in currency and $9 trillion in bond and securities guarantees — only brought to light through legislation authored by Bernie Saunders) to financial institutions and multinationals, both foreign and domestic, does indeed prove that current world governments, “transfer capital to inefficient producers.”

    This is why people are so pissed off. You should maybe look at the larger picture, in which your statements amazing hold true, yet the target of your scorn would be different.

  237. Jill:

    why do you think we cant grow anymore? Isnt growth good? Doesnt technological improvement lead to better lives for all people?

  238. Otteray,

    It’s time we citizens started calling out not only the banksters–but the politicians who have broken their promises and those who appear more beholden to the 1% than the 99%.

    I think it’s time now, too, that we go after little Grover the megalomaniac.

  239. Bron,

    “Doesnt technological improvement lead to better lives for all people?”

    You mean like the people in Nigeria and Brazil fighting oil production pollution, or do you mean the people of the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, or maybe the people of the Gulf Coast?

  240. “why do you think we cant grow anymore?”

    Argument from ignorance that fails to acknowledge the reality of scarcity and the nature of markets. Growth, sustainable growth and unlimited growth are different issues. Your form of capitalism relies on the fallacy of unlimited growth. Unlimited growth is a fallacy because scarcity of resources is a naturally occurring limit to growth and both supply and demand are actually finite as a market function. Unlimited supply drives down prices and unlimited demand is constrained by both necessity and the perception of necessity. A stupendous amount of the sales transactions in our global economy have no basis in actual necessity but rather are rooted in perceived necessity (created by marketing). People need food, clothing, water, shelter and transportation. Some would add information to that list. The rest of it is actually conspicuous consumption once the fundamentals of those needs are met. For example, everyone needs adequate shelter. No one needs a mansion unless they have 30 children and/or a large extended family that lives with them.

    “Isnt growth good?”

    Sustainable growth and growth in general are good. Growth without constraint is a recipe for disequilibrium and/or destroying a resource base.

    “Doesnt technological improvement lead to better lives for all people?”

    False equivalence. Growth and technological advancement are not synonymous.

  241. gbk:

    The object of my scorn is government and to a lessor degree the morons on wall street who made all those stupid deals.

    Government transferred the money, they did not have to. The case was made by wall st types that the economy would melt down and so Bush believed it. Now maybe that is true and maybe it isnt, none of us knows for sure. I think a lot had to do with the wall st types melting down and losing their fortunes, call me cynical, and since Bush is the product of wealth and privilege he figured he better lend a brother a helping hand since it wasnt coming out of his pocket.

    Whatever you think about capitalism, that was not capitalism. there are so many of us (free market types) who are really mad about what Bush did, people on Wall St.; traders, financial planners, anybody with any intelligence at all was against that bail out at a visceral level.

    If we do end up becoming a socialist country, historians will look back and say that was the catalyst. That bail out gave the socialists the impetus to go ahead and finish the collective societal rape which Bush started.

    The jobs government creates are at the expense of jobs in the private sector, government produces nothing it is a consumer. To consume you must first produce.

  242. Again, with the false equivalence.

    What Bush did was fascism, not socialism.

    You should not use terms you do not understand.

  243. oh jeeze, the thread degenerated into the old left vs right distraction that our MSM has promoted for decades?
    Be aware, that is the major way they keep the citizens of the US from attacking the real culprits in our oligarchy and our government.

    Face it, all our politicians are these days are salesmen and women for giant Multinational Corporations. The Korean Free Trade agreement was passed today in S. Korea, and the opposition was so pissed off they threw tear gas around the chamber.

    We are the mighty mighty wold elite and we force any nation to allow entry of our mega corporations, whether they want them operating there or not. We forced Korea to LOWER their air standards for automobiles. We forced them to take our contaminated meat that I would never eat and other nations have banned because it is so toxic.

    All of our politicians are guilty in this. All of them. And it has to end. Michael Moore has some interesting things to say about this:

    You do not have to agree with his politics in order to see that he has compiled some very good solutions to the problems we have as a nation.

  244. Bron,

    “The jobs government creates are at the expense of jobs in the private sector, government produces nothing it is a consumer. To consume you must first produce.”

    Some “jobs” should not be trusted to the private sector: clean water, clean air, and oversight of industrial processes come to mind, and of course our war machine. There are many more if one dwells on the subject.

    Your fallacy of production first then consumption is just that. Most wealth generation, even today, is reliant on natural resources which were not “produced” by anyone, it the consumption of said that produces wealth.

  245. Bron,

    “. . . the morons on wall street who made all those stupid deals.”

    Didn’t you say earlier in this thread that we would all be better off if we invested in the markets instead of Social Security? And now, when it suits you, Wall Street has morons that made stupid deals?

    Which is it, Bron.

  246. Gene:

    what resource base have been destroyed by growth in the last hundred years? And what disequilibrium has been caused from proper growth, not growth caused by artificially low interest rates?

    How does a mansion take away from someone having a house? There is plenty of wood, steel, glass and concrete to provide houses.

    How can you have unlimited supply? Where does unlimited supply exist in reality? Why would someone produce to the point where there is no profit? Unless of course govt subsidized it.

    Scarcity of what resources? We have more oil reserves than we did 100 years ago. How is that possible? You think maybe new technology might have helped with that?

    What is wrong with marketing?

  247. Elaine,

    Shame on you for victimizing Jill. Last week it was SwM and last year it was me. Why oh why can’t we stop making her into a victim? Oh yeah….I get it. She is always purely right, so when we disagree with her it’s like disagreeing with the final authority on being politically pure. So presumptuous of us shallow, impure political thinkers.

  248. “Didn’t you say earlier in this thread that we would all be better off if we invested in the markets instead of Social Security?”


    Good catch. Perhaps Bron thinks that smart investors choose morons. Maybe,
    he believes that people should be intelligent enough to know who on Wall Street to invest with, like he does Some stable firm like Citibank, or Goldman Sachs perhaps. However, I think the truth is that Bron just uses a schematic of political and economic talking points that he throws into given situations when it furthers his argument, even if they don’t coincide with his previous points. The bottom line for Bron is that in all situations government is wrong, except in those rare instances he deems that it is right. Therefore the American people’s belief that the government should be representative of their wishes, is a mistake. While it’s true that government often doesn’t act in the people’s best interests, those actions have been guided by the same people Bron would want free of regulation. It is far easier to blame government than the elite that has and will corrupt it.

  249. Shano,

    “Be aware, that is the major way they keep the citizens of the US from attacking the real culprits in our oligarchy and our government.”

    It’s been discussed many times in many other threads, Shano. Thanks for keeping it fresh though with your posts, it’s something I appreciate.

  250. gbk:

    for one thing, not all of wall st. needed to be bailed out. for another you dont need any more than a broker to purchase stock. online trades for as little as $7.00 or didnt you know?

    So which is it, gbk? more freedom or less freedom for people?

  251. Bron: I can think of one very important resource base that has been destroyed, Industrial Hemp. The founding fathers required people to plant this crop everywhere they could.

    For the last 50 years, because of pressure from the cotton-tree pulp- and plastics Multinationals, it has been illegal to grow in the US. Illegal to grow for no good reason other than corporations buying our politicians. We have been trying to reverse this law for decades now. This is why the power base of Multinationals must be taken away.

    Industrial hemp would solve many of our pollution problems, it would improve our soils in crop rotation and thus improve the health of other crops. It can be used as a green building material, as a base for single use plastics, as food and cooking oil, as fabric and paper, as fuel…. It would create whole new industries that would then create jobs for Americans.

    Tell me, why cant we grow this plant?

  252. Bron, I have invested for decades, went through the crash of ’87, and I can tell you with the introduction of high speed computer trading that the current market is rigged. No doubt in my mind about that.

    We need to put a tax on high speed trading and we should tax third party derivative trading out of existence.

  253. Otteray,

    Obama Gets A Note From The 99 Percent Movement: ‘We Got Sold Out’ | President Obama received a note from a protester after his jobs speech in Manchester, New Hampshire this afternoon. The note tells the president to “stop the assault on our 1st amendment rights,” and “Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.” Obama addressed the movement directly after he was mic checked during his speech, saying, “You’re the reason that I ran for office in the first place.”

  254. Bron,

    “for one thing, not all of wall st. needed to be bailed out. for another you dont need any more than a broker to purchase stock. online trades for as little as $7.00 or didnt you know?

    So which is it, gbk? more freedom or less freedom for people?”

    My argument isn’t freedom, it’s your hypocrisy of argument and morphing of statements to suit your most current position. I see no solid nor consistent foundation of thought as exhibited in this thread by yourself.

    That is my argument, Bron.

  255. “oh jeeze, the thread degenerated into the old left vs right distraction that our MSM has promoted for decades?
    Be aware, that is the major way they keep the citizens of the US from attacking the real culprits in our oligarchy and our government.
    Face it, all our politicians are these days are salesmen and women for giant Multinational Corporations.”


    There is so damn much I agree with in your political analysis that I’m almost hesitant to post this. We are perhaps in 90% agreement on what is wrong in our country and the world. In that other 10% though is the fact that you are perhaps more sour than I am on all politicians. While I think most are corporate shills just as they say, I think that there still are some that actually do put the people’s interests above themselves and their corporate contributors. I trust Bernie Sanders and NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, I’ve met the latter and must admit there is a familial connection. I think there are others also and that we can’t lump all politicians into the same corrupt bunch. This weekend I saw Senator Alan Simpson attack Grover Norquist on his anti-tax stance and while I rarely agree with Simpson I saw political courage in his daring to run counter to Norquist’s power in his Party.

    Some politician’s do actually try to do their jobs and those are the ones that we must reach out to. I believe this at the same time that I believe that the 1% is trying to re-establish feudalism via a corporate plutocracy. I don’t think they are mutually exclusive and I think that we must pursue true revitalizing change on a number of fronts. I admit though that in my dotage I may be grasping at straws, I hope not.

  256. Mike:

    why do you need to invest with anyone? you are free to buy stock in McDonalds or any number of companies for that matter.

    Not all of the “elites” believe in government hand outs.

    I think I am fairly consistent in my views. I like limited government free from entanglements with business. I think lobbying needs to go and I think corporate subsidies need to go.

    I might wobble on a few things but not the main one which is let markets work and keep government out of the economy and business out of government.

    I am sorry I dont have the same high level of IQ that you and others throw around so that I can understand the many “complexities” and “nuances” of politics and economics. Liberals are so much smarter than we mere conservatives, why we are probably a subspecies compared to your great intellects.

    Oh masters of the universe, we bow down before your superior intelligence for guidance in complexity and nuance.

  257. Bron,

    “I am sorry I dont have the same high level of IQ that you and others throw around so that I can understand the many “complexities” and “nuances” of politics and economics. Liberals are so much smarter than we mere conservatives, why we are probably a subspecies compared to your great intellects.

    Oh masters of the universe, we bow down before your superior intelligence for guidance in complexity and nuance.”

    Nothing like unsincere hyperbole to make your point.

  258. shano:

    well there you go, another example of politicians being bought off by industry. Maybe free markets arent so bad after all?

    But I dont know if I would make people grow it, that is as bad as preventing people from growing it. Let the market decide.

  259. Mike, I have met Bernie a couple of times in Vermont (the company I work for is based there) he is a really nice guy.

    I asked him about the influence of lobbyists in DC, and he said “No matter how bad you think it is, it is much, much worse”.

    Just some random thoughts from my living situation, since I live in Arizona (Red state) and work for a Vermont company (blue state):

    Arizona has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, over 16%, because they let corporate entities come in and do whatever they wanted (giant Wall Street builders like Pulte homes, etc)

    Vermont still has a 5% unemployment rate simply because they protected their communities from corporate invasions of the worst sort. People over money.
    And that is living proof of the model that limiting the power of corporations is a good thing for all of society.

  260. shano,

    In re industrial hemp, don’t forget pressure from pharmaceutical companies on that list. In addition to the plant’s many other uses, as a treatment for pain and nausea, it presents a threat to Big Pharma’s bottom line as well. After all, you can’t treat Grandma’s pain from her rheumatoid arthritis if you can get her hooked on Oxycontin and you can’t treat Jane’s nausea from her chemotherapy if you can’t also gouge her for Hydroxyzine too.

  261. gbk:

    since you are so smart, point it out to me. that should be easy for a bright person like yourself. shouldnt be too hard to do. Just a couple of cut and pastes.

  262. shano:

    the building industry has been the hardest hit all around the country, very high unemployment within that sector. Especially housing.

    I am not sure you are making a correct analysis.

  263. OS,

    Thanks…..I read the consumer segment….damn kids wanting to read in school…I think the better application would be the cattle prod and standing water….


    You mean that Obama does not eve care what the little folks have to say…..Must be his Hawaiian upbringing….

  264. Bron,

    Well, I pointed out one just above with your contradiction of, “wall street idiots . . . who made all those bad deals . . .” and your advice of investing in markets. Quite a contradiction.

    Read your own words, Bron. I have, and this is what caused me to comment in the first place. Your circular arguments are apparent to all but youself.

  265. And I will say this, I travel all over the nation and the EU.

    The people in Europe resent our attempts to undermine their markets with our Governmental-Multinational collusion. They do not want our food, they do not want our US diplomats pushing Monsanto into their nation under duress of punishment. They do not want our banks crashing their economies with US government sanction.

    I see the poor and homeless populations growing all over America while corporate profits have never been higher. It is disgusting that these corporate entities are not paying taxes or are getting refunded by the IRS when we have such tremendous need and suffering in this rich nation.

    it is horrifying what is happening to average people in America while corporations hide profits off shore. this is something all America should be in agreement about.

  266. Gene H: you are confusing Marijuana with Industrial hemp. They have very little to do with each other. Industrial hemp does not contain thc or cannabiniods for medical use.

  267. Bron, the analysis is correct, because Vermont could have done the same thing and they did not.

    Arizona could have used more strict infrastructure laws instead of giving these corporations huge tax incentives and chipping in for infrastructure to support their corporate projects. For short term gains. They allowed them to create a housing bubble in the worst sort of way.

  268. Elaine,

    Now that you brought that up….The smell must really reek up on the east coast at present….I hear Orly has been in NH challenging Obamas’ citizenship…

    Orly Taitz Challenge To Obama Ballot Eligibility Rejected By New Hampshire Election Officials

    I also read she…if it is a she….is running for the Senate in 2012….Just what we need…one more person in Congress on crack….

  269. gbk:

    Not exactly what I had thought you were going to come up with, since I already addressed that above.

    Keep trying gbk, so far you are just making an assertion. I am waiting.

    There must be much more for you to be carrying on like you are.

  270. Bron,

    “Keep trying gbk, so far you are just making an assertion.”

    All arguments are assertions, Bron. I just think yours have no grounding as they shift given what point you want to make. You contradict yourself, it’s that simple.

  271. Can anyone tell me why Obama is pushing the UN to lift the ban on clusterbombs? -shano

    Unless it’s about $$$$$, but I’m only guessing…


    “The US is being supported by other cluster bomb manufacturers – including Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan – at negotiations due to end in Geneva on Friday. The move is also backed by a number of signatories to the 2008 convention, including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Australia, conference observers said.”


    “We need the UK to speak up,” said Nash, adding that the British delegation in Geneva had so far said nothing during the negotiations.

    Anna Macdonald, of Oxfam International, said: “We will need more leadership from ministers this week to resist US pressure.”

    Amnesty’s Oliver Sprague said: “The UK has quite rightly championed the total ban on cluster munitions. It must not now support cynical attempts by the US to undermine efforts to eradicate these deadly and indiscriminate weapons by agreeing to a new legal standard.”

    Other weapons, including white phosphorus, are on the agenda in Geneva.

    A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The UK is committed to ridding the world of cluster munitions … We will take a view on the protocol at the end of these negotiations. We have been clear that we will not sign up to anything which would undermine [the convention on cluster munitions] or dilute our obligations under it.”

  272. shano:

    the Federal Reserve caused the housing bubble with very low interest rates. What spurs housing is loan rates, the Fed has control of those rates.

    IDont you think Arizona saw future tax revenues from new home construction? They thought the housing market would benefit the state as well. I guess they didnt stop and think that when interest rates are that low, bad things can happen.

    I found this information on Vermont. I dont think the picture you paint is as cheery as you make it out to be:

    Vermont has an aging population and about 20% of their non-farm workforce is employed by government.

  273. yea, anan nurse, another example of our politicians shilling for Multinational corporations over the safety of the entire world.

    The corporate strategy is to infiltrate many nations and get support, then have laws written to support their business. the whole system is corrupt.

  274. Arizona ‘conservatives’ gave Wall Street builders sweet, sweet deals on infrastructure. Deals that the average small home builder could not get. I was in a couple of these battles trying to save Federally protected wet lands. the builder got whatever they wanted regardless of public opinion.

    It was not just the low interest rates. It was our Red State ‘conservative’ politicians working in collusion with giant corporations. And lining their pockets at the same time with good old campaign cash.

  275. gbk:

    then show me where. I am waiting.

    what part do you not understand? That a person who believes in free markets would be against bail-outs? if that is the case then you really dont understand what capitalism is about. Or maybe my stance on corporate welfare? I am against it, is that a contradiction? Or my opposition to lobbyists? Are those the contradictions you are pointing to?

    Or maybe my thought that bail-outs, lobbyists buying favors and corporate welfare is fascism or socialism at best? Is that what you think is contradictory?

    Show me where I have contradicted myself, maybe I can learn something and not make the mistake again.

  276. Bron, you might look up Rick Renzi, another good Arizona ‘conservative’ if you want to see how corrupt these land deals were. the FBI eventually got involved.

  277. shano:

    What did the laws say was acceptable? I think politicians lining their pockets while in office is unacceptable. If the project is a good one, then the market should decide.

    Government should not subsidize the private sector with tax payer dollars. That is nothing but a transfer of wealth from one citizen to another. Why should the purchaser of a new house have a street, sewer or sidewalk paid by the tax payers of Arizona.

  278. shano,

    I’m not mistaking anything for anything. I’m saying there is more than one corporate base of causation that keeps hemp in any form illegal. For keeping hemp down, the three biggest corporate opponents are those invested in petroleum based plastics (like DuPont who were instrumental in banning hemp for rope production), wood based paper products, and pharmaceutical companies.

  279. Bron,

    As the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water . . . ”

    I’ll say it one last time and then I’m done: read your own arguments in this thread and your own responses to others. Your last post is putting words in my mouth – let the thread speak for itself.

  280. Mysterious gas used on protesters in Egypt:

    Attention #Egypt: We won’t tolerate speculation about ingredients of our gas. The U.S. manufacturer can & will sue for defamation. #tahrir

  281. Gene H. one of the biggest obstacles in the legalization of Industrial Hemp is the confusion that people can get ‘high’ off of it. Industrial hemp still grows wild in the US, they call it ‘ditch weed’, it is not a plant anyone would use to get a buzz, haha, maybe a giant headache.

    So I try to segregate the two whenever possible. I really think it could solve so many problems here, from unemployment to pollution.

  282. Bron,

    You keep on giving!

    “Government should not subsidize the private sector with tax payer dollars. That is nothing but a transfer of wealth from one citizen to another.”

    What do you think TARP and the $12 trillion passed out by the Federal Reserve was?

    I rest my case.

  283. gbk:

    you do know I am against TARP and Stimulus dont you? I have been pretty clear and consistent about those points.

    I am not sure what case you are resting.

  284. Bron: while ‘conservative’ ideology might sound nice, in practice it is simply the fact that they are for sale to the highest bidder these days.

    I live in the reddest county in a red state where I see Palin 2012 bumper stickers, and the city just bought a commercial lot, for 2.4 million, so Trader Joes would come to town.
    The money came out of a fund that was meant for our water infrastructure. The developer got paid top dollar in a falling market and TJs will compete with our local health food store, a small business.

    Also, the Tea Party might have had some relevance if they had this crony capitalism on their list of grievances. No, their main point was “taxed enough already”, a pretty selfish stance.
    Conservatives refuse to see that Multinationals are not paying their fair share and are wrecking society so they can have record profits.

    They could not agree to ONE PENNY of new revenue, when the rich are paying the lowest tax rate in 50 years. they are unreasonable, they are wrong and they are hurting this nation.

  285. UC Davis Pepper-Spray Incident Reveals Weakness Up Top
    By Matt Taibbi
    POSTED: November 22

    Was absolutely mesmerized last night watching the viral video of the UC-Davis pepper-spraying. It was totally amazing, simultaneously one of most depressing and inspiring things I’ve seen in many years.

    To recap for those who haven’t seen it: police in paramilitary gear line up in front of a group of Occupy protesters peacefully assembled on a quad pathway. Completely unprovoked, police decide to douse the whole group of sitting protesters with pepper spray. There is crying and chaos and panic, but the wheezing protesters sit resolutely in place and refuse to move despite the assault.

    Finally, in what to me is the most amazing part, the protesters gather together and move forward shouting “Shame On You! Shame On You!” over and over again. You can literally see the painful truth of those words cutting the resolve of the policemen and forcing them backwards.

    Glenn Greenwald’s post at Salon says this far better than I can, but there are undeniable conclusions one can draw from this incident. The main thing is that the frenzied dissolution of due process and individual rights that took took place under George Bush’s watch, and continued uncorrected even when supposed liberal constitutional lawyer Barack Obama took office, has now come full circle and become an important element to the newer political controversy involving domestic/financial corruption and economic injustice.

    As Glenn points out, when we militarized our society in response to the global terrorist threat, we created a new psychological atmosphere in which the use of force and military technology became a favored method for dealing with dissent of any kind.

  286. Gene, you missed one especially important interest group in your post on hemp.

    You forgot the law enforcement/private prison nexus.

    As an aside, one of the biggest lobbyists in favor of tough anti-immigration laws in Arizona was the private prison industry. Wonder why that is?

  287. Bron,

    “you do know I am against TARP and Stimulus dont you? I have been pretty clear and consistent about those points.”

    You appear to be, but then your argument in this thread states that we should all just accept and adapt to the largest transfer of wealth upwards in history by moving to where there are jobs, and accept our newly minted positions of transient feudal serfs in the oil towns of North Dakota — and then count our blessings. You make it sound so simple: work hard and it will all be fine.

    You refuse to see that, for at least thirty years, working hard, gaining an education, and trusting in the “free market,” let alone the stock market, is no longer a hedge against destitution, and that many people refuse to accept the neoliberal vision of the “free market” given its failings in the last decade.

    The cat is out of bag, neoliberalism is a race to the bottom with corporate welfare being it’s primary concern. Again, your arguments are valid but your direction of scorn is misplaced.

  288. Some research suggests that use of pepper spray and Mace is illegal under Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions of 1977.

    If it is illegal to use in warfare, can somebody smarter than me explain why it is legal to use on US citizens on the streets of US cities? In a study done as far back as 13 years ago by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, there were 113 deaths reported from use of pepper spray. I have not been able to find figures since 1998, but I am sure they are out there. Non-lethal, my a$$.

  289. “As an aside, one of the biggest lobbyists in favor of tough anti-immigration laws in Arizona was the private prison industry. Wonder why that is?”

    OS: because Gov. Jan Brewer and Neo Nazi Russell Pearce and all our other good upstanding Conservative Republicans ™ were getting paid by the private prison industry to do so.

    I do not think these conservatives ever take a stance on ‘values’ unless that value is the worship of money.

    OS: not only that, but the pepper spray was not used in accordance with the stated manufacturer use, which stated it should be used “at least 15 feet away”. These kids were sprayed point blank range at least three times.

  290. Neoconservatism. Neoliberalism. Bah! They are both misnomers and synonymous. They are in fact both neofascism: a post WWII version of Mussolini’s sycretic political ideology of corporatism adjusted for the age of the multinational corporation. Two heads on the same snake. A pox upon both their houses.

  291. OS,
    You are right about pepper spray. I s nasty stuff. I was sprayed with a substance the state cops called pepper spray in May, 1970 and I was sneezing all summer.

  292. GBK:

    first of all we do not have a free market for a multitude of reasons. And I am fully aware that a true free market has never existed but we had close at one point.

    I think shano and others make valid points, for example the city/county buying a lot for Trader Joes is BS.

    I disagree that the market has failed, we have an interventionist market from both government and corporations. Corporations need to be weened off of the government teat and government needs to be weened from the tax payer teat.

    Even in a free economy you are going to have recessions or short term depressions while the market sorts itself out and reallocates capital to more efficient producers. During these times you may have to move out of town for awhile to get a job in another state or county. I dont see that as a problem. For some people it may be.

    I just dont think socialism works, but then neither does fascism which is what I think we have now or dam close. I am appalled at what is happening in this country and think our rights are flying out the window at breakneck speed, both parties are drunk with power and at the helm of a semi on a 7% grade with no brakes and no possibility of slowing the descent into tyranny.

    Liberals are very good on political freedom but they are very bad on economic freedom, conservatives arent much better on economic freedom and arent at all good on political freedom because of their association with the fundamentalist Christians. [Those people scare me more than liberals do]

    I am all for shutting down corporate give-aways.

  293. Gene,

    “Neoconservatism. Neoliberalism. Bah! They are both misnomers and synonymous.”

    While I agree they are both misnomers they are not synonymous, but I also agree they are both a form of fascism. Neoconservatism preaches military superiority for the economic benefit of its adherents while neoliberalism preaches free trade with the stick of military reprisal for non-conformists.

    The difference is slight, but it is there.

  294. gbk,

    When it comes to fascism, by any other name, it’s still fascism. And there is nothing – I repeat nothing – I hate worse than fascists.

  295. Journalists protest treatment by police at ‘Occupy’ protests
    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    NEW YORK — News organizations sent letters yesterday to city officials complaining about the police handling of journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street protests and called for meetings to address their concerns.

    They said New York police blocked journalists from seeing when authorities cleared out the Occupy camp in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park last week and said police officers used force and arrested some journalists as they were trying to do their jobs.

    “The police actions of last week have been more hostile to the press than any other event in recent memory,” a coalition of news organizations and journalist groups said in a letter to chief New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne.

    The New York Civil Liberties Union sent another letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, covering similar ground.

    “The numerous reports we have received and have learned of make clear to us that the NYPD is aggressively blocking journalists from doing their constitutionally protected work and in some instances is even targeting journalists for mistreatment,” that letter said.

    When police cleared out the Occupy camp in Zuccotti Park last week in an overnight raid, journalists were kept at a distance, and several were arrested along with the protesters there and at other sites later in the day.

    Bloomberg, an independent, has defended the NYPD’s policy of keeping the press back, saying it was intended to keep journalists out of harm’s way.

  296. Bron,

    “I just dont think socialism works, but then neither does fascism which is what I think we have now or dam close. I am appalled at what is happening in this country and think our rights are flying out the window at breakneck speed, both parties are drunk with power and at the helm of a semi on a 7% grade with no brakes and no possibility of slowing the descent into tyranny.”

    I agree with this as a whole, but as Gene suggested earlier you might be confusing socialism and fascism.

    This country has for some time had socialism for the wealthy as their losses have been recovered by the government since the S&L debacle of the 80’s (I’m speaking of modern times only) and the obvious capital injection into failing institutions in the last five years, not to mention subsidies for companies reaping billiions of dollars of profits every year.

    And the fascism – where corporate need for growth and securitization (privatization) of resourses become government policy – is now all too apparent.

    These are powerful forces arrayed against a singular individual. We would be on the same side except that you blame the individual and not the monied interests and their paid lackies (formerly known as government) for the state that most people find themselves now.

  297. Gene,

    “Although as a technical matter, you are correct.😀 A little speedy with the post comment button there.”

    That’s fine. I hit the post button too soon almost all the time.😀

  298. Y’know, folks. The more I read, the more videos I watch, the more I talk to people, the madder I get. I am sure I am not alone. Many who are professed conservatives as well as liberals are getting mad. That electric moment from the movie “Network” has arrived. We are mad as hell and are not going to take it any more.

    What are we up against? The power of multinational corporations, politicians owned by those giant faceless corporations, the military-industrial complex, the police-private prison complex, and the inertia of the low information voter. We are up against slick advertising and a propaganda effort that would make Paul Josef Goebbels envious.

    What we have is lots of angry people, scared people and some really smart people. We have numbers, bodies and the phenomenon of mic check. We have the technology of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LiveStream and Anonymous. And we have moral authority.

    And we have some really big digital projectors….

  299. raff, as I see it, the two things we need to get on board in order to win are:

    1. Convince the low information voter (translated, that means Fox News viewers) to stop voting against their own economic self interest.

    2. Convince the average gun owner and sportsman the bad old Democrats and progressives are not going to raid their gun cabinet.

    Many times, those are one and the same person.

  300. gbk:

    “except that you blame the individual”

    I am not sure how I blame the individual except that we have voted for these assholes for years.

    Other than that I think the problem is an unholy alliance between big business and big government.

    Now if you are talking about my thinking that a person ought to move to another state if there is no work in their own state before they seek government assistance, I am not sure how that is “blaming” the individual?

    I think we need to be mindful that when we go on government assistance for whatever reason that money comes from hardworking people like ourselves and we should do all we can before turning to others who are in just about the same shape we are. And if we do go on government assistance we should be good stewards of the money we receive. Someone worked hard for it.

    I agree with OWS on their major point of bail outs for the rich and maybe this is a good thing if people start asking why the hell does a rich bond trader on Wall St. need my money when I make X number of dollars per year and have 2 kids in college and mortgage. It is messed up.

    It is also messed up to seem some fat assed POS cop spray pepper in the faces of people sitting on the ground. And do it not once but twice. And then ekeyra, on another thread, posted a video about a guy trying to get a complaint form from the police and he got arrested. We live in a goddamn fascist police state. Screw these tyrants. It is time for people who believe in freedom to get really pissed off and rise up.

    I am not voting for the republican candidates for congress and senate this year, to heck with them. I am going to vote for an independent. We need to get rid of both parties, send them to wood shed until the understand they work for us. And while we are it we need to tell these local politicians the same thing. Either play our way or go take a flying leap at the moon.

  301. Otteray & pete,

    Some interesting statistics on who owns the media from Common Cause:

    Facts on Media in America: Did You Know?


    FACT: Comcast owns NBC; Disney owns ABC; and News Corporation owns Fox Broadcasting Company.

    Comcast owns NBC, Telemundo, E Entertainment, Versus, 14 television stations, Universal Pictures, and Hulu. Disney holdings include 10 television stations, 277 radio stations, ABC, ESPN, A&E, the History Channel, Lifetime, Discover magazine, Bassmaster magazine, Hyperion publishing, Touchstone Pictures, Pixar Animation, and Miramax Film Corp. Viacom owns 10 television stations, The Movie Channel, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, TV Land, MTV, VH1, and Paramount Pictures. CBS owns 30 TV stations, Smithsonian Channel, Showtime, The Movie Channel and Paramount Network Television. News Corp. owns 27 television stations, the Fox Network and Fox News Channel, FX, National Geographic Channel, The Wall Street Journal, TV Guide, the New York Post, DirecTV, the publisher HarperCollins, film production company Twentieth Century Fox and the social networking website MySpace. Time Warner owns HBO, CNN, the Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Time magazine, Turner Broadcasting and DC Comics.

    Currently, six major companies control most of the media in our country. The FCC could decide to relax media ownership rules, which would allow further consolidation and put decisions about what kinds of programming and news Americans receive in even fewer hands.

    FACT: Since 1995, the number of companies owning commercial TV stations declined by more than 40 percent.

    If the FCC votes to relax media ownership limits, it could further erode diversity of ownership at the local level and increase the influence of large media conglomerates.


    FACT: Three media giants own all of the cable news networks. Comcast and Time Warner serve about 35 percent of cable households.

    Many proponents of deregulation site the expanded numbers of cable stations to argue that media sources are more diverse than they once were. The reality is that — while there may be more stations — they are still controlled by a small number of media companies.

    FACT: Cable TV rates have jumped by more than 90 percent since the Telecom Act of 1996.

    The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was, in part, meant to increase competition in the cable industry. The Act was heavily influenced by industry lobbyists and has had the opposite effect.


    FACT: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 lifted ownership limits for radio stations, leading to incredible consolidation of radio station ownership. One company alone, Clear Channel Inc., owns 850 radio stations across the country. Before the change, a company could not own more than 40 stations nationwide.

    Several large stations owned by Clear Channel briefly banned the music of the Dixie Chicks because of their critical comments about then-President George W. Bush. Stations owned by Infinity have also banned certain musicians based on their political views.


    FACT: Major corporations, including News Corp., Comcast-NBC Universal, Time Warner, the New York Times, Disney, and Gannett dominate the top Internet news sites.


    FACT: The public owns the airwaves and the FCC grants licenses to broadcasters with the understanding they will serve the public interest.

    To their corporate owners, media outlets do not exist to promote the public interest; they exist to make profits. But media companies don’t manufacture widgets; they provide information. And information from diverse, competitive, and independent sources is vitally important to the health of a democracy.

    FACT: The entertainment industry – television, motion picture companies, music – has put $283.5 million into federal elections since 1990; in just the past three years (2008-10) the industry has spent roughly that much again on lobbying.

    With their political clout, media giants have the ability to make their case heard at the FCC, the White House and Capitol Hill. The concerns of average citizens do not get the same attention from key policymakers.

    “It is the purpose of the First Amendment to preserve an uninhibited marketplace of ideas in which truth will ultimately prevail, rather than to countenance monopolization of that market, whether it be by the Government itself or a private licensee. It is the right of the public to receive suitable access to social, political, esthetic, moral, and other ideas and experiences which is crucial here. That right may not constitutionally be abridged either by Congress or by the FCC.”
    –U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 1969 case of Red Lion v. FCC

  302. The occupy movement can’t be sprayed away
    Katrina vanden Heuvel
    Opinion Writer

    Pepper spray can’t be washed off with water. The intense burning it causes — the stinging, the redness, the swelling, the coughing and gagging and gasping — will only subside with time, usually several hours. It can cause tissue damage and respiratory attacks. A study of its most commonly prescribed remedies found that none of them really work. It has been prohibited in war by the Chemical Weapons Convention, so our enemies don’t have to experience it on the battlefield. If only our citizens were so lucky.

    Over the past several weeks police have been using pepper spray with alarming frequency in the United States against peaceful protesters. The injured include an 84-year-old woman, a pregnant woman, a priest and an Iraq war veteran. Over the weekend, we had to add to that list a group of college students, gathered nonviolently on the campus of the University of California at Davis

    For refusing to leave an occupy encampment they had set up on campus, more than a dozen students received a point-blank hosing of military-grade pepper spray by a campus police officer dressed, inexplicably, in riot gear. Then they received another one. And another. According to reports, some were punished for trying to protect their faces by having pepper spray forced down their throats. One student was reported to have been coughing up blood 45 minutes after the occurrence. Several were taken to the hospital. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the chancellor of the universitydefended the actions of the police. She should resign immediately.

    James Fallows wrote of this act of police brutality, “Think how we’d react if we saw it coming from some riot-control unit in China, or in Syria.” We know how we’d react — how we have before: with a combination of disgust and outrage on behalf of those who are viciously victimized abroad, and with a deep sense of relief knowing that the United States is not the kind of place where such things unfold. In that sense, the cause of the brutality is the same as that which has driven so many thousands to occupy parks and squares and campuses: a political system that has abandoned its commitment to the ideals it is meant to uphold.

    It is ironic, as former Seattle Police commissioner Norm Stamper said in the Nation, that “those police officers who are busting up the Occupy protesters are themselves victims of the same social ills the demonstrators are combating . . . and in fact, with cities and states struggling to balance the budget while continuing to deliver public safety, many cops are finding themselves out of work.”

    The deployment of police forces against Occupy protesters is also an illustration of just how backward this nation’s priorities have become. “This is a profound statement about who law enforcement works for in this country,” wrote Matt Taibbi after New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ordered the eviction of protesters in Zuccotti Park. “There have already been hundreds of arrests, which is hundreds more than we ever saw during the years when Wall Street bankers were stealing billions of dollars.”

  303. Elaine, if this were in an international conflict, a war, then the actions of the officers and those who issued the orders would be a war crime under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and 1977.

    Unfortunately for the citizens of the US, the Geneva Protocols do not apply to domestic police actions and they cannot be brought up on charges at the Hague.

    By using pepper spray, which is prohibited, destruction of medical supplies and facilities, and assault on people engaged in religious activities; i.e. praying, the actions would clearly be classified as war crimes if they occurred in a war zone.

  304. Pepper-Spraying UC Davis Cop Accused Of Using Anti-Gay Epithet
    By Igor Volsky on Nov 23, 2011

    The police officer who casually pepper-sprayed students at University of California, Davis, was involved in a discrimination lawsuit alleging that he used an anti-gay slur against an openly-gay officer, the Daily Mail reports. The racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit specifically singled out Lt. John Pike, a retired Marine sergeant, for “using a profane anti-gay epithet” against a gay police officer. The case ended in a $250,000 settlement:

    Officer Calvin Chang’s 2003 discrimination complaint against the university’s police chief and the UC Board of Regents alleged he was systematically marginalized as the result of anti-gay and racist attitudes on the force, and he specifically claimed Pike described him using a profane anti-gay epithet.

    Katehi identified Pike as one of the officers involved in the pepper-spray incident in an interview with the campus television station Sunday, and university communications staff confirmed his role Tuesday.

  305. Rep. Deutch Introduces OCCUPIED Constitutional Amendment To Ban Corporate Money In Politics
    By Zaid Jilani on Nov 18, 2011

    In one of the greatest signs yet that the 99 Percenters are having an impact, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced an amendment that would ban corporate money in politics and end corporate personhood once and for all.

    Deutch’s amendment, called the Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Amendment, would overturn the Citizens United decision, re-establishing the right of Congress and the states to regulate campaign finance laws, and to effectively outlaw the ability of for-profit corporations to contribute to campaign spending.

    “No matter how long protesters camp out across America, big banks will continue to pour money into shadow groups promoting candidates more likely to slash Medicaid for poor children than help families facing foreclosure,” said Deutch in a statement provided to ThinkProgress. “No matter how strongly Ohio families fight for basic fairness for workers, the Koch Brothers will continue to pour millions into campaigns aimed at protecting the wealthiest 1%. No matter how fed up seniors in South Florida are with an agenda that puts oil subsidies ahead of Social Security and Medicare, corporations will continue to fund massive publicity campaigns and malicious attack ads against the public interest. Americans of all stripes agree that for far too long, corporations have occupied Washington and drowned out the voices of the people. I introduced the OCCUPIED Amendment because the days of corporate control of our democracy. It is time to return the nation’s capital and our democracy to the people.”

  306. The Wikileaks truck has been found, but only after a lawyer got involved. The police originally parked the truck at a bus stop, where it got two tickets- which the judge dismissed (sanity prevailed)

    Here are the police helping him jump start the battery:

  307. I only hope the OWS movement isn’t taken in by any Democratic embraces. The Democrats will only use the movement and weaken it by aligning it with mainstream politics. OWS can only succeed if it maintains distance from the politicians and insists on the disassembly of the current political system and the institution of a new form of government designed to work as well for the 99% as the current system works for the 1%. What is needed is a Constitutional Convention of the American people. A national referendum on hundreds or thousands of issues and rights and laws etc. A huge complex idea and challenge but one whose time has come. Our Government is corrupt. Our Press is corrupt. Our Banks are corrupt. Our people are suffering and the powers that be really don’t care. Someone should. Us. We should care and we should force the changes we need.

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