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beautiful essay on Occupy

Occupy Wall Street OWS 2011

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#1 Spectacles

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:45 AM

By Donna Schaper

Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church, Judson.org



http://www.huffingto..._b_1094500.html

I really recommend reading it in its entirety.

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The good news is that this action, so unnecessary, will build the movement even more. Yes, the people in the park had become tired, irritable, a little vague. They had even considered exit strategies but were unable to execute any, due to a serious allegiance to the kind of democracy most people gave up on long ago. Some sexual violence was happening, likewise drugs, as the park was open to the world and the world moved in with it.

But the larger story is one of extraordinary discipline, inner development, non-violence. The larger story is the way some folk out of Canada, with great symbols and slogans, camped out and changed the conversation in the United States. I call Occupy my Xanax, my anti-depressant, my ability to sit with peers over dinner or coffee and not become morbid. I had a spiritual and political depression. I don't have it any more. The cops don't have a chance of taking it away from me....

We just pick up our tents and our iPads and our vegan options and our beautifully swept park and tell the gardeners who are bringing down new flowers that they'll have to come back in the spring, after student loans are halved and bank fees obliterated, after foreclosures are foreclosed. If I read the spirit of the drum right, we may have to come back every September and every spring and do something so extraordinarily bright that it shines a light on Wall street and the way it has forgotten heart beats as well as drum beats. We may have to await a constitutional amendment, one that takes money out of politics or makes sure that corporations are understood for what they are, which is not persons or personal. Another blogger says, "I'll know corporations are individuals as soon as the State of Texas executes one." I don't want to be that punishmentalist. I just want a couple of constitutional amendments. Is that too much to ask? It will come by humor, by deftness, by ducking the police, season after season after season.

So, this is a woman of faith--the kind that focuses on those things Jesus told us to focus on: helping to ease suffering rather than blaming the sufferers for their "defects," for not being "good" like us.

And this is a woman who believes in democracy--government by the people for the people rather than government for those who can buy the most politicians.

And this is a woman whose views represent those of the vast majority of Occupy supporters--people of all ages and in all walks of life who care about preserving the American dream: the notion that we are a caste-less society. That dream has become more and more threatened as our government has become more and more corrupted by a self-righteous elite who think the whole damned pie should be theirs. They want America, Inc. to increase their profits. They sell the gullible the lie that increasing their fortunes helps us all.

It does not. Capitalism is not evil--in fact it can be a force for good, if regulated properly. But the elites and their mouthpieces have convinced some average Americans that any regulation and any tax is "socialism" and thus "anti-American." It's not that simple.

Since the 1980s, the real threat to America and to social mobility around the world has not been "socialism!" but a new kind of feudalism. Remember the tales of old when all the land was owned by just a few and the many depended on them for their subsistence? Moving closer to today, think of Carnegie's steel mills in Pittsburgh. People came here from Eastern Europe looking for the American Dream and found themselves working for pennies in 12-hour shifts for six days a week. The mill owners wanted to maximize their profits, of course. So that meant the lowest wages possible and no investment at all in worker safety, even in humane conditions. That's what unregulated capitalism looks like. Power and money become concentrated in the hands of an elite few. It took the workers organizing and revolting to improve their lot. Down the hill from me, in the cemetery, is a placard honoring those who died when Carnegie and Frick tried to forcibly break a strike with armed Pinkertons in the Battle of Homestead.

Things changed. The New Deal was passed, unions grew, the GI Bill rewarded our brave soldiers returning from WWII and America experienced The Great Expansion--a huge growth in the numbers of Americans rising from poverty into the middle class--in the mid twentieth century. The wealthy elites resented it. More for everyone meant less for them. By the 1980s, a new conservative movement--helped by the left's excesses and the South's resentment of the civil rights movement--rose to power with Ronald Reagan. Over time, it has become a victim of its own propaganda so that today even David Stockman and other key architects of Reaganism are appalled by the simple-minded solutions offered by the right: always cut taxes, always deregulate, always wage war. It has become an angry, ill-informed movement. Just take a peek at the GOP presidential debates.

Long post. I haven't posted in a while--mainly because I've become sick of politics. Today's Democrats make me as ill as today's GOP. Both parties have been bought up by a callous element of the elite. Our democracy was barely breathing. And then the Occupy movement made the mainstream media discuss inequality and the many threats to the middle class. People started noticing that the U.S. is becoming a third world country--a wealthy few, many poor, a shrinking middle class--thanks to banksters and robber barons.

So I made the mistake of glancing over the rightwing propaganda posted in that long, ugly thread and this is my response.

As Reverend Schaper writes, "Some sexual violence was happening, likewise drugs, as the park was open to the world and the world moved in with it.

But the larger story is one of extraordinary discipline, inner development, non-violence."


And a commitment to resuscitating the American Dream--that beautiful idea that no matter how poor the family you're born into, through studying and hard work, you can one day own a home, a business, a car. You can do better than the previous generation did.

This movement is about restoring that dream.

Edited by Spectacles, 15 November 2011 - 10:53 AM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#2 Nonny

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 01:04 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 15 November 2011 - 10:45 AM, said:

Remember the tales of old when all the land was owned by just a few and the many depended on them for their subsistence?
Remember the Highland clearances?  The many were cleared from the land held FOR THEM by the few.  

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Moving closer to today, think of Carnegie's steel mills in Pittsburgh. People came here from Eastern Europe looking for the American Dream and found themselves working for pennies in 12-hour shifts for six days a week. The mill owners wanted to maximize their profits, of course. So that meant the lowest wages possible and no investment at all in worker safety, even in humane conditions. That's what unregulated capitalism looks like. Power and money become concentrated in the hands of an elite few. It took the workers organizing and revolting to improve their lot. Down the hill from me, in the cemetery, is a placard honoring those who died when Carnegie and Frick tried to forcibly break a strike with armed Pinkertons in the Battle of Homestead.
If they couldn't work you to death, they outright killed you.  Do you know why women took over picketing duties in many places?  Because the company thugs only raped them.    :angry: :angry: :angry:
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

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#3 Nonny

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 01:16 PM

Reading the entire essay has indeed lifted my spirits.  Thank you for posting.  I was wondering what would happen to the folks staying in the tents, and was glad to read that plans were underway:

Quote

My hope had been that the earliest spark and spirit would have prevailed and some humor would have announced an orderly departure to a winter home in various congregations and union halls. That was partly in the works. But the police made all the decisions, the way force often does. So unnecessary, so sad.
I hope the planning continues.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#4 Balderdash

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 01:53 PM

Awe Specs, what a breath of fresh air.  Where you can acknowledge some missteps and some human variances and
not condemn an entire movement.  I'm so glad that you came out of lurkdom.  Did you know that my boy Arlo Guthrie was
out and about a week or so ago with Pete Seeger at OWS.  I wish I could have seen that, you know how I love me some Arlo.  ;)

Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.



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#5 Spectacles

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 05:44 PM

Glad y'all found it as inspiring as I did. :)

Now brace yourselves....

Again, the essential goal of these protests is to revive the American Dream. Wages have stagnated for most except those at the top. College education and quality healthcare are being priced out of reach for most except those at the top. Laws and taxes and regulations are for the 99% of us not wealthy enough to really influence our policy-makers--and law-interpreters.

The corruption and collusion between government and the wealthy elite have reached obscene levels.

Look at this:

http://www.latimes.c...0,7978224.story

Quote

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

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The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.

Isn't that interesting? SCOTUS justices have lifetime appointments--and they don't have to abide by pesky ethics rules that judges on lesser courts must follow.

Quote

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

Not only were Scalia and Thomas rubbing elbows with two law firms representing the challenge to the law, but

Quote

Another sponsor was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, which has an enormous financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. The dinner was held at a Washington hotel hours after the court's conference over the case.

Any wonder why this court ruled that corporations are people too?

So both parties and all three branches of government have been captured by crony capitalists.

It's enough to make a person want to crap on a Crown Victoria.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#6 Spectacles

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 05:52 PM

And back to the inspiring....


http://www.abs-cbnne...all-st-movement



Quote

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Thousands of nurses from both coasts of the nation came out of the hospitals and took to the streets on Thursday to join the Occupy Movement and demanded for the Obama government to impose more taxes on Wall Street.

Nurses marched in front of the White House and U.S. Treasury Department in Washington D.C. last week and said it is not fair that their patients do not have decent healthcare coverage and cannot afford to pay their medications.

In San Francisco, about 200 nurses marched from Wells Fargo's main branch to the Federal Reserve building in the middle of lunch hour asking the government to implement more tax on wealthy Wall Street companies and return the added revenue back to the taxpayers.

Rowena Modesto, member of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United said, "The banks are the only ones not having any financial burden right now. We need to tax them to somehow help the community."

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#7 Balderdash

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:57 PM

Quote

It's enough to make a person want to crap on a Crown Victoria.

:howling:

Ain't it the truth!

I'm wondering if we shouldn't be occupying the SC... :unsure:

Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.



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#8 Nittany Lioness

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:11 AM

Yep,

Quote

on November 3rd, 2011, the National Nurses United Union, allied with the AFL-CIO, payed for the expenses of more than 1000+ members to march with Occupy DC and ask the President to raise taxes.  Both public and private hospitals must have gone short staffed as the nurses hailed from all over the country and were very clear who brought them there.

I just turned down a union job with a hospital because of obligatory union dues - and over reaching activities like this.
Who took care of their patients?

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#9 Nittany Lioness

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 01:41 PM

And regarding the Supreme Court taking Obamacare up - should Kagan recuse herself?
TheDaily Caller’s C.J. Ciaramella reports:

“Newly released emails have renewed calls for inquiry into Supreme Court  Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in defending the Obama administration’s health care reforms while she was solicitor general.  Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions issued a letter to Attorney General Eric  Holder Tuesday requesting answers to Kagan’s involvement after emails revealed  Kagan enthusiastically supporting President Obama’s Patient Protection and  Affordable Care Act, as well as possibly orchestrating legal defenses for the  act… In a March 21, 2010 email exchange with Harvard Law professor Laurence  Tribe, who also served in the Justice Department at the time, Kagan expressed  enthusiasm — so much so that it apparently required two exclamation points — at  the news of the law’s impending passage through Congress. ‘I hear they have the  votes, Larry!! Simply amazing,’ Kagan wrote to Tribe in one of the emails. At  issue is whether Kagan, if she did work on the Obama administration’s legal  defense strategy for the law, should recuse herself from the upcoming Supreme  Court case to determine its constitutionality. According to 28 USC 455, Supreme  Court justices must recuse themselves from ‘any proceeding in which his  impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’ The law also says justices must  recuse themselves if they have ‘expressed an opinion concerning the merits of  the particular case in controversy’ while serving in government employment.”



Read more:  http://dailycaller.c.../#ixzz1dtYSwxSK

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#10 Peridot

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 11:33 PM

An interesting read, Specs--thanks for posting this! :)

I haven't really kept up that much with following the Occupy movement...partly from stuff going on IRL and partly that I've been more focused on local news relative to banks, such as the mortgages fraudulently foreclosed on in our area, and so forth.  So it's helpful to get some perspective on it.

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#11 Hambil

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 03:52 AM

I and still trying to understand the details of it, but apparently we are getting a surprising amount of support from the right (not Candidates but registered voters). They seem to be very upset over an issue they call Federal Land Grabs, and see OWS as being a way to channel anti-government (specifically Federal Government) views.

I am still in the process of reading on the issue of land-grabs, so have no opinion yet.

#12 Mark

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:45 PM

View PostNittany Lioness, on 16 November 2011 - 09:11 AM, said:

Yep,

Quote

on November 3rd, 2011, the National Nurses United Union, allied with the AFL-CIO, payed for the expenses of more than 1000+ members to march with Occupy DC and ask the President to raise taxes.  Both public and private hospitals must have gone short staffed as the nurses hailed from all over the country and were very clear who brought them there.

I just turned down a union job with a hospital because of obligatory union dues - and over reaching activities like this.
Who took care of their patients?

Mark: I doubt those 1000+ nurses made a dent in the 2.6 million registered nurses in the U.S. Not only that, but I'm sure the nurses who attended were either not scheduled to be on duty at their hospitals, or were using their own vacation time, sick days, etc... to attend the protest. Heck, many of the nurses I've known work 2 days on, 2 days off, so perhaps they just attended during their 2 days off. Besides, I don't know of any reputable hospital that wouldn't fire a nurse who didn't show up for their scheduled shift without a better excuse than attending a protest.

Edited by Mark, 18 November 2011 - 07:48 PM.

Mark
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