Lance Mannion (who was the first free-range, non-professional blogger I ever encountered on the web) explains why he went to Occupy Wall Street courtesy of his local Teamsters:
… The goal is obvious too. We want to live in a country that isn’t run just for the benefit of bankers, hedge fund managers, and a few sociopathic rich people like the Koch Brothers.
How to achieve that goal needs to be worked out, but it was very exciting to me when I was watching the final episode of Ken Burns’ Prohibition last night to learn that although the evils wrought by Prohibition and the Volstead Act were well known and popularly regretted for years and that the forces behind it were suspect either as hypocrites or political reactionaries with a mean anti-immigration streak—the Ku Klux Klan were sworn tea-totallers, so there you have both hypocrisy and reactionarysim—a movement to repeal the 18th Amendment made no progress until a determined rich Republican named Pauline Sabin got fed up with the hypocrisies and the meanness and set to work mainly getting people to show up to voice their support for repeal.
There was a lot more to what she did than that, but that’s where it started, with people showing up to remind politicians, the Drys, and each other that there are more of us than there are of them…
If you can’t show up but would like to show your support, MoveOn has site where you can sign up to take part in a Virtual March on Wall Street.
That’s all well and good, but an even better way of showing up if you can’t show up is to write letters—to your local newspaper, to your Congresscritters, to your state legislators and governor, and to friends and family…
Commentor Raenelle‘s daughter is providing excellent coverage at her Plutocracy Files blog.
Commentor Cassidy was going to the Occupy Jacksonville meetup this weekend, and I hope he’ll report back.
No matter how the Village media courtiers try to depress expectations, even the least-organized #Occupy gathering sounds like a lot more fun than these folks:
Every year since 2006, social conservatives have gathered to listen to speeches, take workshops, vote in a straw poll, and commiserate about the collapse of American morality at a Family Research Council–sponsored event known as the Values Voter Summit. In the midst of a heated presidential primary season, activists who shell out $100 for a ticket will be graced by appearances from all the major Republican candidates (as well as high-ranking GOP senators and representatives, well-known members of the conservative media, and a smattering of other conservative folk heroes such as former Lieutenant General Benjamin Nixon) at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. this weekend. For candidates who want to ingratiate themselves to social conservatives — and all of them do — this is the place to do it.
The activists here see the upcoming election, as Family Research Council president Tony Perkins put it in his opening remarks, as a “contest of values.” And while the crowd here is certainly concerned about gays, abortion, and the like, the biggest round of applause so far this morning came in response to a line about Israel. “We have, and we always should, stand by Israel,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor proclaimed to a long, and loud, standing ovation. (We wonder if anyone here realizes that the weekendlong summit was scheduled to coincide with Yom Kippur, the most sacred Jewish holiday, precluding most religious Jews from attending.) And economic issues are hardly a peripheral concern. Speaker of the House John Boehner received his two biggest rounds of applause when he called for a balanced budget amendment and when he boasted of killing earmarks…
Further, according to Dan Amira at NYMag‘s Daily Intel, the Values Voters really, really like Herman Cain. Value for their money, just like his pizza advertisements!
I especially love the values of “mob mentality”, “worse than 9/11” and “just like Hitler.” A ship of fools.
Maybe Warren Buffett will be our Pauline Sabin.
By the way, I’m growing weary of all these OWS posts. Can’t we all just agree that a sensible compromise to getting government out of bed with Wall Street is to deregulate Wall Street completely.
Snark? Not now, please.
@Amir Khalid: Is it a No Snark day today? I didn’t get the memo.
No, I’m certain no one attending realizes that.
I think it’s a little late for that, in general, Mr. 27 Percent.
It’s always interesting how reactionary social conservatives (or fiscal conservatives for that matter) try to hide their most offensive beliefs, couching them in patriotic terminology or speaking about them only in their churches and talibangelical sermons broadcast on talibangelical satellite TV stations.
And if you want to see how the NY Times is going to try to help shut down OccupyWallStreet, here ya go.
Rand Paul is an asshole.
since im miraculously un-sin-banned, let me ‘splain it to you AL.
this is the result of social media connectivism, AL, and you cant put that djinni back in the bottle.
the way that the Arab Spring and the Greek anti-austerity protests and the owies and Anonymous are ALL THE SAME….is the protestors are ALL fighting the power.
their goals temporarily align.
All the demonstrators are temporarily on the same public transport– and that public transport is teh interwebz.
that is why labor can march with hipsters and ME democratists can march with islamists.
And this is FUCKING SCIENCE you intransigent sub-sapient ‘slines.
Its self-organizing systems.
@Mark S.: The tea party folks haven’t taken over the comments yet. Of course, there are a few canned comments but that’s it.
There is a group gathering in downtown Atlanta today and they are receiving local coverage.
@arguingwithsignposts: Yeah, I think the preacher who introduced Rick Perry and pronounced Mormonism as a cult qualifies as “the weird one,” but to the folks at the VVS, he’s perfectly normal.
@arguingwithsignposts: Wow..just Wow!
Really, really???? This woman is a psychologist… Really, really?????
@Samara Morgan: @Samara Morgan:
With whom are you fighting? AL just posted information and approving commentary about OWS. Settle down, Beavis.
Wow, it took me about 10 minutes to get this comment thread to load. Is it just me or is everyone having problems?
Children can be traumatized by the sight of breasts. That’s why it’s best to always put a blindfold over them when breastfeeding.
Breasts: The Silent Killer.
Well, it’s loading faster now. Don’t know what that was about.
@Southern Beale: I’m using firefox and it loaded fine. ABL’s post last night was slow because of a glitch with a video but she fixed it.
OT… Luckovich’s cartoon
@Southern Beale: I haven’t noticed anything. Some issues last night because of some links ABL had put into her Herman Cain is a Dope thread, but nothing today.
ETA: What JPL said.
I had the same problem. It’s now loading okay.
Yeah I couldn’t comment on that ABL thread last night …. I thought maybe the two were related, or that maybe I’d said something that got me banned. But NEVER MIND.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Lance is brilliant and has been for a long time.
The above is probably the best sound byte message about the OWS mission as I’ve heard short of the Daily Kos dude who got his mug shown on The Daily Show this week.
@Omnes Omnibus: im explaining to AL the JAFI why the arab democratists and islamists can have common cause, just like how the owies and the unions can have common cause.
we are all on the same bus….for a while.
@comrade scott’s agenda of rage: this is the real message.
@Omnes Omnibus: my point is you dont get to pick and choose. AL approves of owies, but not of the islamists fighting dictators.
they are all anonymous.
for a while.
vox populi, vox anon
@SA: No, you’re injecting your special brand of anti-AL crazy into a thread that’s, at best, only tangentially related.
Why is she no longer banned?
I’ve been kind of ambivalent about OWS since the beginning — not sure if they’re “broadcasting” the right messages with their appearance, not sure if they’re protesting in the right places (i.e., why not in DC instead to press for legislation), not sure if they’re going about it in the right way. And then I saw larger and more organized groups joining in (viz. the unions), and saw the protests growing and spreading, and it dawned on me that this is just like the protests of the 60s and early 70s against the war and for women’s lib and civil rights. They often looked funny, they often said offensive things, their tactics were often over the top (who here remembers bra burn-ins?), they often made more enemies than friends, at least at the sites of their protests, by inconveniencing and/or offending the folks in the immediate vicinity.
But they got things accomplished. And they did it by basically shocking the entire nation into discussing the messages and ideas underlying their protests. The swear words and insults and partial nudity and minor property damage and traffic obstructions were all but forgotten as people all over the country started to say “You know, these freaks have a point.”
It occurs to me that the same thing may very well be happening now, because the situations are so similar. Spearhead the movement with a few headline-grabbing people and incidents, and let the strength and popularity of the underlying message see things through. I’m no longer wondering whether they’re going about things the right way — they’re gradually (as in days past; it took months and even years then) getting the entire nation to focus on the issues they’re raising, and however they can do that is the right way to go about this.
If it makes Wall Street unhappy, then it’s good.
@Maude: But that’s what I’m saying — it takes a whole hell of a lot more than just “making Wall Street unhappy” to actually get things accomplished. Wall Street is just a symptom. Effective financial regulations and legislation that safeguards and strengthens the middle class is the solution.
Let’s have an economy based on selling tacky 9/11 porn to one another.
There are also deep connections that are not connected to “fighting the power”.
If you read that the protestors are teamsters, airline pilots, automotive workers, the building industry, then I would argue that the common thread is Peak Oil and there is no short-term solution. These industries must shrink until the technological problem of “new energy” is solved. This is a work of a few decades not just years.
The “power” they are fighting is reality.
The banking industry, led by the central banks, has tried every form of monetary stimulus known to economics and nothing has yet reversed the stagnation. To the extent that we just pile on more debt it just makes it more complicated.
My belief is that there are problems that cannot be solved by throwing green paper at them.
What if I told you that USA may have to abandon private vehicular transport (except for the very rich) for 50 years? What if it ends up taking that long? We may need to return to a second railway age. There could be a huge drop in living standards.
I’m not really quite that pessimistic, but I am not yet sure I can rule it out either. And I do suspect that it could end up being at least partially true.
Well, it was a nice peaceful few days while it lasted.
Um, if there’s one thing a toddler is intimately familiar with, it’s the sight of a naked female breast.
That’s true, but the Republicans block that kind of regulation.
I like that this has spread and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
It helps get people thinking about those “job creators” and how they have done a job on us.
Nothing will change if the majority of people are passive about Wall Street.
This is getting the mule’s attention. It comes first.
@Rafer Janders: Not everyone is/was breast-fed.
Yes, of course. But they’re a protest, not a parliamentary subcommittee. Their job is to get the message out, and thereby cause the larger populace to pressure and elect legislators who will eventually enact such legislation.
It’s never too late.
@Rafer Janders: I am as big as a fan of Monica Bellucci as anyone, but, no, thank you.
@Maude: I repeat, Wall Street is only a symptom. It’s only the tip of the iceberg, the lightning rod. The actual problem pervades our entire economic system, so there are multiple ways of addressing it. And the most effective means of doing that is through practical measures on the part of consumers and smaller investors — deciding who gets their money and why — and through legislation. And by “legislation,” I mean over the long term. I’m talking years, as in the case of the 60s movements. (As a result, I don’t care what today’s Republicans will or won’t do, because “today” is barely in the equation.)
I worked on Chicago’s Wall Street for 15 years. Believe me, “Wall Street” isn’t going to change one iota unless it’s forced to. And the only things that can change it are money and the law. The extent that OWS can influence either or both will determine OWS’s actual effectiveness. And if it can spread and persist the way it has over the last few weeks, I’m increasingly optimistic about its chances.
@Rafer Janders: Exactly. And this is why I’m coming around to appreciate them and what they’re doing. I realize that I’ve seen it before, and it works (although it takes time).
ETA: And in the meantime, independent of elections, it can make consumers and small investors more aware of what’s going on, and maybe make more of them, say, choose to shop at a small main street store rather than Wal-Mart, buy American instead of Chinese (when they have the choice), and demand better service and information from their retail financial advisors. That sort of thing can snowball over time and have a real effect.
I was about to post something like that.
This would make an excellent BJ tagline.
I won’t be going today. I came down with something and just felt like garbage yesterday. I’m feeling better today, but not up to standing in in the rain for a few hours. Sucks.
@Judas Escargot: Seconded, even though I’m pretty sure we’re approaching infinity on taglines by now.
There is nothing. Nothing, that can match the sheer awesomeness of the New Zealand Mint.
@Southern Beale: I really, really cannot bear to click through & find out; are they advertising it as being “from the ACTUAL gold & silver from the Trade Center vaults” like some previous incarnation of 9/11 coinage porn? The depths of tastelessness some sink to really cannot be plumbed.
They’re not supporting the Jewish minority here or the Jewish majority in Israel, so they could care less about Yom Kippur. They’re for Armageddon in particular and violence in general.
Shorter Hermie: “Fuck your facts! I gots faith!!”
Gotta give him credit for so tidily encapsulating the whole wingnut attitude, though.
Consider this a possible counterexample. When undermining your government to serve personal agendas, may not always be a “good thing”.
my tribe is homo sapiens sapiens.
your tribe is western culture chauvinists.
@Nutella: that is the problem with endorsing the “jewish state” concept.
other actors can exploit your jewishness.
No I’m a humanist first and last.
It’s just that I think only secular humanist culture is consistent with where I believe humanity needs to go.
So I oppose Hitler because Nazism is ethno-racialist, not humanist.
I oppose Islamism or Christianism because it is not secular.
I’m OK with India because it is secular democratic.
I am OK with China because it is secular authoritarian, which may be transitional to democracy, or may be the birth of something completely new that I find almost as intriguing. I consider China to be a genuine political experiment.
Thanks, Annie Laurie, for giving the link to my daughter’s blog, Plutocracy Files. I think she’s doing a great job, and today she’s at the protests in Missoula.
Wow I’m in moderation for the word “racia1ist” I think. FYWP
@Raenelle: I started reading her diaries on GOS. A remarkable young woman….I know I would be as proud as Pompous Pilates were she my daughter.
If you really hate America, why stay there?
You could live somewhere else and renounce US citizenship.
@PIGL: I blame her father. :-)
Reports from people are that things went well today. About 200 people showed up and the police were not there. One of our esteemed city councilmen showed up and called the police to see if they had the right permits. It was then very white of him to inform an already peaceful gathering that they if they didn’t cause trouble they’d be fine. Today was supposed to be a general assembly with a plan to have a more organized gathering next weekend. I won’t be missing that one.
and let me correct this.
why do people in other countries hate Americans en banque?
Because most Americans are STUPID…stupid cattle that have let themselves be sukkered by the oligarchs for two centuries.
okfine, another blacklisting.
thats right JAFI queen, shut me up.
two years ago i wanted to be part of this community.
i was out of my mind i guess.
BJ is the lefthand mirror of FOXnews.
Well some of it is probably envy. You have to realize there’s a lot of truly failed cultures out there. One of the ways failed cultures rationalize failure is to blame it on the other.
But I don’t think most of US’s closer allies hate Americans en banque. I don’t think Australians do. There would be some on the hard left who might but they would be a small minority. If anything Australians have an excessive tendency to follow every US fashion and trend.
But it’s simply not true. The US has been enormously prosperous and successful. This is just the extreme way you choose to read history.
What about the absolute disaster of European or Japanese politics in the early to mid-20th century? Hitler was not an American. Mussolini was not an American. A hundred years ago Europeans ruled the world. Now look at them. 30 years of unbridled militarism and European civilization imploded with 90 million dead in TWO World Wars and a continent in ruins. The dominators had become the dominated. The empires gone forever.
What about USSR? It collapsed, but not before crushing countless millions in a cold bureaucratic Gulag system of prison camps and slave labor. Even now Russia is only half the country it could have been because so many died or were never born. WWII accounts for some of it, but the Famines from forced collectivization, and keeping millions locked up in Siberian labor camps sure helped.
You should read Solzhenytsen’s Gulag Archipelago if you think your’s is a failed country that was sukkered by the oligarchs.
i fucking read solzhenitsyn in fucking 9th grade in fucking catholic girls school..
it doesnt change a goddamn thing.
the gulag archipelago could have been written from the perspective of a black man in fucking America, land of “free”..
AL can delete this all she wants.
America genocided the native americans and stole their land.
America was a slave nation for hundreds of years.
@Samara Morgan: Wow.
the US has been the fucking overclass of the world.
the demographic singularity is going to change that.
Your problem is you moralize.
I am talking about demography.
If the Soviets imposed tyranny they imposed it on themselves.
So who in the end was more stupid?
FWIW the Russians also crushed all the nations they conquered, you should ask the Latvians or the Ukrainians.
Define this term. I have seen you use it several times and I really don’t think I know what you are talking about.
im not moralizing, im ANALYZING
Dr. Pinker, who that ratbastard DougJ called a glibertarian of science.
take that plus the protestant core of anti-intellectualism that inflicts creationism and anti-science dogma on the rest of us, and you have the conservative part of the country.
which is losing power, inshallah.
the demographic singularity is when the curve describing the global non-white reproductive rate goes vertical. Just like the technological singularity but with babies.
But that is not what is happening. The birth rates are collapsing everywhere with very few exceptions.
Press the play button on this chart to see it.
Yes. But that doesn’t mean America is losing power.
A USA which is more Hispanic is still America with Latino surnames.
@THE: dy/dx Spock, dy/dx.
birthrates are not collapsing in sub-saharah africa.
and hispanics are simply not represented in the white christian nativist party.
You discussing anti-intellectualism is like McMegan discussing poor journalistic standards.
How long did it take the Catholic Church to admit the earth was round and revolved around the sun?
Jesus on a Triscuit/Christ on a cracker.
Wrong again, Einstein.
A high percentage of Cuban-Americans are Republicans.
Maybe it’s time to head back to your Catholic school for Take Two.
@suzanne: The child will not care. She will default to her standard, “I’m right because I say so” defense. She has to maintain her pissing off her parents white girl fight the power cred.
@Yutsano: I know. Such a dimwitted trustafarian.
I think they are but lagging. This reflects the lower economic development of the region too.
At the current development level the fall in birth rates is pretty much being offset by falling death rates, so the overall population growth rate has been fairly constant. If you look at the chart, in my previous link, you can see that birth rates tend to drop sharply when life expectancy gets over about 60 years.
These are life expectancies for SSA.
I project that much of SSA will pass 60 years life expectancy in the next decade or two. So I am expecting birth rates to drop sharply then.
Balloon JUice is the 21st century equivalent of the geo-centrists.
Y’all think the world revolves around America.
Maybe it did….but no more.
@suzanne: a lt of sikhs (nikki haley) and indians (Bobby “the Exorcist” jindahl) are republicans too…like cubans.
we call them cobos– colonized browns.
they make up a statistically insignificant portion of the electorate.
vox populi, vox anon
@suzanne: protestant anti-intellectualism is the source of creationism belief and AGW denialism in the GOP.
Also the source of the concept of medieval ensoulment that is part of the conservative party platform.
America is a Protestant Nation, ‘slines.
Goodness, what a horse’s ass you are!
Just dropped in to say that. Have a nice Sunday. Or whatever day it is where you are.
No. I’ve been calling this the Asian Century for years and years. But I think it will be the Asian Century economically, decades before it becomes the Asian Century in terms of military power — and that is because the large population of China means that it will achieve a huge economy while still being quite poor in per-capita terms.
So it just makes sense for China to remain focused on internal growth. Just like USA did after it passed UK in industrial output ’round about 1870s or so. But USA didn’t start acting like the global superpower till the 1940s. So there was a 70 year gap.
I don’t expect China to compete with USA as a global power until about mid-century. But China will be the overwhelmingly dominant economic force in places like the Persian Gulf, where China is just now becoming the largest customer of Saudi Arabia. It is also the largest investor in Iraq and Iran.
USA gets less than 20% of its oil imports from the Persian Gulf
@Thymezone: yes truthsay has that effect.
every comment where i have mentioned the American genocide executed on the indigenous population of native americans has been deleted.
Isn’t that a historical fact?
as an example. Am i not allowed to point that out? Where is my free speech?
I’ll say this for you, you’ve expanded my vocabulary. Mostly, it is true, with opaque acronyms and invented* racial/ethnic/religious insults, but hey, it’s all good.
*invented=pulled out of your ass
ZOMG! The US government is now monitoring and censoring Balloon Juice?! Better email Cole right away.
28th Ammendment: the right of the people to comment on Balloon Juice, shall not be infringed.
I just faxed him my credenza. I don’t know what else one person can be expected to do.
@Svensker: Three comments have been disappeared. In each i referenced the American genocide of the Native Americans.
Why is that offensive? Its history, and its TRUE.
its Sol Die, like where you are. Don’t ‘slines know history?
@SiubhanDuinne: for the umpteenth time, i am not a racist. Unless christian and stupid are races naow.
@Svensker: yeah, mail him.
ichi! ni! san!
It is Monday where I am on the other side of the International Dateline.
I laughed at Thymezone’s comment because I thought s/he might be referring to other planets or something.
Hail Great PC moderator.
American Christians are statistically (as a group) less intelligent than american atheists, muslims, jews, hindus, and scientologists.
What can i say? Those snakehandlers and pre-tribs drag the median down.
Religiosity is negatively correlated with IQ, and American christians exhibit high levels of religiosity.