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Moral Language and its Grammar: An Exercise in Wittgensteinian Logic

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I’ve been sensitized of late to a troubling disconnect on the part of the modern human between morality (and moral language) and everyday life. This disconnect is all the more troubling because it seems to be shared by the educated and the simple folk alike. More so by the former, I’d venture to say, if I were a betting man.

It’s also troubling, not so much because it’s puzzling but precisely because it’s understandable, all too well understandable. And yet,the preponderance of evidence doesn’t come from ordinary usage, for expressions such as “get off your high (moral) horse” or “stop moralizing” are ample proof that the respondents are quite at home with the intricacies of moral language and the intended effect, that they don’t regard it in any way as being fantastic or fictive. They know exactly what you mean, they just resent it! Which only compounds the trouble because a perfectly natural question suggests itself:

Since we’re all so much at ease with moral language and the terms of moral discourse, why don’t we see it employed more often when discussing ordinary affairs, public or private? Why is it that the only time we’re really up in arms about moral talk is when it’s directed against us? Why must we always be reactive whenever morality is concerned, rarely if ever pro-active? Why must our attitude take the usual form of resentment or outright dismissal? Why doesn’t it manifest itself more often in a modicum of humility and a moment’s pause, a pause prompted by the invitation (OK, provocation if you insist!) to take a step back and reflect, to take a reckoning of ourselves?

I can well understand a reactive, if not downright hostile, stance whenever we’re being criticized for many of our faults, the kinds of things people usually criticize one another. There’s a perfect reason for this. We all know the bulk of such accusations miss the mark by a mile and are really beside the point. They’re superficial when it comes to it and far from being constructive; and we’re so very right. The well-anticipated reaction is but a natural human response to another’s stupidity. Stupidity which manifests itself not only by not getting to the bottom of things and treating as significant what in the final analysis is trivial, but that stupidity which also reduces the art of communication and its underlying purpose, the building of relationships, to mere bickering.

But morality, the one and only aspect which goes to the very core of our being and defines what it means to be a human? For we all know, as the foregoing attests, there is no valid kind of criticism unless it’s moral criticism since all follows from that. There are no other grounds, everything else is fluff. It’d stand to reason, therefore, we should be more receptive to moral critique than any other kind of critique, and our responses less hostile. And yet…

I have an idea or two as to the “reasons,” so I may as well share them with you. The first, ours is a secular society, doing its damnedest to stay free and clear of any stigma associated with religion or religious belief; and insofar as morality, however remotely, could be said to spring from the former, it suffers the same fate. “Guilt by association” is the verdict.

The second has to do with the doctrine of moral indeterminacy (or relativity), made popular by anthropological studies of diverse cultures the world over, accentuated besides by the conservative attack on the democratic values. Situation(al) ethics is the highest parody on the theme, the pinnacle, and the pronouncement appears to have stuck. Needless to say, both implications are wrongheaded, but this is neither the time nor the place to disprove them. Suffice it to say, both serve as a pretext not to take morality seriously.

Far more serious are the consequences which afflict our everyday practice, our abilities, that is, coupled with a dogged determination to think and act as full-fledged moral agents, the only way any of us should ever think or act. That’s the tragedy which befalls the modern, enlightened type of human: the apparent incapacity to respond in the only way a human should, by registering a moral kind of response.

So, I ask, why do we do it? Why are we so reticent about invoking moral language and values to bear on our discussions of politics and economics, on the hard times we’re in, on all our travails both public and private (to include our relationships and the way we [mis]communicate)?

There’s one thing which comes to mind and it’s not very complimentary. Sheer discomfort, I say, discomfort brought about by a sense of guilt (or suspicion, if we want to be kinder) that perhaps we’re not living up to our potential, the human potential. It’s the inconvenient truth that we’re all so intent on avoiding, inconvenient because it points an accusing finger at us, all of us.

Thus, we seem to live in a state of cognitive dissonance, although “emotional dissonance” may be an apter term. On the one hand, we seem to resent, and for good reasons, all forms of rebuke, simply because they’re not “moral” or in any way connected to morals; and yet, on the other, we’re just as obstinate whenever we’re faced with a predominantly moral critique, just or unjust.

Is this the human predicament, this tunnel vision of ours that no matter what’s thrown our way, whether by way of a detour or an obstacle which threatens to upset our sense of normalcy and our habits of thought, we’re determined never to be forced into a contemplative mood, a mood for self-examination and self-reflection? “Damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” is this our only option? I certainly hope not, for our future would surely be foredoomed.

But even apart from these strictly personal considerations which concern nothing but our fragile egos, so inconsequential in the larger scheme of things, for we’re still at the level of elementary psychology, right or wrong, and the usual array of human foibles, there are far more important things to consider, things which transcend what’s merely personal or idiosyncratic.

To mention but one, it’s the sheer efficacy of our moral language to hopefully redress all injustices, real or apparent. There’s no other language available, no other terms, in fact, other than moral terms which are better suited for the task at hand. Moral language is our last line of defense, our only line of defense against all forms of injustice large or small, none better. It’s been a long-proven, revolutionary formula designed to combat all manner of injustice the world over, from times immemorial to the present; and it’ll always remain so. Indeed, the very concept of justice has been writ large at the very heart of morality and moral thought: justice with respect to self and others. And whenever push comes to shove, there’s no other force at our disposal except for moral force. Ultimately, that’s all there is.

What’s really pathetic, those who appear to be most concerned about injustice anywhere and everywhere are the very same ones who, for one reason or another, false pride, a touch of insincerity, a hope of personal gain, perhaps, but reasons aren’t really important, are they, fail to avail themselves of the only foolproof remedy that’s available to them, to all of us, in fact, the only kind of language that’s bound make a difference and be understood, besides, in the only terms that make sense, any kind of sense. And why? Because of false pride or any such silly thing? Again, the very humanity is on trial and the whole world is watching.

I don’t know ‘bout you, but to be discussing politics, economics, all the things that either matter to us or ail us, whatever subject may be fit for public consumption or polite dialogue, is an exercise in futility, a form of mental masturbation, unless morality is brought into play. Apart from values, moral values, all such debates are sterile, suffering from a major disconnect whereby whatever is superficial or merely a symptom ends up masquerading as the real. For truth be told, what we’re going through right now, both in America and the West, isn’t just any economic or political crisis but a moral crisis, first and foremost.

Political or economic malfeasance are definitely to be combated tooth and nail, I’ll be the first to fire the salvo. And yes, they do present us with an all-convenient, ready-made target to zero in on so as to shoot it down. But those aren’t really the sources of our discontent, our faltering morality is; these are but symptoms, deadly symptoms indeed, while general moral decay is the disease. So again, I say, to be focusing on the symptomatic rather than on the causative, all in the interest of what? absolving ourselves from taking personal responsibility for the existing state of affairs, is nothing but a fool’s errand. It ain’t gonna fix nothing!

To say pretty much the same thing in Wittgensteinian jargon, there’s no chance in hell you can fix whatever is wrong with our politics or economics while you remain captive to those language games, for the rules of the game are stacked against you, just as in a Vegas casino. The only way to freedom and eventual victory lies in adopting the stance of an outside observer looking in. You must be able to show that those language games are detrimental to your health for running counter to the language game of morals, the only language game that counts.

I believe I connected all the dots that needed connecting, if not explicitly then at least on the intuitive level. For those, however, who are either visually or conceptually impaired, let me spell it all out by way of the following propositions. It’s the gist of this and the immediately preceding article.

1. The ultimate concern for the other is the crowning achievement of humanity, all human thought in fact; a lifelong stance made possible only by taking morality seriously.

2. The same goes for personal integrity, another fruit of distinctly moral development. There’s no integrity aside from moral integrity. To speak of intellectual integrity, for instance, as though divorced from moral integrity, is to perpetrate a lie.

3. The key to attaining moral integrity is predicated on aligning our emotional and intellectual faculties and bringing both into perfect harmony. The emotional in us, the stances we take, must be moral stances, the only stances that count. Once so aligned, the intellect falls into place, its rightful place, which is another way of saying there’s no intelligent thinking unless it’s moral thinking.

4. There’s only one kind of immaturity, emotional immaturity, a state in which our intellect is as good as useless. But then again, all is never a lost cause because our moral language, if taken seriously, provides a ready-made remedy, the only remedy. There’s no growth, emotional, intellectual or otherwise, unless it’s a moral growth.

And what of justice?

Well, justice is like that shining city upon a hill.

I’ve been accused of late these are but “circular meanderings.” A less disparaging comment came by way of comparing my words to the words of a sage. The most disturbing thing about it was the source, the same source in both instances: a person whose opinions and judgment I used to respect and value. It is discouraging indeed, so discouraging, that even the brightest amongst us, the most educated and clear-headed, can be so blind. It doesn’t offer much by way of hope.

But to bring this overlong article to an abrupt end, let me say two things. First, I shan’t argue as to whether my thinking does or doesn’t merit the aforementioned characterization, be it in terms of being “circular” or simply “meandering.” Instead of combating the accusation, you the reader must decide. And second, I’m no sage, and my words aren’t the words of a sage. I’ll say this, however: these are our truths, our sacred and everlasting truths!

To put another Wittgenstein twist to top it off – it’s but the grammar of morals!

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About Roger Nowosielski

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A silly error, page one, paragraph one …

    both by the educated and the simple folk …

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A silly error, page one, paragraph one …

    both by the educated and the simple folk …

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A silly error, page one, paragraph one …

    both by the educated and the simple folk …

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie

    I’ll start with a little moral drama.

    ‘Why are you giving food to people?’

    ‘To bring on world revolution.’

    ‘What revolution?’

    ‘Anarchy and communism.’

    ‘Why anarchy? Why communism?’

    ‘Because no one has a right to control another, and because the only just distribution is a communist distribution.’

    ‘You’re out of your mind. It’s a good thing you’re harmless.’

    I guess it does lurch off into utilitarianism there. Let’s try again….

    ‘You’re evil. It’s a good thing you’re weak.’

    Oh, well. Hope it put some fat in the fire, anyway.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A little moral drama is always a good thing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps George Bernard Show should be the required reading.

    I must revisit the old fart again.

  • troll

    guffaw

    having been ‘called out’ within this article it legitimately could be considered bad form for me not to point out that I neither compared the author’s words to those of a sage nor did I characterize his articles themselves as circularly meandering…I did call him contentious incompetent and abusive however – which explains a bit

  • troll

    Anarcissie – how would the moral drama go that begins with:

    ‘why are you giving tainted food to people?’

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Constructive and objective critique, reflecting the spirit of the subject article.

    Definitely to be taken under advisement.

  • jamminsue

    Thank you, Roger. Keep hammering on the subject. BTW, not even Plato could define justice.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks, jamminsue, but we’re not as bad off as you make it out.

    My understanding of the Socratic question/project is that it had less to do with coming up with a foolproof definition (I doubt whether it’s possible) but more with having people think and self-reflect.

    In any case, morality is ever evolving, since life always presents us with new situations and new challenges. All we can do, really, is do our best and always do what we happen to think is right.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, a fascinating program just aired on BBC World Service — “A Short History of Story.”
    It comes in two episodes, but the link covers both of them.

    Cindy, you’d love part two in particular, especially when Steven Pinker considers the birth of empathy. From topical standpoint, it relates more closely to the preceding article, but no matter.

    I’ll post a link to a transcript, if available, for Anarcissie’s sake, since she’s not much into videos.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Frank

    Roger,

    You asked us to be frank. So, here goes.

    The criticisms you have been receiving from a variety of folks are accurate, imo. You are not reading and comprehending what people are saying. I wish you would stop doing that.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Frank

    (Oh, and thanks for the link on storytelling–something I am really keen on as a subject.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I am not going to get into another squabble, Cindy, but of course you are entitled to your opinion.

    Do you remember, however, an episode two years back or so when you’ve been accused of playing coy and misrepresenting things on purpose?

    Nuff said.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Well, I am sorry you would even think of a squabble when your friend tells you to you need to simply look over your responses where people have said you are not comprehending what they are saying. I am sorry your can’t simply trust our friendship and do it. It is tantamount to presuming you are faultless.

    On a happier note: Occupy Portland is victorious. The police left and the occupiers will remain.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, because it would be a squabble. I’ve always supported you from day one because of your spirit, intelligence and your drive. I supported you when Mark was on your case. I supported you when Christopher was on your case. I’d even sort of rebuke you in order to diffuse the situation. Even when I thought aspects of your thought (especially about indoctrination) could use re-thinking, I offered to go over this with you, didn’t really criticize you. I’d even make excuses for you because of what you’ve been going through for the past year or so, because I understand the kind of stress and pressure you’re living with. So now, after three some years of an online relationship, you still see me through the same eyes as zing or Christopher and some others?

    You know what, I believe I’ve wasted three years of my life communicating with you, it’s all for naught. I thought we were close to being friends. I really see no more reason for my being here. Until a few days ago, you and Mark were some of the few people that made it worthwhile, not just in terms of agreement on certain subjects but in terms of affinity. Now it’s all shut.

    In any case, I’ll be getting a vehicle from my brother-in-law and be soon in California, so no, I won’t be relying as much on online contacts for any relationships. I must have been a fool to think such a think possible — looking for love in all the wrong places, haha.

    From now on, Cindy, I’m going to be none other to you than just another pixel.

    Clavos was right after all. I should have taken him at his word.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … such a thing was possible …

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie

    troll — So it must be in the prisons of the Demiurge.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger,

    I don’t know what to say to that. I am going to presume you are having some sort of tough time. Perhaps you just need a hug.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    And for the record, I don’t see you through the same eyes as anyone else. I am simply saying that you are actually doing something that anyone can see. I hope when you feel up to it, you will look at it. This is not some ego-shattering criticism. We all are imperfect. Nothing new or remarkable in that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t worry ’bout my ego, Cindy. It ain’t my ego that is being injured.

    But that’s OK. You just stick with “what anybody can see” paradigm. And in the future, let’s not get personal anymore. I certainly won’t, and I hope you have sense enough to follow suit.

  • troll

    …would that we could simply call in Sophia to clean up this mess

    but damn – I’m supposed to be taking notes in an international GA in half an hour and I can’t get mumble working

  • troll

    (…interesting meeting centered on updates from occupies and ‘older’ groups world wide and a discussion about when [and how] to schedule the next international day of action)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Keep us posted, trol!!

    Morning, Roger. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good morning to you too.

    Anarcissie,

    Thought you might be interested since mentioned her once or twice on TD.

    An excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s just published,
    The Change I Believe In: Fighting For Progress in the Age of Obama
    , a collection of her columns from The Nation. “The Age of Obama” is rather pretentious, but it makes for a good selling title, I guess.

    She was interviewed today on the second hour of the DR show, and I’ll post a link to the podcast once it’s available.
    ,

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The podcast has just been made available.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    We are the many!

    Pretty much explains why I’m totally unsympathetic with the privileged white males who compose the bulk of this forum. I spit in their faces, as a matter of fact.

    So call me incompetent, insolent or abusive, any name you can think of, accuse me of lack of reading comprehension or not listening, but this kind doesn’t deserve any better. They live a life of lie, and I’ll be the proverbial thorn in their flesh until they come to their right senses. The don’t deserve to be listened to, and to comprehend them is to reduce oneself to their miserable condition. One way or another, they’ll either come to see the light or be swept like dust by the peoples’ movement.

    And the same goes for those who, however sympathetic to the people’s movement, either for their temporary lapse of mind or fragile egos, listen to the voices of the privileged white males. I have no compassion for them either. And their ready-made response of crying uncle is but a sign of a scoundrel.

    And no, this doesn’t contradict the spirit of the subject article, in only brings it into sharper relief. Moral outlook doesn’t come without personal responsibility, responsibility for making the right kind of decisions and deciding on whose side you are. And until the privileged white male makes the right kind of decision, he’s my enemy and the enemy of the people. He deserves none better.

    The time for self-justification and making oneself look good is over. Before love can reign, it’s time to stir the pot.

    Reminds you of Moonraven? Well, it ought to. If I can trust an outsider’s account, even Eden ended up calling for her expulsion.

  • Jordan Richardson

    You better aim some of that spit straight up, Roger…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Ain’t falling on me, Jordan.

    My urine won’t carry as far as it used to, neither my ejaculations. But as far as spit is concerned, I’m still OK, just don’t let me stay dehydrated.

  • Clavos

    (wipes spit off face)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Wasn’t directed at you, Clavos, let me assure you, unless the wind had done its thing.

    How’s was that, though, for engaging in a bit of Ruvyesque?

  • Jordan Richardson

    At least that’s all you’re wiping off, Clav.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jordan, we don’t want to carry this too far!

    Let’s be sensible.

  • Jordan Richardson

    From what you told me in #30, I don’t think there’s much chance of anything going too far.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    True, except for the spittle.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What’s of course wrong with these online communications, guys, most of us aren’t really made for this rarified air of pure intellectual discourse, having no recourse to the usual touchy touchy, kissie kissie, feely feely — nothing, in short, being person to person wouldn’t cure.

    So let’s take it all in stride and stop making a big deal out it. You can’t expect the net to replace a kiss and a hug, so why bother trying? Got to learn to live with the limitations.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Huh?

  • Clavos

    @#32,

    Though you may not have realized it, Roger, yes it was; I am a privileged white guy and working hard to stay one.

  • troll

    (again simply for clarity – I didn’t call for banning Moonraven…the closet was a point when she made it crystal clear that she was in no mood for civility and I pointed out that people seeking such discourse with her shouldn’t bother engaging)

  • troll

    OWS evicted this morning

  • troll

    latest I’m hearing is of a possible restraining order to allow protesters back onto liberty square…and of people looking for space for ‘refugees’ at Trinity Church — anyone hear more?

  • troll

    …protesters gathering to take back the square

  • troll

    nypd – 180 to 190 arrests made in the …action

  • troll

    looking at the pics and videos of the attack and beatings you have to wonder if this is what democracy looks like…looks like a police state to me

  • troll

    march to reoccupy is underway

  • troll

    response developing to hold 2 locations — liberty square and canal & 6th

  • troll

    nypd blocking the reoccupation of the square…

  • troll

    1st arrest at the police barricade tweeted

  • troll

    crowd challenging the barricade

  • troll

    protesters at occupy toronto are receiving their eviction notices at this time…

  • troll

    protesters reading court order allowing their return to the square to the police trying to educate them and get them to stand down

  • troll

    police awaiting orders…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Important public announcement:

    This land of the thief and the slave is in the process of invoking the state of exception. The coordinated attack on OWS sites from New York to California should convince anyone we’re quickly on the way to becoming a police state. Subway services have been interrupted insofar as making normal stops at Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge and other means of access to the Liberty Plaza blocked. It’s almost a full scale military operation, the next thing coming is a marshal law. The duplicity that America exhibits time and again, the double standard, with respect to lawful protests in the Middle East and Africa as opposed to similar developments at home is unconscionable. It’s time for the international community to step in and declare the USA as the enemy of the people and start applying the same sanction against it that we’re so trigger happy to be applying to others.

    Other means of resistance suggest themselves. Another coordinated labor strike, nationwide, is definitely in order. Additionally, there must be a way to organize nationwide taxpayers’ revolt to withhold all municipal and state taxes, even put putting them in an escrow account, in order to defang the police apparatus of the militaristic state. Meanwhile, the good governor Andrew Cuomo, the son of an honorable Democrat, sits on the sidelines while the fascist Bloomberg conducts his “cleanup operation.” Shame!

    The people had better wake up before it’s too late. OWS needs our full and unconditional support.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @39

    That may be so, Clav, but you have other identifications as well.

    Did I say all white guys, privileged or nor, are bad?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And what do you mean, BTW, by “trying to stay privileged”? Somehow, I can’t form a sharp image this expression evokes.

  • troll

    protesters remaining peaceful and not storming the square awaiting a court hearing at 11:30

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The days of Mayor John Lindsay and Percy Sutton are over.

  • troll

    this is an international clamp down – I watched a video of Occupy Warsaw under police attack yesterday…Occupy London is under notice…on and on

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The Poles had a long admiration for America since the fifties, having been under the Russian thumb all these years.

    Not the young generation.

  • troll
  • troll

    scattered individual arrests continue along the barricade — court hearing on eviction about to get going

  • troll

    arrest buses pulling into place

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    From the horse’s mouth.

    Admission of the coordinated effort by Mayor Jean Quan

  • troll

    call the mayor at 416 397 3673 & leave your message of support of the movement

  • troll

    action at Trinity Church – church not allowing police onto church property at Duarte Square where 400 protesters a gathered

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Use to work at 2 Wall Street, a cross walk away from Trinity Church Park, a perfect place for a quick lunch. A far better site for OWS because of it’s visibility and in-your-face presence.

    Good for the Trinity Church — still the highest piece of real estate in NYC.

  • troll

    church backs down – police are entering Duarte Sq and the beatings and arrests have begun

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fuck that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Live action here.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This would be more effective:

    Email to NY governor, Andrew Cuomo.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Whatever good it will do, they acknowledge receipt.

  • troll

    Duarte Sq has been cleared of protester – a couple dozen arrests there

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And here’s how to contact The Trinity Church.

  • troll

    large march from Duarte to Liberty Sq underway

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another site for live coverage.

  • troll

    on the hearing front – Judge Stallman is living up to his name

  • troll

    police harassment at Occupy Phoenix escalating today…

  • troll

    police violence breaking out back at Duarte again – reports of a protester getting kicked around

  • troll

    bianca jagger tweets: “call the 1st precinct in New York at 1-212-334-0611 to demand that NYPD stops their attacks”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • troll

    Occupy Toronto to be evicted at 12:01am

  • troll

    group of protesters arriving at Liberty Sq…eviction hearing underway

  • troll

    ‘hundreds’ arriving at Liberty – reportedly very tense there right now

  • troll

    meanwhile in the hearing Brookfield’s (the owners of the park) lawyer is arguing from the private property point — no violation of free speech…….sound familiar?

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie

    A few observations:

    0. Occupations may now have more power as myth, legend, metaphor than as actually-existing physical entities, an undesirable consequence for authorities, leadership, ruling class.

    1. Close coordination of evictions suggests orders from a higher authority.

    2. Authorities (local or higher-up) are willing to risk many unintended consequences to suppress public dissent, suggesting urgency whose cause is not readily apparent.

    3. Disease and dirt tropes are characteristic of extreme authoritarians when confronted by ‘disobedience'; compare Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda in the 1930s and Dixiecrat anti-Black propaganda in the ’50s and ’60s. ‘Moderate’ and ‘liberal’ leaders and media have fed this trope, indicating radicalization to the Right.

    4. Eurozone may be folding up financially, which will intensify American depression, leading to domestic political trouble.

  • troll

    argument in hearing turns to symbolic meaning of 24/7 occupation as exercise in freedom — of speech

  • troll

    more arrest buses arriving at Liberty…

  • troll

    Occupy Phoenix is now under attack…calls for help

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As Chairman Mao would say, the situation is perfect.

  • troll

    hearing over — judge to rule by 3pm eastern

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Both Greece and Italy have elected technocrats to lead their temporary governments, technocrats that would be amenable to the bankers’ demand for compliance in terms of the bailouts. The people were denied their right to have their say on whether to cooperate with the bankers.

    I hope this situation has not been resolved yet and that the Eurozone collapses. I used to support the idea of EU, but not anymore as long as the financial interests are in control.

    It’s time for that house of cards to fold, and let the bankers absorb their fucking losses.

    Again, as Mao would say, the situation is excellent.

  • troll

    …library of over 5500 books destroyed…media equipment trashed…kitchen and food gone — I’ll bet there are some hungry folks but adrenaline goes a long way

    I hear that the street medics are hard at work

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • troll

    Occupy Calgary receiving it’s official warning notices

  • troll

    happily – a new report from Phoenix is that there was some confusion in the camp but no police raid

  • troll

    Anarcissie – reports are circulating about FBI and Homeland Security involvement in the planning for this concerted shut down – one’s up on the Daily Kos…(not my favorite group for accuracy)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @86

    “Higher authorities can only mean Obama’s house and his goons.

    Unless Goldman Sachs is running the country.

  • troll

    rain starting up in NYC — what a drag…folks exposed to elements…no hot food…stress…bad combination

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Adrenaline makes up for all that shit. And it’s running high.

  • troll

    Bloomberg Tv just asked Graeber to talk about the situation…he told them to go fuck themselves

    a bright spot in the day

  • troll

    verdict from the hearing momentarily

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    according to Huffpost, verdict in favor of OWS.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    with tents and all …

  • troll

    still no ruling I hear … cnn and huff jumping the gun

  • troll

    another arrest at Liberty – tensions rising again

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Long waits don’t bear well for the plaintiff.

  • troll

    riot police arriving at Occupy Melbourne

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Ruling against OWS.

    Fuck them motherfuckers. Now the fight it on.

  • troll

    blogcritics site has become unusable for now…ciao

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    We need 200 thousand, half a million would be better, to converge on NYC.

    Let ‘em bring National Guard, which they will.

  • troll

    new rules: no tents – no sleeping bags – no pillows —no musical instruments — no laying down…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Plus, you got to check in to come in and enter.

    Fuck it, we don’t need no stinking tents. The movement is getting stronger.

    These are our modern-day heroes.

  • troll

    medics report to GA that they are reestablishing the free clinic

  • troll

    …but are lacking supplies

    rain continues

  • troll

    reports that Occupy Dallas will be attacked tonight

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Judge says No camping equipment: Here is a Venn Diagram for the judge, describing the difference between camping and exercise of 1st amendment rights, courtesy #OccupyDenver.

  • troll

    housing group reports places for a few hundred around city have been secured for overnight

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Just talked to my mom in VA, who asked if I heard about this development in Richmond. I hadn’t.

    Richmond, Va. – Members of Occupy Richmond have taken up a newspaper publisher’s offer to encamp on his property next door to the mayor’s residence.

    The anti-Wall Street activists pitched tents and hauled in provisions on Tuesday to the lawn of Raymond Boone, editor and founder of the Richmond Free Press. Boone offered his property in an editorial in his weekly newspaper.

    Occupy Richmond activists asked Jones to allow them to occupy a public space without fear of arrest. When he didn’t respond, they headed to Boone’s property.

    Occupy members have said Jones betrayed them when he ordered police to clear an encampment on a city plaza in Richmond’s financial district in October.

    A small contingent of police officers is keeping an eye on the encampment. A driveway separates Jones’ and Boone’s properties.

  • troll

    alright Ray!

  • troll

    Occupy New Haven lays out welcome mat for ows refugees

  • troll

    some kind of police action going on at Occupy Seattle now – reports of pepper spraying

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    To be clear, I am not defending Bloomberg’s overnight actions, which were at best misguided and at worst may start a domino effect toward violence. OWSers [and police officers] are only human, so there could be ugly clashes, and an escalation into riots won’t be a healthy development for anyone.

    But isn’t this also an opportunity? Should OWS’s identity be so centered on tents and permanent encampments? Are there not other ways to spread the gospel that concentrated wealth and power is wrong?

    Just askin’.

  • troll

    Occupy Seattle reassure that no attack on camp underway – it was a march getting special treatment

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    The problems of the state and the free market should be crystal clear to all non-anarchists.

    (Unless you are under the spell that tells you that “free markets”–as if there aren’t 1001 reasons for me to gag and choke while saying the term–could ever rid themselves of gov’t influence.)

    1) People do not rise up all over the country and the world for a system that is working.

    2) Even if gov’t was separate from business, business–in a competitive paradig–would rise to the occasion of usurping gov’t.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Ha! I really like the word ‘paradig’ and thing I dig changing it, but until then you can replace that with the word ‘paradigm’. ;-)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Got a thing for ‘g’s… I guess.

  • troll

    sure handyguy – there are plenty of ways for the movement to go forward…personally I’m for continued physical occupations

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Among other things, it kinda strikes at the idea of private — scuse, public property.

    These our our streets, aren’t they?

    It’d be nice to see every woman who’s married to the participating cop give him a bloody ultimatum — either come home or take a hike forever.

    Women have always had more courage than any sniveling male. Time to put it to good use!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … especially any sniveling white male who deems himself, how shall I call it? “privileged.”

    .

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In fact, can’t understand why any self-respecting woman could live with those pigs — scuse me, “only humans.”

  • troll

    imo one cannot overemphasize the importance of the ‘contact zone’ in this process – that’s where new ideas will come from

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    contact zones under the smack of a night stick or pepper spray — right.

    The medic in me likes to agree, but the warrior in me says fuck it.

    Forever in conflict, my poor soul.

    Guess only Jesus Christ knew the right combination. Gotta long way to go.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, I don’t mean to be discouraging you, Handy. In fact, I commend you for your courage to address this topic — you’re one of the few. You must forgive me, however, if I have a bad taste in my mouth.

  • troll

    new report – Occupy Seattle now under attack…looks like for real this time

  • troll

    but another report says GA beginning there…pretty fluid – best await further clarification

  • troll

    now sketchy reports from Occupy phoenix again – wont report attack until clearer

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Obama has just signed his death warrant. No way the occupiers will vote for him again.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    People rise up all the time. In 1968, many young people in Europe and the US used not dissimilar rhetoric during a period of heated rhetoric, demonstrations, strikes, and talk of “the revolution.”

    Don’t kid yourself that the present moment is completely unique, or that this current “uprising” is magically different from previous ones.

    This is not to criticize or belittle the movement. But utopian rhetoric is another form of myopia.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Roger, Obama is in Australia and hasn’t even commented on these latest events. How has he “signed his death warrant”? And death warrant is a ludicrously overheated tidbit of rhetoric, eh?

    Police and demonstrators have clashed for decades in many locations under many types of governments. How do you justify what you just typed?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not an ounce of rhetoric about it. People are taking to the streets because they’ve had it. Whatever comes out of it, and the future is all so uncertain, will be better than the mess we’re in.

    Just an example of social change unfolding before our very eyes, a revolutionary but by no means utopian kind of change.

    Were gay rights once regarded utopian before gains were won? Were women’s right? And what of the slaves?

    Why are you so resistant, Handy, to see reality in the face?

    Don’t you see it’s all rotten in the state of Denmark?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Handy,

    What we’re seeing is a concerted effort on the part of police departments from NY to CA to squash the movement. Oakland Mayor herself admitted it.

    Now, do you really suppose different mayoralties have that kind of authority? Coordination had to be authorized from the higher ups. I’m not any conspiracy theorist, but there is no other explanation.

    Be that as it may, Obama’s whereabouts have got nothing to do with anything. Are you supposing now that just because he’s on his tour or whatever, no one’s in charge? Come on, let’s be sensible.

    Anyway, I’ll be watching a movie for the rest of the evening. Nice chatting with you.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Some [very] tiny percentage of people have taken to the streets. Most people are going about their daily lives, although a considerable number of them [including me] respond to the rhetoric “We are the 99%.” Nothing wrong with rhetoric, just needs to be justifiable.

    Don’t overestimate the numbers just because you identify with OWS.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    I think the mayors and police face a dilemma, and it’s more about the logistics of permanent encampments than it is about politics. Mayor Quan is as far left as any big city mayor in the country. But she’s the mayor of everybody in town, not just the demonstrators. And she certainly is not answerable to you, braying at her via keyboard from 2500 miles away.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    True, it’s still very small in terms of numbers, but the spark is on. And trust me, given the state of the economy and the repressive tactics, it will grow and grow and grow. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Good night now.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Was next to Oakland, Handy, for thirty years, and will be there in two or three months.

    Good night.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Kinda shows the limits of the term “liberal,” doesn’t it now?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • troll

    people reporting arrests for sleeping in Phoenix but no camp bust

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    This conspiracy theory about DHS coordinating city police forces is another wacky tinfoil hat internet spasm. [Unless it isn’t, in which case I promise you I’ll be as mad as you.]

  • troll

    Berkeley students setting up camp now

  • troll

    sketchy reports of a more full blown raid coming out of Phoenix again – can’t reach folks on cell phone

  • troll

    crap — reports from Occupy Huston now about escalating police harassment

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    As Rachel Maddow pointed out tonight, police harassment is not likely to dampen the movement — quite the opposite. I think most smart people would know that. So…maybe this is a clever ploy to increase support for OWS. Which would work against the GOP, whether you want to believe it or not. Fox News and the GOP presidential candidates have been the biggest propaganda slime-throwers criticizing OWS, while prominent Dems like Pelosi have been supportive.

  • troll

    promises to be an ‘interesting’ night – have a good one

  • Jordan Richardson

    These our our streets, aren’t they?

    What do you mean by “our streets?” In Vancouver, the occupiers are at the Art Gallery in tents. There has been an overdose and a death by overdose at the encampment.

    At what point do “our streets” and “our” public spaces belong to more of “us” than just the occupiers?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Handy,

    Do you realize what you’re saying? You’re more conspiracy minded as Pablo. The police departments across the land conspired now to make OWS more prominent that it is? And all for the purpose of defeating GOP? This would be more sinister than anything I’d ever imagine.

    Can’t you get it through your head that power is not only blind and stupid? How far are you willing to go to defend your faith in this government?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Non sequitor.

    Metaphorical use.

    And what has overdose got to do with anything, with OWS or without.

    Is this your clever, timid way to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the movement? And if it isn’t, then what exactly is the point of your remark?

    You’re a funny critter, Jordan. Once you’re in, and then you’re out.

    You’ve got to be able to take good with the bad. Life ain’t perfect, neither am I and nor are you. So stop bitching and start marching instead.

    I know, I know, accuse me of being insulting and uncouth or whatever. I don’t give a fuck. I’ll treat you like a man once you start acting like one.

    And just in case you didn’t know, I still love you. No less than I love Cindy or Mark Eden. But this ain’t going to fucking prevent me from giving you a piece of my mind.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The point of my remark (which was a QUESTION, Roger) was to, you know, ask the QUESTION I put to you.

    Now what exactly is the “metaphorical use” of suggesting that the streets belong to us? Again, who is “us?”

    If a city’s majority is concerned about an occupation’s habits and presence in a certain public space, at what point does that majority population get their voices heard on the subject?

    And brother, I was “in” long before you were. And nobody said shit about me being “out,” unless you count the asking of reasonable questions as problematic.

    One more thing: fuck off with telling me I’m “bitching,” asshole. I have reasonable concerns and, just like you, I have the right to ask questions and make my opinions heard. I don’t need you to condescend and discard what I have to say as “bitching.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jordan — metaphorical use simply a use just “we are the 99 percent” or “whose street? our street.” Come on now, don’t play dumb.

    I said you’re bitching. Now, you calling me an asshole. Now, who is being insulting, not that I worry about it coming from you.

    And I wasn’t being condescending. Only gave you a piece of my mind, as I said, and that, without calling you names.

    And since when you’re so knowledgeable as to the will of the majority — citation, please? And even if that were so, you mean then that the minority hasn’t got their rights to a peaceful assembly, tents and all?

    So yes, now we’re citing sanitation and hygiene as safety concerns, as though the people doing the encampment weren’t tending to those concerns. They surely can tend to those concerns better now with no food to distribute, no sleeping bags allowed, no pot to piss in, etc. etc.

    You are a character, Jordan, I’ll give you that, but “reasonable” you are not.

    So how long have you been “in it,” you say?

  • troll

    Jordan – I’ve heard that pew polls to be released soon reflect pretty negative public opinion of the occupy movement in the US

    why do you think that this might be the case?

    there have been incidents of drug use drunken violence sexual assault theft etc at camps all over the place indicating that our social sickness isn’t going to magically disappear – its going to take time and commitment to address these issues…trashing the medical clinics at the occupies certainly doesn’t help

    I can say that the individual police officers in Albuquerque with whom I had contact during the encampment there praised our efforts because the street people who attached themselves were not showing up in ERs and jail and the morgue and looked to be in better shape than they’d ever seen

    the safety and food and ‘peace keeping’ that we were able to provide is no more – shelters around the city are always overfull and understaffed and provisioned

    these homeless and street people are ‘us’ and we need to figure out how to take care of ourselves

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    At what point do “our streets” and “our” public spaces belong to more of “us” than just the occupiers?

    Which occupiers?

    (Tell it to the Indians.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To top if off, just in case it hadn’t occurred to you, one of the ideas behind occupation is to demonstrate the illegitimacy of the government. So no, the normal game is off and the usual rules don’t apply.

    But of course you’ve considered all that and still came out cheering like a good citizen.

    Amazing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Amazing how a would-be revolutionary wouldn’t consider the idea of even breaking the law — in terms of civil disobedience, e.g, not the petty little shit like noise pollution or sanitation infractions — as the only way of moving forward?

    But then again, if Jordan had his way, there’d still be no Civil Rights and slavery would still be rampant, for sure as hell lots of “laws” were broken to secure those gains.

    And whom exactly do the occupiers offend by their presence in a non-residential area except the false sensibilities of all those who wish they’d go away?

    Naturally, a movement like OWS is going to attract the homeless as well. But isn’t it better for the homeless, that is if one cares for the homeless? And what exactly are the homeless to do, are we tending to this problem? Yes, we’re tending to it by shutting our eyes and pretending they’re invisible, that’s how we’re handling it.

    Interesting, Jordan prefaces his remark by speaking of Vancouver’s Art Gallery.

    Well, sorry Jordan that your aesthetic sensibilities were offended by the occupiers, but tell you what — that’s the least of my concerns.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Handy and Jordan,

    I think that prevention of going back to ‘business as usual’ is a goal of physical occupations. A sign that says it all.

    Going home and working on things through other avenues will allow people to go back to business as usual. Turning over spaces, which are occupied, for the privileged who wish the system to continue is counterproductive to that same goal of ‘no business as usual’.

    The same point could be made about strikes. How will you get your usual goods in a general strike. Well that’s sort of the point; isn’t it?

    Also, I am sure everyone who wishes to use the space is welcome. (unless the police have something to say about it)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    161

    Replace “Indians” with ‘indigenous’.

  • troll

    Cindy #161 – hence (un)Occupy Albuquerque …unfortunately but not surprisingly a divide over this continues here

    privilege runs deep which is one reason the physical space of a ‘contact zone’ is so important imo

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This indeed makes sense.

    What’s changing however is that the average white male who used to be privileged suddenly realized he’s being shafted just like anyone else. Hopefully changing.

    Which also explains, in part, why some of the black radicals haven’t committed themselves yet to OWS for white man’s old sins. Hopefully, this will change too.

  • troll

    OTOH – death to prior agendas!

    :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A must see Amy Goodman show, in particular, the segment starting with about 45 minute mark.

    Three major points:

    (a) a view of an Oakland occupier, African American, which puts OWS in a kind of different perspective;

    (b) Jean Quan’s interview with BBC owning up to coordination of attacks;

    (c) a brief interview with Stephen Graham, the author of Cities under Siege which rings the familiar Foucauldian themes of control, marginalization and surveillance. Also validates Anarcissie’s earlier comment.

    The coordination with FBI and Homeland Security is a fairly logical presumption (unless one’d rather believe that city mayors would have the authority to devise a joint course of action). And in that case, the blessings from the White House, regardless of Obama’s present meanderings, is a fairly straightforward proposition.

    Cities Under Siege: Military Urbanism.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    My 153 was half-facetious — I was offering a benign conspiracy theory to contrast with the ridiculous paranoid one circulating last night. Most conspiracy theories are nonsense; so was mine.

    The point was that mayors and police forces have expressed no desire to “kill” the movement, and removing the camps obviously will not kill the movement, unless you have a very narrow definition of what OWS is. These events have made OWS the top news story again, after a couple of weeks of Penn State and Herman Cain “news.”

    I realize Roger, troll, and Cindy think mainstream politics are irrelevant. Believe it or not, there are those even among supporters of OWS who disagree with you. And I see the GOP doing itself great harm by sliming OWS, while the cautious embrace of the movement by many Dems, and by much of the media outside Fox News, is a good thing.

    Conversations about the toxic concentration of wealth and power have become much more frequent and widespread in the last two months — and OWS played an important role in that.

    Try not to whine so much about winning, just because the winning doesn’t look like your fantasies.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Wasn’t whining, Handy — not my style. If anything, I’m obtuse, insolent and aggressive.

    But there you go again, trolling about fantasies. In spite of the fact that many don’t share my radical views, even many among the OWS, an alternative form of governance is very likely to emerge on however small and local level.

    Nothing fantastic about it? What’s more fantastic is to keep on believing that we’re not undergoing major social changes both in America and globally, changes whose exact form or dimension no one is can foresee.

    So how’s that for whining, friend?

  • troll

    handyguy you misrepresent me

    mainstream politics is the new opiate of the masses and is more destructive than smack ever was or will be … right up there with organized religion

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    a Marxian turn of phrase?

    I don’t think it’s going to sit well with the addressee, let alone get the batter to the first base.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A teaser from Google books.

    No preview available.

  • troll

    …not trying to get to first base – just clarifying my position…again

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Actually, Handy’s comment did flesh out for me the all important point, the point which, in my desire for things new and better, I was forgetting.

    It’s precisely the addiction of the masses to mainstream politics which makes this such a hard, long and winding road.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Since 30% or more of Americans routinely sit out even presidential elections, and since large majorities of those polled express dissatisfaction, or worse, with both parties….I’d say “opiate” is an inaccurate word.

    And Roger, continuing to insist, without even a hint of evidence, that DHS was involved in this week’s local police crackdowns, is beyond irresponsible. Prove it or stop claiming it’s “the only logical conclusion.” That is utter bullshit.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m referring you to a link posted above, re: segment of Amy Goodman show.

    As to your first paragraph, I defer to Mark since he was the one who first posted on the subject.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Somewhat pedestrian view as to the future of OWS, but what can you expect from Times?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This article is somewhat supportive of your view, Handy.

    It does make a reference, however, to conference calls between police departments across the nation, for the purpose of taking a uniform course of action.

    I suppose the problem I’m having with this, it’s kind of conspiratorial, unless it was dictated from somewhere up above.

    I can well understand each municipality taking whatever measures may be deemed necessary, but a decision to act in concert?

    That’s a horse of another color, I think.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I’d say “opiate” is an inaccurate word.

    Based on TV and radio consumption of news and talk shows, I’d say you’re missing the point.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    166 troll,

    Yeah, took me a little while to figure that out. Then it dawned on me. lol

    Divided? How?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The white, ex-privileged and supremacist male (bell hooks’ terms) still hadn’t gotten it out of his head that he’s no better than anyone else.

    That’s my understanding of “how.”

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    HIya Roger.

    I was wondering how are the people in Albuquerque divided, specifically. Like what is their rationale. I am happy you read bell hooks. I really love her.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I suppose they’re divided along the lines Mark indicated. There’s a huge population of Native Americans in New Mexico.

    I can’t speak to “the rationale.” I don’t share it.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Excellent oratory, too shrill of course for the sensitive ears of our prissy, liberal-minded friends.

    America is a fucking disease — I’m tempted to say a virus, to steal a line from The Matrix, in the body of humanity.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To change the pace, but only somewhat, here’s another thought for the day;

    The Day Beauty Divorced Meaning.

    Christopher Rose will surely think I’m incoherent now.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    NYPD just took the new OWS library and food a couple hours ago.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You mean they appropriated it again, for the second time?

    There’s got to be a way to get “Food, not Bombs” entrenched in the place, or some other such think. Yet, they all talk of safety and hygiene and safety while they’re denying the people basic subsistence.

    What a fucking hypocrisy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Anyway, it’s phase two. I’m halfway done with another article.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Yes, again. Here is a video of the protesters waving their court orders after the 1st eviction. One particularly vicious pos cop seems like he’s been waiting all his life to unleash his pathological nature. I have been reading cops’ comments, today on this article on this police site. I could throw up. Those whose writings I read are mostly very sick people.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Ultimately, it’s only to the good. We’re going to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.

    Don’t forget Olbermann’s clip.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Nice poem, Roger.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Ir will happen.

    We’ve Only Just Begun.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As to the poem, yes.

    Kind of response to Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @195

    Just saw the video. Unfucking believable.

    Now, let Handy or Jordan or whoever try to justify or rationalize this kind of behavior and tell me we’re not a police state and that some cops are just a few rotten apples, fuck ‘em all.

    And you’re telling me to be polite to these people and listen to their voices? What fucking voices? They’re just as bad as those very cops if not worse for trying to be — how shall I put it? — “rational.

    No way, Jose. Neither you nor Eden are going to pin this on me.

    It’s fucking sickening anyone would be defending polite conversation when lack of politeness is the least of the egregious offenses. It’s like saying a fucking Nazi should have been more civilized in administering the instruments of torture.

    Get a fucking grip. You’re not going to convince those who don’t want to be convinced, not by rational argument, not by any kind of appeal, not by gentle persuasion, and certainly not by politeness.

    Again, the rift in me between the warrior and the medic resurfaces with full force, I can’t help it. But then again, I’m inextricably drawn to the conclusion, hate it as I must, that there must be something to the biblical distinction between the righteous and the wicked.

    I certainly hope not, and I try to act as though there was nothing to it. There’s no other way to act; and in any case, it’s not any human’s call.

    Still, I wonder.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good, take me away from my venom. I like it less than those I’m tempted to snake bite.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And BTW, I don’t see the second video as disturbing as the first. It’s but the usual case of a person in conflict, and to his credit, he recognizes it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Done for today.

    My poetic imagination has expired, and my venom depleted.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Nightie night, Roger. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Same to you.

    Tomorrow is bound to be a better day. Still feel kinda depressed about OWS, but I’m regaining my courage.

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie

    I thought the coordination of the evictions argued for orders from higher up. Anyone who tries to manage sets of independent entities (like unincorporated human beings, or herds of cats) will recognize the difficulty of coordinating their activities with any great degree of precision.

    I reasoned from this evidence, and from the seemingly irrational virulence of the pollution-flavored propaganda emanating from supposed liberal and moderate politicians and media, that some sort of crisis is anticipated by the r.c. but not yet being talked about (much), and hatches are being battened down, or whatever they do with hatches.

    The only major crisis I’m aware of is the Eurozone meltdown, which indeed could have very serious consequences in the U.S.

    There is supposed to be some sort of event in downtown NYC tomorrow (17) but it sounds like yet another march. I think more novel activities will be required in the future.

    One might also put in some thought about how the future social order is to be organized. The current one seems to be on the plank.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Roger, I’m not even going to dignify any of your bullshit by responding to it. I have been adamant in my support of the Occupy movement. You can read into that what you will. I’m not dealing with you anymore.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s where I come in, my friend, and other bright minds such as yourself and some others.

    But then again, I was under the impression that nothing of value could possibly result from a focused discussion.

    Have you changed your mind now since the circumstances have changed?

    Forgive my rhetoric and making it personal, but you should know by now, sometimes it’s my style.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Quite alright, Jordan.

    I didn’t expect any better from you since your fragile ego takes precedence over anything else. But whenever you get yourself back in shape, rest assured I’ll be ready. We might have a conversation then.

    Wish you the best meanwhile.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Hi troll,

    I’ve heard that pew polls to be released soon reflect pretty negative public opinion of the occupy movement in the US

    why do you think that this might be the case?

    I can’t speak for other cities, but I know what’s been happening in Vancouver and I know how the tide has turned here.

    When Occupy Vancouver first began, it was actually a family-friendly event. There was conversation and dialogue in the streets, along with very active marches. People of all ages attended and got involved in the act of protest. People you wouldn’t even expect to support the Occupy movement did so, including my own mother who is generally against almost all of these “sorts of things.”

    Then the tide changed and, as the Occupy Vancouver group shrank and people went back to their jobs and lives, it started to dilute. Occupy Vancouver made the mistake (I think it was a mistake) of becoming combative with media and public servants. The occupation became less welcoming and more intimidating and soon many people, including my once supportive mother, were of the opinion that the camp had to go.

    The group had a spokesperson, Kiki, that was very abrasive to almost all curiosity regarding the movement. Then there was an overdose at the camp site and paramedics had difficulty getting to the patient. The Vancouver Fire Department proceeded to ask (not tell or order) the camp to meet fire regulations by removing EMPTY tents and clearing walking paths so that paramedics could get to where they needed to get in emergency situations. The camp initially refused and took a very hard line, saying that they didn’t “recognize the official capacity” of the paramedics or fire officials. This came in light of the fact that the fire department and the Occupy Vancouver site enjoyed excellent communication up to the date of the overdose. Things just started to break down after that and public opinion worsened. Not only were “these people” crowding the front of the Art Gallery with tents, they were now spitting in the faces of public servants, including fire fighters and paramedics that wanted them to be safe.

    In this context, with the campers’ hardline still ringing in the ears of most Vancouverites, 23-year-old Ashlie Gough died of a mixed overdose of heroin and cocaine.

    What was once a family-friendly environment filled with receptive people standing in unison against corporate greed and economic inequality was, to many Vancouverites, a rather frightening place represented by combative individuals and drug use.

    The campers eventually complied with the regulations somewhat and started to replace tents with domes, but by then the damage was done. Public opinion sank like a stone and most supported their ousting from the Art Gallery. They had become, in the eyes of many, a nuisance that didn’t respect the city and didn’t represent the 99 percent.

    Sorry for the lengthy account, but I think it fairly accurately describes what happened here. The camp is still here. And I still support its existence, but I also understand the growing apprehension toward what’s going on. Many in Vancouver still support the larger OWS causes but have grown weary of the environment down at the Occupy Vancouver site. The collective, communal environment that was so vibrant during the opening days has diminished. I understand being fearful and reluctant in that context, trust me.

    these homeless and street people are ‘us’ and we need to figure out how to take care of ourselves

    I wouldn’t dare suggest otherwise.

    Vancouver has worked rather hard in this regard. It has Insite, for example, the continent’s ONLY legal safe injection site. Despite lobbies from the federal government to shut it down, we’ve kept it open. It’s a remarkably revolutionary facility, one that provides safe needles and conditions for drug users without criticism or legal reprisal. This, to me, is a step in the right direction to handling the issues that have grounded Occupy Vancouver in the public’s perception.

    I am, in no way, suggesting any rationale for shutting down Occupy Vancouver. I’m simply reflecting what the public has been talking about HERE, in this specific case. And I am empathizing with their position, understanding full well that these things can be intimidating and problematic.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Also, I am sure everyone who wishes to use the space is welcome.

    Not here. The Occupy space is not particularly welcoming in Vancouver, although the campers have made improvements and I believe things can turn around to promote a more inclusive vision.

    Cindy, how many Occupy camps/events have you been to? How do you know how welcoming the specific spaces are?

    Moreover, what makes you think just “the privileged” want to utilize public space in front of the Art Gallery? It has long been a public space for protest and for all sorts of movements, but only the occupiers have utilized over the last month or so. There is simply no space.

    As for the police, the cops in Vancouver haven’t done anything yet. No crackdown and the relationship between the police and the occupiers has been good for the most part, except for when some of the occupiers began to shove members of the media and regular citizens to the ground for being curious after Miss Gough passed away.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It is a sad account indeed, and I only hope not representative of all OWS sites.

    Forgive me, Jordan, but had I known the detail which served as the background of your original remark, I wouldn’t have responded in the way I did.

  • Jordan Richardson

    By the way, not everyone in the 99 percent sees the Occupy movement as a conduit through which to dismantle government or take apart the mechanisms of capitalism. Just because some of you think those are THE solutions doesn’t mean that most of Occupy agrees or even wants such things.

    My concern with some of these comments is the tendency to dominate from the other side. In that regard, the usual suspects are no better than the so-called “privileged.”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Tactical Briefing #19 from Adbusters. In part:

    “We will turn this winter into a training ground for precision disruptions – flashmobs, stink bombs, edgy theatrics – against the megacorps and the unrepentant 1%, a festival of resistance in the snow with, or without, an encampment that’ll lay the tactical foundation for our Spring Offensive.”

    And tomorrow is the International Day of Action, by the way. Can’t wait to see this roll out in NYC.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I have already owned up to the fact that my radical ideas are not necessarily shared by the OWS occupiers. As to the actual percentages, I have no way of telling.

    In addition, the process of so-called “dismantling government” and capitalism to boot, is not being regarded by yours truly as any kind of solution, only as an eventual consequence of any number of diverse processes. The most important of such processes, in my mind, would be establishing alternative forms of governance, economic and political, first locally and then concentrically, bypassing thus the established political and economic structures.

    I don’t believe any redistribution of income is a radical enough idea. Fuck the capitalist pigs and their in-the-pocket politicians. Let the former retreat to Cayman Islands and the latter — wherever. The people, if allowed, are resourceful enough to have a fresh economic and political start. They’re not as dumb as it is suspected, nor as dependent on government dole either. All it takes is paving the way, an example. The rest will fall in place.

    That’s what true democracy is like, and it’s not possible without having a full and unconditional faith in the people. Not in the government or the capitalist pigs.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    It seems some feel, Occupy Vancouver is a refuge for the homeless who otherwise would not have shelter.

    Thanks for your opinions Jordan. I wish I could also obtain the opinions of those who you are assessing. It would be educational.

  • troll

    I’m sorry to hear about the perceived failures of the Vancouver camp…but not surprised having witnessed the difficulties in getting occupy’s positive messages and actions publicized in the media and the ease with which one can get reporters to show up for negative events

    it’s certainly the case that angry folk and particularly angry poor folk can be pretty scary especially in a space where they feel empowered to express themselves and that they have a right to be heard…and (as was so often repeated in the press here as one of the main complaints) a fair number of them stink (not repeated in the press – because they have no access to showers etc)

    such an environment can get less than family friendly for families that want to shelter their members from the more harsh realities that many people face every day

    in Albququerque GAs begin with the following:

    “Declaration of Occupation from OWS: As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

    As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

    Camp Agreements:
    We are non-violent
    we practice anti-oppression politics
    we are non-hierarchical
    we are mindful of our public image
    we are positive and proactive
    we keep track of our personal belongings we clean up after ourselves
    we respect this land
    no alcohol or illegal substance use
    no smoking at general assemblies

    We are the 99%!”

    to my knowledge the agreements have not been repeated or even commented on in the msm here

    we came to consensus on camp agreements proactively over the first few days of the encampment unlike how Jordan describes Vancouver’s development…and while I saw every agreement broken I was impressed by the level of dedication there was to following them

    on a different point – I in no way claim that my more extreme political views represent core beliefs of the movement although there does seem to be general agreement that governments around the world have failed their peoples

    and concerning privilege
    (white/male/wealth etc)- like indoctrination it’s a slippery concept but it and the often unconscious shitty act that accompanies it can hardly be seriously denied

    Cindy – imo there was a breakdown in the consensus process in Albq when the name change was ‘consensed’ on which has led to a split…two GAs are forming around the names and racial insults are being hurled in both directions – you can get a feel for the more child-mild version of the argument here

    in the end I will give my support to whichever group rededicates itself to the consensus process and identifies and corrects the structural flaws that led to the split – kinda mootish in my case though as I’ve redirected my energy toward a slowly developing Occupy Taos and will return to Albq only in the event of a 24/7 encampment where my skills would be useful

    enough from me…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I found an article about Kiki and the statement she read: Occupy Vancouver declares itself autonomous

    The message is to the people of Vancouver and the “movement as a whole”. It came from the tent city and was not run through the GA. Not that I disagree with it. But I think it is not accurate to simply say ‘the occupiers’ or ‘them’, ‘they’, etc.

    We want to start off by recognizing that Occupy Vancouver tent city is located on unceded Coast Salish territory.

    The tent city has declared itself autonomous. Well I can imagine the problem. They once were a group who ordinary citizens could identify with and who maybe welcomed all within the bounds of the current social/political construction. Now they are doing things like claiming the land they are on belongs to the aboriginal people and declaring themselves autonomous (above the law). They are taking in the homeless and they are more radicalized. They are no longer welcome.

    The article says the GA has determined that all negotiations and arrangements with authorities will only go through the GA.

    Another take on the drug network, with the prominent aboriginal views.

    If the figure there is correct–900 fatalities from drug overdoses in 5 years in Vancouver (with aboriginal people, who are 4% of the community representing 12% of the deaths)–I am not really sure what point is being made about the overdose in the tent city.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    troll,

    That is an interesting conversation to look at, even beyond the group’s name divide. I highly identify with Summerspeaker and what she is facing from the folks who have no idea what she is talking about and see her as creating problems rather than illuminating them. She understands it is a language problem. I will see what I can learn from what happens there. Thanks for posting that.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Hmmm, I interpret Summerspeaker as female. That is interesting, no gender is listed.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    This is worth posting, complete:

    84-year-old #OccupySeattle participant Dorli Rainey, pepper sprayed by #Seattle Police #Nov15
    Photo of her at link.

    She later wrote about the incident: “Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate. As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out. Especially since only yesterday the City Government made a grandiose gesture to protect free speech. Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me. In the women’s movement there were signs which said: “Screw us and we multiply.'”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Cindy,

    “It seems some feel, Occupy Vancouver is a refuge for the homeless who otherwise would not have shelter.”

    Yep, but it’s not the homeless that are creating the problems with respect to public perception. It is, as I’ve tried to mention, the approach the occupiers have taken with members of the public and members of emergency services. There was simply no reason for a young man to attack an ambulance that was trying to assist. And there was no reason for a reporter to be shoved to the ground.

    There is TREMENDOUS value in the camp as refuge, without question, and I don’t have any problems with that. As someone who works with the homeless, there’s no question that many have gravitated to the camp not only because of things like food and shelter but because of perhaps their most pressing need: companionship.

    Also, your Kiki link in #217 doesn’t go anywhere but I’m well aware of the autonomous comments. That riled up several people (including some occupiers I talked to), to say the least, and it sort of pulled out the camp’s welcome mat.

    It’s interesting to note that some Occupy Vancouver folks, including some who were there on Day One setting up the camp itself, have since distanced themselves from Occupy Vancouver but not the Occupy movement as a whole.

    There was also the list of “demands“, again a divisive public statement from the group that claims to represent the 99 percent. The “demands” were considered unofficial and nobody seems to know where they came from out of the Occupy Vancouver camp, so again issues with consensus and actually listening to the people are pouring out.

    This isn’t about homeless people or “unsavoury” elements of society. It’s not about drug use, overdoses, Kiki, or whatever. It’s not any ONE thing; there’s no point-by-point breakdown here. These things are SYMPTOMS of a broken society and they must be addressed with compassion and attention.

    My point is to simply share how things have swung in one Occupy movement. I hope they can swing back the other way. I believe they can and I believe that the best days of the Occupy movement are still to come.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Troll,

    “not surprised having witnessed the difficulties in getting occupy’s positive messages and actions publicized in the media and the ease with which one can get reporters to show up for negative events”

    I don’t know how much you know about Canadian media, but it doesn’t feed on negativity as much as the American monster does. It’s not infallible, but it’s certainly a different animal in that regard.

    Between watching CTV, Global TV and CBC (Canada’s public broadcasting company) throughout the Occupy Vancouver situation, I’ve found their coverage to be very balanced. They were there, all outlets, from the first day and have generally had a story per day on very positive aspects of the movement. They featured the fact that Occupy Vancouver had a “Kidzone,” that veterans were showing up, that police were supportive, and so on. They have also shown up for the bad and have given that coverage too. It hasn’t been perfect coverage, of course, but it’s not quite the gong show that you imagine.

    “such an environment can get less than family friendly for families that want to shelter their members from the more harsh realities that many people face every day”

    If it’s sheltering to not want one’s kids hanging around drug addicts and, in the case of Occupy Portland “Drugs. Selling. Sex offenders. Heroin. Meth,” fine. I would argue that you can be educated about the realities of what’s going on down on the streets without attending a GA next to someone who’s doing coke, but what do I know?

    But as the Occupy Portland camp has demonstrated, there’s also a way to “occupy” the occupation and deal with some of those difficulties to maintain the spirit of Occupy. It’s not a lost cause and I think many camps, including Vancouver’s, are trying to head in a direction of more inclusiveness.

    “we came to consensus on camp agreements proactively over the first few days of the encampment unlike how Jordan describes Vancouver’s development”

    Yes, and this is a big part of the problem. The consensus in Vancouver has been nearly non-existent. There are reports of splinter groups and factions taking over various aspects of camp life, for instance.

    Again, as I’ve been trying to describe, the issue with Occupy Vancouver isn’t one of drugs or death or one single issue. It’s a lack of control, of inclusiveness with respect to the 99 percent. The Occupy Vancouver group even threatened to riot during a mayoral debate that took place in a church, so there are some raw nerves (Vancouver just had its famed Stanley Cup riots mere months ago).

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Cindy, if you post the kiki link in a new comment, I’ll add it into your original comment to fix that up.

  • troll

    “”such an environment can get less than family friendly for families that want to shelter their members from the more harsh realities that many people face every day”

    If it’s sheltering to not want one’s kids hanging around drug addicts and, in the case of Occupy Portland “Drugs. Selling. Sex offenders. Heroin. Meth,” fine. I would argue that you can be educated about the realities of what’s going on down on the streets without attending a GA next to someone who’s doing coke, but what do I know?”

    seems like a pretty snide response to me Jordan – I was trying to be clear that the anger in the camps is real at times and not very family friendly

    “… I believe that the best days of the Occupy movement are still to come.”

    we can agree on that

  • Jordan Richardson

    Cindy, it’s interesting that you say you identify with Summerspeaker in the exchange (yep, read it).

    I find the notion that the others “have no idea what she is talking about” to be considerably presumptuous and offensive.

    I am more inclined to follow Michelle Line’s line (haha) of thinking and found that rabbit actually had the best insight(“we are not gonna talk sides here… because we know the goal we are striving for is FOR everyone” and further that Summerspeaker “was not helping in the least” with regard to transgender issues), at least with regard to that small window of time. I do think that, in a movement as large scale as Occupy, drawing on these issues is unnecessary and problematic – not to mention divisive. Not everyone is going to understand Summerspeaker’s Byzantine talk of “power dynamics” and so forth.

    It does seem to me that we should be, at least for the time being, making more efforts to strive for unity and understanding. There’s a time for being pointlessly combative and, I daresay, this isn’t that time.

  • Jordan Richardson

    seems like a pretty snide response to me Jordan – I was trying to be clear that the anger in the camps is real at times and not very family friendly

    You stated that families want to “shelter” their children from reality. I don’t agree that that’s particularly the case. I don’t see how I was being derogatory.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Nope, read it again and I can see how I was being snide. My apologies, troll.

  • troll

    no problema Jordan…you’ll find that we are in substantial agreement on this issue

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yessir. All the best to you in Albuquerque.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To change the subject, somewhat.

    The following is an episode from NPR’s Morning Edition series, “Poisoned Places.”

    Ask yourself the following questions:

    — Is it a coincidence that the polluting
    plant’s site is a place of residence to mostly people of Mexican background?

    — Would such a thing still be possible if it were a different, well-to-do, lily-white community?

    — How is it that EPA appears powerless with respect to effecting immediate compliance, beyond mere citing of violations and imposing fines?

    — How come Arizona state legislature can openly dispute EPA’s findings and for the time being, prevail?

    — How come the plant can’t be forced to shut down immediately, and in the event that EPA prevails, it would take five years and then some to correct violations?

    — Is the idea of private property one of the obstacles here, or could this idea be circumvented by invoking appropriate zoning laws and direct community action?

    It would seem this case is as good as any to demonstrate why our political and economic systems is broken beyond repair.

    Now, imagine a situation whereby all political and economic decisions were made on the basis of community’s approval or disapproval. Would the plant be allowed to operate under these conditions. But that’s precisely the kind of alternative governance that is needed, on the local level, to ever prevent such abuses and turn this country around.

    John Travolta’s movie, A Civil Action, based on real-life events, is a good dramatization of the kind of problems here addressed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another somewhat off topic comment.

    “Lack of Trust Underlies Greece’s Societal Problems,” NPR.

    A fascinating account of Greece’s peculiar situation: utter distrust in their government (and the institution of the state), coupled with being addicted to being on the dole.

    What’s wrong with these people? Don’t they have a community spirit so as to become enterprising enough and self-sufficient?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    The Daily Show did a very funny OWS bit last night that found divisions in Zucotti Park between the yuppie hipsters and the more financially challenged. It’s lighthearted satire that I hope even our dour, outraged anarchists can enjoy.

    It’s the second video clip on the home page:

    Occupy Wall Street Divided

  • troll

    I just found Alan’s comment over at the blog I put up for discussing representation…thought I’d post it and my response here:

    Alan Kurtz said…
    Human memory is a fallible instrument. Case in point: comment #40 posted today by Mark Eden (aka troll) at Blogcritics.org.

    “(again simply for clarity – I didn’t call for banning Moonraven…the closet [sic] was a point when she made it crystal clear that she was in no mood for civility and I pointed out that people seeking such discourse with her shouldn’t bother engaging)”

    Here’s what I wrote about this at Save Blogcritics on September 20, 2011:

    Mark Eden, posting under his alias “troll,” echoed senior editor Nalle in addressing her as “Moonraver,” (#22) disparaged her “gutter rant” (#106) and remarked, “With all due respect, fuck you—imo people who are in perpetual attack mode are useless.” (#42)

    Moonraven retorted, “I certainly interpret the phrase ‘fuck you’ as being in attack mode.” (#44) Indeed, Mark’s treatment of Moonraven was a model of misogyny. “Here’s where we need the cartoonist,” he advised, “to come up with a picture of a raven with 40DDs bawling out (#!*##!!) a lump on a log whose balloon reads: ‘Geeze—aim those tits at someone else.'” (#114)

    Mark, if you didn’t call outright for BC to ban Moonraven, you certainly contributed to the lynch mob mentality that made such action inevitable.

    So I can understand why your memory has become, with the passing of time, highly selective.

    Alan Kurtz
    Redwood City, CA
    November 15, 2011 5:46 PM

    gnomo said…
    Hi Alan – if you read the comments you posted here you’ll see that there is no call for banning — but reading comprehension has never been your strong point. Further, if you had access to the full record you’d know that these comments were pretty mild in comparison to some of the exchanges between Moonraven and myself long since deleted by the comments editor at BC. Your selective choice of comments for your Moonraven series gave an inaccurate picture of events.

    Hardly a surprise.
    November 17, 2011 12:11 PM

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I got that email as well, but wasn’t going to disclose it because it would violate the privacy issue.

  • troll

    that said and having preserved Alan’s ‘work’ for the record here I have deleted my response and marked Alan’s comment as spam over at the blog

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, it’s surely a satire, sort of, Handy. And the point is exactly what? To ridicule the movement by interviewing idiots?

    Nor was there exactly such a division, as you call, it between the two classes of people as you suggest.

    I should think the object of satire is to ridicule the existing values, not those who are challenging them. George Bernard Shaw and Johnathan Swift were satirists par excellence. And so was Oscar Wilde. They still make good reading.

    Somehow, Samantha’s “reporting” doesn’t measure up to “A Modest Proposal” or Arms and the Man.

    Not to disparage comedy, but we do live in a world where 30-second sound bytes rule, and Jon Stewart, clever as he may be, contributes to the problem. Of course, that’s how he makes his money.

    Tell you what, though, your comment makes me want to re-read Aristophanes.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Those segments in the middle of The Daily Show always use the real responses of real interviewees to hold them up to ridicule. But if you think the point was that all of OWS is ridiculous or hypocritical, please try to grow a sense of humor.

    The main point is: it’s funny. The secondary point is: if OWS is a microcosm of a ‘new society,’ it will inevitably contain some imperfections brought over from the old society. We’re all human, we’re all imperfect, and laughter is therapeutic.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Jordan,

    I am sorry you take offense. Especially because it insults me that you claim to understand me when I the holder of my own pov claim that you do not.

    The people in the conversation are operating under two different povs about reality. That it is as clear as day to anyone who does understand.

    This conversation is not about being combative. Another clue that you don’t understand.

    I am sorry if you feel you can or should be able to comprehend a point of view regardless of whether the holder of one of those povs agrees with you. You are an outsider to my pov. If you want to see it, you have the choice to do what is necessary. You have not done so.

  • dour anarchist troll

    The main point is: it’s funny.

    yes it is

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No quarrel about laughter. For one thing, it makes you live longer.

    What the point was? To give Jon Stewart material for his show.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t think you’re that far apart, Cindy, in terms of values, etc.

    I think it’s mostly a case of emotional reactions taking over at times, which brings the conversation to a halt.

    Understand, I’m not criticizing, only observing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Since I put my foot in my mouth, I had better listen to Summerspeaker talk.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Summerspeaker is having the same result in talking there as I have here. My point of interest was that she provides a mirror so that I can reflect on my own style by watching. There is a different language game (as you would say it) in operation, Roger. Thus, communication is cut off. I was hoping to improve.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    228 – troll
    Nov 17, 2011 at 7:42 am
    “no problema…”

    Licks a gold star and sticks it on troll’s forehead for not say no problemO!

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    say(ing)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Can’t find the link to her/his speech.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    223 Thanks Christopher. Here’s the link

    (Roger, I will get your link next, I just saw Christopher’s comment.)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy
  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Fixed, Cindy…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Grazie, Christopher.

  • Costello

    Troll, what’s the name/address of the new website you are referring? I would like to check it out. Interesting that the bad penny turned up over there. Anyone heard from his blowhard in crime?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just read Kiki’s statement. I like the idea of an autonomous tent city. It’s precisely what OWS should aim at.

    I don’t see why anyone should object to this statement of purpose. To disagree with it would be tantamount to trying to cut the legs from under the movement, to make it dependent on life support from the very institutions it considers oppressive, irrelevant and in need of replacement.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As to “Summerspeaker,” she does come across like Moonraven, whatever little bits and pieces there were from Kurtz’s account to come up with a reconstruction.

    Obviously, any privileged white male ain’t gonna like it.

  • Jordan Richardson

    You don’t understand me or my pov, Cindy. As an outsider to my pov, I don’t see how you can reasonably expect to criticize it because you don’t understand it.

    See how this works? We could go on forever like this get absolutely nowhere.

    Or we could drop the bullshit.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I think I’d better stick to making a tangerine cake tonight. I hope that it is edible.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just don’t poison potential friends.

  • troll

    Costello – here’s the site…pretty disappointing beginning as I couldn’t interest anyone in a discussion of representation or even a discussion about how to have such a discussion

    Rog – comparing Summerspeak to Moonraven is weird sounding as comments based on gender bigoted imagery were the latter’s fav here at BC

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was under the impression Moonraven was “raving” about gender discrimination from the get-go, sexism and racism.

    Her talking points.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @257

    No disrespect intended, but it’s my considered opinion the topic under discussion isn’t “loaded.” It’s an administrative type of question.

    Got to bring some concepts into play so as to provide the question with the proper context. Even those who don’t recognize it, they tend to respond more to concepts than anything else.

  • troll

    Moonraven’s first agenda was always talking up Chavez’ State…didn’t take long to get to sexism and racism though

    re #259 – I certainly am not encouraging folks to take part in a conversation that they don’t feel comfortable with

    just got a message that someone is badmouthing me on twitter…what a dweeb

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @257

    I haven’t expressed myself fully. I wasn’t there, of course, to make a judgment, but it would seem to me that any kind of bigotry ought to fought tooth and nail.

    And if “bigoted imagery” will do it, why not? After all, I’m not on the receiving end. Consequently, I’d like to extend them all the rage and impropriety they’re capable of.

    Again, who am I to talk?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Come to think of it, I don’t think Chavez is evil, no less evil, in any case, than Obama is.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t mind to take part of any conversation, and it’s not the case I’m uncomfortable with anything.

    Just can’t get my teeth into the question.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You are a philosopher, pretend as you may.

    Do you not see my dilemma?

  • troll

    hey – I’m not opposed to some well placed gender bigoted imagery – couldn’t you tell?

    re #262 – what’s your point?

  • troll

    it’s a very practical question Rog

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, I’m aware of the first, only reiterated the point.

    As to the other thing, it seemed to me you were down on Chavez and somehow criticized Moonraven for standing up for him.

    According to Kurtz, she did obtain an interview.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m aware it’s a practical thing, Mark, but I don’t think practice can be as easily divorced from theory as both you and I might like.

    As a matter of fact, this is precisely the kinds of questions I raise in my upcoming article.

  • troll

    I’m not down on Chavez’ government …yet …any more than any other established government

    the jury’s still out imo though from what little I can tell he’s done a lot for common folk

    and Moonrave reported that she spent alot of time in Venezuela and talked with Chavez – I have no reason to doubt her word

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So in that case, we don’t disagree.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Furthermore, I believe I made myself clear in that I don’t believe in any socialist solution.

  • troll

    re #268 – I’m something of a materialist and think that theory emerges through practice

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Of course, but the converse is also true.

    It’s always a give & take.

  • troll

    yup

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re a materialist, yet you speak of value to be attached to production of ideas.

    Just think! The trick is to hold two seemingly contradictory ideas at once.

    It’s the only way to move on.

  • troll

    just so – I looking for how a representative should behave and why

  • t

    ‘m

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But don’t you think, the first question ought to be about the very nature of representation. We had none of that in the polis.

    So the first question we must ask, what are the circumstances which would make “representation” a viable concept. Truly, I can can conceive of communities in which the very idea wouldn’t even get off the ground. Later perhaps, but that’s a question for another place and time.

    My problem, I suppose, with you bringing up the notion of representation, has mostly to do with bringing the cart before the horse. We’re not there yet, nowhere near yet.

    What I truly believe, new concepts will emerge out of the practice. In a way, I’m kinda validating your thesis, with a twist.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Think of Hannah Arendt’s manuscript, her quarrel with Fanon — your suggested reading, BTW, for which I’m thankful.

    Today, I appreciate it far more than I have two years ago. Yet, there was no mention there whatever of representation. It was all about community deliberation, nothing more.

    The Duma!

  • troll

    we are there – people in the movement are already repping others – thus eg working groups already send reps to GAs

    from what I’ve seen some do better jobs at it than others – hence my proposal to get real concrete about it

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m all for that and I wish I was there. And how there be any question that practical problems have got to be solved first!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … how can there be …

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m beginning to see what you’re getting at.
    The idea of a rep as a kind of liason person, an intermediary, to negotiate between groups

  • Costello

    Alan tracked you over there, troll. LOL. Wonder if he’ll be starting up Save Representation Working Group? Although he seems much more comfortable. With censoring and deleting comments after he imploded his site

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Got to do something to reverse the trend. This cop/pig scene has got to go away.

    Any suggestions, crew?

  • troll

    I just wrote a response that on rereading I saw could be considered an example of seditious conspiracy…so I’ll simply sum it up with slogans:

    occupy the jails/occupy the dockets

    training for non-violent civil disobedience is offered by most local Occupies – (eg such training was broadcast on livestream out of Phoenix last evening)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    This is worth seeing and is short (and if you read the comments you can get a little slice of how some non-radicals see OWS positively):

    Reporters For Right-Wing Publication Daily Caller Beaten By NYPD, Helped By Protesters
    By Zaid Jilani on Nov 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    The Daily Caller’s Michelle Fields faced abuse from the NYPD and help from protesters.

    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.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    troll,

    I wonder what would happen if all the protesters just laid down on the ground. All of them. lol–for miles.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    operation ragdoll

  • troll

    :-) !!

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    (hmmm, better get each one their own gas-mask and set of super-sonic earplugs)

  • troll

    make it a habit to carry a bottle of LAW as well as drinking water – take care of the person next to you while waiting for a street medic…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    video in #287 is the best kind of ad for OWS.

    Notice, BTW, the shadows in the windows of the office building — the office workers looking at the spectacle.

  • troll

    Rog – re your #259 Got to bring some concepts into play – Anarcissie has entered the conversation about representation over at the working group blog and has introduced the concept of group will

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Ok, I’LL check it out.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Can’t find the link. Could you re-post it?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy, guess who I’ve just ran into, a voice from the past — Moonraven herself.

  • troll

    say hi for me

  • troll

    Rog – see comment #257 for the link

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Be back shortly. Gotta get some smokes and juice …

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What da matter all of a sudden?

    Are we all dumbfounded an dumb as Moonraven’s very mention?

    Talk to me!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    at …

  • troll

    Rog – is this the first you’ve seen of Moonraven at TD (she ‘s been leaving missives there for a while) and didn’t you know of her blog? I apologize for not directing you there before.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Indeed, it’s the first time.

    And I find her so f … refreshing for being so unpretentious.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Will jump on those boards later today. Was working on my next piece.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    me too…I haven’t been back…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Representation Working Group

    Oh my, troll, you asked me a question and then I never came back! Ackkk! Sorry, troll.

  • troll

    …in timely fashion and in keeping with the brief mention of the ‘good stuff’ going on in Venezuela above there’s this

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So this means thumbs up for Mr. Hugo, as Moonraven would have it, no?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mark, jump in for a sec to this thread.

    I don’t want to contradict Anarcissie, not in that medium.

    You might be more tactful.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @309

    Isn’t there another SA country that’s even more progressive than Venezuela?

    The name of it and that of the recently chief of state escape me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @307

    Just look it up. Indeed, the ideas of a group and will (General Will?) are fundamental.

    Here’s my idea. Since this is Mark’s baby, so to speak, why don’t he start with an opening statement expressing his problem(s) with the notion, whatever. It doesn’t have to be very extensive, just two or three paragraphs at most.

    This way would could start with a perspective of some kind and take it from there.

    Is this too unreasonable to ask?

  • troll

    I think Anarcissie and Cindy have introduced plenty of perspective with which to approach the question that I posed to start with

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, shall see how it goes, then?

  • Clavos

    Isn’t there another SA country that’s even more progressive than Venezuela?

    Venezuela “progressive???”

    You need to get out of Kentucky, Roger; it’s rotting your brain.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Watching Occupy Vancouver’s GA before turning in. The police dept, and city reps want them to separate the “legitimate” protesters from the “illegitimate” protesters. The authorities have stated that they find the homeless unsightly.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Meant Bolivia, Clav. Some interesting things happening in there.

    As to KY, you’re definitely right. I’m getting an SUV from my brother=in-law and be out of here in a NY minut

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As a matter of fact, KY keeps me sharp, for better or worse, for all the dumbness that surrounds me. I have no other recourse.

    Can you understand that?

  • Jordan Richardson

    The authorities have stated that they find the homeless unsightly.

    Who said this?

  • Clavos

    @318: Yeah, I can dig it, Roger.

    Don’t think I can agree in re Bolivia, though. Evo Morales is Chavez’s protegé and no more progressive than he is. The two of them are despots (though Morales is much less brutal than Chavez) who are doing more harm than good.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Here is the video. I misspoke, the authorities haven’t “stated”, they have merely “made it clear”. Which makes much more sense anyway, as it would not be politically wise to state such a thing. Sending the clear message, without actually stating it, is typically how authorities operate, in my experience. They have deniability of their actual intent when it is politically expedient for them.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @320

    Well, that’s one of the NPR reports I’ve heard.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Are you certain this is the one? It seems to be live.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This is a prevalent problem, Cindy, as per this report on NYC.

    The only one I know who tried to do something about the situation was Gavin Newsom when he was a mayor in SF – converting some of the residential hotels for use by the homeless.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Jordan,

    Here are some marginalized viewpoints that came up while I was searching for the non-existent statement. You may be interested in them.

    “A lot of those people are street kids who are homeless or addicted,” said Ian Beeching, a hospital emergency room nurse who volunteers as a medic at Occupy Vancouver. “It’s turning into a site where people prefer to be over SROs (single resident occupancies) and shelters. Those aren’t nice places.”

    Occupy Vancouver: Drug Den or Harm Reduction Haven?

    “The media is spinning it now that the camp’s just a bunch of drug addicts partying — but these people are a legitimate part of the movement, and to dismiss them as just addicts or bad people further marginalizes them. It’ll make them less likely to come for help next time there is an overdose.”

    In Vancouver, Occupy was already alienated
    BY MICHAEL STEWART | NOVEMBER 10, 2011

    This guy is brilliant! Love his tag line: “Blind man with a pistol.”

    Remembering the first 21 days of Occupy Vancouver by Noni

    Occupy Vancouver did not create homelessness or drug addiction or mental health issues, it merely brought them to your attention….The reason the movement has been painted with such a black brush is twofold. Firstly, the mainstream media has either neglected to present the complete story or they have sensationalized or misinformed the public.

    Occupy Vancouver: we need two-way respect

    Imagine the Occupy Vancouver people in Armani suits, camped out in designer beige tents with cappuccino machines and the same outdoor heaters that restaurants use. If everything else was the same – the signs, the speeches, the behaviour – do you think that the city and its fire and police departments would respond differently to the Occupy encampment? Of course. They’d offer what’s been missing so far in the relationship between both sides: respect, and meaningful dialogue regarding long-term solutions.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Worth knowing:

    How Egypt Justifies Its Brutal Crackdown: Occupy Wall Street

    Two people were killed in Cairo and Alexandria this weekend as Egyptian activists took the streets to protest the military’s attempts to maintain its grip on power. And guess how the state is justifying its deadly crackdown.

    “We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state,” an Egyptian state television anchor said yesterday (as translated by the indispensable Sultan Sooud al Qassemi; bold ours).

  • Clavos

    I read your NPR link, Roger.

    What I get from it is that Evo Morales is taking land (and that’s the right verb) from the people who have owned it for generations to give it to his constituents, and NPR’s account of this cloaks that act in lofty terms that basically legitimize it.

    But it’s still armed robbery.

  • zingzing

    “NPR’s account of this cloaks that act in lofty terms that basically legitimize it.”

    funny. to me, npr seems to point out that both sides have a point. still, some of that land was given to the current owners by the previous regime. those families (like the one that the npr story references, but you missed or ignored or something,) who have owned the land “for generations” surely don’t deserve to have their land taken away… however, those that were given the land by the dictatorship are on more shaky ground.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Newt Gingrich at last night’s ‘family values’ [i.e. ‘pandering to religious nut jobs’] GOP candidate debate in Iowa:

    “All the Occupy movement starts with the premise that we all owe them everything,” Gingrich said at the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa. “They take over a public park they didn’t pay for, to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn’t pay for, to beg for food from places they don’t want to pay for, to obstruct those who are going to work to pay the taxes to sustain the bathrooms and to sustain the park, so they can self-righteously explain they are the paragons of virtue to which we owe everything.

    “That is a pretty good symptom of how much the left has collapsed as a moral system in this country, and why you need to reassert something by saying to them, ‘Go get a job right after you take a bath,'” continued Gingrich, to loud applause from the audience.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @327

    I don’t know, Clav, it’s a rather touchy subject. Land ownership in a primarily agrarian economy?

    The Gracchi brothers were assassinated for land reforms, and Caesar himself, had he lived, was thinking along the same lines. There are two ways of writing this story.

    You can’t on the one hand complain about the majority of population living in abject poverty and then bitch when something’s being done about it –especially of the original land grants were bequeathed, feudal style, for political favors.

    Do you have reliable information about the Spanish conquest of Bolivia and the events that followed?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Was Newt trying to endear himself to the Christian Right or that’s his actual stance?

    Got to give credit to Romney, though, for skipping the Thanksgiving dinner.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @326

    And indeed, we’re such a fine example.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But that’s OK, Cindy. The pepper spray fiasco at UC Davis will act as a trigger. I was wondering what the faculty at our “fine institutions of higher learning” was so slow in registering its support for the OWS. It surely wasn’t so in the sixties during the height of the antiwar movement and Kent State “incident.” Goes to show the extent to which most of our universities and colleges are in the pockets of corporate America.

    Well, I believe we should see our campuses as the next battle ground in the immediate future — and it’s a natural.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Here’s a Wiki’s account — History of Bolivia.

    I don’t know of course how accurate it is with respect to all the details, but it seems to confirm the accepted narrative.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Newt’s comments are always made primarily for effect. He has no discernible ‘real’ convictions, except, “I want to be rich and famous.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @326

    The video in the article linked tells the whole story. The fucking cop spraying the protesters in a cavalier way as if he were exterminating the roaches.

    And then, the fucking cops are huddled and slowly retreating, their rifles at ready, a bunch of cowards concerned with their safety.

    This ain’t going to sit well with the middle class, especially the parents who send their kids to school.

    These aren’t hippies or stinking homeless, which are always so easy to ignore and their one’s blind eye on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was just being facetious. There was a time when he was a speaker I had some respect for him. No longer.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … and turn one’s blind eye on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Chris Hayes on the lobbyist firm’s proposal to ABA to develop negative narratives on OWS.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Interestingly, videos linked to in #326 bear advertisements for Police Academy, saying, “Want to become a police officer?”

    The height of irony.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    339: Note that the lobbyists’ proposal included attack ads against Democratic politicians who express agreement with OWS. The proposal was rejected by the ABA, but there are probably lots of others that weren’t leaked to liberal journalists.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sure I’m aware of that, but also against those Republicans who might’t take a definitive enough stand.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy,

    For one thing, I find the “community board” cumbersome. It doesn’t allow me to register by positing my url.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Hi Cindy,

    I’ve seen all of your links from 325. Appreciate them, thanks. Rabble is an excellent site, by the way. I always turn to them for insightful commentary.

    I was interested in who was stating the thing about the homeless because we had a municipal election yesterday. Some tried to make the “handling” of Occupy an election issue, but the public wasn’t buying it for the most part.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy
  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    There are civil liberties lawyers already preparing lawsuits. Apparently that military grade pepper-spray, even when used “correctly” needs to be used at a minimum of 15 feet from the human being who is being oppressed.

    I read an article that Lt Pike (Capt Pepperspray) knew the protesters by name, had chatted with them at a previous event, they’d gotten him food and coffee.

    Maybe these bastards just want to be featured on John Stewart or The Colbert Report.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    At least the officers have been suspended. It’s only a first step, but it’s better than bullshit such as “they were acting in self defense.”

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    troll,

    I was just reading the morning news. This is for you:

    Un-Occupy Portland counters Occupy protestors at downtown rally, march

  • troll

    Death to Prior Agaendas

  • troll

    (doesn’t work well misspelled…it would confuse drivers as they pass by on their way to work)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @345

    The most powerful message thus far.

  • Igor

    Pepper spraying passive demonstrators is the everyday application of torture. That refutes the claim (by aspiring torturers, one might assume) of the “ticking bomb scenario”. Torture is applied simply as coercion (and for the jollies of the torturer, one might assume).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    An eye-opening report from NPR on recent election results in Spain — a conservative technocrat defeats the Socialist party for the office of the Prime Minister.

    It’s ironic that it happened in Spain. Have these people forgotten the civil war against Franco?

    They’re in dire need of elementary refresher courses in Marxism and anarchism.

    This demonstrates the ultimate failure of a welfare state, for it does make people dependent on their government for practically every aspect of their lives.

    And thus a pendulum swings back and forth, from socialism to financial capitalism, both forms of extreme statism, whereas the only solution is anti-statism.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    A little funny I liked for you all.

    That and this:

    Congress has declared pepper-spray to be a vegetable*. Thus, its application to protesters is actually good for them. Some got a full day’s supply in one serving.

    *assumes you know that Congress just declared pizza to be a vegetable

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    When members of Congress declare themselves to be vegetables, then we’ll be making some progress.

  • Jordan Richardson

    If they do that, I hope they season themselves thoroughly.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    LMAO!!!!

  • zingzing

    “the only solution is anti-statism.”

    is that a solution? seems like being against something is not something in particular.

    yes, you’re against something, but what are you advocating? you have the doing away, but where’s the replacement?

    if you have an answer for that, please, do tell.

  • troll

    zingzing – take a look at the Zapatista applications of the concepts of snails – civil society – and governing councils for examples of positive anti-statism

  • troll

    – you could also view the occupy movement with its GA structure(s) as an attempt to develop anti-statist decision making techniques on the ground

  • Igor

    Troll is right, the Occupy movement has devised an excellent strategy by refusing to offer up specific agenda items and specific leaders, thus pre-empting both agenda-quibbling and leader-compromisong techniques of historical establishments. Occupy refuses to give lines along which they can be cleft by a divide-and-conquer strategy. Instead, they seem to say “you know what is wrong and you know who the malefactors are, so do something about that. And if you want to speak and argue then come to our GA.”

  • http://1freeworld.org Anarcissie

    In regard to #327, one should be aware of how land tenure was generally established and maintained, especially in South America. Even in recent times, large tracts of land formerly used by the indigenes ‘since time began’ have been simply grabbed by governments or directly by ruling classes as soon as it becomes accessible. (Something similar happened in the U.S., of course, but in the U.S. most of the victims and their descendents were exterminated, so the issues are somewhat different.) Accusing Morales of ‘armed robbery’ must be placed in the context of a state which is based on continuous armed robbery.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Comments #359 thru 361

    The Argument.

    (1) Apart from the rather superficial (conceptually-impoverished) aspect of “belonging to the same species,” moral dimension is the only commonly-held human trait, and the most significant one, too, which cuts across all invididual and cultural variations.

    (1a) Whatever cultural variations there may exist with respect to morality is no argument on behalf of moral relativism. These are but different cultural manifestations of the same “moral instinct.”

    (2) Moral language (game) and values therefore trump all other language games and values if the latter are found to be in conflict with the former.

    (3) Our morality serves therefore as the basis for the claim that absolute sovereignty is proprietary to individual persons, each invidivual person, and to no other entity – be it another individual, a group of individuals, an institution, or the State. And in those cases in which our sovereignty as individuals is voluntarily conferred to any such institution or group of persons, it can be just as readily withdrawn.

    (4) All forms of statism – from totalitarianism or fascism to “enlightened socialism” as the extreme termini of the spectrum, to include all middle-ground positions (best represented here perhaps by the hybrid of so-called “benevolent welfare state” – are forms of tyranny against the individual, whether overt or covert. In the latter case, the tyranny is not immediately apparent because it’s disguised, but it’s tyranny nonetheless:

    (a) on the one hand, reducing however few able-bodied individuals to the condition of dependence upon the State (however well-intentioned the idea) deprives those very individuals of their sovereignty by taking away from them the responsibility to act as full-fledged moral agents;

    (b) and on the other, in order to provide this kind of assistance (to some), the State perpetrates another, more direct form of tyranny against the rest, whether in form of income distribution or taxation.

    (5) Anti-statism, and one form is a mixture of communism and anarchism, emerges therefore as the only kind of social arrangement/form of organization which restores to each and every individual their inherent sovereigty, which is in accord with the primary status of all humans as sovereign moral agents.

    (5a) The fact that anti-statism in whatever form is but a conceptual possibility is no argument to the effect that it’s not practicable or eventually doable. I can’t think offhand of examples that would disprove the transition from theory to practice. (As a matter of fact, one of the most important lessons of history, in spite of its frequent pendulum swings back and forth, is that, if we assume rationality on the part of human agents, flawed practice invariably end up to be refined, replaced, or simply abandoned for having become obsolete.) On the other hand, the converse, which amounts to saying that a flawed practice serves as an insurmountable obstacle to realizing what’s conceptually possible, is definitely false and is a prime example of flawed and constipated, rather than imaginative, thinking.

    (6) “Troll” has already suggested, and Igor seconded, the many ways in which statism can be circumvented and anti-statism solutions developed and eventually put into practice.

    I wouldn’t expect my many liberal friends to go along with this argument, especially since even my comrades-in-arms, communists-anarchists themselves, for any number of reasons, haven’t seen fit to comment on the content and import of the subject article. [As a matter of fact, only Anarcissie had the insight to perceive some important connections by commenting on the article directly, but providing an extreme counterexample of how moral dialogue can be shortcircuited and come to an abrupt end (extreme, in that her case posited a kind of dialogue that would most likely ensue between a bona fide moral agent and, say, a Nazi).] But that’s hardly a surprise, for as I stated in the opening lines of the subject article, there is a serious disconnect, insofar as the modern human is concerned, between moral language and our everyday affairs and modes of thinking.

    As to some others who, I suppose, might be sympathetic to my argument but, for reasons of their own, have elected not to comment on it – I can’t speak to their state of mind since I’m not a mindreader. But such people as Baronius, Clavos, Dreadful and Joseph Cotto come more readily to mind than some others.
    Especially Cotto’s latest two articles carve out a possibility for politics which derives from predominantlymoral concerns if only by extension. And on Cotto’s version of it, politics emerges as a kind art in conflict management or conflict resolution – although consensus building would be a better, more positive term.

    Which, btw, puts into serious question the topic recently introduces by Mr. Eden on the community boards – that or “representation.” It’s a truncated type of topic for having been denuded and conceptually-impoverished, because to speak of represenation suggest a model of conflict and conflict management (rather than that of co-operation), the very model we should be doing our darnedest to discard. The concept of representation is an empty one because it’s indebted to that model, and must therefore be enriched to mean first and foremost, the building of consensus.

    But I’ll have more on that in the upcoming article.

  • troll

    I have removed the blog on representation for lack of participants and will ask my question in a more productive forum.

    I appreciate Anarcissie’s comments which I post here for anyone who might pick up on the ideas:

    I suppose, in order to re-present a group, one would have to have a notion of eliciting the will of the group. The group could then ‘willfully’ select a mode or means of re-presentation which might be acceptable to the party (-ies) to whom the group wanted to re-present itself, rather than merely present itself. To me the trickiest question here is the notion of group will.

    Posted by Anarcissie to REPRESENTATION Working Group at November 17, 2011 9:04 PM

    Producing the will of a group presents itself as a recursive problem, because deciding how to produce the will of the group is itself an act of group will. (This is assuming one believes such a thing exists. Since humans are highly social animals and have existed in cooperative groups since long before they were human, we can probably assume it does.) As presented, there does not seem to be any way the recursion can bottom out. However, I can think of two possible escapes from this predicament: (1) we could suppose that there was some genetically-specified mechanism for coming to agreement, at present mostly masked — Goffman’s experiments with concord and discord in small groups come to mind; or (2) we might try to start with any rough approximation (voting, say) provided the approximation was non-final.

    Modern methods to produce at least consensuses go back at least to the early Quakers, so it’s not a new problem.

    Posted by Anarcissie to REPRESENTATION Working Group at November 20, 2011 5:35 PM

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I posted my problem re: the community board site (#343) but no one cared to respond.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, Anarcissie’s remarks are well-taken. I don’t think it’s all that necessary (at this point) to posit a hypothesis on behalf of the “pro-sociality” trait in humans, not from conceptual standpoint (although I find it interesting only now she echoes some of the themes articulated in David Sloan’s work on neighborhoods, the topic of my incomplete Mao’s Red Book series.)

    Further, I don’t think we need to make things too complicated. Group will invariably starts with the individual will. A perfect example, my recent failed attempt to secure your and Cindy’s acquiescence to participate in my project. It wasn’t any reading comprehension that accounted for the failure, only your refusal, for ours was a battle of wills, not a failure of understanding.

    Hence, the reaching of consensus is the first act on the part of the individual to, let’s say, in order to exercise their influence (and use it as a catchall). A two already make a group.

    Anarcissie was skeptical about reaching consensus online except for those situations in which the purpose is rather technically-defined, narrow, and agreed-upon (my caricature of course). But of course the same principles apply to more important things — agreement on shared values. Which is why you need pre-selection in order to get any such project off the ground.

    I fact, I would argue that the glue which holds OWS together and accounts for its success is precisely a tacit agreement on values (regardless of how differently this agreement gets manifested at times).

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Sorry I never got back to the group. I have been reading a bit of Zapatista literature, before I went back. But I haven’t finished yet. I found the snail thing, troll. Reading that now.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    The faculty of the UC Davis English Department supports the Board of the Davis Faculty Association in calling for Chancellor Katehi’s immediate resignation and for “a policy that will end the practice of forcibly removing non-violent student, faculty, staff, and community protesters by police on the UC Davis campus.”

    From the English Dept Website at UC Davis.

  • troll

    not a problem Cindy –

    I put the question of representation up for discussion online if anyone wanted to address it (practically speaking that is)…up for two weeks + with little response and I sure don’t want to babysit a blog long term…(all comments are stored and available)

    my opinion is that representation is one of those relationships that will remain with us for a while though substantially transformed through praxis in the process of creating radical democracy

  • ozarkmichael

    The problem you describe is a real one. I disagree with what you think are the causes.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks for visiting, Michael. If you do have another narrative, I’d surely like to hear it.