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Protest, Protest Forever!

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“The medium is the message,” so said Marshall McLuhan to suggest “the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.”

No truer words have ever been spoken, no better words of advice; whenever we’re at our wit’s end trying to come to grips with, and make sense of, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, by far the most significant development in American political history since the counter-revolution of the sixties, the anti-war demonstrations and the Civil Rights struggle. As far as I am concerned, Katha Pollitt said it best in her recent article in The Nation, “We Are All Occupiers Now: The Mainstreaming of OWS.” The gist of Ms Pollitt’s article comes down to four words, “Protest is the message.”

Interestingly, Ms Pollitt took the lead from a recent New York Times editorial page, that staunch defender of the status quo, liberal edition, and no less beholden to corporate interests than FoxNews, but that’s axiomatic. In its usual, backpedalling kind of way whenever faced with hard-nosed issues, the Times editorial board took back what it first gave away. “It is not the job of the protesters,” the editors declared, “to draft legislation. That’s the job of the nation’s leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies.”

The subliminal message is, of course, we could well dispense with all these marches and rallies, would be much better off without them, in fact, had the nation’s leaders only done their job and drafted the right kind of laws.

Times just doesn’t get it! What legislation, what leaders, what rule of law could possibly avert the kind of crisis we’re facing as humans, economically and politically? The glib assumption is, the system works if only . . . The unfortunate, if not predictable, thing is, Times never spells out what are the sufficient, let alone necessary, conditions for this thing we call democracy. It simply assumes, it wants you to believe, America is a fertile ground, as fertile as any, and if democracy can’t thrive here, it can’t thrive nowhere. All we’re posed with is the “If Only”; and it’s posited as a promise, a Hollywood-type promise, a grand illusion, with all the signs of cheese but no cheese at all. It’s to Ms Pollitt’s credit she’s taken the Times’ slogan, dispensed with the interpretation, and decided to run with it.

Protest is the message! End of story!

Indeed! The very idea of occupation, of taking over the streets and public squares, all venues in fact which, for better or worse, have been declared private property, flies in the face of private property rights. How we got there, whatever possesed us to ever consent to have such venues excluded as public spaces in which to conduct a meaningful public debate and to engage in direct participation, the lifeblood of democracy, is a question for another time and place. Suffice to say, it’s precisely those very rights that are being challenged, which is why the powers that be, from Mayor Bloomberg to the NYPD, are short on answers.

In her well-crafted essay, Occupy Wall Street and the Abolition of Public Space, Anarcissie spoke to the dire need for reclaiming public spaces as our inherent right, as a precondition of true democracy. If you’re not going to read it and proceed to comment regardless, shame on you! Meanwhile, I can’t improve on the idea except by saying that protest is the message and the physical spaces which are being reclaimed, the medium (Although, as an old friend and a comrade in arms has recently suggested, the proper business of the occupiers is “unoccupation”).

Long live the democratic process and the revolutionary spirit!

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About Roger Nowosielski

  • Thanks for highlighting the article as it ought to have been, Victor. Great editorial decision.

  • BTW, I wasn’t referring to having it featured, only to “the teaser.”

  • troll

    …protesters got the shit kicked out of them at unoccupy albuquerque last night as the State police cleared the site – w/ me stuck in Taos

    trying to get there today and will drop a note re what I find

  • So it’s now the State police.

    Next, they’ll be calling the National Guard.

  • one account

    At least in the sixties, most of the faculty took the students’ side and some of the universities have even closed for a stretch. We definitely don’t have the same show of solidarity today.

  • analogies with the sixties

  • troll

    here’s a petition and a traditional tactic – note that Sebastian is a pretty serious kinda guy

    btw: protest – protest forever! will be my next sign…nice ring to it

  • t

    …and here’s a good response statement from protesters to UNM’s concerns

  • Done deal.

  • ACLU should be thick and thin into this, fighting those ordinances tooth and nail and jamming the courts, unless they’re in the pockets of liberals.

    Quitting UNM en masse is another strategy that should be deployed.

  • Igor

    The corporate takeover of public lands and private lands is further evident in the “XL” pipeline takeover of US lands, where they use Eminent Domain (in collusion with US governments) to remove lands from US sovereignty and put them in the hands of foreign agencies.

    American wealth and sovereignty is being sold off to foreigners by eager US agents who skim off huge commissions and fees for selling out the country and it’s citizens.

  • Roger, the Times editorial did have a point: the current partisan paralysis has prevented almost any kind of legislation or other action for nearly a year — and in some areas for much longer than that.

    A more functional government could have done something. It might still not win your approval, but it would have been quantitatively and qualitatively different from what is going on now.

    I know you’ve given up on government, but it’s worth making some distinctions.

  • Why don’t you read the link I posted in #6, Handy?

    Kind of expresses my sentiments.

  • I am struck by one sentence in that linked article:
    …the values expressed in the Port Huron Statement had a life of their own. They were echoed in the civil rights movement as well as in the social programs of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society…

    This would seem to point to the possibility of OWS ideas entering mainstream policy and politics.

    Also, I notice that this article too is from CNN. Although CNN’s Erin Burnett took some flak for trying to ‘gotcha’ an earnest young OWSer about TARP having paid for itself [I thought she was right on], CNN seems to be making an effort to provide sympathetic coverage that isn’t all about riot police.

  • Two interesting headlines from today’s NY Times —

    Top Earners Doubled Share of Nation’s Income, Study Finds
    A new report from the Congressional Budget Office is likely to figure prominently in the escalating political fight over the economy.
    [In its report, the budget office found that from 1979 to 2007, average inflation-adjusted after-tax income grew by 275 percent for the 1 percent of the population with the highest income.

    By contrast, the budget office said, for the poorest fifth of the population, average real after-tax household income rose 18 percent.

    And for the three-fifths of people in the middle of the income scale, the growth in such household income was just under 40 percent.]

    New Poll Finds a Deep Distrust of Government
    With Election Day just over a year away, a deep sense of economic anxiety and doubt about the future hangs over the nation.
    [Congress’s approval rating is another all time low: 9%, while the president has a much better but still so-so 46% approval number.]

  • Wonder why Obama suddenly made the decision to withdraw from Iraq? Have you heard about the real reason Obama is withdrawing troops?

    Update 10/25/11: Iraq refuses to extend U.S. military diplomatic immunity after war crimes exposed through Wikileaks cable

    What did Wikileaks reveal? A reported American airstrike that murdered civilians and children, was not in fact an airstrike, but rather the actions of on the ground troops. Because of this Wikileaks revelation, the Iraq government has refused to renew American soldier’s diplomatic immunity, and as a result the U.S. will “withdraw almost all its troops from Iraq by the end of the year”.

  • Cindy, you are continuing your career as a propagandist rather than an independent thinker, I see. If a distortion appears on bradleymanning.org, quote it as truth without analysis or question.

  • Let’s focus on the positive. Well, some in the media are beginning to act and think like all journalists ought to — independent thinking and analysis that is not dictated by the commercial interests. And that’s a good sign.

  • It was not a “sudden decision.” Even the ‘corrupt mainstream media’ had been reporting on the immunity issue as a sticking point in negotiations for months. But even if that point had been [or is later] resolved, the remaining troops would have been at most 3,000 to 4,000 trainers, by no means a combat force. We have more troops than that in many countries in Asia and Europe.

  • zingzing

    undoubtedly, the iraqi gov’t (and, hopefully, people,) wants the us military gone. i’m sure most of us, including obama, are pretty happy to comply.

  • It always leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth, however, when such decisions as the pull-out are made on logistic grounds, such as the breakdown in the diplomatic relations (the immunity issue, in this case) rather than on what’s the right thing to do.

  • handy,

    Assertions don’t fly. If you think Glenn Greenwald and the Save Bradley site are wrong, you will have to provide more than your own propaganda.

  • Why two leftists fucking fly here to dispute a cause that is one of the MOST leftist causes to protect a politician (in their sports game of which politician’s side are you on) is disreputable.

  • There was a notable statement by one of the leaders of the French Revolution that one should always be on guard vs. all social institutions, because as soon as they get formed, they acquire the inescapable tendency to become ossified and stand as an obstacle to progress.

    I like the spirit of that statement, it expresses the revolutionary, democratic spirit.

  • Glenn Greenwald is a very cogent analyst, you cannot not like his stuff.

    He was featured today for the good part of the Amy Goodman show.

  • Opinion in Iraq is split, not because they love having us there, but because they are fearful of what may happen after we leave. Iraq is very tribal, as well as understandably disoriented after our gigantic fuck-ups there, so Iraqis do not speak with one voice. [Most countries don’t.]

    My point was that Cindy used to more regularly demonstrate the workings of her brain, which is a very good one. Now she prefers the shrillest agitprop, and will not tolerate dissent, much like a Maoist rushing to attack counter-revolutionaries during the Cultural Revolution.

  • zingzing

    cindy: “Why two leftists fucking fly here to dispute a cause that is one of the MOST leftist causes to protect a politician (in their sports game of which politician’s side are you on) is disreputable.”

    what? cindy, you need to get your ass out of your ears. where did i “dispute a cause”? hmm? i stated no opinion on bradley, and yet you create some bullshit saying i did, and you even have my motives for doing so down. a-fucking-mazing, cindy. how do you do it? how do you get it so damn wrong, and make it look so easy? it’s a fucking gift.

    (you want to know my opinion of bradley? he’s a fucking hero and should be released immediately. i’ve told you that before. but you just make shit up.)

    and think about it. the troops are leaving iraq. and you’re complaining. what the fuck…

  • If memory serves, Cindy was far more rational before falling under the spell of the arch word bender…

  • zing’s apparent thought crime was a failure to second the anti-Obama screeching. His was a calm comment, not actively disagreeing with anybody.

  • Would be interested to hear others’ thoughts on last night’s Piers Morgan CNN town hall with Michael Moore and OWS. I’m watching it now.

  • But my man, these aren’t “calm times,” and OWS, though it behaves admirably, is the proof: perhaps not quite the 99 percent yet, but great many are outraged both from the right and the left (if only for different reasons), and our government is not immune to that rage.

    Take that from the arch word-bender himself — a compliment as far as I’m concerned.

  • … immune from …

  • Zing,

    So, if you are supportive, then why race here seconds after I posted to make the comment you did?

    Doesn’t sound very supportive to me.

  • zingzing

    cindy, people can have complex opinions about things. my opinion of the whole matter is not black or white. i don’t for a second believe that you can boil the decision to remove the troops down to a single document. the document is there, yes, but does that mean it’s solely responsible for this outcome? hell no, it doesn’t. we’ve been there for 8 years, and our military has been doing terrible shit over there for a long time. why would you believe that THIS instance is THE REASON. clearly, it’s not. it may be part of it, but negotiating the troops’ exit has been going on for quite some time now.

    you can have whatever opinion you like as to my motives, but from your response, i can guarantee you that you’ve not got a handle on me. that you would jump to conclusions so quickly is not one of your best attributes.

    and clearly, i didn’t “race here seconds after [you] posted.” that supposes i read your comment before i even got to the page. it was random timing, cindy. i saw your comment, i made a comment, nothing more.

  • Nothing especially illuminating, Handy. Though the interview with Sean Penn was better.

    Why I wonder about, why do rely so much on CNN is your main source for analysis. Print media is always higher quality, and even there you’ve got to be selective.

    I suppose networks like CNN do have their limited usefulness insofar that most Americans still rely on it and similar such outlets for news, but it goes to show how low we’ve already fallen.

  • zingzing

    “Print media is always higher quality, and even there you’ve got to be selective.”

    i regularly read the new york post. the above sentence is patently false. must be qualified.

  • Roger,

    Article worth a read: Intellectual Roots of Wall St. Protest Lie in Academe: Movement’s principles arise from scholarship on anarchy


    I think you are disingenuous to ask me this: “our military has been doing terrible shit over there for a long time. why would you believe that THIS instance is THE REASON. clearly, it’s not. it may be part of it, but negotiating the troops’ exit has been going on for quite some time now.”

    You clearly have dismissed the point before you even though about it enough to have the meaning of it register. The point is that Iraq will now charge US military personnel with war crimes if they don’t withdraw. THAT is what is different. And that is what the point is.

  • Plus, I disagree with Moore’s statement that “no one will remember the Tea Party.” There he shows his liberal bias.

    I certainly hope the Tea Party, if it’s truly a populist movement against not just the government but the Establishment — never mind how it had started or got funded — will continue to thrive.

    To second the moderator’s words, it’s about time ordinary Americans from left, right and center start expressing their discontent. What took them so long?

  • You are so quick in attacking what I say that you no longer stop to fully understand what I say.

  • @36

    I said “you got to be selective.”

  • @37

    They should have the balls to make that stand long ago, and you’re right, it would guarantee immediate US exit, exit strategy or no exit strategy.

    In fact, they’d pack up their bags and leave like a bunch of hyenas with tails between their legs.

  • zingzing

    cindy: “You clearly have dismissed the point before you even though about it enough to have the meaning of it register. The point is that Iraq will now charge US military personnel with war crimes if they don’t withdraw. THAT is what is different. And that is what the point is.”

    erm, well, i don’t think it means what you think it means. pretty sure iraq’s not going to hand diplomatic immunity to foreign troops at all. seems a rather stupid thing to do. and there’s nothing really stopping them from charging war criminals with war crimes, this us-imposed “diplomatic immunity” be damned. will they? i dunno. should they? if a war crime was committed, it should be prosecuted.

    and you are so quick in attacking what i say that you no longer stop to fully understand what i say and you put words in my mouth. if you cut it out, so will i. respond to what i say, not something else.

  • zingzing

    roger: “I said “you got to be selective.””

    but you should have qualified “always.” because i said “new york post.” you ever read that thing? it’s a stain on journalism’s underwear.

  • Good link, Cindy, got to look up some of these people. Interesting note on Krugman, writing from his ivory tower and justifying his stance (NYT being the most prestigious publication, what a bunk?) while Cornel West gets arrested.

    Still, it’s nowhere near from the kind of faculty involvement and support during the sit-ins. The UNM ought to be ashamed of themselves. I should hope most of the students and faculty just quit.

  • So? I misspoke. But it serves you write since you read the Post.

  • Of course I have, and so with Daily News and the NY Mirror. Post started out as more or less reputable.

  • serves you right …

    And NY Herald; now I’m just lying.

  • Roger, Cindy posted a link to CNN’s web site [a day or two ago], and you posted a link to CNN’s web site [the #6 you referred me to above], both editorials about OWS which you and Cindy liked a lot and which were indeed interesting.

    I do not particularly ‘depend’ on CNN for anything. I made the comment because CNN does seem to be trying to provide multi-dimensional coverage of OWS.

    I read the NY Times, and will continue to do so no matter how much you slander it.

    Since when did Krugman make your shitlist? You used to agree with him regularly. And Michael Moore is a windbag, true, though he has made entertaining and provocative movies. But he is busy being a cheerleader for OWS right now, so I would think that might please you.

    Must you pigeonhole people as ‘liberals’ and then assume that everything they think and say is worthless? Again, this is the method of propagandists, and it is a discussion killer.

  • Zingzing

    Roger, Roger, Roger… Calm down. It was a dig at the post. I get your point. Although, I dunno that you can separate “print” and “online” journalism so cleanly these days.

    And does the herald even exist anymore? I read the post because my roommate buys it.

  • Only when I find something of interest, and the net is my search engine.

    Krugman is not on my shit list, just drew a contrast, that’s all.

    Moore’s comment on the tea party did reflect his liberal bias, just pointed it out.

  • Wasn’t making that distinction, zing.

    No, I believe Herald disappeared in the late fifties, and the Mirror early sixties, supplanted by the Daily News, I think.

    I think Jimmy Breslin was writing for the Post. I used to like Village Voice, especially Net Hentoff.

    And, speaking of the devil.

  • zingzing

    “Wasn’t making that distinction, zing.”

    then it was a distinction between tv “journalism” vs print journalism? (i guess it was a video.) or print journalism vs blogging? (it was also a blog, sort of.)

    the daily news is ok. same format as the post, but nowhere near as entertainingly batshit. dull stuff. would rather shell out the $2 for the times. crazy expensive, that thing.

  • I believe the Post started as an afternoon paper. Is it still the case?

    As to Handy’s attraction to the talking heads, I grew up in the golden (?) age of television when the anchors weren’t just presences but news analysts in their own right. Perhaps I was too young and naive back then not to see through the BS about I can hardly get excited today by the empty suits and pretty faces which masquerade these day as bona fide reporters.

    Even those which are sent by the conventional outlets to cover the OWS movement show their naivete by the kinds of questions they’re asking. It’s all for show.

  • What talking heads am I allegedly attracted to? I like Rachel Maddow, who is definitely not an empty suit. I do think Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Richard Engel on NBC and MSNBC keep the torch of real TV journalism burning bright. And Christiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria are excellent.

    But I get most of my news from the NY Times, online now that I don’t live there. Hint: If you subscribe just to the Sunday print paper, you get full digital access all the time. A bargain.

  • Hmm, I did not put that Amazon link in there. I do, however love those Talking Heads.

  • zingzing

    “I believe the Post started as an afternoon paper. Is it still the case?”

    nah. those went out long ago. the internet makes them kind of useless anyway… newspapers in general, i mean, but especially afternoon newspapers. plus, it’s murdoch-owned. no chance he’s giving up a fight.

    speaking of murdoch… why is it that we never see mild-mannered liberal reporter stm in the same room as rupert? hmm? is mild-mannered liberal reporter stm really the evil octogenarian conservative mastermind rupert murdoch? where is stm since the news of the world hit the fan?

    curious minds want to know…

  • zingzing

    handy: “But I get most of my news from the NY Times, online now that I don’t live there.”

    you moved? why? oh why…

    “Hmm, I did not put that Amazon link in there. I do, however love those Talking Heads.”

    born under punches!

  • Unemployed for most of the last 3 years and flat busted broke.

  • “From a CNN report on why the Iraqi Government rejected the Obama administration’s conditions for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the 2011 deadline”:

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top brass have repeatedly said any deal to keep U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the withdrawal deadline would require a guarantee of legal protection for American soldiers.

    But the Iraqis refused to agree to that, opening up the prospect of Americans being tried in Iraqi courts and subjected to Iraqi punishment.

    The negotiations were strained following WikiLeaks’ release of a diplomatic cable that alleged Iraqi civilians, including children, were killed in a 2006 raid by American troops rather than in an airstrike as the U.S. military initially reported.

    “That description from CNN of the cable’s contents is, unsurprisingly, diluted to the point of obfuscation. That cable was released by WikiLeaks in May, 2011, and, as McClatchy put it at the time, “provides evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi.” The U.S. then lied and claimed the civilians were killed by the airstrike. Although this incident had been previously documented by the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the high-profile release of the cable by WikiLeaks generated substantial attention (and disgust) in Iraq, which made it politically unpalatable for the Iraqi government to grant the legal immunity the Obama adminstration was seeking. Indeed, it was widely reported at the time the cable was released that it made it much more difficult for Iraq to allow U.S. troops to remain beyond the deadline under any conditions.”

    I rest my case.

    (Certain more argument lies ahead, I will happily read whatever either of you post, but will refrain from a reply–having said all I wish to say and being satisfied it stands on its own merit.)

  • GG, Salon.com 3 days ago

  • zingzing

    handy: “Unemployed for most of the last 3 years and flat busted broke.”

    ugh. that’s awful. hope you landed somewhere better.

  • zingzing

    cindy: “I rest my case.”

    so you do. i stand corrected.

    prosecutions should be forthcoming. should be.

    now let’s all be glad this iraq misadventure (to put it mildly) is over.

  • What I was objecting to in Cindy’s post was the false gossipy opener: “Guess why Obama suddenly decided to end the war in Iraq.”

    It wasn’t sudden. The immunity issue was not new and was a general policy dispute, not focused on a single past incident, but on potential future incidents, real or made up.

    And the war would have been over even if we left 3000 trainers there, which is all the immunity dispute prevented. The agreement to withdraw at the end of 2011 dates to the end of the Bush administration.

    You made it sound as though Greenwald had found out something hidden and embarrassing. It was not; it’s old news.

    And Obama has wanted to end the war in Iraq since at least 2006. Your ideology warps your perception and causes you to assume you know more about motives than you actually do: the president’s, zing’s, mine.

  • I second.

  • #62: just try not to get laid off after you turn 50, especially right at the beginning of The Great Recession. [I lost my job about 10 days before Lehman Brothers crashed, fall 2008.]

  • A naive question, if I may.

    If the immunity issue was not new, how come it’s resurfacing just now? Why wasn’t it the main issue driving the US policy in Iraq from the get-go, screaming for a pull-out? And how does it speak, negatively or positively, for Obama’s decision to pull-out other than in term of dire political necessity? How is this decision a credit to our Commander-in-Chief? How else to interpret this action as something emanating from political necessity rather than a conviction to do the right thing for a change?

    Take that from that old-renown arch world-bender, the pride of BC, the word-smith in residence.

    I can only bask in the acclaim.

  • #64 refers to #62.

  • zingzing

    because someone who gives a fuck about these kinds of things is in charge now?

  • Besides, to put an exclamation mark on US militaristic adventures, the very argument over immunity should be, ought to be, a sign as vivid as hell-fire that we’re not needed, not desired, not wanted.

    Why the fuck do we impose ourselves on other countries, nations, cultures, uninvited? American interests, you say?

    Fuck American interests, and take that from the arch word-bender and word-twister, BC’s finest.

    I still revel in the compliment.

  • Got to be clearer. Who gives a f … ?

    Enlighten me?

  • There’s got to be a way to take these motherfuckers down by sheer numbers.

    Moral force is formidable, but when you multiply it by hundreds and thousands and hundred thousands, nothing can oppose it — no pigs, no National Guard, no sweet-talking Obama.

    Storming the Bastille, as Ms Hartman alluded to, was but a culmination of the people’s frustration with a system that isn’t responsive to their needs, our, human needs.

    What we’re witnessing just now is only a beginning.

    It’s time to pose the existential question: which side are you on, boys, or have you forgotten whence you came from?

  • You still as murky as ever.

    If you’re referring to me, then let me tell you, the OWS (and me, at this time only in spirit) are in the process of taking the command — over our lives, destinies, future.

    Don’t forget, my man. I am an anarchist by now. I recognize no other authority other than by the people themselves, and I’m the part.

    I can’t think of a happier situation.

  • zingzing

    Obama’s taking the exit afforded. iraq’s gov’t has gained the confidence both in itself and of the admin to take this step. it’s a good thing.

    The us army is leaving iraq. whether booted or ordered, that’s a fine thing. priorities.

  • Jordan Richardson

    More like Obama’s taking the exit he’s being forced out of after negotiations to keep the door open just a wee bit longer broke down.

    While it’s good news that the troops are finally leaving, let’s not pretend this is about the president fulfilling his promises.

  • Wasn’t talking about Iraq. I agreed with you on that if you check earlier comment.

    Whether it’s due to Iraqis confidence in themselves or not, I don’t know. Suffice to say, they’re tired of us, and it’s best for everybody concerned.

    A graceful exit? I don’t really think so because the entry was nothing but downright rape. But I don’t care to argue this anymore, what’s done is done.

    Don’t be mistaken, though, about US imperialistic ambitions, unless we, folks like OWS, will cure you of it and for good. That’s not the kind of America I want to be part of, and I’ll do my damnedest to make certain you guys will first burn in hell before you succeed.

    Just sayin’

  • The agreement reached in 2008 by Bush said: all US troops out unless the Iraqis invite us to stay.

    The Iraqis, as I said above, are not all of one mind about this: some of them fear what might happen after we leave. Therefore some in the Pentagon assumed we would indeed be asked to leave behind a residual force. But it was also the Pentagon that insisted on immunity as a condition of staying.

    And equating Obama’s cautious drawdown of the war with a corrupt, evil, secret desire to continue it is just paranoid nonsense. Get real.

    If 3000 US trainers remained in January, would that still be a “war” to you? The war is over.

  • About f…. time, Handy, Olbermann speaks against the Oakland Police Department tactics and the Mayor, calling for her resignation.

    It was on the Global Revolution live-stream, but I’m certain you’ll be able to access it through conventional sources.

  • I don’t believe any corrupt, evil or secret desire was being imputed. But what is being imputed, however, is politics at its best.

  • Jordan Richardson

    “War” has always been a flimsy term to describe what happened there, so it’s hard to say when the “war” really ended. Perhaps the most accurate thing to say is that the war has been “winding down” for quite some time now. The “official” declaration of the end of the “combat operation” was in 2010, as you know, and the withdrawal date by the end of 2011 was set by Dubya.

    So you could argue that the “war” is over all you like, but Obama’s attempts to negotiate the presence of various bases to “counter growing Iranian influence” in the region would have, in point of fact, continued the occupation of Iraq. The United States had plans to leave behind at least four bases but scaled down the plan in the face of Iraqi resistance to 10,000 troops. In the end, that number was too large as well.

    The prosecution immunity was certainly a factor in the continuance of the occupation, too, and the Iraqi government rightly wanted to prosecute American troops in accordance to the laws of their country. Apparently Iraqi leaders wanted some trainers to remain, but Leon Panetta insisted on the immunity the Iraqi government was unwilling to grant.

    I did not and would not suggest some form of sinister motive or “corrupt, evil, secret desire to continue.” The desire to continue was no secret, nor was it a secret that Obama, at least initially, favoured absolute removal of troops at some point. The Pentagon wanted the bases to remain, however, and the president pushed in that regard as long as he could until negotiations broke down.

    Of course, because of the presence of defence contractors and consulates, some are suggesting that the withdrawal of troops is little more than a “shell game.”

  • Jordan Richardson

    Olbermann has been adamant and even unflinching in his support of the OWS crowd from day one.

  • It’s amazing, though, how you view Pentagon as the main drive behind what — nation building.

    Don’t you think, at the same time, that a request for immunity as a precondition is suspect by the very nature? Doesn’t it say anything to you about the kind of morass we were getting into?

    Cam you imagine a likewise scenario, asking for example the French or other Nazi-occupied countries for such a precondition before we move in?

    I know, I know, it’s different! But don’t you see the irony, how perverse we’ve been about this whole affair from the very start.

    Is this the kind of country you want to live in and be proud of?

  • @80

    I wasn’t aware of that, good for him.

  • zingzing

    i think it ironic that you’d ask that of a canadian..,

  • I don’t follow lame stream, so I’ll ask even a man from Siam if he or she is knowledgeable.

    No feather off my cap because I’m not keeping up appearances.

    Do you?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I figured he was asking handyguy.

  • zingzing

    if you ever write “lame stream” again, i’ll fucking cut off your ba alls.

  • Gotcha, but that’s asymptomatic since they rarely if ever disagree.

    Trouble in paradise?

    All right, zing, I swear it — never again!

  • Roger, if you even for one second have considered my depiction of you as a compliment rather than tagging you as intellectually corrupt, you have even more problems than I previously thought. You are, though, eminently suited for a career in contemporary politics…

  • Oh, and you are as much an anarchist as I am Chinese – Roger the Pretender is what you are!

  • Don’t flatter yourself! I considered the source.

  • For a bit of the historical context.

  • troll

    …hi Cindy – in Albuquerque we have been ‘locked out’ of Yale Park (mix of State and private land) for use in the movement at any time of day or night

    our provision of services (and the contact zone in which it was going on) is flat shut down

    GAs are being held elsewhere for now

    I cannot over stress the importance of taking and holding territory for the movement…

  • Any way of soliciting the support of the UNM faculty and students, even if it means boycott or shut-down?

    That would see like the most effective strategy.

  • troll

    (…in fact I am informed that I as in individual based on my participation in unoccupying the park am not allowed there for any reason — good times)

  • t

    Rog – there are rumblings of a general strike Nov 5

  • The faculty shouldn’t have to wait that long. It’s time to go on record and be counted — to let people know on which side are you on.

  • troll

    (aww geeze – what became of pablo and Cindy’s comments above re testing? I need to know what’s going to be covered)

  • You don’t really suppose an “anarchist act” as per Conrad’s The Secret Agent?

  • Yo Baronius! Take a lesson.

  • @99

    Great post, Cindy. Slowly but surely, the wheels are set in motion.

    Excellent idea, BTW, to occupy churches. St. Patrick’s Cathedral would be perfect NY occupation spot.

    Let’s see of what cloth these men and women of faith are made of!

  • You asked what I objected to in the Frank Rich piece [which I had posted and you reposted in #91]:

    I recoil from shrill shouting, whether by voice or print. It’s the principal reason I recoil from many of Cindy’s more rantlike posts.

    I am more interested in reason and discussion than propaganda and screeching.

    Rich’s article does synthesize a lot of good info, but his tone is hectoring and annoying. As it is intended to be. So I guess on one level it works: I am irritated.

    And don’t hand me “The time for discussion and being reasonable has passed.” That’s pure BS and delusion. Get real.

  • “And don’t hand me “The time for discussion and being reasonable has passed.”

    Did I use those words? I spoke of rage. Same thing to you?

    And I didn’t realize you’d be so upset by Rich’s tone (bedside manner?)

  • Clavos


    Roger, the NY Daily News was started in 1919, was the first paper to print in tabloid format, has won 10 Pulitzers, and is currently owned by Mortimer Zuckerman.

  • Not ‘so upset.’ Irritated was the word I used. He’s a good writer but I question his intent sometimes.

    And rage is not usually conducive to conversation, eh?

  • Clavos

    the pride of BC, the word-smith in residence

    Wordsmith is not hyphenated, which would seem to weaken your claim.

    “pride of BC,” Roger? Puleeeze.

    I’m surprised you set yourself up like that.

  • Clavos

    because someone who gives a fuck about these kinds of things is in charge now?

    There’s someone in charge???

    When did that happen?

  • There are times to be enraged and outraged when we’re becoming a police state like in this video from Oakland. In response to such events, being enraged is the only response possible.

    And when a person abrogates his or her responsibility to think and act primarily as a moral agent, as a moral agent above all else, then indeed, the time for discussion is over.

    We send troops to Iraq and Afghanistan in order not to fight the terrorists at home while in our own country is the the state which commits the acts of terrorism against its own citizens.

    Don’t you find this bloody ironic?

    Yes, I put a life of a single American above the well-being of our government, our politicians, the property rights, or the so-called “law and order.” Insofar as these things are concerned, there indeed is no discussion; these are non-negotiable.

    Were I to stoop to discuss the relative merits or demerits of these opposing values, I would be engaging with a “moral defective.” And I certainly am far from ready to be regarding you in that light.

  • Bits of self-deprecating humor, Clavos.

    Are you always such a literal reader?

  • Clavos

    Are you always such a literal reader?


  • You leave me speechless, then.

  • What some call literal others might call sincere and straightforward. Perhaps you could try that sometime, Roger. Especially as your comprehension isn’t as refined as you appear to think…

  • Arbiter elegantiarum has spoken.

  • 108 Excellent post, Roger! Very inspiring and accurate. Hits home.


    My ideology causes me to highlight and shout out points that are typically missed within the social structure we live within. When we are taught to think of the military as ‘fighting for our freedom’, despite what the powers that be are doing, a form of brainwashing occurs. Even soldiers wake up late to what is actually happening within the oppressive structure, which this society has erected and which is replicated by repression of certain information and viewpoints.

    I am satisfied with what my ideology makes me do.

    Your ideology, on the other hand, makes you run across the floor with your big clumsy shoes on to trample the important news of a gov’t that has covered up the murder of innocents because you are so eager to point out what you see as a flaw (and I see as a tactic) in my ideology. You are a part of the machine that keeps the machine humming along un-self-conscious–completely unconscious and asleep.

    Your ideology is part and parcel of the beliefs that the culture indoctrinated into you. Because you have been taught that you think for yourself and choose what to believe, you have little awareness that you select from a limited basket of fruits that represent the only ‘reasonable’ choices you can make. The indoctrination to ‘be reasonable’ is a powerful one.

    What Roger has done in his #108 is to clearly express what is wrong with that indoctrinated ‘wisdom’.

  • Roger,

    I am doing research, Roger. I will say more later. 🙂

    Hiya troll! 🙂

    I just read backwards and got to your comments. I see you posted on the general strike idea. I posted about the trend on twitter around here somewhere. What do you think of the likelihood, as in insider, at this time? Or is it too soon to tell?

  • Oh and #94 is incredible. Perhaps you should all put up signs around the areas that suggest that free speech, 1st amendment rights, etc, etc are not permitted in the zones where you have been evicted.

  • Oh, Roger. Research on what you said in #101! lol I forgot to say that.

  • Anyone who is unable to distinguish between the [terrible] events in Oakland and what it would actually mean to “become a police state” is either indulging in regrettable rhetoric….or a damn fool.

  • Cindy, your words don’t count here among the self-proclaimed authorities as to what counts as proper or improper English usage, literal, figurative and metaphorical meanings, and all such.

    I’ve been declared an arch word-bender by the Censor-In-Chief and you, as having been simply under my spell, and who am I to argue with the words of such an all-knowing and all-omniscient wizard? My intellect, and I won’t be forgiven for resorting to such a term, simply pales by comparison with this seventh wonder of the world.

    Of course I take pride in having been so pegged by ours all-wise, but I’m certain this too is likely to fall on deaf ears.

    So this remark is addressed primarily to you: Beware of the scavengers of the written word, for their wrath knows no bounds.

  • And Cindy, your 114 could be extended to imply that you will not listen to anyone with a different point of view, ever again. That your ideology has clouded and closed your mind, and that this makes you happy. I wish you luck, ’cause you’ll need it.

  • Wait till it hits your home town, better yet, God forbid, till the missile hits you? Mightn’t it change your opinion then?

    I wonder.

    And why bracket the word terrible? Are you suggesting the events in Oakland were parenthetical, marginal, on the fringe?

  • BTW, Handy, it’s typical of a “moral defective” (type of person) to regard such values as property rights, law & order, etc. as somehow on a parity with individual lives.

    But you know what they say, you can’t argue morality with a Nazi.

  • #121 = an example illustrating why shrillness reduces any discussion/debate to meaningless posturing.

    1. No one seems to know exactly what injured the guy in Oakland — a “projectile” or a “heavy thrown object.” If/when we find out who threw it and whether it was accidental, then we can have a better picture. It was in any case an isolated incident.

    2. Do you really believe the police entered the square with the intention of fracturing someone’s skull?

    3. The mayor and the police are already backing off, realizing that the confrontation was counterproductive. Is that how a police state would react? Mayor Quan, under fire for Oakland’s high crime rate, and having already had unpleasant run-ins with a former police chief who wanted his job back, miscalculated. She had previously expressed sympathy for the Occupy protesters. Don’t caricature her before you have the facts.

    4. There have been hundreds of clashes between demonstrators and police in the United States over the decades. Do you honestly believe this indicates we live in a police state? North Korea, Iran, Myanmar are police states. Choose your words with more care and precision, lest they become meaningless.

    5. Mayors and police chiefs, faced with illegal perpetual camps in parks, have to make some kind of decisions. Are you so omniscient that you know what those decisions should be? Some of us try to understand the whole situation rather than blurt out dumb, internet-logic, caricature-driven idiocy.

  • @104

    Had no idea it had such an illustrious history. By the time I got to NY, 1961, it was a rag.

    The NY Herald (Tribune)International had a different history. If I’m correct, it became the most widely read American paper among the emigres.

  • It is, of course, absolutely right to put the life of a citizen going about their legal or moral business without harming others above the “well-being of our government, our politicians, the property rights, or the so-called “law and order” “.

    That said, being enraged is far from the only response or even the best one. It seems to me a question of using both emotional and rational intelligence. One tells us what we want, the other tells us the best way to go about it. Either one without the other is always a recipe for folly at best.

  • Point #3

    Sure they’re backing off. Is this supposed to serve as counter-argument?

    I love it how you so neatly develop your argument, point by point. A kind of moral calculus, Benthamite edition, whereby the greatest good is the good of the many?

    Well, Handy, some people don’t subscribe to this view of morality. And who is going to say which lives are to be sacrificed so that the others might be spared? Who do you suppose ought be in charge of this kind decision-making?

    It was a peaceful protest like at most of the occupation sites, until the OPD charged in with their tactics.

    And yes, 14th & Broadway, familiar grounds, looked like a war-zone, definitely the makings of a police state.

  • Clavos

    Here is an interesting article, from an unlikely source, about the founder of OWS; the man whose idea the OWS movement was. His name is David Graeber, and he’s an American anthropologist who lives and teaches in London.

  • I wasn’t there, Christopher; and even in the course of the attack by the police, the crowd didn’t retaliate. They were in no position to.

    In fact, on the following day, they peacefully regrouped.

    Nor have I recommended anywhere a violent course of action, but restricted my expression of outrage to words only.

  • Roger, once again you display your lack of comprehension and accuracy; I am not a censor because BC doesn’t censor views, it censors prevents what you might call bad manners.

    Similarly, I didn’t say Cindy was under your spell, but that you had influenced here, which is rather different, nor did I say that her words don’t count.

    Perhaps rather than making fairly weak attempts at being a smartarse, you could try for some accuracy, honesty, humility and integrity for a much needed change?

  • #126 indicates that you didn’t even bother to read my ‘point by point.’

    Facts bore you, apparently. Logic is for losers, I guess. That’s one reason it’s so difficult to carry on a conversation with you.

  • #127: I saw David Graeber being interviewed on the excellent Sat/Sun morning Chris Hayes show on MSNBC called “Up.” Graeber is fascinating, and the opposite of a firebrand. He’s the sort who might suggest to Roger and Cindy that they take a deep breath and think a bit before typing and hitting enter. Not that they would listen.

  • Christopher, I like the way I am expressing myself, and can’t really be concerned with whether or not it happens to meet your or anyone else’s standard of accuracy.

    Suffice to say, if what I say and how I say things is good enough for such as Cindy, troll and Anarcissie — and few others perhaps, give or take — then it’s good enough for me. So please don’t try to cure me of my predilection, for I can assure you it’s a wasted effort.

  • A good background story, Clavos, especially as regards an alternative account of the origin of money, as well as his comments on the social implications of debt.

  • There is time for logic, Handy, and for facts as well, but not when you’re parsing out what ought to be a clear and indisputable moral judgment.

    That’s where I draw the line.

  • #132 – It doesn’t meet anyone’s standard of accuracy, even your own, because you have no interest in accuracy. But you could at least acknowledge that this has the tendency to throw your intended points way off target. To hit where you’re aiming, accuracy does indeed help.

  • “He’s the sort who might suggest to Roger and Cindy that they take a deep breath and think a bit before typing and hitting enter.”

    But you couldn’t finish your comment without a personal dig? But you see, Handy, apparently we do have quite different standards as to what counts as cogent thinking, don’t we know? So how do you suppose this will ever be resolved? By you saying that you’re right and by my denying it? That’s surely a dead end.

    Tell you what, though. If it will make you feel any better, why don’t you elicit support from your compadres, whoever they are? That way you’ll have the strength of numbers on your side. And trust me, I won’t mind it one bit.

  • My moral judgment is that if anyone deliberately injured Scott Olsen, they should be prosecuted. I do not condone police violence or demonstrator violence.

    OWS demonstrators need to keep a lid on their own participants…there were reports of bottles and rocks thrown in Oakland.

    An important tenet of civil disobedience is willing to be arrested for trespassing, etc, and not to resist violently. OWSers are only human, but they have to keep their cool.

    And calling Oakland a police state is still ridiculous.

  • Clavos

    And calling Oakland a police state is still ridiculous.

    Certainly is ridiculous; Oakland is only a city…

  • #136: This isn’t a football game, and I am not rooting against “your” team. I call ’em as I see ’em.

    Likewise, I do not feel the need to have a ‘team’ of my own. Sometimes I see eye to eye with zing, Doc D, Jordan, etc. But not always, and we’re independent thinkers.

    This tendency to get defensive and divide into opposing armies is counterproductive, and also a bit junior high school.

  • @135

    You’re quite right. My interests are higher, but I realize this thought as of this moment is impenetrable to you. Do you really know what I’m aiming at.

    At least you’re showing a glimpse of intelligence, I grant you that, by admitting such a possibility. So there’s still hope for you, as I’ve always suspected.

    And forgive the tone of condescension, but it is, partly at least, tongue in cheek.

  • cindy


    I.’m sorry, yet mot surprised that that’s all you’ve chosen to collude from my statement.

    My experiebnce is thatthe any cult member would likelu see my pov the same way.

  • Anyway, since we’re about to meet shortly, I’ll probably be next week when I get paid, why don’t we smoke a peace pipe till then?

    Don’t won’t you to come to the conclusion that I’m simply unsuited for any kind of civilized interaction, rain or shine.

  • cindy

    mot = not

    likelu = likely (but you could use ‘like you’)

  • @139

    Good for you. It was in part a dig (to recompense you for one of your own) masquerading under the form of “extending you the benefit of the doubt.” Glad you’d caught it.

  • @141

    Tend to your spelling, Cindy, or my influence over you will be unmistakable and I’ll be branded for life.

  • @138

    So Oakland isn’t a city-state?

    I’m willing to bet lots of people would disagree with you.

  • Roger, of course you like the way you’re expressing yourself. You pose and preen and I’m sure it all makes you feel great about yourself but you appear to be that worst of all things, an empty vessel.

    Even worse – if that is possible, you don’t even appear to care. It’s not a predilection you have, it is an affectation.

  • Please don’t talk of people showing a glimmer of intelligence when you manifestly fail to do that yourself. You really are a smug and complete buffoon sometimes. If BC was Animal Farm, you would be one of the pigs…

  • The fact that Cindy and I each just described the other as basically ‘brainwashed’ does indicate we have a long bridge to build.

    I don’t literally think she is brainwashed, just that she has become unpleasantly intolerant of any spectrum of opinion different from her own.

    It’s rather facile to call most/all people who disagree with you “brainwashed by society.” Too easy, too simplistic by half.

  • Affection is the right word, and I’ll stand by it. Everyone’s entitle to one, so there it is.

    And is “the pig” reference a thinly veiled attempt at personal insult? Just wonder …

    Is there a line you’re going to draw somewhere or, as the Censor-In-Chief that you are, the sky is the limit?

  • should be … affectation …

    but we all know that!

  • tr oll

    …so I guess accuracy is important when there is something of a common target or goal — a thing strikingly absent here

    as it is its just banter

    …an underlying rage is indeed motivating the actions of many involved in the occupy/un movement — it is one of the forces that has pushed folks together to figure out how to have a conversation w/out marginalizing any voices

    folks who find it impossible to listen to for example Cindy’s expression of her rage at sexism and dominance generally and mine it for constructive value have a long row to hoe – her voice is mild compared to some

    Cindy – I’m not confident in my ability to predict Nov 5…

  • @149

    I agree with you on that, for if it were so, the term would be vacuous. I’ve had discussions with here on that, and I’ll cure her of it one day. (For one thing, if everyone was “brainwashed,” how could she be “liberated”?)

    But you do (and I’m including here myself) operate with different paradigms. Which is why we all rarely see things eye-to-eye.

  • So anyhow, what about a temporary break in hostilities before you get completely turned off?

  • It’s rather facile to call most/all people who disagree with you “brainwashed by society.” Too easy, too simplistic by half.

    And the reason it’s facile is that it’s not disprovable. Even though I, for example, am fairly confident that I am not brainwashed and can think for myself, my critical thinking skills were taught to me by “the Establishment” (e.g. colleges run by government entities and books published by corporations). How do I know that what I think of as critical thinking is not just a facsimile planted by “the Establishment” to give me the illusion that I can think for myself?

    The only way to prove or disprove that theory would be to demonstrate whether or not I was being deceived, but that would require the use of…

    …critical thinking.

  • Descartes tried this tack with his “evil genius” concept, but to no avail. One invariably ends up with hopeless circularity.

    What do you suppose was Descartes’ cardinal error in his “dream argument”?

  • Vacuity of the concept (when misused) goes even more to the heart of the matter than mere “provability” for the simple reason there is no longer a distinction to be drawn (in this instance, between the state of being brainwashed and the contrasting state). And when so happens, the claim, whether it’s provable or not — a second-order consideration — is devoid of all meaning.

  • @156

    You’re not biting?

  • David Graeber wrote an amusing account of the run-up to OWS on Naked Capitalism recently. I especially liked the part about subverting a Worker’s World rally.

    Several years ago, I took David around to some sites of anarchist activism, including Blackout Books and Food Not Bombs. I don’t know if he had had much contact with activists before; if not, all the excitement is because of me! Of course, Food Not Bombs was started by Keith McHenry, who I hope is out of jail by now. Well, actually, he was in a group of people who were doing a protest party in a Boston park back around 1980, and they were giving food to the other protesters. They put up a sign: ‘Food, Not Bombs!’ Now it happens that putting up signs with advertising or political slogans is illegal in Boston parks, so an Irish cop came up to them and told them about the law. But, he said, it was legal to have a sign giving the name of your organization. ‘So,’ he said with a wink, ‘that must be the name of your organization, right?’ They all agreed that it was. So it all goes back to an Irish cop.

  • Didn’t realize it was the same guy you were talking about. Small world.

  • @ #156:

    I would say it is that the evil genius isn’t all that much of a genius, nor is he evil. He may or may not exist, but it is impossible to demonstrate either way, and therefore there is no way for those in the evil genius’s thrall to be any better or worse off for knowing or not knowing. It follows, then, that one might as well proceed under the assumption that there is no evil genius. If he exists, he has rendered himself superfluous.

  • Well, “evil genius” was a construct to enable Descartes to introduce “Cartesian doubt,” which he eventually short-circuits by asserting the cogito. Still, his dream argument is awfully persuasive: how can one really tell whether they’re dreaming or they are in their waking state?

    It’s here that he’s got you by the b …, as it were, unless …

  • A hint:

    We can, of course, and as a matter of fact, usually have no problem making the requisite kind of distinction (excepting certain psychological states — e.g., physical deprivation). The question has to do with “how to talk about” something we already know. It’s a question of proper language.

  • We can distinguish between the various states of consciousness that we do have, including the one we call wakefulness which most of us spend most of our time in and which is therefore the default state.

    We know of no higher state, nor could we detect one if it did exist: so for all practical purposes, we are awake.

    The same principle can be applied in physics. There are theoretically many universes, but since it is impossible for us to directly observe or interact with them in any way, we refer to ours as “the” universe: all that exists, ever has or ever will.

  • Well, Descartes talks of our having “experiences” even as we dream.

    You can’t give him that!

  • Cindy,

    Check this out.

    This interview was played on Global Revolution livestream, and the link captures that clip.

  • Indiana fucking pigs at their best.

    See it all on Global Revolution livestream.

  • Rachel Maddow interviewed Frank Rich last night. Should be viewable on her web site.

  • Thanks, Handy, will check it out.

  • Clavos


    Doc, that whole comment sounds much like a discussion my friends and I had one night during freshman year (everyone involved was stoned), in which we all agreed that, because everything one experiences in life arrives at our brains via our senses and is filtered by them, then we can’t really “know” anything, because of the filters called “senses;” only our senses really “know” what we experience.

  • 145,


    My spelling was due to the fact that I was on my phone. It sometimes just picks words it thinks you mean and uses them and if you aren’t quick enough to catch it…well…

  • 150 Roger,

    What CAN you possibly MEAN? Someone called you a PIG and you take THAT as an INSULT? You must be DAFT! Even less capable of thinking than I formerly thought!

  • In may case, it’s dark in the room except for the light from the screen of the laptop, and I mishit a key way too often. Oh well, I ain’t worrying.

  • BTW, check out Anarcissie’s contact — cross-referenced to Clavos’s link earlier.

    She’s part of the vanguard, Cindy, great to have her here.

  • Handy,

    It’s rather facile to call most/all people who disagree with you “brainwashed by society.” Too easy, too simplistic by half.

    I don’t call all people I disagree with brainwashed. I call people who have not challenged their indoctrinated beliefs brainwashed.

    The problem is that you think I am making an off the cuff, snide remark. I am making a serious assessment and it is based on my own brainwashing.

  • 152 Okay, thanks troll. I will keep scanning the twitterverse for signs. I hope you keep providing updates. And thanks for doing so. 🙂

  • Watching a great flick, BTW, on Hulu, Mesmerized, with Jodie Foster. If you want to see women treated like objects by the good ole English-born n raised middle-class pigs, there’s no better pick. But of course, for any merchant, whatever nationality, everything is an object.

    a link just in case.

  • From Roger’s link:

    Capitalism became ecocidal and genocidal order which is destroying the life on the planet. Capitalist fanatics are the worst terrorists because they are destroying the life on the planet.

    Is he allowed to be shrill if fucking nuclear particles are raining down on his neighbors head>

    Handy, The reason I and others are not ‘reasonable’ as you are is that we feel for those this system destroys just like they were us or ours.

    I cannot simply gloss over a news piece about THEM and their grandma and baby who were killed and then had the US cover it up. I FUCKING outrages me.

    What would you do and how would you feel if that nuclear fallout was falling on those you loved?

    No don’t answer. It’s way too soon for you to have though seriously about that. Talk to you about it in a week or so.

  • “I am making a serious assessment and it is based on my own brainwashing.”

    Is that how you want to say it?

  • I call people who have not challenged their indoctrinated beliefs brainwashed.

    But who are you to judge whether or not someone has challenged their beliefs? Isn’t it possible that folks like Handy have asked equally stern questions of themselves, but have simply come to a different conclusion than you have?

  • Hmm, yes but I will clarify.

    It is based on my own recognition with my own brainwashing and my struggle to overcome it.

  • That Serbian guy, Cindy, is capable of quite a rant. May give some of the mellower people here a heart attack.

  • recognition ‘of’ not ‘with’

    (don’t they just have a thing I can speak into? lol)

  • Yes, it’s better.

    Never give ammunition to your enemy unless you’re playing with ’em.

  • But who are you to judge whether or not someone has challenged their beliefs?

    I am a person born of this culture. I am a person who recognizes which beliefs I had to question and who has held similar beliefs and who has examined the holding of such beliefs with a microscope. Who else could possibly recognize such things.

    Do I dare to claim I have questioned things you haven’t? Yes, as a matter of fact I do.

    Why don’t you try doing it too, then you will have credibility. Instead what is preferred by the ego is to believe that no one knows anything more than oneself.

    When you have grown through and past a belief it is clear to you Dr.D. Surely you can see your own growth and compare and contrast it to that of others.

  • You can tell, Dreadful, to a point, by virtue of A, B or Cnot relating to certain kind of language.

    There are different types of discourses about say, a subject, and many are at cross-purposes because they follow different rules, language, and assumptions. So nothing can be resolved via cross-paradigmatic arguing. Common ground can only be found in settling on a paradigm (and then negotiating the differences)

    Pragmatic considerations — what’s good for the country, the common good, etc — are at odds with primarily moral considerations. It’s a certain deftness to moral language employed that provides one with a clue that A, B, or C haven’t really gone the gamut.

    An argument to the contrary doesn’t hold, because moral development and thinking is a higher stage development and thinking.

    Kind of long response to your (pointed? rhetorical?) question, but there it is.

    Let me get back to watching the Jodie flick.

  • Who but the alcoholic could clearly and from personal experience judge or understand another alcoholic?

    Who but the ex-scientologist could recognize the intricacies of indoctrination in the practicing scientologist.

  • One more try…

    If the indoctrination is a train running on a looped track…the indoctrinated always express opinions that maintain that loop.

    Those who question the indoctrination do not ever try to say it is reasonable to stay in the loop. Those who don’t question their indoctrination typically do.

    Can you see anything in that example?

  • One last one:

    I will never be swayed by the arguments of scientologists about what reality is. Does that make me unreasonable?

  • That’s too tedious “walk-in-my-shoes-first” argument. No one can possible experience all other people’s experiences. But you can analogize from one type of addiction to another, from one type of religious indoctrination to another. In your world, most people couldn’t possibly relate and share their experiences, but this is obviously false, because through empathy and true communication and listening, yes we can and we do.

    The public nature of language makes such sharing of experiences and empathizing possible.

  • I am not sure I said anything that disagrees with that, Roger.

    But unless you have dealt with former alcoholics or addicts, I will school you to talk to them and verify what I say before you dismiss it.

  • And are you going to tell me that you don’t recognize your own former liberal stubborness in handy and zing?

    Because I sure remember it.

  • Cindy, far from that of someone who has escaped indoctrination, your language reminds me of no-one more strongly than the born-again evangelical.

    To use your train track analogy, those who advocate remaining on the loop may have considered throwing the switch and setting off down the branch line, but come to the conclusion that there is a good chance that the line ends on the edge of a cliff and there are no buffers.

  • It would take a rather ivory-tower or an extremely recluse type of person not to have dealt with alcoholics now and then, and all kinds of people. So the fact is, that for most of us. we all have a great deal of shared experiences, which again, via the public nature of language, makes communication possible.

    The question you ought to be asking: why is it that with all the cards stacked in our favor, as it were, we’re doing such a piss-poor job of it?

    Now I’m gone. Manana.

  • 194

    I am sure it does Dr.D that is a problem for anyone who thinks they see anything. It comes with that danger. And that serves others as a great excuse for not examining anything further. I am sure you have it all sealed up without having to expend one ounce of energy to actually see if there is anything to what I say. Okay with me.

    I have met those who have questioned the loop and yet decided on keeping it. They don’t ‘smell’ like you.

    Once my niece, who didn’t think I could read any better than she, told me her house was on the left and that a sign on the roadside said so.

    What can I say to such a stance? Have a nice day.

  • Oh, and Dr.D I haven’t ‘escaped’ indoctrination. That’s not how it works. Every person in EVERY culture on the earth is socially indoctrinated.

    I have merely said that I have begun questioning the indoctrinated ideas of my own culture.

    Here is a simple one: If you watch the commercials geared toward tiny little boys and girls (along with the clothing chosen for infants, the songs sung, the expectations, etc), you will witness gender indoctrination.

    If you watch closely you will see that values are transmitted in ways that you thought were neutral. Many of your ‘social sciences’ have acknowledged as much. Though they don’t seem to actually effect the dominant values.

  • Roger,

    Dealing with alcoholics–now and then–what does that have to do with anything? Yes I have seen a ballet. Does that make me understand what it is like to become a ballerina?

  • Anyway, alcoholics and addicts have a certain way of acting that does not show itself to the casual observer. Again–ask a former one, they’ll tell you.

    I have no idea of what you mean by cards stacked in our favor. ????

    Surely you comprehend the social construction of reality, Roger. Are you telling me you don’t? If reality is socially constructed then ipso facto we are indoctrinated into a certain social reality.

  • Dealing with … meaning interacting, having relationships with, etc., etc.

    Don’t be obtuse now. I’m not dismissing your general point, as you said, only saying you don’t have to craft your argument in such drastic terms.

    Reread what I said about people being able to share experiences via empathy, good communication skills, and the public nature of language. Think on it, if you must, but don’t be responding to me in a haughty way just because your argument is with Dreadful or with Handy or with zing.

    If you don’t want me in the future to come in now and then when you converse with others, fine with me. I thought you’re a big enough person to be able to handle an interjection from me once in a while if I happen to think that, in the heat of the moment, perhaps, your mode of arguing could be more effective. But every time I do that, you seem to be accusing me of some unsavory motive, as though I was disagreeing with you in some major way. You should know that in a great many cases I don’t. And when and if I do, I’ll tell you that straight out in no uncertain way.

    I am done for tonight. We’ll talk later.

  • Zingzing

    Cindy: “Do I dare to claim I have questioned things you haven’t? Yes, as a matter of fact I do.”

    Again… Those things may have been questioned, but different answers may have been found. Just because you can see social constructs doesn’t mean others who think differently can’t. You seem to think we’re all under a spell, but we can see the mirrors as well. Bringing up advertising probably isn’t your best argument.

  • I haven’t ‘escaped’ indoctrination. That’s not how it works.

    But by moving from a former state to your current one, you have escaped – or are in the process of doing so. Even if, like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, it’s merely a mental escape (although he really does escape in the end).

    Every person in EVERY culture on the earth is socially indoctrinated.

    Yes, I’m aware of that. As social animals, that’s how we function. So what, then, theoretically, is the problem?

    I have merely said that I have begun questioning the indoctrinated ideas of my own culture.

    OK, but even if I don’t “smell” like it to you, bear in mind that I don’t come from your culture, and so I have to some extent been questioning it since the moment I arrived in it.

  • Which is to say, that Dreadful has a distinct advantage here, just as Clavos or I have a distinct advantage. Just as you, being a woman, have a distinct advantage when it comes to “seeing” a male-dominant white culture, or an African-American has a distinct advantage when it comes to “seeing” (or, seeing through) a white-supremacist culture, and an African-American woman has a doubly-distinct advantage of seeing a white-supremacist, male-dominated culture, in addition to the gender bias she experiences from her own male folk (bell hooks).

    I’m not disagreeing here with you, Cindy, only saying that you’ve got to tailor your notion of indoctrination down to size rather than serving as the be all and end all of your conceptual schema. It’s definitely one of the key concepts, but you’ve got to enrich your schema with other, just as important features, if you don’t want your position(s) be defeasible so that you could stand your ground with the best of them.

    Connect with me tomorrow on this, but you have to give yourself the time to stay for the duration. We’ll get it done.

    Meanwhile, sleep on this: what makes you think that the theory of social constructivism is at odds with Wittgenstein’s dicta on the public nature of language? It’s not the case at all.

    Try to reconcile these two powerful ideas, and you’ll have gone a long way towards enriching your conceptual schema and become a much more formidable opponent.

    That’s all I’m going to say for now, until we talk tomorrow. Meanwhile, I hope others, too, will exercise certain reserve and wait to address you until you’re back on these pages and firing on your usual fours.

  • “Even if, like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, it’s merely a mental escape (although he really does escape in the end).”

    How about a “spoiler alert” for those reading along?

  • Well, since the film is almost 20 years old, I figured a spoiler alert would be somewhat superfluous.

    But you’re the movie expert. What’s the unwritten rule here?

  • Correcting some more of Cindy’s many misperceptions:-

    Roger wasn’t called a pig.

    Feeling for people who the system destroys and feeling shrill or unreasonable about it are unrelated. All that does is make the shriller feel good about themselves whilst achieving nothing.

    Similarly, it is nothing but condescending and egotistical to tell somebody “It’s way too soon for you to have though seriously about that”. You have no way of knowing what someone is thinking, has thought about anything or how quickly they think unless they tell you.

    Pure self serving nonsense (and non sense): “I am a person who recognizes which beliefs I had to question and who has held similar beliefs and who has examined the holding of such beliefs with a microscope. Who else could possibly recognize such things.

    Do I dare to claim I have questioned things you haven’t? Yes, as a matter of fact I do.

    Why don’t you try doing it too, then you will have credibility. Instead what is preferred by the ego is to believe that no one knows anything more than oneself.”

    It is entirely possible that what you think you are challenging about yourself is nothing but an illusion and that you aren’t actually doing anything but swapping one set of false perceptions for another. I don’t see anything in your assertions that implies or demonstrates a questioning nature; all I see is “meet the new certainty, which has replaced the old certainty”.

    This is also total nonsense: “Who but the alcoholic could clearly … judge or understand another alcoholic?

    Who but the ex-scientologist could recognize the intricacies of indoctrination in the practicing scientologist.”

    I omitted the part about “and from personal experience” because that is obviously a logical cheat.

    You don’t have to be an alcoholic to understand an alcoholic. You don’t need to be an ex-Scientologist to recognise the intricacies of indoctrination.

    If either of those things were true, it would also be true that a doctor couldn’t understand a patient unless they had been ill; a man couldn’t understand a woman – or vice versa – unless they had had a sex change and so on.

    Your #195 is largely incomprehensible. The only certainty is that you aren’t saying anything at all.

    This is classic false analysis: “Here is a simple one: If you watch the commercials geared toward tiny little boys and girls (along with the clothing chosen for infants, the songs sung, the expectations, etc), you will witness gender indoctrination.”

    It isn’t indoctrination, you just think it is, but that is a false perception. You are just swapping one stereotype for another when both are mistaken.

    If you actually talk with young people, they aren’t clamouring for this kind of change. What they want is less bullshit, lies and pretence; that people be who or what they are and don’t pretend to be something else, something that they are not.

    That to me seems a healthy attitude, whereas you have clich�d and unrealistic ideas of seemingly rigid masculine and feminine roles that nobody believes in except those like you that subscribe to what is really a dated and clearly false gender analysis.

    Of course social reality is a construct but unlike, say, a house, it is a dynamic and fluid construct that is constantly changing. Some elements have a greater degree of persistence, which is due to their utility, but nothing at all is fixed or unmoveable.

  • Don’t be obtuse now. I’m not dismissing your general point, as you said, only saying you don’t have to craft your argument in such drastic terms.

    Okay, I was being obtuse. I see now. And you are right, my argument was much less much than effective.

  • 202 You’ll have to help me with that.

  • trol l

    It is entirely possible that what you think you are challenging about yourself is nothing but an illusion and that you aren’t actually doing anything but swapping one set of false perceptions for another.

    and your proposed solution to this dilemma in the example of gender analysis is to talk to young people…who I find are interested in ‘this kind of change’ in addition to the general reduction of social requirements for pretense that you claim motivates them

    also doesn’t ‘utility’ beg the question of useful to whom…hardly seems a firm foundation for explanations of the persistence of social forms/norms on its own

  • tr oll

    ps – why do you say that a house is any less dynamic and fluid a construct than social reality…likely a deceptive contrast imo

  • troll, as the remark quoted was separated by what you claim to be a proposed solution by some 9 paragraphs, I really don’t know how to respond to your #208. Selective editing much?

    Moving on, no, I don’t think that the question of utility to whom has any relevance to the point I was making..

    Finally, as a generalisation I think it is pretty self evident that social reality changes more frequently and rapidly than houses do but maybe you live in an area where social norms are very rigid and property renovation is very popular…

  • troll


    troll, as the remark quoted was separated by what you claim to be a proposed solution by some 9 paragraphs, I really don’t know how to respond to your #208. Selective editing much?

    and here I thought that your proposed reality check was the positive point of your comment

    Moving on, no, I don’t think that the question of utility to whom has any relevance to the point I was making..

    oh — I do

    Finally, as a generalisation I think it is pretty self evident that social reality changes more frequently and rapidly than houses do but maybe you live in an area where social norms are very rigid and property renovation is very popular…

    too many rigid norms (outliers) for me to accept your generalized ‘self evident’ view


  • Anytime you’re ready, Cindy. It’s time to bypass bogus arguments on both sides and regroup.

    Food for thought. “Indoctrination,” though an obstacle to seeing things clearly, is not an excuse. Never use it as an excuse. When you do, you open the door to all kinds of counter-arguments which are beside the point. You don’t want to open that door because it’s a non-issue.

    So what is the right strategy? You’ve got to bring “responsibility,” personal responsibility, into your paradigm, on the one hand, and “unwillingness” or “a kind of retardation” on the other — all moral concept in a sense. You have to couch your argument in essentially moral language, because it does away with the possibility of pleading for excuses.

    The upshot — if some people do not see clearly, it’s either because they’re ill-equipped, or simply because they don’t want to. The fist is a failure due to ignorance, the second, the failure of the will. The second more egregious of the two, but even so, the first is not entirely excusable (for even ignorance is no excuse).

    It’s only in terms of moral language that you can establish these precepts; and it’s only through moral language that you can dispose of all manner of excuses. Everything else is fluff!

    Just think, What do you think OWS is about if not morality and justice?

  • Cindy, I will ignore the ludicrous and offensive command not to reply ‘yet.’

    You seem to have exchanged one type of indoctrination for another.

    When you were formerly ‘imprisoned’ by your liberal beliefs, you seemed a lot more open-minded than you do now.

    Sitting in moral judgment of the entire belief system of another human [based solely on your assumptions at that] is a slippery slope. It’s what religious fanatics do.

    In the entire spectrum of social and political issues, you and zing and Roger and I probably still agree on, oh, 80 or 90 percent. It’s the application of labels where we diverge.

    Ranting that Obama is a fucking war criminal pig traitor may make you feel better, but it makes you sound like a fool.

    In the context of all presidents and their actions over the last, say, hundred years, such labels fit earlier presidents much more closely than he. He has done, and failed to do, many things, foreign and domestic, and for many reasons. Screeching propagandistic rhetoric does not adequately describe them, and it does not make the world a better place. Not a bit. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  • But Handy, didn’t Olbermann say pretty much the same thing yesterday with respect to the Mayor of Oakland?

  • troll

    I’ve heard and read words like ‘cadre’ and ‘vanguard’ thrown around a bunch over the last couple of weeks…time to review the situationist critique of this language I guess

  • What I find most refreshing about OWS is that people, ordinary people, are rediscovering the right terms and the right kind of language, moral language centered about the concept of justice, in which to critique themselves and the society. It is about time.

    It goes without saying, of course, that moral language game precludes such things as “cadre,” “vanguard,” and all sorts of hierarchy. It’s a language that’s ideally suited for pursuing democratic ideals and an egalitarian society.

  • troll over the many years I have been reading your comments I have nearly always thought you were one of the most clear minded and sensible people frequenting this site. That said, when you lose it you completely lose it and this seems to be one of those times.

    I didn’t use the term reality check and nor did I intend to imply that my remark was intended as such, it meant only what I wrote, no more and no less.

    I genuinely have no idea why you are focussing on the whom in regard to utility nor do I see any relevance, so I still don’t see how to respond to your non point.

    I have no idea at all what the final sentence of your #211 means so once again I can not respond.

    Finally, if you consider any of what you have written to be banter, we must have very different ideas as to the nature of the concept…

  • #214: Keith Olbermann has been saying over-the-top things, some of them entertaining and some even accurate, for years now. But he does not speak for me. I watch him occasionally, but the overamplified tone is wearying.

  • My point, however, he’s not the type of person you would normally call a raving maniac, unless he had slid.

  • troll

    that’s ok Chris — it was too much to expect you to get your head around my interpretation of your #205…and certainly too much work coming up with a bunch of transitional stuff for what seemed like pretty straight forward jumps to me

    perhaps I’ll have better luck next time

    in any case we seem to agree that everything always changes which is a good starting point for any conversation…though I don’t view material social reality like houses to be necessarily more or less fluid than social norms

  • troll, it is always going to be too much to expect people to follow leaps into the incoherent.

    It may seem straightforward to you from the inside looking out but, trust me, looking from this perspective I have no idea where you were or where you went.

    It may be too much work for you to explain yourself coherently but that is your issue not my problem.

    As to the houses thing, I think you are just being argumentative for the sake of it than any other more substantive reason so go ahead and indulge yourself…

  • Well, he isn’t the only one. Searle makes the same move by pressing with the distinction between “brute” and “institutional” facts. At first I thought the distinction was sustainable. But if it is, I’ve come to fail to see the purpose.

  • t

    gee…that’s what I said

    w/ the exception of the house thing

  • Addressing moi?

  • troll

    nope addressing Chris but I agree w/ you

    I’m not clear on the value of separating out types of social reality

  • But you know, of course, why these debates are at cross-purposes: most people have a stake in the descriptive function of language, in a proposition as a stand alone and independent of us, kind of floating in some nether region.

    Compare this now with the main function of moral language, and the purpose here is altogether different.

  • troll

    …(cross)purposes here – ya the question occurred to me

    some kind of odd therapy it appears

  • We’re talking about different concerns, people on the one hands and “truths” on the other; and they’ve become divorced.

    The attraction of liberal ideology lies in the fact that it replaces the ardent process of self-discovery with a ready- made boiler plate of ideas, such as legal-juridical system.

    And while both appear to be concerned with universal justice, the latter is grounded on the state of perpetual self-ignorance and it’s a poor substitute for, and a formidable obstacle to, self-discovery, the only process for attaining true justice.

  • As an afterthought, it’s only because the modern man is morally impoverished that liberalism has the kind of hold on him or her that it does — for we all strive for justice.

    But his or her situation can be compared to that of a drowning person grasping at straws.

  • cindy

    Just a note that I want to reply to dr.d’s 155, when I get to my computer.

    Will spare you the phone typed version.

  • #228-229: Completely ridiculous, based on some fantasyland caricature of liberals and liberalism. Pshaw.

  • You don’t even know what I’m talking about. It was addressed to troll anyway and couched in language he understands.

    If you do, however, I can see why you would object. But really, I didn’t make a caricature of you, only the mindset. Why do you take it so personally?

    Are you married to an -ism?

  • Igor

    “… — for we all strive for justice. ”


    Some people make that brag, but really what we want is mercy, because we realize that with perfect justice we would all be hanged.

    The best we can hope for is mercy parity.

  • Yes, generally speaking we do. I’m not talking about scoundrels. The differences arise due to varying conceptions of justice.

    Weren’t Plato’s dialogues essentially about that?

    But I do get your meaning.

  • Igor

    “Justice” is too easily perverted by the unjust to persecute the just.

    And the unjust love to do it because what they really love is irony.

  • I’m aware of that, that for many it serves as a pretext.

    Talking about ordinary people, though, such that mean you no harm, however they may be confused.

  • Just finished reading “Naked Capitalism” by David Graeber, one of the organizers of OWS. Inspiring stuff.

    Should take a look at it, Handy. It’s not shrill at all.

  • Justice involves the gods, etymologically anyway, and the gods have a way of setting up people to be hanged — or cast into the lake of fire, or whatever. I’d go for mercy.

  • But we are playing gods, however imperfectly.

  • Surprised, though, Anarcissie, you’re negotiating meanings with me.

    Is moral discourse not lofty enough for you, do you find it inappropriate to the situation at hand, or are you simply not comfortable enough with it?

  • pablo

    Where to even begin? Occupy, occupy occupy, the new mantra of the masses. So exciting, and so bold! How I wish this were true, but alas it is not so.
    To begin to understand this movement we must first go back to the so called Arab Spring which most would agree was the progeninator of all of this social upheaval. This movement from its very beginning was planned and carried out by US intelligence. It did not take a rocket science to realize that when Wall Street was given an unholy amount of money to do with as they wish, one of the first things that they would do would be commodity speculation. Revolutions happen when the masses no longer can afford to eat, and this is precisely what happened in Egypt. The price of wheat soared. Intelligence knew this and also knew what would happen. As we all know now there was no real democratization in Egypt. The same bullies rule, only a despot was sacrificed, and things carry on as usual.
    Then we have the so called protection of civilians in Libya carried out by the UN, the US, and Nato, which was nothing of the kind. It was a pre-meditated war with one objection to overthrow Khadaffi, and institute Sharia Law with numerous Al-ciada operatives in charge. Right up to and including the murder of the former ruler not by the so called uprising, but by the US, and French themselves. Revolution? Democritization? Freedom? Hardly.
    I could not help but notice when all of this Occupy Wall Street started happening nobody was talking about the Federal Reserve. It is easy to stir up a crowd when they have little or nothing to lose. No work, their houses foreclosed, the value of their currency slipping away. The great American dream becoming a nightmare.
    How quickly groups like moveon.org moved in. The great Michael Moore found his cause, saying how capitalism is the problem, all the while his money in excess of $100,000,000 inviested in many of the firms he is outraged against. Capitalism did ok by Michael, just fine.
    Wall Street is nothing more than an adjunct if not an outright pawn of the Federal Reserve, where the real power and wealth are. Those that can make money out of thin air are much more concerned about POWER than paper, as they can and do print all the fiat currency they want ala quantative easing.
    How many of you are aware that as I write this the Bank of America is formulating plans to put a potential debt of $79 trillion dollars onto the backs of the taxpayers via the FDIC? I hear very little or nothing at all coming out of the moutpieces of the OWS movement on Collateralized Debt Obligations or CDOs. How many of you are aware that the deal just made in Europe to expand the debt relief package is also financed by the same CDOs that have got us into this mess in the first place? I suspect very few of you.
    The problem my friends is the fox is in the henhouse, and he is a very big, smart and nasty fox. Wily to boot. Criminal, murderous, and heinous is he, with no quarter spared. We are witnessing the breakdown of the old order in order to usher in the new order, or as some of us call it The New World Order. Just as the catholic church called for last week I might add.
    Ruled by the IMF, the World Bank, we have no need for governments particularly ones of a democratric nature, with the rights of the minority protected under law.
    I wish it was organic. It is nothing more than an act in the Play.
    When you have operatives such as Ivan Marovic of CANVAS-OPTOR speaking at the OWS it is a done deal.
    “OTPOR’s Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) describes itself as “an International network of trainers and consultants” involved in the “Revolution Business”. Funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), it constitutes a consulting outfit, advising and training US sponsored opposition groups in more than 40 countries.”
    I offer up several links below for those of you that may be interested.

    Just as the powers that be knew there would be riots and demonstrations in Egypt after the price of wheat went up, so too they have been expecting us and creating the vessel for OWS.

    I wish it weren’t so, but sadly it is.

    The recent GAO report on the Federal Reserve that just came out. Highly revealing as to the cronyism going on at the highest levels of fincance.

    GAO Report Federal Reserve is Riddled with Corruption

    Occupy Wall Street and “The American Autumn”: Is It a “Colored Revolution”?

  • pablo

    I forgot the $79 trillion Bank of America link. Here it is.

    FDIC To Cover Losses On $75 Trillion Bank of America Derivative Bets

  • Jordan Richardson

    I could not help but notice when all of this Occupy Wall Street started happening nobody was talking about the Federal Reserve.

    Untrue. Visit any one of the many Occupy websites or Facebook pages and you’ll see countless discussions of the Federal Reserve.

    With that said, the movement is far too broad to match your characterizations. It has sprung up in 82 countries, at least, and is a sign of international unrest and frustration toward economic/political corruption – not just disdain toward the “Federal Reserve” or other American entities.

    Your attempts to discredit it by association (Michael Moore, Move On, whatever) can be easily discarded by simply pointing out movements in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Victoria, etc. in my country or movements in other parts of the world that have no care for or concern over Moore, Move On or your Federal Reserve principles.

    The unions and power brokers are hitching their wagons to OWS movements because they have to survive, not because they’re involved in the inner workings of the movements. To find out who’s really working within OWS, go down to an occupation near you. See if you can spot the nose of Move On or the hat of Moore in more than just celebrity-influenced passing. I bet you can’t.

    You’ve also somehow tried to link OWS to Libya and American actions there, which is a bizarre connection if there ever was one. While it’s easy to spot the influences from the Arab Spring, OWS originated from an idea, one spread and promoted by Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumerist magazine. The idea captivated people in the streets of New York and eventually captured the attention of liberal power brokers, but the originating spark was very much from the people on the ground.

  • pablo

    You certainly are an interesting fellow Jordan. Instead of perhaps finding some commonality among what I wrote, you choose to discredit it in whole. Similar to throwing out the baby with the bathwater syndrome.

    In either event, I find it childish

    Perhaps you do this because what I have written previously you did not like, or you just like to play the naysayer.

    If there was even a germ of what I wrote that you did agree with, you could have expounded on it, then perhaps laid into some of your criticism with it. However that is not what you chose to do.

    The thrust of my argument which obviously eluded you, was that the powers that be, anticipate movements such as this far before they happen. I did not suggest that those that started it, or participate in it are the problem.
    You might have commented on several of the links that I provided in a meaningful way. But you did not.

    Sure millions of people are unhappy with what is going on with the fat cats around the world and protesting about it.

    Again the thrust of my argument is that movements get co-opted and they are anticipated.

    Did you know for instance about the 79 trillion that B of A is trying to lien on the FDIC?
    Did you look at the Global Research article?
    Had you seen the GAO FED report before?

    I suspect not, and you might have thanked mf for some information that you had not seen previously. Instead you resort to your typical back biting nonsense retort. I am not surprised however, as it is so typical of what you frequently write on this site.

  • For me, the problem I have with Pablo’s ideas is not in his analysis of the problems but that there is an organised conspiracy capable of orchestrating and controlling events so perfectly.

    I hope you don’t see that as backbiting nonsense, Pablo; I am willing to accept that it is not impossible but I’ve never seen any evidence that mere humans can be so perfectly in control of everything on a massive scale over such a long period of time.

    One major point I would disagree on is that what is happening now is a direct result of the Arab Spring.

    The drive towards greater freedom and self-determination has been happening for certainly well over two hundred years now.

    From the independence of the USA, through the fall of the British empire, the Soviet Union and more, this is a trend that has been wandering the world for a very long time and undoubtedly has a long way to run yet.

    Hopefully the Occupy movement is the start of this trend’s long overdue return to countries such as the USA and UK – and others – that are in desperate need of replacing the currently overly heavy hand of government with a far lighter model that allows for far more personal choice and freedom than is currently the case.

    It would be a major disappointment to me – and a lost opportunity – if the focus remains narrowly on purely financial matters when so much else about contemporary society is in need of major re-configuring.

  • Zedd

    I’m coming in late and read only the first 50 comments. Roger I think what is missed, even by the protesters is that the enemy is WE, the people. We have been stagnant and unintelligent and have created the machine that robs us. We cheer on the shrewdness of thieves and liars as if we would never reap the consequences of their deeds. Our vacuous state has created a government where the most intelligent aren’t welcome to lead. Intellect and pragmatism doesn’t tickle us. It’s not sexy nor movie like.

    Also on occupying public spaces: No argument is necessary there. We can occupy public spaces. We just don’t choose to engage with our public spaces . We are a fat and lazy nation. We like sitting around -indoors. We are just now realizing that they exist and want to reclaim them as if they weren’t available for us. Also, in a society there are ways to engage with everything that is public, there just has to be rules on how to do so. It provides order and enjoyment.

    I see the movement as a public outcry. We are all frustrated and don’t have a voice so we are doing something that is noticeable. PERIOD. No excessive analysis. The occupation, challenges the few in power with our numbers (and hopefully strength). It demonstrates just how destabilizing our noncompliance would be to the world that they “manage”. It says “we don’t want to go along anymore”.

    Movements get weird and messages get fuzzy when liberals start over analyzing and reading way to much into things. KISS

  • troll

    pablo – thanks for your analysis…I’ve met lots of folks in the ows movement who are up to speed on the history that you present and many more who are clear on the pitfalls presented by prior agenda people

    but I won’t try to predict how this ‘self-awareness’ will stand up to neoliberal power and intention to control manipulate and exploit in the long run

    neither the success of this participatory/consensus paradigm nor the survival of the individual w/in it are sure things I guess

  • pablo


    What do they have now in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain. Nada, that’s what. The drive towards freedom has been going on longer than you say. It has been going on since the dawn of humanity. That has nothing to do with who runs the show.

    Egypt, same same. Libya? Welcome to Sharia law. There is no successful uprising, it is business as usual.

    Obviously the powers that be do not control everything as flawlessly as you suggest I purport. The do however have billions to spend on the very best, to do their bidding.

    All roads lead to Redshield, and it has been that way for several centuries. It has never been about the money, the money is what you and I need, which is why they create it out of thin air and then lend it to US at interest. Is that a conspiracy too Chris? LOL

    Or should I say is that not true? Of course it is, it is as plain as black and white. There is no longer a veneer of secrecy about the FED and their shenanigans as there was say ten years ago. Now everyone who is even half way aware no the truth about them. They create something (HUGE) out of nothing and lend it out at interest. They are so in cahoots with Wall Street that they lend it out to their friends at zero percent interest. However if you or I want to borrow such as using our credit card we get charged 16% and up.

    the gig is up. Which is why I say the problem is not with Wall Street per se and their cronyism, crooks that they are it goes much higher than that. It is and has always been about power, political power and the control of resources.

    I do suggest if you have even a half an open mind on this subject Chris you take a look at “Terrorism And The Illuminati a Three thousand Year History” by David Livingstone. Google it first result, free book. Have yourself a laugh at my expense. 🙂 Livingstone lays it out far more in detail and eloquently than I ever could.

    Another contemporary guy who has his eye on the ball is Max Keiser of the Russia Today Network. He hits the nail on the head every time he goes on TV.

    I am glad people are getting sick and tired of their corporate masters, however I remain highly skeptical of the outcome, due to the nefarious capabilities of the ruling elite.

  • Zedd


    I don’t expect a systemic change coming from anything other than how the people view themselves. My hope is that this movement will give permission for people to see themselves as responsible for shaping their society. It would be even more wonderful if we wanted to be more informed so that we make wiser decisions on how we are governed.

  • pablo


    Just a personal thank you from me to you. I rarely write on this site anymore for a variety of reason. I suspect that I in the last several years have written about 800 posts, and four articles. You are the first person in all that time to thank me for my analysis. I thank you for that sir.

    I would have continued to write more articles for this blog, however several years ago Nalle urged me to write a 9/11 conspiracy piece which I did. I was then notified promptly by management that 9/11 articles counter to the official version were not allowed. Now I do internet marketing for a living, it is my bread and butter. I know what traffic is, and how it generates money, just as it does on this site.
    In point of fact several years ago they changed the format here at blog critics so that only 25 posts would show up. They did that for one reason. Page views, which means they can charge more to their advertisers.

    Knowing how contentious to many 9/11 is it was sure to generate traffic, but noooooooooo, that is not allowed here, even after I was coaxed to write it by the Political editor Nalle!

    Speaking of which while I am on a rant. Politics has become very very important now to many people due to the obvious. This site still has the same few, and I mean few commenters on it. that is management’s fault, and no one else’s.

    Which by the way is one of the primary reasons that I rarely comment on here anymore. I also made a post yesterday that said “test”. I did that because I cannot tell you how many times I have in the past written out several hundred words only to have the reject bot say I cant post it. Which is lame, rude, and not particularly techno/adept.

    Anyways Troll thanks again for your kinds words, it is far more than I have gotten from anyone else at this site.

  • Zedd


    You are over thinking things.

    Yes there is social evolution and everything builds on something. This response is simply overdue. If we weren’t so numbed, lulled and lazy we would have responded earlier. We have been astonished for a long time.

    If you want to point at something, you can point at the Florida election, Iraq war and all of the ridiculous events around it. People were stunned that all of that was going on but just didn’t have the energy to do anything. Bush’s stupidity was also shocking to a large segment of the public (world wide). Rove, “celebritizing” public manipulation. The economy tanking because of pure greed. The arrogance that remained and justification even after big business screwed up royally, bail outs, Sara Palin potentially leading the nation, the Tea Party folks not getting it but actually forcing decisions, birthers, record level profits without increasing employment rolls, Donald Trump (REALLY???), chaos in our weather systems coupled with the denial of global warming (who benefits from that?).

    It was time. The powers that be WHOMEVER THEY ARE, have run amok, and no one is doing anything. It was bound to happen Pablo.

  • Zedd


    Why are your “i’s” capitalized?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Pablo! You and I actually agree on something!

    Speaking of which while I am on a rant. Politics has become very very important now to many people due to the obvious. This site still has the same few, and I mean few commenters on it. that is management’s fault, and no one else’s.

    Whaddaya know – you ARE capable of searing clarity at times!

    Note to the editors – when two people who are diametrically opposed on almost every issue in existence actually agree on a matter, it’s likely that they’re right about that matter.

  • pablo

    We are diametrically opposed to almost every issue Glenn because I was raised a liberal while you were raised a racist. That sums it up rather nicely.

  • Zedd


    Don’t you think you owe them suggestions?

  • pablo


    The art of politics something that I have been studying astutely for over 30 years is exactly that. The powers that be, and who they are. I suggest you find out, and fast.

  • Zedd

    I would say that aesthetically, it is unappealing. Way too many colors and fonts. Looks kinda junky and outdated (even after the update)

  • Zedd


    Don’t be silly. If you feel ill equipped to engage with me say so. Don’t go all 7th grade.

  • pablo


    You said this.

    “It was time. The powers that be WHOMEVER THEY ARE”

    I am engaging you. Rhetorical? Do you know who they are?

  • Zedd

    That was meant to highlight the complexities of the structures that sustain our modern systems AND the VARIETY in beliefs as to what those structures are.

    I made an assumption that we would all make that deduction but I was wrong.

    Do you now understand?

  • pablo

    Yes I understand Zedd, sometimes I am too literal for my own good. Thanks for the explanation.

  • Pablo, I happen to think Jordan’s right.

    Perhaps you, and Jordan too, should read the article (linked to in #237) by David Graeber, one of the organizers of OWS for the movements genesis. That would be a start.

    Many parts of your analysis I agree with Pablo, some I do not. I’ll check your links, but thus far there is no evidence that OWS is a push by the powers that be towards the creation of the NWO; and thus far, the movement hasn’t been co-opted.

  • Zedd


    The movement will be co-opted.

    Whats most important is its imprint. How does what’s happened change the way WE see ourselves and our contribution. The liberals will try to build on this to push their fantastical ideals (to bring about the age of Aquarius). It wont fly of course cause they are kinda kooky (and nuts). The old/new conservatives will use it to paint everyone kooky. But that wont fly because that doesn’t resonate for anyone north of the baby boom.

    What I hope happens because of the generations at play is that the pragmatist of my generation merged with the dreamers of the Boom and the opportunists of gen Y will start to require SOLUTION oriented thinking so that “things” start to happen.

    Pablo, “things” = effective, streamlined and innovative fixes that work in a global society.

    It’s doable. We just have to start by admitting that we don’t know what the solution is right now.

    Just a thought….

  • pablo


    I do not recall saying that I thought OWS was started by the NWO. If I gave that impression it was lame of me.

  • @246

    I ain’t no liberal, Zedd, and I wear that label proudly. I think you too should read the article I linked too in the comment above.

    It is largely a generational kind of thing, and we both understand why the young are frustrated enough to put their bodies on the line.

    As to the importance of taking over the public spaces and the very concept of General Assembly as indispensable to the process of democracy — I am not going to argue for that because I think you agree.

    I see OWS as street theater on a massive scale, showing that people can take charge of their lives and destinies all by themselves, that they don’t have to be dependent on the existing political machinery and institutions, but form instead communities and pull communal resources which are independent of and bypass the existing structures, from locality to locality. What I see being enacted is a pattern for all of us to follow.

    So no, I’m not going to succumb to pessimism on account of the bulk of Americans who are satisfied with the way things are. They are passe and the future is with the young.

  • I see that now, Pablo, especially in your response to Jordan. I was going to retract that, but you just beat me to the punch.

  • Zedd

    I lost my brilliant post :o( Twas genius. Boo hiss….

    I’ll be back!

  • Zedd


    I would have to disagree with the notion that the future is with the young. I have the young in my home… they don’t know much.

    The future is with working at solutions. We stopped doing that.


  • “Roger, The movement will be co-opted.”

    We don’t know that yet. But if you’re right, it will be the same old shit.

  • Zedd, that’s a silly argument and you know it.

    As to “solutions,” can’t you see solutions being enacted on a daily basis as OWS sites?

    Before you can have democracy, you have to re-invent the process. It’s the process that’s being worked on, and it’s in its experimental stages.

    The kind of solutions you’re talking about take for granted the existing paradigm. Those solutions aren’t really solutions because the entire paradigm is the problem, there is no other problem. The only solution, at this point, is to get rid of the old paradigm and to re-invent an alternative one.

  • BTW, Zedd, I find your argument somewhat incoherent. Can’t put my finger on it just yet.

    Perhaps we can discuss it once you re-visit.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Instead of perhaps finding some commonality among what I wrote, you choose to discredit it in whole

    No I didn’t, Pablo. One of the first things I mentioned was that some within OWS was concerned with the Federal Reserve. This is a commonality if there ever was one.

    I also commented on the movements being co-opted when I referenced the movements and celebrity liberals “hitching their wagons” to OWS, so there’s that.

    I think perhaps what generated some confusion regarding the “NWO” doing more than “co-opting” the OWS movement came with your suggestion that the “powers that be” not only knew about the protests in advance but “created the vessel” for it.

    As to your links, they honestly weren’t all that new to me. As I mentioned, the OWS has vocalized concern over the Federal Reserve before. Your acting like I should’ve been more grateful for your post is, frankly, a little silly.

    There is commonality, Pablo, and I didn’t discredit your post as a whole. But when you start by referencing the Arab Spring as “planned and carried out by US intelligence” and link OWS from there, you’re going to run into some opposition.

  • Jordan Richardson

    One such “solution” is the Robin Hood Tax, widely considered the OWS group’s “first action” of clarity. They are marching in support of it today.

  • @273

    Do you really think it’s feasible given present political configuration?

    Moreover, that would still leave the people dependent on their government rather than becoming the government in terms of political and economic decision-making, starting however slowly, on the local level.

    I consider the latter option by far more preferable.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yes, I do think it’s feasible.

    President Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Zapatero, and other political leaders are already supportive of it.

    Economists and businesspeople from around the world are also supportive of it.

    I think you’re looking for sea change over the long haul, which, while admirable, can be a lot for the 99 percent to swallow. There are no exact numbers, of course, but many are not anti-government and anti-capitalist. Many are simply looking for better ways within the realm of what they deem as “possible.” Many don’t see your option as preferable at all.

    So how does change happen? Increments, I think, and small improvements that MANY can get behind.

  • It might fly in EU because of potential default on sovereign debt — banks have already agreed to a 50 percent reduction in repayments. The US is another story. It’s still too reactionary to implement such a drastic move, and whatever progressive leadership there exists on the other side of the aisle, thus far it doesn’t inspire confidence as to the political will.

    And while I do agree with you that many of the OWS are not yet anarchists (with a small “a”), I see it as a crucible for radicalization. At least that’s what Dave Graeber (“Naked Capitalism”) appears to hope for.

    As to the bulk of the American populace, still on the fringe, I don’t think they’d go for such a socialistic solution, not in this generation at least. Besides, redistribution of income is not really the solution. The people must become pro-active in shaping their own future and re-learn the ways of democracy.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think the idea could fly in Canada, too, but not under Harper. It’ll take some doing here, even though most of the public is supportive. That’s the trouble with the mess we’ve put ourselves in (majority government).

    I agree that OWS could be a foundation for more to come and I hope it is, but I also agree that the bulk of the populace, as you mention, is far from primed at the pump of radicalization. It’s going to take a lot of doing to get going.

  • Well, we sure live in interesting times.

  • Warren claims credit for OWS.

    Another fucking politician jumping on the bandwagon.

    If she had any gumption, she would have resigned her commission once the finance regulation legislation was gutted out by Obama and the lobbyists. That would be going out with a bang and with style. Now that she’s running for Senate, she tries to capitalize on the movement.

    What a fake!

  • Some of the reasons why the African-Americans haven’t joined the OWS movement en masse (just yet).

    A similar question could be put as regard the feminists and feminist organizations such as NOW.

    It’s hard to believe they made the overtures but were rejected for fear of co-opting.

  • Zedd

    Roger @ #270,

    No I don’t see solutions being enacted everyday, I see experiments and propositions. Society is divers and complex. A group of individuals who are not paying bills or raising children and doing all of the stuff that goes along with all of that are not dealing with societies realities. We sustain ourselves through effort that takes up most of our day and we raise the next generation. That is what our species does. They are in a fantasy world that does not reflect reality.

    However their brave relinquishing of their lives (temporarily) is a big enough statement to impact society. There will be change. The evolutionary course has be changed.

    Also, I am advocating for a paradigm shift. But I good solution is one that starts with knowing what you are fixing. Trying to fix an automobile by using a manual for a laptop… while you are scrapping all previous methods of solving those issues, you are still not fixing the problems, you will actually make things worse.

    Effectiveness! Not just innovation for the sake of it. Remember PEOPLE will have to execute whatever plan is created. Therein lies the problem.

    @ #271, I appreciate the fact that you admitted that you don’t have a grasp at the fallacy of my argument. I’m also looking forward to you picking it apart. I’m sure we will both grow from that exercise.

  • Zedd

    @280 I think he hit on some good ones. The biggest one is – we’ve known that big brother is a manipulative liar for centuries. We live the cast system. It’s silly and we are kinda used to the ridiculous nature of it so not too many people are ready to loose everything (or the little that they have) because others – who have been tisk tisking at us and perpetuating the big lie machine because it benefited them – finally get it.

  • got to introduce you to the writings of bell hooks, a radical black feminist. You’ll enjoy it.

    I’ll post the link shortly.

  • Zedd

    Roger please excuse my editing. I’m the worst in the universe. I go back to add some things and end up chopping my sentences up and not deleting some parts yet adding some to the wrong sentence. :o) Its shameful really. But for some reason I don’t feel enough shame to make an effort at doing better. Sad really….

    Please try and pull out some sense from my post.

    I will clarify if I need to.

  • Worry not. I can read between the lines. If I’m puzzled, I’ll just ask for clarification. Anyhow, I have a feel as to where you’re coming from, and for the most part, though not always, we’re on the same page.

  • Zedd


    I haven’t had the urge to read feminist writings. I suppose because I cam out believing that I don’t have anything to prove :o)

    I would rather discuss things with the understanding of YES history, the present, social dynamics and then use that information to enhance my position. I don’t have to analyse my inalienable rights. Also my faith justifies me.

    I will however take a peek at her, just because you suggested. :o)

  • she’s great, critical of the white culture as well that of her male folk.

    The one you want to look at is Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, a collection of essays.

    I know it’s not new stuff to you, but still …

  • Here’s a teaser.

  • Zedd

    Thanks Roger. Someone has to make those arguments, highlight and explore those ideas.

    I do believe that there is more than one way to skin a cat. I believe that women are possibly not as aware of their power. Wow if we did :o)

    On my race: I don’t think of myself as a Black person Roger unless certain cultural differences are highlighted or it dawns on me that my ethnicity is relevant to someone else. It only then that, it’s like, oh I forgot, my skin is supposed to mean something. I supposed much like you don’t think of yourself as a White man most of the time, I guess. :o) You are just Roger Nowosielski (if that’s your real name).

  • Neither do I, and it’s great you transcended. Don’t forget your different history, though. You weren’t born here and don’t carry the same baggage.

    Oppressed people must develop their own voice.

  • As to the power of women, I’m a strong believer. This year’s Nobel-prize winner, the first Arab woman ever, one of the activists in Egypt’s uprising, said the same thing: women are stronger than men.

  • Zedd

    Its not transcendence its just the way it is, just like it is with you Roger.

    I cant imagine that you think of your race. That would be odd and exhausting.

    I do think of race matters, because race matters. But only because its ridiculous and adds an added challenge for me that I have to maneuver through. Mainly because people think I have an affliction that I must overcome :o)

    I m much more aware of my gender however :o)

  • Zedd

    I take it that you couldn’t find a flaw in my position.

    I win!

  • Correct. You were born and raised emancipated. Same with me, I suppose.

    Which explains two things. First, your belief that all we need is solutions (your earlier comment). But this presupposes equally rational and emancipated agents, and here you’re projecting. I think you grossly underestimate the extent this country is f…d up. You have intellectual understanding, but somehow, it seems to me, you’re detached from the situation emotionally.

    Which clears up, as far as I’m concerned, the incoherence of your argument(s) I spoke of earlier.

  • The same, I’d venture to say, holds for Dreadful. He’s always so logical, logical and detached, rarely if ever on the defensive.

  • Zedd

    Roger, I know quite well how screwed up this country is. I realize just how much in denial they are about who they really are. I realize that this is a nation of performers and that they may not have the edge on quality of life cause they are so out of touch with reality.

    Also, I’m still Black. I don’t have an accent and I have an English name. I am treated like a Black person in America. So no pass. Also, I was born in SA a very racist society. I get the stupidity in society. It is for this reason that I don’t believe that revolutions result in the envisioned aims. I do however appreciate the evolutionary effects of big efforts. I also appreciate how well thought out ideas result in effective solutions. America is an idea. The founding fathers we human so they were hypocrites and selfish and manipulative but they had a great idea. Also, they were “nervy” enough to attempt it. It hasn’t been quite realized but an amazing attempt at a just society.

    Human beings have the problem of being human. We struggle enough with ourselves let alone with working together in groups, then societies.

  • I understand that you understand, but that wasn’t what I was getting at. And even if you don’t underestimate the American situation, that still doesn’t answer my question. Understanding and detachment aren’t contradictory, more often than not, they go hand in hand.

    You do know what I’m driving at, don’t you?

  • As for OWS, it is an evolutionary idea, still in experimental stages, and about to unfold.

    Now, that’s my idea of “the solution.”

  • Make that “revolutionary idea” …

  • Zedd

    @295 I get what you are saying.

  • Zedd

    I suspect that what we may differ on is what an ideal society looks like.

    I’m curious, what does your ideal society look like? I’m praying that you aren’t an anarchist :o/

  • I don’t want to put words in your mouth, because it wouldn’t be the same as you coming out with it, but my question concerns your emotional connection with America. You are philosophical about the idea of progress and all that, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s a telltale.

    Again, I don’t want to put words in anybody’s mouth. Just want to say that most of our political views, etc. have emotional underpinnings, and that our “theories of social change” and things of that sort are rationalizations (of our emotions) at best, magnificent edifices at their best. Thought follows emotion (not vice versa).

  • Your #301 is beside the point (as per my #302) and at this point premature.

  • In addition, I see the function of #301 as an escape hatch.

  • #302

    should be: rationalizations at worst, …

  • BTW, we can continue this at another time, but I think this topic is worth exploring.

  • Zedd


    I think I have the ability to detach by nature. I approach all problem solving that way. My passions don’t rule me. I find that approach to be dangerous. I do however get excited about good solutions. However, hard and fast “universal principles” for social conundrums, are problematic for me. Its for that reason that I don’t completely buy into Capitalism (side ramble). Firstly, its naive and actually a distortion of Adam Smith’s ideas. It’s not applicable for a world of human beings.

    You may however be right that because of my more transitory status, I am not as emotionally tied to “Americanness” or whatever it is that causes one to feel emotional about their homeland. I can be accused of the same thing however on discussions about SA. My expat status may have influenced how I process things, who knows. I would blame my Critical Thinking professor. Ruined me for life!!!

  • Which explains the absence of a sense of urgency and immediateness, supplanted in this case by a lukewarm? faith in evolutionary progress.

    (Consider, though, the possibility that your sense of detachment functions as defense mechanism, although it could be your temperament)

    To turn the tables, in my case America was an idea and a dream. Once, I was more American once than most Americans. And then she betrayed me.

    Lastly, “Critical Thinking” abilities shouldn’t stand in the way of being impassioned. (We should be passionate about such things as justice and fairness and all that. Concern with these things implies passion.) And if they do, then it’s also a defense mechanism.

  • Zedd

    No. 301 isn’t an escape hatch at all. I am feeling to pressure at all. You haven’t had that impression on me yet. Keep at it :o)

    I do believe that what the real point of contention is, is what you see the goal to be. At some point we will have to have that conversation.

    Let me start by saying, that I think the goal is for the people to actually be engaged in working the plan. If the people actually vote intelligently, intelligent policies will be implemented. The systems will support the aspirations of the active masses. Racism disappears because the middle class don’t need to use their race as a stepping stone (a way to feel superior). Sexism is no longer necessary, for the same reason. Competition for knowledge and good decision making becomes the most sought after commodity because of the benefits that it produces. – Rough draft.

  • And you can’t be concerned about well-being of an individual without, at the same time, being concerned about there being a just society. That’s schizoid thinking.

  • Zedd

    Roger, I’m using the term detachment because its the one you used. I don’t feel detached. I am highly engaged. I would describe myself as RATIONAL.

    My passion is for solutions but I am not an emotional person.

    Whether we feel passion or not, societies evolve over time. The American revolution happened 250yrs ago, we are still having a hard time buying into the notion that all man REALLY are created equal.

    Look at every revolution that has taken place. It’s always messy afterwards. The society that was dreamt of is never realized. Only romantics believe in such things.

    Again, I see you as actually believing in an undoing of society with the expectation that the cards will fall into place and life will resume in Shangri La. I hope my suspicion is unfounded.

  • Again, speaking of goals at this point is premature until we first come to terms that our differences stem from different emotional stances and perspectives. The way to resolve our disagreement(s), if any, has to be at the primitive level: which emotional stance is finer. Can you cultivate a concern while being detached? Can you do without some such concern? What would it be like to try to draft a blueprint for an ideal society without concern for justice and fairness and things like that?

    The concern and passion had better not show up in the blueprint, but the blueprint had better be fired by them.

  • (Hiya Zedd 🙂

  • Zedd

    I cant cultivate a solution if I am emotional.

    The concern is very much there. It is immense. But I have to look at the big picture to develop a more nuanced viewpoint. My filter isn’t enough, I have to move beyond it in order to come up with the best solution. Otherwise what I would come up with is the solution that satisfies my primal needs like vengeance. A bad idea.

    Roger, what do you think The Republic was about?

  • Zedd

    Hey Cindy

  • I’m not speaking of emotions in that sense, ergo, I’m not speaking of being emotional

    I’m talking of such things as love, faith, etc. Christ wasn’t emotional for loving humankind, neither was Gandhi nor Tolstoy. Those “emotions” did not hinder their thinking, they empowered their thinking.

    Again, beware of “rationalism” as stand alone, independent of our emotional make up. Except for such areas ad logic or number theory, most of our social and political thought is either a rationalization or an edifice.

    Some example: Shakespeare’s sonnets, an edifice to love; Pauline theology, an edifice to faith, etc.

    Anyway, it’s enough for today. Talk to you next time.

    It was a good session, Zedd, I hope you agree.

    Good night.

  • Zedd

    Also, Roger, if that was the wisest way, this Euro-centric world that we live in would not be as it is. You think we have a problem with terrorism now…. America would be in flames because if its past misdeeds that would in some eyes require retribution. India would be making a bigger point, etc.

    Passions are good but must be curtailed or else society is destroyed. I keep getting a feeling that you’d be okay with that. I’m not sure why. I cant wait until you correct me.

    Gotta let my nails dry.

  • Cindy, see you just checked in, but it’s been a long day. Tomorrow perhaps.

    The Republic is no counter-example. You’re not suggesting that Plato was unconcerned with justice or laws?

    As I said, a blueprint need not reveal those concerns, but it had better be fired by them.

    Good night to both of you.

  • Zedd

    Shakespeare is anti-dogmatic.

    I love greatly, immensely actually. I believe it’s my intention to love (a decision) that provides that ability. I suspect most people are afraid to love and so only commit to being loved and receive only a fraction of what is possible because of that.

    I will declare myself the winner tonight. Humor me.

  • I’m anti-dogmatic too, but I’m no Shakespeare.

    Of course you’re a winner, but I wasn’t aware it was a contest.

    The best, and till next time.

  • Zedd


    To the contrary, the discussion was about what is justice, is it possible to create a just state. We discover that it is not easy but you have to design systems and processes in order to have a just state. For me, it also highlights just how difficult it is to do so without being unjust.

  • Zedd

    Yes Roger you were in a contest, which I won. :o)

    Good Night

  • Zedd


    I was referring to The Republic. Sorry.

  • A woman is always a winner, and it’s better than alright in my book

  • Dr.D,

    Regarding your comment on critical thinking (#155), I think that is perceptive. You may find this interesting. There is an alternative to the standard sort of critical thinking taught by the dominating culture.

  • Zedd

    Dr. D,

    On 155, I’d have to say that you know that your critical thinking skills aren’t the design of some puppet masters when you can issue a thorough critique of those entities.

    Also, having your good thinking skills would also permit you to ask if your thinking is clouded by those who have given you tools on how to process.

    I personally think that what my courses did was awaken certain neural pathways :o) or brain activity. They didn’t tell me what to think but they challenged my mind and “gave me permission” to process things in ways that I didn’t know was possible (at a young age).

  • @325

    But we were doing all of that in the late sixties, Cindy, even in undergraduate studies. Because of the times, most of the courses were being taught by would-be revolutionaries and severe critics of the Establishment, including the very universities and colleges where they practiced their “trade.” Indeed, the trend continued well into the mid-seventies, my post-graduate work. Foucault, Husserl, Gadammer, hermeneutics, exegesis, literary theory and criticism — that was a standard fare. And I’m certain the intellectual tradition continued even till today, as evident by courses and degrees in multi-culturalism, feminism, Marxism, and all sorts of interdepartmental studies. The label may be new but not the substance. And who was Wittgenstein but the most radical kind of thinker who alerted us to the fact that our “intelligence” often bewitches language?

    But as I said, you’re still barking up the wrong tree in making “indoctrination” the key concept of your conceptual schema, the be all and end all. That’s placing too much of a demand on any concept, no matter how powerful.

  • troll

    concerning the general strike proposals – Oakland’s call to action

  • Thanks for posting this. I’ll re-forward via group email to all my contacts in the Bay Area.

  • Catching up: #279 – Roger, your criticism of Elizabeth Warren is remarkably wrong-headed.

    She’s basically on your side. Read more of what she has said. The dumb headline of that article was misleading: she was basically just expressing solidarity with OWS. If she were to be elected to the Senate [replacing Wall Street marionette Scott Brown], she would raise the quality of that august body enormously all by herself.

  • Glenn Greenwald was a guest on the excellent Chris Hayes show “Up” on MSNBC this morning. [It’s not there yet, but I assume video from the show will be on the program’s web site later today or early tomorrow.]

    A smart fellow and very interesting. But I would say his moral absolutism functions better on paper than in the real world of politics and policy. It’s easier to be a scold than a leader.

  • I’ve heard a whole bunch of good things abut her prior to her appointment as the head of the commission; and I’m certain she’ll serve the people of Mass better than Scott Brown. So yes, perhaps I overreacted, but the time to express the dismay over the gutting of the regulation’s legislation was then, when she was still heading the team.

    Her resigning her commission would have sent a far more powerful message than her present show of support for OWS now, sincere and genuine as I’m certain it is.

  • Seems to me she chose to do a positive thing [stay in the govt and try to effect as much good as possible] over the negative [the empty protest you prefer for her].

  • @ 331

    For a second I thought you were talking about Chris Hedges; and I almost wouldn’t have believed my eyes had he made it into the mainstream.

    As to the meat of your comment, it’s precisely on this score, Handy, that we run into most of our disagreements. There are times and situations when one has simply got to say unequivocal “No.”

    Which Side Are You On, Boys?

  • @333

    Matter of opinion.

  • troll
  • Reprehensible, and one almost wishes they lost their stinking jobs.

    Kind of shoots down Marx’s thesis insofar as the American Labor is concerned.

  • But that’s the fucking legacy of the land of the thief and the slave. The teachings of rampant individualism has so permeated the psyche of the ordinary man that we’ve lost track of our common humanity, decency and roots.

  • Again: easy for you to say reprehensible, when it’s not your job that’s at stake. Awfully cold and precarious up there on your moral high horse, eh.

  • My response to the Peralta Federation of Teaches, let them come that day to empty classrooms.

  • cindy

    327 I disagree with you. I do agree that it isn’t a convincing argument in my hands…but not much would be…I am far too emotionally charged these days.

    Still I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. Indoctrination is most of the story, imo. That is not likely to change any time soon. It is a conclusion based on years of analysis. I am afraid you would have quite a bit to overcome to change that.

    It’s my “truth” so to speak.

  • Which side are you on, boys?

  • I’m well aware you disagree with me, which is why you continue along the same beaten path. And I understand you’re doing so because you’re “far too emotionally charged” these days. “Indoctrination” provides you with a ready-made, total explanation.

    But being emotionally charged shouldn’t prevent you from stepping back once in a while and taking a deep breath. Can’t you maintain a stance which incorporates both a deep-seated concern and fire with a modicum of detachment so you can see the situation somewhat more clearly?

    I’ve told you, however “effective” your notion of indoctrination, you enabling your disputants by endowing them with a pseudo-legitimacy of excuse. There is no excuse!

    I was hoping to guide you through the steps, but I suppose this isn’t the time. But whenever you’re ready, I’ll be there.

  • … you’re enabling …

  • @331

    Though I wouldn’t say the program is excellent, the guy has potential. His coverage of Occupy Oakland, the first hour, wasn’t bad.

    You should try force yourself to watch the Amy Goodman show (Democracy Now!), only an hour-long, Monday through Friday. Amy Goodman certainly isn’t “shrill” by any stretch, and you might find it a welcome change of pace from the kind of sedate and sanitized version of the news and current events that, more often than not, is the usual fare of MSM.

    The show airs live at 8AM Central Time but is also available as a replay, including the archives.

  • Zedd

    Troll, Roger @ 336&337,

    Who says the occupying is the only way to address the issues. The means is not the emphasis. It’s the end. The occupiers aren’t even articulate enough to be the mouthpiece of an entire mindset yet. What they represent is a feeling in the nation. They don’t represent all that needs to be address on ways in which it all needs to be addressed. The solidarity is in the POLLS, in utilizing every medium to hammer in the message that it’s time to change the rules of the game.

    Whats crippled American politics is this feeling that there is ONE WAY or else. Still drunk from WWII, we are still looking for that feeling from those old MGM movies, where everyone is rallying for the American way. That was Hollywood. That solidarity never existed.

    There are different ways to get to a beautiful place. It all depends on where you are coming from.

  • @339

    Did you know, Handy, that “moral high horse” is a phrase that’s used almost exclusively by those who find moral language uncomfortable?

    It’s almost inconceivable that anyone who takes morality seriously would ever make use of it.

  • But OWS is the implementing of the polis idea? Don’t you see the solidarity forming before your very eyes?

    So your point is?

  • Sorry, misread your comment. Thought you said “polis” — which would be far more poignant and on the mark — instead of “POLLS.”

  • cindy

    Roger you are mangling my words. Stop that. It’s offensive.

  • cindy

    Ps I think I see the situation just fine thanks.

  • Haven’t said anything I haven’t said before, but that’s OK, I’ll let you be.

  • #347: The very idea that you would suggest I don’t take morality seriously. Your presumptuousness about everyone else’s mind, morality, and faults is quite breathtaking.

    What I can’t take seriously is your own self-seriousness, your judgment of other people.

  • Haven’t made the personal accusation, my remark was general in tenor. But do try tp abstain from using the silly expression which, at best, is a feeble rhetorical device, at worst a telltale.

  • I can’t remember the last time I used it. But I will make a point to use it daily from now on. Moral high horse, moral high horse, moral high horse.

  • @355

    Only @339, short memory indeed.

    But don’t let me stop you. Suit yourself.

  • The climate is changing as long as stories like this become common currency even in the mainstream media.

  • Roger, since you so rarely pay attention to the mainstream media, how can you presume to know whether the coverage has changed and in what ways? Gaps in your knowledge never seem to stop you from making assertions.

  • Handy, I wouldn’t talk about gaps in knowledge if I were you. You may be knowledgeable as hell, but as far as I’m concerned, your intelligence leaves a great deal to be desired.

    And thanks for your snottiness, BTW. I usually make it a point to be unusually polite within the comments space appended to my own writings, but if this is going to be the gist of your contributions to this thread, I can’t think of a better response at this point than simply to tell you to shove it.

  • Clavos

    handy #330:

    she [Elizabeth Warren] would raise the quality of that august body enormously all by herself.

    Perhaps she would, but practically any sentient being (who are remarkably lacking in congress) would.

    Unfortunately, we don’t usually elect sentient beings to office in this country; we tend to elect those who promise they will give us back our tax monies in one form or another.

    That body stopped being “august” somewhere around the time of the War Between the States.

  • #359: Impressively obnoxious, but you didn’t even try to answer my question.

  • The latest by Chris Hedges on OWS. Interesting remarks on Marx’s and Bakunin’s ideas of revolutions and social change.

    Zedd, you might find it edifying too.

  • Excellent Amy Goodman show today. A must see!

    Key points:

    (1) McCrystal speaks on our ineptness and lack of preparedness re: Afghanistan

    (2) US UN representative is grilled and barbecued concerning US dissenting vote against admission of the Palestinians to the UN

    It’s impossible any longer to root for US in in regard to either domestic or foreign policy. America has become the greatest obstacle to human progress worldwide, and the sooner she be cut downed to size, the better. To be supporting her any longer is not patriotism but sheer insanity.

    This shit has got to end.

  • Quote of the week:

    “You can’t reason liberals out of continuing their irrational robo-voting for the corporate party’s Democrats, because they never reasoned themselves into that.” paraphrasing Jonathan Swift

    “Voter Consent Wastes Dissent.”

  • Exchanging one form of conformity for another, and pretending it’s the answer. Substituting robo-non-voting for robo-voting. Not gonna work.

  • Imagine, though.

    If only one percent were to vote in 2012 election, wouldn’t it put the entire political machinery out of business?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Why did America stop funding UNESCO after recognition of the Palestinians? Here’s a clue – it wasn’t Obama’s choice. It was already LAW, passed and voted upon during the Bush Sr. and Clinton administrations, and no, Obama couldn’t just wave a pen and spend X millions of dollars.

    Oh, but I forGOT! Everything bad that America does or has ever done is Obama’s fault, and I’m just Obama’s lapdog for ever defending him even once, never mind that I’ve defended Reagan many times and have never said anything bad (but several things good) about the Bush Sr. presidency!

    Yep! That’s me, who only thinks in terms of GOP bad, and Dems good!

    But just on the off chance that maybe, just MAYBE you’ll see past your Glenn-is-all-that-is-evil-in-the-world habit, here’s a pertinent quote:

    Laws from 1990 and 1994 prohibit American financing of any UN organization that recognizes Palestine as a member. That means a quarter of UNESCO’s funding, beginning with $60 million scheduled for this month, will dry up. Although the Obama Administration will try to find ways to support UNESCO in other ways, State Department attorneys see the US law prohibiting funding for UNESCO as air-tight, and UNESCO is prohibited from using any ‘extra’ funding for operations.

    So it doesn’t matter that this was all because of laws passed by two Republican presidents (since Clinton at times sure acted like a Republican!), and it cannot matter that Obama’s trying to find ways to work around the law. All that matters is that Obama MUST be blamed for everything, and anyone who defends him must be condemned!!!!

  • Wasn’t talking about Obama, Glenn, only about US foreign policy.

  • Mark,

    connect with me, got to rehash something with you.

  • troll

    hi Rog – what’s up?

  • Think got a helluva idea. We can have a discussion group on TD, apart from the threads, PM, private message mailboxes are available — I think seven people should be max, like Plato’s symposium. Draw up a list, I have mine in mind to and we can compare notes. I’ll email the game plan in greater detail once I get me some smokes.

    What do you think?

  • troll

    two notions: transparent and inclusive processes

    these are valuable (things to strive for) in consensus based social space

  • My thinking is — each of us have things on the burner, things that bug us and cry for more precise articulation. (Cindy’s concept of “indoctrination” is a perfect example).

    My plan, a presenter poses a question or problem, however well or poorly articulated. Thereafter, that issue becomes the subject to open discussion. Once the discussion comes to a natural stop (a la Wittgenstein), the presenter drafts a paper of essay which, again is made subject to an open discussion. Then we’re done. Thereafter, we move to the next person, and so on, so as to come full circle.

    These discussions could than serve as a basis of a curriculum for a Public University For Radicals. (Yes, I entertained ideas like that even fifteen years ago, but now the time is ripe). It could be a start of alternative education system, and no, we don’t need no stinking badges.


  • troll

    groups working toward the production of ‘statements of consensus’ on topics like ‘how to identify indoctrination in behavior’ or ‘checking one’s privilege’ could be valuable

    think blogcritics format set on its head…perhaps groups could ‘occupy’ threads here and figure out how to keep the powers of hierarchy at bay

    I have little interest in a ‘debate society’ – my interest is in formulating solutions to perceived social problems approximating my frequently stated bromide: if it works at all then it works for all

  • But formulating solutions is precisely what I have in mind — not a debate society. You’ve been pissed more than once about trolling that’s going on here, no one’s getting anywhere. Also you talk of production of ideas as a valuable asset. That’s precisely what I have in mind, in an environment unoccupied by trolls. Besides, it shouldn’t preempt all of your time, no more in any case then you spend on these threads. There are plenty of people that need to be reached, that are hungry for truth. An open university would be one way of outreach, during the revolution or after. I’m suggesting a practice, but we ourselves have to be clear-minded if we are to be effective and persuasive communicators.

    Trolling this site is not what I had in mind, but I see your point.

  • Well, in any case, I’m not in the position to join the occupy at present. In two or three months from now, once I move to CA, I’ll connect with the Oakland group. Meanwhile, I was thinking of doing something constructing. I’m not going to be bashing heads with people who want to go nowhere. It’s not constructive work.

  • … doing something constructive …

  • “Occupy BC,” a new motto.

  • Kurtz would have loved it.

  • Besides, don’t you think that “occupy” is only an intermediate strategy, the whole idea behind it being — to eventually ignore them and build structures that are independent of the existing ones, to generate a critical mass behind the movement so as to eventually replace them and render them obsolete at all levels, from little hamlets to townships to a big city, even to Washington, DC.

  • troll

    …at one GA that I attended we got egged by harassers – didn’t stop the work from proceeding and in the end after several days of gentle persuasion some of the egg-throwers joined in allowing their voices to be incorporated in the process

    no reason why participants on a given thread couldn’t come up w/ their own set of ‘rules of the road’ – they would then have to figure out what to do about flamers

    (a problem here at bc is that folks see themselves as arguing about ‘the truth’ or some such horseshit I guess)

    re 380 – yes I agree

  • troll

    ps to any possible egg throwers — (un)occupiers prefer them hard boiled and gently lobbed

  • So your objection has mainly got to do with delimiting the thread to the select few rather than starting with a free-for-all with rules stipulated in advance and then getting refined as time goes by?

    An experiment of sorts in the working of the democratic process?

  • and pass the salt, please …

  • troll

    the only per-existing rule needs to be that setting up some rules of conversation is first on the agenda

    visibility is important as well

  • Well, we’re in no position to make the rules here, but given the discussion framework that Truthdig provides, by way of discussion forums not associated with any particular article, that is a definite possibility.

  • t


  • troll

    …definitely worth messing around w/

    I haven’t spent any time at TD except on a few of the threads associated w/ articles

    sounds like you’ve found a space w/ potential!

  • Shoot, I was hoping for a Platonic Symposium without all the static, the purist in me, but now you’re bringing in the idea of direct democracy, which surely is messy.

    But I may as well get in step with the times. The time for the Symposium may have to await until the struggle is won.

  • If you think it’s a possibility, perhaps you can draft a proposal since you have first-hand experience with the workings of GA, if it isn’t too much. I’ll ask Anarcissie too. Meanwhile, I’ll see if I can reach a consensus. It would be inappropriate, I think, to start something like that in the comments space reserved for any particular article, but in discussion forums that truthdig affords, hell, the sky is the limit.

    What do you think?

  • Understand, too, I don’t want to be delimited to topics by the authors of truthdig articles. The people should voice their own concerns, which we can then discuss.

  • Anyway, if you’re too busy right now or have other things to do, come back later. I’ll wait before putting anything in motion. We want to be in agreement.

  • troll

    I’ll go take a look at the forum space you’re talking about

  • You’re a registered member, I believe. And if so, click on your name on top which opens the profile sections, and other things which come with it.

  • Fuck, I think I’m infected with revolutionary virus.

  • troll

    think of ways to draw in diverse voices…based initially on dedication to the process itself and to the participants

  • That’s the ticket. Kurtz comes to mind as well. “Dedicated to the process,” by that I suppose you mean dedicated to the movement, if not, correct me.

    I’ll put out the feelers.

  • Should have said, “the movement as well”

  • It was a good conversation. Will keep you appraised.

  • t


  • troll

    …it occurs to me that folks might benefit by paying less attention to Animal Farm and more to Homage to Catalonia these days

  • Right, much more appropriate for our times. As well as For Whom the Bell Tolls.

    To which I say time and again, with little or no resonance thus far,

    Which side are you on, boys?

    But there’s always hope.

  • cindy
  • troll

    Hi Cindy – something of a sore topic for me…

    it had been clear to me from the start of Albq’s physical squatting that sooner or later push would come to shove and arrests for trespass would be necessary acts of civil disobedience – I was down for this…the number for the civil liberties lawyer written on body parts etc

    unfortunately when the time came my family members made it clear that for their various understandable reasons my participation in such action at this time wouldn’t be acceptable…geeze what a dilemma as imo that level of theater is required

    …I’ve pulled back from the movement (and in fact have been generally alienated) for the past week trying to envisage how a lower level of involvement could be useful

    happily it looks like the presence of the ACLU has persuaded UNM to allow some level of protest in Yale Park for now

  • Anarcissie

    There are blogs and forums and wikis and software to support them aplenty, so I would not bother with any existing web sites (for example, TD). I am curious as to what sort of discursive space and geometry you envision. Typically an item of interest spawns a number of threads in a tree-like structure (although sometimes the threads loop or coincide). It has not been easy to conveniently represent this structure on the screens of PCs (or, indeed, anywhere else). So that might be an interesting problem.

    In regard to this, one might want to contemplate the deterioration of Usenet.

  • cindy

    Hiya troll,

    Thanks for the update. (Sorry you can’t get yourself arrested. ;-)…)

    I got to drive around Liberty Square in NYC. (Our power is still out and NYC was the closest hotel I could find with availability.) I am really unsure how Mayor of the 1% Bloomberg (who approves of cops fixing tickets for family and friends) could even care what the assemblers do. They are occupying a tiny, tiny spot and while I was there they were not interfering with anything. I could have made a dozen trips around the one block park without a wait.

    I will have a look at the Albuquerque news later.

    I like the forum idea and I like Anarcissie’s idea to begin anew, as well.

  • So do I, Cindy. The idea I had in mind is expressed in #373. As I said, my thinking is — everyone has their peculiar area of concern. In your case, for example, indoctrination is your thing. Who better can address this question other than you who experience it very personally; and this topic naturally yields itself to perhaps even more comprehensive treatment in terms of ideologies.

    In my case, I think I have important thing to say on the moral component of revolutionary thinking and moral language in general serving as it were a bridge to mobilize people both within and without the movement.

    I re-established contact with Shenonymous since I revisited truthdig, and she’s really very excited in terms of what is happening and quite ready to let some of her conservatism go. Whatever the case, she, too, would be great contributor not only by virtue of her intellectual traning and scope of knowledge, but also her level of enthusiasm.

    There are few other people on the truthdig side I sort of connected with, and I do appreciate their level of understanding and commitment; one of them practically begged to invite Anarcissie (and me) to his family for dinner and discussion (in NJ, btw), Many people would love to participate,

    I don’t know about “troll,” however, I haven’t come to an impression yet that there’s anything he considers “unresolved,” and if he does, he hadn’t made it known. As to Anarcissie, I consider her all-knowing, so I don’t know of what value this little project of I have in mind would be to her. (What I should say, she’s so far ahead of me in years and experience with activism, I’m rather shamed).

    But perhaps this comment, in addition to seconding your own support for some such idea, also goes part of the way to answer Anarcissie’s query (see above) concerning putting some meat on the bones.

    My impression is that “troll’s” initial rejection of my idea had to do with exclusivity. Well, hell with exclusivity, we’ll include anybody and everybody who’s willing and able — but I do want to have people with great fire power. Perhaps I’m being fucking selfish, but I want the best I can get.

    And there is no reason why this meeting of minds couldn’t be run like the GA’s in OWS, to replicate the process. We could thus have the best of possible worlds, both the process and the content.

  • @404

    Surely glad I’m not in your predicament, no siree. There’s no one on the face of this earth who could tell me to act contrary to how I think I should. Of course, there’s no one who depends on me either for their dire survival, which makes things easier. Hell, I can’t even depend on myself at times, chuckle chuckle.

    What’s that biblical saying, however? — What God has joined together let no man put asunder.

    In any case, I’m happy for you that the ACLU made some impact on the UNM decision, happy for you and everybody else. And yes, we do need that kind of street theater.

  • troll

    Anarcissie – perhaps side conversations could be viewed as ‘working groups’ that develop around proposals with the responsibility to come up w/ statements carried back to the ‘parent’ conversation w/in some self-imposed time frame

    useful types of comments: proposals – statements about why one would block the proposal – statements about why one cannot fully support the proposal (stand-asides) – amendments arising out of side conversations – statements about why one supports the proposal – statements facilitating the process…there must be a few more

    figuring out some way to model ‘stacking’ which serves the important function of focusing the group on input from all voices rather than the loudest or most eloquent is a puzzle

    the economist hosts a debate site with some structural elements like time frames to look at if we’re building our own…

    Cindy – (Sorry you can’t get yourself arrested. ;-)…)

    …cooking chicken soup today that hopefully will sooth my bruised self-esteem – – – and it does give me time to fill in the Graeber gap in my reading

  • troll

    …anyone know what’s going on over at Z? They were talking about setting something up along the lines of what we’re discussing on an international scale when I lost track

  • chicken soup’s always good.

    And don’t let me be the loudest voice, for crying out loud — the eloquent one I don’t mind. Haha …

  • Cindy used to be connected with it a while back. She might know.

  • Another idea, troll. I might check with one of Newsvine’s big wigs, Scot Butki, whether they’d allow a free-for-all bulletin board for radicals.

    Since it’s MSNBC-owned, it would be an occupation of sorts.

    You think?

  • cindy


    There are numerous free hosted forums. Every kind of fancy or plain you might want. The trick is to find one w/o a lot of ads. Have only done a single search and came up with loads. Haven’t looked at more than two links. Both have ads.

  • I know they are, kiddo. These are but technical maters, nothing we couldn’t overcome. It’s not the kind of resistance I’m facing. I don’t exactly understand what Mark has in mind, though I’m all for the process. And Anaricissie, too, in her personal communication to me. revealed she’s rather skeptical about the content or the purpose.

    I happen to think my idea is just fine, all it takes is a bit of imagination, but I’m really discouraged by the naysayers, especially naysayers whose opinion I value and respect.

    Perhaps you should speak to them.

  • … there are …. (first line)

  • cindy


    The last time I was involved, we tried to start a community on Z and were willing to do a lot of work to attract people. Michael Albert had some sort of reluctance to letting us name it using the Z name for the community of users or something. I think no one asked him if we could call it whatever we called it. Something like that. No one stopped us. But, as I recall, the discussing with ‘the management’ stage never got overcome. Egos on both sides prevailed. I didn’t get involved in that part. I just lost interest quickly after that. I was really looking for a vibrant welcoming thing. I was ready to dedicate a lot of time. It wasn’t the right time. There is still great hope to do something within Z, but it will take some patience and…a bit of creativity. I had some great ideas about messaging people invites to the community forum and contacting users who drifted off. Sadness.

  • cindy

    But, it is certainly a possibility. Though egos are present (I chalk it off to the likelihood that we all have issues.), Michael is neither unapproachable nor domineering if memory serves.

    Oh, I recall. The community began discussing all of the clunkyness of the website and what needed changing and we had people who could actually program or whatnot. I guess it got to feel like too much of a takeover for Michael? Sorta something along that line.

  • We don’t need Michael or whomever. All we need is to become of one mind. That’s all it takes, nothing more. The rest is gravy.

  • cindy


    I think a forum that worked according to anarchist principles is an excellent idea. It does not need to be perfect. I like the idea of starting and learning as it goes. 😉

    There is nothing to judge at the moment as nothing exists but some enthusiasm. I understand entirely your need not to have that squished right off the bat and can only say…

    Dear Anarcissie, give a guy a chance. 😉

  • cindy

    (Roger, I was referring to Michael at the Z site, in response to troll.)

  • cindy

    Oh, btw I do like gravy. 😉

  • cindy

    All we need is to become of one mind.

    Or one heart… They are amazing, if you have never seen them you will like them. As well as good old Bob Marley, of course.

  • cindy

    Don’t know how that link got there when I typed Bob Marley.

  • cindy

    BC instant adverts added to your comments.

  • cindy

    Anyhow, click on the One Heart link. The other is some automatic ad that makes it hard to see what the commentor is actually linking to.

  • I’ve already accepted the idea of free-for-all, Cindy, even if it’ll include trolls. But let’s get it going, for chrissake.

  • cindy

    I am off to sleepytown. Been a drain not being at home. Nightie night.

  • Cindy, depending which browser you are using, there are plugins available that remove ads, which might be one way of dealing with your objection to ads.

    It’s not an objection I used to share, but the way this site is going I might start using such a plugin myself!

  • Jordan Richardson

    AdBlock is the one I use (for Google Chrome). I’m pretty sure it’s available for Firefox and other browsers too.

    I see absolutely NO ads on this site (or most sites). Quite nice.

  • Couldn’t help but to steal this from another site:

    “A margin of wealth is helpful to civilization, but for some mysterious reason great wealth is destructive…great display is heartless.”

    “Authoritarian governments don’t like dictionaries. They live by lies and
    bamboozling abstractions. They can’t afford to have words exactly defined. “

    Sir Kenneth Clark (1903-1983)

  • troll

    Thanks for the sad update on Z Cindy –

    re skepticism over content and purpose of a forum –

    when I took to the streets (our streets btw) I did so w/ the clear intent to support the development of consensus based representative democracy in action (how those terms will end up being defined w/in the movement in the long run remains to be seen)…I found that consensus building is pretty alien to lots of folks myself included…my interest in a forum would be to offer a virtual space structured to support experimenting w/ and developing the art (which when you get right down to it is more fun than a hula hoop)

    content? dunno…there are plenty of concepts in need of clarification w/in what I’ll show risky hubris by calling the new paradigm – how useful such clarification developed in virtual space could be back in the world is a question

    my own biggest issues? after logistics I guess my next interest would be in coming to some agreement w/ an online group about what it means to represent which will become more important as occupies start to coordinate their actions…if nothing else such a discussion would inform my own direct action

    to that end if you want to start playing around I just posted the question here and await proposals…we could transfer what we come up with to a more developed space anytime

    others w/ their own questions could easily throw up blog spaces to start discussing them

  • I don’t see why concern over content should serve as any serious obstacle to replicating the kind of process demonstrated by OWS’s GAs — especially if the express or predominant purpose would be to develop alternative strategies for translating the revolutionary ideas into action (which entails coordination).

  • Anarcissie

    I’m not depriving anyone of a chance. At this point, being an engineer of sorts, I’m trying to figure out what you all want to do and what kind of logical structure would underlie it. What I was dubious about was the idea of discussions coming to conclusions, especially in open-ended, poorly-defined areas like political theory. The GA-like events I have attended have all been about actually doing things in the physical world, for example actually making physical repairs to a building and finding the money to pay for them, so they had a kind of finitude and definition enforced by the laws of physics which isn’t going to be present in more abstract areas.

    More later, maybe….

  • Shoot, Anarcissie, looks like we’ve got a serious disconnect here between the technical and ideological aspects of the movement. I’m all for the former, and I’ve already contributed whatever money I can to make it a go; and I’m certain to do more in the near future. But for chrissaske, you are a revolutionary, not a geek. Leave that job to others, and let us do what we’re best at.

    In any case, my newest article should be upcoming shortly, thanks to the all-empathizing editor. I sure hope it’ll keep you from going astray.

    You have considerable brain power., The ideals such as the democratic process and reaching the consensus, admirable as they are, shouldn’t stop us from we’re best at, especially since these purposes are not contradictory. Leave the technical aspects of the operation to geeks.

    I’m equally disenchanted with “troll” who, as if overwhelmed by the moment, appears to have forgotten his greatest strength — clear and critical thinking.

    I’m all for the people, Anarcissie. I sincerely believe that, when let to themselves, the people will find the way and that it will be for the best. But what has it got to do with what we have to do and must do. I can’t deny myself just because the revolution is on. And neither should “troll” nor you.

    And BTW, the article has just been published, “Ethics, Politics and Emotion.”

  • troll

    Anarcissie – I understand your concerns

    I’d be satisfied if an online group could ‘concretize’ some of that political theory through agreements on simple behavioral guidelines (solutions) developed in self-imposed time frames…not expecting to find some law – only what the group thinks might work at the end of a period of consensus seeking conversation

  • Anarcissie

    Acting on the world requires a dialog with the world: think of something, do something, see what happens, rinse, repeat. Science and engineering. But this is assuming you know what you want to do. People start with different genes and develop in different situations and have different experiences, so they have different values and different capacities for realizing their values. Furthermore their values, intentions and capacities change over time. All this in a context of profound ignorance. Hence my suspicion of authority and government.

    One can set aside some of these limitations for the sake of art — our dreaming side — but not in dealing with the hardness and opacity of the material world, where long journeys begin and are carried forward with short steps. In my opinion, of course. I don’t want to forbid anyone’s joy ride, but I do observe most joy rides end up approximately where they started.

  • Let me cite a counterexample, I think.

    Let’s take the genesis of OWS (as it developed thus far). There have been some people to begin with who had an idea of two, not necessarily the same idea, more than one, more likely. Gtaeber’s was one, and there some other groups, organization or simply activist, each of whom had their own concept of what to do and what might become of it.
    Now, once the thing got of the ground, it seemed to have acquired a life and momentum all its own, and that’s inspire of infighting, infiltrators, etc. It seemed to have grown as it were organically. So the sense of the movement sort of arose spontaneously, it wasn’t prompted by any leaders (because, presumably, there aren’t any leaders) but from the people themselves. The people knew.

    Now, I see that as a somewhat different model than the one you’re arguing for in #437.

    The link, btw, to new piece which sorts of provides a common thread with a positive twist, via the concept of “justice,” (insofar as OWS may be regarded as having been fired precisely by the prevalence of injustice in our society).

    Taking about finding a common ground, how much more common ground can there be?

    Everybody understands that!

  • troll

    Rog – (while I don’t follow the path of saginess with its built-in hierarchies and master/servant rhetoric myself) knowing something of your aspirations and given the frequent course of your interactions here’s some ancient wisdom for you to reconsider:

    “The river carves out the valley by flowing beneath it.
    Thereby the river is the master of the valley.

    In order to master people
    One must speak as their servant;
    In order to lead people
    One must follow them.

    So when the sage rises above the people,
    They do not feel oppressed;
    And when the sage stands before the people,
    They do not feel hindered.

    So the popularity of the sage does not fail,
    He does not contend, and no one contends against him.” TAO TE CHING

    do what you’ve gotta do

    Anarcissie – sounds like you don’t think that the idea of practicing consensus building online holds much value

  • I was only suggesting a starting point, “troll,” nothing but a starting point (since we were looking for one, I was under the impression). Was I doing anything more?

    And for chrissake, what’s so esoteric about justice? It’s part of our goddamn language. We come equipped with all the tools we’ll ever need. And moral language comes part and parcel, it’s second nature. All that’s needed is to re-activate it and make it come alive.

    Am I fucking insane here or something?

  • Cindy,

    This one is right up your alley.

  • This is a better url, Cindy, showing all videos.

  • Anarcissie

    Not a lot of consensus has been reached in the first 7000 years of philosophical discussion.

    As to justice, I’ll just note that the etymological root of the word, iou-, refers to either the gods, or oaths (promises to the gods). ‘The gods’ is one of the subjects about which mankind has not ceased to quarrel since as far back as we can remember our quarrels.

  • Anarcissie,

    the context in which I discuss and raise the question of justice is moral/political — whatever the etymology. I should say it’s quite a respectable context.

    Think Wittgenstein and the idea of language games, in this case the language game of morals. There’s nothing metaphysical about it; even ordinary speakers of a language, alas, especially the ordinary speakers, are quite facile at that game, know the rules/moves of the game, and can navigate with the greatest of ease — if they want to play it, that is.

    Again, I don’t understand the source of puzzlement here.

  • Anarcissie, that quarrel may be so persistent because human evolution is clearly a far from finished process and, like many processes, is not at all a neat and tidy linear matter, with forward and back outliers co-existing…

  • @444

    What’s really upsetting that now since the revolution is on — I’m speaking metaphorically now — both you and “troll” seem to have adopted a kind of litmus test to test the person’s purity and commitment to the revolutionary principles.

    It’s precisely this kind of thinking which led to the Reign of Terror in post-revolutionary France, when people started chopping one another’s heads off, hoping all the time their own heads won’t end up on the guillotine.

    Well, I refuse to play that game.

  • troll

    Anarcissie – Not a lot of consensus has been reached in the first 7000 years of philosophical discussion.

    …has consensus been the goal generally speaking?

    Rog – I don’t know quite what to make of #446

  • What I’m saying, I see all kinds of inconsistencies creeping up into everybody’s thinking since “the revolution is on.”

    For example:

    Before After

    production of ideas is not anymore

    Anarcissie complains of It’s free for
    infiltrators/agents pro- all now
    vocateurs/trolls, even
    “the liberals” on TD site
    who only stymie the discus-
    sion, and no one gets no-

    Just two examples. Look, you’re talking of consensus, but the composition of GAs themselves, thus far, not to mention their success, has been predicated on splitting the activists into smaller groups; only with smaller groups that you have any kind of chance of reaching a consensus, and so it goes from group to group, combine them whichever way you care, horizontally, vertically, whatever. The extending of the consensus outwards is problem, and it must be dealt with when the time comes, but for crying out laud, one has first got to start somewhere. It’d seem all of you want immediate results overnight. It just doesn’t happen that way. Hold your horses and revolutionary pitch. Small baby steps, no other way to go.

    And what makes everyone think my proposal — “discussion group,” your term — was to feed my own ego? I am convinced that, for some of us at least, it’s the right way to go and the right thing to do. In any case, we’ve got to be thinking about re-inventing ourselves and re-inventing our institutions, and again, this won’t happen overnight, trial and error is an unavoidable part of the process. So what I really don’t understand how come all of you jump on me as though I committed the greatest sin by virtue of my proposal.

    I mustn’t be pure enough or not sufficiently committed to the cause of the revolution as some other people might be.

    Ergo — let’s chop his head off.

  • You want consensus, Mark, a far- and wide-reaching consensus: speak the truth and nothing but the truth and you shall find it. The 99 percent are hungry for the truth, and I’m not going to worry about the remaining one percent who live a life of lie. It was truth that marched in the forefront of the abolition movement and truth that has won the civil rights struggle. “The truth is marching on!”

    Why make things complicated?

  • troll

    …so who’s chopping your head off or stifling your proposed discussion Rog?

    as I said in response to your: But what has it got to do with what we have to do and must do. I can’t deny myself just because the revolution is on. And neither should “troll” nor you.

    do what you’ve gotta do

    that does not mean that I accept your approach as timely or appropriate for myself

    the composition of GAs themselves, thus far, not to mention their success, has been predicated on splitting the activists into smaller groups; only with smaller groups that you have any kind of chance of reaching a consensus

    the working groups that I’ve been involved with have varied in size from five to thirty(ish) and have been in no way exclusive — participation has been based on interest and hasn’t been limited to those with expertise only

    It’d seem all of you want immediate results overnight. It just doesn’t happen that way. Hold your horses and revolutionary pitch. Small baby steps, no other way to go.

    GAs have been generating results on the ground from the start — the challenge is keeping up with them

    And what makes everyone think my proposal — “discussion group,” your term — was to feed my own ego?

    who said they think it is?

    So what I really don’t understand how come all of you jump on me as though I committed the greatest sin by virtue of my proposal.

    who jumped on you for making your proposal — my criticisms here have been directed at limiting the number of participants and at your contentious style

    as for your #449 — I agree that speaking one’s truth is a good idea…whether and how it guarantees consensus is another matter

  • You can’t forge consensus, Mark, by organizational tricks, however well intended. Either it’s going to happen or it’s not going to happen. Much depends on the moment and people’s readiness, but there’s no better way of striving for it than speaking the truth. It’s not something that should be arrived at by artificial means, it’s got to grow from the people’s minds and hearts, organically. Otherwise, we’re talking about compromise — the very thing we see in our corridors of power day in and day out.

    If my “style” is contentious — and thank you, BTW — it’s only because the message is being met by the sea of resistance, not only from our well-meaning liberal friends here, but also from such radicals as Anarcissie and you. At least that’s my impression.

    Well, I’ve given up on our well-meaning friends for the time being, but I haven’t given up on you. Consequently, all of you are forcing me to speak with a stronger voice. I wish I didn’t have to.

    Tell you what! I’ll wait for Cindy’s response before I declare myself completely insane. If she’ll so no merit whatever in what I’m saying, I’ll abide by the group decision and do whatever you want me to do.

    [And BTW, I believe I’ve already reneged on the original idea of having the group limited to any number of participants (you spoke of generating the rules of engagement as the process evolves, and I concurred), so it’s a moot point by now.]

    In closing, I don’t think even people like Hedges and other well-meaning authors of Truthdig or any other radical site (even though they put their bodies on the line) are asking the kind of questions that ought to be asked. Their stuff isn’t penetrating enough. Too fucking pedestrian. We can do better. You can do better. I can do better. Cindy can go better. Anarcissie can do better.

    We’re living in challenging times. Let’s challenge the shit out of this world. There’s no better time than now.

  • I’m aware, btw, that the source of my error may have to do with not paying sufficient attention to the process. And if my focus on “results” overshadows the importance and integrity of the process — the heart of democracy — than I stand corrected and must revise some of my thinking.

    If you have a suggestion or two concerning the latter, don’t hesitate to speak your mind.

  • troll

    there’s an interesting question — just what are the natures of the consensuses being achieved through GA processes?

    in what sense is the 9/10 super majority of ows’ process consensus?

    the ‘total consensus’ process in Albq allows for stand-asides that don’t require that the proposal in question be tabled…consensus?

    what about the 5-finger approach that defines consensus as 2/3 agreement?

  • t

    …the Zapatistas communities as I understand their approach shoot for actual total consensus and will spend months on single topics to achieve it

  • Decent exposition by Chomsky on OWS, Boston, one hour long if you can stand it. “Decent” is the only word I can muster.

    For all the right things he says, and there are many, Chomsky is the apparent victim of a paradigm that’s beyond fixing, the same ole’ stale thinking, the belief the system can fix it all.

    It’s time to replace old farts like Chomsky with people who truly believe and speak with determination, force and conviction. Working within the system is not an option. Re-inventing it is the only solution.

    “Are you ready for the challenge?”

    “Are you ready for some football?”

    However the brief description of Chomsky;s talk misrepresents him via sound-bytes. Even so, Chomsky cows down to the powers that be, the political system in place. Building the masses behind you doesn’t have to translate, it had better not translate to, building a powerful opposition.

    I know, I know, it’s one possible scenario, but fuck you all, we can do better than that, much better.

    Let’s dismantle the political and economic basis upon which this country was built and survived thus far — count the hours and it’s demise and certain and short-lived — and let’s instead re-build it from ashes.

    Again, it’s about time the people took control of their political and economic destiny.

  • Okay, Cindy will provide the right links.

  • troll

    Cindy twittered a link to a relevant take on the consensus process

  • It’s under consideration. Will respond tomorrow,

  • A bit of stale news, but here’s a take from an old voice, somewhat disconcerting. I asked for permission to post a link, but in the customary manner was rewarded by silence.

    So here it is anyway: “Occupy in Denial of Anarchist Influence.”

    Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I may care to comment.

  • On a somewhat related or unrelated note, here’s a short clip from NPR’s Morning Edition show on the Anonymous. A full feature article is to appear in wire.com today, still waiting. Meanwhile, here’s a teaser.

    A possible guerrilla tactic to be employed on occasion by the OWS troops?

    Just wondering.

  • @457

    Great piece on the art of communication and decision-making processes, especially the distinction between identifying people’s needs/concerns vs. the diverse voices. It unveils the emotional component underlying all dialogues, showing how, when not tended to, we happen to be talking past one another.

    Any thoughts on how to restructure “the project” in light of this?

  • 459 He’s entitled to his own misguided opinion about anarchism.

    The property damage seems to me to be typically done by certain young male anarchists who mostly (but not always–some make better defenses, imo) strike me as having a fetish for destruction, though they will claim it is being used as a tactic. But why use a tactic in such a way as to lose more than you gain? Why always use a single tactic? Why use a hammer to pound in screws when a screwdriver might yield better results, for example? If one insists upon always using a hammer where another tool would be more effective, then it seems to me one’s obsession with using hammers might be a more salient factor in one’s behavior than the claim that one is using the hammer as a tool.

    I think using such a tactic under such a circumstance (where the community is attempting to vitalize a horizontal organization of power) has more relationship with replicating the culture they are ostensibly trying to smash. It is antisocial because it is disrespectful to the group process. I also think they are often unrelentingly hostile and have more of a stake and satisfaction in defining themselves as against other people than an interest in creating another world. Though I can understand their rage and their hostility, I think they take it too far. For crying out loud, why keep attacking liberals who are attempting to employ direct action and consensus decision-making? What is that about? They also seem to like being “cooler than” liberals. That strikes me as another indoctrinated wish (that plays on the real need for inclusion) that replicates destructive means to fill real social needs, which is a method offered by the society they despise, when ‘it’ rears us to become antisocial. (Perhaps, so we will believe it is natural and some can continue living at the expense of others with impunity. While others tolerate and except their own slavery as ‘natural’.)

    I do think there is a place for black bloc and such tactics as property destruction. I don’t think this circumstance was the place. I think that the Greek uprising was an appropriate place, for example.

    If you would like to see what is happening in the anarchist community over it, anarchistnews.org will give you a microcosm of the varying views. Just type Oakland in the search box and you can see what those who defend the tactic say as well as what those who feel the tactic was less appropriate to the circumstances. (I would, of course, be in the 2nd camp and have made two comments about why and will repost some of this one there too.)

  • I wasn’t criticizing Chomsky’s right, and as regard Kurtz’s article only posed a question. But I would like you to chime in on what we’ve been originally discussing.

  • Chomsky?

    Are we on the same page?

    (Hiya, Roger. 🙂

  • Here’s a good article on TD from The Guardian on the connection between police tactics vs. OWS and the Patriot Act, along with my comment:

    The connection made by the author of the article in the Guardian between police tactics and the Patriot Act is a very real one and deserves utmost consideration. The Patriot Act has a symbolic meaning in that it represents a significant step on the trajectory of an embattled State in its slide from what may have been a pseudo-democratic regime into what Agamben, among other people, calls “the state of exception.”

  • Hi, I thought you were also referring to my #455, but I see that wasn’t the case.

    Anyway, have you given some thought to what I was suggesting? If you’d rather do it via email correspondence, OK, but this forum is just as good to iron out the wrinkles especially since “troll” and Anarcissie are participating as well.

    I am looking for some kind of show of support, because as now, I feel I’ve been dropped like a hot potato. People voice their objections, but then fail to come up with proposals of their own.

  • troll

    please restate your proposal Rog…I’ve gotten a little fuzzy on what you want to do

  • One of Chris Hedges’ best: “Finding Freedom in Handcuffs.”

    The underlying themes — morality, justice, Immanuel Kant, Hannah Arendt …

  • Hiya again, Roger. Sorry, I had just gotten here last night and began from the last comment and made mine. I see I missed a whole bunch.

    We are in the hospital again (just a high fever, requiring blood cultures), after spending two nights at home after the storm. So, I sort of spent my free time here reading articles and tweeting them. Too tired to do much else. I will catch up when I get home tonight or in the morning.

  • Oh, and thanks Christopher and Jordan for the ad block links. Never knew there was such things.

  • Roger! Thanks so much for Grace Lee Boggs and that On Being blog, as well. Love, love, love them.

  • OK, I’ll try to recap. Each of us are already more or less active participants on this and perhaps other sites as well. So it’s not exactly that we’d be required to do what we don’t already and quite routinely do, nor will it be required of us to reinvent the wheel. My thinking therefore is – why not create a comments space that will more adequately serve our needs and our concerns, more adequately than what appears to be available at the present?

    Now, why do I want to start with a nucleus as it were and then proceed co-centrically? Think me elitist if you like, but here are my reasons. In the course of my experience with BC and other sites as well, I’ve come to appreciate certain people more than others with respect to such aspects as dedication, intellectual integrity, sincerity and depth of concern, cogency of presentation, willingness to learn and to progress, innovation, power of ideas, and so on.

    Which isn’t to say other people don’t share in the same qualities, it’s just that in some, are far as I am concerned, those qualities shine more than they do in others. Mind you, it’s strictly a subjective judgment, but it’s my judgment.

    It stand to reason therefore, my reason, that those who are most actively engaged in thinking about the problems which face our society and humanity in general, those who are most dedicated and most deeply concerned, should take the initiative because they already show the initiative. It’s only a technical matter of re-channelling that initiative. And no, I don’t see the idea of a nucleus, in the sense I’m using it, as somehow antithetical to the idea of the democracy or the democratic process. We will include anybody and everybody, everybody who wants to be included, but we must start somewhere, and I think it’s a good start. If you think I’m wrong on this score, let me know.

    So yes, I do count Cindy, yourself, Jordan Richardson, Anarcissie, Shenonymous, some other people from the TD discussion boards as well, among such people. Each of us have a particular kind of concern which is personal, more personal to that person than to anyone else perhaps. In Cindy’s case, for example, it’s the idea of “indoctrination,” which idea lends itself to natural extension to include the topics of ideology and culture. With you, it’s something different. And so it goes for every person, and who better than that person to bring his or her concern forth for the purpose of sharing it, discussing it, whatever.

    What I’m saying, I don’t necessarily want to be limited to commenting on other people’s article (which, in more instance than one, don’t go far enough for my taste), but I surely would want to participate in and comment on Cindy’s article(s), or Anarcissie’s, or your or Jordan – again for the reasons mentioned. Besides, it’s almost as though I somewhat know you – considering the amounts of time we’ve all spent on this thread. So this is the general idea. The details can be worked out and make whatever “rules” on the go. You’re better at it than I am.

  • @469

    Look forward to that, Cindy. I do understand what you’re going through.

  • troll

    thanks for #472 Rog — sounds like more than anything you are encouraging us each to write analyses of what we think are critical issues…and thereby open up the discussion

    a good plan although a bit ‘out there’ for types like me who feel more useful cleaning up cig butts and such

  • Well, in that case you can be a mod, in which case there may be all kinds of butts to clean.

  • Well, I’d like Cindy, Anarcissie, you, etc. to steer me clear of obvious errors in my articulation of my concerns, since I’m not an island. And I’m certain that Cindy, Anarcissie and others share the same sentiment. Of course I envy you in that you have resolved everything to your satisfaction and experience no dire need to air things out, but I can assure you that’s not where I’m at.

    Which is precisely why you’d make a perfect moderator.

  • troll


  • Cindy, it may be eof as far as Mark is concerned, but I still want to talk to you.

  • Roger,

    I will try to steer you now: He didn’t say any of that. What is upsetting you? He’s being cooperative.

  • eof = end of file, no?

  • Yes, end of file.

    But what do you expect if you saddle him with this: “Of course I envy you in that you have resolved everything to your satisfaction and experience no dire need to air things out, but I can assure you that’s not where I’m at.”

  • Well, doesn’t “the conclusion” kind of follow from our exchange?

    Anyway, I’ll be our for an hour to get some smokes. Meanwhile, why don’t you give some thought to my concept and tell me what you think.

    I think it should go without saying that I value your (and some other people’s) judgment. It’s really beyond me how this should have been lost in the shuffle.

  • Prime examples of co-opting: Robert Reich and Robert Scheer speak at Occupy LA.

    Have lost all respect for these guys. Point a finger at “few bad apples” who have spun this country out of control,

    What a myopic vision; and the worst part is, they mean well.

  • Cindy,

    You’re awfully hard to communicate with. I understand it perfectly, don’t got me wrong.
    Still, you come in like a thief in the night and then you disappear, until you resurface again.

    How can we hope to have communication or reach understanding. It’s like playing a game cf chess postal way, till death do us part.

  • Cindy, you’ll love this discussion panel.

  • I apologize, Mark, for pressing too hard and getting sarcastic at the end. I thought I was addressing what I took for a need we all shared in common; apparently, it wasn’t so.


  • Mark

    Rog, watching you slide easily back into your well established patterns of incompetent listening and pointlessly abusive communication even in this friendly environment has strengthened my growing understanding that I need to make whatever changes necessary to get back on the streets where my particular skill set can be useful. That’s where the ‘structural barriers to democracy'(Kline) will be identified and addressed through direct action in this ‘no bullshit’ moment in our history.

    Peace back at ya.

  • I was being respectful all along, Mark, until you’ve finally said you’re not interested. Meanwhile, I was being strung along in terms of all kinds of detours and obstacles — the format wasn’t right, we should include everyone, etc., etc. You yourself have even posted your own question about modes of representation as an example of “your” proposal on one of Cindy’s website. All you had to do was say what you said just now, and I’d perfectly understand your reasoning and leave it at that. But your idea of listening to me ended up humoring me, and no, I don’t appreciate. “No” is “no” and I can understand that, end of discussion.

    As I said, I believe I was addressing what I assumed to be a need we all to some extent share in common — or at least have shared in the past, as based on all our past exchanges — and I’ve gone to great length, not to mention detail, to connect in precisely that way, thinking as I still do it was a great idea. Heck, I even said I’d abide by the group’s decision, come what may. Of course I understand your reluctance, especially in these times, to get involved in what I was proposing, but you should have told me that straight out and in unequivocal terms rather than, in the interest of politeness perhaps, ending up what I see as leading me by the nose. Fuck politeness, as simple “no” would have been a far more honest thing to do.

    And so now you fall on the reliable strategy of commenting on my character and my presumed faults and by virtue of what — one solitary, though admittedly, sarcastic comment prompted by my frustration in the course of three years or so of our exchanges? And even for that I apologized, and for no other reason that I respect you.

    Not fair, my man, not fair.

  • clarification of meaning:

    “frustration” references this one particular exchange, not the entire span of communications.

  • Mark

    I told you right off that I wouldn’t take part in a simple debate club – which is how I view your proposal. If I am wrong, prove me so over on your ‘justice’ thread and come up with something useful there that doesn’t simply end in circular meandering. I’ll keep my eye on it.

    fuck politeness?

    I will deal with you no further until you’ve developed the skill.

  • Yes, fuck politeness when it functions merely to prolong a conversation that should have come to a natural stop.

    As to my “justice” thread, it’s your loss that you see it as mere “circular meandering”. But it’s becoming apparent now since you haven’t posted a solitary comment.

    “Deal” with me? If that’s what you were doing all along, then do spare me the pleasure. “Develop the skill” posed as a precondition? Aren’t we putting ourselves here above another?

    But that’s alright. As I’m not in the habit of closing any doors, I’m not doing so now; but as things stand right now, further communication doesn’t serve any useful purpose.

  • Mark

    snaps fingers in the air indicating agreement with last sentence in 491

  • Igor

    IMO, Roger, in #483, illustrates (unwittingly) why the Occupy movement doesn’t put forward leaders and an agenda, as is so often demanded by outsiders who think they know better than the Occupiers:

    “483 – roger …

    Prime examples of co-opting: Robert Reich and Robert Scheer speak at Occupy LA.

    Have lost all respect for these guys. …

    What a myopic vision; and the worst part is, they mean well.”

    Condescending and patronizing.

    Any sentient person realizes that such attempts at trivialization and outright sneering are traditional tools of The Establishment to stamp out opposition.

    If The Establishment (say, Roger) can clearly identify a spokesman who seems to embody the persona of the upstarts, then it is a simple matter to discredit that person, and by implication the movement that we have chosen him to represent, for example, by citing his socialist past, his failed marriage, his arrest for littering, etc., anything at all. Maybe even his howl of victory at a post-election party (cf. Howard Dean) which no normal person would find unusual except when primed for disparagement by a partisan propaganda wave.

    If the establishment can identify a single agenda item to hold up for ridicule and disparagement then they can turn that over to their usual bully boys (The Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, National Review, etc.) where very articulate sophists will thrill to their well-contrived parodies and ironies (the modern establishment seems to thrive on Irony).

    Instead, the Occupiers seem to have almost instinctively realized the dangers of such divide-and-conquer opportunities and have refused to provide the purchase to their critics.

    By remaining amorphous (a very sophisticated Tao and Zen principle, after all) they continue to frustrate the Establishment and force it to find it’s failures within itself. As if to say “we don’t have to tell you what is wrong with your behavior because you already know what it is. Heal yourself”.

  • I don’t see where you disagree with me, Igor. I don’t think my comment about the two Bobs was either condescending or patronizing. I simply called it as I saw it.

    If you would have read my articles on OWS, you would have known that I’m all for the OWS to forge their own way, no outsiders, thank you.

    So really, perhaps you can enlighten me as to where we disagree, because I don’t see it.

    Indeed, as an example of what I regard as constructive kind of discussion, see my #485.

  • Igor

    Sorry, I don’t watch videos. Anything worthwhile will have a transcript.

    I don’t disagree with you Roger (as a rule, and I really don’t care), I just think that you exemplified a mistake, in that case.

  • In any case, there may or may not be a transcript, but the discussion I linked to is one of the kind.

  • I’m really encouraged by this post, Christopher.

    Do keep it up!

  • Roger,

    Um, what?

  • I was all over the boards last night, Dreadful, and yes, haven’t the faintest how #497 found its way here, nor what it pertains to. Too much Bombay I suppose.

    What are we arguing about, anyhow? Doesn’t make bloody sense.

  • Gin? Yeuch…

  • Yep, it’ll do it.