It’s disturbing enough that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security determined to investigated Occupy Wall Street as a “domestic terrorist” group. But the reality is even more absurd than that.
Via Digital Journal:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation knew of a plot to assassinate members of the Occupy Wall Street at protests around the United States but did not inform the potential victims of the threats to their lives.The shocking revelation was buried deep within documents released to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), a human and civil rights advocacy organization, after the group filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Last week, Digital Journal reported that the documents obtained by PCJF detailed how the FBI cooperated with the Department of Homeland Security, US military and private corporations to monitor and investigate Occupy Wall Street protesters as “domestic terrorists” and “criminals.” The documents prove that federal agencies are “functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and corporate America,” PCJF said.
Seems like the FBI needs a reality check. Who are the domestic terrorists, the banks who blew up the American economy with their absurd shadow banking and derivatives bubbles, whose business models were so fragile and interconnected that they required multiple bailouts just to stay afloat, or the overwhelmingly peaceful protestors who are angry at those banks who through greed and incompetence blew up the economy?
Don’t be on the wrong side of history…
Unfortunately, the wrong side of history tends to be the side without the guns.
Mussolini had an undignified end.
Don’t be on the wrong side of TRUTH, John! [Or your term, “reality”].
I don’t know anything about the following — do you?? Credibility of PCJF? Of Digital Journal? Actual content of FOIA document(s)? Validity of “knew of a plot to assassinate” and “did not inform the potential victims” IN CONTEXT of standard FBI investigative practice? Official (not journalist) labels of “terrorists” or “criminals”?
Here are some things I DO know that your sources either do not, or choose to suppress: “Occupy” activity included rapes, assaults, rampant property destruction, and myriad local law violations including obscene behavior, gross littering, resisting arrest, etc.
While banking/financial practices, legal and illegal, are even more (much more!) destructive to the public order and well being and do indeed call (scream!) for government investigation, prosecution, and legislation, there is little comparability or overlap with rioting.
Did you and/or your sources fall for the false propaganda of the political left (including Obama, Pelosi*, NY Times, and other radical Democrat politicians) that “Occupy” rallies were just like “tea parties*”?
* Pelosi was the point-person to smear “tea party” and other grass roots citizen rallies. She repeatedly “reported” pitchforks and swastikas, while producing ZERO witnesses or photos.
If it’s any consolation, I think that this document produced in 2009 by DHS which smears gun owners, Christians, conservatives, military veterans, Tea Partiers, etc as “potential terrorists” is just as bad as or worse than this, and had I been blogging at the time would have devoted quite a few posts to it.
The majority of evidence seems to be that Occupy is overwhelmingly a peaceful and nonviolent group. I know a lot of charges were thrown around by people like WND and Breitbart, but there doesn’t seem to much truth to them:
While there will probably be some littering and misbehaviour by any young group of people camping out in a large group, we need to keep in mind that this is by no means whatever “terrorism”. I will forgive them the littering and the socialist rhetoric (which you know I disagree with) because they are doing an important job of protesting against big banks, bank bailouts, and government complicity with big finance.
Meanwhile, time may not exist:
And Science Set Free, the new book:
All institutions are in place to protect the status quo. That’s why they call them, “institutions.”
And John, “the wrong side of history?” Tell that to all the native Americans [North and South] that were pillaged, raped, and slaughtered by various European interests over a five hundred year period.
When it comes down to it, one must dis-associate him/herself with any of these institutions and begin understand their own relationship with the world at large, not through the eyes of government, or corporations, or central bankers.
As long as these institutions own the agenda, the only debate will be over whether it is more appropriate to be held up at knife-point, or staring down the barrel of a .44 magnum.
Native Americans were, and are, mostly on the right side of history.
I believe that history is still written by the victors, and always will be, as this is one of the unwritten laws of, “complete victory in war,” meaning that not only did you loose life and property, but you also loose any claim to history. Humans are brutal, and much more so intellectually.
The first victim of war is truth.
If you listen to the second of those videos above you will hear about how powerful memory is, and start realising the single most influential element of the information revolution is that it has effectively created a global memory bank off which thoughts can be reflected to best accommodate the widest range of needs or wants in the most economic way, in the long term at least. The US is just more honest that other governments, all governments always have and still do spy on controversial thinkers and want to prevent competition in their local area. But the smartest governors (who I would argue remain largely of an American variety) realise that now you can only operate with continued success (in the long term) if you are up front with people.
Anthony de Jasay has written that:
“It would be unhistorical and worse to imply that the state will in general just up and do whatever most efficiently ensures its political survival and the fulfilment of such other ends as it may have. On the contrary, it is, time and again, liable to choose relatively inefficient means to its ends, and even retard or hinder their attainment, for its feasible choices are to some extent pre-set for it by the Zeitgeist, the ethos of time and place. It cannot, without endangering the often delicate compound of repression, consent and legitimacy which it is aiming at worst to maintain and at best to strengthen, resort to actions for which it has, as it were, no ideological licence”
With financiers like Thorsten Polleit seeing that private money supplies are already an inevitability, the US is arguably best positioned to profit from this rocky transition because, as Brad Pitt recently demonstrated, America is uniquely practical. Hugh Hendry has said similar things at the Milken Institute.
The problem with Occupy is it turned a protest into a gathering, which degenerates into a drinking session, and sometimes sexual liaisons get out of hand (Date Rape).
If Protesters wore their Sunday best, or Office attire. they would be listened to by the main stream media, and the general public.
Protests are OK, just don’t turn them into parties.
BTW The Orange Revolution protest in Ukraine was originally a Rock Concert organised and free booze and some say drugs were handed out. This brought in massive hordes of youths. It was a Political hijack and the Orange Revolution was a disgrace.
Green Conservatism & How to Think Seriously About the Planet: Roger Scruton’s Case for an Environmental Conservatism
I’ve always thought that Environmentalism is the anti-economics. Since people gave up on actually being accountable and responsible for their selling-out to the greed-mongers, these people now park their Prius’s in front of their $10M home with a crystal clear conscience.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve never met anybody who is in favor of dirty air or water, chemically-laced food, or any of the other non-sense that goes on. The funny thing is that so many of these people have no problem cashing those dividend checks derived form the multinationals that create most of the environmental dis-function.
Environmentalism is another word for, “I’ve sold-out so I have to believe in something,” or some such thing.
The way I see it, marching the streets and camping in inner city parks is fruitless. The movement needs to do a reality check.
We are in a fight, and as any good fighter will tell you it is best to offer the opponent as few angles of attack as possible, while at the same time one has to exploit the opponents weak spots. The Occupy movement does the exact opposite.
On the defensive side, the movement left itself totally open to attack by the MSM by erecting make shift camps with no sanitation in inner city parks, inconveniencing many non-participants and allowing for stories of people urinating in the streets and worse. Who is gonna join that crew?
On the offensive, the movement didn’t even touch its intended target, assuming it was the too big to fail banks and their political hand puppets. They were laughing all the way through, thinking “is this the best they can do?” How was JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs etc encumbered by the crowds actions? Puff of smoke, that’s all it was.
And most importantly, the message wasn’t clear. If you asked anyone today who didn’t actually participate in the protests what OWS actually stood for and aimed to achieve you’d likely get a “I don’t know, something about government and banks I guess”.
No, we as a group need to work smarter, use the system’s weapons against itself. Stop lamenting about the fact that in the world we live in money talks, but use it to our advantage..
If all those people who took to the streets for the Occupy campaign, say about a million world wide, stayed at home and instead used the money they’ve spent on getting there and financing their camp out, say $300 on average per person, and donated it to some form of Global Awareness Fund, they would have had 300’000’000 in the kitty, plenty of firepower to start us up.
Those $300 million would have bought a massive media campaign lasting for many months, eg 1’500 full page ads in major news papers, or spread it around, Google ads, TV and radio spots, plaster buses and subways, sponsor local sports teams etc.
The difference would have been:
a, The MSM would have gotten paid handsomely and hence would not have bitten the hand that feeds it. Besides, there would have been no negative images to be played in the evening news
b, People wouldn’t have had to take time off or travel anywhere, meaning more people could have joined the cause. Allow for the fact that most folks want to do the right thing but don’t want to go out of their way to do it. If they can help from home, via their computer, the better.
c, And most importantly, the message would have been louder and clearer, ordinary folks would have read it over and over, wherever they went. Focused, thought through and to the point. Explain the problem, offer solutions.
In my opinion far more effective in terms of raising awareness and attracting more people to the movement than roaming the streets and giving the cops a reason to beat up on you.
The vast majority of people out there can sense there is something wrong, but feel reluctant to change or powerless in the face of the enormity of the problem. It is those people the movement has to reach. It should not be about yelling at the banks, they won’t change, they are used to being yelled at.
Instead the goal should be talking to our fellow citizens who haven’t come on board yet, who are still unsure on why they should do something, or what they can do and what would change thanks to their actions. Our reasons/facts for why the time has come to make a stand against the machine are too persuasive for people to deny. They just need to be spread far and wide.
The movement has to grow, ideally exponentially. It has to inform and offer solutions to as wide an audience as possible, for as long as needed. Only once the campaign and its talking points are the lunch time subject at every work place and a glass raised to at every pub and people in droves taking coordinated measures to cap the system by its knees, will we have a chance to bring about meaningful change.
We have to reach the masses with a message that cuts through the daily spin, stating nothing but easily check-able facts and finishes with calling the viewer/listener to action, suggesting a variety of easily doable steps people could take to chip in and do their bit. Steps that are legal and don’t require leaving their couch if they don’t want to (which is most).
Every new person joining should be
1, doing something active that puts pressure on the the destructive corporate giants and their .gov bed fellows, such as shorting the stock of JPM, GS and BOA, participating in sustained phone campaigns clogging up the big banks and politicians switchboards, crafting a hand written letter to their senators and reps to tell them to go to hell, boycotting products and services by multinationals known to fuck us over at every turn and let their customer care department know why, and the list goes on…
2, putting $50 bucks towards replenishing/growing the war chest so that this campaign can run for as long as it takes.
3, given the option to have some form of input via a web portal, be involved in coming up and deciding on the messages for the next lot of ads.
If you can get within 12 months 10% of the US population to say fuck yeah, I can do this, then you have 1.5 billion dollars, an advertising budget many corporate giants can only dream of. And that’s just the beginning.
The movement would have no leadership per se, only a small number of admin staff placing the ads, maintaining the web portal and paying the bills. In order to remain as grass roots as possible it shouldn accept donations of natural persons only, not exceeding $1000. There should be no spokesperson, all the movement has to say can be taken from its web site and the ads/editorials it publishes. It is simply ordinary people taking over the airwaves.
I could keep writing about this forever. To sum up, I believe traditional means of voicing dissent are not helpful in today’s struggle to control/influence public perception. What is needed are PR cannons matching theirs, with a pile of financial ammunition building up on our side dwarfing theirs.
It is not a couple of hundred people walking circles with protest signs in front of their ground floor office doors that will make corporate greedheads and corrupt politicians shake in their boots. To get that effect they’d have to be opening week after week their newspaper during Sunday breakfast and reading full page letters to the American people clearly naming them as responsible for the mess and explaining why, outlining the banksters ripoff schemes, explaining the corruption and blatant redistribution of wealth that is going on and, to top it up, a list of suggestions on what ordinary people can do to put an end to this.
Nothing is gong to change until a great majority of the administrative [professional] class is affected by the depression in a significant way. As they have shown, they are more than willing to throw their children/parents under the bus, the mark of any truly caring society.
As long as Bernanke can prop-up real estate prices, keep their 401K’s in the green and interest rates low enough, these people can still make their economic lives work. Once the majority of doctors, lawyers, government administrators, etc., can no longer get by, things begin to change.
The problem with protesting is that the vast majority of Americans completely believe in the something for nothing system. The only thing they want is more free stuff, be it the corporate CEO or the welfare mom. Same deal.
You may be right, I don’t live in the States and my picture is mainly based on what I read and see in the media, but from my understanding your outlook is unnecessarily pessimistic.
The professional and higher up administrative class makes up 25% of the population at most, and even though they might still be able to afford the weekly trip to the beauty parlor or fancy restaurant, which I doubt all of them can, if on their way there they see billboards showing an actual email exchange between Goldman Sachs account managers on how they are ripping the faces off muppets, that being their middle class clients, then those folks will have something to talk about while they have their dinners and manicures.
Also, you wrote “As long as Bernanke can prop-up real estate prices, keep their 401K’s in the green and interest rates low enough, these people can still make their economic lives work.” A lot of ifs in that statement. How long do you think Bernanke can prop up the real estate market with real wages falling fast? Don’t you think there are professionals out there today, who despite Ben’s mightiest efforts sit on mortgages or investment properties with negative equity?
How many 401K’s are still in the green? With interest rates near zero no one with any cash to put aside is earning enough interest to call it saving, hardly keeping up with inflation.
Anyhow, I think that for real change to occur, for incompetent and corrupt heads to roll and bankrupt banks to close, for corporate giants to change their ways, it doesn’t take such a huge number of activists. Just 20% of the US population, 1 in 5 Americans, and its game over. 60 million people pooling $50 each and you got $3 billion dollars, that’s more than JP Morgan’s annual marketing budget. Plenty of lawsuits and unconventional or shall we call it asymmetric actions one could finance with that kind of money.
It all starts with believing that can be done. Everything else follows.
You’re talking about people who have little alternative vision, so it’s better to hang on for dear life then it is to consider change. “The devil you know…,” kind of idea.
I am a physician and I can tell you that the vast majority of doctors in this country are incredibly unhappy people. Most of my generation [I am in my fifties] went into health care because the social contract [at the time] more or less promised us financial security if we played the game by the rules, that is, do the school thing, build a practice based on providing excellent patient care, etc.
Well, that all began to change as the insurance companies and other corporations turned health care into a cash-cow for themselves. The vast majority of those still doing well are simply adept at manipulating the system, over-testing, over-prescribing, over-everything, because the insurance companies only pay you for making money for them.
This can not go on forever, but in the meantime, professional people have little to fall back on because they have no little purpose other than the material life. So, they hang on to what’s left of it.
Pretty pathetic. Nobody is really interested in real answers because that means facing the stuff in their lives that they have always used [drugs, alcohol, TV, sex, etc.] to distract themselves.
Real change means REAL sacrifice, and this is one word that was shown the door in American society in 1971.
I can imagine that living in today’s consumer society, surrounded by people who seemingly can never get enough, would leave one feeling pretty jaded. Its not all that different here in Australia, just a little less extreme I suppose. Haven’t experienced anything like the crazy footage we see from your Black Friday shopping mania though.
So, what should a sane person do? Throwing the hands in the air with a big sigh and exclaiming there is just nothing we can do is surely one option, but its not the only one. I prefer to look at it from a more pragmatic point.
I know that there is a number of people large enough to form a critical mass. Take the huge number of men and women of all ages and backgrounds who actually marched during the OWS campaign for a starter, add the ever growing community of intelligent and intellectually engaged bloggers, youtubers and,their audience, (including yourself I take it) and you already got enough folks who are prepared to act in some form or another.
To get people to join a movement takes a few people with charisma and enough brave first wave followers. Combine that with a message too hard to ignore and you got yourself a snowball rolling down a snow covered mountain. The following short video is quite instructive. Recommended viewing for anyone interested in group dynamics.
I do hope that at the end of the day there will be enough of us channeling our contributions and efforts to create the unstoppable force that meets the movable object.
i have studied adveratising with major advertisers as mentors. What you need to do is find a main stream advertising media unit that has control of billboard space, train carriage space and offer them the contract. You will need to set up a non profit organisation to channel the money and ensure accountability. You don’t want to be accused of mismanagement and excessive executive remineration. But basically a campaign based on the strategy of the World Wild Life. Fund.
Welcome to the club. Perhaps we start the campaign in Switzerland? The rich meet there right? You have to give them warning first before influencing mobs world wide.
You need short catchy memorable lines and images that invoke emotion. Don’t baffle the masses with too much information. E.g. ” 1 percent equals happy 99 percent is you”. let the person reflect on whether they are happy or sad. Things like that provide cut through and enable though provocation. They can easily go to the internet for more information.
Juan: An imposing tutorial on grass-roots action — strategy and tactics! I hope groups with positive values and objectives, such as “tea parties”, will learn from it and act on it.
But WHAT are YOUR values and objectives?
Good to see you believe the idea has merit.
My values and morals stem from the golden rule: do as you please but harm no others. That’s pretty much how I live my life.
objectives: I assume you mean my political objectives. Well, here I have ideas most people I have mentioned them to so far disagree with.
I believe that we need to do away with congressional/parliamentary elections. All they produce is a bunch of people who will vote in 9/10 cases along party lines, no matter how sound the opposition arguments are. Might as well have robots in there, much cheaper.
I suggest instead to have parliamentarians selected like jurors, randomly picked from the population at large.
Instead of doing static selections where all members of parliament are chosen at the same time, do them in a rolling fashion, every month 2% of the seats are up for “refreshing”. This way there is no noticeable disruption to sittings and a continuum of policy.
Some computer generates from all tax file numbers the 500 or so people for the next 4 years. If someone is selected for parliamentary/congressional duty but has reasons why one can’t or doesn’t want to participate, no problem, the computer randomly picks a replacement till the 500 spots are filled.
What you would get is a real cross section of the community, cleaners, teachers, military personnel, admin clerks, factory workers, etc, instead of our current system’s elitist gang of former lawyers, inbred political class and ‘uptown niggers’, as one of my aboriginal friends once referred to the sell outs.
We would have parliaments made up of people of all socio-economic backgrounds, age groups, creeds and colors, people who know that after their four years making decisions concerning everybody else, they will have to go back to their former life and face their co-workers.
Any decisions mus have at least 60% support and should on contentious issues no such majority can be found, a plebiscite is being held and the population determines the result with simple majority vote.
The Supreme Court should be constituted the same way, a computer randomly picks from a list of all eligible lawyers and legal professionals. Good by to political appointments and intellectual stonewalling.
The result would be a democracy in its true sense. No more elections campaigns that can be bought. No more revolving doors between politics and the corporate world, actual mothers and fathers with kids in the armed forces deciding if the call for war is worth their children’s lives.
I believe the difference in policy outcomes would be stunning.
Having said that, whilst I would submit my ideas to the movement’s group think at large, I don’t expect them to be run in the ads. Too controversial, something for later down the track maybe.
My objectives for the movement, let me call it Plan B for ID sake, are what ever the consensus of all participants comes up with. Plan B is made up of millions of people, many smarter than me, some possibly less so, but in the end what ever set of objectives our collective mind is deciding on, shall be Plan B’s objectives.
I can only hope that some of the group’s goals will look something like this:
+ Any sign of hypocrisy must be addressed. From jailing petty thieves for $1 cookies but not banking execs for billions of fraud – to crying about Assad’s alleged dirty deeds whilst ordering the deaths of countless innocent people in tribal Pakistan. Double standards strip any system, old or new, of its integrity.
+ End the Federal Reserve and central banking as a whole. It is at the heart of many of our problems. It is a private banking conglomerate acting contrary to free market principles by setting interest rates and bailing out failed banks.
+ Reinstate the original Glass-Stegal, break up the too big too fail banks and wind down where sensible the gazillion dollar derivative market.
+ Dealing with the ever widening gap between the top and bottom rungs on the income ladder. My suggestion: The highest earning position within a corporation can not earn more than 50 times the lowest income paid by that corporation. This will make sure that a rising tide lifts all boats.
+ Recognize that we the 99% in the US and Europe complaining about our 1% reaping all the benefits, we are the 1% for the 99% of Africa, Asia and South America, on whose expense we are buying cheap coffee and raw materials. Plan B has to reinstate some sense of humanity and togetherness to our foreign aid.
My suggestion would be for a competition. A list of all countries is created, sorted in ascending order by GDP per capita or some other formula to establish relative wealth, and then country 1 one at the top adopts the poorest country 250 at the bottom, the second wealthy country adopts the second poorest, the third richest the third poorest, and so forth, until the 125th country adopts its neighbor on the list.
This would create some sort of buddy system based on connecting the strongest with the weakest, actual ability with actual needs, not based on political alignments and goals but simply the recognition that we are all in the same boat.
At the end of every year, impartial readings are taken on how much has improved in each of the poorer countries and a global winning team is declared, receiving a seat at the UN security council.
These are just some examples of what I’d be campaigning for, but to finish this up, my values and objectives are not really the issue, what matters foremost is to spur people into action, and if for that to be achieved less revolutionary objectives must be chosen, then so be it, as long as we are moving in the right direction and make a show of force large enough for the establishment to make the necessary concessions for Plan B to be achieved.
I totally agree. They had an opportunity and blew it. I even feel it was hijacked anfd the energy directed in a way that deflected the movement. Could you imagine the movement waited one more year to assess the situation. The crowd was hyped up but in the wrong way.
Even the Tea Party was hijacked by infiltrators to make the movement look ridiculous. The rules must be simple. Standard signs, standard dress, standard chants.
Buddy: You and i are usually “on the same page”, but — (1) You apparently assume that the occupy mobs consisted of people with “positive values and objectives”; the evidence is otherwise. (2) “Even the Tea Party was hijacked by infiltrators”: I am unaware of anything like this, and would appreciate information.
Look for the people with big silly hats, it makes them look like idiots. Then the ones giving reporters comments that make the Tea Party look like kooky nuts. They are your infiltrators. Anybody with any sense, would not give these responses or look to the wider public.
I am Australian, from Vic, where are you?
Hi bro, I am on the NSW north coast, a bit inland from Byron Bay. Good to see the Aussies out in form 😉
Can you imagine politicians in any other country saying this!? At least the Yanks can (sometimes) talk straight!
Al: Would you agree that it’s more often “some” politicians rather than “sometimes”?
It’s funny that I should have mentioned Anthony de Jasay alongside Brad Pitt because I only now have just watched the below, and realise Pitt alludes to another profound point once made by de Jasay in an interview I’ve once posted here, which is that everything macro is directly connected to everything micro
It follows perfectly from common sense that the wise words of Madame Lynn Forester de Rothschild should ring true. As I have repeatedly stated, the principle of private property casts both a real and imaginary space in which both the most propertied and least fortunate amongst us can come together for peaceful work to benefit everyone without requiring any violence whatsoever. Violence is costly. Violence is pointless!
Appropriate enough way to finish this line of reasoning, I think!
LANA DEL REY – ‘”NATIONAL ANTHEM” (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
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