To the wonderful folks at Occupy SF/Wall Street/Everywhere

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Occupy SF supports teachers protesting Rupert Murdoch Oct. 14. Photo by Rebecca Bowe

First of all, don't get depressed by this sort of stuff. During the occupation and blockade at Diablo Canyon, when about two thousand people managed to prevent the opening of the nuclear power plant, the mainstream news media kept reporting that the blockade was failing, that the protesters were getting tired, that everyone had given up and was going home. One person starting walking around with a poster that said "The media is getting tired and hungry and going home."

Press accounts typically understate the numbers and dedication of protest movements. Instead of talking about how amazing it is that so many people have given up everything else in their lives to protest economic injustice, the press will say: Why aren't there more?

So hang in -- overall, the message is getting out. As we said in an editorial this week:

If the demonstrators don't have all the solutions, at least they've identified the problem. And that's more than Obama, Congress, or the mainstream news media have done.

But as someone who has watched, written about, worked on, joined and been otherwise involved in direct action and community organizing efforts for more than 30 years (yeah, I'm old), let me make a friendly suggestion.

Saul Alinsky, who pretty much invented modern community organizing, always said that building an effective organization and agitating for social change was as much about empowering the powerless as it was about winning a specific battle. He and his students learned quickly that nothing is worse for an organized movement than the frustration of constant failure. The movement that arose against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffered from that -- when it was clear that nothing any of us did (including electing Obama) was going to bring the troops home and end hostilities, a lot of people gave up and stopped marching.

The people I learned from back at the Connecticut Citizens Action Group, which practiced Alinsky-style organizing, used to say that victories, even small victories, would prove to people that they really could fight City Hall. If a low-income neighborhood was worried about cars speeding down the streets where kids were playing, fine: Organize everyone and demand stop signs, speed bumps and police patrols. Once you've shown disenfranchised people that they can force the powers that be to listen and respond, you have the basis for something much more ambitious.

I guess what I'm saying here is that you might want to think about setting a goal that's a little bit short of decentralizing all of society. When I worked with the Abalone Alliance, we were all about changing the way people related in the world; everything worked by consensus, we spent an immense amount of time discussing power relationships and we all had a radical model for rebuilding the United States (and the world). But we also wanted to stop a nuclear power plant from being built on an earthquake fault. And when that happened -- the protests actually delayed the opening for several years -- it gave tremendous life and energy not just to the movement but to all the people in it. It was radically empowering.

The Livermore Action Group, which emerged out of the Abalone Alliance, was dedicated to ending the threat of nuclear war (and all war), among other things. But it had as an immediate first step ending weapons reasearch at the Lawrence Livermore Lab.

Around the same time, the American Friends Service Committee came up with a campaign called the Nuclear Freeze. The bumper stickers read: "Step one: Freeze Nuclear Weapons." The idea: When you're in a hole, stop digging. Nuclear proliferation was threatening the world; as a first step, we ought to stop building more bombs. 

Since this is all about Wall Street, and you've got momentum on your side, maybe you want to start talking about something specific. How about "Step One: Tax Wall Street Transactions and Create A Million Jobs." A transactions tax dedicated to public-sector job creation would do wonders for the economy. It's the kind of campaign that a wide range of allies could join. It's got simple, populist appeal. It's not everything you want, but it's not bad -- and remember, it's ony Step One.

Just a thought from a friend.

 

Comments

Of course it didn't happen in Oakland, but that's because Perata was well-known, and universally hated. Ed Lee is neither that well-known (a lot of folks still think Newsom is mayor), nor that hated. If he's 20 points ahead of the rest of the field on election day, I think he wins.

BUT... I don't think he will be. All those polls are old now, and other candidates have been hammering Lee on his corruption. I think the gap is narrowing, and if it's close on election day then Lee could lose once seconds are counted.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

Can anyone show with actual election results that Guest's statement is true?

Once again the statement was:

"IRV favors a frontrunner when the rest of the field is evenly split."

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

But you can make some logical assumptions. If candidate A is way ahead of everyone else in the first round, why would second choice ballots coalesce around candidate B or C? Why wouldn't seconds flow to candidate A at at least the same rate as candidate B or C?

There could be several reasons.
Is there an ethnic identity vote that's being masked by several candidates splitting that vote among the non-front-running candidates? Not really in this election.
Is there an ideological vote that's being split? Maybe. But there are mods pulling away some of Lee's votes as well as progs. So it's a little murky.
Is there an anti-incumbent sentiment that would galvanize all the voters voting for other candidates (or just a strong hatred for the front runner)? Well maybe it's growing, but I just don't feel it's that strong.

On balance, I'd say that if it's close, Lee could lose on the seconds. But I don't see a Perata situation where someone who's 20 points ahead of everyone else loses.

I just don't think Lee will be that far ahead on election day.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

Even with three votes, you can't vote for all the candidiates who might catch Lee. If you want to vote for Baum or Avalos, then you can only vote for one of Yee, Adachi and Herrera, any one of whom might be the second placer.

And there are other credible candidiates with support, e.g. Chui and Dufty. There are some real dilemma's for anyone whose main motive is to prevent Lee. While all a Lee supporter has to do is vote for Lee, and nobody else.

As for polls, I'd like to see a new one, but all the ones so far have been consistent, so there's no reason to doubt them.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

and his bribes, sorry campaign donations.

Sure, true believer, polls from months ago are great indicators of Lee's chances.
For someone intent on making a fool of himself and those around him.

Posted by meatsack on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

I'm not buying this guys. For all we know a lot, or even most, of the 70-75% of voters who do not currently support Lee, never will. Maybe he's got all the support he's going to get and other voters don't like him for some reason. Unless you can show that in at least a few other ranked choice elections where a similar situation was in place before the election, and the sort of outcome 'Guest' has predicted came true, then there is simply no way that you can credibly guess at this.

I'm sure there have been similar elections in Australia a few times.

So I'll believe this analysis when someone shows how similar results have happened elsewhere.

But after what happened in Oakland, and here in District 10, such predictions without any historical reference are simply wild speculation.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

Guys,

Why don't you attack Avalos for supporting Prop C? Or, for voting to exempt the cops and firefighters and other highest paid employees from C or D should either pass?

I have no inside info on this but I'm betting we get David Waggoner in D-5 if Adachi and Ross both win. If we get Breed she'll be in for 9 years. No sitting supervisor has lost in a district election.

How can Miyamoto be a "hack:"? He's never even run for office. He'll win because of record Chinese voter turnout. Keep in mind that he's been the 'head' of the dragon in the Chinese New Year's parade for the last 20 years.

And, I hate to repeat this but I guess I must. Mirkarimi is an abusive boss. You haven't produced a single former staffer of his to deny this. Daly used to have to go over to his office and back Ross off of his staffers. I personally have seen him verbally abuse staffers and volunteers. I wrote about it in 2004 and he let up for awhile. He tries this with a thousand deputies and they'll hand him his lunch. Do you really want someone who makes the lives of 2 staffers into a living hell to have control over a thousand staff and 1,750 prisoners?

I don't mind Ross going to Assembly. Small staff to abuse. Hell, Kevin Shelly broke Alex Clemens arm when Clemens was his staffer so maybe Ross could be worse.

I don't have to defend Gascon. He's out of your league.

I drink whiskey by the way, Eric. How about I'll take Adachi and you take Avalos and whomever finishes higher wins a fifth of Ancient Age from the other?

Niners winning 15-13

h.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 11:31 am

H, I'll even up the ante on myself to show how confident I am that I'll win this one.

At Daly's dive...

I win, you buy me a microbrew of my choice. You win, I buy you a shot of scotch of your choice.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 11:44 am

They are hacks - just blind advocates for a candidate or a policy, no crime in that.

That is why they praise their hero Avalos for his occupy Wall Street courage while he supports Prop C (an unfair burden sharing of the City's lowest paid) and Prop G- a tax on the poor in the midst of a severe recession.

Let's be clear- it takes a lot more courage to stand against Props C and G - actual policy- then show up for a protest.

Avalos is a nice enough guy but he is a coward.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

Avalos is simply going along with the desired course of action of the SEIU and other local union locals. I've seen no evidence whatsoever that he is some sort of outspoken champion of Prop C.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

So, being a Gabriel Haaland robot is expected?

Avalos also voted for 170 million in Certificates of Deposit to redecorate the Veterans Building (which will unfortunatly involve evicting the veterans) ... the changes in the building were rejected by voters in 2002 but with these junk bonds the move doesn't have to go back to the voters.

That's a million a month out of the General Fund for 26 years!

Avalos thinks that's fine.

The guy is not independent.

That's my entire point. He not only rolls over for the unions as a special interest, he rolls over for the rich in their rip-off of the Veterans Building.

You should probably shut up on explaining why John does these moves in support of special interests.

Adachi for Mayor!

"His independence is unassailable."

Niners won!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

A lot of progressives (The Bay Guardian included), argue (correctly) that the process of Prop C was much better than Prop D. When you want to make changes to labor contracts, the RIGHT way to do it is through collective bargaining. The wrong way to do it is to short circuit the process and shred agreements that were negotiated in good faith, via the ballot box.

Again, I'm not going to belabor the point, because frankly I think both products are onerous and both draw upon a frankly disgusting ideological framework. But that's why a lot of progressives like Avalos are more willing to go along with Prop C than Prop D. I disagree, but I can at least respect that.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

they are a single-issue lobby group. They will never agree to what might be necessary. So at some point, inevitably, you have to tell them what's been decided. And if they want to strike, let them.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

Fair wages and good working conditions. That's what unions stand for. That's what this movement

Posted by Greg on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

Fair wages and good working conditions. That's what unions stand for. That's what this movement

Posted by Greg on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

Fair wages and good working conditions. That's what unions stand for. That's what this whole movement is all about. It's the central issue of our times, and it's the issue that the 1% have been trying to get us to ignore. What's "necessary" is to put the focus back on that issue, and hold the 1% accountable for wrecking this country.

It may be "one issue" to you, but it's MY issue, and a lot of people feel the same way.

(And sorry for accidentally hitting the send key too early)

Posted by Greg on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

"The wrong way to do it is to short circuit the process and shred agreements that were negotiated in good faith, via the ballot box. "

Of course - this isn't true with regard to Prop D. Not sure if you are ignorant or just lying...

Regarding Avalos- what a profile in courage - he sells out the rank and file so the union bosses will feed him $ when needed. My understanding is he told the seniors he sold out - "I'm sorry." What a stalwart progressive.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

...you know who you are-don't like music. PLEASE don't read this and get your nickers in a twist - again. While this 'comment' may not comply with your criteria for what is appropriate in this 'forum', I would like to remind all you sad appologists for the corruption and destruction of our civil society that, everything is political.
So I reach out to all the 'old-time' SF Faithful, of all persuasions, and proclaim:-
THE NINERS ARE FOR REAL.
SUPER BOWL THIS YEAR.
GIANTS #1 NEXT YEAR.
WHO NEEDS A MAYOR.
WE BUILT THIS CITY.
GO BACK TO BOISE.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

I'll leave it up to all you policy wonks and wankers, whose divergent opinions I appreciate and consider (excluding for obvious reasons anonymous guests - more anon) to make book here. In this Mayoral mud-wrestling mosh-pit I would not put up a jug of moonshine against a mug of Mai-tai. Downtown had pretty much annointed Choo-choo as their next marionette and mouthpiece after pretty hair-boy Gavin left to become Moonbeam's dog walker. Then up jumped the devil, Ed 'he who speaks with forked tongue' Lee. The Kronikle devoted hundreds of column inches to extolling his virtues and praising the return of 'civility' to the conduct of OUR business. Turns out he's just another sleazy money laundering opportunistic mother fucker like the rest of them. Now the Kronikle is hedging it's bets and switching back to Choo-choo. I doubt that even A&E would accept this scenario as a mid season replacement for their worst offering. Even NCIS and The Osbournes are more credible than this bullshit.
AVANTE ALCALDE AVALOS.
Just my 2c.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

Eric,

One might be enough for you but one shot of bourbon isn't enough for me. Let's make it a 5th of my choice in whiskey which will cost you ten bucks and I'll buy you a 6 pack of your favorite micro-brew (I like Sierra Nevada Porter when I drink beer) which is also about ten bucks.

You don't have to pick Avalos if you're sure he'll lose. Pick Ed Lee and I'll take Adachi. I'll take Adachi against anyone but I'm sure as hell not going to give you 15 candidates.

I'm told it's getting pretty heated out in the shopping centers and supermarkets these days. For canvassers I mean. Mix in the Niners and their lightning rod poor sport coach and add a growing 'Occupy' crowd threatening to pull the rich off their hills and even Bevan Dufty might not be able to stop this party.

Go Cardinals!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

I'll even agree to your fifth vs one beer for me at Daly's, but this is just about your silly belief that Adachi can win, nothing else.

Adachi loses, you buy me a beer.

Adachi wins, I buy you that foul fifth...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

I'll even agree to your fifth vs one beer for me at Daly's, but this is just about your silly belief that Adachi can win, nothing else.

Adachi loses, you buy me a beer.

Adachi wins, I buy you that foul fifth...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

(@Eric, marcos, greg, h, and yes Sister, Lucie etc )
...at least for the next couple of months - this shit is to important - much more so than any petty pissing on your 'friend' and jerking off for self gratification.
I would be happy to stand corrected by any of you, but I believe there is more that unites, than divides us. EG: Unions are good (or should be); Multi-national Corporate Monopoloies are bad; most Politicians suck; Health Care should be guaranteed for all, also Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness; Unequal distribution of wealth and resources results in societal breakdown. I'm sure any of you could make better points than I have, but I think we all have a dedication to making this a better place for all of us. We may have serious disagreements on how to achieve our goals, choose different champions, fair enough, but this constant internal bickering and backbiting does not further our cause.
During the recent Supervisorial contests I opined that D8 could be the bellweather for the future of our city. I do not in any way feel justified that my fears were well founded and we ended up with Wienerschnitzel as our 'representative', please vote NO ON E & F.
In the last couple of years this site has become infested with nameless ticks and trolls, the vast majority of whom contribute nothing to a serious discussion of the issues that effect us all. Howzabout we try and find ways to support each other and work towards common goals, bury the hatchet in the vacant space between 'their' ears, instead of each other's backs, at least until the Machine appoints it's next marionette. Then all bets are off and we can start consuming our young again.
Just my 2c.
Peace out.
Rodney King in White-face.
AKA. Me.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

Debate makes progressives stronger, not weaker.

The main reason I was so pissed off when trolls were ruling this site is that it precluded those of us who are here specifically because we are progressives or radicals, from actually being able to take part in reasoned and real debates from differing perspectives on how to pursue progressive gains.

If we do -not- debate our positions in depth on a site like this, then when we go out into the mainstream world to push for progress we won't have well honed arguments with which to win; and corporatists will kick our asses in public hearings and the media.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 8:25 am

See the morning 'poll' at Bay Citizen?

Catch it at BayCitizen.com and here's my comment to them:

erry,

I'm going to keep asking to see the entire polling instrument until you either publish it or tell me that it's 'proprietary' which means it's bogus.

Let me be cold and direct on this. A month ago if I'd read a headline that said that Bay Citizen was sponsoring a poll I'd have taken the results seriously. Right now your publication has no credibility to me cue to the shake-ups in your editorial staff and subsequent move to the Right.

Hellman spent something like 200 grand for outside auditors to get honest numbers on how much the City needs to find to make the pension system solvent and he came up with a 300-400 million yearly number. I believed that.

Now Warren is pitching another couple of hundred grand into Prop C which plugs less than 100 million of the problem. And, I learn that the main thing Prop C does for Hellman is to change the balance of power on the Pension Board away from a majority of retirees to a majority of City employees with Controller Ben Rosenfield as the newly added swing vote.

Since Hellman/Friedman hasn't been getting as much business (investing the funds moolah) over the last couple of years I see this as just another move by an avaricious capitalist with no conscience.

Until you supply the entire poll I will not believe any of it at all.

Go Niners!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 8:27 am

The bet is on the table.

A fifth of Ancient Age for you if Adachi wins, a beer for me if Adachi loses.

Simple proposition. If Adachi is the sure winner you keep crowing he is, should be no problem.

Yet, all I see from you is a looong screed seemingly written to distract and backpedal your way out of putting your nuts on the line ;)

Are we on?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 8:51 am

Eric,

We have a bet. Adachi beats Avalos, I win. Avalos beats Adachi, you win.

Too complicated for you?

And, drop the drivel about my private parts, you're sounding like a high school dropout.

Wait, you are!

Go Giants!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 9:18 am

Nope. Under ranked choice I'm wise enough to not pick a winner.

However -you- have said repeatedly that Adachi is going to walk away with this race.

The purpose of my challenge is to get you to either lay your reputation and a few bucks on the table to prove you mean it, or to shut up.

Clearly you are ducking the bet, which means you don't have the guts to stand up and defend your absurd claim that Adachi has it in the bag.

So as far as I'm concerned, I've accomplished my goal of proving that you are all bluster and no substance.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 9:46 am

Lee still over 30% with nobody else close.

Interesting that Herrera is running second, while Yee has dropped out of sight and polling below even Avalos.

Looking real easy for Lee at this point.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

The people who are occupying Wall Street everywhere need to have a clear consistent message and goal. most of the true progress which has occurred in the world has come about due to protests of injustice - whether it is ending apartheid or slavery, giving women the right to vote or promoting equality in the workplace. People need to state exactly what it is that should be done with these big banks - whether it is proper regulation or breaking up the big banks. Villifying the Federal reserve is just making them look like a bunch of counter culture clowns.

Unfortunately the way its going in the EU, many of the big European banks will fail without government bailouts because there just isn't enough money for the governments to bail out everyone. The total sovereign debt outstanding on the balance sheets of the EU and UK banks is in the range of $7 trillion , which makes the US subprime mortgage crisis look like the collapse of a popsicle stand.

Posted by Traderkitten on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 9:47 am

Message: Banks and a small number of elites have hoarded far too much wealth.

Demand: Redistribute most of that that wealth back to the 99%.

Simple.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 10:09 am

What do you suggest? Banks give out free money?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

It's a very meaningful and very radical departure from the discourse about wealth and equality and justice that we've been having in America thus far (or lack thereof!). The fact that "mainstream" folks are now even talking about this is in itself a huge change.

The solutions are many. We know how to decrease economic inequality. Even in this country, we've done it before. But first we need to acknowledge the problem.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

There are myriad ways to redistribute wealth. Taxing higher and then spending more on social, infrastructure and jobs programs. Restructuring home loans. Single payer health care. Shorter work weeks. Financial transaction tax. Subsidizing small businesses. The list is nearly endless.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

Just look at Europe.

The much bigger question is whether Americans can stomach that level of State control.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

What 'level of state control'?

We are talking about changing overtime laws, adjusting tax codes, and expanding infrastructure and social programs (especially medicare).

What increased state 'control' are you referring to?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

Or even close. In fact, the electroate are becoming more hostile to tax hikes, not less.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

San Francisco voters are voting for more taxes and fees just about every election these days.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

Fair enough. I'm just so godamned sick and tired of the constant backbiting that has been going on for decades. The inability of the left/progressive movement to unite in a common cause and at least occasionally, especially in dangerous times like these, put some of their 'differences' aside has been our achilles heel. Maybe the OCCUPY movement will be the start of something big, if not we might as well bend over and kiss it goodbye. I was initially a little concerned that the focus was on 'money', where's mine, as opposed to the 'loftier ideals' of previous generations; nuclear destruction; human rights; apartheid; etc, but quickly realised how pretentious that was. We have always been fractious, and I agree that debate is essential, but unless it gets us to a place where we can move forward together, it's just talk. If 'The Economy' is the central issue that will create a broad based popular movement today, so be it.
I'm no expert, but I guess in modern history it could be argued that the birth of The Labor Movement and struggle for worker's rights was the first step, but that was before my time. In England in the '50's we had CND and issue of nuclear destruction as a rallying cry. In the '60's we had Vietnam. There were multiple different groups with often conflicting agendas, but there was a common theme. That seems to have been missing for decades as we sank deeper into self gratification, consumerism and apathy.
On a local level, for the past two decades, we have had the opportunity to unite behind an ongoing struggle that I contend encompasses all of the issues that various groups are still fighting against. Yeah, it's my old hobby horse, Urban Renewal and the forced displacement of residents of the Fillmore. As I have said before the lack of support given to the folks currently fighting a similar threat in BVHP, by the vast majority of 'progessive' groups and leaders has been shameful. But that's just my opinion.
Again, just my opinion, but whatever 'shortcomings' either of them may have, if neither Avalos or Adachi is the next person to OCCUPY ROOM 200, then it's just gonna be more business as usual, game, set, match, we loose.
Have a good week y'all.
YIPPIE.
Still dreaming.
Peace out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hbrn9eXEKWk
PS. @'GUEST'. Try and enjoy the music, it won't hurt you.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 11:04 am

You're British?

Should I alert ICE?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

Pat if you take a quick look at the worldwide uprising that is happening right now, you will be reminded that we are winning, not losing.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

@Guest,

Pat is one of us~ fellow 99 percenter and World Citizen. You call ICE over my dead body!

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

Yes, you're right, neither Monk nor I are at the protest.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

"Look at me !
I never stood up for myself or anything I believed in!
Now I'm criticizing people for exercising their Constitutional Rights, because that frightens me."

Highly doubt that Pat would appreciate you including him in your little do-nothing club of sycophantic bootlicks.

If there were 99% of you, America would cease to exist.

Posted by meatsack on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

Like contributing to the economy. And creating the wealth that pays for the welfare that enables you to have the time to sit out on the sidewalk and whine.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

The constant backbiting disturbs me too. I do my best to stick to arguments, although on occasion I am tempted to use a bit of sarcasm. However, you won't hear me calling anyone "dumb", "stupid", "idiotic", "a moron", etc (not even the trolls). I hate to see the threads fall apart with pointless namecalling, particularly between progressives.

You're right...we do have more issues in common than the trivial differences that tear us apart. And I agree with Eric that debate is healthy. However, we should try to resist the temptation to engage in personal attacks. It's painful to watch people you respect going at each other.

That said, I think it's entirely fair to critique the politicians (even progressives) and subject them to hard-hitting criticism. That's the only way to keep them honest.

I have no problem with political bets. Sounds like fun. I will buy H a 5th of whisky (added to Eric's 5th) if Adachi wins, and he won't even have to reciprocate if Adachi loses. How's that for a spirit of detente?

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

Let's not go overboard! Have you -seen- H on two fifths of whiskey?

Or I should say, have you -heard- him after two fifths?

;)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

Thanks Tim.

I worked on those activist movements as a teenager through Students for Social responsibility and a Peace and Justice center, which trained people how to maintain non-violence while blocking the air force base. Thanks for pulling us through, full circle.
I do homeless outreach now, and am gearing up for OccupySF.

Posted by Mattachine on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

The Occupy movement needs a central theme:
It is Time to Stop the Romance between Corporations and Politicians

"The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics," (President Obama Jan 21,2010)

When the Supreme Court completely opened the floodgates on corporate financing for political campaigns in 2010, that is when these Occupy Wall Street protests should have started. It took some time for Americans to wake up to what it really meant to allow unfettered access by corporations to fund political campaigns. This Supreme Court ruling effectively reduced every American individual’s right to participate in the political process. Instead, corporations are making all the decisions for us.

It is no longer a, to paraphrase President Lincoln, a government of the people, by the people, for the people, but rather a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.

American politics have reached a point where they are no longer strongly bi-partisan in the campaign finance arena, both parties are taking millions from Political Action Committees, and corporations.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, as of September 2011, Goldman Sachs has already funneled $35 million into Washington for this election cycle alone, mostly dumped into Republican campaign coffers, but there are Democrats on the take as well. President Obama accepted $45 K from Goldman Sachs, but even that pales in comparison to the $290 K given to Mitt Romney. (Federal Election Commission Report 2012)

Not that Goldman Sachs is alone. It is one of many that are literally throwing money at politicians, knowing that it will sway policy decisions in their favor. Another big spender is AT&T, which has spent a cool $47 million to see that Washington politicians lean towards their best interests.

So the question that arises is, how can the needs of the middle class be met, when so much energy is spent making sure that corporations are being coddled?

Second, what have these Corporations gained by their benevolence towards their favored politicians? Quite simply, they gain a government not willing to enforce the tax code so mercilessly pressed upon average American families. They also continue to reap the benefits of dozens of tax loopholes that favor tax evasion and the misrepresentation of taxable income.

To the point, Businesses Against Tax Havens have reported that Goldman Sachs, in 2008,with 29 subsidiaries located in offshore tax havens paid a tax rate of just one percent, which was an amount less than one third what they paid their CEO Lloyd Blankfein ($42.9 million). The end must come to these egregious corporate tax loopholes.

There can be no true economic, political, or social equality without addressing the corruption that has been allowed to take place in our nations capital. Politicians need to be held accountable by the American public that voted them into power in the first place. Publicly financing campaigns, as many other countries do, would take the overwhelming power out of the hands of multi-billion dollar corporations.

My suggestion is that we create a publicly funded website, television and radio station similar to PBS hybridized with CSPAN. The election website would have pages for each individual campaigner, including their past voting records These media outlets would be in operation for three months prior to November elections, and focus on live political debates on the issues that matter to most Americans. That is all that they would focus on. There would be no mudslinging allowed that wasn't policy related. For voters, the opportunity to tune in to hear their politicians speak would negate the need for rampant corporate-paid advertisements on network and cable television. In fact, it should be illegal to advertise at all. This is the kind of campaign finance reform that would make a real difference in how our government operates, and would free good politicians to stay true to their goal of public service instead of being enslaved to private interests.

Posted by Clean Up Politics on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

We could care less about who buys who what drink, and who goes home and sucks whose testicles. Can you please stop jamming up the comments section with useless garbage that we all have to wade through? Put away your cocks or take it offline. I think I speak for many when I say I want to read on-topic debate, not this lameass crap.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

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