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Why is there is little or no mainstream media coverage of the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests?

Surely with the world in it it's current state of economical affairs more attention should be paid to those who wish to change an obviously flawed system rather than treating them as criminals and trying to shut them up? Are their ideas not worth sharing TED? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moD2JnGTToA&feature=share

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  • Oct 3 2011: Just thought I should drop in with a quick comment because Krisztián seems to be missing one major blaring point: Campaign funding is the best predictor of elections and policy(by the way corporations are raking in record profits after being bailed out by tax payers in 08' remember?) . Thomas Ferguson an economist has great work on this. Incumbant reelection is extremely high because of outspending. Financial institutions, the same that funded Obama's campaign, got what they paid for, relatively lax regulation. My point here is if you look at Citizens vs United which allows corporations to buy elections directly instead of directly ("free speech"), the class warfare consistently waged by corporiations and non depository institutions which control politics in Washington by way of campaign contributions and economic hostage taking, are the reason for the protests. If you can't understand that, then I guess you're a part of the 1% controlling the wealth. This isn't likely so you're probably just uninformed, and that, I'm not mad at you. :-)
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      Oct 3 2011: Larry --

      I agree with your point.

      Small correction, though: The law is called "Citizens United," not Citizens VERSUS United.

      My earlier post gets at how even the name for the law is a misnomer.

      And populists aren't, in general, the crux of this problem. The political system is.

      The essay I posted to my response to Krisztian shows how both Republican nor Democrat reject the underhandedness of the law.

      Andrea
    • Oct 4 2011: Cheap shot, Larry Williams Jr. If campaign funding skews the vote (and I agree that it does), vote for politicians who will stop the influence of lobbyists. Canadians limit spending by both corporations and individuals in elections, although some special interest groups (mostly union-backed) spend loads of funds on public service-type announcements. Again, milling about in a park is disruptive but doesn't really change anything.
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      Oct 4 2011: in a democracy, funding does not win you elections, unless people have no clue who to vote for. they just take sides. this is a problem.

      what to do to solve the problem? state solution: forbid companies to finance parties. they will of course circumvent it, but hey, this is how the state roll. stupid legislation that does not work. free society solution: teach the people what to look at. which party has public campaign finance? that is a good question for example. you need to make important things matter by your vote. voting for your tribe won't help
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    Oct 21 2011: Dear Jonathan,

    Your question began with the role of media in all this..in particular the silence of media at the beginning..In a message today Tom Atlee makes very insightful observations on the character and meaning of media commentary now as the movement takes off worldwide. He says themainstream media are" outing" themselves as “ringers” ( shills) for the 1% when all they have to say about it is they don’t get it, where is the message etc

    .“Occupy Wall Street: Outing the Ringers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9zkQcLi4Yo[Ringers are the people at casinos who act like they are bystanders commenting on the game but are actually employed by the establishment to manipulate the behaviors of the players with their comments. In this brilliant short video, media pundits are identified as ringers for the Wall Street controlled game in the US, and when they say they don't get OWS, they make it clear that that's the role they're playing.]”http://tom-atlee.posterous.com/occupy-the-future-together"

    Also from Tom’s message this morning a very compelling consideration of how powerful the choice of the word “occupy” is and remains

    .“The word "occupy" - as a connotation-rich idea or meme - is itself a fascinating part of the movement's impact. It invites everyone who wants a new and better world, to claim a space where they can work together to co-create that world

    .”And the word "occupy" suggests commitment to that place, persistence in it, putting down some roots, claiming and owning and taking responsibility for holding it and making it good. That's why, as Chris Hedges notes in the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8UW__mFMd8 that when one occupier is removed, ten more show up.”

    I highly recommend Chris Hedges teaching..he issspeaking to the power of visible and vocal grass roots action to keep those in leadership faithfully at the healm on behalf of we the people..very insightful thinking in his teaching..yes the web has power but we visible even more.
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      Oct 21 2011: Lindsey--

      Here is Jewish economist Jeffrey Sachs outlining how OWS is far more sophisticated than pundits and "reckless billionaires," want readers to know.

      Not a flattering picture, including of columnists published in NYTimes and The Wallstreet Journal.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB_eoUqbKDw&feature=related

      Both Sachs' message and his method are quite compelling.

      Andrea
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        Oct 22 2011: Andrea,

        Nice to see you..

        Thoroughly enjoyed Sachs "outing" of the Times..We have had many discussions here at TED on the media..on the loss of journalism as it once was

        ..the commentary of main stream journalists from these once almost sacredly held bastions of the 4th estate on OWS has been an "outing" ..one we should all listen to and understand the significance of...they really all are just shills for the 1%..or is it possible there is no intention there at all..that they don't even realize how fully co-opted they are?

        I have been using source documents on all my research lately and that really has shown just vast gaps between truth and what is reported..at the same time I don't believe these journalists are aware of any bias..it's all about who they consider to be "reliable sources"







        Thanks.
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          Oct 22 2011: Hi Lindsay,

          Its hard to know how conscious journalists are of their vulnerability to cultural messaging, if not hints of their own biases.

          Some are seasoned and highly paid pros who should be exceedingly aware, others are rookies (cheaper for media to retain) who due either to inexperience or desire to meet expectations that undermine their objectivity, clearly lack.

          Each media has an intentional voice or niche they seek to maintain. Writers are hired and produce in ways that fulfill this corporate persona.

          And In the end, the editors and publishers are most responsible for the content they publish.

          Sometimes they are slapping something up to scoop their competitor that may lack full or net balance of facts. They must balance column inches and prioritize stories. And, they can and do edit writers content. A writer friend of mine will not share a recent article she wrote because the copy editor changed the main theme of her piece by shifting only a few words.

          The converse can be true, of course, too. Editors can be excellent "fact-police." I've had the chance to work with this nit-picking type who are sticklers for objectivity and authentic balance. Including some who have risked publishing pieces of mine that might press readers if not publishers buttons, but which the editor supported.

          But, I must say, this was "back when" and the editor was a respected managing editor. Who knew what he was doing. Which became clear to me when I got a handwritten note of thanks from the publisher after the article ended up the cornerstone of several other media features. So, here again, the popularity of the piece was likely what became its appeal. And this extrapolative effect is an ideal media seeks. Though sometimes sensationalism is the path of least resistance, which is where problems emerge.

          In my mind, this is all why robust sourcing, preferably cross-sourcing diverse information from roughly equally reliable sources is preferable.

          Andrea
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        Oct 22 2011: Hooray for some..Rachel Maddow is one of those and last night on her show the piece I posted from Tom Atlee was featured with the you tube and the commentray on media as "ringers" for the 1%. Excellent. An important idea to get before the public as the fourth estate is critical to a viable democracy. It must have these standards of indepedndent fact finding and balance ..without that we have no voice for "we the people" we have no way for "we the people" to mind the store.

        The Chris Hedges piece I posted, had a very wise message to OWS on their role as "we the people" vigilant and on duty.,He said basically, those who choose politics will almost always be mediocre or vain glorious..its "we the people" who make them leaders. It's a different take on how :we the people" keep the ship of state on course..not the direct democracy many of us have have explored here at TED and elsewhere..more a vocal engaged unceasing vigilence.

        He told a wonderful story about Nixon who had been adamantly opposed to protections for mine workers unexpectedly signing at the last moment when mine worker leaders supported by mine worker protests nationwide threatened that evry mine in the country would shut down immediately if he failed to sign. The workers really didn;t have the power and orgnaization to call such a wlak out but NIxon wasn't sure. he had seen the visible presence of mine worker protests and what strikes had cost the 1%..so he signed.

        I think we at TED and others have overstated the power of technology..the power of the internet. We cannot be "we the people" from our private key board commeand centers. "we the people" create leadership in our elected officials by standing together shoulder to shoulder. ..caring the message person to person withour own voices. The chorus on the Jeffrey Sachs piece is how OWS shared messages. voice to voice..no teleprompters bull horns or mics. I found that so moving. So powerfully inclusive.
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          Oct 22 2011: Lindsay --

          Technology can abet OWS when it abets forums for co-learning and co-reflection, as this one does.

          Of course, it would be far preferable to do this live and in person. But, where this isn't possible due to circumstances, conversations like this can none-the-less be constructive to the larger efforts.

          Particularly if they are expanded and shared elsewhere.

          I'm impressed by the Boston OWS group which now features a library at it's headquarters. So participants can reflect past learnings and bigger pictures.

          That said, I think you make a very important point about visibility. As do Hedges and Sachs in their different ways, too. Particularly Sachs, in my mind. His call and response method is an exquisitely sophisticated method that engages participants in co-articulating and echoing and amplifying his points.

          Very, very savvy!

          Regards ringers. I'm alert to conservative David Brooks voice during all of this. An interesting piece he writes in praise of Daniel Kanahan's new book on human nature.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/opinion/brooks-who-you-are.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

          If my read between the lines is correct, he addresses possible reasons for media, moguls and others' behaviors.

          Andrea
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        Oct 22 2011: Andrea

        I was very moved by the "call and response" but it wasn't Sachs who ceated that..it was OWS and to me one of the most moving things about the humanity and community of OWSFrom the beginning ,they were not allowed to have bull horns, mics, or sound amplfiers of any kind. So to maintain communications in an inclusive way from the start they spread word of announcements and teachings and news voice to voice person to person with immense patience until all heard and held the message

        ,I too thought of it in spiritual terms..not so much "call and response" but as a sort of political lectio divina where through repetition of a phrase or thought its wisdom and truth is unlocked and set free upon us.That came through in the Jeff Sachs piece when his words were audibly repeated by the crowd and passed on to others in the same manner until all heard it

        .Democracy was born out the the kind of unrest and for exactly the same reasons that OWS started. Pereclesus recognized that what he had grown up in and always accepted was wrong and one of his first acts to realize this experiment in collective self governance was to build a place where all citizens could gather together

        .Technology is just a fancy pencil..a vast wharehouse of information. A Tool..Pereclesus would not have handed out lap tops in lieu of building a place where all could gather.He recognized that the kind of deliberation we do on our own with books or letters or even observation and deep contemplation can never equal the power of the phsycal collective of deliberation in community..in physical presence of one another.
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          Oct 22 2011: Lindsay--

          Thanks for the backstory. Powerful. And so powerfully stated by you. I wholeheartedly agree with all you say. And place-based, human-related personal + public voice collective is, yes, always the means to real transformative culture change.

          Andrea
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        Oct 23 2011: Andrea,

        I just got to read and consider the David Brooks piece in your link above.Two points there which are core to the book he is discussing and key to reclaiming the soverignty of our nation and of other nations who have yielded it to the plutonomy:

        (1) we carry within us biases we aren't even aware of which actually lead to errors in cognition and perception

        (2) "adversarial collaboration"..deliberating with those who don't agree with us is the way to reduce cognitive and perceptual errors ( overvome these hidden biases within us)

        That is the possibility of TED Conversations of Global Conversation ..that we are slowly unfolding and realizing

        .Our 4th estate..our press have to be part of this. We can't afford to have the deeply divided deeply biased print and media journalism we now have. Balance and independence are essential.

        We can't become what OWS is calling on us to be if we allow ourselves to wallow in places of rank opinion which simply reaffirm our hidden biases and avoid adversarial collaboration

        We can't do the work OWS is calling us all to do without a healthy viable 4th estate. This was the right moment for us all to pause and publically "call" main stream media as "ringers" ( shills) for the plutonomy.

        We can't do the work OWS is calling on us to do if we cannot reach beyond our own biases.
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          Oct 25 2011: Lindsay,

          I could not agree with you more. OWS must continue to mature and unfold. My sense is it will evolve into a largely inclusive movement. There are new signs the GOP is seeing the light, Tea Parteirs aside, apparently.

          The Occupy movement must continue doing what it is doing and begin adding layers that "infiltrate" institutional entities. There is evidence in politics. Small business is an possible growth area. Academics is on board, and I expect will grow.

          In less then a month it has become part of the national vernacular and in indeed in much press. A big sign of cultural infusion is when it is included in ads. I know this sounds wildly incongruent, but I have a strong sense some will begin adapting the popularity of the theme, though perhaps in less political ways. I would not be surprised if faith based and peace groups hop on board. Their missions connect to Occupy's themes.

          Concrete actions include a renewed dialogue on personhood of business. This is good.

          As for press as shills. I still say, so long as the movement continues developing and keeps its cools, I think the media will be happy to cover it. The challenge will be to keep it fresh and relevant while staying the course.

          Some of this, yes, will take adversarial collaboration. But I honestly believe we are up to it. It inclusiveness alone makes this an easy in for many. So, yes, continually receding biases must be a key focus. Which I think this group is up to.

          Andrea
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    Sep 28 2011: Wonderful article at Salon.com today anaylsing the scorn and dismissiveness even many liberals have heaped on the "Occupy Wall Street" protest

    http://www.salon.com/news/wall_street/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2011/09/28/protests

    Share it at your facebook
    • Sep 28 2011: This is a great article and have shared on Facebook. Would also like to state that as of 15th October London Stock Exchange will be occupied. Looks like it's our turn and I am definitely taking part.
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        Sep 29 2011: good for you..would be great to have it spread.believe there are others here as well..Chicago? Conversation will still be open so you can keep us updated here on your first hand experience. I'll keep looking for good backgrounbd and analysis and post links as I find them.

        Thank you for your good work.
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    Sep 26 2011: Their ideas..the purpose of their protest is the most significant issue of our time..the truth they are standing to correct is that young people have no future if things continue as we have let them. It may become too late to take back our country and rededicate to "we the people"

    Here is a link to "Occupy Wall street" which explains the organization of the demonstration and its goals

    .https://occupywallst.org

    In many ways this is our Tahir Square.. The facts and figures that have brought these bright young folk to "Occupy Wall Street" are shameful for a democratic nation, a free nation that holds itself up as a model for freedom worldwide.

    Spread the word yourself..don't wait for media to cover it..bring more to the cause..go yourself if you can..New York City is divine in September and October..couldn't have better weather or a better cause for a sit in. Couldn't have a more important cause for a sit in.

    .This is by the ay is in Liberty Square.
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      Sep 26 2011: Lindsay --

      Agreed!

      Don't wait for media to cover it. But do "CC" media, as you've done, here -- wherever possible, too.

      Andrea
    • Sep 26 2011: Thanks for the link, it really shines a light on the situation.
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    Sep 26 2011: This is Wall Street, remember? These are the sociopaths who engineered every billion plus dollar bailout of "too big to fail" enterprises run into the ground by the hunger for quick profits at any cost. They have that kind of power. Shearson Lehman, Goldman Sachs, all of them, are revolving doors for former Secretaries of the Treasury on down. The retirement funds of all the major media are run by these parasites. You may have a press room full of reporters wanting to report on the protest, but it only takes one Editor or Producer to put a story in the dustbin of history. Editors and Producers are the censors and ideological hit men for the invisible faces in the boardroom, every one of which has Wall Street hooks sunk into theim working their arms and legs like a marionette.

    What these "Masters of the Universe" are shaking in their boots over is the potential of this protest to do two things, rekindle the 60's counter culture like Cindy Sheehan tried to do and catalyze a nationwide general strike calling for the heads of the perpetrators of the destruction of the world's economy.
    • Sep 26 2011: I always knew there were darker forces at work behind the media I am just amazed how this suppression of events shows how powerful they really are. I would have thought that one person, just one would have had the gumption to highlight these events sooner. There are trickles of information beginning to appear now however I watched BBC news last night for four hours and not one mention and that is the BBC!!!
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        Sep 30 2011: could it be they are pre occupied with the possible imminet fall of the euro???
        • Sep 30 2011: fighting in Syria, Michael Jackson's doctor, markets in US and Europe keep falling, Al-qaeda leader dead and a host of other news stories from all around the world. And that was this evening, there has been nothing from the beginning of the protest yet have featured other protests from around the world and variety of other stories. Oh and this little beauty

          http://youtu.be/lqN3amj6AcE
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        Sep 30 2011: Wow to that BBC clip! That is nothing short of terrifying.
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        Oct 1 2011: Lindsay, my amateur brain says that we should all as a world just wipe the slate clean, eliminate these things and say 'do over!" How will we ever escape this man made trap?
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    Oct 7 2011: Funny how things coalesce…
    I believe we are reaching a critical tipping point to major change for the better. A kind of “death” - Something that Steve Jobs so simply and eloquently communicated to the graduating class at Stanford some years back:
    Steve Jobs: “You cannot connect the dots going forward. You can only connect the dots looking backward… So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever - because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference….”
    In the same commencement speech he continued to say, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in my life…. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die. Even people who want to get to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be. Because death is very likely the best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Your time is limited. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
    To that he added: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
    The demonstrators that are beginning to coalesce around the USA are following their hearts. They are young and foolish. They are rejecting dogma and doing what their hearts tell them is the right thing to do. Someday we will look back and the dots will connect.
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    Sep 26 2011: Jonathan --

    Mainstream media is enmeshed with Wall Street. The good news is Main Street is not quite as much. If the occupation holds long enough, word will get out.

    When it does, Mainstream media will have to cover it or risk getting left in the dust.

    Main street buys the products their ads sell, thus Main Street can prevail. But it must hang in and keep the pressure on.

    A "Big Banks Boycott" wherein people pull their money out of the worst of the Wallstreet banks and put it into Main street ones, wouldn't hurt right about now.

    Here is a headline I suggest: "Liberation of Main Street in Liberty Square."

    Andrea
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    Oct 11 2011: Jonathan (and others here) --

    Suggest you take a look at an important parallel movement burbling this moment. Here is a TEDConversation -- inspired by yours -- on the Right2Know march:

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/6281/why_isn_t_there_more_coverage.html

    Approximately 300,000 people are marching from NYC to DC to open eyes to the concerns of proliferation of genetically modified foods (GMOs) across US food system -- that cause cancer, etc.

    Occupy Wallstreet leaders should see Right2Know as an important parallel movement. Wallstreet is much married to companies like Monsanto, which is behind 90% of GMOs. By connecting the dots between their interests, both groups can increase their coverage and impact.

    This is a "Wallstreet meets Washington" connection that answers Krisztian's skepticism -- and connect dots for others who might struggle to understand how they are deeply intertwined.

    Andrea
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      Oct 11 2011: how wallstreet meets washington is still not interesting. i mean, it is, if you want to know the details. but if you look for a solution, it is enough to understand the source of the power and money they use. the source of power and money is your vote and your tax dollars. and even more, your willingness to coerce your views on others, your mistrust in your fellow man, and your desire to be controlled and to be in control.
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        Oct 11 2011: Krisztian --

        To correct you:

        The source of elections power is primarily the electoral colleges', not the individual, vote. Which is coerced by the politically and geographically imbedded influence of big-businesses' money.

        To agree with you:

        The source of power is, in part, funded by tax dollars. Which are largely directed during these money=power times by the interests (power) and advertising (money) control of big-businesses.

        Andrea
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          Oct 11 2011: this electorial college stuff is kinda silly billy, but does not change the situation too much. if people vote for better candidates in masses, change will follow. a little later or a little sooner, does not matter. see the eu for example. things are not any better there, despite the more logical election systems.

          hey! confess! obama or perry/romney? which one is your way? i'm kind of sure you will vote for one or the other. but never a 3rd candidate. am i right?
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        Oct 11 2011: Krisztian --

        A hint at my thoughts on who to vote for:

        http://dynamicshift.org/archives/what-if-obama-and-boehner-were-running-mates

        To summarize: you are not nearly as right as you think you are, my friend.

        Andrea
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        Oct 13 2011: Linda --

        Yes, of course, feel free to pass it on.

        Given your cross-partisan anti-divisiveness interests, you may also be interested in other pieces at DynamicShift: http://dynamicshift.org.

        I started the initiative behind the blog in 2009, after it occurred to me polarized politics is far more effective in undermining civil life than it is at improving civilization.

        Andrea
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        Oct 14 2011: Kriisztian - I can't get a good grip on your political and economic views regarding the occupy wall street movement...

        Bill Clinton summed up the movement this way:
        1. The protestors recognize that there is an imbalance in wealth distribution in this country. The rich people (big corporations, bankers, financiers) keep getting richer and richer - even during this deep economic crisis - while the middle class becomes weaker and weaker and the poor, well.... let's just say the safety net can't support them.

        2. That although there is plenty of blame to go around in terms of the 2008 near-meltdown, there is no argument that the financial sector had a big role in it.
        3. That the interests of the very wealthy are well-represented and well-funded (the "1%") while the interests of the other 99% were not being well-represented.

        He also went on to say that the movement needs to evolve to the point where it not only expresses what it is dissatisfied with, but also what it proposes is the solution. Otherwise, it has no sustainability.

        He is right on all counts in my view.
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          Oct 14 2011: 1. i don't recognize it. there is no such thing as balanced wealth distribution. there is just and there is unjust wealth distribution. today we have unjust. it has nothing to do with balance, equality, inequality, and such stuff.

          2. i exactly say that the financial sector has nothing to do with it. (except of course they encouraged or even bribed politicians.) government policy is to blame.

          3. represented where? in the government? in state offices? sure, i agree that if you have a corrupt government, you better have heaps of money.

          side question: clinton didn't accepted money from wall street? give me a break. he is part of this establishment, and you can only blame yourself if you believe him.
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    Oct 7 2011: Jonathan,

    You will be delighted, and no doubt amused, to know that demostrations in support of Occupy Wall Street have even reached way down east here in rural maine. A gathering is planned on the Blue Hill Bridge.and many from my remote island are making the trip to stand on that tiny little bridge.

    The initial silence of main stream media on "Occupy Wall Street" could not silence the truth we are all standing for and now that truth is the news.

    ..and maybe the forward
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    Oct 3 2011: Jonathan --

    Cover of NYTimes and Wallstreet Journal today. That'll help.

    Andrea
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    Oct 2 2011: Jonathan --

    The US Department of Treasury yesterday distributed $122 MM to community banks.

    Helps fulfill promise Obama made in 2009.

    Not much coverage. And relative pittance, perhaps, to Wallstreet.

    Still, a good sign.

    Andrea
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    Sep 30 2011: Jonathan,The "Occupy Wall Street" got terrific coverage last evening on the very reputable, very responsible Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. Chris Cilliza, a highly regarded Washington Post writer spoke supportively and encouragingly about it in quite a long segment

    .He spoke directly to your question, Jonatahan, making a very interesting observation on why even liberals have been dismissive about the sit in. He basically said the internet and the growth of media have had the effect of devaluing old fashioned garss roots politics, sit ins, rallies, protests as an effective or serious mode of raising consciousness about an issue. He made the point that it was good to be nudged out of that view and reminded that no amount of discussion and analysis can change the power of an image of a throng of oppressed people coming together to demand justice. He celebrated the spread the of the movement and said he hope it would go viral worldwide.

    Every one between the ages of 16 and 30 should stand with them wherever and whenever possible.

    As I commented in my posts yesterday at this conversation I do think they need to start communicating more specifically what they are about ...getting smart about the shenanigans still driving the world economy that has lef tthem without a piece of the pie or hope of ever getting a piece of the pie if things don't change..they need to understand what the derivatives bubble is, how Dodd-Frank tried to address that, how the Fed could change that right now, how what the FED does or doesn't do affects the lives of youth worldwide.They need some marketing, some organization, some savvy spokesmen.Here is what the Fed could do right now..what they should be demanding

    :http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/05/08/fed-has-power-to-pop-commodity-bubble/

    Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, has become involved in Occupy Wall Street and I hope he will bring that organizational and public relations guidance that can help this movement grow.
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    Sep 30 2011: The MSM, instead of fulfilling the intended role of the press in keeping Americans informed, has kept Americans either ignorant or misinformed about the state of inequality for years. People in the US think the US is far more equal than it really is:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec11/makingsense_08-16.html
    (We live in C, the banana republic. No one knows this.)

    Furthermore, the working class in this country has been brainwashed by MSM, Fox News, and the right wing propaganda machine against "socialism," but there is nothing wrong with "socialism," which the working class can't even define - they have just been emotionally brainwashed against it. We need to de-program people against the brainwashing they've experienced over the past several decades against the idea of socialism, because that is exactly what this country needs.

    Finally, what the MSM will NEVER tell you, is that broadcast spectrum ought to be a public good, not privately owned. In other countries, who owns the television stations is a huuuge deal, because they understand that the media has enormous power in controlling and directing the public's attention. Instead, Australian psychopath billionaire Rupert Murdoch and his Roger Ailes brainwash conservatives against ANY form of public goods, and the resulting mental and political inflexibilities are driving this country into the ground.

    And the media is too cowed to report on it - the press is incapable of calling a spade a spade. The policies that need to be enacted to save the country - drastically increasing the effective corporate tax rate, capital gains taxes, the top marginal tax rate, AND enacting publicly financed elections - are opposed to the media's interests. The first, because the MSM is owned by the wealthy and are supported by corporate advertising, and the second, because the arms race of privately funded political campaigns are themselves huge financial windfalls to the bread and circus providers.
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    Sep 29 2011: All great freedom movements..King's for Equal Rights, Ghandi's for India's freedom from English exploitation, the struggle for Women's Rights world wide begin with, and focus on, the single big issue and not a detailed platform of demands on specfifics,

    That's what Occupy Wall Street is now ..an attempt to make youth globally aware that how banks and markets are regulated does determine the possibilities for advancement for this and all future generations. They are trying to call attention to the reality that external private interests control and direct law in all free nations of the wor,d..not "we the people" That is a necessary first step.

    For this rally, the message they need to get across is that there is no piece of the pie for this generation of youth globally. This generation really needs to grasp that reality and get it across to mobilize a global youth movement calling for reform.

    But I would like to see some T-shirts and posters in that crowd that say "Implement Dodd-Frank Now"..I would like to see all those young folk there in Liberty Square with their lap tops online playing catch up and really understanding where the doors are to change and how Dodd-Frank is the most important door available to us right now.

    Dodd-Frank actually passed into law a year ago but its implementation has been blocked by the SEC and by the Republican majority in our Congress who are hoping that a win inthe 2012 Presidential election will repeal it. What these "Occupy Wall Street " portestors should be calling for right now is immediate implenetation of Dodd Frank and the implementation of similar market reforms globally. That should be a cre rallying cry. It is the first major piece of legislatioen that attempts to tak our lives and our laws back from control by the plutonony.

    Obama and your national heads of state, might have the courage to call for these reforms more agressively if they had support in a global youth movement.
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      Sep 29 2011: Quote: "the message they need to get across is that there is no piece of the pie for this generation of youth globally. This generation really needs to grasp that reality and get it across to mobilize a global youth movement calling for reform." Lindsay Newland Bowker
      RIGHT ON, Lindsay!

      This is the crux of the issue. This is where people of diverse ideologies and varied opinions can agree. Where will the piece of the pie come from when everything is owned before the current generation even gets a shot, no matter how brilliant, how caring, how hard working they are? We do not permit the first ones to the table to eat everything in a family leaving all of the rest, especially the children, hungry.
      I know that young people are independent and effective but I just want to say that a lot of women in particular who are middle aged and above, some with children and some without, are willing to stand with you and demand change,
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        Sep 29 2011: Thanks for your interest and support in this Debra. and for the opportunity your comment created to say a little more about the "piece of the pie' as part of a global rallying cry

        That language "piece of the pie" was actually in the now hopefully famous Citibank memo Michael Moore focused on in his movie "Capitalism:A Love Affair" ( I will try to bring the cite to the memo here later)

        .Perhaps you recall from our several other discussions here at TED where I posted this link, the memo was to Citicorp's top investors..to the plutonomy itself..It basically says don't worry, the plutonomy is safe and sound, it's grip on the world's sovereign nations and resources is secure as long as the populace still believe in the myth that they too have a shot at a piece of the pie.

        It basically said that if the populace ever woke up and realized that is a myth that it would mobilize a back lash that could undo the plutonomy.The analyst concludes the memo with a reassurance that there is no evidence that this is happening or will happen in the near future and advises its investors to focus their portfolios on consumer goods of the rich ..like Tiffany, Bulagri, Jaguar, Rolex etc.and avoid investments in more generalized cosumables as the trend was people would be able to buy fewer of these things

        .It's a very long and complicated document to read but the part about the piece of the pie and no threat of backlash is in plain english and when I bring the link here I will strip out and high light that quote

        .I tracked down the actual memo in the middle of the night after viewing Moore's film, which is itself a laymens wake up to the reality to which the Occupy Wall Street protestors are addressed...I had a visceral reaction to it. I think because I was on the New York State Banking Board for 10 years (through 1997), representing consumer interests, and truly believed our legisilative and regulatory system really was on the side of consumers. I had no inkling of what came to pass
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          Sep 29 2011: Wouldn't a copy of this memo be an outstanding hand out for the rally? Pure marketing genius!

          Lindsay you might like to read a book that I can't stop talking about called "Deadly Spin". In it a former PR executive talks about Moore and how far they went to discredit him.
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        Sep 29 2011: @Debra,

        I will check that out..same thing has happened to Julian Assange..wikileaks founder.

        And as with wikileaks the truth of the actual document speaks for itself and we learn so much from studying the wording., tone, assumptions, goals and purpose in the rhetoric f actual source documents .

        There's a lot of talk here at TED on the importance of learning the skill of critical thinking. We need that to penetrate this dark wall that separates the 99%(us) from the 1%(the ruling eleite)..that keeps us from seeing and understanding what's going on on that side of the wall..

        Another skill we don;t talk about much that is also critical is learning to deconstruct rhetoric into truth. It can be taught. It was taught at my very experimental program at the New School in the late 60's. It's because we lack that skill that we are so at the mercy of spin and what Andrea has called the "mis-truth go round"

        May be we can all begin to learn thatskill of decontrsuting rhetoric by just reading and re reading or listening to and rewinding text and videos that are spin with our minds clear of everything except the question..who is saying this? what values and assumptions are behind this? How does this jibe with what I feel is truth? Just sitting with it over and over until the truth behind it finally speaks. A sort of political version of "lectio divina".

        Could you bring some quotes of insights from Deadly Spin to us? Is there any guidance there in how to deconstruct spin?
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          Sep 29 2011: Rats! I have lent out my copy but I will try to get it back and share some excerpts.

          Here is a quote from it that I got on line:

          "My name is Wendell Potter, and for twenty years I worked as a senior executive at health insurance companies. I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick-all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors."-Senate testimony, June 24, 2009

          Part of a review:
          This former senior VP of CIGNA explained how health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, how they flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and how they skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns designed to spread disinformation.Potter had walked away from a six-figure salary and two decades as an insurance executive because he could no longer abide the routine practices of an industry where the needs of sick and suffering Americans take a backseat to the bottom line. The last straw: when he visited a rural health clinic and saw hundreds of people standing in line in the rain to receive treatment in stalls built for livestock.

          I TA'd Critical thinking at my local university for a couple years for a variety of professors and I thought it was one of the most valuable courses on the curriculum. It is one of the tools that every citizen needs but it is pretty tough to apply critical thinking when there is such a dearth of information.
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          Sep 29 2011: A bit more of the quote from the review of Deadly Spin:


          Potter shows how relentless PR assaults play an insidious role in our political process anywhere that corporate profits are at stake-from climate change to defense policy. Deadly Spin tells us why-and how-we must fight back.

          Two endorsing reviews:
          "Wendell Potter is a straight shooter -- and he hits the bulls-eye here with an expose of corporate power that reveals why real health care reform didn't happen, can't happen, and won't happen until that power is contained." —Bill Moyers

          "Wendell Potter transformed the national debate over health care when he stood up and told the truth about the health insurance industry. By breaking the insurance industry’s code of silence and explaining to his fellow Americans how health insurance companies put profits ahead of patient care, Wendell showed extraordinary courage. The compelling story of Wendell’s conversion from a health care executive to an outspoken reform advocate is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the American health care system."—Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia
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        Sep 30 2011: By way of update to my post yesterday referencing the Citibank memo on the well being of th e plutonomy made famous by Michael Moore, I made a stunning discovery today..citicorp has had it withdrawn from scribd, the link I had used and posted.

        A version I found in my google serach today and represneted as the michael moore memo memo is not that memo at all..or it is a watered down or edited version of that specifically not including the paragraph analysing the political risks to the plutonomy's well being.

        I am hoping the actual original document is still out there somewhere and will keep trying to find it.

        Taught me a big lesson..I tend to use theinternet as my file cabinet and assume that what goes out to the internet stays out on the internet..that is not the case. If I find this memo again, I will download and keep i tstored on a back up disc and will do the same for all other links I consider an important part of the historical narrative my life is about preserving and telling. That is especially true of wikileaks documents.

        .We can't be assured that information posted on the internet will be there forever. We should preserve what is important when we find it

        .I have to watch Capitalism a Love Affair Again.. my recollection is that Moore read the actual text of the paragraph I wanted to bring here and shows it on the screen long enough for us to read it. Hopefully someone was wiser than me and there is also still a web based copy of the original available somewhere.
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          Sep 30 2011: Lindsay, did you contact Moveon.org to see if you can get a copy of the memo?
          Thanks for the important warning.
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        Sep 30 2011: Thanks, Debra..will check that..I did find a stumbleupon access to the correct memo, Oct 16,2005 but couldn't copy or download text from there:


        http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1Me70a/docs.google.com/fileview%3Fid%3D0BzgUudifBc68ZGUyNzA0MzAtZDZkZC00ZmZjLTkwY2ItNzBlZWRmNjI1ZTNm%26hl%3Den%26pli%3D1

        paragraph I am referring to starts at the bottom of page 24 and continues onto 25.
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    Oct 24 2011: For our host Jonathan and for all who have shared their thoughts here, these powerful words by Paul Hawken say what this is that is arising, say what this is that OWS has arisen from and is a part of

    http://www.occupycafe.org/video/paul-hawken-blessed-unrest-wiserearth

    The title says it all

    Blessed Unrest Wise Earth

    Piercing time and calling us the 99% to awake and stay awake:

    "Forty years ago, Robert F. Kennedy reminded Americans that the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Gross National Product measure neither our national spirit nor our national achievement. Both metrics fail to consider the integrity of our environment, the health of our families and the quality of our education. As he put it, "the Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile."
    (Al Gore & David Brooks, Wall Street Journal..an article on a new vision for capitalism..a vision harnessed to and driving toward sustainability)


    "

    Unless we have or create other places here at TED Conversations where we can continue our connection as community, in community with Occupy Wall Street and the global Occupy movement, we can meet and do that at www.occupycafe.orgWhat is welling up around the world, is welling up in each of us and will lead us to wisdom.
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    Oct 21 2011: Andrea, that video was awful and I completely reject it. However, its source was dailykos; not exactly a reputable source.

    Conservative leaders I know are perplexed as to why there are still charges of racism at the Tea Party. I can only suggest that some Tea Party organizers are less diligent than others, but I still have not seen any of that garbage at the ones I have attended.

    The Pajamas Media column had a link within the article to the Washington Post, which was the basis for their column. Ann Althouse would not consider herself a conservative blogger. I do appreciate the work that the WSJ does and respect their work, and Ms. Althouse and the Washington Post do stellar work as well.

    However, when the Communist Party of America and the Socialist Workers Party of America announce support for an event, that event should be suspect. Which was the original point of why I think OWS is problematic.

    We will obviously have to agree to disagree; I also have no interest in debating propaganda.

    Cheers,
    Kevin
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      Oct 21 2011: Kevin--

      I consider the Washington Post a reliable source. Wish you would have posted directly to the article, not filtered it through the blog.

      As it happens, I have a friend who has a column in todays Post. He emailed me Wednesday night and told me how impressed he was with their fact-checking. Besides being published in numerous academic journals, He's widely published in media, too. Including GOP think-tank Center for the American Experiment. I respect his analysis of WP's robust fact-checking.

      As for the Tea Party nastiness captured in the video. I agree Daily Kos is not agenda-free. My point about using reliable sources was related to financial source. As I said, given the topic is regards financial corruption on Wall Street -- I am far less willing to take my financial information from second- third and/or agenda driven sources. So my standards are far higher when it comes to such data.

      Photos, as those in the Tea Party ugliness, can possibly be altered. But given they are visible (whereas most actual spreadsheets aren't) viewers capacities to analyze the available evidence is arguably better.

      Were there one or two ugly photos in vague places, I would write them off as "maybe real, maybe photoshopped."

      Given there were hundreds of different images, they echo the rhetoric that is ubiquitous on various conservative and independent blogs, are reported by many and which I've heard first hand, I'm inclined to believe there is a reasonable truth to the "net" racism they capture.

      A quick example of my experience.

      Here it is: http://dynamicshift.org/archives/from-bipartisan-blame-to-civilized-change

      To be fair these children don't identify themselves as Tea Partiers. But I know some of their parents, who do.

      I hasten to note. This piece is on a blog I publish. So, fair for you to keep this in mind. While the piece is a commentary, the embedded articles I use as sources in the essay come from regarded news sources.

      Andrea
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    Oct 17 2011: Andrea,

    In another reading of the article from the AP, I noticed the article did not quite match the headline, but there is still wiggle room for China in the comments they made.

    Karl Denninger is most notably, however, a founding contributer to conservative blog market-ticker.org and is one of the early members of the Tea Party movement ("I cannot take credit for the idea floated on the forum, but I do like it."), is a quote attributed to him from Wikipedia. Rick Santelli's CNBC mention of a tea party followed Mr. Denninger's Blog entry on January 20th, 2009.

    On January 20, 2009 Denninger published an article regarding the suggestion to mail tea bags to the white house and to congress. The title of his post was "Tea Party February 1st?," and it was written in direct response to President Obama's inauguration occurring on the same day, even though he openly voted for Obama. The article took issue with the bailouts, the US national debt and "the fraud and abuse in our banking and financial system" which included the predatory lending practices currently at the center of the home mortgage foreclosure crisis.

    I do not mean to quibble, but Denninger had a role in helping found the Tea Party movement, but it is a stretch to call him of the founders of the Tea Party. There are too many diverse Tea Party groups scattered around the country, and they rarely have a coordinated message. That is a similarity with OWS, but still significantly different than the DNC and RNC.

    We still go back to the fact that Congress passed the laws, and the banks and others used those laws for their own shareholder return. Congress, starting with the Community Reinvestment Act, forced banks and mortgage companies to give loans to people who could not afford them, under penalty of law if they did not do so. There are CRA compliance officers in every bank to be sure the bank follows the law.

    Wall Street and Main Street had to follow the rules promulgated by Congress.

    Kevin
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      Oct 19 2011: Kevin --

      Regards compliance officers in every bank to be sure the banks follow the law. They ought to be fired by the banks, at least.

      Non-complaince just cost Citibank $285MM today, achieved by regulators at the SEC enforcing penalty of law. (Citibank"s Swiss partner is also ponying up.) A sadly necessary, if upside-down, way to induce US import revenue via Wall Street.

      These would todays cases (like Goldman Sacks was) of Wall Street not following the rules and Washington having to force the compliance their compliance officers have failed to. I expect more are in the works.

      One wonders why Wall Street doesn't stand up and fly right unless government forces them to. God knows, their customers and compliance officers can't convince them to. If they did, we wouldn't need big-government SEC lawsuits. But, banks don't have great history of compliance even with the threat of civil settlements in the hundreds of millions of dollars range. Government adjudicators are, all evidence suggests, the only ones who can rectify unethical bank behaviors.

      I'm aware of how regulatory compliance is reported (or not) by corporations. There are some who would say it is akin to the Fox guarding the henhouse.

      In the case of Wall Street banks and the media that defends them the most, I'd agree.

      Regards Denninger. Yes, I'd agree with you that you are quibbling non-relevant details. The salient reality is that he is/was an influential early leader of the Tea Party. And voices sincere and relevant concerns about the corruption that many, including conservatives and libertarians, find deeply troubling.

      Which, brings me back to your original assertion that OWS is anti-Semite.

      What do you make of the racist stance of some of the Tea Party group. Including those whose placards I quoted and are represented in the video of white supremacist at the CPAC event that I posted?

      Andrea
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        Oct 21 2011: Andrea,
        The compliance discussion will get us off track on our earlier discussions, but I will be happy to continue it later. That could and probably should be a whole 'nother thread.

        In respect to your comments of racism from Tea Party groups: the link wasn't active, so I could not review what you claimed was said. I will, however, tell you that at any Tea Party event I attended, whenever I and many others saw ANY kind of sign that was racist or bigoted the person with the sign was either asked to leave or to immediately throw away the sign. Most were embarrassed, some indignant, but all complied or they were walked out of the rally. We simply did not tolerate any of that. I have attended 4 rallies in MO and IN. In one case, a police officer came with me to help remove the individual as he was becoming very abusive and belligerent.

        Anti-Semitism proof:
        http://www.theblaze.com/stories/rnc-asks-top-dems-wheres-the-outrage-on-occupy-wall-street-anti-semitism/
        http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/10/13/more-anti-semitism-at-occupy-los-angeles/
        http://althouse.blogspot.com/2011/10/anti-semitism-at-occupy-wall-street.html
        http://www.committeeforisrael.com/
        There are more, but the point originally was made regarding the language being used by people at OWS events. My assertion is, still, that one can use the term "money-lenders" for everything said about the people to whom this event is directed. It has long been a code word for Jews.

        The CPAC event showed people telling that idiot to go away, just as I and many others have done at Tea Party rallies.

        You also made a comment about cash raised from Wall Street corporations and individuals donated to Romney and Perry. The headline from this is that President Obama has raised more than all GOP contenders combined.
        http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/10/19/occupy-barack-obama-has-raised-more-from-wall-street-than-all-the-gop-contenders-combined/

        Lots of topics and I am enjoying our discussion.
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          Oct 21 2011: Kevin--

          Video of Tea Party ugliness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI

          I'm glad you reject such behaviors. Still, they persist. As evidenced by the difficulty you say you've had with rouge Tea Partiers. Even the most conservative leaders I know (and I know some quite well) are appalled by the continual racism exhibited in Tea Party ranks.

          With due respect, the links you provide are produced by dubious if not frankly propagandist sources. If you'd like me to seriously consider your arguments, you'll have to do better then conservative blogs and "Pajamas Media."

          Given how easily corruptible any financial information is. I prefer to rely on better-sourced and more objectively communicated data. I consider The Wall Street Journal, which I cited in my earlier post, a more robust and reliable source than those you've presented.

          I'll have to take a powder from dialoguing with you unless you can produce less biased sources.

          Until then, I'm not willing to invest more time debating poorly veiled propaganda.

          Andrea
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          Oct 21 2011: Kevin --

          Economist Jeffrey Sachs is among many Jewish people strongly in agreement with OWS.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB_eoUqbKDw&feature=related

          Andrea
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    Oct 17 2011: Seriously? There has actually been WAY too much coverage based upon the sheer numbers of people attending the occupy events. These numbers are far fewer than many of the Tea Party Rallies, and the press, the talking heads, and the President have paid far greater attention to them than the grass roots rallies. The occupywallstreet.org website was registered back in May or June. There has been some serious planning and dollars spent on this aberration. It is very anti-Semitic and both the Communists and Socialists have announced support. Even the President has signaled support; to say there is no coverage is a denial of the facts.
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      Oct 17 2011: Kevin,

      100,000 people protests merit media coverage.

      There was serious planning and Republican-and Libertarian dollars spent on Tea Party, as well,. Which perhaps you know.

      This from Libertarian Rand Paul supporters, supporting OWS:

      ""The folks occupying Wall Street are right on the mark when it comes to identifying the central evil in our economic system, regardless of sometimes fuzzy perceptions of the causality at work and wrongheaded proposals for remedying it: The unholy alliance of big business with the state, and the plutocracy that’s enriched itself beyond human comprehension by extracting rents from the rest of us."

      Which Communists and Socialists have announced support?

      Andrea
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        Oct 17 2011: Hi Andrea,
        The Communist Party of America announced support last week, and just this morning there is an article from AP discussing China's support for OWS. The Socialist party of America announced support for it a couple of weeks ago. I can find the link if you wish.

        There WAS serious planning by Tea Party people, but for the most part, Republican establishment dollars stayed away. Almost all of the Tea Party rallies were bootstrapped by a group of individuals pooling their own money. A couple of rallies I attended, any individual from any party was prohibited from speaking as a representative of that party. In fact, there were numerous Republican officials in Missouri who insisted that if they were to speak they also were to be allowed to press for their own re-election. The Tea Party organizers refused to allow this. The Tea Party was truly an example of grass roots and my point about OWS is that it is a true example of an astroturf movement. Many of the participants have said on their blogs and on the air that they are being paid by various groups and organizations for showing up. I think that is why many of them have trouble articulating why they are there.

        The website was registered months ago by Adbusters.org to plan for this event in September. The Tea Party groups, generally, registered their own websites within a month or less of the event they were planning.

        I like the quote from Rand Paul, but OWS is blaming groups who have to live with the laws passed by our elected officials. The elected officials are the ones that should be held accountable for the things they do and what results from their actions. No one within OWS is talking that way - it is just anger at capitalism and big banks.

        Kevin
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          Oct 17 2011: Kevin,

          Wall Street banks announced joint ventures with China early this year. Their effort was likely prophylactic. By propping up Wall Street with Chinese funds. Given US voters are out of funds and will to support more bailouts.

          So, if China is now supporting OWS, Wall Streets attempt to cosy up to China didn't work. I don't know, but imagine there is a possibility that China is telegraphing that it perceives if has been duped by Wall Street.

          That said, I doubt China is declaring any support for anything. Not their style. They are doers, not talkers.

          Karl Denninger, one of the founders of the Tea Party has long complained about it being corrupted by GOP money and hijacked by conservative politicians.

          Denninger has publicly announced his support for Occupy Wallstreet. He endorses their efforts to not be corrupted by big money and power interests. .

          Andrea
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    Oct 14 2011: Krisztian: "there is no such thing as balanced wealth distribution. there is just and there is unjust wealth distribution"

    What kind of an answer is that?!?!? Doubletalk?
    Please don't employ semantics to make your point.

    Kirsztian: "it has nothing to do with balance, equality, inequality, and such stuff."

    I never said equal distribution and you slipped it in there anyway as if it is synonymous with "balanced". It is not.
    For example, to have "balance" in one's life does not mean you have "equal" measures of things that are important to you. It means you have the right combination of those things that create balance in your life. Not "equal measures". The "right combination of measures" to achieve balance.

    Same thing with cultural economics. To have balance does not mean you have equal distribution of wealth. It means that you have the right combination of super rich, very rich, rich, middle income, lower income (and hopefully no one below the poverty line without some kind of assistance) and the economic mechanisms in place to sustain that balance.

    Although there has not been an economic system put in place in the history of humankind (that I'm aware of) that accomplished that perfectly, the aim is to always strive for it. That's what we are doing here in the USA and it's ugly and messy but it is effective.

    Your comments often have the feel of dogmatic and ideological fervor, but the only one that seems to match is anarchy - in which case if that is your position you have nothing constructive to contribute.
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      Oct 16 2011: jim, i find it troubling that you attack my comments with aggression, without the slightest attempt to interpret them in a constructive way.

      it might surprise you that a comma separated list of terms does not imply that they would be synonyms. there can be a lot of semantical reasons why words are put in a list. this time, they are similar in one regard, they both deal with the statistical distribution of money. money can be evenly distributed, or distributed in a way that is not too heavy on any sides, etc, etc. and my claim is that such statistics does not make any sense. nobody can tell what is the "right" distribution of money. because there is NO right distribution of money. it is completely value neutral whether 99.99% is owned by one single person, or we both own 1/7bnth part. neither is any better than the other.

      however, there is a great difference in *what way* money is distributed. the method is important. if it happens through voluntary cooperation, without coercion or fraud, it is a just way of distributing wealth.
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        Oct 18 2011: I'm not "attacking" you - I'm debating you. I'm calling into question how you presented your argument and concluded that it sounded much like an anarchist point of view.
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          Oct 18 2011: so you judge arguments by classifying them? "we don't need to refute that, it is anarchist." which, i suppose, is a synonym for lunatic.
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        Oct 18 2011: I respond so strongly to your arguments because you present them so strongly... But I think we both have the tendency to regress to a bit of name-calling (labeling). Sorry about that but you get me angry with your capitalist rants (there I go again..... :)

        Back on topic.... The Occupy Wall Street people are not a politically aligned group (though they will vote when the time comes). They are unhappy - even desparate - about the inaction of government to address "quality of life" issues (many of them financial) t..that are so severely affecting so many hard-working people in this country. They are demanding that politicians, many of whom are entrenched in their idealogical beliefs and seemingly willing to watch things crumble, to rise above their ideological differences and act in a bi-partisan way to address critical issues such as jobs, financial reform, and a more balanced approach to deficit reduction. The stakes are so high and the inaction so prevalent that people have woken up and are speaking out in the most democratic and American of ways.
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          Oct 18 2011: wow, that was a nice evasion maneuver.

          being upset is good. things don't go well. my point was from the beginning that if they don't understand the causes and the effects, things will never get any better.
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    Oct 13 2011: Jonathan --

    US Democratic political party is considering adapting the themes of the ever-growing Occupy Wallstreet movement.

    Andrea
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      Oct 13 2011: I hope they don't. The movement is gaining some real steam, and appealing to people on both sides of the aisle. If it becomes a partisan issue, it will turn divisive. I'd hate to see that - it's rare we unite under a common vision.
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        Oct 13 2011: Linda --

        A very good point -- Occupy Wallstreet addresses a cross-partisan concern.

        Andrea
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          Oct 18 2011: But you can see it happening already. The political right painting OWS as a democratic/left-leaning political movement. The media needs to step up and keep the facts straight. (That's where you come in Andrea:)).

          There is a powerful post Icame across by a woman named Stephanie Sautter.on the subject of OWS that I will quote here:

          "I am a hair stylist. I cut your hair, your kids hair, your parents hair.I am accomplished at this and I love what I do. I pay my rent, my bills and my taxes yet own nothing but a car.I love m y life, even love my old car. I take car of myself and my health, however... Last year I was diagnosed with aggressive inflammatory breast cancer and had no medical insurance. It took me three months to start treatment while it spread to my lymph nodes. Thank God my income was low enough I got accepted to Medi-Cal since without it I would be Dead right now. One year later and I am still in treatment which had I started right away would not have been so extreme. But, I am alive today. I am one of the 99%"
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        Oct 18 2011: Jim,

        What a powerful narrative "testimony" to the reality of 99% -ers.

        Movements need many layers of voices -- preferable all as sincere and factual as possible. Elinor Ostrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in economics speaks to something called "polycentric governance."

        Basically it calls for many forces layered in various civic vernaculars and public settings focusing around core or central themes. The core theme all share is the economy and belief that it has been mishandled.

        This is a crosspartisan concern that, whether some like it or not, both conservatives and liberals share.

        The trick is to continually name and address realities and, to an extent, don't buy into the seemingly stronger or contrary rhetoric of "the other." But, YES, to correct inaccuracies with facts!

        And to also see the interconnections, as this hairdresser does, that transcend difference.

        Passions are high. And there are reasons some who seem to be propagating counterintuitive themes beyond their connections with banks, etc.

        The biggest reason propaganda grows is because it is heard. And the best way to fight it is not so much to speak against it but to speak the truth that counters it, louder and longer and more compellingly. .

        Media can be a powerful conduit for sharing the truth, and generally will cover even non-revenue generating stories, if they are compelling told, in ways the media can defend as newsworthy.

        Which is of course, what makes it is critically important that media hears quantifiable evidence, driven by objective information of interest to its readers. Which is not to say information flattering or fawning to readers, but that "flatters" the intelligence of the outlet by showing that it is plugged into the most important stories.

        Its part a numbers game. The more media hears of a story from different sources, the more it is compelled to cover it.

        OWS and those who care about it, need to keep on keeping on the media.

        Andrea
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      Oct 17 2011: I hope they don't for the sake of the republic. This movement, based upon video and transcripts, is anti-Semitic, and anti-achievement. The terms they are using are an old code. Can't you just hear "money-lenders" when they speak about big bankers and Wall Street in the manner in which they speak about them? "Money-lenders" has been a code for Jews for centuries. Do we really want to ignore anti-Semitic comments and attitudes in this country, too? And speaking as a conservative/libertarian, the OWS does NOT address a cross-partisan concern. I find it amazingly shocking that many participants want everyone else to pay for their ambitions, loans, schooling, ideas, hygiene, and protection so they can express their rights.
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        Oct 17 2011: Are you suggesting the people of the OWS movement are anti-Semitic? Because they're angry the financial institutions and Wall Street have not been held accountable?

        I see it a little differently. I think the Tea Party and OWS are more similar than they are different. Ideologies and world views distance them, but they are both dissatisfied with different sides of the same coin.
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          Oct 17 2011: I am suggesting the OWS crowd is anti-Semitic. They use the same code words that have been used for centuries. They are mis-directing their anger at Wall Street and using it as an opportunity to vent their anti-Semitism by calling people names, when the financial meltdown and the mortgage crisis which precipitated it were caused by laws passed by Congress. Wall Street figured out, for awhile, how to make money with those laws but when the unintended consequences of those laws began to occur, Wall Street was held responsible when no Senators or Congressman were. I do agree that there is some dissatisfaction on different sides of the same coin, however the Tea Party is saying too much control, too many taxes whereas OWS is asking for more control and more regulation.
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          Oct 17 2011: Kevin --

          Given that Jewish people are among those involved in Occupy Wallsteret, I think it is a rhetorical stretch to suggest the movement as anti-Semite.

          Unless all banks are owned by Jewish people, its kind of like saying Occupy Wallstreet is anti-men, because money-lenders in the past were mostly men. Or, saying it is anti-housing, because mortgages are lent for houses. Or anit-realtors, because realtors broker house buying, etc.

          It is useful to remember, government leaders are money lenders to Wallstreet,

          Given that corporations, including those led by both bankers and Jewish (as people of many other faith beliefs) fund congresspeople's campaigns, I suggest Wallstreet might contribute to congressional leaders relative complicity in the problem.

          And, if Tea Parties you speak of want less government-control, and if you are correct that government politicians are the reason Wallstreet is in trouble. Do these particular Tea-Parties plan to stop funding politicians?

          In fact, my understanding is that key Tea Party leaders are among those advising Occupy Wallstreet. They are among the 99% of populists who've lost big due to both Wallstreet/Washington failures.

          Andrea
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          Oct 17 2011: Kevin,

          Wall Street funding of Washington politicians is the money-trail that leads to the problem you suggest.

          The single largest funder for presidential campaigns is Wall Street.

          According to today's "The Wall Street Journal" GOP candidates Romney and Perry are in a horse race for Wall Street cash. Here's a snippet:

          "A quarter of the biggest donors to Mr. Romney's campaign are hedge fund managers, investment bankers and others on Wall Street, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of more than 10,000 individuals who donated the maximum amount allowed to the presidential candidates so far this year."

          Andrea
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        Oct 17 2011: Kevin, your accusation that OWS members are anti-Semitic sounds strikingly similar to the often, broad generalizations that tea party members are racist. In my opinion, both are inaccurate, and painted with a brush too broad.

        Overall dissatisfaction, and a collective need to balance the playing field after a great deal of polarization and Washington gridlock is at play here, I think. I'd also suggest the 'idea' that republicans seek less control/more freedom, while liberals seek the opposite is labeling and a projected stereotyping of an idea we all buy into. Truth of the matter is it depends on the issue. Look at voter registration, immigration and abortion, vs. Finance reform, gun control and HPV vaccinations. All Americans are seeking freedom and control, just different shades of it.

        I wonder what it would be like if citizens released themselves from the bondage of party affiliations that attempt to define what we believe - creating polarization, denial and divisiveness - and made decisions on an issue by issue basis.
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          Oct 17 2011: Great points from Andrea and Linda. Thanks.
          Andrea: I'm well aware that people of all kinds are at the OWS events. I simply do not believe they know where the funding is coming from so they may not know who started the activity. The website was registered months ago by adbusters.org - a self described anti-consumerist and pro-environment organization. I'm not sure you have to be anti-consumerist to be pro-environment but that is what they state.
          http://www.adbusters.org/about/adbusters

          "Adbusters has launched numerous international campaigns, including Buy Nothing Day, TV Turnoff Week and Occupy Wall Street, and is known for their "subvertisements" that spoof popular advertisements." - Wikipedia.

          I would be very surprised if some Tea Party people were advising OWS. They are at cross-purposes in their held beliefs.

          Is there too much money coming from Wall Street officials to Politicians? Of course. President Obama received more support from Wall Street in 2008 than did Senator McCain. President Obama is still receiving a lot of support from Wall Street but at a reduced rate than previously. Wall Street employees and officers can generally read the political tea leaves pretty well and will send more money to those they think can win.

          Linda: I'm interested in that broad brush description. No one can find a video or audio of any tea party event where a minority is insulted or harmed. But, the accusation still stands without any foundation on which to build it. However, adbusters.org, the primary funder of OWS, has some history of anti-Semitism, the words used still sound eerily familiar to the insults used for centuries in talking about Jews. There is the mis-perception that Jews control Wall Street. Look at many of the screes that come from parts of the radical Islamic world. More later. Thanks for the discussion.
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          Oct 17 2011: Kevin,

          Video of bigoted rhetoric by Tea Partiers. Among it:

          "The American taxpayers are the Jews for Obama's ovens"
          "Speak for yourself Obama. We are a Christian Nation."
          "Congo = Slave Owner Tax Payer = Niggar (sic)"
          "We Need a Christian President"
          "Obama Spends Like a Woman"
          "Cap Congress and Trade Obama back to Kenya"
          "United States of Mexico"
          "Impeach the Muslim Marxist"
          "This sign is the brownest thing on the whole block."
          "Obama Listens to Mao. I Listen to FoxNews."

          And this:

          White racist speaking at Republican CPAC fundraising convention in Denver:
          http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/14/video-young-cpacers-send-white-nationalist-packing/

          In these two videos alone: Women, Muslims, Jews, Germans, African Americans, Africans, Chinese, Native American, Mexicans, East Indians, Europeans. Blacks, Italians, Irish, Arabs and others, including multiethnic Americans disparaged.

          The good news: young conservatives were so disgusted by the white supremacist's rhetoric they ran him off the forum.

          Others like them are those who are in full support of Occupy Wall Street.

          Andea
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        Oct 17 2011: Powerful, Andrea. Good for those young republicans! It certainly demonstrates why many are making racist generalizations. One bad apple, as they say. Or two, or three.

        When I was at Occupy Wall Street recently, the only noteworthy thing I heard hinting at differences was a union worker innocently asking one of his union brothers, "What's ying-yang?"

        The other guy just shrugged.

        It was sweet.
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    Oct 3 2011: for those who are interested in some in-depth analysis from the classical liberal point of view:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHNDwZM_AS4

    stefan molyneux interview
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    Oct 2 2011: Jonathan,

    Some evidence mainstream coverage is growing:

    http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20111002/ap_on_re_us/us_wall_street_protest

    500 arrests of Brooklyn Bridge protesters today will insure more, I imagine.

    I also have an inkling (or hope, perhaps) the brouhaha regards unethical business practices in Chinese corporate partners will help shed light on American ties to the same. Now would be an apropos time to focus on Citizen's United, too.

    It's all tied together.

    Andrea
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    Oct 1 2011: "With the current occupation of Wall Street and the international condemnation of an economic model that would take advantage of those most in need, we are witnessing (Adam) Smith’s prediction in action. It is only when the reality of people’s suffering is hidden that greed is allowed to dictate policy. While our current system has chosen the greed of the few over the needs of the many, the intellectual founder of modern capitalism suggests it doesn’t need to be this way. When we think of the anguish of the sufferers, we take part with them more earnestly against their oppressors.”

    Eric Michael Johsnon " Commodity Traitors:Financial Seculation on Commodities Fuels Global Insecurity" Scientific American September 22, 2011

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/primate-diaries/2011/09/22/commodity-traitors/

    This wonderful Scientific American article has a plain English explanation of how the deregulation of the commodities market in 2000 has contributed to a global food crisis through the market disortionns of food prices
    caused by speculation. The article is addressed primarily to an important new study:Marco Lagi, Yavni Bar-Yam, Karla Z. Bertrand & Yaneer Bar-Yam (2011). The Food Crises: A quantitative model of food prices including speculators and ethanol conversion. New England Complex Systems Institute.URL: http://necsi.edu/research/social/foodprices.html

    But it is also a plain engish explanation of why the Dodd-Frank provisions on commodities market reform are so important and why their gutting and delay in implementation should be a primary focus of the Occupy Wall Stree movement .It is a cime against humanity to allow the the costs of things as esssental to life as food and energy to be driven by pure speculation. It would be so wonderful if the effect of this Occupy Wall Sreet movement besulted in a global prohibition on speculation not tied to end user demands in food, oil and energy.
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    Sep 30 2011: A little inspiration for all those who would join the protest. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" NO LONGER APPLIES!

    http://youtu.be/YWyCCJ6B2WE
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    Sep 30 2011: definatly worth sharing on ted; cheers.
  • Sep 28 2011: It is unbelievable that main stream media jams down our throats more information about Libyan, Egyptian, Syrian and on and on protest but no coverage for our own occupy wall street protest. Where are you Brian Williams? You are supposed to be "The Most Trusted Man In America". Can we really trust you now?
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    Sep 26 2011: i really wish i could be there in support.
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    Sep 26 2011: can anyone tell me what is the goal/message here? i see that people "occupy" the wall street. then i see a wannabe-ss cop embarrassing the nypd. then i see all the fuss about it. then i go to the website, go to the "who we are" menu to find out that there is no information about who they are, what they want and especially how. maybe i should watch the video more than 1 minute? because no information was to be found in the first minute, so i got bored with it.

    can someone tell me what is this movement is all about?
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      Sep 26 2011: quoted because i am lazy "The purpose of Occupy Wall Street is simple: gather as diverse a group of demonstrators as possible to make a peaceful statement about government corruption and the privileging of big business and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans in policy making"
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        Sep 27 2011: "to make a peaceful statement". what would that statement be? "government corruption and ..." and why this takes place on the wall street? the government is in washington.
        • Sep 29 2011: The government may be in Washington, but the power is on Wall Street.
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        Sep 29 2011: yeah, eleanor, it is kind of a trend today to say so. but in fact, all the regulations, the monetary policy and fiscal policy, tax laws and these things come from washington (and other governments).

        however, it is easy to see the lights at the wall street. it takes a little more learning and thinking to connect the dots, and see the structural problems behind the glitter. and it takes even more thinking to link it to the behavior of the masses.

        so feel free to blame other people for your own failure. and sorry for disturbing you.
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          Sep 29 2011: Krisztian, I think the whole point is to say clearly to 'the man behind the curtain' like the little man (Wall St. investors) behind the curtain of the "GreaT and Powerful OZ" (the American Government)in a loud voice that WE SEE YOU!

          The power is only nominally in Washington when lobbyists, PR, special interest groups and corporations who have the status of persons- now persons with the ability to advertise and sway elections- have far more voice than 'we the people'.
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          Oct 7 2011: Krisztián, it is naive to believe that the power is in Washington. We are, in my assessment, in Fascist State. Not the WWII Germany type, but the corporations control the state type. Debra says it, lobbyist, PR and special interest control everything. Fox News is a corporate arm of the government, the propaganda dept. and there are enough people who listen to and believe them without thinking things through for themselves.
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          Oct 14 2011: Kirsztian: "it is easy to see the lights at the wall street. it takes a little more learning and thinking to connect the dots, and see the structural problems behind the glitter."

          I think you may have some un-learning and re-thinking to do... The "glitter" of wall street has hypnotized you.
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        Sep 29 2011: debra, you said the same as eleanor, that secretly, big business runs the country. exactly how? anyone can run for any public office, and people can vote for anyone. or you say the election results are completely forged? isn't it a conspiracy theory? isn't it a simple denial of responsibility? we are in trouble because some shady power groups control everything. so i can lament, and i don't have to think, and it's not my fault! people refuse to learn and incorporate new knowledge.

        not the wall street, but we, the people make the decisions. in the US and in the EU, and in many other parts of the world, governments do exactly what people want. and the result is terrible, because people want bad things. and now people look for the guilty, because they still refuse to notice that the situation is a direct result of the measures they asked for and voted for.
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          Sep 29 2011: I have heard this approach from you before as well and will strive for common ground. Yes, in many many ways the citizens of the country are responsible for the messes we are in because we elect politicians that tickle our ears and tell us what we want to hear. In this you are absolutely right. I would now assert though that we no longer have the even playing field that we assumed we did. I am NO conspiracy theorist. I have always felt it was impossible that large groups could function cohesively together to perpetrate large scale misdirection or malfeasance. However, we know how whole populations and countries have been manipulated to believe another country is heinous. While you put up a straw man of forged elections, there is almost no difference if a population is given pure lies as truth as in the case of the healthcare debate in the US. (Please take the time to read some of what I posted from Deadly Spin below).

          You fail to acknowledge or perhaps you are just where I used to be before my MBA, that businesses are no longer run just for profit but for maximal profit which is an ethos run by Wall St. and that it has all its metrics which run counter to any common good. You also fail to acknowledge the tipping of the scale that resulted when corporations became 'persons' under the law and additionally that they are allowed to use their monumental wealth to influence elections by judicial ruling and by PR and lobbying.

          You do not acknowledge the use of psychology, mass influence, propaganda and manipulation by people who have no sense of a common good.
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          Oct 2 2011: Krisztian,

          Suggest you give a critical look at Citizen's United. Not demanded by or approved by the people.

          It was a 2010 law made by the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the "third-leg" of the American government, which stands apart from the democracy process.

          Contrary to the populist name, Citizen's United neither benefits the democratic system nor unites citizens.

          It stipulates that corporations can contribute unnamed sums to US politicians. It is a work-around for campaign law that stipulates only individual US citizens can contribute to campaign marketing. It achieves this work around by assigning corporations the same status as individual citizens.

          Given that many US corporations are multi-national, one can imagine how the concept of one-citizen, one-vote ideals might not only be undermined by corporations with economic interests funding candidates, but corporations non-US economy interests would further muddy the money trail.

          So the "one-person, one-vote ideal that many misperceive the US system to exemplify in practice is more like one-corporation, one big campaign boost for candidate most likely to succeed delivering political favors.

          A piece I wrote on these themes shows how citizen's from both parties agree Citizen's United undermines the US democracy:

          http://dynamicshift.org/archives/burnsville-bi-partisans-governor-dayton-is-right

          And another with video of an exchange with Bill Moyer's who articulated how We the People is in an uphill battle with we the corporations:

          http://dynamicshift.org/archives/bill-moyers-we-the-people-are-our-civilization.

          Andrea
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        Sep 29 2011: debra, you didn't address my primary point, so i elaborate a little more.

        all the actions of governments in the western world are approved and demanded by people. you think people are against wars? on paper. obama promised to end the wars, he didn't, but you still support him. and look the other side: romney, perry or bachmann not only won't be able to stop the wars, but they actively support wars. there are candidates against wars, but they don't get votes.

        people support small government and strict fiscal policy? sure they are, on paper. but ask anything like "do you support free schooling?" "do you support retirement pensions?" "do you support fannie and freddie?" "do you support the government's effort to grant everyone houses?" "do you think it is the government's job to make the streets safe?" "do you believe that it's the nation's interest that GM survives?" "do you think the government should look after the unemployed?" "do you support the minimum wage?", you will get all yes answers.

        whether or not the wall street fuels these misconceptions, you can't solve that by sitting on the pavement of wall street. you need to teach people about these issues. the current situation is the result of ignorance. the wall street makes a good living out of it. fight the ignorance, and not those who take advantage. because even if you win, and they won't take advantage, stupid decisions will still be stupid decisions, and they will cripple the economy and our future.
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          Sep 29 2011: "all the actions of governments in the western world are approved and demanded by people"

          I think that statement is WAY out of line and in no way factual.
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          Sep 30 2011: HI Krisztian,
          Your point that people need to take responsibility is an important one and I am in no way denying that. Additionally you make a wonderful point about educating the electorate to be more knowledgeable about the issues and the choices that they make and the programs they support. I fully agree with those points and appreciate that you raised them

          Where I differ from you is in the perception of the complexity of government today. Even if the people do everything right, even if they vote knowledgeably and faithfully discharge their duty in the electoral process the system that is in place, the laws that have been made, the interpretations by the courts, the access that special interests have- all these distort and destroy the process of fair government.

          What control did the American people have over the bail outs?. What control do they have over the pork barrel projects that are attached to every piece of legislation? What control do they have over going to war when they are lied to? What control do they have over their own healthcare?

          Please do not tell me that change cannot be effected by peaceful protest and civil movements. Tell history and tell Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. All I am is one of millions of believers that when 'we the people' face the worst of excesses of power and corruption that is the ONLY thing that can change things short of blood shed which no one wants.

          As a disclaimer it is only fair to remind you that I am Canadian and not American. However, I am convinced that parts of the American foundational documents are among the highest political thought humanity has yet produced and as a product of American television programming, I really wanted to believe in truth, justice and the American way and I sort of miss that ethos on the planet. As a Canadian, I am affected by everything that the USA does because as a former Prime Minister of Canada once said it is like sleeping next to an elephant (if it rolls over you're toast).
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          Sep 30 2011: Krisztian, I found a clip of a movie called Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon expresses exactly how much control the average citizen has over what his government is doing:

          http://youtu.be/UrOZllbNarw

          It is this frustration, this level of lack of input that has to be addressed and that people in the world are trying to overcome.
        • Sep 30 2011: I think Debra has encapsulated the problem about the US and our current political situation. It goes directly to the need for protest at Wall St. Too many of US politicians act as if the situation and the solution were simple, when it is really complex on both counts. Both Tim and Jonathan say it well also.
          The differences between a simple situation and solution, a complicated one, and a complex one are very important. Let me outline them briefly with some historical military examples. In the US Civil War, both the situations and the solutions were fairly simple. Two sides lined up against each other. Both generals knew often times quite specifically what the other army had on hand. Knowing the range of tactics available to the other person, it was a matter of using the right tactic at the right moment. Picture now a cavalry regiment going across the Plains. The situation was much more complicated. The captain would have sent out scouts that may or may not be able to provide correct information. The enemy might actually be around the next bend. The captain knew that in general with both information and his weapons, he could at least manage this situation, even if it meant strategic retreat. It was complicated, but manageable. Think of modern urban warfare now. Who knows who the enemy is and where he might be. In fact the enemy today may be an ally tomorrow depending on the situation. The situation and the solutions are terribly complex.
          We no longer live in world where the solution can be “Just let the market take its course;” “Defeat raising the debt ceiling;” “Don’t raise taxes.” These issues and situations defy simple or even complicated solutions. The only way to deal with complexity is to find the leverage point in the system. People are taking to the streets, demanding real change, because suddenly they understand instead of listening to media and corporations and political rhetoric, it is time to take action against the enemy they see.
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        Sep 29 2011: tim, as i said, on paper. are you sure you are not in the denial phase?
        • Sep 30 2011: Hi Krisztian, regarding your comment "all the actions of governments in the western world are approved and demanded by people", please do not tell me you truly believe that the Greek people really wanted their country sold down the river and effectively lose their sovereignty? How the now depleted countries of Ireland, Portugal, Spain etc. approved and demanded their countries to be felled into a financial pit of darkness. I know i did't want that to happen to Britain. I know that a large number of people in Britain did not support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and those that did had based that support on LIES from the government. FACT!!

          I could carry on with examples from all over the Western World where mass populations have either been misinformed, misdirected or completely left in the dark as to what their Head of States are doing in their name. I believe you underestimate the power corporations wield over government and the minds of people. People are easily swayed that is why advertising and marketing are able to exist. You talk of ignorance but we entrust these same institutions to educate our children and us before.

          This is a period of enlightenment for many people, one where people are beginning to wake up to the injustices that we currently face but more importantly that we, as the people, actually have the power to change it. Taking to the streets in the first step in that process.

          You asked "isn't it a simple denial of responsibility?" Not at all, in fact the opposite. People are taking responsibility hence why they are taking to the streets.
        • Oct 4 2011: The Greek people don't want "their country sold down the river (or to) lose their sovereignty," but the Greek people voted for a government that promised them freebies that they hadn't earned and could not afford, and you can't expect people elsewhere to work for nothing to provide for the Greek people who don't want to work to provide for themselves.

          Krisztiån is right: vote for better politicians. The US isn't Libya – there is democracy. I agree that there are powerful interests that have to be guarded against – President Eisenhower warned against them 50 years ago, but I have been involved in politics (in Canada), and the knowledge of the average voter is appalling. Most vote on how a candidate looks. Anyway, milling about in a park and shouting anti-capitalist slogans without a clear idea of goals or how to affect change is not very positive – only negative.
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        Sep 30 2011: jonathan, please listen more carefully, because this is fruitless this way. i said that people approved and demanded the actual decisions made by governments. not the result. they disapprove the result, and the problem is exactly that they don't see the connection between the decisions and the result. greek people do want EUR3000 monthly salaries for public servants, ridiculous welfare expenditures, overregulated markets, excessive government spending, rampant tax evasion ignored by the authorities and similar things. exactly how these classify as "sold down the river"? they consumed much more than they produced for decades. and now, when nothing else is needed than to cut back consumption to the level of production, not below, they set banks on fire, riots all over the place, cab drivers block roads, the national television is invaded by university students. greek people refuse to cut back on spending. who do you think is responsible for that? the IMF? the world bank? ECB?
        • Sep 30 2011: surely it was the responsibly of the Greek government over the past decades to manage the economy responsibly. So here is link that hopefully that will strive to eradicate ignorance. enjoy

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bISfaVkszo0&feature=share
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          Sep 30 2011: Jonathan,

          Great Link!! I had no idea.,

          Tle IMF is definitely part of the evil empire. I would have thought Greece as a piece of real estate is worth a lot more than that.

          Yu'll be glad to know Occupy Wall Street is spreading across the U.S., winning lots of support and presence form key unions, and getting lots of headline news coverage now.
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          Sep 30 2011: Jonathan, thanks so much for this video that you posted. How informative. I hope everyone takes the time to watch it.

          Here is part 2 of the same video:

          http://youtu.be/LnsWEXqhd7M
        • Oct 4 2011: The Youtube video only shows that Greece borrowed too much and its credit has run out. Maybe they need better leadership, BUT Greece is a democracy. The people voted in a socialist party that has promised and paid more than it can afford. People have to pay attention to what they are voting for and think about the eventual outcome of the giveaway policies.
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        Sep 30 2011: debra, do you think that majority of americans oppose the "war on terror"? do you think that it is a minority who celebrated the death of osama bin laden, a result of an unauthorized military operation on foreign soil? do you think that people are "misled" here? they don't know what happened? they are lied to? obama haven't even tried to cover it up! he was proud of what he did! and people LOVED it. so as the wall street. they loved it too, for different reasons, though. and the MIC loved it too.

        the longer i listen to your arguments, the more i get the impression that you treat people like sheep. you think that people need shepherding. that we need to filter the information people get, because they can't resist the evil manipulations of some mystical forces, like the wall street or whatever. you don't believe in the power of education. i can't match that thinking with the picture i have about you in my mind. i imagine you as a humanistic, philanthropic, gentle being. how can you believe that people can be remote-controlled by some cleverly chosen phrases or fabricated information? how can you not trust the reason and good will of fellow humans?
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          Sep 30 2011: This is actually a very hopeful stage for our dialogue. You are trying to understand not just my opinions but also how i could put my world view together as I do. I am doing the same! Quite awhile ago I really came to appreciate the regard with which you hold your fellow human beings. I see you as a man opposed to violence, willing to help others (I know that you said that you give 2% of your income to the Accumen fund) and you are very intelligent. I just decided that your world view hinges on the erroneous idea that there is a level playing field for all when to me that is utterly ridiculous and self evidently wrong. The very idea that all people do not deserve to get a fair shot at a peaceful life based on the survival of the so called fittest is an anathema to me. Who decides who is fit?

          We have to be somehow utterly broken and mis-wired to be callous and uncaring in the face of starvation, huge inequities and exploitation. Where we differ is primarily in my belief that the weak deserve to be protected from the immoral strong, the trusting deserve some protection from the manipulative and that societies do not deserve to be exploited by those who buy advantage or make profit by exploiting others. These "weak" are key components of society- often our greatest thinkers, artists, contributors were those who only got a chance to perform as they did because they were protected from the bullies who termed them 'unfit'.

          I am not sure where you get the impression that I think information needs to be filtered as I have railed against the distortion and manipulation of information quite often.. The American dream was a lot more on television and a distracting fantasy than in reality in our life time. People can only make good decisions based on good information. They are busy, they are overworked because they have long hours in jobs and kids who need them. When are they to gather this information especially when the media are owned by those who want certain outcome?
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        Oct 1 2011: debra, i don't think that it is too hopeful. it was some months ago, when you actually listened to what i'm saying with openness and curiosity. not today. today you refuse to even consider it. you've found an excuse why you can ignore it. you came up with that idea that i want to leave the weak behind, because i don't believe that there are weak at all, they are just lazy. it is not the case, but you seem to be very much satisfied with that explanation. in fact, i have repeatedly admitted, even further, never ever denied that there are. the only difference is the proposed solution.

        you want to help people by building systems that protects them in our name. this is wrong on multiple levels. first, it is a denial of your personal responsibility. you say that we should care, but you want the government to care, so you can sleep well. but the government is not us. in no teachings, agreeing with something good constitutes as an act of good. second, the proposed solution does not work, and will never work, because it is defective by design. centralized solutions can't solve diverse and complex problems. most of our problems does not even have clear solutions, they are controversial, debated, uncertain. you can't solve open problems by voting. we need the individual to work on it, and some of them to come up with clever solutions.
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          Oct 1 2011: Dear Krisztian,
          I truly do not have any suspicion of being rude and dismissive and I am deeply sorry that you perceive my interaction with you this way. I spent almost an hour trying to point out exactly the conversation that you can go to read to review the exchanges to see how you might have given such an impression. You utterly and repeatedly dismiss the powerful and well proven arts of PR and propaganda. Communication is a two way street. As we are no longer on the topic of the question at all, I will conclude with my best wishes.
    • Oct 3 2011: Just thought I should drop in with a quick comment because Krisztián seems to be missing one major blaring point: Campaign funding is the best predictor of elections and policy(by the way corporations are raking in record profits after being bailed out by tax payers in 08' remember?) . Thomas Ferguson an economist has great work on this. Incumbant reelection is extremely high because of outspending. Financial institutions, the same that funded Obama's campaign, got what they paid for, relatively lax regulation. My point here is if you look at Citizens vs United which allows corporations to buy elections directly instead of indirectly ("free speech"), the class warfare consistently waged by corporiations and non depository institutions which control politics in Washington by way of campaign contributions and economic hostage taking, are the reason for the protests. If you can't understand that, then I guess you're a part of the 1% controlling the wealth. This isn't likely so you're probably just uninformed, and that, I'm not mad at you. :-)