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09/29/2011

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rumor

Word.

Iaato Anchorage

Someone asked where the liberal version of the Teabagger movement was. Well, I guess this is it. Some adbusters youngsters, teargassed and ignored by the MSM.

Ironically, this is the same place the original Teabagger movement started--out of a protest organized by Denninger of Market Ticker. That movement quickly got coopted by the corporate media machine. Liberals are getting less traction on this than the conservatives, maybe because someone is already standing on the plank.

Liberals want to grow the social agenda, while conservatives want to grow the economy. Everybody wants something to grow, but no one wants to live within their means, and nobody's got Ma Nature on their team. Values are absent.

Gail

One of the persistent demands debated by the organizers at OWS has been to forgive student loans. I was against it as a negative message unlikely to resonate with most US citizens...then I read this article in Alternet and had to admit, student loans are one rather diabolically clever way to enslave youth, exactly the most likely citizens to fight the status quo:

http://www.alternet.org/vision/151850/8_reasons_young_americans_don't_fight_back%3A_how_the_us_crushed_youth_resistance/

I am in a google circle (not sure why I was invited) with some very well-known (I guess including the best known) climate activists. I posted a link about Occupy Wall Street a few days ago and they went nuts, saying they wouldn't want to be associated with "those people" - although some continued to discuss the topic...until yesterday when the moderator said, it's not relevant to the purpose of the circle and further talk should be taken off-thread. I posed the following question and so far, not one peep from anyone:

"I don't mean to be disrespectful but I am curious if it is the prevailing sentiment in this group that we will actually get regulation based on climate science as long as corporations control both parties in government and set the legislative agenda?

It seems to me that fossil fuels are just too lucrative and profitable for there to ever be a substantive change in policy, as long as industry lobbyists are the primary influence in politics..."

Even the most well-versed of climate experts is in denial of the other segments of disasters.

Here's how I got tuned in to imminent collapses, in order of progression (all resulting, initially, from recognizing tree decline)

1. climate change
2. peak oil...and peak all the other stuff needed to prop up industrial civilization...and economic unsustainability
3. pollution overwhelming the ecosystems (including the ocean)
4. overpopulation

I always had thought the politics were unjust, but haven't had a say since Ronald Reagan promised mourning in Amerika.

Anyway, each group that is concerned about the issues above seems to be pitted against each other, instead of unified to challenge the source of the problem - the ordinary human fear, blindness and greed that allows, and sometimes facilitates, true evil to fester and control us (reminiscent of 1939 in Europe - they can't really be going to do what they SAY they are going to do!)

I tend to thus think of it all as converging catastrophes, any one of which singly, and certainly in concert, is guaranteed to destroy all the precarious beauty that has heretofore existed.

It's only a question of when, not whether. And it really sucks.

Well anyway, thank goodness for the frank unveiling of the nefarious calculations by the elite, here at DOTE. And if anyone missed out and wants the vicarious thrill of marching, being kettled, and assaulted by rogue police, try my video - I was scared to death!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD5z4x5tH1o

Iaato Anchorage

Since I spent the day knee-deep in the climate literature (Brecha, Hook, Garrett, et al.), I am not looking with particular favor on climate activists right now. Good lord. There is a 16 degree C difference in the outcomes of the various models developed in the past decade. The models are GIGO, and the script has been co-opted by the clean green corporation. Why are we so focused on an issue that is 50 years out, that we can put off, with no need to stop consumption, that is amenable to "technofixes", and corporate gaming with policies that allow further enrichment of wall street trading desks? Why are we so focused on climate at the same time we are blind to the impacts of overshoot and resource depletion? Why don't we face the fact that growth and consumption has to stop and that we need to rewire every aspect of our daily lives?

I guess it's much easier to just trade chits in global markets and keep on doing what we do, which is go shopping? Arguing about climate lets the Greens feel good about their purchase of the week PO and global warming are just the two ends of the same snake--growth. The climate "modelers" should be ashamed, and need to learn how to model top-down thermodynamics.

Iaato Anchorage

And since Peak Oil is the front end of the snake, maybe that's the end we should grab for when we tackle the problem of growth. If we keep grabbing for the tail of the snake, eventually the front end will just whip around and bite us. Better yet, grab a hoe and chop off its head.

Unbound

Good post today, as usual Dave. You've touched on this theme in a number of relatively recent posts -- for example your 9/2/11 entry The Truth Sets You Free, Resistance Is Futile. Very salient observations and thoughts.

At the expense of perhaps being redundant I'd like to share some additional thoughts relative to today's post and comments via the linked video below -- I'm not offering this as a rebuttal but more as another view for consideration. I hope ya'll find it of interest. Give it your time.

Voters and Noncooperation:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O36ucz4AUFw

Wanooski

@ Iaato Anchorage? How exactly is climate change 50 years in the future? The absolute worst parts of it maybe, but it is starting to have effects as we speak, the insane drought in the southern US and east africa as well as central china, and the increasing numbers of deluges and record precipitation events worldwide. Of course resource depletion is an important obstacle, it shouldn't be the sole thing people concern themselves with. All environmental/ecological problems are inextricably linked.

Iaato Anchorage

@Wanooski? Do you really give our political, economic, and social-cultural systems any more than ~ a decade with the current inextricably linked environmental/ecological/resource-based problems? Especially with 7+Billion people in the world? It is because it is inextricably linked that complexity is likely to come apart all apiece rather than brick by brick?

xraymike79

"Well, it's a lot like the difference between breathing and not breathing. The Wall Street protesters are alive, whereas most Americans are not. Most Americans I've known or met dwell among the Walking Dead. They sleepwalk through their miserable daily routine, clinging to this illusion or that..."

This is really the most profound thing you said about the Wallstreet protests.

Silence = death
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-ePwQi5OTM

Chris

Dave, I just had to tell you that this is one of your best essays, and really has it home for me today.

I lost my job in June and have only been able to find work part-time at a grocery store. I'm 41 years old, with a BA degree and some grad school. This summer has been humbling to the point of crushing for me, and I struggle with feelings of inadequacy every hour of every day.

I've been trying for the past three years to decouple from the sociopathic American dream, and that attempt has been given added urgency since I lost my job. Trying to become unindoctrinated after a lifetime of corporate and social propaganda is almost impossibly hard. Your essay here has helped me a little today to keep my eye on the prize.

Thank you again, and please keep up your invaluable work here.

CHilke

Meanwhile, our modern-day Marie Antoinettes stay high above the fray and sip champagne as they look down there noises with contempt at the hoi polloi who have the audacity to question the aristocracy. I’m sure they’re contemplating how many jobs they can ship to Asia and how many pension funds are out there for the taking as they do, in Lloyd Blankfein’s famous dictum, “God’s work.” See for yourself:

http://youtu.be/2PiXDTK_CBY

Madame Marie’s famous quote may be apocryphal, but somehow I doubt even the French Aristocracy behaved with such clueless contempt for the masses as our financial overlords are behaving in our classless land of “freedom.” Could there be any better symbol of what this nation become?

Time to sharpen the guillotines?

Dennis

Dave, very good post. Years ago my old dad often said, 'you can't fight city hall.' And I used to think to myself, 'yes you can, you just can't win.' There is honor in fighting a battle you know in advance you can't win. Recall Thermopilae where the Spartans died to the last man. The Wall Street protesters are unlikely to die but their cause is still honorable whereas the day to day 'work' of Wall Street is not

Warren Peace

First off, their, not there. How embarrassing.

I think I may have referenced this BBC article before:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14978876

Gary Bailey, a professor of social work practice at the Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston said "draconian" austerity cuts contemplated in the US Congress could eventually spark unrest if young Americans felt their future was being taken from them through cuts to education and jobs programmes.

"We are inevitably at risk," he said. "We're not immune to what's happening in the world. The bigger the city and the larger the youth population, the greater the risk.

"What Mayor Bloomberg was warning of was that this disenfranchisement, for lack of a better word, leads to despair and unrest.

"He makes the point of the Arab spring, which came out of what happens when you have disenfranchised youth.

"When they look at power being vested in a very few, and very often in whom they cannot see themselves reflected, societies are very much at risk."

But Peter Dreier, professor of politics and director of the urban and environmental policy programme at Occidental College in Los Angeles, said Americans do not have the "psychology of rioting", and said Americans who bear the brunt of the economic downturn are "demoralised" and discouraged from taking collective action.

"People are angry, and right now they're taking their anger out on themselves - the quiet riots of suicide and depression," he said.

"It took about three years into the Depression before people overcame this sense of blaming themselves about their plight, before they got angry at the banks and the business community and local mayors, before they externalised their anger and made it a political issue rather than a personal one."


Three years? Gee, we're about there aren't we? Until now, the lack of protest among Americans has been noted the world over. We are too fat, too lazy, too complacent, too entranced with spectator sports and American Idol to lift a finger while we are robbed blind, the thinking goes. The plutocracy believes the use of "public relations" through their ownership of the media and their bankrolling of the "grass roots" Tea Party will effectively deflect attention away from declining living standards, rising costs and mass unemployment forever. Finally, Americans' extreme individualism and Calvinist notions of "no one owes you a job" will make sure Americans see themselves as personal failures, rather than look at the larger system. These protests finally poke a hole in those notions. As a guest post on Zero Hedge noted:

"I will be the first to admit that I faded the whole idea of this “Occupy Wall Street” protest. I had already seen several failed attempts at protest in NYC come and go and I just sadly assumed the spirit of that once great city had died forever. I am extraordinarily happy to report that I was wrong. When I watched some video of police brutality at NYC protests this weekend I was stunned. Not because the cops acted like some mercenary storm trooper thugs, but because this protest that has started the week before still had momentum! Check out this link regarding what is going on. It has two must watch videos. http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=194965 The first one already has over 400k watches on youtube. This is the spark I have been waiting for and I am pleased beyond belief that it happened in Manhattan right where it should. How about this appearance of Cornel West at the protest on Tuesday. http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/cornel-west-at-occupy-wall-str... I am proud of my old home today. This is a big deal. The serfs are coming together. Keep it up."

"Most of you reading this right now are thinking that this is interesting but he is exaggerating and this will blow over. I am here to assure you that it is not and this whole thing is about to grow exponentially as the economy continues to stagnate and people climb the learning curve. Are you aware that the founder of Salon.com, David Talbot, is publicly calling for an “American Spring?” This of course is a reference to the Arab Spring, in which revolution swept across North Africa earlier this year and led to the collapse of the Tunisian and Egyptian governments and then major government bribes to the people living in the oil rich kingdoms. Mr. Talbot writes “In these increasingly hard times, Salon is dedicating itself to an American revival. Our editorial mission will become more explicitly and aggressively populist. We will be publishing more investigative pieces, exposing the shadow dance of power. And both Democratic and Republican targets will be fair game, since both parties are increasingly under the control of the same corporate forces.” His full piece is here http://www.salon.com/about/american_spring/index.html?story=/about/insid... You need to read it if you want to understand where all of this is headed. How about journalist Chris Hedges talking about “Occupy Wall Street” http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/chris-hedges-occupy-wall-stree... We the people now understand it is not “rich vs. poor,” businessperson vs. teacher.” It is serf vs. oligarch. They are 0.1% and we know what they are up to. GAME ON."

Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong. But according to Boing Boing, the protests are spreading to other U.S. cities:

http://boingboing.net/2011/09/30/occupy-wall-street-spreads-to-more-us-cities.html#disqus_thread

Furthermore:

A coalition of activists, community groups and trade unions (whom Crain's New York Business hilariously refer as "agitators," as though they were the Red Menace a post-WWII installment of Little Orphan Annie) are set to join the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The new group includes MoveOn, some SEIU chapters, Workers United, the United Federation of Teachers, and a Transport Workers Union local. They're also being backed by the Working Families Party.

http://boingboing.net/2011/09/30/occupy-wall-street-gets-support-from-moveon-trade-unions-community-groups.html

As this article points out:

When you consider that the US has 52 million people currently living in poverty, you realize, as shocking as it may sound, that we have a larger number of desperate people in the US than rebelling populations in countries throughout the Middle East and Europe. Overall, in comparison to Egypt, the US population is obviously more geographically spread out, but if you breakdown the demographics, many large US cities have a poverty rate higher than the 20 percent rate in Egypt.

Consider that, according to low-ball government statistics, nine major US cities have a poverty rate over 25%.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-analysis-global-insurrection-against-neo-liberal-economic-domination-and-coming-a

We do not accept the status quo. Well said. American Spring, indeed. How about an American Autumn? Sites like this and Salon, assuming they live up to their rhetoric, are becoming an American samizdat. Here's to this essay being distributed to the protesters. One of the best things I've ever read.

Mr. Roboto

@Chris: Welcome to my world of the past fourteen years. Only in my case, the world of even the meagerest "real jobs" was unavailable to me from the start. I can tell you from experience that it will take years for you to fully deal with the fact that you and the increasingly-elusive "middle class" have parted company. Being unable to relate to lifelong blue-collar folk probably won't help, either.

Normachc

Guess it's a nice day to be in Canada.

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