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Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

Occu-pie Menu of Tactics

Posted by nowisthetimeus on February 21, 2012

Tired of the boo-hoo-hum-drum of the Nonviolence/Diversity of Tactics debate?

Liberate yourself by using this handy dandy planning menu for your next Occu-pie!

Menu subject to changes according to whims.  Just can’t decide? Ask about our daily specials!

Toppings:

  • A la mode = sustained actions
  • Whipped Cream = flash actions
  • Fudge = clandestine action
  • Sprinkles = family friendly

Fruit and Cheeze platters (pairs well with Whine)

Public Speeches
Letters of opposition or support
Declarations by organizations and institutions
Signed public statements
Declarations of indictment and intention
Group or mass petitions

Berry Pies

Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
Banners, posters, and displayed communications
Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
Newspapers and journals
Records, radio, and television
Skywriting and earthwriting

Pie Eating Contest

Deputations
Mock awards
Group lobbying
Picketing
Mock elections

American Apple Pie (And other fruits)

Displays of flags and symbolic colors
Wearing of symbols
Prayer and worship
Delivering symbolic objects
Protest disrobings
Destruction of own property
Symbolic lights
Displays of portraits
Paint as protest
New signs and names
Symbolic sounds
Symbolic reclamations
Rude gestures

Bake Sale

“Haunting” officials
Taunting officials
Fraternization
Vigils

Cobbler with Crumble topping

Humorous skits and pranks
Performances of plays and music
Singing

All you can  eat dessert Buffet

Marches
Parades
Religious processions
Pilgrimages
Motorcades

Sugarfree Desserts

Political mourning
Mock funerals
Demonstrative funerals
Homage at burial places

Cookie Platter

Assemblies of protest or support
Protest meetings
Camouflaged meetings of protest
Teach-ins

Fat Free Desserts

Walk-outs
Silence
Renouncing honors
Turning one’s back

Tart Custard Pies

Social boycott
Selective social boycott
Lysistratic nonaction
Excommunication
Interdict

Custard Cream Pies

Suspension of social and sports activities
Boycott of social affairs
Student strike
Social disobedience
Withdrawal from social institutions

Mousse Pies

Stay-at-home
Total personal noncooperation
“Flight” of workers
Sanctuary
Collective disappearance
Protest emigration (hijrat)

Twizzlers

Consumers’ boycott
Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
Policy of austerity
Rent withholding
Refusal to rent
National consumers’ boycott
International consumers’ boycott

Pop Rocks

Workmen’s boycott
79. Producers’ boycott

Sorry, Vending Machine Broken

Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Milk Duds

Traders’ boycott
Refusal to let or sell property
Lockout
Refusal of industrial assistance
Merchants’ “general strike”

Smarties

Withdrawal of bank deposits
Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
Refusal to pay debts or interest
Severance of funds and credit
Revenue refusal
Refusal of a government’s money

Fair Trade Organic Chocolates

Domestic embargo
Blacklisting of traders
International sellers’ embargo
International buyers’ embargo
International trade embargo

Vegetable Pies

Protest strike
Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Peasant strike
Farm Workers’ strike

Refusal of impressed labor
Prisoners’ strike
Craft strike
Professional strike

Establishment strike
Industry strike
Sympathetic strike

Detailed strike
Bumper strike
Slowdown strike
Working-to-rule strike
Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
Strike by resignation
Limited strike
Selective strike

Generalized strike
General strike

Hartal
Economic shutdown

Mincemeat Pies

Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
Refusal of public support
Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Boycott of legislative bodies
Boycott of elections
Boycott of government employment and positions
Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
Withdrawal from government educational institutions
Boycott of government-supported organizations
Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
Removal of own signs and placemarks
Refusal to accept appointed officials
Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Reluctant and slow compliance
Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
Popular nonobedience
Disguised disobedience
Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
Sitdown
Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
Hiding, escape, and false identities
Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
Blocking of lines of command and information
Stalling and obstruction
General administrative noncooperation
Judicial noncooperation
Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
Mutiny

Quasi-legal evasions and delays
Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

Changes in diplomatic and other representations
Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
Withholding of diplomatic recognition
Severance of diplomatic relations
Withdrawal from international organizations
Refusal of membership in international bodies
Expulsion from international organizations

Nut Pies

Psychological Intervention
Self-exposure to the elements
The fast
Fast of moral pressure
Hunger strike
Satyagrahic fast
Reverse trial
Nonviolent harassment

Sit-in
Stand-in
Ride-in
Wade-in
Mill-in
Pray-in
Nonviolent raids
Nonviolent air raids
Nonviolent invasion
Nonviolent interjection
Nonviolent obstruction
Nonviolent occupation

Establishing new social patterns
Overloading of facilities
Stall-in
Speak-in
Guerrilla theater
Alternative social institutions
Alternative communication system

Reverse strike
Stay-in strike
Nonviolent land seizure
Defiance of blockades
Politically motivated counterfeiting
Preclusive purchasing
Seizure of assets
Dumping
Selective patronage
Alternative markets
Alternative transportation systems
Alternative economic institutions

Overloading of administrative systems
Disclosing identities of secret agents
Seeking imprisonment
Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
Work-on without collaboration
Dual sovereignty and parallel government

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Posted in Cultural, Essays, Global Revolution, Political | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Occupy: Grand Strategy vs Self-Organization

Posted by nowisthetimeus on February 4, 2012

There are unprecedented global events taking place and the Occupy movement continues to evolve.

People are calling for planning of Grand Strategy.  There are disadvantages to this.

The new rules of the new context of global revolution demands that we first develop a process of adaptation to ongoing changes.  My suggestion is that a method be developed for evaluating the outcome of all proposed actions/events.  That way, whatever tactics are used, however the event progresses, the evaluative learning can be maximized to apply to future strategy.

Basically, until there are actions planned with specific goals in mind and then a measuring of how successful the action was in reaching said goal, the movement will continue going in circles.  Not that circles are bad…this kind of organizational progress can be good at creating momentum and participatory skill-building. Imagine a flock of swifts spiraling out of their roost.

The need for an evaluative approach trumps the need for a grand strategy for several reasons, the most important being that part of Occupy’s success has been due to a lack of centralized planning.  A Grand Strategy could limit self-organizing and spontaneous evolution.

Thinking more through the lens of complexity theory than chess will allow a greater flexibility of application and prevent the development of a static hierarchy that is easily disrupted.

Posted in Cultural, Economic, Essays, Global Revolution, Political | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An Open Letter to the Presidents of All Washington State-Sponsored Universities

Posted by nowisthetimeus on February 3, 2012

An Open Letter to the Presidents of All Washington State-Sponsored Universities

Presented at a Forum on Budget Cuts in Higher Education

Town Hall SeattleFebruary 1, 2012

 

Gentlemen:

 You are here tonight to discuss among yourselves and the public draconian budget cuts both proposed and already enacted against all of the public universities in Washington State because of a supposed state budget deficit of $2.5 billion.  The fact of the matter is, the declared stated budget deficit is fraudulent, reflecting only approximately one-third of the public monies of which the Washington State government is presently in possession, consistent with current fraudulent public accounting practice in America by most government entities. www.cafrman, www.cafr1.com, www.comprehensiveannualfinancialreport.com

 As reflected in the state’s 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) the Washington State legislature, through its financial agency the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB), is in control of at least $83 billion in corporate Wall Street investments through its pension and dedicated funds, including that for higher education.  That amount is probably exceeded by the amount recorded in the 2011 state CAFR now posted at www.sib.wa.gov  These funds are invested in the amount of at least $5 billion in the international banking cartel that has engineered the present global depression, divestment of which would not only wipe out the alleged present state deficit, but provide ample monies for higher education and the creation of a Washington public state bank. www.publicbanking.org, www.wapublicbankproject.org, www.webofdebt.org

Such a bank, like that which has existed in the State of North Dakota since 1919, would protect this state against depression and unemployment.  It would likewise invest our public monies in that which would benefit the people of this state, including investment in higher education, not benefit the international banking cartel, predatory transnational corporations and foreign entities to which, other than US government bonds, 95% of WISB investments are directed.  http://nowisthetime.us, www.sib.wa.gov

 Of concern is the fact that the WISB is now not only investing our public money in opaque, exotic derivatives and credit default options (CDOs), the most unstable types of financial instruments now extant, but is diverting our public monies to foreign investments in predatory corporations that have committed crimes against nature and humanity. http://nowisthetime.us  www.sib.wa.gov  Of concern is the fact that the Washington State legislature, while being fully apprised of the long-standing success of the Bank of North Dakota, has for the past two years failed to create the much-needed Washington state bank, claiming that this first warrants an “official study commission”, while its investment board has been investing in quasi-public banking entities overseas for years.  Of concern is the fact that the Washington State legislature is failing to tax or hold sufficiently accountable those transnational corporations in which it has significant investments.  Of further concern is the fact that the WISB was in 2006 behind Issue 4215, the unfortunately successful move to amend the Washington State constitution to allow private corporate investment of the monies from the state’s dedicated higher education fund that until then had been held safely in trust.  This constitutional amendment, significantly, was passed less than two years before the Wall Street collapse and bank bailout of 2008, resulting in the beginning of the draconian state cuts to higher education now being discussed at this forum tonight.  http://nowisthetime.us

 Therefore, the most immediate remedy to these cuts to state higher education, both instituted and proposed, would be to divest the state pension and dedicated higher education funds of stock in the corrupt international banking cartel and predatory transnational corporations, to be used to eliminate the supposed state deficit, create a Washington state bank to invest the money of the people in the people of this state rather than everywhere else in the world, and provide immediate ample funding for higher education in the State of Washington, further augmented by proportionate taxing of all Washington State-based transnational and national corporations, including those in which the state government is invested.

 

Urgently,

An Advocate of the People

rebeccaphb@yahoo.com

Posted in Economic, Essays, Political | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Occupy Seattle — The Master’s Tools Will Not Dismantle the Master’s House!

Posted by nowisthetimeus on January 12, 2012

“The master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house.” — Audre’ Lourde, celebrated African-American poet of the 20th century

In view of The Stanger’s recent (accurately) unfavorable report about Occupy Seattle, I herewith propose a working, highly pragmatic definition of violence to be considered by the current Nonviolent and Decolonize Seattle/Diversity of Tactics factions within Occupy Seattle that may help resolve the current corrosive controversy between them:

Violence is the disproportionate use of force, whether psychic or physical, whether intrapersonal, interpersonal or institutional — to effect power over rather than power with.

By this definition, last week’s action of a the recently widowed young mother in Oklahoma who — after calmly conferring with 911 dispatchers — shot and killed one of two armed male intruders breaking into her trailer home while high on drugs to defend the lives of herself and her infant son — was less violent than the OS general assembly I attended where I saw the resolution for nonviolence voted upon in December.  Here is why:

1)  The resolution for nonviolence egregiously omitted the mention of psychic interpersonal violence, which is rampant among activist movements, obviously including Occupy Seattle.  This is a dirty little secret that most activists have heretofore been unwilling to face and deal with, both within themselves and within their movements.

     Most activists understand the reality institutional violence, or they would not be activists; however, most of them remain clueless about interpersonal emotional and verbal violence keeping them divided and ineffective, to the redounding benefit of the ruling 1%.  This not only prevents them from being the effective change they wish to see in the world, but actually perpetuates the patriarchal pyramid paradigm that they claim to decry.

2)  The OS General Assembly operates on a variation of parliamentary procedure, the same form of psychically violent win/lose group process being used by dysfunctional governmental legislative bodies in our present fraudulent system of representative democracy. The master’s tools will not dismantle the master’s house.

   The OS General Assembly therefore needs to operate using some form of nonviolent consensus/consent-based group process, not by easily manipulated, psychically/interpersonally/institutionally violent win/lose parliamentary procedure.  The OS General Assembly needs to start researching the options for such nonviolent group processs now.

3)   The abovementioned working, highly pragmatic definition does not seek to eliminate the use of physical force, but the disproportionate use of any force, whether physical or psychic.  The present use of mass mind control by the corporate-controlled media and US military black operations/CIA is an example of the disproportionate use of psychic force.

     Sometimes the proportionate use of physical force is perfectly justified and actually nonviolent, like in the recent example just cited, as well as in defensively disarming those who would do harm without using any more physical or psychic force than is necessary, whether by interpersonal/international negotiation, the extremely powerful use of the human voice (kiai) that was recently employed by the retired African-American Marine seargeant defending OWS demonstrators from assaultive members of the NYPD, or by defensive physical martial arts moves being offered by some members of the OS Diversity of Tactics group.

    I myself used all of the above in my former life as a member of an independent esoteric Christian order who helped found the network of women’s/family/homeless shelters that now exists in America to help stop interpersonal and institutional violence.

4)   Even nonviolence is the use of force; but it is psychological and moral force, as opposed to physical force, and it is ultimately more powerful than physical force because it can include and transcend it.  Those using physical or psychic violence, particularly weapons, must be far more afraid of you than you of them, or they would not be hiding behind the use of such weapons.  This includes those OS activists currently engaging in verbal and emotional abuse as a psychic bludgeon against other OS activists.

     Nonviolence acknowledges that offensive weapons are merely technologically enhanced extensions of human mental and physical capabilities, from which those who are truly self-mastered can increasingly abstain.  This is taught at the highest levels of the martial arts, which makes those in OS who are debasing their martial arts training by engaging in verbal and emotional violence against other activists all the more culpable for their actions.

5)   Members of the Decolonize Seattle/Diversity of Tactics — which, significantly, have the largest amount of diversity of OS membership — and the more homogeneous Nonviolent faction need to meet at a neutral location and talk out their differences as soon as possible.

     Those coming from the Nonviolent faction need be trained in deep listening skills and nonviolent communication.  They need to take a block of time to simply listen and ask questions of their brothers and sisters in the DS/DOT group.

     After the Nonviolence group members process what they are told, there needs to be at least a second block of time spent at a neutral location where there is a discussion about what the DS/DOT group has said, so that some sort of consensus about diversity of tactics and nonviolence can be reached.

     This is not going to happen using the win/lose process of parliamentary voting, and it is certainly not going to happen if the present level of emotional/verbal violence within Occupy Seattle continues without resolution.

6)   As has been previously stated by others, if this psychic interpersonal violence continues among the activists of Occupy Seattle, we are going are going to be responsible for driving away otherwise sympathetic parties from what could be the greatest movement for human liberation in the history of this planet. I, for one, do not want to incur such karma, and therefore hope you will consider the suggestions just made about how to avoid it.

Your sister,

REC
Occupy Seattle Nonviolence Working Group

Posted in Cultural, Essays, Global Revolution, Political, Spiritual | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Five Reasons That Occupy Seattle Needs to Be Nonviolent — and How This Might Happen

Posted by nowisthetimeus on December 20, 2011

1.  The present patriarchal pyramid paradigm is created, sustained and justified by violence, both direct — as in wars/riots — and institutional/interpersonal — as in dysfunctional government/corporate agencies and families.   It is therefore not going to be changed by practicing more of same, no matter what euphemism you attach to it.

 2.  Although a number of people may be harmed at political actions using nonviolence, the number will be far less than if they instituted violence or used violent self-defense.  This has been proven by successful nonviolent campaigns throughout the 19th-21st centuries, as contrasted with the many violent revolutions throughout recorded history.

 3.  The political advances gained through nonviolent revolutions are more likely to be ultimately sustained than those gained through those violent; the American Revolution is an excellent example of this.  We are presently engaged in a struggle to regain those rights originally gained by violent revolt against the British crown in the 18th century.

 4.  Most people are not aware of the lethality of high-tech weaponry secretly developed and possessed by Pentagon black budget operations during the past century that can now be made available to local law enforcement.  No conventional weapons possessed by citizens can even remotely compete with this weaponry, necessitating other strategies for direct action, such as nonviolence that tends to attract the hearts and minds of humanity.

 5.  Any violent strategy for Occupy Seattle will exclude seniors, families with children, those with disabilities, the peace movement/faith communities/government-nonprofit agencies-officials and lessen general community support for this movement. 

     “Diversity of Tactics” likely will not translate into “Diversity of Participants”; many will not come to events where they are not only faced with possible violence directed at them by law enforcement and counterprotestors, but this possible violence being escalated by fellow OS activists engaging in violent self-defense.  The main attendees at such DOT events may well be single, childless, mid-teen- to early forty-somethings exclusively, the majority at these events possibly being people of color, with white middle-class allies likely conspicuously absent .

I therefore respectfully suggest that Occupy Seattle at least temporarily split into two groups:  Occupy Seattle, which will operate on the principles of nonviolence, and Decolonize Seattle, which will operate on the principle of “diversity of tactics”, with the meaning of these terms clearly explained to the public, accompanied by public classes in both strategies.

These two groups then need to each sponsor a series of events, with attendance and outcome carefully assessed to see which strategy works better to effect local change in our economic, social and political systems.  A decision can then be made as to how to proceed from there: whether to keep two separate groups; one group adopting the other’s strategy to reunite with the other, and/or some hybrid of these two.

As to the possible complaint that I am an example of “white privilege” because I recommend the strategy of nonviolence:  I have not only sought to study and practice nonviolence personally since youth, but have paid the price personally for seeking to practice it throughout my life.  This includes being rendered homeless by my own parents for refusing induction into the military service during the Vietnam War at age 17, later passing on several high-paying professional positions after I found out that these some way involved the manufacture of military weapons, and living on the margins of this  authoritarian, materialistic, fear-based society throughout my life in order that I might live according to my own core values.

— REC, Member

   Occupy Seattle Nonviolence Group

Posted in Cultural, Essays, Global Revolution, Political, Spiritual | Leave a Comment »

Treason’s Greetings! (An Activists Holiday Card)

Posted by nowisthetimeus on December 20, 2011

Treason’s Greetings!

File:State of the Union.jpg
From the same public servants who have gifted us with:
 
o The 9/11 state terrorist attacks against the American people, as well as many other false flag state terrorist attacks against the people of the world since the 19th century;
o The incremental gutting of the US Bill of Rights using 9/11 as a pretext, with the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the proposed Homegrown Terrorism and Radicalization of 2007, and now the embedded detention/torture provisions in the
National Defense Authorization Act of 2012,  as well as many other such enabling pieces of legislation/unchallenged executive orders/statutes/policies and court decisions since the latter part of the 19th century;
o  Since 1989, the US Congress-sanctioned covert/proxy US military/NATO/UN/IDF genocides in Panama, Haiti, Kosovo/Bosnia, Central Africa, Lebanon, Iraq,
Afganistan, Gaza, Libya and Pakistan, with further planned US/NATO/IDF genocides in Syria and Iran, the latter seven also using the 9/11 state false flag terrorist attacks against the American people as a pretext for these war crimes;  this also includes the covert ongoing geobiocide — the destruction of the planet and all life upon it — occuring in and around, as well as from, 
Fukushima and the region of the Gulf of Mexico;
o  Aiding and abetting through strategic legislative action and inaction the banking cartel-engineered destruction, through massive fraud, of the global financial system and consolidation of control of the communications media and educational systems, with this financial and cultural terrorism being especially directed at the American people as a prominent example for all to take warning;
o  Aiding and abetting through strategic legislative action and inaction the use covert terrorism against the American people and the people of the world through chemical and biological toxification, mass mind control and disturbance of/in our air, water, land, food, water, medicine and physical wellbeing, the massive suppression of alternative energy technologies, the covert use of threats, harassment, illegitmate criminalization
and imprisonment as well as violence and assassination against those who dissent —
o  As well as so much more — all with the intention of reducing the population of our planet by 90%, the better to help the 1% completely to enslave those who survive. 
We the people — the real superpower — the 99% — must together take back our power from these inhuman systems created in our name that have betrayed us.  We must first confess our complicity in the creation of these systems through willful ignorance and denial, then act peacefully but decisively to dismantle them, thenceforth using our power to create that which truly sustains our integrity as  human beings, and that of this world which we seek more fulsomely to occupy.
 
May you draw power from that of this holy season, both to look within and act withal, on your own behalf and that of all life, humbly accepting the possibility of unexpected support from cosmic agencies during this unprecedented time of planetary crisis.

Posted in Cultural, Economic, Essays, Global Revolution, Legal Actions, Poetry, Political, Spiritual, Spiritual | Leave a Comment »

The Activists: An Article on the Shortsightedness and Self-Loathing of the Wealthy

Posted by nowisthetimeus on November 28, 2011

The Psychological Failure of the Financial Elites: An Article on the Shortsightedness and Self-Loathing of the Wealthy

by The Activists Publication

It may be surprising and unbelievable, but the corporate and financial elite are actually the most fearful and insecure class of people in our society. This is a direct result of their shortsightedness, their self-loathing and their lack of sophisticated intelligence as well. These champions of capitalism who tout Adam Smith’s ideas are probably the least familiar with what he really said. He would be appalled by their misrepresentation of his ideas and by what they have created in his name.

To work toward a more equal and humane world; to strive for the best interest of humanity is not to act against self-interest, but is the epitome of self-interest. But we are not talking about a Stirnerite egoism here. But a holistic self-interest in which selves are part of a greater whole in which to act in self-interest is to act for the interest of humanity. It is so simple, yet so misunderstood. What passes for self-interest, such as the greed and narcissism of the elite, is not self-interest at all, but a hatred for the self that manifests itself in a destructiveness of the environment and the enslavement of the masses.

The elite are weak-minded and only understand the dynamics of accumulation because they cannot stand to be alone with themselves. The simple equation that self-interest and human interest are not only compatible, but practically synonymous is lost on them due to their inferior intelligence, both emotional and mental. Having come from privilege, they have everything they could ever want materially, but they have no soul.

To love oneself is to love humanity and nurture it, knowing that it is the wellspring of our very existence. But the opposite is true as well, to hate humanity, is self-hatred writ large. The alienation and estrangement from others and ourselves that is produced and perpetuated by the capitalist class is a mirror image of what the individual capitalist feels. But while we can find succor in relationships and true human endeavors, these miserable people can only find relief in accumulation. But the accumulation only increases the self-hatred and isolation of the elite, which rather than internalizing in self-destruction, they turn outward into ever more harsh forms.

The fact that most of us can grasp with no difficulty whatsoever the concept that self-interest and human-interest are not only compatible, but are two sides of the same coin (sorry to use an idiom reeking of capitalist sentiment; more evidence of the insidious nature of this disease) and inseparable from the other. The elites have lost that vital interconnectedness that makes the individual part of the human family.

The gated communities in which the elite live are symbolic of their existential separateness from humanity. Their self-hatred and inability to relate to others imprisons them in.

 

Steve Long

Party Member #5236

Posted in Cultural, Economic, Essays, Political, Spiritual | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Satire: Goldman Sachs announces presidential run

Posted by Karah on November 26, 2011

Goldman Sachs announces presidential run

The conglomerate becomes the second corporate person to enter the 2012 race

This originally appeared on K.M. Breay’s Open Salon blog.

Goldman Sachs, the global investment bank and financial services firm, announced Friday morning that it is running for president of the United States. The announcement was made at a farm near Waterloo, Iowa, by the musician Ted Nugent, who was hired to speak for the candidate. “We love oil and God and gasoline!” shouted Mr. Nugent, as he held aloft two semiautomatic machine guns and a sleeve of red-white-and-blue-painted grenades. “And we hate them people who don’t look American and drive those weird tiny cars and use big words!” Mr. Nugent kept his remarks brief and did not mention the candidate, Goldman Sachs, by name. At the end of his speech, the outspoken musician fired off several rounds of live ammunition, screamed, “Let’s go eat a live bear!” and then charged into the woods with the frenzied crowd following behind.

GOP consultant Mark McKinnon, who is not involved in the campaign but is familiar with its strategy, said the decision to hire Mr. Nugent to speak for Goldman Sachs was based on thousands of focus groups and polls that were conducted over the last several months. “The focus groups loved Ted because he’s seen as a guy who doesn’t read books and who likes to shoot things,” said Mr. McKinnon. “And they felt he was their best proof that evolution, an unpopular concept among Tea Party voters, is total bullshit.” According to Mr. McKinnon, Goldman Sachs paid for its $1 billion in market research with profits made by betting against the capacity of homeowners to pay back the subprime mortgages it sold to them between 2004 and 2008.

A source familiar with the campaign’s thinking, who spoke on condition of strict anonymity, said the conglomerate will forgo donations altogether and instead finance the campaign with a portion of the $10 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money the investment bank received in 2009. “The bailout funds will be converted into a new security they are calling ‘election default insurance arbitrage fixed income credit put straddles,’” said the source. “Goldman has already hedged those bets with mortgage-backed junk bond option default debit commodity exchange traded funds, which were sold to pension funds and small investors over the last several months.” The source said that Goldman has already made $25 billion with these investments.

Several public advocacy groups are already a considering a constitutional challenge to Goldman’s candidacy, arguing that the financial behomoth has — for all practical purposes — already been president for the last eight years and is therefore constitutionally barred from a third term. According to Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for Politico, the investment bank is prepared for the legal challenge. “Last week they deployed all 12,498 of their lobbyists to Capitol Hill and have secured the votes for a historic piece of legislation,” said Mr. Allen. “The new law will allow Goldman Sachs  – and only Goldman Sachs — to offer up to $100 million each to all nine Supreme Court justices.” A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner refused to comment.

Goldman Sachs is only the second corporation in American history to run for president. The first was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Posted in Economic, Political | 1 Comment »

A PASTORAL LAMENT FOR MY COUNTRY

Posted by nowisthetimeus on November 26, 2011

America, America, my country ‘tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty

Of thee I sing

America, oh America

America the Beautiful has fallen.

You could feel the tension and raw energy crinkling throughout the air as the marchers once again began their journey into downtown Seattle. The Occupy Movement is the prophetic voice of God calling out to the nation to “repent” and turn from its ways of corruption. Those who camp are a rag-tag, motley crew made up of mostly young adults, mostly unemployed, almost all of whom are alienated and cast out of America’s promise of liberty and justice for all. They are our canaries, the first fruits being devoured by the Beast of Empire.

The police were once conceived to be a citizen force created to serve and protect the public. Today however, the police have been militarized and view the populace as enemy combatants, as threats to their well being. The police, like our Armed Forces, are well trained, disciplined and exceptionally talented. They follow a chain of command and are increasingly apprenticed into a culture of institutional conformity. Because America has always affirmed the right of dissent, the role of the police is to keep the peace. They are trained to enter the protesting arena as unfeeling protectors of property and people. What has changed in our time is that the police are entering the arena of protest as agents of provocation. They push and shove at will, they ride their bicycles up the backs of protesters, they engage in verbal abuse. Their commanders allow this breach of discipline. Their comrades silently condone the bullying. The police become the agitators encouraging violence. It is as if they are spoiling for a fight — a fight mind you against the citizenry, against the youth, the unemployed, and those who are trying to return America back to its promise, and dare I say it, return America to its covenant with God, “we hold these truths to be self evident …”

On Tuesday night a small group of the rag-tag campers of Seattle’s Occupy Movement left their camp to protest the destruction inflicted upon the Wall Street Occupy site. Throughout the march I, as a Pastor in full clergy alb, stole and cross, acted as a peacekeeper placing myself between the police line and the Occupy Movement. On four occasions I stepped between verbal battles between the police and the protesters. The point being that it was evident to all who I was and what my role was in this non-violent march of the few escorted by the many.

The incident was minor in nature. A girl, dressed in Anarchist black waving the Anarchist black flag was plastered side by side with an officer on the bike. They were jawboning each other. At one point her flag was thrust in his direction — a provocation yes – threatening?—no. The officer grabbed the flag and in the pulling, pulled down the girl. Her friends reacted jumping in to pull her away from the officer. It was at this point that the first wave of pepper spray went off.

Point — one might think the officer acted within reason, that the officer was suddenly threatened. But with what? By whom? The friends of the offender were grabbing for the girl, they were not grabbing at the police. Basically the officer, and his comrades, were trigger happy as if they couldn’t wait for just this moment. And so the spray went forth.

I leapt to the front and tried to place myself between the parties — with spray in the air the protesters were also fleeing. Separation between the police line and the protesters was clearly visible … there was certainly no threat of the “mob” suddenly rampaging into the well armed police. The separation had occurred (as can be clearly seen on the video captured by King 5 News). But the spray continued. I walked between the lines, I was alone, I was in full clergy dress, everyone knew who I was and what I was — with the protesters fleeing and the police line holding — with my back to the police and my hands waving the protesters to get back — alone in full alb, stole and cross — six officers turned their spray on me thoroughly soaking my alb and then one officer hit me full throttle in the face.

I praise the courage and compassion, the discipline and the decency of the Occupy Movement. Out of the rag-tag mob came help, grabbing my hands, leading me (I was blind by then) to the wall and administering care and concern for my well being. The protesters were assembled around all the wounded, and maintained the discipline of nonviolence (granted the nonviolence was in behavior but not language). And they were not afraid. The spraying had been a baptism sealing them into the security of knowing that their prophecy of repentance was indeed the Spirit-Word through them — it is as if they did not prophecy their very bones would melt within them. Against the wall in increasing pain and burning I realized I was in the midst of church.

The police, on the other hand, were afraid. Their quick use of chemical warfare reveals how cowardly they are. The unwillingness of their commanders to maintain discipline reveals how incompetent they are becoming — the only tool in their bag is brutality and like a drunken raging father beating wife and kids, the police have increasingly disgraced themselves. Step by step they are being shaped into the front face of fascism, the emerging police state that protects the property interests of the Marie Antionette’s who have seized control of our government, commerce, media, military and increasingly the Church itself.

 

My question to my clergy colleagues is this: Where are you? How much longer can you preach without practice? How dare you remain protected in your sanctuary while your people (the rag-tag mob of the least, last and lost whom Jesus loved) are slaughtered doing that which God has commissioned you to do (prophecy!). Where are you? Who have you become in this age of baptism by pepper spray? Do you not know how much power you have to stop our national descent into chaos? Don’t you realize that the world is your parish and right before your eyes the Spirit of God is doing a new thing? Can’t you hear that God’s judgment is upon the land? God is against the thieves that bankrupted our nation. God is against the armies of the Beast who pillage other lands in our name, and turn and destroy our people on our own soil. Are you blind? — Perhaps you need a baptism of pepper spray in your eyes to restore your vision.

And to the police I say this — there are always the brutal ones in our midst. As colleagues you have the moral responsibility to police your own. If your commanders order you to brutalize your people you have a Higher Command that says, “disarm yourself, turn away from your sin, renounce the orders of unrighteousness.” And in doing so, cross the line, come over and join us because we are the winning side of history. And we welcome your repentance and heal you of your shame.

And to the church, beloved church I say, you cannot sing the hymns of faith if you are too afraid to live that faith. In Amos it says to silence your sacred assemblies and let JUSTICE burst forth. Our nation, with the nations of the world, are under an assault of tyranny and treason of the 1% against creation itself. You may not worship God until and unless you care for the image of God living in those tents and prophesying on your behalf. Once the Powers sweep the Tents away, if you dare to lift your voice even a peep, you too will be swept away. But the destiny of the church, the Body of Christ, is not one of quiet passivity and fear, our destiny is to bear witness having no fear of the Cross because even now we have crossed over into resurrection.

Rev. Rich Lang

University Temple United Methodist Church

www.utemple.org

rich@utemple.org

Posted in Cultural, Essays, Political, Spiritual, Spiritual | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Seattle council asks city to look at its investments

Posted by nowisthetimeus on November 16, 2011

The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution in support of Occupy Seattle that calls on the city to examine its banking and investment practices, home-foreclosure patterns and the financing of local elections.

By Lynn Thompson

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution in support of Occupy Seattle that calls on the city to examine its banking and investment practices, home-foreclosure patterns and the financing of local elections.

The resolution was a grab bag of proposals meant to provide a local response to the concentration of wealth and abuses in the financial sector that the Occupy Wall Street protest and its regional offspring have called attention to in encampments and rallies around the country this fall.

“Working together, we can fix our broken economy and fix our broken social contract,” said Councilmember Nick Licata, who sponsored the legislation. He said that, at the very least, the city can make sure public funds are reinvested in the community.

Other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Buffalo, have passed resolutions in support of the Occupy protests.

The Seattle resolution did not call for a city income tax, as an earlier draft had proposed, but did call on the state Legislature to work toward a more equitable tax structure and to fully fund public education as a way to continue to provide economic opportunity. It also called on Congress to support job creation by investing in the country’s infrastructure, tightening banking regulations and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.

It’s not clear how much practical effect the resolution will have. The city’s finance director said very little of the city’s money is in commercial banks. The city does do business with Wells Fargo, but the bank is essentially a pass-through as the city moves money into long-term assets or pays bills, said Glen Lee, finance director.

The city does give tax breaks to a range of businesses, from church-sponsored day-care centers and nonprofit adult family homes to banks with international facilities that pay about one-third less than other businesses, Lee said.

“I look forward to examining these issues with the council,” he said.

About 60 people from the Occupy Seattle protests attended the City Council hearing and gave a standing ovation to Licata when he spoke in favor of the resolution. The protesters spoke of their personal experience, from financial hardship and homelessness to unemployment and heavy student loans.

One likened the nation’s current economic outlook to joining a game of Monopoly that’s already in progress.

“All the properties are already owned and wherever you land, you’re screwed,” said Michael Dare, who organizes the Occupy encampment at City Hall Plaza.

The council resolution, which was joined by Mayor Mike McGinn, also reflected some of the ongoing tension within the city as officials try to honor the rights of protesters to speak out and peacefully assemble as well as the work of the Seattle Police Department, which must protect public safety.

The resolution notes both the First Amendment right of activists and “the important responsibility” of the police to protect those rights “while, at the same time, appropriately enforcing City laws and regulations.”

Lynn Thompson: 206-464-8305 or lthompson@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @lthompsontimes.

Posted in Economic, Global Revolution, Legal Actions, Political | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »