According to Naomi Wolf, the coordinated arrests and violence against protestors were not coincidentally timed.
It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.
Doubtless whatever I say, someone will find fault, take offense, withdraw into positions, place guard dogs at the gates and lookouts in the towers. We are a people enamored of the idea of violence. We like the idea that when it gets down to the proverbial nitty gritty we can and will kick ass and take names. Americans are tough, not to be messed with, ready to exact justice by knuckles or 9.mm. . . .
Robert Reich has distilled ten principles of Romneyism. I think he’s compiled and articulated these accurately. Whether they SHOULD be guiding principles for the United States is an entirely separate question. Here are the ten:
1. Corporations are the basic units of society.
2. Workers are a means to the goal of maximizing corporate profits.
3. All factors of production — capital, physical plant and equipment, workers — are fungible and should be treated the same.
4. Pollution, unsafe products, unsafe working conditions, financial fraud, and other negative side effects of the pursuit of profits are the price society pays for profit-driven growth.
5. Individual worth depends on net worth — how much money one has made, and the value of the assets that money has been invested in.
6. People who fail in the economy should not be coddled.
7. Taxes are inherently bad because they constrain profit-making.
8. Politics is a game whose only purpose is to win.
9. Democracy is dangerous because it is forever vulnerable to the votes of a majority intent on capturing the wealth of the successful minority, on whom the economy depends.
10. The three most important aspects of life are family, religion, and money.
Here’s what happened to a group of people protesting a foreclosure. Note the extreme militarization of the police. They looked nervous, and they should have been, because they were surrounded by ordinary people fighting a fucked-up system by uttering truths to the police-soldiers. Amazing that it’s coming to this.
With today’s announcement of the death of Paul Kurtz, I have republished (below) his Neo-Humanist Statement of Secular Principles and Values. I decided to publish the content of this defining document regarding secular humanism (with permission to republish that Paul Kurtz gave in the original document), to make sure that it remains widely available. As you can see below, I was one of the signers of this document. I took an active interest in this document, which I consider to be well-drafted (I offered alternate phrasing for a tiny bit of the language, which Paul accepted and approved). This document, more than any other that I have seen, articulates the values by which I try to live my own life.
I would invite all readers to take a bit of time to review the Neo-Humanist Statement, and to share it widely.
[More . . . ]
The scene is the Springfield Missouri City Council, where the Council debated whether to pass a new rule adding LGBT people to those people protected from discrimination. the following video features an impassioned speech against homosexuals with a twist toward the end:
We are our own worst enemy with regard to the way we use armed drones. We are refusing to acknowledge the damage being done to the U.S. given our indiscriminate use of these weapons. This new article at Huffpo gives some details:
A new study . . . contends that the U.S. use of drones to target suspected militants in Pakistan has had a “damaging and counterproductive effect” on the country and has killed far more civilians than previously acknowledged . . .
Working with the activist group Reprieve, the team of professors have added to the growing body of literature that argues, contrary to Obama administration claims, that numerous civilians have been killed, and many more traumatized, by the drone strike program.
“Drones hover 24 hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles and public spaces without warning,” the report said. “Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves.”
Relying on data compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the study’s authors say that between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed in Pakistan since June 2004, and between 474 and 881 of them were civilians.
William K. Black is spot on in his analysis of Mitt Romney, the candidate of America’s Social Darwinist Party (aka the Republican Party):
Romney’s initial non-apology for his dismissal of the 47 percent claimed that he was not “elegant” in his statements, but that is a deliberate effort to divert our attention from the real point. His consignment of nearly half of all Americans to the trash heap was deliberately crude because his fellow plutocrats love the crudeness of his dismissal of those they see as immoral moochers. His speech demonstrated perfect pitch for his audience because his plutocratic peers are the only Americans who Romney knows and understands.
CNN Money presents a stunning graphic and analysis regarding the growing wealth inequality in the U.S. It has gotten much much worse since 1983.
Most Americans below the upper echelon have suffered a decline in wealth in recent decades. The median household saw its net worth drop to $57,000 in 2010, down from $73,000 in 1983. It would have been $119,000 had wealth grown equally across households.
I can imagine certain members of the 1% whispering under their breath: “Good.” It seems to me that the Republican Party should simply rename itself the Social Darwinist Party.