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GREED! Anatomy of a revolution

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Here in America an economic coup d'etat is taking place and most americans are not even aware. Not ONE person has been jailed for bringing down the economy and destroying millions of lives. However the people who have protested this corruption have been jailed, beaten and vilified.

It seems there are a lot more questions than answers lately. Like, what leads to populist uprisings? Violence in the streets? Revolution!? Will the unrest here in America, which has produced small violent incidents, escalate? Can we learn from other countries uprisings?

To begin to understand our own unrest and growing anger in America, you must first understand our financial problems. Half of U.S. wealth was lost in our recent economic meltdown and yet wall street recorded record profits. Every American should be required to watch the 2010 academy award winning documentary "INSIDE JOB" . It provides a clear look at the principal element that enabled all the greedy derivative, phony rating type games which allowed this theft to take place" "DEREGULATION!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inside_Job_(film)

One inescapable fact is that in many of the recent uprisings around the world, financial corruption and banks like Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs were often deeply involved. 

Although many banks were involved in the corruption, consider how many former CEO's and officers of just ONE bank,  Goldman Sachs, have moved into positions of power in various governments which were involved in manipulation and fraud that ended in financial meltdown. The list includes Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson who served as United States Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, respectively, as well as Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of Canada since 2008, Mario Draghi, governor of the European Central Bank and Mario Monti, the Italian Prime Minister, Neel Kashkari Assistant to Paulson and head of office of financial  stability (oxymoron) who implemented $700 billion bailout & gave Goldman Sachs 10 billion, Jon Corzine U.S. Senator and Governor. Just sayin'.

 It was Thomas Jefferson who wisely said that banks were more dangerous than standing armies.

It is mind boggling that after all the Ayn Rand, unregulated, free market cowboy capitalism so obviously caused a world wide economic disaster" the GOP now doubles down and claims that we didn't go far enough! Hell even Ms. Rands high priest Alan Greenspan admitted he was wrong and that banks and wall street can't be trusted and need regulation. Yet now republicans and their wall street buddies claim they need 'complete' deregulation, absolutely no accountability and no corporate taxes to boot! They say more of the same will produce different results this time! Insane right? No sane person would just ignore the facts and the lessons of history right? Wrong! Looks like half of america is ready to take the economy over the cliff again. I wonder if these fools remember why the GOP was dubbed "the culture of corruption" during the Bush tenure?

I accept that I am not smart enough to understand all the intricacies and machinations of government and business, but I do know right from wrong and I am smart enough to think for myself and do objective research.  However if I have one genius, it is cutting through the hype and understanding core issues. When I found that over the last couple decades, the top 1% has increased their share of the economic pie so dramatically that now they have more wealth than the bottom 90%, I understood what this means both historically and socially and it pisses me off! As a very smart mentor of mine used to pound into his students heads, when in doubt, remember to get to the basic elements and employ the "KISS" method..."keep it simple stupid"! This should not be confused with the anti-intellectual, purposeful misdirection to simplistic straw man answers provided by corporate plutocrats that the Tea party loves.  No, I mean understanding the true basics, the bare bones elements which led to our economic problems and allowed the rise of these plutocrats. Then it becomes easier to expand that understanding and come up with solutions.

Some basics of every revolution are always the same. Greed and ignorance are two. Either an armed group gains control and steals wealth (autocracy), or a small group of greedy people gain power politically and steal wealth (plutocracy). Either way they cause suffering for the majority. In the case of a plutocracy, supporting the controlling elite there are a number of people who profit in varying degrees, believing they will also eventually rise to greater levels of wealth.  This powerful minority is then able to exercise control because they convince enough ignorant people with lies and propaganda they spread through amoral politicians, professional think tanks and corporate controlled media outlets like Rupert Murdochs fox news (the propaganda arm of the gop). 

Murdoch's war on journalism and assault on the truth is well documented. http://www.outfoxed.org/

Believe me I know democrats don't have clean hands here. One of my biggest political disappointments was when president Obama left so many of the same Bush wall street insiders that created our economic meltdown in charge of the nations finances. This after he took huge amounts of cash from Goldman Sachs and other special interests. And don't get me started on why Obama won't prosecute CIA torturers, Wall Street crooks, corporate criminals, war profiteers, or other venal high-level government officials. 

Let's hope the democratic administration does the right thing with the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Enactment of this measure will authorize "the military to pick up and imprison people, including US citizens, without charging them or putting them on trial."
http://www.salon.com/2011/12/16/three_myths_about_the_detention_bill/

Talk about supplying the tools to crush dissent. However, by comparison, the democrats are by far the lesser of the evils. Thank god there are actually some democrats who remember they are there to serve the people, not the corporations.  

It seems lately, president Obama has decided to stop rolling over in his foolish attempts to appease the republicans. He has made recess appointments at the NLRB. He may finally be learning to fight. Previously he put forward a nomination for head of the CFPA  who would have finally begun the process of holding banks and wall street accountable. Predictably, the gop vowed to oppose ANY regulation, no matter the candidate. So of course the GOP just filibustered the appointment of Richard Cordrey. The GOP who has abused the filibuster a record number of times in their agenda to obstruct and prevent any regulation or tax increases for the wealthy have been punked!  When the president played hardball and made a recess appointment in spite of the games and threats, republican heads could be heard exploding all over the country. I expect the wailing on wall street will result in a significant drop in campaign donations and perks for republican congressmen. After all, you only pay for results, not intentions.  

Protecting american consumers is not and has never been on the gop radar. They are quite willing to cut the baby in half to achieve their goals, as they proved in their raising the debt ceiling farce. So while it seems that president Obama has finally decided to take on wall street, it will be a huge undertaking. But it is a fight for the survival of our democracy. It is a fight most americans will gladly join if the president leads.

If somehow you hadn't noticed, we may just be experiencing the beginnings of an American awakening. If this intervention to save our democracy is to succeed however, we must educate the large swath of apathetic Americans who still have no idea what is happening to our democracy. They have (or "had') a two car garage in their house in the burbs and didn't want to be bothered. Unfortunately for millions, that house is now in foreclosure, their 401 K's are worthless and their jobs outsourced. They are starting to wake up, and they are angry... now we must find ways to focus that anger, mobilize and actually DO something!

In that spirit, I offer this simple overview of historic events similar to and in many cases, related to Americas problems. A look at specific components of our growing problems that are driving our awakening and examine some available solutions. Knowledge is power. If enough of us are willing to participate, we may just be able to rescue the tattered remnants of our democracy. But it will take getting off the couch and joining the revolution .

As I mentioned, by now informed people are aware that the central cause of the economic meltdown was deregulation. The game was rigged (and still is),  heads the banks win, tails the taxpayer loses. Ergo my choice of the 2003 picture of OTS ( the agency charged with protecting investors and taxpayers) director James Gilleran, and his bank lobbyist buddies who paid his salary, symbolically cutting regulations. As soon as they accomplished that, the over leveraging, derivative shell games began in earnest and the wild west, anything goes, days of free wheeling unaccountability were under way. As our economy headed for the edge of the cliff, profits for wall street, bankers and CEO's soared.  Interesting that members of congress have grown richer also. About half of all members of congress are now millionaires (and possibly billionaires). 

http://www.prlog.org/10133281-american-financial-crisis-regulators-chain-saw-regulations-and-fragile-us-treasury-concerns.html

You have probably heard the litany of excuses used to deflect from talking about deregulation. Everything from the absurd claim that Barney Frank, a senator in the minority with no meaningful power, was in cahoots with the evil Fannie mae and Freddie mac and caused the whole thing, even as Newt Gingrich was making millions advising Fanny and Freddie and his republican party was fighting to help enable the over-leveraging, bundling toxic assets, derivative games and theft of taxpayer money. or possibly the ludicrous charges that it is the EPA or FDA and all their job killing regulations. Or my favorite and the most blatantly dishonest deflection of all"'it was actually the uncertainty caused by all those "proposed' regulations that caused the crash! Seems no lie is too big and no hypocrisy out of bounds for republicans. It is also apparent that the will of the people and their well being is unimportant to them.

If you doubt that for a moment, consider the fact that a huge majority of americans, left and right, strongly oppose cutting social security and support taxing corporations and the wealthy. yet the GOP and too many democrats (one is too many) lie about social security adding to the deficit and ignore the will of the people and spew weak excuses for protecting tax cuts and closing loopholes on their rich pals like the Koch brothers. Hell, even a majority of the wealthy favor raising taxes on themselves to heal our economy. I guess for some, no matter how much they have, it is never enough.

It is ironic that one of the rights icons, Ronald Reagan disagreed completely with the current Tea party controlled Republican party. He was responsible for the largest peacetime tax increase in U.S. history. He would have been considered a liberal by todays Tea-party led GOP  

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/10/03/333912/reagan-tax-loopholes-crazy/

What makes this doubly disgusting is that the facts are so easily available. The bi-partisan CBO reports that simply returning to the Bush era tax levels on the rich before the cuts (as the gop promised), would balance the budget in five years. If we removed the tax loopholes and forced ALL corporations to pay taxes, we would get back to surplus! Couple that with the fact that we have the proof that 13 years of historically low corporate taxes have produced no jobs. 

Of course the "every man for himself' republicans prefer to cut social security, veterans benefits, help for poor children and healthcare. They lie and claim our socialist nanny state is responsible for our deficit and promotes a lazy, spoiled working class... which is of course just the sort of simplistic rhetoric the far right loves. Facts be damned!


The truth is domestic discretionary spending is down sharply as a percent of the economy. Add in declines in state and local spending, and total public spending on education, infrastructure, and basic research and it has dropped from 12 percent of GDP in the 70s to less than 3 percent by 2011. Socialism is just another lie created by the GOP and their plutocratic masters to deflect from the truth.

The most bloated "entitlement" is of course defense spending. We spend more than most of the rest of the world spends on defense combined. But that is one socialist program they refuse to consider cutting. We could cut the defense budget in half and still have the largest military budget in the world by far.
http://armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/US_vs_Global/

Another sacred cow for republicans is 'entitlements' for the biggest Wall Street banks and their top executives who, unlike most of the rest of us, are no longer allowed to fail. They can also borrow from the Fed at almost no cost, then lend the money out at 3 to 6 percent or more offshore. All told, Wall Street's entitlement is the biggest offered by the federal government (even though it doesn't show up in the budget). It's not even a public service. It's just private profit. Talk about nanny state "socialism"!

For those who are unfamiliar with the term plutocrat, it refers to a society completely run by the top 1% who find a government by, of and for the people, an obstruction to their agenda. There are those who have been pushing a plutocratic agenda for decades now. Just look at the  the "2006 Citibank plutonomy memo". It is an arrogant, callous assessment that shows that some of the mega rich do not care about the masses (us)... only creating more wealth and control. Their biggest fear is the 'one person, one vote' flaw in our system. Under a plutocracy, this obstruction would be removed...along with costly, bothersome unions. You simply send jobs offshore where there are no bothersome rules and workers are glad to work for whatever you pay them. So of course profits increase.

The surest way to complete the plutocratic takeover? Distract from the deregulation discussion and the theft of the american economy it allows.  Simply blame the whole thing on president Obama and do everything possible to obstruct and damage the economy. Like refusing to raise the debt ceiling...Never mind that it might destroy the economy. It would have destroyed Obama and kept people from even thinking about those pesky wall street regulations. Use deflections like Frank Luntz's "big government takeover" lie, or throw out the socialism bogey man. Deflect with completely ridiculous nonsense like the birther lie, or kill granny lie, which the racist arm of the GOP aka the Tea party is only too willing to believe. In short, shift the blame and change the  conversation.  Once the republicans have control, an orderly transition into a plutocratic government can be completed.  

Make no mistake, this clown posse that is the GOP presidential field is fittingly representative of the 'new' republican party. This group of liars, hypocrites, serial adulterers and unstable, uninformed candidates, is undoubtedly the most ignorant collection of misfits ever! There is the possible exception of Huntsman and Roemer, who actually seem fit to hold high office and so of course are thus far completely rejected by the "new" republican party. 

My favorite member of the "clown posse' is disgraced ex speaker and serial liar and adulterer, faux intellectual and self described Theodore Roosevelt republican, Newt Gingrich. He said... "The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument."

-Theodore Roosevelt (republican) 1910 speech
"One of the fundamental necessities in a representative government such as ours is to make certain that the men to whom the people delegate their power shall serve the people by whom they are elected, and not the special interests. I believe that every national officer, elected or appointed, should be forbidden to perform any service or receive any compensation, directly or indirectly, from interstate corporations"

Back when I naively thought the truth might  matter to the far right, I used to respond to the angry charges of socialism from Tea party types with the obvious truth"of course I am a socialist! But so are you! Why do you think the safety net for our seniors is called "social" security? Every time we care for a poor child, help a suffering military vet, put a cop on the beat, inspect our food and water to insure it's safe, or any of a host of other services that a democracy provides "those are "social" services! Or SOCIALISM!

However, these working class supporters of the gop's plutocratic agenda are the same people who cheer for throwing uninsured sick americans into the street to die. Cheered executing people and boo'd a gay soldier serving in a combat zone. They believe that climate change is a socialist plot, endangered species are unimportant and evolution is a lie created by liberals. Meanwhile they support politicians who ship their jobs offshore, cut their healthcare and want to kill social security. They support removing regulations that protect our health. It is useless to debate with people this willfully ignorant. 

It's ironic that the Tea party movement sprang from Rick Santelli's remarks on the floor of the N.Y stock exchange and was organized and funded in large part by wealthy Plutocrats. Really pathetic that these ignorant Tea partiers haven't made the connection.

-Conservative David Brooks may have said it best.
"The Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. It has become a clearing house for religious fanatics, Ayn Rand groupie weirdos and angry white racists driven literally mad by seeing a black man in the White House, a black man more articulate and intelligent -- not to mention annoyingly even tempered -- than they or their bizarre leaders are." 

Hopefully by now, most have heard the stories of the wall street fat cats taking taxpayer bailouts and using it to pay themselves eighteen billion in bonuses, or how the top fifty hedge fund managers made billions of dollars each in 2010 while americans suffered, or wall street and corporations recording record profits as CEO's making an astounding 475 times more than the average worker in their company, by far the biggest income gap in the world and on and on"right? Not really! It is sad how many americans are completely uninformed and worse, uninvolved. That apathy is what allows the gradual erosion of our democracy.

Unbelievably, when the wall street errand boys (a.k.a. the GOP), fight to protect the obscene profits of their masters and use weak, obvious lies like 'not hampering the "job creators" with a lot of pesky regulations or taxes', or the tired old lie "American corporations already pay the highest tax rate of any country"... some people actually believe it! Even though facts are readily available that prove that american corporations pay the 3rd lowest effective rate in the world. So low that the WTO threatened sanctions if it wasn't raised. Many U.S. corporations pay NO taxes! After twelve years of historically low taxes on corporations, jobs have not been created"only sent offshore to increase already bloated profits. But the lies keep coming. Republicans are unaffected by a few pesky facts.

However it is the other side of this coin that drives the problem of greed home for me. As a result of the greed and extraction of wealth by the elitist minority, we have the highest poverty rate in over a half century. That is 46.2 million americans living in poverty! Consider that this shamefully high number of americans must often go without basic healthcare, not have enough food, live in ghettos and not have access to a decent education. It is a shameful blight on a democracy that likes to crow about liberty and justice for all. The 1%'s answer is to tell the poor and unemployed to "take a bath and get a job". Never mind that their job has been sent offshore.

What many may not know, is that the banks and wall street have been busy working to counter the facts with their spin and advance their plutocratic agenda for years. Conservative think tanks funded by people like the Koch brothers and fox news, churn out their spin and stoke the paranoid true believers with fear and smear. Much of their battle plan is drawn up by CEO's of banks like  Goldman Sachs or Citibank.
http://todayshottopic.com/2011/01/20/leaked-citibank-memo-the-plutonomy-symposium-rising-tides-lifting-yachts/

The plutocrats truly believe our democracy is an obstruction. They convince supporters that bothersome agencies like the EPA, FAA, Food and Drug administration and all their profit killing regulations are simply "big government" meddling in our lives and should be gotten rid of.  Having a solid business model instead of this big government socialistic democracy would be so much simpler. Plutocracy! Has a nice ring doesn't it.

Consider also, the citizens united decision that the right leaning SCOTUS pushed down americas throat"it is now justice for hire and wall street is hiring! It is also part of their agenda to undo our democracy when republicans push for voter suppression, try and dismantle the social safety net, and of course, busting unions is high on the plutocratic agenda. Remember that Hitler didn't want unions. Stalin didn't want unions. Mubarak didn't want independent unions. Autocrats and plutocrats don't want independent unions"they cut into corporate profits and give the worker a voice.

Our legal and governmental system has been corrupted and serves corporate interests. Social institutions, labor unions and political parties, have been weakened or corrupted by corporate power.  The disappeared are held in our global black sites without charge"without trial. Any protest, no matter how tepid, is increasingly attacked by a security and media apparatus that is starting to resemble that of the East German secret police or some middle east autocratic state. Mounting anger and hatred, poverty and homelessness make violence and counter-violence inevitable.

It is imperative we understand that the basics of a plutocratic takeover are the same as an autocratic or fascist takeover. As I said, it is a minority consolidating power, extracting wealth and crushing dissent. However, the level of involvement of banks in shifting wealth to the elite and causing suffering for the masses is a relatively new phenomenon. Consider when the Greek government hired a Goldman Sachs employee to act as head of the Public Debt management Agency" talk about turning the wolf loose in the hen house! We certainly have many wolves in the american financial henhouse.

Many of the vulture capitalists buy the debt of Third World countries for pennies on the dollar, then use political and legal connections to extract massive judgements to force collection... even from nations suffering from starvation and violent conflicts. They have used such tactics in Panama, Ecuador, Poland, Cote d'Ivoire, Turkmenistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ARN20111115&articleId=27673

Whether it's the French revolution, the upheaval and riots over the past few decades in South America, or the recent awakenings in the middle east, there is always that one common thread... greed! and in every case, financial theft is always facilitated by lack of regulation.

Iceland was highly deregulated in 2000 and its banks were privatized. When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and AIG collapsed on September 15, 2008, Iceland and the rest of the world went into a global recession.

In South america, Ecuador a corrupt government with no banking regulations, allowed the IMF and other banks to play their cheap money games and extract the countries wealth until the people were living in poverty due to the government forcing the people to repay the WB and IMF and other banks interest on their loans" loans made without the peoples knowledge. Riots and protests of course followed. Then a new president, Rafael Correa enforced an old "odious debt" law " (which basically says when crooks run up debt without the peoples consent, you don't have to repay those crooks) and refused to let his people suffer and go hungry just to service the interest on these predatory loans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odious_debt   he simply refused to play the banks games. He granted reductions on income tax to firms that re-invest their profits at home instead of transferring them abroad, taxed the wealthy oil companies 80%  and used the money to pay for healthcare, education, housing and work projects"and it has worked! When the banks and the U.S. government screamed and threatened... Correa ignored them! Things have continued improving since.

One of the more recent examples is of course the middle east. The greed and brutal disregard for the people made violence the inevitable outcome. The middle east awakening was clearly driven by the poverty and suppression of the people by a few brutal leaders and their greed. Autocracies evils are always more obvious than a plutocracies. 

Such was the case in some of the south american countries where not only did banks like BOA, WB and Goldman Sachs manipulate the various economies through low interest lending of non existent money due to their over leveraging, but experienced interference and intimidation by the U.S. government to support these games. After the loans were made the interest rose to levels that threatened the economies, services and programs for the people were slashed. Once again the people were forced to pay for the 1% and the banks greed. Once again a recipe for unrest and violence.

The Greek meltdown is perhaps one we should pay special attention to"and profit from. We have all heard that the greek people are lazy, greedy and have bought these problems on themselves. However a closer look dispels that narrative.  Okay, so what is really going on? 

"The Greek labor force, comprising 5 million souls, works the second highest number of hours per year on average among countries in the Organization for Economic Development (OECD), right after South Korea. Greeks work 42 hours per week, while the industrious Germans toil just 36.
The average Greek worker earns a bit over $1,000 a month. Private sector employees are the most underpaid in the EU. Even before the harsh austerity measures imposed by the EU and the IMF, the Greeks had already cut the real average wages in the private sector to 1984 levels. This week the Greek parliament is expected to vote on measures that would place 30,000 public sector workers in a "labor reserve" at slashed pay -- up to 40 percent.
Greeks retire a bit later than the European average. And the average pension, $990, is less than that of Ireland, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Thirty percent of the labor force works with zero Social Security or protections, while in the rest of the EU only 5-10 percent of workers are in this precarious situation.
So much for the myth of the overpaid, lazy Greek." 

It was the banks and a small number of Greek politicians who created and profited from the extraction of the countries wealth and when it caught up with them, they predictably shifted the blame to the people. Which has led to protests and violent reactions as the people are forced to tighten their belts to pay for the problems created by the wealthy minority who actually are responsible. Here is a great report on the issues. 
http://www.alternet.org/world/152759/the_greeks_are_being_unfairly_maligned_by_global_financiers:_the_truth_is_very_different

Interesting factoid" the Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was caught falsifying accounts with Goldman Sachs in 2000.

I received this email the other day.

"The European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it will hand out $645,000,000,000 in three-year loans to European banks. Which the ECB printed out of thin air, like Monopoly money! The interest rate will be one percent per year.

The ECB will not be lending this money to the Government of Greece however, even though that government is running a budget deficit of just under 10% of GDP -- and the Greek GDP dropped by 5% this year.  The Government of Greece is now paying 37% per year on its ten-year bonds, when it can borrow anything at all.

The world continues to face the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Unemployment throughout Europe is over ten percent.  Entire national governments are on the verge of going broke.  Why would anyone think that THE THING THAT WE HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW is to hand out $645 billion in more funny money to the banks?  In Europe or anywhere else?

The ECB is a public institution.  How can it possibly justify yet another bailout for selfish private interests, while the public is sent straight to hell?

If a Martian were to land in Paris today, and just read the headlines of the newspapers today, he could reach only one conclusion.  That there has been a coup in Europe, the banks are now in charge, and they're grabbing everything that they can get their hands on."
___________________________________________________________________________________

As Greeks fight for a serious audit to expose how the massive debt was incurred, wall street and banks fight to continue operating in secrecy and without regulation.  My hope is that the Greeks take a lesson from Ecuador and use the "odious debt" law and leave the greedy banks holding the bag.

HAVE A PLAN! 


The same thing is happening here in america. What can we do? It is always the same tactics from those who control the power. When the people begin to rise against the injustice, the powerful mount campaigns to dismiss and demean them and if necessary, crush dissent with force. Hardly a surprise when corrupt, greedy billionaires like Rupert Murdoch with his media empire and billionaire plutocrats like the Koch brothers spread their lies and propaganda to so many and buy the influence of so many politicians. Unfortunately whether it's the ignorant right wing types in the middle east who still dwell in the 12th century, or the far right types here at home who cling to memories of an all white ruling class and the "good old days' of Jim Crow and Bull Conner, there are usually no shortage of ignorant brownshirt types, who aspire to join the 1% or who are manipulated by playing on their fears and prejudices, that are willing work against their self interest and do the bidding of the powerful.  

The plutocrats will single out as enemies, intellectuals, people of color, immigrants, gays, Jews, unions and "liberals." They will call them anti-American and blame them for our decline and economic collapse. And the inevitable protests, such as the "occupy" movement, with their clashes, will justify harsh measures of internal control that could crush the final vestiges of our democracy. The corporate forces will use the information systems they control to cover their culpability. The old game of blaming the victims and the powerless, a staple of all despotic regimes, will empower the corporate plutocrats and deflect attention from their actions that have drained the blood of the economy and our democracy.

Here are efforts by powerful corporate types to discredit OWS and crush dissent.
http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/10/10/339862/paul-singer-vulture-capitalist-journalists/

American Bankers association memo on how to crush OWS
http://portfo.li/o/5798908-memo-to-american-bankers-association-from-lobbyists-spells-out-850-000-anti-ows-plan

-Michael Moore wrote

"Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online  at http://occupywallst.org/ ). Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don't have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action."

-This from Occupy Washington:
"More than 1,200 Occupy camps sprang up quickly across the nation and the world.  The first months of this new movement profoundly shook the foundation of the 1% -- almost instantly creating a new form of political power. This TIME "Person of the Year" protest movement, truly grown from the grass roots, handed the 99% some REAL political capital for the first time in decades and installed the Occupy Movement as a force to be reckoned with. 

Shifting power to the American people requires much more than an occupation.  The Occupy Movement needs to build on four strong components -- (1) non-violent protest and civil resistance, (2) non-participation in the existing corporate finance-dominated economy, (3) the development of concrete plans and policies to transform the corporate economy into a people's economy and (4) ending government dominated by money by shifting political power to the American people. Occupy Washington, DC says: no oligarchy, no plutocracy we want participatory democracy.  As we transitioned to winter we had many discussions on Freedom Plaza and among the web-community of Occupy Washington, DC.  We surveyed everyone on the Plaza to understand what their interests were.  These ideas and insights determined our next steps." 

GET INVOLVED!

Another important group that supports this american awakening is Anonymous. They are also feared and hated by the plutocrats for good reason. 
anonymous video   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP9q61Fjlqo
anonymous "plan"   http://anonops.blogspot.com/2010/12/work.html

Then there are groups that are working to stop the destruction of our democracy by the influence of corporate money, such as.  http://www.getmoneyout.com/

TAKE ACTION! 

Move your money out of the major banks into local credit unions and banks. Fight internet suppression. Oppose bailouts. Work for campaign finance reform. Support renewable energy. One of the few things I agree with Ron Paul on is the need to audit the federal reserve and boot the bankers out of government positions.

But how do you reason with these ignorant right wing supporters of the corporate plutocracy? YOU DON"T! It is impossible to "work with' or compromise with such ignorance and greed" you must simply oppose their dishonest, agenda and drag them into the new century. You stand for the truth and find ways to work for change and YOU FIGHT! And you use the tool the plutocrats fear most"YOU VOTE!

St. Augustine wrote, "hope has two beautiful daughters, anger and courage"

It is time to lose our preconceptions and prejudices, think outside the cultural box. Learn from history, not simply repeat it. Stand against the "norm" and the cultural spin fed to us. Stand against the hate and propaganda and have the courage to think new thoughts and to learn. Join the intellectual, true revolution that has begun. When enough people have the courage to do this, the impossible becomes the achievable and real change begins. 

The arc of history now bends away from the greedy and toward the people and the 1% is terrified...as are their minions. However all the wailing and gnashing of teeth will not avail them...now comes the revolution.

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Love learning. Hate stupidity and intolerance. First let me say that I am not a professional writer, although I have written a couple of screenplays and even sold one some years ago. I am however a professional actor and a member of the screen (more...)
 

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Our democracy is being hijacked and replaced with ... by Peter Lawlor on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 5:46:20 AM
My apology. After posting this op-ed, I did a proo... by Peter Lawlor on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 10:47:14 AM
Such as your misguided endorsement of   http... by Larry Kachimba on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 12:54:27 PM
I have watched Ratigan and he makes sense mostly. ... by Peter Lawlor on Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012 at 3:30:16 PM
I have seen highly respected people like William B... by Peter Lawlor on Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012 at 3:47:43 PM
Should voters have an opportunity to VOTE on a rev... by Jeff Block on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 9:02:24 AM
I think first we must educate as many americans as... by Peter Lawlor on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 10:42:53 AM
Our government has been taken over by the greedy 1... by Philip Pease on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 9:04:49 AM
about apathy.  Reportedly the Egytian revolut... by Jeff Block on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 10:53:52 AM
oh, I forgot to include that 70 million voting for... by Jeff Block on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 11:07:34 AM
1) non-violent protests and civil resistance. ... by Jeff Block on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 11:04:32 AM
Just read your bio - one of my favorite Einstein q... by Jeff Block on Sunday, Jan 8, 2012 at 11:14:23 AM
That was the quote that came to mind as I wrote th... by Peter Lawlor on Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012 at 3:40:17 PM
Very thorough, Peter. I share many of your fears. ... by Linda Collins on Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012 at 5:16:18 PM