rational outrage

Just wait. After the protesting in Wall St, London, Milan and elsewhere, any major crash on the horizon will just end up being blamed on ‘all those peasants’!

Everything was fine around here until you plebs began complaining about it!

London occupied as well:

The whole system is wrong but which bits make it strikingly obvious to the ordinary person?

I think tax avoidance, evasion and downright criminality is a powerful place to start. If top banks and top companies are involved in this then ergo something is really wrong and so the questioning continues.


The Guardian reported that,

The 100 largest groups registered on the London Stock Exchange have more than 34,000 subsidiaries and joint ventures between them. A quarter of these, over 8,000, are located in jurisdictions that offer low tax rates or require limited disclosure to other tax authorities.

And that,

The banking sector has the largest number of tax haven companies, with the big four UK banks – HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds – having a total of 1,649 offshore subsidiaries. They have the largest number of companies registered in the Cayman Islands, with Barclays alone registering 174 subsidiaries and ventures there.


by Sally Kohn —It’s Not What They’re for, But What They’re Against

Critics of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement complain that the protesters don’t have a policy agenda and, therefore, don’t stand for anything. They’re wrong.

The key isn’t what protesters are for but rather what they’re against — the gaping inequality that has poisoned our economy, our politics and our nation.

In America today, 400 people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million combined.

That’s not because 150 million Americans are pathetically lazy or even unlucky. In fact, Americans have been working harder than ever — productivity has risen in the last several decades. Big business profits and CEO bonuses have also gone up. Worker salaries, however, have declined.

Most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters aren’t opposed to free market capitalism. In fact, what they want is an end to the crony capitalist system now in place, that makes it easier for the rich and powerful to get even more rich and powerful while making it increasingly hard for the rest of us to get by.

The protesters are not anti-American radicals.

They are the defenders of the American Dream, the decision from the birth of our nation that success should be determined by hard work not royal bloodlines.

belief against self

by Frank Schaeffer

If the Wall Street protests are to mean anything long term they have to also focus on the enablers of the top 1 percent that have raped the 99. Fundamentalist religion made this rape possible.

The source of the empowering of the top 1 percent super wealthy and the economic rape of rest of us is the religion of Evangelical fundamentalism. Note I didn’t say religion per se, but religious fundamentalism is responsible.

Why?

Because without the fundamentalists and their ‘values’ issues the lower 99 percent could not have been convinced to vote against their (our) economic self-interest, in other words, vote for Republicans serving only billionaires instead of the rest of us.

Wall Street is a legitimate target for long overdue protest but so are the centers of religious power that are the gate keepers of Republican Party “values” voters that make the continuing economic rape possible.


“Many Americans assume that’s just how democracy works, that this is how it’s always been, that it’s the system the Founders created. But what we have today is a far cry from what the Founders intended.

broke down healthcare

Healthcare industry prices rise rapidly. Medical bankruptcies increase.

Illness and medical bills contribute to a large and increasing share of US bankruptcies.

Using a conservative definition, 62.1% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92% of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5000, or 10% of pretax family income. The rest met criteria for medical bankruptcy because they had lost significant income due to illness or mortgaged a home to pay medical bills.

Most medical debtors were well educated, owned homes, and had middle-class occupations. Three quarters had health insurance.

Using identical definitions in 2001 and 2007, the share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 49.6%. In logistic regression analysis controlling for demographic factors, the odds that a bankruptcy had a medical cause was 2.38-fold higher in 2007 than in 2001.

an actuary of action

Dave Winer on Occupy Wall Street:

Look at all the attention this leaderless movement has managed to draw to itself, without any kind of a media budget. And I have a feeling this is just beginning.

Hopefully we will build decentralized communication networks that allow ideas to be distributed instantaneously without being controlled by Time-Warner, News Corp, Comcast, or even Google, Twitter or Facebook.

Of course we already have the technology, it’s just what the Internet already does. But we have to build a critical mass outside the corporate silos to have the independence we’ll need, imho.

What is OWS so angry about?
comment snippet: It’s your legislator, stupid.

Corporate America did not infiltrate the government. The government infiltrated corporate America.

the bumper boulders

There’s 2 questions here.

One.
Why are these boulders rubbed smooth on their sides?
There’s no rain or rivers here.

Two.
How did these boulders move to the valley bottom.
There’s no rain or rivers here.

They’ve been jostled side-to-side by earthquakes. Yes, grinding against each other —ten ton dancing raindrops pushed over the desert floor more than a million years. Neato. Nifty. Wow.

Surfed a seismic wave lately?

gold, silver, mettle

mightaswell talkturkey

Tony Bennett with Piers Morgan, while I’m typing:

“What a gift it is to be alive… we should cherish each other… we only have one quick life… maybe a hundred years… we should realize what a gift it to be alive…

“America? It’s a mix of everybody, all religions, so many beliefs, that’s the best thing about America… we should realize that.”

America? That’s why the lady is a tramp ??

o.s.a.

“Light for some time to come will have to be called darkness.” 
– Nietzsche


Dave Winer’s photo-log OccupyWeb.org here.
More insightful OWS pics here: http://richnacin.tumblr.com/.

 *thumbtack map of currently ‘occupied cities’


 

The point is, today everyone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control. Unfettered greed has trashed the global economy.

The Nation:

Ten years later, it seems as if there aren’t any more rich countries. Just a whole lot of rich people. People who got rich looting the public wealth and exhausting natural resources around the world.

*sick of funding war lords*

our local armies

Salon special report:

“The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It’s basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year.”

LA Times special report:

An entire industry has sprung up to sell an array of products, including high-tech motion sensors and fully outfitted emergency operations trailers. The market is expected to grow to $31 billion by 2014.

Like the military-industrial complex that became a permanent and powerful part of the American landscape during the Cold War, the vast network of Homeland Security spyware, concrete barricades and high-tech identity screening is here to stay.

The Department of Homeland Security, a collection of agencies ranging from border control to airport security sewn quickly together after Sept. 11, is the third-largest Cabinet department…

…trillions of dollars are transferred to the private security and defense contracting industry at exactly the time that Americans — even as they face massive wealth inequality — are told that they must sacrifice basic economic security because of budgetary constraints.

anything for more stuff

via How To Save The World, er, how to cope with an upcoming 11 billion

I’m a believer that most people really do want the best for the world. It’s only the psychopaths, people seriously damaged some time in their past to the point that they lack all empathy and conscience and are utterly ruthless in their ideologically-driven activities, that we need to watch out for. The Cheney-Bush gang are the most notable examples, but on the corporate side the Koch brothers and this motley crew of wacko supporters are the standard-bearers.

we are forgettable

Harvard’s Umair Haque calculates values; asking:

“Do we know what it means to live well?”

Empire after empire has reached through conquest after conquest for the triumphs of opulence–and all have not just fallen; all have been prone to the glitches and crashes inherent in it’s calculus. Not merely injustice between people–but injustice within people; lives spent in frenzied pursuit of the trivially forgettable.

But please, somebody, say it simple.

vital components

 

http://www.txtpost.com/playboy-interview-steven-jobs/

But more revealing was the scene after the party. Well after the other guests had gone, Jobs stayed to tutor the boy on the fine points of using the Mac. Later, I asked him why he had seemed happier with the boy than with the two famous artists. His answer seemed unrehearsed to me: ‘Older people sit down and ask, “What is it?” but the boy asks, “What can I do with it?”‘

Playboy: We survived 1984, and computers did not take over the world, though some people might find that hard to believe. If there’s any one individual who can be either blamed or praised for the proliferation of computers, you, the 29-year-old father of the computer revolution, are the prime contender. It has also made you wealthy beyond dreams‐‑your stock was worth almost a half billion dollars at one point, wasn’t it?

Steven Jobs: I actually lost $250,000,000 in one year when the stock went down. [Laughs]

Playboy: You can laugh about it?

Jobs: I’m not going to let it ruin my life. Isn’t it kind of funny? You know, my main reaction to this money thing is that it’s humorous, all the attention to it, because it’s hardly the most insightful or valuable thing that’s happened to me in the past ten years. But it makes me feel old, sometimes, when I speak at a campus and I find that what students are most in awe of is the fact that I’m a millionaire. When I went to school, it was right after the Sixties and before this general wave of practical purposefulness had set in. Now students aren’t even thinking in idealistic terms, or at least nowhere near as much. They certainly are not letting any of the philosophical issues of the day take up too much of their time as they study their business majors. The idealistic wind of the Sixties was still at our backs, though, and most of the people I know who are my age have that ingrained in them forever.

Playboy: It’s interesting that the computer field has made millionaires of‐‑

Jobs: Young maniacs, I know.

game theory & nudge

Thaler puts transparency in government above all.

It is essential that people feel they are – and actually are – making a free choice.

But when Richard Thaler says the right outcomes are defined by the people being nudged, it does beg a question about how democracy works.

Do we know there is behavioral economics?

“Some people claim the techniques developed through BE are helping governments and big corporations manipulate us without our knowing.

“Should we be scared?”

We want to look at this 1968 documentary, yes it’s raw, about salesmen, well, let’s just say about bibles, before pots & pans, before encyclopedias and Fuller Brush, before real estate, pink Cadillacs and Tupperware, before gold parties, far before gold parties… [nudge]

How far is our democracy from missionaries and bible sales?

Doorways are forever inviting.

the user’s experience

Steve had this perspective that always started with the user’s experience; and that industrial design was an incredibly important part of that user impression.

“He always looked at things from the perspective of what was the user’s experience going to be? What did they want? How can I possibly ask somebody what a graphics-based computer ought to be when they have no idea what a graphic based computer is? No one has ever seen one before.”

why wreck a nation?

How Rich is Too Rich For Democracy?
by Thom Hartmann, 2005, CommonDreams.org

Let’s see now:

At what point does great wealth held in a few hands actually harm democracy, threatening to turn a democratic republic into an oligarchy?

It’s a debate we haven’t had freely and openly in this nation for nearly a century, and last week, by voting to end the Estate Tax, House Republicans tried to ensure that it wouldn’t be had again in this generation.

But it’s a debate that’s vital to the survival of democracy in America.

In a letter to Joseph Milligan on April 6, 1816, Thomas Jefferson explicitly suggested that if individuals became so rich that their wealth could influence or challenge government, then their wealth should be decreased upon their death. He wrote, “If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree…”