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#OccupyWallStreet

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Erik Evens (EKE)

Is the mere fact that a guy with a camera asked that fellow very reasonable questions about his purpose for protesting... mocking him? How can that possibly be? For goodness sake, the guy is out there in a Mao outfit, inviting inquiries. Why do you presume that I, or that photographer, was making fun of his gender identity? You don't know that. His gender issues are of no concern to me whatsoever. The fact that he thinks that it's CAPITALISM that caused the bigotry against him, and that somehow a China-style leftist dictatorship is his remedy, is what I find preposterous.

Oct 12, 11 12:34 am
Erik Evens (EKE)

Sorry rusty! Wasn't trying to ignore you, I actually thought I had directed a reply to you, since you accused me of getting my jollies from joking transgender people, and I responded.

Oct 12, 11 12:48 am
Erik Evens (EKE)

The vid of the libertarian guy shows pretty clearly that the concerns of the Left and the concerns of libertarians have considerable overlap. But the solutions they advocate are quite different indeed.

Oct 12, 11 12:52 am
Erik Evens (EKE)

Let me try this from another angle. Ok, you've Occupied Wall Street, and Main Street, and lots of other streets. We're having a big conversation about lots of stuff. Now what? When do you go home?

Oct 12, 11 12:59 am
Rusty!

EKE, you must at least be bicurious about the going ons, otherwise you wouldn't be posting here. That's a good start. 

There have always been at least 5 different protests at Wall Street every single week since forever. That's at least my experience. When the bailouts were first released (under Bush) and then extended (by Obama) there were HUGE protests that I had to walk through each day on my way to work. They both eventually fizzled out. This one is somehow different. No particular message and the crowd weren't even that big. But the response from ideologues from both sides has been incredibly rancid. That alone has put this effort in a spotlight. Three years of misery has made everyone a little bit more nutty (than usual). 

So just like the protests so far, I have no strong words for you. Stay tuned, I guess. Pay attention. There's a huge opportunity here. Do jump in whenever you feel you can contribute. Yes, there's crazy people just like everywhere else. Some of them just need a hug. This too may fizzle out, but a lot of people watching are secretly hoping there's more to this this time around (including you IMHO). 

From your perspective (as a self identified libertarian), this is a tough one, since a smart person should instantly be able to identify a problem and immediately come up with a solution. Things are a bit more complex in the real word though.

Be reasonable. 

Oct 12, 11 1:56 am
Rusty!

By the way, as I write and speak more about this topic, and I hear differing opinions, I find my own opinions constantly shifting. 

This is surely a good thing.

Oct 12, 11 2:03 am

"OWS isn't (or shouldn't be) anti-wealth, or anti-capitalism. It's about the way our political system, where "money=speech", has become completely co-opted by those who have wealth, and twisted to allow them to make even more wealth, even at the expense of everyone else. It's about no one being held accountable for destroying nearly 20% of the wealth in this country, whereas if the protesters destroyed 20,000 bucks in property, you better believe they'd be in jail. It's about restoring some sense to the system so that everyone's playing by the same rules, and every American has a voice -- even if they can't afford $2,000 a plate fundraising dinners and million dollar PAC donations." --Dave Silverstone

Just pulled this from Cake's FB page.

Oct 12, 11 9:10 am

And EKE I totally agree that the future Maoist's position is preposterous.  But I think it's coming from a pretty abused mental place, and I don't think filming it and putting it on the web is in any way trying to be helpful.  It's like filming grandma when you ask her what she thinks of those 80s Hans Hollein storefronts where you were basically entering into a vagina  - you're not really trying to educate her, just be shocking.

And I'll point out again that Reagan gutted mental health in this country - confused trans and other people would have had vastly more helpful resources today if Reagan weren't such a prick.

I'm headed down to Occupy Indy today. Will post pictures of what I expect to be an earnest but small and super polite group!  Gotta go make a sign...

Oct 12, 11 9:22 am
curtkram

I would like to encourage everyone to do the best they can to educate themselves.  Learn about how the Federal Reserve actually works, who's authority it works under, where money goes once it's printed, how the stock market has changed since1981, how banks have changed since 1999, etc.  We all have internet and such, so we don't even need to go to community college.  Just use good sense and don't get all of your information from Fox News and American's for Prosperity.

I've read a lot about how the economy works lately and I find I get more questions than answers, and like Rusty my outlook and opinions are changing because of that.  If you can get your head wrapped around this stuff, then maybe you can sit down and respectfully talk to the trans-gender maoist.  Listen to what he thinks is a reasonable system for our country and then help teach him how our country was actually built, how it works, and what we can reasonably do to improve it.  Instead of belittling others, we can all win.

Telling us you can't understand what's going on because there's a crazy guy in the crowd doesn't add to the conversation.  The 'now what' question is to hold out until we get reasonable legislation fixing the structural problems with our financial system.  If you aren't camping out with your local protestors help them out with food and blankets, show up to march, or whatever they need.  Stop by and talk to them for a bit when you get a chance.  A lot of the people protesting may not be as smart or well educated as a lot of the people on archinect, so maybe you can help them learn about our political and financial systems and potential solutions to our problems.  Otherwise, maybe they can help you learn about what's actually going on in the world around you.

Oct 12, 11 10:14 am
trace™

There's a lot going on out there.  The part that I have difficulty with, like rusty, is getting that clarity in my own views.  There are points on every side that I acknowledge and actively learn more about, then there are also alienating extremes that make it impossible for me to embrace any one direction fully (this goes for D's, R's, L's, etc.).

I do hope all this discussion simply brings attention to another side, albeit less defined.  I hope, pray, that a moderate middle emerges as the extremes average out.  There are great messages out there, just too many get diluted with the out spoken extremes.

We need some logic to prevail to get this country back on track.  So far, very few in power seem to embrace anything more than their party's brochure.

Oct 12, 11 10:42 am
tintt

Salman Khan of Khan University (free, online) has some good, easy to watch videos on the Feds and Banking and more, for those wishing to self-educate on any topic. Highly, highly, highly recommend watching for anyone wishing to discuss these topics intelligently with others. Did I say they are easy to watch and very eye-opening? And no I don't work for him, I'm a school teacher and his site is well known among teachers.

http://www.khanacademy.org/#banking-and-money

 

 

Oct 12, 11 11:56 am

Money as Debt explains it all.

 

Oct 12, 11 1:01 pm
tintt

Well Khan doesn't "explain it all". He explains each piece of the banking system intellectually, as opposed to sensationally, and if you have access to a brain, you can use this information to understand these sytsems. Miles, you owe me a one page paper on Propaganda.

Oct 12, 11 1:13 pm

Money As Debt II

The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks. -- Lord Acton

 

Oct 12, 11 2:11 pm
jla-x

I just hope there are not any celebrity deaths, because if there are the media coverage of the Occupy WallStreet protests will completely go away.  Please Charlie Sheen take care of yourself drink some orange juice and get some exercise.  The people can't afford any cheap distractions in this time of revolution.   

Oct 12, 11 2:17 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

"Telling us you can't understand what's going on because there's a crazy guy in the crowd doesn't add to the conversation."

That's not what I said.  I said that the nice young transgender Maoist fellow was one of probably thousands of impassioned, mostly conflicting and inconsistent, points of view attempting to answer the question, "OK, you've occupied this public space.  Please tell us what you want."

You say, "the 'now what' question is to hold out until we get reasonable legislation fixing the structural problems with our financial system".  OK, fine.  To you that may mean focused legislation to guard against systemic "crony capitalism", or an end to "too big to fail" bailouts.  To many others out there it means nationalization of the banking system, the elimination of paper currency, the confiscation of the assets of the top 400 wealthiest Americans, or a Bastille Day massacre.

Oct 12, 11 2:32 pm
SuperKing

People want social dignity, protection of their constitutional access to pursuit of happiness, health care, access to good education, access to jobs, food, medicine, shelter, transportation, money, and they want financial thieves' asses..... 

What's wrong with you? What can you not understand about their demands and protests?

This where they are written read it! You know how to read, no?

Oct 12, 11 3:17 pm
jla-x

The idea that there are no coherent demands is bullshit manufactured by the media to discredit the movement.  Every populist movement begins with an atmosphere of general discontent, and then is crafted overtime into a more focused movement.  There needs to be more leadership, but I think it is pretty clear that the crowd is unanomously in support of many of the same  demands. 

Here are mine!

1. arrest the people who were knowingly gambling with other peoples money.  If criminal neglegence or fraud is found then prosecute!!

2. raise the minimum wage, and set a standard minimum wage per job.  architect, police officer, teacher, ect.  Base it on amount of education required, the risk associated, and the societal value of the position. 

3. raise taxes on the top 1% so they pay their fair share

4. tighten regulation to prevent this from happening again

5. stop coorporate control of politics (oligarchy) by strict regulation on lobbying.  100$ limit on "donations."  Any more consider it a bribe and prosecute.

   

Oct 12, 11 3:21 pm
jla-x

word up applet, this idea that the movement is just anarchy is so stupid.  Didn't hear this from the right when the tea party crazies were out there marching with their machine guns calling Obama a socialist and questioning whether he was even American.  The hipocracy is almost funny.  I can't belive how blind some people are. 

Oct 12, 11 3:27 pm

Good day today - gathered at the Statehouse, then marched to a private club where Rick Perry was supposedly speaking (I didn't see him), then marched back again.  My child is a born protestor.

We'll go back again Saturday for more.  And we, Occupy Indy, do have a coherent list of demands/desires, starting with the need for civil discourse.  We Hoosiers are a polite bunch!

Oct 12, 11 3:31 pm
Rusty!

That's great Donna!

Is that Orhan taking upskirt photos right behind A?

Oct 12, 11 3:45 pm
jla-x

haha that kid is cool!!!

Oct 12, 11 4:03 pm
jla-x

I love the chinese stars!

 

 

Oct 12, 11 4:04 pm

That guy behind was wearing a Press tag for The Republican Party.

Angus' sign says "More Pain No Game" which basically means enough is enough.  Mine had a big M leading to midwest middle class moderate mom then "I am the 99%".

Oct 12, 11 5:46 pm

"The problem with mark to market is it's such an abstract concept.  It's like E equals MC squared from hell. Analysts are calling mark to market a major contributing reason for recession. Is true!"

 

"Mark to market is a waste of time. Leave it up to S&P or Arthur Andersen?"

 

Mark to market is not really that abstract and it certainly isn't a waste of time.  It is instead fundamental step necessary for cleaning up the banking mess.  Without it some banks (maybe all banks), which are already essentially bankrupt, are still able to cipher off billions of taxpayer's money.  

These is bad for average people (let's say the 85%) as they are the ones who are going to feel the brunt of all the government austerity measures while they compete for jobs in an environment of deflationary depression.  Think $9/hr is too little for a job?  Guess what, there will be plenty of others willing to do the job $8/hr.  Or $5/hr.  Or $1/hr.  How low can we go?  Keep in mind that something like a billion people on the planet survive on $1/day.

And it's also bad for the modestly wealthy (let's say the 14%) who are actually wealthy enough to "invest" in things.  Except who in their right mind is going to invest in a corrupt system that lacks transparent accounting?  

Realistically, it's not even the top 1% any more.  It's more like the top 0.1% that has direct a direct hand in the control of the Fed & Treasury that are the only people benefitting anymore.

These are zombie banks that are sucking everybody down into a relentless economic abyss (that might someday be referred to as the Dark Ages 2.0).  The must be forced to fail so that the whole thing can start over.  

Oct 12, 11 7:07 pm
trace™

And who do you think will be the ones that "start over"?  This idea of letting everything go to hell, then, miraculously, the "good" rise from the ashes just seems ill-conceived to me.

No doubt there is lots to change, but what I see is that those that have the most money (and the most power), will continue to control.  Until there is new wealth and power that is redistributed, it'll continue on the way it always has been (my guess is that we get moderate concessions here and there).   If you have a $100 million in your bank account, you can afford to start a "new" business, weather a recession or two, then take advantage of all the distressed assets.  Encouraging a catastrophic failure of our economic system will only hurt you and I and reinforce those in power (as it has done already).

 

Oct 12, 11 7:30 pm

Yeah, I have to agree with trace that much as I fantasze about rebuilding from the ashes it most likely would not be good, community-minded people who would survive, it would be carpetbaggers.  Wait, where did that term "carpetbagger" come from?  Oh yeah, the last time part of the USA reduced another part to ashes.

Matt Taibbi writes intelligently on how to actually make Wall Street reform come about.

Oct 12, 11 8:10 pm

I'll pass on Taibbi. He's usually pretty good, but he's missing the boat here.

"You [corporations] can either suck on the public teat or influence the next presidential race, but you can't do both."

How about you can't do either?

 

Oct 12, 11 9:38 pm
trace™

Good link Donna.  Funny/ironic/tragic that all of those ideas have been out there for sometime.  There have been a decent number of powerful supporting many of those, but until the R's calm down about protecting the super wealthy's every last penny, my guess is that not much will happen.

But I do see this changing now and I hope that is something positive and lasting that comes out of this movement - that the R's see, blatantly 'cause polls have always shown it, that no one is in favor of giving the wealthy, the hedge funds, etc., breaks.

Hopefully we see a little more momentum behind some of these ideas.  Perhaps when elections are at stake and people get tired of this "job creator" crap that, clearly, has not helped create jobs (another good result of all this mess is that, finally, there is real proof that the "trickle down theory" does not work).

Oct 12, 11 9:40 pm
Token AE

My demands:

 

1. Limitations on consecutive congressional terms to 3. Lifelong 'cadillac' healthcare takes effect after completion of fourth term.

If someone is truly doing a great job, then they can come back. Most aren't. You want that wonderful health plan that most people can't have? Do a good enough job that people vote you back in after your forced break.

 

 

2. Repeal of Glass-Steagall act

No obvious conflict of interest here, amirite fellas?

 

3. Increase tax rate on financial services companies, companies that outsource over 40% of its labor.

Not all businesses should be lumped in, but some take it to unnecessary extremes.

 

4. Public health care, community service payment opt-out.

Don't want to pay for those commies sucking at the government teat? Cool. Do a minimum requirement of community service in a year and you will stop being charged for it in the next.

 

5. Eliminate the Electoral College

Its existence is insulting. 

 

6. Whenever the threat of a government shutdown is imminent, allow the public to vote in a referendum to overrule congress.

Because they are children.

And while I am at it:

  • Introduce a 10-year ban on receiving any form of welfare payment for failing a drug test. The existence of welfare is good- I have seen it get people back on track to do fantastic things with their lives. Abusing it to sit around and smoke meth (hello, west virginia!) is counterproductive.

 

I guess you could say that I am an all-around hater.

Oct 12, 11 11:26 pm

I like your list, TokenAE.

Oct 12, 11 11:28 pm
curtkram

#3

I think we want to bring Glass-Steagall back.  It was already repealed during the Clinton administration.  It might be the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act that we want to repeal.

Oct 13, 11 9:57 am
quizzical

From wikipedia:

The Banking Act of 1933 ... was a law that established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States and introduced banking reforms, some of which were designed to control speculation. It is most commonly known as the Glass–Steagall Act, after its legislative sponsors, Senator Carter Glass (D—Va.) and Congressman Henry B. Steagall (D—Ala.-3).

Some provisions of the Act, such as Regulation Q, which allowed the Federal Reserve to regulate interest rates in savings accounts, were repealed by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980. Provisions that prohibit a bank holding company from owning other financial companies were repealed on November 12, 1999, by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, named after its co-sponsors Phil Gramm (R, Texas), Rep. Jim Leach (R, Iowa), and Rep. Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. (R, Virginia).

The repeal of provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act effectively removed the separation that previously existed between investment banking which issued securities and commercial banks which accepted deposits. The deregulation also removed conflict of interest prohibitions between investment bankers serving as officers of commercial banks. This repeal directly contributed to the severity of the Financial crisis of 2007–2011 by allowing Wall Street investment banking firms to gamble with their depositors' money that was held in commercial banks owned or created by the investment firms.

Oct 13, 11 10:34 am
toasteroven

hedge fund manager sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.

 

For instance, insider trading at hedge funds – and the notion that the stock market is a rigged game – does not rate on the list of grievances from the anti-Wall Street protesters spreading across the country.

“Unless people can identify lost money as a result of insider trading, or have had their savings stolen by Madoff, they don’t view their own economic difficulties as being caused by a few bad apples,” said Mr. Berman, the Ohio State law professor. “They see the problems with our economy and financial markets as far more systemic than that.”

Oct 13, 11 12:56 pm
toasteroven

IMO - I'd much rather see people making money by investing in economic growth rather than getting rich off of moving assets around.

Oct 13, 11 12:57 pm
jla-x

#5 and 6 sounds like democracy to me.  I think we should try direct democracy for a while.  Representative democracy is a dead system.  If we had a direct vote on the jobs bill it would have passed!  Raising tax on billionares and millionares would pass too with 75% support.    

Oct 13, 11 1:07 pm
toasteroven

Matt Taibi's list from rolling stone.

 

1. Break up the monopolies. The so-called "Too Big to Fail" financial companies – now sometimes called by the more accurate term "Systemically Dangerous Institutions" – are a direct threat to national security. They are above the law and above market consequence, making them more dangerous and unaccountable than a thousand mafias combined. There are about 20 such firms in America, and they need to be dismantled; a good start would be to repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and mandate the separation of insurance companies, investment banks and commercial banks.

 

2. Pay for your own bailouts. A tax of 0.1 percent on all trades of stocks and bonds and a 0.01 percent tax on all trades of derivatives would generate enough revenue to pay us back for the bailouts, and still have plenty left over to fight the deficits the banks claim to be so worried about. It would also deter the endless chase for instant profits through computerized insider-trading schemes like High Frequency Trading, and force Wall Street to go back to the job it's supposed to be doing, i.e., making sober investments in job-creating businesses and watching them grow. [emphasis added]

 

3. No public money for private lobbying. A company that receives a public bailout should not be allowed to use the taxpayer's own money to lobby against him. You can either suck on the public teat or influence the next presidential race, but you can't do both. Butt out for once and let the people choose the next president and Congress.

 

4. Tax hedge-fund gamblers. For starters, we need an immediate repeal of the preposterous and indefensible carried-interest tax break, which allows hedge-fund titans like Stevie Cohen and John Paulson to pay taxes of only 15 percent on their billions in gambling income, while ordinary Americans pay twice that for teaching kids and putting out fires. I defy any politician to stand up and defend that loophole during an election year.

 

5. Change the way bankers get paid. We need new laws preventing Wall Street executives from getting bonuses upfront for deals that might blow up in all of our faces later. It should be: You make a deal today, you get company stock you can redeem two or three years from now. That forces everyone to be invested in his own company's long-term health – no more Joe Cassanos pocketing multimillion-dollar bonuses for destroying the AIGs of the world.

Oct 13, 11 1:19 pm
jla-x

localize and decentralise production of goods, energy infrastructure, and the banking system.

Sustainability and economic reform in one!

 

 

Oct 13, 11 1:20 pm
Rusty!

"I just hope there are not any celebrity deaths..."

Oct 13, 11 2:55 pm
jla-x

Demands should be made that if Bloomberg evicts protestors they will sit in the middle of the street and stop traffic!  Also people should hit the plutocrats where it hurts!  occupy the entrance to gas stations.....occupy wal-mart.......slow commerse and then they will listen!!!    

Oct 13, 11 4:30 pm

curtkram that slide show made me sick to my stomach.  I mean thanks for sharing it, but god. Harsh.

Oct 13, 11 9:31 pm

MoveOn delivered over 240,000 signatures in support of OWS to Bloomberg at Cipriani restaurant in NYC tonight. Those signatures were colected in a matter of hours after the news went out. 

 

Oct 14, 11 12:16 am
toasteroven

looks like the protesters are staying for the time being in the park (if you hadn't been following, the city was going to kick them out this morning) - the park manager seems to be working out a deal to allow them to stay and it appears they will attempt to do some cleaning next week.

 
Oct 14, 11 8:00 am

city was going to kick them out this morning

Actually, the park is privately owned. Mayor Bloomberg's girlfriend is on the board of the company who owns it.

It's owned by BFP ONE LIBERTY PLAZA CO. LLC and it's financed by GOLDMAN SACHS MORTGAGE COMPANY.

THE DELICIOUS IRONY.

Oct 14, 11 4:15 pm

We should be occupying the offices of Goldman Sachs ...

 

Oct 14, 11 4:33 pm
Bench

Interesting fact there JJR. Funny how that hasn't come up in any media articles on the subject of the company trying to give them the boot for cleaning...

(On a sidebar, I heard the company was from Montreal? Anyone else hear that?)

Oct 14, 11 10:20 pm
Rusty!

BenC!!! I haven't seen you in forevers! Welcome back.

Brookfield properties (company in charge of 'Zucchini park' in NYC) is in fact headquartered in Toronto. Half a block from where tomorrow's #occupybaystreey gathering is happening. They are in the same building as Goldman Sachs Canadia. 

I am hoping for 5k people to show up. I'll report back if I survive. Toronto police is very beat-em-up friendly, and they just recently acquired two water cannons and one of them sound wave machines that will give you permanent hearing loss. 

Fun!

Oct 15, 11 1:40 am

Wow, good luck Rusty!, I suppose things are much more tame down here in LA, we are having bands etc...@ our rally.  Anyone else from this post attending in other parts of the country/world?  Could people post pictures?

Oct 15, 11 10:27 am

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