Monday, November 14, 2011

going against the stream-- as usual

As usual for me, I am going against the grain for how most liberals appear to see the occupation movement and how I see what needs to be done. I didn't like the tent city approach to it and am not sure what that was supposed to be saying. We don't like our jobs; so will camp downtown until we get better ones? Oh wait, we are the ones without regular jobs and we will stay here until we get a job? How will staying there get you a job? It is vague for how it'd work.

I grew up when demonstrations were common, and for good reasons often. They make total sense to me.  You gather up like minded people, get a permit to gather at a city center for a group of speakers, maybe march through the city where the city has the ability to plan for orderly traffic rerouting because you aren't doing this illegally. I see the reason to show strength in numbers and have speakers who can espouse your viewpoint. No doubt about the truth in squeaky wheel gets the oil or out of sight, out of mind; but this occupy thing had a potential, as I saw it, of not getting any satisfaction for the real problems, drawing to it the wrong element (anarchists in short and by the camping the homeless who are always wandering around all our cities), and what about bathroom facilities? Without a concrete suggestion for how to fix what they see as wrong, what is its purpose? How can it gain a purpose if no suggested method is out there? Those are my doubts about it.

So this movement hasn't asked my opinion but I'll give it anyway. I think we need to find candidates who express our viewpoint, donate to them, and do what the tea party did in 2010, effectively taking over one of the seats of power, in our case, if we are lucky, all three with a plan in mind for what that means and what we expect from it.

In my view, the tea party formed and got together candidates to run but they had money and an organization behind them to do that. Big money came in the form of the Koch brothers and other wealthy hedge fund managers who didn't want to take a chance that their gravy train was about to implode.

How do we duplicate that? Well we donate money to those we hear talking like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or Alan Grayson whether they are in our district or state. Personally we began that in 2010 when for the first time we donated to a Congressman, Pete DeFazio, who was not in our district but who we had heard stand up for the things we believe. We also had never donated to a Governor's race before, never felt we had to. Boy was I glad we had when I saw the states that got these radical tea party type governors who started trying to demolish all the rights of the ordinary people in the supposed name of liberty but in reality in the name of their big bucks donors. Donate even if a small amount as it shows numbers behind that person and those ideas.

If we don't have money to donate, we work the phones or sent out mailers or whatever it takes to get people in the House and Senate who are not just democrats in name only. That's what the tea party voters did. They got it that you can call yourself anything but it's how you vote that shows who you really are.

We have plenty of Democrats who vote regularly with the Conservatives, which I wouldn't mind so much of the word conservative hadn't been usurped by a group only interested in supporting the wealthy. Conservative as used by Republicans today has absolutely none of the meaning it used to have.

So we support people to run for office who will actually change things.  We pressure them to follow through on their promises. We have big money too who believe in liberal values. We need them to be more active, to put their money out there like George Soros, who is a hated name in right wing circles. Soros doesn't support just causes that line his own wallet but rather ones that he sees as right for the culture. You can disagree with his view on what that means, but you should respect how he works for what won't necessarily make him more money but will help others. You can't say that for the Koch brothers or the hedge fund multimillionaire who tried to take away DeFazio's seat in 2010 and will try again in '12.

I am not averse to big gatherings where people hear speakers and show their numbers; but when it comes time to block streets, to take over a park block and camp there, I think it's wrong-- and potentially unhealthy. Ever read how typhoid is spread or other plagues? Such encampments are providing the opportunity for anarchy to take over-- and without an agenda of what it's about. It can't just be-- I want what they have. That doesn't work for me. How do you propose to get it where I can think about how I feel about it, that works better for me. It's not as dramatic, but it's what democracy is supposed to be about.

When the tea party was first coming together, I heard a lot of the talk of revolution and hear it again now. Do people who use the word so loosely have any idea what that will mean? Violence as a method of achieving change usually ends up with the meanest ones in power and that most of us will not like.

Our American Revolution was an exception-- although we might've also been ahead to try an orderly method of change as when you turn to guns, it seems it's easier to think next time of the same answer and you end up with the Civil War next. The reason the Revolution though did succeed was because a revolution isn't just about winning the battles. It has to have orderly minds at the head. In 1776, they were learned men and had a plan that they could put in place. Luckier even was the toughest, most successful warrior of the lot was a man called George Washington, who resisted being put in place as an Emperor or King. You don't always get that lucky.

I don't know how long the Occupy movement will continue but I hope it evolves into working for the ones who will be able to actually make a change in our system to make taxation more fair. Oh I know the spiel about how the wealthy pay most taxes now. They pay more than 40% of the taxes. Gotcha... but they have over 90% of the wealth. Think about it for a bit and I think you can see how an equitable rate for them where they pay the same rates as everybody who isn't in poverty, that should be the goal. Not to take all they have. That's back to anarchy or like the French Revolution/s which only leads to more revolutions.

Instead aim for fair tax policies that encourage investment, that reward work, that discourage sending manufacturing overseas, that recognize there are good reasons for government and make sure government fulfills those reasons. In my opinion, that's the duty of good citizens-- not camping downtown.

36 comments:

Rain said...

Because I think it'd be great to hear other, including opposing views on this subject, I'll start off with this one by Tom Degan-- Our new occupation

Parapluie said...

I just finished viewing continuous news Fox TV. From the air I saw the waste left behind by the Occupy Portland Movement. Just the piles of shit and pee wreacking our parks means however peaceful the movement claims to be, they have cost the tax payer thousands or more in damages. Even Tom Degan feeling the occupation movement is a historic milepost mentioned its draw back. He sites the woman in the pink dress running by crying that she had to pee really bad.
I fear that this missdirected use of our freedom to meet in gatherings could end in the loss of our freedom to have public gatherings for exercising democracy by listening to opposing sides to political issues.

Dion said...

I don't know why Occupy Wall Street protesters would end the occupation and attempt to use the ballot box as a means of change. Both political parties serve the monied masters. Both parties are the enemy of the people as the do the bidding of corporations. I use the word 'enemy' with all the visceral baggage it carries. It's the system that is corrupted and the ballot box is nothing but a physical illusion for some to cling to. Democracy has died, its putrid smell is everywhere.

Rain said...

So what's your solution, Dion? Start shooting? Shooting who? Who is being hurt by Occupy? To me you do what works and I don't believe you are right. I think there are honorable people serving in the House and the Senate. Maybe not a lot but fine, get someone to run who isn't already there. That's what the tea party did. I don't give up and I don't fight for causes where I am going to get sick and accomplish nothing. If they have TB showing up among the demonstrators who are shoulder to shoulder with the homeless where we know it is rising up again in numbers, why not typhoid? Other diseases of lack of sanitation? Would you give up your job, your home, to go live down there and if you did, what would it gain you?

My feeling is that our country is still better than anywhere else in the world. I don't believe in getting depressed and giving up but I do believe in putting effort where it counts. Look at the record of Pete DeFazio and then tell me where he is corrupt. Also Elizabeth Warren and I have heard someone good got kicked out last time in Ohio. Put money into getting that guy back in office or others like him. The tea party has gone this route and we can too but we just have to support those who are not corrupt. To imply they all are means all Americans are. So you too?

I just do not see what the Occupy movement does except to disrupt business and business is where most people work and buy products. Really you want all businesses gone?

This idea of a violent revolution really worries me. The guns will be shooting on both sides, you know. Sure, if it comes, I can do what I can to protect me and mine, or die in the effort, but I sure don't think most of us should be wanting that. It sounds more like how you lose a change than get one.

My daughter by the way said something about Obama that I particularly liked when we talked on the phone last week. She said those who are so disappointed in what he's done didn't listen to what he said he would do when he was running. I agree with her. Yes, he didn't close Guantanamo but he tried. It couldn't be done with the House and Senate he had to deal. Let's give him a different House and Senate and see what happens then. I am not willing to give up on my country nor come to believe the only answer is a bullet.

Dion said...

"So what's your solution, Dion? Start shooting? Shooting who?"

No need to get violent, Rain. Why bring killing up? What is the corporate media feeding you? Peaceful movements don't kill their opposition, they piss them off and they stay around. They remind 'The Powers That Be, everyday, their ivory tower will fall from the corrupt foundation upon which it sits.

Dion said...

Parapluie - From the air I saw the waste left behind by the Occupy Portland Movement.

Did the occupiers just pick up and leave the mess behind or were they driven out like animals?

Rain said...

Corporate media? Now who's buying into a rhetoric. I get my idea from the number of guns that have been sold in the last couple of years, the amount of bullets, the difficulty in buying ammunition off and on, and people like you and others on the left (in blogs) who talk revolution so easily.

Do you honestly think the banks care if a bunch of people sit down on a park in the middle of town and get sick from it? They care when there is talk about people drawing out their money or when people start buying everything from small businesses (where they pay a sacrifice of a higher cost). Basically they won't care if these people sit downtown for a year. Downtown businesses will suffer. The taxpayer won't like it when they have to pay the added cost of patrolling such but what does it really accomplish? For that matter what are their goals? They want what exactly?

Now when Ohio had their demonstrations against an unfair union bill, they had a goal and they were there to show their voices behind it-- repeal that bill. When the Occupy movement tells somebody what they want other than-- more, I might take it more seriously. For now it's all show and no go.

My father said years ago (he died in 1980) that someday people would shoot at strangers from bridges over their anger at the economic and government unfairness-- have-nots versus the haves. We might be there but it won't be the ones who caused this who will get hit. It will be terrorist tactics pure and simple. And possibly trying to intimidate people from going downtown to do their shopping will likewise do that-- scare people away but how many jobs will that cost?

The mayor of Portland, who has been trying to get the city cleared out is a gay libertarian (with accusations about his own corruption in various ways) but he has responsibility to more than the ones on the street. He said this movement has to go onto the next stage and that is what I believe. Otherwise, it's purely 'I want what that guy has even when I have no clue what it is.'

Laws for fair taxation, better regulations on punishing corporations who send businesses overseas, ways to deal with how China is constantly undercutting our businesses, more people doing what my husband is-- helping new companies get started and fighting (and yes, it takes fighting) to keep the jobs here. Those are real tactics. Sitting in a tent downtown is not. It either gets a real message or as I said above, it's all show and no go.

AND I don't want any movement that just wants to divide up all the wealth in this country with no regard for who earned it or how. That's communism and it never has worked. Fair working conditions, an effective government is what I want and I still believe it can happen. But it'll take working in the system not upending it as who knows what will follow that.

Dion said...

Rain - "Really you want all businesses gone?"

Does it have to be all or nothing? I just want business out of government.

Rain said...

And Dion, how many cities do you know that allow people to just set up tents downtown with food lines and expect that will be tolerated? It's okay for you because you like this cause. How about if it was a different cause, one you didn't like? Or I just want to take that place over because I can? Isn't that what we pay police to not let happen. If they just wanted to stand around down there, without setting up living quarters, this might be more legal but as it is, they have been pushing the limits and going beyond in terms of legality.

Rain said...

So then you work for lobbying laws. Or you do like my senator is encouraging people-- sign the petitions to get a Constitutional amendment to end a corporation being considered a citizen. There are real things to do about this. If we keep ignoring what happens in government with the idea this kind of show will change things, it can only get worse.

You think Obama is horrible. I hope you either listened to or read what the Republican trolls said about foreign affairs at their last debate. For anybody who thinks it doesn't matter who is president, try on war with Iran for size or back to saying waterboarding is a viable interrogation technique and on it goes. The Republicans have one guy who seems sensible in their slate but he doesn't have a chance. Any of the others will remind you why it can get worse.

Dion said...

Rain - "The mayor of Portland ... He said this movement has to go onto the next stage and that is what I believe."

Gandhi knows more about these things than the progressive mayor from Portland. Gandhi has first hand experience with this sort of revolution. Gandhi said, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Dion said...

And Dion, how many cities do you know that allow people to just set up tents

How many countries let their government to be controlled by trans-national corporations?

Rain said...

And the Civil Rights movement did that by consistency and a goal. Tell me where you see that in today's Occupy. Plus the fact it's not legal to camp just anywhere. You bring your tent and set it up on my land, and I'll be asking the police to also remove you. I know Gandhi influenced a lot of those who believe in peaceful movements but did he have a specific goal? You say get business out of government? That means what exactly? And Gandhi may not have changed his own country that much from what I read. My objection to this movement is sitting downtown in a tent city, with no leader, and if there is a goal, the rest of us don't know what it is.

People nod their heads-- unfair economics and then support this but what is it really going to accomplish besides dysentery? It has to be done in government or it won't happen.

Rain said...

I also don't quite understand what it means to get business out of government. Okay does that mean no government grants to businesses to help them develop products? I don't know if a lot of things would happen with our collective help. In a way government (when it's not cronyism which I admit a lot of it can be) can be the alternative voice to big business controlling all development. It could give small businesses a chance. One reason my husband says our solar industry is failing here or struggling is China is behind their solar industry and ours don't have that advantage.

Rain said...

Probably most of them. You really think a few thousand people sitting downtown in tents is going to change that? It will only be changed through government regulations changing to make it less easy to have happen. This movement could only irritate the very voters it needs to really get the people like Warren that it needs.

Rain said...

There was a good article today in Daily Beast on how people like Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner have profited by insider stock market trading. If we would all just vote these kind of people out, even when we think it has given us power, we'd be ahead. Pelosi is not proving to be anything proud to our party. The bad part is she never has competition in her own primaries, where this new movement should put an alternative candidate, and then it's her or a right wing republican. Get new voices in those primaries and do it in spite of the party. One vote. One man. It could be done if voters would get the message it needs to be done

Dion said...

Rain - "AND I don't want any movement that just wants to divide up all the wealth in this country with no regard for who earned it or how."

Respectfully, maybe you just don't have a clue as to what the majority of OWS protesters wants. I'm sure you can find a few that want to end wealth, but dividing up all the wealth isn't on 'The List" for most.

Rain said...

That's my point, Dion. What is on the list? Have you heard the ones from say Oakland or Portland or NYC say what they do what? What will satisfy them? What demands do they have? That's what is getting a lot of us. When they say they are the 99% what do they expect and who is supposed to do it? If they feel as you do that government is totally corrupt, they can't want it from it. So what is it? Just saying it's not fair is not enough.

You know with the Civil Rights movement, they wanted fair voting rights, workplace protections, an ability to sit in any restaurant or anywhere on a bus. They had specifics. Vietnam had specifics-- get out of that war.

Where have you seen listed what these people want and what will make them happy? If it's jobs, it can't be government they expect it from if they feel about government as you do.

One of the complaints I have heard from the rest of us, those who don't regard ourselves as part of this movement but sure aren't among the 1% either is we don't hear a consistent voice for what they do want. Some consider that a plus as it means they aren't controlled but if they aren't controlled, does that mean chaos?

Rain said...

Just being against something doesn't give you something.

Dion said...

"And Gandhi may not have changed his own country that much from what I read."

History is written by the white man.

Rain said...

Well India took back its country in a bloody revolution and I do think Indians run it now. Of course, who pulls the strings behind the scenes is often hard to tell...

Dion said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-hayat/occupy-wall-street_b_1089079.html

Rain said...

Okay so based on that survey, all but the 20% who are there with no clue except they aren't happy, the rest are pretty well saying what I would say I want our legislators to do. The difference is you are saying our legislators can't do it due to corruption which means these people will be camping downtown here and there forever. I saw a photo that used heat sensors to show that most don't sleep in the tents. Why have them there?

Work for the right people to do the right thing for the country. These lists are about what progressives want. So elect progressives and get rid of those progressives (and yes, I count Pelosi among them) who have been corrupted by the system. But that means getting a democrat to run for her seat and others like her as none of us are going to trust voting for a Republican in today's political climate.

If a person believes the political system is totally corrupt then they have given up before they start. If they think this can be done without changing the system, then how would that happen? Mystical answer? Threats? We have another movement in this country, probably about equal in size who want the exact opposite to happen from what that list said. That's where you end up with civil war if people talk violent solutions. AND a lot of bloggers are talking that on both sides. I don't hear that from the MSM btw

Rain said...

Interestingly when I got through writing here, I went to my list of blogs and saw this on who the ones were who got arrested in Portland after they would not leave. Post Occupied. Hard to say if this is over or will more follow?

Dion said...

If a person believes the political system is totally corrupt then they have given up before they start.

Define 'start'. If someone gives up today, does that mean they didn't start until today?

Rain said...

Every day is a new start ;)

Ingineer said in comments elsewhere that we should vote out everybody currently in the Congress. Now I don't totally buy that given I like DeFazio for instance, but I like the idea of Democrats running new blood against their tired old legislators. Then if we get those who don't sell out, we can keep them. If they sell out, out they go. Really we have the power. You know in Mississippi, the money was all on the side of personhood ending birth control and pretty much any other control over reproduction short of abstinence. The organization was all on that side but the people organized with a goal and got that law changed. We can do a lot but not if we ignore what is happening. And it starts today.

Dion said...

Rain - "We can do a lot but not if we ignore what is happening. And it starts today.

For some, it started on September 17th 2011.

Rain said...

For me it never starts with looking back but from where I am and where I intend to go. I could say it began for me the time in 2010 when i realized we had to change how we donated to political campaigns or even 2008 when we gave far more money than we ever had before to stop Sarah Palin from being VP. Or even when we donated to John Kerry or... I mean you can always look back but what I mean is we can only do something from here on. I think that what people did in Ohio to stop the block the unions was huge and a big factor also when Wisconsin set in motion recall elections. Americans have to though have a goal. And frankly that list you gave of the demands of Occupy read like a buffet of all the things any Progressive wants. It's too broad to have it happen as a way to say the movement had a victory. Frankly I consider what the Ohio teachers, police and firefighters did with the support of all progressive Ohioans to be more significant as it had a goal and it could be recognized when it was reached. That laundry list was way beyond a goal of any sort and means there'd be no end to the Occupy which seems more like a big party to a lot of them than a serious movement. And if it is infiltrated by anarchists, which it seems it has been in some places, it'll turn quite ugly. We've seen the anarchists riots all around the world whenever there's a G something conference.

Rain said...

There are about a dozen things I should be doing but got interested in this conversation with Dion instead. In discussing the purpose, I found this article on another view of what the group said when asked for one issue-- Occupy Demands New Deal.

Now this is interesting as the right wing is directly opposed to such a thing. So we have two very opposing groups in this country which both probably equal around 30% of Americans with the rest in the middle. Not sure we can go anywhere as things stand.

Parapluie said...

Dion, The police had a good relationship with the organizers of Occupy Portland. We saw them talking with the Police peaceably. The Police were removing stuff to dumpsters and trucks doing more than their share. I didn't see much effort put in by the Occupiers.

Dion said...

Here's some of that peace & love in Portland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BtLxuh88ck

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wHHm-dCFyo

Rain said...

And then there's this view of what happened-- Occupy Portland Parks Emptied.

The thing that gets me about this is you really think anybody has a right to just set up a tent like that in a downtown park whenever they want? And when they are told to get out, they don't do it? The YouTubes show tiny bits of what happened but it's about what I'd expect for those who are told what to do legally and disobey. It's never good news to tell a policeman no and Portland's police have had a reputation for being hard line with complaints before. In this case though the article said it had been going well until the final clash where the protesters were told there'd be no more dallying? That looks like one of our homeless camps behind the people. Like yeah, I really want that downtown.

I don't know if the people doing this are hoping to scare everybody else into going along with what they want but I don't think it's going to work and worse it might backfire with an even harder line of leaders next election.

In that article it said many of the protesters don't want anybody speaking for them or a set of goals. Yeah, that's going to work well. So what do they really want? anarchy? It's what it looks like.

When the police say go home, go home. Legal demonstrations can be set up with permits. Portland has them all the time. But that's not what somebody wants and just watch out that it's not somebody with the opposite of your own goals... assuming this bunch has any.

Kay Dennison said...

We did the 'Occupy' thing small scale here and it didn't make an impact much. I didn't really think it would. Our city has been on the skids so long, I think most of us have given up fighting. I haven't but I'm crazy or so they tell me. I think it's a legacy from the revolutionaries who were my forbears.

Rain said...

Of course, Ohio did something far more important by standing up for the right of unions to strike and negotiate. It's the first victory in the struggle to get what many of us want which is a viable working middle class again. Ohio should be proud. and it had a real goal for what it was standing for. That's what the Occupy movement better figure out. Of course, when you look at those kids screaming at the police and the police hitting them, you realize first that when they do say what they want, a lot won't agree with it. Get specific and lose part of your crowd. Then there is a cost to it all but a lot haven't figure that out yet. They want something for nothing but it doesn't work that way; so what are you willing to give up to get it? That's where the rubber really hits the road. It's where you can lose friends over it and divide movements but without a direction, a goal, it's just a mob.

Ingineer66 said...

Holy Cow! An active debate and I totally missed out. Damn job interfered with my political entertainment.

Maybe if the Occupy crowd actually had a goal or something specific they were protesting against, they would get more support. At least the Vietnam War protesters had a legitimate cause. Today's protesters don't seem to have a message other than "Life isn't fair, now give me some money". These people have been coddled by the cities they are camped out in and by the media. Now girls are getting raped, men are getting shot and diseases are starting to spread. Time for the camps to go.

As much as some people want us to be a third world country, I just don't think it is a good idea for us to become one.

Rain said...

This has been a great conversation and I thank all those who joined in it. This is really what blog can be-- a debate on the issues with nobody getting mad and a clear airing of both sides. :) I will probably write on it again because how we get from here to there is something we all need to be thinking about however we define 'there.'