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Posts posted by cinzia


    Everyone has the choice to participate in a process in which compromises are potentially forged and solutions are proposed or to revert to a divisive, partisan, binary mentality.



    What process is that? If you're talking about pulling the lever for one or the other equally corrupt political parties, I say that exercising that choice is, at the moment, an utterly futile exercise.


    In addition, it's been shown that not everyone has equal representation in our government. Cue OWS.


    I was in Wisconsin last summer for some fairly parochial recall elections against a handful of state senators. The full upshot of the Citizens United decision was in gaudy display in the districts where the recalls were being held. Nobody knows how much money was spent on those recalls (because one of the results of CU is that you can't track those facts effectively anymore, or where the money is coming from), but $35 million was the guess, for challenging 9 state senate seats. More than $35 million was spent on the recall races. In 2010, $19.3 million was spent on the entire state legislative campaign (115 seats), and $37.4 million was spent in the race for governor. This in a state where the main budgetary issue was that the state is "broke" and "can't afford" to pay teachers, nurses, and other public employees a reasonable wage.


    This is the first national election cycle post-Citizens United. It's going to be obscene.



    Since you are too stupid or lazy to google (ideal OWS material).


    Why is it contingent on me to try to confirm your assertions, which, quelle surprise (google it), turned out to be false? I'm lazy?



    Seems they want everything and they think they will achieve it by parking their butts on sidewalks.


    Worth a try, I say. Working for Obama's campaign and voting for him certainly didn't achieve much, did it?



    To soxarx's point - if the government is not able to enforce rules or pressure large corporations, then what is its function? If it is simply a rubber stamp for corporate power, would giving more influence to the government be the same as handing control of our lives to the corporations which you see controlling the government? The government not only produces regulation, but also enforces regulation.



    The very reason that I think people who point fingers at only one or the other facet of this tight-knit crew are not seeing the whole picture.


    The exact same people are running the government AND the corporations, banks, think tanks, and other influential private entities. The revolving door between government and the private economy is well documented. We've seen that government enforcement of regulation has been generally weakened of late. Not an accident. We watched as the telecoms did the bidding of government and allowed the government access to spy on private Americans in the US without a warrant. We then watched as Congress legislatively immunized the telecoms against their knowingly illegal actions.


    So the question is: how to break into that cozy tete-a-tete as an ordinary citizen? We have one model attempt in the TP, another in the OWS. There may be other movements that arise with different models. The public is gaining a new (perhaps belated) consciousness of this, and it's early days yet.



    If that's what you want, OK, but there are some serious issues that aren't being addressed by the government, and the government needs to be pressured by the people to do something about it because it's shown that it will largely ignore the problems in favor of the wish list of its campaign contributors.



    That's absolutely true, and I don't know anybody in OWS (or the TP, probably) who would dispute that. However, one of the very basic ideas of OWS is that you shouldn't have to be a campaign contributor or a person with money to have an effective voice in the US. This is not an issue that the TP got much into, certainly not after they adopted Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin as mouthpieces.


    Therefore, for its message to be successful, OWS needs to remain unsullied by large donors who would naturally seek to steer its agenda itself, right? One of the smears its detractors (again, see the Fox News video) are using against OWS in an attempt to discredit it is that the movement is being secretly funded by liberal special interests. If that's true (and I don't think it is), the whole model would obviously fall apart as soon as that was discovered and proven.


    I don't understand what part of "pressured by the people to do something about it" is not embodied in occupying public spaces in American towns and cities. Is it really necessary to form PACs, solicit donations, select candidates, and all that in order for ordinary citizens to prevent themselves from being victimized by the moneyed interests? If so, what does that say about American democracy in the present day? I think this is what OWS is testing, and I'm going to be very interested to see how effective the movement becomes.


  5. DanHessen, why do you keep bringing up marches in the 1960's? Are you deliberately ignoring the fact that legislation following 9/11 fundamentally changed the balance between the power of ordinary people and the power of government in the United States?


    These days, MLK would just be arrested on charges designed to prosecute terrorists, and held indefinitely by order of the President. His phone was wire-tapped at the time, but the government needed a warrant to do so back then. Not anymore. There is a reason OWS has no single clear leader. There is a reason the Tea Party's leaders were already-established right-wing figures. This is not to take anything away from MLK's accomplishment and historical standing, but it is to point out that the game has changed in fundamental ways.


    Edit: Conquistador, you're right that I don't agree with the TP's goals. I can respect that what the TP has accomplished so far is one way to get what they wanted. It may not be the only way, though.


  6. I don't have any idea whether the OWS movement will ever have any power to change policy. After all, one of their basic points is that "the people" have little power anymore,and indeed OWS would need precisely the kind of money and influence they don't have to effect change in today's political climate. Procuring that money and influence might very well cost the group its integrity. But I sure am amused by all the people who think OWS should do things their way, and that the movement will fail if they don't.


    One thing I do think is clear: a one-day Saturday protest march on DC would never have the kind of impact the hundreds of continuous OWS encampments around the US and overseas is having.


    I agree that the three complaints you suggest OWS might concentrate on, Conquistador, are worthy issues.


    Edit in response to your question: Yes, the TP was allowed to protest in Washington. But they were asking for a seat at the table (which they got and currently hold on GOP sufferance), rather than demanding their rights as citizens not to be ripped off by the 1%. There are fundamental differences between the styles of the TP and the OWS movements, and that's by design. It's really too early to say whether either of the movements will be ultimately successful, other than putting the established parties on notice that significant numbers of Americans are unhappy with the status quo.


    Have a look at the Fox News clip I linked in post 168 for a (obviously partisan) discussion of whether the OWS movement could become a "left-wing Tea Party." Even Mike Huckabee's guests say no.



    The suffragettes? Martin Luther King? Million Man March? Vietnam marches? Remember?


    Yeah, I remember a time when you could drive down Pennsylvania Avenue, too. Remember 9/11? Remember all the "anti-terrorism" legislation and "security checks" that have been put in place since then?


    You can't have a major protest march in DC anymore without the consent of the authorities. How ironic that is.


  8. Because, DanHessen, large groups of protesters attempting to camp out anywhere near the Mall would never have made it through the first night, with the excuse (not necessarily totally unreasonable) of "security concerns." Why is that so hard for people to understand?


    It's Occupy Wherever. Not Protest Wherever. You are completely missing one of the clearer aims of the movement.


    Do you regularly go into McDonalds and ask why they don't offer tacos, because you prefer tacos over hamburgers, and you think that therefore they'd make more money if they sold tacos instead and stopped annoying people with these ridiculous burgers?



    The word press used in Ireland comes from the Irish language word prios"



    That etymology is highly suspect, since press is an archaic English word for cupboard.


    I'm sure the language worked the other way around, though. Scenario: Gaelic-speakers in, say, the 17th century needed a word for this piece of furniture they never had before (or still didn't have but the English amongst them did.) Why not Gaelicize the English's own word for it?


    If I'm understanding the contributions here correctly, the posters who call the article a "press" are either from the Highlands or from rural Ireland, places where English took over more recently than in the Pale and the lowlands.


    Then again, I may be full of shite.


  10. Your husband's company probably subsidized the cafeteria. My husband's did in Munich, and does here in Austin, as well.

    Comparing company-subsidized meals with public-school ones is probably not particularly instructive.



    You sound like you are trying to develop your own brand or find a place to fit in. Kind of sad to see at your age.



    Actually, I wasn't. I was trying to clarify that while some of your arguments have much in common with Fox News' "coverage" (such as it is, and whether or not you watch it) of OWS, I realize that mine reflect other news sources.


    It was an attempt to be fair. Waste of time, clearly.



    True, but let's not forget that a school lunch is, for a decent amount of kids, one of the only real "meals" (if not the only) they are able to eat a day due to poverty at home.


    Which is why it's important to have healthy options at school. Kids whose families live in poverty get subsidized free or reduced-price lunch (the reduced price in our school district is 40 cents.)



    As far as i can see, nobody actively participating on this board likes or respects Fox News or is an active supporter of the Tea Party, but continue on with your noble struggle against those windmills.



    That may be, but nevertheless, some of the opinions you have presented here line up with those offered by Fox News and the TP, whether you are an admirer of theirs or not. (Just like some of the opinions I present here regularly dovetail with those offered by Salon and OWS.)


  14. You might want to add in to your calculations that most working women in Germany stop working 6 weeks before their due date. It's not mandatory, and you can make formal written arrangements with your employer not to do that, but there it is. The 8 weeks of not working after the birth are mandatory.