Monday, November 14, 2011

Our New "Occupation"

Zuccotti Park is Morphing in the rain.

I got the phone call from Harragin on Saturday morning, the twelfth of November 2011. He was on his way to Zuccotti Park to be part of the occupation that is the focus of the nation. Would I like to come along for the ride?

When history is being made so close to where one sleeps, it is the duty of all true patriots to make their presence known. When the times call on one to choose sides, it is better not to hide within the comforting walls of bliss
ful anonymity. Wherever people gather to confront the forces of greed and destruction, those of good conscience must enlist in the armies of righteousness. This is not a time to be anchored by quiet desperation. Now is the time to stand up, my friends! Now is the time! CAN I GET A WITNESS!!!
"Uh, New York? This morning??? Uh, well, um....Aw, shit, Johnny, I've got nothing better to do. I'll come along, what the heck."

First a few words about John Harragin. Other than Kevin Swanwick and Mike O'Connor (both of whom you might have read about within these pages) he is one of my oldest friends in the world. It's hard for me to even fathom this but we go back almost forty years. He's always had a keen awareness of injustice and hypocrisy which makes him the ideal traveling companion to witness the Wall Street Occupation in "real time" so to speak. He's also proving to the world that solar power is a viable form of energy. He is now installing panels on his house and in six months time, the entire place will be powered by the sun. He says, "If I can do it, that means we as a society can do it."

He p
icked me up at around ten o'clock at my house across the road from the adult book store and the tattoo parlor, and we were on our merry way. Traffic was unusually light, even for a Saturday morning, and we made it to lower Manhattan in less than an hour-and-a-half. Parking our car at the corner of Clarkston Street and the West Side Highway, we hoofed it toward Zuccotti Park.

Somewhere along the way we became a bit disoriented and John inquired of a police officer, "Excuse me, sir. Can you tell us how to get to Zuccotti Park?"

"No." was his gruff answer. We were in fact less than three blocks away. John flashed his mile-wide grin and began to gently tease the cop: "Aw, c'mon! I know you know where it is!"

"What do you wanna go there for?" he asked, obviously exasperated.

"We're going there f
or you!" said John. The guy just rolled his eyes. It was clear that he was fed up with this revolution, and that he just wanted things to get back to normal. How could we get him to understand that things would never be "normal" again? Best not to even try, I thought to myself. He'll find out soon enough, poor bastard.

I tried to convince him that we were important and respected journalists on a dual assignment representing the Nation
al Review and FOX News, but it was all to no avail. It was blatantly apparent that neither one of us were dressed for the part. We looked more like correspondents from Mad Magazine. We'd have to find our way to Zuccotti Park on our own. Fortunately for us this proved to be not-too-difficult a task.

Arriving at th
is gathering is hard to put into mere words. If you've ever been an eye-witness to something you were certain historians will be discussing a century after your death, you'll know what I'm talking about. There is an energy that is palpable. The people here know very well that collectively they are the seed that will eventually produce the fruit that's going to turn this country around. No doubt about it: Zuccotti Park is the place to be. Y'all come down now, ya hear?

We ran into a guy named Ryan Michael who was giving away purple peace signs (for a small, optional donation) which John and I both purchased. "I give a lot of credit to the people who stay do
wn here at night", he told us, "It's cold!" Indeed a good number of these faithful have been here since the occupation began on September 17. I'll be down here again, of that you can be sure. But if the weather starts to get out-of-hand, or if some "private security" army like Blackwater rolls into town with violence on their minds, I always have a cozy apartment on the corner of 8th Avenue and West 52nd Street that I can retreat to. These people are the real article. They have no intention of leaving regardless of the personal cost. You gotta love 'em. You just gotta!

If you're naive
enough to rely on Rupert Murdoch's propaganda empire for your news and information, you'll be forgiven for having a warped understanding of what is now happening down in Zuccotti Park. In this morning's New York Post Toasties, they ran a front page photograph of some guy they identified as a "Occupy Wall Street protester" being dragged out of some event he was disrupting - in Queens! Obviously he was not part of the Wall Street occupation, but that's how the Post and FOX operate. They send their cameras down there and seek out the most disreputable looking (in their minds) people they can find, broadcasting the images as your typical Wall Street Occupier: Filthy, unkempt radicals.


All of the people that John and I encountered on this day were very kind and well behaved. About the weirdest thing I saw was a young woman in a pink dress who ran past us at full-speed yelling, "I've gotta pee really badly!!!" Other than that little incident it was a very relaxed scene. And if some of them were a tad "untidy", well, how tidy would you be afte
r almost two months of being exposed to the elements? I tip my hat to them all. Forgive the cliche, but these are beautiful people.
We came upon a young and intense African American kid named named Dee Jackson who was giving away granola bars. He is going to be turning twenty-one on the twenty-fifth of this month. When we happened upon him, he was in the middle of a debate with a plump young woman who had come all the way from Oregon in an apparent attempt to convert us heathen who would dare try to overthrow America's sacred financial institutions. From New York she was headed straight to Washington DC to volunteer - full time - for the Ron Paul campaign. It was clear that Dee Jackson was not about to be converted. After she politely walked away in frustration, John and I talked to him.

"What people need to understand is that this revolution is in the embryonic stage", he told us. "I'm only twenty-years-old and I've been waiting for this moment my entire life."

Dee Jackson is in it for the long haul.

When the movie of the Wall Street occupation is made, the soundtrack CD will have drums - lots and lots and lots of drums. Having taken part in more-then-a-few drum circles in my day, I was in my natural element. I have my dear pal, the noted magician Jeff McBride to thank for this. The guy is seriously into communal drumming. Some believe that the continual, rhythmic pounding drives away the evil spirits. I think these different drummers might be onto something. If the spirits haven't exactly been driven away, they're definitely in a blind panic at th
is hour.

Bom-boom BA-DUM!Bada-boom BA-DUM!
It's almost hypnotic - and very beautiful. Yeah, something is happening here and I do know what it is. Honest, Mr. Jones. Unlike their counterparts out in Oakland, California, the cops on this day - for the most part - were very nice. I think a lot of them sympathize with the aims and aspirations of the protesters. and why shouldn't they? They are, after all, a part of the middle class that is in th
e process of being obliterated. And if the cops in Oakland don't yet understand what is happening, I have a funny feeling they'll be understanding it soon enough. I'm just guessing

It would be a mistake for anyone to interpret what is transpiring down on Wall Street as a fad that will blow over the moment the weather hits the freezing mark. The fact of the matter is that weeda people
are doing what we should have done twenty-five years ago. This imbalance between rich and poor cannot possibly continue. I don't know about you but I'm not particularly crazy about returning to a new Gilded Age. This is not just an American phenomenon. This is happening all over the world. OCCUPY THE PLANET EARTH, BABY! Anyone who thinks they can put a stop to this is in for a seriously rude awakening. A historical tide cannot be turned back. Try it sometime.

"The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart."

-Dorothy Day 1897-1980

We might b
e near to that point. This is a revolution that is inspired and nurtured by love - love of country, and a boundless compassion for a suffering humanity. On November 12, 2011, John Harragin and Tom Degan saw it with their very eyes. Come down to Zuccotti Park and see for yourselves! Just be sure to bundle up.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


A People's History of the United States
By Howard Zinn


This tune had me bouncing around the freaking room! It is by a guy from Hawaii called Makana. The song is called "We Are the Many" Here's a link to watch and listen to it on You Tube:

"We will occupy the streets
We will occupy the courts
We will occupy the offices of you
Till you do the bidding of the many
Not the few."

Thank you to Natalie Miller for sharing this one with me.

For more recent postings on "The Rant" please go to the following link:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

All the hep cats are doing it.


At 2:37 PM, Blogger Kathleen Saulino said...

I participated in an Occupy protest in the tiny hamlet of New Paltz NY a few weeks back and I had to choke back tears of joy much of the afternoon. It's amazing what is happening in the world! Peace and Love, my friend! We're creating our world as we speak.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Suzan said...


I'm so proud of you for going down and being able to contribute to the efforts.

As a part of the initial support and organization for OccupyGreensboro's part of this movement, I understand exactly what you are writing about and I salute you, sir. I had tears in my eyes every day.

Well done!

Long Live the Revolution!


Arriving at this gathering is hard to put into mere words. If you've ever been an eye-witness to something you were certain historians will be discussing a century after your death, you'll know what I'm talking about. There is an energy that is palpable.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

A 21 year old waiting for this moment for "all his life"? What life?

Sorry, no tears here, Tom.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Come on, Harley. You remember what what it was like to be twenty, don't you? I sure do! It may not seem like much of a life to you and I - but it's his life. And what kind of life has Dee Jackson had? We don't know. Maybe he has a hell of a story behind him. It must have been radical circumstances that bought him to Zuccotti Park. I'm just sayin'.


At 5:19 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Kudos for walking the walk. That should be a pilgrimage made by everyone with a sliver of consciousness and conscience. We can make it for us and by us. We have the numbers and that scares them. The far Right is frantic in its efforts to demonize the movement by trying to associate it with Nazis and other hate groups. We are heartened by the group’s efforts to weed out the hateful attention seekers. As the attempt to infiltrate fails, they can only spew nonsense about envy and class war. Right, as if injustice and corporate influence on our government were not factors.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Congratulations to you Tom. Keep us posted here as much of the media will try to distort things.

Harley, some people find their focus in life early, some later. I look at many people, myself included who went to college at age 19, 20 or whatever knowing exactly what they wanted to do with their life, studied it, prepared for it and have stuck with it. Myself, I knew at age 15 that I wanted to be a professional musician and at age 70 am still going strong.

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Terry said...

One more book for your reading list "Nickled and dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich. She left her posh NYC apartment and lived for almost a year with the working poor.

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous John said...

...just for the record (or, ‘Who’s ranting now, Thomas’)...

I am converting my home to a zero net energy house. What this means is I produce the same amount of energy renewably on-site as All of the energy that is consumed (In fact I will be producing enough excess electricity to power an electric or plug-in hybrid automobile). This has taken a lot of work (by me) over the last couple of years. It consists of a geothermal system for heating and cooling, solar hot water and photovoltaic. When it is completed (the only thing left is the mounting and wiring of the photovoltaic panels), the total cost will be less than a snazzy SUV (which I've never had - this is a reason I can afford to do this).

The point is that it is do-able and affordable - especially when you consider I will have essentially no electric, heat & hot water cost - and perhaps no gasoline cost - forever.

This equation may be why the economy has been trashed. The energy industry will not envision a world where they don't have us enslaved to them - or maybe they have and the current economic trend is their response.

A part of why I have done this project is to counter the argument that ‘if we don’t have nuclear - we need to burn more coal’. This is a false choice. The truth is, that society can change to renewable energy right now, with current technology and affordably.

The same people who control the energy industry control the banks, the republican, democratic & tea parties and media. These are the titans of industry and finance. The one percent. I don’t really have a problem with that per se, I do however, have to breathe the air and water pollution and experience the climate change that our current energy path creates. The irony is that the 1% will experience the same things. They don’t get it - but they do at Zuccatti - they demand change... Regardless of if the 1% wants to keep the status quo of energy enslavement, they will fail because it is beginning to appear that nature is not going to permit it to continue.

Now here is really what enabled me to pay for the changes to my house. No cell phone, no cable TV, no news, no commercials. This frees up a fair amount of money. Not having these modern conveniences also reveals another related issue. The 1% seeks to control our minds - it is the key to everything else. Society is waking up after a long slumber, shaking off this control. This is the real revolution...

Occupy your mind!

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Smokey Lagumski said...

Tom Degan,

Is it a conflict of interest that Nancy Pelosi participated in the IPO of Visa and owned between $1 and $5 million worth of Visa stock in her portfolio (making it her largest equity position), and while holding the shares she went on to support and vote to approve important financial reform bills affecting the credit card industry?

Tom, Dave Dubya and other liberal utopians, where is the outrage?

How about an OWS rally in front of Nancy Pelosi's California palace?

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Frank said...

This conflict of interest between DC and Wall Street is seemingly inherent to the system, which is point, I figure, of OWS. The dollar knows no party allegiance other than to the highest bidder. So, yes, if Pelosi is culpable, then open the curtains and bring in the light!

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous B said...

Hanging with the Bottom 1%. Hope your didn't catch TB or Hep. Get any good drugs?

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Atom Smasher said...

So, what do you guys want out of this OWS stuff? Can you give me the top 3 things?

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

1. Economic justice for the poor and middle classes

2. Re-regulation of the market place.

3. The end of the privatization of America.

That was easy.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Easier said than done, I'm afraid !!

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous john said...

1. Good air, water, food and living environment

2. Maximize the experience of what is defined in the US constitution (don't forget the amendments).

3. Opportunity.

That was easy - and I must agree, also easier said than done.

The beauty of the OWS movement is that ‘99' is identifying the real place we must look for change. It points out that political party affiliation is a waste - both major parties (and ultimately the government) are controlled by the wealthiest people. As more and more people become aware of that proper distinction, perhaps the community of the financial elite may find that it is in their interest to make changes. It really is. As I pointed out in my earlier comment, we all use the same air and water...

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

It comes down to more democracy and equal justice under the law.

I think "Money is not free speech and a corporation is not a person," is a good place to start restoring democracy and justice.

OWS doesn't just represent unions, hippies and students. OWS is also saying what we Old Working Stiffs have been talking about for years.

We all do better when we ALL do better. A nation does not prosper when only a few prosper. And our government is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

I think a Republican once said something about that last part.

At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

The most benefit from OWS, in my opinion, is they have demonstrated the power of the message implied by “the 99%.” If the Democrats do not grab and run with that message they are dumber than you know what.

For years the Republicans have owned the message machine. The estate tax became the “DEATH TAX.” With proper planning and especially with a $3.5 million exemption, ordinary people never pay an estate tax but benefit greatly from the stepped up basis.

REDUCING OR ELIMINATING CAPITAL GAINS TAXES FREES UP MONEY TO INVEST IN ACTIVITIES THAT CREATE JOBS. But for every buyer there is a seller so every dollar “freed up” is offset by a dollar taken out of the economy to buy the asset. And often the money “freed up” just goes into the stock market for good dividend paying stocks.

REDUCING OR ELIMINATING TAXES ON DIVIDENDS IS ONLY FAIR BECAUSE THAT MONEY WAS TAXED AT THE CORPORATE LEVEL. Every dollar is taxed every time it moves as income. Why is the income from dividends any different than the money earned by a factory worker on an assembly line?

50% OF THE PEOPLE PAY NO INCOME TAX. But for every dollar those workers earn, 15.3% goes to the Federal government for SS + Medicare taxes. Not to pick on Florida’s Governor Rick Scott (although that is easy to do), in his campaign financial disclosure he reported income in the millions and he paid 13% of that in Federal income taxes. He paid less than the average worker who “pays no income taxes.”

WE WILL PROTECT THE 99% is a powerful message. Use it.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Diane Clare said...

Check out World Report last night for the story on Greesburg Kansas, if they can go clean and green any town can. As for the chick sprinting for the leu letting everyone know? I have had three daughters (34,21,13) that goes on everyday since I was 21 lol. I see my kids, I see my mom, I see me, I see old men, all messy and creative. There have been more than a few of us over the decades crying out against the machine, (16 officially for me) we just needed a banner and enough people behind it. Occupy (thank you Egypt, Spain, Greece) It is going to get ugly unless the elite remember who they are. Americans.

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Rick Scott paying 13% in taxes on his millions of dollars in income is "less" than the average worker pays?

Help me with the math on this, but 10% on a million is $100,000 times 13 million = $1.3 million paid in taxes. And that is less tax paid than the person who pays no income tax, just 15% for S.S. and Medicare on their income tax free wages?

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Tom, as for your #3, I think you need to work first on the de-privatization of Zuccotti Park ;)

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Harry Deitch said...

It is as if the two sets were twins separated at birth. One was raised modestly and taught the value of hard work, obeying the rules and saving money. The other was shipped off to a rich uncle, given everything her heart desired and instilled with a sense of boundless entitlement.

So, when things turned bad, the tea partyers gathered up their tricorn hats, gave themselves a name based in actual U.S. history and agreed on a grievance: “Taxed Enough Already.” Which, conveniently, spelled TEA, as in the Boston Tea Party.

They organized online, set up chapters across the country to advance their cause and traveled far and wide to make their voices heard. Thousands gathered on the Mall. And when they left, they took all their garbage with them.

The whole problem with the Occupiers is that they overslept. By about two years. And right about when their parents were sick and tired of them stinking up their basement playing video games all day, they realized there was an economic crisis going on.

So they gathered up their tents and sleeping bags, drifted to government property, took it over as if it were their own and gave themselves a name that perfectly reflects their ideology. “Occupiers.” As in Occupied Europe when it was being defiled by the Nazi Empire. The rampant anti-Semitism at their rallies has been shocking to behold, especially since these protesters profess to be the “open-minded” liberal types.

And ever since, they have been advancing their syphilitic cause, spreading disease, stealing, allegedly raping young women, leaving their trash around. And always quick to snap up any free services such as the chow line or testing for venereal diseases.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

I happen to think that the OWS demonstrators had the right idea but went about it in the wrong manner. The park never should have been occupied 24/7 by campers. It should be occupied 24/7 by a revolving group of demonstrators operating in 6 to 8 hour shifts to provide a continuous absolutely legal presence. A set of written demands also was advisable. It is hard to negotiate for change without such demands set forth. Then the lawful demonstrators can spend their time discussing and expanding on the demands in an organized intelligent manner. As much as I admire the demonstrators courage and spunk I think the whole idea was half baked and doomed to fail from the beginning. So now there is the need to organize a larger group of demonstrators to maintain a legal 24/7 presence in Zuccotti Park and anywhere else these occupy protests are taking place. Much more effort is needed to organize general strikes and consumer boycotts of the goods and services of establishment providers. If that all fails then it will be time for a good old fashioned revolution as there will be nothing left for the 99 percenters to lose and no other avenues of redress to pursue.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Atom Smasher said...

"1. Economic justice for the poor and middle classes"

What does that mean?

"2. Re-regulation of the market place."

In what ways? The marketplace remains very heavily-regulated (and should never be UNregulated IMO).

"3. The end of the privatization of America."

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but America was designed to be a place of privitization, so whatever you clarify it to, I'm pretty sure I disagree with ya on spec. :)

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Atom Smasher, you asked...

"So, what do you guys want out of this OWS stuff?", and replied to people's thoughts and ideas with, "What does that mean?" and "In what ways?", and, "I'm not sure what you mean by this..."

First, I'd suggest you get your head out of Fox News and learn something about, for example, income disparity in the United States today, the reasons for this, and become acquainted with the dismantling of the public sector and the commons -- particularly over the last thirty years. Your replies suggest to me that you live in a time-warp, or at the very least, a vacuum.

As far as "stuff", I'm not sure whether I'd flippantly refer to their protest concerns as "stuff," but a
declaration of grievances has been published (and has been accessible since late September). A list of demands from OWS is forthcoming, and although several have provided their own thoughts and ideas of what they'd like included (as, for example, on this blog), none are all-inclusive or comprehensive.

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

If a poster has a different view of events than JG, it's because they need to get their head out f Fox News.

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were there Tom, what is your thoughts about what Ms. Waters said?

When asked to comment Wednesday about the deaths and crimes that have occurred around Occupy protests being held across the country, Rep. Maxine Waters said “that’s life and it happens.”

“That’s a distraction from the goals of the protesters,” Waters, who says she supports the Occupy movement, told after an event at the Capitol sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“Let me just say this: Anytime you have a gathering, homeless people are going to show up,” said Waters. “They will find some comfort in having some other people out on the streets with them. They’re looking for food. Often times, the criminal element will invade. That’s life and it happens, whether it’s with protesters or other efforts that go on in this country.

“So I’m not deterred in my support for them because of these negative kinds of things,” said Waters. “I just want them to work at doing the best job that they can do to bring attention to this economic crisis and the unfairness of the system at this time.”

The Associated Press reported that there have been at least three deaths recently at or near Occupy encampments. A man was shot and killed near the scene of the Occupy camp in Oakland, Calif. A man reportedly shot himself at the Occupy camp in Burlington, Vt. And a man was discovered dead in a tent at the Salt Lake City, Utah, Occupy camp.

At the Occupy L.A. site—in the city where Rep. Waters’ congressional district is located—five people have been charged with crimes, according to the Los Angeles Times. These include a man who allegedly exposed himself and masturbated in the presence of children.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Five people were arrested for crimes at Occupy LA. Five people - out of how many thousands?

It would appear to me that you might be getting your info from FOX Noise - or some other Murdoch-owned news outlet. They tend to focus on the crazies at the fringes.

The fact of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of the people taking part in the occupation of America - myself and John Harragin included - are good and decent people who want to shake this country upside down and return it to the hands of the people. We are not defined by a single pervert and a handful of troublemakers.

Occupy your mind.


Tom Degan

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Atom Smasher said...


I appreciate your concern for my viewing habits, but I actually don't watch FOX news. Nor do I listen to Rush Limbaugh, which is, I'm sure, your next stop on the gut reaction train.

Regardless of where I source my info, I've been honest - I want to know what y'all mean by phrases like "economic injustice". To me it means "no one should have more stuff that me", which seems pretty stupid.

And if that list of demands I read about a couple of months ago is what the OWS folks are really standing behind - elimination of debt, free school, and getting "the letter "w" stricken from the English language" - that's all pretty stupid too. So I assumed they had something more to say.

And Tom, Yes. You ARE defined by a single pervert and a handful of troublemakers. OWS means murder, rape, incoherence, and buckets of feces to most people, because that's what it was - a filthy pig-pile of Commie morons living in disease and squalor.

Nice showing, there. Hard to find truth in advertising very often these days.

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Strange, one racists sign at a Tea Party rally and the entire organization are racists.
One bad Christian and all Christianity is bad.
Thousands of Muslims hating and killing Americans and they're just a "minority" of the millions of Muslims?
I am told that OCCUPY is not "defined by a single pervert and a handful of troublemaker"?

Another leftest obvious double standard discovered with out the help of Fox News. Where should I get my news to "occupy my mind"?

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous John said...

Atom Smasher, from my comments you might correctly deduce that I am somewhat of a fiscal conservative, a constitutionalist and a libertarian. I mean this in the sense of what is implied by the words - not in accordance with any political philosophy.

I am curious if you share my top objectives (which is really just one as they all encompassed within the constitution).

I am also curious if you would agree with the next few statements:

You are not extremely wealthy. Just a hunch, but I don’t think you are one of the 1%.

Almost all mainstream media is controlled by the 1% (be careful how you respond because the implication is that the ‘liberal bias in media’ is a myth created by that same media. I would also suggest that they actually deliver a some of this bias to substantiate the myth - and utilize it for deceit when it is to their benefit).

The two party political system functions to divide the population - thus reducing the likelihood that average citizens can realize objectives - often even when it would be beneficial to the majority of people regardless of which party they are affiliated with.

Legislation can be bewildering to the point of obfuscating what it actually does.

Some extremely wealthy people essentially purchase legislation.

At 1:48 AM, Blogger Atom Smasher said...


"You are not extremely wealthy. Just a hunch, but I don’t think you are one of the 1%."

Correct. Been closer than I am today and aim to be there eventually though.

"Almost all mainstream media is controlled by the 1% "

Sure. Rich guys own corporate media.

"The two party political system functions to divide the population..."


"Legislation can be bewildering to the point of obfuscating what it actually does."


"Some extremely wealthy people essentially purchase legislation."


And? Is this where you softly kiss my neck and promise to deliver me to your Libertarian paradise? :)

Capital "L" Libertarianism bugs me.

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Jeffrey P. Colin said...

I support the Power of the People to protest and make their voices heard. I am just wondering when the specific "Demands" for change will arrive? Is it not time to ask for specific action to take place? Just a thought.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

I’ve always been curious. In what world will poor people own networks, newspapers, or magazines? The fact that the rich own the mainstream media is not surprising is it? That’s like saying large apartment buildings are owned by the rich – uh, yeah…

News flash. Rich people have more influence than middle class (me) and poor people. And, when economies crash (as our still is in the process), the rich are heavily involved and certainly a big part of the line of causation. And, the rich are far better off in down economies (wealth gap) than the rest of us. And water freezes when it gets below 32. Work for reasonable change, yes. But, at some point, you have to quit kicking against reality and quit working to “change” that which you’ll never change. Historically, when one group has determined that some other group is all to blame for their woes, it has gone very badly for everyone. Unfortunately, to do so is human nature.

On another note, if you borrowed $100,000 for an education, what on earth were you thinking? Do you realize that no sane individual would have even for a second considered that 30 years ago? And, if they did, no one would have loaned it to them. What happened to our sanity? Sorry, it’s the 800 lb gorilla in the room – somebody had to say it. We have to quit acting like that’s okay – it’s not.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Harley you make very good points as you usually do. I would ask why should a college education cost $100k ?? My whole three year law school tuition in the early 1980s was $15k total for which I had a student loan. I paid back $20k including the interest over 10 yrs. Nowadays everything is way over-priced as greed has overtaken reason and sanity in the marketplace. Of course the wealthy are going to own media, apartment buildings, factories, banks etc. The issue here is how much the wealthy should reasonably contribute to society in exchange for their being allowed to reap profits from having control over the aforementioned aspects of society. The more the wealthy are allowed to horde to themselves the less wealth is available for everyone else. So it is totally reasonable to require the wealthy to pay a higher percentage in taxes and pay workers ( who are the ones who actually create the profits through their sweat and blood ) a living wage in exchange for their labor. This isn't about changing the history of humanity, it is about fixing unjust inequality and giving " the little people " as Leona Helmsley called us enough to live a decent life in relative comfort and security. Who do these assholes think is going to consume the goods and services of their businesses if everyone is broke or dead ?? A strong middle class is imperative for society to properly function. While it is very difficult for the middle class to move up a strata or two it should not be as difficult for the poor to move up a strata or two into the middle class. THAT upward mobility is what has vanished over the last 30 or 40 years and THAT upward mobility is what needs to be restored. This whole OWS thing is really about out of control greed by unethical and unscrupulous people with no social conscience and no concept of enlightened self interest. Let's talk about THAT elephant in the room !!

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Atom Smasher, you replied to me with...

"...but I actually don't watch FOX news. Nor do I listen to Rush Limbaugh..."

Possibly not, but you sound like you do. Again, I reiterate, you may want to earn something about income disparity in the United States today, the reasons for this, and become acquainted with the dismantling of the public sector, etc., etc.

You continued with...

"And if that list of demands I read about a couple of months ago is what the OWS folks are really standing behind..."

Once again, since you're obviously not cognizant of the meaning of the term, OWS hasn't published a formal list of "demands" to date. Thus far, only a declaration of grievances, or injustices, has been issued (on September 29th).

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts? said...

"In what world will poor people own networks, newspapers, or magazines?"
In the world where "POOR PEOPLE" work as hard, take the same risks as and are as smart as the current owners of the Networks, newspapers or magazines are.
Further, most newspapers, networks or magazines are NOT owned by one person but by stock holders, in which Labor Unions pension funds and other funds are investors. If you feel there is a market for a newspaper, network or magazine for the poor people, then work hard, work smart and get people to invest in your idea and go for it. If poor people agree with your plan and enough of them are willing to invest in your efforts and buy your newspaper, network or magazine, you will have a business owned by the poor, run by the poor and one that reflects the poor peoples view on things.
What on earth is keeping you from doing this if you feel as strongly as you seem to?

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Atom Smasher said...

Excellent point. Why the hell would anyone listen to a poor person in America? The money is there for the making, all you have to do is work for it.

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Bolshevick Bobby said...

Tom and John,

I have been hanging out for the 2 months down at Zuchinni Park. Too bad I missed you guys.

We need equal wages for equal hours worked! I want what is owed on my college loans erased!
I, like Ellis D., want a free market for pot (i.e. legalized) to bring down its price!

We are the 99 percenters and will be heard!

I'm with you Tom on boycotting next week's black Friday to punish the capitalists, but will be
going to Walmart's big sale starting at 10PM on Thanksgiving! Show me the prices rollbacks!

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Bolshevick Bobby said...

Healthcare for All!
Jobs with Dignity!
Quality Public Education!
A Healthy Environment!
Low Cost Pot!

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Atom Smasher said...

Jefferson's Guardian Sez:

"Atom Smasher, you replied to me with...

"...but I actually don't watch FOX news. Nor do I listen to Rush Limbaugh..."

Possibly not, but you sound like you do.""

Thanks! Their ideology parallels mine so that's a compliment.

"Again, I reiterate, you may want to earn something about income disparity in the United States today, the reasons for this, and become acquainted with the dismantling of the public sector, etc., etc."

Ahh, but I do know something about "income disparity" and it doesn't concern me, Sounds like your barking up the "social justice" tree, which I find grotesque. And I have little use for "the public sector".

"You continued with...

"And if that list of demands I read about a couple of months ago is what the OWS folks are really standing behind..."

Once again, since you're obviously not cognizant of the meaning of the term, OWS hasn't published a formal list of "demands" to date. Thus far, only a declaration of grievances, or injustices, has been issued (on September 29th).""

Oooo, you used the word "cognizant" - you must be wicked smaht. I read an online list of crap from the OWS folks a month ago. Pretty rancid hippie-commie crap about zeroing debt and free everything, That's what I was referring to. Personally I'd love to sell the "occupied" public spaces to the OWS movement for a dollar each and then fine them for not keeping them up to Code.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Atom Smasher, the best you could do was reply with...

"Oooo, you used the word 'cognizant' - you must be wicked smaht."

Judging by the content of your own blog, not to mention the tired and worn-out wing-nut clichés you spout here, I'm obviously, a lot smarter than you. But then, with few exceptions, most right-wing trolls lack a certain intellectual curiosity that's common to most enlightened people.

Keep slogging away in your filtered world of corporate propaganda and oblique allusions of being rich. That's what they want you to believe. After all, they still need the worker bees in order to maintain their 1% status.

Good luck with your dreams!

By the way, we the 99% are for the 100%. That includes you too!

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous John said...

“Correct. Been closer than I am today and aim to be there eventually though.”

I suggest that you be the child of the aristocracy in your next incarnation. This will give you the best odds of achieving your goal...


...good point.

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"I'm obviously, a lot smarter than you. But then, with few exceptions, most right-wing trolls lack a certain intellectual curiosity that's common to most enlightened people."

Wow, talk about someone full of themselves, JG again rises to the top of the left "leaning" dung heap!

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"The really dangerous American fascist,… is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power…..

They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection." - Vice President Wallace, The New York Times 4/9/44.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...


Do you read the entirety of my posts? You might want to before responding.

I was not complaining that poor people should own large media - or any media for that matter. I was presenting the fact that OF COURSE the rich own large media. By definition, if you own something large, you are rich. Then, I go on to explain that worrying about the rich and the fact they have always and always will have more influence in the world is futile. And, that people should worry about personal responsibility rather than accusing some other group for all their troubles.

A much different message than what you apparently gleaned from it.

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...


I guess you are correct about your statement "In what world will poor people own networks, newspapers, or magazines?"
My response was simply that world would be where the poor took the same steps and risks as the current owners of the news media did/do. But then in taking those steps I guess they wouldn't be poor any longer.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Henry Agard Wallace (1888 - 1965) was a farm leader, agriculture secretary (1933-40) Democratic politician, and Vice President under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1941-1945. After a disastrous term as vice president, he was dropped from the ticket in 1944 despite strong support from the left. He became Secretary of Commerce, but opposed President Harry Truman on the Cold War, arguing for friendship with the Soviet Union. He was fired, then by Truman ran for president in 1948, but the Communist party took control of his campaign and he won few votes. Disillusioned, Wallace returned to business, where his hybrid corn business was a huge success. He left a fortune of several billion dollars at his death. Wallace was a major New Deal spokesman and liberal leader 1933-48.

Just so you know something about who Dave Dubya is quoting.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...


No harm, no foul.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...

"A sophisticated rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself."

Jefferson's Guardian, that sums you up in a nutshell!

Have you also sealed your academic records so that you can claim you are brilliant like the turnip in the white house who has never had a real job?

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Well, Archie, if it isn't the master of impersonation himself! What brings you out of hiding? You've been incognito for so long, I was wondering whether you forgot your true identity. ;-)

At 4:06 PM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...


If it weren't for Obama, you would be the most brilliant and smartest man in the world!

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks." - Spencer Bachus (R) AL

Just so you know something about Republicans.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...

Dave W,

What about Nancy "lets pass the bill so we can find out whats in it" Pelosi and her Visa IPO stock purchases?

Any comments from the old "spread the wealth" hippy about that?

Most likely we will hear crickets from you since botox lips is a Democrat.

At 6:09 PM, Blogger ANON said...

Off topic, but here is a link to an online petition to stop the failed war on drugs. please read and pass around!

At 2:58 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

No Dave, now we know something that Spence Bachus said, your post tells us knowing about Republicans as a group said.
Looks like Dave's up to his dirty paintbrush tricks again. Good thing he can't censor free speech on blogs other than his own.

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Atom Smasher said...

JG sez:

"Atom Smasher, the best you could do was reply with...

"Oooo, you used the word 'cognizant' - you must be wicked smaht."

Judging by the content of your own blog, not to mention the tired and worn-out wing-nut clichés you spout here, I'm obviously, a lot smarter than you. But then, with few exceptions, most right-wing trolls lack a certain intellectual curiosity that's common to most enlightened people."

Glad you read some of my blog - it's a fun place. But I guess it was a waste of time for me to reply to your questions, since you were not really interested in my answers.

Is it important for you to be smarter than I am? Maybe you are, maybe you're not, but I don't think anyone really cares about that. And I wasn't aware I was spouting anyting - I thought I was asking questions and discussing the answers.

"Keep slogging away in your filtered world of corporate propaganda and oblique allusions of being rich. That's what they want you to believe. After all, they still need the worker bees in order to maintain their 1% status."

I'm not as smart as you so could you please explain what you mean by "oblique allusions of being rich"? Did I allude to anything? To being rich? Did I do so obliquely?

"Good luck with your dreams!"

Thanks! You're so nice.

"By the way, we the 99% are for the 100%. That includes you too!"

Oh, I do just fine without your help. Always have.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

ArchieBunkerNYC, you replied to me with...

"If it weren't for Obama, you would be the most brilliant and smartest man in the world!"

I'm not sure if I'm smarter than Obama, but I certainly have figured out his role. He's a corporatist, a neo-conservative in democratic clothing -- just like a majority of Democrats. (It goes without saying that all Republicans are.)

As far as you and the other conservatives who troll liberal sites, I'm obviously head-and-shoulders above you on the "enlightenment scale". Why? Because you're living in a free market fantasy that only exists in your minds; totally free "laissez-faire" markets don't exist in reality, they never have, and they never will. It was a wet dream conjured up by Adam Smith, and you've bought into it. What has occurred, instead, is monopolistic and predatory capitalism, and this is what OWS demonstrates against (and you, and your kind, apparently support).

Read (if you know how) The Great Challenge: The Myth of Laissez-Faire in the Early Republic, by Frank Bourgin. His 1989 study of the Constitutional Convention shows that direct government involvement in the economy was intended by the Founders. But, you'll have to read it to comprehend it, which I'm hesitant to believe many conservatives are capable of doing.

Archie, you're a part of the 99% too. So, tell me, why do you continue to disregard your own self-interests in favor of those who choose to oppress you? Are you, and most conservatives, secretly harboring masochistic tendencies that contribute to your irrational behavior? It would seem so.


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