Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Message From Tim DeChristopher

 below is a tweet from TarSandsAction october 30, 2011:
and here is that message:
As much as I'm enjoying my time in prison, I'm a little jealous of the folks who get to participate in the uprising that's happening right now. If I wasn't here, I'd probably either be on Wall Street or Freedom Plaza in DC. But on November 6th, I would definitely be outside the White House to show Barack Obama how many people are committed to stopping the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. There's a deep instinctual sense of intimidation that comes from being completely surrounded, and that might be healthy for our president right now.

The date, one year before the election, should be a not-so-subtle hint to Obama that his job is on the line. Dr. James Hansen said that if this pipeline is built and the rest of the tar sands developed, it's "game over" for the climate. That means game over for any young person who would like a livable world to grow old in. If he's willing to risk game over for us, he should know that it will definitely be game over for his presidency.

There's another reason to link hands outside the White House on November 6th. It's an opportunity to meet the people you will be linking hands with in front of a bulldozer if Obama actually signs off on this misguided pipeline. We know that the White House has had plenty of visitors from the fossil fuel industry who have been pushing Obama to allow the Keystone pipeline. If any of those lobbyists happen to be paying a visit on November 6th, they will get a preview of the view from their bulldozers: all of you linking arms. The message should be clear that we're not giving up on our future, even if it's difficult, and we need a president with similar courage.

Have fun storming the castle!

- Tim DeChristopher

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson

s. brian willson, a vietnam veteran, who after witnessing the aftermath of a massacre of villagers in vietnam, many of whom were children, realized he could no longer support this idea of war and suppress feelings of empathy for the suffering of others any more. he became a staunch peace activist.

in 1987, he along with fellow activists, attempted to block a train that was carrying weapons and supplies to be shipped to nicaragua to be used against the people who were standing up to the brutal and repressive american backed regime.

the train did not stop. it ran over willson, who as a result lost both of his legs. this democracy now interview from october 28, 2011, tells the story of this remarkable man.

he explains how through tapping in to our ancient archetypes of empathy, mutual respect, cooperation, and equity (our sense of fairness), which despite adopting ideologies that attempt to suppress them, that pretends they're not there, we can recover our humanity and change the world for the better.

his book, blood on the tracks, was released earlier this year.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Walking Through the Leaves [original song]

i'm just walking through the leaves
and staring at the ground
no one to bother me
no one at all around

Monday, October 17, 2011

Citibank Arrests Customers For Withdrawing Money

if citibank thinks they are going to get away with this, they've got another thing coming. capitalist tyranny takes on a whole new meaning here.

Anger Makes The World Go Around

they say anger makes the world go 'round. actually they don't say that, but i do. there are a lot of things to be upset about. i'm no positive spokesperson for any movement, i'm just an angry asshole. here are some things, arranged according to height and popularity, that piss the fuck out of me:

1) fracking. flammable water is not natural, like the alberta government would have you believe. gas companies shitting chemicals into the ground and blasting rock to retrieve the trapped gas releases methane and other carcinogenic concoctions into aquifers and seriously fuck up your well water and the well-being of the community. the alberta government and the oil & gas companies ought not be surprised when someone like wiebo ludwig comes along to stand up against them. you can only poison peeople and lie to them for so long before they take matters into their own hands and say, "enough is enough".

2) the tar sands. air, water, wildlife, your health. if you like one or more of these things, you will be angry at the existence of the tar sands for destroying it.

3a) tim hortons. they don't give a fuck about the environment. if they did, they would not give away those goddamned disposable cups and trays that morons don't even think twice about using.

3b) all fast food disposable shit

4) idling vehicles. really? you're not even in your car asshole. don't be such a thoughtless fuck. it's bad enough you have to drive a fossil fuel burning car, do you have to leave the motherfucking thing running and polluting the air? the worst offenders are pick up truck drivers and bus drivers, both school and city buses, at least around redneck alberta anyway.

5) meat eaters. (see also #17) you may love your dog or your cat or the robin in your birdbath, but the slaughter of a cow, pig or chicken, who is just as sentient, does not seem to faze you as you stuff your fat ugly face. you just can't seem to connect the fuck you.

6) advertising. fuck you and your brainwashing bullshit here, there and everywhere and using every medium known to man to sell, sell, sell in an effort to get people to consume, consume, consume.

7) walmart. (see #13 and also #19) the high cost of low prices. they treat their employees like shit and they treat the people who make the crap that stocks their shelves like shit.

8) paying for education. that shit should be free from the cradle to the grave (see also #13). a smart society is a thoughtful society.

9) soldiers. (see also #20) support our troops? fuck that, they're the ones who do the killing. without them, war is over and tyrants are powerless.

10) soldiers getting the shaft. so a guy goes off to fight for his country because he believes, erroneously, that he is doing the patriotic thing, gets injured, and then can't even get the proper medical attention he needs when he gets back home? that's fucked up.

11) mob mentality. i didn't say simon says...morons. groups of people working together can do good, but mostly they do warming is a prime example.

12) the 99%. wow, i bet you weren't expecting that. too many people in the world means overcrowding and too much consumption. it means destruction of the natural world, and 99% of us are responsible for that. i would even make that number higher, 99.9999%. there are maybe .0001% in the world who are compassionate, caring, thoughtful, honest, genuine and decent. peter singer is one, michael moore is a good guy, but he needs to lay off the meat (which i understand he is trying to do) and amy goodman...there are others but i figured i'd just list three out of the possible 700,000 in the world...which quite frankly, seems a bit high.

13) greed. and all its attendant corrupt symptoms and systems: capitalism; centralized communism; corporatism; greed; slavery, etc. people more interested in making money than in seeing to it that the needs of everyone are taken care of. maybe that .0001% of decent people would be higher if most of the world didn't live under a system that drives people to kill for profit.

14a) bigotry. xenophobia, homophobia, patriotism, racism, sexism, religious dogmatism etc...all that shit that divides people, pitting them against one another instead of focusing on how we are all feeling, living beings with a right to exist on this fucking planet.

14b) ignorance. lack of understanding and hatred is what causes ignorance. love gives us wisdom because true love uses compassion and reason to see and understand all. whoever said love is blind is full of shit.

15) lack of government transparency. what the fuck are you guys up to? we elected your ass, we pay taxes, we have a right to know!

16) struggling for fairness. why do we have to struggle for what is right and good and just and kind and decent?...that's bullshit. what kind of world is this anyway? it should just be automatic.

17) not considering how your actions will negatively impact another. from minor incidences like bringing your baby into a movie theater who's gonna start crying, to allowing your dog to bark outside day after day, to major ones like supporting stores who use sweat shop labor, to driving while's all part and parcel of the same lack of consideration for others, which sometimes can have fatal results.

18) hypocrisy. saying one thing and doing another. criticizing with one hand while propping up with the other. it's hard to not be a hypocrite in some aspects of your life, but we ought to reduce it to a minimum as best we can. now of course, you can hold some pretty nasty and wicked views on a subject and not be a hypocrite about it, but that in no way makes you a noble person because of it.

19a) exploitation and abuse. of people and nonhuman animals. particularly disturbing is when the person (or animal) does not even have the ability to defend themselves. that's fuckin' evil shit!

19b) rednecks. with their barbaric rodeos, a most foul display of exploitation and cruelty.

20) "i was just doing my job". yea well, how convenient. that completely takes away any responsibility you may have then doesn't it. as long as someone else higher up gives his command, all you need to do is be an obedient, brainless robot and comply. and it doesn't matter who may be harmed or killed in the process, because you were just doing your job. just stick the needle into troy davis's arm. brutal! be continued...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We Are All Each Other

we want a better world. one that's kinder, more fair and just, and one that considers the needs of all people. we want a world where people respect the environment, a world with clean air, water and land. how each of us consumes plays a huge part in how polluted our world is.

but how can we demand positive changes in the world, if we display a rote disconnect between our actions and a crumbling ecosystem . buying tim hortons disposable coffee cups may seem like a small thing, but millions of people doing "a small thing" can create a huge garbage problem. we all need to consider the impact our actions are having on our planet. and it all starts with you and me and our local community.

how we choose to feed, clothe, house and transport ourselves can go a long way toward creating a better world, or creating one that is much worse.

right off the bat, if we eat meat, we don't care about the well being of nonhuman animals. whether we are talking about so called free range animals, or those raised on factory farms, we are condoning the killing of sentient beings to satisfy our pleasures of the palate. the reduction of suffering is of paramount importance for a kinder world, and for that reason, factory farms, with their overcrowded and inhumane conditions  should be boycotted.

but even free range animals are eventually killed, and for what? surely killing, if not done in strict self defense, is an abhorrent evil as well. not only robbing the life of a creature with an emotional existence, but at the same time suppressing that better part of our humanity, namely, empathy for another feeling being.

subsistence hunters, like those in many first nations communities, live that way for their survival, and have done so for thousands of years. but now, thanks to western lifestyles, that native way of life is becoming as extinct as the animals that sustained them. the vast majority of us however, are not subsistence hunters. for us, it is for reasons of gluttony and greed that we raise animals for food.

one might argue that raising animals for food provides jobs, just as, for example, the tar sands provides jobs. but jobs are not an end in themselves. people who steal, injure and murder others provide jobs for police, lawyers, judges, jailers etc, but no one would suggest that we shouldn't lessen the amount of crime in our neighborhoods because it employs people. and why? because these things cause harm to others and our goal as an ethical, thoughtful, caring society is to reduce the amount of harm we cause to others who have the capacity to suffer.

if we want to create a better world, we need to start with one that respects the right of living, breathing, feeling beings to exist without being exploited by us for profit or to fill our bellies.

reducing our consumption, garbage and the pollution we produce, must play pivotal roles in our lives if we are to struggle for improvement in this world. for those who don't do it voluntarily, we must tax the abusers or substantially fine them. polluters like the tar sands would pay heavy fines indeed and owners of huge gas guzzling pick up trucks and SUVs would be taxed so high they couldn't afford to drive them. if a system like capitalism is antithetical to reducing consumption, then we must modify it or dismantle it altogether.

let us occupy the world, but please, let us at the same time be good examples and role models for others to follow, and alter how we choose to live our lives by making more considerate, compassionate and ethical choices. that means not buying coffee in disposable cups, in a disposable bag, placed on a disposable cup holder. we are being overrun with garbage in our consumer based disposable society. consumption and unlimited growth may be good for the economy, but it is terrible for our ecology.

we must begin to care about the other beings we share the planet with, by not raising them for food, or destroying wild habitat because of our growing population.

there are evil external forces beating down upon us that keep us in subjection, just as we keep many nonhuman animals oppressed. maybe they ought to be holding occupy demonstrations against us, but they can't, so we continue our arrogant behavior of "dominion" over them.

oil and gas influencing our government and policy making while quashing attempts to find cleaner, more sustainable energy alternatives is a huge problem today. one that, unfortunately, we are all complicit in. anyone who drives, heats their home, or cooks their food, is a fossil fuel junkie only feeding the beast that is destroying our world.

yesterday at occupy edmonton, there were people on stationary bikes that were hooked up in such a manner to power speakers and a microphone. very cool. if these occupy demonstrations here and around the globe are to mean anything, and are to have a lasting impact, they must not only seek to get rid of the corporate influence in politics and our judicial system, but also implant in everybody's mind the idea of living more ethically and thoughtfully.

the narrative is already changing as issues of the grossly iniquitous distribution of wealth, or money controlling elected officials, or reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, are being discussed around dinner tables all across this country. now we need to translate these discussions into positive and considerate actions. then millions of people doing seemingly small things, like for example, going vegan, or cutting down on the amount of throw-away products that are purchased, or simply driving less, will have a huge impact toward fashioning more loving and mindful communities.

it's not about creating perfection, it's about striving to make the world a better place.

finally, let's remember the words of john lennon, "i am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together". what is it that traces the insuperable line between "they" and "we"? are we not all each other, capable of experiencing a life where things can fare well or ill for us? if we are all troy davis, then we are also all his executioner. we should not deny and hide the worst aspects of ourselves, but rather confront and overcome them through compassion, empathy, understanding...and love.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Edmonton 10-15-2011

Some sights from Occupy Edmonton, October 15, 2011

We Are The 99%!

We Will No Longer Remain Silent!

gathering in churchill square

a great sign from one of the beautiful people

this one really sums it up

i like that, "kick the fossils out of politics". government by, for and of the people...not by, for and of the oil and gas companies

alberta and canada have turned into a petrostate

good to see linda duncan there. NDP MP for my riding in edmonton strathcona...YAY! the only non-tory riding in alberta

capitalism is an evil system

take the corporate influence out of politics

"We must realize that growth is but an adolescent phase of life which stops when physical maturity is reached. If growth continues in the period of maturity it is called obesity or cancer. Prescribing growth as the cure for the energy crisis has all the logic of prescribing increasing quantities of food as a remedy for obesity." ~ American physicist Albert Bartlett


the people have awoken

on the march! We Are The 99%!

anonymous dude

end corporate captivity...and i would add, wage slavery as well

these guys were generating a lot of favorable responses from passing motorists

people of all ages having fun in the new revolution

 let's move beyond our polluting addiction to oil toward clean, renewable energy sources

everybody's getting along

a wonderful diversity of people

clean land, air and water belongs to everyone. let's be responsible stewards and care for this planet and all its inhabitants.

one gets the feeling that anything is possible now. from minor reform to total revolution. OccupyTogether!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

EnCana Bastards

you're not going to get away with poisoning people. the alberta government may be on your side but the people are against you and will fight back. we will not rest until you stop! that is a promise.

to all companies fracking our land, you are not welcome! you will be resisted.

the video below is in eight parts and about 80 minutes long. it was Filmed at the POWERS (Protecting Our Water and Ecological Services Society) workshop, held on September 10, 2011, in Cochrane Alberta. Filmed and edited by Will Koop, Coordinator, B.C. Tap Water Alliance and Stop Fracking British Columbia.

it tells the story of jessica ernst in her own words. she describes how her life, near the small southern alberta community of rosebud, has been turned upside down by gas companies using a method called hydraulic fracturing to extract gas from shale. her water has been poisoned with methane and other chemicals as a result of this fracking. yet the government of alberta, who is supposed to regulate these oil and gas companies, has only defended industry.

one good thing about people, they have a tendency to band together in solidarity for those who have been treated unjustly. no one likes it when their own government lies to them and defends a company's interest in making money over the well-being of the community.

Stop Fracking Up Our World!

Andrew Nikiforuk, author of Tar Sands: Dirty Oil And The Future Of A Continent, gives a talk at POWERS (Protecting Our Water and Ecological Resources Society) workshop on Fracking in Alberta, Cochrane Roundhouse, Cochrane Alberta, September 10, 2011.

in 9 parts. duration 1:22:21

Everything you ever wanted to know about the dangers and harm caused by hydraulic fracturing is presented in this lecture, with particular focus on what is happening in Alberta. The province has a horrific environmental record, with government agencies and elected officials using dishonesty, deception and secrecy to defend industry when they should be telling everyone the truth about the effects of oil and gas exploration and extraction. but doing that would mean losing a lot of money...wouldn't it? good to see where your priorities lie alberta. profits over people is your mantra.

Thank you to WillKoop who uploaded these videos to youtube.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Private Property Strips our Freedom and Destroys our Future

recently, ambassador, author of the pamphlet time for outrage, and concentration camp survivor, stephane hessel, appeared on democracy now! and was asked why there is such an anti-immigrant sentiment in many countries of the world and what impact this has on uniting people. he replied:
I think the word "security" is one of the most dangerous words that can be used by governments. They say, "For reasons of security, we cannot accept this, we cannot do that, we cannot do the other." Security is all right, but freedom is even more important. 
and why do we need all this security? to protect private property and personal ownership. accepting the idea of private property and ownership is why people tolerate democracy restricting security measures. we believe our right to personal ownership and the constant buying and consumption of things makes us free. but how can we be free when we are constantly living in fear of someone else who is out to hurt us and take our stuff?

for some reason we have allowed our slavery to property, and all its concomitant violations of freedom, to trump democracy.

yes, funneling wealth to the top does create jobs. jobs for those who maintain this unjust system based on inequality and greed. how much time, effort and money is spent on police, lawyers, judges, jailers, armies etc., all in an effort to protect our things, instead of seeing to it that the needs of all are taken care of? imagine how much brain power and resources we would have available for education, health care and creating clean, livable communities if we weren't so worried about protecting our stuff.

executive director of the labor and worklife program at harvard and member of the democratic socialists of america, elaine bernard, has stated:
Medieval life, was a collectively lived life. It was a brutish, nasty affair. But there was a collective responsibility. People belonged to the land; the land did not belong to people. And in this European world, people, farmed the land in a collective way, because they saw it as a commons.
Beginning with Tudor England, we began to see a phenomenon emerge, and that is the enclosure of the great commons by parliamentary acts in England, and then in Europe. And so, first we began to take the great land masses of the world which were commons and shared, and we reduced those to private property. Then we went after the oceans, the great oceanic commons, and we created laws and regulations that would allow countries to claim a certain amount of water outside their coastal limits for exploitation.
In this century we went after the air, and we divided it into air corridors that could be bought and sold for commercial traffic for airplanes.
With deregulation, privatization, free trade, what we’re seeing is yet another enclosure and if you like private taking of the commons.
One of the things I find very interesting in our current debates is this concept of who creates wealth. That wealth is only created when it’s owned privately.
What would you call clean water, fresh air, a safe environment? Are they not a form of wealth? And why does it only become wealth when some entity puts a fence around it and declares it private property? Well, you know, that’s not wealth creation. That’s wealth usurpation.
the destruction of our ecology, where private industries and multinational oil and gas companies are polluting the air and water and destroying the land and stripping away native hunting rights for indigenous people, is not only a usurpation of what belongs to all beings now, it is also a usurpation of what rightfully belongs to all those who will come after us.

a clean environment is the commons belonging to all creatures of this planet, and we are destroying it in the name of ownership and private profit. we believe we have a right to take and keep, in other words steal, what rightfully belongs to all. and it belongs to all because all are the inhabitants of earth and need a clean, healthy world to survive.

the fact that there are so many fossil fuel burning vehicles on the road, pumping poisonous emissions into the atmosphere, illustrates how we believe we have a right to destroy what belongs to all because of this god-like notion of worshiping private property and personal ownership.

french anarchist pierre joseph proudhon in his book what is property writes:
Then I commenced a most laborious investigation. It was necessary to arrange informal notes, to discuss contradictory titles, to reply to captious allegations, to refute absurd pretensions, and to describe fictitious debts, dishonest transactions, and fraudulent accounts. In order to triumph over quibblers, I had to deny the authority of custom, to examine the arguments of legislators, and to oppose science with science itself. Finally, all these operations completed, I had to give a judicial decision. I therefore declared, my hand upon my heart, before God and men, that the causes of social inequality are three in number:

1. Gratuitous appropriation of collective wealth;
2. Inequality in exchange;
3. The right of profit or increase.

And since this threefold method of extortion is the very essence of the domain of property, I denied the legitimacy of property, and proclaimed its identity with robbery.
property is not only theft, it is destruction. it is destruction of our external world and it is destruction of the internal world of our minds as well. we are witnessing how our desire to own, to make a profit, to accumulate more and more, is causing horrendous stresses on our atmosphere due to industrial pollution, which then has adverse effects on people's health, with increasing cases of cancer for example . it is causing untold suffering in the form of poverty and wildlife habitat loss.

but it is also destruction of the better part of the human mind. the mere fact that we have come to accept the very idea of it as normal and live our lives by it, only serves to allow greed to flourish. greed may or may not be a natural trait, but it doesn't matter, it is harmful to our own and to another's well-being and should be kept in check, not encouraged by systems like free market capitalism. it suppresses our other more beneficial and positive sentiments of sharing and empathy for the suffering of another.

the idea of private property is also destroying our ability to think beyond our current economic arrangements, toward a system of personal governance and social responsibility, where the world's wealth is more equitably distributed among everybody.


we now view, at least in theory if not in practice, the ownership of humans as immoral and unjust because it robs the slave of his freewill and well-being (one day we will also come to the realization, as many already have, that to enslave sentient, thinking and feeling nonhuman animals is wrong as well). but if we do not abolish the idea of taking and keeping for ourselves the essentials of what another requires to live (eg. land, food, water, shelter, clothing, access to transport, tools of communication etc.) then we are still holding people in subjection. 

if others do not have access to what is required to sustain their lives or give it meaning because we own it, then we rob them of their lives. we are thieves. we are either forcing them into a position of servitude toward us so that we may give them a few metaphorical table scraps to keep them going, or we are forcing them to unite and take from us, by whatever means necessary, what rightfully belonged to them, what rightfully belonged to all, in the first place.

both slavery and ownership are two sides of the same evil coin. either a person is free to have access to clean air, land, water and nutritious food, without taking away those same things from another, or he is a slave to the ones who have claimed ownership of them.

as humanity grows and matures we will no doubt find fairer and more just ways of distributing the world's wealth, in addition to building cleaner, more sustainable local economies based upon healthier, renewable energy sources. it is not that we don't have enough for everyone, we do. the problem is our reluctance to share because of a system that values and encourages personal fortune and greed over the well-being of all people and taking care of this planet, which all of its denizens call...home.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Slavoj Zizek at Occupy Wall Street 10-09-2011


They are saying we are all losers, but the true losers are down there on Wall Street. They were bailed out by billions of our money. We are called socialists, but here there is always socialism for the rich. They say we don’t respect private property, but in the 2008 financial crash-down more hard-earned private property was destroyed than if all of us here were to be destroying it night and day for weeks. They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are the awakening from a dream that is turning into a nightmare.

We are not destroying anything. We are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself. We all know the classic scene from cartoons. The cat reaches a precipice but it goes on walking, ignoring the fact that there is nothing beneath this ground. Only when it looks down and notices it, it falls down. This is what we are doing here. We are telling the guys there on Wall Street, "Hey, look down!"

In mid-April 2011, the Chinese government prohibited on TV, films, and novels all stories that contain alternate reality or time travel. This is a good sign for China. These people still dream about alternatives, so you have to prohibit this dreaming. Here, we don’t need a prohibition because the ruling system has even oppressed our capacity to dream. Look at the movies that we see all the time. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world. An asteroid destroying all life and so on. But you cannot imagine the end of capitalism.

So what are we doing here? Let me tell you a wonderful, old joke from Communist times. A guy was sent from East Germany to work in Siberia. He knew his mail would be read by censors, so he told his friends: “Let’s establish a code. If a letter you get from me is written in blue ink, it is true what I say. If it is written in red ink, it is false.” After a month, his friends get the first letter. Everything is in blue. It says, this letter: “Everything is wonderful here. Stores are full of good food. Movie theatres show good films from the west. Apartments are large and luxurious. The only thing you cannot buy is red ink.” This is how we live. We have all the freedoms we want. But what we are missing is red ink: the language to articulate our non-freedom. The way we are taught to speak about freedom— war on terror and so on—falsifies freedom. And this is what you are doing here. You are giving all of us red ink.

There is a danger. Don’t fall in love with yourselves. We have a nice time here. But remember, carnivals come cheap. What matters is the day after, when we will have to return to normal lives. Will there be any changes then? I don’t want you to remember these days, you know, like “Oh. we were young and it was beautiful.” Remember that our basic message is “We are allowed to think about alternatives.” If the rule is broken, we do not live in the best possible world. But there is a long road ahead. There are truly difficult questions that confront us. We know what we do not want. But what do we want? What social organization can replace capitalism? What type of new leaders do we want?

Remember. The problem is not corruption or greed. The problem is the system. It forces you to be corrupt. Beware not only of the enemies, but also of false friends who are already working to dilute this process. In the same way you get coffee without caffeine, beer without alcohol, ice cream without fat, they will try to make this into a harmless, moral protest. A decaffeinated process. But the reason we are here is that we have had enough of a world where, to recycle Coke cans, to give a couple of dollars for charity, or to buy a Starbucks cappuccino where 1% goes to third world starving children is enough to make us feel good. After outsourcing work and torture, after marriage agencies are now outsourcing our love life, we can see that for a long time, we allow our political engagement also to be outsourced. We want it back.

We are not Communists if Communism means a system which collapsed in 1990. Remember that today those Communists are the most efficient, ruthless Capitalists. In China today, we have Capitalism which is even more dynamic than your American Capitalism, but doesn’t need democracy. Which means when you criticize Capitalism, don’t allow yourself to be blackmailed that you are against democracy. The marriage between democracy and Capitalism is over. The change is possible.

What do we perceive today as possible? Just follow the media. On the one hand, in technology and sexuality, everything seems to be possible. You can travel to the moon, you can become immortal by biogenetics, you can have sex with animals or whatever, but look at the field of society and economy. There, almost everything is considered impossible. You want to raise taxes by little bit for the rich. They tell you it’s impossible. We lose competitivity. You want more money for health care, they tell you, "Impossible, this means totalitarian state." There’s something wrong in the world, where you are promised to be immortal but cannot spend a little bit more for healthcare. Maybe we need to set our priorities straight here. We don’t want higher standard of living. We want a better standard of living. The only sense in which we are Communists is that we care for the commons. The commons of nature. The commons of privatized by intellectual property. The commons of biogenetics. For this, and only for this, we should fight.

Communism failed absolutely, but the problems of the commons are here. They are telling you we are not American here. But the conservatives fundamentalists who claim they really are American have to be reminded of something: What is Christianity? It’s the holy spirit. What is the holy spirit? It’s an egalitarian community of believers who are linked by love for each other, and who only have their own freedom and responsibility to do it. In this sense, the holy spirit is here now. And down there on Wall Street, there are pagans who are worshipping blasphemous idols. So all we need is patience. The only thing I’m afraid of is that we will someday just go home and then we will meet once a year, drinking beer, and nostaligically remembering “What a nice time we had here.” Promise yourselves that this will not be the case. We know that people often desire something but do not really want it. Don’t be afraid to really want what you desire. Thank you very much.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Greed Sows the Seeds of Its Own Demise

a capitalist economy and protection of our natural world are inimical to one another. the former demands us to consume more and continue spending so it can prosper and grow, while the latter requires us to reduce our consumption so it may flourish.

this free market economy is destroying our clean air, water and soil, all in the name of profit, and in so doing it will ultimately destroy itself and us, not to mention countless other innocent creatures in the process. greed sows the seeds of its own demise and it doesn't care who it takes down with it.

stop the wholesale destruction of the natural world which belongs to all beings, not just human, by saying enough is enough. the way we are living now is not sustainable nor is it healthy or conducive to the well-being and happiness of all.

private industry and big business shaping government policy has had its day. it is now time to create a different world, one that is cleaner, juster and more socially responsible to the needs of all.

We Are Part of the 100%

thinking differently
connection to the world
and around

the silence and the music
and rebounds like a century plant

this could be the time
like a dream in the mind
that lasts outside
much longer than the blink of an eye

fading away
with a smile on his face
then smelling a redolent tune

its orange but more
as he opens the door
to begin where a daisy once bloomed

from the small to the large
on a beach near and far
where the ammonite's soul interjects

but when we went back
there was no need to ask
it was plain that all property's theft

and as the bacon lay dead
from its once living flesh
we mutilate life for the taste

what right do we have
to rob sentience and laugh
away actions we cannot erase

while on the way home
they were laughing and cold
'cause all beauty is ugly and gone

so used to the way
that we work and we play
but now something's horribly wrong

thinking differently
occupation of the world
and around

the silence and the drumming
and rebounds like a century plant

this could be the time
it is real in the mind
that lasts outside
much longer than the blink of an eye

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Naomi Klein on Real Limits and Scarcity vs. False Limits and Scarcity

from democracy now! 10-06-2011

This is one of the contradictions of capitalism, is that it is so destructive that it destroys its own base, whether that’s its base of consumers able to buy its own products, which is why you have to feed them cheap credit, which then becomes a bubble that pops and destroys the economy, or whether it’s the destruction of the ecosphere, I mean, whether it’s the destruction of the natural systems on which we depend. And this is why I think we need the economic and ecological crisis as absolutely intertwined, if not the same crisis, that has their roots in unfettered greed and an inability to say, enough, and an inability to understand that there are limits; that there is such a thing as scarcity in the natural world. And this is one of the things—-there is such a thing as a limit in what our atmosphere can absorb in terms of the pollution that we put out.

Our understanding of limits is so twisted, because we don’t understand those limits. We don’t understand the real limits imposed on us by physics and chemistry, but we impose these absolutely false limits, when it comes to economics. This is one of the themes that really struck me talking to demonstrators yesterday at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, was the theme of false scarcity, that we are living in this age were everybody is told there’s not enough. There’s not enough money for people to have decent health care. There’s not enough money for people to have decent housing. There’s not enough space in the country for immigrants because there’s not enough. We’re told this all the time. We live with this, and that’s what is so powerful and so symbolic about the decision to go to Wall Street, to go to this space of abundance and expose the lie of scarcity. But, at the same time as we expose that lie of scarcity, and to show yet, no, actually this is an abundant society, we have a crisis of distribution in this society, we also have to recognize where there are real limits. The limits of our natural systems to absorb the tremendous stresses that we’re putting on them, and climate change is only one part of those stresses.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Occupied Wall Street Journal

Click On Pictures To Enlarge 

download a pdf copy here
download 2nd edition here 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Dying Remains of Free Market Capitalism

there are those who are always on the side of the system. there to support prisons, police, jailers and judges. there to praise industry, corporations, bosses and bigotry. perhaps out of fear or maybe out of ignorance, citing tradition as a justification for keeping things the way they are. but the main reason, i believe, that many people want to keep propping up a cruel and corrupt system, is because they think that it works for them, and they believe they can count on it to protect what they have, or would like to have, namely piles and piles of money.

but for the most part, the vast majority of people don't have piles and piles of money and nor are they ever likely to have it. but they cling to this idea that our current economic arrangement will make them rich, with a tighter grip than a gambler's hand on a one armed bandit. and just like that gambler, they are oblivious to the reality of what's going on around them. so mesmerized are they with the ringing bells of riches, and the promise of profit that their dazed mind keeps them transfixed on that ever elusive pot of gold at the end of the capitalist rainbow.

and as they keep plugging their time and energy into this economic slot machine, that may spit out a nickel or two here and there to keep them coming back for more, the real winners in all of this are the wall street casino swindlers and the multibillion dollar transnational corporations. they're the ones who have the power and the cash to influence our elected officials and even our judicial system, with a quid pro quo contract, whose only purpose, it would seem, is to make it easier for these rapacious plutocrats to accumulate even more money.

but as the chasm between the rich and the rest grows deeper and wider, the chances of making that leap to luxury grows more and more difficult. not only that, but by busting our asses with longer hours for less real money as we continue to make our employers wallet fat, we only prop up a system that has no concern for us and our day to day lives, or the homeless person on the street, or our rapidly disappearing natural world. no, the system we prop up only serves to regard the interests of the wealthy, the interests of the consuming greedy.

when prices on everything from groceries to gas, from electricity to earmuffs keeps rising bit by bit, month by month, and year to year, our wages never seem to keep pace. but surely the labor of millions of people must be making somebody a lot of money somewhere. it sure is, but it sure ain't 99% of us.

you want to go to school, work hard, have a rewarding career and make a decent dollar, i think that's great. unfortunately, that is getting harder and harder to accomplish as more and more people are drowning in debt from such things as ridiculously high student loans. and with no guarantee of a decent job even after completing years of university.

but hey, if you can accomplish this "american dream", more power to you. maybe the system works in your favor. but as one person takes, another has something taken away, and that's just not right.

"well i'm successful, they can be too. all they have to do is work hard. they're just lazy and want a handout."
really? is that what you think? fuck you! yea that's right. fuck you, you arrogant piece of shit! just because somebody is poor or hasn't achieved your level of success, that doesn't mean they're lazy or want a handout from you. but if you want to talk about people begging for handouts, then let's mention the billions of dollars in corporate welfare bailout money that the banks and auto makers received in 2008.

there are many working poor in this country who have multiple jobs to try and make ends meet. there are many more who cannot find work through no fault of their own. there are many with mental illnesses who are literally thrown out of heath care facilities for lack of funding, and are forced out onto the street with no friends or family and nowhere to turn.

not everybody was born into a situation that enables them to have the success of others because their basic human needs are not met. they don't have enough to eat, they don't have the same access to quality medical care that you or i may have. and if a person is hungry and sick they have difficulty concentrating in school and so their education suffers. perhaps there is violence in the home or substance abuse.

everyone is different and everyone has different needs. we don't all act the same under similar circumstances. but if we try and level the playing field and attempt to understand the needs of all individuals of all backgrounds, and appreciate how our choices and actions affect the well-being of others, perhaps we can eradicate this cancer called poverty from not only this country but across the whole world.

but when corporations and environment-destroying industries are pulling the strings controlling our politicians, concern for social programs, education and health care, which serves the needs of all the people and is the whole reason for having a government in the first place, suddenly becomes less of a priority. then it is no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people, but a government of private industry, by private industry and for private industry.

it takes compassion, understanding and sharing to resolve the world's problems, not wars, secrecy and holding fast to a system that doesn't benefit all of its citizens. if one person suffers because of our unjust economic arrangement, then that's one too many and we need to change it, not make excuses or devise ways to maintain it.

as countries across the world struggle with trillion dollar debts, and austerity measures near and far put a deeper bite into people's lives, and banks are getting bailed out with billions of dollars to keep them operating while the CEOs receive millions in bonuses, people are fed up. they are demanding a fairer distribution of wealth that serves everyone, not just the upper 1%. they are angry and they are voicing that outrage in the streets. it is time we all join together and become the conscientious objectors of an inequitable economic system. we must all heed the call to create a juster, cleaner, kinder, more radiant and democratic world, that will flourish upon the dying remains of free market capitalism.