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Sometimes I try different types of meditation.  I have quite a few books about it, including one by the Dalai Lama himself, "How to Practice - The Way to a Meaningful Life."  Those who practice meditation will be familiar with the different types.  The Dalai Lama tells us that there are many ways to meditate.  He talks about analytical meditation, and about subjective and objective meditation, among other types.  One type of meditation he describes in the book is meditation in the manner of wishing.  One example he offers is: "[Y]ou may wish to be filled with the compassion and wisdom of a Buddha."

Sometimes I follow the suggestions, and sometimes I deviate a little, but either way I find the practice of meditation very useful.  One type of meditation I've found fulfilling goes like this: I close my eyes and try to imagine I'm watching a 55 years old man sitting at his kitchen table at 2:00 A.M. in the morning, unable to sleep.  He's weighted down by an incredible amount of stress after having done everything in his power to keep his family afloat.  He's thinking about how his kids had to quit college because they could not afford to attend any longer after having run out of financial options.  He is thinking about the foreclosure notice he got that day and about the fear in his wife's eyes when she tried to reassure him telling him that "everything is going to be Okay."  And then I try to condense all the chains of events that lead to that moment, into one second of "awareness."  And then I try to imagine another family going through the same thing, and others who have been forced to seek aid at food banks after years of thinking they were secured in their middle class status.  And I think about the seemingly invisible families in Palo Alto trying to find places to park their cars or vans without attracting the attention of the police, because their vehicles have now become their home as well.

And as I continue that most worthy of meditations, I try to imagine the deepest sorrow, terror, stress, apprehension, fear, of the millions and millions and millions of people who were and are being brutalized as the direct result of unimaginable crimes perpetrated by the Wall Street criminal racketeering cartel.  And then I try to imagine all that pain and suffering reflecting back to the source like a laser beam, with the rage and power of a thousand suns.

The globalization of the exchange of services, capital and patents has led over the past ten years to establish a world dictatorship of finance capital. The small transcontinental oligarchies that hold the financial capital dominate the planet… The lords of financial capital wield over billions of human beings a power of life and death. Through their investment strategies, their stock market speculations, their alliances, they decide day to day who has the right to live on this planet and who is doomed to die.”

-- Archbishop of Tegucigalpa Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga (confidant of Pope Francis)

[The emphasis is mine]

To help me with that meditation I like to read articles like a recent one by David Cay Johnston, for Newsweek: "JPMorgan Doesn’t Want to Talk About Bernie Madoff"
The Treasury Inspector General still wants Justice to seek a court order enforcing the civil subpoena, IG general counsel Richard Delmar told Newsweek Monday. Congress does not give the inspector general independent authority to enforce the law, Delmar noted, so “if the Justice Department does not go to court then we are not in court.”

Last March Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate hearing he was afraid to prosecute the Too Big to Fail Banks, as it could do even more economic damage, in effect declaring them Too Big to Prosecute.

“The size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy -- perhaps even the world economy," Holder testified.

~Snip~

The memos Justice is helping JPMorgan conceal might also shed light on how the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to uncover the decades-long scam, despite audits and warnings from Harry Markopolos, the Boston fraud investigator who tried in vain to get an official investigation.

[the emphasis is mine]

Also, articles like this (published by Salon) are very helpful with my meditation: "If memory swerves: The 1 percent laughs last, as Wall Street wins again - Five years after wrecking our economy, the big banks are back. Here's why we need real government regulations"
But a society that believes good government to be an impossibility is unlikely to do what is necessary to keep industry honest. Instead, its regulators will come to see the regulated, rather than the public, as their main clients. They will imagine that industry can police itself. They will party with their private-sector pals and spin happily through the revolving door. And the rest of us will resign ourselves to scandal after scandal, as a new generation of looters rises up to claim positions at the trough when the old looters retire. Indeed — to repurpose an immortal statement by a certain Bush Administration economist — given what we now think we know about the system, it would be irrational for them not to loot.

~Snip~

There is one way, however, in which the changes brought about by 2008 have been permanent — one way in which the center will probably never hold again. We are a society that watched as those who obeyed the rules got played by Wall Street and Washington. And it has not only hardened us, made us more blasé about corruption; it has corrupted us. We beheld our powerlessness at the hands of the mighty, and we decided that the thing to do was to make Wall Street even stronger. We accepted our powerlessness and then magnified it. Today we all know that another bubble will soon inflate and burst, but we have chosen to live with that — five years from the last, five years to the next! Just grab your cash and hang on.

[the emphasis is mine]

I understand why Thomas Frank, the author of the Salon article, feels that way: that we have been corrupted, that we have "our powerlessness" in the face of the depravity of the Wall Street/Washington cabal.  It seems that way, but it is not true.

The ones that have been corrupted, the ones that in the face of massive criminality by Wall Street have decided that the thing to do was to make them stronger, are the politicians, not the people.  To the contrary, as I reported yesterday in "The Urgency of a Middle Class Revolt," the people are gearing up to rise up against these monumental abuses of power, graft, corruption, racketeering, profiteering, and outright criminality by the ruling class.  Here are some findings from a new report by Initiative for Policy Dialogue and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York on world protests from 2006 to 2013:

  • Failure of Political Representation and Political Systems: 376 protests on lack of real democracy;  corporate influence, deregulation and privatization; corruption; failure to receive justice from the  legal system; transparency and accountability; surveillance of citizens; and anti-war/military industrial complex.
  • We are in the midst of a major global upheaval comparable to 1848, 1917 or 1968.
  • The most sobering finding: the overwhelming demand is not for economic justice per se, but for “real democracy” which would allow national governments to address core economic issues.
Here's my take on all this... As the corporate state implodes, fails, it continues to frantically spread massive amounts of propaganda, sometimes veering into Banana Republic-type misinformation spectacles.

And that's why on the surface (of consciousness) it may still look like we have accepted the depravities and abuses of the Wall Street criminal racketeering cartel and their debased puppets in government.  But we haven't.  Well, some have; there are still die hard close-minded system apologists who carry water, as it were, for the corrupt system.  Nevertheless, neither the propaganda being peddled by the corporate state, nor the increasingly desperate attempts by its apologists to stem the tide, will be able to stop the fast-spreading revolt against it.

To me, it has been clear for quite some time now that we are in the middle of what I call a global awakening, as I wrote back in February: "Reaching a Higher Ground: Something Big is About to Happen"

Either way, for those who may be disinclined to take my word for it, perhaps they would consider the opinion of one of the top technology research firms: "Gartner Top Predictions 2014: Plan for a Disruptive, but Constructive Future"

Near-Term Flag: A larger-scale version of an Occupy Wall Street-type movement will begin by the end of 2014, indicating that social unrest will start to foster political debate.
Here's how the staff at PopularResistance.org interprets the findings of the report:
Note: At Popular Resistance we see many signs of a growing movement for social justice and resistance to the corrupt economy which dominates government.  We see it among workers, students, environmental and climate justice activists, new economy advocates who oppose the excesses of big business and globalization as well as in opposition to wars and militarism — on these fronts and others we see signs of growing activity.  We also see the government making preparations for the expansion of popular revolts so that they can better suppress them. (Suppression will not work, the only way to suppress the revolt is to recognize the corruption and unfairness of the status quo and really transform the culture, economy and government — but that solution will be resisted until the people are better organized.) The popular revolt is occurring not only throughout the United States but around the world against transnational neo-liberal capitalism.  We cannot predict whether this popular movement will take the form of another occupation of public spaces or a new tactic, but we have no doubt that the social justice movement is growing on many fronts.  The report below for businesses engaged in information technology sees this in the future as well.  Our job as activists is to keep building the movement, educating ourselves about the issues and mobilizing people toward the most effective strategies and tactics that will lead to success.

[the emphasis is mine]

This is happening; it is underway, and it is global in scope.  The only way the tiny ruling elite has been able to manipulate, subjugate, oppress and exploit entire populations is because they had mastered the art of deception: they made us (somehow) believe their lies, their false narratives.  It has all along been a domination of the mind.  They made us believe we were weak, that we were incapable of understanding their machinations, and because of it they got over-confident, and kept pushing their luck, until they started to believe their own hubris.

Well, game over!  Now people are rising up and will set things straight.  All along I will continue to remind folks that once democracy and the rule of law are re-established, let's remember the banksters and their accomplices in crime.

Those who committed crimes, those who were accomplices, and those who covered for those crimes, shall one day be held to account, to the fullest extent of the law--once the rule of law is re-established.

Finally, I'm sure we all want real democracy, we all want our government institutions to serve the interests of the public instead of of the narrow interests of the rich and powerful.  We all want our political system to work. I (and others) argue that there is no better way to make sure our votes count for something, than to speak truth to (illegitimate) power; to rise in opposition and resistance against corruption and oppression.  Being an apologist of corruption and malfeasance, nor acquiescing to the imposition of the tyranny of the few, will do anything to move the cause of democracy and freedom forward.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning.

They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal...

- Frederick Douglass

[the emphasis is mine]

We live in the world that your propaganda made, but when you think you are strong, you are weak.  Your lies tell us the truth we will use against you. Your secrecy shows us where we will strike. Your weapons reveal your fear for all to see.  From Cairo to Quito a new order is forming.  The power of people armed with the truth.

-- Julian Assange / Calle 13 multi-viral



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Sockpuppets & Trolls Watch: Their aim is to disrupt, to annoy, to introduce "noise" in order to prevent meaningful discussions of issues.  Their tactics include casting aspersions (attack on the reputation or integrity), and ad hominems, where instead of addressing issues, they attack the character of people.  They also engage in mockery, and logical fallacies.  A good source of information about the tactics used by sockpuppets, trolls and hacks is "The 15 Rules of Web Disruption."  Once you familiarize yourself with those tactics, it is pretty easy to spot the potential troll.  Once spotted, the best thing is to ignore them. [Image credit: Jacob Bøtter from Copenhagen, Denmark]
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Comment Preferences

  •  I have high hopes for 2014. (23+ / 0-)

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 12:23:20 AM PST

  •  I do not understand why anyone would wish to (15+ / 3-)

    do, or propose, a meditation to increase hatred.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:06:21 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Ray (15+ / 0-)

    And Good Morning! Up to do chores for my vacationing eldest before heading off to work.  Tending my little patch of existence, with the hopes of leaving the world a little bit better than it would have been without me.  :-)  

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:34:05 AM PST

  •  There are a hundred things I could say (25+ / 0-)

    that would probably get me a time out, so I will post this without snark, sarcasm, or venom.

    DALLAS (AP) — Dallas billionaire and heavyweight GOP political donor Harold Simmons, who has given tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has died. He was 82.

    Simmons, born to two school teachers in East Texas, became one of the richest men in the country with interests ranging from energy to chemicals. Simmons' spokesman Chuck McDonald said Simmons died Saturday in Dallas. McDonald said he did not know the cause of death.

    From the SwiftBoaters to the "He Pals around with Terrorists like Bill Ayers" crowd, this man cut a lot of odious checks. Fat lot of good it did him in the end.

    Time, I would add to the optimistic tone of this diary, is also on our sides in many ways. And not just in terms of demographic changes. Sheldon Adelson. Every Koch Brother. Steve Wynn. None of them are getting any younger or more vital as they move through life trying to push the Moon onto the backs of the people who have the least ability to carry it around.

    Some of these lovely people have wasted years building up mountains of money that will not buy them a minute more time on Earth.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:13:21 AM PST

  •  One can hope. (8+ / 0-)

    But I'm in a real "show me" mood.

    Plus will Occupy II reach out to the Dems? Will the Dems snub Occupy II? Will Occupy II get sullied by the Black Bloc or other fringe groups moving in like the old Farm Movement got crippled by neo-Nazi type groups?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:56:42 AM PST

    •  Good questions... (15+ / 0-)

      I think Occupy should reach out to the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders/ Sherrod Brown wing of the Democratic party. We need cooperation from the inside, and the aforementioned congress critters have previously spoken out in support of Occupy.

      I also think Occupy should do everything in their power to shun and ostracize groups like the Black Bloc and other anarchist groups.

      'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

      by markthshark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:49:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It would be hard for Occupy to shun (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Ray Pensador, poco, 6412093

        anarchist groups, since it was founded in large part by anarchists. I doubt that you know what anarchism is, based on your comment. People really need to start reading up on anarchism before making comments like yours.

        Dkos clientele really should be better informed. The ignorance of this social movement is shocking.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:38:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The ignorance and presumptuous of your... (0+ / 0-)

          reply is shocking.

          I don't need a lesson in diction from you. Whether you want to use the literal definition or otherwise: in this country the term "anarchist" drags with it nothing but negative connotations. I know it's more nuanced than that. But there's a lot of people in America who don't do nuance.

          That negativism is what contributed much to Occupy's downfall. Occupy Wall Street didn't start out with anarchy or nihilism as its goal. Its purpose was to raise awareness of social inequality not by throwing rocks and breaking windows but rather by peaceful, law-abiding protests.

          You don't accomplish that with the Black Bloc or others hanging around with ulterior motives in mind. You can't garner favorable public opinion that way.

          The People I know personally who were in/are in the Occupy movement aren't anarchists. They are concerned citizens.

          'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

          by markthshark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:20:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Anarchists were the prime group (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen, Johnny Q, poco

            that organized and founded Occupy. That you would talk about negativism after talking about shunning and ostracizing the group of people who made Occupy is profoundly negative. You are ignorant of the founding of Occupy and the method by which we organized. Occupy was not an anarchist organization, but without anarchists it would not exist and would not have acieved any of what it did.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:28:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Anarchists may have been essential to its... (0+ / 0-)

              nascent build up but they soon became the proverbial albatross tied around the movement's neck.

              They became the face of the movement and subsequently the focus of the media, which ultimately succeeded in influencing the public in a negative way.

              'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

              by markthshark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:17:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Anarchists did a lion's share of the work (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                poco, ZhenRen

                for the entire time I was involved in both Oakland and NYC. If they were an albatross they were a very helpful one.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 06:17:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I just hope lessons were learned... (0+ / 0-)

                  So when Occupy rises again... it stays up.

                  'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

                  by markthshark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 06:35:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There's never going to be another Occupy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    markthshark

                    There may be some movement that gains prominence, but it won't be occupy. I'm working on a diary about this.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 06:45:18 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  In a way, I guess that's a good thing... (0+ / 0-)
                      There's never going to be another Occupy
                      The movement needs to be less stationary, IMO. Drawn out occupations of public spaces eventually draw the ire of the locals.

                      I would hope its next iteration will continue working in the background, helping people keep their houses, and hold protests that are more mobile and less publicized.

                      'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

                      by markthshark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:05:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, your comment isn't factual (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, poco, 6412093

            OWS was largely founded and influenced by people like David Graeber, an anarchist anthropologist. Google Graeber and OWS, you'll find the information. The initial stages of Occupy were quite literally shaped by anarchists (and very educated, highly informed ones).

            While Occupy wasn't specifically pursuing anarchist goals (a horizontal, egalitarian, anti-capitalist society based on reciprocity, cooperation, and mutual aid) it certainly didn't specifically rule that out, and it organized anarchically along those lines (horizontal, non-hierarchical). Thus, even if it didn't express those as goals, it certainly tried to live by them.

            And there was no "negativism that caused its downfall", in fact, it was largely due to the positive anarchist influence that Occupy succeeded. The real negativity was that it was dispersed due to violent suppression by the state, largely facilitated by city mayors (many of whom were who democratic party affiliated) who coordinated the attack with the federal government. THAT was the negativity that set back the movement.

            And anarchism isn't nihilism, far from it. That's  simply false, and you don't get to make up your own "facts" about an entire movement, just because of this American jingoistic "we don't do nuance" nonsense. The meaning of anarchism refers to a specific, defined movement with a long historical tradition.

            Oxford Dictionary:

            anarchism

            Syllabification: (an·ar·chism)
            Pronunciation: ˈanərˌkizəm
            noun

                belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion.
                anarchists as a political force or movement:ruling-class fears of international anarchism during the 1890s

            Origin:

            mid 17th century: from Greek anarkhos 'without a chief' (see anarchy) + -ism; later influenced by French anarchisme

            I've posted this quote by Graeber many times on dkos, and I'll post it again, because, well, its wonderful:
            Almost every time I'm interviewed by a mainstream journalist about Occupy Wall Street I get some variation of the same lecture:

                       "How are you going to get anywhere if you refuse to create a leadership structure or make a practical list of demands? And what's with all this anarchist nonsense - the consensus, the sparkly fingers? Don't you realize all this radical language is going to alienate people? You're never going to be able to reach regular, mainstream Americans with this sort of thing!"

               

            Asking why OWS refuses to create a leadership structure, and asking why we don't come up with concrete policy statements, is of course two ways of asking the same thing: Why don't we engage with the existing political structure so as to ultimately become a part of it?
               If one were compiling a scrapbook of worst advice ever given, this sort of thing might well merit an honorable place. Since the financial crash of 2008, there have been endless attempts to kick-off a national movement against the depredations of America’s financial elites taking the approach such journalists recommended. All failed. Most failed miserably. It was only when a movement appeared that resolutely refused to take a traditional path, that rejected the existing political order entirely as inherently corrupt, that called for the complete reinvention of American democracy, that occupations immediately began to blossom across the country. Clearly the movement did not succeed despite the anarchist element. It succeeded because of it."

                The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement

                by David Graeber

                http://www.akpress.org/....

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:08:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In the public's eye... (0+ / 0-)

              that success was fleeting.

              And I was talking about the conception of anarchy in this country. Ask ten people on the street in America what anarchism means to them and eight or nine of them would hold negative opinions of it.

              Anarchy movements will never work in the U.S. The media and their plutocratic overlords are just too powerful.

              'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

              by markthshark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:34:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What the public thinks... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, poco

                doesn't invalidate the philosophy. And  what the public thinks does not constitute facts, or reality.

                Appeal to the majority. Argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy.

                As to what the future holds, none of us can predict that with any certainly, with one exception: If we keep on allowing our future to be decided by whims and notions of "what the public thinks" we will probably see our demise as a species.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:53:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Then the entire paradigm must be changed... (0+ / 0-)
                  If we keep on allowing our future to be decided by whims and notions of "what the public thinks" we will probably see our demise as a species.

                  'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

                  by markthshark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 06:20:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                    And that was one of the goals of Occupy. Given that we've got all kinds of right wingers trying to claim anarchism now, mostly libertarians, we did something right.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 06:23:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure Dem leadership will try (9+ / 0-)

      to sully the reputation of Occupy II or any good populist movement.

      It's clear from the last protests that the POTUS, FBI, DHS and DOJ already had a system in place to track, intimidate, entrap and undermine legitimate dissent activities.

      Would anyone really be surprised if they didn't do the same thing?  Actually, I assume they would be more pre-emptive this time, using all their taxpayer funded tools to target, smear and intimidate people before protests have a chance to begin.

      I'm sure there are long lists already filled with good people who's every thought, word and move is under surveillance.

      Evil people do evil things to protect political power and wealth, nothing new there.

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:08:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Personally, my first reaction to the title was... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Stude Dude, Johnny Q

      Ha, ha, ha. Not gonna happen.

      Occupy I was the result of people very much thrown into a state of fear and looking to strike back at those they saw as the cause.

      Today, everything looks up, up, and up. Most people gleaning their information from the peripherals of the various news organizations doing little more than propagating the propaganda are seeing and hearing positive news.

      Why would one protest that? Considering "that" is all the good news they're hearing about Wall Street these days.

      Unless of course, it all starts to come crashing down again.

      Which I suppose is a possibility. Otherwise Occupy II won't happen, and if some take up the torch, they'll be either ignored, or ridiculed.

      Change only comes from great suffering. Most people aren't suffering even if they are cutting way back on their way of life to accommodate their shrinking budgets.

      "Hey, I have a job, I can't complain." is the new American Dream. And so long as people can find refuge in dreams, no matter the restless, sleep deprivation that results, they won't get behind any challenge to the "trickle down" sand of the Wall Street Sandman.


      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

      by Pescadero Bill on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:04:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is that sock puppet photo in the public domain? (6+ / 0-)

    Just an idle curiosity.
    In the interests of justice, of course.

    "I'm an atheist, thank god." - Dave Allen

    by yojimbo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:02:30 AM PST

  •  Ray's laser beam (8+ / 0-)

    This useful imagery has a balancing effect.

    And then I try to imagine all that pain and suffering reflecting back to the source like a laser beam, with the rage and power of a thousand suns.
    Thanks Ray.
  •  Interesting about the imaginary meditation... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, annan, Amayi, isabelle hayes

    Ray conjures up an alternative self as the default and I would do exactly the same. He imagines a man, I would imagine a woman. Where it gets complicated is this: is it better to assume oneself as a default or is it better to try and inhibit different personas in order to stretch creative problem solving. I do not have a good answer. For example, I would be uncomfortable imagining I am a female POC for example, not because I do not think this is a good default mainstream adoption but because I would find it presumptuous to try and "imagine" that experience and do it with any credibility without imposing unconscious racism.

    I bring this up because I suspect mindfulness and mediation can be an important process in evolutionary or revolutionary change as one prepares oneself to be open to different ways of problem solving. What I wonder is should one imagine a being a particular individualized self or something broader? Again. I have no idea, I am really just up early in the morning to try and read a chapter on capital budgeting for school before heading into work and thinking my own mind is pretty non directional at this point.

  •  I think it helps that de Blasio will be NYC mayor (10+ / 0-)

    I doubt that he'll be as solicitous towards Wall St. as Bloomberg was, nor as imperious and uncaring about the plight of the non-rich, nor as eager to sic the NYPD on protesters. Like Bloomberg he came from humble origins, but unlike him he doesn't appear to have forgotten it and the people he came from. I don't know how much legal jurisdiction the NYC mayor has in going after the banks, but he can certainly make things a bit less comfortable for them. And god knows they have it way too good right now, totally undeservedly since they contribute so little to the world's well-being these days.

    Make them fund investments that benefit regular people and the poor. At painfully low rates of return. The price of being allowed to occupy Wall St. and society's pinnacle. A very small price to pay in my opinion.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:41:12 AM PST

  •  When poverty hits (19+ / 0-)

    certain benchmark points, public attitude shifts, increasing the likelyhood of unrest and demonstrations. Probably the Gartner people are using a pretty cold and analytical method such as this in reaching their prediction. Cutting off the unemployment might be just enough downward push to reach a trigger.

    But we all know this stuff. Who thinks the correct response to poverty is austerity? Now that is a crime.

     

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:46:40 AM PST

  •  Maybe I'll get flamed (10+ / 0-)

    and maybe it's just me and a question of style. But for me using the meditation theme gets in the way of the story. And it's probably just the way I read these diaries. Not as an insight into the author's spiritual state, but as news, reporting. When I first started reading I had to look at the title of the diary a couple of times and make sure I had clicked the correct hyperlink.
    That's all. I read most of Ray's diaries and enjoy them, and I appreciate the findings in this diary.

    "Liberty" is a living wage. "Freedom" is not worrying about your medical bills.

    by billybam on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:49:29 AM PST

  •  re: Occupy (24+ / 0-)

    The conditions that spurred the original Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement have not changed.  In fact, they have worsened.  It is my personal belief (as I have posted here many times) that Occupy, or a similar movement, will be back. It is only a matter of time and we are at a tipping point. The sheer amount of pain and suffering that the general population has endured has not gone away and is increasing due to no fault of their own.  

    This graph from Mother Jones that appeared on today's front page says it all.

    mj graph

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:50:04 AM PST

  •  Gartner Report (8+ / 0-)

    The Report does make for interesting reading; thanks for sharing.

    It is important to note, however, that the Gartner analyst sees the massive disruption in the labor market as the result of the inexorable digitalization of services - the technological development that destroyed Kodak (130,000 employees) and replaced it with Instagram (13 employees).

    Here is the key graph:

    Digitalization is reducing labor content of services and products in an unprecedented way, thus fundamentally changing the way remuneration is allocated across labor and capital. Long term, this makes it impossible for increasingly large groups to participate in the traditional economic
    system — even at lower prices — leading them to look for alternatives, such as a barteringbased (sub)society, urging a return to protectionism or resurrecting initiatives like Occupy Wall Street, but on a much larger scale. Mature economies will suffer most because they don't have
    the population growth to increase autonomous demand or powerful-enough labor unions or political parties to (re)allocate gains in what continues to be a global economy.
    Thus the analyst sees the (new) Occupy protestors more as latter-day Luddites, raging against inevitable technological change.

    This has nothing to do with resisting the "Corporate Fascist State" conspiracy, which exists only in the mind of the diarist.

    The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

    by DowneastDem on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:54:39 AM PST

    •  yes and no (9+ / 0-)

      You make an excellent point about the context in which Gartner is predicting (as a "near-term flag") a "larger-scale version of an Occupy Wall Street-type movement," and how that differs from, say, "the people... gearing up to rise up against these monumental abuses of power, graft, corruption, racketeering, profiteering, and outright criminality by the ruling class." Whatever else one thinks about that, it isn't what Gartner said, at all.

      I'm not sold on the analogy to Luddism. The Luddite movement attempted to destroy the new technology that was threatening jobs; the term "Luddite" often is used derisively to suggest hapless opposition to technological progress. Neither of those meanings seems necessarily applicable to Gartner's analysis or to the circumstances.

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:18:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Read the recommendations people (7+ / 0-)

      They read like a short list of corporate consolidation and control.

      Recommendations
      ■ IT leaders must begin to strategize about how smart machines and machine-assisted tasks should enter their IT planning.
      ■ IT leaders must prepare an evaluation of how 3D printing might affect their business supply chain or product intellectual property.
      ■ IT leaders should architect to support the collection of consumer data and the use of that data to enable sales opportunities.
      ■ IT leaders must identify how many, and where, devices have embedded sensors in order to design a new set of solutions targeted at wearable technologies.
      1. How to replace more people with machines.
      2. Use IP laws to crush burgeoning local manufacturing.
      3. More data collection for ad profits.
      4. What Snowden said, worldwide.
      •  The report is fascinating. (13+ / 0-)

        It essentially states that technology -- in particular, advances like 3D printing -- will continue to accelerate reductions in workforce numbers. In other words, increases in productivity will accelerate, while the number of jobs created will not keep pace. As the report notes, this is the opposite of what happened in the industrial revolution when we transitioned from an agrarian economy to an industrial/manufacturing economy.

        In regards to personal data, the report also said that individuals will begin to "sell" their personal data in return for benefits (discounts, other).

        This makes me think that there is an opportunity for large groups of individuals to band together and aggregate their data to barter against the system.

        A "union" composed of those willing to conceal their data and negotiate that power to gain advantages, perhaps?

        "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

        by Bob Johnson on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:09:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is the money quote (7+ / 0-)
          In 2013, China continues to rise in power and position due to a large inexpensive labor force and a
          willingness to compete aggressively to become the "worlds' supplier" of almost anything. However,
          when 3D printing hits the masses, how much of China's manufacturing and distribution strength will
          be affected, reduced or eliminated in favor of locally printed supply? The answer is all of it. China's
          primary advantages, workforce and economies of scale in aggregated production, are minimized in
          a 3D-printed world. Those advantages cannot compete with elimination of the distribution costs
          associated with shipping, customization and speed of manufacturing changes — all of which are
          significantly more effective with 3D printing.
        •  You can have my data when you pry it from cold (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Johnson, Sylv, Hillbilly Dem

          digitized hands.

          Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

          by Gurnt on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:37:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Occupy protestors are Luddites? (6+ / 0-)

      Heh, sounds like pretty desperate smear tactics, no?   The people who harnessed technology and the internet for social justice activism are afraid of the internet?  Seriously, I can't stop laughing at that one.

      It's very encouraging that some folks are so worried.

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:15:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm aware of those things. They are a technology (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angel d

      research firm after all.  I argue that the movement needs to press ahead an set its own agenda and make things happen.

  •  It it revolutionary (19+ / 0-)

    to run for Office and win.


    ask Sanders

    ask Warren

    ask Grayson

    ask Kucinich

    ask the families of Mandela, Gandhi, and King.


    Democracy is Revolutionary,
    compared to what existed before it.


    Corporations can be regulated,
    as non-revolutionary as that may seem.

    ask Sanders

    ask Warren

    ask Grayson

    ...

  •  I was actually going to message you, Ray... (8+ / 0-)

    ... and Cassiodorus and a few others because I'm pretty clueless when it comes to political reading material and wanted some edifying recommendations for someone who's sick to death of the hollow electoral-politics charade we have going. I don't care how subversive it is.

    But I was worried that would seem pretty creepy. I dunno, is that normal protocol around here -- messaging strangers out of the blue? Or does it spook people?

    In any event, this diary on non-electoral activity presents a good chance to ask for recommendations in public.

    •  Hi - asking the right question, what to read when. (11+ / 0-)

      sick of electoral politics

      those who know that electoral politics are a side show by the oligarchy who uses terms and forms to hide that they have taken over the country

      On money buys elections and the significance of the Lewis Powell Memo of 1971 (which can be found by a search of what I just wrote) which lays out a manifesto of how the powerful can take over democracy - politics, courts, education, etc. see the book "Dollarocracy" which I discuss in another comment.

      The new book by Thom Hartman The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America--and What We Can Do to Stop It

      is another one. Thom is very hard on Republicans and not so hard on Republicans and hopeful that there can be change from our destruction of democracy. My sense of why he is not harder on the Democrats is that he wants them to find their sole and return to being true democrats.

      A book which is a tour of economics and politics is "Worse Than You Think" by Keith Quincy. It is only 99 cents in a down load from amazon.com.

      Good luck in your reading.

      Another source is Henry Giroux's work. It is reprinted here on dailykos by bobswern and available at his web site.

      From his web site we find his treatment of one of his recurring topics, the take over of the university by corporations.

      The Truth about Money" returns to NPR affiliate station, KZYX, on Friday, December 2, at 9 AM - 10 AM, Pacific Time, with a special edition show about the business of college football, starting with Penn State.

      Our guest will be Henry Giroux.

      ...

      this quotation is a little long as are all his pieces, but he makes an important point about the corporate take over of the universities. Back in the good old 60's, the university was a source of change, now in many ways it has become just another cheer leader of the status quo.

      Giroux recently wrote, "There is a lot of talk about the culture of silence as if it is simply an offshoot of the need to protect the wealth and power of those in control of Penn State's football empire, but the fact of the matter is the real issue is that higher education has been corrupted by big money, big sports, corporate power, and the search for profits for some time, except that in the age of unabashed free market fundamentalism, it has gotten worse.

      He continued, "The issue here is not simply about a morally depraved culture of silence, it is about a university surrendering its mission as a democratic public sphere where students learn to think critically, hold power accountable, and connect knowledge and social relations to the social costs they enact. A university needs real leadership for this type of task, not managerial clones who confuse education with training and engaged research with Pentagon and corporate handouts.

      Giroux summed up by saying, "Penn State is now a managerial model of corporate influence and power and the arrogance and bad faith this model breeds is evident in the ways in which everyone acted in the face of this crisis, from Paterno to its ethically challenged president, Graham Spanier. What the public should be asking about this crisis is not what has happened to Penn State but how have so many universities arrived at a similar place in time and history when they are just like any other mega factory and slick shopping mall, divorced from any viable notion of learning and, as we see with Penn State University, any viable sense of ethical and moral responsibility."

      Here is a link to his web site which lists recent on line articles.

      http://www.henryagiroux.com/...

    •  you can kos mail (5+ / 0-)

      it isn't considered creepy although i have received a one or two borderline ones.

      giroux is a good place to start.

      i also suggest 'sacred economics'  -- just google.

      for all its naivete, the book is a treasure trove of new ideas and a radically different perspective.

      personally, i have never been less interested in ballot box politics than at the current moment.

      obama turned off a whole generation of young people just as we needed them the most.  nothing is more deadening than hope ignited followed by a dead end.

    •  You can message me or email me any time you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angel d, Sucker Politics

      want: contact@raypensador.com.

  •  WA state saw dollarocracy in GMO vote (12+ / 0-)

    Many of us have followed John Nichols over the years. He was in Ohio several times during the 2012 election when Ed Schultz held his TV show from the parking lot of the Firefighters union in Columbus OH. John tends to be not that out spoken. In the video below, he and co author author address an audience in Seattle. He has the second half of the talk and begins it with a line that rings back to a union rally"welcome brothers and sisters" and leads a rally right there. This is a rough paraphrase.

    John says to the audience: you heard about Dollarocracy in the first part of the talk, but you know about it in your bones. It happened right here in WA. The labeling of GMO food was on the ballot and what could be more basic to democracy than knowing what is in your food. The polls were in your favor at least 80%, 70%, 60%, and they you lost the vote. It was bought. What the people want does not matter. Our democracy is dead. He then went onto major times of change in the USA and chided those who said that the powerful were too strong.

    In effect, John Nichols was describing this column.

    In one of the book events, the introduction was given by Bernie Sanders, who is NOT a democrat. He said that nothing gets through congress that the banks and corporations don't want to get through.

    Another statement that democracy no longer happens and the people have to take back the country.

    "More and better democrats" must proceeded with a "throw the bums out"  AND according to John it will happen as it has in the past.

    Here is the video from Seattle Community Media which is done and produced by one man in his enterprise called Pirate TV. It is shown on Free Speech TV once a week which is how I found the video.

    https://archive.org/...

    U.S. elections never have been perfect, say John Nichols and Robert McChesney, but after the record-setting $10 billion 2012 campaign, we’re now hurtling toward a point where the electoral process itself ceases to function as a means for citizens to control leaders and guide government policies—goodbye democracy; hello “dollarocracy.”

    Media experts Nichols and McChesney, authors of Dollarocracy, examine the “money-and-media election complex” they say has sapped elections of their meaning: the pay-to-play billionaires (and the politicians who do their bidding), the corporations freed to buy elections (and the activist judges who advance their agenda), and the media conglomerates that blow off journalism while raking in billions airing political advertising. This complex doesn’t just endanger electoral politics, they say; it poses a challenge to the DNA of American democracy itself.

    Thanks to Seattle Town Hall and University Book Store Watch Pirate Television in King County channel 29/77  Mondays 8-9pm, Thurs. 1-2pm, & Sun. 1-2am PST or streaming live on Seattle Community Media.  Pirate TV streams several times a week on Puget Sound Access.  Pirate TV also broadcasts on Free Speech TV: Details listed in FStv Schedule.  See also: FStvPirateTV Website,  Pirate TV Archive: www.PirateTVSeattle.com

    here is the by the joint authors
    Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America
    •  Direct vote, strong support; how did this lose? (3+ / 0-)
      John says to the audience: you heard about Dollarocracy in the first part of the talk, but you know about it in your bones. It happened right here in WA. The labeling of GMO food was on the ballot and what could be more basic to democracy than knowing what is in your food. The polls were in your favor at least 80%, 70%, 60%, and the[n] you lost the vote. It was bought. What the people want does not matter. Our democracy is dead. He then went onto major times of change in the USA and chided those who said that the powerful were too strong.
      When I first read this statement, I was perplexed at how this issue could have lost, since the question was one that was voted on in a direct referendum. With the polls running 60 - 80% in favor of labeling GM food, it seems to me that this issue would have been sure to win by some amount, no matter how much money its opponents threw against it.

      This is different than the parallel situation for issues such as, for example, stronger background checks for gun purchases, which are also supported by large majorities, because this issue wasn't brought up for a direct vote anywhere, as far as I know.

      Proposed firearm regulation measures were mostly defeated by strong lobbying efforts with little or no direct electoral input from the public.  This is understandable, given the nature of our political system.  But when large majorities who support an issue have the opportunity to vote on the question and the issue is still defeated ~55 - 45%, then what exactly is going on? Was the propaganda that effective so that it turned ~15 - 35% of initial supporters to oppose GM labeling in the last few days before the election?  Or was it due to supporters becoming complacent and failing to vote?  As it happened, 2013 general election turnout in Washington state was the lowest ever recorded, with older, more conservative voters voting in higher numbers than the younger and more progressive voters who were more likely to support the issue.  Shades of 2010...

      Therefore, I think that although the propaganda was probably effective to some extent, the blame also falls on us as individuals in instances such as this where we have the opportunity to vote or to speak out and fail to do so.  This example therefore supports the basic premise of Ray's diaries that we are both heavily propagandized and are unduly passive in the face of that serious problem.

      FOX News: For entertainment purposes only. Not to be confused with actual news broadcasting.

      by IowaBiologist on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:24:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You have discovered the "Death Star" level of (7+ / 0-)

    Nirvana. Congratulations!

    Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

    by Gurnt on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 06:25:48 AM PST

    •  It's the Dragonball Z school of meditation. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gurnt, Fogiv

      dragonball photo: Kamehame dragonball.gif

      If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

      by Inland on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:47:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know you believe3 (6+ / 0-)

        that politicians give fuck-all about what happens to you.  Maybe you're even rich enough for it to be true.

        “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

        by ActivistGuy on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:17:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why don't you make a list of all the people (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gurnt, Matt Z, Jeff Simpson

          who give a fuck-all what happens to me?  

          Because in a diary like Ray's, I can barely see the humanity of anyone except Ray himself through the prolific use of the first person singular that gives us the first paragraphs before the cutting and pasting begin.  The people he meditates on have no function besides becoming angry and finally agreeing with Ray.  

          That's why I think a diary meditating on people finally agreeing with Ray goes so well with his poo pooing home health care workers getting the minimum wage, or his diary based on his imaginary conversations with people, as if people are nothing but backdrops for his made up dramas occurring nowhere but in his own head.

          In sum, these diaries are perfect for everyone who is busy finding people to not care about.  

          If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

          by Inland on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:33:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Is that gif in the public domain? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, DeadHead, angel d

        If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

        by kharma on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:09:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  local banking - a step against Wall Street (14+ / 0-)

    always excellent Chris Hedges in his column today describes local efforts to take back banking for local use rather than turn the money over to the speculators.

    this is another stream of change along the line of Ray's diary

    Money, as Karl Marx lamented, plays the largest part in determining the course of history. Once speculators are able to concentrate wealth into their hands they have, throughout history, emasculated government, turned the press into lap dogs and courtiers, corrupted the courts and hollowed out public institutions, including universities, to justify their looting and greed. Today’s speculators have created grotesque financial mechanisms, from usurious interest rates on loans to legalized accounting fraud, to plunge the masses into crippling forms of debt peonage. They steal staggering sums of public funds, such as the $85 billion of mortgage-backed securities and bonds, many of them toxic, that they unload each month on the Federal Reserve in return for cash. And when the public attempts to finance public-works projects they extract billions of dollars through wildly inflated interest rates.
    Overthrow the Speculators
  •  framing at cross purposes (6+ / 0-)

    First off, good research, good phrasing, very good intent behind the effort. Lots of stuff here to absorb and potentially use. And that may start to be a problem with the receiver. Maybe too much stuff.

    Ray starts off talking about meditation, and quoting the Dalai Lama. For many of us, this evokes an image of quiet contemplation, Zen koans, and finding your inner peace. Then, Ray attempts to shift gears and evoke "..a laser beam, with the rage and power of a thousand suns".

    I don't think this works. The framing imagery is too separate, too opposed. Meditation is the flowing river, gradually wearing away the stone mountain. It is NOT frickin' laser beams and violent solar flares. These images have not been integrated into a smooth flow from one concept to the next. Perhaps that is simply because this is a technique for a longer literary work, where the transmitter has more time to guide the receiver from one emotional state to the next. Perhaps it is just too 'busy' with too many evocative images to really connect with the receiver's emotions. Perhaps this really is optimized for a target audience. I don't really resonate with this work, so I'm not the target audience. Who might be?

    Here's are some questions for the professional writers. It seems to me that Ray is trying to involve both the emotional and the rational part of the readers at the same time, flipping back and forth from emotional imagery to detailed, factual explorations. I don't think that it's an effective technique to try and do both, especially in a work this short. Should he be focused more on one, and leave the other for a different work? Should we have 'emotional' works separate from 'cerebral' works? Does the length of the work factor into this?

    Or does the reader just 'tune out' the parts that don't match his mood, and absorb the ones that do match? In that case, what we have is two separate works, interposed in the same post. I don't see this as optimal messaging. What might I be missing?

    Note that I do agree with most of the content, and what I see as the intent behind the messaging. I am exploring the idea of differing styles and techniques in order to most effectively get the message out.

    •  two thoughts (5+ / 0-)
      Perhaps this really is optimized for a target audience. I don't really resonate with this work, so I'm not the target audience. Who might be?
      It seems to me that Ray's work has disparate effects on disparate audiences, and that this is at least not altogether unintended. On his own account, he welcomes both the praise (and especially the "recs") of his admirers and the purported "hate" of his critics. I doubt that is the sort of effect for which you would choose to strive. So you may be in the position of wondering whether this wheelbarrow could be a better sports car.
      flipping back and forth from emotional imagery to detailed, factual explorations
      Many, many effective polemics fuse emotion and fact. Different approaches work in different contexts, to be sure.  I wouldn't really say that the diary "fuses" these elements. One might venture that if a writer can get some readers nodding along with "the rage and power of a thousand suns," those readers may not be paying close attention to substantive details thereafter. So, building to a vituperative emotional climax early in the essay might be an optimal rhetorical strategy if the substantive details aren't entirely persuasive.

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:56:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Provoke versus persuade or both (0+ / 0-)

        I would think that trying to combine both persuasive and provocative tones in the same piece is not optimal, if your intent is to inform or persuade. You run the risk of 'muddying' the intended message.

        It would work if your intent is to provoke a debate. I don't see that here. This is meant to be a "call to action", and I don't see a lot of debate invited and welcomed.

        I'm not requiring that the wheelbarrow be a better sports car, I'm inquiring as to what the best vehicle would be for the intended message. Maybe it's a sports car, maybe it's a truck, and maybe it's something else. If we are critically thinking about it, we are in a much better position to match vehicles with messages.

        With regards to emotion and fact, I agree that they can be fused effectively. I question if that was accomplished here. I don't see it, but I may not be the target audience. Does it seem that the fusion was effective for the majority of readers?

        I do agree with your point that if the factual argument is weak, go with emotion. Does it seem that this was Ray's choice of technique, and does it seem that he did it well?

        Read. Learn. Think!

        by IndyGlenn on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:14:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  shrug (0+ / 0-)

          The problem here is that the analysis goes in two directions: trying to sort out the effects of the rhetoric on one hand, and trying to descry the "intent" of the rhetorician on the other in order to determine the congruence between the actual effects and the intended effects.

          If one wants not to speculate about Ray's intent, that limits what one can say about the effectiveness of the diaries. I suppose one can ask: "If a diarist intended..., then what strengths and weaknesses would s/he find in this diary?"

          "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

          by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:52:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Intent through message to understanding (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HudsonValleyMark

            I'm more than willing to speculate about Ray's intent. I would rather not speculate and just ask, but answers are dependent on Ray.
            I'm most interested in the effectiveness of the framing and messaging measured against the effective action that results from it. How do we get people motivated to do (in general) what we want?

            Read. Learn. Think!

            by IndyGlenn on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 12:31:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think the old New England directions apply: (0+ / 0-)

              If I were you, I wouldn't start from here. I would start with cases of effective action, according to at least some of my (your) own criteria.

              "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

              by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:15:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  This is a good observation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IowaBiologist, emal, isabelle hayes

      I agree that the 2 topics would have been more effective as separate diaries.

      I saw the beginning as a meditation on compassion and empathy with those whose lives have been shattered by economic conditions beyond their control.

      Empathy is sorely needed in this climate where too many people appear to be incapable of compassion if they have never personally experienced a particular set of circumstances.

      Taking that empathy and helping people focus their justifiable rage is a separate topic for a separate diary. Linked perhaps, but it's a different discussion.

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:14:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I tend to agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annan, Matt Z

        It seems to me that Ray intended the first three paragraphs as an introduction to his diary, with his fourth and fifth paragraphs (along with the blockquotes interspersed with them), being a transition to the rest of the essay.  But when I started reading it the first time, the diary seemed as if it was going to be about one thing - his own experience, and then switching too abruptly to other, more factual matters without enough of a clear transition.

        I also think the Gartner reference should have been the main focus of the diary, especially since it was the subject of the title.  Ray should have introduced it quickly in the first few paragraphs, and then followed with the rest of his essay to build further supporting evidence for his basic theme.  As it was, I actually at first had some trouble finding the Gartner link, with it being about three-fourths of the way down.

        I also think that his first three paragraphs would be better as the introduction to another diary.  I tried to think where these ideas might better fit elsewhere in the diary, perhaps as part of the conclusion.  However, since he already has a strongly stated conclusion, he would do better to develop a new diary around them.

        Otherwise, this diary was well-written and I found much of it to be informative and thought-provoking.

        FOX News: For entertainment purposes only. Not to be confused with actual news broadcasting.

        by IowaBiologist on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:08:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Great, you have all the elements of a good diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emal, eyo

      down.  Now let's see you've got!  Let me know when you write your own diary applying these useful rules so I can check it out.

  •  3-D printed human organs! (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the link to the Gartner report.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:00:24 AM PST

  •  Social Security: Social Contract’s Comeback Year (9+ / 0-)

    here is a popular path to major change this year

    people are realizing that SS is the only security they have

    a historian friend points out that we have reinstated the monarchy that our founding fathers warned against

    eventually, even with the propaganda, people figure out what is going on

    for myself, only realized in last couple of months that the middle class is itself an enemy because it is a power base against the oligarchy

    Social Security: The Social Contract’s Comeback Year?

  •  Like Gartner, I predict the future... (8+ / 0-)

    And what I see is that when you get control, the public square will be the proper place to meat out justice! (Or maybe we ship off the offenders to "re-education camps.")

    And then I try to imagine all that pain and suffering reflecting back to the source like a laser beam, with the rage and power of a thousand suns.

    ...

    Well, game over!  Now people are rising up and will set things straight.  All along I will continue to remind folks that once democracy and the rule of law are re-established, let's remember the banksters and their accomplices in crime.

    Those who committed crimes, those who were accomplices, and those who covered for those crimes, shall one day be held to account, to the fullest extent of the law--once the rule of law is re-established.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:32:19 AM PST

  •  I thought the revolution was going to (17+ / 2-)

    Happen in 2013.  Shit, it was supposed to happen in 1969.  Remember "Days of Rage"?  It's always "wait till next year!"  American leftist wanna-be revolutionairies are like the Chicago Cubs.  No doubt at the end of 2014 there will be diaries saying "next year is the year!"  Besides hoping for the failed protests of the past to reappear is going nowhere.  New conditions demand new tactics.  Anyway, interesting post and interesting comments in the threads.  In my view, the revolution is not about mere "justice" or revenge.  Transforming global capitalism is about creating a more humane world.  Ray and his fans/followers/supporters/comrades have a Leninist ethos that I fundamentally reject.  By that I do not necessarily mean a Leninist political programmer.  Many fall into the error of anarchism.  Nonetheless, the ethos is Leninistic.  I prefer democratic socialism with all its imperfections.  Hope you all have a happy new year.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:30:26 AM PST

    •  Lots of anger and smearing in that comment (11+ / 0-)

      Perhaps some folks need to reconsider whether hating on their fellow Dems is a healthy sport.

      Question: Once Obama's term of office is past and a new Dem has been elected to the WH, will you folks still be a vociferous in attacking any Dem who dares question faulty leadership?

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:28:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Personally I find this stuff entertaining as hell (7+ / 1-)

      otherwise as useless as tits on a boor.

      "Rage with me and shoot lasers from your eyes and we will rule the universe for Justice!....somehow..."

      The narcissism is stunning and hilarious in it's complete and utter lack of self awareness and it's only profound in it's total impotence.

      Funny funny shit.  I do think there's a possibility this is all good, fun performance art. If so, well done sir!

      Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

      by Gurnt on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:20:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Could somebody interpret all those insults as a (6+ / 0-)

      a fail attempt at smearing?  I thought we (you and I) beyond this.  Once again, you feel compel to click on to my diary to lob a barrage of insults and put downs totally unprovoked.

      Tom the old "look he's a communist, or a Marxist, or a Lenninist" is so old-school.  People aren't falling for it anymore.

      I won't reply in kind as the last time I did, when asked you if you were a my-party-and-my-leader-right or wrong system apologist I got swarmed with unjustified HRs.

      •  you really wanted to go there? (12+ / 0-)
        I won't reply in kind as the last time I did, when asked you if you were a my-party-and-my-leader-right or wrong system apologist I got swarmed with unjustified HRs.
        Observably false. Here is what you actually wrote:
        Tom, here's my take about where you stand: (0+ / 18-)

        You are are blind apologist; a minimalist happy to take any crumbs from the increasingly oppressive system, and willing to bury your head in the sand with your blind support of my-party-right-or-wrong view of the world.

        I see people who hold that view as people who are willing to sacrifice integrity and honesty in the name of expediency, and a misguided centrism or pragmatism born out of acceptance of the proposition that there is nothing else that can be done to address the systemic problem of the utterly corrupt system.

        As such, as a pure example of an apologist, you feel empowered by the type of group-think that has always been the true cause of oppression.

        The type of group-think that seeks to suppress and marginalize voices of dissent, while claiming to be the ones truly standing up for the oppressed and the dispossessed, in a blatant and clear example of double-speak.

        That's my honest opinion of you and those who your views: a uncritical and blind apologist of a corrupt system.

        You see Tom, I don't have to hide behind anybody to speak my mind.  That's how I see you.  I understand how you feel about me.

        It is very likely that one of us is correct in their assessment.

        You didn't ask; you stated your mind. To this day you don't think that you did anything wrong; you think that the 18 people who HRed you did.

        Anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of these diaries and comment threads could fruitfully begin right here: what you wrote to TomP in September, and what you say about it in December.

        As for "Leninism," it isn't about communism, it's about party discipline. The Mensheviks were at least as Marxist as the Bolsheviks.

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:54:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank God (4+ / 0-)

          You've once again corrected the record.

          After all, that was an important discrepancy, a failure to recall exact wording of a thread for which you now conveniently omit context. A couple up from the comment you just reproduced:

          I point out the obvious and you attack me

          personally, going as far as to claiming that I don't care about helping suffering people, and that my ideals have not heart... That I'm just some heartless ideologue.

          Could there be another explanation? About if I see this particular issue where some of the most exploited workers are just now getting some basic benefits that were supposed to be minimum standards for decades now as crumbs when one measures that against the entire panoply of neoliberal policies fully embraced by the Obama Administration which will have the result of eroding benefits, rights and earning potential for tens of millions of people?

          Wouldn't that not be a valid point of view? Or is it the policy here that everybody has to fall in line with half-truths and talking points?

          In my initial post I didn't attack anybody personally; I made an opinion about this issue, and you come out swinging claiming to be pissed off.

          by Ray Pensador on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 02:53:45 PM PDT




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:54:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  (smacks forehead) (8+ / 0-)

            You're quoting one of Ray's comments as a justification of another one of Ray's comments? Really?

            By all means, people can look at the entire context. And if they think that TomP was way over the line characterizing Ray's comment ("It is truly mind-boggling that we've come to see mere crumbs in the economic shell game we are experiences as something significant...") as "sneer[ing]," and that that somehow explains or justifies or mitigates the screed I posted, well, so be it.

            Poor, poor Ray only wants to be (sniff!) understood. Any of us might, at any time, call someone else "a blind apologist... willing to bury your head in the sand... [and] sacrifice integrity and honesty in the name of expediency," if someone reacted poorly to our really perceptive, umm, threadjack of a diary about protections for home care workers. Feh.

            And, let's be clear, Ray isn't saying that he was baited into posting something HRable. He's saying that the HRs were unjustified. Now, I've been posting here since 2005, and I'm asking myself: if it's unjustified to HR a comment that calls someone a blind apologist willing to sacrifice integrity and honesty in the name of expediency, what counts as an HRable insult?

            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

            by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:54:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, very observant of you. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador

              That's indeed a comment by the same person, Ray.

              As for this:

              Poor, poor Ray only (sniff) wants to be understood.
              Thank you, that pretty much explains the entirety of your frequent "participation" in his diaries.




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:29:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well, it shouldn't depend on ID of the poster. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too
              And, let's be clear, Ray isn't saying that he was baited into posting something HRable. He's saying that the HRs were unjustified. Now, I've been posting here since 2005, and I'm asking myself: if it's unjustified to HR a comment that calls someone a blind apologist willing to sacrifice integrity and honesty in the name of expediency, what counts as an HRable insult?
              I don't see how anyone can pretend that there's any rationale for defending Ray's comment and obsessively harassing anyone not marching to the drummer in Ray's diaries besides self-identification with Ray's sycophants.

              Well, I can see HOW they can pretend, since I've been given literally dozens of examples in this very diary.  The method is clear, so I guess my question is, "I don't see how anyone can think they're fooling anyone with the pretense that".

               

              If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

              by Inland on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 07:28:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  briefly wading into meta imponderables (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

                I don't think DeadHead is here as a "sycophant[]" who "obsessively harass[es] anyone not marching to the drummer." Judging from his behavior and certain of his comments, I think he's here to fight with the people he likes to fight with: it's one battleground in the meta war. Some people, it seems, rec Ray's diaries because they think Ray is really smart and brings hope; that doesn't especially seem to be DeadHead's motivation. Ray's battles are not exactly the same as DeadHead's, but they have many of the same "enemies."

                More generally, it isn't obvious that Ray's motives coincide with those of any of the people who frequently rec his diaries, or that the people who frequently rec his diaries all have the same motives, much less that we can really understand any of those motives.

                Setting aside Ray's peculiar thoughts about meditation, it can be argued that DowneastDem wrote the only important substantive comment about this diary: the Gartner report doesn't actually support Ray's argument. (And the rest of the diary is rehash.) That comment stands unchallenged, apart from the side issue of Luddism. So all the complaints about swarming critics derailing discussion do seem rather hollow, and yes, not for the first time.

                Of course, substance isn't everything. In many cases, it's hardly anything. (Also, in fairness, there were some thoughtful substantive comments that don't seem directly pertinent to the argument of the diary.)

                "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:24:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, there's certainly the idea of a "safe" diary (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

                  where Deadhead thinks he's gaming the system by being a dick in ways that wouldn't be tolerated in diaries not by Ray, or bobswern, and a few others.  Those diaries have a prevailing ethic of harassing disagreement.  They are basically a BADsignal.  

                  But Deadhead's unmitigated love for Ray is evident: his challenges to prove I'm not a troll by reccing Ray's diaries shows that several psychic itches are being scratched here.

                  And I don't think you can set aside Ray's peculiar thoughts about meditation, because Ray's diaries are largely about Ray.  In fact, each diary seems to be about Ray's imaginary discussions, his meditations on other people agreeing with him, or whatever, with the second half of previous diaries tacked on.  It's hard to believe that people think that commenting on Ray's meditation or his basing an opinion on imagined conversations is off topic.  First person singular is really the only topic he fleshes out completely.

                  If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

                  by Inland on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:47:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not at all sure about the "unmitigated love". (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hey338Too

                    DeadHead's announced purpose a few months back was to see stolid people disconcerted (I'm obviously paraphrasing). It seems to me that his rather obvious stand may not actually be in favor of Ray, but rather in favor of increasing the chaos in, and produced by, Ray's diaries. That seems to be the result, anyway, whatever the possible intention.

                    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:06:58 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  In any event, he loses his shit over Ray. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

                      The fact that he's managing to change the subject from the diary to his own trolling is something that he either can't figure out or can't control, because he's not rational when it comes to policing Ray's diaries.  

                      Whether he can control himself in other situations....dunno, don't care.  He's not my problem, even though he thinks he can make himself my concern.  

                      If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

                      by Inland on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:28:24 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  two quick thoughts (3+ / 0-)

                    I really don't know what DeadHead's challenges to rec Ray's diaries evince. I just think they're dumb on their face, since (1) I've never seen anyone propose reccing diaries as a token of good faith, and (2) it doesn't seem to have done siab, WB Reeves, or 6412093 any good.

                    Yes, many of Ray's diaries are remarkably self-referential. (I think the first time I crossed swords with Ray, it was about the panini.) Is Ray vengeful or compassionate? Why are we discussing that? Did we make Ray the subject? Nope, he did. "Sometimes I try different types of meditation.  I have quite a few books about it...." A tour de force — and that is just the first sentence and a half. That's funny, but some of it, not so much.

                    "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                    by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:26:56 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Ever read "Bored of the Rings"? (3+ / 0-)

                      The intro alone is worth the price.  I only bring it up to show that even authors I really like can be mocked to good effect.

                      If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

                      by Inland on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:32:54 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I must have been 12 or so (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        serendipityisabitch

                        Here we go....

                        Boggies are an unattractive but annoying people whose numbers have decreased rather precipitously since the bottom fell out of the fairy-tale market. Slow and sullen, and yet dull, they prefer to lead simple lives of pastoral squalor....
                        Yes, it's pretty funny.

                        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                        by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:02:05 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for posting that comment. It's a (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ek hornbeck, triv33, DeadHead

          great reminder of unjustified HR's.  You should have seen what I was responding to.

    •  Tom, you're misinformed (5+ / 0-)

      The socialist movement in the 19th century, formed by various individuals, was split into two major sociopolitical theories:

      1) Libertarian non-statist socialism (not in any way associated with the right wing version which came more than 100 years later) advocated by Proudhon, Bakunin, and others, and having nothing to do with Marx.

      2) Authoritarian statist socialism advocated my Marx, Engels and others.

      When you characterize all of us with your broad brush as Leninism (who supported Bolshevism and statism, and top down "dictatorship of the proletariat"), you're completely misunderstanding history, and very different strains of socialism.

      I haven't seen this kind of authoritarian approach advocated in Ray's diaries or threads, and in fact Ray has been rather general and not always narrowing his approach to a specific movement.

      Anarchism has come up as a topic due to the common mischaracterizations (such as your own which you made here) and as an anarchist, I have often stepped in to correct the misstatements people make about it out of ignorance.

      That doesn't make everyone who participates here an anarchist, and moreover, to bring in Leninism is simply a remark that has no accurate or truthful basis.

      By the way. Anarchism predates both Marxism and Leninism, having been first written about in the 17th century by William Godwin, and before that, more than 2600 years ago, by Taoist philosophers, not to mention various other examples in history.

      When you insult anarchists, you're insulting pretty broad swaths of humanity.

      Anarchism is an egalitarian form of social organization based on direct democracy which would exist in every aspect and level of organization of society. It has nothing to do with "revenge", as you put it. Anarchism is far more democratic than "democratic socialism" with its tolerance of authoritarianism, the state, hierarchy, top down central government, and so-called "representative" democracy, which is designed historically to effectively dampen and mitigate democracy, its originators having feared too much democracy in the hands of the common rubble -- which is why, in the beginning of the colonies, only 6% voted to elect George Washington (the richest man in the states) due to eliminating most voters based on sex, race, and wealth (only white, male, property owners could vote).

      Despite reforms, people of average or poor means have very little chance of becoming a US senator or even a Representative, due to the need for immense wealth or at least very prominent standing with people of wealth.

      So, when you say you prefer social democracy, as if slapping all other forms of socialism as being less democratic, or less egalitarian, or more authoritarian, that is simply a false, misleading statement.

      And social democrats are all about supporting only reform and incrementalism, and are very adamant in accepting of the status quo, and are thus far more conservative (in the original sense of the word) than anarchists.

      As to revolution, which is a term meaning change, the basic difference here is you call for small changes which seem to never come, or which come in one area while losing ground in another, thus basically treading water and making very little progress if not even at times going backwards, while others recognize this approach isn't working, and call for a greater movement forward through direct action (a tactic which is adaptable to any time in history).

      That's what OWS was (and is), and considering that so many of its critics now use the term "1%" or the "99%", reflecting the now common vernacular of OWS in the world mainstream narrative, even showing up in popular TV series and new clothing fashions worn by teenagers (with Occupy printed as a fabric pattern), demonstrates the success of the direct action approach.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 12:57:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  HR'd for smears and dickishness. (3+ / 0-)
    •  Utter rubbish. You should be ashamed. (14+ / 0-)
      Ray and his fans/followers/supporters/comrades have a Leninist ethos that I fundamentally reject.
      I don't mind your rejecting anything whatever you want to reject.  It's the propaganda, illogic, and false characterizations that turn my stomach.

      One doesn't need to be a Leninist to be horrified by the obscene orgy of corruption and wealth concentration going on at this moment, concentration not seen before in world history, and concentration resulting in the suffering of millions.

      Here are a few facts to offset the sickening glib arrogance of this comment:

      The Shocking Redistribution of Wealth in the Last Five Years

      - $5 Million to Each of the 1 percent, and $1 Million to Each of the Next 4 percent

      - In 2009 the average wealth for almost half of American families was ZERO (their debt exceeded their assets).

      - Out of all developed and undeveloped countries with at least a quarter-million adults, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of wealth inequality in the world trailing only Russia, Ukraine and Lebanon.

      - Congress has responded by cutting unemployment benefits and food stamps along with other “sequester” targets like Meals on Wheels for seniors and Head Start for preschoolers.

      You have a lot of gall to preen and talk about a "more humane world" while insulting those who would discuss these matters.

      Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

      by geomoo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:58:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is some merit to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kharma, greengemini, Ray Pensador, eyo

    focused visualization. I wonder if it has ever been tried with a large group of people with a defined goal in mind. Seems like an interesting experiment.

  •  1848, 1917, and 1968? (4+ / 0-)

    1917 turned out REALLY badly. And 1848 and 1968 didn't produce anything like the change that the protesters wanted.

    We have the votes to create change. We need to get those voters to the polls. See the difference between 2008 and 2010 as an example of a failure to do that. :(

    •  What happens when you win the vote... (4+ / 0-)

      but change never happens?  What happens when you are voting for the stink and stinkier of the two parties?  There must be an alternative and I'm not implying third party.  The alternative being social unrest.  The teaparty is good at it...as are the Christianists.  That's how Robertson still has a show....the Religious Not Right is one big vocal angry mob and they aren't afraid to scream and hold their breath.  Voting isn't the ultimate solution, coercion through other means has to be used to force the elected officials to do what they were elected to do.

      If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

      by kharma on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:25:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not likely (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, angel d, Johnny Q

    And if there is, it's probably bad news.  The almost universal choice made by supposed "left" parties, just about everywhere, to protect capital and rescue the fortunes of speculators, while screwing the public with austerity and suppressing any popular resistance, has had a huge consequence.  Almost everywhere, the only political bodies willing to uphold radical resistance to the abuses of capital are hard far rightist groups and parties.  In Greece, Hungary, Ukraine, Italy and Sweden today the only opposition to the rule of Austerity Capitalism is Neo-fascism.  In some places quite explicitly so.  Things are less clear-cut in the Anglo world simply because resistance has been so enervated, so flaccid, that the acceptance of the hegemony of capital is a fait accompli.  Based on the experience elsewhere, if there were to be a US revival of OWS style resistance, we'd quickly find it to be in the hands of the hard right.  The Left wa well and thoroughly crushed by the use of force by "progressive" local governments from Boston to Oakland.  Nobody's going back out into the streets to be gassed and have their heads smashed open for nothing except the recreation of "law enforcement".

    “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:11:00 AM PST

    •  human beings are tribal by nature (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      isabelle hayes

      That hasn't changed for thousands of years.

      The far right embraces tribalism, and exploits it to win power. In these times when the pie is shrinking, the call for members of a tribe (defined by ethnicity, religious background, or what have you) to band together and eliminate the other tribes who are competing for pieces of pie has irresistible force. The right draws its strength from its very provincialism, from the fact that it claims not to speak for everyone, but only a particular group.

      The left is tribal--it has its tribal myths, its shibboleths, its heroes and villains, its religion, just like every other tribe, but unlike the ultra-right, which revels in its tribalism, the left claims to renounce tribalism, to believe in universal equality and speak for universal human values. That's quite thin gruel to be doling out. It doesn't inspire the same kind of fanatical devotion that explicit tribalism does.

      As Karl Popper put it:

      To tell men that they are equal has a certain sentimental appeal. But this appeal is small compared with that made by a propaganda that tells them that they are superior to others, and that others are inferior to them.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:18:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What you've seen so far are the birth pangs of (0+ / 0-)

      the movement.  Tune in to it and you'll see.  It is growing... People are rising up all over the country.  In my next diaries I will start adding list of direct action events, which are happening with more frequency.

  •  if OWS could meet with the Tea Party (0+ / 0-)

    they could create a Red-Green coalition that would
    really shakeup the power structure.

    •  You're kidding, right? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, kharma, Kristin in WA, emal

      I thought you were smarter than that.  Weak attempts at false equivalence between Occupy protestors and the Tea Party are so...passe.

      I mean, what kind of audience are you trying to convince?  They can't be very bright.  

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:30:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It should be clear by now that not everybody (7+ / 0-)

        here is in the up-and-up.  There are some very strange pro-establishment narratives being peddled.

        •  The status quo (6+ / 0-)

          People flock to your diaries. I am always amazed how much they dislike,parse, knock, nitpick to death your writing as being ridiculous and awful, but even more amazed at how relentless they are...showing up in vast numbers like clockwork.  I have a term for them I use when reading your diaries and if I dare to slog my way through the comments and I see them show up. I call them minders...more specifically The Ray-minders...they're also a constant "rayminder" as to how deeply entrenched the status quo is here.

          They obviously feel a strong urge to show up and comment...so you are doing something right.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." - Mahatma Gandhi

          Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

          by emal on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:58:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's only a few, usually average between 6 to 8 (5+ / 0-)

            per diary; they post sometimes dozens of disruptive messages each.

            When it is done with that type of discipline eventually it works.  I may have the effect of turning some people off, who may otherwise participate in the comment thread in good faith. If you notices they even start attacking people they describe as "my followers," etc.  It's very nasty stuff.  It is amazing how it happens without any repercussions.

            Also the repetition of insults and the memes about mental illness (paranoid, etc.), or other name-calling like Marxst, Lenninist, etc., eventually take their toll.  It's a proven tactic.

            But I'll keep plugging along either way...

            Thanks for noticing.

            •  Oh I notice... trust me (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador, Betty Pinson, angel d, eyo

              And yes it speaks volumes about them and their reasoning for their purpose here. I mean they state publicly that your pov is invalid, crazy and definitely not worth the time of day it took people to read it. Yet for very strange reasons that any critical thinking individual can begin to  fathom, they certainly feel the need to act, as I call it, as a Ray-minder.

              You are doing something right to garner their attention and hate like this. Perhaps it is fear...perhaps it is something else...but whatever it is...it IS noticeable.

              Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

              by emal on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:27:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Rayminder - that's priceless n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador, angel d
      •  another common tactic around here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal, Betty Pinson

        If the argument is too hard to defeat, just pretend those advocating change are Tea Party/Redstate people.

        Show me the diary that shows that Bill Clinton won due to his right-wing positions

        by GideonAB on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:40:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  i'm not sure where you are going (0+ / 0-)

        but, OWS and the Tea Party actually share
        tremendous common ground on what the
        Federal Reserve and Wall Street are doing
        and what needs to be done to stop that.

        Yeah the Tea Baggers are dumbasses, but
        one of the most interesting conversations
        i ever had on Derivatives and trading fraud
        was with a friend of mine who is a teabagger.

        he explained in detail where the money was
        and how it was a scam.

    •  Fail (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

      by kharma on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:29:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  action on forming economy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angel d, Betty Pinson

    What I found interesting in 2013 was that for the first I seen concrete action taking place forming new economies.  People are actually moving forward with time swapping exchanges and cooperatives.  There is considerable discussion about new ways forward.  That is considerably different than just sitting around waiting for the revolution to start.  In small ways, the revolution has started because if necessity.  There really are too many people left out of the economy and something practical needs to be done.  i think its moved pass ideology now and people just want something done.  

    Will there be a OWS 2 in 2014?

    yes but I do not think it will look anything like OWS 1.  i suspect it will be oriented more on counter solutions to the corruption in the system.  That may involve confrontation in some case but I think there will be emphasis on moving ahead on projects that are practical alternatives.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:55:42 AM PST

  •  Hope there's an actual agenda this time. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, Jeff Simpson

    Because last time, the "agenda" turned away from economic issues towards the right to set up tents in public parks and live there for days on end.

    •  Suuure you do, Tony. (4+ / 0-)




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:01:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I sorta remember a diary that said: (6+ / 0-)
        Sockpuppets & Trolls WatchTheir aim is to disrupt, to annoy, to introduce "noise" in order to prevent meaningful discussions of issues.  Their tactics include casting aspersions (attack on the reputation or integrity), and ad hominems, where instead of addressing issues, they attack the character of people.  They also engage in mockery, and logical fallacies.
        I'm probably going to regret posting to you instead of just responding to your dreck directed to me, but I couldn't help pointing out that you took a comment that didn't even dispute the diary and acted like a complete dick just to police the diary from any thoughts you don't like.

        And you did it in a way that fits Ray's warning to a T, and he STILL recced it.

        Are you guys really going to keep pretending that you're troll hunting when it's obvious you're just harassing everyone who isn't agreeing with you?  Because it's an incredible lie.

        If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

        by Inland on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:21:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No comeback? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HudsonValleyMark

          Trying not to call attention to the comment?  No worry.  I'll remember.  

          If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

          by Inland on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:30:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope. Eating dinner... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ek hornbeck, Ray Pensador

            And then responding to YOUR dreck above, as you will see, it took a little longer than I anticipated.

            My comment was perfectly suited to the person to whom it was directed, given his previous commentary on many things, most notably OWS.

            Here's an idea:

            Don't butt-in to shit that has a backstory to it.

            You'll look less stupid that way.  




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:11:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So if there's a "backstory", mocking, (0+ / 0-)

              casting aspersions, and ad Homs aren't trolling?

              Huh.  I don't see that in Ray's definition.  Is that the unwritten exception that justifies every single post you make?  Can I use it too?  Or do unwritten exceptions only apply to you cuz U so cul.

              If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

              by Inland on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:57:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  We need a brand, a way for everyone to participate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    One of the drawbacks of Occupy, IMO, is that although there was massive sympathy, the multitudes that are on the edge of survival had no way to participate in a meaningful manner. I think the movement needs three things (at least):
    1) a simple, uniform message. I harken back to the genius of the Memphis sanitation workers strike and the very simple and singular message "I am a man". An updated version of this message could be powerful and convey the same emotional and intellectual punch.
    2) a color that can be worn as an indication of one's allegience to the movement. Might I suggest orange ;)
    3) a specific goal, not necessarily the end goal but more like the first of many to come, but one that we can point to very specifically. Not sure which I would pick right off the bat but perhaps there is one that can be framed in a somewhat expansive manner that is still measurable.
    Together these things from the brand of Occupy. Just my thoughts, hopefully people who are better at this stuff can come up with some dynamite additions, alterations, and improvements.

  •  You (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, angel d, Johnny Q, eyo, emal

    can tell that Pensador's' diaries hit a nerve by observing the establishment trolls who flock to each one in order to derail and smear him.

  •  Tip for the Gartner link (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyo, TomP, Hey338Too, serendipityisabitch

    Thanks!

    As for the meditation, I think you're doing it wrong.

    As for the rest...still thinking....might write a diary.

  •  My New Years resolution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    is to learn how to meditate. You mentioned "How to Practice - The Way to a Meaningful Life". Are there any other resources, books or otherwise, you can recommend to a beginner?

  •  Joseph Brodsky interprets Jesus on non-violence. (11+ / 0-)

    The following is from Joseph Brodsky's commencement address to the Dartmouth class of 1984.  He spent time in Stalin's labor camps, so he had some familiarity with oppression.  I highly suggest reading the entire short piece.  For those not so inclined, here is the gist [emphasis mine]:

    Because the Son of Man was in the habit of speaking in triads, the young man could have recalled that the relevant verse doesn’t stop at

        but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also

    but continues without either period or comma:

        And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

        And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

    Quoted in full, these verses have in fact very little to do with nonviolent or passive resistance, with the principles of not responding in kind and returning good for evil. The meaning of these lines is anything but passive for it suggests that evil can be made absurd through excess; it suggests rendering evil absurd through dwarfing its demands with the volume of your compliance, which devalues the harm. This sort of thing puts a victim into a very active position, into the position of a mental aggressor. The victory that is possible here is not a moral but an existential one. The other cheek here sets in motion not the enemy’s sense of guilt (which he is perfectly capable of quelling) but exposes his senses and faculties to the meaninglessness of the whole enterprise: the way every form of mass production does.

    Let me remind you that we are not talking here about a situation involving a fair fight. We are talking about situations where one finds oneself in a hopelessly inferior position from the very outset, where one has no chance of fighting back, where the odds are overwhelmingly against one. In other words, we are talking about the very dark hours in one’s life, when one’s sense of moral superiority over the enemy offers no solace, when this enemy is too far gone to be shamed or made nostalgic for abandoned scruples, when one has at one’s disposal only one’s face, coat, cloak, and a pair of feet that are still capable of walking a mile or two.

    In this situation there is very little room for tactical maneuver. So turning the other cheek should be your conscious, cold, deliberate decision. Your chances of winning, however dismal they are, all depend on whether or not you know what you are doing. Thrusting forward your face with the cheek toward the enemy, you should know that this is just the beginning of your ordeal as well as that of the verse—and you should be able to see yourself through the entire sequence, through all three verses from the Sermon on the Mount. Otherwise, a line taken out of context will leave you crippled.

    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

    by geomoo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:46:01 PM PST

  •  The propaganda and cooptations are frigging (7+ / 0-)

    everywhere.  Absolutely.  There's going to have to be some real creative thinking from those that are real to move forward without corruption.  Significant damage has already been done to whatever is out there now.  It's going to be mighty tough.

    "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:27:56 PM PST

  •  If there is a new Occupy movement in 2014 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, Hey338Too

    I hope it takes a different form.  The peculiar hand gesture assemblies (or whatever the proper names is) were silly. Rejecting John Lewis like he was a problem was titanically stupid.  The guy i saw interviewed on MSNBC groomed to look like Guy Fawkes made me think of the Teabagger that was dressed like a giant tea bag.

    I don't know what form the movement should take, but camping out on public property and singing is not it.  The Tea Party had success by voting and getting people to vote, and they did that with a more reliable voting demographic.  The Occupy movement has the most potential in getting young people organized and voting.

  •  In my own Practice... (0+ / 0-)

    I would actually "radiate" the feelings of Good-Will/Loving Kindness (Metta), Compassion (Karuna), Joy at the success of others (Mudita) and Equanimity (Upekkha) toward ALL beings I'm able to do so toward.

    Since I'm not in any way, shape or form a perfectly realized being, I am quite able to radiate this energy toward my family, friends and loved ones. I am also able to do so toward people I don't personally like or don't know.

    I am not able to do so toward certain individuals. Through much meditation, I no longer actively "hate" anyone (more or less), though I will be honest and say that I cannot radiate this energy toward, say, a child rapist or the individuals responsible for 9/11. I'm not there yet. I also cannot radiate it toward those who crashed our economy. I am able to do so toward George W. Bush. I honestly believe the man is a bit of a simpleton and, though circumstances, became what he became. I fully understand how folks cannot feel this way, however.

    I do radiate this energy toward Ray and folks here at dKos (even the ones I disagree with from time to time because everyone here is trying their best and I know you.) a

    Someday, I hope to be able to radiate this energy toward everyone.

    This is my understanding of the Bramaviharas and how I practice them. I realize that other people have other ideas and other practices. I respect that.

    Much Good Will toward all.

    P.S. With a clear and focused mind, may we all help contribute and find solutions to the issues that threaten the entire human race. May we also consider ourselves fortunate that we at least have some ideas as to these problems when so many of our brothers and sisters are deluded.

    If you want to know what's really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. -- Jaron Lanier

    by joegoldstein on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:07:34 AM PST

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