Israel was a country founded by socialists. David Ben-Gurion’s center-left Mapai Party dominated Israeli politics for its first thirty years. After ceding power to Likud for twenty years, the Labor Party under Yitzchak Rabin made a comeback, signing the Oslo Accords in 1993, which set an…
UK legislation on vulture funds has already had an impact, when Liberia last year reached agreement to repay just over 3% of face value of $43m in debt. The case was brought by two Caribbean-based vulture funds, Hamsah Investments and Wall Capital Ltd, over a debt dating back to the 1970s. The case sparked a furore when the high court ordered Liberia to repay the full debt in 2009. The case mobilised debt campaigners, who pushed for a change in the law – resulting in the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010 being passed.
The law, a world first, requires commercial creditors to comply with the terms of international debt cancellation schemes, which specify a single discount rate for creditors to ensure equal treatment. The law applies to the UK courts and ensures that public money given towards debt cancellation is not diverted to private investors.
However, debt campaigners point out that UK legislation applies only to the 40 Hipc countries and applies to cases before 2004. It is also due to expire next year, unless renewed.
The 1% & their fund managers ruthlessly exploit legal loopholes for profit – even at the cost of environmental destruction & human lives! The Occupy Movement must expose, challenge & curb such behaviour.
Captain Ray Lewis (Ret.) of the Philadelphia police has joined Occupy Wall Street. More of this please.
His sign is perfect: “NYPD: Don’t Be Wall St. Mercenaries!”
Our encampments are a physical place for the beginning of the revolution that humanity and this Earth needs to survive. So long as we continue to meet often, debate, protest, and work for consensus the occupation will go on. We will find new places to gather and we will not be intimidated.
Raiding and closing down Occupy camps only reenforces what protestors have said all along, that people aren’t in charge of their governments. Our governments across the world are doing the bidding of the few and their corruption is on full display as our tents are being scooped up by bulldozers.
Those who have enjoyed unchecked power for decades have good reason be afraid. The occupy movement is stopping the powerful from profiting from putting human health, justice, democracy and equality over a cliff. We are exposing their misdeeds and destroying the myth of trickle down wealth.
It is better to Die Resisting, on our Feet, than to Live in Chains!
The media is having a field day when it comes to reporting on Occupy Wall Street (OWS). Presented with a neat and clean narrative that they can hysterically massage into a controversy, they’ve delightfully contrasted Occupy Wall Street with the Tea Party protests. To hear lazy reporters talk, one would think that the hundreds of thousands of OWS protestors across the world could be easily compared to the relatively tiny Tea Party movement that’s despised abroad and is generally unpopular even in the US. While they share the common vein of being angry at the current system and the direction the country is heading, most of the similarities end there.
To put it plainly, OWS is paying and the Tea Party is collecting, and then the Tea Party is complaining about the taxes while reaping the benefits and furiously denying them to others. Especially in this light, it’s no wonder that OWS has ballooned, one of its largest protests so far in Oakland has grown to well over 100,000 people.
Tea Partiers are no more than “useful idiots” for the Kochs’ planned Oligarchy – which would enable them, & similar 1%’ers, to rape the US as the Oligarchs raped Yeltsin’s Russia in the 1990′s.
The crash tax is, essentially, a sales tax on financial transactions. The middle class pays sales tax on all the stuff it purchases. There should be no special exceptions. The 1 percent should be paying sales tax on the purchase of risky derivatives and on bets that derivatives will fail. This is equity. This is simple fairness.
Some call this levy a Robin Hood tax. But that’s not right. This is not robbing the rich to give to the poor. This is charging the 1 percent a just share.
This is holding speculators accountable. This is individual responsibility, the concept the GOP claims to love. Wall Street bombed the world economy. Now it’s obligated to participate in financing recovery, to pay reparations to Main Street.
A financial transaction tax alone isn’t enough. ALL income, must be taxed at Income Tax rates – no more income taxed at Capital Gains Tax rates or “deferred” ad infinitum!
The necessary regulations that contained and restrained the financial industry came about in 1933 under the Franklin Roosevelt administration and lasted some 60 years before they were undone and completely overturned in 1999 under Bill Clinton. His signing into law the complete deregulation and unmooring of the financial industry solidified its hold during the Bush era and brought about the current gilded age that has yet to be rectified, but has spawned the occupy movement.
No one can predict the eventual outcome of this movement or how the present gilded age will end.
But if history is any guide, when the country endures a great economic dislocation caused by the greedy excesses of the big financial interests and the suffering becomes widespread and intolerable with the injustices, lack of accountability and basic unfairness too great, that gilded age’s reign of impunity will not continue unchallenged. Change will be demanded.
The revolution demanding those changes has just begun.
The 1% have worked for decades to rig the financial, economic & political systems so thoroughly – Occupiers need to be prepared for a long campaign.
The fascists financiers of The Money Party are now paying attention. They’re using the normal tactics they employ against domestic assemblies of citizens who present grievances: lies, misinformation, police bullying, police attacks, claims of “safety and public health” concerns. They’ll ramp up soon to massive police actions and claim that citizens caused the coming police riots.
We must remain non-violent, even passive, & dignified in the face of the 1%’s savagery. But we also must record, broadcast & publicize their brutality as widely as possible, & publicly commend our injured, & publicly mourn our martyrs. This is how we will mobilize the 99%.
People must be saved, not banks. Too-big-to-fail ones must be shut, broken up or nationalized. Central bank authority must also shift to public hands. Sustained general city, state and national strikes must be used strategically.
America’s system is too broken and corrupted to fix. Tearing it down and starting over is vital, including a new Constitution put to a national referendum for an up or down vote.
Egalitarian America must replace it’s wealth and power system, benefitting few at the expense of most others. The biggest of all battles lie ahead. Dark forces lurk to co-opt and subvert them.
Staying the course is key. Obstacles exist to be overcome. So is knowing IF Stone’s advice that:
“The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins….”
Gandhi said it his way, saying:
“First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”
We’re in the ridiculing/fighting stage. It’ll continue years longer, maybe decades. Nothing’s guaranteed, of course, especially in the mother of all struggles.
If activists and those after them don’t quit, winning’s indeed possible, but not without great pain, sacrifice, and struggles often looking futile.
It’s how all great battles are won, none easily, quickly or without great cost.
No matter. Liberate your minds. Join the 99%. Stay the course, and find out! We’re all in this together!
The reality is that the 1% live in a different world, a different ethos, an Apartheid world, designed to exclude, exploit & oppress the rest of us. To the 1%, the 99% are subhuman serfs, even slaves. This is how they justify to themselves their greed for power & wealth – they believe themselves to be a “Master Race”, uniquely fitted – chosen, even – to rule. With an iron fist, if they feel necessary!
In the past week and a half, we’ve seen more and more news stories focusing on the physical logistics of occupation, including the problems and challenges. News outlets are presenting the tactic of occupation as if the tactic were the message and the movement itself. And our opponents are making some headway in negatively branding occupation and occupiers.
To navigate this challenge, it is important that we recognize a few things about our relationship to the tactic of physical occupation:
- It has already accomplished more than any of us imagined.
- It is incredibly resource-intensive to maintain.
- It will not serve us forever (indeed, it’s utility may already be waning).
- We will have to come up with other popular expressions of the values of this movement.
We have to distinguish conceptually between our tactics, our message, and our movement. Of these three, our tactics should be the thing we are least attached to. In oppositional struggle, it is critical to maintain the initiative; to keep one’s opponents in a reactive state. This is not accomplished by growing overly attached to any particular tactic—no matter how well it worked the first time—and thereby doing exactly what our opponents expect us to do.
We need to move from “We Occupy” as a defining characteristic of the movement, to “We Demand Social Justice!”
Oligarchic wealth today is not created by tangible personal property, although the richest among us have plenty of that. It is defined by ownership of paper rights, stock in companies, bonds issued by the government and corporations, oil wells, patents, deeds to real estate and so on. The only substantial protector of both forms of wealth is the State, meaning both local and national government.
The threat to oligarchic wealth isn’t thieves or banks trying to foreclose on mortgages unlawfully; those are the concerns of the 99%. The big threat to Oligarchs is taxation, especially progressive income taxation and the Estate Tax, which are the only ways we have to bring about redistribution of wealth. Rich people don’t want to pay taxes; so they get low capital gains rates. Hedge fundies don’t want to pay taxes; so they get carried interests. Traders don’t want to pay taxes on their bonuses; so they set up off-shore trusts. Billionaires hate the Estate Tax, which they won’t even pay. The goal of the Oligarchs, according to Winters, is to shove those taxes off onto other people. They want to shift the cost of government to other people, even though they are by far the biggest beneficiaries of government.
Here is how it’s done. An ant warren of lawyers, accountants, brokers and bankers exists for the sole purpose of hiding assets from taxation. A murder of crows in the PR/Media business shriek that taxation is theft, class war, and job-destroying, and blithers on about how those few job creators will just do a Galt, pack up their money and leave. The carrion eaters in academic economics scrawl screeds on chalkboards showing that taxing the rich is irresponsible and bad, priming another generation to go forth and protect the interests of the rich at the expense of their parents, families and friends (well if they have any friends). Professional pundits bellow and whine in polyphonic cacophony about the death tax, as if it what happens to Mr. Sam’s money matters to the creepy Walton heirs after they go down into the dust.
The richer the 1% get, the greedier they get, & the more they are able to rig the system in their favour – like a snake constricting the very life out of the 99%.
Israeli women say that recently some of their most basic rights have come under attack, including singing and dancing in public, vying for student government positions at a religious college, appearing on billboards in Jerusalem, speaking on a religious radio station and even using the sidewalk during religious celebrations.
Feminists who once thought Israel’s battle for gender equality had been mostly won are warning of a new assault from Israel’s fast-growing ultra-Orthodox community, which is seeking to expand religious-based segregation into the public realm.
“We are going backward and losing all our achievements,” said Rachel Liel, executive director of the New Israel Fund, which advocates for civil rights and equality. “A 21st century democracy is not a place where women sit in the back of the bus.”
The “liberal” West has nurtured – & armed to the teeth with Nuclear warheads & other WMDs – an extremist-Zionist, religio-nationalist, entity, that’s rapidly morphing into something resembling the West’s worst nightmare. Who says Americans don’t do irony?!
Despite the marionette rotation at the top, the math of Europe is still not only absolutely hopeless, not to mention meaningless, but somehow just got even worse, because take away the magical powers of modern finance to be one with the ponzi, and Europe would have already imploded.
It also means that our earlier observation that the EFSF is an AA+ equivalent credit instrument has to be revised: pro formaing out the ponzi, means it is at best AA if not A, and most likely D if one takes away all the magic bells and Keynesian whistles, unicorns and other end of the western financial world loopholes that modern finance is forced to resort to every single day to mask the fact that every country in the developed world is now 100% bankrupt.
The Euro is leading the charge of the West’s currencies – from fiat money to fantasy money!
The house of war comes crumbling down when the people get a belly full of being raped, plundered and having their sons, daughters sacrificed and their grandchildren being covered with debt before they are born? The elite of government, like the elite of the business world, have long considered the small account holders as expendable pawns and they are to be used as carelessly as clay pigeons.
The attitudes of those in power are universal having been around since the advent of the first empire. Throughout history the common man, i.e., the slaves, the glorious workers, the King’s men and their wives, the brood-mares for the legions, have paid a heavy price for the flag.
When the flag falls, the dictators and their sycophants usually have a nice place on some friendly foreign shores to wait out eternity and enjoy the interlude with countless millions of absconded loot in the form of gold, silver, dollars, francs, or pesos.
Now, in the United States the limits of complacency must certainly be stretched to the breaking point. When the inevitable happens the wrath of the people will be fearsome in the halls of congress and above. Hordes of politicians will be voted out of office and sent packing. Like empire, revolt against empire is universal as well. And sometimes, empire shoots itself in the foot.
As was shown in the last few weeks, change can be made when the force of the people is applied. Nobody had to tell us when and how to move on the money barons; we knew instinctively that we were being taken for granted and and abused in the wallet with a $5 charge, for nothing.
Pray tell, if we got upset over a $5 fee, why would we want to pay some greedy defense contractor $800 a gallon for diesel fuel to facilitate our sons and daughters being shot at in some foreign country that never attacked us in the first place.
All that is necessary for the 1% to triumph, is for the 99% to do nothing - all that is necessary for the 1% to fail, is for the 99% to Occupy the Moral High Ground!