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More Naomi Klein please

Check out this video of the panel discussion of the Occupy Movement at The New School from last Thursday night. Naomi Klein is brilliant again.   She is soooo good and so articulate.  She explains things so clearly you just automatically understand them.

And then there’s Michael Moore.

What can I say?  I’m sure he means well and his movies are pretty good.  I especially liked Fahrenheit 9-11.  But it seems like anytime there is an incipient “movement”, he’s right there, grabbing the spotlight.  And he’s as fickle as a magpie, attracted to one shiny object after another.  Like glomming onto Barack Obama and assuming that those of us who were old enough and wise enough to not “tolerate this crap”, ie Obama’s crap, are bitter white people who are Tea Partiers.  He’s just wrong about that.  Those of us who are Democrats in Exile are not antagonistic towards Occupy Wall Street.  We were just early- by three years.  Yes, while Moore was mooning over Obama and basking in Obama’s reflected shininess, we saw how his campaign threw working people under the bus.  The reason it took younger people longer to get to our point is that Obama sucked up to them in 2008.  They were naive and idealistic and blessed.  The rest of us were told in no uncertain terms that we were irrelevant and unwanted.  We were the canaries in the coalmine.  If Moore had really been paying attention to the way the voices of working people were ignored in 2008, he would have seen the future of the Obama administration.  He didn’t.

Anyways, I know he’s a good guy but enough, Michael.  Naomi is the spirit of the movement.

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Saturday: Cranky, old Christians

Nurses' Union members in Zuccotti Park

I found this prayer request from The Family Research Council from a link at Hullabaloo.  The religious right is using every trick in the book to keep the Christians from defecating.  Er, defecting.  I don’t know which.  Every time I’ve been to Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, I see a lot of perfectly normal looking people in the middle of the park, talking, laughing, socializing, having spontaneous meetings.  Oh, sure, there’s a thin layer of some bizarre looking “occupiers” hired straight out of central casting, no doubt.  I give Rove and his disciples the credit for that and no one will convince me otherwise.  Those creatures don’t really have a point they want to discuss.  They’re just there to frighten away the cranky old Christians.

But listen to what the Family Research Council says about the Occupations:

Days of Rage Turn Violent — The expanded Wall Street Occupation is endorsed by labor unions, liberal mayors, governors, the White House, the American Nazi and Communist parties, ACORN, Hollywood enertainers and a long list of supra-liberal and liberal groups, not the least of which is the liberal media. Encampments in major cities, including Washington, DC, are not only a nuisance, a health hazard and an embarassment to thinking Americans, they are increasingly becoming violent. Ideological anarchists intimidate and abuse bystanders, damage automobiles, jump on and in front of moving vehicles, urinate and defacate on private and public property, go naked and perform sex acts in public, produce tons of garbage that taxpayers have to collect and haul away, etc. Yet the mainstream press, which villainized the Tea Party movement, after long ignoring it, flagrantly idealizes the Occupiers and ignores the damage and ugly crimes happening in most places where an occupation is in progress. Fortunately the movement is “losing its bloom,” and beginning to die out. The honeymoon among these diverse activists may be coming to an end (see ViolenceMedia Ignores Violence,Bloom FadingSplitTime to EndOriginal PlanBroken Windows).

  • May the movement simply fizzle. May God protect those who live nearby and must encounter these raucus groups. May God harvest souls for Christ from among them just as He did discontented youth in  the Jesus Movment of the 60’s and 70’s (1 Sam 22:1-2; 2 Chr 15:4-7; Ps 18:40-50; Is 42:14-18; Lk 19:39-40; Rom 8:15-16; 10:20).

How come I always miss the orgies?  And how did we ever get the Nazis AND the communists to collaborate?  Jeez, doesn’t the Family Research Council know anything about the difference between Nazis, *real* socialists and communists?  Or are they just repeating trigger words in order to provoke a trance like response in the target audience.  Nazis, pray, defecators, socialists, nuisance, communists, violence, Nazis.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  I’ve got an idea!  Let’s go through the right wing literature and talk radio and tv broadcasts and count how many times and in what context the words “nazis”, “fascists”, “socialists” and “communists” turn up.  We can compare it to the lead up to the Iraq War where Bush and his lackeys made sure to say “Al Qaeda”, “weapons of mass destruction” and “Saddam Hussein” together all the time.  If I heard that all day long on the news, I might be scared stupid into thinking that Saddam Hussein had trucked off a bunch of chemical weapons to the desert where he and his Al Qaeda buddies were going to launch them on missiles that would reach the United States in 45 minutes.  Can you believe people actually got suckered into believing that crap?

The technical word for that is psychological manipulation and it works.  Skillful practitioners can make even perfectly rational people putty in his hands with the right reframing and trigger words.  That’s why I tell people to never get their news from TV or radio.  I think it’s easier to reframe with an audio format, much harder to do when you read it because your eye can spot the pattern.

I can say with pretty good authority that I have never seen tons of garbage at Zuccotti park.  The occupiers are almost anal (maybe a bad choice of words) in their committment to cleaning up and recycling.  They’ve even built  trash and recycle stations out of recyclable cardboard.

And another thing they did was start a kitchen.  Yep, it smells delicious.  You can walk right up and get something to eat.  No one will read a bible to you or make you feel ashamed of your plight or pray over you to ask you to accept Jesus as your personal savior in return for a meal.  If you have a problem because you are angry or frustrated or unemployed, there is a counselor available you can talk to.

Yes, it looks a bit disorganized.  Getting 99% of the population together to discuss what the hell happened to them in the last 30 years is hard.  You’ve got people from all different walks of life, young people, old people.  No, really, there are older women in Zuccotti park that are indistinguishable from the ones who volunteer for after services potluck lunches at church complete with cream of mushroom soup hot dish casseroles.  And you don’t need a PhD.  There are a lot of very smart people who never went to college.  They may be entertainers or union people or anyone.

But the Family Research Council wants to make their members terrified to go anywhere near those occupations.  That’s why their friends in the Republican party pay the weirdos to go hang out there.  Or ask them to stir up trouble.  Because if a cranky old Christians actually went to an occupation, they might find themselves right at home among the 99%, provided they can refrain from making converts.

In fact, the surest way the Family Research Council has to make the occupation “fizzle” is to send Christians down to occupation sites to convert the occupiers.  Yep, nothing like a bunch of pain-in-the-ass, persistent, self-righteous, hyper-religious evangelicals for breaking up a good thing.  Just a heads up to the occupiers.  They may be headed your way and are harder to get rid of than violent anarchists.  Well, I’m sure you can handle this.  😉

What kind of messed up people would pray for the downtrodden to lose hope in their struggle against the rich?  That doesn’t sound even remotely Christian to me.  What the cranky old Christian may need is some mind altering drugs, not that they’re going to find them at an occupation (unless Rove’s droogs are selling them).  I’ve read studies of the effect of magic mushrooms on people in controlled experiments.  Psilocybin can lift moods, has long term psychological effects and tends to make people more compassionate afterwards.  Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to spike their tea to mellow those people out and rejuvenate them and make them nice.  Because compassion is what they seriously lack even as they have an excess of prayers.