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    • Killing Herd Animals
      One of the great crimes and tragedies of our world is how we treat the animals we eat (or whose milk or eggs or other products we eat and use.) Factory farming keeps them in tiny enclosures, feeds them monotonous foods, and then when they’re slaughtered it’s a terrible experience: they’re terrified and die in […]
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Thank you Occupy Wall Street

Thank you for celebrating your birthday in such a breathtaking and classy way.  It was also fiendishly clever, considering how many Verizon workers were marching with us.

The most amazing thing about walking about a quarter way over the Brooklyn Bridge and then looking back was not that we made that bat signal happen.  It was that we were extending the occupation to everyone in the city and everyone who was coming into the city from Brooklyn.  And they took up the invitation with gusto, cheering and honking from their cars.  Not at *us* but for themselves.  They got to be part of a most wonderful day.  I will never forget it.

The occupiers of Zuccotti Park are very brave people.  I suspect that they knew that they needed to sacrifice themselves.  And in that sacrifice, they brought everyone together.  We all grew up thinking that we “could say whatever we want” because “it’s a free country”.  Admit it, you used to say that in the playground to your friends turned suddenly enemies (but you made up over a shared popsicle).  But saying anything you want, whereever you want, has dire consequences these days.  It can also bring out the courage of your friends.  I sprinted from Union Square to Foley Square with thousands and thousands of students who were surrounded by police but managed to occupy the streets anyway.  Then I stood for hours with the most cheerful bunch of musicians, local 802.  It was a pleasure to spend the evening with Aurora and her friends.

But the “bat signal” will be hard to top.  Projecting the aspirations of humanity on a symbol of corporate overreach was a stroke of genius.  And there I was, on the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time in my life, cheering along with the cars down below who were amazed and delighted to be a part of it all.

This is not the beginning of the end.  This is the beginning of the beginning.  The occupation of Zuccotti Park was a transient event.  The occupation of our hearts will live as long as we do.

Subvert the dominant paradigm.

Happy Birthday to all of us occupiers no matter where we are.

Kill this Meme: Job Creators

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard a lot nonsense about ‘job creators’.  It’s popping up in clips from Fox News and vomiting forth from the mouths of Republican operatives and politicians.  The meme goes like this: unless we learn to lower our voices and make sacrifices and burnt offerings of pleasing aroma to the “job creators”, they will not bestow the blessings of what Jane Austen would call “a living” on us.

What kind of focus group tested nonsense is this?  The term “job creator” smacks me of having a quasi religious undertone.  The religious frequently refer to God as their ‘creator’.  Is Heavenly Father and Lord far behind?

The religious aspect of the ‘job creator’ meme also carries with it into the business world the wrathful, jealous god characteristics.  “Don’t piss us off or we’ll smite you and make you poor.  Continue to cut our taxes and you will be rewarded with eternal prosperity.  The cardinal sin is disobedience to our will.  The choice is up to you.”

This is bullshit.  Business people are business people, not immortals.  They need people to help them make money.  Making money is what they do.  They can either pay you for your expertise to help them make money or not.  Mostly not, these days.  But that’s not always going to work in their favor.  People *will* adapt.  They’ll either learn to live with less, in which case the demi-gods will be raking in less money, or they’ll learn to compete, or they’ll band together to throw the old gods out and install some new ones.  There’s no reason for any of us to put up with sociopathic megalomaniacs who are constantly zapping us with economic lightening bolts.  F^(* that S^*#.

These people need to read some Phillip Pullman.  Whoa!  Wasn’t it Phillip Pullman who recently dubbed them the “feral elite”?  If that doesn’t describe them, I don’t know what does.  They think they have the power and the glory and have no allegiance to any country.  Fine with me.  I keep saying that the best thing we could do for the world would be to direct their private jets to the Cayman Islands, impose a blockade, bust their internet connection down to some slllllooooooowwwww DSL, jam their satellite and let them live out the rest of their days with their money.

And now we have their minions at Standard and Poors downgrading out credit.  Apparently, we are not humble enough.  We are not giving enough of ourselves, our livelihoods, our childrens’ college funds.  No, now we have to bow and scrape to the S&P and beg forgiveness for having the audacity to want to keep the decades and decades of payroll taxes we set aside for our retirements that do not add to the deficit.  If we just gave it to them, they would hallow us once more with their blessings.

No, just, no.

I know theft and fraud when I see it and I’m not going to beg for my life just so they don’t take more obscene cash than they already have.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Hillary for President in 2012.  Accept no faux-Democrat substitutes.

Whoa! Go Lansing, Michigan!

Virgil Bernero is his name and he is amazing.  He’s the Mayor of Lansing, Michigan.   Listen to him stick up for the working class.  It’s about time someone went on TV and said enough is enough.  Sacrifices need to come from the people who are responsible.  It is time to look up the food chain instead of down for the culprits.

(H/T Sarah at Corrente for the video)