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Showing posts from 2011

Happy New Year: Occupy 2012

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Charlie Bit My Finger

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Lalu Yadav In The Lok Sabha

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Hillary Should Stay Two More Years

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Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe Madonna Of Global Politics

China is in sight. Russia is rumbling, and China is in sight.

If Hillary had been vice president, she would have stayed eight years. Being Secretary of State is like being vice president. It is a top job. So her leaving after four years is arbitrary. It is not like suddenly she is too old. If that were the case, she would never have run for president. People who think they are going to be too old in four years do not run.

And it is not about Hillary, it is about the world. I am not saying she is indispensable. I am sure there is someone on the Democratic horizon who might be able to step in. It is about continuity at a crucial time. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya have not been small events. But they are small compared to what could still happen. Syria is still in the works. Iran has not happened yet, Saudi Arabia has not happened yet. Russia is rumbling. China has not happened yet.

And America will happen before China will hap…

Mobile Occupy, Dawn To Dusk Occupy

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Image by Saint Huck via FlickrEvent: December 12th: Occupy Strikes Back (RSVP for NYC only HERE)

Occupy Wall Street Could Legitimately Go Indoors

24/7 camping out in a public place of a few hundred people has been the heart and soul of the Occupy movement. And it will have to return to that. But skipping the winter months would be a good idea. April, anyone?

24/7 can mutate to dawn to dusk, no tents required. 24/7 can mutate to daylong events away from public parks. Flash events, planned events.

This movement went national a long time ago. This movement went global a long time ago. This movement will shake Russia, this movement will shake China.
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Russia's Turn

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Image by didkovskaya via FlickrWhen things were rumbling in Egypt I predicted this democracytsunami is also going to hit America and Russia and China. Well, it did hit America. We call it the Occupy Movement. And now looks like it is Russia's turn.

China might have largely skipped the Great Recession but there is no skipping the democracy tsunami. But I think the democracy wave will have to succeed in Russia before it touches China. Just like the wave will have to succeed in Iran before Saudi Arabia is affected.

I am positive. Obama's reelection will not be the biggest news of 2012. 2012 will be the year of the tsunami of democracy.
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The Real Story Behind The European Mess

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Image via WikipediaThe market is sending strong signals.

The Europeans did the economic union thing, and they did the single currency thing. But they thought they all could still be all these various sovereign nations.

And the market is saying no to that.

The economic union and the single currency needed to be followed with a political union. The Europeans needed to work on that years ago. Not attempting a political union was a mistake. And the Europeans are paying a price.

And if they are not going to go for the political union the economic union is going to unravel. The single currency could fall apart.

This storm is major.
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Somewhere To Start

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Image by david_shankbone via Flickr(1) A second term for Barack Obama, with a super majority in the Senate and a majority in the House in exchange for total campaign finance reform within the first 100 days of his second term. If that is not delivered, launch a new third political party. This is me saying 2012 is about The Agenda, not Barack Obama.

(2) Wealth Equity Tax of 10% on all corporations with a valuation over a billion dollars.

(3) Nationalize Zuccotti Park.

Jeff Sachs: New York Times: The New Progressive Movement: Following our recent financial calamity, a third progressive era is likely to be in the making. This one should aim for three things. The first is a revival of crucial public services, especially education, training, public investment and environmental protection. The second is the end of a climate of impunity that encouraged nearly every Wall Street firm to commit financial fraud. The third is to re-establish the supremacy of people votes over dollar votes in Wa…

Occupy Zuccotti: The Eviction

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Image by david_shankbone via Flickr(1) I am not alarmed.
(2) The operation was well done, well executed.
(3) It was the wrong thing to do.
(4) New York City should take pride in the fact that something that started in a small park in this city has spread across the world. Liverpool takes pride in The Beatles.
(5) There will be a regrouping.
(6) The eviction was top news on Google News for an entire day. It probably still is. The Occupy people could not have thought of a better way to spread their message around the country, around the world. An operationally well executed plan was a political defeat, if the purpose was to calm down the Occupy movement.
(7) The movement has to rethink, regroup, and do one better.

(8) It is not within this or any other mayor's power to address the concerns of the movement. The mayor does not have a political solution. The movement is above the mayor's pay scale. The movement is not asking the mayor for the solution. No city official can a…

Occupy The World

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Image by david_shankbone via FlickrOccupy America has to be first and foremost about total campaign finance reform. I was Barack Obama's first full time volunteer in New York City. And I staunchly believe in the guy's reelection. But I have tried to see the Occupy movement for what it is and I have been open to options that might or might not be best for Barack Obama's political party. (A Multi Party System For America) But I believe 2012 has to be about The Agenda. The agenda is total campaign finance reform and progressive taxation (Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax) within 100 days of Barack Obama's second term. To that end giving him a second term, a super majority in the Senate and a majority in the House might be the best way. (Occupy Wall Street: My Idea Of Obama 2012) But that can be no blank check. The Occupy movement has to spell out the agenda by the summer of 2012.

Occupy China, Occupy Russia, Occupy Iran All Over Again

The Occupy movement can achieve globally w…

Occupy Wall Street Could Legitimately Go Indoors

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Image via WikipediaI say take it to a church basement nearby. Or two, or three. Cap the number of people that can spend the night there. 200 is good enough. Know who those 200 are. Have a line. Process people. Spending a night should be a badge of honor.

The glory is not in braving the winter outdoors. The glory is in channeling the online communication.

Occupy Wall Street is the national nerve center, it is the global nerve center for the movement. I think taking it indoors and getting it better organized would be a great move to make.

Come back out into the park in about four months or five.

Staying put in the park would be the best option. But moving it to a church basement would also be a legitimate option.

A Multi Party System For America
Occupy Wall Street: My Idea Of Obama 2012
Occupy
Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America
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Libya: One Billion, Iraq: Trillion Plus

Barack Obama spent a billion dollars to topple a dictator in Libya. Compare that to the Bush figure of trillion plus to topple Saddam Hussein.


A Multi Party System For America

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Image via WikipediaTwo party is still multi party. Two is not one. Two is more than one. But a two party system is not a true multi-party system.

Yesterday I drew an end game scenario for the Occupy Wall Street movement: Occupy Wall Street: My Idea Of Obama 2012.

A more ambitious scenario would be where the movement emerges as a third party in American politics. Step one still would be about turning America into a one person, one vote democracy. But then a departure would take place.

2012 would be too early for the movement to seek a presidency of its own, but 2016 might be a ripe time.

This could happen fast.

A three party system would bring greater political innovation.

Occupy
Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America
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Occupy Wall Street: My Idea Of Obama 2012

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Occupy
Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America

There are people who are saying Occupy Wall Street will not survive the New York winter. They obviously don't know the difference between a political movement and a camping trip. This is no camping trip.

This thing is just getting started. Within a month this movement has gone national, has gone global.

I want to emphasize. This is not about seeking confrontations with the police. The police are part of the 99%. All they want is information. They want to know beforehand if you are going to come out into the streets. Tell them.

The Occupy movement is about finding one public space in every town, every city, and then filling it up to capacity - in New York I believe that number is 1,000 - and maintaining that number by having people camp out in rotation. You are looking for volunteers who will show up for one 24 hour period and then will stay on stand by after that. The more people you ca…

Gaddafi Helped Mandela

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Image via WikipediaIt is important to maintain perspective.

I have always believed in democracy, and I have never thought of it as some kind of a western thing.

The day 9/11 happened I compared it to the start of something along the magnitudes of the Cold War.

Gaddafi is like Castro in that he saw a lot. He saw colonialism, the Cold War, the aftermath, the War On Terror. This guy stayed in the news for half a century.

I was doing school in Kathmandu. We were amazed about this guy who seemed to drive Reagan crazy. Who i-s this guy? We read up on him.

One of the details that has to be noted is that Gaddafi helped Mandela when nobody helped Mandela. Dick Cheney was opposed to imposing sanctions on the apartheid regime and I don't think he has ever course corrected that stand.

I have often wondered what a Gaddafi like political animal functioning in a democratic set up might look like. Because the world does need people who will speak to the west on their own terms.

I am thinki…

Occupy

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Image via WikipediaCongregate. Do not disrupt. This is about getting together, peacefully, amicably, almost in a celebratory way.

This is not about disrupting traffic. This is not about preventing people from going to work. This is not about seeking confrontations with the police.

It has to stay completely nonviolent. It has to become super, duper organized. It has to be sophisticated.

Occupy one public space in each city, each town where people camp out around the clock. If the space's capacity is 1,000 people, stay at 1,000 people. Get people to participate in rotation. So one person might clock in for one 24 hour period to be replaced by another person who signed up to be there.

The occupation can not end until the fundamental fabric of the democracy has been impacted. The goal is one person, one vote democracy. The insane people running the banks on Wall Street threw the bus into the ditch and gave the world the Great Recession. Now they want to go back to their same old w…

Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax

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Image via WikipediaThere are right wingers claiming close to half the country does not pay any taxes. But everybody pays the sales tax. When you buy potato chips you are paying the sales tax.

Instead I think there is an urgent need to introduce a wealth equity tax. As soon as a company's valuation exceeds a billion, the American people end up owning 10% of it. That should be the arrangement. The US federal government would represent the American people. This would apply to all corporations whose market value might already exceed a billion.
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The Conversation Is The Revolution

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Tahrir Square In America
Occupy America

Democracy in America is ripe for a quantum jump. Total campaign finance reform has to be enacted in America. Because democracy is meant to be one person one vote.

Turning a dictatorship into a democracy is a quantum jump. There are parallels.

Both involve congregating. Large masses of people congregating.

When a country is already a democracy like America is, violence will not be seen. Most disruptions will also be avoided. The message takes some time to gel, and even then stays evolving.

So far the Occupy Wall Street movement has exhibited an amazing mastery of social media. Actions are piped out. Voices come streaming back in. There is conversation.

That conversation itself is the revolution. It has to last many months.

Until fundamental change is brought about to the very fabric of this democracy people have to stay put. Total campaign finance reform, universal health, universal, lifelong education.
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Tahrir Square In America

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Image via WikipediaNick Kristof: New York Times: The Bankers And The Revolutionaries: The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has taken over a park in Manhattan’s financial district and turned it into a revolutionary camp. Hundreds of young people chant slogans against “banksters” or corporate tycoons. ...... “Occupy Wall Street” was initially treated as a joke, but after a couple of weeks it’s gaining traction. The crowds are still tiny by protest standards — mostly in the hundreds, swelling during periodic marches — but similar occupations are bubbling up in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. David Paterson, the former New York governor, dropped by, and labor unions are lending increasing support. ....... I tweeted that the protest reminded me a bit of Tahrir Square in Cairo, and that raised eyebrows....... The protesters are dazzling in their Internet skills, and impressive in their organization. The square is divided into a reception area, a media zone, a medical clini…