occupyonline

Do you blog about the Occupy Movement and/or the politics and philosophies behind it?

If so, I would like to follow you. Respond below to bring my attention to your tumblr.

Please, don’t be offended if I do not follow you. In order to keep my dash updated with current Occupy news, moral/philosophical/political debates, and pertinent economic and social topics, I simply can’t follow blogs with a lot of fandom or unrelated photography posts. This is in no way a reflection on how I view you or your tumblr.

occupyonline asked: Really? You think Occupy and/or Anonymous (two very separate things btw) are the threat to democracy? You point people to that video, where peaceful protesters (who were assembling rightful under the Constitution) were brutalized by police as your evidence that WE are the threat?! Anonymous and Anti-Sec happen to support Occupy, not necessarily the other way around. There is nothing insidious about Occupy. The primary goal of Occupy is to end corruption - money in politics - to preserve democracy. Read more

gfbe:

You think I don’t recognize the Violet Carson in your logo? You are just a poser. You are not a threat, you are a privileged white kid, who knows nothing of the world around them. Occupy is nothing. Anonymous can wipe out all of the bank records, the stock market and the power grid clean in the click of a button. What has occupy done lately? Or ever for that matter… You are a loser. If you weren’t in college you wouldn’t have time to waste on these things, because the majority of us with jobs don’t have the time or the energy to waste on hippie parties at Z-park. Get a fucking life and realize what is at stake here.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE COME TO THIS COUNTRY ILLEGALLY EVERY DAY TO GET THEIR PIECE OF THE AMERICAN DREAM! THEY COME HERE TO TAKE THE JOBS YOU DON’T WANT, AND THEY DO IT WILLINGLY! 

IF YOU WANT THE AMERICAN DREAM HANDED TO YOU, I WILL TELL YOU TO JUMP OFF A FUCKING BRIDGE! AMERICA IS THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD BECAUSE IT WAS FOUNDED BY FREE MEN, AND WAS INTENDED TO BE A DEMOCRACY!

So that’s why Occupy is a fucking joke, you don’t even realize that you are aligning yourself with a terrorist organization. You want the pie, but you don’t want to help make it. Or you do want to help make it, but your recipe sucks, so we don’t want to let you near our pie. You have no plan, just a message (and not a very clear one at that). You are like a shitty girlfriend who never tells you what she wants but always what she doesn’t want. You are the douchy college know it all liberal in class who’s parents are paying tuition but decides to stage a walkout because of what they believe in while the kids paying for that same class themselves are busy taking notes. That’s all it is, just a massive walk out by hippies, losers, anarchists, sheep, and douchebags like yourself. Educate yourself. Realize we are not against what your so called movement stands for. Do we want positive change in this country is like asking if we want the sun to rise tomorrow. UUUUGH you make me so mad!

You regurgitate populist politics and play them off as some neo-egalitarian alternative to democracy that isn’t socialism (depending on the communist or anarchist you speak to at an occupy gathering). Ever hear of Huey Long?

Occupy had the audacity to call the protest the day of rage… Thousands of people have been killed in Syria, while no one has been killed in the USA. Your definition of police brutality is a little skewed. And your view of your struggle vs the struggle of those elsewhere in the world is a lot skewed. 

When this is over you will look at it like a big mistake or a dumb phase like wearing Jnco jeans, or supporting the Ku Klux Klan… oh yes I did go there. 

It wasn’t too long ago when the majority of Americans supported another organization because of what they stood for. You are a lemming. Now go to bed, and leave matters like this one for the big kids.

The primary goal of occupy may be to end corruption. But we all want the sun to rise tomorrow. Stop bitching, if you can’t tell us how to fix it, then shut the fuck up! When you have the idea put together on how to fix this shit email it here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT

While you’re at it, we are trying to figure out what to do with this whole Greece thing. Can the geniuses at Occupy help us with that one. The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and all you can tell us is how uncomfortable it is. Fuck off!!!

Love, 
Bear Claw

(Respectfully Anonymous) 

You honestly shouldn’t presume to know anything about me. I have a law degree and a full time job (being paid well below my ability). I’ve supported myself entirely since I was 16. I paid (and am still paying) for all of my education without any help. Who says I am white? I will agree that I am privileged, something I do not take for granted. This, however, does not make my points or positions invalid. 

Violet Carson? And that means? Forgive me if I am not as familiar as you appear to be on the nefarious conspiracies of the proletariat. I created that graphic for Occupy Portland…because I’m from Portland, the Rose City, and, in my mind, it represents peaceful resistance (i.e. flower rather than a weapon). Would you rather I promote change through violence?

If you actually paid attention, you’d see that Anonymous wants to shake things up, so THEY have aligned themselves with Occupy, as Occupy has the chance of bringing about real change in line with their platform. It really is as simple as that. Using your analogy, we both like pie but we have different recipes. If Occupy is nothing and not a threat, then why did you make that post linking Occupy to what you called the “greatest threat to American Democracy”?

Occupy is not seeking insidious change as you so fear, but a change to BRING BACK SOME SEMBLANCE DEMOCRACY. Do you actually believe you are currently living in a democracy? (Technically the U.S. is a representative republic…).

Many Occupiers are strong Constitutionalists. When the US was created, those free men you mention attempted to create a social contract that would create a government to serve the People (as it should). [For sake of time, I won’t go into my criticisms in always harkening back to a time that disregarded minority rights - we’ve progressed and should continue to do so]. In any case, it was designed with numerous checks and balances against concentrations of power to ensure the government would continue to represent the People. However, forefathers did not foresee the growth of an unregulated world power called corporatism. Corporations have no allegiance to the U.S., no morality, they only serve bottom line profit drive often at the expense of People, the environment, sustainability, and long-term logic.

Being unregulated, banks and large corporations have amassed incredible power. They have few checks and balances and monopolize what we see, what we eat, what we buy, where we work, when we work, how we work. They have unprecedented power to throw MILLIONS at political representatives to ensure legislation in their favor - this means allowing for predatory lending that has put millions of those hard working American citizens you champion out of their homes. Vote for whomever you want, but do you really believe congressmen will push to represent YOUR interests when there are lobbyists for corporations lining their pockets with gold so that they will pass legislation that is in opposition to the will of most Americans? Look up approval ratings of Congress and you will see that our “democracy” is not actually functioning as representative of the People. Occupy is protesting to create checks and balances against concentration of power in global corporatism that has lead to the very corruptions our forefathers so fears about our government. But corruptions finds a way, like water through cracks, doesn’t it? 

So let me ask you then, if we both can agree that things need to change and we need solutions and clearly the “experts” we’ve all put our faith in up on capitol hill have dropped the proverbial ball, then how else do you propose for us “regular people” (we’re not geniuses or saviors) to come up with practical solutions without first verbalizing the problem, educating ourselves, and getting more people to participate in the discussion? They have run us out of public spaces where we were meeting to discuss solutions, so now we do so through community GA’s and internet groups. We ARE trying to find solutions. What else would you have us do?

Do you think the forefathers didn’t have long periods of deliberation and long dissertations that, for that time, were probably perceived by many as “bitching” about the status quo? Why exactly do you think many people came to this country? To seek something new and better. They were the dreamers, the complainers, the progressives. 

So what has Occupy done? We’ve brought to the forefront of political discussion the current presence of pervasive corruption, the problems of corporate personhood, the problems of unregulated banking, predatory lending, foreclosures, so on and so forth. We’ve changed the political discussion towards solution-finding rather than problem-burying. Change will never happen if we never seek it. Maybe our recipe sucks, for you, because you hold different ideals. That’s fine, but become part of the discussion rather than a naysayer.

No one with any awareness thinks our current “police brutality against protesters” situation here is as dire as in Syria or Egypt. But to argue that a punch is not violent or brutal simply because a knife to the side is more brutal and more violent, is missing the point. Our fear is that it could become that dire if we continue to “OK” riot-prepared cops squashing peaceful protests. We protest precisely because we DO “realize what is at stake here.”

10 Ways the Occupy Movement Changes Everything

Many question whether this movement can really make a difference. The truth is that it is already changing everything.

1. It names the source of the crisis.
The problems of the 99% are caused by Wall Street greed, corrupt banks, and a corporate take-over of the political system.

2. It provides a clear vision of the world we want.
We can create a world that works for everyone
, not just the wealthiest 1%.

3. It sets a new standard for public debate.
Those advocating policies and proposals must now demonstrate that their ideas will benefit the 99%. Serving only the 1% is no longer sufficient.

4. It presents a new narrative.
The solution is no longer to starve government, but to free society and government from corporate dominance.

5. It creates a big tent.
We, the 99%, are made up of people of all ages, races, occupations, and political beliefs, and we are learning to work together with respect.

6. It offers everyone a chance to create change.
No one is in charge. Anyone can get involved and make things happen.

7. It is a movement, not a list of demands.
The call for transformative structural change, not temporary fixes and single-issue reforms, is the movement’s sustaining power.

8. It combines the local and the global.
People are setting their own local agendas, tactics, and aims. But we also share solidarity, communication, and vision at the global level.

9. It offers an ethic and practice of deep democracy and community.
Patient decision-making translates into wisdom and common com-mitment when every voice is heard. Occupy sites are communities where anyone can discuss grievances, hopes, and dreams in an atmosphere of mutual support.

10. We have reclaimed our power.
Instead of looking to politicians and leaders to bring about change, we can see now that the power rests with us. Instead of being victims of the forces upending our lives, we are claiming our sovereign right to remake the world.

Unpopular Opinion Time: Study Shows Differences in the Brains of “Liberals” and “Conservatives”


I was analyzing common patterns in years worth of debates between individuals who proclaimed to be liberals and those who proclaimed to be conservatives.  I noticed that many of the debates came down to a common difference in principles and motivations - primarily those who were self-preserving, self-orientated, self-serving (i.e., survival of self) and then those who were collectivist, community-orientated, species/planet-serving (i.e., survival of species, life, planet).  I have noticed, from personal experience, that many self-proclaimed conservatives did not seem to grasp or readily notice contradictions in their beliefs, and tended to be quite self-preserving and fear-conditioned. This is not a critique or hard-line generalization, just a personal observation.  I have simply found it very confusing (and frankly, frustrating) at times that, what to me seems to be an easy task of recognizing and properly analyzing/categorizing contradicting information, appeared to be quite difficult for some individuals.

Examples: Being gay is wrong. Why? This scripture in the Bible. But that same Book also says women suck, not to eat pork, not to shave your temples, not to get tattoos…need I go on? I fail to see the problem. Where is the contradiction?

We need to be good Christians and follow Christ’s teachings. November: I love charity. I volunteered with my church at the local soup kitchen for Thanksgiving! March: Ugh, get away you dirty, lazy hobo, get a job and stop asking for handouts.  Abortion is terrible and wrong! Ugh, I’m not paying more taxes to help support poor people who won’t stop having children! Etc. etc. After beating a dead horse enough on these topics, you start to realize…many people truly, and sincerely, fail to see the problem or the contradiction, even when presented with seemingly clear evidence of it. 

Likewise, there are many people who plainly see the frustrating contradictions laid out above. That doesn’t make you a better person, but perhaps simply better at sorting and making sense of contradictions.   So I looked to science to see if there were brain differences between “liberals” and “conservatives”.  At least one study tackles this question:

The differences between liberals and conservatives run wide and deep, and a new study suggests they may even be reflected in the very structure of their brains. 

In the study, led by Ryota Kanai of the University College London, people who identified themselves as liberals generally had a larger anterior cingulate cortex — a comma-shaped region near the front of the brain that is involved in decision-making. By contrast, those who identified as conservatives had larger amygdalas — almond-shaped structures that are linked with emotional learning and the processing of fear. (More on TIME.com: In Politics, It’s Survival of the Fittest, Literally)

Read More

Do you blog about the Occupy Movement and/or the politics and philosophies behind it?

If so, I would like to follow you. Respond below to bring my attention to your tumblr.

Please, don’t be offended if I do not follow you. In order to keep my dash updated with current Occupy news, moral/philosophical/political debates, and pertinent economic and social topics I simply can’t follow blogs with a lot of fandom or unrelated photography posts. This is in no way a reflection on how I view you or your tumblr. 

wtfsarruhh

wtfsarruhh:

It’s getting so old already. People are complaining that they got arrested. Um…really? Pretty sure when the police said you had five minutes to leave or they would ARREST you, you should have taken the hint.

And these irresponsible people going down there and getting robbed or getting into fights and then blaming it on everyone else. What did you think was going to happen?

And most of these kids have no idea why they are even out there. They’re just out there to “make a change”. Just because you can change it, doesn’t mean you need to.

I heard a story of a lady losing her baby because the police came into the camp to make everyone leave. While it’s very sad for anyone to lose a child, why were you there in the first place? She was like 8 months pregnant. When I read the story I was sad for her, but I mean come on. You put your baby and yourself in danger. You shouldn’t be mad at anyone but yourself sugar.

I’m sick of this generation thinking that the government needs to give us everything for no reason. How about you actually get up and do something with your life instead of choosing to be a bum and wait around for the government to give you a hand out? I realize our government is flawed and does things that are wrong, but since when does two wrongs make a right.

I’m so sick of seeing these idiots faces on my tv and having to hear about it everywhere I go. If someone dare comes up to my face and is a protester, you will be losing your teeth.

RANT OVER.

You say, “when do two wrongs make a right” followed immediately by an uncalled for threat of knocking protesters’ teeth out. WTF?  Do you finish one sentence and just lose the thought before moving on to the next??

Let me clear a few things up:

1. The woman was 3 months pregnant, at a peaceful protest, and likely did not expect police to treat them as rioters, pepper spray them with military grade chemicals and bash her in the stomach. Are you of the opinion that a woman loses all rights to leave the safety of her home the moment she conceives? Is she allowed to cook? I’ve heard knives are dangerous. Is she allowed to drive? I’ve heard that kills a lot of people every day. Are you saying that if a drunk driver smashes into her car, killing her unborn child, she has no one to blame but herself for putting herself in a dangerous car? Really?  Are you also saying that, if this country continues to devolve and Gestapo-like police march along the streets with dangerous weapons, no one should stand up or speak out, because if the cops retaliate and hurt you, you really only have yourself to blame?  When in your mind is the right or justifiable time to stand up against injustice? Do pregnant women lose that right? Do people with children lose that right, because they have a responsibility to their children not to endanger themselves?

2.  People are actually complaining that there was no legitimate basis for arrest. They did not recognize the authority of the police to demand them to leave or be arrested as they felt cops were acting under the color of the law. Cities and police departments are citing city ordinances, zoning laws, and health and safety codes to justify their heavy-handed responses to protesters. We can debate the legitimacy of those laws, but it is a moot issue, because they are trumped by federal/constitutional law. Constitutional law takes priority over state/local laws. Thus, in a conflict between two laws, the Constitution always wins.

First Amendment: “Congress shall make NO LAW abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  A few federal courts have already ruled in favor of protesters – ruling that people had the right to be protesting on public property to petition the Government.  That is the very spirit of the first amendment. So now that we’ve established that cops really don’t have a legal basis for enforcing city ordinances in the face of peaceful assemblies on public property, what exactly are protesters doing wrong? You admit the government has flaws. If you truly believe in upholding the constitutional foundations of this country, then protesters have every right to peacefully assemble and “petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

Not to mention, even if city ordinances trumped the Constitution (O_O), let me ask you this: say you are drunk and being a little loud and rowdy walking home with your friends one night. Some people call the cops because you are disturbing the peace. A cop in riot gear marches up to the group of you, sprays you with pepper spray, hits you with a baton, throws you on the ground with a knee to your back, and zip ties your arms before throwing you on a bus and driving you well across the city to another jail and has you sit in a cell for 72 hours before being charged. Does that sound like a justifiable response on the part of the cops? Or let’s say you jaywalked across a street? Or let’s say you littered. Or let’s say you are at a party and a few trouble makers decide to start trashing the place and suddenly the cops charge in and arrest everyone. Would you be happy about being treated that way by police? Might you complain a bit afterward?

And frankly, you are missing the point. The point is that police are responding so heavy handedly because they view people speaking the truth and actually gaining some political power and an audible voice as a threat to the status quo. I, like you, am just as much a citizen of this country. You’re annoyed by the sentiments of Occupy? I’m annoyed by the status quo. I pay a lot of taxes. I work hard. I’ve always followed the rules and kept my nose clean. I have every right to protest against corruption. I have every right to stand up and demand something better than status quo. And I intend to do so without knocking anyone’s teeth out. :\

3. “Give us everything for no reason?” Let me be very clear - the government ONLY exists because millions of autonomous people give it power. The sole purpose of a government is to provide support, protection, and representation to the People. Many people, justifiably, do not feel the government has held up its end of the social contract.

Do you actually think a bunch of lazy people just got together one day and thought, gee, maybe we should just complain a lot until rich people show us some pity and throw some money at us? Have you actually taken the time to understand why people are out there and what they are protesting (outside of what mass media and Fox News tells people) before publically slamming and damning the entire movement with such ignorant generalizations?  Well here, let me sum it up for you. The “handouts” we are seeking include: an end to the Federal Reserve, an end to outrageous financial schemes that bet against the people of this country (watch Inside Job narrated by Matt Damon), an end to Wall Street financial influence in politics (i.e. buying politicians through campaign endorsements and lobbying power, something ordinary citizens cannot dream to compete against), financial transparency, corporations to pay living wages, and lastly, for citizens to actually have a meaningful voice in the governing process (i.e. a chance for people to seek redress for the various social, health, education, employment grievances we have). All of the above are contributing to an imbalance of power that is shutting out the voice of the People in favor of Corporatism.

These are “complaints” being made by MANY informed people, including judges, our President, economists, scientists, lawyers, philosophers, innovators. These are people who have looked at the facts and can see that mass fraud, in which the government is complicit, is taking place against the people.  The government isn’t just flawed, it is failing its primary objectives.

So I am sorry if you are “tired” of hearing about it. But we aren’t going anywhere, because we don’t want this country to turn into a Gestapo patrolled third world chattel farm.

4.  Have you ever spoken to a “bum”? Have you ever been living paycheck to paycheck and suddenly needed heart surgery? Have you ever dealt with debilitating mental illness or physical disability?  Have you ever lost all family support and felt isolated and unable to find work? Have you ever made the mistake of trusting a polished banker who promised you subprime mortgage rates that involved math that went way over your head and then ended up finding yourself out of a home or out of your pension? Try to think outside of yourself for even a moment and consider that the majority of “bums” did not “choose” to just be lazy and live in deplorable conditions because they thought it would be easier to ask for handouts than to work an office job.

I urge you to try to understand rather than judge. You can do this by starting to ask why. You see something you disprove of. Ask why. Then ask why again. Then ponder how. How might they have reached that point? How would you be if you were in their shoes? How might you have landed in a similar situation?  If you don’t think you ever would, then ask why again. Then finish it all off with…does that make them deserving of suffering or getting their teeth kicked in? Empathy is enlightenment of the heart and mind. I strongly recommend it. 

Another response: http://macfoto.tumblr.com/post/13890253733/black-sheep-im-really-starting-to-get-annoyed-with

Would anyone like to share their story or their thoughts on Occupy?

I would love to hear anyone’s story or philosophies.  Anything you feel compelled to share. Through short response below, asks, or submissions - have at it. 

I would also love to hear what you are thinking, how you are feeling, what are your fears, what are your hopes, why are YOU protesting, why aren’t you protesting, what do you want to see change, what are you afraid will change?

As this movement is about creating a conversation, not just information sharing, I was hoping to encourage a bit of thought sharing. I’ve offered a lot of my own thoughts and editorials, now I would love to hear yours. I would also be happy to engage in a debate or conversation or answer any questions privately through asks. 

reagan-was-a-horrible-president

It actually hadn’t become clear to me how much the discourse had shifted until I taught urban poverty and inequality this past week to my Anthropology 101 students at Baruch College. I have taught urban poverty and inequality every year for the past 3 years and every year have similar debates in my class: when I start the section off by asking them why people are poor the first response I usually get from students is that, simply put, people are lazy and they don’t want to work. I see my job then to be to explain the structural causes of poverty and that simply saying, “People are lazy and don’t want to work” is actually a really problematic way of thinking. Explaining all of this has been so much work in my classes that usually I dread the week on poverty and inequality because it is a week where I am tired.


But last week when I asked my students this question the first response I got in my classes was that “People can’t find jobs” and the next one was, “There is a huge wealth gap” and the the third was that, “We have an economic system that needs poor people”. I was shocked. I have never gotten responses like this before. And then I found myself explaining to my students that it was because of all these reasons that I am anti-capitalist. I felt like I was coming out to them, exposing myself in a way that I haven’t before. And they listened, they were interested, they thought I was being crazy and idealistic but they cared and it felt really good to have these debates with them. I left teaching that evening feeling energized by our discussions.