Sunday, October 30, 2011

OWS leaderless? Let a hundred Chomskys bloom!

“Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.” 

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
Rahm Emanuel

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How can any movement function without leaders? Dumb question, a much better question would be: how can any movement function with leaders, when all leaders will immediately get purchased with corporate money?
The danger of having a "leader" is staring at us from our TV screens every night: Barack Obama, the enthusiasm he aroused and the paucity of his achievements.
Watching president Obama floundering around in the middle of the biggest financial meltdown since the 1930s after all the expectations he raised, has turned out to be the final proof that the political system is no longer connected in any significant way to the needs of the people... And that is a frightening thought if ever there was one.
In many ways, the United States, which is not a defined ethnic or religious group with centuries of common history, only exists as a political system. Some countries have had several different regimes in the space of a hundred years, each with a different constitution,  and still have remained perfectly recognizable. What would glue together the people who populate today's United States  if something similar happened in America?
The challenge then is to take or retake the system from outside the system, without destroying the system.
Lets take a stroll down memory lane and see how America's clearest thinking political mind sized things up just after Obama got elected:
Obama's organizers regard the network they constructed "as a mass movement with unprecedented potential to influence voters," the Los Angeles Times reported. The movement, organized around the "Obama brand" can pressure Congress to "hew to the Obama agenda." But they are not to develop ideas and programs and call on their representatives to implement them. These would be among the "old ways of doing politics" from which the new "idealists" are "breaking free." (...) In earlier periods of American history, the public refused to keep to its assigned "function." Popular activism has repeatedly been the force that led to substantial gains for freedom and justice. The authentic hope of the Obama campaign is that the "grass roots army" organized to take instructions from the leader might "break free" and return to "old ways of doing politics," by direct participation in action. Noam Chomsky - November 25th, 2008
Regular readers of my blog may remember that back in 2008 I predicted that Barack Obama would bitterly disappoint the young people who worked, and hoped, so hard to get him elected and that I also feared that this would tragically turn off an entire, heretofore supposedly apathetic, generation of American young people from politics forever. I got the first part right, but fortunately not the second part, but of course, Noam Chomsky - may he live a hundred years - got both parts right.
We are looking at a sea change brewing here. For the first time we have the educated middle class being proletarized… The business of “99% vs. 1%” is baby talk for “class struggle”. This is a radically new feature, not seen in America for generations.
Americans normally have tolerated more inequality than the people of other similarly developed countries because they thought that anybody who worked hard could better their situation and that their kids would live better than they did. That was the deal and the deal has been cancelled. The American dream has been called off because of rain.
I think that we are looking at the very timid beginnings of a real critique of the whole system by those, who up till now, have been the very pillars of the system. It is very exciting to think about and it could change the whole world if it continues to develop. The Democrats and the Republicans could end up in the attic gathering dust with the Whigs.
Chomsky speaks of "direct participation in action". What sort of action?  What should be the immediate objective of that action?
In my opinion the retaking of the system from outside the system, without destroying the system can only be effected by changing the consciousness of the American people in large numbers. That is what OWS is on the threshold of doing right now: changing the way the American people see themselves, individually and as members of a collective.
What would the changed consciousness finally look like if it happened, and how would it change the system without destroying the system?
Here is a brutally simple example of what I mean. Imagine if a majority of American came to view certain types of financial transactions with the same visceral disgust that they now view the sexual abuse of small children. No amount of corporate money could change that opinion, just as no amount of corporate money and lobbying could justify child pornography or create laws to protect it, because the culture of the people would simply not tolerate it.
How can that change of consciousness take place?
The answer is to continue what is going on now: occupations and assemblies, the creation of a vast national conversation, symbolized by the occupations, a conversation carried on over the Internet and around kitchen tables, where all the participants compare their experiences and research together and consensus grows organically in contact with their objective realities, so that individual experience becomes a collective experience. This has happened before, witness the civil rights struggle.
Other types of direct action such as foreclosure defense and student debt strikes serve to attract public attention to the "conversation", which is symbolized by the occupations. The important thing is the un-intermediated conversation. The fundamental thing is not to "waste the crisis" and to use it to change the consciousness of the American people.
What America needs now and this crisis may provide,  is hundreds, thousands, of citizens who can analyze the reality of the nation with the acute vision of Noam Chomsky, like him, peeling back the layers of media induced mental fog and hypocrisy and communicating what they find as clearly as he does. That is why I entitled this post "let a hundred Chomskys bloom". Today with tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, a spontaneous and viral creation of countless teaching "cells" can channel the energy  the American people showed in the Obama presidential campaign toward real "change they can believe in".
As Gordon Lafer writes in The Nation, this is a very special moment, one where a critical mass of the people realize that there has been some sort of corporate coup d'etát that impedes any meaningful change:
This is not because the agenda is unpopular—54 percent of Americans support OWS, with only 23 percent opposed—but because the system is corrupted beyond repair. This slowly dawning realization is both invigorating—an invitation to engage in the kind of bold, blue-sky strategic thinking that leftists have not entertained for decades—and disturbing, a harbinger of just how nasty the future may get.
Make no mistake, as this change of consciousness gathers momentum, this is bound to turn ugly. The defenders of privilege's traditional answer to the natives getting restless, is to start wars and foster fear and paranoia. The Tea Party is only a tame lapdog compared to the wolves they might be prepared to turn loose. For some reason this behavior is called "conservative".
For what is being mislabeled "conservative" in the USA is no longer any rational political option.  Its basic goal is, in fact, to make rational thought as difficult as possible, because those who sponsor it rightly fear that if people could think straight for even a moment... they might come to the same conclusions as the OWS. You can easily understand why people like the Koch brothers would happily spend millions and stop at nothing, however vile, to keep that from happening.
But this is a struggle that can be won. Americans are first and foremost children of revolution.
I opened this post with Archimedes boast, that given a fulcrum and a lever he could move the whole world.
Because of America's unique position in world affairs, the Occupy Wall Street movement is a chance that the American people have found for themselves to change their own lives, and while they do, change, move,  the whole world with them. For nothing will ever really change until America does. DS

Monday, October 24, 2011

Qaddafi dead... Where are your friends when you need them?

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King:  Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
           To shepherds looking on their silly sheep,
           Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
           To kings that fear their subjects' treachery?
             King Henry VI Part III - William Shakespeare
Hundreds of ordinary Libyans queued up outside a refrigerated meat store in Misrata, where the dead dictator was being stored as a trophy. A guard allowed small groups into the room to celebrate next to Gaddafi's body. They posed for photos, flashing victory signs, and burst into jubilant cries of "God is great." - Guardian

No comment. DS

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Raising Cain (Herman)

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Herman Cain
"Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself. It is not someone's fault if they succeeded, it is someone's fault if they failed," the ex-Godfather's Pizza CEO declared. New York Daily News
One day before a CNN Western Republican presidential debate, a new national survey indicates that Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are essentially tied for the lead in the race for the GOP nomination, with Rick Perry dropping to a distant third. CNN

Here is an easy prediction: at the very least, Herman Cain is going to be the coming Republican vice-presidential candidate... at the very least. That is what the polls show and barring any terrible gaff on his part from here to the convention, Herman Cain is bound to be on the ticket... He is as radically conservative as the flakiest Tea Party whacko and at the same time formidably focused, with proven administrative competence... This is not Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman we are talking about; he is as different from them as Godzilla is from your girlfriend's pet iguana.

Herman Cain obviously presents a formidable problem for the Democrats and for progressives in general. The quote from the New York Daily News, will give you a clear idea of what we are up against. 

Only a very mean s.o.b. could tell  Wall Street's victims, "If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself". 

He is suggesting that the millions of people who have lost their jobs and their homes through the shenanigans of people who Michael Moore aptly describes as, "sociopathic kleptomaniacs", should take on all the pain of their loss as a personal failure. This is like saying to a rape victim that she is responsible for being raped. This is callous, cruel, profoundly un-Christian (Cain is also a Baptist preacher) and the sort of traditional, tight-lipped, no-nothing, Babbittry  that arouses disgust and even livid hatred in most progressive Americans. 

On reading the phrase the first reaction is, "Herman Cain is a swine!"... But you better be careful, let's see what happened to John Stewart when he attacked Herman Cain.

You can imagine how much fun this could be for white conservatives. Here they have a rich African-American, who is telling poor African-Americans what white conservatives would love to tell them, basically, "fuck off and die".... and their African-American is not the exotic offspring of an absentee, Kenyan exchange student and a well off, white bread Kansan, raised in Hawaii, but a genuine descendent of slaves, from the red earth and piney woods of Georgia, son of a chauffeur who drove for the man not from Harvard, a "Morehouse Man". They are going to be able to taunt Democrats with "yah, yah, our enword is more enward than your enword".

As I say, in my opinion, barring some terrible scandal (sexual or financial, not saying nasty things about Mexicans) Herman Cain is either going to be the presidential or vice-presidential candidate of the Republican Party and he will be free to say all the nasty things that white conservatives think and wouldn't dare say in public and all the rednecks will be able to applaud and cheer without admitting to being racists.

If all this wasn't tragic, it would be hilarious.

What can the Democrats do to break the spell of Howard Cain.

Think outside the box! Just remember that "999" upside down is "666"... The Democrats could accuse Cain of being the Antichrist... it might work on some Republicans. (insert smiley face).  DS

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Iranian assasination affair

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My name is bum, James bum

I just want to add my small voice to the chorus of commentators who find the idea of Iran running the risk of a full scale war with the US in order to kill a Saudi ambassador in Washington absurd... it just doesn't make any sense. And even if the Iranians were going to do something that crazy, I don't think they would ever entrust the mission to a hamburger like Mansour Arbabsiar.
I can think of several parties that might want to use a "false flag" to start a war between the USA and Iran:
  • Elements within the US establishment itself (hopefully rogue).
  • The Israeli right wing and their mariachis. (to take the world's attention off the Palestinian problem).
  • The Saudis themselves, who are directly threatened by Iran both in Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia's  Shiite-packed, oil-rich eastern province.
  • (Total dark horse) China, who have been eating America's lunch while the has USA chased all over the Islamic world with a butterfly net. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the USA, who must have an enemy to justify its swollen military-industrial complex, might turn its military attention to China, where it was before 9-11. Let the good times roll.
Whoever it might be... It can't be Iran. DS

Sunday, October 16, 2011

American rebellion: Hey you get offah mah cloud...

I first posted this way back in February of 2010, it still works for me, so I'll run it past you again. DS

Not the American way

Alas and alack, the peasants will never really revolt in this country. We shall have our terrorists in Texas and Utah and such; armed groups who go nuts once in awhile. But the strikes are gone, the unions are dead, and people are drugged by their tvs, pcs, and other toys. (reader comment to my previous post).
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The opinion above is one that I am tempted to agree with: that the American way of life with its peculiar mixture of anxiety and banality, has the US population politically gelded. However any temptation to agree dissolves when confronted with the Supreme Court decision to remove all restrictions to corporate "investment" in political campaigns. Obviously our good and the great are sufficiently worried about the temper of the population to take such a drastic step.

Why the fuss?

As I said before "the natives are restless".

When I was a kid I worked for some time as a gofer in the movie business and one of my jobs was to handle crowds of extras. I remember one cool trick that I think was invented in the Cinecittá in Rome. It goes like this:  If you have a bunch of extras suited up to play a disgruntled crowd of peasants, you have them all mutter simultaneously the words, "gravel, gravel". It sounds like this:
gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel, gravel 
And since it's impossible for them to synchronize their gravels, they finally  all sound  mad as hell. Neat huh? I think that is the sound the leadership cadres of our regime are hearing and they want to drown this disturbing noise in corporate money. I can't overemphasize how valuable it is to watch the film of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu's last speech what you'll see there is every leader's worst nightmare... in fact, I'm sure that many very highly respected world leaders have broken into a cold sweat when they watched it.

Losing the crowd and having it turn on him is a leader's greatest fear. Leaders are like lion tamers and in democracy the media are their chair and whip.

However, the USA is a very original country and does everything "the American way". The SCOTUS decision, for example, is in reality a coup d'etat, but the US is not Honduras or even Argentina, so it was done without the circus atmosphere of military intervention, without disappearing anyone.

The "rebellion" of the American people is also sui generis, its "streets" are electronic, (blogspot is one of them). In these streets opinion is being formed without much official "guidance". We could call this "cloud rebellion" and the consensus, both on the left and on the right, is that the people that are running the show, the economy, the wars... (fill in the blanks you want) are a bunch of incompetent thieves. The country is headed in "the wrong direction" and is in "decline". I think that what has the wind up the powers that be is that public opinion is creating itself by itself, with less and less help from them.

The fundamental change has been the sudden loss of the "gatekeeper" function that the great corporate media has had for generations.

There used to be three major networks and everybody watched them, now there are hundreds of channels. These days with TV a la carte, a Walter Cronkite father-figure to guide the masses would be impossible.

With the TV and radio networks, the great metropolitan newspapers supplied the rest of opinion and they published, as the New York Times puts it on their masthead, only "the news that is fit to print": what is fit or not to print being their decision. The symbol of that falling apart was when Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal in his funky little blog, a story which the Washington Post was sitting on because they thought it wasn't "fit to print".

Between the blogs, Google and Craig's List the newspapers are dying and probably even Steve Job's pocket Segway wont be able to save them.  They have lost the people's trust. Today, opinion, barring terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11, is practically uncontrollable: gravel, gravel, gravel.

Where this will lead nobody can tell and as good business is based on predictable outcomes (ask Dick Fuld), America's good and the great would like to reduce the variables and plan to do so by investing billions of dollars in AstroTurfing this discontent so that it does them the least damage possible. The SCOTUS decision paves the way for that.

You may think this is a bit exaggerated on my part, that the establishment doesn't have that much to worry about, but at the heart of the discontent and the power structure's reaction to it, as expressed by SCOTUS's ruling, is a much more fundamental problem, one that might even justify what I perceive as their panic.

The problem is this: genuine liberal democracy is simply incompatible with certain levels of inequality and America is getting more unequal by the day. If the inequality reaches a certain level the democracy has to be decontented or Doctor Frankenstein's castle gets stormed with torches and pitchforks and that  sort of thing usually leads to an old fashioned coup d' etat... and those carry the risk of even more unpredictable outcomes.

I repeat: genuine liberal democracy is simply incompatible with certain levels of inequality.

When Thomas Jefferson said that "all men are created equal", he didn't mean women and he didn't mean blacks (his only direct descendants) and he certainly didn't mean the Indians. He meant white men of property. In colonial America if you ignored the suffering of human beings of African heritage and the Native-Americans -- at that time not considered  fully adult human beings -- then America was a place where white men were reasonably equal.

Recently stolen from the Indians, land was cheap and opportunities to prosper were many and any local inequality was not much of a problem: if you didn't like the deal where you lived, you pulled up stakes and moved west.

America's institutions date from that period.

These days the frontier is somewhere in China and the US economy has become a game of musical chairs, where every time the music stops they take away more chairs.

The tinder is dry and sparks come when you least expect them. Just like Smokey the Bear preventing forest fires, the trick in governance is to clear the underbrush and keep things from getting too dry.

This is getting extremely difficult in the new environment.  This from the New York Times:
Lots of the bloodletting we’ve seen in the labor market has probably been permanent, not just cyclical. Many employers have taken Rahm Emanuel’s famed advice — never waste a crisis — to heart, and have used this recession as an excuse to make layoffs that they would have eventually done anyway.(...) There are multiple ways to explain why permanent job-losers represent a higher share of the unemployed this time around. Maybe, as others have suggested, many of the jobs gained in the boom years were built on phantom wealth.(...) in addition to obtaining new degrees or training, some workers may need to move to new places in order to start a different career. But sharp declines in housing prices, plus high loan-to-value ratios on many mortgages before the downturn, will make that transition harder. Homeowners who are “underwater” — that is, who owe more in mortgage payments than their house is actually worth — may not be able to sell their house for enough money to enable them to buy a home in a new area. All of which is to say that many of the Americans who are already out of work are likely to stay in that miserable state for a long, long time. And the longer they stay unemployed, the harder it will be for them to transition back into the work force, further adding to America’s growing underclass.
Try to visualize the anger, frustration, the disappointment of the people described in the snippet above and you'll see that my Ceaușescu metaphor has its merits. Gravel, gravel, gravel.

The major difference is that the wealth and the sophistication of America's power elite is infinitely, incomparably, more complex, layered and suffocatingly powerful than the worn out, broken down Communist Party and security services of Ceaușescu's Romania.

However, with the SCOTUS decision America's power structure is beginning to eat its own seed corn, it is beginning to cannibalize it's principal asset, the innermost secret of its power: the prestige of America's fundamental institutions. This is a very, very slippery slope that they have chosen to walk upon. DS

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The meaning of Liberty Plaza

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Ten years ago we had:
Steve Jobs
Bob Hope
Johnny Cash
Now we've got:
No jobs
No hope
No cash

Many "mainstream media" commentators try to minimize the importance of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement because it has no "leaders" and no list of "concrete proposals". These comments show that those who make them do not understand what is going on in Liberty Plaza and the echoing "Occupy" movements around the country. 
They should read the joke that tops this page... it is all there. This joke could be the cry of a generation of young, educated, middle class Americans, just like "Hell no, we won't go!" was the cry of young, educated, middle class Americans during the war of Vietnam. It has as much pithy truth in it as Muhammad Ali's, "I ain't got no quarrel with no Vietcong". Young, middle class America feels itself under attack from the system and the system should fear for its safety.
Because nothing is more potentially "revolutionary" than a newly pauperized middle class. It can go to the left or it can go to the right, but history shows that it won't act like the proverbial mule in a hailstorm and "just stand there and take it".
This Wall Street movement is only an awakening. The practical result of it will come later... as it changes the way young people see themselves as a generation. How they coalesce around certain signs of identity. The way the react as they receive negative feedback from people who "don't get it"...

Just like the beginning of the student protests against the Vietnam war. Like during that war, the young, educated middle class is becoming disaffected with the system. The system is attacking their future as the Vietnam war once attacked their very lives.
This long "Great Recession" and growing inequality will logically deepen that disaffection and define a generation, as Vietnam did and change politics like Nam did... But it takes time. This is just the beginning, if the economy doesn't roar back, and it won't, than it will a gather energy and perhaps, like the days of Seattle before 9-11, or like Athens today, turn violent at its extremes.
This is a movement, in short, which symbolizes a political generation becoming conscious of itself as a generation: becoming conscious of the problems facing them. That is the important thing. 
At the moment it is all very general... as it should be... this is not the time for wonky discussions about "process". Becoming fully conscious of the implications of how American democracy has been corrupted... emptied out, by corporate power takes quite some time, as does communicating the full significance of these conclusion to others.... 
Because when enough people become truly conscious of this problem, the solutions to it will be quite simple and surprisingly easy to implement. In short this moment is all about building consciousness... not about "inside baseball" or "change we can believe in". DS

Friday, October 07, 2011

Freedom of Speech

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The United States of America has a radical definition of freedom of speech. Oliver Wendell Holmes (seen at the right) defined its limits as "shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater".
Today's Supreme Court even gives corporations the right to corrupt the American political system, under the protection of the First Amendment.
Now that we have defined "freedom", let us define "polite discourse".
Let us use the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans as an example:
If someone were to affirm that the Dalai Lama and the entire Tibetan exile movement were abject tools of the CIA, whose purpose was merely to destabilize the People's Republic of China, this would simply be a political opinion, one whose merits could be discussed, even heatedly, without crossing any special frontier of "polite discourse".
If someone were to affirm that they thought the Tibetan custom of drinking tea mixed with Yak butter was disgusting, this would simply be a statement of personal taste and à chacun son goût.
However, if someone were to state (I don't) that Tibetans were a benighted, superstitious pack of idolaters, whose religious services resembled nothing so much as one long belch and whose women never bathed in their whole lives, they would be crossing into the terrain of gross racial stereotyping, and way outside polite discourse.
What then could be considered hate speech?
I would say that advocating that Tibetans should be lined up and shot, Norwegian fashion, would  fit "hate speech" and be over the line of Justice Holmes' limits of "free speech".
As far as I am concerned those are the limits.
I am open to suggestions, but for B*ddha's sake, please limit your comments to Tibetans. DS

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Worm in The Big Apple Turns

 David Seaton's News Links
To avoid what we are seeing in New York city... - middle class, university educated demonstrators camped out in the very middle of the world's financial district, questioning the system itself - could be one of the reasons why Wall Streeters, of all people, were such enthusiastic contributors to Barack Obama's campaign for president. Their idea, I imagine, being to harmlessly siphon off  all the progressive energy that the Bush administration had generated into, well... "change we can believe in"... a wise investment that has been paying off for them... up till now.
Two weeks after hundreds of demonstrators rallied one block from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to “occupy Wall Street”, Sarah Kunstler brought her two-year-old son to the park housing the ragtag protesters(...)  "I’ve been waiting for people in this country to get angry enough to come together,” Ms Kunstler said. Calling attention now to “staggering wealth disparity” between rich and poor and “corporate greed” will hopefully produce the kind of movement that will change Washington’s policies, she said. “I don’t want Will to grow up in a world where he measures himself and others by what they have,” she said. “I want a better future for my son.” Financial Times
So, now we have two "fringe", movements, the AstroTurf rebellion, Tea Party... heavily financed by people like the Koch brothers, promoted by Murdoch, reactionary, know-nothing that flowers in an America which murders its citizens without trial by remote control...
And this other thing, this "Occupy Wall Street" thing could be/might be the germ-seed of some sort of spontaneous twitching of what might be a future, human values based incarnation of a re-born American left.
What is at the center of this? Here it is in a nutshell.
Anthony Atkinson, an economist at Oxford University, has studied how several recent financial crises affected income distribution—and found that in their wake, the rich have usually strengthened their economic position. Atkinson examined the financial crises that swept Asia in the 1990s as well as those that afflicted several Nordic countries in the same decade. In most cases, he says, the middle class suffered depressed income for a long time after the crisis, while the top 1 percent were able to protect themselves—using their cash reserves to buy up assets very cheaply once the market crashed, and emerging from crisis with a significantly higher share of assets and income than they’d had before. “I think we’ve seen the same thing, to some extent, in the United States” since the 2008 crash, he told me. “Mr. Buffett has been investing.” - The Atlantic
The Tea Party is a populist, proto-fascist, political goon squad whose mission is protect the back of the "one-percent" and the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is... well... for the moment just is. Standing there waiting for the weather to turn cold and hoping we all of us, everywhere, breathe some life into it.
This thing just might work... Unlike most of the "when you get there, there is no there, there" USA, New York, like Cairo and Madrid has significant, symbolic, public spaces. Wall Street and Brooklyn Bridge are world famous symbols (as were the Twin Towers). Anything that happens there is world news. Those groups that are formed in other American cities should send delegations to New York, because there, to quote Willy Sutton, is "where the money is", that is where the world's attention will be fixed.
For the moment it is a very timid beginning, nothing like the 30,000 + people of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid (you can't really compare it to Cairo's "regime change" square,can you?). Still, it is significant, because it is happening  in The Big Apple. Wall Street is the universal "symbol" of nearly everything that ails the world today.
I repeat, what the demonstrators need is three things:
  1. Company
  2. Company
  3. Company
It would help if Sean Penn and Brangelina showed up, anything to keep America's media-star-crazed attention through just one more news cycle, because this is not, repeat, not, a click your mouse on PayPal moment. This is about going there, if only to hang out for an hour or so, before or after work, like extras in a movie... before digital special effects existed.

Humility, solidarity, those are the key words.

If you are anywhere in the area, try to make to the park where they are staying and help in any way you can. Just being there, only helping it to "look" like a mass movement is useful.

And it is good to remember that the world wont change until the USA does. So it is a privilege for New Yorkers to lead this movement and a privilege for anyone who can afford a plane, train or bus ticket and the time to join them. Go on and make a little history... it's your future. DS