Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 9:44 pm
Unless you have the right friends in government (photo by Adam Lempel):
It’s fitting that former mayor Giuliani, himself one of the elites responsible for America’s decline and the explosion of crony capitalism, would denounce Occupy Wall Street as consisting of lazy hippies. His accusations are false, exposing his embarrassing ignorance about the plight of ordinary Americans today, and he conveniently omits any talk of his own criminal efforts to enrich himself and his friends through government.
The first thing to be said is that nearly everyone I’ve met at Occupy Wall Street has a job, albeit one that is very much beneath their qualifications, leaving them grossly underpaid and lacking benefits. And those who are unemployed are not so by choice. One friend I’ve made, Max, is a carpenter. He’s extremely smart, educated and articulate. But he doesn’t make much money and has a liver condition which will kill him within the next decade or so if he fails to get surgery. Of course he can’t get that surgery in America, thanks to our corporate health care system. He will have to eventually move to Costa Rica, which has superior health care even though it’s a poor country, or die. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 7:10 pm
The People v. Goldman Sachs, a personal account (photo by Adam Lempel):
What a day. It started with a hearing at Liberty Square—the people vs. Goldman Sachs. Victims came to tell of the suffering they have endured at the hands of this criminal firm. And after the verdict was reached, the victims were arrested while the guilty were protected by the police. Hours later, I found that the New York Post is calling for further arrests and an end to free speech, part of a broader misinformation blitz launched by the mass media intended to set the stage for the state to break up Occupy Wall Street.
One woman came to the mock trial at Liberty Square to express her grievances over how Goldman Sachs has ruined her life. The organization she works for had invested money in Goldman, and most of it got wiped out by the sub-prime mortgage bubble. She has seen her paycheck, which had already been paltry, cut in half, and it will likely evaporate entirely in a few months because of Goldman’s fraud—the firm played both sides of the game by packaging worthless mortgages as collateralized debt obligations (CDO) and selling them to pension funds, banks and other institutions under the guise that they were secure all the while betting against these very securities through credit default swaps (CDS). As Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibi reports, they knew they were selling shit, and “Goldman’s mortgage department accounted for 54 percent of the bank’s risk.” The object was to maximize profits at everyone else’s expense. And they wiped out millions of people, from small investors to pensioners to ordinary workers. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, October 31st, 2011 at 9:26 pm
Feel the moment, forget about where this is heading (photo by Adam Lempel):
It doesn’t matter if Occupy Wall Street brings no practical changes to the world. It doesn’t matter if it fails to halt the onslaught of global corporate capitalism. If humanity does indeed annihilate itself through nuclear holocaust or climate collapse or the next boom-bust cycle—which will likely be even bigger and worse than the sub-prime mortgage crisis, as power is now more concentrated than before— we’ll at least know that we spoke the truth when it mattered. That we took a stand for what was right. Even against all odds. Even in the face of ridicule and state sanctioned brutality.
We live in a world ruled not by Orwell’s Big Brother, but by the forces of “free markets,” a euphemism right out of 1984’s Ministry of Truth, a misnomer in a sea of big lies pushed by the corporate state. For it is not a world of genuinely free markets described by Adam Smith that today’s corporate capitalists have imposed on the world. It is the antithesis. It is a system of concentrated power, carefully crafted to enrich the privileged few beyond comprehension, at everyone else’s expense. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 at 6:28 pm
(Photo by Adam Lempel)
Humanity faces a daunting battle against corporate forces that have historically proved willing to employ any means necessary to preserve an evil system. The police brutality and corporate funding aimed at crushing Occupy Wall Street hint of the savagery unleashed by corporations in countries around the world over the past 150 years. Yet the recent crackdown has provided our rebellion with an extraordinary public relations weapon by demonstrating the veracity of our charges against a ruthless system that despises democracy and justice.
The movement sweeping America is our link to a world-wide chain of rebellion. The majority of the world’s population, which for half a century has borne the brunt of neoliberal policies, is finally determined to stop the onslaught of global capitalism, which is the force sustaining most brutal systems on the planet, from the military dictatorships in the Middle East to the neo-feudalist societies now permeating industrial nations.
Since World War II the United States has expanded its ever-present imperial quest to entail global domination. Our government has used nearly every method imaginable to ensure a world order that benefits big multi-national corporations. It dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though officials such as General Eisenhower knew Japan was about to surrender, to send a message. That message was the same as the one sent in Vietnam—do as we say or suffer a holocaust. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, August 19th, 2011 at 8:26 am
A new shocking HBO documentary, Mann v. Ford, offers a gut-wrenching account of the horrible consequences of corporate greed and government corruption. It is the story of the Ramapough Mountain Indians’ struggle to attain justice and secure safety for their community, which has been ravaged by Ford.
The Ramapough live just 40 miles out of Manhattan, in the hills and forests of northern New Jersey. They have lived there for hundreds of years and maintain a close-knit community from which few willingly leave. During the 60’s and 70’s, Ford opened plants nearby and began dumping waste on the Ramapough’s land, which was technically owned by Ford. They polluted the area with a whole host of ultra-toxic chemicals, such as arsenic and lead. One of the prime sources of pollution was paint. When Ford workers showered their vehicles with paint the chemicals filtered into containers which were carted off and dumped in the Ramapough forest. Read the rest of this entry