Only 16 views as we put it up. YouTube is the new IndyMedia. Riots set to music are becoming commonplace.
It was reported on NPR that demonstrators clashed with riot police in Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum is meeting, after they were not allowed to protest in the town square. One contention is that many of the very people (and groups they represent) who are meeting are responsible for much of the economic crisis the world is facing. Geneva is considered the de facto symbolic center of monopoly capitalism.
It is hard to know what to do under the nasty circumstances we find
ourselves in. On the one hand, the argument that we should just stand aside
and let the economy crater is a brutal argument. Millions of people are
already losing their homes, jobs, and health insurance, and things may get
worse. But that's the hard-core "let the market decide" approach that the
House Republicans adopted the other day.
I'm convinced that it is possible, given the right circumstances, to use
govt spending to stimulate a sour economy. But it's not at all clear to me
whether Obama's stimulus is big enough, or whether any stimulus could be
big enough, given each day's new revelations of the fiscal madness which
our country's leaders have allowed to happen.
I'd like to see the whole kit and kaboddle kicked out of their offices and
high paying jobs, stripped of all of their wealth and worldy goods. The
fact that the Wall Street crowd went ahead and awarded themselves billions
of dollars in bonuses after last year boggers the imagination. These people
are incapable of learning even under the most extreme conditions.
The problem here is that almost the entire decision-making structure of our
society, indeed of the entire world decision-making apparatus, is complicit
in the economic disaster we now face. The bankers, the insurance companies,
the financial advisors, the economic professors and the universities who
employ them, the accountants, every federal and
state legislator, all of the elected executives at the federal and state
level, the relevant cabinet officers....
There are hundreds of thousands of
people who have demonstrated that they are completely unfit for public
service, or for any kind of work at all, who ought to all be fired and
sentenced to work, if they work at all, at minimum wage jobs for the rest
of their miserable lives.
But it's not going to happen. That's the conventional wisdom. We're going
to let all of these jerks stay in place, keep giving themselves bonuses,
and never ever even offering an apology for having fucked up the world so
The student of history must interrupt here: there are times when the
conventional wisdom is wrong. Not because the people who create the
conventional wisdom in order to protect their privileged positions in
society decide that they've been mistaken. No, because the masses of people
find it in themselves to defy CW and throw the bums out, nonviolently or
It is axiomatic that "no one," that is no one in the ruling class, ever
anticipates or predicts such uprising. How could they? The entire society
is structured to prevent such things from happening, from the soft power of
commercials and propaganda to the iron fist of the police and the military.
I have no more of a crystal ball about what's going to happen than you do.
The Obama stimulus package may be enough to pull us out of the precipitous
slide we're in now.
But if not, then we're entering territory we have been in before, most
recently in the first years of the Depression, but about which our schools
tell us little. I saw a film snippet the other day of the U.S. Army being
unleashed on the "bonus marchers" who had come to Washington in 1932
looking for help. A young army officer named Eisenhower led the assault,
which involved terrorizing the bonus marcher's encampment along DC's
Anacostia River, and burning down or otherwise destroying the structures
the marchers had built.
Are you feeling at all angry?
What is going on in this world? Has globalization finally pushed workers to the point of snapping? What we may think of as an American problem (deregulation by the Bush administration, corporate welfare) has been running rampant worldwide. It's a mentality. Here, Irish workers have occupied the Waterford Crystal Factory.
He told the New York times that is was a mistake to let Walmart sell his Greatest Hits CD exclusively, as fans were upset due to his long-time support of worker's rights.
"Millions of Springsteen fans have counted on Wal-Mart over the years to deliver his music into their lives, and we will continue to offer those fans this 'Greatest Hits' exclusive and his other popular albums at unbeatable prices. We are proud of the good jobs, benefits and career opportunities we provide to more than 1.4 million U.S. associates who choose to work at Wal-Mart and serve our customers every day."
Springsteen released his new CD ''Working on a Dream'' this week and is performing the halftime show at the Super Bowl.
(They're good guys but I don't particularly like the music of Mellencamp or Springsteen or Tom Petty either and had a hard time getting through Garth Brooks doing "Shout" as well. George Thorogood I can tolerate and I like Willy Nelson but I moved to a city for a reason.
Someone sent me this site called Born Again American and it has a countryish song and a good message of inclusiveness, but I personally had the same kind of reaction. My first impression was - we have a leader who wants us to unite as a country and we probably need to, but on another level, it all smacks of nationalism. Then I found out it was a project of Norman Lear, of People for the Amerian Way, and probably worthwhile at this time.) Slugbug
This vid was just put up and had only 49 views, no history. Let's see what the French papers and The Guardian say.
A million on strike as France feels pinch
• Protesters say Sarkozy has done too little for workers
Unions said more than two million public and private sector workers took to the streets across France to protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy's handling of the economic crisis, saying too much had been done to bail out fat cats and banks, and not enough to protect jobs and help workers make ends meet.
Air traffic controllers, train drivers, teachers, nurses, and tax inspectors were joined by private sector workers including bank clerks and staff from the firm that runs the Paris stock exchange. Some schools were shut, flights were cancelled, and the Palace of Versailles was closed in a show of unity between unions.
Apparently it got violent - the usual overturned cars and fires. France does not have a banking meltdown like US or Britain, but they do have high unemployment and its first recession in 16 years. Sarko is seen as pro-corporate. Workers are fed up as he's pretty much ignored discontent about "reforms" such as getting rid of 35 hour work week.
"France is a difficult country to govern," he admitted.
Why doesn't some government somewhere do the obvious thing and tax the rich?!!
This one has 192 views when posted. People interviewed talked of bankers who benefitted from bailouts when ordinary people did not and don't feel represented. Sound familiar? Can you imagine what would happen to us if we took to the streets like this? Can you imagine what would happen here if cars were overturned?