Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More on Occupy Wall Street

The previous post was of what appeared to be an Occupy NY supporter's demands, but I have no way of verifying.  Daisy Deadhead is a very liberal (self-described hippie) blogger I read, so I asked her what their platform was.  She pointed to one of her posts, which I'm fisking here.  

  As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
I feel wronged that our second amendment rights are restricted...but I doubt that counts here.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
Was the mortgage paid as in the terms of the contract?  This might be a technical legal issue, but morally, you still owe.    A lot of the mess was because the government pressured mortgage originators to be 'fair' rather than fiscally responsible.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
Just about everyone would take a bailout if offered, and in a couple cases banks were pressured by regulators into taking TARP funds, along with TARP regulation.  The issue of bonuses is complicated--Should a struggling company lose the manager of a profitable division because other managers screwed up?
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
We will never reach 100% equality.  At some point the cure becomes worse than the disease, with employers unable to risk firing non-productive employees.  
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
Family-run businesses in modern times are mostly limited to service industries--we don't have much family manufacturing businesses either.  Farming is either labor-intensive or capitol-intensive, and big business can afford the capitol.  Big business can also afford to navigate government subsidies more efficiently.  If we were limited to family farms, food prices would be significantly higher.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
Stop eating meat.  (To be fair, Daisy Deadhead says she's a vegetarian, so she's not being a hypocrite in this point)
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
Union organizers are against non-anonymous elections, so they can pressure people into voting "properly".   There is no good excuse for this, there is a reason most fair elections have secret ballots.  My union experience has been working beside auto workers, and I'm not sympathetic--many were proud of working the system--an example is that tradesman work was divided into break/fix and project work.  Some would refuse to do project work unless they were on overtime--and they could get away with it.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
How much education is there a right to--bachelor's, Master's, PhD?  We also have vastly different definitions of rights-requiring the effort of others can't be a right.  
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
It's only racism if the foreigners are lucky enough to live in America?
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
Somewhat valid--but some of the owner's rights should pass through to the corporation.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
But the same sort of shenanigans to get out of paying a mortgage is somehow OK.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
Valid point.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. 
Not so much, otherwise I'd never have heard of you.
They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
Sometimes.  But products are safer now than ever, and there's no such thing as risk-free.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
Huh?  Unless 'they' are the ones setting up 'subsidies for this, tax breaks for that' plans.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
...often donating to both sides, perpetuating the corrupt 2 party system.  The real problem is the politicians who take these contributions.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
Like Nuclear.  Oh wait....
How are they blocking alternative energy, other than the laws of science?   Alternative energy is like alternative medicine--the alternatives that work well become mainstream.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
So why should they invest billions in research to find new drugs, (most of which will be unsuccessful) if they can't profit on the few that work?   Without patent protection, nobody will go through the time and trouble of testing.   There are abuses and problems here-it is surprising how often we 'suddenly' find a safety problem with a drug just as it goes generic, with a new alternative waiting.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
Again, less than at any time in our history.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
Quit listening.  This is as much incompetence, laziness and that most of the public is more interested in entertainment than news.  Every news story I've known about through non-news sources has significant errors in the reporting.  Everyone I've asked says the same thing.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
What is this referring to?
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
Colonialism is declining, although I won't defend much of our overseas meddling. .
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.
The fault here is the government's, not the corporations.  We need a strong military-but I'll agree not as large as we have.
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
I'm not seeing much in the way of solutions, other than 'more government except with US in charge".

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!

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