Saturday, October 29, 2011
Here is a new recurring post I am introducing for days like this...When I don't have much of anything to blog about..."Keith's Music Spotlight ", where I will spotlight a particular song that I like. I know I've been spotlighting a lot of music on my blog posts on both this blog and my other blog, Escapades...So here is today's song...4evermore by Anthony David ,featuring Algebra and Phonte ...Hope you like this concept.
Friday, October 28, 2011
A cowboy walks into a bar and two steps in, he realizes it's a gay bar. "But what the heck," he says to himself, I really want a drink."
When the gay waiter approaches, he says to the cowboy, "What's the name of your penis?" The cowboy says, Look man, I'm not into any of that. All I want is a drink, okay?."
The gay waiter says, "I'm sorry but I can't serve you until you tell me the name of your penis. Mine for instance is called Nike, for the slogan 'Just Do It.' That guy down at the end of the bar calls his Snickers, because ''It really Satisfies'."
The cowboy looks dumbfounded so the bartender tells him he will give him a second to think it over. So the cowboy asks the man sitting to his left, who is sipping on a beer, "Hey bud, what's the name of yours?" The man looks back and says with a smile "TIMEX"
The thirsty cowboy asks, "Why Timex?"
The fella proudly replies, "Cause it takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!"
A little shaken, the cowboy turns to two fella's on his right, who happen to be sharing a fruity Margarita and says, " So, what do you guys call yours?"
The first man turns to him and proudly exclaims, "FORD, because Quality is Job One." Then he adds, "Have you driven a Ford, lately?" The guy next to him then says, "I call mine CHEVY ... Like A Rock!" And gives a wink.
Even more shaken, the Cowboy has to think for a moment before he comes up with a name for his manhood.
Finally, he turns to the bartender and exclaims, "The name of my penis is SECRET. Now give me a beer."
The bartender begins to pour the cowboy a beer, but with a puzzled look asks, "Why Secret?"
The cowboy says, "Because it's STRONG ENOUGH FOR A MAN, BUT MADE FOR A WOMAN !!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Yesterday Uber Millionaire Warren Buffett said, "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just ...pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.
Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. (That would be interesting wouldn't it?)
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term's), then go home and back to work. (Tell em Warren!)
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I gotta hand it to him...Despite the odds, despite how bad things appear to be going, the guy just keeps trying...just keeps pushing. That ought to be a lesson and an example to the rest of us.
I haven't written anything substantial in the past few days because frankly, I've just been in a funk and in a writer's block...But a friend emailed me recently about this new program the President is about to introduce and it got my juices to flowing again...
President Barack Obama offered mortgage relief on Monday to hundreds of thousands of Americans, his latest attempt to ease the economic and political fallout of a housing crisis that has bedeviled him as he seeks a second term.
"I'm here to say that we can't wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job," the president declared outside a family home in Las Vegas ,the epiccenter
of foreclosures and joblessness. "Where they won't act, I will." Keep puttin em on blast Mr. President, as much as possible.
Making a case for his policies and a new effort to circumvent roadblocks put up by, who else? Republican lawmakers,President Obama also laid out a theme for his re-election, saying that there's "no excuse for all the games and the gridlock that we've been seeing in Washington." Indeed there isn't.
"People out here don't have a lot of time or a lot of patience for some of that nonsense that's been going on in Washington," he said.
The new rules for federally guaranteed loans represent a recognition that measures the administration has taken so far on housing have not worked as well as expected.
While his jobs bill is struggling in Congress, President Obama has tried a new catchphrase — "We can't wait" — to highlight his administrative initiatives and to shift blame to congressional Republicans for lack of action to boost employment and stimulate an economic recovery. As he should. It still angers me that they are willing to let the nation fall off of the edge of a cliff, just so that it can be said that this President is a failure...
Later in the week,President Obama plans to announce new measures to make it easier for college graduates to pay back federal loans. Such executive action allows President Obama to address economic ills and other domestic challenges in spite of expected Republican opposition to most,if not all of his proposals.
While the President has proposed prodding the economy with some payroll tax cuts and increased spending on public works and aid to states, he has yet to offer a wholesale overhaul of the nation's housing programs.
Economists point to the burst housing bubble as the main culprit behind the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile, the combination of unemployment, depressed wages and mortgages that exceed house values has continued to put a strain on the economy.
While the White House tried to avoid predicting how many homeowners would benefit from the revamped refinancing program, the Federal Housing Finance Administration estimated an additional 1 million people would qualify. Moody's Analytics say the figure could be as high as 1.6 million. Aint that good news? as the old r&b song said.
Under President Obama's proposal, homeowners who are still current on their mortgages would be able to refinance no matter how much their home value has dropped below what they still owe.
"Now, over the past two years, we've already taken some steps to help folks refinance their mortgages," President Obama said, listing a series of measures. "But we can do more."
At the same time, The President acknowledged that his latest proposal will not do all that's not needed to get the housing market back on its feet. "Given the magnitude of the housing bubble, and the huge inventory of unsold homes in places like Nevada, it will take time to solve these challenges," he said. Time is the bad little word that people don't like to hear, yet is still a reality that we have to deal with in this stalled economy.
In spelling out the plan to homeowners in a diverse, working-class Las Vegas neighborhood, President Obama chose a state that provides the starkest example of the toll the housing crisis has exacted from Americans.
One in every 118 homes in the state of Nevada received a foreclosure notice in September, the highest ratio in the country, according to the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac. OUCH!
Now check this out, just to reiterate what I've been saying about these damned Republicans. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney proposed just last week while in Las Vegas that the government should not interfere with foreclosures.
"Don't try to stop the foreclosure process," Romney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Let it run its course and hit the bottom." IS HE SERIOUS?
That is not a solution, Romney and the Republicans are in effect telling home owners, "Tough luck ,You're on your own."
This is their whole mentality...People need to be aware of this mentallity...Especially people about to lose their homes...I'll bet that that covers a lot of voters from both parties..
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
If you're reading this, that means that once again, Old Harold Camping's prediction of "biblical proportions" has failed....
If you recall...He predicted the end of the world back in May of this year and followers of his euthanized their pets, quit their jobs and wandered the nation waiting for the end of times! It didn't happen and I imagine that Monday, many were running back to their former places of employment begging for their jobs back...or rushing to the realtor , trying to buy their homes back!! It must have been a mess.
You know...the old man had a mild stroke right after his May predicition failed...That should have been a message, no, a warning to stop with this foolishness...but no, he came up with this second prediction a few days later...October 21, 2011. (Look at the date above!)
Not many people paid attention to him this time....I must admit...I wasn't even thinking about him and his prediction Thursday night....I woke up on Friday morning like nothing had happened...Indeed it was the most peaceful sleep I'd had in a long time...I just happened to see a blurb about it in the newspaper.
Harold Camping is now 0-3 with these predictions.....He needs to stop with this end of the world nonsense now. He's making a fool out of himself...
Friday, October 21, 2011
A suspicious husband hired a private eye to check on the movements of his wife. In addition to a written report, the husband wanted a video of his wife's activities.
A week later, the detective returned with a film. They sat down together and proceeded to watch it.
Although the quality was less than professional, the man saw his wife meeting another man! He saw the two of them strolling arm in arm and laughing in the park. He saw them enjoying themselves at an outdoor cafe. He saw them dancing in a dimly lit nightclub. He saw them take part in a dozen activities with utter glee.
"I just can't believe this," said the distraught husband.
"What's not to believe?" the detective said. "It's right up there on the screen!"
"I simply can't believe my wife could be so much fun!" the husband replied.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
So here is an exceprt from one of his monolouges :
(Disclaimer-Not for Republicans , Tea Party Members or the faint of heart!)
“Now that it’s become clear that the Republicans, the fiscally conservative strong on defense party are neither fiscally conservative nor strong on defense, they have to tell us what exactly it is they’re good at. It’s not defense. 9/11 happened on your watch, and you retaliated by invading the wrong country, and you lost a 10 year game of hide and seek with Osama Bin Laden, and you’re responsible for running up most of the debt, which more than anythingmakes us weak.”
“You’re supposed to be the party with the killer instinct, but it was a Democrat who put a bomb in Gadhafi’s bedroom, and bullet in Bin Laden’s eye like Moe Green. Raising the question how many Muslims does a black guy have to kill in one weekend before crackers climb down off his ass? Let’s look at some facts. Now for you Fox News viewers feel free to turn down the sound until the flashing facts light at the bottom of your screen disappears.”
“When Bill Clinton left office in 2001, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that by the end of the decade we would have paid off the entire debt and had $2 trillion surplus. Instead we have a ten and a half trillion dollar public debt and the difference in those two numbers is mostly because Republicans put tax cuts for the rich, free drugs for the elderly, and two wars on the layaway plan, and then bailed on the check, So so much for fiscal responsibility.”
“But hey, at least they still had the defense thing right? The public still believed Republicans were tougher when it came to hunting down dark skinned foreigners with funny sounding names. But Bush had 7 years to get Osama, he didn’t. He got
" Only 6 months after 9/11 Bush said he didn’t spend that much time on Bin Laden that he was no longer concerned about him. Just as he wasn’t before 9/11 when he blew off that mysterious inscrutable memo titled Bin Laden determined to attack inside United States. In under a year Bush went from who gives a shit, to wanted dead or alive, back to who gives a shit.”
“Why can’t you just admit that Barack Obama is one efficient, steely nerved, multitasking, black ninja gansta president? In one week he produced his birth certificate, comforted disaster victims, swung by Florida to say hey to Gabby Giffords, did stand up at the Correspondents’ Dinner, and then personally repelled into in Bin Laden’s lair and put a Chinese star though his throat without waking up any of his 13 wives. That’s how it went down, I saw it on MSNBC.”
Truth be told , the 30% of America that Bill Maher mentioned will never support Barack Obama no matter what he does. Unlike Democrats who did rally behind President Bush after 9/11, many Republicans can only view the Obama presidency with bitter jaundiced eyes that are only capable of seeing all the vast conspiracies that explain why they were not able to keep the presidency, which they believe they are entitled to.
Bill Maher had it right. Barack Obama had an incredible year ,the economy not withstanding, but within record time the Tea Party and the extreme right wing was hard at work trying to delegitimize all of the president's accomplishments while at the same time taking credit for themselves.
What is absolutely eating the Obama haters up inside right now is that he got Bin Laden. Since 9/11 Republicans have treated the issue of national security as their birthright, but President Obama showed them what a real commitment to keeping America secure looks like.
Barack Obama really is one bad ass gangsta president. He is everything Republicans wish they were, but don’t have the guts to be.
In God We Trust! HA!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Two of my favorite stores..(They're my favorite because they gave me credit first!) have recently announced that they are scaling back or rather closing some of their stores.
I sincerly hope that they aren't closing their locations near me...but , they say they are closing some of their stores in the United States that are underperforming. Here goes another of these vague terms that say one thing, but actually means another.
I'd be interested to know just what "underperforming" means. Were these particular stores losing money or just not making as much as the others?
If they're actually costing the company money then fair enough, but if it's just that their profit margins aren't as big then I'm sure those 2000 or more people losing their jobs appreciate the difference.
We ALL depend on people spending their money, but here's the problem:
Big Business and large banks in general are sitting on billions of dollars with little to no incentive to put it back in circulation.
As long as these two factions simply take in ever larger amounts of cash, and simply sit on it without re-investing it, our economy will continue to erode. This movement conservatism encourages this new status quo, and it is poised to continue that at all costs. America - as we've known it - could just die, and the folks who control the money simply wouldn't care.
Now see, this is just my simple personal take on this as it effects my small world...but this is how it's affecting everybody....And people wonder why worldwide protests are breaking out against corporate greed? Really?
The other shoe is dropping nation wide; and it looks like there are no plans in the works, to get America moving again; We are in for a long haul and a very rough time; thank you Washington and Big Business...Thank you very much.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
After being interviewed by the school administration, the teaching prospect said, "Let me see if I've got this right.................
"You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.
"You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.
"You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship,sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.
"You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the state exams.
"You want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents by letter, telephone newsletter, and report card.
"You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.
"You want me to do all this and then you tell me... "I CAN'T PRAY?"
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Still confused about who the G.O.P. is really representing? Still think that they aren't in the pocket of the rich and wealthy one percent who have all of the wealth in this nation?
Think I'm just making all of this up? Read the news lately....?
Yesterday they effectively killed President Obama's jobs bill..A bill loosely based off of ideas that some of them had projected. It just goes to show that if the President said one plus one is two....They'd say -"No it's not...it's twenty two."
Democrats failed to muster the 60 votes needed Tuesday night to advance a $447 billion job creation and tax bill that President Barack Obama had argued was desperately needed.
At least two Democrats voted with Republican senators to continue debate, essentially killing the bill in its current form.
“I can’t support this bill because it represents billions of dollars in new spending and more taxes,” said Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., explaining his “no” vote on the motion to end debate and move to a final vote on passage of the bill.
Ben Nelson is facing a tough re-election battle next year in a state where Obama got 42 percent of the vote in 2008.
Also facing a re-election battle in 2012 is another Democrat who voted "no," Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, a state Obama barely lost in 2008.
The Senate was holding the vote open until Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. returned from a trip to cast her vote, but the outcome was clear once 40 senators voted against ending debate.
Tax increase on incomes over $1 million
The bill would have spent $447 billion on aid to public schools and other job creation proposals and would have imposed a $453 billion tax increase.
The tax increase would have come in the form of a 5.6 percent surtax on incomes in excess of $1 million.
It would also have cut the Social Security payroll tax rate to 3.1 percent in 2012; the normal Social Security payroll tax is 6.2 percent.
The bill also would have spent:
•$60 billion on grants to states to pay for public school teachers and to renovate and repair school buildings;
•$50 billion for transportation programs;
•$44 billion on extended unemployment compensation for jobless people.
With 14 million people counted as unemployed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobless is now 2.4 million higher than when Obama took office.
President Barack Obama conceded earlier Tuesday that he might need to divide up the proposal in the face of the Senate opposition. "If they don't pass the whole package we're going to break it up into constituent parts," President Obama said on a campaign trip to in Pittsburgh.
More compromise with these knuckleheads...It leaves a bad taste in my mouth...
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said weeks ago that he was open to the idea of accepting some parts of Obama's proposal.
President Obama's so-called Jobs Council, under the chairmanship of GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt, earlier delivered a report in which they proposed steps to foster U.S. innovation and make the country more attractive to foreign investment.
The suggestions include ramping up infrastructure spending, streamlining visa applications to keep science graduates in the United States, and changing student loans to encourage graduates to work for start-up companies.
But many of the recommendations would require support from Republicans to become law — a potentially tall order in a divided Congress in which Republicans control the House of Representatives and Democrats hold the Senate. The Council made some of these proposals in its report in June.
Can these people ever say yes? Now I want everyone who read this who is still confused about these Republicans to answer me one question....Can you in all honesty vote for these people when it is quite obvious that they don't care about whether you work or not, they don't care about the education of your children...if you are sick, they feel as though it's your fault and you should just go off and die somewhere? Can you honestly vote for them?
Still confused about who the G.O.P. is really representing? Still think that they aren't in the pocket of the rich and wealthy one percent who have all of the wealth in this nation?
Think I'm just making all of this up? Read the news lately?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
1. The protestors who are occupying Wall Street and other areas around the country are called "Mobs" by Republicans like Eric ''Hedge Fund Baby" Cantor...but the Tea Party crowds were just concerned citizens.".Go figure!
2.Ever seen a future that looked so unpromising and dismal?
3.They say that people like Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas are Black...But I don't believe it...I think the costume company that made them deserves an award!
4.Republicans used to be conservative thinking individuals, yet fairly reasonable people otherwise...Today they are batshit crazy as my late Grandmother would have phrased it!
5.Where is Richard Steele now of days??I still have hope that that Brother will see the light "And come on home and cut out all of this foolishness" as my late mother and or my late aunt Jeanne (I'm not sure which one used to say it the most) would have said.
6.I don't think the Fat Cats are shaking in their boots yet, but I'm pretty sure they are starting to get a little concerned...Angry unemployed people can also spell, limited profits...That's pretty damn scary (To them!)
7.In 2008, I thought a change was gonna come.....This is more of the same....
8. Somewhere in West Hell, Osama Bin Laden and Sadamn Hussein are laughing their butts off!
9.Right now, I don't need change, just some stability.
10.Did I already ask if you've ever seen a future that looked so unpromising and dismal?
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
After seeing this ad on my Facebook homepage yesterday, I just couldn't resist this and couldn't resist the opportunity to use it as a teaching mechanism.
I've been saying this since I started this blog...Everybody has got to exercise their right to vote. I think it is admirable that all of these people are out in the streets occupying Wall Street and protesting Banks, Big Business and Corporate Greed...But unless we turn these mass rallies into votes on election day...These protests will mean nothing.
We lost a civil rights icon (Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth) last week...One of several who risked their life and certainly their safety for the right of all American Citizens to vote...At a time when some people on the far right are doing everything they can do to limit our rights to vote with "Identification statutes " and what not...in the disguise of "fairness" ,We have to do everything we can do to make sure we are registered and that we are present on election day.
I actually read something, somebody Black said that I thought was pure insanity...This person said that he was going to exercise his right ''Not to vote" I hope nobody else takes this point of view. The Tea Party certainly doesn't...The people that support them certainly know the power of the vote...It's time we on the left and we who claim to be progressive also learn the same thing.
Monday, October 10, 2011
It's Blue Monday in Philadelphia. If you're a sports fan you'll immediately know what I mean....You're waking up and headed to the shower.....knowing you've got to go to work this morning....and knowing you've got to pay bills this week and also knowing that probably the only thing that made you feel collectively good on days like this was having a winning sports franchise.
Well...you know that you don' have that....You know that on Friday night, in front of the home crowd of uber enthusiastic fans (You know how we do here in Philly!) , with their best pitcher on the mound....The Philadelphia Phillies couldn't buy a run....(Hell, they couldn't buy a hit!) and managed to lose the game and all hopes of going to the World Series this year...1-0.....
Yesterday.....Your once thought to be , well constructed Football team....Termed the "Dream Team" by an over zealous Vince Young has proven to be a nightmare for the fans once again as they lost for the fourth time in only five games this season.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
- "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
- Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
This says so much about how I feel about living and eventually dying.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
March 22, 1922 - October 5, 2011
We lost a giant yesterday....Not only Steve Jobs but Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth...
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, one of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s chief lieutenants in the 1950s and ’60s, was in his Avondale church when he learned Dr. King had been assassinated in 1968.
“My choir was in rehearsal,” he remembered years later. “I broke the news to them. I said, ‘This is the price.’ ” Cincinnati, a Northern city with a Southern exposure, had its own civil rights struggles in the early years. But the battles in Shuttlesworth’s native Birmingham were vicious. He endured more than two dozen jailings and a $10,000 bounty while leading efforts to desegregate Birmingham’s schools and public facilities.
He was beaten with chains when he tried to enroll his children in an all-white school and escaped death when a bomb destroyed the parsonage of his church in Birmingham on Christmas Day, 1956.
Dr.King feared Shuttlesworth’s in-your-face style might make him the movement’s first martyr. That never happened. Lured by better pay and improved educational opportunities for his children, Fred Shuttlesworth moved to Cincinnati in 1971, serving first as pastor of Revelation Baptist Church and later at Greater New Light Baptist Church.
Cincinnati embraced Reverend Shuttlesworth during his 47-year stay in the city. It was a polite embrace, not passionate. The civil rights icon was given his due and left in peace.
When he retired from the ministry in 2006, he reflected: “People ask me if I’m excited,” he said. “I’m never excited. I excite things. I’m in the world to excite things so things might get done.”
After a stroke, Reverend Shuttlesworth moved back to Birmingham in 2008 for health reasons, to a town that now adores him, erected a statue of him and named its airport for him.
He turned 89 on March 22.
February 24, 1955 - October 5, 2011
American entrepreneur and inventor. He was the co-founder, Chairman, and Former Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc. Who gave us the Iphone, The I pad..and an assortment of other cool things we think we can't live without....He died yesterday of Pancreatic Cancer.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I saw the huge angry crowds in Egpyt , Tunisia, Libya and elsewhere this spring... I heard the angry voices .....I heard that these protests were all organized on Facebook, Twitter and Blogs and I kept wondering...When was it going to happen here? When?
We certainly have enough to be angry about given the current state of things in this country right now. Apparently ....then is now...and it's spreading.
A budding protest movement began last month in New York with a vague sense of grievance over the widening gap between the rich and poor in America.
But in less than three full weeks, it has provided fuel for a broader national anti-corporate message, drawing inspiration from the Arab Spring but struggling to define its goals beyond a general feeling that power needs to be restored to ordinary people.
Now similar protests are springing up in Boston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo., and Chicago, and organizers in Washington, D.C., plan a march at Freedom Plaza on Thursday to "denounce the systems and institutions that support endless war and unrestrained corporate greed."
On Monday morning, the scene at the heart of the self-styled "Occupy Wall Street" movement - Zuccotti Park, two blocks north of Wall Street - had the feeling of a street fair, with women in brightly colored wigs playing with hula hoops.
A collection of protesters wearing white face paint with streaks resembling blood at their lips conducted a "zombie parade" down Broadway to underscore what they see as the ghoulish nature of capitalism.
Despite having no single leader and no organized agenda, the protesters insist they are on the verge of translating their broad expression of grievance into a durable national cause. "The criticism has focused on the lack of cohesion in our message and demands," said Arthur Kohl-Riggs, 23, a political activist from Madison, Wis. But what the critics don't understand, he said, is "the value of forming a direct democratic movement" that is not controlled by political elites.
The protests have drawn an assortment of anarchists, anti-globalization activists and disaffected 20-somethings from North Carolina, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The efforts have also drawn support from union members, including New York transportation workers who allowed some of the protesters to take shelter inside the subway system.
Brought together by social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook,
participants hope the New York protests can plant the seeds of a permanent national movement. The website occupy together.org serves as a clearinghouse for information on the movement and includes a list of events around the country.
The primary theme is that corporate capitalists, backed by corrupt politicians, have tipped the balance of the economic system too far in favor of the powerful, thus condemning the regular guy to a sea of debt and little opportunity. As one sign put it: "The loan shark ate my world."
"The American dream is dead or dying," said Max Richmond, 26, a New York City-based carpenter from Millerton, N.Y. "Four or five weeks ago, I was just another apathetic, defeatist member of my generation. Being here, I'm not. We were all just waiting for something like this to happen."
The Occupy Wall Street protests started on Sept. 17 with a few dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in front of the New York Stock Exchange. About 100 demonstrators were arrested on Sept. 24 and some were pepper-sprayed.
On Saturday, police arrested 700 on charges of disorderly conduct and blocking a public street as they tried to march over the Brooklyn Bridge. Police said they took five more protesters into custody on Monday, though it was unclear whether they had been charged with any crime.
The movement has struck a chord in some liberal New York circles, attracting celebrities such as actress Susan Sarandon and former New York Gov. David Paterson. It also got a seal of approval from one of the world's most successful capitalists, billionaire George Soros, who said the demonstrators had every reason to be angry at the U.S. financial system for jeopardizing their future.
"I can sympathize with their grievances," Soros told reporters at U.N. headquarters Monday, faulting U.S. banks for driving small businesses out of existence by boosting credit charges to unsupportable levels. Soros, who has profited during the financial crisis, suggested that the banks' selfish conduct has provided grist for powerful anti-establishment movements, from the tea
party to Occupy Wall Street.
Jay Benson, a 25-year-old from Minnesota, said he drove to New York several days ago with a friend to participate in the demonstrations. A forklift operator whose father worked for 35 years at the same railroad job, Benson voiced frustration at the piecemeal jobs he has had to take to make ends meet. "One week I get 34 hours; the next week I'd have 12."
Not everyone was impressed.
Christopher Dilmer, 44, a steamfitter who works at the World Trade Center site, said he had trouble figuring out what the hubbub was all about.
"I don't know what they are protesting," Dilmer said, adding that everyone seemed to want something different. Dilmer said he spoke to one 21-year-old protester "who said he'd quit his job to come here. I said, You have a job, and you quit it to protest joblessness?' "
Dilmer said he's not disputing that the country's "economy is in the tank," but he thinks most of the young protesters could find work if they put their mind to it. "If you want a job, you can find a job," said Dilmer, who said he had traveled to Detroit and Denver to get work. "It might not be the job you want. I did what I had to do."
The scene was calm Monday morning as hundreds of protesters shook off the autumn chill, slipped out of their sleeping bags and gathered around a makeshift kitchen, where they snacked on donated food. Nearby, someone had set up a board for people to write suggestions for what the movement's goal should be.
They included calls to "demand jobs for all," to "talk about imperialism," to "talk about campaign finance reform" and to "give out chalk to everyone to write slogans on all walls as we march."
Like I said...It's about damn time....They talked about an Arab Spring a few months ago...could this be the beginning of American Autumn?