So As I've said repeatedly in the past, Socialism has a really bad "brand image" problem.
Let's do what we can to fix that brand-image problem. Take the following graphic, designed to be printed on your standard 8.5x11 sheet of paper, and place it up on various socialist institutions in your neighborhood.
Socialist institutions that could use a carefully and thoughtfully placed graphic such as this include:
Public Schools Public Transportation Lamp Posts Post Office Library Sidewalks National Parks State Parks Municipal Parks Town Hall/City Hall Road Signs Fire Departments Police Departments Military Recruiting Stations Public Spaces Public Monuments Public Water facilities Courts Local Roads Interstate highway system Department of Health and Human Services
All the above are socialist institutions! People love these things, and yet hate socialism!?
Here's a handy tutorial on how to make wheatpaste:
Watch this video all the way through. It gets better and better and better as it goes on. It's a slow burn.
Little known fact, I received a letter of congratulations from Fred Rodgers after I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. That letter was way more valuable to be than any of the ones I got from Senators or Congressmen.
So, this morning, I found in my inbox an email saying essentially that although I didn't get into the top three, they were impressed with my application, and chose to award me a scholarship to Netroots Nation 2011.
But a large reason my application was so good, was that I had a lot of ringing endorsements from wonderful people that I respect. I'm thinking of you in particular. Yeah, you, the person reading this right now.
My application managed to get something like 290 votes, putting it in something like 10th place. That was 290 people who decided that it was a good idea to send me. It's readily apparent that *I* wasn't the one who won this. It was YOU.
YOU won this scholarship. If it wasn't for your support, your endorsements, and your willingness to spread the word, my application would have sank right to the bottom and been ignored.
I promise, while at Netroots Nation '11, to share everything about online organizing that I learn, and to document as much of the experience as I can so that it's like YOU were there too. Because really, YOU won.
I'm applying for a scholarship to attend the DFA Netroots Nation 2011 conference in Minneapolis, MN.
If you aren't familiar with it, Netroots Nation is a huge activism training workshop held every year by Democracy For America, and they train specifically for online activism, fundraising, campaigning, etc.
My hope is to be able to learn skills, or learn of tools, or how to better use tools I'm already using, so that I can be a better organizer, fundraiser, and all around activist.
The more people that vote for my scholarship, the more likely I am to get it. It's a tough competition, but already through the help of friends, family, and others, I've already made it into the top 20. I believe I have to make it into the top 3 to be considered, which is why your help is so important.
If you would be so kind as to visit the link below, vote, and after that, please spread the word!
How every populist movement in the USA's history has been co-opted and perverted by Wall Street.
... And how we can prevent it from happening again.
Sub-headed “Barack Obama and the failure of capitalist democracy”, this film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the “graveyard of social movements”, the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and escalation of neocon policies under Obama, the insufficiency of mere voting as a path to reform, and differing conceptions of democracy itself.
"Lifting the Veil is the long overdue film that powerfully, definitively, and finally exposes the deadly 21st century hypocrisy of U.S. internal and external policies, even as it imbues the viewer with a sense of urgency and an actualized hope to bring about real systemic change while there is yet time for humanity and this planet. See this film!" -Larry Pinkney Editorial Board Member & Columnist The Black Commentator
Original interview footage derives from Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, Michael Albert, John Stauber (PR Watch), Sharon Smith (Historian), William I. Robinson (Editor, Critical Globalization Studies), Morris Berman (Author, Dark Ages America), and famed black panther Larry Pinkney.
Non-original interviews/lectures include Michael Hudson, Paul Craig Roberts, Ted Rall, Richard Wolff, Glen Ford, Lewis Black, Glenn Greenwald, George Carlin, Gerald Cliente, Chris Hedges, John Pilger, Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Wollin and Martin Luther King.
“Lifting the Veil is a major contribution to political documentary. ; It teaches everyone from the uninitiated to the most sophisticated the true nature of the American government... It covers the issues clearly and succinctly, from the opening narrative through to its stirring conclusion.” -Ralph Poynter lynne stewart defense committee new abolitionist movement
"The best political film I've seen to date. A must watch if you want to understand who and what Obama is about, as well as this hypocrisy they call democracy." Kiilu Nyasha Independent Journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party
"Noble is brilliantly pioneering the new film-making -- incisive analysis, compelling sound and footage, fearless and independent reporting, and the aggregation of the best information out there into powerful, educational and free online feature films – all on a shoestring budget. His films educate and inform while building the movements needed for real change at the grassroots. Noble's films are dedicated to democracy; they fan the flames of non-violent, people-powered revolution." -John Stauber, Founder, PR Watch
I really like what the author of the Progressive Review, Sam Smith, has to say on all this:
"The Art Department of the Coastal Packet has come up with a suggestion of how to deal with the LePage Mural Massacre. Simply copy the mural photographs and display them everywhere you can: in windows, on walls, on your car, in letters to the governor. With a little effort we can make this the most famous mural in America. And let's not be too hard on the governor. After all, without his assistance, many of us wouldn't have known the murals were even displayed at the Labor Department. Now they can become really famous."
"Totalitarianism, George Orwell pointed out, is not so much an age of faith but an age of schizophrenia. "A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial," Orwell wrote. "That is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud."
Our elites have used fraud. Force is all they have left. Our mediocre and bankrupt elite is desperately trying to save a system that cannot be saved. More importantly, they are trying to save themselves. . "
The Robber Baron Jay Gould said famously “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” That was back in the 1800s. It’s still true today.
This struggle we see today in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and all across America, this isn’t a new struggle. This is an old struggle. This is a struggle older than America. This is a struggle where the poor man, the man who does all the rich man’s work gets tired of having the screws put to him day in and day out-- and so he puts his foot down and says he ought to get a fair shake. That he’s a human being with dignity and ought to be treated as such.
When he does, the rich man comes down on him with hell’s fury and tells him he’s a coward, a thug, a cheat, and a parasite. And he tells him to shut up and get back to work. People get confused by sychophants shouting through the rich man’s megaphone, the ABCs, CBSs, NBCs, FoxNews’s, and CNNs. They’ve learned how to talk like you so you get confused into thinking that these Devils are just like you. They’re not like you. They talk like you. They talk like you all day, with little drops of poison in every word, poisoning your mind, and then you get confused and you start to talk like them; you go around telling people if we let the Rich Man work you just a little bit harder and pay you a little bit less, everything will come out all right; That it’s not the rich man’s fault you’re poor cause he doesn’t pay you shit, it’s your brother and sisters fault for taking too many crumbs off the floor under the Rich Man’s table. If we all just sit back and let the rich man do whatever he wants, step on whomever he wants, poison and kill whomever he wants, everything will come out okay. They’re like the Devil whispering in your ear, telling you the Devil is Jesus, and Jesus got a plan to save you from the Devil. You know you’re sick of getting the screws put to you, day in and day out. But the devils are there telling you it ain’t their fault they’re working you so hard and paying you so little. It’s your own fault , it’s your brother and sister’s fault for thinking you ought to have a bit dignity on this earth before you die. Listen to them-- Can’t you hear it? The Devil in the way they talk? Their job is make sure that crooks on Wall Street, the Robber Barons, the Jay Goulds of today, can still hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.
This episode brought to you by: Michelle Duffy, Jason Dawson, Maike Both, James Sullivan, Brian Bergman, Gina Dennis, Stephen Totten, Matthew Pieper, Christopher Allen, Dennis Trainor Jr, Cheryl Keil, Kelly Houghland, Deborah Henry, David Bergeron, Rex Pechler
Their support makes it possible for me to make videos. I’m trying to get to 60 monthly subscribers so I can make this a sustainable effort rather than what it is-- a vlog that goes in fits and stops depending on my work schedule and activism volunteer commitments. If you would like to support my work, please become a subscriber at whatever level is right for you here at PunkPatriot.blogspot.com, up in the upper right hand corner.
Find an economics professor, and ask him, what would be the result of every college student in the USA refusing to pay back their loans. Film their response. Send me the raw video at email@example.com
Send the Punk Patriot to Minneapolis for Netroots Nation!
You can vote for my scholarship by going to bit.ly/NN11TPP If you've already voted, please spread the word! Thank you!
Anonymous has set up BankofAmericasuck.com which is currently down. Likely scenarious are that either Bank of America is using a DNS attack against Anonymous (ironic, but not funny), or Anonymous are hosting the site on a macintosh LC2 with a dial-up modem (ironic, and funny).
Of course there's the third option that the emails are all faked, and that the website is down right now because they want it to look like Bank Of America is trying to shut them down, but that's a little too left-field for me at present.
Supposedly these emails reveal criminal activity that could send people at Bank Of America to jail, specifically in regards to mortgage practices.
We don't know if the emails are legit yet, or not. You also can't see them on BankofAmericasuck.com. But you can download graphics of the emails as .rar files here.
Which I've done.
And now I'm uploading them to my flickr account. I've kept the original file names when uploading them so that you can search the HTML source code on the Anonymous webpage and build a mirror site.
You can still find BankofAmericasuck.com in Google's search cache, and try to piece together the context as best you can. And maybe somebody out there who doesn't have to leave for work soon can spend today using the titles of the photos hosted on my flickr, searching for them in the HTML code of the cached website, and building a mirror site? That would be rockin.
I gotta leave for work. If nobody's done it by tonight at midnight (when I get home) I'll work on it.
Minor Update: Here's the YouTube video that's at the top of Anonymous's BankOfAmericaSuck.com page:
Illustrating what a terrible, soulless, sack of shit and sorry excuse for a human being he is, Larry Kudlow let us all know that we should be glad that in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Wall Street is doing just fine.
And his wall street harpies on either arm chime in, to let us know that oil is part of this, that with Japan in ruins, oil consumption is down, and with that the price is falling, making this whole thing good for the US economy.
Well God Bless the USA-- the Unfeeling Sociopaths of America.
SIX TIMES the number of people who died on 9/11 die EVERY GODDAMN YEAR from preventable or curable illness, here in America, the richest fucking country in the world.
There are two Americas: One America is a place where the rich get whatever the fuck they want. The other America is a third world shithole where kids die of diseases left over from the Great Gatsby days, like scarlet fever and tuberculosis. Where people still get the fucking BUBONIC PLAGUE.
Six times the number of people who died on 9/11 die every fucking year from preventable or curable illness, and if you are opposed to universal single payer healthcare-- you're a fucking murderer.
Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.
Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined.
Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.
And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.
I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here's what I learned: Money doesn't grow on trees. It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs. It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system that then grows a new generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don't pay their fair share of taxes, the state can't function. The schools can't produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy. The crash they created cost us millions of jobs. That too caused a reduction in tax revenue. Everyone ended up suffering because of what the rich did.
The nation is not broke, my friends. Wisconsin is not broke. Saying that the country is broke is repeating a Big Lie. It's one of the three biggest lies of the decade: 1) America is broke, 2) Iraq has WMD, and 3) The Packers can't win the Super Bowl without Brett Favre.
The truth is, there's lots of money to go around. LOTS. It's just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates. They know they have committed crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to see some of that money that used to be yours. So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them. But just in case that doesn't work, they've got their gated communities, and the luxury jet is always fully fueled, the engines running, waiting for that day they hope never comes. To help prevent that day when the people demand their country back, the wealthy have done two very smart things:
1. They control the message. By owning most of the media they have expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians. Their version of the Dream says that you, too, might be rich some day -- this is America, where anything can happen if you just apply yourself! They have conveniently provided you with believable examples to show you how a poor boy can become a rich man, how the child of a single mother in Hawaii can become president, how a guy with a high school education can become a successful filmmaker. They will play these stories for you over and over again all day long so that the last thing you will want to do is upset the apple cart -- because you -- yes, you, too! -- might be rich/president/an Oscar-winner some day! The message is clear: keep you head down, your nose to the grindstone, don't rock the boat and be sure to vote for the party that protects the rich man that you might be some day.
2. They have created a poison pill that they know you will never want to take. It is their version of mutually assured destruction. And when they threatened to release this weapon of mass economic annihilation in September of 2008, we blinked. As the economy and the stock market went into a tailspin, and the banks were caught conducting a worldwide Ponzi scheme, Wall Street issued this threat: Either hand over trillions of dollars from the American taxpayers or we will crash this economy straight into the ground. Fork it over or it's Goodbye savings accounts. Goodbye pensions. Goodbye United States Treasury. Goodbye jobs and homes and future. It was friggin' awesome and it scared the shit out of everyone. "Here! Take our money! We don't care. We'll even print more for you! Just take it! But, please, leave our lives alone, PLEASE!"
The executives in the board rooms and hedge funds could not contain their laughter, their glee, and within three months they were writing each other huge bonus checks and marveling at how perfectly they had played a nation full of suckers. Millions lost their jobs anyway, and millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt (see #1).
Until now. On Wisconsin! Never has a Michigander been more happy to share a big, great lake with you! You have aroused the sleeping giant known as the working people of the United States of America. Right now the earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge. Your message has inspired people in all 50 states and that message is: WE HAVE HAD IT! We reject anyone who tells us America is broke and broken. It's just the opposite! We are rich with talent and ideas and hard work and, yes, love. Love and compassion toward those who have, through no fault of their own, ended up as the least among us. But they still crave what we all crave: Our country back! Our democracy back! Our good name back! The United States of America. NOT the Corporate States of America. The United States of America!
So how do we make this happen? Well, we do it with a little bit of Egypt here, a little bit of Madison there. And let us pause for a moment and remember that it was a poor man with a fruit stand in Tunisia who gave his life so that the world might focus its attention on how a government run by billionaires for billionaires is an affront to freedom and morality and humanity.
Thank you, Wisconsin. You have made people realize this was our last best chance to grab the final thread of what was left of who we are as Americans. For three weeks you have stood in the cold, slept on the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois -- whatever it took, you have done it, and one thing is for certain: Madison is only the beginning. The smug rich have overplayed their hand. They couldn't have just been content with the money they raided from the treasury. They couldn't be satiated by simply removing millions of jobs and shipping them overseas to exploit the poor elsewhere. No, they had to have more -- something more than all the riches in the world. They had to have our soul. They had to strip us of our dignity. They had to shut us up and shut us down so that we could not even sit at a table with them and bargain about simple things like classroom size or bulletproof vests for everyone on the police force or letting a pilot just get a few extra hours sleep so he or she can do their job -- their $19,000 a year job. That's how much some rookie pilots on commuter airlines make, maybe even the rookie pilot who flew me here to Madison today. He told me he's stopped hoping for a pay increase. All he's asking for now is enough down time so that he doesn't have to sleep in his car between shifts at O'Hare airport. That's how despicably low we have sunk! The wealthy couldn't be content with just paying this man $19,000 a year. They had to take away his sleep. They had to demean him and dehumanize him and rub his face in it. After all, he's just another slob, isn't he?
And that, my friends, is Corporate America's fatal mistake. But trying to destroy us they have given birth to a movement -- a movement that is becoming a massive, nonviolent revolt across the country. We all knew there had to be a breaking point some day, and that point is upon us. Many people in the media don't understand this. They say they were caught off guard about Egypt, never saw it coming. Now they act surprised and flummoxed about why so many hundreds of thousands have come to Madison over the last three weeks during brutal winter weather. "Why are they all standing out there in the cold?" I mean, there was that election in November and that was supposed to be that!
"There's something happening here, and you don't know what it is, do you ...?"
America ain't broke! The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the rich hate most about America -- because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!
Madison, do not retreat. We are with you. We will win together.
I really don't know what to say about this, other than it clearly illustrates how deluded we are as a nation. And I don't think to do with any evil on our part. It's more to do with our desire to do good. When our government, in our name, commits atrocities, we either have to rationalize it somehow, or we need to come to terms with the fact that we are involved in atrocity.
As the one young man said, "If I say that we're fighting for freedom, it feels better, in my mind."
The most moving part is in the second half, when a girl approaches him to personally apologize for the war.
A federal jury in Salt Lake City has convicted environmental activist Tim DeChristopher of two felony counts for disrupting the auction of more than 100,000 acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling. DeChristopher was charged in December 2008 with infiltrating a public auction and disrupting the Bush administration’s last-minute move to auction off oil and gas exploitation rights on vast swaths of federal land. A student at the time, DeChristopher posed as a bidder and bought 22,000 acres of land with no intent to pay in an attempt to save the property from drilling. He faces up to ten years in prison. DeChristopher joins us today to talk about the verdict.
Tuesday evening (tonight) there are two live webinar events - one at 7pm Eastern, another at 7pm Pacific - with Annie Leonard of the Story of Stuff Project and Rob Weismann, President of Public Citizen.
To participate in one of the live webinar events, please register beforehand at one of the links below to get set up.
You'll be able to watch and listen to the event on your computer (and even pose questions to the speakers), or, you can use the phone number provided to listen to the webinar on speaker phone if that is preferable.
Finally, if you need sample letters, a copy of the petition, ideas for how to organize locally and more, you'll find them all in Public Citizen's Action Toolkit. You can download a copy of the toolkit HERE. Look for "Action Toolkit" in the PDF section.