July 29, 2011

October 6th Documentary

I just pledged some $$ to help Dennis Trainor make a documentary.

And I'm writing this blog entry to ask you to pledge ONE DOLLAR.


First, every dollar counts. And more than every dollar, every person counts.

Increasing the number of people who pledge will show that this documentary has popular support when Dennis approaches the bigger donors.

Dennis's goal today is to get 100 people to pledge in small dollars amounts- so please take a moment right now to pledge as little as ONE DOLLAR - and then share this message with your friends!

THIS IS JUST DAY 2 OF THE PLEDGE DRIVE for a feature length film that tells the story of arguably the most urgent and ambitious protest movement of a generation (at least in the U.S.), and I am asking you to pledge and share this with people in your network who might be inclined to help fund this project.

- More than $1,500 raised in day one.

- Pledge a buck today!

Thanks for doing this!

link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/736352510/taking-freedom-plaza

July 23, 2011

Sometimes I debate Anarcho-Capitalists in gchat

They come to me, I don't seek them out:

Mad: Is there any objective reason why we should steal from the well off and give it to the less off, or is there only "moral" reasons?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪First- it's not stealing.  Taxes are the dues you pay to be part of the "civilization club."‬
 ‪Mad: But I never consented to that‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Well, go live in the woods‬
you don't have to pay taxes if you don't earn income
 ‪Mad: But I need income to live‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪do you?‬
 ‪Mad: Absolutely‬
For food, shelter, insurance, so forth
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Why don't you try earning a different monetary unit?‬
You're earning government money
They are federal reserve notes
those are what are taxable
 ‪Mad: The government outlaws all other forms of units‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪not really‬
 ‪Mad: Didn't you hear what happened in North Carolina?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪There are alternative currencies all over the USA‬
also bartering
time dollars
 ‪Mad: Bartering is IRS taxable‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪only if you get a recipt‬
 ‪Mad: If for example‬
I wanted to print my own US dollars
They'd arrest me
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Yeah, that would be fraudulant‬
you'd have to come up with a different currency
 ‪Mad: Which the central bankers would crush once they become viable‬
Why do you like central bankers?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I don't like central bankers.  How would the central bankers crush your alt currency, exactly?‬
 ‪Mad: Well‬
Are you aware of what happened to the Demurge currency in Austria back during the last depression?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Wikipedia's Entry on Alternative Currencies in the USA
So what?
 ‪Mad: The central banks crushed that currency‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪We don't have a central bank.‬
Our dollars are backed by Debt
 ‪Mad: Yes we do‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Not really‬
 ‪Mad: It's called the Federal Reserve‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Yeh, sort of‬
 ‪Mad: Also http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/20/us-crime-currency-idUKTRE72J46L20110320‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I understand where you're coming from with that argument, but that central bank isn't like other central banks‬
also, the State Bank of North Dakota is public, not private
 ‪Mad: Well yes, it's half the way it should be‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and has been extremely successful‬
 ‪Mad: Ideally, the private banks should just run their own currency schemes‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪not at gaining riches, but at keeping the economy out there stable‬
 ‪Mad: I want a return to free banking‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Free market banking?‬
 ‪Mad: Yes‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪But the Federal Reserve is a private entity‬
you're getting fucked by privatization right now
 ‪Mad: Well it's a quasi private public institution‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Our money supply is private‬
 ‪Mad: I want to go back to before the federal reserve‬
When it was entirely private
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪It's was actually entirely public‬
 ‪Mad: No‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪yes‬
 ‪Mad: Free Banking was entirely private‬
Wilson changed that
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Nope‬
 ‪Mad: Yes‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Sorry.‬
 ‪Mad: Before‬
States had their own currency
Along with banks
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Yes, before the fed, the currency was public‬
 ‪Mad: This was better‬
Currency was competitive
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪OH!  States had their own currency, you're talking articles of confederation style‬
Yeah, those currencies were all public too
 ‪Mad: No‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪yes‬
 ‪Mad: No‬
Not all
Many currencies were private and supplied by the banks
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That's different‬
 ‪Mad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_banking#History‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That system sucked, by the way‬
 ‪Mad: Although the period from 1837 to 1864 in the U.S. is often referred to as the Free Banking Era, the term is something of a misnomer, for it refers not to a general system of "free" banking in the literal sense described previously, but rather to various state banking systems based on so-called "free banking" laws, which, though they made it unnecessary for new entrants to secure charters (each of which was subject to a vote by the state legislature), nonetheless restricted their undertakings in important ways. Most importantly, U.S. "free" banks were denied the right to establish branch networks, and had to "secure" their notes by purchasing and surrendering to state banking authorities certain securities those authorities deemed eligible for the purpose.‬
No it didn't
Why do you think it sucked?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Yes, it did.‬
Because it created bank rushes, and unstable economies
 ‪Mad: Well‬
There was some instability yes
But it was worth the price of freedom imo
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Without regulation, banks are free to fuck over their customers‬
 ‪Mad: If the customers don't like it, go to a different bank‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪But the bank could prevent you from transferring that money‬
and without any regulatory agency to go to, they could just steal from you
 ‪Mad: They could‬
But that would be bad business
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪this "freedom" you speak of is really unattractive‬
yeah, and who's going to stop them?
 ‪Mad: Customers‬
They will simply stop going there
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪how?‬
 ‪Mad: When it's known they steal‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and then lose everything they've invested in the bank?‬
 ‪Mad: Who will still go there?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪hardly‬
the bank gets away with all your money, and you get nothing
 ‪Mad: If need be, they can simply go to the branch with firearms and force them to give them back their money‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪This "freedom" sounds a lot like barbarism‬
 ‪Mad: Well no‬
It's like when a cop comes and forces them by gunpiont to do something
But now it's just the customers
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Also, how would you spend that money?‬
What if your grocery store was owned by the bank and you could only use that bank's money to buy groceries?
 ‪Mad: Go to a different grocery store‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And the bank, free from regulation, hired a military to bomb all the other grocery stores‬
 ‪Mad: Well‬
That would be illegal
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪illegal according to whom?‬
 ‪Mad: Laws‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪There's  no government regulation‬
 ‪Mad: I'm ok with laws against murder‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪But that's regulation‬
 ‪Mad: Sure‬
I'm a minarchist, not an anarchist
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪so you agree that SOME regulation is okay?‬
 ‪Mad: In some rare circumstances yes‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That SOME regulation is required to keep society civilized?‬
 ‪Mad: Depends on how you define civilized, but yes‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Now, how is that government going to enforce that regulation?‬
If there's no revenue through taxation?
 ‪Mad: With police officers, preferably outsourced to private firms‬
They can use land taxation
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪what is to keep those police officers working in the public interest rather than the bank's interests?‬
 ‪Mad: Pay them more‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪pay them more with what?‬
 ‪Mad: Money‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪from where?‬
 ‪Mad: Or materials‬
Food, materials, slaves, etc.
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪slaves?‬
what about freedom?
 ‪Mad: Well‬
I'm not for slavery
I'ms peaking hypothetically
Many societies employed slaves
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Right, but this hypothetical one has everybody free.  So no slaves‬
 ‪Mad: And there'd be some form of taxation, land taxation, so it's voluntary‬
Alright, no slaves
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪so you support some taxation to pay for government?‬
 ‪Mad: If it's voluntary yes‬
And it's not redistributed
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪isn't hiring a police force to keep the banks from bombing grocery stores a "redistribution of wealth"?‬
 ‪Mad: In a way maybe‬
But very minimal
Just enough to keep up from barbarism
keep us*
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Now, do you really think that a bunch of poor farmers, whose raw goods are worth very little under capitalism, are going to be able to generate enough revenue using a private bank's own currency, to stop the bank from running everything?‬
by hiring a police force?
 ‪Mad: They can storm the banks themselves‬
And hold them at gunpoint
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And with the collpase of the bank, the currency becomes worthless‬
 ‪Mad: Or tell their congressional representative that they're being unfairly exploited‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and what is to prevent the congressional representative from being in the pocket of the banks?‬
 ‪Mad: That's the point though, once a new bank forms, they'll be more ethnical‬
They can be voted out of office
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪without regulation, banks could spend lavishly on congressional reps‬
 ‪Mad: Vote them out‬
No regulation needed
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And they'll be replaced with more people who are in the bank's pocket‬
if not at first, then eventually
 ‪Mad: Well that's the folly of democracy in a way‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and if they decide to go against the banks, the banks will hire assassins‬
 ‪Mad: Would they not hire assassins to kill the regulators?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪they did that too‬
and the people who passed the regulations into law
 ‪Mad: But it still happened‬
So they may try
But lose
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and put their heads on pikes as a warning to others‬
 ‪Mad: Of course‬
Under a free market
There is no monopolies
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪how is that?‬
 ‪Mad: Competition‬
Kills monopolies
Only government creates monopolies
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That's not true‬
 ‪Mad: Have you heard of the Dutch East Indian Company?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I have, I know that whole story, and have read Life Inc‬
Govt creates corporate monopolies
 ‪Mad: Yes‬
Do you agree with Life Inc's analysis?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Partially‬
The thing of it is, is this:
If you allow govt and private wealth to collude, you get monopoly
if you let private power have free reign, you get monopoly too
 ‪Mad: What do you disagree with? I'm curious as to that‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪if you give the government all economic power, you get monopoly‬
I view government as on equal footing with corporations and businesses.  They are both corporate power structures.  One is run democratically, and one is run fascistically.
Governments are unions.
 ‪Mad: Where did Life Inc get it wrong though? I think he has it spot on it's government and not the free market‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Corporations are unions too‬
I think that's shallow analysis
 ‪Mad: Who's?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪to pin everything on govt‬
Life Incs analysis is this: the free market is evil, and will eat itsself alive.  If we let it run it's course, it will die.  That's not what you're arguing.
 ‪Mad: Is it?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪yes‬
 ‪Mad: I read it‬
He said government and central authority are to blame
The very same author said we should have let the banks die too (I agree), and let a new economy form
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪If you eliminate democratic government, corporate power becomes the new government‬
here's the thing-- yes, governments allow corporations to exist-- within governments.
 ‪Mad: That's fine, I want a government subject to profit/loss anyway.‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪The Dutch East Indian Company did not need permission to operate in the  USA as the government here‬
 ‪Mad: It did from the crown‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪But it didn't need it.‬
 ‪Mad: It got the permission though‬
The Crown would have killed them all
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪They could have hired their own military and had a coup against the monarchy‬
 ‪Mad: Yeah but remember‬
Government has the real power
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪the deal that was struck allowed both power structures to exist symbiotically‬
 ‪Mad: They simply let corporations run amok via long leash theory‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Business is a stateless nation‬
Corporations are stateless nations
 ‪Mad: Run very efficiently imo‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪yes, Fascism is extremely efficient‬
 ‪Mad: We agree there‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Look-- a corporation is the textbook definition of fascism‬
 ‪Mad: Then what's your solution? You said you're against government having all the economic power.‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Yes.‬
I'm a Democratic Socialist
 ‪Mad: Socialism sucks‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪No, communism sucks‬
 ‪Mad: That too‬
So, what would be your ideal economic system
Give me some details
Since "socialism" is also in the eye of the beholder
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪My ideal economic system is a mixed market economy, and a democratic socialism government and economy‬
 ‪Mad: What is a democratic economy?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪This means democratically run workplaces‬
 ‪Mad: So‬
Would you democratically run a nuclear power plant?
That sounds dangerou
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Actually, democratically run power plants are less dangerous‬
 ‪Mad: Which ones?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Union run ones for starters‬
 ‪Mad: Democratically running dangerous facilities is a recipe for disaster‬
Oh well
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪But it's not a recipe for disaster‬
it's far safer
 ‪Mad: Unions are only democratic nomially, many are centralized and more meritically run, which I have no problem with.‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪union run nuclear facilities are safer.  They report more incidents to regulators, and know that they are protected by both the union and the government from the corporation by whistleblower status‬
 ‪Mad: But that's not a democratically run power plant‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪yes it is‬
 ‪Mad: That's a union power plant‬
‪With it's own centralized beachwear‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪beachwear?‬
 ‪Mad: AFL-CIO and SEIU are not democracies (anymore), they've long become nominally democratic.‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That's a strawman‬
 ‪Mad: How so?‬
I don't know where beachwear came from
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Because you're attacking the organization, which is a separate entity from the workplaces in which unions exist‬
 ‪Mad: I'm not attacking them‬
I'm complimenting them
I'm against Democracy
It's inefficient
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪So you're a fascist?‬
 ‪Mad: No‬
Not really
I have some overlap though
My ideal governance system would be Singapore
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪REALLY?!‬
You should move there then
 ‪Mad: Yes really!‬
I wish I could
I'd rather help import that here though
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I do not want that at all‬
 ‪Mad: But I want to see a democratically run nuclear power plant‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪my brother is living there currently, and he says it sucks‬
there are checkpoints where you are searched by the military to make sure you don't have chewing gum
 ‪Mad: In what way does it suck?‬
Yes, what's the problem?
They need to maintain the city and make it clean
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪He went and saw a rock and roll band, and the band wasn't allowed to dance on stage‬
that doesn't sound like freedom at all
if you spit in public you get caned
 ‪Mad: That's fine‬
How else will they stop spitting?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That's not liberty‬
that sounds like the most oppressive government possible
 ‪Mad: Yes but they have great business freedom‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪fuck business freedom‬
 ‪Mad: It's the heart of an economy‬
Where would you be without corporations?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪without personal liberty and civil liberties business freedom is worthless‬
 ‪Mad: Really?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I would be happier without most corporations‬
 ‪Mad: We wouldn't have any of modern civilization without it‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪yes‬
True, government is a corporation
also, Land O Lakes is a democratically run collective
it's super inefficient
everybody get's paid the same
 ‪Mad: I'm not surprised‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and nobody is fired‬
 ‪Mad: Democratically run collectives are inefficient‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and they've been around for over 100 years‬
 ‪Mad: So then, we agree democratically run workplaces are inefficient?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and manage to get their product into almost every supermarket in the USA‬
no, I was being sarcastic
 ‪Mad: Oh‬
Where would computers be
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪They run a top-notch business‬
 ‪Mad: Without corporations?‬
Land o lakes is also not a power plant though
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪you're right.  they make butter‬
 ‪Mad: Much safer‬
Democracy is fine when the worst case scenario isn't much to worry about
When it's a nuclear meltdown
Democracy sucks
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪However-- data and history prove that unionized power plants are safer‬
same with coal mines
 ‪Mad: Sure‬
I won't argue there
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Unions are mini-democracies within fascist states‬
collectives are full fledged democratic workplaces
 ‪Mad: Sort of, they're authoritarian as well nowadays, which is good‬
SEIU was recently working with Kaiser to crush a new union forming
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Anyways, i'd rather work for Land O Lakes than some corporation that's going to fuck me out of my pension‬
 ‪Mad: Where would computers be without corporations?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Where would you be without the US Govt?‬
 ‪Mad: Much happier‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Doubtful‬
 ‪Mad: No, I'm pretty sure‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪more likely you'd be in a slave camp‬
 ‪Mad: How so?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪are you rich?‬
 ‪Mad: Define rich‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪do you make more than $1,000,000 a year?‬
 ‪Mad: Oh no‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪do you make more than 100,000 a year?‬
 ‪Mad: Yes‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪well, it's no wonder that you're a fucking fascist then‬
 ‪Mad: ?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪You're on the winning side of that coin‬
I'm on the losing side
 ‪Mad: Oh well‬
That is life isn't it?
Also I'm not a fascist
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I was born poor, and since our "free market" does not actually allow for class mobility like the horatio algers fairy tales lead us to believe, I will remain poor‬
 ‪Mad: Wait‬
We have plenty of social mobility in the US
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪no we dont‬
 ‪Mad: Really? I see al ot of people move up after university‬
a lot*
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I have come out of college saddled with debt, and without a college degree‬
 ‪Mad: well what did you major in?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I cannot get a good paying job because I don't have a degree‬
I cannot get my degree because I have too much student debt
 ‪Mad: Well‬
What did you major in?
That is very important
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I cannot get more loans, because I "have not made progress towards my degree."‬
I majored in music.  That's not important.  Majors are meaningless.  It's your master's degree that's important
I would like to go on to law school.
 ‪Mad: I only have a B.S. and I'm doing very well. It matters very much what you chose to major in‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I will not be able to afford to, unless I get a full boat scholarship‬
 ‪Mad: Well‬
Why should I pay for your poor choices? No offense.
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪It would not have mattered‬
 ‪Mad: This can't be changed‬
It's the law of life
The losers stay losers unless they have will power
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪NO, its a law of capitalism‬
 ‪Mad: In life‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪the poor remain poor, and the rich remain rich‬
 ‪Mad: There's a few winners‬
and a whole lot of losers
~George Carlin
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪that's capitialsim‬
 ‪Mad: That's fine, capitalism works very well‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪If you're on the winning side, it works great for you‬
For the bottom 60% of americans, it fucking sucks
 ‪Mad: Yes, look at it from my perspective‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪We are effectively slaves‬
That is not freedom
 ‪Mad: We're successful because we worked hard, and we're being rewarded for it‬
You can stop working and go on welfare
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Hardly‬
I can barely afford to support myself now
 ‪Mad: It is not my fault their ancestors made poor decisions‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That's not freedom, or equality, or anything that America stands for‬
 ‪Mad: It is freedom‬
You have the ability to rise above your status
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪America is founded on the idea that people can create their own future, that people are all created equal, that nobody should be held to account for their father's sins‬
 ‪Mad: Well then, I wonder why we had slaves?‬
That seems like a glaring contradiction.
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪We had slaves because black people were not seen as people, they were seen as cattle‬
 ‪Mad: Yes‬
So not all men were "created" equal
Which is true
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Today, we recognize that all people are people‬
 ‪Mad: Some people are inherently superior to others‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪or at least that's the dominant paradigm‬
No, some people are born with a spear pointed at their throat, and some people are born holding the spear
 ‪Mad: No‬
Some are superior to others
Compare Albert Einstein to a Down Syndrome kid
who's superior?
I'm going with the former, given how much he contributed to society, unlike the latter, who only was a leech
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I've got to go.  It's good to know that you're a fascist.‬
 ‪Mad: I'm not‬
But I'm sorry you're angry at success
we can't have it all though
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I'm not angry at success.  I'm angry at systemic inequity‬
 ‪Mad: All societies are highly unequal‬
The strong rule over the weak
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and the idea that those who have the misfortune of being born poor should be crushed completely‬
 ‪Mad: They need us more than we need them‬
I don't think they should be crushed
Unless they try to take over
I hope we don't get a repeat of Tsarist Russia
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I do too.  Which is why social spending should not be cut‬
 ‪Mad: I disagree‬
Force of arms is enough to put them down
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪you're out of touch with reality‬
The fewer of the rich there are, the more of the poor there are.
 ‪Mad: Or middle class‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪the rich get exponentially richer‬
 ‪Mad: You're forgetting them‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪we don't have a middle class in the USA anymore‬
 ‪Mad: I'm middle class‬
We still exist
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪No you're not.‬
 ‪Mad: Oh, what am I?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Upper class.  Middle class makes 46,000 a year‬
 ‪Mad: Oh‬
Well ok, maybe so
I'm loving it though
Why should I give it up?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Nobody is saying you should give it up.‬
 ‪Mad: But I will have to‬
If more people become upper class
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪You have a right to be successful.  Not at the expense of those who put you there‬
 ‪Mad: My wealth is dispirited‬
I put myself here
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That's bullshit.  No man is an island‬
 ‪Mad: Poor welfare moms did not put me here‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪yes they did‬
 ‪Mad: Oh really?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪what do you do for a living‬
what is your trade or industry?
 ‪Mad: Stock broker (yes, I'm sure you'll think I'm evil now)‬
I'm part of the class that keeps your economy pumping
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪HAHAHAH!!!  That's bullshit, but whatever‬
 ‪Mad: Not bullshit.‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪So is there a particular field that you trade?‬
a particular market rather?
 ‪Mad: Pharmaceutical industry‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪okay‬
The pharmaceutical industry make their money by doing what?
 ‪Mad: Plus, I'm not rich, I only make 300,000 USD, which isn't that much really.‬
Creating pharmaceuticals.
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And then?‬
 ‪Mad: Selling them‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪To whom?‬
 ‪Mad: The general public‬
The ones with insurance at least
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And the biggest insurance provider in the USA is?‬
 ‪Mad: Probably Aetna‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And the biggest consumer of pharmaceuticals is?‬
Actually no, it's Medicare
 ‪Mad: Oh well, yeah‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and the biggest consumer is old people‬
 ‪Mad: I was talking privately spekaing‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪who are on social security‬
 ‪Mad: speaking*‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I'm talking "real life"‬
 ‪Mad: So am I‬
I'm not against Medicare
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Right, because it makes you rich‬
 ‪Mad: Well‬
It's a needed program is it not?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Welfare moms are often on medicare.‬
 ‪Mad: No‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪sorry,‬
 ‪Mad: They're on Medicaid‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪medicaid‬
 ‪Mad: Which is a terrible program btw‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I agree.‬
Medicare should be expanded to cover everybody.
 ‪Mad: But if we did that‬
80% of our economy would be Medicare
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and you'd be fuckin' rolling in it‬
 ‪Mad: Maybe, but not when our economy crashes‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪our economy already crashed‬
 ‪Mad: Not for my community‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪it will soon enough‬
 ‪Mad: Not if we get the right people in‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪See, when poor white trash like me can't afford to by the things that you produce, revenue for you goes down‬
 ‪Mad: I agree‬
I wouldn't call you white trash though
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I am white trash.  I accept that.  I work in a fucking factory, and i'm effectively a college drop out (not by my choice)‬
 ‪Mad: Well‬
College isn't for everybody
 Sent at 3:03 PM on Saturday
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I would agree with that.  If we had universal education, people like me, who actually WANT to learn could go and learn and become successful without debt.‬
 ‪Mad: I think though, you would fare much better under a free market.‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Those people who think of college as a four year party binge would get kicked out, and prevent degree inflation from happening‬
 ‪Mad: Ok, but here's the rub with free universal higher ed‬
What about the people who don't utilize it well? What do we do with them?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪What do you mean?‬
 ‪Mad: Well‬
As you put it
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪The four year party people?‬
 ‪Mad: The kids who use it as a party binge?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And then they can go on to a trade school and become succesful plumbers or electricians‬
 ‪Mad: Ok sure‬
But I have to pay 4 years
Of University for those folks
That is a raw deal
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Not really.‬
In france there is an aptitude exam.  If you don't pass, you have to go to a private institution
or a trade school
 ‪Mad: Hmm‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪the thing is though, I know a woman from france who did not pass, went to trade school, and is now the captain of a research vessle, and she makes $150,000 a year, plus has 6 months off every year‬
 ‪Mad: We have plenty of trade schools here‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪*vessel‬
 ‪Mad: though a lot of them are scams‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪exactly‬
 ‪Mad: Unfortunately.‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪they are scams because they are not effectively regulated‬
 ‪Mad: I actually agree there‬
And they suck off tax dollars
Circumventing pell grants in thew rong direction
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪absolutely‬
An instance in which socialism is bailing capitalism out
 ‪Mad: You're right‬
How would we pay for it?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Taxation.‬
 ‪Mad: The Euro Zone is about to collapse‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪So is the USA‬
 ‪Mad: Tax and spend social democracy haven't been sustainable\‬
Well true
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪At the heart of both crises has been the banks funneling money upwards to the very richest few‬
 ‪Mad: I agree‬
we need to get rid of central banks
Ala Ron Paul
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I agree with that.‬
Sort of
The Gold Standard is just another arbitrary monetary unit

How to Fix Trickle Down Economics & Make It Work

 ‪Mad: Well‬
The Gold Standard is stable though
 Sent at 3:11 PM on Saturday
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪not really.  The Gold Standard artificially limits the money supply.  Plus, you still end up with the same problems.  The Fed (a private bank) doesn't print money.  It lends credit.  The Treasury prints money.  Neither the gold nor the money are worth anything.  That is a mass delusion that we all participate in.‬
 ‪Mad: Well‬
What's yoru solution? If I may ask
There's a flaw with your video
You're not taking into account the intellectual deficit the poor have.
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I'm poor.  Do I have an intellectual deficit?‬
 ‪Mad: No‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪and do you think that they intellectual deficit may be caused by the fact that their schools are underfunded?‬
 ‪Mad: But you're only one person‬
We overfund our public education system
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪also, stupid people still buy thngs‬
 ‪Mad: Triple them to inner city schools‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪that's laughable!‬
 ‪Mad: No we do‬
We throw money at problems
Thinking they'll get solved
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I grew up in a rural area.  Our shool almost collapsed financially because our town council was unwilling to raise property taxes by $1 per capita‬
 ‪Mad: What happened?‬
If I may inquire
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪We lobbied our town council ceaselessly, and they raised taxes.  And our school was saved.‬
 ‪Mad: Hmm‬
Why wouldn't they raise the 1 dollar tax?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And nobody even noticed that extra dollar‬
They wouldn't raise it because they were Republicans who thought that all taxation was theft
 ‪Mad: Hmm‬
Well in LA
Which is run by Democrats
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Corrupt Democrats‬
 ‪Mad: They fund poor schools there quite lavishly‬
And still they're dumb kids
Perhaps they're just born stupid?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪By what standard are they dumb?‬
 ‪Mad: Lack of knowledge and reason‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That seems to me to be more of a problem with curriculum‬
 ‪Mad: And why would you assume Los Angeles politicians are corrupt (that was rhetorical)‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪if you fund a crappy curriculum and teach to standardized tests, you get standardized idiocy‬
 ‪Mad: Ok what should be done?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I am not familiar with the LA school system.‬
 ‪Mad: Ok, in a broad sense‬
What would your educational strategy be?
More money?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪What I would do with any school system though, is make sure that there is an emphasis on 1) the scientific method 2) critical thinking skills 3) debate 4) civic engagement‬
Funding is secondary to curriculum
 ‪Mad: Why those four?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪because you need to teach people to think for them to learn‬
 ‪Mad: But doesn't society need burger flippers?‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I was lucky to have several teachers who challenged me to think rather than believe‬
I think that society would not collapse in the absence of burger flippers
 ‪Mad: I did too, but I went to private school‬
I think so
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I went to public school.‬
 ‪Mad: We need an intellectual devoid class to do our dirty work‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪First I disagree‬
 ‪Mad: It's kind of like our military‬
We need a class of people who are stupid and only listen to orders
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪wow, that's really dark‬
 ‪Mad: And we need the intelligent people who will give the orders, and are able to interpret them‬
Life is quite dark, I accepted this long ago
But why do you disagree?
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪What of those who are poor and intelligent who cannot afford to go to private schools?‬
And those who are stupid and rich, like George W Bush?
 ‪Mad: I believe society should make merit based scholarships‬
I wouldn't mind if the government funded them
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪That sounds like socialism‬
 ‪Mad: A bit‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪are you sure you want to redistribute the wealth like that?‬
 ‪Mad: It's a minor amount‬
Ideally, I'd want their parents to pay on their own
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Why should you steal from the stupid rich people who can AFFORD to go to private schools just to pay for poor people?  They shouldn't have been born poor.  End of story, right?‬
 ‪Mad: But if they can't, and their child is truly deserving, sure. But most children are pretty dumb, so it'll be of lowe cost‬
Ideally I agree
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪Wow.‬
 ‪Mad: Their parents are responsible for their poverty‬
But I agree there's exceptions
As few as they may be
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪And their parents's parents are responsible for their parents's poverty.‬
 ‪Mad: Yes‬
Punk Patriot: ‪ ‬ ‪I've really got to go.‬
 ‪Mad: If they're deserving‬
I'm not an idealist though, I'm a free market advocate by principle, with some exceptions

Bernie Sanders vs Obama: Here's the Algebra

From DraftBernieSanders2012.org

The first three items on this list are obvious, or should be, with the recent collapses of Obama around the Bush Tax Cuts, and cuts to medicare and Social Security, and the fact that we're now involved in 4-ish illegal, undeclared wars now.

The next few are less obvious.

So let me help a little:

Protect Environment

: Obama does not oppose the coal industry. He does not oppose mountain top removal. In doing so, he has implicitly decided that the people of West Virginia and the Tennessee Valley are expendable pawns. We are all willing to kill those people to have cheap electricity. He does not oppose nuclear power, which is insane. Nuclear power requires the burning of coal to generate electricity for enriching uranium. And the nuclear waste lasts for tens of thousands of years. To put that in perspective, 20 thousand years ago, human beings were living in caves and wearing animal pelts.

Invest in Public Education and Jobs

: This is more of a sin of inaction than anything. I do not want to discount the fact that thanks to the Obama Whitehouse and the Democrats in congress, we now have student debt forgiveness. After something like 40 years-- that is. While it's SOMETHING, it does nothing to fix the problem, and it's not the sort of bold leadership that we need to get our country out of the toilet.

Bernie Sanders supports universal college education. That means you go to college, study what you want, and the government picks up the tab. Sound like Soviet Russia? Try Denmark. Or Finland or Norway. Or even Cuba or Argentina. All of which are kicking our ass when it comes to secondary education graduation rates, literacy rates, math, science, etc. Wait --Cuba is kicking our ass in education? They're shit poor! Ah, but so are 60% of Americans, especially after college.

And none of the youth in these places have to worry about being saddled with debt, and so they are free to spend time as entrepreneurs, building up businesses from the ground up, and creating innovative technology.

Curb Corporate Greed

The "Wall Street Reform" bill was a total fucking joke. Goldman Sachs was Obama's top donor.
Bernie Sanders supports the kind of REAL reform that would make the gambling that ruined the economy to start with illegal. We have not seen any push to reinstate the Glass-Steagall act from the White House. They've remained tepid servents of Wall Street proposing limp reforms that are little more than showboating for the Democratic Party's base.

Protect Civil Rights

This one hits close to home for me. Obama voted for the FISA reform bill that gave the US Gov't unprecedented new powers to spy on American citizens. I found that I was on a long list of people who Verizon monitored and turned information over to the Government without a warrant or suspicion, but because of the FISA bill, neither I nor the ACLU could do anything to sue them for violating my rights to privacy. Then there's the whole thing about claiming the right to assassinate US citizens suspected of terrorism.

It's also been under the Obama Administration that we've seen these creepy "If you see something, say something" spots, with Janet Napalitano telling Wal*Mart shoppers to turn their neighbors in to the Homeland Security Dept.

Protect Rights in the Workplace

While the Progressive base of the DNC has been rallying around worker's rights in Wisconsin, Maine, Ohio, and all over the USA, Obama has remained silent. Another sin of inaction.

And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. If you can think of any of the other damning things I've missed, please let me know and I'll add them.

July 19, 2011

The Young Turks - News of The World Whistleblower found dead

Reporter Sean Hoare who was the first to expose the News Of The World phone hacking scandal was found dead. Cenk Uygur explains the strange circumstances around the death.

July 18, 2011

Fighting Back: Success Stories so far

When things are dismal, and corporate control of our lives seems utter and complete, it can seem like nothing can be done. That we might as well sit back and watch it all fall down, because we are powerless.

First, that is never true. The only difference between heroes and ordinary people is that heroes decide to act, while ordinary people continue to sit on the sidelines and feel powerless.
Second, here are some success stories of people banding together to fight back against the robber barons.

We hear over and over from Anarchists and Libertarians that the answer to our problems is less government. It's the fact that the government exists that is the reason why Corporate America is able to screw us over.

But that is not the case. Our government serves as a citizen's union so that we can collectively fight back against those who seek to control our lives.

The answer is not to get rid of our government-- That's exactly what the kleptocracy is already trying to do.

The answer is to USE our government.

We've been asleep at the wheel, and Corporate America has taken the wheel from us.



July 16, 2011

Robert Sapolsky - The Uniqueness of Humans

Dow Chemical (Napalm) and Monstanto (Agent Orange) are feeding you and your family.

GMO Film Project Sizzler from Compeller Pictures on Vimeo.

via TakePart.com

In 2010, after a 7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti and left its people with nothing, circumstances were bleak; resources were in short supply. Why, then, would poor Haitian farmers set to flame 475 tons of corn and vegetable seeds that agricultural biotcech company Monsanto had donated in relief aid?

That's the question that led American Jeremy Seifert to the Caribbean nation, where he sought answers to a seemingly inexplicable decision.

In examining Haitian farmers' symbolic act of defiance against what they perceived to be a threat to their very livelihood, Seifert unearthed unsettling details about his own country's food sources.

He returned to the U.S., where he embarked on a cross-country quest for answers about America's food supply.

Thank you! (And how subscriptions will work from now on)

July 14, 2011

The Disappearing Fish -or- Why I Refuse to Eat Seafood.

From Current.com's Vanguard Series.

Why the Free Market won't fix this problem-- it will only make it worse.

As the supply decreases, demand increases. And prices go up. And there is even more market pressures to hunt this fish to extinction. In fact, the closer the fish comes to extinction, the more market pressure there is to hunt it.

July 3, 2011

Julian Assange, Slavoj Žižek, and Amy Goodman discuss Wikileaks

Watch live streaming video from democracynow at livestream.com

from Democracy Now!

And if you're on Team Wikileaks, show it by wearing this shirt:

If you're on Team Secrecy, show it by not telling anybody that you're on team secrecy.

July 2, 2011

Why does Tim DeChristopher go to jail while the CEOs of BP and Massey Coal go free?

I met with Tim DeChristopher at Netroots Nation, and asked him a similar question. Unfortunately my Flip Cam's battery died during my filming the panel discussion.

My question was this-- If MTR coal mining is literally killing people, why isn't anybody prosecuting the executive boards of these companies for murder?

Tim's answer was that we need creative and daring prosecuting attorneys to bring these sorts of cases. Which I took to mean in a roundabout way, that I should redouble my efforts at getting into law school. Specifically Pace, where Robert F Kennedy teaches.

Seeing this interview with Robert F Kennedy Jr is enheartening. Perhaps he and the Pace law clinic will pursue charges?

The following was originally posted over at Peaceful Uprising

Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher is going to jail, but Don Blankenship isn’t—despite the fact that he illegally destroyed an entire mountain range. Why? Because he’s the CEO of Massey Energy Company—and has completely bought off the judicial system in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

In this conversation with The Nation and On the Earth Productions recorded at Chicago’s Orrington Hotel, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says that we are once again on the verge of losing our democracy to corporate power. Yet instead of surrendering the achievements of the New Deal and Progressive Era, activists need to fight for the middle class and prepare the way for social change. Kennedy has long been active in the environmental justice movement, and his latest efforts to stop mountaintop removal mining are featured in the new documentary, The Last Mountain.

July 1, 2011

LePage's Voter Suppression Bill: Chellie Pingree on Rachel Maddow

The bill to eliminate same-day registration is aimed to suppress the vote, particularly of working people and young people.