Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekly Roundup, May 15-21, 2012

by BlueberryT

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Patrick shows the example of Frankfurt, where OWS-inspired protests have occurred in a peaceful manner.  This is in sharp contrast to the shocking and illegal police brutality that has occurred in numerous American cities over the past 6-8 months, as shown in this video.  The post also highlights concerns that Occupy’s efforts to remain peaceful may be thwarted by other groups that build on Occupy’s work but may not share their commitment to non-violent protest, thus potentially tarnishing Occupy’s reputation.  Here is a report on the protests by "Blockupy" in Frankfurt this week (after Patrick's post); here is the NYT on the subject.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nick Hanauer is a billionaire entrepreneuer and investor.  He gave a talk at the TED conference on why the wealthy should pay higher taxes.  In it, he called out the much-repeated lie that the wealthy are the “job creators.”  Instead, he shows that it is middle class demand that is the driver of the economy, including job creation.  The graphs are particularly excellent, showing how reducing taxes on the wealthiest is associated with rising unemployment – exactly the opposite of the “trickle down/wealthy are job creators” false dogma.  Equally interesting to the talk itself is the fact that the TED conference didn’t want to release the video, claiming that the talk was too partisan and “unconvincing.”  (Perhaps they can’t read or interpret graphs?)  Interestingly, the fact that the conference didn’t release the video of his remarks became the bigger story, with coverage (pro and con) by numerous MSM outlets.  Hopefully, this will have the effect of even more people seeing his talk than would have if they had released it in the first place.  Nice job highlighting this, Patrick.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Patrick had an incredibly productive week blogging – this post highlights two documentaries by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune.  Jamie’s first film is “Born Rich,” highlighting the lives of heirs and heiresses of über-wealth.  Personally, I couldn’t relate to them all that much – I guess that was the point!  One of the messages is that inheriting a lot of money can really f*ck people up, and that they live in a bubble unlike anything most of us can really fathom.  It ends with Johnson’s own comment, which seems to reflect the paths of those in the group who are most balanced:  “It’s my job to build a meaningful life apart from all this privilege I’ve inherited…”  The second film, “The One Percent,” delves into income inequality issues that the OWS movement has publicized.  The film was made 5-6 years ago, and displays not only Johnson’s prescience but also excellent documentary skills, including a wide range of interviews with a fascinating array of people.  Definitely a MUST SEE film.  Johnson wraps the film up with a great comment by a taxi driver (who has just learned of Johnson’s family):  “You might think I’m an idiot…My family is one of the richest families in the world, but not with money; with love, kindness, tolerance and patience, qualities that are worth more than money…and you can’t buy that.  They taught me how to love people for who they are, not what I want them to be.  They taught me how to get along with people.  They taught me how to treat people the way I want to be treated…”   

Some Comments and Links:

JCos:  If you are alright with people being gay, but oppose gay marriage, and you think people should abstain until they're married, when are gay people supposed to have sex?  It's just so confusing!

AKRNC:  Mitt Romney scares the shit out of me, the thought of him becoming President is such a threat to the way we currently live.  He will be devastating for our economy, taking us back to the Bush era policies, not to mention what it does to us on a social level.  His policies are demeaning to women, to children, to the disabled and the poor, yet he either doesn't know or doesn't give a damn.  His behavior indicates more of the latter, unfortunately.  He's definitely of the "I've got mine, don't give a damn if you get yours or not" style of politics.  When I heard he and his wife claiming that it was their turn to be in the White House, it wasn't that he felt that he worked hard for years, worked for the people, and in turn felt like he could do more for those same people by being President.  It was the, "I've campaigned for several years now and damn it, I've spent more than enough money so I should be President" type of attitude that came across.  He believes he's entitled to whatever he wants simply because of his background and bank account.  It's evident in his past so-called "pranks" in high school, his belittling of others through some of the most ridiculously self-absorbed comments to ever come out of a candidates mouth and that's saying a lot when you think of all the stupidity we've heard over the years.  He lies without a second thought and when called on it, he doubles down on the same.  I think that President Obama most certainly deserves a second term as he's made what can be considered excellent progress in some areas with half of Congress refusing to work with him.  Imagine if we truly had a bipartisan Congress and where we would be if they had worked together as they are supposed to do, to reach common goals, to compromise when necessary and to put aside their ill feelings towards one another and work for the people who elected them...  

Laprofesora952:   [Bristol’s] thoughtless comment is offensive to those families who have DS kids with severe medical and/or behavioral problems. DS kids do not all have the same level of abilities and it is insensitive of her to suggest so. Some of these kids have complex issues. She makes it sound like Trig is a toy, a cute little plaything instead of a person with unique strengths and weaknesses. But god forbid a Paylin would try to educate him or herself about anything like DS. It's so much easier to spout nonsense that suits her agenda.

Yknott:  I just finished getting caught up with all my go-to political blogs, watched Rachel, and peeked at some RWNJ blogs. Omg.  The Republicans are completely nutz!  They have gone off the rails.  I also got one of those awful emails from one of my conservative relatives stating that Obama doesn't respect our flag and wants to change our national anthem to "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing".  Seriously!  I. need. a. drink.

diz:  Is there no end to the insanity?   If I didn't know a couple of these types personally I'd never believe that a person could be so gullible and ill-informed in this century. 

Brilliant from Caligirl:   I have a new word for the GOP oil machine: #Petrosexuals   

Older_Wiser:  I've never seen such evil in politics since the 1930s.  And we had a World War over that.

Lillibird pointed out this on bullying and I found this about bullying on Twitter: must read (all the way to the end).  

Older_Wiser linked to this fromcrooksandliars on ALEC 
and she pointed out this photo: 

LizH and KAO pointed out this image.  

And then there’s this great Doonesbury on the “job creators” myth.  

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