Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hillary Should Stay Two More Years

PALM DESERT, CA - JULY 12:   (L-R) Former Pres...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe Madonna Of Global Politics

China is in sight. Russia is rumbling, and China is in sight.

If Hillary had been vice president, she would have stayed eight years. Being Secretary of State is like being vice president. It is a top job. So her leaving after four years is arbitrary. It is not like suddenly she is too old. If that were the case, she would never have run for president. People who think they are going to be too old in four years do not run.

And it is not about Hillary, it is about the world. I am not saying she is indispensable. I am sure there is someone on the Democratic horizon who might be able to step in. It is about continuity at a crucial time. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya have not been small events. But they are small compared to what could still happen. Syria is still in the works. Iran has not happened yet, Saudi Arabia has not happened yet. Russia is rumbling. China has not happened yet.

And America will happen before China will happen. Only total campaign finance reform will quench the Occupy movement. Nothing less will. And once there is total campaign finance reform in America, this country could legitimately ask for democracy in China.

If Hillary ran on the world's schedule, she might have run for president in 2004, and I think she would have won. But Hillary seems to think the world runs on her schedule. So she took her sweet time - prepare? She was ready in 1992 - and ran in 2008 and lost. Bill Clinton tried very, very hard to get her to run in 2004. I remember watching the guy's moves and feeling sorry for him.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2007Image via Wikipedia
If the world runs on Hillary's schedule, she retires at the end of 2012. If Hillary runs on the world's schedule, she stays in office to 2014. That might be enough time to occupy China. China is the ultimate prize.

You don't change the Secretary of State in the middle of a raging, global revolution.
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mobile Occupy, Dawn To Dusk Occupy

Occupied JournalImage by Saint Huck via FlickrEvent: December 12th: Occupy Strikes Back (RSVP for NYC only HERE)

Occupy Wall Street Could Legitimately Go Indoors

24/7 camping out in a public place of a few hundred people has been the heart and soul of the Occupy movement. And it will have to return to that. But skipping the winter months would be a good idea. April, anyone?

24/7 can mutate to dawn to dusk, no tents required. 24/7 can mutate to daylong events away from public parks. Flash events, planned events.

This movement went national a long time ago. This movement went global a long time ago. This movement will shake Russia, this movement will shake China.
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Russia's Turn

Russia-229Image by didkovskaya via FlickrWhen things were rumbling in Egypt I predicted this democracy tsunami is also going to hit America and Russia and China. Well, it did hit America. We call it the Occupy Movement. And now looks like it is Russia's turn.

China might have largely skipped the Great Recession but there is no skipping the democracy tsunami. But I think the democracy wave will have to succeed in Russia before it touches China. Just like the wave will have to succeed in Iran before Saudi Arabia is affected.

I am positive. Obama's reelection will not be the biggest news of 2012. 2012 will be the year of the tsunami of democracy.
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Real Story Behind The European Mess

Flag of the British Indian Ocean TerritoryImage via WikipediaThe market is sending strong signals.

The Europeans did the economic union thing, and they did the single currency thing. But they thought they all could still be all these various sovereign nations.

And the market is saying no to that.

The economic union and the single currency needed to be followed with a political union. The Europeans needed to work on that years ago. Not attempting a political union was a mistake. And the Europeans are paying a price.

And if they are not going to go for the political union the economic union is going to unravel. The single currency could fall apart.

This storm is major.
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Somewhere To Start

Day 50 Occupy Wall Street November 5 2011 Shan...Image by david_shankbone via Flickr(1) A second term for Barack Obama, with a super majority in the Senate and a majority in the House in exchange for total campaign finance reform within the first 100 days of his second term. If that is not delivered, launch a new third political party. This is me saying 2012 is about The Agenda, not Barack Obama.

(2) Wealth Equity Tax of 10% on all corporations with a valuation over a billion dollars.

(3) Nationalize Zuccotti Park.

Jeff Sachs: New York Times: The New Progressive Movement: Following our recent financial calamity, a third progressive era is likely to be in the making. This one should aim for three things. The first is a revival of crucial public services, especially education, training, public investment and environmental protection. The second is the end of a climate of impunity that encouraged nearly every Wall Street firm to commit financial fraud. The third is to re-establish the supremacy of people votes over dollar votes in Washington....... The progressive era took 20 years to correct abuses of the Gilded Age. The New Deal struggled for a decade to overcome the Great Depression, and the expansion of economic justice lasted through the 1960s. The new wave of reform is but a few months old. ...... The young people in Zuccotti Park and more than 1,000 cities have started America on a path to renewal. The movement, still in its first days, will have to expand in several strategic ways. Activists are needed among shareholders, consumers and students to hold corporations and politicians to account. Shareholders, for example, should pressure companies to get out of politics. Consumers should take their money and purchasing power away from companies that confuse business and political power. The whole range of other actions — shareholder and consumer activism, policy formulation, and running of candidates — will not happen in the park..... To put it simply: tax the rich, end the wars and restore honest and effective government for all....... Finally, the new progressive era will need a fresh and gutsy generation of candidates to seek election victories not through wealthy campaign financiers but through free social media. A new generation of politicians will prove that they can win on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and blog sites, rather than with corporate-financed TV ads. By lowering the cost of political campaigning, the free social media can liberate Washington from the current state of endemic corruption. .... A new generation of leaders is just getting started. The new progressive age has begun.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occupy Zuccotti: The Eviction

Day 31 Occupy Wall Street October 16 2011 Shan...Image by david_shankbone via Flickr(1) I am not alarmed.
(2) The operation was well done, well executed.
(3) It was the wrong thing to do.
(4) New York City should take pride in the fact that something that started in a small park in this city has spread across the world. Liverpool takes pride in The Beatles.
(5) There will be a regrouping.
(6) The eviction was top news on Google News for an entire day. It probably still is. The Occupy people could not have thought of a better way to spread their message around the country, around the world. An operationally well executed plan was a political defeat, if the purpose was to calm down the Occupy movement.
(7) The movement has to rethink, regroup, and do one better.

(8) It is not within this or any other mayor's power to address the concerns of the movement. The mayor does not have a political solution. The movement is above the mayor's pay scale. The movement is not asking the mayor for the solution. No city official can address.
(9) This movement is out of the box thinking. It is stepping out. It is saying the entire system is dysfunctional. Something fundamental is not working.
(10) The movement can sleep outdoors if it wants to. Why not? The right to peaceful assembly does not end when the sun sets.

(11) The movement has to go through some introspection.
(12) Public acts are important. 200 people in 200 basements hammering away on social media sites could not have had one millionth the impact. Of course Zuccotti Park mattered. That 24/7 character has to be brought back. (Occupy Wall Street Could Legitimately Go Indoors)
(13) Nonviolence is the only option.
(14) My favorite part of the movement so far has been individuals writing out on placards explaining what makes them part of the 99%. That has to be magnified.

(15) Mass actions like literally shutting down Wall Street and crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in ways that disrupt traffic might be great ways to get old media attention and magnify the message, but they go beyond my personal comfort level for now.
(16) But then financial bad behavior on Wall Street over the past decade was not exactly within your comfort level either.
(17) I wish the movement worked harder to achieve more sophisticated levels of organization.
(18) Isolated incidents of possible criminal behavior, or in one case suicide, would be a lame excuse to shut down the movement. There are murders taking place in New York City every day. Should the city be shut down?

(19) Message.
(20) Organization.
(21) The movement will take a few months to take both of those to the next level. The mayor wants debates. There will be debates.

The Occupy movement is not a mirror image of the Tea Party. To say it is to suggest Charlie Rangel is a modern day MLK. The Occupy movement competes with acts by MLK. It is a modern day movement, completely crowd sourced.

Occupy The World
Occupy Wall Street Could Legitimately Go Indoors
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Occupy The World

Day 43 Occupy Wall Street October 29 2011 Shan...Image by david_shankbone via FlickrOccupy America has to be first and foremost about total campaign finance reform. I was Barack Obama's first full time volunteer in New York City. And I staunchly believe in the guy's reelection. But I have tried to see the Occupy movement for what it is and I have been open to options that might or might not be best for Barack Obama's political party. (A Multi Party System For America) But I believe 2012 has to be about The Agenda. The agenda is total campaign finance reform and progressive taxation (Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax) within 100 days of Barack Obama's second term. To that end giving him a second term, a super majority in the Senate and a majority in the House might be the best way. (Occupy Wall Street: My Idea Of Obama 2012) But that can be no blank check. The Occupy movement has to spell out the agenda by the summer of 2012.

Occupy China, Occupy Russia, Occupy Iran All Over Again

The Occupy movement can achieve globally what guns and tanks can not. The Occupy movement can end all wars for all times. You do that by turning all countries into democracies through peaceful protests. And once that goal is achieved, by achieving rule of law between countries. The UN General Assembly has to be reorganized and turned into a true global parliament.

Occupy Wall Street Could Legitimately Go Indoors
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America
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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Could Legitimately Go Indoors

The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showin...Image via WikipediaI say take it to a church basement nearby. Or two, or three. Cap the number of people that can spend the night there. 200 is good enough. Know who those 200 are. Have a line. Process people. Spending a night should be a badge of honor.

The glory is not in braving the winter outdoors. The glory is in channeling the online communication.

Occupy Wall Street is the national nerve center, it is the global nerve center for the movement. I think taking it indoors and getting it better organized would be a great move to make.

Come back out into the park in about four months or five.

Staying put in the park would be the best option. But moving it to a church basement would also be a legitimate option.

A Multi Party System For America
Occupy Wall Street: My Idea Of Obama 2012
Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Libya: One Billion, Iraq: Trillion Plus

Barack Obama spent a billion dollars to topple a dictator in Libya. Compare that to the Bush figure of trillion plus to topple Saddam Hussein.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Multi Party System For America

Citizens registered as an Independent, Democra...Image via WikipediaTwo party is still multi party. Two is not one. Two is more than one. But a two party system is not a true multi-party system.

Yesterday I drew an end game scenario for the Occupy Wall Street movement: Occupy Wall Street: My Idea Of Obama 2012.

A more ambitious scenario would be where the movement emerges as a third party in American politics. Step one still would be about turning America into a one person, one vote democracy. But then a departure would take place.

2012 would be too early for the movement to seek a presidency of its own, but 2016 might be a ripe time.

This could happen fast.

A three party system would bring greater political innovation.

Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: My Idea Of Obama 2012

Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America

There are people who are saying Occupy Wall Street will not survive the New York winter. They obviously don't know the difference between a political movement and a camping trip. This is no camping trip.

This thing is just getting started. Within a month this movement has gone national, has gone global.

I want to emphasize. This is not about seeking confrontations with the police. The police are part of the 99%. All they want is information. They want to know beforehand if you are going to come out into the streets. Tell them.

The Occupy movement is about finding one public space in every town, every city, and then filling it up to capacity - in New York I believe that number is 1,000 - and maintaining that number by having people camp out in rotation. You are looking for volunteers who will show up for one 24 hour period and then will stay on stand by after that. The more people you can thus "process" the better. Because all such "processed" people will join the online army. People who have been there, done that will be more enthusiastic.

If the number is 1,000 in New York City, in a small town that number might be 50, or even 20. That would work.

The important thing is for all such occupations to stay connected to each other. Create a Twitter account. Create a Facebook page. Create a YouTube channel. Create a LiveStream page.

The ultimate idea is to occupy the first 100 days of the Obama administration in 2013. And then we can go home.

Stay at capacity. If the capacity in Zuccotti Park is 1,000 people, stick to 1,000 people. Have people sign up online. There likely will be a core group of about 30 people, but even that core group can rotate.

Do march. It is important to come out into the street. But inform the NYPD beforehand. One march a month would work. And one big march next summer. Summer of 2012. A million strong march into Central Park from all parts of the city, into one big convergence.

The number one agenda item is to take money out of politics and to turn America into a one person, one vote democracy that it is not today. Total campaign finance reform. The rest follow from that.

Keep the White House. Take back the House. Acquire a super majority of 60 plus in the Senate. And demand that Obama and Pelosi carry out the agenda during the first 100 days of 2013.

Occupy Wall Street also is to do with the global spread of democracy. We have to uproot one dictator after another. We can do it.

Stay connected. Stay communicated. The conversation is the revolution.

(1) Total campaign finance reform.
(2) Universal health.
(3) Universal, lifelong education.
(4) Global democracy.
(5) A Global Marshall Plan.

(6) End the Bush tax cuts.
(7) A wealth equity tax. The American people, represented by the US federal government, own 10% of every company that has a market value over a billion dollars.

(8) Put up 20 satellites at a cost of $400 million each to ensure universally global broadband, ad supported. As long as people anywhere can buy/borrow/share/receive hardware - laptop/tablet/smartphone - and are willing to watch ads, they have broadband. This 20 billion will be recouped. This is an investment, not an expense.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gaddafi Helped Mandela

Imran Khan, December 2007Image via WikipediaIt is important to maintain perspective.

I have always believed in democracy, and I have never thought of it as some kind of a western thing.

The day 9/11 happened I compared it to the start of something along the magnitudes of the Cold War.

Gaddafi is like Castro in that he saw a lot. He saw colonialism, the Cold War, the aftermath, the War On Terror. This guy stayed in the news for half a century.

I was doing school in Kathmandu. We were amazed about this guy who seemed to drive Reagan crazy. Who i-s this guy? We read up on him.

One of the details that has to be noted is that Gaddafi helped Mandela when nobody helped Mandela. Dick Cheney was opposed to imposing sanctions on the apartheid regime and I don't think he has ever course corrected that stand.

I have often wondered what a Gaddafi like political animal functioning in a democratic set up might look like. Because the world does need people who will speak to the west on their own terms.

I am thinking Imran Khan might emerge that welcome voice, someone who is a democrat, a son of the soil, intelligent beyond belief, and someone who simply can not go corrupt.

Gaddafi was a dictator like Saddam was a dictator. I would not put Castro in the same basket. Castro was never a mass murderer. And the US could learn from some of what Cuba has done in education and health. Castro exported many a doctor to Third World countries over decades.

A new world order asks for personalities like Imran Khan who will ride the world stage on behalf of their peoples, democratically elected, and subject to peaceful recall once every few years.

Imran Khan
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Monday, October 17, 2011


The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showin...Image via WikipediaCongregate. Do not disrupt. This is about getting together, peacefully, amicably, almost in a celebratory way.

This is not about disrupting traffic. This is not about preventing people from going to work. This is not about seeking confrontations with the police.

It has to stay completely nonviolent. It has to become super, duper organized. It has to be sophisticated.

Occupy one public space in each city, each town where people camp out around the clock. If the space's capacity is 1,000 people, stay at 1,000 people. Get people to participate in rotation. So one person might clock in for one 24 hour period to be replaced by another person who signed up to be there.

The occupation can not end until the fundamental fabric of the democracy has been impacted. The goal is one person, one vote democracy. The insane people running the banks on Wall Street threw the bus into the ditch and gave the world the Great Recession. Now they want to go back to their same old ways. That is not an option.

We want a new architecture for global finance. And so the occupation has to continue. It has to grow. It has to grow on all continents. It has to grow from one city to many cities. It has to go to every town, every city. Maybe you are a small town, and your public space will only hold 50 people, and that is okay.

The thing is, we are all connected. The occupation in one town is connected to the occupation in every other town. Each city is connected to every other. This is a global movement, a national movement.

It has to stay nonviolent. It has to stay intelligent. It has to be about the conversation. The mass, public action is about the conversation. For every person camped out at a park, there are 1,000 people and more participating online. That online "occupation" is as real as it gets. These are real people with real opinions, with real challenges, real political weight.

This movement is about roping in more and more people into the conversation.

Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax
The Conversation Is The Revolution
Tahrir Square In America
America And Europe Need To Learn From Japan
This Woman Is Dynamo
The Mini Me Stimulus Bill Lacks Imagination
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sales Tax, Wealth Equity Tax

Potato chipsImage via WikipediaThere are right wingers claiming close to half the country does not pay any taxes. But everybody pays the sales tax. When you buy potato chips you are paying the sales tax.

Instead I think there is an urgent need to introduce a wealth equity tax. As soon as a company's valuation exceeds a billion, the American people end up owning 10% of it. That should be the arrangement. The US federal government would represent the American people. This would apply to all corporations whose market value might already exceed a billion.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Conversation Is The Revolution

Tahrir Square In America
Occupy America

Democracy in America is ripe for a quantum jump. Total campaign finance reform has to be enacted in America. Because democracy is meant to be one person one vote.

Turning a dictatorship into a democracy is a quantum jump. There are parallels.

Both involve congregating. Large masses of people congregating.

When a country is already a democracy like America is, violence will not be seen. Most disruptions will also be avoided. The message takes some time to gel, and even then stays evolving.

So far the Occupy Wall Street movement has exhibited an amazing mastery of social media. Actions are piped out. Voices come streaming back in. There is conversation.

That conversation itself is the revolution. It has to last many months.

Until fundamental change is brought about to the very fabric of this democracy people have to stay put. Total campaign finance reform, universal health, universal, lifelong education.
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Monday, October 03, 2011

Tahrir Square In America

New York State Governor David Paterson opening...Image via Wikipedia
Nick Kristof: New York Times: The Bankers And The Revolutionaries: The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has taken over a park in Manhattan’s financial district and turned it into a revolutionary camp. Hundreds of young people chant slogans against “banksters” or corporate tycoons. ...... “Occupy Wall Street” was initially treated as a joke, but after a couple of weeks it’s gaining traction. The crowds are still tiny by protest standards — mostly in the hundreds, swelling during periodic marches — but similar occupations are bubbling up in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. David Paterson, the former New York governor, dropped by, and labor unions are lending increasing support. ....... I tweeted that the protest reminded me a bit of Tahrir Square in Cairo, and that raised eyebrows....... The protesters are dazzling in their Internet skills, and impressive in their organization. The square is divided into a reception area, a media zone, a medical clinic, a library and a cafeteria. The protesters’ Web site includes links allowing supporters anywhere in the world to go online and order pizzas (vegan preferred) from a local pizzeria that delivers them to the square. ...... In a tribute to the ingenuity of capitalism, the pizzeria quickly added a new item to its menu: the “OccuPie special.” ....... Where the movement falters is in its demands: It doesn’t really have any. The participants pursue causes that are sometimes quixotic — like the protester who calls for removing Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill because of his brutality to American Indians. ....... the banks socialized risk and privatized profits
London Has Become Cairo

My advice would be to stay disciplined and grow into large crowds in public places like parks. Don't hit the road, don't disrupt traffic, don't prevent people from getting to work. A massive protest in a country like America can not be like one in Egypt where right to free speech and right to peaceful assembly were not protected.

But this Occupy America movement has the option to become big, really big, and to bring about fundamental change to the American democracy. This movement has to conclude with a passage in Congress of total campaign finance reform, like Anna Hazare forced a major anti corruption bill down the Indian parliament's throat.

At some level democracy in America is a joke. It is not a one person, one vote democracy. Money plays too big a role. And the moneyed interests have hijacked the lawmaking process in Washington beyond the pale of any democratic logic.

This movement has to be about reclaiming the House. And giving Barack Obama a strong progressive agenda for the subsequent four years.

Total campaign finance reform, universal health, universal education.

This can be a movement as fundamental as the one in Egypt or Tunisia. Only here you are not seeking to bring about democracy. Here you are seeking to take an existing democracy to a whole new level.

This has to be nonviolent, non disruptive, and big, like really, really big. Gather in public parks in all towns, small and big, in all cities across America. 24-7. Until the honchos on Capitol Hill pass total campaign finance reform.
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