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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