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Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Movement’

Who Are the Occupiers? Where do they come from?

Where do the occupiers come from? According to the press, most of us seem to be drug addicts, petty criminals, the unemployed and young. Of course, according to the press, some of us are good people. Anyway, click the link below to see who they are. Many thanks to Shawn Sorensen for bring this to my attention.

Click this link for the complete story

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by Robert Reich

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum: It was hijacked.

According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech, and corporations are now people.

Yet when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances – clubbed, pepper-sprayed, thrown out of public parks and evicted from public spaces.

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision last year ended all limits on political spending. Now millions of dollars are being funneled to politicians without a trace.

The limits were eroding even before Citizens United. For years, large corporations have been flooding Washington with lobbyists who bundle individual contributions into a formidable war chest, bankrolling more and more lawmakers’ campaigns.

click here to read the rest of the article, especially now that the Occupy Movement is under seige by the federal government

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We Are the 99.9 Percent

“We are the 99 percent” is a great slogan. It correctly defines the issue as being the middle class versus the elite (as opposed to the middle class versus the poor). And it also gets past the common but wrong establishment notion that rising inequality is mainly about the well educated doing better than the less educated; the big winners in this new Gilded Age have been a handful of very wealthy people, not college graduates in general. See the complete story below by clicking on the link.

We are the 99.9 Percent

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No business is too big to fail. The slogan “Too Big To Fail” is a lie. What that really means in the United States is that the super-rich are not allowed to fail, no matter how incompetent they, are because they have corrupted both political parties and your government in the process at a level unprecedented since the Gilded Age.

Let’s take the mortgage securities market as an example.

A few decades ago, some commercial banker got the idea to sell off his banks mortgages to Wall Street investment firms, like Goldman Sacs. The sale of mortgages together as a group is called “bundling.”

The investment firms issued bonds to mostly rich investors backed by the bundled mortgages. The home owners made their payments, which went to service the loans, with a large amount of the payments going to the bondholders, i.e. the rich.

This was profitable to say the least. All along the way, there were fees to be had. Billions of dollars worth of fees. There was no government oversight since Wall Street investment firms had ensured that people friendly to them were placed in government oversight agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission. And so in time the quality of the home loans gradually decreased to the point where mortgages were given to people who had minimum or near minimum wage jobs, or no jobs at all. The banks immediately sold the mortgages to Wall Street, who sold the bonds to the wealthy. Since mortgage providers and investment banks didn’t hang on to the bonds for more than a few months, and the investment banks told the bondholders the bonds were of the finest quality, nobody was concerned that homeowners might not be able to pay their mortgages beyond the first few months. That is why the standards for home loans were lowered. Contrary to Fox Fake News, this crisis had nothing to do with the civil rights group called ACORN. It was all about big money and giant profits.

Some of these affluent investors decided to buy insurance on their mortgage backed bonds. These insurance policies were known as credit default swaps. You did not have to own any mortgage backed bonds to insure them. Think of it this way. It was like being able to buy insurance policies on the houses of your neighbors. That means the value of the total number of insurance policies were greater than the total value of all the mortgage bonds, and by a wide margin. If you wanted to make a killing, you bought insurance on the mortgage backed bonds that homeowners weren’t likely to pay. You could’ve had hundreds of people owning insurance policies on the same bad mortgage backed bonds, and none of these people needed to own the bonds. All you had to do was take out a $10 million policy on the mortgage backed securities owned by another person, make your 3 percent yearly payment of $30,000, and when the market collapsed, an insurance company owed you $10 million with virtually no risk to you.

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The executives of one company in particular were dumb enough to insure these mortgage backed bonds. Those were the wizards of AIG. And I use the word “wizards” in the most sarcastic way possible. They were really idiots, except they may have figured the government was going to bail them out.

When the housing market toppled, the total amount of insurance policies on mortgage backed securities were somewhere between $32 and $58 trillion, more or less, depending on who was doing the counting. Yes, that’s trillion. AIG couldn’t hope to pay all that it had insured. That meant rich investors were going to lose their shirts and their underpants, and be forced to walk around naked. They’d need to get a real job, like being a clerk at the local Seven Eleven, which may have been the only thing some of these people were qualified to do. Oh, no! Heaven forbid! The government couldn’t allow that to happen. Those guys had already paid the politicians in congress, the senate and the white house a ton of money to bail them out. And so that’s why the government bailed out AIG. That allowed AIG to pay the super rich, especially Goldman Sacs, the money they owed them on their insurance scams, or rather policies.

Of course, not all rich people had insurance on their mortgage backed securities. When the market collapsed, the Federal Reserve printed money and began buying those now worthless bonds, but not at their real value. The Fed paid the wealthy the face value of their worthless bonds. If the affluent had paid $10 million for bonds now worth a nickel, the Fed bought the bonds for $10 million. The rich made off like bandits, because they were, and are.

And what happens if you’re not rich? And you can’t pay your mortgage because you lost your job? The government will do virtually nothing for you. There’s a reason for this. If the government established an agency that renegotiated home loans with home owners, like what occurred under the Franklin Roosevelt administration, they’d need to renegotiate the home mortgages down at least to the level of current value. Let’s face it. The bubble has burst. Home prices are still dropping. That means rescuing homeowners is a big problem if you’re rich, or the owner of those worthless bonds, like The Federal Reserve Bank.

If homeowners are paying less for their mortgages, the value of mortgage backed bonds will wilt even more because the return on investment (i.e. the mortgage payments) will be less. In other words, helping average citizens to stay in their homes during this economic crisis will reduce the value of the wealth owned by the richest and dumbest parasites in the United States. These are the people that Republicans like Congressmen Paul Ryan and John Boehner (pronounced “Boner”) are beholden to. The same is true of liberal Democrats like President Obama, Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

On the face of it, this is remarkable. Currently, the three people, (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates) own more wealth than the bottom 50. Apparently, your government doesn’t think this percentage should be reduced to help the 99 percent. That tells you all you need to know. Your government stands against you if you’re a member of the 99 percent.

There are two other things. Many of these idle rich people would’ve been in complete financial ruin if their government hadn’t saved their financially destroyed hides. The government in this case is the taxpayers. And on whose behalf have Republican politicians been fighting tooth and nail against any increase in their taxes to help pay for the bailouts? The idle rich, of course. People like the Koch Brothers. Apparently, they’ve decided their inherited wealth makes them worthier citizens than the bulk of the American people. These people actually think their taxes should be decreased.

That means one thing. Too big to fail is a lie. That expression is a euphemism for “too rich to be allowed to fail and look stupid in the process.”

The second thing is that the rich are using their immense financial clout to bribe politicians. The principal favor they seek is to redistribute income from working people to the rich. They’re successfully doing this all the time. For example, well bribed congress persons (like Earl Blumenauer) and senators (like Ron Wyden) voted a month ago to off shore US jobs via free trade treaties with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The difference between the old wages here and the new lower wages there will go to the rich, year after year after year. That means our congressional representatives and president voted to once again redistribute income to the rich from us, as well as to diminish our tax base, pauperize our schools, social services, police and fire departments.

Our political system is completely corrupted by big money, and that includes the corporate wing of the supreme court.

Fight back. Join the Occupy movement. Get involved. Take your government back. Also, take a look at the video below. You’ll see guys like former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson lie to congress. It’s worth a look.

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By John Hively

The Washington establishment and Wall Street ganged up on main-street when President Barack “Wall Street” Obama authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to organize a coordinated police-state crackdown on the middle class folks of the Occupy movement, as if we lived in the old Soviet Union and he was Joe Stalin.

This means the “change” and “hope” on which Obama campaigned for president in 2008 was always a lie, fraud and deceit. That’s always been obvious, but never more so than now. In the war for control of our economic and political destinies, Obama, as usual, has chosen to be an all conquering political mercenary of Wall Street in its continuous and parasitic raping and pillaging of the livelihoods and futures of the adults and children of the patriots of the middle class.

At some point prior to the police attacks on the Occupy movement, it’s likely the parasites of Wall Street got nervous about the movement and called upon their investor class president to voice their concerns. It wasn’t difficult to convince him to use the power of the state to attempt to eradicate the middle class threat of the Occupy Movement. Wall Street has given Obama more money than they have given to all the Republican Party candidates combined so far during the 2012 election cycle.

But Obama had to be careful. He needs the votes of working people to win reelection. So he can’t let us know that he is the latest master mind of our financial and political rape and pillage by the 1 percent; but only one person could have authorized DHS to plan the attacks and that person is Obama.

The Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet level position. Does anybody really think the crackdown wasn’t discussed during cabinet meetings, or in conversations between the DHS head, Janet Napalitano, and Obama.

Obama chose to let his underling Napalitano do his dirty work, but not until after the 1 percent had used their corporate media to launch a public relations assault to paint the Occupiers as shiftless, homeless, drug abusers; not to mention criminal thugs. The corporate media throughout the nation swift boated the Occupiers by attributing any alleged rise in crime anywhere near the Occupy encampments to the Occupiers themselves, without so much as a scrap of evidence to support their claims. For example, the Oregonian newspaper, a propaganda outlet of the 1 percent, followed their orders to perfection in their slanderous attempts to turn public opinion against the Portland Occupiers.

As the public relations campaign began, at Obama’s behest, DHS officials called a meeting or meetings with eighteen city mayors, who then developed a coordinated plan and timing of the attacks, which are now history.

One thing is obvious, or rather more obvious. Obama is Wall Street’s president. He’s not ours. He never was. There’s something worse; a vote for Obama is a vote for the barons of Wall Street and a vote for middle class destruction.

It’s true all the Republican candidates are also in bed with Wall Street, like prostitutes, like Obama. But one has to remember that only the zealously anti-communist Richard Nixon could go to China. A Republican president could never privatize Social Security, or harm middle class people in the manner that a Democratic president could, because only a Democrat could do that, or pass NAFTA, or pass the Telecommunications Act. Obama might be a greater danger to working people in his second term than any Republican because he won’t need their votes ever again.

Maybe we need an Occupy candidate for 2012. Even if the Democrats lose the White House because of the candidacy of an Occupier, what have working people got to lose? How about nothing? We’ll either get a Republican or Democrat Wall Street candidate. The establishment of an Occupier political party and a 2012 presidential candidate could be the beginning of something important, like building a movement from the ground up and putting a real man or woman of the people in the white house in 2016.

Obama thinks it’s a good thing for people to have “hope” for “change” so long as those people live in another country that is hostile to the United States. However, the people ruled by any friendly government shouldn’t have those aspirations, especially citizens of the United States.

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The Occupy movement is growing; it can’t be sprayed away

The Occupy movement is here to stay. It isn’t going away. The movement is growing as more and more people learn how their livelihoods, money and futures have been redistributed to the 1 percent by the federal government over the last thirty years. Fox Fake News can’t will it away. Click on the link below for the story.

The Occupy Movement Can't Be Sprayed Away

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