Archive for #occupy wall street

Yet another letter to the IHT

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 17, 2012 by spinoza1111

Letter to International Herald Tribune re Chrystia Freeland’s column, “Defending the Unloved 1%” (IHT 17 Feb).

To whom it may concern:

Concerning Chrystia Freeland’s column, “Defending the Unloved 1%” (IHT 17 Feb): I’ve noticed that post-Thatcher, even educated British youths no longer know what a “bounder” is. Likewise, we seemed to have lost the ability to describe “Wyoming multimillionaire” Foster Friess as a vulgar and stupid little man with money, an arriviste, one of the nouveau riche, a bounder, a rotter, a thug and a most pretentious cad.

Of course, as long ago as the Depression, people, after whom streets in their own communities were named but who were on relief, were rather, like Amanda in A Streetcar Named Desire, resentful, hurt and puzzled by their loss of status as compared with New Money. But this has nothing to do with the way in which these new fortunes of today were made, usually by privatizing formerly public goods, impoverishing skilled workers, and trashing small businesses.

Envy, as a deadly sin, is reciprocal to another, and that’s greed.

Friess claims that the “46%” don’t pay taxes: Freeland fails to mention that people might not pay income tax when unemployed but continue to pay sales tax in most states, and income tax in many states on unemployment compensation. Friess wants Gates to be paid for inventing (or rather buying and then improving) Windows: news flash: he was.

The German socialist Rosa Luxembourg said “socialism or barbarism”. She was right. Rome didn’t fall owing to barbarian invasions; it fell because the rich opted out of the social contract, as has this character Foster Friess.

Edward G. Nilges


A Rather One-Sided Socratic Dialogue Concerning Occupy Wall Street

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 20, 2011 by spinoza1111

“The protester must be made aware that their freedom to express their grievances must not interfere with our freedom to conduct our life and daily activities”.

But if we come to work, and the boss calls us into the office, and informs us we’re terminated, doesn’t this “interfere with our freedom?” If a mortgage company fraud-closes our home, doesn’t this “interfere with our freedom?” If the cops close down a subway station in order to entrap OWS protesters, does not this interfere, not only with the protesters’ freedom, but with ours, when we planned to get off at that stop in order to get to work on time?

Don’t Julia and Brad “interfere with our freedom” when they block off a street to make a lighthearted romantic movie about Rich People In Love? Big studios can afford the investments, donations, and naked kickbacks that are in reality required to make a movie on location. Small film-makers often have to film guerrilla-style.

Doesn’t Ed Norton “interfere with our freedom” when he and his mates use a high tech, high power Roto Rooter to engage in months long projects, the purpose of which they never explain, of excavation, tunneling, and for all we know, archeology?

[“Hey lookit what I found today Ralphie Boy”].

Note for you young whippersnappers, that’s not “Ed Norton” the skinny actor it is “Ed Norton” as played by actor Art Carney, Ralph Kramden/Jackie Gleason’s sidekick in the old TV series which inspired, if that’s the word, the Flintstones. You know. The Flintstones. Yabba, dabba, doo. Oh never mind.

Like Hamlet’s father in the old play, Ed Norton and his mates may be worthy pioneers, tunneling under the earth; but they never explain why they make such noise.

Of course, the City “interferes with our freedom” in countless ways. There are eight million ways in which we are discombobulated in da Naked City.

Comes now Occupy Wall Street. Gee, how are they any different, and in many ways are they not rather an improvement? For one thing, their women are more attractive than the fat tourists. Their music and drumming overcomes the Cacophony and Pandaemonium. They would mount the Merrill Lynch Bull (that symbol of society become second nature: that Golden Calf which we must perforce worship) in a dancer’s gesture.

Edward G. Nilges, Occupy Wall Street, or, Something is Afoot. Pencil, pen, Conte, fuser, Gimp, 20 Nov 2011.

Our children love the OWSers because they smile and dance even as our children love the annual Gay parade even though our children statistically won’t turn out gay, and if they do, God love them, as we Irish say.

Why and how is OWS singled out for special censure?

I will tell you by way of a digression on my former business: software development. In that racket there was a strange abstraction, the “user”. The “user” was invoked as a sort of deus or daemon *ex machina* by people in meetings any time a manager, or incompetent developer, felt mentally challenged. He would then call and cry, formulaically, ritualistically, “but da User don’t give a rat’s ass ’bout all dat”.

It was never clear who da User was; Dutch computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra noticed that when that word, “the User” appeared in texts translated to his language, it was itself left untranslated as in “gewoort behoove sind der User gemootlikeit” or something (don’t try to back-translate, I don’t know Dutch: that’s pig Dutch, makemup Dutch).

This is because in a corporation power is mobile and you never know where it alights, therefore what we MEANT by “da User” was an abstraction, the solution to an inequality: He Who Must Be Obeyed Because He Has Minimal Intelligence, Minimal Compassion, Minimal Taste, and Maximal Power. Or, in the rare case of a Carly Fiorina, She Who Must Be Obeyed, etc.

In a city, He Who Must Be Obeyed is this abstraction. He Who May Be Brutalized is the solution to the reverse equation, and if you want to be He (or She) Who May Be Brutalized, be smart, subaltern and fight back.

Thank you for your attention.

Doing the math on coverage of the Tea Party versus coverage of OccupyWallStreet

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 29, 2011 by spinoza1111

It’s becoming obvious to many that the media ignored the #OccupyWallStreet protests at first and is still somewhat reluctant to cover events nation-wide.

This fascinating graph shows the coverage of the Tea Party in 2009 versus that of OWS in 2010.

What is most striking is that the red line (the coverage of Tea Party events in 2009) is an almost perfect “logarithmic” curve…a curve generated by the equation y=log(x)+K where K is usually zero and always constant. Whereas the blue line (the coverage of Occupy Wall Street in 2011) is close to zero until late September 2011 and then becomes a linear increase (y=x).

A logarithmic curve starts out promisingly if you’re interested in increasing the value of y: almost exponentially (y=x**2). But then it flattens out to y=K where K is a constant. For example, there are a lot of primes close to zero (2, 3, 5, 7, 11…) but later on, as Gauss proved, they converge to a roughly constant rate.

But the coverage of the Tea Party events doesn’t have to increase and can stay at a constant level, or it may collapse at some future date.

The interesting fact is that the Tea Party coverage so neatly conforms to y=log(x) whereas the OWS coverage is ragged and more natural-looking.

We can hypothesize: the TP coverage is push coverage, where editors decide to cover, whereas OWS is pull and driven by events (such as police rioting and attacks on innocent people) and reporters who’ve been themselves on the scene and beaten by police.

“Push” coverage can be expected to manifest a more mathematical pattern because editors form a small set of like-minded people.

In prestige newspapers, the readership of which is declining but older and wealthier, the TP rallies reinforce the rather low haute bourgeois opinion of the petit bourgeois: that such clerks and jerks are useful idiots at best and guaranteed to raise a laugh what with their highly symbolic guns, misspelled signs, and crazed expressions. Editors at the Times and other media have probably assigned increasing numbers of reporters and authorized an initially increasing number of stories on the Tea Party hoping to divert their readers.

Whereas OWS was just another boring left-wing demonstration and precoded as some sort of hangover from the Sixties, an era that the truly au fait claim as theirs, when they showed their virtue, but which they’ve outgrown in a gesture like that of Sergei Prokofiev’s rejection of high Modernism or TS Eliot’s conversion. Therefore the coverage bumped along the bottom until around Sep 25 when rioting policemen maced innocent women.

Editors are still loth to cover OWS and still need coverage that meets the criteria “if it bleeds it leads”. But not only are beat reporters pushing coverage. “Talkback” and “comment” sections of modern Web based editions are also creating pressure. On the New York Times they are running about 99% in favor of the representatives of the 99%.

Here, a ranking of online comments (by number of approvals) attached to Gina Bellafanti’s disgusting 23 Sep article patronizing the protesters, most of which were posted after the women were Maced, shows again 99% in favor of the spokespeople for the 99%.

The “Sixties” are used by people not even there as a point of reference and in a way that displays ignorance and intellectual flaccidity. Gina Bellafanti was born in 1965 yet feels like a real journalist when she writes that a female protester looks like Joni Mitchell.

The message, from people not born early enough to actually experience the 1960s, is that “we”, the au fait, the gratin, the nomenklatura, got over “all that” and that “they” are merely copying “Joni Mitchell” like deluded fools. But in actuality, the au fait, the gratin, the nomenklatura were not part of the movements of the 1960s and instead more or less cowered at Princeton delaying coeducation until 1972 whilst students at state colleges put their bodies on the line.

Actual information, knowledge and I daresay wisdom is receding from the au fait, the gratin, the nomenklatura at the speed of light and their focus on a particular protest or critique is becoming inverse to its worth as they are sucked into the black hole of what George Soros called (in 2005) the “bubble” of American supremacy.

Towards a Formal Theory of the “Police Riot”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 27, 2011 by spinoza1111

Let’s define a “police riot” as any incident in which the force used by the police to end a “disturbance” in supposedly the interests of ordinary law-abiding citizens makes the street unusable by ordinary law-abiding citizens. This is what former Illinois governor Otto Kerner called police actions in 1968 in which a previous generation had demanded access to the Democratic convention.

Then as now, different standards had been imposed on previous right wing protests and other actions. The earlier 1960s saw attacks on Adlai Stevenson (another liberal former governor of Illinois who’d run for President in 1952 and 1956) and noisy demonstrations by the right at the 1964 Republican convention in favor of the nomination of the unelectable Barry Goldwater…even as, two years ago, the police did not react when guns were openly carried at Tea Party protests.

In Chicago 1968 and Oakland 2011, the disproportionate police response and NO action by the protestors had made the streets unusable. Passersby such as Hugh Hefner had been attacked by police in 1968 and today, the police at Occupy protests make no distinction between protestors and people trying to get home.

One YouTube video, for example, shows a woman in NYC, an ordinary bank customer, being arrested merely for objecting that she is not part of the protest.

In the Youtube video, the well-dressed woman who appears half way was obviously not part of the protest. Nonetheless she is arrested by one of the Dickless Wonders (the greasy little plainclothes cop in the hat). At this point, we have a police riot, since the announced purpose of clearing the streets is to serve and protect “ordinary decent hard working people” such as her. Mass and indiscriminate arrests go beyond this point.

If the goal is the safety of the streets for the citizen, police riots violate the First Amendment rights of peaceful protestors and Ninth Amendment rights of passersby and the woman in the YouTube video.

Police riots expose what’s already there. The woman probably had made her own peace with normalized deviance and normalized violence. She’s probably paid less than she’s worth: she probably works a ten or twelve hour day in an office to meet deadlines while being paid only for eight hours: she’s probably at a glass ceiling and may be subject to sexual harassment.

The protesters in the bank had de-normalized the situation so the cops immediately showed the thug face of authority.

Any Questions?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 25, 2011 by spinoza1111

Penny for the Guy?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 10, 2011 by spinoza1111

Please, #Occupy Wall Street without those idiotic Guy Fawkes masks!

As a terrorist who wanted to subject England to Spain, Guy Fawkes set Catholic emancipation back to 1830.

But deeper than this, wearing a mask makes a sickening statement: that you’re more important than an ordinary person and have a Secret Identity, the basic Male Fantasy when you desire to avoid facing, with sober senses, the real conditions of your life.

Look at the fixed smirk on the mask. It is oh so superior, pitying and in the know, and the wearer is usually one of those annoying lunatics, who, having been cheated out of an education by universities that no longer impose core requirements, thinks that dismantling civilization in the form of public schools or the Federal Reserve will bring us all to some sort of ill defined Zion.

Men are afraid so afraid today. My sons don’t hate me, I know, they just don’t call is all because they are trying to be strong silent types. Heck with that, we used to stay up all night talking in the 1960s.

Whereas women expose their faces to the world at the risk of getting Maced (when idiots aren’t forcing them to veil against their will). They produce half the wealth of the world, holding up half the sky in a literal sense. They aren’t paid at all for housework and they STILL make about 60 cents on the dollar world wide.

LET THAT be your “fiat money”; it’s payment for labor that is unpaid.

Since the abandonment of the gold standard, which was “necessary” to finance the carnage of World War I without discommoding the comfortable classes, governments have exercised what IS a sovereign power: the power to print money. Boo hoo. Nice work to have, and in a Constitutional republic, we need a Federal Reserve simply to ensure that the People of the United States have control, ultimately, over the central bank.

Credit extension has taken the place of the absolute need to reproduce labor that is extracted without payment. Today’s hypercapitalism extracts labor without paying because that is gold to them. Here are some forms:

1. Working a software developer 16 hours a day while paying him for eight while brow-beating him, lowering his self-esteem and destroying his family.

2. Forcing his wife to care for two children and pick up after them and him 24/7 while in untreated post-partum depression whilst software boy fills the house with smoke and triggers serious asthma in his eldest son, while not being able to afford the psychotherapy that might have ended his addiction to nicotine.

3. Paying that wife too little when after the resulting divorce, she uses her perfect grammar and spelling to record the minutes of City Council meetings that last well into the evening, in which rich homeowners tear into renters in her community.

4. Working a teacher five years at six days a week without a raise despite the fact that the children love his kindness and the books he buys to read to them especially Madeline of Paris, and despite the fact that he brings in new business.

5. Destroying his ex-wife’s access to health care and day care and offering instead predatory loans.

6. Stealing the grown son’s last paycheck at more than one job.

7. Marshalling resentment against the other son’s good looks and failure to be a predator, just a hard working entrepreneur.

This specific laundry list has only to be multiplied billions of times to include the Beijing teacher who dares not ask for a raise because his grandfather was a landlord, the scholarship boy in the UK who can’t afford posh accent classes, the French woman who fails the Bac and the Mongolian yak herder who is too kind to his frigging yaks.

Take it seriously people. Bourdieu (the French philosopher and social theorist) calls it The Weight of the World. Because economists are, despite their pretension, NOT scientists, only charlatans and whores who confuse scientific asceticism with science, they, unlike physicists, will not speak of this Weight of the World, this “dark matter”, this Satanic extraction of surplus value.

But Marx did.

We need to face this. We’ve worked for free because a white collar economy makes it easy to extract our time. This is the problem and not the Federal Reserve.

Child Safe Version of “Roundelay for the DW”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 9, 2011 by spinoza1111

Worthless Wonders, wonder on
As we dance your head upon
What the heck is going on?

In the better restaurants
Where gather both brokers and their servant quants
The fear is palpable indeed
Could the jig be up on fear and greed?

Worthless Wonders, wonder on
As you sing the death song of the swan
Honking tunelessly: it ain’t your dawn

Fee fi fo fum
You smelled the blood of an English “mun”
Predatory credit offered to the desperate
False hope and lies, you dirty rat

Worthless Wonders, wonder on
You are men of sin: we’ll never fawn
Upon your false wisdom and your filthy lies
You murder what you touch you kill surprise

Fee fi fo groan
She cannot pay her student loan:
So she puts on her dancing shoes
The loser wins and the bankers lose!

Worthless wonders, wonder on
Why there’s no payments on the loan
Or maybe why I am able to
Either way, the world made new

You wanted to be the first mover
But now you are but Herbert Hoover:
But how does it feel to be the loser
Your bespoke is sticky it needs a cleaner.

O Worthless Wonders, wonder on
Your Brooks Brothers suit has boogers on
Out darn spot, down o Dog
Someone’s stolen your London Fog

You thought to be gods
But you are silly sods:
You are Saturn eating his kid
A bundle of greed get off the grid

Worthless Wonders, wonder on
Limbaugh rants we but yawn
The well funded hysteria of the Tea Bags
Is beaten by nice ladies, with shopping bags

You took away their microphone
To silence them you did dispone:
But in the silence came a Voice
By your Petard shall ye be hoist.

Worthless Wonders, wonder on:
As you gaze upon your filth strewn Pond:
You are mad and crazy and you are fond:
If you think we gonna pay that “bond”.

You marshaled marching morons who cudn’t evenn spel
To further your goal: to make this happy earth thy hell
Hark, the dark angel! Ding dong bell:
Raving men with a glitter in their eye
Hungry hags havering with havoc
Mad men with the universal solution and panacea.
You had your Tea Party and we had a laugh
The people now awake, go slaughter a calf.

Worthless Wonders, wonder on
As you rage in throes of death
The matador I! Come on!
You have money I have breath.

Edward G. Nilges 9 Oct 2011. Moral rights have been asserted.